Tuesday, 27 August 2013

I'm so grateful to be on a mission.

Elder Grigor sent 17 pictures home this week. He is becoming quite the little photographer!!! They are at the bottom of the email.
I got the package and I loved it. My best moment I will share shortly. One thing I am loving about Bolivia is the weather! My Spanish is coming along really well and I can pretty much talk with anyone and I understand too. It’s awesome!!

So ya this week was interesting. I will start with my awesome story last Monday night. So we had an appointment planned and of course when we got there they were busy. That has been happening quite a lot lately. So as we were walking we were thinking of who we could go visit and I kept thinking of different families but none were sticking. But this referral that we got kept coming into my head. His name was Percy. I didn’t want to go because it was on the other side of the zone and didn’t want to go that far so I just kept ignoring the feeling to go there but it kept coming back in my head.  So I finally decided just to go and visit him. We go there and he said that he didn’t have any time but after talking for a couple minutes he said come in. We ended up talking for quite a while and taught him about Joseph Smith and invited him to pray to receive an answer from God. He told us that he thought he had already received his answer. He told us a story that before we had come to his house he was out on his porch smoking ( we still have to teach him the word of wisdom haha) wondering why his life was going so bad right now and why he was having so many problems and he was asking for an answer from god. In that moment we knocked on the door to come visit him. That was really a testimony builder for me in the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives and how he is able to direct us to people who are waiting and ready. It’s crazy for me to see these miracles happen in my life and I know without a doubt that it was the spirit who directed us to that house and put that thought and his name into my head. I told him and bore testimony that this was no coincidence and that we were guided by the spirit to come to his house. Right now he has a date for baptism. Maybe it won’t be his time with me or with my companion but I know that this was the time that he needed to talk to the missionaries and we have at least planted the seed for him. That was one of my favorite experiences this week.

Tuesday kind of blew.... chunks. I wasn’t feeling too well and well I was vomiting just a little so I slept and we didn’t go out and work that day. Then Wednesday we had a Zone conference which are always super awesome and give us great desires to go out and work and to be awesome missionaries. I learned quite a lot from the assistants and the president. There are a few rule changes now and we aren’t supposed to wear backpacks anymore and we have to carry around a handkerchief and the plaque always has to be on the right side ( if it’s a clip on ) those are the only changes I think. 

Then the rest of week was pretty normal and we just went out and worked. Right now we are struggling finding new people to teach and the investigators that we do have are really not progressing so it’s pretty hard and it’s tough. One of the hardest parts for me is seeing all the success of the other missionaries and all the success they are having in their areas and it makes me kind of jealous. I really don’t like comparing myself with others but I’m kind of competitive and want to be the best missionary that I can be. I know that numbers aren’t what make a great missionary but it sure helps to kind of have that evidence that you are out working and getting lots done. Right now we are just doing a lot of walking from one investigator to the next finding out they are busy and we should come back another day. Then we go back the next day and they say the same thing. It’s frustrating at times but I know that everything is happening for a reason. It’s kind of weird why I am so happy all the time, I mean these last few weeks have been rough. We haven’t had lots of success and baptism dates and everything is falling through and nothing seems to be going right yet somehow I always have a desire to go out and find more people to help and teach as many as possible. With the failure I’ve had lately I find it strange that I’m usually in a good mood. That’s the power of the mission I guess. 

Well I am very optimistic that everything with turn around for the better and that we’re going to start to have lots more success if we keep doing what were supposed to. I’m so grateful to be out here in the mission and for the support of everyone at home, I love you so much mom and dad and I hope you have an amazing week. 

Love Tyler

Some of Elder Grigor's favorite pop flavours that he found in Bolivia.  

Reading letters from home.
Reading more letters from home with popcorn and pop!
Elder Grigor found his favorite pop-good old Mountain Dew Voltage!
LOOONG day as a missionary and very TIRED!
Missionary movie night- watching the restoration with popcorn and pop
Elder C. and Elder Grigor
Having some fun in the snow at Tunari
Just chillin with some cookies and pop!
2013 Tunari
Our Canadian Snow Man!
Heading home from a great p-day trip
Stopped for some food at Chicken Kingdom


I'm a trainer!

