Monday, November 26, 2012

Nov 26--Dear Elder: Thanksgiving weekend

Dear Elder,
Hi!  How are you?  I’m glad you got a lot of letters from the mission last week.  Does that mean letters from home sent to the mission home and then delivered to you, or does it mean letters from your Mission President?  Good either way, right?  I hope you do get letters from home, though.  Have people been writing to you?  As far as calling or Skyping goes, I think we will try 3 way Skyping with Jon.  Dad is really concerned that Skype won’t be really reliable and that it may end up not working.  If that happens, can we do calling as a contingency plan?  Sunday is fast Sunday, and I want to ask the family to fast that Skype will work!  Like I said in the family letter, don’t worry about spending money on things you need, that’s why it’s there.  I’m hoping that since you couldn’t think of anything to request for Christmas, that you are able to find most things you need.  Is that true?

We had a really nice weekend.  Yesterday, Sunday, we had a nice sacrament meeting.  Brother Hannett spoke about his dad who was an amazing man.  You’d think that listening to someone talk about someone you don’t know for twenty minutes would be boring, but it was very inspiring.  Sunday School and Relief Society were wonderful, too.  We got to get a couple of ornaments off the giving tree, and we are looking forward to buying gifts for unnamed needy kids in the ward.  Also, since I visiting teach Jennifer Hannett, and Dad and Thomas home teach the Hannett family, we plan to do 12 days of Christmas for them.  That should be really fun!

Grandma is having a hard time right now.  I hoped that when the time came, she’d just sleep longer and longer and then at some point never wake up, but that’s not how it’s going.  Passing away is becoming a miserable struggle for her.  Much of Sunday was spent with Grandma singing to her and keeping her company.  Last night, Becky came over to be with her, and we used that time to have family home evening.  Dad gave a lesson on making long-term career goals.  The kids all wrote in their journals about where they want to be in 15 years.

Saturday we also spent a lot of time with Grandma.  Dad wrote to you about putting up Christmas lights.  He really got into it Saturday, and the house is very sparkly.  We bought lighted candy canes at Costco and got to see Jon in the process.  We also saw him on Sunday when he dropped by for a second  after church.  He and Thomas are working very hard on Thomas’s comic blog.  The kids helped a bit with the lights and also just had a bit of lazy time.  Saturday night we all went to Walmart just to get some of us out of the house.  Later, Dad and I went to Taco Bell and then watched a show at home.  The kids ate pizza, sat with Grandma, and played video games.  Paul came over late to see Grandma.  He hasn’t been here for over a month, maybe two, so he was pretty taken aback by her condition.  I know Grandma was happy he was here to visit.

The Stoddards were in town over Thanksgiving and spent it with James’s parents.  On Friday we had them over along with Rick and his family and Elizabeth and hers.  It was a really fun day.  The weather was good and some of the dads and kids went over to the school to play.  The older girls went shopping, and we moms and Mercy went down town ourselves and checked out the thrift and consignment stores.  Dad spent a lot of time with Grandma and also put lights up that day as well.  That night we went to Festival of Lights with Elizabeth and her family and had lots of fun.  Their boys rode in our car and Katrina rode in their car, just to mix it up a bit.

We thought only Don and Renee would be with us on Thanksgiving, but they called and asked if Brett and his family could come, too.  They were going to spend the day with Emily’s parents, but they were sick, so we had them over, too.  It was really fun to have kids over on Thanksgiving.  Grandma spent most of the day sleeping, but I don’t think she’s slept at all since then, poor lady.  The kids and I did most of the Thanksgiving preparations and we had fun cooking and making a turkey-shaped dinner roll for each person.  They were really cute!  We also got to Skype with Emerson, Cassandra, and Lily on Thanksgiving morning.  It was nice to have Dad and Emerson on since they are often at work when we Skype.  They are doing good and had Thanksgiving with a family in the ward.  We are doing “gifts from the heart” with them this year.

On Wednesday we went target shooting as a family.  I shot one of Dad’s pistols about three times and was done.  I really don’t like the noise and the jolt of shooting.  It’s too bad because I really like hitting targets.  I told Dad that from now on whenever we go shooting, he needs to bring the little squirrel gun along for me.  Everyone else had fun, though, and so did I really because I enjoyed being with the fam.  The rest of the day was spent cleaning up and relaxing.  Katrina went to a friend’s that night, and Dad and I brought Café Rio home for the rest of us.

