Monday, November 25, 2013


Okay people I don't want to freak you out, but tomorrow is the halfway point of my mission. You might say, wait that math doesn't add up, you've only been out for 8 months! Well let me exlain to you the unfairness that is sister missions. so 18 months does not divide evenly into transfers, so someone somewhere decided (i don't know if this is universal or just our mission) that a normal sister mission is 11 transfers, which turns out to be 3 weeks less than 18 months. but we have the option to go one less transfer or one more transfer. since i want to come home in time for fall semester, i have decided to come home one transfer early, which means i actually will serve 9 weeks less than 18 months. LAME! yes i am aware that this was my choice, but i still think it's lame.
So since tomorrow is the start of the second half of my mission, i think it is reflection time. First of all, you might be wondering if I am the same person that you know and love. The answer is yes.
Do I still love to sleep? Yes. (i just don't get to very often)
Do I still love Christmas music? YES
Do I still love to read? Yes
Do I stilll love chesseburgers? Yes
Do I still love to quote She's the Man? Yes
Do I still love messy buns? Yes
Do I still not know how to take a normal picture? Yes
Do I still find myself in awkward situations daily? Yes
Do I still hate talking on the phone? Yes (but i do it)
Do I still love basketball shorts? Yes
Is my favorite color still yellow? Yes
Do I still love JT? YES. ( i heard suit and tie in a store last monday and literally almost cried. i held it together because sister kopta doesn't know that i'm a freak yet and i'm trying to keep up the act for as long as possible)
okay so now for the things that are different. yes i am still me, don't worry, but I have changed in a few ways since March. 
-first i think the biggest thing is something that happens to most missionaries. being here, my priorities have become very clear. not that i didn't understand this before, but now more than ever I understand that family is everything. i am not going to lie, being here is not easy. but i have a reason to be here that keeps me going. everything that i do is for you, my current family, and for my future family. somehow being on a mission helps you realize how little everything else matters. so i think that's the biggest difference in me so far.
-also my life is no longer about me, and it never will be again. that is really hard to realize and accept. i liked when my life was all about me in high school and college. it is easy to think about yourself and no one else, but that's not why i'm here. as a missionary i spend all day thinking about others and how to help them, and i know from experience that that is where true joy comes from. i know that the days of focusing on myself are behind me. that is tough, but i am grateful to have realized it now.
-also on my mission i have learned how to study the gospel. right before my mission i kind of hit a spiritual lull, where i didn't really know what else there was to learn. that sounds pretty conceited to think i knew everything, but i knew the seminary answers, i knew the sunday school answers, and i didn't know what else to study. luckily on my mission i learned from a great trainer and others how to come up with questions myself like "how are patience and faith related?" and then go to the scriptures, find some answers and find a way to apply that knowledge in my life. i am still working on it of couse, but i am so grateful to have learned that lesson. i don't know where i would be if i never learned how to study the scriptures. 
-also i have learned how to be wrong. it is hard and i don't like it, but sometimes it happens. you have to humble yourself, admit that you were wrong, get back up and try again.
-more than ever before i know that i by myself am nothing. i learned this one right at the beginning. before my mission i didn't need to depend on the Lord for much, but here i need Him every day. 
-lastly, from living with companions I have learned how to let things go. i have always been a peace maker and hated conflict, but now i think i have a better understanding of what things are worth putting your foot down, and when it is better to just let it go. also choosing to be happy is something that i work on every day and it really does work.
so that is how i have changed so far. I know that the second half of my mission will be even better and I will learn and grow even more. I have decided that starting tomorrow I am not going to think about myself anymore. I already spend the majority of my days thinking about others and how to help them, but this second half of my mission i really want to lose myself and go to work.
okay so that's how i'm different, now i have some questions about the real world.
Is instagram still a thing?
What happened to Rebecca Black?
Does the royal baby look more like Kate or William?
Is Ron Swanson still the funniest character on TV?
Is the Miley Cyrus song "we can't stop, we won't stop" as big over there as it is over here? It is literally Everywhere.
Has Leonardo Dicaprio finally won an oscar yet? (just kidding i know there haven't been any oscars since i left)
Are top knots still a thing? (i am trying to make them a thing in ukraine, it's not working)
Does anyone care about the Harry Potter movie or just me?
Does Dad still tweet? (@discodaddyy)
Who is doing the superbowl halftime show and why is it not Beyonce?

okay that's all i got. 

oh also i finally decided you russian names! ready?
 -Dad is Zhenya (the russian equivalent of eugene),
 -Mom is Vera (means faith and is just classy),
-Abby is Alina (named after one of my favorite people in Ukraine),
-Justin is Nikolai (total mob boss name),
-Adam is Dima and also Adam is a russian name (pronounce a-dahm with the emphasis on the second syllable), the nickname is Adamchik,
-Stevie is Eva (pronounced yeva) because Adam and Eve
-Sarah is Nastia because she's a princess. 

