Sunday, October 28, 2012

Matt's Last Email

Dad, I am sending the picture of the dead dog just for you.

Miriam, About the Long Board, ummm... Really I don't want to cause any problems in
between you and Jon, so I don't want to say that you can or he can, man...
That sounds really wishy washy. I just have this silly dream that it still
works and is in one piece when I get back. I say that if you can get jon to
let you use it, then you can use it because really I think that he is
working too much to use it, but at the same time, you would have to let him
use it if he asked for it back and vise verse, there, it has been said, let
it be written in stone. Crap, I'm not going to see that thing when I get

Anyway, I hope that preston is doing well, I met a guy that was in
Iraq for a year before he was a missionary, he was pretty cool. That has
nothing to do with anything. haha Well, I'm really glad to hear a little
more about what is happening in your life, tell me about your conference!
What do you do in your clubs, I've heard of them but don't know too much
about them. 

You have a 4.0? wow, that's a hard one! That is also really cool about your
Math Teacher.  Annie Get your Gun.  I don't think I have ever seen that play,
and I'm sure that you will have seen that play more times than you will ever
want to by the end.

Thomas, here I'm the not very talkative missionary, haha. Well I will keep
on praying for you, and I'm glad that you have been improving so much,
that's really weird that it just popped up with you. How are the sports
doing? How is the ward? Tell me about  your home teaching family.

Mom, thank you for having the family read my letter again, I felt like this
week I got to hear from them a lot more, Thank you again for your letter
about the week, I always like hearing a little more detail what is going on.
As for what I said about a Christmas package, scratch that all, we can only
have certain movies and only originals so.... there we go. Just surprise me.

Dad, again,
haha That was a little joke, but now I don't have that much time so... I
guess it didn't work. anyway, to answer your questions, they don't talk
much about the politics here, just about illegal immigration laws, sounds
racist, but it's true. Only some members and most missionaries know that Romney is a Mormon.
Minecraft is cool, I'll admit it, but a complete time sucker. I don't know if I will be able
to play it when I get back.

Hi, this week has been hard with investigators, but we did find one family
that is very interested in the gospel.
Sorry don't have any time!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oct 22--Dear Elder

Dear Elder,
Hi!  Thanks for sending us that wonderful letter.  It was nice to read about your efforts to reactivate a sweet family to the gospel and also about Dalia’s new baby.  What great blessings!  Keep letting us know what is happening there, we find it all fascinating.

Yesterday was a nice day.  Church was packed because Elder Porcaro gave a talk.  He will be in the MTC soon.  Also, Elder Lowe gave a talk because he just returned from a mission.  It  was a wonderful meeting.  I liked the rest of the meetings, too.  After the missionary-youth discussion and my meeting, which went really late, we had a nice family home evening.  Thomas gave the lesson, Katrina made the treat, Miriam shared a family history story about how singing the hymns saved your great great grandma and her children from danger.  It is written in the words of Great Grandpa, and I will send you a copy if you would like.  Dad did the activity which was a “ding” story, and we had brownies for treat.

Friday night, Dad and I stayed over in a hotel and had a very nice time.  We ate at the Cheesecake factory and tried to watch a show on Dad’s laptop, but the internet connection was too slow.  The sweet kids and Becky took care of Grandma while we were gone and did a great job.

Thursday Thomas had a jazz band concert and played wonderfully.  They played three songs and he sat the middle one out because he was out of breath.  I think Thomas told you—Dad had him stop using all deodorant, cologne, etc. over the weekend and it significantly helped Thomas’s ability to breathe, so now we have him on non-antiperspirant deodorant and hopefully the breathing issue will go away for good and I can cancel his appointment with the cardio pulmonologist.  Our prayers have definitely been answered.  I am so thankful for the Holy Ghost and that Dad is worthy to receive its promtings.

