Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Panicky Princess

Dear Boys,

Your sister lost her first tooth. All four are wiggly, and the bottom one came out first. She had made her own water popsicles, and while chewing on one, dislodged the tooth. And it didn't hurt. She was mostly worried about the blood.

She carried her tooth to school the next day to show her teacher and classmates, in a baggie, and came home with a red tooth box from her teacher.


The Tooth Fairy

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Words for the Wingmen

Dear Family,

Forgive me if I repeat any details from last week's letter. Everything's a blur and on repeat, namely blurry driving in the snow and snowstorms on repeat. This weekend the precipitation finally let up but it's still chilly (19) outside so both of you be sure and enjoy your summer season.

I started up classes this week and AnneMarie patiently chauffeured me to and from campus everyday. While I cooked the books, she cleaned and unpacked and got back on the job hunt. She received some disappointing news that the center with whom she had scheduled an interview had  been forced to fill the position early and hadn't let her  know. They'll be hiring again in March though, and she applied for two positions with a non-profit company that works with refugees. I'm sure she'd appreciate your prayers on her behalf as she tries to find the right place to work.

Between trying to muster some/any help from the ward to help us move and battling sleet storms pretty much all of our stuff stayed in storage this week meaning more air mattress adventures, the kind where you pump it up at night and then slowly sink during the night as it deflates. On the plus side, is kind of a foolproof alarm clock!

The highlights of this week were undoubtedly all on the weekend. Last night we had a game night with my freshman roommates Jared and Jeremy and their wives as well as a few others. The conversation was enjoyable, the bundt cakes delicious, and we played several rousing  rounds of the resistance and reverse charades, both new games for me. Amazing that it's been five years since we all meet at heritage halls. Tonight we enjoyed dessert at the home of the first counselor in the bishopric and afterwards a game night with all the younger couples in the ward. If you haven't played the game Speak Out yet then rush to the nearest store and grab it. It involves sticking one of those orthodontic lip spreaders in your mouth and then trying to read nonsensical sentences to your team who must decipher the exact words your trying to say. Hilarity ensues. drool runs out  off your mouth and tears out off your eyes. We're really enjoying our ward thus far and maybe got some hints as to what our callings will be, stay tuned...

AnneMarie's back in her happy place at Pilates class three times a week.  I'm at my happy place in my senior capstone course on devotional poetry (taught by the poet laureate of Utah). Both of us and Porter are all concurrently taking the churches new course on the foundations of the restoration, which so far  is fantastic four all of us. Porter got to experience Donut Day, which is when tanner randomly decides to bestow donuts on those who take a class with him. It comes around once or twice a month as any of my friends will tell you. I'm thrilled that big P had also agreed to be my lifting  buddy as I attempt to regain loss mass and develop surprisingly large biceps in hunters absence, as he did in mine. Stay tuned... :)

Tomorrow there's no school.

However, my air mattress alarm clock is already set.

We love you all very very much,

Tanner & AnneMarie

Monday, January 16, 2017

Letter #74

Dear Family and Friends,

I haven´t received my box still, but will be going to Vitoria tomorrow and most likely will then.

As you saw, I made a return trip to Itaperuna. We headed up there Friday morning to do an interview, and as we had time, made a division with the other elders. Lunch was with the branch president and he asked me to visit some people who haven´t been going to church since I left. It was pretty cool. I surprised everyone by my visit, ate lots of cake, took some photos, but most importantly I had the chance to bear my testimony to many about the importance of returning to the church, and about doing the small things- reading the scriptures, praying- that make such a big difference in our lives.

Remember that man, Jose, who cleaned out his house last week? It has been a testimony builder to see how he has changed and thriving now. And, in another miracle in his life, after looking and looking for work, someone came up to him, and offered him a job on Friday- just two days before his baptism.

This is the Lord´s work and its wonderful to play a part. This coming week we will have another worldwide broadcast for all the missionaries. Certainly, with the purpose of accelerating the work. I know that there is a prophet and 12 apostles here on the earth. I am so grateful for this. They are truly prophets, seers, and revelators. By following their example, we can come closer to Christ, who is our Savior and our Redeemer. He died to give us life eternal, and if we follow His example, we will gain that gift and live with our families forever. I love you all!

