Sunday, November 28, 2010

Laranjeiras Thanksgiving 2010

Hey guys,

Well this was an eventful week....First of all, transfers went down. I stayed in Laranjeiras, Elder Woolf was transferred, and I'm training again. His name is Elder Lewis. He came from the CTM in São Paulo, is from Spring City, UT, and he's way cool. It took me a little by surprise that I'd train again, but I guess I'm down with it. I talked with President before Elder Lewis showed up, and he was telling me that it takes "the best" and that he's sure that the Lord wants me to train again at this time. So, should be fun...I'm excited. Elder Lewis showed up yesterday afternoon.

Today we went to the center and took pics at the theater and had lunch and stuff with a few other Elders. It was way chill....

Elder Woolf (my last comp) is now in Lagoa Verde, my first area. Sounds like some of my early baptisms are still firm in the church! It's always good to get messages like that. I was stoked for him to get to be in that area and I already kinda miss the guy.

We have a baptism for this weekend. Alexandre. His baptism date keeps getting moved around, but this Saturday it all will be set. We also have a wedding and baptism for early December. So, we have a few good baptismal dates lined up and the work is going well....

I'm still practicing with the Primary for their program this Sunday. Hopefully, it should turn out pretty well. But still, pray for me to not mess up in front of the ward.

So, as tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I'll throw on the new top 10 list for this year. Here goes,

1. Fam and friends.

As usual, this has got to be the first one. Love all you guys! Mom, Dad, Shannon, Erynn, Megan, Brynn and Callen! You guys are the best. And to all my friends all over the world right now. Love you guys....I wouldn't be who I am without all you guys

2. My comps

I've been blessed so far with great comps. Every once and a while it's gotten just a little stressed, but I have no complaints. I consider my missionary comps some of my best friends and I'm grateful for the things that I've learned from each of them. You guys (if you're reading this...) are studs. Thanks for everything.

3. Brazilian food

So, on my last list I put on American food. This time I'll put on Brazilian. Açai, cupuaçu, feijão, abacatada, picole da massa, manga, BARÉ, antartica, e churrasco

4. Carpet

They don't have it here. I miss it. I know it sounds weird, but I'm tired of walking around in sandals all the time. I can't wait to have carpet again. I'll even take a nap on carpet the first week I'm back home.

5. Manaus

I have a love/hate relationship with this place. But I really do love it. Just not when it's over 120 degrees every day. But, I really am going to miss this place when I go back home. The city has really grown on me.

6. Air conditioning

What an amazing invention. Man overcoming the effects of nature. Adapting his enviroment to make it better, more comfortable, bearable. Such a great invention. Whoever invented the air conditioner has my vote for the Nobel Prize. Why do I not know this man's name? I feel like his name should be included with the likes of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and Jimi Hendrix....What a stud

7. "Everlong"-Foo Fighters
It's an amazing song. Dave Grohl is the man....

8. Taco Bell

They really need one here! I consider it proof that God loves His children here on the earth.

9 Taylor Swift.

I'm going to marry her.

10. The Savior

Of course, this is the last thing too. I'm so greatful for my Savior. I know that He lives! That He loves us and cares for us. I feel like I've grown to understand and know the Savior more since I've been here on my mission, and I'm so grateful for His atoning sacrifice for us. I love the words of the song, "what joy that this sweet sentence gives, I know that my Reedeemer lives..."

Well, that's the list for this year. Hope you enjoy it. But I'm outta time, so I gotta run. Enjoy Disneyland, have a great week, and I'll talk to you all later.
Love you!

-Elder Eric Stapley

Friday, November 19, 2010


At the Manaus Opera House

Hey guys,

Well, it's been an interesting week. One of the more challenging ones, but it's all good. Our baptism fell through on Sunday. Alexandre called us Saturday, told us he was getting called in for work, so we'd have to remark his baptism. So, it's now scheduled for this Sunday. Hopefully it happens this time. We are going to have a wedding the first week in December, followed by the baptism. We'll be taking in the papers today and everything is looking good. We are still working with 2 other families, that will need weddings before the baptisms for next month. But, the work is going well.

This week a member took us out to lunch. He went on his mission to Provo, speaks English, and as a result, is a fairly successful businessman. He took us to a steak house that even had BBQ ribs. His work pays for lunches at this place, so we went to town. It was honestly some of the best food I've eaten on my mission. I was so happy to eat something other than chicken. We shared ribs and then I ate a steak. Needless to say, I was in heaven. We are going out to steak the first week that I'm back home....BTW.

Sunday went decently well. The professor of the "gospel Principles" class didn't show (like usual...) so, I taught the class last minute. I'm still playing organ with the Primary. Their primary presentation is the week after transfers, so we aren't even sure if I'll still be here. But, it's turning out well. The kids are still a little crazy...but it's kinda fun. In all honesty, it is more exciting than Elders quorum, even if it does give a small headache...

Speaking of transfers, I'll be finding out this week if I leave or not. Elder Woolf has one more transfer than I do in the area, but it's still possible that I'll leave. I can't tell if I want to or not. If I leave now, I'll miss a bunch of cool weddings and baptisms next month, but at the same time, this area isn't necessarily the easiest to work in. But, if I leave now, I won't be able to see all the fruits of what work.... So, I'm not really sure what I want. I guess whatever the Lord wants, I'm down with.

So, not like I'm counting or anything. But I'm down to 7 months left. Weird huh..? Seems like the mish goes by faster and faster...I still can't believe it's gone by this fast...
P-Day fun after the rainstorm! We had to move our game to another field.

