Monday, October 25, 2010

No more P-day!

October 25, 2010

No more P-day!

No, we didn´t have more mission changes, my companion just decided to get out of bed and stop having p-day every day :) haha, so Hna. Wilding is doing a lot better now (she got her stitches out on Friday!) and we´ve gotten out to work a little more, and she says starting tomorrow we´re going to work all day, every day. So we´ll see how she does! I´m excited to get out of the house more. There´s only so much you can read in the Old Testament before you just get depressed and juggling gets frustrating... But I´m getting better, and I just got through King Solomon´s reign!!! (Why do the good kings always end so bad???)
So this week we had a lesson with our investigator, Aurelia, whose 8 and 9 year-old daughters just got baptized. We had an FHE with an Hermana from the ward and we watched "The Testaments" and Aurelia really loved it. She loves the church´s focus on families and how we really help youth stay strong and not get into drugs. Now we just need to get her baptized... she just doesn´t feel "ready." She totally is, though, so we´re going to set a baptismal date for her when we see her tomorrow. She´s so great, though, and she knows the church is true and it´s something she needs!!! I was talking her on the way to the FHE and she was saying how sad it was when the other Hermana left (the missionary who was here before me) and I told her it´s hard to leave because we get attached to the people, especially because of this message we share. She just kind of looked at me for a second and said "Sí, tiene que ser..." (It HAS to be that.) She´s so great!
Some of our entertaining this that have happened this week:
1. There´s a dog who lives in the house on the ground level behind out apartment building. When we stick our heads out the window, he freaks out an barks at us. I got in some quality dog-bothering time this week.
2. Argentine construction... they´re re-building the building out the OTHER window of our apartment and really they´re just making a mess.
They work from about 10-3, with a lunch break from 11-12:30. I´ve decided to be an Argentine construction worker when I grow up.
So I´m having a great time here and loving the work we get to do! haha. We have some great investigators with baptismal dates... we just need to actually get them to church on Sundays so they can get baptized at the end of the transfer!
I love you all. Thanks so much for everything you do for me. Keep those prayers coming!

Hna. LaPray

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another week of P-days!!!

October 18, 2010

Another week of P-days!!!

Hermana Wilding got her gall bladder out! And I got to see it! It was kind of like a dis-inflated balloon and it did have little stones inside it... just a little bigger than a grain of sand. Funny how such tiny things can cause such terrible pain... but now she´s recovering and I´m acting as her maid. The mission president and his wife came up to be with us for the surgery, so it was fun to get to know them for the day while they were my companions. I still say that President is crazy (but funny). He just tells jokes all the time and scares Hna. Wilding about her surgery... haha. And then he discovered that I brought wheat crackers to the hospital in case I got hungry and he keeps making fun of me for that... His wife is pretty much the opposite. She´s very calm and serious but she talks a LOT. But she loves us and we love her. So we had a fun-filled day in the hospital.
It was interesting contacting people with the mission president as my companion... He´s really great at talking to people and being friendly and getting them to trust him. I need to be more like that...
That night, I went to sleep with the other Hermanas in Mar del Plata, which means that I stayed with Hermana Tingey! She was in my district in the MTC so we had a good time catching up about everything that´s happened since then. It was a very missionary-like sleepover. At about 9:30 we started talking about investigators and what teaching methods we could use and we were all out by 10:30. My life is very funny, haha.
Then on Saturday some youth from the ward came over to help us. One of the girls stayed with Hermana Wilding in the house (she was on bed rest) and the other came with me to teach a lesson about the Holy Ghost to two convert girls who were getting confirmed the next day. Their grandma, Aurelia, was there for the lesson, too and we really felt the spirit, and tried to help her understand that she could feel that same spirit ALWAYS after receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I wasn´t really sure how effective the lesson was in the end, though, because she´s very shy and doesn´t know me that well, but she was there for all of church the next day, which apparently doesn´t happen very often. So tomorrow we´re going to walk the block to her house to invite her to get baptized. I´m feeling really good about her and we´re both excited!
Other than that, I´ve been in the house cooking and cleaning and taking care of my companion. I´m studying a lot... and I decided to learn to juggle. I started a little in Tandil, but I didn´t keep it up and just now I´ve decided to try again. It´s frustrating, but I can do it! Maybe in my homecoming talk I´ll juggle for everyone :) Good thing I still have a LOT of time to learn!
Thanks for all the love and support! I´m praying for you!
Hna. LaPray

