Monday, 2 March 2015

See you next week


Well this might be my last opportunity to write you guys here in the mission. I don’t know if we will have time to write next week or not but maybe we will. I guess you will find out next week. It’s pretty weird that I am going home in like a week, it still hasn't really hit me that I am going home so fast. I think it might hit me when I am on the plane coming home because as of now I still feel like I am just going to have another transfer and go to another area. I really don't even know what you write to you guys. I guess I am excited to see you all but I am also a little nervous. I feel like I don’t really know you guys anymore and it’s going to be weird to go back and see you all again. That might sound weird but thats kind of what I've been thinking a little. Not seeing you guys for like 2 years is a long time for me.

Well this was technically my last full week here in the mission which is kind of sad to think about. I have really enjoyed the mission and there is nothing that I would trade it for. I really know without a doubt that this is the true church of Christ on the earth and my testimony has never been stronger than it is now. I feel that I really have been more fully converted her in the mission and now I can’t wait to go and put into practice everything that I have learned here and hopefully will be able to help even more people come to a knowledge of this amazing gospel.

There is so much I wish I could say and well I guess I will just save it for next week when I see you guys in person. Thanks for the great example that you have set for me and for everything that you have done to help me through the mission. It would have been really hard without you guys. I love you so much and I cant wait to see you guys really soon.

Elder Grigor

This is from the water fight missionaries had during Carnival a few weeks ago. 

Love Elder Grigor's smile

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

See you in a few weeks!!!!!

Hey Family,

Well we had a crazy day today. We woke up at 4:15 am so we could go to a place called Incachaka ( I think that’s how you spell  it) and we left with the zone around 5:00 am in the morning and got there around 8 I think. It was really fun but the only bad part is that it was raining and we got really muddy but it was really fun. We got some pretty cool pictures. I didn’t take too many because it was raining a lot and then my camera stopped working for some reason but it’s good now and I got all the pictures I wanted. After we finished the little hike we came back and played soccer but soon it turned really muddy and we started to play mud soccer. I couldn’t take a picture but I wish you could have seen how muddy we were. But my friend is going to send me the picture. I will try to send it next week if he sends it to me. That was probably the best part of the day just watching people running around and falling in the mud, although I would have preferred to not have gotten all muddy but it was worth it I think, these opportunities don’t come around too often.

This week will be my last full week. I really just have this one and then like half of next week because then we have meetings and final going home things so my goal is to work really hard this week. We got home pretty late and I couldn’t do some of the things that I needed to but I wanted to write you guys and tell you about the day because it was really fun. I might not be able to write too much because our time is running out but anything I can’t tell you guys now I will tell you in a couple of weeks. I’m not too trunky but I think about it often. We want to work really hard this week and I just want to put all of my focus on that.

This last week was pretty tough. Like you know we were on lockdown Monday and Tuesday and on Thursday we had our zone conference which was great. I gave my “last testimony” with the rest of the people that are going home this transfer and that was pretty sad, that was one moment when I realized that it’s all coming to an end. We also watched Meet the Mormons in the zone conference and I loved it. I guess it will be coming out in theatres here in a couple of months also so that will be really cool. The part that got me trunky was when the family was saying goodbye to their son, but the way I saw it is how happy I will be when I see you guys again, I’m really excited. Still doesn’t feel too real though.

Well I am going to give it my all these last couple of week and I can’t wait to see you guys. 

Love you lots!!!

Elder Grigor

The Rainforest where they went for a hike 

Always 2 thumbs up! 

Elder Grigor with his companion 

Having fun on his last Zone activity 

A little blurry but still a great picture 

It was a wet rainy day

 He has had some amazing experiences in Bolivia

Happy to see his goofy side. 

