Letters from Mom: September 2013

September 5, 2013

Hello, dearest!  It is crazy to think that you're counting down to Chile!  The real deal!  The actual, factual Chilean people!  It's exciting to think about you finally getting down there.  We're excited for you.  

Are you still keeping in contact with Garrett?  I just read a talk by Elder Dickson from April General Conference about the saints in West Africa and the work that is going on down there (he made some very stark contrasts to the saints in Africa and the saints "in the West" - aka... us.  It made me think of Nephites and Lamanites, to be sure.).  Monica told me that they have baptisms every week, people almost walking up to them and asking them to be baptized.  It's amazing.  This photo showed up on Facebook this week: Elder Nelson and Elder Christensen. 

It will be fun to see who you get to bump into in Antofagasta.  It really is such a small world!  :D

This letter is going to be a little on the short side today because time is my arch enemy.  I am time impoverished, and I wish they had time welfare checks where I could go and get the time I need to cover all the basic necessities of life.  Too much life, not enough time.  Grrrr.  But, I will chose to be grateful that at this point in our lives, we have enough other things to cover the basic necessities of life.  THAT is a tremendous blessing, and I am so, so grateful that we can buy shoes when we need shoes and food when we need food and pay the mortgage each month.... we are living the dream.

So, it's been another busy week as they all are, but we really enjoyed the long weekends with Labor Day.  The Price side got together on Monday at Uncle Boyd and Aunt LeAnn's house to eat and watch movies and just hang out.  It turned out to be a good plan because it POURED RAIN that day!  We had a lot of fun chatting and sitting around and stuffing our faces.  hahahaha  Tuesday was supposed to be Meg and Sam's first soccer games in American Falls, but they cancelled the game Tuesday morning because American Falls couldn't get referees lined up (.... seriously?).  So that was disappointing, but it may have been kismet because there was a big old storm that afternoon - thunder and lightening... very, very frightening.  They may have had to call the game anyway, truth be told.  But they get to play today, so that will be awesome!  They play Rigby... should be a tough game!

Sadly, I am working at the fair at that time in the scone booth.  I thought I'd get to at least see their first game in American Falls, but - FALSE!  So I'm missing their first game and I hate that.  Ah well.  I'll have to miss at least one game a week from now on since rehearsals start next week.  I had to move the play up a few weeks on the calendar because that state football tournament is a week later than it has been the last few years, which was the week I had originally scheduled the play.  Ah well... it should be good.  We have a lot of talented people who auditioned, and, sadly, not very many roles to fill.  This is the part I love the LEAST - cutting people from a show.  I'll post the cast list as soon as I make final decisions and I'll send a copy to you, too.

Well, my time is past gone.  I miss you so much.  This weekend marked the longest you'd been separated from us and I feel it.  The only salve is knowing that you're where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there.  Keep the faith, be strong, continue to work hard, set aside the things that need to be set aside because if they are meant to be yours, they'll still be there when you are ready to take them up again.  Know that we are doing well, that we love you and miss you, and that life is good.



September 8, 2013

Good morning, sweetheart.

I just wanted to send a quick note to you on the off chance that you get to look at email before you take off for Chile.  (By the way, you've got the money you need (plus some) for your travel, so you're all set that way.)  

I'm going to send you a longer letter about our experience in the temple yesterday, about Gabe and Shanley, and about the tender mercies of the Lord.  But for today, I want to encourage you and share with you our confidence in you.  You're kind of leaving the "honeymoon" stage of your mission and entering the "work of love" portion.  This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.   I am not trying to be all doom and gloom, but I am saying that the real work and the real commitment is about to begin.  There will be some confusing times and frustrating times.  I can't help but think about Clarke Huntsman's experience with his Latino companions when they were in the market and suddenly they all took off because they weren't obeying mission rules and they saw the mission president walking through the market.  Do you remember that story?   Anyway, I have confidence in your ability to navigate through whatever you encounter on your mission.  You have many good skills and many more will be cultivated during your time in Chile.  I'm excited for your adventure. 

