30 October 2007

Elder Austin - October 30, 2007

October 30, 2007

Hi everyone,

Another week of awesomeness. It was so awesome. Marie got baptized. It was so awesome. We had more nonmembers there than members. It was really good. I also sang a song with one of the young single adults named Jaslin. It was so good. Everyone loved it and the spirit was so strong. She was so excited to get baptized and so ready for that wonderful experience of feeling the spirit so strong. She just sat there after and was really quiet. I know that she could feel that wonderful clean feeling. I can’t wait for her to feel the Holy Ghost when she gets confirmed on Sunday. It will be awesome!

So this week end was stake conference. We have a wonderful stake. It was a really powerful meeting. Full of the spirit. We were so excited to have all of our investigators come, but no one could give them a ride. It was really sad to see that the ward was not ready to step up to the plate and do what they were supposed to do. A lot of the strong members weren’t even going. It made me really sad to see how they lacked the faith to make the 1 1/2 hour trip to hear their wonderful stake president. We had 21 people that wanted to come to church and only 3 made it. We had Manie and Yonick and her son Job. But we were blessed to have them come. It would have been cool to have all of them there, but the ward is just not ready. That is a lesson to learn. NEVER LET ANYTHING YOU DO HINDER THE WORK OF GOD. YOU MUST BE READY AND WILLING TO DO EVERYTHING HE WILL ASK OF YOU AND YOU MUST HAVE THE FAITH THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. DON’T EVER LET THAT HAPPEN. We had people saying they weren’t going to go because they were too tired and it is too hard and we can’t do it that early and my daughter is having her b day and we never go. It was all active members in our ward. Not even the first and second counselors went. THAT IS NOT ENDURING TO THE END. THAT IS NOT FULFILLING YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH. THAT IS NOT KEEPING YOUR BAPTISMAL COVENANTS. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. THERE ARE MEMBERS ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO TRAVEL FOR DAYS BY FOOT TO GET TO THE TEMPLE AND GO TO STAKE CONFERENCE. DON’T EVER MAKE EXCUSES FOR YOUR FAILURE TO ENDURE TO THE END. THERE IS NO EXCUSE.!!!!!!!!!!! As members of this Church, we must be the best. We must go beyond the norm. PEOPLE WHO FAIL TO ENDURE TO THE END WILL NOT BE RECEIVED INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!! We have the truth. Act like it!!

We picked up 3 new investigators yesterday. And we set 2 of them for baptism. It was so awesome. I sometimes wonder what I am doing to deserve such wonderful blessings. I have so many faults and I have so much to work on. I am not doing all that I am supposed to. It is an amazing thing, the atonement.

So the first one was Lisa. She is a Haitian. We actually were looking for another person named Lisa, but she said we could come in and we were able to teach her. What a TM from God. The other on was a less-active’s son. He is 10 and has not been baptized. We have never met with them, but they have just started to come back to church. It was awesome. So we met with them last night, and found that he had not been baptized. So we taught the first lesson, and set him for the 17th of November. This kid, Malachi, is a power house. He is going to be awesome. The spirit was so strong so we decided to set a date right then, and he and his mom said yes. It was so great, and he is really excited.

The Other one that we picked up and started to teach was another Haitian family from Florida. We were walking on the street last week and we had got out to go and talk to this mother. She started to go into her apartment, but she stopped and asked if we were Mormons. We set an appointment and met with her last night. She had been meeting with missionaries in Florida but they had not baptized her. She had a few questions that we cleared up really quick. We then started to bear testimony and the spirit was so strong, that we decided to set her for baptism. She said yes. She is getting baptized on the 10th. It was so awsome.

So last night was transfer calls. I was not transferred, but I was called to be the district leader. I was not expecting that. I was really not prepared and still am not ready. But I know the Lord will help me and I will grow from this call. Pray for me.
Well, sorry it was so short, but I need to go. We are e-mailing today, because tomorrow is Halloween and they want us teaching. But we do need to be in early so nothing bad happens.

