Wednesday, December 25, 2013

This past week has been awesome! It was a hard week but it has been an awesome week.

Elder Brown, one of our assistants, went home this past week. That was kind of a bummer. It has been awesome working in the offices and getting to know him and go out on splits with him. He has taught me so much. One of the few missionaries I know that I can say was the 4th missionary. 

After that, elder Nilsson went home and sister Britsch went home. We are going to miss them. Especially Elder Nilsson working in the offices with us.  

This change has been crazy with different people leaving on different schedules because they extended their mission or had to start school early, o lo que sea. It’s been a fun one though. 

As Christmas gets closer, life gets more hectic. We have calls basically everyday saying we need to go get mail, we have different deadlines to get to before people close for the holidays, getting changes done and figured out because buses don’t run when we needed them to run, working to get missionaries from different countries so they arrive on time, etc. It’s a lot but we are somehow getting it all done by putting in extra hours. 

Something cool that happened this past week was my old ward from Salto came down to Montevideo to go to the temple so I got to see them! I feel like I have never missed somewhere so much in my life. I love my area now but there is nothing like seeing the people from your first area and remembering all the experiences that you had with them. It was cool seeing all of the awesome people that we worked with at the temple. And it was cool because I actually could talk to them now jaja. I have been so blessed to be able to meet and build relationships with the people down here in Uruguay. There are some of my best friends now. Hermana Silvia even cooked me a cake! jaja I got to see my best friend Thiago too. He drew me a picture and wrote me a letter. I was soooooo happy to get to see all them again. 

So yesterday was awesome. Elder Woods hit the streets hard. It started off interesting because we were walking down this street and this guy calls us over and starts asking us who he can talk to to sell the church land to build a new chapel. It was an interesting contact to say the least but we gave him an invitation to this activity we are having in the temple gardens tonight and tomorrow night and he said he would go. We kept walking and about 15 minutes later we walked passed this older lady (later told us she was 93) sitting on her front porch who looked so sad. We walk past and Elder woods commented about it and it kinda hit me that we needed to go back and I said "lets go talk to her. wanna do it?" he just goes ill follow you" so I was like "LETS DO IT!!" we turned around and went back and started talking to her about how beautiful the day was and everything. Then we started talking about Christ and the meaning of the Christmas season and everything and she went on to explain that she was catholic and wasn’t going to change but we stayed and bore our testimonies of Jesus Christ and left her with a smile. I was kinda bummed wondering why we had felt so strongly to go back and talk to her if she was just going to reject us. Well I got my answer a few seconds later. As we were walking past the next house, a man on a moto yelled at us and called us over. He and his daughter took off their helmets and introduced themselves. He said that he wanted us to go over to his house and give his wife a blessing because she was sick. He told us that his wife had told him that the next time he saw the mormon missionaries in the streets to stop them and tell them to come over. So we set up a time to go by today and he was really grateful and left. Then it hit me. We talked to her so that we would be there when this guy passed on his moto. If we had kept going, we wouldn’t have been there when the guy came through the intersection. Now we are going over to exercise the priesthood and teach a family. The Lord really does provide as we work with all diligence and follow the promptings of the Spirit. It seems as though every time something like this happens I am always overwhelmed with gratitude for being part of this great work. Then right after that, we met a guy on the streets and made a contact and taught as we walked about 8 blocks to his house. We went on after that to teach some menos activos and finish up the day strong with some other lessons. I love the mission!!!

Tonight and tomorrow night we have a huge Christmas program in Carrasco at the temple. It’s going to be great. We have the assignment of giving tours and answering questions. It’s a big program of choirs and Christmas videos. It’s going to be such an uplifting experience for all those that go. 

My spiritual thought today comes from Mosiah 2. The last verse in the chapter, verse 41. It says:

41  Y además, quisiera que consideraseis el bendito y feliz estado de aquellos que guardan los mandamientos de Dios. Porque he aquí, ellos son bendecidos en todas las cosas, tanto temporales como espirituales; y si continúan fieles hasta el fin, son recibidos en el cielo, para que así moren con Dios en un estado de interminable felicidad. ¡Oh recordad, recordad que estas cosas son verdaderas!, porque el Señor Dios lo ha declarado.

(41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.)

I testify, as King Benjamin did, that as we keep the commandments that God has set forth for us, we will find this happiness. We will live in this happiness. We will receive all of the blessings the our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. This is my testimony that I leave you with. I know that Christ lives. I know that He loves us and knows us perfectly. I hope that we all can take time this Christmas season to think back on what He really means to us. Pray and think about what influence He has had in our lives. Do your best to REMEMBER this as we go throughout this season and into a new year. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do. 

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week. 

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Con Cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sorry I didn’t write last week. We had a crazy p-day full of sports and stuff and we didn’t really have time to write. But how is everyone?! I hope that everyone has been getting into the Christmas spirit and not forgetting what the real meaning behind the Christmas season.

This week has been really good. We have been working with ward lists a lot more. Our ward secretary gave us lists and we have been heading out to go find. It’s a lot easier finding people to teach when at least you have a name. We have been finding more menos activos and incomplete families to work with. LA OBRA VA BIEN EN BARRIO 5! We got an awesome reference this past week from other missionaries that had found him contacting in the street in another area. His name is Manuel. He is about 25 years old and is looking for more peace in his life. We went to his house to find him once and he wasn’t there but the second time we went, he invited us right in. We didn’t have the most organized first lesson with him because he had a lot of questions and doubts. After the lesson, we asked him to pray, and he said that he felt better after he had prayed. We testified to him that as he continues to pray and learn more, he will begin to see how the gospel brings peace of mind and surety in his life. We have a lot of faith in him that he will progress and one day have full access to the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

On Wednesday, we had a special zone conference with Elder González, from the first quorum of the 70 and also president of the South America south area. It was such an awesome conference! He started off by explaining that he was a convert of the missionaries serving in our mission. He was baptized by missionaries serving here in his home country of Uruguay. He talked about our role as missionaries and where we need to be focusing. About helping people find their own answers instead of providing solutions to problems, as this allows for a stronger conversion. He also talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how we need to focus on using the Book of Mormon in every lesson as that is the keystone of our religion and has all the answers. We did some practices with him and his wife and we just learned a ton overall. He is actually such a funny guy. He was cracking little jokes the whole time and the way he says things really shows his loving character for all. The Spirit was so strong during that conference and we all walked out feeling ready to face whatever we had in store. It was one of the best conferences I have ever been to. He came in to the offices on Thursday to see everything and meet all of us. We took a picture with him but I don’t have it on my camera. Sister Bingham has it so we will send that to you guys later. It was just such a cool experience being able to talk to him and ask him questions like that. It made me really want to know the Book of Mormon front and back. We have seen a big difference in our studies in the past week. 

