Monday, 24 February 2014

No effort is wasted in missionary work

Ok so you know how I said that we had transfers this week and how I thought I was going to be staying here with my companion? Well I was wrong, they called me last night to tell me I’m going back to Cochabamba. I’m going to be in Villa Graciela. And I will also be one of the zone leaders. My new companion is going to be Elder G. from Peru. From what I’ve heard he is just really trunky because he goes home soon so it should be interesting. It was really quite a shock for me, I thought they were joking at first but they were serious. So I have to leave tonight at 10:00pm so I can get to Sucre tomorrow morning for my flight to Cochabamba. I was honestly kind of bummed last night, I really don’t want to leave Uyuni yet and I won’t even have a chance to say goodbye to any of the members in Siete Suyos or Atocha but oh well. It’s for something that I’m being transferred. I didn’t sleep at all last night, I was just worried and anxious, and just so many thoughts were going through my head. I think I finally got to sleep around 4:00am in the morning, not the best night. But I’m excited, it should be a great experience. 

Well my last week with Elder R. was awesome, it’s kind of lame leaving such an awesome companion and I was only with him for 4 weeks. I really wanted to be with him until he finished his mission but oh well. Everything went pretty well and I really enjoyed everything. Probably the best 4 weeks of my mission. But this week was great, a cool experience we had was when we were knocking on a door. We knocked on the door a couple of times but no one answered. We started to head off and then a guy answered the door so we started talking to him and asked if he had ever talked to the missionaries before. He said that he had talked to them about a year ago but they seemed to be in a hurry so they only taught him a little about prayer and then never came back. He said since that day he had prayed morning and night. That was really a huge testimony to me that there is no effort wasted in missionary work. Although we may only share a pamphlet briefly or teach about prayer it can have a huge effect on people and change their life. Now we are teaching him and he is learning really fast and he is really prepared and accepted the invitation for baptism. I am really thankful for the few minutes those missionaries spared to be able to teach a young man about the power of prayer. 

Also this week we made a goal as a district to talk to more people in the street, its something that is hard for us sometimes because its kind of strange but makes all the difference. So we said that whoever won would be able to throw water balloons from the top story of our hotel to the losers for 5 minutes. Unfortunately we lost so today the other Elders are going to be launching water balloons at us. Although we lost I’m still really happy with the results and we talked to way more people than we had in the past weeks. All we need is just a little competition to motivate us I guess. So after we are done here we are going to get water balloons so that we can be pelted with water balloons. Hopefully they put some soap in there too because I haven’t showered yet. That would be like a 2 for 1. Then after that I will probably continue packing and getting ready for our bus trip tonight. Well that was my week more or less.

 Well love you guys lots, I’ll be talking to you soon. 

Elder Grigor

Elder Grigor - love this young man!!!!! 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A change of heart

Well first I will respond to the questions. My crazy hat I bought here in Uyuni for about 6 dollars, it is super awesome. Yes all the flour came out and I’m good for shirts, I only use 5. I have 9 in my suitcase still. I’m trying to save lots of my shirts and socks so that Justin can use them too, but if I need to I will use them. And I’m feeling better, I kind of got sick gain this week but I slept for 16 hours and now I’m better, I will explain in the email. And scriptures about strength.... off the top of my head I don’t have any but something I was doing when I read the Book of Mormon in the MTC was looking for the phrase " strength from the lord " or phrases similar and I would mark them when I went through reading. There are actually many times when it mentions how or when people received strength from the Lord. One story I really like is in Mosiah 24 around verse 15 when the Lord gives them strength to bear their burdens. I don’t have my scriptures or I would tell you some more I have marked but I’m sure you’ll find lots more. 