Dad, some things that I would have done different before my mission:

Read the scriptures. Become familiar with them. You will feel so inadequate if you don’t. You must do it at all costs. Again there is no excuse. Put the Lord first and everything will fall back into place. God will take care of you.
Read Preach My Gospel. Become familiar with the lessons. You will be a spiritual power house if you do.
I would have memorized scriptures. This indeed is spiritual power. You are using words of god. They have power that comes with them. Memorize.

Garrett!!!, this letter has a lot to do with you. You have no excuse. You are going to be a servant of the Lord. This is your first responsibility. Don’t put anything before it. I know how it feels to have no time to do everything you want and need to do. But don’t be deceived by the adversary. You must, must, must put the things of God first. You are a far better man than I ever was, don’t let Satan take that away from you. Don’t let him get into your life. He knows your weaknesses and he will work on them. But God promises that as we serve him and put him first in our lives, he will make our weaknesses strong. You must listen to me. I love you Garrett. You are a wonderful example to me and you must continue to be. PUT GOD FIRST IN YOUR LIFE AND HE WILL HELP YOU WITH THE REST. IF YOU WANT HIS HELP YOU MUST PUT HIM FIRST. IF YOU DONT, YOU WILL DO IT ALONE. You must listen to me. I love you Garrett. This is the way and there is no other way. I love you man. I want you to write me and tell me how your study is going and what you are doing in your life. Please, can you do that for me? I love you man!!!
You’re awesome!!!!

I love you all so much. Yes Estee I got the announcement. It is really cute. Dad, I didn’t get the box yet. I will tell you as soon as I do. Thank you for the wonderful letter you sent me. It really brightened my day.

I love you all so much and am so lucky to have you as a family.


Elder Graham

26 October 2007

Return from Dante's Inferno

Hello everyone,
I am sure that everyone is up to speed on the unbelievable fire devastation in S. California. We decided to cut our trip short and head home...we got home late last night(Thursday), but I promised the kids we would good again soon. The biggest issue down there was the air quality...Sea World, Wild Animal Park, etc, were all closed...it seems until next week. They didn't want to leave the animals out...I thought, "wow, people care more about animals down here than people it seems"...just kidding. I couldn't really figure out why we should stick around and wait, so we packed up and left early Thurday morning.
As we drove home, Jodi took some great footage on the destruction of so many areas....the air was so thick with smoke, that you could only see a couple hundred yards in front of you-pretty gross actually. We had soot and ash covering our car everyday. Everything about the scene was really apocolyptic...serious end of the world-type stuff. I had the chance to talk with many of people at our hotel who had been displaced and were just sitting around, waiting.....
I came to the conclusion that this was a wake up call to me, and hopefully people around the nation. If I had to drop everything and leave in 20 minutes-what would I take? Would I be ready? Would I be able to distinguish between what is most important, and what is frivolous? Well, I am afraid to say that I am grossly unprepared for any kind of event of this magnitude-we have been told time and time again that something big will head to Utah-not if, but when. I wonder how many of us have taken counsel seriously. I have my family decked out with our 72 hour kits, but what about everything else? Pictures, memorabilia, etc. important family documents, etc. I think everyone knows what I am talking about.
So....my challenge to everyone is become prepared....I am sure some family members are more prepared than others- I think of Craig and Amy with the constant threaten of hurricanes in Florida, Mom and Dad with the yearly fires in Farmington-but I think we can all do better. I know I am. Jodi and I have a "renewed" sense of putting our house in order, getting rid of things we simply don't need, decluttering our life, etc. Let me know your thoughts...what really brought it home to me is seeing up close and personal so many people that have been left with nothing....literally nothing. Another thing-these fires didn't consume downtown metros...they literally aboliterated very wealthy, affluent areas...and the wealthy of S. California weren't ready either...