My spiritual thought from this week comes from 2 Nephi 31. In verse 16 it says: 

"16 Y ahora bien, amados hermanos míos, por estos sé que a menos que el hombre persevere hasta el fin, siguiendo el ejemplo del Hijo del Dios viviente, no puede ser salvo." 

o sea

"16 And now my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved."

I like this scripture a lot as I thought about it this past week. I never really understood what it meant to endure to the end as this scripture explains. I feel as if most of us just think of it as going to church on Sundays, going home/visiting teaching once a month, reading our scriptures when we find the time to read them, etc. I, up until recently, thought the same. Until it hit me. Enduring to the end is so much more than that. Yeah, those things a great. We need to do those things like going to church, reading our scriptures, doing our home teaching, etc. We should be doing those things. But what is more is who we become in the process. How are we changing on a daily basis to become more as the Savior is? Do we have a spirit of charity as the Savior did when he walked on the earth? Does our faith continue to grow?  Are we being diligent as he was and obedient to all of his commandments? With obedience comes blessings, with exact obedience comes miracles. I know that as we strive to become more like Him, as we endure to the end, this change will occur in us. It is then when we deepen our conversion. 

I know that the church is true. It has been restored to its fullness by a prophet, Joseph Smith, when as a boy he saw The Father and Son. I know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book to ever be written and that a man will get closer to God by reading it than any other book. I know that families are eternal. God has given us a plan so that we may one day return to live with Him. I know this with all that I am. I love being a missionary and seeing the difference that the gospel makes in their lives. It is night and day. 

Well that is all the time i have for this week, I hope that you all have a great week this coming week. OH! I TURNED 9 MONTHS IN THE MISSION TODAY!! WHOOP WHOOP! Time is flying. I wish it would slow down. 

I love you all so much! You are in my prayers. Remember to keep the faith and a smile on your face! Life is awesome! 

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better. 

Con much cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL FAR AND WIDE, every man, woman, and child, American, guayan, lo que sea. I hope you guys had an awesome thanksgiving this past week and remembered how blessed we all are. We don’t celebrate thanksgiving down here but we may have had an awesome dinner Thursday night cooked by Hermana Bingham. Probably one of the best meals I have ever eaten in my entire life. Sister Bingham made this like, ham laced with orange sauce (which reminded me of her orange rolls, so it was super good.) We had turkey, potatoes, standard vegetables (strange green uruguayan beans), yams, rolls, and the pies. We had a coconut pie, a pecan pie (which was AWESOME) and a oreo pie with huge cream on top. Everything she made us was like a step back into the states. We thank them profusely every single day. That woman works miracles in the kitchen. We were so blessed to have the opportunity to eat with them.

So besides that, this week has been really good. It has been a great learning and humbling experience. We have come to realize that a lot of the people we have been teaching haven’t really been progressing so we have been really focused on finding this week. We spent a lot more time in the street trying to find people. It’s a process but we are working hard. And we know that we will be blessed for our efforts as long as we are obedient and diligent. 

We have been working a lot with members. We had an awesome lesson yesterday with a less active. She came back to church last Sunday after we had gone by with a member the week before. We asked her how it went yesterday and she said that it had made all the difference in her week. She explained how she felt and how much peace had entered in her life (which something else). She expressed her desires to never miss another Sunday again. She wanted us to teach her boyfriend about the gospel so that he could one day be baptized and that they could be sealed in the temple. It was such a spiritual lesson. We taught her about the plan of salvation and about why were here on this earth. She came to understand why it was important yesterday. 

Sorry I don’t have much more to write about this past week. We have just been running around and working like crazy. 

So my spiritual thought this week comes from 2 Nefi 26. It says:

"23 Porque nosotros trabajamos diligentemente para escribir, a fine de persuadir a nuestros hijos, así como a nuestros hermanos, a creer en Cristo y a reconciliarse con Dios; pues sabemos que es por la gracia por la que nos salvamos, después de hacer cuanto podamos."

 (23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.)

Here we learn the Nephi had worked incredibly hard and diligently to keep this record. It was something really important for him and for his family. He wrote these things so that his children and brethren, his posterity, would one day come to the knowledge of their Savior. So that they could know how they can partake of His grace. My testimony has grown so much since I have left for my mission. I know that if we read the Book of Mormon, we will come to believe in Christ even more, our faith will grow. I know that someone will get closer to God reading this book than by reading any other. I know that it is true. I wish that everyone could know the same. So my challenge this week is that all of you could read the Book of Mormon every day. Start with this week. Take it as an experiment. I know you will feel the difference just as I have.    

I love you all so much. 

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week. 

Until next week, 
Elder Staffieri

Thursday, November 28, 2013


This week has been pretty nuts. We got the changes on Sunday and elder Bedke just looked at me and goes, well go for it. You have to go solo at some point. So I did. I don’t think I have ever been so overwhelmed. It was pretty crazy. Making changes happen. Looking up tickets, knowing where they are going and where they are coming from, who’s going with who. Getting trainers down to pick up their missionaries. Making sure every single one had a companion to travel with (really hard when only one person is going to another area). And everything in-between. Then picking up people from the airport, taking people to drop them off at the airport. Getting everything ready for everyone. Needless to say we had a few late nights in the office and no sleep. Going to buy tickets at the bus station when you find out things didn’t work how they should have and that you have to change it or when they miss their bus and have to get a different one. Literally I know all the people who work at the agencies we use on a first name basis now ha-ha. But the good thing is THEY ALL GOT DONE!!! WWWHHHOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPP!! And everyone got to where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there. Success!!

So my new comp, elder woods is a stud! He is from Idaho. He has been in the mission just over a year. A really great missionary. He is really helping me out a lot. He is willing to work and has a great sense of humor. I think we will get along great.

Moving up is just different. You have a lot more responsibility to make sure you are getting things done. But I am learning as I am going. hay que trabajar no? y trabajamos a ful!!!

there isnt really that much to tell from this past week. sorry this is so short. this week was just a lot of changes and getting back into the swing of a new change. 

My spiritual though this last week comes from my mom. I am so grateful for her and for all she does for me. She always sends me such great spiritual thoughts and I would like to share this one. 

"I am sure that when our life here is over we will be able to see just how short it is in comparison to the eternity.  I also believe that when we realize this we will have a perspective of just what was important in this life and those things that are important are the things of a spiritual nature that affect our growth of our testimony and our spiritual development. My spiritual thought for the week comes from the conference talk of Elder Christofferson on living a consecrated life.  He mentions that the Lord gives us two gifts 1) the gift of time and 2) the gift of freedom to choose what we do with our time.  Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for.  In this life we walk by faith and prove ourselves able to choose good over evil and our eternal reward will be according to our choosing.  There are basically 5 elements of a consecrated life:  purity, work, respect for one's physical body, service, and integrity.  I love the scriptures of Moroni 7:48 and 1 John 3:2  that are used in this talk - may we consecrate ourselves as sons and daughters of God that when we shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  I shared this talk and this message with our family at family home evening this past week and challenged each of us to work on one aspect of a consecrated life with consistency and notice the change in our spirits as we do so."

