Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Eric mentioned he's preparing his "Thanksgiving top 10 list for 2010". We expect it to rival last year's memorable edition. If you missed it, see the end of the Nov 26, 2009 post.
These are the fab five from Washington state!

Hey guys,
Well, it's me again. We had a pretty good week. The work is going well. We are so close with some investigators! For an area that hasn't baptized in a while, we are getting close to some success. We have some good investigators, that need to get married, and some men and families. My goal is to have this area baptizing again, by then end of this transfer. We are having a training with all the members on Saturday about missionary work. Bishop, one of President Jaymes' counselors, and my comp and I will speak. We are going to try and make it fun and get the ward animated. We are getting close though.

We are teaching an ex-Adventist family that will get married in December. This week the wife (who actually knows the Bible pretty well, I've been impressed) asked us to tell her why we don't keep "Saturday" instead of "Sunday" as the Lord's Day. I quickly tried explaining it to her, but she wants so full detail and scripture evidence and all this stuff. But, I told her before I would fully explain about it, she had to read the Book of Mormon, honestly pray and ask the Lord if it's true, and when she gets the answer, we'll teach. It makes the teaching process a lot easier when someone knows the Book of Mormon is true. You can pretty much use it to back up anything or to explain any doctrine or doubts the person has. So, we'll see how it goes this week.

Yesterday, Elder C. Scott Grow of the 70 was here and spoke to the mission. It was really good. He talked a lot about obedience, not just on the mission but in all of our life. He talked about how to become personally converted. He then opened up the conference to questions and we spent a while talking about the apostles and their duties and relationship to the prophet and the Lord. It was really interesting and the Spirit was really strong during the meeting. I learned some new insights to the gospel. I really enjoy it when General Authorities come to the mission. It was also fun because I was able to see a bunch of old friends. Overall, it was a good day

This week I did a baptismal interview for someone in my district. It went well and the person passed the interview. It was hard because there's no bus from my area to where we had to go. We had to go the bus terminal and catch another bus. We left our house at 3:30, got to the interview late and 2 full hours later! After the interview, we ended up taking another 2 hour bus ride to my part of the city, which should only be like a 30 min bus ride tops. Oh gosh, I was dying. You also have to understand that buses here are like trains in China. It's pretty much a fight to get on, with plenty of pushing, cutting, elbows, you name it. It's like a brawl. Then you get on the bus, which has a great smell of BO. I always seem to end up next to the largest, crankiest, smelly old lady on the bus. I was ready to kill myself. I've been in mosh pits at concerts less crowded than that. And there is no personal space. I always feel like I need to repent or talk to President or something by the time I get off a bus, just from all the contact fighting to get off. I didn't work the entire day. But, it's the joys of leadership...

Today, we just got done playing soccer. In the rain. It was way fun. I'll send you guys some pics now that I got the camera. But, I hope you are doing well. Love and miss you!

-Elder Eric Stapley

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Well, it's been another good week. We've marked another baptism date for early next month for a guy that stopped us on the street. He didn't make it to church on Sunday, but we hope that he'll go this Sunday and progress more. We also marked another wedding, but it's for December. It's a little ways off, but should be really good. So, we are doing some decent work and are hoping to see some more success in the area...

This week I taught the Principles of the Gospel class, as usual. It went well, I guess. The topic was the law of chastity and I don't think anyone visiting (or member, or even my comp...) made any comments or responded to any of my questions. Let's just say it's a tough croud.... But, they keep coming to hopefully I'm doing an alright job.

I've also been recruited as primary pianist. Actually, our ward doesn't even have a piano, it's a cheap organ that sounds terrible. Too bad I don't remember how to read bass clef. So, I just play the treble clef and they are happy about it. But, I practiced with the kids all Sunday and have another practice on Saturday this week. Looks like I'm going to be busy practicing with them for the next few weeks. Let's just say I've gained a greater appreciation for anyone that works in Primary.

Today, we played soccer for the first time in 6 weeks. I was a little out of my groove. But, it was still fun to run around a bit. We are preparing for Thanksgiving and have already marked to play football in a week or two, then have a Turkey Bowl right before Thanksgiving. Should be tight. But after soccer, we made tacos and avacado smoothies. Legit.

I went on a division this week with one of my zone leaders. It was pretty chill and we had a good time. It was nice to speak in Portuguese the entire day. We also had a district meeting and made a goal for every companionship to mark a baptismal date for an investigator every week. We'll see what goes down, but we are hoping to try and get this part of the city baptizing better...

Still no camera....I bet it'll show up in the next few weeks though....But thanks for the emails! Hope all is well with you guys. Have a great week!

