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Send letters or packages to:

Ryan James LaFaye Tel 595 21-601-392
Paraguay Asuncion Mission Mission office phone
2881 Del Maestro c/Caballero
Barrio Herrera
Asuncion
Paraguay

Monday, December 31, 2012

My little brother's mission call

(after reading about his little brother's mission call)
ITALY ROME!!! cherá áh that is puréte y té. I'm soo excited for you. My comp and I watched that video like ten times, we loved seeing moms face. Priceless. I'm a little bummed your not coming to Paraguay, I was going to ask prez Agazzani to let me train you. But that's where the Lord wants you, there are hundreds of people waiting for an elder LaFaye to find them and baptize them. Mom you need to send me a Book of Mormon in Italian. I'm going to learn Italian so I can visit Randy in Rome. Randy keep up the Book of Mormon reading, I'm super excited to hear your experiences in the field. I don't know how much I can help you through email, but I'm here for you man, any questions you have I will do my best to help you. I highly suggest that you go out with the missionaries and learn from them, I wish I did that more.

Well things are going great here. I don't have any news more exciting than Randy's call, but we do have some great investigators right now. Marciel is the homeless guy we have been teaching. Unfortunately he didn't come the last two Domingos. He is super humble and super listo to get baptized, just needs to come to church. 2 weeks ago he was 100% set on going to church, but didn't show, we were a little bummed until we found out why. Saturday night he was sleeping in the park and some cops came and woke him up. They beat him up pretty bad. The cops down here are worse than the crooks from what I hear from the members. Makes me thankfull for the US police force. So he wasn't in shape to come to church. But one good thing came from it, his mouth hurts too bad to smoke cigarettes. Now he has gone 9 days without smoking.
Esteban came to church this week, he is 19. He partys all the time but is really interested in our message and wants to learn a lot more about Jesus Christ. He and his uncle have a fecha to be baptized on the 19th. So does Marciel and 2 other investigadores. The 19th is Elder Geary's last Saturday in Paraguay so it would be great if we can have a bautismo guazú. (big baptism).
Our zone is doing great. 2 elders and the hermanas are tearing it up, but there are a few elders that need some help. But we have some ideas to help the zone find new investigators that will progress. I will tell you how they go.

I haven't recieved the package yet, but I'm sure it will be in by next Tuesday.

les quiero mucho,

Elder LaFaye (Ryan)

Randon I'm so proud of you!!

Fiberglass sculpture of San Jose


Nativity. I am holding a rhino.



sporting the sombrero
 

P-day game of Uno with Elder Geary


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Feliz Navidad



hmno Villalba is a black belt master at karate
  
RANDON cherá I love you man. I am soo excited that you are going on the mission. Every one take a guess as to which lucky country gets this kid for 2 years. my guess........CHINA.
My comp received an email from his mom. 2 kids from his hometown received calls to Taiwan speaking Mandarin... until the China mission opens up. It will open up soon and the prophet will send in hundreds of missionaries to explode the country with converts. The last few general conferences have been in preparation for this. Monson and Holland's talks on missionaries seems like it has had an effect as to the number of missionary papers coming in. Then lowering the age to 18 opened the possibilities to many more, and I'm not sure but I heard the MTC shortened the time. Missionaries to the states go 1 and a half weeks, Spanish and other languages go 4 weeks, and Korean, Japanese and other crazy languages go 8 weeks. I should probably repent because I am pretty jealous of the crew that gets to be the first elders thrown into china. I love this work.
Oh dad, one request especial for you. I need some ideas on how to excite and motivate other missionaries. what are some things the football team does before games? Anything from the navy I can do? You are the go to guy when it comes to motivation, so whenever you come across anything, send it my way. Some elders here are just working to work, they need a spark of excitement to get them going. Gracias papa. (quotes are good too)
chau,
elder lafaye
Oh Merry Christmas!


I found an arbol de la navidad!



Monday, December 10, 2012

There are too many miracles to count this week



Ricardo, Pablino, y Pablo
 Ricardo Aguero, Pablino Bogado, y Pablo Aquino were baptized!
First I should talk a little about Valdomiro who was baptized last week. He is the dad of Fernando and Teresa, our recent converts. I almost can't believe he was baptized. We have been teaching him for almost 3 months, and there had been moments where he flat out told us that he will not get baptized. But this man has had a change of heart. What made him commit was the difference that he could see when his family prays and reads together. Their family lacks social skills so they get mad easily when they yell at each other. So he wants nothing more than peace in his family, and when he recogninzed that he could find it as he joins the church, he commited to get baptized.
We have been teaching Pablino for over 3 months now, before Eder Fielding arrived. But he finally commited to get baptized. Really I think the reason why is the love of the members. Loved it when the members would visit him with us, without them there is no way he would have been baptized.
Pablo is a MILAGRO. Pablo is the nephew of Pablino, we have taught him 2 or 3 times a few months ago but was never around much. Friday night when my zone leader came to do the interview with Pablino, I saw Pablo inside and invited him to come sit with me and share a little bit. While Elder Enriquez did the interview, I taught Pablo. I did not know what to share but the spirit guided me 110 percent. I have never been able to follow the promptings of the spirit so strongly. We read 2ne31 and 32 talking about why Jesus was baptized and how to follow the spirits promptings. I asked him how he can follow Him, he responded "change and walk in his path by being baptized." I asked him when is the spirit telling him to get baptized, then after he read alma 7:13-14 (now my favorite scripture), he looked up at me with tears in his eyes and replied "today". In that moment we both felt the spirit so strong, so I invited him to testify to God that he is willing to follow Christ and be baptized tomorrow. He accepted.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God. No other book can make a man feel that way.
el Espíritu Santo es el maestro. So many more details I want to tell from this story, but opá tiempo. (gone in Guarani)
News:
Yesterday we were eating lunch with a family and I got a phone call from president Agazzani. When I saw his name my heart skipped a beat and starting racing my mind as to why he was calling me. He told me I will have a new assignment this change, so I was called to be a zone leader. This term probably has no meaning to you padres, but its kind of like a sergeant in the marines. I was really shocked because to be a zone leader without being a district leader first is pretty much unheard of. (district leader is like a corporal). Ive been looking forward to this opportunity but I'm a little nervous because it came sooner than I thought. But at the same time I have never been more excited to go work hard and show the Lord what I can do. My next comp is about to end his mission in January, so I am sure I will learn a lot from him. I was reading about the parables of the talents this week. I feel that the Lord has given me many talents, so I know He expects a lot from me. I really have never been so pumped in my mission. Presidente Agazzani told me that eventually he wants to put me back as a district leader so I can learn more. With every calling, ZL, DL, and trainer, there are certain things you learn, and he doesn’t want me to go my mish with out learning key things you only get as a DL, so I don’t know how long I will have this calling for, but I will enjoy it for as long as I have it.
ps. response to letter.
So as far as post mission things go, I have been changing my mind almost daily. But as of right now I am planning on working a few months at Hungry Howies or something else local and then starting college in January at BYU Provo (if i get in). As much as I love telling storys to my companions about boot camp, I dont think I will follow the marines. I can't leave my future family to go on tour. I am liking the idea of flying helicopters for the coast guard. They have a similar ocs program to get me through college. Plus living on the beach in southern California sounds like the life to me. Sorry grandpa! The mission has made me soft, but I hope you still love me :) semper fi
Oh and what time do you want to skype on christmas? give me a range of when it is possible for you all and i will confirm when we will go
Mucho amor y love to all,
elder lafaye

