Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sept 24, 2012--Letter from Matt

Hey everyone!
Mom, What do you mean weird sense of humer?! haha, yeah maybe. Ummmm,,,,
I'm in the same place but now I have an new Compañero. His name is Elder
Kunz (coons, like racoons) He is... white, which is really weird becuase
they hardly have 2 americans together. Sunday was pretty good, and I'll
write about it if I get the chance.
Katrina, the next time you should listen! haha. but whatever. I will
probably watch that when I get home but not yet. In Mexico... I don't know
yet. I guess I'll find out. We just sort of finished summer here. The hot
month is agust. I wish I could see your play too, But congrats on making
the shakespear team!
Dear Miriam, I'm glad that you now have a life, but I'm also afraid that
you los i again by joining those two clubs. haha,  I'm sure it will help
you later in life. Hey, do me a favor and shoot Thomas with
that airsoft gun then next chance you get haha!
Thomas, It's really nice to hear that you lost again... Don't take it too
hard, you don't stink. THOMAS, ARE YOU READING YOUR
Dear dad, how are you, tell Thomas to tell me if he is reading his
scriptures please. That is so true, right now I'm only running on 6 hours
of sleep and I can really see the difference. Don't let it pile up on you
if you can help it!
Ok, well there isn't much to tell this week, I'm in the same place, still
sweating, the only thing that is changing is everything else :) This last
week was hard but then again most weeks are hard here in one way or
another. Elder Livingston left to Masetlán Today and I am suprised that I
miss him so much. He says that after his mission he is going to visit you
guys so if he drops by, or calls or something like that, don't be weirded
out. I don't think he will

. We are teaching a little girl and
her dad.  The mom of the family is a member of the church. We
think that the girl is going to get baptised here
soon. But we dont know. We are also teaching a husband and wife and
their grandchild.  They are actually progressing quite a bit. That's
about it.

Sept 23, 2012--Dear Elder

Dear Elder,

Hi!  It’s so nice to write to you.  I wonder if you got transferred this week, and if you will get a chance to write to us tomorrow.  I also wonder what has happened with the families that you have contacted lately.  I really enjoyed last week’s letter.  I am so happy that all of the family you were teaching is baptized now.  Thanks for the pictures you have sent of the people you and your companion have baptized.  It is nice to see you, them, and Elder Livingston all looking so full of joy. 

Today we had the wonderful experience of participating in the dedication of a temple.  They designated the stake centers in the area as extensions of the temple and held the dedication ceremonies in place of church meetings.  We went to the 9:00 session this morning and I really felt the spirit and lots of happiness.  Elder Packer and Elder Perry spoke as well Sister Packer and the president and matron of the temple.  Their talks were wonderful!  My goal after listening to the talks today is to re-establish good habits in my life that have been neglected.

As Katrina told you, last week we had a conference for all of the area and heard Elder Oaks speak.  His talk and the other ones given were inspired, and I really felt the Spirit.  We also look forward to General Conference in two weeks.  We have been so blessed to have so many chances to hear apostles and prophets and to hear the word of the Lord!  I know I have really need and appreciate these opportunities.

Yesterday was a nice day.  Dad got home from working at the laundry pretty early, and we decided to go out and have some family time while Grandma was still asleep.  We had some universal day passes that the kids had earned working this summer, so we went mini golfing.  We each got 20 game tokens and had fun playing Skeeball, basketball, Deal or no Deal, etc.  The kids redeemed our tickets for candy and Thomas also got a sticky hand to play with, and some little mustaches that clip under your nose.  Next we played miniature golf.  Thomas passed out mustaches to everyone except Dad, since he already has one, and we had fun stroking our lucky staches before every put, and seeing people’s jealous stares since we were definitely the hippest golfers on the course.  Dad won the game and I came in second.  I think after that it was Thomas, then Miriam, and Katrina last.  We all had lots of fun.  After eating dippin dots, we went back home to take care of Grandma. 

Later Dad and Thomas went to Thomas’s game, and Miriam, Katrina, and I went to the park to see a concert.  The park was really crowded, and we couldn’t hear real well, so we listened for a couple of songs and then bought some food from a Mexican food vendor.  It was nice and authentic and incredibly delicious.  You are really lucky to eat such food all the time.  I got a taco and folded my plate taco style to make a taco holder.  It worked very well, and we slowly walked, listened, and ate our way back to the car. 

When we girls got home, Jon was here.  He had a load of yard waste in Vic’s pick-up and couldn’t drive it back to the laundry because one head light and two tail lights are out.  Troy’s parents had hired Jon to clean up the brush from their yard and haul it off.   Dad drove Jon home and will fix the lights tomorrow and dump the waste.  Jon also came by yesterday after his first day of work.  He says it went well.  The store hasn’t opened yet, so he spent the day selling memberships at credit unions across the valley.  We met him after our date to help him get some work clothes.  They are going to be working him 8 hours a day for the next few days, and he will be paid on the 4th, so he’s pretty happy that he’ll have money soon.

