Cuiaba Brazil Weather

Monday, December 30, 2013

Week # 54 Christmas

Buenos dias for you Spanish speakers out there, Merry Christmas and a happy new year this week. So yeah it was a good week, and a pretty trunky week as well, it was kinda hard. It was hard to work and it was pretty weird after talking to you guys. Cause your brain gets in a weird mode and you just think about home and family and stuff. But it was great talking to you guys on Christmas, it was definitely the best gift that I could have gotten. I'm glad I'm not serving a mission way back in the day when you guys slept on the ground and used leaves as toilet paper, and had to put your letters in a bottle and then throw it out to sea and hope that it somehow made it back to your house. haha jk but missionaries have it pretty good now days, except for the world is alot worse and wickedness is accepted as what's normal and correct. That part is hard. Whatever though, the world will keep doing what  its doing and the Church will keep doing what its doing and it wont change, but yeah it was nice talking to you guys and seeing your faces, Kadens voice is sure alot deeper. He sounds like dad haha. My companion heard dad talking and was like whoah your dad sounds like a giant or something. That will be cool though, next Christmas, I can talk to your faces in real life haha, that will be nice. I forgot to wish Kaden happy birthday when we were talking, I hope he had a good birthday on Friday, after we got done skyping we went to another members house and ate mangos and cup cakes and flan and stuff it was good. Then we went home and that's all that happened. I enjoyed Christmas though, and it was my last in Brazil. I think it will be memorable. So last p-day like I said, we went to a place called the city of Christmas which had some cool stuff there lots of place to take pictures and they had a Santa clause house that we went to and took pictures with Santa clause, but he wasn't much of a Santa clause, he looked like we was ready to die on the couch. I thought it was funny. I got some pictures with him and another Santa clause as well who also had an elf with him. They had a neat Christmas tree thing that they had made that I also have pictures of. We had a good time and we went with a good chunk of our zone there. As for work this week it was good but hard cause all of our investigators and members were traveling, the day after Christmas we walked a ton and I think we went to 7 or 8 houses but nobody was home, we just ended up making contacts with wishy washy old people, Plus I was all trunky thinking about family and stuff, it was probably one of the worst days I have ever had in a while, but Friday and Saturday were good cause we had a recently returned missionary come with us to visit people and we visited alot of new people and found new families and investigators, unfortunately nobody super interested and none of our investigators showed up at church yesterday, we even had members stop by their houses to give them rides but they were all "busy". That made me sad, but still we worked hard this week and we got some references from members that we will work with and hopefully we can be blessed with some baptisms this next transfer. Transfers is next week, its more than likely that i will be staying here with Elder Campos, but who knows this is his second transfer in this area but i think he will stay on more here with me, we will see though. Sounds like we should be moving into our new house in the next 2 weeks so that will be good, I am sick of walking an hour and a half just to get to lunch, we have been taking the bus usually but it get expansive, 6 reais everyday so that's like half of what we get, I think we get about 11 reais per day on average, so its getting expensive. whatever though the new house is green and has a place to make bbq! ya.  So I want to go to walmart today and buy a new watch and peanut butter and oreos, but I doubt that we will go today cause we already plan on playing soccer at our residential soccer field, oooooh fancy, too bad I will be moving. Also I got the email from grandma dale without any problems. SO we were at the lan house sending emails but the internet kept cutting out which was getting annoying and  I lost a good part of my email and had to restart again, so we left and ate lunch and now we left and went to a different lan house so now I am finishing up this email right now, so I don't really have a whole lot to write but yeah so today its raining alot so it looks like we wont be able to do anything so we will see. But I was just thinking alot this week about how The Lord has blessed me so much with my family and friends. Its hard to put into words how much love we have for our family sometimes but I want you to all know how much I love all of you and how blessed I feel to have such a wonderful family that loves me and supports me in everything. I feel bad because there are alot of missionaries whose families aren't members or are less actives or don't offer very much support. I am very blessed to have a wonderful family at home that loves me and I thank heavenly Father everyday for my family that raised me in the Gospel and taught me to pray and love the scriptures and to go to church and to love my Savior. I'm glad that I have a testimony of my savior and that I know who he is and that I know that he knows me very well. I hope with this new year I can make my family and my Heavenly Father proud. I hope that everyone has a good new year and that it is safe. Read the scriptures and pray everyday, we become very week if we don't read or pray. I am grateful for the Gospel and for my Brother Jesus Christ, I love Him and it will always be Him that I will worship and follow. May the Good Lord bless all of you this year and may we strive to be better every day and love everyone as the Savior loves us. Well that's about all I have to say for this week thanks for everything and I love you all and take good care!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, December 23, 2013

