December 2010

December 2010

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Derek Letter 11-26-12

Sounds like you had an awesome week from no school to very little work (paid work). Did you watch any football on Thursday? I'm sure there was a ton to watch. One of the people we visited on Thursday already had their dinner and were watching the Lions game on a huge TV right in front of us. It was so hard to look away, let me tell you that, haha. I'm glad that you were able to survive the week because we did too! But now that the weather is getting really really cold and we start bike week this week, with no gloves and ear muffs it may be brutal. I think I can survive though. Just as long as I keep one hand in my pocket and guide the bike with the other. As for my ears, I think I'm going to have to use my hood to block the wind. The high today is 43 and it's going to be 16 overnight tonight unlike you there at home. I already miss the super hot summer as I knew I would. Whatever. As long as we work hard and think of the people and not our hardships, it probably won't matter. Oh, we are also moving tomorrow. It's hard to get to town on bike week because of the cold and dangerous highways. So lasr bike week we got rides everyday. But now with this brand new apartment, we will only bike a half mile to get to town. I loved living with the Crouch's but moving is what we need. This new apartment is super nice too and costs $650 a month. We don't pay for it so I shouldn't really worry about the price anymore. This past week was a little tough again numbers-wise. But we got someone to say yes to baptism now all we have to do is get a date for them. I'm really excited for them because they are a younger couple with a son that has a disease where he can't walk. I don't even know what it's called so I won't try. Thursday was our big fun day of the week. In the morning we had the Turkey bowl flag football game. There were a ton of non-members there and it was fun to play. I had 4 touchdowns but dropped another 2 and allowed 2 so I guess it balances out. I have just gotten over the soarness of that game. The soarness got bad on Friday and Saturday and it wasn't fun waking up in the morning, let me tell you that. After the game (we might be in the local newspaper too about the game), we went home to shower and do weekly planning before the Seljestad's had us over for their big Thanksgiving dinner at 1:30. I didn't eat as much as I could've because I knew we were going to eat again in 4 hours. At 5:30 we had our top off at the Clemens. I tried to eat as much as I could but couldn't finish my plate. Their son, one of the best wrestlers in the state of Kansas, watched us all stuff ourselves while he didn't eat. It made me think of Cody if he doesn't eat anything so that he can make a certain weight. Dad, I have come to love stuffing but don't eat the mashed sweet potatoes or cranberry jam or whatever they had. That was a great dinner but we were there for 2 hours when we are only supposed to be there for one. We tried but failed to get out of there on time.
So, I have thought of a couple other things to get. I would like Costco toothpaste and shampoo because the stuff I use now just isn't the same as either of those. Besides, Costco gives a large quantity of what you want. Too bad the closest one is 2 hours away in Kansas City. There is one or two other things that I just can't think of right now that I'd like to get. But if you don't want to wait anymore to send it, just go ahead and send it. If you want, you can get something for Elder Black. But I'm sure he wouldn't care if he didn't get anything from you. Things are going pretty good here. We have several appointments this week that should work out. We need more people on date, though. Don't worry, we'll work on that. We have an appointment tonight with people that have an issue with the authority to baptize. So we'll talk about Christ's example a lot today. Do you go out with the missionaries a lot? I'm sure they try and get team-ups to their appointments so they must bring somebody. As far as service goes, we helped Mike Poore move on Saturday. He was my first baptism, if you remember, but I know he is going to a ward in Mississippi that will welcome him. Hopefully his wife will join the church down there too. If he keeps it up, they will be sealed together while I'm still on my mission. That would be great news. Oh, on Wednesday, we went a few miles up the road to a small town called Louisville where we met an excommunicated member of the church of nearly 45 years. He made a promise with the Lord that he would never go back to church because he was living with a woman and wouldn't leave her. He said he hasn't been told to go back to church yet. I'm guessing he just hasn't prayed earnestly enough. We haven't attended many conferences lately. Just district meeting every Tuesday which seems to always be good. Now that Thanksgiving is pretty much over and we look towards Christmas, I am surpised at how many people think it's okay to decorate their houses before December begins. You know that I don't like to look forward to it that long out because it seems like it takes longer to get here. So Dad, don't put the tree up until this Saturday. Oh and Dad, nobody forces us to eat anything. Normally people are totally fine if you choose not to eat something because you don't like it. That's one thing I like about this area. Sounds like you had a busy week as well. Oh, man I miss the Cowarts. They were a fun family when they were helping Caitlin with scrapbooking because I would always go swimming. OH, before I forget again (it's been several months since I first thought of this), could you send me the address of Tyler Winston? I want to hear how his life is doing and how his mission went this summer. Well, that's all I can think of for today. Sorry, Cody that you had to go back to school. But it's a thing of life, I guess. Don't worry, you get a two-week break here pretty soon. Well, that's it for me. Tata for now,
Elder Sutherland
PS: "Of all the places to settle down, why - "
"The Volcano? This kind of soil is some of the most fertile on Earth. So. How does it compare?"
"Everything's delicious."
Reminds me of Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Birthday for a Special Friend

