Cuiaba Brazil Weather

Monday, December 30, 2013

Week # 54 Christmas

Buenos dias for you Spanish speakers out there, Merry Christmas and a happy new year this week. So yeah it was a good week, and a pretty trunky week as well, it was kinda hard. It was hard to work and it was pretty weird after talking to you guys. Cause your brain gets in a weird mode and you just think about home and family and stuff. But it was great talking to you guys on Christmas, it was definitely the best gift that I could have gotten. I'm glad I'm not serving a mission way back in the day when you guys slept on the ground and used leaves as toilet paper, and had to put your letters in a bottle and then throw it out to sea and hope that it somehow made it back to your house. haha jk but missionaries have it pretty good now days, except for the world is alot worse and wickedness is accepted as what's normal and correct. That part is hard. Whatever though, the world will keep doing what  its doing and the Church will keep doing what its doing and it wont change, but yeah it was nice talking to you guys and seeing your faces, Kadens voice is sure alot deeper. He sounds like dad haha. My companion heard dad talking and was like whoah your dad sounds like a giant or something. That will be cool though, next Christmas, I can talk to your faces in real life haha, that will be nice. I forgot to wish Kaden happy birthday when we were talking, I hope he had a good birthday on Friday, after we got done skyping we went to another members house and ate mangos and cup cakes and flan and stuff it was good. Then we went home and that's all that happened. I enjoyed Christmas though, and it was my last in Brazil. I think it will be memorable. So last p-day like I said, we went to a place called the city of Christmas which had some cool stuff there lots of place to take pictures and they had a Santa clause house that we went to and took pictures with Santa clause, but he wasn't much of a Santa clause, he looked like we was ready to die on the couch. I thought it was funny. I got some pictures with him and another Santa clause as well who also had an elf with him. They had a neat Christmas tree thing that they had made that I also have pictures of. We had a good time and we went with a good chunk of our zone there. As for work this week it was good but hard cause all of our investigators and members were traveling, the day after Christmas we walked a ton and I think we went to 7 or 8 houses but nobody was home, we just ended up making contacts with wishy washy old people, Plus I was all trunky thinking about family and stuff, it was probably one of the worst days I have ever had in a while, but Friday and Saturday were good cause we had a recently returned missionary come with us to visit people and we visited alot of new people and found new families and investigators, unfortunately nobody super interested and none of our investigators showed up at church yesterday, we even had members stop by their houses to give them rides but they were all "busy". That made me sad, but still we worked hard this week and we got some references from members that we will work with and hopefully we can be blessed with some baptisms this next transfer. Transfers is next week, its more than likely that i will be staying here with Elder Campos, but who knows this is his second transfer in this area but i think he will stay on more here with me, we will see though. Sounds like we should be moving into our new house in the next 2 weeks so that will be good, I am sick of walking an hour and a half just to get to lunch, we have been taking the bus usually but it get expansive, 6 reais everyday so that's like half of what we get, I think we get about 11 reais per day on average, so its getting expensive. whatever though the new house is green and has a place to make bbq! ya.  So I want to go to walmart today and buy a new watch and peanut butter and oreos, but I doubt that we will go today cause we already plan on playing soccer at our residential soccer field, oooooh fancy, too bad I will be moving. Also I got the email from grandma dale without any problems. SO we were at the lan house sending emails but the internet kept cutting out which was getting annoying and  I lost a good part of my email and had to restart again, so we left and ate lunch and now we left and went to a different lan house so now I am finishing up this email right now, so I don't really have a whole lot to write but yeah so today its raining alot so it looks like we wont be able to do anything so we will see. But I was just thinking alot this week about how The Lord has blessed me so much with my family and friends. Its hard to put into words how much love we have for our family sometimes but I want you to all know how much I love all of you and how blessed I feel to have such a wonderful family that loves me and supports me in everything. I feel bad because there are alot of missionaries whose families aren't members or are less actives or don't offer very much support. I am very blessed to have a wonderful family at home that loves me and I thank heavenly Father everyday for my family that raised me in the Gospel and taught me to pray and love the scriptures and to go to church and to love my Savior. I'm glad that I have a testimony of my savior and that I know who he is and that I know that he knows me very well. I hope with this new year I can make my family and my Heavenly Father proud. I hope that everyone has a good new year and that it is safe. Read the scriptures and pray everyday, we become very week if we don't read or pray. I am grateful for the Gospel and for my Brother Jesus Christ, I love Him and it will always be Him that I will worship and follow. May the Good Lord bless all of you this year and may we strive to be better every day and love everyone as the Savior loves us. Well that's about all I have to say for this week thanks for everything and I love you all and take good care!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, December 23, 2013

