Monday, January 4, 2016

Saying Goodbye - Tiny Group In New Area Of ~20 People - Success In The Area Is About Attitude

Saying goodbye to Ciudad del Este was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

I talked with Sonia, Carolina, Fabiana, and Fernando (the family we baptized one at a time) about how her family changed my life. I still remember the experience when she was asking God to show her if this was the true church when she got up on a bus going to a far away city, and she saw me sitting with other missionaries sleeping and she knew that this was an an answer from God. We said goodbye everyone with tears in their eyes, knowing we might not see each other again, but knowing that we will stay firm in the gospel until the end.

Saying goodbye to Julian Gamarra was particularly difficult. They had no idea that I was going to leave, and we came to their house without aviso... how do you say that in English? (This is Taylor's Dad, aviso = warning)... before and we told them about the news.

Tears instantly came to his eyes as did they come to mine, and as we took our last picture together, I put my hand on  his shoulder, and he grasped my hand holding back the tears. He is still in the process of his divorce, but over and over again has told me that he has already made a covenant with God to continue on this path.

Alexis. Him having a similar age as me, made him even more close to me, and it was really hard to have to say goodbye. I am so proud of him, and wish I could have had more time to stay to help him on the path towards his mission. He will be a great missionary.
I told my companion today that the greatest joy that we experience on the mission really is the pain of having to say goodbye. It truly means you served  and loved that person.

I got to my new area and was shocked! It is a very beautiful place, but the church is brand new here! There is a tiny group of 20 people who gather on Sundays to sing and partake of the sacrament. We are working to make this group become a branch. There had been some negative comments about the area, and I had the choice to work according to what people told me, or I could help my companion love this area and learn that it is not about the area, it is about the attitude of the missionary.

My companion is a new missionary with 5 months on the mission, and is serving about 5 hours in car from home. He is very excited about everything, but told me that he felt a bit saddened because he felt like he had wasted the first part of his mission because they spent a lot of time passing time in houses of members. He started the week explaining to me how he truly hoped that the next transfer would come quick and that he would be sent to another place. I told him that we were going to do everything to find new investigators and then see what his opinion was.

We worked SO HARD this week! We had a goal to have 12 new investigators, and because of the holidays, and transfers, we were not very close to our goal, but on Saturday and Sunday, we worked with everything we had and in those two days we gained 18 new investigators, and we have appointments with each of them coming up this week.

My companion now says that he prays that he stays in this area for at least one more transfer.
It is all about the attitude, and I am glad that I have so many good examples that helped me learn that important lesson.

There are a looooot more things that I want to write about, (especially about how my companion and I spent P-day transforming the dirtiest pension in the mission to the most spotless pension in the mission in only about 5 hours of cleaning!) But I don't have more time. I love you all, and should be sending pictures soon :)

Me and iron man

 My companion and I eating some fish for new years!

New years with some of the zone running and playing volley ball

Yeah, we had to hitchhike... don't worry its legal here.

Noelia from Ciudad del Este was taking the lessons from the day I got to Ciudad del Este. I think I gave her the baptism challenge 50 times. She said she didn't feel prepared every time. Finally, on my very last lesson in Ciudad del Este she accepted. She holds in her hand her baptism goal. Its a Picture of the baptism of Jesus, with "January 23" written on it. I was so happy to help her for so long to help her get to this point.

The family on the left is the Martinez family. They gave us the reference of this amazing family Maria Rosalino. They struggled to progress as well but also put a baptismal goal of 23 of January the day I left.

Just for fun this is downtown Ciudad del Este where normally there are millions of people in every corner, but we got there and it looked like a zombie movie. Of course it was Christmas day, so I guess it makes sense, but still we were shocked that there literally was not one soul in sight!


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

No comments:

Post a Comment