OK.  I'm going to tell you this thing that keeps coming into my mind.  It's been niggling at me to write this to you for a few weeks now, but I didn't ever seem to have room in my already long letters.  So.  Here it is.  

I think we've talked about this before, but I just feel impressed to share with you what I've termed the "Expectation Slide." So, it goes like this. 


If I EXPECT Dad to load the dishwasher the "correct" way (the pride cycle and the expectation slide are fast friends), I will most likely be DISAPPOINTED when he loads the dishwasher his own way and then I will feel FRUSTRATED because he did it "wrong."  Eventually, that disappointment and frustration will lead to RESENTMENT (maybe he's doing it on purpose). I'll soon become so DISMAYED at his lack of ability to load the dishwasher correctly that I won't even want him to load the dishwasher at all, and then I'll DESPAIR that I married a man who is completely inept at dishwasher technique and I'm stuck with him for eternity. 

I know this is a silly example, but you'd be surprised how many relationships are eaten away by such small things!  

The only cure for the "Expectation Slide" that I have found is GRATITUDE.  When my expectations for correct dishwasher procedures are not met and I naturally feel disappointed by that, I have a choice: I can feel frustrated and continue down the slide, or I can be grateful that Dad loaded the dishwasher at all and took some of that burden from me. 

And so, my son, I come to the purpose behind this narrative.  You have had an amazing companion and an amazing experience in the CCM.  It hasn't been struggle-free, but it has been, as I understand it, overall quite a good experience.  Those wonderful experiences can unwittingly create little "expectations" within us.  You may find yourself expecting your companion to work as hard as you do, which is 100% natural... the mission president and the Lord share this expectation!  But you may find those expectations disappointed from time to time.   This is where my cautionary tale comes into play.  Choose to be grateful.  Choose to find something... ANYTHING... to be grateful for so you don't slip and slide further toward despair.   You may find your expectations at a promising investigator disappointed when some anti-Mormon literature thwarts your efforts.... choose to be grateful for the opportunity to sow some seeds in the heart and mind of that investigator.  You may find your expectations of the members in the ward/branch you're working in disappointed by a lack of effort or apathy on their part... choose to be grateful that they are still members of the Church who have a growing knowledge of the Atonement and that they are able to have a second chance to be stronger, better, more committed.

 By choosing to be grateful, you are also choosing to be humble and submissive to the Lord, and THAT helps to keep the pride cycle at bay.  Being aware of when you might be slipping down the "Expectation Slide" and choosing to administer heavy doses of gratitude to stop your fall can help you have better relationships with your companions, with your DLs and ZLs, with your mission president, with the ward mission leaders you work with, with the branch presidents/bishops/stake presidents you work with, with the members, with investigators, etc.   And I believe that choosing gratitude will allow you to feel the love for them that they need to feel in order to be influenced by the Spirit, which is, of course, the key to conversion. 

OK.  I'm done.  So much for a short letter.  Sooooooooo many words!  It takes me soooooo many words to communicate what is in my head.  Ah well.  It is who I am at my current state of development.  :D

I love you, Henry.  Thank you for being willing to do what you're doing.  Thank you for being a willing servant of the Lord.  He WILL bless you.  And you are worthy of that blessing.

I look forward to your coming letters and your new experiences.  

You I love - BE SAFE!

Love from Mom

September 16, 2013

That is what these last 10 days have felt like: roller coasters and submarines.  I have sooooooooo much that I want to tell you.  Some of it is so, so super good, and some of it is really crappy.  My biggest issue right now is that I have no time to tell either very well.  So, I'll just do my best.   :)  AND I'm going to start oldest to youngest this time, just to keep things spicy.

