Email 20: The long, long letter

Written by Charles Boling - - no comments

Matthew proudly told his sister that he now holds the record for the longest family letter (pasting the body into LibreOffice shows 2,565 words)

Matthew's now sending most of his letters to a family mailing list, so more people are getting all of the details there, and I expect that fewer -- mostly non-family -- will be looking here. As a result, these entries may become shorter on average. Or not.

Some exerpts:

Since Monday was MLK day, P-day was moved to Tuesday, so that we could be out and about when people were home for the holiday.

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[The] second counselor in the mission presidency came over. After talking with us for a while, he told [my companion] to not sit in the recliner in the morning. We were always getting a late start because the first thing that [he] would do in the mornings is fall asleep in the recliner. So that recliner was shoved up against the wall and was replaced by a folding chair. I still have my recliner though. We have been getting ready in the mornings faster though, because [he] isn't sleeping for a half-hour in the morning.

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On Thursday, we drove to Kingwood for TLC. TLC stands for Teaching Like Christ. There, the trainees do roleplays with other trainers and practicing teaching the lessons. Since I am not in training anymore, it was a bit different for me because I posed as the investigator a lot more of the time, rather than the missionary. Also as a benefit of going, I was able to see a lot of missionaries that I haven't seen in a while, like my previous companion.... Elder Slavens has a bit of a job right now - he is the only zone leader for the zone (there are normally two zone leaders), the district leader for his district, and he is double training - he is training two greenies right now.

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we went and had a lesson with the Garza family. Mr Garza is astonished at how anyone could believe in the Trinity, because of how much the Bible goes agains that; then we exchanged scriptural examples of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father obviously being separate personages;

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Saturday morning, we went with the Methodists and helped repair a wheelchair ramp and some stairs for a few hours.

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Tracting is not allowed in this mission. Tracting is knocking on every door on the street, going for a few blocks or however far, then turning around and going down the other side of the street and knocking all the doors. Door Contacting, or Inspired Knocking, is where you are walking down the street, feel like you should knock a particular door, then pray and get a confirmation from the Spirit that you should knock on that particular door.

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we went to do our companion study in the Deli section at Brookshire Brothers. While we were there, this old guy came in and sat down a few tables away. When we were finished with our study, we went over to him and talked with him for over half an hour. We talked about God, shared a scripture, gave him a Book of Mormon, and exchanged contact information so that we could set up another time to come over. He was really happy to receive that Book of Mormon. All of that was a miracle, but the largest miracle of all was that for that entire half hour, the only topic of conversation was God. He never once mentioned covid or politics.

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Some time ago, you asked about how transfers work, and how anyone can find their new companion. Another thing is that you (maybe not "you", but most people) get to know everyone pretty quickly. I only have to know about 110 other elders, and I can pretty much take any of their faces and match their name with it. So it doesn't take too long to find each other.

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For some reason, the temperature seems to drop below freezing more here than it does back home. So far in January, it has been below freezing for at least two nights per week. How does that happen?

Michele sent Matthew a portable (but full-size 88-key) music synthesizer, primarily so he can practice at his apt.  (The mission allows musical instruments, even large ones.) The local branch president told him he could swipe a hymnal from the chapel, so he's set! In small branches, it can be especially nice to have a missionary who plays well, so I'm sure that his skills will be put to use beyond missionary meetings.

 

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Charles is a full-time father and part-time proxy missionary blogger...

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