Cuiaba Brazil Weather

Monday, November 10, 2014

Brazil Week #99

Bom dia querida família, im tired today. haha well thankfully this week passed by quickly for me. It was filled with work, my new shoes that I bought on sale are falling apart already, the sole keeps coming unglued. I don't have much to write this week it was pretty normal. It rained, it was hot I got sun burned but nothing out of the ordinary. we did a division on Wednesday and I went to the area of the other elders, we walked alot that day but we got to visit some cool people, the main reason for going on the division was to do 2 more interviews of two boys that were being baptized, there mom had been baptized a few months ago and they were finally baptized, they were funny little guys who didn't really remember anything of what they had learned so I reminded them of the lessons and commandments and stuff, their family is kinda complicated the mom is a member but still drinks coffee so I had to be pretty straightforward with them and told them that they cant drink any more coffee, everything went fine though and they were baptized on Sunday, they didn't show up at church though for some reason so they will be confirmed next week I think. At the end of the day I was pretty dead and my feet were killing but that's normal here. We taught alot of new people but not really anybody with much potential. I'm finding a pattern here in Alta Floresta, its something I have seen my entire mission but something that I have seen more here in Alta Floresta. There are lots of churches here, the baptist church is big here and people have alot of weird theories about God and Religion, as we teach people and make contacts and talk to people about the Gospel I have found hundreds of people if not thousands that think that to God, Religion is not important and that a church wont save anybody which is partially true, just cause I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and because I'm active does not mean I'm going to be saved. It depends on my heart and who I am in church and outside of it. It depends on the covenants and promises we make with God and the Ordinances that we do in the Holy Temple. But many people here think that if you have God in your heart it doesn't matter where you go as long as you go to a church. Its hard to make this people understand the importance of Gods Doctrine, but many people like living an easy life free of rules or standards. Good luck for them I guess. There are so many people that say that religion doesn't exist to God, and that as long as you accept him your all set. I wish it were that easy. I'm so grateful though for the principles of the Gospel, I have learned so much on the mission and my understanding has increased so much about the church and the Gospel, there is nothing that brings me more happiness than knowing that I'm am doing what the Lords wants me to do and that He is happy with my choices and actions. So I wanted to share an interesting experience that happened this transfer, 3 weeks ago we went a neighborhood that is located outside of town, I felt that we should go there to at least explore and see if it would be good working there, we went there and I had the thought several times to stop at the first road we came to, we got there and were surprised that the name of the road was Paulo Freire, I said "look Elder Freire it's almost your name" because his name is Sauo, but he said his dads name was Paulo and he had never seen a road with this name. We starting knocking doors, but many people were not at home. We taught some kinda flaky people and we left. on the way back Elder Freire commented that he had had an experience that he had never had before in his life, he said that on the way to that far off neighborhood he had heard my footsteps and he heard his footsteps, but he said that several times he heard an extra set of footsteps walking with us, he asked me if I had noticed, but I hadn't noticed anything different or out of the ordinary. He then said that when we had gotten to the street where I had felt to stop he said that he heard someone snap their fingers right next to his ear the moment we stopped and looked at the road name, but there was no one around us. I had never experienced anything like that,  the week after this event we taught a large group of people and one of the ladies there had some questions about family history because she had heard that our church does alot of genealogy work, she lived in the same neighborhood that we had visited a few days before. So this week we decided to go back to the neighborhood to visit her, and to knock all the doors on the road that we had been on the week before because we felt that there was something special on that road. We visited the lady who is a very neat lady we taught the Plan of Salvation to her, she enjoyed and said she would try and visit our church. We went back to the road Paulo Freire and started knocking the doors that we hadn't knocked before, its a small road with few houses so it was easy to knock all the doors, but almost nobody was home and the people that were home showed little interest, I decided last of all to knock on a lot where there is one building but several houses, its called a kit net here, it had a gate and so I said well Ill knock here and whoever comes out of one of the 5 different houses will be the person that we will contact, there came out a young woman who was tending to her sister who had just had a baby, we got her address but there was no one else home in the 4 other apartments. We left and I thought well, we did our best but maybe there is nobody on the road that wants to here us. But then yesterday we were walking to an appointment after church and I security guard on a motorcycle stopped in the middle of the road and took of his helmet to talk to us, he said he always saw us in the street and wondered what we did and what religion we belonged to, he asked when we had church and he said that next week he would pay a visit to our church, we told him that our job was to visit people and to share messages about Jesus Christ, we asked him if we could visit him during the week he said of course, but that he lived in a neighborhood far away, we said no problem he said that it was the neighborhood Universitário which is the same neighborhood that we had been working in that first week and 2 days before, but to me that wasn't much of a coincidence, because its a pretty big neighborhood with hundreds of houses, I then asked him which road he lived on he said Paulo Freire, and I was like what? we were there the other day, like 2 days ago knocking every house! he said he lived in the lot that has 5 houses stuck together and that he lived in the second house, the same house that I knocked before leaving that street! Who knows but from what I have learned on the mission things like that don't just happen, we marked to go there Friday to teach him, maybe he's an elect maybe not, but one thing I know is that it was The Lord The brought us the that street and it was The Lord that made that man stop his motorcycle in the street to talk to us. I guess we will see what will come from it. Anyway church was good, but sadly not one of our investigators went to church, we had some less actives that went though so that was good. We went to Marcelos after church, him and his wife were at church but his daughters and sister were sick it sounded  I guess, we taught Bruna and Eduarda the law of chastity and the word of wisdom, they accepted to live it but Bruna had doubts about baptisms and said she doesn't feel prepared or ready, she said she thinks she needs more faith. I explained things to her and helped her I guess. THey are still with dates to be baptized this week on Saturday, we still need to teach some things like keeping the Sabbath day holy and tithing, we will have to move marcelos sister Cassias baptisms back a week since she didn't make it to church, yesterday. I just plead that you will pray for them and us. I have had so much on my mind lately and have been feeling very uptight and stressed, but I've been fasting alot this transfer and I really know that fast brings miracles, we are working so hard and I really want to end my mission with success, pray for our investigators and pray for us. But I know that The Lord will take care of us as he always does, I'm here to obey and do his will and so that is what I will indeed do, I know I need to relax a bit, but I guess its a blessing to be a little uptight with this stuff cause it doesn't leave much room to think about home and get homesick, I'm doing well so far and these 3 weeks seem like an eternity to me so I'm not even feeling or comprehending that its really coming to an end here in 21 days. I guess that's good I need to keep focused on the work. Please pray for us though and our investigators, Satan will do everything he can to throw a wrench in the work here. I was pleased to find out last week that Me and ELder Moraes were the companionship with highest numbers in the mission and that we were also the companionship that had the most baptisms in the mission. I guess that's something prideful and I shouldn't be prideful but I was happy to know that we had really done our best and worked hard, up to now me and Elder Freire are working even harder than last transfer and our numbers are even higher than before, but in all honesty numbers don't really mean much and even baptisms don't matter, what matters is that The Lord is happy with our efforts, I hope that he is pleased with me and that I can continue doing my best and giving my all. Well I don't have much more to say I said too much today, I think the assistants will be coming this week to do a division here, that will be cool I guess. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers I love you all so much and I feel your love and prayers. Also thanks so much for the Birthday wishes and was happy to see that Jordan had a nice birthday. I wish you all a wonderful week take good care! here's a picture of me and a recent convert pedro, we baptized his sister Fabiola and Aline, he is a great friend of mine. Abração pra Todo Mundo!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, November 3, 2014

