Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week #95 - Feliz Navidad

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

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

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

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

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

*** StepStats***

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

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

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

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

We're almost to a one month countdown!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week #94 - District Pictures, Spicy Chiles and Ash

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

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

Eating chile habanero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weeks 91, 92, 93 ... Between Brothers

Sorry I haven't been good at updating the blog ... not entirely my fault though, I haven't had a lot to work with from a certain missionary! There has been contact each Monday, so we know he's alive. During November, it was my birthday and Gray's birthday ... I got the picture above (which IS a great present because mommy loves pictures) and a little note, Grayson got a letter his week. One thing to update is that there is a release date ... January 31! Coming up quick. But even though we haven't been getting responses back ... the brothers have been great and writing Landon every week! Their outgoing letters from the last three weeks are below ...

11/13/2016 #91
Dear Landon, so, not much to write about this week besides my game and I'm going to be going against Mayhem in the championship. We have already played them once in a championship game but sadly, we lost by 4 points. This time, we are looking for revenge. In the game that is sending us to the championship, we won b around 30. I got 9 points and probably about 4 or 5 assists. I hit a three but mom didn't quite get it on video. Just last night, Livi came over and gave us haircuts. In my opinion, I think mine is now pretty short, but EVERYONE else thinks it is still really long! Also last night, we had really amazing ribs! He even has some brisket and pork in the fridge for later! I'm now really looking forward to it. So you ask about school ... we had parent/teacher conferences this week. I am perfect of course. The only problem my teacher has is worrying I'll get bored because I finish everything so easy and fast. She mentioned ALPS but that would mean switching school, and I don't want to do that. Mom forgot it was early out on Thursday though! I had to call her from school when she wasn't there to pick me up. I guess that is about all for this week, so, love you man!             ColtBolt

Dear Landon, you didn't know there was Fantasy Basketball? My friend Parker is even in a Fantasy Baseball league. I don't know about Soccer, Tennis, etc., but it has been pretty fun. Anyway, I do have a decent roster, and that includes James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Demarcus Cousins, Paul George, Devin Booker, George Hill, Mike Conely, Kenneth Faried, and a few more players. My record is 1-1, but it will become 1-2 after tomorrow. I was going against McKay, and he doesn't even know a lot about basketball... but he came out with almost the best team. And his team name is "Y'all Get Shrekked," and he has. Every. Day. Of. The. Week. Right now, he has a lead of about... 450 points! So that is a little bit of Fantasy Basketball for ya! Away from that, school has been alright. We finally started playing basketball games in Gym. But it sucks because this kid who doesn't know crap about basketball, picked me, and after that, he picked all of his friends. All of his friends are kind of like him, so winning is very hard. We are 1-2 right now, which is actually kind of surprising. And that game we won, at the end, the kid who was captain was like "Our team is so good!" When I got around 110% of our points. Then today we were watching a lot of the NFL, and the two games we watched were INSANE! But I won't bore you to death about it, b/c you probably don't even care and don't even know what I'm talking about. But it was SOOO crazy!         Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I forgot to tell you that we had tryouts this past week. They were good and I ended up on the team with 11 other guys, but the last cut was so scary! I had never been more nervous in my entire life! The coaches put up the list a half hour late. I don't know how much I'll play since we're all so small. Our first practice was on Friday and we ran 20 straight ladders at the end! We got to the last one and the coach gave me the ball and said, "If Keaton makes it we're done." Of course, I drained it lol. We got our uniforms after practice and I got to choose number 3. Mom was so happy and seriously about everyone at church today knew about it because they all follow her on facebook. Tryouts was the main thing this week, so there's not much else I focused on. I have to sell a bunch of tickets for the dinner/auction thing already. So yeah... Luv, Keat

  • Dear Colton: Mayhem? Wow.. Sounds pretty intense the rivialry between you two.. Just remember no fights! ... But maybe one hard foul.. NO. Of course not. .. . Maybe. Hahahahah now you are somewhat confused. I saw a picture of your hair, and thought "HOLY COW. His hair so long!" It is very true that your hair is long. haha perfect? Nobody is perfect but Jesus! Maybe you need to take a step up, that is if everything really is that easy for you. It is like working out. You don't gain anything from lifting 1 pound. You need to lift 5 lb, then 10, then 25 lb.. Haha but whatever, it is your choice I suppose.
  • Dear Cooper: Whoa. sounds pretty sick Fantasy Basketball. sounds like a pretty good roster too. Just no big All Stars, right? I remember doing the little tournament for basketball. First, it was just normal teams, and my team won. But then the teacher chose teams according to skill. I made the first team, and we slaughtered all the other teams. It was a little fun. I had to turn off the game in the house of one of the members yesterday. Darn teenager. It saw that it was the Pats vs. Hawks. 7 to 3. But I did not see the time.. But I guess it was just starting. But whatevs..
  • Dear Keaton: Haha I am not one for that. I would believe you! To make it all that way to be cut very last.. that would hurt. Dang.. BALLER. I heard that Mom was pretty happy with number 3. Yikes.. Now you need to be a saleman.. not a baller.

11/20/2016 #92
Dear Landon, turns out, I did lose the championship against Mayhem... It wasn't only our team's fault, the refs were probably the worst I've ever had. There is this one player on Mayhem who's favorite thing to do is probably carrying and not noticing nor getting called. I did get like 5 points with some decent assists. I guess it wasn't enough though. Next time we play against Mayhem, I'm going to just do everything and anything I can to beat that team. (We have already beat them once though ;) ) Anyway, dad made some amazing pulled pork today! And what I mean by "amazing" I mean like REALLY REALLY REALLY amazing. We visited Magas' kittens the other day, they are now playing and fighting. It's so funny and cute. At school, every morning we do a sixth vs fifth grade basketball game. We always win because me. Two days in a row I dropped one of their kids, Ashton. The first time, everyone was just "OOOOOOHHHHHHing" The second time, I decided to help him up haha. Which kind of just gave him more embarrassment. In class, we got to play tons of songs. I thought it was going to be fun but then all the other kids started singing them and it just ruined it. Well, apparently that is all I have for this week, I can't believe that it is only 4 more months until you come back! Or is it 5? Oh whatever I will just ask mom haha. Love you man!             ColtBolt

