Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week #32 - Meetings and Moisture

Una semana fresca, húmeda, y ocupada. 
(A cool, wet, and busy week.)

Well we got rain EVERYDAY this week. Some days harder than others, but it still continued to rain on us. And with constant rain, our house tends to get very humid.. So I will grab my fresh white shirt for the day, and when I put it on, it seems wet! Yuck... and it will never dry with the constant humidity. Oh well. 

This week was a bit busy, because we had a meeting of some sort almost everyday of the week!
Tuesday - (Not a meeting) We went to the mission offices
Wednesday - District meeting
Thursday - NO MEETINGS!
Friday - Meeting of the district leaders with Pres. Nelson
Saturday - Meeting of the district leaders with the zone leaders

What was good for Wednesday, it was my first district meeting as district leader!  I was pretty nervous, but I feel that it went well. It is just a little hard with such a small district. But it still went well! Also after the district meeting, I had another baptismal interview! This time it was with an investigator from Hermanas Perez and Meek. Her name is Gaby and she is 12. It is really cool to do these interviews, because you get to ask them about their testimony and the effect of the Gospel in their lives. It really is a privilege.

Then on Friday, once every other change, Pres. Nelson will do a little training for district leaders of the entire mission. In this meeting, we focused a lot on the importance of two of the biggest responsibilities of a district leader, which are interchanges and the district meeting. Basically they taught us the best way to do these two important responsibilities as a district leader. It was really good for me, because I only had the slightest idea of how to do them.. 

Saturday we then had a little meeting with our zone leaders and as all the district leaders of the zone. There, we talked about another one of the important responsibilities as a district leader, which is the baptismal interview. So we practiced different situations... To improve our skills of how to interview someone, a make it a spiritual experience for us and the investigator. 

Finally, Sunday was pretty special. There is a family in the ward, who we are really close with, who are preparing to send off a missionary. And it was Sunday where he was aparted as a full-time missionary. That is also when I discovered that the aparting is a lot different here in Puebla. At 7 o'clock PM, we returned to the chapel. But it was a bit different because there was A LOT of people. For my aparting, it was just me, my family, grandparents, and one of my best friends. But here, basically it was fireside for the two future elders. Some of their family members would bear testimonies, then the two future elders themselves. Then they were aparted by the stake president. Then afterward was a lot of picture taking. 

Me with Elder Leon, who leaves tomorrow.

After we returned home, and then my compañero and I started talking about how weird it was to experience all that again, when it happened to ourselves not long ago. Time is going by super fast!

So, you can see that it was a good, cool, wet, and busy week.

Thanks for all the support and love! 
Les amo!

*** Step Stats ***

Monday, September 14 - 15205
Tuesday, September 15 - 11147
Wednesday, September 16 - 3080
Thursday, September 17 - 12600
Friday, September 18 - 8716
Saturday, September 19 - 9618
Sunday, September 20 - 5388
Monday, September 21 - 11206
Tuesday, September 22 - 10228
Wednesday, September 23 - 12258
Thursday, September 24 - 12472
Friday, September 25 - 3597
Saturday, September 26 - 8669
Sunday, September 27 - 8897

Skipped the step stats last week, so it's double duty this week. Cooper wanted to make SURE they were included, because he's really been working and being active and upping his step count, and is there in 2nd place! Landon ... barely made the top 10! There were a lot of meetings, a lot of rain, and he was sick on the 16th, so his steps are lower than they usual are.

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, well Cooper and I have brought out the "sand" (from Brookstone) and now we play with it from time to time. On MW3 Keaton and I have prestiged again. Now I am using the UMP45. Keaton is using your favorite gun, the SCAR. We just barely went bowling. I did no bumpers and I beat my record. My prior record was 65 now it's 68. You're probably wondering why I used the word "prior" well my school teacher wants us to use our vocabulary word in sentences, so yeah. Crazy basketball. In my first game of the season, we won around 60-0! I didn't do so good but I tried. I got 6 points and I think 8 assists. At school I went to this thing called "Fun Friday" we have to turn in all of our assignments for the whole week to go to it. We made some pinwheels. My broke at the last second. That is all I can recall for this week. Recall, also one of my vocab words. Little more than a quarter there. Love ya. Love your little brother, Colt.

Dear Landon, I almost got 20 thousand steps every day this week, except for Sunday. My alarm is set at 6:00, then I stay in bed for another twenty minutes. Then I get up and read my book for forty minutes (I have started Fablehaven, just if you wanna know). And last of all, I play outside for about an hour, and all of that will get me 3000 to 4000 steps. I'm still doing well in school, and last week of the month is going to be fun because of "ketchup" and "relish." It's kind of going to be like Fun Friday in 5th grade, where if you finished all of your work, you get to "relish" the moment and have fun. But if you do not have all your work done, you need to "ketchup" on all of your missing work. I finally got rid of my Utes backpack, and got an Under Armor one from the basement. The only thing wrong with it is that it has a wide hole on the top, but I don't put my stuff in that pocket. Also, dad, Colton, and I went to Target and got me a new soccer ball. It is pretty fun to play with it outside, and go against Colton and Keaton. We just went bowling with all of us (except Cal), and had some of the pizza. It was really fun because I did good, and we still had $15 on the All-Star Lanes card, so I got to play a few games. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I forgot to tell you that Cal helped me buy a new pair of running shoes. They're called the Roshe One. He paid 20 dollars for my birthday and I paid for the rest. They're super comfortable. I finished my big project for Biology yesterday. What we had to do was collect 20 different kinds of leaves, press them down to paper-thin, and put them in a binder with their common name, order name, family name, date collected, county collected, and collector's name (me). It was a lot of work. For the past month I've had all of the leaves being pressed down with books on my desk. It was so messy, but now they're gone and it's back to clean again. Mom helped me with, pretty much, all of it. It was still a lot of work, though. Mom got us tickets to see "Star Wards", an LDS production in October. I started watching White Collar again. I just watched the first episode of season six. So yeah... Wuv, Keaton