August  19th, 2013
Last week Elder Grigor's companion ran away from the apartment. Elder Grigor was left alone for about half an hour until the Zone leaders came to get him. Then they began searching for his companion that left.
Well I’m sure everyone is wondering about what happened to my companion this week. So all Monday pretty much we were out looking for him in hotels and in the bus station and didn’t find anything!! We were up until 1 in the morning out looking for him. When I say we I mean me and the zone leaders because that’s who I stayed with. There is a picture of the little space I had all my stuff in. So ya Tuesday morning we obviously got up at 6:30 and worked out. hahaha. But ya all day we just did stuff for the zone like finances and going to the offices and stuff like that and really didn’t do much. It was kind of a little break for me because I just tagged along.
When we went to the offices me and one of the secretaries were talking about football. And they asked me who my favorite team was and I said I didn’t have one, well about half an hour later they had convinced me that I should start cheering for the Seattle Seahawks and well they made a contract and everything to make it legit. So as of now I am an official Seattle Seahawks fan and I will be needing updates from Justin on how they are doing this year. It was actually pretty funny and I didn’t think they were serious. I was wrong.
Then Wednesday (still not knowing where my comp is) we went to our house to clean it up a bit and pack up all the things he left behind in the house, then went back to the offices to pick up my new companion. It was funny because we went in the morning to the offices and I saw him there but I didn’t know he was my companion. Then at like 5 we went back and I found out he is my companion. His name is Elder C. from Cobija Bolivia. He is also waiting for his visa. So now all my companions have been waiting for their visa for Venezuela and all from Bolivia. Oh and you know how I said I would probably be training?? Well because of this whole frenzy I am now training!!! Usually the trainers get a meeting or something or training themselves on how to train but they just gave him to me and sent us off. So now I have a “son”. He is super awesome and had desires to go to work and likes to follow the rules so I am very happy about that and I think we are going to be a great companionship. This week was pretty difficult because we didn’t really have the whole week together to get lots done and the Urkupina festival in Quillacollo made it pretty tough to find people and teach but this next week should be much better. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to train and teach Elder C. I really just want to be the best example I can be for him and hope I can teach him from the little experience that I have. I’m sure I will be learning a lot more from him than he will from me. Oh and yes they found Elder S. he was with a friend in some small town outside of Cochabamba. His family came and picked him up the other day and now he is back from Santa Cruz.  I haven’t seen or talked to him since he escaped but I think he’s doing a little better. Well that was my week more or less, I hope you guys have a great week.  I will talk to you soon!! LOVE YOU ALL
Elder Grigor

He sent another story to his friend Clair and I got permission to put it up on the blog:

One cool experience that I had is the night my comp got here. We went out and taught one family and the dad was saying that before we started teaching he had to take a bunch of pills for his diabetes. Now that he is coming to church and we are teaching him he doesn't take his pills and he feels great!! Seriously the power of the gospel is so powerful if we have faith and keep the commandments, its amazing. I feel like I have so many spiritual moments on my mission but since they come every day and more often than before I just feel that its normal and all these awesome experiences are just part of every day life. I need to be better at trying to recognize and write down every single thing even if its little because I have seen the blessings and power of the gospel so often. Even if its just a day where I don't feel like leaving the apartment, then I say a little prayer and instantly feel better and just want to go out and help people. Its just the little things everyday that amaze me and sometimes I take for granted. I am so blessed and happy to be serving a mission right now and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.   
Elder Grigor became an official Seattle Seahawks Fan
His "official" contract
His tiny space while he was with the Zone Leaders
Elder Grigor and Elder C.
Hanging out with his new companion
Elder Grigor and his "son"
This picture was taken a few months ago when they went on the temple trip.
Elder Grigor was the first one I spotted- he felt like
he needed to tell me where he was, he probably doesn't
 realize a mom can spot her child out in a crowd anytime, anywhere!!!
" I'm front and center just in case you can't find me :)"


Monday, 12 August 2013

Grateful for small miracles

Elder Grigor and Elder S.