To answer your questions, no we still have not gotten our crockpot!!! Hopefully at zone conference in two weeks we'll get it. We are doing a thanksgiving dinner with our district on thursday and i am so excited!!! should be great.

Sister Kopta is doing just great. On her second day she said "I love ukraine! i mean it smells like death most of the time, but for some reason i just love it!" That is the miracle of missionary work my friends. 

okay i'm sorry that was a lame letter, i didn't even get to tell you about our 2 miracles! i will tell you next week for sure!!! love you and have a great week!!!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Came Early!

Already decorated for Christmas!

Don't worry, Mom. I haven't peeked.

First of all, Happy Anniversary Adam and Stevie!!!!!!! I can't believe a year ago I got my mission call, went through the temple and went to  their wedding all in 3 days. that was kind of insane but also awesome, just like every day here in Ukraine: insane and awesome. ALso I got the christmas package!!!! thank you!!!!!! i was so excited to open it because i knew it would smell like home and christmas, but it actually smelled like chicken bouillon and beef jerky, but hey that's still better than what the vast majority of ukraine smells like, so i'm not complaining. i am using all of the stuff that wasn't wrapped, and i haven't even peeked into my stocking yet! i am quite proud of myself. of course i already decorated the christmas tree! who do you think i am? dad/mr scrooge?
The biggest news of the week is I got my new companion!!!!!! Sister Kopta is from Dallas, Texas (shout out to dad) and she is 19. She studied out at BYU Hawaii (shout out to me) for a year before she came on her mission. She is studying physics (shout out to albert einstein) but doesn't exactly know what to do with it yet (shout out to every college freshman). she is super smart and knows german, japanese, and latin! what? yeah she's teaching me a thing or two about russian, it's fine. so we have 2 grammar books that they give us in the mtc, the beginners one is called penguin and the advanced one is called modern russian. our first day i asked sister kopta if she has read penguin at all and she was like "yeah, i started but it was mostly just review for me, so i'm working on modern russian right now..." and i was like "hmmmm well i'm still on penguin so.........yeah" haha awkward. You asked me how I'm feeling with my fluency, hm. well some of the time i can understand most of what's going on, and most of the time i can say some of what i want to say. basically i'm still working on it and i will probably still be working on it when i come home, but I have a firm testimony that every missionary's language is where Heavenly Father needs it to be, as long as they are giving their best effort of course.