Brazil Week #98

Good morning everyone, its noon here already, but I guess we are 4 hours apart now. Its good to be back and read your letters, this week went by pretty quickly, I guess. We had a good week, we worked alot talked to alot of people and taught alot of lessons. I was pretty burned out yesterday, and slept pretty hard last night, I slept well but I remember well my dreams, I dreamt that I was at home, (which is common) but I was seeing all of my friends and we were doing stuff for institute and stuff like that, it all seemed so real, I remember that I woke up, with my head under my covers and I thought to myself, was it real am I really at home? Then, I noticed the the blaring fan blowing, and I thought nope, I'm still here on the mission. That has happened alot these last couple of years. Mom kinda made me trunky when she said that you guys had already situated the room to be able to fit me and Jordan. Its kinda funny because I was thinking about that this week. I even commented about it to my companion. I told him that I hoped my family didn't expect me to sleep in a room by myself, cause I wanted to be able to sleep with one of my brothers in my room. I don't like the thought of sleeping alone in a room. Well I'm officially in my last month of the mission. I don't know how I feel it seems like there is still alot of time left. Before on the mission, I never really counted my last month, I would think well I go home in 6 months, but November is 5 months away so really I only have 5 months on the mission because the last month, I wont even feel any stress of the mission,  because I will know that its coming to an end and so there is nothing to worry about. Well that thought was kinda dumb cause now that I'm in the last month I don't feel like that at all, I still feel like the mission will continue on and that it will never end, my brain is still not comprehending that this it, I have this last month of November and then, nothing. game over, mission completed. I don't know I still am not feeling and understanding that its almost over. Whatever though endure to the end, a principle that we can apply to all things in the life, especially the mission. This week we worked alot, maybe I should take it easy cause I think I might turn into a pillar of dust by the end of this transfer. Its good though, when your busy time goes by alot faster. We did a division on Tuesday.  I stayed in my area and went with Elder V Alves, I like Elder Alves alot and he is a great friend of mine, we taught some neat people and the day went by quickly, this week we met a ton of new people, some pretty good people I guess, we were working in a new area that has never been worked before, it is located close to the church here. Its an area that is pretty humble, so even if the people don't have a car or motorcycle or even a bike, they can walk to church without any problems. SO this week we ran into alot of people from a church called the Congregação Cristã do Brasil.   I'm pretty sure it has it in the states I'm guessing it would be called the congregation of Christ. Its one of those churches that has their own set doctrine so the members are a little wild sometimes like our members haha, but we taught a family with that had like 10 people listening to us, and there was this lady who was like the grandma of everyone who was from this church, but she was kinda die hard I guess, she is one of those women here that never cuts their hair, doesn't use make up, wears skirts everyday and walks in the street with their nose up, she listened politely, but she said some rather apostasy comments, for example she invited us to visit her church, which for me there is no problems, but she questioned our authority and told us we needed to see people in her church who have authority, that kinda grinded my gears. I just bore my testimony and told them as directly and as frankly as I could, that no church on the earth has a Prophet called of God, 12 apostles, and the authority of God on the earth. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I made that very clear, she kept quite after that. we were knocking on that street that seemed like a good street, but 3 houses in a row I found people from this church, the second house completely rejected us and told us that they already found Jesus, so we went to the house in front and taught an elderly couple there who happened to be the grandparents of the lady that rejected us, the  grandma was actually really nice but the grandpa was, a deaf, grumpy, ignorant old fart. He couldn't hear hardly anything so we yelled can we start with a prayer, he said what?! and we repeated then he asked what church are you from we explained, and he said no I only accept prayers from my religion. Once he said that I was done, instead of leave a message I read a verse that talked about when Christ ordained the apostles and gave them power and authority, then I bore my testimony and told them that no religion on the earth has this authority accept for ours, then I asked the lady if we could visit someone close by she said to visit her granddaughter who lives in front would enjoy a visit from us, I asked what her name was and she said it was kate, the same lady who had just told us that she didnt need a visit from us. I laughed and told her that we had just knocked there 10 minutes earlier and she didn't want to hear us, we had contacted the referral before it was even given. I think I am getting less patient with people who are not will to hear or show signs of flakiness. We met a neat lady soon after though, named Fatima, I had walked in front of her house several times and have felt the need and feeling to stop and make a contact there, I stopped and we made a contact, she invited us right in, she said she was quite confuse with religion and was stopped for a while not knowing where to attend a church, she was very elect, only problem is that she works on alot of sundays, she said that she knows our visit was an answer to our prayers, I was happy being able to help her, she said she has felt very lonely lately and has problems with depression. she wants to go to church but had to work on sunday. We had another lesson with Marcelos sister this week, we taught the Book of Mormon, we invited Marcelo and Aparecida to sit in with us in during the lesson, it was a good spiritual lesson, she said she was curious to read and to visit church.  Saturday there was a special baptism here in Alta Floresta, it was of a young man named Jonathan hes 21 , we had all been working with him for a while, the baptism was technically counted to the other group because he lives in their area, but I cant help but think of him as one of my baptisms, I taught him many times and had many conversations with him, since our district here no longer is part of a zone we now accompany with the assistants instead of the zone leaders, Elder Jackson here is our district leader, but since their was nobody here to interview I was told that I would have to interview him, so we interviewed him on Saturday it was a quick interview, he was well prepared, I asked him who who would be baptizing him, he said he didn't know he said you can baptize me if you want Elder Kennington, I said it would be better to let one of the others baptize him, he accepted but told me that he wanted to confirm him after the baptism, I said that I could do that. And thus it was he was baptized that night, and I confirmed him the next day in church. After the baptism we went to visit some recent converts that we baptized here, Fabiola and Aline and their brother. We had heard that ALine and read something about the church on the Internet and that she didn't want to go to church anymore. So we went there that night to see what the problem was, we were preparing for the worst, but after talking for a while and her finally admitting what she had read we found out, that she read that Obama was a Satan worshipper and the in 2015 he would be sending false missionaries and prophets throughout the world, with chips in the wrists with the number of 666, and of bunch of retarded stuff, and for whatever reason she that it had something to do with the church, we didn't really burn her but we showed that that is one of the most senseless and foolish things anyone could write or say. We took care of her questions and doubts and she went to church yesterday.  Church was good yesterday, i gave the Gospel principles class, which went fine I guess I don't really like giving classes, but hopefully it will be the last time I give it here on the mission. MArcelos family went and his sister as well Cassia, we went there last night and had a very spiritual experience there, we watched the restoration with everyone and then testified of the truthfulness of the things that happened, it has been a long time since i had cried will testifying of the first vision but last night my tears flowed freely, we then watched a quick video called come unto Christ, its a music video for efy made this year. it had Portuguese subtitles so they understood, after words we marked three dates, two of the daughters of Marcelo, Bruna (18) and Eduarda (11) and Marcelos sister Cassia for the 15 of November, we wanted to mark the date of the other daughter steffany but she had left and and wasn't there during the visit. Well the spirit was super strong and everyone felt it. Now I'm just so worried that Satan is going to do everything to ruin these baptisms, please pray for these people so that they can be baptised on the 15th, it would be the best birthday present ever to be able to have these baptisms. Well I don't have much for to say I'm tired of writing haha. I got really ticked Sunday morning when I woke up and saw that my Portuguese Scriptures was soaking wet, it rained Saturday night and water leaked through the roof right onto the chair were i had left my bag, i spent forever drying the stuck together pages with my a hair dryer, I knew that thing would come in handy for something. My scriptures got really swollen up and poofy, so I put them under of box of Books of Mormon. Also wish Jordan a happy birthday on Thursday he will officially be a man haha the big 18, he can be arrested now, I remember when I was 18 it doesn't seem that long ago, when does he plan on starting his mission papers? anyway I hope he enjoyed California, I never did anything cool like that in High School, except for the band trips.  don't have much to say I guess, I sent an email of the hours for my flight, but maybe they will send a more official itinerary before long. Oh also wish Uncle Randy a Happy Birthday, I forgot my calender in my last area so I don't have the dates of anybodies birthday anymore. Well I love you all thanks so much for your prayers, I have been stressed this last while and I have felt the comfort from your prayers I love you all so much take care and have a great week!
-Elder Kenningon