Tuesday, Katrina was feeling sick and only went to her cast party for a while, poor girl.  Thomas was disgusted to have to go to a choir practice on the evening before Thanksgiving break.  That night, Dad and I went out on a date and the kids stayed home, ate brownies, and watched Brave.  On Monday, family home evening didn’t work out real well, I can’t remember why.  That’s just the way it goes sometimes! 

Well, that was our week.  I have been one chapter ahead of the family in the Book of Mormon so that I can look for questions to ask, insights to share, and actions to encourage when we read it as a family.  I also am learning about the Christ-like attribute of patience in Preach My Gospel.  I finished reading Joseph Smith’s journal while I exercise and am now reading the institute church history manual.  I’ve read it before, and it’s really interesting reading.  I’m considering reading it to the family on the way to Texas and back.  That may start a mutiny though, so we’ll see.  I love you, Matt.  I hope your week is a good one.  I’ve been praying for your success with Manuel and with reactivating members.  Let us know how it all is going!


Here's a picture of the family.  Can you believe that we didn't take any pictures of the whole weekend?  I planned to and then forgot.  I could kick myself!  This is us after church on Sunday.  Garred took it, so if it is a bit fuzzy blame him, ha ha!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nov 19--Email From Matt

Hey all of you!
Mom, I use the money to buy food, pay for area transfers. I don't think I
have withdrawn money in like.... 2 months... something like that. I wont
draw any more out haha. Thank you for your nice long letter it helps me get
a nice peak into the family life. Have you decided to Skye or to call? How
is Jon going to be able to participate?   Thank you for your prayers.

Thomas, that made me laugh, the ''Holy Cow'' thing, also the comic thing
too, they do not say stuff like that here, they eat ALL OF THE FOOD, every
time. haha, thank you for telling me about your week end, please tell me
more about your life :)
Katrina, that is very good to hear that everything is running smoothly, now
the play should be ending right? Tell me about it! :) La paz is full of
sand, and yes it is a very cool place. We do have some investigators right
now, his name is Manuel, we are having a hard time with finding him and
teaching him,
Dad, here, they already had their version of ''Black Friday'' so don't even
worry. They don't celebrate thanks giving, that's just a USA thing. I love
you too Dad, thank you.
Miriam, that's just how life is haha, well. They don't celebrate
Thanksgiving here. Are you guys out of school? How much time did they give
you? A lot of having a car is giving rides to other people, although I'm
sure that you are nicer about it than I was haha.
Hey everyone, well we had a lot of letters to read from the Mission so I
don't have all the time in the world to write to you haha. This last week
has been a good week because we've been able to learn a lot. We are
hopefully going to baptise a young man named Manuel but I think that he is
having trouble with us because he seems to be avoiding us. 
We are
concentrating our time and effort mostly in helping the ward, How is the
winter wonder land over there? I'm over here suffering the 70 degree
weather haha! but actually we have been walking a lot so sometimes I wish
it was a little bit colder but not much haha. I love you all and you all
are always in my prayers.

Nov 19--Dear Elder

Dear Matthew,
Hi!  How are you?  How is life in La Paz?  I just looked up La Paz on the internet and I see that it is a very clean and safe place, and that the standard of living is quite high by Mexico standards.  I also see that it is probably about 75 degrees at this time of year, and that there are plenty of tourists in La Paz, but that is probably close to the beach.  How do you like it there?  You say that there is a very low activity rate in the church in La Paz.  Why is that, do you think?  I’m glad that you and Elder Trejo can work to help members come back into activity.  Tell Elder Trejo “hi” for us, and tell him I admire his commitment to be a missionary even though the others in his family aren’t members.

This morning I helped to train the leaders of the young women in two different wards, and then I also taught the relief society lesson as a substitute teacher.  I basically just read amazing quotes by the prophet George Albert Smith and asked questions so that the sisters could share their insights on the subject.  It went pretty well although I’ve since thought of a million ways that I could have improved the lesson.  Tonight we are going to Katrina and Thomas’s Thanksgiving choir concert in American Fork, and I really look forward to it.  The concerts are always so inspirational!    