I know that this is true. I would like to extend the same invitation to all who read this. Find and work on one aspect of a consecrated life with consistency and see the blessings. I know that as you do this, you will be blessed. You will see the difference. You will feel it. It’s the little things. I know this because I has passed in my own life. The gospel helps us become the people that Our Heavenly Father wants us to be. 

I love you all so much. The church is true! Keep the faith and a smile on your face. 

Try a little harder to be a little bit better. 

Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Monday, November 18, 2013

CONGRATS TO CAITLIN AND SETH!! I am super pumped you had a kid! She looks so adorable. I can’t wait to meet her when I get home.

This week was awesome!!
Last Sunday, we the missionaries sang a special musical number in sacrament meeting. There is a first time for everything. Elder Bedke played the piano, and Elder Running, Elder Lamb, and I sang Oh My Father to the music of Come thou fount. It was pretty cool. We didn’t sound too bad I hope ha-ha. 

Also Sunday, Mauricio, the son of a lady who is just now coming back from years of inactivity got the priesthood!! We were so pumped because we have been working with their family for the past few months. Words cannot express the joy and excitement that we had as missionaries to see him being sustained in church. The Spirit was so strong. 

On Monday we had a super intense bolsa run to get to the bus terminal before the shipping companies closed. It was one of the biggest bolsa runs we have had this change because the Binghams (the office couple) bought stuff for every house in the mission (blenders, microwaves, pots, pans, etc.) that needed it. We got to the station with 2 minutes to spare, sent the assistants to run down to save a spot in the lines. We ran up and loaded up dollies and grabbed as many boxes as we could and sprinted down the ramps. 

This week we find an old school tape player and recorder. We have been making some pretty cool tapes. Keep an eye out for the mix. 

Tuesday I went on splits with one of our zone leaders. He is called Elder Miranda. He is from Columbia and is such a stud. We had a great day. We taught a lot and I had a lesson that I will never forget the spirit that I felt. It was so incredible. We taught the plan of salvation a new way that we learned at zone conference and it is powerful. We taught it to an inactive named Diana. When we first met her a few weeks ago, she told us how she was never going to go back to church and how we could visit her if we wanted but we would be wasting our time. Now after having a few lessons she has regained interest. She remembers so much of the book of Mormon and she is strengthening her testimony. She is asking great questions and is finding her answers. She is becoming so much happier. Nothing comes close to the blessings of the gospel and the fruits of the Spirit. Missionary work is the best!

So this has been my last week with Elder Bedke. To be honest, I am super bummed. I love that guy. I have learned so much from him and he has helped me become a better missionary, a missionary that Christ would have me be. We have seen some miracles together and I will miss him. But he is going over to Cerro (the zone right next to ours) so we will still get to play soccer every once in a while. 

So this change I move up to executive secretary and senior comp. My new companion is ELDER WOODS!! He is from the same group as Elder Bedke and Elder Lamb. I have heard awesome things about him and am excited to keep working here in Oeste with him. LA OBRA VA BIEN EN OESTE!!!

My spiritual thought this week comes from a discourse called "The fourth missionary." It says:

The purpose and central blessing of life is change. It is to be changed to become more like Jesus Christ. It is to incorporate into your character, the qualities of His character. It is to move from one degree of intelligence and capacity to the next and from there to the next, until you see God face to face and know Him as He knows you.
(Holding up the scriptures)...none of this makes much difference unless it gets inside of you. All of this is only marks on pieces of paper bound together in leather; it has no intrinsic value, unless it becomes you. The purpose and essential blessing of life is to be changed to become more like the Lord, to realize the full measure of your divine potential.
This process of change, this process of evolving, becoming, is the object of the gospel. Change is the design of faith in Christ, repentance and baptism. Redemptive change happens by the power of the Holy Ghost.
But it happens only if and when your heart is right. It happens only if you do not fight against God. It happens only if you unconditionally surrender your will to the Lord.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I can become a better missionary. I have found that it’s the little things that tend to hold us back from our full potential. It’s those little rules, little thoughts, little words or sentences, those things that you think make no difference in the end make all the difference. The time that we have here on the mission is sacred. We only have one shot to talk to people sometimes. In those moments we need the spirit with us. The time that we have here on the earth is sacred. We need to surrender our will to the Lord. This may seem difficult but it’s really not. When you think about it, it is just doing what you are supposed to do. When everyone is looking and when there is no one around. Haz lo justo! Just choose to do that which is right. Be who the Lord wants you to be. Give up the little things that keep you who you should be. Just try it. I promise you will see the difference. You will be so much happier and achieve a greater peace in your life. More importantly, you will have the Spirit with you more abundantly and find yourself closer to our Savior.

I know this church is true. I know it because I have prayed and received an answer through the feelings of the Holy Ghost. I know that families are eternal. I know the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He came here to the earth for you and for me. It is only through Him that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that He loves each and every one of us. I am so grateful for this time I have to serve here in Uruguay to share the message of the restored gospel with those who life in this great country. There is no better calling than that of a missionary. 

Thank you all so much for all of your prayers and support. I love you all so much. Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week. 

Con Cariño, 

Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hey everybody,

So this last week flew by.  Went by super fast.  But it’s been a good week.  Full of hard work, hard laughs, and hard sleeping.

So this week we sent an alfajor to the states to a lady who works in the travel office that helped us change flights like 3 times for the same group of missionaries. In total, cost 440 pesos but it was worth it. We took a picture and wrote her a note thanking her ha-ha. 

Also, we had some good lessons. 

So Gustavo is doing super awesome.  He asked for work off this Saturday so that he can sleep (he works the night shift) so that he and his daughter Estefani can go to church.  We went with a sister from the ward this week to help Estefani feel more comfortable.  She’s a little shy, but I hope that this Sunday when they come to church they can feel something special and make the decision to keep on coming every week.

We had zone conference this week and it was AWESOME!!!!  We did it together with the two other zones that are here in Montevideo, so it was oeste, cerro and flores.  We learned about giving commitments to people and how we can use the new methods of teaching to help our investigators progress towards baptism.  i got to see Elder Fletcher who was in the CCM with me. I love zone conferences because you see all your friends from the mission and you come out on such a spiritual high. 

Had an awesome lesson with a young man in our ward that has recently gone inactive.  All of his siblings are inactive as well and his parents are not members.  But he is the oldest of all of his brothers and sisters.  He’s about 16.  Super cool kid.  Always ready to make a joke.  But he also knows how to play the guitar super well.  We had a lesson about related to making music and reaching our full potential as children of God. It was a pretty sweet lesson

I hope everything is going awesome for all of you. President Smith taught us that we need to laugh and smile while we work.  Me and my companion looked at each other when he said that and gave each other a fist bump.  I’m glad we got that one down. Ha-ha. 

