Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nova Esperanca

Hey guys,

Well, I'm getting there....21 more days 'til I'm home! And yes, I'm counting....But things are going well.. working really hard. And we're having some success...we marked a baptismal date for a man for my last weekend here and we are working with 3 potential weddings/baptisms. I don't think I'll be here for them, but I'm not going to leave the area with nobody for the next Elder that shows up.

I went to the center today and picked up a few things to bring home. Nothing really too exciting. I didn't play sports today for the first time in a few months, I'm missing it already. But, its been a good day.

We had zone conference this week. I bore my last testimony. I enjoyed the meeting, and felt the Spirit, it was good.

Remember when I first got here and the temple site was just a dirt pile?

I feel like I'm running outta material to share. We had a really spiritual lesson last night with a Sister who wants to get married and baptized, but her husband doesn't. I felt prompted to promise her that if she has faith and does the necessary things, that the Lord will prepare a way for her to be baptized. She's been going to church every week for months and reading, praying, all that. So, hopefully it goes well.

Anyway, I promise at least my last email will be long. Sorry these few weeks have been a little short. But, I'm doing well, staying alive and working really hard. So, love you guys and see you in 21 days!!

Welcome Brian back home for me too....

Love you!

-Elder Eric Stapley

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nova Esperanca

Hey guys,

Well, I guess time flies....I'm hanging in there. We are working really hard, being really obedient, and I can honestly say I'm doing my best. We've got a lot of people that we're teaching and like 3 families that are way legit. They just have to get married. I'm hoping to baptize before I leave...but, I'm not SURE that it'll happen. I'm working hard for it though. We are starting to get more trust from the members and we have a good teaching group. The life goes on....

I'm getting kinda tired though....I've been sick all this week. There are a few pluses of being in the richest area in Manaus though. I could barely talk when I was at church and wasn't doing so hot. A few members noticed and that night I got a call from some members saying they were in the front of our house. They brought medicine, real milk (not like the powdered milk I drink....) juice, a huge box of cereal and a big chocolate bar. The next night some other members brought me other medicine, and more food. It's nice to know that someone cares and takes care of us....But, I'm feeling mostly better now. I'm hangin in....

We played some P-day basketball today. It seems weird, but I think that's one of the things that I'll most miss after the mish. Playing some P-day sports with a great group of friends. I think I have more friends here than I'll have at home....that's kinda a weird thought. It's crazy that Brian gets home next week though!!! I miss him....I've been blessed with a really great group of friends here on the mish....

So, yeah. Life goes on. I'm teaching and enjoying it. I'm working hard and it's kinda wearing me out. But, I'll be able to say that from the start to end of my mission, I didn't stop working. I haven't been perfect and sometimes I wish I could start my mish over with the knowledge and experience I have now, but from start to the end, I never stopped working....

Miss you guys. I printed out my plane ticket yesterday and taped it over my study desk. Probably not the best idea, but, it prepares me to go home. 27 more days! Love you guys!!

-Elder Stapley

Nova Esperanca

Hey guys!

Well, I don't have too much to say. It was great talking to everyone on Sunday though! I'm so excited to be heading home soon! We're working really hard and I'm trying to end my mission and a really good note. My comp and I get along for the most part. We don't really talk too much though. I like that he likes being obedient, but sometimes he takes things to an obsessive level. But, it helps me stay really obedient and working hard I guess, so it's going well. I'm all down for being obedient and working hard, but there's a way to do that and have fun too.

We have some good baptismal dates marked. At least one is way firm, so I'm excited to end my mission baptizing. One of our dates was a really active member in another church, who now got a response of the Book of Mormon and is willing to follow the answer. It's fun teaching some intelligent people that really understand the importance of the restoration.

We played some American football today. Gotta love the P-day sports. I think they are what keep me going on the mission sometimes. My BBQ salmon lunch fell though, bummer...

Well, sorry this isn't too long. I feel like we pretty much talked about everything on Sunday. But, I'm excited to see you guys soon! Love you!

-Elder Eric Stapley

Nova Esperanca

Hey guys,

Well, it's my last transfer! I can't believe it. Pres threw me a curveball though....I'm training. again....this is now the 3rd time. My comps name is Elder Sena. He's from Natal. He's cool, way layed back and calm. And, he likes to play sports. So, we get along well. We even played some b-ball this morning. He played pretty well for a Brazilian, and we spent the afternoon talking about the NBA- our favorite teams and players...so, he's legit.

I honestly wasn't too excited to hear that I'd be training again. I was happy with being ZL. Actually, I would have preferred to just be a normal senior. For once on my mission. But, I guess it never happened. But, I'm trying to stay excited and work really hard. My 1st kid, Elder Wolfe is now a ZL in Acre. My 2nd son got transferred and is still in my same zone. So, I guess I tied with Elder Christensen. 2 American kids and 1 Brazilian...

This has been an interesting week. Two nights ago I said goodbye to some close friends on the mish that just got done with their 2 years. Then I had to say goodbye the next day to 2 other friends who are going to other states, I probably won't see them until after the mish. It's all just a weird feeling. I just saw guys that I was with in the MTC go home. It just seems so surreal to me. But, it's nice to be able to say, "I'll see you at BYU in a few months!" The mish goes by fast.

So, our house has been without water in the bathroom for the last 2 days and will probably only be back on Saturday. I'm dying....like cmon?! I have to use the neighbors' or other missionaries' showers and bathrooms. Sometimes I think I'm on a camping trip or something. And, I'm in the richest area of Manaus. Really, this place is a joke sometimes...

Today we played some B-ball, went to the center, and I bought some things to take home with me.

Other than that, we're just working hard and I'm enduring 'til the end....Sometimes the US sounds like paradise to me...

But, I'm excited for Mother's Day this week! I'll talk to you then! Love you!

-Elder Eric Stapley