Saturday, June 28, 2014

Silver and Cloud

Today is Saturday and everyone but Miriam and me is asleep.  Miriam works again today.  She is done hoe-ing weeds, and is now working a festival.  The festival is at the same place that she weeded, and that's why they wanted the weeding done--to prepare for the event.  I am very proud of her for working so hard these last two weeks.  How hard did she work?  She bought a pair of work gloves when she started two weeks ago.  Look at them now--

Yesterday, Thomas went to a birthday party and he has another one today.  Matt worked again yesterday, but I don't know what he has planned for today.  Brian plans to work.  Without housework and errands to do because of my bum knee, I have an amazing amount of time on my hands to work on the computer.  I wish I could do some of the more physically demanding projects around here, but if I could do them, I could do cleaning and errands, so they wouldn't get done anyway.  Making fun games and activities on the computer for our upcoming family reunion has been so fun!  Unfortunately, all this sitting around is not good for my body, and I am gaining weight.  I guess every silver lining has to have a cloud.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Its Thursday

It seems very strange to write when I have no son to write to, but I'll take having him home to that.  Well, it's been a week since I got home from girl's camp, and my knee is doing much better.  I have to be careful, because it is easy to over do it, so the house could be cleaner, but Thomas and especially Matt have done a great job of keeping dishes washed, plants watered, trash taken out, and messes cleaned up.

Miriam has been working every day in the hot sun hoe-ing weeds growing in dry, caked earth, so she comes home pretty tired.  She has been doing it for a week now, and I'm very proud of her for sticking with it--all the other females quit on the first day.

Thomas has also been working every day, and sometimes he has done double shifts.  He's working at the water park as a griller, and he also picked up another job phone calling for the water park.  He really loves working.

Brian is working hard at the laundry although he took off some time yesterday and we drove up to the ski resort for dinner.  It was a beautiful drive, a delicious dinner, and a wonderful time talking to the man I love.  The first few days I was down, I read a book, but when I finished I resolved not to read anymore because I want to be there mentally for my family, so I did indexing one day, and then yesterday I started a fun project on the computer making family history cards like the ones I talk about on my family history blog.  Like I said, it's really fun, and I don't have to feel guilty for doing it because I can't do much else.

Matt hasn't worked at all since we've been home, but he's been tons of help around here.  He's signed on to some temp agencies, and I've really been praying that he'll get work.  Yesterday they called with a warehouse job for him, but he was reading his scriptures and had his phone turned down.  He ended up going disc golfing with Thomas, Jon, and his friend, Adam.  This morning, Matt got a call again, and this time he got it.  The job is about 40 minutes away and it entails stacking boxes, but like Matt says, it's a job.

Katrina really seems to be enjoying herself at Cassandra's house.  Miriam, Matt, and I Skyped with her for quite awhile the other day.  We also sent her a package the other day so she has a bit more of her stuff, now.  They all celebrated Emerson's birthday this week which sounds like fun.  Cassandra and Katrina are into some "dressing according to your personality" book.  It can't remember its name, but I think it's pretty popular right now.  My sister Elizabeth read it, too.  Cassandra says she'll loan it to me on my Kindle.  I told them that if I get anymore restrictions on what I can wear, I'll be wearing nothing.  That scary thought might have dissuaded her from loaning it because I haven't heard any more on the subject.

Me being down with nothing to do is a dangerous thing, especially with a smart phone in my hand, because I start shopping for toys.  I think Cassandra was a little dumbfounded when I told her I'd bought this for Lily:

I can't imagine why, ha ha.  I also looked up doctor kits for Lily since she watches a Daniel the Tiger cartoon, which is a spin off of Mr. Roger's neighborhood, and Dr. Anna on the show has a doctor's kit.  Katrina said she thought Lily would enjoy having a kit like Dr. Anna.  So after studying doctor kits, I bid on one on ebay.  I won the bid, and it shipped yesterday.

