On Wednesday we had our long anticipated worldwide training. It was fantastic. We received great training, and also the exciting news that the missionary schedule can be changed. To better adapt to the different cultures around the world, mission presidents have the ability to change the schedule. During the broadcast, they showed an example of a schedule, titled `´Mission in Latin America´´ and had the wake up time at 7:30 and going to sleep time at 11:30.
The next day the zone leaders´s met in Vitoria to talk about what we´d do, and for about 30 seconds silence reigned, waiting to see who would promote sleeping in longer. I ended up talking first and said that we should stick with the current 6;30 wake up and 10;30 time to sleep, to which President concurred and that was that. Yet, we now have greater flexibility during the day, and it will help us to be more productive and effective.
Saturday was awful. We had a baptism scheduled and we were happy and excited for her. We stopped by her house in the afternoon and said we´d be waiting for her at the church later. At 7, she showed up, chose her baptismal clothing, and then asked to talk with the bishop. So, together with a room full of members, we waited anxiously for one hour wondering what had happened and what was happening. Finally they came out, the bishop explained a couple things, said we had the keys to decide, but we decided to wait. I won´t say anything else, other than neither my companion or I have ever seen anything like this. It was sad to have everything ready and apparently right, only to not happen.
And then the miracle on Sunday. Jose, who I wrote about last week, came to church hoping to be baptized and after a tense couple of hours, was! He had to be interviewed by a counselor to Pres. Young, which happened during church, but then we had to wait to hear if Pres. Young approved or not. The font leaks, so was almost empty from the day before. And, the water tank for the font was empty for some reason so didn´t fill up, so we decided to act on faith and fill up the font laboriously with buckets. Our church ends at 11;30, but Pres. Young never calls until the meetings end, which for him is at 12. So, with the members, we again waited. But everything went right. And at the end, Jose bore a powerful testimony about how he prayed to be led to the truth. How the next day we showed up, going where missionaries have never gone before, and then, in response to our invitation to pray, had a dream where he saw lots of people in white shirts and suits hugging him and welcoming him into a large church with benches. When he came to the church for the first time, he said, This is what I dreamed." It was an awesome end to the week.
I was playing the organ in church today, and Breyer sat in the choir seats near me. While playing the sacrament hymn, I Stand All Amazed, I realized I was hearing her sing during the chorus: Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me. What a sweet thing to hear, while she was coloring a picture. It was wonderful, wonderful to me.
I hope your week has been wonderful. Porter spoke in church today on hope. He told me he had three main points: Being hopeful (Dad's conversion story), having hope (Grampy's cancer), and providing hope (your mission). It sounded wonderful. He also threw in a Bob Hope joke, and got a laugh or two.
Speaking of laughs:
Isn't this a funny picture? Grampy's game face when the New England Patriots are playing, one of this year's Superbowl contenders, as well as the Atlanta Falcons. He had some good news this week with the PET scan showing minimal cancer flares. Your grandmother and I spoke together about how you and three other grandchildren are faithfully serving, and from your sacrifice the blessings that your grandfather has received.
In the news as well, the Rudy character in real life was baptized. "Thousands know the story of Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger from the classic Hollywood movie Rudy..."
Your cousin Kevin is doing well in Minnesota and the Hmong population. Here he's wearing Hmong jewelry:
Sawyer had his last basketball game of the season, which they one, leaving them undefeated and in first place for the district. And it was a great game to cap off the year. He was in his second week of ankle recovery, and mentioned he hadn't been starting all week in practice. And he didn't start the game. But Aledo had a 6 foot something, who was two years older after being held back two years, and put up a quick eight points on underneath the basket shots or rebounds. Sawyer came in, and shut him down. Not one more point off the giant unless Sawyer was out. He did great. Their offense doesn't give him the ball enough, especially for someone with 380 out of 400 free throws on record, a contest from practice he won.But he had a dish off under the basket and a follow up foul that was clutch, and bumped them ahead four points with seconds left, that clutched the victory. The head coach from the high school, that coached Porter, was there to see up and coming talent, and cheered your brother on, knowing he was a Schenewark. I've thoroughly enjoyed his Thursday evening games.
Miller and Breyer have one week left in their season. Miller's game this week had him with 10 out of their 20 points. He is very quick, and makes amazing left handed lay ups. I'll hopefully get some video of his last game for you.
