Monday, June 27, 2016

The Wadley's Join the $800.00 Club

When we sent Jayden off to Colombia almost a year and a half ago, I remember basically being in mourning. Partly because my boy was leaving, and partly because our family as we knew it was over. All of my kids were spaced 18 or so months apart, and we anticipated all three of the boys overlapping each other serving missions. Six years of missionaries in the field. So much change. And it came so soon.
A lot of families in the church have this happen. The mission department of the church streamlined the financial obligation to families a few years ago. Some missions are expensive (Europe) and some are very inexpensive (Guatemala) so to ease the burden, they pool the monthly costs of missions together and make the monthly flat rate for all missions $400. Families like us with two out at a time lovingly refer to this as "joining the $800.00 Club."
Shayne, Jayden and Brendan
I really, truly thought that knowing how incredible a mission is for these boys would make it easier to send Brendan. In some ways that does make the sting of sending him off a little less painful- but it also makes it harder- knowing what is coming.

This week is going to be an emotional marathon. He had his farewell yesterday, and spoke to a congregation of friends, family and ward members. He did a great job- and this morning in the shower- I felt the first of many hot streams of tears. (Seriously- how can tears feel hotter than the shower?!)

The "hot tears" are a combination of gratitude for their choices, regret for not doing enough/loving enough/teaching enough/spending enough time, the anguish of not being able to see them for two years, the worry of them being lonely/hungry/scared and so many more weird feels.

I remembered again as soon as it started- the weeks of hot tears when Jayden left, and it all came back to me.

I feel like I have grown so much trying to keep up with Jayden and his testimony. It has been really good change for us, but it is still hard on the heart.

Sending kids on missions is a perfect yin and yang of sweet and bitter.

Jayden has been anxious about his brother leaving. Bless him. His support means so much to all of us. And he has paved such a wonderful path for his brothers to follow. When I see who he has become- I want it so bad for my other boys too. Missions are a spiritual boot-camp. Serving others, gospel study & teaching creates strong husbands and fathers who have a solid testimony and relationship with God and Jesus Christ. What a gift to give our posterity!

Here is his letter this week:
i have been thinking all week about Brendan going into the mission field and every time i get thinking about it i get more and more excited! The mission is honestly one of the best experiences that someone can have! You learn so much and get to know the gospel more and help people and see them progress in the gospel. Brendan will do an awesome job and i am excited for him to have all these really fun experiences and opportunities!
I cant believe how fast the time went though! I feel like he just opened his call a little bit back! No but wow this is going to be crazy! 
This week was pretty normal. I had to do a report thing for President that took up some time but other that it was a pretty normal week. We had a really good conference with the Assistants and the talked about a lot of really cool things! Really i don't remember a lot of cool things that happened this week. It has been honestly normal. We were able to get out and teach a little bit and we found this really cool couple that we are hoping to meet with and teach them! 
We had a Family Home Evening this week with President (I don't have pictures because they are on his phone) and we were playing a game at the end and whoever lost had to do something funny. So Elder Covarrubias lost and had to sing really loud on the balcony, President gave me his phone to record him doing it and i sat down on a table that had glass on it and midway through his song the glass gave way and i feel on my butt in a pile of glass! I didn't get cut or anything but it made for a pretty fun time! We have it on video as well hah! 
I don't really have a long email this week either sorry but nothing to crazy to share with you guys! 
Love you! 
Elder Wadley
Elder Wadley and Elder Wadley

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Catching Both Bats and the Spirit of Service

I am late with this post too. What the crap am I going to do when I am keeping up on two blogs for my missionaries? Brendan heads off next week to Indianapolis to begin his two year service. I am heartbroken, booting another chick out of the nest- but also excited for the adventures he will have. We are so grateful for Jayden, and his example to his brothers, and well- all of us, really.
This past week we have been plagued with a bat infestation. We had an exterminator come out and estimate that we had 100 or so bats stuffed up in the eaves of the roof of the garage. I am so grossed out right now.
This same week, Elder Wadley sent me this photo.
It is a bat that he caught in one of his investigators homes.
I was weirdly relieved to see that bats are apparently a world-wide epidemic!! Utah to Colombia. The end is near, people! ;)
And these bats are fat-inducing bats, by the way. This is the disease they carry.
I have gained five pounds in the past couple of weeks breathing in the contaminated air.
Or maybe it is the ice cream. I'm thinking bats though.

