Friday, September 30, 2016

College Correspondent

Dear family,

Another week, another dollar. That pretty much sums up my week. I've been working quite a bit this last week, even though there wasn't a home football game. I worked two woman's volleyball games, a woman's soccer game, and two devotionals. I've referred a number of friends and so far they have all gotten the job which is great for me.

My Ultimate Frisbee team took another W, 12-0, which makes our record 3-0 and our ranking #1. Our fan base is also growing, we've had a number of people show up just to watch our game. I scored five times this last game and threw three touchdowns.

Intramural soccer, not so good. We have improved to 0-3 now after getting stomped 6-3. This is our best loss yet though. I'm proud to say that I was responsible for a buzzer beater goal as well as an assist from the opposite goal. I've been playing goalie for half the game and so far I've only let in 3 goals, compared to my keeper compatriate's 16. I would stay in goal, but it's more fun in the field.

Tournament time has started for intramural volleyball. We're in division 3 and just got bumped to the loser bracket after winning our first game by forfeit. the Canasians and I make a pretty fearsome squad.

That's about all that has happened in college this week. Join me next time for more thrilling adventures..........

Love, Porter

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Nutts

Sawyer has to visit the historical sites in Granbury for a school project. No better guide than his father, the original Mr. Brown Sign.

They began with the Nutt House and Hotel, the historical designation due to Jesse and Jacob Nutt, blind brothers, aiding in establishing Granbury as seat of Hood County.






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Letter #58

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, as for fishing, I think I need a couple more tips from Sawyer. It was nice to get out and try, but no one caught anything. Elder Cordeiro was trying to cast or something (I don´t know) and threw his pole into the river. River 1, Missionaries 0. I ended up practicing the piano and taking a nap on the veranda, so all in all a very enjoyable p-day.


Arnold Palmer. He was a legend. Seems like everybody liked him. For those who don´t keep up on the golfing exploits of the general authorities, the previous presiding bishop of the church, David Burton, played with Arnold Palmer while serving as a missionary in Australia. They were paired together, and Arnold Palmer had a caddy, who trying to be helpful told him about some hazards, something like a lake on one side and a bunker on the other. Palmer looked at the caddy and told him all he needed to know was the number of yards to the flagstick. He was focused on his goal. Fearless. We too don´t need to fret, but just stay focused on what we want. Live with blinders.

Jabuticaba- a delicious fruit with quite the name. I have had the juice, but ate for the first time this week. It´s a little larger than a blueberry with a similar taste but the peel is more like a grape´s and is used to make wine. In short, something between a grape and a blueberry.

This Sunday we had five people who visited the church. That´s been the most so far on my mission. Igor will be baptized this weekend. Its been a date we've all looked forward to for some time. It really is amazing to see the change he´s made. We visited him this morning, and he said how crazy that three-four months ago, he didn´t want anything to do with religion, and now is eagerly waiting to be baptized, reading the Book of Mormon every day and honestly just setting an example. Lately, as we visit with him, he´s been sharing messages for us. We´re also teaching Manoel who, is struggling to quit smoking, but if everything goes right, he will as well.





Thursday was the birthday of Elder Cordeiro. He reached the big 2-0. Enjoyed a couple cakes and made sure to sing to him at every opportunity. Brasil has so many versions of `happy birthday´´. I know the most popular but just end up clapping my hands to the others.


When I got online today, I saw a nice message warning: "Be careful when you are fishing. Stay out of the water.´´ Fishing, we managed to stay dry quite well. But this week, it has rained almost every day. Last night we got caught in a downpour. Arrived home soaked. We don´t always know when its going to rain, like yesterday when we were caught unprepared. But we do know it will rain. And we have to be prepared.


We need to be like the wise man who prepared and built his house on the rock, and not be like the foolish man who built on the sand. The scriptures are very explicit warning about the challenges of the latter-days. We have to build our foundation on Christ, as it says in Helaman:
`´ And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.´´ And of course, remember to watch conference. They have the forecast.

Love,

Elder Schenewark

Sunday, September 25, 2016

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark, Porter and missionary friends,

Right at press time Dad and I found out that US golfer Arnold Palmer, viewed as one of the greatest players in the sport's history, has died at the age of 87. "Palmer died at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he had been undergoing heart tests." Not such a great way to start off a letter, but you're my golfer.

