Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Cousin Missionaries - 105 deg F - Speaking Spanish Well! - Guided by the Spirit - Members donate land for church building - Last talk in Lopez - Transfered to Argentina - Baptisms to come

The first thing I want to say is this week I have been thinking a lot about the cousins that I have out serving missions. First there is Souer Kayla Cummings who entered the field at the same time as me. She is serving in Canada speaking French.  Then there is my cousin and best friend Elder Braden Birch who has been serving in Oklahoma for more than a year. Then there is my other Cousin Elder Kaden Holmgren who is finishing his mission in Xalapa Mexico. Now my cousin Elder Cameron Cummings is joining the force and serving one country away from me in Brazil. I am so proud of each one of my cousins for there decision to serve. I was thinking about how cool it would be to have the opportunity to work alongside them, but then I realized... hey, I really am working alongside them. This work is the same here, Brazil, Canada, the USA, and Mexico and all other countries. Thank you to all of my cousins for helping this work go forth along side me.

Dad, please put a picture of all 5 of us if possible :)
So this week I have several points that are kind of random, but I am just going to go for it :)

1. This past week it passed 105 degrees with EXTREME HUMIDITY 4 times. You have to keep in mind that there are still more than 2 months til "summer" officially starts.

2. During one of my lessons with investigators, one of the people asked me, "so Elder Graves, how many years have you been speaking Castelleno (Spanish)?"  When I told them "for less than 4 months" they were shocked! Haha, I have sooooooooooo much to learn but I am so grateful for what I have learned already! It is amazing how much the Lord can help you learn a language, when you are faithfully doing his work.

3. There is a less active member who we had been visiting and trying to reanimate her and help her realize the blessings of the church. One day she moved to another house without telling us anything and we were very surprised when we didn't find her one day in her house. We had looked and looked and looked for her for more than a week, asking people where she moved, but couldn't find her. One day while thinking about asking around again where she lived, we decided that we would just do some contacting and hope that we might find her new house. The FIRST house we contacted, was her house. This was a miracle and is pure evidence to me that the spirit truly does guide us.

4.We have the best members here in Lopez. They continue to surprise me and bless the church in countless ways. This week a family in our group offered their land (where 3 houses that they own are located) to the Branch President, so the church could use the land to build a church building. They truly are amazing members.

5.Finally I got to give another talk in Church and direct the sacrament meeting this week. Although I am starting to feel more comfortable with the language, it is still super scary! The reason I gave my talk (and the members didn't know this until I said it in my talk) is because I will be leaving Paraguay and going to a city (that I still don't know the name of) in Argentina. In the last part of my talk as I told them that I loved them, and they were like my family and it was hard to have to say goodbye to my family again, I saw many people crying. These people really have become like my family, even though we still have a bit of a language barrier, it is going to be so hard to leave.

6. The really hard part about leaving is that we have 5 people who will be baptized within the next month and a half. One of them is Apolonio who is 83 years old who I sent a picture of recently. Although I wont be there for there baptisms, it makes me so happy that I had the opportunity to help them in this very important journey.

Thank you for your love and support. I am so excited to have the opportunity to serve in the same country that my Dad served in 22 years ago. I will be traveling to Argentina in 2 days, and will update you more next week.

Love you all,

Elder Graves


1. The two families that have helped us the most. The family Ramirez and The family Echardt Ramirez. I love them and hope I can one day see them again
2. My last sacrament meeting here. Even though it rained, (which usually means you don't do anything here in Paraguay) we had the biggest assistance to the church since I have been here in these 3 months.
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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