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brazil Week #97

Hey everyone, its good to be p-day day again. its been a normal week. I was in a trio from Sunday until Wednesday, my companion got here in Wednesday. It was funny waiting for him in the airport, its a super small airport, that has one plane that arrives and leaves everyday. It arrives at about 1 and leaves a little after 2. While waiting for my companion to get off the plane an English speaking couple arrived, because I saw their brazilian guide welcome them in English, i never actually heard any of them speak English so I don't know if they were Americans or from Australian or England or something. But I remember as we waited the lady walked up in front of us and took a picture of us with her phone, she didn't even look at us squarely in the eye or say anything she just walked up took a picture and left. I said rather loudly in Portuguese look guys we´re famous! She obviously didn't understand what I said though. It just reminds me of how Americans are weird. My companion is Elder Freire, a Brazilian from Osasco São Paulo. He is 20 and is excited to be on the mission and work, his parents were baptized when he was 2. His dad is a bishop. Hes pretty dang solid and know why he is here on the mission, he has a very strong desire to serve The Lord and help the people here in Alta Floresta. We get along great, I almost feel bad being his companion cause i have this week I will have 1 month left and he wont even have 1 month on the mission. I hope that doesn't discourage him, but we will be working alot so I hope to show him that you can still work and be excited for the mission with only a month left. This week was kinda cruddy I guess as far as work but it defiantly had its strong points. It rained so much this week, it rained almost every single day. It was really bumming me out, I hate working in the rain, I think it tricks my brain into thinking that I am in New York again. I was kinda bummed out there and I feel like I am back there again. It was nice though because it cooled things down nicely. I think Ive been in the Brazilian heat to long cause it got down to like 70 degrees and it gave me a cold haha, Ive been congested and have had a cough and sneeze since Thursday. luckily I still have some emergen-c that mom sent me back in the mtc Im finally getting a chance to use it. We taught two really special people this week, one was Marcelos sister that we baptized last week, her name is Cassia and we met her in the airport when we dropped off Elder Moraes. She was interested and said that she wanted us to stop by, so we went there this week and we were able to see how she is a very elect lady. She said she has been praying for her to know which path she should choose in life and what religion she should follow. I think she was just waiting for us to invite her to be baptized because she accepted without hesitations. She wasn't able to go to church Sunday because her and her sisters and Marcelos family all traveled. But we will go their tonight to mark a time to visit this week. Pray for her and pray for Marcelo and Aparecida and their family, I know that Satan will continue working against them, also this week we stopped at that market to buy some groceries for elder Freire, and a lady stopped us and asked what we did, we got her address and we went there Saturday, we found that she was also a very elect lady, she is active in the Lutheran church but she told us there are many things she doesn't agree with, she became very thoughtful when we invited her to be baptized, she said that she had been baptized already but she said that its something important to her and she wanted to talk to God about it and receive counsel from him, she said she is very opened minded and if God tells her to choose a different path she would be willing to do it, her name is Solde, pray for her as well so that she can receive an answer, she wanted to visit church but she had a birthday party yesterday and she said that she would only be able to go next week. We have been praying alot to know where and how the Lords want us to work, and I received the impression that we must work closer to the church and work more with a area book. I felt that we worked alot with our feet this week, though our numbers were high I was not satisfied with the way we worked this week and I feel i wasted alot of time walking than actually working and teaching. I was also a little bit down  this week, I felt alot of lack of Elder Moraes, he is one of my best friends and it was an adjustment not having him at my side, I know that he is well though and made it home safely. So tomorrow we will have a division I will go with Elder V. Alves again we will stay in my area, so I'm not quite sure but it sounds like this week I might be going to Cuiabá to renew my visa, if I do that I will probably travel to Cuiabá by bus, and come back by plane, I'm not sure yet but I will call the office tonight to see if I will be going or not. I pray that it will be a good travel if I go Cuiabá is far away. I hope that this week is better and that it doesn't rain haha, my thought seemed to return alot to home and to the family, 5 weeks seems like a long time and I don't feel at all like the mission in coming to an end, so far It seems like any other transfer, I think it will take a bit for the thought to sink in that this really is my last transfer. Pray for us to find those who are prepared and waiting, we are going to need all the help we can get from our Father in Heaven, I thought that would be cool if we did Jordans eagle scout stuff the day I reported that would be neat and there wouldnt be any problems for me if that's what you decide to do, congratulate him for his good work, but  tell him that he needs to respect mom and dad cause its a commandment. Know that I love you all so much and I love this great work, I'm saddened that its almost my time to end my mission but I know it will bring much joy seeing and being with my family again and the mission will bring me much fond memories and satisfaction for the rest of my life. Have a great week everybody and take good care!
-Elder Kennington

 Elder Freire, a Brazilian from Osasco São Paulo. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brazil Week #96 Last Transfer

