"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." ~Joyce Brothers.
This blog started out to be a way of reporting on Tom's mission adventure. I soon realized that there's just a lot going on in life that I don't want to forget about. Our lives are busy, happy and full and I hope to capture some of the excitement in this blog.
On Wednesday, August 22nd, Dave and I moved our youngest child into his college dorm room at UVU. All I kept thinking was where did the time go? That morning, I remembered David's first day of first grade at Twin Peaks. David had always been very social and had never had any qualms about going to school. I guess first grade was a little more stressful for him because I got a call from the school office saying he wasn't feeling well and I needed to come pick him up. I was shocked! When I picked him up, I asked him if he wanted to go get some lunch and talk about what didn't feel good. We went to Apple Spice Junction and he told me he just didn't feel good and didn't want to go back. We talked about nerves and how unfamiliar places can make you nervous and just not feel good. After having lunch, David decided he felt good enough to go back to school! David had a few more days like that and he would go and sit in class with Emilee until he felt OK. But, after first grade, he never had any reservations about school again!
So, having him move away from home and be out on his own seemed like a huge step. David couldn't have been more excited about it! He has great roommates and they have been going to the gym and going to the pool together and just having a blast the past few days. He came home on Saturday and told us that he loves college! We'll see what he says after classes start on Monday, which is real college.
David has come miles and miles from that first day of first grade. He is a wonderfully independent, responsible, hard working young man. He never ceases to make us proud of him! I am sure this year of college will bring lots of new friends and experiences to him and will help prepare him for the rest of his life. I wish Em and Tom would have had this experience and I guess Tom still can, once he comes home. It's going to be a fun adventure and, as usual, I am so glad we can be along for the ride!
I had kind of an exciting experience preceding this e-mail from Tom. Last Thursday, my cell phone started ringing while I had someone in my office, so I ignored it and figured if it was important they would leave a message. When I didn't answer, they called two more times! I finally picked up my phone and there was a very strange phone number on it. When I showed it to my co-worker, she said that looks like an international number - so I immediately panicked and answered it. Much to my surprise, it was Tom's friend, Klayton, that he has written about so many times in his e-mails. I was so surprised, I couldn't even think of anything to ask! He told me Tom was a great guy and a great missionary. He said he was doing really well and was healthy and even getting fat! I thanked him profusely for taking such good care of my son and for treating him so well. I told him to tell Tom I loved him and thanked him for calling to let us know how Tom was doing. I was on cloud nine the rest of the day! It was just so much fun to talk to someone who gets to spend time with my son and it really made me want to go to Brazil and meet the people who have touched Tom's life as well as letting him touch theirs. Awesome day and a big thanks to my buddy Gina for pointing out the obvious to me - if she hadn't have been there, I may not have answered that call!
Oihoihoihoihoi! Bacana Demais!!!
How´s everyone doing? good? me2. This past week wasn´t
the best. We taught very little, we have difficulty finding new people,
we didn´t have a baptism, and probably the thing that upset me the most:
0 investigators went to church. Ugh, so
many people say "yeah I´ll go" but they don´t go!!! GAAAAH! Oh well,
it´s a new week now. I found a dog that acts just like Toby, the way he
moves and torts his body. It was very funny to see. Talk to me TOBY!!!
Tuesday, we had a zone conference, which was
cool. President Scisci is cool, and speaks very well and very calmly. I
saw Elder Fox, De la Cruz, and Kaufman there, and after talking to
Elder Fox again and listening to him speak, I quickly realized that I
needed that time away from him, but it was cool
to be able to talk to him only in Portuguese. The only thing that's
changed about him is the language he speaks.... and maybe his hair cut.
He looked like he was ready to join the army. Lunch at Klayton´s was
funny. Out of the blue he asks me "what´s your
mom´s number?" and I´m like ".....wut?...." I was really hesitant to
give your number to him, but its just like..... whatev..... I just hope
his not calling you still. Hey wasn´t that funny when he said "your son
is getting fat"? Yeah, it kind of was. I never
thought I´d hear anyone say that about me. I saw my first companion in
the field last Saturday, Elder Reis, and the first thing he says, in
English, is "you are fat!" Hah, that´s a little embarrassing. But....
whatev.... so yeah that was my week.