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cool Story

Queríamos compartir con ustedes una historia de un viajero que pasaba por una cantera de piedra. En su trayecto, vio a 3 hombres trabajando, y a los 3 les preguntó qué estaban haciendo. La respuesta que cada uno de ellos dio demuestra la perspectiva diferente que los 3 trabajadores tenían de la misma labor. El primero contestó: -“Estoy cortando piedras”-. El segundo hombre dijo: -“Estoy ganándome 3 monedas de oro por día”-. El tercero sonrió y respondió: -“Estoy ayudando a
edificar una casa de Dios”-. Es nuestro deseo que cada uno de ustedes pueda recordar el propósito por el cual está aquí en la
misión, que mantengan una perspectiva eterna y elevada de la importancia de la obra y que puedan trabajar con toda su alma, mente y fuerzas para traer más almas a Cristo.

Cool story-
We wanted to share with you a story of a traveler who passed through a stone quarry. On the way, he saw 3 men working, and asked them what they were doing. The answers that each one of them gave demonstrates the different perspective that the 3 workers had of the same work. The first answered: - "I am cutting stones"-. The second man said: - 'I'm winning me 3 gold coins per day'. The third smiled and said:-"I'm helping build a House of God" - . It is our desire that each of you can remember the purpose for which you are here, to maintain an eternal and elevated perspective of the importance of the work, and do that work with all your soul, mind and strength to bring more souls to Christ.

Monday, November 26, 2012

P-day at the Salto De Monday (mon-die-ugh)

hola hola,
Thanks for all the letters, it was like Christmas to see my inbox so full.

Anna Velasquez se bautizo!
We had a great baptism for Anna Velasquez on Saturday. I worked a lot harder to have more members there and it turned out great. Sorry for last weeks letter, I think I just needed to vent a little bit haha. But the bishopric and us are working great together. Anna´s family are all members. Flia Velasquez used to be the rock of Hernandarias. But somewhere along the lines they fell through. Anna's mom bore her testimony and all the women started crying, el espíritu era muy fuerte. On friday my district leader did the interview with Anna, after wards he told me she is the purest little girl he has ever met. She only has 9 years, but you really feel the pure love of Christ when talking to her. It's been a blessing to help her get baptized, she is reading in 1nefi 9 ahora, and her prayers are super sincere, praying for each member of her family and the kids in the streets. Hopefully we can reactivate the family, that would be a milagro worth fighting for. We passed by with a few members and talked to the grandma this week, we talked for a while and helped her remember all the hard work she put in to have a church building here. Before, when we just had a house to meet in for Sundays, family velasquez would take their vw van and round up members and investigadores on the west side while familia miranda (the other super awesome and still active family) would round them up on the east side. Those 2 familias are part of the reason why this branch has grown so much.
So we had a very interesting pday last week. I trust that my parents will not freak out and call the office when reading this, just enjoy it for the good laugh its worth.
We went to Salto de Monday (mon-die-ugh)
Beautiful waterfalls. First we went up top and paid a dollar to see the view in a public place, impresionante. Then Eder Bowers told us about a pathway to get to the bottom. Very sketchy and steep, but we went down and the view was even better. After taking several pictures, we went back up. The path is super narrow so I was the 4th one on the way up. On the way up I heard ahead of me a bunch of people shouting in Guarani. I looked up and saw 3 teenagers with big kitchen knifes and one with a make shift javelin. Immediently I did an about face and told everyone to run back down. The 3 ahead of me were robbed but not injured. One lost 100 mil, another 200 mil, and another camera, but no one injured. We all came down and said a prayer to see what to do. Then Elder Bowers, Graham and me went down the river to find another way up. We ran to the top and talked to the police. One cop came down to the bottom with us to talk to the elders still down there. The first thing the cop does when we get down there is take pictures of the waterfall haha. He said he had never seen it from below before and it was very cool. So we all took a pic with the cop. A bunch of other funny details to the story, but thats all for today.

