Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Elder White :-( - Testimony of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ - The American Flag

From: "Taylor Graves" <>
Date: Jun 28, 2014 2:09 PM

Alright everybody! Another great week! I seriously can't express how much I love it here. I have cried so many times since I have been here... not because I'm homesick (there is no time to be homesick) it's because the spirit is constantly confirming truth to me. For one reason or another that includes crying for me so all the other Elders think I'm just a big baby ;) My first Sunday...oh yeah and I guess my only Sunday here so far... we had the AWESOME opportunity to watch "The Joseph Smith Movie". I cried 8 times. Yeah it was bad. There was an Hermana(Sister missionary) sitting next to me and I am pretty sure she thought there was something wrong with me. There were two parts that really hit home for me. The first is when the black man who had been a slave but had been freed, he had tried to also break his son out of the slave camp, without success and he came to Joseph Smith asking if he would talk to the governor to see if he would allow the fine to be overlooked. Joseph Smith reviewed with him Article of Faith number 12. We must abide by the law, therefor he needed to pay the fine. The man then worked for a time so he could pay the fine off. When JOseph was informed of this he gave the man one of his best horses so he could also buy his son. While watching the man burst into tears when getting his son back, it reminded me of the love that my Dad has for me. It also reminded me of the love that my Father in Heaven has for me. He wants us to return to us, probably even more than we want to! This concept, had me bawling. Yeah I know I'm a baby. I don't know what's wrong with me. Then when Hyrum was shot through the door, Joseph held him. calling his name. As I have done in times past, I imagined my brother and I in their shoes. I love that kid. He is pretty great!
Well on a different note, Elder Blanco (Elder White) was informed on Thursday night that he was being flown to Mexico for the rest of his MTC experience. We were all heartbroken. Seriously, the whole Spanish MTC community loves this guy! One random experience with Elder Blanco, that is super funny to me, but probably not to anybody else:
Elder Blanco came into breakfast one day, we were having these awesome potatoe wedge things that were awesome. When he came to sit by me I noticed that he had whipped cream on his potatoes... yeah it was weird... haha so I said to him, "Hey Elder, why do you have whipped cream on your potatoes?" and then he responded in his cute innocent voice that makes you smile every time you hear it by saying, "Well Elder Graves... ya gotta live right?" 
Yeah I could tell you guys a thousand stories about him, but then thats all I'd have time for!
We surprised Elder Blanco the night he was leaving! It was actually realllllly sad! Going to miss him!

Okay so probably the most important/coolest thing I will say on this blog while on my mission is coming up. So buckle up...
I KNOW that we have prophets on the earth today. I literally know this to be true. I had the opportunity to sit in the same room as 6 apostles on Tuesday. This was perhaps the high point of my life, thus far. We were sitting there, singing practicing for our performance, (I'm in the choir! It's super fun!) and we had heard that there was a small chance that an apostle might come speak to us. As we sat in our chairs, awaiting our next direction from our choir director, I was hit with a feeling of the spirit, tears were streaming down my eyes and I didn't know why. Then I heard somebody say "there are 6 of them". Right then I knew that I had been told by the Spirit that those men were truly apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. I wish each of you could have been here to experience that feeling with me. 

Lastly, I want to share a picture for my Dad. We were driving down the street, and there was a huge American Flag. My dad noticed me staring at it. He told me, to always appreciate that Flag and the freedom it represents. He said the day I return home and see all the American​ flags, I will appreciate that flag so much. I love what he said, and with Independence Day coming up, I wanted my Dad to know how much I love him and how because of that simple statement, I have gained more of an appreciation for that flag.

I love all of you! Send lots of pictures and letters!

Elder Graves

Taylor's Mailing Address  (Until July 29, 2014) Send letters and packages to:
Elder Taylor Nevin Graves
Provo Missionary Training Center
2023 N 900 E Unit 820
Provo, UT 84602

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