In 1939, Frederick S. Williams was among the first members of the Church to visit Paraguay. At that time he was president of the Argentine Mission. Brother Williams recalled: "I had never seen a happier, more pleasant people in my life. We heard them singing in the houses we passed and on the streets. . . . Asuncion was a delight to my soul. I fell in love with the Guarani people and wondered how long it would be before they were permitted to hear the gospel." ("Acts of Faithfulness Write Story of Church Growing in Paraguay." Church News, May 27, 1995).
About 1948, Samuel J. Skousen, a former missionary to Argentina, working for the U.S. Government, was stationed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Skousen family shared the gospel with Carlos Alberto Rodriguez and his fiancee, Mafalda Figueriras. This couple later married and moved to Asuncion, Paraguay. The Skousens also moved to Asuncion and continued their contact with the Rodriguez'. They were baptized on August 21, 1948. Brother Skousen was appointed president of a branch in Asuncion on July 26, 1848. In 1949, the First Presidency granted permission for Frederick S. Williams, then president of the Uruguay mission, to open up Paraguay for the preaching of the gospel.
The first missionaries arrived on January 9, 1950. Missionary work proceeded slowly. The first baptism in the mission was occurred 1951 -- Klara Ans de Krisch. Later that year, two branches were organized. The Paraguay Mission was created in 1977. At that time there were 2,063 members. The Asuncion Paraguay Stake was created on Feb 25, 1979. Carlos Ramon Espinola was the first stake president. By 1980, there were still only 2,232 members. During 1980, almost an entire colony of about 200 Chulupi (or Nivacle Indians) joined the Church in a remote area along the Pilcomayo River.
Until 1990, the Church was primarily centralized in Asuncion, with only a few branches and districts in the interior of the country. Efforts were made to strengthen leadership in the smaller communities. In 1990 the mission exceeded 1,000 baptism. Membership grew to 12,000. In 1994, the San Lorenzo Stake was created, the fourth in the country. The work continued to progress rapidly. In 1996, there were 23,000 members in Paraguay.
In 1995 mission president Jeffrey A. Allred described the progress of missionary work:
"With the increase in the number of missionaries it has been possible to open areas of the population that could not be opened in the past. In our mainly Spanish-speaking mission, we also have many Paraguayan missionaries who can teach the gospel in Guarani, and this has been marvelous. In addition, our North American missionaries have Uruguayan or Brazilian missionaries as companions who speak Portuguese, and in this way we are reaching the entire population.
"However, the decisive factor in the growth has been the dedication and commitment of the local leaders, who are unified and coordinate their strength with the missionaries. This has brought in a great number of converts who are active." ("'Heart' of South America Opening to Gospel." Church News, May 27, 1995).