President went to Argentina for a conference so we were on our own for a week. It went really good. We also had mini changes. We had 3 Guatemalan missionaries come in Wednesday morning so we were getting everything ready for that and to do it with the assistants. We had to go pick up their trainers at the bus station Tuesday night. The first two came in at 10. Or so we thought. They got in at 1130. We loaded them up in the van and headed back to our apartment and got them set up to sleep. Then we tried to get some sleep at 12 because the next bus came in at 2 am and we had to go pick up the last trainer. We slept through both alarms and woke up at 2;40 to elder Barlow asking if we were on our way. We responded with an "um, yeah. We are just getting over there" threw on some sandals and a name tag, sprinted to the car, and off we went to the bus station. Turns out when we got there, he wouldn’t answer the phone. After about 5 calls, we went in to search. He was knocked out in a chair. We woke him up, took him back and he slept on our couch. We took a 45 minute power nap and then got up at 415 to get over to president house to get the assistants to go to the airport. The flight got in at 520 and we got there a little early and made a few cool contacts. Both in English surprisingly. We picked them up, went back to the mission home, made and ate breakfast, took them to the temple to meet their trainers, and then we took the president son to school. All before 830. It was awesome. We are still suffering from only 3 and a half hours of sleep but we are making it day by day. We might nap today but who knows.
This week was a week of service. We went to a member’s house to paint her bathroom and hallway which went super well. We went yesterday and helped a less active clean her house and do all her dishes and stuff. Then this week we found someone by doing service. We were walking down the street and said hi to this guy who was working in front of his house and as we passed him he goes "hey you want help me" in English hah. We turned around and responded yeah we do. He then tried to say that he was just joking and that he didn’t need it and stuff. But we were persistent in wanting to help so he let us. He was digging out behind a curb to make an entry for his car. We helped him with all the dirt, putting it in bags and stuff and hauling it away. Then we went by a few days later and he was out in front of his house with a jackhammer blasting away at the road and curb. And he looks at us and goes “elder staffieri! wanna make some noise?" So I don’t know if we were actually allowed to do it but I felt like a boss using a jackhammer with a tie and slacks on. So cool. I wish I would have had my camera with me. but after that, we started talking about why we like doing service and stuff like that and we told him we were missionaries of the church and we would like to come back to teach him and his family if that would be alright. We came back a few days later and he just finished pouring his slab so we helped him clean up and then walked back to his house. His name is Maurizio. He is a 36 year old father of four. He is his neighborhoods representative and the best father I have seen yet in Uruguay. He is from humble background and he is a blacksmith and his wife makes stuff from pallets to sell as a hobby. He built his entire apartment complex by himself over a space of 6 years. He is a self made man and his only interest is what is best for his family. We had a great lesson with him about the restoration and at the end we asked him to say the closing prayer. He looks at us and goes " Bueno, vamos arriba muchachos". (Okay, up we go boys) we all kneeled down in his backyard and he offered a humble prayer. It was such an awesome experience.
Later that night, we were at a bus stop waiting to go home getting a little bit impatient. We almost got a taxi because we were going to be late but we decided to just wait for the bus anyways. Just as the bus pulled up, a man walked up the bus stop and goes “hey how are you guys doing? I live in this house here. Come by one day and we will talk." we both got on the bus and he got on after us but got off soon after. We didn’t get his name but we went back the next day and we knocked the door he walked out of the night before, which was to an apartment complex, and we just asked if a man from prosegur lived there and the girl said that she would go and get him. Turns out that it was his daughter. Blessing! He came out and said that he had to go to work but we have an appointment with him tonight so we are stoked to go and find out more about Gustavo.
Also, last night we had our first noche de barrio (like a family night but for the ward and investigators). We had a spiritual thought, played musical chairs, and then had a dessert thing. We had a good turn out and everyone liked it. Afterwards we played basketball with a bunch of youth. Elder Bedke and I went 3 for 3 beyond the ark. Fun fact, Elder Bedke dunked this morning. He is a stud.
So this morning I decided to do my study on gifts, the spiritual gifts that our Heavenly Father has given us. It was actually a really cool study and I think my spiritual thought this week will be from that. I studied a lot in the 46th section o fDoctrine & Covenants. I learned that we all have gifts, not all have the same, but they are there. To find out what our gifts are, we may have to put ourselves to serious thinking, prayer, and fasting. We have to be worthy of the Spirit so He can help us receive our answer. It is our responsibility, not opportunity, not option, but responsibility to develop our talents, our gifts, and our abilities that we have been given. We learn that "to some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited." We have the responsibility to develop what we have been given and use that to bless our lives and the lives of others. So it is my plea that we all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better...this week to find out what talents we have been given and what we can do to develop them and put them to use. I know that as we prayerfully do this, we will find our answer, we will become the person Christ would like us to be, and perhaps, the answer to a prayer of someone in need.
I know the church is true. I know that families are eternal if they are built and sustained on the principals of the gospel. I testify of the power of the priesthood, that was restored to the church was by the prophet Joseph Smith. I know of the importance of this work and the happiness that comes from sharing the gospel. I have never been so happy in my entire life. This is the Lords work.
I love you all so much. You are in my prayers. Keep the faith and a smile on your face!
Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better.