Saturday, November 18, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Princess Pilgrim

Pre Pilgrim Play

Post Pilgrim Play

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Letter #14

First off, happy birthdays to some peoples
Tanner, Happy Birthday
Aunt Jenny, Happy Birthday
Aunt Kelly, Happy Birthday
Grayson Tebbs, Happy Birthday
and lastly, Mother Dear, the happiest of birthdays to you (maybe happier than the rest of these people, I don´t know)

So, this one time.......

This was a week of one times things

Not much on the filler space part today, so it´ll definitely be shorter.

First, this one time I knocked out a dog.
This is actually way more exciting, probably the highlight of my week, excitiement wise, maybe mission wise, idk

This dog, was growling and barking, so we were eyeing him up.
then he charged us
He chose, however, to attack Elder Orteney.
That´s not okay, I can deal with a couple bites, medium size dog, whatever, I can afford to lose a couple pounds.
But you don´t touch Elder Orteney, as my companion, I´m gonna protect him.
So when then dog ran at him, I Ivan Drago, Rocky 4, swung on him. One punch, two knuckles, straight forehead, slept
I slept a dog
One punch
Inline image 1
Theseis my knuckles, tasty treat for all of you
In the words of that one dude,
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'"
Give me the belt already

Second, this one time, our fan tried to kill us
The back casing of the fan just exploded while we were all studying. Don´t know why, not really important.
BUT, this broke one of the fan blades, which made the now bare bladed electric assassian begin to hop and move around the room. It got Elder Emerich and Elder Me in the shins before we got it unplugged.

Third, this one time, we were walking past this house and we just heard screaming.
So we stopped for a sec, and this dude, obviously shirtlesss, runs out of his house screaming. These two dudes, one with a huge silver cross and the other with this big, ornate Bible, come walking out. My companion is nudging me, whispering "exorcistas, exorcistas." Obviously, that means exorcists, come on. Then, one of them, real dramatic, said, "We can´t do anything more, leave the house and don´t come back for anything."
Um, yikes
Not what you want to hear.
But I´m not gonna be messing with anything like that, so we got out of there quick.
Little scary

This one time, last one, we destroyed
Our mission house played another area, 4v4, soccer
Score, us 11 games
Them, 0

And thoughts, nothing popped out this week, but I did like a talk we had in church about helping the missionaries
Help them, it´s nice to be helped. The work is so much more effective when it´s done with help from the member.
Just take a little time to do something helpful for them.
That is all.
Also, everyone wish my Mom a happy birthday, she is wonderful.
Love to everyone, especially you, Mom

Elder Cruiserweight Champion of the World

P.S. I ate an entire pig ear, one bite, everyone was impressed, just saying

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

College Correspondent

First, a Happy Birthday to Tanner. I'm just coming back from his birthday party, good times, and I feel like I always leave a better person after spending time with AnneMarie and him. It's been an evening full of games and food. Specifically shish kebabs of peppers, pineapple, mushrooms and chicken. That had been marinated for 12 hours. As AnneMarie says, Tanner's food has to taste good and look aesthetically pleasing. (they prepared it all). And then lots of ice cream, and brownies and lemon bars. Good stuff. Saturday, we also celebrated his special day by going to a movie, Murder on the Orient Express, and then playing games in the evening. Earlier, about a week ago, asking me to come to the movie, Tanner said that it would be so fun, they would all dress up like characters from the film, and really get into it. Well, I'm not the type of person you need to call to remind about something, like giving a talk in church, etc. I don't forget. And thus, I watched the trailer to get an idea, and dressed up. I was subsequently picked up by TanMarie, who had on gym clothes. And we were then joined by others. In gym clothes. #fake news. They got me good.

Of course, there's a little more to the story than just that. That morning, I had spent grilling with my charcoal grill and watching football, (I also cooked the kebabs which makes my new favorite hobby BBQ'ing) and was eating my steak quickly to finish in time. When, I heard shouts for help coming from the small gym in the clubhouse. I went over to look, and the lone athlete had dislocated his shoulder and asked me to put it back in. I never took anatomy in school or anything similar which might have explained his wails that almost cracked the glass doors, but hey, after a couple tries, his shoulder went back in. Then, I returned to finish my steak. Of course, I was now five minutes behind schedule and texted Tanner to let him know. I wanted to make sure I had time to change and wouldn't be the only one not dressed up. C'est la vie. But hey, steak, a good movie, better company, and games all in 24 hours? Even if you throw in a scary dislocated shoulder, it was still a nice day.

Friday, was also a memorable day. I had work off, because of Veteran's Day. However, my boss called on Thursday wanting to know if I would come to his house and do a concrete project. I couldn't because of prior commitments, but appreciated the offer, and the trust. Those prior commitments included meeting with Roger Minert, world-renowned german family history specialist. He isn't just an expert in the field, he is the expert. He is teaching my class on that subject, and I've already learned a lot, but it was amazing to spend an hour and work through some tough problems on our tree. The main goal is still to find where Frank Schenewark and Fam. lived in Germany. I sprinted from that meeting back to my apt, changed clothes, had lunch, and was back on campus for my 2nd stab at Dancesport. This time we were dancing the quickstep, and I had put some serious practice time into it, and we were looking good! Alas, it was not to be, as disaster struck and we failed to advance. Everything went wrong. Another couple bumped into us, we were thrown off, and instead of fixing the slight damage at that point, we tried to keep going without missing a beat, and that made us go downhill faster than Paul Bunyan could fell a tree. It was  disappointing. And to add to the forgettable finish, I had given my camera to someone, but they couldn't figure out how to film us until half the dance was over, and then didn't know how to zoom in.

 With my friend who won one of the Latin divisions. Coincidentally, we matched.

Friday night is date night (at least in theory). This week theory went into practice, and I went on a double date, with a friend from the MTC, Paul. I set him up with Rebecca Welch, and he set me up with Cassidy. It was actually a good time; we started off by going to the soap factory where we made our own custom bar of soap. I chose a flower design, blue color, and eucalyptus/pine scent. Cassidy went with a purple penguin with lemongrass. Paul and Becca made 12 tiny dinosaurs. The best? Definitely the one smelling like rootbeer. Paul says it will be his new car freshener. While we waited for the soap to set, we played banana grams, then went for ice cream at Rockwell's. It was hard, but I branched out, only sampling my go-to cookie dough flavor, and instead choosing Apple Pie Ice Cream. Impressive, and worth a return trip.

I bucked the natural hesitancy for change, and put my winter housing contract up for sale last week. Only one person appeared interested, but that one person (in D.C. on an internship) got into contact, had his sister come over to look the place over, and tonight, asked to close. I'll be leaving in December, (still looking for a new place to live,) and am mulling what the future holds in store. Stay tuned....

Sunday, November 12, 2017

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

One day we received an alarm request from an alarm company, advising us that a residential alarm was going off, giving us the address, and location in the house. When the units responded, it was actually a domestic disturbance in progress, the husband had taken her phone away, and the wife in distress had used her residential alarms to reach out for help. I was impressed with her quick thinking and creative approach in a life threatening situation.

I was reading Sis. Eubank's talk in the Ensign conference edition. Would you like your own copy? She spoke on four ways to "turn on your light." One way was to be different. She said "Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts. When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications." You are different, and will be successful because of your ability to be innovative and creative.One day we received an alarm request from an alarm company, advising us that a residential alarm was going off, giving us the address, and location in the house. When the units responded, it was actually a domestic disturbance in progress, the husband had taken her phone away, and the wife in distress had used her residential alarms to reach out for help. I was impressed with her quick thinking and creative approach in a life threatening situation.

