Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Letter #6

Dear Elder Schenewark,

We hope the first few weeks of your study and training at the MTC have gone well. We want you to know we are eagerly awaiting your arrival here in the Arizona Tempe Mission while you await your Visa. We are praying for you and your preparation. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to set aside the world and absorb all the information and inspiration you can. Enjoy every minute of it!
By the time you arrive in the Mission, I anticipate that you will have made good progress on your study of the fundamentals of “Preach My Gospel.” This is an important first step in being able to teach with the Spirit. Your first companion, your Trainer, will be prepared to help you continue this process.

Attached, please find important information that will help you be prepared for your first few days in the Mission. Please be certain that you bring at least $30.00 cash with you for initial spending money. Your missionary support funds may not be immediately available to you when you arrive, and you will need some carryover cash.

We pray for the Lord's blessings to be with you as you complete your training at the MTC. In just a short time, Sister Toone and I will be greeting you at the airport and welcoming you to the "Best Mission in the World." Look for us at the bottom of the escalator that takes you to the Baggage Claim area.

We send our love, and know the Lord will bless you as you continue to do your best to prepare.


President Toone

Dear Family,

Well, these last couple days it's been like waiting for another mission call. Usually people get their assignments on Thursday, but.........I got an email right when I was getting on today, and I will be going to the Tempe Arizona Mission!!!!! I have to say, I am really excited to go serve!!

I'll be leaving here early, early Tuesday morning. Still a little in shock, to be honest, hopefully this letter will still make sense.

Having one on one teaching 30 hours this past week has helped my Portuguese tremendously. I taught skype TRC this last Friday and it went really well. I understood everything, but there was a little bit of a struggle trying to conjugate my verbs right, but the person in Brazil told my teacher that I was speaking really well for only having a couple weeks, and that boosted my confidence. One of my teachers is trying to set up extra Skype sessions for this week, as he we've gone through all the language lessons, and then some, and he feels I'm ready as well. I've noticed that I can understand the people in the north of Brazil really well, but it gets harder the farther south they are.

(MTC Branch Presidency)

Elder Oviatt's mother sent me a package in preparation for General Conference this week, which I am so excited for. It was very nice of her. If three new apostles are named, it will be the first time in over 100 years that three have been named in one conference. Monday we watched the funeral service for Richard G. Scott. It definitely touched me how everyone respected him and how there was an overwhelming feeling of dignity and honor present. He was a great man. I've been reading a lot of his old talks this week. I've been inspired to be more like him.

 There's been quite a bit of sickness going around. Elder Leon has been sick. Hopefully he gets better. Last night was rough. I'm praying I don't get anything, but feel a little something coming on unfortunately.

Last Tuesday Craig Cardon of the Seventy spoke to us. And Sunday Stephen B. Allen, of the Seventy, and Managing Director of the Missionary Department. He was really funny, and gave a great talk. Sunday night, I watched a talk Elder Holland gave on earlier this year. Rest assured, it was Holland-worthy.

This is from a relatively recent BYU talk given by an English Professor there, titled, "Beethoven's Kiss:"

"I might exaggerate if I were to say that if you cannot write it you do not know it, but I am painfully accurate in saying that the weakening of written language through displacement by the image is a fundamental threat to virtually everything that is distinctively human, especially knowledge and intellect. Reliance on the image is a threat to the extension and development of the human capacity for precision of thought and for the ability to creatively manipulate connotative structures. Sophistication in languages is the fundamental fruit of the true intellect."

It doesn't really have anything to do with what I've been studying, but I really liked the quote, and believe that our language is declining and it's not good. One thing they ask, as missionaries, is to not use any slang.

I'll be able to write on Monday evening I believe before leaving here.

My time here has absolutely flown by. We cram so much into every day. As happy as I am to be leaving and going out, I have loved the MTC, and will always remember it. It really is sacred ground. Every building has been dedicated to have the Holy Ghost there. And congrats to Kaleb for his mission call!! Anchorage sounds awesome! I'm sad that I'll just miss him here. In a recent talk here, by Sister Cardon, she talked about how some people are prepared to serve missions in various ways and mentioned those who have siblings with disabilities. I immediately thought of Kaleb and how he'll be a fantastic companion in part because of that.

I seriously am struggling to convey my thoughts today. Arizona here I come!!! Enjoy conference, and pray for the new apostles whoever they are. That's got to be an insanely overwhelming calling to receive.


Elder Schenewark

P.S. I don't need anything right now. The glasses would be great, just make sure that it will be here by Monday!! And, if you know where my camera cord is, feel free to send that. I'll just by a card reader here if not. It's only a couple dollars anyway.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

With All My Love

Dear Boys,

I forgot ? to mention last week Granbury was in charge of the stake dance, and Porter was the DJ. Dad said he did a great job with the music and the mike. Cooper wore Dad's happy shorts, and is doing better asking girls to dance ;-)

Porter also took the ACT last week. You've seen how well he  did on the PSAT so we're keeping our fingers crossed!

