Sorry to not have given you all the crappy details about our flooding. Per your questions:
-No, I don't need you to send my anything. We both threw away all our shoes, but President & Sister Sorensen bought us new shoes and gave us old ones, so we're good there. I didn't lose anything else significant. Every single one of Elder Hunt's ties were ruined, but somebody sent an email out to the ward and he got a ton of ties from people yesterday at church.
-The flooding was caused by torrential rain and warm temperatures that melted the snow on the ground and overwhelmed rivers, streams, and sewage treatment plants alike.
-The town you were probably watching on the news that got heavily flooded is Findlay, Ohio. The elders down there have been doing a whole lot of service this week. Church was cancelled down there this week also. When I first came out on my mission I would often hear legends from the oldest missionaries of the "Findlay Flood" of 2007. I guess it was even worse then than it was this week and half of the mission was sent to Findlay to help with the relief effort and as a result the hearts of the whole city were softened towards the church. Findlay has pretty consistently led the mission in baptisms ever since.
-We are always at the office late on Sunday nights - we take the mission's numbers from the zone leaders and stuff and it takes a while. Since I have been an assistant it has gotten a lot better, though. In the past the assistants have pretty consistently been unable to get home and get to bed on Sunday nights until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. Several weeks after I was called as an assistant, we changed the way we do a couple things and now we usually get home at the comparatively early hour of 11:30 or 12:00ish.
Good job everybody on being great athletes, temple cleaners, connoisseurs of fine art, and archaeologists (finding the plates).
How long have the horses been at the equestrian center now? When are they coming back? Why didn't we do this magical drainage thing a couple years ago? That's nice of Steve Bott to do it for us. Is he a member?
I'm pretty excited about you getting the Haimen boy out to scouts and activities. Hopefully he will keep progressing and start coming to church soon. Have you seen the lds.org video about youth missionary work? You should check it out: https://lds.org/youth/video/inviting-all-to-come-unto-christ-sharing-the-gospel?lang=eng
Our investigator at church this week:
Bro. Schroth: has been married to an active and faithful member for about 35 years. Comes to church every week and if you didn't know better you'd think he was a member. His heart has been softened recently by some life experiences, and we are now actively teaching him. He has committed to baptism (this is tremendously significant - a lot of people have been waiting for this for a long time). It is a little bit intimidating to be teaching him becuase we really don't want to mess things up! The stake president and his wife are his fellowshippers and close friends, as well as members of the bishopric and mission presidency, and many members of the ward are friends with him. Of course, this is an opportunity that Sis. Schroth and half of the stake have been waiting for for a long time! We figure that nothing could possibly go wrong, though, becuase we've got 35 years of prayers and fasting to draw from.
Other baptisms coming up:
Harrison Tusberg: the 9 year old child of a recently reactivated family. He should be baptized shortly - probably in April - it's mostly just a matter of when the family can fly out to see him get baptized. His 8-yr old brother is also being baptized, but that is under the Bishop's keys.
Bro. Lewallen: The boyfriend (possibly soon to be fiancee?) of a member in our ward. He's been progressing and learning well, including keeping the commitment of the Word of Wisdom. He's got a baptismal date for the 26th of this month, but it's a little bit shaky.
Thanks for the weather forecast.
LoveYMNB, Elder Matthew Smith
And in a follow-up email:
Oh I forgot to tell you - Robbie (from Sandusky) got baptized Saturday and confirmed Yesterday! He and Esther got married last week. Yazmeyne's baptism is this Saturday and Esther's is hopefully soon (pending continued word of wisdom struggles). I called and talked to them and it was great!