Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Family, and Friends: 
This week has been so awesome!! I feel like I say that every week but it is true every week. The mission is just awesome!!! It wasn’t as humid this week as it was last week so that was a plus. At times last week, I felt like I was swimming through the streets. It was so gnarly how humid and hot it gets here after it rains and its only winter. Plus, it the rain comes out of nowhere too!!! I had all of my clothes on the line and it was perfectly sunny and they were almost dry but I decided to leave them out for a few hours while we went to lessons that day after lunch, and it started pouring after our second lesson. Ha-ha. On the bright side, my clothes got washed twice as well and I didn’t have to do it so that is good! 

So this week was really really good. We worked really hard and things were just working out for us. Things that seemed like they weren’t going to be successful worked out so good. Better than we could have ever imagined. I think the blessings have just been coming because we have been trying our hardest to be as obedient as we can lately in everything we do. it’s not like we were not obedient before but now just putting a more of an emphasis on it. And we have been seeing the blessings! We found 5 new people to teach so that has been so awesome!

This week we also did a lot of service. We did service projects three days this week. Two of the days we spent our mornings chopping up wood for people in our ward because it has been getting crazy cold at night. Then another day this week we helped a family in our ward build an almacen (kind of like a shop in front of their house). It was super fun and I felt like growing up building things really came in use ha-ha. 

Also this week elder Kemp hit his year and half mark in the mission so we went over to our neighbor’s house and burned stuff!! That was fun. 

This has been my last week with elder Kemp. He is going to tacuarembo and I am staying. I am a little bit bummed that he is leaving but at the same time I am so pumped to get a new companion and learn from someone else. You learn so much from your companions it’s crazy. You pick up little things that you don’t even notice until they point them out. They shape you spiritually and build who you will become as a missionary. You can learn things from every companion so I am way excited to learn from my new companion. 

My new companion is Elder Caldaron. He is a red headed Peruvian ha-ha. I have heard great things about him and he is going to be a district leader too. So that means this change I will be doing a lot of splits with other missionaries. I am so pumped because now I don’t have the option to speak English!! That is the part I am so excited about. I can’t speak English even if I want to. I am going to be force-fed Spanish and I can’t wait!! I have been feeling confident in Spanish already so hopefully I will take off and learn so much more. 

This week we have had one of our recent converts bounce back to receiving us again. She hit a really rough patch after her baptism and she was just being attacked on all fronts. Her mom has been getting in her head saying that she got baptized too fast and that she didn’t know what she was doing. And her friends have been giving her a really hard time for a super long time too. They were bagging on her just for taking lessons. And to top it off, her boyfriend is a preacher from another church. So she has had her work cut out for her. We were at the point with her for the past few weeks that she would not meet with us and said that she was in-between the two churches. She wouldn’t answer or return any calls or texts. I have never felt so sad, concerned, worried, etc. in my life!! I have never spent so much time on my knees and in fasting for one thing. And this week, even though she didn’t go to church, she started meeting with us again. We have had some really powerful lessons and we are seeing her testimony grow again. She opened up to us all over again and is letting us know what is going on in her life so we can help her. She knows that she has a testimony of the things we have been teaching her and she told us that. Now is just a matter of rebuilding her faith. I have never seen such temptation after a baptism. But she is going to be so much stronger after it. She is so strong to begin with and I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to work with her again. This is just one of the miracles we have seen this week. We have had some miracle finds on the street this week that if we weren’t there at that time then we would not have gotten into that house and taught that person. It has just been amazing seeing the hand of the Lord in his work. 

I also gave my first blessing in Spanish. We have given so many blessings together but I have never actually been the one to seal the anointing until this past week. I had always been the one just to anoint them and that is super easy. But it’s a whole other thing giving a blessing with limited vocabulary when they really needed it. I gave a blessing to a toddler in our ward that had a super high fever and having a really hard time. He was just crying and crying and crying since the moment we got in the house. He wasn’t going to let us give him one unless I did it because he says that we are "mejor amigos" ha-ha. He is a stud. But anyways. As the blessing started he started calming down and fell asleep. I have never seen anything like that happen. It was such a testimony builder of the power of the priesthood when it is used righteously and in faith. I am so happy that the Lord was able to work through me. 

This week has truly been awesome. I have grown so much and hope to be able to continue to grow as time goes on. I know that Christ lives. I know that He came into the world to save it. All things can be made whole through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know families are eternal. I know that the priesthood power and authority is the power of God on the earth today. 

I have been so blessed to be able to serve a mission. I love you all. Thank you so much for your letters, emails, and support.

Let’s all try a little harder to be a little better. 

Con Cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

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