Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012 Letter

Hello Family,
Congrats PAT! Way to go kid! Can't believe I missed it. It's alright though. You'll just have to hit some more when I get back. Now all you got to do is make a deal with Dad so you can get a new xbox. Ha ha ha. Dang Ryan! Sounds like you got roped into be one of Mrs. D's slaves this year. Hope that you're alright after that long day's work. That's kind of what missionary work is like. Except you where a shirt and tie all day and the people that you talk to don't want what you're trying to give them. Ha ha ha. Just kidding.
So this week has been pretty awesome. We helped ordain Reilly Lakjohn (recent convert) and Brother Pate to the Aaronic Priesthood, we set 6 baptismal dates, and a marriage date yesterday. Four of the dates are with the Pate children. They will be baptized by their father on April 8th. The other two dates are with a couple that is from the Marshall Islands. They are also our marriage date. We got all of the civil marriage stuff figured out today and we hope to have them married and baptized by the 8th as well. Oh, and we had 14 of our investigators at church yesterday and had the Branch President call us with a referral for a lady who had a date in Beumont, Texas (also for the 8th of April) that has just recently moved here. If we get to meet with Vanessa this week and set her and her family's dates that would be 11 baptisms just in the month of April. I cannot really explain or express the joy that I feel. We also helped a part member family move. The husband and two kids are not members. They are hilarious. Brother Thomas (the man who's cow I helped birth) gave us the invite to come and help. Glad that he did because it definitely softened some hearts. The husband is now willing to have us come over and teach. This was also the second time in my mission that we used a horse trailer to move someone. Who needs Uhaul anyway?
Needless to say missionary work is going very well here. We are not only having a lot of sucess in baptisms but in retention. Idabel, Oklahoma is the promised land. to funny stories of the week. We recently went on exchange with the Zone Leaders again. I got to be with yours and my favorite Elder Clint Johnson. The same Elder that was in my MTC group. We had a great exchange together. We tracted a really ghetto apartment complex, had a baptismal interview, and let a bird in the house. So let's go over all of that shall we? The ghetto apartment complex was great. We were looking for a woman who was/is a member of the church that the church cannot currently locate. This sister's name was Sister Trampp. Yes, that is her name. Don't worry mom, this is official church business. We didn't ever find Sister Trampp, but we did find a little girl who had hopes that she would one day be espoused to Elder Johnson. I believe her exact words were "Wow! He's so hott!" The baptismal interview went great. It was for a boy named Bodee. He is the son of one of our recent converts. We were so glad that he passed his interview. During his lessons when we'd ask him what Jesus Christ did for us he'd always say, "Didn't he come down from heaven and kill the devil?" Bodee. Not quite. So hopefully that is all dispelled now.
Alright so now the bird story. Elder Johnson is a big advocate of camping apparently. The McDonald's (members we live with) have a deck on the south side of the house. It has been a custom for missionaries to sleep outside on the deck to look at the stars at night as they go to sleep. Guess it reminds all those good ol' Utah boys of back home. Well...stars don't really matter much to me. Didn't really see a whole lot of those living under the bright lights of Las Vegas. But, I agreed to sleep outside on the deck for Elder Johnson's sake. We picked up some mesquito repelent (for my sake) and headed home. We got ready for bed, packed our stuff, and went down the hall to the guest bedroom which leads to the deck. I bathed myself in repelent before I headed out the door to the deck. As I was opening the door I made the comment to Elder Johnson that if anything big bit me or attacked me while I was out there it was his fault. Just then, this winged thing decided to fly right at my face. It bounced off the top of my head and started flying around the room. At first I thought that it was a bat and that both Elder Johnson and I were about to die. Turns out that it was just a little bird. Well, this little bird ended up being a huge problem. As the bird is flying around the room he is pooping on everything in sight. All over the bed and the freshly washed linen, the floor, the sewing machine, etc. So now what do we do? We can't open the door for very long because then all of the bugs will come in, but we gotta get this dumb bird out of there. We come up with the brilliant plan to scare it towards the door and hang up a sheet across the room so it has no other way to fly out. Well, turns out that the bird was smarter than us and flew over the sheet. So we tried to get the bird near the door and turn off the lights so that the bird would just naturally go where there was more light. After about five minutes of watching this stupid bird sit in the moonlight we decided to scare him out the door. Of course the dumb thing didn't go out the door, but instead flew into the large mirror on the wall. Alright, so we figured that the bird needed a little bit more light outiside to be even remotely interested in flying back out the door. I went and got a flashlight and positioned myself outside the door with the light shinning down from the top of the doorway. Elder Johnson shut off the lights again and the bird flew right to the edge of the doorstep. I'm thinking "Sweet! Now all Elder Johnson has to do is scare him out the door." Elder Johnson whispers, "Hey Elder McNinch, can I use your pillow?" I say yes. Thinking "okay, Elder Johnson is going to toss the pillow at the bird and scare him out the door." Next thing I knew, there was a bird coming at me at about 30 miles per hour. It hit me in the chest, flopped on the deck for awhile, then sat up on its feet twitching its neck to one side. I thought for sure that Elder Johnson had killed that stupid bird. "Elder Johnson! I told you to scare it! Not bat it out the door!" "I'm sorry Elder, but that was the only guaranteed way he was getting out of here." Turns out that the bird was just fine. We finally got the bird out of the house and all of his poop cleaned up. However, by the time we got out to sleep on the deck, clouds had moved in covering Elder Johnson's precious stars. Moral of the story is: Never shoot for the stars because life will give you the bird.
Hope that y'all have a wonderful week. I miss and love you very much.
-Elder Michael McNinch

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