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Monday, September 30, 2013

Brazil Week #41

It's p-day again! Monday sure is a good day if your a missionary haha. But for everyone else its still the worst day of the week. But not for the Lord's Servants. So this week was pretty weak. Not much to tell so sorry it won't be much of a letter. Last p-day we only did emails bought stuff at the market, took a nap at the house, then went to the house of a member and played card monopoly and risk again. It was a pretty normal p-day. I know that they had the funeral of the sister in our ward and I think it went well. We didn't get to go but it sounded like it went well. Tuesday we had a division with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Miguel from Rio and Elder Geisler went with Elder Lima. We did away with the boundaries in the city so now we can work in whatever part we want of the city, but sadly there are very few neighborhoods that are good to work. So Tuesday we worked in the same neighborhood as the other Elders. I learned some good ideas and techniques from Elder Miguel, he only has one more transfer than me but he is an excellent missionary. He reminds me alot of Elder Cordeiro. We taught several good lessons to some cool families and people but only one of them was legally married. We met a cool family that went to church yesterday. We passed by a house that I had already been prompted to stop at before. The week before I passed by two houses that are next to each other it was aready late at night and we were finishing our day. We passed by the houses and I had the distinct prompting that in one of those two houses there was someone who wants to get baptized. It was a simple prompting but I knew that I would have to return and make contacts at both those houses another day. So on Tuesday me and E. Miguel passed by and he said lets stop here. So we stopped and made a contact and were let in. The ladies name was Denise, we talked a little bit and found out that she wants to get married but she cant yet because her husband lost his documents and is having a tough time getting stuff straightened out so that they can get married. Even before we started talking alot she said that she needed to be baptized but she cant cause she's not married. It was interesting that she brought up baptism before we even mentioned it. So we taught the third lesson which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which talks Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. She enjoyed the message alot, and accepted to be baptized. We couldn't mark a date because she's not legally married yet but it was really neat teaching her and finding that there really was someone that lived in that house that wanted to be baptized, just like the Spirit told me. I´m glad the Spirit did that because now I know better of what to expect to feel the next time the spirit prompts me like that. I will be able to recognize that its really a prompting from the Spirit and not just me. Maybe it will take a while for this family to be baptized we don't know. But we know that the Lord wanted us to stop there to at least plant a seed if nothing else. Wednesday we went to teach José from last week but there wasn't anyone home and we couldn't get a hold of him so we went and visited a sister in our ward who hadn't been coming to church but it was because she has been traveling alot to the farm where her husband works. We went to the other side after and taught Ricardo our recent convert because it had been 2 weeks since he had been to church as well but it was because he was also traveling. We had a lesson with him and we had a few other things after that, Thursday we had several appointments marked but they all fell through 3 in a row. So we visited with the husband whose wife has passed away a few days before. His name is Brother Carlos and it was him that always took us fishing here in Sorriso. He was pretty sad, we talked for a while and he had alot of questions about what happens after we die and about the Resurrection and millennium and stuff. He is a member and was sealed with his wife already and stuff but still he didn't understand a whole ton on that kind of stuffed. We answered his questions and helped to comfort him. I gave a message from Mosiah 2:41 I think it was verse 41 but it talks about being blessed temporally and spiritually and that the righteous would be received into heaven. We gave him a pamphlet on the plan of Salvation that he can read and study as well. After this we visited some less actives and Miqueis as well. Friday was pretty terrible, we zeroed out on our numbers that day. I think we had like 2 contacts. The rest fell through. I think Friday was the worst day  have ever had here in Brazil as far as numbers go. We didn't teach anybody, it was pretty kaidaço. Saturday was bad too. There were t baptismal interviews in Lucas that were marked so we went to Lucas and arrived at about noon. We ate lunch at subway which was sweet! First time in close to a year that I ate there! But we walked forever with the sisters to their interview, and the guy had left cause he got called into work or something, I was like what!? We walked all this way for nothing! They ended up teaching their neighbors and we sat in and bore our testimonies, we left to go to the other side of Lucas because the other sisters had their baptismal interview. So we went to the bus station to wait for the sisters, they came and said that the baptismal candidate was still working. We had to catch the bus at 8:30 and it was already 6:30 and the person being interviewed was still working and lived 30 minutes from the bus station. So we were waiting for her to call to say she was at home, but she never called and didn't answer her phone so eventually we had to just say that it wouldn't work cause we didn't have any more time. So we had to leave and go back to sorriso, we got back to the house at about ten. We accomplished nothing and it looks like we will have to return this week to do the interviews that fell through last week. Sunday we had our Sorriso branch conference, which was pretty much the same as any other Sunday except they had a little training during the first hour. There was still only 50 people at church. The other Elders had the investigators at church, 2 were of that family of denise that me and Miguel taught, and some other guys came as well, but unfortunately Denise's husband was sick and so they left before church was over. We had lunch with the branch president at the end of the city boundaries. He gave us a ride to lunch, but we had to wait a while cause he had alot of stuff to before he could leave the church, so we had lunch at about 2 and we didn't leave til about 4 and we got home at about 5:15 because the walk was so long. So It wasn't much of a week this week. Not much success and not much exciting happened. We did have a barbecue during the night though this week, I will include a picture as well. Also I included a picture of last week of when we went with our branch mission leader. We walked down a road that is next to a little farm place which I thought was cool. Also This week I learned that the assistants will be coming here to sorriso and having a division with the zone leaders and then the next day it will be with me and Elder Geisler. I don't know why I'm nervous to have a division with the assistants but I am. So pray for me so that it will go good for me and Elder Geisler. But Im excited for general conference. We wont get to hear it hear in sorriso because they don't have a satellite hear and the Internet doesn't work in the church, so I think we will have to go to sinop or lucas to watch general conference, it will be interesting seeing what will happen, but I hope you guys enjoy the sessions. But I have to go we are having a zone -pday today so the sister from lucas and elders from sinop are here in sorriso with us. But I will talk to you all next week, love you all!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, September 23, 2013

Brazil Week #40 Seeing some old familiar missionaries.