Wednesday Dad went to the ski resort to meet up with his old friend, Les.  They had lots of fun visiting and catching up on each other’s lives.  The kids went to mutual where they all played human foosball.  Wednesday was also the day that Cassandra and Emerson closed on their house.  We are so happy for them!  They have been very busy buying curtains and making repairs.  Dad has been able to help them long-distance a bit, and he was really happy to be of use.  I told Cassandra what I could about window coverings, but I’m not sure what kind of help it was.  Cassandra emailed me cute pictures of Lily in her pumpkin costume. They were so cute!  I will attach one with this letter.

I didn’t see Jon much this week, but he did come home for awhile and got a sandwich.  He also has been helping Dad set things up so that the cameras at the Wash Hut are connected to Vic’s home computer enabling him to monitor the laundry from home.  Costco opens Thursday.  I’m guessing Jon is happy to finally begin doing what they hired him to do.

Dad was gone Tuesday night, I can’t remember why.  He was probably working at the laundry.  The rest of us ate pizza and watched the presidential debate.  It was the second of three debates.  After the first debate, pretty much everyone said that Mitt Romney had won.  After this second debate,  most everyone said that their own candidate won.  Tonight is the last debate, and we’ll see how that goes.  It is very interesting to watch it all unfold.

Last Monday night we had a family testimony meeting for family home evening.  It was wonderful to share our feelings about the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with each other.  We also watched Dumbo as a family because Dad had never seen it and wanted to.  It was a very nice evening.

Well, that was our week, Matt.  We love you and hope your week went as well and better!  I can’t wait to get your letter today!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oct 15--Email from Matt

Dad, I think I'll answer your letter first because it was last. We
don't actually report the hours we are out on the street, just the amount of
lessons, if there was a member present, and other things like that. Do I
get tired by Sunday night? Ummmm... I'm mostly just always tired but still
willing to work. haha, We work a lot more through references and things
like that, here we hardly knock on doors, we just talk to people on the
street. In a good day we spend more time teaching and less time walking. A
fun thing to do on p-day is.. clean the house or just talk, but yeah, we
are going to go to carls Jr today i think. I don't know, The other thing is
that we hardly ever go into centro(downtown), we are in a residential area,
and really they don't make a lot of hand made things here, well at least
that I've seen. I know our area very well, I didn't have too much trouble,
and I can usually find my way around even in places that I've never been
because there are always people out on the street and they are very
friendly and always try to tell us where stuff is even if they don't know.
haha, Home teaching is actually very important, more so when your family is
in-active. In the ward here, they hardly ever do home teaching and it's
something that we desperately need. Thanks
Mom, well last time you wrote about a Christmas package, I can't really
think of anything except for maybe... peanut butter. that would be awesome.
also maybe 17 miracles and the first vision (in Spanish) any other free
church video that you can find in Spanish that you can download for free.
just stick them on a DVD and send it to me, in .avi format or .vga (vga if
you can)... that's about it, surprise me, I'll like anything you send. I
guess that is coming up here huh? Thank you for the letter!
Thomas, well that sounds pretty pesado, (heavy) I hope you start to feel
better Mom says that you now have a nerdy inhaler, I'd buy dorky glasses
and then walk around school with the glasses and taking swiggs of your
inhaler. Get used to wearing a suit ok? haha
Katrina, That's great! it always rocks when you pull something off when you
don't think you can. I say sometimes it's better than if you had more time.
WATCH CONFERENCE! now please. haha, I guess the good thing about 2 temples
in Provo is that you wont have to wait as much. So what play is up next?
Miriam, You are not a loser.  So, what are some of your hopes and dreams?
Do you remember all of those demodivational posters we would look at? or
was that with Jon? Hey, is my long board still in the house? Ride it some
Hi so this week, well I really felt like it was yesterday that I was in
here writing you all. That, more than anything else, scares me about the
mission, it is going too fast. Thank heavens I still have a long ways to
go. I wrote back to the priests quorum but I have no way to know if they
got my letter, so if you could ask Steve in like 2 weeks if he got the
letter that would be great, or just tell me if he tells you. Anyways, what
did we do this week, well we found a less active family and we started
visiting them, they have an 11 year old daughter that hasn't been baptised
so we are hoping to get her baptised and spring the family back into
activeness. They are really great people. Dalia has finally had her baby, her name is Yamilet (yeah-me-let) and she is super
tiny and super cute but not as cute as Lilly. haha We are still striving to
be better, re-evaluating the way we teach and searching for new people.
Sorry that there aren't any pictures.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oct 15--Dear Elder: Fall Break