les amo mucho,
elder lafaye
la fe puede mover montañas

Monday, November 19, 2012

an interesting learning experience this week

Hola hola,
Thanks for the letter madre, I love hearing about mission calls. I dont know why, but every time I read where someone is going, I get the feeling "yeah, that's exactly where they need to go". I will try to wave to Derek across the river next time I'm in Encarnacion. Carlson my friend, you are going to be living the life in Long Beach CA. I read Kords letters from the mtc, I'm so excited for that guy. He will do great in the Philipines, I have seen a lot of success when I develop a deep love for my investigators, and no one can not love Kord Catt. Imposible!
So bad news with our family of 14. In our first lesson with Nilso he said he hasn't had work in a while. When he does get work it is for a few hours in the morning so he told us to come by whenever. But every time we have passed by since, his wife tells us he is gone working. So its great that the Lord is blessing him with trabajo, but it really impedes his progression in the gospel. But if history repeats itself, this is exactly what happened with familia Reyes. Whom I should be seeing in the temple in February, so excited!
First off, neither Valdomiro, Osvaldo, nor Anna (I´ll explain who is Anna in a sec) were baptized. Though I did have an interesting learning experience this week. Wednesday we had a executive committee meeting with the bishopric. Me bajaron la caña aful. (they dropped the cane on me big time). They had concerns on how I was doing the missionary work here, specifically baptism. They literally had a list of things to talk to me about. here it is...
1) since I have been in this area I have baptized 7, equal to how many this area had last year. Which is great, but 3 of the 7 are inactive already. The first counselor said I was condemning people when baptizing them to only go inactive.
2) my first convert here, José, was baptized with only one assistencia. When presidente Franco served a mission, his converts needed to have six attendances in consecutive.
3) Teresa had many assistencias at church a few years back, but none recently. So presidente Franco didn't know who she was when she was baptized.
4) I haven't planned the baptisms as well as I should have, apparently when the catholic church has a baptism, it is a giant fiesta. And I invited the members a day or two before the baptism instead of a week before, announcing it in church.
5) Then on top of all that my announcement of a miracle baptism of Anna this Saturday threw them for a loop. We found a menos activo family on wednesday who have a 9 year old daughter Anna who hasn't been baptized yet. Anna and her older brother regularly attend church, but I never knew she had never been baptized. So we invited her to get baptized this Saturday, the parents were all for it. Anna has the most sincere prayers that I have ever heard from a little girl, incredible. Since Wednesday she has been reading 1 Nephi every day. The bishopric asked me why I am doing everything so fast instead of taking my time.
I´m sure you can all see their point and even agree with them. But as to the condemning comment, I disagree. Someone who is baptized and then falls inactive in a short amount of time is not "condemned". 3Ne 11:33-34 goes something like this, he who is baptized in my name shall inherit the Kingdom of God. He who is not baptized in my name is condemned. It's important to know that condemnation does not mean sent to the fiery furnace forever. In the topical guide it explains that condemnation is anything other than celestial glory. Although the terestial and telestial kingdoms are better than we can imagine, they are nothing compared to the celesitial kingdom. Without being baptized either in this life or the next, sí o sí you can not enter into the mansions above. So like it says in Jacob 1:9 I must do everything within my power to save these people and baptize them so that their condemnation does not fall on my shoulders.
I hope these don't sound like excuses to you, it is just how I think about the missionary work. I know this has been a very strange letter, so sorry for those of you who think I am the type of missionary that baptizes anything that moves. But I really do understand the importance of baptism and the importance of my calling. 
Now with all that said we are still going to try to heed to president Franco´s council. The last thing I want to do is loose the support of the bishopric. His calling is to edify la iglesia in his area (including  adding more converts to the ward), the missionaries are a tool for him to accomplish his calling. So we will try to find a good balance between what president Franco wants and what Presidente Agazzani expects of us. I have definitely become more flexible in the mission haha.
With Pres. Franco
Well, let's end this letter on a happy note. Anna´s baptism is all set for this Saturday. Valdomiro and Osvaldo are preparing for the 1st of December, and Pablino (the dad of Jose y María) committed to the 8th. A big step for him. Pablino is a really funny guy, here's a quote from the other day when talking about the word of wisdom. "no soy un hombre malo, solo no cumplo con los mandamientos de Dios" he knows he needs to change but thinks he is a saint at the same time. Hard to explain this guy, you just have to meet him. 
Our oldest (time visiting) investigator is Rodrigo. It's been almost 3 months that we have been teaching him. He is great, really does want to come to church and be baptized. and last night we found why he has had lame excuses every Sunday for not coming. His wife Claudia goes to another church, and Rodrigo doesn't want to come solo. We expected this to be the reason for a while but he finally told us last night, it was a very sincere discussion. So we invited him to talk to her and tell her how important this is for him. They are a young couple who love each other a lot, so I think she will understand if he gains the courage to tell her how much he wants to know if this church is the true church of Jesus Christ. Claudia doesn't usually share with us but we are going to prepare an awesome lesson on temples for the next time she does. In the mean time we are watching a lot of movies with Rodrigo, (running out of topics to discuss), but last night he asked if we had a longer one about Joseph Smith, so we will be watching that one soon. I will have to hold back the tears when watching it with an investigator. Joseph Smith is the man, I always get emotional when talking about him. The type of person that could go through all of that has a lot of faith. I would say he was rivaled only by the brother of Jared. Someday I will give that guy bear hug and tell him how much of an inspiration he was for me. If you ever come across any books or journals written by him, I would love to read them. 
Today we are going to the waterfalls near Brazil with the district, should be exciting. I will send fotos next week.
les amo mucho, yo sé que estamos en la iglesia verdadera. 
abrazos y besas,
elder lafaye
la fe
Elder Fielding and a beautiful sunset

Monday, November 12, 2012

the gift of Interpretation of Tongues

Hola hola
Teresa was baptized! She is Fernando´s sister. She is doing great. We have some great young women in the branch that are going to help her stay active. We still are trying to teach her other brother Osvaldo, he is a good kid but hard to find. Their dad is Valdomiro who was going to get baptized back in October but left the town and hasn't came back. Hopefully when he gets back he will see that his 3 kids are baptized and his wife is a faithful member.
I've had a few interesting experiences with the language this week. We found Nilso this week way out in the most campo part of our area. He is from Brasil and does not speak spanish. He understands very well but doesnt speak it. Generally I can understand the basic idea of what people are talking about when speaking Porteguese, but this time was different. To begin the lesson I prayed for the gift of interpretation of tongues, and man did God deliver. We taught the whole restauration and Nilso and I understood each other perfectly. He accepted a baptism date for the 24th of November and is excited to come to church with us this week. He has muy poco trabajo right now but believes that if he does what God wants, he will be blessed. Super humble and super prepared, and he has 12 kids to make it even better. On the way home I realized I received revelation. A few weeks ago we set a baptism goal of 5 for the month. After talking to Elder Bowers, he really inspired me to show my faith and raise my vision to the heavens. So we changed our goal to 13 converts in the month of November. Clearly to achieve this we needed to find a giant family. 2 of Nilso´s kids are too young to get baptized, so it would be a total of 12 with the parents, and Teresa who was just baptized makes 13. The lord inspires us to set goals that will stretch us to our limits and make us excercise our faith, and if we trust in Him he will guide us to accomplish what he has commanded. 1Ne3.7. In our weekly letter presidente Agazzani said ''somos llamados a tener éxito.'' we are called to have success. I have been studying recently about all the BoM missionaries who had a lot of success and how they achieved it. Incredíble. I have some pretty big visions for Hernandarias, and a big dream for my life. I love this work.
I went on intercambios with Elder Bowers again. I don’t think it was very effective because every time we work together it is like reliving the glory days of Guarambaré. But we did some good service for one of his best investigators. Most of the time in the streets we talked about what he is going to do with his parents when they come down to Paraguay, needless to say we got pretty trunky. I cant believe he is going home in January.

Okay I keep forgetting to talk about what I loved from conference, so here it is. 3.2.1.
Temple in Tucson, and missionaries leaving and 18 and 19 yrs old definately takes the cake as far as newsworthy. I wish I could have left on the mission at 18, I was not focused my freshman year of college. I will be a much better student when I get back.
I love the question from alm 5, can you feel so now. I think I will write a song about it with my guitar and try to bajar la caña in a song like alma does in ch 5.
If you find any shirts that say, ''I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it.'' I want one please.
Nelson´s story of stopping the boys on the bikes made me so excited to go out and find some miracles. I love his slogan, ask the missionaries, they can help you. I want to show this talk to all my investigators.
Uchtdorf was increible. I call him Mr. October for his 2 puréte discursos. Numero uno- all about learning to live. The persuit of happiness = living the gospel. Life is not meant to be enjoyed in retrospect. We need to spend time with our loved ones and enjoy the journey, not focus on the race. 2ne2 says that we are here on earth to have joy. Me gusta eso, ''the ladder to worldly success does not equal one step in the staircase to celestial glory''. In the letter that our bishopric sent me they invited me to be the best I can be. Uchtdorf says discipleship is the path to the best ME. As we climb the stair case to celestial glory, God will mold and shape us into who we truly can become.
Uchtdorf numero 2. This talk was perfect for Paraguay. Some bishops are flying F18s (Utah with many faithfull priesthood holders), and others are flying piper cup airplanes (Paraguay with very few priesthood holders). When we don't have the brilliant turbine engines like the F18, it make take a lot of energy to get the propeller engines of priesthood started. But we are so blessed to be able to posses the priesthood.
Okay running out of time
Ballards simile about the bees was cool
I could relate perfectly to Elder Hawks marine bootcamp story.
Elder Whitings example of ''temple standard'' makes me often ask myself if what I am doing makes me ''temple standard''.
Christofferson was all about fortitude. Be men that woman, kids, and God can trust.
Elder Stevenson- what you see, what you do, where you go, will determine what you become
I loved Perkins spiritual guard rails of personal conversion and family relations. As we strengthen these 2 things, we will not fall and will arrive in the celestial kingdom.
Eyering´s talk was great. Lead your children to see and reach their potential. My Heavenly Father and my earthy father lifts me to soar with eagles and aim high.
bueno, got to go,
les amo mucho. cuidase
elder lafaye
la fe