Here is Elder Wadley's e-mail this week:
Well it sounds like you have had a pretty interesting week! Tell shayne i said sorry that he had kidney stones. My companion last transfer had to go to the hospital as well for the same thing. It is kinda a scary thing i think and doesn't seem right, the sickness and the way that they diagnose and treat it haha!
Well our week really wasn't a whole lot of interesting. The assistants went to the coast to do exchanges and teach and stuff like that and we moved houses. We are splitting up the houses so basically all the secretaries are going to live in the house that we just got and it is a pretty cool house. We have had a couple problems with it though since we have been here. Like i tried to wash my clothes when we first got here and the faucet broke and when we got back we had a swimming pool in our living room haha that was a fun mess to clean up. We have had leaky just about everything in that house-not to mention moving everything. We took two days to get all the big stuff out of the house and take it to the other house. Our new house is on the third floor and guess who got trapped lifting the fridge, washing machine, and most of the couches up? Me and one of the mover guys haha! It was really fun! I was really tired after but i enjoyed it! The little neighborhood where we live now is pretty cool and there are always little kids running around and loud people doing who knows what. Lots of life.
Basically our week with the whole moving and everything has been work in the office, move, and clean and organize the two houses. It has been kinda a long week but it has been a good one. Other than that there isn't much else to say. This week i was able to do a little bit of service and really it doesn't matter how bad of a day you are having or if something went wrong service makes you feel good and a lot happier. I want to challenge you to look for service opportunities this week and pay attention to how you feel during that time!
I am proud of Brendan for what he is doing and i am very excited for him! 
Love you! 
Elder Wadley
a selfie with Elder Flores y Elder Oliveira

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Adulting is the Worst

Sam and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary this past week. We spent it at a cheese and dairy farm. No lie. A cheese tasting. Cause this is what you do when you get old- you enjoy foods that like you, get better with age. I was really excited about it! We blind taste-tested 18 different cheeses along with the regular popular flavors. I highly recommend it. If you want a fun date night- look up Heber Valley Artisan Cheese.

Here is Elder Wadley's e-mail this week:
You guys and your weird cheese deals haha! I would be pretty down to try some good cheese though! Glad to here that the alley and everything is doing good even though it is summer and everything!
Hey it is super weird and also super cool to hear about all the people that are leaving on missions and that are coming back! It is going to be so different when i get back with everyone back from missions or on missions and not at home! Going to be a really cool change though!
Well this week i was occupied. We had consejo de lĂ­deres this week and spent a lot of the week setting up for that and i also had a bunch of other things that i need to do as well and it has kinda been running all over the place and being stressed but it also has been pretty good! To be completely honest my feelings have been all over place this week haha! Well i have been stressed, bugged, sad, and all sorts of stuff that has made it a weird week. I have been thinking a lot about the mission and how much i have learned and all the people that i have met. And well you are right- i am never going to stop being a missionary, I will be a missionary my whole life but a real "mission" with the name badge and the experiences that come with that for these two years i will never get back. I have been as we say here "trunky" haha but not for home-for this mission. It is the worst. At the beginning of the mission you almost can't wait until you finish and you look at all the Elders with time in the mission and envy them because they are that much closer to going home. But as you get more into the mission and you learn to love the people and everything more you begin to feel like it is home and you don't ever want to leave. I am to the point that i love it here and i don't want to leave.  I want more time to be able to enjoy it and have more experiences. Once you get to this point though the time starts going even faster. I have been here for a lot of friends in the mission that have finished and i have known for awhile that this is how it goes, and its weird to think that its getting closer and closer to that day for me. The mission is the best and i wish it could last a lot longer than it is lasting right now!
Well sorry about that rant but i needed it to get that out there. Other than that the week was pretty stressful but it was good! We were also able to have some good lessons this week. My comp Elder Flores is a stud and he is helping me out a lot with stuff that i need to get better at! 
What else? Nothing really interesting haha! i am just trying to enjoy everything i can! I came to realization ( idont know if that is how you spell that) that i am getting too fat so i am going on a diet. HAHA! No but it is for reals i am going to try and eat a lot better! 
Well i think that is all for now! I love you!
Elder Wadley
I usually catch him online on his Saturday p-days, and I wanted to share our back and forth email exchange. It seems like change and aging seems to be the general theme of our lives right now.
What you are describing is one of the crappiest parts about being an adult. Change anxiety. :)
When you are a kid and you have a birthday, or no longer believe in Santa, or graduate from elementary school- each change is exciting and you don't think too much about time ticking or no longer being able to do things. We don't mourn the "lasts" when we are young like we do when we are old. 
You get older and start counting the lasts. Time flies when you don't want it to. Babies grow too fast. Vacations are never long enough. Our relationships here on earth are too short.
The key is trying to enjoy it in real time. Live in the moment. 

