Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This week has been so amazing! 

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.

Con Cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Monday, October 21, 2013

This week was awesome!! We had a solid work week. Not a lot of stuff crazy happened but it was just a really good week.
We had concilio this week for the mission so we had to get everything ready for that like buy all the tickets and make all the folders for the zone leaders and schedule the hostal. Things like that. Good thing is everything is getting easier to do! WHOOP WHOOP!
We also had an interesting thing happen this week. We went to an orphanage. We recieved a reference one day while eating lunch with a member of a kid at her work who had gone to church a few times. So we went and it was actually a cool experiance. We walked in and all the kids just ran up to us and started jumping on us and stuff. So we kinda had to do the heisman as missionaries but the kids were super awesome. We met up with the member and she took us to her supervisors office to talk for a while. She basically explained that she would love to have us there, the missionaries talk to her family, but because it is a state facility, we couldnt come and talk to steven there. We would have to arrainge to meet with him somewhere else. So we were kind of bummed but she said if she ever has any service, she will call us. We might go back and help teach english. So that will be cool.
Elder Running and I held down the offices for a day because the other elders had to go to concilio with everyone else. It was pretty fun and we got a ton done. That night we went out and taught some really awesome lessons. We go and read with a recent convert, Yoshua, and we are teaching him how to ponder while he reads and how he can apply the scriptures as he reads and it is soooo cool to see him progress. When we first started, we would stop and explain it to him, then we would explain it together, and now we are telling him that he has to break it down for us and he does. The other day we were reading in first nefi somewhere, and he started explaining the whole chapter and getting super excited. He has been applying what he has learned as well. It was great to see how happy he was to read the scriptures. Such a stud! After we had a few more lessons and then went to go pick up people to take them to the bus station. When we got to the mission home we had 15 minutes till thier bus left and it was pretty far. bbbbuuuttttt, we got them there in time ;)
Our investigator Daniel is still progressing. Things are complicated with his family. He told us this week that if it was just for him, he already would have been baptized. He told us that everything we have taught him he knows to be true. So its kind of a bummer but  he is still progressing.

Things with Bruno are kind of getting more and more complicated as well. His parents are getting divorced and they are having a lot of family problems. He also got really sick this past week and then his sister had to go to hospital for something as well. We really want his mom to come to church on a regular basis before he gets baptized so that the family supports him. We need his mom to be an example to him. But we had some really spiritual lessons with thim and i know they will be just fine.
Oh and the sisters left our area so we got half of their area and their investigators and more members to go and visit. So we have been doing a lot of work there as well! We have been seeing some blessings come from that area.
Oh and some UPS girl came this week and wanted to talk to me about logistics haha. Elder Running and I talked to her for like 20 minutes and just told her that we dont contract shipping.

This morning we went to go play soccer at 630 with elders from our mission, after we went to a two hour service project, and after that we went to play futbol americano against the other mission. After an hour and a half of that we had lunch with all 6 of us (the office elders and the assistants) and a member of our ward. Then we just finished playing basketball with some youth of the ward. So all and all it was a great week.
A spiritual thought this week comes from the book of Mosiah del LdM, Mosiah 5:2.

Se dice : "Y todos clamaron a una vox, diciendo: Sí, creemos todas las plabras que nos has hablado; y además, sabemos de su certeza y verdad por el Espíritu del Señor Omnipotente, el cual ha efectuado un potente cambio en nosotros, o sea, en nuestros carazones, por lo que ya no tenemos más disposición a obrar mal, sino a hacer lo bueno continuamente."

(And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty achange in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do bevil, but to do good continually)
I love this scripture so much! I was talking to Elder Bedke about this scripture earlier this week and we were talking about how we can teach with the Spirit more and why it is important that the Spirit is there and what we can do to improve and everything. We talked about how we need to study by the spirit to be able to teach by the Spirit. We as missionaries know that we are only instruments that our Heavenly Father can work through. It is only by the Spirit that we can be truely converted to the gospel. This is why it is so important to do the small and simple things that invite the Spirit into our life like scripture study, prayer, and going to church. These things are basic but powerful. As we do them, we will find that we have the presence of the Spirit más abundantemente in our lives. We have to remember that our conversion isnt just a one time thing and ya esta. Its a continual process in which we need his help. We should strive every day to have this change of heart that is described here.
Anyways, i am just about out of time but I want to thank you so much for all you do for me and all that you do to help the missionaries back in your own wards and stakes. Take some time to ask the missionaries when you can go out and teach with them or who they are teaching that could use some support. It makes all the difference.

I know the church is true and we are blessed as we strive every day to live the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this is the only way to a true state of happiness, happiness not only for a time, but for a happiness eternal. Remember to keep the face and smile on your face!!

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better.
Con Cariño,
Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This week was so awesome!! We worked super hard and got a ton done. It was change week. It was kind of crazy but it worked out well.