Elder Grigor playing at the park

Just out having a little fun after their dinner appointment
Elder Grigor eating popcorn and reading
letters from home on a Friday night.
In his words: "Nothing Better"

Elder Hull looking a little grossed out when they were hatching baby chicks.

This is how the chocolate bar showed up from the package we sent.
Ty said it was melted and broken but DELICIOUS!!!

I sent Elder Grigor 34 Ways to be a Happy Missionary (found it on Pinterest of course!) - that is what he is referring to when he says "those points are awesome"
34 WAYS to be a HAPPY Missionary
1) Let yourself stretch. That’s what a mission does to you. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not crack under pressure.
2) 50 push-ups in the mornings feels good. Don’t just do sit-ups in bed!
3) For at least one day each week, completely refrain from thinking about home.
4) Homesickness means you are fortunate enough to have a fantastic family. Be grateful, not mournful.
5) Eventually you’ll get good at eating all the food on your plate.
6) Buy Sticky notes…they will be used.
7) Start your Mission Journal a couple of weeks before you leave the MTC. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn looking back.
8) Bring an extra pair of glasses or contacts (if you wear glasses).
9) Get to church early. Get to everything early.
10) Practice recipes before you get into the field. Or at least bring some with you. Once you’ve left the MTC, grilled cheese and cold cereal starts to get old.
11) Memorize D&C 4, Your Purpose, and the Standard of Truth.
12) If you play piano, memorize as many hymns as possible to play at a moment’s notice. They WILL hunt you down.
13) Remember, the Lord blesses the families of missionaries.
14) Get in the habit of exercising regularly before you leave. It’s a hard switch all at once.
15) Know how to budget and don’t go out to eat a lot. The money they give you is sacred ($1 menus work occasionally)
16) Eat a good breakfast every morning. Sometimes you don’t get a good lunch.
17) Leggings under skirts if you’re biking. Watch your miles carefully if you’re blessed to have a car.
18) Learn what annoys your companion…and do it on occasion. :)
19) Keep a copy of an already prepared talk for when the Bishop or Branch President calls on you to speak randomly.
20) Laugh.
21) Cry.
22) Pray. A lot. He understands.
23) I have a testimony of going to bed on time at 10:30 and getting up at 6:30. Somehow your body will have just enough energy to last the day.
24) Write your family weekly, not weakly.
25) Fasting should prayerfully be considered between you and your companion and for a special reason.
26) Help with the dishes at dinner appointments.
27) You’ll have bad days. Keep ice cream in the freezer for this purpose.
28) Buy fruit!
29) Don’t “coo” at any dogs before you walk inside. They probably won’t like you.
30) Microwave popcorn saves lives.
31) If you don’t approach a stranger, the answer is already “no”.
32) Names not numbers.
33) For those tough days, remember your feelings when you first opened your Mission call.
34) Smile. It’s the only curve that sets everything straight.
Ya don’t worry about sending those little things you can just wait until Christmas. Its fine I don’t really need them it was just some things that you could add but its fine and I’ll wait don’t worry. Those points are awesome and very true I will have to use some of them. Yes I can buy you a bracelet and send one but I won’t be going back to the temple until October. That’s where I bought it. Oh and these pics are of me and my companion, eating popcorn and reading letters on a Friday night (nothing better) and Elder Hull when we hatched some chickens.

