Sunday, August 16, 2015

Aug 13 - Happy Birthday Wendy and our first official letter from Tyler

Today we had two things to celebrate.  Wendy's birthday and our first official letter from Tyler.

Wendy's birthday was very low key this year.  It was not your normal birthday celebration as Wendy had to work in the evening so we didn't do much except open gifts when she got home.  This happened around 9:00 at night.  We did go out to dinner the night before which was is always nice to do.  She got some gifts from Micah and Mariah that dealt with her being a missionary mom.  A picture frame and a missionary mom necklace.  From Tyler she got a Missionary Mom pin that she received before Tyler left.  I gave her a new TV for her bedroom (and Mariah claimed the old TV for college).  Her parents also come down the day before and it was nice to visit with them.

I think the best thing of the day for her was hearing from Tyler.  We got our first official email from him.  This is what truly made her day.  How can you compete with a letter from a missionary?  I won't do this often, but below is the main body of his letter.  He did send personal notes to each member of the family (which is not included below).

From Tyler .....

Day 1: The flight from Idaho to Salt Lake was great, and there was another missionary on that plane, even though we didn't sit next to each other. The flight from Salt Lake to Mexico City was a long flight. The plane was filled with over three halves of missionaries, and the people here at the MTC said that the people that arrived here that day, we doubled the amount of people that were there, so there were a lot of people that came to the MTC that day. Mexico City is a crazy place. There are no lanes in the street, it is just if there is open room, you take it and you go. I learned that there is a speed limit, and that is however fast the car can go. My companions name is Elder Free, and he is from Denver Colorado serving in the Virginia mission. I have a hard time understanding him, but I know that I will eventually get to know him better. I miss home and I want the comfort of home back, but I know that I need to work hard, and that you will be protected and blessed when I am not there. The MTC messed up with my luggage, and they put all three pieces of my luggage in different places, so it took me like a half hour trying to find all of my stuff. Then they left me without my companion and the Comedor, the place where we eat, and I didn't recieve my room key that day either, so it was a very hard day today. 

Day 2: The first day was filled with meetings, and they were so long, and they just overwhelmed me. I was able to see who was in my district, and where they are from,and where they are going to serve. That day I also learned that I was supposed to teach and Investigator, her name is Andrea, the next day in Spanish, and they didn't even teach us Spanish! It was a very hard day the first day, and I was so overwhelmed when I was told that. That night was a hard night, but I learned some very important things that hard work brings blessings, so I was determined to learn some Spanish before I went into the lesson the next day. 

Day 3: This was the first day of teaching and learning the language. I had a really hard time, and it didn't help that everyone in my district took Spanish for three years in High School. The lesson went well, because I was able to teach a specific lesson on how to pray and what prayer means, and the lesson went very well. We prepared a lesson about the restoration for next time to answer some of her questions. I still had a hard time understanding my companion, but I know that I will better understand who he is. That day we met the District President, and he is a great guy. He served and English Speaking mission to California, and he is great at speaking English. That day was still hard, but it is going better than I thought. We were also told that we had to prepare a 5 minuet talk each Sunday, in Spanish, and this Sunday was on Hope. I pray that I don't get called on, because I would have a hard time with the length of the talk.

Day 4: This day was a better day. I learned some more Spanish, and I didn't read out of a book during this lesson. I was able to learn how to say a prayer and a testimony in Spanish, and it was great to learn that. We were able to teach Andrea about the Restoration and about how you can receive answers to your prayers through revelation and by reading the Book of Mormon. It went very well that lesson because I was able to say a Prayer in Spanish and was able to bear my testimony in Spanish, even though it was a basic one, I know that she was touched by the Spirit and that she received answers to her prayers. My district is becoming to like each other a little better, and that helps, because I am missing home and family and friends, but because of the District, it helps a ton. We are doing a special fast for those who are having a hard time with the language, and I was wanting to participate in it so that I could do better in my lessons and in my classes. 

Day 5: Today was the best day in the MTC, because it was a Sunday. We didn't teach a lesson, and we didn't have classes, we had a big Sunday Day for the entire day. I received a lot of good instructions in all of my meetings, and I had the opportunity to bless the Sacrament during Sacrament Meeting today, in Spanish of course. And I was able to say the prayer perfectly the first time, so the Lord defiantly blessed me then. I did't get called on to give a talk, which was a blessing. We had several devotionals, and they were in a district, as a Zone, then as a whole MTC. It is still hard. and I am still feeling overwhelmed, but I know that the Lord will bless me and will provide the way for me to learn the language. 

Day 6: Today was a very good day, yet it was very hard. We prepared a lesson to Andrea about the Atonement and the Resurrection, and she asked questions that I didn't know how to answer. I learn more stuff everyday, whether it is the language, how to become a better missionary, or how to enjoy going on a mission. My district is awesome. We have become like a family. We support each other, we help each other, and when we have questions, we help each other. We had the opportunity to have family (Zone) home evening, and learned that charity and love will be the most important thing in my mission. I love the MTC, because if I have any questions, I have so many people to help me and to teach me how to become a better missionary. I am better at understanding my companion, and we love and support each other. The other missionaries in my District are awesome and we love each other so much. It helps with the homesickness.

