Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 5, 2011 Letter

Hola,

This week was an interesting one for Elder Jones and I. It has now rained for 3 days straight. Makes tracting super fun. Other than that everything else has been pretty typical. We have some really exciting news that I will have to address at the end of my letter.
We had heard from some youth in the ward, as well as missionaries in Prosper, that there was a kid who lived in the ward boundaries that wanted to take the discussions. The kid's name is Hunter Lions. His father is getting baptized in one of the Prosper wards. His lives with his mother in our boundaries. The only problem with this wonderful referral was that we had no idea where he lived. No one did. The Elders in Prosper tried to talk to the dad about it, but he never told them. So we said, what the heck...we'll find him ourselves. So we had heard from a kid in the ward that he lived behind some apartments on the very east part of our area. We have tracted there about a billion times before. We have talked to everyone on every street in that neighborhood. Well, we decided that it was our best bet and that we should just tract it all out anyway. We said a prayer and just asked that we be able to find Hunter. That's when it started to pour. No lie, I had no sooner ended the prayer when thunder crashed and big ol' fat rain started coming in sideways. ("Sting-ing rain, big ol' fat rain, rain that flew in sideways, and rain that even seemed to come up from the ground!") We decided to push through it, hoping the Lord would answer our prayer. After about the first three doors slamming in our face and watching a hawk fly down and take out this squirrel about 10 feet away from me we came to the fourth house. Knocked on the door, soaking wet, shoes filled with water, kid comes to the door and the first thing that my companion says is, "Please say that you're Hunter!" Ha ha ha. He said, "Well yeah I am Hunter. Hunter Lions." So we found Hunter, exchanged information, and set up a lesson schedule. It was great. We decided that we should tract the rest of the street because it would be a wasted to just tract 4 houses of a street. Well...we should have quit while we were ahead. Not a single person after that answered the door. Ha ha ha good times on the mission.

So last week on Preparation Day I almost broke my ankle. I rolled it again. Really bad. I had to go and get it x-rayed it was so bad. The doctor said that the only reason that I didn't break it was because I had rolled it 4 months ago and the ligaments were already stretched. I felt like the cowardly lion calling Sister Durrant up to tell her that I had rolled it again. She didn't even have to ask what I was doing. She just simply asked, "Elder McNinch, what did you learn from this?" I really had nothing to say. I just kind of sighed and hummed on the other end of the phone for awhile and then she said, "Now Elder McNinch, I would hope that you won't be back out on that basketball court anytime soon." I said, "Yeah it'll probably be awhile before I can get back out there." She said, "And by awhile you mean when you get home off your mission, right?" "I...uhh...I guess...yeah...that's what I meant." "Good. Thank you so much for calling and I hope that you all have a great day." Ha ha ha. Yeah so definitely got banned from playing basketball for the rest of my mission. Sad days.

These next weeks are going to be awesome! This is the exciting news that I was waiting to tell you about. Drum roll please?!?! We get to have a Christmas party as a mission on the 23rd of December; AND on the 30th when BYU comes to play in the bowl game at SMU we get to go!!! Y'all will see me on TV! Ha ha ha my companion and I are so excited. It'll be great. So watch for me at the game. I'll be the one in white shirt and tie with a sign. (good luck)

Isn't Sister Hermansen's daughter like 12. Umm...yeah...that's kind of weird. Glad to hear that Dad got a new car. That must be nice. It doesn't smell like smoke like the last one does it? Don't worry about my transportation when I get home. Elder Sinclair says that he has an extra 1980's moped that he and I will fix up for me. It'll be great. Alright well I got to go. Hope that you have an awesome week and I love y'all very much.

-Elder McNinch

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 17, 2011 Letter

Hey!
Sub for Chap huh? That must have been interesting. I don't think that I could ever take a foods class. That's about as fun as sitting in the High Priest's Group....well...actually...sitting with the High Priests is hilarious. I will have to tell you about our High Priest Group in Garland. Oh dear it was great.
A new Footloose? Are you serious? That's so weird. Man, everything is changing. Jordan is home. Zach is home. Mitchell is coming home. Jessica is prego. Goodness. I don't even know what is going to happen next.
So this week was pretty uneventful. Both I and my companion have been sick so we are trying to work through it. It's kind of funny actually. We will be at a door and totally pretending like we are fine. You know, all bright eyed and what not. Then after they shut the door were like coughing up our lungs and sniffling. It makes us laugh.
 
Glad that Zach is doing good. Is he weird or the same? I bet you that Jordan is a lot different. I can't wait to see them again. Well...I can...but you know what I mean. I got a letter from Rachel the other day. That girl is hilarious. Do talk to her much? you should. She always talks about Aruba in her letters to me.
 
Oh dear, Sister Borden. I love her! Ha ha ha. Ask her about the hair spray incident she had. It was totally my fault but I had forgotten that I had left it there. Kaitie told me about it in one of her letters.
 
Speaking of letters...Shannon...I thought that you were going all high tech on me and going to email every week? What's up now sis? Where is the love poopsie?
 
Living with the Barnhouse family is amazing. Yes Dad to answer your question it is Greg and Diana Barnhouse. They are so funny! Brother Barnhouse kind of reminds me of Syl. Like a young version of Syl. Just that type of humor. Sister Barnhouse is the nicest lady in the whole world. She is also a bomb cook! Holy Bible her cooking is great. Both of them can cook. It's like watching a tag team wrestling match but it's in the kitchen and you eat their opponent at the end. In short, " It's d best!" - Nacho Libre
Other than that there is not much to report on. We taught a lesson at a dinner appointment the other day and the investigators didn't know that we can't hug girls. The mother surprise attacked me so I kinda just gave her an awkward pat on the back. Then I saw the terror in my companion's eyes as their 15 year old daughter came in for a huge hug. He shriveled up, tucked his arms in, and squealed like he was about to cry. It was hilarious! I about peed myself.
 
Anyways...missionary work is as grand as ever. I love being a missionary.
Love,
Elder McNinch

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 3, 2011 letter

Dearest family,

Yes yes yes. We had 4 investigators at church last week and had 5 come to sessions of General Conference (I would write more about general conference but I do not have nearly enough room on one email to tell y'all how much I loved every minute of the sessions) One of our investigators is from Zimbabwe. Her name is Yolanda and she is getting baptized on Saturday the 8th! So exciting. She came here to come and take care of her kids that she hadn't seen for five years. Now when she was in Zimbabwe she had taken the lessons from the missionaries but she left before her scheduled baptismal date. It was the only day that she could get her ticket that would work with her visa. So she left and came here...Now she's going to be baptized here! Ha ha ha. I love that miracles that you see on your mission. My companion and I have been praying really hard to find someone who is prepared so that we can show the Zone that it is possible to find, teach, and baptize in a rich area. Then Yolanda sent her information through the referral center in Salt Lake and we got it the next day.
Awesome.
So that's Yolanda. She is awesome.
Next cool thing that happened this week was the quicenerra (forgive me if the spelling is wrong. If you didn't figure out what I am talking about by now it is the party for a 15 year old Hispanic girl) so the people that we are teaching invited us to go to the party. Well...I knew that those parties were kinda crazy and most of the time they ended when everyone passed out from consuming too much alcohol...but still they persisted...so we went. It was Saturday night right before the priesthood session of conference. We went into the ballroom and...yeah. The music was alright...just not the music video that was playing on the rather large flat screen in the middle of the room. The family invited us to sit down at their table and they could clearly see by the expression on our faces that the music video was inappropriate. Ha ha ha. so they went and turned it off for us which was cool. Let me tell you that the food was amazing. That came next. So so so so good! Then came our time to shine. We walked out to the middle of the dance floor and set a chair in the middle for the girl, Mariah. Asked her who she would like to give the blessing and she pointed to me...great...about 100 non members...priesthood blessing by the spirit...great.
The blessing went well. We then started teaching right off the bat. We started teaching about the For Strength of Youth and what it means to be pure...pretty much just taught the Law of Chastity to everyone that was there. We told them who we were and what we do. We left them with 100 pamphlets and our name and phone number. After we finished they gave us a standing ovation. Ha ha ha. It reminds me now of Elder Eyring's talk about speaking at the university and being told that he wasn't going to be able to be a witness of Christ at the ceremony. I had my doubts about teaching at a quincenerra but it turned out great. They loved it.
Yes yes yes it is more than fine that missionaries play my guitar...just let them know that if they break it my heart will also break and then they will have to buy me a better one.(guitar not heart). Ha ha ha glad that y'all got to watch the video of the Ver Hoef girls. Aren't they the cutest girls ever!?! That was so much fun.
I did not get the g's yet but I sure hope that I do...sometimes packages are stolen off of the porches here. So yeah...the guy who steals that package is in for a rude awakening. No electronics in that one buddy. Just a bunch of underwear. Joke's on you now!
Tell Shannon that Homecoming is dumb.
Tell Dad to not get any more of those Cataracts. Those are bad news.
I am so pumped for the Star Valley temple! You know that we are going there when I get back!
I'll make a list of the songs that I want from choir and I will send them to you. That way there is no mistake. Okay? Okay. Love y'all very much...BYE!