Callahan was SO busy this week, he didn't get a note off ;(  

  • Dear Colton: Sand is sooo cool. I miss playing with it. The feeling of it is so cool! Prestiged again? So what prestige is that for you guys? Hahahaha oh baby, the SCAR... That is a freaking good gun. 68? That isn't bad! Especially without bumpers! Good job! Haha nice use of vocab words.. I try to do the same thing, but with the new words I learn in Spanish. Best way to learn! Like "Parangaricutirimecuaro"... Haha just kidding. that isn't really a word, but it is a name of a volcano in Mexico (but I don't know if I spelled it exactly right..)! Dang.. No mercy from your team.. I wouldn't want to play you guys.. Haha a pinwheel? ... Que feo that yours broke at the last second.
  • Dear Cooper: 20 thousand steps everyday?! Shoot! Thanks to the rain, we have been trying to walk as little as possible. That is why our steps are so low for this week. Haha wow. That is a pretty good schedule. the only problem is that it is getting cooler now. Soon their will be snow outside. I don't know about you, but I would NEVER play outside in the snow in the morning for an hour. I remember doing something like that for the last year of middle school. I don't remember what we called it though. Eh, doesn't matter. Wow, you had that Utes backpack for a while now, huh? Under Armor backpacks are some of the best backpacks ever. I am still using my sling bag from Under Armor that Mom bought for me in 8th grade! Isn't that crazy?! I LOVE it! Being able to play soccer is a valuable skill to have. I discovered that here in Mexico...because everyone plays soccer. It is actually fun sometimes.
  • Dear Keaton: So are you actually doing running right now? Dang, good job! Your biology project sounds like a lot of work. What I discovered here in Mexico, is that there are a lot more fruits than just apples, oranges, and bananas in the world. You have no idea how many new fruits I have tried here.. And just to tell you, ask Mom to buy mangos! I can't believe I never tried a mango before I came here to Mexico. Also with the mango, since you like spicy stuff, you need to try it with this powdered chile called Tajin. IT IS MAGICIAL. Once you try it, you will put it on everything! Even.. Ice cream. Give it a try. I am sure that you can find Tajin some place in Utah. Hahaha "Star Wards" ... Sounds awesome! I can't wait to see another Desert Star play when I return.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week #31 - Moved to Maravillas

Bienvenidos a Maravillas! (Welcome to Maravillas!)

Well, another changes meeting has come and gone. And I now find myself in a new area with and new compañero. 

But first to talk about a little about the changes meeting. To describe the changes meeting, the only thing joyous about it is that you get to see a lot of the other missionaries and companions that you've had and a lot that stuff. Apart from that, it is pretty icky. Especially when they are announcing the changes! Imagine a small sacrament room, packed with about 100 missionaries or so, with about the same number of additional members that came. With so many people inside, it gets hot. Not to mention outside it is 80 or so degrees.. Doesn't help. And to top it all off, when you have changes, you get pretty anxious and nervous to find out where you are going and who your new companion will be. Haha basically, the changes meeting is a sweaty mess.

 A picture shared on the mission Facebook page. 
Landon is there in the middle-ish...

... and some Landon photo-bombs! ;)

But at least this meeting was a little better. And a bit funny too. It was a lot cooler because we had a lot of cloud coverage. So there we were in the meeting, then we offered a prayer to start. During the prayer, the rain started, HARD. When the prayer ended, a bunch of missionaries bolted outside, because they put their luggage outside.. After a few minutes, a bunch of soaking elders returned to their seats.. It was pretty funny. 

As for my new area and new compañero.. I am now in La Zona Fuertes, area Maravillas! And my compañero is Elder Chacon. He is my first compañero that isn't Mexican. Elder Chacon is from Guatemala! He has about 10 months in the mission, and is a good guy!

Another big change that I got for this new change, is the fact I am a district leader! If you don't know what a district leader is, I will explain, in the mission, you have zones, and in the zones you have districts. Each district has at least 3 companionships, and one elder is the leader. It is the job of the district leader to prepare a weekly meeting to motivate the missionaries under his direction.

As for my district, we are small, just three companionships. Us in Maravillas, Elders Lopez and West of Fuertes, and Hermanas Perez and Meek (the sister training leaders = SUPER AWESOME) of Loreto. Haha it was quite the surprise to be district leader, but I am up to the challenge. 
I will update you on how it goes!
Thanks everyone!
Les amo!

(I didn't get step stats this week)

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, da kitties are sleeping right by the chair again. They cute. Cooper and I have been keeping them in our room for the whole night. They mostly both come up on my bed. At school I had to call Mom because my teacher makes us call home when we get 100% on a unit math test. We got donuts again but they weren't Krispie Kreme's. They were still good. On the basketball hoop outside, I can dunk it on about 7.5! We started watching a show called Cutthroat Kitchen. It's kinda like Cupcake Wars but it has auction and you cook the food that the person tells you to. There has been some pretty stormy weather. On MW3, I have gotten the M4A1 gold and have now started using the P90. You won't believe this, Just barely I played a game of Domination on Fallen, and my team on 200-0. Also, Keaton was just playing on Mission and he got I think 5 kills with on predator missile! Cooper and I have been playing some nazi zombies on World at War. This is it for this week. Love ya. Love, Colt

Dear Landon, kitties are sleeping with each other again, and it kind of looks like that Joy is dead. She isn't but it looks as if she is dead. Colton and I have been getting them both to sleep downstairs when it is time for us to go to bed, and so far, it is working. This week of school was really fun, besides those stupid storms, because of recess and the Olympics. My friends got me into playing football again, and the first game I played is considered to be my best game this year and last year. I got two touchdowns, and one of them was to win the game. And the day after that, was the Olympics. We got to make shirts and have a bunch of fun. I never knew that three laps could be SO tiring if you push your hardest, I felt like I was going to die after that. I got 2nd place in the race, and our team, Cobalt, ended up winning the whole Olympics, so that was very fun. Then it was basically a same old week besides all of those. Playing on the tramp, playing basketball, watching TV, and reading. I'm now on my fifth book, and I'm almost done with the book "Things Not Seen." Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, mom and dad showed me the video of you tazing yourself. Haha, that was funny! Every once in a while, Colton and I play with the lightning game. We've both withstood the level 4 on it. In Biology, we have to gather all of our assignments, notes, and tests to put them in a unit folder. My teacher liked mine the best and said she might give me extra credit. We also have a project due in one week to turn in either 20 different insects or 20 different leaves. I'm doing leaves and I'm almost done. iOS 9 came out on apple, but there weren't too many new features. It's just faster and better quality. I'm sure when you get home it'll be like iOS 11 or something. Not much that I can think of to report back on this week. So yeah... Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon, seriously all I did this week was school and work. 35ish hours, but they are slimming down now because we are getting some of our old workers back, it'll be nice to slim back on hours. Looks like you're a little tired in the picture you sent last week (sleeping on the couch) hahaha, mission has got to be tiring right. Can't wait to get paid for this last week, I'll be rolling in the dough, at least $200, so not a ton, it is for me, but not for dad or anybody like that. iOS 9 came out and it isn't too different, nothing much. The only thing useful is "Low battery mode." And it doesn't do much. Anyways, I'm missing you like usual man. A quarter of the way down! Love you, and happy birthday! pretty much last week, but you know, you get the jist. - Callahan