Elder Eric Stapley

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hey guys,

Well, this week went well. Both Elder Woolf and I stayed in the area. So, at least 6 more weeks here in Laranjeiras. But, Elder Woolf and I get along well, so that's good. It also gives me some more time to get some future baptisms in here. We didn't baptize last transfer, which was kind of frustrating, but staying here gives me another chance at it. Maybe it's just the Lord humbling me. I've had the chance to baptize decently well in my other areas, so who knows. I'm excited and ready for one more transfer here...

This Sunday was kind of tough. We don't have a chapel here, we meet in an old building that is small, and smells bad. Usually it's not too bad, but this week the air-conditioner (which normally isn't even that great anyway...) was broken. I felt like I was in an oven. Even the Brazilians were having a tough time and a bunch of people started leaving after sacrament meeting or Sunday school. By the end of church probably a third of the people had left early....Gotta love Manaus....So, that was kind of frustrating, but we're all hoping it's fixed before next Sunday!

Half of our lunches this week fell through. But, the members ended up giving us money when they forgot, so we could still eat something. But, we ended up getting so much money this week that we went to the nicest restaurant in the city....Pizza Hut. Only problem is it was like R$50 for a pizza. But, it was so good! I miss American food so much. We've been making a bunch of American food on Pdays. Tacos, Chili Dogs, Burgers... I'm getting sick of rice and beans everyday. Like it has grown on me, but still. Every single day..? Same thing with chicken. I like chicken. But, I feel like that is all I have eaten this entire transfer...Let's just say that I can't wait to be eating some good American food again...

We have a few potential baptisms for this transfer. We're still working through two possible weddings, an 18 year old guy in our ward told us that his girlfriend wants to get baptized, and a few other references. So, we have some people that look like they have some potential....

Still haven't gotten the camera, but you guys know it takes forever to get things down here. But, if you guys don',t mind could you please send me some more taco and chili seasoning in an envelope, it would be appreciated. But, I hope all is well with you guys. Miss you! And have a great week.


Elder Eric C. Stapley

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Hey guys,
Well, this week went pretty well. The work goes on. We are still working hard and looking for more people to teach and baptize. We are finally starting to get some good references from the members, and it looks like we should be having some good success in the future. So, the life goes on...

The blistering heat is still continuing. My comp even got a pic of our thermometer at 49 degrees (Celsius....) So, yeah. It's a little warm...So, yes. I'm very jealous of the cold autumn weather....

This week we had interviews with President Jayme. Mine went really well. I love that man. He told me that part of the reason I'm in my area is so that I can get a full experience of the mission. I've been in some very poor areas, left Manaus- 650 miles to Rondonia, and now it's my turn to pass in one of the richest parts of Manaus. I had a good chat with President, and I look forward to the interviews with him.

I was able to watch all the sessions of General Conference, but in a mix of languages. I watched half the sessions in English and the others in Portuguese. Even though I'm able to understand everything in Portuguese, I really prefer English. So much better. I loved being able to hear the real voices of the prophet and apostles and really enjoyed all the messages. It seems like every general conference seems to go by a lot faster than the last. I've realized that I've grown to love general conference so much more. Instead of seeming like the 10 hours it did when I was younger, it now seems to go by in half an hour. I really enjoyed the comments on gratitude, and I've even begun preparing this years edition of my Thanksgiving list again. Be prepared.

Yesterday, I had more leadership meetings. I really enjoyed the trainings from President. We talked a lot about the importance of prayer, the book of Mormon, and going to church both for our investigators, but also in our own personal lives. it was really good and the trainings reinforced some good techniques that I can better in my mission and my teaching.

Transfers go down this week. Like usual, I have a range of mixed feelings. I want to stay, go, stay with my companion, get a new one....I guess whatever the Lord's will is, I'm down with it. But, most likely I'll be staying. But who knows....I'll let you know where I am next week...

So, some of the highlights of my week come from Porto Velho. Elder De Jesus, my second comp on the mission (in Porto Velho) passed through this weekend before the leadership meetings. He was greeted at conference by one of our old baptisms, Dionizio, who was there (in a suit!) with his family. He told Elder De Jesus to send me a hug and thanked the both of us for what we taught him and helped him with. He told De Jesus to tell me that he's firm in the faith and is going to church every week! Today, I also got a really cool email from Teles and Lucimar, another couple that I taught when I was in Porto Velho, but due to wedding paper complications, I was transferred before the wedding. ....
But today they sent me an email with wedding and baptism pictures, telling me they also are loving the church, and also firm in the faith. It was a great email, and I honestly loved hearing that some of the people that I taught are still going to church and have really embraced the gospel....Pretty much made my week.

But, yeah. Other than that, life continues. The work goes on. Hope all of you are doing well, and have a great week. Miss you guys!

-Elder Eric Stapley