-Elder McNinch

September 26, 2011 letter

Hey!
2000 referrals! You gotta be kidding me! That's so sweet! And I would definitely have to agree that Blue Bell is the bomb! That stuff is a missionaries best friend. So so so good!
So I am short on time so I will give y'all a recap of the best day of the week...yesterday. so the Sunday started off and we had a whopping 4 investigators at church. That is like unheard of here in Frisco. My companion and I were asked in the last Ward Council meeting," So...what is going on here? How are there this many people that y'all are teaching?" I seriously think that that was the best question that I have been asked on my mission. Well besides the famous," So...how do I go about getting baptized?"- David Vasquez, Longview, Texas. It was awesome. Sacrament meeting was great. A little awkward but great. So it was awkward because one of our investigators is 18 and happens to be a very beautiful daughter of our Heavenly Father. No...I am not attracted to her but she is beautiful nonetheless. So we are walking in to the chapel in a line. Me, my companion, Logan (who happens to be friends with this girl we're teaching), then the girl that we are teaching. Somehow before we sat down my companion wandered off and sat next to another investigator, and the girl and Logan switched spots. So now I am sitting right next to her and all three of us are in the middle of the pew in between two families. So there is no chance to change seats or anything because of the family blockades of about 8 children each on either side...so here I am...sitting next to an attractive young woman...without a companion. Great. You have no idea how many double takes I got from the members that were looking around the congregation. After the meeting I had to go around and have Logan introduce her as his friend as to be certain that rumors did not spread. I AM NOT A FLOOSY MISSIONARY!
 
Sacrament was great. It was the primary program so all of the investigators loved it. Sunday pressed on and we had a pot luck for the 3rd ward after church. We had 4 investigators show up to that as well...which was awesome. The members were just swarming them, showing them around the building, introducing them to the other members, again...awesome. After the pot luck we were supposed to go to a Ward Mission Leader Training but when we got there it had apparently been cancelled and no one told us. We went to ask a man that was in the gym where everyone was and he introduced himself as Elder Roberts. So instead of going to a training for 2 hours we got to meet a member of the Seventy...not too shabby of a trade. We then had an extra hour of time to go out and work that we had not planned for so we decided to go by all of the people that we had invited to church but didn't come. We stopped by this one family...knocked...no one...knocked again...still no one... My companion says, "I think that we might have to drop them Elder." Just then the door springs open. She is so excited to see us. So we chew the fat for a minute or two and then she says," I need y'alls help." ...uh okay... "My daughter's quicenerra is coming up and we don't have anyone to pray over her at the beginning, would y'all mind doing that?....uh...NO, we would LOVE to do that! So we got it all arranged and everything and then my companion asked do you want us to do the blessing at the beginning? "Yeah, that would be great. After the blessing, if it's not too much trouble, would y'all mind speaking on purity? That's the whole theme of her party this year." ...Uhhhhhh... NO, we'd LOVE to speak about purity at a bithday party about purity in front of about 50 kids. We asked her if it would be okay to bring a pamphlet for each of the kids that they could take home. She LOVED the idea1 Said that we should definitely do that. Ha ha ha so on Saturday after conference we are going to give a blessing and teach 50 or so kids about the For Strength of Youth pamphlet. Ha ha ha. It'll be so fun.
 
Welp...that's all folks...love ya!
- Elder Michael McNinch

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Michael making beautiful music

Letter from a member

Hi Anne,

We have loved having your son here in our ward. He came in just after we moved here from Utah, so we were both new to the ward. You have definitely raised a great young man and we are glad to have worked with him.

I do have a video of him playing and singing to my kids. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQv00NkzFwE

If you look at my videos on youtube you can see another one with his former companion Elder Hall doing the same thing. I wish I had thought of doing videos earlier and posting them, cause I will do it from now on for all the missionaries (gives the families a chance to see their kid in action).

I hope you enjoy.

On a side note... Look for a new family in your ward by the names of Joseph and Jenn Watson. They are dear friends of ours from Provo and I am under the impression that they are in your ward. Tell them hello from us if you meet them.

Thanks!

September 19, 2011 Letter

Hello,
So I saw brother Woodrum just the other day. We were going to our stake president report and he was in the meeting just before we were called in. I saw him down the hallway and was like, "Brother WOODRUM!!!". He was so stunned. It was pretty funny. I should be going into his ward for exchanges soon so I will definitely send you some pictures.
I am so glad that Bobby served a mission. What is he doing with his life now? Going to school? Married? Speaking of marriage...has Jake tied the knot with that model chick that he was dating yet? I am dying to know. Everyone and their dog is getting married. Jordan Reese is married, Megan Reed is married, and there's like 4 other people from high school that are engaged. Crazy stuff.
Y'all will definitely have to tell me how your Houston trip went. I am excited to hear how many referrals will be given out. That is always my favorite statistic. I'll will probably end up getting some of those referrals here too. That would be so cool.
So my Walmart bike is shot...go figure. It's pedal will no longer attach to the bike. The whole thread is stripped. I called the warranty place and they asked me all sorts of questions and I really didn't know how to answer. Then we got to the point in the conversation where I had to give them my address and I was just about to be transferred so I didn't know where I was going so I just told the lady that I'll cancel this one and just return the bike when I get to my new area. She said fine and hung up the phone. Well...apparently she didn't because I just got a check in the mail for $160...uh...yeah. This is going to take a while to resolve.
Other than that everything here is just groovy. I love being here in Frisco. We are currently teaching two couples, and two families (one of 4 and one of 5). It is the greatest thing ever. Turns out if you do a little service, people are a lot more willing to listen to you...wiod. It's like that's what missionaries are supposed to do or something.

I am really trying to figure out how I want to highlight my scriptures. You think that being out this long I would have already figured that out...but I haven't. I have been too scared to highlight anything because it is all soo good. So I did a test chapter highlighting different pieces of doctrine for the different lessons in different colors...not such a good idea. Second Nephi 2 is now just one big blotch of color. I am convinced that is one of the best chapters ever written in any book. Lehi's testimony at the end is so powerful. He sums up everything that he has said into the last 3 verses to create the perfect testimony to his family. Not to mention his precursor to the whole oratory in the first 8 or so verses. (I'm at the library without my scriptures otherwise I would reference directly).

To sum up this past week into one word it would MEETINGS. We had like 3 or 4 meetings throughout the week and they were all in Dallas. That burnt up so many of our miles we are like scrapping to conserve for the rest of the month. I really did enjoy all of the meetings though. I took a lot of notes so they must have been good. I think that President Durrant is probably the most charitable being on the face of this whole Earth. Everything that he does, he does with love. At first I was really opposed to this whole lovey dovey missionary bonding thing. Just go out and work already!!! But it's kind of growing on me. It's kind of sad really. I thought that Texas was supposed to make me really rough and tough...really it's just made me the big boob that cries at every testimony meeting. Anyways... I love the Lord and I love His work. I am as happy as I have ever been and more. This church is TRUTH because it is His.
Love,
Elder Michael McNinch

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011 Letter

HELLO,
Umm...why in the world is Ryan so large in all of those pictures? The kid is HUGE! Man, y'all are lucky that you get to go play in the water. I took a bath the other day just to make it feel like I was swimming. Really all that it did was make me feel weird so I drained the water and took a shower.
So yeah...the Barnhouse's are very well off. What is interesting to note is that their house is one of the smaller size homes in Frisco...uh huh...yeah...I'm talking huge homes. Mammoth homes. Tracting here is the most interesting experience. The humble people here still make 6 figures. It's slightly ridiculous. The people are awesome though. I really haven't found any rude people yet...at least no more than any of my other areas. I think that Frisco will end up being the best area in the mission.
Speaking of areas in the mission...did Brent catch the names of the two Elders that he ran into? I know a lot of the missionaries that are out east right now so it would be interesting to know who he was talking to. I'm sure at some future conference I'll have them come up to me and say something.
Also speaking of areas in the mission...I have found that in each of my areas I have had some crazy connection to the people that are there. Whether it was Dad's ex girlfriend, Sister Jones brother in law, Rex Lewis' cousin, Robert Honeycutt's sister, etc. Well...I found one in Frisco not but a week since being here. LYNN L. WOODRUM!!! Ha ha ha! I was going over the names of the high council representatives for each of the units in the stake that we cover and I saw that name. Lynn L. Woodrum. I was like...NO WAY! That's crazy! It couldn't be him! Well, I called him that night to talk to him about the Colony 1st ward and low and behold it was THE LYNN L. WOODRUM former member of the wonderful Quail Ridge Ward. He was blown away. First off that I even remembered him and secondly that I was on my mission. He was like, " What are you doing out here boy!?!" Ha ha ha. We had a good laugh about it for a minute or two and then he invited me over for dinner when we go on exchange with the Elders that are in his ward. Ha ha ha. I just thought that that was the craziest thing ever. I FOUND THE WOODRUMS! So I will definitely have to send y'all a picture when I go over there.
This week has been kinda crazy. We have been running around trying to gather all of the information for this stake report. We were supposed to report to the Stake President this past Sunday but it got canceled. Guess when we found out that it was canceled? Saturday night, after we had spent about 10 hours throughout the week working on it and putting into the new format that the mission president gave to us. Awesome huh? So this week we thought would have been a lot better but we have 3 MEETINGS THIS WEEK!!!! We have a leadership training, then a district training (we have to train), then we have a specialized training for all of Dallas and the surrounding areas in the mission. So yeah...each of the meetings are necessary it just takes a lot of the time away from the work. Kind of stresses me out. Anyways...
We found 5 new investigators this week so we are doing really well. We are steadily picking up the area and the zone so we are excited to see progress. Other than that we are having the most fun of our lives. I really never thought that I would have this much fun working in my entire life. So...funny moment of the week. My companion is Elder Jordan Jones of Kanab, Utah. He is the most awesome and Christ like companion that I have ever had. We got this referral from the temple saying that this less active girl (28years old) needed a blessing. I was on exchange for the blessing so that is a whole other story. We go back a couple of days after the blessing to follow up with her. She has had a super hard life and is really trying to overcome a lot of things. So we dropped off this church care package. It had a Book of Mormon, Finding Faith in Christ DVD, and an addiction recovery program. Whilst jotting down her information my companion was making small talk. The conversation went a little something like this:
 
Elder Jones- "So where do you work again?"
Girl- "Umm...I'm actually retired." ....remember she's 28...my mind- "WHAT?"
Elder Jones- "Okay so...where did you used to work?"
Girl- "Well I was a dancer."... about 0.5 seconds after she said that my mind went, "Oh no! Not good!" But...the innocent Elder Jones didn't quite understand still so he proceeded...
Elder Jones- "REALLY?! What kind of dancing did you do?" my mind- "Oh dear...this is going to be awkward."
Girl- "...the bad kind"
-PAUSE-
-Shock and awe-
Elder Jones- "So here is your Book of Mormon, Elder McNinch, what would be a good chapter for her to read?"
 
