29 September, 2010

It is about the people

Thank you for the support and the help, it definitely helped me feel a lot better. I've been realizing that I need to stop focusing on myself so much, and start focusing on the people. I have wanted people to come to church and be baptized so that I could have a baptism, and I need to be out here to help the people instead. If I go throughout my mission without a single baptism, but can help many people, and have done all I can do, then I have no reason to be disappointed. I have really been figuring out that I need to develop more patience this week. I just came out here expecting to start baptizing right away, forgetting that I wouldn't learn anything if there weren't some hard times here and there. I have also been relying too much on my own knowledge and strength rather than relying on the Lord. But as I have come to figure out this week ¨As to me and my strength, I am nothing¨ there are a lot of things that i still have to learn, but i feel like i am always learning so much every day here.

This week we got a new plaque on our church building. We were walking by as the people were trying to put it up, and so we got to help them put it up there. Now we have a marble one instead of some kind of metal thing that it was before. On Tuesday we ate some empanadas, and then went back to our apartment, and m companion threw up, we still went out for the rest of the day though. On Wednesday we had the opportunity to do some service. There was a sister in Rama 2 (we are Rama 3) that needed help with planting some mandioca. Unfortunately the house was about 7 miles from our house, so we got to walk all the way there, and hour and a half later we finally got there and started helping. We cut down the other plants with a machete because it has the seeds in it. We then got to carry them to another spot to be planted, but the seeds make it so the plant cuts up your arms, so that was fun. Finally we cut up the pieces of the plant and planted them. After that she fed us some food. Then my companions sickness got worse, and he had no energy, so we went back a little early in the day. The next day, he was feeling really sick again, and so we had to stay in for most of that day. On Friday we had our only full normal day without anything else and taught and found a lot of people. We were walking and a drunk guy called us over, we went, and he invited us in, and we taught his family, and set up an appointment to return. On Saturday, we had another service, in our Rama, cleaning the school by our house. We did that for about 3 hours and then finally got to go out and teach. We had a baptism on Saturday as well, an 8 year old. Her mother jsut hadn´t done anything to get her baptized yet, and so we set everything up, and got to clean out and fill up the font, and then i got to give a talk for the baptism, and then my companion baptized her. On Sunday, once again we didn´t have any investigators show up for church, I went with a member to go and try to get people, but nobody was there. After church we were walking by a tree, that had a bees nest in it, and apparently we walked too close, because the bees attacked us, and we both got stung in the neck.

It rained a ton this week as well, which is really fun for us, because it makes all the roads really hard to walk on, especially when it´s dark. Both me and my companion stepped in a couple puddles during the week, and my companion slipped and fell and got mud all over his pants and shirt. We finally got our shower fixed, so no more having to take only cold showers, which has been really nice. That´s about all for this week, the work is still hard here, but I know that i need to just have the patience. Thanks again for the help and for your guys’ support. The address is a little bit different than the one that was in my papers, but this one is faster for mailing me stuff.

Elder Ryan Griffin
2881 del maestro c/ caballero
barrio herrera

22 September, 2010

Commitment Problems

Well this has been an interesting week for sure. We have been teaching an investigator that I told you about earlier. Her name is Nilsa Benites. She has a strong testimony about the church, and loves having us come over to teach her more. We committed her to come to church however, and she didn´t come. Her 9 year old son did though. We went and talked to her, and she wanted to come, but that she couldn´t that day, and probably can't next week. We taught her that the only way to strengthen her testimony, is by showing her faith by sacrificing other things to come to church, and that we want her to do everything she can to come this next week, since the next week after that is general Conference.

We have another investigator, who is the son of a member. Her other son is already a member, and her 8 year old daughter wants to be baptized. Her son is like 20, and has had three baptismal interviews, and then backed out at the last second. We haven´t been able to talk to him since that, because he is only available on Saturday, and Sunday.

We have a lot of other people as well that we are teaching right now, we usually get about 5 lessons or so a day. Some days are really hard, because a lot of our appointments fall through, and then we have to try and find other new people to teach. Usually the people we find, act like they are interested, and then tell us there house is ¨over there¨ Which usually gives away that they aren´t interested.

It´s been hard going 4 weeks now and not having a single person that we have helped thus far. I feel like we have the potential to be baptizing so many more people than we are, but it´s just not happening. I have been trying to figure out the things that i´m doing wrong, and fix them, using the scriptures, preach my gospel, and the Liahona. I feel like it´s hard to keep faith that the people will come to church, or that they will keep their commitments, because they usually don´t..... but I think that is more our fault than theirs. I´m still trying to do everything i can to be able to serve the lord to the best of my ability, but some days I just want to sit in the apartment because i get so exhausted. I know the lord is just testing my patience, and that i need to keep my faith strong though.