Dad and I went to a funeral yesterday. Details aren't necessary, and I often play the piano in funeral homes, but this funeral home was unique in that they led me to a private piano room, wherein I was situated behind wooden slats,tilted open just enough to allow me to see the podium. Dad wondered where I was. He left the stand to see where I was. I could only laugh when he found me in the locked piano room. Too funny.

This week with Breyer is all about color.She's learning a color a week, and gets to wear it on Wednesdays. This week was green. That's about the only color she doesn't have! She had a skirt. And a hair bow. Otherwise she wore white. She found someone's old art kit, and played with orange. There's a little bit on the easel and in the bathroom where she tried to rinse off the evidence. And on her hands. There's some pink marker on the living room rug. There's white toothpaste and powder on the bathroom floor, from when she went exploring under the bathroom sink. There's red Gatorade on the bedroom rug. All I can muster up is a head shake. She's so lucky she's last in line, and number seven. I'm mellow.

She had a soccer game Saturday. She's fun to watch. She has moments of intensity, where she moves absolutely brilliant, but for now, she plays mostly distracted. And beautiful.



Miller's all about color of a different variety. Pasty pale skin, strawberry spotted tongue, white bumps on his tonsils, and indescribable stuff around the toilet. He came home from school miserable, 102.8 fever by bedtime, and a diagnosis of strep by Friday morning. He was doing much better today, and will be able to go to school tomorrow. He was unable to go to his soccer game Saturday which, for once, was fine with him.

Miller and Breyer together are unbeatable. Their love-hate relationship is comical. Dad calls their games whack-a-mole. The giggling is wonderful. When Miller gets a little big and strong, the crying not so much.

Sawyer had an average week. School, scouts and fishing. He did help with an Eagle scout project Saturday, and played with a few neighbors, but in his mind, it was a good week. He is still playing his clarinet,and is currently third chair.

Cooper had a JV tennis meet, and won both his matches. His 9th seed on the varsity team wasn't high enough for the smaller school they played. His team is trying to raise money via social media, and made a little video, if you want to see it. He still builds airplanes, he bought a small drone with his mowing money, and then he took it apart. And put it back together. He has my broken camera, so figure out if he can fix it, and put it on his drone. The priesthood is having a pinewood derby race, and he's determined to win. Now his engineering skills are being used in the garage, with the saws, and wood, trying to design, cut and create a master piece.

Sawyer and Miller are drooling participants. Sawyer is baking his cut wood tonight. Whatever that means. They're eating up Dad's pinewood derby car book.

Porter is thriving. I hope you read his letter. Tonight we experienced reality t.v. Porter style. He went home teaching, with us on the phone, and led us to three doors, allowing us to listen in on his knocks and door approach. The last door opened, and he led with "Congratulations!" He's delightful. I miss Porter. I bought him a one way ticket home in December

Aunt Shirley is in town. I should say Texas, as she's in Arlington, an hour away. She's here for the Albany Ship reunion and this year's party is here. Yeah! Our well laid plans had to be altered, so she doesn't get sick, but I was able to pick her up today after sacrament meeting. We might have gone on an unplanned adventure by getting just a little turned around on the freeway, but as I told her, whether you're in the car or on the couch, just enjoy being together. And we did. And we do.

Aunt Jenny and Becky walked their annual marathon for the Jimmy Fund in Boston. That's on my bucket list. To do with them. They said that even after four years, it's not any easier. Just like cancer.


I love you. Your box is in the mail. Hopefully you'll love everything in it! Dad's going to close the letter, because I asked him. You'll see why. Have a wonderful week!

Mom

Hello my Sons,

It is getting kind of late. Today at church, the first counselor was supposed to conduct a meeting. Early in the morning he text the second counselor and said he had to work. It's not a lot of fun to be the one who conducts the meeting, and because of this I told second counselor that I would conducted it and thereby relieve this burden from him.

Then I remembered today was going to be Fast Sunday and told him that he can conduct the meeting. But I said that I was joking because I already gave my word that I would conduct. 

