Sunday, October 2, 2011

The End Is Near. . .

September 28, 2011

Oh my goodness. I´ve just come back from a wonderful day at the temple. Truly what a wonderful experience. We were all waiting and then we saw a familiar van drive was our dear President and Sister Tanner. Mom and dad, love the two of you, but I think I was more anxious to see guys are alright, Pres. wasn´t. Oh, my goodness, what a sweet and wonderful feeling. They arrived yesterday and came and did a session with us. Oh, how I love the temple.

So, it´s hard to believe this is coming to an end. It hasn´t sunk in yet. I am tired, and my feet are broken and bloody, but other than, I love my life. This work is amazing, Carioba rocks, and I am helping people and I am helping myself be a better person. Yesterday in district meeting, my elders and sisters sang ``God be with you`` and I didn´t cry, I just thought it was lovely. And then today, when we did a session, Poast and I just hugged and hugged and we did it. We did this work. I love S. Barbosa and I love Brazil. The people here are so wonderful.

What more can I say? This is the Lord´s church, it is His work. The last year and a half has flown by. There are people here who changed my life, who´s names are written on my heart. S. Monterio, Carvalho, Poast, Forsyth, Costa, Cleise, continues. Through every trial and problem, I have succeeded. For all of my problems, pride and stubbornness, the Lord has molded me. I truly know that this is the work of God, that it is when we follow Him that we can truly have peace and happiness. When we do the small things, the big things don´t seem so hard. I love this gospel, and I will work my hardest so that I can be with my family for the rest of eternity. There is no greater gift than that. The Book of Mormon was written for us, it contains the answers to all of our questions.

I would not trade this experience for anything. Mom--I am so thankful for you. Dad thank you for your quiet example, for scripture study and the love that is in our home. Eric, Erynn, Megan, Brynn and Callen, thank you guys. I never had to really worry about you guys and I know that I must have done something right in the pre-earth life to be blessed to be a part of this family.

Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and he was a prophet. Thomas S. Monson leads God´s church today and he called me to serve here. For every problem there has been a lesson. I am different now. I hope that I am more kind, more patient, more faithful and more humble. I came on this mission to learn how to work and it happened. I learned how to work. I love this work and I know that it is work.

I love you all.

September 21, 2011

So we´re working, working and working more. I had the most trunky meeting of my life yesterday. The President was all like: plan, work study marriage...urg. I know that I should write more but I’ll see you in two weeks. Pres. Tanner is coming home Tuesday. I´m going to the temple Wed...and yeah, praying for you all.
I got to give a lesson in Spanish today. There are many people from Peru and Chile. We "talked" to them (it was a mix of Porto-Spanish) and one asked us to come to her home. We borrowed a preach my gospel in Spanish from one of the Elders and worked really hard to learn the lesson. Sister Barbosa was able to do the first vision in Spanish. The spirit was so strong. It doesn't matter the language, the Book of Mormon is always true, and God talks through all languages. 

September 14, 2011
We have this amazing young woman named Myara from one of the other wards who is preparing to serve a mission and is going out and visiting with us. It rocks. She´s from Forteleza and will be going on the mission in March (fingers crossed). She is absolutely amazing and I adore her.

We had a wedding this week of a less active and her ``husfriend`` finally got married. They now live in the other ward, sad, but the elders are getting two baptisms out of this so all is well. Everyone looked beautiful, and I thought it was lovely. But don´t worry, I was not trunky...did not think of my wedding (which S. Barbosa says will happen in three or four months, fat chance) while this was happening. Aren´t you proud?

I was also sent to hell this week. We´re teaching a less active family and their brother and grandparents are of a church were you can´t use pants, cut hair, eyebrows, no makeup, nada. This guy went totally wild, and told me that if I did not go to his church and follow the New Testament, I would go to hell. He talked for about 10 mins. Yeah, think I´d prefer hell to being in heaven with those people. S. Barbosa said a prayer and the spirit became strong again.

Valdimiro is progressing well. He went to church in Sao Paulo and will be getting baptized soon. When we taught him last, he was having some doubts. When we asked how he got these doubts he pulled out his bible that was a bible with footnotes about other religions. It said that we believed that the Holy Ghost was some sort of liquid creature and that we don´t believe in God, and that we were a cult. We worked through these doubts and he gave us this bible so that he didn´t have to read this trash. YES!!!
Yesterday in District meeting, we talked about why we were out here. I said that I was here because my mom was baptized when she was a teenager, and now her life and the lives of our family are totally different, and that we are happy and we will be a family forever. I´m out here so that other people can have that chance as well. I talked about how I always knew that I would serve, but seeing these people change, seeing me change is truly a miracle that I never thought that I could feel this happy, that in the service of my God. How I am so happy for you all, how grateful I am for our Heavenly Father and the promise that if we do all that we can, we will be together forever. That is why I´m here. That is why, for all of my problems and faults and weaknesses, God still loves me and he still trusts me. I am doing my part, and no regrets, but repentance. Like Pres. Eyring´s father, I know now why God needs strong Sons and daughters.

September 7, 2011
So, my head hurts. The last week has been busy with work and then more work. We've been thrown out of some houses, met some new people, and are just doing the work that the Lord has ordered. I am doing well, getting tired, but forcing myself to keep working. I am learning so much about humility and patience, and I need to keep believing in miracles.
We had training with the new president. It was like being in a business class in college. He is extremely intelligent. His son is living in Redmond, working at Microsoft (small world), and we learned about making goals and planning and how to be successful in life. His wife wants us to be healthy and we are getting new diet rules (no soda, less chocolate, eat healthy) and it´s interesting.
Think that´s it, love you all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This week has been hard. One of the families that we have been teaching took off and moved to Sao Paulo, without telling us. Strike one. We started teaching this guy, he accepted everything. Small problem, he lives in Sao Paulo on the weekends, so the elders will baptize him there. Strike two. And finally, finally, finally, we´re helping a menos active family come back and they are getting ready for baptism and marriage, but, they are moving to another ward three days before the wedding. Strike Three, Urg, oh, well. Just keep working. Just keep working. "Every little thing, gonna be alright."

I also had my first migraine headache on the mission. It was not fun. It was after lunch and we were walking in the hot hot hot and bright sun. I started to get those black out moments, when you know that you´re about to crash. Being out of money, I wasn´t able to buy anything sweet fast enough and got home just as I crashed. I took my pills and fell on the bed. My companion didn´t believe that I was sick, and so when one of the elders called twenty mins later (and I was between heck and a headache), she gave me the phone. I talked for thirty seconds, ran to the bathroom and got sick. My comp felt really guilty. I told her not to worry about it. I took my other pills, and crashed for 5 hours. I woke up totally wiped out and made myself get to the store to buy a tiny bit of food and do all my contacts. I was better the next morning.

We´re starting to work in an area farther away. There is this good returned missionary, who came home two weeks ago, and he´s taking us to visit some people that he knows. That rocked. I love it when people help. Mom, Dad, glad you guys are doing your part. We also got a reference and it looking like it might do well.

Yesterday we had a division with S.Tirell, which was awesome. Someone lost the keys to our apt, so we had to go to Campinas to get the spares. But life is good. It´s always an adventure. Adventures are awesome.

Sending my love to all!


Hey Family-

So, not much new to report. Working with people to be baptized. It rocks. Love my companion and my health is somewhat better. As always, the members are giving me food, food and more food. We had a family night on Sunday where I got thrown in the kitchen and the irmas taught me how to make some different types of dishes. The ward seemed to like it. We watched an old church movie and it was quite nice.

