Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Good morning family-
Before I do anything else, I must say how appreciative I was to receive the big package from the Moraga Ward!. There were so many thoughtful and kind notes written in there. Along with the food... I don't think I will be able to eat it all before I have to leave, so I will make some lucky Elders happy as well. I know I haven't lived and spent considerable time there in the ward over the past 6 years, but it is so comforting to know that I am not forgotten. Likewise, the many that have had such a grand impact on me are not forgotten either... Please tell the ward thank you for this fine action.
So on Thursday we found out where we are going temporarily. Mom, I get to talk how you love the most again! I am heading to Nashville, Tennessee! I am way excited. I leave Wednesday morning. I will be able to call from the airport and will most likely do this from Denver. Our first flight leaves Salt Lake at 7:00, so I could call then if you and Dad want. But we get to Denver at 8:30 and have a bit of time before the next one I have 1.5 hr layover. Tell me in a DearElder if you can today what would be preferred. Just a short message is fine. But it has to be today so I can get it either tonight or tomorrow. We have to be ready to go to the airport at 4 in the morning.
My address in Tennessee will be
105 Westpark Drive Suite 190
Brentwood, TN 37027-5010
I am incredibly excited to go to Tennessee. Elder Werner received the same reassignment, so we will probably enjoy more of our company. Our companionship has still been doing great. One more Elder received a Visa from my district this last week, making 9 who did get them while at the MTC. The other Elder got reassigned to Milwaukee, WI. The parents of one of the Sister's that moved into our zone are from Sao Paulo, so it has been fun talking with a native speaker who has a different accent than most American when they speak portuguese.
I got another nice email from Pres Criddle and Sally Healy. Dad, thank you for the impact you have had on so many lives for the good. Maybe some more stories from your mission would be nice to hear from time to time, especially with Vince. She shared a small one about you, and I am grateful she did.
Grandma wrote about Sister Harries's companion who is from Bolivia. I think about her often and the impact she had on me. Won't be forgotten. I hope the Campo football team still has the round number in the loss column. What a remarkable year it sounds like. Also, my heart goes out to Brett. Hopefully that shoulder heals up quick so he can get a bit more out of this season.
One of the great blessings of this time as a missionary is certainly the encouragement we get to keep journals. Yesterday, during one of the talks, we were encouraged to write down at least 3 things every day of what we were thankful for. What a simple yet meaningful idea. I get this saying from Dan Martin: "If you plant corn, you get corn". Obviously if it is our goal to focus on the positive side of life, we will not only find it, but even more importantly, we will exude the light that naturally comes from doing so. I will certainly implement this in going forward in my journal writing, as I have too much gratitude for the blessings from the Lord not to. We had such a great testimony meeting here yesterday. They emphasize to us the fact that we should not get us and tell stories, but stick to the truths we know. The missionaries from our zone took this to heart and we not only heard from more missionaries than usual, but the Spirit was that much stronger. The love of our Savior Jesus Christ was very palpable.
Another occurrence this week was during a classtime. Our district is down to only 3 Elders, from originally 12. So sometimes the teachers allow us to mix it up a bit and do different things. Our teacher left the room on Saturday morning and told us to pray for a half hour with a notebook by our side. What a treat this was. Not so much the time factor, but the reverence and the Spirit in the room allowed for strong feelings and thoughts to enter the mind and heart - clearly communication from Heavenly Father. It was a good practice, and something I also hope to implement with some consistency.
Well it was another great week, with much learning and growth. I hope one and all knows how much I love you. This work and joy which accompanies it beats the other opportunities which were at my feet in years past. I am grateful for the testimony which the Lord has allowed to blossom within me and look forward to carrying the sword of the Spirit to Tennessee.
With love and charity,
Elder Graziano

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