First off, happy birthdays to some peoples
Tanner, Happy Birthday
Aunt Jenny, Happy Birthday
Aunt Kelly, Happy Birthday
Grayson Tebbs, Happy Birthday
and lastly, Mother Dear, the happiest of birthdays to you (maybe happier than the rest of these people, I don´t know)
So, this one time.......
This was a week of one times things
Not much on the filler space part today, so it´ll definitely be shorter.
First, this one time I knocked out a dog.
This is actually way more exciting, probably the highlight of my week, excitiement wise, maybe mission wise, idk
This dog, was growling and barking, so we were eyeing him up.
then he charged us
He chose, however, to attack Elder Orteney.
That´s not okay, I can deal with a couple bites, medium size dog, whatever, I can afford to lose a couple pounds.
But you don´t touch Elder Orteney, as my companion, I´m gonna protect him.
So when then dog ran at him, I Ivan Drago, Rocky 4, swung on him. One punch, two knuckles, straight forehead, slept
I slept a dog
Inline image 1
Theseis my knuckles, tasty treat for all of you
In the words of that one dude,
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'"
Give me the belt already
Second, this one time, our fan tried to kill us
The back casing of the fan just exploded while we were all studying. Don´t know why, not really important.
BUT, this broke one of the fan blades, which made the now bare bladed electric assassian begin to hop and move around the room. It got Elder Emerich and Elder Me in the shins before we got it unplugged.
Third, this one time, we were walking past this house and we just heard screaming.
So we stopped for a sec, and this dude, obviously shirtlesss, runs out of his house screaming. These two dudes, one with a huge silver cross and the other with this big, ornate Bible, come walking out. My companion is nudging me, whispering "exorcistas, exorcistas." Obviously, that means exorcists, come on. Then, one of them, real dramatic, said, "We can´t do anything more, leave the house and don´t come back for anything."
Not what you want to hear.
But I´m not gonna be messing with anything like that, so we got out of there quick.
This one time, last one, we destroyed
Our mission house played another area, 4v4, soccer
Score, us 11 games
And thoughts, nothing popped out this week, but I did like a talk we had in church about helping the missionaries
Help them, it´s nice to be helped. The work is so much more effective when it´s done with help from the member.
Just take a little time to do something helpful for them.
That is all.
Also, everyone wish my Mom a happy birthday, she is wonderful.
Love to everyone, especially you, Mom
Elder Cruiserweight Champion of the World
P.S. I ate an entire pig ear, one bite, everyone was impressed, just saying
One day we received an alarm request from an alarm company, advising us that a residential alarm was going off, giving us the address, and location in the house. When the units responded, it was actually a domestic disturbance in progress, the husband had taken her phone away, and the wife in distress had used her residential alarms to reach out for help. I was impressed with her quick thinking and creative approach in a life threatening situation.
I was reading Sis. Eubank's talk in the Ensign conference edition. Would you like your own copy? She spoke on four ways to "turn on your light." One way was to be different. She said "Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts. When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications." You are different, and will be successful because of your ability to be innovative and creative.One day we received an alarm request from an alarm company, advising us that a residential alarm was going off, giving us the address, and location in the house. When the units responded, it was actually a domestic disturbance in progress, the husband had taken her phone away, and the wife in distress had used her residential alarms to reach out for help. I was impressed with her quick thinking and creative approach in a life threatening situation.
I was reading Sis. Eubank's talk in the Ensign conference edition. Would you like your own copy? She spoke on four ways to "turn on your light." One way was to be different. She said "Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts. When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications." You are different, and will be successful because of your ability to be innovative and creative.
It was my birthday last week. It was a drift along kind of event. Made myself an apple pie when I fed the missionaries on Sunday. Received a call from my parents the day before, and a few calls the day of. Got a few Facebook messages. Work took the prize. I'll have to email you my adventures. Unbelievable. Your brother Tanner also turned 1/4 of a century. My first born. Another unbelievable. He has a good wife to help him celebrate, and a brother. It was a good day for him today.
