Monday, February 13, 2017

Release and Reunions

When the end of Elder Blackham's mission rolled around, Hubs and Maga made the trip to Mexico to meet up with Landon, explore a bit, then bring him home. 

Grayson knew he was close ... 

Then ... together again!

... and a farewell to the mission president.

Read all about the Mexico adventures (Exploring Mexico)
and the return home (He's Home) on the family blog. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Final Weeks ...


... and the time has arrived. Last week of the mission. I will save you the time in asking "how do you feel?" with the answer that there are many fixed feelings. I can say that I am excited that my dad and grandma will come to the mission to spend a week more here in Puebla, but the thought of actually leaving Puebla.. That is a bit sad. 

One more thing that I am excited to do once I am back home, is to continue doing that which I learned here as a representative of Christ. To be guided by His spirit 100%. Not something that will be easy to do. It will be a fight, every day of my life, but I know that the Lord is on my side. 

As for what to expect this last week of the mission, we will have two baptisms. My last baptisms as a full-time missionary. Not a bad way to go out. 

Also today being my last P-day, we had a little zone activity which was awesome. I put together a little surprise for all the sister missionaries of the district, because I love them and they are my little sheep. I made these cute t-shirts (which they loved). 

Thanks for all the support during my time. I have noticed lately how much people pray for the missionaries, and how I have felt the power of those prayers. I am very grateful. (But also please feel free to prayer for newly returned missionaries as well.) Con mucho amor,

*** Between Brothers ***
01222017 #101
Dear Landon, last week we swept both Taylorsville and Brighton. Brighton was only our second away game. I think I kinda like away games better because you get out of class early and the bus rides are fun. B days at school are awful now because I don't have gym anymore. I have 4 hard classes! I always have more homework on B days. I ordered two water bottles off amazon because I hate taking my squirt water bottle everywhere because it's awkward to use sometimes and it's really loud! So I just got two regular ones with really good reviews. Dad has been making homemade cheesecakes lately and they're sooo good. Today, he even tried making his own crust and it looks good. He also got little mini cups to put cheesecake stuff in so it's like a cheesecupcake lol. Tuesday we play Jordan and then we have to play every team all over again, but at the opposite place as we played before. Right now, sophomore is second in region (only losing to Bingham), JV is probably also second (because I think they've only lost to Bingham), and Varsity is undefeated. CH is doing really good! So yeah... Luv, Keat

Dear Landon, sorry for not writing you last week, I don't know how but I just forgot. Anyway, onto this week! I had a pretty good game this week getting 12 points. I hit three three pointers. But I also got fouled really hard and it ended up being a flagrant foul. It really hurt, the kid pushed me while I was in air and I landed straight onto my back. I did get a bruise on my elbow and my back hurt for a few hours. We did win the game by 7 points at least. Dad just made dinner, wasn't anything to compare to ribs or pulled pork because it was only shrimp and pot roast. But it still was good, and along side of it we had mashed potatoes and corn. We had a short week this week but tomorrow and then on, it's all normal for the school scheduale or however you spell it. That's about it for this week. So love ya man! Only a couple weeks until you get back!   -   ColtBolt

Dear Landon, this week just felt like the first week of school again since it's the new semester. I have Keyboarding 1st, Science now in 4th, Art 2 Foundations in 5th, and World Language in 7th. I still kept up my 4.0 for the semester, so I'm happy about that. And as usual, I didn't have any more classes with my friends. I still wish I had Gym though... on Monday, a couple friends of mine and I went to a stake center to play some basketball. It was only 4 of us, then my friend Hunter had to leave. But 10 minutes after he left, my friend Austin came in with 4 of his friends, so we played a lot of games while we were there. And I think that of all of the games played there, whichever team had me won. We were there for about 5 hours before I asked mom to pick me up. On our basketball team, my friend Ryan unfortunately sprained his ankle in a church ball game before playing about a week before, so he's out for the season. And I'm not saying I'm happy that he's out when I say this, but I get a lot of extra playing time. Like this week, my team won 41-32 because of my extra minutes. I got my best ever 20 points in that game while playing against my friend Damian. And I'm expected to get possibly more minutes next game, because I think 3 people will be out. The good thing is that we have played this team before, and we destroyed them, so I hope I get a lot of points again.   Love, Cooper

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Week #100 - Cholula

Hi, we had our P-Day changed because today we are going to go with a member of the ward to CHOLULA. Which is one of the main attractions of Puebla and I have always wanted to go my whole mission.

