Monday, September 28, 2015

el 28 de Septiembre

this week was a little bit of a rollercoaster. everything was going good, planning to have a meeting in managua on thursday and gearing up for a busy saturday. we ended up coming back to managua thursday with a friend, who only charged us twenty cords for a fifty cord ride. (this is why you make friends with the taxi drivers and the bus callers, people)

a major success is that we made it through a week of torrential downpours at night. one night we got stuck in an investigator's house, and it totally ruined all hopes of contacting and being able to talk with people. the roofs here are made of great, big huge sheets of lamina (or tin) and when it rains, it rains so there is no hope of being heard.

a tender mercy of the week... two days from today we get money, and like any starving college student, and any smart person would do, we were looking for ways to count pennies. saturday we had to make two trips to the stake center, and thanks to a member's grandma and some handy-dandy service, we got a free ride three blocks short of the chapel. better than the forty cords we would have spent!

some goals for this week: find a family to teach! we have the great opportunity to bring people to the general conference sessions and i can't wait to see what great things will happen. with the death of elder scott, we will be sustaining three new apostles and i want to be present when they are called to sit on the stand. that means four investigators in each session saturday, and four more sunday afternoon to make twelve. lots of prayers would be appreciated.

favorite person, see beforementioned bus caller.

a favorite scripture: "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." first corinthians 9:24 

we all will run in the race of life, but only the chosen will gain the prize of eternal life. but we don't know the names of those winners are. we as missionaries have to run, contact, find, teach, baptize those who are the runners in the race with us, with the hope that we all we cross the finish line together.

i love you all.
hermana graves

a day we un-intentionally coordinated

Monday, September 21, 2015

el 21 de Septiembre

my biggest success this week... I GET TO KEEP MY HIJA! repeating I GET TO KEEP MY HIJA! that means i get six more weeks with this loca :)

a tender mercy.... being protected by the lord's hand. friday, saturday, and sunday nights are always a little sketchy here, because alcohol isn't as strictly regulated as to who can buy it. saturday night we were going to visit a recent convert, but we decided to pass by our scheduled appointment for that hour. she wasn't able to meet with us right then, so we passed by another recent convert who lives across the street. not fifteen minutes later, a fight broke out at the house of the first recent convert. needless to say, we would have been in the middle of some serious family problems and in some serious danger, but the lord really protects his servants. 

my favorite person continues to change, but this week, it would have to be miguelito. he is the nephew of the sister who cooks for us, and always likes to run out, give us a hug, and offer us "besitos." it's the closest i'll get to getting a kiss for ten more months, so i'll take it! 

a favorite scripture... for those of you looking for marriage council, direction, or just a good ol' new testament machete, look up 1 corithians 7. please read it with an open mind.... ;)

something interesting... it's called sopa de res or beef soup. it has large chunks of vegetables and a huge hunk of beef bone. it's interesting to say the least and extremely greasy...

a goal this week would have to be to find a whole slew of new investigators. the sister leaders have placed a goal with us to place four baptismal dates each day... that's 28 new investigators. here we go!

i'm looking forward to the women's general meeting of general conference. there begins the spiritual health surge that i need.

a new picture... my hair has been acting so beautifully lately... i don't know what to think!

because we didn't know what was going to happen tuesday, we had a photoshoot. justin is miguelito's brother and he's quite the little gangster. me, on the other hand, i try too hard.

Monday, September 14, 2015

el 14 de Septiembre

another change has come and gone, which marks me at eight months in the mission. this change i will go over the hill, and i have mixed feelings about it all!

a big success... we brough eight people to church yesterday! exceeding the normas, people! whatcha gonna do.... when they come... the missionaries!

a tender mercy... wednesday we went adventuring into the extremities (sp!?) of our area, looking for less actives. we found one... reading his scriptures. it touched my heart to see him, and when we called "buenas!" (their greeting here), looked at us, and proceeded to get all teary eyed. he's been a member for more than fifteen years, and has been less active for almost a year. he has a strong testimony, but has had some unfortunate things happen in his life that have pulled him away from the church. it was raining wednesday, we got lost in a bus, and almost left zone boundaries in the search, but the lord knew that hermano carlos needed our visit. just another testimony that it all works out for the best. even if you scare your junior companion into thinking that we have to walk more than five kilometers back into granada...

