Friday, November 29, 2013

Email 11/29/13

Oi, Familia!
Wow, its already been a week in the MTC! Let me say right off the bat that this has by far been the toughest experience I've ever done. But it's the kind of tough where you know you won't die, and the pay off will be incredible.
Alright, I'm sure you're all wondering how my companions, roomies, and portuguese is coming. I will answer all of these questions. There's so much I want to say so I dont even know where to start. Starting with my companero, Elder Schuman, he is very awesome. He is our district leader, and we got along just fine. We're definitely different, but we know when to get serious and when to have fun, which is something I see a lot of the Elders in our zone having problems with. On the 3rd day (2nd actual day), they had us teaching lessons to investigators in Portuguese. If you want to know how the lessons went, picture dad's "wheeze" laugh. That sums up our first 2 lessons perfectly. So on the 4th day when we had to teach our 3rd lesson, I decided we needed to try something different. I suggested putting ourselves in the "silla caliente" which i'm pretty sure is espanol for "hot seat". We ended up condensing our pages of notes and scripts that we wanted to say onto 1 single note card, IN ENGLISH. So we had zero portuguese words in front of us while we were teaching. As we walked into the lesson, we were relying 100% on the spirit to cover the portuguese we didnt know. I've never been more amazed in my life, as we were able to teach a lesson in portuguese without a script or anything. It was truly amazing. Our next two lessons were also incredible, and the last one we did the investigator told my teacher, Irmao (brother) Barlow that he felt the spirit so strong that it was as if he was learning about the restoration for the 1st time. My portuguese is a solid 3/10, but the spirit is a 10/10. So me and Elder Schuman work pretty well together when it comes to teaching the lessons.
My teacher, Irmao Barlow, is incredible. On the first day I walked into the class, he saw my name and broke from his portuguese rant and said "do you know josh brogan?" to which i responded yes. Apparently, he served in Mozambique with josh, and I was able to talk with him for a little about it. He said Josh was his favorite companion, and he knew our families were good friends. He loves our whole district, but it feels nice to have a connection right off the bat with the teacher. It's always the best whenever we have classroom instruction with him as the teacher.
My roomates are very cool too. there's elder Kautai and elder Bishop, both of which are serving the in the Brazil, Belem mission. Elder Kautai is the district leader of his district, so we have two district leaders rooming. Elder Bishop is basically Derek Johnson. So funny. Elder Kautai is really fun too. Pictures will be included of everyone.

Thanksgiving was pretty good too. We got to hear Russell M Nelson speak, which was great. But honestly the best part for me was as my district was walking to the temple, Evan just happened to be pulling up and so he walked with us. I talked with him for like 30 or 40 minutes, basically about everything I told you. It was so nice to see him though. Definitely needed that.
Okay one more thing. If you look at the pictures, you'll see one with my head and a huge cut on it. I woke up 2 nights ago with pain in my head and my hands covered in blood. I'm pretty sure what happened was I sat up really fast for some reason and nailed my head on the bed (i'm on the bottom bunk). I either passed out or was just so out of it that it took me a while to realize what happened. I ended up putting a bandaid over it just so i could sleep, but then in the morning I took it off and have a scar now. fun.

I'm really glad I'm here right now. It IS tough and stressful, but I know it's all worth it. I love you all very much! Enjoy the pictures!
Elder Stallings

That's going to leave a mark

Evan & Tawn (Evan's nickname for Connor)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

First Letter Home

2nd Day . . .  What is happening?

Dear Family and maybe some friends,

Hi: It is currently the 2nd night in the MTC and I have yet to comprehend I'm actually here.  Seriously though, I've never had so much information thrown at me in such a short amount of time.  I have an awesome set of elders living with me though.  

My companion, Elder Schuman, is very awesome.  Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a better first companion.  Me and him clicked right away.  He reminds me of Sam Haskin in a way, just not as dry on the humor.  But he's still funny and plays percussion.  

Tonight when we were meeting our Branch Presidents, he got called to the the District Leader.  If that's not cool enough, my other roommate, Elder Kauti (I spelled his name wrong) also got called to be a District Leader.  His companion, Elder Bishop, is pretty much Derek Johnson, so everyone gets along great.

I won't have a P-day until Friday, so that's when you'll get an email. I gotta go to bed, but I love you all very much. I'm growing more and more each day.

Elder Stallings

Elder Connor David Stallings
2005 N. 900 E. Unit 134
Provo, UT 84602


Leaving Minnesota....

Elder Stallings leaves Minneapolis on November 19th for Provo, Utah for his 2 year mission to Curitiba, Brazil!! Connor will spend up to 6 weeks in the Mission Training Center (MTC) learning the Portugese, but he will leave for Brazil immediately as soon as his visa is approved. Missionaries who are awaiting approval of their visa will be temporarily assigned to stateside missions.    

More pictures of cousins saying goodbye!