Elder Schenewark

Sunday, January 15, 2017

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

How are you? Every day Breyer and I commiserate in how much we miss you. Truly. We have begun our elaborate plans for your homecoming, involving lots of tea parties. She also said you were the best tickler out of all her brothers, and I understood her to mean the most gentlest.

Breyer is now a maker of grilled cheese sandwiches. She worked hard listening and learning, and makes a very yummy version. She's excited to cook for you. Today we worked on pancakes. Your father has been checking with other men with daughters to see if they have "sensitivity" issues. They've all assured him irritation from shirt tags, frustration over sock seams, and emotional outbursts over itchy dress seams are perfectly normal. Your father is now wondering whether or not joining a fathers of daughters support group is in his future.

Porter began school last week and we haven't heard of too many adventures thus far, but it's good to know he loves where he's at. His boss, and your former, called here looking for him. She had the wrong number. She is excited you're finished in August, and couldn't believe two years were almost done.

Cooper paid a few bucks for a mini camera and goggles he plans on attaching to one of his planes. In the meantime, he walks around with the camera, and causes his partner in crime wearing the goggles, to laugh. Toilet bowl flushes, mouth shots...all kinds of humor over here.

Your father returns to teaching this week. We've enjoyed our time together during the day. I had a dental cleaning appointment, and he came to provide moral support, which was very much needed when the longevity of my back molar was questioned. He came the next day when I had a small cavity to be filled, again, for support. He's very sweet.

We were able to go to Sawyer's basketball game together. We were suppose to go out to eat beforehand, but a job interview took longer than we thought. We enjoyed heckling from the stands until Sawyer was injured. He landed on the side of his ankle, instead of the bottom of his foot,and was down for the count. It's always upsetting to see your child hurting, but as fate would allow an orthopedic surgeon was in the stands and provided a lot of comfort. He also allowed us to follow him home, whereon he gave Sawyer an ankle boot and a pair of crutches. The following morning an appointment with said doctor confirmed it was just a bad sprain. The only games his team has lost this year have been the two games Sawyer was not in. And he's recovering quickly.

Last week, when Uncle Aaron was in Utah

Your cousin Kaleb was transferred to his fourth area - Juneau, Alaska. He will continue as Zone Leader. He says he won't miss the darkness or cold of Barrow but he sure did fall in love with the people there. On to new adventures. ❤ I love the new Gordon B. Hinckley book,this year's study. I miss him. I could read him all day, and did fairly well summing up the lesson for today, just for you ;-) "Hold high the standard under which we walk. Be diligent, be true, be virtuous,be faithful...This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth and the importance of our mission...You cannot simply take for granted this cause, which is the cause of Christ. You cannot simply stand on the sidelines and watch the play between the forces of good and evil...Let us, each one, resolve within himself that we will add to the luster of this magnificent work of the Almighty, that it may shine across the earth as a beacon of strength and goodness for all the world to look upon." You missionaries are beacons that shine across the earth. You are full of goodness and light, even visible in Kaleb in the dark and cold of Barrow. Be good. Lift your bushel. Go to work.



P.S.. Our good neighbor in Proctorville, Jean Crowder, passed away suddenly last week. She had left me a sweet message on Facebook the 31st in regards to a picture I was tagged in, regarding you, and our Christmas card.
P.P.S. Has your box arrived?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Words for the Wingmen

Dear Family,

Hard to beat Skype with a simple letter! We were so happy to see your face and talk with you. We can tell you're doing wonderful things. Remember, you are in our prayers and our thoughts. We had fun talking about Hunter as we watched family videos last week.. You were cute and shy back then and loved hanging onto mom’s arm.

We're back in Provo, well, Orem actually, and we're loving our new apartment. It's a three bedroom, one bathroom basement setup with a nice dining area and our very own washer and dryer. Still no furniture but Matt and Joanna were kind enough to lend us two twin air mattresses.