Last night we went to see Katrina in the Ensemble of “Annie Get Your Gun,” the MMHS fall musical.  Katrina did a wonderful job.  She’s an amazing actress even when she doesn’t have any lines, and she looked so pretty in her costumes, especially her ball gown.  We got to sit on the very front row and enjoyed the entire play immensely. 

On Friday, I worked on an ABC book that Katrina is making for Lily, and I am helping her.   Then on Friday night, Dad and I went to see the movie, Lincoln and we really enjoyed it. Do you remember that edited movie Cassandra had, the “Last of the Mohicans?”  The main character, Hawkeye, was played by Daniel Day Lewis, the same guy who plays Lincoln.  He did an amazing job!  I felt like I really got a glimpse of how Lincoln actually looked and acted.  Anyway, we had a nice time.

Thursday was basically visiting teaching day.  My visiting teachers, Sis Mathis and Sis Fjerstad came to visit teach me, and then later, Emily and I went to visit our visiting teaching sisters.  We had wonderful time catching up on what they’ve been up to since we saw them last month, and Emily gave them a message from President Uchtdorf’s talk in general conference.  Did you get to hear that talk, Matt?  It was basically on lessening regrets in life by 1) Spending more time with family, 2) Working on becoming the person God wants us to be, and 3) Letting ourselves be happy and enjoy the journey of life.  It was a wonderful talk.  
Later Brother and Sister Zhart came over and helped me with some family history.  It was a very nice day.

Wednesday, Dad came home early.  Katrina was at play practice and Miriam and Thomas were out at the malls buying Thomas a coat.  Dad and I enjoyed puttering around town just the two of us.  It seemed like a wonderful reprieve from the hustle of weekday activities. 

Tuesday evening, I went to a meeting and Dad worked.  Earlier in the afternoon, Jon called me and I went to Costco and picked up the turkey he got for being a Costco employee.   It will sure be nice on Thanksgiving, and I look forward to having him and also Don and Renee here to celebrate it with us. 

Monday we played Mormon Bridge as planned and we had a very fun time!  That’s really all I remember about Monday except getting your letter, Matt.  Remembering back that far sure strains my brain, ha ha!  Anyway, that was our week.   I hope that your week was as good and that this week is even better!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov 12--Email From Matt

Katrina, I always hated doing detention, I never did understand it, you just sit there in a room and read, which is actually pretty cool now that I come to think about it, so maybe you should do it more.... haha. Tell me about your play ok? tell me if anyone messes up and the good parts and all that. You are going to get a little behind with the school work I bet but I think you'll be able to handle it :)
Dad, They don't drink the water here. you have to buy Garafones, so they
don't ration in that way. Also everyone has these gigantic water dispenser
bucket that they put on the top of their house and they run all of the
water that goes to the house though that, so it fills up constantly and if
they turn off the water we don't even notice because we use water
dispenser. My companion was completely shocked when I told him that we just
drink out of the tap en los estados unidos. He was also weirded out when I
asked him about the water dispenseres. 

I have noticed what you said about
re''inventing'' yourself, it is possible to do here especially when I have
so little time in the mission and hardly know anyone. Later it will be hard
because I will start building up a good or bad reputation. You found that
old video? wow, I thought I had deleted that! well, that's cool, I wish I
would've been able to finish that before coming over here, oh well haha.
The branch thing does not sound fun at all, I'm glad that you were able to
do it all without hurting yourself and that's really cool how you did it
all before the family got there so you could go to Brick Oven. Thanks Dad!
Miriam,  !t is great that you got into snow! That school is a nice
school even though it is very boring, I'd suggest that you look on-line for
some scholarships, it would be worth your time. There are so many people
that say that they want to do that and few that actually do it (like me! :)
It would rock because then you might not have to pay for housing or maybe
for food or something. Hey! don't worry about your presentation thing, You
can do it, you have the drive. That counts for a lot.
Thomas, I already wrote you but, here it goes again, you will have to send
me a picture of your web comic on here so that I can read it! Tell people
about your web site in school! see if you can announce it in a class or
something haha. How is the sports life doing? Are you playing anything?
Remember when we used to drive to your wrestling practice and I was always
a grumpy pants? Write me more you bumb!
Mom, I was surprised to not hear about the megaplex place haha, Thankyou
again for the nice long letter, it really helps me get a handle on what is
going on down there. I didn't know if it had snowed or not before that.
haha, Tell me when you guys decided about calling or skyping, I might say
calling but then again it would be nice to see you all so I don't know.

