Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Family and friends:

This week has been so awesome, a little bit bittersweet, but sssooo awesome. So much fun!!

Last Monday, we took a trip with some missionaries and a few people in our ward to go visit the termas (hot springs) to eat lunch, play games, shop around (well just window shop due to the lack of money as missionaries jaja) , and take pictures. It was so much fun! I will send pictures. 

This past week, one of the missionaries that served here came back with his family so it was really cool. And it turns out that they know Dad and Grandma and Grandpa. It is the family McCraney? I am sure I spelled that wrong but they grew up in the same ward as dad. Jeff McCraney and Karen. They wrote me a note to send home but I forgot it on my desk so I will send it next time I get the chance. We got together and had an asado. 

This week has been a week of asado. We have eaten asado almost every day. I’m not complaining!!

Also, this past Sunday was the independence day of Uruguay. WHICH MEANT MORE ASADO!!! WHHHOOOPPP WHOOP!!

So we had a really cool experience this past week with Juan Carlos, Sandra, and Benjamin, one of the families we are currently teaching. We were sitting in planning one day this past week talking about them and could not figure out what we were going to teach them so we just said "Well, let’s just follow the Spirit." we get in the lesson and start talking and we felt like reading this scripture in the book of mormon. After we shared it and talked about it for about 10 minutes and how we can apply it in our life, Juan Carlos asks us if we had planned to share that before. We explained that we had been thinking before but couldn’t figure out what to talk about but we felt we should share this. He then told us that that is what he needed to hear and we just got the biggest smile on our faces and the whole family too. He went to church this past Sunday for all three hours and they are progressing so amazingly. I am so grateful for the Spirit and for the opportunities we have every day to follow the His influence. It was a testimony builder for sure. 

This week I also had the chance to perform a baptism for Yuliana Rosario Acosta Zamora, the sister of the girl I baptized a few weeks back. She is ten years old and has such a strong testimony. She walked to the church all by herself for her baptism because her family couldn’t come. Her parents aren’t members and I don’t know if they support her too much and her sister was in school. Luckily her sister got out in time for the ordinance. She is such an amazing little girl and has such a strong testimony. I am excited for her future in the church. She is going to do great things. 

So my spiritual thought this week comes from gospel principles. We teach gospel principles every so often and this is from a lesson we taught a few weeks back that has stuck with me. We know that in the pre earth life we lived with our Heavenly Father and His plan was presented before us. If we accepted this plan, we would have the opportunity to come to earth to obtain our bodies and be able to learn and grow and become more like Him. We knew what it entailed and chose to come here. We know this because, well, we are on earth. We have our body. We are all learning every day. The point I want to emphasize is the fact that WE HAVE ALREADY CHOSEN!! We already chose to follow Christ! We know that already!  Our responsibility now is to press on with our choice. Live worthy of our calling. The day of our salvation is today. The choices we make today will either bring us closer to our Father or take us farther away. We have the responsibility to live up to our divine potential. This has impacted me so much knowing that we have already chosen. It makes making choices so much easier knowing that we have already chosen to follow Christ. Now the question is: Is this in line with the choice I have already made? Will this bring me closer to God? I love this so much!

I know that this gospel is true. I know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us. I know that the only way to true, eternal happiness is living the principles of the gospel. I know that we have chosen to follow Christ and will be blessed as we press forward in our divine calling to be disciples of Christ. 

Well my time in Salto has come to a close. We got our transfers Sunday morning before church, my companion is staying here in Salto to train and I am leaving to go to Montevideo to be the new mission secretary. This means that I will have less time in the streets which means we will have to hit it even harder when we leave to proselyte. It will be a new experience. I have been called to serve and will serve where I have been called. I will miss Salto so much and all of the relationships I have built here in these past 4 and a half months. I love the people here. I am excited to start a new experience in the offices. 

Thank you all for your prayers and for your letters every week. They mean so much to me. 


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



Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY TO DAD (#49) AND CORINNE (#16)!! I HOPE THAT YOU HAVE THE BEST BIRTHDAY YOU HAVE EVER HAD! I wish I could be there to celebrate it with you. I hope you guys have a blast!!

So this week has been so awesome!!! Last p-day I ate carpincho!! After i wrote my email we went over to the apartment of the elders that work in Centro to have a little asado. Ha-ha. Carpincho is known as the largest rodent in the world. It is illegal to kill here in Uruguay but somehow a member got a hold of one and gave us some meat. It was soo good! The most flavorful meat I have ever eaten in my life. Not bad for a gigantic rat. Carpinchos have little to no fat in the meat so it was awesome. We just went to town! SSSOOOO GOOD!!

