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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, 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


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


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