Dear Landon, I actually do have some big All-Stars on the team. Harden, Leonard, and Cousins are actually huge stars. James Harden is no playing in his season that'll seem to be his best, easily. He has already had 4 triple-doubles, and averages 30.2 points, 12.1 assists, and 7.8 rebounds. The only other player in the league that has similar stats to that are Russell Westbrook, who averages 32.1 points, 9.9 assists, and 9.7 rebounds. But to what it looks like, I am going to lose this matchup against Bridger, to become 1-3... As of basketball in school right now, our team is 2-3-1. We can't stay in all four quarters, which sucks 'cause I'd LOVE to play in all of them, so I always sit out in the 1st quarter. Every game it has been an absolute blowout until I came in! An example of that is on Thursday, we were losing 20-0 at the end of Q1. The end of Q2 was 14-22. So if I had gotten drafted by another team, or was sick for awhile, the average score of those games would probably be... 4-40? Anyway, in Language Arts, I have an F... but not for long, lol. It is just the start of the 2nd quarter, and I just forgot to turn this one assignment in, and when I do, it will go back to an A. Besides, if I were to have an F in a class, it WOULD be Language Arts. So that is probably all that had happened this week, besides some NFL stuff, seeing kittens (they are so cute!), and dad smoking meat.    Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, actually not much that happened this week. There was meet-the-team night on Wednesday. All the CH girls and boys basketballs teams played against each other just for the school to see who's on the team and stuff. I also might get my license this week. I've done all the requirements to get it, we just need to go down to the DMV/DLD to get it lol. It's just so far away and it wouldn't have made a difference if I had gotten it a couple weeks ago because I don't have car. There's only two days of school this week and then we get a long Thanksgiving break. We visited the kittens yesterday to pick up Maga for Dad's, (and Mom's) birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse. The wittle kitties are soooo smaww. I would just wike to cwuddle wif one aww day. Today, Dad smoked pulled pork again too! Finally! Pulled pork is probably my favorite smoked meat by Dad. The only other competitors against it would be ribs and brisket. One thing I don't like about having the pulled pork is just that it takes the longest to prepare. I KNOW! First world problems whatever! You have to friggn get the pork out, put it on a plate, microwave it, get the sauce, poor it out in a bowl, microwave it, get the bun, cut it down the middle, put it in the toaster, take it out, put the pork on, spread the sauce over the pork AND THEN YOU CAN FINALLY EAT! So yeah... Luv, Keat

11/27/2016 #93
Dear Landon, ssssoooo, I'm just going to say that there was not a lot to write about this week because we had no school. But we did do one really fun thing besides Thanksgiving and it was going to a Jazz game in the 2nd row! The Jazz also won by a bit. At the start they were just unstoppable. In the first minute or so we got two threes and two AND-1s! I forgot what the score was but I just know they won. Oh and I forgot that we also got dinner in the arena because like this VIP thingy. For Thanksgiving, dad smoked a turkey, made mashed potatoes, and corn. Mom made these big and delish rolls. Maga brought some pumpkin pie. I played some basketball with Aidan and Amare. But Clay and them went to Grand America again. I had no basketball practice because Thanksgiving break. This week I just mostly relaxed and didn't do that much stuff. As I told you, I got almost nothing to write about this week. So, love you dude!           ColtBolt

Dear Landon, so my Fantasy Basketball match-up this week was against Hunter, who is the worst as of now. From the scores right now, it looks like I'm going to win because I'm up by 150 and James Harden hasn't even played. This will give me a record of 2-3. But I was lucky that I won because the first day of our match-up, I forgot to get on, then my bench started playing and did very well... except I don't get credit for those points. But Hunter did the same thing, but it was worse; he benched DeMar Derozan, Isiah Thomas, Rudy Gobert, and John Wall, which cost him the game. And to start Thanksgiving Break we went to a Jazz game, in the 2nd row! They cost $630 a ticket for 4 tickets, don't worry, dad didn't buy them, his boss gave them to him. Anyway, it was a good game against the Nuggets and we won by around 20, giving ourselves a 9-8 record. Also, before the game we could eat dinner IN Vivent Smart Home Arena! They had pretty good food, but not as good as dad's. Speaking of dad's cooking, Thanksgiving was great and he made really good turkey. But Keaton is still kinda upset that he just didn't make ribs for it. We were hosting and it took a while to get ready, but only Anna's family and Maga came, while Clay went to Grand America.     Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I got my license on Friday. I guess I'm going to start driving a lot more now. I drove Cal's Charger the other day and I actually like it better than the Durango. Dad said he will probably get me a car if I get a job. I don't really know where to work yet. I just want to work somewhere in Jordan Landing hopefully. It doesn't really matter though. Thanksgiving was alright. Of course there was turkey, but I wasn't too impressed due to my most recent encounters with better meats lol. We only had 2 days of school last week and a long break that went pretty good. But now we have to go to school tomorrow :( Our first game is Friday and I'm pretty excited for it. I'm not excited for practice this week because we're going to have to run a lot to make up for the break. There's going to be a lot of people at the game because that's the game we're selling tickets to. Our tickets are due tomorrow and I still need to sell a few lol. I'm working on it. So yeah... Wuv, Keat

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week #90 - Training

Wow.. It surprises me to be writing so late (the email came in after 6:00 pm) but do not be alarmed, we have permission. It is because we came from a training super late. And I should tell you all what the training was about... TRAINING! That is right. I am training. I will say that this last Wednesday was the longest day of my life! The last Wednesday of the transfer cycle is to notify of the missionaries that will train. We had the district meeting, visited some people, but the day passed by incredibly slow. I was hoping with all my heart that I would train for my last two changes, so I was on edge the whole day if I was going to receive a call from the president or not. 

It was around 7 pm. I was already sad... Thinking I was not going to train, and it was in that moment when I received the call from the president. So, yes.  SUPER HAPPY! Nervous though, because it is a great responsibility. You have to be the best example for your trainee in everything. But I know that there is not any other way I would rather finish my mission. As for my new baby boy, it is another from Peru! He is named Elder Reyes. Or in English, Elder KINGS. That is right. He is a boss. I have only known him for a couple of hours, but he has already been a great example for me. He is ready to learn and to work.

I am honestly super excited. I'll admit, I was hoping for an American companion, because I never had one my entire mission. But oh well. This will be a blast.  I am staying in the area. Antequera will be my last area. 

And we are going to get fat. No lie. Just for Halloween, we received for too many candies and goodies.. I cannot even imagine Christmas and New Year's! I will be letting you know of the awesome experiences we will be having the next few weeks!

*** Between Brothers ***
Dear Landon, yeah it already seems like it's been forever since I told Mom and Dad about me having a girlfriend hehe. We were at Clay's yesterday for Will's baptism and to my surprise, they didn't even mention it to Maga or Clay! That's a W for me right now lol. Dad still makes fun of me in stupid ways. Anyway... the pumpkin drop went really good for my team. My catcher was the best out of all the catchers. We caught all 4 of our pumpkins that we dropped. The catcher that we had was just the duck cage with a tarp on top lol. Tomorrow we probably have to do all of our stupid calculations and stuff. My team gets extra credit though because we caught a pumpkin over 10 pounds (we actually caught 2 pumpkins over 10 pounds, but our teacher wasn't going to give us extra extra credit for that just because our catcher was the best hehe). Dad got a bunch of meat to smoke! He got ribs, brisket, pork and turkey! I don't understand how vegetarians even live lol. So yeah... Wuv, Keat

Dear Landon, so this week was the beginning of the 2nd quarter and it already sucks. Jk, but the reason why I said that is because I no longer have my favorite teacher Mr. Mineer. My new CACR teacher is Ms. Wilson, and she is a pretty good teacher. But she is horrible compared to Mineer. Since I was sick, I had to make up all of my work. As of now, I think that I have caught up on everything except for a few things. But, yeah, it sucks to miss school in middle school. And I kind of dealt with me being sick. I just have to take it easy in Gym, because that usually has an effect on me throughout the entire day. I don't know if I had told you, but the NBA season started last week! Along with that, my friends and I started up a Fantasy Basketball league. Right now, I am 0-1, but I am up by 22 in this game right now and just have to keep this lead and hope that those players don't go off (btw, I am constantly checking how much I am up by while writing this.) Other than that, a lot of family stuff has been going on. Like yesterday, we went to Will's Baptism and stopped by their house afterwards. Then today, we had Westra and Waffles. Except I did not eat anything and just played outside the whole time with the football. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I don't really know what to write about this week besides that I lost a game to a team that we have beaten before. I did really good, however, someone on their team is a ball hog and flopper with really bad refs. Like, I hit a three and got rammed into and they didn't even call a foul. I would've gotten a three pointer AND-1! I did hit another three that barely went in. But, this kid I was talking about, he actually was like a major flopper. If he got touched, he would yell and fall down. I think we could've had a really good game if it wasn't for the refs. We just got back from " Westra Waffles" and turns out I can still do a backflip! I also played a lot of catch with a football with Cooper. I got so close by getting some insane catches! I played a lot with Leila and Annie and the trampoline. (If you didn't know, we went to Scott's and Amy's house so that is why we played on a trampoline.) I don't have really have much else to write about this week so I will se you next week. Love you dude! ColtBolt
  • Dear Keaton: Haha... That surely is a win in my book. I remember that a good amount of the family got to know Callahan's past girlfriend (Amanda, right?). . . But Clay has not met one of my girlfriends, which is awesome, but will not last forever obviously. Just have to enjoy the peace while I have it. Jajaja. I never did the pumpkin drop! Sounds like a blast! I just remember making a rocket with an egg as the passenger. Hahah my egg did survive, I do not know how. I cannot wait for true American meat! To try all that smoked meat.. I will get super fat. 
  • Dear Cooper:It is such a bummer to lose your awesome teachers. Just imagine when you have to missi school in high school! It is even worse! I was just talking with other American missionaries about Fantasy Football, and I wondered "Is there Fantasy Basketball?" and you just answered that question. How weird. Sounds like a blast! Who do you have on your roster?
  • Dear Colton:Yikes... Freaking sucky refs.. You can't blame it all on the refs though... I was a ref, and very young one, that made a lot of mistakes... Hahah so why don't you try playing real football? I am pretty sure it would be something you would love! Just need to talk Mom into it... Because it is a bit expensive. Te amo.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weeks #88 and #89

 The work here in Antequera hasn't been the easiest experience of my mission.. But a week ago, we saw a miracle. It was quite normal during the week. Wednesday, we finally did the divisions with the zone leaders! I was very excited to be accompanied and work with Elder Dominguez. He has got just over a year in the mission, and he knows how to work. We did a little bit of everything. Contacting, knocking doors, finding new investigators. A good day with him. Fasting forward to Saturday, we worked until we collapsed. Our objective was to invite the families we have been teaching to church. We got the chance with every one of them, we invited them, and all said "yes". But here in Mexico. Anyone will say "yes" . . . We didn't give up hope! The following morning was a rush. We had two different members help us out to go and bring the families. Because of the sitting situation in the cars available, we did a little division. The members and I left first with 4 investigators (one of the whole families). We got to church, got everyone seated, all while my companion and the other member were getting the others. I waited, and waited.. but they surely took their time getting ready! En fin, they came. . . They ALL came! 12 investigators in church! It was such a blast! Not only did they enjoy the normal church services. But also able to witness a baptism! My companion and I are very feliz.
Just to show that miracles do happen! All these people were prepared by the Lord, to go to His church, and feel His spirit there.  I wanted to share that quick experience, that was amazing with you all!

This this week? You better believe it. 12 again.

After we had 12 people in church last Sunday, we went ahead with the goal to have 12 again. And with that inspired goal, we had to reach it. To explain a little about the 12 that went last Sunday, they are all extended family. Guillermina is the mother of everyone. She had 11 children, but 9 are still living today, and of those nine we are teaching 5. Of the 5 being taught, 4 went to church. 2 of them that have their own families already. So.. It is awesome. We were expecting all to come again, including the last one that has not come to church yet, but... One had to work, and two of the others were sick. Of the family, we only brought 6. We were a bit disappointed. But to our surprise, we arrived at the church, to find 6 other investigators in church! Boom! 12 once again. Nice little miracle.
We also had our zone conference this week and talked about two important subjects. Inspired questions and listening. The inspired questions honestly have been a challenge for me, but we talked about the different types of inspired questions, which helped me personally: reflection, introspection, and commitments. These 3 types of inspired questions also deal with time, reflection is in the past, introspection in the present, and commitments in the future. Asking these questions helps us know the concerns, worries, and needs of all the investigators. That is where the second subject comes into play.. Listening. 

Anyway, a neat experience, but to talk more about the people... Yesterday we were able to gather most of the family from the hermana Guillermina and to a member's home to watch "Meet the Mormons" . . . Everyone loved it. Tears were shed during and after the movie, once we had the chance to talk about it. Most liked the "The Missionary Mom" story, because this family has suffered the death of one of their dear brothers. The Spirit was so strong, and we know that they all felt it. Still work to do, but we feel that these will be some very needed 12 baptisms for Antequera.
Ask questions, to know the people.
Listen to the answers.
And then listen to the Spirit to know what to do next.

***Between Brothers***
10232016 #88
Dear Landon, I'm going to start off with my one game this weekend. That's right, I said only one! But it was insane. It was also our highest scoring game with 51 points! I'm just going to skip till the end. So there is about 14 seconds left and it's our ball and we are down by two. So my teammate Jackson shoots a three but it doesn't go in, but my teammate Gage grabs the rebound, puts it back up, and gets an AND-1! With the remaining two seconds and he is shooting his free throw, sadly it doesn't go in but it was alright because it forced overtime. I'm just going to skip to the end this time too. There is about 11 seconds left and one of my teammates puts up a shot but it doesn't go in and they grab the rebound. (We were also down by 2 points) as they pass the ball my teammate Gordon steals it, jacks up a fadeaway shot from the corner and banks it! (It was also a three!) So that shot pretty much won us the game. So today dad whipped up some briskit, and some mashed taters. Mom made some regular big bread rolls and some Brazillian cheese rolls. After, we went over to Maga's house to see the kittens and cute cute cute, and small. So that is about all I have for this week, so love you dude!! ColtBolt

Dear Landon, so this week was Fall Break, but all I did was re-watch Worst Cooks in America, played Clash and Pokemon, and did homework. Like I finished my book, but we had a book report due on Monday. I finished it earlier today, but mom reminded me that I had sciences homework, which I would not have done if she hadn't reminded me. But all we had to do was fill out a paper on how we got a hard boiled egg to float by using salt. After this, dad was smoking the brisket in the smoker, and making mashed potatoes. Dad invited Maga along with everybody else, then we went to her house to see the kittens. And they were not lying on how small the "Oreo" cat was. Right now, there is a tiny cat compared to the others, and it is black and white, so Addy was calling him Oreo Jr.. And now I'm sad cause' we have to go back to go back to school tomorrow. :(    Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I am finally done with Driver's Ed. I just have two more days of roads and I can get my license. This week is the last week of the quarter and not really much more to talk about it. Last Tuesday, I had my big essay test on To Kill a Mockingbird. I wrote three essays, 110 out of 100. The assignment is kind of hard to explain, but I think I did pretty good on it. Last Wednesday, we ran the Mini Tour in basketball. It's pretty much a 5k. The last 5k I ran was in March and I got 24:10 or something like that. This last time I got 18:50 hehe. Yeah I was way surprised how good I did. Idk why, but I've been craving burgers a lot lately lqtm. Dad took me to Five Guys and Salt City Burger Co. I liked Five Guys overall better because their fries are amazing. I also went to the corn maze last night with some friends. It was pretty good! Friday night, I went to a haunted house and it was pretty sketchy. I liked my UEA break. So yeah... Wuv, KEat