I was reading Sis. Eubank's talk in the Ensign conference edition. Would you like your own copy? She spoke on four ways to "turn on your light." One way was to be different. She said "Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts. When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications." You are different, and will be successful because of your ability to be innovative and creative.

It was my birthday last week. It was a drift along kind of event. Made myself an apple pie when I fed the missionaries on Sunday. Received a call from my parents the day before, and a few calls the day of. Got a few Facebook messages. Work took the prize. I'll have to email you my adventures. Unbelievable. Your brother Tanner also turned 1/4 of a century. My first born. Another unbelievable. He has a good wife to help him celebrate, and a brother. It was a good day for him today.

As for our news this week, Breyer had a first grade program on The First Thanksgiving. She was one of 12 pilgrim women. There were also pilgrim men, Native American men and women, preacher men, turkeys and corn. Her group's standard line was, "Mercy me!" She and her troupe wore signs around their neck proclaiming what they were most thankful for. She said, "My new baby niece." She wore my apron and pioneer hat your grandmother made for me. How fun is that?

Miller's regular soccer season ended this week. Their last practice was in the dark, due to day light savings. They wore glow in the dark necklaces, and kicked a soccer ball that had been spray painted with glow in the dark paint. Miller will have basketball try outs tomorrow, more of a formality as he's already been reserved.

Sawyer had regional band competitions this week. Because clarinets fall in the popular instrument group with flutes and trumpets, he had to go to a pre try out. He was in a class room of twenty clarinets, and received a first place ranking He found out the next day he was 6th, out of 180 clarinets. On Saturday he had another try out, and made the first band, tenth chair. He was not feeling well, and feels likely just to make the first band. He had basketball try outs as well, and made the A team. He's excited to be back on the court oding what he does very well.

Cooper went up in plane at a Pecan Plantation event. It's his second time. His teacher snapped a photo for us this time. He really is serious about his aviation pursuits. Designing, building, flying, now ordering textbooks. I reminded him he has two other projects to worry about first: Getting his eagle scout project done, and getting a license.

We read your family letter for FHE just like you suggested. It was wonderful. Your siblings payed attention to your stories and examples. Thank you. We talked about doing 25 days of service, and will try to keep you posted on our attempts at Love.

Which I have lots of for you.

Be careful.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

College Correspondent

The Man in the Arena

This week saw my return, this time triumphant to chess  club. I was asked to be a part of the team sent to the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament. Unfortunately, it’s held in Columbus, Ohio during Christmas Break, so I don’t think I’ll be going.

I asked out a girl from one of my classes, and if you’re wondering how it went, let’s just say that this would be an appropriate place for the following:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Yes, judging by this poignant, impassioned speech, good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt must have suffered his dating defeats as well.

One of my roommates told me that getting turned down meant I could treat myself to something. I think he meant ice cream or a snickers bar, but I went and bought bitcoin. Those who know me, know that I am extremely cautious with money and that it takes months for me to buy the simplest (non-food) items. I wanted to buy Bitcoin before my mission, with the money left over, but my last day, the internet went down. I left instructions with the family to purchase it for me, but alas, it was not to be. At the time, the price was $200 something. It reached $7000 this week. 3000% gain in two years. Oh well. I still feel like it has a lot of room to grow, and expect to see it reach $10,000 before the end of the year.  And don’t worry, I’m not risking the farm, you are able to buy 1/ 1 millionth of a coin.

On Wednesday, dateless, I went with a friend to see the BYU Symphony play. They played a variety of dances, mostly by some Russian composers. And Friday, dateless, I went solo to see the Wind Symphony play. And won a gift card to a soda parlor while there, so, if I do get a date, I’ll know where to go. Tanner always kids me that my favorite instrument is a trumpet- something brash and powerful. No, I think I’d choose strings any day. However, after hearing the wind symphony, I must admit, it is overpowering what a good brass section can do. And similarly, while I think I like adagios better, the marches I heard were good pick-me uppers.

Saturday, I cleaned the house, did laundry, etc, and went shopping at Costco with Tanner and AnneMarie. The kitchen shelves were bare before, but have since feasted. Think fish, and cranberry sauce, and rolls. Yummy. Thats what happens when your teachers don’t assign any homework. I am up 4 pounds this semester, with a goal of between 7-10 more to get back to that pre-mish weight.

This weekend was stake conference and it was one of the best I’ve ever been to. Every talk was fabulous and inspiring. The Spirit was strong throughout the conference. And, Sunday morning we were sweetly serenaded to by a Polynesian Choir singing in Samoan. Oh yeah. If you haven’t heard it, put this on your bucketlist. They have the gift of music and sing happiness.

And Sunday evening I spent with Tanmarie again, joining them for dinner and fun games. Crazy to think I’ll be joining unclehood in like 2.5 weeks.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

Letter #13

Dear Family,

So, before things get too exciting, let´s just get food out of the way. Had my first piece of unplucked chicken, do no recommend. Also, had Currant juice, which was A1, high class.

Now, what´s so exciting. I witnessed a man, on our hour long bus ride, not able to hold it in. So, he emptied it out. First the thermos filled with coffee #WordOfWisdom, then he filled it back up (for our younger readers, I will abstain from giving a descriptive name to the steamy yellow stuff) and then he emptied it out.

Thankfully, we were in the same row as him and not one of the unlucky ones trying to catch a little breeze through the window. They ended up catching something else. Why was I on a bus for an hour and a half?

Well, for only the first time in Campinas Brazil Mission history (so I´ve been told) an Elder in his first area is being transferred, unsolicited. It´s me. I´m no longer in Amarais, I´m now in Itatiba. Doing what? With who? Good perguntas everyone.

I´m with Elder Orteney, and we´ve been assigned to open a new area, here in the city, and our special assignment, lay the groundworks for a second ward in the city. Sub-Mission accepted


So, for those of you who aren´t familiar with small Brazilian geography, I will describe.
Take San Francisco, sunny, breezy......Keep the breeze, lose the sun. Done? Now, add hills
Some of you might be saying, it already has hills? Not like these

I don´t think there is a single hill in San Francisco steep enough that you have to transverse back and forth across the streets so that you can make progress. Hills here are often steeper than 45 degrees, which means when it rains, it´s almost impossible to walk up or down the hills safely. Almost. We make do. This picture, features Elder O (from Tanner´s mission I think) is one of said hills? Doesn´t look that steep?

We´re walking up a steep hill, probably close to 45 degrees, with another steeper hill to come. The calves will be looking FIIIINNNNE by the time I leave.

And this brings us to the thought. The hills are rough. Every day, 9:30, we leave the house and walk, all day, until 9:00. For every down hill, there´s two uphill. For every sure step, there is a slip and a slide. For every open door, there is countless unanswered.

And every day, at 9:00, when we go home, we go home to the same place. All those hills, doors, scrapes, soaked clothes, and we´re ending up walking in the same door. Same bed. Same dirt floor

A little depressing, repeating this routine with the same end result every day, a little hard.

But, then I remember everything that happened in those 11 and a half hours. We talked to more than 300 people, we taught families that they can be together for ever, we walked hills that most people can´t imagine. The things we´re doing more than make up for the trials. If it isn't hard, the reward isn't what you need.

Maybe I already shared it, but I'm going do it again,.

