Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 14, 2014

This week has been kinda crazy. Probably one of the most unusual weeks of my mission haha. But it was good!

Sorry I don’t have a whole lot of time so I am going to give you a quick overview of the week!  

Wednesday I went out on divisions with elder Vargas in barrio 6. It went good. It was cool being back with Elder Vargas again and we had a great day full of contacting. It was amazing how basically every single visit we had fell through but for some reason it happened! We contacted a wwwhhhoollleeee lot. haha. And we found some really good people. So it paid off well! 

Thursday we had interviews with President Smith and had an awesome capacitation. He taught us about how we need to teach in a very direct and clear way. Sometimes we are so worried about not offending people that we forget to save them. He taught us how to teach the doctrine as it is in the scriptures and explain it so that they can understand. And then called us all (The entire zone of artigas) unto repentance. It was pretty intense. If I had more time, I would explain a little more but it is one of the experiences that has marked my mission.

Friday, I went with Elder Naea to salto to rehearse for the charla foganera we are going to have over there. It was fun and we got to go make a few visits in my old area in Salto. I am super excited to get the chance to go and sing with salto the 27th. ITS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME!!! We have been practicing for the fireside here in Artigas and the spirit is so strong. It is going to change this place! whoop whoop! 

Saturday we put on our obra misional activity for open house in the church. We played the iron rod. Basically we ran a rope through the entire church and put different temptations in every room to keep them from getting to the end (ex. a warm room when it’s cold outside, friends doing the wrong things, futbol, bailes, etc) and blindfolded them and sent them through an obstacle course. It was a blast! 

Sunday! We had the most spiritual sacrament meeting ever! The bishop spoke with the stake president and we sang a musical number in the middle. And at the end, the stake president asked elder naea to sing the closing song....oohhh my gosh. Not a dry eye in the room. It was so powerful. He sang I know that my Redeemer lives. I wish every Sunday could be like that! 

Well sorry that this has been so short. I have got to run. 

Let’s all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week! I love you all! 

UN abrazo grande, 

Elder Staffieri

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 07, 2014

This week will be a week that I will never forget! It was full of blessings, changes, and crazy storms. haha. I can say that it has probably been one of my favorite weeks in the mission. 

It started out with an awesome zone capacitación on Tuesday. We talked a lot about the purposes of each lesson. And then we learned about something called "EL UNO." El uno is a concept that we are implementing in the mission. It is the person that we will focus on during the month to help come unto Christ by making the baptismal covenant. Then there is "el uno" from the menos activos that we are going to focus on to help them reactivate. We have thought and prayed a lot about our "uno" for the month and we are really excited to work even harder to help these people. 

On Tuesday night I started divisions. I went out to pintadito again but this time I went out with Elder Segura. It was a great day a pesar de todo. haha. It started out awesome. We woke up at 5:45 to go play soccer with all the other elders in the zone. Then came back, had a great study, and then headed out to pintadito. Everything was going great until I broke elder merinos bike....I was peddling up this hill and snapped off the pedal arm. We had a good laugh and taught a lesson and then went to go look for a way to fix the bike. It just so happens that the day before I got a reference for pintadito from a family we are teaching of a guy who owns a welding shop. What a coincidence...;) so we went to go talk to him. He was a really nice guy and it will be awesome for Elder Segura and Elder Merino to keep going by. And he also welded our bike for free! whoop whoop! Blessings. And everything went awesome. We got back on our bikes and headed back down to ayui for lunch. As we had to pedal up another hill, SNAP!, there goes the pedal. haha. So we decided to drop the bikes in a shop and went after it on foot. It took a little bit longer but it was great. It was awesome being with Elder Segura because he was trained by Elder Bedke. So we had some good stories to tell. haha. But we both leaned a lot working together. Elder Segura is such a stud. He and Elder Merino are working extremely hard out in pintadito and they are changing everything out there. 

On Thursday I was changing a light bulb for a sister in the ward and it separated itself from its casing and she had forgotten to turn off the switch and it blew up in my hand. That was fun. haha. But no harm done. I don’t know how but it was nothing more than just a scare haha. 