On Monday, we had the second sister conference!!! It was awesome. On Sunday night, one of the assistants called and said that there was a conference call...with all the sisters. It was like the opening song from Legally Blonde. We were all so excited to talk to one another again! After two minutes, the assistant yelled, "Sisters, Sisters, Sisters! I have other phone calls to make. You´ll all see each other in the morning."

And we did! Had a day filled with food and friends. I was able to talk to S.Ririe who´s in Braganca. They baptized some of my other investigators!!! And Ana IS FIRM!!! BELLA, GABBS, CAROL!!! MY LITTLE WOMEN TOO!!! I called E.Motto after and he started to cry on the bus!! I was crying, too. Oh, how wonderful it is when the people you love stay in the church.

So, think that´s it. I´m going to a home for lunch and a soap making lesson.

Love you-

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


First off, after writing you, our group of missionaries went to the zoo!!! It was amazing. We had lions, and tigers and...deer. Yes, deer, and ducks too. Quite exotic. The penguins died, and so, it was a little sad. We also saw a duck like creature that looked like it was from the Ice age movies. Photos being sent. It was great, and it was absolutely free!!!!!

As well, I´m pretty sure that this ward is getting ready to sacrifice me to some sort of pagan god or something, because they will not stop giving me food. God probably thought, that since I have had a few difficult areas that now I can be spoiled. But dang it, I´m getting fat...for this family, that is. What happened...see on Saturday we had a July Party (festa de Julhino) where everyone dresses up like cowboys and hicks and you eat and eat and eat. Then after eating hot dogs, corn on the cob, a sweet corn substance, pie and cake and more pie and cake, the women of the ward gave us 5 bags of leftovers to take home. (We have given some to the elders).

Then the next day we baptized Myalla. It was wonderful, the ward stayed and the parents cried and are now firm in their decision to return to the church and to prepare to go to the temple (YES!!!!!) The parents were crying, it was wonderful. After that, because there was still a ton of leftovers, the ward had lunch. The members that we were going to have lunch with said, eat here and then we´ll have lunch at our house. So I had two lunches, pretty much died after.

The members also gave us four laoves of bread and four cartons of milk on Sunday. So much food. Anita is baking us bread, cake and everything else.

Then on Monday we had a family night at the home of a family who are from Peru, but who lived in Japan and are now here in Brazil. They only had hymn books in Spanish, so we sang songs in Spanish...interesting. Then afterwards she made us a Peruvian Dish. It was baked potatoes with beef, eggs and raisins and some more stuff in it. It was quite good. We ate two and then she sent us home with four more.

And then on Tuesday we had a welcome home party for an elder returning home. Mom, Dad, do not even think about it. He came home, went to the stake center and then to the chapel where the ward and all of his friends were waiting with food and slide shows and wow, it was overwhelming. My first day home should be family, salmon, and sleeping. Oh and facebook and Harry Potter. And yes, they gave us leftovers.

So, yeah, working and trying to be better. I´m so proud of this family, you guys rock!!! The book of Mormon truly is the word of God, and it is because of it that we know why we are here. When we read the book we feel the peace of Christ and truly it is amazing. I love you all.



The sisters!
Wow, wow, wow, it seems to be flying so fast. Seems like only yesterday was the day that I was writing you guys and you were all at camp. Dude, no complaints.

Well, so we were able to get some shoes for my comp, but am now totally and completely broke. Whatever. We´re working and we´ll baptize this of the families that we´re helping reactivate. My comp is okay, she just keeps talking and talking and talking and then she´ll talk some more about anything and everything. Let´s just say that I am learning (again) about patience. It´s like Joseph Smith once said, that the Lord has to keep giving us the same lessons until we finally learn it. Again, I am the healthy one of this pair, but honestly, am beginning to feel old and tired.

Last week on our p-day we went and visited the huge Catholic church here. It is so beautiful. They have these giant painted pictures with stories of the Bible. Honestly, I like our story and photos of Adam and Eve more, they look terrified and horrible leaving the garden with and angel (I think it´s supposed to be Micheal because he has a giant sword.) sending them out of the garden. As well, quite funny, you have the baptism of the Lord. He´s sitting next to the river and John is pouring water on his head with a gold cup or something. Complicated. I like our version better, it makes more sense. Who would walk to a river only to have a tiny bit of water sprinkled on your head?

We also were able to take Anita (a recent convert) and her family to the temple. As always, I love the feelings that I feel in that Holy Place. The temple absolutely is the most wonderful place in the world, and I am so thankful for that place. The temple rocks. When I go home, I´ll be going there every single week.

Well, think that´s it. Have fun at camp!!!! See you guys next week!



So, wow, okay...downside to opening an area is you know nothing and usually the other missionaries do not leave you anything...(I´m an exception, I usually leave at least one person to be baptised) but, life is good. This ward is absolutely wonderful, but more on that later.

So, it´s hot here. Yeah, I know, crazy area is absolutely freezing and the next area is hot!!! But what can you do? Americana is a huge city. We have to take the bus everywhere, and so my finances are not as amazing as I would like. I am still with a cold and am not feeling amazing, but I´m going to take it in stride.

S.Barbosa is a convert of 5 years and if from Natal. She is the only member of her family who´s a member of the church and her family doesn´t really support her. For example, she is without shoes...her only pair are breaking and we are trying to find a pair of shoes, but her stake has to approve it and agree to pay for the shoes. It´s quite sad. She is also engaged (and will not stop talking about gosh!!!) to a missionary who is serving in Terezina.

So, on Saturday, I got permission to go back to Cordeiro for Zilda´s baptism (because I´m in the same zone as before, S.Cleise couldn´t come) and we were at a house of a member. I asked her which bus I should take to get to the Rodoviaria. She asked why, I explained that I was going back for a baptism in Cordeiro, and a min later this woman´s husband called and said that he was somewhere far far away biking and could she come get him at 4:00? She replied, yeah, but first I have to drop the sisters off in Cordeiro, so I´ll be a little late. UM,UM,UM??? She said, Get in the car, and she took us. AWESOME!!!

The baptism was absolutely lovely. We had a bus leaving at 5:15, and since every Mormon event starts late, we literally had to book it the moment after Zilda came out of the water. I was so proud of her, and she and I both cried a little. This is also the second baptism that I have given to one of my zl´s...Elder Motto. He was the missionary who baptized Ana, and now he can count this baptism as his as well, because the zl´s are going to take care of Cordeiro now...what do you do?

After that, we went to the stake center in Americana for the stake´s fiesta...which had more than 700 people and many many many investigators, which rocked. There was so much food, I think I gained 4 or 5 pounds. The next day, on Sunday the members informed us that they give food to the missionaries every Sunday...and they gave us three bags of food. Wow, Í´m not complaining.

But, we have really have been walking in circles these past few days, and I do not like it. Yesterday, after DM, I decided to go back to the house and look at the area book and try to figure out what God wanted of us. We prayed to know where to work and nothing.

I remembered a quote that President Lee said when he was talking to President Eyring. He said, ``Hal, if you want to get your revelation, do your homework...`` And that was exactly what Pres.Eyring did. So, I took his advice. Was there anything, any piece of paper, anything? It didn´t look like it. Finally, I saw this piece of paper that the other sisters had written the name of a family less active. It said that they had a nine year old daughter and that she wanted to be baptised, but that they didn´t know the number of the house. Well, let´s start digging. I looked through some old papers and found that a woman had gone to church who lived in that street, number 53. Well, maybe she would know. When we found the house, it turned out to be this family. They want to come back to church and their daughter wants to be baptized, and could we baptize her? Um, yes!!!

As well when we were teaching on that street we did a contact and taught a family that accepted to be baptized. Now, we just have to help them get married, but truly it was a day of miracles and we are going to keep having them if we do our part and stay focused.