Dear Elder,

Hi!  How are you?  Thanks for last week’s letter.   I am glad you got to hear a bit of conference at least.  I loved Elder Holland’s talk!  For me, the whole conference focused on true conversion.  I am really trying to be more fully converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  I wrote all the counsel I hear in conference in little phrases on a piece of paper, and I read the paper every morning.  If I did something to follow that bit of counsel the day before, I put a dot by it.  I am trying to get lots of dots!  I hope you tell us how things are going with your investigators when you write and that you send a few pictures.  You write such wonderful letters and I appreciate it so much! 

This week was fall break for us, and to make it a real break, we had Grandma in respite care.  We stayed home and went and did fun things every day.  It was nice to get away for awhile.  We visited Grandma a few times, and she seemed pretty happy.  She kept asking everyone where she could buy a skirt and blouse.  She comes home today, and it will be nice to return to normal.

We fasted yesterday, and I really appreciated the chance to be strengthened spiritually.  I felt enlightened and prompted in ways to implement the counsel we received in conference.  Because Grandma wasn’t here yesterday, Dad was able to go with me to Sunday school, which I really enjoyed.  It was nice to be with Dad and it was nice to be in our ward instead of attending a different ward because of my church calling.    Testimony meeting was wonderful and full of the Spirit.   

By the way, our ward doesn’t have missionaries right now.  I’m not sure what to do to help the missionaries.  Elder Nelson’s talk in conference was on missionaries and how anyone who struggles with life’s questions can ask the missionaries.  It was directed to people listening to conference who weren’t members.

On Saturday,  Dad and I had an early date.  We went to lunch and to a movie.  As always, being with Dad was wonderful fun.  In the meantime, Miriam worked concessions for the football game, Katrina read a session of conference that she missed because of Shakespeare competition last week, and Thomas just stayed home and rested.  Later, Dad, Jon and his friend Troy, and Thomas all went out shooting.   I visited Grandma at the care center for an hour or so and then came home and finished watching the Lord of the Rings with the kids.

On Friday we drove up to the ski resort to pick up Miriam from her DECA conference.  We stayed and shopped and had fun walking down main street and visiting some of the shops there.  Then we drove back through the mountains.  The drive was so beautiful!  We got back in time to pick up the kid’s paychecks, and then we took them home and Dad and I went…yep…another date.  Hey, it’s fall break!

On Thursday we went bowling and Thomas won.  Dad came in second, Katrina came in third, and I came in last.  We also played arcade games and Katrina and Thomas bought giant black hairy mustaches which they wore through the Wilkinson center and on the long walk out to the car.  We also walked the trail to the falls.  We walked down hill because Thomas has been having trouble breathing lately.  Dad jogged back up to get the car and drive down to meet us at the falls.  Miriam spent the day at her Decca conference. 

Other highlights of the week were Katrina’s play on Tuesday.  It was As You Like It, and we did like it!  It was the best play out of the three performed, and Katrina did a wonderful job.  She played the mean angry guy.  Do you know who I’m talking about?  J   Grandma entered respite care Wednesday and that evening the kids went to mutual, and Dad and I went…On another date!  Yep.

On our date we ate out and then went to the running store to get me shoes that won’t hurt my feet.  They guy there spent over an hour with me helping me to find good shoes that would help my heels and knees.   I can return them any time if they don’t work for me. I started up Insanity again today with my new shoes, and so far so good!

Well, Matt.  That was our fall break and it was a good one.  Cassandra and Emerson close on their house in two days, and we are so excited for them!  It is very hard to be so far away and not be able to help them pack, move, and work on their house, but I’m sure it will all be fine, and soon they will be home owners.  Yippee! 