Item picture

The activity gym I want to buy for Christian is $50, so I told Katrina to keep her eyes out for one at the baby consignment store where they live.  Poor Christian is not a happy baby these days.  Cassandra says she thinks he has gas, poor little guy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Four Weeks in a Nutshell

Well, that's it.  No more letters to or from Matt.  He is home now.  Hooray!  Four days after he arrived, he gave a talk in our ward, and the next day we traveled to visit Emerson, Cassandra, Lily and Baby Christian for two weeks.  We spent the time holding Christian, playing with Lily, doing home improvement projects, eating ice cream, and going out to eat, which Emerson always insisted on paying for.  It was a wonderful visit, and we really miss them all.  Katrina doesn't miss them, though, because she is still there!  Cassandra asked her to stay and help take care of her kids for the summer, so she did.  I talked to them both today, and Katrina really seems to be loving it.

We got home from the trip late Saturday night, and then on Monday morning at 5:30 am I left for girls camp.  It was a wonderful experience, and I am so glad I went.  Unfortunately, at one point, I stepped backward, tripped over a rock, and fell down an incline, tearing my acl.  Two priesthood holders gave me a blessing which I was very grateful for because I had eight presentations to give that night, each one about a different day in the last week of Jesus Christ's life.  Heavenly Father blessed me to be able to do them before Brian took me home.

Brian was very sweet to come get me as soon as he was off work.  Unfortunately, he drove to the girl's camp that is an hour and a half south of our house, and I was at the girl's camp an hour north of our house, but when he found out his mistake, he just headed north and got into camp.  All the other women were impressed that he made the trip without me asking and didn't even get mad when he went to the wrong camp.  He got in to camp that night in time to help me set up my presentations and watch them.  Then he lifted me into his shiny black steed, and carried me home where we lived happily ever after...except I am going crazy sitting around trying to heal, which is why this blog is finally caught up!

May 26--Email Conversation with Matt

Matt:  3 John 1:13-14

Me:  What????  Ha ha, very funny :)

Me:  How do you find these scriptures?

Matt:  I read the bible.

May 25--Last Dear Elder for Matt

Dear Elder Cole,

Hi!  I read 2 John 1:12, and I feel the same way!  I would would not write with keyboard and screen, but look forward to talking to you face to face very soon--3 days from now, in fact!  We are so excited, Matthew :).  I enjoyed your last letter and your insights about Ammon and also Moroni.  I am sorry that your investigators been struggling lately, but, whatever they decide, I know that they have someone who loves them and will be praying for them for the rest of their lives.

It is kind of hard to look back to the last week when I am so looking forward to the coming week!  I put another hundred in your account, so you should be set to travel.  The relatives who are local are all coming to your homecoming, and many of your friends are coming, also.

Okay, what happened last week?  Well, for one thing, Miriam, Katrina, and I went on a detox where we only ate salad, beans, nuts, and eggs.  We finished on Friday, and it's nice to have reduced my appetite and also cravings so that I am eating more healthy.  It was fun to coordinate meals with the girls and compare notes on how we were doing.  I didn't feel hungry during the week, and I lost four pounds, so that is nice.  I am a bit sick of salad, though, ha ha.

I have been working hard at my job this week.  It seems like all of the students I track have been absent a lot, and so I have been working them really hard.  Last week I also made a yearbook for the students with 18 pages of photos in with all of our field trips, etc.  I couldn't get data on my phone, so it was hard to download the pictures I'd taken, but I got it done, and the books are very nice.  Making the books and working with the students took a lot of multi-tasking which was a bit stressful, but between me and the other aides, we got it all done.  Well, I don't mean the students' work is all done, but I kept them working on it all week, anyway.  That's about all I can do about that.

On Tuesday, Dad bought a new car.  It's a Honda Ridgeline which he has been planning to get for a long time, so when he found out that  he wasn't getting a pay cut this year, we prayed about buying a car, and I was very surprised how firm a "yes" answer I received about getting it.  Dad is pretty happy about it.  He brought it home Tuesday and we all went for a wonderful drive, which ended up at Jon's house.  We visited with Jon for about an hour or so which was wonderful.

Wednesday Dad was a bit nervous to drive his new truck to work, but he did and has driven it there ever since.  None of the group home kids have bothered it, so that's good.  Wednesday evening, Thomas and Katrina went to Mutual, and Dad and I watched a show.  That's about it.  Dad's been exhausted again this week, so we haven't done much walking.

