Monday, March 30, 2015

Week #6 - Departure del CCM

Last night was a night filled with fixed emotions.. Much excitement to enter the field, but also nervousness because we have very amateur Spanish speaking skills.. And also the fact that we have to leave all the friends we have made during our time here in the CCM. Our district is still mostly together, of the nine of us, six of us are still together. The other three had to go to Pachuca.

So we woke up around 4 in the morning, but no one really slept, because we wanted to say goodbye to others who left even earlier. We got on a bus, then they dropped us off at a public bus station, and from there we were picked up by the mission presidents and their assistants.

Now we are here in the mission presidents' home (which is so beautiful). And tomorrow we will have a little bit more orientation, then meet our new companions (which are guaranteed to be Latino), and head off to our new area! That is where I am at! Arrived safely in Puebla, and excited to do the work of the Lord!

Hope everything is well at home. Love you all!

*** From the Brothers ***

Dear Landon, man that is real quick that you’re already going to Puebla! Just today Maga, Addie, Will, and Sam came over. Addie and I played Time Soldiers and we didn’t get to the last level… But we got five of the warriors! I had another basketball game… This time we got our butts whooped. We were around 11 points and they where around 40 points. I don’t really know because they turned off the scoreboard. Cooper had maturation. HAHAHAHA!!! Keaton hid the book under Cooper’s blanket and put it to the gross page! Oreo has been REALLY liking the temptations. Whenever we look for Oreo, we get the temptations and walk around shaking it. We are having spring break this week! NO SCHOOL!! For some of the week… Oh yeah… Oreo was in the room while I was playing the computer. (The room with the computer that is not a mac.) And he knocked down a plant and scratched me hard. Anyways back to the basketball game. I played Mason Johnson’s little brother that is REALLY good. And another kid was 5 for 6 on his free throws! That has really been all for this week. I know you’re going to be the best missionary in history.  Love, your BEST little brother,Colton

Dear Landon, it is great that you are exited to go to Puebla for the rest of your mission, also, have you been trading any of your ties yet? It will be cool for you to teach people about the Gospel with your companion on your side to help you. And mom told you that it rains nearly everyday while you are in Mexico, so that would not be the place I would want to go on a mission nor vacation, but I would want to go there and see you definitely! We also got some new kitty litter for Oreo that I am not liking that much. It’s not flushable, so I would have to dump the clumps into the trash outside. And I want the other litter back, mom doesn’t know where you got the first litter for him, do you remember where you got it? Yeah, he does not try to run away from us when he is out there, but there was this one time when he was outside, and then Trigger came out and scared the life out of Oreo! Good thing I left the door open so he could get inside the house safely! Anyway, I had maturation at school, and it wasn’t pleasant… we talked about how the human body undergoes changes, and they showed pictures of “stuff,” and I was just looking away the whole time those pictures were up. But after everybody did get little bags filled with deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. This is all that I remember of what happened this weird and awesome weekend. And good luck at teaching the people of Puebla about our Heavenly Father. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, you guys play beach volleyball?! I’ve played regular before, but beach sounds a lot better. The only beach volleyball game I ever saw is the girls Olympics. Where do you even play it? Is there an actual beach that you play it at? That would be awesome. Mom got me a wiffleball bat to play baseball with. That’s what I do when I’m bored. I don’t know if you know this, but the McBrides moved into the Wooly’s home. Also, a new teacher moved into the ward! His name is Braden, and his family lives in the Gorringe’s old home. Derby season is pretty much here, and Callahan, Cooper, and I are all fighting to go to them. Dad taught me to put the tables away. He pays me an extra five dollars just for that, and Callahan is working concessions at Reál with Pahker. All is well. Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon, Update on March Madness, Final Four is Kentucky against Wisconsin and Duke against Michigan St. Kentucky is still undefeated and no has the longest undefeated record in NCAA history at 38-0. I’m pretty sure they will win it all. Wichita lost so that made me sad but oh well. Prom was fun but kinda glad it is over now. Parker offered me to take me to Real Salt Lake to work concessions for fundraising money for spring and summer basketball. It was pretty fun but it took quite a bit of time and energy. But it’ll be worth it once I can pay for most of my summer stuff. I can’t believe you are going out to Mexico to teach already. That’s crazy. Hasn’t seemed like that long. Best wishes to you starting tomorrow. Miss and love you bro. Love, the best brother ever, Callahan

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Week #5 ...The End and the Beginning

¡Última Semana en el CCM!

Starting off from last Friday, we had the joy of being evacuated from class because of an apparent earthquake, which was actually centered in Puebla! I was just about to go to the bathroom, but the bathroom in our building was being cleaned, so we were walking to the another building when... The most obnoxious and annoying siren started blaring. When the siren sounds, we need to go to these "safezones" outside, which are big painted green circles on the ground, and wait for further instruction. We all do as such, wondering if it was a drill or not. No one was hurt or even felt a thing. Since the CCM is in some what of a bowl. Meaning, surrounded by mountains, they said that we are less likely to feel the earthquakes. But the earthquake was a 5.6 and less than 100 miles away! An interesting experience nonetheless.

