Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Letter #92

Dear Family, 

I couldn't be happier or more excited to write a letter to you right now. After a busy but relatively problem free transfer, we have 15 new missionaries and the peace to set to work right away. I don't have too much news, but what I have is good  : ) 

Last Thursday we spent most of the day finalizing transfers with President. This time, instead of everyone always having a travel companion, all missionaries traveled independent of one another, letting us complete transfers one day early, without having to stop missionaries in Londrina to sleep and await others to arrive, etc. Everything went, as I said, relatively smoothly. The President had to go to Elder Mazzogardi to check authorization for this.

Friday and Saturday we did splits with the zone leaders in Londrina. I stayed with Elder Jouinsse from Argentina. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite missionaries in the world. I divided with him for a day in my first transfer as AP back in Maringá. It's been awhile. . . : ) We had an absolute ball contacting everyone in the street, marking commitments to go to church etc.  I love that he (I'd like to think like myself) is very creative in his contacts, and speaks TO that person. That's one of those things that you just can't teach or train. Missionaries that know how to personally apply the gospel of Christ to each and every person they meet, will have success. 

We discovered Friday night that going to the ward each week was a young man that hadn't been baptized. We challenged him to do so and he accepted. Saturday he was baptized with all of his family in attendance, who will soon follow suit.  The zone leaders were extremely happy as well : ) Another woman that we found Friday afternoon went to church on Sunday and as they were driving back after the meetings asked, "I'd like to be baptized. What do I have to do?" My favorite question every time. She's a sweet spirit, and a gardener. Her baptism is marked for Sunday.

Saturday night we managed to get home before 9:30 in time to get up on Sunday and get people to go to church. We had to confirm a young man that had been baptized the week before in another area and moved during the week to our area.  He's an excellent young man as well.

Sunday we made some strengthening visits. One couple is marked to be baptized and married next Saturday and the ward is giving a lot of support to them as they prepare for this. They're excited and so are we.

Monday it was back in the office with the President. Transfers continue to evolve up until the very last day, the process of revelation being extremely evident each step of the way. For lunch we heard of this great deal, buy one get one special at a sandwich shop nearby and thought to head there, as, with all the bus fare we spend, any promotion is welcome: ) It was actually a good special: 6.90 for two sheez-dog-frangos (that's how they say it). We've already been tricked by small-dog-sellers in the past so we each ordered 2 promotions, that is 4 dogs each, 8 in total.  The waiter blinked, and asked if we really wanted 2 promotions. We looked at him and said, "Yes, we REALLY wanted 2 promotions," as if 2 little sandwiches would be enough. HA! Well, when the sandwiches started to arrive one by one by one at our table, WE blinked. We ate one, tried to eat 2 and called it good. We begged for doggie bags, for the remaining 4 sandwiches. The waiters at the counter thought we were crazy, and assured us that never had anyone ever ordered 2, but we ate them later much to our happiness : ) They had a good time laughing with us, as did we.

Yesterday we had a wonderful time receiving the new missionaries. They were all  very apt and excited. Once again the chapel almost lost its roof to our rendition of "Called to Serve" and all left with fire in their veins to get to work. Three more will arrive in two weeks. While trying to help the two Americans that came directly to Londrina understand Portuguese, I realized that it may actually be difficult for me to speak English : ) Be patient with me when I get back!

All in all, fabulous, cool weather. Tomorrow we go to Maringá to do splits with the zone there. We might train/talk in the stake conference there this weekend. I've sent the copy of the drivers license and signed paper. Easiest way to send money is just put it on my debit card ; )

I love the mission. I love the characteristic spirit that abounds in it. Our meetings yesterday with the trainers and trainees was fantastic because of the faith that filled that room. We've got plenty to do. New areas to open, new leaders to train and lots of new people to meet who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.

Have you found your elect this week? That they may recognize in your voice that of the Savior calling them?

