Friday, February 28, 2014

This week has been great!

We have been working super hard this past week trying to get to know the members. We spent a lot of time going out on visits with members from our Ward to go visit less active families. It’s been great because now we know who they are and mas o menos what’s up in their life. We have been working a lot with the bishop and with our stake presidency.

On Tuesday morning, our stake president called us and told us to come over to his house to meet with him. He talked with us a lot about working with less actives and working together with the bishop. Our bishop is still pretty Young in the church and has a lot of things to learn but he is the most humble man I have ever met in my life. He told us to work as much as we can with him and we will havesuccess. He also talked to us about what kind of missionaries he expects us to be. He is the kind of stake president who if he doesn’t like what you are doing, the next change you are gone from that area. So he really takes control of what the missionaries are doing up here in Artigas. It’s been such a blessing to have a stake president that involved in the work and willing to go out with us. He counseled us on a few things, and then we went out to work. It was an awesome day.

We had a great district meeting and guess what! WE ARE GOING DOWN TO MONTEVIDEO TODAY! We have zone conference in Montevideo and we are all going to the temple. We are leaving in about an hour and a half. I am super pumped because I have never been in this temple down here because when I came into the misión, it was closed. So it will be the first time in about a year that I will go to the temple. The zone is super pumped!

We are still getting to know the area but the Lord always provides. Sorry i am not being too detailed, we have to go right about now. we are really short on time.

Artigas is honestly one of my favorite areas. Elder Owen is one of my favorite companions, we get along so good and we are always working hard and laughing. This change is such a blessing.

Well I want to leave you with a spiritual thought of sorts. It’s something that really struck me in our meeting with our stake president. He said that when we go to the homes of members or less actives, we aren’t there to invite them to church, or just make simple commitments, but rather we are there to invite them to come unto Christ. We are called to go visit these people and help them find their way back. As members, we have this responsibility to love these people and nourish their testimonies. A lot of the time, they just need a Little push. They need someone to show interest in their lives, their families, their struggles, their strengths, etc. As we go and visit them and encourage them, it wakes up their faith. It will draw them closer to Christ step by step. So my challenge for this week is so that you can go and ask the bishop, stake president, local leaders, etc, for people that you can go and help. Just a visit can make all the difference.

I know that the church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is THE testament of Jesus Christ and of His Atonement. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. Yo sé que hoy es el día. Let’s go out and work.

Try a Little bit harder to be a Little bit better!

I love you all! Go share your testimony!

Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


So this week has been one of the best weeks of my mission. Seriously I am so happy. Artigas is so great! 

Monday and Tuesday we did change stuff, the new group of oros came in (Elder Pulsipher!!), and we just did all the normal change jazz. Nothing to new there. Then we went around and said goodbye to all the members and investigators I was teaching. Something cool that happened there. One of our investigators, Bruno, might move from Montevideo. And guess  to where??!! AARRRTTTIIIGGGAAASSS! In barrio 4 where we are serving! So that would be awesome! 

Anyways, Tuesday night me and elder Lopez got on the bus in montevideo at 12:30 and traveled all through the night and got here at 8:30 in the morning. It was pouring rain. We had too much stuff to fit in the taxis with the elders we had so I ended up taking a taxi by an area I didn’t know....but I got there and had a really good conversation with the driver. Got a reference! 

My new companion is elder Owen. He is from Draper, Utah. He is 19. He has about 3 changes in the mission so he is still relatively young. He is such a stud. Always excited to go out and work. Always has a smile on his face and always wanting to speak in spanish! It’s been so great being with him. I am so excited for our changes together. 

The first two days here in Artigas, I went on divisions with Elder Aqueveque (de Chile) for two days so that he could help me get to know the area and some of the members. It was an awesome opportunity to learn from him. He is such a stud! I learned a lot about contacting with him and how to teach in different ways. Such a blessing to have spent two days with him. He is a great example of what a hard working missionary lives like. 

We went to mutual on Wednesday with all the jovenes at night and played soccer in the pouring rain. Man can these kids play. There were about 30 kids there so we made teams of 5 and just rotated with winner staying on the court. It is clear that the youth are one of the major strengths in the ward. 

We have been hitting it hard in the streets this past week. We found 12 new people to teach in half a week that we had up here with 4 of them being men over the age of 18 who will be future priesthood holders. 

