Saturday, July 12, 2014

Gift of Tongues - Fireworks - Junk Food & Staying Fit - Hot Air Balloons - Temple Trips

This week I am going to start off by sharing a funny story with you all. We were teaching one of our "investigators" who had just accepted our invitation to be baptized and come to church! I was SO excited I wanted to jump out of the room! I kept saying how happy I was for him, and how important this was for him and his family, and then I said "Mucho Gusto" which I was under the impression that it meant something like- I am very excited-... I was very wrong. Our investigator and my two companions just looked at me with a very confused face, and were struggling not to laugh. When we left the lesson my companion busted up laughing and said mucho gusto means "It's nice to meet you..."
So pretty much I said to somebody I've known for over 3 weeks, "Man I'm so excited and proud of you for this. I'm glad we could teach you... and it's nice to meet you."
Yeah I was pretty embarrassed, but we all got a good laugh out of it.

2 days ago was our Teacher's Birthday! We had quite the celebration in class and gave him some presents, but I totally forgot to take a picture of that day :( Oh well I want you all to know who he is, because he seriously has influenced my Spanish and especially my testimony SO much.
This is the only picture I have of him, but he is the guy on the far right! His testimony is so strong it inspires me daily. One thing he said to me that blew me away had me crying instantly was when he told me this.
"If ever there is a time, that you feel it is hard to get out of bed, or that something is too awkward or too difficult for you to do, remember what Jesus Christ. I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR THAT MAN. Even if I knew there was no reward at all, for obedience, I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR THAT MAN." 
I have felt the spirit many times here, but never so much as that moment.
Recently I had to say goodbye to a couple of awesome friends. As they have taught and inspired me, being the senior district, I have grown to love each of them and truly appreciate there example. It is amazing how close you can grow to someone in such a short amount of time. This is a testament to me that we all are brothers and sisters of the same God. 
I also have learned that life is full of goodbyes and sometimes they can be hard. But goodbyes are good, they truly make you appreciate and miss those you have left.
Yeah we are cute aren't we...

So I have a little confession to make. Most of you know that for almost 5 years I haven't had cookies, donuts, cake, candy, and especially soda. I am sorry to say I have had each of these things... I know I can't believe it either! It's just impossible not to here at the MTC! There is so much of it everywhere. The BYU Creamery is literally heaven on earth. I can't believe I've gone so long without all this stuff! My dad asked me the other day if I worked out enough and wondered how I worked out. I think he is worried I'm going to get fat ;) After every meal we all do tons of pushups and sit ups and pull ups. So don't worry dad! ;)
3 weeks ago I was doing an activity with my class where we walked up to several different people and ask them questions that we had written down on a piece of paper. I walked up to this one guy and asked him a question. He rattled off some Spanish that I couldn´t even come close to understanding. I then asked him, in English "How long have you been here?!" Because I was amazed how much Spanish he already knew! He then let me know that he had been there for a little more than 3 weeks. I was in awe, and thought I would never get that far.
Yesterday, a "newbie" came up to me and asked me the same questions, doing the same activity I did 3 weeks ago. I answered him with a couple of sentences about how I knew the church was true and that through teaching my knowledge of the gospel had also increased. After that he looked at me very confused and said, "Holy cow, how long have you been here?" I told him 3 weeks, he sat there amazed as I did a couple of weeks ago.
Again I want to testify that the gift of tongues is real. It takes soooo much work, but the spirit will help if I work.
I love what I get to teach and what I get to live daily. 

 I want to end this letter with a spiritual experience.
If you remember two letter's ago, I recounted an experience where I got to be in the same room as 6 apostles, prophets, seers and revelators. I told of how I felt there presence literally before I even knew they walked in the room. 
This tuesday I knew that a similar opportunity might happen due to some rumors. I heard that Niel L Anderson would be speaking to the whole MTC that evening. I was so excited to feel that same confirmation that he was a prophet. When he walked into the conference hall, I felt nothing. I didn't understand it. He is a prophet of God right? Why wouldn't I feel this same confirmation?? Throughout his lesson I was confused and wondered if maybe I had done something that made me undeserving of the spirit. Recounting my day, I realized that couldn't be it. As I listened to his testimony and his witness of Jesus Christ, I was hit with that same confirmation I had recieved with the other apostles of the Lord, in 3 real waves of power from the spirit that increased each time. I wish I could explain this feeling to you all. But again, I know that the Lord directly interacts with his prophets. 
The lesson I learned from this experience is that you can't force the spirit. You must be patient and it will come when it is most important and significant.

I want to share this picture I took at the Temple today and share my testimony that the temple is the house of the Lord. I love the peace that is there and am awed by its beauty. Please take the chance to go often.

I love everyone of you. Please keep reading these. I pray each week that I can convey the right message to you all. 
Thank you
Elder Graves
I'm going to throw a few random pictures in here, because my family likes to see pictures! If my dad want's to include them in the blog then go for it!
Hot air balloons on the 4th of July was the coolest surprise to wake up to!!! They were everywhere!
Watching fireworks with Elder Nielsen!!
This picture of the angel Moroni might be better than the other one, but I do kinda like how it seems like Moroni is standing on fire in the other one. So take your pick between these two.

Cool picture except mi compañero is taking a picture of somebody taking a picture of me...

The trio rockin it at the temple!



  1. I love the blog Bryce! You do such a great job.

  2. Can Taylor see our comments here? We are so touched by his kind heart and wonderful spirit. You really lift us up Taylor, Love you forever, Nana

    1. Yes. Taylor should be able to see your comments. I don't know if he can actually open the blog. I don't think so, but he should receive an email with any comments that are posted on his blog. Love you guys!

  3. Taylor, thanks for your testimony confirming experiences. Yes, we cannot control nor predict when the Holy Ghost will press His fire into our heart or mind. Our part is to desire it and to have real intent to act -- do what we know God wants of us and testify freely.