Love you all,


Monday, July 18, 2011


My New Area

So we baptized John and Larissa...yeah!!! Had a bit of drama to get the pool filled (because it´s a house, we have to use a swimming pool) and because of some problems we ended up loading buckets of water to fill it up! It was a nice baptism, filled with a ton of people. We then continued working with Zilda and the whole branch is in love with these 2 new members. It´s awesome!!! Filling the font (swimming pool)

Had the best p-day of my life!!! We watched Work and the Glory 1,2 and 3 with a group of missionaries. We ate and ate and ate.

It was announced on Sunday that Zilda is going to get baptised. The whole branch started to cry. It was soooo funny to watch the members' faces. Like a fish, mouth opened and eyes like...DUDE. Felt good. She's been attending for 6 years!!

So, Monday morning get a phone call that we would close Cordeiro (we knew that) and that no one would open it. Yeah, the branch president was not happy with us. It´s "all our fault". Hmmm, yeah. So, we spent the day cleaning the house and saying goodbye to everyone. We called the zone leaders and they came and interviewed Zilda for baptism. She was amazing...6 years of elders and it took two sisters for her to decide to get baptised. Oh, how I love that woman. She´ll get baptised on Saturday. It was hard to say goodbye to Elisa, Cairo, Vitoria...Irmá Maria started crying, that was hard. Laila thanked us for giving her strength and taking her to the temple. Jaque and Jaina gave us huge hugs and Ana cried as well. I hate it when people cry, it makes me want to cry as well.

Then Monday night we had a family night with Garcia, his family and John and Larissa. It was great. They are growing so much, Larissa especially. We are leaving them in good hands and I don´t feel sad. We did the work that the Lord asked us to do. We baptised and did our best. We worked hard and gave our all. Miracles happened and now the branch needs to grow a little. We lost 20 missionaries and only got 8, so every stake had to close an area. I hope that this will help the branch be more appreciative of missionaries and help more. But, Sister Cleise and I are without guilt. We´re happy, we did our part and the Lord blessed us.

There is a down side to closing an have four suitcases for 2 sisters. We walked to the Rodoviaria (again, no help of the members). The bus would leave at 7:05, so we left at 6 am and got to the bus station at 6:45. (Oh, I´m going to give my smaller suitcase to S.Cleise, she needs it more than I, and I´m not going to be bringing a lot of stuff clothes are dying.) We got to the Rodoviaria in Campinas, and it was amazing to see old friends. We laughed, silly people. Several of my friends are done after this transfer. This is the transfer that I could have gone home...but S.Poast and I are going to be okay, working an extra six weeks...42 days isn´t that much more. I'm glad to have email, facebook and skype to stay in touch with dear friends.

So, where am I now? I opened Carioba with S.Barbosa. This is her second or third transfer. Carioba is in the city Americana. It is a huge area and should be fun. While reading the area book last night (she has a killer cold that she gave to me, urg!!!) and saw that some of my old leaders worked here, E.Dunn and E.Rhodes and that they baptised a ton!!! So, WOOOOOOOOOT!!! I am going to work hard and hard and then even harder.Here we are with the ward's YW.

Anyway, I love you guys. Sending you photos...from my morpher (S.Cleise says it looks like a morpher from Power Rangers). This is god´s work and mom don´t worry, you´ll get your creative inspiration in the right always do.


Sunday, June 26, 2011


So glad that things are going well with you at home. My life is crazy as ever. It will be nice to have Eric baptize Callen...wish I could be there, seriously. Wow, the family is all growing up. Brynn you look so grown up!

We only had 35 people at church last Sunday because it was the town festival and all the children had to go walk in a parade, and so not one came. We met our new zone. We´re in a zone of 20 missionaries. I was excited, Elder Pedrozo is in the zone, he's one of my best zone leaders EVER!!!!!!!! Oh, and one of the new sisters worked in Nova Veneza after me. That's exciting. She caught me up on the latest of our friends. Edwardo is now the second councilor in the young men's, and THEY BAPTIZED CAMILLA!!! I taught her before I was transferred and then this new sister and S.Monaco were able to finish and baptize her. Wow, I was thrilled. Fatima is the new Relief Society Pres, YES!!!!!!!!! We had an awesome district meeting, E.Tomaz is awesome. It was about being spiritually prepared, about how we need to help others understand the importance of prayer. It was wonderful.

We went walking to a new part of town. We walked 5 miles on a dirt road to meet these people. One was a reference, her son died a year ago and now she´s suffering severe depression. We taught her the plan of Salvation, gave her a book of Mormon and testified that she would see her son again. We then worked and worked and worked, these people live in farms, so soon I will be the Olympic Champion of walking. We worked hard, it rocked.

We are continuing with the visit of less actives in all the wards in the stake. Last week was interesting. We were in Nova Italia and talked to someone who was shouting blasphemy. Problems of pride, money and order...he says he wants a meeting with Thomas S. Monson to change how the church works here in Brasil....good luck.

We got stuck in a rain and wind storm last night, have a tiny cold now. Think that´s it.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So, I'm still here in Corderio with Sister Cleise. Transfers came and went. So, my camera should be here on Saturday. Life is good, we´re working hard. Our eternal investigators are still complicated, but what can you do. It´s getting cold here and I finally bought a cheap jacket. My feet are cracking and bloody, but at least I´ve not gotten blisters!! My feet are "apparently" really tough- according to all those with feet problems. My shoes are falling apart, so if you guys could send me some duct tape I can try and mend them from the inside. My comp is suffering with knee problems (she played Soccer, MEGAN- BE CAREFUL) and we´re hoping that physical exercise will help. Have I mentioned that it´s cold? I don´t know how Í´m going to handle Rexburg, Brasil has changed me.

Braganca got opened up again, YEAH. Nova Veneza was closed for Sisters (don´t really understand why.) My old zl is now the assistant.

We´ve been helping out Laila and we´re planning on taking her to the temple. She´s going through a rough time. We decided to make her and the boys a cake. We had to travel to Limera, another city, for most of the day and then came back and went to her house. She didn´t believe that we were really coming. When she saw that we had bought everything to make a cake (cake mix, milk, butter, eggs) as well as nescaf and condensed milk to make the fudge layer, she almost cried. I´m pretty sure this was one of the nicest things we could have done for her and the boys. It felt nice.

Eliza has also become something of the marriage councilor. She´s writing a book about marriage. She says that because of her sickness, she and her husfriend, have learned to appreciate the little stuff. She watched "Proof of Fire", or some evangelical film about marriage and we taught them about talking and communication.

Church is going well. Because the temple is closed for cleaning, we had a few of the temple workers visit us. One of the couples is American and the dear sweet older sister has been here 6 months and does not understand anything. It was quite weird speaking in English. We´ve been teaching the Gospel Principles class for the last few weeks. I taught about baptism. I was thinking of my baptism, of how thankful I am for everything, of the example that I have had my entire life.

I think that´s it for right now. Happy for the boys coming home and the boys leaving. They will all be wonderful. Our two newbies in the zone are from Washington, one from Spokane and one from Wenatchee. Why we can´t have elders from Seattle, I´ll never know. Anyway, I love you all and pray for you guys. Hope that all is well, and thank you all for living the gospel. Take care-


P.S. Not to be trunky or first dinner when I get home: salmon, twice baked potatoes, peas, triple chocolate cookies. Yum!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


So mom and dad, I love you guys so so so much! We´ve spent the last week being marriage and family counselors and let´s just say that I will be following your example and not the example of so many others. We have these two people who were recently baptised, but they still aren't married. They´ve been together for 10 years and have 3 kids. We spent 2 hours working with them last night. Trying to help them progress in the gospel. It didn't go so well (an understatement!) Gosh, when you don´t keep the commandments, it really doesn´t work for you.

