Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hey guys,

Well, it's been another good week in the life. It's really hot today though, but I guess that's life. This week we've found some new people to teach and are working with a few of our other investigators. This week we had a meeting with Bishop. Our ward has been without a ward mission leader for some time and he ended up pretty much apologizing to us and telling us the ward is going to get on board with missionary work. This week we should be getting a ward mission leader and are going to start having correlation meetings. We are really hoping to get the work started with the members in the ward. Bishop is even offering to buy a plane ticket to the temple in Sao Paulo for whoever gives the most references over the course of 6 months. Good work Bishop! So, we're excited. We are now hoping to work a lot more efficiently and with more help from the members.

This week I went on a divison with Elder Head, our ZL, who I lived with in Porto Velho. We had a fun time talking about the old times back in Rondonia and how fast time has gone by....we realized that all of this just seems to go by too quickly.

Today, we had a little district get together. We ended up going to McDonalds and played a few games. I can't wait to go back to a place where McDonalds is cheap...I think Im going to buy rootbeer in the airport when I'm coming home though....

This week in district meeting we talked a lot about the purpose of the Spirit in our teaching, and spent a lot of time talking about how we, as missionaries, can't convert anyone. It's the Spirit that converts. I still say a phrase Elder Christensen always said during lessons, "we aren't here to convince anyone. We are just here to invite them to get an answer from the Lord and from the Spirit." It was a pretty good meeting...

This week I saw the Reheses on the back of the Liahona! Good work!! I hope one day one of my old investigators or baptisms can make it into a Liahona....

Elder Woolf and I are still getting along really well. Our little Washington group is pretty cool. Elder Woolf even has a tourist book that has a bunch of pics of Washington and Seattle....every once in a while I like to pull it out and look at the snow and ocean again. It's been really hot this past week. Like ridiculously hot...but I guess that's life here...

I'm really excited for general conference this weekend. I love conference. But, it still seems like yesterday that the other conference just got over. I think I'm going to go to the stake center of my old stake for one session to see some old friends and baptisms. And their stake center is within walking distance of our house. So, I'm hoping to be able to see some old friends this week. But, I'm excited to hear the words of the prophet and apostles.

Well, thats pretty much it for this week. Hope all is well with you guys! Love you!

-Elder Eric C. Stapley

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Hey guys,
Everything is going well. We've been working hard and we're still trying to sort through this mess of wedding papers and find new people that we can teach. And it's still really hot over here. So, everything is pretty much the same old....We've been having a decent amount of meetings and we've been talking a lot about how to find new people that we can teach, and that we need to show our faith to find the elite. So, the missionary life continues.

Today we had a pretty good p-day. We called up a bunch of Americans and we played football. Real american football. We started playing in a church parking lot and then we moved to an large tent-covered area where some church holds outside meetings. It wasn't being used and the sun is hot, so we played some fun football today. Gosh, I miss the USA! After emailing, we are going to make some tacos or Amerian burgers...

Speaking of American burgers, I got the package! Thanks!!! We should be making some good American food this week.....

I've been teaching the "principles of the gospel" class on Sundays. Since I've been in this ward, the real professor has showed up only one time to church. So, I always get the opportunity to teach at the last minute. I usually try to read through the lesson during sacrament meeting to try and get an idea of where the lesson goes. My first week in the ward, Bishop came up to me right after sacrament meeting and said,"Elder, you need to teach the principles of the gospel class...." I'm enjoying it though. We have a decent class and some people that participate and are willing to learn.

I talked with the Monteiros, by phone, this week. (It's the family of Shannon's companion in Campinas.) Sister Monteiro's mom is so nice! She's adopted me as her son. She's sending me guaranĂ¡ in piraucus tounge. I guess it's good....whatever. I really want to go to Maues now. She said, "if you need anything, you call us and we'll send it to you, ok?!" I might ask President if I can go to Maues. Not like that changes anything, but who knows....

Elder Woolf and I get along really well. He's way chill and turns out he knows some of Brian's cousins in Spokane. He has a tourist book of Washington that his family sent him, and I made myself homesick once or twice staring at the pics or Mt. Rainer and Seattle....At least it's now raining over here. It's just really hot rain and a lot more uncomfortable than the rain in Seattle....but that's life.

But yeah. that's pretty much what's been going on this week. The missionary life goes on....I hope everything is going well at home with you guys, Have a great week!

-Elder Eric C. Stapley


Hey guys,

Well, it's been yet another week in the life. Time sometimes seems to go by so fast, and at the same time so slow. Not like that makes any sense at all. But sometimes it seems like every Wednesday comes quicker than the last. As exciting as that is, it's also kind of depressing. Just 9 more months....

