Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brotherly Love

Dear Hunter,

I hope this week has been stellar for you. Sundays in the mission field always seemed to be like that, capping off a hard week's work with a special dose of the Spirit, rewarding you for effort invested and renewing you for effort to come.

Here in Sunny Utah (actually it snowed once during the week, again...) we are winding up school. I only have two more tests to go and AnneMarie has one week of school till graduation. That makes it sound like a week that ground by, but not so! After writing something like 30 pages of essays on Saturday and Monday we were ready to celebrate on Tuesday. BYU hosted a concert by Matt Karney, so we grabbed some tickets and enjoyed our first rock concert as a couple. The funny thing about that of course was that last year BYU hosted the band Parachute for the same end of the year concert gig, but--not knowing who they were and thinking that a portion of Brahms and Mozart's Requiem would be much better--you and I and our dates trekked up to SLC...Come to find out Parachute was AnneMarie's favorite band! Newman! That's ok though because she really liked Matt Karney too. We topped the night off with some Chinese food and Sonic drinks. That's how you date night!

We weren't done with the dates though cause Friday was #DateDay. We headed up to the University of Utah where AnneMarie interviewed with an adviser of Utah's Masters of Public Health program. She's thinking seriously about beginning her application though they aren't due until October. She'd be a great fit and I think she should go for it;) After the U we headed to the newly revamped Church History museum which I'd been wanting to check out for awhile. It was very well done. Highlights included: Brand new, 360 degrees First Vision video which incorporates the language of different accounts and was faith-building; LOTS of original church artifacts I'd never seen and all the interesting histories that accompany them; Exhibit on all the modern-day prophets complete with pictures of each of them at each stage of their life (pretty cool. David O. McKay was not a happy baby;); the 10th annual International Church Art competition--I'm so blessed to have a beautiful wife that loves wandering around looking at art with me and adds insightful comments along every step of the way:) One of the senior missionaries mistook me for her grandson who apparently looks exactly like me and, as we climbed a set of stairs laughed at me, asked what I as up to and knocked my hat down over my eyes. We were so confused until he found us and explained haha, good times:)

Of course our trip wasn't complete without some vittles. We hit up the Red Iguana, famous for its pre-hispanic Mexican food, especially its moles. So of course we got a Mole Negro and a Chimichanga. We weren't disappointed. When you get back here and find someone you love take 'em to the Red Iguana to seal the deal! The chips and salsa were so good though we had to bring most of the food home. Were we done? Of course not! AnneMarie's mom got us Marshalls gift cards for Christmas, but since the only Marshall's is up north we headed over there for some spring shopping. It was, as described by AnneMarie, "the funnest shopping expereince she's ever had." We did have a really good time finding cute clothes, weeding out the ones that didn't work with garments and bemusing all the shopping clerks with our (mostly my) spontaneous dancing. #DateDayComplete

The last thing of note to mention was our babysitting marathon this week. Sweet AnneMarie volunteered to help a sister in our ward who has a young baby and is trying to study for finals. We babysat the chunky kid Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (I'm not kidding about chunky though, he's like the michelin tire man.) They asked us to babysit for 6 days and many more hours....but somebody gotta draw the line somewhere! We'll leave this story alone after I add a quick moral: there is such a thing as babysitting etiquette; some are blessed with it and others are not. Luckily for them we were only in it for the service anyhow, but jeesh!

Tonight we had a delightful dessert and game party with 4 other couples from our ward. We played the couch game and ate homemade M&M cookies with Marionberry pie ice cream. They were goooood...We're sad to leave the ward in two weeks. Its often the same feeling when you leave an area you've put your heart and soul into. You feel like you could honestly stay there and work with those people till the day you died. Such is not always the plan, though, and change is good, remember that. It leads us to reevaluate who we are and what direction we are going.

We know you're headed the right way and helping others go that way too,


Tanner & AnneMarie

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