Monday, September 13, 2010

Email 9/13/2010

Hello Peoples,

Yeah, Sandusky probably is about Sandy's size. I don't really remember how big Sandy is, but it sounds close enough to me. It's a whole lot more ghetto than Sandy, though. Yeah, the roller coaster park, Cedar Point, seems like a pretty big deal (except nobody in Sandusky seems to like it very much - I guess it would be like living right next door to Disneyland or something - they take it for granted and get used to it.

I'm pretty excited to hear about mom's massive elk next P-day! You guys should have gotten a squirrel tag, too! Has mom been practicing? Doing finger exercises? Who all is going up hunting with you guys?

Way to go my Eagle Scout brother!!! That is so cool - well done! So, now that you're the champion of the world, what are you going to do next? Do you like learning Spanish? Are you as good at it as Delaney? At least you're probably a better golfer than her, right?

I have to say I agree with you on the importance of compound bows over violin bows, Dad. Why don't you just tell Delaney that? I'm sure she'd change her mind. Why didn't Cody go to the Lion King play?

You guys continue to astound me with your knowledge of missionary lingo and practices - I never knew what 'trunky' meant or who went to district meetings until I was out on my mission. Elder Fronk and I are the Zone Leaders (or Zone Lords, depending on who you ask...). As for why the ZL area is Sandusky, I do not know and it makes no sense to me - we've burned up tons of miles already with the trips we've had to make to Cleveland, Kirtland, and other places, and we wouldn't have had to use nearly as much if we were in a closer area to Cleveland instead of at the edge of the zone. I think the ZL area is going to be moved in a transfer or two - there's an area close to Cleveland that covers two wards with only one companionship and I'm guessing that area will get divided and one of them will be the new ZL area.

Rundown on our investigators: They're all new in the past week or two. In the week before I got transferred here all our investigators we had were dropped. Fortunately, we've had some great success in finding - way more than we usually have (this is the magic of fasting) - and we're building up our teachpool again.

Treena: Lives across the street from us. She's been married for 18 years but is soon getting a divorce. She has a 17 yr old daughter and a 14 yr old son and I think one younger daughter that we haven't met yet. We've taught her twice - went over the Restoration both times and committed her to a baptismal date at the end of October. We've been teaching her on her front porch and her street is really busy, so we're hoping to start teaching her in a member's home. She wasn't at church this week because her son (probably) broke his hip on Friday and needed some extra TLC.

Janet: Is the newlywed wife of a member husband who is currently returning to activity. She's lived there for quite a while, but not been very open to missionaries apparently. They got married two weeks or so ago and that seemed to open a lot of doors for missionary work. We're pretty excited about her. She (as well as her husband and his 18ish yr. old son) came to church and had a great experience. We're still working on trying to get them to stay for the full block, but we've got an awesome fellowshipper for her from the RS and are confident that she can do it.

Jeanene (sounds like "Janine"): We found tracting the other day. We taught her the restoration and committed her to a baptismal date at the end of October as well. She has been searching for God and appears to have been pretty prepared for the message of the restored gospel. Challenges with her will include anti from friends and hesitancy to go to church because of feelings of unworthiness. She has a 7-yr old son and a 6-yr old daughter.

Esther: We found street contacting the other day, and she kept her return appointment yesterday. She had a surprising level of interest in and comprehension of our message. She lives with a fiancee that we haven't really talked to - he seems pretty gruff and standoffish, but we're hoping to soften him up with our UFC talk (he likes MMA). She also has a daughter who I think is 8 yrs old.

For Mom's talk: Missions are great, everybody should serve one. You may never have a comparable opportunity to experience spiritual growth of the rate or quality that occurs while faithfully serving a mission. Fasting works. The church is super true. You won't really understand it 'til you've done it, but it's worth it. Member-oriented proselyting is the KEY to success, and it works wherever we try it. Preach My Gospel is the 2nd most correct of any book on the earth and it was written on the other side of the veil. Members of the church are far more effective at finding and fellowshipping people who are prepared to recieve the gospel than full-time missionaries.

Sorry, Mom, I'm not really sure what you're looking for. Any more specific questions?

Elder Matthew Smith

Part 2:

I was about to get timed out of the library computer. Got back on now.

Thank goodness for nice librarians. Last week I went to the desk to get a library card and they were telling me about how I needed proof of address and stuff. I tried to sweet-talk through it like I have at all the other libraries where It's been necessary, but surprisingly it didn't work that time. I had to pay a dollar for a guest pass. I came in and tried the same thing this week with a different librarian and it worked much better. Everyone please hug a librarian for me. (missionaries can't do that)

So we have some awesome P-days in this area. After studies we went to the Sandusky Fight Club, a mixed martial arts gym, and learned Jiu Jitsu. We practiced chokeholds, escapes, full guard, and even blind sparring. It was a ton of fun! Maybe I should forget about all this ATC stuff and just be a cagefighter for my job instead. What are your thoughts on that, Mom? I think Cody would be really good at it, too.

There were a couple of days last week when it got under 70 and we had to put our suit jackets on. It was crazy. I can't believe that summer is already drawing to a close. It's back in the 70s again now, though. We're having to do a bit of biking because all of our miles are getting used outside of our area going to meetings and stuff like that. No good, but at least we get to talk to more people that way.

How is everybody's personal and family prayer and scripture study going? How about FHE? Just in case anybody's slacking off, the 13th of September is always a good time to reevaluate and recommit yourself to a renewed effort! It really makes a difference. There's a reason why we work and struggle and teach and testify and try so hard to get people to read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it daily, and why we're so devastated if they haven't! Remember, we're all investigators in the gospel, no matter how far down the investigative path we may currently be.

Alrighty, I really do have to get headed off now.

LoveYMNB, Elder Matthew Smith