Brazil, Campo Grande Week #53 New Area & a Walmart Store

Feliz Natal Minha Família!  what´s up everybody, I hope you are enjoying the holidays, I would like to be spending Christmas with my family right now but not till next year haha. Strange thought next Christmas I will be home. So yeah I was transferred :(  I've missed my area in Cuiabá alot. Seems like we never realize how good we have something until we don't have it anymore. But I'll go where the Lord wants me to go, and so now I'm here in Campo Grande, in the state of Mato Grosso do sul. Translation. I'm in the city of big field in the state of thick forest of the south. Its pretty original I know. So yeah, We had alot of complications getting here, we were supposed to leave Tuesday night after our mission Christmas conference which was sweet. We had a good time, we had to each recite a memorized scriptures to president and sister Reber in front of everyone at the pulpit. I recite Ether 12:12  Pois se não houver fé entre os filhos dos homens Deus não pode fazer milagres entre eles, portanto ele não apareceu senão depois que tiveram fé.  Yeah really impressive I know haha jk. But we had a good time we did some skits, and ate and had a good ol' time, we were blessed and a member named Gustavo gave me and Elder Payne a ride to the center with all of our luggage, I was kinda stressed cause we were having a hard time finding someone that could give us a ride to the center with all of our suitcases cause the mission wasn't going to send us van to pick us up. But it all worked out and I am happy for that, I was sad cause I didn't get to say goodbye to alot of members cause we were so pressed with time last p-day and also it rained a ton so it made it really hard to be able to visit anyone. But I hope that one day I can at least pay a visit to industriário one day. I'm sure I will go back to Cuiabá eventually, we will see. So we were supposed to leave Cuiabá at 8 o clock Tuesday night, we got to the bus station late at like 7:50 and we went to get our tickets, but they only had a bus ticket marked for Elder Moraes, and for some reason me and Elder Payne didn't have tickets already booked in our name. Things were kinda crazy after that cause we were trying frantically to get a hold of the office elders but we didn't have their numbers, so I had to dig into my suitcases to find a folder that I have that has all of the numbers for the office Elders, meanwhile our bus left so we had already missed the bus, but now we were stuck in the Cuiabá bus station without cell phones or anything, so Elder Moraes had to use payphones that they had and so we got a hold of the guys in the office finally and they sent a taxi to pick us up again, Elder Moraes could have taken the bus since he had his ticket marked  already, but he stayed with us which was good of him. They didn't have anymore buses going to campo grande that night and so we went back to the office elders apartments, the next day they said that they couldn't find any buses with seats still, cause its the holidays so everyone was traveling, so they said that we would have to wait until Thursday morning till we would be able to leave from Cuiabá.  We would just have to bum in the office all day Wednesday, so we went to the office and Elder Kay, one of the office Elders, found us some seats on a bus that would leave at 7 that night, so we could leave alot earlier and get there Thursday morning instead of Thursday night. So that's what we did we almost missed our bus again cause we only had one really small taxi so we had to make 2 trips so I went first with most of the baggage and with the everybodys identitie,s so that when I got to the bus station I could give the workers their our information so that they could get our tickets printed off and ready as soon as possible. But, the lady took foreverrrrrrrrrr! I don't know why but she took forever with our stuff, the other guys arrived and we got all our luggage moved to where the bus was but we couldn't board yet cause the lady still didn't have our stuff ready, so we were getting anxious I was running back and forth Elder Moraes was staying with the worker lady that was printing off our tickets, finally she got them printed off and I grabbed them and ran back to the bus and we got all our stuff loaded, we had a bunch of extra stuff that we had to bring we had all the Christmas packages that families had sent, so we had to take it all to the missionaries in the south it was kind of a pain, but it worked out. It was me and Elder Payne and Elder Moraes on the bus, we didn't sleep a whole lot. I wish we could have gone during the day cause I wanted to see all the lush greenery and trees and wildlife, its supposed to be really pretty. Elder Payne had some sleeping pills that he let me take which helped me sleep, we got to the halfway point and we stopped at a bus station to take a bathroom break and get some food if we wanted, it was about 3 in the morning and by this time the sleeping pills had kicked in and I was walking around all woosily and drunk looking, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open and I was slurring my words really bad. I bought some food and the lady was asking me some weird questions about if I wanted a discount on the food cause we were missionaries. I was like no, no.  