Love you,



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mu Alpha Theta

Mr. "Mu Alpha Theta" President informing us this that Mu Alpha Theta is the National High School Honor Society  dedicated to inspiring keen interest in mathematics, developing strong scholarship in the subject, and promoting the enjoyment of mathematics in high school.

It was also a time to award seniors their graduation cords...

To pass the tradition onto a younger brother...

And to inspire an even younger brother... 

To enjoy those senior moments ending all too soon...

And know the future is in great hands!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hill Billy Hotdogs "Homewrecker"

When the clan is in town, there's only one place to lunch!

Whether it's in a bathtub...

Or in the outhouse...

Or on the deck...

There's a LOT to eat!

And it's all GOOD!

The three pound beef hotdog, the "Homewrecker!"

Eat it in 12 minutes and you go on the wall of fame, and get a free tee shirt

My nephew came this close...scraps on the plate...when an errant habanero pepper got stuck in his throat...SO CLOSE!

Come back for a visit and try again!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

With All Our Heart

How should we send you money? What do you think the best way to do this would be? 

Dad wants a wrapper or poster of something you have that has the World Cup on it (a pin would be wonderful ;-) He saw it on your Easter box.

Also, for your housing application, we need a copy of your drivers license, as well as a written, signed statement saying we have your permission to sign your application. You'll probably need to send those ASAP. I'll try to pay the fee to help hold your application until we receive both of these documents - have you sent these?

Dear Tanner,

One of the more interesting pieces of news I read this week was concerning the construction that is beginning on the new Museum of the American Revolution (MoAR) in the historic heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, due in part to a gift from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Right next to the temple, due to be completed 2016). The $1.5 million donation from the Church was presented to the chairman of the museum, on Thursday.

Dad and I went over to the neighbor's house again for a missionary discussion. It was splits, so President Lim was there as well. It was great. Bro. Shiner really enjoyed having him there. President Lim left asking him to consider what the word "testament" means to him, considering he reads the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We'll be back again this week!

This week I had an orthopedic appointment. Three weeks ago, right after my last appointment, I got up in the middle of the night and stepped on the end of a power cord, right under the breaks. This broke the bone all the way through, and broke the healing that had begun. It was fairly painful ;-) but I didn't go in. So Wednesday he told me I still didn't need surgery, which I was hoping, and my healing was just a little behind schedule. So I get to wear the foot boot for a longer period of time.

Earlier this year we found out that Deseret Book's Time Out for Women (TOFW) would be in Cincinnati this year. I thought it might be fun to go, and have a little time out time ;-) There was a BIG group of women from church who were going to go with me, but kept dropping out one by one. Then I saw that Whitney Johnson was one of the presenters. I told her I was going to come, and she, as a presenter, has two tickets to give to her friends, and offered them to me. Saved me $75! I took  my friend from cub scouts. Because no one else was going, I cancelled the Marriott reservation and drove over to Kathy's from Scholastic, and spent the night with her. Saturday morning Whitney was the first on stage and did a marvelous job. When she was introducing herself, she prefaced it by saying she's been thinking of gifts, and has a friend in the audience, and admired the gifts she has for caring, compassion, and mothering. Isn't she so sweet! She was worried as she changed her program a bit, but was fabulous. Included in her tickets were backstage passes to lunch, which was yummy and interesting, as all the other presenters were there as well. I'd throw some names out but they wouldn't mean anything to you ;-)

I found this awesome picture of Greg, and thought you might enjoy seeing your cousin down in Chile!

While I was gone, Dad handled a home track invitational and Miller's games Friday night; and Saturday morning Sawyer's and Cooper's games. Dad wanted me to mention one thing about Sawyer's game. The pitcher was in the throes of earning a no-hitter, and the ball was hit in such a way that Sawyer had to run backwards and over his shoulder and caught the ball while falling. He then stopped a hard hit ball on his knees in the dirt, and made the throw to first for an out. So he earned the game ball for saving the no hitter. He had a beautiful bunt down the line, and got on base. Hopefully he'll be playing all stars when you get home so you can see him in action ;-)

