Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Arrived In Paraguay - Learning Portuguese - New Companion Elder Choez Will Complete His Mission With Taylor, They Will Finish Well! - Always A Missionary - Eating At Pizza Hut In Paraguay!

Whoa. Ciudad del Este is not Argentina. It is crazy here! I didn't even realize this until recently but i am just a few miles from the border of Brazil and Argentina! So the people here all speak Spanish, Guarani, and Portuguese. There are lots of the Portuguese people that I can hardly understand. It is really funny the way they talk! It is like they are speaking Spanish with there mouth closed! So if there is a language that I will be learning while I am here, it will be Portuguese. I can sort of understand what they say when they speak already, and I can read it pretty fluently already because it is very similar to Spanish.

Another thing that is pretty interesting is that in Argentina if you are going to travel somewhere, you are going to travel in a huge, air conditioned, sofa chair, bus with people who will pass by to give you food occasionally. So that's the luxury I got used to over there, it kinda seemed like I was on a high class airplane every time we got on a bus. Now its another story. The buses are literally the same ones that they had in 1975 and before. They are so crazy, and I really don't know how they keep running and why they don't buy new buses! There are always little kids hanging out the doors to look if anybody needs to get on down the road. 

There are soooo many cars. Everywhere. Everywhere. I can not believe I haven't seen a wreck still. They just go and hope that they don't die. Its crazy! If you want to know what Ciudad Del Este looks like, watch the part of "The Bee Movie" when the main character is walking down the street and little cars are going at full speed in all directions.

The funniest thing for me is the accent of the Paraguayos! They talk so funny! I am so used to the Argentine accent. The people that we teach, when they guess where I am from say that I sound like I am from Argentina. When I tell them that I am from The United States they are always surprised :)

Well, some things that I have learned is that in the mission, there are no "breaks" from mission work. I find myself with a desire to share with everyone very often, and one of those moments was during my travels from Argentina to Ciudad del Este. As we went, I talked and had an hour long conversation or more, about the gospel, with 4 people. Talking with people about these things just makes me happy, and I realized, that sleeping on the bus only makes me want to sleep more, so I share about the gospel, as well as expressed the deep love that I have for my family. Each of them left that bus with something they were not expecting to come away with, and I am grateful that God had me be His tool in that way.

So, I am not really "sick" but the climate here was VERY different from what my body was used to. When I got off the bus, very quickly my throat started to feel kinda funny. Within just a few hours, my head hurt, and my voice was 100 percent gone. It was crazy! So for a whole day we had whispered lessons! It was an experience I wont forget! But all is well now, my voice has already been restored to normal luckily :) This experience really helped me realize that sometimes in life we forget that some of the greatest gifts are the ones we have always had. Vision, the ability to hear, to talk, to taste, to just go out into the air and take a deep breath. This week I learned, that none of these things I would have had without the infinite love of my maker.
This is my new companion, and he is from Ecuador! His name is Elder Choez, and I have known him for basically my whole mission.  I am very excited to have another great friend as a companion. He is finishing his mission this transfer, and we plan to end it well for him.

This picture was taken of us in the middle of Ciudad del Este eating at Pizza Hut! Yeah they have Pizza Hut!

Elder Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission

Write to Elder Graves in 1 of 3 ways  :

1. E-mail tgraves@myldsmail.net

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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