Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 20, 2014


This week was sooo awesome!! We finished up all the training with the last 5 zones and elder huerta and I got to go to a whole day of conference with our zone. It was so special. We all came down and pte Smith taught about the importance of fasting and how we need to perfect this principal in the mission. I don’t think I have ever learned so much about fasting and how important it really is. He connected it with the importance to make "personal covenants" with the Lord. Ill talk about that a little later. After that, we had an awesome lunch and started our fast. Then Elder Huerta and I trained on the importance of finding people to teach in every moment, and then Elder Finnegan y Moffat (our zone leaders) taught us about the importance of planning and setting goals with the Spirit. I learned a ton from them. Elder Finnegan and Moffat are two of the best missionaries that I have ever known!
That night they gave us an hour to reflect on what everything and a chance to think about what personal covenant we were going to make with the Lord. At 9:30, we went up to go to bed.

The next morning we woke up early and went to the temple to do the work for a family name. I did the work from Halvor Lochen, who was born in 1720. We did everything from baptism to endowment. It was such a cool experience because Elder Huerta baptized me for my relative and I got to baptize him for his. Then we both had the chance to confirm one another as well. We spent the whole day basically in the temple. I have never been so grateful for the knowledge of the plan of God, to know that we can have an eternal family and to know that the Priesthood Power of God has been restored to the earth to give us the chance to bring it to pass. I learned so much during my experience in the temple with Elder Huerta.
Tonight, one of our investigators, Maria, got baptized!! She is an ex Jehovahs witness who has been searching for the truth for a long time. She was so excited to learn about the Plan of Salvation and understand her life from an eternal perspective. She has gone through soo much to get to where she is now. She has been taking the lessons for over 8 months, and tonight she finally entered into the waters of baptism!! She was so excited and all of her family came to support her who are all non members. The spirit was so strong. Elder Finnegan and Elder Moffat also had a baptism tonight, Mara se llama. IT WAS AN AWESOME NIGHT!!!
So I want to share with you a cool thing that I learned this week in all of the trainings with pte smith. One day he shared the verse in ether 12:27:
12 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will i make weak things become strong unto them"
In this verse he called our attention to the word "weakness." Isn’t it interesting that the Lord says weakness and not weaknesses? I always thought that it always meant weaknesses. Like all of my personal weaknesses, like patience, or pride, or disobedience, etc but pte smith explained that it is just one weakness. The weakness is: The Flesh. o sea, el hombre natural. The natural man!! He is our weakness!! And then it hit me. That simple truth finally made sense. Well it always made sense but it never really got to me like it did then. So how do we humble ourselves before the Lord? How do we testify to Him that we will follow Him? Through covenants!!! Starting with baptism! Then those in the temple, partaking of the sacrament every Sunday to renew them. Then we started talking about the importance of personal covenants. o sea, covenants just between us and the Lord that are incredibly personal and intimate. We make little covenants with him to be better or to protect ourselves from the adversary.
Pte smith shared with us the covenant he has to never watch TV alone. He shared an experience that he had over 25 years ago when he was traveling in a hotel and all of the terrible things that they have on the television and how great the temptations of Satan was on him in a given night. Then he told us of the covenant he made before God to never watch TV alone in a hotel ever again. In these past 25 years, he has traveled over 4 million miles and has stayed in over a 1000 hotels in the entire world, and has never watched a single program on TV. The first thing he does when he gets in is puts his jacket over the TV and unplugs it. He explains that this little covenant he has made has protected him for the past 25 years. Its one of the defenses he puts up against the adversary. Then he spoke of the attack he puts on Satan by attending regularly the temple. He testified that if he had not made this personal covenant and had honored this covenant, he would not be in front of us as our president today. I can’t really explain it over email but it was powerful! He then explained that we need to fast a lot of times to make covenants and then fast sometimes even more to keep them. I wish I could write all I learned this past week but I am running short on time. But I testify that if we want to become better, we should covenant with the Lord to do it! Without covenants, we cannot and will not progress.
Alright I have to go! I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Try a little bit harder to be a little bit better!!!
Share your testimony!!!
Con cariño,

