Monday, August 3, 2015

Dream Trip Back To Tacuari Argentina! - Fire=Disposal System - Service/Building Another House In Obera - Juancito Finds Joy In A New Home In-spite of Leaning Walls & A Leaky Roof - Missionary Success Through A Home Teacher - Victor To Be Married Friday With Baptism To Follow - Visited Enrique - Planting Seeds Everywhere!

Well one of the greatest opportunities of my mission happened yesterday. My old companion Elder Hawk, who I also consider one of my greatest friends, is leaving tomorrow, ending his mission. President of the mission decided to let him, and I go to our old area where we served for 3 miraculous months. We got to do a real time travel, and will seriously be forever grateful that we got to do that. It felt like a dream being back in Tacuarí where I really gained many of my talents and testimonies that I so desperately rely on now in the mission. I learned with Elder Hawk that we are here in the mission to give of our time, and that's what we did.
We visited to Enrique. An investigator who has more testimony than most members I know. Because of divorce complications, and the fact that he has not been able to officially get married to his "wife" he is waiting ever so patiently for the divorce to go through, to be able to get baptized. Meanwhile, he goes to church every week, participating in fasts, paying tithing, and doing and having read the Book of Mormon almost 3 times already. Yeah. I´m not even exaggerating. 3!
We arrived at his front porch, clapped his door, and waited and waited, and waited, he was taking a nap. So... I decided to pull out a secret weapon that I have. It is a special talent I have developed over the course of time, "clapping" lots of houses of lots of sleeping people (during the siesta) who I want to stop sleeping and start considering there personal salvation. I call it, "The Thunder Clap". Lets just say he woke up.
He came out the door, and with tears in his eyes he said, "I don´t believe it! I never thought I´d see you two again!" He gave us hugs and we just chatted for a good while. We talked about how much he strengthens our testimony and how we still pray for him. After the chat with him, he said a prayer thanking God for having sent his angels to change his life. 
During the prayer tears came to my eyes, as I realized what a blessing it was to be a tool in God´s hands to bless my fellow brothers and sisters.
Elder Hawk and I decided that if we hadn't been accepted in a single house except for his in our whole 3 months there, it would have been worth the time.

Well, I always try to talk a little bit about our investigators, but I really never can get everything across that I would like to, so I only share the very powerful experiences I have. One investigator we ran into is named Angelica Balbuena. We only found her, because a man was doing his Home Teaching.
This man, Hermano Lopez, has done his Home Teaching since the month he was baptized more than 25 years ago. Although, he suffers still from a horrible accident (a severe electric shock that literally stopped his heart for several minutes and caused him to not be able to speak or walk for months, 30 years ago) as well as a week immune system, making him unable to heal quickly, and a very badly wounded foot, he set out 5 weeks ago to do his home teaching. He made the trek of 3 miles to a less active members house. There he converted the heart of her, and the family and they are now attending actively. Whats more, is that she, gave Hermano Lopez a reference. He, without us, went to go teach her the gospel that he loves so much. When he arrived to the house of Angelica Balbuena, she fell in love with the Book of Mormon instantly. She hardly does anything else other than read the book. She along with another little girl of a before less active, now active family, named Nicole will be baptized this Saturday!

Another great success, although the successes are coming slower than we perhaps thought at first is that on Friday, Victor Rodriguez, will be married to allow him to later on be baptized! He has come a long way. 

There are several other people who have blossomed in the gospel and are loving the teachings of the gospel, and I wish I could tell the story of each of them.

Here is a cool picture we took the other day!
 Us with the Oberá Elders going to help build a house! (I think I already shared about this)
I didnt do it! Haha, It is very common to see things like this here in Argentina. Fire is the Argentine disposal system. Pretty cool, except for the fact that it makes the world smell bad :(

This is us with a family who struggles financially but does everything they can to provide a lunch for us every other week. This family was living in this nice little house, and were living well, when all of the sudden we got a call from the father, Julio, saying that he needed help moving. We of course got to his house quickly and helped with the move.
We arrived to the neighborhood, and there were a few nice looking houses, and I felt happy that they had been able to upgrade, but then when the moving truck stopped, I realized I was very wrong. The house that they live in now is a tiny shack, with leaning walls, and a leaking roof. I felt sick, and didn't no what to say when I saw the house.
I saw a miracle that day though. This little boy, Juancito, was so full of joy to see his "new" house. He played and jumped up and down, and didn't let any gloominess overcome him. He didn't complain.  In fact, he was grateful to be in such happy and good circumstances.

I know that when we moved from our Texas home, to Utah in an enormous house with air condition, TV, hot water, paved roads, and everything anyone could ever dream of, I complained. I have been humbled by this little boy Juancito.

I hope that each of us can take the time to realize the enormous blessings we have. We live in a promised land, we have amazing families, and we belong to the true church. One could never ask for more.
One more short story. The Spirit whispered to me that I needed to talk to a woman that I was standing next to. I did, and she had no interest. The 7 or 8 young men who were coming back from football practice all wanted to know what it meant to be Mormon. So I explained and gave away my book. Because I talked to her, a seed was planted in them (and dozens of other people in the bus who were also listening).

Love you all.

Elder Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission
Write to Elder Graves in 1 of 3 ways  :

1. E-mail

2. 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

3. Physical Mailing Address:
Elder Taylor Graves
Córdoba 1243
Posadas, Misiones 3300
Casilla 12

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