Sunday, February 27, 2011

Laranjeiras


Hey guys,

I'm getting used to the fact that I'm still in Laranjeiras. I'm doing my best to enjoy it. I really have grown to love this ward and some of the members. I told the Bishop that my home ward will be sending my paperwork down and that I'm going to be a new permanent member of the ward. I really am doing my best to work hard and love the area and the ward.

I'm stoked for a baptism that we have marked for this week. His name is Joarez and he's way cool. He's a 30 year old man that is really progressing in the gospel. Everything we leave with him to read, he reads. The first time we asked him to pray about the church, he did and got an answer. He's been going to church ever week (except this one because he was sick...) But, I really enjoy teaching him. He asks good questions and Elder Lewis and I are able to teach him a lot of things. So, it's going really well and the baptism will happen Saturday. I'm excited.

I'm really proud of my district. We are baptizing more than pretty much the rest of the zone. I'm starting to realize that it's actually fun sometimes to be a district leader. I'm able to have more of an influence on the others and have a closer relationship. We had a great meeting on Monday. I gave a training on miracles, that by our faith plus our works we can see miracles in our areas and in the work. The training went really well and everyone participated. I even got a few compliments on it....but this district rocks. We're having success. Our zone only baptized 5 people this month, but 3 were from my district and we have 2 men to baptize this week. We are baptizing the only men in the entire zone. We are tearing it up.

Elder Lewis and I still get along great. We've become really good friends. It's always good to be with a comp who likes to have fun. We are able to laugh and joke around as we walk around and it helps the day go by faster.

Well, that's pretty much it for this week. Not too much else. Tell Erynn that Provo won't be boring when I'm back. We'll have a great time next year. haha

But, I hope that you are all doing well and have a great week. Love you guys!

-Elder Eric Stapley

Laranjeiras

Hey guys,
Transfers went down and it's official, I'll be staying here in Laranjeiras with Elder Lewis. It'll be my 5th transfer here and my 3rd with him. Making it the longest time I've been in one area and the longest time I'll have been with a companion. This week I made 6 months in the area, so it's been awhile. At first I wasn't excited to stay, but it's now starting to grow on me more. When I told some members I'd be staying, they were all way happy and gave me hugs and stuff. So, at least someone is excited that I'm staying. It'll be nice to stay with Elder Lewis some more time. He's a good guy and we still have a lot of fun. That's good.

The work continues. We've got at least one more baptism lined up for the end of the month and we're working hard.

We just got done playing some American football today. Even though transfers went down we still have a good group to play football with. After that, I showed the guys the rope swing in the video from last week. We saw 2 young boys when we were leaving and they asked us if we saw the alligator....! Apparently there are some alligators in the pond. So, I went on a rope swing over a pond with alligators...I love my mission.....

This week I taught Principles of the Gospel class about the Holy Ghost. I tried to prepare more for my class this week and it went well. The only thing I don't like is that there isn't a lot of class participation. I ask questions and do my best to get people to respond and to have a comfortable setting to talk, but there are only like 3 people that respond to my questions. Afterwards, I got some compliments on the class. So, hopefully I'm doing a good job. I've really grown to love teaching, and I'm actually kinda hoping to have a calling where I get to teach a lot when I get back to BYU.

That was pretty much this week. I now have a pretty cool pattern though.....2 transfers in my 1st area, 3 in my 2nd, 4 in my 3rd, and now 5 in my 4th.....Hopefully, I get at least one more area before going home.

Anyway, hope that you guys are doing well! Have a great week!

Love,
-Elder Eric Stapley

Monday, February 14, 2011

Laranjeiras

Oi! We had a baptism on Saturday. His name is Jhonata and he's a 15 year old that we've been teaching. He received a testimony of the church and the Book of Mormon. His baptism was really well attended and all went well. We marked a baptismal date for a man that we've been teaching. He's gone to church the past 2 weeks and has already received a great testimony of the Book of Mormon and the church. He's excited and it'll be a good baptism. I'm not sure if I'll be here for it, but even if I'm not, I'm happy to leave a good baptism for a new Elder who could show up in the area. We find out on Saturday about transfers. My guess is that I'll be leaving. I've been in this area for 6 months and I've really grown to love it. About 23 missionaries are going home this transfer and only a few are showing up. A lot of areas will have to close down. I see a lot of changes coming. But, I'll let you know. It's kinda rough.

I went on a division this week with a guy named Elder Keicher. He's a cool guy and it turns out we were in the same psychology class at BYU. He heads home right after I do and we've become pretty good friends. But on our division, we got absolutely soaked by rain, and lunch was 2 hours late...and not really that filling. Needless to say we weren't having tons of fun. So, on the way to our next appointment, we took some pretty cool pictures. Some roads were completely washed out and we passed a little pond that had a rope swing. We ended up having a pretty fun time and were in a much better spirits when we arrived to teach.

That's pretty much what's going on down here. Just working, getting rained on every day and doing our best. I hope that all is well and that you have a great week. Anyways, até mais. Love you! -Elder Eric Stapley
video

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Laranjeiras


Hey guys,

We had a wedding on Saturday and the baptisms marked for this Saturday. Unfortunately, the couple says they, "just aren't ready to be baptized yet..." but, we're doing our best to help them realize how prepared they are. It was kind of a disappointing lesson though. But, we're still marked to baptize a 15 year old young man who has been going to church recently. So, hopefully all goes well with that.

Today we played football on the beach of the river. I'm pretty wasted right now. I've really enjoyed having a big group of guys that I can play sports with once a week. It helps me get through the week and all. We played on the sand and ended up with a few tackles. Surprisingly, I think I tackled more than anyone else. But, it was all in good fun and we had a great time.


So, the work goes on. I'm still hanging in and doing well. We're working hard and have a good number of people to teach. I was a little upset this week when we only had 3 investigators at church....I was expecting at least 10 like the previous 2 weeks, but, the work goes on.

On Sunday I had to give the lesson to the new members and investigators, as usual. It was on the creation....I tried to prepare a little before, but it was still kind of hard to talk just about the creation for an hour. Hopefully it went well. I've gotten a few compliments on my classes so it's going well. We had a man come to church with a family in the ward. We taught him and invited him to be baptized. He said once he feels the Book of Mormon and the church are true, he'll get baptized. I like to invite people very early on to be baptized and it's been a successful technique. We are able to find out, quickly, who are willing and have real intent, that say when they receive an answer, they'll follow it.

"I love my mom"

Elder Lewis and I are still getting along great. That was pretty much my week. Hope that you are doing well!

Love you and have a great week!

-Elder Eric Stapley