I found this picture on the Bolivia Missionary Mom's Facebook page.
 Elder Grigor will be happy that we have a picture of his muddy soccer game. 
Looks like a ton of fun. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Carnival was crazy around here

Hey Fam,

Well this week was pretty fun. Starting on Thursday is when the big party started for Carnival here in Bolivia. We live by a big hotel called the Hotel Regina and there are always tons of people there. They threw a huge party but only for girls so literally like 3 huge buses and tons and tons of taxis came just full of girls and partied all afternoon, luckily we weren’t really by our house much and we could avoid all of that and the party ended at like 10 o clock so that was good. Starting that day is when they just started to go crazy with water and parties and such. The worst days were Monday and Tuesday and that’s why we couldn’t leave the house except for when we went to go and eat.

On Monday we don’t eat with the pensionista for lunch so we had to go find something to eat near the center of Tiquipaya and we knew we were going to get drenched so we went prepared with tiny water guns and some water balloons but it wasn’t enough. The streets were just lined with people. I wish I could have taken a video or something but I was scared to wreck my camera so we didn’t bring it but it was crazy. We went to eat some fried chicken and while leaving the people who ran the chicken place dumped water all over us. Then we went to the sister’s house because they live close and knocked on the door, they came to the door and we soaked them with water balloons and then they helped us get others. On the way home we walked by one part where they had a huge water truck, like the one they use to water trees in the city and they were getting everyone wet. We walked by and everyone saw gringo’s so they grabbed their water and ran after us. I just accepted it and stood in the middle while they drenched us and everyone loved it because I started dancing in the water and everyone started laughing. It was really fun. Then we just went and rested the rest of the afternoon and got things done in the house that we needed to, like washing clothes and cleaning the house and just getting things ready.

What really got me upset though was the next day when we were walking home. We had gotten in a huge water fight with the sisters and our pensionistas family in the house. When we were walking home we were almost at our house and a group of like 15 teenagers came over and sprayed us and threw water. Some of them threw mud at us, that’s when I almost lost it. Then they came to our house and tried to get us again which was the last straw so we took out some water balloons and got them pretty bad. We were pretty upset. But overall it was pretty fun. We got lots of things done in the house. For us it wasn’t much of a lock down because we had to walk almost half an hour to get to our pensionistas house.  No one would take us in their cars because we were always wet so we just got destroyed on the way. If we would have been proselyting I have no idea what would have happened.  

Well, that was a little about these couple crazy days, now we have to go over to our district meeting and then go work in the afternoon. Hope you guys have a great week and we will be talking on Monday!!

Elder Grigor

Cake for Elder Grigor's birthday 

It's tradition to smash the birthed person's face into the cake.
 I think Elder Grigor got off lucky this time. 

Cochabamba Temple

Elder Grigor at the Cochabamba Temple 

  Proudly wearing his Calgary Canada Temple Pin. He loves going to the temple. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

My birthday was great!

Hello Family,

Well another great week here in Tiquipaya, we are working really hard and trying hard to reach our goals. We did a pretty good job this week and almost got all of them so we were pretty happy about that. Elder Noriega and I are getting along really well and we have the same mindset when it comes to working. We have the same thoughts and the best part is that we are having fun. The ward is helping us a lot and I really think that is what makes the difference, now they are wanting to come visit with us and asking when they can leave with us again. Maybe I shouldn’t be thinking about this yet but I am looking forward to being able to help the ward out when I get back, in whatever way  I can.

Just so you know, next week I won’t be writing on Monday because of carnival (we can’t leave the house on Monday or Tuesday except for going to eat so I will be trapped in the house for a while.) So I will write you guys on Wednesday morning instead probably at about 7:00 your time. But this week should be pretty normal, we are going to the temple which I am excited for this Wednesday. I think it will be my 2nd last time, I will go once more right before I go home. I would like to go with you guys too when we come back, I think that would be really fun. I am excited to come back and visit here with you guys.

So random question, do I need to do anything for school like an acceptance letter or did you get an extension?

My birthday was great yesterday, I got eggs and flour and sugar all over me like always and they tried to make a cake but it fell apart so they just gave it to me in a cup so they couldn’t push my face into it, I was kind of grateful for that. Also my package was great, thanks a lot. I needed that, you guys are the best.

Well it’s that time again, I’ll be talking to you guys next Wednesday. Love you lots.

