Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sister Monterio´s mom has officially adopted Eric and is sending him presents in Manaus...good times!

Well, all good things must end...and that includes Bragança Paulista. Dad, you called it, Bragança has been closed to sister missionaries and elders now live there. We were told Tuesday afternoon and spent the day cleaning out the house, updating the area book, and crying as we said 'goodbye' to our friends. But, we (Sister Monteiro and I) are going back on October 16th for Ana´s wedding...I hope.

I am now in a city called Sumare, my ward is called Nova Veneza...and Sister Monterio is in the same zone, so good times. My new house is larger than my last, but they didn't get it cleaned up, and we've had to spend the day cleaning the new house. Sometimes, I just feel like I'm here to be responsible and walk and walk and walk. My companion is from Southern Brazil and is named Sister Wagner. She's been out for 15 months...yeah, boa sorte for me... I'm her 13th companion, but this area is good. The members are excited to help us, already we have gone out with one, and the food! All the sisters are a bit larger after serving here.

We get to watch Conference, as long as we have investigators!!!

Love you all! Pictures to come!
-Sister Shannon Stapley

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Hi everyone!
Sister Monteiro´s mom talked to Eric this week...he´s doing GREAT, and he says that President will probably let him visit Sister Monteiro´s city in December, when she returns...I´m excited! I´m getting a package ready to send to him, dvd´s, music, and photos...cause he doesn´t have a temple in his mission. I´m pretty much ready to break into ``ìt´s a small world after all...``

I taught Sister Monterio how to make Deviled Eggs this week and she loves them!! Woot woot :)

My pretty amazing district had a great morning today- playing soccer, dodgeball and american football...and yes, I participated...the elders laughed at me and my non excistant hand and eye coordination...Guilherme and Gabi came and had a great time with th elders. It was great, but now one of the elders tuggs at my ponytail every time he see´s me, ah it´s life.

Right now I´m in Itatiba (another city) with my amazing Sister Monterio, Elder Soza Santos, Elder Murri, Elder Cook, Elder Dunn, Elder Pedrozo and Elder Rhodes...we´re going to have lunch and then go to the zoo! Festa!!! Transfers are Tuesday, and Pedrozo says anything could be prepared for everything...and that one of us will probably be in another city this time next week...honestly, I would really like to stay here, our district is cool, and our zone leaders, Elders Pedrozo and Rhodes are pretty much perfect...yeah, everyone else is as well, and I´ve come to love the people in Braganca... But I hope that this area isn´t closed, we have Ana and Gilson´s marriage at 9am on October 16, 2010 and then their baptisms after!!!! So if one of us is transfered, we have to come back...Sister Monterio has to because she is a witness (I could not be a witness because I´m an American.)

We´re working a ton with Guilherme...he´s ready, but we just need to convince his mom that this is right for him, and that she needs to trust more in God than in man. She talked to Elder Pedrozo Monday night when it was raining, and told him bossily, that she wasn´t going to let us leave until the rain had stopped and she fed us dinner (this was at 8:45pm, we have to be home at maximum 9:30...) so yeah the Elders all know about her now, and yes, we got home before 10:30, but just barely...and yes, Dinner was very very good.
As well, the past two days it´s been raining, and oh, it has been amazing! I danced in the rain last night, Sister Monteiro thinks that I´m crazy, but it was so amazing, I was soaked, but YES, I was so happy. Yeah for dancing in the rain. I have photos of everything but right now, Elder Rhodes has to mail them to his family, and after Elder Duhn and after Elder I hope I´ll have a chance to send you guys some cool photos. They are taking care of me and Sister Monterio...Elder Duhn called Sister Monterio and me the soul of the district, and Elder Rhodes said that having sisters in a zone, was like when your mom and dad had a day off and the two of you just had a day of adventures and that it feels like magic, and that feeling of magic is in us.

Anyway, that´s all. Take care and WRITE ME!!! I´ll probably get my package this week...YEAH! Love you! -Sister Shan

Braganca Paulista

Yeah! Ana and Jilson will marry and Ana will be baptized!! A miracle, now we just have to wait 30 days for processing and paper work...Satan was really smart when he created lousy government employees and long processing lines. Seriously, what´s so hard about two people saying YES to an eternal commitment, two witnesses, and a member of the government that says, "sign here, here, and here"? Well, a 30 day wait, and paperwork...gosh, I´m rolling my eyes. Seriously?!

