Monday, August 24, 2015

To Trust Self Or Spirit...Lesson Learned...Miracle On The Paraguayan Bus - Watching "The Restoration" With Everyone On The Bus - Teaching Elder Godoy's Mother!

I think I learned another lesson about following the spirit. As I am just arriving here in Paraguay, it is very important that I do my paper work to be legal here. I had to go to Asuncion Paraguay (7 ish hours away in bus) to do all the paper work, along with several other missionaries, including some new missionaries who are from Brazil and they helped me with my Portuguese a little bit. More than anything it was interesting to show them how to speak Spanish, as they, in my brain, look like they should speak better Spanish than me!
As I got on the bus, we were 3 Elders, and 6 Sisters. I was in charge, and had to make sure everything went well. That being said I could chose where everyone would sit. I had in mind that I would sit next to another missionary to help him get excited about the mission. As I got on the bus, I had a VERY distinct impression that I needed to sit by myself. I found this odd, because I felt that I should sit by a younger missionary to help him get excited about the mission. So... I didn't listen to the prompting. I sat next to another missionary, and helped him get excited about the mission life. As we traveled, we slept, (because we were traveling during the night) and when I woke up, we got off the bus.
Now, I am going to take a step back to the night before, when one of our investigators, who I had not yet met, was in her house thinking about the idea of baptism. (She told us this story a couple days later). As she thought, she looked at the Book Of Mormon, grabbed it, and started to read with the question in her mind if this really was the right path to take. She prayed, asked God if this was the true church, and felt quite disappointed as no angel broke out of the heavens to tell her the church was true.
She continued her day (which included going to the bus stop) to get on her way to Asuncion Paraguay. She got on the bus, and was shocked to see 3 sleeping representatives of the very same church that she had recently just prayed about. The seat that was on her bus ticket, was the empty seat to the side of the other Elder who was sitting alone - to the side of the seat where the Spirit told me to sit. As we traveled, she didn't even know who I was, but she felt a shocking feeling that this might have been an answer to her prayer. But we continued our journey without talking because we simply slept until the morning sun came.
We woke up and she explained who she was and that she was learning from another set of missionaries like us. We asked where she was from and she said, 2nd ward Ciudad del Este. I almost had a heart attack, because that is my new ward, and asked who was teaching her. She said, Elder Choez and a new missionary  from Argentina who she had not yet met. (That new missionary from Argentina is me)!
I know the Spirit works. I know that coincidences don't exist, and that we really were an answer to her prayer. God wanted me to have the chance to meet her, and get to know my future investigator,as a bonus blessing, but I didn't "make haste" to the prompting.
She has decided that she will be baptized, largely because of this answer to her prayer, this coming month.
I decided that for the rest of that day I would follow every prompting that came to me. On our way back home, after doing our paper work, and going to the temple grounds, I felt the need to ask the driver of the bus if we could put the Restoration movie on (as very frequently the movies they play very inappropriate). He kindly said yes and we watched with all of the people there in the bus. I was going to leave it at that, but when the movie ended I had a strong feeling that I needed to declare my testimony to the whole bus, everybody in the bus, of Joseph Smith. I stood up, and almost yelling (in order to be heard over the noise), gave my testimony to everyone there and explained our church.
I don't know if anyone will ever be baptized because of that experience, but I can for sure feel at least that I followed the promptings of the Spirit.
I have SO MANY stories this week! I will try to tell this one next week, but I will let you know that, an Elder in my last Zone was serving in this mission waiting for a visa to go to his own mission in Chile. When I got here in Ciudad del Este, I found out that the missionaries (sisters) were teaching his mom! She found out that I was here, and that I was her son's leader, and immediately asked me to come visit her with my companion. What a miracle that I can serve the mom of Elder Godoy. We will be trying to put a baptismal date this week.
Thanks for reading so much! Love you all!
Pictures should come later on today!

Elder Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission


This is Taylor's Dad again: 

We never got another e-mail with pictures like we had hoped for, so...I am including several pictures that I haven't previously shared - from just before he left Argentina (sent to me by friends from his 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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