It´s cool to hear that David´s friends are preparing
for missions. Some advice to David, write down what you remember from
your blessings. You don´t need to with the patriarchal, but with the
others you should. I don´t remember anything
from my blessings, which I regret, because in my journal it has space
for all that stuff, which will have to stay blank.... which sucks....
Thanks for the advice on the talk-writing, Dad. My companion had to give
a talk on the spot yesterday, but he did very
well. He didn´t have anything prepared, just went up in front, followed
the spirit and didn´t remember anything after that. I hope one day I
can do that. I´m glad to hear the hike was good, and the pictures are
awesome. Most of you don´t even look recognizable.
I thought Landon was Tim Glenn, a not so good friend of mine (not
because we fought or anything, only because I never talked to him),
which was funny. David... you look a bit stupid in that pic of just you
and dad... are you okay? I think summer break just
about killed ya. good thing you´re going back to school.... haha jk
David.... don´t hurt me! Ahhhh!
Does Klayton have a family - a wife, kids? How old is he? He sounded
really nice on the phone and it really made me want to come pick you up
so we can meet some of the nice people you have made friends with!
Klayton is about 30, he has a wife, but no kids.
I heard they can only adopt which is unfortunate. He´s cool.
Were you at Klayton's when he called? yes I was
What kind of pizza did you have and do they really have Pizza Huts down
there? They do have pizza hut here, but it was closed for lunch, because
everyone here only eats rice, beans, and meat for lunch. So we had
pizza from a grocery store here but it was still
good. We had pepperoni, garlic cheese, and ham with eggs pizza... I
Have you seen Elder Fox, lately? Is he still somewhere up the river?
yes I have, and yes he is still up the river, but he came down for the
How often do you get together with all the other missionaries in your
area or zone? Do you see most of the guys you were in the MTC with?
Every Wednesday we have zone meeting. Elder Kaufman is the only other
from my district in the MTC that is in my zone.
I still need to see Elder Hoch! Where are you buddy?!
Pics: the zone conference and our pet collection.... our dead...
pet... collection.... Can we keep them?! Holy moly the fangs on that
spider are wicked! You should´ve seen it climbing up the wall after
drowning it in bug spray.... wicked!
So yeah, thats my week. I love you all. Have a great week and be
safe, I want to see everyone where I left them, 16 months from now.
You forgot who jimmy is?!?! Jimmy likes to play basketball,
like Elder Williams, but is mad at Kramer because he is the cause of
jimmy´s broken foot, and George is a little annoying, but he likes Elaine, or however you spell her name, a lot. Do you
know who Jimmy is?.... I do.... and I haven´t watched Seinfeld in 8
months.... HOLY MOLY! 8 months in the field! SHEESH, and I still feel
like I´m a baby here. This past week was okay. We had a baptism. Elder
Rocha baptized the sister of Samara, Samira, which
is cool. My District leader, Elder Kaufman, and I talked about
somethings we´re going to do when we return home, mostly just play old
video games and watch digimon. I think I´m probably the only one who
knows what digimon is but whatev. There's a puppy that´s
usually hanging around a members house that moves just like toby, the
way he twists and torts his body when super happy. Oh, how I miss you
toby, my love! Anyways, the news of this past week is a little short.
In response to your e-mail, Gabí has not been baptized yet
and I don´t think she will, until some years down the road, which is
unfortunate. I found my patriarchal blessing, so don´t worry about that.
Hey if you do send another package soon, put
some sweettarts and shockers in it. My companion says he loves skittles
and they are the best, but I know otherwise, and... I need to prove to
him that he´s wrong. I don´t need deodorant or sunscreen. I did
receive the popcorn but I keep on burning it in
the microwave gosh dangit! Anyways, that doesn´t matter. Dad and David,
enjoy your 3 day hike, should be fun. Mom and Em, enjoy your time alone
without the boys. I´m glad to hear that Emilee did not have west nile
virus, that´s scary stuff. Go watch the Bourne
movie and tell me how it is. Well David, your summer is already almost
up. Did you enjoy your last one? I hope so. School should be cool, hehe I
rhymed, you´ll like it. and..... que mais? ah sim! USA! USA! USA! EUA!
