Monday, April 29, 2013

April 28--Dear Elder: Letters from the Fam

Dear Matt,
So Katrina is yelling at me really loud right now because I am taking a long time to write this letter to you and she wants me to leave the downstairs so that she can practice her piano. I guess that I have to hurry up. I don’t see why she can’t practice her piano with me right here. It’s just the piano I mean come on. Well this week has kinda sucked because my grades are really bad and I haven’t been able to go to track because my knees and hip are hurting really bad, so I wouldn’t be able to compete very well even if I had went. But I still had fun with my friends. On Friday I went to my friends house and we did tons of things like breaking his tramp and going to the grocery store and the gas station and playing football and basketball and watching Spongebob. So that day was pretty fun. The rest of my week was boring and theres not much to tell you about. I better go because Katrina is yelling at me again. See Ya!

Dear Son,
So guess what?  I actually am taking the fam on a vacation, NOT to Disneyland, or anywhere I really want to go, but I actually listened to my darling children and decided to take them to the Shakespeare thingy, but only for a day because Miriam didn’t want to be there more than that, so then we will travel farther and have more fun, Man, I am getting soft in my old age.  A vacation should consist of me having fun and torturing my kids, HA HA.  To show you just how pathetically soft I have gone, I am thinking about getting into metal detecting, and since my kids have said they are interested in going too, instead of getting just one and then putting them off and never letting them do it while I have all of the fun, I am going to get two so that they can do it AT THE SAME TIME!!! Can you believe it?  Soon I might get totally kicked off the DARK SIDE!  BTW, I loved your letter, always love all of your letters, I actually hang on every word.  I know you are doing super awesome, even if you don’t always think so.  You are a wonderful missionary and make me proud!  I love you soo much.

Blog Note:  In her Letter, Katrina wrote that she is going to stay at the high school she is attending.  She also tells Matt that they got an "excellent" in the state drama competition.  She also asked a boy to the "Last Chance" dance.  No fun or frills, she just walked up and asked him.  He said yes, and then she came home to for money and permission, ha ha.  I remembering doing the same thing when I was a kid--first I asked the boy and picked out a dress, then I went home to ask my parents for money and permission.  Good thing neither they nor we said "no," or someone would have a lot of 'splainin' to do.


Sorry about last week! Well, I do write Preston a lot but I am also in love with him and I'm going to marry him so you can't argue with that! Also, I write to you on my iPhone so the message looks way bigger. Sorry! How are you? I'm doing well! There's not much to tell. I work a lot.  Work takes up most of my time. Tell more stories about yourself!

April 29--Dear Elder: Last installment

We Miss Matt!

Hi, Matt, it's Monday and time to get this letter off.  We had a bit of nice family time yesterday including family dinner and an evening drive.  We stopped in the Woerner's driveway to visit on the way.  They were making fun of me for hitting the trash can as I backed out.  It is not my fault that Thomas put it in a bad place, ha ha.  When they heard the noise and realized what happened, they ran out to the street with their trash cans and left them in the middle of it for me to run them over, too.  Ha ha.  They wanted to go on a cruise with us next year.  I told them, no way are we going on another cruise without the kids until they are out of the house.  They couldn't understand that, but come to find out, they didn't know we were going on a cruise in June and then they said, "No wonder!"

We would have had more family time, but I had a meeting after the meeting after the meeting, so I was gone twice as long as I expected.  Not fun.  Today should be a nice day, the weather has been glorious.  Oh.  Dad just told me that the high tomorrow will only be 55.  Yuck.  Anyway, I got good sleep last night.  I woke up a lot, but was able to fall back asleep each time, and didn't wake up for good until 6:00.  It's nice to feel rested.

Have a wonderful day, Matt.  Take some time to notice the beauty around you and to thank Heavenly Father for it and for all your blessings.  Thank Him for them one by one, and it will put a song in your heart and a spring in your step!  Thanks again for your wonderful letter.  I can't wait to hear from you today.  I love you!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 28--Dear Elder: First Installment

Thank you so much for writing about yourself.  You are very right to choose that over commenting on my letter.  You don't ever need to do that unless there is something especially want to say.  I want to know what you are doing.  Always.  I thought you knew that, but maybe not.

What??  You haven't been keeping a journal?  Go stand in the corner!!!  Just kidding, ha ha, but, believe me, you will treasure every single bit you write about your mission for the rest of your life, so please write a journal.  I always want to hear more about your mission than you usually write, but I've taken comfort in the fact that (I thought) you were keeping a journal of it all.  So get busy, young man!    "Smiley face."  Don't worry about catching up.  Write what's happening now, and then if you have more time, you can do a bit of catch-up.

It is nice to read that Elder Campos is very tidy, because it's important.  I hope that you are tidy, too.  If you aren't, it's easy to start.

How to Be Tidy In Three Easy Steps
1.  De-junk--ge't rid of anything you don't need.
2.  Organize--find a place for everything (including your study materials, toiletries, EVERYTHING), and put everything in it's place.
3.  Upkeep--Always put stuff away right after you use it.  Don't say "I'll put it away later." Don't leave something out because you plan to use it later, put it away.

Heavenly Father is a God of order, not chaos, so hooray for Elder Campos.  Also yay for you and good ol' Elder Campos for following all the steps in your weekly planning session.  You sound like an awesome team.

BTW, I see you aren't spending money.  You should.  I'm sure there are things that you need.  Go buy them.  After I finish testing, I am going to be subbing for a teacher every day for the rest of the year, so I'm rich, ha ha.  Like I told my sister Elizabeth the other day, I am making money and have no time to spend any of it.  Win win.  So, please don't hold back on buying what you need.  Do you need anything that you can't get that we can send you?  PLEASE tell me.

I sure hope you were able to make your rescheduled appointment with Martin, he sounds like a wonderful man.  I try to pray for your investigators by name, so thanks for telling us about him.  Who else are you teaching?  I also am praying that you guys will find people to teach and that your ward will help you.  Along with that, I have been praying for missionary opportunities for our family.  We are trying to invite people over for dinner more often.  Hey, it's a start.

I'm sorry you got to your meeting to hear the mission president late, but I hope it wasn't too late.  Sounds like you got to hear most of what he said.  What is a capasitation?  I can tell that the mission president is an inspired man.  I am glad he talked to you about loosening up and not beating yourself up when things fall through.  You are doing a great work!  The Lord is on your side!  Rejoice!!