Church on Sunday was awesome! We had 74 in church which is really good for this ward. After church, we met with some brothers from the high council and they kind of laid out their expectations for what they want us to help the ward with. At the end of the meeting, one of the brothers stands up and goes to the window and goes “You see that green field out there? That is where we will build the chapel for the people of Barrio 4" To do that, we need to have over 125 people in the church consistently for a year. We are going to do it. I know we are because the Spirit confirmed it as he said it. It was so awesome! The leaders know that TODAY IS THE DAY! It’s been so incredible. 

Later on Sunday, we met with our bishop. We talked about his goals for the ward, what he needed from us, etc. At the end of the meeting, he asked us if he could go out and teach with us. I have never had a bishop just come up to us and ask us what time he could go out to teach with us. He is such a stud! At first he was talking about all the things he had to do and then he thought for a little bit and goes HOY ES EL DIA ELDERES! Give me 15 minutes and we are going out to work. Then he went out to go on visits with us. He agreed to go out with us every Saturday and Sunday for as long as we needed him to go out. He loves his ward so much and wants to do everything to build up the church in his ward. 

One of the trials we have come into this past week has been the members. They honestly just about had a funeral when the last missionaries left. One elder had been here 6 months and the people here adored him. It’s been really hard because they are all in mourning still as he has left. We have been doing all we can to try to regain the trust of the members and help them move past it. Yesterday we were in lunch, and this member almost started crying when someone brought up the name of the elder. But we are making progress, little by little, with the members. They are beginning to warm up to us. We are just going to have to make it a point of focus these coming weeks! 

Today we went into Brazil with some elders, elder finnegan and pulsipher included! whoop whoop! We went to eat at an all you can eat Brazilian buffet. They kept bringing meat to our table for like an hour and a half. It was so awesome! It was only like 10 dollars too. Everything is so much cheaper in Brazil. I think we are going to be doing a lot of shopping there ;)

Well that’s all I have for this week! I just want to say that Artigas is so awesome! I honestly never thought I could love an area so fast. It has been one of the most successful weeks of my mission and we only had half a week! It’s been the best being up here with all these amazing elders. I know the whole zone basically from before. We are going to go to work in Artigas this change! We have been seeing all the blessings of opening an area. The Lord provides when we strive to do our best and follow all of his commandments! 

I love you all so much! 

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

Have a great week! 

Elder Staffieri

Sunday, February 9, 2014

RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, and some more RAIN!!!

It has been pouring here in Montevideo for the past week, it let up today but another storm is already rolling in and it looks like it will be here for the next week as well. Got to love it! Seriously I have never seen storms like this. To the point where you cant even see through the windshield but you have 12 missionaries in the van whose bus is leaving in 5 minutes. Ha-ha. Good times. But seriously, the streets turned to rivers. It was nuts.

This week has been great. One of the most frustrating but also good weeks of my mission. First off, my comp got both of his toes operated on this past week. They took out half of his big toe nail as well as the root on both feet. He has not been allowed to walk which means that every time I need to go out to work in our area, I need to do splits with the other elders or try to find some youth in the ward to go out with me and one to stay with him. It has made things really difficult to go out and teach. I have never had to cancel so many lessons. But come what may and love it right? I just feel bad for Elder Woods. He has been bummed not being able to do anything. He tried walking a little bit and then blood started soaking through all his bandaging, so he stopped. jaja. Poor guy. That combined with his partially torn ACL is making life difficult for him. 

So this week I got to go to concilio with Elder Castillo. It was so awesome. It is always good to get to go and get all the teaching right from president: don’t get me wrong, the zone leaders do an awesome job, but to see it come right from him and the assistants is powerful. We learned a new lesson about the Sabbath Day. I can’t wait to practice it with my new comp and go out and teach it. It is such an awesome lesson! It’s also a ton of fun to get to hang out with all the zone leaders. Some of my best friends are the zone leaders that we have and they all came down so we had a blast! You just learn how to be an overall better missionary at concilio. Can’t wait to get out and apply it all. Whoop whoop! 

So it has been the last week in the offices!! It´s a little bittersweet to be honest. The offices have been awesome! Getting to work so closely with president and his family, the assistants, all the zone leaders, and just getting to know the entire mission. It was so much fun from everything like getting the new missionaries from the airport, 2  hour drives to get things to president, staying up all night during changes, to going and spending 3 hours in DHL trying to free a package for a missionary at Christmas. I have learned so much about myself in the offices and how to maximize the time you have to work in your area. BUT something I am looking forward to is leaving all this stuff behind and not having to focus on anything other than helping the people we are teaching to come unto Christ. Its going to be awesome having time to write in my journal too...;)

SO president talked to me this past week and told me that i am going to an area that has not had success since before he arrived in the mission. But we both have faith that we can change that. I am going to ARTIGAS!!!! I am going to the 4th ward up there. I am so excited. It is the most northern department in Uruguay. It gets suupppeeeerrrrr hot up there. Dirt roads and campo. I can’t wait. I think I know who my new companion is, but cant say for sure at this point. I was here in the offices when he came into the mission. He is such a stud. I am so excited for this coming change. 

