Monday, November 24, 2014

November 18, 2014


This week has been so awesome! To start it off, we walked from Argentina to Uruguay and Uruguay to Argentina 3 times this past week! There aren’t any buses that fit our schedule and we didn’t want to lose time in our area so we decided to just go and walk from Argentina to Uruguay and back so we would have more time in our area. We walked over 7.5 k just on the bridge. It was pretty awesome! Well it was way fun the first time. The second time it was cool, and the third time, we finished it and everyone said "never again!!" ha-ha. So basically the process is: take a bus from Concepcion to colon, get off in colon and meet up with the hermanas, take a taxi to the bridge, walk the bridge, wait for a city bus on the other side, and then walk the rest of the way to the apartment or the church. We got pretty good at it. And it saves us time and money to do it that way. Ill send some pictures!

We had such an awesome conference this past week with all the missionaries in Uruguay (both missions) and elder Christensen from the presidency of the seventy. Blew our minds! So great! Learned a ton! Then after the conference all the zones went back and we had concilio! concilio went so awesome! the zone leaders of every zone had to make graphs of what was going on in their zone and explain what they are doing and what are their plans to "lengthen our stride." I learned so much and elder sifuentes and I are really stoked about all the ideas we came away with to put in practice here in Paysandú. Paysandú is going to explode!!! We seriously have the best missionaries in the whole mission serving in this zone! I feel so blessed to have the chance to work with all of them. 

Well this week we have evidence that Janet is basically the most prepared and studly investigator the world has ever seen! we had a lesson with her this past week and when we got to her house we asked her how she was doing and everything and then she goes "Elders, how come you never told me I couldn’t drink coffee or tea?" and we just kind of looked at each other and said "wait, who told you that?" and then she explained that we sang the song "oh pueblo de sion" in church (sorry for the life of me I cant remember the name in english) and it said something like "coffee and tea we wont drink" or something similar and from that day, SHE STOPPED DRINKING COFFEE AND TEA!!! wwwhhhaaaattttttttt?! She is such a stud! So that lesson we taught her the word of wisdom and she looks at us and goes, "well I am already living it as of 3 days ago" hahaha. It was so awesome! She has a baptismal date for the 29th!! :) 

Also we have a new daily schedule in the mission!! We now wake up at 7am!! And we can be out working in the streets until 10pm!!! whoop whoop whoop!!! That is so awesome! That is going to help us out soo much! We have been loving life! We have been finding so many people later at night because everyone is home! It’s been so great! 

And there was another change, kinda broke my heart, but it came and it is going to help us a lot because there have been a lot of missionaries that have been getting hurt. In la mision uruguay montevideo oeste, we are no longer allowed to play soccer!!! aaaahhhhh!!!!! The Latinos were flippin out ha-ha. But it’s going to help us lengthen our stride and give everything unto the Lord. And it is going to help keep everyone healthy as well. 

And this pday has been so awesome! All the missionaries in Argentina came over and we explored Concepcion! We went out to these giant hands that come out of the ground around some lady. We walked up the coast of the river. Started taking pictures on the docks and apparently we weren’t allowed to be there but the police kindly invited us to leave ;) and then we all went out to eat and to ice cream. 

Well that’s all the time I have! I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and for everything you do for me! You guys are the best!!

Get out there and share your testimony with someone!

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

UN abrazo grande, 

Elder Staffieri

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 10, 2014


This past week has been one of the most rewarding weeks I have had here in Argentina and Paysandú! Every week just gets better and better!!!

We have been soo blessed this past week and have seen so many miracles. It’s hard to write about. 

First, we found such an amazing family this past week! Carlos y Yoana and their soon to be born daughter. They were a reference from hermano sosa (ill write about him a little later). Carlos is a member but has been inactive for years. Yoana is his pareja of 4 years. Yoana is católica by custom and has a strong faith in Christ even though she doesn’t know too much about him. We taught the restoration the first visit and she was really hit to understand that God knows her and He will answer her prayers just as He answered the prayer of José Smith. At the end of the lesson, she prayed with the help of Carlos to know if what we shared with her was the truth as peace overcame the room. Two days later we returned to teach about the Book of Mormón to her and Carlos. The were so excited to tell us that they had been praying every morning and night together and started to tell us about the changes they had already been seeing in their lives. We presented the Book of Mormon and then began to teach a little bit of the plan of salvation because they lost a daughter at 27 days about 2 years ago. We shared a little from moroni 8 and about how much God loves her daughter and explained that she is with him. We testified and taught about the divine and eternal nature of the family. It was so special to be able to share it this restored truth with this family. They both expressed how happy and sure they felt to know where she is. 

