Monday, January 28, 2013
Hey everybody! 2 1/2 weeks left at the mtc, it's gone by so fast! Not much new this week all the days seemed to just melt together into one big blob. It's been a little rainy yesterday and today and so there has been alot of ice built up on the walks around here at the mtc. So yesterday morning they gave an announcement over the intercom for everyone to walk under the covered paths so that we would be away from the ice, but sure enough there were plenty of people slipping and falling, mostly sisters though because of their shoes that have hardly any traction. Sister Howell in our district supposedly slipped and fell in front of a bunch of people and was embarassing for her, but she is fine. Of course later in the day an elder slipped and completely broke his leg. He was supposed to be going to Spain soon but will be delayed for another four months because of the accident. One of our sisters Sister Standland from Florida was feeling pretty sick this morning and wasn't sure if she would be able to make it to the temple. We gave her a blessing and she was able to make it through the session without any problems whatsoever. On Wednesday I was able to host and was able to do Aaron Wallace right at the very end, he was one of the last cars to come in and I saw them pull out of the parking lot acrossed to the street so I kinda guaged where they were and where they would probably go and decided that they would probably drive to the end stations to drop him off. I was at the very first stations so I casually walked to to the end hoping that that's where they would end up. The Lord blessed us and I was right because I saw them pulling down to the bottom, I asked the other Elders that were at his station if they wouldn't mind letting me get the next car because it was a close friend of mine. They gladly let me host him and it was great. His residence room is only about 4 rooms down from me and our classrooms are only 3 rooms apart. It all worked out awesome. On sunday I was able to see the list of who was coming into our zone. They originally were splitting the missionaries up into the two zones with 6 in our zone. I was bummed out because they had put Aaron in the other portuguese zone. I was so convinced that he would be in our zone that I honestly couldn't believe they put him in the other zone. But I felt ok bacause he would still be on the same floor as us in our classroom building and so I would get to see him occasionally. Then on Tuesday night after District training my zoneleaders said " Hey Elder Kennington what was your friends name that was coming in tomorrow?" I said it was Aaron Wallace, and my zone leader got a big grin on his face and told him that they had combined the two new districts into one and that they were all going to be in our zone! I was so happy! That night in the shower I sang really loud about how awesome the Gospel is and I sung about going to brazil and having aaron in my zone and I sang in portuguese. I was just happy cause The Lord knows us and he will bless us with what we need. I forgot to say a while ago but every night I take a shower since the line in the morning is a joke. And me and a couple of my other Elder friends sing in the showers about whatever we want, the songs are always really dumb but it's a good way to relieve stress and just be ourselves. So yeah it was super fun hosting Aaron around. first I take him to the building and take all his luggage and meet him on the other side of the building, when they go inside they get their nametags and id cards and maps etc. After that I took him back to our residence hall and dropped off his luggage, then we go to the bookstore where they have a big sack of supplies. It has the portuguese scriptures, grammar books, daily planners, health guide pamphlet, just a bunch of stuff. After we got that I showed him to his classroom. And that's where we dropped him off. It was great though and I really hope I'll be able to host Robby and Kaiden when they come. Let me know what time they are supposed to be coming in and what vehicle they will probably be in so that I can watch for them. I also saw Kiana Eddington that entered on Wednesday too. I didn't she was coming in until Elder Braxten Neilson told me that she was coming, he was able to host her and I talked to her and her family for a minute. It was really cool. Also When we were waiting at our stations I was an Elder that looked really familiar walk by with his host, I told my friend next to me that I think I know that kid. I resolved to if I saw him again I would talk to him and see who he was. It just so happened that next morning I walked into breakfast and he was standing right in front of me. I tapped him on the shoulder and said "hey where are you from?" he looked at me funny and said "where are you from" then I just said did you live in Roosevelt for a while? he lit up and said yeah! over the summer! I remember you! So it turns out this was Brexan that lived with his family in Roosevelt over the summer, we had hung out a few times but not too much. He had told me he was just waiting till he was old enough to put in his mission papers. I hadn't heard anything since he moved to the city. We talked for a bit and he said he had got his call only two months before and was going to San diego. He was super excited and It was cool seeing him. No visas for anyone this week. There