As well, we´ve been working with another woman. Her children are members. She has a testimony but she also has a `husfriend`` aka a man she´s living with. She´s married to someone else and is waiting for divorce. But, she also has stomach cancer and a 95% chance of this cancer killing, we´ve been helping them out with cooking and cleaning. I made dinner for them the other night. It was good. Her husfriend is a very strong Catholic, but he´s not smoking or drinking any more. That's progress.

The hot dog activity went well, we had a ton of people there. Life is life, we are trying to work with people who are inactive. Transfers are in a week so I´ll get my package from the mission home then. Thanks for the camera! Mom and Dad, thank you for giving me faith and hope in marriage. Love you all-


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So baptism...yeah! Now just add in a ton of complications. What type of complications you ask? We´ll let me tell you...

First off, the girls' aunt wanted to change the baptism date to this Saturday. She told the girls that their grandmother wouldn´t be able to go, and then the grandma said that yes in fact, she could, and so the girls wanted to get baptised on Saturday...and so, we went ahead with it. But on Thursday, when the elders came to do the interview, one of the other aunts came and the girls started crying, and then everyone said, "no, no, of course you can get baptised on Saturday." The other aunt didn´t come to the baptism because she wanted it changed, she is refusing to come to church, and she says she is going to beat us up...staying very very far away from her.

Then on Saturday, the only men with the priesthood that came to the baptism were Garcia and one of the branch presidency who would baptise Jana. We began to get worried because we can´t baptise without two witnesses, and thankfully at 7:55, the other member of the branch presidency walked in, watched the girls get baptised and left. Eyeroll. As we were leaving at the end of the night, Garcia said..."wow, Sisters, you don´t have any other investigators, you need to be working harder." Are you kidding me?!! We taught 9 intro lessons and not one accepted baptism. We have literally been talking to almost every person who lives in this small town. Urg. The leadership is not helping the branch, not taking care of the members, why do they think that God will bless with new members who will only fall away?

So, we´re not really excited, because we know that probably God isn´t going to bless us in our contacts. The only people who have been baptised here who are still firm are some of the family of Maria Jesus. But just keep working. Work, work and work some more.

We had a good district meeting, it was about how the book of Mormon answers every question and problem in our lives. I got to be the investigator twice. Once was with Elder Manyring (my dl and friend from Itatiba) and his son, Elder Maclain (from Eastern Washington) and it was quite funny. We then had to practice with Elder Edwardo, my zone leader. We then all talked about the atonement and baptism...inside joke, because E.Edwardo was teaching the Plan of Salvation, about our purpose in this life...and the investigator had a ton of problems, and instead of going into a lesson about the atonement and how Christ knows all of us, he went into baptism...afterward we were all like, "Baptism or the Atonement?" I won, atonement works every time!

So, think that´s it. Love you all-



We´ll baptise this week. We´ve been working with Jaque and Jaina and they´re ready for baptism, which is wonderful. Still, we´ve been going through a rather tough time with this branch. When we had lunch at the 1st councilor´s house we asked how we could help this branch, to which he replied with tired shoulders, "I don´t know....this branch truly has given up hope." The only person who is helping us is Irma Maria Jesus and all of our investigators are her relatives. Two of her daughters are eternal investigators and one cannot get baptised because her husband doesn´t want to marry her (when asked if he loved her, this man said no, but that he is staying with her because of the kids) and she said roughly the same thing. It´s hard because she is feeling miserable but is not willing to change.

The other daughter is one of those investigators who are difficult. She knows the church is true, because if it wasn´t, she wouldn´t be attending church for 5 years, but she says she hasn´t received a response, that the Holy Ghost hasn´t told her yet. Well...when she said this we gave her the most amazing lesson of faith I have ever given in my life, and the spirit was strong and we promised her that if she read the Book of Mormon sincerely, and then prayed and asked God, she would receive a response....well, she said she read but didn´t feel anything. She is very hard hearted, she wants a sign from God or something, but what she doesn´t seem to want is to be baptised. She goes to church, sings in the choir, and she does what she wants, when she wants. I have learned so much about patience and about humility from her. Truly, we need to follow the will of God. He will not give us the response we want, but rather, he will give us the response that we need.

Then last night after we taught Jaque and Jaina, their mom asked to talk to us. She told us that she is having suicidal thoughts...which led to another lesson about love and about how God knows us. He knows what we are feeling, He trusts this woman because he gave her four wonderful children, she is amazing and a warrior. Out of everyone in the world, God chose her to take care of, to love, four of his choice spirit children. We then hugged her and talked some more, I hope that we can help her.

We have not been having the best of luck with finding people, before us, the branch was closed for we´re trying to find anyone. In this town (I think) of 19 thousand, most everyone has a church. We gave 3 first lessons, where we teach about Joseph Smith and no one wanted to know more. It was quite disheartening. We can´t really plan, because we have nothing to plan for...other than the baptisms of this week and helping the part member families.

With everything that has been going on, with a branch that´s breaking, and everything else, truly I have come to see the Lord´s hand in everything. I think that before we came to this life, we had an interview with our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. They showed us everything that we would go through, sins, heartbreaks, we saw every single tear that we would shed in this life. And then at the end, our Heavenly Father said, "Do you accept this life?" And I hope that I said fearlessly, Absolutely! I will go. I knew that this life wouldn´t be easy, but it was the only way I could have happiness forever with my family.

I honestly do not know why we were called to this branch. No idea. The members don´t seem to be able to believe that they can grow. Some take care of themselves and if someone else goes inactive, it is only because they are weak. I love how President Hinckley taught that we need to care for those who are new or who are weak in this faith, because the gospel is not easy, but like I´ve said before, it is worth it. The hymn of come come ye saints...Gird up your loins, fresh courage take, our God will never us forsake...and the immortal words of Bruce R. McConkie...And while I strive through grief and pain, his words be heard, Ye shall obtain. I believe in Christ, so come what may.

Truly, come what may. Come what may. Give your all, and God will take care of the rest. Everything will be alright in the end, if it´s not alright, well then, it´s not the end. And to end on a totally irreverent thought, always look on the bright side of life.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Sister Monteiro´s mom passed away this week. I am so thankful for God´s amazing and wonderful plan for every one of us. Hate that there isn´t anything that I can do.

Well, we´ve been working here for a week and miracles are happening. We have this dear woman named Maria who was baptised about 5 years ago. She has 8 children and many many many grandchildren. Some of her family has been baptised, some have not. We're working with them and going to baptise two of the grandchildren next week!!! Two of her daughters are eternal pesqus, they go to church, sing in the branch, do everything but one can´t get baptised because her husband doesn´t want to marry her and the other one for a reason we've not been able to discover. But they all seem to love us.

Our branch, well, it´s tiny. 40-50 people and only 5 or 6 men who hold the priesthood. Our branch president is an implant from the stake. The elders here have honestly not been doing anything, and before that the branch was shut and before that they had elders who were fubekas. So, trying to turn things around. S.Cleise is being wonderful, she loves to work and it seems to be going well. I hope that we can make this branch strong enough to become a ward, but we need the help of God. We prayed to the Lord for guidance about where we should go and what we should say. We are meeting people and are going to make miracles here, I believe that. There are many times when we feel like we are not doing our best, that the conditions are not in our favor, but I promise you that if we turn wholeheartedly to the Lord, he will strengthen us and he will make our weaknesses strong and we will be able to walk confidently and when we meet our God, meet him with happiness and not with guilt. I love this gospel, love the opportunity to be better every day, even if I still feel inadequate most of the time. Keep walking, keep being you and let God smooth out the wrinkles in life. I am so thankful for my Savior, for his mercy with me. I need to be better but I have the desire to be an instrument in His hands and He will use me. Thank you all for our prayers and for the examples you are for me.

