Monday, October 31, 2016

Letter #63

Dear Family and Friends,

This week we made the trek a couple times to the country, to visit Michely. After coming to church 10 times, she didn´t go last week, or yesterday and everythings been thrown into doubt. At least, we enjoyed the nice walk. Lots of vultures, cows, dogs, angry dogs, and the occasional horse.

We´ve been teaching a family recently and yesterday, Daniel was baptized. He´s 16, and the first thing you notice about him his handicap. He can´t move his legs very well. I don´t remember the exact term, but its hard for him to walk, as they seize up without any notice. You notice that first, but after knowing him, you realize what really sets him apart is his heart. He´s completely humble and full of love. Loves to laugh and is always smiling. He´s been reading the Book of Mormon every day, and his dream is to go on a mission.


Yesterday, we took the customary photos, and then on our way to the font, climbing up the stairs to the second story, he fell. We helped him finish the trip, and then I had the absolute privilege to jump into a jump suit and help with the baptism. Elder Cordeiro performed the ordinance and I helped a little with the lifting. It took three times, but everyone left edified and happy. He´s setting a great example not just for his mother and brothers, but also, his cousins.



Saturday night, we held an activity at the church. Christmas themed to get into the spirit. We had made sugar cookies earlier and all the kids decorated them. Had 10 kids, and everyone loved it. Unbeknownst to me, sugar cookies are decidely american, and it was cool to do somehting new here. The Pace´s had sent christmas tree and snowman cookie cutters, and the recipe.


Yesterday, we also had a missionary activity where the members left to help in the work, talking with people in the street, knocking on doors, etc. for an hour. I left with senhor Pedro, an elderly man, and the first counselor in the branch presidency. We had a great time, taught some wonderful lessons, testified a lot about families and the importance of them and the Spirit was felt throughout. However, at the risk of saying a little too much, I´ll just say, the funniest part of the week was with him. I rang a doorbell, and he said ´´I´ll be back´´ before dashing across the street and behind a tree. Thankfully no one opened the door, because they would have seen someone attempting to hide behind an awfully thin tree giving nutrients to the ground, and a missionary on their doorstep doubled over in laughter.

I have no idea what really is going on over there, but knowing that tomorrow is the first Tuesday of November, here´s a scripture I read earlier this week. Alma 10;23
´´But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared;´´

Love,

Elder Schenewark

Sunday, October 30, 2016

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark, the other boys, and friends,

Mammograms. Your father said I should write about them. Really. I made him laugh. I had my first one ever. My twin has probably had 15 more than me. Every one talked about pain. I had none. No one mentioned the blue capes we'd be wearing. Or that I'd sit in a waiting room with other women wearing blue capes. It was like a factory. One or two out, one or two in. I laughed the whole time. Made a few others laugh as well. Good times.

Last week for family home evening we had a lesson on anger. President Hinkley said, "Anger is not an expression of strength. It is an indication of one’s inability to control his thoughts, words, his emotions. Of course it is easy to get angry. When the weakness of anger takes over, the strength of reason leaves. Cultivate within yourselves the mighty power of self-discipline." We had a good talk about not losing self control, and giving into anger. We'll see.

Your Brazilian friend sent me some dinner photos. Yeah!


AnneMarie let your brother cut her hair. Oh dear!. Talked with the honey moon man and his wife in Scotland for the first time since they left in August. They haven't had internet connection at their apartment, and their phones don't work. It was wonderful. And it wasn't very long. AnneMarie is looking at a few options for volunteer work, working with refugees. She'll be amazing. What a great adventure they're on.


This is a children's choir from Africa singing to the Scottish parliament. Tanner posted a video, from the news, that showed himself and AnneMarie in the background. Fun!



I love this photo from your cousin Kayla, first on the left. Hermana Orton is in "LOVE" with her mission. Here is a clip from her latest letter: "Life is hard but the Lord will not leave you hanging and He will prepare you to kick your trials to the ground and to stand triumphant in the rubble of your afflictions."