I will just pay like normal don't worry about giving us a discount, accept when I said it,  it was so slurred and garbled that it sounded like não não qewo sow iw pwa onbussse não pweswiso descweconta ablah balh bal hbal hbalh bnaha blah ad ioasgha caraca. . So yeah she didn't understand anything of what i was saying, she kept asking me if  I wanted a discount and some other stuff that I don't even remember, I was kinda getting impatient cause she wasn't understanding me and plus our bus was about to leave and I still hadn't paid for my food, so I was just like look my food cost 8 reas so here's 8 reais, then I told her I was sorry cause I was tired. I think she must have thought I was using drugs or something haha, I'll have to explain things better if I go back north one day again. So then we got back on the bus and I fell asleep until we got to campo grande. We got to campo grande at about 7:30 in the morning, and one of the first things I saw when we got into the city limits was WALMART!! I will have to go there one p-day just to see how it is.  I hear you can buy peanut butter there for like 20 bucks haha. So President Rebers counselor was there at the bus station and he gave me and Elder Moraes to our house, and he took care of Elder Payne's next bus ticket cause he would have to catch another bus to Ponta Porã which is the most southern area of our mission. The assistants said he got to Ponta porã fine, but when he got there nobody was there to pick him up, so I don't even know what happened but sounds like he should be good now. He's with an Argentinian now. So Here in Campo Grande we live in a gated community that is really nice, it has soccer fields and pavilion areas and a little track that we can run on that is right in front of our house. We live with the assistants here, Elder Hancock and Elder Moraes. Our flipping area is about a 50 minute walk from our house, so that s kind of a joke, they told us to find a house to move into that is located in our area so my first day there we found a nice green house, we checked it out, and its like brand new and a good price, so we called the finance Secretary of the mission and gave him the information and so sounds like he is already doing a contract with the owners and if everything works out, we will be moving in in a couple of weeks. yay. So we just spent these last few days getting to the know the area and some of the members, the bad things is it rained all day yesterday and Saturday and part of Friday, so it was really hard to do anything because it rains really hard, even an umbrella doesn't help much. My Companion is Elder Campos, he hit 4 months yesterday on the mission, he is 21 and is from Rio de Janeiro.  He is just as white as I am. We get along great and I look forward to getting to know him better. Campo Grande is almost as hot as Cuiabá this time of the year, but it is a little bit cooler I have noticed, the house here is full of blankets which doesn't exist in Cuiabá, I got  really burnt out on Friday our Lunch was about and hour and 45 minute walk just to get to lunch. And the sun was hot, I even burnt the scalp of my head, which just shows how thin my hair is getting. Sunday there was 74 people at church, which is better than it was. We are actually in a ward here, about a year and a half ago there was about 120 people going to church but there have been alot of people falling away from the church, I feel that, that is what Heavenly Father wants us to do here is help increase the number of people going to church. I'm excited though and I hope we can help reactivate some people and baptize here. It seems like baptisms are getting harder and harder for everybody, this week the entire mission only baptized 4 people.  That's because Satan is working alot harder he knows that before long Christ will come again and so now he is giving it all that he's got. But I'm really liking Campo Grande, its definitely a cleaner more modern city, the roads aren't nearly as bad as the roads in Cuiabá. There are alot more planted trees here and its just a different mission here. It doesn't look like what I'm used to seeing. So this letter is getting too long, but I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas. And want to thank everyone for the emails and for the presents and money from Grandma and Grandpa Fitzgerald and Grandma and Grandpa Kennington. i really appreciate the love that you all have and for the thoughts and prayers. I'm excited to skype on Christmas still not exactly sure what our plans are for the day, but I will be emailing at between 10 and 11 your time to let you know that I'm ready to skype. But it should be great and I´m excited.  Eu espero que nesta época de Natal nós possamos lembrar de Nosso Salvador Jesus Cristo, e que possamos lembrar do sacrifício que ele fez por nós. Sou muito grato por ter uma família maravilhosa que me ama, oro para que nós tenhamos mais alegria em nossas vidas e que sempre sejamos seguidores de Cristo. Feliz Natal pra todos Amo Vocês com todo meu coração!!!  Use google tanslator if you need.  Love you all! until Christmas day
-Elder Kennington Picture of me an my companion and stuff from the Christmas conference

Monday, December 16, 2013

Brazil Week #52 New Transfer, New Companion

