Cuiaba Brazil Weather

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week #19

Putz! (pronounced poots, meaning crap!) Where has the week gone?! Not a whole lot to report on this week, it was one of those blah weeks. But we did get transfer calls last night and surprisingly todo mundo está ficando aqui em Cáceres! Everyone is staying here in Cáceres! And we will be recieving two more missionaries to work only with less actives since there is over 500 in-active members here on the Church Records. I am really happy to stay here longer with Elder Reed. It seems like we get along too good somedays. I seriously am convinced that he is Cousin Dillon Tabbees long lost brother. We will be recieving an American and we think a brazilian as the two new missionaries. Well first I want to get the sad news off my chest from this week. I experienced one of the many missionary heartaches that every missionary will have on his mission. And thats having the Baptism of a perfectly good, worthy, prepared, and ready Investigator fall through. Our investigator Kelly had been investigating the church for several months and last week had finally decided to be baptized, she was excited too! We had all the Baptism paperwork filled out and her signature and the signature of her mom. But in 2 days something happened. We don't know why but Satans fear crept into her mind. And she started doubting her decision, she told us that she had already received the sure confirmation from the Spirit that The Gospel was true and that Baptism was the right decision to make. But all of the sudden she was saying that she needed to pray and receive an answer again about being baptized. We told her that she could do that so we came back the next day and the next day. This was all between Wednesday and Saturday. Saturday was the last time we could meet with her before her baptismal date, we sat down talked, read the Book of Mormon together, Mosiah 18 which talks about the Waters of Mormon and Baptism and what not. We went through it all discussed things, and asked how she was feeling, she said she still had a fear and confusion about being baptized. Nothing really made any sense about why she didn't want to be baptize And that she still hadn't received an answer to be baptized. It was kind of funny cause when she said that me and my companion both said the exact same thing at the same time Acho que você já recebeu uma resposta. (I think you have already received an answer) We just bore testimony and told her that she was ready and had been prepared to make these sacred covenants with our Father in Heaven. I had her read Ether 12:6 which talks about Faith and not receiving a witness until after the trial of her faith. I told her that this was her trial. She had already received an answer, she had already gained a strong testimony of The Book of Mormon and the Gospel. And now it was up to her to make the choice of acting and exercising her faith by being baptized. Goodness, we pulled out all the stops in this lesson. It couldn't have been better, the spirit was there testifying and putting thoughts and words into our minds and mouths. And when it came down to it, nothing would change her mind. One of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us is our own agency, and our investigator used to to choose another path. And there is nothing we can do about it. Nevertheless, as me and Elder Reed left the lesson almost ready to cry the Holy Spirit bore witness to us both that we had done our part as Messengers and Representatives of Jesus Christ. It was a rough transfer for all four of the missionaries here in Cáceres. None of us had baptisms, which was a first for everyone I guess. But I think the Lord is teaching us something and I'm glad the Lord was merciful enough to allow me to experience these sorrows in my first transfer in Brazil. So that when these things happen I will have already had experience and know how to handle these things. It just really sad having someone tell you that they know that we everything we are teaching is truth, that The Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was called of God to help restore Christs Church, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints is the one and only true church on the earth. And then have them tell you 2 minutes later that they have fear and don't want to be baptized. Man that stinks! But you know what Me, and Elder Reed are gonna go out and find those elect people who are ready to hear the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! Anyways we had to spend quite a bit of time finding a new house this week because we are getting two more missionaries that will be staying with me and Elder Reed in our house and the other Elders Laws and Paredes are moving two a new house on the other side of town that is more in their area, so we had to find a new house and then go to all the stores and find the best prices for fridges and beds and washing machines. It was a pain but it was a miracle that we were able to get this all done in less then a week and that everything is ready to be moved in already. Houses are cheap here! They found a really nice and almost new house that costs about 250 dollars a months, where the same things in the states would be well over 1000 dollars. But the economy here is different. Candy bars are still about 1 real here, which if I used my personal card would only cost me 50 cents. Just stuff like that is interesting. Thursday I fell on my bum cause I was dinking around on a kids skateboard, so I decided that I wont screw around with that stuff while on the mission. We had an interesting opportunity