After church today we spent the afternoon at the Methodist church in Barboursville at the Optimist International Oratorical contest. Does that bring back some good memories? They only need three to hold the event, and your four brothers represented. Sawyer joined the ranks this year, the youngest brother yet to speak for just over four and just under five minutes. Unfortunately, he placed fourth, and only three prizes are awarded. I figured this might happen, although his speech was spectacular! and had asked all the boys if they were interested in donating ten percent to the kitty for fourth place. Then no one had to go home empty handed. So he'll receive about $45 ($20, $15, and $10). Cooper represented well, and placed third, Hunter was surprised with second, and Porter earned first. So he'll get to go on next month, and try for that ever unattainable $2,500! They also presented Optimist essay contest winners with their checks, and Porter had won first, and Hunter second. The presenter said some kind words about you boys willing to compete against each other, and then support each other no matter who won. He also said how well you boys have done in writing and speaking, and how this skill will assist you later in life no matter what you choose to do. There were many who entered the essay contest, but just your brothers for the oratorical. The Optimist club has blessed our family immensely.

The coordinator of youth conference called tonight to let you know your topic for youth conference is how to prepare for missions, important principles for being an effective missionary. You have three 50 minute classes, that the groups rotate through. You'll be great. Prepare now ;-) Teach a principle, and then share an example from your mission when you did or did not have that preparation. For example, when the lady saw you were glowing, I would say that you were living worthy of having the Holy Ghost.

The theme for TOFW was from 1 Timothy 4:14-16: "Neglect not the gift that is in thee...Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all...For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." A lot of presenters spoke of realizing the gifts that we have. Since you've been on your mission your confidence in the gospel has magnified tremendously. What a gift in exchange for your service! Elder Corbridge said, "For those of us who feel wanting when it comes to talents and gifts, it is encouraging to know that this invitation is not to dazzle others with who we are or what we know. Rather, our light is the Light of the World reflected in us as we simply strive to do as He did. That’s it. The Lord tells us to follow Him and not be ashamed or unwilling to stand out. Do not be ashamed to hold up His light. Do not be afraid to shine. Do not worry about the outcome. Your light, which is His light, will shine, and whether or not you choose it or want it, you will be a city set on a hill. Your light will shine as an inevitable consequence of faithfully choosing to follow the Lord whatever the cost" (Ensign 9/2011). Isn't that a spectacular quote! No wonder you were shining in the hallway ;-)

The letter is a bit short tonight, as I just wrote a letter on Wednesday, but I will continue to send you updates in your email until your preparation day - whenever it may be ;-)

We love you! The end is drawing near!


Mom and Dad

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Why I LOVE Golf!

(Hunter answered an advertisement for a free golf club, and was selected! Nothing like getting that really LONG box in the mail!)

(Hunter entered a golf essay tournament sponsored by the Ironton Country Club, and was declared co-winner...every $300 helps!)

I love golf. It has improved my life in innumerable ways. I do not realize all it has done for me I am sure, but here I shall start, esoterically perhaps, but definitely sincere.

I hit wild shots all the time, and one time I remember searching and searching for my ball with my head down scouring the ground. When I found it, I looked up. The scene was amazing, even beyond words. To me, that is what golf is all about. It pushes me, makes me work to be better. Even with all those minute improvements, I still mess up. Then, I know I can take a step back, and look up. I see I am in a new part of the course. Golf does that. It brings me to new and different places, except more often it is outside the game that I see these places. I see myself improving and in a new place, whether it is in school, work, or family life. It has taught me to appreciate the journey more. I do not need to rush; every shot and every day we are blessed with matters. Golf brings peace, encourages reflection and contemplation, and shows the natural beauty of the earth. As Socrates counseled, “Know Thyself.” While admiring the splendor of God’s creations, this admonition seems to come naturally. I can easily reflect on my life, not just recognizing talents but also the bogeys on my personal scorecard, the areas I need to work on. I do this honestly, because honesty is an absolutely hallmark and necessity of the game and required to live life fully. And I like that truthfulness.

