Cuiaba Brazil Weather

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

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