Thursday, April 2, 2015

March 23, 2015


Hey sorry that I haven’t written this past week on the days I should have. I have been on the road all week and this week we will be as well. I am traveling with Pte Smith doing a tour of the entire mission for stake conference and interview with the missionaries. It kind of came as a surprise because he had told us before that we weren’t going to travel with him, and the day before he called me and asked if I would mind finishing my mission traveling with him. Ha-ha. So Elder Trucolo is back in Cerro with his new companion and I am out on the road with Pte Smith. So I guess I can say that I am finishing my mission as a junior companion, ha-ha!. But it has been such an experience traveling with Pte Smith. I don’t think I have ever learned so much in my entire mission! I just with I could drive and write at the same time haha. But even better, after every day of interviews, I have been able to go out and do splits with the missionaries. It has been such a blessing to get to work with all of them. In Colonia, I got to go work with the zone leaders, Elder Gomez and Elder Devashrayee. In Mercedes, I had the chance to work with Elder Thacker and Elder Vera and the past two days in Paysandú, I worked with Elder Woodcock and Elder Neilson. With every companionship, we have had experiences that I will never forget! We seriously have the best missionaries here in la Mision Uruguay Montevideo Oeste! Every single missionary that I have had the privilege to work with has been such a stud! Ah! It’s been so awesome! 

Right now I am in Argentina!! It’s so great to be back (even though i was back here a week ago)! haha. This is the first conference that we have held in Argentina so it’s a special one. And I am sooo excited to go out and work this afternoon and night with the elders here. I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning!!! Hopefully before we leave tonight, we can visit some of the people that I had the blessing to know. It’s really true that not a day goes by that a missionary doesn’t think about the people he has served with. I have been thinking soo much about all the people and am so excited to be able to see them again! Well hopefully hahaha. Idk what their plans are.....

This past week, well few months actually, we have been studying the House of Israel, the covenant God made with Abraham, why it was dispersed, why and how it is gathered, what does it mean, what is our part, etc. And in every conference, we are learning more and more from every missionary. I think the doctrine of the Scattering and Gathering of Israel, well just of the House of Israel, has been something that I have never understood all my life. It never really called my attention. I never really understood it and honestly didn’t really care too. But man how I repent now! Now studying about the House of Israel, the Book of Mormon has opened up to me in a completely different way! Its soo awesome! Everything makes so much more sense! ITs everywhere in the Book of Mormon. I didn’t know how much I was missing out on by not taking the time to study and understand the House of Israel. Ever since the area presidency has asked us to start helping the "members to think in the gathering of Israel all the time," 

And thank you to all those who have been sending me the exact count down until the mission ends hahaha. Every week when I sign in it seems to be more and more obvious that its coming to the end. But the good thing is, it doesn’t feel like it at all! I feel like I have had more energy and enthusiasm that ever! I don’t think I have ever enjoyed my mission or worked so hard than right now! I love it out here! IT doesn’t get any better than this. 

Anyways, I have got to run! I love you all soo much! Thanks for all you do to support me serving here in Uruguay. I have never been so happy! I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve every day and to take this message to as many as will receive it!

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

Un abrazo fuerte, 

Elder Staffieri

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 15, 2015


This week has been so awesome!! We have been traveling a lot this week and we have been learning so much! I don’t think I wrote about last week but it was amazing too! I feel like we have been soo blessed these past few weeks! The members in our ward have been supporting us like never before, we have been finding like crazy, we had the highest church attendance that we have had in forever with 145 people in sacrament meeting. The leaders are excited to follow the direction from the area. Everyone is working together and the Church is being established! Ahhh! Life doesn’t get better than this! 

So this week we have been doing a lot of divisiones all over the mission. On Wednesday we left at like 2 am to go up to Argentina. It was so great. I got to work with Elder Espinoza! I lived with him in Artigas for 6 months. He is the new zone leader in Argentina so now we get to work together more! We had a great day teaching and found a lot of amazing people and were blessed to find a family. We also went out to work with the branch president, pte lescano to go and visit some menos activos. At the end of the night, we had the chance to go and visit Janet! It was so awesome! She is doing great! She is totally active, has a calling and magnifies it, when we went over to visit her, she had invited her friend to come and listen to us as well! She is reading every day! Praying, going to church! Her testimony is growing stronger and stronger every day! It was so great to see how much she is progressing! AAAHHH!! I love Argentina! 