Dad went to Breyer's game, as I was getting dinner ready for the missionaries. It's our weekly Saturday tradition to feed them, sometimes they bring an investigator; they love to talk to your Dad about people they're working with on a weekly basis.
He dropped me off at the first of Cooper's spring tennis matches, here in town, but I missed all four of his. He won three out of four, but it wasn't enough for the win. I hope to have video of him at the net this season.
Cooper and Breyer have a weekly tradition of a tractor ride, under guise of picking up loose rocks in the yard. They put them in the bucket, haul them out front, and dump them in the ditch to help with rain erosion. She loves it.
Breyer also loves the school nurse. Her second wiggly tooth was bothering her at school so she went to the nurse who, "grabbed a tissue, used all her muscles, and yanked my tooth out." She's decided she's not leaving her teeth for the tooth fairy, as she doesn't need any more books, and wants to be the first in the family to have a tooth collection. She's at two, with a third very close.
Breyer banged her foot on a wood chair, was a little dramatic, and the next thing I know your brothers have her convinced she's sprained her foot, like Sawyer, needs to stop walking on it, and propped her up in a chair. Mostly it was to get her out of the way, but they enjoyed pampering her for a moment, and she loved the attention. So it goes.
I went down to Stephenville with Dad on Friday to help decorate his office. He moved into a new one in August, with a window, and he's been waiting for me to hang his pictures.
Dad took Sawyer and Cooper on an overnight camp out. They had a huge capture-the-flag game, and their usual rootbeer-hot dog party. Dad took the lazy way out and put a foam mattress in the van to sleep on, instead of setting up our huge tent. Sawyer used a bench seat, but Cooper slept on his cot out by the fire. And their tradition now is to stop for brisket on the way home.
Sawyer spent some time with his metal detector this week and was thrilled to find a nickel. He's funny. He found a few bottle caps, mostly beer, but was thrilled about his five cents.
Tanner wrote about looking through pictures this week,"Feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for this beautiful eternal companion of mine. Next week marks two years since our first date--two years since I looked into her eyes over the top of an ice cream cone and asked AnneMarie what was on her bucket list. We've managed to check a couple of those things off since then, but if I've learned one thing during our adventures this far it's that I'll never get enough of this sweet, sweet girl."
One of your friends contacted me tonight, asking to be my friend. When I accepted, I saw he had posted this picture, but when I went back he had already unfriended me. I think it was the man in the suit, but perhaps your letter will tell us what happened.
On a whim we went and looked at German Shepherd puppies. I know, right? They were adorable. Four males were left, nine weeks old. Just saying. We all have a bad case of want-i-tis. We'll see.
That's about the news of the week. Know of our love for you, and of our pride.
The joys of having a real mattress are not to be underestimated. We got ours back on Tuesday after an uber-helpful bishopric member a.k.a. Brother Super-Jacob, helped us move all of our furniture to our apartment. I’m asleep! Asleep at last!!! Can I get a hallelujah!! Getting our couch inside proved to be a new feat for Hercules. Remember, this thing contains a wonderful, albeit HEAVY, pull-out bed. Maneuvering it down the basement stairs and around sharp corners was only half the battle. The other half involved removing the couch’s feet, taking the front door off, taking a light off the wall outside, ninja kicking it, etc. etc. I was less worried about getting the couch inside than I was that I was going to have to scrape what was left of Brother Super-Jacob off the wall and return him to his wife in a box. Alas, moving. Whoever gets this apartment will probably also get a couch. Surprise!
I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but our Elders' Quorum has a stake basketball team and, after being branded as losers after our first week loss (no finger pointing here), we blew our competition out of the water. And one of our team members plays in an electric wheelchair because he. Has. One. Leg. His name is Dave and he’s great. More adventures from the 8th Ward B-team this week.
Speaking of basketball, my goal this year is—given that we won’t be globetrotting or summer-selling—to whip myself back into proper man shape. Slowly but surely we’ll get there. So far big little bro Porter has been a great help in moving back in that direction as he agreed to be my lifting buddy on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We hit it hard last week and we’re back at it tomorrow. Then, I play basketball with the ward on Tuesday and play with one of our ward members on Fridays at 6 a.m. and Saturday I went and played with Port-dog at BYU’s gym. We were on different teams so he got to experience the mind-baffling sensation of one of my screens, but he plays really well and I saw him completely shut down a player that had been dominating for several consecutive games before the big P showed up. Good times.
