Monday, October 26, 2015

el 26 de Octubre

this week was a great bang! we went out at had a great tourist trip of granada, and the best part? we got to do it in p-day clothes! we had a great time climbing up into the bell tower of a catholic church, playing soccer, and taking 8 million pictures. sorry, there's only room to put a couple, but i'll choose the good ones:

we celebrated hermana liberato's twentieth birthday together as a district, and according to nicaragua tradition, we splattered eggs on her head ;) she was a good sport about it all, until another sister got flour involved... like a mini cake in my companion's hair... gross!

saturday we had the opportunity to have another multi-mission conference with elder snow, brother turley, and elder alonso, the church historian, one of his assistants, and the area president in respective order. it was really neat to listen and hear their words, and really realize the importance of writing in our journals. i have about two weeks of "history" to write, so i need to get to work!

a favorite person... elder agustin, who convinced our zone leaders to have the best p-day ever! yippee!! the yellow church is the church that everyone knows granada by. it's in central park, and has some beautiful architecture, but it's missing something. (oh wait, it's the spirit...)

a favorite scripture: moroni 10:33
::if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.::

some goals for this week: get better at writing at night, and not falling asleep in my chair. sleeping is for a bed, not a chair.

the next transfer date is wednesday. i'm not sure that i am going to stay in granada, because hermana liberato just finished her training. but we will just have to see!

something you all could pray for... for our success as a mission to reach our goals. we have some great goals to progress towards for november and december to finish strong the year. 

i love you all, and wish the best for all of you. thank you so much for your letters and your pictures!

lots of love,
hermana graves

Monday, October 19, 2015

el 19 de Octubre

this week, i did survive the stress. but let me tell you why it was stressful. because we had three baptisms. repeat, we had three baptisms

the rain was a little bit of an enemy at night, but thankfully it didn't start to rain until about 8:30, 9pm when we are running from one end of town to the other looking for last minute lessons and everything, but it's soo nice to sleep when it's raining. i've always loved to sleep when it's cold and it doesn't get very cold here. so it's been nice!

let me take you through the week then to show you how many miracles happened. first, the branch had planned an activity for the young men and women to go to Managua and spend the day working on Personal Progress and My Duty to God and getting to know each other. 

this is christopher, a less active convert that we were got excited to go to managua for his "mormon adventure". thanks to some faithful leaders, he went and had a great experience. miracle number 1.

tuesday we had a lesson at the church with our district leader and gabriela. she was still a little unsure about her baptism, but thanks to a great district leader and the spirit, we were able to help her recognize her answer that this is where she needs to be. she was interviewed, and we set the ball rolling for a baptism with the other sister missionaries saturday at four pm. 

gabriela was the first baptism this area has had in over three months. miracle #2.

miracle numbers 3-infinity happen next. so last sunday, the young women's president and the branch president pulled hilda aside and started talking with her about what she was holding her back from getting baptized. they talked, then we talked, and we sent a plan to have a baptism on the 24th with her little sister claudia. their mom makes our meals, so we were constantly verifying everything, especially their mom's permission. before hand, their mom wanted nothing to do with anything about baptism, but after some discussion on friday with our district and zone leaders, we realized the only thing really holding these sisters back from getting baptized was a signature. the answer that this is the truth, and this is where they need to be was there, so we set fast track plans to get them ready for an interview friday night and a baptism on saturday. at our first meeting on friday afternoon, their mom gave us permission but told us the last word came from daddy, not from mommy. so we came back at eight that night, and after a little bit of discussion, had permission on these two girls. i called my zone leader and simply said "put yourself in a taxi. we have permission." within ten minutes, he was there and within the hour we had two more baptisms ready for saturday night. hilda went with the young men and women to managua, so we had their baptism that night with all them present. another grand miracle happened that their parents and a less active friend came with us. something we never, ever thought would happen.
claudia is the little girl in front, hilda is the one in the middle.
sunday was a fantastic day, one full of joy because we had three confirmations. we also had seven people in church, which was also a great blessing. this is samuel, ruby's little brother. he's a charmer and i just hope that one day his parents will let him get baptized. with time, little one.