Ok, well this week has been very very interesting, it has been filled with
some trials and it has been filled with a lot of looking for people to
teach. The goals here are totally different, right now we are trying to
help the ward get up on its legs again, the size of our area is
gigantic... I don't know how big it is but it takes us about 1 hour in bus
to get from one side of the area to the other. The ward here has about 50
people that attend weekly and it has a lot of less active people that live
here, a lot of them have just slowly stopped going to church and have
wanted to come back but have needed a little push to get them started.

My companion is named Elder Trejo, he is a convert to the church, he was
baptized at the age of 18, and he left on the mission at age 19. There is
some real drive right there. His family are not members of the church, he
has been out here for about 15 months. 

Elder Trejo

Umm, la paz is very peaceful, and
lives up to it's name. There is a university and a lot of young people here
that go there. Actually the campus is part of our area. It is brown
here... and there is a lot of sand. You can't see the ocean but that's
because we are on the other side of the city.... ummmm what else... I'm
forgetting english at an astonishing rate. casi no hablo ingles, entonces
voy a regresar y ustedes no me van a entender, ¡jaja güeros! anyways... so
that's about it... haha

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov 12--Dear Elder

Dear Elder,

Hi!  Thank you for the email on Tuesday.  It was so nice to hear about you getting a new companion and also being transferred to La Paz.  Do you have to ration water there?  I know they did in Cabo when we were there.  Hmmm…Skype for an hour, or talk for two hours.  Wow, that’s a really hard choice!  How are we supposed to choose?  Most of the kids say, “Skype.”  What’s really sad is that Jon won’t be there with us in Texas when you call.  That’s really exciting that you get to stay on your mission longer.  I hope we can stand waiting!  Thanks for the heads up.  How did that come about, anyway?  Ya, I know I really should be on a commercial for the movies, ha ha!

Yesterday was such a nice day.  I thought I was going to be in meetings from 1:00 to 9:00 at night, but our last meeting was cancelled, and I was able to be home by 6:00.  Miriam and Katrina had a dinner of salmon cakes and baked sweet potatoes waiting for us, and we had a wonderful dinner and fun conversation.  We had family home evening last night.  Katrina conducted and also read your last letter.  Thomas had the family history portion of the lesson, and he read family memories of Grandma Haws to us.  Dad gave the lesson on Lehi’s journey across the desert and we learned that there is still a place called “Nahom,” and it is a place of burial and that a day’s journey east of it is a lush place by the ocean with date palms and trees large enough to provide wood for ship building.  I made a sugar free pumpkin pie for treat, and it was a hit, so I guess Dad will get pie on Thanksgiving.

Saturday started with Dad going to the laundry, Katrina going to play practice, Thomas going sledding, and Miriam and I going to the church for Super Saturday.  It was a crazy morning because there was snow everywhere.  It started Friday and was still going strong Saturday morning.  We did lots of snowy driving.  Miriam and I enjoyed Super Saturday where we did crafts, visited with the ladies in the ward, and ate soup and dessert.  When we got home, Miriam and I hand-sewed repairs on costumes for Katrina’s play.

As a Costco employee, Jon gets a free turkey which is very cool.  He called me Saturday to drive over and get it, but he couldn’t find the turkeys.  Later he found out where to get them, so I think I get to go get it tomorrow.  It will be nice to have that for Thanksgiving.  It’s even pre-cooked!

About six o’clock, all 4 of us bundled up and left for Provo to rescue Dad who was working on the fallen tree limb at Grandma’s house.  By the time we got there, though, Dad had finished and he took us out to Brick Oven for dinner.  It was a nice surprise to go out to eat instead of loading up wood in the cold!
Friday Dad and I went to the mall and ate at Chick-fil-a.  We had fun just being together and then we went home and watched the latest episodes of “The Middle” and “Once Upon a Time.”  It was nice to hunker down in a warm bed on a cold snowy night and watch shows together.