Romans 8:18 "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

If every hill, every slide, every man pee-ing freely on the bus, every canceled lunch, every dirty look, every step, if these are sufferings, watch out. Itatiba has a glory, in it´s hills, in it´s people, and hopefully in us.

The hills are ready to be climbed.
Here we go, round two

Love you all, love hearing from you all,

Love Elder Put That Thermos Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me

Sunday, November 5, 2017

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

The big news this week is that your cousin Kaleb came home from his Alaskan mission. Aunt Becky is beside herself. It's so good to have him home. He was on the roof the next morning with his father, broken knee cap, brace, and all.

I loved, loved, loved your letters. They came Saturday. What a treat, to hear from you two times this week. Your handwriting is even more beautiful, and your words made me cry.  I read them all, but mine is my favorite. "When I left, and every week since then, you tell me the same thing - to come back to you. And I will. I promise I'll be back. But I'm not going to come back the same person. I will come back better, more Christlike, more the person you want me to be. I love every day because it's one day closer to coming back to you."

How can a mother not read those words and feel success. That the child of her heart has this understanding and love is all a mother would wish for all her children. I miss you. I think of you so much. I cry with your aunts on the phone. I cry when your grandmother read her letter from you to me. It's all good. So, so proud knowing you're in the right place at the right time,doing the right thing.

Your Fairland High School Spanish teacher, Mrs. Lovejoy, read your letter and said, "I always receive such a blessing from reading the blogs from your boys! Thank you so much for sharing and bringing this one to my attention! If God has been able to use me in the mission field in any small way, my daily efforts have not been in vain! Continued prayers for Porter as he continues his journey!"

Hunter told us this week that he was asked to represent BYU in the intercollegiate chess championships, in Columbus, OH over Christmas break. They take the top four, and Hunter made the cut. We've been discussing whether or not he will be going. He confessed he goes maybe every other week, and is still not up to par after not playing for two years, but still good enough to go.

Sawyer, out of 50 band members, scored in the top five, by points. He was happy considering he has the minimum practice time, and most of that happens on one day during sectionals. He's well rounded. He had his last football game this week, and scored three touchdown runs, one for 90 yards. Unfortunately, all three times the same teammate caused a holding penalty and none of them counted. The field was wet, the weather rainy, and the pass was not utilized as often as in the past, but he filled up the time with a lot of tackles. Basketball try outs begin tomorrow after school. He's excited. Miller's already been contacted by a coach, as new rules this year dictate two players can be reserved

I confess that one morning, when I was bringing in extra bags of stuff to work, and driving the SUV I normally don't drive to work unless it's raining, that I forgot to turn off the car. Ten hours later, as I'm digging in my purse, I realize my car is on, and my keys still in the ignition. No one stole the car, no one turned off the engine, no one picked up a phone. And I arrived safely home. I now know my car will idle for ten hours. And still work. Lots of relief knowing my day could have been so much worse besides a bit of gas.

Halloween was this week as well, but the first in 25 years we did not trick or treat. It was a cold rainy day, and by the time Sawyer's game ended, we just stayed tucked in. Your sister was my main concern, and she was fine. All the candy they picked up Saturday at the church event is gone. It's weird not to have jars of candy lining our counter! Our Halloween scream goes to Breyer. I was getting ready to walk out the door at 4:30 a.m. and Breyer was up and walking in the dark. She let loose a scream worth a million bucks on the big screen. High, loud, and long. Good morning to me. She thought I was a ghost. I couldn't think. But she went back to bed, with Dad, and all was well.

Miller and Breyer both played soccer on Saturday, in beautiful fall weather, and Breyer's season is over. She was not feeling great, which I didn't know until the game was over, and was not surprised when today she stayed home from church. I was suspecting strep, with her fever and sore throat, but it's a virus. Your father will be staying home with her in the morning. Miller is excited he won't be riding the bus.

 El Capitan and team did it again Tuesday night, taking down favored East Lyme, 3-2 in OT
ECC Conference Championship tonight vs Stonington (17-0-1) – ranked #2 in state.

“You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him”

Your twin on the other side. I know Kevin's mission is in Minnesota, Vietnamese speaking, but I'll have to find out the exact mission. Until then, enjoy!

Come back to me.



P.S. Sawyer: "And he's back. The Astro's have won the World Series for the first time since, actually for the first time ever. The only other team never to have won one is the Rangers. It was not the greatest game ever seen especially considering the Dodgers left on base at least 14 people. The final score was 5-1.James Harden scored his career  high of 56 points in only 20 minutes. The Patriots are 6-2 and are still numero uno for their conference. The Celtics are also. Other than that there is not that much except for Giannis dunked from behind the free throw line . He is the first person to ever do that in a game considering Michael Jordan and Zach Lavine were both about 8 inched in front of it."

Friday, November 3, 2017

College Correspondent

This week, swamped with tests and homework, the trumpets sounded and the cavalry arrived with reinforcements. A beautiful box from the Bach’s.

For FHE, we went to a giant corn maze and wandered around trying to find our way out.

I visited the Tabernacle replica, and have included some pictures. Like Uncle Zach, I found it fascinating that there was no light besides a potential heavenly figure to light up the Holy of Holies. Also, there is a rabbinic tradition that the High Priest who entered in, would first tie a rope around his waist, in case he was unworthy and smitten dead upon entering. Being the only authorized person, if someone else entered to pull his body out, he would also die. thus, the rope around the waist to prevent body buildup.

I went and listened to McKay Coppins speak; I honestly went because Tanner wanted me to, as well as to network a little, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying his speech. He talked about the changing face of journalism and how it is nigh impossible to find neutral reporting without the journalists using something to promote an agenda, and often in a way that is false. And, on the other side, when they do tell the truth, the public often doesn’t believe it, as especially since Trump became president, media bashing has become something of a national hobby.

I took three midterms this week, doing really well on two and not so hot on the last one.

There was another BYU football home game which I worked on Saturday. One more to go. It was nice to see the team pull out a win.

Church was special today. Sacrament was fantastic all around, I taught family history class, and 3rd hour was a combined meeting where social services came and talked about dating for an hour. Their presentation was very well done, and I walked away having learned. Also, with family history, I stumbled across this website,

Plugging in the name Schenewark, you can tell that the name must have been changed. Schenewerk likewise yields nothing. However, Schoenewerk does, and provides a rough estimate of where our ancestors came from. The website shows where modern day Germans live, based on telephone records.

Today, I went to Uncle Ben and Aunt Joy’s house. Like usual, dinner was fabulous, nevertheless, the highlight was seeing Grampy and Mimi. The always lively conversation included discussing possible family reunions being on a cruise, and how the various couples assembled became engaged. That was enlightening. I knew Tanner’s, and most of Grampy’s, but had never heard Uncle Ben’s nor Bro. Tenney’s. Mimi told of being chased by countless suitors, and rejecting proposals by Grampy many times, and even fleeing to Connecticut for a time and changing her name there to have some peace.

Of course, while working there at a restaurant, “Kim” was proposed to by some patron. She was offered a hefty monthly payout not to marry Grampy; I knew all this, however, it was new hearing about Mouhmed Ab????? apparently another suitor and son of the Iraqi ambassador to the USA. Wild times I tell you. Uncle Ben proposed after dating for two weeks before summer break, and two weeks after. But hey, when you know, you know. He proposed at Thanksgiving Point, Aunt Joy having picked him up at the airport, and as he knelt, the sprinklers rotated and sprayed Aunt Joy in the face while Indiana Jones escaped with his head (and a fiance). Like nearly all good relationships, Sister Tenney rejected Bro. Tenney many times before accepting. He met her the same night he was released from his mission. He asked to go out many times, but she rejected each. She was studying at San Diego St. and he left to return to BYU. However, at Christmas break, she finally accepted, having seen he wasn’t leaving what he learned on his mission behind him. They also moved quickly, dating from December and getting engaged in February.