Pictures came through the next day ...

*** Between Brothers ***
01152017 #100
Dear Landon, it's hard to drink a gallon on Sundays because I hardly do anything on Sundays lol. I also forgot my water bottle to church... I want to get a collection of really cool water bottles. A few weeks ago I saw this thing that said Gatorade is coming out with a smart bottle that tracks how much you drink, when to drink and all sorts of stuff. The coolest thing about it is that it comes with a patch that you put on your skin and it takes your sweat and you send it to an app or something and Gatorade will measure the amount of stuff you need like vitamins and sugars and they'll send you your own individual Gatorade mix. Pretty cool shtuff. We swept West Jordan last Friday and got the Dub Town Belt back!! All three games were really good games and were way fun. I really want to go down to Mexico with Dad to see you and see Mexico, but I would miss a week of practice and like three games. In region, our coach said if we miss a practice then we miss a game (so I wouldn't even play for the rest of the season). Yeah it sucks. Haha I ruined my 4.0 GPA with an A- in physics and B in... spanish... Oh well lololololololol! I only need a few more months till I get my braces off too!! So yeah... Luv, Keat

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week 99 - A Bit Boring

Spicy Stuff!

Interesting week for Mexico and for the mission. With the new year of 2017, the Mexican government made an 20ish% increase on the price of gas. 14 pesos to 17 pesos. As you can imagine, people were not happy about it. 

Since Thursday, there were many reports of "saqueos" (or "looting") as protest against the government, attacking big name stores. With that, of course, they did want us to be a part of it. Since Friday, we have been mainly inside our homes. Quite boring. But better safe than sorry! 

I have had some talks with returned missionaries this week.. Of course to a certain point I am excited to return home, but... They let me know of some things I did not expect. They told me that as a missionary, you don't realize exactly how strongly you have the Spirit in your life. You however will realize that once you go home.. And from thereon it is a full on fight for your life to have the Spirit in your life.

Hearing that, I of course was a bit discouraged... But even more encouraged to finish out well these last weeks of my mission (I almost made the mistake of putting "months") Thanks for all the support everything, have a good week!

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, so it's pretty much all basketball this week. So I'm just going to start with my game. Mom was a little late to the game, and she missed my first  points. Only because they were all at the start then I got another basket which she caught on video. But here was my highlight of the game, I got a killer crossover! Then I even finished it off with a three pointer after! We ended up winning the game by only one point. It was a close game, and our opponent had a winning streak that we stopped. Now moving on to Callahan's varsity game against Bingham. Stockton got like 30 points or something! He hit 7 threes. It was a very close game the whole time, the game went into overtime where Callahan made a clutch three then the biggest part happened. Stockton hit a three with four seconds left to put them up by two points! That shot won the the game. And I actually came to the game, I mostly don't come to their games. That's it for this week, pretty boring. Love you man!   -   ColtBolt

Dear Landon, Christmas Break ended just last week, and it SUCKS to actually get up early. The first day back to school, I yawned like 10000 times. Then for gym we started playing badminton. I was fine with it, and my partner and I went 6-0-1. But for the few last weeks of gym, we should TOTALLY choose what we want to. 'Cause I would definitely play some games of basketball. But for the last week, we are playing 3-pin bowling. YAAAYYYY! THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! The end of the quarter is this week, and I am still standing with a 4.0, and I hope it stays that way. For all I know, I have a final in art, and in Utah Studies. Then in Jr. Jazz, we took our first loss 33-28 We fought really hard most of the game, but what made us lose were offensive rebounds. If we had limited them, then we would have definitely won. Other than that, I think that's it.     Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, it's the end of the semester this week. I'm not gonna have gym anymore and that was my favorite class. It's weird, it doesn't even feel like it was Christmas and it doesn't feel like it's a new year. We have 1:00 church now and I think that's the worst time. I like 9:00 because it makes you get up and you have the rest of the day after church. Friday we played Bingham at Copper Hills and it was easily the most litt game I've ever been to!! Including all NBA and college games! Stockton just went off and Cal hit a clutch 3 in OT. We won by 2 after Stock hit a 3 with a few seconds and we partied after! So yeah... sorry I'm pretty lightheaded right now so I can't think of a lot of words lol. Luv, Keat