One more mention of Brother Super-Jacob: today he stopped by to give Ammie and I our new callings…. drum roll please. I’ve been called as Primary pianist and Ammie is my partner in crime as Primary Chorister! Call us the Dynamic Duo, the Dream Team, whatever you’d like, but watch out because 1/29/17 we hit Primary.
Date night this week consisted of shoe shopping at the Nike outlet where we got to blow some of our 60,000 rewards points on new running kicks. It amazed both AnneMarie and I to see how much shoes had changed since we’d last been in a shoe store. Nowadays they’re made of lightweight knit material and foam which is a far cry from the fifteen pound sketchers that I remember hauling around on my feet as a kid. In some ways it feels like you’re paying more for less!
In other big news, the arrival of our furniture meant that home-decorating was on like Donkey Kong. I built a bookcase for our living room to house our growing library of learning. AnneMarie and I worked out the layout for our couches and tables all afternoon and AnneMarie’s looking forward to finishing decorating this week. When it comes to decorating, this girl really lives up to her Scandinavian roots! #Style Pictures coming soon for those interested.
Ammie kept busy this week with institute, Pilates, a bachelorette party, job-hunting and endless batches of cookies. She enjoys having her trusty KitchenAid back,and a house of her own.
Porter and Kalechi can attest to this. We had Porter and his Nigerian roommate over for dinner and games tonight, partly as a birthday week dinner for Porter and partly because we love having any and all over for food and games. Good times. Kalechi and Porter are good friends and good kids and we enjoy hanging out with the self-styled Princes of Nigeria.
We love you and miss you, wherever you may be.
May your couches all fit through the door and your kitchens be full of cookies,
Monday night we headed up to Vitória to work with the assistants (and I picked up my box, thank you!!). Elder Gibby, from Colorado, was designated as an assistant this transfer, the first American since I arrived, which meant for the first time on the mission, I worked with an American. I will admit, it was funny how we were able to connect so quickly. Turns out he´s never had an American companion either or lived in the same house as one. We worked hard, and it was a great day.
Last Monday, I bought a suit. It ended up costing 50 reais. A member altered it for me. I picked it up on Thursday, and was able to use it on Friday for our zone meeting and interview with Pres. Young. Our zone meeting was fantastic, well planned and executed. The focus was on how to work with the ward leaders to bring more families and more men to the gospel. The stake here is struggling (a lot) and we are trying to help by bringing in men who can become leaders and build up the church here.
The city continues to be on vacation here- so we've continued our work next to the beach, and were rewarded yesterday with the presence of Jose. He left his house at 7 to get to church at the 8:30 starting time. And Ducilane, a single mother of three, has completely changed this past week. It's been amazing to watch as she´s drawn close to her Savior.
Pres. Young has asked us to continue studying the scriptures, learning about obedience, and here is another verse that caught my attention, 2 Nephi 23:15 (and Isaiah 13:15) : "Every one that is proud shall be thrust through; yea, and every one that is joined to the wicked shall fall by the sword."
We have to be careful, not just to be righteous and obedient to the commandments of God, but if we accept, tolerate, allow, or are in some way connected to the wicked----it´s going to be a rough day.
How are you! Well, I hope. My thoughts have drifted your way over the week, several times. Once, because I walked by the life-size Hunter in my living room; another, because I was making apple pie. Again, because I saw your picture on my kitchen wall, playing golf and last, your picture of you with Ranger. It's nice to have these moments of reflection of love, even a little missing is involved as well.
I had an interview last week with the Fort Worth Police Department. I was offered the chance for employment, and after spending hours filling out their paperwork, couldn't turn it in. I'd miss five out of seven dinners, and tucking children into bed. This is why I left Dallas Sheriff's Office. So now I'm home being domesticated again. Tuesday I did wash, and cleaned. Wednesday I cooked. And cooked. minestrone soup to die for; shepherd's pie; cranberry sauce and stuffing. And banana chocolate chip muffins with chocolate chips. Thursday I picked up, organized, vacuumed, and Friday it was the bathrooms. Such fun!
The big national news this week was the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang, the Piano Guys played, and the local schools broadcast it all throughout the classrooms. Your little sister came home that day letting me know she saw the new President, Donald Dump.
And, the Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl.
Breyer also answered the phone one day on speaker phone and the male caller wanted to talk with her father. When she told him he wasn't home, he asked her if she was in charge of the property. Her answer? "I'm only five. Bye."