Your friend and chess partner passed away last Monday. The funeral was yesterday, in Westin. I've heard the services were lovely. I love Reed for serving you boys when I was hoping to have you serve Reed. Chess games were just the means to rub shoulders together, even on line. He was a good sport playing with you before you were so accomplished in the game of chess. Let me know if you need the Nixons' address.


Porter called tonight. What a joy to talk with him. I had to give him a hard time about not college corresponding with me. He said he would write an update and send pictures. I'll give him two days, and then sign into his bank account and exhort some money. Just joking. Maybe I'll withhold his airline ticket. Just joking. I'll think of something. I miss him. I miss you. I miss Tanner. Everybody's gone!

Both Sawyer and Cooper had Halloween parties last night.  Sawyer collected candy as the housing development was having their own party, but candy wasn't his favorite collection: The two hamburgers and freshly barbecued brisket are what kept him going for the rest of the evening. Who hands that out for Halloween? Only in Texas

The two little urchins leftover went to the church for trunk-n treating. Breyer's favorite Halloween activity. She likes it better than trick 'r treating. Miller's choice of costume was shorts and an athletic top, with a basketball. "Mom, I'm an NBA play." Okay.

Dad got a call from a guy, who needed a ride to Dallas to catch a bus. Nothing like meeting a 6'11" giant of a man in the HEB parking lot, squeezing him into the Prius, and conversing with him for 90 minutes, with a ten minute warning. They had a wonderful time, and Dad was glad to help. One of his fonder moments he'll recall being Bishop.


These are some pretty eclectic thoughts, just right for a Halloween Day letter to you. Hope you have a wonderful week. Honoring those who have past before us, lit the way, and left a few lights burning, deserve to be remembered. Treasure your family, your father, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles. Family is where it's at. Dad's friend struggled for days trying to get back to his in San Angelo. Be careful down in Brazil.

L-O-V-E ,

Mom

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bad Bass Boy

If your heavy line and large lure isn't working, shake it up. Try the lighter line and faster lure.
Fish are finicky.






Friday, October 28, 2016

Crafty Kid

Cooper's science school project to create a headstone for a physicist was touching...love his design!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Letter #62

Dear Family and Friends,

The big day this week was Thursday, when we all traveled down to Campos for a zone meeting. I had been asked to give a training about using our time with effectiveness, and had duly prepared. The meeting started at 9, and I think everyone was floored (except the ZL´s) when Pres. and Sister Young walked in at 9:05. It was an unexpected visit. The good news, my presentation went well and Pres. Young brought the mail and a box from Vitoria. I had 1/2 hour to talk about using time wisely, and had pondered and pondered how to do this and in the end ended up just showing a bunch of numbers and making calculations to illustrate what we are doing as a mission, and what we can and should be doing. Pres. Young, also being a fan of numbers, loved it.


Afterwards, I was interviewed along with the other pair of missionaries. They've been having some challenges, and it was a good chance to help them. I've learned and always been very impressed with Pres. Young that he always shows love. Simply loves everyone. And for this, everyone likes him. This end of the week, the spirit in our house has increased substantially. It made me remember that our houses should be like the temple. And of course, the letters and box were wonderful. I've enjoyed once again using contacts.

We've continued teaching a family, Marta, and her three sons. We held an activity at the church this weekend with the youth to help them get to know some more people. It was disappointing, as this, our 4th activity here, we have not had any leaders of the branch show up. Each time it has just been us, the missionaries, and sometimes the secretary of the branch. There is no mutual here, no seminary, nothing- just the Sunday meetings. Nevertheless, it went well, and we´ll keep holding these activities as they have been quite effective. This time, the big hit was playing UNO.

In the time I've been here, we've been invited to countless churches, and never went for various reasons. Yesterday, we decided to accept an invite to visit the `´Comunidade Evangelical de SiĆ£o´´ just a local church here. We had knocked on the Pastor´s door earlier in the week, and his brother in law is an active LDS member with sons who have likewise served missions. So we went. It was an interesting experience, and we´ll be waiting for him now to visit the church this coming Sunday.