So conference was so awesome. I had all of these notes that I was going to share with you guys of stuff I wanted to talk about but I forgot my notebook at home. Bummer but I hope I will remember it next week. We had Bruno and his mom Marta in church for a Sunday session which was AWESOME!! It was great for Marta because she came and saw how many people were in the stake and saw some friends and talked with the bishop and everything. She was grateful that she came. Daniel couldn’t make it to conference which was a bummer. We are still working with him though as he continues to progress. One day.....

So we got the changes Sunday and started working on them Sunday night when we had changes Tuesday. We had to look at all the changes to get all the bus tickets bought for everyone. Sounds simple, its not. Elder Bedke and I were in the offices till 3 am Sunday night / Monday morning trying to get them done to go buy the tickets Monday morning so they could travel Monday night. We got most of it done but were way too tired to finish. We slept at the offices and got up the next morning at 6 when the assistants came over to play basketball with us. We got up, played basketball for 30 min for exercises and got right back on the computers to work. At about noon we got everything done and headed for the bus station to buy the tickets and send the change sheets to all the zone leaders. An hour later, most of the tickets were bought except for the few whose routes didn’t exist anymore or the buses didn’t run that day. We went and figured it out and got it done though. So that was an awesome experience. 

Monday we prepared things for changes: packets for new missionaries and those leaving, making reservations at the hostal and temple, getting all of the accommodations, checking and rechecking that everything is good and man did we think we were studs. We had it all done we thought. We though we were going to get on bed in time and we were super pumped!! On Monday night, we got a call about all of the corto plazos (youth that are preparing for their missions who go out and serve with the full time missionaries for 6 weeks as their companions). The corto plazos are kind of like our worst nightmare when it comes to changes. They don’t show up on the church system we have when making rosters for changes. They are kind of like ghosts hah. So the assistants call us and ask us if we had gotten any of their tickets to take them home, bring more out, and switch areas for others. Well, there went going to bed on time ha. After going figuring it out we went to the bus station and got more tickets. We got in bed by 1. 

Tuesday we woke up and got early and got ready to go pick up the new missionaries at the airport. It was pretty cool actually. We got them all in, took them to the mission home, ate breakfast and then dropped them off to get trained. We took all their passports and got everything read to get residency and a ton more stuff. I honestly forgot. That day was just kind of a blur. We came back at 5 to go take them out to Montevideo to go work. That was really cool to go see how they work in the field. I took out 2 Latinos and an American. We made two companionships and i switched every few blocks to a different companion. It was awesome to see how much faith and stuff they have once they get over the fear of talking to people. We taught a few lessons just on the street to people and got some really good references. On the way back to the car we had an experience that they will remember, but I will just leave it at that ha-ha. That night it was my turn to sleep with the new missionaries and make sure everything was good and get them up on time for the next day when they had to get a physical early in the morning. I didn’t get to bed till about 1230 and then we were up the next morning at 6 getting everyone up and out. 

Wednesday they came back from their physical, ate lunch, met their trainers, went through the temple, and then they were off to the bus station to get shipped out to their first areas. And they were gone whoop whoop.

Now we had to worry about the missionaries that were going home. They were pretty easy actually. Wednesday night we came back to our area and worked and had some really good lessons and one with Bruno, who is getting baptized this Saturday night!!! Then we went back to the offices to get the bags sent out with all the mail. That took a while but we got it done. We took them to the bus station and got them sent out and then remembered that we needed to go by "The Bomb" for those that were going home. It’s to make sure you get rid of all unwanted travelers when you got home. We ran to a pharmacy after the bags to go get it. So this is kind of a funny story. 

So me and elder Lamb get of out the car to go run and buy the pills for everyone, each missionary needed 15 pills to so we needed 180 in total. So we go to the window and there is a line behind us and the lady asks us what we need so we tell her the name of what it was and then she asks how many we need. We told her, well we don’t know how many boxes but we need 180 pills. hahahah you should have seen the look on the guys face behind us. Well they only had 3 boxes so we had to go to another pharmacy to get more, just enough for the Latinos because it was late and they were leaving early in the morning. We were going to get the Americans later. We get the stuff and start going to the mission home to drop it off and the assistants call us saying they need all their packets and stuff for themissionaries that are leaving. We thought they had it but apparently it was back at the office. So we go home and drop elder running and elder lamb off at home so that they can unpack elder lamb, the new office elder. He is a stud. Then go back to the offices and get their stuff, and drive over to the mission home. We got in there at 1230 and just decided to sleep in the hostal with the missionaries that were leaving. 

