Monday, April 29, 2013

Family and friends!!

First off congrats to Henry for getting into BYU. That is so awesome and I am so excited for you. BYU is so much fun; I know you are going to love it there!!

I am a real missionary now, hahah. So this week has been awesome. My companions name is Elder Kemp. He is a really nice guy and is helping me with Spanish a lot. He tries to incorporate me into as much of the lesson as he can. He is from Apple Valley and wants to be a writer. He doesn’t like sports, or anything athletic, or physical for that matter, so that is my only...well...idk what to call it, downfall with my comp I guess. But i am going to get him to like it. It’s driving me nuts not to be able to go play soccer or rugby with everyone in the ward. So we are going to work on that. 

Anyways!! So this past week I left for the mission home at 430 am. My plane landed around 9 and we just had orientation the whole day I was here. Then the next day we woke up and went to get a physical. They took our blood, pee, and checked our teeth, that’s about it. Then we came back and met our comps. We then went to the bus terminal and waited for about 4 hours. Then we got on a bus and left for my area. THE AREA OF SALTO!! THE BEST AREA IN THE WHOLE MISSION!!! I was so pumped when I found out that was where I was serving. Everyone says it is the best here. So we hopped on the bus and took a 6 hour ride to Salto. We got here at like 12:30 at night and just went straight home and went to bed. 

So, Salto is awesome. Seriously I am so pumped to be out here. We have a lot of investigators we are working with. The first person we went to teach was Tamara. She is 15 years old and is in a part member family. Her little sister Caroline is looking at being baptized too. We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ. So that was my first lesson. But after that we went and taught a few more families. I want to talk about this one lady we are teaching though. Her name is Claudia. She is about 29 and super nice. She has been taking the lessons for a while but has never committed to a date for baptism. This past lesson we had with her on Saturday was such a testimony builder. She explained to us that she has been having throat problems and has been really sick with different stuff. Elder Kemp explained a little bit about priesthood blessings and she asked if she could have one. I was so nervous because I had never given a blessing in Spanish, but she was fine if I did my part in English. So that was a relief. I anointed her and elder Kemp offered the blessing. The spirit was soooo strong. After the blessing she was crying and said that she felt the spirit surround her. We then went on with her lesson. We talked a lot about baptism. After the lesson we asked her if she would prepare herself to be baptized this week, on Saturday. She said no, then we asked her why and she said she didn’t feel ready. We testified that she could be ready and we would be there every step of the way to make her ready. She was still hesitant so we compromised and offered another date this month. She accepted!! It was so awesome! I can’t even explain how stoked I was. It was so rad!! Ah I was on  a high for the rest of the day!! 

I am so stoked to be out here on my mission. I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be. I know that the Lord has put me here to reach people that have been prepared for me. I can’t wait to get to work every morning. 

Thank you all for all of your birthday wishes!! It made my week reading all of them. Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts you send my way. 

I know that this church is true and that I have been called to the Lords work. I know that the power of the priesthood is real! The only way to happiness is to live the gospel. I love you all and am so excited to hear from you next week!

Elder Staffieri
                                                 Dan and his new companion, Elder Kemp
                         Looks like one of the neighborhood dogs is not coming home tonight......
                                                           Comfy Study Space
                                   An elegant kitchen for whipping up culinary delights
                              Shower, shave and use the toilet without any wasted motion....
                                              Looking good in Salto, Uruguay

Monday, April 22, 2013

Family and Friends!!

This week is just a short email because I only have 5 minutes to explain what is going on. Today is my last day in the CCM! Aaahhhhh I am soo pumped up. We are just going through the most boring day of my life, just hours and hours of orientation....all in Spanish. So I am hanging in there because tomorrow I will be in Uruguay!!! whoop whoop whoop! I get to teach real investigators all day every day from here on out. Real souls! I am so excited! So anyways, today has been orientation, orientation, orientation, and packing, and some laundry. So that isn’t exciting, but tomorrow morning we wake up at 3:45 AM and leave the CCM at 4:30. It’s going to be a rough morning, but hey, there is no better place to be right? Then we fly out to Uruguay. There are two flights because we have 24 missionaries going out. I am on the later one at 8:15. But we land then go to the mission home and maybe go to the temple. Fingers crossed. We spend the night there and then we get our companions the next day at the transfer meeting. I will upload some pictures of my area as soon as I can. I love and miss you all. I turn 19 on Friday!! Best week ever!! 