This week was good. We pretty much have the coolest district ever, our zone leaders are totally awesome! Yesterday in District meeting, they pulled us into a room and said, "Congragulations" for our work, that we have the best numbers in the zone...and so, they want us to find a good man, teach him the gospel (especially the law of tithing) and baptise him. Good luck, and tchu... So we´re going to do our best. We had an great day of cooking (Elder Rhodes made us American cookies, Sister Monteiro and I made tapioka for the elders), of studying, and of learning about the new lessons. Yesterday was all about Teaching our Investigators how to properly pray, many elders had great ideas on how to help.

Right now, our whole district and our zone leaders are with us in Bragança, we´re going to have a festa and play football americana, football, and a whole lot of other stuff...oh and they are buying us lunch! YEAH!!!

Monday was the first ever SISTER CONFERENCE!!! YEAH, we went to Campinas and had a meeting with just the Sisters, all 19 of are on the way. It was great to get to talk to Sister Poast and Sister Ririe, they are doing well and working really hard. It´s great to see how we are all progressing, though my Portuguese is still by far the worst. We talked about problems we have as sisters, of the beauty and joy of American Medicine-Ibuprofin and other things, as well as the problems we are having in our areas. A ton of areas have problems with the members, people not helping, and not trusting us very much. We discussed how to build trust with our wards and branches, especially with the leaders of the church. We also had lunch, and we had cinnimon rolls...I was in heaven. As well, all of the sisters are a bit larger, and I am still the skinniest, but I too have gained weight and need to go on "a week before a show opens" diet soon (meaning no eating and working really really hard and stressing out...)

Thursday night was not an easy night for us. We were sleeping and the people who live above us, Sister Jama and Brother Alfonso got a phone call that their son who lives in Bihia had died...and Sister Jama is pretty old and very weak, she cried and had to go to the hospital.

We´re working with two people to get baptised this Saturday, Ilda and Kayla. Kalya is one of my ``little women,`` she´s Julia´s older Sister, and Karol and Inara´s cousin. She´s been to church a few times, and we´ve been teaching her. Today we´re going to teach her about the Atonement and usually that finalizes about the baptism, so have faith and hope that her mother autoritizes it.

Ilda is a dear older lady who has had much suffering in her life. She lives in one of the poorest homes I have ever visited, with her daughter Camilla, and Camilla´s two children, Lucas and Joao, her two Granddaughters, Rosaria and Tyna and their children, Bebe and Tiago...yeah. Camilla is a dear, she works and helps Ilda pay for the house, but Rosaria and Tyna do not work and go out and party every night and Ilda is left to take care of the four children...yeah, I would like to have some words with Rosaria and Tyna. Ilda loves us and she says she knows that the Book of Mormon is true but that she needs to think about it some more...hope for a great lesson on faith tonight.

I´ve been studying a lot more on the subject of dillegence and obedience. I have been studying the words of Alma to his two missionary sons, Shiblon and Corianton. Shiblon had a difficult mission, but he worked and was dillagent and paitent. Corianton on the other hand, well, not so of the most powerful verses is when Alma says that because of Corianton´s example, people did not believe or listen to him when he taught...ouch. This is the thing as missionaries, as members of the one true church must remember, that we have a duty to this Gospel, and that our examples, for better or for worse, are part of the church´s image. Do well thy part, and someone is always watching (Megan- if you can guess those two movie quotes you´ll have a jersy in the mail for your birthday.)

Anyway, I love you guys and hope all is well. Take care of yourselves and I´ll write you guys in a week. I pray for you guys every night and morning and every day am eternally grateful to have such an amazing family. All the best, Shan

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Well...first off, Sister Monterio is sick. We spent 3 days in the house...yeah, I was going loco!! We bought her medicine. She has pain in her ear, but the doctors say that it´s normal...but she can´t hear very well, and she says it´s not normal...any advice?

As I said, we spent all Wed, Thur, Sat and most of Sunday in the house because of sickness. Yep, not fun. Cleaned the house, studied my Portuguese, read the Articles of Faith by Talmage. But even with the sickness that my companion had, we still somehow did better than all the Elders in our zone. Dad-it was the worst numbers I´ve had on my mission. Yesterday, the assistants visited our zone and they and our two zone leaders gave Sister Monterio a blessing. It was very powerful. The assistant are Sister Monteiro´s former zone leaders and you can tell that they love her. When the blessing was given, (it was just the six of us in a room), I could see the power that they had...they were literally glowing with light and love for my companion.