So this week was a pretty interesting week. My companion was sick these last few days so we stayed in the apartment all day Saturday and Sunday while he slept and then I just studied, it was pretty boring but kind of nice just to have a break.  I want to tell you about an awesome story. So Alejandro the first guy I baptized has some mental challenges. He is 16 but goes to school with 11 year olds, before we started teaching him he really couldn’t read very well and the teachers wanted to drop him another grade level but his mom said just wait and we will figure something out. So they did, and we came along and started teaching him and his family. We didn’t know this story until his mom told us this week, but as we started teaching he started doing better in school. The teachers asked why and his mom said he started going to church and that’s the only reason she could think of. Now when we visit him he’s reading from the Book of Mormon almost perfectly, and he is doing great in his class right now and participating and everything and doing much better. His mom told us that it was honestly a miracle and they can see the power of the gospel in their lives and the miracles that it brings and they are going to be baptised as well because they know that the gospel blesses families. It really is an amazing example of how the gospel affects the lives of those who live it and is am so happy for their family. Every bad day or tough moment is just taken away when I have experiences like this and it’s amazing.

Love you guys. Have a great week and I’ll try my best to have a good week too.

Talk to you soon.

Elder Grigor

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Referrals are always the best!!

Elder Valda, Elder Grigor and Elder S.
Elder Grigor with his zone

Elder S., Cortez Family and Elder Grigor

Elder Grigor, Gonzalo, & Elder S.

Elder Grigor, Elder S. and the Cortez Family
* Sister Dyer sent the last picture to us. It was so nice of the Mission President's wife to send us a picture. Elder Grigor looks very happy in this picture.
Everyone has been asking me what I have been eating down here but honestly it hast been that weird, I had lamb the other day and that was really good! But for the most part we just eat rice, potatoes, and some kind of meat, that’s the usual thing we eat down here. I had Igado once (I think that’s how you spell it but that’s just liver) and I did not like that! But I really haven’t eaten anything too weird and I usually really like all the food. Some of the Bolivian food I’ve had is pique macho, charque, and a few more traditional things that I don’t remember but they’ve all been pretty normal.

I will tell you a little about my new companion. He does not speak any English but I speak enough Spanish that we understand each other. He’s been here one transfer longer than me in the field so he has a little more experience. He’s a good guy and his mission is Venezuela also, so he could be leaving sometime soon if his visa comes. I’m sure this transfer will be a good one I just need to get over a few problems I have with him. I’m not perfect and am sure I do things that annoy him but that’s part of the mission, you got to learn to deal with your companion no matter how much they might annoy or bug you.

So honestly this week as very rough for me, with the new comp and responsibilities and we didn’t have good numbers and I feel responsible for that. Since I know that area and the people, I’ve been deciding where we go and who we visit and how we use our time. I feel like I honestly tried my best to visit as many people as possible and to find new people to teach but nothing seemed to work out and either people didn’t want to listen or they were busy and not home, It was a frustrating week and I kind of feel like I failed a little bit. And the thing is I don’t know what I need to change or do better because I thought that I was trying my hardest to really set a good example for my new companion and nothing really worked out. But I’m optimistic for this next week and it should be pretty good.

I’m glad Sister Dyer sent that picture. That was the baptism of Gonzalo Cortez. He was a referral from Edwin who got baptized in June and he is super awesome, referrals are always to best!! It was great to have the President and Sister Dyer come to the baptism. I baptized him and the sister missionaries came and I guess they liked the way I baptized him and want me to baptize their investigators in two weeks. It was a great day and I feel so great every time I’m at a baptism.  I just feel the spirit so strongly and it makes me so happy to bring another child back to our heavenly father.

Remember Eli? Well at the same time we were teaching him we were teaching his two cousin Leefka and Dara (I think that’s how you spell it) but their mom wasn’t interested, and now all of the sudden she said that they could get baptized so were are going to baptize them this Saturday. I don’t know what changed her mind but I am happy for them and it should be a great day!!

Well I’m going to close this off now. I hope you guys have a great week and enjoy the rest of the family reunion. Say hi to everyone and thanks so much for the package that you sent, it got here on Saturday but we were fasting so I had to wait to eat some of the candy but it was soo good!!!! Thank you so much!!! Have a great week and I love you guys!!

Elder Grigor