Today we had a lunar eclipse, with a "blood moon" or "super moon." This is a friend of a friend's photo that is awesome! Did you guys get to go outside and see it?

Two of your aunts walked in their 3rd annual Boston Jimmy Fund walk in honor of your grandfather and uncle, and so many more whose lives are touched by cancer. Someday I'd like to walk that marathon with them!

Thursday was Cooper's tennis meet. Again, we had to leave before he was called up to play. One of these days! He lost 5-8, but I'm sure he was happy Breyer was there to entertain him with her antics. She touched a spider, hanging on a bar, thinking it was dead and it wasn't. Her scream was heard far and wide, although I don't think the tennis players stopped their volley.

Also on Thursday Porter attended his team dinner, at a pasta place and his least favorite thus far, and decided to watch the freshmen football game while waiting to be picked up. Around 7 p.m., right across the football field, and the street, at the Granbury airport, he witnessed a small airplane crash, and described it just like the news article. 

"GRANBURY – A team of federal investigators arrived in Granbury Friday morning after a single engine plane crashed, killing both the pilot and a passenger Thursday night. It all happened as a high school football game was being played at Granbury High School across the street. The names of the victims have not yet been released, but an investigator said the plane was registered to and flown by someone from the Oklahoma City area. An NTSB investigator and two FAA inspectors spent the morning taking pictures and examining the wreckage. It was burnt almost beyond recognition except for panels striped like the American flag. The 1987 model was described by Air Safety Investigator Tom Latson, as "experimental and amateur built" Buzby Mustang II. It crashed after takeoff, nose diving at the end of the runway of Granbury Regional Airport."

Friday evening Porter played in a home football game, saw playing time again, still no passes and no win for them.

Saturday morning was free museum day in Fort Worth. Of course your father wanted a road trip. He took Breyer to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, with Sawyer tagging along. They had a wonderful time, and I'll post the pictures this week. He's wanted to take her for a long time, but it's expensive. Of course they popped into the Science Museum next door, and that's all Breyer wanted to talk about: two tarantulas, a rattlesnake in a cage, and digging for dinosaur bones in the sand. She does love her creatures. We had a gecko sneak in the house, and of course she's the one that wants to catch it.
Saturday morning Miller had his first fall baseball game. He was bumped up to kid pitch league, and started off his game first at bat, and pitching. He is very accurate, had a few hits, a few strikes, and of course some balls. He only pitched one inning, as did two other boys. They lost, but he was one of their two runs. He got on base with a single, and stole his way home.

Sawyer played that afternoon. He too was bumped up a league, and plays with 8th graders. They're huge! He pitched the entire game, did a great job, but their competitors had better bats. Sawyer practices Monday and Friday, Miller Tuesday and Thursday, and with games on Saturday that's a lot of baseball. But it's for a short time, and I, and they, love it.

(pope mobile) in Philly

During Elder D. Todd Christofferson's presentation Thursday at the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said, "When we planned this [event], we tried to reach out to different faith communities to get some help on how to be good families. I don't think anybody does it better than the Mormon community and the Latter-day Saints. I'm grateful that you are willing to help teach us." Pope Francis was there, here in the United

This week the Pope came to visit the United States, Philadelphia, New York and DC. Some of the things I read included him visiting a prison, stopping a car carrying a disabled child, touring the 9-11 site and speaking to the United Nations.

Also interesting in the news, to you, was the announcement that Boehner was retiring as Speaker of the House. Rick Perry and Scott Walker have both withdrawn from the presidential race.

There are many in today's world spouting their version of truth: religious leaders, politicians, educators. Paul had it right when he described the apostasy and perilous times of the last days in 2nd Timothy 3:7— Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Truth was heard this Saturday evening at the session of General Women's Conference. The talks and music were lovely. This is one of my favorite quotes from President Uchtdorf: "As you walk through life, I hope you will feel a spring in your step as you trust the Lord and continue on your own bright path of discipleship. Faith will lead you to open your eyes to the things Heavenly Father has in store for you. Love for God and His children will continue to brighten your path, even on dark and cloudy days."

At the end of this week we'll have the unusual privilege of sustaining three new apostles - I assume you heard Elder Scott passed away this week. What a memorable weekend. I look forward to hearing truth. And I especially look forward to hearing from you!

I have your glasses ordered and delivered. Now I just have to get your package to you before you leave. Is there anything else you need?



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Psst! Porter's PSAT

September 23, 2015




Granbury High School seniors Isabella Elkins, Porter Schenewark, and Tommy Wallace were recently named Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. The announcement was made by principal Jeremy Ross on September 23, 2015.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2016 competition for National Merit scholarships, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 competition by taking the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

Recognition of high-achieving students is essential to advancing educational excellence in our nation, according to the NMSC. Commended Students represent some of the most academically talented students in the country.

Library, Leaf bug, and Laughs