On Thursday Thomas worked, Katrina and I bought Sunday clothes for Christian, and we had omelettes for dinner.  That's really all I can remember about Thurdsay, ha ha.

We had a talent show at work on Friday at work, and many of the students sang and did other talents.  I took pictures and added them to the yearbook.  The teacher, who is retiring gave all of us aides a gift, and I wished we had given her her gift then instead of this next week when we'd planned to do it.

Friday morning I read in 1 Ne. 13 about how the Spirit of God wrought upon Columbus and others to come to the promised land.  I thought about the different times when I have felt the Spirit of God working on me in my life.  I made it my goal that day to listen for the Spirit and obey it when it works on me.  After work, I went to the temple.  As I drove there, I was sad because I didn't remember consciously feeling the Holy Ghost in my day.  The temple was absolutely wonderful, Matt, and I am so glad you can go there again, soon.  It was exactly what I needed, and I felt the Spirit very strongly.  As I sat there, soaking in the truths being taught, I realized that the Spirit had wrought upon me to go to the temple, and I went!  I was so happy to have followed the Spirit even though I hadn't realized it until then.

 Friday, Dad and I took Thomas out for his birthday a week late.  We ate at Wingers.  We didn't know it was wingers because the restaurant doesn't say "Wingers" on it anymore, it just says "Wings and Waffles," and Thomas heard they had lots of gluten free stuff there, so we tried it.  I guess it's not an official Wingers but is owned by the Wingers people.  Whatever.  If we'd known that, we wouldn't have gone because we don't like Wingers much, but it was fun to be with Thomas.  He's a wonderful kid.

Yesterday all five of us went to Maceys, bought 9 pots of mums, and went to three graveyards to put flowers on graves.  At one cemetary, we put flowers on Michael, Amanda, and Niesha's graves.  At another we put flowers on Grandpa and Pauline's graves, and on her first husband's grave.  At the last cemetary, we put flowers on Grandma's grave, on her parent's grave, and on her brother Richard's grave.  We also ate at our favorite place.  I love the tradition of visiting the graves and honoring people who came before us, and it was a wonderful day.

Today we had an amazing Sacrament service and Sunday School, and Thomas was one of the priests at the sacrament table for the first time, though he didn't say a prayer.  I also heard a beautiful lesson in Relief Society on the Priesthood.  Emily Bennett gave the lesson. Can you believe she's all grown up with kids, now?  I taught her in Primary when she was ten.  It makes me feel so old, ha ha.  I have a couple of meetings tonight, so I have to go, but I love you very much, Matt. I can't wait to see you Wednesday!  We will be praying for you to have a safe trip.


May 19--Letter From Matt

Hey Mom, I had a couple of things I was going to add on,
First off, I'm very happy to hear that Christian is doing good and is healthy!
Second off, my baggage fee is going to be atleast (I say atleast because I might [even thought I don't think I will] go over weight) $40

May 18--Dear Elder Continued

Two days after he was born, Cassandra and Emerson took baby Christian to the hospital because he had a fever.  Cassandra was able to be with him, which was wonderful, and he gained lots of weight while he was there.

Tuesday, Christian was released from the hospital, and they are peacefully at home.  Emerson has been off work since Tuesday, also, and they are all doing well.  Lily seems to have survived being away from her mommy very well, and the midwife, who always comes a week before the birth and stays a week afterward, took very good care of her.  I'm so glad that they are back home and happy.

Also, on Saturday, Thomas went on his first date.  It was with Abby.  They doubled with his friend, Colton, who took Tessa.  For the date, they hiked up a mountain and then went to dinner.  Thomas said that they had a very fun time, and I talked to Tessa's mom who said she had a fun time, too.  I'm proud of Thomas for taking the initiative to set up a date like that.  Oh ya, since none of them can legally drive friends around yet, Miriam drove.  She did a good job not making it too awkward, ha ha.  I will also send you some pictures of Christian.

Love you, Matt!

