Friday, December 30, 2011

Last email of 2011!

Not a terribly exciting week at the MTC, but it's nice to hear from him anyway.  8)
Here's what he had to say today:
"Not much has happened this week, we've just been cleaning from Christmas, and trying to organize. Our Kohai (younger group) just got here on Wednesday and they're pretty cool. It's nice to have a full Japanese branch again instead of just 1/2, we'll finally have a full team for Volleyball for the first time in 2 weeks. "

In the small package I sent this week was a bottle of the wassail we make every Thanksgiving/Christmas/New years.  Jeff was very glad that someone helped me ship his package this week seeing how someone else took all the keys on a trip to the other end of the state leaving me with a vehicle but no way to start it.   Yes, I am laughing about it.  Anyway, here is what he said about the package:
"The wassail was SO good! I passed it around for the district to try some, and in Elder Baker's words "It's like I'm drinking apple pie!" Everyone that tried it thought it was way good, and after I nuked it everyone was surprised at how good it was. Is there anyway you can send more? ;)"
I think next week's package may consist of a large bottle of wassail and paper cups to make it easier for them to share. 
Have a happy weekend and I hope your New Year will be as awesome as all of you are, I expect a letter at the beginning of next week, so until then...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Suprise Christmas email!

I was bummed all day thinking that I wouldn't even get to hear from Jeff because he's still in the MTC, then I checked my email at 10:00 tonight and realized that I should have checked it at 2:00 this afternoon!  I wish I had known that he was going to be able to email , I'd have sent him a message this morning and shared Jeff's email with my dad before he went home.  DANG!

So here is what Jeff had to say (or at least the portion of the email that will make sense anyway):

"MERRY CHRISTMAS! I guess this is my gift to you, I get to email home on Christmas this year!!
I love the photos that you sent me in the photo book, it was super nice to see everyone and to be able to show off my car to people... The package was great!
The sacrament went well, Elder Bednar came, but I'll have to give a run down of his talk later in a letter. Elder H and I broke bread and handed out trays at one of the 5 tables. The numbers were crazy!!! total there were over 2000 people there."

I must say that the email was the absolute best gift of the day. ♥

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas email

Yesterday I received an unexpected letter from the boy.  Apparently he had some extra time at lunch and so he decided to quickly write home.  I guess I'll have to be more diligent about picking up the mail on days that I'm not expecting a letter from him. 

I just got my pre Christmas email from Elder Mosdell who was thrilled to get his big Christmas package from us as well as a couple of other packages yesterday, right up until he had to haul them up the stairs.  Apparently the mail room is 5 floors below the classrooms so there was plenty of time for other missionaries to stare at the brightly wrapped large and somewhat heavy packages that Elder Mosdell was hauling all over the building.  Elder H apparently had some packages of his own to carry around the building so together they must have looked like their friends and families love them or something. :)

Mostly Elder Mosdell wrote about some things he is excited about, he said:
 "I have a crazy cool story for you... or maybe two. Firstly, I found out last Sunday that I'll be passing the sacrament to the entire MTC on Christmas day, and that a member of the 1st Presidency (not Pres. Monson) will be there, crazy cool eh? I'm SUPER excited to do it, I've got everything ready except for a white shirt (in the laundry now) and a hair cut which I'm getting at 9:15 today. I can't wait to write everyone and tell them how it went!"

I know that  a group of missionaries left for Japan on Monday December 19th so their district will be very small until next Wednesday when the new group arrives. Jeff also said "Things are going great here, I'm still plugging away at the language and I'm excited to get our kohai (new guys) in. They come the week after Christmas, the lucky punks, and I'm really excited for the Japanese branch to grow again. I think we're getting something like 30ish new missionaries, cool eh?!  I hope everyone's Christmas is wonderful! I miss you all, and I love you all SO much. Everyone be good!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday is my favorite day!

Jeff's email today talked mainly about the photos that he sent earlier this week and about his friend Justin who just entered the MTC on Wednesday.  So nice to hear that  Justin has a great companion and that he is doing well there.  I'm so glad that Jeff has been able to see him and talk with him some.