10301016 #89
Dear Landon, not much to write about this week because I had to skip both of my basketball games because I was sick. I didn't get to go to practice either. All I know is that my 5th grade team did not win but my 6th grade team did. And one of the worst parts, I got new basketball shoes so I didn't get to test them out for my games. We just went to Maga's house to see the kittens and they have gotten a little bigger since last time. As I told you, Barely anything to write about this week, woould have been a LOT bigger if I had been able to go to my games. So love you dude!            ColtBolt    

Dear Landon, almost nothing happened this week for me, because I was either lying in my bed or on the couch with my sore throat. I was lucky enough to not have school on Friday (because the quarter ended), and I had missed the previous two days. Despite missing those two days, I still had a perfect 4.0. And there was a BIG Pokemon GO special event that is lasting 5 days. So it was a Halloween update, which made the more spooky Pokemon, like Ghastly, Haunter, and Gengar, to spawn a lot more often. And whenever you caught candies from catching a Pokemon, hatching, or transferring, you'd get double, which was very good. Finally, we went to Maga's house to see the kittens, and they are at their cutest stage because they still can't walk or crawl, but they are able to open their eyes, which is the freakin' cutest thing EVER!! Anyway, I am feeling kind of better, and planning on going to school tomorrow.     Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, so something pretty wacky went down this week. You'll just love it! Alright here it is... I finally told Mom and Dad that... I... have... a girlfriend hehe. We've actually been together for a few months and I've just been hiding it because I didn't want to deal with Dad's jokes! And he totally made a ton of jokes! It was awkward when I told Mom... because it was over text lololololololololol! Cal has pretty much known the whole time. I only told Mom and Dad because my friends came over two days ago and they said they were about to expose me. I didn't really care that much. They tried to incidentally have Mom figure it out while she was in the room, but she didn't even hear haha. Other than that, I got a 4.0 first quarter and we have to do the stupid pumpkin drop for physics this week :/ So yeah... her name's Payton. Ya boi, Keat

  • Dear Colton: Nuts. Sorry to hear you are sick. Sucks even more that you have to miss games! That surely is a sin.. New shoes, not even used. Haha but how is your school? No manches.. I need to teach you guys funny slang words of Mexico. "No manches" means "don't stain" basically.. But doesn't make a lot of sense translating it.. but you need to say it when you are like "no it can't be!" Or other stuff like that. 
  • Dear Cooper: Man being sick is the worst.. Did it not matter to miss the last days of the quarter? Lucky... High five for getting a 4.0! That is bomb! Haha Gengar is pretty cool.. Awe.. I remember seeing kittens in one of my areas when they were in that stage.. It is very adorable! Are you not going to go trick or treating?! Come on... You are turning down FREE candy? So sad.. But whatever, the choice is yours!
  • Dear Keaton: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaa boooooooooooooooi. tienes 16 años. entonces estoy bien con la noticia. De verdad, me dio mucha risa a leer los mensajes entre mama y tù. Pero tienes mucha razon.. Papa va a bromear mucho contigo, porque tienes LA NOVIA. Pero de espacio eh? Ten cuidado. Ahora que estoy con 9 misioneras en mi distrito, ya me cansè de mujeres! son locas! Jajaja cuídate mucho hermanito.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week #87 - Dog Bite

District Activity Pictures!

Word of the week is "morididas" ... I will save you the trouble of putting "mordidas" in Google Translate. It means "bites"... now it is story time.

Tuesday, my companion was not feeling very well. He has had a lot of problems with the food and how it affects his health. But he still was hungry, so he got ready and we went to lunch. The member we went to eat with that day, we had never gone with before, so it was a new street we had never walked. We were walking, approaching the house of the hermana. My companion was walking on my right side, and a little bit behind me. On the right side of the street, there was a little gate open, I passed, and my companion was passing.. And that is when a big dog came running and barking.. Fast. It jumped at my companion, but from what I saw, I thought he just pushed it away and it went running. But when my companion turned towards me, I saw that his shirt was ripped, and blood.

We called the mission president, and he told us to go to a nearby hospital. We were there for a bit. It wasn't that serious. Basically, the hospital just cleaned it up, it did not need any stitching. But now, I can report that my companion is doing fine! But his hate for dogs... a bit more extreme. I told him that is why the dog bit him. That makes him even madder. Hehehe.

On Wednesday, we returned to the hospital, not for the bite, but for my companion's stomach. I also got a bit sick. But this week, we are super ready to get to work this week!

***Between Brothers***
10162016 #87
Dear Landon, I don't have my license yet, but I think I should get it by the end of this month. I still have two more roads to do. On my last roads, he made me drive through really heavy construction in rush hour! It took like 20 minutes to travel 100 meters! My Driver's Ed teacher said for early morning kids that we only have till miercoles and then we're done! The quarter gets out next week lqtm. Today, Dad smoked prime rib and brisket. It was so good, but Cal was at work hehe. We only have three days of school this week! On Tuesday, I have to write three essays in Language Arts on To Kill A Mockingbird :/ I'm not sure if I'll get a 4.0 this quarter because Physics is trash! It's way hard. Maga is over right now and she said that Princess had kittens today again! Five kittens... AGAIN! That's kinda funny. So yeah... Wuv, Keat

Dear Landon, next week is the end of the quarter, and this week is fall break, so we all are going to get some resting days in the next two weeks (which I really need). But the only bad thing is that my favorite teacher is a CACR Teacher, which means that I only have him for only one quarter only. I have been saying this a lot since the school year started, "Why is Mr. Mineer my favorite teacher!?!?" And my next CACR teacher is Ms. Wilson, and I have heard that she does a lot of artsy things, but I hate my art class enough! So that makes me really mad that I have to leave Mr. Mineer's class. In Gym, we are now starting up Soccer. Ohhhh, I hate this sport soooooo much! I don't care about winning (we're 0-3, TEE-HEE), it is just something about it that is really competitive, and I get hurt a lot while playing. Since we are playing at like 7:50 A.M., the grass has frosty tips, making it very easy to slide. And within the first 3 games, I have slipped and hurt myself around 5 to 6 times, yet in Football, I ran so much more, I never slipped! It will be a long two weeks... Anyway, outside of school, I have had an interest of playing Tennis. Finally, mom took us to West Jordan Park so we can play a quick game (and to get a lot of PokeStops). I did pretty good in my first times playing, and I am definitely interested in playing again. And that is basically it for this week...     Love, Cooper
Oh yeah, and Princess and 5 kittens.