May 18--Dear Elder

ear Elder Cole,

Hi!  How are you?  How has this week gone for you?  I hope it has gone well, Matt.  I know that you are having a slow time in your mission, but hang in there; you have no idea the amount of good that you are doing.

Now, for a little business.  I checked your account and you seem to be low on money, so I deposited another $100.  I wonder how much you will need for travel.  I'll ask Dad about that.  Also, I got on to your facebook page and invited all of your friends to your homecoming.  I hope you don't mind that I changed your profile picture from Bill Murray to Elder Cole.  If you do mind, just let me know and I will change it back.  I also called Elizabeth and Rick and invited them and their families to come.

Well, this is the hardest mental exercise I do all week: trying to remember what we did so that I can tell you, ha ha.  For some reason, I always forget what we did on Monday.  Hmmmm...Heck, what did we do on Tuesday?  Oh ya, we went to Katrina's last choir concert of the year, and we really enjoyed hearing her sing.  At the concert her choir teacher announced that they have been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall next year and asked us to vote on whether or not we wanted the choir to go.  So later we talked to Katrina and Thomas, who will both be in concert choir next year and told them how much we could contribute to the trip, and they told us how much they could earn, and we looked into a couple of other possibilities.  After determining all that and finding out how much it would cost, we decided to vote for the trip.  They are very excited about the possibility, especially Katrina, so we'll see what happens.

Earlier that day, my school class went to fishing day at a pond.  It is a big event put on by the Department of whatever for all the special needs kids in the valley.  The students get to each catch a fish, and they also get served lunch.  Our students had a wonderful time, and I enjoyed taking pictures of everyone which I am adding to the year book that we are making for each student.  It is kind of my project since I took all the pictures and no one else knows how to put pictures on the computer.  All of my coworkers are older than me, so at work I'm considered a young whippersnapper.  I love my job, ha ha!  The teacher I work for is retiring this year for sure, btw, which means lots of changes in my job.

Oh, I forgot that it was also Thomas's birthday, and it figures that I would forget to write about it till now, because I also forgot to wish him happy birthday that day.  He had to remind me.  I felt so bad!  I don't think I've ever forgotten to wish any of you kids happy birthday before.  We celebrated his birthday on Sunday, so we didn't do much for him that day, but you'd think he'd at least get wished happy birthday without having to remind everyone about it.  Later that night, when it arrived from Amazon, I did present him with a six foot long poster of the galaxy to hang in his bedroom.  It's pretty cool.  Then, Friday, another poster of a nebula came for him.  His room now looks out of this world, ha ha.

I did, however, remember to wish my sister, Elizabeth, happy birthday which, I found out previously, I've never remembered ever since Thomas was born on the same day, not even to wish her a late happy birthday.  I told her the reason I remembered her birthday this year is because I forgot Thomas's and since it is obvious that I can only remember one or the other, this would be the last birthday of hers that I will be remembering since I can't very well forget Thomas's again.  I gave her a hanging flower basket.  We siblings don't usually give each other gifts, but since this will be the last birthday I remember, I figured it was the least I could do.  Of course, I was kidding her: I hope to remember both of their birthdays from now on!!!!  Wish me luck on that, I'll need it.  Some young whippersnapper I turned out to be, huh?

Wednesday, Thomas went to his first priest's activity which just happened to be a combined activity with the Laurels, so Katrina was there, too.  I think they both had a nice time.  With both of them taken care of for dinner, Dad and I decided to eat out.  We invited Miriam to join us, and ate at Panda Express, a place that Thomas can't eat.  We enjoyed eating and visiting together.

Thursday Thomas worked and Katrina had voice lessons, and on Friday, Dad and I went out to eat.  He was pretty exhausted, so we went home after that to watch a movie and eat ice cream.  We watched "Flipped" which you may have read, Matt.  It was a sweet movie, and it made Dad cry, which is why I married him.