Elder Staffieri

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 13, 2014


This week has been pretty awesome! It’s been a blast! We have been giving trainings all week long over at the temple. It’s been great and we have learned a ton. Next week we will be doing the same thing. There are 10 zones in the mission and everyone comes down a different day.
This week we got to get out and work in our area more which has been awesome. I am slowly getting to know our area. I don’t think I have ever been in such a place where everyone is so prepared. I thought Argentina was Zion.....pppssshhhh...nada que ver! Cerro is sooo great!! I love it here soo much! This week I found one of the youth that was in one of my old wards that recently moved to Cerro in our area. And with him, we found the entire family that he is living with who are non members but super open!
I am learning tons every day. I feel extremely blessed to be with Elder Huerta. He is such an excellent missionary. He teaches me how I can constantly improve.
We have seen so much success sharing this initiative that the church has this Christmas of "He is the Gift." it is so easy to share yet so powerful. I would invite you all to take a moment and go and ask the missionaries that they come and teach it to you and your family. It will help to bring the Spirit even more into your home and help remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Sorry that this was so short. I have to run! I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do!
Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better!!
UN abrazo grande,

Elder Staffieri

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 06, 2014


Sorry it has been so long but its been a busy week and a half. We have been working like crazy and enjoying every minute of it.

My last week in Argentina was soo awesome. Janet got baptized on the 29th. She was so excited and was soo happy. She even came to do service at the church with the branch a few hours before her baptism and worked all the way up till when we changed. And on Sunday, elder Minert, confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost. There is no better way to leave an area. That area is going to explode. There are more with baptismal dates and the members are really excited!! I am going to miss that place a whole ton. Then on Sunday, there weren’t any buses so I took a taxi into Paysandú (an hour and a half ride in taxi) which cost a pretty penny. Got to Paysandú and then left at 4:30 in the morning on Monday. Got in at 9 and went to work! 

I have come to appreciate how much work the assistants in the past have done. I didn’t really quite understand how much it was until I got here. Ha-ha.  My new companion is Elder Huerta from Santiago, Chile. He is such a stud. We were buddies before I got here and I got to know him pretty well when we were doing the charla fogoneras in salto and Artigas. He is one of the best teachers I know and I am super excited to get the chance to learn with him. We didn’t get that much of a chance to work in our area this past week because we were in the mission home most of the week with the new missionaries and the missionaries that were going home. I don’t think I have ever gone to the airport so much in my entire mission. We went like 5 times in 3 days. But I feel so blessed because I have been learning sooo much from president Smith. From the trainings he gives to the new missionaries, to the counsel he gives to those who are going home, even in simple meetings we have, it is always such an enlightening experience. 

I had one of the coolest and most unique experiences of my mission on Thursday. President Smiths daughter left on her mission on Thursday and she was going to get set apart in their house that evening. Their stake president only speaks spanish so president Smith asked me to translate it and whisper it to her as she was getting set apart. It was so special for Elder Huerta and I to be able to share that moment with the Smith family. The Spirit was felt so strongly and I learned so much from their stake president. I am so grateful to have such great local leaders and to know that they are truly inspired and that they receive revelation for those who live within their stake. It made me reflect back on when President Ham set me apart and I was overcome with gratitude that there are men worthy to set young men and women apart as representatives of Jesus Christ to share His Restored Gospel.

Well, yesterday was the first real day when we got to work in our area and it was so awesome!! The people we are teaching are so prepared!! Cerro is Zion!! We are teaching a woman named Maria. Maria is 55 years old and has been searching for the true church for years. She has been with about every church that I have heard of but she told us that what she feels when she reads the Book of Mormon has been so different and she feels like what we teach is true. She is so smart and knows soo much. She is going to be a fantastic member of the church. Also we taught a man named Hector. Hector actually contacted the missionaries a few months back because he wanted to practice his english. He is about 65 and knows a ton of english. The lesson we had with him was kind of interesting. He brought brochures that he had in english and an envelope that he had with guitar strings and asked me to translate them into spanish so that he could learn. Ha-ha. Then after we talked a little bit about that we began to read the Book of Mormon in English. He didn’t really seem to interested because he believes that the Bible has all of the truth and that it is all we need to be saved. We began to testify, in both english and spanish, of the truthfulness and importance of the Book of Mormon. We explained what happened in the apostasy and how simple truths were removed and/or changed from the bible but that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel. We taught of the ministry of Jesus Christ in the Americas and of the prophets that He called to testify of His coming. It was awesome!! Hector totally opened up!  He began to ask questions and to become really interested. It was kind of a long lesson, but it was worth it! 

