Tuesday, January 3, 2017

October and a trip to Texas

For much of this year I haven't been the best on staying on top of the blog. Now that Jacob is on his mission I am vowing starting t his year to be better at it and so I'm going to work on getting up to date and staying on top of it more. 

I updated the blog with our trip from this summer but I didn't email them to everyone to spare all of you who don't care from getting my posts. If you would like to read about the rest of our trip this summer feel free to check out the blog and look back! 

In October Jeff and I got to visit Texas for a New York Life convention and to see Janell and her family. 

The first day we got there we met them at the mall next to the riverwalk. We walked along the river to the Alamo. It was just closing but we were able to go in and to walk through the visitor's center and then went back to the mall to eat dinner. 

Squishing pennies as souvenirs.

The next day our plans were to enjoy the resort hotel with Janell and her family.

While we were waiting to meet up with Janell's family we found out that our hotel was hosting an animal encounter. 

As soon as the McInroes arrived they got to enjoy the animals too. 

One of my favorites was the porcupine. 

and the finale was the sloth.

Janell's family posing with all the fall decor.

The picture of all of us wasn't as good since we were in the shadows. 

We loved enjoying the waterpark at the hotel with Janell and her family. Most of the New York Life people hadn't gotten there yet so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. 

We went in the lazy river, went down some waterslides (we even got Cody to go on one) and then hung out at the beach pool on the sand. While Levi and and Benny played in the sand and made new friends we enjoyed talking.  

So glad that I was able to hang out with Janell during our trip.

Very glad to spend time with the McInroes and enjoy the resort with them. 

That night was the start of the New York Life convention. 

We had fun meeting new friends and seeing old ones. 

We both got to get up close and personal with armadillos.

We had to hold them with gloves and then release them so they could race other armadillos. 

Mine won!

Meeting a long horn steer. 

The next day Jeff and I got to go on a boat tour of the Riverwalk. 

I loved the riverwalk and would have liked to have more time to explore it. 

We ended up at the Alamo. 

Our guide was very knowledgeable and told us all kinds of interesting facts about San Antonio and the Alamo as well. 

There was a certain point that we were running out of time and Jeff said something to the effect of "OK lets go inside and see it"

He got tired of hearing about it on the outside, we wanted to go in. Ha ha. 

This was a crazy, old tree in the courtyard. 

While we were there I got to go with the rest of the families to the zoo. 

The zoo had brought pumpkins in for the animals and we got to watch as the bears were ripping open the pumpkins to eat them. 

I also go to feed the lorikeets. 

At one point I had 2 or three of them on me with one on my head. 

My friend from Wisconsin with her Lorikeet accessories

One really liked my purse strap and kept trying to eat it. 

The funniest part of the trip was watching the Hippos and hearing the ladies behind us insist that the Hippos weren't real. I actually was taking a video while they were talking about it and imagine their surprise when they started moving. Then the only lady said "Well that one Hippo is real" 

I thought it was funny that she thought that they would have fake Hippos at the zoo. 

On our last free day at the convention we went on an excursion to a German town (I guess a lot of Germans founded the area) and to some caves. 

We went to the town first. It was a little town with a lot of cute shops. 

One of them had samples of jelly...for some reason eating this one covered in yellow jackets didn't sound too appealing. 

On our way into the caves. 

I have to say I almost didn't go in because they had given us all these warnings that if you were claustrophobic not to go in. They said it was hot, strenuous and had tight spaces.  I have had previously felt panicky in certain situations and all the warnings had me worried that I would have a hard time. I tried reading reviews and this didn't really help. 

I'm really glad I didn't sit this out because it was well worth it and not even nearly as bad as they warned us about. 

It was pretty neat, not too hot and not very strenuous. 

The hardest part was the long climb back up to the top but it wasn't even bad at all and they took it slow. 

On the last day of the convention we got to hear from Aly Raisman, the Olympic gymnastic Gold medalist. It was fascinating to hear from her and find out how hard she worked to get where she is today.  

She is an impressive young lady. 

The last night was a party at 6 flags magic mountain. 

There were parts that the kids would have thought was boring but Taylor was sad to miss this one excursion. 

We ended the convention with fireworks and goodbyes to our New York Life friends. 