I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!! Let’s go to work!!

Elder Staffieri

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Family and friends!!
First off, Congrats to Joe Ham and Blake Ellertson for their mission calls. Joe you are going to love it. Denver Colorado south is lucky to have you and you are going to do great work over there. And Blake, we are going to speak the same spanish, castellano, and have all the same hand gestures and stuff. Buenos Aires is so crazy, but so much fun though, you are going to love it.
Thank you so much for the birthday package. I got it this morning after breakfast. I love all of the notes everyone wrote me. It totally made my week. I will try to write back everyone but its gonna take some time so hang in there for me. And thank you for all the candy!! My district really appreciated it too.
We got a new group of americans this week too. 16 girls and 8 guys. So the girls are really stepping up to the plate when it comes to serving missions. Its so awesome that they are out here and setting a good example for everyone. The only bad thing is that our basketball games have gotten a lot worse.......a lot worse. So that is the only down side.  Our distict of 5 is still going strong. We have been soo blessed to have the district we have. They are amazing.
This week has been amazing as always. Saturday was so cool. I love proselyting. Anyways, people were a lot harder to contact, maybe its because its not easter holliday any more so they dont want to hear about Christ as much, but we still went out pumped up and excited. We contacted as many people as we could but it was a lot harder this week. We went by Gustavos house but he wasn't there, so hopefully we will get there next time too. But our best contact came during siesta. when dad told me that the city shuts down during siesta i didnt really believe him, but there is seriously not a soul out. It is so crazy,  you can hear the birds chirping in the city, its nuts. But anyways, we decided to take a lunch break and went to the only open restuarant in the whole city. We sat down and we were the only ones in there. It took us like 10 minutes to order food because all the spanish we know is related to the gospel. Our waitress was named Maria, and i know you are going to bag on me that we went to a sit down place, but it was the only place that was open! So i apologize. But anyways, after the meal we started talking to Maria a little bit about the gospel. We found out that she was catholic (big surprise there) and was looking for more about the truth. She saw the Book of Mormon and asked what it was. It doesnt get easier than that! We started explaining about the Book of Mormon and how it worked with the Bible and went into the whole restoration lesson. We pulled out a folleto to show her and her eyes lit up when we showed them to her. She was so happy. She just kept asking questions and questions about the gospel. It was so awesome, the spirit was there and our spanish was awesome. One, because the only spanish we know is gospel stuff, and two the spirit really helps in those situations. So we talked to her for about 20 minutes and she committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She took like 3 folletos from us and was so excited. I asked her if we could come by and teach her and her family and she said that she wants to read more first and see how she feels. So next week we are going to go by the same place and talk to her more about it. Also, the food was amazing! Steak sandwiches with a fried egg on top and these amazing french fries, probably the best food i have ever had, sooooo good. We feasted spiritually and physically, a really good experience.
We had the area president over Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay come and give us a devotional yesterday. Most spiritual devotional I have every been to. I am not going to write about everything in this email because it wont do it justice in the time i have, but it was about the atonement of Christ and how he took all of our sins upon him. He brought up some stories in the Bible and Book of Mormon that I never had thought about in the way he used them. I will write home in a letter explaining it and you can post it. I have never been impacted so much by one talk. I know that this church is true, I know that Christ died for each and everyone of us. He is the only way we can return to our Heavenly Father. We are his children. There is so much comfort and happiness in that sentence. I love this gospel, and I love my calling. I wake up with a smile on my face no matter how early it is because I know I am called to this work and there is no better place to be.
I love you all,
Elder Staffieri