If you are depressed you are living in the past. 
If you are anxious you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
Lao Tzu

It's really easy to become anxious and panicked over time passing and a chapter of your life coming to an end. And I wonder if that is a tool Satan uses- to make us ineffective. We can't be happy or productive this way. 
The flip side of mourning the end of a life chapter- is looking forward to the next one.
Your dad is so good at this.
When I was in full panic mode- sending you on a mission, I knew it was the end of our family as we knew it. Everything will change for us now. You gone, Brendan going, then Shayne and by that time- someone could be married and begin their own life. 
I was so sad. 
Dad was excited. He knew what was in store for you. He looked forward to those changes and the good that comes from change. I see it now- but I also wish a little that we could just always have you all here with us.
This, of course, would deny me of the happiness of becoming a grandma- and other experiences that I know I will enjoy just as much as I love the chapter that I am in. 
Change is hard. But every good experience in this life comes with change. No caterpillar wants to cocoon up- but it would never emerge as a butterfly if it didn't. 
Sorry this is so long. 
I just see you going through the growing pains that come from maturing and adulting and it sucks. But you aren't alone- and I promise you, so many good things are coming in your life. Just try to stay in the present. Don't beat yourself up over your past- and don't squander today being worried about tomorrow. 
Love you. :)
 Man i am getting older haha i dont like it haha! But its true! Wow you are a good mom haha! Its super true and that what i have been trying to do this last little bit haha! It has been working and we have had good times and good lessons because of it!  (Jayden)
Being melancholy is an emotion that pairs well with gourmet cheese. FYI You might like cheese! Old people do. We also like rice and hamburgers. ;) (Mom)
I asked for rice the other day! I really love it now! (Jayden)
You are one knee brace away from becoming your father. (Mom)
Setting up for the leader's conference. I can hear his laugh in my head when I look at this one.
From Sister Calderon: a little nap after a long day in the mission office.
Walking to an appointment. Medellin, Colombia.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Spiritual Superhero

This past week we took a little last minute family vacation to Hawaii for the last time before Brendan heads off on his mission. (June 29th!) I am not sure what happened, but I wrote Jayden an e-mail and it disappeared? It didn't show up- EVER- in my "sent mail" folder. I found it in "the cloud." (No idea how "the cloud" works.) I re-sent it, and like I said, it never showed up in my sent folder. So I wrote him another quick "not sure if you got my e-mail" e-mail.
I'll tell you what, nothing makes you feel old and stupid quite like technology.

