Monday, June 23, 2014

DC Week 71!-- June 23, 2014

Okay. So this is it folks.

I never knew 18 months could hold so much adventure. So many lows. So
many treasures. So much growth. So many broken hearts. So much change.
So many ripple effects. So many miracles....

I never knew that I would love it here so much. That I would make
lifelong friends. That I would reconnect with old friends from another
time and place. That I would change them. That I myself, would be
changed because of it.

I never knew I would be a minority. Or learn so much about other
cultures. Or learn so much about my own nation. Or speak fluent
Spanish. Or become a fan of Inca Kola. Or hear the sound of cicadas.
Or get so many bug bites. Or spend so much money on tights. Or learn
how to cook arroz con pollo in a hundred different ways. Or see
fireflies. Or learn how to tell the difference between Japanese,
Chinese, Korean, and Thai. Or learn how to drive and stay alive on the
495. Or how to get lost so dang much.......Or how to find myself

I never knew that I would be okay with messing up. That God is so
merciful. That Christ's Atonement has no bounds. That it is never "too
late". That He never, ever leaves us to "fend for ourselves".

I never knew just exactly how God was going to use me. That He could
ever use someone so imperfect, to polish and perfect another's sins
and flaws. That that is exactly how He works. That the secret, is to
simply allow Him to. That the trick to success is to let Him in. That
forgetting myself and submitting my will to His ultimately earns us
both a win.

I never knew my capacity to love would increase tenfold. Or my
patience level. Or my to-do list. Or my organization skills. Or my
ability to daydream.

I never knew I would be exposed to so many religions. Or find so much
solace and conviction in my own.

I never knew I would get rejected so much. Or testify so hard. Or
defend my God so fervently.

I never knew that in one year and a half...I could live decades and
centuries. I never knew time could pass so quickly. I never knew that
in that fleeting time...I could even make a difference...

But I have.

...What I did know was that I would have to leave home to have all of this....
...What I didn't know was that I would be leaving home twice.

I love being a missionary. There is nothing better. Nothing. I love
this Gospel. It is true. It is real. It is fulfilling. It is
satisfying, and it is saving. It is essential for our Eternal
Salvation. And it is essential that we, as privileged holders of this
truth, share it.

Family, as a set apart representative of Jesus Christ, I leave you
with my conviction and sincere testimony that this is His divine
church, restored to the earth once more through the power of God. I
testify of the truthfulness, and the power of the Book of Mormon. It
is another testament of the living Christ. There is no flaw in it.
Through the prophet Joseph Smith, the impossible was made possible,
and a new and brighter hope once again filled the earth. We have a
living prophet on this earth today, who guides Christ's church under
His instruction, and He will never let us fall. We....are in the last
dispensation. The dispensation of the fullness of times. This is it.
Now it's just a waiting game. And what a fun and exciting game it is.
There is a lot of work to be done. And so, until that glorious day
when we shall again meet our Savior face to face, let us thrust in our
sickle with our might, and deliver those elect into the Hands of The
Lord of the Harvest, that they are not wasted.

The following hymn has stuck really close to me throughout my mission.
It also seems to fit nicely with my thoughts for this final email. So
I'll share it:

"It may not be on the mountain height or over a stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle's front my Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice He calls to paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Thine: I'll go where you want me to go.

I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I'll be what you want me to be."

Well, family. It's been good. It's been really good. Save me a spot in
the car for the ride home.

Sister Graff
(Alma 26:29-31)

Monday, June 16, 2014

DC Week 70!-- June 16, 2014

On Tuesday, I got a call from Elder Giles, one of the assistants.

He briefly explained to me that there was a woman in the Potomac ward
who was in need of a few sisters to sing at an event. (President had
given him my name for some odd reason). I tried to ask for more
details, but all he had for me was her name and number, and apologized
for the lack of info. So I took what I could get, thanked him, and
called Jalynn that night.

She was grateful I called, as she had no way of getting in touch with
me, and seemed a tad desperate to get something in place before it was
too late. I simply told her that I didn't know all the details yet,
but that I would be willing to help with whatever she needed.

Jalynn proceeded to tell me the story of a woman from their ward:

She had traveled from the time she was a young girl. Very accomplished
in both the political and social scenes. In addition to that, she was
a strong convert to the church, and although she married later in
life, had successfully raised one son in the gospel. Jalynn continued
to explain how in 1993, while only in her early forties, this woman
suffered an immense stroke which would alter her future forever. Life
as she knew it had changed completely. As a direct result, she became
completely paralyzed on one whole half of her body. In following
years, she suffered two more strokes, and though they were not as
detrimental at the first, continually weakened her mortal body, until
she had to permanently be placed in a resting home shortly thereafter.
She was cared for by her husband and own mother, until her sweetheart
passed away just two years ago. Following his death, her nonmember
sister, Diana, began to take care of her at the rest home. She was
there almost every day to offer comfort and support in that desperate
time of need.

Jalynn explained how it was during this time about a year and a half
ago that several of the sister missionaries had received her new
address, and had begun to pay her weekly visits. Diana mentioned that
upon their arrival each Monday, her sister's face would just light up!
The sisters would hardly ever do more than sit on the edge of the bed
and listen to her tell stories from long ago. Stories of Rome, and
Paris. Stories of Ambassador Galas, and Relief Society quilt tying
activities. Then, at the end of each visit, before they would leave,
they would always sing to her. Normally just one or two hymns. Always
a cappella. They had to sing quite loudly because her sister was
almost completely deaf in one ear, and all the noisy machinery didn't
make it any easier. Either way, she would listen. Intently. Captured.
Diana confided in Jalynn that she never saw her sister so happy than
on those days the sisters would come. Their singing quickly became
"tradition" and even, expected, at the close of each visit. The sweet
harmonizing would almost lull her to sleep. Then they would carefully
lean over the hospital bed and give her a goodbye kiss on the cheek.
It was like clockwork. Beautiful clockwork.

I kept listening to Jalynn:

"...So we felt it only fitting to select a few sisters who would be
willing to come and sing at Pagie's funeral this Saturday morning, and
would love if you would be willing to help us with that. What do you

And then it hit me.

"Pagie?" I asked. "You mean Paget Hinch? She passed away?"

"Yes, sweetheart, she did," came the soft reply. "Did you know her?"

"................I was one of those sisters."

I almost didn't believe the words as they were spoken from my mouth. I
thought it all sounded too familiar. I knew I had heard that story
before...but whether from a dream or reality, I couldn't recall until

"...Really??....We had wanted to ask one of them but had absolutely no
clue where to start to get in touch with them, and then realized that
they wouldn't even be out on their missions anymore," Jalynn

"I leave in two weeks," I informed her as the tears began to spill
over my cheeks.