Friday night for our date, Dad and I ate out and then drove up the overlook road and kept driving around the back of the mountains till we came out the Canyon.  It was a very rocky drive, and I’m surprised Dad’s little pick up could make it, but he said it would, and it did.  The drive was full of beautiful fall-colored mountain vistas.  We had fun driving and talking.  Grandpa and also my brother, Tom both said they’ve watched David Copperfield recently and really liked it.  I wasn’t sure that I’d ever read it or watched it and Dad said we have the DVD, so when we got home from helping Jon at Walmart, we watched the first half of it and really liked it.  We also watched some last night, but aren’t done with it yet.

Last week I worked in the mornings again.  I didn’t do much Insanity because of my knees.  You’ll laugh, but I exercise in my flip flops because any other shoes hurt my feet.  I’ve decided I have been having knee trouble because the flip flops don’t have the cushioning of a tennis shoe.   All the running and jumping, etc, in Insanity is just way too jolting on my knees.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it all, but I’m doing other exercises for now.  Once my knees feel better, I may try Insanity every other day. 

Wednesday was a crazy day with parent teacher conference at the high school and three parent meetings, too.  I was able to call Tom, though, and wish him happy birthday.  He’s forty six this year which shows you where we’re all headed J  It was nice to talk to him.  Sarah and James are in Texas now, and I think they are finally getting ready to move into their house.  They’ve been living in a hotel for what? About a month now?  The other relatives seem to be doing well and keeping busy. 

I got to Skype with Cassandra and Lily this week and I really liked it.  Jon was there with me, and he thought it was pretty silly the way I act when I talk to Lily, but I don’t care J  She did her friendly dance and rode her pony and smiled lots.  After Skyping, Jon was so disgusted about how slow my computer runs that he spent lots of time fixing it, and it has been running great ever since.

On Monday night we drove up the canyon and had a picnic for Family Home Evening.  It was fun to eat by the stream and talk.  After eating, since we didn’t have a Frisbee to throw around, we decided to go for a walk around the park instead.  By then it was getting cold so we hauled the blankets out of the back of the van and the wimpy ones wore them to stay warm.  We crossed the bridge and walked along the other side of the stream on a dusty trail.  It was a fun little walk.

Well, that was our week.  I’m back to studying Preach My Gospel.  I stopped for awhile because it just wasn’t working out for me to study it on the computer, but now I am studying again this time with books instead of online study tools.  I am learning about the Holy Ghost, and we plan to have a lesson on feeling the Holy Ghost for Family Home Evening tonight or tomorrow night.

I love you very much, Matt, and if you got a new area and companion, I hope you get used to it all soon and that you will be blessed to be able to continue on with the work of the Lord without interruption, and that you will be blessed with all the other things you need to be happy and close to Heavenly Father as you do His work.  I am praying for you!

September 17,2012--From Matt

Dear family

Katrina, I can talk to people in spanish, am I fluent..... well I have a
pretty strong accent. The mission in general? like the mission?
It's doing well. haha. Normally on P day we wake up, study spanish, get
ready for the day, study personally and in companionship, by then it's ten,
we clean the house, we fix the area book a little bit, by then it's like
12:00 or 12:30 we go write, we shop, then we come back to the house and do
other things that have been waiting during the week like laundry, fixing
stuff that's broken and things like that, at 6:00 we go to la 
Districto untill about 8:00 then we hit the street for an hour and then we
come back. :) What did Elder Oaks talk about? Did you like it or did you
sleep the whole time? Was there a lot of people there?

Miriam, that sounds way awesome! Thanks for telling me about everything!
Was this a special occasion or was it just for fun? Does this meen that you
are done with work? What do you usually do after school? It's really good
to hear that you and preston are friends and not just dating.

Thomas, Well that's cool that MMHS finally scored! I mean, sometimes it
snows in July right? :) No, but I'm really proud of you bud! I remember
being fourteen although it was a looong 5 years ago haha, it is hard. Life
is hard some times budd. Please Please take this advice and read your
scriptures daily, pray daily, the Lord gives us commandments because he
loves us. Just try it out, follow through with a commandment and ask the
Lord to give you a testimony of the blessings that come from that. I promis
it will work. (that lil bit of advice goes for everyone in the family) hang
in there! Tell me about student councel 'n all that jazz ok?

Dad, it's great to hear that you are finding the drive to do these things!
I don't know much about writing but I do know that the most important part
is to just do it. Finish something and then after that you can try to
improve or something haha. So, the job isn't that bad? I thought it was
going to be really hard for you but it's good to know that it isn't all
bad. :) tell me when or if you finish the chapter! So you work close to
where my friend lives in birdseye right? or do you work somewhere else? How
are the students? Oh, I just thought of something, you know,you help a lot
of people in their life too. Being a teacher is a cool weird opprotunity
because either the kids hate you or love you, there is hardly an inbetween
right? I don't know.

