Dear Elder Schenewark,
Looking forward to getting your letter tomorrow! It seems to have been a long week since we've heard from you last.
We were wondering whose suit you were wearing in your last picture? Did they give you one to take from the MTC while you're awaiting your VISA?
We were also wondering how long your companion, Elder Bradley has been serving? And, how do I contact his parents?
Compared to the crazy week of last, it's nice to be home. The weather has finally turned, and the mornings are cool, the evenings beautiful. We sit outside in our rocking chairs, rocking, and contemplating the wonderful fall weather, such a nice change after a long, hot Texas summer.
Porter got right back into the swing of things with football. He's still loving Friday's goodie basket from his grid iron girl. He's been practicing for the ACT test this weekend, and has already reserved a calculator with his math teacher for Saturday. He told me this morning he applied to Baylor. Just because.
Cooper finally played a tennis match that I was there for. It was doubles, and he was obviously in charge. He had a great slam from the front position, and when I spontaneously cheered, he turned to me, put his fingers on his lips, and said "Sshhh." Ooops. I keep forgetting tennis is a quiet sport, or so he says. They won 8-4.
Sawyer is very faithful in practicing his clarinet. He comes home every day, walks in the door, and opens his clarinet case to practice. Sometimes he'll say hello, usually not. Every Friday they try out, in front of the class, for chair position. The week of the wedding he got first chair, except he couldn't claim it because it was a make-up test, so he sat 11th. This week he worked his way up to 5th.
Sawyer had a great baseball game Saturday. He is really their main pitcher, and throws most of the game. This week the coach called for a bunt, so he laid one down perfectly along the first base line, made it to first in time, and then all the way to third when the throw from catcher to first base was missed. Nothing better than a triple on a bunt. When he was through pitching, he played catcher ;-)
Miller pitched one inning yesterday. Had some great hits. His game was made when he ran. We were cheering him on, encouraging him to get off the base and lead off, and instead he just went. The catcher had a perfect catch, a perfect throw, and he slid under the throw. He did it again into third and then home. He doesn't wait for a wild pitch to run. He just goes. The next time up he ran the bases, again stealing with unheard bravado and speed.
Breyer's prayers are still priceless. She's still opening her prayer with "Welcome today." I love it. Makes me feel like she's welcoming her Heavenly Father into our home. Anyway, this week she said, "Please help grandma to eat her green vegetables. And please help her to help Grampy eat his." Anyone that knows your grandmother knows she does not need prayers to get her to eat her vegetables.
All four of your brothers came home with their report cards this week, and there were only A's. The trend continues, so put your mind at ease. Your brothers are representing the Schenewark name in a fine way.
Random forgotten thought from last week: One of the boys' favorite past time while driving for four days! was watching the water bottles and potato chip bags. As we climbed up into the high plains they'd expand, and eventually when we came down the bottles would all be sucked in, and the chip bag back to normal.
Dad looked up info on your San Luis and found that in 1990 the population was only 1000; now apparently the population is over 20,000! You're in one of the fastest growing cities in America. He also saw that the unemployment rate is listed at 70%, so you'll never run out of people to visit during the day ;-)
Today was Kaleb's farewell talk in church. Yesterday he went through the Boston temple. He's got about a week left, and he's off to Anchorage, Alaska via the MTC.
I'll close with this news story I read this week:
In 2009 and 2010, Bre served an LDS mission in Florianopolis, Brazil. As missionaries, she and her companion would often go door-to-door and ask people what they would say to the Savior if He were there. One woman had not been able to walk in four years, and together, she and the sister missionaries prayed for the desires of her heart. The next time Sister Lasley and her companion visited this woman, she could walk again.
Sitting there on the couch with her companion, Sister Lasley had the most powerful spiritual experience of her life. In that moment, she felt as though the Savior himself was sitting beside her. The memory of this stayed with her for years, but that feeling would not repeat itself until she needed it most.
Bre experienced a vicious knife attack from an ex-convict of 8 days, previously incarcerated for 14 years, who broke into her home after unsuccessfully attempting her neighbor's house. He stabbed Bre in the lower abdomen. He stabbed her again in the right thigh. Again, in the upper abdomen. He began violently and repeatedly jabbing and slashing haphazardly. Doctors would later be mystified at Bre’s close shave with death. None of the stab wounds cut through any organs or major arteries, although many came within a few centimeters.
A wounded and exhausted Bre tried to bargain for her sister’s life, offering Berger her car, computer, phone, and cash. In a fit of rage, Berger forced her back to the ground, pinned down her arms and said, “I’m going to kill you.”Berger raised the knife. Bre braced for impact, but none came. Berger’s blow had missed. He tried again but somehow could not stab her. After six or seven failed attempts, he became increasingly angry and confused. “Why isn’t this working?!” he screamed. “Why the [expletive] isn’t this working?!”
Bre watched as the knife came inches from her stomach, her chest, her head. Horror quickly turned to peace as she once again felt the protecting presence of her Savior, just as she had years before on her mission. She would later say it was as if a shield covered her entire body.
That she was able to feel the Savior's presence is very touching. That she experienced the same feeling of love and received His protection is miraculous. You too will be able to feel such miraculous things as you're in His service, and are also entitled to His protection.
We love you! We pray for you, and can't wait to hear from you again!