Besides the chance to be introspective, I truly enjoy the game. It seems ingrained in me, part of me I could not part with. I love the course. The variety and the beauty set it apart from other sports. No two courses are the same, and even the courses themselves play differently from one day to the next. To me, a well designed and maintained course is absolutely beautiful. It is the culmination of the English Garden, the taming, and celebration of the wild into something just as beautiful. I enjoy the exercise of walking a couple miles with a bag on my back, the jubilation after a nice stroke, but most of all the search for perfection. I know it is unattainable, but the search for one stroke better got me up early many a morning and is something I continue to strive for. No, I do not need coffee or some other stimulant. This is life! I am a morning person knowing that today I have the chance to improve. That ability is truly amazing when contemplated. I do not believe there is anything I cannot become. I have occasionally skipped school to fit a round in, and those mornings are great no matter what else happens later.

Furthermore, there is no one else who determines my score. That awareness is powerful and transcends the game to enter into all aspects of my life. This knowledge and responsibility is one that has helped in school work too. I have the ability to do well in school, so there is no excuse for not getting a good, perhaps perfect grade, but always my best. Excuses are only excuses and do not forgive failure. I should always be working on improving myself, in all aspects of life. Potential should not be something flaunted, boasting, “If I actually worked and tried, I could be so good.” “Could” does not mean anything. Potential is a should – you should always strive to reach your potential, and make no excuse for something that should be instead of could be. In school, this knowledge helps inspire me to do my best. Before a round, I always look over the course scorecard and any other information available to me. Surely then, I can do my homework for school. If you are more than even a minute late to a tee time, then you are penalized. If you are later than five minutes, disqualification is the consequence. I have learned punctuality. If I can respect my playing partners, I can respect my school teachers, job bosses, parents and other authorities. Golf has helped me trust. Maybe it is the natural teenager in me, but sometimes it can be hard to trust. I know though, I am no golf pro and receiving helpful instruction from mentors and implementing it into my game has helped remedy my lack of trust. As I have learned to allow others to help me, it has brought many blessings into my life; not only increasing technical skills, but also social etiquette and helped me appreciate the contributions of so many who often volunteer their time to help me and others. Related to trust, golf brings humility. It is hard and sometimes embarrassing. By no means am I very good, but with trust, humility, and effort, I can become better.

Mentally, golf is a challenge. First, to determine what is needed, and then to be able to will my mind and body to perform it. That is athletics in a sentence. It takes discipline, and practice and confidence. It does not matter what the other competitors do, it is ultimately up to you to perform. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, it is the man in the arena who counts. A thousand little moves go into the making of a fluid swing. You think about one move too much, or something that could go wrong, and it probably will go wrong. To succeed, not only is determination required but also the ability to block out detrimental forces. When I can picture a 7- iron launched from the left edge of the fairway and in the air imagine it hooking around a greenside bunker, hitting the green and releasing to a back left pin position – and then doing just that - that creates confidence. I learn from mistakes, and remember good shots so I can beat similar challenges. There is a difference between listening to Beethoven and feeling the music, the energy, the tempest storm(symphony #6) he creates just like there is a difference between wandering around the course hitting shots and really playing golf. That difference is the mind.

I have developed many friendships through golf. The two that mean the most to me are with my grandfathers. Both started playing the game late, but enjoy it just as much as me, even as strength deteriorates and the ball does not jump off the clubface like it used to. My grandfather on my mother’s side has given me countless pointers, and also an unwavering belief. Not just in golf, but to chase my dreams. When I visit him every summer, we always schedule time to play a round or two. It is the highlight of my summer. Almost every round, we wager something, like sodas afterward, on the eighteenth hole to determine who pays. Talk about pressure! He plays like a pro, while I struggle to not shake. I learn so much just being with him. It is not just golf, it is the hours of conversation and friendship that come through it that are the most important. Unfortunately, I have not played golf yet with my grandfather on my father’s side. However, I plan on remedying that this coming year as I go west to college and closer to him. I am already planning a couple trips to take during school holidays. With both of them, I often talk on the phone. It means a lot to me that they take an interest in my game. There is not much I would rather do than play golf with those I love.

