Cuiaba Brazil Weather

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Made It!

A Letter from Skyler today Wednesday 27, 2013
Hey they are letting me write a quick 5 minute email before I leave to my new area. Its about 4 hours east of Cuiaba. It is very humid and green here. It feels right. We were able to secure a flight from Brasilia to Cuiaba. Instead of having to go to Sao Paulo after Brasilia and then to Cuiaba. It was a big pain in the airport cuase we were all alone and no one spoke English. But all is well Mission president and wife are amazing! So got to go but I am doing great! everyone made it fine and I am going to an area call caceres. Love you all take care. Hopefully you got the letter from mission presidents wife. Love you all. I am 3 hours ahead of you here.
-Elder Kennington

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Skyler Arrives Safely in Brazil

Letter From his Mission President:

Dear families,

President and I received your missionary today. We had a wonderful day with them. I am enclosing pictures for you to enjoy. Thank you for raising a wonderful son! This experience will enrich his life and the lives of his family back home.
A few instructions...
Please know how important it is to receive your emails from home. P-Day's are Monday's. They will be looking forward to your love and support!
Please mail all packages to the Mission Office. I will enclose the address in this letter. This is a large Mission. We only have a couple times a month that we are able to deliver packages. Please mail your packages early to give them adequate time to arrive to your missionary. Package generally take approximately 3-4 weeks. Please use the PO Flat Rate boxes. Priority Mail does not mean it will arrive quicker. After it leaves the USA, mail is slow! We do our best to get the packages out to the Missionaries. It is a high priority in the office!
For families to view we have a Mission Blog. You can access it from time to time to view pictures and updates about our mission. Our Blog name is OR you can google Cuiabe Brazil Mission and find it there.
If you have any trouble finding, please let me know.
Please know that the well being of your Missionary is very important to us. If you have any questions and/or concerns, you can email me (Sister Reber) directly. It is no trouble for me to receive emails.
Again, we anticipate great experiences awaiting your missionary. This will be a treasured experience for your family to share in. We are so excited to have him.
New Missionary Arrivals with President and Sister Reber
Elder Kennington and President and Sister Reber

Thanks again for your son! Please do not worry about him. We love him already!
With love,
Sister Reber
Cuiaba Brazil Mission
Address of mailing packages
Missão Brasil Cuiabá
Av. Hist. Rubens De Mendonça, 1731
Sala 10, Bairro; Consil
CEP; 78050-975


Monday, March 25, 2013

Skyler Receives His Visa

Sunday, March 24th, we received a phone call from Skyler, that his Visa had arrived and they had notified him Friday to let him know.  He had a dream Wednesday that he was getting his Visa.  Skyler also told us that they had his Visa for about a week now.  He said that it had been on its way the last transfere that sent him to New York.

Skyler called twice today from the Airport.  They cancelled his first flight at the New York Airport due to mechanical problems.  They were supposed to fly out at 11:00, 9:00 Mountain Standard Time.  He called again tonight at 6:30 from Atlanta, it was 8:30 PM his time.  He was doing well, but I bet tired from the waiting around.  He is traveling with 4 other missionaries.  He will probably stay in San Palo, Brazil until further clearance can be granted.

We are so happy and proud of Skyler.  He has grown so much and blessed us all through his example and strength and courage.

He appreciates everyones letters, prayers and support.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week #13 Utica, New York