Today, me and all the group that came with me got to go to Asuncion for P-day.... we had to go back to sign our documents... again. for some reason they changed the system right after we left, so we had to take a trip back there to go sign stuff. I´m 3 hours out of Asuncion, so i got to wake up at 2:45, and get on a bus to go there. I had to stand for two of the 3 hours because it was so crowded, and we have to pay for the travel up to 50 mil Guarani. We got there, signed the stuff, and then 4 hours later, finally got back on a bus to come back. Now, I’m here emailing with about 2 hours of actual P-day this week.

Well, i love you all tons, thanks for the letters, and no Dear elder is not faster, because we only get mail on Mondays anyway. Email is better for you guys, unless you want me responding a week after you send the letters. Anyway, thanks again for the support, and keep the people here in your prayers. Thanks a ton!

Elder Ryan Griffin

14 September, 2010

Teaching, Culture and the Food

Well it has been a good week again. The work here is definitely hard, and I still can´t say everything i want to say in Spanish yet, but i am getting a lot closer to being there. The Spanish is coming along really fast, but it´s hard when they talk in Guarani, because i don´t understand anything they say when they start speaking in that.


We have a couple of progressing investigators that we have been teaching this week.

One is Nilsa Benites, her husband left her, she had 6 children, two of which are over 8 years old. We have taught her about 5 times or so now, and she loves meeting with us. This last visit, on Saturday, she said that she feels really good when we teach her, and when she reads the Book of Mormon, but she still is confused about whether it is the true church or not. we invited her to come to church, and testified that if she puts forth the real effort to gain a testimony, that the lord will answer her prayers.

Another investigator is Mariella, who is the girlfriend of a less-active member. The less-active member however has a wife in Argentina whom he has to divorce. Then we can be able to baptize her, so we are still working and praying to know what to do with that.

Another one is Lida, who had a baptismal date for Saturday, but we couldn´t keep it. She also is living with her boyfriend, who is a member, and she wants to be baptized. They have to either be married, or seperate for her to be baptized however. We taught them the Law of Chastity on Wednesday, and asked that they pray for help on what to do. We still haven´t heard how it went yet.

Another one is Lilliana, who is the girlfriend of the grandson of Hermana Ursulina, who is a member. Her daughter also is a member. We have been teaching Lilliana about 2 or 3 times a week, and she is receptive to the teachings, but we can´t seem to get her to go to church.

This week we committed 6 people to go to church, and then come Sunday.... we didn´t have one investigator show up. For some reason the people here say they will do things, but it´s hard to get them to actually do the things. We need to do a better job at letting them know the importance of going to church, and that they need to use their agency to do that.

Lucy, the woman that we were guided to the second day i was here, we still haven´t had a chance to teach again. Every time we go by there she goes in the house, or something else, and doesn´t want to listen to us again.


There is a game called Piki that the people play here. It is very similar to volleyball, but you can´t use your hands. They only use their heads, chest, feet, and thigh to hit the ball. The people here are really good at keeping a rally going.

Instead of waving here, people give the thumbs up. This is pretty much the same as waving would be in America, as to say hi.

Everybody here rides motorcycles. It is pretty much their family car here. We have seen up to 4 people all on the same motorcycle at a time, all holding groceries. They have kids that are really young that always drive them too, I think the youngest I have seen so far is about 8 years old. We unfortunately live on a corner, of a highway here. There are constantly motorcycles driving by, and loud music blasting, which makes it difficult to sleep

There are little corner stores, called dispensas. They sell food and other stuff that can also be found at the supermarket. We helped our Branch Presidents wife set one up at their house, and helped them paint it as well. Every dispensa also sells drinks in these glass bottles; they are one GuaranĂ­, which is about 20 cents. You return the bottle, and that is why it is so cheap, but it´s quite nice when it´s a hot day outside.

The weather here is always changing. One day it is burning hot, and humid, and the next it is freezing cold, still humid. Our shower only puts out water of the temperature it is at, which in the mornings is usually nice and cold. It takes some getting used to, having to take a cold shower, but it´s not so bad anymore.


The food here is interesting for sure. They eat way different here than we do in America. Here are some of the things I have tried

Cafe soja- soy coffee is what it´s translated out to, but it is actually not bad for you like coffee, it tastes about like what coffee smells like, so it´s kind of weird, but not too bad. It is just milk, with the powder put in.

Tortillas- Definitely not your typical tortilla here. It is small enough to fit in the hand, but it is really good. It has eggs, flower, water, and lettuce.

Halls- Yes, the people here do in fact eat cough drops as a candy, quite strange i must say.

Milk- comes in a pouch rather than a carton, which makes it hard to use, but it tastes good

Well that´s all for today, love you guys, and I’ll talk to you again next week
Elder Ryan Griffin

01 September, 2010

This is my companion.

These are pictures of my area and what the roads look like.