I love you, Matt.  Have a wonderful week.  I pray for you always that you will be filled with the spirit and with love and that you will be strengthened spiritually to be obedient and diligent and physically to be well and safe.  Have a wonderful week doing the work of the Lord!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oct 7--Email from Matt

Miriam, well that'd be pretty cool, the
colleges just do a lot of things to make it seem like their school is cool,
really it's your friends or the friends that you make that make college
fun. Were you surprised about the announcement that they maid with the
girls being able to leave at age 19. I know that I have at least one friend
that is freaking out right now. Do you know who Sara is? She will
probably be leaving on a mission now that she can. I tried to make pancakes
this morning, but they didn't work out either. I hope that you are doing
well too.

Dad, I now have 3 transfers in the mission and am half way done with my 4th
haha, As for what I have to change to live with my companion, so far
nothing, he's pretty easy to live with. He almost has a year in the
mission. We actually only went to one session because in our mission, if we
don't have an investigator there in the conference, then we don't stay. I
got to see President Holland's talk about Peter and going fishing. He had
already given that talk in the MTC but it was a lot more direct. haha, I
used to sit up late and read books, for a long time when I was in
highschool I would stay up until 1 in the morning too. I guess that
explains the bad grades huh? My Companion... He is from Logan, he has a
good accent in spanish, he isn't afraid to re-evaluate himself and change
things but at the same time I think he is way too down on himself. He is a
new district leader and he does his job well.

Katrina, Don't worry you won in my book. But... I don't have a book, so I
don't know how much that comment is worth. haha. Good luck on your play I
think that you are going to do great. Just remember half, or more than
half, of being a good actor is just pretending that you know what you are
doing. :) Tell me about Conference and what you thought.

Thomas, I got your story bud, it was pretty funny :) I think you should do
that in a football game after you score a touchdown. See what your coach
says then haha! Then number the pages dummy! haha. well, Tell me more about
why you like playing football next time ok? :)

Mom, We find out about that sister today, we finally got a time when she isn't
busy so maybe we'll be able to sit down and talk with her.

Sorry, I just thought of some things that I wanted to say and I don't have
that much time. First off, Can you guys start helping the missionaries
there in the ward? I was just remembering the amount of times that I had
ever seen the missionaries in our ward before I left. It is very hard to
work without the support of members, I don't know what the situation is
over there, but will you look into it for me and then will you try to help
them? I know that it is somthing that will bless the whole family and that
it will help us all feel closer together.

Oct 9--Dear Elder

2012 10 07
Dear Elder,
Thanks so much for your letter of last week!  It is wonderful that you helped that sweet sister exercise the faith necessary to go to church.  Please let me know how she is doing

We have had a wonderful week, especially a wonderful Saturday listening to LDS General Conference.  Do you get to watch conference live, or do you have to wait!  Have you listened to the sessions yet?  Did you hear or hear about the prophet, President Monson’s announcement that young men can now serve missions at the age of eighteen, and young women at the age of nineteen?  What an exciting announcement!  Can you imagine having gone on your mission a year earlier than you did?  It probably would have been a good thing.  It was wonderful to hear the Prophet’s voice announce this and also the building of two new temples, on in Tucson, AZ and one in Peru.  I also enjoyed Elder Nelson’s talk.  I don’t know what he entitled it, but I would call it “Ask the Missionaries,” because he told all about how missionaries can help people everywhere with their questions and needs.  Elder Oak’s talk about defending the children echoed my own thoughts that I have had on the subject lately.  There were so many wonderful talks!  Now it’s Sunday morning and Conference will start again in little more than an hour.  I can’t wait! 

Also on Saturday Becky came over and spent some time with Grandma so that we could get out between conferences.  We went for a drive and took in over 50 vhs and various other hand-held recorder tapes to be converted to digital and dvd.   It will sure be nice to have all the old home movies on the computer, and it was really nice of Becky to come and be with Grandma who really loved it.  Becky stayed and watched the second session with her, too, which was really nice.

