|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!!!!!!!!!!!