Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Sometimes we just need to extend a hand

October 28th, 2013

Whaddup homies, 

Well your trip to Mexico looks awesome, I loved all the pictures. I would love to go on a trip like that when I get back. I want to be able to put my Spanish to use. But the Mexican Spanish and Bolivian Spanish is a little different. But almost the same. Did the people you played volleyball with only speak Spanish or did they speak a little English? 

Well ya last Monday we went to a place called Punata. And apparently there is a place close to their called Arani where apparently they have the best bread in all of Bolivia. That’s what everyone say, so we went there just to explore and then went to Arani to buy bread. And it was gross. It was hard and stale. Well they probably just gave me the hard and stale bread because I’m gringo, that’s usually how it works. And I always get over charged for everything. Sometimes I don’t like being white. 

Tuesday night I was officially made district leader and well not that much changed. The only thing I had to do differently was report my numbers from the district which wasn’t that hard. I have to prepare a class for tomorrow but that will be easy. I’m excited, I like teaching. I think being a district leader is going to be awesome. Everyone says that when you’re a district leader and training it’s the best. I’m not training anymore though. He’s technically finished with his training so now we study less in the morning and have more time to teach before lunch. I really like that. 

So this week was kind of tough, our investigators that were progressing moved out of the area, and the other who was supposed to be baptized this Saturday just suddenly changed her mind. I was really excited that we were having success and that we were going to have some more baptisms but all of them fell through this week. That was kind of disappointing but I’m trying to not get discouraged. But something amazing also happened, I was really praying and hoping that someone would show up to church. Since all that had been coming moved, or cancelled I wasn’t sure who would be able to come. I just put my faith in the Lord and was hoping for the best. When we showed up to church we saw the husband of a recent convert who had never come to church before, sitting in the congregation. That kind of shocked me and I was so happy that he was actually able to be there once. At first he wouldn’t even talk to the missionaries, but over time visiting their house, doing service and trying to show that we care for his family he has opened up little by little. I don’t know when or with who but I know that he is going to be baptized. Everyone has their own time, I hope right now is his time. If not that’s ok. Also another old investigator showed up to church who hadn’t come in months. I know that my prayers were answered and although we had a kind of disappointing week with our current investigators, we were blessed with others. 

We also had a great experience last night with a less active member. We were walking in the street about 3 weeks ago and someone pointed us to her house and told us that there was a less active member of 25 years there. We thought that it would be a little tough to get into the house. We tried a few times but she was never home, but yesterday we knocked on the door and she was excited to see us and said we could come in. We had a great lesson and she was very nice to us and at the end said that she would come to church this week. Another story almost the same happened a couple of weeks ago. We were walking in the street and we received a reference of some less actives, so we went to their house and they let us in. The parents aren’t members but their kids are, their oldest has now come to church twice and he even said he really wants to serve a mission. So we are helping his prepare for that. Both of these experiences reminded me of the talk by President Uchtdorf in the priesthood session. When he was talking about when he went skiing with his family and fell over and wasn’t able to get us until his grandson came over and offered to help. It’s like less active members, sometimes they can’t do it by themselves no matter how much they try. They just need a little bit of help and an extended hand to show the way. 

Well that was my week more or less. I feel like I’m missing something but those are some of the main things. I hope you guys have a great week and a safe trip home.

Love you guys. Talk to you soon. 

Elder Grigor
Our sleepy missionary on the way to Punata
Creeping on his sleeping companion
Cool shot on the way to Punata
Cute little bunny
I think it's going to be dinner :(
That's one large rabbit
Probably not the smartest thing to do beside a mean bull!
Random cows in the streets of Bolivia

Elder Grigor with his Zone
When people want to get rid of stuff in Bolivia,
they just burn it in the streets.

In Elder Grigor's words: "This sign basically says:
If you steal, we will beat you up
I thought it was funny."

A dead cat on a stick.
" my pensionista's kid that just falls asleep anywhere"
Elder Grigor and his companion.
Ninja Missionaries :)
Just being goofy!


The Lord puts people in our path

 October 21st, 2013

What up Family!!

Well where to start, I never know. So I sent a ton of pictures, I hope you got them all. Also we had transfers yesterday. I’m still in the same area, this will be my 5th transfer, I’m pretty sure that the next transfer I will be leaving for sure. I’m with my same companion too, Elder V. I’m pretty happy about that, he is great guy and I think we will have a great transfer together. The only thing that changed is that I’m now a district leader!! Although I’m not really sure exactly what I’m supposed to do yet I think it will be a great experience and I know that I am going to learn a lot from this position. I’m excited for the opportunity to serve my fellow missionaries and hopefully I will be able to help them. Except for my companion they all have more time in the mission and more experience but I know the Lord will help me an guide me to be able to know what to teach and in what ways I can serve and help. It’s kind of funny, everything the mission president has told me in my interviews have come true. In my first one he said my next companion probably wouldn’t be as good as my trainer and well he locked me in the apartment and ran away. And in this last one he said I would soon be a leader in the mission. I didn’t think it would be this soon, but I’m excited!!