 Katrina wasn’t with us yesterday, she was at a Shakespeare competition.  We missed her very much, and I’m sad she missed conference.  She got home after midnight last night (this morning).  She said she had a fun time and asked to not be woken up till just before conference time today.  Thomas had a game yesterday during conference time, but didn’t go, choosing to watch conference instead.  He and Miriam were the only kids we had home!  It was kind of weird to be so few. 

Jonathan has been out of town selling Costco memberships, but he is home now.  I haven’t heard how it was.  I hope he had a pretty good time and that he got to see Tyler and Stephanie who live there, I think. 
BTW, I found some spam on your Facebook page and reported it.  Also, Natalie had posted.  She’d heard there was a blog you could go to and “stalk” Elder Cole, so I sent her the link to my blog. 

Grandpa Haws’s birthday was yesterday and we tried to send him a video, but we’d taken it on the old camcorder and then couldn’t get it on the computer so we paid to get it put on dvd, and tried to post it on facebook and youtube, but since we couldn’t cut out the rest of what was on the tape and just post the little segment we did for Grandpa, youtube said it was removed because it was too big, and I think that was the reason it didn’t post to facebook either.  Anyway, today I’m going to ask Brother Melton if there is a way to post only that segment, and if not, I will have to go get it put on a digital disk or whatever it’s called which is what I should have done in the first place, but didn’t realize it.  Anyway, I did call and talk to Grandpa and wish him a happy birthday.  We talked for quite awhile which was really nice.  I sure love him!

I also got to talk to Cassandra and Lily on Skype.  It was so fun!  In April, I ordered a book made of Lily’s blog and sent it to Cassandra for her birthday.  Well, now it is Lily’s favorite book, and she had to get it and “read” it to me.  It was so cute!  She loves seeing the pictures of herself with her mommy and daddy.  The poor book is now missing a chunk from one page, and another page all together, but it is well, loved.  We’ll have to order another nice one sometime!  I also showed her my doggy puppet, which she liked.  She really laughed when I had the following conversation with the doggy:
It goes on for quite awhile like that.  Pretty hilarious, huh?  It mimics conversations Lily has with her mommy a lot except she says “Mommy” instead of “Doggy” of course.  Cassandra and Emerson will be closing on their house in ten days, and they are pretty excited.  So are we! 

On Friday I substituted in the morning where Dad works.  We weren’t in the same place at the same time because I was subbing for the other teacher, but it was fun to drive there and back with Dad.  He and I also went out to eat, went for a walk, and watched some of “The Pick Wick” papers that night.  It was so fun! 
Miriam finished reading the Lord of the Rings in the last little while, so we have been watching the LOR movies lately which has been fun.  Other than that, I can’t think of much that’s happened.  Oh, on Tuesday we had family home evening because it didn't work out on Monday.  I gave a lesson on emulating Jesus Christ in our lives and we made Grandpa’s video. 

I love you.  Matt.  Watching conference makes me feel closer to you as I hear different accents declare that this world-wide church is the true church of Jesus Christ again restored on the earth.  I love the thought of faithful Mexico saints and missionaries serving God alongside us and the other saints of the world in sharing His truth.  I know that your work is the Lord’s work and I am happier than I can say that you are engaged in it.

Oct 3--Email From Matt

Hey everyone!
Thomas, that's really good to hear! thankyou, Mom told me what the coach
said to you, that means the next time that your couch says he wants you to
do something, tell him: ''Don't talk to me.'' Haha, did you eat your cell?
did it taste good? I would love to see that story, send it to me next week
hahah, That's really cool about semenary. It is super helpful, I wish I
would've payed a little more attention in there. Tell me more about what
you do!

Miriam, How is life? are you surviving not working? We met this guy who had
such a bad hernia that they had to pull 3 inches of his intestines out of
his stomach and he doesnt go to the bathroom, he just changes that little
bag that is over his intestines. I thought of you. :) haha, Maybe you
should get your hernia fixed? Everything is going well with me. What do you
do all day? Are you glad that highschool is going to be over after this
year? Who is your favoirite teacher? What is preston doing now that he
doesn't goe to school? Well, I hope you answer my questions. Oh, BTW how is
the truck?

