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