Dear Landon, I had some crazy basketball games this week. First of all, I had three and a half! In the first, we didn't do so good. But in the second, I hit a buzzer from deep three and it was crazy! We did end up losing that game though. So we headed up to Lehi and I found out that the team we were supposed to be playing forfeit so we got to scrimmage against 7th graders! I did really good assisting in that game. So for our last one, we played the eighth best sixth grade AAU team in the country and their two coaches were NBA players! So our coach wasn't expecting us to win that game, but do our hardest. And we did. We only lost by about 20 points. I don't have mostly anything else to write about except that Princess has has 5 more little kitties!! So anyway, love you dude!         CollBolt

  • Dear Keaton: Hahah I remember I barely did anything for Driver's Ed.. And when I took the final test, you have to park along the street, by the curb. When I did it, I remember that the back end of the car was way out towards the street.. I thought that killed me. But the teacher was a softy.. And I passed. Just seeing that word me da nausea.. (I wrote that it spanish, because I cannot remember how to spell it..) ESSAY. Three of them? That is unfair. But if you are doing your best, what more can you ask for? Wow.. Maga is getting Princess in the game.. 
  • Dear Cooper: Ahhhh, Mr. Mineer.. I wonder if he remembers me.. I did some interesting things while in his class.. Like starting a water war... (He was not happy about that..) I would not be that excited for arts class either.. but it is necessary. Hahah soccer, I am actually getting into it. I will not say that I am GOOD, because that would be a lie. But at least it is enjoyable. Tennis? I can't see me into that. Table tennis, yes! I played for the first time in quite a while last Monday. I have lost a lot of my skills.. But I will have to practice when I get home, to beat CooperMan
  • Dear Colton: Wow.. Sounds pretty intense for your basketball. Don't those other teams not want to draft you? Hahah.. Keep playing hard, and enjoy it. Because Mom pays a lot! Just remember.. Haha

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Week #85 and #86

As Autumn hits Utah back home, the climate change is notable here too. In the mornings during the studies I will usually put on my sweater. But when it is time to leave, and during lunch, I am easily sweating in 2 minutes. I am a bit nervous to see (or touch) snow.. It will be the middle of winter when I get home! My poor body will freeze..

I was asked if the election is making news in Mexico. Honestly, I have not heard much.. Just once in a while people will ask me "What do you think of Trump? He hates Mexicans, do you hate Mexicans?" . . . Obviously not.. I love you ... and your food! Hahahaha. I just tell them if Trump wins the election. . . I am coming back to Puebla.

I will probably gain a few pounds coming back home.. Having all my little snacks that I can eat 24/7 that I have missed so much.. Just think of it. But honestly, I am so excited to present "la comida mexicana" to my brother and dad when they come! They have talked of coming to Mexico to pick me up. Keaton says that he eats "super spicy food" . . . Hot Cheetos here are bascially candy! It has been hitting me. I will miss the food a loooot. Eating with tortilla has become so natural. When I tell people that we don't eat tortilla in every meal, they are soo surprised! Asking, "But. . . how can you even get full?" Hahah it is funny.

It was hard hearing the news that a friend (from church/neighborhood/school) passed away. I heard it from both my mom and another missionary from the neighborhood.  I thought that he was doing well. I remember when I saw Kody in our home after my farewell. I never had the thought that that would've been the last time seeing him. Why would I have thought that? Here I am so close to the end of my mission, and Kody was one of the people I was hoping to see afterwards. I know very little of all the challenges and difficulties he has been going through. I surely will miss Kody, we had numberless fun times together. 

***Between Brothers***

10022016 #85
Dear Landon,so almost every week is going to be mostly about basketball. I'm just going to tell you the last game was the craziest. In the first game, we won by 2 points. It was against the first team we played and the first time we lost to them. We got revenge. In the second game, we played what it looked like were 9th graders! We lost by a lot because they has tall guys and small really fast guys. I think they were the best team in the league. Now moving on to the 3rd game. It started out really bad in the first half. We are losing by 5 when the second half starts. The third quarter wasn't so good either. But in the fourth quarter, I get about 10 points in 1 minute, we are losing by 3 with about 3 minutes left to go in the game then they give the ball to me for a three and I make it. Then they take a shot but miss, we grab the rebound, bring it upcourt, I'm open for three and I drain it! So they have the ball and they take a shot and airball! So they give the ball to me and I'm open for three but when they jump out at me, I pump fake it, then I go in for two and make the jumper. So they are coming up with the ball then I swoop in and steal it! I finish it off with a left handed layup. We end up winning 23-16! That was the best run I've ever done in my life! So pretty much basketball every week now. Any way love you man!          ColtBolt

Dear Landon, I did a lot of walking with the Pokemon GO ever since the buddy system update came out. I only had 7 Jigglypuff candies, and I needed 50 to evolve. And with the buddy system, I need to walk 1km for 1 candy, and I didn't catch 1 of them in the process, so I walked 43km for this evolution. And I am going to do that all over again, but with Clefairy. So far, Middle School is definitely a lot harder than elementary. I have only been late to one class, but the teacher didn't mark due to a misunderstanding. So if she did have everybody tardy, around 10 people would have been. And I have already turned in two assignments late, because I have had so much more homework that I just forgot about it. But I was lucky enough that they still had not have graded them, so they don't have to mark the assignment late. And earlier today, we went to Maga's house, and it was pretty fun. A lot of the younger kids spent most of the time in the backyard playing a game sorta like "Jackpot."    Love, Cooper
  • PS. Did the Brothers not write me? I don't see their email. (Colton and Cooper wrote, but I kept waiting for Keaton, who never got around to it. Then I forgot to send it. But see boys? Landon looks forward to your letters!)

10072016 #86
Dear Landon, sorry I didn't write you last week. I think I just forgot to and went to bed. Anyway... I've got pretty good grades right now. On Wednesday, we did grade runs in 4th period for basketball class. Basically a C was a lap around the track, a D was 3-4 laps, and an F, or a no grade, was 6 laps. My worst grade was an A- in Spanish lqtm. I blame the teacher because he never tells us when we have homework, and we have to print it out on our own. Haha but Mason ended up having to run 6 and a half miles because he's been gone a lot for golf. That day, I just did a lot of push-ups, bear crawls, and duck walks for other people. Just a few more days till the end of the quarter, and I'll have my license! Sure there's that to look forward to from Driver's Ed,  but the better thing from that is NO MORE EARLY MORNING!! So yeeeaaaahh... Wuv, Keat

Dear Landon, so the term is almost ending, and overall, my grades are really good. The only "bad" grade I have is in Science where I have an A-, but tomorrow it should go back to an A because he made a mistake on Skyward and said that I have an F for not turning in a starter which he has actually graded (and I got an A). This week was the last for Football in Gym Class, and we ended up winning the championship. We were really overpowered compared to the other teams, and we had a record of 7-0. I haven't been playing a lot of Pokemon GO this week, but that is just because I am more focused on other things like basketball or other sports, homework, and keeping up on how the NBA is going on. And if you didn't know, when it was my birthday, I didn't get a lot of stuff. So with the Pre-Season in NBA starting up, she got me League Pass and NBATV. But yeah, I do think it is stupid that we can't watch any Pre-Season games without buying channels, but it will be good for regular season as well.        Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, this Saturday I had to miss one of my games because it conflicted with one of my other games. We went against the team that beat us 4 points in the championship and we were down by a lot in the fourth quarter then we went on a run. We brought it up to only a 5 point difference but the game still ended up us losing. In our next game, I think we went against the second hardest in the league and we lost by a bit. But I did get assists and 2 three pointers. They had one really small kid who can do everything. He was so good at drawing the foul, I got 4 fouls because of him! I dont really have anything else to write about this week. So love you man!!           ColtBolt

