Thursday, February 11, 2016

Week #51 - A Package, Pictures and Suspicious "Steps"

A picture, he sent a picture! 
Aunt Courtney had said they were sending a package, 
I told Landon to be sure and let us all know when it arrived. 
It arrived ;)

Viage a Ixtacamsticlan #2!
(Trip to Ixtacamsticlan #2!)

Wow... quite the week of traveling for us this week. Easily more than 10 hours in combis and buses..  But it was all worth it!

The best thing of the week was our visit to a very far land called Ixtacamsticlan.. Just over a month ago was the first time that I went there to visit an hermana. La Hermana Coral, and her very humble family. It is just her and her three little kids that live out in the middle of nowhere. But I was so excited to visit them again (see pictures from his first visit here).  

First we needed to get up early, to catch the combi at 6:40 in the centro. Then it is 2 and a half hours driving to their home. It was funny when we arrived, because their house is right by the road, and once they hear the combi, they know it was us, because it was the only combi that would pass for another three hours. So they were already outside waiting, and so excited to see us.

At our arrival, we ate first, which was just tortillas and salsa. But the tortillas were actually really delicious! But the salsa was quite spicy..And it wasn't just me that was suffering as the American! No one could take that much heat.

I was really looking forward to this trip. I had felt bad that we hadn't visited her sooner. Just from our visit, they were so happy, even though it was for such a short time. But it just isn't with our visit, but they are always happy! It is a very humbling experience to see this family, and the happiness they have, thanks to the Gospel. 

My favorite part of the visit was when we were leaving. We asked the hermana what was the most important she needed that the ward could help her out with, and she said "just enough money to pay for the trip to church." . . . Out of everything; blankets, water, food, electricity... Just the money to be able to go to church, was most important. That hit me, hard.

I know that going to church is a very important part of our worship to our Heavenly Father. There, we can renew our covenents that we have made with Him, and enjoy those blessings. I love you all, thanks for everything!

*** Step Stats ***
Monday, Feb 1 - 15179
Tuesday, Feb 2 - 18481
Wednesday, Feb 3 - 13310
Thursday, Feb 4 - 22466
Friday, Feb 5 - 16445
Saturday, Feb 6 - 31817 
Sunday, Feb 7 - 15414

Hahaha I think more than half of the steps on Saturday are from the combi ride...because there is no way we could've walked that much, because we were in the combi for a good 5 hours that day!

Sometimes a pedometer does pick up "jiggling" as steps. Landon has hit a 30k day before, but he sure felt it the following day!  Super Cooper is still there in first place, and Callahan is up there too with all his basketball. Although they were their Fitbits during basketball practices, Keaton and Colton don't wear them in their games ...

***Between Brothers***
Dear Landon, this is weird, I'm the first one writing you and it is 8:15 P.M. Anyway, that doesn't matter. Sooooooooo, I had two b-ball games this week. (I technically had one.) On Wednesday, we had a game that we lost 40-21. I got two points and I think I got 3 assists. And on Thursday, we THOUGHT that the game was at 9:00, but when I got there, the game only had two minutes left! So it turned out that half of our games are going to be at 8:00. At school, I get to see Coop in tights! (At his ShakeSpeare play. YYYYEEEEESSSS!!!!) This weekend, I got a bucket and put a plastic orange cone on top, then I went into the snow, made some snowballs, and tried to hit the cone off as many times as I can. I ended up hitting the cone six times from about twenty feet away! That is all I can recall for these 168 hours. Love ya! ColtBolt