As for the photos, the large group is their zone minus "a few Elders and a Sister who were in a meeting" and the shots with the 6 Elders and 3 sisters are their district. Jeff is in zone 27 district C.  I was able to share a few of the photos with some moms who I met through the email group, they were excited to see their boys in the photos.  That really made me happy.  I'm so glad that they are all doing well, and that I could help bring their families a smile or two.

I've found out some additional information about phone calls home.  Obviously there will be no Christmas call this year, there is just no way to work out having over 3,000 missionaries call home from the MTC.  It makes sense, but I don't have to like it.  On the bright side I will apparently be getting a phone call while Jeff is in the airport on a layover somewhere between here and Tokyo.  His departure date is currently January 31st, we'll see if that's accurate or if it changes for some reason when it gets closer.  Jeff's 1/2 way point in the MTC is coming up, it's on Christmas Eve, I think that is a rather fun coincidence. Don't you?

It is sounding like we've settled into a pattern where we get an email on Friday and a letter in the first part of the week, so we may make a habit of updating twice a week through January.  I've also been told that there will be another memory card with photos coming home in "a couple of weeks".  I'm looking forward to getting that and sharing some more pictures with all of you and some other missionary moms.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A little paper and a lot of folding

Our Primary sent the missionaries in our ward a care package for Christmas. There was a small tree, decorated I'm guessing, and a few goodies. Jeff wants a few more decorations so we're sending him an origami nativity - we thought that would be fitting for missionaries going to Japan! The pattern was shared with us on the email group Jody is part of for missionary moms. Here's a picture of the nativity and a description (from left to right). Three wise men bearing gifts (green), Mary kneeling down (maroon), an angel (blue), baby Jesus in a manger, Joseph (light blue), three shepherds (brown/tan).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photos and things :)

A letter with a photo card came today.  *Happy Dance*
So lets just dispense with the chatter and get right to looking at the photos!

The boys from zone 27 district C

Zone 27 district C


Lots of Elders and Sisters, Elder Mosdell is in the lower right corner
Zone 27

Zone 27, Elder Mosdell is in the middle(ish) of this one,

A lovely panoramic sunset  that just needed to be shared :)
He says he is doing all right and really enjoys the walks that they take and the visits to the temple.  They spend most of their days studying in the classroom, but on Saturdays they practice teach members who volunteer their time. 

In addition to the photos that we got on the card today I thought I'd post this awesome caricature of Elder Ninja as a little bit of bonus material.  I totally love it, the white shirt and tie over ninja clothing with the name tag and scripture chucks.  So wonderfully funny, thanks Brimley!

Dec 10, 2011 Jeff Brimley

Friday, December 9, 2011

Yay for pday, email, and good young men!

Jeff says that he is doing good, that his teacher says he is doing above average for missionaries at this point so she isn't worried about his Japanese, and that he has enjoyed the time he has had in the temple.  He has seen his friend Scott a few times but hasn't had the chance for more than a hurried exchange of words, and he's looking forward to seeing Justin who will be entering the MTC on the 14th, just 5 days from now.  For those of you who know Scott, he is doing well.

Jeff also wrote that he will be sending a letter today containing a memory card with the photos he has taken so far.  That means we will have photos for you all to view as soon as our postal carrier delivers that letter, and as soon as we have a chance to go through them to edit or censor as needed and post them here. :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

New letter!

I just got a short letter from Elder Mosdell! 

Finally a response to the request for a scripture to put on his plaque that will hang in the hall by the bishops office.  His choice? 

Esther 4:14 "... Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

He says that he has gained a few pounds so he will be watching more closely how much he eats and will be increasing his workouts.  Apparently the food is served buffet style so he must watch himself closely.  There was also some talk of what he would like me to send him for Christmas.  Not much really, a shoe tree and  more crackers.  Good thing I have a few ideas of my own.

Another missionary mother sent me a pattern for a simple origami nativity.  I'll have Laura make that and then we'll post pictures.  We'll probably send one to the boy just for a little personal Christmas decor.

Over all we know that Elder Mosdell is keeping very busy and has precious little time to write.  He appreciates the letters,  packages, and love that have been sent.