We didn’t do much on Thursday and on Wednesday Dad and I went to Miriam and Katrina’s “Young Women in Excellence” over at the church.  They had a wonderful program put on by the young women, and Katrina had a part.  Miriam and Katrina both displayed something they’ve been working on for Personal Progress.  Miriam displayed a plate of cookies with a card explaining her manners project where she encouraged the family to have good manners at dinner time and rewarded them with a treat for being polite.  The card invited people to take a cookie, and they did!  Katrina displayed the flower fairy ABC book that she is sewing for Lily.

One day this week, I got to Skype with Lily and Cassandra.  I showed Lily all my puppets and she especially liked the monkey.  When she saw it, she stood up, danced, and said, ooo,  ooo, ooo like a monkey.  She showed me the little people ferris wheel that Sarah had brought her and a little person that goes on it.  She also showed me her toes, her nose, and her belly button.  We sang “Eensy Beensy Spider.”
Tuesday Dad had to work on the roof at Wash Hut all night, and I can’t remember what the rest of us did.  On Monday we watched an old Jimmy Stewart movie as a family.  It was called “Pot of Gold.  We also read a conference talk.

Today Miriam interviews for sterling scholar in business.  I hope she does a great job!  Katrina’s  dress rehearsal for “Annie Get Your Gun” is this afternoon.  Also this afternoon we hope to get a letter from you.  Hooray!  Tonight, we will do the family home evening activity that we didn’t get to last night chosen by Miriam.  It is to play “Mormon Bridge” which I Googled, and found out that it is similar to a card game called “Oh Heck” except they don’t say “Heck.”

I have been studying many things lately.  Here are some things I am learning:  I want to work less on making others like me and more on helping others feel Christ’s love when they are around me.  I want to judge less and understand more.  I want to remember Christ more, and remember that He is the reason I do what I do as a wife, a mom, and a daughter of God.  What have you been studying, Matt?  Are you teaching anyone the gospel?  I pray every day that you will find people ready to hear the gospel and that you will teach with power from on high.  I love you, Matt!  Have a wonderful week.

PS  Your uncle, Don, kindly sent us some pictures he took at your farewell open house, so I will attach some of those to this letter!

Nov 5--Email From Matt

Katrina, Have you thought about show choir? I do NOT remember how to spell
that, sorry. Just go to school, it will make the day a little more funner!
Are you excited for Thanksgiving? what are you going to do? How are you?
ha ha
Miriam, Don't worry, they didn't report my crash, but I guess that does
make you the ''best driver'' you watched ''Zombies'' what's that? The
walking dead? Holy crap, I forgot that there is Halloween over there. wow.
Something with the weather always being hot screws things up. That is
lamentable with Preston, but it does mean that you could wait! ha ha. I hope
you do.  How goes with the long board? Tell me about how school is, is
there snow on the ground? I guess you will know one thing not to do when it
snow. ha ha.
Thomas, that is a very short letter of a long week. Please send a longer
one. ha ha. How is your asthma thing doing buddy? So did people say that you
did good or that you sucked? Did you tell the coach what I told you to say?
Do it!!! ha ha.
Mom, Try not to let the movie company take over your computer the next time
you write. ok? Send that in, they might make it into a commercial or
something hahaha, but really I did enjoy your letter,
Dad, I was not board at all with your letter, I enjoy reading about what
you do.
Hey, Sorry I have less time to write today!!!! 3 things, I have a new
companion, I am now in La Paz, that's in the Baja California, and number 3
is this Christmas, I can have 1 hour of Skye with you guys or I can have 2
hours of phone time, but I cant have both. So, what do you think? Which? I
have another thing to tell ya'll too, I have 3 more weeks in the mission so
I'm not going to get back on may 2nd I'm going to get back on..... may
28th! so that's some more news! I will try to write more next week!