Brazil, Campo Grande Week #53 New Area & a Walmart Store

Feliz Natal Minha Família!  what´s up everybody, I hope you are enjoying the holidays, I would like to be spending Christmas with my family right now but not till next year haha. Strange thought next Christmas I will be home. So yeah I was transferred :(  I've missed my area in Cuiabá alot. Seems like we never realize how good we have something until we don't have it anymore. But I'll go where the Lord wants me to go, and so now I'm here in Campo Grande, in the state of Mato Grosso do sul. Translation. I'm in the city of big field in the state of thick forest of the south. Its pretty original I know. So yeah, We had alot of complications getting here, we were supposed to leave Tuesday night after our mission Christmas conference which was sweet. We had a good time, we had to each recite a memorized scriptures to president and sister Reber in front of everyone at the pulpit. I recite Ether 12:12  Pois se não houver fé entre os filhos dos homens Deus não pode fazer milagres entre eles, portanto ele não apareceu senão depois que tiveram fé.  Yeah really impressive I know haha jk. But we had a good time we did some skits, and ate and had a good ol' time, we were blessed and a member named Gustavo gave me and Elder Payne a ride to the center with all of our luggage, I was kinda stressed cause we were having a hard time finding someone that could give us a ride to the center with all of our suitcases cause the mission wasn't going to send us van to pick us up. But it all worked out and I am happy for that, I was sad cause I didn't get to say goodbye to alot of members cause we were so pressed with time last p-day and also it rained a ton so it made it really hard to be able to visit anyone. But I hope that one day I can at least pay a visit to industriário one day. I'm sure I will go back to Cuiabá eventually, we will see. So we were supposed to leave Cuiabá at 8 o clock Tuesday night, we got to the bus station late at like 7:50 and we went to get our tickets, but they only had a bus ticket marked for Elder Moraes, and for some reason me and Elder Payne didn't have tickets already booked in our name. Things were kinda crazy after that cause we were trying frantically to get a hold of the office elders but we didn't have their numbers, so I had to dig into my suitcases to find a folder that I have that has all of the numbers for the office Elders, meanwhile our bus left so we had already missed the bus, but now we were stuck in the Cuiabá bus station without cell phones or anything, so Elder Moraes had to use payphones that they had and so we got a hold of the guys in the office finally and they sent a taxi to pick us up again, Elder Moraes could have taken the bus since he had his ticket marked  already, but he stayed with us which was good of him. They didn't have anymore buses going to campo grande that night and so we went back to the office elders apartments, the next day they said that they couldn't find any buses with seats still, cause its the holidays so everyone was traveling, so they said that we would have to wait until Thursday morning till we would be able to leave from Cuiabá.  We would just have to bum in the office all day Wednesday, so we went to the office and Elder Kay, one of the office Elders, found us some seats on a bus that would leave at 7 that night, so we could leave alot earlier and get there Thursday morning instead of Thursday night. So that's what we did we almost missed our bus again cause we only had one really small taxi so we had to make 2 trips so I went first with most of the baggage and with the everybodys identitie,s so that when I got to the bus station I could give the workers their our information so that they could get our tickets printed off and ready as soon as possible. But, the lady took foreverrrrrrrrrr! I don't know why but she took forever with our stuff, the other guys arrived and we got all our luggage moved to where the bus was but we couldn't board yet cause the lady still didn't have our stuff ready, so we were getting anxious I was running back and forth Elder Moraes was staying with the worker lady that was printing off our tickets, finally she got them printed off and I grabbed them and ran back to the bus and we got all our stuff loaded, we had a bunch of extra stuff that we had to bring we had all the Christmas packages that families had sent, so we had to take it all to the missionaries in the south it was kind of a pain, but it worked out. It was me and Elder Payne and Elder Moraes on the bus, we didn't sleep a whole lot. I wish we could have gone during the day cause I wanted to see all the lush greenery and trees and wildlife, its supposed to be really pretty. Elder Payne had some sleeping pills that he let me take which helped me sleep, we got to the halfway point and we stopped at a bus station to take a bathroom break and get some food if we wanted, it was about 3 in the morning and by this time the sleeping pills had kicked in and I was walking around all woosily and drunk looking, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open and I was slurring my words really bad. I bought some food and the lady was asking me some weird questions about if I wanted a discount on the food cause we were missionaries. I was like no, no.  I will just pay like normal don't worry about giving us a discount, accept when I said it,  it was so slurred and garbled that it sounded like não não qewo sow iw pwa onbussse não pweswiso descweconta ablah balh bal hbal hbalh bnaha blah ad ioasgha caraca. . So yeah she didn't understand anything of what i was saying, she kept asking me if  I wanted a discount and some other stuff that I don't even remember, I was kinda getting impatient cause she wasn't understanding me and plus our bus was about to leave and I still hadn't paid for my food, so I was just like look my food cost 8 reas so here's 8 reais, then I told her I was sorry cause I was tired. I think she must have thought I was using drugs or something haha, I'll have to explain things better if I go back north one day again. So then we got back on the bus and I fell asleep until we got to campo grande. We got to campo grande at about 7:30 in the morning, and one of the first things I saw when we got into the city limits was WALMART!! I will have to go there one p-day just to see how it is.  I hear you can buy peanut butter there for like 20 bucks haha. So President Rebers counselor was there at the bus station and he gave me and Elder Moraes to our house, and he took care of Elder Payne's next bus ticket cause he would have to catch another bus to Ponta Porã which is the most southern area of our mission. The assistants said he got to Ponta porã fine, but when he got there nobody was there to pick him up, so I don't even know what happened but sounds like he should be good now. He's with an Argentinian now. So Here in Campo Grande we live in a gated community that is really nice, it has soccer fields and pavilion areas and a little track that we can run on that is right in front of our house. We live with the assistants here, Elder Hancock and Elder Moraes. Our flipping area is about a 50 minute walk from our house, so that s kind of a joke, they told us to find a house to move into that is located in our area so my first day there we found a nice green house, we checked it out, and its like brand new and a good price, so we called the finance Secretary of the mission and gave him the information and so sounds like he is already doing a contract with the owners and if everything works out, we will be moving in in a couple of weeks. yay. So we just spent these last few days getting to the know the area and some of the members, the bad things is it rained all day yesterday and Saturday and part of Friday, so it was really hard to do anything because it rains really hard, even an umbrella doesn't help much. My Companion is Elder Campos, he hit 4 months yesterday on the mission, he is 21 and is from Rio de Janeiro.  He is just as white as I am. We get along great and I look forward to getting to know him better. Campo Grande is almost as hot as Cuiabá this time of the year, but it is a little bit cooler I have noticed, the house here is full of blankets which doesn't exist in Cuiabá, I got  really burnt out on Friday our Lunch was about and hour and 45 minute walk just to get to lunch. And the sun was hot, I even burnt the scalp of my head, which just shows how thin my hair is getting. Sunday there was 74 people at church, which is better than it was. We are actually in a ward here, about a year and a half ago there was about 120 people going to church but there have been alot of people falling away from the church, I feel that, that is what Heavenly Father wants us to do here is help increase the number of people going to church. I'm excited though and I hope we can help reactivate some people and baptize here. It seems like baptisms are getting harder and harder for everybody, this week the entire mission only baptized 4 people.  That's because Satan is working alot harder he knows that before long Christ will come again and so now he is giving it all that he's got. But I'm really liking Campo Grande, its definitely a cleaner more modern city, the roads aren't nearly as bad as the roads in Cuiabá. There are alot more planted trees here and its just a different mission here. It doesn't look like what I'm used to seeing. So this letter is getting too long, but I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas. And want to thank everyone for the emails and for the presents and money from Grandma and Grandpa Fitzgerald and Grandma and Grandpa Kennington. i really appreciate the love that you all have and for the thoughts and prayers. I'm excited to skype on Christmas still not exactly sure what our plans are for the day, but I will be emailing at between 10 and 11 your time to let you know that I'm ready to skype. But it should be great and I´m excited.  Eu espero que nesta época de Natal nós possamos lembrar de Nosso Salvador Jesus Cristo, e que possamos lembrar do sacrifício que ele fez por nós. Sou muito grato por ter uma família maravilhosa que me ama, oro para que nós tenhamos mais alegria em nossas vidas e que sempre sejamos seguidores de Cristo. Feliz Natal pra todos Amo Vocês com todo meu coração!!!  Use google tanslator if you need.  Love you all! until Christmas day
-Elder Kennington Picture of me an my companion and stuff from the Christmas conference

Monday, December 16, 2013

Brazil Week #52 New Transfer, New Companion

Hey family Good morning hope you are all well. So it´s been a pretty quick week this week it went by pretty quick. Not much really happened, but also alot happened as well. SO in our mission right now they had a mini transfer because there are six missionaries that are going home today, so that they could be home with their families during Christmas, because if not, they would go home on the 6th of January which is the actual transfer, but President Reber is letting them go home before Christmas to be with their families on Christmas. Elder Cordeiro is heading home today, as well he has finished his mission. So there are 6 missionaries going home, but the mission isn't receiving anybody.  SO that meant that hey would have to do some switching up in the mission and close some areas or pull some missionaries out of some areas. And what do you know me and Elder Payne got pulled out of Industriário and we are being transferred down south to campo grande which is a 12 hour bus ride from cuiabá. I´m pretty bummed out to be honest. Cause I'm leaving an area and a ward that I love and plus I wont be with Elder Payne, I wont even get to finish out the transfer with him. Sounds like I'm going to a branch...again. I checked out their numbers they baptized 9 people last year, and have about 65 people or so that go every week. I guess it could be worse. My companion will be Elder Campos. A Brazilian with 4 or 5 months on the mission. So lets go and work like crazy. Elder Payne will be with Elder W Lemes a brazilian. He will still be in my district though, so I will get to see him every week. President came to our ward here yesterday ,to give a training and after church he told us that he was sending us down to campo grande. I don't know I was kinda expecting it. I knew that they were probably going to pull some missionaries out of Cuiabá, and our area made the most sense cause there was already 4 missionaries here and we already lived in the same house, so it wouldn't mess stuff up too bad if they pulled us out, because the church would still be able to keep the house of the missionaries, and they will be able to put more missionaries back in as soon as more missionaries arrive. I was talking to Jetson and he said that his mission has like 300 missionaries in it, our mission has like 125. We are lacking alot of American missionaries, which is taking a toll on our mission. But sounds like a few more got their visas so that's good. Well I really don't have any desire to write today but Ill keep writing anyway. Also on Thursday my hump day, President called Elder Moraes one of the zone leaders here and told him that he was going to the south to campo grande to be one of the assistants there.  So its been kind of a wild week, Elder John was transferred to here from his area which is 15 minutes away he was our district leader, but now he will be zone leader here. Our new district leader is an Elder that switched missions. He's a Brazilian who was serving ine São Paulo, but his girlfriend got called to the same mission, so they moved him to our mission which is kinda crazy I think. So Elder Moraes was in a threesome with us and so we had to visit alot of people so he could say goodbye, and also to help him get packed. Its been kind of a pain in the butt this week. We were still able to work quite a bit, I went on a division with Elder Moraes early in the week and we just spent the week trying to find new investigators and teach lessons and make contacts. But we didn't have much success everyone was either too busy, or already had their own religion. SO we did alot of talking and walking, but we didn't have much success. Also, I was bummed out too cause we stopped my DAlilas and Brendas multiple times every day during the week, but every time she was either too "busy" to even show her face and talk or she "wasn't at home." I finally tracked her down on Saturday, because she went to get her hair done at some salon, so I had her family tell me where the salon was located and so I went and found her and talked to her and asked if she was going to church tomorrow? She told us that she had an appointment Sunday morning and that she couldn't go to church, I said what?! Do you have an appointment with your mattress in the morning? She then tried to give me some excuse, it was obvious she was lying. That grinded my gears, cause I hate when people lie to my face. I just told her that we would be waiting for her at church. I'm not sure what happened why she is avoiding the missionaries now, but I wish she would at least let us sit down and ask her what's going on.  I gave her address to the zone leaders now and so hopefully they can help her out. That's what we did yesterday was I showed the leaders where our investigators live and some members and stuff. Elder Groff only has 3 weeks in the area and so he still doesn't know it to well, so I had to show him some stuff yesterday. Oh,  btw we had to go to the mission office again to take care of some stuff with Elder Payne's i.d and I picked up my package it had arrived safely. I already opened it all up and went through my Christmas goodies. Thanks for all the sweet stuff I was needing it, I threw away most of my old socks yesterday, because they were all full of holes and stuff. I think the only thing that went bad was the caramel, I don't know if it was because of the climate change or what, but the texture just turned into sugar, you bite into it and its like you but into a ball of sugar, it tastes good but its pretty hard to get past the texture, But other than that it was all great and fine and dandy. I was super happy to get it, thanks for the cards as well, and the pictures of the brothers. I about peed down both legs when I saw the picture of Kaden he looks like he's some 17 year old kid, I didn't even recognize him almost!  Jordan's picture was kinda funny too, looks like you guys did that option where they clean up the picture, it turned out good though. So yeah hump day was just any other day. We worked we laughed we ate rice and beans, actually we did have a bbq that night though at the stake presidents house, that was cool. But I can officially say that I have a year now. Its kinda snuck up on me, I have reached the summit and now I just slide to the bottom. Its gone quick, it doesn't seem like one year has gone by. Its been quick for me, but I don't know about you guys, this next year will be even faster. Btw sounds like on Christmas we will be able to Skype home, So hopefully I can get a laptop to myself in campo grande, we will figure it out more next p-day but I will probably send an email next week to confirm a time and stuff. I look forward to that though,  too bad the video didn't go through of Jordan after he got his wisdoms out, sounded pretty funny, I still remember when I got mine out, I'm glad I didn't swell up too much. SO also, last p-day we went to the center to print off some pictures and also I bought some new tennis shoes their nikes and I like them alot. My other ones were hurting my feet and I kept rolling my ankle when I walked in them, so I gave them to a member and bought some others. Doesn't feel too much like Christmas here, its hot but there's quite a few people with Christmas trees up. They always play that one John Lennon Christmas song that is really pretty, but its a portuguese version but it has really pretty words in the Portuguese version and focuses on Christ a little bit more. Also It was my plan to finish the Book of Mormon in Portuguese on hump day, But its been such a crazy week that I wasn't able to finish it, Ill finish it today though, I'm in Moroni and only have another 15 pages left. A promise that I think President  Packer made, is that if we read the Book of Mormon in another language out loud, when we finish, we will know that language, I can honestly say that I have read out loud the entire Book of Mormon in Portuguese, and it has helped me a ton. I know that the Lord has blessed and helped me a ton , because I have read and studied the Book of Mormon in my mission language. I have been able to understand things that I didn't understand before from the Book Of Mormon, Portuguese makes it a little clearer i think to understand the book of mormon. love the Book of mormon and I know its true. SO thats about it this is a pciture of our conference that we had last week with the seventy, tomorrow we will have our Christmas Conference, and than tomorrow night at 8 we will be headed to Campo Grande, me and ELder Payne and Elder Moraes will be going down together, we probably would be going today but then we would miss the Christmas party conference thing, because they have already done it in the south the conference and so we would miss out. But Yeah Love you guys I'm sad that I have to leave my area and my companion, but Ill just do what  I have to do. Love you all have a great week.!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cuiaba Brazil Week #51

