Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Porto Velho "Oh, the weather outside is frightful..."

Hey guys!

First I'll respond to your email. Mom, I am using sunscreen. I just forgot one day and got a little burned. I learned my lesson and am now using more. I'm glad to hear all is going well and you guys are excited for Christmas. Shannon, like I said, start studying! Sure it's finals week, but in 6 months it won't matter what grade you got on your test, it will matter if people understand you. Even a little bit of study pays off. I met a sister that went to Campinas on her mission! She wants your fb. She knows a little english and got excited when I told her about you. Sounds like you get to go to the temple at least once a transfer. Not fair....

Megan, that is frightening that you have texting...Poor choice mom and dad.

So, this was an interesting week. Saturday, we had a ward activity about missionary work. We invited 4 other elders and parts of their wards to participate. It turned out really well. We did a skit showing a bad day for missionaries when members don't help, and then a better day. It actually turned out really funny. I have a copy. Maybe I'll send it home, but as you don't know Portuguese, it might be a little hard to understand...We'll see... But the ward members really liked it, and it was a fun time.

We also had the chance to watch the 1st Pres devotional. I really enjoyed it. The audio was pretty lame, but it was cool to hear Christmas music in English. And- to see Salt Lake with snow. I would do anything for snow right now. No joke. It's always hot over here, or raining like none other. But oh well.

One of the highlights of my week happened on Mon. I went on a division with an Elder in another area. It was an interesting experience. I really like the other Elder, but he doesn't speak that well. He has one more transfer than me, but I'm a better speaker. Love the guy, but he is still learning a lot of Portuguese. So, it was weird for me to be the better speaker for the day. Anyway, at the end of the day we visited some members in his ward. After about 20-30 minutes of talking, one of the members looked over at us and asked if I am Ga├║cho (somebody from southern Brazil). I looked over to my comp, forgetting I was on a division and not with Elder De Jesus who is from Southern Brasil. Then I realized that I was with an American comp...They were asking me! I replied that no, I'm from the US, and the member said, "no your not!" Mas rapaz! I wanted to jump up and hug the person. They actually thought I was Brazilian! I've been praying/working my tail off for the day that would happen. The person must have a hearing problem or something, cuz I don't speak that well yet...But it was awesome! I've been waiting for somebody to think I'm Brazilian after talking with me. It was sweet. I got really excited...It was one of the highlights of my week.

This week we're having a little Christmas party with missionaries. We want to make cookies. Can you please send a recipe for cookies (one with brown sugar and one w/out. I don't know if I can find it here...) in the next few hours? Please?

Before I forget! Blaine, you sent me the coolest Thanksgiving picture ever. Thanks buddy! Thanks Andrew and Blaine for your pics and letter! (And of course J and K too!) Miss you guys!

So, as far as the call on Christmas goes. I'm planning on calling first, either on Christmas or Christmas Eve. So, yeah. Just wait for my call!

That's it for now! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays to everyone reading this letter! Fam, I'll talk to you soon! Miss you! Also, my next email won't be next Wed, 'cuz I'll be in Manaus. I fly on the 22nd and come back on the 24th. We're taking a boat to see the "meeting of the rivers". I'm not sure when you guys will get the next email. Merry Christmas!

-Elder Eric Stapley

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