Saturday I exercised, cleaned house, went to the girl's camp to check it out, and watched the tube in the evening with your still-exhausted daddy.  It's Sunday night and he's still utterly exhausted.  He put in the coolers at the laundry this week, and it was hard to do.  He goes straight from teaching to that and stays there late.  No wonder he's one tired hombre.  By the way, Dad is being transferred to the junior high next year which he is very happy about.  The fact that he can be happy about moving to junior high attests to the misery of his present situation.  I sure hope is ends up being a good thing for him.  It will be, monetarily, because we wont be facing the pay cut that we thought would happen.  Heck, he may even buy himself the vehicle he's been wanting to replace the little pick-up which is twelve years old now, I think.  It would be good to have it for a second kid car.

Today was a weird day, but I don't have the emotional energy to go in to it.  We also did some nice things, though, like go to a church history museum and watched a movie about the resurrection, and eat dinner together as a family.  The highlight of the day is when Thomas got ordained to the office of a priest in the Aaronic priesthood.  We are so happy he is worthy to be so trusted by the Lord.

Lately I have been studying Lehi and Nephi's visions of the tree of life.  I've often thought that if I were to paint the scene, which I long to have the skill to do, I would add a gate at the head of the path leading to the tree of life.  Read 2 Nephi 31:17-18  and tell me what you think.  Also, we are reading the Isaiah chapters as a family, and I have been reading a commentary along with it.  Thank you for telling me what you are studying, Matt.  Alma 17-27 are wonderful missionary chapters!  What insights have you had about them?

Well, Matt, I love you so much.  I have been praying for you.  I always pray for you, but this last week, I have been praying even more.  I hope that you are feeling happy and seeing the fruits of your labors no matter how subtle.  We see them here as your faith and example continue to bless our family.


May12--Letter From Matt

Hey Mom Thanks for your letter I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed talking with you guys, the little old lady that was with us spends most of her time laughing so I don't think that she was at all suprised so don't worry too much. :) I'm glad to hear about your week and I'm very happy with the picture of Cassandra's baby! That's so good that Dad did all of those things for you! Sound's like a very nice day. Renee, in her letter said that Donny kept on asking when you guys are going to come over and visit.

Well this week, hmmm.... A lot of good things happened, we went and taught a lesson with the Bishop, which turned out really well, it was good to see him magnify his calling (we were teaching less active members and investigators in the same family) Later in the week we also tried to change his jeep's flat tire while he was in a meeting, I say try because after getting the tire lifted up and taking out three of the lug-nuts, the fourth was so stripped that we couldn't get it out, so we had to put all of the other lug-nuts back in, and lower the car again, (and we did all of that in missionary clothing about a half hour before I skyped you guys, if you noticed a gleam on my face, it was sweat haha,)

Rosa Maria is a wonderful nice person, when we went to visit her, we were in divisions and I was with Elder Llanos (pronounced: Yeah no's). Elder Llanos had served in our area six months before and had actually taught Rosa María before hand. When she saw him, she shouted out: "It's my son!" and tried to hug him. hahahahahaha :)
Other good things that have happened this week: We got to meet theAraujo Family, that was fun, They have some problems in their family but the Mom seems interested in listening to us. I hope that we can help them. :)
Not so good things that happened this week: Rosa María, the one that I wrote about last week, is going to start working, That, in her mind means that it'll be impossible for us to teach her because she's always going to be busy. we'll see if we can find a time to teach her.
We are going to be setting up an appointment with Lupita, Jesus's wife to meet with her visiting teachers this week.
I've been studying Alma 17 to 27 this week, also I've been reading the war chapters in Alma.
I'm sorry for the short letter, well, I hope that you have a great week this week!  I love you mom!

May 5--Email From Matt

I feel great to be an uncle! Again! haha, I'm so glad that everything turned out well and that you were able to fast for her! That sounded like it was a very special experience.
I love you Mom, Thanks for your letter! Have a great week!

May 5--Letter From Matt

May 4--Hi from Mom

Dear Elder Cole,

Well, Cassandra and Emerson have a new baby boy!  He was born this morning (May 4) around 5:30 am.  He weighs 8 lbs and is 22 inches long.  We don't know his name yet, but hope to soon.  The baby was born at home and he and Cassandra are well and healthy.  We are so happy for them!  I wish I could send you the pictures I have, but I don't know how to get them off of text.  So, how does it feel to have a nephew as well as a niece?  It's pretty awesome, huh?  Cassandra called around seven this morning with the news.  I hope that they will call again sometime today.  In fact, we were hoping that they could Skype, but we don't want to bug them.