So after that, we hoped on a bus at 2 am again and came back to Montevideo to do divisiones in Montevideo. I got to go with Elder McRae in the zone of Flores. Elder McRae is such a stud!! I admire him so much because he is such a complete missionary. He follows all of the direction that we have received and is constantly striving to be better! We learned a ton and had an absolute blast as well! 

So yesterday morning, we took a taxi down the ruta and pte picked us up to come out to Artigas with him! It felt like coming home! I spent 6 months in Artigas and I feel like it was the area in which I grew most in my mission! We got here and since elder Trucolo and I both served in barrio 4 we set off in divisiones with the elders from barrio 4 for the night! IT WAS SO AWESOME!!! aaaahhh!! I miss this place soo much!  It was so awesome to see the people that you taught that actually progressed and returned to church, and the people that were baptized are still active and have callings and are working towards the temple. And also to have the chance to go and try to help the people that have fallen away. It’s just a tender mercy of the Lord to be able to go back and teach them again. I am sooo happy being up here again, even though it’s just for a few days. And tonight we are going out to work with the Zone Leaders! 

So life in the mission right now is pretty much the best! I feel like I have been so blessed these past few weeks. At first it was kind of weird sending off my whole group but I have received multiple confirmations that I am where I need to be. The Lord has let me know that I made the right decision to extend and has been blessing me with experiences that I will never forget. You know that feeling when you get the confirmation that God has used you as in instrument in His hands? I feel like I have been getting that a lot lately and it is the best!

Anyways, I  am soo happy! Never been happier! I know that this is the happiness that comes from the Gospel! I was studying a little bit today in alma 30 where Korihor goes in and starts teaching false doctrine and is taken before alma in zarahemla and when alma starts talking, alma explains how he hasn’t received a cent for being in the service of God, but that doesn’t matter. He asks what more does it profit him than to declare the truth and rejoice in the joy of his brethren. That is what missionary work is all about. Declaring the truth, and rejoicing in the joy of those who have come unto Christ! And I think that is what makes missionaries soo happy! It doesn’t get better than this!! 

So this week I turned two years old in the mission! Its crazy how fast time flies! 

Anyways, I love you all! I hope you have the best week! Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better! And get out there and share your testimonies! 

Un abrazo fuerte, 

Elder Staffieri

Sunday, March 15, 2015

February 28, 2015


Well this week has probably been one of the most unique weeks in all of my mission ha-ha. It was the week I should have gone home. It was sooo weird taking my group to the airport on Thursday. It seemed almost unreal. For a moment, I totally thought "man! What am I doing?! I should be getting on that plane with them!!" hahaha. Yeah. It was that way until I got back to my area. And then everything changed :) 

We didn’t have too many lessons this past week because we were over in the mission home most of the week doing all the stuff for changes, but we had some really spiritual experiences teaching. I just remember getting home and hitting our knees thanking the Lord for letting us teach and be part of this great work. I think I really gained a greater testimony this week about the power of prayer and the guide of the Holy Ghost. 

We had a really special experiences with a woman named Lourdes this past week. She is inactive and has been for years. We found her last week and had one lesson with her and then we went back this week and she let us in again! That was a miracle in itself. We sat down, and we began to teach something to her, and Elder Trucolo and I just didn’t feel right about what we were teaching. The Spirit wasn’t there, it wasn’t what she needed. We realized that we were just teaching to teach and we needed to identify her need, which she didn’t really want to share. So we stopped where we were and started to converse about other things and began to ask more questions to get too the root of her problems, to find the "sickness" and not just treat "symptoms." Once we found it, we just went straight to the Book of Mormon and began to help her find her own answers. It was so awesome! She completely changed. Just by finding her own answers in the scriptures, finding what she needed in the words of Christ, this light entered into her life again. She got so excited! It reminded me of when i first started to really read and meditate in the Book of Mormon here in the mission and actually understood what the Lord wanted me to understand! It is something so empowering. You know that God speaks to His children. And then she looks at us kind of doubting after the lesson and goes "well yeah I feel good when you guys are here but then after I just go back to feeling stressed and lost in my life" and we just go "well we didn’t even do anything today. Did you find council from us, the missionaries, or from where did you find it?" and she goes "no from the Book of Mormon" so we just explained and testified about the Book of Mormon. When she understood that it was the scriptures and not the missionaries that made her feel that way, she was anxious to start reading every day again. We left her a reading assignment and an invitation to stake conference. She said she couldn’t commit to go to church but that she would read every day, meditating in the message the Book of Mormon has for her and her life. 