Today we had a great pday. We woke up early to go and have personal study in this cool forest preserve that they have in Montevideo. Then went and explored Montevideo a little bit and bought a ton of fruit in the street market for super cheap. Took some awesome pictures. And tonight jerry (president’s son) is going to come out and work with us. So we have to get going right now. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do and for all of your prayers in my behalf. They are felt in a huge way. 

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

Have a great week and share your testimony with all those you can!!

Un abrazo grande,

Elder Staffieri

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November 24, 2014


This past week has been so awesome! We have had so many great experiences that are so powerful and personal that it’s so hard to write about. But it’s all in my journal so that’s a good thing. pte smith gave me some feedback this past week when I talked to him on the phone about keeping a good journal. I repented. And am now keeping an awesome journal. hahaha. 

I just want to share one experience we had this past week about a woman named Paula. We had just finished a lesson way far out in our area and we started walking over to another lesson we had set up. We were about 15 min away and the lesson was going to start in 5 minutes. Normally we would have just said "let’s walk. Well show up 10 minutes late. We don’t have money for a taxi" but we felt like we should take a taxi for some reason. So we did. We showed up to our next lesson right in time and knocked on the door....knocked again....and again....nobody. We all thought "wwwhhhaaatttt? We just wasted 25 pesos on a taxi!" (Because at the end of the month, everyone is short on money....hahah). So we decided we should pass by another investigator who lived close by. As we were walking, we passed a woman who was sitting down across the street from us with a bouquet of flowers in her hand. She looked kind of sad but she was waiting for a taxi or something out in front of her house. Just then we all had the slightest feeling that we needed to talk to her. But it was sooo small. So tiny, that the frustration of wasting money on a taxi and the desire to teach the other investigator over powered the small impression of the Spirit and we continued to walk. As we got about a block away, we all started to notice that we were walking slower, a walk that I like to describe as being weighed down by the spirit that was dragging us back to that woman. Everyone was feeling like it and elder Gonzalez stops and goes "hey. Should we go give her a folleto?" we all stopped, turned around, and started walking as fast as we could back to this woman we had seen. when we got there and introduced ourselves as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ, she looked up at us and the first thing she says to us is "why did you come back?" we simply told her that we felt like we should and asked her how she was. She began to cry and she told us that when we passed her, she was going to call us over but didn’t have the courage to do it. She told us that she needed us to pray for her aunt. Her aunt is really sick and about to part from this life and had been asking that she go and visit her. We shared a little of the plan of salvation with her and set up a time to come back. she told us that she felt that we were sent from God and if she wasn’t there the day we set up, to come back the next day, or the next day after that, and to keep trying until we found her again. A minute later, the car she had been waiting for showed up to take her to the hospital. This all happened in about 7 minutes. 

When we got home to study in the middle of the day, the first thing we did when we walked in the house was kneel down and thank the Lord for the chance we had to get to know Paula. As we prayed, an overwhelming sense of joy came into the room and when we finished we all talked about how grateful we were for what just happened. Everything started to make sense. Why we felt we should take a taxi in the morning. Why the lesson wasn’t there. Why we felt like we should go visit an investigator that we hadn’t seen in weeks. Everything that happened, every impression and feeling, was just to lead us to her. The Lord wanted us to find Paula that day. 

I am so grateful for the Spirit. I regret not acting sooner but am so happy that God had patience with us and she was still there when we ran back. It seems like every time we begin to think we know better than to follow a little feeling, the Lord always humbles us. Words cannot express how grateful I am for this experience we had. 

I know that our Heavenly Father is aware of every one of His children. Paula needed to know of the plan of salvation. She was prepared in that moment to receive us. He paved the way for us that morning to be able to find her. There is no other way to do the Work of Salvation than through the Spirit. 

Do everything possible to be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Follow every little feeling you get. Don’t second guess an impression to do good. 

Sorry I have to run! Time fly’s in the cyber! I love you all! Thanks for all you do!!

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

UN abrazo grande, 

Elder Staffieri