Monday, July 11, 2011


July 11, 2011


Everyone who has told me that they saw the most miracles in the end of their mission is right. Maybe it´s because I´m looking (and praying) more for them. But I really hope my companion (who is just starting) realizes how incredible all of this is.
We did have one sad point. A family we were teaching decided they didn´t want to listen any more. They´re always sad when the missionaries leave and they have family members that got baptized in the Jehova´s Witnesses and it ripped the family apart. It´s hard when people can´t understand the beauty of the gospel and how important it really is for the family, but we´ve planted a seed there and hopefully they´ll remember us some day and go back to church.
This week we found a bunch of new investigators and a lot went to church. One very special little investigator is the daughter of a family that´s inactive right now. When we gave them the commitment to go to church she said "YES" before anybody else and they all went!
When we went by after to congratulate them she got really mad at her mom and said, "You told me I was going to get baptized when I was 8!  Now I´m 9 and I´m still not baptized! When am I going to get baptized???" so we gave her a baptismal date and her dad will prepare to baptize her on August 6th. I won´t be here, but I´m still very happy.
I also heard that yesterday Martina Helmer was baptized (the daughter of the inactive family in La Falda) and that her dad was able to stop smoking and go to church and baptize her. That made me very, VERY happy.
A family in this ward has been giving us a lot of references lately (because they think we work hard, tricked them! just kidding...) and so we´ve been teaching a lot of great, golden people.
Also, a man showed up to the church in Barrio Hospital yesterday and said that he wants to change his life and get baptized... and he lives in our area. We´re going to see him tomorrow and he will hopefully get baptized next week.
We went on divisions with two hermanas in the ward to do visiting teaching, look up inactive people, and teach some lessons, and they LOVED it and really inspired the other ladies to do their visits and coordinate divisions with us. This week we taught 10 lessons with members present (the weekly goal for the mission).
We taught the family Carrillo, a part-member/inactive family we´ve been seeing, and they´re going through economic problems. We taught the law of tithing and they not only accepted it, they LOVED it.  They´re going to stop working on Sundays and go to church. The 9-year-old grandson read all of the pamphlets we´ve left and keeps bugging us for his own Book of Mormon, so we´re going to give him the one that´s comic-style.
This week was incredible. I´m excited to see what miracles are in store for us this week, but next week´s email will probably be lame, so you´ll have to ask me about it when I get home.
I´m running hard to the finish! If we keep seeing these miracles, it will be easy!
I love you all!

Hermana LaPray

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Still here....

            In case anyone was wondering, yes, I´m still here in Argentina... Did you know that "floresta" (my area) means "forest"? It´s weird, because there are no forests here... not even a lot more trees than usual.  Maybe they mean "dirt forest" because there is a lot more dirt than usual...
Well, the exciting news for this week is that we might have 2 unplanned baptisms. A guy contacted us in the street the other day asking us about church and how it can help his life and stuff so we´re going to teach him today and baptize him soon. He seemed really interested and is already reading stuff we gave him, even though we haven´t even had a formal lesson yet. Another is a girl named Sofia who has been to church before, but her dad would never let her get baptized (he´s kind of a crazy guy who has questions that don´t really matter) but we met him and asked him and he said that she could get baptized if she really wants to, and not because she´s just doing it for some boy. Good news: my companion and I aren´t boys! We´re hermanas and she´s going to get baptized soon... she just needs a baptismal date :)
            Other than that, our heater blew up this morning. It somehow turned off last night and when I re-lit it this morning it made kind of a mini-explosion and burnt my fingers. And then it went out again an hour later. So I re-lit it more carefully and was in the other room by the time it exploded. l like being in Argentina, but I´m excited for my central heating unit that will never singe my fingernails...
We might be doing divisions again this week with the hermanas from Pringles, so next week we´ll let you know how that goes. And we´re doing divisions with some hermanas from the ward, so we might be doing divisions while on divisions. Makes your head hurt, huh? And I think in english divisions are called splits. Something like that. I don´t speak missionary english, sorry. Someone can teach me when I get home.
So I hope everyone has had a good week. Happy 4th of July! I hear that´s a holiday or something... we´re just getting ready for 9 de julio down here. You know, Independence Day.
And I have officially decided to not write any more letters. I´ll probably get home before any letters I might write... I think the last letter I wrote was to Dan 2 weeks ago so if you´re not Dan and you haven´t gotten a letter, you´re not going to get one! But I still love you and I will email you when I get home :) Thank you for the letters, they really are appreciated. Even though I´m an ungrateful little brat and I won´t write you back.