Something else that has happened over these past few weeks is the Familia Lobo. The familia Lobo was inactive for about two years. They are both returned missionaries, sealed in the temple, his dad is even part of the temple presidency in Montevideo, and they just stopped going to church.  After they understood the Doctrine of Christ, they haven’t missed a day! They have gone like 4 weeks straight now!! AAHHH!!! It is soo awesome! They had a spiritual experience with finding their own answers and made changes in their lives to put their life back in line with God. Now they are receiving the blessings of being fully active in the Church. 

This past week I have just been so overcome with gratitude for my mission. Pte Smith asked me to share my feelings about my mission with all the new missionaries that came in and as I started talking and explaining about how much I loved the mission and everything I have learned and experienced, it hit me. I was actually going to have to go home. I just started crying in front of all the oros. hahaha. Poor kids. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I have cried like that in 2 years. Before, talking about going home was something soo far off and even as it got closer, it was something that would never actually arrive, at least for me it seemed that way. And when president goes "Elder Staffieri goes home in a month....." boom! Reality check! aaahhhhh. It’s part of the mission I guess. I am just stoked that they have given me a chance to work another change! This is gifted time! Yesterday we were out making visits with Joaquin and my comp and i looked at my watch and my comp goes "you would have been landing in your house right about now huh?" and I just look at him and go "yeah, I would be landing right about now in San Diego but this is soo much better!" I wouldn’t trade this for the world. I have to make the most of this month! And I will! :) 

I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that the only way to be truly happy is to keep the commandments that He has given us. The only way back to the Father is through the Son. Families are eternal. Jose Smith saw the Father and the Son. The Gospel was restored through him. The priesthood has been restored. The Spirit guides. Prayers are heard. We have a prophet here in the earth today. This is the truth. I love it with all my heart. 

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

un abrazo fuerte, 

Elder Staffieri

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

February 24, 2015


This week has been amazing!! It has probably been one of the busiest weeks we have had in a while but it was all worth it! This week we had 3 days of conferences with Elder Viñas. I have never learned soo much in 3 days! It was so awesome! I have never met someone like him like. This man is basically living scripture. It was crazy! It all started in Montevideo with a concilio with all the leaders from half the mission. Then on Friday we had the conference with 6 of the 11 zones we have in the mission here in Montevideo. It was pretty cool. I had the chance to direct and it was pretty fun. Then that day Elder Trucolo and I got in the car to drive up to Tacuarembó (4 hours) to do the same up there. We had an awesome conference. After the conference, we got news that we had to go over to Colonia to go help resolve some things, so we got in the car and drove 5 hours from Tacuarembó to Colonia, and picked up a few missionaries, and then drove back to Montevideo that night. I think we got in at like 3:30 in the morning. haha. It was kind of a marathon but it was good.
On Thursday, after the concilio with elder Viñas, I got the chance to go out and work with Elder Hansen for the night in our area. We had such an awesome lesson with a woman named Laura. I can’t remember if I told you guys about her or not. But basically a few weeks ago, I saw one of the sisters from my old ward here in oeste in the temple one day. She told me that she had someone for us to visit and gave us the reference but we couldn’t find the house. Then a week or two after, I saw here again in the offices. She passed me the reference again with the street corner. One day, everything we had planned fell through so we went to our agenda, and we felt that we needed to visit Laura (the reference). We still had a hard time finding it so we called sister perugorria and she just happened to be at Laura’s house and said that she would come out and wait for us on the street. We got there and the hermana perugorria brought us right in to meet Laura and Julio. We had a really powerful lesson about the restoration and the power of prayer. We set up to go back 2 days later and she called us and canceled because there were some problems in the house with the neighbors and her pareja ended up in the hospital. It’s a long story....but anyways, we went back 2 days after that with elder Hansen. She told us that she had separated from her pareja because she didn’t feel good about being with him and that she was really upset. We asked her about how her prayers went and she told us that that was the only time she had felt peace over the past few days! It was so awesome. She began to explain that she had felt things she had never felt before and she had a reassuring feeling that everything was going to be okay. The familia perugorria went to this (the second lesson) with us and the members made all the difference!!! They testified like I had never seen before. The sister expressed how much she loved Laura and how she desired to share all the happiness that she had found with the Gospel with her and hermano perugorria testified how much it changed him and how it saved his family and everything. It was really intense. Elder Hansen shared this awesome scripture from the Book of Mormon and we meditated on how it applied directly to her and everything. The Spirit definitely sealed the testimony. It was so awesome. At the end of the lesson, Laura told us that she was going to invite her friend, Melisa, to come and listen to us today! :) She asked us to pass by for her yesterday so that she could go to church with her whole family. She is soo prepared! She has accepted the invitation to be baptized the 28th of March. 

