Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Good Attitude = Good Day!!!

Hay Fam, 

So me and my companion decided that we have been complaining a little to much about the area and how it’s been pretty hard for us.  Then we remembered a  talk that we had that was really great. It is called the Importance of the Messenger, (if I translated that correctly) by M. Russell Ballard. He basically just says that there is no such thing as a bad area, or a bad companion. It’s just all about the attitude, if you have a good attitude then everything will just work out. So we decided to share that with the zone and then put it into practice. That afternoon all of our appointments fell through but we just decided to think of the silver lining or what it was that we needed to do and try to be positive. We met a lady and asked if we could share a message and she accepted. We talked about the restoration and focused on how it could bless her life. At the end we asked if she could say the prayer. She just totally expressed herself and started crying about her family problems and how she was so happy that we came to talk to her. I know that we were guided there, somehow we showed up at her door and we had a great lesson. It really worked, good attitude = good day!!! 

We also had the opportunity to go out with a young man preparing for his mission.  We weren't having much luck so we asked him what he wanted to do and he said we should knock on a door. We knocked on it and also had a great lesson with a lady called Yolanda. She was very excited and asked us where the church was and when she could come. The members really make all the difference. If we wouldn't have asked him maybe we never would have found that lady. I need to work with the members more. I’m saying this now, make sure that I go out with the missionaries when I get home. Don’t let me be lazy. Sunday afternoon = missionary time. 

We really had a great week, everything is getting better here. I am loving my area and this week is going to be super crazy. We just have tons of service set up and we are moving to the bishops house. I’ll be sending pictures of our new house too. It should be a little more private and hopefully the shower is a little taller. We made that special request. Hopefully it will happen. And then it’s transfers this Sunday, I don’t think either one of us with be having a transfer but who knows. Maybe something crazy with happen, the president didn't say anything in my interview, sometimes he mentions it. I might be staying here until I go home, who knows. I don’t think they will leave me as a zone leader for so long though. I’m like the oldest one, but I would be totally fine if I did. I love being a zone leader. 

Well it is almost time for me to go. I hope you guys have had a great week and have a great one this week.  Love you guys lots, thanks for the letters and pictures, they make my week. I’m trying not to be trunky, after internet time is always the worst. I miss you guys lots. We will get to talk pretty soon, I am excited for that!! Well tata for now

Elder Grigor

Monday, 20 October 2014

I want to finish strong

Hey Fam, 

One week more, one week less. This week went by super fast! It started off pretty good, we were having lots of lessons and finding new people to teach but little by little the week got harder and harder. 

I don’t really know why but this area has just been really hard for us lately. We are trying really hard to find new people and to use our time wisely but we just aren't seeing any results yet. I guess we are just being tested. Like the scriptures say after the trials come the blessings so we are going to keep doing the best we can and try to get better at whatever we may be doing wrong and hopefully we will see some results. I think I just get to hard on myself sometimes thinking that I need to do more. I feel like I am doing all I can but I am just not seeing many results and I feel like I'm not being very useful.  Maybe the results I am looking for are not the ones that the Lord needs at this moment. I just want people to come to church and have tons of people with baptismal dates but its looking like that isn't what the Lord wants at this moment. I am still going to try my best but I guess I just shouldn’t get discouraged when I don’t get the results I want. I guess sometimes we just feel pressured as missionaries because we have to report our numbers. We want to have the best numbers so it proves that we are working hard but when we work hard and have not the best numbers its tough, well at least for me it is. Maybe I shouldn't focus so much on numbers but they are still really important. I guess like everything we just need to find the right balance. Well this is my little rant, this is what I have been thinking over the last couple of days. I am just going to keep working hard and look for the will of the Lord in what we do and just have to be content with it.

