Sunday, July 6, 2014

Secret to Happiness = Lucky Charms Marshmallows - Cousin Kayla - Personal Sacred Grove - "The Blanco" a Newly Famous MTC Drink

From: Taylor Graves <>
Date: Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 11:54 AM

So I have heard many people comment that they love the "Elder Blanco Stories" I have two more for everyone... Elder Blanco (White) was told that he needed to wake up and be at the bus stop at 2:30 AM. The next morning he walks into breakfast! Apparently he had been given the wrong schedule and was supposed to leave a few days later. Poor kid! He seemed to be happy anyway, and I said to him, "Elder Blanco, how do you manage to stay so happy, despite something that frustrating happening to you?" He then responded with a quick comment saying, "Elder Graves, do you want to know the secret to happiness in this life?" I said "Yes!!" he said, "The secret to happiness is having one bowl of lucky charms a day. It's the marshmallows that get you..."
Well he really did leave, and now our district has a hole that is very difficult to fill :( 
I will tell the other story at the end!

I want everyone to know that the gift of tongues is absolutely a real thing. I have taught  investigators in Spanish full lessons that 2 weeks ago I could not have done in English. My Spanish is sooooo far from perfect, but I really am so surprised how well I am able to remember vocabulary when I have the spirit with me and I am teaching a lesson.

While at a Sunday Devotional I found my cousin Kayla!!! It was actually a really cool experience. I saw her right before the prayer started and we made eye contact and we couldn't do anything about it so we had to wait the 3 hours till the devotional was over! During the devotional we were able to watch a video on the character of Christ, by David A Bednar. During a part where he was talking about the sacrifice Christ made for us, and the pure agony he went through, and the only possible way he could do this is with so much love, I saw Kayla at my side, I few rows down, with a tear going down her face. I love my cousin, and also proud of Cameron who is preparing to leave for Brazil in 3 months. Braden and Kaden have been out for a while, and are huge examples to me. Without their example, it would not have been the same. 
Here is a picture of me and Kayla "avoiding the appearance of evil" and not hugging, even though we technically could have since we are cousins. I would have loved to hear the gasps from the crowd, but Kayla was wiser than me and said we should just stick to the good ol' hand shake ;)

Another shout out I want to give, is to one of my best pals Elder Tyler Jensen! He has helped me so much throughout this missionary preparation experience. Couldn't have done it without him! He is now in Chile, preparing to serve the Lord, on the other side of the Andes from me.

So some of our lessons that we teach are just with our teachers, so they're not "real" but they get to the point where they feel very real, if we allow the Spirit to teach us. On a not as serious note, I decided one time to try a door approach with this mustache face on that my awesome family gave me.

Yeah my investigator was a bit surprised... haha it was pretty funny though!

This week I have a lot of pictures, so if you prefer reading my awesome literature, I'm sorry to disappoint with so many pics this week ;)

This is where my companion and I often study. We feel the spirit very strong here. It has been compared to the sacred grove by one of our teachers here and we enjoy the peace that is found there.

Here at the MTC I have made many friends. It is awesome to be around people who carry the spirit 24/7! When we are learning, we talk about the gospel, when we are walking we talk about the gospel, when we are bored we talk about the gospel, and so on... while we are constantly at work, there are times (very rare) when we have a couple minutes to sit back and relax. In honor of all the awesome superheroes out there we had what we called "The Black Market Tie Exchange" or as it was also titled, "The Super Hero Slumber Party"

The Elder on the left is probably my best friend here, his name is Elder Nielson. The other Elder is my new companion! I am now in a trio, because he was Elder White's comp. His name is Elder Wendt!

Alright, I feel like this week I have just been bouncing all over the place with my thougths, but oh well! I am so stoked to share all these things with everybody I just type whatever random thought pops into my head.

Okay now for the final Elder Blanco story... one day, he was getting a drink at lunch, and decided to mix a few of the drinks. The way it came out was so incredible, each separate drink would separate and take it's own part of the cup! I still am amazed how he does it. This drink started to become very popular in our district, then it got popular in our whole Zone! Now even after he is gone I see random people with this exact drink. People have begun to call it "The Blanco". He is seriously a celebrity here and he isn't even here anymore! That kid is going to be so missed. He really made everyone's day better.

Well I will leave you all with a picture of one of the coolest drinks ever, as well as one of the best missionaries I have ever known.

Con amor,
Elder Graves

Taylor's Mailing Address  (Until July 28, 2014) Send letters and packages to:
Elder Taylor Nevin Graves
Provo West Missionary Training Center
2023 N 900 E Unit 820
Provo, UT 84602

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