Now I have a testimony, and I hope each day that my testimony shows without me saying a word. Your mother wanted me to share with you the first few words which I spoke when it came my turn to bear my testimony. I am sure you remember that whenever I conduct during Fast Sunday I give a brief explanation of what is going to happen in the meeting and what Fast Sunday is all about. So I told the congregation (something to the effect) the following:

"This October will mark thirty years since I was baptized. My first sacrament meeting I attended was on the first Sunday of September, thirty years ago, a Fast Sunday. Now I had read a bit about the church from books which were not favorable of the church. So when I attended I thought it was odd for people to go up, to the microphone, and bear their testimony." I took a little time to explain about members fasting, giving to fast offerings, and taking the opportunity to bear their testimony. I also explained that we each entered into covenants, such as baptism, temple ordinances, and the partaking of the sacrament. I acknowledged that "keeping these covenants may not always come easy (i.e. bearing one another's burdens) but that our Heavenly Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost help us to fulfill our covenants." I also talked about how we are on a uphill climb, which may be difficult, but that the goal is to keep going uphill.

I think this is what your mother wanted me to share with you.

I also bore my testimony about the blessings of doing family history and how over the last few weeks I have made a more concerted effort. I have done so because I have asked the members, especially the youth to be more involved in family history work. And know that I must likewise be more involved. I then testified of the blessings received from doing family history work, such as an increase of faith in the Savior, greater peace in our lives, and greater protection from the temptations around us.

Be good, be kind, be safe and wash your hands.

Love,
Dad

San Juan Capistrano Mission


No swallows were found, just a Monarch butterfly, but there was a different kind of music everywhere.
When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
We're partial to Glenn Miller's version but Bing's version isn't too shabby
















Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bad Bass Boy

One of Sawyer's favorite activities is to watch you tube videos on fishing tips, techniques, catches. He thinks he wants to make his own you tube page, and was throwing out some names. His favorite name was "Everything You Need to Know About Fishing." I might have laughed. Thinking he might need something a little more catchy. He wants viewers, numbers, audience. My first suggestion was "Big Mouth Boy." He got the play on Big Mouth Bass but didn't think people, interested in fishing, would get the play on words. Then I cast out "Big Bass Boy," and quickly switched to "Bad Bass Boy." I know, a little irreverent. It's the Grampy gene, but I laughed and laughed. And laughed. I'm still laughing."


So, Saturday's will be dedicated to Sawyer and his love of fishing. This is his most recent three pound plus large mouth bass that he caught..


He likes to fit his hand in that BIG mouth.


His father didn't catch anything. Again. When I asked him why, he said he needs to change the type of fishing line he's using.


So there's Sawyer's first tip. If you're not catching fish, try changing your line. It may be the wrong color, too heavy, too light, or both.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Words for the Wingmen

Dear Hunter,

This week I pretended to be in Scotland. Let me explain:

Monday, AnneMarie and I walked up to the parliament, arrived early and ate lunch at a restaurant next door, then I headed off to the parliament at two, got my badge and had a brief tour of everything. More on that later. AnneMarie waited at a Starbucks for me. I wasn't feeling great when we headed home. Tuesday, awoke with zip and pizzazz and a nice loose bowl motion and headed off to my first real day. The details are important here. I made it till about three in the afternoon when I literally tapped out and crawled home, sick as a missionary in a foreign country. Sicker maybe. I mean I barely made it home. And there at home I stayed until today when I ventured out to church.

The culprit? Almost certainly a very bad case of food poisoning, picked up at what was unfortunately a rather good restaurant on Monday. How sick are we talking here? I ran a fever over 102 degrees from Tuesday until Thursday, topping out at almost 104 degrees Thursday night. AnneMarie had a fever on Tuesday but she was able to kick it somehow. The rest was just a virulent case of the Scottish runs--runs to the loo! I'm worn out. In between worse moments I watched the Harry Potter movies and pretended I was in Scotland even though it didn't seem like it.


Luckily I married an angel from heaven. My adorable wonderful companion cared for me all week as I languished and even as she wasn't feeling great either. She also completed three very difficult puzzles, the only picture I have from this week:) I'm so grateful to have her by my side. Tonight she made an absolutely delicious tikka masala that restored my sense of purpose in life.


Here's what I can tell you about my job after a half day at work: my boss is great. Real bulldog of a parliament member. No nonsense guy. Started off slow because the IT department messed up my computer account most of the morning, so my MP got me some tickets to see that afternoons session in the parliament chamber, which I think I normally would have found highly interesting but instead found almost unbearable. Hopefully I'll get to go to that again.  I'll be working as a full fledged support staff to him, writing speeches, press releases, setting up meetings, even helping to draft motions for the parliament. I get a very official I'd badge that allows me access to the whole building by swiping it at all the doors and elevators. The cafeteria seems pretty good there as well. That's about all I can say about parliament. Hopefully tomorrow goes much better and we can get the ball rolling.

