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

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week #80 - Happy Birthday to Brothers

 a touch of Utah...

Last Wednesday we had a special conference with an area seventy, Elder Salinas. Hands down the best conference of my mission. It was impressive how this area seventy would talk about missionaries he had known in his lifetime that left an impact on him. It made me think, am I doing enough that I might be remembered by someone like him? Obviously I'm not looking for that kind of fame, but just wondering if I am truly consecrated to the Lord? It is no easy task, but there is no greater reward than to receive eternal life. And so we left, ready to work. 

We were excited and ready to go and give the Lord our all. We were working really hard, but without results. But we kept working. There have been some struggles here with the bishop. Some members have gone inactive and some investigators were hesitating to be baptized after interactions with him. We were a bit worried. But the local church leaders also went to the conference with Elder Salinas. This bishop went, and since then we have seen a change in him. We are hopeful. 

It's birthday week at home ... happy birthday to my brothers!

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, so all that I'm going to be talking about is Bear Lake. The first I will say is that it is pretty cold there. We went to the lake the lake for about five hours and I forgot to put on sunscreen! Cooper, Keaton, and I are all really sunburned. I think I am sunburned the most, it's on my face and on my back,  shoulders. Dad's friends brought a little trampoline floatie thing to put in the water. It wasn't that bouncy, like a couldn't land a front flip. The water was so shallow. You can got out 100 feet and have the water barely at your waste. This part by the water in the mud where you can run in place and it would bury your feet with mud. It was so cool, Cooper and I did so many times. After, we went to a restaurant, I don't remember the name of it but is was so good. Cooper started to feel cramps and stomachaches so we headed home early. Dad let me watch Star Wars The Force Awakens to help me go to sleep. The next day, we went to the lake again, but we didn't take the wave runners out. So then we went to like the only Shake place in all of Bear Lake on Sunday so we had to wait about 30 minutes for a famous raspberry shake. I liked it at first but after a while it started to taste weird. Anyway, that is about all I have for this week. Soooooooooo love you man!            ColtBolt

Dear Landon - School, Bear Lake ... and my birthday. ♥Cooper

Dear Landon, the first week of school was pretty wack! I already did my first ranges for Driver's Ed and I think I have all the supplies for my classes. Basketball class is just nothing like you would have thought. They say it's bad, but it is just really bad. On the first day, 6 people puked and one of my friends passed out. Friday was really bad too. Just gotta blow by the conditioning. Dad, Coop, Colt, and I went to Bear Lake on Friday and got back today at like 6:00. The lake was really cold and shallow, but the trip was fun! Of course, we got the raspberry shakes because they're amazing. We forgot to put on sunscreen the whole trip though lqtm. I'm really excited to sleep without sand tonight lqtm. And today is Coop's birthday! So yeah... Wuv, Keat

  • Dear Colton: I'm guessing you meant the water was cold? You must have had some warmth and sun to get a sunburn! Sorry, that sucks. I have gotten some pretty nasty sunburns here too, no fun. Hard to imagine that shallow of water! Have to beach the wave runners way out! And even with a wait, how can you complain about raspberry shakes? They are delicious!
  • Dear Cooper: Happy Birthday Bud! I can't believe you are thirteen! You are an official teenager. Oh my goodness. I hope you enjoyed your birthday. Sounds pretty fun with the Bear Lake getaway. I hope you are enjoying Elkridge too! I bet it has changed completely since I was there. What is your schedule? What teachers do you have? Anyone I know?
  • Dear Keaton: Cumple anos feliz. Rayos ... Los 16 ya? No puede sec ... Entonces. Ya vas a tomor cantal del Suburban ahara? jaja. Culdado con ese tonque. Okay, enough Spanish. So have you talked with the bishop about being ordained a priest? Now you can bless the sacrament. Question - how many priests are in the ward right now? I've lost track of who all from your "generation" is around. Hope you had a good birthday!