So time for an awesome experience, this week we were heading to an appointment and I saw a girl walk into her house and I had a really strong feeling to talk to her but she had already shut the door so we just continued on to our appointment. But like normal when I get a strong feeling to talk to someone and I don’t, the appointment that we go to falls through, so we turned around back to house where the girl had entered. As we were walking we heard "Elders!!” turns out there were some members coming with their moving truck. They were moving in from another ward and they asked if we could help. Of course we said yes and helped them unload and move things into their house. After we had a little lesson and got to know the family a little. It was weird but only in the hour that we were helping and talking we got to become really good friends. They’ve already invited us to dinner twice and they said whenever we need someone to come with us to appointments they are willing and ready to help. Crazy how just a little service can strengthen the relationship of the missionaries and members so fast. This family is such a huge blessing for us and I’m so grateful to have one family more to help us in the work. Oh and I almost forgot, the girl who had walked into the house that I wanted to talk to was one of the daughters of this family. It always amazes me how and when the Lord puts people into our path for our benefit and the benefit of others. 

And to explain about why I had another baptism is kind of a funny story. I went on exchanges with the Zone leaders for a day and we went to go do a baptismal interview. I had barely ever talked to this family before and didn’t really know them but the mom of the family asked me to baptize her. It was kind of shocking and I wasn’t expecting that but I said yes and baptized her. It was awesome because Elder H. and Elder V. ( zone leader ) are like my best friends in the zone so it was awesome to be a part of their baptism. 

Also this week like you’ll see in the pictures I did a lot of cooking, one day we made donuts and another day we made bread. I am starting to become a master chef. It was really fun to cook, I don’t do that very often. The only thing I cook is cereal in the morning haha. Cooking every once in a while is a nice change. 

Well I hope you like the pictures and I hope you guys have a great time in Mexico this week. I’m sure you will.

Love you lots, talk to you soon. 

Elder Grigor
Elder Grigor at the Zone Leaders Baptism
Elder Grigor mixing the dough
Elder Grigor kneading bread dough
Elder Grigor and the finished product. Yummy Bread!
Little children in Bolivia  
Elder Grigor- our goofy missionary


You're not an average don't be an average missionary

October 14th, 2013

Well where to start, it seems like lots of things happened this week. I will start with a cool experience that happened. Well first I will start with that we had a baptism this week. His name is Fabio, he is 13 years old. His family got kicked out of their house and a member said they could come live with her while they look for a place to live. He is the oldest and has 1 sister and 3 brothers, and just his mom. So a while ago we decided to look in the area book for old investigators who had baptism dates or who had come to church a lot and hadn’t got baptized yet, we found the name of his mother and decided to go look for him. We also noticed that a member had gone to lessons with the missionaries before so we went to go look for this member. It turns out that when we went to her house the family that we were looking for was living with them because they had been kicked out of their house. So from there we started teaching the family and the very first lesson Fabio said he wanted to get baptized and he is really excited to have the priesthood and pass the sacrament and he really wants to go on a mission too. He is such a great guy and I’m so happy for him. We are still working with his mom, she sort of wants to get baptized but said that because she is having so many problems right now it’s just not a good time for her. But she is coming along slowly and coming to the chapel every week with her kids which is awesome. I’m so happy for their family and I really hope they keep progressing. 

So on the morning of his baptism nothing was going right. I was getting frustrated because the keys were nowhere to be found and there was no gas to heat up the water and honestly our mission leader wasn’t helping much and I just was angry. I wanted everything to be perfect for his baptism, I wanted the water to be warm and for it to start on time and to prepare everything perfectly. It was a really stressful morning. I finally just did what I always do when I get frustrated and I said a prayer that we would be able to figure out what to do so that the baptism would be great. As we showed up to the chapel it turns out the technician for the baptismal font was at the church randomly, not even to fix the pump but he was just there, so we asked him to fix the pump and he did it in like 5 minutes. Then the second counsellor showed up with a new tank of gas and within minute’s everything was set up and ready to go. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers, and usually in many different ways. On Saturday he answered my prayers and I am so grateful for the power of prayer in my life. To be able to communicate with my father is an amazing gift, I can only write my family once a week but I can talk to my father in heaven anytime, anywhere.

