Monday, January 31, 2011

My how time flies......

Ok so I know I´m jinxing myself by writing this, but this is probably the last email you´re going to get from me in Mar del Plata... Crazy how fast the time goes! I feel like I just got here and Hna. Collette just got here and now it´s all ending so quickly. Hna. Wilding goes home this week and that´s crazy, too, because when she was my companion she still had a lot of time left on the mission... We had a nice, rainy P-day today which makes me glad I got all my shopping in last week.

This week we had the baptism of Tomás, Cecilia´s 9-year-old son. For some reason, he didn´t want to get baptized with them, but last Monday we were at a family night with their family and a member family that lives close by. We were teaching about the temple and how we can go there and we asked him if he´d like to get baptized on Sunday and he said, "...¡sí!" So we had a nice little baptismal service after church, it was really great! Now the family is complete. She still has 2 kids left, but they´re younger so they need to wait to get baptized.  I just love it when 8-year-olds get baptized!

Cecilia is doing really well. She gave the closing prayer after sacrament meeting and she was REALLY nervous but she did really well.  She is just so excited to be a member of the church finally and do everything that goes with that. She´s going to be so powerful in the ward.

This week we´re focusing (finally) on finding new investigators. We always get in the bad habit of forgetting about other people while we´re focusing on baptisms. So this week we´re just going to find a ton of people and take them to church! Last week we set a couple of good appointments and we´re excited to work hard this week (even though I still have something living in my stomach). It´s going to be a great week!

Keep enjoying your -15 degree weather. We´re still hanging out in the upper 20´s (Celcius) and it´s HUMID so I´m basically melting.

I´m sorry my emails are boring now. I don´t plan them out any more so I always forget what I need to write about... I´ll do better next week, I promise.

Love you all!
-Hna. LaPray

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Short update.......sorry!

Sorry, I´m almost out of time, but I have a couple minutes for a short update.

First of all, the most important, WE HAD TWO BAPTISMS! I can´t send pictures right now, but I will. Cecilia and Matías (her 11-year-old
son) got baptized on Saturday and we are SO happy for them! They´re so great and so excited to be members of the church!

Now we have a few other investigators we´re trying to prepare for baptism and we´re always trying to find more!  This work is so great and we´re really having a great time here, learning a ton!

It´s still hot in Mar del Plata and the people are still NUTS (there are some crazies here...) but the work is amazing! I wish I had more time, but I´ve got to get going. I love you all, and remember to read the Book of Mormon every day (it really is true!) and share the gospel with your friends! They need it!

Hermana LaPray

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hello from Bahia!

January 17, 2011

So I´m in Bahía again... not transfers :) we´re just here for an Hermana´s Conference. We get together to paint our nails and sew and make cookies.

JUST KIDDING. We´ve had some pretty great workshops with President and his assistants and I talked to Hna. Detlefsen about getting to a clinic in Mar del, so it´s really good to be here. Right now we´re staying in a GIANT house the mission has and we got to meet every Hermana here in the mission--it´s pretty awesome. Now after internet we´re going to work in the assistants´ area and amaze them with our missionary skills.

Mar del Plata is still doing good. It rained yesterday, so half the ward didn´t go to church, but our investigator Cecilia still WALKED there with her FOUR young children. She´s so amazing. Her dad is visiting right now from Tucumán and he just got his gall bladder out, so he didn´t go to church with her yesterday but she said she´s making him go to her baptism on Saturday and he´ll go to church with them the rest of the Sundays he´s here. She´s just so great and so READY to get baptized! She´s a little nervous about the change, but she´s really excited to keep all the commandments. She really understands that the Lord will bless her for obeying Him. (Even her kids are telling their dad that they can´t drink coffee or tea any more :)

I am so glad I´m here in Argentina right now as a missionary and I get to see these changes in peoples´ lives. It´s so great to see the people who are searching for the truth be able to find it and come unto Christ. I´m so grateful for the restored gospel and the blessing it is in my life.

I´m excited to find out what´s wrong with me so the doctors can help me get better and we can start working all day every day. We still look for things to do while we´re stuck in the house, but it´s not the same as being out there with the people! Thanks for all of your prayers (and the letters! You´re the best!).

I love you all!

-Hna. LaPray

There's something SPECIAL inside of me!

January 10, 2011

Unfortunately, that something special is a stomach disease. We´ve had a pretty fun week talking with the mission doctor and doing a weird diet where I´m only allowed to eat bananas, rice and toast and trying to figure out what I might have. It´s like Bahía all over again! But I´m doing a lot better now and we´re still just getting the investigators ready for their baptisms.
The most certain baptismal date we have right now is with a woman named Cecilia. She´s so great--she´s wanted to get baptized for a long time now but her husband wouldn´t let her. She got divorced a little while ago and now she´s probably the best member in the whole ward!
She really wants to meet with ALL the requirements of being a member of the church--even though she´s not getting baptized for another week and a half! And she has some great kids we want to baptize, too. It might be a little trickier with their dad being against the Church and all, but I´m sure the Lord will soften his heart. The kids are so great, though. The oldest, Matias, is 12 and he´s crazy good at drawing, kind of like a little Josh. He drew me a picture of some weird alien guy who´s kind of freaky looking but I love it and I´m going to keep it forever. They all love to read the Book of Mormon comic book (except Matias, he´s kind of lazy, we´re mostly trying to get him excited about having the priesthood and getting to pass the sacrament) and they love the primary, so it´s a great start!
We´re working with a few other people, too, and some of them might get baptized this transfer. Mostly we´re just still finding new people to teach. By the way, Cecilia was a reference from a member. We´ve passed by her house a thousand times and we might even have knocked on the door once, but we didn´t know we really HAD to pass by until an hermana from another ward told us to--so give your references to the missionaries!
This work is so great and I´m so glad to be here. I´ve really learned a lot in this time, especially training Hermana Collette. The mission really is a special time and everyone should have this experience.
Especially 19-year-old boys! By the way, Andrew goes into the MTC on my year mark, and so does Hermana Collette´s little brother. Judging by Andrew´s Christmas message, he´ll be in an intermediate class and Elder Collette will just barely be learning Spanish, but still keep your eye out for him and tell him "hola."
I love you all and I hope you had a great Serbian Christmas :)


Hermana LaPray

Saturday, January 8, 2011

GREAT Year!!!

We had another great week here! We found some great new investigators and the members are helping ALOT! Especially Pamela Henrick, who got home from her mission in Colombia about a month ago. We got one reference from another ward and she is AMAZING! Her name is Cecilia and she's going to get baptized on the 22nd. We went to pick her up for church on Sunday and she (along with her 4 small children!) were READY to go and waiting for us! Talk about a MIRACLE! She says she had a great experience and she's really excited to have the church for her kids. She's divorced, but she's really cute and some nice member of the Church will marry her soon, I'm sure :)
Our favorite ward members are moving to Tierra del Fuego this week, but we just got a new favorite family, so that's okay. They're a young couple with a baby daughter and the hermana plays the guitar REALLY well. The hermano served his mission in Oakland, California, and he LOVES to talk about it. That's how I'm going to be, I'm going to drive you all nuts :)
I'm still melting down here, but the work is great and I'm having a great time. Hna. Collette is great too, and we're just looking for the elejidos!
The Church is SO true and I know all of you know someone that needs to be baptized! The gospel is for everyone and sharing it with someone is the best way to show you love them! The Book of Mormon is the BEST book ever and you can really learn something new everytime you read it. Shoot, you can learn something new every time you read 2 Nefi 2!
Just try it, it's true!
Anyway, I love you all and I hope you're not freezing too much up there!
Hna. LaPray