Thursday, August 27, 2009


from the top: Eric's new comp Elder Christensen, Manaus temple site, friends from the CTM, CTM district, teacher Irmano Ramos

Oi família!

Eu estou no Manaus agora! I'm serving in the central part of the city of Manaus. It's a pretty decent sized city. From my area you can see where Rio Preto e Rio Amazonas run together. I flew with 2 americans and 7 brasileros. I'm super stoked to be here, I was going crazy at the CTM and by the last week I was kinda dying. I loved my district, but we all started getting annoyed with each other by the end. I can see myself kicking it with some of them after the mission, cool guys. Oh, btw, they all loved the ice cream shakes and were very happy for them!

It's weird that I'm actually here. Today is still P-day (quarta-feira/Wednesday). It's pretty humid and the hottest time of the year, but the past 2 days have been "really cold." Meaning 85-90ish. The day before I came it was 105 or 110. Something nuts like that. I love the sun though, especially after not seeing it for 9weeks in the CTM. I'm kinda white...I hope I don't just fry.

We were greeted by the President and APs at the airport, went to the temple construction ground (mostly just dirt) and went to President Jayme's house. The food there was good, SO much better than the CTM! And- we had ice cream- it was great. We learned a little about the Manaus mission, talked about health, went to the mission office, had interviews and got our new comps and areas. After that, we played a few games (one which my comp and I dominated!) and had a little meeting where the trainers bore their testimonies. A lot of them thought I could speak Portuguese really well and were impressed. I hope I do fine with the language...the accent here is a little different, but I understand the general meaning.

My comp, Elder Christensen, is from Idaho, goes home in December and is a way good guy. All the APs said that I scored, and President Jayme said really nice things about him. We get along great. I like him. Tonight we have an appointment to teach the 1st lesson!! Whoo! I'm so stoked. Hopefully, I can remember everything I learned...but I'm not really worried about it. We have some progressing investigators in our area and we actually have a baptismal service on Saturday! I haven't met them yet, but I hear they are nice.

The Manaus mission is one of the most successful in Brazil. We are in an area where the church has been here a little longer. There are members in our ward that have been active for 30 years or so, which is really cool. But, I guess they aren't always the most helpful to the missionaries or the most humble. My area includes some humbler (I doubt that's a word but whatever) areas and some better off places. So, it's one of the harder areas in Manaus. I'm down with that though. Our bishop is 27 yrs old (some of the older members have a tough time with that). I hear he's way cool. I like my comp and am excited to find out more about the area and meet more people.

This morning I met the previous stake president's wife and 2 other sisters as they were going to visit the people getting baptised on Saturday. They were nice and asked if I could speak Portuguese. I understood most of what they said, but it'll take a little getting used to the new accent.

Oh, I need to tell you about my apartment. It's really nice! For missionary standards...I guess...2 companionships used to live there but now it's just my comp and me. We have 2 bathrooms, 4 beds, and 2 refrigerators. Cool animals I've seen (if you want to actually say cool)- a parrot and some parakeets. Other than that, I've seen my apartment. I hate them. I've only seen 1 or 2 but they are there. I just need to get used to them. Better than the cockroaches,we have a rat that lives around our apartment. He's never gone in, but he'll hang out in between our house and wall and washing machine. My bed is close to a window, and I guess missionaries have woke up to see him right there next to the ledge. They tried many times to get rid of him but I guess he's huge. Fun... The showers have one kind of heat... you don't know how cold it will be. That's not bad. I like the cold water, it's the ONLY time I won't be hot. Overall.I like it. It's a nice place and really not that bad.

Hope all is well with you. Send me some cartas. Obrigado. Anyway, love you guys. Tchao!

-Elder Eric Stapley

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