Hey everyone! Wow I love you all so much. Today was an interesting week, I went on my first exchanges on Tuesday with our District Leader Elder Hazelett. He is a great missionary from Rock Springs Wyoming I believe. He actually had his endowments taken out in the Vernal Temple just like me! He had those little puffy luggage balls just like me that they gave at the Temple. We went to the area next to ours which is called Watertown. It is actually a pretty good sized town with alot more people in it than my area in Carthage. We met with a few less actives that day and had dinner with a really fun family named the Jordans. We went to a restaraunt called the Fairgrounds and I had a bbq burger. It was great. We went and contacted some refferals and set some appointments for later in the week. We knocked a few doors and I had probably the funniest rejection I have gotten so far on the mission. We knocked on the door and this guy with a cigarrette in his mouth peeked his head and and said "What you guys sellin?" we chuckled and said nothing and he immediatly said in a funny rough tone of voice "Then I ain't interested!" and slammed the door. I probably shouldn't have but I just laughed out loud. I guess it's good to laugh when you are tracting. It helps keeps the Spirits up since there is very very little success with tracting here in upstate New York. No worries though. The next day me and Elder hazelett had an appointment with a new investigator where we taught her the Restoration, she had many good insights and when we asked her questions she had perfect answers and understood everything almost perfect. She was already trying to quite smoking and drinking coffee. Crazy how the Gospel makes people want to change for the better, even by just reading from the Book of Mormon, people perspective changes on alot of things. We actually committed her to baptism and a baptism date for sometime in May. What a cool thing, I wish she was in my area so I could keep teaching her. Elder Menlove stayed in carthage and the other Watertown Elder named Elder Slaughter went with him for the 24 hour exchange. Most of their appointments fell through so they only ended up teaching on investigator named mary lou who is an older Lady whose Husband recently passed away and her son who is a less active member reffered us to her. The amazing thing about the Gospel is that we can provide any answer to her questions and reassure her that she can live with her husband again. This week was one of those weeks where we felt less productive. There were alot of lessons with investigators that fell through. Satan was working hard this week to throw a wrench in the missionary work here. Alot of our investigators and less active families had things come up, like work or they had to go to the military training field for the entire week. Just a bunch of different things coming up to make it hard for us to teach. We weren't able to teach the two people that we taught the restoration last sunday and committed to baptism. They had things come up and weren't able to be taught. I pray with all my heart that they are reading the Book of Mormon, and praying to know that it is true. Hopefully this will be a better week for teaching and things won't fall through so much. We also had Return and report on friday which was where everyone who had been out on their missions for a month went back to utica and had a training. It was a really good training and I got to see my companion Elder Saxton there for the first time in a month. He didn't have much to say but I think he is doing good. I guess also that President Wirthlin talked to my companion Elder Menlove and said that he would be transfering him to a new area because he had some stuff he needed to take care of there, and that I would be recieveing a new trainer but I would be leading out on the area. This scared me to death. We have a large area but I was mainly worried because we do a ton of work on the Military base Ft. Drum and It is so big and confusing and it all looks the same to me. It's super tough to navigate. I was just having panic attacks, and was really worried and quite the rest of Friday and saturday. On Saturday we had a tri-ward dinner at the Watertown church house where members would bring there friends and we would have a church tour and eat sphagetti and have a good time. About 100 people showed up and only like 2 nonmembers were there haha. They were both from watertown but hopefully the missionaries will start teaching them there. They seemed interested and one went on the church tour. We got transfer calls that night and they told me and Elder Menlove that we would both be staying in carthage. We were both like What? I was so relieved, the zone leader said that there were some missionaries in the mtc that went home early and so it changed stuff up for us. We had been planning for the last several weeks to split our area because we