today to go to a school and talk about The United states a little bit. We were signed up by one of the recent converts in the branch with out being asked and were told yesterday that we (had) to go. We were kind of grumbling about having 2 hours of our p-day taken up by it but it was cool and all the students their were super curious and cool. It was a class of 17 and 18 years olds more or less. There was a girl our age from Germany there too that was answering questions as well, she was there to help with some social stuff or something we aren't sure, but my companion wants to find her and teach her the Gospel. So mom asked some questions and I will answer them, they have a really dusty piano here cause no one knows how to play, and so I decided yesterday that I would look at the hymns at they are singing for sacrament meeting and if I know any of them I will offer to play. For example we sang nearer my God to thee yesterday which I could have played no problems but I didn't take the time to look before, but when we have our weekly activities on Thursday me and Elder Laws like playing stuff on the piano. The Brazilians think that is super neat that we can even sort of play. They have tons and tons of Pharmacies here and yes I think my hair is still falling out little by little, I suspect that when I get back off my mission I will be able to grow a full beard but I will be forming a horse shoe on my head because of me losing my hair, Ill probably just cut it really short like dads when I get back. Whatever. Also I still haven't received the letter from New York that grandma sent, I thought they would send it back, I will email the assistants their and my old companion to see if they have it there. I have been emailing several friends on the mission, including Jetson and Kaiden and Corbin and Keith and all those guys. They seem well. The Language is coming day by day, Hopefully with a Brazilian in the house it will help alot. Its really hard to speak alot of Portuguese in the House with 3 Americans and a Chilean who wants to learn English with us. Btw we get to skype home on mothers day, and so I guess you had better get a skype account set up and ready to use, I still need by companion to help me make one cause I have never used it before, hopefully Jordan knows how but yeah in two weeks on mothers day I get to talk to you guys! I believe we are 2 hours ahead of home here so be prepared for that, Ill let you know next week more about it. But I love you guys all so much and I miss you, but as I busy myself here all pangs and longings for home disappear. But you all are sempre in my prayers. Everyone keep it real up there in the North, work hard with this last month of School. Much love and peace from down here in Brazil!
-Elder Kennington

Skyler shared this Powerful Missionary tool Video with us He also sent it to many of his missionary friends.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week #18

Ola Tudo Bom? We had a good week this week! Last P-day after emails we went to the military base they have here and checked out this little zoo thing. They had a little monkey, boas, an alligator, pumas, parrots and....thats about it. But we got some cool picture and Im glad we went. Tuesday we met with one of our investigators names Kelly, she is 17 and has been investigating the church for quite a while now. But she wasn't sure if she should be baptized or not. We went and met with her and talked for a little bit and we asked her if she was reading the Book of Mormon she said sometimes. We asked her how she felt when she had read it before and when she had prayed about it, and she said she felt light and strong at the same time. We thought that was a pretty interesting but true feeling that can come from the Spirit, she said she believes the Book of Mormon is true and that it was the word of God. We asked her about Baptism and she said that she needed an answer to her prayers to know if she should be baptized because she was hesitant. We both bore testimony that if should would pray with real intent and truly desire an answer from the Lord. We promised her that she would recieve an answer. I remember as I was bearing my testimony in Portuguese I was promising her things that I hadnt promised anyone since I was practicing teaching in the mtc. And I was even scared to promise blessings to our investigator teachers. But this time they just came out without any thought or worry. As I look back I know it was the Spirit speaking. Its true where it says in the scriptures to open your mouth and it shall be filled. It was a short but powerful lesson. My companion Elder Reed and one of our zone leaders followed up on Friday with her because we ha our zone leaders come from Cuiabá to stay with us a few days and train with us. Idk what happened but when they saw her this time on friday she had recieved an answer and was ready to be baptized! They set her with a date to be baptized this upcoming Sunday on the 28th after church. And she will be confirmed the following week. She was at church yesterday and the day before we checked on her and she had read chapter 11 in 3rd Nephi where Christ appears in the Nephites in the Americas, and she had marked almost every verse in the chapter. She marked the words of Christ in one color and things that she thought were extra important in another color. Aw it was so cool! The Book of Mormon is such a powerful tool of conversion! We will try and see her probably everyday this week. Satan is going to work hard on her. As I said the Zone Leaders came out thursday and friday and on Friday I went on Splits with one of them, Elder