Nov 11--Dear Elder: Halloween, The Movies, Family History, Food Storage,

2012 11 05
Dear Elder,

How are you?  I hope you got the pictures that I sent you.  We have been praying that you will find people to teach the gospel to, has it been working?  You mentioned time change, do you mean daylight savings time?  We just did that yesterday.  It was sure nice to sleep in!  I’m sorry that people open their doors less now that it gets darker earlier.  You said that transfers were last week.  Did you stay in the same area like you thought you would?  Are you with the same companion?  How are things going for you now?  I can’t wait to get your email today!

We have had a nice week.  Yesterday was especially nice because it was fast Sunday so I was able to fast for the blessing we need, and also I don’t have any meetings on fast Sunday so I was able to be with the family.  After church we took Grandma for a ride which she loved.  She didn’t  say “orange” or  tell Dad to slow down once.  Then we came home and made sweet potato soup and bread for dinner. 

 After dinner, we had family home evening.  Dad read about the conversion of Grandpa's family to the gospel.  It was really wonderful to hear it.  Dad especially loved it and didn’t remember ever hearing it before.  The account was written by the sister missionary who helped to convert the family.  Her name is Margaret Madsen and one of her children live quite close to us, just past the four way stop on our street.  She contacted us a few years ago to ask if we wanted her account of her conversion.  It was wonderful to meet her.  How grateful we are that she went on a mission and brought Grandpa’s family the gospel.  Another interesting thing is the Elder Leif Shumway, related to me through Charles Shumway, is the elder who baptized them!  Small world J

Also for family home evening, we bore our testimonies of what we know to be true.  I cannot express to you how it warms my heart to be able to sit with the family and hear their thoughts and feelings about the gospel of Jesus Christ!  I am most happy and secure in my life when I know we are doing these types of things—things that bring us closer to each other and to the Savior.   I’ve never really thought I had a favorite scripture, but writing this to you, I suddenly realize that I do!  “I have no greater joy than to hear that my  children walk in truth”  3 Jon1: 4.   Tonight we will continue our family home evening by reading a conference talk, having an activity by Katrina, and a treat by Miriam.

On Saturday, Dad worked very hard at the laundry.  Miriam also worked there, cleaning to earn some money.  Katrina was at play practice, and Thomas hung out with Jayden.  I did a humongous shopping at Costco.  With having only half the children at home than we used to, and with changing our diet drastically, I found that I had lots of food in my 3 month’s supply that was going bad, and I also found that I was lacking lots of food that we needed.   My Costco bill came to over $500 and my Walmart bill on Friday came to over $400.  I still need to go buy some stuff at the grocery store.  Also, on Saturday, Dad and I took an inventory of our year’s supply, and bought what we needed for the kids who can’t tolerate whole wheat.  We spent another $400 there.  Don’t worry, I have a preparedness account that I make deposits into, and I have been saving up for a long time so that I could do this!

Friday night, Dad and I went to see a movie.  We started late because Dad got home late, and to be honest, I wasn’t ready till then either, because I was busy putting Walmart purchases away and fine tuning my inventories.  Anyway, I love Megaplex theaters!  For one thing, you can reserve your seats when you buy the tickets online so that you don’t have to get to the theater early in order to get a good seat.  Besides, it’s stadium seating so there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.  For another thing, they sell food right there in the lobby that is reasonably priced, tastes good, and can be taken right into the theater in a nice lap tray.   Last, I love their drink machines!  You can get any flavor and type of drink imaginable.  I always get Fanta Zero, and there at least eight flavors of that alone!  I don’t drink much pop, but it is my favorite movie treat because I can sip it all movie long.   More about movies:  wait for next month!  Not only will the hobbit be coming out, but also Les Miserables, and the Stephen Spielberg movie about Lincoln!  The trailers for all three look incredible. 

On Thursday, Dad worked all evening.  Preston came over to the house and we made dinner and played “Mormon bridge” which was a ton of fun.  Wednesday was Halloween.  Thomas and Miriam both went to parties.  Katrina stayed home and watched Phantom of the Opera, and Dad and I sat outside, gave out candy and watched “Nightmare Before Christmas.”  

On Tuesday we went to the temple!  It was a beautiful experience.  I am so glad that Dad and I are sealed to each other and to you and your siblings for eternity.  When I think about the eternity we'll get to spend together, I guess giving you up to the Lord for two years is not so much for Him to ask of me.

