Monday, October 25, 2010

My Last Winter is Coming :(

Hey Y'all:

So we had a District Leader training for the DLs in our zone last week and invited President to come. During his workshop, Elder Fronk said "you guys" at one point or another. President called us that night to remind him that the appropriate way to address a group of missionaries would be "you Elders", not "you guys". Elder Fronk and I decided we should just start saying "y'all" instead. Maybe not. Also, I recently was reading 3 Nephi where the Savior comes to the Nephite people and decided that I should follow His example in how I introduce myself. Now when missionaries call our phone instead of saying "Hello, this is Elder Smith", I say "Behold, this is Elder Smith". (see 3 Nephi 11:10). Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Anyways, sorry it's snowing! How much did you get? Is it sticking? When do the ski resorts open?

It sounds like you've been doing some pretty intense fiddling, Delaney! I remember watching videos of people doing that (fingering your own violin while playing the bow on someone else's) and I thought it was mind-boggling. How did you decide that was what you were going to do? You should also find out if it was Elder Butler or Butcher whose farewell you played at so I can say hi to him at transfer meeting next month. I think its on the 24th - not sure. What song did you play? Note: Delaney helped her violin teacher with a musical number in another student's ward and it was a missionary farewell. Guess where the missionary was going!

I don't remember anything about an annual donut eating contest - where was I all this time?

Sounds like Peyton is already a pretty good wingman when it comes to flirtatious capers. It's funny to me to think of you texting, Mom (or Delaney or Peyton, for that matter). In our mission only the APs have texting on their phones, but we were talking about it last month at Zone Leader Council, and we're probably going to get texting on all our phones in the next month or two.

Thanks for the info on the Nestmans' missions.

Yes, my release date is a transfer week. Here's how transfers work:

Tuesday: New missionaries leave the MTC Tuesday morning and arrive in Cleveland Tuesday night, where they have interviews with President, some instruction from President & Sister Sorensen, the senior couples, and the APs, get a whole lot of orientation stuff - their new arrival packet -, have dinner, and sleep at the mission home.

Wednesday: Transfer meeting happens at the Kirtland stake center around noon. Prior to that, President Sorensen and Patriarch Karl Anderson (the Kirtland Guru) take the new missionaries on a tour of the Kirtland sites and Kirtland Temple (a Community of Christ tour guide is also present at the temple) (the sites and temple are both less than a mile from the stake center). In the School of the Prophets, new arrivals kneel and covenant what kind of missionaries they are going to be. Then they head to the stake center. Right before transfer meeting, the trainers meet their trainees, and the APs let the ZLs know where everyone is serving. During transfer meeting, President says a few words (announcements, instruction, introducing the new missionaries), a few departing missionaries are asked to give their testimonies, and the ZLs announce who will be serving where in their zones. Then everyone disperses to their new areas and companions, usually driven there by the ZLs. The departing missionaries go back to the School of the Prophets to return and report on their missions to the Lord, then go to the mission home where they have their departure interviews, etc. They spend the night at the mission home.

Thursday: Departures cry, are driven to the airport, fly home, meet their families, and cry some more.

So what kind of chatter is there in the family about my departure date?

The primary program should be great. Our ward had our primary program yesterday and it was phenomenal. We had some investigators there and I was really glad they were able to see it. The kids (and parents) had to write their own talks, too! Does every ward do that now, or just Sandusky?

Our week was pretty good. Bro. and Sis. Jenkins came to church yesterday. We made sure their fellowshippers were all over them, too, which made for a good church experience. Esther and Yasmine were also at church. Their fellowshippers were also on the ball - I was really pleased with the ward for what a great job they did helping our investigators feel welcome and at home. Everybody liked it and had good experiences. We did a good amount of teaching this week, but we've been struggling to find new investigators. We tracted a lot this week and have a bunch of return appointments with potential investigators, so hopefully some of those will work out. We've been praying real hard that we can find some people to teach & baptize who will be solid leaders in the ward, too - our ward struggles with not having enough strong families that are really anxiously engaged to fill the leadership positions. Extra prayers would be appreciated.

I'm glad you made it out to the temple. That's probably the thing I miss the most (other than family, of course). First, Family; second, Temple; third, Cafe Rio. I always joke that I'm not sure what I want to do first after I get off the airplane - go straight to the temple or stop at Cafe Rio first.

We classify our investigators as "progressing investigators" and "other investigators" based on whether or not they are keeping the commitments we have given them - reading the scriptures, praying, coming to church, etc.

The prophets have given us commitments to do the same things: personal and family scripture study and prayer, church attendance, FHE, temple worship, etc. Are you a 'progressing member' or an 'other member'? Can ye feel so now? (Alma 5:26)

I love you, appreciate you, and pray in gratitude for you!


Elder Matthew Smith