Ha ha ha it was one the greatest most awkward experiences of my mission. It was something that I will never forget.
Bottom line is that Frisco is awesome. I love my mission. I love Elder Jones. I love the Barnhouse family. I have to sing at the specialized training on Friday. Nervous as all get out (quotting PaPaw). I will have to tell you how it goes. I love y'all very much and I cannot wait until you send me more pictures.
Peace, Love, and Church
-Elder McNinch

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 5, 2011 Letter

Hello from Frisco,
Yes, I am in the wonderful city of Frisco Texas. Home of the richest of the rich. The other day my companion and I were coming home from a long day and stopped to talk to some kids that are in the alley behind the house of the member we live with. They were just sitting around "waiting for their night to start". We started talking to them and come to find out that one of their names is Michael Irving. I was like, "No way man! Like the football player!?" He simply said, "Yeah...that's my dad." Ha ha ha. Yep...I met MIchael Irving's son Michael Irving. Ha ha ha. Hopefully we can start teaching him soon. That would be way fun.
So yes I am in Frisky Frisco the Disco Texas. It is awesome. It is just starting to cool down here and that has been wonderful. We might actually go outside today...YAY! So my new companion is Elder Jordan Jones. He is from Knab, UT and he is hilarious. I love this kid to death. We have so much fun together. Funny story actually. Elder Jones got transferred here last transfer, so when he was coming back into the city from being out east, he stayed at my apartment in Garland. So I pretty much already knew him and everything which was way nice. He plays basketball, baseball, and football so we get along just fine.
This is the first time that I have ever lived with a member family on my mission. Their name is the Barnhouse family. Yes I know...interesting name,,,but they are absolutely awesome. Brother Barnhouse reminds me a lot of Rick Magness, So funny. Sister Barnhouse is an amazing cook. OH DEAR is she a good cook. She made us homemade waffles today...I about passed out. HUGE WAFFLE!!! Strawberries, homemade syrup, you name it...it was on my waffle. I am so full right now. I think that her cooking is going to push me up and over the 180 limit. That is my record weight for the mission thus far but I am pretty sure that she could help me break it. I am especially prone to gain weight now that I am not running in the morning. Elder Jones has a wicked nasty ingrown toenail and yeah...can't run. Not for a week or so at least...we'll see.
Really I am just so excited to be in this new area. A lot of people in the mission think that this area is cursed or something. Just because tracting into really rich people all day doesn't yield much doesn't mean that the area is cursed. It just means that you are dumb for trying the same thing that hasn't worked over and over again. Even then I don't really understand because Elder Jones and I have only tracted like 12 hours total this past week and we found 6 new investigators...so I am not really understanding the Frisco curse. Whatever. Elder Jones and I will baptize everyone in sight and the rest of our Zone can sit around and say that they can't do any work here.
So Ryan started sem sem huh? Gotta love it. Sister Kochevar is his teacher?!? Lucky punk. She is so awesome. You have to tell her that I say hi. Speaking of the Kochevar's...you never gave me an update on how they are doing. How's Casey? Engaged? I bet she is! So Shannon didn't go to all of her summer school...wow..surprise surprise. Shannie...you just need to focus on it. Focus hard on school...graduate...then get married to a sweet return missionary that makes ballin' money. That's the plan for you Shannie. I'll help you. I know a lot of sweet missionaries that would be willing to take you out on a date when they get home. Nice clean cut guys with sweet parts in their hair. OH YEAH!
So I found that you miss movies more when you live with a member that can watch movies whenever they want. Kind of tempting but... not really. The Barnhouse's have a 14 year old boy and he is a nut. I love that kid. He reminds me a lot of Ryan. Running at about a million miles an hour at a time. Ooo man. Good times.
Well that's about it I will leave my address for you at the bottom and yeah..."I love you so much." (preceeding quote: "John?...where are you going?")
-Elder McNinch
ps- address is:
5130 Carnegie Drive
Frisco, Texas, 75034
as far as g's go...it would be nice to have at least 3 more pair beacause their are more than 5 days in the week and I need one pair to wear while I am washing. =)

August 29, 2011 Letter

Hello,

Ryan...don't you worry buddy. I have had something for your birthday for like 6 months man...I just didn't send it because I didn't know if I was getting transferred or not. The mail is being stupid again. SO DON'T WORRY!!! Your big brudda gots yo back. I know how the forgotten birthday feels.
So...about transfers...I am being transferred. They said that I will be staying as a Zone Leader but just be in a different area...guess we'll see where the Lord calls me. Obviously I do not know where I am being transferred to so I have no idea what my address is yet. Transfers make everything crazy. I have been here so long it feels like I am leaving home again. All the members in the ward are so awesome. At least I am leaving with a bang. We found a ton of potential investigators and set a baptismal date for a man that we have been working with since I got here. Unfortunately I will not be able to see him baptized but you best believe that I will be getting some pictures of it. I will definitely miss the missionaries that are in my zone. I love each one of them. We're most likely going to have like 10 or 11 return missionaries staying with us when I get home...just letting you know.
So you finally got dad on camera huh? HA HA HA That is so great. Could you send me a clip? I would love to see that. I don't think that I get very loopy after surgery. Guess that you would have to ask Olivia O'keefe about that one. I am pretty sure that I saw her the other day too. She said that she would be moving to Texas shortly after I left so...I don't know if it was her for sure but...it looked a lot like her.
Speaking of recording things, last night we went to the Ver Hoef's and Brother Ver Hoef recorded me and the girls singing Come Thou Fount. It was really fun. I think that he posted it on Youtube so you can go and watch it if you would like.  They are easily THE coolest family that I have met on my mission.
Shannon's friend moved in?! What the?! Replacing me already huh? And with a GIRL nonetheless!!! Ha ha ha just playing. Well now I need a picture of all of you. It's like a new addition to the family...I would like to know what my new sister looks like.
Did you ask Ms. D if she had gotten that choir music for me yet? I would really like those. I am kind of getting tired of listening to the same thing over and over. So please ask her the next time that you are in there if Matt gave her the letter I sent in December and if she needs a new list of the music that I would like.
.....okay...gotta pack...BYE!