Well now for my week. We were in Tupiza last monday for a zone meeting, we played walleyball on p-day and then hiked a big hill to take pictures with the cross. After that we just went and had dinner. When we go there we just get a p-day for the whole day because they never have anything for us to do at night so its like a little vacation. Then that night it started pouring and we got soaked walking to the apartment. They also didn’t have any blankets for us so we took down the curtains and used those so that we could stay just a little bit warm. The next day we had our zone meeting and we were supposed to leave right after but because of the rain our bus got delayed until 9:00pm that night so we basically just had another p-day because there was nothing for us to do there. The zone leaders just let us have a free day because we would be travelling the whole next day on the bus. We couldn’t go straight back to Uyuni so we had to go to Potosi. We got there at 3:00am in the morning and had to sleep in the bus until the next bus came to take us to Uyuni at 9:00am in the morning. Then from Potosi we went to Uyuni and finally arrived at about 12:30pm on Wednesday afternoon. I don’t know what happened but that trip destroyed me and I felt awful. So we went to lunch and I didn’t eat. We went home and I took some Pepto Bismol and slept from about 3:00pm until 7:30am the next morning. After that I felt a lot better. I would have kept sleeping if the other elder’s wouldn’t have come in and woken me up. But now I’m feeling much better, if I keep getting sick I’m going to call Sister Dyer I think to see what I can do. Then the rest of the week went pretty normal. We started working finally on Thursday and then went to Atocha friday night. The whole week just seemed to fly by, it was crazy. This week we should have a full week of work. It’s also transfers next Sunday, one elder should be leaving Uyuni, I’m almost for sure staying with Elder R. but who knows, anything can happen. 

So a cool experience from this week is when we were in Atocha. We went to contact some teenagers who we had talked to the week before but we got to their house and they weren't home. And in this area we didn’t know anyone except for a less active family that did not want to talk to us. We had gone the week before and one of the sons got really mad at us and said that he didn’t want to see us again.  He also said that he was going to work in a small town and we thought he wouldn't be home. My companion suggested that we go visit them and see if they had changed their mind.  We weren’t too worried about the angry son because we thought he wouldn't be home. Well we knocked on the door and the son answered the door, I honestly thought he was going to hit me or something, but we just started talking and he seemed a lot calmer and it was kind of weird. We ended up sharing  a message with him and he seemed kind of interested. We invited him to the meeting the next day but he wasn't sure if he would be able to, but said he would try. Unfortunately he wasn't able to but he wanted to. I honestly don’t know what happened, somehow his heart was changed and he opened up to us and wants us to come back. I really think we were directed to his house so we could experience that. I hope that soon the rest of his family will be able to accept our invitation to come back to church and have a change or heart like their son. I know the lord is preparing and changing the heats of these people, we just need to be in tune with the spirit to know who and when. 

Well that was my week more or less, I hope everything is good at home, 

Love you guys lots,

Elder Grigor

Climbing the hill in Tupiza to see a big cross

Elder Grigor always having fun 

Night time in Tupiza 

Elder Grigor wearing his birthday present

Cool night sky in Tupiza 

Pizza party with the zone in camo pants

Elder Grigor doing service chopping down a tree

Elder Grigor made this- it's called Saltena 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Happy 20th Birthday Elder Grigor

Hello Family,
Well another good week here in Uyuni! I don’t really know where to start. I’ll start at the beginning of the week. Well last Monday we went to the salt flats, it wasn’t as cool as the first time though. We were trying to go cheaper because going on a tour is expensive for us. So we got bikes all arranged and we were going to bike out there and it was going to be awesome but the president said no and that we should just go in a taxi so that’s what we did. It was still cheaper than the tour but they just took us to the border and waited for an hour for us to walk around and take pictures but there wasn’t much water on the outside. We would have had to walk for about an hour just to get to the cool spots with water. I think next time we will just take a tour again even though it’s expensive, it’s way cooler.
On Wednesday some of our investigators were going to study and they threw us a little party, and they made some great food but I think it made me kind of sick. After eating I just wasn't feeling good at all. We went to another lesson and my companion noticed that I wasn't doing too well so we cut the lesson short and went home. Long story short I ended up puking and staying in bed all day. I still don’t think I’ve recovered completely yet, I just don’t really have an appetite still but I’m getting better so don’t worry.
Then we were supposed to go to Atocha on Saturday but when we went to buy tickets they were all sold out so we had to stay in Uyuni Saturday which was ok with me. I had a good birthday, like they always do here they threw flour and eggs on me and started to have a fight, so that was fun.  And since it was kind of a surprise that I was staying they planned my birthday stuff on Sunday so that is when they shoved my face in the cake and of course started to fight with that as well. I need to do laundry that’s for sure!! But we’re in Tupiza right now for a zone meeting so that will be kind of tough, I don’t really have any clean clothes haha. But all in all it was a pretty good week.  I had a good birthday. I still feel the same but now when people ask me how old I am I can say 20!!! That feels weird. I had a few people ask me after my birthday, it was weird to say that I’m 20 years old now.
Well I’ll also share a cool experience that happened on my birthday. Twice we were walking down the street and I had the feeling to knock on a door, and just as I was about to say it my companion said “ we should knock on that door.” It was funny because both of those doors that we knocked on, no one was home. But then we knocked on the door right beside it and both of those doors we were able find someone to teach and both of them were very interested. I thought that was pretty cool although the first instinct wasn't successful we were able to act on the next impression and find 2 people who were waiting to hear the restored gospel. Me and my companion are getting along great and I think were getting on the same wave length already and thinking the same things. It’s awesome being with him, I think he might be my favorite companion so far and it’s only been 2 weeks. We just get along great which is super awesome. I hope I’m with him for quite a while.
Well I hope you guys had a great week and I look forward to hearing from you all real soon. 
Love you lots,

