Monday, September 29, 2014

Legal paperwork troubles - Travels to Argentina - Trials are blessings for our benefit

Sep 29, 2014

This is Taylor's Dad.  Taylor was unable to send any pictures in his letter this week (for reasons which he will explain in his letter below), so I have attached this picture of him that was taken from just before he started his mission.

I really don't know where to begin this week. I guess as a quick summary, it would be appropriate to say that this week by far has been the hardest week of my mission thus far. Don't worry I am still super happy! But a lot of difficult things have happened.

This week I dont have a whole lot of time to write because of difficult situations so I am just going to ramble and tell the story of this week. Sorry if its not super interesting! ;)
Okay so Elder Silva and i were told by the office of the mission that we were going to have to go to Argentina for Tramites (paper work I think is how you would say it in English?) for my ability to stay in these two countries. Apparently it was urgent so they told us we needed to get out of Lopez and get to Argentina ASAP. Well the problem is it was raining at the time, so it literally is impossible to leave our little town because the roads literally become mud. So there were no buses leaving anywhere. So we spent a morning searching for someone who would be willing to take a shot at trying to drive although it was raining. Finally after 3 and a half hours of searching we found someone who was willing to do it but we had to pay them a TON of money for it. Finally about 7 hours later we arrived in a bus terminal half an hour from Posadas Argentina. We waited for 4 hours in the terminal for the taxi that was supposed o come get us. Finally it picked us up. My companion stayed in that city with other Elders and I went to Posadas. 
To my surprise my entire M.T.C. district was there waiting to greet me! It was so awesome! We NEVER get to see each other because we all live so far away! But I was blessed to remember the amazing spiritual bond that I have with them. Anyway, we got there and went to bed at 10:30 and had to wake up 3 hours later to catch a bus to go somewhere called Corrientes further into Argentina (that is about 5 hours away from Posadas). So I literally didn't sleep that night!!! WOOhoo! 
We got there and had to wait 7 hours just sitting in an office for them to print something for us to sign. Finally mine printed out and they told me that there was an error in my paperwork and that we had to do it again. I told him that it was fine and I would just wait. He then told me that I legally had to wait 4 days before reprinting. I was devastated!!!!
So we made the decision that I would stay myself in Argentina rather than go back to my town. 
There are two really big problems with that. We, the missionaries, have the keys to the chapel. The members were not able to get into the church and it was raining that day. Also they didn't even know that we weren't going to show up, because we were in Argentina and I couldn't contact them (although I tried a million times) because our phone can't work across the border. So I really have no idea what happened with church,and I have been praying like crazy that all went well.
The other problem I have is that I packed for 2 days for this trip. It is going to turn out to be either 7 or 8 days long... you could call me Elder Skunk if you want ;) 
Luckily I had the opportunity to be with the assistants to the president for the past couple of days and they both gave me some clothes.
This past day I have been staying in the pension of my old companion elder Peterson as I wait for day 4 so I can return to redo my paper work. We have been working hard here, but it makes me very sad, that no work is being done in my area right now.
Tomorrow morning at 1:30 a.m. I will wake up to go do paper work again and go to Corrientes.
Now something that happened just before I got to the computer. I got out of the truck of the APs thinking they were coming with us, but as I stepped out they drove off. They had my camera in their truck so I can't send any pictures. I am really sorry for that, cause I had some really awesome things to show you all, but I will be sure to share them next week.

Throughout this week I kept feeling really bad, and like I had the worst luck in the world. But then I remembered a lesson we had recently taught about trials. I had testified with all my heart that trials and hard times in our lives were literally blessings to us and were given to us for our benefit. I know this is true and I am really grateful I was able to learn this truly for myself this week.

I love you all and thank you for sending me so much support through letters and prayers. 

Write to Elder Graves in 1 of 4 ways:

1. E-mail

2. 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"

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

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