I read all of Bruce R. McConkie’s biography this week; I know, now you are thinking obviously this week wasn’t too hard after all. Well, there might be some truth to that, but more than that, this book was spellbinding. I could write much about what I learned from the book, but for now, I’ll include only one brief quote. When asked to define greatness, he said “True greatness is found only in the family.” Think about that. For all who are reading, I am thankful you are part of my family.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Plane Preview

Cooper is building a Vans RV 12 in his class, an "Eagle Nest" program that has students building a full size airplane from the ground up.

This is last year's airplane, built by a group of 24 students, and on the runway for its debut flight.

Their motto?

"Mentors build the students, students build the airplane"

Next fall Cooper's plane will be show cased at the Granbury airport.

He went to the Fort Worth airshow to support the former class and their plane.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

"Violet, you're turning violet!"
Willy Wonka and Violet

Monday, October 30, 2017

Letter #12

Dear Family,

So, correction, not the richest man in Brazil, just another multi-billionaire I guess. My bad, no he´s not a beer baron. He writes all the language text books and stuff and owns some sports teams, etc.

Thoughts this week, shoulder bags are the worst creation ever known to man. I am strating to lose a little respect for those who would rather use a shoulder bag than a backpack. But, we continue to use it here.

And, the weekly shoutout. Luke, Mom, Hunter, MomMom, Uncles, etc, I enjoyed your letters BUT, this week, we give a special little bit of love to the one and only Dave Bach. Your letter had me rolling on the hard tile floor. Your part on finding Mexico, was definitly the highlight. Surprisingly, I haven´t had any problems with the food or food poisoning down here.

Speaking of food, I got to talk a little with Elder G. Tebbs, which was nice. Food did come up. So, he had snake. Respect. To him for eating it and for the member who threw down and prepared it.

To some of you talking about having to walk 10 miles in 4 days (Canasian), this week, Thursday, we walked twelve, six out, six back. In the rain. Both ways. The things we do, huh? The feet are a little sore but the calves look FINE. Just that.

And, because it was a short letter week, resulting from last week´s late addition, all the highlights came on Saturday.We got to the chapel early to help set up for the Halloween party and also to fix and clean some thingies. First, Halloween party. Very nice, The costumes were great. Everyone just seems to throw together everything related to Halloween. Costume runner-ups, in my book, were

3- Batman Spiderman Racecar Driver
2- Zombie Ballerina
and your winner, to the enthusiastic nine year old girl running around the kitchen.........
1- The White Witch Alien-Skeleton Jedi Knight

It´s hard to explain how she could pack all that in but I´ll try.
The tiara and wand (left hand) = white witch
The antennas, superimposing the tiara = Alien
Which, when coupled with the skeleton T-Shirt = Alien-Skeleton
And the cape and lightsaber (right hand) = Jedi Knight

Maybe I´m reading that all wrong, but hey, I tried, right?

When we were setting up though, little scare, probably scarier than any of these costumes; We were in charge of making a tunnel leading to the Primary room, out of string and trash bags. It was good, BTW, and it stayed up the whole night. The scare came when we started popping out some of the ceiling tiles, in order to get the string around the rafter things. I pop one out and two, rather large, rather black, rather hairy spiders came tumbling out. One hit the ground and was smashed, the other hit the wall, caused by my desperation swipe, and then the ground and then was also, subsequently, destroyed. Back up we go. I pop out another one. Eyes. His name is Ronaldo, he´s about 12 inches long, dark brown hair, eyes-red

Something along these lines. Sorry for the grotesque image but hey, Happy Halloween. Thankfully, he was long dead, also thankfully, we didn´t have to be the ones to take him to the butterfly farm.

AND NOW, that we´re past the gross part, next gross part. What things were we fixing and more importantly, why? We were fixing the baptismal font, the drain had broken and water was sitting, along with some dead bugs and soon to be dead centipede thing. How did it get fixed. Well, I plunged it. Without a plunger? Yep, I used a length of hose and a small rubber funnel, and, with pure will power and lung power, I blew that clog right out the side of the building (where everything drains apparently). And why were we fixing the baptismal font? Dumb question, for a baptism of course.
That´s right, on Saturday, we, I, baptized Wesly Antonio dos Santos ja Sinto.

It was good, I have pictures, of that, of the family, of the hose I used to plunge, etc, but, unfortunately, the computer won´t let me upload phots. So, when we go back to our normal LAN house, next week, I´ll have those photos for yous guys.

And last thought, comes from lunch. We were eating at a member´s house, Thursday at around 12. The weather, hot, humid, super muggy. The food, edible. Mostly. The problem? The flies. There were in that one room, hundreds, if not thousands, of flies. Fruit flies, house flies, big cartoon looking flies with red eyes. All of them. And all of them wanted my food. So, as we were talking, mouths barely opening to keep the unwanted extra protein out, the member said something interesting, while acknowledging the flies. "Elders, I´m sorry about all the bugs. I would turn on a fan to drive them away, but I don´t want your food to get cold." If it wouldn´t have been instantly filled by all species of mesca and drosophila, my mouth would´ve dropped How can this lady think that cold, or honestly more likely just lukewarn, food could possibly be worse than these pests? It didn´t make sense to me. But, after, I thought of something.

The lady, didn´t enjoy the flies, but had a bigger problem with cold food. I however, had a bigger problem with the flies.Elder Silva, it seemed, only had the problem of trying to get the mushy rice and spaghetti off his plate and on to mine.

With so many problems, all unique and all individual, what can who do to solve them all? What is the cure all. For that situation, I´m not sure. It ended up that I ate my food and winged entre, Silva´s food and winged entre, and we moved on.  But for every other situation, every other problem, every other question, there is a cure-all. There is an answer, both unique and individual for every single problem or question we have, regardless of size, regardless of who we are, with no exceptions. There is an answer and that answer is the Atonement. It was performed and, more importantly, shared, with all of us, each and every one. All we have to do is be ready and willing to receive it. Not everyone is ready to receive it, it´s not a free gift. We have to make the changes in our life that allow us to be worthy to obtain it´s blessings. But, it is extended to all, ready or not.  And it is perfect.

It drives our flies away, keeps our food warm, and even will eat our food so that we don´t have to.
Without a question, this is the greatest act of love and charity to ever exist. It makes all others pale in comparison. And it is yours for the taking. It was performed for all of us.
So reach out and grab hold. And help others grab hold. Help everyone feel that same love.

I love all of you, I love this work, and I´ll talk to you all next week.

Muito Amor,

Elder Ninja Pirate Bodybuilder Missionary

Sunday, October 29, 2017

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

The Dodgers and Astros made it to the World Series this week, and opening day in Los Angeles, your father's own stomping grounds, was a balmy 103 degrees. That Houston team will feel right at home. The Santa Ana winds are roaring through California, and have been the cause, with help from an arsonist, of horrendous fires.

