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

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