Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fim tá aqui - The end is here

I'm pretty sure next week I'm not going to be able to send emails, so this is going to be my last email, and I'm gonna keep it way short. 

J and L were sealed in the temple this week! I was able to attend, which turned out to be an incredible experience. Words can't describe how happy I am for having gotten to know them and see their progress. 

I'm grateful for the privilege that I've had to be here and grow. Thank you all for everything that you've done. There have been days where I literally felt your support, which has served as a testimony that I have an incredible family. I'll see you next week!

Elder Stallings

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Last 6 Weeks

Hey everyone,

Well, it rained a ton this week. I think my shoes stayed wet the entire week, which is a terrible feeling putting wet shoes on when you have dry feet. All of my shoes are completely destroyed, but I'm impressed they managed to last this long in general. 

I've entered into my last transfer, which means I'm in my last 6 weeks. It's tough to imagine that I have so little time until the end of my mission. I don't feel like it's been 2 years at all. I feel like I just kind of left for a little, and now it's coming to an end. I really want to work hard every day for these 6 weeks, even if it means working with crap shoes. I would buy new ones, but the shoes they sell here wouldn't last 2 days. Maybe on the last 2 days I'll buy a new pair of shoes. 

Aside from the shoes, the week was awesome. Elder Schuman left, and now I'm with another elder from São Paulo, Elder Santos. It was awesome being with Elder Schuman. It was super funny to work and walk around with him the streets of CIC. 

We taught a woman this week who was going through a divorce. As we were talking with her, her husband barged into the room, yelling at us and telling us that we were liars (It became quite apparent as to why she was getting divorced). We just kind of sat there, waiting for him to either finish, or break something. He decided to finish, and stood there not knowing what to do. I told him we weren't there to convince him (or her) of anything. We explained that as people, and especially as families, it's important to remember our base and our foundation. If we have no foundation as a family, we have no way to keep our family together. As we explained that it was our purpose to provide this base for all families, he stood there with his hand on his chin. In the end, he thanked us. It wasn't anything dramatic, but it was enough to see that he had really felt something in the moment and moved his idea about us. Awesome to see how changes happen, even quick changes. 

I'll keep the letter short today! Love you all

-Elder Stallings

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Voltei pra Boqueirão!

Just figured I'd update everyone one Connor. Despite my lack of keeping up with his blog, he hasn't dropped off the face of the earth, still in Brazil, still loving the mission life.  This letter was from June 22nd.  Honestly, some of his weekly letters are pretty short, ("Hey, love you, doing well, bye") This one had a few more details. 

Hey family!
Well, after 3 good transfers I finally left Bairro Novo! I returned to the stake Boqueirão and I'm serving in Xaxim! (Sha-shing is how you say it) My new companion is Élder Moriera, and he's a really good guy. I'm super excited to be here and to continue as a zone leader and get to know this area a little better. It's actually super close to Bairro Novo, so a lot of the scenery is pretty much the same. But either way, I'm way excited to be here!

So Cauã was confirmed on Sunday! He managed to bring his dad, which was a miracle. I think his dad might have been a little drunk, but it was still good that he managed to go. I really hope that Cauã will keep going to church. Like I said after, his dad is pretty much always drunk or doing other things, and his step mom isn't all that great either. We're really hoping that this family of recent converts that live next to him will be able to help him keep going to church. 

Other news: I got an eye exame, and bought new glasses. Pictures are attached. 

Also, I said goodbye to elder Dallastra today. It's his last day on the mission. Gonna miss him. He's a super good elder! Really glad I had him as my trainer. 

Other than that, the week was awesome. Love you all so much!
Elder Stallings

Friday, March 27, 2015

Semana Bem Boa! Week of Jan 26th

Hey Family!

This week was great! It was stressful, but awesome. Our teaching pool exploded with people to teach and people with baptismal dates. One of the best people we're teaching is a kid who's gonna be 15, Jean. He's reading the book of Mormon every night, wants to be baptized, and went to church yesterday! He wants his step dad to hear about the church, and pretty much his whole family too haha. We were also given a referral to 2 grandchildren of a member who moved into our ward this week. We're really trying to find families and other people to teach, but the Lord is putting all of these people in our path for some reason. 

My companion, Elder Bonetti is way awesome. Really proactive, and he makes me laugh at the dumbest things. He wants to learn english really bad, so we're trying to practice english in the road. One of the reasons he wants to learn english really bad is because this week, we found a guy living here in brazil from England! He has a 3 year old daughter, and his wife is brazillian. She speaks english with a PERFECT english accent, its crazy! They're super open to religion, and have so much potential. The whole lesson was in english (except the prayer for some reason) and it was so weird teaching in english! But we definitely have plans to help them get to know the church a little better with some members who speak english. 
Attached is a picture of me, elder bonetti (right), and my good friend Hyrum (on left). Met him when I was serving in São José Centro, and he called me this week and wanted to go out with us. Awesome guy! He returned from his mission not even a year ago, and is giving us some great ideas. 