Friday night was INSANE!!! So Uruguay basically has the best storms I have ever seen. Friday it was basically pouring all day but then let up as the night came. After we got home from the ward activity Friday night, we finished planning, and saw all of this crazy lightning start up. Shooting all across the sky and lighting up the whole town. So we decided to make up some noodles and take our chairs outside to watch a little bit. It was pretty awesome. Then it started striking the ground and started pouring rain so we headed inside to go to bed. A few minutes after getting into bed, we heard something like a rock hit our roof. And we thought "what the heck? What is that" then crack! Another one. Then all of a sudden, more and more. We jumped up from bed, and went to go look outside when we realized it was a giant hail storm. The street in front of our house was flooded and all you could see was could see hail the size of chicken eggs blowing up in the water. They would hit the concrete on our porch and hit all the windows and stuff. It was way cool. It lasted about 10 minutes. And then it went back to just rain. But I don’t think I have ever seen anything like that. I have been in hail storms before but they were just the size of bb´s or maybe a little bigger. But these were golf balls and bigger. The next day during all of our visits, our investigators and members were showing us the holes that it made in their roof. In Jose y marianas house, it broke through in their bathroom and kitchen. In the familia mora, it broke through in the kitchen, and one hermana in our ward it broke through in so many places she had to leave her house for the rest of the storm because her house was getting flooded. Everyone called it the "rock storm." it was a cool experience. We were lucky that nothing happened to our house. 

Saturday was a crazy windy stormy day. We walked out of our house to go teach and the rain was going sideways. It was pretty cool. We felt like Spartan warriors or something with all four of us leaving at the same time with wall of paraguas in front of us. It is kind of hard to describe. But basically we did what we did in mr wolfpack my senior year with the umbrellas. 

But with all the rain, that means that nobody leaves their houses except the missionaries. So everyone was in their houses!!! whoop whoop! I love storms because they are always the most effective teaching days depending if they are sleeping or no. but we took advantage of all the rain and visited everyone! aah it was great. I love teaching in storms. It makes it not as bad being soaking wet all day if you get to teach. haha. 

Everyone is progressing great! I am really excited for everyone that we are teaching. We have been truly blessed with some amazing people to teach. 

So yesterday will probably one of the most memorable days of my mission. A few weeks ago, a less active sister in our ward had a baby boy. And 2 weeks ago she asked if I could bless him and give him his name. whoa. I never thought that I would do that until I had my own kid and I gladly agreed. And yesterday we blessed him during testimony meeting. I don’t think I could ever describe the spirit that we felt. It was so special. I have never felt anything like it. Kind of like Heavenly Father just lets you feel for a moment how much he really loves His children. And in that moment, I got a little taste of how much He loves Hernan. His name is Hernan Rodrigo Lopez Muniz. That blessing was one of the greatest privileges that I have ever had in Priesthood service. 

I love being in the service of the Lord. I love Uruguay. I LOVE these people. I love this gospel. I know that true happiness is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I testify of His love for each and every one of us. We are so blessed to have the knowledge of the plan of happiness. I know that we have the chance to be better every day. I know that it matters not how many times we fall, rather how many times we get up. I know of the cleansing power of the Atonement. Repentance is a gift that was paid at a very high price to be given unto us freely by our Savior. I know that there are people out there that are waiting for us to share this with them. 

Let’s all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week. Get out there and share your testimony. You never know whose life could be blessed. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for all of your support and prayers.

Have a great week! 

Un abrazo grande, 

Elder Staffieri

Sunday, July 13, 2014

 June 30, 2014

So this week was a little bitter sweet for us Uruguayans....but it was an awesome week anyways!! The mission just gets better and better! 