I love the warmth of the sun, even the rain, and whetted, whipping wind. I could go on, but I digress. There is no need to wax poetical when the play itself is poetry, when every shot is a verse, every divot adding to the sculpture, every shot another note in the symphony I, the player, compose. I often think back to rounds played. Walking along the edge of a river with darkness falling, seeing the sun dry the sparkling morning dew, barely missing an ace. I think it is the greatest game on Earth.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hot to Trout!

"I caught a PINK fish!"
She did. A beautiful rainbow trout!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Letter #91

Dearest Family,

How was your week sharing the gospel? I'm glad to be back here after a full week. I admit that it's daunting now to write in English, just a little bit. Please do continue to write on Sunday night because there is actually sometimes a chance that we have our p-day on Monday : ) I have received 3 or 4 of your letters and have a letter to send this week. They make my day every time!
Last week, and the beginning of this week have been special. Thursday, and Friday were pretty routine, working to find new investigators and bring people to church. Thursday we conducted pre-interviews with six individuals and friday we held the actual interviews for both of them. They both passed with flying colors : ) One man left the room speaking of how the spirit had touched his heart again that all these things were true, how before in his life he had been disobedient but now he was determined to be obedient. He was penitent and clearly seeing the future remission of his sins with joy. Friday was also a national holiday as well as Monday and was marked by everything being closed and the buses only passing every two hours. We spent all morning calling the whole ward to come to the baptism, Saturday night and bring something small to eat and share with the others. 

Saturday, despite a thunderous storm, we had a good turnout and the night's rainy blackness was lit up by the light shining within the chapel. Two parents were baptized by their oldest son, his first time as a newly ordained priest and made sacred covenants with their Heavenly Father to always keep His commandments that they might ever have His Spirit to be with them. The members also braced the rains and the night was enjoyed by all.

Sunday we brought seven to church, some more willing than others, but all in the end left happy with the decision to have gone and felt the Easter Spirit. The members rained chocolate on us. It's going to take awhile to get through all of it. 

Our special Easter week finished with a special gift to President who had his birthday on Saturday and to Christ, whom we serve, of 32 baptisms. The highest total since the new rules and regulations were put into place. 

Monday was office meetings and office work, in preparation for transfers next week. We had a good end of trimester chat with President and Sister about the progress of the mission and their progress. We assured them that they are wonderful : )

Yesterday we had a special bi-zone conference instead of the usual district meetings because President Genaro's parents were in town. We listened to special messages from them and sang enthusiastic hymns, had lunch together and some of that strawberry nutella ice cream. I loved Brother Genaro's talk on how we are to give help as missionaries, and not ask it of the members. Of course the work goes on so much more fluidly when they do help and are engaged. He now serves as Patriach, like grampy : )

Directly after the meetings we sped off to the center of Cambé to mark the marriage of two individuals. We have been teaching them for some time, nearly since I've been here. They've progressed well, gone to church unfailingly for the last two months and now finally have decided to be married and subsequently baptized:! We had to to go to the cartório to mark the date of the marriage with all the documents etc, and I had the special privilege of signing my name as one of the witnesses. It was cool : ) Even more cool was that their testimonies have grown and they've grown in faith as they have begun to walk the path our Savior denoted. They will be baptized and married on May 10th, in two weeks. 