As for our news this week, Breyer had a first grade program on The First Thanksgiving. She was one of 12 pilgrim women. There were also pilgrim men, Native American men and women, preacher men, turkeys and corn. Her group's standard line was, "Mercy me!" She and her troupe wore signs around their neck proclaiming what they were most thankful for. She said, "My new baby niece." She wore my apron and pioneer hat your grandmother made for me. How fun is that?
Miller's regular soccer season ended this week. Their last practice was in the dark, due to day light savings. They wore glow in the dark necklaces, and kicked a soccer ball that had been spray painted with glow in the dark paint. Miller will have basketball try outs tomorrow, more of a formality as he's already been reserved.
Sawyer had regional band competitions this week. Because clarinets fall in the popular instrument group with flutes and trumpets, he had to go to a pre try out. He was in a class room of twenty clarinets, and received a first place ranking He found out the next day he was 6th, out of 180 clarinets. On Saturday he had another try out, and made the first band, tenth chair. He was not feeling well, and feels likely just to make the first band. He had basketball try outs as well, and made the A team. He's excited to be back on the court oding what he does very well.
Cooper went up in plane at a Pecan Plantation event. It's his second time. His teacher snapped a photo for us this time. He really is serious about his aviation pursuits. Designing, building, flying, now ordering textbooks. I reminded him he has two other projects to worry about first: Getting his eagle scout project done, and getting a license.
We read your family letter for FHE just like you suggested. It was wonderful. Your siblings payed attention to your stories and examples. Thank you. We talked about doing 25 days of service, and will try to keep you posted on our attempts at Love.
This week saw my return, this time triumphant to chess club. I was asked to be a part of the team sent to the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament. Unfortunately, it’s held in Columbus, Ohio during Christmas Break, so I don’t think I’ll be going.
I asked out a girl from one of my classes, and if you’re wondering how it went, let’s just say that this would be an appropriate place for the following:
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Yes, judging by this poignant, impassioned speech, good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt must have suffered his dating defeats as well.
One of my roommates told me that getting turned down meant I could treat myself to something. I think he meant ice cream or a snickers bar, but I went and bought bitcoin. Those who know me, know that I am extremely cautious with money and that it takes months for me to buy the simplest (non-food) items. I wanted to buy Bitcoin before my mission, with the money left over, but my last day, the internet went down. I left instructions with the family to purchase it for me, but alas, it was not to be. At the time, the price was $200 something. It reached $7000 this week. 3000% gain in two years. Oh well. I still feel like it has a lot of room to grow, and expect to see it reach $10,000 before the end of the year. And don’t worry, I’m not risking the farm, you are able to buy 1/ 1 millionth of a coin.
On Wednesday, dateless, I went with a friend to see the BYU Symphony play. They played a variety of dances, mostly by some Russian composers. And Friday, dateless, I went solo to see the Wind Symphony play. And won a gift card to a soda parlor while there, so, if I do get a date, I’ll know where to go. Tanner always kids me that my favorite instrument is a trumpet- something brash and powerful. No, I think I’d choose strings any day. However, after hearing the wind symphony, I must admit, it is overpowering what a good brass section can do. And similarly, while I think I like adagios better, the marches I heard were good pick-me uppers.
Saturday, I cleaned the house, did laundry, etc, and went shopping at Costco with Tanner and AnneMarie. The kitchen shelves were bare before, but have since feasted. Think fish, and cranberry sauce, and rolls. Yummy. Thats what happens when your teachers don’t assign any homework. I am up 4 pounds this semester, with a goal of between 7-10 more to get back to that pre-mish weight.
This weekend was stake conference and it was one of the best I’ve ever been to. Every talk was fabulous and inspiring. The Spirit was strong throughout the conference. And, Sunday morning we were sweetly serenaded to by a Polynesian Choir singing in Samoan. Oh yeah. If you haven’t heard it, put this on your bucketlist. They have the gift of music and sing happiness.