So to start it out, Tuesday was such a great day. Tuesday we had district meeting right at the same time Uruguay was playing so we were kinda bummed that we couldn’t see the game. It was pretty hilarious though because right as we finished district meeting, we heard fireworks (meaning gol uruguay), and my entire district bolted out of the church to the nearest almacen hahaa. Got so see the last 4 minutes of the game. Uruguay won against Italia and just about all of Artigas exploded. haha the streets were jam packed for miles with motos, autos, people, horses, dogs, just about everything and everyone that lives in Artigas was headed for centro to celebrate. haha. Everyone with their flags. It was pretty cool to see all of that. I have never seen anything like it. And to make it better, we had a great day of visits because everyone was stoked out of their mind that Uruguay won. 

This past week we also found a ton of awesome people to teach from references and from contacting. The spirit has played a giant role this past week. We were talking about it as a companionship and about the things we did different to seek for the Lords guidance and what we still need to improve. And it’s been helping us out a ton. We have been focusing on it a lot more since the conference we had with Elder Robbins, when he talked a ton about how it is impossible to gain a testimony with the 5 senses. The only way to do it is with the Spirit. And it’s awesome if we feel the Spirit but we need to start focusing on if our investigators, menos activos, members, etc really FEEL the Spirit. It’s been so awesome the difference. It’s changed everything from our studies, the way we talk to people, our practices, the way we think, everything! I think that that has been the reason this week has been so awesome. Just the entire environment has changed. 

Also this week the members have been working with us a lot more which has made a huge difference. We had been going out with the same members for a long time and we sat down this week and started calling people that we had never gone out with, went to their house, capacitated them a little bit, and then went out teaching! And it was so awesome! THEY CAUGHT FIRE!! There were people who were scared to share their testimony before that were teaching in lessons this past week! We are so excited to work with members better. We had talked about it a lot but it had kind of just stayed there, in the talking stage, this week we actually went out and did it. And we are seeing a change in our area and ward! Seeing miracles and loving it! The mission is the best!! 

We also got awesome news that a family that had moved away from our area is coming back! whoop whoop! We are pumped. It is the familia vasquez that lived in front of us. They were one of the strongest families in the ward and they moved to Montevideo but now they are coming back! Awesome! 

sábado was a super sad day for Uruguay...we lost against Columbia. But I am pumped that Derek’s country is still in the mundial! ojala  que ganen contra brasil! haha. But president asked us that we move studies to the hour of the game so we could be more effective during the day. Leaving after the game was kind of like walking into depression. It’s amazing how much of an effect a sport can have on a country. 

Sunday was another hard day in church. The number of people has dropped as it has been getting colder. That is going to be one of our biggest challenges we will have as we are starting winter. I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting and I spoke about Ammon and about the kings sheep. and how we need to go out in search of those members who lost and how we need to be of good cheer (I think that’s what it says in English. in Spanish it says "sed de buen animo") and it went pretty good. Thanks mom ;)

Then Sunday night we had our first practice for a fireside we are having on the 26th of July. It’s going to be awesome. We practiced some songs we are going to sing as a choir of missionaries and then had a devotional with the stake president. It was one of the spiritual highlights of the week. He talked about all the different kinds of "fruits" we take from the mission, most of them we are not able to measure. Like how many kilos of faith, or patience, or love for the Lord and the people we serve, etc. he shared experiences from his mission and it was so powerful. It made us reflect more on our personal relationship with our Savior. 

Well that is all the time I have for this week. Sorry that this email was kind of scattered all over the place. I need to do a better job of preparing my emails before I write but oh well. ya fue. haha. I love you all so much! I hope you have an awesome week! 

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

Get out there and share your testimony! 

Un abrazo grande, 

Elder Staffieri

Friday, July 11, 2014

June 23, 2014

This week has been so awesome! We have seen some miracles and the work is going awesome! I don’t know if I have ever said this but I LOVE ARTIGAS!! I have been blessed with a difficult area that just continues to blossom! Our area has completely changed over the past 4 and a half months and I am stoked to see how it will change in the next month and a half! This week has been such a blessing! 