Let's all make a concerted effort this year..


get hooked!

need i say more! a perfect read for this halloween season!

beautiful fall

one of my most favorite times of the year! you must feel the spirit of it with: pumkins, fresh warm apple cider, the leaves changing, a chill in the air, a good pumpkin spice candle always burning, yummy pumkin bread and baked goods of all sorts, pumkin patches galore----anything for fall pictures--etc!

we love fall and oh ya just can't beat the Virginia Fall---Joni and Jess, do you miss it or what?

24 October 2007

Marco Polo's Journey to Dante's Inferno

Hello everyone....

Marco Polo and his crew arrived in San Diego on Oct. 21st, only to realize that the entire Southern California area is submerged in flames. I am awestruck by the sheer power and magnitude of fire, and how it shows no mercy on anyone. Everynight we have watched the news to see the progression of the fires, and those who are fighting it.

We did end of going to SeaWorld on Monday, which was a great treat...we felt like we had the park all to ourselves. The kids loved it. They closed the park for the next couple of days, because air quality is so bad...so we will try and catch it on Friday.

We went to San Diego Zoo yesterday, and that was awesome! It just makes me feel like the Salt Lake City Zoo is the white trash trailer park zoo....its been a long time since I attended the SD zoo, but its a great place-it has not been closed once.

The Wild Animal Park has been closed since we got here. They have had to evacuate many of the animals, since the fires has been on the borders of the park...they plan to open it back on Thursday..but we shall see.

So today, we are going to the beach....Amy and Craig are so lucky they live so close to a beautiful beach...the kids go crazy in the water. We have gone every night since we arrived, and it has been awesome.

Enjoy the pictures

Doug, Jodi and crew

Oh my littel Lu!

Oh my litte Eliza Jane! You are our little princess! Always acts like a little lady--she eats so slowly, with one hand in her lap, doesn't like snacks--just "brethast, lunch, and dinnor," sleeps with her hands under her chin and just always looks so peaceful and graceful while she sleeps, never wears pants--only skirts and dresses, loves to play dressups, wants only water to drink and drinks with the smallest little lips over the cup, while she sits she always rests both hands on her lap- one on top of the other,---she really couldn't be more of a little girly princess--we love our little lu!

23 October 2007

LIttle Man, Yettie Ann

Wow. We love these kids....

Gretty Betty, Cozy Bear, Sunee Bunny

Here are a few more autumn pix of our prized possessions. Please indulge our sharing with you...

22 October 2007

More Candid Pix of the B Graham Clan

Here are some nice pictures of the kiddos. I will post a few at a time.

On The Brink Of Change...

Hey family,

I am blogging from the Palm Springs Country Club. I am down here on a seminar with Stan's company Compliance Management, Inc. I thought I would drop you a line and send some pictures. I miss my crew... (Hi Carolyn, sweetheart, hot mama)

Lots happening at the Brad and Carolyn home. Landon is only a few clicks away from sending in his papers. They will probably be in by Halloween, and we will be waiting for a mission call. In the spirit of this impending change in our family, we recently got some family pictures from our friend Todd Hicken up in the canyon at Snake Creek. While he was taking his pictures, I was taking a few myself. I have posted a few for my enjoyment. It is sort of surreal for me to see my family at this point. It feels like one of those old black and white pictures a hundred years old, that proves "I was there, and these are mine.."

A Groovy Kind of (Subway) Love

For those Phil Collins fans out there! Actually, even if you don't like the bloke, you won't be able to turn away from this.

Guten Tag!!

Greetings from Unterschleissheim (Habichtstrasse #19 to be exact!:))!! Yes, that is my address. It's one that I feel I'll never spell correctly, so I always have to double check my spelling...little post-it notes everywhere!! ANYway, hello! I've been absent for a while, while I do love technology (just like Kip on N.D.), it sure is frustrating when it doesn't work like it should!! I have becomem so dependent upon this beautiful thing called a computer that when all isn't well, it really get me!! But, hopefully our problems are behind us...so I thought I'd say a quick hi!