We are seeing miracles out here in the field and we know that today is the day! The other day we had to go to customs for a three hour experience to try to free a package that contains two cookies, chap-stick, and a thing of mini tums. But in one of the 8 places we went to get his package, we met Alexander. He was one of the customer service people we talked to and he asked us what we do all day and why we are here and all the usual. He then told us that two missionaries had come by his grandma’s house and now she is a member of the church. After, he goes "hey, can you guys come by my house too?" We gladly agreed and took down all of his information. He doesn’t live in our area but we passed it on to the missionaries that work in his area. HOY ES EL DÍA!!!

That’s all the time i have for this week but I want you all to know how much I love you all. You are all in my prayers. Thank you for all you do for me. 

Try a little harder to be a little better!

Go and help the missionaries that are serving in your ward or stake! Catch the wave!!!

Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This week was a great week! Probably one of the most enjoyable weeks of my mission so far. Not for any special reason but we were so happy this past week. It really is true that nothing brings more happiness than spreading the gospel with others.

This past Sunday we had stake conference. One of the more interesting stake conferences I have ever been in. President Smith spoke about how HOY ES EL DÍA! And had all the missionaries stand up and yell it in the middle of conference. Never thought we would ever do that but it was super cool. We had an awesome conference with some great talks. Most talking about how today is the day. The members caught on to the excitement and are stoked to be working with us now. The members are paddling out to catch the wave! We were taking the trash out Monday and a member saw us from about half a block away and goes "Elderes, saben una cosa?! HOY ES EL DÍA!!!"  Ha-ha it made our day. 

We did some more service this past week with Maurizio. He is redoing his mom’s house and asked if we could come. We showed up and he put us to work. It was actually more like a work out. The homes here are made of brick and cement. Most of the electrical wiring is outside the walls just pegged on there with glue or some kind of plastic housing but he wanted to move it all inside because someone had broken in and ripped out all the copper wiring from the house. So he gave us hammers and chisels and went after it for a good two hours. It was pretty awesome. Then after than we were late for a lesson so we took a jog across our area, changed in the church and threw some water on our face and then ran a few blocks to our lesson. We had a great family night with a family that is reactivating and their friends. The lady, who was there, Alma, said that she is interested in having more of the charlas. She isn’t a member but her son is. She is going through some tough times in her life and wants to get closer to God. 

We had a lesson with Gustavo this past week and the stake president came with us. It was great and Gustavo really appreciated it. Then we had another lesson with Gustavo, his 22 year old son, Marcel, and his 19 year old daughter Estephani, yesterday and took a girl from our ward with us who is getting ready to go on her mission to meet his daughter. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the blessings that come as we read and ponder the teachings that it holds. We bore testimony and we could see that they felt it just as much as we did. That lesson was honestly a highlight of the week for me. I cannot explain everything how it went and what was said but it was powerful. It was a lesson where you can think back and have a smile on your face. 

Oh and Halloween! We celebrated Halloween in the offices. In the morning we all put our names in a hat and pulled out who we would be for the day. I pulled out Elder Running ha-ha. Elder Running is such a stud. He has a change more than me in the mission and is the head financer right now. He does some of the funniest things in the office so I had a good time being him. I took a picture and I will send it in the next email so keep an eye out. 

ELDER BEDKE GOT ROBBED THIS PAST WEEK!!! So we were walking in Capurro this past week which is one of the more dangers parts of our area. It was getting pretty late and we were walking to the bus stop to wait for the bus when we saw this group of guys hanging out in the street. We didn’t really think much of it but then as we got closer they all dispersed and made a line across the street and as we passed they all surrounded us. They had a few pretty big guys and we fight pretty good but not good enough for the 6 of them. Then out of no where this guy comes across and pulls out a ..... Just kidding mom. 

What really happened was this: We went into a super market down here and you have to leave your stuff in a locker. Elder Bedke left his key in the locker and when we came back all of his stuff was gone. We don’t have a good story to go with it so I had to make one up. Use what you want when you tell your friends....haha. 

And Elder Bedke and Elder Lamb turned a year old in the mission yesterday! So we burned some stuff to celebrate! Crazy how time flys. 

So my spiritual thought this week comes from my personal study this morning. This morning I was reading in 2 Nefi 9, which is an awesome chapter through and through, when I read vs.45. It really caught my attention this morning for some reason and I talked about it with Elder Bedke and we got super pumped. But in vs 45 it says: 

45 "O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation"

After reading that, it hit me. The gospel is so simple. People can try to complicate it all they want but really it is so simple. What we are asked to do is leave our sins behind (turn away), repent (shake off the chains) and come unto Christ by being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost, and persevering to the end (come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation). It’s that simple. I know that as we do this, we will come to know our Christ more personally. We will know him as our Savior, as our Older Brother, as Him who left his celestial glory to pay for our sins, choosing to suffer all, giving His life that we may take it up again. 

I love you all so much. I know the church is true and as we strive to do our best every day, we will find ourselves making little changes that make all the difference. 

Try a little harder to be a little better. Never give up. 

Till next week.

Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This week has been so amazing! 

President went to Argentina for a conference so we were on our own for a week. It went really good. We also had mini changes. We had 3 Guatemalan missionaries come in Wednesday morning so we were getting everything ready for that and to do it with the assistants. We had to go pick up their trainers at the bus station Tuesday night. The first two came in at 10. Or so we thought. They got in at 1130. We loaded them up in the van and headed back to our apartment and got them set up to sleep. Then we tried to get some sleep at 12 because the next bus came in at 2 am and we had to go pick up the last trainer. We slept through both alarms and woke up at 2;40 to elder Barlow asking if we were on our way. We responded with an "um, yeah. We are just getting over there" threw on some sandals and a name tag, sprinted to the car, and off we went to the bus station. Turns out when we got there, he wouldn’t answer the phone. After about 5 calls, we went in to search. He was knocked out in a chair. We woke him up, took him back and he slept on our couch. We took a 45 minute power nap and then got up at 415 to get over to president house to get the assistants to go to the airport. The flight got in at 520 and we got there a little early and made a few cool contacts. Both in English surprisingly. We picked them up, went back to the mission home, made and ate breakfast, took them to the temple to meet their trainers, and then we took the president son to school. All before 830. It was awesome. We are still suffering from only 3 and a half hours of sleep but we are making it day by day. We might nap today but who knows. 