Thank you so much for your last letters.  You are so kind to write.  That was a very funny joke about just waiting to talk to me when you get home instead of on Mother's Day.  Ha ha.  No, you don't get off so easy.  I expect a Mother's Day call for sure!  Jon can't get here till 7:30 pm your time (which is also our time), so if you can do it that late, that would be nice.  If not, we get home from church at 12:00, so any time after 12:30 is good for the rest of us besides Jon.  Tell us a specific time that is good for you and that is the time we will plan on, okay?

It sounds like you had a nice "seminary" with your mission president.  It's hard to go to something inspirational like that and then to come back and have all those cancellations.  I am glad that you helped the bishop clean the church.  Half of your second page was cut off, so I hope it didn't say anything too important, ha ha.  I am so glad that you have been working so hard on being Christlike.  I know that it is paying off, because I know that He is helping you.

I don't usually talk to you about your coming home much, but since you did, I will, too.  It is pretty exciting.  Shauna got a letter from Church headquarters telling her Tanner's flight info for when he will be home in June, and Sister Smith already knows Wendy's flight information, and she's not coming home till July.  How do we get your flight info?  It would be really helpful to know what time you are coming in.

Well, it has been a pretty good week.  Tuesday we had a family home evening lesson, Wednesday I helped the teachers and miamaids with their dating activity.  The youth ran the rotations, and I thought that they did a very good job.  Katrina and Thomas were late for mutual because they both had an induction ceremony for the National Junior Honor Society, which I am happy that they are both in.  They also both tried out for choir this week, but they don't know if they made it yet.  On Friday, Thomas found out that he didn't get elected to student council, so that was disappointing, but he did his best, and I'm proud of him for it.  Fifteen people ran, four were elected.

Thursday I went on a field trip with my school class.  We were going to take the Front runner to Salt Lake, eat lunch, go to the children's museum, and come home.  We rode the bus to the train station where we disembarked and slowly walked towards the tracks.  As we were walking, a train pulled up--a train earlier than the one we were supposed to take--but most of our students and peer tutors boarded, leaving us teachers and slower moving students running to catch the train so that our group wouldn't be split.  I made it in, but no other adult did. The train began to pull away with the teacher running after it.  The poor lady is 67 years old, by the way.  Thankfully, the train took pity on her and stopped long enough to everyone on.  I think that was probably the first time the train had stopped for anyone.  That was one stressful few minutes!  The rest of the field trip went well, but I don't think that the teacher will ever attempt to take her students on the train again.  In fact, I know she won't because, sadly, she is retiring this year which means that my job will change drastically.  I can't imagine that it can stay as wonderful as it is now, but I'm hoping for the best.

Friday night Dad and I went out to eat and we also went for a long walk in the perfect spring weather.  We saw a girl fall off her longboard and hurt her head.  She was able to stand and walk, and some people were helping her, so we kept going.  I hope that she is okay.  I wish long boarders would wear helmets on that trail.  On Saturday, Thomas had to go to the water park to sign papers, etc, and then we bought him some shorts and a shirt for summer.  We also took Katrina's clothes in to be washed at the laundry.  Thomas is a cook this year, and makes more than a regular foods employee.  Katrina said that if she'd known that, she would have applied to work, too.  Actually, she'll be gone a lot this summer, so it probably wouldn't have worked out for her.

Saturday night, Dad and I bought some more Mexican food from that lady, and we bought extra to eat with the kids today after we broke our fast.  We ate outside in the wonderful weather, and Jonathan was here to eat with us, so it was a wonderful thing.  Also today we went for a ride, and I had Dad drive on slow roads so that we could have the windows rolled down.  Miriam went with us, and we had a wonderful time visiting with her, Katrina, and Thomas.

Well, that's about it, Matt. Last night we began fasting as a family for Cassandra and her baby, and it was wonderful to fast.  I've gotten a text from her since starting this letter, btw, and she is doing well.  She can't sleep much because of after pains, but she is resting comfortably, so that is good.