  • Dear Colton: Dang 100% on the math test? That is awesome! More donuts! Haha Dang! Dunking already?! I can't remember when I first dunked on the hoop outside, but I think that you are younger than I was! Whoa! That is pretty cool. Nice. I find myself missing video games a bit right now... how nice it would be to play some Call of Duty!
  • Dear Cooper: Joy looks like she is dead? Precious! Haha sometimes when we pass dogs sleeping in the street, we have to check if they are alive or not. Nice, football! I miss playing that. Here it is all soccer, maybe a little basketball.. nothing more. Cobalt winning the Olympics! That is awesome! Nice job!
  • Dear Keaton: The tazer is a bit different than the lightning game ;) Elder Muñiz's tazer (the one we first shocked ourselves with) is 1500 volts. Mine was 10000 volts.... That scared us a bit.. Haha but we are still alive! Haha I hate that when you have to keep track of everything.. But hey, extra credit doesn't sound bad! Here in Mexico, I have found a lot of new bugs that I have never since before.. Nothing too crazy, but different. Apple upgrades ... sounds normal for Apple.. Yup, iOS 11 with iPhone 8S. Calling it now.
  • Dear Callahan: That is a lot of hours on top of school.. Good that they are slimming down the hours for you.. A student in high school shouldn't have so many. Especially when you are going to have basketball too! Yikes.. That would be just a blast.. Haha $200 is good money for a junior. That is pretty normal for Apple.. Te extraño tambien, mi hermano.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week #30 - Adiós Almecatla

Adiós, y cerrando al área ... (Farewell, and closing the area)

Well, it being the last week of the change, that is when we learn if we have changes for the new change. But for me and my companion, we were expecting anything. We thought that we would both stay in Almecatla 1. If anything, maybe my compañero would have changes. But then we got a call from one of the president's assistants on Wednesday... a call on a Wednesday from one of the assistants means one of two things; One of us would be training a new missionary, or we would be closing the area. And as you can see from the subject, we got the call to close the area. 

This would be the first time I closed an area (my compañero too). It wasn't that I was nervous, just unexcited, as there is A LOT of work to do to close an area. And my compañero and I are new to it! One of the hardest things we had to do was make a map of the area.

When we finished this map, it was about 2 feet by 5 feet. And it took about 4 hours to make.Why would it take so long? Good question. To make the map, we had to print it page-by-page. Big enough to see the names of the streets. Then we had to tape all these pages together too.. So... That is why it took so long to make a simple map.

Sincerely... I am very worried for who is going to come here to Almecatla 1. Because right now, there are two companionships of elders here, but the other is also closing! And closing for good. Meaning, that there will be only one companionship. That is why we are working so hard to close this area as best as we can. Because this area is HUGE, and it is pretty hard to navigate. I just hope they who come, won't be entirely lost.

Then we finally took a break Saturday night, because Sunday was the re-dedication of the temple in Mexico City! It was pretty cool, we went to the church to watch this little play that was broadcast from Mexico City. I actually enjoyed it (probably because Mexican plays are cooler than American plays.. Sorry Mom)!

Then was the actual dedication. President Eyring and Elder Holland came to the re-dedication. They gave little talks. And the part I thought was funny, is the fact that they aren't in Utah. So when President Eyring was presiding the session, there were some names that were a bit difficult for him to say.. And Elder Holland actually gave his testimony in Spanish! So it was good to remember that even Apostles have their struggles with Spanish.

Another thing worth mentioning, we had interchanges with our district leader again. This time, my compañero went with Elder Zuñiga, and I was with Elder Musselman. I was my first interchange with an American elder since my first change! So it was pretty fun. He also goes home this change, so we talked a lot about his missionary experiences.
Then we tried out my new tazer that I bought.

That will be all for this week!

*** Step Stats ***
Tuesday, September 8 - 17698
Wednesday, September 9 - 22536
Thursday, September 10 - 9737
Friday, September 11 - 12835
Saturday, September 12 - 17819
Sunday, September 13 - 8965
Monday, September 14 - 15205

Callahan has zoomed to first place on Elder Blackham's Fitbit Friend list! Between a conditioning class in school (where they often run several miles or do other activities) and a basketball clinic ... and on his feet working at KFC, he is getting the steps in! Busy boy! Landon just barely beat the little boys, and Keaton is on the list this week too!

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, Maddie, Mia, Jamie and Kolby visited the Utah state for a wedding yesterday. They came to our house and we showed them the kitties. We let Joy and Oreo fight for a minute and our cousins found out they were just playing and having fun. Now we let the kitties wander around all day but not night. In fact right now Oreo and Joy are sleeping together right by the chair. It's so cute. We went on a hike and yesterday we went to Hidden Falls and Donut Falls. Hidden Falls I liked but Donut falls my shoes and socks got soaked! Our trampoline is as good as new! We got a new net, new mat and a few new springs. On MW3 we are about ready to prestige. Also, I am using the ACR right now and is so close by getting it gold. Next prestige I'm going to use the PP90M1 and the M4A1. I'm going to use the M4A1 because I picked it up in a game and went on a 12 killstreak! I'm on new basketball team. Not much to say about it. We got a GoPed. I rode on it a few times. It goes pretty fast. We also went to Clay's house and he made some delicious pumpkin donuts! That is it for the rest of this week. Had tons of fun this week. And forgot to tell last week we got a new car. Love, Colton

