Monday, May 11, 2009

2009_05_11 Week 6 Valencia Mom


It was so good to hear your voice today. You sound great. You have an interesting accent now. I recorded the conversation with a digital voice recorder that I purchased. It is not great sound quality though. The recorder picked up a lot of noise from my cell phone. I think I had them too close together. I should have tested that out before the call. There are lots of hums and cracks and pops throughout the whole conversation. Oh well. It was really cool to play it back and hear your voice again after the call. I will try to take time to type out the conversation later. There was another way to do it, but it wouldn't have worked on speaker phone, so I thought this way would be better. I think the other way would have been a much clearer recording. Did you have an echo during the whole conversation? I could hear everything we said echoing after we said it.

After your call we drove to Smithfield and had a barbecue with Shara, Rob and Taylor. Grandma and Grandpa had gone to Georgiann's home in Ogden. They got back about 6:30 or 7:00. They got to see Taylor for a few minutes. She is such a funny kid. She reminds me a lot of Shara at this age. She is busy and just wants to be big and do everything by herself. Shara gave me the cutest photo of her. She has the messiest hair and she is trying to brush it herself with the back of the brush. And best of all is that she has the cutest fish face. I will try to get Shara to send me the photo by email so I can send it to you. If not, I will scan it and print one out. I will try to send it to you in the next package. I stopped by the Distribution Center last week. They had the Ensign in English, but the Spanish Liahona was not out yet. I will check this week and see if it has come out yet. I got my Ensign in the mail on Friday. Hopefully the others will be soon.

Taylor has had an ear infaction, runny nose and cough. The runny nose and cough could be just allergies. Mine are really bad right now. All the grass and cottonwood pollens are bad. I have had a runny nose all week and a dry hacking cough with post-nasal drip. I wake up with a sore throat every morning, but it goes away pretty quickly. I am just a bit hoarse and raspy sounding. I hope it settles down soon. A good rainstorm would help.

This will be a really busy week. Braxton has three soccer games, all away. Two are in Salt Lake and one in Provo. They are on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning. He will probably play a fourth game on Saturday afternoon. He is thinking of quitting his LaRoca competition team and just playing AYSO soccer next year.

Yesterday, Dallas Carter called him to see if he could go and sub for his team. They have been short players for a couple of weeks. He was excited to go because it got him out of working in the garden. He left and went with the Carters to the game. I drove there a few minutes later to watch. I wanted to see how he did with the AYSO team. He had a blast. The other team was short players this week. He and B.J. Bouwhuis were there as subs. B.J. played for the other team the first half and then Braxton played for them the second half. Braxton had a beautiful assist early in the game to help them score the first goal. He played well and had a huge smile on his face the whole game. He sent three or four more assists in to the front line, but they didn't score them all.
During the second half, when he was playing for the other team, he took the ball from midfield all the way to the goal and scored. He went through about eight players to get there. It was fun to watch. He has not gotten to play offense like this for so long. Felipe, his LaRoca coach will only play him on defense. He is very good at that, but he is tired of it. Anyway, after he scored that goal, the kids he knew on Dallas's team, started giving him a bad time for hurting their team. So, he started playing sloppy and losing the ball on purpose. He even passed the ball back to a player on Dallas's team and let him go forward and score a goal. That put Dallas's team ahead, so they were all happy again. The coach wants him to come to the game next Saturday again. I think I will take him and then get him signed up for AYSO with this team if possible.
Braxton also has a track meet on Wednesday. He ran really good. He ran a 1600 meter race in 6:00.1 minutes and improved his time by 12.59 seconds. He was 14 out of 36 runners. Not bad for a 7th grader. He ran an 800 meter race in 2:56.6 minutes and improved his time there by 1 second. He also ran a 4 X 400 meter relay. He was the last guy, or the anchor leg. His team came in near the bottom with a total time of 5:12.6 minutes. They were the C team and they beat the time of the B team. His coach said he ran a really good leg of the race. The first guy on his team got off to a slow start, so his team was half a lap behind for the whole race. Braxton made up some distance and they were only 1/3 of a lap behind. They ran two heats of the race. His team was in the second heat which was slower, but they beat the time of the B team that had ran in the first heat. I won't make it to Water Aerobics at all this week, but next week I should get back to a more normal schedule, I hope. Braxton will still have a couple of make up games to play, I think.
Note: Everyone is invited to the Court of Honor. I will try to get invitations sent this week by email and by snail mail.

It seems like life is always really busy around here. I have got to find time to get invitations made for Clain's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. We are doing it on Friday, May 29th at 5:30 in the evening at Bingham Park. We have asked Kevin Fielding to speak and the lady from the stake will present the award to him. I am going to call Ron Dawson and see if he will come and give him the Eagle Feather. Kevin said he would come over this week and show us some of the possible things we can do. I hope he remembers to come.