Another interesting story that happened was when we were walking in the street and I saw an old man walking with what looked like the missionary pamphlets that we give out. He was walking slowly so we ran after him and started talking and asked him about the pamphlet that he had, we asked if he had talked to missionaries and if they had given it to him. He said yes. It was really weird because usually there aren’t other missionaries in our area so we thought it was strange that they had given it to him. I was curious who had given it to him so I looked on the back to see if they had written their names. And here’s the weirdest part, it was my name and my companion’s name. And it was my writing. I had never seen that man or talked with him before in my life. I have no idea how he got the pamphlet but it’s quite weird. My companion thinks it was the 3 Nephites doing work in our area. I doubt that though. We are going to visit him this week and hopefully we can find out a little bit more, because my mind is boggled. 

I also had an interview with the president this week. Every 3 months we have interviews with him, we talked a little bit about my companion and my area about my family and it was awesome, he also gave me some really good advice. I guess I hadn’t written down anywhere goals that I have for my mission. I have weekly and daily goals but I didn’t have any for my mission.  So he gave me some really great ideas and I made some great goals too. It kind of gave me a new perspective and purpose after I did that. Also something that he told me was "you’re not an average man, so don’t be an average missionary." That kind of hit me because it’s kind of true for everyone in the church and in really every calling. We as members are not average people, so we shouldn’t be average. We should be different and stick to our values and beliefs and the commandments we’ve been given and not fall into what everyone else is doing. I really liked that. 

Also, the package came!!!! That was such a great night and I was so happy when it finally got here. All the candy is great and I loved the letters and the supplies that I can give away to some investigators. There is a perfect family that we have that could really use some of those things. I am so grateful to the Curtis’s for sending it and I hope you can send my love and appreciation to them and tell them how truly grateful I am, it really means a lot. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
I feel like I’m forgetting something but I’ve said a lot. If I remember I will write it next week. I love you guys and all of your support, you guys are great and mean the world to me. I hope you guys will have a great week. Love you lots!!!

Elder Grigor
P-Day fun on the big slide
Elder Grigor eating a HUGE hot dog
Elder Grigor getting a package from the Curtis Family 

The wonderful package from the Curtis Family
Elder Grigor at Fabio's baptism
Elder Grigor and Fabio


Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Lord works in mysterious ways

Well my week was pretty awesome! Well except for deleting my pictures last week that was kind of lame. I am going to talk it to a member that works with computers and cameras and maybe they can look at it, or would you rather that I just send it home for you guys? 

So Tuesday we went to the temple again!!! It had been such a long time and I loved going back I was starting to forget a few things. But it was great, they didn’t have the new video when I went maybe the next time I go it will be there.  I bought some DVD’s too to watch, one called On the Lords Errand and another called Special Witnesses of Jesus Christ. And I did buy that Lamb of God one so you don’t need to send it. One is a documentary about President Monson and the other about the apostles bearing their testimony of the gospel. They are so powerful and it really strengthens my testimony to hear the testimony of others, especially general authorities of the Lord.

After that we just had a really good week together, me and my companion are getting along great and finding lots of new people and teaching a lot of lessons. The problem right now is that no one comes to church so there aren’t progressing. It’s kind of frustrating at times but something I am learning to be better at is my patience and my love for the people. At the beginning I was just angry and didn’t understand, but now vie realized more and more that getting angry or upset is not going to solve anything I just need to keep showing my love and care for them and support them. Plus getting discouraged just doesn’t help anything either. I’ve been getting discouraged with things not happening the way I want but I also know the Lord works in mysterious ways and not in the ways that we think most of the time. We just need to have hope and keep moving forward, I am really optimistic for these upcoming months, I kind of hope I stay one transfer more but it’s possible that in two weeks I will be transferred because I will have had 4 already in this area. 

So some cool experiences that happened this week. One is we were walking one day and I had a feeling to go and talk to a recent convert. We went to their house and they were busy but we set up and appointment for another day. One thing we haven’t been doing too well lately is working with the members and getting references from them. So we made a goal to visit at least one member every day to ask for as reference. Anyways we went the next day to visit this member. We taught a short lesson and asked if there was anyone who would maybe be interested in hearing our message. She said it was kind of funny that we came over because she has a friend who is struggling and could use the gospel in their life, she was actually just about to invite that friend to church before we had come over. So now we have an appointment with her and with her friend to introduce her to the gospel. It was definitely a prompting of the spirit to visit that sister and to ask for that reference, of that I have no doubt. 

Another kind of funny story is that we stopped at a little store to buy some carbon paper to do receipts and we started talking to the owner and then we got on the topic of baptism and well we invited her to baptism right then and there after about 5 minutes. She actually accepted and accepted a date and said she would pray about it to receive a confirmation from God. We thought this was awesome and couldn’t really believe it. The weird thing though is that when we were leaving we realized we hadn’t asked her name yet. We asked and she wouldn’t give us her name. So we placed a baptismal date without knowing her name and then after she didn’t want to tell us. Maybe when we go back to visit her this week she will but I thought it was really weird. I guess you should always ask their name first. That’s kind of important haha. 