And Sunday evening I spent with Tanmarie again, joining them for dinner and fun games. Crazy to think I’ll be joining unclehood in like 2.5 weeks.
So, before things get too exciting, let´s just get food out of the way. Had my first piece of unplucked chicken, do no recommend. Also, had Currant juice, which was A1, high class.
Now, what´s so exciting. I witnessed a man, on our hour long bus ride, not able to hold it in. So, he emptied it out. First the thermos filled with coffee #WordOfWisdom, then he filled it back up (for our younger readers, I will abstain from giving a descriptive name to the steamy yellow stuff) and then he emptied it out.
Thankfully, we were in the same row as him and not one of the unlucky ones trying to catch a little breeze through the window. They ended up catching something else. Why was I on a bus for an hour and a half?
Well, for only the first time in Campinas Brazil Mission history (so I´ve been told) an Elder in his first area is being transferred, unsolicited. It´s me. I´m no longer in Amarais, I´m now in Itatiba. Doing what? With who? Good perguntas everyone.
I´m with Elder Orteney, and we´ve been assigned to open a new area, here in the city, and our special assignment, lay the groundworks for a second ward in the city. Sub-Mission accepted
So, for those of you who aren´t familiar with small Brazilian geography, I will describe.
Take San Francisco, sunny, breezy......Keep the breeze, lose the sun. Done? Now, add hills
Some of you might be saying, it already has hills? Not like these
I don´t think there is a single hill in San Francisco steep enough that you have to transverse back and forth across the streets so that you can make progress. Hills here are often steeper than 45 degrees, which means when it rains, it´s almost impossible to walk up or down the hills safely. Almost. We make do. This picture, features Elder O (from Tanner´s mission I think) is one of said hills? Doesn´t look that steep?
We´re walking up a steep hill, probably close to 45 degrees, with another steeper hill to come. The calves will be looking FIIIINNNNE by the time I leave.
And this brings us to the thought. The hills are rough. Every day, 9:30, we leave the house and walk, all day, until 9:00. For every down hill, there´s two uphill. For every sure step, there is a slip and a slide. For every open door, there is countless unanswered.
And every day, at 9:00, when we go home, we go home to the same place. All those hills, doors, scrapes, soaked clothes, and we´re ending up walking in the same door. Same bed. Same dirt floor
A little depressing, repeating this routine with the same end result every day, a little hard.
But, then I remember everything that happened in those 11 and a half hours. We talked to more than 300 people, we taught families that they can be together for ever, we walked hills that most people can´t imagine. The things we´re doing more than make up for the trials. If it isn't hard, the reward isn't what you need.
Maybe I already shared it, but I'm going do it again,.
Romans 8:18 "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
If every hill, every slide, every man pee-ing freely on the bus, every canceled lunch, every dirty look, every step, if these are sufferings, watch out. Itatiba has a glory, in it´s hills, in it´s people, and hopefully in us.
The hills are ready to be climbed.
Here we go, round two
Love you all, love hearing from you all,
Love Elder Put That Thermos Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me
The big news this week is that your cousin Kaleb came home from his Alaskan mission. Aunt Becky is beside herself. It's so good to have him home. He was on the roof the next morning with his father, broken knee cap, brace, and all.
I loved, loved, loved your letters. They came Saturday. What a treat, to hear from you two times this week. Your handwriting is even more beautiful, and your words made me cry. I read them all, but mine is my favorite. "When I left, and every week since then, you tell me the same thing - to come back to you. And I will. I promise I'll be back. But I'm not going to come back the same person. I will come back better, more Christlike, more the person you want me to be. I love every day because it's one day closer to coming back to you."