There were some changes at Church today. They released the Elder's Quorum Presidency. Myron Bouwhuis was released as President. Duane Thomas was released as 1st Counselor. Chris Burrell was released as 2nd Counselor. Layne Wayment was called as Elder's Quorum President. Chris Burrell was called as 1st Counselor in the Elder's Quorum. Robert Greenwell was called as 2nd Counselor in the Elder's Quorum. Kelly Bingham was left in to serve as Secretary in the Elder's Quorum. Brent Rose was released as Young Men's President. Richard Oliver was released as 1st Counselor in the YM Presidency. Larry Garrett was released as 2nd Counselor in the YM Presidency. Layne Wayment was released as Secretary in the YM Presidency. Myron Bouwhuis was called as Young Men's President. Clair Hamblin was called as 1st Counselor in the Young Men's Presidency. Duane Thomas was called as 2nd Counselor in the Young Men's Presidency. I don't think they called a secretary yet. Clain gave a really nice talk on Gospel Principles taught to me by my mother. He did great. The Priesthood, Aaronic and Melchizedek sang a song for Mothers. It was really nice and fun to see Clain, Braxton and Dad all up there singing.
Well it is really late again. 12:30 in the morning. I am really tired. I will end. Maybe I will have time to write more tomorrow. I love you lots and I am really proud of you. Take Care.
Love always and forever,
Hey! How are things going today? Well things are going good. I have to get a DVD made and send you a bunch of pictures and videos that I have taken. That is really cool that you were able to record the conversation. So Braxton is going to quit soccer? That is ok because when I get back I will get him into hunting like I was before my mission or more. Who knows? I hope everything is going good.
Hi Curtis,
I don't want Braxton to totally quit soccer. He would spend too much time just playing video games. I want him to still have some exercise of some kind. They play AYSO soccer in the fall and in the spring. They just don't have as many practices or games each week and it won't cost nearly as much.
Have you taken lots more photos and videos since you sent the last ones?

I have taken about four or five gigs of photos here in Valencia.
Here is a picture of a bottle of Inca Cola and a picture of me and Elder Neyra with the kids of one of the members here in Valencia eating zapote.

Thanks. My computer just froze up. I had too much stuff open I guess. I am restarting it. How fast are the computers you are using to email? What kind of computers are they? How many? Cost to use? Keyboards different or the same?

Are you resizing the photos from larger files? They are really fuzzy and pixelated. Can you resize them with a little higher quality and send them again?

Resize them to 800 X 600 with a 300 pixel resolution. Some of those you sent me are only 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch in size. Too small and too pixelated. I want to see your handsome face, not blotches. Please.

That one that Elder Bartolomei sent his mom is 1600 X 1200 pixels and 300 dpi. It is a great photo. It is 354 kb in size. The ones you sent last time were not as clear. They were 588 X 441 pixels and 300 dpi. They are 86 kb in size. Bigger is much better if you can do it.

Hi Curtis,

Who knows how many people out there in the world are reading your blog. I published it to be an example to the world of missionary work and service. I hoped it would inspire others to want to serve a mission. I hope it will fulfill that purpose. I hope you will want to say and do things that would help others want to serve missions. When you write your letters remember that you are writing to a world wide audience, not just your family. Include more of your special teaching moments, how you feel when the spirit is touching an investigator, how it feels to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Bear your testimony about what you are doing and its importance. It doesn't have to be a long, full testimony, just mention how a principle of the gospel has helped you as you have worked. Most of all, I want you to convince your brothers that they should go and serve the Lord. Tell them how important the work is and why you are glad you are out there doing it. Make them excited to go and serve.

Clain is still preparing, but I don't see a lot of enthusiasm. It seems more of a duty to him. He is going because that is what we expect him to do. I want to see him excited to go because he knows how great your mission was. Share the kinds of things that will help him prepare and get really excited to be a missionary.

I signed Clain up to go to EFY (Especially For Youth), the week of June 15th to 20th. He will go to USU and stay five nights in the dorms. I think he will have a great time. It was $425 for the week, but if it helps him to become more excited about the gospel it will be worth it. He never shows much emotion of any kind. He is getting to be more and more like you all the time. The only difference is that I knew you had a lot more self confidence and courage than I think he has. I am pretty sure he will go on a mission and he will endure it and stay, but I want him to go and love it, not just endure it. I want him to be on fire and know that he can make a difference. Share that kind of enthusiasm with him, please. Let him know how much you are enjoying your mission. Tell him of the great experience it is to help convert someone to the true gospel. Tell us more experiences of what it was like when you were teaching an investigator. Tell him what it was like to baptize someone. Tell him how you felt when you were giving a blessing to someone. Were they healed? Did the blessing help? What little miracles have you seen? How has the Lord blessed you personally? How have you been lifted up by the angels who are round about to help you?

It was interesting to listen to you talk yesterday. It is clear you are thinking in Spanish now and having to convert back to English. That is good. I am sure it makes communication easier than switching back and forth all the time. Are you understanding everything you hear now?


  1. It was great to hear how your whole family is doing. I'm so happy for Michelle and Jeff. How lucky for him to get to come home. I am really excited to see your family at Island Park. I feel like I haven't seen you all forever. I don't think I have ever seen Taylor. Sad, I know. I hope they can all make it--except Curtis, of course, won't make it, but I feel like I know him really well now. I hope your allergies get better soon! Love-Sherri

  2. Thanks Sheri. I can't wait to see your family again. Thanks for being a loyal reader!