Monday, May 27, 2013

Family, and Friends:

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! Aaaahh such a good week. If there was anything bad in this week, I do not remember it because we had two baptisms this past Saturday!! 

Soledad and Gonzalo Ribeiro Gomez got baptized the 25th of May, this past Saturday. It was so awesome! We were super worried leading up to it though. This past Friday we tried turning on our water in our house and we didn’t have any, which we thought was weird. Then, we found out that members in our area didn’t have water either so we started to think something was wrong. Then when we were walking to one of our lessons we got our answer as a river of water was flowing down the street. The water main had broken! Aaaahh. We were just hoping and praying that it could be fixed by the next day because with no water, we would have to move the baptism to another church in Centro, a 30 min bus ride away. 

That Saturday, we went to a members house for lunch and they still didn’t have water so we started calling everyone we could to go and check the church. Just as we were about to start calling people to switch the baptism to another church, we got a call saying the font was being filled. We were so pumped!! 

So we go throughout our day on top of the world. I don’t thing I have ever been so excited for anything in my life!!! So we had an awesome lesson with yessica and we invite her to the baptism and she accepted so off we go. We get to the church at 6 because the baptism starts at 630 and they need to be there at 6 to get ready. We wait for Soledad and Gonzalo. And we wait. 6:15, still not there. 6:25, still not there. 6:30, not there and we are panicking. Everyone is there, even their mom and their older brother, but they weren’t there. We go and say a prayer and at 635, they walk in the door. Aaahhh, such a relief. 

We start the service and our talk’s aren’t there so Elder Kemp gave an awesome talk on baptism and we go to the font for the ordinance. Their older brother, Luis, was baptized a few months ago and he was ordained to the Aaronic priesthood this past Sunday, so he performed the ordinance. I have never seen someone so happy. He is such a stud. He is 21 and is getting ready to go on a mission. 

He baptized Soledad first then Gonzalo. I have never felt the spirit so strong in my entire life, it was truly an amazing experience. I have never felt so happy. The whole family is baptized except for the mom and we are working with her right now. The only thing she needs to do is get married. The ward is so awesome and is going to pay for the whole thing. I cant wait until she is baptized so the family can go to the temple one day and be sealed together for time and all eternity. Aaaahhhhhh!!!! The mission is so awesome.

Earlier this week, we went on splits. I went out with elder Simpson, our district leader. We had a really good day together and found a family of three. Jorge (21), Natalia (20), and their baby. They were super receptive and stoked about the gospel. I am so excited to be able to teach them the gospel. THERE IS NOTHING THAT BRINGS MORE HAPPINESS TO A FAMILY THAN WHEN THEY ARE LIVING THE GOSPEL. It is such a blessing to be able to see that out here. 

Oh! And I gave a baptismal commitment and a date for baptism this week too!! After church yesterday, we had a lesson with yessica in one of the rooms in the church and my comp told me that I would have the opporunity to commit her and he wasn’t going to help me. I was so nervous but she is about as gold as it gets. So at the end of the lesson he just looks at me. I was praying I could just remember how to do everything in Spanish. So i asked her and she said yes! The Spanish just came out and I didn’t feel like I even had to think about it.  She is going to get baptized the 8th of June!!!

This week has been the best week thus far in the mission. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to serve the as an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I am so grateful for the power of the Spirit. I know that missionaries don’t convert anyone, the Spirit does. We cannot do this work without it. 

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church on the earth today. I know that families can be together for all eternity if they keep the commandments of our Heavenly Father. I know that God hears and answers all of our prayers. Everything we go through in life is all part of the plan He has for us. He knows us all individually. Prayer is such a blessing in life. I know the Book of Mormon is the true word of God, and working with the Bible, we can have the fullness of the gospel. Through the Spirit we can know the truthfulness of all things. 

I love you all. I am so stoked to be a missionary!! 

Elder Staffieri

Monday, May 20, 2013

So this week has been a growing experience to say the least. But I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow.

It started out really good. Monday was P-day, so of course it was awesome. I got to play soccer with all the Latinos in my zone. It was so much fun. Then we had a few lessons that night that went really well. 

Tuesday things started to get a little rough with our investigator Claudia. She has just been having a really hard time lately in her work and in her home life. We taught her the law of tithing on Tuesday and it really stressed her out. I feel so helpless sitting in those lessons because I don’t know how to say what I want to say. She kind of just shut down. It did not go well. 

Wednesday was so awesome though. It was my first zone conference. The president and his wife came down to talk to us basically all day. It was one of the most spiritual days of my life and you just get so pumped up to go do missionary work. I seriously felt like running out of that meeting and talking to every person I could see. It was so awesome. We had all of these activities and games. One of which was the stick pull!! Aaahhhh. So much fun. We set up a bracket with all the elders there. It came down to the final two. Elder Staffieri and Elder Davis and.....I lost!! aaaahh my zone was so bummed because it was the zone of Salto (me) vs the zone of Artigas (Elder Davis). But it was still fun. Oh well. Still an amazing day. 