Concerning our investigators, we were all stressing over what to teach them for our last lessons.. With all of them, the basic message was why we need to be obedient and to endure to the end. Our teachers also threw in a little twist for a couple lessons. We had to switch companions. So I had to teach with Elder Dansie,and I was the "transfer" so we had to teach where he left off with the investigators. I would have to say that it was pretty interesting. You definitely notice the difference in chemistry of the companionship and how much you play off each other. 

And to update you on the weather, spring has come and is letting us know it! Everyday of this week, approximately around 2:30 in the afternoon, you will start to notice it getting darker outside.. Then the wind will pick up quite a bit, and the lovely rain will fall! I LOVE IT! Although there hasn't been a rainfall of the magnitude of the rainstorm two weeks ago... But I still love the daily moisture!

But as I mentioned in the subject of the email, this is/was the last week in the CCM! It has felt ridiculously fast.. To have already been out for five weeks! There is much to be excited for, and quite a bit to be nervous about. But the excitement out weighs the nervousness. And that is all that matters. I know that if I am doing my best and what I am supposed to do, I will have the strength and guidance of the Lord while in the field. I remember the night before the district in our zone that was just ahead of us was going to leave, one of the elders said "So I'm like so happy to finally leave the CCM, but it is real world Mexico out there! At least here, you know where your food is coming from, and you're totally safe! Out there is totally unpredictable!" It is very true. But I can honestly say that I'm not really scared. I just know that if I'm doing the best that I can do, and what I should be doing, then I will be cared for by the Lord! Our maestros (teachers) have taught us that fact over and over and over again. It does take a lot of faith. Some more than others, but I surely believe that to be the truth.

I bear my testimony to you all that what I know that I am being sent to Puebla for a reason. There are people there prepared to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is my mission to make sure those who are prepared, will receive the gospel into their lives.

Again, thank you all for the great support you have in me. I will surely give 'em heaven!

... here are my steps (for Mother)

19 - 21721
20 - 12416
21 - 14391
22 - 11682
23 - 12394
24 - 11987
25 - 10786

I don't know if we really have just been getting lazier. It appears that way, but it doesn't feel that way. Strange..

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, it is awesome that you are going to Puebla in just one week from here. How are you feeling of going to Puebla, are you scared or happy? Anyway, I haven’t thrown up or puked yet this week and hopefully I won’t throw up for the remainder of this day. And FNAF 3 came on to the Ipod finally (when I told you the game was out it wasn’t out for IOS yet.) It is much scarier when you are playing the game, and I am on the fourth night right now, but I cannot get past that night. We are also watching a different show other then Friends, (but we’re still actually watching it) we are now watching House M.D again. Also, a few days ago, I finished the last book of “Hatchet!” All of those books were great, especially the last one, it was the most intense of them all. And Oreo has been doing good right now, no sorts of trouble in any kind. He still loves cuddling with me and sleeping in our drawers. We have also been letting him go outside a little bit and I think he loves being in the outside world. Yesterday some stuff happened. First of all, it was Callahan’s prom, and for his prom dinner, he went to Olive Garden. And the other thing was that all of us went to dinner too. We went to Tepanyaki, and I forgot how much I love the food there and the cool stuff the cookers do. This is all that happened this week, and I wish you’ll be an awesome missionary. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, so you’re getting ready to go to Puebla, that is just to awesome. We grabbed even MORE ice cream with Amare and Aidan! This time we went to Artic Circle. I had my first basketball game! I wrecked the other team, 16-9. Oreo has been going predator mode mostly in the night now. When we went to get ice cream, mom was at zumba class. Mom did not know that dad took Cooper and I out for ice cream. So when she came back she wasn’t really happy that Cooper and I were gone for ice cream. It was pretty funny… That Cooper and I got fnaf 3 we have been having a lot of fun with it. I’m on the 3rd night and Cooper is on the 4th night. Oreo’s new sleeping spot is in our drawers. Cooper, Keaton, and Callahan got back into the tv show House! I’ve been seeing Kaidan a lot more often now and I don’t know why? Callahan went to prom at Olive Garden and the rest of us went to Tepanyaki.I forgot ALL about how they cook right in front of us. It was an awesome week though. I KNOW I don’t think you’re going to be an awesome missionary, I KNOW you’re going to be an awesome missionary. Love, your best little brother, Colton

Dear Landon, yesterday we went to Tepanyaki for dinner. We were thinking of calling Clay to see if he wanted to go to dinner at Olive Garden yesterday to say hi to Callahan when he was at prom dinner, but we didn’t for Callahan’s benefit. It would have been so funny though. Colton signed up for rec basketball, and I go to his games to video. We’ve been playing outside, me and him, games like 21 or HORSE. This week has been pretty boring overall. I’m pretty sure I got a 4.0 this quarter. The term ends this Thursday, so we don’t have school Friday. Grades are what I care most about in school. That’s why I have perfect attendance mostly. The last time I had a tardy was first quarter. Citizenship on the other hand… In math, having the teacher move you desks in the middle of the quarter doesn’t exactly say Honor on skyward. I still have an A in that class though along with all my other classes. Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon, The parking ticket was $40 which is stupid. But prom was yesterday and it was a lot of fun. I didn’t have a day date because Amanda had Dance Company had practice from 6 am – 3 pm, and I had UBC practice in the morning too. But we still had fun. We went to dinner at Olive Garden and had 20 people for our reservation. It was crazy, but I forgot how much I love their bread sticks. Oh and March Madness has started and it’s crazy. Utah is in the Sweet 16 against the winner of San Diego St and Duke. Duke will win that and I bet they will win Utah too. Wichita is still in it baby! But they play Kansas today and I’m scared, but I think they will win. 4th quarter of school is starting next week which is weird cause sophomore year went by way fast its nuts. It’s been fun though. Hope everything is going well in Mexico and you’re enjoying learning and teaching the gospel. Love you bro Love Callahan