Just one thought this week. I was able to converse quite a bit with Sister Young, Thursday, and I really liked one thing she shared with me. Dctorine and Covenants 121;46

´´The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.´´

This verse, she explained, is really a  vision of the Celestial Kingdom. I hope that you have the Holy Ghost at all times this week,

Love,

Elder Schenewark
Like a boss.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark, Porter, Tanner, family and friends,

I love this picture. Elder Orton. At the edge of the world in Barrow, Alaska, THE most northern point in the United States. Good bye to the Tongan people, hello to the Inuits! What an adventure! Fall is here, winter is coming, but Elder Orton will feel it the most.



A friend in New England posted this picture of her tree. LOVE the leaves! I miss the change of seasons more obvious in the east. I crave the smells that are in the air: smoke from wood burning stoves, leaves as they're crunched underfoot, pine as the wind blows through the evergreens.


Re cap from last week's letter: Cooper and his Iron Man costume. He really did glow!


I was asking Tanner a few questions, and he answered live, then sent me a picture. I haven't seen these two in almost a year, and haven't spoken with them for two months. Miss them! Thank goodness for weekly updates! It's hard having my children away!


I loved your thoughts from last week's letter. Beautifully written and spirit filled from your sweet heart. I was driving towards downtown Granbury, and saw two men under a portable tent, advertising FREE PRAYER. I initially thought, "Oh, that's sweet." Then I thought, "Do people think they have to pay to pray? That offering money will somehow make the prayer more effective? How sad. Our Father in Heaven is always available, to us all, for any reason, at any time, no strings attached. In October's General Conference, Sis. McConkie said, "Every moment of precious prayer can be holy time spent with our Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost. In the struggles of mortality, we are never left alone. Prayer is a gift from God."

Every day Breyer comes home from school and whips her shoes off. She spent the first five years barefoot and fancy free, so she's done well coming off the bus with shoes. Sometimes they do come off in the car, especially her cleats after soccer. Just because I dump a handful of rocks out of them everyday, collected from her recess antics, has nothing to do with her wishing for free toes.

Miller. He runs all day long. And he doesn't eat. I don't understand why. He's not a foodie. That's my current battle. Getting him to eat enough to keep up with  his exercise output. He tears up the soccer field. He chases neighbors after school. He kicks and bounces balls in between. And he's really, really cute.

Have you heard about the water bottle flipping craze? Sawyer has. And he does it all the time. He tosses it on the fireplace, from across the room, and it lands solid and upright. On the fridge? Up above the kitchen cabinets? On the basketball rim? He's good. Your siblings get a little annoyed with the noise. I think it's funny.

I spent Monday evening watching Cooper play in a post season tennis match. I missed the doubles but caught his singles. He's got an amazing, big shoulder driving serve, and is on most of the time. If he serves a second, he never misses. He almost does a baseball style wind up, his own unique style. He also plays a tricky net game. I cringe, thinking he's moving up too soon and too close, but he has a long reach for his slams, and a tricky flip of his wrist for his drop overs. Every once in a while he has too much power on his forward returns but overall plays a consistent game. I never thought I'd have a boy playing tennis, and I love it. Just as much as I did when you switched to golf. You boys are all so unique!

I speak with Porter a few times a week. This week he let me know that he found the quiz bowl team for BYU. He walked in wearing a knit panda hat and baggy sweats, looking at a roomful of bow ties and wing tips. He walked out with the victory, and respect. He'll be back. I do believe he is loving life.

That's about all the news for the week. We love you. Breyer asked if you were coming home for Christmas. I had to tell her no, and she burst into tears. I'm telling you just to let you know she thinks of you, she loves you, she remembers you.

As do I.

Love,

Mom

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bad Bass Boy


"No matter the size, it's still a fish."

Friday, October 21, 2016