Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Blessed to be in an amazing area!

Baptism of Alejandro (my first !!!)

Elder Grigor & Alejandro just out of the font

 The husband of our Pensionista.
The zone leaders baptized him.

                         This is my Pensionista and all of her family. All
                         4 Elders eat at her house, Elder knight is leaving
                           for Potosi and Elder Valda is going to Sucre.

      We made donuts for the baptism, they were delicious!!!!

 The zone leaders decided to redecorate our bathroom :)

It was Cambio night last night so we had
 a sleep over at the zone leaders house.

Elder Grigor eating popcorn -yum!!

Elder Valda and Elder Grigor

 End of the month breakfast :(

So the first big news is that we had transfer last night. Well we got notified of our transfers. We had a big sleep over in the zone leader’s house and they told us all together it was really fun. Elder Valda is going to Sucre and I am staying in Colcapirhua but I’m not going to be training like every told me I was. My new companion will be Elder S. from Bolivia. He has one transfer more than me in the mission so were both pretty new. I’ll be senior comp because I know the area and the investigators. He will get here on Wednesday I think. I kind of wanted to train but I know that this is for the best and I’m looking forward to having a new companion and learning lots more!!

So this week was really good, I had my first baptism this Saturday which was awesome!! His name is Alejandro and he is 16 years old. It’s kind of a cool story, we went to a recent convert’s house and before we left I remembered what the missionaries did when they came to our house. They asked us to think of some names or friends and pray about them and invite them to church and to listen to the missionaries. I decided to try that here and asked them to think of some names and when we came back we would ask how it went with talking to their friends. The one sister had talked to lots and the other said that no one wanted to listen and they didn’t care and she was a little discouraged. That Sunday the sister who had talked to lots of friends had no success in bringing them to church but the younger sister brought Alejandro.  And now about a month later he is baptized as a member of the church and we are working with his parents and siblings. His siblings have come a few times and his parents both have baptism dates and everything is going well with them. I am very excited for this family and for the faith and diligence of the members of the ward to fellowship and invite their friends to church.

The baptism just went so well. The water was warm (first time since I’ve been here) and the bishopric actually came to welcome him into the ward and everything went so well!! And this next Saturday we have another baptism of Gonzalo. Edwin; my second baptism invited him one time to church and to listen to the missionaries and just like Alejandro now he is going to get baptized. Inviting friends really is the best way to bring people to the gospel. One thing I remember from that missionary broadcast is that it’s the member’s job to find and invite people and it’s the missionary’s job to teach. It honestly makes the work so much easier and effective, I know it’s hard, but every baptism I’ve had has been a reference or friend and the ward has helped a ton. I’m truly blessed to be in such an amazing area right now and I’m so happy to be on my mission. I am learning so much and I’m excited to continue learning more and more everyday. Love you all!!!

Elder Grigor

Thursday, 25 July 2013

I really love helping people

Getting a little exercise!
Loving the ride up to Tunari!
Just waiting for the Llama's to cross.
Freezing up in the mountains.
Elder Grigor's fun personality shining through
Love the expression on his face.
Elder Grigor and Elder Valda
These are my pictures from going to Tunari today, it was about 2 hours in a trufi (Bolivian Taxi) just to go see some snow, for me it wasn’t anything special and it was freezing but I had fun. For Elder Valda it was his first time touching snow in his life so that was really cool for him it was a fun day.

Well now I will tell you about my week, it was a pretty good week and we had a lot of success with investigators coming to church and our lessons and it was really just a great week!! We did lots of service this week.

The picture (picture is below) I sent is the first time we went to help a family do some digging and a bunch of other random things. The whole neighborhood where we went to help hasn’t had water for about a month so every morning they have to walk and get water in buckets. At first we were helping the family bring water to their house and we realized that the whole neighborhood needed water so we got the 10 elders to help the rest of the people. That was the best part of that day, knowing that we could help a whole neighborhood get water. Elder K. and I were helping one lady and after we finished she was so grateful that we were helping her and we filled her little tank that she had. It had been extremely tough for her because her mom just got out of the hospital and she’s been taking care or her and both her sons just went off to university so she’s been all alone everyday going to get water. She said she had been praying for help and strength and then "two angels" came and helped her. I really love helping people, although my shoulders were really sore the next day and I was super tired it was totally worth it.

Mosiah 2:17 is a great scripture about service and I really did feel like not only was I helping this lady but I was in the service of my god. It really is a blessing to serve Heavenly Father on my mission and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Another service activity was that we went to help a lady wash some of her dogs, she has 60. She rescues dogs, cleans them, and then gives them away. She uses all her own money to help these dogs, it’s amazing!! Washing all the dogs was fun, I wish I would have taken some pictures but I forgot.

One of the best parts of my week was the baptism of Eli, he’s such a great little guy. The hot water broke and there wasn’t hot water and he almost didn’t get baptized because he didn’t want to go into the cold water but little by little he made his way into the water and it was all great!! Before he was so shy and didn’t talk but whenever we see him at church now he’s playing with the others kids and comes and gives us high fives. It’s awesome to see the change that happens in people’s lives from the gospel. We have another baptism this Saturday of Alejandro, he too is a great guy and he wants me to baptize him which will be my first time so I’m excited for that. I will tell you guys all about it next week.