  • Dear Cooper, How am I feeling about it? Pretty excited! I really want to teach actual people, just not my teacher. And being here in the CCM, it starts to feel a lot like school.. Because it is. Even though I'm not even close to being ready, language-wise, I feel that I am ready for a new challenge. It will be one heck of a challenge! But I know that since I am on the Lord's side, of course I can do it! Haha at first the game is always scary, but I'm sure that you will get use to it eventually. Keeping on reading! It is definitely good to get into the habit of reading now. It will be very good for you come high school. That's good that Oreo doesn't go crazy outside, haha I miss that little kitty. Oh boy... Tepanyaki? That is some really good food.. In the CCM it's exactly like school food, which I don't care for. But we get to eat as much as we want! I'm a little worried what I'm going to eat in the field.. Because we will have to go out and buy it ourselves. Or be fed by the people in Puebla, because Latinos are very generous people. Anyway, keep doing awesome, and have a great week! Love you. Love, Elder Blackham
  • Dear Colton, Man, you guys just can't get enough ice cream with those boys! That's really good though, they sure do love their cousins. Nice win! I was actually watching one of your videos from your last season of basketball. The other elders thought you were awesome! FNAF 3.. oh jeez.. It was pretty fun, I'm not sure if you saw the picture, but one of the elders in our casa dressed up as Slenderman to scare some elders in the casa next to ours.. It was SO funny! Haha my companion and I have been talking about The Office quite a bit.. Ah I love that show. Tepanyaki is so awesome! I am really tired of the comida (food) here in the CCM.. It is exactly like school food. Except it is for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Ah well. Thanks my brother for saying that, it means a lot. I'll make you proud. Love you.Love, Elder Blackham
  • Dear Keaton, HA! That would have been soo priceless! But Callahan probably would have been shamed for life.. Here in the CCM, probably my most favorite thing to do is play beach volleyball. Being out in the sun, in the sand.. ah it is so great. I've already got my "framer, not farmer" tan again. I don't think I will be able to play any beach volleyball once I am out in el campo (the field). Which makes me really sad. But I'm sure there will be plenty of other great things to do! It is great that you take your grades seriously! I really should've done better in school.. Not that I did bad. Just not good, you know? Haha but don't worry too much about citizenship, because those don't exist in high school.. Keep doing awesome, it is the best thing you can do right now! Love you.Love, Elder Blackham
  • Dear Callahan, Haha oh boy.. Better than $90! Haha I guess you not having a day date was best for you because you're still broke, right? hahah.. 20?! That's such a big group! I bet the staff at Olive Garden LOVED you guys! Just yesterday actually, someone printed out a bracket for March Maddness, which they're not supposed to do.. But when I saw it, I actually got pretty excited. I had no idea that Utah was a fifth seed! But yes, it is unlikely they will make it past Duke.. But do let me know what happens! Oh no.. against Kanas.. That will be a tough one.. Seriously? 4th quarter is already starting? That is nuts! My time in the CCM has flown by! Feels like that I got here yesterday.. And now I will be in Puebla on Monday.. Kinda nervous, but mostly excited! Do your best in school. Love you. Love, Elder Blackham

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Week #4 ... Working on Writing

It is really hard to believe that I've already been here for five weeks (technically four weeks, but they count five). So that means this next week will be the last full week, and then I'll be heading down to Puebla. I felt I've only been here a week! I do realize that my time here, with all the people will be short. I just hope to be able to get to know them and help them enough. Even though right now it's only the missionaries in my zone and casa and my teachers that I know well enough to call mis amigos. 

I think of everything I'm going to miss back home, sure it makes me somewhat sad, but I know why I am here. I know my work here will be short.

When we all get together to email, everyone wants to do it for hours.. When I reply to those who emailed me, it would take maybe an hour. But I have to get up and move every few minutes because I get bored looking at a computer screen for so long. But last time I actually logged on to the family Google Drive account to look at some pictures. I ended up looking at maybe over a thousand. It was pretty fun to be able to look so far back. 

I can definitely improve on writing and journal keeping. It is just really hard with our schedule. We don't get home until 9:30, and it is supposed to be lights out at 10:15, when all you want to do is mess around to unwind from the long day. But I am still doing good with my pedometer! Sometimes I'll forget it when I change into my gym clothes for gym, but that is the only time I would forget it! This week wasn't too impressive..

12/3 - 15823
13 - 16704
14 - 10937
15 - 9907
16 - 11347
17 - 9652
18 - 11765

I just weighed myself yesterday, but the scale is in kilos. I weighed in at 81.2 kg, which is around 179 lbs. Which is about what I weighed before I left. The milk here is simply so fantastic! They keep it in this container thing that keeps it super duper cold.. Which you know I love! It is so creamy, and wonderful, and amazing in every single way. I have it every morning for breakfast and for dinner. I even stole some during lunch because we had these awesome cookies and of course needed milk... That would hold up in court.. Right? ahahaha..

