Monday, December 1, 2014
Hey all, I hope that this letter finds you safe and sound like always. I'm in Nitra at the moment, but there's a chance that could be changing real soon, so I'll keep you posted. This week I don't really want to talk about my end of the spectrum, but more I wanted to have a little thank you session and try to get every person I'm emailing, so look out for yourself!
Taylor: Thank you so much for your support, even though it must be difficult for you. You are the best guy I know, so thank you for your example. Thank you as well for being constantly willing to help me out with whatever I need. I'm planning on cashing in on some more of that when I get to see your beautiful face in person again. Try and make sure your life is always pretty ok, but if it's not, that's rough, buddy, and I'll be here for you. Thanks for coming with me on all those random and sometimes really stupid adventures, like all those times to Lagoon and the zoo and wherever else we went. Thanks for letting me be right all those times, too. Heaven knows I needed it.
Dad: Thank you for everything. I don't know how to say it better. I am so grateful for you being a father figure for me. I was noticing the other day, it seems like throughout my life, whenever you haven't had a job, it was because you were needed to take care of me. If you hadn't been there my senior year, I would not be on my mission right now. I feel like as well, if you weren't sending me prayers and encouragement, I wouldn't be staying out here. Missions are hard, but I know, because of you, that they're worth it.
Maddie: Hey, girlie, thank you so much for your kindness to me over the years. When I get back I'm going to need a movie night with you. Thank you for never being ashamed to be my sister and for never looking down on me, even though I make all sorts of mistakes. Thank you for laughing with me so much on that lunch date I took you on before I left. I love you to pieces and then put you all back together again.
Alexis: Thank you for being such a dear. You don't know how much it means to me to have someone like you. My surrogate little sis, haha. Thanks for being Hermione, and for letting Taylor and me be weird. Thanks for always being willing for a party. Thank you for paying attention--I was talking to my companion last night about how grateful I am for that time you asked me to the dance using Legend of Zelda (was it Sadie's?). You mean tons to me, and thank you for it.
Lars: Thank you for pushing yourself all the time. One of the things that has been so amazing for me is reading your emails every week and seeing your example of perseverance. Thank you for being supportive as well, missions are hard and it's easier if you've got other missionaries to look up to. Thank you for being so intense as well. It's uplifting. I remember driving with you everywhere just rocking out to your music. It's great to be able to just feel free like that.
Chels: Thanks so much for being so willing and humble! I haven't really known you for too long, but your emails have meant a lot to me, especially to hear how every week you seem closer to the Lord. Thank you for being a light in Mexico. I wish I could be there to see it. Also, thanks for finding the good in every situation, like all the problems with your house there. You don't seem like someone who wants to complain, and I'm grateful for that.
Daniel: Oh goodness, where do I start? Thank you for being patient with me. We've known each other for more than 12 years, and I know from my family that I'm not exactly the easiest person to deal with. Thank you for serving in Peru. I always looked forward to your emails just because they were so YOU. Thank you for always being ready to laugh, even when it was ridiculous and sort of stupid. Thanks for being a good sport, too. I remember when you came up to the cabin with me, how I KNEW you didn't want to play Halo because you weren't winning, but you did it anyway so that it would be fun for everyone. Thank you for being accepting. You never seem to judge people, no matter how far into the dark side of the nerd realm they drift. Thanks.
Paul: Hey, man, thank you for being such a bang-up good person. It really seems like you love people. Thank you as well for helping me through the MTC. I wouldn't be here now if you hadn't been there back then. Thank you for keeping me in mind. It's cool to know I've got a real friend in you. Remember you've always got a room in my house, whenever you're in the mood.
Elizabeth!!! Thank you for being my life at family gatherings! Haha, you're always so good at making me be happy even when I don't want to be. Thank you for teasing me. That April Fool's joke is legendary. Thank you for your wonderful humility even though you're a freaking prodigy at everything you try. Thank you for always supporting me as well. I can feel your trust every time we talk, and it makes me trust you implicitly. Thanks for your wonderful smile. It brightens everyone's day. Keep calm and carry on, haha.
Favorite Uncle: Thank you for everything. I stand by my statement at my Eagle Court of Honor 100% that you have been an amazing example to me of always treating me like an equal. Thank you for playing chess with me, even though I called you Satan once or twice. Thank you for being ready to have fun all the time. I love your attitude. Thank you as well for being excited for me whenever I've been excited about something. It means the world.
Ryan: Thank you so much for being the most sincere guy I know. That's not saying other people aren't sincere, but I feel like no one is ever going to be able to convince you not to be you. Thanks for being such a stud. Whether it's guarding, the MTC, Halo, Left 4 Dead, or a mission, you always do it great. I love having your example to look up to, so keep it up. Steadfastness in all things.
