Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you're all having a great Christmas break! I am. I am staying at Hayley's sister's place in Washington. Her whole family has been very, very nice. I won over all the kids right away, (he he) and was very touched that everyone gave me a hug as soon as I got here. All of Hayley's family has been very accepting of me and they really make me feel part of their family. The only one I had to try extra hard with was Hope. She actually cried when I got here, because she had even been avoiding pictures of "That Guy" the week Hayley was here before me. She's finally warmed up. Hasn't given me a kiss yet, but she'll do it before Monday, I promise you that!

This is the first Christmas I've spent away from my family besides the two I spent on my mission. I adapt pretty well to my surroundings, and I'm not homesick too often. On my mission, I was surprised at myself at how OK I was with being in Mexico. I missed family at Christmas, but it wasn't too bad. In college once, I even moved to a new apartment building once without telling my family. But what really made me miss my family for Christmas was this. My dad really describes the family traditions well, and it made me wish I was there to eat cheese soup in breadbowls, watch the kids open their Christmas PJs and the ensuing fashion show, reading the bible account of Jesus's birth, and the little pageant that the kids act out. I missed you guys!!!

But what I did love was being with Hayley for Christmas. I feel so great that I got to be included in the Gray Family traditions of reading "T'was the Night Before Christmas" and "The Polar Express" and Luke chapter 2. I feel so much a part of Hayley's family. They really have made a great Christmas for me! Hayley and I will probably be at all sorts of different locations through the years, but we'll be there together. And I can't wait for that.

So I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, too!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas

I watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" with Jared, Liz, and Madeline today. I really like the ending where Linus finally explains to Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about. And he's right. So here it is.

Hope you all have a merry Christmas.

P.S. See you soon, Hayley!! Miss you!

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is kinda how I feel about it...

Make sure you click on the image to read the fine print. Just sayin'.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

And the answer is: 42

By the title of this post, you can obviously discern that I'll be talking about the the universe. Maybe even "life, the universe, and everything." I don't usually just start off on rants like this, but since I've been prodded by my brother to post something more substantial than just five sentences (see comments to my previous post), I'm taking him up on his recommendations.

The sentence that we'll base this post on is as follows: Do you think that the universe is infinite or expanding exponentially? Immediately, I thought of a Time magazine article that I read in high school on this very subject. I even did a little google search to see if I could find the article, and more specifically, the graphic that I remember that illustrates a few theories on the matter. (Jared, I'm now no longer obligated to continue... I've surpassed 5 sentences... but I'll finish. But if this goes on for another 50 paragraphs, it's all your fault...)

Well, I didn't find the graphic I was looking for (I don't even think the article I linked to above is the right one), but here's a very similar graphic.

This graphic doesn't illustrate all theories, but essentially, there are two basic ideas about the universe and it's growth or aging process. Either the universe is expanding and continues to grow forever, or it will grow for a time, then begin to shrink, and a big bang-like event will take place, ending the universe or stating the cycle over. In the ever expanding universe group, some think our universe continues to expand at a steady rate, an exponential rate, or a quick rate while the universe is young, then a steady, less drastic rate as the universe is older.

What I believe isn't much based on science, I guess. If you keep reading, I'll get to why that doesn't matter. First, I'll tell you what I believe. I believe that the universe is expanding. I also believe it expands at an exponential rate. As I said, I haven't studied much to be an expert on the matter. So next, I'll tell you why I believe it.

I'm basing my conclusion on the Time magazine article I read years ago, the 30-120 seconds of internet research I just performed, and my understanding of God's plan for the universe and those that live in it. I think God is an all-powerful, all-knowing God. I believe His creations are endless. I believe that endless means He's still creating. Therefore, the universe is expanding. Further, I believe that in his plan, he's allowed for the advancement and progression of his creations, especially his children. That's us. I think he wants us to be like him. I think someday (or some time... or some eternity...) we will be. So that means the universe would not only expand, but do so exponentially AND infinitely.

Important note: I don't know much about what happens in the eternities. The most important thing is that right now, we strive to understand and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, and try our best to be like him. Me having faith that Jesus was born of Mary, was the Son of God, died for the sins of the whole world, and rose from the grave is much more important than what I might think about the universe. So that's what I'll focus on. God's got the universe covered. I'll try not to cuss so much. And the world--nay, the universe--will be a better place.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The RSVP a post card. Just sayin'.