Good morning everyone, I'm glad to be back on the computers emailing you guys, this has been an eventful week, and we have been very blessed. I thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this week, we felt them, and we felt the help from our Heavenly Father. As i said last week we were going to be working alot with the family of Marcelo and Aparecida. This week we visited them every week and taught them all the lessons, we knew they had problems with coffee, and Sunday we explained just a little bit about it, and Monday as we returned we found that Aparecida had already tried to abstain from coffee, we hadn't even taught her yet, we taught them that day and they accepted to live it, we taught them about something called cevada, which is that imitation coffee that used to be postum, they bought it the next day and started drinking it, We taught them everything else, they started living the commandments right away, we went there every night. 2 of their daughter Bruna and Steffanie go to school at night so we were only able to teach the parents and the youngest daughter Eduarda. I wont lie I had serious doubts that they would be baptized on Saturday, I kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong. I remember kneeling down one morning early in the week and asking The Lord to bless them, i asked Him to protect them to comfort their hearts and minds and to let them feel peace and know that this is the right path and the path that they must choose. After I pray, I usually pause for at least 10 seconds before opening my eyes and getting up. That morning as I paused and listened I heard clearly in my mind the voice of the Spirit, he said 4 simple words which are found in the scriptures -Doubt not, fear not. In that moment I knew that I had been doubting to much and that I hadn't been putting my faith and trust in the Lord I also felt that all would work out fine in the end. I prayed much during the week and I continued feeling the same things, I also felt that the Lord would protect them and allow everything to work out fine, being as they were his elects and he had prepared them and he would not allow them to be tempted above what they were able. Saturday we had a good conversation with them and they decided that they were ready and that this really was the path they wanted to follow. They were interviewed and that night we baptized them. It was such a simple baptismal service, there was only us the group leaders wife and Marcelo and Cida and their youngest daughter, their oldest daughters had traveled to Cuiabá. But the Spirit was very powerful and we all felt the comfort of the spirit and him testifying that what was done was right and that it was done by those having the proper authority of God. I'm grateful that the  Lord allowed us to find and baptize these wonderful people, they truly are His chosen elects. We will work with their daughters to baptize them this transfer, I'm not sure if it will be difficult as 2 of them are rather attached to the catholic church, but nothing the  Lord cant take care of. So anyway with this transfer I will be training! I have no idea who my companion is though, President will wait to meet the new missionaries first before assigning them to their trainer. he probably wont get here until Wednesday, so until them I will be in a trio with the others here, So,  Yesterday was a very good yet difficult day for me. Church was nice we confirmed Marcelo and Cida, I both baptized Aparecida and confirmed her, and Elder Moraes the same with Marcelo. Fabiola who was baptized 3 weeks ago gave her first talk, it was excellent and was about eternal families she did an excellent job and I was proud of how much she and her sister are learning in the Gospel. We had a good lunch with the Group Leaders family it was kinda rushed cause E Moraes was throwing the last of his stuff into his suitcase, Marcelo took us to the Airport and we were accompanied by the group leaders family. He took a plane to Cuiabá, cause its a 1 hour plane ride instead of 15 hours on a bus. Elder Moraes was commenting how he never cried, but as he was giving hugs and saying good bye he got to me and gave me a hug and I guess he couldn't hold it in cause he started crying, that made me cry too, I was saying goodbye to one of my best friends on the mission, not knowing when I would ever see him again. But without doubts when I come back to Brazil he will be the first one I visit, and we already have plans to do a tour of the mission and Brazil. Who knows when that will be, but its definitely on my to do list. Well, I am now officially in my last transfer. I honestly cant believe that it is here already. 6 weeks, that's no time at all,  before on the mission the transfers were like barriers separating us from the end of the mission, but I have jumped that last barrier and there is officially nothing left in front of me, just 6 more weeks of hard work. Time goes by quickly when we are lost in the service of The Lord, I am so excited to be able to train and be able to give all that I have back to The Lord. That's my desire this transfer is to give all that I have to The Lord, he has already given me so much, and I feel that I still have so much that I owe him. I have been examining our map of the city and have selected several areas that have never been worked, I ask for your prayers as I enter into this last transfer, I want to work the way the Lord wants me to work, and I want to be guided by Him. I know we will be richly blessed this transfer. I will probably be training a Brazilian this transfer because it sounds like there are no Americans arriving, that's good cause I didn't really want to have to spend time training with the language, but there will probably be some Hispanics arriving as well so maybe I will train a hispanic, we shall see I guess, pray for president to know with whom he should place me with. Well I'm excited to start this my last transfer and chapter of my wonderful mission. I'm grateful for Our Savior and it is my testimony that He lives and loves us. I wish you all a wonderful week! I love you all so much!
-Elder Kennington

Marcelo and Aparecida Baptism

Saying Good bye to Elder Moraes.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week # 94

Hey everyone, thanks for your emails and pictures, it was nice seeing that you had a good General Conference, I also enjoyed it, we ended up watching it here in Alta Floresta at the group leaders home. It was just us there, because this weekend they had elections here and so they used the school where we hold church meetings, so there was no church this week here. Saturday,  the morning session started here at noon so we were at lunch with some recent converts here. We were able to watch the first session on the computer at their house, the Internet kept cutting out so it was kinda tough, but it worked out fine in the end I guess. We watched the afternoon session at the group leaders home, they have the byu channel here, so we were able to watch it clearly, we also watched that night priesthood session there, it was wonderful being able to hear the words of the Prophet and apostles, of course it was all voiced over by the Portuguese translator, but the Spirit of their words was still the same. Saturday afternoon I think, spoke Elder Gavarret, spoke. He came to our mission last December, it was neat seeing him again giving a talk in his native language. Sunday morning was the only session that we didn't get to see. The group leader and his family were invited to eat lunch somewhere, so we didn't get to see it in the morning The afternoon session was great though and I enjoyed it very much, as everyone has been saying its neat seeing the people give talks in their native language, it was neat her Elder Carlos Godoy speak in Portuguese, that will be neat for people to finally here a talk in their native language instead of just a translation. I think they must have dubbed it in English for you guys to understand or maybe there was subtitles, idk, but that was definitely neat, ad I'm sure the Brazilans appreciated and the people that speak Spanish as well since their was 2 talks in Spanish I think. One thing that brought bitter sweet feelings was knowing that this will be my last conference on the mission, next April I will watch it at home with you guys, what a thought! But then again there is something special about being a missionary and hearing the talks, they seem more personal almost, its a wonderful thing and I will miss being able to here the words of the Prophet in Brasil. This week was very uneventful I guess, my companion was a little sick during the week, he was having alot of stomach pains and head aches this week, but I think he is doing better now, We met some new people who were some of the flakiest people I have ever met, It was kinda funny we taught a guy that when we asked him if he would pray later on to know if our message was true he said, aww, but its tough for me to pray, I don't have much time during the day to do stuff like that. Sometimes I have the desire to stand up and yell well good luck for you when God asks you why you didn't pray or follow him and you tell him that you were busy and didn't have enough time to serve him or even say a little 30 second prayer. People are sad sometimes with how far their hearts are from The Lord, but they will always say that God is the number one most important thing in their lives and that he is everything and that they would do anything for God. Then we challenge them to pray or read or go to church, and then all of the sudden it becomes the hardest thing in the world and God all of the sudden takes the back seat in their lives. I guess that how the world has always been and will always be until the second coming. But yeah we ran into the usual drunks asking for money, this week was a good one a guy that was drunk as a skunk came up to us and said, ei, ei, ei ,ei , ei ,ei, and we were like what say something, than he said everyone in the street is trying to beat me up, its tense out there, so we said yeah your right you have to be careful, then he was like ei, ei ,ei ,ei, ei , then he leaned in an whispered, give me some shoes, i was using my beat up shoes that day and I showed him and said what these? he looked and said, ei, ei ,ei ,ei ,ei ,ei, and we were like speak! and he said ei buy me some shoes, and my companion said what color, and hes like doesn't  matter to me any color, and Moraes said I don't got any money, then he turned back to me and said ei, ei ,ei e,ei, ei, ei then he whispered by me some shoes, and I said i cant, those people that are tying to beat you up took my wallet yesterday so I don't have anymore money, then he realized that e wasn't going to have any luck with us and went to some other guy that was passing and asked him for his shoes. I like drunk people because usually they are the people that treat us good and wave to us and smile and say hey, I'm going to miss some of the drunk homeless people of Brazil. Anyway we are still working with this family we a family home evening last night there and we will go back today. Pray for us and them and for all the people here. So I am going to send you some pictures from last transfer when we were laying down grass for the members there, they sent me some pictures finally so I will send them to you. they were 2 different days, I was using a pole with a paint bucket full of cement to pack down the grass. Last p-day we didn't really do much of anything, we tried visiting some people at night but most were already getting ready for bed, something different is that people go to bed super early here, at 7 at night you see alot of houses completely dark, everyone is sleeping already, it makes it kinda hard sometimes. We marked a date with some other investigators as well that went to church last week, their names are Guilherme and Carol. Well Transfers are in two weeks, I want to finish this transfer strong so that I can already have a head start for my last transfer, I want to train and I asked President again in my card, so we will see he may have other plans in mind, I told him that I would do whatever he needs me to do. So yeah, I cut my hair today again, I think it will be my second to last haircut before going home. Time is short on the mission and I have to make the most out of the last 8 weeks. I love you all so much and wish you all a wonderful week!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week # 93 Baptism of Fabiola & Aline