DAD is going to be released from the bishopric and teach in the priest quorum.  It's a bitter sweet deal, but we're excited to sit with him in sacrament meeting again!  hahahaha   And it will be great to have him at activities with Sam and the girls.  Still no word on that mystery job, which is so suprising.  It's been nearly six months since he interviewed.  So weird.  The allergy shots he's taking are really helping.  He gets "hot spots" much less frequently than he was getting them, and that is a relief.  I'm glad he's doing better in that regard, for sure. 

SAM has had some interesting experiences lately.  I don't know what/how much Dad has told you in his personal letters (I hope these aren't too redundant... we'll have to work on that), but Sam, who is the driver of the rollercoaster, made an attempt on his life a week ago Saturday.  It wasn't a serious attempt - I think he knew Dad wasn't far behind him, and would stop him - but it was an attempt.  We took him to the ER and they admitted him into the BHC for a few days.  There are SOOOOOOOOO many details I want to tell about this whole experience, but I am working on brevity.  If you want more details, let me know.  Anyway, he came home with a much improved attitude.  It was kind of an eye opener for him, I think.  We'll see if it lasts.  He's been much more compliant with the daily things we require anyway.  

There just simply isn't enough time to tell you all that I want to about Sam.  He is still 2nd/3rd string on the soccer team largely because they have way too many kids playing his same position.  Shelley doesn't spend alot of time and energy on footwork, so we're shy forwards and overloaded with defenders who can "boot it!"

Meg is doing fairly well.  She's second string, too.  They made Kira Marlow the first string keeper, which is frustrating to her because she prefers to play forward!  Face it, Kira is amazing at anything she does.  BUT Meg does fairly well, too.  She's speedy quick!  She just needs to work on her footwork and she will be a true asset as a forward, which will be good since they're losing two excellent forwards next year, Katelyn Cox and Kaylie Jorgensen.  We got some pictures from the last games, and we'll post them later... so you'll probably see them next week (I'm at work right now).

Janie is experiencing the wide world of hypocrisy and unfairness.  She is seeing first hand the differences between "the popular girls" in student council and the "regular girls" like herself.  She has a great perspective however.  I'm proud of her.   We've had some interesting talks because he interactions with the popular girls she's supposed to work with in student council are similar to my interactions with the popular teachers I'm supposed to work with!  Janie is a great girl.  She really is...just awesome. 

So, there is a realllllllllly basic overview.  It's not even a tenth of what I could say.  At this moment, I feel like Mormon who could not write the hundreth part of what was included in the history! hahahaha

We're so excited to hear about what is going on in your life!  What adventures you must be having!  We're proud of you and we love you like crazy!

Love from Mom

more details of sam please yes

September 23, 2013

It's 8:50 in the morning and all the others are still asleep.  Of course, Dad had to catch a bus to the site at 5:40, but I slept in until 7:30 - and it was awesome!  I love harvest break!  I told your siblings that they could sleep in today as late as they want, but we DO have stuff we gotta do over these two weeks, namely all the stuff we've been neglecting for the past three weeks!   This week is filled with all kinds of appointments for me - stuff I've been putting of until I had some time free of rehearsals and work and soccer practices/games.  But it's all good.  We still have three soccer games this week and practice every night, but the daytime is where we should be able to knock out some good work!

Rehearsals for the play are going pretty well.  We haven't made a ton of progress, but we got the first act blocked out and the cast has been informed that we will be "out of book" one week after spud break (we'll see how that goes).  Indigo Young and Brecklyn Hobbs are new names for this show - the atypical actors - as well as Jennifer Houghton who is a new girl from Utah.  She is very talented.  I think they'll do really well.  We'll see because we open the show exactly one month after we return from harvest break!  aaaaahhhhhhh!  hahahahaha

