Monday, 29 September 2014

The field is white already to harvest.

Hey Family!!!

So Sucre is super cool! I have always wanted to come here because I’ve heard great things about it. I think it’s the capital, some people say it’s La Paz but others say it’s here in Sucre but I think technically it’s here. It’s really cool and they have preserved the buildings really well, it’s all white in the downtown area, I would love to go down and take some pictures. The flight here was like half an hour or less I think, it was really quick. We will be going back on Tuesday for a meeting with the president. We will be going back once every transfer now instead of once a month. They are changing that. But I am excited we go up on Tuesday morning and get back on Thursday. So that will be fun, I will try to go back and visit a couple of people even though I was there like a week ago.

Everything is going great here. To be honest it has been pretty hard to get to know the area and the members but we are finally getting our bearings I think and recognizing some streets and people. The good thing is that we are lost together. It’s kind of funny, my companion sometimes asks me how to get to a place or what we should do and I just kind of look at him funny because I am just as lost as him, but the good thing is that I remember things really fast. We already know the area pretty good and the members are helping us out a lot. The thing I really like about my area is that all the streets have names and most of the houses have numbers so it’s pretty easy to find. We haven't really gotten lost at all, we also have a great opportunity to talk to many people asking how to get to a place and then we have an excuse to teach them about the gospel. We have found many people that way. I think all of the new investigators we found are from knocking on the wrong door or asking someone how to get to a certain street so we have that part in our favour. I feel like soon we will be able to see some progress here and I am super excited to be here. I am getting along with my companion and we are being obedient so I cant really ask for much more. 

Our house is pretty small. I think it’s a little bit bigger than the one in Cochabamba but it is way dirtier. I think we will be doing some deep cleaning. I feel like Elf in the shower because it’s tiny and I have to like crouch down to get under there but I’m working with it. If a new house presents itself I will definitely try to move.

But I can’t complain, my area is pretty small, I think it’s one of the smallest areas that I have had but I like that so I will get to know it really well in a short amount of time. To be honest I don’t have much to tell you guys, we just walked around looking for less actives and recent converts all week and some old investigators but haven't had much luck. The hard thing is that we don’t know when they are home so we go to the house and no one is home. That seems to happen a lot but we will be learning little by little. I always said that I wanted to open up an area and now that I am doing it it’s a lot harder than I thought but I am loving it. I have lots of friends down here in Sucre and a good friend from my group is the zone leader in the other zone so we’ll be hanging out a lot on p-days. 

Today we are just going to explore the city a little I think and then go play some soccer. It should be a good day and then we are off to Cochabamba tomorrow. Well I love you guys a lot and I will be talking to you soon. I hope all of my pictures get through but they are loading really slow so you might only get a couple. But I’ll try.

Love you guys,

Elder Grigor

Saying goodbye to Johnny. The greatest member missionary in Cochabamba 

Elder Grigor saying goodbye to families in Cochabamba 

2 thumbs up and crouching down for a picture. 

Saying goodbye to the kids and the dogs. Love his happy smiling face. 

Another goodbye as he leaves Cochabamba for Sucre. 

"We had to do an exchange while some Elder waited for their bus so the 4 of us 
basically just walked around lost in our area contacting. It was fun." 

This is the shower in Elder Grigor's apartment. 
Kind of small for this "white giant" 

Elder Grigor's new home in Sucre. Tiny and humble. 

Love seeing his towel from home hanging up, his mission 
coat on the door and his suitcase on top of the cabinet.  It's 
nice to see little glimpses of familiar things way down in Bolivia.  

"My scripture cases that I made" 
The scene of the Saviour on the boat is one of 
Elder Grigor's favourite pictures and scripture.  

Love everything about these scripture cases. It says so much about what 
Elder Grigor has been experiencing on his mission in Bolivia. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

I'm getting transferred to Sucre.