 Hazelgren and I

 An awesome selfie/group

Finally got together for a district picture. 
Elders from left to right; Grasinger, Blackham, Hazelgren, Ferguson, Dansie, and Jenks. 
The Hermanas are ; Jacobsen, Heguira, and Weaver (aka Momma Bear).



Notice the spoon in my comp's belt loop? This is called spooning. 
It is incredibly competitive and intense. 
Spoon everyone you can, but do not get spooned.

A little leg hair trim.

This is where my comp and I are kings

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon,Yeah I know Drew LaTouche as well. He doesn’t know me though. I remember him last year playing. Not too much though. But yeah, Mexican food isn’t really something I like that much. But I just got my license this week, and the first day I drove to school I got a parking ticket for not being “6 ft. away for a driveway.” Which I think, is the dumbest thing ever because my drivers ed teacher never taught us that. But oh well, and this Saturday is prom and I’m stressing because it’s so hard to plan, it’s driving me insane. Hope everything is going well in Mexico, sounds like some crazy rain up there, I wouldn’t like that so much, but I can tell you do! Love you brother Callahan

Dear Landon, we have been having a good time here how about you? This week we have been sort of boring and sort of fun. Like we went to the Jazz game and we went to Moab. At Moab we visited Joan (Dad’s grandma’s sister?) a few times, Amare and Aidan stayed at her house. She had TONS of pets such as horses, frogs, fish and ducks! We went to two cemeteries and had to find a few of our ancestors. Cooper, Keaton, Dad and I stayed at a hotel. Just about Callahan’s driving license on his first day he got a parking ticket!!! However now his favorite sentence is, DO YOU WANT TO GO DRIVING!? Back to the hotel thing Amare and the swimming pool. He was jumping in the pool where he can’t reach the bottom. Keaton had to hold him in the water. Keaton went into the hot tub and then Amare started jumping in the hot tub getting his face all the way down in it! The pool was shaped like a giant jelly bean! One time when we went to a restaurant called Zax and a guy came to us and said “ Do you want to see a magic trick”? So we said yeah. You should of seen it. It was crazy and I was like mind blown! I liked that he even set up a magic show all by himself! By the way, Cooper threw up at the restaurant to. Right before we left to Moab Kaidan was there and Oreo was outside. Kaidan ran at Oreo and Oreo zipped right back inside. That you have been gone Amare has LOVED Cooper. At Moab we looked at all the shops and stuff. My favorite was the rock shop. I got a necklace that had a shark tooth on it. (Not a real one though) Aidan has not stopped following me. All he does is follow me, and goes wherever I go nonstop. Just today we got back from Moab and it was really fun. There was one part that I didn’t like, it was the three hour trip in the car. Anyways I hope you be an AWESOME missionary. Love, your SUPER brother Colton

Dear Landon, what have you been doing there down in Mexico City, have you started teaching some people about the gospel yet? Also, there has been a lot happening here in Utah. The two best things that had happened this weekend was the Jazz game, and when we went to Moab. First tings first, the Jazz game was really awesome! We were up against the Rockets. At first, we were not doing well, but then in the second half, the Jazz did great and won the game by 16 points! The MVP for the game was Rudy Gobert with 19 points, 22 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Second of all is going to Moab and having an awesome time. We did lots of stuff with Maga, Amare, Aiden, and Anna. We stayed at a hotel called Super 8, but it was kind of a really sucky hotel. The room was tiny, especially the bathroom, and the beds did not have a lot of room to sleep on. And we went to our great grandma’s sister's house, Joan, to see what was up there. Anyway, she lived somewhere in the middle of the woods with no other houses in sight. But the animals we saw there such as horses, lamb, frogs, and rabbits basically made up for it. And there was three restaurants we went to on the trip: Denny’s; Pancake Haus; and Zax. But the trip to Zax was the best and worst. The best thing about it was when we were waiting to go in, a magician came up to us and was showing us a couple of cool tricks. All the tricks were very confusing but cool (he was the best ever at card tricks). And the worst thing about it was that I threw up again. I was just in the middle of eating pizza and then I felt like throwing up, so dad and I went outside looking for a trash can and I threw up. And we also went to the pool at the hotel and Aiden and Amare loved swimming there. Amare was just jumping in the pool everywhere and he also was even jumping in the hot tub too. So this is basically all that has happened this whole weekend. I hope you have been having fun too in Mexico, and just be the best missionary.
Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I wouldn’t paint my room any other color that it is now, as long as we get rid of the “stuff” on the wall. Dad, Cooper, Colton, Ana, Maga, Aiden, Amare, and I all went to Moab. Maga, Ana and the boys stayed at Aunt Joan’s house while we stayed at a hotel call Super 8. By far, the worst hotel ever! In the bathroom, there was two inches of room to shower and take a dump and the sink wasn’t even in the bathroom! The beds were the cheapest and smallest queen-size bed that you can buy. We left at about 7:00 at night on Friday and got there at almost 11:00! The first morning for breakfast we had Denny’s across the street. It was fine. There’s no place that serves a bad breakfast. For most of the day we went to Hole n’ the Rock. We all got to ride a camel and feed some zoo animals. I’m not going to work at a zoo when I grow up because a camel, an alpaca, and an African Watusi (bull) all spit in my face! There was also an awesome license plate car made from a bunch of rusted tools, screws, and license plates (most of them were Colorado or Utah, but there were a lot of other ones too). We went to the sort-of-italian restaurant, Zax, for dinner and this magician came up to us to show us a bunch of cool tricks. I don’t’ even know how he did any of the things that he did, but he did a whole show after we went to Zax. Dad let us watch it, and Colton and Aiden got to go up on the stage to help him to a trick. Sure, there were only like 15 kids there, but still. He is one of the coolest magicians that I’ve ever seen! After dropping off Aiden at Aunt Joan’s, we went to Moab Diner for desert. I got a strawberry cheesecake shake. It was the best shake that I’ve ever had. We also went swimming on Saturday. That was just normal. Today for breakfast, we went to the Pancake Haus. It was better than Denny’s, but doesn’t beat Virge’s. After that, we went swimming again, but this time we brought Amare with us. He didn’t have any life jacket or floaties, so guess who was in charge of him (since dad and Ana didn’t get in)? One of the weird things about Amare, is that not only does he like to jump in the pool, but when I got in the hot tub, he jumped in there too! Crazy kid! Then we checked out and went to the rock shop where dad let me buy a fossilized fish. Then, we went to Dead Horse point. That was definitely the scariest part of the trip. It was like looking at the Grand Canyon (which after going to Moab and seeing Dead Horse point, I’m never going to go)! Overall, amazing trip. Since Callahan didn’t go, me and Amare came up with a nickname for him. Lazy bum! Wuv, Keaton