Hey family Good morning hope you are all well. So it´s been a pretty quick week this week it went by pretty quick. Not much really happened, but also alot happened as well. SO in our mission right now they had a mini transfer because there are six missionaries that are going home today, so that they could be home with their families during Christmas, because if not, they would go home on the 6th of January which is the actual transfer, but President Reber is letting them go home before Christmas to be with their families on Christmas. Elder Cordeiro is heading home today, as well he has finished his mission. So there are 6 missionaries going home, but the mission isn't receiving anybody.  SO that meant that hey would have to do some switching up in the mission and close some areas or pull some missionaries out of some areas. And what do you know me and Elder Payne got pulled out of Industriário and we are being transferred down south to campo grande which is a 12 hour bus ride from cuiabá. I´m pretty bummed out to be honest. Cause I'm leaving an area and a ward that I love and plus I wont be with Elder Payne, I wont even get to finish out the transfer with him. Sounds like I'm going to a branch...again. I checked out their numbers they baptized 9 people last year, and have about 65 people or so that go every week. I guess it could be worse. My companion will be Elder Campos. A Brazilian with 4 or 5 months on the mission. So lets go and work like crazy. Elder Payne will be with Elder W Lemes a brazilian. He will still be in my district though, so I will get to see him every week. President came to our ward here yesterday ,to give a training and after church he told us that he was sending us down to campo grande. I don't know I was kinda expecting it. I knew that they were probably going to pull some missionaries out of Cuiabá, and our area made the most sense cause there was already 4 missionaries here and we already lived in the same house, so it wouldn't mess stuff up too bad if they pulled us out, because the church would still be able to keep the house of the missionaries, and they will be able to put more missionaries back in as soon as more missionaries arrive. I was talking to Jetson and he said that his mission has like 300 missionaries in it, our mission has like 125. We are lacking alot of American missionaries, which is taking a toll on our mission. But sounds like a few more got their visas so that's good. Well I really don't have any desire to write today but Ill keep writing anyway. Also on Thursday my hump day, President called Elder Moraes one of the zone leaders here and told him that he was going to the south to campo grande to be one of the assistants there.  So its been kind of a wild week, Elder John was transferred to here from his area which is 15 minutes away he was our district leader, but now he will be zone leader here. Our new district leader is an Elder that switched missions. He's a Brazilian who was serving ine São Paulo, but his girlfriend got called to the same mission, so they moved him to our mission which is kinda crazy I think. So Elder Moraes was in a threesome with us and so we had to visit alot of people so he could say goodbye, and also to help him get packed. Its been kind of a pain in the butt this week. We were still able to work quite a bit, I went on a division with Elder Moraes early in the week and we just spent the week trying to find new investigators and teach lessons and make contacts. But we didn't have much success everyone was either too busy, or already had their own religion. SO we did alot of talking and walking, but we didn't have much success. Also, I was bummed out too cause we stopped my DAlilas and Brendas multiple times every day during the week, but every time she was either too "busy" to even show her face and talk or she "wasn't at home." I finally tracked her down on Saturday, because she went to get her hair done at some salon, so I had her family tell me where the salon was located and so I went and found her and talked to her and asked if she was going to church tomorrow? She told us that she had an appointment Sunday morning and that she couldn't go to church, I said what?! Do you have an appointment with your mattress in the morning? She then tried to give me some excuse, it was obvious she was lying. That grinded my gears, cause I hate when people lie to my face. I just told her that we would be waiting for her at church. I'm not sure what happened why she is avoiding the missionaries now, but I wish she would at least let us sit down and ask her what's going on.  I gave her address to the zone leaders now and so hopefully they can help her out. That's what we did yesterday was I showed the leaders where our investigators live and some members and stuff. Elder Groff only has 3 weeks in the area and so he still doesn't know it to well, so I had to show him some stuff yesterday. Oh,  btw we had to go to the mission office again to take care of some stuff with Elder Payne's i.d and I picked up my package it had arrived safely. I already opened it all up and went through my Christmas goodies. Thanks for all the sweet stuff I was needing it, I threw away most of my old socks yesterday, because they were all full of holes and stuff. I think the only thing that went bad was the caramel, I don't know if it was because of the climate change or what, but the texture just turned into sugar, you bite into it and its like you but into a ball of sugar, it tastes good but its pretty hard to get past the texture, But other than that it was all great and fine and dandy. I was super happy to get it, thanks for the cards as well, and the pictures of the brothers. I about peed down both legs when I saw the picture of Kaden he looks like he's some 17 year old kid, I didn't even recognize him almost!  