Don't worry, we know that you have to write in a hurry.  We completely understand that you don't have time to be gramatically or politically correct.  You can't offend us, we love you!  The things you write are awesome, so just write, write, write.

Oh, Matt, I am deeply sorry about the little boy whose parents are contemplating divorce.  His life will very hard!  Little children suffer immensely when adults (like that dad) act selfishly.  It must be so hard for Heavenly Father to give us our agency to choose what we will do.  I comforted knowing that He is perfect and all powerful and all loving, and that through the atonement of His son, all will be made right eventually.  In the meantime, it is so sad and hard and I hope and am praying, that they can somehow work things out.  Is there any chance of that?

Our temple marriage and the covenants that we have made to each other and to Heavenly Father have blessed our family and our marriage.  We've had some very hard times, but we are sealed to each other for eternity, and that knowledge helps us care more, try harder, and never give up.  It deepens my love for your dad and you kids because my most cherished desire is to be with you all forever in the presence of Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother and our beloved brother and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.'re welcome!  I pray fervently and daily that all of you kids will have eternal families of your own because I know that is what brings true happiness.

Thanks again, Matt, for telling us more about what is happening in your life.  Good news, bad news, in between news, it all warms our hearts.

We have had a very nice week.  Daniel and Elizabeth and kids along with Jessica and Henry did come over for family home evening like we had planned.  We had Mexican food, and of course I use the term loosely.  Oh wow, I just realized that when you come back you'll be able to cook for us!  I cannot wait! I'd better get myself used to hot food so that I can enjoy it, right?  What can you cook?  Can you make tamales?  They're probably too time consuming.  What do you cook?  Remember the Mexican market we have here in town?  Hopefully you can buy everything you need.  Have you ever been fed anything gross?  I remember the picture you sent of soup with chicken feet in it.  Were they good?  It seemed like they would be all bones.  Okay.  Back to non-food subjects.

BTW, Thanks for sending the picture of you with that family.  You said they have a big house. What is it like?  They have cute little kids.  :)  They all look like Gringos.  Are there many in your area?  It is also nice to see Elder Campos in the picture.  Tell him "hi" for us!

Back to FHE.  We ate and then Thomas conducted family home evening.  Dad read to us a bit from Great Grandma's biography for our family history moment, and then Elizabeth gave a lesson.  After that we decided we needed to play zoom, schwartz, perfiggliano and as you can imagine, that really initiated Henry into the family.  Thomas also taught us how to play "Hey, Bob."  After that we ate cookies made by Katrina.  Then Daniel, Elizabeth and kids went home, but Henry and Jessica stayed.  It was fun talking with them and having family scriptures and prayer with them.  Dad and I had work the next day, so we went to bed, but they stayed chatting with the kids until 11:30.  It was pretty cool.  Thomas was quite disgusted when I still made him go to early morning seminary the next day, ha ha.

Tuesday, who knows what we did.  Wednesday, Thomas went in to interview at the water park and got the job.  Hooray!  He's very happy.  Miriam's test to get licensed got postponed till this Wednesday, so you might want to say a little prayer for her.  Dad's aide took the test multiple times before he passed.  She cannot afford to do that.

On Thursday I did lots of visiting teaching.  I also went to Relief Society where we did humanitarian service.  It was fun because my visiting teaching partner, Emily (remember Emily, my walking buddy?), and two of the sisters we visit teach sat at the same table, plus two ladies on our street as well as others.  We had fun visiting, stamping, and gluing.

Friday after work, I had a half hour to pack and then Katrina and I went to the youth camp leader retreat.  Young Women's camp is in June, and this retreat was to help the older girls plan the activities they are going to do as youth camp leaders.  They are all teamed up as big sisters to younger girls so that they can watch over them and teach them at camp.  I am over Katrina's age group.  Some of her little sisters are girls in our ward which is nice.  I really enjoyed being there with Katrina and getting to know the other girls better.  We played "Cardinal Puff," with water of course, ha ha.

We got home around noon yesterday and Dad was gone to Salt Lake with his sister, Renee and her daughter Becky to visit with his Aunt Alice and Uncle Earl.  He brought along a recording device and asked her all sorts of questions and got lots of family history which is good since Grandma and Aunt Eleanor are gone now.

 I talked to Cassandra on the phone when I got home and wished her a happy birthday.  She and Emerson were traveling to the big city for a hot date.  They had Lily along and were dropping her off at my sister Sarah's house to be baby sat.  They babysit Lily all the time, and I am so jealous!  Cassandra liked the DVD we got her for her birthday.  Lily got a present, too, and Cassandra is going to send us a video of her opening it.  We can't wait.

After talking to Cassandra, I visited with the kids and napped and then went in to do laundry and to bring Jessica and Henry packing boxes.  I stayed and helped them clean and pack a bit.  They just finished finals yesterday are going to work at a family camp ground this summer.  Henry will be a maintenance guy, and Jessica will be working with the little kids again like she did last year.  Apparently the little kids' favorite activity was to set off mousetraps in a wading pool with long sticks, so she spent all last summer setting mouse traps.  I hear she's quite and expert, ha ha.  My sister, Elizabeth called me about boxes.  She was already there working away.  She is amazing.

After that, Dad picked me up at the laundry and we went out to eat at El Azteca which is as close as we come to good Mexican food around here.  They've changed locations--by Fat Cats--and I was glad to see lots of people eating there.  It was nice to eat with Dad and here all about his visit with Aunt Alice.  While we were away, Thomas mowed the back yard and then went to Jayden's house to hang out, Katrina mowed the front yard and had 5 friends over to watch Les Mis.  Preston's family gave Miriam the DVD for Easter, so I said they could watch it if she skipped 2 parts.  Miriam cleaned her room, studied for her test, and went on an ice cream run for Katrina and guests.  Later, Jon came home and took Katrina out for ice cream and then picked up Thomas at Jayden's.  He got a sunburn in Fillmore somehow.  I'll have to ask him about that today.

Besides having family scriptures and prayer, that's about all we did yesterday.  Today I have a camp meeting.  Besides that and church, I just hope we have some good quality family time and get to read a  conference talk.  I also hope to go back to bed before church, ha ha.  We are on the 1:00 schedule.