For Easter, instead of small chocolate eggs, people give out these giant chunks of chocolate that are in the shape of an egg. I got 3 and everyone is giving everyone chocolate....not like I´m complaining. But, it was sad. Not a mention was made of Easter at church on Sunday. I don't get it. Well, looking forward to talking to you on Mother's Day. Love you all!



So, first off, WOW! Eduardo got the priesthood and he´s going to do temple baptisms today. I´m happy!!! Secondly, God does have a sense of humor, because like always, I got transferred. Wasn´t expecting that. My dear people in the office didn´t tell me. I complained to one of the assistants that I get a new companion every six weeks (we´re friends) and he was like, Welcome to the yeah now to add to Monterio, Wagner, Carvalho, Poast, Forsyth, Costa, and Monaco, we get to add S.Cleise to the list...and wait for it, we opened an area!!!

Yeah, I´m opening an area. It´s called Cordgiropoles and it's a small city of 20,000. Mom-if you want to look it up, type in Rio Claro, that´s the city closest to it. It´s a branch and we are still kind of trying to find our way around. The elders did a good job here, from what I´ve seen and the branch seems excited to have us. Oh, but the elders have totally different standards when it comes to having a clean house. We spent 3 hours yesterday and this morning cleaning and washing everything. Seriously, I will never complain about college dorms again! We´re meeting the elders' investigators and starting to work. I´m really excited!!! This place is beautiful, lakes and trees. Should be fun.

I saw my friends at transfers, everyone is doing well. Love seeing old and new friends, Elder Rassumsum told one of his comps about 'Stapley Stars'....I´d like to think that I´ve changed.

I´m excited to roll up my sleeves and work. Should be a huge adventure. Love you guys,


Monday, April 18, 2011


Amazing shout out and 'hello' to my new friend, Kimberely- from New Zealand, who is waiting for her mission call! (She googled Sister Missionaries' blogs and found mine and wrote a 3 page letter!!! She is totally awesome!) Congratulations and I'm sending you a letter, although I´m not sure when it will get there. :)

I'm writing this from the Campinas temple. It´s awesome!!! I get to go do a session in an hour. YEAH!!

So, this week has been hard. My comp and I have some differences that are affecting the work. Staying home and being lazy is not why I chose to come on a mission. Urg, I may not be able to speak the language that well or be able to teach amazingly, but I am a workaholic. If I am not working my best every day then I feel like I haven´t accomplished my part.

We had a multi-zone conference and I got to see some old friends. That's always a boost. It was really good. I learned alot about repentance.

We have a wonderful investigator. But, the ward leadership said that there were some concerns about us baptising him because of his past, that several members of the ward would not be pleased if he joined the congregation. I just kept my mouth shut (aren´t you guys proud?!) and nodded. Right after, in testimony meeting, this investigator bore an amazing testimony, it was awesome. He said that he knew the church was true and thanked everyone and talked about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Many people looked dumbfounded after he spoke.

Keep looking on the bright side of life. This is God´s work and if He can turn a rock into bread, He can help me change. As it says in D/C 4, faith, hope, love and charity qualify us for the work, but the first thing we need is a desire to work in this Gospel. I may not have enough faith, hope or love, but I have a desire to change. And I will, I will change and be better.

Love ya-


Thursday, April 7, 2011


First off, this week was a week of miracles. On Thursday, some members randomly showed up at our house with bags and bags of food for us...seriously, how wonderful! We were able to baptise Edwardo between General Conference sessions, it was awesome and his family was all there. Most of the youth in the ward were there, and so were all the missionaries in our zone. We sang some songs at the baptism and one of them was Called to Serve, which led to all the missionaries singing the mission anthem. One of our young men, Erick, got called to serve a mission in Manaus. Erick will go to the CTM the end of May, so I´m thinking he´ll miss Eric by one day. Sad, but he´s excited. I´m so proud of him...he´s awesome.

To add on the endless list of jobs I have acquired on my mission, dog catcher and marriage counselor were added this week. See, we ran into the lost dogs of one of our members (who were on the other side of the city) and had to get them home. They were nearly run over by cars 3 times, but miracles happen, and we got them home, it took nearly an hour. Marriage counselor is a tad harder. See, we finally found out why a member in our area doesn´t want to get married to the man she's been living with for 19 years and they have 4 kids. (The kids are all baptised). I won't say more here than that he's been very unkind to her. Now, part of me wants to tell her to move on and that she deserves better than that, BUT the missionary in me knows that everyone can change. The atonement and everything else, communication and a true change of heart. But still, it´s complicated and now everyone in the ward is finding out and beginning to take sides, which is not helping much.

We´re working well and I have no complaints about my comp. You see, we are totally obedient to the letter and the spirit of the rules. When you are 100% obedient, the Lord will bless you.

Family- hope you're having fun in Hawaii!
Love you,

Friday, April 1, 2011


Wow, first off, Mom's on a painting and DI spree?!...Meg make sure all of my stuff is hidden! Oh, and if you guys wanted to be nice and mail me a new journal with my camera it would be highly appreciated. Oh, hair ties too.

I am not allowing myself to think that Eric is going home in 10 weeks. Nope, not going to happen.

Meg-you look so grown up in the picture. You´re so pretty.

To recount on the life of Sister Shannon Stapley-

1. Is back in Nova Veneza (30 mins from Campinas) where she served with S.Wagner
2. Is working with a Brasilera, Sister Monaco
3. Is eating a TON, and will probably gain some weight
4. Has read Jesus the Christ AGAIN, because her companion was sick for a week.

And now, miracles happen!!! I pretty much spent all of last week on divisions with some women who are getting ready to serve missions. S.Monaco had lost her voice and has allergies and was unable to work. Then on Sunday, we went to church and had 5 investigators there. One young man, Diego, (Meg, he´s 16, very very very faithful, cute and plays soccer) and his friend, Nailson, (Erynn, he´s 19, practically perfect and leaving for a mission the day he's been a member for 1 yr.) brought their friend, Edwardo, to church. We taught him and he is super Elect. He accepted baptism for this week!!! While we were teaching him the first lesson, after Diego, Nailson and one of our young women, Camilla, bore their testimonies, I looked around...and to my surprise, I realized that I was the only one out of all 6 of us (including my companion) that was born in the church. Mom-it was amazing, I saw you in all of them. I got to bear my testimony about how amazing this gospel is, and how their choices, the choices they made to be baptised (all of them have less than 1 year) will change their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren. This gospel rocks!!! Truly, where else do you see these teenagers growing and becoming the heart and the lifeblood of a church? All of my brazilian comps are converts or are the children of converts. How awesome is that!!! And, I am as well, thank you Mom!!!

We´ve taught Edwardo the word of wisdom and we´re going to teach him about the Sabbath tonight. Should be good!!! We´ve also been working with his mom and truly it works!!! This gospel rocks. His mom was a little hesitant about the church (you know, we have devil horns and all that jazz) but after we explained about the church and taught the WOW/first lesson, she was okay with it. After we left, Nailson went to visit. He just talked about the church and now Edwardo´s mom is going to feel good with him being baptised!!! Awesome!!! The next day, all she could talk about was how much Nailson´s changed and how amazing and wonderful he is...yeah, I´m proud of him!