Mom, hi! I forgot to take the pictures, I'm gonna trya and do it soon.
haha, but we have ... ... ... Transfers, almost forgot the word, we have
transfers this next week so I might not be able to write untill the next
monday but we'll see. What about insanity hurts your knees? That really
sucks, but don't give up! haha,

well thats about all I have to write bout this week, just a few more
things, Juan just got baptised, that means the whole
family are/is members of the church! Yay! We helped a guy cut his hair, it
was weird but we got to help him so that's good. Umm... anyway that's
really about it.  bye!

Sept 17 2012--Dear Elder

Dear Elder,

Hi, How are you?  I hope that your week was as good as the one before.  We really enjoyed your letter about that week, and it fills us with joy to read about your successful missionary work.  It is so exciting that you got to baptize an investigator.  I’m so glad that your baptism clothes got to you in time .  Thanks for sending the photo of you in your baptism clothes with the family.  It is a wonderful picture!  I was also happy to read about the family that you and Elder Livingston were impressed to stop and talk to, who accepted a date to be baptized.  The work really does move fast there, and it is wonderful to see how Heavenly Father is pouring out His spirit and blessings on you and Elder Livingston to help you keep up with the work. 

The family is doing well.  No, of course you can’t get Katrina a present.  I can’t believe that she even asked you for one.  I’m sure she was kidding.  She has had friends over a few times this week to practice Shakespeare.   She has also been going to play practice and to children’s choir rehearsals.  She is one busy kid! 

Miriam’s teacher asked her to be one of the leaders in DECA or FBLA, I can’t remember which.  She’s pretty excited about that.  She and Moira Facer are planning to make and sell cookie dough as a fund raiser for school choir tour this year.  That sounds like a nice little business. 

Things have really changed for Thomas in football, but I’ll let him tell you about that.  He also went to a school dance this week, and went to a PPT gym type place with Hayden Boyd and they had a blast. 
Cassandra and Emerson have been in Lake Tahoe, but they are home now.   I think they had fun, but they said everything was crazy expensive, like a bottle of water was ten dollars.  

Jon got the job at Costco!  We are so happy for him!  We’ve been able to see him quite a bit this week which has been really nice.  I’m excited that his work is so close to us because I am thinking that he will be able to stop by and say “hi” quite often.  Who knows, he may even be able to join us for dinner sometimes.

Today was a regional stake conference which included all 149 stakes in the area.  We heard many wonderful talks, and Elder Oaks spoke.  The talks really motivated me to try harder to be anxiously engaged in the service of God.   One thing that Elder Walker from the Seventy said that really stood out to me is that in the Church we do lots of organizing in our buildings.  We organize classes and programs and quorums, but the most important organization in the world, the family, is organized in the most sacred place in the world, the temple, where couples are married for time and all eternity.   I am so glad that Dad and I were married in the temple and that we can be together with you kids and our Heavenly Father eternally.

It is a beautiful day outside.  Temperatures are cooling down a bit; the high is only about 84 degrees today, and I don’t have to water the full-sun plants every single day any more.  The plants in the front of the house, by the way, are beautiful.  The cannas are super tall and topped with orange flowers.  The holly hocks are thriving and are covered with pink blooms.  The dense low-growing plants Dad and I planted along the fence between us and the Peery’s have filled in the space and are growing nicely with lots of pink spiky flowers.   In the back yard, the apricot tree, that I once thought was dying, is doing well.  I am so glad since it is the biggest, most beautiful apricot tree that I have ever seen.  The rest of the yard is also doing well.  The 4 bushes I bought on clearance for a dollar each at the end on one year’s growing season are growing nicely, and one is covered with constant blooms. 

Dad is really enjoying his new teaching position.  It’s nice for him to teach students who will be around for more than 45 days.  He is also still doing Insanity, and is getting quite muscle-y.  He has been wanting to go and do a bit of shooting and also some coyote hunting.  I hope he gets a chance to do these things soon.

I have also been doing Insanity and I love it because I have lots more energy and my clothes fit better.  One bad thing, though, is that my knees are giving me lots of trouble.  I had to skip Insanity yesterday, and today of course,  is my day off.  I am hoping to start up again tomorrow and somehow turn a corner on the pain.  I’m worried that I will have to quit Insanity which I don’t want to do.
I am also still doing testing at the elementary schools.  I like it because I get to work with nice people and with kids and get out of the house for awhile.  I only will be doing it for one week more and then not again till January.   I am also starting to volunteer at the junior high this week.  I will be tutoring a student in reading during e-time twice a week.  Remember how Mrs.  Guymon helped you with reading?  Maybe I can help someone now.

 I am also taking care of Grandma, of course.  She has slowed down quite a bit and I don’t get her out of her chair as much because it tires her out.  She wasn’t saying much for awhile and preferred to just sit and hold someone’s hand.  She’s been asking for and enjoying lots of ice cream, root beer and stuff like that, though.  She even asked for chocolate in her ice cream yesterday which has always been something she used to avoid.  She’s also enjoyed pizza lately which she never would eat before.  Maybe she’s come to the same conclusion I have which is, hey, she’s 85 years old; time to live a little.  No ill effects so far.  She goes in cycles and is beginning to talk more again and sleep less.