April 22--Email From Matt

Dear Katrina, you are the only person that's gonna get a letter this week (Well, other than Mom and Dad) so, how's it going? I thought the same thing about ''Mr. Krueger's Christmas'' haha, but I'm glad that you had a good time. That's about the same that I feel after a year of school, haha, how are you doing? Don't yell too much haha. :) A 3D to-scale stage design? Wow, tell me how that one goes, it sounds very hard and almost useless hahah.  Sorelle Voce will be a great opportunity if you make it, they always do cool things. So, did you decide to go to to the other high school or are you just going to stay there from now until the end of High School? Tell me how you did in state. So tell me more about ''Life'' :) I hope that you are doing very well this week. Keep on readin them scriptures of your'un Keep on reading the wee free men too!

Miriam and Thomas: Read my letter from last week and answer it please!

Mom, you said ''please'' in your letter so I guess I will have to tell you all about the trials and joys 'n all that good stuff, I only have enough time to write to you or about everything a little more in detail so, Knowing you I'm going to write more about my week and more in detail. hahah

Dad, I'm glad that you got to go battling, I hope that you didn't get hurt and your taste in books is absolutely boring hahaha :) and I am so glad to hear that you all got to go to the temple! haha, speaking of that, I was wondering if we could do that when I get home? Before we actually get to the house, I would like to go to the temple. I miss being able to go. That's a bum that you wont have any free time over the summer, well, I guess you never really did have a lot of free time over the summer anyway, :P haha. I am trying to keep a good journal but sometimes I don't write for a few weeks, actually I'm going to have to start writing again, because I stopped. It is pretty neat to be on the Lord's errand.

Well, to comply with mom's request, this week I will be focusing a little more into ''how things are going for [me]'' This week started off with us hearing that we were going to have interviews with President, that was nice to hear and I was looking forward to it, (that happend Monday) we managed to get everything done and we cleaned the house too, (Elder Campos is very tidy) we started working a tadd late and that always bugs me, I don't really remember what we did that day, but I'm sure it was good. Sorry, I don't have my agenda with me right now.

Tuesdays we have our district meeting and we do weekly planning, The Elders here have really just degraded that down to writing out who are their investigators and what they are going to teach them this next week, but not me 'n good ol Elder Campos, we followed all the steps and we finished late but that's ok. haha.

After that we had the meeting, and went to lunch. We ate with the Bishop, and that was good because we need to talk to him because this ward seems to have no ward mission plan and the members, although very good, aren't very excited about missionary work. We went and ate with him and asked for a chance to talk to him Wednesday at 7. He agreed and we left to go our own ways. unfortunately I don't remember what we did there but it was good too. haha.

Ok, so Wednesday in the morning we were going to go see an investigator who is really cool, His name is Martin, and he wants to be a christian missionary. He's about 40 years old and right now is living in Los Cabos but is going to move to another part of Mexico. But as we were walking over there, the Zone Leaders called us and they told us that there had been a change of plans and that we needed to go to the stake center an hour early at 11 instead of 12 o'clock. That threw us for a huge loop and we had to cancel the appointment and change it to another day.

We hurried to the stake center, we got lost because the bus took a different turn that we weren't expecting and we had to walk a lot and we got there late, with dirty shoes haha. (luckily our mission president doesn't really care because he knows how dirty the streets are here) We got to go hear an awesome capasitation on how to commit our investigators to follow the commandments and afterwords we had our interviews, When President interviewed me, we talked a little about the area and different things that we need to do, after that he looked me in the eye and he said: Elder, you always look tense to me, you need  to loosen up, don't slack off but don't be preoccupied with other things. The Lord is in control of this work, If a plan falls through, that means that the Lord has someone else waiting for you.

Ok, I'm gonna shorten this down because I still have to write to other people and I only have 28 min.
Let it be said that this week was full of good learning experiences, some of them were easier to learn than others, overall, we need more people to teach and we need to work with the members so that it'll happen, I'm not going to spell check this letter and I'm not going to check grammar, you all have to realize that I just start typing, I rarely if ever have time to sit and think about what I'm writing so that it will sound better, so if I say something more or less offensive, please forgive me. I don't have a lot of time to sit here and deliberate over what I'm going to write.

I love you all, stay true to the Lord and do everything that He requires of you, I can promise you that if you do that, your life will not be easy but it will be full.

One other thing that I wanted to write. This week we had the opportunity to talk to a young couple with a beautiful baby boy. They had decided that they are going to separate and eventually get divorced. That choice came because of infidelity on part of the husband. As they were talking to us, I was trying to listen but I kept on looking at their little boy, so beautiful with his jet black hair and full black eyes, smiling and laughing, and the whole time, my heart was wrenching inside of me. I couldn't stop thinking about how much his life is going to change, and probably for the worse, and that he had done nothing, absolutely nothing to invoke or cause that. It made me think about Mathew chapter 18, so I read a few selections of that to this couple, we then encouraged them to talk with the Bishop before doing anything.

There are many lessons that I can learn from that, I'm so glad, Mom and Dad, that you both have stayed strong and faithful to each other, and that no matter what, you have both staid together. I just hope that we all, as your children can follow your example.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear Elder: Last Installment

Now it is Sunday morning, and I realize that I forgot to tell you about our family home evening last Monday night.  The plan was to have it with Elizabeth and her family and Jessica and her husband Henry, but that got rescheduled to tomorrow, so we went to the laundry instead and worked to clean it in order to earn money for the general missionary fund.  When 5 people are working hard, the work gets done quickly, but we did earn some money to contribute the way President Monson asked us to do.  Hopefully, this won't be the only time we do that.

Yesterday was a rough day.  It was just about like any other day except that my outlook, which I tried to keep to myself, was negative and fearful.  You know how I said yesterday, that when I have to choose between writing to you and reading my scriptures, I choose scripture reading?  Well, yesterday I knew I had time for both, and I wrote to you first, and completely forgot to read my scriptures.  By the time I remembered it was 2:00 pm, and the day was not going well.  I read my scriptures then, and felt much better.

Good things did happen, though.  Katrina and I finished the marionette that I bought her way back in July.  It was one of those marionettes they sell in Mexico, and it had a bright red face, a big black mustache, and it held a gun in one hand.  For some reason, Katrina wanted it to look differently, ha ha.  We painted the face and hands and made it look like a little boy.  We gave him overalls and a checked shirt, and kept the straw hat he came with.  He is pretty cute.  Yesterday we drilled the sticks and strung the marionette.  It is all finished now and hanging from Katrina's ceiling.  So far, Miriam hasn't complained about that.

