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,