Love,

Elder Michael McNinch

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 22, 2011 letter

Hello,

     Okay so I don't have a email from y'all this week so I guess that I will just write back to the email of last week.  So...yes I did sprain my ankle.  I was injured...injured bad.
     OH MY GOSH RYAN!  Ruined the bathroom on the airplane huh?  That's bad news man.  So how old are you now Ryan?  Like 30 or so?  Dang kid you are old.  Well...I know that I am late...but I hope that you had a happy birthday.
     Oh goodness...so dad...in a wheelchair...at Disney World.   HA HA HA HA.  It's really weird that y'all went there.  Reading about it reminded me of the choir trip that I took to Florida my senior year.  Good times good times.
     It took 4 hours to get through the canoe trip?!  Where in the world were you?  That's slightly crazy.  This whole "not allowed to swim" thing is getting kind of old.  Like, I never really liked swimming anyways but at the same time...it is SO hot here.  For a while there we were chasing the record for most consecutive days over 100.  We only missed it by two.  We still might beat the yearly record of days over 100.  It is so crazy.  I really don't even care how gross I look any more.  Hopefully people will start having some mercy on us and let us in.
     Good news.  We don't have to part our hair anymore.  Bad news.  We are not allowed to play guitars at member's homes anymore.  Not even if you are just playing hymns.  Don't ask me why.  It doesn't make sense at all to me but whatever.
     I have decided that I need to stop playing basketball and tennis for awhile.  They are both kind of driving me insane.  I never get to write any letters on P-day because we are always playing basketball for like 4 hours.  Then on top of that we play tennis every morning at 6 am and I am kind of tired of waking up a half an hour earlier than the rules say I have to...so...I think that I am done with that.
     Okay so here is an account of last week and the week before that.  So we had that Stake President Report the other week where the Stake President called out like 3 or 4 of the missionaries in our zone.  Pretty much saying that they were lazy and they needed to be transferred out of his stake.  So last week we had 2 elders that were transferred mid transfer and then this week is actual transfers.  I don't know if I will be leaving or not.  I have been here for six months and am the senior zone leader.  So either they will transfer me out somewhere random and have Elder Olvera (my companion) take over the zone; Or they will leave me here and put him somewhere random.  I don't know what is going to happen.  I will let you all know Sunday night.
     Last week we got a sweet referral from the Spanish sisters that live within our boundaries.  His name is Mike and he is awesome.  We started talking to him about truth and how he is always searching for more truth in his life.  Well...we can help you there.  We talked to him for an hour or so on the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and he was just dumbfounded.  He was so excited to get a copy.  He said that he would be baptized if he found the Book of Mormon to be true.  Well...that sounds good to me.  He can't come to church for the next few weeks because of work but he is already requested to have Sundays off.  We were so excited.  Finally someone who actually wants to listen and will set solid return appointments with us.  It is a true blessing.  My companion and I have been fasting that we would be able to find someone that could get baptized in the next month and then the next day we got Mike as a referral.
     On a more non-missionary note...the other day we were on exchange.  Elder Littlefield was with me and it was like 110 outside.  We took our lunch break at about 1 o'clock and decided that we needed to find a shaved ice place.  Well...we found one...a HUGE one.  The thing is two stories!  And the snow cones are about that size too!  We both got 64 oz snow cones.  They call them Texas Blizzards.  Anyways...the snow cones were a great idea to cool us down...but then the sugar crash came.  I think that I almost passed out a couple of times when we went back out to tract.  Moral of the story is...when it is hot in Texas...just grit and bear it.
     The same day we were on exchange we saw this old man.  Now when I say old...I mean OLD.  Like 90's to 100.  So don't take offense Grandpa.  Anyways...this old man was in the middle of the road just riding his bike around in circles very slowly.  I thought that he would have toppled over because of how slow he was going but he seemed to stay up some how.  He had those big, bright yellow headphones with the antenna on them, complete with booty shorts and a pink tank top.  If only I had my camera.  This man deserved an award.  Remember it is like 110 out and this guy is just riding in circles in the middle of the road.  Took us a couple of honks but eventually he saw us (notice that he didn't hear us, he saw us) and got out of the way.
     To tell you the truth I don't really remember anything about this last week.  I remember getting a letter from Grandma and from my good friend in Vegas that just got baptized...but other than that it was just a blur.  I am not doing so well with the journal thing either. I think that I am like two months behind or so.  I need to step it up, otherwise I won't remember any of my mission.  It'll all just blend together.
     Okay well I love y'all very much and I cannot wait to hear from you next week.  I promise that I will start writing in my journal more so that I have more stories to tell y'all.  Okay...love you bye.

-Elder McNinch

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 8, 2011 Letter


I might have to be doing some packing soon here too.  I don't know if they are going to keep my in this area for very much longer.  I have been here now for six months so...I don't know.  Well, now you have to tell me...how was Patrick's first plane ride?!?  Did he love it?!  I wish that I could have gone with y'all too...BUT at the same time I don't...because it is much more humid there than it is here.  I has been soooooo hot lately though.  All of this week we have had over a hundred degree temperature.  It has actually been that way for about a month or two months now.  We break records here like every day.  It's kind of ridiculous.  Yesterday I think that it got up to like 110 or something stupid like that.  110 in a suit is not fun at all.
     So yesterday we had one of those Stake Presidency Meetings again...ya know....the one with our stake president that used to be the chief of police for Dallas?...yeah.  so this meeting was more just a grilling session.  He went through each of the wards and was just like, "Well from this report we can clearly see that the ward is giving all of the support that they can so it's clearly not their fault.  The fault has to lie with the missionaries.  You can see that they are not teaching very many lessons, yet they say that they are having support from the ward in teaching, so I have to ask...what do they do all day?  Are they even working?"  Elder Olvera and I didn't even know what to do.  When you get bad news about your missionaries it just makes you feel terrible.  So now we have to make a concerted effort to fix the wards that are having problems along with making sure that our area doesn't tank.  Fun stuff.
     I haven't gotten the package yet but I am pretty sure that it is in the mail.  If you sent it to the Beltline address then it would be getting here today.
     OOOO man I miss Brother Strobelt.  His testimony is amazing.  Tell him to shoot me a letter sometime.  I'd love to hear from him.
     Well this week wasn't very exciting.  Just the same old same old.  I did however sprain my ankle last Monday.  It was pretty bad too.  I'll have to send y'all a picture.  I can walk again...so that is good.  tracting was a pain in the butt.  I had to get crutches from the mission office.  Pretty lame though...no one had pitty on me.  I think that we had more slammed doors when I was on crutches than when we are on foot.  Anyways...love you very much.  Tell Grandma I adore her letters.  Tell Grandpa that he has to give me a ride in the Disney bus when I get home.  Tell aunt Enner that I love her.  Tell Murry that I still listen to the Christmas CD that she gave me and it's August.  Tell Jowo that he...well he is just awesome.  Tell everyone else you see there that I miss them a whole bunch.
 
love ya,
 
 Elder McNinch

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

July 11 2011 Letter

So...
     The work here is going great.  I love the members in the ward.  Transfers are coming up and I don't think that I am going anywhere...the mail man is being dumb again.  They aren't forwarding mail anymore so send it to my address that is on Beltline Rd.  Sometimes I really just don't like the postal service...
     So it has been super super hot here lately.  We have been in the hundreds for the past 3 weeks with over 70% humidity.  Slightly ridiculous.  All of my shirts are getting really nasty.  Like nasty nasty yellow pit stains.  I don't think that my garments are white anymore either.  Suprisingly I have not pooped my pants yet.  Most misisonaries say that they pooped themselves before their yearmark at least...well I am still going strong.
     Didn't really do anything for the 4th of July.  Just played some basketball like any other pday.  A member invited us over to play games and guitar for the day but we didn't get to go out there to play.  Mostly because my comp didn't want to....just waiting for the Lord to show me what I am supposed to learn from this experience.  I don't know...it's interesting.
     I sure do miss y'all a bunch.  I got a letter from Randy Klabacka the other day.  Do y'all hang out with them much anymore?  How are they?
     So dad jacked himself up again huh?  Sweet  What did he tear this time?  I love the cat bus story ha ha ha.  Oh man...  So Ryan is going to the encampment huh?  those were always so much fun.  He's going with Matt?  Tell Matt that he is a butt.  I have gotten one lousy letter from him the entire time that I have been out here.
     Kylie's husband is a baller.  Tell him that I say hi.  How are the Kochevar's doing?  Do you see them much?  You have to tell Kylie that they other day I saw this girl that looked just like her and I went up and was like, "Kylie!!!  Why are you in my mission?!?"  Then it wasn't her....yep.  That's the life of a misionary.
     Sorry that y'all aren't coming to the best city in Texas for your choir trip.  You'll be about 3 hours south of me...wiod huh?  Too bad you can't come see me! ha ha ha.  Our mission president is way awesome.  He is really humble about everything that he does.  reminds me a lot of his dad.  Like father like son I guess.
     I have been having some crazy dreams lately.  Like dreams about a bunch of futrue events and things happening.  They really kind of scare me.  They are super detailed and they aren't very happy.  REALLY wiod.  Most of them have y'all in them but then others are just about my friends.  Like I see each one of them and they are all grown with families and terrible things are happening to them.  Not much of a good night's rest.
     Really I am okay though. I really hope that I get to take a nap today.  I am beat.  These past 5 weeks have been killer.  The work is going great but I am steadily going insane.  Have a great week.  Talk to you next time.  BYE
LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Elder McNinch