Thomas and I gave his room a good cleaning, and it looks wonderful now.  Also, Thomas mowed the front lawn despite the rain, and Katrina cleaned her room and cleaned out the car.  She started to vacuum it, but it began to sprinkle and I didn't want her to get electrocuted, so I had her stop.

Sadly, Miriam didn't pass her licence exam and has to retake it Monday.  It also looks like Thomas won't be working this summer.  Interviews for the water park took place yesterday, and he didn't have one.  Then there's him not getting on the ballot for student council. I was overwhelmed by my weaknesses and inadequacies that contributed to these things not happening, especially the things with Thomas.  But after reading my scriptures, my faith and trust in Heavenly Father were strengthened, I could see our disappointments for what they are, temporary setbacks with lessons to be learned.  I know that if we stay faithful to Heavenly Father, all things work together for our good.  Thomas was a good example to me yesterday.  He stayed happy and cheerful despite the setbacks.  And with my attitude adjustment, I was able to encourage him and share a few scriptures with him, in other words, be the mom I need to be.  I can really see how Satan works hard to kick us when we are down and how Heavenly Father lifts us when we are down when we turn to Him.

I've been talking to your Dad on the phone.  He is on his way home.  I love him so much!  He had a really fun time, hung out with really good guys, and looks forward to doing it again.  I'm so glad.  He needs more opportunities like this.

Hi, Matt.  It's early Monday morning, and I'd better get this off to you.  I pray daily for you that you will be teachable, full of love and be filled with and speak with the power of the Holy Ghost.  I pray often for your investigators, that they will be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Please let us know how things are going for you.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

April 20--Dear Elder: Tardy Installment

Dear Elder,

Thank you so much for your letter last Monday.  Actually, writing to you is the only journal I am keeping till you come home.  I don't end up writing every day as I would like, but I'm glad that I write this much and that I can send you a nice long letter every week.  I appreciated your words to the family about having our foundation built upon Jesus Christ.  I have been studying about that, reading Bishop Davies' talk from general conference.  I studied the part about prayer yesterday.  I want to pray with more gratitude and also with the Holy Ghost in order to speak to the Lord less, and counsel with the Lord more.

It is Saturday, so I am very late in beginning your letter this week.  I'd like to study the gospel and write to you every single day, but on the days where I have to choose between the two because time is short, I know you would have me choose studying the gospel, and that's what I do.  As you say, holding on to the word of God keeps us from being dragged off the path to God by the temptations of the devil.

I worked four out of five days this school week, which is why I haven't written.  I did assessment testing 3 of those days, and substituted yesterday.  I didn't want to work at all yesterday, but Thursday and Friday were apparently the biggest subbing days of the year, and I got a call begging me to sub.  I had already promised to spend the day with Dad on Thursday, but subbed yesterday.  It was a bit of an ordeal, but I survived.

I didn't get much done this week, and would like to blame that on working, but I can't.  The truth is that I've been reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, and was nearing the end, and couldn't put it down.  I finished it last night, though.  It was such a good book, and so wonderful to have it in my pocket on my smart phone to read during the down times of assessment testing.  I think, however, that I will have to stick to reading non fiction so that I won't get so hooked.  I want to read an obscure book called "Think Independently."  I don't know if I can get it on my kindle app, though.

Dad is out of town today.  He is participating in a WWII reenactment with his good friend, Richard.  I am so happy that he got to go!  Originally, he planned to leave on Thursday, but found out nothing was happening with the reenactment till Saturday, so he and I spent the day together on Thursday instead.  We went to the temple, did a bit of shopping, and got a late lunch.  We really enjoyed ourselves.

He spent all day yesterday driving, and I am very glad that we checked out some books on tape for him to listen to while he drove.  He called me last night from the "battle" sight, and said that listening to the book really helped him get through the many hours of driving.  I told him that he could say he spent the whole day sitting around "reading."  I hope he has fun battling today.

After work yesterday, I read a lot, of course, but I also talked to Cassandra and Lily on the phone a bit.  Cassandra is finally feeling better after being sick.  She couldn't talk long because she and Emerson were leaving on an over night er this weekend to celebrate their anniversary.  I also got her birthday present sent off.  I think she's going to like it!

I went to Katrina's play at the school.  It was written by a student in her drama class, and she played one of six murder suspects.  Everyone in the play died except the murderer.  Sounds like a typical drama student production, eh?  Katrina is an incredible actor, and I really enjoyed watching her perform.  She also performed in the Eiffel tower play again this week, in front of judges.  She doesn't know how they ranked yet.  Later last night, she and I watched an episode of the Dick Van Dyke show together.  It was weird, though, because Dick VanDyke wasn't in it.  It was one of the first episodes, so I guess that accounts for it.  Earlier this week, Dad and I watched the first ever Doctor Who episode with Katrina.  She wanted to see what the original Dr. Who was like, but she turned it off after awhile--said it was boring.

Miriam spent all last night studying for her license exam for State Farm.  She takes the test today, and really doesn't know if she will pass.  She says she's not ready, but her employers really want her to take it and she spent $80 to sign up for it, and would have to pay $40 to postpone it, so we'll see what she decides to do.

Thomas and Jon played disk golf in the evening and then came home to barbecue hamburgers in the back yard.   I joined them for awhile.  It was a beautiful night, a bit cold, but I wrapped up in that robe I made for Dad a long time ago out of a blanket, so I was nice and snugly.  They offered me a hamburger, but since I had eaten probably 5 yogurts throughout the evening, I declined.  After I came in, I showered and washed my clothes and the robe because we all smelled like campfire.

Thomas didn't make it on the ballot for student council because of miscommunications on how to get that done, so he is not on student council next year.  It is pretty darn sad.  He also didn't go to the track meet yesterday because of hurt knees.  He said he couldn't run.  He did do disc golfing with Jon, though, but he said that only involved walking, so he could do that.  hmmm...

We have been spending more time talking together and being together as a family, which is an answer to my prayers.  It is hard to get everyone off of their electronic devices and talking instead, but lately we have been talking in the evenings.  It is usually because of Jonny.  He really likes to sit around and talk.  Having him home for awhile has been a joy and a blessing.