W. Santos from São Paulo. That was cool being with a Brazilian all day! We had an interesting day. We prayed alot over certain streets that we were going to tract and then we went out and did work! We taught 6 lessons that day and talked with dozens of other people. We met an old member lady on one of the streets that we had predetermined to go to. She was living with her great grandson who is 9 and a couple. who are non members. We taught them and they accepted to be baptized. Afterwards the Old member Lady shook my hand and then gave me a hug and cried on my tie for a few minutes. We hope to be able to help that family in many ways. Me and Elder Reed found a new neighboorhood and looked for a reference that we had recieved that lived there. We found a house on the road with the same name and number but it was the wrong house. But we met a lady who is 20 and her brother is 13 and they accepted us in and they taught them. She was very smart and answered all of our questions like she was already a member. She seems open to baptism and our Church, we hope to be able to get another appointment with her during the week. Funny how the Lord sends you to places and gives you things and people that you never expected to find. We had 8 investigators to church yesterday. The 3 nonmembers that we found on friday during splits, Kelly, A part member Bolivian family that had the Mom and 2 children that are of Baptism age, and a lady whos family we are teaching but that needs to be married first. Thats a hard thing here in Brazil is alot of people arent marries legally! And We cant baptize families until they are legally married! Its expensive too I guess for families to get married. But The Lord will help everything work out. We were blessed extremely to have so many investigators at church. We also had almost 90 members to church which is alot better than last week with only about 60. The Lord sure blessed us this week. We have an activity at the church every thursday night where members come and play volleyball, or soccer or pingy pongy. This week the missionaries we put on an activity where we showed everyone what the 3 kingdoms of heaven were like. I think we did it once back at home where we have everyone die in a plane crash and then an angel shows everyone around. I was the angel that showed everyone, I wore my baptismal clothing and brought them to the Telestial kingdom which was a small hot cramped room with Red lights and the missionary in their was Elder Paredes dressed in black street clothes. He explained it and then we went to the next room whte terrestial kingdom where my companin was. This room was bigger and had a fan going and had pleasent blue lights. He was in normal missionary clothing. Then we went to the chapel where we moved all the benches and ha the fans and a/c going and church music playing. Elder Laws was in here also wearing all white and he explained the Celestial Kingdom and then bore his testimony on how is is where our Heavenly Father wants us. I was suprised how strong the spirit was during this. After this all 6 missionaries got together cause we still had the Zone leaders with us and we all sang Mais Perto Quero estar. (Nearer my God to Thee) we sang well and it was great. What cool things we get to do sometimes! Yesterday after church we had a Churrasco!!! Which is a BBQ!!! We all payed about 15 dollars and had a big bbq at a recent converts house, we had a good 20 people there. It was really fun and the food was delicious! Steak cut into bitesize pieces! It was excellent! Right now its just me and Elder Laws at the Lan house, my companion and Elder Paredes had to go to Cuiabá to renew their visas, they left last night and should be back by this evening. We get transfer calls on Sunday and there is a good chance that I might leave cause they are thinking that President wants me with a Brazilian companion. We will see though. Personally I want to stay for at least one more transfer. Whatever happens though happens. Well that wraps things up for this week. I was proud of Jordan and their Prom date and everything, I loved hearing about that! And also tell Kaiden that he needs to Read the Book of Mormon instead of rotting his brains out with video games and his kindle. Everyone from the Family needs to read from the Book of Mormon everyday. There is power in that book. Many missionaries always carry one in their hands because their is a protections with that book against all types of things. I love being a misionary! The Church is true, God hears and answers prayers, never let a day go by without kneeling down and having a conversation with him! I love you all so much! Till next week! -Elder Kennington

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Elder Kennington is being an MTC host in the back ground

View Skyler the first part of the video after and emotional Father drops off his daughter at the MTC. (Watch for the Green Tie)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week #17