Dear Landon, I've been reading quite a lot these past few days. There is something called the 40 book requirement, and I have to read forty books in a year, it is going to be really hard. Anyway, you have to read specific genres to pass it, and I am going to finish my fourth book this year. Have you ever had some kind of Olympics in Elementary school? Because the 6th grade is doing Olympics this year, and it is confusing. We have to make a country and other things for the country. We're in charge of making a flag, t-shirt, song and motto, map, and a history of the country. Kitties are now kind of getting along. Kolby and the girls came over to the house just to see the kitties, and Kolby said that they are just playing, ever since that, we've been letting them by each other more. Right now, they are by the chair sleeping by each other, it's cute:). I can touch the rim on 8 foot now, and I'm looking forward to dunking on it. The tramp is basically a new tramp again, because now we have gotten some new springs for the tramp. Not all of the springs got replaced, but it does bounce a little higher, and it seems stronger. We also went on a two hikes this week. The first hike was on your birthday, and it was just our family and Amanda. This hike is my least favorite one by far, because there was a creek or something we had to get over on rocks to see the waterfall better. And since there was water, our shoes got soaked, everyone's shoes got water in them. The other hike was yesterday, but it was with the whole family. There was a lake at the top, and there were ducks in them. Besides the lake, there was no water involved, so that was good. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, the Washington Blackhams are visiting in Utah for a wedding that was yesterday. They came to our house two nights ago and we stayed up til 1:30. When Kolby came over he was just excited to see the kitties "fight". So we let them fight, but all of them said that they were just playing. It turned out that they were right! We've let them both out and eventually they'd stopped and lay down. They're actually sleeping in this room right now. Both of them! Together! Kitties are fun. Dad got a GoPed. All it is is just a motor-powered scooter that is also gas-powered. It's way fun. Dad said that it can go up to 35 mph! Dad also got a new net, new mat, and some new springs for the trampoline. It's not quite "good as new", but it's a lot bouncier and better. We went on a hike yesterday with all the Blackhams except for Cal, Livi, Courtney, and Addie. After that, we went to Clay's house and we made donuts. My most definitely favorite is the pumpkin pumpkin donut. It's cool that you got Krispy Kreme down in Mexico. So yeah... Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon, so I haven't really done anything this week besides school and work. I had 34 hours last week at KFC, and this week I have 36. Still not falling behind in school... yet. I feel like its coming. Soon enough I'll be getting F's hahaha. I took Language Arts Honors and we have a test like everyday in that class it sucks. It makes me want to cry. I make sure to get at least 5 hours of sleep every night. But recently the managers at KFC have been teaching me how to do things managers do, so that if they need help I can help them, and then I can become a Shift Supervisor and close the store while I'm the one in charge. I was actually put in charge on Sunday while our manager had to go cook chicken because we didn't have a cook, so I was in charge of prep and to make sure everyone was doing something. Anyways that's pretty much all that happened this week. Love you bro, Callahan

"Landon" and his lemon jello birthday cake!

A Tale of Two Kitties ...

  • Dear Colton: It is good that the Washington Blackhams came! They are more experienced with cats, glad they let you know that the two cats aren't going to kill each other. Haha don't you like hiking with wet shoes? Haha oh gosh... The freaking ACR. EVERYONE already uses it! That is one of the things I do not like about MW3. M4A1 is a good gun, SCAR, AK47, the ACR isn't the only one! Haha freaking peoples.. A GoPed? I don't know what that is... Ah.. The pumpkin donuts ones are the best!
  • Dear Cooper, Whoa, 40 books in the school year? That is a lot of reading! I like to read, but if it is a book that is assigned to me to read, then I hate reading.. I have to read what I WANT to read! So that is pretty good for you! Hmm.. I don't remember Olympics in elementary school.. Nor in any part of my schooling. Sounds like quite the work going into it! Should be fun! Well that is good that the kitties are not trying to kill each other. Dang! You are growing! Hitting the rim?! Isn't awesome? But you don't enjoy walking in water? We have to do that a lot... When there is a lot of rain, the streets turn into rivers! Honestly, I don't enjoy too much either.
  • Dear Keaton, Ah how cool. The crazies Maddie and Mia huh? Haha! (Don't tell them that I said that.) Haha it is almost a late night with the Washington Blackhams. That is really good to hear that the kitties are getting along. Kitties are super fun. A family here has a cat that is white and black, just like Oreo, so I like to play and cuddle with it. A GoPed? Seriously?  I figured you would like an upgraded tramp! Wow, you hiking Blackhams! Good thing there are a lot of trails in Utah! Ah.. man.. Now I am hungry... Krispy Kreme donuts are good, but not as good as Clay's donuts. Luckies!
  • Dear Callahan, Haha...  living the life, huh? Not that I really ever worked and school at the same time, but I sure can believe it is hard! Haha I hope that you don't F's.. Mom won't be okay with that.. haha. Haha only 5 hours? Yikes. I am struggling with the 8 we get as missionaries. That is really good to have "managing experience" keep that up!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week #29 - Super Saturday

Gatito en la reunion sacramental...(Kitten in sacrament meeting.)

I have to apologize again for it being so long since I last wrote.. I think the last general email was at the beginning of the change... And now here we are at the last week of the change.. 

Almecatla is sure different than Forjadores. We have had a lot more encounters with borrachos (drunks) this week.. When it is one borracho by himself, it isn't a problem. We will have a little talk, hoping that they will remember something the next day. Other times, there are groups of borrachos. That is a bit scarier. A group caught up with us. So there we were, surrounded by 7 or so of them, none walking or talking straight. Luckily, nothing happened. We just told them we had to go, and one told us "Okay, go save the world." Haha I thought that was funny. 

Well, the best day of the week was Saturday for sure. We had 3 lessons (which is a miracle for us), one with a recent convert and her grandma, who is less active. It was pretty good, because we talked to the grandma why she hasn't come to church in a while, and she said she has to work on Sunday. So we talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy. And at the end, she told us that she would come tomorrow. Boo-yah. (Because they both did!)

Then we had the lesson after lunch who fed us. It was good to talk with them, because the day before we had a little activity to teach the members of the ward to street contact. So they told us how they already put the training into practice! And told us that they found someone who is interested. Awesome!