Have a great week and I will talk to you soon!!

Love, Elder Grigor
Service project

Elder Grigor, Eli and Elder Valda
Elder Grigor & Elder Valda with Eli and Eli's family.
 Peeling potatoes. Love the big knives they have to use.
Elder Grigor eating the salchipapas they made
from the potatoes that they peeled.


Monday, 15 July 2013

I have a new outlook on my mission

Well this week was great!!  Paintballing last week was so fun!!! And it was so cheap too, that’s what I love most about Bolivia! Haha just kidding! But it is a great perk. It cost me 5 bucks to go paintballing for an hour, good times, there are some pictures of me at the place and in my sweet outfit with Elder Valda.

Let’s see Tuesday, we had a zone meeting, I always love going to those it’s really a strengthening moment for the week, the zone leaders put a goal to have 10 people with baptism dates and 15 new investigators. For some reason this week I was trying harder than before to reach this goal. The last couple weeks I have kind of lost focus a bit on my purpose here and what I’m doing. Just the same routine everyday gets kind of boring and it was just getting to the point where I was just getting up and doing the routine not because I wanted to but because I have to and I just wasn’t really into the work. But this week has just been different, the routine changed up.

Wednesday we have splits with other Elders and I went to another area with Elder G. for a day and it was really fun, just getting to know other investigators and other areas it was fun because it was different. Then Wednesday in the morning we went and did immigration in the morning, I went to the hospital to get weighed and they took blood and did a little exam and everything, it wasn’t the funnest thing in the world but it was different. Then we went to the offices for the first time, also not super fun but cool just to know a new place and do something different. Then Friday we did service in the morning and helped an investigator clean up the school that she watches and just helped her out, I love doing service because once again it’s something different.

That’s something that I am going to try to change, is try to make every day different and exciting. Change the way we find investigators or what I eat for breakfast, just the little things to kind of spice life up because doing the same thing every day gets a little dull at times. So right now I have kind of a new outlook on the mission and how I am going to approach every day. Also something I’m trying to do is be more competitive with myself, and trying to be better than I was the day before, trying to  improve everyday in my attitude, teaching, confidence, just everything.

Oh one more thing that happened this week was that I was asked to talk in church last Sunday.  Saturday night the bishop asked me, and since I’m fluent in Spanish and have so much free time I was super excited to speak (sarcasm). Actually I was kind of frustrated and not in a good mood for about an hour after I was asked, I really don’t know why but I was just overwhelmed and nervous and didn’t think that I could do it. So Sunday morning in personal study I prepared my talk and about half way through I just felt like a calming feeling coming over me and I know that was the Holy Ghost comforting me and letting me know that everything was going to be ok. After that I wasn’t nervous and I was excited to be able to speak to the ward about the atonement and it was just a complete change, I didn’t even really plan anything out, I just decided to use a few scriptures read a quote from the Liahona and then just talk, and that’s what I did. It wasn’t perfect by any means but I am really happy with how it went and that was a big confidence builder for my Spanish and for my fear to speak in front of lots of people. I’ve been getting better at that on my mission and I’ve really been learning a lot.

Well that’s been my week pretty much, no new news on any investigators except for Eli, he is going to be baptized this Saturday, everyone else we’re still working with to try and figure some things out, I’ll keep you guys updated.

Love you all have a great week and I’ll talk to you soon, 

Love, Elder Grigor
Elder Grigor at Extreme Paintball
Elder Grigor and Elder Valda going paintballing!
Elder Grigor loves buying new shirts!
Elder Grigor the "white giant" touching the roof with his head
Elder Grigor outside the mission home in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
He said that he really likes the sign
Elder Valda and Elder Grigor helping a family.
Elder Grigor kind of looks photo-shopped in this picture.
 Maybe he isn't really in Bolivia! :)
Elder Grigor's desk when he is studying.
In Elder Grigor's words:
"Funny sign that says there is a 1000
Boliviano fine if you dump trash and
if you look on the other side of the
road its practically a dump."

Monday, 8 July 2013

The lost email!

July 8th 9:58 AM:  Mom, I lost the whole email that I wrote, the internet cut out and I lost everything right as I was sending it. And I don’t have time to write another one.  I’m going to try and at least send some pictures but it’s being super frustrating right now.

To which I wrote back quickly to Elder Grigor: "If you have time tonight- just write down on a paper letter what your week was like and mail it. Then at least I can update your blog with that letter when it comes. It would still be nice to know what your week was like even if I hear about it a month from now."

 Then I got these pictures randomly over an hour in my inbox.
Elder Grigor with his Llama shirt and his Canadian Flag!

Elder Grigor eating a yummy hot dog.
 Love the camera case on his tray.
Elder Grigor having fun bowling on his p-day
Having even more fun because he won!