Oh minha família amada. How I love you all so much. I really do miss you all alot. No missionary exists that doesn't miss his family and home at times. I had a dream Friday night that everyone in the family and also alot of friends came here to Sorriso to visit me. It was an interesting dream seeing and talking to everyone. It seemed like it lasted for a while as well. But eventually I woke up and realized that it will still be a while before I get to see and hug my family again. That made me kinda sad. But its in those times when I have to get down on my knees and thank Father in Heaven for my wonderful family and friends. It´s hard when we look at how long it will be before I am home, but then I look at the other side and see that it's even sadder that I only have a year and a few months left on the mission. I have more than 9 months on the mission now but I feel like I haven't done very much to help The Master. We work so much but harldy any of our investigators go to church. Sorriso is supposedly the second hardest area in the mission. I am almost embarrassed to bring investigators to church because there is hardly anyone at church. And we have a few overbearing members that jump all over our investigators the minute they walk in the door. On Sunday we had 30 people to church. I remember walking into sacrament meeting and thinking "This is the Church of Jesus Christ. Why are there so few people in the Lords true church?" I got a little discouraged with these thoughts and then remembered that these are just things that come from Satan. I remembered that scripture that talks about straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to eternal life. And few there be that find it. Or something like that I don't remember exactly. But I'm glad for the time that the Lord is giving me here in Sorriso so that when I am transferred I will be able to appreciate the trials and difficulties that I had here. We are pretty blessed to have such a strong ward back at home. That's something that I took for granted. But so this week was pretty good I guess. Last p-day after sending emails we left to cuiabá at about 2 pm. I got to sit by Elder Molina the whole way to Cuiabá. He is from Chile and is super awesome.  2 of my favorite missionaries are Chileans. Elder Molina and Elder Paredes that I was with in Cáceres. We all chatted during the 8 hour ride to Cuiabá. Sorriso and Lucas and Sinop all went on the same bus so there was 10 of us on the bus together. It was a good time. We stayed in the houses of the Secratartes in Cuiabá. They live really close to the mission office. The Sisters had all the luck though and got to stay with President and Sister Reber at their house. So we stayed with the secretaries who are really cool guys. The next day we had the conference. We learned alot about obedience and the importance of working with the members. We also learned why we have one of the hardest missions in Brazil. So our mission is huge and contains millions of people. But our mission has only about 3,000 active members in it. This is the second lowest number in the missions of Brazil. That's tough I think Roosevelt itself has that many members alone. Our mission is the second hottest mission in Brazil, so its hard physically, but also our mission has very very few members to give references and help give support, so its also one of the hardest work wise. Its so much easier working with members and working from references that they give. But Unfortunately we have a tough mission with that, especially here in Sorriso. But that's why President wants us to strengthen the members. Our mission is baptizing alot less than it has in the last few years. But we are seeing real growth. The baptisms that we are having are staying firm in the church. We receive a graph that shows the number of people at church each Sunday in the entire mission. And almost every ward and branch has a higher frequency than the year before. I think there was only Sorriso and one other branch that hasn't grown. President Reber is helping the mission see real growth, and not just a bunch of baptisms but nobody staying active in the church. Our church in our mission is strengthening. Slowly, but its growing. I got to see two people that I knew from the mtc. I got to see Sister Clark who was from my district at the mtc and Elder Linton who wasn't from my district but arrived the same day at the mtc and also he served in New York as well with me. It was great seeing them and talking to them I will send a picture that we took together. Everyone in our zone left that day except for me and Elder Geisler and Elder Molina and his companion Elder Mayolo from Washington because there was a training for all the district leaders and also for their Companions and well. So me and Elder Mayolo had a training with a few other Elders. The assistants gave the training to us which was really cool. I learned alot. This training was on Wednesday and the conference was on Tuesday so we got to stay for two nights. Also we ate at McDonald's on Tuesday. Which was good but super expensive. I miss those days of a mcdouble for a dollar instead of like 10 bucks haha. I got to talk alot with the Elders in the office and the assistants. Oh and also I played the piano at the conference. Called to serve which went good. So on Wednesday we left at 4:30 to go back to Sorriso, This time my seat was next to Elder Mayolo who is from Washington. He has 6 months on the mission right now. He arrrived 2 transfers after me in Brazil. He served a transfer in Montana. He is super cool and I want to be companions with him one day. This time on the way back to Sorriso we were all alot more tired and we slept most of the way there. We arrived in Sorriso at about midnight and we got a taxi and went back home. Thursday we taught that guy Giomarley that went to church on Sunday. We waster another 2 hours at his house cause he just wanted to talk and talk and talk. But this time we were able to give the restoration lesson to