This week was a week of service. We went to a member’s house to paint her bathroom and hallway which went super well. We went yesterday and helped a less active clean her house and do all her dishes and stuff. Then this week we found someone by doing service. We were walking down the street and said hi to this guy who was working in front of his house and as we passed him he goes "hey you want help me" in English hah. We turned around and responded yeah we do. He then tried to say that he was just joking and that he didn’t need it and stuff. But we were persistent in wanting to help so he let us. He was digging out behind a curb to make an entry for his car. We helped him with all the dirt, putting it in bags and stuff and hauling it away. Then we went by a few days later and he was out in front of his house with a jackhammer blasting away at the road and curb. And he looks at us and goes “elder staffieri! wanna make some noise?"  So I don’t know if we were actually allowed to do it but I felt like a boss using a jackhammer with a tie and slacks on. So cool. I wish I would have had my camera with me. but after that, we started talking about why we like doing service and stuff like that and we told him we were missionaries of the church and we would like to come back to teach him and his family if that would be alright. We came back a few days later and he just finished pouring his slab so we helped him clean up and then walked back to his house. His name is Maurizio. He is a 36 year old father of four. He is his neighborhoods representative and the best father I have seen yet in Uruguay. He is from humble background and he is a blacksmith and his wife makes stuff from pallets to sell as a hobby. He built his entire apartment complex by himself over a space of 6 years. He is a self made man and his only interest is what is best for his family. We had a great lesson with him about the restoration and at the end we asked him to say the closing prayer. He looks at us and goes " Bueno, vamos arriba muchachos". (Okay, up we go boys) we all kneeled down in his backyard and he offered a humble prayer. It was such an awesome experience. 

Later that night, we were at a bus stop waiting to go home getting a little bit impatient. We almost got a taxi because we were going to be late but we decided to just wait for the bus anyways. Just as the bus pulled up, a man walked up the bus stop and goes “hey how are you guys doing? I live in this house here. Come by one day and we will talk." we both got on the bus and he got on after us but got off soon after. We didn’t get his name but we went back the next day and we knocked the door he walked out of the night before, which was to an apartment complex, and we just asked if a man from prosegur lived there and the girl said that she would go and get him. Turns out that it was his daughter. Blessing! He came out and said that he had to go to work but we have an appointment with him tonight so we are stoked to go and find out more about Gustavo. 

Also, last night we had our first noche de barrio (like a family night but for the ward and investigators). We had a spiritual thought, played musical chairs, and then had a dessert thing. We had a good turn out and everyone liked it. Afterwards we played basketball with a bunch of youth. Elder Bedke and I went 3 for 3 beyond the ark. Fun fact, Elder Bedke dunked this morning. He is a stud. 

So this morning I decided to do my study on gifts, the spiritual gifts that our Heavenly Father has given us. It was actually a really cool study and I think my spiritual thought this week will be from that. I studied a lot in the 46th section o fDoctrine & Covenants. I learned that we all have gifts, not all have the same, but they are there. To find out what our gifts are, we may have to put ourselves to serious thinking, prayer, and fasting. We have to be worthy of the Spirit so He can help us receive our answer. It is our responsibility, not opportunity, not option, but responsibility to develop our talents, our gifts, and our abilities that we have been given. We learn that "to some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited." We have the responsibility to develop what we have been given and use that to bless our lives and the lives of others. So it is my plea that we all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better...this week to find out what talents we have been given and what we can do to develop them and put them to use. I know that as we prayerfully do this, we will find our answer, we will become the person Christ would like us to be, and perhaps, the answer to a prayer of someone in need. 

I know the church is true. I know that families are eternal if they are built and sustained on the principals of the gospel. I testify of the power of the priesthood, that was restored to the church was by the prophet Joseph Smith. I know of the importance of this work and the happiness that comes from sharing the gospel. I have never been so happy in my entire life. This is the Lords work. 

I love you all so much. You are in my prayers. Keep the faith and a smile on your face!

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better.

Con Cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Monday, October 21, 2013

This week was awesome!! We had a solid work week. Not a lot of stuff crazy happened but it was just a really good week.
We had concilio this week for the mission so we had to get everything ready for that like buy all the tickets and make all the folders for the zone leaders and schedule the hostal. Things like that. Good thing is everything is getting easier to do! WHOOP WHOOP!
We also had an interesting thing happen this week. We went to an orphanage. We recieved a reference one day while eating lunch with a member of a kid at her work who had gone to church a few times. So we went and it was actually a cool experiance. We walked in and all the kids just ran up to us and started jumping on us and stuff. So we kinda had to do the heisman as missionaries but the kids were super awesome. We met up with the member and she took us to her supervisors office to talk for a while. She basically explained that she would love to have us there, the missionaries talk to her family, but because it is a state facility, we couldnt come and talk to steven there. We would have to arrainge to meet with him somewhere else. So we were kind of bummed but she said if she ever has any service, she will call us. We might go back and help teach english. So that will be cool.
Elder Running and I held down the offices for a day because the other elders had to go to concilio with everyone else. It was pretty fun and we got a ton done. That night we went out and taught some really awesome lessons. We go and read with a recent convert, Yoshua, and we are teaching him how to ponder while he reads and how he can apply the scriptures as he reads and it is soooo cool to see him progress. When we first started, we would stop and explain it to him, then we would explain it together, and now we are telling him that he has to break it down for us and he does. The other day we were reading in first nefi somewhere, and he started explaining the whole chapter and getting super excited. He has been applying what he has learned as well. It was great to see how happy he was to read the scriptures. Such a stud! After we had a few more lessons and then went to go pick up people to take them to the bus station. When we got to the mission home we had 15 minutes till thier bus left and it was pretty far. bbbbuuuttttt, we got them there in time ;)
Our investigator Daniel is still progressing. Things are complicated with his family. He told us this week that if it was just for him, he already would have been baptized. He told us that everything we have taught him he knows to be true. So its kind of a bummer but  he is still progressing.

Things with Bruno are kind of getting more and more complicated as well. His parents are getting divorced and they are having a lot of family problems. He also got really sick this past week and then his sister had to go to hospital for something as well. We really want his mom to come to church on a regular basis before he gets baptized so that the family supports him. We need his mom to be an example to him. But we had some really spiritual lessons with thim and i know they will be just fine.
Oh and the sisters left our area so we got half of their area and their investigators and more members to go and visit. So we have been doing a lot of work there as well! We have been seeing some blessings come from that area.
Oh and some UPS girl came this week and wanted to talk to me about logistics haha. Elder Running and I talked to her for like 20 minutes and just told her that we dont contract shipping.

This morning we went to go play soccer at 630 with elders from our mission, after we went to a two hour service project, and after that we went to play futbol americano against the other mission. After an hour and a half of that we had lunch with all 6 of us (the office elders and the assistants) and a member of our ward. Then we just finished playing basketball with some youth of the ward. So all and all it was a great week.
A spiritual thought this week comes from the book of Mosiah del LdM, Mosiah 5:2.

Se dice : "Y todos clamaron a una vox, diciendo: Sí, creemos todas las plabras que nos has hablado; y además, sabemos de su certeza y verdad por el Espíritu del Señor Omnipotente, el cual ha efectuado un potente cambio en nosotros, o sea, en nuestros carazones, por lo que ya no tenemos más disposición a obrar mal, sino a hacer lo bueno continuamente."

