Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Time To Celebrate!

One year ago, Britten's life changed and so did our family's. As we look back we are amazed at all that has transpired. We marvel at the love and miracles that our Heavenly Father has showered upon us.  It has been a very difficult year, especially for Britten, but it has also been a year of faith, hope, trust, and growth.     There is a purpose and a reason why Britten's life was spared when Heavenly Father has called others to "come home".  There is no other explanation for the many miracles we've experienced.  We know that Britten has unfinished work on this earth and he is working hard to discover what that is.  No one is more determined, dedicated, and motivated to recover than Britt!  His attitude is amazing and infectious!

A few of the things Britt is doing to progress and keep busy are: He attends speech therapy 4 days a week advancing in his reading, writing, and thought process.  We are thrilled with the progress that he is making each session.  He is attending two Institute of Religion classes at USU 3 days a week.  He volunteers at a local Elementary School tutoring some children with Math.  He serves one day a week in the Logan Temple Baptistry with his Grandma & Grandpa Andreasen.  He is Team-Teaching a Sunday School class with another super RM in our Ward and enjoys sharing mission experiences and his testimony. What has kept him the busiest, and what he enjoys the most, is talking in church and at youth firesides. This is a great challenge for him but he loves sharing his story, his testimony, and experiences from his youth.  With what he has learned from these experiences, he has developed qualities that have made him a strong, determined, and happy individual, which has helped him get through the challenges of this past year.  Britten is an inspiration to all he comes in contact with.
In his free time he loves cuddling with his nieces, playing basketball with his brothers and hanging out with his friends. I feel Britten is happy and doing well, even though his life is different than was planned!
Britten inspires our family daily as he keeps us laughing and reminds us how precious life is.

Britten is experiencing improvement in his vision and he has amazing faith, patience, and hope that it will continue to improve. He still has no vision in his right eye and only has 1/4 of the field of vision in his left eye.  His field of vision has improved ever so slightly, but the clarity has changed dramatically.  It was 20/150, 6 months ago, and in January it had improved to 20/80, and we know it has improved even more since then.

Earlier this year Britten was nominated to be the ambassador for the State of Utah Speech and Hearing Association (USHA) for 2013. On March 8, they presented him this award at their annual convention. Britten gave a very moving speech as he touched all that was in attendance. (We will post a link next week of his speech, for those of you who would like to hear it.) Our family was very proud of him as he shared his feelings of the past year.

Saturday March 16, 2013 was a beautiful day for our family as we celebrated the past year with family and friends. We gathered at the Temple with gratitude, giving thanks to our loving Father in Heaven for the blessings bestowed upon our family the past year.
We headed to the church where we ate and enjoyed each others company.  A video was shown of Britten's recovery over the past year titled,

"Celebrate a year of.... Tears, Prayers, Faith, Hard Work, Accomplishments and Miracles!"

"Tears filled our eyes as we watched the first part of the video showing Britten in the hospital in Brazil.  It made me heart-sick to think that really happened to him.  As I think of the progress he has made, we have to know it was really a miracle, and that Heavenly Father was watching over him and still is. Seeing him every week, and realizing the things that he contiunes to accomplish in speech, physical strength, memorizing talks, teaching Sunday School, confirming and baptizing in the Temple, is amazing as we acknowledge how far he has progressed. We know it has been a lot of hard work, a positive attitude and Heavenly Father helping him.   Britten is still in missionary mode and has never lost that missionary glow that missionaries have when they come home from their missions. He has touched so many lives including ours and we love him so much."      Love, Grandma and Grandpa Andreasen

As I made the video of Britten's past year and reminisced of what "We" have been through, reality sets back in to where he was and how far he has come.  As I look back to the first 3 months in the hospital and the first few month home, I wonder, "how did we do it?"         Then the promise in Mosiah 24:14-15 came to mind.  Verse 14: And I will ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs. That ye may know of a surety the I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.  15: And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light: yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. 

I testify that we were given a strength, a strength beyond our own capacity and our burdens were made light.  As we look back we can see vividly our Saviors love and hand in our lives. 

As a family, we want to make sure that we never forget or take for-granted our many blessings and the miracles our family has witnessed this past year.


  1. I continue to pray for Elder Schenk and was so happy to read this update! I am inspired to be better because of his life.

  2. love your family!!! you are all such great examples to me. miss you guys! :)

  3. You are all absolutely amazing! Love you so much!

  4. With tears of gratitude and joy in my eyes!
    Love you all!

  5. I found this blog about 6 weeks ago and enjoyed going back and reading about Britten's accident and faith-filled recovery. What a strong and amazing young man! Thanks for the update today--it's great to know he's still improving and recovering. God bless you all!

  6. Good think to see the blog is still being updated. Love to read it, but impossible with no tears. Hope you guys can be able to understand my brazilian english... Schenk is so amazing, and we are praying for him to get better every day. I'd love to read some content on this blog written by Britten himself. It would be great hear from him again. Looking some old post, there was a picture that was shooted in my ward, with 4 guys, that he definitely inspired and encouraged. Three of them are serving missions right now, and are all great missionaries because they have learned with Schenk how to love the Savior the the missionary service. I am extremely greatful for his work in my country, in my ward, in my family, in my life.

    A huuuge hug my friend... I feel so small before you, and that's why there's nothing about faith, courage, strength I can say unto you that I have not observed in you before. God speed

  7. I have tried to follow the progress of Brittens recovery this past year and a half, because I found his story so uplifting and encouraging and because I am from Cache Valley myself. In a recent Stake Youth Council meeting I mentioned Elder Schenks story and how he might be willing to come to our Stake and speak to the youth as an inspirational fireside speaker. I'm not sure how to get a hold of him at this point so I am using this means of communication. We live in American Fork and my email is C Kitchen