Lesson of the week? Keep trying. Don't give up, and be creative. That really should be three lessons, but we'll call them all, enduring to the end. A deputy pulls over a vehicle with a driver whose name flags a warrant. At first inspection the deputy advised it wasn't his subject. I had to remind him to peruse carefully the long list of AKA names. He identified the subject using tattoo indicators, and he was off to jail.I'm glad I kept going. A second deputy had a driver with a long, complicated Hispanic name, and entered the names in the wrong order. Moving around the first and last and middle names brought up another warrant, and off he went to jail. Don't give up. The third subject visited an injured ex-girlfriend , was not wanted in the room, so she dialed 911. I had no one to send, so I contacted the security department in the hospital, gave him the description, and they got him for me. Be creative.

The best example of enduring to the end, in my life, are my parents. Your grandmother has endured for 14 years in taking care of your grandfather and his cancer. So many appointments, many more phone calls, car rides, hospital stays, and care at home. The tender loving kind.

Your grandfather is now in a poorly phrased ‘non-functioning status’ relative to his office of Patriarch  for his new stake. He may still continue to give patriarchal blessings to his direct posterity, as he plans to do later this very week in Utah.  In your Uncle Rich's words, "I’m grateful for his amazing example of faithful, dedicated service over many, many years. A Patriarch does all of his work out of the lime light, in a one on one fashion. Just like the Savior did. Ironically the Latin root for the word Patriarch literally means “Chief Father.” He was the Chief, and he is my Father. And I count it a privilege and blessing to be called in his name. As Elder Holland once said to me: “You’re THE President Hutchins son?” Yes. Yes I am." And I his daughter. Endure to the end.

Due to the emerging outbreak of plague in Madagascar, as a precautionary measure, the missionaries serving on the island of Madagascar are in the process of being transferred out of this area or temporarily reassigned to other missions.

I love finding pictures of your cousins on line. This week the star is Trevor, and his varsity soccer game, involving a team they have not beaten in a really long time. He was the key to their win.

Miller played a great game of soccer. He was given one of six soccer balls you iron on your uniform. I think he's gotten one at every game. One of my favorite things to do at any of my sons' competitions is to listen to the talk in the stands. At a larger school district not everyone knows I am the parent of a Schenewark. I love sitting in the stands and hearing others talk, or yell, about one of my children. The coach's comments this week? "Because I could hear the parents on the side line yelling his name." He had the two assists for both goals, and prevented any goals while playing goalie in the second half.

Breyer was wrapped like an Eskimo at her 45 degree 9 a..m. game. She said it made it hard to move, but she wasn't complaining.  Next week wraps up both of their seasons in soccer.

I pulled up to Sawyer's game for the last three minutes. While walking to the field I heard, "And #83 for the one-handed catch for a 15 yard gain." Good enough. He had the only touch down, another fumble, and four or five great catches.He was invited to a Halloween party Saturday evening, and because it was so chilly, pulled out the good old Russian mafia fur coat and hat.

At the ward party, Breyer debuted as Wonder Women, wait until you see the pictures! And Miller chose Ant Man. They were both in super hero heaven.

Beer baron Jorge Paulo Lemann is still the richest person in Brazil. Is this with whom you ate?

I did let Mrs. Lovejoy know, I'll get GHS Rose this week.

Looking forward to catching up with you. Love you. Love knowing you better through your letters. Loving the man you've become. Stay safe.

Come home to me.



Friday, October 27, 2017

College Correspondent

Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

That title comes from Thomas Jefferson. It was his suggestion for the US Motto.

This weekend has been the church’s annual indexing push, so if you haven’t done a batch, now is the time.

When I started using Porter’s phone, once or twice a week, I would receive an  automated call from some place in Chicago. Tired of this, I tried unsuccessfully to figure out how to block the number or get off their list. In desperation, I entered my number into the national do not call list the government operates. Mistake. They say it can take up to one month for my request to take place, and apparently in the meantime, my number is openly circulated. I’ve been repeatedly called and called and have thus placed my phone on silence for at least the near future. Only outgoing calls. The best was when some guy called with a number out of New Brunswick saying he was stranded in Puerto Rico and wanted to wish my Dad happy birthday, but didn’t have his right number and asked me to call back.

I have to choose my classes for next semester in one week, and therefore need to decide if I want to keep my job (and the resulting Tuesday-Thursday class schedule) or not. Honestly, I still don’t know. Its a good job, but I’d like to spend more time on campus and have the opportunity to attend more events. I was elated to find out the BYU entrepreneurship contest has grown significantly in my two years absence. BYU now offers 8 teams/individuals $15,000, mentoring, and office space to start a company. There are also cash awards given out, which enabled two of the aforementioned 8 companies to walk away with $55,000 and $22,000. These are completely free grants; no equity is given away. I’ve been salivating since finding out, and am working on ideas right now. I have a couple possibilities, but nothing I can say I’m truly passionate about. So, don’t have free time, but want to see your idea put into action? Talk to me! Deadline is February.

Cajoled by Tanner, I attended a lecture by Robbie George on Thursday. He is one of the leading individuals on religious liberty in the nation. He paraphrased Benjamin Franklin saying that a people who lack virtue can always be counted on to trade freedom for protection.

Friday morning, I took a day off of work and left before dawn to head to Colorado Springs for an ISI conference. Five other students from BYU went, but had already arranged carpooling before I RSVP’ed for the conference, so I went with some students from Utah State University, making the 9 hour drive to Colorado Springs. Its been an interesting and enlarging experience; I must admit, however, that academia simply is not for me. We discussed and learned about “Liberty and the Declaration of Independence.” I realized I currently feel much more comfortable discussing business than philosophy. That will be a  shortcoming I look to remedy.

The conference is set up to allow many opportunities to network with other students. Try as I might, I couldn’t say I succeeded. Besides from a music performance major from Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, I did not really connect with anyone from outside of BYU. (I did not know them before, and did really enjoy conversing with them.) Not to step too high on the soapbox, I must admit that much of the difficulty in connecting can be traced to choice of drink. While not ignorant of the general college atmosphere, I was nevertheless surprised by the alcoholic intake. In a conference themed around the Declaration of Independence, Sam Adams was celebrated in the hospitality room, and neglected to an afterthought as a founding father. One professor who spoke defined the pursuit of happiness  as having a keg on a weekend. My roommate for the weekend is a student from USU, and came in around 2 am, both nights seemingly hammered by Thor himself. Drinks being free, freely flowed. Needless to say it was a reminder to be thankful for the though imperfect, utopian by comparison setting of BYU. Overall, there was 45ish students from 20 universities.

One insightful comment was made mentioning that it was roughly the same size group that drafted the Declaration. I am confident that they produced a much better result than what we could have. The keynote address was on the religious sympathies of the founders. The case was well argued and proven that besides for a small number of deists or heretics, the vast majority were orthodox Christians and founded our nation with that in mind.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Letter #11

Dear Family,

So, surprise, it´s me, middle of the week, full glory fashion. Our LAN House went down so it took a while to get this off.

So, food. Powdered milk on popcorn, fantastic. Apparently, they make cottage cheese without curds?
Lastly, in food, a Parmesan cheese flavored pudding. Little strange.

Things that just kinda happened? There was a dog walking around our area with chains, Tupac style. Clearly a baller dawg. We saw a man at the bus stop flick a cigarette and it landed upright and stayed there for like fifteen minutes.An old lady told me I was the spitting image of Kirk Douglas

So first, what you've all been dying to hear. How was my lunch with the richest man in Brazil? Well, it was nice. We had steak, and chicken heart, and cheese shish kabobs, and sausage, and other good eats. For a multi-billionaire, he lives a rather modest lifestyle, which I found rather nice. was it the biggest house I've seen in Brazil? Yes. Mostly because the houses all have walls and you can´t really see the houses unless you´re inside them. But, it was nowhere near as big as one would have expected. we also played soccer, pool, tennis, ping pong. I mean, he's a pretty cool guy. Offered me a job which was sweet. He told me when I got off the mission, he would start me off at a cool 120,000 R$ a year. However, that also requires living in Brazil and giving up school so I told him I´d think about it. Never thought I would ever tell a billionaire that I´d "think about" his job offer. the things you find in Brazil.