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crunchy peanut butter with my name on it

Hola hola,
Random cosas. Weird dream last night, it made me a little trunky. I just came home and dropped my suitcases off in the door way. The first thing I did was walk into the kitchen and open up the cabinets. I saw a line of crunchy peaunut butter jars with my name on it. Litterally my name was on them haha.
I recieved the letters from Tyler and Bracken. I loved reading about their mission. Tyler's story of the BYU Hawaii basketballplayer is great. Too bad he was never able to see his baptism. I have no doubt Tyler is where he needs to be, he sounds like a stud missionary.
Bracken cracks me up with his mix of really spiritual experiences of praying in the sacred grove and then moving to his section of USA politics. I need to take a trip to the arboleda sagrada some day. And it really impresses me the insight Bracken has into the race between Obama and Romney. Just from reading his letter it seems like Romney and his running mate have it all set to take all the way. (not sure what macro and micro economics are, but sounds very convincing). And I loved his "happy" analogy. "what the heck is a happy?" -Bracken
Hola abuela! Gracias por sus cartas. The challenge to read the 4 standard works in a year is a little intimidating, but very impressive when accomplished. I have read the Book of Mormon several times now,
the Pearl of Great Price and New Testament once, and have started on the Doctrine and Covenants, but I will wait for the Old Testament until after the mission. I love your commitment to convince abuelo to serve a mission. I think I will serve a few missions when I am older. I would love to serve the Lord for 6 months with my wife in a foreign country. I will pray that they open up a couple mission to work a gold mine in Alaska :)

Mi compañero, Joseph Fielding es de Rigby Idaho. We are in week 8 of the 12 week training program. Amazing how fast training flies by. I really wish I was as dedicated to learning español as he is. He read the dictionary every night before going to bed. He understands perfectly. He knows the gospel really well, I sometimes have to hold him back a little bit when he starts teaching our investigators deep doctrine or using big words like the Abrahamic Covenant. In the lessons he is doing great, in the street he is still trying to break out of his shell. We had a great comp study this week. I tought lesson 1 to him being over the top animated with a giant smile on my face the whole time. Then I had him do the same. It's amazing how much of a difference a simple smile can make while talking to people.
I learned the Paraguayan version of rock paper scissors this week. It's called ha kem bo. And there is actually 4 items to throw out, rock, paper, scissors and and hole (made by doing the okay symbol).
Interesting style, the hole beats rock and scissors, paper tops rock and hole, rock beats scissors and  scissors beats paper. I thought it was a little flawed because the hole and the paper have more power than
the other 2. So I decided to add another element to even the odds. After much thought I decided the perro (dog) would be a good fit. The dog eats the paper and fills up the hole. The rock scares the dog away
and the scissors give him a hair cut. Now they are all perfectly even with 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses. When I told my discovery of a 5 item ha kem bo game to my companion he told me I had been beaten by Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory with his rock, paper, scissors, lizzard, spock. But I like mine better.

Anyways back to the mission. Pablino, the dad of José Maria and Maria José finally came to church yesterday. We hit a wall with him for a while, not knowing what to do. But then we started passing by with the primary leaders and it completely changed him. Not only is he super excited to come to church, and José and Maria have made some good friends in the primary. our branch is not very big but half of the attendance is little kids so we have a good primary. Now the only problem is giving Pablino a baptism date. He does not want to rush it. So we asked him when he wants to get baptized, he said around Christmas. A little farther down the road than we´d like, but its a fecha.
I am not sure if I have told you about the family Arsemania yet. Italianos son. Family of 7, golden. Our second visit we taught the restauration. The first visit I gave Fransisco (16 yr old son) the pamphlet to lesson 1 and told him to read it before we come back. When teaching the restauration we asked Fransisco  questions and he began teaching the lesson to his family. Incredible. Impressive how well he taught the apostasy and the restauration. The only problem was the transition, not that I blame him. It was something like this "after jesus and the apostles died, the church fell and their followers were confused and became divided into their own churches, then one day a boy saw a light brighter than the son in which God and Jesus appeared to him."
k tengo que irme.
much love y amor,
elder lafaye
la fe

Monday, October 29, 2012

This conference forever changed my way of saying prayers



Hola hola,
Increíble. Elder Bednar and Elder Arnold of the 70 came to Asuncion for a reunión guasú! The Paraguay North and South missions came together for the 3 hour meeting. The best conference of my life. Much different than what I expected. It was very interactive with the missionaries. At the end he gave us time to ask what ever question we wanted to. He advised us that this would likely be the only chance in our lives to ask a member of the 12 any question, so we all avoided questions like where is the sword of laban or have you seen Jesus Christ. He only took about 10 questions so I didn't ask anything. For curiosity, if you all had one question to ask a member of the 12, what would you ask?
He was very funny. The subject of the meeting is that the Holy Ghost is the teacher, not us. He helped us to understand more on how to help our investigators ask in faith. He started off by saying things like no matter how good we think we are, no one will join the church because of what a 19 yr old kid tells them. "are you kidding me?" He was very enthusiastic, animated and a little sarcastic haha.
This conference forever changed my way of saying prayers. He showed me a whole new power of prayer. My whole life I gave thanks for things and then asked for what I wanted/needed. He showed a whole new perspective. Por ejemplo,
We are going out to work today, give us the strength to press forward.
We are going to open our mouths to everyone, inspire our words.
We love you, help us show it.
Joseph Smith did not go to the Sacred Grove to find out which church is true.
Joseph went to the grove to know which church is true so that he could be baptized and join it.
The children of Israel did not sit and wait for the waters to part, they started to walk into the waters, and then they parted.
We need to pray with the desires to act. Ask in faith is asking with the sincere desires to act upon the answer we recieve. My focus now is to help my investigators ask in faith if this church is true so that they can be baptized by the proper authority. Elder Bednar said as members there are a lot of silly things we do in our church culture. Not in the doctrine, but in the culture. We often play guess what's in my head. I realized I do this a bunch. When I read the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction in the BOM, I often ask them, what 3 things do we need to do to know if this is true. Rather I should ask them simply, what did you learn from this?  Truly asking them the second question with the desires to know what they understood, will help me understand how to teach them. Theres about a billion other things that I learned but only one hour to write.
Randy, I can't wait to hear where you are going. If you get called to Paraguay I will talk Pres. Agazzani into letting me train you sí o sí.

Reece, thats puréte to hear that your doing rugby! That will take out any smudge of fear you might have from tackling people. After a season of rugby you will crush people in pads when August comes back around. I really did enjoy the few months I played. I never had a good grip on the rules but I loved playing the game. If no one is using them, you should use my diadora soccer cleates. They are kangaroo skin so they are small at first but they expand after wearing them a bit.

Robinson, suerte amigo with the tryouts. Soccer really is an interesting sport. It unites the world together. Paraguayans are CRAZY about their soccer teams. We have played soccer a few times with my district, the latino elders are sooooo good. Learn all you can from the Mexicans. I'll be excited to see you play when I get back.