They didn't stop for about 20 minutes either.

"Oh Honey.....Honey I'm so sorry," Sister Prince began.

I didn't hear most else of what was said over the phone--poor Jalynn.
It was a very bittersweet moment. I guess, I just always assumed those
kinds of crazy non-coincidental experiences were only for other
people. Everyone else, actually. Everyone else, but me. Don't know
why. I still don't know how President decided to give my name. Of all
the sisters in the Washington DC North mission. But one thing's for
sure, I have no doubt there was a very small dose of revelation in
that choice.

This was my miracle this week family. And yes, it was sweet to be able
to sing at Pagie's funeral. I was joined by Sister Weber, another
sister who had the opportunity to know and sing to Pagie after I left
White Oak. It was very touching. We sang I Am a Child of God, Families
Can Be Together Forever, and I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go. A good
portion of the congregation were not members of the church, including
Diana, and Pagie's mother. You couldn't mistake the strong Spirit that
accompanied us that summer morning. They were able to feel something
different, sparked by a few simple primary songs, and a hymn. Don't
underestimate the power of music. Or of the little things. That's
something I have gained a strong testimony of since being here.

I distinctly remember sitting at the foot of Pagie's hospital bed
listening to her talk for almost an hour, all the while smiling and
wondering to myself as a new missionary...."What is my purpose here?
Are we just wasting the Lord's precious time?" I remember singing with
Sister Nakatsuka, and thinking, "What is this really doing for her?
And really, let's be honest, how much is she really hearing? And
aren't there prepared people right outside this rest home just waiting
for us to leave so we can teach them?" As much as I wanted to
understand all the ripple effects of what I was doing in those
precious moments...I wouldn't find out....not until I had learned the
lesson. I wouldn't truly benefit from knowing if I hadn't figured it
out for myself. But they come. The ripple effects come.

Family, remember the little things. Cherish the small moments. Because
those small flecks of gold will begin to pile up in your personal
treasuries...and then, one day, you will look back....and you will be

I love you all.
Sister Graff

PS--If you want to re-read one of my first experiences with Pagie, it
was in an untitled email, which should have been "DC Week 15!"
(5/22/13). I have a picture of us together somewhere, but couldn't
find it. Remind me later, and I will.

1. Diana, Sister Weber, Me, Jalynn Prince, Pagie's mom.
2. Circa 5:30 am this morning :)
3. Last city trip...
4. Best part about big cities: there are tons of hidden places.
5. It was a humid one's me in front of the Capitol.

DC Week 69!-- June 9, 2014

It's weird. On this mission, I have gained a testimony of something
very un-ordinary. Something you wouldn't think anyone could have a
testimony of. Well I do. I have a testimony of dropping people.

Over the course of these last 18 months, I have been through multiple
companions, experiences, relationships. I have fought many fights, and
I have met and said goodbye to many wonderful people. People that have
truly become like my family. Friends. Brothers. Sisters. I have come
to realize that our purpose is to help these children of God find
their place in this world. And in eternity. To help them receive the
restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. If after we have done all we can do,
they still exercise their agency to choose otherwise, then we must
step back and let go, and let God. Let God work with them in ways we
never could. It then becomes our duty to allow them the time to feel
that absence of light in their lives in order to measure the ever
present difference in spirit. I have come to understand that in almost
every case, this small and often times painful step, is necessary for
a true conversion. And, I have come to be okay with it.

The reason being, because I know, as stated by Maria VonTrapp:
"Whenever God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." I know that
when one particular individual hits that roadblock to progression,
another, (perhaps more ready to "move on") discovers the sweetness of
our message and is placed in our path with expectations from on high
to be coached along that road. That's where we come in. They cannot
progress if we are not there willing and waiting to receive them. We
must constantly be aware of those unexpected, unplanned moments where
God trustingly places such a precious spirit in our hands. And we must
be willing to let others go to focus on the elite.

Every single one of us need to be converted to this gospel. We cannot
merely slip into heaven riding on the coat-tails of another's
testimony, no matter how strong. It simply cannot be. We must have our

I know God is aware of every single one of His children. No one is
forgotten. No one falls through the cracks. I have a testimony of this
great work, and that in time, everyone will have the same opportunity
to partake of eternal life, and live.

Love you, family.

Sister Graff
D&C 18:15-16

Pictures: Had to say goodbye to this beautiful family. They are
amazing, but need some more time to figure things out. The only way
Sister Hansen and I were gunna leave them, was if we could be certain
they were in good Hands. And we know they are. In time their family
will be an eternal one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DC Week 68!!-- June 2, 2014

On Wednesday, I got to go back to White Oak on exchanges!! There's
something sweet about returning to your first area on the mission.
Sister Chapman and I had some pretty good times, and some pretty
awesome miracles. (Remind me when I'm home and I'll share a funny
story about how a couple of young homeowner guys saved us from a
pretty intensely passionate French 7th Day Adventist. It was
hilarious). Anyway, at the end of the night, the biggest miracle of
all (for me) was getting to see the Kortu's again! It had been over a
year! I can't describe to you the way my heart leapt when I saw Kady's
reaction upon seeing me at the door. We embraced like the best of
friends, and I never wanted to let go! The kids totally remembered me,
and just glommed onto me the whole evening! I never knew I could know
such love. Such love for people I didn't even know a few years ago.
They have been coming back to church this whole time, and still have
some work to do, but I know one day they will be an eternal family.

Friday evening at the Visitor Center, I had a random experience with
Sister Holland, one of the other sisters here. We had encountered a
pretty rough looking fellow with a pretty persistent and prying
attitude toward the church. He demanded to be shown around, so we took
him to the prophet wall in the back. He would ask a question, and
before we could fully answer it, he would ask another and another,
trying to throw us off, as well as the spirit. Well we couldn't do
anything more than wait patiently while he ranted, and then testify.
When we could. After about 15 minutes, poor Sister Holland just looked
like she was sweating bullets. But she stood strong and just testified
her heart out. I was so proud of her. After an eternity, our friend
turned to us, and said, "Well done." Haha. I knew something was up. I
had wondered why I wasn't so scared or nervous, and was starting to
think I was finally getting the "hang of things". Nope. I'm not that
lucky haha. He was baptized back in '87. It was all an act. He faked
his membership. Totally threw us. Well, after allowing us to get over
the initial shock, he then relayed his whole life story to us in under
five minutes. Pretty sure our jaws were hanging open a little by the
end. It's too long to explain here. Just remind me and I'll tell you
in more detail later. What we did learn that night, was that the
forces we are up against are real. Satan is just as existent as
Heavenly Father. As is his power. However the only thing their power
has in common is it's ability to influence us. You see: Satan can only
have us is we give our selves to him. Likewise for Heavenly Father. He
can only have us if we give ourselves to Him. Tony Moreno helped us to
understand our crucial role as Later-Day Saints. It was cool.