The next day Jeff and I headed back to the Riverwalk and mall to do some shopping for our kids and hung out before our flight home. 

We came home and the kids had all survived on their own for the week. 

The next day we were right back into the Friday night football games.  Ashley was sad that she had missed the trunk or treat for our church. She had already had costumes planned and everything but mascot duty called. 

Elsa had stayed the week to keep Ashley company and her and Jolene had all gone to the pumpkin patch and brought home pumpkins to carve. This was one of them.

This was the pumpkin 4 days later (still before Halloween)

I was explaining to my friend from Michigan why we can't carve our pumpkins to early ha ha. 

Since the girls had missed the trunk or treat the night before they found another one the next day at our local animal shelter. 

We came up with costumes last minute. Maddie was a bee with small wings because she would bite off anything bigger that we put on her collar. It didn't look very much like a bee, people thought she was a tiger but at least it looked like we attempted. 

The girls wore superhero capes because it was much too hot to wear their footy pj costumes. 

It was fun to see all the cute animals dressed up. We just might have to go back next year. 

That night the girls all put on their costumes so they could go to a Halloween church dance together. 

They all had Monster's Inc costumes. 

Halloween day and we prepped with lots of candy. 

We moved neighborhoods but we still get a lot of trick or treaters!

The girls wore different costumes! What?

Ashley said since Jolene couldn't go with them they were going to wear these ones. 

Sigh. So I bought her that special purple footie Pj, sew the costume and tailor it for her and she only ends up wearing it for a couple of hours at a dance! Sheesh.

And an update on Jacob.

I got this random picture and text from someone in Jacob's ward saying how much they are enjoying having him there! 

He is loving it. 

Some excerpts from his letters this month...

October 10th 

"Hey Y'all!

This week’s been a crazy one! The last Sunday in the MTC we finished by watching BYU vocal point preform and i got to meet them! The next morning we had to wake up at 2:30 to catch a plane at 7. It wasn’t to bad, until we got to the Atlanta airport, we only had a 40 minute layover, and our delay on our first flight was 35 minutes about. So ya...we didn’t make it. So we had 15 of us all running around like the biggest airport in the world trying to get on another flight, and we finally found 2 different flights 3+4 hours later. But once we got here to North Carolina it was a relief cuz no one got lost and we had all our luggage! We got to meet the mission president and his wife and they were really nice! They also fed us our first southern meal!

So first, to answer all your questions. It was a really long day flying here, mostly because we missed our flight, and we were all worried we would either have to stay the night in Atlanta or we would lose our luggage because of the different flights, but it all turned out good! Also, before the first flight I kinda lost my boarding pass and the whole group was freaking out trying to find it, but I just went up and asked for a new one and they were perfectly fine with that. My companion is a 20-monther so he's pretty experienced. It was kinda surprising cuz he's the biggest elder here, and he’s kinda lazy so ive had to step it up a bit. like i just did the dishes for the first time today! And in the Apartment it’s just us 2.

The Ward was really nice, they all were very welcoming and i got to impress the men with my piano in priesthood. But the Ward is so tiny! Our priesthood back home is bigger than the whole ward here! So i guess that’s kinda cool, cuz ill be able to get to know everybody easier.

This week was really weird. Mostly because there’s so many people in the MTC, then i was with 15 people, then the next day it was just one guy, but I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable though! The work can be kinda hard sometimes, mostly just in the morning cuz there’s a lot of time for studying and its hard to stay awake, but whenever I’m out i just kinda lose myself in the work, and I don’t really focus on anything but what I’m about to teach and stuff. But the beginning of the week was really hard, cuz i was thinking a lot on how long this is going to be, but after a couple days I was fine, especially once i started meeting the people here. "

"A little over a month down!
Tuesday. The highlight of the day was when we were teaching Cynthia. So the lesson was planned to only be like half an hour, but she loves to talk so it was actually two hours, so i kinda couldn’t stay focused for that long. She has those couches that you swipe and one way is darker and the other is lighter, and so i started writing "he loves you" on there, cuz we were talking something about gods love, and i was thinking no big deal. An hour after the meeting, she calls us freaking out, but in a good way, it was funny though.

