Monday, June 17, 2013

Family, and Friends:

First off Happy Father´s Day to my awesome dad!! I hope you had an awesome day. I have been so blessed to have a father like you in my life. You have been such an awesome example to me throughout my life. I try every day to be a little more like you. I wish I could be there to give you a hug and thank you for all you have done for me, but this will have to do. 

So this week has been a growing experience for Elder Kemp and me. We always love it when our investigators get baptized and take that step towards eternal happiness. There is nothing that brings us more joy as missionaries. We love seeing the changes in people as they come to realize how magnificent the Atonement of Jesus Christ is in their lives, and how perfect it is. As our investigators get baptized, we begin to realize how important it is to go and find more investigators, and along with that, how difficult it is. So this week basically was devoted to finding people. 

This week we had splits. Elder Lopez, our district leader, came to our area of Cerro and Elder Kemp went to Ceibal. Splits are always growing experiences for me because I have to be the one leading. It is an awesome opportunity to check how I am doing as a missionary. What is my focus, how is my planning, how do I follow the spirit, how is my Spanish, and how well do I know the lessons and how I can apply them to the needs of our investigators and contacts. So Elder Lopez and I didn’t have that much planned out as set lessons. But we had a ton of people we wanted to go and visit on our lists and contacted along the way. It was super humbling. We spent literally all day in the streets trying to talk to people. We made a few good contacts and at the end of the day, we had two lessons that weren’t planned. We also contacted investigators that were dropped and set up times to come back and teach them. So all in all, it was a good day and a good split. 

Once Elder Kemp came back, it was time to hit the ground running. We had been kind of discouraged this week because we had not had a lot success finding people. 
Going door to door and talking to people on the streets is not the most effective way of finding investigators. BUT, you do find people! It just takes a llllooonnngggg time sometimes. We spent the majority of our time this week walking around in the streets doing the best we could to follow the spirit and find people. 

This week we also went to ward council and met with various ward leaders to ask how we can help their quorums. This has been such a blessing because it gave us direction of who we could go and visit to help the ward and also find more people to teach. It’s really one in the same. We have lists of people we are going to visit this coming week. I am so pumped to start over and begin a new week. 

I will say that this week, I have grown a ton in the mission. I have learned a lot about faith and staying positive when things aren’t ideal. Therefore, I want to share a thought about faith. I was studying in the 2010 General Conference address, I think the October session. There are some awesome talks in there. But my thought comes from Richard C. Edgley, of the First Bishopric. I can’t think of a better way to sum up what I have learned this week than from this quote. 

He said¨: Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism”.

Faith is so important in our daily lives. It never really hit me until the mission. Each day we walk by faith and it is so important that we strive to develop our faith every day. I have always been firm in my belief that we cannot be stagnant in our growth. We can’t just reach a point where we say to ourselves "yeah I am happy where I am at right now" Someone once said to me that if we aren’t getting better, we are getting worse. This is so true when it comes to faith. It is either growing or it is wilting. We have to actively take those steps to improve our faith each day. 

I know that this church is true. I know that through faith, all things are possible. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who sent His Son to atone for the world. Everything we experience in life can be made whole through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I can’t wait to start a new week so we can try a little bit harder to be a little bit better! 

I love you all so much!

Elder Staffieri

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