Minha Família! Good Day to everyone. Thank you all for your letters from Mom and Dad and Grandma. I'm not quite sure why sometimes it has problems sending emails with pictures. I know I cant send more than 2 pictures at a time or it has problems and wont send. Not a whole ton happened this week. This last week was the actual week of transfers. I wont lie I think that transfer weeks is one of my least favorite things in the mission. Its a pain the in neck for everybody. I am just glad that they didn't randomly tell me that I was being transferred again. Unpacking and packing everything is a joke! But me and Elder Cordeiro are happy to be here in Sorriso. We have been working like crazy with the less actives here. But we have been kinda disappointed because almost everyone has moved. All we have is a list of names with addresses and our gps. (The map) I think so far 3/4 of the members homes we have gone to the members have already moved out to somewhere else. But along the way we make alot of contacts with people and teach a good chunk of lessons. We met 2 more people yesterday who are prepared for baptism and excepted to be baptized but unfortunately the mom works every Sunday from 9 until noon. The exact hours of church! Satan is sneaky. But if they are really willing to change and follow the principles and teachings of the Gospel the Lord will prepare a way for them and everything will work out. Last p-day we just came to the lan house here by our house which is in a big mall. I bought some authentic Brazilian flip flops that I have been wanting to get for a while. We just hung out and rested at the house for a while after this. Tuesday we were in a triplet cause one of the Elders was transferred and his replacement wouldn't arrive until later that night. So we went and had lunch at a members house and then they showed us this huge project thing that they were wanting to do here in Brazil. Basically they want to make a Church owned school here in Brazil. Pretty much a BYU Brazil. He gave us this big presentation that he already had on the computer. He had basically created the entire university and surrounding city. He says he has alot of support and that he hopes it becomes a reality. It actually seemed pretty good. We will see what happens but He asked me if we would translate some stuff for him to English so he could send it to some people in the states and he didn't want to use google translate because it has alot of errors. So I have been translating this bio and stuff for him over the week. Its not very hard but its time consuming and missionaries don't have very much free time. I just hope no one every asks me to translate a paper for them again. I was kinda complaining to myself why do I have to know English. But whatever though I am almost done translating this members stuff. But that Tuesday night we had family home evening at a members home and we got a call that the new Elder was at the bus station waiting for us already, so the other elder went with the brach president and got him. His name is Elder Lima and he is a super cool missionary from the east of Brazil as well. The next day we went around finding less actives and teaching several lessons to people. During the day this guy called us out from the street so we went and talked to him for a bit. The guy was in his 50s and had dark glasses on so we couldn't see his eyes. He had a really weird feel about him. The first thing he said was your the Mormon,s ya I've read all of your bible already, we asked him if he has already made a visit to our church but he said no. Then he went off on why nobody knows where the golden plates are and just a bunch of apostasy stuff. The Brazilians here call basically anything that is against the church or things that could bring us away from the gospel apostasy. For example if we see a billboard advertising beer we would say Que apostasia! (What apostasy!) But anyway this guy was just talking apostasy. He was just saying little things that would make people doubt themselves or their testimonies. Elder Cordeiro stopped him and said sir have you read the introduction to the Book of Mormon. The guy then contradicted himself and said he hadn't read all of the book yet. E. Cordeiro said that if he would read the introduction he would know where the golden plates were at right now. Then the guy went off on some other things about God and the bible, he was talking alot of foolishness. We asked him if he thinks that God changes, and the guy said oh yeah God changes all the time. Sometimes he loves people and sometimes he hates people, that's why there are so many wars. Elder Cordeiro said something after this that was very powerful, but was said in meekness and humility. He simply said, sir you need to find out who God really is then. After this we bore our testimonies that we knew that Christ lived and the Book of Mormon was the word of God and the God is the same yesterday today and forever. It was interesting cause it was like the guys tongue was bound after this. He couldn't say anything. We shook hands with him and left. After this Elder Cordeiro said that that guy was either really crazy or he allows himself to be influenced by the powers of Satan. He said he has already ran into alot of people like him, who will do little things to pick at the truth and try and make people doubt the truth. But he said all you have to do is state and bear testimony of the truth and their tongues will bind and they will have no power to do anything. That was an interesting day. The next day we had zone conference here in Sorriso, I forgot to mention that we live with the zone leaders. But we have only 12 people in our zone here, 8 Elders and 4 Sisters. There is 8 Brazilians, one Chilean, one New sister from Peru who only has a week in the field, and 2 Americans. Me and a Sister Grimes from California. She has 8 months on the mission. We have an awesome zone and I got to talk with all of them a little. They are sweet. We are blessed to have such a good zone. The rest of the week was just working with less actives and trying to find the elects of God. I wont lie our area is a little difficult to weed through all the iniquity. There are bars everywhere tons of people drinking and blasting music. We are protected well by our Heavenly Father but still we don't spend a whole lot of time in our area after it gets dark. We only stay in the well lit areas as well. The Lord promises to protect us but we need to use our own common sense as well. We were hoping that we would have some good pay off on Sunday with less actives coming back to church and some investigators as well. But there ended up being 35 people at church on Sunday. Pretty sad considering that 2 years ago there was over 120 active members coming to church. But many moved and alot were driven away by other members and the branch leadership. But luckily less than a month ago they rearranged the ward leadership and we have an excellent Branch President. My Companion gave a talk yesterday and he kinda burned the ward a little bit, telling them to forget themselves and help the Lord bring back his lost sheep. Hopefully this week we are able to see the fruits of our labors a little bit more. But I'm glad the Lord tests us and shows us both sides of the picture. We need to see the harsh side of things to really be able to appreciate the good. Well I think that's about it I don't have much more time. But all is well here with me. I am healthy and happy and learning more and growing more spiritually everyday. The Power of prayer is real, The Savior lives, and this is His true church. Eu amo vocês com tudo meu coração! Oh btw I last Wednesday was my 6 month mark on the mission! Whew! it flew by for me. I hope time is passing quick for you guys as well! Take care everyone!
-Elder Skyler Kennington