I opened my email and saw the first part of the email that said Sad News - Important and I didn't like the feeling I got when I read that. My heart is greived that I am not there to help the Coffey family, but I know they are strong. I have always been grateful for the opportunity that I have had to know the Coffey family. They really are my best friends, and every time I think of my childhood the Coffey family comes to my mind. Dean Coffey has been a hero for me for as long as I can remember. He is such a humble happy going man. I say is, because Dean is still with us. He will always be with us. I know that! I share that with people every single day, and there is not a single doubt in my mind that we will see Dean-o again.
It is hard for me to think that when I go home, Dean won't be there. But lucky for me, I have a large amount of memories with him. I remember Dean would always take us kids to go get slurpies at 7-11 after soccer games. I remember spending Halloween in St. George with the Coffeys and Criddles. A picture of us all with carved pumpkins sitting on the curb comes to my mind every time I think of that. But who can forget the scary face that Dean always did where he raised his upper lip and popped out his eyes. I remember almost peeing my pants multiple times in the Coffeys house because Dean would pin us down and tickle us til we couldn't breathe.
All of the memories that I have of Dean-o are all happy. I don't remember seeing Dean mad once in my whole life... Okay maybe one time... I always remember a fishing trip to Lake Powell with the Coffey family. It was the first time I had been fishing in my whole life, and I think I hooked more people than fish. I remember Drew got a hook in his eyebrow, not sure if it was me... probably. Sorry Andrew ;) I think Matthew got hooked in like the nipple or something like that. But Dean took care of the whole situation very patiently.
I loved playing golf with Matthew, Drew, and the old farts. Dean would always make it fun. He was kind of a crazy driver, which reminds me of when Dean would drop me off from basketball or something and then peel out in the snow in his truck. Along with Deans desire to live life to the fullest, he always showed his compassion and care for everyone. I remember a basketball game when Dean was our coach... The other team had stolen the ball and had a fast break to the basket, but Matthew stood to take a charge. As the kid with the ball went up, he gave Mamoo a good knee to the stomach. Even though Dean was a big guy, I was never afraid of him... except for in that moment. He ran onto the floor and made sure that Matthew was okay and also was saying something like "What was that ref?" But during all that he always respected others.
Dean was like another father to me. I will always cherish the memories that we made together, and the example that he has set for me. I LOVE YOU COFFEY FAMILY! Just know that I am praying for you all. The memories that we have are only few, compared to the ones we will make in the eternities. You guys will always be my best friends and biggest examples. Stay strong!!! I heard a quote at the beginning of my mission that also applies to life in general. It says, ¨Start strong, but finish stronger!¨ Dean has run the race, but we have to keep running. Let the Lord point us toward the tape, and then we need to give it all we have. ¨Don't do anything that would embarasse my team, my family, or myself¨ -Forever Strong
As for things here in Uruguay they are going good. We are still looking for families to teach. The mission is focusing on finding families, and the goal is that they can get to the temple to get sealed. Families can be together forever. I had the opportunity to do 6 baptismal interviews this past week. I love doing interviews. 5 of the interveiws were from the same family. It was a really special experience to be able to see their baptism as well. So Elder Brown and I are going to go find some families this week.
I love you all more than you will ever know!!! I hope this week will be better than the last. ¨Keep moving forward!¨