Friday, December 2, 2011

2 1/2 weeks out

The boy has been in the MTC for 2 1/2 weeks now and so far I've gotten 2 letters and 3emails.  Not bad if you think about it.  Unfortunately I've gotten almost no answers, and even less requested information from the kid.  Yesterday's letter was a full page mostly containing a request to group the letters and emails that we send from home so that they are easier for him to respond to.  OK, no problem. 

The first two emails that I received were amazingly short and lacking in information.  Today's email to me was a one paragraph reprimand for writing too often and getting on his case for not answering the important questions I have asked him. Call me crazy, but I think a better solution to that problem might have been for him to respond appropriately to the requests for information.

Well, there you go.  I hope someone else has better information for you  because I've got nothing this week.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Today was P day

I got a very brief email from the boy more or less stating that he'd send me a letter.  Yeah, fantastic son, I appreciate that.  At least I know he is getting my letters and the package that we sent to him.  Of course in his email to his dad he was a bit more chatty.  Apparently the companion situation is OK, but not fantastic.  Someone thinks  that his companion should be more focused and attentive to the work, less 19 year old boyish.  I'm sure it will all work out. 

I guess I'll just keep waiting for the boy's letter.  I'm guessing that he hasn't taken much time to write the people he should.  Probably something to do with trying to get his new schedule running smoothly and learning the routine.  By the time he has it all down he'll probably be off to Japan so he'll be learning a new schedule.  That seems to be the way life works doesn't it?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First email from Jeff today!

We have received our first contact from the boy, from what he said he is doing well and keeping busy with the language and classes.  His Pday will be Fridays until he leaves the MTC (he only got a few hours for a Pday this week).  He receives mail twice daily and is only able to read email on Fridays. 

The rule for him emailing is that he can only email immediate family and grandparents, at least that is what I've been told. I'm still not clear about the rules on him receiving email from friends and extended family so I'm not sure if I should give out his email or not, for now I'll hold off on that. 

Please send him all the letters you would like to over the next 11 weeks.  I know letters are $.44 each and email is free but I'm not willing to risk getting him in trouble.  Just be aware that postage to Japan will be $1.05 per 1oz letter in January (currently it is $.98 but that wont do us any good will it) I have heard that he may have better email capability once he is in Japan, we'll find out more about that later I suppose.  For now keep the letters coming and make sure you keep Jeff and the others in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

He's in the MTC and we are adjusting.

We dropped Elder Mosdell off today at 1:10.  Traffic was crazy and we had to sit through several cycles of the light because there was nowhere to go as we turned into the MTC parking lot.  I've been told that the number of missionaries going in today was higher than normal because of the holiday next week.  It was nice (meaning that there was no long, drawn out public bawling experience). We drove up and parked along the curb at the number we were directed to, popped the trunk and piled out of the car.  While the trunk was being unloaded we got one more good hug each, someone said "Welcome to the MTC Elder" and he was gone. 

Of course we then drove past a sea of smiling elders who waved at us and beamed encouraging looks to all of the departing families.  I know he'll adjust and be fine there for the next 11 weeks before he goes off to the other side of the world. 

Well, I'd better go find one of those boxes we have been saving and start putting things the kid forgot in it, we started finding things he'll need shortly after we dropped him off.  I'm betting that is normal.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wednesday is the day!

Large gathering of family and friends

Shopping (still need stamps)  ;)
Setting apart
Drop off

We are almost through the check list!  We drop Jeff off on Wednesday this week so if you want to start writing him letters of encouragement and support that would be great, he'll be glad to hear from you all.

It was so nice to see everyone over the weekend,we missed those of you who couldn't make it.  I'm really glad that the weather cooperated because the house was very much overflowing.  Thank you all so very much for being the wonderful people that you are and for showing your support for Jeff. 

We love all of you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

One week and 2 days left to get it all finished up!

Today is Monday the 7th of November, Jeff goes into the MTC on Wednesday the 16th of November.  That is just 10 short days my friends!  It is getting close and I'm actually starting to feel more excited and less dreading him leaving.  Don't get me wrong, I'll miss the boy an awful lot, but this will be one of the best and most defining experiences of his life.  That is just unbeatably cool.