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011 Letter

   So you spoke in Sacrament meeting huh?  I had to speak last week on missionary work.  I decided before hand that I would just let the spirit guide my talk...yeah...not a good idea.  I don't even know what I said.  I got some compliments on it though so it couldn't have been that bad.  Elder Olvera did really well...probably because he prepared...wiod how that works.  How are the missionaries in our ward?  Are they weird?  Cool?  Apostate?  I never knew how many missionaries don't do what they are supposed to.  It's sad really.  We had this kid that just got home from his mission in our ward come out with us last night.  He feels so weird.  I don't know what I am going to do IF I come home.  I don't even think that I'd want to go out with the missionaries...it might make me cry.
     So...funny story for this week...  We went to go and see this man that apparently has moved into the ward from Africa.  Well, we are going there on specific assignment from the Bishop to figure out some confidential matters that I cannot express over email.  Anyways, we go to his apartment and he answers the door...WAY heavy accent.  Turns out that he is from Ghana, not that it really matters, I thought that he said Kenya.  His accent was just really hard to make out.  So we start talking to this man about his journey to America and why he came here.  He goes through the whole story and then proceeds to tell us that his son who was 25 years old was just burried last week.  My companion pipes in and says, " Well, congratulations!" I looked at him like...WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU THINKING!?  The African man was in complete shock and awe.  He repeated himself again saying that his son had been burried the week before and again comes my companion with," COOL!"  So I had to repeat what the African man was saying to which my companion's face went completely red..." I thought you said MARRIED!!!!  I AM SOO SOO SOO SOO SORRY!!!"  I was dying laughing.  That's probably one of the worst mix ups that I have ever seen.  I almost peed myself when we got to the car from how much we were laughing.
     I talked to my mission president about Brent taking us out to dinner.  He hasn't responded yet so I don't know.  Tyler is really far away so I don't know that that will happen but hey...it's worth a shot.  So I have now been in this area for about six months.  That is the longest that I have ever spent in any area of my misson.  The people here are awesome though.  Honestly if I left after this transfer I would kinda be upset.  The investigators that we are teaching are awesome.  We had 3 investigators at church yesterday and two of them were black.  Yeah, that's right!  One of them we have been teaching for a while now and the other we just started teaching maybe a week ago.  So funny though.  The guy that we have been teaching for a while was making sure that the new guy knew where all of the classes were and how to read the hymn lines and everything.  It was was awesome.  Then after Sacrament he asked us if he and his wife could make dinner for us one night this next week...uhh....YEAH!
     This was the third week in a row that my companion and I have had to teach in Gospel Principles and Elder's Quorum.  Pretty rough lessons if you ask me.  Especially in the Gospel Principles when it goes through the Restoration.  The line "...their creeds are an abomination in my sight" was tough to explain to a bunch of non members.  Luckily I had the talk that Elder Oaks just recently gave to our mission on my mind and so I paraphrased what he said.  Have to admit that I would much rather do that than have to teach the primary about Chastity again.
     This week went really well over all.  We talked to a lot of new people and set a lot of return appointments so that should yield in a lot more people to teach.  Other than that there isn't much else to say.  Tell Kasidy that she owes me a letter from DECEMBER!  Tell Jordan when he gets home that he is old.  Tell Ryan not to poop his pants this school year.  Tell Patrick that he is going to get married to this little girl in my ward because she is the cutest thing that I have ever seen.  Tell Dad that although taking pictures of mom when she is not ready for a picture is fun, taking them when she doesn't know you are is better.  Tell Shannon to stay off the sidewalks and stick to the streets (if she ever drives again).
 
LOVE Y'all,
 
Elder McNinch
 
2854 Beltline Road #293-T
Garland, Texas, 75044

July 18, 2011 Letter

HERRO!!!
 
     Chinese kids!  That's so cool!  Why didn't we ever do that when I lived there?  Man...so you went to go see a jumanji play?  Where in the world did they hold that?  The district at Green Valley Ranch?
     I am glad that ryan had a good time at high adventure.  Arrowhead is the best place ever!  Tell him to get the upper tombstone campsite.  It's definately the best one!  We went mountain boarding at the scout camp too but that was only because Shane Mitchie and Derek Dramise brought it.  There is a guy here in the 3rd ward that has a mountain board.  He uses it every Saturday.  He has this huge parachute kite that he takes to the park and he uses it like you would use a windsurfing board except that it is a parachute and a moutain board.  I want to try it out but...I am on a mission...and with the luck that runs in this family I would probably break something.
     Speaking of missionaries getting hurt...did you hear about the missionary in Guatemala?  The one that got mauled by a lion?  Ooooo man...that would suck.  The kid was being really stupid though....so yeah.
     Definately let me know how the dinner goes with the asian kids and the misisonaries.  I would love to see our family with a couple of asians.  Take a picture for me.  Send me some pics!!! and yes for my one year mark I would love some new g's at least...I will send you all of the sizes next week....I am running short on time right now...we have to do something fun for elder sinclair's last day here.  We are all betting that he is going super far out east.  Think that he is going to Oklahoma or to the Louisiana border.  So I made it past the transfers...I have a feeling that I am going to be here for a while.  At the end of this new transfer I will have been in this area for half of my time in the mission field...weird huh?
     Wow...so brother savage came over?  How was that?  I miss that guy.  You should tell them that I say hi.  Have y'all seen Natalie at church or anything?  Does she even talk to you?  Ha ha ha oh dear...we'll see how this next year goes with the letters.
     My dreams are just getting more weird...last night that I had I really weird dream.  About some girl in the ward that was chasing my through the hallways of the church and I had a gimp leg and couldn't run very fast away from her...scary stuff...I couldn't find my companion anywhere.
     So the area is doing great.  The ward is really stepping up to the plate.  We are going to have some sweet success here soon.  I just hope that I don't go insane before we reach that point.  I have been here for a long time and so it is really hard to tract somewhere that I haven't already tracted.  Weird cuz I've never had that problem in my whole mission.
     Tell sister Walton that we have a missionary in this mission that is from Uruguay.  His name is Luis Martin Cabrera.  Okay well nothing much to report on this week.  At the end of the month I will probably be sending home a memory card full of pictures!  You should be proud....okay love you much...BYE!
 
-Elder McNinch

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4th, 2011 Letter

Hello,
 
     So this past week has been pretty interesting.  So we got our new mission president on Wednesday.  President Devin G Durrant.  He is awesome.  His dad is George Durrant in the Cedar Hills 4th ward.  Pretty crazy.  He is 6'7"...yeah... I went to go and give him a hug the other day and I came up to his waist.  He is like the gentle giant.  There should be some pictures posted to facebook sometime.  Although I don't know if Sister Durrant is taking over the Facebook thing....we'll see.
     Glad to hear that Shannon is doing better.  Tell her that I am really proud of her.  She is my favorite sister.  Tell her that I greatly enjoyed her summer package...although I don't know what I am going to do with a watergun without a plug in the back.  I think that my favorite part of the package was the pineapple glasses.
     Oh good ol' games of Sorry.  I love that game.  Remember when we would play pokemon sorry?  Ha ha ha.  Oh dear.  Do y'all still play the lawn golf game?  I miss that game.  The Elders in my district are soo cool.  Elder Sinclair, and Elder Littlefield are like best friends.  Elder Sinclair is not my companion but I hope that he is sometime.  Elder Sinclair is from Rocklin California.  It's right by Sacramento.  He is probably the funniest Elder in the mission.  Elder Littlefield is from Beaver Utah.  He is known in the mission for reaceiving the most wedding invitations.  He has gotten 35 so far and he still has like 6 months left.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  I think that is the funniest thing ever.  So on preparation days we just go to Elder Sinclair and Littlefield's house to play games and basketball and what not.  They live with a member so it is way nice.  The family that they live with is the Marr's.  They are so funny.  Sister Marr is like the epidomy of a mission mom.  I love it.
     Well so today is the 4th of July...what does that mean to people in Texas?...nothing.  Ha ha ha.  They have city ordinances that do not allow you to light off any type of fireworks and there are like 3 or 4 shows that are happening but they are all in the Fort Worthless mission...so obviously we cannot go there.  The 4th is going to be filled with a bunch of basketball at the church and then later on tonight we are going to the Mauthe's for dinner.  They are one of the coolest families in the ward.  They saw that we didn't have anyone on the meal calendar for like 3 days of the month so they just signed up to feed us dinner all three of those days.  So sweet.
     Yes mom I hit my year mark soon...don't talk about it...it's a sensitive subject.  It's so weird to think about.  It has gone by so fast.  It seems like it was just yesterday when I was out in Longview eating squirrel with the Hernsbergers.  Texas is the craziest place that I have ever lived...but I love the people here.  They are insane...but I love them.
     I miss g-pa Syl and g-ma Donna.  How are they holding up?  We sure will make a trip up there when I get back.  All of my mission friends want to meet the famous Syl.  So funny.  Ask dad about that one time that we were lighting fireworks off there and Jake tipped the tube over and the firework blew up in our faces.  Ha ha ha.  Oh man good times....well I am going to go get beat on the basketball court now so I will talk to y'all later.
 
BYE!!!
 
-Elder McNinch

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 27, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,
 
     You went to the "M" casino?  Was it cool?  Never been there before.  Mom, just so you know there will probably be a lot of elders coming to stay with us after the mission.  Especially Elder Sinclair.  So just be ready.  He says that he is going to marry Aria Jackson...you know Gladys Knight's granddaughter?  I think it is so funny.  I was showing him Henderson and Las Vegas on the maps on LDS.org and he couldn't wrap his mind around how big the houses were in Legacy Estates.  He's probably one of the funniest Elders that I have met thus far on the mission.
     So this past week has been kinda crazy.  We had what was called Jubilee on Saturday.  Weird because they took like 60 or so missionaries out of their areas to perform in 3 shows.  Apparently it was like a giant roadshow.  It had clips of the youth's testimonies and different dances and what not.  It was a way cool experience.  I felt super apostate because I wasn't out knocking on doors all day and instead I was sitting in a chair watching the Jubilee...but that is what the mission president asked for so it's whatever.  The part that we played as missionaries was pretty awesome.  They had us placed at the tops of each of the sections in this big place like the Thomas and Mack Center.  The youth started to sing this song about Joseph Smith and then about halfway through we come in with Praise to the Man and walk down the stairs to the center arena.  We had flags from all the different countries around the world and we unveiled them at a certain point in the song.  You should look it up on youtube and see if there is any footage of it.  Look up Texas sized Jubilee.  I am sure you will find something on it.
     Yes I am staying in shape.  I play tennis and basketball.  I suck at both but I would much rather play basketball than play tennis.  I don't really know how I have gained 10 pounds but it's not like I'm fat or anything.  I don't know where all the fat is being stored but...my pants still fit...and so do my suits...so I don't know...
     So fun fact...Elder Marr just got back from his mission.  He is the son of the members that Elder Sinclair lives with.  Turns out that he, Elder Marr, served in the Tacoma Washington mission.  The same mission as Jimmy Lewis.  CRAZY!!!  He has all these pictures that he was going through and I was just like...holy crap!  That's jimmy!!! He went to my high school!!!  AHH!!!
     Tia Zwick is home?!?  I sang at her farewell!  That's nuts!  Did you see Ashley Zwick there?  Man time is flying by.  I turn eleven months tomorrow...so weird.  How much longer is Jordan Miller on his mission?  Jordan Seegmiller comes home soon too....CRAZY HUH?!?  Well...I love you all very much.  I promise that I will write more next week I promise.
 