Is everyone really tiny in Brazil? You always look like you tower
over all of the people you are in pictures with. At least here in Pará,
yeah. There are not a lot of people taller than me, which is kinda cool
because I´m normally one of the shorter ones.
Any letters or packages this past week? nope
Have you had to speak in sacrament meeting lately? almost. We arrived to
sacrament meeting one day and they tell me I was going to speak, but I
told them no because I had nothing prepared and I spoke the last time,
so it was Elder Inácio´s turn, so I got out
of it. I might have to speak next month, though, if I´m not transferred.
How are you feeling about the language now? I think it´s improved a lot since the last transfer.
Have you had french fries since you have been there? one or 2 times,
maybe. Klayton says we´re going to pizza hut the next time we have lunch
at his place, which is Thursday.... pray for good pizza!
Pictures: some of the baptism of Samira, yada yada yada, and a
hotpocket burger, that I ate, which I regret... I should´ve taken Jim
Gaffigan´s advice to avoid the hotpocket.... Hoooooooooooot pocket!
Okay, gotta go. I love you all, have a great week and
I´ll talk to you on the next segunda-feira.
Elder Williams hopes everyone is good, that your week
was awesome, that nothing tragic happened, that toby is as goofy as
ever, that his video games haven´t been touched and are rusting, that
the computer is never used anymore and was thrown
out the window... I don´t know why he hopes that but he does. Elder
Williams says his week was good. He taught 2 unmarried families, for the
first time, about marriage and why it is important which was a little
weird. He didn´t know what to say, and talking
like Jimmy is tiring and annoying so I´ll stop now. We had a little
service project, just moving wet dirt around, which was super tiring. I
had a stream of sweat down my face the whole time, but it was nice to
help. When Elder Inácio was still in this area,
we began to teach a little in the area of other missionaries, because
the girls that we baptized only know people in the other area, but this
past week we decided to just give them all as references to the other
missionaries, so now we´re really short on people
to teach, but the missionaries of the other area are cool. One, Elder
Harris, is from Richmond Utah, I think, and he returns home September
4th, which is cool but a little strange, because it seems like yesterday
he was one of my housemates when I arrived to
the mission field. Time is passing too fast! But yeah, that´s about all I
can remember of the week. Oh! Gabí went to church yesterday without us
having to go to her house to remind her the day before, or pass by her
house to wake her up yesterday morning. I
think she´s gaining lots of interest. PRAY FOR BAPTISM!
Anyways, yeah. Your e-mail. Don´t worry about a pillow,
this one should last until the end of my mission. I just hope I don´t
forget it when I´m transferred. Don´t worry about sending me anything
until Christmas. It´s only about 3 transfers away!
HOLY MOLY! And yes, I do love hearing from my brother and sister, and
anyone else who desires to send me a letter. The more letters I get, the
more jealous the other elders become, the more jealous they become the
more happy I am, the more happy I am the better....
>:) hehehe *snicker**snicker* (I´m kidding) Hmm that's sad to hear
that Andy died (not literally). I miss young men´s.... :(
How are your garments holding up and do you need any new ones? If so,
which kind do you like the best? they´re good, don´t need new ones yet
Have you seen any more of the Olympics? no not really. oh well can´t watch them anyways.
Did you get any packages or letters this past week? no I did not, da´gommit!
Are you still eating lunch at member's houses most days? I am....e? (and?)
Do you ever see any missionaries that you were in the MTC with, besides
Elder Kaufman? nope, just him, but that´s okay, he´s super cool. I still
need to see Elder Fox though.
Elder Staskiewicz looks a little familiar, but I can´t remember. hrmmmmmmmmmmm..... intriguing or however you spell it.