However, I do have a piece of advice for you guys on how to help with missionary work. On Thursday, we wanted to have a division, so I could visit Zilda, Camilla and their family. I called every sister in the ward and not one was willing to help. Either people were sick or had things to do. Not one person could spare two hours. It was quite disheartening, but Sister Monterio and I are choosing not to dwell on it and to keep working. We´ve encountered some great new people and we are doing everything we can. The fear is that with three sister missionaries returning home, and we are not recieving one new sister, some areas will be closed. Sister Monterio and I are working hard so Bragança won´t be one of those areas...because if we leave, Ana will not get baptised. Now we´re waiting for either a miracle or some bright spark of an idea. Ana knows everything, she helps Gabi with her personal progress, Bella gave a talk two weeks ago, and Carol gets to give one this week (though she´s very nervous because she can´t read...she´s 6) So, if missionaries ask for something, try to help them. And yes, that includes home and visiting teaching...teaching with love and not with responsibility.

I´ve been studying alot about following the spirit and having the spirit with us constantly. It is quite a comfort to know that when we speak with the spirit, that our investigators' hearts will be touched. We need to constantly be praying, reading the scriptures, being obedient, you know... Sunday School Answers, but when we do, hearts will be touched and people will be baptised.

I hope all is well with you, I think and pray for you all often.
All my love,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Wow!!! Everyone is starting new...Erynn -BYU, Megan -IHS, Brynn- PCMS, and Callan- homeschooling! Boa Sorte!

Emily Zim. -YOU ROCK, and your letter had me in tears!!!! Thanks to everyone else who wrote me, you will all have letters...eventually!! CS, KS, CF, AW, MK
Thank you, all!!!
Well, I believe that I have found the problem to why so many people in this ward are inactive...ready everyone, HOME TEACHERS! Apparently, the only people who get home teachers are families where the mom and the dad are members. (This is for all of Brasil). This to me is absurd. If you are single or a child or a youth, you don´t get home teachers, and if you have a problem you have to call the bishop. As well, many people here don´t do their home/visiting teaching, so people don´t feel like they have a friend. This is really weird for me. My home teachers, Michael and Tracy, Brother French, Daric and Brennon, Colby and Brother Toborg and Daniel, they were friends to my family! If we ever needed anything, they were there to help us. This concept of taking care of yourself and not of others was evident when we visited with the father of Ricardo, the boy who can´t get baptised. It was a very spiritual expirience. He has run off every other pair of sister missionaries, but he talked to us for 2 hours. He expressed his concerns with the the ward. We challenged him to help us, to not allow someone else´s mistake keep him from the Celestial Kingdom. We then talked about how his actions are hurting his son. This man has a huge testimony of the gospel and if he returns he will be a great asset to the missionaries. It´s sad because this ward has the most beautiful chapel but the members don´t want responsiblity. Dad-if you have any advice, please let me know.
Last week we encountered a family of women. A woman, her daughter, three granddaughters and 4 great grandchildren that live far away and are very very poor. We were praying about how we could help them get to church. We called and asked some of the members who have a car if they could help, and they said yes and to be at the church at 8:30, and they would meet us. When they got there it was 8:50, and the Sister said that she couldn´t go get them because she had to teach the first hour. Her husband as well said that he had other commitments. During this time, their son, (he´s an RM) was dumfounded. He said, Mom you told the sisters you´d help which she replied, I can´t. The son then took the car keys and went and picked up the woman, her daughter and three of the children. After this, Sister Monterio gave an amazing talk on love and charity and I gave my talk on member missionaries (I told about how we would drive Suzanne to church. Sister Patricia, who drives her two children as well as my Julia, Inara and Karol to church said that my mom was ''poderossa...powerful) Afterwards, some of the members helped drive our investigators home...but still. This ward is a ward that only really funtions on Sundays.
We are working with a woman named Zilda, to be baptised this Saturday. I have faith that it will all work out. We are using 4-5 buses a day, going to Santa Luzia and then after for Torozino to teach the older sister of Julia, Kaila (Yippie), she is interested but wants to go to church for awhile before making a choice to be baptised. So we will see what happens.
Another good thing for everyone to know is that CAKE MAKES FRIENDSHIP. We had our first district reunion yesterday, Sister Monterio, Me and 14 Elders. As well, last week most of the Elders were in Campinas getting training for the new lessons, so we decided to make them cake. The Elders were so thrilled, they ate everything. It was cool, everyone is super hyped to be working and baptising, so fingers crossed for the best.