Well this was another fast week, I wonder how time can pass by so quickly, I'm not sure if it passed by as fast for you guys though, sounds like mom has been sick this week and its been really rainy back at home, hope mom is feeling better Ill pray for her. So this week was pretty normal I guess, there's not too much to write at all, last p-day we didn't do much of anything, we just ate and bummed around the house, I think I Already mentioned, but our house is super hot inside during the day, so napping on p-day is kinda out of the question, because all you do is sweat and sweat even with the fan blowing full blast on you. So its better just laying in the hammock outside we have two here. This week one of the Elders here Elder Andrade got transferred unexpectedly, I guess there was kinda like a mini transfer in the middle of the transfer he left on Wednesday night and the other elder got here Friday afternoon, it took a while, and so we were in a trio for a couple of days. This week we worked alot with Fabiola and her sister as well, her sisters name is Aline, she has also been to church several times as well, but so far hadn't committed to a date she said she thought that after baptism we had to be perfect which is what a lot of people think we taught her more and she felt that it was right and received an answer. We worked with them and helped them with any questions or doubts that they had and they accepted to be baptized on Saturday, so we baptized them on Saturday. It was a nice hot day about 100 degrees, and we did the baptism at the group leaders pool here. Presidente Reber was also in attendance as he had arrived just a little before the baptism, it was very spiritual, Fabiola is on the left of the photo and is 18, and Aline is on the right of the photo she is the one carrying the baby, yes its her baby, we see alot of very, very young moms here in brazil, but she said she wanted to change her life and start over again with a clean slate. The baptism was very spiritual and the pool water was super nice, good thing president was there because i didn't want to get out of the pool after the baptisms cause it was so refreshing, the water  went up almost  to my nametag, but didn't get it wet so it was pretty deep. The baptism went great and I'm glad that the Lord allowed everything to go well I look forward to swimming after the mission, I decided that I really like boating and wakeboarding and wakesurfing and stuff like that, I really miss those things, the things that I most miss besides my family and friends, are snowboarding, going trail riding on the dirtbike, fishing, and driving. But hey, I can talk about stuff at home because 2 months is all I have left, and then my expiration date will be up. And then whether I want it or not, I will be sucked back up to the united states, from one day to the next, and then I think that I will enter into shock or something, I'm always talking to Kaiden and Robby and Jetson and they were asking how I'm going to cope with life at home, I just said I don't know and that I think I will probably just die, I hope not though, all I know is that it will be weird. Anyway 2 months is still along time and there is still much to do as I have said 100 times. So president got to be here on Saturday, and he watched the baptism, then he had several interviews with some members here so that they could receive the Priesthood, so we guided him around to the houses of the men who were to be interviewed, and then that night he invited us and some families to go to a pizzaria and eat dinner that night, so we ate pizza that night, it was good and there was a ton of people at this pizzaria cause its the most popular one here in alta floresta, its expensive though, like 20 bucks a pizza and he bought like ten haha, we still have some leftover pizza in the fridge back at the house. Sunday was also really neat, in the morning it started raining a bunch and I kinda got ticked because i knew that people would use it as an excuse to not to go to church, but we were blessed and somehow people went to church we had 6 investigators there, We had the daughters of that family that we have been working with alot, they went the parents didn't go because they had an emergency and had to go to their parents house which was in another city 150 miles away, we also had two more investigators that we taught for the first time on Saturday night before we ate pizza, there names are carol, and Natasha, in the lesson Carol starting cry after the first vision, she felt the spirit very strongly, she said she loved church and that she wanted to go next week as well, the only problem is that this week is general conference and so we wont be having church here and there really isn't any place to go to watch conference except using the Internet which is very unreliable. So we will see what happens, we are really wanting to go to Sinop and watch conference, but we forgot to ask president about it so we will see if we can go and watch it, I really hope we can cause I do not want to miss the last general conference of the mission. So I was saddened to here about the accident of Coy, I remember him from when I was younger going to church in Bridgeland, he had just gotten back from his mission recently, he had the nickname of Dietz and that's how most people knew him, that saddened me alot hearing his passing. I'm sure he will go right back to work as a missionary teaching the many people awaiting in spirit prison. There was 46 people at church on Sunday which is the best I have seen so far, that's far better than the original 4 people that it started with back in febuary, we will continue working with these people and these families because we want them all to be baptized and I know that they are people who were prepared by the Lord before coming to this earth to help be the pioneers here in Alta Floresta. So that's about it i don't have much more to say, thank you for your prayers and continue praying for us as always, I am always praying for you back at home and i am always concerned with how you all are. so here are some pictures of the baptism and our "baptismal font" also here is a picture of a sweet car that we found and were cruising around in, don't tell president Reber though haha. anyway thats it, I love you all and wish you all a wonderful week, take good care and know that I love this wonderful Gospel and I love my Savior            Jesus Christ. A big hug for everyone!
-Elder Kennington