Times up! Hasta luego!

Hna. LaPray

Monday, June 27, 2011

President Arnold

June 27, 2011
So the visit from president Arnold went surprisingly very well and I didn´t even have nightmares after. Even though I was sitting right up front next to his wife and I had to stand up in front of everybody like 7 billion times to answer questions or read scriptures or write on the board... he focused a lot on planning (weekly and daily) and really relying on the Lord to guide us in it. He also talked about "keeping your line in the water" and always sharing the gospel with someone. We should ALWAYS be talking with people and we should never waste the Lord´s time. It was a really great conference and President Arnold is a very inspired man. He truly is a representative of Jesus Christ on the earth.

This week has been same-old normal stuff, teaching, walking, contacting, walking, eating, walking, teaching, walking, giant dogs, walking, walking, contacting, walking, eating, and walking. Our area is HUGE and we´re finally getting everything figured out and organizing our work well to stay in the same area all day. We´re finding lots of people to teach and this week we found some who might even progress!

Last night we were teaching the husband of an hermana from the ward and he just kept saying "it´s not my time to get baptized." He´s been to church a lot of times and he´s read the Book of Mormon and he always supports his family in going to church. I felt like we should go over the baptismal interview questions with him, so that´s what we did. As we went through, he realized that he really is ready and that he wants to promise the Lord that he´ll follow Him. It´s tricky, because yesterday was the first Sunday in 3 months that he´s been home because he´s a trucker, but we have a lot of faith that we can get him baptized. He´s a wonderful person and he really wants to be with his family forever. Hopefully he´ll have another Sunday here before I go home :)

There are people like him all over the world who are ready for baptism and need it, but they just need someone to help them realize it. Share the gospel with your friends. You never know whose life you´re going to change.

I love you all, and I´m excited to see you (but not too excited...)

Hermana LaPray

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Feliz dia!