Dear Landon, still getting ready for the Shakespeare play, and we are getting ready to perform it next week. I'm happy I only have three lines, and that I am only there for the beginning and end of the play, but Colton's class will come see! I have to wear tights, but I think my costume is pretty cool, but I still do not want to do it at all. I got to play wall ball a lot this week, because it was really warm and there was not a lot of snow on the driveway, so that makes up for horrible Shakespeare. Colton and I have been watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and we just got the third and fourth season a little bit ago. There was something wrong with the Jr. Jazz schedule, so there was no game this week, but we did still have practice. I'm still getting a lot of use out of League Pass and there were a few close games this week I wouldn't have seen if it weren't for it. There was a game winner today by Nikola Vucevic, and Avery Bradley stunned the Cavs with a 3-pointer, and the Jazz are now on a six game winning streak, so the NBA is doing great right now. Super Bowl 50 just ended moments ago, Denver Broncos went against the Carolina Panthers. Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and Coldplay performed at the halftime show and I thought it was really cool, and there were a lot of funny commercials. Denver ended up pulling it off 10-24 getting Peyton Manning his 200th win, and his 2nd ring. We didn't have the special dinner because dad was kind of sick, but mom still made fried chicken and yellow rice, so it was all good. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, since Friday night, I've been feeling the worst sickness in my life! It hurt so bad. I never puked though. I'd have much rather been throwing up. I was really hot, then really cold, then coughing, then dizzy, then numb, then runny and stuffy nose, then soar throat and phlegm phlegm phlegm phlegm phlegm. It was way uncomfortable. I had to miss two games that I wanted to play. We ended up losing one and winning the other. I couldn't even go to watch because I felt the worst ever! It's a lot better today, but I've still had all of those conditions. It has been the two longest days ever, and I haven't even worn my flex for either of them. I was pretty much up the entire Saturday morning. The Broncos won SuperBowl 50 today. We couldn't have our awesome dinner with steak, chicken, and mashed potatoes though because I think I got Dad sick. So yeah... Wuv, Keaton

  • Dear Colton: Ouch.. That is a rough loss... But I guess you hoped for some more competition when you joined super league huh? Well, the point is to have fun. That is most important! Haha you want to see Cooper in tights? That is a bit weird, don't you think? Funny, but weird. Sounds like you are a little bored to just be throwing snowballs at a cone.. But I have done silly stuff like that too. So don't worry about it! ;)
  • Dear Cooper: I guess I never asked.. But were you forced to do the play? Or did you volunteer? I remember being in a play once.. Nor did I enjoy it. Hahahahaha I love me some Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! Will Smith is one of my favorite actors. Wow, really? Are you talking about the correct team? The Jazz are on a 6 game winning streak?! I would hope that they have a slot in the Playoffs then, right? I did hear who won from one of the other elders today in the morning.. Didn't sound all that exciting of a game.. But you can always enjoy the halftime show and the commercials! No special dinner!? Yikes.. then it really wasn't Super Bowl Sunday.. Oh well.
  • Dear Keaton: Yikes.. That does not sound very fun at all. Hahaha but did you play a lot of Battlefront? But that is good that your are feeling better! Get back active!

***Westra Writing ***
Note to our three missionary grandchildren: Some weeks ago, when we were watching our usual Jeopardy show, one of the contestants was an Eric Westra from Omaha. I know there are a number of Westras in the Midwest, and have traced their immigration. So Janika (aka Sister Westra), whenever you are in a different city, always look in the current city phone book and see if there are any Westras listed. If so, and if they are in your area, you could contact them and say that your grandpa has information on their Dutch pedigree. It they are interested, you could get them signed on to Family Search and Family Tree. It may be a good tool to make contacts and it could very well lead to investigation of the church.

Now Landon (aka Elder Blackham) and Corin (aka Elder Westra), you will not likely find any Westras in your areas, but you might use the Family History approach to interest some people in the church. If you don't have trained Family History consultants in your area, we could help you research their lines--the Spanish ones would be more difficult than Janika's converts, but we could try.

On my phone shift each Friday morning, I very often get calls from non-members, and some of them ask: Why do you spend so much time and effort and money on Family History? We aren’t supposed to proselyte as support missionaries, but when they ask, we can answer them and explain to them the important work we are doing. This could easily lead to further investigation of the church. When non-members (pre-members) call, they are so very appreciative of what the church offers free to all genealogists.

We love you all.
Love, Dad/Grandpa

  • Thanks Grandpa for the tip!  In my first area, we would actually use the pamphlet for family history while doing street contacts. It was fun. Haven't done it for a while, but I will make it a goal for this next week! Here, everyone appears to be family... Being Hernandez, Sanchez, Gutierrez, Valdez.. Basically whatever last name that ends in "Z".. Haha a bit funny.

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