Saturday, I called some Elders out of our mission to confirm their
tour appointment for that afternoon:

"Oh well, Hi Sister Graff! Your Uncle is going to be the member
present in our lesson at he VC today. We are actually on our way from
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia right now!"

That was not the response I had expected, but I figured, that works!
Haha. So Yes, I did get to see Mark and Marci and the kids, and it was
cool to be able to testify to them and their recent convert. I also
got to talk to his wife in Portuguese a little. Well, I mean, I could
understand it, and then she could understand my Español so it worked!
She was a sweetheart. Then after too short a time, they all headed
out. It's been such a blessing to have them so close this last year
and a half. I've loved it :)

Sunday, I bore my testimony in church for the last time out here. It
felt good. Felt good to have some closure with that special branch. I
love DC 1st. Love it. Everyone just came up to me afterwards and
kissed me and hugged me. I was a mess, haha. Nope, in case you haven't
wondered, I haven't changed much in that aspect. What made my day, was
sitting down from bearing my testimony, and seeing Jose Cruz walking
up to bear his own. He began to speak, and then lost it. He shared
about how his life would be totally different with out the Gospel in
it, how he'd been lost, but then found again, and publicly thanked us
in front of everyone. I was probably a nice shade of pink, but also
beaming at the same time.

The miracles just keep coming don't they?
Love you guys.

Sister Graff
Moroni 7:36-37

1. And I took the road less traveled by :)
2. Personal study in the woods by the temple.
3. The Kortu Gang!
4. Tony Moreno. His eyes were closed haha.
5. Zone Activity. Most intense game of capture the flag EVER.
Paint/water balloon war in the woods. I barely survived....

DC Week 67- Supplement

Miracle update!

1. I was at the VC Saturday evening, and right at closing, a man
approached me behind the counter. I recognized him from earlier. He
had been talking to Sister Leben in German for like an hour.

Well he spotted my name tag and muttered, "Graff..."

To which I replied with a smile, "Yep! That's my name," as I hastily
scribbled down the next days schedule.

"That's a Swiss name." He said.

I looked up at him and smiled, "Yeah it is. My family came from a
small town in Switzerland called--"

"St. Gallen," He finished my sentence.

"...Yeah..." I then responded with a bigger smile now growing on my
face. (I was so grateful I had brushed up on my family history last
week to know that, haha!)

Shocked, he told me that he was related to the same family line! I
noticed the excitement and puzzled look on his face, as he seemed to
plead, "How??"

I answered his unspoken question by explaining that my Great Great
Great Grandfather was Johann Jacob Graf. He was the one to first come
to America. From him, came Charles Jacob, Charles Theodore, Charles
Terry, and my own father.

"Well then you know what? That makes us third cousins!!" He shouted with joy.

(There was now a respectable amount of people, missionaries and senior
couples gathering at the front desk watching our little interaction.
All of who seemed to giggle as they observed our most unexpected
discovery). I couldn't believe it. Just when I though the world
couldn't get any smaller.

Well the time was short so we didn't exchange all the details yet, but
did manage to exchange emails. I will be keeping in touch with good
ol' Jim North.

Before I could leave, I turned to find him making his way around the
front desk, and then behind the front desk to give me the biggest,
squeeziest, most unexpected (and slightly awkward) hug of my life,
hahaha! Everyone just began to laugh out loud! And I was about as red
as a sunburn strawberry in the middle of summer. I hadn't hugged a man
since last fall when that Turkish man tried to kiss me. But Jim simply
said, "Ohhh, we're FAMILY!" :)

We said goodnight, and I went to bed that night with a newfound
testimony of doing Family History.

2. I saw a baby fawn with Sister Hansen on our morning jog this
morning. It came right up to us. So curious. Mom just watched from
afar in the woods. It was such a small little wobbly thing. Reminded
me of how I may have felt at the beginning of my mission. Possibly a
little unsure of myself or the steps I was taking. Always aware of my
Heavenly Parents watching me. Supporting me. Protecting me. All this
built up energy, but no idea how to control or channel it. I may have
even face planted a time or two. However, I also knew that with just a
little time, and some effort...all of that would begin to change. And
it has. It's amazing how God knows us so well. He didn't need to send
me a lecture, or a sermon. Just a baby deer. He knew I would figure
out the subliminal message. He knew I would get it.

So that's it for this week. Go out and find the little miracles God
sends you. Love you family! Make it a good one.

Sister Graff

Pictures-- DC Week 67

1. The Girls <3
2. Meet our District.
3. We're kind of a big deal.
4. With Sister Chavez! We were in the same FHE group in Rexburg! Ran
into her at the Multi-Mission Conference with Elder Ballard. She was
serving in Baltimore. Who knew the world was so small?

DC Week 67!-- May 19, 2014

Family. We meet again.
So I contemplated sending a copy of Elder Tavana's email home to you guys:

All is well. Have a good week.
Your Son."

But decided against it. I'm not an Elder. Haha.

This week was so cool!

On Monday, we had a 4:30 am start to beat the sunrise into the city.
Then went to the Holocaust Museum. Very moving...totally worth it.

Tuesday, Sister Hansen and I "heart-attacked" Alicia's door with
Christ-like attributes she has, accompanied with scriptures, and left
her a Book of Mormon with our testimonies in it. She is our
investigator. Just turned 12. She's amazing.

On Wednesday, we had transfers. We're sticking it out one last
transfer together, my Little Dane and I. It's gunna be a good one, we
can tell.

Thursday, was a VC day. Got a lot done. Left in the late afternoon to
head into the area. Checked on a lot of people. No one answered.
That's okay. Got some street contacts. The Lord was aware of our
efforts, and that was good enough for us.

Friday it rained. A lot. Even for Maryland. Flash flood warnings all
day. I love storms. The Irony: We ran in in it for exercise. Literally
through a river (which used to be the road)! Felt good to get wet.
Arrived back in the apartment (completely soaked through) to hear the
callout from the APs: Stay indoors until further notice. We got a good
laugh about that. Later, I gave two workshops. One for all the sisters
to present our new VC theme for the transfer: Fear Not. There was a
sweet spirit in the main theater. We all needed it. The second one was
in front of President and Sister Cooke, the APs, the Zone Leaders, and
all the District Leaders in the mission for a Leadership Training
Meeting. That went well too. God was with us.