were I think 19 or so Elders that were reassigned from the other portuguese zone. All the reassignments were made to, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, or New York. My friend Elder Moon was reassigned to Alabama. He is the one that me and mom met in provo at the health clinic that was also going to Brazil. He was really emotional about it but he said he knows its the right place. I hope that if I'm reassigned the Spirit will bear witness to me as well that my reassignment is where I need to go. Not much else thats new this week, I talked to some guys from Brazil in the vending machine room the other night and I was actually able to communicate with them in portuguese a little but. It sure was cool, I'm pretty sure when I get to Brazil that it'll be completely different hearing and speaking the language all the time. Plus Native Brazilians are so much more harder to understand and they speak so fast, I'm excited though I really am. Anyway everything is great here, I'm healthy and happy. Me and Elder Saxton are getting along great and we are learning alot together. Both of our investigators committed to be baptized this week so we are progressing well with our teaching. Hope everyone is having fun on the cruise, I pray for your safety and well being everynight. I love you guys all and I'm so grateful to be out serving our Savior for the next two years. It's the best thing I can do to pay him back for my wonderful life. Espero que voces terao Muito paz, amor, saude, alegria, felicidade, ajuda, e bencaos, Amo voces muito, amo este evangelho, e amo meu Salvador, Redentor, e Mestre, Jesus Cristo. Everyone take care and be good! -Elder Kennington
Friday, January 18, 2013
Oi Familia? O que esta acontecendo? Just another week here at the mtc. The days go by so quick and just melt together, it seems like yesterday that it was already our p-day. A couple big things did happen this week though, I was called in Sunday morning and I asked by one of our Branch Presidency to be the New District Leader. I wasn't expecting to be asked to be it at all, I was completely expecting my companion Elder Saxton to be the new District Leader. I guess the Lord had other things in store, I'm excited though and feel that the Lord is teaching me something that will be able to help me throughout my mission. Basically all the District Leader does in the mtc is interview senior companions every week and see how everyone is doing and help with any problems that there might be. Luckily are district is awesome and we all get along great. Also I pick up all the mail and have some meetings with the branch presidency every week and report on our districts progress. We made some goals last week to commit to Fala Sua Lingua. (Speak your language) which pretty much is a new program that pushes us as missionaries to speak the language as much as possible. We all talked last sunday and we felt that as a whole district we needed to use our study time the best that we can and to not only squander our time but more importantly the Lord's time. We have done well this week and have all read aloud from our Livros de Mormon. One of the best ways to learn your new language is to read it aloud from the book of mormon. Already we have seen a difference in our speach and comprehension. Our district is doing great with the language and are picking it up quickly Elder Saxton continues to do better everyday too. The teachers and missionaries in my district ask me alot why I know so much portuguese. I'm always taken back when they say that cause I really don't feel like I know much. Cause I really don't. I just tell them I took a lot of Spanish in school and it has helped me out in ways I could never explain. I'd be a lost missionary if I hadn't learned in Spanish before coming to the mtc. It really has helped so much. Spanish and Portuguese have alot of different words and prononciations but the languages are set up basically the same and our spoken in the same manner. I would almost say that Brazilian Portuguese is easier than spanish in many ways. Nevertheless I can do nothing without the help of the Lord. I so glad he started preparing me even as far back as in 8th grade when I took my first spanish class, and especially here I rely on him so much with helping me speak and understand. We learn the language a whole lot faster when the Spirit is your own personal tutor and helper. Anyway our zone leaders left to Angola, Africa on monday and so we had to call some new Zone leaders. Who just so happen to be our roommates! Elder Thayne and Elder Williams are our new zone leaders . They came in a week after us and I told them a long time ago that they were going to be the new zone leaders once our current ones left to the field. I guessed right and they are now our new zone leaders. They are both going to Portugal which is why I suspected they would be called just because the Elder going to Brazil could leave at any time if their visas came, also they are really friendly and outgoing which is definitely a desirable trait in zone leaders. Me and Elder Thayne probably get along the best in our entire zone, our personalities are very similar and we just like talking to new people and preaching the gospel, and having fun at the same time. Great guys and I love them alot, they will do great. Another amazing event that happened this week was we had an apostle come for