(And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty achange in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do bevil, but to do good continually)
I love this scripture so much! I was talking to Elder Bedke about this scripture earlier this week and we were talking about how we can teach with the Spirit more and why it is important that the Spirit is there and what we can do to improve and everything. We talked about how we need to study by the spirit to be able to teach by the Spirit. We as missionaries know that we are only instruments that our Heavenly Father can work through. It is only by the Spirit that we can be truely converted to the gospel. This is why it is so important to do the small and simple things that invite the Spirit into our life like scripture study, prayer, and going to church. These things are basic but powerful. As we do them, we will find that we have the presence of the Spirit más abundantemente in our lives. We have to remember that our conversion isnt just a one time thing and ya esta. Its a continual process in which we need his help. We should strive every day to have this change of heart that is described here.
Anyways, i am just about out of time but I want to thank you so much for all you do for me and all that you do to help the missionaries back in your own wards and stakes. Take some time to ask the missionaries when you can go out and teach with them or who they are teaching that could use some support. It makes all the difference.

I know the church is true and we are blessed as we strive every day to live the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this is the only way to a true state of happiness, happiness not only for a time, but for a happiness eternal. Remember to keep the face and smile on your face!!

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better.
Con Cariño,
Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This week was so awesome!! We worked super hard and got a ton done. It was change week. It was kind of crazy but it worked out well.

So conference was so awesome. I had all of these notes that I was going to share with you guys of stuff I wanted to talk about but I forgot my notebook at home. Bummer but I hope I will remember it next week. We had Bruno and his mom Marta in church for a Sunday session which was AWESOME!! It was great for Marta because she came and saw how many people were in the stake and saw some friends and talked with the bishop and everything. She was grateful that she came. Daniel couldn’t make it to conference which was a bummer. We are still working with him though as he continues to progress. One day.....

So we got the changes Sunday and started working on them Sunday night when we had changes Tuesday. We had to look at all the changes to get all the bus tickets bought for everyone. Sounds simple, its not. Elder Bedke and I were in the offices till 3 am Sunday night / Monday morning trying to get them done to go buy the tickets Monday morning so they could travel Monday night. We got most of it done but were way too tired to finish. We slept at the offices and got up the next morning at 6 when the assistants came over to play basketball with us. We got up, played basketball for 30 min for exercises and got right back on the computers to work. At about noon we got everything done and headed for the bus station to buy the tickets and send the change sheets to all the zone leaders. An hour later, most of the tickets were bought except for the few whose routes didn’t exist anymore or the buses didn’t run that day. We went and figured it out and got it done though. So that was an awesome experience. 

Monday we prepared things for changes: packets for new missionaries and those leaving, making reservations at the hostal and temple, getting all of the accommodations, checking and rechecking that everything is good and man did we think we were studs. We had it all done we thought. We though we were going to get on bed in time and we were super pumped!! On Monday night, we got a call about all of the corto plazos (youth that are preparing for their missions who go out and serve with the full time missionaries for 6 weeks as their companions). The corto plazos are kind of like our worst nightmare when it comes to changes. They don’t show up on the church system we have when making rosters for changes. They are kind of like ghosts hah. So the assistants call us and ask us if we had gotten any of their tickets to take them home, bring more out, and switch areas for others. Well, there went going to bed on time ha. After going figuring it out we went to the bus station and got more tickets. We got in bed by 1. 

Tuesday we woke up and got early and got ready to go pick up the new missionaries at the airport. It was pretty cool actually. We got them all in, took them to the mission home, ate breakfast and then dropped them off to get trained. We took all their passports and got everything read to get residency and a ton more stuff. I honestly forgot. That day was just kind of a blur. We came back at 5 to go take them out to Montevideo to go work. That was really cool to go see how they work in the field. I took out 2 Latinos and an American. We made two companionships and i switched every few blocks to a different companion. It was awesome to see how much faith and stuff they have once they get over the fear of talking to people. We taught a few lessons just on the street to people and got some really good references. On the way back to the car we had an experience that they will remember, but I will just leave it at that ha-ha. That night it was my turn to sleep with the new missionaries and make sure everything was good and get them up on time for the next day when they had to get a physical early in the morning. I didn’t get to bed till about 1230 and then we were up the next morning at 6 getting everyone up and out. 

Wednesday they came back from their physical, ate lunch, met their trainers, went through the temple, and then they were off to the bus station to get shipped out to their first areas. And they were gone whoop whoop.

Now we had to worry about the missionaries that were going home. They were pretty easy actually. Wednesday night we came back to our area and worked and had some really good lessons and one with Bruno, who is getting baptized this Saturday night!!! Then we went back to the offices to get the bags sent out with all the mail. That took a while but we got it done. We took them to the bus station and got them sent out and then remembered that we needed to go by "The Bomb" for those that were going home. It’s to make sure you get rid of all unwanted travelers when you got home. We ran to a pharmacy after the bags to go get it. So this is kind of a funny story. 

So me and elder Lamb get of out the car to go run and buy the pills for everyone, each missionary needed 15 pills to so we needed 180 in total. So we go to the window and there is a line behind us and the lady asks us what we need so we tell her the name of what it was and then she asks how many we need. We told her, well we don’t know how many boxes but we need 180 pills. hahahah you should have seen the look on the guys face behind us. Well they only had 3 boxes so we had to go to another pharmacy to get more, just enough for the Latinos because it was late and they were leaving early in the morning. We were going to get the Americans later. We get the stuff and start going to the mission home to drop it off and the assistants call us saying they need all their packets and stuff for themissionaries that are leaving. We thought they had it but apparently it was back at the office. So we go home and drop elder running and elder lamb off at home so that they can unpack elder lamb, the new office elder. He is a stud. Then go back to the offices and get their stuff, and drive over to the mission home. We got in there at 1230 and just decided to sleep in the hostal with the missionaries that were leaving. 

Thursday, the next morning we got up at 4 because all the Latinos had to be at the airport early to make their 7 oclock flights. That was fun. Thursday we worked normal in the offices and they went out to our area to teach finally! Ah it was so awesome. We taught Bruno and went to Juan Alverez, a less active and had a really spiritual lesson with him. Then we had to head back to the mission home to take the missionaries that were leaving to the airport, but on the way we forgot to get them the bomb. So we drove a little faster to go try to find some 11 more boxes of 10. Long story short we found it and got there in time. We loaded up all their bags and off we went. Taking them to the airport was one of the most depressing things I have ever done on the mission. They were all so nervous and you could see that behind the smiles, they were getting torn apart inside It was the weirdest feeling ever seeing them get all their stuff out and put it on the curb and help them get all their tickets and stuff. Taking their final picture with president and walking through the doors to board their plane. It really makes you appreciate your time on the mission. It is so short and you have to do the best with what you have. You can’t afford to not use this time to give it all you got. 

Anyways that was that. Changes went off with few errors. 

