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

Monday, February 27, 2012

A New Companion

How pé,

Gherson Reyes was baptized and confirmed! We decided to baptize him on tuesday before cambios so elder Schone could be there. The Reyes family are fantastic, still coming every sunday, paying tithing, participating in elders quorom, and even visiting menos activos. We have to in plan still because they didn't come to church last week. Ever Gonzalez has 2 asistencias but is still drinking and smoking, he wants to stop so we are going to keep working with him to drop them. Right now we are working with a lot of new investigators with only one or two lessons taught so far. We did some service for one of our members last saturday cutting down a tree, IT WAS HUGE! I hoisted up my companion with a rope and then he hacked away with a machete for about 45 minutes, it started pouring down rain and thundering about half way through to make it even more fun. He gave us some good references so we are going to go teach his sobrinos with him.

I had intercambios con elder Nelson from Saint George, we had the funniest lesson I had ever seen. We were at this guys house, 25 yrs old, who we taught once with elder Schone. when we were about to start the lesson he said he didn't want to pray because he didn't like my new companion. elder Nelson was a little confused and asked if there was something he did, or something he could do to fix it. He said no, not even God could help him, he just did not like him for some reason. He kept saying things like no me gusta, no me cae bien. It was like this for a good 5 minutes trying to figure out what was going on and what I should do, I was about to tell him we can come back tomorrow with my other companion elder Bowers and hopefully he would like him. Then he just started busting up laughing saying it was all a joke.

My new companion Elder Bowers is doing a good job adapting to the new area, he is very obediant and is excited to be a district leader. He's from Wyoming and has a sister serving in Washington. It's a whole new experience for me to switch companions and go from the training schedule to the regular missionary schedule, but I like it, more time to go out and work.
My health is great, my shoes are a little beat on the insole so I'm trying to look for some new ones but cant find any in guarambare.

Sweet, I hope you have all started the book of mormon. Here's some other ideas while your marking it.
Go through and really focus on the atonement of Christ, faith, repentance, baptism, recieving the holy ghost, and enduring to the end.
Write references. Every time possible try to think of another verse in the scriptures that is related to the one your reading and write it down. By the end its amazing to see how many connections and examples of different principles there are.
You can read through it and look up every footnote, cirle ones you like and circle the word in the verse and draw a line through it with a light yellow marker or something. it looks awesome.
just remember the key is to mark like crazy, dont mark too much as to lose the advantage of highlighting, but have fun with it. :)

Gracias por todo,

con amor,

Elder LaFaye

Monday, February 20, 2012

New mission president

Bishepa mi familia,

We have one investigator (the oldest son in the Reyes family) scheduled for bautismo this week and 2 more for next week. One is a 9 year old sobrino of one of our members, the other, Ever Gonzalez came the last 2 sundays after having an experience with the police. He is a friend of a recent convert who can see the change his friend made in his life after dropping drugs, smoking and drinking. So now he wants to be baptized but is heavily addicted to wine. Once he finds the strength to drop them he will be in the font in no time, we are very excited for him.

Taught a testigo de jehova last week, that was interesting. Started off really chill but when we asked if we could say a prayer he said "yes, but i need to say it, only people in my church can pray. When others pray they are praying to the devil". It went downhill really fast from there. I dont know how you baptize anyone when you tell them they can't pray to their father in heaven. He and his wife are missionaries for that church so he has a really good knoweledge of the bible. It's just amazing how someone can know so much but be so lost. He went to teach one of our members, hmno Talevera, who is ex military and will tell you how it is, straight up kind of guy. When Talevera asked what they believe happens after this life they answered our bodies die and just become part of the earth, and that's the end. He laughed and answered "maybe your bodies will become dirt, I'm going to take mine and live with my heavenly father".  He cracks me up. Hermano Talevera is a perfect example of someone who can change completely just by people showing their love towards him. He was inactive for about 5 years because people in the branch and even the missionaries didn't get along with him. After stopping by his house every week to talk to him he has become muy tranquillo.

If there was one person I could baptize in Guarambare right now it would be the husband of our mission mom, hmna Tania. Theres been a lot of problems in the ward caused by missionaries in this area, so hmno Valdez does not like the missionaries at all. When I first got here he told me, I know what your here for, I've heard it all before, I have my own Catholic beliefs, you can continue to talk with my family but dont try to convert me. Over the last 3 months we have very slowly built a relationship with him. We actually got him to join in with us for a family home evening after a few failed attempts. One time we played uno with them but he left when we wanted to share a message. But this time we just carried a conversation about things he was interested in (like cars and military stuff), and perfectly transitioned it into sharing a scripture from the bible without him leaving. He really like it and thanked us for sharing it with him. Then we took a leap of faith and asked him to offer the closing prayer. Miraculously he accepted and said a beautiful prayer. Hmna Tania started crying and later thanked us for all the work we have done with her family. She really wants to be sealed with her 2 kids and husband so we will keep trying. Tomorrow elder Schone is going to give him one of those life strength watches that his dad makes and bear his testimony to try and spark something. So keep familia Valdez in your prayers por favor.

Well, training is just about over, crazy. It went by so fast, Ive learned so much from elder Schone and the other elders in my district. I had intercambios with elder Vasquez this week, it was fun having a latino for a companion. We worked hard and really focused on finding new investigators, especially familias. Before that day we would usually get investigators from contacts and referencias so I had never really clapped on random doors, but it was very successful so im going to do that more often.