We are seeing some progress in a couple of people though. We have an awesome investigator right now and it’s a pretty cool story. We got a referral from a member of a less active family that lived across the street. They hadn’t come to church in a long time and the mom and son had moved to the states to live but they wanted us to stop by and see what we could do. We went and met the daughter and she said that her mom was going to be back in a couple of days for vacation. We went and met with the mom and she told us her story of how she got reactivated while living in Orem, Utah and working in CafĂ© Rio. Now she is super excited about going to church and wants her whole family to come especially her daughter who’s name is Claudia. She is our awesome investigator. In the first lesson she told us that she wanted to be baptized and become a member of the church and even asked if there would be a possibility of her teaching in church some day. We were quite shocked, she is probably one of the most ready people I have met on my mission. I can only think of one other and I will tell you about her next. But anyways she is super excited and we are super excited to be teaching her. People like her are my motivation to keep working to find more who are waiting just like she was. Her date is for the 22nd of November so we are preparing her for that day.

So on Sunday I got a super awesome phone call from someone called Lady (the other one who was super prepared ) who I baptized last year. I don’t know if you guys remember but I told the story of how I went on exchanges and she wanted me to baptize her but I had barely even met her. But that happened, and so she called me yesterday saying that she had remembered me all this time and just thanked me for the work that we did and calling to say that she has been active in the church for one year and that she was going to receive her patriarchal blessing in the afternoon. I was quite shocked that she remembered and I still don’t know how she got my phone number but that made me really happy to hear from her and to know her family is doing well. 

Well I have lots of faith that things will get better here in the area, I am doing great. I want to finish out strong so I am going to make sure that I work as hard as I can these last 5 months. Love you guys so much, thanks for all that you guys do for me, have a great week. 

Elder Grigor

Elder Grigor posing with the graffiti walls in Sucre, Bolivia 

Elder Grigor the "white giant" 

Beautiful Artwork. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I may get fat here!

Hello Family, 

Well where to start. This week has probably been one of the hardest weeks of my life. Well it wasn't even that bad, but in terms of finding people and teaching lessons it was really hard. The good thing is that I am getting along great with my companion and we aren't really having any problems. I think the hardest part is that we have no idea when anyone is home. We just have a bunch of names and addresses but when we get to the house there isn't anyone there. And even when we make appointments we get there and they are busy or they are leaving and it just frustrates me. There was one day where every single appointment fell through and we didn't teach a single lesson. We probably went to like 20 different houses and walked all over the area and no one was home. We even tried to knock on a couple of doors which I never do and no one wanted to listen or they weren't home. I was just really mad. The good thing is that I was with Elder Tia the whole day so we just talked about basketball and ate ice cream all day. They have a promotion right now that inside the ice cream they have a little sticker and you can win more ice cream or money. I have won like 6 ice creams. I may get fat here.... So that made the day not so bad but I felt really bad for him, I just made him walk all day. 

But we are finding some new investigators and some people who can progress. It was hard this week because we didn't go to church so none of our investigators went either, so it’s hard to tell if they are interested or not. There were elections here yesterday so basically everything was shut down. We couldn't even leave the house so we just took advantage of cleaning and organizing a little. I wanted to take a nap but there were just so many things that I had wanted to do for such a long time and that took like the whole day. Evo Morales won the elections so that’s good I guess. The last time that happened he kicked all of the gringos out but I don’t think that will happen again. 

Today we went out to a place called Yotala. It is like a tiny little town outside of Sucre with like hardly anything except for a little recreation place so we went and played soccer and volleyball and football and had a bbq out there with both zones in Sucre. It turned out really well and it was super cheap. I love prices here. I think it will be weird coming back with you guys because I will be in the mind set of living the whole month on 250 dollars. I could come live like a king down here. 

Well this week should be a lot better. We are going to try some new ideas hopefully on how to find new investigators and use our time more productively. I hope we just don't have the same bad luck as we have been having in these last couple of weeks. 

Well Happy Thanksgiving! I love you guys lots. Eat lots of turkey and gravy for me (I really miss that) Hope you guys have a great week. 

