Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Terra Nova

Hey guys!

Well, it's official. I'm now 20... My companion went to sleep at 9:30 on Tuesday night (my birthday), so I had an hour where I just stayed up eating American food and thinking about life. I started thinking....I'm 20 years old. I don't have a job. I'm not studying. I'm not planning on studying or working for more than another year. I live off the food that others give me....I don't have a girlfriend, or anything close to a girlfriend. In fact, it's been almost a year since I've even hugged a girl. Not to mention that I live with another guy that I've known for about 5 weeks....I have 7 shirts, 4 or 5 pairs of pants, and a few socks (all of which have lots of holes in them...) Talk about successful! If I wasn't a missionary- my life would sound pitiful. But, the birthday went pretty well. We had a massive lunch! So good! And last night we had a little party with my district (10 missionaries). We bought 8 pizzas and 10 2-liter bottles of pop, and we went to town! It was way fun. Especially becaue my last comp, Elder Paredes, was transferred to our district. I'm really enjoying this district and have a lot of friends here. So, it was a fun birthday! I still feel like a kid...

As far as transfers went down, I'm still here with Elder Lopes. I pretty much knew this would happen though. He's a good guy and I just remember what Pres told us, that we're here to make this the highest baptizing area in the mission... I have a lot of friends in my district, so it's fun.

As far as baptisms go, we're going to mark at least 2 more this week. If everything goes well, next month we should do pretty well....I'm feeling at least 7. We might have to re-mark a few of our others for later, but I'm excited for next month. It should go well. One "eternal investigator" family that lives in my area decided after about 3 years that they finally want to get married. Only problem is that they marked the date in July, which is still a while away...But we then talked to them about baptism. The wife seems like she really wants to get baptized. The husband is kinda....not there yet. He told us he had doubts. So, I said, "what are they? Let's get rid of them right now." So, he went to his room, pulled out a dictionary and looked up "mormonism". The dictionary defined it as (more or less), "A religious cult, founded in th 1800's by Joseph Smith, that practices polygamy." I almost took the dictionary and beat him across the head with it! But, then decided that wasn't a good idea. So, first I asked him if he'd seen anyone in the years he's been going to church with more than one wife, to which he responded- no. I then told him that polygamy doesn't exist in the church, and you can't have more than one wife. I then took his dictionary and told him to read the definition of cult, which happens to be, "A minority religious group who fervently adore together." So, according to the definition, sure, we can be called a "cult." But that doesn't mean anything. We then responded to some other questions he had, but still didn't mark his baptism. Gotta love the eternal investigators...

Other than that, this week was kinda normal. Starting to get a little busy getting everything ready for our weddings....Just trying to work hard and have a good time. Today we played basketball and soccer at the church building. I'm stoked. Next month we are going to have a new chapel dedicated. We went to see it, and it's way nice (at least for our Brazilian/Manaus standards). I'll be excited to leave the little house where we usually meet...

But anyway, yeah. That's pretty much what went down this week. Thanks for wishing me a happy birthday. Hey, in about 2 weeks I'll talk to you guys. We'll see how much English I remember...But hope all is well. Have a great week. Love you guys!

-Elder Eric Stapley

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