How can a mother not read those words and feel success. That the child of her heart has this understanding and love is all a mother would wish for all her children. I miss you. I think of you so much. I cry with your aunts on the phone. I cry when your grandmother read her letter from you to me. It's all good. So, so proud knowing you're in the right place at the right time,doing the right thing.
Your Fairland High School Spanish teacher, Mrs. Lovejoy, read your letter and said, "I always receive such a blessing from reading the blogs from your boys! Thank you so much for sharing and bringing this one to my attention! If God has been able to use me in the mission field in any small way, my daily efforts have not been in vain! Continued prayers for Porter as he continues his journey!"
Hunter told us this week that he was asked to represent BYU in the intercollegiate chess championships, in Columbus, OH over Christmas break. They take the top four, and Hunter made the cut. We've been discussing whether or not he will be going. He confessed he goes maybe every other week, and is still not up to par after not playing for two years, but still good enough to go.
Sawyer, out of 50 band members, scored in the top five, by points. He was happy considering he has the minimum practice time, and most of that happens on one day during sectionals. He's well rounded. He had his last football game this week, and scored three touchdown runs, one for 90 yards. Unfortunately, all three times the same teammate caused a holding penalty and none of them counted. The field was wet, the weather rainy, and the pass was not utilized as often as in the past, but he filled up the time with a lot of tackles. Basketball try outs begin tomorrow after school. He's excited. Miller's already been contacted by a coach, as new rules this year dictate two players can be reserved
I confess that one morning, when I was bringing in extra bags of stuff to work, and driving the SUV I normally don't drive to work unless it's raining, that I forgot to turn off the car. Ten hours later, as I'm digging in my purse, I realize my car is on, and my keys still in the ignition. No one stole the car, no one turned off the engine, no one picked up a phone. And I arrived safely home. I now know my car will idle for ten hours. And still work. Lots of relief knowing my day could have been so much worse besides a bit of gas.
Halloween was this week as well, but the first in 25 years we did not trick or treat. It was a cold rainy day, and by the time Sawyer's game ended, we just stayed tucked in. Your sister was my main concern, and she was fine. All the candy they picked up Saturday at the church event is gone. It's weird not to have jars of candy lining our counter! Our Halloween scream goes to Breyer. I was getting ready to walk out the door at 4:30 a.m. and Breyer was up and walking in the dark. She let loose a scream worth a million bucks on the big screen. High, loud, and long. Good morning to me. She thought I was a ghost. I couldn't think. But she went back to bed, with Dad, and all was well.
Miller and Breyer both played soccer on Saturday, in beautiful fall weather, and Breyer's season is over. She was not feeling great, which I didn't know until the game was over, and was not surprised when today she stayed home from church. I was suspecting strep, with her fever and sore throat, but it's a virus. Your father will be staying home with her in the morning. Miller is excited he won't be riding the bus.
El Capitan and team did it again Tuesday night, taking down favored East Lyme, 3-2 in OT
ECC Conference Championship tonight vs Stonington (17-0-1) – ranked #2 in state.
“You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him”
Your twin on the other side. I know Kevin's mission is in Minnesota, Vietnamese speaking, but I'll have to find out the exact mission. Until then, enjoy!
Come back to me.
P.S. Sawyer: "And he's back. The Astro's have won the World Series for the first time since, actually for the first time ever. The only other team never to have won one is the Rangers. It was not the greatest game ever seen especially considering the Dodgers left on base at least 14 people. The final score was 5-1.James Harden scored his career high of 56 points in only 20 minutes. The Patriots are 6-2 and are still numero uno for their conference. The Celtics are also. Other than that there is not that much except for Giannis dunked from behind the free throw line . He is the first person to ever do that in a game considering Michael Jordan and Zach Lavine were both about 8 inched in front of it."
This week, swamped with tests and homework, the trumpets sounded and the cavalry arrived with reinforcements. A beautiful box from the Bach’s.
For FHE, we went to a giant corn maze and wandered around trying to find our way out.