Bom Dia Família Amada, espero que vocês estejam gostando do frio aí em casa, porque aqui está quente pra burro!!!  (Good morning beloved family, I hope you are all liking the cold there at home because here it is hot to donkey.) I don´t know it doesn´t makes sense in English but it's something that the people in this region of Brazil that I think is funny. So yeah, sounds like it was really cold back at home. I think I still prefer the heat, I´ve never liked the cold very much, but then again the heat here is a joke sometimes, it gets so bad. Some days I want to wear one of those desert turban things to protect my face and neck and brain cause its so hot walking around in the sun. Its good for Elder Payne though I guess, he's getting broken in pretty good I guess haha. He likes it though. So this week went by pretty quick for me. Did some cool stuff this week. I think I only worked for 2 or 3 days this week with my companion cause we had to do several divisions, and so I ended up being with Elder Groff for most of this week and Elder Payne stayed with Elder Moraes. Last p-day we didn't really do much we played some soccer and that was about it. We had a family home evening that night, that was good. I think it was Tuesday we had a normal days work with Elder Payne we visited Dalila who is a 16 year old young woman that we are preparing for baptism this Saturday. I know that she had a fool boyfriend that's 23 years old that she was all sad about because she couldn't get a hold of him and its been a while since she had seen him. We know that he only has one thing on his mind with a young women like her. She also likes coffee a lot. Yesterday after church she was all distressed because in young women they said that we don't drink coffee in our church, she was genuinely upset about that, so we explained it a little bit of why we don't drink coffee and some other things as well. She was a little immature about it though so I hope we can get all her problems resolved this week, we are also preparing her friend Brenda to be baptized this Saturday as well. I just hope everything works out, I know its not right but I get really ticked off when I think about how many investigators and baptisms Satan has ruined. Sometimes I almost go crazy thinking about all the obstacles and trash that he throws in front of us and our investigators. Sometimes I think that Satan focuses all his power on just me and my companion and our investigators. I know that isn't true. But something that the Holy Spirit has been telling me alot lately is that you are the senior companion now and that I have alot more responsibility now and that the rest of my mission is in my hands now. I wont be the one that makes most of the choices and I wont be following what my companions do, but now its me. Its my choice, I have one year left now. I want it to be one of the greatest years of my life. The Spirit has be telling me that. I can make it one of the most memorable greatest and happiest years of my life, or it could be just another year of my life. Thursday I will hit one year. It seems like yesterday that mom and dad dropped me off at the mtc in Provo. It seems like yesterday that I arrived in New York, and it seems like yesterday that I arrived in Brazil. Everything just goes by so fast. This time next year I will probably be on a plane back home. That's a sad thought for me. I don't want to leave Brazil or the mission. I'm glad that I still have another year to be here and give it my all. We have a hard mission and sometimes its hard to give all we have. Its super hot, the church isn't super strong here, and its hard to baptize alot of times in this mission. But I will give all that I have to my Heavenly Father cause this is his mission and his work and I am only one of his servants in the vineyard. I don't want to get home and have any regrets. It was cool going on splits this week we had to get to several other areas to do baptismal interviews and we also went to tijucal an area that has Elder Spencer and a missionary that he is training, Elder Jackson.  Elder Groff needed to help Elder Spencer with a few things there and so I went on splits with Elder Jackson we walked a ton and several of their appointments fell through, but we got to a house with a woman yelling, they had an appointment there, but the investigator was gone and the other lady that was there came out in tears saying that she was sorry cause her 7 year old daughter was being very disrespectful to her. I asked if we could do something to help her, the question caught her off guard but she said that we could talk to her daughter if we wanted. So we sat down with her daughter for 10 or 15 minutes and talked I asked her why she wasn't treating her mom very good, and told her that Heavenly father was sad that she wasn't showing respect to her mom, we talked some more and she promised to try harder, Elder Jackson just bore his testimony and he gave her a picture that he had of Jesus with the children, I'm glad that he had it. We gave it to her  and then we taught her how to pray, and she said a good prayer. Her mom was really happy and thanked us and said that she needs to start going to church again, so we set up another appointment for the missionaries to go back. They said  that before she had never talked to the missionaries, but now I think she will let the missionaries teach her. Its a good feeling when we know we are helping families. We had mission tour this week. Elder Gavarrete came to the mission and spoke, I thought it was cool. Everyone was scared that he was going to burn everybody though, we learned about how we need to work on retention and we need to baptize people that will stay active cause there is a huge number of less actives in our mission. Sunday the zone leaders baptized a family that was really cool, it made me really happy to see an entire family going down into the waters of baptism together. It gave me the renewed desire to always search for families who are ready to receive the Gospel. Well we are going to the center today and so I have been really short on time so its kind of a fast random email. I got to go now.  I'm excited to hit a year this week.  Elder Payne is  doing great, he is learning the language well even though he doesn't notice it. Well, please pray for us and our investigators Dalila and Brenda so that we can baptize them this week, I feel like Satan is going to do everything, to not let these baptisms happen. But whatever the Lords will is, is what is right.  So yeah we are going to get burned in the sun this week but the Lord never said it would be easy. Love ya, I will try and send pics if there is time. Love ya all
-Elder Kennington
                                                                    Sister Missionaries & Elder Saxton, His MTC Companion
Elder Cordeiro and Elder Kennington

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cuiaba Brazil Week #50. Transferes and New Companion Elder Kyle Payne