This Sunday, Maria, the woman we taught and who got baptized in December gave her first talk in sacrament meeting! It was soo awesome!! She invited her daughter to come and she came too! Maria killed it! She spoke on fasting! Normally the people get really nervous and give like 5 minute talks, but she was so calm, spoke with confidence, and even quoted the first bishop! It was soo awesome! And her daughter loved it too. We have been teaching her for a while and it was the first time she came to church! 

Well my whole group goes home this week. It’s kind of weird that I am not going with them...but I am way stoked that I have another 5 weeks to work! I am feeling so blessed! 

Something I learned this week from Elder Viñas was that as missionaries we don’t really do anything. I thought I already understood that but he helped us see it on a whole other level. It is the Spirit who does all the work. He taught how we are just instruments to help the people arrive to the truthfulness of the message. Nobody can really become converted to the gospel through reasoning. He taught about the failure of a missionary. He taught that the real failure of a missionary is when he stops teaching by the spirit and begins to teach by reasoning. The Spirit reveals and confirms the truth. If they can receive a testimony of the Gospel through the Spirit, nothing else matters. He then addressed the importance of the Book of Mormon. He said that "if the roots or their testimony aren’t based in the Book of Mormon, their testimony will dry like a branch." We need to help them have their own experiences. A lot of the time we want to "transfer" the faith we have to them but it doesn’t work that way. It is impossible for the faith to transfer itself, they need to have their own faith, gained through their own spiritual experiences. Idk. These are just some of the things that stuck out to me about teaching, there is a ton more about leadership that he shared but that will be for another day. 

I am out of time but I want you all to know how much I love you! Thank you for all you do to support me out here on my mission! I have never been so happy in my entire life. I wish all could come out here and experience this! There is nothing better!

Anyways I am all out of time! 

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

UN abrazo fuerte!!

Elder Staffieri

Saturday, March 7, 2015

February 14, 2015


This week has been so amazing!! We have had some awesome lessons this past week and have found some amazing people!! The mission is constantly getting better! We had a great concilio this past week with all the zone leaders! There was just a ton going on but it all went great! 

I forgot to write about it last week about the highest church attendance we have had in mission history! 5484 people partook of the sacrament last Sunday!! How awesome is that?!!! That is almost a 1000 more people that we had last year in febrero!! All the members are going out to work with the missionaries and it is literally strengthening the church all over the mission!! Everyone has caught the mindset of the gathering of Israel! aaahh!! We are so excited to see what the Lord has in store for Uruguay in these coming months. 

This week one of our converts, Maria, went out to work with us and took us to one of her best friends, Cristina. Cristina has had a really hard life. She has lost two spouses and a son at the age of 14 to cancer. She had entered into a state of depression. We had such a great lesson about the plan of salvation with her. Maria started the lesson off by testifying of all the peace and love she has felt from God through the gospel and about how she desired to share this with her. Maria gave the opening prayer the spirit came instantly. It was so special. It is hard to describe what was felt in that lesson or everything that really happened, we just taught directly from the Book of Mormon the plan of salvation and then brought it back to the restoration. Maria was participating the whole time in the charla and made all the difference in her testifying with the Spirit alongside nosotros. 

Another awesome lesson we had was with Soledad. She is the sister of Nadia (who just recently got reactivated). Every time we went over to her house, Soledad always ran and hid from us and never talked to us. This past week, Soledad’s daughter got really sick and was in the hospital for about 3 days. One day we were over teaching about the restored priesthood to Nadia and then Soledad walked in out of nowhere and sat down to listen. We talked about how Christ blessed the people that He loved and how he restored the priesthood to do the same. She asked that we could give a blessing to her daughter. It was one of those experiences where words cannot describe and one of those days when you just can’t wait to get home to write in your journal because you don’t want to forget a single detail of what was felt. It is such a privilege to be a missionary. Soledad, as a result of that experience she had, is now progressing towards baptism. THE MISSION CANNOT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!! 