Other highlights of the week.

On Tuesday, last Tuesday, we taught an old lady who had some sort of memory loss problem which led to some rather interesting, if not repetitive, conversation.
"Can we begin with a prayer?"
"Yes, please do, I love praying"
"okay, I can say it, *Begins to Pray*"
"So this one time I was praying and I fell and hit my head and I saw Jesus. *Tells whole story*"
"That´s an amazing story, what a wonderful experience to have."
"Speaking of wonderful experiences, let me tell you about the time I hit my head and saw Jesus....*tells story again*"

This continued for about fifty minutes before we finally got out of there. While we were leaving, this 80 something year old lady decided to go for a run. We´re talking with another person on the sidewalk, and she passes us, one arm pumping crazy and the other working her cane. We finished up, walked pass her and the same thing happened again about two minutes later. Her run was about the pace of a small child's walk, but she was going, really moving to get that fast. Never let age be an excuse.

Also this week, we were teaching a man and his wife, who were from Bolivia (native Spanish speakers). At the end of the lesson, we left and Elder Silva was talking about how the lesson was amazing and he was really impressed with me and when I asked why, he told me. Apparently (i´m still not convinced he´s not pulling my very sore legs) I taught the second half of the lesson and prayed in Spanish. Ms. Lovejoy, Ms. Rose, shout outs to you guys here (also, if someone could try to get those to them).

And lastly, I ran out of contact solution on Saturday, at night. thus, unable to procure more until Monday, which turned into Tuesday, I had to wear my glasses. Unluckily, on Sunday, it also decided to rain. Which meant I couldn't see out of my glasses. So I took them off. for those of you who don´t know, I´m relatively blind. I see the world different without glasses. everything looks like an old-masters painting, a mix of Van Gogh and Monet. It´s an amazing view, walking, seeing lights, stationary and passing by, colors, dull and bright, a moving world that blends and flows way out of the ordinary. while i was viewing this, I thought, why don´t I do this more often? It´s so much prettier, so mesmerizing. However, as I was viewing the sights, I found myself stumbling and tripping on unseen cracks or bumps, slipping and splashing through puddles. What looked liked dry ground was the deepest puddles, and what was shining and gleaming in the streetlight was actually the safer place to walk. The gospel of Jesus Christ is kinda like that, I think, like a pair of glasses or contacts. When I put them on, I could clearly see where I needed to walk. When we have "worldly" or "natural" vision, we find ourselves walking where we shouldn't be walking. Only when we apply the gospel as a constant guide in our lives can we see the path that is safest for us. And, as we walk this path, others will see us and follow. But first, we need to find and stay on that path.

I love you guys, keep following the path that you need to be on,and, if you haven´t found that path, I encourage you to find it. It is there but we must make the choice to take those first steps.

From the land of the broken LAN Houses,

Elder Spartacus with the mean Chin Dimple
Try the new Yahoo Mail

Apparently the second thing of contact solution needs a special case to "neutralize"the solution. Wish I would've known before I stuck hydrogen peroxide in my eye haha, all fine now. Also, mom, what are your thoughts on motorcycles, I don't remember? I would ask you too dad, but I already know.... 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

One day we were driving in the car, and Breyer, in the spirit of Halloween floating around her school halls, asked, “What is a mummy?” Cooper quickly answered, “A piece of beef jerky in a sheet in the desert.” He had me laughing for a long time! Such is the way over here. There’s always something to laugh about.

Your grandmother read me your letter. I definitely wasn't laughing. More like crying. That you have arrived to the point you have is all that a mother can hope for. You've exceeded my expectations I didn't know I had until I heard your words. Thank you. What a gift.

Sawyer had an away football game. He had one touchdown, one interception, and one fumble he caused. I’d consider that a good game.

Cooper’s tennis team season is over. They didn’t advance after districts. And unfortunately Cooper wasn’t able to help them – he lost his match, but it was close. He’s been able to come home early this week, right after school, the first since school has begun.

I was able to watch Breyer and Miller for the first time Saturday in their soccer games. FUN! Miller did not score a goal for me. Neither did Breyer. But, Miller was poetry in motion on the field.  He’s perfected a one legged slide technique of stealing a ball from his opponent, and still remains on his feet. The coach had been determined to keep him out of goalie in hopes that he would score more goals for the team, but when the opposing team went up by two, he was back in the goal box.

A beautiful fall picture from Aunt Jenny

And now Sawyer wants to talk more sports. He loves you.

"This week I am adding a sports section. By the way it is Sawyer in case you haven't guessed.This way you won't be blind to the things happening here. First we will start with basketball. First off the Wizards and the Raptors are both undefeated an at the top of the Eastern conference. For the Western conference Rockets are at the top. Back to the Eastern conference. Gordon Hayward broke his leg in half while 6 minutes into the first quarter of their first game. The doctors say he is out for the season. This is quite a shame because the Celtics only lost to the Cav's by 3 without him which means with Hayward they would have dominated. So pretty much it is not who will win the NBA finals this year but who would have lost to the Celtics in the playoffs.

The Suns fired their head coach after losing three straight games. And finally, Lonzo Ball. The talk of schools around the U.S. Even though he lost his first game, he had a fantastic second  game.Scoring 29 points, his passing ability is absolutely crazy. Also, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career high his first game.                                          

Uncle Aaron and Uncle Roger, hiking Mt. Monadnock

Now to football. At the beginning of the year the New England Patriots had a 35% chance of winning the Super Bowl. For some reason though they have not been doing all that well. Somehow they have lost two games and have only won one. Even though they are tied for first, they should be destroying not just keeping up with the competition. Also as surprising is that the Eagles are winning their conference. While the golf year has just about wrapped up, soccer is still going. The world cup next year will be held in Russia. And that is all. Maybe you might enjoy it because I don't know what else to write to you.

Oh I almost forgot. Baseball. As you might know the world series are coming up. The two 
teams are the Dodgers and the Astros. The Yankees and the Astros battled all the way to game 7. With the Astros finally pulling away 4-0. The Dodgers being Dad's favorite team are looking great. Their season record was 104-58. Their playoff record was 4-2 and 3 of those games were won in a row at Dodgers stadium. The officials have the Dodgers winning the Worlds series , and I do to. This is because of their better defense, rotation of offense, and pitching. The only reason the Astros would win is because they have the first rated offense. The catch though is that L.A. is second. And that is actually all I have to say other than that Russell Westbrook is doing pretty bad this year. 

Love your bigger and stronger brother, 

THE Sawyer Schenewark

I didn't intend for this to be all about sports, but there you go. It is that kind of a letter.

Hunter spent the weekend in Colorado, and he'll be writing shortly. Hopefully before you get on the computer. He had a great time, but is now really behind.

Tanner enjoyed the weekend with Uncle Zach and a few of his children. Hopefully he'll write about their adventures as well.

I am back on day shift, and morning comes early. It's another adjustment.

Thank you for the thought you put into your letters. We LOVE them. We're so proud of you. Your example shines here in our house. You're our family home evening lesson every week.