  • Dear Keaton: Eso es un buen chico.. Bien que te va bien en la escuela. Tuvieron que correr por tener grados malos? Que feo! Jajaja Mason.. que chafa! Ya vas a tener tu licencia? No manches.. Loco! Y ya tienes tu propio coche para manejar! Tienes mucha suerte.. Sigue así, hermanito mío..
  • Dear Colton: Dang.. Chance for revenge and they still won.. Darn.. That can be rough.. But it doesn't sound like you are complaining too much. Just enjoying the game, and that is the most important. Haha now he wasn't flopping right? That is when it is just dumb.. Just one more and you would've been pulled out! That really sucks. Haha you need to be doing something else apart from basketball everyday.. How is it going in school!?
  • Dear Cooper: Haha Skyward. I remember well that experience. It is really awesome in fact! I imagine that it has changed quite a bit in the two years I haven't used it. Sounds like you are doing a lot better than I did.. I only got a 4.0 maybe 2 times.. Yikes. But keep doing good! I saw a bit of Pokemon GO when a member was playing it.. I still don't know how it works.. But I will learn in about 4 months..! 4 months! Crazy right?!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Week #84 - Quick Change

Here we are entering into the third to last change of my mission. I think it will be a few week until I get a call from one of the secretaries to plan my flight.. I remember hearing of the possibility of Dad and Keaton coming down to get me? Maybe we need to be sure of those plans now.. So talk about it, and let me know!

This change blew by. Although it feels normal for us because we had the emergency changes only 3 weeks ago. Oh well. So for that, we don't have changes.

In the district there were little changes. 3 of us didn't have changes, 1 closed area, and the last one was a simple change of companion. My "mission dad" Elder Gutierrez closed area with his companion, and they sent him to Manantiales (my last area)! What luck! So my dad will "die" in Manantiales.

With them closing area, I thought an elder would come to train a new missionary, but no... ANOTHER companionship of sister missionaries! That means that the district is my companion, myself, and 8 sister missionaries! My district has now become the Relief Society. I will tell you how it goes.

The best thing that happened this week was the wedding! One of our investigators that has had quite a bit of time going to church finally got married! That was the only thing that was impedding her from getting baptized, so.. that means 2 baptisms next week! Not this Saturday, because of general conference, but the other week! 

I think we are just coming out of the rainy season (thank goodness! I don't like wet books..). I can already tell the difference in the days, they are getting shorter. A little bit cooler. That will be nice. I like winter here. But I don't think I will be ready for winter in Utah..

Just wanted to give that quick update! I am super well, super happy, and super busy in the work of the Lord! Love you all!

*** Between Brothers ***
09252016 #84

Dear Landon, a lot of basketball again. I found out that I have three games every Saturday! This Saturday I won one of them and lost the other two. I did really good. In the first, we won by 4. The last minute of the game was about 4-5 minutes long because all the fouls. But I got the last like 7 or 8 points. I also really jammed my thumb in the game. In the next game, we got destroyed and my coach got ejected! He said that the ref that ejected him hated him for 10 years! In the last game, we lost by only 5! I played really good that game. I got around 6 assists I bet and about 10 points I think. We went bowling with, Livi, Will, Aidan, and Amare. (And by "we" I mean me Cooper and Keaton.) I didn't do so good but Amare, Aidan and Will all got some strikes! I got about nothing more to write about this week, so Love ya man!            ColtBolt

Dear Landon, apparently they changed my classes because the other class didn't have a whole lot of students. And it wasn't just me, it was like 6 other kids as well. The counselors thought our schedules were easiest to change, but it is ending up alright. I found out that my friend from math is there, and we talk all the time, and I have made a few more friends in there. I haven't made any friends in the new art class, but I did judge the teacher to quickly. When I said I didn't like him in the last letter I wrote to you, it was probably because when I change schedules, I was just really pissed off. But he is actually a really good teacher. Since Softball is now over, we are moving on to Football, which I am destroying at right now. We are playing with 9th graders (which is weird) but It's alright because they aren't guarding me. In the first game, I ended up with 4 TD's 2 interceptions, and 3 extra points. Dad told me he was driving to Salt Lake, so I tagged along for Pokemon GO purposes. He drove me around a lot for PokeStops when I was at a good amount. When we started, I had around 60 PokeBalls, no GreatBalls, and 2 UltraBalls. But I ended with 228 PokeBalls, 34 GreatBalls, and 10 UltraBalls. I know I already told you that I am back to playing Ping Pong again, but when you come back, I would want to challenge you. I have really improved and I even beat dad in a game to 21, score being 16-21. So I think it would be cool if I would play you, since you (maybe) haven't played in nearly two years.         Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I don't understand why you're so excited about me dating lqtm! Jk, I guess I get it. School is killing me right now! I like my physics class because I have a lot of friends and we do some pretty wack stuff in there, but the teacher sucks so bad! He never tells us when homework is or even what is! We have to like go on two different sites for weird quizzes and assignments. I have a C+ in that class because of him. It's his first year teaching and he even told us at the beginning of the year that he's a nerd (and he is TOTALLY a nerd)! My Spanish teacher is kinda the same because he never really tells us when we have homework and when we do, we have to print it out ourselves. I still like that class and that teacher though. On Thursday, the high school basketball teams had Fall games at Sky Ridge. Sky Ridge is a new high school built almost the exact same as Corner Canyon. Those schools are friggin' litt! Anyway, the sophs had two games, both against Sky Ridge. The first game, we sucked, but we played an awful team and still won by 10. The second game, I went off! And everybody else said I went off lqtm. I scored about 20 points and got back-to-back, eyeball 3's! It was awesome, and the second team was a lot better (but they still sucked lqtm). So yeah... It's crazy seeing how fast these last 6 months are going. Wuv, Keat

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week #83 - Party Pictures


Crazy week.. As usual.. Being district leader again is great and all.. But a lot of work with 5 companionships under your wing. Three being sister missionaries. They are awesome, but can sometimes talk a lot.

The first thing to mention this week would be celebration of independence day! Here in Mexico it was the 15th of September. And it gets crazy! If I had to describe it in a few words... fireworks, music, and loud drunk people We had a little party with the members of the ward, and ate a lot food! Maybe it was the rootBEER that got to us in these silly photos.

(Landon also sent a video of him trying a drink recommended by one of the Brothers in the ward ... raw egg and a coke. Ummm, yuck! These elders are a little crazy loco!) 

On Friday we had a special conference with the mission president. We talked a lot about "covenants", but I am going to say it in Spanish (convenio) because it is a lot easier for me! We have focused as a mission on personal convenios, meaning we make a deal with God to do a certain task, and ask that He would bless us, if we had completed such task. Frequently we do a deal as such "Okay, we are going to talk with 30 people in the street today. But God, we would like you to bless us with a family, that you have prepared to receive us."  Normally the experiences shared during the conference, the missionaries were very specific in what they were asking... and the testimonies are impressive! It sure requires diligence, but I am sure it is worth it to have a miracle! 

