Monday, October 27, 2014

Goodbyes in Lopez - 2nd Area is Very Different - Clapping Doors - Spiritual Growth with Rejection - Elder Taylor Graves Meets Elder Taylor - Selfie With New Companion Elder Smith - Siesta - Taylor's Cross Country Brothers Took 2nd in State!!!

I have to start by saying how difficult it was to say goodbye to Lopez. We said our last goodbyes with so many people on Tuesday and I was surprised how many people had a hard time with it. It was really nice for me to see that I had touched their hearts in at least a small way.

First I just have to say... I am really just in a different mission. There is one similarity in this part of the mission and it is the words we are preaching. I will give you an example of the differences

Here is a picture out walking to an investigators house in the tiny area of Lopez:

​This picture just illustrates everything about Lopez. You can just feel the hot by just looking at it right?

​This is the only picture I have of me in my new area so far, so sorry it is kind of poor quality. But it does kinda illustrate how it is. This area is ENOURMOUS (I don't even remember how to spell that word...)  It is just a huge city and it is called Obera in Argentina. The people here are SO different. In Lopez, we could take 5 steps run into someone and we would have a lesson. Here it is quite the opposite. We will clap (yeah we don't knock, we clap, it's actually pretty weird for me now that we don't do that in the states....) a house and they almost always will get upset that we are bothering them. In just one week I have had countless doors shut in my face, seen many people run away from the door because they saw we were coming, so they wanted to hide themselves. Some might think that this would be hard on your testimony. So many people rejecting this message, that we have for them, you would think would make you doubt. But I can testify that it does the opposite. Every door that is shut on us, I remember how the blessings that I have received from this gospel have blessed my life, and how I desperately wish that they could have listened and learned of their incredible potential. I dont know yet how many people I will be able to help here in Obera, but if there is one person being spiritually strengthened, that person is me, and for that I am extremely thankful.

Random foto, this is when I had to say goodbye to me second trainer Elder Silva. He has taught me a lot and I am really grateful for everything he did for me. He is going to be training another newbie out in Lopez. I am really excited for them because they have at least 3 baptisms coming up!! (One of them, Apalonio, who is 82 - and I cant remember if I already told you guys that... but oh well)
Also on the far left is Elder Taylor. I am still pretty confused about the story, but his mom or dad or somebody, has known my mom since highschool. Anyway, I have heard from many missionaries that he was hoping to meet me and we finally got to!! He is 6 foot 7! He also is the missionary who started the area of Lopez. We are all very grateful for his work out there in Lopez.
Okay don't make fun of me... I know I am a missionary, but sometimes...·#
(I don't know if hash-tags are still a thing. ;) haha sike I am sure they are...
But this is my new companion and his name is Elder Smith! He is super cool and has 10 months out in the mission! 
This is during the siesta. It is the time when EVERYONE  is sleeping EXCEPT THE MISSIONARIES! Haha. I still dont understand it, but for some reason, in Argentina, people stop working, close all stores, and stop all human life at 12 until 4 to get some extra sleep... haha its pretty funny.
Here is a picture of some of my best friends (including my brother, the tall blonde one.. oh wait...) They took second in State this week and I am SO PROUD of them. The last thing I said to my brother as I said goodbye to him at the MTC was "Go get State."  These boys did exactly that. Jake told me that they read the letter that I wrote them a while back reminding them of this goal that I hoped they would set right before the race. (You can find this hand written letter in this blog.) It makes me so happy to know that my BROTHERS are remembering me and that maybe I had affected them in some small way. They really are my BROTHERS and I could never be more proud of them. This victory of theirs, truly inspires me. I don't know why, but hearing about this makes me want to work. Work hard while I am here. Jake and the others worked hard in running. I now have another source of motivation. My BROTHERS from cross country. I will never forget those times I had with them, and I am so happy they have accomplished what they have. 

Thank you for inspiring me guys.

I love you all. I am so grateful for the countless letters and emails I have been receiving. If I ever don't respond, please know that I truly want to, and that I always LOVE reading your letters, but sometimes there just isn't time. 

Love you all!
E Graves
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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