were told we would be recieving new sister missionaries in our area and so we had spent time finding an apartment for them and coordinating how would would split the area. But I guess something came up that threw a wrench in the plans of everything and so now it will be just me and Elder Menlove staying here in Carthage. Honestly though I can't complain. I prayed so much for the lord to help me cause I felt like there was so much weight being put on my shoulders. The Lord sure works in mysterious ways. I'm still thinking that we might get a call in the next few days saying there was a mixup and that Elder Menlove really is leaving the area. idk though, we will see. Whatever happens though I know that the Lord qualifies those whom he calls. Everything will be ok. Saturday we visited a recent convert because everything else had fallen through and as we pulled up outside his house we saw a black guy in a white suit walking down the sidewalk in our direction, we were planning on talking to him anyway but as soon as we stepped out of our car he yelled out Hey you guys Christians?! we said yeah and he came over and started talking to us about the rapture and 666 and how we have to all accept Jesus or we will all be killed by terrorists because Obama is the Anti-Christ. A bunch of crazy stuff he had me read this verse in mathew that made zero sense at all. And then he went on to explain stuff about the number 70 and kinda some weird stuff. We were polite and we told him that we believed Christ was coming soon to the earth and that these were the last days. That was about all we agreed on. but we didn't argue with him about everything else he said. He said he wanted to pray with us so he started praying and he told us to repeat what he said. Me and Elder Menlove just looked at eachother like "What?" We had no idea what to do so we were polite and went along with it. I cant remember a thing he said in the prayer but it was basically to save us and not let us burn in hell. During the prayer i had the distinct impression from the Holy Ghost to make sure we didn't leave the man without first offering our own prayer. After his prayer he went off on other stuff about us being implanted with a 666 chip that would be set off by radio signals by terrorists and then we would die and go straight to hell. We finally shared a few of our beliefs about how the Godhead is three seperate and distinct beings and we talked about the Book of Mormon and we showed it to him, he said he already knew a little about Joseph Smith and had read some of the Book of Mormon. he said he had to go but I asked him if i could offer a prayer, he looked at me very sceptically but he agreed. I said a simple prayer and thanked the Lord for the atonement of Christ and for families and that families could be together forever. I didn't say anything that might offend him and I didn't say anything about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. But I felt good after the prayer and he had a really somber look to him. He said he had to go then so we said goodbye. I truly believe we were supposed to meet that man at that time, things somehow worked out so that we pulled up to their house right as he walked by. Maybe there was a seed planted, who knows. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Anyway I have been playing the piano a little bit, I play in Priesthood now and usually at district meetings. Surprisingly no one else knows how to play. It's cool using those talents. Also this saturday we are having an all mission conference and Elder Bednar is coming to speak to us for about 3 hours. We are super stoked for that. I'll let you know next week how it was, I'm excited to see my Friends Elder Mitch Hussey who is from Roosevelt as well and has been out here since July. That will be cool and I will send you pictures. These pictures are of me yesterday on St. Patricks day and of our District here. We have a great district. A couple facts about Elder Menlove is he is from Chandler Arizona, he loves football and he goes home at the end of November. He makes sure we are always doing something and not just sitting around in the car or apartment. he likes water polo and ceramics, and is drop dead Gorgous (He told me to put that) haha Also can you write on President Willards facebook and tell him congrats on his call and tell him i look forward to knowing that my mission area border much of bolivia. i was also super excited to hear about Aarons visa, another sister from my mtc district got her visa, she is from Arizona. I feel that mine is on the way, but I so look forward to fulfilling the Lords purposes here in New York. So anyways I love you all so much, I wrote Jetson a letter so hopefully I will mail it off today and he can get it before he leaves next week. Take care everyone I love you all so much and pray for you all everyday. Tenha um bom dia todo mundo!
Com amor
-Elder Kennington