Cody's best friend, Cambrie, turned 16 this past week! He has been planning her surprises for months. It was fun to put it all together!

The candygram - 

The loot - 

The door approach -

Reading the candygram -

She loved her Tangled doll!

Apparently she loves warm pj pants - 

It's fun to have such wonderful friends! Happy birthday, Cambrie!

Cody's Birthday Celebration at Skyzone

Cody wanted to take his friends to a new trampoline place in Chula Vista. It is an amazing place literally filled with trampolines!

In this picture you can see everyone who came: Itza, Cheyene, Cambrie, Cody, Keanan, and Jayson.

Cody shooting a basket after a big jump!

 Taking a rest.

There was a part of it designated for dodge ball. Cody's team won almost every time.

This huge foam pit was fun to jump into.

Keanan's flip right into it. Jayce just finished.

Jayce shooting baskets!

It was a very fun afternoon! Everyone got super hot, tired and sweaty. I think the boys liked it more than the girls, but we went out to In N Out afterward, so it all ended well!

Jayson's indoor fort

With the weather turning colder, Jayson has created fun ways to play inside.

He kept it set up for more than a week. During the week off of school, he slept in it for several nights.

Fun kid!

Derek Letter 11-12-12


Hey Cody, guess what. It's your birthday tomorrow. Did you know that because I did. You're 17! I can't believe you're 17. Whatever. I will be 50 one day, that's for sure. Did you know that it's also my 5 month mark tomorrow? Time sure has been flying by in a way.

Okay, This past week was a very challenging week for me getting over the fact that Elder Clare is gone and I have to do everything when he did a lot being district leader and all. I was pretty Elder Clare-sick (compare to homesickness) on Thursday and Friday and a little bit on Saturday. But I think I'm over it now and ready to move on because I knew it was inevitable. It was just a matter of when. I was on my knees a lot over those 2-3 days asking for help and never give up. I think I have grown a lot in just the past week. So, on Thursday, we went to the transfer station to say bye to a lot of close fellow missionaries (every companionship in the zone changed this transfer). Zone leader Casper turned AP and Elder Clare went to Topeka to become a zone leader. I am training for the first time an elder fresh from the MTC. His name is Elder Black from Brigham City, Utah (Utah, I know). He is 19 and is the second child of 4 in his family: an older sister and 2 younger brothers. I am still in Wamego and we are being blessed because of this new elder here. We have 3 with a date still but we have gotten a couple new investigators that seem pretty solid. Nobody came to church, though even though we invited like 6 or 7 people. I don't know why people commit but don't come. It just doesn't make sense at all. I guess it's just the theme of missionary life. Elder Black is indeed working pretty hard. He has that desire to work hard therefore pushing me to be a little better in my training. It has waked me up to a new desire to work. I feel that I have developed that sons of Mosiah care where the very thought of some one to endure endless torment without this gospel shakes me to the very core of my being.

This week, we also did 5 hours of service: more than we have ever done before in a week. 3 of those we raked leaves for one of our investigators without her knowing. Her neighbor found out and told her anyways. Ohwell. It was fun to do that. So I assume Mom has been so busy that she can't e-mail anymore or maybe she just decided to combine emails. That's fine as long as I get an e-mail, haha! That's awesome that she got that job at Del Norte! I bet it will be a blessing for the family that will help financially and not having idle time (even though I personally know myself that Mom is the hardest working person I know). Oh, Dad. You can tell me what time you woke up Saturday morning because I guaruntee you that I have woken up later then it (2 PM).