him. He enjoyed the lesson but was like oh I don't think I need church, I feel that I can be spiritual in my own house. We explained the blessings of church and we  must go. But we were ready to drop him as an investigator. So we tried visiting a few people after this we visited a family that me and Elder Cordeiro had visited alot before. Their mom was in the hospital with some problems with her heart I think. We left a message with them and talked with them for a bit. So the day after we tried a new neighborhood and knocked some doors and taught a few lessons. We taught the entire first lesson to a lady standing at her gate cause she didn't want to let us in her yard but she wanted to hear our message, then we found a really cool humble guy named José. I saw his house and knew that we needed to make a contact there. So we made a contact and he invited us in even before we had really introduced ourselves. He was curious with what we do and had alot of questions. We talked a bit and then started the first lesson, but then this guys friend showed up, I don't remember his name cause it was something really weird. These guys were both active in the assembly of God. But one was more humble and open than the other. We started over again on the lesson and gave it to both of them. It was a good lesson and I know they both felt the Spirit. We asked them how they felt during the lesson. And José started talking but his friend cut him off and started talking saying how its good that we are out spreading the word of God and he said that he believed our experiences that we shared about how we gained our testimonies but he pretty much told us with directly saying so that he didn't believe that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. And then he told us that we should only teach about Jesus Christ and not about other things. So he pretty much told us that we shouldn't talk about Prophets and about the first vision and Apostles and the Authority of God that we had, to them.  The Lord was testing me again that day. Because the ignorant comments of this guy grinded my gears pretty good. I looked him in the eyes and told him in the most direct way that I could that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and not of man. I bore my testimony and said some other things that weren't my own words, but the words of the Spirit. After that he shut up pretty quick. They wanted to show us some videos of what its like in their church. It was of just some pasture guys yelling and screaming halleluhah and a load of balogna. I just watched with mouth open cause I was so surprised by how this pasture acted and the things he said. I couldn't believe that someone would teach about Jesus in such a rough tone of voice and yelling and stuff like that. We had a prayer and the video was still playing so I asked if they would pause it and the pasture guy in the video was screaming at the top of his lungs. I almost asked them if they thought the Savior taught in the same way as that guy in the video. But I kept my mouth closed. We had a prayer and left. We plan on coming back but to teach José who was alot more humble and open, I think he will like the Book of Mormon alot. Saturday we had several appointments fall through but we had a few less active lessons and lessons with investigators.  We had dinner at a members home that night because they were celebrating the birthday of one of their daughters. We ate steak sandwiches with homemade mayonnaise which was pretty good. Sunday, There was only 30 people at church none of our investigators showed up to church as well as the other missionaries didn't have anyone. We had lunch and then we went with our mission leader in the branch to teach some lessons with him. We taught some interesting people with him, that he knew. We will go back and teach more this week. That night we got a call that one of the women in our ward had passed away suddenly. Mother of the family that we had visited during the week. She was doing better but then had suddenly worsened and had passed away yesterday evening. Her name was Sister Eunice she had helped me and Elder Cordeiro a bunch, she came with us to several lessons and was our member present, show was a wonderful lady that was a convert of about 5 or 6 years. She had been sealed to her husband and everything and was active in the church. But the Lord needed her back I guess. She will be a powerful missionary in the Spirit World. I called Elder Cordeiro and talked to him and told him the bad news because he was close to this Irmã as well. He was saddened. He is doing good I talked to President Reber about him and he said that Elder Cordeiro is doing better. He hasn't had a surgery yet but he is having less and less pain. It was good talking to him last night. So that's about it for this week the funeral of that irmã will be today already. A weird thing about Brazil is when someone dies they have the funeral the next day. I'm not sure if it will work for us to go or not. Oh, also I haven't provided very much about Elder Geisler my companion. He is from Dixon California. His name is Nathan and is 21 years old. He hit his one year mark on Wednesday so Friday he burned a shirt and Elder Lima burned pants because he had already hit a year and a half and still hadn't burned pants and also I burned a tie finally even though it was more than 3 months late. I burned a really ugly tie that I found in Cáceres. we videotaped it and it was pretty funny. Elder Geisler is legit. I am going to help him with language study, because he speaks with alot of accent and everyone thinks that I have more time in the country than him. But I am going to help him with the language. This transfer is going by super quick and is already halfway over. I really am ready to be transferred from Sorriso, but most likely I will stay until December just because I want to leave. We will see what happens. This is the Lords work and I will do what he wants. So yeah this email has taken me a long time to write. But it was cool reading about your week this week and sounded fun. But I love you all so much and I know that every difficulty  I experience and every time we face rejection, I know that my family is being blessed. May the Good Lord bless you all. Thanks so much for all the prayers and support. I am always talking with Kaiden and Jetson and Robby. They are doing well. Amo vocês muito! Have a great week this week!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, September 16, 2013

Brazil Week #39

Hey good morning everyone. I hope you are all well seems like everyone is doing well. This week was pretty average kinda disappointing as well at certain times. Last p-day we played the game risk at a members house and had dinner there and stuff. Also I got quite a few pictures developed at a store and I put together a little photo album of the photos mom sent me from home and also photos from the mission. Its pretty expensive here about 50 American cents per photo so it wasn't very cheap but It was worth it. Tuesday we taught some lessons on the other side of our area. It was pretty normal. Had  funny experience when we were walking back home for the night we passed  a lady that was walking to church with her 2 children, she was in a skirt and had a bible so it was obvious they were going to church. So I asked her the obvious question if she was going to church. We chatted for a few minutes and I explained what we do and what our purpose as missionaries is and I explained a little bit of what we believe, then I did the normal routine of oh is there another day that we could come by your house when your entire family is at home and teach this message to your families? After I said that she was like oh I´ll have to ask my pasture. I was like what? so I explained a little more of our purpose and then asked her again if I could write down her address and information, this time she was like oh sure of course. After that Elder Geisler was laughing a little bit so I asked him whats up? and he said that during the contact I asked her If we could go to her church and give a message about families and Jesus Christ instead of her house. After that it all made sense why she said she has do ask her pasture. Kinda interesting talking to people in a different language now. Before it was think about what you want to say and then say it but now you just say it without thinking. Maybe I need to stop and slow it down a little and think about what I'm saying haha. Wednesday we had Ricardo our recent convert went with us to teach a friend of his from work. We walked forever to get to the guys house and the guy was kinda lame. He didn't accept the first baptismal invite or anything so we just sat and talked and gave the first lesson. It was kinda funny cause Ricardo was wanting to teach and would randomly come in and start teaching about Christs Church when he was on the earth or about Joseph smith. It was kinda funny. We finally finished the lesson and walked all the way back home. We got back at almost 10 at night because it was such a long walk. Also I forgot on Tuesday we had zone meeting here in sorriso we had a good training on teaching techniques and some other things. Its always good getting our zone together we have a really good zone. Right now there is 3 Americans, me a sister named sister fenn from Arizona, and Elder Mayolo from Washington. We have a good zone. Thursday we didn't have any lessons marked so we spent the entire day knocking doors and making contacts and trying to teach lessons. We found a neighborhood that we wanted to work and then prayed and we each selected four streets that we wanted to tract, after we selected we saw that 3 were matching streets so we decided to go knock all the doors and these streets so that what we did. The first street we got nothing. Everyone had excuses. We ran into a Jehovah witness lady and we talked for a while and shared some of our beliefs. I don't know much about the Jehovah witness church but I know that they remind me alot of our church, they have pretty strict codes of health and values, which is good. She wouldn't even accept a church pamphlet. We knocked more doors met some more ornery  people, met a lady that didn't want to talk to us cause we weren't Catholics. And then we ran into another Jehovah witness lady. This time it was E. Geislers turn to make the contact and he kinda hesitated before he said anything and the lady was like well hurry up with it. That annoyed me, I don't like when people have that attitude towards us. I don't get annoyed or angry very easily but this lady tested me. She asked about if we use the bible and asked about the book of Mormon and I explained that it was written by prophets this side of the world. She was like after Christ there were no more prophets, I took advantage of that and said yes and that's what our message explains is how the same church that Christ organized was brought back to the earth with a Prophet 12 apostles and the priesthood authority of God. I was talking in a calm voice the entire time, and I after I said that she was like whoa I'm not here to argue with you! Christ forbade arguing. I said exactly. We thanked her for her time and left. I think its funny how sometimes people try to snare us or make us look like we are the bad guy. The Spirit taught me something after this. He taught me that deep down inside all these people know in one way or another know that we are doing is right and is the truth. But most won't acknowledge or accept that until The Savior comes again. We tracted more after this we taught alot in the street and at the gates of the peoples homes. We were in a neighborhood very close to the church but it was a rich neighborhood, and almost nobody wanted to give us 15 minutes to teach a full lesson. We did find an inactive knocking doors. He was like oh ya I'm a member of your church, we taught him a lesson and he said he would try to go to church on Sunday, he says he has a hard time waking up on Sundays. We knocked more doors after this and finally taught a full lesson. Then we finally went and had a meeting with our ward mission leader. Friday was like the Friday before My head starting hurting the night before and was still hurting during the day, we have a member in the branch the was sick so we had to stay in the hospital all during the morning cause they have to always have someone watching him in case something happens I don't even know. I still had a bad headache after lunch so I drank a bunch of water and took some pain medicine, then I went and laid down for a while I still didn't feel very good but I told Elder Geisler that I wanted to get out of the house and teach some people, we went to a lesson that we had set up we got there but they said they weren't interested. We knocked more doors after this and just had more people that didn't want to hear anything. On the way back we met a guy named Giomarley that wanted to speak English with us even though his English wasn't too great. We said we would come back the next day. So Saturday we had lunch along way from the house and it was super super hot. I was feeling better though. We went to this guy giomarleys house and he just wanted to talk forever about the us and movies and a bunch of other stuff. When finally we got to the point where we were going to teach him the restoration he was like I i have to go the the store right now, so we started to leave but I was like no I'm not leaving here without giving him an invite to church, so I said hey lets go to church tomorrow he hesitated and I explained a little more about our church eventually he said that he would go if we met him at his house in the morning to take him to church. SO Sunday morning we picked him up and took him to church. Here in sorriso we have a member that always jumps on our investigators when they get to church and goes on talking a bunch of stuff about our church it kinda overwhelms our investigators. But whatever it always happens. Church was good but with 15 minutes left of church our investigator was like well I'M tired I'm hungry I'm going home. I said dude there's 15 more minutes but he said no I'm going home. Don't know what happened there but he just got up and left. we will visit him this week to see what he thought. Sunday lunch was way into our area but luckily a member gave us a ride along with some other members that lived in our area. But there wasn't enough seats so they somebody could stay in the trunk area so that's where I stayed luckily there was plenty of room for me there, I will include a picture for you. We visited some investigators after lunch and then we put together our baggage because we are traveling to cuiabá today because there will be conference there tomorrow and we will stay till Wednesday because there will be a training on Wednesday as well so it looks like we will spend alot of time in cuiabá this week. We will leave in about 2 hours. I was hoping that I would get to see Elder Cordeiro at the conference but his zone wont be there. I think he is doing fine, I will ask President Reber tomorrow how hes doing but I thinks he is doing fine. So that's about it for this week, it was kinda tough we faced alot of rejection and ignorance from the people but I learned alot and for that I am grateful. Thanks for the emails from everyone I hope you all have a good week The Church is true!
Abraço pra vocês
-Elder Kennington

Monday, September 9, 2013

Brazil Week #38 New Companion ElderGeisler

Bom dia gente! First of all thanks for the letters from everyone and the pictures and all that good stuff its always really exciting every Monday when I get to read the emails from everyone sends. Looks like you guys had alot of fun with the camping the weekend. Parabéns pra mom and dad and grandma and grandpa for their anniversaries yesterday. I cant believe that it has already been 24 years that mom an dad have been married. I just want to again thank mom and dad for everything, I'm having a bit of a hard time not crying right now thinking about all that mom and dad and my family have done for me. Its an overwhelming amount of good feelings & memories. I will always value my family as the greatest gift my Heavenly Father has given me. Know that I love you mom and dad so much and that I owe so much to you both. Without you both I would be nothing. Thank you for raising me in the truth, I don't know where I would be or what I would be doing if it weren't for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this is the Lords True Church, and that it is the way, I have already said this many times, its not the simplest way or the easiest way but it is the way. The Savior never said that it would be easy, but He did say that it would be worth it. I know that God the Father and His son Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph in the sacred grove almost 200 years ago. I´m so grateful to know these things and to have a wonderful family that always taught me these sacred truths. So thank you again for everything. I´m grateful to know that one day I can be together forever with my family. Anyway, we had a good week here in Sorriso. Last p-day was a normal p-day with Elder Cordeiro. We went and did emails and then we went and bought some shorts at a store here, I was wanting to get some different shorts that look a little less American haha. We kinda bummed at the house and rested a little bit, Elder Cordeiro still had to pack some stuff up so I helped him with that a little. We just kinda chilled that day, we went and said goodbye to some members which is a luxury that missionaries normally don't have cause normally we get transfers and we have to leave our areas early the next day, but since Elder Cordeiro has his ultra sound scheduled for Tuesday morning he had a little extra time. So not much on p-day, Elder Cordeiro gave me some of his last advice on how to be a strong missionary. Elder Chaves had to go the bus station at about midnight so Elder Lima was going to go with him to drop him off