Merry Christmas! This has been quiet a year of challenges for the Boyer’s. But to start off , we have thankfully come through them all with stronger faith.
The early months started off strange for us, with Brian being so far from home. But seemed to proceed normally enough. We had a family reunion (for my side of the family) at our condo in Maui, Hawaii. It was wonderful to have my sister, nephew, niece, Amy/Joe, and my parents with us. We had wonderful dinners out, relaxing days surfing and sunning, and games and stories galore. I think we all came away feeling great about being together. Of course being in paradise helps!
Laura (14) found out the end of May, that she would need extensive back surgery in the fall (scoliosis). She however was stoic and strong about the whole thing, and really wanted to just enjoy her summer to the fullest. And she did! Besides the Hawaii trip with her best friend, she also ventured up to Granite Bay, CA, Mammoth, CA, Salt Lake City, UT and of course girl’s camp with our church. The surgery took place Oct. 17, and was as brutal as we had been informed it would be. It took over 6 hours to perform, and a week in the hospital. She is on complete bed rest for two months, but will be recovering for the better part of a year. It is a slow process to have the spine heal as it fuses, but she was thrilled to have gained 2” in height from it. Her attitude has been remarkable. Harder for her than the pain, has been the complete boredom she is faced with. And believe me, we try everything to entertain her! She is so happy that the girls from church come to visit regularly, and she is taking up crochet. Instant messaging and email has become her lifeline.
Karen (17) has been busy, to say the least. She finished up high school early and has been attending junior college since August. She continues to attend early morning seminary, as well as institute class in the evening. She works in her dad’s office two days a week, and keeps busy with friends; at Disneyland, assorted concerts, and her Tahitian dance class. She has been asked to perform in their professional hula group this summer...AFTER she gets back from “studying” at BYU Hawaii, this spring. Her biggest challenge this year was sending a friend of hers off on a mission for our church to, Chile Viña del Mar. He too will serve for two years (just like Brian and my nephew).
Elder Brian Boyer (20) has just reached a full year in the Brazil, Belo Horizante East mission, where he is a senior instructor. He emails us once a week and lets us know he is coming along. Right now he has become so fluent in Portuguese that he is struggling to remember English (he even dreams in Portuguese!) And to think he worried so much about mastering the language in the beginning. He has had all native Brazilian partners, and his mission president’s have both been Brazilian’s...at times he is the only American in the towns he’s been in also (it may explain his lack of “English skills”). He is truly growing into a man as he selflessly serves the people of Brazil and learns to communicate the depths of his spiritual beliefs to them. We are so happy that he has chosen to sacrifice his time and talents to the work of Christ’s church and for the spreading of His gospel. We look forward to a year from now however, when he will once again be safely tucked into our nest here at home—BEFORE he heads on to the next adventure of his life! We are planning to meet Brian when he concludes his two years, in Brazil, and have him takes us around to meet the people and places he served. By then Laura should be healed and able to endure the 12 hour flight! UUUUUGHHHH. We may try to tour Argentina too, where Ken served his mission anciently. But we will have to see how visa’s and passports work out.
Well, as you may have heard, California was devastated by arson this past October, and WE almost suffered the tragedy of losing our home. The flames were literally 100 ft in the air towering over and surrounding our neighborhood, as we evacuated. Later, we had two police reports tell us that our home was lost. Hours later a friend went up to investigate, and found all of our homes standing! Though we spent the rest of that hellacious night fighting off burning embers and fierce winds, we made it through with just some singed trees.
Despite near tragedy, and the trauma of Laura’s operation and recovery, we have had some wonderful blessings attend us. One, is the prospect of being grandparents! Amy & Joe are expecting their first child in May, and we are all thrilled in anticipation of that great event.
There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. It is the time to love the Lord our God with all our heart—and our neighbors as ourselves. It is well to remember that “he who gives money gives much, he who gives time, gives more, but he who gives of himself gives all. Let this be a description of our Christmas gifts.”- - Thomas S. Monson
At this we pause to give thanks, for all the many gifts of the heart that you, as friends and loved ones, have given to us. We have felt your faith and prayers during our times of trial and opposition. It has sustained us. May you be equally as blessed with support and love throughout the coming year.
Ken, Linda, Elder Brian Boyer, Karen, and Laura.
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