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week #92 Alta Floresta

Olá everyone, wow this week sure went by quick for me, it was a good week we did alot of stuff and I really enjoyed it. As usual its been hot, but this week was a little bit cooler, just a little bit but it made a difference. So last p-day we decided to go fishing at a nearby pond, full of little fishies, and big ones too. But every time we threw our line out the little fishies would go crazy and eat the bait off the hook before the big fish would even take a look at it, so we fished we took some pictures, made some memories, and caught nothing, it was relaxing though I guess, there was some snakes in the water and a couple of small alligators as well, we stayed far away though. So this the assistants came to Alta Floresta to do a division, on Wednesday. I did a division with Elder V Alves who got to Alta Floresta when I did, he has about 4 months on the mission and is by far the youngest missionary in the house, we went to their area which was super far away and we made a bunch of contacts, knocked a bunch of doors met some alright people, sweated in the sun, and ate some subway at the end. Thursday, I went with Elder J Batista who is one of the assistants of the north. We didn't have much time to work, because we had to get back to the house before 6 because at 7 we had to catch our bus to go to the city of Sinop, which is about 6 hours from Alta Floresta, there we would have our zone meeting, so we went and contacted a reference and taught some cool people, we made some contacts with some okay people, I guess, I liked the way he made contacts we would clap our hand and the people would come out and he would say hey remember us? and the people would be like uuuuh I think so, even though really we had never seen before, then we would make the contact, I like trying different techniques of making contacts and I like learning from other and seeing the way the make contacts and teach, that's why I like divisions because there is always something new to be learned. The ride to Sinop was fine I guess, we left at 7 and got there a little after 1 in the morning, we went to the Elders house and passed out on the mattresses they left out for us. The next day the  meeting wasn't until after lunch so we went and visited some members that Elder Moraes had known, he had already served in Sinop, so he knew most of the members there, we ate breakfast at a members house and stayed and talked for a while, then we ate lunch at another members house, then we went to the meeting it was good, and President and Sister Reber showed up too, so they watched it with us. After we went to mark our bus pass, we were supposed to leave at midnight, but the bus was full I guess so we had to mark for 3 in the morning, I slept pretty good actually on the way back and we got to Alta Floresta a little bit after 9 in the morning. We went home took a bath and then went to lunch, we have a really neat family that we are working with, like I said, its a family of 5 and they are elects, they still haven't been able to go to church, because they already had planned other thing,s but they say that this Sunday they will be there, last night we had a great family home evening there, it was very spiritual and the mom got especially emotional, we want to baptize them this transfer still, the only problem is we are still not sure if they are legally married, we think they are, but we have yet to confirm if they are or not, this would be the only problem I think, they are Marcelo and Aparecida who are the parents, and 3 daughters, Bruna, Steffanie, and Eduarda. Pray for them, Alta Floresta is in great need of families to help the church here. Thanks so much for your prayers and please continue praying for us here. Yesterday at church it was better there was 36 people at church, we had one of our investigators there again that we have been working with I think I mentioned her last week, her name is Fabiola, shes the sister of a recent convert, I cant remember if she has 17 or 18 years but she is a very smart lady and we plan on baptizing her this Saturday, so pray for her.  Here in Alta Floresta we are blessed to have a pool at the group leaders home so that's where they have been doing baptisms here, its quite convenient because if they didn't have the pool we would have to try and to baptisms in one of the nasty alligator infested ponds here, so the Lord has definitely blessed us here. I was talking to the elders in Sorriso and they said the young man named Miqueas that I baptized their is still active and going to church,  He was baptized last July I think and I was happy to here that he is still going and is active. So this week president and his wife will be coming here to ALta Floresta, I know they will be doing interviews for the priesthood and also with the missionaries, it will be good having them here I always enjoy their visits and being with them, I have been able to get to know them well and look forward to have a lifetime friendship with them, I'm glad that they live in Utah as well so I will be able to visit them more often. Well I sure enjoyed your emails and pictures I'm glad that mom made it to Logan with Aunt Aleisa, it looks like they had a nice time that's strange that she said Logan is changing alot I really like that city alot, me, kaiden, Jetson, and Robby are planning on attending college there, in next year in august, I look forward to college and its weird knowing that it really is coming up soon, the mission hasn't slowed down at all, but I'm am trying not to think about home and just stay focused, so far I have been doing well and haven't been trunky or anything. Anyways know how much I love you all and know how much I love this great work. I love the Gospel so much and am grateful to be a member of the Lord´s true and living church. So I wish you all a great week I hope that it will go fine and that you will all be blessed.
-Elder Kennington

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week #91 Alta Floresta

Hey everyone, its good to know that its starting to cool down a bit back at home, cause its soooooooooooo hot here. I think I spent way too much time in the south of the mission cause its way hotter here in the north. The sun is so hot here, currently its 99 degrees and its not even noon yet, the hottest part of the day is usually from about 1 to 3 in the afternoon, we have been sweating like crazy here and its pretty humid as well. But I just have to get used to it again, I'm happy though and its been an interesting week I guess. Last p-day I left at 8 that night so we had the chance to go to the center and do some last minute shopping and sight seeing, we went with a good member friend named Morgana, she got her mission call this week but I think she plans on opening it today. I got all suitcases taken care and we went to one more families house before we went to the bus station, we were talking there for a bit and I commented and thanked the sister for all the dinners she made for us and I told here how her macarrão, which is like a homemade Brazilian hamburger helper was some of the best I had eaten on the mission, then she said you know what I'm going to make some for you right now, so she made us a last supper super quick, which was like 20 minutes because in thirty minutes we were getting picked up to go to the bus station, she made it and it was delicious and we took pictures and then she gave me and Elder Fuentes presents because we were both going home, she gave us both super nice hammocks, because its a super popular thing in brazil alot of houses have hammocks, they got me a nice green one, which was exactly what I wanted. Man that really bummed me out leaving Bandeirantes, I really loved the area and the members there, I think if I could have chosen, that's where I would have finished my mission, but The Lord has other plans and now I'm here way way way up in the north. I traveled just under 900 miles to get here from Campo Grande. That's even more than going from Roosevelt to the California coast. Flip it took forever, it was interesting being in Cuiabá again, I forgot how ugly of a city it is, I love Cuiabá to death but man,  what an ugly city haha, campo Grande is much cleaner and greener and more organized, everybody says that the north and the south are two completely different missions as far as looks, and I can testify that that is true haha. So,  I left Monday night at 8 and got to Cuiabá at 8:10 in the morning, and sadly  the next bus that I was supposed to get left at 8, so we arrived ten minutes late, and so I had to reschedule my bus to alta floresta for noon, so I waited in Cuiabá another 4 hours and then got on the bus, I eventually arrived in Alta Floresta at 3 in the morning, where i was received by my new companion Elder Moraes and the other companionship here as well Elder Andrade and Elder V Alves. I'm the only American in the house this transfer, so it will be good to keep up on the Portuguese. Its weird knowing that this is where I will finish my mission, or as in missionary terms we say this is where I will die.  Our house is an old house, probably built in the seventies, its made of wood, and is super hot inside during the day, but its a good house and is very large there is plenty of room and there is a huge front yard. The house reminds me alot of grandma and grandpa kenningtons house back in the day, I think its mostly the smell that reminds me of their house. I leave the fan blowing full blast the entire night, some nights it cools down a bit but most nights its just hot hot hot, I usually wake up sweating, its been a fun week though, there are few members here there's only about 30 active or so, and maybe 40 members all together, the city is a nice city it reminds me a ton of my first area here which was Cáceres, its about the same size and has many things that remind me of that cáceres. So its been about 6 months since there has been missionaries here, but still nobody knows who we are, people always stare at us as we pass by, I'm not sure why but people think we are pilots, that's the most common, the second most common is bank representatives. Its cool though we almost don't have to make contacts because people just make contacts with us. We live on the same road as the group leader, he owns a huge farm here and is loaded with moneys, him and his wife both served missions and then moved here years ago, their sons were baptized just a few months ago, the oldest is 18 and the youngest is 15. We met some really neat people this week, we taught a special family Saturday night, that had  alot of really good questions, they said that already had something to do this Sunday but they want to visit church, I really wanted to find families because that's what the group needs here is families, we have an investigator named Fabiola thats 18, I think, she went to church yesterday so we are going to try and mark her date for here in 2 Sundays. Church here is held in the auditorium of a school here, its strange because we are only doing sacrament meeting here, from 9 until 10:15 in the morning, there was only 24 people at church yesterday, so hopefully we can see that increase. I gave a talk on the importance of having challenges and difficulties in life, it was supposed to only be about 10 or 15 minutes but the other elder who also gave a talk went for only 7 minutes, I was the last speaker so I had to try and stretch my talk out otherwise we were going to end super early it was good though and ended up being 20 minutes, and church ended right on time.  the area is divided here we have the area of the center, the others have an area super far away from the center but there is alot of good people in their area, our area also has great people in it. There are quite a few little stores here I always like the city center feel and it also reminds me of Ponta Porã, because my area was also the center there. Also lunches here are the exact same every week, tuesday its in the group leaders house Wednesday its in a recent converts house, Thursday its in a members house who moved recently from Cuiabá, I actually had eaten lunch at her house several times when I was in Industriário, she was a member there and now she is here and I'm eating lunch at her house again, Friday we don't have lunch so we have to eat at home, Saturday its in a family of recent converts home, and Sunday NO lunch!  woohoo, haha but luckily we are alotted more moneys here, we get 215 reais instead of the normal 170 in the mission. Things are alot more expensive here, food that cost 2 reais in the south is 4.50  here, things are more expensive. I'm about 7 hours from my old area of Sorriso here but here it looks quite a bit different, we are surrounded by a jungle here, there are tons and tons of macaws here, its will be a good place to take pictures, its been just laughs here with Elder Moraes, we go way back it feels like and we have alot of great memories together. Pray for us to be able to find those who are ready to accept and to follow here, we have an important work to do here and we need all the help we can get. pray for us, and for all the members here. We will be traveling again this week to go to our zone meeting and it sounds like the assistants will be spending 3 days here this week as well. That will be interesting, I guess. Well I love you guys all and hope you have a great week. And I will fill you guys in well next week this this weeks happenings.
-Elder Kennington