Elder Grigor

"With our future dinner" 

"...and our current dinner" 

"We found the White House in our area" 

"They tried to make a cake but it fell apart, so they just gave it to me in a cup. 
They couldn't push my face into it, I was kind of grateful for that." 

Eggs and flour happened again for Elder Grigor on his birthday. 

"My package was great, thanks a lot. I needed that. You guys are the best" 

Monday, 2 February 2015

I hope I can make a difference

Hey Fam,

Well I guess it’s time to write home, this week went by pretty well. I’m getting along well with my companion Elder Noriega. It’s actually pretty hard to be with a white guy because we just want to speak in english the entire time because we’ve never had companions who speak english so it’s pretty fun. We are going to try and get better though and try to talk in Spanish more. I like my new area and the ward is really cool, they all seem pretty great. The only thing I don’t like is that they always ask me how much time I have left and then when I tell them they just think I’m trunky and already have finished my mission. So what I want to do is work really hard and prove them wrong haha. My area is really big and we have to take cars to go everywhere which I didn't have to do at all in Sucre when I was there because my area was so small. My new district leader is Elder Jafek, he is from San diego from the same ward as Mike and Misty. There are always weird connections like that in the mission. Everything is just going great. 

I really like just having no responsibilities and being able to dedicate all my time to the work. I feel like I tried my best as a zone leader but there were always little things that had to be done. Now we are going to focus fully on the work. I feel like the area is kind of in a slump and we don't really have many investigators. We spent most of the week getting referrals and trying to contact them which took away from teaching time but I feel that it worked.  It’s a lot more effective than knocking on doors. We got tons of references from the members and they are really supporting us. I think this week will be even better. Now that I am a little more comfortable with the area and the members I think we will be a lot more effective in how we work this week. I really just want to finish the best that I can and leave this area the best its ever been. Maybe it's a really high goal but I am at least going to try my best. 

I think I am working and teaching better than ever and I am really happy about that. I really hope that I can make a difference here in the short time that I have left and leave it in great shape for the new missionary that comes next transfer. 

I think I finally have all of my pictures chosen for the mission slideshow so I will go through those and get that finished up. I think I am going to buy a new suit today too. Well at least get measured so that it will be ready in a couple of weeks. 

Love you family

Elder Grigor 

**The first three pictures are from Christmas. Elder Grigor hasn't been able to send picture home for a few weeks. 

Elder Grigor loves to eat.

A sunset and two thumbs up! 

For Christmas we put a scripture reference on each little present.
Elder Grigor had to look up the scripture, read it and make 
guess before he could open the present. The scripture reference
 went along with the gift that he opened.

For the toothbrush he had to look up Amos 4:6." And I 
also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities.." 

Saying goodbye to the members in Sucre

"They made cake and pizza for my little going away/birthday party" 

  It's a tradition in Bolivia to crack eggs and dump flour over the birthday person
I am not sure we will continue this tradition for him when he gets home!

"The members in Sucre had a little goodbye party for me and an early 
birthday party. I just left the shirt in Sucre, there was no way I was 
going to clean it. haha!" 

"My new area is out in the middle of nowhere. It's pretty far from the city"

"My companion-He doesn't really like taking pictures, he was like me, but I will change him!" 

"All of the garbage that I threw out of the house"

" The disgusting sink. I cleaned it though" 

"My side of the room. I think it's the cleanest part of the house. 
It was pretty gross but it's better now" 

Monday, 26 January 2015

I'm going back to Cochabamba

Elder Grigor has had some challenges sending pictures since the beginning of December. His memory card keeps getting a virus on the computer that he is using down in Sucre. Now that he is going back to Cochabamba we should be able to get some pictures next week. That will be a great day. 

We got this in a separate email from his main one home: 

"So I kind of fixed my whole picture situation and moved all my pictures onto my flash drive and they are all there. The problem now is that somehow my flash got a virus.... There is a member who can fix it for me though. I will stop by tonight. I hate computers down here....."