On Saturday, we were privileged to hear from an apostle of The Lord.
Elder Ballard came and spoke to us at our DC Stake center for a
multi-mission conference with the DC South and Baltimore missions.
What a special experience. I took many notes. I know he is a man of
God, and believe in modern revelation. More on that later.

Sunday. Haha oh Sundays. Always crazy. We checked on about four people
before church, trying to get them out. Two promised they would. No one
came. But, at church, Jose Cruz received his new calling from the
bishop: He's a ward missionary. Very fitting, as he has just come back
into activity. He was beaming. And it was suddenly all worth it.
Nothing else mattered. That night at "Why I Believe" Melanie and
Anthony Trujillo came. They are our other recent converts.
It was a sweet ending to an even sweeter week.

Well let me tell you something you already know: This Church is true.
It is real. I know it. I know it. I know it.

Love you guys. Don't forget to be happy :) The world needs it.
Sister Graff

Pictures DC Week 66!

1. Sister Egbert! We were in the same district in the MTC. She's
serving in Virginia!
2. Doesn't look like much in the picture, but I can promise you my
hand swelled up like a balloon. Like I had no knuckles.
3. Our fellow neighbors.
4. Tracking in the ghetto.
5. DC has issues sometimes.

DC Week 66!-- May 12, 2014

Hey guys! Long time no see ;) Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's
Day! It was so good to see all you attractive people yesterday!

Not too much to report on this week. Just that I am so grateful to be
a missionary. Every day I am here something happens that reminds me of
how much I love it. There is good in every single day! And the
miracles just keep coming. They never stop. I have loved being able to
be a "secondhand reaper" of those blessings received through the lives
of the faithful people here. I consider myself so lucky to have
crossed paths with the select individuals I have. God placed us in
each other's paths for sure!

Look for those seemingly coincidental, yet planned moments in your own
lives, family. Diligently search, and acknowledge them as heaven-sent
opportunities to make a difference, to change lives, (including your
own)...and then don't be surprised when, (after you act on those
promptings) He sends you the blessings that you "have no room to
receive"... Malachi 3:10.

Yes. He's that good.

Love you a whole lot family! Thanks for your support. Couldn't do it
without you.
Sister Graff

Pictures DC Week 65!

1. These are my little magnets.
2. It's like pink snow!!
3. We had a garden tour on the temple grounds with all the sisters.
Notice the bride and groom in the background ;)
4. Tulips.

DC Week 65!-- May 5, 2014

On Saturday we went to visit our recent convert, Gladys Pereira.
Single mother, six kids. Amazing family. We had hoped to teach our
investigator, Haydee who lived in the same house--she was a referral
from Gladys, (I love member missionary work!!!) However, upon finding
her "out" even though we had a set appointment, we decided to stay and
spend some time with our dear recent converts instead. They are, after
all, like family to us. After our visit had run its course, she asked
us if we would be willing to visit her aunt, Elena Cruz. My heart may
have skipped a beat. I knew what that could entail, but being on the
Lord's errand and not our own, we of course said yes. So we resolved
to stop by that very evening. After all she lived just a few blocks
away. Let me explain:

Hermana Pirir and Hermana Shaw had been diligently teaching Gladys and
her family last fall. During those visits leading up to their baptism,
Elena did everything in her power to stop their progression. The irony
being that she was a member herself. Her reasons are her own, and I
will not go into detail right now on her story. Though it seemed they
were faced with all sorts of temptations and attractive detours,
Gladys and her young family stayed strong and followed through with
the baptism, without Elena's consent or presence. On Thanksgiving Day
just shortly after, Hermana Pirir and Hermana Shaw had come over for
dinner, following which they began their planned mini testimony
meeting on what they were all thankful for. During the middle of one
of the little girl's testimonies, they saw headlights in the driveway.
Soon enough, in stormed Elena and out went the spirit. Needless to
say, after a yelling match and a lot of shed tears, the sisters were
escorted out of the house, and ordered never to come back again. With
the start of a new year, January brought a new brightness of hope, and
in time...that open wound scabbed over. Elena began to allow the
sisters to come, but only during certain hours of the day. She kept
her distance, and they sisters never heard from her again so long as
they respected her conditions. That's when I came to the area. I never
met her. Only read during my area studies upon arrival that she was a
"DNC", (do not contact). After several weeks, Hermana Pirir opened up
to me about what had happened. I asked if she was ready to change,
(because after all, in my mind, and throughout my whole mission, I
always liked to refer to those kind of people as "do not contact...FOR
NOW." Never forever. She still felt it would be best to at least wait
until she was out of the area. I respected her prompting. She was
entitled to as much revelation as I was. So we never stopped by. Then
in February, Hermana Pirir left, and Hermana Hansen came to me. One
transfer went by. And almost two...and I had forgotten. Well maybe not
completely, but she was always on the back burner. Never actually made
it into our plans. I just didn't think...Until Gladys asked us to stop
by on Saturday. The Lord surely didn't forget. She was His daughter.
Of course He wouldn't. Well, we decided to take the subtle hint from
Heavenly Father, and comply with Gladys' request to stop by.

Not quite sure what to expect, we planned a sweet and simple thought
centered on our Savior. Figured it was a pretty safe topic of
discussion. We parked. Prayed. Walked up to the front door. And

I think we both expected the following to be a little bit harder than
it was. Because she then answered the door with a smile, invited us
in, and proceeded to introduce us to our investigator, Haydee who was
sitting on her living room couch!!! Hahaha! Man we all got a kick out
of that. (Plus now we know her hiding place when we can't find her at
Gladys'). The evening went beautifully! And the best part was we had
The Lord on our side 100%! Man it felt good to have Someone like that
backing your every word. There was a very sweet spirit there as we
visited. The best part? Elena was actually testifying to our
investigator! We had the most unexpected, unplanned, best "member
present" lesson we had had in a while. Everyone was It's amazing what time can heal. Before leaving,
we invited them both to church, and they said MAYBE! (Okay I actually
meant for that to come across in a good way, because I don't quite
think you guys understand what a huge MIRACLE it was to just be able
to enter the premises). And sadly, no, they didn't end up coming to
church. Missionary work is not always rainbows and unicorns, and they
still have their agency, but the fact that we were able to make such a
stride, was pretty darn amazing. God is so good. He is just so good!
We called Gladys as soon as we left to follow up. She was elated! Then
Sister Hansen and I had a mini dance party in the car on the way home.
#justsaying #completelywarranted

Sure love you guys. Miracles do happen every day. Be on the lookout
and then be amazed at what you can find.

