Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Terra Nova

Hey guys!

Well, this week was crazy. These last few days have been insane...On Monday, we got a call from the Assistants and they told Elder Lopez that he was being transferred and there was going to be a few emergency transfers. Then, they asked to talk to me. I was told that I was staying and turning senior. Cool. After that, they told me that I'd be training a new missionary and that he'd be showing up the next day.... I asked if they were being serious...just because I couldn't believe it. He's an American. Whoo! It was a weird feeling. A mix of excitment, but also a wave of nervousness...I went from being a junior to a senior and a trainer in one day. No prep.

So, yesterday, I went to mission HQ early in the morning. Elder Lopez went away and I ended up visiting with President for a little more than an hour. Just us. We talked about what I need to do to be a good trainer and how I can help my new comp. After a while, I asked President if he honestly thought I was ready to train an American. He looked at me and said, "Elder Stapley, I don't think, I know. You are ready and I got an answer from the Lord that you need to train." ...No pressure or anything! I always wanted to train, but more at the end of my mish! It's pretty much unheard of in our mission, for an American to train another American when he only has 10 months on the mish. But, it was a really good meeting with President and got me ready.

We went to the airport, the assistants, President and I. My companion is the only one that showed up, so it was kinda cool. Elder Wolfe is from Tennesse and said he knew Shannon in the CTM. Kinda cool. He's got a southern accent, is a cool guy and seems like he really wants to go to work. We then visited the temple grounds and went to eat lunch with President and Sister. Lunch was so good! Mashed potatoes. Chicken. Ice cream. American food!!! It's been such a long time. When we got done eating, Sister gave Elder Wolfe a training about health and stuff.

Remember- the temple sight was a pile of dirt just last June?!

My area isn't the prettiest of areas. I'm on the edge of the city, next to jungle. (I finally saw a map of where I am). So my shoes get dirty, but I don't shine them 'cuz they get dirty every day. So, I just went to pick up my new comp with my work shoes. The assistants joked around with me about not polishing my shoes, but I didn't think much of it. When we were at President's house, he asked me to take off my shoes. He went back in his house while Sister was giving a training and came back with my shoes. All polished and clean!! President Jayme polished my shoes. In some ways I felt like I was Peter after the Lord washed his feet. Obviously, not that extreme, but still. I love Pres! He's so cool. He just came up, gave me my shoes and said, "you're welcome, Elder Stapley." Pres and Sister are so cool!

After that we went to mission HQ, my new comp went through more trainings and then, we finally got to our area. I sorted out some things with the weddings that are set for the 22nd. Today, we went to the center (downtown district of Manaus) with some other missionaries and I showed my comp around.

I'm excited for the chance to train. Other than Christensen telling me in all my emails that I need to train an American, I've wanted that. But it was still a big surprise for me, especially 'cuz it's in the middle of transfers. I'm excited but a little bit nervous. We've got a lot of Portuguese work to do. But I'm going to do my best and be as patient and helping as I can be. I think I owe that to my trainer too, who was extremely patient with me. So, it'll be fun. Pray for me!! This is the first time I'm the better Portuguese speaker in the companionship.

Anyway, hope you guys are doing well. Miss you. It was nice to talk with ya'll (as my comp says....) on Sunday! Hope all is going well! Love you guys! Tchau!

-Elder Eric C. Stapley

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