Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nova Esperanca

Thanks for the birthday wishes! 21!! I don't really feel that old. But, thanks again for the birthday wishes. caraca, to velho de mais!

Bem, we had a good week this week. The highlight was definitely seeing Elder D. Todd Christofferson. We had a meeting with him on Saturday and I really enjoyed it. We also had Elder Hallstrom of the Pres. of the 70 here, Elder Mazagardi of the 70 and an area 70. So, it was way good! Elder Christofferson talked a lot about our personal relationships with the Savior and what we can do do get to know Him better. I really enjoyed it. I was able to shake their hands and it boosted my testimony that they really are men of God. The other thing that Elder Christofferson said that I really liked was that we can't go back home thinking that now the Lord "owes" us for our work. If anything, we are more in debt to Him for the help He gave us, for the experiences, friends....I really liked his comments. It was a good meeting.

As far as Easter, it wasn't really celebrated here. I was a little let down on Sunday. I don't think I even heard one testimony of the Savior. And the talks were kind of sketch, and I didn't really feel the Spirit at all. Sometimes I think people just try to show off instead of really trying to relay the Spirit, or pass information instead of "edifying..." So, at least I left an Easter message after our lunch and did my best to really feel the Spirit. At Easter we celebrate the most important thing that's happened in the history of the world, so I tried to at least make the day special for me.

We had interviews with President this week. We just talked for a while. He's such a good guy. We talked about having the 'armour of God' and the importance of being obedient. I love Pres!

I did take the chance to ask him what he thinks is going to happen with my area. He said next transfer he's thinking about closing it, putting in sisters, or leaving me and getting a new comp. No matter what I'll be getting a new comp, but I'm curious to see what'll happen. Next week starts my last transfer! I'll let you guys know what happens though. I talked with Sister Carvalho (Shan's companion from Manauus) this week too. I told her that Shannon really liked her as a comp. President and his wife are good friend's with Sister Monterio's family, too. (Shannon's trainer, also from Manaus) Sister Monterio's mother passed away unexpectedly this week. I'm not sure if Shannon knows yet. I'm sending her an email to fill her in.

So, yeah. I'm just enjoying life. Working hard, having fun. Loving the mish and trying to make the best of it. But, miss you guys! Talk to you next week! I will get to skype on Mother's day.

the birthday boy!

Nova Esperanca

Hey guys,

Well, this was a decent week....We are still working hard. I was asked to give a talk last Sunday on missionary work. I shared Grandpa's Hawaiian folklore story about the pearls and some mission experiences I've had. I talked about Teles and Lucimar in Porto Velho. Everyone told us Teles would never get married or baptized, and now he's the stake young men's president and getting ready to go to the temple. I talked about how the gospel works miracles and changes peoples lives, we just have to have the courage to share our testimonies and light (pearl story reference...) with others. I got some compliments and I feel like it went well.

This Saturday, Elder Christofferson (the apostle) will be here, and we'll have a meeting with him. I'm way excited. It's good that I'm in the city so I'll be able to see him.

We played basketball today. I feel like after 3 weeks of playing, we're all starting to get back in the groove of things. I'm trying to go back home in decent shape. Soares and I made some goals. Me to bulk up, and he wants to get skinnier. So, I'm trying to eat a ton at lunches and we're working out a lot. It's fun.

I saw 3 monkeys the other day. We are going to go on a run this week to the Ponta Negra (the beach right next to the river) and we are going to try and take pics where we saw the monkeys. Should be fun.

We get to pass the temple at least weekly. I think I passed it 5 or 6 times this week. It's coming along well and I can't wait for it to be done! I can't wait to go back to the temple....I'm excited.

Well, that's pretty much it for this week. Just working hard and having a fun time. Miss you guys! Talk to you next week!

-Elder Eric Stapley

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nova Esperanca

Sup guys?
We had a baptism on Saturday and it went well for the most part. Not too many people attended, which is always really frustrating, but the ordinance is the most important part. The work is going well. We're teaching some good people and Elder A. Soares and I teach really well together....