Elder Skyler Kennington and Elder Kyle Payne

Yeah week 50, that's alot of weeks! So its Monday again which is a pretty good day for missionaries. I know one of my favorite parts of the week is when I can read the emails of what's going on with everyone back at home. I know that we are a long, long ways away, but I feel you all very close to me. I´m glad that we are able to email every week. So its been a really cool week this week. Got to meet my new companion Elder Payne on Tuesday, there was only 3 Americans that got their visa this transfer sounds like there are is still close to 40 waiting now, and a few that have been waiting so long that they wont be allowed to come to our mission anymore and will have to stay in the states. That stinks. I was blessed to only stay for one transfer in New York. It has now been a little over 8 months that I got here to Brazil. Its gone by super quick. So all three of the Americans that arrived are being trained in my zone which is cool. The other trainers are Elder Baughan who has a year and 2 months, and Elder Spencer who entered the MTC and arrived in Brazil with me. They will be great trainers as well. SO its been kinda of complicated with work this week because of the transfers and my companion arriving from the states. So we didn't get to work a whole lot, we only had one real day of work, but that day we were able to teach 6 lessons and pick up several potentials. It was supposed to rain alot this week, but it rained two days this week and it was only for like 20 mins. The bad thing here is that it cools down while it rains, but then immediately after it just gets alot hotter. I'ts been pretty good to break Elder Payne in. But he is getting used to it without problems though, except the mosquitoes are going crazy on him, his feet are covered with mosquito bites. My feet too, but he has more bites. The mosquitoes leave the Brazilians alone, but they are always after Americans, we must taste different or something idk. So Monday morning they picked Elder Almeida up pretty early, about 8 in the morning, he had gotten everything packed up during the week and was all ready to leave. We said good bye and he thanked me and told me that he was grateful to have me as his last companion. I was sad to see him go and he was sad to leave too but he was happy of course to see his family and friends after 2 years. I was excited as well to be able to meet my new companion, but it wouldn't be till Tuesday. But on Tuesday they picked all the trainers up at about 10 in the morning and they took us to the mission office which is about 45 mins or so from my area. There was a new Elder there from Ecuador and a new sister from Peru that were going to the south to be trained. I talked to them both quite a bit. I knew both of their trainers really well and so I told them a little bit about them and told them not to  be nervous because they were in good hands, they both spoke pretty good Portuguese even though there was alot of spanish mixed in. There was going to be several trainings that day, one for the trainers from President Reber, and one from one of the assistants for the trainers. And then there was a training for the new elder and sister from Ecuador and Peru, and then later when the Americans arrived they would do the same training again. SO we had lunch there and we hung out for a while waiting for the Americans to arrive. They finally got to the office at about 4, the president picked them up from the airport. hahaha I had to laugh when I saw Elder Payne cause he looks like a football player he is big. He´s about my height but he is alot more built than I am. I'm just a little skinny dude, so I'm pretty sure if he wanted to he could break me in half haha. It was kinda funny watching the Brazilians talk with them cause they didn't really know what they were saying and it was funny seeing the looks on their faces. I just though it was funny cause exactly 8 months to the day before, I was in the same shoes as them understanding and not speaking much. I had a little ping and sadness cause those were some of the greatest days of my life when I first got to Brazil. And even though it was hard those are very fond memories for me from when I arrived. I hope it will be as memorable for Elder Payne as it was for me. We took some pictures and the Americans ate cause they were starving. Then we had their training and our training with one of the assistants Elder T Nascimento. He told us how we have the most responsibility of all the missionaries in the mission right now, and that we need to do our best to help our companions so that they can be future trainers and leaders in the mission, it was inspiring and the spirit was strong and told us that it was right and that we need to do our best. President told us that our companions will stay with us for a maximum of 2 transfers so that they can get with a native Brazilian companion afterwards to help more with the language. I'm stoked though to be with Elder Payne. I think that President Reber was definately inspired in letting us be together. Elder Payne said that President Reber had told the new Americans that he had hand picked their trainers. So I hope I can meet the expectations of President Reber and more importantly Heavenly Father. Me and Elder Payne get along great he reminds me alot of Jetson and KAiden and Robby. He is someone that I would hang out with if we weren't on the mission. He is getting the language well he is asking alot of questions and isn't afraid of making mistakes so that's good, He has a hard time understanding, but that's how everyone is when they arrive. I didn't understand anything that Brazilians spoke when I arrived. Its kinda neat though to see how much we learn with the  language in 8 months though. I don't have any worries with him. We spoke quite a bit of English this last week but this week I plan on taking that down this week, so I don't plan on speaking much English with him this week, only to explain certain things. But I'm really pleased with how he is coming along with the language in less than 1 week. It was pretty hectic though with everything though, with unpacking and having to go shopping and all the meeting we had this week. We were only able to work a little, but still we visited alot of people and made some good visits. We did alot more than my first week in Brazil, but that cause I didn't get to my area until Thursday night when I got to Brazil. I'm excited though for this transfer, Elder Payne was already a zone leader and district leader in Montana so he already knows how to work, really I am just training him with the language and the new culture. He brought some goodies from the states though, his mom is awesome and sent him a ton of stuff in Montana that he brought with him. Like a bunch of peanut butter and other goodies. That made me happy cause I haven't eaten peanut butter in more than 8 months. SO I have been eating pb&j sandwiches this entire week, he also likes hot sauce alot and brought some hot sauce with him and he even brought my favorite which is that sararacha rooster hot sauce that they usually have in the Chinese restaurants. I almost died when I saw that he had brought that, I used that hot sauce everyday in new york. So we are in the process of finding new people to baptize, I cut most of our investigators from last transfer cause none of them were progressing. We had a ton meetings yesterday with the bishop and stake president and our ward has some lofty goals for baptisms and reactivation's and stuff like that, but our personal goals are still higher, I'm excited to work alot with members this transfer. I know the Lord will bless us with success if we give all that we have. Friday we had a zone meeting and we got our zone together again, I got to see the other trainers and their companions they seem to be doing well. Elder Payne got to see a sister that is in our zone that was from his district in the MTC, her visa arrived and she got to Brazil more than 6 months ago and Elder Payne just got here. It sounds like there is one sister left from their district that still hasn't made it to Brazil, sounds like she will probably be staying there and wont get to come to Brazil. That's hard. I feel really bad for all the missionaries waiting right now. The first presidency has stopped issuing calls to Brazil until visas start clearing up. So yeah the training was good at our zone meeting, we also found out that starting on the new year everyone between 9-15 years has to go to church for three months before being baptized. this is for all the missions in Brazil. Its because most of the less actives in the church are in this age range. There are lots baptizing but then they fall away from the church, and so to have more retention they have applied this rule. I think it will be good for Brazil. There was a mission here in Brazil that baptized 23,000 people in one year. But not a single branch was created, because people baptized and then went inactive afterwards. Our mission only baptizes about 700 per year. So its obvious there needed to be something that changed. Also on Friday after the meeting we had to take the bus to the office and take care of Elder Payne's visa and identity stuff so that he is legal here in Brazil. This email is taking a long time. We finally finished up with that stuff and we went to one of the bus stops to wait for our bus. I was hoping that our bus wouldn't have too many people on it, cause we were at the busiest hour and there is only one bus route that takes us back to our area from the office so there aren't a whole ton of buse,s so I was expecting ours to be loaded with people, but finally our bus passed by so I waved it over and we got on and there was a bunch of room so I was happy. then we went for like ten minutes and the bus stopped and the driver said that the tire was flat so we had to all get off. I was like no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SO we lost our bus and lost our money that we had paid to get on the bus. So we got off the bus and I went to buy more bus passages and this dude wanted to talk to us so I talked to him and he wanted to know about Joseph Smith, So I taught him the first lesson and let Payne bear his testimony. Then I gave him some pamphlets got his address to pass to the office elders and then went to another bus stop farther up cause the one were at had a ton of people at it waiting for another bus to come again. So we walked up to a bus stop farther up that didn't have hardly anybody and we waited there forever till another bus came that was ours, I got lucky again cause there wasn't too many people on the bus, all the seats were full as usual so we had to stand up which is what we usually do anyway. We got on and got our own spaces in the aisle and then after that a bumload of people got on. But we had our own space and we got lucky. But it was a long ride back to our area. And we were smashed together cause the bus was super overloaded. We finally made it back to our area in one peace. We went home and we passed out on our beds cause we were so exhausted. But yeah, that's how it is sometimes. Elder Payne is getting a good taste of Brazil haha but he says he loves it so that's good. I love Brazil too, sometimes I think about when my mission will end and I get sad. I don't want to leave Brazil. Its too good here. Church was kind of a disappointment though, there was only like 77 people at church or something usually there is over a hundred, none of our investigators came to church as well which bummed me out cause we visited them all the night before and everyone said they were firm on coming to church, but no one showed up. We will make sure that doesn't happen this week though. So yeah my hands hurt. I will send some pictures a little later, so don't worry, I will use the laptop at a members house that lives across the street from us. I left my camera at the house today. So yeah that's all. O btw I ate beef and chicken lasagna on thanksgiving it was good, but looks like Thanksgiving at home was better. Maybe next year the Americans will be home before Thanksgiving we will see. So ye,a I love you guys a ton thanks for the emails, I got a super nice letter from grandma Fitzgerald in the mail this week for thanksgiving thanks for that Grandma. Also I was sad to see that my package got sent back home, I hope it will work out ok though. We have a general authority coming to our mission this week we have mission tour. I think its someone from Chile. I'm excited for that though. Well until next week I hope you all have a great week, thanks for your prayers an everything. Amo Vocês!!!!!!!!!!! 
-Elder Kennington