The point of this post is to let you all know the schedule for the important events that will be happening between now and the 16th of November.  We'll spend this week getting the shopping and shots finished off, then it gets really crazy:

Saturday is Temple day, if you  want to know the time to meet us at the Provo temple get in contact with one of us ASAP so we can get you the information, we'd love to see you there.

Sunday 1:00 Jeff is speaking in sacrament meeting.  We meet in the Canyon View Stake Center building which is located on 2550 East in Spanish Fork (between highway 6 and Canyon road).  After 2:30 Jeff will be happy to visit with you at our home.  If you need an address contact one of us ASAP and we'll take care of you.

Tuesday evening Nov.15th Jeff will be set apart.  Visitors are welcome at our home that night, contact one of us for time/location information.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2 weeks

We are cleaning house and finishing up all of the things that need to be done before Jeff heads off to the MTC.  He still needs some shots and and we need to purchase the remaining small items that are on his list of gotta haves.  Everything else (ordination and recommend interviews) has been scheduled and is in process.  We just need to call the temple and make the arrangements there (we are thinking Nov 12th) and then its all done except the packing and drop off. 

Of course the weather has turned cold and nasty just in time for the arrival of family who will be coming and going frequently over the next 2 weeks so we're hoping that the various nieces and nephews will be happy, cooperative, and not ill.

I know, I know - I'm probably asking for too much.  What ever happens we'll just roll with it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Moving forward

I didn't post last week so I feel like I should post something this week even though there isn't much to tell right now.   Here you go, a simple excuse for not having anything new to tell.

Jeff is working on loose ends while the rest of us are scrambling to pull the fall band tour together and make it happen this week (no joke, this thing has been falling apart from day one).

The older girls are extremely busy with concerts and things, Anna is trying to survive the constant tornado that seems to have taken up residence at our house, I am tired and just a little bit grouchy (that may qualify as an understatement), and  Leighn is taking it all in stride and plugging through the chaos.

The main goal for this week is to sort out the driver license stuff for Jeff and to go out and back with the band with out any more crisis situations. 

Well, with all that said, I'm off to bed so that I can start the day off with an early parent teacher conference, pack for tour, and hopefully get the dog bathed and a hair cut.  For now I'm just going to bed though.

Oh, I almost forgot, Missionary Mall finally got the umbrella in.  Going to pick it up tomorrow, for the third time.  Wish us luck.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better late than never right?

Obviously I didn't manage to write a post yesterday.  Between school, work, marching band, and trying to get things wrapped up for the missionary boy I'm a little overwhelmed with everything right now.  Give me another week and I'll be back to normal (what ever that is).

In the way of mission preparation we haven't done a whole lot in the past week, just some minor shopping (got the belt from Missionary Mall but still no umbrella) and taking care of some scheduling.  Things are moving slowly at this point, but that won't last long.  As soon as we get home from band tour (Oct 29th) everything will be a whirlwind of getting Jeff ready to go.  Meanwhile we'll just keep our heads above the water and push on through the mountain of things that must be done!

Oh, I almost forgot, I don't know what I was thinking last week.  Jeff enters the MTC on the 16th of November which is 5 weeks from now, not 5 weeks from last week.  Obviously I am number challenged, no one who knows me very well should be surprised by that little tidbit. ; )

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Three Photos

Now that the home server is up and running lets have a little look at those photos shall we?


There are two versions of this photo,                                                                         

So what do you think?  What should we hang on the wall for the next couple of years?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A few family photos and stuff

There are still 5 weeks to go before Jeff is out of here and starting his grand adventure.  I placed an order last week for some things at Missionary Mall, I must say that I have not been thrilled with their online order system.  There was no indication as to when my order would be ready for pick up so I sent Leighn in to check on it the day I ordered.  He was told that it would take about 24 hours to prepare the order (14 pairs of socks, a belt and an umbrella) and that they would call us when the order was ready.  Today, a full week later, I received a call announcing that our order was ready for pick up so I sent Leighn after it on his way home.  Of course when Leighn got there no one in the store had any idea where our order might be.  Leighn came home with the socks but no belt and no umbrella.  Did I mention that our account has been billed for the items which we don't have?  Long story short, I am much more impressed with our experience at Mr Mac where we purchased the majority of the things Jeff needed for his mission, scheduled alterations for those things that needed them and picked EVERYTHING up on the agreed date, no problem. 