  • Dear Callahan, Haha I love LaTouche. He is actually in my zone, so I get to see a lot more of him than Huber (who actually just left Monday). It was pretty funny, he came by our classroom and then I blew him a kiss. I thought it was pretty hilarious! Haha I know how you feel about prom. At least you got a lot of guys to help plan it. Both times I went, I was just a double date. Just make sure to include the girls in the planning. If they know what is planned, they will be a lot happier and have a better time! At least your first violation wasn't with your girlfriend in the car. That's what happened to me! How much is the fine? Oh yes, the rain is wonderful! We are supposed to get some more today, but I was let down the past couple times they said it was going to rain..  Love Elder Blackham
  • Dear Colton, Haha well a Jazz game and a trip to Moab sound pretty awesome! I bet the seeing the animals were pretty cool! Be careful if you're going to go driving with Callahan.. Just joking.. You'll be fine! You should see the drivers here in Mexico City.. They're nuts! Haha I noticed that Cooper was getting a lot of Amare's attention just before I left.. But it's good that he has someone else to play with, but he really has all you guys to play with! And also guess what.. I've only got one more full week in the CCM, then I will have to take a bus to Puebla! It's probably going to be like a three hour drive as well! I am very excited to go!Love Elder Blackham
  • Dear Cooper, So while I am in the CCM, I won't teach any real investigators, but we practice with our teachers everyday. But I only have one more full week here, and then I will leave to Puebla! It's crazy that it has already been five weeks (technically four but they count five), it feels like I got here a week ago! Haha sounds like a good time at the Jazz game and Moab! Haha although I think that you'd have more fun if you didn't barf.. That's what I want to hear from you next week, that you didn't barf! Haha! Love Elder Blackham
  • Dear Keaton, Ah I see. But I have to say that I think some of that stuff may have been there since I was in there.. Ha! Got you scared now.. Haha not like Moab is the most luxurious place in Utah, so what can you expect? Good that you were keeping an eye out from Amare.. He can be quite the crazy child. Doesn't hardly know what he is getting himself into.. There is actually a missionary here that can do some really cool magic tricks! But I think he left this week.. Callahan the lazy bum. During the off season of basketball.. YES. Haha, Love Elder Blackham

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Week #3 ... The Storm

March 12, 2015 (Week #3)

The weather has been pretty wonderful since I got here. But the past few days it has chilled down quite a bit. Tuesday night was awesome. We were just in our classroom studying, and the rain came pouring down! Thunder and lightning soon joined, and then the rain changed to hail. We didn't even bother studying. We were all just mesmerized by the storm. Then the thought occurred "Wait.. We have to walk home in that!" and our casa is almost a quarter mile away from our classroom. And only two people were prepared with umbrellas and raincoats and such. I was not such a person. But the storm started to lighten up, so we asked our branch pres. if we could leave early before it started coming down again. It was still raining a bit, but that wasn't my concern. My concern was my shoes. It was a minefield of puddles, ranging from small and shallow, to huge and deep. So there we go running, trying to stay dry, but you can't avoid them all. Then, about 200 feet from our building is a street, which has now turned into a river. Which we have to cross.. Fortunately, we cross it with minimal damage. At this point, my companion and I are just booking it home.. There's is quite a bit of splash damage done, but it can be recovered. We are finally halted by another river, right in front of our house. This one was tougher.. It wasn't small enough to jump over completely. But we ventured down the street and little bit, and my companion found a shallow spot that we could step in, then jump the rest of the way. It was a perilous journey, but at the same time, one of the funnest things I have done. (Going back over that, I think I could write a book about it.)