P.S. What is a carbuncle? That word is in the Book of Mormon... we looked it up in Spanish (because sometimes the translation helps with the definition) but we don´t know what a "carbúnculo" is, either...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy P-week!

October 11, 2010

Happy P-week!

So this week I have been celebrating something I like to call "P-week". Because every day except Tuesday has been like P-day! I got here on Monday REALLY early in the morning, so we slept for a couple hours. We worked Monday afternoon and Tuesday, but then Wednesday was P-day. Thursday we had planning and district meeting, then we stayed home the rest of the day because Hermana Wilding wasn´t feeling well... The same with Friday, then Saturday, and then Sunday we went to church and came home to rest after... and now they changed P-day to Monday, so it´s like I really AM on vacation! Don´t worry, I´ve been getting a lot of personal study time. I think I´ve read every Ensign released since 1985... and an Elder in Olivarria was getting the Friend and New Era from his family and when he was done, he passed them on to Hna. Wilding, so I´ve read all of those, too. And I´m working on Jesus the Christ, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, and the Old Testament. So we decided she really has these stones in her gall bladder because we´re going to find a really tough investigator soon and I´m going to need to have the scriptures MEMORIZED. But "fortunately" she thinks she passed another stone, so the surgeon feels like this is a little more of a critical situation and she´s going to have an emergency surgery sometime this week (Thursday, Friday or Saturday). So we´re excited for that!
The mission has been changing a lot of stuff since Elder Aidukaitis came (and apparently he´s coming again in the end of the transfer) and recently they changed what we can and can´t do on P-day. We´re thinking it might be helpful for the messy Elders, but we´re just confused. This morning, we cleaned the entire house, did all our laundry, and wrote all the letters we needed to, but we were still done before 1 pm. With the new rules, we can´t go sight-seeing around our area because President wants us to focus on those things that we... already did in the morning. So we just weren´t sure what to do for the next 4 hours of P-day and decided we just needed less free time, hahaha.
We do have one great investigator here that I´ve met so far. Her name is Iara and she´s 12 years old. Her mom is a recently-reactivated member and... we´ll find some way to work with her dad who is not a member of the Church and, for now, not interested. But the other Hermanas have been working with her reading and praying and she´s had a couple falled baptismal dates, so for now we´re deciding to focus on her testimony and once she really knows the Book of Mormon is true, we´ll try to get her baptized in the end of October. But she´s really great and Hermana Wilding says that she has had a LOT of personal growth and the gospel has really changed and helped her, so we know she´s ready to get baptized. Now just she needs to know that she´s ready. She´ll know soon :)
I love you all. Congrats, Andrew, on Guatemala! Secretly, that´s where I really wanted to go. I have a couple friends who served there--I gave their names to my dad, so ask him about that. You´re going to love the mission and the people. I know you didn´t ask for any words of advice, but I´m going to give some anyway. :) JUST BE OBEDIENT. It will eliminate more problems than you can imagine and you can be an example to MANY more people. And the Lord can "unlock the windows of heaven" to give you blessings and help His children! ¡Obediencia es la clave!

Until next week,
Hna. LaPray

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mar del Plata with Hermana Wilder

Summer vacation!

October 6, 2010 Summer Vacation!