Day 7: Today was the most emotional days of my life. I cried so much, I felt the Spirit so much, and it was just a great day today. I learned so much about myself, and some of them are about how I need to testify of the truth more, because I understand that through testifying of the truth, I can bring the Spirit into my lessons. I learned this after giving the lesson to Andrea about Repentance, and I was able to bear my testimony whole on the spirit. I asked if she would commit to repenting of her sins through prayer, and she said yes. Next lesson, I will ask if she wants to be baptized, so hopefully she says yes. I am now understanding that learning the language is going to be a long process for me. I definitely have the gift of understanding, and it helps in the lessons, but I still do not have the gift of tongues with me. Things are getting better, and it is easier to get into the missionary schedule, so things are going better. The district gave a priesthood blessing, in English, to both of the Sisters, and we had a devotional given to us by Jeffery R. Holland (it was a video from 2009) and I relieved a lot of good promptings on how to become a better missionary.  

Day 8: Today was the best lesson that we have given as a companionship. We taught her about the difference between our Church's baptism and the Catholic baptism, and how she can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost if she is willing to have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and be baptized. She said yes to being invited to baptism, and she was willing to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great day in our lessons, and we had the Spirit with us the entire time. My district is a very special district, and we are very obedient to the missionary handbook and we do everything to the letter, so it brings miracles. I am so very blessed, so I know that you are praying for me each and every day, and am very thankful for the blessings that you ask Heavenly Father for. 

Aug 9 - Tyler is really on a Mission

It's official  Tyler is a missionary.  His email address is now posted in the church bulletin.  It was a little strange to see his name listed next to other missionaries from our ward.

I sure do miss him but I know that he is doing the right thing!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 2015 - EBR-1 Tour with Mariah

This afternoon Wendy, Micah and I drove out to EBR-1 to hear Mariah give her tour.  She has been working out there this summer as an intern for the INL (link is below to learn more about EBR-1).  The site is located about 1 hour from home.  Mariah has worked out there all summer on Wednesday - Monday.  Her weekend is Tuesday and Wednesday.  She will only be out there two more weeks and then she heads back to BYU.

We sure have enjoyed having her back home this summer.  It was great to have everyone back for the summer.  But it is fast coming to a close.  Tyler has left and Mariah will be leaving soon, which makes me very sad.  I like to have my kids around, but I understand that they are making good choices and those choices cause them to leave the nest.

EBR-1 Wiki

August 7 - Eagle Project Blood Drive

I didn't get any pictures today, but I did spend 3+ hours today helping a young man in our ward with an Eagle Scout project.  Jacob Brook did a blood drive for his project and I was lucky enough to be one of his helpers.  I just watched to make sure that the donors were alive and walked people from the donor spot to the refreshment table.  Not sure I helped out too much, but didn't mind it at all.  Jacob is a great young man from a great family.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Aug 6, 2015 - Trying to Get Back to Normal

With Tyler gone, we tried to get back to a "normal".  Wendy, Mariah and I all had to work today.  Micah was busy here at home taking care of Bogey.

We got a message late yesterday from Tyler saying that his email day was Thursday.  So I found myself checking my gmail account more then normal.  As of this writing there has been no word from him.  Can't wait to hear from him.  I miss him and love him.

We had a great neighbor stop by and drop off a missionary book.  We have such great ward/neighbors!

Today I took a walk around a park near work.  I have not done that in a while and it was great to walk by the river.  Forgot how nice that can be.  Need to do that more often.

This summer Mariah, Micah and I have been playing a lot of the card game of ..... wait for it ...... Legendary.  It is a Marvel deck building game that we find a lot of joy in playing.  Yesterday we picked up the latest expansion and today we got our first shot at the new cards.  So far I would say that the expansion is a good one.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5, 2015 - Tyler's First Day as a Missionary

Today Tyler left for his mission.  It got me to thinking about keeping a journal and how I enjoyed doing this on my mission.  I also remember when I use to post something on this blog everyday ....

So putting the two thoughts together, I thought it might be a good idea to keep a journal of our family activities while Tyler served his mission.  I am not sure I will post every day but I will give it a try.  This way when Tyler gets back he can catch up with our activities.

Today was an emotional day as we dropped Tyler off at the airport.  We got to the airport around 6:15 and he got his ticket and went through security.  We were only at the airpot for about 25 minutes.  We said our goodbyes and wished him well.  We then went to a quick breakfast and then we drove to the airstrip and watched his plane take off.  It was a great way to start the day.