Sister Graff ;)

Sent from my iPad in DC :)

Pictures-- DC Week 64!

1. Bishop, Fibi, and Gloria. (I taught Gloria in my first Spanish
area. She was baptized in December.)
2. Las Hermanas!
3. Irene (Bishop Quiroga's sister who I served with in Olney. I love
her so much!)
4. Soggy view from the apartment the other day. See the railroad tracks? :)
5. We had several flash flood warnings... #ilovetherain #maryland

DC Week 64!-- May 1, 2014

Okay. Three days late, but here goes. (President gave permission to
email our families this week, because all those departing soon had a
planned trip to Arlington Cemetery all day on Monday. More on that

So Saturday--no, I must go back further.

So, in December, I contacted this guy--Rosalio--at a nearby metro
station. He was golden. Well, then transfers happened, and I was the
worst missionary in the history of life, and lost his information. I
know. SO bad. I felt horrible. But that's okay, because last week I
was going through my old planners, and lo and behold, a miracle
happened. I found his info which I had hastily scribbled down in the
back! So naturally, I called the number--he answered--and we set up an
appointment at McDonalds for Saturday evening (at his suggestion).

Upon arriving, we discovered McDonalds was closed for cleaning. (When
does that ever happen? I mean really). Heavenly Father was helping us
create an "atmosphere for conversion" so we discussed some options,
and when Rosalio finally arrived, we decided to go for a walk. In the
rain. (Actually it was more drippy than rainy. Like thick mist). It
turned out to be the perfect setting. As we walked. We talked. And
taught. We had a new comp goal to practice asking more inspired
questions during lessons instead of simply spewing out information at
them. So we tried it. And, guess what? It worked! He opened up.
Rosalio just moved to the states from Honduras about four months ago
(so like when I first met him). And he talked about how much he misses
his country, and how his family means everything to him. We began to
steer the conversation towards the Restoration of the Gospel. We would
ask a question: "¿Cree que Dios podría revelar aún más de su palabra
hoy en día?" "¿Ha pensado en porque hay tantas iglesias en el mundo
hoy?" We would pass a church or two as we walked (you don't need to
cover that much space here in Maryland to see at least several
denominations--even walking) and gesture to it, asking: "¿Cómo piensa
que podamos saber cual iglesia es la correcta?" O, "¿Cómo podamos
encontrar la iglesia que tiene toda la verdad?" We taught of Christ.
We taught about the establishment of His church while He was on
earth...and then how it was lost. Then "[...] as a diamond displayed
on black velvet appears more brilliant, so [our introduction to the
need for a Restoration of Christ's church in its fullness stood] in
striking contrast to the dark background of the Great Apostasy" (PMG
36). It was perfect. God was with us, as we then stopped walking, and
turned to face him directly. All noise seemed to stop. When in every
other first lesson I've had on my mission, there had been babies
crying, cars honking, tv's was silent. And Hermana Hansen
recited to him in perfect Spanish and spirit, the first vision. You
could see the recognition on his face. He got it. He understood. There
was no mistaking it. Then the question:

"¿Rosalio...cree que José Smith era un profeta...llamado por Dios?"

And the undoubting, unmistakable answer: "Si."

We turned around and began heading back, (walking a good quarter mile
of it in silence, allowing the spirit to work on resonate
with his spirit that this was all too familiar...that he'd heard it
before). Now, we wouldn't be missionaries, if we didn't invite.
Another goal we have in our mission directly from president, is to
invite all to be baptized on the first lesson. I began to set up the
scene for my companion to pop that final question that would make it
all count. I asked if he loved Christ, and always wanted to follow

"Si," was the reply.

I explained that baptism is one of those ways we demonstrate our faith
to be disciples of Christ at all times and in all things and in all
places. It is also that first step that we take to becoming eligible
for Salvation. He agreed.

"Entonces," I said as I nudged Hermana Hansen, "tenemos una más
pregunta para usted."

It was so perfect. "The transition would be seamless!" I thought to
myself as I smiled and watched my companion. She paused. For a really
long time. We had stopped walking by now and I could begin to see the
McDonald's sign popping out over the trees. I looked at her to try to
read any signs of fear or hesitation. Nothing. She was just looking
back at him, a small smile beginning to spread on her face.

"Did she understand my idea?" I began wondering to myself. "How is
Rosalio taking this?" "What is she thinking?" "What is she going to
say?" "IS she going to say something?" "Anything??" Finally, words.
But not what I was expecting. No. Not the classic opening line of:
"Seguirá el ejemplo de Jesucristo y ser bautizado...etc." No. What I
heard next was completely different, and actually kind of amazing.

"Rosalio," she began, "¿que cree USTED que puede hacer de mostrar su
amor por Cristo, y su deseo de seguirle siempre?"

"Oh my gosh," I thought to myself, "she completely turned it around!"
Now I understood. Now we were on the same page. She was allowing HIM
to figure it out HIMSELF. What a little genius. And I didn't even tell
her to do that! I was so proud. Simply beaming. Well when she
finished, we both looked at Rosalio.

"Pues...parece que tengo que ser bautizado." Came the response.

"Entonces," she began again, "seguirá el ejemplo de Jesucristo, y ser
bautizado por alguien quién posea la autoridad del Sacerdocio de

"Por su puesto."

We were elated!! He's got a tentative date for June 1st. We will
continue to work with him these next several weeks toward that goal.
Well, after bidding him goodnight, the drive home felt like we were on
clouds. Heavenly Father had allowed us, to play a small part in this
miracle. He had trusted us with one of His children. And we were able
to be used! It was the best feeling in the world.

Family each one of us have this really cool gift. It's a gift from
God, to every one of His children who are willing to enter into a
covenant with Him. You may have heard of it before. It's called: The
Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is so special. And the best part is, it
works!! Use it! Listen to it. Listen to the Spirit. Don't doubt. Don't
hesitate. Just do. Just act. Act with faith, and be amazed at what
miracles can come from it.

I love you! I know Heavenly Father lives. This is His work. It can't
be frustrated.
Remember: Two people can do long as one of them is God.

Until Monday (cause let's face it, that's like a few days away now haha).
Sister Graff

Sent from my iPad in DC :)

DC Week 63!-- April 21, 2014

Theme of this week:

"The standard of truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop
the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage. Mobs may combine.
Armies may assemble. And calumny may defame. But the truth of God will
go forth boldly, nobly, and independent. 'Til it has penetrated every
continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in
every ear. 'Til the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the
great Jehovah shall say, 'The work is done.'" Joseph Smith Jr.

