Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Porto Velho

Hey guys!

This was a pretty good week. It's hotter than heck still and the sun is really strong, but that's just life I guess. We had a baptism on Sunday. It went well. Sunday was actually pretty cool. A man that we baptized recently, Marcizo, blessed the sacrament for the first time. We taught the principles of the gospel class and it was a lot of fun. All of our investigators and recent converts really participated and we had a good time.

One of our other recent converts, Dionízio, kinda surprised me. We'd marked to teach him last Saturday night. We didn't know what to teach because we'd already taught him all the lessons. At the last minute, we decided to give him a Book of Mormon to give to somebody else. We practiced with him and he accepted the invitation. On Wedneday, we met with him again and when we asked about the Book, he said, "I didn't want to give the Book to just anyobdy...." I figured he didn't give it away. But then he went on to say how he'd thought about it all week and prayed about it. He ended up talking to one of his friends at work. This friend wants to stop drinking. Dionízio told the friend that he'd recently stopped drinking and made some changes in his life. He then told him about the Book of Mormon, bore his testimony, got his address, and marked us a visit with him this week. What a stud! It was a pretty fullfilling thing to see as a missionary.

We did a service project this week and helped a lady clean up the front part of her yard. It was a huge mess and full of trash. When I was picking up trash, a tarantula almost climbed up my hand. I've decided that I hate tarantulas. They are so ugly and hairy....yeah....too bad I haven't gotten the camera yet or I would've taken a pic.

So, this is the last P-day of this transfer. I can't really decide what I want to happen. Before, I just wanted to be transferred back to Manaus. But, I guess I'm starting to like it here more and (next transfer) we've marked a wedding/baptism for a really cool couple. The lady has been wanting to get baptized for a while, but her husband never wanted anything to do with the church. He used to mess with the missionaries and run away from them. But now, after a long time, he wants to get baptized and learn more about the church. It's cool to see the difference in him. He went from pretending he wasn't home when the missionaries came by, to making us a huge tambaci (fish) feast last night. So, I kinda want to stick around to see their wedding. They're having some problems with wedding documents, but it looks like they'll be married in a few, we'll see....

We had a pretty spiritual and powerful experience. A while back, we baptized a 76 year old man whose daughter is a very firm member of our ward. At first, I didn't feel really comfortable teaching him, thinking he didn't understand all the things we taught. But, after hearing stories of him refusing coffee and cigarettes when people offered, we decided that he really was able to be baptized. His health has been diminishing and the only family member that takes care of him- is his daughter that's in our ward. It's pretty draining for her and sometimes reminds me of you guys and Nana. But, Manoel (the 76 year old) hasn't missed a week of church since his baptism. We stopped by to visit them on Monday and could tell it had been a really rough day with Manoel's poor health. So, last second, we decided to talk about the Atonement with them. We shared some scriptures and bore testimony of the Atonement. The Spirit was really, really strong. When my comp got done bearing his testimony, he passed over to me to let me bear mine. I don't know what happened, but the Spirit just hit. I could barely talk. When I got the first few words out, I started to cry....which has never happened to me during a lesson or member visit. I just looked up at the others and saw everyone else crying too. I was able to bear my testimony though about the Savior and His love and Atonement. When we finished, we gave a blessing to Irmão Manoel. His daughter asked me to give the blessing. It was a really interesting experience for me. It wasn't the first that I've given, but it was just....interesting. As I was giving the blessing, I felt the impression that he didn't have much longer to live. When I finished the blessing, we were saying goodbye and Irmão Manoel started to cry. I'm not sure when he is going to leave this earth, but I just know that I got the impression that it's soon...I'm not sure how soon, or what will happen, but it was a really interesting and powerful experience to me. I know my testimony of the Savior and His Atonement is stronger now.

But anyway, that was pretty much this week. Maybe next week I'll email you from some other place. It's not likely, but it's possible. Hope that you have a great week! Love you guys!

-Elder Eric Stapley

1 comment:

  1. We just LOVE keeping up with Elder Stapley and all of his amazing spiritual experiences! What a joy to read his letters!!!
    Love, Erin and Teage