Also on Tuesday I got to talk to Cassandra.   She was taking Lily to a Halloween party with Lily dressed as a pumpkin. Remember I sent you a pict of Lily in her costume?  So cute!  Anyway, Grandma is in Texas right now and she and the Stoddards are going to go visit Cass, Em and Lily tomorrow.  It will be the first time Grandma and the Stoddards have ever seen Lily!  Plus they will get to see their new house!  I wish so much that I could be there with them all.  It will be so nice to see most of them in December!

I got to see Jon a couple of times this week and had a really nice time talking to him on the phone this morning.  He was on his way to the dentist.  It is so nice to see him when I go to Costco!  It makes it way more fun.  He's sold the highest percentage of memberships since they opened, and is liking it pretty good although it can be stressful.

 Monday we had Family Home Evening.  I told a story called “Saved by the Faith of our Mother which was written by your Great Grandpa Haws.   It is about a time when his mother  loaded up the kids in the car and left  Mexico for Arizona.  They stopped on the way to warm a bottle for the baby and somehow ended up starting a fire that burned up their car.  A group of men stopped to give them a ride, but instead of driving them to the border they drove them to a ranch and it was obvious that they had nothing good in mind.  Your great great grandma began praying and singing hymns non-stop till the men’s hearts were softened.  They drove her to the border where Great great grandpa came to get them.  Miriam also gave a lesson on the Christ-like attribute of obedience. 

Sorry this is so long, Matt!  I guess I didn’t leave you much time to reply, but I’d rather you get a nice long letter than me, although it is a pretty big sacrifice!  I love you so much and I hope your week is wonderful!  Please please let us know about anything you need.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Oct 29--Email from Matt

Miriam, That's cool about the Kid car, I just feel bad that the truck broke
down. Yeah good luck with the long board, I just don't want it to be a
problem between you two. That's really cool about Preston! I hope that
everything turns out there, The marines is a good groop of lads, haha. but
really that shows a lot of devotion for our country. What does he have to
do now? Go to boot camp? How is highshcool? How was the birthday party
Katrina, I hope your play turns out ok, you say you're writing a script?
How's that going? Tell me 'bout it. How is DECA? Have you thought about
joining school choir? How was the birtday party thing?
Mom, That's fine with me, and if you want to, you can post pictures or
what-ever haha. I also want you to log onto my E-mail address, just log on
and then you can get off again, I'll send you passwords and stuff. Thankyou
for the long letter! I love hearing about stuff and I do remember writing
that up on the calander, that seems like years ago. Haha, I also remember
washing my cell phone. I pray for you all too!
Dad, I can tell that you have been buisy, becuase your letter was the
shortest! :P anyway, I hope everything goes well for you. What happened to
the truck?
Thomas, I told you that that team sucks, ditch them and get on the freaking
long horns! haha, That's really nice of the Hannetts! Take that
responsibility seriously ok budd? I promise it will help you later in your

Well this is the part when I am supposed to write something spiritual,
haha, but really this week has been a good week to learn, we have seen a
lot of challenges but with that we saw a lot of blessings. I know that the
Lord has been helping us. We have struggled this week to find people to
teach. We weren't able to talk with the Ochoa family this week but
we will be able to teach them this week. The time change has made things a
little more difficult for us because now it gets darker earlyer and people
don't want to answer their doors. We are also about to have transfers again
this week but I feel like I'll be staying here. I'm happy with that. Next
week I'm going to write about an experience for you all! I just don't have
time right now.

ok this is about the picture, we were walking down the street and I just
happend to glance at this door, (there are a ton of doors like this in
mexico) I looked at it, didn't take too much notice, and keept on walking.
Suddenly somthing clicked in my brain and I noticed that... That door leads
to no-where, a brick wall. I stopped in the middle of the road with one
question running through my mind: ''Why? I don't understand, Why?'' anyway,
that's all for now.

Oct 28--Dear Elder

Dear Elder,

Hi!  Thanks for last week’s email.  It sounds like you are busy as always.  I’m sorry about not being able to send you the DVD’s you want.  We’ll send you something, though!  I’m so glad you found a family that is excited about hearing the gospel!  How is that going?