In answer to your question Mom, I did read Hatchet. But only Hatchet, I didn't care to carry on.

Here are pictures ... with captions!

Ferguson and I during haircuts

Grasinger and I after haircuts

Doodling on the whiteboard during study time

Views from on top of the Thomas S. Monson building

The district in our TALL lab

The storm from inside our classroom

Ferguson, Vifanua, Grasinger, LaTouche, and me, 
laying down in the water

Panel that flew into our tree right outside our classroom.

And here are my step counts for the week (March)
5 - 23306 (new record!)
6 - 13765
7 - 15048
8 - 12088
9 - 10778
10 - 14521
11 - 18226

Glad to hear everything is going well at home!
I love you
Love, your elder,
Elder Blackham

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, it is great that you’ve been doing awesome in Mexico. Also, how do you like the Mexican food, too? I hope you have liked the food such as tacos and quesadillas and bunch of other options to choose from. And something else happened last Sunday. We went to go to Grandma’s house and then I hate a cookie (I don’t know if I was allergic to it) and then a few minutes later, I threw up about four to five times, and I was drooling a ton, too. There has also been a lot of new cool games coming out, especially these two games. Battle Field Hardline and FNAF 3. Five Nights At Freddy’s 3 is definitely the scariest out of the other games. There’s a lot of hallucination jump scares that won’t even kill you, only that one animatronic named Spring Trap apparently. I still have not seen any gameplay of Battle Field Hardline, but I have seen and ad about it, so I know the official game is out. It has been great having Oreo snuggle with me at night. And every night I try to fall asleep, Oreo will come on to my bed to snuggle with me and start purring! And he has not been getting into any trouble lately, he has not been scratching the chair or pooping in the tub, he’s just been a great kitty. Except this one time where he attempted to scratch the couch. So just go and keep up being the best missionary in Mexico! Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, So yes, I do know McKay Huber. He is way good, and I remember when he got cut I was way surprised. He is friends with the Sophomore Assistant coach, so one time we scrimmaged a lot of them. He also has a sister my age, so yeah that’s interesting! But dang, the MTC sounds like a lot of fun. It would be way fun to play volleyball and be learning a new language and the gospel. I hate Spanish class but hey, that’s cause I’m at school and I got a lot of homework. Amanda made me go to this Mexican restaurant the other day, and after I got like heartburn an hour later, it hurt so bad! And I have no idea why. So I hope that doesn’t happen to you. Hope you’re learning and doing well, which I know you will! Love, your most favorite brother Callahan

Dear Landon, Yesterday was the last day of winter season, and we lost in the semi-finals. I almost made a buzzer beater for the win, but it was like a 30 footer. I figure that spring is going to be a boring season because I’m not doing anything. I was hoping to get on a super league team to play spring fling. I guess I’ll just be outside a lot this spring. I wanted to play baseball for spring, but mom said that it was too late for sign ups. Callahan was mooning all day today. It was horrific and disgusting. It really was as white as the moon. I’m kind of confused with the alarm clock because at times, it would randomly turn on and play music. I’ve decided to have my phone as my alarm clock. The first day was weird because I woke up to a vibrating pillow. I was half asleep, so I thought that I had pins and needles on the right side of my face. Then I remembered that it was my phone. We still haven’t painted my room. It’s gross for me because there are still parts of Cooper and Colton in that room. Love, Keaton

Dear Landon, how’s the weather there in Mexico City? I finally got Instagram on my Ipod. Mom posted a video on Instagram, Oreo jumped and got your handmade necklace. Remember the bad computer? It’s not so bad anymore because we turned it into an apple computer instead of windows. Every night when Cooper and I start to go to bed, we wait until we hear a “meow” because Oreo always cries in the night because the door is closed. Today we had to go to Church one hour early because something. (Daylight Saving). Callahan is about to get his driver’s license! HELP ME!!!! Have you heard, Five Nights At Freddy’s is out! So is Battlefield Hardline… FNAF 3 is so much scarier than the other games. It has things that will jump scare you but not kill you! Plus I think it most likely will be the last one because on the 5th night there’s a mini game that you kill the purple man. There are all these mini games (Easter eggs) to unlock the good ending, there’s a bad ending and a good ending. Markiplier plays FNAF 3!!! Last week it was Chick-fil-a we went to, not Arctic Circle! You will be the best missionary in history. Love, your best little kid ever,Colton