We found a familia de oro this week. Some other elders gave us a reference of Santiago. He is only home late at night, so we went by his house at 8:40. He just came home from work but invited us in as he went inside to wash up. He came out and sat down and we talked for a minute. Then his son Francisco sat down as we talked to him for a minute. Then another kid came in, then another, then another, and another. Pretty soon we were sitting in a cirle with a family of 7 all eager to listen to us. It seemed like we were about to start a noche de hogar. The youngest is 10 and the oldest 20. The kids just got back from karate class, and speak fluent english. (this family has a lil more cash than the average paraguayo). After talking English for a few minutes we talked about the plan of happiness. When we were done, the mom brought us out 2 plates of.... lasagna! I told them it was my favorite food and its been over a year since I have had some. We are really excited for this family.

My kid is doing great. Elder fielding´s Spanish is very impressive. The Argentina MTC did wonders for him, and he has improved sooo much in the last 6 weeks. I have given him a lot of time to talk whether he liked it or not but now he teaches almost half of the lessons.

I saw elder Salinas, Allphin, Schone and all my old buds from the mission at the big conference. Unfortunately Eder Schouten told me a lot of my awesome investigators in Encarn did not end up getting baptized for one reason or another. Shocking because leaving that area I thought he would be baptizing every week for the next month. Elder Salinas and I talked a little about going to BYU Provo. It would be way fun living with him and some of my other comps at Provo. So I'm not sure which college I'm headed to. But I have a lil time to think about it. Salinas misses Hernandarias, his new comp is an interesting fellow. We had a ton of fun together though.

Oh, I almost forgot an intersting event friday night. So we have been without a cell phone for 2 weeks now. We weren't sure when we were meeting up to head to Ciudad del Este to take a collectivo to Asuncion. We arrived on our bikes at the other elders pension at 10:30 at night thinking we had plenty of time. Well we got there and no one was there. Long story short Elder Bowers gave a 100 mil Guarani to a taxi driver and raced over to pick us up. We threw our bikes in the back of a field with tall grass and hit the road. Bowers picked us up at 11, exactly when the collectivo left Ciudad del Este for Asuncion. So we took a different route to head off the bus. On the way we ran into a place where cops where checking EVERY car. I knew if we would have been stopped we wouldn't catch the bus in time. But sure enough the Lord provides and the cop waved us through. We pulled up to KM 7 exactly when the bus arrived, so we hopped on and 20 other missionarys were all surprised to see us. They thought we were not going to make it. Milagro.
side note: I survived the next day on cold empanadas, not fun.

well gotta go baptize,

much love y amor,
elder lafaye
(la fe)


Monday, October 22, 2012

We were without agua y luz for a few days

Hola hola,

We have some great people progressing. Flia Santacruz is amazing. We found them a few weeks back, after teaching them the first time we didnt think they would progress so we didn't plan on going back. A week and a half later we passed by again because ALL of our plans fell on a Monday night. God works in funny ways. Monday we had appointments for every hour and back ups to visit. Every single one fell, so we thought for a moment who else we could visit. So I decided to give this family Santacruz another try. Turns out they have both read the lesson 1 pamphlet and were waiting for us to come back and teach them more. They were waiting all Sunday morning for us to come by to pick them up for general conference. That Sunday morning we ran all over town trying to get people to come, only bringing Valdomiro to church. We only forgot that we said we would pass by Flia Santacruz. Somehow God led us back to them. They live in the poorest part of our area, all mud. Because of a recent storm it is a lake all around their house. So to visit them we threw in big rocks and logs to cross the water. Now Nohelia Santacruz is in the hospital about to have her baby. They have fecha to be baptized on the 3rd, hopefully she will be recovered by then to be baptized.

We played futbol for our district activity, again haha. We can only do one activity por cambio, and our district leader is from Argentina so we have played futbol twice in a row. Futbol is great an all, but I'd much rather seed Iguasú (one of the biggest dams in the world) or go to the big waterfalls by Ciudad del Este. I was sooo sore after playing, my body is not used to that kind of activity.

My ZL Elder Bowers asked me to give a 10-15 minute presentation on how to find more success through the members. It turned out great. I learned a lot just preparing it and loved giving the presentation. I´ve come to like being the guy at front teaching people, It's pretty fun. I think I´d be a good highschool teacher. Although I like teaching on how to be a better missionary, not math or english. (our bishop also asked me to give a talk in sacrament meeting 3 minutes before we started sacrament. At the start of my mission I would be terrified of doing that, but now not a problem.)

We had a big storm down here that caused a bit of havoc. We were without agua y luz for a few days. I'm fine with out light, but no water is miserable. We walk downstairs and fill up a bucket for our shower and dishes.

My MTC comp Elder Alphin is in my first area, Guarambaré. I was able to see him at the terminal (bus station) a few weeks back. Cambios are the best, you get to see all your buds together and share stories of the mission. I was so excited to hear he was going there, I showed all the fotos of my converts, telling them how awesome they are.

I dont know what to ask for Christmas. I have accustumed myself to live off of whatever they have here. But some maple extract, peanut butter, and tiger milk bars are always helpful. What I loved most of all last time was the foto collage that Cait put together. I will try to think of more stuff.

bueno bueno love ya mucho,

elder lafaye
(la fe)

Monday, October 8, 2012

¡TUCSON IS GETTING A TEMPLE!

Yea, I'm pretty stoked as I'm sure you all are. I was sitting in a room with 20 other elders when conference started, a few elders shouted out their guesses of what was going to be announced. Such as where the temples would be built. About ten seconds before he announced it I shouted out Tucson AZ... I almost couldn't believe it when Pres. Monson gave the news. Me and another elder from Florence jumped with joy and the rest of the missionaries applauded and thought I had the gift of revelation. Now they will probably just be breaking ground by the time I get home, but I don't plan on getting married right away. But that is my goal someday, to find mi lindo novia and get married in the Tucson temple. I really am excited to have my own family some day.
I loved the first session of conference, every talk had to do about how to be happy. Like Nefi says, hombres existen para tener gozo. We are here to be happy. Families built around the gospel bring us more felicidad than anything else. I would write my famous general conference highlight reel, but I forgot my notes and don't remember everything... so next week. Sunday I watched in Spanish, I understood everything but its hard to pay attention for me when its not the real person talking so I didn't get as much out of it. My companion tampoco. When he wasn't sleeping he was reading the scriptures in English, haha.
Randy! how do you feel big dog? It would be pureté y té to be watching that 18 yr old announcement when you are 18 yrs old. cuando se va? invierno o el verano? I will be praying that you come to Paraguay so I can train you. Just a heads up, I will be the toughest trainer ever so that the Lord can turn you into the best missionary Paraguay has seen.
p.s. set the cute girls aside and make sure you finish the Book of Mormon before you leave.

Give bishop Gardner my thanks for his letter. It was a big help, I shed a tear or two after he connected that little pioneer girls story to me in the mission. It's true. The Lord takes us to our breaking point before he grabs us in his arms. I wish I could share it with you but I forgot the talk. Thanks for your support bishop.