I got to talk to Grandpa and Grandma Haws a bit this week.  They took a nice trip to visit a small town in the southern part of the state.  Grandma enjoyed the beautiful drive and Grandpa enjoyed visiting with new and interesting people.  It was fun to hear their report.  We are going to go visit them during spring break and I’m really excited because for once out spring break is during the time of the Easter pageant, which I loved attending as a girl and have really missed since I moved away.  It is performed on the temple grounds and is a beautiful depiction of the life and ministry of the Savior.   

 We are also toying with the idea of getting passports or cards for the kids so that we can visit Mexico while we are there so that the kids can get an idea of what it is like where you are.  Well, it won’t be a whole lot like the part of Mexico that you are in, but it will still be a cultural experience, don’t you think?  We are still trying to decide weather or not to do it.

Well, Matt.  I love you very much.  Thank you for writing so much to us because we really enjoy hearing about what is happening with you and your investigators.  Remember that I need some pictures of you so that you will have a photo on your missionary plaque.  I love the one you sent with you in your mission clothes, but I think it’s too small.  Please send some asap!  I also like the other picture you took of the virgin Mary.  Can you translate what is written beneath?  “Virgencita:  plis cuida a todos pero un poquito mas a mi” is what it said.  Keep up the good work of the Lord and remember that we love you very much and are faithfully praying for you to be blessed. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Sept 10--Letter from Matt

Hey, How is everyone? Dad, Don't worry, I can stil understand you. Es que aveces empiezo habar en español y yo no lo puedo dejar, pero está bien. ni modo.
Katrina, I don't think that I will be able to get you a present. I Think you chose well with the Fire, Don't tell me about the egend of Korra, I'm going to watch it when I get back! (I hope) well, I hope you had a great birthday party. That's soo cool that you got into the shakesepear play! I think you'll make a great man! ;) How have you been doing in schoo? Is it easy this year or hard? I don't remember if I dream in spanish or not, it's really hard to tell, because I'm very tired. I can understand everyone when they talk to me, and I can express myself well, but I still have to learn some more
Dad, Maybe I should start taking in Japanese..... ching-chong wing-wong fa ra-ra-ra-ra ru ra-ra-ra macodedanodu, well what do you know? I guess I know Japanes too! haha, well, I'm really glad that you had a lot of fun this week, I know that your job is taxing! :P Yeah, I know! That's a great score, for them atleast... haha, when I was a senior there, I wore my shirt and sweater from the other high school on the day they played us in football haha! Keep on grading.
Thomas, Just wait, i will be able to smack your skinny bumb into the ground when I get back! haha, well we'll see... How is school going? Are you on student counsel or anything like that? what have you been doing at home? Have you even been at home? Do you still read your scriptures before you go to sleep? How is life, being 14 is hard buisness.
Miriam, Are you excited to stop working? What will life be like without work? what will you do all day? haha, What crazy type of shoes are them yunngins wearin' nowdays? Here, the shoes are pretty much... brown. oh, wait, that's only because of the mud. haha. How. are. you?
Mom, hmmm, I will be on the look-out, you might have to remind me though. Yes things are cheeper here.I don't need anything because there isn't time enough to use anything. haha. Stop worring about the food and the cocroaches, we just flick them off. no biggy. haha, no that's only when they die in the food. haha! Are you crazy?!?! we keep everything in the fridge, it rotts in about 2 days if you dont.
Ok, I don't have much time to write but I'l start with the important stuff. We didn't baptize the son last week because he really isnt ready to do that, we are going to baptise him this week. We asked the other man being baptized who he wanted to baptise him, he asked who could do it. We said, we could or just about any guy in the church with a white shirt and tie. he asked me if I could. That was a really cool moment. He said it was because of something I had said. He had had a smoking problem and was trying to quit. When we talked about it, I asked him if he loved his wife and his little kid, he said: ''A lot'' I asked him how long he wanted his little boy to have a father, he said: ''As long as he can.'' I told him to think that every time he smokes a cig he is shortening his time with his family just a little bit more, there is a lot more to tell about the week but we have just about run out of time. so I'll try and be short.

This week we have seen over and over again that the Lord is guiding this work. it was about 8:00 at night, we had one more hour left and had just come out of a lesson, we were happy with the day when Elder Livingston said: ''Elder Cole, this morning we both felt like we were going to find 2 people that were going to commit to be baptised, we're almost about to go back to the house, and we haven't found them, what should we do?'' I thought about it and said that we should offer a prayer and ask to recive reveation. Elder Livingston said that he strongly felt like we should go to the house of some investigators, I said ok, let's go. On the way, there was a man and his wife sitting infront of their house (In Mexico that is super normal) Elder Livingston and I both felt the impression that we needed to stop and talk with them. We did, and they both have accepted a baptismal date. they are great people but there isn't enough time to write about them. The point is, the Lord knows his children and he put them in our path so that we could recive revilation to go to a house that would make us walk by their house so that we could contact them. and start to teach them.