Jordan's picture was kinda funny too, looks like you guys did that option where they clean up the picture, it turned out good though. So yeah hump day was just any other day. We worked we laughed we ate rice and beans, actually we did have a bbq that night though at the stake presidents house, that was cool. But I can officially say that I have a year now. Its kinda snuck up on me, I have reached the summit and now I just slide to the bottom. Its gone quick, it doesn't seem like one year has gone by. Its been quick for me, but I don't know about you guys, this next year will be even faster. Btw sounds like on Christmas we will be able to Skype home, So hopefully I can get a laptop to myself in campo grande, we will figure it out more next p-day but I will probably send an email next week to confirm a time and stuff. I look forward to that though,  too bad the video didn't go through of Jordan after he got his wisdoms out, sounded pretty funny, I still remember when I got mine out, I'm glad I didn't swell up too much. SO also, last p-day we went to the center to print off some pictures and also I bought some new tennis shoes their nikes and I like them alot. My other ones were hurting my feet and I kept rolling my ankle when I walked in them, so I gave them to a member and bought some others. Doesn't feel too much like Christmas here, its hot but there's quite a few people with Christmas trees up. They always play that one John Lennon Christmas song that is really pretty, but its a portuguese version but it has really pretty words in the Portuguese version and focuses on Christ a little bit more. Also It was my plan to finish the Book of Mormon in Portuguese on hump day, But its been such a crazy week that I wasn't able to finish it, Ill finish it today though, I'm in Moroni and only have another 15 pages left. A promise that I think President  Packer made, is that if we read the Book of Mormon in another language out loud, when we finish, we will know that language, I can honestly say that I have read out loud the entire Book of Mormon in Portuguese, and it has helped me a ton. I know that the Lord has blessed and helped me a ton , because I have read and studied the Book of Mormon in my mission language. I have been able to understand things that I didn't understand before from the Book Of Mormon, Portuguese makes it a little clearer i think to understand the book of mormon. love the Book of mormon and I know its true. SO thats about it this is a pciture of our conference that we had last week with the seventy, tomorrow we will have our Christmas Conference, and than tomorrow night at 8 we will be headed to Campo Grande, me and ELder Payne and Elder Moraes will be going down together, we probably would be going today but then we would miss the Christmas party conference thing, because they have already done it in the south the conference and so we would miss out. But Yeah Love you guys I'm sad that I have to leave my area and my companion, but Ill just do what  I have to do. Love you all have a great week.!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cuiaba Brazil Week #51

Bom Dia Família Amada, espero que vocês estejam gostando do frio aí em casa, porque aqui está quente pra burro!!!  (Good morning beloved family, I hope you are all liking the cold there at home because here it is hot to donkey.) I don´t know it doesn´t makes sense in English but it's something that the people in this region of Brazil that I think is funny. So yeah, sounds like it was really cold back at home. I think I still prefer the heat, I´ve never liked the cold very much, but then again the heat here is a joke sometimes, it gets so bad. Some days I want to wear one of those desert turban things to protect my face and neck and brain cause its so hot walking around in the sun. Its good for Elder Payne though I guess, he's getting broken in pretty good I guess haha. He likes it though. So this week went by pretty quick for me. Did some cool stuff this week. I think I only worked for 2 or 3 days this week with my companion cause we had to do several divisions, and so I ended up being with Elder Groff for most of this week and Elder Payne stayed with Elder Moraes. Last p-day we didn't really do much we played some soccer and that was about it. We had a family home evening that night, that was good. I think it was Tuesday we had a normal days work with Elder Payne we visited Dalila who is a 16 year old young woman that we are preparing for baptism this Saturday. I know that she had a fool boyfriend that's 23 years old that she was all sad about because she couldn't get a hold of him and its been a while since she had seen him. We know that he only has one thing on his mind with a young women like her. She also likes coffee a lot. Yesterday after church she was all distressed because in young women they said that we don't drink coffee in our church, she was genuinely upset about that, so we explained it a little bit of why we don't drink coffee and some other things as well. She was a little immature about it though so I hope we can get all her problems resolved this week, we are also preparing her friend Brenda to be baptized this Saturday as well. I just hope everything works out, I know its not right but I get really ticked off when I think about how many investigators and baptisms Satan has ruined. Sometimes I almost go crazy thinking about all the obstacles and trash that he throws in front of us and our investigators. Sometimes I think that Satan focuses all his power on just me and my companion and our investigators. I know that isn't true. But something that the Holy Spirit has been telling me alot lately is that you are the senior companion now and that I have alot more responsibility now and that the rest of my mission is in my hands now. I wont be the