Well conference was just absolutely awesome!! I watch it in Spanish too and I actually understood quite a bit. I wouldn’t say 100% but it was up there that’s for sure. The only lame part is that we missed the first hour of the Sunday afternoon because the satellite went out, so I really don’t even know who spoke and what they were about. I will have to read them later when they come out next month. My favorite talks I think were by Elder Dube? (I think that’s his name) about how we shouldn’t look to the past and stay focused on the future and President Uchtdorf in the priesthood session. I think I like all of President Uchtdorf’s talks, they are just so awesome. I really loved all of conference and I didn’t want it to be over. But the next one will come soon enough. 

 Well I love you guys, loved pictures, love seeing Justin playing. I hope you guys have a great week. Love you lots!!
Elder Grigor
Elder Grigor with his companion
Elder Grigor outside the Cochabamba Temple
Elder Grigor. He loves going to the temple.

Yummy Conference snacks!
Elder Grigor with part of his Zone
Elder Grigor sleeping in the streets of Bolivia


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sometimes we are the planters...and other times the harvesters.

Well, another one bites the dust. So I was sick all this week, not too bad just a super bad cough and runny nose and it just drained me so bad! This may have been one of the week’s where I have been the most tired but I’m feeling better now. This week just seemed to fly by too, I don’t know why it seemed so fast but it seems I was just writing you guys. I love all the pictures and the cabin is looking awesome, I’m so excited to be able to be able to hang out there with the fam. 

This week was quite busy with activities, it was the birthday of one elder and a sister so we had a little birthday celebration with them then somehow it turned into a water fight, luckily we left before it got too crazy. We also did a bunch of service this week. First we started by helping a family move all of their furniture out of the living room then we had to break up their concrete floor. I’m not exactly sure why but we did, and we only had mini sledgehammers to break up the floor, so we just smashed the floor with hammers for like 4 hours to break up the floor. Doesn’t seem like the most effective way but were in Bolivia the construction here is a lot different. Later I think we are going to help them break down the walls and the roof too, it should be pretty fun. 

We had a pretty good week teaching and finding wise, with Elder V. we have been finding and teaching more people than I have my whole mission. He is a great missionary and we are really trying to be the best that we can be, and were doing pretty good. The only thing is that no one comes to church. They accept baptism dates and say they will come but they never show up, it’s kind of frustrating. Because we are having success in certain areas but in other parts no. But that’s all part of the mission I guess, there are some parts where we don’t have success in certain areas. Something my companion shared with me is that sometimes we are the planters and other times we are the ones who harvest. Right now we are doing a lot of planting and I’m ok with that because maybe one day they will realize the importance of what we’re teaching. Right now we are planting a lot of seeds, hopefully one day they will be harvested. 
 And I don’t know what just happened but I just deleted all my pictures from my camera, and honestly I’m quite upset and I have no idea how that happened. I was trying to attach some pictures and something got messed up, then I put my card in the camera and they are all gone. I have no idea what happened. 

Well one great experience that happened this week is that we were at a baptism and we had invited tons of investigators but none of them showed up to the baptism. That was kind of disappointing because it was a great experience and I wish they could have been there for that. So afterwards I was a little discouraged, it was about 7:30pm and we were going to go to dinner at 8. I thought about just going straight there and ending the day a little early, but then I remembered of a women who sells hamburgers like 5 minutes away from the church who wanted us to come visit her, so we decided to go to see if she was there. As we were walking to where she sells we noticed that all the lights on the street were out and it was a lot darker than normal, we thought it was really weird why the street lights were out. And of course as we arrived at the place she wasn’t there because it was almost pitch black and the I was really thinking to just go to dinner because it was dark and we could barely see. So as we turned around we saw a guy sitting on a rock that we have passed before and hadn’t seen him. We only saw him because of the light from his phone on his face. So then we decided to go over and talk to him. He said he was just sitting outside doing nothing because there was more light outside from the passing cars than in his house. He said he would love to hear our message, so then and there in the dark we taught him about the restoration. It was quite a different experience. Its times like these where it really makes me awe at how things happen sometimes. If we hadn’t have looked for the hamburger lady we wouldn’t have found this guy. If the lights wouldn’t have gone out he would have still been in his house. Everything just worked out perfectly for us to find this guy and that moment. It was really quite awesome. 

Well that was my week more or less, I loved hearing from you guy sand I hope you have an awesome week. Love you all

Elder Grigor