Cuiaba Brazil Weather

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

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