We´ve also been helping other investigators. Most of them need to get married, but truly this week has shown me the importance of members. When they help, family nights, references,´s perfect. Invite anybody reading this to help, to seriously think of the joy that we have because of this gospel, how God moves through small things, not through huge events to bring people to testimony could change the world, look at Joseph Smith. Make the difference. Be the difference. I love each and every one of you guys (and it would be awesome to receive letters, packages, cards, you know, any signs of affection that you remember the skinny white girl who is trying to serve the Lord!) I pray for you.

Oh, one more thing. Yesterday after lunch we were at a members house because it was raining cats and dogs...and so we started helping the member with laundry. She had a bucket of socks and asked that we match them. Immediately, I sorted them into whites and colors and designs and began matching and folding them with speed and efficiency and my companion just stared at me like I had grown two heads..."what?" I asked. She said, "How do you do that?" I said, "what do you mean?" She said she had never folded socks (she´s the youngest of four.) I had to explain to her and to this dear Sister that I'm the oldest of 6 and so we had 8 people in the house which equalled a minimum of 56 pr of socks a week. This was a normal job. I finished in 5 mins. It took Sister Monaco I helped her. Good to know that my years of cleaning and helping to take care of kids taught me something!

Love ya-

Sister Stapley

Sunday, March 27, 2011


CH, Ch, Changes!!

So, as the title of this blog says, change is a part of life. Yes, officially, I will serve until Oct. 4th!! As well, happy one year (Mar. 23) to me!!!

Thursday morning we get a phone call from 2 sister missionaries saying that one of them received an emergency transfer to work in Nova Veneza. The sister was not happy. So, what did they do? They called the President and told him that she couldn´t go to Nova Veneza because she has bad knees (and not because the new companion is difficult), but whatever. President listened and probably thought to himself..."who can I send who has good health (cross out most of the sisters) and who won´t complain (cross out all the others)...oh I know, Sister Stapley!!!"

So, yeah, here I am back in Nova Veneza. I've been sent here to roll up my sleeves and work (I'm co-senior, but I´ve been asked to walk on eggshells because she is overly sensitive). The members remember me and we are trying to work hard. My comp is sick and my health seems to be failing too...lots of throwing up , but hopefully I´ll get better soon. It´s as hot as I remember and I hate these buses. Honestly, I look forward to getting in a car someday in the future, with air conditioning and well paved roads. But, hey, at least I´m not in Japan! (So glad Rachelle and Steven are safe!)

Yesterday, I got to go back to the office and hang out there to get my visa renewed. I am now free to stay in Brasil until the 22 of September, which means that I will get to go renew my visa once more before I leave the country. It wasn´t hard but they took a while longer on mine than the others. I think it was because I've visited lots of other countries. One of the secretaries said that I would get deported...but it all worked out in the end. I knew it would.

We´re in a small zone, only 10 of us and it seems to be going well. We´re living with some of the young women here and everyone is feeding us. One of the elders in my zone is the elder who closed Bragança, we've spent some time talking. Ana and her girls are doing well, my little women are still going to church. They baptised Jean´s Grandparents and so the work goes on.

That´s life. They Lord is planning everything, so hop on the train and ride the ride. It will all work out in the end. If something´s not right then it´s not the end. I just, I don´t know, my best guess is that I will probably be here until the end of May. (There´s a kid here who is staring at what I´m writing because it´s in a different language, cool huh!) Just trust in the Lord and work. I need to find some excitement, fall in love with the area and with our investigators, and then the work will just it did in Jau. Know that everyone is in my prayers and that if there is one thing that I know it´s Mosiah 4:9, Acreditai em Deus...our God does know everything, and he is aware of our problems and our tears. He will send his angels and if we do our part, we will grow. (The kids are now pointing at me and whispering that I´m from, good thing I speak Portuguese). So, I love you guys and believe it or not, I do miss you! If people who are reading this blog wanted to be nice and send letters, I would really appreciate one really writes me (other than my parents) and the office staff is sure that no one loves me.

I know that this is the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that we still have prophets and authority and the power to act in the name of our God. I know that God truly loves us that he will never leave us alone, that there is a plan of salvation for each and every one of us and for our families. (Dad-when we die do we remember our life in the pre mortal existence?) You guys are amazing and thank you for your examples and for your strengths and for your prayers, I can feel them down here.

I love you all-

S. Stapley

Monday, March 21, 2011


I´m in Campinas, right next to the University, and doing well. The supermarkets have American food (it is very expensive} and I'm still getting used to it. Sister Carvalho is now safe and sound, home in Manaus. Sister Costas and I are here working. We´ve been working with two girls, named Samara and Marina, for baptism. We are helping some other people get married. (Eye roll at all the paperwork and expenses! But hey, commandment of God right!)

Highlight of the week was going to the temple!!! We get to take investigators and it was amazing! When we got there, all of the young women from Hortalandia (Nova Veneza my area with S.Wagner) were there! I was bombarded with hugs and hugs and more hugs. I didn´t think I´d see any of them again and there they all were! When they saw me, it was like heaven. So, the girls we're teaching will be getting baptised in two weeks. Their mom is recognizing the blessings of the church.

We spent most of Tuesday in District meeting and then at the office waiting with S.Carvalho. I got to talk to Elder Corbitt! He´s doing well and working in the office. Then, we took several buses to get back to our area. The people in this area are either students or extremely rich...should be interesting.

I´ve been thinking a ton, next week will be my one year mark (scary, right) and I´ve come to some serious conclusions...

1. When you have a difficult area-you learn to love it (Bragança)
2. When you have a difficult companion-learn to love her.
3. When you have a difficult leader-learn to love him.
4. When you´ve done all of that-learn to love yourself.

The Lord had a perfect plan for each of us and we need to trust in Him enough to follow, even when things are not how we want them to be. This is God´s plan, He see´s the end from the beginning. When we trust in Him, our faith grows. Come what may and love it (Conference is in a few weeks!!!)

Sending you a ton of photos now!
Love y'all-


So, we worked a ton in Jau for my final week. We got a reference from the Elders to teach a 15 year old girl named Talita, who lived in the US for 10 years (Utah and Mass. She said, "hi, I speak English." She speaks English like US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, we taught her the first lesson in ENGLISH!! It was so different but I really liked it. It was weird, but I felt like I was able to express the feelings of my heart more clearly in English. She is going to pray and we´re getting her a Book Of Mormon in English.

Also, rainy Seattle weather has come to Brasil. It is seriously Seattle weather with rain and rain and more rain. My feet were so ugly.

And then, got transferred! Cried at Michelle´s house, she has truly become my mom on the mission and I´m going to miss her. Went and got pastels, going to miss banana and chocolate.

Woke up at 4:30 and started walking to the bus station. We were stopped by the same car 4 times by a guy who kept telling us to get into the car with him. Told him no, told him no again, called the elders, told him no again, walked faster and got to the Rodoviaria. These things only happen at 5 am in the morning.

Took a 4 hour bus ride and ended up in Campinas.

I was really lucky to have S.Forsyth for 5 weeks. She was always calm and not over the top and it was nice to just take a breather and not have to be loud, but just to be quiet. I want to work. When everything doesn´t seem right or you're tired, you just keep putting one foot ahead of the other. Develop that inner strength that the pioneers had, remember the things that they did and realize that God does have a perfect plan, we just see it through a broken pair of binoculars...but God knows what he is doing. He always does. It´s keeping that faith and moving along, even though it seems like nothing you do makes a difference, I can promise that my life has been defined by normal people, working hard, and not by huge entrances and grand applause, but just by the small and simple things.