Elder Grigor

Elder Grigor just hanging out in Uyuni, Bolivia

Elder Grigor on a rooftop. 

It is a tradition in Bolivia to throw egg and flour when it's your birthday. 
So glad that Elder Grigor got the royal treatment on his 20th birthday. 

Elder Grigor's birthday cake 

Happy 20th Birthday Elder Grigor!!! (another tradition is to smash 
your face into the cake. He got that one on video but can't send it) 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Lord works in mysterious ways!

Well this week was a pretty good week. Elder R. is awesome and super funny. I think we are really going to get along well. I don’t know how long we will be together though. I think this transfer and the next transfer I will be with him. Maybe more though. He only has two more transfers after this one. But that means I would be another 5 transfers in an area. I’d be ok with that I think though. I really like it here in Uyuni and Siete Suyos and Atocha. There is a lot of work to do here and I think Elder R. is going to help a lot. He has a lot of experience and I know I’m going to learn lots from him. 

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. It feels weird that I am going to turn 20. I kind of just want to be a teenager still but it's also going to feel cool to say I’m 20. When people ask me how old I am I will feel just a little bit older. It’s going to be a good week. We're going to be in Atocha for my birthday so I don’t think that we will be doing anything special. It’s just going to be another normal day I think, which is fine with me. The zone leaders are going to Cochabamba this week for a conference so if my package is there they should bring it and I will get to it next week when we go to Tupiza for the zone meeting. Or maybe they will be nice and send it a little earlier. Who knows?? It’s going to be a good week. 

I just wanted to share a cool experience that we had in Siete Suyos this week. So we went up there and had our plans to visit the investigators there and some of the less actives. All of our plans and back up plans fell through. We went to all their houses in about half an hour and then had nothing to do after that. I really had no idea what to do. Everything had fallen through and we had nothing. I got the idea to go visit a recent convert but I wasn’t sure if they would be home because they were supposed to move to Potosi. But for some reason they had stayed for an extra week because of paper work and were still in the house. They were busy but she told us of a few members who were living in Siete Suyos but they were not home. We got the direction of her mom's house where Martha was but by the time we got there she had already left to a meeting. We were able to talk to her mother though, who seemed quite interested and had no idea that the church was in their town and said she would come and visit. After that we went to a place where we thought another family lived. We weren’t exactly sure what house it was so I just knocked on a random door.  A little girl answered and went and got her dad. It was kind of funny when he came to the door, he seemed really confused so we presented ourselves and said we came to visit him. That is the happiest I’ve seen a person in a long time. He had come from La Paz about 6 years ago with his brother to work in the mine and there was no church so they just kind of went inactive but they’ve always wanted to come back. Now they both have their wives and children who aren’t members but who want to learn. It's funny how the Lord works sometimes, it’s true that he works in mysterious ways. Through all of the appointments that fell through and the discouragement we were feeling we were able to find one of the Lords lost sheep and invite him back to the fold along with his family soon I’m sure. I’m learning each day how to understand the ways of the Lord and I know there is no other place that I would be able to learn these things. I’m so grateful to be here. 

I’m sure this week will be another great week. We are going to try and go to the Salt Flats again today so that should be fun. Thanks so much for the letters and the package and everything.

Love you guys so much, 

Elder Grigor

Love the hat Elder Grigor is wearing.

This place looks so cool. 

"Be true to who you are and the family name you bear" 

Salt Flats in Uyuni, Bolivia