Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Somebody still needs to tell me how Shawn proposed!

June 30, 2010

Yeah, answer that question in the heading! Ok so it´s more of a demand than a question, but do it! Especially if your name is Shawn.

Also, happy birthday to dad (today!) and Josh (tomorrow!)! Don´t have too much fun without me.

So we had a good week! As all of you should know, the world cup is going on right now, but I´m going to call it the Mundial, because that´s what they call it here and I had to think a long time to remember what it was called in English. And Argentina is doing VERY well. They have one all of their games. We went to centro of Tandil last week, hoping to get some contacts during the game, but we had no luck. We talked to maybe 10 people, but then the game ended and EVERYONE was out in the street celebrating. It was a locura (yes, that´s a word. One we don´t have in English. I think...). It was really nuts. Everyone was jumping and yelling and I need to take my camera with me next time to record a little and send it. Seriously, I´ve never seen anything like it. Everyone here takes fútbol really seriously. But I bought an Argentine flag so I could fit in. It was $10 and it´s HUGE!

Other big news--I ate peanut butter yesterday. Hna. Kjar´s mom sent her some. I didn´t know how much I missed it... unfortunately, it isn´t crunchy. But it´s still peanut butter!

This week we´ve done a lot of searching for new investigators who will progress... lots of people like to talk to us, they just don´t like to go to church... But we found someone really great a couple weeks ago.
Her name is Neri and she´s 76 years old and Catholic. She likes our church because it´s the closest to the Catholic one, haha. But we´ve been focusing on teaching her about the Book of Mormon, and she´s started reading from the beginning, and she really loves it. She said she doesn´t remember anything she read about, but she read 3 Nefi 11 and prayed about it and had the most peaceful, restful night of sleep of her entire life. She also said that she´s noticed she´s been getting a lot of blessings since she´s been meeting with us. She loves everything we teach, and she promised she´ll go to church as soon as she gets better (she has a bad cold right now and doesn´t want to go outside and make it worse. she´s old, give her a break!). She invited us in the first time because when she lived in England while her husband was stationed there in the marines, the sister missionaries were two of her best friends. So Sister Greene (and companion...) way to go! We´re going to baptize Neri the Argentine!

Also, we played soccer in the street with some kids the other day (ages 10-12) and one of them totally came to church and loved it. His Uncle is the counselor in the branch presidency, and I´ve got high hopes for him! His name is Nahuel and he´s 10.

Also this week we had a talent show for the district! They needed more acts, so Hna. Kjar sang and I accompanied her, I played a song on the piano, and I also sang. Haha. And now I guess all the members in the other branches want me to come sing in their Sacrament Meetings.
Sorry, I go to Rama 3! It was fun. There was a band that came and played some traditional Argentine music. I´m going to learn to play the guitar like them some day...

The work here is great. There really are people out there waiting for us, and we found one of them! Now we just have to go find the rest. It would be easier if they´d just line up outside the font, but then this wouldn´t be missionary WORK! So now if you´ll excuse me, I gotta get out there and baptize some people!

I love you all and I´m praying for you!

Hermana LaPray

Monday, June 28, 2010

Crazy District and the Acuna Kids

I Miss the Days When Microwave Popcorn Was a Miracle to Me

June 24, 2010

I miss the days when microwave popcorn was a miracle to me…

This week was another good one. First of all, we had zone conference!
We learned a lot and laughed a lot with Presidente Detlefsen. He´s just such a great guy!

Also, I got the letters from Melissa and Mariah. They took about 2 weeks to get to the mission office, and about another week to get to me. So I guess that means it takes mail at least 2 weeks to get here, then it depends on the office Elders (and we all know that we can´t depend on those office Elders...). Also, Melissa say my English are deterorating. Is the truth? :)

So maybe you´re wondering about that subject line... well, let me explain. Hna. Kjar´s mom sent her some microwave popcorn a couple weeks ago, but none of the missionaries´apartments have a microwave.
But our Branch President has one. We went to their house to eat on Monday and she brought a bag for them. I forgot that microwaveable popcorn is not normal here... in fact, you can´t really find it at all. She explained how you cook it, they put it in the microwave...and watched. Very intently. On the first pop, the Hermana jumped and screamed a little. When it started to pop more, they started cheering for it and they were disappointed when it was over. Then they pulled out the bag and they were amazed it was all popped perfectly. It was just very amusing to see two grown people (especially the Branch President!) cheering for microwave popcorn...

We are actually working, too. We have two new investigators who I´m really excited about. Their names are Neri and Laura. Neri is in her mid-70´s and she´s very Catholic. Laura is her granddaughter and she´s 20. They both listened very intently in the first lesson and really understood the need for a restoration... that doesn´t happen a lot, really. That night, we had English classes and Laura came with her sister... usually people are afraid to come to the capilla alone, but they came! Then a few days later we had another lesson with them. Neri was in bed with the flu, but she still let us in to teach her. That was a little weird, but we taught them anyway. And I don´t have the flu. But we taught them about the importance of the Book of Mormon and Neri was excited to read more about Christ. She´s very Catholic, but she´s not afraid to read a book that isn´t the Bible! And Laura actually opened it and started to read before we even left! We´re going to see them again tomorrow morning and I´m really excited.

