Dear Elder Schenewark, et al,
We just got home from stake conference, a spiritual feast having one of the twelve apostles, Elder Rasband, in attendance. He was very sweet. Very humble. Very much the common man. He compared his 18 months of being a new apostle to the staggering 54 years under the senior apostle, our Prophet Thomas S. Monson.
One thing I learned sitting on a cushioned chair is that Cooper has exceptional taste. His first date was to a young woman who had been asked yesterday to bear her testimony in today's meeting. She said she did not feel worthy enough to stand before an apostle of the Lord, and prayed exceedingly to know what to say. She then related that we're not loved because we're perfect, or unloved because of our imperfections. We're loved because we're His. And Theirs. And she wanted us to know that all of us are able to stand with the apostle when asked. You're ours. And you're loved. Imperfections and all. Cooper was beaming, in a she's-my-first-date kind of way.
Cooper made text arrangements for his next date, Mormon Prom, held the end of this month. When I determined I knew her mother, I realized his picking his dates with exceptional taste streak continues.
Cooper and I were able to meet with a representative of the Granbury Parks and Recreation Department in regards to a possible Eagle Scout project. Yeah. Monumental step in moving forward for him. He will be building a double sided park bench for a small exercise park that had an area set aside for such a bench. The representative and Cooper both arrived with a vision of the bench on paper, and when compared, found they were identical. He's spent the remainder of his free time during spring break filling out the extensive BSA paperwork requirements for filing an Eagle Scout project.
March Madness is in full effect. Miller checks the brackets every other minute; Sawyer updates us on his bracket every five minutes, and Breyer, currently in first place, lets us know all the time. Cooper's picks were by the flip of a coin, and he hasn't done too shabby. Miller, winner of the last two years, still picked an impressive bracket, but most likely will relinquish control.
Our game of the week is Parcheesi. We've put Apples to Apples back on the shelf. Your father and brothers are trying the team version of Parcheesi, with Miller and Dad scheming against Cooper and Sawyer. The main difference in the game is that when you land on the same space as your teammate's piece it becomes a blockade instead of sending their piece back to home base. Update on the Parcheesi game in progress: Your father is not happy, as Cooper and Sawyer have multiple blockades on the board, and he's frustrated in not being able to progress.
We did play a rousing game of Duck, Duck, Goose in family home evening, at your sister's request. Dad would get all the way around the circle and reach back to touch someone with his long arms enabling him to quickly sit. Good times on the rug.
Baseball practice continued even though some players were away during spring break. The weather increased ten degrees plus, and the mid 80 degree temperature made practicing baseball feel like it was summer. Breyer had the only game this week, scoring the only goal for her team. Her cheeks were close to purple when she finished.
The biggest activity during this week off was Trek. Cooper and Sawyer were gone for three days, walking and camping in Lyndon B. Johnson's National Grasslands. They had a wonderful time. Pictures will be forthcoming.
Your cousin Kaleb sent us a lovely note from Alaska. He said, In the Alaska Anchorage Mission we carry a Book of Mormon everywhere, we establish the Church in homes, we are exactly obedient, we do the Lord's will, and we teach repentance and baptize converts." What a wonderful summary of your mission as well. I don't think he left anything out.
His sister, and another of your cousins, received a sports award worthy of mention in this week's missive. Stevie brought home many, but "The Jack Ford Scholar Athlete award" was the most humbling for her. It's the highest honor a basketball player in NH can receive and Stevie is the first ever from Gilford to receive it. I love my family!
We hope you're well. We worry about your safety. Brazil and the world are at such unrest. You're looking rather thin in the pictures so that worries me as well. We pray for you continuously. Know of our love for you, and be at peace.