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week #12 Utica, New York

Hey everyone! Wow this week went by in a total blur. But it was a great week. Good thing our cell phone automatically switches times with the daylight saving times our alarm went off Sunday morning and I looked at my watch and said "What the heck?! It's 5:30!?" But the phone said it was 6:29 and time to get up. Me and Elder Menlove talked and we didn't think it was daylight savings already. He is from Arizona where they don't have daylight savings. I could have sworn that daylight savings wasn't until April. We ended up calling some other missionaries in a nearby area and they confirmed that it was daylight savings. So we got up and got ready for the day. I guess you kinda are cut off as a missionary. We had no clue. No problem though. I got both emails from mom luckily her first one sent. I also got letters on Wednesday from Grandma Farm, and Jetson, and The Olsen family and Allina Olsen, and Amanda Manning, and Corbin. They all just showed up at once and had been post marked for like the 26th of Feb. Oh well I got them though. Thanks so much for them, especially to Grandma Farm, the Card made me laugh, on the front it had a picture of 2 missionaries trudging through snow and said "many are cold but few are frozen" that gave me a good chuckle and i sure appreciate what she wrote. Crazy thing on Saturday the sun came out! We actually got out and walked without having to suit up in our coats and gloves and earmuffs. We went and visited a less active recent convert family, and I was in such a good mood with the sun out. It totally changed how I felt. The Sun sure is like the Savior, always shedding light and bringing warmth to the empty soul. Luckily my soul has been feeling pretty good even with the stinky weather. We did some cool stuff this week. On Tuesday we had Dinner with the gabbitas family, they are the ones that I do language study with, once or twice a week. We walked into their house and everything I mean everything was green! Green balloons everywhere and decorations it was awesome. The moment i stepped through the door I was blasted with silly string! (See attached picture) haha we had fun and we ate stuffed green peppers and peas and broccoli and green olives and green cupcakes with green frosting. Then we finished it all off with Green jello. It was super fun and actually a pretty good tasting dinner. I guess it's a tradition that they do for whenever there is a greenie elder out. I guess I was the first greenie they had gotten to feed in years. It was really fun. We had Zone training conference on thursday so we had to go to utica and have that. I saw one of my mtc friends elder Spencer, who is also going to Cuiaba. He said that things are going good and that he hasn't thought about visas very much. That humbled me and I wish I could have said the same. I have only heard one thing on visas. One of the sisters in our mtc District Sister Schwitters got her visa. She leaves on the 18th of this month. I was super happy for her, she is from california and we put our visas in about the same time. But that doesn't really mean anything. I was excited to hear about Aaron and him going to Montana. He has a great attitude and will do awesome. I had an interview with President Wirthlin and he said that me and Elder Menlove will probably stay together until I leave for Brazil. Whenever that will be. President is banking on that it will be soon. I'm pretty sure I will be here for another transfer so probably until may. It's ok though. The Lord knows exactly what he is doing. It's crazy to think that I'm only a few days short of having been out in New York for a month. It really has gone by quick. I'm so grateful to the Lord for that. We called an inactive lady at the beginning of the week and asked if she needed any help or anything and she said that she needed help painting so we went over and helped paint. It was a good experience and i always feel good when we can help provide some service. So our investigator Teresa is doing well she is still struggling with Smoking but it sounds like she's not quite ready to quit yet. She wants to be baptized so bad and we tried to set up a date for her to shoot for but she wants to wait until she can stop. We pray for all our investigators everyday and I believe that everyone of them will be baptized eventually. We have to have faith that they will be otherwise they won't be. Yesterday was a very special day and probably one of the best days I have had so far on my mission. At church a recently reactivated member came to us and said that his fiance wanted to take the discussions but that they couldn't do it after church, so we went into the clerks office and taught her the restoration. During the lesson the turn came to me where I was to recount the first vision and what happened. I was very emotional and had a hard time not choking up while repeating the first vision. I told her about the book of mormon, and then I pulled the only one out that I had in my backpack. It was a very very special copy to me. because it was the one the Mom had given me during Christmas and told me to give it to someone who would love and treasure it. The Spirit told me that it was the right thing to to do give it to her. I showed her where my family had left their testimony and picture in it, with tears running down my face I asked her if should would treasure this Book and read it. She agreed, and I gave her that precious book. We talked about families and how she could be with her husband and future children forever. She seemed interested in this and she smiled at her fiance as we talked about it. Elder Menlove asked her if she would be baptized and she agreed. What a wonderful experience. Thank you for sending me that Book of Mormon with the testimonies in it. I took pictures of the testimony so that I will always have it and remember it. Later that day we went to a less active family to teach them. We were surprised to see their non-member friends there named john. We had visited them a few weeks earlier and he was there, he expressed interest in learning more about the mormon church. Last week he wasn't able to make it but this week he was there and so we taught him the restoration. What a powerful lesson that was. He soaked it all up. Elder Menlove recited the first vision. As soon as he said "I saw a pillar of light" The room became extremely still and quite, even though there were children playing upstairs above us. Even though he kinda stumbled through the first vision there was no question that the Spirit was there testifying of that wonderful event, that it really happened. After we explained more about the Book of Mormon I was talking and I felt the undeniable prompting of the spirit to invite John to be baptized. There was no question about it, the Spirit told me what to do and it was so plain that there was no way I couldn't deny the promptings of the Spirit. I said this "John, when you find out this message is true, and that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, will you follow the example of The Savior Jesus Christ and be baptized by one holding the Proper Priesthood authority of God?" Without hesitation he said yes. After this we talked about the blessings of the Temple, and I showed him a picture in my Scriptures of the Salt Lake Temple. He said that he had seen it before while driving Semi through Salt lake years ago. He said there was no way he could miss it. We asked if he would offer a closing prayer and he gave a beautiful perfect prayer, where he thanked the Lord for sending his messangers to teach him this profound lesson. What a prepared man. And we would have never found him unless we had been visiting less actives and trying to get them to come back to Church. That family also expressed a real interest in coming back to church. The father had bought himself a new suit and they would have been to church yesterday but I guess they had a blowout on their vehicle the night before and so they weren't able to make it. I pray everyday that Satans power will be weak upon those who we are trying to get back to church and baptize. Well I am out of time but I love you all so much. I'm so grateful that our family has been sealed together forever. I hope we live so that we can have that reward at the end of our lives. I always took forever families for granted but out here in upstate New York I have seen the great blessing that families are. I want nothing more than to be with my family forever. I have gained a greater testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, without a doubt he saw God and Jesus Christ. I know that because the Holy Ghost has testified of it. Thanks again for all the prayers and support. Make sure Jordan and Kaden are good, and stay out of trouble. I love you all so much! may the good Lord bless you all forever.
-Elder Kennington