Funny story though. We spent Friday night just on the floor (not much sleep there), and the heater stopped working in the middle of the night…yesterday we got the air mattresses but one had a hole so we spent the night, still furnace-less, sharing a twin sized air mattress, which is really half a twin when you account for the sides losing air in the night. Good times and so many laughs:) but today we've got our heat back and patched the other mattress with some duck tape and we're living large!

In other young married life news, we drove up from Vegas with all our stuff and Porter on Friday. We were going to come up Thursday but called it off due to a large storm passing through Utah and that ended up being an inspired call. Roads were clear for us and the sun was shining all day, but we witnessed many accidents from the day before, lots of cars off the roads and the such. We were riding low too, a couple inches off the ground but we made it. Porter and AnneMarie were good sports packing into small spaces with bags on top of them. Hopefully that'll be the last trip we'll ever make like that!

We so enjoyed our time in Texas and Las Vegas with family over break! Golfing, fishing, the nutcracker, hikes, games, and lot of good food. It was truly a Christmas and New Years to remember made sweeter by getting to see our cousins in Tyler, our nieces and nephews in Vegas, and spending lots of time with the Bach's. Tonight we even enjoyed a surprise visit with funcle Aaron who came out for coach Edwards funeral. We had fun playing games with him  and then driving him back to the airport. We feel deeply blessed and deeply loved.

Tomorrow is the beginning of my last semester at BYU. I'm excited but also ready to move into the workforce and bring home the bacon. My classes are business heavy this time around but I have a senior capstone class on devotional poetry taught by Utah’s poet laureate that should be epic!

Today we also attended our new ward and we love it. The fast and testimony meeting was spiritually rewarding as were the classes and each person we met left a great impression. We're excited to see where we'll serve. Plus, Elders Quorum basketball starts Tuesday and AnneMarie tells me the Relief Society does hot chocolate nights. Booyah!

All right, that's the quick version cause this kids got class tomorrow! Love you all dearly,

Tanner and AnneMarie

Monday, January 9, 2017

Letter #73

Dear Family and Friends,

While I was waiting for my new companion to arrive, I left with some other missionaries to work for a couple hours. We knocked on one door and a guy came down, happy to see us and wanting to hear our message. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, and how opened up and shared how he wanted to change.

Well, I said, the first thing we have to do is clean the house so the spirit can be here, so use this plastic bag and we´ll throw out everything unclean. So, he went at it, and put in drugs, pornographic magazines, etc. The reason I write this, is because while it was clear that he was sincere in wanting to change, it was also clear that he had led quite the life. And while I would only be visiting one time, the other missionaries would be returning.

And sure enough, the next day the missionaries got there, and José brought out a gun to give to them, that he didn't want to have in his house anymore. While they didn't accept it, just told him to get rid of it, that´s what we´re doing here. We´re cleaning up and preparing everything and everyone for when Christ returns or they return to Him.

Mission leadership council held this week in Vitoria.
My new companion is the little guy on the left, in front

Reading 2 Nephi 2 this week I was struck powerfully by the 13th verse which includes this phrase:

"And if there be no righteousness, there is no happiness."

That´s the secret! Our happiness depends on our righteousness! After, I re-read the General Conference talk Elder Russell M. Nelson gave in October about how saints can be happy under any circumstance. And it's true. Want more happiness? Be more righteous. Want complete happiness? Be completely righteous. I understand now more than ever before, that Heavenly Father gave us the commandments so that we can be happy.

Interestingly enough, the scripture for our mission is found in DC 128:24: "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!"

Yet, instructively is the next line that says, "Let your hearts rejoice and be exceedingly glad."

Let's be righteous and let's be happy! We are so blessed to be living in the fullness of times. We are so blessed to have the chance to participate in this great work, the work of salvation.


Elder Schenewark

Sunday, January 8, 2017

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

We purchased glass table tops to protect our two tables. We consider it an investment on our investment. The glass isn't that much, they wanted to tack on $125 for delivery and installation. Obviously  not much installation involved, but delivery could be tricky. We opted to use the Beast of a Van to handle the pick up and delivery ourselves.