Congrats to Brynn!
Love, Sister Shan

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


So, Conference pretty much rocked! We got to shake all of their hands! Totally worth the unpleasant 8 hour ride in a small van with 10 elders just to get there. Elder and Sister Goday were amazing and so were Elder and Sister Snow. Dad, Elder Snow, who served a mission in Germany, said that they had a saying...for every door that gets knocked on in Germany, someone gets baptised in Mexico...we all laughed. Also, there was a live translator there and during his talk, E.Snow said he was a pack rack and the interpreter paused and said, "Excuse me?" To which E.Snow explained to him and he said, ``Pao Duro,`` or 'hard bread' which is an expression here in Brasil and we all laughed. Elder Nelson talked about the Gathering of Israel, it was really really sweet, about how the work is rolling forth, how the prophecies of old are being fulfilled. He then commanded us to keep up the good work. Sister Nelson talked about obedience and how we can be pure.

The prayer went fine. I got to see all my dear friends. Sister Poast sends her love, and E.Corbitt is doing great, he´s been in the same zone for his entire mission, poor guy. E.Rasmussun is healthy, and Mom, E.Adam confessed his undying love for you and asked me to send you a big kiss to thank you for the book (it was a great book, I read it before I gave it to him), and S.Carvalho is good, too.

We've been teaching a young woman named Ana. She was about ready for baptism until our Zone leader 'burned' her and she ran. The gospel can help everyone to be better and live a better life. But, as members, we need to love them into the fold. It can be tough to change your life and we need to be patient with those that are trying.

Oh, to continue with the smallness of our world, my companion, Sister Forsyth, was companions with Sister Hart in the CTM. Yep. (insert our theme song here, 'It's a small world'!)

I dyed my hair. It´s dark brown now. I like it.

We got into a bible discussion on Saturday. So, we were teaching this man named Marcus and his friend who started talking about how we should perform miracles, how religion is of the devil, how only faith and works and salvation are individual and how we don´t need to be baptized, and how the Bible states that there can be no other bibles and all that jazz. Well, at first we began to explain a little, but when it became obvious that they just wanted to talk and not to listen, we just bore our testimonies and left. Oh, well.

Work is work, but you can see how the Lord is shaping us, day in and day out. Truly we are the Lord´s servants and this refiner´s fire is turning us into the Lord´s servants. We are becoming (for the most part) men and women of God with the power of heaven in our lives. This work, this happiness, is the most wonderful feeling in the world. I love my mission. I love the feelings of happiness, peace and wonder that are in my life. And this is just the beginning.

I´m probably getting transferred next week. I will be really sad to leave Jau.

Oh, Eric, Elder Pires is going home to Manaus this week. He's going to look for you.

That´s my life. Hope all is well. Love you all


Sunday, February 27, 2011


And, while you are all snowed in, I am is very very very hot here. Whoever invented ice cream needs to go straight to the celestial kingdom.

Mom, I got the package and love you with all my heart (will be wearing the blue cardi for conference in the morning) and Sister Forsyth loves you, too.

As well, happiness and miracles! This last Sunday I got a phone call from Sister Tanner (President's wife) and she says that someone wants to talk to me. Then I hear a ``Hello`` and I think, I know that voice. ``Mom Monterio?!!`` It was my dear Sister Monterio who was visiting Campinas for the day. We got to talk for 20 mins, and oh, how I have missed her. She´s doing wonderful, still looking for work and a boyfriend, but oh, it was great. Wow, I am so thankful for cellphones, facebook and skype.

So, again...bit of a dry spell but we´ve been teaching a ton and finding lots of people. People who the Lord will prepare for us. But, we´re loosing more sister missionaries. We´re down to twelve in the whole mission, with three more leaving in the next 2 weeks. No one in Provo is getting their visas so we may be down to 9 sisters. If we don´t baptize, they will close areas and I´ve already closed one. I cannot let them close it here. We need a miracle, and not just a baptism, but lots of baptisms.

This week has been all about humility. It´s been studying our roles as sons and daughters of God and trying to understand our purpose here on the earth. It is amazing how wonderful the atonement is in our lives, how Christ with all of his perfection came to the world and redeemed us, even when we don´t feel like we deserve it. As I work here in Jau, I truly have seen how wonderful the gospel is in our lives, how it all makes sense, how this is the one church of the Father. What a great blessing it is to recieve the miracles of the Lord, to trust him and to let him be a part of our lives. Truly, this is the Lord´s work and his glory.

So that´s it. Remember to pray for me tomorrow because I am terrified.
Love to all!
Sister Shannon


GUESS WHAT?!!! You guys are going to totally be jealous of me...why? Because next Thursday, I will be getting to shake the hands of....

ELDER GADOY-of the 70
PRESIDENT SNOW-of the Presidency of the 70

They are going to be giving us a training with all the missionaries in Campinas! I´ll also get to see my friends and fellow missionaries from the mission!

We saw a car crash into a wall...the guy was drunk. He then got out and smoked a cigarette, silly people.

In other news, can I just say how proud I am of my four sisters and my brother and for the two of you, Mom and Dad. As Elders and Sisters, we spend the time teaching and then we spend the time talking about our families. Since I have been here in Jau, I have come to realize how darn lucky I am.

My parents honor their temple covenants, my father is a worthy priesthood holder, my mother is a freaking rock star who can do anything. My brother is a worthy priesthood holder who is serving an honorable mission. My sister who is 18 is going to BYU and not dating a loser. While I´m sure driving with Megan could give Dad a heart attack, she is staying strong, not being rebellious or running away at 3 am. Brynn and Callen are developing new skills and talents. I am so proud of every one of you guys.

Life is life here in Jau. I absolutely adore Sister Forsyth, we are laughing so much. You gotta be able to laugh. We´re still in our dry streak, no one wants to come to church, so we´re gonna fast and pray and ask the Lord to show us where we should be working because truly the field is white ready to harvest.

We did something a little different yesterday in District Meeting. After we teach about Joseph Smith, we invite the investigator to be baptised. Well, yesterday Elder Joseph told us to try something else, that the moment after you finish the First Vision to bear testimony and then to say a prayer with your investigator, and in that prayer ask that the Spirit testify that our message is true and to put feelings of peace.

As missionaries we know that we being called of God and having the authority of Christ, we can promise and ask for anything and it will be given to us. We practiced and I received a testimony again of the truthfulness of our message, the feelings of peace and of tranquility, the knowledge that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, that he saw God and Jesus Christ, that we have a living Prophet who directs this church and how the authority of God is here again. People can say all sorts of things but they can´t deny the feelings in their hearts. The Gospel of Christ is on the Earth. The Power of Forever Families is here, we can have it, if we endure to the end.

And when enduring to the end is too much, when we are trying just to make it through the day, our Father will help us. Our Savior will save us. He´ll jump in the hole with us and pull us out.

Well, guess that´s it. Family, you´re in my prayers.
Take care-

Monday, February 14, 2011


I absolutely love Sister Forsyth! She´s from Utah and is engaged to get married in December. She pretty much rocks. We´ve been working hard and I´ve been showing her the area. We´ve seem to hit a dry streak right now. The people we're teaching don´t want to come to church or to keep commitments, but we keep working and hopefully soon the Lord will show us miracles.

So, something really embarrassing happened on Sunday. Most of our ward members live in another city and so they usually give us money for lunch rather than host us in their homes. In every other city, the members give 20 Reais, which is enough to either go to a restaurant or buy food to cook. Here we get 10 Reais and we only get to eat at members' houses 2 times a week. Just to let you know, it´s an unspoken rule to NEVER complain about lunch to ANYONE. It is better to starve than to offend the members, who are pretty poor. But- our zone leader found out and complained to the branch president, who then reprimanded the women in the ward for not taking care of us. It was really embarrassing. I was apologizing to the women and telling them that we were grateful.