Finally, we had a lesson with a new investigator. To start the visit, he told us a little history of himself. How he started smoking marijuana at age 13 (and now he is 19), about the effect of his parents' divorce, and a lot of other stuff a 19 year-old shouldn't experience. Then he told us about a friend of his, who invited him to church (an Adventist church), and basically saved his life. (So the short history of how he found us, is that his mom was one of our investigators, and then he came of Veracruz, from living with his dad, then came to Puebla to live with his mom. Then his mom mention us to him.) We just had a basic first visit, telling him if he wants to improve his life, following the teaching of Christ, will help him more than anything. We invited him to church, he said he would like to come, but we didn't see him.. Oh well, no one is perfect. 

Haha probably by now, while reading, you have forgot about the subject of the letter.. "gatito en la reunion sacramental.." Hahahaha.. basically what happened was, Sunday morning, we went to go find the guy who I just talked about, and while walking, we heard "Meow! Meow! Meow!" from around the corner. We came around the corner, then came the little kitten running across the street towards us. Easily one of the most adorable things I have seen, EVER. (I'm such a sucker for kittens and puppies.. Any that is a baby basically.) So we kept walking, while the little kitten followed. The sad thing was, in the night and early morning, in Puebla, it is pretty cold! And this kitten was wet.. and shivering. So I flipped my backpack around to the front, opened the main pocket, and put the little kitten inside. (If you are thinking please, let me finish) I still had the pocket open, and I was making sure he was alright the whole time. At first, we didn't like it, but then realized it is warmer inside. Shortly, it went to sleep. 
The problem was then, was the fact that we had arrived at the church.. So we just tried to leave it outside of the church. But.. as it followed us in the street, it wanted to follow us into church. The worst part was, during the sacrament (the kitten is outside) and it was very obvious that it was still outside, because it was meowing.. A LOT. Haha I felt pretty bad to disturb the reverence of the sacrament. A bit later, it stopped meowing, so we figured it left. Then after church, we went looking for the little kitten. We worried a lot, because the streets by the church have a lot of big, hungry dogs.. ( is appropriate to think at this point..) But while walking back home, we heard the very loud and distinct meow of the kitten. We rejoiced. Then we figured it would be best to return it to where we found it. I am guessing that the little kitten was happy to be back home, because it finally stopped meowing. Haha.

A couple pictures from the week ...

 In our super soccer shirts!

A whole box of Krispie Kreme!

Well, that is about it for this week. Thanks for tuning in!
Les amo!

*** Step Stats ***

Monday, August 31 ... 13521
Tuesday, September 1 ... 15344
Wednesday, September 2 ... 20922
Thursday, September 3 ... 9819
Friday, September 4 ... 15278
Saturday, September 5 ... 13184

Even with school in session, the boys have still been getting good steps (although ... where is Keaton? He just missed being in the top 10, coming in in the eleventh spot.). Fun to see all the family steps there, although Kim did mention she may have received some extra steps while wearing her ONE in the wristband while waiting for a repair on the clip. ;) Great to see Grandpa Westra back in the top 10! He and some of the brothers (Shane, Scott and Chris) even did a hike this past Friday night. 

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, Happy early birthday to you and Oreo! (Were celebrating Oreo's birthday on the same day as yours if you didn't already know.) this week wasn't that much stuff, but it stilled had some. I went to basketball tryouts a few days ago, for the Copper Hills Super League team. I thought I would've made, but there were not enough players to make a team! The one thing that was weird though, I liked it. I had fun. We played, scrimmage, tornado and king of the court. Me and Keaton have started play MW3 again. The gun I'm using is the UMP45, and the gun that Keaton is using is, PP90M1. Also on MW3 we prestiged. So were working on getting our guns gold. We went to Tepanyaki. I had steak and white rice. The guy who cooked our food was really funny. And when he threw the shrimp in the air I caught it in my mouth. I had to get another numb cheek at the dentist. For some reason this numb cheek hurt more. That's it for this week. Wait, almost forgot, we got Krispie Kreme's, AGAIN! Love ya. Love, Colt

Dear Landon, this week was basically the first week of school. We are practicing what we are going to do every week of school, and I actually have to learn new things. And dad got mom a new car, a Dodge Durango. We got rid of the avalanche, and Callahan is now riding the Suburban. We got two new ducks! We got them from bishop Peterson's house, and they are full grown. They are both boys, one is a mallard, and the other is plain white. Oreo and Joy are still not getting along. Every time we let them by each other, they will tackle one another. Hopefully they'll get along soon, I don't like seeing them fighting. Speaking of Oreo and you, Happy early Birthday! It is weird that tomorrow you are going to be twenty, and Oreo is going to be one. And me and Colton are watching a show called The Middle. It is really funny, and a couple days ago, we already finished the second season of it. Yesterday, dad got even more Krispy Kreme's, and it is already gone. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, my birthday was pretty fun. Almost everyone at school knew (which I didn't want them to because then they would sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me in every class, which they did). I got all these cool shirts, cargo shorts, and my favorite fruit snacks: Smiley Face! I also got a Tepanyaki dinner, but Callahan couldn't go because he was working. Lol. I tried the trombo thing and it is sooooooooo hard. I looked up a bunch of tutorials and tricks and stuff, but I just couldn't do it. Thanks for the present, though. I'll keep trying. School is easy so far... except Biology. I've already had three assignments and one project! I do have a lot of friends in it, though. The basketball clinics for CH have started and they're pretty fun. I get to play the sophomores with Tyler and James on my team. It's good practice because us three are going to be the only good players at West Hills this year. So yeah... stuff is going good so far. Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon, so as school early morning seminary and work continue I'm getting more used to the fact that if I don't have basketball and work I have to do homework and not spend time with friends or Amanda. I don't have too much time to do homework because of basketball and work. I got another raise to $7.60, higher than any other kid that works at KFC. I also am now, a "Key Employee" which means that I can have 28 hours or more unlike my friends. So now I have from 25-30 hours a week, just depending on the week. My grades aren't suffering yet, but it is only the 2nd week of school. I got called into work the one day I had off at the end of the week and of course I said yes being the nice and great worker I am, which gave me less time for homework but got me the raise. I also am going to go to "Crew Classes" which will make me a "Crew Leader" at KFC which means I can pretty much tell any of the "Team Members"what to do as long as it is helping us. All the workers at KFC are pretty close, especially the Drive-Thru workers because we are faster workers and spend more time together because we work more. We did get a new car, which you guessed it, the 2015 Dodge Durango. It is really nice. So I drive the Burb now and mom has the Durango. Dad had me drive the Durango and Tundra a bit just in case they need to take the Burb for something and I'll still have a car to take to work or something like that. That's all that happened to me this week. And to answer your question, Orlando was originally $1900, which I have $1800, but I heard the price got dropped to $1500-$1600 ish. So now, the money I have is just money on hand and saving for a mission and college. I also have 3 honors classes and an AP class, so hopefully school and work won't overwhelm me. Love you bro, you are missing out on worker Callahan, instead of spoiled basketball Callahan, even though I am still very much spoiled. Love you. 

