Sunday, July 27, 2014

Injury/Miracle - Feelings for his District & Zone - Letters from Dad/Watching for Daily Miracles

K, so I am going to start with a miracle today. We were playing basketball and I was dominating on the King court like usual ;) and a missionary went up for a 3 point shot. I thought I jumped up to block his shot and he faked me out and  tried to go around me but he took my legs out from under me and made me fall right on my hip and elbow. It is hard to explain how serious of a fall this was, but lets just say there were about 50 missionaries in the gym playing basketball and when I fell the slap of my hip/elbow stopped every game in the gym from going and the entire gym went silent. My breath was gone and I thought my hip was going to be severely dislocated and maybe even broken my arm. I started to focus on my breathing and not worry about the pain, and tried to stand up. It hurt like crazy at first, but I could walk. I was terrified my mission was going to have to be postponed. However, it turns out I landed much better than I thought. My hip has a MASSIVE bruise on it, and so does my elbow, but all is well! No broken or dislocated limbs for this missionary! :D

I truly experienced a miracle that day and I know God needs me to go on a mission and doesn't want things like this to get in the way of serving his children. I am grateful for the incredible power the human body has in healing. It is something that blows my mind and truly helps me have a better testimony that only God could design a machine so perfect as the body.
Okay so I haven't really gone into detail about how much my district means to me. They all are so amazing and have each helped me spiritually. I have grown to truly love each of them and it honestly will be extremely hard to say goodbye to each of them. I will give you a quick run down of my thoughts and feelings for each one of them. This might not be something you are all interested in that much, but for me when I go back and read these emails I want to remember this district in the MTC.
So we will just go left to right. 
Elder Wendt is one of my companions now in my trio. We have grown really close and he is crazy! He makes my day with his insanely good impersonations every day!

Next is Elder Winston. He is the one I can relate the most to. He and I when times are tough are always able to talk things through. I have gone to him in times of need many times and appreciate his friendship. 

Elder Nielsen is the craziest funniest person I have ever met. We have decided that when we are coming to a close in our missions, the mission president is going to assign us to be comps and we are going to baptize all of Argentina. 

Hermana Finlinson is such a sweet spirit and our district would not be the same without her. She is not very good at Spanish, but that makes her testimony in Spanish seem that much more sincere.  The good part about her is she is always willing to tell us that we don't smell very good. So because of her we all make sure to shower every day! ;)

Hermana Hansen is 23 (sometimes we call her Abuela) and she seriously is the most spiritual person on earth other than the prophet... She has made me cry (spiritually) a number of times. She also is very funny and can make us laugh. 

Then there is Elder Peterson. He has been at my side this whole MTC experience and could never thank him enough for helping me in the way he has. He is going to be an excellent missionary and I hope I get to see him in mission conferences.

Any way thanks for listening to me rant about how awesome our district is. I honestly can't think of a better district here! Super blessed to be a part of it!

So real quick during infield orientation I found one of my awesome friends, Izeck McRae, who honestly I forgot was even going on a mission! I was pretty surprised to see that he was there!
Here is a random picture of us waiting at the bus stop. We seriously have to sit there for a while sometimes... but its all good! Lots of studying and bonding :)
Okay so here is a picture of our whole zone! They are so awesome and I love each of them! Really not sure why all the Hermanas are wearing pink... but yeah! We have also all been able to come close throughout these 6 weeks and I'm going to miss them all!

Okay so I have one last thing and I want each of you to please consider this carefully. I think I have told you this before, but my dad writes me very often most of the time expressing a miracle that has happened to him that day. Because of him, I decided to get my whole district to do this. We each search for a miracle, whether it be big or small. I can promise you, if you look for the hand of the Lord in your life, you WILL find it. Miracles occur every day. We just have to be watching for them.

Write to Elder Graves in 1 of 4 ways (LISTED IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE):

1. Send mail through
They will print and mail it for you at no cost (without a stamp).  This is a free service. Instructions:
Select the "Argentina Posadas Mission"
2. Send letters through the Church Pouch Mail Only postcards or one-page correspondences (no envelopes).

Fold the letter in thirds, secure the long side with tape about one inch in from each end. Do not seal the ends. Stamp and address the blank side as you would an envelope. Use the following mailing address:
Elder Taylor Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT
3. Physical Mailing Address.
Due to exorbitant costs incurred in the country of Argentina by the church, He can not receive packages :-( - not even a bubble envelope. Please refrain from sending anything other than an envelope/letter - anything else will likely be returned to sender.

Elder Taylor Graves
Córdoba 1243
Posadas, Misiones 3300
Casilla 12
4. E-mail is not the preferred method of communication as he only has a very limited amount of time (30-90 minutes - once/week) to access the computer. Hopefully, he will spend most of that time writing and not reading (because he will have already read your letters to him on paper :-) - If you do need to e-mail him for quick communications, his address is

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