Also, Argentina won their game on Tuesday, so they´re moving on! They played during our normal tracting hours on Tuesday, so there were a couple hours we didn´t get into any houses or really talk to anyone...
and we could hear the game from every house while we were walking down the road, and we knew every time they scored a goal. Argentines are really crazy about their fútbol! But it´s fun to be here for this. Presidente Detlefsen hopes that both the US and Argentina lose soon because he doesn´t want any bad feelings between our two countries.
That wouldn´t really help the missionary work... haha.

That´s all I´ve got for this week! Keep reading your scriptures and cheering on the U.S. of A!

Hermana LaPray

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We're All Wet!


We’re all wet!

We had another rainy couple of days here. And it really POURED. Luckily for most of it we were in houses, but when we were in the street we definitely got wet. And when it rains here, the streets turn into mud. I´m really grateful I brought these boots--I would be muddy without them.
We´re still just moving along in the work here. We got a baptismal date with Alfredo at the end of the transfer and he´s getting married soon. We also have a "new" investigator, Andrea. She was investigating the church about 6 months ago and really wanted to get baptized, but her boyfriend doesn´t want to get married. Now she´s thinking about separating from him and she called our branch mission leader to get him to send the missionaries back to her. She´s great. She reads the Book of Mormon every day and comes to the church meetings, but she still just needs to separate. Looking at her, you can just tell that her life is hard. Whenever we go over I can FEEL her need for love in her life... it´s very hard for her, but she knows what she´s doing is right and she loves the gospel. We´re going to continue visiting with her and trying to think of little things we can do to show her we love her. Guadalupe didn´t come to church on Sunday because they had a surprise field trip for work. But she wants to come this week! So we´ll see her on Sunday. One of the Hermanas in the branch called Alicia this week and asked her if she could bring a special treat for the men on Father´s Day. Brilliant! Alicia loves to do things like that, AND it´s a sure way to get her in the church on Sunday! We need to get her to stop working and cleaning and doing laundry on Sunday. She knows the church is true, but she just needs that extra push to get her going every week so she can get baptized.
We´ve also been working hard to find new investigators and bring inactive members back. We´ve had a few Family Night´s with inactive families and we´re working with them slowly to get them reading and praying together as a family. To me, it seems like those are the two most important things. If you´re reading and praying together, then you´ll want to go to church. And if you go to church then you´re not inactive! Ta-dah!
We´re still having fun here, too. The other night Hna. Villegas drew a unibrow on a piece of paper and put it over her eyebrows and I made myself a mustache and we had a little party. And then there was the time when we realized it was time to go to bed, and Hna. Kjar and I looked at each other, looked at the stairs, back at each other, and then booked it for the stairs. We tripped and tackled each other all the way up, but in the end I won and jumped in her bed first. We definitely have some good times here. And of course I´m still stuffing myself on facturas and empanadas. Today I ate half a kilo of ice cream and it was delightful.
I´m enjoying this work. It is hard, but it´s fun and it´s worth it!
I love you all!
Hermana LaPray

P.S. Someone needs to name their baby after me. Or if it´s a boy, name him Gus.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"We got my clothes back!"

June 2, 2010

We got my clothes back in the house! The door was stuck locked, but an Hermano from the branch came over and removed the lock, and I feel comforted knowing that if anyone tried to break in our door at night, they would wake us up. It was so LOUD when he was working on the door. But now we have a hole in the wall and no lock on the door... we have the outer portón and that has a sturdy lock on it, so we´re safe until we buy a new one. We close the door with a hanger to keep out the cold. We call that "Argie-rigged." And yes, Mom, all of my garments were hanging outside. Sometimes I wonder what the neighbors think: "Wow, those girls wash a lot of white clothes, but I never see them wearing anything white..." But everything is better now!

So Hna. Perkes died on Sunday (that means she went home) and now I´m with Hna. Sharla Kjar (pronounced like Care Bear minus the bear) from Centerville, UT. She was just training Hna. Tingey, so it´s fun to talk with her about how she´s been since the MTC. She has served in Mar del Plata and Bahía, and that´s all, so Tandil is a BIG change, especially our area. She´s been out for a year, and we think this will be her last area. Yesterday we had a cita out in the campo, and after that we walked through the campo to get on our colectivo, and she LOVED it. There were no houses and just a bunch of horses and she thought it was so great because it´s more "real Argentina". She´s starting to love Tandil like I love it :) But she´s really great and we get along really well. We´re going to have a good couple of transfers here!

Today for P-day we went to an amazing buffet and I put the Elders to shame with my eating skills. I warned them, and told them I would eat more than them, but they didn´t believe me. But then I showed them...And then we played pool and I humbled them again. It was a good day. We had a lot of changes in our zone. 4 new Elders and a new Hermana.
Everyone is great and we get along well and we have a lot of fun. The mission has been hard, but it´s a lot of fun, too. We make a lot of good friends within the missionaries and members, but among the people, too. I´m really starting to love it here. Good thing it´s a rule that we have to come home when our time is up, or I might stay :) Nah, I love it, but I know when it´s time to come home I´ll be excited. But I´m not quite ready to come home :)

We´re just continuing on with the work here. We keep teaching and finding, and I think we´re going to have a couple of baptisms this month. One of the members is getting married to her boyfriend, and once they get married he wants to be baptized. Alicia is ready and we´re going to challenge her again tomorrow. Mirian loves the Book of Mormon. She prayed about it and recieved an answer that it was true. She hasn´t been to church yet because her daughters have been sick, but she wants to come and she always tells us, "When I get baptized..." We experience miracles every day and I know the Lord really is directing this work. Thanks for the prayers and support, everyone! I love you all.

Hermana LaPray