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A quick Hello at Transferes with his New Companion Elder Payne

Whats up mom I'm here with my son cause he is sending an email to his family cause the president said he could, and so im sending a picture of us when he got to the mission office, he is the tallest one standing up, hes the man and is already speaking pretty good even though he cant understand anything. I'm stoked and i should be really good this transfer, sorry I didn't send any pics to you last week it was pretty hectic with time since it was transfer day. But everyone got here safely and all is good in the hood, my companion is Kyle Payne and he also has a blog too, he said that he had already seen mine even before he got here and I had already seen his too. We are bros though  and are like best friends already. Love ya mom and dad have a good week and thanksgiving
-Elder Sky

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brazil Week #49

Hey everybody good morning, and happy thanksgiving this week. Brazil doesn't celebrate thanksgiving so maybe i will get lucky and we will have chicken during lunch on Wednesday, I think that's the closest Ill get to turkey. haha So it was a good week this week, I was disappointed with our investigators who are ready to be baptized but Satan is doing what he always does and puts fear and doubts in their  hearts. Our investigators say they want to wait until they can be sure that they are ready for baptism and they can know that they will stay firm after the baptism. We explain explain and explain, about how they will be waiting for a long long time if they want to have a certainty like that, baptism is an act of faith that is something that the Lord has always required, he always requires faith he will guide and point to the correct path but he will never force or push anyone to do anything. That's what Satan tries to do, he tries to push and shove and convince with his lies and force people to do things, that's not how Heavenly Father is, He shows us the path and whats right and then he lets us make the choice for ourselves. He gave us our agency which is one of the greatest gifts that he has given us, Satan wanted to take away our agency in the premortal world and he still wants to do it today. Its a pain that most people want to have God walk up to them and tell them what to do, when he can do the same thing through the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. Stinks that alot of people want more answers from god even after the Spirit had born witness of the truth to them. We made sure that Elder Almeida got in a good last week of work, I think we did well. We found some new investigators that I look forward to working with the next transfer. Speaking of transfers here's the what's new, Elder Almeida is being transferred to his home in the state of Santa Catarina, and I will be training my new companion who is coming fresh out of the states after serving their for more than 6 months haha, I will be training Elder Payne. I'm not sure where he is from but I'm pretty sure he has been serving in Montana for the last 6 months while waiting for his visa, he is from the same group as Elder Mayolo who is a good friend of mine here on this mission, I remember that Elder Mayolo mentioned that there was an Elder Payne in his group and was serving in Montana, I know that Elder Mayolo entered the mtc back in march when I was still in New York, so that means Alder Payne has 8 months on the mission now. Sounds like it wont be much of a training for him I'm sure he knows everything, the assistants said as well when they called with the transfer that he has already been district leader and was serving as a zone leader. geeze, I think it should be him that should be training me. I think he will probably just need help with the language which I am excited about, I think it will be fun having language study with my companion again. That has to stink though having 8 months on the mission and already having been district leader and zone leader and then having to go back down to being trained again. But I'm sure he is a humble guy and will learn quick and we will work hard together. I'm pretty stoked to be able to just give it my all now it should be a great transfer. Went on splits again this week elder Linton came again and we had a good day, Elder Linton is a good friend from my group. He was with a Bolivian but now he will be with his first American companion named Elder John, I think he has a year 5 months on the mission he will be our district leader, I had already met him before at mission conferences. One of our zone leaders Elder Moura that arrived in the area with me was transferred to the south again he will train a Chilean and open an area, We were surprised that he was transferred after only one transfer here but he said that he had asked president in an interview to be released from being a zone leader cause he had already spent more than  a year as a zone leader and he asked president if he could train. I'm glad that president is letting him do that. I'm excited to train as well. Ill never forget my trainer here in Brazil Elder Reed, he is in the south so I haven't seen him in almost 7 months. He is doing well though and is a zone leader down in the south. I got my hair cut this week, I had them cut it pretty short its probably the shortest I have ever had my hair before, its alright though I like, my hair is a lot lighter in color, bleached from the sun, its also alot thinner so I think it makes the color seem lighter as well. Ill just do what dad does when i get back home and cut it super short, hopefully I can look good and tough like dad does without hair haha. Saturday we taught this girl that works at the ice cream shop here. She had a load of questions that had a load of nothing to do with nothing. She said that she believed in the bible but not in the Prophets or apostles and stuff cause she had never seen them before. She had a pretty weird theory on alot of things, but we taught her the first lesson in the ice cream shop in between customers, we promised that she would received an answer if she prayed. She was like how do you guys have such certainty that these things are true, and how do you have so much certainty that I can receive an answer. She had alot of questions like that, We just told that that we had already prayed and felt that it was true. The next day we went back and said that she had prayed and that she had felt good after the prayer, she said she believed it was a answer from God. She lives in the area of the Elder Linton and his companion, so they will have to teach her, she wanted it to be us that taught her but we explained that we would have to take the bus to go to her house but that there are Elders that live close and they will teach her. So Sunday was good, I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, I was the last speaker and I had alot more prepared but there wasn't a whole lot of time, but it was really good. We also had two investigators randomly show up that we had cut a long time ago, they enjoyed church so hopeful we can get them baptized. Yesterday we made some last minute visits and Elder Almeida  said goodbye to the members. We had dinner and we received transfer calls. I'm pretty excited right now, I don't think my companion will arrive till Wednesday or Thursday, I was thinking about all the crazy problems we had when we came to Brazil, but we finally made it. We got to the mission home at about 2 in the afternoon on Tuesday, and our plane had left at about 5 in the evening the day before, so it was about 24 hours till we got to the mission, and then after that we had all the stuff with president where he told us where our areas would be and who would be our trainers, then we bummed at the mission home for the rest of the day and rested then the next day we had to do all our passport visa identity stuff to get us legalized in the country. I didn't arrive in my area until late Thursday night. Crazy times but I will never forget those first few days here in Brazil. So that's about all I have to write this week, so I will send some sweet pics to you guys. I love you all and thanks for all your prayers and thoughts, know how much I love all of you and am so grateful to have such a wonderful family and friends.  I  am grateful to be a member of the Lord´s true and living church here on the earth, and I'm grateful to be a missionary here in the Brazil Cuiabá Mission, the greatest mission in the world. But above all I'm grateful for my Brother and Savior Jesus Christ, He is my Master and I will always worship him and he will always be my King, and I know that it is only through him and his Atonement that I will be able to be happy and live with my family forever. I hope everyone has a great week and that you all have a wonderful thanksgiving. 
Com Amor
-Elder Kennington

Monday, November 18, 2013

Brazil Week #48 Skylers 20th Birthday & BBQ's

The BBQ (Look at All that Meat!)