Pictures this week are of some members. They´re all really cool,
but I´m too lazy to say who they are. Just be glad you have more pictures of me and some of Elder Inácio with his eyes closed. I don´t
think he can open his eyes if he is smiling, haha. Anyways,
I have to go now. I love you all have a good week. And I´ll talk to you
again before you know it.
This past week was pretty good. My new companion is
cool. His name´s elder Rocha, if I haven´t already told you, he´s
from... I don´t know how to spell the place he´s from. It´s close to
Brazilia. I think its called Goyais or goyania or something
like that. He´s a lot of fun and energetic. He teaches really well and
helps me out a lot. He actually corrects me if I say something wrong,
unlike my last companion. He is very encouraging and gets me talking,
which is good, and having a new companion is cool
and all, but planning is stressful because I sit for about 5 or 10
minutes thinking of the things we will do tomorrow while my companion
can only wait for me. One night, while we were sleeping, a cockroach
crawled across his face, haha. That´s gross. Some news,
I received a pillow, which is nice. I didn´t have a pillow at all in my
first area, I arrived to my second and had a pillow for about a week,
but it was the other elder´s that left from this area so I had to give
it to him. mmmm so nice to have a pillow again.
I´m now in the same zone as Elder Kaufman, the k-man, which is cool. He
was already called to be district leader, holy moly he´s moving up the
ranks fast! We received a reference from someone to talk to their son or
something like that, and when we arrive it
turns out that 3 20 year old guys live there.... holy smokes that
was a little weird. We didn´t teach anything, we just talked for about
15 minutes and left. We had lunch with Klayton again, which was cool. We
didn´t go to a restaurant but it was still
better than usual. He still says stuff that I find hard to believe but
it was funny. Fun
Pictures this week: woah! red birds! Oh-ho woah! look
there! I´m in front of a boat! and 2 baptisms. Maria and Samara. Samara
kind of looks like an elf.... anyways, I can´t remember which pictures I
have already sent, now, so I will start taking
some random pics, like the inside of our microwave, and send the card
home, tá bom? tá bom, tá... Oh look! you killed the spider! HIGH-5!
Do you go to people's houses and see any of the Olympics or do
people talk about them at all? Some people watch the Olympics, but I
think they like to watch regular soccer a little bit more. I watched a
little bit of volleyball, Brazil against Turkey,
I think. RULE BREAKER RULE BREAKER RULE BREAKER!!!!!!!
Did you get any packages or letters this past week? I did, I received a
letter from Dad, S. Peterson, a letter to Josh from B. Abrea, funny, and
a package with goodies and letters from Emmy and Davvy. Muito Obrigado!
Your letters were great! Also, the little
poem from that guy you work with, mom, is...... issszz..... I don´t know
how to explain it. It´s great but kinda sucks... haha. Hrmmmm time is
passing fast.... too fast....
What have you been doing on your P-Days lately? I finished reading Jesus
o Cristo this past p-day, which was a great read. It really helps me
understand my savior and the new testament, which I have never actually
read before. Now I will start to use the present
from Grandma and draw. I bought some stickers of DBZ and batman that I
can trace as if I´m in the 5th grade again, isn´t that awesome? yeah,
it´s awesome! :)
Have you had any pizza since you have been down there? I hear they have
it, but it's different than ours. I had pizza once, its okay, but has
too many toppings, including corn and peas and some other stuff that
just over does it.
Is your new companion from Brazil - what part of Brazil (if he is)? He
is from Brazil. He´s from Goyananie or gaindoiyr or anklsjdfoaij and now
I`m just pressing buttnoinansdifnons on the compualksjdflkjlkjter.
Do you need me to send you something to clean your shoes with? nope, all
good hear. I just use a brush and water to get all the mud off every
once in a while.
Well that was my week, I hope you enjoyed it. Ah one more thing! I
received the package of pictures. I showed some people and they said
"legal." My companion says I look like Macoly Kolken or how ever you
spell his name, in the pictures of me when I was
younger.. Haha, engraçado! Anyways, I love you all and hope you have a
great week. I will talk to you again next week, com certeza. Stay safe
and healthy and don´t be lazy, David. Also, congrats to hammer for being
baptized, that is super Awesome!!!