The last thing I'll mention would be yesterday (Sunday). There was a little stake priesthood conference, gathered here in La Libertad.  I have had three area placements here.  It was great to see a BUNCH of familiar faces. From Manantiales, from Forjadores.. Ahh... good times. Man I am so old. Doesn't matter. There is work to do. Thanks! Love you all!

*** Step Stats ***

I haven't done a step update in a while. Landon wasn't great about sending me his steps and I didn't bug him about it ... but without checking in on him, I wasn't really checking in on any of the boys. Callahan is completely missing from this list, which he shouldn't be. I just found out his Fibit isn't syncing, I'll have to look into that. 

Monday, September 12 ... 27840
Tuesday, September 13 ... 10939
Wednesday, September 14 ... 14317
Thursday, September  15 ... 15093
Friday, September 16 ... 14050
Saturday, September 17, 18440
Sunday, September 18, 13993

Landon said they played a bunch of ball on Monday, thus the high step count there. 

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, yeah Homecoming is on October 1st, but even if I was planning on going, the girls in my grade probably wouldn't be 16 because I'm like one of the oldest in the grade. Cal asked a girl tho lqtm. I'm challenging the meaning of the title: ***Between Brothers***. I think it should be changed to: ***Conversations with Brothers with Mom in the middle, secretively listening/reading***. It just makes much more sense ya know? I got a black eye on Thursday, so Cal and I kinda understood why people said we looked alike because he got one about a week and a half ago. But take away the black eyes and you get two very dissimilar people lqtm. Dad smoked for us pulled pork yesterday and steak today. The steak was way good! Not much more I can think of for the week except that Language Arts is just getting worse and worse as we have to read To Kill A Mockingbird, and that Matthew Hansen came home on Thursday. I heard him speak today and it was funny because he definitely had an accent, and there were some times where he had to stop and think of a word in English because he couldn't remember it lqtm. So yeah... Wuv, Keat

Dear Landon, I got a schedule change that really pissed me off. I had to switch my 1st period (Art) and my 4th period (Gym). What I hate about it is that Art was one of my 2 classes where I had Elementary friends from, and I had a really good teacher. They switched me to a class where there were fewer students, and of course, a different teacher. And now I have a teacher that I don't like. And now I have Gym 1st period, which just seems so early to start going outside and and doing whatever we have to do. I probably just woke up! Also, at the beginning of the year, I knew no one in in the class, NO ONE. Then when they switched my schedule, I already had made friends with over half of the class. I was considering arguing with the counselor or was changing my schedule, but I knew what she was going to say. "You're gonna make new friends in your new classes." Speaking of Gym, the Softball tournament had ended, and it ended in a tie. We had a regular season record of 7-1, and then in the Championship, it was a hard-fought game ending with a score of 12-12. But I think this will basically be the remainder of what my letters will be to you from now on. Just talking school, 'cause that is all I am doing right now.    Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I don't really have anything to write about other than my three basketball games in one day on Saturday. I technically won all three games because the only one I "lost" was bullcrap. They called a double-dribble on one of my teammates when he stole the ball and hit the ball with one hand then started dribbling and hit a layup at six seconds left to put us in the lead, but since it was a "double-dribble" they took away our points! In the other two games we destroyed. I also hit a layup buzzer! It was a fastbreak with five sec left and the ball got stolen from my teammate but then the person who stole it started to lose the ball then I just swooped in there and grabbed it then hit the layup. We won by about 25 that game and the other game was just crazy. We won by about 50 points! I don't know how many points I got but I know I got so many assists! Nothing else to write about, like I told you just basketball, love ya man!  ColtBolt

  • Dear Keaton: So what? Callahan has got lots of lady friends that you can ask.. Haha imagine a double date with your older brother. *awkward turtle sign* or who knows. Maybe it could be a blast! But hey, I am waiting very anxiously to hear about the first date experience? Don't worry, I will ask Callahan about his lady friend he has asked. Haha okay, that is pretty funny! But you know when you look at two people of another race, and you say "hmm they look the same." That first happened with me here, thinking "all Mexicans look the same!" but I now have learned to see the differences. I also show them a family photo, and they will look at it, look at me, then at the photo again... Then ask me, "this is you right?" Well obviously! "You all look the same!" . . . really.? Haha I don't feel that I have an accent.. But maybe I do.. But it is true about forgetting words in English! Oh my gosh! We have a new sister missionary in the district that is "americana" and is struggling to learn. I usually help out translating things, because I am the only other missionary in the district that speaks English. And I can say on various occasions that I would forget a word.. Haha it makes you feel a bit dumb.. But oh well. te amo.
  • Dear Cooper: But why did you have the change in the first place? Doesn't sound like there was much reasoning for why they had made the changes? Weird.. That is pretty sad.. Oh well, what can you do? Gym really sucks to have for your first period. Because then you get all sweaty at the beginning of school! Right now in fact, I smell like wet dog.. I am so sweaty after playing and walking in the sun for a long time. And now the sky is falling.. It is raining super hard! But oh well. Make school fun, becuase it surely can be fun! te amo.
  • Dear Colton: Wow.. 3 games in one day? That is quite crazy! Hahah que chafa.. That is a little saying you can say "that sucks" Hahahah. Dang.. How is that even possible to win by so many points? Why do you tell me about school? NOTHING is happening in school.. I don't think so! You are in school 7ish hours a day! Haha anyway . . . ENJOY SCHOOL. te amo.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weeks #81 and #82

Mustaches from Mommy (part of Landon's birthday box)

We've had a pretty crazy week with the emergency changes... and after all the dust has settled, I am district leader again.In this district, there are 5 companionships. Us, another pair of elders, and 3 sister companionships! And as district leader, I have to call all of them, everyday... not including the zone leaders talking with me.. ahhh it is crazy. While my old companion did that every night, I very much enjoyed going to bed about a half hour early.. That is why I would usually write big letters too, because I would take a bit of time to write everyday, but now I have lost that luxury.

Now, we are also going to a gym in the mornings! Hahaha there is a famous boxer in a neighboring ward, and we got permission to go workout in his gym, which is pretty cool. 

I had a pretty cool birthday! It was my first district meeting I'd done in a while on Wednesday (my birthday), and the zone leaders were going to be there, because we were going to do interchanges. But there was another surprise... But first, the only thing I remember from my last birthday was that the mission president called me in the morning to wish me happy birthday. On Wednesday, there was no such call. Then I thought "haha how hilarious would it be if he showed up to my district meeting to wish me happy birthday?" . . . And it happened. He showed up with his wife and were part of my district meeting. He kept it cool to the end, and then made a little joke. Because in the closing hymn, some of the missionaries messed up the rhythm and started to laugh. At the end, he got up to share a few announcements of the mission, and the last thing he said was, "as a district, you need to work on your singing... because that last hymn was bad... but you can all practice right now because it is your district leader's birthday!" They sang, I shared some of the cookies you sent me with the district, and we went back to work. I was with Elder Balam, and I was sooo excited to do interchanges with him, because he is such a bomb and my good friend. 

