Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Texas Spring!

Kites, boats, bubbles, eggs and mowing

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pirate Hoopsters Net All-State Academic Honors

March 28, 2016

Nine Granbury High School basketball players and one manager were recently named Academic All-State by state coaching associations.

The six Pirates receiving the accolades were Ethan Gonzalez, Brendan King, Kade Phillips, Porter Schenewark, Cade Timmons, and Chevie Van Patten.

Honorees are graduating seniors who are in good standing with the team, of good moral character, and have a distinguished grade-point average.

Organizations bestowing the honors were Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, Texas Girls Coaches Association, and the Texas High School Coaches Association.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Letter #32

Dear Family and Friends,

My new companion is Elder Thyslom Santos. He´s from Aracaju, Sergipe, which puts three out of four companions here, from the northeast. He´s 23, been out for a little more than a year, and left a fiance. He joined the church when he was 13, and is still the only member in his family. Judging by this first week, he´s the hardest working companion I've had, and I´m happy for that.

Something I've been learning to do, and something Uncle Zach wrote a while back, that it's important to recognize the sacrifices people make to go on a mission. This attitude has been helping me learn to love despite imperfections. He´s made a lot. And is serving diligently. His motto is `Continui a Nadar` or in English, 'Keep on Swimming.'

And on the subject of the sea, I've eaten lots of fish here, but this week, we ate torta de capixaba. It's the most famous dish of the entire state of Espirito Santo. Basically like a baked fish casserole, it has a bunch of different types of seafood mixed together, also including shrimp, with onions and olives. It's super-duper expensive, but really delicious.

This week for Easter, the members have been way generous, giving chocolate eggs, acai, and even fried chicken.

This week, I thought I´d share three `portraits' of the week.

(1) With my new companion, we visited a dentist on Wednesday. You know I hate, I hate, I hate visiting the dentist. But my companion had a problem with his teeth (completely different than mine for the record) so we decided to go. It was not anything like `civil war medicine,' nevertheless, it was different. Think dimly lit room, no assistants just a receptionist and a lone dentist. We asked a couple people about which dentist is the best, but there was no clear analysis. When in doubt, (and the real is 1/4 of the dollar) choose the most expensive. So we did.

I've never really had a problem with the teeth before, and yet the dentist always brings pain. So I went in showing my teeth, but it wasn't because I was smiling. But, this anonymous angel performed a quick examination and gave me some instructions. Basically, as often happens, three months ago I noticed a little problem. And I go into DEFCON 4. He told me I´m brushing way to hard, and shouldn't use Listerine with alcohol. I have gingivitis, and have been exacerbating it exceedingly pushing the disease up with my brushing. So, he gave me a couple things to do, and I´ll be checking back up with him on Wednesday. Already, it feels so much better. Lesson: It's important to talk with the doctor, not just have a herb garden.

(2)  A while back, I mentioned that a person in the street, Ricardo, stopped us and asked for a Book of Mormon. We delivered it, and taught one of the most interesting lessons of my mission. He´s about 40, and if there is a `Brazilian hippie,' he´s it. Man bun. Fashionable there, unheard of here. He´s currently unemployed and living off his parents inheritance. His mother was Catholic, his father atheist. He was baptized Catholic but followed his father´s example for many years until a couple things happened, and he became Christian, without associating with any denomination.

There´s a mountain near us, Mestre Alvaro, so beautiful. Luscious green grass and trees mingled with stunning rock faces. It really is the prettiest mountain I've ever seen. The green in Brasil, is different, more alive and vibrant than the green in the States. Well, this new convert to Christianity hiked up Mestre Alvaro one day, alone, crazy considering all the robbers who hide there. But he made it to the top, next to a small pond, and as he described it, "I felt a strange sensation, something calling me, so I stripped naked, shouted my name and jumped into the pond. Yes, I was baptized as an infant, but this was my real baptism." Really friendly person, and he´s faithfully reading the Book of Mormon, and believes it, but just can´t get him to visit the church. And he´s the first person I've met who´s baptized himself.

(3) Saturday morning, a hummingbird flew into our apartment. Its called a `beija-flor` in Portuguese. Or a flower kisser. It flew around the house moving like a melody looking for spiders to eat. Truly beautiful. A lustrous green and blue, outlined with a black beak. It was one of those moments where time seemed to stand still, me, being captivated, the wings humming. The colors of the bird being in stark contrast to the staid concrete. Jesus Christ taught, "Be a light to the world." And like the hummingbird, we should be different, bringing joy. Having color in our lives. Eventually it left, but the flower kisser will forever flit and flutter in my memory. Fly free forever.

I´m excited for General Conference this week. For a chance to hear inspired words from living prophets. Make sure to mark it as a priority.


Elder Schenewark

Nice and tidy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

How are you? Your last letter left me hanging a bit. I felt like you were withholding something from your mother. Hmm?

Did you know Easter is your grandmother's favorite holiday? And we had the weather today to make me understand why. Sunny, spring breeze, blue clouds, and lots of wildflowers blooming.

I found some items in the news that are newsworthy, one even a little funny. Remember this? "Clark's Trading Post: Lincoln, NH, Tourist Attraction Seeks to Hire New 'Wolfman.' The theme park, which features trained bear shows, a circus and a steam train, is hiring a "Wolfman." Auditions are being held. The job calls for an "unkempt" and "outgoing" person."

Have you heard about the bomb in Brussels? And the four missionaries who were injured? Fox News interviewed one, Elder Wells, who said, "If I if I can feel the love of God lying on a sidewalk outside an airport destroyed by bombs I know everybody can feel His love. He truly answers prayers and I can feel the strength and love from everyone praying for us in these circumstances." The message of Easter is that He lives, and this sweet elder reminded us all of this.

