Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter Monday in Ireland

Editor's note- Monday was a holiday in Ireland, so Megan only had a few minutes to write.  It's short!
View from the top of Cavehill
 Our friend, Emma, got baptized on Saturday!  It was so amazing! She's not in our ward and it was great to be able to attend her baptism and see joy the gospel brings to her life.  I hope we can have many more opportunities to witness the gospel change lives! 
We climbed Cavehill today, it was so fun! 
Hiking Cavehill
Belfast was put on high alert for terrorist attacks this weekend. The IRA made some threats because the Rising was exactly 100 years ago.  (The Easter Rising was an armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week, April 1916.  The Rising was launched by Irish Republicans to end British rule in Ireland while the United Kingdom was heavily engaged in World War I. It was the most significant  uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798.)
We were told to stay out of city center and avoid parades. Guess where we live.... yeah- our flat overlooks the parades in city center.  We're safe, good thing!! 
  when you get put on high alert......
 Love you all so much, hope you had a happy Easter!!

-Sister Stapley

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Belfast!

Watching the parade from our flat.
 Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
 Thursday, there was a parade right outside our flat, so we got to watch! It lasted about 10 minutes, but still, it was fun! It was crazy after that though. We walked through city center to catch a bus and there were hundreds of 14-16 year olds, all going crazy. There were dozens and dozens of heavily armed and armored police men standing around them, just waiting for a riot to break out. -it was like the lamanites vs the nephites. the drunken scantily clad painted sinners vs the heavily prepared and armed righteous. It was really interesting, and super terrifying at the same time.
Friday, we got to go to Dublin and exchange with the Sister Training Leaders there! Sister Norin from Sweden was with Sister Wagner, and I was with Sister Muller! She's from Frieburg Germany, and is my German counterpart. She's a spastic, soccer-loving physical therapist! We had so much fun together and it was so cool to talk to all the people in Dublin. 

This girl named Charis came out teaching with us on Saturday. She's from a neighboring ward. She was baptized in September and is going to go on a mission in the fall! She was so fun!

We're excited for Easter next week, it's a great time to remember the Savior! 
Love you all,
Sister Stapley

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


With our friend, Emma
Not much blogworthy stuff this week, other than the random murals we found! They are literally on a sketchy side street on the Catholic side of town, but of course we had to stop and take pics!
Our investigator Chris is amazing! He is in his twenties, has a sick beard, and is very knowledgeable on sports. He told me this week that Bruce Irvin got traded to the Raiders...dang it. Chris definitely has a testimony, but his wife isn't very supportive. His little family is probably moving to Utah in the fall though, so who knows what'll happen! 
The weather is improving! The sun actually comes out occasionally, so spring is definitely on it's way. We're supposed to stay out of Catholic areas until after Easter though, the riots are pretty bad this time of year.

My companion goes home in a month, so on her last month mark, we bought a chocolate cake and ate the whole thing for dinner. Best idea ever. We're also keeping up with our weekly French Toast Nights. We're not quitters, when we make a goal, we stick to it. We devoured a whole loaf last week, so you could call us over-achievers.
French toast!
That's it really, sorry for the short letter, hope everyone at home is good!  -Sister Stapley

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Break in Bangor!


So this was a fun week! There is a sister in Bangor whose companion went home, so she was waiting with us until she got moved to Scotland. Her name is Sister Stribling, and she's literally the funniest person ever. We got to go to Bangor for a couple days and teach with her. Bangor is a cool coastal town about 45 min by train from Belfast, it was so nice to hang out at the beach! There were tons of shells and the water was crystal clear! Too bad it was 30 degrees, but it was still fun to get out of Belfast for a bit!

So about Belfast, we only saw one arrest this week, so things are improving for sure! The IRA planted some car bombs so there were a couple bombings throughout Belfast.
We were supposed to get Stribling to Belfast to catch the ferry to Scotland the next morning, but the Elders told us the wrong time. So she got an extra day with us! It was hilarious though, we ran from the train to the ferry and back to our flat and back to the ferry with all of her luggage. She had 4 suitcases, each one about 50 pounds. It was a crazy day!

Sunday was Mother's Day in the UK! So we went white-boarding again in city center! We asked "What is wonderful about your mum?" The responses were really cool! 
Our friend, Emma, is getting baptised! We got formal invitations from her, she's super excited! (oh and they spell baptised with an 's' here)

We also got to meet with a lady from Portugal named Mafalda! She is really interested in learning, and she wants to be baptised as well! Only problem, she doesn't speak English. Luckily there are a few Brazilians in our ward and one sister translated for us. It went really well!
Modeling the Elders' hats
 Everyone wants to know if I will be voting for Trump.  Seriously, I have no idea what is going on with that...and we aren't supposed to discuss politics anyway.  That's about it for me. The days go slow, but the weeks are flying by! Hope everyone at home is doing well! 

-Sister Stapley

Thursday, March 3, 2016's me.

SUNSHINE!!!!!'s me.

It's been a pretty good week here! The days dragged on forever, but the week went really fast. 

I have learned a lot about myself and about life since I've been out here. I will enumerate but a few:

-I've learned how to make hard choices. Why would I have to do this, you may ask. Well, a sewage pipe on the bottom floor in the elevator shaft broke earlier this week. I live on the 9th floor. So we have the choice of an elevator ride through heck, or run up 9 flights of stairs. And I mean run, because the smell lingered anywhere 5th floor and under. 

-I've learned the importance of sobriety. I have witnessed not one, not two, but three men fall into the middle of the road at different times throughout this week, completely drunk. It was usually around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, so the men were very lucky that the cars were paying attention and didn't run them over. 

-I've learned the importance of the police. We saw two bomb squads this week, I am thankful for their fervent searches. 

-I've learned about the Belfast drug scene. We are teaching a young man who has had a very rough life. He told us all about his involvement in drug dealing and being a hitman. He's very interested in Jesus Christ and is ready to change!

-I've learned I prefer crunchy peanut butter over creamy. I know. I've changed.
-I've learned that, in the words of Myra and Princess Diaries, "Miracles happen once in a while if you believe". Really though, things are finally starting to get better.
We have a legitimate investigator!!!!!!!!! It's absolutely a miracle. Saturday night, after a long week of finding without any success, we get a phone call. It's the sister missionaries from Hill Cumorah in New York! They say that someone in our area went on and requested to be taught more! We went and visited this guy Chris, and he's so cool! He's married, has the cutest little 2 year old daughter, is tatted up, and has the coolest beard. AND he wants to be baptized!! It's amazing, such a miracle.  Thanks everyone for all the prayers!
Blue sky!

WWII war hero, Ben Crawford, he's 95 and in the ward.
There was a parade outside our apartment a couple days ago! We stood on our deck and watched. Turns out Belfast is entering parade season, where they have random marches and parades every week or so. The grand finale is July 11th and 12th. If I'm still in the area on those days, I'm not allowed to leave the apartment. It's pretty dangerous. Look up the details, it's interesting! 
So I have 6 weeks left with Sister Wagner! We are living it up while she's here.  We have a lot of fun together.

Sunset over Belfast
Thanks everyone for all the emails, I hope everyone has a great week! 

~Sister Stapley