Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Email from 6/2/10

Hello everybody, how's life?

Yes, the guy burning the suit was going home. That was Elder Wayment, with whom I served in Cleveland for 3 weeks or so in a triple-up before he went home mid-transfer. The missionary tradition is that you burn a tie at six months, a shirt at a year, a pair of slacks at 18 months, and a suit at 2 years. So that's why I was burning the tie. Yeah, the shoes were pretty bad.

Glad to hear you had an uneventful week - those are always nice. Good job building a trebuchet twice, Delaney. How many people worked with you on it? How big was it? Were you able to read my email segment to you that was in Spanish and probably correct the grammar on it?

A .500 batting average is pretty stellar. Good job being a great baseball player, Cody. Did you make any good runs or outs?

What kinds of things did the scouts have to do for the horsemanship merit badge? What did Dad do? Which scouts were there?Are you super excited for your elk hunt, Mom?

Did you see the picture of the Vizsla? We were eating dinner in the Fowlers' backyard and their neighbors were outside and they had a vizsla!! How cool is that? Her name is Bella and she's about 2 years old. She had a TON of energy - I don't think her owner takes her running with him. She wasn't as well behaved as Penny, either. Or as pretty.

The pictures of the smokestacks are from the nuclear power plant that is a couple miles away from us. The chickens, rooster, and other dogs are from the Hall's farm (the Halls are members in our ward, as are the Fowlers). The little labrador/retriever mix puppy was so cute - he was attacking an empty pop can for about 5 minutes, but his mouth wasn't big enough to bite it so he was wrestling with it and jumping on it and stuff - it was cool.

Is everybody excited to be out of school? What are you guys going to do over the summer? (Except go on dates, of course).

I'm pretty excited to meet Rocky, even though he'll probably be a boring old lazy dog by the time I get home. Hopefully his fighting skills will improve a little. Was he trying to fight Penny or were you guys trying to wrestle with him or something that caused you to discover that he's not a good fighter? Note: Rocky is Diane's puppy.

So - differences from serving in a student ward. The biggest one is that there are no students here. Instead of having easy, flexible schedules like medical students have so that they can come teaching with us pretty much any time of day, the members of this ward have jobs and can mostly just come with us in the evenings. Other differences from being in the city to being in a small Ohio town - there's pretty much nobody to talk to on the streets here. In Toledo or Cleveland we could just walk up the street and contact people, but there's nobody just walking the streets here. I guess they have nowhere to go or something. I don't know why black people are nicer than white people, but they are a lot more willing to talk to us and a lot less likely to be rude if they do say no.

We had a pretty good week, except for the part where no investigators could come to church. We did great at finding new people, though. We had been struggling in our finding efforts so we fasted last sunday for help and then this week we've been having everybody we talk to pray out loud with us and pray for us to be able to find people who are searching. The results were pretty miraculous. Also, the other day we were teaching one of our new investigators on their back porch and it had been raining earlier that day, and we could see a big huge storm coming over us as we taught. By about halfway through the lesson, we were totally overshadowed with inky, black, sinister clouds. I'm convinced that by our faith the Lord held back the rain for us until the lesson was finished. Literally seconds after we stood up to leave, it started POURING. I was dripping wet by the time we got to our car in the front driveway. That was a pretty cool miracle.

The Hanny's came to church again on Sunday, that was really exciting. I am so glad to see them coming back to the gospel and talking about the temple. SO cool. In addition to the great success with investigators, we also had a phenomenal week working with less active and part member families. We talked to the Nelson family who hasn't been to church in a long time and they were totally prepared. Sis. Nelson had had a dream a few days before we came over of her whole family being in the temple together except for her and her husband, so that made our job pretty easy. They were super committable and agreed to read and pray together daily and come to church regularly. That was awesome. Also, we started teaching the Dautartas's. The mom is less-active and her 10 year old son isn't baptized but she wants to come back and wants her son to learn about the church and be baptized as well. He (Ethan) is sick, please pray for him to get better. We also met for the first time with a couple more less-active families who agreed to have us back over, so hopefully some fruit will come of that as well.

Thanks for watching out for my debit card account. I ran out of MSF when I left all the food I bought in Toledo when I got


Yeah, the weather has been pretty good - usually in the high 70s or mid 80s. It rained a couple times also. Definitely no snow.
Yep, I'm doing well, thanks for asking.

Yes I got the box with the shoes and stuff. Thank you.

The exchange with Elder Jensen was good. It was in English - he doesn't speak Spanish. We worked in thier area (Shaker Heights). It was a nice change of scenery from Madison, Geneva, and Perry - I actually got to see black people and the rapid and other stuff that I miss from Cleveland.

Respectfully, etc.

Elder Matthew Smith

Note: Pictures will come shortly