one that makes most of the choices and I wont be following what my companions do, but now its me. Its my choice, I have one year left now. I want it to be one of the greatest years of my life. The Spirit has be telling me that. I can make it one of the most memorable greatest and happiest years of my life, or it could be just another year of my life. Thursday I will hit one year. It seems like yesterday that mom and dad dropped me off at the mtc in Provo. It seems like yesterday that I arrived in New York, and it seems like yesterday that I arrived in Brazil. Everything just goes by so fast. This time next year I will probably be on a plane back home. That's a sad thought for me. I don't want to leave Brazil or the mission. I'm glad that I still have another year to be here and give it my all. We have a hard mission and sometimes its hard to give all we have. Its super hot, the church isn't super strong here, and its hard to baptize alot of times in this mission. But I will give all that I have to my Heavenly Father cause this is his mission and his work and I am only one of his servants in the vineyard. I don't want to get home and have any regrets. It was cool going on splits this week we had to get to several other areas to do baptismal interviews and we also went to tijucal an area that has Elder Spencer and a missionary that he is training, Elder Jackson.  Elder Groff needed to help Elder Spencer with a few things there and so I went on splits with Elder Jackson we walked a ton and several of their appointments fell through, but we got to a house with a woman yelling, they had an appointment there, but the investigator was gone and the other lady that was there came out in tears saying that she was sorry cause her 7 year old daughter was being very disrespectful to her. I asked if we could do something to help her, the question caught her off guard but she said that we could talk to her daughter if we wanted. So we sat down with her daughter for 10 or 15 minutes and talked I asked her why she wasn't treating her mom very good, and told her that Heavenly father was sad that she wasn't showing respect to her mom, we talked some more and she promised to try harder, Elder Jackson just bore his testimony and he gave her a picture that he had of Jesus with the children, I'm glad that he had it. We gave it to her  and then we taught her how to pray, and she said a good prayer. Her mom was really happy and thanked us and said that she needs to start going to church again, so we set up another appointment for the missionaries to go back. They said  that before she had never talked to the missionaries, but now I think she will let the missionaries teach her. Its a good feeling when we know we are helping families. We had mission tour this week. Elder Gavarrete came to the mission and spoke, I thought it was cool. Everyone was scared that he was going to burn everybody though, we learned about how we need to work on retention and we need to baptize people that will stay active cause there is a huge number of less actives in our mission. Sunday the zone leaders baptized a family that was really cool, it made me really happy to see an entire family going down into the waters of baptism together. It gave me the renewed desire to always search for families who are ready to receive the Gospel. Well we are going to the center today and so I have been really short on time so its kind of a fast random email. I got to go now.  I'm excited to hit a year this week.  Elder Payne is  doing great, he is learning the language well even though he doesn't notice it. Well, please pray for us and our investigators Dalila and Brenda so that we can baptize them this week, I feel like Satan is going to do everything, to not let these baptisms happen. But whatever the Lords will is, is what is right.  So yeah we are going to get burned in the sun this week but the Lord never said it would be easy. Love ya, I will try and send pics if there is time. Love ya all
-Elder Kennington
                                                                    Sister Missionaries & Elder Saxton, His MTC Companion
Elder Cordeiro and Elder Kennington

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cuiaba Brazil Week #50. Transferes and New Companion Elder Kyle Payne

Elder Skyler Kennington and Elder Kyle Payne

Yeah week 50, that's alot of weeks! So its Monday again which is a pretty good day for missionaries. I know one of my favorite parts of the week is when I can read the emails of what's going on with everyone back at home. I know that we are a long, long ways away, but I feel you all very close to me. I´m glad that we are able to email every week. So its been a really cool week this week. Got to meet my new companion Elder Payne on Tuesday, there was only 3 Americans that got their visa this transfer sounds like there are is still close to 40 waiting now, and a few that have been waiting so long that they wont be allowed to come to our mission anymore and will have to stay in the states. That stinks. I was blessed to only stay for one transfer in New York. It has now been a little over 8 months that I got here to Brazil. Its gone by super quick. So all three of the Americans that arrived are being trained in my zone which is cool. The other trainers are Elder Baughan who has a year and 2 months, and Elder Spencer who entered the MTC and arrived in Brazil with me. They will be great trainers as well. SO its been kinda of complicated with work this week because of the transfers and my companion arriving from the states. So we didn't get to work a whole lot, we only had one real day of work, but that day we were able to