Hey everyone good morning! Not a whole lot new happened this week. It rained pretty much everyday. And when it rains it rains, it seems like it comes from all directions and an umbrella doesn´t do much. I guess it was one of those weeks that everyone has once in a while on their missions where things are a little tougher. But The Lord always lifts us up and guides us. I tried not to think about Uncle Tom and the Family too much, it was difficult but again the Savior was always there. I hope weather is better this week for us and you back at home, I thought that all the snow you got was pretty interesting! It was "cold" here too, I think it got like 70 degrees or so. I was about the only one at church that wasn't cold. The other Elders all wore their long sleeved shirts and the members showed up to church in sweaters and hoodies, I got a good laugh out of that. But they really arent used to the cold here. Satan was working hard this week. There was only 60 members to church this week which is sad compared to over 100 two weeks ago. We taught several investigators that are families but arent legally married. They need an extra push to motivate them to get married so they can be baptized, Its kinda expensive to get married here in Brazil. We were expecting several investigators to church as well but none showed. Just kinda one of those weeks where we dont feel very profitable. Satan likes to whisper things in your ears about how your work is in vain and that no one will be baptized and blah blah blah blah. But then I get on my knees and thank the Lord for my many blessings and ask him for help the quite comfort of the Holy Ghost always comes and speaks peace. We are going to work hard this week. We are gonna find the elect. We just have to have faith and work hard. We had some cool things and funny things happen this week on Wednesday I went on divisions with Elder Paredes our hilarious Chilean Elder. We were visiting a recent converts house and a bird in the tree above us pooped on my pants. I just looked up yelled Pâssaro do Diabo! Which means Devil Bird. He thought that was pretty funny and really it was I went and washed it off and we are still laughing about it. We taught a lesson with that family that we found tracting and they had two friends over that were pretty old but he kept on talking while we were teaching the lesson and finally my companion said that we were here to teach this family and if you have comments or questions he could ask us after the lesson. He argued about baptism and the holy ghost and with whatever. But once he quit talking and we were able to teach and testify I think he got a little uncomfortable cause the Spirit told him what we were teaching him was truth and he didnt like that. He just got up and looked out the front door and muttered stuff under his breath. But we committed the Daughter and the mother to be baptized in the upcoming weeks. We just need to get them to church and help them to gain a testimony of their own. It reminded me that the Spirit is the one who really teaches and we are just the vessels by which the spirit is magnified. a few days ago I saw my first wild parrot it was a big beautiful red bird flying in the air. I didnt have time to take a picture before it left but it was really cool. I did though get a picture of a toucan that was in a tree near a recent converts home, I did get a picture of it and I have it included in the email. Also i ate some fresh papaya which was terrible. Ha it smelled like throw up and it tasted like it too! Maybe I will learn to like it we will see. Jordans jeep is sweet! Is it a stick shift or an automatic? Make sure he is careful and doesnt act dumb. some days I spend too much time worrying about the safety of my family and friends. You guys be real careful in everything you do. You guys can sale my car right away if you can or do whatever with it, put it in a shed till Kaden is 16 or whatever i dont care. I plan on getting something else anyway when my 2 years are up. Seems like time is flying! I have already been out over 4 months! and by the time I am done with my training I will have been a missionary for 6 months! Everyone comments on how well I speak for not being out very long but I dont feel that way. I dont say much when we are with members or investigators cause i am listening and trying to figure out what they are saying. Thats the hardest part for me is understanding the people. I can understand my companion and the other American in our house Elder Laws and the Chilean Elder Paredes really well. But when it comes to the Brazilians its so much harder. Everything just meshes together. But I do feel like I can understand more than when I got here 3 weeks ago. Wow three weeks already thats crazy! I forget too often that the reason missionaries become fluent in languages in less then two years us because of the Help from Heavenly Father. Sometimes I get a little caught up in my own strength and forget that its our Heavenly Father that makes everything work. I need to remember to humble myself everyday. There is only 2 weeks left in this transfer, anything could happen. I guess we will see. I forgot to write down everything I wanted to put in my letter this week but I think I have everything. Sorry it wasnt very long. Last P-day we went and played ultimate frisby behind the church house. It has a volleyball area there. It was fun, Caçeres is about the size of vernal I think but there really isnt a whole ton to do here as far as recreation on p-days. Thats alright though. Mom wondered if we have maids or anything. We dont its just us. Usually we dont eat much for breakfast maybe some milk or yogurt that is really runny. we eat alot for lunch and then at dinner we might pick up a hamburger or something at one of the many resteraunt/outdoor grills. We can get a good sized burger with fried eggs and ham and hot dog and whatever else for abnouit $2.50 American money. We do all our laundry and stuff ourselves. Well I think thats about it for this week. Thanks for all your emails and prayers. Everyone be safe and ride the waves of righteousness and happiness that only come from this Gospel. May the Good Lord bless each one of you! Amo Vocês tão muito!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, April 8, 2013

Week #16