  • Dear Colton: Thanks mi hermano! Haha and yes, Mom did tell me that you all are celebrating Oreo's birthday today too. Haha ah, what a bummer, not enough kids to make a basketball team? Since when does that happen?! Well, being you, you deserve to play with better kids, so that you aren't always trashing them on the court.. Ha! MW3 huh?  I heard that there is a new trailer for Black Ops 3? Oh jeez.. Tepanyaki is so awesome. Especially for their cooks, they are always so funny. And make the food so delicious too! Haha I remember Mom would tell me that I need to brush my teeth so that I don't need to get "pinchies" from the dentist. So brush your teeth better, that you don't need pinchies!
  • Dear Cooper: ... "and I actually have to learn new things." Hahaha well of course, Cooper Man. Did you know that I totally guessed that Dad would get the Durango? Because I did!  Two new ducks? For what? You guys already got rid of Andi, and these ducks are already full grown? What will you do with them? Ah man... That is a bummer that Joy and Oreo still don't get along. Don't remind me that I am veinte.. I feel so old now. The Middle? Hmm heard of it, but have never seen it. 
  • Dear Keaton: I know how you feel.. Birthdays are awkward for me too.. It was actually really funny this morning. We received a call from President Nelson (president of the mission, and it is very rare to receive a personal call from the president of the mission), and we thought we were in trouble for something! But then he just told me Happy Birthday. Haha what a relief! Sounds like you got some good stuff. The trombos are really cool,  keep on trying at it.  I remember biology being the most boring class.. Mainly for the teacher I had, but the activities were fun. Cutting into a fish and frog. Sounds fun to practice basketball with the older guys, especially if you can beat them! 
  • Dear Callahan: Well it is good to stay busy. Time passes by really quickly when you are busy. Wow, a raise? That's pretty cool! Sounds like you are doing a good job at KFC. That is impressive! Keep that up! Ohhhhh man, I am soooo goooood. Totally guessed it (the Durango), from here in Mexico! Is it totally sick?! Oh yeah, have you driven the Tundra much since your license? Hahahaha you will learn to LOVE it. I sure do. Dang, you little saver! (I believe that is a quote from Monica in Friends..) Remember that the AP tests are almost $100 a piece...yikes! Haha don't worry, me too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Weeks #27&28

Well I (Mommy) didn't get a blog post up last week ... Mr. Missionary didn't send out a general email, and just a little one to the family. I didn't get any photos or journal entries. He did send steps, but without the other stuff I didn't have the incentive to get them entered and updated. I did get some surprise pictures on Friday (photos and journal entries), but alas, no photos or journal entries again this week. No general email again either! At least Landon is still writing his brothers and responding to their weekly letters.  Those are below, along with the steps from the past two weeks. Included are the surprise pictures and some excerpts from the journal ...

Monday was P-day. We went to this mall center called Liverpool. It was HUGE. Much bigger than Fashion Place Mall. It had at least five floors, maybe more. It was pretty cool. We were hoping to go to the Outlet today.. But we didn't get around to it.. So I am still walking in my poor poor shoes.. Haha. Maybe next week.

Tuesday I celebrated my 6-month mark. Six meses already! It is going pretty fast. We met with this Hermano who had returned from his mission about a year ago. We were talking and it came up that our mission didn't have agendas. He told us that he had one, new and never used.  We all wanted it. We had a little trivia contest, then a drawing to see who would get it and guess what. I won! So I am one of the luckiest missionaries in the mission to have an agenda. We also had a conference with Pres Nelson. We were hurrying to go get the cambe that would take us to the conference (which was pretty far from where we were at). We were in the cambe for about 30 minutes, then we had to get off early as it was going in a different direction. We started walking, and then there was this HUGE hill of stairs. My compa said "Yup, we get to climb that" ... it was probably the most stairs I have seen in my life! We were really tired and sweaty when we finally arrived. The conference was good, all about health and how we can stay healthy. My favorite part was being able to talk with everyone after. E. Gutierrez (my trainer), E Jarman (my first district leader), E. Hammer (on of the past assistants) and many other elders from my generation. 

Wednesday we had a district meeting. One of the things we discussed was the needs of our investigators. It was pretty funny, because everyone talked about how their investigators aren't married, but live with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Apparently, in Mexico, it is too hard to have a legal marriage. A couple will just live together, have kids, and all that. #MexicoMissionProblems

Sunday it was stake conference. We had to go all the way to Totalac (about 40minutes driving) to attend. We got a ride with the Ramirez Family. It's always fun to ride in the back of the truck like a true Mexican!

For my family ...you guys also have something coming your way.. A family here had family visiting from Salt Lake, and they told me if I wanted to send something with them, they would be happy to do so! So I thought "Well.. I actually have two brothers that are going to have birthdays soon.." So I got some presents for Keaton and Cooper. Also, I found these cool bracelets that say "PUEBLA" for all the midgets. I I hope they like them. But they might be a pain for the older two that play basketball constantly... Haha oh well. 