and then wait there until my new companion Elder Geisler arrived. Elder Geisler arrived at about 2 in the morning but, I was dead asleep and didn't wake up when they got to the house. I got to meet him in the morning, he is just a little shorter than me, but he is a little more built than I am. There was 4 of us on Tuesday me, elder cordeiro, elder geisler, and elder lima. We all joked around during the day and everyone got to know each other, I went early with Elder Cordeiro to the doctor so he could get his ultrasound on his appendix. It was pretty quick but still nothing showed up on the x-ray. It was kinda quiet when we were walking, we were both a little sad knowing that in a few hours our companionship would officially end our companionship. We were both kinda bummed but we knew that a new chapter of our mission was starting. For Elder Cordeiro it will probably be the last chapter of his mission. He only has 2 transfers left and will probably end his mission in the area where he is at right now. But I'm excited to start a new chapter with Elder Geisler. We had lunch at a members house and then we went back home, Elder Geisler needed to go to the lan house to email his family cause he didn't get the chance to email the day before on p-day. I didn't really get a proper chance to say goodbye to Elder Cordeiro cause a member came and picked them up real quick to take them somewhere really fast I don't even know. But Before I knew it he was gone and we were going to the lan house to email. But its ok I will see Elder Cordeiro again someday, it might not be on the mission but I plan on returning to Brazil one day to visit and he will be the first person that I visit, it should be easy cause he lives in a city which is easy access and is a good place for tourists. But yeah, so Tuesday we just did emails again and then went to the market and then went home and Elder Geisler got his stuff unpacked. Elder Geisler is pretty excited to get to work here. This is his first transfer as senior companion and so its a lot of new things for him as well. Wednesday we went to work, we worked alot this week in just trying to find knew people to teach and find the elects of God. Wednesday we picked a few neighborhoods and just went out and made contacts with whoever was in the streets and with people at their houses. It was kinda funny cause we walked by a house and as I looked at I house I saw a woman opening up her fridge right in front of an open  big window, then I realized that she was naked we made eye contact for just a second I quickly looked away and just kept walking and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary, I looked back and saw that Elder Geisler was stopped in front of the house just staring at it, I yelled in english "dude there's a naked chick in that house lets get out of here!" He was like oh ok I didn't even notice. I asked him about it after and he was like idk I thought it would be a good house to make a contact. haha I joked with him about it after that a little it was pretty fun. Appears that some Brazilian women have no shame, haha. We met a guy making contacts that said he has wanted to make a visit to our church since 1998 but he has problems with his legs and cant walk to church. So we taught him a lesson and later that night I returned with a member and had a quick lesson but the member just stayed wanted to talk to them forever. So I sat there for almost 2 hours listening to old people bs. Elder Geisler went with the  district president and visited less actives with him. Thursday, we went and made more contacts and taught some new people. We met a really neat lady named Ana that let us in we talked for a while, and invited her to be baptized she said she had already been baptized but still we taught her the restoration after that. It was a really good lesson and I felt the spirit very strong, at the end of the lesson we asked her how she felt she said she felt a peace and comfort. I asked her where she thought those feelings come from she said the they come from God for sure. Normally when people don't accept to be baptized we don't bother much with them but I felt strongly that I needed to leave the Book of Mormon with her to have in her home. So I introduced the Book of Mormon, and gave her Alma 32 to read which talks alot about faith. I don't know if she will read it or not but I felt that that family needed to have the Book of Mormon in their home. We will drop by her house sometime and see if she read. After this we saw our recent converts and answered some questions that they had about the Book of Mormon. We taught Tainara that was going to be baptized but backed out at the last minute. She seems really changed in a not so good way. I don't know what it was but I didn't have a very good feeling during the lesson with her. we will see what happens with her. Friday it rained quite a bit we had lunch and then after that we started knocking doors nobody was home and I was feeling really weird so I told Elder Geisler that we should run to the house and grab some stuff. When I got to the house I was feeling even weirder I felt like my eyes couldn't focus on anything. So I took out my contacts and drank a bunch of water and then went and laid down. After a little bit I started feeling a  little bit better so we left and walked to the other side of the city and found some people and taught some lessons. We found alot of cool people and marked a day full of lessons on Saturday. Saturday we went and taught lessons to the people we had made contacts with the day before. We had some good lessons but the people were pretty soft and said oh we will see if we can go to church tomorrow blah blah blah, stuff like that. We made some more contacts and found some cool people. Its alot easier now for me to open my mouth and make a contact with someone when I feel inspired to do so. I am also talking alot more during the lessons as well. I am teaching alot like Elder Cordeiro now and asking the questions that he