  • Dear Cooper,Well right now, in the CCM, it isn't only Mexican food. But we will have enchiladas, tacos, mole, and tamales quite a bit. But we also get hamburgers, cereal, and even pizza on Tuesdays! I actually had an allergic reaction this last Sunday.. It was lunch and there were brownies. I took a bite into it, and saw that it had nuts, but thought "whatever.." and ate the rest of it. My neck started to get scratchy, and my companion was freaking out. I just told him to relax.. I just had to go get some Benedryll from the house and I would be fine. We ended up taking a nap because the Benedryll made me really drowsy.. Which was awesome! Make sure to play all the awesome games for me! Haha I miss Oreo snuggling with me at night, you're a lucky boy.Love you Coop. 
  • Dear Callahan, Haha he's pretty awesome. He'll be leaving this next week to the same mission as Spencer Lyman, Torreon. Also I met another Copper Hills basketball player, who is actually in my zone, Drew LaTouche? He played basketball and lacrosse for Copper Hills. Really fun dude. Haha I can't say I have had the full experience of Mexican food yet. Right now it's basically cafeteria food.. But the milk is fantastic. Myself and another elder obsess over it. No broken bones while on my mission I hope! Keep it up in school, and drive safe brother. Love you Cal 
  • Dear Keaton, Ah nuts.. So close. At least you have fun. When we play sports here at the CCM, we're "not allowed to keep score" because if we do, then it gets competitive, and when it gets competitive, "the Spirit is not present".. Kinda funny, I thought. We'll usually play volleyball outside, and we'll always say, "FUN serving FUN" when we are all keeping score in our heads.. Baseball? Hmm interesting.. haha I would never play baseball.. But hey, if you want to, do it! Haha if you wanted your room to be painted, you guys probably should've done it when all the stuff was moved out! What color would you want it painted anyway? Keep doing well in school! Love you Keat 
  • Dear Colton, The weather has been pretty great since I got here. But the last few days it has been a bit chillier.. With lots of rain at night.. So much rain, the little circle where our casa (house) is was about knee deep with water! It was so much fun to play in (even though we aren't really supposed to..)! We would run around, play rugby, lay down all in the cold cold water.. That's winter in Mexico City! Haha little Oreo.. needs to be loved.. I'm sure that you will be okay to drive with Callahan, but not in the Tundra! Yikes! Play all the awesome games for me while I'm gone! I've learned some fun new games from my district, as well as taught them Superfrog! Do you remember what that game was? Love you Colt 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Week #2 ... in the CCM

March 5, 2015 (Letter #2)

It is amazing how much faster the second week is compared to the first! The first was pretty rough.. You just get hit with orientation, after orientation, and meeting, after meeting.. But once you actually get into the missionary schedule, it is so much better!

First off, I have to say that my district is pretty awesome. We are district 13C, and their are nine of us. Six elders: Elder Dansie and Elder Jenks, Elder Hazelgren and Elder Ferguson, Elder Grasinger and myself. And the trio of hermanas are Hermana Jacobsen, Hermana Higuera, and Hermana Weaver.

We will spend the day as most missionaries do. Wake up (6:30), study time, breakfast, classtime, lunch, more classtime, more study time, dinner, and nighty night time by 22:30. It wasn't that hard getting back into a "school" type setting. My teachers are all pretty awesome. In the morning, we have Hermanos Sato and Carmona. Hermano Carmona is a really good teacher and likes to make personal learning sessions with us all, and Hermano Sato likes to make sure that we all have fun too! You know how people spin basketballs on their fingers? Well Hermano Sato can definitely do that.. Plus books, notepads, Preach My Gospel, even an iPad! It is so cool! Then in the afternoon, we have Hermana Montoya and Hermano Gomez (who was actually our "first investigator"). Hermana Montoya is the kinda teacher who teaches with games, which my companion and I really enjoy. Hermano Gomez is what I call the "cozy drill sergeant" you could play around with him a lot, but when it is time to learn, you better do what he says! My favorite thing about all the hermano teachers is that they will always go around and give us (the elders) some massages. Poor poor hermanas that they don't get to experience such joy.. 

This week started off bittersweet. A district in our zone, 13B, had to leave at 2 in the morning. They gave us a very warm welcome, and we got close to them very quickly. They were off to a variety of places in Mexico. Juaréz, Tuxala, and a couple others. It kinda freaked us out that we were already going to be the "leading district" of our zone, only two weeks in! But we're doing fine. The new district is great and we really enjoy playing volleyball together. And why the week started off "bittersweet" was because we really missed 13B, but my companion and I taught our best lesson yet.

We have two "investigators" right now, Adán and Laura (which look strikingly similar to Hermano Sato and Hermana Montoya!). Our first lesson with Adán was fantastic. I felt that I did such a great job of talking to him without much help from what I wrote down to say, and the fact that I understood most of what he said! His family: wife and two kids, are already active in the church, so we knew it wouldn't be a hard lesson. Basically the first meeting with him was getting to know him and sharing a quick message of how the Gospel blesses families. So we asked him if he'd pray with his family, read the scriptures with his family, and to be baptized. And he said "yes" to all three! 

Now I know that this was a simple role play, but I know that I felt the Spirit in that meeting. When my companion and I left the room at the end, we just hugged because we knew we did an awesome job! It was so weird, I wanted to cry, it was so good! That is the feeling here at the CCM. The Spirit is just so powerful here. Not to mention, plenty of happiness and good times.

Thank you all for your love and support. I surely needed it that first week, now I'm here working to make you all proud.

Love you all!

 battle scar from sand volleyball 
(that's also sand on his upper lip, not a mustache!)