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Weeks 96, 97, 98 ... Pictures/Videos

We got our Facetime family photo on Christmas Day ... having just talked to Landon, the brothers didn't get around to writing that week, and Landon hasn't been writing much himself. But he did just send a bunch of pictures!

Picture proof that he got his Christmas package ... although this picture (sent 01082017) is the first I'd heard he'd received it. I'd tracked the package to the mission home before Christmas, but it hadn't been passed onto him. The week after he still said he didn't have it ... glad it finally got into his hands!

I guess the guys had some P-day activities ...
Cuexcomate the smallest volcano in the world!

Landon takes us on a tour ...
A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on

They also went on a Ferris wheel...

... the view from the top!
A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on

*** Between Brothers ***
Dear Landon, sowwy for not writing you two weeks ago. It completely spaced my mind. Last week though, it was funny because we were like "Heeeyy! Umm.. we're gonna see you in a month soooo." It's kinda like facetiming someone right before you're gonna hang out lol. Jk jk haha. My New Year's resolution is to drink a gallon of water everyday. It's hard and if you drink too much at one time it tastes gross. I did it like all last week though and, Holy Crap, I've seriously been going pee like 10 times a day no joke! Haha it was cool at first because I wee wee'd a normal amount and the original toilet water color didn't even change! It's like right when I drink water it just flushes all the way through in seconds in and out. It's so obnoxious though because I remember yesterday I literally went pee every 30 minutes for two friggn hours! I'm not even joking. Every time I went I was like "Are you friggn kidding me??!" Oh well though it's fun overall. We cleared out the rest of the stuff in the basement and we can actually move Cal out from his/your room to his new/LEGO/sewing room. It looks weird and did you know that it's actually bigger than both of our rooms?! That's dumb I had no idea. I wouldn't really want to be down there though because it's right next to Coop and Colt. Ugh... that makes me gag. I can smell them just by looking at their names. On Monday, Cal left to Arizona for a varsity tournament this whole week. Mom and I took advantage of his absence. I got the Charger like the whole week. It was awesome! I also stole his black head board for the bed and switching cruddy desks. Lol yours was so much better than the one I had. Mom actually made Cal's room look a lot better. I got a head board, a much better desk and a nicer bed set. Mom also made a better curtain for the top of the blinds in my room. I also told Dad that I hate the lighting that the baseball fan in my room produces. He said we'll probably take it off and get a regular, much better light. I got a new room for Christmas! It's awesome. So yeah... and Mom got an iPhone 7 :/ Luv, Keaton

Dear Landon,  'tis officially 2017. Which means that on my papers at school, I will screw up the date almost every time! SERIOUSLY! Oh yeah, and we all are sorry that we haven't written you these past few weeks. I had forgotten, and mom never told us to, soooooo... we really enjoyed our Christmas Break while it lasted. We didn't get a month pass to Gene Fullmer like we usually do, but it was still really fun. We went to Tepanyaki on Colt's birthday (which it was AMAZING), but we got into talking about about the IT Crowd, and we are watching it a lot now. Oh yeah, mom got the IPhone 7 yesterday, which meant her 6 was up for grabs... I GOT IT! I have been asking for a phone for quite some time now. I know what you are thinking: I'm to young to have aa phone like this. But I can think of so many reasons why I need one. But I won't bore you to death. Literally.    Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, much to write about, but it's late and I'm tired so I'm just going to start with my basketball tournament. We won our first game, I got 9 points in that game. In the second, we lost and I don't remember how many points I got. And that game decided who I was going to go against next. Apparently since we lost, we went against the team we already won. But this time, we lost because their best player wasn't there the first game. We only lost by 2 points! It makes me mad. For our New Years party (grandma and grandpa come over and we play board games) we only played Remmikub and Scattergories. We did play some progressive rummy after 12:00. We actually used our Scheels gift card a couple days ago. I got two things, a new inside basketball, and a waterbottle which Keaton stole. You want to hear something else that makes me mad? Cooper got an IPhone 6 while I still have a sucky IPod 5 and will have for the next five years....  Anyway, that is all I got for now, Love you dude! Only one more month.  - ColtBolt

