Monday, September 27, 2010

Way to Go Mom!

Hello Family,

Good job Mom (and everyone else involved in the victorious conquest)!

Thanks for all the details - what an exciting story! Mom, you should definitely let him stay in the house: I was thinking maybe the vaulted ceiling in your bedroom would be nice: wouldn't you want to wake up every morning and see that huge elk head hanging over your bed?

Why aren't you stoked for Conference, Peyton? It's like Christmas two days in a row! How was the Relief Society Broadcast, Mom? We had a couple investigators at that, but we weren't able to go with them to it. I'm so excited - I don't know what it is about your mission, but conference gets way more exciting. I especially can't wait for Elder Holland's talk. I've been asking Heavenly Father to tell him to speak about authority, so we'll see how that goes. To answer your question, conference will be broadcast to our ward building. It's kind of funny - fast sunday was last week because of conference, this week is conference, and next week is going to be stake conference (also broadcast to our ward building). In a couple weeks here, we won't have had a regular sacrament meeting for about a month! I'm pretty jealous that you will have conference DVR'd so you can watch it as many times as you want! Modern technology is so cool!

What did Mom say about my mission other than that the food is good? What did the other missionary moms say?

How was homecoming, Delaney? Did you go to Riverton or Jordan's homecoming? Did you win the football game? I KNOW Mom took pictures, so why aren't there any pictures of Delaney attached to the email? What can you tell me about Steve? What does Diane think about him?

I heard that BYU lost - our ward's Elders' Quorum was talking about recording a BYU game and watching it on a Tuesday night for an Elders' Quorum activity, but that idea kind of died when they lost. Instead they borrowed my copy of "Joseph Smith - Prophet of the Restoration" and watched it. I love that movie so much! We've watched it with a couple of less-active members here, too and it's so good! I would have seen it again on Tuesday, but I was on exchanges with one of our district leaders - Elder Leake (he came out with me and was serving near me when I was in Cleveland).

That's nice of President to send you a letter saying how great I am. Did both letters say the same thing? Why were there two letters?

News from the Perry ward: I got an email from Elder O'Donley today, and I talked to Elder Ercanbrack (his new companion) the other day - here's the scoop on our investigators: Lisa has been dropped, they're still working with Steven, I forgot to ask about Ethan, and Bro. Hanny has a calling now - gospel principles teacher! (I know, right? So cool! The Hannys are so solid!) I think Sis. Hanny has a calling as well.
Solid families we're teaching:

Esther & co.: I think I told you a little about her before: Esther (24ish) lives with her fiancee Robby, her daughter Yasmine, her cousin Lakota, and her brother Robby (and we've taught her friend Sue as well - she just happened to be at their home once when we had an appointment). Esther is super solid - she keeps her reading commitments, keeps appointments, understands well, asks good questions, and everything else. The reason she doesn't have a baptismal date is because she's living unmarried with Robby. Robby's not really on board with us - he's pretty set in his Native American beliefs. They have a marriage date, but it's in May of next year, I think, so we're working on that. Any ideas, Dad? I think I remember you saying that you had a lot of trouble with people living unmarried on your mission. I think if we can get past that concern she will quickly get baptized. Esther, Lakota, and Yasmine all went to the RS broadcast Saturday night (at the church), as well as a potluck dinner our ward's RS put on beforehand. By all accounts they had a great time and were well fellowshipped. (we weren't there, of course). They have a great RM sister in the ward fellowshipping them very well.

Michelle & Michael: I think I told you about them also, but I can't really remember, so I'll just repeat myself. We found Michelle tracting. She had basically prayed us there and was super prepared. Michael was there for our return appointment as well. As we taught the restoration, their answers to questions and their comments were sounding almost like Mormon cliches - "I don't think you can just go to school and have authority to be a pastor" and things like that. They had been talking amongst themselves recently about how there was no record of God's dealings with the indians' (and other peoples') ancestors, so were excited to hear about the Book of Mormon. They understand and believe in continuing revelation. They've felt the spirit "nagging" at them that they need to read the BOM. The only thing they don't really seem to get is authority, so we're working on that. I also think they're a little confused about our Sunday services because of the weird schedule in the coming weeks. I've asked God to tell Elder Holland to speak about authority, so that concern should get cleared up this weekend. It was pretty cool - we prayed with Michelle that she'd find a better job and right after we left she got a call with an offer that she accepted. She was pretty excited about that. They've got a lot of potential - I can definitely see them getting baptized. We've got a great recent convert as their fellowshipper, so that will help them, too.

Unfortunately, the junk food I didn't finish I left in Perry for Elder Ercanbrack. My three suitcases were too full of junk to bring any more. I'm going to have to send some stuff home once winter is over (and probably again before I come home).

So Elder Fronk is pretty intense - he does 600 pushups and 50 pullups per day (except Sunday and Monday)

I'm excited to talk to y'all, too, although I must admit I'm more than a little distressed about how fast my mission is going by and how little I have left of it.

Remind me again when Chris and Nate (or, more properly, Elders Nestman and Horrocks) get home. E. Nestman should be getting pretty close to done, shouldn't he? Any news from their parents (or anyone else's?)

LoveYMNB, Elder Matthew Smith

ps keep an eye on my debit card balance please - zone leaders have to travel and eat out a lot more.