(The 2 pictures that should go here didn't load from Janelle's end of things.)

a favorite scripture can be found in alma 31:34-5
::O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.::

alma is praying to help the zoramites come again unto the fold, but it applies to all of the local sheep that have strayed. may we all pray to have opportunities to help bring the lost and fallen sheep back into the Master's fold, so that our joy may be full over one repentant soul (d&c 18)

i love you all, and thank you so much for your support. we have lots of plans to find new investigators so that our month of november can be just as successful as our october turned out to be. thanks for all your prayers, and please continue to pray for our safety, health, and success.

i love you all,
hermana graves

Monday, October 12, 2015

el 12 de Octubre

this week was a little bit of a roller coaster. we went to managua on tuesday and ended up spending almost all day in managua, i.e. we only had an hour to go to work. repeat, we had less than an hour of work. to all my missionary friends, you know what that means.

my investigators are progressing well, with one looking really postive for this weekend. lots of prayers that she can get her reassurance that this really is the truth.

my greatest success... i slept with a mosquito net and didn't suffocate. let me explain: the mission gave us mosquito nets and made it obligatory to sleep with them. although my mom had sent me one at the beginning of my mission, i never ever got my life together enough to pull it out of the package and hang it up. well, wednesday morning that we had to do. turns out that i have a little bit of clostrophia, but i made it to bed without too many problems. here's to not getting bit by a bed bug at night!

 one of my goals for the coming week is to become a more consacrated missionary. it's one of the things that we talked about during our meeting in managua on tuesday and i really look forward to putting it all into practice for the last half of my mission.... wait for it. that's right, you read it right...

i have been out on the mission nine months. 

crazy right?!

a favorite person... the person that decided to put a twist on minute to win it games and allow us to play them during our multi-zone meeting on tuesday. zona granada put it in the bag, eating five oreos, removing the tissues the fastest, and moving the cups the fastest.... 

elder mataalii and elder hartley, our zone leaders... sharing the load to work the hardest

hermana chi, strengthening her facial muscles to make a smile ;)

(this picture didn't load- oh,how I wish it had though) and me, working on who knows what... but just take a second and look at how much i look like my mother in this picture.... thank you..

a favorite scripture, lost but then again found in second corithians 5:6-7, 
::Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight.::

while we are away from the lord, may we take confidence and walk by our faith, nothing wavering, to be led back home to him.

i know that this work is true, and may we all look for ways to share our lights with others

hermana graves

Monday, October 5, 2015

el 5 de octubre

this week was a little bit, actually a lot bit, crazy. getting everyone geared up for general conference is a lot harder than it would appear because of the shear amount of people that it requires to have commited in order to complete with high goals... lots of people commited to something, means lots of people ready to go come time to go. the goal was to bring twelve people to general conference and be in attendance in each session. it was a goal that didn't quite get to completion, but we're working on it.... 

a great big success: my companion didn't die. let me preface: she has a very large fear of dogs... like ignormous (forgive the spelling). thursday while contacting a house, it all went down like a slow motion horror movie. i said "buenas," the dogs came running at the fence, i pushed the one door shut, and they came running out the side door. they saw my companion and one bit her. she looked at me horrified, and scream "me murdio! me murdio!" needless to say, i then had a companion in shock and no idea what to do. thanks to some phone calls to some leaders, it all became surreal and now she's on antibotics and pain relief in the hopes that nothing more happens. thank goodness the tooth only broke the first layer of skin and caused some internal bruising, but it's not looking too bad. 

a tender mercy: bringing six nonmembers and three less actives to hear the words of a living prophet. general conference has always been a great experience for me to hear and receive personal revelation and it's a great opportunity to listen to the Church leaders give us council and guidance. even more so when you have a specific question in mind. i encourage everyone to go back and listen to the talks that you didn't get to hear/watch, and take notes as if you were watching it for the first time. watch the wonderful tender mercies come as the answers you were searching unfold. 

my favorite person: 

efrain. this little chavalo  is a blessing from heaven. he believes in being punctual, so he shows up early to everything. he enjoys looking like others, so he wears his school uniform and a tie to church. he is only twelve, so we are working on reading andstudying the scripture still, but he wants to do that too. he is a great example to me of what a dedicated member should be, even if your family isn't supportive of you, and even if the church building is a half hour walk away (about 2km). there is safety for the soul that is obedient.

doctrine and covenants 9:13-14
::Do this thing which I have commanded you, and you shall prosper. Be faithful, and yield to no temptation. Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.::

there are mighty blessings promised to those who will be obedient to the things the lord has asked. we need not fear, nor fret over the things the lord has asked. he has prepared a way for all mankind to live with him one day. 

mosiah 2:22
behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

with all my love,
hermana graves