Today is día de la bandera... flag day. I´m not actually sure what it means, but it meant we had to walk farther to get to an internet place because everything is closed.
But anyway, we´ve decided that we like Villa Floresta. It´s the BIGGEST area of my entire mission, but we´re starting to get the hang of it. Some parts are so far away that the members tell us "don´t worry about walking there, we´ll drive you." It´s a WARD which means there are lots of people in church on Sundays and we have all the priesthood leadership positions filled and there are teachers for every class, so we just have to invite people to church :) The bishop did ask me to give a talk, though, and he assigned me "An Ensign to the Nations" by Elder Holland from general conference. It was a really great talk, and I mostly focused on learning by the spirit--making sure we spiritually prepare ourselves for our church meetings so we can learn what Heavenly Father wants us to. Sometimes we just want revelation and answers for free, and we overlook all the tools that Heavenly Father has given us to prepare ourselves to recieve those answers (reading the lessons beforehand, really preparing ourselves for the sacrament, patriarcal blessings, etc.). The bishop did make one mistake, though, he told me to talk as long as I wanted, so I just gave the entire talk I had prepared. It was about 15/20 minutes. haha, I guess he repented a little after because he had prepared a talk and had to cut out a lot of stuff. Next time he´ll give me a time limit :) ok next time will be a 5 minute testimony and I´ll be really freaked out so I won´t want to talk very much (you know, last testimony in the
We´re finding new investigators, but we really need to help them progress and I don´t think a lot of the people we found last week will really be that willing to progress. We´ll find some new, great ones this week.
Nobody died in our hammer/nail lesson last week. We brought 3 little scrap pieces of wood, some nails, and hammer to teach about baptism, repentance, and the sacrament. We had their 8-year-old son drive some nails into the first piece of wood and we started naming some "little-kid" sins (lie, not do your homework, steal a piece of candy, hit your sister). The really funny part was when he yelled, "Wait a minute, I never hit my sister!" hahaha we laughed SO hard, because he didn´t renounce any of the other ones. Then we explained about repentance, that you can take the nails out of the wood. But those little holes are still there, so what do we do about that? We explained the atonement and baptism (since he and his dad are both getting ready :) and how, because of the atonement, Christ can remove those holes and we can be a new person. So we took out the second piece of wood. And then had him drive a nail into it. So now, you´ve gotten baptized, but you sinned again. You repent again, but you can´t get baptized again--what do you do? We talked about the sacrament and how we renew our baptismal covenants and we can be just as clean and perfect as before. We then gave him all three pieces of wood and he named them Pedro and said he´d keep them by his bed, haha. He´s a really cute little kid.
Just so you know, people still tease me here about being lactose intolerant. They say "ok so for lunch we´ll have a pizza.... with extra cheese. And for dessert chocolate milk with a dulce de leche/cream cake with EXTRA butter" and I laugh and tell them how funny and original they are... haha. But now everybody knows and I´m not sick any more :)
President Arnold is coming this week (Thursday) for zone conference.
Everyone´s being REALLY serious about it. I´m scared. He´s probably going to eat me or fry me with his dragon breath or something. Just kidding, I´m excited. He can´t be THAT bad... though I am still haunted by that Elder Aidukaitis visit... I´ll let you know if I have nightmares this week.
Anyway, we´re still working and freezing our butts off! I love you all!


Hna. LaPray

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's the final transfer!

June 13, 2011
(Sing that out loud with the tune to final countdown, it makes the mission a lot more epic that way)
So we had a great week in La Falda, and then Friday afternoon our district leader called and said "Hermanas LaPray and Alston, you´re going together to Villa Floresta." This particular elder (Elder Hatch, mom) likes to make lots of funny jokes... so I told him "Funny joke, elder" and eventually he convinced me (after I called the zone leaders to confirm) that we really were being transferred... yikes! So Sunday afternoon the office elders got us in the mission van and moved us to the other side of Bahia. I was so sad!!! I was really ready to die (end the mission :) there in La Falda! But oh well, we´re here in Villa Floresta now, in a gigantic WARD and we´re excited to work hard.
We already have a baptism lined up on July 23rd. A man who needs to get married (his wife recently reactivated) and then he´s getting baptized and then he´s going to baptize his son! We´re going to have a family night with them tonight and we´re going to put nails in stuff and talk about repentance. Maybe we´ll nail some holes in their door, just to show them how mad we are to be here. Ok maybe not... but we´ll let you know if we hurt anyone in next week´s letter.

Well, not really anything else to report on for now... Today is the first day of my last transfer and I´m pretty nervous, but I´m going to work hard!

Thanks for all your love and support!

Hermana LaPray

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's the difference between a pony and Hermana LaPray?

NOTE - This was posted out of order.

May 30, 2011
What’s the difference between a pony and Hermana LaPray?
One´s a little HOARSE (or little horse...)

Good one, right? I´m sure you´re all laughing your heads off. I remember I read that joke once in a joke book when I was 10 or something. Anyway, I had the blessing this week of experiencing strep throat. And then the medicine the doctor prescribed me had lactose in it. We´ve had quite the adventure this week, hahaha. So now I´ve finally changed my anti-biotic and my throat is feeling better. Ok so it hurts a little more because I was off the first anti-biotic for 2 days when we discovered it was the cause of my stomach pain but today we got the new medicine and I´m sure it will start to feel better again, haha.