This week was crazy, we went around saying goodbye to everyone with Sister Welch and then made the rounds again introducing Sister Kopta to everyone. I have felt like a chicken running around with my head chopped off all week, but this week should calm down a lot. Poor Sister Kopta had the craziest first day ever. First we had two packages for the elders and they have been sick with the flu all week, so we decided to be nice and walk them over to their apartment. Well, they live further away than i remembered and the packages were heavier than we initially thought, so we got on a bus which ended up taking us the wrong way, so basically we walked halfway across mariupol to deliver these packages and literally the minute we get to the elders to drop them off, the other elders call and say, hey do you mind dropping your plans today to go do service at the hospital? last time we did service at the hospital it was literally washing two windows and took 10 minutes, so of course we said yes. Well this time we weren't washing windows. We were removing leaves Ukrainian style, which involves raking huge piles of leaves onto blankets, then tying the blankets so that you have a huge bundle, and carry the massive heavy bundle of leaves to a bigger pile of leaves about 15 minutes away, and then repeat about 20 times. I wish I had a picture because we looked absolutely ridiculous, but don't fear, we're going back tomorrow to do it again! Poor Sister Kopta was freezing during this whole process because she didn't have any winter clothes yet! don't worry we went shopping the next day and got her all the good stuff, including the thick lumpy ukrainian babushka tights that just make you feel real good about yourself.
oh this week before sister welch left everyone wanted to make her favorite food for her, so we ended up having 2 pizzas in 24 hours which in america is fine, no problem, but ukrainian pizza is a little different and not so easy on the stomach, so sister welch and i had a touch of food poisoning when we went to transfer meeting, we were mostly just hot and sweaty and our stomachs had weird jabby pains, but i think everyone thought we were just a couple of sweaty weirdos, so yeah. welcome to my life.
other funny/awkward story of my life. we called our 'investigator' denis, he has had one lesson with us only because we told him he had to have a lesson with us if he wanted to play ping pong with us haha. anyways, i called and asked if he wanted to meet with us friday at 6:00. then i realized institute is on fridays at 6 and i thought, maybe that wasn't a coincidence. maybe he should come to institute and that would be interesting to him. so he shows up, and institute starts and about 5 minutes into it he gets up and walks out. tanya a member told me later, he asked "wait this isn't english conversation group?" nope. "okay, i'm out" haha whoops.
oh our taxi driver to donetsk for transfer meeting is the cooletst guy ever. he is HUGE and has a ponytail and he played britney spears and sang along and danced the whole way there. it was so great. he showed me his tattooo on his forearm that is supposedly french, now i am no linguist but i am 99% sure that that was definitely not french haha.
also we went back to visit our doctor one last time before sister welch left and he read the Book of Mormon! He explained to us how he read it, he said something about reading the first few words and last few words, i didn't really get it, but i'm pretty sure he skimmed the whole thing. anyways, he said he liked it and it's a lot like the Bible but he didn't know what else to say about it. The bad news is he's out of town for a whole week, so hopefully when he gets back we can meet with him again. who would have thought that extreme constipation could bring someone to Christ?
okay it's that time again: What I Learned My 4th Transfer:
-when I left Lugansk I got a glimpse of what it will be like to finish my mission. It was so hard to say goodbye to the people and town that I love so much, but at the same time I knew that the Lord had more in store for me somewhere else. I was able to leave with confidence in knowing that I did all I could do in Lugansk and gave my best effort every single day. I am so grateful to not have any regrets or doubts about my first 3 transfers.
-The Lord hides blessings in trials (see constipation story)
-Always, always keep inviting people to things. Don't give up on them. Make people feel loved and eventually they will come, or come back. Never give up on people even when others have. Of course you have to balance spending your time on those who are willing and ready to progress now, but you can't quit on people because the Savior never would.
-This transfer I studied authority because there were a few talks about moral authority in conference and I never really thought about that before. I learned that authority comes from obedience and worthiness. I also studied leadership and decided what kind of a trainer I want to be this time around. Last time i was basically an infant just struggling to survive. now i feel more like a toddler, and I think I am at least a little more equipped to lead someone at this point of my mission. 
-I also thought about how I want to feel when I go home. I obviously want to feel sad, because that means I loved my mission and don't want it to end, but I also want to be happy with my efforts. In the church we talk about 'know, do, and become.' Before my 18 months are up, I want to make sure that I learn, do and become all that I need to be, and all that the Lord knows I can be. 
-This transfer I taught a district meeting lesson about comfort zones, and realized that our comfort zones only grow when we are outside of them. the more minutes per day that i spend outside that comfort zone, the faster it will grow. and there is always room for it to grow. even the most experienced, confident missionary still has aspects of missionary work that aren't totally comfortable for them. 
-i also thought about the connection between miracles and faith. the Lord doesn't just throw miracles at us all the time, i mean sometimes i feel like i get miracles that i didn't necessarily earn or wait for, but most of the time miracles come after trials. this is because in that waiting period is when we grow. by the time the miracle comes we have already learned our lesson and our faith has grown because of it. if miracles happened all day every day, we wouldn't need faith.

okay i know that i learned more, but i can't think of any more right now. i hope you know how much i love you and miss you!!!! i can't wait to skype you in just over a month!!! start writing your questions down because i am ready to answer them! i hope you have a great week and don't get blown away by a tornado! love you!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Diet is Over, Flowers for Babushkas

November 11, 2013
 Preaching By the Sea

okay this is gonna be short one because my dear trainer sister erekson is writing a book (isn't she the coolest) about sister missionaries and asked me to write something for it. i guess i'll share it with you, but it's nothing i haven't already told you i think. anyways here it is:

"Everyone told me that my mission would be hard, and I believed them. I didn't expect a walk in the park, or even to love every day of my mission, but in all honesty I have. I have actually woken up every day of my mission happy to be here. And that doesn't mean that life is easy or that there aren't hard days, but I have chosen to be happy and that's really all it takes.