So, we've been working a lot with a couple that is preparing to get married and baptized. Israel and Marilies. The challenge is that he doesn't have a birth certificate. So, we are running around trying to find out what we can do to get him a new one. He was born is some other state and his mom who "might" have the origional birht certificate is travelling for 2 weeks. So, I'm talking to my friends in staff to see what we can do. Sometimes I feel like my calling on the mission is just to take care of wedding proccesses. Other Elders find people, run into complications, Elders get transferred, and others almost end up forgetting about the old investigators. I feel like I just get put into areas to try to work out all of the wedding complications. It's fun, and I guess I enjoy it by the end of it, but sometimes it can be kind of frustrating. What's nice is the couple lives just on the other side of the road from us, so at least we don't have to walk too far to talk with them...

This week I've been busy with more meetings and doing some more baptismal interviews. I was pretty impressed with one of the interviews that I did. He knew all the answers and bore a sincere testimony to me. At the end of my interviews I like to ask if I can do anything to help the person or explain anything to them. The man got a little embarassed and said he wanted to ask something. He said,"Well, I know Thomas S. Monson is the name of the prophet, but what does that actually mean..?" So we were able to sit and talk for a while about what it means to have a living prophet and about what he does. It was a good chat and it also reminded me general conference is coming up. Crazy! It feels like the last general conference just got over....Time sometimes goes by too fast.

So, it's getting ridiculously hot again. Sometimes I feel like Im used to it, but then some days it honestly feels like I'm walking around in the very pits of heck....No joke. It's been well over 100 this week....I'm not sure if the themometer on my blog is actually right....There are some days when I'd even consider moving to Alaska after the mission, just to be away from the heat...I know some of you really want to know this, but yes. I do have tan lines where my neame tag/tie/garments are. Yes, through my clothes! I'm going to have the grossest tan line when I get home.

A few other people asked me if I was Brazilian this week. I love it when that happens.

We ran into a kid (I guess he's 20...) on the bus who came up to us speaking in English, asking if we were Americans. He then switched to Portuguese and asked if I speak...Hmm. Falo mesmo (with my manaus accent...! People from manaus say it in a weird way....I can't really explain. But it's a regional thing) I asked him how long he had been learning english. He said more than 6 years. (and he was still kind choppy on it....) He then asked me how long I'd been speaking. I told him for a little over year. The kid was blown out of his mind (as with a few other people on the bus who gave me some looks...) He was like, "but you speak so well! How?!?! You even have a good accent....How...?" Oh yeah. Way to go gift of tongues. So I invited him to go to church. It made me remember though really how much I have learned in a little over than a year....and how much the Lord helped and still does help....

So, In all honesty. I feel like my emails are getting a little dull. I hope I'm not boring you guys. Cuz sometimes I feel like I even bore myself writing the same things every week. So, sorry. It's not like my life has tons of "new" and "exciting" things going on. Just pretty much the same old. Work, do weddings, baptize, die in the sun....So. yeah. This week I've been contemplating what's something else I could write about, but in all honesty I'm not thinking about much that would really even interest all of you. This week I've been up late at nights. Our neighbors (we live in a divided house shared with some really cool members) got a new puppy this week. Oh my gosh. I'm ready to kill this thing. It cries all night long, and the wall between our houses really isn't that thick, so it keeps me up all night. I've honestly considered punting this dog...But, in the long waking hours of the night I've been debating what new blog article I could share with all of you. But, the sad reality is, not much else is coming to me...So, since I'm not really coming up with tons of new "blog inspiration" I'm going to ask it from all of you. I'm allowed to recieve emails from anyone, but I can't respond. If any one reading this (it doesn't even matter if I know you or not...) and wants to know about something else going on over here, or has a suggestion, throw a comment on my blog. Or just send me an email. I won't respond, but I'm always looking for new ideas....

Well, other than that, life is going well. I'm loving the mish, and it all seems to go by so quickly....In all honesty though, there are the days when it all seems to be going by way to slow. It sometimes reminds me of the Eagles lyrics "this could be heaven, or this could be hell...." In my blog I always try to just include the good things, but there are the days when the mish is hard and it doesn't always seem to be the "heaven" part...if you get my meaning. But even though there are the hard days when it seems like nothing goes right and nobody wants to talk with us, I love my mission. My mission means everything to me...and I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything. I know it's the Lords work, and I love it. I love Brazil and Manaus. And I'm really going to miss all of this by the time its over....

But yeah. That's pretty much what's us. Hope all is ok with you guys. Have a great week. And love you guys!

-Elder Eric Stapley


Sunday, September 12, 2010


Hey guys,
Well, it's been another week in the life. Nothing too exciting really. I've been sick for the last week and had to rest a little bit... My voice is finally starting to come back. I feel like I've been coughing up a lung for a full week. But, we are still trying to work and find more people to teach and to baptize.