I hope that you´re all you all, Shan

Braganca Paulista

Well...this week was like all other weeks, walking in circles pretty much. We´ve been teaching two sisters, Louara and Linara, ages 15 and 11. Louara and Linara know that the church is true. They've prayed and want to be baptised. Isn´t is wonderful that children know the gospel and feel more strongly than adults? But as always...opposition in all this. Their stepdad hates us, so we visit when he´s not in the house, but last night when we got there, he hadn´t left for work. We were talking at the gate when Linara said, "run, he´s coming, go!" So, we ran to the park for 20 mins. Afterwards, Linara came out and talked to us. Sister Monterio says that there isn´t much that we can do, and if the Dad doesn't like us and the Mom doesn´t permitt Linara to get baptised. It´s really sad and I don´t know what to do. Prayer, paitence and faith.

As well, Sister Monterio is very tired. She´s been here for four transfers, and refers to Braganca as her Gethsemany. The area, not me...the hills day after day, she´s been sick and we haven´t had much luck in baptising. Yes, people will listen to us, but no one wants to get baptised. No one wants to pray to God. It´s not that hard, praying, I mean. What do these people have to loose by asking? No one here is married, which is difficult as well. I´m tired as well, but to me, no one wanting to listen to us is normal, but Sister Monterio has served in the Celestial Kingdom (her last area) and so this is very very hard for her. She´s frustrated and doesn´t know how to help the people here. So, I´m trying to keep her happy and to make her laugh. She told me a few days ago that when we get to heaven and are judged all we will have to say is that, ``I served in Bragança Paulista,`` and God will say, ``Enter.``

As well, we visited Ana last night. We watched a clip from Thomas S. Monson´s life, and after the movie, the power went out and Bella and Carol ran outside. It was just Sister Monterio, Gabbie, Ana and I. Ana said that she´s been reading in the scriptures and in the Principes of the Gospel book and says that she isn´t worthy to take the sacrament because she isn´t married to Jilson. She's worried she isn´t keeping all of the commandments. She wants to get married, and be baptised. The problem is that it is very very very difficult to get married in Braganca. She needs 263.36 Reais (123 dollars) to get married. This family doesn´t have enough money to always have light and water in their house. They have a tiny kitchen, a bathroom and two tiny rooms (think smaller than the size of our club house) and no money whatsoever. Sister Monterio and I have prayed and fasted for them. We´ve tried talking to the marriage office about a free wedding, we´ve asked the bishop for help (he said no, Stake rules and all that), and we´ve been waiting with faith, but nothing. We´re having a fast for them on Friday and we´ll go to the wedding office on Monday or Tuesday and ask again for a free wedding. Ana will be a strong member of the church, a leader. Last night she talked about the speakers in Sacrement meeting and what she would have said if asked to speak. As well, Bella gave a talk in primary about faith and miracles...she talked about Daniel and the Lions Den (and Carol held up my gospel art book with the picture of Daniel.) It was wonderful, the leaders said so as well.

The Gospel is true, even in the difficult areas. Remember it will all be okay in the end, and if it´s not okay then it´s not the end. I hope you´re all well.

Sister Stapley

Braganca Paulista

ESPOSSO BONITO (Beautiful Husband Hill)
Transfers went down this week. My companion and I are still in Braganca Paulista. 3 transfers! ...yep, it´s good that I love my companion. We actually work well together and were both excited to stay. But...42 more days of Esposso Bonito (Beautiful Husband)...the hill we have to climb every day, usually many times every day. (see picture) Our Mission President is talking to our stake president about retention of new converts. We are, however, the two only sisters in our zone. The other sisters were transfered, so it´s just us and 14 Elders. New zl´s and dl´s as well, it´s a whole new world. It´s our new dl´s birthday on Sunday so we´re throwing him a party on Tuesday.
It is VERY VERY COLD and I need to get another jacket and some more nylons- just to stay warm. Thankfully, the landlords of our house fixed our shower so we now have a little hot water (YEAH).

Our baptism fell through, but it´s ok. The reason we couldn´t baptise him is because his father was abusive and his mom took him and his sister and ran away to Braganca. She doesn´t want him to get baptised until she goes to church and see´s that it is a safe place and a place where records are kept confidential. We´re probably going to baptise two sisters on knows that the Gospel is true and the other is going to church because she thinks one of the young men is cute. Sister Monterio says..."today a snake, tomorrow a leader".

Things are going well, we are working hard. Hope all is well at home, Shan