July 8th 2:14 pm – this wonderful email arrived in my inbox. It was floating around in cyber space for awhile! He sent it at 10:10 AM but I never got it until this afternoon. So grateful for simple small miracles of technology for a missionary mom!

I’m going to try to write as much as I can now. We woke up at
4:30 AM on Tuesday and went to the temple for the first time and it was awesome. I really love the temple and the feelings that I get there are like nowhere else, it was great to see some of my friends from the MTC because the whole mission went. It was seriously such a great day. I think I appreciated it even more because of the fact that I know I can’t go back for 3 more months. We went bowling and shopping on p-day. I won in bowling, it was so fun, and I bought some jerseys and a llama shirt, it’s like the puma one but says llama and has a puma jumping the letters, it’s awesome! I’m going to try and send a picture. On the 4th we couldn’t leave the apartment because the Bolivian President was mad at the Americans for some reason, you’ll have to research that. The zone leaders came over and made pancakes and we did exchanges.  The Spanish elders left and Elder Knighy and I had a vacation in the apartment. It was so nice just to have a day of English and not have to worry about Spanish. He also gave me some great advice. It was a great relaxing de-stress day. I really needed that. So this week in our zone meeting the same thing happened that happened in the MTC. The zone leaders gave us a picture of Jesus Christ and told us to look at it and they would have some people share what they think at the very end. They finished with the people and for some reason the zone leader asked me to share what I was thinking. Just like in the MTC I broke down and cried while I was sharing what I thought. It was such a spiritual experience. I’m so grateful for the inspired leaders we have in the church. It was a tough week numbers wise this week, like worst of my mission so far but I’m optimistic for next week. Love you guys and hope you have a great week.

Talk to you soon

Elder Grigor

Monday, 1 July 2013

When we follow the rules we are blessed!

                                We LOVE getting pictures from Elder Grigor.
                          Life is so different for him down in Bolivia!
Elder Grigor's journal
Sheep just chillin' on the road
Snow in the mountains in Bolivia
So these pictures are my journal -you can notice when I got down to Bolivia, when the pages start getting darker and darker that’s when I got here. It shows how much dirtier it is haha, and that just sits on my desk, I really don’t know how it got so dirty. Then random sheep walking in the street. There are always cows or sheep or chickens just chillen in the road, and the snow on the mountains. It’s really cold here in the morning and night. And in the afternoon it’s super hot.    

So another week more another week less! This week was pretty great, we had a lot of success thanks to our new mission leader. Actually he isn’t new, we just finally have a mission leader and he is awesome! He’s a returned missionary of one year so he still remembers all the things that we need to do. He is helping so much with getting members to teach with us and setting up appointments. You guys probably don’t care that much, but for me having an awesome mission leader is like life changing! I’m so excited for this upcoming month. It should be the best one yet.

So my cool story of the week is about Eli, he is nine years old. His mom is a member but for some reason didn’t want him to be baptized until he was older and could decide for himself. He wanted to at 8 years old but she thought she would wait. Anyways the stake president came the other week and kind of chastised everyone that thought they should wait for their kids to be baptized. At the end of the meeting she came up to us and said "Elders I want you to baptise Eli. We thought that was awesome and that we would have a baptism for sure. We went to his house that week and taught him a lesson and he didn’t want to hear any of it. We asked him if he would at least try to see what Heavenly Father had to say. He said he wouldn’t and that he didn’t want to get baptized. Honestly he was being a big pain in the butt. But we can’t force anyone to do anything, so we just left it alone and kind of didn’t worry about him. We went back this week to teach him and I don’t know what happened but he was in a great mood and he said he had prayed and that he should get baptized, but he still wasn’t super enthusiastic. But by the end of the lesson he was chanting "quiero bautizarme" which means I want to get baptized. I think his mom had something to do with it but more than anything just the influence of the spirit and the power of the spirit to change hearts. And now he is going to be baptized on the 13th and we are working with his cousins and aunt too. I’m hoping that there will be a change for them too!! I would be so happy for that.

I slept in this week until 7 on Wednesday because my alarm didn’t go off, that day I was the most tired I’ve been my whole mission. It just goes to show when we follow the rules we are blessed! And now for the talent show, I wish I could send videos but I can’t. The talent show was awesome, with the Zone leaders we acted the life of a missionary in the morning. But we were mini missionaries, Elder Valda was in front and his arms were the feet and I was behind being his arms, I can’t explain it very well and the person filming didn’t take a picture. I just have the video but it was awesome!! We did exercises and then got a call from the mission president and ate food and shaved and everything it was awesome and super funny. I wish I could explain it better. And at the very end we read letters and one elder got an awesome letter and the other a dear john and it ended like that with sad music and crying then the curtains shut, it really was awesome. I had a ton of fun. That’s my week more or less haha.

Loved hearing from everyone. Hope you guys have a great week, love you!!

Elder Grigor
Happy Canada Day!
Elder Grigor and ward members at the talent show
Elder Grigor pretending to eat a big bug!