I felt less safe going to bed last night without Dad around which is silly, because Jon is here, but I did.  I woke up at two o clock this morning, and it was raining pretty hard.  I went out and made sure the vent windows were shut in the van.  Wait, does the rain mean we can't mow today?  Aaarrrggghhh!  I hate having a scraggly lawn on Sunday.  Maybe we'll mow the lawn anyway later on if it dries up a bit.  Other than that, I don't have any real concrete plans for today except to go back to bed after I finish writing to you and to vacuum out the car sometime.   My phone just made a noise at me and I realize that I have to drive Katrina to choir.  I am still determined to go back to bed after that and sleep till she needs to be picked up at 9:30.  Wish me luck!

Friday, April 19, 2013

April 15--Email From Matt

Hey, How's it going? Sorry, this computer is very slow and is dumb so I won't be able to up-load any pictures. So, anyway,

Latrina, How's it going with all that stuff? That sounds funny about the dancing. In the mission, we don't dance, it's against the rules and we don't do it, so there you go. Anyway, it sounds like you are doing well. Well, tell me about school life and how excited you are to finish. Right now they don't call me gordo, some people call me gordito, but those are just the thin people. haha.

Thomas, so it sounds like you had a spiritual experience, with a spiritual cactus that teaches us a spiritual lesson. we see here that the duck tape is not just duck tape but rather a strip of plastic with an adhesive binder used to attract and bind objects to itself, the charming ''fluff'' is not fluff rather a sharp organic fiber that in-beds its many spines into the hands of unsuspecting thomas' hands, who is not just a Thomas, rather a son of the Lord our God who dwells it the heavens and watches Thomas in every moment and waits ever so lovingly for just the right moment to help him learn and grow.

 So there we see that it is actually a spiritual experience haha. How's it going budd?! Tell me more about yourself! That's awesome that you got second! How did you choke? What does that mean? were you literally in the air and started to choke?! ahah, see you later bud, (Like in a little more than a year, I still remember the letter you wrote me in the MTC that told me about the dream that you had. Thanks bud for that letter it really helped me find out why I was here in the mission)

Miriam, 2 sentences?! Two measly lines of almost nothing?!?!? how much do you write to Preston? C'mon, I've been in your life 16 years more than he has! How are you doing? what do you do to spend your time? What have you been up to since Preston has left? What are you hoping to do when he get's back? How is your life going and how are you feeling?

Mom, well I am now writing for 1 hour, printing off overturning that you guys write me and I am mostly just writing for a complete hour w/o breaks so I can write everything to you all! That's why I sent pictures that one time. I really loved hearing how you think and which things are really important to you, it really helps me know how much you love us all. The kitchen looks really great and I'm happy that you were able to finish it all up and no one died of stress haha,

How have you been sleeping these days? are you feeling better? have you gone to the doctors yet to see what's wrong? How has the testing job gone? Renee wrote me and she told me that because of her girl's missions and that because she wrote them every week about what happened in the family, they now have really good family history for those 4 years, so maybe you Should start writing me more often haha. :) I'm sure that you keep good records by yourself. So you guys use Costco a lot now? that's cool. Love you mom!

Blog Note:  Matt also wrote to Brian.  They are having some very sweet conversations.

Well as for writing to the whole family, I just want to tell you all that I love you a lot and that this Gospel is not only true, it is a gift of our Father in heaven that loves us more than we could ever imagine, that he really does want us to be happy and that he has given us the only true path, no matter how narrow and difficult that it may be to follow, that leads to happiness, stay firm in that path, the Book of Mormon gives us the sacred promise that if we grab hold of the word of God that the temptations of the devil will not be able to drag us off of the foundation of our faith which is Jesus Christ our Savior and our Redeemer.

April 15--Dear Elder From Brian and Kids

Again, Katrina asked me not to post her letter, but in it, she talks says she is almost ready to finish reading the Book of Mormon for the sixth time.  She also talks about having fun at her friend's party where she danced a lot.
Hey matt,
So the cactus incident was there was a cactus and it looked fluffy. Dad said not to touch it but it was fluffy and there weren’t any spikes on it. So I grabbed it and picked it up and showed it to people, nothing was wrong until I dropped it and looked down at my hand and saw that my hand was fluffy too. The fluffy stuff was a million little spikes and they were in my hand, so I got some tweezers and started pulling them out and that didn’t work so I got tape and wrapped my hand in the tape and pulled the tape off. It worked really well even though it hurt to push all the little spikes deeper into my hand. I’m sure you could make some spiritual analogy about that right? Haha anywasy this week I had a track meet and I got third in the long jump, I got 15 feet 10 inches, it was pretty cool and I did well on the high jump, I got to 5 feet and almost had 5 feet 2 inches but I choked and didn’t make it. Anyways that all I have been up to.

That's good to know about quesadillas. I'm getting licensed for State Farm to be able to quote and write insurance policies. It's stressful! How are things going for you? I'm doing okay. I'm just ready for school to be over and for Preston to be back. Have a good week!


Dear Son,

I loved what you said about the overweight girl, funny you say that because I have been thinking for a while about how God must view us and what God thinks of us and how he values us.  On earth, it is all about appearances and we assume that  in heaven we will all be beautiful and look perfect.  I started to wonder if God doesn't see beauty in those terms, but rather sees ones thoughts and actions as beautiful.  I tell my students that all women are beautiful and all men are handsome, the only ugly things about us are in the things we do or how we treat people, so lets all do good things and treat each other well.
Matt, you have some wonderful insights into life, I am so grateful that you are my son and that you are on a mission and get to share the gospel full time.  I  pray for you night and day.  I feel that your service is blessing my life and the lives of your brothers and sisters in both your family as well as in Mexico.
I love you son,
Love, Dad

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14--Second Letter to Matt Today, Last installment for the week

Now it is Sunday night, and I am getting ready to send this letter off since I work doing testing tomorrow and won't be around to send it off then.  My bosses must like the way I've been doing the testing because they asked me and four other women from the testing team of about 20 women to do some extra testing this coming week.  It is a mixed blessing since I could really use the money from the extra days and I could really use the time staying at home.

Cassandra called this morning.  She has been so nice to help me figure out my smart phone.  That's the thing about smart phones, you have to be smart, and I'm not!

Later, I went to church with a heart heavy and discouraged.  I could only see the ways we are not measuring up to what we need to be.  I said a prayer before I went, though, that I would find peace in the talks and lessons, and I did.  It was one of many ways that my prayers were answered today.

After church, I prayed a lot that we would be able to spend time as a family today, because no matter how hard I tried, things weren't working out as far as that goes.  Then, for no apparent reason, everyone congregated in the living room, and we had a wonderful Sunday evening together, no finagling required, ha ha.