Be safe.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

College Correspondent

I’m back

This week has been delightfully balanced. I’ve been able to keep up physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially.

I was able to return to working out a couple days. But, the real highlight was on Wednesday when  Josh, another intern, from the U of U, and I left to go to the driving range nearby. We paid five bucks each and hit 40 balls each, renting a 7 iron and a PW. It was wonderful to be outside and enjoy some beautiful weather.

While in possession of Annemarie’s car (see dating life below) I ran to DI for a cookie sheet. Of course, I then strolled past the organs. They were tempting, but I resisted (where would I put an organ anyway?) Then I meandered into the outdoor section and that is where I saw it. Love at first sight. Hidden in the corner, red metal jutting out. Yes, it was my grill. MTB. $15, like new, and one of my best all time purchases. Of course that necessitated charcoal and matches, but hey, you do what you gotta do. And what did I do? After getting everything ready (and having been inspired to pick up rump roast on sale at Macy’s grocery store earlier) it was cookout time this weekend. Brazilian style. Complete with a plantain to be grilled. Deeelicious. I’m back. After some rocky moments in the last few weeks including as previously reported pumpkin pie without sugar, and corn chowder a la carrot chowder as I had no corn and substituted carrots, it was time to get down to the real important stuff. Meat. Turned out fantastic. This might have to be a weekly occurrence, at least bi-weekly right? Might I add that all ward members were  incentivized to come to family history class with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? I realized that I’d been neglecting to add ice water to my crust, and I also bought measuring cups, so my apple pie turned out heavenly.

Roommate service notes: one of them broke my pie plate. He felt bad, but honestly no one here is very rich, and he contributes a lot to the apt, so I bought another one. And another totally clogged the toilet. He used it then shortly afterwards left the apt. I went in, saw the disaster and left to go to BYU to study and practice the organ, and do some homework. When I came back 5 hours later, the problem had not been resolved, but he was home. So I let him know, and he said, “yeah, I keep forgetting to fix it.” Thinking it would then be resolved, I waited for another two hours. Nothing. So, I unceremoniously plunged it. You are welcome. I have been praying for ways to serve, so can’t really complain. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.

I watched the replay of Elder Hales funeral. Inspiring of course, and needless to say a life well lived, worthy of emulation, full of purpose, and reaching for perfection. I love the story of how when he was at Harvard and called to be Elders Quorom President, and not knowing how he would fulfill the time obligation, his wife said,  “I’d rather have an active priesthood holder than a man who holds a master’s degree from Harvard. We’ll do them both.” LOVE IT!

Sort of reminds me of what Elder Claudio Costa’s wife told him concerning time away from home concerns, (to translate and paraphrase) “I’d rather have 10% of a 100% priesthood holder, than 100% of a 10% priesthood holder.”

I’ve had the goal of following Pres. Nelson’s challenge and

Study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament.
Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament.
Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon.
Study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.
He promised, “I promise those listening that if they would proceed to learn all they can about Jesus Christ, their love for Him and for God’s laws would grow beyond what they could currently imagine.” He also said “my wife asked me what impact it had on me. I told her, ‘I am a different man!'” This week I started.

On Tuesday, my 5-7:30 pm class was cancelled which allowed me to participate in our ward’s temple trip.

Thursday I returned to campus at 7 to listen to an interfaith panel, of a BYU professor and a Baptist theologian from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. They talked over various aspects of Christ’s ministry, showing how the LDS and Baptists views are similar and different. It was quite enlightening. One of my favorite parts was when Dr. McKinion from SBTS shared how Christ was born, coming out of Joseph’s virgin, womb (Joseph’s as Mary was legally betrothed to him) and later would rise from the dead, coming out of the virgin (unused) tomb of Joseph of Arimethea. Good stuff.

First, let me say that Tanner and Annemarie earned saint status. St. Tanner brought me back home from work on Wednesday, and St. Annemarie dropped off her car for me to use on my date. And St Tanmarie dropped off pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with the car. Yes!

Friday night I picked up a certain Jane, a blind date (and to quell the inevitable jokes from some unnamed readers *cough* dad *cough*) I confirmed that she has 20/20 vision. And is not blind. She is a roommate of a former sister in my mission, who set this up. The only thing I knew was that she lived in Saudi Arabia for a couple years, so I invited her to see “The Saint and the Sultan” with me. We drove to the JSB, conversed, and then enjoyed the film. Interestingly, she was born in Boston, I’m guessing when her dad was going to school. And recently returned from serving a mission in Tallahassee Florida. In any case, I’ll just say that Jane is a fantastic person who has a bright future ahead of her, but….. it was like I was dancing the waltz and she was doing the foxtrot. Both great, but just seemed off when put together. And I never even told her any metaphors to be confusing. There simply wasn’t any real sparks or chemistry and everything seemed sort of forced. Forced yes, but it never was awkward, and we even hugged at the end of the night, after I walked her up to her door. So, a job well done and I’m going to add an entry in the “Valuable Dating Experience” ledger.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Letter #10

Dear Family,

Harro again, peoples, it is I :) First, Anne Marie, I´m so glad you found a use for my engagement ring, I originally bought it for another blonde girl from Henderson (@ChatteringPlatypus), so I guess it´s fitting that you ended up with it. Just short random things that happened this week:

1- Saw my first natural Brazilian ginger. Then saw two more. They're real

2- Saw a car straight out of Fast and Furious, bright purple, revving it up in the streets. Then I saw another one, pure gold. Baller move

3- JACK GOT HIS MISSION CALL, just to let everyone know, don't worry if you don't know Jack,  don't either, but we've all been eagerly awaiting this news down here in Brazil. Way to go Jack

And now, for news First, very scary week for various reasons. Ironically, the only non-scary day was Friday the 13th

Let´s start with Monday. Well, the iron caught on fire. We even had a new one but they refused to use it. The plug, which I later found had been connected from an older iron after the then newer oone broke, it's complicated. Just know that I have been validated to the highest degree.

Tuesday: There are so many dogs in Brazil, and they just wander the streets, freely, aimlessly. Never have I been growled at, snarled at, felt the slightest bit threatened. We were walking and I see this doggo, black, mid sized, just standing there. Don´t pay him much attention. I look away, and I see a blur in my peripherals. I stop, on a dime, and step back. Said dog fliieees by me, open mouth, hits the wall next to me and then runs off.

Wednesday; We´re walking on a sketchy sketchy bridge. Handmade, plywood and two by fours over about a fifteen foot ravine. We´re crossing, I hear a crack, feel a shift, jump the last six feet or so, BAM - one board breaks, chain reaction, whole bridge collapses and I´m left standing on the edge looking amazingly calm apparently, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom style. Very scary

Thursday: We're riding the Onibus (I have a feeling you'll be getting lots of Onibus stories) and, having rained that morning, the roads, already very trash, are not the easiest to drive on. We try to make a turn, the whole bus, literally a train sized bus, starts fishtailing. Driver corrects it, we good. But, very very scary

Friday: Good day, see below

Saturday: We´re on the Onibus again. I'm on splits in another area, it's late, we headed home. We step on the bus and I start chatting up the driver. He tells us that we're his last passengers ever, weird thing to say. Then he tells us that the ride is more fun in the back? Strange but we go to the back. THEN, we reach the end of his route, where he turns around to go back to the terminal. He stops, turns around, yells, WATCH THIS. hmmmm. He takes off towards the turnaround, hits the brake, and drifts the Onibus, drifts it. Drifts. It. The Onibus. Drifted. Around the dirt turnaround circle. Then, the whole way to the station, he doesn't slow down at all, not even for the speed bumps on the highway (which they have here? odd). Thus, sitting in the back, every time he hits one, I got air. BIG air. We're talking two to three feet off the seat. Fun, absolutely. Scary. Definitely. Did we find out after that he was going to the US the next day to try to be a NASCAR driver? Yes we did.