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Family, and Friends!!
So I can’t get into my email so I am writing this email on word and I'm gonna copy and paste it in later today.  I hope you all got the pictures I sent earlier this week.  They aren’t too exciting, but we are only allowed to take pictures once every two weeks. I am going to try to take my camera out when we go to Buenos Aires this week so hopefully I can get some cool pictures.
Important! Please do not send any more mail to this address. I am leaving in the next 12 days so I won’t get any mail. So please update the address on my blog to the address of my mission home. The new adress is:

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

So one month out and here I am!! It’s so crazy that it has been a month already. I feel like it has been a week. Maybe it’s because I have been doing the same thing everyday for the past 4 weeks. We are in class for like 12 hours a day and have an hour and a half for physical activity. So the days don’t really separate themselves. So it’s gonna by way fast! Spanish is coming along awesome. It’s so much fun talking in Spanish especially to the natives because they talk sooooooooo fast it’s kind of like a guessing game based on what you were able to discern. But when we teach lessons you can definitely tell the spirit is there helping you out.
Conference was so awesome!! I can’t even explain the spirit that is in the CCM during conference. Everyone was so quiet, focused and taking notes like crazy. Then we all got together after each session and reviewed talks and related them to teaching and shared scriptures we could use in them. It was seriously the best. I have never gotten more out of a general conference. My favorite talks were Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, and as always, Elder Uchtdorf (he is the man, especially in Priesthood session). It started way late here. The morning session started at 1pm and the afternoon session started at 5 pm. Priesthood would have ended at like midnight so we watched it on Sunday during our Priesthood meeting.  It was cool having six hours on Sunday. It flew by though. The only bad part of conference is that we actually had fast Sunday. So we didn’t eat dinner the night before and everyone was dying haha. But we feasted spiritually all conference so it was worth it.
Funny story. Yesterday I was playing basketball with everyone during actividad fisica. And I ran down the court after elder el-bakri because he stole the ball and was going for a lay up. So I was in a dead sprint. I got down there where he was going up, and because I am so graceful, I tripped over his leg and flew sideways into the metal goal post under the hoop (the court double as a basketball court and soccer field). My left thigh hit it and I helicoptered off spinning the other direction. I felt like one of those quarter backs who dive into the endzone and get hit and just start spinning out of control. Haha. It was so gnarly. Elder Finnegan said it looks legit though. My bruise looks so gnarly, its my entire right thigh. Hopefully it will get better in the next few days.  So funny.
Proselitismo this Saturday!! Ah I can’t wait to get back out there and go teach real investigators and actually come teach our appointments we set up. It’s going to be awesome!!!! Its pouring rain here right now so maybe it will be pouring then too, which would make it more interesting. But my Spanish has gotten a lot better from 2 weeks ago when we went so I want to get out and put it to use.
The last group of Americans just left this past Tuesday. I am jealous but so pumped to think that that is going to be me in just a mere 12 days!! We are getting a new group of latinos today, the ones that are going to our mission so we have been talking to as many as we can, getting to know them and their story, trying to get them to feel more comfortable. They are the quitest group so far so it’s hard getting them out of their shell. But more are coming all day today so we are all excited. And not only are we getting more Latinos, but we are getting a brand new group of Americans too! I remember that flight, probably the worst, best experience of my life. Being all cramped up in the back of a plane with no leg room because you couldn’t fit your bag under the seat, being shoved in the middle of the row. Haha. Everyone is watching a movie around you but you can’t. All you look at is the map of where the plane is, seeing where you could possible be in 13 hours if you dont die before then, praying you can fall asleep but knowing that there is now way you can.  But then at the same time, you are so stoked. You are actually on your mission. You have been prepairing your whole life to be on this flight, to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands. Knowing that its actually happening!! I get stoked just thinking about it! 2 more weeks till the real deal!!
So this past week our district has shrunk even more. Maybe I wrote about it last week but I don’t remember if I did or not so here I am doing it again. The district of nefi has only 5 members. Me, Elder Finnegan, Elder El-Bakri (the 3 nephites) and two sisters: Hermana Toone and Hermana Fullmer. Its actually a ton of fun having a small district and our room is a lot less crowded.
So I found a scripture in personal study this morning reading in the New Testiment. I haven’t read the Bible that much so I have been trying to read more and more every day with my Book of Mormon studies. But anyways, the scripture is in Matthew, the last two verses. It is Matthew 28: 19-20. It says “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” I like this scripture so much because it explains our purpose as missionaries. We are out here to teach the word of God. We have been called by a prophet to spread the gospel to the whole earth to administer the saving ordinances, baptism being the first! We go about teaching with the Spirit of God as our constant companion. Sharing with them the way they can have this amazing gift of the gospel, to have the gift of the Holy Ghost, to live with their families forever, to return to live with our Heavenly Father. This is God’s work, this is the work we have been called to. There is no better work! I am so blessed to be out here in Argentina and to be leaving to Uruguay. I know this is the true gospel. The Atonement is the greatest miracle the world has ever seen. It is perfect. I know that this is the only way to return to our Heavenly Father. I know that this is the only way for happiness in this life.  The gospel is awesome.
I am out of time but I love you all. I am so excited to be out on my mission. This is where I am supposed to be.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Till next week!
Elder Staffieri
                                                  The North American Elders
                                                                 The Three Nephites!