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week #90 Being Transferred

Week # 90 Noventa freaking semanas. FIRST OF ALL HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MOM AND AND AND GRANDMA AND GRANDPA KENNINGTON! That's such I nice thing knowing that my family is a happy family and are still marries after so many years, one day I will be married too here in ten years or so haha, but really congrats and I hope it is a wonderful day for all of you. Today officially started my second to last transfer.  12 weeks left. Well surprises with transfers, I´m getting transferred! Again!   I'm going up North, way way up North, the last city in our mission North. I'm going to a city called Alta Floresta. Which is only about 24 hours on a bus worth of travel. So Alta Floresta is a group. It was opened this year, and it seems to be growing. I'll be about the ninth missionary to work there, it sounds like nobody knows or has heard of the church there so it will be a totally different style of working there. But the craziest part is that I am going to be with Elder Moraes!!! I don't know if you guys remember him, but hes probably the Elder that I have most gotten to know on the mission, just cause I have lived in with him in two areas, he was almost always in the same zone as me as well, and now we are going to be companions! It will be another co senior companionship, this is his last transfer so I will be his last companion, so he only has 6 more weeks than me on the mission. Its going to be a crazy transfer, but I'm super excited. Elder Moraes is from Curitiba, he is a tall elder and is in several of my pictures that I have sent in the past. This week I was contemplating my life and my area and I decided that I really didn't want to leave Bandeirantes, I like it to much here, the members, the area, the missionaries, everything. The only reason I'm not too sad about leaving is because I know that I will be going to a neat area and I will be with one of my favorite missionaries. We worked so much this week and found a ton of elect people, and some not so elect people, but I was really looking forward to be here more; to be able to work more with these people, but I guess that wont be happening, one thing is 99% sure though, and that is that I will be going to my last area. My companion keeps good at keeping up on how  many days we have left and we have officially 83 days left until we get on our plane back home. Its still so much time though. Anyway, I don't have a whole lot of time to write cause we are wanting to run to the center again today to do some last minute stuff, but this week I bought some shoes, I got them on sale for 50 reais, so it was probably like 20 something dollars, they are good shoes that should last me another 3 months, I plan on just throwing them out at then end and just coming home with my beat up shoes. I will be getting on the bus at 8 tonight and will get to Cuiabá at about 8 in the morning and will leave there and get to Alta Floresta at about midnight, so I will leave tonight and get in my area probably the end of Wednesday or the start of Thursday. I have a long long ride ahead of me! This week like I said was good, we taught alot of people and we did a service project throwing down sod, we did it at a members that are super sweet, I will miss them. It wasn't so hot this week which was a great blessing, so this week we had our mission tour, it was really great, we had Elder and Sister Campos come, it was cool we had some good trainings with them, they talked about the importance of having the spirit when we teach, he told us that if we teach without the spirit we are pretty much killing our investigators, that was a comment that I think made alot of missionaries think, he had us practice teaching the first vision with the other missionaries, he walked around, and listened to everyone teach I noticed that as I recited the first vision he stopped and listened to us, then afterwards he had me go up to the pulpit and he put on a video of the first vision with some music and had me recite the first vision in front of everyone, that was kind of nerve racking. After he told everybody that is the kind of spirit that should be bring every time we teach the restoration. he then congratulated me and shook my hand and told me I could sit down. That was a neat experience I guess, kind of random and one that I was not at all expecting, but nevertheless it was a good experience. Its just proof that I am the most spiritual missionary in the mission, haha jk thats retarded, anyway it was a great conference and at the end I bore my final testimony, it was good and I almost got a little emotional but I kept things under control pretty well. So yeah I got everything packed up tonight, it was a pain cause i hate packing suitcases but next time I do it will be my last and I plan on throwing away a bunch of stuff. Ill sure miss this area though, it was great with Elder Heidt here, We are super similar in personality, he reminds me of myself I will miss being his companion, at least he is from Idaho so I will be able to see him after the mission without problems. I would really like to have finished my mission in this area though, but I´ll go where the Lord wants me to go and I will do what He wants me to do, this really is His mission and not mine. I just hope I can give all that I have to him these last two transfers. I hope that these can be that best transfers of my mission, it will surely be memorable, anyway I will talk to you more next week we are getting ready to leave here, but I love you guys I am always praying for you all, and also tell Jordan I'm ticked cause I really wanted to drive his mustang when I got back, now he has shattered my dreams haha. Well I love you all and wish you all a wonderful week.
Elder Kennington