Bom Dia! Good morning everyone! It has been a good week this week. Thank you for all of your letters they were much appreciated. I was deeply, deeply, saddened to hear of Uncle Toms passing. I have shed many tears these last 15 minutes. Things felt a little off to me since Saturday. And now I know why. My thoughts were drawn back to my family as a whole and I couldn´t figure out why. I will miss Uncle Tom very much. He has done much for me and I will never forget him. Surely the Lord had great need of him to call him back at this time. I am praying for him and all the family. But indeed the Spirit is speaking peace and comfort to my heart at this time that all is well. What a blessing it is to know that families can be together forever. One of the things that I learned from New York is that I want nothing more than to have a righteous family that is always worthy of that promise of being eternal. Well let me tell you more about Brazil from what I have seen and done this past week. There is no hot water or cold water. Just water that takes on the temperature more or less of what it going on outside. Our showers have electronic heads that heat the water as it comes out that can either be turned to hot medium or off. Hot is burning and I never use it. But at night when I take showers I usually turn it off cause the water isnt too cold and it feels pretty good cause you have already been out working in the hot sun. In the morning I usually turn it on to medium, but even that is really hot. We are blessed to have a microwave in our house, a fridge, and a little washing machine. For drying clothes we just hang them up on clothes lines in a set aside area in our house. It has a partially open roof and it dries pretty quickly. Everyone one of the missionaries has their own industrial size fan that we use. We use it during study, sleep, and pretty much everything in between while we are in the house in the morning and late at night. Everyone in Brazil has to use fans. It also helps keep the mosquitoes away because they don´t like the current of air so they usually don't bug us at night since we keep the fan turned up all the way and aimed directly at us. Mosquitoes aren't too bad but when we are out in the evening they can get pretty annoying. Those mosquito pads that Kay Weight gave me are like money cause everyone wants them I usually share with my companion and the other three Elders. Something tells me they wont last too long though. Its ok though cause I think that Sunblock and bug spray are all reimbursed by the church. Speaking of reimbursement I had to pay 120 reais for my companion when he went to the hospital for strep throat because he had insufficent funds. So I had to use my personal card Saturday night to help pay for food and today I pulled money out of the bank because i wont get reimbursed until Thursday. So it should show up on the bank statement. It should be between 35 and 40 bucks, let me know. Anyway fans are awesome. For example Friday at about 4 in the morning there was a short in the house. And the fans turned off for a few hours, we had to all move to the other room because it has one a/c unit and was still semi cool. We would have melted even at 4 in the morning. There is no stick deodorant here either its all spray on. Stick deodorant would just melt. I sill have a few sticks so I just keep it covered up and out of the sun. There is no fresh milk. Its all in cartons sitting out on the shelf. Its just like Gosner milk. None of the Americans like it. Except me, It tastes alot like evaporated milk which I love. Funny how the Lord prepares us for our missions in little ways throughout our life. Its also illegal in the state of Mato Grosso to flush toilet paper. So the trash cans are always overflowing, its kinda gross. The toilets aren't too bad at all. Some stink really bad. Our house has two bathrooms but only one of the toilets work, which kinda stinks sometimes. No problems though. We eat with members everyday for lunch. Rice and beans. All day everyday. :) ha its good though, rice and beans and usually beef or chicken. Usually we have juice too which is great, so far this last week I have had pineapple juice, cashew fruit juice, lime juice, guava juice, orange juice, grape juice, and passion fruit juice. Its all legit fresh juice. I love it, last week there was a few aunts floating around in my juice I remember one of my seminary teachers saying that this was normal and to just drink it cause its just extra protein. So I did. Tasted fine haha. We eat alot of what are called Salgados. (Salties) Which are pastries stuffed with meat, they have them every where and are fairly cheap. usually about a dollar and fifty cents or less. The American equivalent is probably hot pockets. These are better though. Everyone here puts ketchup and mayonnaise on everything which was weird to me at first but im getting used to it, I even but it on pizza now, its just what everyone does. We do alot of finding the elect. I guess basically its tracting. Alot of people are at home during the day but then again alot of people arent. Everyone has gates and walls around their house. Alot have broken glass shards cemented into the top of the walls to keep people out, we just stand outside the gate and clap our hands. I felt like a fool the first few times we did it, but people come out of their homes and alot of times are already opening the gate to let us in before we even explain completely who we are. Its that easy i guess. Not everyone we teach is willing to change their lives and embrace the Gospel but never fail everyone comments on how good they feel when we teach