The family is doing well.  Today I was at meetings for most of the day, so I didn’t get to be with the family much.  Dad and the kids went to Katrina and Thomas’s first children’s choir concert and everyone seems to have enjoyed it.  They also had dinner together which is good.  I got to introduce the new curriculum for young men, young women, and Sunday school classes to the ward young women’s presidencies tonight.  I mention it to you, Matt, because its focus is on helping the youth become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ by teaching the way the Savior taught.  It is a very inspired change with less lecturing and more conversations with the youth, guided by the Spirit.  Pretty cool, huh? 

Yesterday, I didn’t get to be with the fam much either because they all went up to Salt Lake for Uncle Earl’s birthday (he is the husband of Grandma’s sister, Aunt Alice).  I stayed home and watched Grandma.  Before they left though, I had Katrina and Thomas help me clean and vacuum the car and cut down all the plants in the front flower boxes.  Miriam spent the morning cleaning at Wash Hut to earn money for a hair straightener she wants, and Dad worked there, too.   Saturday night, Dad and I took off for a little while to get a bite to eat.

Friday night Dad and I went shopping and out to eat here in town.  The kids stayed home, made cookies, took care of Grandma, and watched movies.  Also on Friday we bought a new car.  It was kind of a sudden thing—I babysat the little Yarrington kids Thursday and Friday, and their mom mentioned to me that they were selling one of their cars.  I told Dad about it, because it was a Toyota Corolla and they were only asking 3500 for it.  Anyway, Dad looked into it, decided he wanted it for a kid car, got a loan for it, and paid the Yarringtons all on Friday afternoon.  So now we have a new kid car and boy are they excited!  Dad was concerned about Miriam driving a stick in the snow and about having to teach Katrina stick shifting. 

Thursday, like I said, I baby sat.  I visiting teach the kids’ mom and so when her usual baby sitter got sick, she called me.  It sure is nice to have little kids around the house, especially kids as cute as they are!  Thursday night I made cookies and rolls as part of a dinner for a new family in the ward who just had a baby.  Thomas and I took the food over and got to see their new baby girl.  It was so nice to hear Thomas tell me afterward that he was glad we got to see the baby and that he wished we’d gotten to hold her.  
Thursday Miriam left for a DECA conference and got home Friday afternoon.  Thursday evening, Katrina and I went over to the church to attend a Relief Society meeting where the young women were invited. 

Wednesday, I visiting taught Sister Weidlein and the kids went to mutual.  The girls painted pumpkins, and I have no idea what Thomas did.  Dad hung out at home with Grandma.   

On Monday, our calendar said, “Remember that Matt kid?”  I wonder who wrote that!!!  I drew hearts all around it.  It’s nice to see your handwriting on our calendar.  I also like it when I call Katrina and she doesn’t pick up, because then I can hear you say, “Hi, leave a message!”  It always startles me and makes me smile to hear your voice J On Monday night we had some kid of family time, but I can’t remember what it was.  It didn’t last long—about an hour. 

I’ve been exercising lately.  No, not Insanity, because it always inflames my knees, just a nice long walk, but my new shoes are great for that, and I try to do push ups and sit ups, too. 

  Today I earned my young womanhood medallion and got to wear it to the meeting tonight.  That was pretty neat.  In Preach My Gospel I am studying about faith and I have also been studying Alma 5 in order to finish my Personal Progress and get my medallion and also in conjunction with Elder Perry’s conference talk entitled, “Can Ye Feel So Now?”  Also I have been trying to get our three month’s supply in better order so that I can keep track of it better and replenish it automatically.  Also I am trying to improve our year supply of food. 

Tomorrow I get to safety and emission inspect the car and go to the DMV.  Fun stuff.  Dad usually does all that, but he’s too busy.    I have to get it all done in the morning before Grandma wakes up.  That’s why I’m writing to you tonight instead of tomorrow morning, but now it’s almost midnight and I don’t sleep much past 5:00, so I’ve got to go.   As you can see, life around here is not real exciting, but it is real good.  I sure love you and can’t wait for tomorrow’s letter!