It has truly been a pleasure to feel the presence and spirit of Elder Schenewark in our mission. He has become an influence for good, and our Heavenly Father has molded him into a powerful missionary. I am very grateful that he chose to serve a mission, and is here sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in the Brazil Vitória Mission.
Not only have the lives of many people here in Brazil been blessed as a result of his efforts, but the Lord has also blessed Elder Schenewark's life. He is prospering – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. His testimony of Jesus Christ is strong, and he shares it daily to the benefit of his fellowman. Because of his testimony and the desire he has to serve the Lord, he has truly become an instrument in His hands.
Elder Schenewark has proven to be a skilled motivator of others. He works hard, and sets a good example for those around him. He is becoming more Christ-like. Because of the leadership capacity and exemplary obedience that he has shown, the Lord has called him to serve in our mission as a Trainer. Without a doubt, he will fulfill this calling with honor and dignity. He has been, and will continue to be, a blessing for our mission.
Once again, I congratulate you for his success. Certainly, the influence that you and the church have had and currently have in helping him to become an exemplary missionary. I thank you for helping him to dedicate this period of his life to the Lord's service, and for your prayers on his behalf.
Transfer calls generally come at 9:00 a.m., but this morning was a little delayed. So I impatiently waited. But it was worth it. I´m going to Rio de Janeiro!!!! Not the city, but the state. City of Quissamâ. Its closer to Rio de Janeiro than to Vitoria, the area farthest south of the mission. And I´ll be training!!!! That´s the best news.
President Young called today, and said that this area has been having lots of problems with missionaries, and it's too far to visit regularly, so he needed someone he could trust to be obedient and work. Obedience, and diligence. I love it.
I don´t know much yet, but I am super excited. Being junior companion, was well, really hard. Really, really hard. But it appears those days are past.
I don´t know the name of my companion, but he´s obviously new here, and a Brasilian. And we´re going south. It will be just the two of us for the branch there, so we´ll be completely free of distractions. Lots of baptisms coming.
Quissamâ has a branch, is just a little south of Campos, and is a small town, about 20,000 people.
This week was bland. Honestly, it was a fight just to keep things working on some level here. I figured I´d be transferred, and said goodbye to the ward members yesterday. And they love me. I´m ready for a new area, but it was still tough to see. I spent almost five months here. Five months!
I don´t really have anything else to write about.....just excited for this next transfer.
Your father and I had the opportunity to attend, "An Evening with a General Authority," who was Elder B. Foster. His whole purpose was to instruct in matters relating to the ward council.
It was a most interesting and inspiring evening, indeed. One of my favorite comments was when he said Bishops, when issuing callings, say first, "This call includes responsibilities as a member of the ward council." I thought of you and your companion's "Missionary Counsel" you experience on a daily basis. Abraham 4:26, "And the Gods took counsel among themselves." The question begs to ask, "Why would God need counsel?" When we counsel together, we're counseling with and for children of God, who will one day inherit (Romans 8:16-17). We earn our inheritance by working in ward councils. Those are some of his thoughts I wanted to share with you.
Last week and the beginning of week Texas had a lot of rain. So much so in Houston that all schools were closed because of the 17+" that fell in 24 hours. The national news even reported one man using his monster truck to help rescue his neighbor affected by the flood. The true Texas way. The water went almost up to the doors of the Houston temple, but has since receded, and the wedding scheduled for your cousin Derek and Shannon will go on as planned.
Of main concern to us this week are your arrangements for your Mother's Day phone call. Can we say, hallelujah! Please give us a time of when you'll be in contact, and how you'll be contacting us. We're so excited to see your face in a real time kind of way. We'll probably have Tanner help us figure out how to do a three-way, as he'll want to be included.
Porter heard from BYU this week...he got the same scholarship as you: full tuition. Yeah! We also discovered we had missed his housing date, by about a month, and spent some time on the computer late one night reading over housing options and meal plans. He'll be living in Helaman Halls,and eating at the Canon Center.
I went with him to his basketball banquet, held at Pecan Plantation country club. It was a nice dinner and ceremony. Porter was awarded All State Academic, first team, in March, and was recognized again. The coach mentioned that Porter was going to BYU, and didn't think he had ever heard of a Granbury graduate attending BYU, and was very impressed. Afterwards, he learned Porter was my third to go to BYU. I love jaw dropping moments. He also thought I had four boys. It was delicious correcting him with a six. Plus one more. I told him I hoped he hung in there long enough to coach my last two boys. They've finally learned how to say the name.
The activities specific to seniors have begun, namely the senior class picture they have the option of buying for $40. Our friend up the street, in a neighborly sort of way, zoomed in on a copy, and found Porter in the picture: orange peel et al. So classic Porter.
Spring weather always brings lots of green grass, even in Texas with all our rain. The back acre is loaded with wildflowers thus, we are given a free pass due to "Wildlife Management" exclusion clause on the homeowner's binder. The bluebonnets have been marvelous, and are now just disappearing. The red Indian paintbrush flowers are still in full force, and were more proliferous than last year.
(Dad's favorite picture this year.)
This week AnneMarie graduates from UVU, hip hip hooray! What a great day. We'll expect lots of pictures for your perusal next week. This weekend Kristine and Roger both graduated from BYU. Aunt Jenny and Uncle Roger had flown out with them. Uncle Ben and Aunt Joy have been busy playing Utah hosts. Congratulations to them both. Graduating is a big deal.
I spent far too long on the phone with Tanner and AnneMarie tonight. So I'll close quickly. I wanted to leave you with one more thought. In Helaman 10:4-5, it says, " Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will."
Heavenly Father trusted Nephi with power because He had been watching Nephi, and knew what kind of person he truly was. You too have been unwearying in your efforts, especially with your companions. He knows you, and you will be blessed.
When my brother Porter did his Eagle Scout project he did it on indexing. This is right when the 1940 census was released and everyone was excited to see who they could find on these new records. But, in order to search the census, the names had to be indexed. This is when I learned how to index. I helped Porter on his Eagle Scout project and I also set a goal to index every Sunday after church. Without trying very hard, but just by being consistent, I was given an award by the stake president for being the youngest indexer for reaching a goal set by the stake president. This is when my love for family history began. Today I was asked to speak on the importance of family history. There are five reasons you should do family history. First, it helps you avoid worldly distractions. Second, it helps you receive inspiration and guidance from the Holy Ghost. Third, It prepares you to go to the temple. Fourth, family history prepares you to go on your mission. Lastly, it makes you happy. I know personally that you will be happy if you do family history.
"We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Every one of us has potential we can scarcely imagine." Joseph B. Wirthlin
“We write to taste life twice once in the moment and retrospect.” Anias Nin
Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
When we are filled with Love, we can make a profound difference. It's what we came to do. Ardeth G. Kapp
Men are what their mothers made them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860
In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers. Dieter F. Utchdorf
I want to be the kind of Mom that would remember to get the broken Wheezy off of the shelf, fix his squeaker, and put him back in the toy box, having hope that my boys will still want to play.
11 out of 12 original astronaut corps (89%) who have walked on the moon have been an Eagle Scout