Is Jayce really that big? I think I got that bike in 3rd or 4th grade or something like that. I would love to work on his fielding with him. Just remember to stay down and have the glove out in front of you on the ground instead of just in-between your legs. About his mis-behavior at school, sure I wouold worry and pray for him and I definitely will but I remember when I was a kid and doing that dumb stuff in class. Especially 2nd grade. But maybe that's how I changed: your prayers. And of course having the Dallin problem helped tell me that I didn't want that. How tall is he? I think I better watch out. He might become taller than me. Who knows maybe he'll reach my shoulders by the time I get home. Dad, I always love hearing about your store discoveries. That new one that you found ought to be fun for you. I know how much Mom loves Crate and Barrel so therefore you must love it a lot, haha! Woah! Maddy's a senior! When did that happen? I know she'll be great at one of the BYU's. I'm sure being bishop is a tough one. I just got Mom's e-mail. Sorry, no pictures today. We have our bike week this week and it got really, really cold yesterday after being in the mid-70's on Saturday. It was in the mid 30's all day Sunday. So it's almost time to break out the winter coat. Brother Earl has helped get a new bike for Elder Black. But he'll have to purchase a new one eventually. Well Dad, I wish you the best at work and do my best to pray for you in your calling but I'm always so dead at night when I pray and sometimes can't remember. That's one of my biggest struggles right now: my prayers. I need to get those a little more personal and relate to my father in heaven.

Yay! Hooray for wrestling! Wrestling starts today here too. There's this one guy in the branch who is also a Junior in High school and is one of the best wrestlers in the state of Kansas. I am not sure if you could take him, Cody. He is built like a wrestler too. Well, I thank you for sending me e-mails because I really look forward to them every week. If there's anything you want to know, let me know. I am here to answer your questions and tell you about my mission too. Thanksgiving is next week and I can't wait to stuff myself full of delicousness. Thanks for everything you do and I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Sutherland

PS: "Surprise! Happy birthday Squidward! Happy happy birthday. Happy birthday cake! Happy happy birthday. Happy birthday soup (I don't know what they say here)! Happy happy birthday. Happy birthday pin the tail on the donkey! Happy happy birthday! Happy birthday Squidward!...WOOH! See ya later! Have a nice life!"
"It's not my BIRTHDAY!!!!!"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Derek letter 11-4-12