Needless to say, we have had a couple of emotional days.  The previous night Tyler had a great blessing from President Stevens.  Great things were promised to Tyler.  The last 24 hours has wiped us out.  So when we got home we relaxed for a little bit.  We then had our air conditioner repairman show up because we had issues with the system.  We think we got it resolved around 11:00.  We then went to Holly Lobby, which just opened up this week.  We also stopped by Target and then the Comic Book store.  We picked up the latest expansion to Legendary: Marvel called Secret Wars Volume 1.  Spent  the afternoon  putting card sleeves on the cards.  Then a nap and we watched Batman TV show for about an hour.

It rained really hard for about 20 minutes today.  I mean really hard.  Not the typical Idaho rain storm.

In the evening we had some comfort food of grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Then a quick trip to Walmart to pick up salt for our water softener.  We topped the day off with a trip to DQ.

Overall we are very proud of all our children.  They are all making good choices in life.  Couldn't be a happier dad in the world!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dec 22 - Bonus Post - All Star Dad

Mariah and Micah had too much times on their hands.

This is the follow up hit to "Micah Freaks Out" (Sept 3 Post).  This video features me and several other pictures from the family (and I am not sure why I am putting this up). Click on the All Star link below.

All Star

Dec 22 - Ticket To Ride

This morning Wendy, Micah, Tyler and I played my favorite game - Ticket To Ride.

I love this game.  It is simple but always different each time I play.  We thought Tyler was going to win (we was leading the whole way), but there was a come from behind victory!  Dad was losing the whole game, however the final scores where:

Micah & Wendy - 110
Tyler - 112
Dad - 113

Dec 21 - Bread and Darth Vader

Tonight we delivered our annual Christmas treats to our neighbors.  This year we have done brownies, bread and jam, and cheese balls.  Usually we just give the bread, but this is a lot of work for Wendy.  This year she did different things for different people.

Also, I opened a gift from someone at work.  It is a Darth Vader mug and Star Wars hot Cocoa mix.  Way cool!

Dec 20 - Temple Time

Today during lunch I went to the temple to do some work.  It is a great way to spend an hour.  In front of the temple they have a nativity display.

This also helps keep in the true meaning of Christmas in my heart.

Dec 19 - Night at the Museum

Tonight we went to the Idaho Falls Museum.  They had a gingerbread house, Santa Clauses, and nativity displays from all over the world.  It was a great night.  The best part is that it was free.

It was a good way to spend a half hour.

The last picture is of a nativity set made from Elk horns.

Dec 18 - Christmas Message

With one week to go before Christmas, I always read Mosiah 3.  This is my favorite chapter in all scripture.  I think it sums up the life and mission of Christ and the great Plan of Salvation as well as anything I have read.

I hope each of you take time this Christmas season to remember why we celebrate Christmas.

Mosiah 3:5-11

 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the aLord bOmnipotent who creigneth, who was, and is from all deternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a etabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty fmiracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the gblind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
 And he shall cast out adevils, or the bevil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.
 And lo, he shall asuffer btemptations, and pain of body, chunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can dsuffer, except it be unto death; for behold, eblood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his fanguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
 And he shall be called aJesus bChrist, the cSon of God, thedFather of heaven and earth, the eCreator of all things from the beginning; and his fmother shall be called Mary.
 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that asalvation might come unto the children of men even through bfaith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a cdevil, and shall dscourge him, and shall ecrucify him.
 10 And he shall arise the bthird day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to cjudge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.
 11 For behold, and also his ablood batoneth for the sins of those who have cfallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the dwill of God concerning them, or who haveeignorantly sinned.

Dec 17 - Night With Wendy

Last night I took Wendy on our annual dinner and an movie date.  It is something that we have done every year one week before Christmas.  Tonight we went to Jonny Carino's and the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  We had a great night.

Dec 16 - Shopping is Never Done

Here is Micah in our local Walmart!  When is the shopping going to end?

We must remember the true meaning of Christmas!  It is not to get and give presents.  It is to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Dec 14 - Picture from iPhone Home Screen

Love this picture from my iPhone.  It is the first thing I see when my iPhone turns on.  It is of lower falls from Yellowstone.  It was taken this summer.  When I look at my home screen it brings back great memories.

Pictures are wonderful things to have.  I know I enjoy looking at our family blogs.  Technology is a great thing!

Dec 15 - Box from Denver!

Kids always look forward to getting their Christmas gifts from Denver.  It is like a mini-Christmas, except they don't get to open up their gifts.  We got the boxes over several days (love the way the mail works in Idaho Falls).  My parents mail four boxes and we get them over three days!

Anyway, the mail system is really amazing.  You put a stamp on a box and it gets to your destination within a few days.  They would have to pay me more then $0.45 to drive across the country to deliver a letter.

Dec 13 - Game Night with the Scouts

Tonight we had a game night with the scouts.  Played a game called Quelf.  It was a fun game.

Becky - maybe you should look into this one.  It was a fun party game.