Sorry that this has been soo short but I have to run! pday always runs short! 

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

Un abrazo fuerte, 

Elder Staffieri

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 07, 2015 

Work in our area is going really good! We have been seeing a lot of progress in our ward with sacrament attendance rising and converts that are reactivating and old members coming back to church after years of not coming. One of the miracles we have seen over the past few weeks is a man named Jorge.

Do you remember Maria? The older lady we took out to dinner on Christmas Eve and then did service with her on Christmas. Well her husband magically showed up one day. It caught us all kind of by surprise. Elder Trucolo and I were walking by and he called us over and introduced himself as Jorge. He had long dirty hair and a big beard and was smoking. To be honest, we have had better first impressions of people ahaha. But he invited us right in and we began to teach him with his wife. We found out that he has the sacerdocio del melquisedec and was endowed in the temple and now he was completely inactive and going a completely different direction. As we are teaching him, we have seen him start to transform himself into the priesthood holder and husband he once was. Little by little, the smoking and drinking have come to a stop. The beard has come off, the hair has been cut back. Old habits have been replaced with scripture study and prayer with his faithful wife. And he has returned to church. The night before last Sunday he told us that he couldn’t even sleep because he was so excited to go to church the next day and that they left like an hour before the needed to leave to that they would be sure to get there on time. He has started the whole repentance process and has committed to return to the temple to seal himself to his spouse in a year. It has been such a blessing to be a witness to the power and effect of the atonement in the life of this family. He has set weekly goals to get better and is committed to change.  What a blessing the gospel is to the families. It doesn’t get better than this! Being a missionary is awesome!
This past week I had the privilege to do divisions with the zone leaders from Colonia and from Tacuarembó. I got to work with Elder Huntsman and Elder Rampton. We had a blast learning from one another and just working as hard as we could in our area. I learned so much from them. I was so impressed with the way Elder Huntsman prays. That is something that I really want to improve. I admired that way that he really conversed with God and how he was so sincere with Him. I have been studying a lot about praying with faith and the fruits of such prayers and they are all over in the scriptures. Its soo incredible the power of a sincere prayer made with faith. So that is something that i will be working on for the rest of my mission and life.
This week we also had the chance to do something I hadn’t done here in Uruguay yet which was go and get food for people at the bishops store house. I didn’t know you had to work there  and do service before pulling out your that was actually really cool. I loved it. We got to work bagging oatmeal. We worked with a few ladies from salto and one from oeste. They were a riot. They were all talking about the experiences of their lives and sharing testimonies. It was a really special experience to work with all of them.
This week we also had a great experience with working with members. We went out to work with an entire family to go make visits! It was so awesome!! We show up to go and pick up a sister to go and work with us and then her son comes out all dressed up and then out comes her daughter as well and the next thing we know we are all in the streets teaching everyone, The sister took us to some of her friends we hadn’t known and the whole family was teaching with us! It was sooo awesome!! Definitely one of the experiences that I won’t forget in my mission!
Well this coming week is going to be awesome! Every day just seems to get better and better! I hope it is the same for you! I love you all so much! Thanks for everything you do to support the missionaries in your area and for everything you do to support me out here in Uruguay!

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

Elder Staffieri

Sunday, February 22, 2015

January 31, 2015

 This one is going to be short!
This week has been so awesome. We had another week of working all in our area! Life cannot get any better! We went out on 2 divisions this past week. We went out with the zone leaders in Cerro and the zone leaders of oeste. I got to teach with elder Gamarra de Peru and elder Evans de Canada. We learned so much from each other. They are both some of the best missionaries we have in the mission. It was so awesome to go out and teach!
This past week, President Smith came over to our area with his grandchildren to give away some toys to needy families. They went by a family we are helping and they were so grateful! It was an awesome experience.
Elder Trucolo and I are loving working together. Sorry this is so short. We have to run. I’ll send a picture!!
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 fuerte,