                                                       The California Contingent
                                                                      Dan's District

Friday, April 5, 2013

This week has been literally amazing, the best week of the mission so far. First things first, this past saturday we got to go out in the city proselyting. They dropped us off in Buenos Aires and me and Elder Finnegan were on our way. The first hour or so was really intimidating, we were timid and scared to just stop people off the street and talk to them. I know thats not how I usually am, but spanish makes things a little more difficult. After about 45 min walking around with little luck we said a prayer, and literally just after that a guy rounded the corner and ran right up to us. He was an older guy and way religious, catholic obviously, everyone is down here. But he came up to us and started asking us questions about the Book of Mormon and the church and stuff. We talked to him for about 20 min about the gospel of Jesucristo and gave him a folleto (pamphlet) and a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it and go to church that Sunday. It was the coolest first real contact!  Then we started on our way, on cloud nine talking to everyone we could. About an hour later we were waiting on a street corner trying to figure out how we should approach this huge family on the street when these kids rode up asking if we were waiting for their brother (i guess we were standing in front of his house) and we look at this kid and said YEAH WE ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR BROTHER!! His older brother came walking down the street, his name is Gustavo and he was about 20 years old. He was raised catholic but has since stopped attending. He doesnt really believe in Christ or have any religious beliefs so we started teaching him about Christ and how everyone is a son or daughter of our Padre Celestial (Heavenly Father). His face lit up and he invited us to come back and teach him and his buddies at 4 that day. 
 When when we finished with him, we went over to that family down the street. The parents were really excited when we talked to them about eternal families and they brought all their kids out to hear our message. We gave them a Family Proclamation folleto and told them where the church was. We took down their information and scheduled an appointment to come back and teach them too. So for next week we have 2 teaching appointments for a family and Gustavo. The spirit is so strong out in the field, and Spanish wasn't so hard. Granted we have a limited vocabulary, and it takes a while to get our message across, but we get it done. Ah the mission is sooo amazing!

This week it was pouring rain, literally the most rain I have ever seen....and for days. It was flooding everywhere. All the americans went outside for actividad fisica and played basketball and we could have been sent home because we were basically swimming! We took off our shoes because the courts were covered in like 3 inches of water all around. It was soo fun!!! The latinos were all looking at us like we were crazy, but it was the coolest thing ever. 

So our district shrunk by three people this week. Elder christensen went to a latino district because he was really far ahead in Spanish, so he leaves on Tuesday. His comp switched to another american district, Elder Winn and Elder Studebaker switched to a latino district so he could learn spanish faster because he couldnt learn in our class?? I don't know the theory behind that, but whatever, so we have three elders in our district and two sisters. Its so awesome. Its Elder Finnegan, elder El-Bakri, and me in a tri companionship. We are all best friends. Elder El- Bakri plays running back for BYU. He reminds me so much of Adam, so we get along really well. They put us in a new bedroom on the third floor all by ourselves. Its so nice, the three of us in a room for six. Its really quiet and it doesnt bad. Hah!

Anyways thats all for this week. The gospel is true! I love you all! I'll talk to you next week!!!

Elder Staffieri