That's the latest! One of my fellow missionaries was kind enough to remind me that beginning this week I only have 12 weeks left. . . incredible. That's funny for missionaries because the first 12 weeks are the weeks you are being trained. President commented in our meeting Monday that this is my time to train the mission. 12 weeks to train the mission! : ) This is good. I hope you are well, and excited. I hope Easter was marvelous, or Passover as I'm going to refer to it now. Páscoa in Portuguese. Surely He lives and we shall as well. That our light may shine to all those around us, that they may feel of our love and the Spirit with which we were endowed,


P.S. : )

With All Our Love

Dear Tanner,

We hope you had a wonderful week. Ours seems to have been very busy, but when I sit down to type nothing in particular comes to mind. Other than the fact that a van full of your extended family came to visit us!!!! Aunt Becky braved the highways, and fourteen hours in the car, all with seven kids, to visit us during their spring break. She came with all her kids plus two of Uncle Aaron's - Sarah and Emma. What a joy it has been to have them here. They arrived after dinner on Saturday, went to church with us Easter Sunday, and have kept us busy thus far.

Saturday night and Sunday morning were chaotic in ensuring each body was bathed. Sixteen people with two bathrooms almost necessitates a list. It was a beautiful Easter service. We used our favorite tree to get all your cousins in one picture! My favorite part of the service was your Primary aged brothers singing "Gethsemane," a new song as of last year. Honestly the best part of church was singing time in Primary. Becky brought Joe in, and while the kids sang, he sang. Even when it was a "boy" sing, he sang. Not during the girl sing. He LOVES music! You'll love him. Music gets Joe all excited and he wriggles and bounces, and you have to either get him calmed down or turn the music off. He's been a delight. I loved going into the room in the morning, and playing our old records for him to listen to while he was hooked up for his feeds.

After church we hosted a small egg hunt with Larry's grandchildren. I hid a $10 bill in an egg, and Stevie was the lucky winner that picked it up. Breyer declared herself the winner (?) ;-) Your cousins are very enjoyable indeed, and we laugh so much. They like to entertain, and if not talking, are very busy outside. The fire pit has gotten a lot of use. They used our large exercise balls outside for a massive dodge ball game. Hunter and Cooper set up the big tent and have been sleeping outside every night.

Monday Miller stayed home from school to entertain mostly Emma, and Stevie and Sarah. Dad took the rest to the National Corvette Museum in bowling green, KY. It was a long drive, but Kaleb was so excited to finally go! That will entail a post all by itself, but here's an appetizer for next week's postings: 

Sawyer's baseball game was attended by everyone who didn't go to Bowling Green, but only Emma watched the game with me. She was interested in seeing how I scored the game. He had a tough time at bat, with a couple of strike-outs, but had a solid triple. And he plays a spectacular short-stop (he wasn't pitching this game). The coach loves that he is such a natural leader on the field, and always backs up the third on throws, and second base when in play. He made a leaping catch while running backwards and came up with the catch for the out. A few of the kids hung out at the park near the ball fields, and Becky coaxed these two kiddos to take the leap. It's a great picture. They got along fabulously, and by the end of their stay, Breyer was singing songs from her book, and he was hanging with the stuffed animals and listening. Too bad these cousins aren't closer!

Emma had the best quote of the day. She came in the house late Monday afternoon, and flopped on the couch and said, "I wish I had a baby brother to play with. He'd keep me in shape!" Miller had her playing all his sports, soccer, baseball, frisbee, basketball...he kept her moving from one side of the house to the other but she had fun. She said her favorite time was in the morning when Sawyer and Miller both would go into her bed to wake her up. She noticed that none of the older teenagers wanted to play with Sawyer and Miller so she took it upon herself to do so. They love her dearly. They want to sit with her in the car, sit with her at the table, and have piggy back rides by her as they go upstairs to brush their teeth.

While we were busy with these activities in Ohio your Aunts Jenny and Rachael were working the water station at mile marker 19. Aunt Jenny shared this awesome story about the winner of the men's division, who is shown below. His name is Meb Keflezighi. He's a 38 year old resident of California. His official winning time was 2:08:37. He was at the 2013 marathon as a spectator. He was so moved by everything that happened, that he vowed on that very day to train to WIN the 2014 Boston Marathon for the victims of the bombing. He worked HARD for 365 days, and he came back with the names of the four victims written in each of the four corners of his bib, and WON. His is a story of resiliency and determination. He's the first American man to win the marathon since 1983. Such a great story! Frankie's mother ran as well, and Aunt Jenny caught her in action.

