Monday, January 27, 2014

This week was awesome! Probably one of the best weeks I have had in a while. We got out and taught a whole bunch. Last Sunday we met with our bishop and he asked us to stop working in the area we were working in and start working in the old area that the sisters had when they shared a ward with us. It is an area that he said "hasn’t had success for missionaries in 10 to 15 years." There are no members that live in that area. That area is called Prado. It’s a really rich area with giant houses and big gates around every one. It makes working there a little difficult but there is still work to be done.  The bishop holds the keys to the missionary work in our area so we are going to go out and follow his council. HOY ES EL DÍA that we will have success there. We have been going out and knocking doors and making street contacts like crazy. We have found a few people that invited us back to receive the lessons. It’s been really cool to see how the Lord provides as we are following the counsel of our bishop. Even though we have been working a lot more in the streets, we have been having a lot of lessons. People are always there when we plan for them. I love being a missionary!! LA OBRA VA BIEN!

We had a lesson with Fernando this past week. It went really well. We showed up at his house and he wasn’t there but his sister in law was with her mom and some other people so she invited us in to wait. While we were waiting, we started talking to her asking how everything was and seeing how she was doing then she goes on to tell us how she used to talk to the missionaries too.  She in fact was the one who brought the missionaries over to their house in the first place. She went on to tell us that one day she was walking feeling really sad about what had just happened to her and then some missionaries came up and started talking to her and then walked with her to her house. She said that after they had finished talking, she was left feeling happy and at peace. We asked her if she would be willing to learn more and she said yeah. We sat down and had a lesson with her for 20 minutes and then just as we finished, Fernando walked in with his wife and son and then we had a lesson with them. We taught him the Restoration using a little more of the bible than normal to explain how the church was set up and line of authority and showing how it has gone from apostasy to restoration to apostasy, etc. We talked a lot about prayer and shared the Joseph Smith experience with him. He really enjoyed it and committed to pray. We taught two different lessons without even having to move a seat. 

This week I also went on splits twice. First off with Elder Lamb because his companion was sick. But we had full days planned in both areas so we decided to go out to work with the car. We had a different lesson in a different area every half hour. We were running back and forth like crazy but it all came together. It was actually one of the most fun days I have had. Teaching half the lessons with people I didn’t know and the other half with only people that I knew. It was good constantly switching off lead and learning from Elder Lamb and seeing different ways of teaching. It was awesome. Then I went on splits yesterday with our zone leader, Elder Miranda, de Colombia. It was a really good day. We went and worked over in barrio °4. It’s the middle of Montevideo, downtown. Its kind of different working there because everyone seems to be in even more of a rush than they are in our area. But we had a great day. Great lessons and ended with a ward activity. 

Last night we had to run to the airport at 12:30 and got back at 2am. It was a good trip though. Elder Woods and I always have a blast on those airport runs. There was a gnarly storm that came through Montevideo this week and there were trees blown down everywhere so that made it even cooler. 

So this storm that came through was crazy. Giant wind storms, lightening, thunder, pouring rain, etc. It was so bad, and part our fault for leaving the window open, that we broke our door. We have a glass door in-between our laundry area and our kitchen and someone had left the window out the laundry area open. So at about midnight, a giant gust of wind blew through our apartment, slammed our door shut and shattered the bottom half of it. In our defense, it was already broken. Now it’s just...a little more broken. 

So this week I kind of had a little light bulb moment. So I will share it as a spiritual thought. I began re-reading Jesus the Christ in Spanish this past week and so I have been learning about the preexistence and the creation and everything like that. In the pearl of great price, we learn that Satan presented his plan in opposition to that plan the Father had set forward. In this plan, he would take away the agency of men to bring upon him the glory. I just thought about what that means and how that must have been when it kind of hit me. Satan is still doing that. He is going after our agency to engañarnos (i dont know the word in english and i think it is a lot more powerful in spanish). Think of some the sins that people commit. Drinking and using drugs. It goes after our ability to fully use our agency. They often create addictions that even lesson our agency, o sea, make it more difficult to use. Pornography and immoral media. They begin to bring people in and numb them. It’s incredibly addictive and is hard to break.  Even a simple lie. It limits the ability to tell the truth. People end up trapped in a white lie that they have told not being able to come out without losing all that they had built upon a deception. This fear makes it harder to use the agency we have been freely given. It goes on and on. He still works this way so that he can bring the "glory of man" upon himself. We understand that the only way to overcome the natural man is with the Savior. All of us at times fall into temptation in one form or another. We know that with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all of us have the power to overcome anything that is put in our path. I think it is the most rewarding part of being a missionary is seeing the Atonement of Jesus Christ in action. People who are so burden ridden and feel they are too far gone to see the way out, those who feel too weak to continue, once they pray and come to know that Christ is their Savior and He has set forth the way, there is a change. This life once filled with darkness, captivity, and confusion is now converted into one with light, freedom and understanding. 

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He has given us the only way to return to live with the Father as eternal families. I know of the power of the Atonement. I have experienced this miracle first hand in my own daily life as well as those whom we have the opportunity to visit. I know that Joseph Smith was called to restore the church here in the earth today. I know of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. There is no way for a man to get closer to God than by reading and prayerfully pondering the message it contains. There is a difference of someone who is converted to the church through the Book of Mormon than someone who is not. I know that we have a prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson. It is such a blessing to be able to receive revelation through him. We are so blessed. 

I am about out of time for today but I love you all. Thank you so much for all of your support. 

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

Con cariño, 

Elder Staffieri  

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