Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Devotional/Nativity/Sacrament - Ninjas - Christmas Dinner - Presents - Hug From Mom - Finding Blessings In The Small Things Around Us Despite The Struggles

I hope you guys don't mind, but I think this blog entry is going to be a whole lot of pictures :) This is my Mission President and his Wife with me and my companion at the Christmas devotional. That devotional was one of the most special experiences I have had in a while. I had the chance to play a part in the Nativity and after, we partook of the sacrament. It is something I have never done, take the sacrament on a different day than Sunday, but the spirit was so strong because of it.

Sometimes we have fun playing Ninja at bus stops, when the buses decide to just not come... :) (I'm taking the picture...)

​Even though I didnt get to celebrate Christmas with my family, The family Antunez "adopted us" for Christmas and spent some really special time with them and ate some amazing argentine meat!

​This is us waiting to open all of our presents (okay to be honest almost all of them were mine --thanks Mom and Dad for the packages!!!--) next to our "Christmas Tree" - 

(Clarification from Dad on the multiple packages :-)

Having heard that we may never be allowed to send him a gift, Taylor's Mom was determined to ensure that he had something to open on Christmas.  Before he left, she packed a Christmas gift in his suitcase with him...he had the self control to not open it until Christmas.  I am impressed.  Then we found out that as a family, we are allowed to send him a Christmas we did (the big one on the floor in the picture) giving him two to open this year :-)  We love him and are so glad that we were able to send gifts to him this year!)

​Okay this is my by far favorite present! My mom sent me a Hug! 2 hands, like the one you see here, and a string that would represent her arms! I love my mom!

​Okay this is my backpack and this is a present that Shauna gave me (its from Hunger Games) I am going to be wearing this little pin with me for the rest of my mission so I can remember my siblings and how awesome they are! (It was so fun talking to them this Wednesday!)

Me enjoying the sunset of Argentina. It is interesting how sometimes things can get really hard in life, or in the mission, but you can always find something to make you happy. Yesterday it was the sunset. My companion is really struggling to be happy, and having a hard time continuing working because we have had so little success in our area. Normally I wouldn't want to talk about numbers, but I kinda want you all to see how hard it has been here in our area - and that really my companion does have reason to be frustrated.  As a mission we have a goal to always try and have at least 4 investigators at Church on Sunday. While I have been here we have had 2 attendances total. (That is in 11 months).  We realized that our area was struggling, but we just decided to keep working, despite the lack of shown success. We really thought we were going to have somebody in church on Sunday but they didn't show :( but what really killed my companion is that the other Elders in our ward had 4 in church and the Hermanas, had 7. 

Sometimes it really seems like what we are trying to do isn't of much worth, but something that my mission president told me is that if when we get home, and lay down in bed, exhausted from all the work you have done, and feel like a missionary, then, you have done enough. I will keep working and do everything I can to be the best missionary possible!

I hope you all had an awesome Christmas!
Happy New year too!
Elder Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission


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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