teach 6 lessons and pick up several potentials. It was supposed to rain alot this week, but it rained two days this week and it was only for like 20 mins. The bad thing here is that it cools down while it rains, but then immediately after it just gets alot hotter. I'ts been pretty good to break Elder Payne in. But he is getting used to it without problems though, except the mosquitoes are going crazy on him, his feet are covered with mosquito bites. My feet too, but he has more bites. The mosquitoes leave the Brazilians alone, but they are always after Americans, we must taste different or something idk. So Monday morning they picked Elder Almeida up pretty early, about 8 in the morning, he had gotten everything packed up during the week and was all ready to leave. We said good bye and he thanked me and told me that he was grateful to have me as his last companion. I was sad to see him go and he was sad to leave too but he was happy of course to see his family and friends after 2 years. I was excited as well to be able to meet my new companion, but it wouldn't be till Tuesday. But on Tuesday they picked all the trainers up at about 10 in the morning and they took us to the mission office which is about 45 mins or so from my area. There was a new Elder there from Ecuador and a new sister from Peru that were going to the south to be trained. I talked to them both quite a bit. I knew both of their trainers really well and so I told them a little bit about them and told them not to  be nervous because they were in good hands, they both spoke pretty good Portuguese even though there was alot of spanish mixed in. There was going to be several trainings that day, one for the trainers from President Reber, and one from one of the assistants for the trainers. And then there was a training for the new elder and sister from Ecuador and Peru, and then later when the Americans arrived they would do the same training again. SO we had lunch there and we hung out for a while waiting for the Americans to arrive. They finally got to the office at about 4, the president picked them up from the airport. hahaha I had to laugh when I saw Elder Payne cause he looks like a football player he is big. He´s about my height but he is alot more built than I am. I'm just a little skinny dude, so I'm pretty sure if he wanted to he could break me in half haha. It was kinda funny watching the Brazilians talk with them cause they didn't really know what they were saying and it was funny seeing the looks on their faces. I just though it was funny cause exactly 8 months to the day before, I was in the same shoes as them understanding and not speaking much. I had a little ping and sadness cause those were some of the greatest days of my life when I first got to Brazil. And even though it was hard those are very fond memories for me from when I arrived. I hope it will be as memorable for Elder Payne as it was for me. We took some pictures and the Americans ate cause they were starving. Then we had their training and our training with one of the assistants Elder T Nascimento. He told us how we have the most responsibility of all the missionaries in the mission right now, and that we need to do our best to help our companions so that they can be future trainers and leaders in the mission, it was inspiring and the spirit was strong and told us that it was right and that we need to do our best. President told us that our companions will stay with us for a maximum of 2 transfers so that they can get with a native Brazilian companion afterwards to help more with the language. I'm stoked though to be with Elder Payne. I think that President Reber was definately inspired in letting us be together. Elder Payne said that President Reber had told the new Americans that he had hand picked their trainers. So I hope I can meet the expectations of President Reber and more importantly Heavenly Father. Me and Elder Payne get along great he reminds me alot of Jetson and KAiden and Robby. He is someone that I would hang out with if we weren't on the mission. He is getting the language well he is asking alot of questions and isn't afraid of making mistakes so that's good, He has a hard time understanding, but that's how everyone is when they arrive. I didn't understand anything that Brazilians spoke when I arrived. Its kinda neat though to see how much we learn with the  language in 8 months though. I don't have any worries with him. We spoke quite a bit of English this last week but this week I plan on taking that down this week, so I don't plan on speaking much English with him this week, only to explain certain things. But I'm really pleased with how he is coming along with the language in less than 1 week. It was pretty hectic though with everything though, with unpacking and having to go shopping and all the meeting we had this week. We were only able to work a little, but still we visited alot of people and made some good visits. We did alot more than my first week in Brazil, but that cause I didn't get to my area until Thursday night when I got to Brazil. I'm excited though for this transfer, Elder Payne was already a zone leader and district leader in Montana so he already knows how to work, really I am just training him with the language and the new culture. He brought some goodies from the states though, his mom is awesome and sent him a ton of stuff in Montana that he brought with him. Like a bunch of peanut butter and other goodies. That made me happy cause I haven't eaten peanut butter in more than 8 months. SO I have been eating pb&j sandwiches this entire week, he also likes hot sauce alot and brought some hot sauce with