We had the lesson of my mission on Saturday night!!! We went to go teach the family of the ex branch president of 10 years, their son served a mission 20 years ago, they all had callings, etc. long story short, a lot of bad things happened in the branch and there was a lot of....well just bad stuff that happened. We will leave it at that. They were an extremely strong family in the church but after everything happened, they stopped going and fell away. So it has been 10 years since the last time that had gone to church. And everyone in that house knows the scriptures extremely well and likes to show their knowledge (in a mas o menos discutiendo kind of way). We met them last week and then came back this past week to teach the Doctrine of Christ. I have never been part of such a powerful lesson. When we started, it was just the mother and son (ex missionary). We started talking about the clarity of the teachings of Christ and that he teaches us clearly because He loves us and wants us to return to live with Him. We then began to teach the Doctrine clearly and directly. And the Spirit came. It was there. Nobody could deny it. As the lesson went on, more and more people began to come in...The father...the daughter in law....her children....a girl that they are housing...everyone came in to lesson. Then we began to teach about the Sacrament from 3 nephi 18, and that was when everything changed. The son (ex missionary) began to testify that we were sent from God and that what we shared with them came directly from Him. He began to testify of the Sacrament and about the Doctrine of Christ about what he felt. It was like all of a sudden he understood. And he caught fire. It was like what we read in Alma 5:7

 "Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word." 

He literally woke up unto God. It was so incredible!! From his testimony, his family began to wake up as well. Both him and his father committed to come back to church that Sunday and for the rest of their lives to partake of the Sacrament and will soon be followed by their entire family. I wish I could explain in detail what happened so you could understand how big this really is. How much this really means. But I can’t. It was honestly a miracle. I will never forget that lesson. I will never forget how we all felt. I couldn’t even sleep on Saturday night because I was so in shock and awe and so excited for what had happened. I was just remembering the experience over and over in my head. I had to leave Saturday night for Paysandú but yesterday when I talked to elder Gonzalez he told me that they came! After 10 years of not taking the sacrament, they finally partook! They came! They were there!! They started this journey back! There have been few times in my life when I think I have felt soo happy. 

Also, Hermano Sosa came!! He had not come to church for over 10 years as well! He finally came and set up an interview with pte lescano. We have been working with hermano sosa since I have gotten here and he is understanding the Doctrine of Christ.

Janet is beginning to understand everyday more and more of the gospel. She is reading and praying every day. She is going to church every Sunday. She understands the Gospel of Christ. 

In Paysandú, i had the privilege of attending the meetings in my old ward. And yesterday, Eva, la familia zapata, and matias all came to church again for the first time. For Eva it has been years, la familia zapata, a year, and matias, several months that they had not come. But they all came back yesterday!! I have never been so happy! I was on cloud 9 all day yesterday! Everyone is beginning to come understand the Doctrine of Christ!!!! They are coming unto Him. They are waking up from this deep sleep that Alma talks about!! This is why we are here!!! This is it! These are the fruits!! The work of the Lord cannot be frustrated. aaahhh!!!

 I wish you could all feel what I am feeling right now. We have been so blessed! Soo blessed! I am so grateful for the Lord and for the love that our Heavenly Father gives to us. I am so grateful to be part of the restored church of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the knowledge we have of the Plan of Salvation. WE ARE SO BLESSED!!! I feel like sometimes we don’t really notice it. Sometimes we have to wake ourselves up! 

I got carried away and I forgot that I have no more time! I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and all of your support! 

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


UN abrazo grande, 

Elder Staffieri

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 03, 2014


I love the mission!! We have had another amazing week here in Concepción del Uruguay. 

This past week started off awesome! We had our capacitación de zona this past Tuesday so I traveled to Paysandú on Sunday night to start preparing with Elder Sifuentes! We had a great experience together preparing and then had a blast going out to work together in our old area! It is so cool to see how many different people they were teaching and being able to work with Elder Heckle (the oro that elder sifuentes is training) as well. We learned so much together and enjoyed working in Paysandú again! On Tuesday we had the capacitation and it went pretty well. We talked a lot about the importance of goals and how to use goals to help achieve our full potential. We also talked about how sacred the time we have in the mission is and how we can better live our purpose in every moment! We used as a basis for our capacitation the quote from President Kimball. He said, "Debemos alargar el paso y debemos hacerlo ahora mismo!" (We must lengthen our stride and we must do it now!). We related it a lot with Hoy es el Dia and how the Lord is hastening His work in this time. It was so awesome! I feel so blessed to have been able to prepare the capacitation with elder sifuentes because we got to study it a lot more in depth and we got so excited to be better and had our own experiences with setting goals and we left determined to be better. 