them and talk with them. And almost all accept the Joseph Smith Story, we ask if they have questions or doubts or comments and they all say they just felt so good and happy. We taught a lady on Friday the Restoration, we just picked her house cause the windows were open which usually means someone is home. She invited us in and we taught her. I have been teaching the first vision section of the first lesson, and she said she was close to tears because of the happiness and peace she felt during the entire lesson. As soon as we finished the first lesson 2 of her kids who are in their twenties and a friends of theirs came home from somewhere and we taught them the first lesson too. They commented on how good they felt and we gave the copies of the book of Mormon and they accepted to read it. It was super cool, another different thing here in Brazil is everone gives us their address if we ask for it and everyone I have seen said that we could come and teach them. Its really weird cause that never ever ever happened in new york. Also sometimes if we have a long way to walk and not much time we can stick our hand up in the air by the road and before long random people will stop and give us a ride to wherever. Its a great way to make contacts cause they are stuck with us in a car. People are just so friendly and inviting, They Love God and they love to hear his word. When we talk about Prophets they always think that we are prophets, we have to explain to them that we were called by a Prophet but that we ourselves aren't. People always are giving thumbs up and saying hi and smiling even though we have never met them before. There are motorcycles and pedal bikes everywhere. Alot more then there are cars, We have to be careful since there are so many and are hard to see sometimes. Another different thing is the cops here always drive around with their lights flashing, just so people know the cops are coming, but they only flip on their sirens if they are pulling someone over, which rarely happens. Anyway we had General Conference at the church house and we watched every session! And I understood almost nothing! Woohoo! Oh well I will have to wait for the Liahona to come and then I can sit and read it. They just talk so fast and every word blends together and I have no Idea what is going on. Its a little annoying at times not knowing what anyone is saying but Im trying to be patient and remember that it will all come eventually. The Spirit really does help though. I may not be able to relate the first vision very well in Portuguese but people can always understand and feel the language of the spirit. That's for sure. There's cats and dogs everywhere just hanging out in the street. Most are pretty calm but we always use caution if they get close. Elder Reed my companion is legit, like I said. His name is Bryson Tyler Reed from Tennessee. He goes by both his middle and first name. He is fun and has taught me alot already. I feel constantly tired from walking in the heat and as soon as my head hits my pillow I am out. Things are great here though and I pray that all is well at home. The other Elders always comment on how long my letters are, I read theirs and they don't say much. So I'm glad your appreciative of my letters. I spend a long time writing them, I hope you proof read them before you post them too, cause my spelling is getting worse and worse. And I don't take time to re-read what i wrote. Again I'm grateful for General Conference and to have a living Prophet on the earth today, I know that he truly receives inspiration from out heavenly father and that he leads and guides us according to the will of the Lord. This church is true and Christ is at the head of it, without his hand missionary work would have fallen apart a long time ago. But this is the Lords work and that's why missionary work is so successful. Thanks for everything, family. My hearts mourns for Uncle Tom but I know he is well, I will miss him deeply and our family reunions wont be quite the same. But I will talk to you all next week, these are a few pictures in and by the church. Until next week!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, April 1, 2013

First Week in Brazil week #14 & 15

Elder Kennington and his Companion Elder Reed
Ola minha familia! Tudo Bom? Wow so much stuff to write, so much has happened these last two weeks. So right now I am in what is called a Lan House which is a place where people can go and pay to use the internet, they are everywhere in Brasil. It only costs about a dollar an hour. or 2 brazilian reais. Wow so my last week in New York was good, we were taught
by Elder Bednar for 3 hours on Saturday. Basically we all asked questions and he would answer them and we would learn together. The topic was on faith. We were
all in the chapel and he was at the stand. We would raise our hands and he would point at us and he would answer the question or have someone else answer it that was on the stand. It was really great and we all learned alot together. I got to shake his hands and look into his shining eyes and face. What a choice experience it was. I remember when we got back to Carthage I felt that longing to be around him again because you just feel so full spiritually when we are around spiritual giants. On Sunday I said my last good byes at church and was able to bear my testimony and say thanks to all the good members. We had a neighbor that lives in our building come to church. We had helped her get her car unstuck from the snow on Saturday morning and then that night she asked us for help putting together this little table thing. We got there and she was very