liked to ask. I'm sure glad that Presidente Reber gave me 3 months to learn from him. Now I can see better, how much I actually learned from him and how much my Portuguese has improved. Elder Geisler has almost a year on the mission and he has twice the time as me here in Brazil. But still we had alot of comments that I think made him feel kinda bad this week from people. I am the first American companion he has had since his trainer, we had lot of people that were like wow this other guy speaks better than you and he has less time in the country. I felt bad for him cause comments like only cause me to get a big head and it makes others lose self confidence. I plan on having language study and helping Elder Geisler and me improve with the language. But I like Elder Geisler alot he is defiantly different than Elder Cordeiro which is an adjustment, but we get along really well. Its weird living with an American again, As Americans we definitely have different mannerisms and attitudes. We are still speaking mostly in Portuguese. Always when we are out of the house and normally in the house. In all honesty I think its just easier speaking Portuguese, I've gotten so used to it these last 3 months that I find it a pain to speak English. Portuguese is a more simply spoken language and for me at this time takes less effort than speaking English. The other new Elder is Elder Miguel that is the new zone leader here in Sorriso, he is from Rio and has really really dark skin. He is the man and has about 10 and a half months on the mission I think, he only has one more transfer than I do. He is a worker though and will help Sorriso alot. Also, I got a postcard that grandma dale had sent of Wyoming that had a cool fish painting and design it was cool and I enjoyed  it alot. So I think that's about it for this week I was excited for church yesterday cause we had a few people that were pretty firm on going to church, but Sunday arrived and none of them showed up. I was pretty disappointed cause we had worked so hard to get investigators to church this week. Oh well, it is what it is. The Lord still loves us and will always help us. But thanks for everything from you guys I love you all so much. Everyone have a wonderful week! 
com muito amor
-Elder Kennington

Monday, September 2, 2013

Brazil Week #37

Hey everybody! How are you all doing? First of all I will announce whats going on with transfers. I´m staying here in Sorriso for another transfer and Elder Cordeiro is going off to be a zone leader in a city near Cuiabá called Rondonópolis. Thats probably where he will finish his mission. Also Elder Chaves the zone leader is being transferred to Rondonópolis as well. He only has one transfer left so he will finish his mission there as well. I will be here in Sorriso my companion will be Elder Geisler he is an American with about 11 months on the mission. The other missionary that is coming here is Elder Miguel, he will be one of the zone leaders here in Sorriso, I know that he served in Cáceres and was companions with Elder Reed as well. It looks like Elder Geisler wont arrive until about 1 in the morning, tomorrow. But I'm exited it should be a good transfer. This week was a whole lot of nothing. It felt like my first week in the mission field, when we had to go to the hospital a bunch of times with Elder Burton. This week I think we went 5 times over the week. Elder Cordeiro has been having alot of pain in his side. Last P-day we went fishing again but in an area across town in a different part it was really pretty but the fishing wasn't that great. E. Cordeiro was fine p-day and didn't have much pain but on Tuesday right as we were getting ready to go out and work for the day he started having alot of sharp pains in his side again, we thought it was his kidney, so we went to the hospital the  mission recommends, they said it would be about an hour and a half wait until they could seem him so we had to sit in the waiting room for a while, luckily the movie A knights tale was playing so that helped the time pass a little quicker, to bad the only places we can actually watch a movie is in places like a hospital that have a waiting room and a tv. But still its good that we are not allowed to watch movies whenever want, it takes our mind off the work and makes us think of home alot more. They finally attended to us at the hospital, we were in with the doctor lady for about ten minutes and we were done, she just asked some questions then looked and poked at his belly a little and then wrote down some prescription and ordered a urine and blood test for him the next day. So we left, But he was still hurting a lot, so we went to another hospital which is a public free hospital. Brazil offers hospitals that are free to the public, we went there and he was attended to quickly, I stayed in the waiting room and he was in with the doctors for about an hour and a half., when he came out he was pretty out of it, they had given him a drip bag to help kill the pain and had done some other tests, they said that he needed to gets some x-rays in the other hospital. so we went home cause it was pretty late, he was pretty out of it with the drugs but he was filling alot better. Then next day on Wednesday we went really early to the hospital lab and he did his urine and blood tests, then they told us to come back again that evening at 5:30, so after this Elder Cordeiro was still feeling pretty good so we went to Lucas and had district meeting, it went really well and they had 2 additional sisters there who are the sister trainers that go around the northern part of the mission helping all the sisters. We had a great meeting and training, then we ran back to the bus station, the buses were delayed again but we got back to the hospital in sorriso right at 5:30. We waited another hour and a half, but this time the movie of the day was snow dogs, they attended to us and we were in with the  doctor about 5 minutes this time, she said that everything was normal, and gave him