Monday, March 2, 2015

Dario's Baptism Pictures! - Bro Casarez Listens To Gospel Message While Missing Missionary Son - Helping A Man Quit Smoking/Going To Church/Just Listen (To The Whisperings Of The Spirit) - Cooking With Chef Duarte - Hair Cut - Argentine Statue Of Liberty - Going To Miss Trio - Protected

This is Taylor's Dad writing:
As I was  unable to include pictures last week of Dario's baptism, Taylor did send some for me to use this week.  Here are a couple pictures of Dario's special day.  We are so happy for him!

Much of Taylor's "letter" home this week comes from a couple of his journal entries from last week.  He took pictures of his journal and sent them to us.  In an effort to make the blog a little easier to read, Kirsten and I have typed his journal entries below.

Taylor's letter home:

And here is a Thursday in the life of Elder Graves...
Love you guys!

27 de Febrero

Well we had a very important experience today. We were talking with the Hermano Casarez during a lesson with his family. He is the only one in his WHOLE FAMILY who has not been baptized and has always refused to talk to missionaries. Even when we got here, at first, he would not talk to us. But recently he started opening up and let us talk to him. His son is also serving a mission. He is in Brazil and he was telling us how he has started to miss him.

In the last lesson we had with him (I wasn’t there. We were on divisions and my companion taught his family that night), he had asked my companion a really interesting and important question. He asked him, “What are you searching for out of these lessons?” My companion sat there for a while and told him he wanted to think about that question and that he would come back and contest later. We came back today and we told him what we hoped for him. We told him that our hope is that his family could be eternal.

My companion, Elder Hawk, began to tell a story that I had heard a few times because he had told it in a few other lessons. It was about how his little baby brother had passed away with only a few short months of life on this earth. For some reason, this time that he told it, the Spirit was so much stronger. Even though I had heard the story before, tears started coming from my eyes. I told them that I knew that he would see his baby brother again one day. I also told them about how I knew I would be with my family eternally also.

I told them about how on the last night of being in my own home, my whole family knelt down together, one last time like we had been doing for years, to say our nightly prayer. I remember my Mom said the prayer and the warm the that came from her words were indescribable. It comforted me to the point that I knew that I would be with my family again, not having to worry about what would happen during these two years, even if something as terrible as death, I would be able to know that I would be able to live with them again some day. At this point, After sharing all of this with the Hermano, everyone was crying, me, my companion, his daughter and his wife, but he just sat there thinking... He then spoke up and said to us that he misses his son and that he never knew it would be so hard to be away from him and that he felt the need to be closer to his family. In that moment, he finally started to tear up too.

He finally told us, “Elders...I don’t know when yet...but I know my time in this church will come.” This lesson I felt more strongly than in what other lesson I have had in months.

I know that my family is eternal and that without them this mission would be near impossible. They are my motivation. I do all of this, daily, because I love my family.

Amo este evangelio.

Amo a mi familia.

 Here is a Sunday in the life of Elder Graves...
Taylor’s letter from March 1, 2015. Typed by Mom

Well...I always come home SO TIRED and I always think, I’m just going to lay down and sleep. But then I think about the miracles that I had experienced during the day and then I realize that I have to write about them.

3 days ago, we met a man that a member was friends with. The member said that he was very anxious to meet us and to start going to church with us and to learn how he could break some bad habits.

We arrived in his house and talked to him about the concept of repentance. He loved it. He told us he would make a goal to only smoke one cigarette each day this week (this was really good because he usually smokes 20-30). Through out the whole lesson I felt that this man had SO MUCH POTENTIAL and that we had to keep helping him. When we left the lesson my companion told me that he didn’t think we should keep teaching him. I was pretty confused obviously. I asked him why? He told me that he felt that the Spirit was telling him that we couldn’t and he didn’t feel right about being in his house.

Well today I convinced my companion that it might have just been a long day and that maybe he just wasn’t feeling good during the lesson. So we went searching for him early in the morning to walk with him to church.

When we got there, no one answered the door. I was so sad and then realized that maybe my companion was right. Maybe we weren’t supposed to teach him for some reason. So, we took a bus to the church and as we arrived to the church we saw something that blew our minds. HE WAS ALREADY THERE! He was just sitting outside of the church looking confused, not knowing what to do. We were SO HAPPY. :-) We talked to him, showed him around (obviously taking a very nice long look at the baptismal font :-) ) and went to the classes and finally the sacrament meeting. At the end of the sacrament meeting he told us...”I will never miss a meeting of this church.” We were shocked.

As we were super happy that he loved the church, we also stayed kind of confused. Whey did my companion feel so bad about teaching him?

We decided to go visit him today and pay attention to how we would feel.

We talked to him for a while, taught a nice good lesson, then left. As we left, I felt super strongly that what we had to do was get him to move from where he is currently living. It might sound weird, but the neighborhood is a place of pure iniquity and the spirit really can not be there. In the moment I had that impression, my companion asked me, “Hey Elder, I know why I had that impression about him. It’s not that we can’t teach him, but that we can’t teach him HERE. We have to get him to move.”

I was so shocked. We both had the same thought in the same moment and when he said that, the Spirit confirmed to me that what he had thought and what I had thought were impressions from the Spirit.

We are going to do all that we can to find him a safe, new home. Somewhere he can raise a family and grow spiritually.

I know this gospel is true and the Holy Ghost is REAL. Just listen. Just listen.

Amo Este Evangelo.

Cooking with Chef Duarte! Haha he is always going on divisions with us and is a good example of a member missionary!

Interesting story... I got a haircut... from a haircut place, but it turned out soooo bad. I was trying to fix it, but i just made it a whole lot worse. Luckily, my companion actually knows how to cut hair (kinda) and fixed it for me. What a nice guy :)


The Argentine statue of liberty! haha.  We run by this every once and a while and thought you guys might want to see.

Neither one is me, but we went on a run in our last day as a trio and I took a picture while running. (I'm going to miss being in a trio it's fun).

Love you guys all so much and thank you for the prayers, support, and even fasts that people have done in my benefit. We have had a number of experiences in this past week, that were potentially extremely dangerous, but we were clearly protected by protecting angels.
I love this gospel.

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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