Love,
 
Elder McNinch  XoooXXxxOOoxoxoOOXX  (Quote:  "Big hug, little kiss, big kiss, little hug....")
 
ps:  the quote that you gave me was liar liar.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Father's Day 2011- Letter

HELLO!!!!
 
     So my new companion likes to play tennis...yep...
This transfer is going to be interesting.  We elevatored the area pretty hard on this last transfer. (means that we baptize everyone in our teaching pool and have to start from the ground up instead of an escalator that just keeps going.)  We have set three baptismal dates in this past week so everything is going well.  We're trying our best to get everything in the zone back in order.  Elder Sinclair and Elder Littlefield in the area right next to ours is my only sanity right now.  So I am supposed to be "training" my new comp on how to be a Zone Leader but it's not really working....it's whatever.
     So we found this guy the other day, his name is Mike Penny.  He is going to get baptized on the 23rd of July.  I am so excited for this guy.  He told us that he was prepared and that he knew that the Lord had sent us to him....yeah...legit.  Other than that there really isn't much to report on.  The families in the ward here are awesome.  Definately people that we will have to come back to visit some day.  The ward mission leader here is like my third grandpa.  So tight.
     The farting doggie story is hilarious.  It kinda reminded me of a door contact the other day.  I love it when people try to slam the door and then their dog is in the way. So they have already said some really rude comment and they thought that they would have the slammed door effect behind their rude comment but then their dog is in the way and they don't want to hurt their precious dog so they are trying to come up with some other rude thing to say whilst trying to get their dog out of the way so they can slam the door.  It has happened so many times now that I can't help but laugh while I walk away.
     You should really tell Shannon that she needs to stay out of trouble.  That school is not good.  Anyways.  Just tell her to get her testimony back and marry some hot shot return missionary so that she can have a good life.  I know that is what you want for her anyway.  Just tell her that I approve of your message.
     So the little Ver Hoef girl (my girlfriend as she calls herself) just comes up to me at church and will hold my hand.  It is probably one of the most funny things that I have ever seen.  She'll be sitting in the front row of the chapel and see me walk in and come and sit next to me.  Anytime that she sees me in the hallway she has to come up and hold my pinky (pinkie? sp?).  The Stake President saw it happen the other day and was like...uh...Elder McNinch...do we need to talk?  Ha ha ha.  Oh man.  That family is hilarious.
     So yesterday was father's day.  So...I would like to wish Father a belated happy father's day and add that I think that it is dumb that you can only call home on Mother's Day.  Thank you dad for being such a good example to me.  A lot of what I am doing as a Zone Leader are things that you have taught me how to do and for that I am really greatful.  So this past Sunday we had three investigators at church and I got a Snicker's bar.  That pretty much sums up the greatest day of church on my mission.  One of the young women who were handing out the Snicker's for all the dad's came up and said..."You want a family some day right?"  To which I replied...yes?...She said...okay good...happy future father's day.  I was glad that it was just that and that it wasn't more awkward.  Frankly when she asked the question I was like....please please do not say anything weird.  I really don't want to have to avoid you and your family in the hallway.
     Well that is pretty much what is going on here in Texas.  It is super hot.  I really don't even care about how much I sweat anymore.  I will have to send you some pictures of my socks.  When we get back from tracting everyday I have salt rings all around my legs.  Nasty.  I am sure people at the doors are just like...what in the world are you doing on my porch?!  They probably have more choice words than that but...yeah.  I hope all is going well at home.  I love y'all very much and I miss you even more.
 
Love,
 
Elder McNinch

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hello Hello,
    So this week was kind of a bummer.  I have been helping my companion pack his stuff and get ready to go home.  Kinda really sad actually.  Like it's really weird.  I keep getting scared that it is me going home...but it's not...I still have a LOT of time left.  So weird.  We've kind of been out of it for the last couple of days because we had to get everything ready for the Stake President Report...you know?...the guy that is the ex chief of police for Dallas?...yeah...that one.  Well, so they had the meeting scheduled for Sunday the 12th and then they gave us a call on Friday and said that it had to be this Sunday at 2:00 pm which is right in the middle of our block....awesome...Well to make a long story short...we forgot that it was at two.  We had to have both the mission president and the stake president come and hunt us down in Sacrament to bring us to the meeting...not good.
     On a more funny note, the missionaries in my zone bought a remote control helicopter that shoots little missles.  Every P-day we fly it around the house and shoot each other when we are taking a naps...it's great fun.
     Shannon has to go to summer school?!? SHOCKER! Ha ha ha...just kidding Shannon...kinda... Did y'all get the package that I sent?  I had a bunch of pictures in there that I thought that y'all would enjoy.  Dad is going to enjoy the "No Dumping" sign one especially.  So have you gotten all the pictures that I have been sending in the emails?  I hope so...cuz I sent the Elder Oaks pictures to you.  I attached some more pictures to this email that y'all won't miss me so much.
     The BBQ was awesome.  The investigator that we invited didn't show but that's okay because I got to play the guitar for like 2 hours straight.  "My fingers hurt."  But really they do.  I am slowly getting my caluses back.  The food at the BBQ was way way way good.  We had this black guy in the ward make us some BBQ ribs and chicken....ooooo baby....so good.  Leave it to a black man to know how to cook some ribs and chicken.  Speaking of chicken...a couple of weeks ago it was Elder Hall's birthday.  We wanted to go to some place that we had never eaten before...ya know....kind of expand our horizons outside the dollar menus.  We found the perfect place.... Big Mamma's Chicken and Waffles.  Oh yes.  Have y'all ever had chicken and waffles before?  For some reason it is to DIE for!  I think that the best part of the meal was that it came with a side order of watermelon and kool-aid....not kidding.  Best kool-aid that I have ever had.  We got to take a picture with big mamma too...I think that I sent that in the package so definately look for that on the memory card.
     I am so pumped for David to go on his mission.  You'll have to give me his address so that I can write him a letter or two.  Tell Lisa that the good Colorado cowboys will take good care of her boy.  He'll be a mountain man before you know it.
     OOOOO man it is getting hot here....yesterday it was 98 with 70 percent humidity.  Yeah...not cool.  I am so lucky that I have a car right now....I think that if I didn't I would kill myself.
     Unfortunately the Gonzalez's have not been baptized yet...we are still working with them but things are just really hard for the dad right now.  He stopped reading the Book of Mormon and things just went downhill from there.  It is crazy to see people's attitude change completely when they stop reading.  Like while he was reading and praying he was making awesome progress.  Even defending his faith at work. which is not something that he used to do.  Now he's just questioning everything...so we're now back to square one but that's okay...he'll get there someday....
     So I have decided that mesquitos are God's ugliest creation.  I have about 15 bites on each of my legs.  Then on top of that chigger season is here now so we have to watch out for them too.  If you don't know what those are, look them up.  Nasty Texas bugs.
     Anywho...So you didn't answer any of the questions that I had...about the guitar or my shoes...please answer!  Ummm....so...Teenie called you huh? that's weird...why?...like...what did she say?  You can give her the mission address and my normal email.  The mission address is on facebook anyway and my normal email is linked with my church email so I can pick and choose which ones I receive...ha ha ha.  Built in insurance policy for weird people that I meet out here.  Ha ha ha.
     Okay so this week overall was pretty fun.  We meet with this one family in the ward every Sunday for family night.  They have the cutest little girls in the world.  I told you about them a couple of times.  The little girl who says...Toot, I fart in your face.  The pictures that I sent you are with those little girls.  They are so fun.  The pictures that we took are called shake face pictures....THEY ARE SO FUN!  TRY IT!!!  Just shake your face back and forth when they are taking the picture and you get some good looking faces.  Ha ha ha.
 



 
     Oh dear, well I love y'all a lot and I will be talking to you later.  Tell all of our family that I say hello....I don't even know who you send this email too so just let me know.  Anyways...okay...big gulps huh...well...see you later.
 
Love,
 
Elder McNinch

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011 Letter

SORRY!!!!
 
