Saturday, November 26, 2016

Way down south where the missionaries grow . . . .

On Monday, the 21st of November we took Anika to the airport so she could fly to the MTC in Sao Paulo Brazil.

Even though it was hard to say goodbye, we did it at least three times each and also several times all together. Lots and lots of goodbye hugs. Lots.

And then we watched Sister Songer enter the security line and we left. (The way you do that is the same way you jump off a cliff into cold water--just do it quickly before you can really think about it. Otherwise it gets too hard.)

We knew she wouldn't be taking off for a couple of hours after we left her and that it would be the middle of the night our time before she got to Brazil. Throughout the day we thought about her and where she was in her journey. Casey pulled up the flight map so we could see exactly where she was at that moment. It doesn't make you feel better when your daughter's airplane is suspended over the vast expanse of the ocean. Nor is the ground much better.

When I woke up around 5 a.m. (as I do) I wrote her a quick email from my phone to welcome her to Brazil. (They are 5 hours ahead of us there. (Only in our modern world can you welcome someone to someplace you aren't.))

Happily, they let her send an email the day she arrived so that we'd know she was safely there and when we would be able to hear from her next. Here is her letter:

Ola familia, Estou aqui! I´m here, I´m safe, I´m taking forever to write this email because the keyboards are different. 

First news: Other than this letter, you won´t hear from me until next Wednesday (not this Wednesday but NEXT Wednesday!!) 

The unexpected: (They always tell you to expect the unexpected, and my only question is--how?!) 
...okay, the news is: I am flying solo. No other sisters came down with me, so I´ll be companionless. There are other solo sisters, but they are farther ahead than I am, so I can´t join them. 

This last sentence I will keep the errorsÇ /today I saw my first cockroach/1 and they are even bigger than i thought don~t underestimate Brazil!

I love you lots and next Wednesday (not this Wednesday but next!!) I will send pictures. ]
Just me and the elders
Sister Songer

(sorry if I come across oddly, I´m tired. Thanks for your letter!)

We are so excited for her! We miss her! We can't wait to hear more! 

Queen of the Bee

Hale-lujah, Rosie got First Runner-Up (i.e. 2nd Place) in the Valley Elementary annual Thanksgiving Spelling Bee!

 We are pretty proud of our 4th grader for beating out all the sixth graders.

The first place winner was a boy from 5th grade and third place went to another 4th grade girl.

We watched Rosie go from pretty subdued during the whiteboard portion, to more and more excited with every successful round.

She had to stretch her neck up to speak into the microphone. 

She was so excited toward the end that she was high-fiving the girl next to her and talking to her. I caught her eye from the audience and gave her the "shhh" sign, but I couldn't blame her, really. I would have done the same thing at her age--I remember that fizzy nervous feeling of being on the spot in front of an audience! Makes me feel a little sick remembering . . . .

(Look how flushed she is!)

She told me she was going to win a turkey for us and she did. Me of little faith, I'd already bought one (but only because they take so long to thaw in the fridge.) We'll be eating hers come Christmas.