Valdamiro came to conference. He has had a mighty change of heart. His wife is a menos activo and their relationship has been a disaster for the past decade. No happiness. But since we began to share with him his faith has grown a ton and now he has a corazón quebrantado y espíritu contrito. We visited him last night and had a great lesson. They told us they had a talk and they don't want to fight anymore, he wants to change. We noticed that she made a nice home meal for Valdamiro, something that hasn't happened in years, so we could tell right off the bat that things are better with them. He drinks and smokes a lot but committed to drop them both. Drinking would be easy he says, but he has a hard time going to sleep with out a smoke. But before we could even teach about how to drop it he told us he knows the Lord will help him if he shows his faith. He has a baptism date for this Saturday. Please keep him in your prayers.
Sweet Bridge
random stuff:
I had my first dry heat day in Paraguay. It was one of the weirdest experiences ever, it felt so strange because I've been living in humidity for awhile, and yet it seemed so familiar as it reminded me of Tucson. (not quite as dry as Tucson, but dry for Paraguay.)
Elder Fielding has been living it up his first 2 weeks here, it has been near perfect weather. But now in October it started to get hot again and I don't think it will die back down... here comes el verano!

preguntas? dudas? chistes? chismes?
(questions? doubts? jokes? gossip?)
Giant ant hill!

okay, much love y amor
Elder LaFaye

Monday, October 1, 2012

Half way mark

At the mall on p-day


Hola,

Soooooo close to another baptism. Adriano is listo pá to get baptized, but no dice. Friday we did divisiones with the district leader to have the interview, but we couldn't find Adriano all day Friday or Saturday. But LaFaye and Fielding fight till the last bell so we found Adriano Sunday morning, got him to church and started preparing everything. While waiting for Elder Garcia to do the interview, we had the font filled up, half the congregation waiting to watch the baptism (30 minutes before sacrament started), and Adriano and I were all dressed in white. I had a lot of faith that he would pass the interview... but turns out that he has been under house arrest for the last 7 months, so we had to cancel everything. It felt like being the guy to announce that the bride flew the coupe. Adriano is very humble and wants to get baptized, but he has to wait a few more months. Hopefully I will be here to see him get baptized.

Every Sunday morning we go round up all our investigators. This Sunday I went looking for this guy Cipriano. He lives out in the boonies, and next to his house a pastor held his Catholic service in a field. I saw Cipriano near the back of the crowd so I went on over to invite him to the true church. On my way over, EVERYONE was watching me. This was right in the middle of their sacrament so the pastor was not pleased with me. I tried to be discreet but there was no helping it. After talking to Cipriano for a minute he said he will come. So we left and on the way out the pastor guy gave me a death stare like no other. I'm glad I didn't turn to stone

It's crazy to think that I have already been out a year. Time is flying by. I also just realized that because I completed a year in the mission, that Caitlyn and Ben just had their 1 yr anniversary. So ¡Felicidades! did you do anything exciting or fun?

random cosas:
Can you send me a recipe to make peanutbutter? I have ground up peanuts to experiment.
no hay mucho tiempo hoy.

much love,
elder la fe

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Companion, Elder Fielding

hola hola,
buenas nuevas!
New companion, Elder Fielding
Well... José María and María José were baptized!!!
And I´m training! Mi hermano se llama Elder Joseph Fielding. No relation to the prophet though. He is a stud. One of the most Christlike elders I've met. He went to the MTC in Argentina but didn't speak any Spanish before the mission. Supposedly from now on everyone that is going to Paraguay will go through the Argentina MTC. He speaks and teaches much better than I did when I began. Elder Schone would teach most of the lesson and then look at me, I would stumble out a few words and then look back at him. Now I will teach one principle and give it to Elder Fielding and he goes for it. He makes a bunch of mistakes but has no fear to talk. This is how you learn the language quickly, I wish I was a little more like that when I started. He was really excited to hear that we are having 2 baptisms his first week.

José and María are doing great. They love the primary, and they always compete with each other to see who can do the better prayer or read the Book of Mormon better. Maria can't read yet but she will learn quickly.

This week we have a baptism planned for Adriano. He went to church several times, a year ago, but then moved here. We found him last week, came to church yesterday, and is excited to get baptized on Saturday. He is a miracle. We were riding our bikes down the street and on his motorcycle he rode up next to me and asked if we were the Mormons. We pulled over, talked for a few minutes and asked if we could visit, so we just followed him to his house and had a great lesson.

I've stayed pretty much the same weight. We go to a barber to cut our hair.
Yea, I still eat a bunch of oatmeal. But I spice it up by adding yogurt, granola, bananas and crushed up peanuts. I just found some worchestershire sauce and some other cool stuff so we will start getting more creative with our almuerzos.

Well gotta go, much love y amor

Elder LaFaye
Luis Pa Benitez (member from my last area) became a local missionary
ps: how many times can you see yourself in the mirrors that face themselves? 2000?
and about how many volts does it take to knock someone to the ground with a tazer? mine shocks pretty good, but i was hoping to find one that will take someone down. not that i am planning a hit on anyone.. just wanted to know

Bilaporte Presidente,

Estamos muy felices con el éxito que el Señor nos da. Elder Fielding estaba muy animado para poder bautizar 2 personas su primer semana. este semana tenemos un bautismo para adriano. él tiene muchos asistencias hacia un año pero se mudó aqui y perdió contacto con los misioneros. él vino a la iglesia ayer y está muy animado por su bautismo. vamos a seguir bautizando cada semana para que elder fielding sepa que es posible. aunque no habla castellano muy bien, elder fielding no tiene miedo de enseñar. nuestro enfoque ahora es encontrar una familia de oro. hicimos una ayuna con una familia el la rama para encontrar oportunidades de enseñar el evangelio con sus amigos. tenemos mucho fe y esperanza que vamos a encontrar una familia bien preparado para recibir este evangelio.

le quiero,

elder lafaye

Monday, September 17, 2012

AND ONE!

bautismo de Blanca y Freddy Garcia Cantero
bautismo de Fernando Gois Peralta

Alright so I know last week I told you I would do better to tell you about the investigadores before they get baptized.... but miracles happen.

So Freddy and Blanca are hijos of a part member family. Their parents are less active. We have been teaching them for almost a month now. They have been wanting to get baptized for a few weeks now but their challenge was getting permission from their parents. The parents didn't want them to get baptized because that would mean that the parents would have to go to church with them, and they work on Domingos. We have visited the parents several times but we didn't have any success trying to get them to come to church with the kids. But on Thursday we received permiso from the dad, so on Friday we had Elder Bowers and Knudson come and do both of the interviews. Knudson finished Freddy´s super fast in 3 or 5 minutes. Bowers took a while with Blanca. While we were waiting for them to finish  the neighbor kid sits down by Blanca to see what they were doing. Next thing I know I hear Elder Bowers teaching him the restoration and the commandments. When they were all done he introduced us to Fernando and said he wants to get baptized.
So we talk to Fernando´s mom, turns out she is a less active member also. She was cool with it so she signed the registro, 2 baptisms became 3. Elder Knudson from Argentina said "what do you call it when someone fouls you when you make a basket? AND ONE!"
So the baptism went great, except the cake was a little burnt. So I bought all the kids alfajores. Kind of like a twinkie or ho-ho, only 10 times better.