When I asked my mom what was harder, serving a mission or raising 4 small kids she said, "Oh no question, raising four small kids. But I couldn't have done it without my mission because the most valuable lesson I learned on my mission is that I can do hard things." Every day on my mission I do things that are hard. Even things that I couldn't have imagined myself doing a year ago. Yes, serving a mission is the hardest thing that I have done so far in my life, but I know that it will not be the hardest.

When I was asked to train in my third transfer I was more than surprised. I was overwhelmed and did not believe in myself. I didn't have very strong language skills, I had very little experience as a missionary (12 weeks in country) but the biggest problem was that I didn't believe in my own capacity to be a successful missionary. I knew that the Lord trusted me, but I did not trust myself. Of course I kept working hard and doing what I guessed I was supposed to do, but I was not confident. So I did what all good missionaries do, and I turned to the scriptures. I studied confidence. I looked up every single verse that mentions or refers to confidence. I looked for patterns and I noticed somthing. I learned that there are 2 kinds of confidence taught in the scriptures. There is confidence in the Lord, which means having faith in Him, knowing who He is and believing that He will keep His promises, and there is confidence in front of the Lord, which means being able to stand in front of Him, confident in one's worthiness to receive the blessings He has promised. I realized that as long as I lived worthily, obeying the rules 100%, and continued to study more about my Father in Heaven and grow closer to Him, I had every reason to be confident. My confidence is not in myself, it is in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

I have learned firsthand that the Atonement doesn't just undo mistakes or take away the pain, but it stretches us and makes us more than we are. It makes us better, stronger, and more like our Savior. On my mission I have learned how to rely on the Lord, which doesn't mean sitting back and letting Him do all the work, it means working my very hardest and trusting in Him to do the rest. I have learned that the more I know who Heavenly Father is, the easier it becomes to trust Him and do His will rather than my own."

I think i quoted you wrong, i couldn't really remember what you said but i think that was the gist of it. anyways this was a really good week. we got transfer calls and sister welch is!! also, guess who's training again? this guy! yep, apparently i didn't quite get it right the first time because i'm doing it again! just kidding i'm way excited though. i hope she's cool and likes cereal because now that sister welch is leaving the diet is officially over! it was worth it though because we ended up teaching her doctor and he committed to read the Book of Mormon (the whole thing...he's a super genius) and meet with us again! new investigator waddup.

This week I learned the hilariously ironic fact that Ukrainians are TERRIBLE at the mafia game. like literally the worst. every saturday night we have game night and we usually just play ping pong and uno but we decided to play mafia because we had a really good turnout and it was hilarous. i won't go into details but it just took forever and i don't think they understood the point of it at all. i actually told everyone that i was the mafia so they would kill me so that i could get out of there. it was pretty bad.

this week we bought a bouquet (i don't know how to spell anymore and i want to cry) of flowers to take to a sick babushka in the ward but she didn't answer the door, so we just walked down the street and handed a flower to each babushka we passed. some of them loved it and some of them asked why and we said "because you're beautiful" or 'because God loves you" or whatever. anyways they loved it. actually one old lady came up to us and was like "i saw a bunch of ladies with flowers and wondered what was going on...can i have one?" haha it was so much fun.

this week we thought we had such a good plan for english. we talked about gifts and then at the end sister welch taught a spiritual thought about the Book of Mormon and then said, today we talked about gifts and we have a gift for each of you. there's a table by the door with a stack of Books of Mormon on it, and you can take one on your way out. well, it was a good idea in theory, but nobody actually took one so we were pretty bummed. but then after english we had an awesome lesson that i don't even know how it happened. we were just going to teach these 2 guys, but sister welch just kept inviting people to join the lesson, so it ended up being us, 4 investigators (2 old 2 new) and a less active! haha it was crazy and kind of went all over the place, but we got 2 new invesitgators out of it, so it definitely made up for our fail of a spiritual thought.