The highlight of the week was church today, as it well should be.  We rode a double decker bus there and back, on the top of course, and enjoyed the slow, beautiful ride through the city, with its views of castles and grand monuments as well as lots of green Scottish hillsides. We arrived at church to find out it was stake conference. The talks were very very good. I especially enjoyed the mission president and his wife, a young married brother's talk on covenants and an elderly woman's BURNING testimony. It was powerful. The Scottish saints may be few in number but clearly they are not faint of heart. We have five pairs of missionaries in our ward since our ward covers the city. I connected with those that cover where we live and asked them to call me as much as they dared to during the week. Bouta get the groove back on.

Next weeks letter will be much more exciting, I promise.

All our Love,

Tanner and AnneMarie

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

College Correspondent

Dear Family,

News update: I am still alive. Despite what Mom says, I do call regularly.

Correction to Mom's post, BYU played UCLA and lost this last Saturday. I was on field for the game and got to meet a number of celebrities, both the LDS kind and the not. Apparently I made it onto the ESPN camera a couple of times.

On Tuesday, I worked the devotional by Elder Dallin H Oakes. I didn't have a name tag yet so I copped this snazzy one.


I work the south play clock so I get payed for the best seat in the house, even if I do have to stand. People know me as the corduroy guy because those are the only black pants I have.

(My View)

On Sunday we have a hall meeting where we share our Stud or Dud moment for the week. I'm on a two week win streak for the Stud side that I'd like to see continue. This week my Stud moment was that I met and shook hands with President Uchtdorf, President Worthin, and President Oakes. I also saved President Worthin's wife from getting hit by a golf cart (which earned me a very grandmotherly piece of taffy). As a reward, I get my pick at the King sized candy bars in the creamery. 


This is Ammon, he's from Uganda. He approached me on Sunday and asked to take a picture with me. Apparently if I lived in Uganda I would be some sort of fashion celebrity because, in his words, I'm a "classic man." 

I've been asked to join three intramural teams so far, all on sports I didn't play: volleyball, soccer, and Ultimate Frisbee. The win/loss ratio isn't quite what I'd like but we're working on that. 

I switch roommates on Friday. My new roommate is coincidentally my home teaching companion, Kelechi. His full name is Ochulo Kelchukwu Onyebueze Ochulo and he's from Nigeria.

Classes have been pretty easy so far, I've really enjoyed ballroom dance. That's all for this week.

Love,

Porter

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Letter #57

Dear Family and Friends,

This week, think hills, and sun. Hills and sun. Saturday we held another youth activity. This one didn't go quite as well. We gave the water balloons to some kids to fill up, but they were smart, completely monopolized the supply and picked us off one by one.


This week we didn't have anybody new visiting the church. But, Igor and Michely who I've already mentioned continue to come every single week. We visit Igor every day at 7 in the morning. He´s just getting off work at this time, yet is always happy and helps us start the day off well. Michely continues to make sacrifices and comes to church alone. Hopefully one day her parents will be interested. This week or the next, she will be performing a musical number, and I´ll be on the piano. I've been playing every single week here, and it's honestly been a delight. And Mauricio. He´s been trying to divorce in order to marry here for some time now. A salt of the earth type of person.


This week, we switched off companions a couple times and I worked with my old companion Elder T. Santos again. I enjoyed the opportunity, and we returned to our old rhythm like time hadn't passed. Friday was one of those divisions and quite an interesting day. At the end of the night we had a meeting with some politician about giving the church land, and it looks like it will happen. The neighborhood is pretty poor and without a park or anything, so if he is elected, he will pass a parcel of land to a member of the church, who is forming a community group to govern it and bless the lives of all the kids and youth of the neighborhood.


We've worked hard this week, being fishers of men, and for our p-day activity we will be fishing for real. The church has a bunch of bamboo poles and we´ll be going with some members to fish from the second story veranda there.


General conference is again coming up. Remember to watch! Bring questions of your soul to have answered. ``Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy over all his works.`´ Jacob 4:10

Love,

Elder Schenewark