Thursday, August 26, 2010

The wise man built his house upon the rock.....

August 25, 2010

The wise man built his house upon the rock…..

This morning I was studying and I came across a scripture that made me laugh. Look up 3 Nephi 11:39-40, and then imagine the primary song if it was written like that. That is why I laughed.
We´ve had a good week. My stomach is getting better, but I still have to watch what I eat. It´s no fun! I want to eat everything! I´m losing weight, and the purpose of a mission is to get FATTER! But some day I´ll get fatter again. We´ve been going over the list of the members, and this week we had about -20 baptisms of people who have moved or died or just plain don´t exist. So I´ve gotta start getting to work to find some people to make up for the losses! We also had a Relief Society activity and it was really fun. We made blankets for a refuge house and it made me want to make my own blanket. So get ready, Mom, when I get home we´re making blankets! Also, we had transfers again!
My companion and I are still the same, but now there are only two of us in our tiny little house instead of 4. And now we´re the only Hermanas in the Zone. But with transfers, Hermana Seegmiller came to the other zone in Bahía Blanca!!! I got to see her when we picked her up in the terminal and then we ran into them today downtown. President Detlefsen wants us to do transfers with them once a month, too, so I´ll get to work with her! It was really good to see her.
I´ve also been reading the General Conference talks for "language study." I want more than an hour of gospel study every day, so I read the Ensigns in Spanish as an excuse to learn more during language study. Everyone should go back and read the talks from the last conference, especially the one from Elder Eyring. They´re so great!
This week we had an amazing experience in a lesson. We have an investigator named Luis whose wife died not too long ago of a brain hemmorhage. He´s been really depressed, and he´s looking for consolation, but he doesn´t know how to find it. The first time we talked to him, he wasn´t really interested. We tried to talk about the Plan of Salvation, but he kept talking about other stuff and asking us other questions and we left the lesson frustrated. After that I prayed my guts out for inspiration for the next lesson, and by the time the next lesson rolled around I hadn´t gotten anything. But I thought, "Oh well, I´ll do my best," and we started to teach. This guy really loved his wife. They were together for 60 years and her death was a surprise. He told us, "The day she died, she gave me her hand. I thought it was for affection. I didn´t know it was her farewell..." And then I started to cry. I told him that his wife didn´t want him to be so depressed. That both she and God wanted him to have consolation, but that he had to look for it. I testified that they can be together forever, but he has to be worthy of it. Then my companion testified of all of that. She told him that by praying and reading the Scriptures and coming to church he can have some consolation. Then we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" and he offered the closing prayer and it was REALLY from his heart. We ended the lesson all crying, but the Spirit was there so strongly. He´s going to read the Book of Mormon and he´s going to pray, but he´s still afraid to come to church. We´re going to work with him more.
But this gospel is really what he needs. It´s what everyone needs.
It´s how we can deal with this life and all the challenges we have. It is everything. I don´t know what I would do or who I would be without it. The Church is SO true and it´s such a blessing. So appreciate it!
I love you all and I´ll write again next week!

Hermana LaPray

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I REALLY need to come up with a new diet.....

So this week I thought I´d try the "pneumonia diet" again, but instead of pneumonia, a gastro-intestinal problem. It´s basically like the pneumonia diet, where I can´t eat a lot, but this new diet involves...not retaining what I DO eat (to put it delicately). So basically I´ve been between my bed and the bathroom all week. We went to the doctor on Friday and he gave me some medicine and told me I could eat white rice, white noodles (without sauce), white crackers, and polenta (this corn mash stuff--it´s yellow, not white). And I have to drink a lot of water. So I´ve been getting better, but I´m on this rice diet for a month and I can´t enjoy all the amazing food Argentina has to offer! I mean, what´s the point of being in Argentina if I can´t even eat the food??? Ok so I guess there are still people to teach here...
But we have gone out to work a little this week, too. And we found a new investigator! Her daughter is a less-active member who left the church because people said bad stuff about her behind her back. Gossip is probably the main reason people go inactive here, and it KILLS me.
This SHOULD NOT happen, but it does and it´s terrible. It seems like every time the bishop or branch president has to speak, he always talks about saying nice things. Remember: "If you don´t have anything nice to say, don´t say nothin´ at all!" But she says she still believes everything that she was taught, and she´s considering coming back to church with us. Her mom has a lot of interest in religion, but doesn´t like to commit herself to doing things... but they´re both great and I think we´re going to have success with them.
Other than that, life continues like normal. I wanted to send pictures this week, but this computer doesn´t have a USB port... So next week you can all see how fat I am getting. Or maybe I´ll start losing weight with my gastro-intestinal disease of death! Wouldn´t that be nice? Also, I turned 6 months old yesterday. Can you believe that? And today for P-day we had a zone activity and we had a little competition and my team TOTALLY won because of my incredible doctrinal knowledge. Ok maybe that´s a lie. But we did win and I did help!
Sorry this email is so short, I don´t have much to say this week! And don´t worry, Mom, I´m fine. I´m getting better every day. They always tell us not to write home to our moms when we´re sick, but MY mom is sensible and won´t freak out. Right? RIGHT???
Anyway, I love you all! Keep going to church and take a friend (you know, who hasn´t been baptized yet).
Until next week,
Hna. LaPray

