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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, 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


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 :)