Monday, March 4, 2013

#11 Letter New York, Utica

Hello to my precious family! We had a good busy week this last week. We visited a lot of less actives and have actually been able to help two less actives to start coming back to church. And better yet their non-member spouses have been interested in the Gospel and we have been able to start teaching them too. It's so much easier to convert people when they know someone who is already members of the church. Every member a missionary! Everyone one of our investigators or recent converts were interested and willing to take the discussions because they had a friend or family member who was a member. We must always be willing to share the Gospel with our friends and always be righteous examples. We gained a new golden investigator this week. Her name is Teresa, and boy has The Lord prepared her. She has a family member who lives several hours away who is a member and forever reason she was compelled to go to church and start learning about her Gospel. Last week she went to a ward outside her area because she didn't know that we had a chapel here in the Carthage area. The missionaries in that area talked to her there and she told them how she wants to become a member of this church. She met with the Sister missionaries a few days later in our area and they handed her over to us because she is in our area and is too far for the Sister to drive to teach her. On Thursday we went to her house so that we could introduce ourselves and so the Sister missionaries could explain to her that we would start teaching her now. We all talked together and she expressed her deep desire to be baptized and to follow Christ and do whatever she has to in order to become a member of his Church. She told us that she has to stop smoking but she is willing to do whatever she has to. She said that her family member who was a member of the church told her that she needs to get the Elders over so that she could receive a blessing. She didn't fully understand what a blessing was or how it worked so we explained to her about how it is all done by the faith of the person and the power of God. We explained the different types of blessings and the different significance of each one. We explained why and how we anoint and seal blessings. She was very desirous of a blessing and so me and Elder Menlove gave her one. I was blessed to be able to seal the anointing and bless her. I don't remember hardly any of what I said but I know very well that the Holy Spirit put every word into my mouth. I remember I blessed her that she would be able to quit smoking and told her that this was the correct path and the our Savior was very pleased with her and her righteous desires. I remember telling her that Satan would do all he can to stop her from being baptized but that she would have the strength to resist all his temptations. There was alot of stuff in between that I don't remember. But I remember as we finished the blessing there was a very strong peaceful feeling in the room. She was crying and told us that she had felt so much peace and comfort during the blessing. She thanked us and then she gave a closing prayer out loud for her first time. It was beautiful. She was at church yesterday and seemed to drink everything in during fast and testimony meeting and during the rest of the day. We introduced her to some great sisters in the ward and they instantly took her under their wing, and gave her comfort support. She said she still hasn't stopped smoking but it's only been a few days and we have full confidence that she will be able to stop especially when we set her up with a baptismal date during our next lesson on wednesday. She is so hungry for the Gospel and has told us she never felt so hungry to learn about Christ in her life. It's like it came out of nowhere. She was a catholic but she said that once she learned of the Gospel she hasn't been able to stop wanting more. It talks about this in Preach my Gospel that as investigators learn more of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ their spiritual appetites are caught on fire and only more knowledge can stifle that hunger. What marvelous things the Gospel does and how it changes us inside and out. My good companion Elder Menlove has an excellent work ethic and he makes sure we stay busy. We weren't able to go out and tract this last week but I guess thats good because we have been busy with other things. Whether it's strengthening recent converts or visiting less actives and inviting them back to church and inviting them to drink from the fountain of all truth and happiness which really is the Gospel. We acquired two more investigators this last week from working with less actives. The Lord truly blesses us as we stay busy. It's like we just run into these people at the homes of those less-actives that we visit and they are interested in hearing more about the Gospel. Hopefully we are able to be blessed by Gods almighty hand as we are diligent and use our time wisely. Mom asked a few questions, my