I´ve been studying a ton about repentance and about the sacrament. I´ve been reading about sacrifices and how the Lord expects us to do our part. We´re asked to take a broken heart and a contrite spirit to truly be humble and willing to accept the will of God in our lives. We keep teaching about the simple steps- prayer, reading the scriptures, going to church. It is through these simple things that we learn what the Lord expects of us. Then when we know what it is He wants, we need to do it, even if it isn´t our own will and/or desire. The sacrament is a way to remember those covenants, the promises that we made to always remember our God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

I have a ton of stuff that I need to do, alot of things to do better, and there is no redo. It´s like the Lion King says, "you can take it and learn from it". This whirlwind of an adventure in Brasil has shown me who I want to be. I don´t want to go back to being Pre-Mission Shannon. I want to be the missionary Shannon, the one who's put the Savior Jesus Christ first in my heart. I know that He will stay there. I´ve changed and I´m still changing. I´m getting my life together, applying the attributes of Christ in my life and just trying to be better. Eu quero ser como Cristo...I´m trying to be like Jesus, what a wonderful song.

So, yeah, that´s me. It´s my thought process right now. I got a ton of work to do, but this is something right...this is my Father´s work. I get to be a part of that, how wonderful is that?! So yeah, I love you guys. You´re all in my prayers. To my sisters, keep being wonderful. One more thing, as I have been dealing with many elders and sisters, the topics of families always comes up. I'm proud to say that I am the only one who is not worried sick about my two teenage sisters. Megan and Erynn, thanks for not doing anything stupid. It's nice to not have to worry. Love you all and have a great week!

Sister Stapley

Sunday, February 6, 2011



Well, everything must change. I am still here in Jau but my dear Sister Poast got transferred. President Tanner called and told Sister Poast what was going to happen. She is the most powerful sister missionary in the mission and she will be opening an area and helping a problem missionary. I´m so proud of her but I'll miss her so much!

We left here at 5:30 in the morning and got to Campinas around 10am. There I found out that I will be working with Sister Forthsyth. I'm excited to be with her! We had to stay in the bus station for 8 hours! The next bus back to Botucatu didn't leave until 6pm. We arrived in Botucatu at 10 pm and were going to have to walk about an hour to get to a house where we could sleep. (Not our house- because we were still another 2 hr bus ride from Jau!) Sister Forsyth asked the elders if a member could drive us. They initially said no, that they didn't want to bother anyone. But after another elder offered to pay for a taxi for us, the others decided to try and find us a ride. A nice member took us and they are just lovely-and even bought us McDonalds.

Caught in the rain!

I prayed, when I was going to be transferred after my last companion, that I could have a true friend and God answered my prayer in the most amazing way possible. I love Sister Poast and we became the best of friends. These last twelve weeks have been wonderful and I would not have traded them for the world. I was laying down a few night s ago and the thought just came to me that I was so absolutely and totally happy. There is no where else I would rather be right now and I know that I still have a ton to learn and to do before I am done. But I am so happy here!

Elder Nelson is coming for a mission conference on the 24th. That will be really fun!

And that´s what happened this week in Botucatu.

I love you all, take care,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


On Thursday, we'd pretty much finished the work for the week in our area and decided to help out on the other side of town. We spent 6 hours helping contact the investigators and less active members in another area. We set up some lessons and even did some teaching! We helped get the other missionaries their numbers and set up some appointments for them. They were grateful for our help.

WOOT, WE BAPTISED A FAMILY! Paulo, Silvana and Gabriele...Moises will be baptised in a year when he turns eight. It was wonderful and they were all so happy. The whole branch stayed after church to attend and it was great. I was in baptism high- knowing that we're helping someone return to the presence of our Heavenly Father, the promise of Eternal life, of being with their family forever and being happy. I love that verse in Revelations that talks about how there will be no more tears and everything will be okay. Truly, this is a gospel of good news, of knowing why we are here, that the purpose of life is more than just to sit around and eat, drink and be merry...although, you need to learn how to have fun. Joy is important, too!

And now we move to the feels like home because we are in the rainy, flood seasons. Many roads have been blocked, turtles have died and some of the houses near the river are in bad shape. We´re in an apartment so we´re okay. The floods always recede after 5 hours or so, but it felt like home for a tiny bit...good thing Sister Poast and I have umbrellas.

As well, I had the most interesting thing to was this tough meat. After we both had a tiny bit, we asked, "what is it?" To which they answered that it was some sort of bird...and then they said, "Pomba" ...pigeon. Yep, it was horrible and we were both got sick afterwards. The elders brought us stomach meds, but we were hurting for a few days.

So, I love you all. Keep up the good work. Do the small things, pray, read your scriptures, do home and visiting teaching, stay true to the faith, remember that it is the greatest of all gifts-- joy and peace. It is through the atonement of our Lord and Savior that we can do anything, but we have to endure to the end. (I have to talk in the other branch this Sunday for 15 mins, that is enduring to the end, say a prayer for me!) But the thing is that it's the small choices we make every day that will define our lives.

"Don´t do anything stupid"- as Mom always says, you guys are rock stars, know that you are all in my prayers. Take care. Erynn, I want photos of the black eye!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This week was totally awesome! We had sushi, yes sushi, although it was not as good as in Seattle. For New Years, we traveled to a town right next to the river and had barbecue with some of the members. I felt so full after eating, but it was fun. We got some pics by the river!

Okay, miracles of miracles! We have a family that is totally and wonderfully elect! They have three kids, Moses and Gabriell who are 7 and 9 and a son that's a drag queen and won´t talk to us. The four of them came to church and we´ll baptise them in two weeks. But the miracle is that the first day we went there, we explained that we don´t smoke or drink (two things they had problems with) but we had yet to teach them the word of wisdom...but when we went Monday, and after a totally awesome lesson, we had a conversation that went like this...

``So how many cigarettes do you smoke a day?``

``We smoke three packs a day``

``And how many have you smoked today?``

``Oh, we haven´t bought cigarettes since the first day you girls passed by.``

....BREATHE. So then we said,

``And Paulo how about acholl?`` (alcohol)

``Oh, I haven´t bought any since the first day you visited.``

So, yeah, they rock, and we´re going to baptise them. Then we went and visited another person who came to church on Sunday, his name is Ricardo and he´s 17. When we visited him he told us that he had a problem with drugs...okay, we asked him when the last time he used was and he said (drum roll) two weeks ago, and that he´s trying to change his life....UM PERFECT! We watched Faith in Christ and the spirit was very strong.

As a companionship we´ve made it a goal to go visit all of the menos active people in the branch and try to get them to come to church, but it would be so much easier if everyone did their home and visiting teaching. Here in Brasil, where only three people have cars, I can understand why it's hard, but back home- everyone has a car! I hope that the ward and the stake have 98% or higher on home and visiting teaching, it´s not that hard when you have a car! Yes, seriously, our job is to baptise them, the ward has to keep them active. Seriously, home and visiting teaching are easy, just take them cookies and ask if they are okay....come on, and it takes less than two hours. So, please just do it!!

As for me, I´m good, learning a ton and trying to be more confident. Thanks, hope you guys are doing well.


Sunday, January 2, 2011


Well, not much has happened since I spoke with you on Christmas day....well other than I am very sunburned. We´re in Sao Maunel for p-day and instead of playing football with the elders, I opted to write letters to my recent converts and fell asleep in the sun...for about an hour. I should be in a ton of pain in the morning. Working hard, nothing new. I'm really grateful for Christmas and the opportunity I had to talk to you guys. Take care, Shan