Our new Presidente de mission will be Pedro Agazanni from Cordoba Argentina. El tiene 43 años y tiene 5 hijos. El va a empezar 1 de julio 2012.

Back to good health after last week but elder Schone caught whatever i had so now his throat and nose are a mess, nonetheless he's always ready to work. Could you also send some shoe insoles(cant find the question mark button on this keyboard).

Alright so this week I would really like for you all to start reading the book of mormon. If you are reading right now, keep going, but if not, grab a cheap blue copy and read it with a purpose and mark it like crazy. Since I've been here I started reading and focused my reading all on JesuCristo. Every time it made a reference to him I would color it blue. (like lord, son of god, jesus, lamb of god, he, him, his). Then all the attributes of christ in purple. Then all the words of Christ in red. and anything else that is a cool scripture of a true gospel principle in orange. Try this or any other cool ideas you have. Out of time but I will talk more on this next week. Try your best to read one chapter or 30 minutes a day and your testimony with be strenghtened like crazy.

Love ya, Gracias por todo,

Elder LaFaye

Monday, February 13, 2012

Keeping the Word of Wisdom

Hola que tal,

I´ll try to fit in all the stories I can real quick.

Nery and his son Ian were confirmed! So now the Reyes family are officially members of the Church, im so excited for them.

We had a surprise investigator at church yesterday who we have been working with since before i arrived here, Ever Gonzalez,. He brought his uncle too, even though he was a little drunk it was great to finally see him at church. He has stopped doing drugs but is very addicted to wine. Once he is able to drop it he will be ready for baptism. He wants to be baptized because he can see the change its made in his friends life, David, who dropped every type of drug you can think of.

Another investigator we are working with, Miguel Nunez, has progressed a lot with the word of wisdom, he takes a few smokes at night and is drinking alcohol by the spoon full. He is starting to buy leche, gum, and suckers to help him. He loves the book of mormon but he thinks he needs to have a lot more knowledge and know more doctrine before he commits to a date. He has a very bad knee so he always uses a cane even though hes only like 50 years old. (picture dad using a cane). But recently he is starting to use it less and says he only carries around with him to beat people on the head with it.

Bruno has been inactive for 14 months now, but after a bad day at work he came home and threw his stuff around his room. Out of his backpack fell a little scripture mastery card with dc 59:9-10. after reading it he deciding to come to church the next day. He was an outstanding missionary about 5 years ago, and he could be a fantastic bishop and do a lot of good here in guarambare now that he is active. BRUNO IS BACK!

We found a great family last week on the street. We were walking by and saw a bunch a drunk guys around these two who were playing the guitar and the harp. Silvio Mora plays the harp like a pro, its pretty awesome. When we stopped by to listen he stopped playing and said to us with a very thick accent "how do you like my country". He used to work in France for 16 years so he picked up a few frases in English. I love working with families so im really excited to teach them.

Just finished studying ch 10 in PMG and am starting on ch 1. My teaching is improving everyday as I apply these points in our lessons. Studying ch1 always gives me more animo para trabajar each time I read it. In the book of Mormon i just read Enos and Jarom. Enos is one of my favorite stories about prayer, forgiveness and the love for others, igual no mas if they want to kill you.

Cant believe my training is almost over, still feels like i just arrived in Guarambare. Elder Schone is doing an outstanding job as always. I've been a little sick this week but nothing to interfere with the work. I had a member make me some awesome scripture cases made of leather. They are pretty ballin. I love the first set so much i had to get a second, so caitlyn if you have scriptures that would fit in the spanish size I've got some legit covers for you. If you are going to send another package heres some ideas that would be greatly appreciated: my addidas sandals, steak seasoning and garlic salt seasoning, maple for my syrup, another set of the frixon erasable pens (red,blue,black), more photos of our family (im going to have the leather guy make me something with them), crunchy peanutbutter is always loved, oh and muy importante, if you didnt find my patriarchal blessing in the envelope in my room can you call and get me a copy and send it to me? Gracias

So I was thinking, and I want to start giving you one thing to do each week to help with family home evening. I know its hard when you are all super busy but ive started implementing FHE with a few families here and it really makes a difference. So this week in FHE I would like you to focus it on prayer. Prayer is a very simple principle that sometimes gets overlooked, but if you really think how great of a blessing it is for us to talk directly with our father in heaven, it gives it a little more meaning. Everything we have in the church and all the blessing we have recieved from the gospel today, are all because one 14 year old boy decided to kneel down and pray. I have prayed more in these last 5 months than i have in these last 5 years it seems like. I pray for you all everyday and I want to thank you for keeping me in your prayers.

les amo,

Elder LaFaye

Monday, February 6, 2012

Offer a simple prayer

Bitugo shedaha,

Thanks a ton for all the letters. I`ll try to respond back to them next week cuz some of them were hilarious. Heres a few stories real quick:

So I love talking about Nery Reyes, he switched jobs so he could attend church on Sundays. Friday he was in Asuncion selling stuff to cars who pass by. After a few hours with no success, he and his son remembered our promise that whenever they needed help, offer a simple prayer. So they bowed their heads and prayed. Not too long after, a car passed by and bought about 25 mil worth of stuff (like 6usd). Then another car passed by and bought about 40 mil, then a third car completly bought him out with a wod of cash around 200 mil. The man then asked if he had more, Nery said he will meet him here the same time the next day, and then thanked him a lot and told the man that he will bring him something that will bless his life and give his family more happiness than anything else (the Book of Mormon).

Just ran out of time. Will finish the story next week.

much love!

Elder LaFaye