The rest of our week went kind of rough. A lot of our investigators aren’t progressing and Claudia hasn’t responded to any of our calls or texts. We have been struggling this week. We went from having a ton of people progressing, to having only a few. We took a ton of time this week evaluating our work. Where can we improve? What have we done wrong? What needs to be done better? How do we approach our lessons? How can we teach with the spirit? These are all the questions that need to be asked and need to be answered if we are to be successful. 

But on the bright side! We have two baptisms this week! Soledad and Gonzalo. They are 9 year old twins and their whole family is getting baptized. Their parents just need to be married so we are working on that. I am so excited! Their older brother Luis is going to do it. He was just baptized like a few weeks ago. So its going to be an awesome experience for the family. 

Yesterday was my companion’s birthday. He turned 21. The ward loves him so we ate soooooo well yesterday. We had a huge lunch and then went out to work. We heard about this colony in our area so we wanted to go find it. It was quite the experience. We were walking down this dirt road for about an hour with nothing but campo everywhere. Then out of nowhere there is just this group of 25 houses. I felt like I was having a village experience. ha-ha. But it was so cool. There were some members there and everything. We are hoping to get enough members out there to start a branch. That would be so awesome. Then we walked an hour back in the dark. ha-ha. Kind of sketchy, but good. We went to an appointment we had with a member and we walked in and it was a surprise party for my comp ha-ha. It was awesome. 

The members here are awesome. Salto is awesome. The mission is awesome!! This week has been a tough one but it has been a good one. We are focused on finding a lot more this week and we have reactivated about 4 families now. That makes me happier than anything. Seeing a family come back to church and seeing the light in their lives again. I love this work. There is no better work. 

I know this church is true. I know that we can be with our families forever. I love this message and look forward to sharing it with everyone I talk to. 

I miss you all and love you so much!! Hope to hear from you soon!

Elder Staffieri

Monday, May 13, 2013

So this week has been awesome! But first off, congrats Dan and Amy for baby boy number 5!! I am so jealous I can’t be there to hold that little angel! I am so happy for you guys. I hope everything is going well! And second, to Aaron on his mission call to the San Pablo, Philippines mission! That is so awesome! You are going to be such a blessing to those people!! I am so pumped for you!!

This week has been awesome. This email is going to be short because I have no time, but anyways... so this week was mother’s day! The new best day of the year. Seeing my family was the best thing I could even imagine. Words cannot describe how happy I was yesterday. I have the best mother in the entire world!!!!!!!

So this week I got to bless the sacrament for the first time in Spanish! That was a new experience. It was so cool though. I was way nervous but I did it. Maybe not pronounced correctly but it worked.  And just a fun fact, down here we start every lesson with a song. So that is different. I thought they were just joking when they said that in the CCM but we really do. So I now know more songs in Spanish than I do in English. Hah.

We have been working really hard down here. We have actually reactivated 2 families this week. It is the most awesome feeling seeing them at church. It really makes me realize what home teaching is for. It is amazing what visiting members can do for families, and just talking to them in general. People underestimate the value of a loving ear to listen and what a simple visit can do. We have been focusing on inactive members a lot lately. You can literally see the change in their countenances, they are so much happier. And the ward is so happy to have them back with them too.

So this week I had splits. I went with Elder Orellana. He is from El Salvador. He speaks no English at all. It was an experience. I was honestly scared, but it went so awesome!! I kind of wish I had a Latino comp now, talking Spanish all day. We had a lot of good lessons. I had one of the most humbling experiences in one of them though. We went in to teach this guy a lesson, just a simple home, concrete floors, curtains for doors, and a whole family living there. As we started the lesson, Elder Orellana pulls out a piece of paper and a pen. We were teaching this 36 year old man, with a wife and 3 kids the vowels, so he could learn how to read because he wanted to be able to read the Book of Mormon to his kids. He was struggling so much with the simplest letters but he wouldn’t give up. He had such a deep love for the gospel. It was a real testimony builder for me. The spirit was so strong. He was such a positive guy.

That’s all I have time for this week, I am sorry.  It’s been kind of crazy, but I love this work I have been called to. There is no other place in the world I would rather be. I miss you all and love you all so much. The church is true!!

Elder Staffieri

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another Week in Salto!
First off congrats to Mr. Wolfpack, Derek Downing!! That is so awesome that you won. I called it!! I pass the torch to you my friend. And Chris Benson, I miss you too man. I am so pumped you got to watch our boy Derek take the title. I love you and write me an email every now and again!! That goes for everyone who is reading this. I miss you all and want to hear from you all! Briar and Sierra, I am so pumped for you to get to the MTC. It honestly is, well, not the best hah. But its only for 6 weeks right? So just hang in there. And Taylor is on his way to Chile!! 