yesterday we had district conference (stake conference minus the stake) which i think was good, but i don't really know since i didn't hear any of it. there wasn't any room for the missionaries in the actual chapel (that's good because it means it was a good turnout) so we all sat in this random classroom upstairs and the audio playing in the room was such bad quality we couldn't understand anything (also it was in russian, so that didn't really help), but the good news is we had 2 investigators come! we had to leave Mariupol at 7am to get there on time, and they still came. that's impressive.

okay sorry i don't have any more time to write, i was busy writing a book! i want to end with a recipe for an authetic ukrainian salad. you should try making it this week! also you can get a sense for how ukrainians speak english, i'm going to write it out exactly as we got it. our branch president's mom told him the recipe and he wrote it down for us in english. this is what the paper says:

let's go

"Far East Salad"

a half of a small cabbage
one middle size carrot
one small beet
one or two pepper_bells
two cucumbers
one lemon (to get a lemon juice)
5 teaspoon of oil

Shred the cabbage and the carrot, oh, and the beet also. Then you make like small "mountains" of each ingredient. Then put some salt, pepper, and garlic on each of the "mountain." Then put one teaspoon of lemon juice on each of the "mountain." Heat the oil on a frying pan and then put a teaspoon of this oil on those mountain (each one). Add some "soy sauce." When you are ready to eat mix everything and enjoy!"

Oh this week i got packages from the Walkers and Lex's and a letter from Sister Walker! Thank you!!!!! I don't want to say I ate all the candy in a 24 hour period, but I also don't want to we'll leave it at that. yes i got the last missionary mom letters and the recipes! thank you!!! love you and miss you! have a great week! didn't hear from this sibs this week, better luck next week?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Newsflash! Sister Shrek is eating veggies! Mothers' prayers ARE answered.

I am so glad that you had the good sense not to throw away my candy. I had assumed it was long gone by now! Now I have even more to look forward to when I get home!!! I don't know what you are talking about, but Kefir is NOT good! It is sour milk!!! The doctor said we are allowed to eat yogurt though, so we are definitely doing that. Trust me, we are getting enough veggies. One dinner I said, "I think i just ate more tomatoes in this single meal than in the first 20 years of my life combined." I'm pretty sure that was an accurate statement. Yes I will definitely be able to skype on Christmas! If I am still in Mariupol I can do it here in the internet club where I am emailing right now. If i am somewhere else there will probably be a senior couple in my area who will let me skype at their house. Either way, don't worry you'll get to see this face in 52 days! It hasn't been too cold, in the 40's i think. It was the coldest my first week in Mariupol and that's what those pictures are from. I have been wearing my trench coat every day and it works just great! I'm so glad we decided to get that. It was so weird being here for Halloween because no one celebrates it at all. I actually forgot it was halloween completely until the end of the day. I guess that's how it will be for Thanksgiving and Christmas too since they celebrate Christmas in January here.That is so cool that a whole family is getting baptized in December!!! Families are gold. We are trying to teach a family but they are just so dang busy it's impossible to get over there.
Funny story: yesterday at church we were talking to this super adorable babushka Dina, who is probably 80 years old which is an insane age to be alive here. anyways we were just talking about something and then she stopped and said "Wait are those your teeth?" And I was like yes....they're mine. and she was like "no. no way. those can't be yours! they are straight and white! no way." then she looked at sister welch and was like "Wait?!?! are those your teeth?!?!?! you must have better water than us because my grand daughter is 26 and they don't look like that!" Now this was coming from a woman who has 4 teeth, three of which are gold. so yeah, be grateful for your teeth people! not eveyone has them!
This week we went back to crazy Ivan's house twice! We probably should have passed him to the elders already, but Sister Welch is good at seeing the best in people and knows that he's just a lonely old man. Anyways since he showed us his videos last time we decided to show him the Restoration video the this time. He is definitely ADD or something because he just kept getting up and walking around and asking random questions. at one point when there was a wagon he points and says "wheels" in english because he was proud of himself for knowing that word i guess. Anyways, then he just mutters to himself, welch, wheels, welch, wheels, and i guess he confused himself because now he calls Sister Welch "wheels" which is hilarious. Also he gave us each a book of love poems (in russian)....Sister welch got shakespeare's sonnets and i am slightly jealous because mine are from some guy i've never even heard of! whatevs he likes her better because he asked her to be in a music video and specifically said i am not invited! i am not offended in the slightest. we are counting on the fact that sister welch is getting transferred because we found out on our third lesson that Ivan is definitely in love with her. we went over for the third time last night and he said that he wanted to teach us a song he wrote. we were like "is it about God? because that's what we're here to talk about" and he was like "yeah, well God is Love, so it's about love" uh oh. well translated this is what the song said "We are going to sing all night about love. I love you, love you, love love you Welch." hahaha i actually snorted out loud when he sang it and i think i may have hurt his feelings a little bit, but come on! it was ridiculous. we had a serious discussion and told him why we're here and that when we come over we can't just sing and hang out, we are going to teach him lessons. We told him that our purpose is to teach people about God and he said, oh that's good but it would be better if you would spend your time teaching people about ecology. then he went off for a solid 10 minutes talking about how our ecology is so bad right now and the water is so bad and if we don't fix it God is going to flood the whole earth again. He is impossible to teach because he just talks and talks forever and then when you finally get a word in he asks a crazy irrelevant question! Like we asked him specifically, Why do you want to meet with us? and he said, "wait is mormon his first name or last name?" also he asked sister welch if God is a personality or nature or something else, so clearly we did not teach that well enough last time. also he asked her if she will baptize him, so we've definitely got a long way to go with this guy. or, rather the elders do because we are definitely passing him. he is entertaining that's for sure though. also we had to run home from one of our lessons because we were going to be late, and by run i mean an actual run, not the half walk/jog thing that i do in the morning to count as exercise. anyways the branch president was with us (we would never to go ivan's without our body guard/translator) and when we were running home sister welch and i were in front and he was behind us then suddenly he just busted up laughing and said 'it looks like i'm chasing you!" so we made him go in front so it looked like we were chasing him hahaha. 