Skylers Green Tie Selection/Collection

20th Birthday, Sipping Colada

 Boa tarde pessoal, so its about 5:30 in the evening right now, I am writing pretty late, cause we had another bbq, we got a bunch of meat again and started our fire at about 10 in the morning and by 1 we were ready to eat, we invited the assistants to the president and they came down and hung with us, so we had a sweet bbq and then after we went to the church and played soccer, I almost died cause its so dang hot but we had a good time, and now I am writing you guys about our week. So it was a pretty good normal week, it passed by super fast. I cant even remember what happened during the week, last week we just ended up hanging out and having another bbq that was really big, we did it at the old bishops house that lives straight across from us, we invited several members, we did it partly to celebrate my birthday as well, it was pretty good we had a ton of meat and everyone ate well. So not alot to write this week, Wednesday was just like any other day, I woke up and forgot it was my birthday until I went to sit at my desk to study and saw that my zone leader Elder Moira had given a green tie and a card that said happy birthday, that was really cool of him. Later that night we went to teach Leticia and got there and they had a surprise dinner party for me, that was cool we had a great dinner and then a super good chocolate cake and the sister there got me a present that was a hot chocolate mug of the Brazilian soccer team that I like call the palmeiras. We took some pictures and stuff too. One of our zone leaders Elder Moraes has been having alot of pains in his knee this week and has been pretty cooped up doing nothing cause he cant hardly walk, and also Elder Almeida has been kinda burnt out this week too, but still we got out and taught alot of lessons. We have been working alot with Leticia alot still and we are trying to get her baptized this Sunday and also we are preparing a lady here who wants to be baptized but her husband is a jerk, they are separated now but he is still giving her and their kids a hard time, all their kids are firm members and she couldn't be baptized cause she wasn't married legally but now she's separated from him but he is all mad at the church and the missionaries  cause he said its our fault that his wife wanted to separate from him and stuff. But the dudes a stooge, he drinks and smokes and has even beat his family, and he wasn't willing to change and so the family is trying to get away from his influence. But she was going to get baptized yesterday, but something didn't work out and so now its scheduled for this week I think, so pray that all will work out for us. I went on splits with Elder Moura this week and we went and looked for some less actives but no body was home and so we just ended up making contacts with people, The sun goes down at 7 o clock now and so its easier to get more lessons in and make contacts during the day, because before, the sun went down at 6 everyday. So on Friday we had a sweet activity where all the wards in the stake got together and we went to a place nearby that's kinda like fabrizios park place, where you rent it for the day and do what you want, they had a pool there and a big pavilion and a soccer field and stuff, we got permission from President Reber to go and eat because we were going to have investigators there and also all the families in the ward were going too and so we wouldn't have a way to eat if we didn't go, so we went and had a good time and ate, and played cards and that's about it, we couldn't swim and we couldn't play soccer cause we were in proselyting clothes, but it was good but that was a dang hot day and sweat kept getting in my  eyes when I was walking in the street, it was supposed to rain this week but it only rained Saturday. Saturday was an adventure we walked forever to get to lunch and when we got there we went in and drank some coconut juice from some coconuts that we pulled out of their tree and then after a while the members were like so what are you guys doing here and we were like lunch isn't with you guys and they said no and so we found out that it was with another family with the same name that live right next to our house so we walked a ton again in the blazing sun and got to lunch 2 hours late, but luckily the sister was cool and we still had a good lunch, that night our district leader came to do an interview with the sister that we are going to baptize and so I went on splits with Elder Linton again, we didn't have anything to do so we just went and made contacts, we passed some dudes from Haite that I spoke Spanish so I stopped and talked to them and taught them a little bit, I talked to a guy for a while about the church he spoke a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish pretty well and we were able to communicate fine but I was explaining about the holy ghost and how it is received by the laying on of hands but, he pretended like he didn't understand but I know he did, we invited him to church but made the usual excuse of Oh ill go if it works out.  That's what most people say. Oh I forgot to mention that we had a zone meeting on Thursday that was good I will include a picture for you, we have 7 American elders and 2 American sister in our zone, one Bolivian, one Argentinian and the rest are Brazilians. We have a sweet zone and Ill include a picture for you guys. That day it got up to 45 degrees celcius which is 113 degrees I think, it was warm that's for sure. But I think that's about it for this week. I got your letters this week from you guys for my birthday and thanksgiving thanks for the letters I really enjoyed them. My birthday was good , most of the members here wished me happy birthday and most of them new about it. Happy birthday today to Jetson and to dad on Thursday I hope its good. Sunday was good yesterday too I forgot, I will be giving a talk next week in sacrament meeting so that will be cool, first time on the mission. So Sunday we went and taught with the ward missionaries it was good but when we were returning home I stepped in a pile of dog crap and then a little weiner dog took a whiz on my recently polished shoes and on my pants as well. What luck. Its alright though it happens. It was a good week though and i felt close to all of you during my birthday. Next week is transfers so the next time I talk to you you will know who my know companion will be, it sounds like Elder Almeida will leave to go to the mission  Sunday evening. Its his last week, but he's still hanging in there. Yeah so that's about it all is well here thanks for the letters from everyone. But keep it real everyone and know how much I love you all!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, November 11, 2013

Brazil Week #47 (3) Shared Baptisms





What's up my family! Good morning Dad informed today that I'm a now 4 hours ahead of you, which I was surprised to hear. So I feel really lazy today and I don't really want to write alot today but I will write instead of sleep haha, I'm tired. So we had an excellent week this week, we worked with several of our investigators, we have one named Leticia that we taught alot this week, she has been to church several times with her aunt who is a member, she has already received an answer that the church is true and stuff and she knows the book of Mormon is true, but I think she just lacks a little desire to get on the right path and stay on it. We taught her alot and were pretty straight forward with her, but she was just like idk just give it some time I'm not ready yet, so we busted out some Book of Mormon Scriptures, and showed that she's ready and that she has nothing to wait for and that the longer she waits the more time Satan will have to work against her. Sometimes it gets a little frustrating when people just don't get it. You explain in the most simple straightforward method possible. But people are still just like blah blah blah blah, everyone says that God is number 1 in their lives but really, He´s in the last place. Its like what Christ said to the prophet Joseph, that they draw near unto me with the words and their lips but their hearts are far from me. Lots of people like that in the world today. Its sad but that's how it is. This life is the time to prepare to meet God, if only everyone understood that principle of truth. So Wednesday I had a pretty sweet Division with Elder Linton a good friend of mine who entered the mtc the same day as me. He came here to Industrário, we didn´t have a whole tone of lessons already planned so we just went and knocked doors and made street contacts. We taught these two ladies who are here because their husbands(with whom they aren´t legally married) are in jail here. SO we taught them and they accepted to be baptized and it was cool and all one of them had a load of questions about the people that preach on t.v. She wanted to know if they were teaching the truth. I just said that normally they are and it is alot better to watch than most of the trash that is on t.v now days, she wondered about the preachers that preach to crowds of thousands and in the crowd there is always people going crazy that have "demons" and they are expelled by the other preacher dudes in the crowd. I told her that those things that they show on the tv is a load of rubbish and is almost always made and is just for show. The other week there was the founder of the universal church of God that was preaching in the north of Brazil to a huge crowd and he's like all who have demons i expel you! and then there's a bunch of people going crazy and acting like they are expelling spirits and stuff its a load of garbage honestly that people use the name of the Lord to get money and to lie and stuff, makes me mad sometimes. We went back to invite the ladies to church and they said they would go if the could but they had to visit their husbands in jail during church time. But we had a good day on splits we worked hard even though it was super, super hot. The next day I went on a division again with one of our zone leaders Elder Moraes, he's like my Brazilian Brother and I had already gone on splits with him back in Cáceres. It was interesting because he was supposed to go on splits with another Elder that is going home at the end of this transfer as well but this Elder is a flipping bum, he went to lunch with Moraes and got back and went and laid down and went to sleep, also my companion had a killer headache and was laying down as well. So me and Elder Moraes sat on the couch waiting for our companions. We waited and waited and waited, and finally Elder Moraes was like lets get out of here Elder Kennington we have people to visit, so we switched the division and I went with Moraes and My companion and the bum Elder stayed together. So we went and taught some of my investigators and then we took the bus and taught some of Elder Moraeses investigators that live super far away. It was good and we got back and they theother guys, were still at the house and had never left. My companion still had a headache but the other Elder just slept the whole stinking time. Good thing he's going home in 2 weeks. Elder Moraes was pretty mad cause he had gone on this division with him to make him work but the dude just slept, Moraes woke him up, but he didn't want to get up and work. I hope that Ill never be like that, it made me appreciate my companion who is going home the same day who still does a ton more. Taught some more people that were being prepared for baptism this Sunday that we were having some problems with the zone leaders, because they were also teaching as well. But the good thing is that they were all baptized on Sunday. We had 3 baptisms on Sunday. Elder Almeida called the President to see what he should do as far as numbers with how we should count the numbers when we report them, he just said to work it out with the Zone leaders,  it's kinda different having baptisms that are also the other guys baptisms as well. Whatever though, the baptisms were great and everyone was really excited. So this week has been super hot, I got burnt pretty good this week even with sunblock, it was supposed to rain but we didn't get anything which kinda stunk. I also learned today that Sorriso had a baptism from a contact that me and Elder Geisler made at a house during my last week there. It was one of those things where  you walk down the road and you see a house and you say to yourself we are going there, I remember we got to a road with a bunch of houses, I saw one house and I knew that we had to go there, so we went made a contact with a humble dude named Laerté he accepted to be baptized and after that I didn't know what happened, but I just found out that he was baptized yesterday. That made me super happy. So The baptisms from yesterday were, Cida, Enrique, and Evandro. 3 wonderful that everyone had been teaching, like I said we had that confusion but they are all great people and had already been very prepared by the Lord. It didn't take much work at all with them. Enrique is the young man and he plans on serving a mission in a few years when he is 18. We were able to get a house for that member from Haiti and the members were able to help him get a fridge and stove and stuff like that, they found him a job as well. So that's about it for this week, I'm pressed for time cause we are leaving already, but thanks for all the birthday wishes. I'm not sure if my cards have arrived at the mission office yet but I think somebody will go there this week that can maybe bring them back. It doesn't feel anything like I'm 20, I haven't thought about my birthday hardly at al.l To me its just another day. I feel and look the same as my last birthday accept now my skin is a little darker and I have even less hair. But to me this year has shot by. That is a good thing i guess haha. Mom wondered how I was doing with the Brazilian food. I'm still doing fine, I still haven't gotten sick here just a headache ever now and again but I don't even get diarrhea here. The Brazilians get sick more often than I do and have worse reactions to the food sometimes. But my body is pretty solid and I haven't missed a day of work yet. I've gained 2 pounds since I started the mission, I don't know where I gained the weight though, probably em minha bunda haha. funny joke haha. So I'm going to go now but I love you guys and hope you all have a week that is sweet! love you guys and am so grateful for you all. Take good care and be good.
-Elder Kennington