Our Tuesday night devotional. Probably my favorite apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. What a great man, he spoke with authority from on high and counseled us that we better come home from our missions with at least one convert. And that it had better be ourselves. He talked about how saddened he is by inactive returned missionaries and he told us pretty bluntly that we had better never go inactive after our missions. At the end he was to give a dedicatory prayer for 3 buldings that had been renovated. When he addressed Heavenly Father in the prayer it was as if the ceiling of the gym had been taken away and that the Lord himself was gazing down on us and listening to one of his chosen apostles.The prayer was really cool he blessed every part of the mtc and he blessed us during the prayer that even as these buildings are rededicated that we as missionaries will rededicate ourselves to the work. Many of us including me were brought to tears and I know a big part of it was that we could feel the Lords love for us. Elder Holland blessed that mtc that there would never be any acts of violence here, that there would never be guns, or explosives or any form of weapon intended to hurt someone here at the mtc. As he said these things I could feel the deep love that Heavenly Father has for us and how he would never allow such acts to take place. What a great blessing it was to have him come and I loved it. No visas this week, in fact we talked to the travel office and it sounds like there is a very high chance we will be reassigned. I'm fine with that though we will see what happens. Thanks also to Grandma Dale and Grandma Farm for sending me big sugar cookies and brownies and candy, they were awesome and we are still eating them. Thanks again so much. Also today our district was assigned to host on the 23rd so that will be a nice switch up of things, after 6 weeks missionaries are eligible to host. I'm excited to see Aaron too, I really hope he is in our zone there is only 2 portuguese zones and the odds are looking good that he will be in ours. I'm super excited for you guys to go on your cruise it sounds like so much fun, make sure mom and dad speak alot of spanish just for kicks and giggles. Also the green sweater is Elder Martinaues he has several and never wears them so he let me borrow it in the mtc, and the jacket is another of our district members Elder Merril, he let me use the zip out part of it what a blessing they are, thanks again for all the mosquito stuff let Kay know I love him and will always be grateful for him being my sunday school teacher and for all he has done for me. thanks for the pictures too they were fun to look at. Also a fun fact about my mission is that all the teachers I talk to only know that it is hot. And one of my teachers told us that are going to Cuiaba that we are in for a surprise cause it's the hottest mission in brazil. I'm not so sure though I guess we will see. If they reassign us it will have to be southern cause no one going to Brazil is prepared for the cold weather. No one got reassigned last week cause they were all going to portugal or Africa. I'm good with everything here though I don't need anything, the byu bookstore here on the mtc campus has most anything if I ever need it. Also every friday night we have a shoe shine party, I'll leave a picture of it with this email, good times everything is kinda the same day after day so we try to liven things up when we can. Love you guys all and I want you to have an awesome time on your cruise, be careful and don't spend all your money, thanks again for the letters and emails I enjoy them so much. Love you guys all again, the mtc is great missionary work is the greatest thing and I love it all. -Elder Kennington
Friday, January 11, 2013
Bom Dia Famila minha familia! como estao todo mundo? Busy week here at the provo mtc I've learned alot and have felt the Spirit even more. So we just got back from another endowment session at the temple. Foi muito bem! Amo o Templo do Senhor com todo o meu coracao! I forgot to tell you last week that we get breakfast at the temple before our session. I've been getting the egg ham and cheese omelet each time and it's awesome and cheap, this week I got another omelet with sausage gravy poured over it, I also got goblet of tapioca pudding and a glass of cranberry juice. It was great and only cost like 4 bucks! Sorry again for my typing I can't remember how to spell alot of words and I'm typing really slow. Anyway 7 of my good friends got their visas last friday and they were off to Sao Paulo tuesday morning. Great guys and it's crazy how good of friends you make here in the MTC. Hopefully I will be able to see them again in the Brazilian mtc. They still have about 3 more weeks left at the mtc. And exactly one more month for me! my expected departure date from the mtc is february 11th so whether its state side or to Cuiaba we will see. Wanted to share with you a funny experience me and Elder Saxton had during the first lesson with one of our new investigators. His name is Lucas and we went in and he began immediately getting excited and asking about how our religion in different than others. I said Nossa Igreja tem O livro de Mormon. Um outro testamento de Jesus Cristo. And he was like whoa! Tell me more! So I was like ok! But Elder Saxton reminded me that we still needed to offer an opening