Monday, February 22, 2010

Wells Branch

So the area I just got transferred to is called Wells Branch. It is in a city called Pflugerville (silent p). It is between Roundrock and Austin and so "Pflugerville is in between a rock and a weird place." At least that's what the bumper sticker about here says ;) We have a car here but my bike is still working great in case I ever need it. Its just sitting in our garage right now.

I really like the ward here. They are all friendly and there is a really good percentage of active people in the ward. We live with some members. Their last name is Bronson. Yesterday Brother Bronson was called to be bishop of the ward so it is gonna be great working with him so closely.

My companion is Elder Law. We were both serving in Walnut Creek at the same time back almost a year ago. He just was in the north and me in the south part of that ward. If you look at pics from my first area he would be the red headed missionary. We hit the ground running this transfer. I am really glad that I didn't have to get to know a new missionary. This way, we are that much more unified.

We both want to work out in the mornings too so that will be good for both of us and our health. Speaking of working out, I tried benching for the first time in a long time today. I struggled getting 205 up but I got it. So then I tried 225 and I failed. I guess I've weakened a little bit physically being out here, but the spiritual benefits are amazing. Lifting is just like the spirit. If we stop working out or don't work out the right way, we get weaker. From a spiritual perspective, If we don't do the things we are supposed to do (scriptures, church, tithing, commandments, etc...), and do them with a willing heart, then we might experience spiritual weakening. I know you all are awesome at doing those things but...... I saw the parallel and thought I would expound.
The weather here is like a big roller coaster. Its supposed to get below freezing tomorrow during the night but yesterday it hit the high 70's. I guess that's just the way it goes though.
I love you all and I pray for the best.
Elder Gray

P.S. I forgot to tell you one last thing. Elder Law and Elder Himes are from the same home ward in Brigham City. Cool eh

my new address is:
805 Cactus Bend Dr.
Pflugerville, TX 78660

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Great Companions

HEY, I'm getting transferred. I'm not sure where to though.........

45 minutes later....

Dear Family,
So as you saw in my prior email, I am getting transferred. I am not sure where yet but I will let you know next Monday. All I know is that it is not on the border. This area has been a lot of fun. I will miss it here. But I am sure I will love my next area too. This area has a lot of fun memories. Elder Best and Elder Himes were great companions.
So this week it was almost a normal week. Jennifer's friend came to the lesson with her and he brought some anti-mormon material that he found on the internet. He attacked and attacked and nothing good got accomplished. Luckily Jennifer isn't listening too much to him but her progress is pretty much at a standstill. We also found a pretty sweet apartment complex that has a lot of people that actually listen to us. Things are going well.
I heard a good quote this morning in a talk we were listening to. Helen Keller once said "Life is either nothing or it is a daring adventure." Another quote I liked was from Walt Disney. He said something about how a good kick in the teeth is good for us sometimes. Its all true. Most successful people had a rough start but worked through the adversity and achieved excellence.
Well I am glad to hear that everyone is doing great. Keep the faith and stay awesome.
Elder Gray
PS I got to try the bagpipes at a member's house this last week. It was fun. Its hard to keep the bag full of air. I felt dizzy after wards :)

PSS The pancakes were good (not as good as your recipe but still good) and I enjoyed the package. Thanks!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Building Character

How is everyone? You all enjoying the snow? I am doing fine here. Out of the last week we have had maybe 1.5 sunny days but that's ok because we need the moisture. We contacted a couple of former investigators and are teaching one of them right now. Also we had a super awesome lesson with a lady named Jennifer. She really came to understand the importance of baptism and why it needs to be done by the correct authority. She was going to be at church on Sunday. But then she wasn't home when her ride came to get her. We were really disappointed but so goes life. Hopefully she comes this next Sunday. Also we had splits with the ward members on Thursday. We went out looking for the ward members that were unknown people. I went with the elders quorum president, Brother Williams. We had some success finding a couple of members. They all were nice to us. Brother Williams and I also had a good conversation. He is a really smart guy and so I enjoyed talking about missionary work with him. He also worked at the MTC for three years after his mission.
This week wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst. As President Cutler would put it, it builds character. It has been interesting being a senior companion. Its a lot of responsibility. But luckily, Elder Best was really good at dividing the responsibilities so it wasn't too hard when I became the senior companion this last transfer. Lately I have been thinking its so weird that I am more than halfway done. It has definitely helped me to work harder. Its like the 400. The real winner seems to emerge in the last 200m of the race. That point is where the weak-willed are separated from the ones with the desire and strength to win. I have recently started to memorize scriptures again. I really enjoy it because I can pick a scripture and study all about it and then memorize it. I would suggest something like that if you are ever needing study ideas.
So as you might have noticed, my email address has changed. So send all mail from now on to this address I can receive emails from anyone but I am only allowed to reply to ones from the family. Myldsmail teamed up with gmail and upgraded our email accounts. It is a lot nicer than the older format and it runs quicker. It is pretty much a gmail account but with a myldsmail address. Now instead of having 50MB of inbox space, we have 7.4GB (7,421MB to be exact).
Yes we are still living in our apartment. I don't know if they are planning on moving us out anymore. Transfers are a week from Thursday so I will let you know whats going on next Tuesday. I really think its a 50-50 chance that I get transferred but I guess anything could happen. That new rec center sounds fun. When is it going to be done? I had a pretty funny coincidence last night. I put in one of the John Bytheway talks and it happened to be one that he gave on Super Bowl Sunday two years ago. He also mentioned San Antonio in his talk. I had a good laugh about that.
I love you all. I hope that all is going well back at home. My prayers are with you.
Elder Gray

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I do know that this church is the true church, more than ever before.

This has been a good week. We taught a lot of lessons this last week so
it was a really good week. None of our investigators came to church
though so that was kind of sad. We had a great combined
Priesthood/Relief Society lesson. We showed some clips from the PMG dvd
and talked about member work. It seemed to go over well. In Sunday
school we all just went to gospel doctrine since there wasn’t anyone in
our class. It was a funny class. The teacher asked a couple people to
volunteer to draw some animals on the board. The best artist in there
(the one that painted those pics that I sent home) didn’t want to go up
but he was pressured into it. So he went up and quickly drew a really
ugly, crazy looking dog. As he was sitting down he said quietly that
the dog was a democrat. That comment then kinda had a domino effect. A
couple minutes later the teacher asked something about TV’s and our ward
mission leader said that the people were stuck in the tv. They were put
inside there in China. After that the class was pretty much back to
normal. I don’t know if that sounds very funny, the way I explained it,
but it was a pretty humorous class.

I have started to write in my journal and exercise almost every day. It
has really been a blessing. I feel so much better. I am so glad that I
have been blessed with the opportunity to serve a mission for the Lord.
I do know that this church is the true church, more than ever before. I
love you all and am glad that Erik is doing awesome and got asked to the
dance. Is she cute? That was a great idea to answer back. (Block of
ice with his answer frozen in the middle) I enjoyed
cheating on my
creativeness by looking at the ideas in Brooke's book. (Erik did too!)
hope yall continue to do well in all that you do. Stay close to the
Lord and I love you all.

Elder Gray