Tanner, AnneMarie and Porter called on their way back to Utah, having had to leave Vegas two days later than expected due to the snowy conditions. Utah received so much snow in the storm, they had already reached the normal snow accumulation for the entire month of January. We were worried about their driving in those conditions. They, as yourself, are investments. Some of our best. And the dividends are priceless. Take care of yourself.

It also snowed here. Unbelievable. Twitter was a buzz with all the tweets about the snow flakes coming down in the Dallas metroplex. Nothing stuck, eventually a little sun was peeking through the clouds, and then it was just cold. But for this Bostonian, it was nice to see snow in January.

Miller keeps trying his fire making skills, and although so far unsuccessful, we are able to always throw on the four hour log when he's done trying.

I don't know whether or not news had reached you down in South America, but Coach LaVell Edwards passed away the 29th of December. Because your Uncle played for BYU, he was invited to attend his funeral. He flew out Thursday evening, and returns tonight. "The stadium lights shone through the night after BYU lost the first of two national-championship-winning coaches. As 2016 concluded, LaVell Edwards passed away (Dec. 29) and then Carl McGown (Dec. 30). A public memorial is Friday evening. Former BYU volleyball coach Carl McGown's team won the first of two national championships in 1999. 

One last time under the lights to honor a great man.
 R.I.P. Coach Edwards.

Your cousin Sarah is now back at BYU I, courtesy Aunt Jenny and her driving skills during Utah's snowstorm of the century.

In the words of Aunt Jenny, "Happy Birthday to the Queen of Everything! 👑 She is a living legacy--her sphere of influence is worldwide. There's always room for one more at her hearth and in her home. She does her best work when her hands are in the dirt, using needle and thread or serving a meal. She's an inspiration." Your grandmother celebrated her 77th birthday today. There are not enough words for me to describe how I feel about her, but my cup runneth over.

The Bachs left Wednesday for the airport, with three additional hitch hikers. Tanner, AnneMarie and Porter all left from the same airline as they, and an hour apart. Very nice. Wednesday morning was also the first day of school for the four remaining at home. By the time 8 a.m. rolled around, and it was just your father and I in the house, I was ready for a nap. But the house needed and still needs a lot of attention. Our new washing machine arrived Thursday, so the bedding's been changed. I took a picture of the shelves that were put up over the Christmas break, in my washroom. How wonderful to have help with my desires of getting that room more organized. So helpful.

The tractor was finished. I did not believe this would happen. Bro. Bach and Cooper worked tirelessly...fixing the engine, changing the belts, fixing the mower attachment...and it works! Monday night was the finale when Cooper drove us around the yard in the bucket attachment for our family home evening activity. There are pictures somewhere!

Sawyer had a home game this week,so fun to watch. He had three great spin moves under the net; a lot of turnovers, a few free throws...definitely a key contributor to their win, and their 6-1 record.

Miller had a basketball game after almost three weeks of no basketball activities. He was rusty, but so were all the other boys who had also enjoyed their Christmas break. Breyer had a bye this week.

Today in church a young mother was trying to bear her testimony, and the child she was carrying was unmercifully attempting to grab a hold of the microphone. And she was emotional. Your father stood up and took the baby boy from her arms, and sat back down. She was grateful. Those of us in the audience were grateful, and the baby boy was content. Your brothers were speechless, and after the shock wore off, of seeing another child in your father's arms, they were digging for a camera.\

I was contemplating on wonderful service oriented organizations, clubs, churches, individuals, and what makes the service we perform, especially as missionaries, different. Many, many others are involved in ministering, wonderful ministers of the pure love of Christ. But because our service is organized under the Priesthood, we are allowed the opportunity to receive revelation, and have access to Priesthood power. These tools make us different, and essentially, very effective, as service rendered in such a manner has the power to alter a course of life. And such change is rippled through the eternities. You're ripples are felt,and will continue to be felt; you make a difference. Feel loved.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bad Bass Boy

Share your love of fishing.
Helping others makes you a bit better.
In many ways.