Thank you so much for the love and the letters! Got the birthday package!! I didnt open the card yet, but I definitely opened some of the food. 

Love you!!
-Elder Stallings

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Nem tenho palavras! (I don't have the words!)

Oi Family!

Whats up! This week was pretty interesting. We were able to find some incredible people to teach, and have some baptismal dates that are coming up pretty soon. So what was interesting this week was the fact that Saturday, we got a call from Presidente. He informed us that my companion, Elder Schirmer, was being called to be the next assistent and that he would leave the area monday (today). The goodbyes were tough. He was definitely one of my favorite companions on the mission. So now I'm here in the area with Elder Maciel, the elder who I trained, as my companion for this week. Its definitely gonna be an interesting week, because I'll be working in his area one day and my area the other day. 

But anyway, I'll tell a story real quick. This isnt really anything spiritual but I think you'll like it. Friday at our lunch appointment, the member made a bunch of food. Pasta, rice, beans (of course rice and beans), chicken, and salad. I was grabbing pretty much everything, and saw that there was also a pan of what looked like cooked hamburger meat with cheese or something. I wasn't really sure what the heck it was, but it was on the stove with all the other food, so I took some to be poliet. When the member looked at my plate, she saw the food that I had and gasped "Oh no! Did you take the meat in that pan??" Of course I did. She then informed me that that was the food she was giving to the dog. Luckily, it wasnt dirty or old or anything. But in other words, I ate the dogs food for lunch on Friday.

Love you all so much!
Elder Stallings

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vou estar na casa próximo natal! (I'm going to be home next Christmas!)

Well hey family!

My goodness, skyping with you was incredible. It was pretty funny, because to me it felt like a normal conversation with you all. (That dang vaccume sound is still a mystery.) But I'm glad I'm here in Brazil serving this mission. Absolutely no regrets here!

So my camera offically broke for reals time. It was always kind of having problems opening and shutting, but I was always able to fix it. But now it doesnt even make a sound when I turn it on. It lets me see the pictures, but the lens or motor or something inside is busted. ("Its busted." "Who you callin' busted, Buster? Thats right, I'm talking to you, Sid Philips." Gotta have Toy Story quotes.) The cameras here are pretty expensive, so I'll probably just use the incredible camera on our cell phone until I find another solution. Attached are some of the pictures I took during the week with the cell phone. 

Our teaching pool is in the process of being recreated. Actually, we have a ton of people who definitely are gonna be baptized. The only problem we're having is finding these people in their houses. A lot are on vacation because of the new year, so its frusterating to teach someone and have an incredible lesson only to find out that they won't return unitl Feb. We actually had an incredible lesson with a 19 year old kid, Ricardo. He understood the message so well that he immediately told us that he needed to share this with his pastor, because he was following the wrong church. He told us that he was gonna share this with everyone! We're definitely excited to follow up with him [when we find him in his house again] and see his progress! 

I don't know if I shared this with you, but do you guys remember Leandro and Jessica? They were the people that I said "Why not?" and we entered into their house. Well, they were baptized right when I was transfered, and I was able to visit them last week! They're doing great, and have goals to be sealed in the temple, and visit Minnesota in 2 years. Incredible people!

Thanks so much for the wonderful christmas! The boxes and presents were great. I'm eating all the cereal this week haha. I love you all so much! 
Elder Stallings


Sunday, December 14, 2014

A missão é incrível! - Week of Dec 8th

Hey Family!

Man, this week was great. So I'm definitely loving this new area and this companion that I have. The area is called "Parque da Fonte" or Font Park haha. Its a pretty big area, so I'm still trying to get to know it. But I had a bunch of splits and exchanges here when I was here in the zone, so I already knew a little bit. My companion, Elder Schirmer (Brazillian from Rio Grande do Sul [Big South River]) is such a great Elder. He really likes to sing (in english and portuguese), so we have a lot of hymns that we sing in the road. He's really helping me a lot, and we hit off the transfer great.
Thanksgiving Pizza

The ward here is super supportive, and the bishop is new. Actually, the ward was split  couple months ago, so this is a new ward that we're working with. I think the ONLY weak part about the ward is the lack of youth. But we already have a baptismal date set for 1 (soon to be 2) youth that went to church sunday. The Lord is giving us so many options in our teaching pool, its incredible. Over all, I have no worries about our area. Its definitely in the Lords hands as we have other responsibilities to attend to sometimes. 
Iron Man

Its so great to find people who understand what we say. It sounds weird, but you have no idea how many people simply dont understand the message of the Restoration. We try to teach so simply but a lot of times people have their minds shut and dont hear anything we say. But this week it was incredible to see some of the people we taught really listen and consequently, completely understand the message. Definitely have a ton of people this next week with lots of potential!

Well, sorry I dont have too much to say today. I love you all so much! Thank you for the support and love!
Elder Stallings