Tuesday Sawyer stayed home from school to entertain the cousins. We took them to the local library for story time, where I introduced them to the librarians as my New Hampshire clan, and put them all on computers. Then we traveled to Spring Hill cemetery to see the memorial to the victims of the Marshall plane crash. A few of your cousins have yet to see "We Are Marshall," so it was good to help them understand the story. Then we were off to HillBilly Hotdogs where Kaleb attempted eating the homewrecker hot dog, with three pounds of hot dog alone, in 12 minutes, for a free tee shirt. This too requires its own blog, but here's another appetizer to get you ready for next week:

After our adventures in the backcountry, we took the whole gang to the honors math club induction ceremony that Hunter was conducting. Nothing like walking in three minutes late, with the gang, and having everyone look your way! Good thing your cousins can hold their own. This too will be posted sometime this week! It's been crazy around here. Surely you remember all the extra activities for seniors and end-of-the year activities for everyone else! It's that time of the year again.

Miller had a game tonight, and Becky, Emma and Brady came to watch. It wasn't as exciting as some of his other games but they saw him bat a few times, and play in his pitcher spot. He didn't disappoint. His coach, in reference to his last game, posted on Facebook how much he loves Miller. He calls him his human vacuum cleaner! as a ball doesn't get by him.

Since Miller had a game, I delegated my weekly cub scouts to another parent. But Larry still wanted his date with Breyer, so he took Sawyer and went fishing with her. They caught a LOT of fish! The lake had just been stocked with trout, and she caught a few, as did Sawyer. How appropriate that her first fish caught was pink! She loved the sparkling rainbows on the trout. I will also be posting these pictures later this week. Larry was tickled "pink" that Breyer would retrieve the worms for them out of the worm cup, but would not touch the fish. She would nudge them back into the water with her toe (more pictures later!).

I thought you might enjoy this comment left on the blog: "Amy Jo, thanks for the note on Elder Anderson's blog. It's great to see your son's perspective on his mission and to see my son mentioned. He has mentioned your son as well and really enjoys the missionaries he gets to do splits with. Thanks again!"

Also, for your housing application, we need a copy of your drivers license, as well as a written, signed statement saying we have your permission to sign your application. You'll probably need to send those ASAP. I'll try to pay the fee to help hold your application until we receive both of these documents. Thank you very much!

I found this church news article I thought was very interesting. "President Uchtdorf, Other Faith Leaders Meet With President Obama on Immigration." WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today reaffirmed its position on immigration as the White House met with religious leaders to discuss immigration reform. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of the Church was among invited leaders from various religious faiths to meet with President Obama and administration officials.Repeating the Church’s long-standing position on immigration laws, President Uchtdorf said that public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society, including not only immigration but securing religious freedom and liberties around the globe. “Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion and the observance of just and enforceable laws,” he said. President Dieter Uchtdorf is himself a German immigrant and U.S. citizen. He was a refugee in World War II and has personally experienced the hardship that many immigrants face today.

Your father found a new advertising gimmick by KFC we thought funny. For $20 you can order the drumstick corsage. Everything is delivered to your door except the meat, and that's represented by a coupon. The commercial shows a girl going in for a "kiss," and instead turns her cheek and takes a bite out of her chicken leg. Pretty funny! We were trying to convince your cousins going to the prom this was the way to go!

I found this picture of Evan on Facebook - just thought you might enjoy seeing him in action at West Point ;-)

We have been reading in 3 Nephi 27, and I thought of you as a missionary in the service of the Lord. At the beginning of the chapter it says, "And it came to pass that as the disciples of Jesus were journeying and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and were baptizing in the name of Jesus, it came to pass that the disciples were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting...and Jesus said unto them: What will ye that I shall give unto you? Again at the beginning of chapter 28 it says, "What is it that ye desire of me?" And as the Savior truly understands He said, "...all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me..."

Have a wonderful week! Know we love you! We look forward to hearing about this week's adventures!


Mom and Dad