Lots of love

Elder Grigor

I asked Elder Grigor a few questions that he answered in a separate email. Here are the answers: 

To answer your questions:

Sucre is really cool. I am enjoying it. It's a really old city, not too much to do though. At least that I know of. It's really small so I pretty much know my way around now. Whenever I need to get somewhere I just take a taxi because it costs like 50 cents to go anywhere in the city. There is one stake of 8 wards here. Our ward has over 400 members but only 80 people that come to sacrament meeting so we have lots of work to do. On P-days we mostly just play soccer and eat and write home. Today is the first time that I've left the city but we might look for some more cool activities to do. If you hear or see anythng let me know!! And for things to put in a package, I want a cool christmas tie and a Canada tie. I've always wanted to ask for that but I always forget. But nothing too big, I'm fine just having somethign little to open. I loved my presents last year, it was really fun to open. Well that's all I can think of, if I think of anything else I will let you know.

Love you mom 
Elder Grigor 

Elder Grigor in Yotala 

A cute sign on a bus 

Such a beautiful park 

Chilling on P-day! 

Elder Grigor with part of his mission. He is in the third row- blonde guy, blue tie! 

Monday, 6 October 2014

I received answers during general conference

Hello Family,
Well this was probably one of the busiest weeks of my life, and the one where I haven't been able to work in my area at all. We were able to accomplish quite a bit though. On Tuesday in the morning we went to Cochabamba for our leadership conference with the president and all of the zone leaders. The meeting wasn't until Wednesday but we went on Tuesday because that was the only flight and we just had the whole day there to just go around and visit and do some things for the zone so that was really fun. I went and visited my first pensionista from Colcapirhua and she was super happy to see me. Then I went with Elder Atwood and we went and visited some families in his old area. We ate so much food too. In every house where we went they gave us something to eat. At the end of the day I was just absolutely stuffed and could not fit anything into my body. We had like 5 legit meals that day plus snacks and stuff like that. It was a day well spent!!
The next day we spent the whole day being instructed by the other leaders, sister training leaders, assistants and the president and his wife. I really love those kind of conferences, it was even cooler to come in from outside of the city because there was just a little more luxury than before. I am really happy and blessed that I have been chosen to be a zone leader for so long. I have really grown and learned a lot in these 7 months or so, I hope there is still much more time. I hope that I can become a better leader every day.
One of my questions that I had going into conference was “how can I become a better leader for my zone?” In almost every single talk, I was able to take out something on how to better leader in my zone and help those who I serve. I thought that was quite amazing how even though they were talking about the atonement or the sacrament the spirit was able to tell me what it was that I wanted to learn more about. One talk I really enjoyed was of President Packer who talked about the life of Jesus Christ. I was really impressed that in order to become  better I need to study more in depth the life of the most perfect leader Jesus Christ. There were many talks that impacted me and I think that as I go back and study my notes I will be able to find what it is that I might be missing.
It was really just a great weekend all around. We have an Elder in the zone named Elder Johnston who just bought a ton of candy and like 72 cans of Dr.Pepper for all the white guys. We had a special room to watch it in English with 15 elders from the two zones from Sucre and it was great. Like said, I really enjoyed President Packers talk and also the talk by Richard G. Scott and David A. Bednar about missionary work. They were all just so great!!! 
One of the best parts is that the next conference I will be home with you guys to watch it, I have already watched 4 conferences here in the mission. 
Well I gotta go now, I have like no time left and have to write a couple more people. I was waiting like 45 minutes to get onto the computer but the internet was down, so that kind of sucked, but I hope my pictures get there. They are loading right now so hopefully they download in time. Well I love you guys, I hope you have a great week.

Elder Grigor

"Me and my companion" 

When we went to Cochabamba we found a little basketball court made for 
kids with like 8 foot rims. It was like half the size of a real court. So we 
played some 4 on 4 gringo basketball and this is what happened to my wrist.
 I wish I would have taken some picture while we were playing" 

Elder Grigor in Sucre

Love seeing this happy face each week

"Welcome to the playground" 

Lunch time at the playground 

Always has a smile on his face! 

Our conference treats 

Lots and lots of Dr. Pepper