prayer. So I asked him if it was ok if I offered an opening prayer. He exclaimed sure! So I immediately closed my eyes and bowed my head and offered a fairly long prayer, it was strange that during the prayer I was impressed more than once to open my eyes and look at Lucas but I brushed the feelings off and continued to pray. After the prayer Lucas said amen and I noticed that he mumbled "hosana ao Jesus!" after he said amen. I didn't think much of it and continued teaching him about the Book of Mormon, when I turned the time over to Elder Saxton he started to teach Lucas how to pray, I dond't understand what he was doing because he was supposed to be bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it had helped him in his own life. Lucas had a confused look on his face and I cut in and asked Lucas if he knew how to pray. He confidently replied Sim! So Elder Saxton gave me a confused look and talked about the book of Mormon instead. At the end of the lesson I asked Lucas if he would like to offer a prayer he replied maybe next time so Elder Saxton gave the closing prayer instead. Again I didn't open my eyes during the prayer and after the prayer Elder Saxton looked at me like I was crazy or something, after that we set up a new appointment and left the room. As soon as we left Elder Saxton said Elder Kennington did you not see how he was praying? I said no I didn't see anything cause my eyes were closed. So apparently I guess when Lucas prays he lifts his hands striaight out and into the air with his palms out and would nod his head and say praised during our prayers. Elder Saxton saw it all while I saw nothing. He said that Lucas was being pretty obvious in trying to make me aware of his praying style but I was completely oblivious. I learned a good lesson that day to listen to small impressions of the Spirit and to let your companion do change the lesson as he sees fit. Elder Saxton wasn't very amused by it but I found it pretty funny and a good oportunity to learn. Btw the way investigators work is it's usually an mtc worker and we will teach them all the lessons and then they become our in class teacher. Our first investigators name was Mike. He was pretty easy to teach and kept all the commitments after 5 lessons he committed to be baptized and we set up a date. The day after that he became one of our teachers his name is Brother Perkes and he has been off his mission about a year, he went to Portugal but he speaks Brazilian portuguese to us. I like him alot and he has taught me many good things. Our second investigators name was Susi she was actually our first Teacher whose name is Sister Pike, she is really awesome and nice and taught us for 3 weeks and then she became our investigator. we taught her 4 times but then we had to pass her to another set of missionaries because we got "transferred" which really meant that Sister Pike had to change her teaching schedule to acomidate her schooling at BYU. we still see her from time to time and she will always hold a special place in my heart cause she was such an awesome teacher. She served in Sao Paulo a few years ago. Our current investigator is Lucas who is also our current teacher Brother Rogers hes super gentle and has clarifies many things about Portuguese that I struggles with. He Served in Curitiba Brazil and has only been back for 6 months or so. Great teachers and investigators though you learn to love them even though they aren't real investigators. Anyway IT sounds like beginning the first of January mtc times have been cut by a third for all incoming missionaries which is good cause there is alot more coming in. My first week here I could almost count to number of Sisters in the Mtc on my fingers and toes but now there are tons more sisters and new faces every week. I was told that 12/12/12 was the last day there would never be Elders under 19 entering and Sister under 21. We were the last of the "older generation" to come in. Me and Elder Saxton were recently talking to a 19 year old sister that was going to Chile, they seemed super excited. I think its great the work is moving forward so strongly. I was also told that by the end of this month the mtc is supposed to almost double in missionaries. That's loco. But it will all work out in the end. Also I forgot to tell you a couple of weeks ago we had a devotional speaker named George Durrant. he was super old and funny. He was the mtc president from 1986 to 1988. I didn't remember when mom and dad were in the mtc but he might have been your mtc president but probably not. anyhow I was just wondering. Also more about my companion he has to older sisters and a younger sister. he's the only boy in his family and his older sister in married. He says he knows how to cook pretty good cause his mom is pretty much pro. Whenever we have gym time we go on splits with different Elders in our District because him and Elder Martineua like to go to the fitness center and do the eliptical and they do some aerobic stuff with the sisters, I go with the other Elders in my district to the gym, I love playing basketball or foursquare. Yesterday I was in the king
Friday, January 4, 2013