Well first off, I have to say it because it changed everything this past week for all of Uruguay, VAMOS ARRIBA URUGUAY!! I don’t know how many of you saw the game this past week but it was awesome. We watched the game with our investigator, Jose and his friends. Jose is such a stud and loves fútbol maybe a little too much. The game was like an emotional rollercoaster. Ha-ha. He started out going nuts because they scored first against England and was talking about how they were going to win 3 to 0 and then after England scored, he was like "okay! That’s it! I am done! I knew that they weren’t going to do it! I don’t know why I even watch, they deserve to lose, I hope England scores 3 more!" ha-ha. Just being absolutely destroyed that they were tied. Then as time went on, Luis Suarez had a golazo towards the end y él se volvió loco!! ha-ha saying I never lost faith! I knew they would do it! vamos arriba uruguay!" and just yelling and screaming. Okay. Maybe we were yelling and screaming with him. But it was so awesome. As the final whistle blew, all of Uruguay erupted!! People were partying in the streets all night long. It was nuts. But it was awesome to have the game over there and to be able to share the gospel after. I think it helps people see us more normal when we share the passions that they have too. Something so little as a game of soccer can change so much how much people trust you. But we had a great experience with him and his family. 

But one of the main things that made my week so great happened when we were in a lesson with Tamara y Talia. We were talking about the temple and the blessings that come as we take steps towards the temple. She asked about some of the questions they ask in the temple interview. And explains how they were talking about it in Sunday school and how she just started working again to pay her tithing! WHAT A STUD!! She got a job so that she can be a tithe payer. And she is only 16. Elder Vasquez and I were just about speechless. She had stopped working because she had no time and she really didn’t need to. But then she went and found a job working at night taking care of an old lady. aahhh!!! She is so awesome!! She is one of the strongest youth we have in our ward and every time someone comes to church who is new, she always is the first one to go over and be their friend. So that was something that was awesome that happened this past week!

Another thing that happened is that we found another family to teach. Mari y German. It’s a mother and son. German plays soccer for the highest level team in Artigas. He is the only child of Mari. We found them by looking for an old menos activo. We went and he didn’t really want anything but we started talking to his sister (Mari) and her son. They are ex testigos de Jehová and they know a lot about the bible and everything. They were asking awesome questions and were really excited to know about the restoration and the spirit was really strong in that lesson. Another family! Answers to prayers!! Life doesn’t get much better than this!

Last night we had a great meeting with our bishopric because we were really concerned about the ward. It’s really hard for them because the bishop lives 100km away from the church, the first counselor works in Montevideo and only comes every 15 days, and the secretary works in taxi all day and is never available. So the second councilor was basically doing everything and they were just having some issues with communication. But we had a sweet meeting where we talked about all the difficulties we facing as a ward, studied the scriptures and preach my gospel, talked a ton, and they all kind of got over their differences and it was the first time we actually saw them working together!  We left the church on cloud 9 because we know that this will change the ward. We planned on having meetings weekly and talked about having more ward councils. We are soooo excited to see what happens in Barrio 4!

Everything seems to be looking up! We are so happy to be missionaries serving here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are so many challenges and difficulties that we are facing, but we are progressing! WE ARE PROGRESSING AS A WARD!!! Our areas are moving forward. We are finding new people! It seems that with every trial, there are blessings that come behind it! 

I know that the Lord gives us challenges and hardships because he knows that we are capable of overcoming them. It’s just a test. He tests our faith sometimes. Who knows why? Maybe it’s just a test. Maybe it’s to make us stronger. Maybe it’s to humble us. Maybe it’s to help us understand something better or to help us remember Him. But the important thing is to remember that they are moments of difficulty and that they will pass, and if we support them well, we will be blessed so much more, receive so much more than what we had before. I love that! The plan He has for us is so perfect. We just need to confide in Him and do all we can! AAHHH!! I love the mission! I love life! We are so blessed! How can we not share this with people? Everyone needs to know! Get out there and share your testimony! 

Well that is all the time I have! I love you all so much! Have a great week! Share the gospel! 

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

Un abrazo grande, 
Elder Staffieri

Saturday, July 5, 2014

 June 17, 2014


But first! Happy fathers day dad! I hope you had the best day! Thank you for being such a great example of what a father and husband should be and for honoring your priesthood the way you do! You are the best example to me of what a man should be. I love you!  