     The email last week wasn't working so that was poopy.  I printed out the email and sent it as a letter so hopefully you will get it soon.  The Texas mail is retarded though so I don't know.
     Well this week was awesome.  We had another baptism so that was nice.  The count is now at 16 baptisms for my mission thus far.  That's almost 2 a month, which is way sweet.  The family that we have next in line for baptism is the Gonzalez's .  They are so cool.  Right now we are really working on getting them some good friends in the ward.  They would get baptized today if they felt like they had a good set of friends so we're working on it.
     The work is going really well.  My companion is going home soon so it's been kinda weird hearing him talk about the luggage situation and what not.  I just have to worry about what I am going to say on the next door step.  None of that trunky stuff for me. (Trunky is a missionary word to describe thoughts of home)  My comp isn't that trunky at all right now...which is way nice.  We still are working really hard.
     So in regards to football for Ryan...pretty much he is probably going to have to pick choir or football in the end.  Trying to schedule both is a real pain.  I had a lot of friends who did it and I did too...but you have to be way disiplined with your studies.  I say that you give him a trial period.  If he keeps his grades up and can do football and choir...all power to the kid.  I think that he could do it but he'd have to sacrifice some time with his friends.  Probably would end up having a whole new set of friends actually.  Maybe this is a good idea...ha ha ha.  I don't know.  Pray about it.  That's what I tell all my investigators and it seems to work for them.
     So this sweet family invited us to a bbq today for food and games and sports and guitar...it's going to be super fun.  Their littlest girl Reese says that she is my girlfriend.  We were over there for a family night one night and we went on a walk.  While we were walking she reached over and held my hand...well actually it was just my index finger.  Ha ha ha....just so you know this little girl is three.  Okay well I have to go so bye.
 
love,
Elder McNinch

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011 Letter

Hello Family,
 
I am doing very well.  I am still in Texas so that's good I guess, right?  So we just got done playing a game called Acquire at the ward mission leader's house.  Definately not my kind of game.  Bunch of numbers and stock trading...not a good time really.  More just a waste of a P day.  We are going to play golf with an investigator soon so that will be really fun.
 
We have been working with this investigator for about two weeks and he is kinda on the fence right now.  He wants to believe that the church is true and feels that what we say and teach makes sense...he just doesn't want to be wrong.  He doesn't want to commit to something that he is going to be ridiculed for if in the end it wasn't right.  Obviously we know that it is right and that he shouldn't have that worry but he doesn't.  So right now we are just doing everything that we can to build up his testimony.  This past Sunday didn't really help.  He had gotten the typical anti of "Y'all worship Joseph Smith."  To which of course we said that we do not and that he should continue coming to church so that he could understand that.  Well, Sunday came around and the opening hymn just happened to be "Praise to the Man".  Awesome.  Then two of the talks were given by members who talked about how they came from pioneer families who were related to, you guessed it, Joseph Smith, whom they felt so privelaged to have a distant tie to....AWESOME...Then to top it all off the closing hymn was "Joseph Smith's First Prayer".  This day just keeps getting better and better.  Then on top of Joseph Smith Sunday, the lesson in Gospel Priciples was on eternal marriage.  The teacher for whatever reason decided to teach about how eternal marriage was necessary for exaltation.  So instead of clarifying that we do not worship Joseph Smith it only made it worse and then for an added bonus threw in eternal marriage, exaltation, and man's potential to be like God.  Sweet...needless to say we have our hands full with what to teach this man.  We love him so much and we are so excited to see him and his family get baptized.  They all have a sincere desire but are just afraid that they don't understand enough.  I'll tell you more about them later. 
 
So I hope that Shannon does get back into Concert Choir.  You need to remind Mrs. D about the cd's I asked her to send to me.  Just go into the choir room one day and say that you are there on behalf of me.  Talk to her about the cd's I asked of her in my letter and see if you can get them and send them to me.  I would appreciate that very much.
 
Tell Shannon that I am very sorry for not being able to send her present this week.  I promise that it is coming....along with a letter =).  Tell her not to worry about being popular or having a ton of friends.  If you don't make enemies you automaticallly make friends.

I would have to agree with you mom, Vietnamese food is not very good.  I had some last week.  We walked in and there were shrines all over the house.  We weren't quite sure if they were members but...what the heck...I'm hungry.  So we sit down at the table and there it is...a plate of some kind of noodles with a rather large pile of eggs in the middle.  I don't know what kind of eggs or noodles they were and frankly...I don't want to know.  I cannot accurately describe how it tasted but I know that if I dipped it in the toilet it probably would have tasted a little bit better.
 
Well I will write you more next week...we had two baptisms this past weekend so I'll write you all about those next week.  Love you all very much and thank you for all your support.
 
love,
 
Elder McNinch
 
ps- Tell the children that they are not allowed to wear my shoes.  I don't mind the clothes SO much but I don't want them to wear out my shoes or my hoodies.  I would like to have nice things when I get back.  So tell Ryan that his big feet will have to find another home.  Tell them to save up money to buy shoes of their OWN!!!  That's what I had to do.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011 Letter

Hello,
 
My Easter was very nice.  I had a lot of really cool stories from that weekend...BUT none of them compare to what happened on Saturday last week.  I got to meet Elder Flukiger of the sixth quorum of the seventy, Elder Rasband of the presidency of the first quorum of the seventy, and (drum roll please)... ELDER DALLIN H. OAKS OF THE QUORUM OF THE 12 APOSTLES!!!  It was the coolest experience ever!!!  All of them had some pretty deep insights to talk about.  We got to take a huge picture with all of them and then got to shake each one of their hands.  When I got to Elder Oaks he looked at my name tag and grabbed it.  I was so worried that he was just going to take my tag from me...but he holds it and says, "Elder...how in the world do I say your name?"  Ha ha ha ha.  I love it.  So I talked with him for about ten seconds about the origins of our ever so weird last name and he said, "Well Elder, I am glad we got some good Scott-Irish blood in the Texas Dallas Mission." ....okay?....thanks Elder Oaks.  But really it was an amazing meeting.  One of the missionaries in my district recorded it so we are going to transpose it to text.  That will be sooooo cool!!!
 
Well so I don't know if I told you this but last week we had a baptism.  That was pretty awesome.  I am printing off pictures this week and hopefully will be able to send them in the next letter.  To answer a couple of your questions...
 
- yes I got the package and I lub it
- no I don't think that I would be able to go to the the BYU game Brent. My president likes me but not that much.  ha ha ha.
- Yes i will skype you.  It will be around 7:00 pm your time on Sunday night.  I don't know how all of that works but we will figure it all out.  Email me y'alls number again so I can call and figure it out next week.
-  Tell Shannon to stop being so weird and just do normal teenage things.  No more food fights.
- Tell everybody that I love them as well.  I miss all of you very much.  I will talk to you more next week.
 
LOVE,
 
Elder McNinch

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011 Letter

Hello,
 
     Yes I did have a good easter.  I had steak for dinner so yes that was a very good meal.  I have not got the package yet but every time I say that in a letter I get it that day...so I should be getting your package today.  Tell Shannon to write me back.  She is a poop head.  I am not going to send her her birthday present until I hear from her.
     I am sorry to hear that Pappaw passed.  He was an awesome man.  I wish that I got to know him better.  Please send my regards to Grandma and Grandpa.  Tell her that everything is alright and he is well taken care of.  I know that they miss him a whole lot, but heavenly father missed him a lot more.  He was more than an amazing missionary in this life and I could not imagine him being any different in the next.
     Man, Patrick sounds like a funny character.  I miss you guys a lot.  No one here gets my jokes.  Ha ha ha.
     So I forgot to tell you that I had to sing in a ward in the stake I'm in on Sunday.  It went pretty well but that is not what was cool.  I saw a man there that was in my first area.  His name is brother Rios.  When I first met him he and his wife were going through a divorce.  It was a really rough situation.  I remember going over to his house for dinner and sharing the infamous "message" at the end of dinner appointments.  I remember reading out of 4 Nephi and talking about the love of god.  Then went to John where perfect love casteth out all fear.  Well now six months later he said that he had read those verses over and over again and it dawned on him...his wife didn't know that he loved her.  He did everything he could to show her that he was willing to work it out.  It took six months but they did fix it.  When I saw him in the church he ran up to me and gave me a hug and all he said was,"Thank you.  I have my family back and I don't know how it happened, but thank you."  It was an awesome experience.  I love seing that joy in people's faces.  That is the greatest feeling in the world.  I will do anything and everything I can to see that joy in someone's eyes.
     Tell Shannon that if she is going to punch someone to wear a lot of rings. =)  I don't mind if she punches boys.  Look at it this way mom, if she is punching them that means that she isn't kissing them.  Anyways, the work is grand.  I love this zone that I am in though...everyone here is like a best friend.  I miss you all a lot...please write.  I love you Patrick, I love you Ryan, I love you Shannon, I love you Mom, I love you Dad.
 
Love,
 
Elder McNinch

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011 Letter

"YOU DESACRATE THE HOUSE OF GOD!"
     Loved the quote from Knight's Tale.  Oh and the pebble one is Ever After obviously.  So this week we are emailing at this member's home that missionaries live with in our zone.  She is the nicest lady ever.  We do laundry over here and we email.  Ballin!  So  I was talking with this member and she was saying that her son was serving the Tacoma Washington Mission.  I was like NO WAY!  That's where Jordan is!  So turns out that her son is the assistant to the president there and knows Jordan pretty well.  Small world.
     This week wasn't half bad.  We have had so many appointments cancel on us it wasn't even funny.  Then again conference was this week so that made up for it.  This conference was pretty interesting.  The Saturday sessions were pretty straight forward and general but then Saturday night came and priesthood was like BAM!  OATH AND COVENANT BAM!  It was so cool.  The presidency gave the last three talks and it was awesome.  I almost peed in my pants from the excitment.  The apostles are getting more and more funny from the pulpit.  President Eyring and President Monson were the funniest in priesthood.  "If you haven't read the Book of Mormon...READ IT!" - President Monson  Ha ha ha I was dying.  Definately put a new emphasis on the priesthood and made me study it out more.  It is amazing how much the scriptures contain and we just don't read into it.  I loved how they related the priesthood to a school or an institute of God.  That was pretty awesome.  I think that it was Uchtdorf that said the preisthood is a training for our potential as sons of God.  That was pretty deep.  Hahaha.
     The highlight of this week was obviously conference.  Other than that I have nothing much to report on.  The work is way fun.  I think that this is the one time in my mission that I am actually excited to tract.  Ha ha ha you just meet so many people that are absolutely insane it's great.  I love being here.  It is hilarious.  I did receive my ipod so thank you very much.  I enjoy listening to my piano concertos while doing my work outs.  =)  Please thank Kami for the package.  I was in dire need of sweets.  Well.. maybe not...I think that I am at 180 lbs right now...maybe I'll save those for later.  Okay...love you bye!
 
