Wednesday, December 22, 2010


December 21, 2010


This week has been GREAT! Sorry I didn´t get to write a lot yesterday.

We did a lot of teaching (almost doubled our previous lessons) and it really seems like we´re going to keep that up. We´ve got a great teaching pool and there were even a ton of investigators in Church on Sunday. It´s so great to see even though I know it´s not me making those changes in peoples´ lives.

Ismael got baptized on Saturday and it was really amazing. Two hermanos helped him get into the font (he walks with a walker so he needed a lot of help) and then they baptized him in a chair. While we were waiting for him to get dressed we watched part of the video "Special Witnesses of Christ." I HIGHLY recommend it for Christmas. It´s just so powerful and amazing and I really felt the Spirit.
Afterwards, the Bishop bore his testimony and he said, "I´ve been to a lot of baptisms in my life, but this has been one of the most special," and it was really SO special. You could see difficult it was for Ismael to get in the water and get baptized, but that just reinforced how much he real wanted it and how important he knew it was. It´s probably hard to get a 69-year-old man all the way unter that water!

Then yesterday we had "Super P-day" (that´s why I didn´t write :) IT WAS AWESOME!!! We got to play sports so Hna. Tingey and I spent the whole day tearing up the frisbee field and diving after volleyballs.
Well, the whole morning. We only had 3 hours to play, but we really took advantage of them! After that we had an asado, a talent show at night and then a fireside with President. In the talent show we sang "Silent Night" in 4 languages with some missionaries from my zone and then during the fireside I got to accompany an Elder playing "O Holy Night" on the violin (HE played the violin, I played the piano, for those who are confused :). It was just a great, amazing day and it really got me pumped for Christmas.

So, happy first day of summer to all of you popsicles up there. Enjoy the snow for me. I´ll be down here thinking cold thoughts and hoping I don´t melt. I heard it´s even hotter in Tandil so now I´m grateful to be in Mar del Plata.

Thanks for the prayers and I love you all so much! I just love the missionary work and Hna. Collette and I are learning a lot together and seeing a lot of miracles. One more transfer in Mar del Plata and we´re going to do the best we can with our time here! (But everyone keeps telling me I´m just going to the other Mar del Plata area to die, haha)

Hna. LaPray

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

December 13, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Man it´s been snowing like crazy here this week! Ok that was a lie. Admit it, I know some of you believed me for a second. It´s getting HOT and the tourists are coming in. Luckily, not that many people want to visit the smelly port. But we have been having fun with mom´s christmas package. And we´re not even peeking! Just opening everything on the day we´re supposed to. Thanks, Mom!
This week we´re just going to be getting Ismael ready for his baptism... He´s excited about it and so are the members. It´s been a long time since an adult was baptized in this ward. And then next I think we´re going to have a family!
We had another lesson with Vanesa and she told us that she read the Book of Mormon and prayed and feels like it´s true. She told us that she feels like God has been calling to her to come back to him and that she needs to make some changes. She´s still a little afraid to go to church because she knows she´s going to get baptized after that, but she´ll get there. The thing here is that EVERYBODY is Catholic. There´s a lot of social and family pressure to stay Catholic. But she and her husband and their two great kids are all going to get baptized! That just means that I HAVE to be here next transfer.
We had a great week and we can really see the miracles and the changes in peoples lives. We can also see the people who aren´t willing to make changes and how much harder everything is for them. Life with the gospel is just so much easier! The Lord has provided the way, we just need to follow him and then we can be happy FOREVER! Missionary work is amazing and it strengthens my testimony every day of how much everyone needs ALL the truth in their lives. Everyone. There is one truth for every person on this earth. And it´s there waiting for us. And there is always more truth to find. Through studies in school and in the scriptures, there is ALWAYS something new you can learn! So keep learning and growing!
Happy birthday to Baba (today!), Stephanie, and Nathan!!! (And anyone else I might have missed... haha!)

I love you all!
-Hna. LaPray

P.S. Apparently having only 7 months left makes the members tell me "¡aaa, falta poco, hermana!" That basically means that they think I only have a little bit of time left and they ask me more about home and school and boyfriends. Don´t worry, I´m not trunky.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Garbage roasting o'er an open fire......

December 6, 2010

Garbage roasting o’er an open fire….

Kind of like chestnuts, but usually people just roast garbage here.
It´s their way of "cleaning" and boy does it just get me in the Christmas spirit!

Hna. Collette and I are both kind of weirded out by this "hot Christmas" thing so we´re doing our best to sing Christmas songs and decorate the apartment and... stay cool. But I´m sure we´ll feel more Christmasy as it gets closer. We´re pretty excited to celebrate our first Christmases in Argentina!

We´re just busy here getting Ismael ready for his baptism and fighting the rest of our investigators to get them to church... Ismael was so funny yesterday. It was his first time going to our ward and an hermano asked if he wanted to come back next week and he said, "YES!
And the week after and the week after that and the week after that..."
haha. He really loved it. He especially loves the classes because he´s allowed to make comments. He keeps saying, "MUCHO mejor que la católica" (MUCH better than the Catholic). He´s just so great!

Today for P-day we went to a birthday party of a little boy in our ward who turned 5. His mom wanted us to come to talk to all her non-member friends. She´s so great! So she introduced us to a lot of them, and they were surprised at how normal we were. haha. Maybe they´ll let us in their houses now to baptize their families... But one of this hermana´s (Claudia´s) sons had a friend there and he wants to come to mutual now and we´re pretty pumped for him.