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week #95 - Feliz Navidad

Feliz navidad, prospero año y felicidad. I'd heard that little song growing up, I just never knew what it said until I became Mexican. 

This week is when everyone leaves for vacation or just has home parties. Late afternoon on Saturday, we were standing there in the street... "What do we do?" my companion asks me (in English). There wasn't ANYONE in the street! Then we tried to go visit some of our investigators... They were having a party. Members, also in parties...So that was fun. But that is Mexico! 

Two weeks now since the baptism of Guillermina. 
I've included some pictures. 

Now we are wondering who is next... One of her daughters (Lita) has always accepted and received us warmly. She has many honest questions and is very interested in learning more about baptism. We talked to her that, if she wanted, she could be baptized on New Year's! . . . She thought about it. "That would be a great way to celebrate New Year's..." She has the goal and is committed to it! In the moment of talking about the date, she was unsure of course, but after praying and consulting with the Man upstairs, she was answered. 

The power of prayer continues to influence great miracles, and it amazes us. 
I will leave you guys with a quick scripture, 
2 Nephi 32: 8-9
I would write it, but I only have it in Spanish, of course.
Merry Christmas to all!
Con cariño,
Elder Landon Blackham

*** StepStats***

Monday, December 12 - 10338
Tuesday, December 13 - 10567
Wednesday, December 14 - 14861
Thursday, December 15 - 7855
Friday, December 16 - 12052
Saturday, December 17 - 10284
Sunday, December 18 - 6943

I haven't been great at getting Landon's steps entered and updated ... and he hasn't sent them every week anyway. But alas, our Family Fitbit-itness has faltered. Callahan's Zip isn't working, Colton lost his One. I told Gray and Keaton they could stop wearing theirs if they wanted (they were only wearing them for ME) and they did. Cooper still wears his, but there have been days it's been left off, and he hasn't been as active. I'm honestly surprised I'm still at the top of the list, as I haven't been very motivated lately! I haven't posted a Step Stats for a while, but usually, I'm well over 100,000 for my week!

I also forgot to remind the boys to write their brother. One of them has missed a week here or there, but never all three of the younger ones (Callahan sometimes writes on his own, I don't have copies of those emails between brothers). Alas, no "Between Brothers" this week! 

I sent out a Christmas package for Landon. Using My Missionary Shipping, it's only taken a couple of days to get to the mission home. I was a little late in getting it off, and then, there were "uncontrollable clearance delays" ... understandable, with the overabundance of packages this holiday season. I was a little worried it might not get to him in time, but ... just got notification that it arrived! To the mission home at least. I hope Landon will connect with them to get the package by Christmas!

We're almost to a one month countdown!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week #94 - District Pictures, Spicy Chiles and Ash

I do not remember the last time I had written a general letter. Yikes.

Almost halfway through the training of Elder Reyes which has been great of course. He has honestly progressed incredibly in teaching. Has me impressed. His faith his surely helping me out for these last couple months.  The sister missionaries from the district are worried about him being with me. I mean, I am a tough love guy... but not that bad. I only put a little chile in his food..... (He is from Peru, remember? They don't eat spiciness.) So we have had a few hilarious stories about that.

Eating chile habanero

We will have a baptism next Saturday! Guillermina is going down to the water! And she will only be the first...Setting the example for the rest of the family.

