Thursday, May 29, 2014

This past week was so awesome! I love Artigas! Seriously this place is the best!! Always learning and seeing miracles. 

The cold started this week! On Tuesday and Wednesday it was pouring rain and bitterly cold. It came out of nowhere! For example, when we walked to church yesterday it was 2 degrees Celsius, which I think is around like 34 degrees Fahrenheit? I had to pull out my thermals, long sleeves, sweaters, and giant jacket for this past week. And we are only just getting started....whoop whoop! 

Bueno. So this week started out pretty good. Had an awesome zone and district meeting. And then had a string of divisions. Tuesday afternoon I went on divisions with Elder De la Cruz, one of the elders that lives with us to work in my area for the tarde. It was awesome: He is in his second change in the mission, so he is finishing up his training and is such a great missionary. We had a great day and i learned a lot from him as he testified to everyone we talked to. We had one of the most awesome lessons of my mission that night. Such a great experience. 

Then Wednesday, I went out on divisions with Elder Bulloch, one of the Zone Leaders in Artigas. We had a great learning experience. We started off the day awesome. We had a super powerful lesson with Jose and Mariana where the spirit was there and everyone felt it and Jose even accepted to be baptized! We were super pumped! Had some great contacts, great studies, practices, etc. but then in the afternoon, we had some awesome lessons, and some other lessons that were kinda just there. The spirit wasn’t there, we felt like we were just talking and giving a lesson to give a lesson. And then it happened again right after that. 2 lessons right in a row. I came out of both lessons feeling so bad. I don’t know why it happened but we both just felt terrible during and after the lesson. We talked about it after wards and asked ourselves and analyzed why that could have happened, where did we go wrong, what do we need to do differently, etc. and it was just kinda eating at me all day long. In the end, i don’t really have a straight answer yet. But i think it was because we had decided what we were going to teach before we went in and it wasn’t what they needed. We didn’t leave any room for the spirit to guide and direct us. The lessons that we taught was not the lesson they needed. It was such a humbling experience. But we ended the night strong with some great lessons before heading back to the house. It was one of the biggest learning experiences I have ever had in divisions. 

Thursday morning i woke up at 530 am sick as can be. I don’t think I have been that sick in the past 15 months. I was throwing up and my bowels weren’t too happy either all morning so I had to stay in. But after sleeping a few hours I felt a lot better and we left to work in the afternoon and had a great day! I have to learn to stop drinking the water from the faucet after it rains here...haha

Friday we had a great ward activity and SATURDAY WAS AWESOME! This past Saturday, Tamara y Taliha got baptized! And their mom and older siblings came too! It was such a great baptism. The spirit was so strong. There was a great turn out from the ward as well! They are such great girls! Examples for the ward and for their family. We are now teaching their mom and older sister for the example that they have set in their house. We could not have been more stoked Saturday. Words cannot describe...

Sunday was great. Church was awesome! The menos activos are coming back, the ward is coming together, everyone seems to be working together to help one another. The bishop is super excited. Bishop Rodriguez is such a humble man. He has been our biggest ally. He has helped this ward so much and is so eager to get out and visit with us. Every week he comes in from campaña to attend meetings and to go out on visits with us. He is with me in one of the pictures below. The bishop has come to be one of my greatest friends in the mission. 

A quick spiritual though from this past week that i have been trying to put into practice more and more this past week. 3 Nephi 17:1-3. Here Christ has just finished talking to the nephites and he tells them to go home and meditate what he has said and also teaches us how to do it as well. Before, I would always think as meditating as thinking and trying to figure out by my own understanding what something meant. But I love how He instructs us to ask the Father in His name so that we can understand. When we meditate, we need to think it out in our own minds as well as asking in prayer so that our understanding can be illuminated. And also towards the end, He tells us to prepare our minds for tomorrow because He will come unto us again. That made me think of 2 Nephi 28:30 and about how we are given line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. When the Lord reveals unto us thing, we need to take the time and ponder and meditate one what he has already given us. I feel like in my life, I have gotten so frustrated at times looking for more when I didn’t completely understand what I have been given. Just like a child asking for more food before he has finished what he has on his plate. Here in the mission, we are truly blessed to have the time to really study the scriptures over and over again. Even the smallest verses. And I have come to find answers just praying and meditating in a scripture that I have read 100 times. I love it! It is so awesome! And then after beginning to understand I have received more. One of my favorite quotes from Pte Smith is what he said to us as we were reading this scripture together when I was in the offices. There is a part where it says "le daré más" o en ingles "I will give more" and president smith just stops and shouts "EL SEÑOR TIENE MÁS!! EL SEÑOR TIENE MÁS PARA DARNOS!!" o sea "THE LORD HAS MORE!!! THE LORD HAS MORE TO GIVE US!" haha. It was so awesome. But it is so true. The Lord has so much more. If we put ourselves to study a little more deeply, to think and to pray over what we are studying or reading or feeling I testify that the Lord will give you more. He truly will. The greatest lesson that I have learned thus far and am still learning is the importance and power of scripture study. So my invitation for this week is that we can devote ourselves a little more to the study of the scriptures and also to the conference talks from last month. I know that as we do so, our minds will be enlightened and the Spirit will testify of the truth we are beginning to understand. Never be content with what you know. Always look for more. I know you will find it! 

Well that is all the time I have for this week. Sorry that I couldn’t explain everything that well. It’s a battle every week for time haha. But I love you all so much. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. 

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

And get out there and share your testimony! 

Con cariño, 
Elder Staffieri

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