Here is his email from this week: 

Hello Family, 

Well I am going back to Cochabamba. Honestly I didn’t really want to but I guess it’s for the best. I really just wanted to stay here and have Elder Callahua and just finish out here but I will have a 5th area. I am going to Tiquipaya 1 in the Tiquipaya zone. My companion is going to be Elder Noriega. He is from Texas so I am finally going to have a gringo companion which will be really weird. I will just want to talk to him in English the whole day but I am going to try really hard to speak in Spanish all the time. I think he has about 8 months in the mission. I’ve only talked to him a couple of times when I was in Cochabamba with him. I am just going to be senior companion which I am happy about. I just want to finish my mission peacefully with no responsibility and just be able to work really hard until the end which is what I will be able to do now. I think it will be a great time, me and Elder Callahaua got along great so I hope I get along just as well with Elder Noriega. I leave tomorrow morning to go back to Cochabamba. 

This week was really great with Elder Callahua. We are working really hard and I think that it has really helped the area. We have a couple of people ready to be baptized in February and the zone in general is getting better. We have seen lots of progress in the zone this month especially in having lessons with members. Since the beginning of January as a zone we have had almost 10 lessons with members present every week. I feel really content with the work we have done here and I think it is a little better than when I got here. Every one is working hard and really trying to achieve the goals. I think raising the standards of excellence also really helped and focusing a little more on having more members present. I am really excited to go to a new zone to try and contribute there and help in whatever way that I can, it should be fun. 

Well I don’t have much time because I was looking for pictures and deciding which ones I will use for the final slideshow, I still need to pick like another 10 pictures, I will try to do that next week maybe. Thanks for sending me those.

Well I love you guys lots, 6 more weeks and I should be on my way home, crazy how fast it goes by, this last transfer is going to go by really fast but I am going to try and make the best of it and just take it one day at a time. I finally finished the New Testament and I am about to finish the Book of Mormon. I am going to try and see if I can finish the Doctrine and Covenants so I can be ready to come teach seminary with you soon. 


Elder Grigor

Monday, 19 January 2015

I'm healthy and happy and glad to be a missionary.

Hello Family,

Well we had another week full of rain and clouds but it was awesome, I really like all of the cloudiness because that way I don’t get burnt at all. There are so many times where people will just tell me that I’m really burnt so I try not to be in the sun too much. I just get destroyed being in the sun all day walking around. 

I wasn’t with my companion too much this week, every transfer we have to do splits with all of the missionaries in the zone and we haven’t had much time this transfer to do it with conferences and such so we had to do 2 last week and then 2 this week. On Tuesday and Sunday we also did splits with the ward members to visit more people so I was really only teaching with my companion on Thursday and Saturday. It was kind of weird. We are getting along great though and lots of work done here in the area. 

I feel the lord was really helping us this week and was directing us to lots of house of less active members and old investigators. Doing splits with the members is really helping the area because they have been able to show us houses they visited before with the missionaries and less active members so we have seen lots of benefits. We had a goal with the zone that everyone could reach at least 6 lessons with members and 6 with less actives and recent converts and most of them were able to reach it. They were a few that couldn’t so we are going to raise that goal and try to motivate them even more and hopefully see the numbers and success keep rising. We are really happy with the zone, we have some great district leaders who are doing great at motivating their zone and see how well they are doing. 

Well this week is that last week of the transfer, next week I will be letting you know if I am going to have one final area or if I am going to stay here. I probably will just stay here but there is always a possibility I guess. I have been a zone leader for a long time. Maybe they will give someone else the opportunity. I’m happy either way. 

I think that is all I have for this week, everything went well. I’m healthy and happy and glad to be a missionary. 

Elder Grigor

Friday, 16 January 2015

We are often tired, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

January 12th, 2015 

Hello Family,

Another week more and another week less. We had a pretty fun week; we had our vacation in Cochabamba on Tuesday. We used to go Tuesday and have the day to go visit and do things we needed to but now we just go and have the conference right away and don’t really have any time to go visit or do any of that but it’s ok. I think it’s better that way so we don’t waste as much time. It was a really good conference. I got to see lots of my buddies from the group that I hadn’t seen in a while. It’s weird at the beginning of my mission I saw the missionaries who had more than 20 months and I thought they were so old but now that I’ve made it to this point we still feel like the young ones. It doesn’t feel like we are going home in a couple of months. I wonder when it will hit us, maybe when we are on the plane. You guys should be getting my itinerary this week; I think the secretary said he was going to get all of the flights this week. I try not to think of it too much, except when a plane flies over and to bug my comp I throw up a peace sign and say “see you in 2” haha.