him and he even brought my favorite which is that sararacha rooster hot sauce that they usually have in the Chinese restaurants. I almost died when I saw that he had brought that, I used that hot sauce everyday in new york. So we are in the process of finding new people to baptize, I cut most of our investigators from last transfer cause none of them were progressing. We had a ton meetings yesterday with the bishop and stake president and our ward has some lofty goals for baptisms and reactivation's and stuff like that, but our personal goals are still higher, I'm excited to work alot with members this transfer. I know the Lord will bless us with success if we give all that we have. Friday we had a zone meeting and we got our zone together again, I got to see the other trainers and their companions they seem to be doing well. Elder Payne got to see a sister that is in our zone that was from his district in the MTC, her visa arrived and she got to Brazil more than 6 months ago and Elder Payne just got here. It sounds like there is one sister left from their district that still hasn't made it to Brazil, sounds like she will probably be staying there and wont get to come to Brazil. That's hard. I feel really bad for all the missionaries waiting right now. The first presidency has stopped issuing calls to Brazil until visas start clearing up. So yeah the training was good at our zone meeting, we also found out that starting on the new year everyone between 9-15 years has to go to church for three months before being baptized. this is for all the missions in Brazil. Its because most of the less actives in the church are in this age range. There are lots baptizing but then they fall away from the church, and so to have more retention they have applied this rule. I think it will be good for Brazil. There was a mission here in Brazil that baptized 23,000 people in one year. But not a single branch was created, because people baptized and then went inactive afterwards. Our mission only baptizes about 700 per year. So its obvious there needed to be something that changed. Also on Friday after the meeting we had to take the bus to the office and take care of Elder Payne's visa and identity stuff so that he is legal here in Brazil. This email is taking a long time. We finally finished up with that stuff and we went to one of the bus stops to wait for our bus. I was hoping that our bus wouldn't have too many people on it, cause we were at the busiest hour and there is only one bus route that takes us back to our area from the office so there aren't a whole ton of buse,s so I was expecting ours to be loaded with people, but finally our bus passed by so I waved it over and we got on and there was a bunch of room so I was happy. then we went for like ten minutes and the bus stopped and the driver said that the tire was flat so we had to all get off. I was like no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SO we lost our bus and lost our money that we had paid to get on the bus. So we got off the bus and I went to buy more bus passages and this dude wanted to talk to us so I talked to him and he wanted to know about Joseph Smith, So I taught him the first lesson and let Payne bear his testimony. Then I gave him some pamphlets got his address to pass to the office elders and then went to another bus stop farther up cause the one were at had a ton of people at it waiting for another bus to come again. So we walked up to a bus stop farther up that didn't have hardly anybody and we waited there forever till another bus came that was ours, I got lucky again cause there wasn't too many people on the bus, all the seats were full as usual so we had to stand up which is what we usually do anyway. We got on and got our own spaces in the aisle and then after that a bumload of people got on. But we had our own space and we got lucky. But it was a long ride back to our area. And we were smashed together cause the bus was super overloaded. We finally made it back to our area in one peace. We went home and we passed out on our beds cause we were so exhausted. But yeah, that's how it is sometimes. Elder Payne is getting a good taste of Brazil haha but he says he loves it so that's good. I love Brazil too, sometimes I think about when my mission will end and I get sad. I don't want to leave Brazil. Its too good here. Church was kind of a disappointment though, there was only like 77 people at church or something usually there is over a hundred, none of our investigators came to church as well which bummed me out cause we visited them all the night before and everyone said they were firm on coming to church, but no one showed up. We will make sure that doesn't happen this week though. So yeah my hands hurt. I will send some pictures a little later, so don't worry, I will use the laptop at a members house that lives across the street from us. I left my camera at the house today. So yeah that's all. O btw I ate beef and chicken lasagna on thanksgiving it was good, but looks like Thanksgiving at home was better. Maybe next year the Americans will be home before Thanksgiving we will see. So ye,a I love you guys a ton thanks for the emails, I got a super nice letter from grandma Fitzgerald in the mail this week for thanksgiving thanks for that Grandma. Also I was sad to see that my package got sent back home, I hope it will work out ok though. We have a general authority coming to our mission this week we have mission tour. I think its someone from Chile. I'm excited for that though. Well until next week I hope you all have a great week, thanks for your prayers an everything. Amo Vocês!!!!!!!!!!! 
-Elder Kennington