But other than that, it was a great week. We had a great district baptism (ok so the Elders in our district had a big baptism together, the guy we were going to baptize has disappeared...) on Saturday and it was great to see the entire front row of the chapel filled with people dressed in white. I just love baptisms! Then we did a musical number (except I didn´t sing because I had strep throat) and it was great! So basically it just seems like everyone wants to do great things and just leave me out... Just kidding.

We now have a baptismal date with the daughters of our re-activating family. Martina and Julieta will be getting baptized on June 25th and we´re very excited for them! They are wonderful, beautiful little girls and they really want to get baptized! Now we just need to work more with their dad to help him stop smoking and get ready to baptize them.

We also have an appointment with a great family tomorrow. We found them knocking doors. The wife and kids are ex-investigators but the husband didn´t like the young men that kept coming over to visit his wife and kicked them out and threatened them and told them to never come back. So they never went back. But we knocked on their door and we´re girls so we´re allowed in :) They´re really great people and we really want them to progress! They´re members of some sort of reformed Catholic church that´s a little bit more like ours, but they don´t even really believe in that church. The husband is "looking for God"
and the wife is "looking for His church." It´s almost one of those stories that´s too good to be true...

We´re excited to keep working hard and knock on more doors like that one. People NEED this gospel. I really love the quote underneath the pictures of the Sacred Grove and I´ve been thinking about that phrase a lot this past week. "What happened here changed the world. Let it change your life." God has restored His church on the earth. His authority. The authority to bind things on earth AND in heaven (Matt.16:19). I know the restoration is real and that families are forever.

Let the gospel change your lives.

I love you all!

Hermana LaPray


June 6, 2011

No, not the chips. You have to say it with a Spanish accent. That´s the little town I went to this week to go on divisions with Hermana Villegas (a Chilean who I started with). hna. Tingey came here to La Falda and I headed out to Cnel. Pringles. It reminded me a lot of my first area, really small town and really receptive people. I enjoyed my time with Hna. Villegas and at the end Hna. Alston and Tingey came out and I went with Hna. Tingey and taught some lessons and took some cheesy missionary pictures. It was so energizing to get out and see another area and learn from another companion.
Transfers are this Sunday, but I don´t think there will be any changes. I´m just going to die (in missionary talk, finish the mission, haha) here in La Falda with Hermana Alston. But I´m excited, I really like the people in this area.
We´re really picking up with the work now. For some reason, people have decided to listen to us now and we´re teaching lessons and we have a new baptismal date with Vanesa! Hopefully we can get her baptized on the 25th, but she still needs to get married. They both want to get married, but it´s more of an idea they have up in the air.  We want to get them to go with us this week to the civil registry to get an appointment to get married!!! Make it less of an idea and more of an ACTION. But people usually have to wait about a month to get a time slot for the marriage so we might have to put her baptismal date in July... but hopefully we can have a miracle, that would be nice.
We should be having the baptism of Martina, the daughter of the less-active family, on the 25th, though. Her dad has decided that he wants his kids to know more before they get baptized, but tonight´s lesson should show that they know plenty and baptism is really important so they need it NOW! Their dad is also a bit prideful and admits it... so hopefully we can get her baptized soon too!
The family we were supposed to teach changed our appointment from last week to today... hopefully they´re there! I´m sure it´s going to be a great lesson and they´re going to accept what we teach.
Now that I´m approaching my last transfer, President has stopped reminding me how much time I have left. And I´m starting to feel it more. This transfer (last 6 weeks) has gone by WAY too fast so I´m hoping this next one slows down... I still have a lot of work to do and 6 weeks is not enough time!
We´re still in the mission home. They say repairs should be done next week-ish and we´ll be back in our apartamentito. I´ll be glad to be back closer to our area!
Sorry this letter is kind of scattered today, my thoughts are kind of scattered. We have an appointment in 10 minutes so we have to get out of here!!!

But I still love you all, haha

Hermana LaPray