Hey everybody!
So President has decided to keep me going on my "tourism mission" and now I´m in Mar del Plata! I´m with Hna. Sandy Wilding from Round Rock, Texas (yes, Daniel, THAT Sandy Wilding) and she is GREAT! She´s getting her gall bladder taken out in a week or two, so that´s kind of a bummer, but we still work well when we can and I´m so excited to be here! Our area is called Puerto, which means port, and it makes sense because we´re about 5 blocks away from the major port here. There are sea lions (they call them sea wolves here), a nice beach, the ocean, lots of crazy boats, and TONS of people. I thought BAHÍA was big, but it was nothing compared to this! But our area is nice and I´m excited! We do have to be home before 8:30 every night because it´s a little more dangerous and the people here are a little more creepy, but I like it.
Everyone says that I´m on the "tourism mission" because I haven´t been more than 2 transfers in any area (and even less than that in some). Most Hermanas with 4 areas are at the end of their mission, but not me! So I´m hoping I´ll stay here a few transfers... like at least 3, but you never know what´s going to happen...
I don´t really have anything exciting to write... Hna. Wilding was on bed rest for a week, then these last two weeks she´s been building up her strength again, and yesterday was her first full day of work in a long time, so we´re doing a lot of contacting to find more investigators. But she thinks I´m good luck because we´re setting a lot more appointments and getting a lot more addresses than she usually gets, so the work should pick up here soon. They do have some good investigators now progressing towards baptism, but they need a little more attention because it´s been hard for the missionaries to get to them. But now that she´s feeling better, we can do a little more. Then she´ll have her surgery, rest for a couple days, and when she feels ready again, we´ll baptize everyone here!
Today for P-day we went to the port and saw all these sea lions... and did you know they have claws on their back flippers and they smell really bad? Also, just this morning our neighbors broke a hole RIGHT in the wall of our shower so now our bathrooms have a window between them, so I am going to my first zone meeting in Mar del Plata smelling like stinky fishy sea lions. Awesome, huh??? Anyway, we also saw the ocean and decided our area extends all the way to the west coast of Africa. So we have a lot of work to do...
I love you all! Thanks for the prayers and support and letters :)

Hna. LaPray

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy birthday to......

September 29, 2010

Happy birthday to…..

Sam! Happy birthday to that little cousin of mine! Tell him to go on another lawnmower ride with my dad (Mom will appreciate it). Then maybe he can do a few more chores with him... like wash the dishes, mop the floors. As long as he´s with Uncle Brad he´ll do it, right???

It´s been a week with lots of walking here. Our area is HUGE (pretty much half of Bahía) and it just so happens that all of the people who talk to us live in opposite corners of the area, or so it seems. And it´s been getting warmer. I´m really glad I brought the bladder for my backpack... Us missionaries from the frozen north aren´t used to these humid Argentine springtimes. It´s also been really sunny, and I´m starting to get the funny missionary tan lines. And you should all know how I love the funny feet lines (remember my Chacos?) and I just think you should know that I´m getting the lines again, but this time in the shape of a proselyting shoe. Don´t worry, I´ll send pictures in a little bit because I know you´re all just dying to see.

This past weekend we had a service activity cleaning the Parque de Mayo. And I´ve gotta say, the people here really need me to teach them the Word of Wisdom... I think I filled at least 3 large garbage bags with cigarette butts and broken beer bottles. But now, thanks to the Mormons, the park is cleaner (and safer, less glass to cut your feet on!). The Bishop thought it was really funny that my companion and I were there in pants and he kept taking pictures saying, "You can send these to your family to show them that you´re actually doing something here!" So I guess it´s kind of sad that the Bishop doesn´t think we´re doing anything... haha. But it was a fun activity and afterwards we all drank mate (meaning they drank mate and my comp and I drank water) and talked for a little.

Also this weekend we visited an inactive old man. Turns out he´s actually quite crazy. But he read our palms, so that was cool. I´m going to get married twice, have 2 kids, and have a lot of money.

Transfers are this Sunday. Conference this weekend!!!! I´m so excited to listen! Hopefully I have more exciting stuff to write next week.

Hna. LaPray

P.S. We´re visiting Magalí and Martín tonight to change their baptismal date!