We are working with a couple that one of my friends found when he was here a few months ago. They seem way cool and are excited to get married and baptized. Now we are just trying to finish everything with the papers and get them baptized as soon as possible. It seems like this wedding should have happened a long time ago, but some of the last Elders were kind of lazy on the whole wedding process... So, that's what we're working with right now. Other than that, we don't have too many investigators. The last missionary that passed in this area "died" (meaning he finished his 2 years...) and didn't necessarily leave too much for me to work with. I've realized in every single one of my areas (other than my first) I follow up in the place of someone who just went home. Fun... hmm... But we are working hard and trying to find more good people to teach. We have a few references, so hopefully one of those turns out well.

This area is very rich. Everyone has a big gate in front of their house. A lot of members have air-conditioning and even maids...uuhhh....I miss my little poor areas with humble people. I get annoyed when memebrs try to show off how much money they have during their lunches for us. But, oh well. It happens. If anything, it just makes me more grateful for my poor areas where you could just walk up to a humble family sitting outside the front of their houses....

Yesterday I had leadership meetings pretty much all day. With the new mission program, we have a decent amount of leadership meetings. It was fun to see a bunch of old friends and get some trainings from President Jayme. We talked a lot about the purpose of the Spirit in conversion and how to start teaching investigators. I really like President's trainings. We studied the scriptures a lot and talked about how to pass the new trainings on to other missionaries.

I also ran into one of my old comps, Elder De Jesus. We were having a discussion after the trainings about which type of comp is better. American or Brazilian. But, Elder De Jesus said that his best 2 comps so far have been Americans, and I was one of them. It was a nice little moment...I spent a while talking to one of my old friends who is in Porto Velho right now and said that Teles and Lucimar (a family that I taught when I was there) are now married, baptized, and Teles has the priesthood and blesses the sacrament. Good work. And Marcizo, another one of my baptisms, now has a stake calling and is way involved in the stake. I was happy to hear that my old investigators and baptisms are doing well and are strong in the church.

Monday morning we helped two other missionaries move to a new house. I'm still a little sore....

Elder Woolf is cool. He's way laid back and we are pretty good friends.

Other than that, not really anything else is going on. Just the usual life. Hope all is going well with you guys at home. Love you

-Elder Eric Stapley

Friday, September 3, 2010


Hey guys,

Well, here’s what’s up. transfers went down, and I’m now in a new area. Laranjeiras. It’s pretty close to my old area actually. But richer....Get transferred was bitter-sweet in many ways. I almost felt like I had become a member of the ward after 6 months. My last day was hectic! Everyone wanted me to visit them, eat food, and have family nights.....I ate so much! After I found out I was getting transferred I just ended up eating with members who wanted to give us food. Good stuff. I was able to visit everyone I needed to though, and in a lot of ways it was actually kind of sad leaving the area. On Sunday I bore my testimony in front of the ward. I only cried a little bit though. I even ended up crying saying goodbye to a few ppl. I hate that....But one of the coolest things was our Amazon hunter friend Nirol, made me a sweet berimbau. Rapaz. The berimbau part of it (its kinda like a shaved out coconut looking thing) was tight. He told me that he made it for his grandson when he was born, but that he wanted me to have it...It was legit. I kind of miss Santa Marta now. It was time to leave, but it was time for me to last lunch was with Gelcimar and Russellyce, the last couple that I baptized here...Also to top things off, Fernando, one of the other men I baptized/married in my last area got the Melchesidek (sp..? help me’s different in Portuguese) this weekend and was sustained at stake priesthood meeting. All in all, it was a great weekend, but in many ways bitter-sweet...Even leaving Elder Wolfe. He’s a good guy and good missionary...

So, my new comp is Elder Woolf. My last comp was Elder Wolfe. I almost thought it was a joke when I found out. He’s a cool guy though .Really chill and laid back. He’s from Spokane and has about as much time as Elder Wolfe on the mission. About 6 months or so. Washington power....Good work.

But, what’s nice about my new area is that it’s closer to where we play our weekly soccer than my last ward. And it’s not even in the same stake. Instead of having to take a bus, I just walked here this morning. I was stoked when I found out. So, I still get my weekly soccer in! I’m still a DL, and my district seems to be geographically large. Unfortunately....But oh well. I’m stoked.

As far as the work goes, it looks like we have potential for a wedding. It’s not marked yet, but it sounds like the ppl are interested and have been going to church for a while. We even have all the papers. I’m not really sure why the wedding hasn’t happened yet, it seems like everything is all set. We just gotta finish it. So, that’s my goal for this week. Get this wedding all sorted out. I love weddings....

My only problem is that I lost my voice. I can barely even talk....Its kind of frustrating actually. But oh well...I don’t think I’m sick, I just can’t talk....

Well, hope all is going well with you guys and that you all have a great week. Love and miss you guys!