Thursday, the next morning we got up at 4 because all the Latinos had to be at the airport early to make their 7 oclock flights. That was fun. Thursday we worked normal in the offices and they went out to our area to teach finally! Ah it was so awesome. We taught Bruno and went to Juan Alverez, a less active and had a really spiritual lesson with him. Then we had to head back to the mission home to take the missionaries that were leaving to the airport, but on the way we forgot to get them the bomb. So we drove a little faster to go try to find some 11 more boxes of 10. Long story short we found it and got there in time. We loaded up all their bags and off we went. Taking them to the airport was one of the most depressing things I have ever done on the mission. They were all so nervous and you could see that behind the smiles, they were getting torn apart inside It was the weirdest feeling ever seeing them get all their stuff out and put it on the curb and help them get all their tickets and stuff. Taking their final picture with president and walking through the doors to board their plane. It really makes you appreciate your time on the mission. It is so short and you have to do the best with what you have. You can’t afford to not use this time to give it all you got. 

Anyways that was that. Changes went off with few errors. 

Yesterday was great. We got back to normal and went out to work after the offices and had a lesson with Daniel in which he opened up a lot more. We watched conference with him; Pte Monson´s talk to close Sunday morning session. Then after we had a good lesson with Yoshua, a recent convert and read the Book of Mormon with him and talked about what it means and everything. He really liked it. We had to come back to the offices for something that came up and we headed home. 

This morning we went and played basketball against the other mission, went home, and now we are here writing everyone. All in all, we had a great week.

I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do for me. And thanks mom for the package!! The new insoles are being put to good use. 

I know that the church is true. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today. I know that we get closer to God through the simple things like reading our scriptures, praying, and going to church. It is the simple things that make all the difference. As we do these things, we will begin to feel the Spirit more in our lives. I know that this is true. Keep the faith and a smile on your face. 

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

I love you all. 

Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

Monday, October 7, 2013

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM AND BRYCE!!! You guys are so awesome! I hope you had an awesome 29th birthday mom ;) and the best 12th birthday to Bryce! I miss you guys so much and wish I could have been there to celebrate with you but I wrote you both letters and they are going in the mail this week. I love you both so very much!

This past week I GOT MY LICENSE!! WHOOP WHOOP!! I feel like I am sixteen again. Ha-ha. But driving here is kind of stressful for various reasons. I will leave it like that. So basically I am Guayan now with this and my ID.  

On Thursday night at 3 in the morning we got called from the security company saying that the alarms had been tripped in the church in various zones so we got up and ran to the church thinking someone was inside. We went in and searched the whole thing with a security guard armed with a flashlight. Turns out...there was nothing there. So we lost an hour of sleep, talked to the police, and ran back home to sleep for 2 more hours, and got up the next day and had an awesome Friday

So this week has been really good. We have been all super excited as we had been preparing for conference and inviting all of Montevideo to come watch with us. We made a ton of invitations and pasted them on the back of pass along cards so every time we made a contact, they got a picture of Christ and an invitation. Hopefully we will see them all here this weekend! 

This week we have given a ton of blessings to people, which in turn has been some of the biggest blessings for us. There is something special knowing that you hold the priesthood of God. You have to live in such a manner to always honor this sacred responsibility so that when called upon, you can bless the lives of others. Through these experiences this past week, we have had some of the most spiritual lessons of our mission. 

Bruno and his family are progressing great. They went up to Artigas this past week and couldn’t get to church so we are going to move his baptism back a week. We had talked to the bishop and with his mom and we all agreed that it would be better if we moved the date so that he would be better prepared and that his family could come and know more people in the church before taking this step. 

Daniel continues to progress and is coming to conference with us next session! 

We have found some good investigators from the past and are working really well with them. Also, we have found a few less actives and are working with them. The work is going great! 

This first session we had 3 investigators in church with us. Bruno, who is getting baptized this month on the 19th, and the parents of a recent convert we invited to come last night. This past session was so awesome with them. The Spirit was super strong during that session. This was the first session I have watched in Spanish and it was awesome!!! I could understand the whole thing which was a miracle in itself. Elder Ulisses Soares gave an awesome talk!! Ah I loved it so much! He talked so much about our character and how we need to get better every day and develop Christ like attributes.  Elder Edward Dube´s talk was awesome too! "Never look back, always look forward to the future" (sorry if these are wrong, i am translating my notes from spanish to english). The past is to be learned from and not lived in. We need to serve where we are called. Its not important what our calling is but rather if we do it or not. From the first session, President Uchtdorf´s talk was my favorite. I wont go over all that he said but one his closing lines. Take up you cross and follow him. I know that as we do this, we will be blessed. Forget our selves, take up our cross, and do as the Savior would. This is where the true happiness in life comes from. As we do this on a daily basis, we will get closer to our Heavenly Father. 

The second session was super good too but we missed half of it because we got on the wrong bus taking one of Bruno home. Good thing we went with him because we got off in a bad neighborhood ha-ha. But we got back during the intermission song. Conference is the best!!

Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better. Always keep the faith and a smile on your face!

Thank you for all you do for me and for all the prayers that you offer for the missionaries. We are so grateful for all of your support. 

Have a great week and don’t be afraid to share your testimony and serve those who are in need!

Con mucho cariño, 
Elder Staffieri