Tuesday, September 23, 2014

3 yr old & a machete! - Service - Taylor's Running - Financial struggles/Tithing - Relationship with Dad

Okay I am going to start with a picture. At first glance, all seems well. But then if you look a little closer, a little girl age 3 is handing me a MACHETE. Yeah. We were digging a well for a service project on Saturday and to clean the shovel you have to use a machete to scrape the mud off.

The mom, the older kids, and everybody around, thought this was normal... If you can tell by my face, I did not feel the same. They just don't have the same amount of caution that we have in the states! It is super funny (and scary sometimes!)

Quick shout out to my mom for 3 things...
1. She is super awesome.
2. She has such a beautiful singing voice that she has the opportunity to sing in GENERAL CONFERENCE! I tell everybody I know about it because I am SO excited to see her on TV! (I know she is going to be wearing yellow and where she will be sitting!) But everybody I tell just tells me, "well, yeah you live in Utah, so doesn't everybody get to do that?" The members and native missionaries here think that if you live in Utah you know everybody from Utah. They are always very surprised when I tell them that I have never had a conversation with the Prophet or one of the Apostles. In reality Utah is pretty big!
3. I was showing pictures of my family to a menos activo family and they all guessed the ages of each member of my family. They were all relatively close (within 5 years) with everyone except my mom. Each one of them guessed under 25. I am not exaggerating. I could tell that is actually what they thought, and they weren't just trying to be nice!
So yeah my mom is awesome!

I have had the awesome opportunity to run most days lately! It has been awesome! I run up and down the hill we live on (its pretty big) and my comp sits and watches for 20 minutes! Haha its a pretty funny sight! My companion literally thinks I am insane and has tried to convince me that running is not good for you. Ha! It makes me laugh everytime! He says, in all sincerity, "if it is so good for you, why does it hurt so much? You are crazy!"  But I am really grateful for the opportunity to run. It reminds me that the body we all have truly is an incredible blessing. It really is the most incredible machine in the world.

Quick story about a recent convert. Her name is Grasiella Benitez (everybody's last name out here is Benitez I'm not even kidding). She is very poor and has 7 kids and doesn't have a husband do help support the family. Obviously one of the harder commandments for her is to pay tithing. She told us that a couple days ago she found money in the road, and she knew it was a blessing from paying tithing. We thought it was going to be a big sum of money, but it was actually only 5000 guanies (equivalent to $1.25). At first I thought, okay that isn't that much of a blessing for her, but then she told us that that was exactly the amount she had paid in tithing that week. 
If there is one thing I learn from this story, it is pure faith. Although, she probably wont find 5000gnis in the street everytime she pays her tithing, she is still willing to do it. I now have a stronger testimony of the importance of tithing.
Here is a random picture of my companion and I taking a break from our service project!

So the last thought I want to share today is about my Dad. I really am growing closer to him every day while I am so far away from him. I know it doesn't make sense to me either, but it is so true. Every time I do anything, I remember in the back of my mind that my dad has gone through the same thing before. In a way I can always feel like he is here walking these streets with me always motivating me like a super awesome senior companion. I miss my dad, but am so grateful for his example that he set for me.

I am so grateful for my family and for all of the support back home. I wish I could write all of you a 10 page letter, because I really could if I had the time, but I don't. Just know that I love each of you and pray for you.

Love you all,


Write to Elder Graves in 1 of 4 ways:

1. E-mail tgraves@myldsmail.net

2. Send mail through www.DearElder.com
They will print and mail it for you at no cost (without a stamp).  This is a free service.

www.DearElder.com Instructions:
Select the "Argentina Posadas Mission"

3. 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

4. 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

No comments:

Post a Comment