Your sister had a basketball game Saturday morning. She's still skipping down the court, pausing to check out sock colors and hair bows, but plays a mean defense that is successful enough that their shot is not made when she's in the game.
Sawyer's ankle was well enough to play Thursday evening. He didn't play as much as usual, or do as well, but well enough to contribute to their squeaky win. He's graduated from the crutches and the ankle boot to the ankle wrap only when he's playing ball.
Sawyer came home from school one day this week and popped his bicep in my face. "Mom, my bicep is 13 inches, and I have a 32 inch waist!" It's a corker. It pops up big time. Enough to take a picture of it for you.
Sawyer has enjoyed using your father's new metal detector. He goes out almost as much as he went fishing. To date, nothing of import has been found, a few old nails, and a Red Bull can. But he did find out according to one internet opinion that in the state of Texas, Granbury is the third best place to use it! Bro. Bach has been using his at 91 Brigham St. attempting to locate lost Grampy's wedding ring.
Dad, Miller and Sawyer spent Saturday morning at the local dutch oven cooking group, a requirement for Miller's Cub Scouts. It's amusing to think people made a group, and that people want to join the group, and actually meet once a month to sample each other's dutch oven cooking. And since the cooking standards weren't quite up to par, a stop for a hamburger was necessary to finish their noon meal.
Those are the tidbits from the last few days. We're looking forward to your letter. Any pictures?
Your sister lost her first tooth. All four are wiggly, and the bottom one came out first. She had made her own water popsicles, and while chewing on one, dislodged the tooth. And it didn't hurt. She was mostly worried about the blood.
She carried her tooth to school the next day to show her teacher and classmates, in a baggie, and came home with a red tooth box from her teacher.
Forgive me if I repeat any details from last week's letter. Everything's a blur and on repeat, namely blurry driving in the snow and snowstorms on repeat. This weekend the precipitation finally let up but it's still chilly (19) outside so both of you be sure and enjoy your summer season.
I started up classes this week and AnneMarie patiently chauffeured me to and from campus everyday. While I cooked the books, she cleaned and unpacked and got back on the job hunt. She received some disappointing news that the center with whom she had scheduled an interview had been forced to fill the position early and hadn't let her know. They'll be hiring again in March though, and she applied for two positions with a non-profit company that works with refugees. I'm sure she'd appreciate your prayers on her behalf as she tries to find the right place to work.
Between trying to muster some/any help from the ward to help us move and battling sleet storms pretty much all of our stuff stayed in storage this week meaning more air mattress adventures, the kind where you pump it up at night and then slowly sink during the night as it deflates. On the plus side, is kind of a foolproof alarm clock!
The highlights of this week were undoubtedly all on the weekend. Last night we had a game night with my freshman roommates Jared and Jeremy and their wives as well as a few others. The conversation was enjoyable, the bundt cakes delicious, and we played several rousing rounds of the resistance and reverse charades, both new games for me. Amazing that it's been five years since we all meet at heritage halls. Tonight we enjoyed dessert at the home of the first counselor in the bishopric and afterwards a game night with all the younger couples in the ward. If you haven't played the game Speak Out yet then rush to the nearest store and grab it. It involves sticking one of those orthodontic lip spreaders in your mouth and then trying to read nonsensical sentences to your team who must decipher the exact words your trying to say. Hilarity ensues. drool runs out off your mouth and tears out off your eyes. We're really enjoying our ward thus far and maybe got some hints as to what our callings will be, stay tuned...
AnneMarie's back in her happy place at Pilates class three times a week. I'm at my happy place in my senior capstone course on devotional poetry (taught by the poet laureate of Utah). Both of us and Porter are all concurrently taking the churches new course on the foundations of the restoration, which so far is fantastic four all of us. Porter got to experience Donut Day, which is when tanner randomly decides to bestow donuts on those who take a class with him. It comes around once or twice a month as any of my friends will tell you. I'm thrilled that big P had also agreed to be my lifting buddy as I attempt to regain loss mass and develop surprisingly large biceps in hunters absence, as he did in mine. Stay tuned... :)
Tomorrow there's no school.
However, my air mattress alarm clock is already set.
I haven´t received my box still, but will be going to Vitoria tomorrow and most likely will then.