 ...a fellow Landon

 Mucho Missionaries

 (I'm not sure WHAT this photo is actually of)

Out and about in Mexico City

...and here are my steps for the week:
February 26 - 10294
February 27 - 17021
February 28 - 20337
March 1 - 11991
March 2 - 15900
March 3 - 14372
March 4 - 13898

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, how have you been doing down there in Mexico City? I hope it has been great for you there, because I’ve been alright up here. Also, I forgot to tell you last time I wrote to you, is that I actually took over your Charge, and mom bought herself a Charge HR. And I’ve got to be honest, the Charge is a lot better than the One and the Zip. There has been some stuff happening to Oreo right now, like he has been scratching the black chair in the computer room, but other then that, he hasn’t been doing any other trouble than scratching the chair, and he has been being a great kitty. He has also got a string wrapped around his leg, and the string was in tons of knots, but he is still okay because we cut the string off of his leg. He has also been sleeping in some pretty strange places, such as on the desk, right by the chair, and just sleeping in the hallway. Furthermore, that picture of you in that cabinet with your partner in Mexico, and that really reminded me of one of those Friends episodes when Joey was stuck in the entertainment center and could not get out, and when everything was stolen! So I’m really missing you dearly, and I will hope you will be an awesome missionary while you are in Mexico for these next two years. Love, Cooper 

Dear Landon, are you having a good time in Mexico City? Not to long ago we went out to go get ice cream again with Amare and Aidan but this time Will and Sam joined us. It was a lot of fun because we went to somewhere that has a playground in it. Can you guess what place it was? This week I tried playing some CoD (Call of Duty) all by myself but there was something wrong with the internet. If you know that Cooper has your charge now I took over his one. I’ve been playing this game called Mario Super Sluggers a baseball game and it is really fun. That picture of you reminded me of that episode of Friends where Joey gets stuck in the cabinet. One day before Cooper and I went to school Oreo got his leg tangled in a string, Cooper and I had to cut the string. When Oreo got his leg stuck the string was one of the strings of a mouse so he was running around running into doors trying to get the mouse because it was stuck on his leg. We are playing with some helium and trust me when I talk with helium my voice is REALLY high. Jacob hasn’t been coming over lately he hasn’t came over in the past two weeks! I told my teacher that you went on a mission to Mexico and she told me that I should learn Spanish so I could talk with the girl in my class who moved in from a Spanish country! I said “probably, probably not, most likely not.” We will be writing to you every Sunday. I hope you will be an AWESOME missionary in Puebla. Love, your FAVORITE little brother of all time, Colton 

Dear Landon, so I’ve pretty much figured out how to work the iHome, but weirdly I have always woken up five to 15 minutes before the alarm goes off! The bad thing about that is I don’t know if the alarm will even wake me up. Also I usually wake up in the middle of the night every night, but then I go back to sleep. Yesterday I got the Koala on CrossyRoad, so now I have 72 of 72 characters (not Piggy Bank)! Also, yesterday was the beginning of the tournaments for basketball. My time first we won Jordan by 30, then we played Bingham and beat them by 14! We were the 6th seed and they were the 3rd! That was our second time beating Bingham too! In the district games, West Hills made it to the championship against Oquirrh Hills, and we beat them by 20! I didn’t play because this was the 9th grade team and you have to be a certain age to play in the district games, but the coach wanted me to get one of the t-shirts that we won because I played on the B team in the Thursday night league. So now West Hills has the really big trophy in the main hall by the office. Love, Keaton

Dear Elder Blackham. So, I got UBC tryouts next week, which is one of the best basketball teams our age. My old sophomore coach sent me an email about it and he is one of the coaches so I hope that helps me out. Layton won the 5A championship which was a surprise. Anyways, that’s all that happened with me. I hope you are learning what you need to. Spanish is way hard for me in school so I bet it’s way harder for you. I know you’ll be a good missionary because you were such a good example to us. Good luck this week! Love, Callahan

  • Dear Cooper, Mexico City has been pretty awesome and crazy at the same time. Today, we actually left the CCM to go to the immigration center for our visas. Anyway, it was nuts! The way people drive here is crazy! But downtown Mexico City was really cool. There were a bunch of statues and monuments (you will see some pictures). Haha little Oreo.. I miss snuggling with him. Haha I know what you mean! When I got in there, they actually tried to trap me in! Not very nice.. But still funny. Make good use of the Charge and take care of Oreo! Love Elder Blackham 
  • Dear Colton: Mexico City is awesome! At first in the morning, it was pretty sketchy because people do these really loud fireworks. And they do them ALL THE TIME. Like I was in my bed at 5 o´clock this morning and then.. BANG! Ugh.. but you get use to it. I am going to guess.. McDonald´s? That's the only place I can think of that has ice cream and a play ground.. Wait, Artic Circle! That's my guess! Hmm.. bummer about CoD. But don't you just want to play with bots? Haha here's a little bit of Spanish for you. 
Colton no quiere aprender hablar en Español. 
Translation, "Colton does not want to learn to speak Spanish." Hahaha 

Keep doing well in school, and be sure to listen to Mommy! 
Love Elder Blackham 
  • Dear Keaton, I knew you could figure it out. Gosh.. That is ridiculous that you got all those characters! How long did that take? Dang! Awesome job! I'm happy for you and your team, sounds like a pretty nice victory! Haha keep up the good work! You're an awesome basketball player! Love Elder Blackham 
  • Dear Callahan, haha well that does not surprise me one bit! Back into basketball already! By the way, did you know someone by the last name Huber? I believe he was a senior when you were a freshman. He said that he helped coach the younger Copper Hills teams and recognized "Blackham" when we met. He played for Copper Hills. He´s ridiculously tall. He blocked my companion like five times... Today! Haha he's really good player, and a really good guy. Do well in basketball, as well as school. Love Elder Blackham