Monday, February 15, 2016

Video & Pics Eating Chicken Heads, Feet, Brains & Other Interesting Paraguayan Treats :-) - Rest Is Not Waste / Adjust Pace & Finish, But Never Give Up - Grateful For A Close/Eternal Family - Benita Is Firm In The Faith - Support From Grandma

Let´s start with the pictures and videos!

1. This is me eating a chicken foot. I am being serious when I say it is actually very good. 

2. Chicken HEAD. Yes this is actually a chicken head. What the people do when they give us lunch out here in Agua Blanca, is they kill one of their countless chickens and they put it ALL in a big pot, and cook. I am proud to say that seeing a chicken head in the food, with all the chicken wings and legs, no longer scares me :) I remember my first lunch in Carlos A. Lopez (my first area of my mission) I noticed that there was something strange in the pot, that looked strangely like a chicken head, and I told my companion, that it looked like a chicken head. He leaned over to take a look, and quickly said to me, "Elder, that IS a chicken head. We are not eating anything in that pot!" 

Now, days, as you will see in these coming videos, I welcome all foods that include chicken heads... ;)

3. Just watch!

4. I honestly now can say that I have eaten a chicken brain. My mom would be so proud.

5. This is a new cow that Benita Ladezma (our recent convert from Agua Blanca) just got. She is such a great convert, and is showing real evidence that she will continue strong to the end in Christ. The other day, she, with a young woman from Agua Blanca, traveled the 12 miles to make it to the 
chapel to clean, and then in the same night, supervised in a stake dance! She is also preparing to be able to go to the temple! She is awesome!...(I am now just realizing that I am talking a lot about her, but I don't have a picture of her... instead a picture of her cow... sorry if that is weird...)

My Grandma Graves is a great woman, and like so many others,  has shown great dedication in support towards me and my mission. In one of her recent letters, I was shocked as I saw a picture of Elder Hammond (a missionary from my zone) in the letter she sent me! He is from her ward and told me that he even had brought the sacrament to her house before when she had been sick. What a small world!

There are so many experiences that happen each day. I wish I could tell each of them to each of you personally. If I did so, I would spend my whole life telling about the things that I had done, and would not be able to progress and DO any more. Time is the most precious thing we have here in this life, as well as the mission, and I hope not to waste a minute. Something, that I have learned over the past few hours, is that rest, and change of pace, is not wasting. It is better to finish a marathon, at a good pace, than to give up because you aren't going to take first place.

I try to always stay positive in these letters  home, and make sure everyone knows how much I love my home here, but today, I want to let everyone know that I AM human. I miss my family. I wish I could give my Mom a hug and a kiss today, and tell her I love her. Go run with my Dad, and my Brother in the mountains, and look down from the top and look at what we would have accomplished together. I would like to lay down in the grass with Amber and Shauna at night and try to count the stars. 

If there is one thing that teaching the people of Agua Blanca and Katuete has done to me, it would be a new love for people. As I teach a Father and a Mother, I think of my parents, and I teach them with my whole heart. When I see youth in the street smoking, I tell them of the good life that my brothers and sisters live because of the teachings of Christ, and what they can become if they too will follow His teachings. When I am tired, and feel down, I imagine my companion is my little brother Jake, and that he needs a good example, and I have to be that for him. 

I do all this for my family. I love them.


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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