Wednesday, December 2, 2015

No Rest For The Weary...Just Keep On Keeping ON! - Miracles Leading to Alexis' Testimony/Conversion/Baptism

Sometimes, when you go on a run, you feel like taking a break. You think in your head "I'll just walk for 30 seconds", but then when those 30 seconds end, you realize that your legs have turned to concrete, and they don't want to go back to running! I think this is an important running lesson that has very much helped me in the mission. Not ever wanting to "take a break" from the rules, from working hard, from loving, from diving into the scriptures daily. I love the feeling of achieving, and that is what I plan to do with the rest of my mission :)

Tanner Vario (Jensen) was baptized about 20 months ago. 24 months ago, we started having discussions with the missionaries (that was probably the biggest miracle in itself) (and I know each of you have heard the story 1000 times, but bear with me) he knelt down to pray, for the first time, by my side, and asked God if He was real, and if it Joseph Smith was a prophet. He felt His presence. I felt His presence. I felt desires for all to know what Tanner and I felt that day. I left on a mission to Argentina and Paraguay. I was transferred to a big city in Paraguay after a year of service in Argentina. Tanner, after miraculous progress, and changes in his life, was called to serve in a high technology, Spanish speaking mission in the United States. With my companion, I found a young man, Alexis, of 19 years, and he felt the need to change his life. I felt, for some reason, without knowing any of his circumstances, inspired to share Tanner´s story. Alexis cried, realizing that there was hope, as he had passed through a conversion experience similar to Tanner's. Alexis said, "I need to talk to Tanner". Tanner then taught him through the miracle of technology (from Ohio), and through the gift of tongues (in Spanish), and let him feel the true hope that he has. We taught him many lessons on Skype together, my best friend and I, thousands of miles apart, being companions. I was able to baptize him, being ever so grateful for the hand of the Lord of these countless little miracles that I just described, the whole time. 

If my whole experience with Tanner, a span of 4 years, was all to help Alexis make this change in his life, it would have all been worth it.

Quote from a letter home from Elder Tanner Vario regarding his own conversion and his experience teaching Alexis:

It's been incredible to see his life change for the better as he grows closer to Christ, makes promises with Him, and be baptized....we all have our own challenges and situations were put in for life, and one of the many reasons that I'm so grateful for the challenges I've been given, is so that I can overcome them, and then help others overcome them too.
Back to Taylor's letter:
I love this gospel and know that I have been divinely called to serve specific people. I love my family, and also know that they were assigned to me, because I could most effectively progress spiritually with them. I am so blessed.

These are my birthday pants! Thanks Grandma! :) 

 My companion and I celebrated Thanksgiving with a microwavable Turkey Dinner!
This really is a cow tongue... unfortunately I didn't get to try it :(


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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