Sept 10--Dear Matt: Katrina's Birthday, Out with Brian, etc.

Dear Elder,

Hi!  How happy and excited we were to get your letter on Tuesday!  When it didn’t come Monday, Dad assured me that sometimes preparation days get canceled or rescheduled for one reason or another, so I didn’t worry, but I was disappointed.  It was so nice of your mission president to let you have one on Tuesday instead.  You write that he is a good and inspired man, and I am so glad that you and your companion got to spend some extra time with him.  I know that will be a blessing in your life.  

Thanks so much for writing such detailed letters; you have no idea how much we love reading about everything that is happening with you on your mission.  I am soooo glad that you got your package!  I prayed and prayed that you would.  We are all very happy that you were able to baptize another member of that sweet family and also the other man.  I hope the baptisms went well.  I am praying for the family that you and Elder Livingston found through specific prayer, that they will accept the restored gospel.  

I am so glad that you can be so close to the Holy Ghost and that you and Elder Livingston are so faithful in following it’s promptings.  I know you are both being blessed for obeying the Lord and keeping the mission rules.  I know you are studying and praying diligently.  You are a wonderful example to me and the rest of the family.  I am trying to study and pray diligently, too, and it is amazing how much Heavenly Father blesses my weak efforts.  We work hard to have family scriptures with the family, and to talk about and teach about Christ and His teachings as we do.  The kids are doing pretty well, although I really appreciate your words of encouragement to them to stay faithful and diligent and I hope you keep giving them because I know it really does help.

Thanks for sending the car-wach picture.  That is so funny!  The other picture of the 12 cockroaches you killed is just plain gross, ha ha.  I hope you keep all your food sealed and put away.  Okay, I have to stop thinking about that now.

I am so glad that you have plenty of money.  Make sure you pay attention to the things that you need and buy them.  Who knows when you will be transferred to some remote spot and will be unable to buy the things you need.  We will keep you posted on how much money you have in your account.  BTW, in your travels, if you happen to see white porcelain platters, saucers, etc. with silver swirls, silver flowers, silver birds, etc inlaid  in the porcelain, will you please take a picture?  I wanted some stuff like that in Cabo, but it was too expensive.  I am wondering if it is less money further inland, so let me know the price, too.

Let’s asked about Oktoberfest.  Yes, there were lots of beer mugs floating around,  I felt a bit different carrying my water bottle around, ha ha.  I think I enjoyed the Greek festival last year better as far as learning something new about a culture, but we really enjoyed the food and scenery.  What else...Oh, about Insanity.  It is more intense that P90X.  It is pretty wild.  I love having Sundays off from exercising.  One more reason to love the Sabbath, right?  

So, what has happened this week?  We kicked it off on Monday with a birthday celebration for Katrina.  I will try to send you her madlibs in case you have time to read them.  It details the ways she got to celebrate this year.  This week Katrina also has been to play tryouts, and I will let her tell you about that in her letter.  Miriam has been working of course.  She gets off early on Mondays and Wednesdays for Family Home Evening and Young Women.  She is done working at the end of this month.  Thank Goodness!  Thomas is trying to enjoy being fourteen, but I have found that it is definitely the hardest age of all for kids.  It was for me, and for each one of you, so remember him in your prayers.  

Cassandra and Emerson are excited about their house.  They say it will take a long time to close, but I keep praying that it will close soon since then maybe Dad can come up during fall break and help them with repairs.  Right now it doesn’t look like that will happen.  Lily is cute and fun as always and we got to SKYPE with her this week.  

I got to see Jonathan quite a bit yesterday.  I went to the laundry to wash clothes, and he was there because he worked for Vic.  He helped me with the laundry quite a bit, and we had a very nice time talking.  Then he went to Thomas’s game and came home for dinner afterward.  Miriam and Katrina were gone with friends, so we had a nice dinner, just me, Dad, and the boys.  Jon stayed for awhile after dinner before he had to go.  His being here sure made it a nice evening!  

Dad has been working hard, of course.  On Friday night we went out to eat and then we went to campus to watch people try out to be in a comedy troupe.  It was lots of fun.  We were at least twenty years older than anyone else there, ha ha.  We also started a fun video series made by the BBC, I think.  It is always fun being around Dad.  We also spent  some time together on Wednesday before family dinner time and then again after the kids left for Young Men/Young Women.  Today I have a five o clock meeting, but that’s all.  I hope we can have lots of good family time.

Today (Sunday), Ryan, Jon’s friend, spoke in church.  He just finished his mission in Kentucky.  We sat behind the Gledhills, and it was good to see them all there, taking up the entire row.  It filled my heart with so much happiness to see the friends of my children faithful to the gospel and to their families.  