Also, I had been praying and talking to Dad about a way that the family could earn money together to contribute to the general missionary fund of the Church like the prophet asked us to do, but nothing had worked out yet.  Tonight, Heavenly Father helped me remember to suggest to Dad that we read a conference talk, so we read President Monson's talk where he asked members to contribute, and when it was my turn to share an insight, I brought it up, and we decided to go to the laundry tomorrow night and work as a family to earn money for the fund.  Done.  Last week we couldn't find a time to do it, and we originally had something going tomorrow, but I didn't stop praying and the something got postponed, and everything worked out.

Small and simple answers to prayer, but so comforting to know that God hears me and will help us when I pray.

Well, that's about it, Matt.  Have a wonderful week.  I fasted for you today and I know that will help you somehow.  We love reading your letters, and we love you!


April 14--Dear Elder; Work, Play, and Church

Matt, I am going to put some pictures of our newly remodeled kitchen in with the letter so that you can see what it looks like.

Here are our new cabinets.  They aren't as dark as they look in this picture.

Now it is Sunday morning, and we had a wonderful Saturday.  In the morning I cut Thomas's hair (finally) and had him practice the trumpet and then he went over to Jayden's to jump on his trampoline for awhile.  Katrina went to choir and then she and I went to MacDonald's for yogurt parfaits.  It was nice to have some quiet time together.  Miriam went to a soccer game.  After Dad got back from the Laundry, Katrina and I cleaned up the patio, driveway, and walkways while Dad mowed the lawns.

 We got new tile and carpet

When all our work was done and Miriam was home, we got Thomas and all went on an outing.  We drove to the cemetery where Grandma is buried because Dad wanted to see what the grave stone that he ordered for her looked like.  It was beautiful!  After we went to a British market where we bought some coconut marsala (not very British) and oat cakes and then we went downtown to the shopping center to wander around for awhile.  It was cold but fun, and we ate an early dinner and dessert at the food court. It is kind of funny that the weather yesterday was predicted to be bright and sunny, and it was cold and cloudy, and the forcast for today is cold and cloudy, but it is bright and sunny.   That's Spring for you.  I don't know why all the weathermen don't just take March, April, and May off of work and have a nice vacation.

Here is the new pantry.

Before we went home, we went to the visitor's center of the temple and saw some really cute videos of children answering questions like, "Who is heavenly father?"  and "Where do we go after we die?" Their answers were very sweet, insightful, and accurate.  You can tell they have been attending Primary and family scripture study.  We also got to see a model of the temple, and I emailed a couple of pictures of the celestial room home.  Maybe I will forward them on to you.  They are beautiful!

You can see the wall color here.  You can also see the mess on the computer desk.  We aren't quite finished with that yet.

Last night, Miriam drove Katrina and Thomas to a regional dance, and Dad and I watched the movie, "Enchanted April" which is one of our favorites.  Hey, you've read the book, right?  Did you like it?  Did you ever watch the movie?  Tis the season (April), ha ha.

The view from the living room

We are fasting today, and will be going to church in a couple of hours.  Maybe we will eat outside after church to enjoy the good weather if the weatherman continues to be wrong.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April 13--Dear Elder

Today is Saturday, and I have to go pick Katrina up from choir, soon, but I wanted to write a bit.  I really should write more, because the week becomes a blur otherwise.  Lets see, Dad has been teaching night school lately and it really wears him out.  Working at a desk from 9-5 is one thing, teaching a class from 8-6 is another.  I know from subbing that teaching is one of the most exhausting white collar jobs out there!  We saw Jonathan at Costco on Wednesday and he helped us upgrade our membership.  The fact that is cost effective for us to do it means that we spend waaaay too much money there, ha ha!  Miriam is working hard.  She writes lots of letters to Preston, and loves getting them in return.  Katrina went to Veronica's birthday party last night.  It was a dance, and Katrina wore her new Easter dress which we bought with the party in mind.  Thomas participated in his first track meet ever yesterday.  He took second in his heat in the 400 and he took third in long jump over all.  We are so proud of him!

 I did an inventory of the products in our house and did my monthly shoppings.  I went $300 over budget on that, ha ha.   I also did a bit of subbing and some training for my little testing job which starts again next week.  I babysat for Elizabeth twice and had a camp meeting at the house.  Cassandra has been helping me figure out my new smart phone and I really have appreciated that.  I also got to Skype with her and Lily!  Everyone loved our new kitchen.  Dad and I went to a play last night, "Enchanted April."  This woman had changed it to have singing.  I liked the idea since singing is a good way for a play to express the inner thoughts of it's characters, but it wasn't done real well.  Still, it was fun!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 9--Dear Elder: First installment.

Dear Matt,

Thank you so much for the letter!  For awhile there, I wasn't sure if we were going to get one from you or not since the picture you sent came hours before your letter.  It was a wonderful surprise to find another email from you when I checked this morning!  I am so happy that you got to watch General Conference!  I know that last time you didn't get to see all of it.  Thank you for your words about living spiritually, and about seeing people as Heavenly Father sees them.  It is good to be reminded.

Today is Tuesday, and I'm just trying to get stuff done.  I will be exercising soon, and I hope to talk to Cassandra on the phone as I exercise.  She has been sick lately, and I sure hope that she is feeling better.  I had a nice time talking to Emerson on the phone, Sunday.

Last night we had a nice dinner together.  I was so glad that Jonathan could eat with us!  That is rare.  We also had a wonderful Family Home Evening last night.  We sang "Abide With Me, Tis Eventide"--one of my favorite songs.  Dad read to us from the life story of Great Grandma and Thomas shared his notes from the priesthood session of Conference with us.  Miriam had treat, but Katrina and I got one instead since Miriam was at work.  Katrina had activity and she said the activity was eating the treat.  We let that pass since Thomas also had to make posters to run for student council last night.  I guess he was supposed to have them up yesterday, but he didn't know it.

April 8--Letter From Matt

We climbed up a mountain.  This is me blocking a magnificent sunrise


Hey Family! I did get one video from Katrina.  Katrina, Mexicans don't really eat that many quesadillas... it is something that they eat here if they are in a rush or something.   If I sound spiritual, it's because I am trying to be spiritual.  Do you believe in the book of Mormon? If so, you believe that Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ and He wants us to be close to him, through being spiritual. I hope that I never stop being ''spiritual.'' I hope that I can always keep myself as clean from the world as I am right now as a missionary. Yes, I was able to watch conference and I'm really glad that you were able to stay awake the hole time!