Dear Family, 

Well I will start with answering some questions. My spanish is pretty good, I’m sure there are still some times where I mess up but I am very confident with my spanish. I would say I’m like 95% but I’m really happy with it. And is Justin taller than Dad now? In that picture it sure looks like he is: And yes I think it would be great to apply now for school, I would like to apply to lots of schools to have options. I would like to apply for the U of C and U of A and U of L. I’m like 95% sure that I need to stay in Canada to study. So if you guys could do that it would be awesome. Well I’m not able to send pictures today. I went to send them and it said my camera wasn't formatted and I thought I lost all of my pictures again but then I put it in my camera so it should be fine, I’m just scared to do anything to it and lose all my pictures like I have before. So I will send them next week when I am in Sucre!!! 

So they called me last night and told me about my transfer and I am going to Sucre to be a zone leader still. The weird part is that they are taking both of the zone leaders out and I am going to open up the area kind of with an elder who has never been a zone leader before who has about 19 months in the mission. I know nothing about Sucre and neither does my new companion but it will be cool. He name is Elder Cobarruvias. I was his zone leader for two transfers when I first got to Villa Graciela and we did some splits so I kind of know him. I am excited for the new challenge and it should be very interesting. I am also excited that I will get to travel to come to zone leader meetings in Cochabamba once a transfer so that will be fun. I have always wanted to do that, just for like one transfer. I think I will only be there one transfer, but who knows maybe they will keep me there until I finish my mission. I really hope I do not have to be with another companion until the end of his mission. So I hope I’m not with this companion for too long but I will do whatever the Lord needs. I’m trying really hard to understand this transfer. It was the last thing that I thought was going to happen. I feel like everyone is super happy with their transfers and well I wasn’t super excited at first but it’s going to be great. 

So I leave tomorrow at like 8:00 in the morning and I have no idea what I am going to do when I get there because I have no idea where to go and have no idea what to do but it should be an interesting time. I will be talking a lot to the old missionaries who were there.  My companion that I had in the MTC, Elder Crankshaw; he is going to be the assistant and that is why they took them both out. I thought they would have left his companion but I guess not. It will be fun. I have always wanted to go to Sucre though so I am excited about that. 

I am definitely going to miss my companion Elder Terceros, he is a super great missionary and has become a great friend here in the mission, it was awesome working with him here. I hope I have the same relationship with my new companion. 

Well I will be taking lots of pictures and I will talk to you guys next week, thanks for the e-mails and the pictures, love you guys so much!!!

Elder Grigor

Monday, 15 September 2014

After the tough times comes the blessings

Hello Family. 

Well this has probably been one of my most unsuccessful weeks ever. We worked hard all week but we just didn’t really see many results. We were planting lots of seeds this week, maybe someone will harvest them. We had one day where we worked the whole day but we only had one lesson. It was kind of discouraging but this week should be a lot better. We also had lots of good experiences though where we couldn’t find anyone, then after much failure we would find someone who is really ready and wanting to hear the gospel. After the tough times came the blessings.

So this week we had Elder Waddell come from the seventy and it was awesome. All day Thursday we had a meeting with him. From 12 to 6 and then from 7:30 to 9. In the morning it was just for the missionaries and at night it was for all the stakes in Cochabamba. We learned a ton and I have lots of ideas to help our area and our zone out now. That was definitely something that we needed to give us some new ideas. I’ve been here almost 7 months now so it’s nice to have a fresh look. We are going to focus way more on the less actives and recent converts. We are working with my companion on plan Zoramite (bringing back the less actives) and plan Alma (after converting one, have them convert the rest). So we are trying some new ways to work with them and help them give us references and from what I am seeing so far it is working. We are doing what the sister missionaries used to always do with us and asked us to write down names of friends and then pray to see which one is ready to hear the gospel. Once they have narrowed it down we send them to work and have them contact their friends or invite them to an activity.  In the last few days we have been doing this and seeing that the recent converts have a huge desire to share the gospel and many friends that they want to share it with. Hopefully we will see even more success as we work even closer with them.