We had an awesome day working together. And towards the end of the day, we went to visit a family of the ward that I didn't know well. We shared a message, and then the mom of the family said "well I've got some cake to share with you before you go." (The family are actually Americans) And that is when I told her "oh hermana, you are so awesome!" She asked why, and I said "well my birthday has been great, but I was just missing the cake!" They all laughed and were happy to provide me my bit of cake for my birthday. So yes, I did have a good birthday.

This was OUR celebration in the USA ... "big head" stand-in with the cake.
Happy Birthday Landon!

*** Between Brothers ***

Outgoing September 4, 2016 #81
Dear Landon, actually Dad sold the Suburban yesterday! He didn't even tell me, but he said it would make more logical sense to sell it and have a little more pocket money for a better car. I had my meeting with the Bishop this morning, but I'll be ordained in 2 weeks because next week is Stake conference. There'll be me, Cal, Travis, Jacob, Jarod, Ethan, and this new guy in our neighborhood, Braden. He's pretty cool. I got a lot of stuff for my birthday like socks, shoes, cliff bars, candy, a pillow case, some other close, a ring toy-thing, and a bunch of gum! This week we got out a bunch of the nerf guns. We couldn't find any of the clips, though, so we can't use all of the guns. The fall clinics for basketball have started and we've done about 3 already. Oh yeah! I also tried Nutella and it's so fleeping good! I hadn;t tried it for so long because I thought I was allergic to it. So yeah... Wuv, Keat

Dear Landon, sorry I didn't write last week. It was just that when we came back from Bear Lake, I was so tired and sandy, I took shower and went to bed. But I think Colt and Keat told you enough about what happened last week, I can tell you about how school is going. When I thought orientation was really crowded, I knew it was going to be way more crowded on regular school days. It's alright except for some parts of the day. Like the transition from 1st to 2nd, and 5th to 6th. There is one turn where everybody is. And my friend Parker is with me in 2nd period, so we stick together and get through the mob. Anyway, this is my schedule: 1st, Art Mrs. Gonzales, 2nd, Language Arts, Ms. Orgill, 3rd, College and Career Awareness, Mr Mineer, 4th, Gym, Mr. Downs, 5th, Utah Studies, Mr. Fife, 6th, Math Ms. Johnson, and 7th, Science, Mr. Melrose. Right now, my favorites are: Mineer, Johnson, and Orgill. And I hate that Mr. Mineer is my favorite teacher, because I only have him for one quarter. Any of those teachers sound familiar to you. I think that Ms. Johnson would probably, because first day of class, she noticed that she had taught one of my brothers before. And mom said Mineer sounded familiar to her. And this week was a really good Pokemon GO week, because of yesterday. I went on a trip with mom to the grocery store, and then we were going back home, a Raichu appears on my nearby. I started freaking out, when it appeared. But since it is kin of a starter evolution, I thought it would run away. But I caught it in one great ball. But today at home a Charmeleon was on my nearby and spawned. And after throwing like 15 Poke Balls, it ran on me. But I caught a Raichu!     Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I have absolutely nothing to write about this week. We just went to Derek and Danielle's place for Westra Waffles, I took some of the headbands, tiaras, and bunny rabbit ears and acted like a princess in front of Annie and Leila. Nerf has come back! Cooper and I keep having wars with the guns and it is so fun. Every week we are going to go bowling with Livi. We went to Red Robin and I saw the wife of my basketball coach working there. As I told you, I have nothing to write about this week. I have been so bored, nothing interesting at school except we got reading buddies this week and mine is so awesome. Anyway, love you man!!           ColtBolt

Outgoing September 11, 2016  #82

Dear Landon, I had an intense basketball game this week, we ended up losing by 2 in the end though. I only got 2 points but I also got a few steals and a lot of assists. At the end of the game we were only down by two and my teammate shot it from halfcourt at the buzzer but it rimmed out! Right after getting back from the game, I hurried took a shower then rushed over to my friend's house for a birthday party. We did a basketball shootout and I dominated him. I got 76 points and he got 54 points. We went to the lake today, it was so much fun, I hit like a 4 foot wave. I also went on the tube with Keaton. After being on it for a while, he decides to purposely jump off. Once he was off, the tube instantly flipped over on me. That is about all that I have for this week, soooooooooooo love you man! ColtBolt

Dear Landon, so happy birthday to you and Oreo! It is so weird that Oreo is now 2 years old, and it is even weirder that you are 21. We all seemed to have special birthdays this year, like me turning into a teen, Keaton getting to the age to drive, and you getting to the age to be an adult. Anyway, school is really fun, especially gym class. We will do basketball near the end of the semester, but it is an indoor sport, so it is better to do it in winter. But we are doing softball right now, and my team is the best right now. We are 6-0, and we will start the playoff tournament this week. But are team hits dingers! Like in elementary school, most girls would not participate. But the girls on our team are actually really good. And when we were beating a team really bad, I did a 1 hand hit and got a run.   Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, I can't really think much about what happened this week except for basketball clinics. I did have my second ranges for Driver's Ed yesterday and it was kinda fun because I did a lot better. Happy birfday four days ago! I guess that means Oreo is now 2. Dang he's so old lqtm. For school, my worst class is EASILY Language Arts. The subject in general is probably my worst and also I have the worst teacher EVER! He's a fricken dictator. He docked me 20 points for not having a blue pen. He's so annoying too. We have to repeat everything he says when he snaps and when he says "Got it?" we have to say "Got it." If we don't say it, then he knocks off participation points. I have to read the first three pages of To Kill A Mockingbird by Tuesday. On Friday, we had a 45 minute-long starter! We had to read a book and do a page-long objective summary on it. AND WE DIDN'T EVEN TURN IT IN AT THE END OF CLASS!! My three other classes on that day are the best ones. He just ruins the whole day for everybody. Recently, I've actually been taking quite a few naps lqtm. I remember when you and Cal would take a nap and I would just wonder how you guys even did it. I guess that's high school lqtm. So yeah... Wuv, Keat

  • Dear Colton: Always busy with basketball right? #nevvverends haha tubing is quite the blast, and you aren't big enough to hold it down! You hit a little wave . . . and adíos! (goodbye). Hahah pack on weight! That is what I am trying to do. I have a personal goal to beat Dad in an armwrestle when I get home.. Shh don't tell him..
  • Dear Cooper: I know, I know.. I am old. Don't remind me. Actually, at this point of my mission.. I feel like a grandpa.. Because I find myself saying too often "I remember when I had 3 months" or 5 months or a year... Yikes. I am OLD. Everyone is so new now. Almost all my friends have gone home already! So sad. Haha it is better to do basketball in winter. But I have nevver cared for softball.. ever.. it is so boring.. Volleyball or basketball, I AM GAME. 
  • Dear Keaton: I sure don't blame you at all for hating language arts.. That was always the class I hated most. Sounds like with a teacher as such, it would be unbearable! That's the "sueño" (sleepiness) that is hitting you now for being a high school student. Fun right? Enjoy it while it lasts. OH OH OH! Question! That is very important! Now that you are "of age" when you going to go on that first date? hahahahahaha I heard from Mom that a dance is coming up for Copper Hills? Get on that son! Haha