Hey Family! How have things been? It's been a crazy week here at the mtc. Tons of people have been getting sick with the flu. 4 of the 11 in our district were bed ridden at one point. Me and my companion have been fine though. Most are doing alot better now and our whole district was able to make it to the temple today. The first in our district to get sick was Sister Littell. She is doing alot better though now. We gave her a blessing at the beginning of the week. I anointed her and we had our District Leader Elder Cameron seal and bless her. It was his first time giving a blessing and he did awesome. I heard something that like one in every 15 or 20 missionaries here at the mtc got some sort of virus or flu. One of the Elders in our district was just walking back to the dorms when out of nowhere he threw up all over the sidewalk. It's more of a 24 hour thing and most everyone is feeling better now. The worst I personally got was being congested in my chest and nose. It caused me to sneeze and cough quite a bit but I feel mostly normal now. It was pretty intense for a while because there was no handshaking or hugs allowed. So everyone touched elbows instead. It was funny seeing the looks on the faces of our investigators when we would say "Da me um cotovelo." which means "give me an elbow." When all the new missionaries came in on Wednesday they baracaded them to one side of the lunchroom and we were not to converse or touch them so that they didn't get sick. Like I said today we were able to go to the Provo Temple for the first time and do an endowment session. I never realized how large of a temple it was. I loved it so much and it was a great experience. I was really bummed out when you guys told me that Aaron had been delayed to come here another 3 weeks. That stinks so bad. I think there was 26 total portuguese speaking missionaries that came in on the 3rd. 13 of them are in our zone they are all going to Brazil. I think they must have selected by last names on who would be able to come in on Wednesday. Aaron must have been bumped back just because his last name is at the end of the alphabet. Oh well though. Also thanks for all the letters, everyday Elder Cameron walks into our classroom and yells "MAIL TIME!" I get really excited when I get mail and thanks so much for emailing me on dear elder. I love getting those messages. Thanks again so much for the care packages, I got the cinnamon rolls from grandma Dale 2 days ago and me and my companion and roomates have eaten most of them already they were great. And also the candy that Grandma Farm sent me is about gone too. I'm always starving at the end of the day and it's been great to have those goodies and other delights to eat. Also I got the yellow fever card at the beginning of the week. Thanks again for sending it and the hoodie and push up bars. It's all exactly what I needed. Last week it felt like I hit a wall with the language and was having a hard time remembering new things but this week I feel alot better about the language and I feel the Lord has really opened up my mind and touched me with the spirit. We our teaching two new investiagtors and it's and awesome feeling being able to look them in the eyes and bear with conviction and knowing that I know that this message and these words which we are teaching are true. And to be able to do it in the portuguese language. You can discern alot about a person by what you can see in their eyes. I have noticed that alot this week especially when bearing witness do Livro De mormon e Jose Smith. The work is great and I'm so happy being here. Elder Saxton and I have been working hard and I have been praying for him alot. And he has been able to speak the language alot better and remember and understand alot more. Funny that the Lord paired us up because there is many things I have learned from him and I hope I have been able to teach him some good things too which will help him throughout the mission. The Lord knows us and he knows what we need and I think me and Elder Saxton needed eachother to learn and understand more of why we are here. Elder Saxton is a stickler and is perfect in being obedient which has taught me much and I hope that I can at least teach him that it's ok to fart in front of your companion. haha Anyways Happy new years to everyone it was pretty awesome here during new years night. I totally took a shower at 9:30 and then I drank some milk and ate some rice krispies. After that I brushed my teeth, wrote in my journal, said companionship and personal prayer and then went to bed at precisely 10:30. It was pretty hardcore I know. Really though it was fun being here during all the holidays. Good news today though! About ten Elder from our zone got their visas to Brazil. It was pretty random the people that got them, Some that sent their visas in the same time I did got theirs while others that have had theirs in a month longer didn't get theres. It's just whoever the Lord needs in Brazil right away. Personally I think mine will come before my mtc time is up but if I do get reassigned that would be fine with me. So far 3 Elders have been reassigned to the states for at least 6 weeks. The first was my host Elder Ferrin, he was reassigned to South Dakota. Another was assigned to ARizona and another Alabama. good times though. I can't think of other things I wanted to talk about. Anyways I'm passed time so let me know if you guys have any specific questions or are wondering anything. All is great and I'm happy and healthy and am learning alot. The Spirit changes and humbles us and I'm super grateful for that. Love you all and take good care.