So this week we also decided to go up to Villa el Mar again and try our luck out there. We also had a couple of references to contact so we went and tried to see if we could find them. We thought that on a Saturday many people would be in their house but there was hardly anyone home. We tried to contact the references but couldn’t find anyone, we were a little discouraged because we had climbed so far only to have no one be home. We decided to just knock on doors then and contact in the street but there wasn’t anyone and we were ready to start the journey back down but we decided to talk to a couple as we were going down. They were with their sheep out in a little field so we decided to go talk to them. To be honest I didn’t think they would be too interested and my companion didn’t either but we just fought that feeling and went on. My companion even said “I really hope they speak Spanish” because it looked like they probably spoke Quecha. After talking to them for a little while we realized that they were really interesting in our message. He said he wanted missionaries to come and teach him about the gospel but they had never made it to his house. They have attended various churches but have never really found what they are looking for. It will be a huge sacrifice going up there to teach them but we saw their desire to learn and it is definitely worth it. Although there weren’t too many people who wanted to talk to us we found some that really prepared, and like Elder Waddell explained with the scripture in doctrine and covenants we need to talk with everyone and the chosen one will listen.

Like always it was a great week, this week will probably be my last week in this area so I am really going to enjoy it and the time I have with my companion. It should be a good one, love you guys lots, thanks for the letters, talk to you soon.

(and mom I think it would be super fun to teach seminary with you, believe it or not that made me a little trunky)

Elder Grigor

**These pictures cracked me up today. Elder Grigor knows how much we love getting pictures from him. So he took a few randoms just so we could see his face. What a guy! 
We send Elder Grigor our "pictures of the week" every Monday with our email to him. He loves seeing pictures from home and what is happening in our lives. He has made it a habit as well to send us pictures every week and we LOVE it! 

"I didnt take many pictures this week. I just took 
these so you would have something to see at least."

  This will probably be his last week in this area. 
I think he is ready for a change. 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Climbed a rock wall to find a less active member of the church.

Hello Family, 

Well I don’t really know where to start. This was pretty tough teaching and finding wise but it was fun. I guess I will start with Monday. So for the first time in a long time I went and played basketball on a wooden court. We went out to Quillacollo and played with a couple other gringos and the bishop who does the paperwork for the missionaries. We got like 8 guys out there so it was pretty fun. I was surprised that I could still dunk but I think the net was a little lower than normal but it still felt good. I guess the bishops brother who we were playing with also has a team here and they have a league that they play in. After he came a would have to think about it but I was grateful for the offer. So I basically have a spot on a Bolivian team if I ever wanted to play haha. Then on Tuesday my companion had to go to La Paz to do some visa stuff. He’s not going to his mission anymore but he has to do it anyways. So I was with Elder Thompson for most of the day because his companion went also but he got some intestinal parasites and we had to go to the clinic for most of the day so that was fun. 

Other than that we just worked normally but it was pretty tough. We tried to do some things different. We went up on Thursday to Villa El Mar and decided to contact some people since we hardly ever go there. We took a wrong way so it took a little longer than we thought and had to do a little bit of rock climbing but it was fun. While up there we decided to knock on some doors and while knocking doors found a lady who had talked to some of the first missionaries who made it to Cochabamba. It was about 40 years ago when she went to church and received the lessons but because of work and her kids she stopped investigating but now that we found her again she said that she would come back. She also wants to be baptized, the only problem is that she lives really far from the chapel now but luckily there is a member family who live right around the corner from her so hopefully they will be a big help so they can bring her to church. I also did an exchange with Elder Flamm this week. We had a great time and it was great to be able to get to know him a little bit better. It reminded me of when I was first starting my mission and when I couldn't really speak very well. But he is learning really fast and has a great trainer that is helping him a lot. We had a fun day together.