Tonight we had fun making dinner together as a family and eating as a family.  Then Don, Renee, Becky, and Donny came over and we had a nice visit.  We read your letter out loud and also read a conference talk together.  Then I put Grandma to bed.  I think she liked having visitors.
Tomorrow I am beginning a two week job testing in the schools.  It is only in the morning till noon, and Grandma is usually asleep at that time anyway.  Miriam will come home from lunch around eleven every day, and Dad will come home from lunch, too, so they can check on her.  I am looking forward to getting out of the house a bit.  I love you very much, Matt.  Have a wonderful week!


Katrina's Real Birthday

Tomorrow is Katrina’s sweet sixteenth birthday.  It has been a very fun weekend for her.  First, she had a birthday party with her friends on Saturday night where they ate pizza, watched the movie, “Thor,” and had fast and furious conversation.  She got lots of fun presents like candy, money, bath stuff, and a shirt.  Then today, she asked if we could go to Oktoberfest at the sSki resort which we did.  Katrina tried spetzel, fried potatoes, and apple strudel.  I’ll let you figure out which food she liked the best.  We also rode the ski lift to the top of a mountain, walked through a tunnel and back and rode back down again.  Tonight we are having a birthday celebration for Katrina with spaghetti, gifts, lemon bars, ice cream, and of course Madlibs.  But wait, that’s not all.  Tomorrow, on her actual birthday,  Katrina is going to come home from school for lunch where she will have Papa John’s pizza waiting for her eating enjoyment.  It certainly has been and will be a fun sixteenth birthday for Katrina.
Katrina is a very interesting and accomplished person.  She loves playing the piano and will be starting lessons for this school year soon.   She is also a wonderful singer.  Last month, she sang with Miriam in church, and she will soon be starting up again with the  Children’s Choir.  Katrina is also an accomplished actress and will soon be trying out for the Shakespeare team by performing a monologue in front of Judges.  Also, tomorrow, on her very birthday, Katrina will be trying out for the school fall play, Annie Get Your Gun.  She is also still working at Seven Peaks whenever they have her scheduled which is rarely.  Oh, and then there’s German which Katrina is studying in school this year and which she enjoys very much.  I also purchased her an app on her Kindle with German vocabulary on it in which she and Brian and even Thomas have displayed great interest.  As you can see, Katrina is a very involved and fun person and we love her very much.

Katrina's Madlibs Birthday

Blog Note:  As you may kmow, our family has a tradition of making a Madilibs write-up for each person's birthday, so this is the one for Katrina's Birthday.  Next post will be the original wirte-up with no Madlibs.

Someday is Katrina’s speedy 116,858th instruction code day.  It has been a very fluffy weekend for her.  First, she had a Kwanza party with her introverts on Saturday night where they ate cake pops, watched the movie, “Gaston,” and had mustard yellow and prickly conversation.  She got lots of spontaneous presents like candy, a baby buggy, slow stuff, and a cadallac escalade.  Then today, she asked if we could go to Pubertyfest at MercuryPlatypus football resort which we did.  Katrina tried salmon in a can, fried pinecones, and dandelion strudel.  I’ll let you figure out which sprinkler she liked the best.  We also rode the towel lift to the top of Mount Vesuvious, walked through a beer cave and back and cheated back down again.  Tonight we are having a dinnerday celebration for Katrina with fried worms, nuns, monk bars, Pope cream, and of course Madlibs.  But wait, that’s not all.  Tomorrow, on her actual midlife crisis day,  Katrina is going to come home from Synagouge for lunch where she will have Papa Horatio’s pizza waiting for her twisting enjoyment.  It certainly has been and will be a bumpy einsth elevensies day for Katrina.

Katrina is a very sparkly and luminous person.  She loves slithering the piano and will be starting lessons for this Tiki Cat soon.   She is also a wonderful eater.  Last month, she ate with Miriam in church, and she will soon be starting up again with the Disneyland Valley Fogie’s Occult.  Katrina is also a shapely actress and will soon be trying out for the Bogart team by performing a sneeze in front of HR directors.  Also, tomorrow, on her very funeralday, Katrina will be trying out for the mental institution’s fall play, Ichabod Get Your Salt.  She is also still working at Seventeen Peaks whenever they have her scheduled which is when heck freezes over.  Oh, and then there’s Macedonian which Katrina is studying in school this year and which she is infatuated with.  I also stoled her an app on her Ipod with Belgium vocabulary on it in which she and Henry and even Bob have displayed great urgency.  As you can see, Katrina is a very creamy and blood curdling person and we jiggle her very much.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sept 4--Letter From Matt