This is one of our four recitations in our mission. Just take a minute
to think about the magnitude of this work, and what we have as members
of Christ's church today. Now think about what an amazing duty we
share as Latter-Day Saints. Puts it all in perspective for me. This
work will...not...STOP. Not until He proclaims that it is finished. We
have a lot to keep us busy until then!

Sorry for the quickie. More next week!!
Sister Graff

Sent from my iPad in DC :)

1. Sunrise at Jefferson last week
2. Companions
3. Secrets for George Mason.
4. We're really just a bunch of kids

5. Zone activity today :)

DC Week 62!-- April 14, 2014

Week of miracles!

Man you guys, Heavenly Father is so good. He is just so good.
Okay really quick.

I feel like for the last several weeks, He has been allowing me to
take part in miracles. (Meaning I really don't do anything, but
somehow still get to experience the blessings of happiness from
someone else's faithfulness and joy). Let me explain.

Miracle #1:
Do you remember me telling you about Jose Cruz? If I didn't I
apologize, I'll explain more when I get home. All you need to know is
that all we did was knock a door. Just knocked a door guys. Well from
there, it was finding out that he was already baptized, but had gone
off the deep end and was now inactive. This was several months ago. So
naturally, we kept in touch, and kept visiting him. Poco y poco.
Family...on Sunday, he received the priesthood. And we were there! And
it was so amazing. Earlier that day in Sacrament Meeting, we sang
Asombro me Da (I Stand All Amazed) which they had sung at his baptism.
It's one of his favorites. No coincidences. He now holds the same
authority as Christ did, and will eventually have the opportunity to
baptize his little girl this fall.

The gospel is rolling forth. And it will not stop.

Miracle #2:
Two days ago, I was in the back office inputting some numbers for the
Visitor Center (longing to get out on the floor) when Sister Johnson
comes running in with some news that a lady was here to see me. I go
out to find Emily waiting for me. A former inactive from White Oak.
Yes, my first area. When we were working with her, she had recently
been divorced, and had no desires of coming back to church. She had
been baptized 12 years earlier, mostly for him than for her. As a
single imperfect mother of two young boys, she never had hopes of
"measuring up" in a seemingly perfect realm of women, who always
managed to keep their lace doilies pressed, white, and placed
carefully underneath their bouquet of lilies each Sunday in
preparation for their lesson on eternal marriage and families...which
hers was not. "I don't feel welcomed there. I don't feel
encouraged...I feel...inadequate," she would say, coming from a
completely valid standpoint. No one had reached out to her. We would
sit. And listen. Just listen guys. Our part was so minimal.
Family...when I saw Emily that day for the first time in over a
year...she had just come out of the temple for the first time. We
exchanged tears and hugs, and she explained. The sisters had continued
to stop by once I had left. The members began to realize their crucial
roles in the process of conversion...her little boy Nitai had been
baptized by the bishop's son, Josh, not a few months ago. Her other
son, Nimai will have the same opportunity this summer right after I

The gospel is rolling forth. And it will not stop.

The Lord has been so gracious to me. He has given me the chance to see
conversion at it's very finest. what it's all
about. I know his work is real, and that it is not ours. It is not
ours. And thank heavens, or else it would be a complete train wreck.
God knows what He's doing.

I love you. Until next Monday.
Sister Graff

Matthew 7:11 (7 Eleven, haha. Dang. Now I want a slurpee).
Sent from my iPad in DC :)

DC Week 61!-- April 7, 2014

It's been a busy week. That's always a good sign right?

So I forgot to tell you. At the beginning of last week, Elder and
Sister Eyring asked if I would be one of the Visitor Center trainers.
Along with three other sisters from the mission, I have the
opportunity and privilege of working with the Eyrings, President, and
the assistants to plan how we can better Visitor Center, as well as
discuss the personal needs of each sister, including all transfer
decisions, (who would be best with who, etc). ...It also means that I
will be spending a lot more time in meetings and less in the field.
Having said that, I know that being a "trainer" does not fulfill my
"purpose as a missionary" but gives me the opportunity to help
Heavenly Father in a different aspect of this great work. It gives me
the chance to labor in another section of the Lords vineyard.

It's different.

It's different knowing everything. It's weird. Everything that used to
be "held back" or taboo, is suddenly on the table for discussion, and
in fact needs to be dealt with. Talked about. Silence will not do.
President wants all opinions to be voiced. He wants communication. He
wants execution. He wants to see progress.

I know that even though my initial response to the Eyrings when they
approached me on the floor of the VC was, "Are you sure?" I trusted
The Lord that He knew what He was doing.

Not sure how much I will personally be able to offer in this new
position, but nonetheless, here I am. And I'm ready to work.

So having shared that, on Tuesday of last week, Sister Smith (one of
the other trainers, and a dear friend of mine, as we came out at
roughly the same time and have served our missions "neck-and-neck" so
to speak) were requested by President and Sister Cooke to join them
and the assistants in picking up the new missionaries at the airport.
So we metro-ed to Ronald Regan (outside the mission in Virginia) and
stood with smiles as our newest editions to the Washington D.C. North
mission stepped out of the gate. What fun! They all looked so eager.
Tired. Nervous. Excited. Ready. Reminded me of that first day I
entered "the field" not 14 short months ago.

Again, weird.

After gathering all their belongings, it was off to the temple for
pictures, and then to the mission home for dinner and testimonies. As
we got ready to leave, President asked if Sister Smith and I would be
willing to stay at the airport by ourselves to greet our last little
missionary (a visa waiter for Brazil, who's flight had been delayed).
Then to head straight to the mission home for the rest of the evening.

No big deal right? It's not like we were outside of mission
boundaries, right? In an unfamiliar airport (I flew into Dulles). With
a brand new sister who would be depending 100% on our navigational
skills. Ha. We laughed, and replied, "Sure, why not!"

The night ran smoothly. With a load of help from Heavenly Father, we
made it in time for dinner on good ol' Quail Run Drive, and ended up
having a wonderful evening! There was a sweet spirit of nostalgia as I
listened to the testimonies of these new missionaries. So much fire.
So much love. I was reminded again of why I am here. I was reminded
also of all the work I still have left to do. It was good for me. I
think I'm going to really relish these last 11 weeks.

Love you family. I have a testimony that when we put our trust in The
Lord, He extends our capabilities and capacities far beyond what we
may have thought our limits were. Believe. And Become.