Next week I'll try to get that Thanksgiving list up again....I'll see if I can make it different than last year. But anyway, hope you guys are all doing well. Have a great week.

Elder Eric Stapley

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Hey guys,

Well, it's been another good week in the life. We're going to baptize this week! Feels like it's been forever......So, I'm stoked. It's been like 2 months since I've baptized....yuckage. It took a while, but I'm praying that everything goes well this week and the baptism goes through. His name is Alexandre and he's about 24. He was dating someone in the ward. His mom is the pastor of another church, but he wants to join ours. I'll let you guys know next week how it went. We marked another baptism/wedding for early December. So, the work is going pretty well now! Finally seems like things are coming together. Watch me get transferred before I even get to see a bunch of the baptisms that we've marked for next month....

Hey, before I forget, I ran out of space in my journal this week. So, I bought a little one, but cool journals really don't exist down here. So,if you guys could send me a journal for like the last 5 or 6 months of my mish, I'd be really grateful. I've been writing in like a regular spiral that you can buy, but I'd kinda like a cool one for the end of my mission now. Thanks!

So, since they don't have Thanksgiving down here, Christmas stuff is now in full swing. I've seen Christmas trees and lights and music and all that jazz. Our house is divided with some members in the ward, and they've started decorating their house with Christmas decorations, and in the next few weeks they are going to pull out the tree....I still can't believe that Christmas is coming. It still feels like the last Christmas was just a few months ago. Time really does go by fast.

I'm used to the intense heat. It wears you down like none other and it's not fun, but I'm feeling fine.

Today we had a legit P-day. We had our Thanksgiving Turkey bowl. We started at like 9 in the morning, had to take a little break because there was a lightning storm, but it was way fun. There wasn't a lot of sun, about 20 Elders came out. 4 Brazilians played, some actually surprising well, but it was mostly just Americans. We divided into 4 teams, had a round-robin tournament, and then the championship bracket. My team was pretty legit. We got kicked off the grass field that we usually play on because there is some rule that nobody can use the field when it's raining. So, we went to a sand/dirt field that was all wet from the rain and played barefoot. I'll send some pix next week, but it was a lot of fun. One of the best P-days so far in my mish. Then we came back to our house, ate some lunch, rested. We are already making the plans for the Christmas Bowl. My team didn't come in first, so next transfer we are looking for the new chance for the championship title...Should be good.

I like the new teaching stuff. It's really not anything "new", it was stuff that we should already have know. It is pretty much just the essence of PMG. But i like it. it focuses on some things that we need to do better. So I'm enjoying it, and it's been working out great for me....

So, I know that this email really isn't that long, but I can't really remember what else really went on this week. It was just kind of a normal week in the life. I'm enjoying life, my comp, the area (for the most part...) so, yeah. But anyways, I hope that all is going well with you guys. Miss you! Tchau

Elder Eric Stapley

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Hey Guys.
It's really HOT!
We took a pic to prove that's is over 120* F. My comps' thermometer didn't go high enough to register the temp the other day.

Well, another week in the life. It's already November! Time goes by so fast. It still is surprising to me....But we had a pretty good week. We are finally getting this area baptizing again. We marked a good/firm baptismal date of a 23ish year old guy who was dating a church member. His mom is a pastor of a church, and at first he was a little hesitant. But we taught him last week, and I asked him to get baptized, and he accepted. The baptism will be in 2 weeks. We also have 3 weddings/baptisms we are working with. At least 2 of them will be in December. We are teaching some good people who all want to get baptized. I think one of the things that I enjoy the most on the mission is teaching people that actually want to listen and learn about the gospel. They just open up to us and really let us fulfill the best of the mission, the teaching. But, the work is going along well. These past few weeks we haven't had tons of great results, but it now looks like all the hard work is going to pay off and the baptisms are coming.

We made a district goal to mark a baptismal date every week and it's been going well. My district has the most baptismal dates of the zone, so we are getting this side of the town baptizing again. Also, in a meeting with the zone leaders, we made a goal to invite one person every day to be baptized. After inviting people for a week, I've been impressed that nobody has turned down the invite. Yes, not all the people are prepared or ready to set a date, but I've been impressed by some of these people, and we are enjoying the daily baptismal invite...

District and Zone Leaders at Leadership Training
Yesterday I had a leadership meeting. President talked about how we need to teach the people and not just the "lessons", and what we need to do to help investigators keep their commitments. I enjoyed it. There were some world-wide changes with the structure of the missions, and one of them is that we have monthly leadership meetings. But I always like learning from President and Sister Jayme.

On Saturday, we had a devotional with the members and talked about how they could help in missionary work. It went pretty well and was well attended. We shared an article from the Ensign (we had to translate) talking about 6 ways that members could help the investigators feel the Spirit at church. It worked and on Sunday, more of the members greeted the visitors than the last few, I guess it was a success.

Today, we played some frisbee and American football. It was so much fun...I'm a little sunburned, but it was a lot of fun. Manaus actually has 3 or 4 amateur Americana football teams. And I guess one of them wants to play us (the missionaries) sometime. I'm not sure if it will actually happen, but it`d be fun. We are having the terere bowl next week, and have already put together a few teams. We`re going to have a tournament. I'm stoked...

I made triple chocolate cookies this week and gave them to some Brazillians. One of the ladies said that "I'm the most marriageable material."

But anyways, hope everything is going well with you guys! Have a great week!

-Elder Eric Stapley