Yesterday was great. We got back to normal and went out to work after the offices and had a lesson with Daniel in which he opened up a lot more. We watched conference with him; Pte Monson´s talk to close Sunday morning session. Then after we had a good lesson with Yoshua, a recent convert and read the Book of Mormon with him and talked about what it means and everything. He really liked it. We had to come back to the offices for something that came up and we headed home. 

This morning we went and played basketball against the other mission, went home, and now we are here writing everyone. All in all, we had a great week.

I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do for me. And thanks mom for the package!! The new insoles are being put to good use. 

I know that the church is true. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today. I know that we get closer to God through the simple things like reading our scriptures, praying, and going to church. It is the simple things that make all the difference. As we do these things, we will begin to feel the Spirit more in our lives. I know that this is true. Keep the faith and a smile on your face. 

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better. 

I love you all. 

Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Monday, October 7, 2013

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM AND BRYCE!!! You guys are so awesome! I hope you had an awesome 29th birthday mom ;) and the best 12th birthday to Bryce! I miss you guys so much and wish I could have been there to celebrate with you but I wrote you both letters and they are going in the mail this week. I love you both so very much!

This past week I GOT MY LICENSE!! WHOOP WHOOP!! I feel like I am sixteen again. Ha-ha. But driving here is kind of stressful for various reasons. I will leave it like that. So basically I am Guayan now with this and my ID.  

On Thursday night at 3 in the morning we got called from the security company saying that the alarms had been tripped in the church in various zones so we got up and ran to the church thinking someone was inside. We went in and searched the whole thing with a security guard armed with a flashlight. Turns out...there was nothing there. So we lost an hour of sleep, talked to the police, and ran back home to sleep for 2 more hours, and got up the next day and had an awesome Friday

So this week has been really good. We have been all super excited as we had been preparing for conference and inviting all of Montevideo to come watch with us. We made a ton of invitations and pasted them on the back of pass along cards so every time we made a contact, they got a picture of Christ and an invitation. Hopefully we will see them all here this weekend! 

This week we have given a ton of blessings to people, which in turn has been some of the biggest blessings for us. There is something special knowing that you hold the priesthood of God. You have to live in such a manner to always honor this sacred responsibility so that when called upon, you can bless the lives of others. Through these experiences this past week, we have had some of the most spiritual lessons of our mission. 

Bruno and his family are progressing great. They went up to Artigas this past week and couldn’t get to church so we are going to move his baptism back a week. We had talked to the bishop and with his mom and we all agreed that it would be better if we moved the date so that he would be better prepared and that his family could come and know more people in the church before taking this step. 

Daniel continues to progress and is coming to conference with us next session! 

We have found some good investigators from the past and are working really well with them. Also, we have found a few less actives and are working with them. The work is going great! 

This first session we had 3 investigators in church with us. Bruno, who is getting baptized this month on the 19th, and the parents of a recent convert we invited to come last night. This past session was so awesome with them. The Spirit was super strong during that session. This was the first session I have watched in Spanish and it was awesome!!! I could understand the whole thing which was a miracle in itself. Elder Ulisses Soares gave an awesome talk!! Ah I loved it so much! He talked so much about our character and how we need to get better every day and develop Christ like attributes.  Elder Edward Dube´s talk was awesome too! "Never look back, always look forward to the future" (sorry if these are wrong, i am translating my notes from spanish to english). The past is to be learned from and not lived in. We need to serve where we are called. Its not important what our calling is but rather if we do it or not. From the first session, President Uchtdorf´s talk was my favorite. I wont go over all that he said but one his closing lines. Take up you cross and follow him. I know that as we do this, we will be blessed. Forget our selves, take up our cross, and do as the Savior would. This is where the true happiness in life comes from. As we do this on a daily basis, we will get closer to our Heavenly Father. 

The second session was super good too but we missed half of it because we got on the wrong bus taking one of Bruno home. Good thing we went with him because we got off in a bad neighborhood ha-ha. But we got back during the intermission song. Conference is the best!!

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better. Always keep the faith and a smile on your face!

Thank you for all you do for me and for all the prayers that you offer for the missionaries. We are so grateful for all of your support. 

Have a great week and don’t be afraid to share your testimony and serve those who are in need!

Con mucho cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Sunday, September 29, 2013

So this week has been great!!  But first off, congrats to Krista Tenney on her mission call to the West Indies mission!! That is so awesome!! You will be so blessed as your serve. I am so pumped for you! And you get to speak French like you always wanted!!

 So this week has been awesome! Remember last week when I talked about how that family was so awesome that we found? Well one of her kids, Bruno; is getting baptized on the 12th of October!! He is super excited and so is all of his family. He came to church with us this past week when the rest of his family couldn’t and we took him to primary and asked him if he wanted us to stay with him and he just shook his head and smiled and said, "Nope, I’m good." The teacher said that he participated the whole time and was a stud! He got a worksheet from class and finished it during sacrament without our help. When we had lessons with him this week, he was the first to answer questions and was super excited to read. He is progressing super well and understands everything that we are teaching him and is applying the scriptures to him as we read. He is such an incredible 11 year old kid. He is such a good example for his family. And we are also teaching his sister who is 20. She has been opening up to us more this past week as their family has been passing through some severe personal problems but she is doing great. The whole family is super supportive of each other and just so awesome!! I cannot get over how blessed we are to have the opportunity to teach them. 

Daniel came back from Argentina this past weekend and we had an awesome lesson with him about keeping the Sabbath day holy. We committed him to come to sacrament meeting every Sunday with us and he said he was going to start bringing his four year old daughter with him as well. We pray for his wife everyday as we leave our apartment and she is starting to support him more. He has stopped drinking wine with his dinner and has dropped coffee. He has such a sincere testimony of the things of the gospel and has a deep understanding of the importance of the things that make up this gospel. He will be a powerful member of the church one day. 

We also have been having real great success with teaching less active members. We have been practicing our lessons a lot to be sure we can teach them and have the spirit present. We have been doing practices everyday during companion study and have been seeing the blessings. Last night we had one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission with a less active whose name is Juan Alvarez and his whole family came in and listened to us too! We taught the restoration but related it all to personal prayer and the power in personal prayer. We asked him to remember the night that the Savior came to rescue him and he began to tell the experiences he had with the first missionaries that came to his door and taught him and how it changed his life. He started explaining how happy he was and how much of a difference he felt. He then committed to be back in church by next month. The spirit was so strong and he bore testimony for his family. So amazing. 

Two days ago we had interviews with president and discussions with the assistants. It was a super spiritual experience like always and we all walked away feeling so amped up to go out and serve with all of our might. I love those conferences and the opportunities that we have to sit one on one and talk with president. He always has a way to help you improve and want to be better than you already are, to push you to be a better missionary and give more. I am so grateful for these opportunities. 