A funny story that happened this week. We woke up at 6:00am to go play street soccer for an hour in a little field by the house ( I’ll take a picture this week so you know what I am talking about) and when we were coming back we realized that we didn't have the keys. It turns out that we had left them in the house and the only way to get in was through the tiny window in the bathroom so that is what we had to do. My companion somehow magically made it and was able to open the door, the picture of the bathroom that I sent is where he crawled through. I wish I could have taken a picture or a video because it was super funny. I think we learned a little lesson about not leaving things in the house. 

Well right now I think I need to get off. There is a guy behind me playing lots of really good music in english and I am pretty sure it’s new. That is something I didn’t think I would miss as much as a I do. I am excited for music and movies again. But I’ll be fine for 6 more months. 

Well this was basically my week, all is well here. Hope all is well there also. 

Love you guys 

Elder Grigor

Elder Grigor looking so much older in this picture. 

Such a beautiful backdrop. Bolivia is such a pretty place. 

Love that smile! 

The window they had to climb in to get back in their apartment. 

Just a typical goat crossing along the dirt road. 

Elder Grigor and his companion 

"Rock Climbing" to find a less active member in Cochabamba. The things you have to do to be a successful missionary. 

I made it! 

"Gracias" I love my ward. Elder Grigor loved the package he got from our ward here in Okotoks. 

He ate all the candy right away. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

We had 2 baptisms this week

Hey Fam, 

Well this week was gggrrrreeeeaaattt ( tony the tiger voice )

I am getting along so well with my companion, it’s just awesome. I think it’s because he is so obedient which makes it so easy for me to be obedient also. If I ever have a little thought that tells me to sleep 5 minutes longer I just look at my comp and always see him down praying which makes me want to get up too. Not that I slept in before or anything but you know what I mean haha. 

We just have fun all day and he’s always joking. I would love to be with him one more transfer but I'm pretty sure that 3 weeks from now I will be telling you guys about where my new area and who my new comp will be. 7 months will be plenty I think. I really have no complaints at all about the mission right now. Everything is going smooth. The zone is getting along great and right after this we are going to have a bbq with them, it should be pretty fun. 

Well this week we worked as hard as ever, and we were able to find many new people to teach and taught lots of people. We are also doing exchanges with the whole zone and this week. I did an exchange with Elder K. from Argentina and I went to his area. It was a great day and he is a great missionary. I was a little sick with a cold and a cough so it was tough walking around all day but I am feeling a lot better now. Also while I was walking in the street I heard my name and saw a sister from my first area. Her name is Jenny Ramos. Her sister was my first baptism and we always went to their house and they were one of my favourite families in Colcapirhua. I was able to talk to her and her family for a little and catch up, that made me really happy. I need to go and visit them soon and some other families from my old area. But it was a great day. 

On Saturday we had a great day. We had 2 baptisms. The baptism of Ivan and Kevin. I will tell you a little about each one. Ivan was an investigator that we found about 5 months ago knocking on doors. I was on an exchange and our plans kept falling through so we decided to knock a couple of doors and we found Ivan. At first he didn't really progress and didn't come to church but out of the blue he started to come and he really liked it and wanted to be baptized but didn't have permission from his father. So we worked with him for a little while and we got permission and well he got baptized!! And we met Kevin at the beginning of this transfer on the 12th of August. He had already come to church a couple of times and we thought maybe he was a member but we found out that actually he was coming to church with his mom who for 25 years was inactive. Thanks to a visit to Santa Cruz and support from her family she decided to come back to church with her family. We were able to teach all of the lessons to Kevin and prepare him for baptism and we are in the process of rescuing his mother. They both are doing great and soon are going to enter into the temple. We have a plan to go with the young men on a little temple trip with some of our recent converts, it should be a very spiritual experience for the both of them. 

Well I am loving the mission and my companion, my area, just everything. And I love you guys. Thanks for all of the pictures and support. Love you guy so much. Talk to you soon!!

Elder Grigor