Les amo, Elder Blackham

*** Step Stats ***

August 17, Monday ...15465
August 18, Tuesday ...15157
August 19, Wednesday ... 12058
August 20, Thursday ...16470
August 21, Friday ...25749
August 22, Saturday ...16469
August 23, Sunday ...15467
August 24, Monday ...25315
August 25, Tuesday ...4131
August 26, Wednesday ...17668
August 27, Thursday ...13297
August 28, Friday ... 17016
August 29, Saturday ...26552
August 30, Sunday ...16492

Got some highs and some lows! Too bad Landon's pedometer doesn't count "floors" (stairs) like some of the Fitbits do, for the day he had to hike up that huge flight of stairs!

*** Between Brothers ***
(two weeks worth)

Dear Landon,we went to Lagoon this weekend! I rode on the Cannibal! And a lot others. The Cannibal is so freaking fun. The wicked had like a thirty minute line but we still went on it. We went on the Colossus like 10 times! We got to Lagoon before the park opened so the cannibal would only have like a 30 minute long line. Most of the time it has about a 2 hour wait. Yesterday we had a family reunion. (Dad's part of the family) We had ice cream, home made root beer, chips, chicken and best of all, Clay's donuts! We had lots of fun. Me and Will rolled down a big hill many times. And played on this playground and we pretended we had "super climbing skills." I had my last basket ball game. I won by 26 points! 32-6. I got 6 points and I think 6 assists. Well that's it for this week. Love ya. Love, Colt

Dear Landon, all of us went to Lagoon as an early birthday present for me and Keaton. And Callahan also invited Amanda to come with us as well. This was basically my first time at Lagoon, because the last time I was there, I was four or five. I went on most of the big rides, except the Rocket, Samurai, Wicked, and Cannibal. My favorite ride was the Collossus. I really liked going fast, and I also like the part where you go upside down. And the ride just went by so fast, that it was just done in about 15 seconds. Yesterday, we had a big family reunion, and it was pretty fun. Playing on the playground, and catapulting the water balloons. We also got a bucket of chicken from KFC, and the homemade root beer was very good. And school is now starting this week. So I will be able to see my friends again, and yeah, I guess it'll be fun. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, we went to Lagoon again. Amanda came with us. She, Cal, Colt, and I all made it onto the Cannibal ride within the first 45 minutes of opening time at Lagoon! Lol. We went on the Colossus a lot of times, but we only went on Cannibal, Wicked, and The Spider once. We also went on The Rocket (dad's favorite ride). It was really fun, but Cooper and mom didn't go. We also had a Zundel family reunion yesterday at a park/pavilion thing. Clay made his famous doughnuts along with his new strawberry shortcake doughnut. We ate KFC and played on a little playground and water balloons. Nothing really happened this week besides those two things plus Gene Fullmer. I biked all the way over to West Hills on Friday because no one would take me. It's a lot farther than I thought! The distance, plus uphill, plus 90 degree weather adds up to a kinda sweaty me at my destination. I was there to see where all of my classes were and my locker. I went up with some of my friends, too. I got seminary for my seventh period! That's good so when it's time to go, I get to leave five minutes early, with my backpack without even being in the school. So yeah... skool and stuff. Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon. So, if you already read the other brother's messages you know we had a family reunion and went to Lagoon. At the reunion, I mostly played with Sammy. He would go down the slide and his hair would stand get static-y and stick up. Will's hair was up anyway, he had gelled it into a mowhawk! We brought Amanda to Lagoon with us. She wanted to go on a water ride, so we went on Cliff Hanger and I got SOAKED. It took a while to dry. Well, signing off, as I have some Scarlet Letter homework ... HOMEWORK, and school hasn't even started yet. We have a quiz on day one, which is tomorrow. I have to set my alarm for 5:15! I'm going to miss my summer naps.

  • Dear Colton: oh yes.. Lagoon. I remember someone telling me about the Cannibal, I think that it was Keaton. I bet it was super awesome! How did you guys get in early? That is pretty cool! Oh man. I do miss Clay's donuts.. They surely are the best! Dang! You guys killed them! That is awesome! Haha guess what... Have fun with school.. :p
  • Dear Cooper: Wow. Lagoon is a pretty cool birthday present! But guess what, I am actually sending you a little present! We have a family here that has family living in Salt Lake City, and they were visiting, so they told me if I had something to send you guys, they would be happy to take it! So I said "I actually have some birthday presents for two of my brothers.." They left Friday night, and said they would stop by the house Tuesday or Wednesday. Yours is this cool Boston hat. It is like a leather and is shiny.. I thought you would like it! Haha well have a good birthday this week, and enjoy school!
  • Dear Keaton: When was the last time that we went to Lagoon? That was the first time for you guys this summer right? Wow. A family reunion.. That is the first in a while! You are very lucky to enjoy all the goodies! Especially Clay's donuts! And hey, I told Cooper this, but I bought you something for your birthday. It is something called a "trompo" here in Mexico. They are these really popular toys, and you could do some crazy stuff with them! My compañero gave me one, and I thought "I think Keaton could figure it out, and enjoy it." Haha.. Really, I can't explain it to you how to do it.. Maybe, you could search on YouTube how to do it? Haha Good luck! And good luck with school! I guess I don't have to wish you happy birthday quite yet, not until next Monday!
  • Dear Callahan: Sounds like a very exciting last week of summer for the Blackham family.. :P Oh little Sammy is so adorable. And Will is rocking the mowhawk now? Much is changing.. ahaha. Quiz on day one.. Eso es genial.. Buena suerte! Jajaja a las 5:15 de la mañana tienes que levantarte? Eso es más temprano que nos levantamos! Haha sorry.. I like talking in Spanish.. You will miss your summer naps for sure.
Dear Landon, well school is back in session. though after the first week we went to Park city! We stayed at a condo and it was so much fun. On the first night we were there, we went to dinner at a place called Red Banjo Pizza. That place wasn't the best but we did have fun because we saw a mouse like 5 times wandering around the restaurant. On the second day, we went to breakfast at a place but I didn't quite catch the name of the place. Also on the second day, we went to Park City Resort! I went on the Alpine coaster twice and one time I went alone. I went on the Alpine slide twice to. Although I didn't like the ride because I didn't weigh much so I went slow. I went on the trampoline that pulls you up like 3 times. I almost did a double backflip! And at the condo we went swimming a few times. On the second day, me, Mom, Dad, Cooper and Keaton all went to the hot tub and pool really late at night. Keaton got a bloody nose by doing a cannonball into the water and the splash hit him in the face! Well that's it for this week. Love, ya. Love, Colt