Katrina I thought you already told me that, but I guess I could be wrong.
Why do you want to get into Dr. Who? I always thought it was... cool but
not that cool, Not avatar cool. Shakespear comp! are you gonna tell me how
you did next week?!?! I guess that question will be answered next week
haha. Do you like Ceder City? I thought it was cool but it's sort of far
from everywhere. whatever. Haha

Mom, The red dot on my face has been there for like 3 months now, I might
go to the doctor to see what they say but it's probably not going to go
away by it self. We'll see. Can you help dad with his reports or they about
students? Thankyou for telling me about everything and everyone, I reay
enjoy it.

Dad, yeah, I get what you mean, it is a lot harder like this. The choices
we make can really efect people's lifes. Wow, that sounds like a lot of
fun. Are all of your students like that? Here, (We call them TJs Testigos
de Jeova) the TJ's sometimes help us, they yell at the people, and after
that we are nice haha, Don't let work get you too down. I'm sure that you
are helping your student's lives change.

Well, I don't have a ton of time but there is one experience that happend
that was very... touching this week. We went to the chapple sunday, and we
have a rule as a mission, if there aren't any investigators in sacrament
meeting, we take the sacrament and then leave. That happend this last week,
so there wasn't anyone there, so we left and we got on a bus (Most of the
people here don't have cars and there is a bus system that they use
instead) and we went to the house of an investigator. She had been to
church once and was sure that she was going to go this sunday. We knocked
on the door, she answered it. We came in asked her why she didn't goe, she
said that it was because she woke up late, and that she didn't have enough
money to take the bus to the chapple and pay off a small debt that she had
to pay. We talked to her for a bit, asked her if she had faith, and then we
asked her to make that sacrifice. The spirit was so strong there. We made a
promis that we didn't know how, but God would make everything work out
that: Todo iba a salir bien. We knew what we were saying was true. She did
too. She was quiet for a minute, said, ''ok'' went into her room, cried,
changed, came out, washed her face, and we walked to the street where the
buses pass and watched as she payed money that she didn't have to get on
the bus and come to church. I still don't know what happend. Yesterday
seemed like it was 2 years long. it's times like that when you have to be
firm that you are doing God's work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oct 3--Dear Elder

Dear Elder,

Hi!  It is so nice to be able to write to you again and to know that you will probably be writing to us tomorrow.  So you have a new companion named Elder Kunz?  How is that going?  I am not at all surprised that you miss Elder Livingston.  I could tell by what you wrote, that he’s a wonderful guy.  I hope he does come visit us, because we would love to see him!  Is his mission done soon?  Thanks for telling us about who you are teaching and how are you doing.  I love knowing about your work.
This has been a good week.  On Sunday we went to see the fall leaves and we also had a family home evening lesson on feeling the Spirit.  Don, Renee, and Becky also came to visit.  It was a pretty nice day.  On Monday I got to stay home and I loved it.  I got lots done.  Monday night we went to a new nickel arcade for family night.  That was kind of fun, I guess, but there wasn’t much family interaction.  On Tuesday and Wednesday I subbed in the morning.  I don’t like being away because I don’t get much done.

Dad and the kids had a pretty good week, I think.  Katrina was doing play practice lots, and Thomas of course did lots of football.  Miriam was home because work is over for her till next year.  The kids got the first payment of their bonuses on Friday.  Both Katrina and Thomas got letters asking them back next year.  I’m wondering if there will be enough jobs for them since this year they closed down most of the food stands.  We’ll see, I guess.  I hope they do work next year for many reasons.  One reason is that we need to record Thomas’s earnings, expenses, and expenditures in order to get his Personal Management merit badge.  I wish we had done that this year!  Dad has lots of record keeping type stuff to do for his work, and it kind of has him stressed, but his week was pretty good, I think. 

