Tuesday, November 16, 2010

missionary monday

Some excerpts from some recent e-mails from Brady:

Before I go on too far, I need to tell you that I shook the hand of an apostle on Saturday!! Elder Nelson came to stake conference here in the area, but on Saturday there was that World Wide Leadership broadcast. President Jergensen wanted all of the district leaders in the area to go to it, so we traveled to Ames. He was there, so after the broadcast Elder Noel fullbacked his way to the front of the chapel, while I was the running back behind him. We hit the gap between the elderly and hurtled our way over a wheelchair, only to put a spin move on bishop, (you know how crowed a chapel can be after a long meeting, every one has to mingle). We finally made our way over to him and we both were able to shake his hand!

The Trunk-or-Treat was really fun and I got some pictures of that stuff and my costume. I forgot to tell you that a couple of weeks before the Trunk-or-Treat, the Primary had a activity and they invited the missionaries to come teach them about how to talk to their friends about the gospel. So we went and taught them then we practiced how to do it. At the end of the activity I promised the kids that if they would bring a friend to the Trunk-or-Treat the missionaries would have a prize for them. Then this little girl runs up to me and she said "I don't want candy, I want a cantaloupe!" I was like OK, what ever you want, you just have to bring a friend. So Friday comes around and she comes running up to me right at the start of the Trunk-or-Treat and says "where is my cantaloupe? I brought my cousin and she doesn't go to church!" I was like, oh boy she really did it. So at church on Sunday I brought that little girl a cantaloupe, every one thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen.

I want to thank you for the information about Jonathan H. Hale and Elijah Thomas. When we went to Winter Quarters, we were able to go on a tour of the visitors center. After we went through the temple, as we started the tour, the sister missionary started going on about how much the saints struggled and the pain and suffering that they had to bear. She then compared that struggle to the struggle of missionaries today then compared it to our own missionary struggle. Then the sister missionary took us over to the "look out" where it overlooked the temple and the graves. She then asked us why we were on a mission I got a little choked up, just a little bit, then told a small portion of my conversion and how I had got there. We then went on through the whole tour and still having our missionary struggle compared to the saints' struggles. And then you sent the stories of our families and what sacrifices they had gone through to build God's kingdom once again. It was truly amazing to realize that I am serving in the same area where my family served, still building God's kingdom. I put those stories right next to my patriarchal blessing in my mission folder.

playing hooky

Suzanne was on vacation last week and enticed me away from my desk for a couple of days to go play with her. We put in a lot of miles and traveled around the state.
On Wednesday, we drove down to Tucson and visited the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum . I'm not sure why is is called a "museum", it is actually a cross between the botanical gardens and a zoo. It was a pleasant walk through, and where else would you see a bunch of Javelinas?
There were also big horn sheep, a bear, wolves, coyotes, ocelots, snakes, racoons etc. Suzanne has some cool pictures of our day here . We also enjoyed sitting in the hummingbird aviary.
After the museum, we went to the Saguaro National Park. We asked a park ranger to suggest a hiking trail and told him we had 2 to 3 hours. He gave us an idea and we set out. We had some absolutely breathtaking views, but only after a relentless uphill hike for over an hour straight. I don't mind uphill, but I would much prefer some ups and some downs.

I saw this book in the park's visitor center. "Lizards of the American Southwest, a Photographic Field Guide". Here's the thing - it is over 500 PAGES LONG !!!!Anyway, fun day. Favorite quote of the day from Suzanne: "Hummingbirds have so much energy. They are the Chihuahuas of the Bird World!"

The next day, we took off early in the morning again and drove north. We got to the Grand Canyon by 10 a.m. and bundled up against the cold and headed out to explore a little bit. We went into the visitor's center to look at the maps and decide where we wanted to go. We headed out to the nearest overlook and started snapping pictures. We basically spent the whole day doing this:

We took the rim trail which goes, obviously, right along the rim. So we walked for hours with breathtaking views right at our side.

I have to post this picture, because Suzanne bought the most awesome lizard shirt. Isn't it cool?
At the end of the day, we added up the sections of trail we walked and calculated about 4.5 miles. I would have guessed more, but still not a bad day for exercise. All in all, she and I walked about 25 miles in the last 6 days.
Favorite Suzanne quote of the day: In the Visitor's Center before we started out: "Now we need to find the rim trail. I'm pretty sure it's not in here, let's go outside."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

a little walk around town

Suzanne planned a little walk across town today. Clear across town! South Mountain to North Mountain (15 1/2 miles). We've done this once before, but Melanie had a little injury before we finished so we thought we'd try it again for her benefit. We all made it the whole way today with no notable injuries. We started down at South Mountain at 7am, and started walking north down Central Avenue. We walked and walked and walked and walked, well . . . you get the idea. We started off with myself, Melanie, Suzanne and her friend Jet (well our friend Jet. You can't spend 15 miles together and not be friends at the end of the day). Then at lunch, we met up with Penny and Nicki and they walked with us the last 4 or 5 miles. Here is a picture of what we saw most of the day - you can see Melanie and Jet just ahead of us. Then in the next picture they're WAY down the road. Their pace was a bit quicker than ours. I'm glad they enjoyed each other's company because every time we started off together, they were 10 yards ahead of Suzanne and I in about 30 seconds.
I wish we would have taken some pictures of our lunch. We stopped at Postino's, just north of Camelback. I'd never been there before. Melanie and I shared a plate of bruschetta. Delicious and photo worthy!
Finally, we could see North Mountain as we got near Dunlap. We could see the "S" on the Mountain near Sunnyslope HS, and North Mountain is right behind it. We realized we were going to make it after all. We walked from 7am until just after 2pm, which includes a few little stops to rest and a leisurely lunch hour. The weather was great - just a little too warm right at the end, but mostly perfect. Melanie got home, cleaned up and bounded out the door to go barbeque-ing with some friends. I, on the other hand, landed in a comfortable chair and rested my tired feet for a while. A long while. Actually, I'm still resting them.