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