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


August 11, 2010

Yep, we got transferred. The Elders´ area was too dangerous for them, so we switched. So now we´re in Bahía centro and it´s different. This is a very pretty, quiet city, especially where we are now.
Unfortunately, transfers with Elders means moving into a dirty house with pretty much everything broken, so we´re working on cleaning everything and getting rid of all the broken tables, plates, windows, and whatever that moldy old thing was I found under my bed...

But I really love this new area!!! The ward is full of old people--it´s the first ward that was ever formed in Bahía Blanca--but there are some great, young leaders who are really animated and excited to help us. A lot of the single sisters are excited to have sister missionaries in the ward because they can´t have Elders in their house to eat. So we have lunch every day and we´re always invited over to eat cake and drink hot chocolate. So far I haven´t gained weight in the mission, but we´ll see what this transfer does to me :)

We still live with the other Hermanas, but this apartment is a LOT smaller and has a lot more problems... it´s going to be interesting to see what happens at the end of the transfer (in a week and a half).
One of the Hermanas is going home, so President Detlefsen might just close this area. Or he might close another area (for the Hermanas). I really hope I get to stay! It´s great here. Especially now that the weather is warming up. We played some futbol today with the Elders for P-day and I think I´m about ready to go pro. I´m pretty much better than Messi. And MUCH more humble. But really, I´m loving this warm weather because it means there are more people outside to talk to :) And they don´t have the excuse that it´s too cold outside to talk about God :)

Mari in Tandil got baptized this week. Hna. Kjar still hasn´t sent me pictures, but she promised she would. I´m sad I wasn´t there for it, but I´m glad that we could find her and bring her the FULNESS of the gospel! And in a year she can go to the temple and be sealed to her husband for time and all eternity--because that´s what we´re here for.
To prepare ourselves and learn for ETERNITY. And that´s a LONG time.
So work hard to deserve it!

Hopefully next week I can tell you how it´s going with investigators and everything. But I´m excited to go out and work to find some people to tell you about!!!

Have a great week, and tell Shawn not to get cold feet on Saturday!
And remember to put up that cardboard cutout of me. I sent the pictures to Summer. Shawn and Summer LaPray... :) I get an older sister! I´m so excited!!!!

I love you all!

Hna. LaPray

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We don’t have lights, we don’t have water, our pets HEADS are falling off!

August 4, 2010

Ok so our pets heads aren´t falling off, but we were without light and water for a couple days this week. Luckily, late yesterday afternoon our lights came back on and we could finally shower. The entire city of Bahía Blanca heaved a sigh of relief.
This week we´ve been finding new investigators! Which means we´ve been walking less and I´ve gotten a little fatter. But life is good. Investigators are good! We found a woman named Mabel and her daughter, Shilda. At first Mabel just let us in because she says she talks to every religious person who comes to the door. She said, "You´re people, too, and everyone forgets that!" So I´m glad that someone remembered that I´m a person, too... Seriously, it was nice. But we taught her the Restoration and she really loved it. She said her husband doesn´t like to talk about religion, but hopefully we get to meet him and change his mind. She also likes how nice and clean the chapel is on the outside and really wants to see what it´s like on the inside :) We will show her the inside of the baptismal font some day soon...
We also found a man named Juan Maria (Yes, Maria is a common middle name for men... it´s a Catholic thing...). His wife died 2 years ago.
He doesn´t go to any church, but he wanted to talk to us anyway. I still haven´t figured out why... but he ALSO loved the Restoration and wants to come to church because he doesn´t like being in his house (too many memories with his wife...). We´re going back to teach the Plan of Salvation and I´m REALLY excited. He´s a good guy, and he has a really nice dog.
We´re still working with Lilian, too. Her son turned 11 this week so we went over and had a little party. The problem is that she still can´t come to church on Sunday... She says she´s arranging her time (because she has to visit her husband in jail) but she does want to come to church and she knows she´s going to get baptized. We committed her to stop smoking and she´s doing GREAT with that. She really wants to be an example to her kids.
Also, the night the lights went out we were in a lesson with another one of our investigators. His name is Julio and he´s about 75 and VERY Catholic, so I´m not sure why he talks to us, either. His whole family are members except for him, and I think he really knows the church is true, he´s just afraid of making this change in his life. Well, usually during the lessons it´s very hard to bring the spirit because he likes to argue... But the lights went out right before the opening prayer and that was a great blessing. The whole family gathered together around the table and we prayed and sang hymns and bore our testimonies and the spirit was STRONG. We´re really hoping that will help him progress.
And also our whole house is sick. Well, my companion and Hermana Peña.
My comp. has a bad cold and Hna. Peña has a stone in her gall bladder... but she goes home at the end of the month and she´s going to be operated on in Perú. So the other day they were both really bad and we went on divisiones (sp?). The two sickies stayed home and the two... healthies... went out and worked. And we found a new investigator! But in the other Hermana´s area... But finding new people is still good, no matter what area you´re in.
That´s all I´ve got for you this week... I hope everyone is still praying, reading your scriptures, going to church, and paying your tithing! Have a good week!