This week we had Sister's Conference which was the best!!!! I got to see all of my MTC buddies who I haven't seen since my first transfer which was basically an eternity ago. We laughed and cried and talked probably more than we should have and it was just great. We talked about how to deal with elders (hahaha), how to avoid creepos (a very valuable skill), how to avoid self-criticism (especially important for sisters), how to exercise (boo), how to eat healthy (boo), and how to consecrate yourself more fully to the Lord (yay). We also had chocolate fondue with fruit which reminded me of that girls camp when maddy and makara went CRAZY and it was slightly scary but also awesome. we all slept with blankets and pillows on the Lochhead's living room floor and it felt so good to be in a real home. Also Presdient Lochhead showed up for a little bit (mostly he was afraid to be in a house with 28 girls so he stayed away) and he told us that we are the most important people in Eastern Ukraine. Nbd. Just changing lives over here, don't mind us.
On the way home from Sisters' Conference I had an epiphany. I've been doing that these days. Anyways I was thinking about how I can love the people more. Some of my friends who are on missions always talk about how the LOVE the people so so much and would do ANYTHING for them (like walk 3 hours to buy food and water every week or something insane like that. that was an example that i totally made up all by myself it's not like anyone does that or anything). I would like to say that I am there, but I'm not sure. Of course I love the members and of course I love our investigators, but I can't say that I love the drunk guys who yell at me on the street or the people who tell us to go back to America every day. I was thinking about this and then a line from President Eyring's conference talk popped into my head: "I gave him to you because I knew you would love him no matter what he did." I decided to change it and apply it to me and the people of Ukraine: "He sent me to them because He knew I would love them no matter what they did to me." Heavenly Father sent me here knowing that I could love these people, I just have to believe in myself and do it. I need to see every person as the Savior sees them, not as they are but as they can become.So that's my deep thought for the week.

Also since christmas is coming up can you send me the spanish/mexican/fiesta eggs recipie and the sunshine ring recipie? i want to practice so i get it perfect by christmas!!! also there's a brand of plastic bags and garbage bags and random stuff here called 'Frecken Bock' which i think is the closest anything has come to rhyming with our last name! so that's pretty exciting. 

That's it for this week, yes we are still on our diet and no we haven't died yet! We went back to the doctor and he said that sister welch has worms (we could have told him that! everyone has worms!) so we get to go back again next week for another check up! we are inviting our doctor and his family (he has a wife and 2 little kids) to family night tomorrow because if we have to come see him so often he could at least return the favor. we'll see what happens. anyways i love you and hope you have a great week! eat a cheeseburger for me this week!