Yeah. OK, rant over.

So anyway, we took the kids and tortured them up the canyon on Sunday while we listened to conference.  Taking family pics is always such a joy, except when you want to get a serious, nice family photo.  My understanding is that we took over 800 photos (thank goodness for digital cameras!) and we managed to come out of it with a whopping 3 nice family shots.  Of course there are several shots of the kids that are nice, and some nature photos that got into the mix somehow, as well as a few OK(ish) photos of Leighn and myself. 

We are debating which photo to print and hang on the wall, I'd post them here so you could give us your opinion, but the server is down tonight (major home server upgrade happening as I type) so I can't access the photos right now.  Keep your eyes peeled for an additional post later this week, we'd love some additional input!

(I have been informed that we took 250 photos, not 800+, who knows where my brain got that number!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Not much new to report this week, we are continually gathering things and preparing for the drop off date.  Six weeks left to finish up all of the gathering, get all of the paper work done, and  then its off he goes! 

The sooner he goes the sooner he'll be back, right? 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Date confirmed, Nov. 13 it is!

I just wanted to post a quick note to let you all know that we have confirmed the date Jeff will be speaking in our ward.  November 13th at 1:00 pm at the stake center between Highway 6 and Canyon road (it's on 2550 East).  I know some of you will be traveling some distance, if you would like us to help find lodging let us know, we would be happy to help.

We picked up Jeff's new clothes yesterday and I must say he looks good!  We'll be taking some pics of him soon and I'll post one for your viewing pleasure sometime after we get them taken (because it is difficult to post pics before they are taken, DUH).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Still no word on the date Jeff will be speaking.  Last weekend was stake conference and things got shaken up a bit.  Our stake presidency was released and replaced, in the new presidency is our bishop and our home teacher as 2nd and 1st counselors (in that order).  Needless to say our ward is in for a bit of a shake up.  Amidst the chaos the importance of getting us a confirmed speaking date seems to have diminished.  While I am not surprised or at all upset about the situation it would be nice to be able to give family members and friends who want/need to make travel arrangements a firm date.  I guess my point here is to ask you for your patience with the information while we sort all of this crazy stuff out.

In other news --  Jeff's friend Justin received his call yesterday! YAY! For those of you who know Justin he will be serving in the Tallahassee, Florida mission.  If I'm not mistaken that is where Jeff's Grandpa Mosdell served his mission.  Small world eh? 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You may or may not have noticed the lack of a post on Tuesday this week, we are still trying to confirm the date that Jeff will be speaking in our ward (currently planning on Nov. 13th).  This has been particularly difficult because last week was Labor day weekend so most members of the bishopric were out of town and this weekend is stake conference for us.  We'll get it all figured out and post the confirmed info here A.S.A.P.

We'll be making the BIG shopping trip today! New suits, pants, shoes, luggage, the works!  I'm excited to get the shopping underway and move along with this process.  Of course the mommy in me is dreading it some too.  Hopefully the Mr. Mac experience will be a fantastic one so we can get all of this done relatively painlessly and then enjoy a nice lunch out with Jeff, my dad, and some friends.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Preparations continue

As I understand it Jeff will be speaking in our ward on Nov.13th @ 1:00.  If you are interested in attending we'd be glad to see you!  More information will be posted nearer to the date.  His visa papers are now in the mail and on their way to where ever those things go to be processed.  Hopefully they will sail right thorugh without any problems.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Getting ready to go!

Jeff received and accepted a call to serve for two years in the Japan, Tokyo mission.  He is currently in the preparation process and has thus far gathered some items which he will need but there is still much to do before he is ready to go, not the least of which is the visa application!  Over the next 11 1/2 weeks we will be scrambling to get it all done.
What we know so far is that Jeff will enter the MTC on the 16th of November 2011.  After that we aren't so sure of departure dates, we have been told both December 20, 2011 and January 30, 2012 as dates for him to leave the U.S. for Japan.
Care to join us on this little adventure?