This week we had zone conference! It was buenazo!! Zone conference is always a spiritual boost as well as an animo boost. You come out of zone conference ready to conquer the world!! You talk to every person you see even if they don’t want to talk to you. It was soo good!! They talked about a ton of stuff. I forgot my notebook at the house today so I don’t have all of my notes! Aaaahh. But I will try to remember some stuff. They just teach you how to be a good missionary. Its full of practices and spiritual messages. Our new motto for our mission is "HOY ES EL DÍA!" (TODAY IS THE DAY!)We have new goals as a mission as well. 1. Double the church attendance (in 6 months). 2. 100 baptisms every month as a mission, and 3, 100 percent retention of new converts (men to be confirmed to the office of priest within two weeks). We have been working really hard with these goals and have been seeing the increase in church already. We have been working more with church leaders to excite the ward and it has been paying off. The work is taking off! It is such a blessing to be out on the mission in the day where the Lord is hastening His work!!!

We had an awesome find this week through the spirit. We were walking in between lessons and almost running because we were late. Ha-ha. But as we passed this guy I kind of felt like we should talk to him but we had no time so we just kept going. But then my comp stops and looks at me and says "Elder, We need to talk to that guy we just passed" "Let’s do it!" so we ran back and started talking to him. His name is José Luis and he is 80 years old but looks like he only has 50. It is crazy. Anyways we started talking to him just normal and he invited us to his house to talk the following day. We left him with a book of mormon and a section to read. He said that he was going to read. The following day we went to his house and had an awesome lesson with him and he committed to go to church at 9, which rarely happens because it is so early. Saturday we went back again for a lesson and committed him to a baptismal date in September. He was super pumped about it and willingly accepted. He came to church on Sunday and was there for all 3 hours. He is progressing greatly. I cant wait to continue working with him. I am embarrassed that I would have missed that chance to talk to him because I didn’t act on the prompting I received. I learned to act on the smallest prompting that you get, it doesn’t matter if we are late. Just do it. Don’t hesitate. I am grateful for my companion stopping us and for us going back. 

My spiritual thought this past week comes from Mosiah 18:9. It is a well known scripture that we use often but it is powerful and I want you to take some time and really analyze it and see how you can apply it to your life. I have been doing this a lot lately with scriptures and have seen the blessing in my life. se dice: 

sí, y estáis dispuestos a llorar con los que lloran; sí, y a consolar a los que necesitan de consuelo, y ser atestigos de Dios en todo tiempo, y en todas las cosas y en todo lugar en que estuvieseis, aun hasta la muerte, para que seáis redimidos por Dios, y seáis contados con los de la bprimera resurrección, para que tengáis cvida eterna; (Yea, and are awilling to mourn with those that bmourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand ascwitnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the dfirst resurrection, that ye may have eternal life)

This as we all know is talking about the covenant we made at baptism to support all of our brothers and sisters and stand as a witness in all times, in all things, and in all places until we pass through to the next life. What things can we do so that when people look at us or how we are acting they can say that we are disciples of Christ. How can we do better? How can we reach out to help those around us? What can we do to be sure we are numbered with those of the first resurrection? How can we serve to our best ability? Who can we share our testimony with? Who is in need around us? 

I know that if we prayerfully ask and look for opportunities to serve and share our testimony, if we pray for opportunities to develop Christ like attributes, we will be given opportunities to do so. We have to be active in developing these things in our lives. I know that we can do it. At times it won’t be easy, but IT WILL BE WORTH IT!! 

I love you all. I know the church is true. I have never been so happy in my entire life. There is no greater work than missionary work. We all can partake of the happiness that comes from sharing your testimony with a neighbor, friend, coworker, family member, stranger, just anyone!


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

i love you all. 

Con cariño, 

Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family and Friends:

This week has been so awesome!! I could not have asked for a better week. The weather was awesome, we found a lot of people to teach, our investigators are progressing, and we had 4 in church!!! Whoop whoop!! 

I don’t have much time so this is going to be kind of short, sorry. 

So this week has been really good. We found a family that truly has been prepared to receive the gospel. We had received a reference for a kid that the elders in Centro had contacted about a week ago his name is Benjamin. So we went to go find him and try to contact him because the elders in Centro said that he was a stud! So we go and no one comes out to answer. we were kind of bummed but saw these kids playing soccer across the street so we go and start playing a little bit and then sat down to talk to them. They were super interested about the life of a missionary and what we do and everything. They couldn’t believe that we actually pay to be here ha-ha. But they were awesome. We are going back to teach them this coming week, but anyways back to Benjamin. As we left the other kids, we saw a youth from our ward walking with a friend so we went to talk to him. His friend turned out to be Benjamin! We were so stoked! 

We walked back to his house and started to talk to him. He is a good kid. About 5 minutes into the lesson, his mom wakes up and comes and sits in with us. She had talked to the missionaries before about 3 years ago and actually went to church for a while! So we continued to teach and about 10 minutes later, his dad shows up on a moto. He walks in and greets us and then leaves for the kitchen. He stayed in the kitchen for a while as we were teaching. After about ten more minutes he comes in and sits down and begins asking questions. He went on to explain that he feels that we had been sent from God. He said that he never comes home at this time. He works Sunday to Sunday basically all day and all night for the police depending on his shift. He said that he never comes home this early in the day but his chief had let him off early for some reason so he came home. He then went on to say that we always pass his house but never come to his house. He then told us about all of these things that were happening in his life. He has been searching for answers. He told us that we were his answer and that he wants to learn more!!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!!! 