As you saw, I made a return trip to Itaperuna. We headed up there Friday morning to do an interview, and as we had time, made a division with the other elders. Lunch was with the branch president and he asked me to visit some people who haven´t been going to church since I left. It was pretty cool. I surprised everyone by my visit, ate lots of cake, took some photos, but most importantly I had the chance to bear my testimony to many about the importance of returning to the church, and about doing the small things- reading the scriptures, praying- that make such a big difference in our lives.
Remember that man, Jose, who cleaned out his house last week? It has been a testimony builder to see how he has changed and thriving now. And, in another miracle in his life, after looking and looking for work, someone came up to him, and offered him a job on Friday- just two days before his baptism.
This is the Lord´s work and its wonderful to play a part. This coming week we will have another worldwide broadcast for all the missionaries. Certainly, with the purpose of accelerating the work. I know that there is a prophet and 12 apostles here on the earth. I am so grateful for this. They are truly prophets, seers, and revelators. By following their example, we can come closer to Christ, who is our Savior and our Redeemer. He died to give us life eternal, and if we follow His example, we will gain that gift and live with our families forever. I love you all!
How are you? Every day Breyer and I commiserate in how much we miss you. Truly. We have begun our elaborate plans for your homecoming, involving lots of tea parties. She also said you were the best tickler out of all her brothers, and I understood her to mean the most gentlest.
Breyer is now a maker of grilled cheese sandwiches. She worked hard listening and learning, and makes a very yummy version. She's excited to cook for you. Today we worked on pancakes. Your father has been checking with other men with daughters to see if they have "sensitivity" issues. They've all assured him irritation from shirt tags, frustration over sock seams, and emotional outbursts over itchy dress seams are perfectly normal. Your father is now wondering whether or not joining a fathers of daughters support group is in his future.
Porter began school last week and we haven't heard of too many adventures thus far, but it's good to know he loves where he's at. His boss, and your former, called here looking for him. She had the wrong number. She is excited you're finished in August, and couldn't believe two years were almost done.
Cooper paid a few bucks for a mini camera and goggles he plans on attaching to one of his planes. In the meantime, he walks around with the camera, and causes his partner in crime wearing the goggles, to laugh. Toilet bowl flushes, mouth shots...all kinds of humor over here.
Your father returns to teaching this week. We've enjoyed our time together during the day. I had a dental cleaning appointment, and he came to provide moral support, which was very much needed when the longevity of my back molar was questioned. He came the next day when I had a small cavity to be filled, again, for support. He's very sweet.
We were able to go to Sawyer's basketball game together. We were suppose to go out to eat beforehand, but a job interview took longer than we thought. We enjoyed heckling from the stands until Sawyer was injured. He landed on the side of his ankle, instead of the bottom of his foot,and was down for the count. It's always upsetting to see your child hurting, but as fate would allow an orthopedic surgeon was in the stands and provided a lot of comfort. He also allowed us to follow him home, whereon he gave Sawyer an ankle boot and a pair of crutches. The following morning an appointment with said doctor confirmed it was just a bad sprain. The only games his team has lost this year have been the two games Sawyer was not in. And he's recovering quickly.
Last week, when Uncle Aaron was in Utah
Your cousin Kaleb was transferred to his fourth area - Juneau, Alaska. He will continue as Zone Leader. He says he won't miss the darkness or cold of Barrow but he sure did fall in love with the people there. On to new adventures. ❤ I love the new Gordon B. Hinckley book,this year's study. I miss him. I could read him all day, and did fairly well summing up the lesson for today, just for you ;-) "Hold high the standard under which we walk. Be diligent, be true, be virtuous,be faithful...This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth and the importance of our mission...You cannot simply take for granted this cause, which is the cause of Christ. You cannot simply stand on the sidelines and watch the play between the forces of good and evil...Let us, each one, resolve within himself that we will add to the luster of this magnificent work of the Almighty, that it may shine across the earth as a beacon of strength and goodness for all the world to look upon." You missionaries are beacons that shine across the earth. You are full of goodness and light, even visible in Kaleb in the dark and cold of Barrow. Be good. Lift your bushel. Go to work.
P.S.. Our good neighbor in Proctorville, Jean Crowder, passed away suddenly last week. She had left me a sweet message on Facebook the 31st in regards to a picture I was tagged in, regarding you, and our Christmas card.
P.P.S. Has your box arrived?
Hard to beat Skype with a simple letter! We were so happy to see your face and talk with you. We can tell you're doing wonderful things. Remember, you are in our prayers and our thoughts. We had fun talking about Hunter as we watched family videos last week.. You were cute and shy back then and loved hanging onto mom’s arm.
We're back in Provo, well, Orem actually, and we're loving our new apartment. It's a three bedroom, one bathroom basement setup with a nice dining area and our very own washer and dryer. Still no furniture but Matt and Joanna were kind enough to lend us two twin air mattresses.
Funny story though. We spent Friday night just on the floor (not much sleep there), and the heater stopped working in the middle of the night…yesterday we got the air mattresses but one had a hole so we spent the night, still furnace-less, sharing a twin sized air mattress, which is really half a twin when you account for the sides losing air in the night. Good times and so many laughs:) but today we've got our heat back and patched the other mattress with some duck tape and we're living large!
In other young married life news, we drove up from Vegas with all our stuff and Porter on Friday. We were going to come up Thursday but called it off due to a large storm passing through Utah and that ended up being an inspired call. Roads were clear for us and the sun was shining all day, but we witnessed many accidents from the day before, lots of cars off the roads and the such. We were riding low too, a couple inches off the ground but we made it. Porter and AnneMarie were good sports packing into small spaces with bags on top of them. Hopefully that'll be the last trip we'll ever make like that!
We so enjoyed our time in Texas and Las Vegas with family over break! Golfing, fishing, the nutcracker, hikes, games, and lot of good food. It was truly a Christmas and New Years to remember made sweeter by getting to see our cousins in Tyler, our nieces and nephews in Vegas, and spending lots of time with the Bach's. Tonight we even enjoyed a surprise visit with funcle Aaron who came out for coach Edwards funeral. We had fun playing games with him and then driving him back to the airport. We feel deeply blessed and deeply loved.
Tomorrow is the beginning of my last semester at BYU. I'm excited but also ready to move into the workforce and bring home the bacon. My classes are business heavy this time around but I have a senior capstone class on devotional poetry taught by Utah’s poet laureate that should be epic!
Today we also attended our new ward and we love it. The fast and testimony meeting was spiritually rewarding as were the classes and each person we met left a great impression. We're excited to see where we'll serve. Plus, Elders Quorum basketball starts Tuesday and AnneMarie tells me the Relief Society does hot chocolate nights. Booyah!
All right, that's the quick version cause this kids got class tomorrow! Love you all dearly,
While I was waiting for my new companion to arrive, I left with some other missionaries to work for a couple hours. We knocked on one door and a guy came down, happy to see us and wanting to hear our message. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, and how opened up and shared how he wanted to change.
Well, I said, the first thing we have to do is clean the house so the spirit can be here, so use this plastic bag and we´ll throw out everything unclean. So, he went at it, and put in drugs, pornographic magazines, etc. The reason I write this, is because while it was clear that he was sincere in wanting to change, it was also clear that he had led quite the life. And while I would only be visiting one time, the other missionaries would be returning.
And sure enough, the next day the missionaries got there, and José brought out a gun to give to them, that he didn't want to have in his house anymore. While they didn't accept it, just told him to get rid of it, that´s what we´re doing here. We´re cleaning up and preparing everything and everyone for when Christ returns or they return to Him.
Mission leadership council held this week in Vitoria.
My new companion is the little guy on the left, in front
Reading 2 Nephi 2 this week I was struck powerfully by the 13th verse which includes this phrase:
"And if there be no righteousness, there is no happiness."
That´s the secret! Our happiness depends on our righteousness! After, I re-read the General Conference talk Elder Russell M. Nelson gave in October about how saints can be happy under any circumstance. And it's true. Want more happiness? Be more righteous. Want complete happiness? Be completely righteous. I understand now more than ever before, that Heavenly Father gave us the commandments so that we can be happy.
Interestingly enough, the scripture for our mission is found in DC 128:24: "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!"
Yet, instructively is the next line that says, "Let your hearts rejoice and be exceedingly glad."
Let's be righteous and let's be happy! We are so blessed to be living in the fullness of times. We are so blessed to have the chance to participate in this great work, the work of salvation.
We purchased glass table tops to protect our two tables. We consider it an investment on our investment. The glass isn't that much, they wanted to tack on $125 for delivery and installation. Obviously not much installation involved, but delivery could be tricky. We opted to use the Beast of a Van to handle the pick up and delivery ourselves.