I thought this was interesting, that: "Filming For Marathon Bombing Movie Stirs Emotions In Boston - Patriots Day begins filming in Boston on Tuesday. The movie has already stirred emotions, as some don't want the deadly drama playing out again in their backyards."

More from where you are? "(CNN) — Two members of the “Sesame Street” Muppets are the newest celebrities to join the campaign against the Zika virus. Elmo and his aqua green-skinned friend Raya will now be spreading the word to children and families about the mosquito-borne disease plaguing the Caribbean and Central and South America, and linked to serious birth defects."

Last, "On Holy Thursday, the pontiff washed and kissed the feet of Muslim, Christian and Hindu refugees at a center for asylum seekers just outside Rome. The event is portrayed as a gesture of humility, recalling the time Jesus washed the feet of his apostles. Previous popes have washed the feet of 12 Catholic men, often priests — but Pope Francis has shocked traditionalists by including women and people of other faiths in the ritual."

The boys had a few baseball practices, and Porter had his first track meet this week. He's still waiting for his new poles. Cooper won his first first place medal.

Dad is doing so well as Bishop. I'm so proud of him and his eclectic group he works with. They're fun to watch together, and have fun together.

We had the missionaries over for dinner. They invited a family of four to come with them so we put the tables together, and had a big Easter dinner. The elders wanted ham. So they also got homemade rolls. And chocolate camping cake with vanilla ice cream. And more. Except the family didn't come. They had car problems, and probably felt awkward. We'll try again this Sunday. Those boys call me Mama Schenewark. I love working with them.

Your sister loves Easter eggs. She's played with them all week. She talks to them, hides her favorite toys in them, carries them around like a mother hen., and of course loves it when they're full of candy. She went to the Primary Easter egg hunt with your father, who had to speak about the reason for the season. Sawyer and Miller went as well and came home winners of the three legged race carrying new stuffed animals.

I watched the General Women's Broadcast last night. The words aren't online yet, but there was a unifying theme for the evening: service. The choir was made up of women and girls from over 50 different countries; they mentioned the 60 million displaced refugees, half of which are children. The speakers all talked about love through service. If we could see into other people's hearts, would we serve them differently? We need to make space for others in our heart. Extraordinary service is wonderful but ordinary service is needed, and becomes extraordinary. And President Eyring, when you go to serve, you're never alone. "It is our hope that you will prayerfully determine what you can do — according to your own time and circumstance — to serve the refugees living in your neighborhoods and communities."

I know you're looking forward to General Conference. I know I like watching, knowing you're doing the same thing as me at the same time.

Love so much,


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Finally First!

Granbury Tennis Team - Men's Doubles

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Words from the Wise One

Dear Hunter,

This week was AnneMarie's Spring Break, but, being that she married me, who is wont to have one, she contented herself with mini-spring breaks while working hard at the UVU bookstore and putting her Senior portfolio together. We took a hike down rock canyon on Friday afternoon, enjoying the sunshine, the rocks and breeze.

Today we had an idyllic Sunday lunch picnic after we participated in the dedication of the new Provo City Center Temple. Only afterwards did we discover that today is the first day of Spring. We're just one with the seasons you could say!

You could also say that basketball season has sprung. Not only is yours truly widening his lead in the family tournament, but AnneMarie, in her first year of entering, is sitting at a very respectable 3rd, with the very real chance of winning the entire big dance. But wait. That's not all. BYU basketball, who failed to make the NCAA tournament and received a 2 seed in the NIT tournament, is hanging around in a big way. They won their first two games, womping on UAB (with the Fairland Dragon mascot) and just edging out a very good Virginia Tech team. Both games were here, so I worked them, and they play Creighton here on Tuesday--who will be a tough match-up--before the finals are held in New York City. Really, the most important lesson you need to take out of this is that it's a blessing to have married a girl so sweet that when you've got a touch of the March Fever she still loves you and smiles at your constant basketball updates. :)

Last night we participated in a surprise birthday party for one of our friends in the ward, my home teaching companion (AnneMarie visit teaches his wife), who also happens to be Brasilian. Much Brasilian food--pão de queijo, guarana, bolo de paçoca e brigadeiro--followed, and we played a new, very fun game called Village Wolves, a new take on the classic Mafia game. Both times we played newbies AnneMarie and myself made it to the end of the game alive, though in one game AnneMarie won by deciding to do away with me with her other werewolf henchmen. Grrrrr....But fun times and too much sugar.

Big news: All my application materials for interning with the Scottish Parliament have been submitted and I'm just awaiting the green light from can look forward to some exciting letters in the Fall.

The temple dedication today was presided over by Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard was there as well. It was a spiritual feast that highlighted not only the essential nature of the temple but also of the Holy Ghost, families, and the Atonement. One of my favorite thoughts was from Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy, who spoke as well. He told a poignant pioneer story, but that's not why it struck me. After finishing that story he said that our times are no less challenging if not more difficult, something we hear often enough, perhaps. But why are our lives just as challenging as theirs? Elder Wilson noted that, in fact, it is because the challenge is the same: to become holy. I thought that was a brilliant insight. THAT is our challenge, now or 100 hundred years ago.

Love & Springtime,

Tanner & AnneMarie

p.s. I forgot to mention this, but I was blessed to be the recipient of an English department scholarship so this Tuesday AnneMarie and I went to a fancy schmancy banquet and had fun:)