And FRIDAY again. Like I said, this was a good day. Hot, sweaty, we walked to the edge of our area, also, the edge of our mission. Very hot. We´re in a town/area/place called Olympia. All the streets are named after Olympic events. We teach a lesson on Judo street, very good, cross Tennis Street, Basketball Street, and Gymnastics Art street and end up on Beach Volleyball Street. We teach a lesson to a family of four, two little boys and their parents. The dad, Irmão da Santos Fortunato , has a smoking problem. Big, scary guy, wolf pack, Grampa Bud on a Harley, style full beard. I ask him if he´ll try to stop smoking. He doesn't say a thing, just picks up his son's pvc pipe slingshot and his pack of cigarettes and walks outside. He is launching them, one by one, really letting them fly. He gets to the last one, pulls out a lighter, lights it up, and just stares at it. Then he drops it in the slingshot and sends it. He turns around and tells us that when he bought that pack of cigarettes two days earlier, he told himself that the last cig he lit would be the last one in that pack. Very poetic, lighting and not smoking it, great dude, can´t wait to see where he goes.

Also, last p-day, I tried to get a haircut. Simple enough, I really need one. The lady who cuts hair in our ward wasn't home so we went to a barber. He refused to cut my hair because, in his words, it would be a crime to cut a single one of my hairs. Apparently my hair is pretty nice right now if it causes a barber to refuse money to do his job. I don´t know. Just saying. The hair is flowing right now. And Tanner, sorry, but I think it´s staying.

And thoughts of the spiritual nature. I've been singing a lot and when I sing a hymn, I like to find and read some scriptures for it. I've had this one for a while now but it was in the noggin this week.
D&C 88:63: "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Love this because we do do a lot of knocking on doors and I´m constantly amazed how open and receptive people are. It really is a witness to the power and truth of this gospel, people who don´t have it can visibly see a difference in those who do, missionaries and members alike. Having an hour a day to study the scriptures has been wonderful. Everyday, i find answers and can feel myself, almost physically, becoming a better, different person. It´s a weird thought but it has been so evident in this week. The Lord blesses those who strive to serve him and seeing these blessing is a testament that I´m doing, at least trying to do, the right thing, the thing he wants me to do.

I love you, I´m off to get a haircut.

Much Sincerity,

Elder (Almost) Mola Ram

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

Another win with last week's letter. I had tears running down my cheeks, laughing with delight at your bed take down description in the letter. You've a gift for capturing the human side of your adventures. Loved your thought at friends, as well. Very sweet.

Your cousin Kaleb was hit by a car this week, and has a cracked knee cap. Aunt Becky received a call from Alaska, letting her know that Kaleb had been directing an elder in the standard backing-up-a-car procedure they use. The elder thought he had put the car in drive, and when he stepped on the gas, it plowed backwards into Kaleb, pinning him against a wall. She got to speak with him, and all's right. He'll be home in twenty days, his normal departure date.And of course your father wants you to remember two things: Don't stand directly behind a car, and if you are, don't have a wall behind you.  His sister Kayla's airplane reservations arrived this week.

Aunt Joy and Uncle Ben celebrating an anniversary the western way!

Today was the annual Primary sacrament meeting program. Our Primary really is quite large. Huge. The music director was fabulous, and had unusual features I've yet to seen until today. Those cute little 3 and 4 year old children took very seriously the hand-behind-her-ear gesture for them to sing more loudly. Dad stayed on the stand, and had a vivacious girl almost grimacing in pain she was trying to sing so loudly. Breyer led off her CTR Six class at the pulpit, and was able to read her part perfectly, standing tall , loud and proud. She looked like Snow White with her white skin and beautiful dark  hair. Miller led his class as well, and was a bit quicker, but clear. And they both sang. Your father closed the program with a few remarks. He wears the mantle well.

Hunter called today. His adventures always make me laugh. He sent me a video of him in dance class. I don't know what kind of dance he was doing, so I'll just call it the slide and twirl technique. He looks great. We laughed at the instructor's critique. "Perhaps your elbows need to be a bit higher." "Don't rush the music." Truly,Hunter is good, but even as his mother know he can't make that CD go any faster. He loves his organ shoes / dance shoes he found on Amazon, which enable him to truly slide and twirl. Smoothly. He won a contest at work last week, and used his winnings to purchase a BBQ mini grill to use at his apartment. He had trouble lighting the briquettes but had invited a boy from humble circumstances, who was able to help him. It was inspired as his friend hasn't been able to afford to purchase meat.

Your sister made three goals yesterday in her game. No vomiting

Miller wasn't as lucky, but he played hard. Sawyer had an away game that Dad saw in Stephenville. He scored the only touchdown, and had great catches. He also ran in a cross country meet, and came in second for the school. Friday he invited a few friends over to play ball, and play games. I was gone, but Dad anted up and went to the store to grab some boy snacks: Caramel corn, ice cream, beer nuts, soda, guy food. They had a ball.

Cooper had a bye in tennis this week. He played the piano in priesthood today. It's all Hunter's doing. He played while he was home in August. He heard Cooper practicing, and passed the torch. Through me. Through Dad. Through Gammons. Cooper needed to be asked by the right person. He played beautifully. Hopefully you're able to tinkle the ivory keys while you're there, and play during church as well.

Tanner and AnneMarie and the baby are all doing well. They're gearing me up in case they can't travel in December. I told them my grandchild would be cooperating. Tanner asked me to redo my top ten reasons why I should get a cell phone list. I don't know if I can come up with ten reasons, as my week was less adventurous, but there are a few new reasons:

4. When Hunter needs a reminder to buy lighter fluid, I would have been there for him.

3. When Breyer is throwing up at the soccer field, she might enjoy talking to her mother.

2. When my son gets backed into by a car driven by his companion, I might want to be able to be reached by the mission president

1. When my daughter in law goes into labor, I might want a phone call.

I'm supposedly on my last week of working nights this week. Next week I should be on day shift, Tuesday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drawbacks? Not being help with morning routine and drop offs. It's a lot of driving for Dad. Having to ride the bus. Not being home when they get off the bus. Besides the schedule of being up all night, the main drawback of working nights was not being around for Saturday morning activities for Breyer and Miller. We'll see. Either schedule has me off for Christmas, when you'll be calling. That's all that's important.

First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have approved the creation of a new stake, the Blackstone Valley Massachusetts Stake, from wards and branches currently in the Boston Massachusetts, Hingham Massachusetts and Springfield Massachusetts stakes. Your grandparents are thrilled to be in the new stake, as their early Foxborough branch is now in this new stake.

Natural disaster headlines this week come from California. The fires are among a series of blazes burning across Northern California that have scorched more than 220,000 acres since they began Oct.

As many as 10,000 firefighters from throughout California and surrounding states have battled the fires around the clock. Almost 6,000 buildings destroyed, and 36 people killed. This is one of the largest wildfires ever to have devastated Northern California.

Savannah Irish leaves Wednesday for the MTC, before heading out to Boise, ID on her mission. She has thoroughly enjoyed reading your letters.

Well,that's the news. Now for the love. Can you feel it? Me and you, son. Still remembering your hugs. Love you dearly. Take care.