curious about our religon. She said she wanted to go to church with us. We were like heck yes! and she showed up to church the next day. They had other things to do so they only stayed for sacrament meeting but I hope she remember how she felt. We didnt have to do anything. I know Elder Menlove was setting up an appointment to teach her because she wanted to learn more. Its funny how the Lord just throws people in you lap sometimes. Anyway wow we went to the mission presidents home on sunday night last week because we needed to pick up the other Elders that were taking our spots. They are also going to Brasil. I hope they have a good time. We got to the airport at about 8:30 monday morning to pick them up but we didnt have our flight until almost noon. So we waited at our terminal and before long we were told that the flight to Atlanta had been canceled because there was serious knocking noises in the engines and it wasnt fixable. So they pretty much had to reschedule everyone to fly out the next day except for us the worked it out to where we would fly to an airport near new york city and then we would take 2 cabs to jfk airport and then from there fly to São Paulo and then to Cuiaba. So we checked with the travel office in slc and they said that would be fine. Then like 30 minutes later they called us back and said that they were sending a plane from florida to here and we could resume our regular flight schedule and we would still have an hour layover in atlanta so we switched it back to that. It was supposed to leave at 3:30. Around that time we got on and before long were told we wouldn´t be leaving because the plane had an oil leak and we had to wait for the mechanic to arrive. This took for ever but after waiting back in the terminal again for a while we noticed a man with a brazil shirt on that looked brasilian he had darker skin. So I walked up to him and told him I liked his shirt. He gave me funny look like he understood nothing of what I said. I think he must have seen that my name tag was in portuguese cause he asked me if I spoke portuguese in portuguse. And I dont know what happened after that but all for of us stood together and another brazilian joined we talked about a bunch of different stuff. I asked them if they were very religous and then we went into a whole other conversation. Eventually it led to me talking about the Book of mormon and Joseph Smith and the first vision. One of the other missionaries had a portuguese Book Of Mormon with him. He honestly shouldnt of even had it cause it was randomly given to him by a member of the ward he was serving in. He didnt even remember packing it cause he thought he had lost it in his apartment but He opened his backpack and it was sitting there right on top. At this time they told us to all get onto the plane because it was ready. We gave him the Book of Mormon and bade him to read it. At this time they said the plane was ready to go finally this was at about 5:30 we got on the plane and he took out the Book of Mormon and read the title page and read in Alma for a good 30 minutes straight. How cool! I prayed again that he will remember how he felt and that he will hunger after the book. Well we got to Atlanta and ran to our terminal. But the plane was just barely gotten on the runway and we had missed it by 20 minutes or so. So we got rerouted to Brasilia which left at about 9, so we had a 2 hour wait. We flew through the night and I got almost no sleep. maybe an hour and a half. We got to Brasilia and we were blessed to find that all out luggage had made it fine. Customs was a snap and finally we were in Brazil! We had to call the church travel people in Brazil to see if the could re route us straight to Cuiaba instead of Brasilia to São Paulo and then to Cuiabá Elder Saxton was the man cause he did all the calls to get things figured out we finally got a flight secured to Brazil that left about noon. So we got on and we were off to Cuiabá airport. It was only about and hour flight and I remembe fighting tears as we landed because the Spirit bore a powerful witness to me that that was where I needed to be and that is where I was called by divine insapration. We were met by the Assistents to the Presidents and were then taken to the mission home by this shuttle bus thing which was crazy cause everyone drives crazy here. But we made it to the mission home which is a very very nice apartment in Cuiabá its quite large the church spared no expense making sure it was livable. President and Sister Reber our just wonderful great people. I love them so much already. They explained that I would be going to Caçeres which is a city about 4 hours from Cuiabá which has about 60,000 people I think. I was suppose to go there on Wednesday afternoon but we still had to go to the federal police to get registered to make sure we were all legal, that took a long time and we werent able to leave that day so I was going to go with the president and his wife the next day becuase they had been invited by the branch in Caçeres to come to an activity. So I was going to go with them but then it was switched so that I would go with another Elder on Thursday morning that was also going to Caçeres but wasnt able to make it down the last few days because of some fool protesters or something that blocked off the road because they didnt own any land or something stupid I dont kknow. But I stayed the night with that Elder whose name is Elder Law, he is an awesome dude from Washingon. we stayed with the office Elders and then left on Thursday morning at like 4:30 but we missed our bus because the taxi we had coming never showed up