Jon came over a few times and installed a new router for us which has really sped up our internet.  He also came Friday and he and Thomas got to hang out which was wonderful since otherwise Thomas would have been alone.  It has been so nice to see Jonathan often, and I am so glad he’s working close by! 

Cassandra got Lasik surgery last week.  After the surgery she was supposed to sleep through the rest of the day and not wake up till the next day, but she didn’t sleep.  She was awake through the surgery and in deep stress, and then she was awake the rest of the day in terrible pain.  She said that for about an hour, she couldn’t even talk, because the pain was too bad.  By the next day, the pain was gone and she could see well enough to drive herself to the doctor for her follow up appointment.  The doctor didn’t have much to say about what she’d gone through the day before except to say that was unusual.  She is seeing better every day and it is a very good thing for her because she’s always had lots of trouble with her contacts.

I got to Skype with Cassandra and Lily on Friday.   She is so cute and fun to Skype with.   I think that I will pull out the puppets next time and play with her that way.  It’s hard to do things by screen.  I also think we’ll do more singing.  All this depends on her willingness to sit still, ha ha.  Lily so into her binky now!  It’s funny to think that she didn’t even have one for a whole year.  I think it helps her sit and Skype longer to have a binky to suck on. 

Dad and I went out on Friday, kind of.  All we did is our monthly Costco shopping and then we got Panda to go and went home to watch a dvd.  This week we’ve been watching Dicken’s “Dombrey and Son.”  It was a very interesting video. 

On Saturday we decided to do something as a family.  First, we went to MacDonald’s because it’s the time of their annual Monopoly game, and, as Dad says, it’s his way of gambling, ha ha.  We had to order only the food that’s part of the contest which means we basically could choose between a Big Mac or chicken nuggets.  So we all had chicken nuggets for lunch except for Miriam who decided she’d rather not eat than eat that.  Whatever.  Then we went to the mall and got Thomas fitted for his choir suit.  It brought back memories of being there with you buying your missionary stuff.  BTW, let us know if you need more stuff.  I heard that clothes don’t last long there.  After that we watched a movie called Hotel Transylvania which was made by the same people who made Despicable me.  It was a very funny. 

Saturday evening, Katrina went to a friend’s to practice for Shakespeare competition, Thomas and Dad went to Thomas’s game which they won.  At one point Thomas said to the coach, “Coach, I want to play.”  And the coach said, “Don’t talk to me.”  Thomas didn’t get to play.  Miriam went to the roller derby.  It is so weird to me that she likes roller derbies.  In fact, she was planning on participating in the sport until Dad said she’d have to wait till she was paying her own doctor bills.  Is roller derby more dangerous than football?  Hmmm….  Anyway, I went to the General Relief Society broadcast at the church.  Elizabeth and I were going to go together, but the day got too busy for us both so we went to our own buildings instead.  It was an incredibly wonderful meeting with everyone speaking about Jesus Christ and His atonement and love.  It really motivated me to try and be more like Him.
Now it is Sunday.  I went to another ward with the Stake young women presidency because it was their ward conference.  Now I’m home and our ward will be done soon and then we will read your last week’s letter together as a family around the dinner table.  Many of us have already read it, of course, but this will refresh their memories so that they can write their weekly letters to you and hopefully answer your questions in them. 

I am done with the chapter on the Holy Ghost in Preach my Gospel, and now I am studying the Book of Mormon chapter.  Studying this book had increased my desire to become more converted to the gospel and to live by the Spirit more faithfully in my life.  I can’t wait for conference next week to be spiritually fed even more!

I love you so much, Matt.  I hope that you are doing well.  I notice that the red spot on your face is not going away.  Do you have any Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment?  Something like that will help it heal.  I hope you are free from other irritations, but if you aren’t, I hope you will write to us about them since Dad usually knows what to do to heal most ailments.  Say “hi” to Elder Kunz for us.  I’m sure he’s a wonderful guy!  We are praying for you and we love you very much.  Write to us soon with all the news you can think of and have time to write. 

Love, Mom