Sunday, October 6, 2013

With All Our Love

Dear Tanner,

In your letter last week we were left wondering if your area was closed? _______ You kind of hinted at it but we didn't know if your area was specifically closed.

We read a little about your new area of Marilia. Did you know it was named after a prehistoric crocodile that was found there, and that its name is a tribute to the city? Did you also know that it's known as the national capitol of food processing, as there are over fifty food processing industries there?

Elder Carroll's mother shared with me that last week he said to 'pray for a great last companion for me'! He feel like his prayers have been answered. We look forward to hearing all about your adventures in helping Elder Carroll to go out with a bang. We fell in love with him as he was struggling through some health issues when you first arrived. Learn from him as you never know when you might need to help someone else with the same struggles.

Sister Hutchins reported that "Coming home this week, we stopped a lady that I never recognize at first, but as soon as I start talking to her, I realize who it is. She gets upset and says, "Aah. Why do you always stop me! Every time I walk down the street you stop me! I've been stopped by you eleven times now! Why me!" (Of course, she doesn't always say eleven times, but that's the most recent count. And she's pretty accurate.) I told her she has a light. And also it's a sign she should probably listen to our message. She still said no, but she was actually smiling this time." I just love reading her letter. They're literally a book! She can write a lot in her allotted time :-)

Elder Hutchins wrote about this experience this week, that he and his companion were coming home late one night and as they were walking down the road close to their house a group of three young gentlemen started calling profanities at them in English. "My companion turned to me and said, "Let's go contact them." I just wanted to get back to the house so that we could plan and also wanted to avoid talking with them, but after a while I turned to my companion and said, "Hey you know what? I am following you if you want to go contact them I am in." So we did and as we walked up to them you could see the change in their countenance as we talked to them and testified to them. They were practically shaking. Later in our house we were relating the story to the other Elders and one said, "Well that's not even fair I mean they probably took one look at Elder Hutchins and wanted to run!: It hadn't occurred to me up to that point that I am probably in the tallest two percent of the population in Chile and that I am an intimidating figure!"

Elder Petersen told us about your mission surpassing the record of 168 baptisms set in June. He also spoke of how the President wanted to have a white Saturday, and wanted everyone on the mission to baptize on Saturday and confirm on Sunday because of conference next week. "We baptized 182 this month!!" Congratulations on contributing in a small way of building up the kingdom of God. We heard in General Conference this weekend that this week the church surpassed 15 million members. When you were born there were 8 million members. And to think it began with 6! I love knowing that we're the fastest growing religion in the United States (Huffington Post).

Remember our good friends who moved to North Carolina? Their daughter, who is a senior, is in a program that encourages students to enroll in four-year colleges. This program is called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and the members were looking for a quote to be put on their new tee shirts. She decided that she would really like for a Mormon quote to be on the tee shirt. Her quote (and design) was picked and is now being worn by all AVID students and staff. Isn't that fabulous? What a great thing for the Wilson community. #spreadingthegospeloneshirtatatime

You might have seen the pictures this week of Cooper's hand adventure. He's doing great. To say we were surprised that he'd need surgery, that the bone's new growth would have to be broken, and that he would have to be pinned two times is an understatement. And that it would happen the day after his appointment with the orthopedic doctor was most surprising of all. We thought his fingers would be buddy-taped, and we would be sent home. He stayed home from school the day we spent at all the doctor appointments, the day he had the surgery, and the day after. He never had his prescription filled, and went to school the first day with no medicine. I kept waiting for the throbbing to begin, but he's done great managing his pain. We go back this week for a check up, and most likely will be told to keep the pins in for three weeks. I can hardly wait to take a picture of his hand for you!

Because of all Cooper's adventures I spent the rest of the week getting caught up in the wash pile, that grows continually, the dish pile, that multiples quickly, and the feeding the armies that's never ending! This week in the lives of your brothers Hunter accepted an invitation to be an escort (only) for homecoming, Porter won a medal, for 20th place (last medal) in his cross country meet, Cooper recorded running times instead of running, Sawyer scored three goals (out of five), and Miller scored one goal (out of two).

For cub scouts this week I took them to the PTO's "Meet the Candidates" night for Fairland's board of education. They had to attend for one of their Citizenship activity badge requirements. We listened to the candidates for five minutes each, and then we voted as a den. I laughed to myself as I watched the boys vote for one of the candidates who was a "no show." Maybe they were related? We'll definitely be taking more of what it means to be a good citizen. The President of the PTO was very gracious in letting us attend, as I'm sure you remember, children are normally sent to the back of the school to be watched by volunteering National Honor Society students. She introduced the boys, and said she was thankful for our presence. (They all wanted to ride in the "Schene-bus.")

Sawyer's school had a luncheon for all the students because of their test results last year. Fairland scored in the top 20 out of 615 schools for the state of Ohio. They received mostly A's, a couple of B's, on their report card, and were so excited to let all the students and parents share in the good news. I joined a few of the Moms, and was told to bring cinnamon rolls. Really? Again. That's all I do now. Baking cinnamon rolls has almost become tedious! I don't even want to eat them any more, although that last batch was to die for! Dad asked me to make them for the football team, and I had to make them again for the weekly cross country dinner. My mother commented that it is a lost art. I must agree. Otherwise they wouldn't be in such demand.

Dad's football team played South Point, a more local opponent, and won 75-46. They were at 75-25 when the junior varsity was put in to play. Most likely they'll win the OVC, a first in almost ten years! Your father's skill in coaching football continues to spread far and wide. Although the game nights don't end until after midnight, and he loses a few nights a week at practice, it's been so worth it for him to contribute to the community in such a positive way. Friday night football is important in this little community, and it's hard to forget the name of Schenewark.