I love love love getting your e-mails (and letters) and hope you love my e-mails too. This week has been quite interesting. Let's just start from the top. We only had to bike from our place to Wamego twice this week. We set a new course record on Friday. Our previous record was 42 minutes and 41 seconds. On Friday we got 35 minutes and 51 seconds. Boy were we booking it with the wind at our it was fun yet tiring...and of course sweaty. "But mostly, sweat." (See Cody and spongebob quotes). It was a pretty slow week, though because we were on bikes and limited our options to just Wamego and St. George. Even though we had some good lessons, our investigators are just not progressing. Even Mike (our super solid recent convert) has been on the down side. Of course being really sick never helps. He will actually be moving to Mississippi later this month, so we won't be able to baptize his wife in time because she has to be done with all Word of Wisdom issues 2 weeks before baptism and attend church at least twice which she has already done with the rest of her family. Okay, now the BBBBIIIIGGGG news of the week. So, on Friday morning the Assistants to the President called (or just AP's) and told me that I will probably be training this week because of transfers and all. So, on Saturday, I had to go to Independence to the mission home and have a training meeting for trainers. It was a nice meeting and I am nervous that I'll be able to be a good teacher. I know I'll be obedient but I hope my companion and I will be able to teach AND find people well so that the gospel can bless the lives of the people in Wamego. Over the weekend we also had stake conference. It was really weird to have it broadcasted to our building from Salina especially since there would be 2-minute periods where the audio would go out and we would just be sitting there in awkward silence while we watched the person give a prayer or talk. I swear I am so spoiled to have the stake president that we have because he is sssssoooooooooo inteligent in the gospel since he's an institute teacher. I think he'll actually be a mission president in the future. Also, my mouthguard snapped in half this morning while brushing it. You know the thing that I put in my mouth at night to prevent grinding. Don't worry, though. It still works when you put it in one piece at a time (you don't have to put this part on the blog). So, on Halloween it was just a normal proselyting day until about 5 when a million little trick or treaters started downtown and we couldn't go in until 6. I am surpised how many anti-Halloween people there are here. I mean it's just a fun holiday to be with the family. We went to a member's house for dinner and had chili, white chili, and brocoli soup. I had the last 2 and they were super good. Obviously the white chili didn't have any beans in it since I ate it. But we just stayed there the rest of the night for obvious reasons. I am also surprised how poor of reasons people have that they are voting for Obama. Yesterday we ran into a guy who said "I'm not voting for Romney because he's a Republican." Oh, like that has anything to do with anything. Whatever. I agree with what Dad said in that God is going to be in this election.
Dad, I always love hearing about your struggles (not in a bad way) because I know that you and I are having discouraging moments at the same time. That just means that the Lord is going to bring us higher together as brethren in His priesthood. But I always admire at how much you get done in one week (there goes the tornado siren again). I hope I can be hard working too. Sounds like you are just so close to finishing Cody's eagle project. It's hard to think that he's turning 17 in a few days. 17!!!!! Is Cambrie 16 yet? I just hope Cody can get his mind set on serving a mission and preparing now. I know that the thing I struggle with most that is spirit-withdrawing is my thoughts. I need to do better at that. Sounds like Halloween there sure was a blast. I feel like I got so much candy that I can't even devour it in one day like I used to be able to do. I wonder if Jayson is going to have so much candy that it takes until March to finish it. That's what I had. Hooray Caitlin! Can't wait to hear from you and your move to DC. Good luck in school! I just wanted to ask you a question: if the announcement to serve a mission at 19 came out before you graduated high school, would you have gone?
I'm glad I'm on a mission and avoiding lots of sports because I'm sure being at Uncle Mike's house on Saturday would have been brutal. Yes, I heard about the LSU-Alabama game. Ugh! Ohwell. Now I've got to let it go. Okay, I have definitely seen myself growing because if I had to go home right now, I would refuse. OH THAT'S WHAT I WAS FORGETTING. You know how I forget things easily. So, you know Elder Ellis, my MTC companion right? Well apparently I learned that he went home becuase of personal issues! It doesn't surprise me but it does. I am just dissappointed in him and wish he and I could have a heart to heart talk. I have been trying to get the mission mindset written into the tablet of my heart thereby being able to love and serve everybody a little better and bring them the gospel. People can be so hard hearted at times. I have had many experiences of that already. I always ask myself how that could be Christ's church when you say "as long as you believe and do good things by being a true Christian, then there's no need to be baptized LDS and there's no true church." That just ticks me off because the devil believes and is he going to be saved? no. Chirst taught except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That brings me to just a question to ask Dad or Mom or anybody who knows the answer (I think I know the answer. I just want to see what you think.). In the pre-Earth life, was it God's plan the whole time to follow Christ's plan instead of Satan's plan? Just wondering. So what have I learned about myself? I have noticed that I need to be more selfless and also be more self-reliable because I relied so much on you fixing the car for me or making me lunch and dinner. I have also learned to adapt my desires to the desires of my companion. It is tough being able to look at yourself before your mission and then change but it must be done in order to be successful. Well, I'm sure I've forgotten some stuff that I wanted to say, but I'll get going. I thank you for all that you have done for me and wish you the best in your lives. Great! great! great! That's 3 greats! 

Elder Sutherland

"kfaifbawefb. And then I ate some rotten berries. Man I had some mean gas eakin' out of my ---- that day."
"Why are you following me?!"
"I'll tell you why...Cuz I'm all alone. There's no one here beside me. My troubles are all gone [I forgot what he says] there's no one to deride me. But you gotta have friends!"
"Donkey! Well it's no secret why you don't have any friends!"
"What is that?! Who would want to live in a place like that!?"
"That would be my home."
"Oh, well it's just beautiful just marvelous. I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween's Past

I came across these pictures today...and I couldn't resist. 
I LOVE having a family. 
I LOVE these memories!

I know they're out of order...I didn't want to take the time to put them IN order :). Enjoy!


Our ward halloween party was the best ever! Seriously, we haven't had such a great one in years!

 Bro. Peterson was Moses, haha! Fitting!

 Cody went to the Halloween dance dressed as a piece of paper :).

 My little skeleton. I think this is the last year for this costume! (Not my favorite, anyway.)
 My little skeleton rides off to school!

I had a ton of school work, so I stayed home on Halloween. Mark went to parade and got some pictures.
 Mrs. Shalinsky was an organically grown carrot.

 Class party, making jack o' lantern out of an apple.

 I really love being a mom, and especially a mom to this face!

Mark took the day off on Halloween, and we carved pumpkins, of course!

 Jayce's friend, Jack, went trick or treating with us. Kind of freaky mask....

 Please note Cody's Romney/Ryan pumpkin!