The past couple of months our family has been experiencing some difficulties. I mention it here because I think it is important to note that our life isn't perfect.
I am definitely not perfect. I struggle with things like everyone else.
And I am pretty sure that Satan is working over-time on us, as we prepare to send another son out in the world to teach people about the Savior.
I was just really humbled with Elder Wadley's advice back to me. 
It was just what I needed to hear. It really helped me to re-focus, count my blessings, and look for the good in my day-to-day life.
Crazy how in-tune my little missionary is with limited knowledge of our situation and from 3500 miles away.
Here is part of my e-mail I wrote to Jayden:
I have to tell you- the past couple of months have been hard ones. We have had some things going on that are nothing you need to worry about- but it has been a stressful time for us. The only reason I mention anything is because I am so disappointed in myself. When things got hard- I immediately got angry at God because it felt like He wasn't there. I felt like I prayed- and things still didn't happen the way I wanted it to. It is disheartening to watch evil win and good people struggle. I am ashamed to say that when a trial came, I folded and let it make me doubt and get bitter. I know that He is working on answering my prayers, but waiting on His time table is very hard. I just really felt like I was doing pretty okay spiritually and it was hard to see how horribly I weathered that storm.
Faith is a hard one, sometimes. I need to use this as an opportunity to strengthen my faith and my resolve to trust Him- and know that He knows what is best for us long term.
Anyway. Just know that no one is exempt from temptations and trials and be patient with people. You never know what battles they are facing.
I also know that when you are prepared enough to face trials- it is Heavenly Father allowing you to grow and be perfected.
It sure sucks.
I'd kinda rather just be mediocre and bypass the whole growth by trial thing. ;)
Anyway. On that note. We are all healthy and happy! This too shall pass- and it is. And I am ever so grateful for all the blessings we have. There are many that we recognize as direct blessings from your service.
Here is Elder Wadley's e-mail this week:
Well your email got here....twice! I totally forgot that you guys were going to go to Hawaii! I hope that the trip went well and that everything went good!
Also i had no idea that you guys were having a hard time with some stuff. I don't really know what exactly but i think that its cool that you can recognize that a lot of the time it is our fault and we are way to quick to blame God or other people or think that God isn't there for us but He always is! A lot of times it is hard to understand that though and it feels like He has left us but in reality He is always there for us and He knows what is best for us. 
I have been thinking a lot this week about a lot of things. I have been feeling kinda bad lately about a lot of things. Lately i have been able to realize is that every place i am in and every person i meet is for a reason. What i have really learned lately is that everyone's mission (in the field or in life) is designed exactly for them. All the experiences, trials, bad companions, study time, everything is for you and there is something you can learn in every moment. Also i have been trying really hard to just enjoy everything that i am going through- and find the good. Sometimes the office isn't that fun and we don't get to do a whole lot of normal missionary stuff but that doesn't mean that i cant enjoy it. I don't know there are a lot of changes and stuff i need to make and have a better attitude towards a lot more things. There are a lot of things that i need to get better at but it all starts out with the little things!
Alma 37:6Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
This last week was kinda nuts because we were in charge of all the new missionaries that get here and of all the ones that are going home and getting all of their stuff put together. It is a lot of running around and setting stuff up and it gets pretty stressful. We got everything done and it all went pretty smooth which is good.
Other than that these last days have been pretty normal.
Well i love you! I hope your Hawaii trip was good!
Elder Wadley
And he made my week by sending me some pictures! The first one is my new favorite. For all of the growing up he has done, it is nice to see that he still has love for the Superheroes of his childhood.
"A house where the kids like to play with us!" with Elder Flores (Seriously- how darling are these kids?!)
"A Family Home Evening we had last night!"

"Me and Elder Flores teaching in the rain (we couldn't go in the house because there wasn't a guy in the house)"
Jayden and I think Elder Flores, but it is a weird angle
This cute photo was sent to me from Sister Calderon (the mission president's wife) It is such a blessing to have surprise pictures pop up in my Facebook messenger!