Dear Landon, school just started this week, and it was pretty fun. I really liked playing with my friends again, and we did some stuff in class that was funny and fun. And the last day of the school week was my birthday! I got a new mat for the trampoline, three mini rubber balls, t-shirts and shorts, a mini basketball, the hat and bracelet you got me, and a trip to Park City. It is very weird that I'm 12... but the trip to PC was fun. The dinner we had on my birthday was really good, and the breakfast the day after was good too, but I spilled water on my pants. And going on the Alpine Coaster was really fun, I liked going fast, and there was a camera on the way down that took your picture. And swimming was really fun to go swimming and do lots of fun things in there. And the hot tub was relaxing and comfortable, that I would just lay down in there. Even though it was a lot of fun to have that birthday weekend, when we got home, we got to see our kitties again. Don't worry, every pet is alive... even the fishy! Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, we finally went to Park City! It was way fun, and the condo we stayed in was awesome. I really liked going on the Alpine Slide and the Alpine Coaster. I was a little afraid of falling off the slide, though. Even though everyone told me I didn't weigh enough to fall off. Last night, of us went to the hot tub at 9:00ish (except for Callahan). I went in the hot tub for like three minutes, then I cannonballed into the pool. It wasn't even that cold, though. I wanted it to be cold. The main reason I went into the pool is because I wanted to get chlorine in my eyes so it'd be easy to fall asleep. So I did, and it did. We also went to a restaurant for dinner last night called the Windy Ridge Cafe. Which by far: the best sweet potato fries, popcorn shrimp, and macaroni ever! Too bad it's local. It's probably my second favorite restaurant ever. Then, we left this morning. Every Tuesday and Thursday after school is weights at CH for the 9th graders. I don't know if Cal has told you, but I've been lifting downstairs pretty much ever since you left. The Coach told me that I can bench more than most of the sophomores and some JV. We're also doing clinics at CH til tryouts. Copper Hills redid their floor, and it looks way awesome. So yeah... bruh. Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon, so school has started and early morning seminary is not too fun. I get up at 5:15, without mom's help, (so far) and I can feel it in my other classes. I had to work everyday after school this week which didn't help the matter. Friday we left to Park City which was fun. We stayed in a condo which is more roomy and more like a home than a hotel. It was a fun new experience. We went to the place with the Alpine Slide and Coaster. Dad really likes the coaster and I think its fun but the slide is better. Ever since the people working said that there is a possibility that you could fall out, Keaton didn't want to go fast because he thought he might fly out. I didn't slow down though. I liked the feeling that you could possibly fall out. The danger gives you more of a thrill. It was nice to go have fun with the family instead of work and do homework. I got some sun which doesn't feel too good right now. Dad is thinking of getting a new family car and I would get the suburban, I don't think mom is on board though because all the cars dad wants to get are really new and expensive. I'm close to having all the money for Orlando which is good because that way I don't have to worry about that as much. Orlando will be a blast but not sure if it will be worth it. The bracelets you sent us are really cool and I love mine, thanks a lot bro! About a fourth of the way there. Love you, Callahan

  • Dear Colton: It sounded like a pretty good trip to Park City this weekend! That is pretty cool! What?! You guys saw a mouse in the restaurant and still ate there?! Haha I shouldn't be the one to talk.. Here in Mexico, the preparation of food is a lot different than the states. Haha I would be careful being you, being smaller on the Alpine Slide. But when you get older, you can call it "bravery" or "stupidity" that will make you go super fast! It is fun.  Everyone but Callahan went to the night late hot tub party? Ah how sad. Haha, I remembered when I got a bloody nose too, from doing a face/ body flop in a pool. It hurt. Haha but don't worry. I am okay.
  • Dear Cooper: That is really good that you are enjoying school! As long as you work hard and enjoy school, it will be super easy. I promise. And what a bonus to have your birthday on a Friday! Sounds like you got some cool stuff! And I am sure that the trip to Park City was a blast! What did you guys eat for dinner and breakfast for your birhtday? I like going fast to.. And once you learn to drive.. You will discover the same excitement of going fast.. Hahahah  I miss swimming too.. That is something that we can't do as a missionary.. But whatever. Good! But I don't really care about fishy.. Hahaha I just realized that the fish still doesn't have a name! That is pretty funny. Well, I am glad that you like the hat and bracelet!
  • Dear Keaton: I am guessing that you enjoyed Park City? Haha it isn't really chlorine in the eyes that makes you sleepy.. Swimming is a lot of excerise, so naturally, you are pretty tired after swimming, Haha! Especially at 9 o'clock! Oh man.. I am really hungry right now.. And sweet potato fries sounds amazing.. Dang you. Haha wow. That is pretty impressive that you could bench more than the older guys.. I try to excerise.. But... my bed is so comfy in the morning.  Haha and guess what. I bought a Rubik's Cube because my compa knows how to do it, so he is teaching me. Have you tried out the little trompa? Or have you found a video online of how to do it? If not.. Do it! They are pretty awesome!
  • Dear Callahan: Hahahahaha. The life of early morning seminary.. Ain't it a blast? In the mission, we have to get up at 6:30 everyday (but lately, we have been struggling.. haha). It is funny how easy it would always be for me to get up early, but now.. It is a bit harder.. That, I never experienced.. Early morning seminary, school, then work.. I am sure that is pretty difficult! Hang in there. Maybe it is a good thing, it is a good thing to be busy.. To an extent, of course. Ah Park City, I bet that was fun! Staying in a condo, which I bet is better than our house here.. Haha. The slide is when you are in a little cart, controling the speed, right? If so, I totally agree with you. I remember going so fast, that when I reached the drop part, I almost died. Which for me, was pretty fun.  Oh man.. New car?! That would be pretty cool! He should go for a . . . Dodge Durango.. The new models are pretty sick, and still could hold 7 people. I guess the question is, would you rather drive the Burb, or some cheap junker? How much was it for Orland again? Honestly, that is pretty awesome, that you are saving up the money yourself to go. Respect. Haha you guys got them? I am glad that you like them! 6 months down.. It is pretty fast..