Elder Staffieri

Monday, February 9, 2015

 January 24, 2015

I am soooo happy!! I have never loved the mission so much!! It is the best!! We had such an amazing week! This past week, in the beginning, pte smith told us that we could use his car all week but we thought about it and decided to leave his car with the office elders instead so we could just focus in our area. This has been the first week we have not left our area to go to the offices, or to the mission home, or anything else like that and it was so awesome!! We just worked a ful in our area!! And it is starting to explode!! We have dedicated ourselves to change the beliefs of the members in our ward that the assistants just come to their house for lunch and then they don’t ever work in their area to Sunday because of traveling, meetings, etc. Idk why they think that but we made it our goal to change that. So this week we hit our area HARD working a TON with members!!! And we have been reaping in the blessings!! :)
We have been applying all the things we have been learning lately from the area presidency and the quorum of the 12 and its been incredible. We have been helping the members to think about the gathering of Israel all the time. Now, when we go out with them, they take us to all of their friends and family. Basically, everyone we have found this week and everyone we have with a baptismal date, the members took us to their houses and bore testimony to their friends and family of the truthfulness of the gospel. It made teaching so much easier and the people became so receptive. I guarantee that if we had not gone out with these members, these people would have never received us, and now they are progressing towards making covenants with their Heavenly Father.
Also, we have been talking with everyone in our area (in the street, bus stops, in bus, taxi, etc) and they have all been giving us references for people to visit and have actually taken us to their houses! It’s been incredible! So easy! I love this place! The Lord has just been blessing our area so much! And we have been literally running all over because we haven’t had time to teach them all. AAAHHH!!! THE MISSION DOESNT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!!!
We had such a special experience this past week with a menos activa and her pareja. In the morning, we went to go look for a reference we had a while ago. When we get to the house, Nadia (menos activa who really wants to come back to church but doesn’t because she doesn’t feel support from her pareja) answers and invites us in to have a charla with her. We started talking about all the blessings she desires in her life and read a little in the scriptures and then she started explaining all the reasons she can’t or doesn’t do everything she knows she should do to obey. Long story short, she starts talking about Leonardo (her pareja) and about how she wants to marry him but that he would never join the church. We talked to her about putting forth the example, obeying the Lord, and then leaving the rest up to him. She committed to come back to church and then said she would talk to Leonardo about receiving the missionaries. It was an awesome lesson. Super strong. Extremely motivating for us and her as she started to see that the power was within her to overcome her obstacles. That same day, in the afternoon, she called us and told us that Leonardo wanted to meet with us and her that same night.
We went over there that night and started talking to Leonardo about what he believes and everything and then began to teach about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the most powerful first lessons we have ever had. As we taught, Nadia began to remember her testimony of the church and began to share it with such love and tenderness with Leonardo and you could see the spirit begin to work within him. He began really hard hearted (as we might say) in the beginning and at the end; it was a completely different person. He shared about what he was feeling and said he would pray to know it’s true even though he felt it already was and accepted a baptismal date for after his wedding with her. As we left, I don’t think I have ever seen someone as happy as Nadia in that moment. Ha-ha. It was one of those moments in the mission when you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose as a missionary.
I have been so  grateful for the experiences of this past week. Elder Trucolo and I have been learning so much together. We love working together and have been so excited to see everything that has been happening lately.

There is nothing better than sharing the Gospel!!
Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better!
I love you all so much!! Thank you for all you do to support me and the missionaries that are serving in your home wards.

Un abrazo fuerte,

Elder Staffieri

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 17, 2015

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. We have been really busy and it’s been a blast!! Two weeks ago, we went on a tour of the mission with Pte Smith and Jerry! It was so much fun! It was a tooonnn of driving. We learned so much from president in the car and in all of the conferences. We also got to go out and work in our old areas for a while too. It was so great to be able to go and see all the people that we once taught. I was surprised that a lot of them remembered me in the areas where I started my mission. But it was such a fulfilling experience to go back and teach them again! I hope we get another chance to do it again! 

One fun experience: We were leaving Paysandú and we were following the GPS and it starts taking us far out close to the ruta. As we go, we see the road end and then this giant dirt and grass field that looks like its someone’s property and the GPS directs us to go through it. So we just confide in the GPS and start driving. Then as we get farther into the field, we can see the ruta where we need to go but there was a giant, deep mud pit in-between us and the easy way out and we only had a 2 wheel drive car. Pte sent elder huerta and I to go and check it out and it was obvious that we weren’t going to get through it. So we went to go find another way. The only other way was up a steep grass embankment that led up to the road. Pte smith looks at me and goes, "well let’s go behind those trees, get some speed, and hit it at a good angle and we can make it." okay! Let’s do it! We drove in-between some trees, got the car in position, went through a little depression, got the car up to speed, made it up the hill and onto the freeway. After we made it up, he fist bumps me and yells "llaves!!" hahaha. As in priesthood keys to give direction. We all got a good laugh. It was just one of those priceless moments where you just think what am I doing in the middle of some field in Uruguay with two North Americans and a Chilean trying to jump your way onto a freeway hahaha. Got to love the mission! We truly enjoyed every moment of that trip!