I visited the Tabernacle replica, and have included some pictures. Like Uncle Zach, I found it fascinating that there was no light besides a potential heavenly figure to light up the Holy of Holies. Also, there is a rabbinic tradition that the High Priest who entered in, would first tie a rope around his waist, in case he was unworthy and smitten dead upon entering. Being the only authorized person, if someone else entered to pull his body out, he would also die. thus, the rope around the waist to prevent body buildup.
I went and listened to McKay Coppins speak; I honestly went because Tanner wanted me to, as well as to network a little, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying his speech. He talked about the changing face of journalism and how it is nigh impossible to find neutral reporting without the journalists using something to promote an agenda, and often in a way that is false. And, on the other side, when they do tell the truth, the public often doesn’t believe it, as especially since Trump became president, media bashing has become something of a national hobby.
I took three midterms this week, doing really well on two and not so hot on the last one.
There was another BYU football home game which I worked on Saturday. One more to go. It was nice to see the team pull out a win.
Church was special today. Sacrament was fantastic all around, I taught family history class, and 3rd hour was a combined meeting where social services came and talked about dating for an hour. Their presentation was very well done, and I walked away having learned. Also, with family history, I stumbled across this website, http://geogen.stoepel.net/
Plugging in the name Schenewark, you can tell that the name must have been changed. Schenewerk likewise yields nothing. However, Schoenewerk does, and provides a rough estimate of where our ancestors came from. The website shows where modern day Germans live, based on telephone records.
Today, I went to Uncle Ben and Aunt Joy’s house. Like usual, dinner was fabulous, nevertheless, the highlight was seeing Grampy and Mimi. The always lively conversation included discussing possible family reunions being on a cruise, and how the various couples assembled became engaged. That was enlightening. I knew Tanner’s, and most of Grampy’s, but had never heard Uncle Ben’s nor Bro. Tenney’s. Mimi told of being chased by countless suitors, and rejecting proposals by Grampy many times, and even fleeing to Connecticut for a time and changing her name there to have some peace.
Of course, while working there at a restaurant, “Kim” was proposed to by some patron. She was offered a hefty monthly payout not to marry Grampy; I knew all this, however, it was new hearing about Mouhmed Ab????? apparently another suitor and son of the Iraqi ambassador to the USA. Wild times I tell you. Uncle Ben proposed after dating for two weeks before summer break, and two weeks after. But hey, when you know, you know. He proposed at Thanksgiving Point, Aunt Joy having picked him up at the airport, and as he knelt, the sprinklers rotated and sprayed Aunt Joy in the face while Indiana Jones escaped with his head (and a fiance). Like nearly all good relationships, Sister Tenney rejected Bro. Tenney many times before accepting. He met her the same night he was released from his mission. He asked to go out many times, but she rejected each. She was studying at San Diego St. and he left to return to BYU. However, at Christmas break, she finally accepted, having seen he wasn’t leaving what he learned on his mission behind him. They also moved quickly, dating from December and getting engaged in February.
I read all of Bruce R. McConkie’s biography this week; I know, now you are thinking obviously this week wasn’t too hard after all. Well, there might be some truth to that, but more than that, this book was spellbinding. I could write much about what I learned from the book, but for now, I’ll include only one brief quote. When asked to define greatness, he said “True greatness is found only in the family.” Think about that. For all who are reading, I am thankful you are part of my family.
"We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Every one of us has potential we can scarcely imagine." Joseph B. Wirthlin
“We write to taste life twice once in the moment and retrospect.” Anias Nin
Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
When we are filled with Love, we can make a profound difference. It's what we came to do. Ardeth G. Kapp
Men are what their mothers made them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860
In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers. Dieter F. Utchdorf
I want to be the kind of Mom that would remember to get the broken Wheezy off of the shelf, fix his squeaker, and put him back in the toy box, having hope that my boys will still want to play.
11 out of 12 original astronaut corps (89%) who have walked on the moon have been an Eagle Scout