Monday, November 4, 2013

Brazil Week #46

Olá  peoples bom dia. Today its rainy and cloudy, which is kinda stinky. Its been like that alot during this week. Not much at all this week. I went on splits a few times and caught a fair amount of rain. Its kinda hard working in the rain here. cause no one is in the streets and it seems like everyone just goes to sleep when its cloudy and raining. But I guess rain does that, it kinda puts you in that relaxed sleep mode. But we were able to get some good lessons in this week. Tuesday Elder Cardona came here to Industário and we had splits and Elder Almeida went to the area next to ours called Pedra 90. SO it was kind of a bum day because it was raining and pretty junky weather. We went and tried to contact a referral, but the lady wasn't home so we went to member in the ward that is less active sort of and is from Bolivia, Elder Cardona is from Bolivia so we spent a while there listening them talk about Bolivia and stuff in Spanish. IT was fine though I understood what they were saying. We were getting ready to leave after this and then the sisters daughter arrived and so we started talking more again. Her daughter just turned 17 but she has a baby of about 2 months. We talked for a little bit and she related about how alot of members and turned their back on her cause she had made a mistake and got pregnant and stuff. But it was good we were able to help them and strengthen them. They went to church yesterday which was good. So we had a confusion this week with the Elders this week that has kinda put Elder Almeida in a bad mood with them. We had two investigators that are pretty solid one is a young woman of 17 and the other a young man of 16. So the girl Elder Almeida had already taught several times but she was traveling for almost 2 months and so he didn't get to teach her for a while, but he called on Tuesday and she had just arrived back at home so we sent up an appointment to go there, but the other Elders went there as well for some reason and started teaching her and marked a baptismal date with her and there was also another investigator of ours there that is the young man who we had also marked an appointment with him to teach him, but by chance he was there too and they taught him as well and marked a baptism date with him as well. We were kinda like what the, cause the other Elders are teaching our investigators that live in our area that we had already been teaching and had already marked visits with them and now all of the sudden the others are teaching them and marking baptisms with them. So it has kinda been confusing this week. Ive been chill cause as long as the people get baptized by someone I'm happy, but there's always that missionary pride of no my baptism its mine I want the credit! Stuff like that but Elder Almeida is in his last 3 weeks and would like to go home baptizing so he's a little more fired up about it than me. Its been pretty tense with him and the zone leaders but its better now after church. Its kind of a complicated situation. I'm keeping my mouth shut though, I have a super good relationship with the zone leaders and the missionaries in our mission and I'm not going to do anything to complicate that or put hard feelings between anyone. So I'm just gonna ride the waves and let Almeida take care of it haha. So also we haven't been able to teach mayara that other young women cause she has been traveling with her family this week. We are working with a family of a lady that was baptized last transfer but started living with a guy like 2 weeks after her baptism, so we are working to get them married and then get her husband baptized cause he has already gone to church several times. We had several family home evenings this week which was nice. Something interesting My first Sunday here we were at church greeting the members as they came in and we saw some really dark skinned guys walking in the streets walking they passed by and I thought man we should have waved at them to come to church. But then a few seconds later another one walked by, I guess me and the other missionary had the same prompting cause we both waved him over at the same time. He came into the church and we talked to him for a bit, he was like yo hablo espanhol, it said that like 5 times. So I talked to him a little bit in spanish and explained what was up. But that was hard cause I don't remember spanish very good, the guy was from Haiti. He watched all the classes even though he said he didn't really understand anything. The next week he came to church again which surprised me. We also found out the he was already a member of the church and him and all of his family were baptized back in Haiti. So the church is helping him find a job and a place to live because he has to leave his house tomorrow and find somewhere cheaper to live and a job as well. We got some food for him as well that a family put together, they found his records and stuff and now the church is helping. It sounds like he spent 4,000 dollars just to come to Brazil and get all his documents in order and stuff. And now he's here and doesn't even have a secure job or place to live. So I thought that it was cool that we were able to help him recognize the church and get help, he's gone to church 3 times in a row now here even though he doesn't understand very much he knows that he is in the same church the he was baptized in back in Haiti. Well a whole lot of not much this week I hope weather is better this week, Last p-day we didnt do much either we just went to a members home and ate lunch and bummed there for a while. we also had family home evening that night and had Brazilian hots dogs which is French bread with chopped up hot dogs in a tomato mixture thing Its really good and we eat a ton of it here in Brazil and is one of my favorite foods I will send you a picture of it. Today we wanted to go to the Chapada which is a major tourist attraction here in mato grasso. Its like an hour and a half from cuiabá I think, a brother was going to take us but today the weather is looking bad so maybe we will save it for another pday. I know that the assistants are taking a bus with a bunch of other missionaries today to go to the chapada but we were just going to go with the member, because it would be cheaper and faster and we would get to see more as well. Maybe next week though. Today I want to make sweet rice, ill see if there is time or not. oh yeah mom asked about my companion in the picture that's him laying down. He's pretty much as white as I am. He from the south of Brazil which has lots of immigrants from Germany and Europe, and so there is alot of white people there. So usually people ask if I'm from the south of Brazil because there is alot of white people down there. Also this week I went to pedra 90 which is the area next to ours and went on a division with Elder Linton who is from my group and is a good friend of mine. We visited a few people and taught a lady there. That couldn't understand the role of prophets and was convinced that we were all prophets spreading the word of God. I explained several times but she couldn't understand but still she was like oh yeah Ill go to church on Sunday. I forgot my bible back at the house and I regretted it cause I needed to use it several times during the lesson. I want to go to the mission office so that I can buy a smaller bible tat doesn't weigh so much, it gets tiring sometimes carrying around the bible and books of Mormon all day in the pack. We stayed the night there in pedra 90 with the missionaries, Elder Almeida was in pedra 90 as well and did a division with Elder  Cardona. They have a big house that used to have 4 missionaries, but now only has 2. So they only had 2 mattresses so we put them both together and all four of us slept on the same mattress, it was weird but worked out ok. So happy birthday to Uncle Randy last week and happy birthday to Jordan on Wednesday. And happy birthday to everyone else. I left my calendar that mom made me in sorriso that had all of the birthdays of everyone. I am trying to get it back but we will see. Also congrats to Kaden for making the basketball team again. That's really cool and I know that he will do well, to bad I didn't have the skills like him to make the basketball team haha good for him though. Also if you do decide to send a little package or something I am in need of more good socks, and stick deodorant cause here they don't have stick deodorant and the spray deodorant that they have is really expensive. But I know mail is expensive so don't worry to much. Also more green ties would be good. haha But i think that's about it this week I've tried to stretch this letter out for you guys so that you have something to read. Also I got another postcard from Grandma Dale this week that was really cool. I put it in my photo album to show people. I included a picture of us and a family on pday when they took us out to eat, this is a really neat family of Gustavo and Fabiani that are members here, at this place we bought like a 100 little meat pastries that they bake and they bring them out and we just eat it was really good. SO I guess that's about it I love you guys thanks for the letters and the advice, things are good here and we have some lofty goals this week so we are going to be working hard. Thanks again for everything and for all your prayers and thoughts. Also we had the time change 2 weeks ago so I'm not sure what time it is for you guys now. Right now its almost noon here. But love you guys so much and hope you all have a great week! Abração! 
-Elder Kennington