This past week flew by as well! We had changes in the mission and elder huerta finished his mission. I am going to miss him so much! He taught me so many things and I am so grateful for his influence on me. He was excited to see his family as his little sister was waiting for him to get home so that he could baptize her. My new companion is Elder Trucolo! He is an amazing teacher! He is from Cordoba Argentina, but played professional soccer in Italy and France. He has a love for the scriptures that is unmatched. I am really excited for the chance we have to work together!

This past change was awesome because I got to see Elder Pulsipher come down and train!! It’s such a blessing serving with someone from your own ward. It’s just a ton of fun. 

This past week we were knocking doors and in one contact a guy came out with a Bengal’s t-shirt. We started talking to him and i asked him if he liked football and if he likes the Bengal’s. And he responds “no not really" so we asked him what was his favorite team and he goes "the BYU cougars" wwwwhhhhaaaatttt?!! That has got to be the coolest contact ever. Well turns out he is a member but hasn’t gone in years. He lived in Provo for a while and went to BYU for a while. We had a great lesson with him yesterday. He just got married ten months ago and had a baby boy earlier this month. His wife isn’t a member....yet. But they are excited that we are going now to teach them! They are going to get sealed in a year....they just don’t know it yet! ;) 

Alright, that is all the time I have for this week! I love you all! Thank you for everything you are constantly doing for me and also for the missionaries that serve in your wards. 

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

UN abrazy fuerte, 

Elder Staffieri

The pictures are a lot from my trip. The family with the book of Mormon in their hands we are teaching here in Cerro, all the pictures in the car are from changes and dropping off missionaries in the airport and houses, etc. there is one where I am in front of a bull fighting ring in Colonia. etc. and with pulsipher when I slept over in his house. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 03,2015


This week has been so awesome! Life just keeps getting better and better! We had an awesome new years eve. We took the table and chairs up on our roof, made a pizza, bought some drinks, and just sat there watching the whole night sky light up. We are basically the highest point in Montevideo, so all of the fireworks were blowing up right at eye level. It has to be the best New Years Eve ever! It was so awesome just to be with the elders in our house. We are such good buddies. I am so excited for this coming year! Especially to be a missionary! Some amazing things are going to be happening in the mission that is going to change the entire culture of missionary work! I feel so blessed to be a part of it!
This past week we had concilio with the leaders of the mission. It was the biggest concilio that the mission has ever had. We discussed what key indicators we are going to report to the mission and how they are going to help us achieve the two indicators that we will report to the church. The only two we will be reporting to salt lake are: 1. Baptisms. and 2. Church Attendance. It is going to help us really focus on baptizing, reactivating, and retaining. The mission is going to change so much this coming year and real growth of the church is going to EXPLODE down here!! This is seriously the best mission in the entire world!!
Also in concilio, we talked about using the informe of recent converts and members who have recently reactivated. It’s an informe with goals for the first month, in the first 6 months, the first year, and after a year. It’s such a great tool that has come as direction from the prophet and quorum of the twelve. Elder Huerta and I have been working so much with this informe the past two weeks and we have seen awesome results. The members get so excited when they receive the direction on what it is that they should do. This informe strengthens them and gives them specific goals to one day arrive at the temple to be sealed as a family!
Also, this week we have been working a lot with getting the members involved in family history! We have been sharing a lot the book called "my family” and have been helping everyone get started on their family history and to set the goal to take names to the temple. It’s also been a great tool to find people to teach. I never knew how much people loved to find out stuff about their ancestors. There is something so special when you start working to find out more about where you came from! It’s been so amazing!
The lessons we have had this week have been so incredible. We are seeing so much progress with one family in specific. Their names are Ana, Margot, and Blanca. Ana is 30, Margot 50, and Blanca 70. We are teaching more people every time we go to their house! The last time we found the boyfriend of Ana! It’s been great. Anyways, we first found Ana through the iniciative of "He is the Gift" about 3 weeks ago. We shared it with her and her mom and they agreed to another visit to come back and teach about the restoration of the gospel. The next week we got there, we started sharing about the restoration and they all kind of rejected the fact that it  happened and were really skeptical of it. Blanca got all upset and started trying to bible bash with us but we just kept calm and testified. We testified of the book of Mormon and that we were going to present the book of Mormon as evidence of the restoration the next time we visited them. The next visit, we brought them the book of Mormon and presented it to them with 2 Nephi 25:26 and then in moroni 10:3-5 and left them something to read. When we came back again, Ana had read everything we had left her and had also studied the bible passages that went with the chapter in the book of Mormon. She loved it! She still hasn’t received that testimony of the book of Mormon yet but she is working on it as well as Margot. The other day we were teaching in Alma 32 about the seed and the word of God. And all of a sudden, Blanca comes in, sits down, and starts to listen. Towards the end, she asks us for a book of Mormon and for something to read. The last time we went there, Blanca (the most skeptical at the beginning) was so excited about what she had learned. This whole family started to study the book of Mormon together and are beginning to gain their testimony as a family!! And there are so many more people in that house that we need to keep finding as well! It’s been such a powerful experience, teaching this family from the book of Mormon and seeing their testimonies grow. Tonight we have planned to go through the whole plan of salvation with them just from the scriptures! We are so excited!!
I am about out of time for this week. I love you all so much and hope you had the best new years and have put goals that bring you closer to Christ in 2015.
Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week and THIS NEW YEAR!!!
UN abrazo gigante,
Elder Staffieri

Monday, January 5, 2015

December 27, 2014


This week has been so awesome! There is nothing like Christmas on the mission!! It was so great to see all of you on skype! It’s crazy to think that it was the last time!! aaahhh!! But this Christmas has been so special here. 

On Wednesday, Christmas eve, we were out doing visits in our area before our dinner we had planned at 8. Elder Huerta got a feeling that we needed to go and visit a menos activa that he had met a few changes ago. So we went. When we got there, she got so happy and started to cry. Her name is Maria. She is about 80 years old mas o menos and her familia has basically abandoned her. She is very poor and lives by herself in a very dirty humble home. When we got there, she explained how she was praying that the missionaries would come by and visit her for weeks now. I don’t think I have ever felt soo bad for someone in my entire life. She is an active member of the church but goes to another ward because there are buses that drop her off closer to the church. But the member’s don’t really visit her that often because she lives so far out of the ward boundaries. We asked her if she had eaten that day and she said that she had gone to the almacen to buy bread with a little bit of butter to eat for that day. We called the family we were going to eat dinner with and they were more than happy to have her come along. We called president and he gave us permission to go and take her in the van to dinner. When we showed up at her house, she was all dressed up and was so excited to go out to eat. We ate with the familia cabrera and it turns out that the hermana knew maria from when she used to go to barrio 1. We had an awesome dinner (ate an entire lamb) and after we dropped her off at her house. 

The next morning, Christmas Morning, we got together with 6 other missionaries and loaded us all up in the van and went over to her house to go do service for her to help her clean and get everything back in order a little bit. We worked there for 2 hours and it was so awesome!!! She was so happy!! And then she went to lunch with the same family that we ate with the night before. I don’t think I have ever been so happy on a Christmas morning than I was this past Christmas. It was so awesome looking to do service on Christmas and it really helped all of us understand the true meaning of Christmas. I will never forget this past Christmas season. I will never forget Maria.

Also, earlier this past week we had a baptism!! Maria got baptized!! Whoop whoop!!! But I am pretty sure I already wrote about that this past week because I wrote on Monday right? 

OH!! I am extending!! Pte Smith and I talked about it this past week I am going to get another 6 weeks in Uruguay!! whoop whoop!!! So now instead of going home on the 24th of Feb, I will be landing in San Diego the 14th of April!! I am so excited to have a whole change extra to work as a missionary!! I feel so blessed! 

I can’t really remember what I told you all on skype and I already feel like I am repeating a ton of stuff so I am going to send this all off! 

I love you all so much! Thank you for everything you do for me and for all the prayers in my behalf. They are felt in a big way! 

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

UN abrazo fuerte, 

Elder Staffieri