Mark and Alisa Brousseau Family: Thank you so much for being the first to do things. I've been getting a very strong testimony of being the first to say yes, but more importantly, being the first to do. It always seems like when someone needs help in our family or when there's a gathering to be done, you're the first to volunteer service or help for it. Thank you for being so into sports as well. That's always helped me to push myself in everything I do, just remembering the attitude of, "It doesn't hurt that bad! Walk it off! Rub some dirt on it!" Haha. Most of all, thank you for being accepting of me. I have always felt very welcome with each member of your family, without regard to the situation.
Britta: I don't know where to start. Thanks for being such a help all the time. It seems like you are always building others up. Thank you for being supportive and loving, even when I haven't been doing strictly the smartest things, and sometimes, even when they were plain dumb. Thank you for being such a good example of loving your family. It has helped motivate me to strengthen my own family relationships, especially with my parents. Thank you for always asking permission as well. You're really not a person to force yourself into things, and it helps me remember that I shouldn't force my way into everything. Thanks for everything.
Steve: Oh boy. Thanks for your ridiculous smile, you can always tell when Steve is happy. Thanks for laughing at my stupid jokes. You make my day. Thanks for telling me all about Canyon View and video games and movies. Thank you for forgiving me so many times. You are the perfect little brother for me, and I wouldn't ever want it to change. Thank you.
Ricky and Karin Burton Family: Thank you for being so happy towards me all the time. Thank you, Uncle Ricky, for laughing at me whenever I deserved it, even if I didn't want it. Thanks for being so kind to my parents. It's amazing to me. Thank you as well for telling me all about the boys. I always get the perfect picture in my head for what's going on there, and it makes me proud to know you.
Poop, I'm running out of time, I'm gonna try and go quicker.
Gavin: Thanks for being the best Scout leader ever, your advice has helped me so much out in the field. Thank you for being supportive and humble, and for helping me to see the potential of the priesthood. I love you to death.
Grandma and Grandpa Burton: Thank you for being so happy! Thank you, grandma, for always being loving and for being so careful. I am confident that I am still alive because of my grandma's prayers. Thank you for hanging out with me and helping me to always remember my family and where I come from. Thanks for giving me a great family I can brag about to everyone I meet.
Kennen: Wow, buddy, thank you for being my bro. Thank you for being excited to be friends all the time. I am super grateful we're so close. Thank you for being the type of guy you can just chill with. I remember going to school with you for a day and having it be super fun and just the best de-stress. Thanks for being so freaking talented. It helps me push myself to be better. Thanks for your example on your mission. Make sure you find those Brousseaus and baptize them! Thanks most of all for helping me all those many years ago to feel accepted. You and Alan Phillips in Mrs. Siebach's class helped me so much. Love you.
Katie! Thank you for being so much like another mom! You have got to be just the best companion ever. You just take care of everyone. Thanks for being so impressed with me. It never ceases to amaze me how good you can make someone feel. Thank you for coming with me to do baptisms. That was something I'll never forget. Thank you for helping me with all those girls that I dated, too. You are just a miracle worker, and your excitement is contagious. Thanks for including me. You're the best. Never forget it.
Cesar: Thank you for everything, man. You're always the guy I think of if I want to know how to be happy in a random situation. Thanks for being kind to me, even if I wasn't being kind back. Thank you for always saying hi when we saw each other places. You really help people know they're your friends. Thanks for beating me at chess. I've always needed a little help being humble. Thanks for playing scum on the scout trips, and for tanning out in the sun at Lake Powell, and for teasing me about dating people. Those memories are amazing for me, and I hope they are for you too.
Drake: Thank you for being persistent. Thank you for always making an effort to be my friend. I remember back when you were in 7th grade, walking over to your house a half hour before the bus came, just so we could talk and mess around. Thanks for seeing something fun in every little thing, even plasma cars and trash cans. Thanks for being so sincere, too. I'm really looking forward to seeing how that blesses you on your mission.
Ok, well, I think that's everyone. Time to go!
(Editor's note: this last paragraph was a full page below the rest of the email, and we only stumbled upon it accidentally. Chris has always loved to tease his mother and this is no exception...)
P.S. Thank you, MOM!!!!! Haha, I bet you thought I forgot you, huh?!? Well, NOT TODAY! Thank you for being so brilliant. You are the reason that I want to be better at things, because I see your thirst for knowledge. Thank you for always being excited for me, and proud of me, and supportive of my craziness, and happy for me. Thank you for being there, all the time. I've been giving a lot of thought to the day, when, I called you during the middle of school and you checked me out and took me to Apollo Burger just so we could sit and talk about how I was scared to go on a mission. That helped me so much. Thank you for pushing me to be better. Thank you for being so good at English. I could always ask you anything, and now it's paying off when others need help. Thank you for never freaking out at me when I told you something I did, like when I broke my window, or when I broke my leg, or when I got hit by that car, or when I wanted to go have a sleep-over at the cabin. I love you to death, and I wish I could remember everything I want to tell you thank you for. You're the best. Also Happy Birthday again.