we had a lot of fun doing each other's hair one night while we were waiting for dinner. i'll give you a hint, this is a man. (a gay man, but a man.)

oh to have his hair....

some favorite people... we had the opportunity to work with our zone leader and his two children.   we visited karla, and her son jose, and had a lot of fun watching the little two year old wash the dirty clothes in the dirt... mom and grandma have taught him well! (this picture didn't load)

a goal this week, walk without killing myself. last sunday night i tripped while having a foot race with a couple of investigators. at first, i treated it like any other wound, making sure that it was clean and i put some antibacterial cream on it and everything. needless to say, tuesday it was all oozy and pussy and we ended up having to call the nurse. a hydrogen peroxide torture wash later and a week of the same treatment, it has stopped oozing and i am able to have full flexibility again. it still hurts, but there we are! (picture didn't load)

a favorite scripture... 1 corithians 3. one of the councils that our zone leader gave us is that we need to make sure that we are feeding our investigators the milk first, and slowly adding in the meat. i read this chapter in my studies today and finally understood what he meant. i know that i was called to this area for a reason, and i have learned some valuable lessons here, now to just find out what it all boils down to.

this week we have changes, and prayers that nothing happens. i know that everything happens for a reason, and if we have faith in the lord's timing, everything will work out for the best.

hermana graves

Monday, September 7, 2015

el 7 de septiembre

that's a mouthful... septiembre... aah! today marks eight months in the mission... i can't believe that i'm almost to the halfway hump. yikes!
this week? a biggest achievement! seven investigators in church! i will never cease to see the miracles that come when we put our faith in the Lord and then go and work for our goals. i have always been one of those people who believes that if you want something done, you pray and then you go and work for it. and if it doesn't work out, it wasn't meant to be. this week, we prayed, fasted, and then went to work to bring eight people to church. of a list of 16 people, we brought five planned and had two unexpectedly. not going to complain!
a biggest challenge continues to be to find new investigators. we had the opportunity to have interviews with President Russell on tuesday, and i expressed my concern about our area. thursday afternoon we worked with the district leaders in our area, and then worked with the hermana leaders (like a zone leader, but just with the sisters) on friday. what an amazing opportunity. our teaching pool in those two days doubled, going from six little fishies to fourteen! yippeeee!! there is still room for improvement, but the ball is rolling again.

three generations: my mama, me, my baby girl!

favorite person... hermanito efrain. he is a young man who was baptized in january of this year. little kid is a strong example for the entire branch, and for that, the entire mormon church. he shows up two hours early for church. TWO hours early, so that he can be on time, ready to pass the sacrament, and to help with whatever else. this sunday, he brought his mamita (his grandma) to church all by hisself. i was such a proud missionary.
this week i was studying through the book of mormon, looking for specifically how it testifies of Jesus Christ. i had the opportunity to read mosiah 12-16. i invite everyone to read these five chapters tonight. wherever you are in your reading of the book of mormon. pause it, read it, and tell me that chapter 14 does not just absolutely change your life. 

welcome to granada! where the greenga and the loca roam the streets inviting you to change your lives forever

a tender mercy? getting to see julia and elmer be baptized. julia and elmer were going to be our golden family for august. but because of family problems due to elmer's old habits, they decided to move to a little colony in the boonies... of the area of the zone leaders. not okay! but friday night, elder mattallii (one of our zone leaders) called us and cordially invited us to the baptism and wedding of a special couple. sister liberato about cried. saturday afternoon we bought a cake, and had the grand adventure of making it to the chapel on time for the baptism. we unfortunately missed the wedding, but were able to be there to support them in their baptism. i won't be able to report this baptism to president, but their names are going in front of my preach my gospel. and that's final. (her pictures of this event didn't load)

as always, we always look for adventures. forty cords was looking really pricey, so we went looking for a bus to get back to our area. while walking to the bus stop, we saw a member and her family in their little toyota pickup leaving the market. i shouted "where are you headed?" "the house!" paola shouted back... "dela pues!" and away we crawled into the back of a pickup. no shame, no gain!

this week, i look forward to getting back into the habit of studying a little bit of the scriptures each night and writing in my journal. i have gotten into the bad habit of falling asleep while waiting for our leaders to call, and i need to get away from that. it's causing me to wake up in the middle of the night.... ugh..
                                                                                 i love you all!
hermana graves