Dad, I was Just joking, sorry if I made you feel all worried haha :) Am I a senior companion? Well, let me answer your question with another question, Would you love me if I were always junior companion? If the answer is yes, and I hope it is :) then it doesn't really matter if I'm senior, junior, district leader, Zone leader or assistant. I'm just trying as hard as I can to not fail and to be as close as I can to the Lord.  I want you to be successful in your work. I love you dad. and I pray for you too and I am so grateful that you are praying for me and I know that God is helping me because of those prayers.

Thomas, yes I did watch conference, and it was pretty good too. I'm glad that you barely fell asleep at all :) I like your question, no she isn't reading that much, and Thanks for helping me realize that, if she wants to have a testimony of the book, she has to read it. haha. Keep it up budd, what are you doing to prepare yourself for a mission?

Miriam, well Mexican people do eat them every once in a while but not that often. haha. What exactly do you do in state farm, I'm sorry I always forget haha. I miss ya Miriam! until next week!!!

Mom, Elder Campos is not from Mexico, he is from Peru, did Becky or Bethany go on a mission to Peru? I don't remember, Thomas did not tell me about his ''inccedent'' haha, I do remember about the times that the car broke down, the first time, I only remember vaguely and the second time, that's the only thing that I really remember about that trip is that we were stuck until we rented that car. I also believe that your prayers are very strong, haha I can feel them and they help me, I can feel that you are all praying for me and I am so grateful to all of you. Thank you for telling me that I am doing better than I think haha, I think that I'm not doing that good, but then again, the Lord knows that I'm not going to be perfect, even then, He expects me to be.

Well My letter to all of you this week......... One of the biggest weapons that Satan has against us is that he tells us lies, he is always lying to us, that being said,I'm gonna tell you a story about me and my mission, and I'm gonna be very honest. I was walking down the street one day and I saw a lovely young woman walking on the other side of the street and that she was going to walk past us, but at that moment, all I saw was her face and head because the rest of her was hidden behind a parked car. The thought ran through my head, ''Oh, she's pretty,'' and right after that I saw the rest of her, and, let me tell you she wasn't very in shape, she was on the heavy side, and right away i thought ''Well, I guess not.'' But then the thought hit me, That is a lie. That is not true. She is beautiful to God and His Son, and They think about her and they worry about her and They cry when she is in pain and They are happy when she is happy. and therefore, is beautiful, or should be beautiful to me, and that if I thought that any other girl was more important, then I was wrong.  Do not judge people based on who they are right now, rather in who they can become.

Love you all

April 8--Dear Elder: Exerpts from Letters to Matt from the Fam

Blog note:  I told Katrina that I wouldn't post her letters to Matt without her permission, and since she is at school, I'll just say that she told Matt that she enjoyed our trip to my parents, and asked Matt if he watched conference.

 Dear Matt,

Well, no, I was not offended, just paranoid!  We had a great time on our trip, We saw Great Grandma Haws and went with her to the Gilbert Temple, it is still under construction but they had a trailer with a missionary couple in it to tell you all about it.  We went on a hike to a spring and it was fun.
So, are you a senior companion now?  you have never really talked about that.  I hope the lady you are working with gets an answer and I hope that the 90's guy you are working with is coming along.
Did you get a chance to watch conference?  I doubt you did but I hope you did get the chance because it was wonderful.
I am not really looking forward to work tomorrow, but alas, I have no choice, I am looking forward to a little time off this summer. So I saw Rick and the old man at the Gold and Silver Pawn in Vegas!!  I didn't get to talk to them, but hey, it was cool.  It really was a good trip and it was good to see family.
I love you and pray for you

Hey Matt,

 Did you get to watch conference? I did of course; I barely even fell asleep too! Haha just kidding. So at Grandpa and Grandma's it was really hot but not to bad, we got to see the cousins only like three times but it was cool anyways. Celeste got married to a guy named Jacob, hes pretty cool and he plays the organ. He’s really good at it and  he actually let us play it and I played random notes it was really cool. So is that lady who doesn’t have a testimony of the book of Mormon actually reading it? Cus if she is I don’t know why she wouldn’t know it was true.



We tried to send you videos that I took on my phone but they wouldn't work! My week was good, I stayed at home while everyone else went to Grandma and Grandpa's because I didn't want to ask for work off so soon. Work is going really well! I love my job! I work at State Farm just in case you forgot. I hope your week went well! I have a question for you, do Hispanics really eat quesadillas?


Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8--Dear Elder: Last Installment for the Week. Driving Home, General Conference

Our drive home on Friday was nice.  We talked a lot, and Dad told the kids the story of how he decided to go on a mission.  I know it made an impression on them.  The a/c worked well with the new radiator put in.  Seems like the only time we have car trouble is on trips, ha ha.  Do you remember when the fuel pump went out in the Suburban on the way to Disneyland and we had to leave it with a mechanic and rent a van?  Then there was the time when you were little that our transmission went out and we had to stay in a hotel three days while they put in a new one.  Grandpa and Grandma brought the new transmission up and took us to the park and bought us Taco Bell.  Do you remember that at all?  

Conference has been wonderful!  I want to share a bit of what I learned in the Saturday sessions with you.  

President Monson, announced the plans for two new temples, and asked us to contribute to the general missionary fund if we are able because of the huge influx of young people planning to serve missions, some of whom may have limited funds to go.

My favorite talk Saturday was by Henry B. Eyring.  He referred to a scripture that you and I have been discussing lately, Doctrine and Covenants 88:63, which says, ''Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.''  He promised us as we draw near to the Lord in faith, serving him with all our hearts, the Lord will draw near to our children.  I believe his promise and am committed to drawing nearer to Heavenly Father.

Sister Elaine S. Dalton, General President of the Young Women, also gave a wonderful talk, reminding us of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 which says, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."  She spoke of the worthy young women of the Church who know that they are daughters of our Heavenly Father and of their amazing contribution and potential. She spoke with power and with the Holy Ghost.

President Packer spoke of priesthood, faith, and power.  He said that there are few things more powerful than the prayers of a faithful mother.  I know this is true, and it gives me deep comfort.

Dean M. Davies of the Seventy told us to build our foundation on Jesus Christ, a foundation upon which if we build, we cannot fall.  He said that praying, scripture reading, and partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord's supper will help us build on the foundation of Christ.