some more prescriptions then she ordered some more tests. Thursday we went to lunch and then went back home, we had to go to the hospital after this to see when we could set up the next appointment for Elder Cordeiro, it couldn't be until monday cause the doctor was out of town, so after this we went back home and bummed, we got sick of sitting and the house and Elder Cordeiro was filling alright so we got ready to go out but then he started having alot of pain again, the worst he had so far. We went to the public hospital again and he was attended to pretty quick, he talked with the doctor and they did some more blood and urine tests and said to come back in a few hours to receive the results, I talked to Sister Reber and updated her on the situation, she said that she would have a doctor from São Paulo call him and talk to him, So we went to a members home nearby and waited the 2 hours there and then the member gave us a ride back to the hospital on the way there the doctor from São Paulo called and talked to Elder Cordeiro, the doctor thinks its a problem with his appendix and said to wait it out until he gets his ultrasound to confirm the problems. He said to just take it easy. The blood and urine testes showed nothing again. So we went back home and began the wait. Friday we just had to bum in the house for most of the day, we were able to get out of the house and get our hair cut and have a lesson with our recent convert but that was about it, but we did get a fish fried that day which I included a picture for you guys. Saturday we had to go to lucas again cause the sisters had a baptism and baptism interview, it was of a guy named João who looks like hes 18 but is actually 29, they had his baptism on Saturday as well it was cool getting to watch the baptism and feel the spirit. Everybody was saying goodbye to me and having me right in their journals and stuff cause they thought I would be transferred, even Elder Cordeiro was expecting me to be  transferred, but deep down I felt that I would be staying. We were going to stay in Lucas a little bit longer and have ice cream with the sisters but we got to the bus station to get our tickets and there was a bus that was late but was leaving right then to sorriso that we could get on so we got our tickets quick and said bye to the sisters  and left. We got back pretty late but Elder cordeiro was doing ok. Sunday was normal, it was a good testimony meeting, I got up and bore my testimony. Elder Cordeiro didn't sleep very well the night before cause his side was hurting alot, and at the end of church it was hurting really bad, every Sunday right after church there is a council meeting of 5 minutes where we look at who was not at church and what we need to do to get them there, I went to the meeting and Elder Cordeiro had the branch president and counselor give him a blessing in their office, he said that during the blessing it was as if there was a knife that had been stuck in his side had been removed. What a blessing it is to know that the Priesthood has been restored to the earth today, the very power of God. We went to lunch after this and then back home, we saw that President Reber had called and so Elder Cordeiro called him back, from the conversation that I heard I knew that President Reber was asking about Elder Cordeiros medical condition and when he was going to get the ultrasound done, then I heard Elder Cordeiro say well if The Lord calls me to do that then I had better do it. From that I knew that President was calling him to be a leader somewhere. After the phone call me and Elder Cordeiro talked about what President Reber had said. He said that he wanted to call Elder Cordeiro as a zone leader in Rondonópolis because its needing help there. So from that I knew that I would be staying. President didn't say who was going to come be my companion, but we found out about 7 hours earlier than everyone else that I would be staying. So I at least knew half of the transfers already haha. We got calls about 9:30 that night that I would be getting Elder Geisler as my companion. I will be staying junior comp this transfer. This will be his first transfer as Senior comp so should be interesting, he will also be the district leader. Sounds like hes a goofball like me so it should be fun haha. Im going to miss Elder Cordeiro alot. He really is one of the best missionaries in the mission, I think one day he will be the president of a mission, he is a spiritual powerhouse, and I have been extremely blessed and privelaged to have him as my teacher and companion for these last 3 months.He has truly been one of the Lords angels here on the earth. I owe alot to him. Elder Cordeiro was convinced that I was going to train the transfer, but not yet it looks like haha. Phew haha. Oh btw happy Anniversary to Grandma and Grandpa Fitzgerald last Tuesday, and Happy anniversary to mom and dad and Grandma and Grandpa Kennington on this Sunday. I want to have a family as strong as my own and my grandparents one day. Thanks for the examples and for all the blessings that you have brought me. I truly have a great heritage from my grandparents on both sides of the family. Oh also I got a letter recently from Robby Woods family. If you guys see them tell them thanks so much I enjoyed the letter very much. Also I emailed Elder Reed today and he is going to train again, another American from Utah, so now I will have a brother on the mission! ha but thanks for all your prayers this week. Elder Cordeiro will have to wait till tomorrow morning to get his ultrasound so I will be in a threesome for a bit it sounds like, he might have to get surgery if the problems is his appendix, but they will probably do it in Cuiabá if this is the case. So yeah that's about it for this week, I look forward to next week emailing you guys. Thanks for the pictures as well from moon lake looks like you guys had fun. So yeah everyone take good care and have a great week! Amo vocês muito! Tenha uma ótima semana!
-Elder Kennington