Soccer continues to be an adventure.  I forgot how hectic this time of year can be, but it is what it is and we're all sharing the load, so it's good.  Meg plays second string keeper and forward, but she does well when she's in there.   Experience will help her a lot - it's clear she's a newbie - but she has really good instincts and is athletic enough to be an asset to the team when they need a pair of fresh legs.   She is super speedy, and I think she'll make a great forward in years to come.  We're losing 5-6 seniors this year on the girls team, all strong players.  She's got some shoes to fill, but she is up to challenge.  And she is soooooooo grateful that she is not playing volleyball! hahahaha

Sam continues to be third string on his soccer team.  This is largely because he is a loose cannon right now.  Some days he gives it his all because he feels like it and other days he's just sort of there.  He has lost some of his skill that made him a valuable asset to the team last year - maybe due to his state of mind ("what's the point of anything?  why should I even try?") maybe due to pride ("I know I'm better than those other guys," or "I already know everything about my position.  What is there to work on?"), but probably a strong combination of both.  So, he plays most games but rarely for long.  The team overall has either tied or lost, no wins yet, but while there are many things about the new soccer coach that make me think, "Really?  Seriously?", there are many things that make me say, "Ahhhhh yes, THAT is what has been missing."  He has tried to teach the boys some complicated strategies and plays, but after another loss to Snake River on Saturday, I think he's decided that we need to go back to basics.  That's what Sam said, anyway.  Things like how to accept a pass, footwork, and defending strategies.... the things we never learn in AYSO because all parents just yell "Boot it!"  hahahaha  

Homecoming week was really fun. Heidi made a touchdown in  powder puff and Sam participated in powder buff. Both Sam and Meg participated in the Russet Olympics - Meg did the scooter swim relay and Sam helped the Juniors win the surfing competition. Tommy won the Milk  challenge for the sophomores. The whole class was chanting, "Thomas! Thomas!" That was a good thing for him, I think. Heidi won homecoming queen, which was super awesome. She's lovely inside and out and a good person.  She went to the dance with Taylor Lund and looked gorgeous (we chaperoned). 

Spud Day was super busy. We only got to see the parade.  Janie was in it with the student council.  Janie hung out at Spud Day with her friends rather than going to Snake River to watch soccer with Dad and I, then we went to Gramma Dixon's for an early birthday get together, but I left early to take Sam to open gym/parkour practice, then go to Kayla Hansen's wedding reception, and then to the homecoming dance.  Dad came to the dance later after the party and after picking Sam up from the gym (man, I'll be glad when he can drive!). 

Kayla's reception was lovely, at least the little bit that I saw.  I got there at the VERY end when they started cleaning things up and was the last"guest" to see Kayla and Colten before they changed and took off for their honeymoon.  I got lost and it was dark and late and... yeah.  Oh well!  I got to see them and we had a fun little chit chat.  Colten is great and they are clearly in love.  I'm so happy for them.  I got to talk to Lexa for a while, too!  She is loving BYUI!  Roommates were a bit of an adjustment, but they are getting along really well largely because Lexa made initiatives to make it happen.  She is a great girl.  She asked if she could Skype with us and you at Christmas/Mother's Day, and I of course welcomed her with open arms.  If you have second thoughts about that you'd better let me know!  ;)  Gramma Price also invited her to a family dinner in the near future.  hahahaha   

Speaking of marriage... sort of.... Bo is getting married in December!  I'm so glad for him!  He's such a great guy, and his fiance is so lovely.  Also, in other news, Chase Call and Fonzy had their farewells yesterday.  Oh, and Glennjamin mentioned that he hasn't recieved a letter from you in three weeks.  hahahaha

So... I'm gonna send this because Dad texted me and said you're online.  I want you to have time to read this before next week!  



love the pics! Sorry about sams attitude... i wish i could help him, as im sure you do too. Im glad Kayla is gonna be happy! they seemed good together. definitely dont have any second thoughts about Lexa being there! she is incredible! im glad she is doing good and having fun. it sounds like college is great and i know she will do well! awesome! and yay for BO! all fantastic!

Also! we had this big conference with the mission president and everyone in Arica... a ton about obedience! it has helped the other members in the house a ton!

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