Monday, October 28, 2013

Information on Mailing Packages

Sister Reber, The Mission Presidents wife. Suggested using this company to get  packages to their Missionaries. Here is her letter:
Dear Families of our American Missionaries,
First off,  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sending such outstanding Young men and Young Women into the Missionary Field.  We Thank you for their dedication, service, testimonies, and most importantly their desire to serve a Mission.    They bring a strong influence and their leadership talents are felt throughout the mission.
We know how important it is to your Missionary to receive support from home via your weekly P-Day emails.  Your Love and Support from home is felt.   With the Holiday's approaching we know how important it is for your packages to be received.  Please follow the following Guidelines when mailing to Brazil.

1.    PLEASE MAIL YOUR PACKAGES EARLY - In Brazil packages can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months. 

2.   I ALSO WANT TO MAKE YOU AWARE OF A NEW DELIVERY SERVICE THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK INTO.  IT IS CALLED DHL.   I have tried it out myself and have receive packages in 5  days  (from UT - the Mission Home).  DHL uses Private Carriers.  Your package will not be tacked with a Tax.   Cost for using DHL is competitive to the Cost of the US Postal Service.   With the  hastle that we have experienced in receiving packages, I deem it as a very secure way to mail your Packages. for information

For more information Google: GLOBAL MISSION SHIPPING.   Once again, this service is just another Option!  
3.    Use the Mission Office address for Mailing all letters and packages
Mission Office Address
(Missionaries Name)
Av. Hist. Rubens De Mendonça, 1731
Sala 10, Bairro:: Consil
Cuiabá, MT
CEP: 78050-975
Brasil,   So America

4.   When using the US Postal Service, Use the FLAT RATE boxes.  
5.   DO NOT MAIL ANY PACKAGE UPS, FED EX AND/OR PRIORITY Mail  -   Once it leaves the USA, it will only be at the mercy of the Brazil Postal Service.  The Brazil Postal Service can and will put an Income Tax on any package that they deem important and of value. 
Once again,  I want to also make you aware again of our Mission.  Geographically our boundaries cover roughly the size of Canada to Mexico and CO to CA.   We do our Best to deliver packages and will be working hard during the Holiday's to get the mail to our Missionaries.    If your Missionary is far away from the Mission Home, we only have a few windows of opportunity to get the package transported.
So please mail early!   Any questions or concerns, please let me know.    Please know of our Love we have for your Missionaries and for all their families back home.  We send our Love to you all.
With Love,
Sister Reber

Brazil Week #45

Bom Dia my marvelous family! We had a normal week here in Cuiabá. My area is super good but its different than I thought it would be before I arrived. I thought it would be all skyscrapers and stuff, but luckily its not like that. We work in an area that's about 45 or 50 minutes from the cuiabá center. SO really, my area is alot like my other areas before. Its not a super poor area but there's not really any nice houses or buildings. The church house here is by far the nicest building for miles. But I like it like that, its alot easier working in a humble area, because it means that it has humble people. The people here have a different vibe about them compared to Sorriso. Here there are alot more of the typical Brazilian looking people. With darkish skin. Sorriso has alot of white people from the south and are a closed, cold people, but not so much here. It's alot easier making contacts and talking to people here. It is hard though too, cause its a pretty small area and almost everyone knows the missionaries. There are people that are like yeah, I have already had the missionaries here like 5 times but you can come in if you want. That kinda stinks sometimes. But it's alright. There are always just random people that are like hey Elders what's up! and we talk to them and they have received alot of visits from the missionaries already but don't want to change churches. There's alot of that but the attitude of the people here is completely different. Sometimes,  I think I´ve died and gone to heaven haha. But it's good here. We had been working alot with a young women this week and named Mayara. We met her during the week last week because she is the friend of a member, we invited her to church and she went and so right after church we taught her the restoration. It was a powerful lesson and we had two members with us during the lesson. I thought she was going to pass out at the end of the lesson, because she couldn't breathe cause she was feeling the spirit so strongly. It was a neat experience. She accepted to be baptized without hesitation, but after, she had some questions, because she was already baptized in a church that her parents go to. She said that her mom told her that it's a sin to be baptized more than once, we explained about authority and showed her and example in the Bible when there were people who were baptized again, she also said that she didn't know how her parents would react with her desire to join another church. She said both her parents are very active in their church and that her mom is even an evangelizer, which means she does missionary work too and walks in the streets and makes visits and stuff. We said that we would talk to her parents during the week and explain everything. So during the week we tried to do that, we went there several times but mayaras parents weren't home or were busy and couldn't talk. We finally were able to talk to her mom for like 2 mins, but she just said to come back later when she wasn't busy. So we came back later but she had already left. Mayara said she talked to her parents, but they didn't agree with her being baptized again and told her that she is denying Christ of she were to get baptized again. We still explained that we want to talk directly with her parents to explain things. Finally on Friday we went and her dad was there, but he didn't want to talk, so we just talked with Mayara for a little while and finally her dad poked his head out the door and then went back into his house, then he came aback out again a little later and actually talked too. But the first thing he said was our daughter wont be joining your church because she already has her own church and she wont be changing. He said that she hasn't said anything about joining another church. We explained that's why we were there to talk to her parents and explain things. He didn't know what to say after that, I just told him that we will come back to talk to him another day. He just tried making excuses saying that he is never home and stuff like that. He was kinda rude and it didn't sit to well with me, but the Spirit told me to keep my mouth shut, so I didn't say anything to provoke him. We will wait for another day when we can actually sit down and talk, and if they still are hard headed, we will just bear testimony and let the Spirit burn him. I feel bad cause Mayara really wants to get baptized, but she's only 15 and so she has to have permission from the parents. Whatever though, it will work out as the Lords wants it to work out. So on Wednesday, we had district meeting and also President Reber came and interviewed all of us. It was good, he just said to keep praying for the visas because there are over 1,000 Americans waiting for visas to go to Brazil. He said that I will probably be training as soon as the visas arrive so he said be ready. So we ate more bbq this week and we had another service project in the house of a member, we picked a bunch of weeds and cleaned up his yard. Then he made us bbq again, it was really good, but my necked burned alot we had a good time though. Tomorrow I am going to go on splits with our district leader Elder Cardon, he's from La Paz, Bolivia. He works in another area, but he will come here and Elder Almeida will go to his area and work with his companion, which is Elder Linton who is from my group. SO it should be a good day tomorrow, I think we will end up doing alot of contacts and looking for new investigators, our teaching pool is a little small right now so we need to fill it with some fishes. I don't know if we have any plans for p-day today, I know that we will get fed lunch today and that there will be family home evening as well at the house of a member. I enjoyed all the letters and the pictures, looks like Jordan should have had a good time at the dance. Yesterday church was stake conference and so there was several wards there. I think the stake president said there was about 500 people that came. It was good and I got to see all the missionaries from our zone. Right now I am in the same zone as Elder Linton, Spencer, and sister Clark who are from my group and sister Clark is from my district at the mtc, the other 2 we just arrived the same day to the mtc and were from a different district but we are still good friends. Sounds like you guys had a warm week back at home. We had a warm week too, it was about 90 degrees the entire week, it was supposed to rain this week, but we didn't really get anything, except for last week it rained like crazy for about an hour! the main avenue turned into a river literally, I was expecting to see a bum rowing down the road on a wood door or something. Time is passing really quick, I'm getting closer and closer to hitting a year. Strange to think about that. Well, I'm gonna try to load some more pictures for you guys before we go, but i think that's about it for this week. I think mom will have to do alot of spell checking. There isn't spell checking on this computer cause its programmed for Portuguese and so it just says that all of my words are incorrectly spelled. plus there's a problem with the a button and so it keeps pressing "a" without me wanting to. So I hope everyone has a good week this week and that you all stay safe and happy. I love you guys all so much and thanks for everything from you guys!  Com amor
-Elder Kennington