I know I haven't told all of you in person, but we learned a couple of weeks ago that we are expecting another little princess to join our family in February(and yes, to answer Amy, I am looking pregnant!). We are really excited...all is still going well! I've had several dr. appointments and come to appreciate so much the WONDERFUL dr. I had in Seattle...I miss her so! My dr. is american, so she is a gem in the rough here because I can understand her! It's been very interesting to note the differences in the way dr.s practice medicine here...I do prefer the methods in the U.S.!! Myles and Lucy are both trying to contain their excitement about having a new little sister. We were talking about what to name the baby the other night, and Lucy said, "let's name her Lucy, just like me!" They tell me often how they will care for the baby, reading her books, singing her songs, sharing their toys...they're really excited.

Another thing they are really excited about is that Grandma and Grandpa are coming for Christmas!! They are SO looking forward to having them come! We woke up to snow flurries yesterday and Myles came running into our room "it's snowing, it's snowing!! It's Christmas!!" He was sure to include in his prayer on the food for breakfast that he was thankful that it was Christmas...I was sad to tell him that we still have a while to wait until Christmas...but knowing G&G are coming is so exciting for them! Myles has told everyone at school that they are coming...he is really pumped! And so am I!

I have a confession to make to you all...I've already started listening to Christmas music. I'm sorry, I know it isn't really legal yet, but I've been working on Christmas projects for the design team I'm on, (by the way, you can see some of the stuff I've been working on here, on My Stampin' Spot). I am really loving the new Josh Groban "Noel" Cd...oh, Chris Botti (a fantastic trumpet player) also has a new album called "Italia"...FANTASTIC!! I've just been so in the mood for Christmas music, I figured I'd just get it out!! So Mom, I'm sorry...I just have to!!

I hope you are all doing well...I miss you all and am so thankful for you!! Oh, I was talking to Dallas yesterday, telling him som funny "German Thoughts" and he thought I should share them with you all, so here goes! 1. All children should wear hats, so that their brains grow correctly. 2. Children should always wear a layer more than you as the parent, to ensure that their organs grow properly! and 3. Women should always bring more than one swiming suit to the pool and change into a dry suit after they get wet, because it isn't good for your female organs to be in a wet swimming suit! So, don't forget!!


17 October 2007

Landon :: Contact Your Uncle Dallas ASAP

Landon, a friend of mine that is an art director/illustrator is working on a project. He asked me if I knew a 3-D modeler. I thought of you. He is interested in talking w/ you to see if you may be interested in helping w/ a packaging project. I know you're in school, but if you actually could get involved with something with Josh, it would be a great thing. He is one of my better friend here in Salt Lake. So, I hope you're checking the blog. Otherwise, Carolyn/Brad, what is his contact info? Love you buddy, Uncle Dal

15 October 2007

Hey, what happened to the black??? I don't like the white . .. any other trys? I really liked the black. soso Mom

14 October 2007

Pioneer Park :: Channel 2 Reports

Hi All,

Just wanted to let you see a little clip on a story that was done today. Watch and you'll see this funny mug of mine: Pioneer Park Clip

Here's to hoping for better things w/ Pioneer Park!

13 October 2007

Bowling Ball Photo

I came across this photo, on Facebook the other day. For reals. This girl is using it for her profile shot. My question: should we all get our favorite objects and do a shoot next time we're together? Scott, you could rest your hands on a stack of genealogy papers; Amy with a CD of Tim McGraw, covering one eye...

Penelope Partypooper :: Auction

The latest. Many, many thanks to Doug and Jodi for recommending this. Have you all noticed how Jodi's been pulling on her hair, lately?

12 October 2007

Forgot this picture!

