Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Terra Nova, Manaus

What's up, guys?

I'm a little exhausted today...It's been a busy week. First off, I was transferred from Porto Velho! I found out Saturday morning and left Monday afternoon. I was both excited and a little sad. I was ready for a break from the ward and the area and I wanted to get transferred back to Manaus to see Elder Jeffery R. Holland this month. But, I'll miss the wedding and baptism of a sweet family that we taught and I had a really good time with Elder Paredes. I think the hardest goodbye for me was with Lucimar and Télis. (The family that will be baptized next month.) I had the privilege to teach them and to really get to know and love them. I visited them on Sunday and I was expecting to leave a message with them. But, we said a prayer and Télis (the husband) said, "I prepared a message for you" and went on the share some scriptures and bear his testimony. It was one of the most fulfilling parts of my mission. After he finished, I shared a thought. I'm a little bummed that I'll miss their baptism. Télis even came to the airport when I was supposed to leave (my flight got changed around a bunch...) and left a present for me with the other missionaries leaving Porto Velho...

I left Monday, got to Manaus, and slept at the mission home, which is pretty scary...Lots of missionaries, cushions that are probably older than I am and air conditioning that barely works. Tuesday morning, we had transfer meeting and I'm now with Elder Lopes. I'm in Manaus again. Zona Norte. Terra Nova is the name of my area... It's pretty cool. It's another big area. I guess the ward is cool. We don't have a chapel and we meet in a big house right next to our house. I think it's the poorest of all my areas so far. The average house is about the size of our living room and there are a lot of hills!!! Actually- not hills. Mountains. I just got back from Porto Velho where it's flat for as far as you can see. Here, I feel like I'm on a hiking trip or something...I swear that my tie has touched the ground as I've been walking. It's pretty insane. Elder Lopes seems cool. He's really excited and likes to talk a lot. Only problem is that the last elder that was here- is now probably back in the U.S. We don't have any baptism dates marked and need some new people. Looks like there is some work to do....But hopefully we can find more people to teach and really go to work. One cool thing is that Elder Holland will also speak in our Stake. I'm stoked. Then the next day, he'll speak with the mission. I'm curious if any changes will go down with the mission when he comes. There are a few rumors of the mission dividing. I'm not sure if I really believe that, but at least now I know I'll stay in Manaus and not Porto Velho...

Today we had a pretty busy day . We woke up and headed to Ponta Negra, one of the biggest tourist spots of the city. We went with a few other Elders and played some volleyball on the beach and had lunch. It was fun, but now I'm pretty tired. I think after packing up Sunday, traveling Monday, working on Tuesday with only a little bit of sleep, and now playing volleyball all day, I'm pretty exhausted. So, after this I'm going to crash for a little bit...

We passed the temple on our way to the beach today. It's coming along pretty well, considering when I passed it last time it was just a bunch of dirt. Good stuff. After the mission, it'll be cool to come back and visit it.

Let's see...what else went down. Oh yeah. Looks like the Brazilian mail system has problems... Again. Or they're on strike again. So, it sounds like it'll take even longer to get and send letters. Gotta love the Brazilian mail system...!

You guys didn't tell me that Mom, Erynn and Meg were going on a cruise. I'm jealous. Actually, I'm a little tired of the hot weather ALL THE TIME! But, a week of relaxing seems like paradise right now. The mish kinda wears you out... By the end of it, I think I'll be a little tired and just sleep for a week or so.

I hope that Shannon is doing well....She needs to remember not to compare herself to anyone else in her district. No matter how "good" they speak, they all are just learning. She'll be fine. I shot her a letter from missionties. You guys can read it if you want.

Anyways, that's what's going down right now. I can't really think of what else has happened. Have a great week. Love you guys!

-Elder Eric Stapley


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