How would you like to live in a place called the “Land of Enchantment”? Well, Nicholas (7) and Jacob (4) Thomas do! It is the state of New Mexico, and they live in the city of Albuquerque. One of the very special events that make it so enchanting is the annual Balloon Fiesta. This spectacular hot-air balloon show attracts balloonists from all over the world! They frequently flew over Nicholas and Jacob’s house and landed in the fields nearby. The bright colors and happy atmosphere make the Balloon Fiesta a wonderful time.
Nick also enjoys the pretty colors of all the different kinds of birds that live in this cozy, warm, southwest corner of the United States. He is thrilled by Heavenly Father’s gift of these creatures in all their finery: woodpeckers, egrets, hawks, owls, avocets, herons, flycatchers, flickers, yellow-headed blackbirds, and pheasants, to name just a few. He always has his binoculars and field guide ready to identify yet another feathered friend.
Eagerly looking forward to his eighth birthday, Nick loves going to his CTR class. His favorite Primary song is “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission”; he is already preparing by helping whenever someone is taking the missionary discussions in his home. He was delighted this month when a General Authority came to his stake for a change in the stake presidency. He listened carefully to the General Authority’s talk, then after the session, made his way to the front to shake his hand. Nick knew for himself that this man was called of the Lord.
About to become a Star A, Jake is also working to be the best cowboy he can. New Mexico was very much a part of the “old wild West,” and it is still commonplace to wear cowboy hats and boots and to ride horses for ranching or pleasure. Jake loves caring for his horse, Sariah, and has learned what being a good ranch hand means.
But Jake’s favorite thing about living in Albuquerque is its nearness to his grandparents’ farm in Colorado. Every year there is a big Pioneer Days celebration in Manassa, Colorado, and Jake goes to parades, rodeos, and a “reunion” sacrament meeting with his fifty cousins and twenty aunts and uncles. He is learning about the strong heritage of the Saints of the San Luis Valley, and he plans to carry on the work of his dad and his grandpa someday.
Recently the boys helped their mom make a treasure box. It sits on their mantel and is filled with scriptures written on little pieces of paper. Each morning, they take turns reaching into it to pull out a favorite scripture and read it together.
Nick and Jake love their family home evenings, spent with their brother and sisters, Matt (17), Becky (12), and Annie (2). They take their turns preparing lessons and organizing activities. One special evening was spent up in the mountains on the edge of the city. After a lesson by Dad, they all went for a hike and came upon some fresh bear tracks! Maybe the West isn’t so tame now, after all! Nicholas and Jacob enjoy being a part of it and love being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.