Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's Never Too Late - Antero Panello

Note: The picture above is from a couple of months ago.  Taylor wasn't able to send any pictures this week.  Though unrelated to this letter, I thought I would share a picture with him and Elder Cantino before the last transfers.

Here is Taylor's letter:

There are many stories that I could share this week, but the only one that I feel I am to share is about Antero Panello.

As you all know, we had been teaching this man for quite some time. We learned that he had been quite the sinner, involving himself in thievery and other crimes. He lived a very dark life. However, as he had become sick, he started to see life in a new perspective. He realized he needed God. When he moved into the house of his sister (who is a member) we found him and quickly started teaching him about the restored gospel. He loved the idea of baptism, and washing away his sins. With the fact that  he was very sick, when we would teach him, he would always ask for "a special prayer" or a blessing from us. Many times we gently put our hands over his head as he lay sick in bed and promised him comfort during this time of difficulty.

Never in my whole mission have I prayed with such frequency for one person. I am not quite sure why I felt the need to have him in EVERY prayer, but Antero was always mentioned, in my personal prayers, as well as the ones with my companion. We fasted for him, and I also know that several of you have prayed with regards to this very special man. 

He wasn't getting better, and as I have explained before,  he told us, that though he wasn't yet sure which church was the true church, that when he found out, he would be a missionary of that church and preach repentance, so that he could serve God, because he had learned how much God really served him.

Friday night, as we returned from Agua Blanca (which is a 12 mile bike ride, and obviously quite exhausting after a long days work) my companion felt that it was very necessary that we would go to the house of Antero to read him a scripture. I told my companion that it might not be wise because we might get home  late, and be very exhausted if we did so. He said that he felt very strongly that it was necessary. 

We arrived to his house, and his sister told us to come in quickly. His eyes had rolled back, and was breathing so painfully, that it seemed as if he was breathing through a straw. He was in very bad shape. In my mission I have given many blessings, but none were like this.

I put my hands on his head, as he struggled to breath. I felt the pain he was going through. In the blessing I obviously spoke in Spanish, but in one part, English slipped out, and the Spirit told me to let it be how it came out, or in other words, keep speaking in English. I said "Antero, you are almost finished. You just have to fight a little bit longer. You can do it" and then I continued in Spanish. I will never forget these words, because they were not mine.

We left the house, and rode our bikes home. We later learned that an hour later he passed away.

This experience changed me, and I will never forget the true repentance that this man showed. He now is learning from missionaries on the other side, and is coming to an understanding of the true gospel. I am proud of Antero, and miss him deeply. I wish I had a picture, but I do not. 

I love you all, and am grateful for your support and love.


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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