Dad also had to work the Milton Pumpkin Festival, selling corn dogs. He was gone most of Thursday evening and Saturday day. He had no boys accompany him in his salesmanship ventures of selling / hawking corn dogs. He missed you dearly. But Larry happened to pop in, and bought some food, so it was good for him to be introduced to the Optimist club fundraisers as "the best neighbor in the world."

Grandpa Schenewark was scheduled to go in this week for two stints, and ended up having double bypass open heart surgery instead. He's been in the hospital this week. We appreciate all the updates we've received from his wife, his daughters, and daughter-in-law.

Grampy Hutchins begins his massive dose of steroids this week. He's had a few hiccups with paperwork and forgetful nurses, but hopefully can get this treatment on its way. He's been busy traveling to your cousins' activities: Kaleb, Kayla and Stevie's games in New Hampshire, and Adam's marching band at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

Ranger has been helpful this week in getting the spiders that think they need to winter in my house. I scream, he comes running, finds the cause of my distress, and quickly dispatches the creepy crawling thing with his teeth. Then Breyer uses a wipe to clean up the mess. We're a good team together. Hunter had one come in on his back, as he was letting Ranger outside. As he was performing the spider dance, it fell off his back and onto the kitchen floor. Since his dog was outside, Dad had to smash it, and Breyer once again cleaned it up.

When Miller gets hungry, and I'm not quite ready to put dinner on the table, or think of a good snack, he'll help himself to a can of olives. Really. Black olives on each finger, and then in his mouth. And he doesn't even ask. I'll just see him sitting at the table with the can he's opened all by himself, pulling olives off his fingers with his teeth. Makes me smile every time!

Your father found a great picture for you! Elders Rudd and Taylor tracting in Brazil, 1937, with rain slickers on horseback! Is this awesome or what?

This is a darling picture of Sawyer that was taken before he went to his first priesthood session with your father and Hunter, Porter and Cooper. It was his first time, and even though he's ten, we told him you started attending priesthood early, so he could too. He was very excited to eat the advertised taco bar and ice cream sundae, but neither panned out quite as planned.

The kids were great. We have sparkly water we've been buying for a few years now for conference that we drink. We also had our Sunday waffles, a weekly tradition instituted by Hunter. Tonight's toppings included powdered sugar, which was dubbed "Princess Powder." Your sister loved it, and doused her waffle and anybody elses in white powdered sugar. Get ready for Sunday waffles and princess powder! I've enclosed some photos of your brothers and their activities today. Cooper's creativity always makes me grab my camera. Today it was with potato heads! Unbelievable! I've never turned one sideways, or hooked two together. He's so creative. Breyer is sharing her scary face with you, just to get you ready for Halloween.

Today during the first session of conference, Breyer ran to me and very excitedly exclaimed, "He's talking about my Jesus Christ!" And then, she held my chin, looked me in the eye, and said, "Be happy!" I could have just heard her message and been good for another six months, but I'm glad I could hear more. She's a keeper! At the end of every talk, very loudly she would say, "Amen!" If she forgot, Cooper would say, "Breyer, I didn't hear you!" and then she'd remember. It was a wonderful way to end each talk.

Conference was wonderful. Did you enjoy Elder Andersen's Brazilian story? I thought of you when he was speaking. The topics were so varied! The last year has been very missionary oriented, so it was unique to hear so many topics again. We had some technical difficulties Saturday, so watched all four sessions today. We got up early, and stayed longer. Elder Ochoa's story, "Don't forget to look up! was great. We were wondering what country he was from, and when we looked him up, it said he was the voice of Wingo in the movie "Cars." Cool fact! One of my favorite speakers was Elder Dube. "Never look back!" His mother reminded me of mine. Look what we still have to do! We should all be anxiously engaged in building the kingdom of God! Good stuff. There were a lot of talks on the Priesthood, ordinances and power. Elder Bednar's talk on the significant but subtle blessings as we live the law of tithing was just wonderful. Elder Andersen's talk made me ask myself whether or not my boys see me sacrifice for the gospel. he had a great story about four brothers and the strength of their mother. Elder Cook's thought of how preserving time for family is one of our significant challenges in these latter-days made me ponder as well. I'm sure you so enjoyed the sessions, and knowing you had such a great weekend makes me happy.

Here's to another great week in Brazil! You are our not so subtle significant blessing, and we're so grateful.


Mom and Dad


MarieC said...

"He's talking about my Jesus Christ!" Priceless. That little story brought tears to my eyes. How very, very sweet!

Why did Hunter only agree to be a Homecoming escort, and not go to the Homecoming dance?

Wholly Duncan said...

My, you've had a busy week! Surgery, cinnamon rolls, & conference among lots of other things including seminary. I'm not sure how you do it.

Bachland :) said...

"Olive's" and so many good things to share with Elder Schenwark this week!

CubSctAnn said...

Loved all those cub scout smiles! We enjoyed Conference, same as Elder Tanner, with no kinks. Please give Ranger an extra hug from us for keeping the spiders at bay =^..^= And who's pyramid piglet creation, Cooper's? <3 <3 <3

PS ~ YOU make the BEST cinnamon rolls!!!

Jennifer Whitcomb said...

I want a shirt like that... and the scouts in the "bus" made me smile. What a newsy letter!

shirlgirl said...

Wonderful letter as usual. Loved Breyer's comment about "her Jesus Christ". She certainly is learning and is a sponge. The spider story is hysterical. I had a friend who was scared to death of spiders. We were in Vermont one summer and the bathroom was outside our bedroom door. She looked up to the ceiling which had to be a good 9 feet screaming about the spider. Nothing I could do about it. The spider wasn't going to be anywhere near her. I can't imagine have one fall on my back like Hunter did--I would not like that creepy crawly thing on my back. Love that Breyer cleans up after the spider has been squished.