This one i just had to attach as well because like Dal said--you can see the pictures from almost anywhere--so Dallas this is mostly so you can see them and how they look from another stand point---



3 weeks old!

Seriously---can anything be funner than this! Sorry about the time lapse with the pictures, but as everyone here can agree with me--all i want to do is hold my baby!

p.s. there are a couple pictures so you can see where we hung our pictures from our montage---Dallas instructed us and Dal--you were right on! LOVE IT!

11 October 2007

Happy Birthday to Brad!

When i think about you Brad i get a warm feeling inside and always feel such an immediate closeness with you no matter how long it has been since i saw or spoke with you. I truly am so grateful for our relationship and will always know that i share a special bond with my big brother Brad.

Thank your for baptizing me
Thank you for always making me feel important--interested!
Thank you for your genuine eye contact and conversation
Thank you for your hugs
Thank you for always being so easy to talk to--always
Thank you for being you!

I love you Brad---more than words can express!
You are the best and i hope you have a fantastic day!


Last Night, Across the Street

Um. So yeah. I don't know if any of you heard about this, but basically, last night around 10p (when I was walking home from a friend's house), there was a stabbing/gunning incident at my cute, little, drug-infested Pioneer Park. Yep, the one directly across the street from Petunia.

Here's the story: Stabbing At Pioneer Park.

So odd. I was walking home 15 minutes from when it happened. I didn't hear anything unusual other than the "normal" sirens I hear every night. When the officer took the assailant down, I don't remember any gun shots, even.

Two things:

1. Dallas, be more aware of what is happening, right outside your door! I was totally into a book and I didn't hear a thing!
2. I mean, how do you stop people from simply deciding to stab and kill?!

I'm fine. The neighborhood (people) are fine, but it will be interesting to hear what the homeowners say.

I recently attended our community council meeting where we met w/ the police department. Basically, Utah's holding facilities are crammed full. The drug pushing is at a high (for the year) but the park - overall - has improved from year's past. Still... it makes you wonder: if Central Park did it, why can't we (probably $, Dallas...)?

Maybe I should look into very fashionable, Kevlar pants...

Lighter and better note:

B R A D !

02 October 2007

I received this hilarious video from my friend Colleen and laughed and thought of all of you. Have you seen it? Have fun! This is a day in the life of Carolyn Graham....

01 October 2007

Birthday dinner

Many thanks for all of you who gathered last night for our Birthday dinner for Dallas and Abby. I love to have you all here! It was far too short however, but that is understood. It was so much fun for everyone. I love to hear the chatter around the table and in other areas of the house the sounds of the kids having good times together. I want you all to know that this heaven to me. Thanks for your compliments on the food. That always makes me satisfied to know I can appeal to your good taste. I feel like I score when you like the food I fix. Let's give credit where credit is due: Amy gave me the delicious dessert recipe - - which was gobbled up quickly. She also reminded me of the grilled cheese sandwich she had sent in an earlier menu. We call the salad Amy's salad too. So Thanks to Amy! The soup can be found in the Favorites cook book. It was so fun to watch Abby open her pile of presents! Wow what a hall! Dallas was pleased with gifts as well. Teage wanted so badly to open a gift, I found a little figure in my return pile that we quickly wrapped and gave to him. Don't know who it belonged to, but now Teage has it. Made him happy. Thanks again for the great memories you have given us. I am invitined all to Thanksgiving here. Let me know if you read this so I can make sure you include this on your calendars. I mean everyone!!!! Even you Texas folks and Germany folks! We sure love all of you! Looking forward to going to Texas this weekend to see our kids there. Especially our new little Jake! Dad will return on Tues. and I will stay on a few more days with Angie. Our snow has melted and it is spectacular weather now. Cool, crisp and sunny. Love fall! Have a wonderful October! We will miss being with you at Conference this weekend, but we will be thinking of each of you. Hope you are looking forward to this great and historic weekend. Have it good! Love, Mom