So this week has been kinda crazy. On Tuesday we had a district meeting all the way on the other side of centro, like two cities over, and as we walked down the street from the house we see our bus go by. We missed it by like 20 seconds and that one bus made us 45 min late to our district meeting. We were standing in the street with this look on our face like NNNOOOOOOOO!!!! Ha-ha. But it was actually hilarious. Then later we had a meeting with our investigator Tamara. It went kind of rough. We asked her at the end why she wanted to be baptized, and she was just silent. Scary. She couldn’t say why, and it makes sense because she has been kind of disinterested. 

On Wednesday it rained. And rained. And rained.  But it was also the first of May, which means labor day for the Uruguayans. It looked like a ghost town. We could walk down the middle of the road. There was not a soul out. They hate the rain here. Hate it. All of our lessons canceled so it was kind of frustrating. But hey, we didn’t come here for the easy days and golden investigators, we came here to work!!  So we went and visited a less active recent convert, Nicolas, he is 16 years old. He stopped coming to church because his girlfriend, who is in the ward, broke up with him. Come on man!! So we sat and talked to him for like an hour and I related to him the best I could. At the end he understood that we understood where he has coming from and I assured him that it is going to work out and that he needs to come to church. We told him to turn to the lord and exercise faith. He took our offer to go to church and we left. I also had my first asado on Wednesday!! I had blood sausage. Everyone has told me horror stories about it but it wasn’t even that bad. We also had a golden contact. Her name is Jessica and she is 26. She is awesome. 

On Thursday it was still raining. I know what Brent Plyler meant when he said the thunder shook the ground. Our whole house was shaking from the thunder. It’s the loudest crack you could ever hear then the whole world rumbles. And the rain on our tin roof just makes it that much louder. So I didn’t get that much sleep Wednesday night and Thursday night too. But anyways, we started our day and it was going really good. Found a few new investigators and then went over to Jacqueline’s house to teach her and her kids. aaaannnnddddd her boyfriend Julio was there, he has just returned from the campo the night before. So we taught them about the law of chastity.   Jacqueline is so ready to be baptized, but the only thing holding her back is she isn’t married and has a live in boyfriend. I am so happy we brought a member with us. He is such a stud. We brought our elders quorum president, Brother Gonzalez. He took it away as soon as we started talking. He committed Julio to marry Jacqueline. It was nuts. I could barely understand what was going on but they are going to get married hopefully. We will see how it pans out. Then we went and taught our English class at night. That was cool and it’s helping me with Spanish too. 

On Friday it started out rough. Tamara’s older sister Jessica texted us and said that Tamara didn’t want to take the lessons anymore and she didn’t want to get baptized. Whoa. Stab in the heart. It’s crazy how quick you come to care about these people. We told her that we would come by the next day to talk to her. Then we had our weekly planning. Worst day of the week. We are inside seriously until like 3 in the afternoon. I go insane. I hate sitting still. I want to get out and go find people. I didn’t come on my mission to sit in the house all day. That afternoon it was sunny and had one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. We had a lesson with Jessica again and invited her to the baptismal service the next day. 

On Saturday we had a baptismal service with someone the sisters found. It was so awesome. The spirit was so strong there and we had some of our investigators there. We had gone to Tamara’s house earlier that day and asked what was wrong and what we could do and all of that stuff. And it ended up to be a kind of lowering the boom lesson to the family to reactivate them. We challenged them all to come back to church and guess what, they started to come. They came to the baptismal service and also to the church the next day!!

Sunday was a good work out day. We went over to Jacqueline’s to try to get her to come to church but she wouldn’t come because Julio didn’t want to go. So after 20 min of working with them trying to get them to come, we eventually just left empty handed. When we got to church we realized that none of our investigators showed up to church so we went out searching. It was a busy morning. We probably walked 5 miles before sacrament trying to get everyone to church. Okay maybe it was a light jog ha-ha. But we got some of our investigators there so that is what counts. 

This week was way awesome. I can’t think of a better place to be right now in my life. I have come to grow so much in the gospel already. I cannot get enough of the scriptures. It’s so weird that I get so pumped up in the morning for personal study. I have never been that way. I know what it means to really feast now. And I have a bottomless pit of a stomach so it works out well. I know of the power of prayer and I am so grateful for it. I love this gospel so much and am beginning to see peoples life change because of it. I am happy alllllll the time out here. Yeah at times I get a bit stressed but that is only because of Spanish. Ha-ha, one day I will be able to speak it fluently. 

I am out of time but I love you all. I miss you. You are in my prayers. 

Elder Daniel Scott Staffieri