We have pretty great, funny things happen almost every day but I always forget to write about them. We only speak Spanish in the street, so Hna. Collette says some funny things sometimes. Like, "I feel dangerous" instead of "I feel scared" and she talks about her "nietos" (grandchildren) instead of her "sobrinos" (nieces and nephews). I wish I had more funny stories like that... too bad I already knew a lot of Spanish when I got here. And then there are the times when she starts speaking to me in French instead of Spanish because she gets confused sometimes... Those are fun, too. And just the random, funny things we see. Like a man crawling out from under the fence of the golf course, saying "buen día," and walking away like it´s normal. Or when a little boy was screaming and flapping his arms around and chasing his little, terrified dog all over the yard. We laugh a lot and have a lot of fun. But I guess Canada (you know, my old roommate from Canada) doesn´t like those stories so much. She wants to hear more about the suffering... Well, just so you know the mission really is hard, but the good times more than make up for that.
What´s the point in talking about the hard times?

I love it here, and I´m thinking about not coming home. You better start giving me some reasons to come back there. (Yes, Dad, capitalism is one reason to go home.) I do love you all, but I think I love this work more! We´ll see what happens in a few months when President tries to kick me out of Argentina.

Hna. LaPray

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blessings are coming down like rain.....

(please note that this post is out of order)

November 1, 2010

Blessings are coming down like rain….

We´ve had a lot of blessings this week! And maybe just a little bit more rain. And a LOT more wind... I´ll send a picture of our halloween costumes and wind hair.
First off, I realize the past 2 weeks I´ve said that we´re going to get a baptismal date with Aurelia and didn´t say anything more about it... well, we got it! She still needs to stop smoking, but we´re working towards November 14th! She says she doesn´t feel ready, but she wants to be ready and we know she can be. We gave her a Bible this week to go along with her Book of Mormon and she was really happy about it and it makes her want to read the Book of Mormon more now that she can look up the footnotes in the Bible.
We also have another baptismal date with Iara! The other picture I´m sending is me with her. That is a rainy-day hair picture. I´m just learning all of these new hair styles!
The rain brings lots of blessings, though, because people are more likely to say "poor girls! come in out of the rain!" as opposed to when it´s just cold and they say "ah, it´s cold!" and just close the door in our faces. So we found a new family to teach that way. They´re really great and normal and the HUSBAND (yes, they are already married) has a steady job and a new car. That´s definitely a first for me in the mission. We usually teach very humble people. But they´re a great family and both parents are interested in learning more and seeing the organization we have for the youth. As well as another family (ALSO already married!) that we found. So we´re really excited about the work right now and the ward is, too, because a lot of the investigators we´ve found have been coming to church. This has kind of been a dead area for a while, but it´s really picking up! There are tons of people out there just waiting for us!
Also this Wednesday we got to pass through an Argentine census day. It´s even more special than the world cup because it only happens every 10 years. What they do is they make you stay in your house until they come knock on your door and ask you where you´re from and how old you are and what your floor is made of and if your bathroom is a bathroom or a latrine... Welcome to my mundo... So that was fun just sitting in the house all day. Good thing I´m used to it!
On Wednesday we discovered another new activity that we love (like yelling at the dog 2 floors down). We really enjoy reading the Old Testament like Yoda (from Star Wars) talks. Give it a try sometime! Yes, we get bored...
Another highlight was Stake Conference. Our mission president came and told everyone that if they had 5 stakes in Mar del Plata we would be eligible for a temple. Of course that got everyone really excited because we already have 2 and they´re about to divide into a third. Hopefully I´m here for the division--I think that will be fun. The conference was FULL though and on a rainy day (a lot of Argentines don´t go to church when it´s rainy because they just can´t get there). I can´t imagine what it would have been like if it was a nice day! We wouldn´t have been able to fit everyone! So now everyone is excited about missionary work because they want a temple. We got a bunch of member references that day and set up times with them to go visit their friends. It was great! Way to go Pres!
We also had a really great ward activity on Friday. The youth put on a talent show and a lot of them brought non-member family and friends.
The cultural hall was full and the youth did great! We didn´t get to stay the whole time, but we heard it was great and we also got some good references from that! Aurelia loved it, too. She loves the church and everything she learns... and that is why we´re going to baptize her :) And Iara participated. She´s pretty much already a member, she just needs to get baptized.
This is such a great area and such a great work! There are people waiting for us, we just need to let them know that it´s us we´re waiting for! Be a good friend and share the gospel :) I love you all and thank you for the prayers!
-Hna. LaPray
P.S. In case you didn´t notice in the picture, we were each other for Halloween.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas......

November 29, 2010

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas………

Ok just kidding, I´m not really. I´m going to be perfectly content with my hot, humid Argentine Christmas. But Hna. Collette and I are excited to start singing Christmas songs and decorating the house!

We´ve been working a lot this week... We got a reference from some Elders in another ward. His name is Ismael and he´s going to get baptized in a couple weeks! He´s old and doesn´t walk really well, and at first we were worried he didn´t really understand what we were talking about, but he´s showed us that he really knows what´s going on and he´s been to church twice and he´s really excited to get baptized.
We´re just worried about how we´re going to get him under the water... we´re thinking about inviting a really big Elder to come baptize him... haha.

We´ve also been working with a couple families and gotten some more baptismal dates with them. They´re just all so great and we´re excited to help them be eternal families! We´re going to teach Iara´s dad today and we´re really hoping it goes well! Iara´s mom is excited because he already likes us and she feels like he´s softened up more since Iara´s baptism.

The mission´s great and we´re really working our butts off here! It´s so great and the church is true!

I love you all!

Hna. LaPray