I've been going on a lot of divisions with the district leaders this week. It's fun, but at the same time kinda annoying because I travel around and sleep at the district leader's houses. Sometimes, I just want to be in my own house. But, our zone is doing really well and baptizing well. All the companionships have at least 1 baptismal date mark, so it's all good.

We played some basketball today. It was a blast. I really look forward to my P-day sports. I think it's what keeps me going during the week. We topped it off with some tacos at my house....Good times!

Our ward has been having a few problems lately. The entire ward has a different feel than any other I've been in. I think I've only eaten lunch at 5 different peoples houses. Lunch appointments fall or they call the relief society president and we eat at her house. It's a weird situation. But, we talked with President this week and he really trusts in us. I'll probably be here until the end of my mission, so I gotta learn to love it.

Anyways, life goes on. Just enjoying the work, working hard, and having a good time. Talk to you guys next week. Tchau!

-Elder Eric Stapley

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nova Esperanca

This is our zone. Elder Soares (my comp) is the second from the left.

Elder A. Soares and I are really excited. We're working hard and will probably have a baptism this week. We've marked to have 2 more this month and hopefully it all goes well. The work is going well, our zone is tearing it up and we're having a great time!

I really liked General Conference this week. I think instead of waiting until I'm 25 to get married so I can travel all over the globe first, I'll cut off a year and get married at 24. I'll just work (and goof around....) for one less year. That'll be my plan. But, I really enjoyed general conference. It seems like every year I watch that it goes by faster than the last.

We had the zone leaders council yesterday. It was way fun and I always enjoy getting trainings from President. We talked a lot about the importance of a good companionship and what we can do as leaders to help the others have better companionships. It went well and we ate at a churrascaria! Gotta love meat! I think my comp and I ate the most. President was wanting to leave and we were still asking for more meat. Gotta take advantage of it!

I was talking to one of my friends this week, and he said, "Dude, you're lucky. You're getting near the end of your mission, working hard, in a good area, getting fed a lot, a leader, and have a great comp". It made me think that yeah, I do have it pretty good right now. I'm loving the mission and it's weeks like this one that I'll miss....I'm in a great area, we're working hard, and I can honestly say that I'm
enjoying my mission....I'm gonna miss it when it's all over.

We played some basketball this morning. It was fun. I love having a group of Americans that I can play sports with every week. By the end, I even started playing decently well. I love getting my sport fixes in every week and we had a fun time.

Anyway, I hope that you guys are doing great and enjoying Maui. I'm just jealous that you guys are able to go swimming and snorkeling and all that, but, I'm sure we'll go in the next few years....So, love you guys!

Until later
-Elder Eric Stapley

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nova Esperanca

Hey guys,

Life here with Elder Soares is fun. He's from Curitiba and is way cool! You guys haven't seen pics of him, but I'll see if i can send one. We played football and took a group pic. He's way chill and goes home in August. He's animated and we are working really hard.

So, this area is really rich. I'm just being blown away. Just an idea, my lunch yesterday was at a house worth more than R$2 million....and that's not even the richest member of the ward. There are a lot of members who have been in the church for a long time. Mom, I'm not as "needed" here as in my last area. I didn't play the piano, I didn't give a talk or teach the principles of the gospel class this week. And, we actually have a nice chapel. It was nice being in the chapel again. There is even a Brazilian who plays the piano. It's weird to go from doing everything to doing nothing....

We had a ward activity this week. "Crazy dish (food) night." Everyone had to make some weird kind of food and there was a little competition to see who could make something weird that still tasted good. Being poor missionaries, we just bought sardines, mayo, and bread We uncrusted the bread, mixed the sardines and the mayo, and made a tower of the sandwiches with toothpicks. Appetizing huh? Even I didn't eat it. But, the members thought we were I guess it went well....

We are working hard and having a good time. It's weird living with a Brazilian again. It's been a full year! We teach well together and it's nice not having to worry about the language. I'm enjoying the mish.

Anyways, hope that you guys are all doing well! Have a great week! Love you!
-Elder Eric Stapley

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