(Blog Note: Wow, I think the format of this post is the worse ever! Every time I fix it, it gets worse, but Matt's letter makes up for it. Here's his letter with lots of spelling corrections, but not enough grammar corrections, ha ha.)
Hi! It's Tuesday, and I'm writing you! Ok what happened yesterday is that the Mission President was doing interviews and because of that and the fact that the Zone meeting was super early in the morning meant that we weren't going to have enough time to do all of the things that we would need to so we moved 
preparation day to Tuesday. 
Thank you all so much for the package, it got here yesterday, along with some dear elders. The pants are there along with the candy. I really appreciated 
the clear plastic cover, I was able to cut it down and make a cover for my 
planner that fits well and that I can put on my next planner too. The candy is perfect because I'm 99% sure that they don't have Swedish fish here or 
Thomas, well that's lame that your coach seems a little biased, but if you are corner maybe it will be a better thing for you! Don't worry about the score, Maple Mountain sucks at football anyway. Stay safe out there, ok? man, it's 
weird to think that when I get back, you will be ending your junior year in 
High school, stay awesome and out of bad stuff, ok? I really promise you that if you will pray and read the scriptures every day, that your life will have 
more peace, and tranquility.
Katrina, I would go with a droid... just saying, but I guess you aren't 
buying a phone, man it's freaking hard to write in English. Shakespeare, he 
can be pretty dry, I don't think I've actually seen Anne get your Gun, is it 
good? what Shakespeare play are you doing? What are you even going to do with your nifty new iPod? You are a sophomore right? dang.... you will be 
graduating when I get back. Drama is really cool, but remember to get out with normal people some times or else you will go insane.
Miriam, That sucks, working on labor day, well... I guess you did labor... ha... ha.. hahahah :) Is Thomas still alive after your shopping trip? Preston 
went to New York? Why? That's cool. How is senior year going? (I just 
remembered how to spell ''seinor'') do you like it?
Dad, thanks a lot for telling me about Grandma and Grandpa helping me out. 
That is super nice of them and I really want to tell them thanks. Keep on 
doing insanity, it's pretty darn intense, after you get done with that one, 
you could try P90X I think that's a bit harder. Have you heard of crossfit? 
That's like insane speed weight lifting and stuff, I don't know if you would 
have enough time though. The Lord works in mysterious ways, I bet that almost no one has the will power to actually exercise regularly after they have 
diabetes. What is Oktoberfest? Isn't that were they drink a lot of beer and 
eat beer bread? 
Haha Mom, I don't think I'll need much more money, maybe in the future, but 
really I'm set here. I'll talk to my companion about taking a picture or two. Thank you so much for your letter, and I appreciate the description of the scenery. There aren't any mountains here. :P Btw, 65 bucks is like 1,000 pesos, and that will last for a looooong 
time, and buy a lot of stuff.  
This Monday was a great opportunity, we got interviewed by our mission president. He is very powerful, and very loving towards the missionaries. He loves being a Mission President. We had our interviews at 7:30, after everybody else so he had more time to interview me and elder Livingston. He speaks really good English and interviewed me in English too. I answered back in Spanglish 
because there are a lot of things that I don't remember quite how to say in 
English, haha. After the interviews, he gave us a ride to our house because it was 9:00. He talked to us a lot about the mission and different things that 
were on his mind. That almost never, ever happens. We usually only see him 
when he is talking to large groups of missionaries.
Oh, other things that are happening, we are having 2 more baptisms this week, one is the son of the mom who got baptized earlier and the other one is the 
brother we have been teaching, He called us and told us that he got an answer and that he wants to be baptised, now. Haha, Who are we to say no to that? We are really into the process of looking for people right now, the work moves fast here. 
On... I don't remember what day, but Elder Livingston gave a specific prayer 
and in that prayer, he said that we were going to knock on a door, that a 
family was going to answer and invite us in, and that this family would be 
ready to hear about the restored gospel. Later that day we were trying to find a reference but the address was bad, so we had to look in various houses to find it. In the last door that we knocked on, a family was inside getting lunch ready, and invited us in right off the bat, before we even said who we were. We went in, sat down and introduced ourselves
That is just one experience of my growing testimony that this church is true, that the lord is always listening to our prayers and that Missionary work is 
something that is called of God. We have had a couple more opportunities to 
talk with that family, they are very Catholic but I really think that they 
will listen to us. Well, that's that. I can't think of anything else to write.

Dear Elder Sept 3

Dear Elder,

Hi!  Thanks for the letter!  It was so nice to hear from you.  It sounds like you are getting the things you need and that your investigators are drawing closer to the Lord.  We read your letter Monday night for family home evening and the kids thought it was funny that Dad and I got a little teary.  We are just so proud of you and the service you are doing to God and your fellow man.  You are a wonderful blessing and example to our family.

Today is Wednesday and here are the week’s happenings so far.  First, Jon moved out on Monday.  It happened so quickly, I barely had a chance to get used to the idea.  One second he was talking on the phone and finding out there was an apartment available at campus plaza, and the next second I was driving him there to pay first month’s rent and the deposit.  Dad followed with the van that still contained all Jon’s stuff from moving from Logan, and we moved Jon in.  We hardly had any time with him here at all.  He seems to be pretty happy.  Troy is living there, too.  He’s in the process of helping a roommate out with some stuff.