Love,
 
Elder McNinch
 
ps- shirt size is 16. =)
 
Quote: "Buzz's girlfriend, wuff!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 21, 2011 Letter

OH MAN,
Being a zone leader is a little bit crazy.  We have to turn in numbers every week for the zone and that takes forever.  Numbers are just all of the things that we keep track of in each of the districts.  Like lessons taught, new investigators for the week, etc.  It's kind of a big pain.  Every Sunday night I can expect to stay up til about 12.  Dumb.  The zone is way cool though.  This is the first time that I have ever had sisters in my district so that is kinda weird.  I feel like I am not supposed to talk to them or something.  Anyways...so I am in a city named Garland.  It is pretty much like Henderson except a little more ghetto.  The people are way awesome though.

Okay so the cool story.  It's not as cool as it could have been but still really cool.  So when I had just gotten to Longview I kept having dreams about this kid in my last area.  His name is J.  J is like 13 and hadn't been baptized yet.  His family was going through a rough patch and went inactive when he was turning 8.  Since then the family had been coming back to church but J didn't want to be baptized.  He had gone through about six sets of missionaries all telling him that he needed to be baptized and he just didn't want to.  Well . . . I got there and we started talking and got along really well.  He is really into guitar and loves music so we would go over there I would play guitar with him and Elder Harrison would teach the rest of the family a lesson.  Well...I got transferred to Longview.  Like I said I kept having dreams about this kid and I was impressed that I should write him a letter about being baptized.  I told him about my life and how I came to know that the church was true and how I probably didn't know what it felt like to have 12 different missionaries come in and tell me I need to be baptized but that I new what it felt like to be pushed or pulled.  I told him that if he ever was going to be baptized that it was absolutely his choice and that he should study it out for him.  Not for me, Elder Harrison, not for Elder Frost, or Elder whoever.

I received a letter back about a month later and he said that he appreciated the letter that I had sent.  He said that he would study it out and do all that he could to find out if it was all real.  To do it for himself and not for anyone else.  At the end of the letter it said...
PS-  I don't know when yet, but I would like to invite you to my baptism.

SO COOL!  AH! I was freakin out!  I have never been so happy in my life!  So for a while we were trying to figure out how I could be there to baptize him but it didn't work out.  There is a rule in the mission that you are not allowed to go back to an area to baptize so whatever.  He is getting me a program from the baptism and a picture.  I think that Elder Grondel is the missionary that is there right now so that is way cool.  I was just really glad that I listened and felt the impression to write that letter.  It is pretty cool the way the spirit works sometimes.

Anywho.  This new area is broken and Elder Hall (my zone leader when I first came out who is now my companion) and I are called to fix it.  That is straight from the mouth of our mission president.  This area is awesome though.  The members feed us everyday and come out on splits every night.  I have never taught so many lessons in my mission.  I am just really happy where I am at in my mission now.  I feel like there has to be some bad news coming or something to knock me off my spiritual high place.  We'll see this next week.  We have right now seven new investigators and a possible baptism date so I am way pumped.  The stake president and the bishop here are big time on missionary work and that is almost never the case.  Alright well I gots to go now.  I do hope that the package comes soon because that would be really awesome.

Love,
Elder Michael McNinch

PS-  there is a family here named the Sisomphou's (sis umm poo).  That has to be the coolest name that I have ever heard in my life.  We also drive the coolest car in the mission.  2010 Ford Fusion.  So tight...very fast.  Love ya!
 PPS- Just send all my stuff to the mission office address (13747 Monfort Drive).  I am so close to the mission office that it will get here really fast now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 15, 2011 Transfer Day

Michael's new address will be posted as soon as we get it. Until then...here are some pics of him from Transfer Day. (Pictures downloaded from Texas Dallas Mission Facebook Page)




In this last one I think he is whistling Dixie. It's just got to be a requirement in Texas ;)

March 14, 2001 Letter

TRANSFER!!!! ZONE LEADER CALL!!!
So this is really crazy.  I am getting transferred.  
But first let me tell the story...so we are driving around Saturday night (night the transfer calls come) and we get a call from the bishop of the first ward (best bishop ever).  He asks us for the mission president's number, to which the question rings in our mind...why?  Why would the bishop need to call our mission president?  Did we do something wrong?!  Elder, WHAT'D YOU DO?!?  So...we asked him in a sly, non-obtrusive way what the meaning of the call was.  To which the even slyer (don't know if sly-er is a word) bishop says," I can't tell you about it so don't ask." ...oh.  Okay.  So now we are scared out of our wits.  Oh man, oh man, what's he calling pres. for?!  He calls president and then gives us a call back.  He says don't worry about that elders, it wasn't about you.  Apparently some missionaries have been blogging about some things that happen in the wards here and it has offended some people.  I was like oh..whewf!  But then I just remembered that mom keeps a blog of my letters!  Ah!  Okay so here is the deal mom...I am not allowed to blog...you are and I can't stop you from setting up my letters in a blog...so just edit out the parts that some people might take offense to...okay?  I won't include names of people anymore.  It wasn't us that they had a problem with but just to be on the safe side please edit what is meant for JUST the family to read and I will do my best to not include anything that is not for JUST the family.  Sorry about the rant...back to the story.  
So in this same phone call the bishop says,"Hey Elder McNinch, I was wondering if you might be able to do a special musical number in Sacrament tomorrow."  Oh...you mean like tomorrow tomorrow...like 9:00 am tomorrow morning...like in 13 hours from right now...sweet...umm...well I can't play piano...would you mind if I played the guitar? (Hoping that he might say no because I was going to be playing a guitar in Sacrament and most bishops frown upon that) "Yeah sure that would be fine.  Come on over and you can play for my family the song that you'll play tomorrow."....great...thanks bishop.  So we go over and play a couple songs on his guitar and he picks one that he likes the best and then we head home for the night.  
Then the call comes.  The dreaded transfer call from president himself!  "Elder McNinch, I am calling because the Lord sees fit to call you to and new area and have you assigned as a Zone Leader.  Are you willing to accept this assignment?" uhh....umm...yyy...yyeahhh...umm....yes?...yes I will.  "Good, it's not really a choice, but good.  You leave Monday so have your bags packed."  Thanks president.  So I am playing in church and have to pack because I am getting transferred.  Great.  STRESSFUL!
     
Church went well.  We had an investigator there and she loved it.  We committed her to baptism and she accepted.  I won't see her baptized, but she is way awesome and I am so happy for her.  The song went relatively okay.  No one booed or threw things so I guess it was alright.  
So being here for 4 months has let me get to know the wards really well.  They are so awesome.  The Executive Secretary pulled me aside and said that he heard that I was getting transferred. He then said that he was going to file a complaint to the mission office and he along with the Bishopric were going to kidnap me until they received their ransom.  Their ransom being the condition that I stay in Longview 1st ward for the remainder of my mission.  It was pretty funny.  The members here are so awesome.  The area has grown so much in the short while that I have been here and I am truly sad to leave it.  I never thought that I would say this, but I'll have to come back and visit Longview someday.
     
So yeah... I'm being transferred...I don't know where though.  Most likely some place close to Dallas.  I will have to let you know in next weeks e-mail my new address but for now just send everything to the mission office.  They are forwarding mail again so that should work out just fine.
     
Mother.  The Ipod.  Oh the Ipod.  Please just trust your son.  He loves you very much and would like you to send his Ipod to him.  I will have the songs loaded onto cds and send them home to y'all.  It will work.  Everything will be fine.  Most of the songs will be deleted...I just don't want you to go through and try and decide what your son would like to keep on his Ipod.  That is like trying to shop for my clothes or trying to order for me at restaurants; neither of which have ever really ended up well.  So again, I ask with all the energy of my heart, Mother.  My dear dear wonderful Mother.  Would you please send me my Ipod?
     
Well so that was pretty much the exciting news for the week.  I am being transferred.  We'll see what the Lord has in store for me as a Zone Leader.  I have  THE coolest story for you this next week if everything plays out the way it should.  BUT  I won't spoil it now.  I love all y'all very much and I can't wait to hear from you again.  Please write or call Jared Bradley once in a while.  It seems that he is having withdrawls from the McNinch family.  I don't really know why but apparently he has cried a few times and needs some uplifting phone calls.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  I am just kidding Je dee do....don't hurt me...please?  But really y'all should call him because I'm sure you want to talk to him as much as I do...but I can't...and you can...so DO IT!  We miss you too Bradley family.  Tell David Meeks that he is a baller and I am way excited for him to go on his mission.  Give him my address so that he can write me.  Tell Buffie that she is the best and I miss her.  Again, I love y'all very much and hope that you have a good week.
Love,
 Elder Michael McNinch