And...GENERAL CONFERENCE IS IN ONE WEEK!!! Man I cannot wait to go to conference. We are telling everyone we see about general conference and are testifying like crazy about the blessings of going. General Conference is the best 2 weekends of the year!! I am so excited to watch it in Spanish now that I can understand everything. It’s going to be so awesome. I can’t wait for the Spirit that is always felt and for the revelation we will receive. I can’t wait to see the ways we can all improve and put our lives more in line with that of God. It is such a great opportunity that we all have to listen to the Prophet and the Apostles.  I hope that you are all preparing for this weekend :)

Anyways, this week I started reading the book of Mormon over again in Spanish. I want to finish it by the end of the year and I think I can do it. So my spiritual thought from this week comes from 1 Ne 4:6-7

6 "E iba guiado por el Espíritu, sin saber de antemano lo que tendría que hacer"
7 "No obstante, seguí adelante..."

( And I was aled by the Spirit, not bknowing beforehand the things which I should do.

 Nevertheless I went forth...)

I love this. This is when Nephi had to go back into Jerusalem to go get the plates from Laban. Even though they had failed twice, he knew that he was commanded of God to go and get the plates. He didn’t know what he was going to do, but he went because he was prompted by the Spirit to do so. He went on pure faith that things would work out. I think too often we do not act on things because we do not know what will come from it. We live in the shadow of fear because everything isn’t perfect in our vision of what will come to fast. I think we need to learn from the experience of Nephi. Just go and do it. We learn the chapter before that God will never ask us, or prompt us for that matter, to do anything without preparing first the way we could do it. Have confidence in the spirit and follow the promptings fearlessly. He will provide a way for us. We will be blessed for our obedience to the promptings of the Spirit. Always act on the Spirit. Go for it. Give it your best and leave the rest up to the Lord. He will guide you. 

 Well that’s all I have for this week but I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you. I know that the church is true! I know of the power of personal prayer and the blessings that come as we follow the Spirit. I know that God is our Heavenly Father. 

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better and strive every day to keep the faith and a smile on your face!!

Have a great week!

I love you all, 

Elder Staffieri

Monday, September 23, 2013

SO THIS WEEK HAS BEEN SO AWESOME!!! ONE OF THE BEST WEEKS I HAVE HAD!! Aaaahh I cant even explain it. We saw some miracles this past week. It was amazing. I am so glad to have been a missionary this week, well I am always, but I am even more this past week. We have seen the hand of the Lord guiding and directing us in our work and it has been so great. We have seen the answers to prayers and we cannot be happier!!

Some fun facts about this week before we get into the good stuff is that we got an order of Books of Mormon, pamphlets and other missionary supplies 5 times as large as our normal order. It was so much we couldn’t fit it all in our huge van that we have and that we bottomed out over every speed bump we went over and had to make 2 trips to get it all. It was so awesome! We, Elder Bedke and I, got the assignment from president to call every single contact we have in the mission to make sure they are okay and that we have multiple emergency numbers for every missionary so that has been fun. We are not even close to be being done. But we get to call all parts of the world so that has been really cool. Making calls in Portuguese to the parents of our Brazilian missionaries has proved to be more difficult than we thought, but hey! We are learning a little Portuguese now so that is cool! Ha-ha. I went to go get my Uruguayan I.D. this past week and I will hopefully get my license next week. Things are going great in the offices. 

Now to the good stuff, when we leave to work out in the streets! Our investigators are progressing great but one bummer is that Daniel is leaving to Argentina this next week so he won’t be getting baptized this weekend, but next month. But we have found some awesome people!!!

So I will write about two of the miracles we have seen this past week that have made it especially so special to me. A week I will not forget. The first came when we were working on Tuesday. We had been trying to make contacts and we were going through all our plans when we left one house and felt that we should go visit an elderly lady who had been really sick a few weeks back. So we went. We knocked and the lady who cares for her, a member, opened the door with tears in her eyes and said "I knew you would come."  She had explained that the elderly lady was close to dying and her condition was worsening. She then told us that she had been on her knees praying, pleading for comfort, and 20 minutes later we showed up. We sat and talked with her and shared some scriptures and talked about them with her. She was more at peace and we left, grateful that we had decided to follow the Spirit and go to this home. 

The second came super unexpectedly. We had been going through our ward list trying to go visit some less active members and try to help them. We had been going pretty much all day with this list having little luck but working none the less. It was getting late and we were starting to head back to the house but we were contacting all the way home. We got to one name on our list of a lady in the ward who we didn’t know so we decided to go give it a try. We got the address, but it was a passageway into an alley with doors up and down on both sides: We didn’t have an apartment number so we just went to work. We knocked the first 4 doors on the left side, having 1 answered and said the lady we were looking for didn’t live in this alley, the others just looked through the window and left and we got to the end of the alley and the clouds looked super cool, so we stopped there and were looking at them for a few minutes ha-ha.  After we were about to go home, we heard this baby crying from inside a house, so we thought FAMILY!!! We knocked this door and a 20 year old girl came out holding her son, we asked her if she knew who we were looking for and she said no but we kept talking to her and she said that she had family that were members of the church up in Artigas and that her mom was actually a member. We saw her mom in the background and then she came out and talked to us. She said that she had been a member but had gone inactive when they moved a few years back. After that she said that she didn’t know how we got in because the gate is always closed at the end of the alley because people get robbed there all the time so its always locked. She said that she took us on her doorstep as an answer that she needed to go back to church and she wants her kids to be part of the church as well. Her children all had taken the missionary lessons and were about to be baptized but then they had moved and they had all lost interest. The expressed the desire that we need to teach her children and her husband so that they could all go to church together. Now at this point, Elder Bedke and I were smiling ear to ear in shock that this was actually happening.  We set up an appointment for later in the week to come and teach them and she asked if we could bring someone to the lesson so she could have a friend when she came back to church. We never walked away from a contact so happy in our lives. We went back and taught then and had an awesome lesson and actually went back today to celebrate her son’s birthday with their family. They are such an amazing family and we were so blessed to find them. 

I am so excited to be out on the mission and to have the chance to work with all of these wonderful people. I have been so blessed to be part of the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission and to be out hear teaching the gospel for two years. I cannot wait to see what the next 18 months have in store. I wake up every day with a smile on my face, so excited to see what we have in store for the day. 

I know that the Lord answers prayers and that He is aware of everything we are going through. Sometimes we may not know what is best for us, but He always does. If we will put our trust in Him and actively seek to do His will, we WILL see the blessings. I have such a strong testimony of this principle of obedience and blessings. It has grown so much on the mission. I love every minute of it. There is no better place than on the mission. I have never been so happy in my life. 

Anyways that is all the time I have for today but I love you all and hope you are all doing great. Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better. KEEP THE FAITH AND A SMILE ON YOUR FACE!!! :)))

Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Elder Daniel Staffieri
La Mision Uruguay Montevideo Oeste
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo, Uruguay  11.800