Wednesday: Pretty rough day, none of our appointments worked out, except one at the end of the day with recent converts, nothing too special about today

Thursday: Today we did a service project with our zone! I finally got to meet my zone/ family for the first time and i loved them right away! We were working on a orphanage farm place and we moved hay and painted some benches, and i found mini horses! It was so nice being with my kind. And also we took a picture together on top of these hay bales, and my foot got caught on the string when i was coming down so i face planted like 6 feet lol, but it was on more hay so i was fine. Also i saw my longtime friend from the mtc! Elder Flint! But sadly our dinner canceled on us so we ate bagels instead.

Friday: My official one month on my mission! We went to a zone meeting and i got to see the family again! 

Elder Toki said some inspiring words, but one thing in particular really stood out to me. The overall question of the meeting was 'what's your why?' and i know this applies to the mission, but it also applies to anything! If we have a big enough reason, and we focus on that reason were doing whatever were doing it for, we'll be able to get through so much more! if that makes sense."

Love ya'll!
-Elder Beaulieu

October 24th 2016

So P-Day is almost over so I’ll try to make this quick! ...  Also, this is a message for Taylor and Ashley, remember how mom told us not to play with lighters, she was right. That is all I’m going to say cuz I don’t want to freak out mom lol. Nothing to worry about though!

Hopefully I’ll be able to convince president in interviews coming up soon to switch my companion so we could get some real work done! I think I did learn something from this one though, that being lazy and not giving it 100% sucks, and it’s really unfulfilling. So I think I’ll be able to look back on this if I start to get lazy in the future.
The biggest highlight is one of our investigators is getting baptized tomorrow! She’s been through a lot in her life and has been really humbled. She even kicked out her boyfriend after they’ve been together for 10 years, because we taught them the law of chastity, and he got really mad, long story short, she said this was her path god wanted her to go on, not his, and kicked him out! It’s so amazing to see how ready some of these people are to be baptized. 

The only big difference about the days are the dinners. The members are so nice and the food is so good down here! Except i had this one really weird meal that was like zucchini casserole with plain squash, and a weird slusie with sesame seeds in it as our only drink lol. Other than that, it’s been real nice food! One dinner, the members had a husky! It was so cute and it would start howling trying to say i love you! And another night i broke a chair lol. It was already broken so idk why they gave me that seat, but about 10 min in, it completely broke! Lol it was funny though, not for them though, they felt really bad.

Also! I registered to Vote! I have no idea who to vote for though. At the post office today, i think i saw trump drive by? There were like 6 or 7 police cars escorting a giant trump tour bus? It was weird cuz i started freaking out when i saw all the police cars, i thought there was a major crime or something and i was in trouble. 

Lol I probably should start taking more pictures, I don’t really have any this week but I’ll try to get more for yall next time!

Last week, for all yall that took the challenge to read 1 Kings and thought about the question 'why does the Lord speak to us through a whisper?' There’s probably more than one answer but one I heard that was really deep, it's because he's close to you :O. Idk if that’s a big thing for you but that was really deep for me! 
I miss all of you and I hope you’re doing great!

-Elder Beaulieu 

October 31st 
"Sorry it took so long to write, I was busy literally until now. I just got back from the ward trunk or treat, and it was so much fun seeing all the members and playing with all the little kids! The weeks are going by crazy fast! Ill try to write in my journal, but I thought I only missed one day, and i look back and i missed a week! Lol I need to keep up with the journal though, so much has been going on lately, its hard to remember it all!
Mother- Do not worry about the lighters thing mom! It was only 1st degree, but you know what they say... trial by fire. Other than that I’ve been getting a lot better at spending my money! But its still really hard because every time I see something cool ill want to buy it. With the members, I love these people! We had a baptism for someone no one in the ward knew, and over half of them came! I’ll tell you about it more in the mass email, but the spirit was definitely the strongest I’ve felt in a while there, and I’ll send you the pictures as soon as I get them! ....

I love you all and mom and dad don’t think I don’t appreciate you more just because I only said it to the kids, but that’s what stood out to me this week. I will leave you with a scripture, it talks about the second coming. Mosiah 26:25 "And it shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound then they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before me" I don’t think its talking about a trumpet, so if trump gets elected, we all need to start repenting!

Love you all, cant wait to hear great things from yall"

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