Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 21, 2011 Letter

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. 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.

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 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

So this is really crazy.  I am getting transferred.  
But first let me tell the 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 are and I can't stop you from setting up my letters in a 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." mean like tomorrow 9:00 am tomorrow 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 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.
 Elder Michael McNinch

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011 letter

     1.  Still do not know who Morgan Davis is.
     2.  It is from Bruce Almighty
     3.  I cannot believe that Oliver got his mission call to London.  The punk stole my mission!
     4.  Last name of the finance would help.
     Ha ha ha oh dear Mr. Snyder.  His class was hilarious.  Did he say anything about how I didn't pay any attention in his class?  I'm sure that he remembers me sleeping a couple of times.  Ha ha ha oh Kevin Breke.  That kid is so funny.  Tell him that I say hi if you see him.
     So our six new investigators live in the GHETTO!  Like...bad.  We helped the family move in last week and we are going to give them a call this Wednesday to see when we can see them.  The Grandmother is the sweetest Hispanic lady that you ever did see.  She has like 3 teeth and they are all gold or silver plated.  So sweet.  She is Hispanic but don't let that fool you, neither her nor her children speak Spanish.  Let me just tell you that I am so excited to teach these people.
     So Saturday we were out doing service and we get a call from this part member family.  The mom (non-member) says that she wants me to baptize her daughter on Sunday.  I have only met this family like twice, not to mention that I have only ever seen this little girl once.  So yeah, kind of weird but whatever.  So we go to the baptism yesterday and there are like 40 people at this baptism!  Crazy!  So the baptism was all well and good, then I went to go and change.  I get in the bathroom and...I forgot an extra shirt.  Great.  So I am drenched chest to toe and I have no change of shirt.  So I am stuck.  I knew that there was a closet in the church that had some extra shirts and stuff for investigators if they don't have any church clothes; BUT...that was down the hall and to the right of the bathroom...which was past the open door of where the baptismal program was being held.  So I can't just run out in my g's I have to improvise.  Mom and Dad...if it weren't for all of those origamis that I had made during sacrament I don't think that I could have ever figured this out.  So I went and got some paper towels.  I folded them together to make what looked like a shirt collar.  Then I tied my tie around it so that when I put my suit on you couldn't tell the difference.  Then I casually walked down the hallway to the closet, found a white shirt (WAY TOO SMALL) threw it on and went back into the meeting.  It was pretty epic.  The ward mission leader was like, " Are you telling me that this little 8 year old girl was able to dry off, change clothes, and braid her hair before you got back into the meeting?"  To which I simply took off my jacket and showed him the deacon size shirt that was tightly stretched across my upper body and said," It took me a while to button the shirt up".
     Yes I did get the email from Buffie.  Ask her for some tips on how to convert Baptists.  If we found the secret to teaching Baptists we would have at least 140 converts a week.  Something just doesn't compute.  Maybe it's them or maybe it's us...I don't know...but we would love advice.  Did you tell her that Oliver was going to London?  Isn't that where she served?
     President Romney asked about me?  How does he even know me?  Do I know him?  I talk to Landon Roberts every Prep day.  He is in the Fort Worth mission which is just the bordering mission.  The only time that I would see him is if I was on the very western border of my mission and he was on the very eastern border of his.  Then we would only be divided by a street ha ha ha.  So we'll see.
     Transfers are on the 12th.  I have a sneaky suspicion that the Lord is going to leave me here for one more at least.  I don't know.  Apparently I haven't learned what I was supposed to learn in the last 2 transfers before this so he kept me here for a third; but nothing has changed since last transfer, so if we are sticking to past precedent then I'll be here for the rest of my mission.  I'll let you know on Monday if I am getting transferred.  The office is forwarding mail again so if you don't send it today or tomorrow send it to the mission office address.
     I love you all very much.  The gospel is grand.  Start telling me where you all are at in your family scripture reading and I'll read along with you and write you about it.
 Elder Michael McNinch
ps- tell oliver to write me and when does he leave?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

February 21, 2011 Letter

     Wow so that basketball game was a little crazy huh?!?  Reminds me of that one where I had to get nine stitches and Brett Leavitt was clawed in the face.  Ha ha ha.  Okay so the reason that you didn't get an email last week was because I didn't have one from y'all.  So naturally I wouldn't write someone who didn't write me. =)
     So holiday's on the mission are terrible...they usually mean no mail, no one is home, and you have no appointments.  Yeah...I can't wait until I like holidays again.  So this week has been pretty interesting.  We are still getting the wards on track here and they are doing a lot better...but we still tract at least six hours of the day.  Yeah we meet some crazy people.  After we had told this black guy who we were and what we did he said, "You forgot to ask me two questions, 1. Do I go to church and 2. Am I saved."  Oh dear...sir...we didn't ask you those questions for a reason.  1.  This is the south, everyone here goes to a church, 2. I don't even want to try to begin to understand your story of being "saved".  That is all people talk about here is their story of being "saved".  I had heard that like once or twice before but that is all they say out here.  It doesn't make any sense to me.  So that is always fun to hear.  Then the other most popular thing that we get at doors is "I'm Baptist!"....okay...I'm Mormon...and?  I don't know how they justify their Christian denomination as an excuse to slam the door in another Christian's face.  It's whatever though.  Then you get the extremely nice old people.  Now those are pretty tough to get away from.  You know the classic stereotype that they will sit down and talk to you about the war forever?... that is exactly what we go through out here.  You have to be careful because some of the ministers out here will tell the older members of their congregation that if they see Mormon missionaries to let them in and keep them talking to you for as long as you can so that they can't keep going around the neighborhood.  When I heard that I was like WHAT?!?  It's craziness out here.  We were tracting this neighborhood at like 7:00 pm and we had the cops called on us by some old couple that was paranoid about two guys in white shirts and ties knocking on their door.  They had told the police that they had seen two men in black hoods going around and stalking houses.  When the cop got their and saw us he was like, "Ma'am,  You do know that 1. It is 7:00 pm and no one in their right mind would rob a house at this time and 2. That these are the missionaries from my church."  HA HA HA Turns out that the cop is in the third ward and had served his mission here.  He said that we should stay away from "OLD" neighborhoods because they will call on just about anything.  So yeah...we stay away from old people after 7:00 ha ha ha.
     Yes I got the packages.  Thank you very much.  Thank you so much for the cube.  It helps when we are sitting there waiting for our laundry to be done.  Okay so:
1.  Ryan, you should not have a girlfriend.  Dumb idea man.  They just cost a lot of money.  It's like a pet that you thought you wanted and looked good in the window, next thing you know she is pooping on your carpet.  No go.
2.  Shannon got pooped on?  That's pretty nasty.  You should really teach Ryan to go in the toilet.
(Shannon got "pooped" on by a dumb boy on Valentine's Day after she gave him a cool gift.)
3.  Patrick you can do back flips?!?  Do y'all have a tramp now?  Why did you wait until I was gone...not cool.  Oh and I can't wait to play the ATV game with you when I get back man.
Elder Michael McNinch