Not sure if news of the volcano hit you all at home? On Tuesday and Wednesday, there was a lot of ash in the sky, covering the horizon from our point of view. During my mission, there has only been two big-ish eruptions. Back in April, when I was in Tlaxcala, and a considerable amount of ash fell in Puebla (apparently it was a real eruption, with lava and all that), and this week. But this time, all the ash fell in the City of Mexico and Tlaxcala... It keeps missing me! I want to see the ash! I want to bring some home! 

I can't believe that my cousin Janika is home already. I forgot that she was going to win me home. Hahah that is good. Just as there are missionaries going ones head to the field. I won't see Cousin Kellin for another two years then. We'll just miss each other as he leaves in January! My buddy Tyler must have extended if his release date isn't until March (as we left right around the same time). Me ... January 31! Right smack in the middle of winter! It is like 60 degrees around here... and I am dying of the cold.

*** Between Brothers ***
12/04/2016 #94

Dear Landon, I'm just going to say, Saturday was no question my favorite day of the week. I had two games and got to go to watch a game that one of the teams had 5 of my friends on it! Onto my two games. I won them both. In the first, it was my fifth grade team and we got some lit new jerseys and shorts. We won 27-12 and I got 9 points. I did this in both of my games, I just dribbled down the court and was wide open at three. I just put it up and swished it both times. I did get some good rebounds then put back baskets. In the second one, it was a close game with us winning by 2, 22-20. I got 8 points in this game,I sank two threes and two free throws. I got a lot of minutes in each game. And here is when I'm going to tell you another GREAT thing that happened this week, dad got us a HOTTUB! And it has got all kinds of different massagers. It is the best thing in the world. It is right out on the patio in the backyard. We keep going into the snow to get really cold then instantly go back into the hot tub. One of the challenges we all did was put snow in our underwear! It burned SO bad. haha That's about all I got for this week, love you dude!         ColtBolt

Dear Landon, so this week was end of mid-terms, so I got an upgrade on how my grades are looking. So that F I had in Language Arts actually stayed for a lot longer than I thought it would. I turned the assignment that was late last Monday, and she had all of the break to change it, but it was finally changed just a few days ago. So I have an A in all classes except for Science, which I have A- in. Out of all my classes, Science has most often been the only one I do not have an A in. My Jr. Jazz Comp league team started this week, but are team is basically the same expect for someone new to the team, and someone no longer on the team. When it came to Saturday, my first game, we won 35-27. I got 10 of those points, got a few assists, and a clutch block at the end. Then dad got us an early Christmas present that will probably be most of our Christmas. He put in a hot-tub in the backyard patio. It has only been here yesterday, but I have already been in it a lot; and it is a lot of fun because it is winter, so we will hop in the snow, and then go right back in. It does sting a lot though, as the cold tries to fight off the warm of the hot-tub, and it stays for a while.       Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, pretty boring week this week. Nothing much happened except that dad got us an early Christmas present yesterday. I big ol' hot tub. It's way nice and has got a bunch of jets and seats. At night you can change the color of the lights in the water. Yesterday was also the dinner auction for Copper Hills basketball. It was pretty fun. All we had to do was pretty much be a waiter and talk to people. There were a lot of people and it was pretty good Italian food. Sorry, I can't think much about what happened this week. So yeah... Luv, KEat

  • Dear Colton: Dang.. Sounds like you had some pretty intense games! But where are the double doubles? Or a triple double maybe? Hahaha just kidding.. WHAT? A hottub?! That is nuts! You guys are going to get so sick doing that... But that is good for the hottub. I will not die because of the cold now. 
  • Dear Cooper: Are you serious? An F... Unacceptable! Science can be a bit difficult... but is it justsciencee in general? Or biology, or something else like that? That is good that you are getting into the game again! It is a lot better to play with others. I am even more excited tub!! 
  • Dear Keaton: Fine. I guess I won't write you. te amo. oh wait but I AM writing you.. whatever. lqtm. I am scared to come home to snow. But at least with the hot tub I will not freeze to death.