We had a stake conference by satellite on Sunday for everyone in Paraguay and Uruguay. Speakers: Sister Reeves from the relief society, Elder Anderson, of the 12, and President Monson, prophet, seer and revelator. It was awesome. Espescially because we had 5 investigators there to listen to him. You can always bank it on the prophet to convert someone.
I felt really bad for Sister Reeves. She and Elder Anderson gave their talk in Spanish  Pres Monson had a translator. Anderson´s Spanish wasn't bad, but it wasn't fluent like the guy who conducted. Sister Reeves sounded like a 3rd grader. She tried really hard, but was very nervous and a little emotional. I was kind of embarrassed to be one of the few Americans in that room, thinking to myself  "I hope I don't sound that bad". But the message she wanted to get across was good. Although I understand everything and can say just about whatever I want, I still sound like a gringo. I have lost hope of one day being able to roll my r´s. But on the bright side the first time I listened to the Book of Mormon in Porteguese I understood about 80%. Just speaking will take a lot of practice. In my area right now the majority of the people speak 3 languages, Spanish, Guarani and Porteguese.

Wednesday is cambios and it looks like Eder Salinas is going. This has been the fastest cambio ever. Salinas and I had fun and we worked hard. I hope he takes this ánimo to his next area and tears it up. Everyone is telling me that I will probably train a newbee, so vamos a ver. It will be interesting to be on the other side of the training program. I feel like I just got trained, but I also feel like I'm ready for a new challenge.
I have learned a lot on how to look at numbers and decide how we can become better missionaries and baptize more people/families. This last change we taught 200 lessons, found nearly 100 new investigators, and extended 120 baptism invites. In the end came up with 4 baptisms. We are going to work better with the members to find people instead of on the streets. That way for the next 6 weeks we will find 100 new people and baptize 100 new people. The baptism rate of references we receive from members skyrockets above that of people we find on the street.
Yesterday a member brought his friend Reuben to church. We taught him yesterday, golden. He is a stud and has the desires to change and get baptized. His date is for the 29th. This week for the 22nd, we have José María and María José. They are twins. Their dad is great, he wants his kids to get baptized but is not sure if he wants to quite yet because he was baptized in the Catholic church. We brought José and Maria to church yesterday and they liked it. A little boring for them because they are 9, but they will love the primary more. So they are all set to get baptized this Saturday, hopefully we can get the dad for this week with them or for the next. I am really striving 100% to keep up the the mission standards of excellence  bautizar cada semana. With faith and hard work, it can be done.
With Elder Bowers on divisiones
random stuff:
I went to the world's biggest black market in Ciudad de Este last pday. Bought some pretty cool stuff, a night stick, a tazer, bronze knuckles, some x box games that haven't come out yet, and a super strong flashlight. I have heard you can get everything there, even a baby, but I didn't see any.
That happy smile I had last week about having bikes is now completely gone. These bikes are garbage, I have blown through 3 tires and had a few other repairs that are burning my pocket. On Saturday I took it to a bike place to get a new tube, 5 minutes after riding away my pedal fell off. It's just been a headache. I wish they gave us all motos or scooters. Besides the cost and the headache, they have been pretty helpful. We can visit more people across town now.

Gotta go. Any questions? Anything you like or don't like about the letters I send? I was reading some of Tyler's letters and they are very spiritual so they were fun to read. I will try to add some more of my spiritual experiences in the future.

Any ways, hasta luego

Elder LaFaye

Monday, September 10, 2012

we devised a plan... se llama snatch/grab/and baptize José


 
Dear LaFizzles,

Milagro. José Baez was baptized! I'm not really sure if I've told you about him, but I will get better at telling you about the investigators that are progressing. We found José about 2 weeks ago, he is 23 and lives with his parents. 5 years ago he crashed on his moto and broke the growth plate in his left leg so its shorter than the other, so he walks on crutches. We took him to church last week by bringing a member with a car to pick him up. In our district meeting last week my zone leaders really encouraged us to baptize someone this Saturday. So we thought really hard as to who is ready to be baptized this Saturday. Salinas and I both thought of José, so we went over there that day, we asked him if he remembers his baptism date (previously set for the 22), his reply -
"sí claro. el 8" - josé
"quiere bautizarse el 8?" - me
"sí claro." -josé
Soo, we went over all the commandments and the baptism preguntas. He was listo pá. (in Guarani you just add pá or y té to the end of a word to give it the extra umpf) in other words, he was listo y té to get baptized. So we did divisions with the zone leaders Wednesday to do the interview. Everything was all set till we passed by on Thursday, his parents are super Catolicos. They don't have a problem with him going to church, but they don't want him to get baptized "a second time". The mom went a little crazy on us, but we were able to sit her down and share with her why José wants to get baptized. We explained baptism by immersion, baptism when we are older, and baptism by the authority of God, she could find an answer for any of these except for they do baptisms the Catholic way because of tradition. So she told us to come back later to talk to her husband because supposedly he knows the bible like the back of his hand. So we came back and surprisingly had a decent lesson with him. In the end he was pretty stubborn, so we invited him to pray and we will come back on Friday. We show up as the dad just finished talking to his pastor, and the guy just yells at us for a few minutes saying we are trying to destroy his family. He forbid us to come back to his house ever again, I'm sure he would pull out some kind of gun to prove his point if we did come back. So we had to leave without talking to José. We were pretty down for the rest of the day... till we devised a plan... se llama snatch/grab/and baptize José. José usually takes a morning walk around the block to stretch his legs. So Saturday morning we go out and find a curb to sit on around the corner from his house at 8 in the morning. After waiting 2 hours we finally see José walk by. We go talk to him and ask him if he still wants to get baptized today.. "sí claro"
So we called up Hmno Miranda, the only member with a car, and he came to pick us up. Our baptism font wasn't working so we called some other missionaries ahead of time to fill theirs up. Gave him some clothes and baptized him. Forgot my camera, I will send the foto next week. It was a really spiritual experience. The water was super cold and his foot was hurting really bad as he entered the water. I thought he was going to back out at first, but he knew it was important so he went through and was baptized by elder Salinas. Afterwards I bought him an ice cream since we didn't have a cake and then dropped him off near his house. It was a crazy day.

Thanks a ton for the LaFaye baptism story. The example of those missionaries is exactly what I needed right now. I find myself getting very frustrated with people who don't understand something when I teach it very clearly and simple, or when people of other faiths are stubborn. The 4 religions that I usually find down here are Catolicos, Evangelicals, and some 7th day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses. I usually just avoid the latter two because there is very little success with them. But all the Catolicos want to talk about is the virgin María, and the Evangelicals only care about the bible and nothing else matters. I get irritated more than I should with some of these people, but I will try to be more like Elder Hernandez and be more patient with their beliefs.

I did divisiones with my old companion Elder Bowers, he is the man. If someone would have told me back in March that we would become best friends I would have laughed. But he has been one of my favorite companions, it was like a blast from the past working with him for a day. I will be in his zone until he goes home in December. Hopefully we will do a few more divisiones before then. Their area is a little slow so we spent the whole day looking for news. Within an hour we found a family of 8.