They all came to church yesterday; during the only hours he has off Sundays, and are reading. I am so grateful for these experiences that let us know that the Lord truly has his hand in His work. This wasn’t an coincidence. The Lord has prepared this family in various ways. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have as missionaries to find and teach these people. 

So my spiritual thought this week comes to you from Alma 34:31 y 32. Se dice:
 31  Sí, quisiera que vinieseis y no endurecieseis más vuestros corazones; porque he aquí, hoy es el tiempo y el adía de vuestra salvación; y por tanto, si os arrepentís y no endurecéis vuestros corazones, inmediatamente obrará para vosotros el gran plan de redención. 32  Porque he aquí, esta vida es cuando el hombre debeaprepararse para comparecer ante Dios; sí, el día de esta vida es el día en que el hombre debe ejecutar su obra. ( 31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and aharden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the bday of yourcsalvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and dharden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. 32 For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors.)
HOY ES EL DÍA!!! TODAY IS THE DAY! I love this so much. We talked about this a little bit in our district meeting this past week. Today is the day. The things we do today will affect our tomorrow. In reality, the things we do today have eternal consequences or blessings. This life is so short and we need to all we can to be ready to meet God. TODAY we make the decisions that shape who we are. TODAY we need to do the things that we should. TODAY we become disciples of Christ. TODAY IS THE DAY OF YOUR SALVATION! Gosh I love this so much!! It is weird because I feel like I can explain this so much better in Spanish now and it sounds weird trying to explain this in English. But there is a saying that goes; TOMORROW IS THE ENEMY OF TODAY! This is so true. We cannot wait to change who we are, we cannot wait to repent, and we cannot wait to follow the promptings of the spirit. DO THEM NOW! Make the change and don’t look back. Follow those promptings and don’t question them. Do not hesitate. Just do it! HOY ES EL DÍA!!!!!
I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week. 
Let’s all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better. 
Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Monday, August 5, 2013

Family and Friends:

First off, congrats to Andy Livingston on his baptism! I am so proud of you bud! I can’t believe that everyone is growing up so fast!! Before we know it you are going to be out on your mission!

So this week has been so awesome! We have been working really hard and have been receiving blessings for our work. We have been finding a lot through part member families and inactive members. We have found some really interesting investigators this past week and the work has been progressing here in Salto. I have never been so busy but so happy in my life!! The work is so awesome!!! 

Spanish is coming along great as I speak it 24/7. But I went to get a haircut this week and i guess my Spanish wasn’t as good as I thought because I walked out with a bowl cut. I guess it got lost in translation? ha-ha. But I only had it for a few days before I had to go get it fixed ha-ha. That was my funny moment for the week. 

Also this week I had splits with Elder Wakely from Utah. it was his 12th day in Uruguay so it was like I had a kid for a day!! It was so awesome. He spoke little Spanish so I had to teach the lessons and plan our day really well so we could be successful. He is such a stud though. He knew more Spanish than me at that point and he has such a strong testimony and isn’t afraid to share it. I am so grateful that my comp is district leader because that means that we get to do splits every week. We get to meet a ton of elders and get different experiences. It’s so awesome!! 

This week we helped a member of the ward move houses. It was so fun. We used this old farm truck to pile all their stuff in and we all hung off the back when we rode to their new house and back a few times. Got to love it here. It is so tranquil and everyone is so laid back about everything. I never thought I would be driving down the road in Uruguay on a truck, so old I never thought would run,  piled full of stuff to the point where there is no room inside the back so we have to hang off the back. YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE MISSION!!! 

So we have been seeing great progress in one of the families that we have been teaching. la familia ribeiro gomez. Jacaline is the mother of Soledad and Gonzalo, our converts from a few months back and we have been working with her trying to get her married to her boyfriend because she wants to join the church too. Anyways, her boyfriend, Julio, works out in campo and is only in town for a few days every month so it has been really difficult. And in the past, every time he would come into town, none of them would ever go to church because he didn’t want to. He has been super closed off to us but guess what happened Sunday. THEY CAME TO CHURCH!! ALL OF THEM!! FOR ALL 3 HOURS!!! it was soooooo awesome!!! Aaaahh i have never been so stoked. It started and none of them were there and about 10 minutes later they all walked in!! This was huge!!! It means that they can actually progress and that they are taking the gospel seriously!! aaaahhhhhhh!!! So awesome!! I love being a missionary!!!!

Also, i got to perform a baptism this past week! Her name is Ana Laura Acosta Zamora. She was an investigator of the sister missionaries in our ward and she asked me to perform the ordinance. So I was super stoked. She is such a nice girl and she has such a strong testimony. The baptism went awesome and we participated in the confirmation the following day.  I am so happy that she is a member of the church and am stoked to continue to see her growth! THE GOSPEL IS SO AWESOME!! 

Anyways that is all the time I have for today. I love you all so much. Life is so awesome!! Wake up every day with a smile on your face because you know it is going to be an amazing day!! Find every reason to smile! 

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


Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri