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 PaysandĂș 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