I loved Elder Craig A. Cardon's talk.  He talked about how much the Savior loves us and wants to forgive us, and will forgive us as often as we repent. 

Elder Ballard spoke with great power and authority concerning the priesthood of God.  He encouraged us to use and apply the training videos put out by the Church about strengthening the family through the priesthood.

And that was just Saturday morning!  All the talks were wonderful, and I can't wait to get them in print to study them more in depth.  I made some goals based on counsel from Conference. Two of the goals I made were to study the conference talks more faithfully by myself and with the family and to open our home more to others.  I want to start by inviting Elizabeth and her family and also Jessica and Henry over for FHE.  

I love you, Matt.  Hang in there, you are doing better than you think!  Heavenly Father loves you, and you are truly an instrument in His hands to bring His gospel to the people of Mexico.  I hope you can feel the prayers we say for you.  I know that they will bless you.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

April 5--Dear Elder: Visiting Family

Dear Matt,

Egg Hunt

Hi!  Thank you for your last letter.  I liked the picture you sent and am very grateful for the person who put the fence in that dog's way!  I really enjoyed reading about what you are up to and hope that Praxaedis and Kamy will come to know that the gospel is true.  Tell us about your new companion.  Campos sounds Mexican.  Is he native to Mexico?  How is the work coming along?

I appreciated your encouraging us to examine how we are spending our time and to draw near unto the Lord.  I have been pondering on these things, myself, lately.  I love that scripture,

 ''Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.'' (D+C 88:63)

I have been thinking a lot about it since you reminded us of it.  I also appreciated when you said, "Don't sacrifice that relationship that you could have with the Lord for anything."  I have been thinking about sacrificing in the similitude of the Savior's sacrifice and how I need to give up worldly thoughts and habits, put off the natural man, and draw closer to Christ.  What you said made me realize that we all sacrifice something, so if we don't give up my worldly pursuits I am actually sacrificing my relationship with the Lord. 

I am really looking forward to watching conference this weekend!  I know it will help me draw closer to the Lord.

We have really been enjoying our visit with Grandpa and Grandma.  It's a good thing Grandpa keeps such a detailed journal or I wouldn't remember half the stuff we did!

Grandpa and Grandma

On Monday we went to a nature preserve and enjoyed walking the trails with Grandpa and Grandma.  We took a lot of pictures and really enjoyed each other's company.  As we walked down the trail, we were surprised to hear someone calling Grandpa's name.  We turned around and his sister, Donna came running up.  Imagine the chances of that!  It was nice to visit with her for awhile before resuming our walk.  Thomas had a little incident with a cactus while we were there, but I'll let him tell you about that. 

At the Nature Preserve

After that we went to Great Grandma's and visited with her awhile.  We invited her to go out to lunch with us, and she said that sounded like a good idea, so we had a nice lunch with Grandma.  After that, we drove her to see the temple they are building near by.  We went to the temporary visitor's center and learned all about how they are constructing it.  It was really interesting, and I think that Grandma had a nice time.

Out with Great Grandma

Tuesday Dad had to order a new radiator for the van because the A/C had stopped working, and the radiator was leaking.  Tuesday night, Julie's family and Tom and Michael came over and we had lots of fun visiting.

Visiting with Unca Tom

Wednesday Dad took the van in to get the radiator put in, and we all drove around in Grandpa's car.  We went to the university and listened to Celeste's husband, Jacob play the organ.  He is amazing!  Then we went to hole-in-the-rock, and ate at a Mexican restaurant.  Katrina asked us if could eat something besides Mexican food for a change, and we said, "nope!"  The food was delicious!  After that we came home to watch "Miss Potter," a movie about Beatrix Potter who wrote "Peter Rabbit."  It is a wonderful an uplifting movie.  After that, Dad and I went on a date and Grandpa and Grandma drove the kids over to do some activities with Julie's kids.

Setting Out 

Yesterday we drove about an hour and a half north to get out of the heat, and Grandpa, Dad, and Thomas hiked to some springs while Grandma, Katrina, and I sat by a stream in the shade and had a nice chat.  It was 4 miles to the springs, so the guys were gone a good long time, and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  When we got home we ate dinner with Julie and fam and also Tom.  It has been so nice to see so much of family.  I pushed little Mandy in the swing and listened to lots of fun conversations.  I was too tired to talk much, myself, and ended up going in and taking a little half hour nap.

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 1--Letter From Matt

This is a picture of me!  The dog wanted to kill me, but someone put a fence in his way, haha.
Hey mom, I liked the artistic manner that you slid the pictures in there! haha, that's awesome.  Thanks for the nice letter, I hope that you are all doing well with the fam at grandma and grandpa's house!

I miss you all, I'm gonna just write a general letter this week and try to answer some questions that you asked me, if you asked me any haha.

Dad, I was joking in the last letter, hope you didn't get offended or anything like that. haha.
Ok, to answer the peticion of Mom, (yeah, Spanish is messing up my vocabulary) Here's what we've been doing all week, we taught Praxedis but she still hasn't gotten an answer that the book of Mormon is true yet. She has payed tithing  and gone to church showing a lot of true intent but, I guess she hasn't read enough.... 
We met a 19 year old named Kamy, and the first lesson we had with him, he looked like someone out of the 90's, I expected to see someone else walk around the corner with a boom box on their shoulder. Please tell me that the ninety's aren't coming back in style. He's a good kid with a loooooooooooooottttt of questions for us, He says that he's an atheist but, really he's not. He just wants to know the truth. 
What else have we done.... well, Elder Rodriguez is going to go to Culiac├ín, aand I am getting a new companion, his name is Elder Campos, but he doesn't get here until tomorrow. His name means ''Fields'' and I haven't met him yet, so I think he's pretty new. Tomorrow, I'll have been a missionary for 11 months... A long time... wow.... Haha, well other things that are happening, There's a lot, and I couldn't write them all, but I love you all... 
A thought for this week
I'd just like to encourage you all to think about what you are spending your time on, and think about if it will be worth it in the long run, Don't waste time, it's one of the most valuable gifts that the Lord has given you and you can do many things with it. Here's a nice scripture that should help you all: 
 ''Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.'' (D+C 88:63)

Don't sacrifice that relationship that you could have with the Lord for anything. Where is your heart at? on what are your desires and priorities based? What do you need to change? How are you going to change? Make plans to do it, and then force yourself to do it.
oh, and thanks so much for all of the pictures!!!!!!