"I want to ride my bicicle, I want to ride my bike". -queen. WE JUST GOT BIKES! some other missionaries had them but never used them, entonces los aprovechamos. It's like starting a whole new mission. We can visit dozens of people every day. The only down side is that 90% of the streets are empedralla (rocks). and the bikes are pretty low quality so my butt gets pretty sore.

Presidente forgot to assign talks so he asked us to do it Sunday morning. We were running around getting investigators to church so I didn't prepare anything. So I just started to teach the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ from the pulpit. it turned out really well, I basically tried to inspire everyone to talk to their friends about the restored gospel. Hopefully we will get some more references. That's our weakness right now, working off references  so this morning we studied a bit in ch 9 in PMG and set some plans to work more with members.

Real quick, Mariella is doing great. She just doesn't feel like she is ready to get baptized, but we are going to help her feel prepared for this Saturday. I will tell more about her next week.... and hopefully I will have 2 baptism fotos to send :)

gotta go. much love y amor,

Elder LaFaye
bautismo de Jose Baez

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baptism goal is 7 for Sept.

Mini Me

Hola hola,

It's been a great week. We are starting to see a lot of success in Hernandarias. 6 investigators came to church, we were literally running Sunday morning to bring people to church, I hope that doesn't break the Sabbath day.

 It was a crazy Sunday. One kid passed out and hit the deck, so we brought him inside to see what was wrong. His brother said he hasn't been feeling good the past few days and has been very depressive. He doesn't have any sickness or history of seizures so it was really odd. We sat him on a chair to give him a blessing, he wasn't unconscious but it looked as if no one was home. When we started to give the blessing his body started going crazy, luckily we had 5 men in there to hold him still, (one of which was our investigator Ceasar). Hermano Miranda said a really quick blessing because this guy was going out of control. Right when he said amen the boy was calmed like when Jesus commanded the storm to end. It was intense.

We are finding some great familias to teach. This area has a lot of horshoe shaped apartment buildings, so we go knock on every door and find 3 familias right next to eachother, it is awesome.
We have been visiting a menos activo kid named Hugo, he came to church the past 2 weeks and has rekindled his fire to share the gospel. He turns 18 this week and is really excited to serve a mission. He gave us a ton of great refferences. 2 of his cousins, Junior and Juliana are getting baptized sí o sí. here is a quick recap of our first lesson with them. Junior is 12, Juliana is 9.
"will you pray to know if these things are true?" - us
"yes" - juliana
"and if god says yes?" - us
"we should thank him" - juliana
"how can you thank him?" - us
"follow in his steps" - junior
"(showing the picture of baptism). how can you follow his steps? - us
"be baptized." - junior
"will you follow the example of jesus christ and be baptized on the 15th of september?" - us
yes :) - junior and juliana

Then Hugo told us there is a family of 8 close by, he says the mom loves him like her own so knows she will let us in. We came by yesterday, we taught them and then they gave us asado (lots of steak/chicken/sausages.)

Oh by the way, if the missionaries come by to eat with you again and leave without asking for references, slap them on the back of the head and give them a reference of whom they can go visit and baptize.

Our baptism goal for september is 7. There were 7 baptisms in this area in 2011, lets see if we can match it this month. We have the people, Diosnel, Ceasar, José, Mariella, Nelson, Junior and Juliana, and this family of 8 is looking pretty promising, but we will wait and see for them. We found a challenge with Mariella though. Her ex husband still passes by to see his daughters, he is a drunk and does not like that we pass by to talk to Mariella. We always bring a member with us, but Parguayos are super jealous of anyone that talks to their girlfriend/wife. We are going to try teaching her in the house of a member to avoid him stopping by. 

So here is an idea for FHE. It's not really possible to know what a mission is like without being a full time missionary, but there are some videos online you can watch that will give a really good feel for it. In my mission call it talks about some videos called the district. For fhe this week go watch the first video on the district 2. (district 2 is better than the first). It's about real missionaries and real investigators, all the ups and downs they face. I have seen these videos dozens of times, they are really helpful to learn how to teach more effectively and what mistakes not to make. (if its available, watch the chastity lesson with Germán on district 2, priceless.)

un abrazos fuerte!

elder lafaye, arrepentimiento, y bautismo :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

My families conversion story

Santos
Hola, how are you?

okay so I have a list of random things I wanted to ask you:

Dad- the zone leaders asked me to talk a little about my family's conversion story for the next zone conference. (I like to consider myself a convert even though I was baptized at 8 yrs old :) but I don't remember anything about the missionaries. Dad can you write me a little about your conversion story? Add in some stuff like how the elders found you, what their first approach was like to enter the house, what you liked about those missionaries in particular or anything you didnt like, and how you came to know that their message was true. And anything else, I just made up this list but add whatever you can remember. It's pretty cool to be the first missionary from a first generation lds family (on dad's side). I think there is only one other American convert in our mission, the rest are latinos. Even though I was really young, I could feel a difference when we came to the church of Jesus Christ.
Zone Conference with Elder Zaballos of the 70

Also, can you send me some awesome football motivating speach? I am guessing I will probably be a DL soon and I want to have some animo stuff to share. So if you come across anything that you can relate to missionary work send it over.

If anyone can find a book of mormon audio in Porteguese online, please send it over. I'm going to start reading it in porteguese and listen to it as I read so I can learn how to say things. I am super close to Brasil right now so the majority of the people here speak both languages. Some only speak Porteguese. (mom already sent this)

Any ideas in how I can make beans taste better? Does Bush's baked beans have a recipe? And I want to cook some fish but I forgot how to cook them. I think I can still clean them though. Oh and how can I make orange chicken and fried rice? I am craving some Panda. (mom sent recipes after reading this)

An elder just gave me the nickname of el arrepentimiento, haha.
Do you know if that huge coat I bought for New York is expensive? It's not really water proof and it takes a lot of space to pack, do you mind if I leave it behind?

So I am convincing Elder Salinas to join the Coast Guard with me. He wants to be a dentist. On our home computer I left some info on the notes app. Go there and check out the website of the Coast Guard OCS program. Send any info over if you have time.
Dad - I have a pureté idea. you or randy should get a job at Delta airlines. You will have sweet benefits, free flights across the states and only pay the tax on international. You could all come down here when I end my mission and we could go visit all my converts!!!!! That would be an experience of a lifetime.

Randy - sweet news about the blessing. I have a cool part about sharing the gospel in mine too. (and a part about the second coming, but we will share that in person :)
How is NAU going? I bet you are loving the weather. How is the basketball team? I wish I could play some bball here, it would be great if I could walk on at BYU Hawaii.

Our best investigator is Mariella. reference from a member familia. She has 3 daughters and no husband. She is doing great. She loves the plan of salvation and all that she is learning from the BOM. Her baptism is on the 8th.
Elder Schouten just baptized 6 of my old investigators, too bad I wasnt there, but I know the lord needs me here.

mucho besos y kisses,

Elder LaFaye
(el arrepentimiento)