Your mom is usually the one typing your letter. I am sure she will be here soon to start, but since I have the computer I thought I would get started. Question about Brazil? It is summertime there? Do the kids get out of school for the summer? Do you know how the schools are setup, is it mandatory to go? Do they have twelve grades? Love, Dad
Did you get to say good bye to your old companion, Elder Beaudoin? Captain America!
I hope you weren’t offended with my sarcastic note I left in your inbox last week. It was disheartening, to say the least, when there was no letter. Thank goodness you checked the next day. Your letters are like water in a desert, manna in the wilderness, a lighthouse in the ocean. NECESSARY for mothers who have sent off missionaries. And you’ve spoiled us with your rich detail. Keep up the good work, always timely.
What a week, what a weekend. Life seems to go by at full speed, which is great when you’re anxiously awaiting the return of your missionary son. Not so great when you can’t remember what made your week so busy, and when you stop to evaluate what you did with all that time.
Saturday Dad took your three older brothers to the merit badge college sponsored by Marshall University. Did we tell you Hunter was asked to be assistant scout master to 11-12 year old boys? So he went in that capacity. The boys love him. We get phone calls all week from them asking about their activity, that they need a ride, etc. He’s got six boys that adore him. He’s doing rockets with them, obviously knots, lashing, rope making…and now an all-day adventure out on campus, without parents, and a full course buffet for lunch. Sawyer will join him in March. Porter was disappointed he didn’t get his first choice of classes, and muddled through energy and dentistry. He thinks he won’t be going again. Cooper did one required and veterinary medicine, the latter which was actually a back-up choice. I’m so glad he got in. He came home with costly samples, and loved the class. I still secretly hope that is what he chooses to study.
I took Miller and Breyer to Sawyer’s all-star basketball game at Rock Hill. This was the first time for me driving out there. Its way out there! I love driving through the Appalachian hillside, although a wintery day made the surroundings mostly bleak. Because it was such a cold day Sawyer had gym pants over his basketball clothes, but when he got ready to play, realized he had forgotten to put on his basketball shorts. Stopping short of standing in his underwear, he quickly realized he was in a conundrum. It wasn’t like we could hop in the car and run home to grab his shorts!
One of Miller’s friends was there watching his brother, in shorts, so we asked to borrow his (green!) shorts in exchange for Sawyer’s pants. That poor boy was not happy but since step-father-to-be was Sawyer’s coach, the exchange was made. And that poor boy sat in the bathroom stall the entire first game, too embarrassed to come out. Oh well. When he did, he sat on the stands with his coat over his head. Finally, when he emerged, I gave him a buck to buy a big candy bar. He was all smiles after that. Sawyer’s coach rightly told him next time he’d be playing in his underwear. Good times courtside!
Sawyer had a great first game. He’s really improved in grabbing the boards, and has developed an amazing twist backwards, over my head put-back that helped the team with ten points, and some free throws on the foul. Fun way to spend the day. We grabbed some groceries at Sam's Club, your favorite place to snack, and when we arrived home the other half of the family did as well.
The Olympics began this week. The boys have been watching Sochi as much as they can, and especially enjoy the downhill skiing, ski jumping, and snowboarding. There are ten Mormon athletes competing, which is always fun to watch for. Norway is currently the leader in the metal count.
We left off last week with your father just having been released from the hospital. He’s recovered nicely. He worked from home last Monday, cancelled classes on Tuesday, but had us drive him into work for a couple of hours. Wednesday he drove himself, and Thursday he had a light teaching load and Friday he has no classes. He was mentioned from the stand today in church, in that the Bishop thanked all who had prayed for his recovery. The fact that he was in church was an answer to prayers offered in his behalf.
The Bishop also read your letter he received from your President. It was a bit late, but still made me teary while he was extolling your virtues. You’ve set the bar high for your brothers, and others in the ward who will be following in your size twelve footsteps.
I took Breyer and Miller to Sawyer’s basketball practice to play, as it has been too cold for too long to play outside. Because one of the grades at the school is practicing for a play involving Disney characters and songs, there was a big Disney castle taped up to the back wall of the stage. Your sister walked into the gym, and said, “Mom, look! It’s my castle! Where’s the door?” She ran right to the stage, climbed the stairs, and began looking, and stayed and played. She is funny!
My literary contribution, in Uncle Zach fashion, comes from John Grisham’s teenage law series Theodore Boone: The Accused. “There are various ways in which we steal, and all of them are wrong in God’s eyes. The Eighth Commandment proclaimed by Moses was Thou Shall Not Steal, which, of course, means it is wrong to take something that belongs to another person. This also includes other forms of theft. Stealing time away from God, family, friends. Stealing the gift of good health by pursuing bad habits. Stealing from the future by missing opportunities in the present.” I liked the idea that we steal time away from God and family, and that we steal time away from the future by our choices in the present. These are thoughts I never thought to find in a young adult fiction book, and am grateful I can ponder on my priorities.
I was reading again in Alma, 18:22-23, and liked the phrase, "Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless." Being creative in doing missionary work is very acceptable, hence the adoption of your church tours. And this creativity worked with King Lamoni, as "he was caught with guile" (cunning, stratagem).
Still waiting to hear how the tours are working, as well as any other ideas you've up your sleeve. Also would love to hear about your transfer adventures, and airport errands.
We love you dearly. Is there anything else we need to help you with regarding school, besides apartment?
Have a wonderful week,
Mom and Dad