Also on Monday, I started Insanity which is an exercise program from the makers of P90X.  It is crazy hard.  After the first time day, I felt like I was going to throw up and I had to put my head between my legs to keep from passing out.  On the second day, I finished with a headache and aching muscles.  Today I hurt so bad, I didn’t want to get out of bed, and had to say a prayer to get up the courage to work out.  Today’s workout was a bit easier for me, and I feel like maybe I can do this.  Dad started Insanity last week, and I have really appreciated his encouragement to keep going.  We are doing this routine in order to get the very best workout available in just forty minutes.  We don’t have time to waste messing around.

Also I have continued to re-vamp our food storage, and take care of Grandma and the family.  Don’t worry too much about Thomas and Miriam.  Yes, Thomas was sick with strep, but he is on antibiotics and went back to school this morning.  He’s going to be fine.  Miriam found out that she is like Thomas in that eating whole wheat hurts her digestion.  She also has been feeling unwell when she doesn’t get enough to eat and I mentioned that she may be a bit hypoglycemic.  That’s it.  No big diagnosis and no big symptoms. 

It’s been nice having Thomas home the first two days of this week, and yesterday he read me funny things off the internet while I did laundry and cleaned up the laundry room.  In the evening, Katrina and I made pizza.  It was a bit of a pain because I had to make whole wheat crust for Dad and white crust for Miriam and Thomas.  Also, I was totally out of energy from doing insanity in the morning, ha ha.  The pizza was good, though, and I sent everyone with cold pizzas in their lunches this morning. 

Dad and I went for a walk after dinner, and the sky was beautiful!  We headed east, and a beautiful rainbow framed the light-bathed mountain ahead.  When we turned north, the sky was a deep blue up high, fading to a light green as it met the mountains.   Again the mountains and clouds were bathed in light.  To the west, a cloud covered most of the sun, sending out rays of light that edged surrounding clouds with silver.  What a beautiful evening!  It was so fun walking (slowly, ouch!) with Dad and talking to him. 

Today, in the Book of Mormon, I read in 1 Nephi where Nephi  foretells Christ’s birth, and I read about the Holy Ghost.  I was reminded how important it is to hold fast to the word of God in order to partake fully of the joy of Christ’s gospel and not be led astray by those who mock and scorn.  It seems like every time I read the scriptures lately, they are exactly what I need to hear for that day.  Now to keep those words in my heart and live them that I will always have the Holy Ghost to be with me!

Hi, Matt.  It’s Saturday already.  I really don’t know where the week went.  Right now Katrina and her friends are downstairs watching Thor for her birthday party.  Thomas worked and also had a football game today and actually played an entire quarter!  He said he played well, but they lost 61-0.  Pretty sad, huh?  Dad worked at the laundry today, surprise surprise, and then he went to Thomas’s game.  I exercised and shopped and cleaned with Katrina.  Miriam worked.  Can you believe that she has to work on Labor Day?  That is such a bummer. 

The big news of the week is that Cassandra and Emerson are buying a house.  Their offer was accepted during the week, so it’s pretty much a done deal.  Dad may fly there during fall break to work on the house.  It needs lots of work.  I’m so happy for them! 

I saw Jonathan at the laundry on Thursday.  He was there with his friend, Troy.  They were doing laundry.  He’s been working there to make money till he gets a steady job.  It was nice to see him. 
On Friday Dad and I went to the temple, and we saw Weston and Lindsay there.  It is so nice to see them faithfully attending the temple.  I loved being there with Dad, and I’m so glad we went.  I also realized that that was the last day I could use my recommend—it expired in Sept.  I’m glad we went when we did!  Then we went out to eat and then in order to avoid Labor Day traffic, we drove home along the other side of the lake.  It was such a fun and beautiful drive.  We picked up ice cream on the way home and as a family we ate ice cream and watched “Lady and the Tramp.” 

Tomorrow I’m subbing in Miriam’s Sunday school class and I’m looking forward to that.  It’s fast Sunday tomorrow, and because of Katrina’s party, we didn't start fasting on Saturday so I guess we’ll be fasting till dinnertime, which is fine.  I am looking forward to having some nice family time tomorrow.  I hope that works out.  It is so nice to have Monday off.  It takes the pressure off of things to have one more day to be together and to also get things done.

Hi, Matt.  I’m rushing to get this off to you.  Yesterday I enjoyed subbing in Miriam’s class.  They are wonderful kids!  In the evening we visited Don, Renee, and Donny for a little while and had a really nice time.  This morning, Grandma was awake bright and early.  I fed her, read my scriptures, did Insanity, and then fell asleep.  Today we are going to Oktoberfest, but Miriam can’t come because she’s working.  I am looking forward to eating some good wienershnitzel and kraut.  I love you very much Matt and I can’t wait to read your next email!