My goal this week is pray for the pure love of Christ often and to remember Jesus Christ and to use my time the way He would have me do.  I know that you have wonderful goals for this week, Matt, and I know that Heavenly Father will help you meet them.  I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday!  Have a wonderful week.  I love you.



April 28--Letter From Matt

Hi, Mom.  I loved your letter and I was so excited to hear about Jim and Becky getting engadged (I have no idea how to spell that) and, o my heavens! Cassandra is going to have her little baby boy! Hot dog! ha ha.  I feel very happy.

Well, I feel weird about saying this on Friday I will have been a full-time missionary for two years. I remember a little bit about before starting.  I thought that this would be eternal.  Unfortunately I am finding out that my current full-time mission service is shockingly final.

Thanks for what you've written and I will try to put it into practice.  This week we weren't able to see Jesus much because it was the ending week of "Semana Santa" which is a pretty big celebration.  We were able to see Carlos, Rocio's husband and talk to him for a bit.

We've been street contacting a lot more, so we've met a lot of really nice people and a few crazy people! Ha ha.  On Saturday we had a "seminary" with our mission president.  He talked about the importance of working with members, and contacting people.  We then left and contacted.  I got to see three of my former companions.  That was a very fun experience.

After seminary, we got back to our area, and our three appointments fell through.  So we were a little disappointed, but then I remembered that our ward had gone to the temple and wouldn't get back until Sunday morning (the temple is about ten hours away in bus).  That meant that no one was going to clean the chapel.  So we got out the cleaning equipment and we got to business.  The bishop showed up and was very grateful for our help.

This week I have really been trying to focus on others and think about them.  I'm not very good at it.  I have also been trying to strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ.  I have also been trying to treat my companion well and help him.  He is a great companion.  I am glad that we are going to be companions for two transfers.

Well, I love you, Mom.  Thanks for your letters.  I really appreciate your advice and your insights.  When is Mother's Day and at what time do you prefer that I Skype?  or do you just want to wait until I get home?  I hope you have a wonderful week!
I love you!

Cassandra Madlibs

Hey, Matt.  Just thought you'd want to read Cassandra's madlibs.

As of today, Cassandra is in the Eleventieth year of her life, and she is more slimy than ever!  Not only is she bouncing the alien task of Sherman-tank-training a toddler, but she is also going to give birth to a Nazi.  Two St. Crispin’s days ago, we had the amazing opportunity of going to Never land and seeing Cassandra in action in her own saloon.  Her house is so smirking, and we felt so sad with her and Shabooboo and the Shamwow salesman, that it is was one our slothfullest memories ever.  Then, this last Michaelmas, Cassandra and her bowling team came to our graveyard to visit, and we had a dreadful time.  Now, we look forward to having more boredom when we go to her pasta place again when heck freezes over.  Can life get any more pointless?  Yes, it can!  Because in an aeon or so, Cassandra will have a chunky elephant, and then there will be two little Cassandra-and-Emerson-apple-pies in the world!  We are so repulsed that we can hardly pummel it.  Cassandra is so lovely and so dedicated to hugging what is ridiculous that she is a glaring example to both the liberals and the pagans, not to mention her fellow tree huggers.

As of today, Cassandra is in the 26th year of her life, and she is more amazing than ever!  Not only is she braving the thankless task of potty training a toddler, but she is also going to give birth to a baby.  Two Christmases ago, we had the amazing opportunity of seeing Cassandra in action in her own home.  Her house is so beautiful, and we felt so much at home with her and Emerson and Lily, that it is was one our best memories ever.  Then, this last Christmas, Cassandra and her family came to our house to visit, and we had a wonderful time.  Now, we look forward to having more fun when we go to her house again in June.  Can life get any better?  Yes, it can!  Because in a week or so, Cassandra will have a baby, and then there will be two little Cassandra and Emerson offspring in the world!  We are so excited that we can hardly stand it.  Cassandra is so smart and so dedicated to doing what is right that she is an amazing example to both her parents and her siblings, not to mention her own family.