Wednesday I had one of my last interviews with President Hansen. We mostly just talked about the zone and how I was liking my area. I think I will stay here for my last transfer. At least that is what I am hoping for; I just want to stay here. I asked what he did to finish his mission strong and he said “well It was easy for me because I was the assistant for the last 10 months of my mission, I had to work hard.” The advice he gave me though was to just take it one day at a time and seek the will of the lord so that is what I have been trying to do this week.

On Thursday the assistants came down to do exchanges with us so I got to be with my hijo amado again for a couple of hours and work again just like old times in Colcapirhua. It’s amazing how much he’s grown. He was one of my favourite companions. His English is really good now. I hope you guys will be able to meet him when we come down. We will have to plan on a Monday or something to go out to lunch with all of them. If they are close to the city I’m sure they would get permission to go to lunch.  That would be fun I think.

Well we are back in our house now. We had been looking really hard and the day we got back from Cochabamba we went looking for more houses but we couldn’t find anything. At night around 7 we had an appointment fall through and we didn’t really know where to go but we had an idea to go to an old investigator to see if she was home. When we were about to knock on their door we realized that the door beside it had a sign saying that they had rooms for rent. We went in and they were perfect for the sisters, close to our pensionista, half the price of the other houses they were looking at and brand new. They are the first ones living there so everything worked out great. Plus we have 2 new investigators because we started teaching the home owners and they were really interested. It’s really true that the Holy Ghost guides us in our lives. Big or small, finding investigators or finding houses he is there to guide and direct us.

We are working hard, we are loving the mission, we are getting wet lots, we get along great and we are often tired but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Elder Grigor 

By small and simple things

January 5th, 2015 

Hey Fam,

Well we are still living out on the street. The sisters haven’t found a house yet so we are living with the elders in the other ward still which is fine. We have lots of fun there with them.

It was a pretty normal week, we had to go help a couple of people move and bring new things to their houses but it wasn’t as much as we usually have to do. We had a pretty relaxed week which was nice. We were able to get lots of members to come out teaching with us also, we even got to do splits. I think that it was the first time that I did splits on my whole mission with members because they almost never have time. But we are going to start to do it more often now that my companion knows the investigators and the area.

New years was pretty normal, since we were in the other house and in a nicer neighbourhood we couldn’t burn our old things to celebrate New Year’s.  We just hung out in the house and went to sleep like usual. When people asked us how we spent our New Years we just told them that we slept. For some people it was a big deal to stay up and wait for it but it really wasn’t important for us.

This week it rained a lot here in Sucre. We got soaking wet multiple times but it was fun and we learned a little lesson. We were walking in the street and it seemed like no one was home and no one wanted to talk to us. We started complaining a little about how hard it was and how tired we were and they we saw the huge rain clouds coming and we knew it was going to pour so we look for someone to teach so we could go inside but there was on one. When it started to pour we stood beside a house to take shelter. After about 5 minutes a car pulled up and opened up the garage and invited us inside to get out of the rain, we took that as a sign and started to teach. The man who let us in was really thankful and receptive to the message and we were thankful to not be out in the freezing rain. The next day while reading Alma 37 I came across a couple scriptures that I really liked: "6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. 7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." I realized that God sent that rain storm so that we could find a new person to teach and bring the message of salvation to more of his children. I think every day I understand just a little bit better.

Well it was another great week, another great time with my companion and another great week in the mission. I’m not trunky, we are working and that is the way I’m going to end.

Elder Grigor

(P.S. I bought a new memory card but didn’t get it until Sunday because the sisters bought it, so I didn’t take pictures but this week I will next week for sure. )