Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Leaving Argentina Headed to Paraguay! - Hometeaching, Miracles & Baptisms - Hard To Say Goodbye - 8 Mile Run To The Jungle - Missionary In All Times And In All Places

Well on Saturday we had two baptisms - Angelica and Nicole! It was incredible! There were lots of people, and it was just an incredibly wonderful feeling to see the change that was made in the Hermana Angelica and in Nicole.

Angelica's story is an impressive one. I told you all last week that she was found by a man faithfully doing his home-teaching, but I just recently learned, how and why God guided him to her house. She had decided that she needed a change, and that she had to find the true church. She knelt down and prayed to God that he might send heavenly messengers to show her the truth, within the next week, Hermano Lopez, guided by the hand of God showed up to her house, later on allowing us to begin teaching her. I know that this is the true Church, and I know that God answers our prayers. As I baptized her, she closed her eyes, and so peacefully laid down into the waters of baptism, and left being cleaner than she has been in a long time. I know that the power of baptism is real, and is necessary in this life.
Well... again, I just realized my memory card, again, got a virus. You just cant trust any computers down here... but, I think a couple people sent pictures of the baptism to my parents so hopefully they will be able to attach those pictures.

This is Taylor's Dad:  
As you can see in the blog, we did receive multiple photos from different people.  I have only included a few of them.  I am truly grateful for the good people in Argentina that have watched over Taylor and his companions.  They invite them into their homes, feed them, build them up, work with them, encourage them...they are great people.  Special thanks to Martin Figueredo who has been a special friend to me over the past few months as he has kept in frequent contact with me providing brief glimpses into the work that Taylor and his companions are being guided to do.  One father to another, Thank you Martin!  

Pictures below are with Martin and his family.  Taylor has just told them that he is being transferred out of Argentina and is saying goodbye to a dear friend.

Mensaje para Martin Figueredo (del Papa de el Elder Graves):
Martin, Muchisimas gracias por cuidarle a mi hijo y a sus companeros.  No puedes saber cuan importante me ha sido el saber que Uds han cuidadoles a ellos, que los han invitado a visitarles a uds en tu casa, que los han dado de comer y que siempre tenian donde ir cuando simplemente necesitaban lugar donde podian descansar de sus labores.  Has sido respuesta a mis oraciones y te doy muchisimas gracias.  Tu Amigo, Bryce Graves

Back to Taylor's letter: 
I just found out some sad news. As you all know, this area started out very difficult to be in. But it has become the best place in the world for me. I don't know how it happened, but I now love it here, and wish I could stay more, but I have been assigned to go to Ciudad del Este (City of the East) Paraguay. It is the biggest city in the whole mission. I will also have to rerun into the very difficult language of Guarani. That should be fun :) I am excited, but really more than anything sad to leave my home Argentina. I also do know that God will again make me love my new home, Paraguay.

Well to celebrate our awesome companionship and the success we have felt together, Elder Gardner and I decided to again go to the Cruz de Santa Ana. It is the biggest building, in this province, and it is in the middle of the jungle! It is so cool! We took a bus to get to the entrance, and we were waiting for another bus to take us to where the cross is, sitting on the only "mountain" there is out here. Well as we waited, someone told us, that there were not going to be anymore buses... so... we ran :) 4 miles there, and 4 miles back :) I loved it. We got there again, but this time it was just us, and we just enjoyed the pure peace that is there. The jungle, the birds, the trees, the silence that I haven't heard in months because of living in the city for so long. I loved it, and being there, felt close to God. As we were on the top of that impressive building, another man came up with us. He started talking to us about our church and what we do. We, at an impressive height, with nausea from being standing on an invisible ground, taught him about the Restoration. He might not ever be baptized, but at least I learned something, I am a missionary and a representative of Christ, in all time and in all places.

I love being a missionary, and wish that all could understand the incredible worth of going on a mission.

Love you all.

Elder Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission

This is Taylor's Dad again.   
As an added bonus, I have decided to include a video that Martin Figueredo just sent to me of Taylor (as he was saying goodbye to Argentina and specifically to the Figueredo family).  This was a short but personal message to me that most of you will not understand as he is speaking in Spanish, but I thought some of you might enjoy just hearing him speak: 

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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