Elder Gray, Elder Black, & Elder White. February 20, 2017

This was an awesome week. It really started out with bikes. This Tuesday I realized that there was more wrong with my bike than I had thought. But it was all easy fixes and needed some parts. The
expensive parts of my bike that I got from Elder Thaut all worked great, it was just minor things that needed a tune up. So there's a bike shop in our area that Elder Christiansen knows really well so we decided to go there. I took my bike in and the man there asked what broke. So I started telling him what would need fixing and he said we could do a tune up on it and that would fix all of that and then some. It also looked like it'd be cheaper to do the bundle than each repair separately. If it was too expensive I planned on just buying a bike and being done with it but the repairs were only $75 and that'd get me a new bike. So I left them and went about on our Tuesday. We came back later and the bike was done. In checkout the store owner came out and said, "um, we don't charge elders for labor." She's a member and loves missionaries and I had no idea they didn't charge labor. The man who fixed my bike was confused and asked, "so they get free tune ups?" She said, "since we don't charge for labor we don't normally do full tune ups, I just fix what's broken." And as she gave me a receipt for $17 she said, "Merry Christmas."

It was definitely a tender mercy.

After that was my exchange with Elder Black. We joked that me, him and Elder White should be in a trio because that'd be hilarious. It was my first time biking and I found out I'm really bad at planning for a bike area. It was a super good day though. We were meeting with less actives but also tracting a bit at each area so that we weren't biking the whole day and could do more work. I accidentally tracted into members. They thought it was really funny and it was.

Also there were two people that Elder Phipps were teaching before the ward swap. Their names are Scott and Kristy. Their baptism was already set up when we started teaching them but their baptism was Saturday. They're super cool and were so grateful. It was a cool moment to see. Elder Christiansen baptized Scott and I baptized Kristy. It was an awesome day. Then Sunday in church they were confirmed and it was such a spiritual moment. I felt really good.

I'm hoping the next week is just as amazing as this one was.
Love you all!
Elder Taylor Gray

Day 200. February 13, 2017

Day 200
It's pday. So we took a ten mike hike and now we are all dead.
That's it for day 200.

Day 199
Church. Church is awesome. We go for six hours. Two hours per Ward. Wecover Surprise 1st and 2nd and Copper Canyon. Here's a map is thearea, but all medieval like and on an island. Blue is 1st red is 2nd and yellow is Copper Canyon. Brown is other area but we live there andshop there.

There's an older fellow from Romania who we've been teaching, Vioreland he came to church and loved it even though I accidentally broughthim into gospel doctrine instead of gospel principles. Oops.

Day 198
This is the heart of last week. The Halls have been taking care oftheir niece, Maxine, who's 14 and their nephew Bradley who's 12. Theother elders were teaching them and right as I got to this area we traded wards with them. And they were baptized on Saturday. It was anawesome opportunity to see them follow through.

Day 197
So Elder Christiansen got sick and I felt really bad for him. He's way better now though. I played a lot of solitaire, Pokemon cards, and almost (not really) fixed my bike.

Day 196
I had an exchange with an Elder named Elder Hulett, he's been out for a month and a half. He's super cool! I also got to eat lunch with Elder Durrett, my MTC companion. I miss that bro, he's cool.

Day 195
You got my Wednesday video. I hope to do that every Wednesday. Wednesday's are boring.

Day 194
Tuesday was a lot of lessons. We taught Scott and Kristy, who are getting baptized in a week. And Ray, who's getting baptized at the end of the month and Viorel, the Romanian man who came to church. All lessons went well.

Day 193
Last pday. Love you so much!!

Us Elders prepping for Maxine and Bradley's baptism.
Me at the house.
My improvised bike tools
My comp with a cat

I must've been hungry...I ate part of a fork. February 6, 2017

This week was slower and there were less days since last pday, so not much happened. But I moved to Surprise! We've spent our moments introducing ourselves to new members because Elder Christiansen who was over Copper Canyon, White Tanks, and Cortessa ward is now with me and we're both over Copper Canyon, and Surprise 1st and 2nd. So we both have two wards where we don't know anyone! But it's been super fun getting to learn who people are. My two favorite familys so far (I mean three) are the Halls, they're neice and nephew moved in with them and are going to be baptized soon. And also the Grovers, Brother Grover is our ward mission leader and he is super excited to help us out with the ward. And also the Hardings who are super fun. Brother Harding is into D&D so we hit it off. The Elders here are awesome. Elder Phipps and Dill are both really experieced and super cool. I've liked getting to know them. I don't know if I told you but Christiansen and I were in the MTC at the same time. We've both been out for almost 200 days now. Funny story true story, I was eating at a dinner with a plastic fork and I mustve been hungry because I accidentally ate a peice of one of the points. It was awkward but it was the Halls so they thought it was funny.

1 At the Penrods. We all hit ourselves with an ink pad
2 my new house
3 my new desk
4 the Elders I live with
5 Elder Christisnsen's mom sends holiday pillowcases
6 my new district
Elder Christiansen is the one sitting in the front in the pillowcase picture. That's my companion. He's cool.

SURPRISE!!! I'm in Surprise! January 30, 2017

This transfer has been amazing. I've met amazing people. Elder Thaut went home, I miss him. But before he left he gave me his bike. So free bike. Took his cool sandals too.
Uh, news from the week. We got another flat on Tuesday and took it to Fletcher's. It went well. We got a new tire. We got a new missionary schedule. Cool stuff. Pday is two hours longer (but today pday was shredded because #transfer. We ate dinner with some of my favorite people ever, the McWilliams.  About sixty missionaries got transferred. They're reworking boundaries so a lot of movement stuff happened. So they also haven't told anyone specifics on anything.

the next day...
SURPRISE!!! I'm in Surprise!
It's not rural here. It's weird and unnatural that there is a lack of fields and farms and dirt roads. I'm going to die. But it's going to be awesome. My new companion is Elder Christiansen, I was in the MTC at the same time as him. I love in a suburb and I realize I don't miss suburbs. But there are four elders there and that's always fun. Elder Dill and Fipps live there.

I'm still alive, but still in a car area. Well hello 20 extra pounds.

What happened is my two wards were split and divided amongst two other companionships because mission zone boundaries had to change and there are fewer missionaries to cover that.

Love you, Elder Gonna Get So Fat

These are two different hikes. One with elders and one with the Penrods. We burn a tie on our 6 month anniversary.