Kaylyn Graham, 20, of Romance returned home Wednesday after completing an eighteen month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in the Brazil Juiz de Fora Mission. She was officially released from her assignment Wednesday evening by Searcy Arkansas Stake President David Lewis, then spoke to members of the stake council and her family about some of her mission experiences.
Graham spoke about one of the greatest miracles being the transformation from understanding nothing spoken in the Portuguese language upon her arrival to within a month sharing her testimony of Jesus Christ with a Brazilian woman who understood each word and told her she had seen her in a dream, wearing the same clothes. Graham viewed it as a true miracle and the manifestation of speaking in tongues where both participants understood what was said.
Her immersion into Portuguese was so complete, that on her first day stateside, Graham at times struggled for words in English to convey her deepest thoughts and experiences. Her mom, Cayce Graham, speculated that will change quickly after being home a few days and talking to her younger siblings Kody, Kassidy, Katey, Kora and Kasen. Her brother, Kyle, is currently serving a church mission in Singapore.
Graham’s challenges began after arriving at the São Paulo Missionary Training Center where she became ill and made a trip to the ER. After she completed her training and was in the field, Graham said, “I was really, really, really sick and went to the hospital with appendicitis.” She had emergency surgery on Thanksgiving Day last year and was told not to leave the apartment or lift anything for 30 days. This put a strain on her because she really wanted to do her missionary work and it also kept her missionary companion from going out to serve. She was ill intermittently for many months and while serving with different companions. Graham counted these trials a blessing as she learned humility to depend on the Lord and her mission companions to help her through difficult times. She reflected, “I learned patience, and I learned how to serve someone I didn’t know.”
Encapsulating her missionary service, Graham said, “I’m so glad I chose to serve, because without a doubt it was the best year and a half of my life so far.”
Graham is a member of the Quitman congregation and a graduate of Rose Bud High School where she was an honor student, Beta Club president, and cross-country runner. Her plans are to work and continue her education. She is the daughter of Kyle and Cayce Graham of Romance and the granddaughter of Dave and Melinda Davison and Larry and Brenda Graham, all of Bearden. Also in attendance to hear Graham’s mission report was her great-grandmother, Ramona Davison, of Bearden.
Graham encourages all who want to draw close to the Savior and learn about His gospel to call the local missionaries at 501-908-2710.