companion is the one that look like Devin a little bit. Elder Burton my first companion is doing ok I think. I know that he got back home to Arizona just fine but that he has to get major surgery on his jaw in order to fix multiple problems, a member called and talked to him when he got home and said he seemed a little down because it will be probably more than six months till he will be able to come back out onto a mission again. I don't think he has had the surgery yet because it sounds like the muscle inflamation in his jaw still needs to go down which could take up to a month. So again keep him in your prayers. P-days here go by super fast. Unfortunately there are no nearby Church history sites in our mission. Palmyra is about two hours away from here and is in The Rochester New york mission boundaries. Elder Menlove says that at the end of his mission they let him go to the temple once before he goes home. Pretty much on P-day we go grocery shopping at about 11. There is a walmart in our area and so thats where we usually go. Today I bought some fruity dyno bites, poptarts, yogurt, pizza rolls, milk, and some sriracha rooster hot sauce. Like the kind they have at china star and stuff. We are always fed dinners so we don't have to worry about cooking much. I usually have cereal in the morning and poptarts as snacks later in the morning if I get hungry during personal study or something. We miss lunch alot because we have appointments to be to but if we get the chance we will alot of times boil up some pasta and have some alfredo or something. I like my pizza rolls with my rooster sauce though. I have been going down on the ice cream here though. Members feed us ice cream often after dinner and We always have a few pints in the freezer. This last week I ate two boxes which I guess is a gallon of ice cream. I make a malt out if it since we have a blender. I do this at about 10 every night after our planning session. Don't worry though I always brush my teeth afterwards. and I still weigh the exact same as when I entered the mtc. anyways after we go shopping we usually wash and vacuum the car and the we go to a recent converts house and he lets us do his laundry there for free! which is a huge blessing and makes things easy since our apartment doesn't have a washer or dryer. Then we just chill at his house and place some pretty complex but fun board games. Usually after a game or two its about 4 or so and we go to the Carthage library and do emails. We left a little early today to do emails because we have to go back to a recent converts home and give him and his wife a blessing. They called and asked if they would give us blessings. We sure do alot of blessings. In the last two weeks I will have either given or participated in 9 different blessings. Mostly for people who are sick or feel like they are in need of comfort. After we do emails we will usually then go and have dinner at a members home and then go to an appointment and teach someone. Tonight we will do our weekly planning though, we were supposed to do it on thursday but we were so busy with teaching and helping members that we weren't able to do it. But again it was a good week. We commited another investigator to be baptized at the end of this month on the 31st I think and he accepted. He is a 19 year old in the army that we met through teaching one of our less active members. What a cool thing! We helped a member paint a wall in his house. i attached a picture of it. I got a little crazy and got paint in my shirt. Good thing it was an old shirt. Btw a few thoughts and questions I had I was super excited in the mtc when you told me they found Rikki and that she was ok. What a blessing and miracle from the Lord. I forgot to comment on that. Also I was wondering if the Bank knows that I am in New York so that if I buy something on my card it won't get shut off as a safety precaution. Also fast was good yesterday it was a 24 hour fast and seemed to go by quick. We ate at a family named the Debucks yesterday and we were talking about rock climbing and stuff and they mentioned Wade Rhineharts name! I was like What!? You know Wade!? I told them about how our families were good friends and how they were some of my favorite sunday school teachers. What a small world. The De bucks were from New Mexico and were in New York because of military stuff. So that was cool. Anyway I love you all and I have thanked Heavenly Father so much this week for my wonderful family and friends. Thanks so much to Grandma Dale and Dad and Mom for your wonderful letters each week. They all make my day and I always look so forward to them. I'm trying my best here in Upstate New York and The Lord is taking care of the rest. I love you all. No word on visas yet. I doubt I will get them before this next transfer on the 21st of this month. No worries though. The Lords will be done. Everyone have a great week. I love you all so much. and am excited to hear all the mission calls that everyone is getting. Take care again!
-Elder Kennington