Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Terra Nova

Hey guys,

Well, another week passed by. It actually seemed to go by really fast. We watched general conference and had zone conference on Monday. Lots of sitting....But I really enjoyed conference. It seems like it was just Oct. general conference yesterday. I went from being the newest Portuguese speaker in a room of Americans to the oldest...It's weird to see how much has changed in 6 months....But, general conference was so good. I really enjoyed it. One problem was that priesthood session was sent without audio to a lot of the chapels here in Manaus. They got it fixed and we watched it Sunday night, in Portuguese (which isn't as good) but I still really enjoyed it. On Monday, we had zone conference and a lot of the trainings were about making sure that our investigators are really converted. I enjoyed it. They also talked a lot about the "elevator effect." It involves always looking for new investigators and preparing them while others are near baptism. When it functions right, it'll mean baptisms every week. We just gotta get it going in this area. But zone conference was cool. I have a lot of friends in the 2 zones here and I've got a pretty cool district.

We really went to work this week trying to find a lot of new ppl to teach. One thing I learned in Porto Velho, that I'm trying here, is to find at least 2 new people or 1 family every day. It usually gives a good teaching pool and helps find the people that are really interested. We had some good success this week. We marked 2 weddings and baptisms for May. One of the families went with us to general conference and really were prepared for the Lord. They read the Book of Mormon, got a response it was true, and WANT to get married. We didn't even have to convince them! The other family is related to members in our ward. The husband is the man that we took back to his house (from the bar) to teach him the Word of Wisdom. Since that day, he hasn't gone drinking. I guess something went well. So, now we just have to find some people to baptize this month. But we're getting this area going again....

Today we went to McDonalds! Good stuff! It's kinda expensive here....But so good! And next week- I've planned soccer and a churrasco with my zone and district! The week after that- Elder Holland is going to come! Gotta have fun on P-days!

Let's see...what else has gone down recently....It's kinda weird. I'll be 20 in 3 weeks. That just seems weird....

I went on a division this week. He's a good missionary and I got to know him better, which was good. He's got a really good work ethic and we worked really hard. But, he insisted that he could "prove" that the Book of Mormon is true to some people that expressed they had no interest. After about an hour and a half, I honestly just got embarrassed. I undestand the need to respond to doubts, but I always like to say that I'm not here to convince anybody about the church and the things that we teach. I'm just here to invite them to pray and know for themselves. I tried a few times to cut them off and just leave an invite, but finally I just gave up. I can't say that I enjoyed it. I tried to leave the best invite I could with them to honestly read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. The investigators weren't annoyed, and said they "enjoyed the discussion", but I left apologizing to them for what had happened... I guess it's just a reminder to me that I can't convince anybody about the church and what I know is true. I just like to invite them to know for themselves..

Well, that's pretty much what went down this week. Just trying to work hard. We eat lunch, everyday, with 2 other really cool missionaries. I'm trying to be patient when things are hard.

To respond to Dad's question- Easter is celebrated like any other holiday in Brazil. DRINKING!!! The missionary handbook says that "holidays are some of the best times to find and teach families." That's not true it means that you won't find anybody to teach...

But, anyways, hope all is going well with you guys. Have a great week. Love you!

-Elder Eric Stapley

1 comment:

  1. Looks like eric is having a great time. I am definantly jealous! haha.