Hna. LaPray

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Warm!

July 28, 2010

It’s Warm!

These past couple days have been unusally warm! It´s been really nice.
One morning I even left without my coat. But the members assured me that this is uncommon, and it should start getting cold again tomorrow. But at least there´s only one month left of winter!

We started off this week right by eating some good old fashioned American TACOS! (Ok they´re Mexican, whatever, I make them American style). Everyone here loves tacos (probably because they have a Spanish name and they´re not common) and when I told the other Hermanas that I knew how to make them, they went a little crazy. So I made them and we ate them and everyone was happy.

This week we taught Lilian the Word of Wisdom, and she really loved it. She doesn´t drink coffee (which is really rare) and she only drinks tea every once in a while. She also doesn´t drink anything alcoholic (even MORE rare). She smokes, but she´s wanted to quit for a while to be a better example to her kids. Now that she knows it´s part of the gospel, she knows she can do it and she really wants to. We just need to get her to church! She said she´s going to visit her husband on Saturday this week so she can go to church in the morning on Sunday.

I talked to Hna. Kjar the other day, and she told me that Mari (the woman we found in Tandil with the Book of Mormon) is getting baptized on August 7th! She´s really excited. I think she´s probably the most faithful person I´ve ever met in my life.

Yesterday we found another new investigator, Monica. She was a reference from a member, and when we went to our appointment with her, the member was already there! They´re good friends and apparently she´s over there every day. We taught the restoration, and when we shared the scripture about apostasy in Amos 8:11-12, I felt impressed to tell her that this is what she was feeling right now. She had a hunger for something spiritual, to know that God really does love her and her family, and that this is the true church and the Holy Ghost can witness that to her. After I said that she got really mad and said that she had prayed to the Virgin Maria for 20 years to bless her family, but nothing had ever happened and last week she got sick of it and threw away all of her saints. She said she was sick of the Catholic church and all the other churches that rob the people. Then the member bore her testimony about the church and how it really is true and nobody gets robbed by the General Authorities. Then we taught the first vision, and she said that she felt really peaceful and loved. I guess she really was looking for something, but I had no idea. Good thing the Spirit is here for us, to give us the words we don´t have! She´s really excited to read the Book of Mormon and come to church to feel the Spirit again, and she wants us to baptize her kids. She has an 18-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter. So you members out there, go visit your non-member friends and invite the missionaries over! Lessons are SO much better when you go with a member friend!

The Church is true! The Book of Mormon is true! If you´re not doing anything right now, go read it! You´ll always learn something new (the Prophet promised us that). And the Book of Mormon is IMPORTANT. It´s a really big deal. Give one to a friend. Two friends. Fill the world with it!

I love you all, and have a good week!

Hna. LaPray

Villa Serra!

July 21, 2010

Villa Serra!

I have very little time left, so I´ll be quick...

We had a very busy week. All the investigators here just got baptized, so we´re starting over. We spent this past week walking all over the place looking for new investigators with little success... But we´re going back to a lot of them this week, so we´re hoping we´ll find a lot more!

We have one great investigator--her name is Lilian and she really wants to get baptized, but she goes every sunday to visit her husband in jail.... He drove the get-away car in an unsuccessful bank robbery... haha. But she thinks that he´s going to be ready to accept the gospel when he gets out and he´ll want to get baptized. She will hopefully come to church on Sunday, because she promised us she would!
She actually almost joined with the Jehova´s Witnesses, but she found out they don´t celebrate birthdays so she stopped talking to them.
Yeah birthday parties!

Other than that, life is work as usual. Work, work, work!

I attached 2 fotos... the first is me and Hna. Acosta, and the second is me studying in the morning with my trusty blankie and bag of oranges!!! Yum!!! (Mandarinas)

I love you all! Thanks for the prayers and always remember that the church is true! Talk about it with your friends!

Hermana LaPray