This week we have been blessed to have found a lot of new people to teach. People who are really really prepared! It amazes me every single time! We had kinda a cool experience this past week. We had a day this past week in the morning where we didn’t get into a single house and we were just walking around trying to contact as many people as we could but we just didn’t have any success. We went in to eat lunch and study at noon and we talked about what went on during the morning and we decided we cant get discouraged and we took up the attitude of "Uno Mas". We looked to make just one more contact in between charlas, have one more lesson, find one more person to teach, ask for one more reference, etc...Just try to push ourselves a little bit more than what we were doing. And at the end of the day, we had the best day we had in Argentina!! We had more lessons than we had before, found more people than we had before, and we felt the Spirit a lot more. Everything went so awesome!! We just took a decision to try a little bit harder to be a little bit better and set goals!!! Everything changed!! We are even more pumped to be working every day. It’s been so great! 

This past week it rained a ton as well! Like way more than I thought. I don’t have a dry pair of shoes right now ha-ha. It was actually kind of cool funny because I took off my shoes this past week and they were filled with mud ha-ha. I guess that the dirt comes in with the water in the holes in my shoes. You learn something new every day! 

Working in a trio is getting better. We are adapting more to how to teach as 3 instead of 2. It’s a whole process but we are having a blast together. 

Well i have to run! Sorry that we don’t have a ton of time! I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers and for all you do for me! I so appreciate it! 

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

UN abrazo grande, 
Elder Staffieri

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 27, 2014


Another amazing week has flown by in the best two years of my life! I cannot get over how blessed I am to have the chance to be serving a mission! There is nothing I would rather be doing and nowhere I would rather be!! 

This week has been so great! On Monday we had the chance to work in our area and then in the afternoon travel to colon to go and work in one of the hermanas areas to help them get set up in their apartment with everything they need and then go out and find more people to teach. We had an awesome night of teaching and had the blessing to get to teach the people of colon! It was a blast!! Then all the missionaries from Argentina came in to Paysandú in the middle of the night to pass pday in Paysandú for the zone as we had changes the next day! 

CHANGES!!! Whoop whoop! Always an exciting time every 6 weeks. Elder Gonzalez and I have a new companion, Elder Minert!! He is finishing up his mission this change so we want to give him a great experience of going out strong! He is a great missionary with a lot of gospel knowledge as well as experience so we are excited to all learn together! It has been a little interesting trying to make contacts with 3 elders though. I think the people get really intimidated.....ha-ha. But we are going to start doing more divisions with the members to help work our area better and be able to teach more people. Another fun thing is that we get to live in our apartment that is just big enough for two as 3 elders!! Ha-ha. We are getting to know each other on a whole other level. Just like best friends ;)

We continue to find more and more people to teach every week and our investigators are progressing along with the menos activos that we are teaching! This past week we started teaching Maxi (the boyfriend of Janet). He is such a stud!! They have been together for 8 years but still haven’t made the decision to get married. We invited him to come and have a charla with us last week and he loved it! He is reading everyday! He is praying! And he even came to church this past week with Janet! he was participating in the classes and they both went to the ward family night after!! He has accepted the invitation to be baptized and is really excited about it! He understands extremely well and is even helping Janet see the answers to the questions she has! It was soo awesome!! They even signed up to give us lunch this month as well as the other missionaries in the ward! They are so prepared!! And are progressing so well! 

Also this past week we had a miracle! The hermana salas came to church with her kids!! :) We have been working so long with them, well these past 3 weeks we have had here in Argentina, and they have always committed to come every week but never have gotten there and this past week they came!!!!!!!! We were so pumped as we saw them come in as sacrament meeting was starting!! She has been facing some pretty big obstacles in her life that prevent her from the fullness of happiness that the gospel gives but she has started her way back!! We were so happy to see her and her family! She was so happy as she left the chapel after meetings and is excited to come back this next week! She understands the doctrine of Christ!! 

I continue to be blown away about how well our little branch functions!! We had a great activity with all the youth and a lot of members playing basketball and volleyball in a local gym. Everyone invited people to come and play! menos activos and even investigators showed up! 

Right now I am in Paysandú again with elder sifuentes. I came in last night to prepare a capacitation that we are going to do tomorrow! It’s been a blast and we are learning a ton together! It was interesting last night because I had to travel alone because there wasn’t anyone who could go with me and I got on a huge 60 person bus and there was literally no one else on there. and I kind of thought to myself, "this is kind of weird, maybe I just showed up early?" and then we started pulling out and I realized  that the entire hour and a half ride to Uruguay I was going to make by myself in this giant bus. It was cool I guess. Got to know the bus driver pretty well haha. The people in customs got a kick out if it as well. 

Well that is it for this week! I have got to go! I love you all so much! Thank you for all your prayers and for everything you do to support me! 

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

UN abrazo grande, 

Elder Staffieri