Tanner, AnneMarie and Porter called on their way back to Utah, having had to leave Vegas two days later than expected due to the snowy conditions. Utah received so much snow in the storm, they had already reached the normal snow accumulation for the entire month of January. We were worried about their driving in those conditions. They, as yourself, are investments. Some of our best. And the dividends are priceless. Take care of yourself.
It also snowed here. Unbelievable. Twitter was a buzz with all the tweets about the snow flakes coming down in the Dallas metroplex. Nothing stuck, eventually a little sun was peeking through the clouds, and then it was just cold. But for this Bostonian, it was nice to see snow in January.
Miller keeps trying his fire making skills, and although so far unsuccessful, we are able to always throw on the four hour log when he's done trying.
I don't know whether or not news had reached you down in South America, but Coach LaVell Edwards passed away the 29th of December. Because your Uncle played for BYU, he was invited to attend his funeral. He flew out Thursday evening, and returns tonight. "The stadium lights shone through the night after BYU lost the first of two national-championship-winning coaches. As 2016 concluded, LaVell Edwards passed away (Dec. 29) and then Carl McGown (Dec. 30). A public memorial is Friday evening. Former BYU volleyball coach Carl McGown's team won the first of two national championships in 1999.
One last time under the lights to honor a great man.
R.I.P. Coach Edwards.
Your cousin Sarah is now back at BYU I, courtesy Aunt Jenny and her driving skills during Utah's snowstorm of the century.
In the words of Aunt Jenny, "Happy Birthday to the Queen of Everything! 👑 She is a living legacy--her sphere of influence is worldwide. There's always room for one more at her hearth and in her home. She does her best work when her hands are in the dirt, using needle and thread or serving a meal. She's an inspiration." Your grandmother celebrated her 77th birthday today. There are not enough words for me to describe how I feel about her, but my cup runneth over.
The Bachs left Wednesday for the airport, with three additional hitch hikers. Tanner, AnneMarie and Porter all left from the same airline as they, and an hour apart. Very nice. Wednesday morning was also the first day of school for the four remaining at home. By the time 8 a.m. rolled around, and it was just your father and I in the house, I was ready for a nap. But the house needed and still needs a lot of attention. Our new washing machine arrived Thursday, so the bedding's been changed. I took a picture of the shelves that were put up over the Christmas break, in my washroom. How wonderful to have help with my desires of getting that room more organized. So helpful.
The tractor was finished. I did not believe this would happen. Bro. Bach and Cooper worked tirelessly...fixing the engine, changing the belts, fixing the mower attachment...and it works! Monday night was the finale when Cooper drove us around the yard in the bucket attachment for our family home evening activity. There are pictures somewhere!
Sawyer had a home game this week,so fun to watch. He had three great spin moves under the net; a lot of turnovers, a few free throws...definitely a key contributor to their win, and their 6-1 record.
Miller had a basketball game after almost three weeks of no basketball activities. He was rusty, but so were all the other boys who had also enjoyed their Christmas break. Breyer had a bye this week.
Today in church a young mother was trying to bear her testimony, and the child she was carrying was unmercifully attempting to grab a hold of the microphone. And she was emotional. Your father stood up and took the baby boy from her arms, and sat back down. She was grateful. Those of us in the audience were grateful, and the baby boy was content. Your brothers were speechless, and after the shock wore off, of seeing another child in your father's arms, they were digging for a camera.\
I was contemplating on wonderful service oriented organizations, clubs, churches, individuals, and what makes the service we perform, especially as missionaries, different. Many, many others are involved in ministering, wonderful ministers of the pure love of Christ. But because our service is organized under the Priesthood, we are allowed the opportunity to receive revelation, and have access to Priesthood power. These tools make us different, and essentially, very effective, as service rendered in such a manner has the power to alter a course of life. And such change is rippled through the eternities. You're ripples are felt,and will continue to be felt; you make a difference. Feel loved.
"We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Every one of us has potential we can scarcely imagine." Joseph B. Wirthlin
“We write to taste life twice once in the moment and retrospect.” Anias Nin
Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
When we are filled with Love, we can make a profound difference. It's what we came to do. Ardeth G. Kapp
Men are what their mothers made them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860
In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers. Dieter F. Utchdorf
I want to be the kind of Mom that would remember to get the broken Wheezy off of the shelf, fix his squeaker, and put him back in the toy box, having hope that my boys will still want to play.
11 out of 12 original astronaut corps (89%) who have walked on the moon have been an Eagle Scout