Hermana Graff
Alma 26:12

Sent from my iPad in DC :)

DC Week 60!-- March 31, 2014

I love the variety of forms, missionary work can take.

Last week, on Sunday, Hermana Gamez (the Relief Society President)
came up to me and my companion, and asked us if we would be willing to
dress up in 1800's attire and come help out at the Relief Society
activity that Saturday in honor of it's anniversary in the church.
We're always looking for "ways" to help out, and so of course, we said
we would. Well, what we didn't know was that upon arrival...

Hermana Gamez immediately approached me and handed me my "name tag"
and "script" and began hastily explaining how the evening was to go
(all in Spanish of course). I nonchalantly glanced down at the name
tag in my hand while still trying to listen to what she was telling
me. My heart about skipped a beat. "Emma Smith", it read. "WHAT did I
agree to??" I thought to myself, as I eagerly smiled back at her. When
she bustled off to go prepare food for the evening I looked over at
Hermana Hansen, who had somehow managed to evade such a role. We
quickly exchanged fake congratulations, and then began scrambling to
use the five minutes we had left before "the performance"
to...uh...get ready? I guess?

It all turned out great, by the way. Heavenly Father helped out a lot.
As I stood at the front of that tiny room, reciting my "lines" and
looking out at all those sweet sisters, it was super cool (and a
little funny) to see them all gathered in their "authentic" dresses
and bonnets to celebrate such a day. Kinda sweet to see how far this
organization has come in just a few short centuries. (Especially with
Women's Conference the other night as well). Anyway, amidst all the
cheesiness and my personal battle to withhold a giggle, I did think in
that moment, Emma would be proud :)

Family, I have a testimony of service. I know that it has the ability
to soften hearts and open doors. I also know, that if the Relief
Society president comes to you with a favor, never assume that it will
be to weed a garden or fold laundry, because she will most definitely
be expecting you to take a lead role in a language that is not your
first :)

Let's make it a good one! Love you!

Hermana Graff
Sent from my iPad in DC :)

DC Week 59-- March 25, 2014

Totally thought this sent yesterday. Definitely didn't. Here it is. Love you!

Hey folks.

Sorry this is a quickie. I have five more minutes of P-Day so here
goes cool story number two.

La única cosa es que quiero contarlo en español porque pasó en español
jaja. Hace una semana Hermana Hansen y yo decidimos a pasar por
algunos menos activos en la área, (porque hay tantos que no conocimos
en el barrio). Pues escogimos una que se llama Felicita Huayta.
Pasamos y ella contesto la puerta pero no nos permitió a pasar porque
dijo que estaba bien ocupada (que estaba lavando platos o algo).
Bueno, en mi mente pensé, "Tienes que estar ALLÍ." Adentro. Me puse el
pensamiento afuera de mi mente pero vino otra vez: "Hermana Graff,
tienes que estar adentro de la casa. Tienes un mensaje para compartir
con ella ESTÁ noche." Ahora, yo no podía negar un "promting" del
espíritu, entonces le preguntamos, "¿Pues, esta bien si tomamos diez
minutos de su tiempo? Sabemos que puede bendecir a su vida y es muy
especial a nosotras." Bueno, ella nos miro por un segundo y nos
permitió a pasar!!! Un minuto luego estábamos sentando por la sofá
escuchando de todo su historia con la iglesia.

Ella nos contó de como se encontró la iglesia (o mejor, los elderes le
encontró a ella jaja) hace como 30 años en Perú! Ella era la única en
su familia para ser bautizada. Tenía cinco niñitas en el momento y
estaba en el proceso de separar de su esposo. Fue a la iglesia sólita
por sólo dos años. De allí, ella se mudó a Los Estados Unidos sin sus
hijas. (¿¿Pueden imaginar??) Después, se quito de ir...y eventualmente
se inactivo. Diez años después que se mudó, su ex esposó se murió,
dejando todo sus niñas sin un papa, y por eso, todos vinieron acá para
vivir otra vez con su madre. (Ella no les ha visto en diez años...)
Vinieron en el año 1997. La mayor tenía 16 años.

De allí, ella procedió a explicar que le ha querido a regresar a la
iglesia por mucho tiempo ahora. Que realmente quiere cambiar. Le
preguntamos que recuerda de la iglesia, o que le tocó lo más. Su
respuesta? "El espíritu." Ella no podía negar el sentimiento, la
diferencia que se sentía acá.

Pues, le testificamos de la importancia de ir a la iglesia, y le
invitamos a asistir el Domingo. Nos dijo que sí! Que vendrá! Qué
maravillosa, no? ¡¡Sólo necesita una invitación!! Y de pensar...que
casi nadie le ha visitado todo este tiempo. Cuán alegría me dio que
pasamos eso día. Que sigamos el Espíritu en eso.

Family, I have a testimony of the following the Spirit. I know that
when we do, miracles happen.

Love you a whole lot.

Sister Graff
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

DC Week 58-- March 18, 2014

Hello again! Man the weeks just fly...

Well sorry about not being about to shoot out an email yesterday. We
got the call from the APs on Sunday night that P-day was switched to
today. Who knows why? Maybe this last snowstorm had something to do
with it. Whatever the reason, here we are.

Ok, so quick story time! I have two. We'll start with the one that
happened like five minutes ago:

Sister Hansen and I had just gotten downstairs to the lobby, (to send
our family emails) when we saw some of our other fellow sisters pull
right up to the front door and start unloading groceries. Seeing one
of them climb out with a cast on her leg, and the other with countless
bags in her hands, we dropped what we were doing, and ran out to help
them carry all the stuff up to their apartment on the seventh floor.
While Sister Croese (from The Netherlands) stayed behind to help
Sister Bertholon (from Tahiti), we grabbed the groceries and headed up
in the elevator by ourselves to drop off the stuff outside the door
for them. Well, while attempting to juggle everything, one of the
gallons of milk slipped and crashed to the floor, breaking in two, and
sending a white wave of cow juice all over our shoes and feet. We
stood there for about five seconds, moping/surveying the damage, and
then began bursting into fits of laughter. There was no saving any of
it. The moment to act was gone. It was just gone, haha! Right along
with the milk and our shoes and our egos.

Well, so that's not all. We had this mess to clean up/try to hide
before the Sisters showed up, and we also wanted to "make restitution"
so that we could sleep well tonight, and so we ran to our apartment on
the sixth floor and grabbed our almost full gallon of milk (which we
had just bought, not an hour earlier) and upon returning to the
seventh floor, found their door not only unlocked, but slightly open.
Kicking it all the way open with my foot, I ran in with two bags of
groceries and a carton of eggs and dropped it all off on the kitchen
table. Than ran back to the door, and got the gallons of milk from
Sister Hansen and put them with the rest of the stuff. Surveying my
handy work, and making sure everything was spick and span, we began to
run down the hall to the elevator again when we saw the sisters clear
down at the other end of the hall yelling something to us.