This past week has been one of the best weeks of my entire mission! aaahhh! I feel so blessed to have had this past week! So here we go! 

Tuesday was the last district meeting of the change and it was sweet! We talked about the atonement and the obra misional. It was super powerful and we all left amped up to go out and work and find all those who are looking for truth. I went out on divisions with elder Bulloch in his area. It was pretty good. Learned a ton. Then Tuesday night, we got on a bus for Montevideo. My comp had to go back down to go over the test he had done last week. We got in at 830 in the morning and headed over to the mission home to talk to president and help out with getting things ready for the conference. After we went to the hospital, and...EVERYTHING WAS GOOD! Whoop whoop! We are pumped to get everything behind us and just focus on the work now. Wednesday night we spent with the secretaries and the assistants running around Montevideo looking for enough tables for the conference we were going to have on Thursday. It was kind of nuts. We finally finished setting everything up at about 130 am. 

Thursday was so awesome! We had a conference with the entire mission in cerro! Ah it was soo great. It was the first time that they had done something like it in years. It was great. pte y hermana smith spoke and then we had testimonies from missionaries about certain things. We got a new mission motto. And we got an announcement that make some people cry...out of joy!!! WE ARE ALLOWED TO WATCH THE MUNDIAL!!!!!! aaahhhh!! Everyone was going nuts. It was something we were worried about because futbol is basically like a religion down here. And it was going to be really hard to work during those hours because the entire country shuts down. Then after that conference, we headed over, as a mission, to malvin to have another conference. But this conference was together with the entire other mission! aaahhh! It was so great. There we were all the missionaries in all of Uruguay in a giant conference with Elder Robbins, from the presidency of the 70. Wow. That conference blew my mind. We learned so much and he opened it up for questions at the end and we got a ton of answers that are going to help make us better as missionaries and bring others unto Christ! Such an awesome conference. I will never forget it. And it was cool too because we got to see all our friends from the ccm that are in the other mission. Then we got on our bus to go back to Artigas. We got into Artigas at 3 am. Took a nap and got out working Friday. We had a great weekend working in Artigas! 

Sunday! Oh Sunday! The best day of the week! Mariana and her kids came to church for the first time!!! aaahhh! It was so great! She is already a member but hasn’t gone to church in years. We are also teaching her husband, José. José couldn’t come because he had work but Mariana going was such a HUGE STEP!! And.......PABLO MACHADO CAME TO CHURCH TOO!!! Pablo is the dad in the familia machado. We have been teaching them for months and they have never gone to church. We have been talking a lot about dropping them but we felt like we needed to keep working with them a little more. And he finally came!!! The whole family committed to come but the mom was sick that morning and didn’t have the strength to get out of bed and her daughter had to stay with her. But Pablo went! Oh my gosh. I don’t have words to describe how happy I was when I saw him walk in! I thought I was going to go through the roof I was so excited! He said that he loved the meetings and that every Sunday he would be there!!! :) 
Then something amazing happened last night. We went to his house to go and teach his family, and we had a great lesson about Adam and eve and about the fall and why it was necessary and stuff. It was really good. And then at the end, we asked them if they had any questions, and Claudia said she did and then she goes "so this whole thing with baptism, are we going to do it or what? I feel ready!" WWWWHHHHHHHAAATTTTTT??!!!! WE WERE SHOCKED!  We then started talking about it with them and what they needed to do to llegar al bautismo. and the family (pablo, claudia, y victoria) all have fecha for the 12th of July!! aaahhhh!!!

This week has been such a testimony builder of the prayer. We have been praying to find families to work with because our investigators weren’t progressing and instead, the Lord blesses us with progress with the families we had already found! It has been such a blessing to see this happen. I feel so happy por haber sido parte de eso. PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED!! 

Well that’s all the time I have for this week! I am sorry but thank you so much for all of your support and love that you always show towards me. Have a great week! Get out there and share your testimony! 

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

Con mucho cariño, 
Elder Staffieri