and so we went back and got another set up to go later in the morning on a different bus. So me and elder laws got on that and went to Caçeres we were told there was 2 stops in Caçeres and that we needed to get off on the second stop but for some reason it only stopped at the first, and then it just kept on driving to the next stop and hour away. Elder laws talked to the workers on the bus and informed hime thay they would work something out so we got to this pit stop place and hung out for a while for the bus to take us back, we were they for probably 3 hours or more and then finally the bus came. We talked to several people and invited several to come to church on sunday. People our really open here. We got to Caçeres finally and I met my companion Elder Reed. He is awesome! He reminds me so much of Our Cousin Dillon Tabbee. He looks alot like and his sense of humor reminds me of him. He is from Tenessee and I am his first American companion. in three days he will hit his 1 year mark. He is really funny. We live in what is considered a really nice house here in brasil. We have 4 Elders living together. Me, Elder Reed, Laws and Paredes. Elder Paredes is from Chile. They are all super fun and funny and have a strong desire to work. Friday we went to the ward activity which was a place with a kind of pool thing that feeds of the river. It had a volleyball area and patio area place. We ate steak and beens and rice. It was really great. The members here are awesome they absolutely love the missionaries. They love to joke and tease. I love it. Even thought i don´t understand much of what they are saying I can understand their love for the Lord and happiness that they have. They always comment om how tall I am and have already been nicknamed gigante by the kids, cause I`m the tallest person in the branch even though Im not even that tall. Yesterday was great and we had 106 people to church. less than 6 months ago they were barely averaging 30. The work is amazing here. I havent been able to do much this last week with everything and traveling and my companion got strep thrroat a few days ago and so we have had to stay in the house. We had to go to the doctor to get medicine and it cost like 120 reais which is like 60 bucks, we didnt have any money so we had to use my card funds for the next 2 weeks. But I will be reimbursed. But in the hospital we talked to a man and he agreed to let us teach him. The cool thing is everyone here love Christ. Everyone will give us their address. People are legit here. My area is in the Pantanal which is wetlands. There are supposed to be alot of alligators here. We walk everywhere and it is stinking hot. Whenever we are offered water we always take it. We saw a wild iguana in a tree in saturday. That was a first for me. Monday is the usual p-day but we are only taking time to do email today cause we counted friday as our p day since we played all day at the activity. The language is coming. I can understand the other missionaries pretty good. But the Brazilians talk so fast that I can pick out very little of what they are saying. They are amazing people, its so different then New York. I´m happy all the time now, everyone loves to laugh and smile. The food is great. Usually rice and beans and chicken or beef with like noodles. The Juice here is wonderful as well. I ate a passion fruit yesterday and it was delish. Its so green and beautiful here, the people are very poor and there is so many ran down homes that you wonder how its possible for anyone to live there. But people do and they are happy. We are excited for this week so we can get down and work. We will spend alot of time in the streets making contacts. President wants us to try a new method where we basically invite to be baptized on the streets. We Carry a book of mormon with us and some pamphlets and ask people if the have been already baptized, if so we ask if they recieve the holy ghost by the laying on of hands, and then if they say they already have we ask them if they have heard about the restoration. Elder Laws marked 28 baptisms in one week from doing this. So we get to try it this week. Im excited, thanks for your letters. I never got the letter from Grandma for easter, hopefully they send it back home. Dont worry about sending packages. The brazilian postal service will rip you every time. They ask you the value of the goods and then charge us here to be able to take it from the post office. My companion had to pay 100 reais to pull out a package from Christmas and by then almost everything was no good. If you send letters just send it to the mission home and they will get it to me. Its so great here though its April fools day so we called one of the presidents assistants and told him I wanted to go back to the New york mission, it was funny cause we pretended like I had been in the bathroom for the last hour not talking to anyone and I yelled through the door about how terrible it is here, we got him good it was funny. He is a jokester himself and he said that he would get us back soon... ha its so easy to smile and laugh here. What wonderful people. I was very saddened to here of the death of Courtney. I knew her fairly well, suicide is such a sad thing. We sure sweat alot though here it is hot hot hot. The temperature on the newspaper do it no justice, it says its like 80 degrees but its closer to 100. Well my time is up I will right down things that I didnt answer or forgot so that I can tell you them next week. My health is great and i feel wonderful. Also JOrdans easter present is awesome, Im jealous. Love you guys all! Until next week
Com Amor
-Elder Kennington