"Whaaat??!" We hollered back.

"We're on this end of the buildinggg!" They shouted. "This siiide!!"

After, standing there stupidly for now the second time in five
minutes, and soaking in what we just heard, we responded sheepishly:

All we heard from the other end of the hall was laughter.

We couldn't believe it. We had, unknowingly, "broken into" the Elders
apartment. Guys, that's like uncharted waters. Like who knows what the
heck you would find in there! (Come to think of it I did think the
giant, bent, metal "stop" sign on the living room floor seemed out of
place for a sister's apartment). And we just broke about seven rules
from the white handbook, without even knowing it. Well you've heard
that ignorance is bliss. At this point, I was no longer "ignorant". My
"eyes had been opened", and I guess you could say that because I now
had this "knowledge", I couldn't just go waltzing back in there to
retrieve our edible hostages, you see?? Well, sister Croese saw it
differently. More like a "getting-the-ox-out-of-the-mud" situation. I
love her so much haha!

After several trips, and a few more side pains from uncontrollable
laughter, we made our way (once again) back down the long hall with
our proud possessions in hand. When we finally dropped off the stuff,
and bid our fellow sisters adieu, (they thanked us for our more than
helpful service rendered), Sister Hansen and I made our way back down
to the first floor to notify the custodian, and then to the bench
where I now sit, typing you this pointless email :)

Oh, trust me, I tried to come up with a "moral" to the story, but my
head started hurting. So I'll let you figure that out. And if you
would somehow make sure this lovely incident does not get out to
President Cooke, that would be much appreciated as well :)

I think for times sake, I will stop here for today. We'll save the
other story for next week. Well family, it's been real.

I love you a whole lot.
Sister Graff

PS--The Elders will be receiving a peachy voicemail about making sure
they LOCK THEIR DOOR the next time they feel like going out to play

DC Week 57-- March 10, 2014

Miracle week...

Sister Hansen and I picked up three new investigators! (A mother and
her two daughters). So awesome. They are amazing, and we were led
right to them.

I wish that we as missionaries focused more on the family aspect of
this work. The gospel is not just for one individual here, and another
there. Don't get me wrong, those stories always seem to be the most
striking to me, (you know what I'm talking about. The one strong
family member who had enough courage to take a leap of faith and try
something new. Well, not only try it, but accept a whole new way of
life. A whole new beautiful and unique perspective on eternity. I mean
that's exactly what happened with Grandma Roxie! And I will never
cease to be amazed at the bravery and determination of such
individuals...) But how much easier would it have been for them if
they didn't have to do it alone...? If the whole family decided to
take that leap....and march that journey...together? I firmly believe
that this will quickly become the new focus of missionary work. Well,
actually I think it always has been...we may just seem to miss that
perspective at times. I've fallen into that trap for sure. It can be
so easy to latch onto the ONE investigator you have, investing all
your hope and energy in them as you strive with all diligence to help
them progress towards baptism...because you know it will make them
happy...All the while, who falls on the wayside? Family members.
Friends. Loved-ones. And yet...we preach of the promises of eternal
families. Tad ironic to me. I just want to do MY best to change that
mentality in missionaries. Yes. It is important to find "the one".
However...think of the possible joy that could be found if the focus
changed from baptizing "the one" to baptizing FAMILIES... Hasn't that
always been the goal of our Heavenly Father? I think so. So I think
I'll try it. We'll try it. Then I'll follow up with you, ok?

Sure love you family. I know we ARE forever. And what a beautiful
thing it is. It is beautiful.

Sister Graff.

DC Week 56!-- March 3

Hey family!

Happy Birthday to Grandma and Carrie last week! And to Big Rob this
week!! Fun times, must mean spring is coming!! ;) You wouldn't believe
it out here though. We woke up to a white Christmas in March. Got the
callout from the Assistants last night that "Storm Titan" was headed
for DC today. We figured it was sort of a big deal, since they decided
to name it. This is like our seventh snow day we've had in the last
several months, but we are choosing to have fun and make the most of
it :) #howtobeamissionaryindoors? #thestruggleisreal

Hermana Hansen and I have had some good times this last week! So one
of my most recent discoveries, and to my dismay, is that I can now
apparently ramble in Spanish. Never thought the day would come. Oh how
I long for simpler days when all I could say was "Se que Jesucristo es
mi Salvador." Now, unfortunately I have gotten into the habit of going
off on tangents about Kolob and Shiz and other fun doctrines of no
importance to our investigators. Okay. Maybe that was a slight
exaggeration, but I have to really focus to keep the conversation
gospel centered and on topic. It's really easy for Hispanics to change
the subject. (About as easy as it is for Robert to say "YES!" to a
video game marathon). Well, it's been a fun challenge anyway.

We have also been getting to know the area really well! Mostly due to
getting lost. Actually the other day, we had a dinner appointment with
a member who lives outside of our boundaries, but still attends our
ward. Well since our area is the closest to her, we got the lucky
invite to dinner, (which would have gone so much more smoothly if we
had been on time). Even leaving an hour in advance, we did not achieve
punctuality. <<<Not sure why I went medieval on you all there. Anyway,
moving on in ENGLISH now. Long story short, between my navigational
skills, and my companion being new to the area, our luck was a tad on
the short side. And I believe that even sometimes, Heavenly Father
just shakes His head and chuckles at us, as we take the necessary time
we need to figure things out. Not that He was removing Himself from
the situation, or feeding us to the wolves (or in this case Hermana
Wooton) but one thing's for sure, we learned those roads like the
Title Page of The Book of Mormon. And despite the delightful
chastening we got upon arriving (just imagine rubbing sandpaper on a
nice sunburn) we were still able to deliver our spiritual thought on
patience. Yeah...we didn't plan that too we'll either. #irony #ourlife

Needles to say, we ended up walking into our apartment that night
smelling like salmon and guilt. The dinner was good though!

Moral of the story?
1. Live and learn.
2. A GPS is always a good investment.

Love you family! Make it a good week, and don't forget to eat your
fruits and veggies!

Sister Graff
"Man's extremity is God's opportunity."

PS--Random thought: Had a nightmare that Adam forgot my name :( Good
thing that would NEVER HAPPEN, right?? Just checking :)