Well I am out of time for this week. But I love you all so much. Thank you for taking the time to write me. It means a lot to know how everyone is doing! I hope that you all have a great week! 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
Clearing the Drains on Top of the Church after the storms!

Friday, February 7, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS TO HENRY!!! Moscow, Russia!! That is so awesome bud! I am so excited for you. You are going to have so much fun out there. You are going to bless the lives of so many people. I am so proud of you!

So this week has been awesome! Full of thunderstorms but so much fun. We have been seeing a lot of success in our area by following the direction of our bishop. 

But first off, we had an interesting start to this week. Elder Woods has some pretty gnarly ingrown toe nails. it took him to the point of infections in both of his big toes to go to the hospital. They saw him, cleaned out all the nasty stuff that was in there, and then scheduled him for surgery this coming Thursday. Until then, he can’t walk or do anything that requires him to be on his feet for a while because this will start the infection again or something like that. So I have been going on divisions a whole lot with the other office elders trying to get time in our area. It’s been really awesome actually. It really makes us focus on having shorter lessons and be more focused during planning. I feel like I just adopted the other half of our ward as well working with elder Castillo and elder lamb.

This past week we have had some awesome lessons. We had two lessons with the girl and dad who we found a few weeks ago who stopped us on their moto in the street. Ursula went to Brazil so we hadn’t had that many lessons with her but she is such an amazing person to teach. When she was in Brazil, she was reading the book of Mormon and said that she telling us all about what she was reading. At the end of the first lesson we had with her this week, she accepted the invitation to be baptized. Yesterday we had another lesson with her and her family and she had invited her friend over to listen to us as well because she wanted him to know what she was learning. Her father is traveling in his ship so we will start teaching him when he gets back. They are an awesome family! 

Fernando is still progressing super well. It was a little harder to find him this week but they are all doing great. 

We have been praying a lot this week to find people to teach. We have been really struggling to find people to teach in our area just through tracting alone. One day this week we felt like we should go visit one of the members in our ward. As we get to her house, we just start talking about how everything is going and what has happened recently, just start visiting. And then she just cuts us off and goes, "I bet you don’t remember this but I have been praying for what you asked me. You two came to me a few months ago and asked me to pray to find someone to share the gospel with. well, I got my answer" she goes on to tell us about her friend who had come to her to talk about how she feels that she is lacking something in her life and that she feels it is spirituality. Her friend had asked her if she could come to learn more about the "mormonas." Maria Luisa, the member, got so excited. Her face lit up when she was talking about her friend. She wanted us to come the next day to teach her. We have a lesson set up with her later tonight. ¡¡LA OBRA VA BIEN!!

This week, all of the new missionaries and their trainers came down to Montevideo to receive more training and get all of their medical stuff done. It was really cool for them and a marathon day for us. We spent about 6 hours in the car taking missionaries different places, picking up different things, getting stuff for president, etc. 

Today was an awesome day! We woke up, went and did a few hours of service for the same guy we have been working with for the past few weeks. We have been cleaning all of the dirt and rubble out of his house so he can start the actual construction. Well it has been raining a lot this week so everything in the house was just saturated with water and way heavier. We got a solid work out though which was good. So we were wheeling out wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow down these makeshift ramps into this giant trash bin. Well we got a little fan club. There was about 6 drunks sitting outside the house on the other side of the street and when they saw us running down the ramps from inside the house across the sidewalk and up the other ramp they all started yelling and shouting at us. it was funny because when someone was struggling they were all like "come on man! You got it! You are almost there!" and when we finally dumped it in they all just started celebrating and jumping up and down. haha. After service, we went and got a haircut and then we went to a member’s house to have a p-day asado. We started up the fire, threw the meat on there, and ate for about an hour and a half. Honestly one of the best asados I have ever had. 

Well I am just about out of time for this week. Sorry. It kinda sneeks up on you. But I love you all so much. I hope that you all have a great week. 

Try a little bit harder to be a little bit better. 

Elder Staffieri