Cuiaba Brazil Week #89

Good Gracious its so hot, I've been slathering on the sun block this week, and even still I have been keeping a constant red tone. Its been a good week though, we worked alot sweat alot and were blessed to sleep like logs at night. But for reals, it was a cool week. Last p-day was neat we had our 2-zone bbq at a members ranch area, we had a good time it was cool getting to see old friends and making new ones, there was lots of people that I still had never met so it was cool getting to know alot of missionaries better, they are all so new and young though, I have triple the time than most of them. We played games and soccer and we had a water balloon fight and stuff, it was a good time. I included some pictures of the activity and also of how red I have been the last month. one of the highlights this week is I was able to go on a division with Elder Alves who is a missionary in my old area of Marechal Deadoro, it was neat being able to work in one of my old areas and it brought back alot of great memories, we visited some old investigators and less actives that i had visited before. They will be some new people that they can start visiting. The best part though was we got to visit my baptism max, he is doing great, and has a strong testimony still unfortunately though, every Saturday and Sunday he has to go to his aunts house on the other side of the city where he tutors his cousin with college stuff so, unfortunately he doesn't go to church very often, but we left him with a goal to read the Book of Mormon everyday, one of the things that I like about Max is that he always kept his commitments so when he says he will do something I know that he will do it, I hope that reading the Book of Mormon will keep him motivated and help him to prioritize the Gospel in his life. It was just like old times though being at his his house teaching him the discussions, it made me sad knowing that it might be the last time I would ever see him in this life, depending on whether or not I am transferred or not next week, That's right next week is transfers already, it sure has snuck up on me, like every transfer this one has passed by faster than the others. So it is super probable that one of us will be transferred, who will it be? that's a very good question. If I had to guess I think its more likely that I stay and that Elder Heidt will be transferred, Either way though somebody will probably be training, I asked President if I could train last transfer and he said that's what he was planning on having me do, but I know that elder Heidt also wants to train and had asked president in his letters to train. So i think that both of us will train though before the end of the mission. I am content with whatever happens though, if I stay i will be very happy because this is a great area that has great members, but if I leave I wouldn't have any problems at all, well depending on where i go I'm not too fond of the idea of going back up to Cuiabá, because its hot here in Campo Grande which means up in Cuiaba its probably a good 10 degrees hotter. Its so hot there, just pray for President to know what to do with transfers and pray for his inspiration. We went with some members and did some visits this week which was cool as well, we went to Josés house several times but he was never there his house it was all locked up, then we went back last night and there was somebody there and I could see them through the window but it wasn't José it was some guy that was in his twenties so hopefully he didn't move, we still have his number though we still don't have a cell phone, I think I commented before that one of the other missionaries lost there phone and so we lent ours to them and its been like that the last almost 3 weeks. So yeah we have been teaching quite a few new people but they are all just so soft and wont commit to anything. This transfer we have made about 100 new investigators most of which we cut after the first visit. We are hanging in though and are having success cleaning up our member list here the bishop was happy with our progress on updating the list. So as I commented last week we had our stake conference this week, it was 2 days of conference we had it Saturday and Sunday, Saturday evening we went to the meeting it was exclusively about missionary work, all the talks had to do about missionary work. It was really good and got me pumped up it made me want to leave and go know every door in campo grande, it was more for the members though and was focused on how its the members job to find people to baptize and its the missionaries job to teach them. President Costa even called President Reber and our stake president and had them go and knock doors, then he called the missionaries from the ward that we were at and they went with the bishop and went and knocked doors as well. It was just to show that members and missionaries can work together without problems and that its easy to do. It was cool listening to President Costa he is definatly a giant of a man spritually speaking, he speaks with authority and speaks well, he know how to give talks. He said how next conference he will be the oldest 70 in the church, missionaries like to poke fun at people that are what we call G.H, Gloria dos Homens, Glory of men. So whenever people talk about their accomplishments as missionaries or callings or pretty much anything we say that they are G.H, and I had always heard that President Costa was really G.H, but I guess he has a right to talk be cause he is a general authority and has done much good in the world and especially in Brasil. He talked about how he had a perfect knowledge we that the 1st vision happened and how he knows the light of God and stuff. We could say that it was G.H but it is true he probably does have a perfect knowledge of many things. Other missionaries that had seen him speak before said he is very different speaking to members than to missionaries, which makes sense he jokes alot more and is alot lighter with members, but I guess he is very stiff and demanding with the missionaries and usually burns missionaries, but that's how it has to be, they need to be tough with the missionaries. It was a pleasure though hearing him speak though. We got a reference yesterday of a lady that some members had brought to Stake Conference yesterday so this week we will teach here, her name is Ede, she said she really liked the conference. Also I told my zone leader elder fuentes that I was going to write home and tell my family about how we almost had to rededicate our house, yesterday we got back from lunch and I said I'm going to the bathroom and he was like noooooo! and then he ran to the bathroom and was in their for about half an hour, then he opened the door after he was done and completely filled our house with the most dank foul smell that I have ever smelled on the mission we were all gagging and on the Verge of throwing up, he is a chilean so I can give him a hard time, he said ohhh I think I am sick, we told him that he was full of demons and after wrecking the bathroom we would have to rededicate our house, but the smell lingered the rest of the day we left and came back at night and our house still wreaked, we were walking around the house with our towels tied around our faces. I didn't need to include that but i told Elder Fuentes that I would tell my family about how he almost killed us, in the picture of the activity Elder Fuentes is the one with his arm around me. Anyway so today is September finally, and also its the first which means I have exactly 3 months left on the mission!  that's right three months from today I will be on an airplane home. But I'm not trunky at all though, for now at least I've been to busy to be trunky. But anyways that's about it for this week, Sound cool the stuff that's been going on at home, this week we will have mission tour and another 70 will be coming to the mission, they were ex presidents of a mission here in Brasil. It will be cool and it will finally be my turn to give my final testimony, always in the conferences the missionaries that will be going home share their  "last testimony" and this will be my last mission conference/mission tour so it will be my turn finally, so yeah thanks for your emails I love you guys and I will try and by some shoes today, we will be going to the center to buy souvenirs so don't be surprised when you see charges on my card. I love you all hand wish you all a great week!
-Elder Kennington

Monday, August 25, 2014

Campo Grande Week #88

Its always hard to start my letters because I gets kind of boring just saying hey everybody or good morning or bom dia, so Ill start like this I guess.  Anyways its been another quick week, I don't have much time to write today cause I have to leave here because today we are going to have a dual zone activity here in Campo Grande, we are going to go to a members  "farm"  its a little place that's good for making barbecue and playing games guess, we are expecting 33 missionaries so we will be meeting them in one of the bus terminals here and then going to the mini farm, it is located at the end of our area and is about 40 minutes from our house, it should be a good time and I look forward to it. Last p-day we went to the center and bought some stuff we were with the zone leaders and they got permission to go to the campo grande shopping center to buy white shirts so we went there, it was super americany and it reminded me alot of the gateway and the mall in Provo. It was nice but things were super expensive there and it was just all rich people that go there anyway, while we were there i ate some subway and then after we went to one of the chapels in the center where there was lot f missionaries playing soccer and hanging out, I got to see alot  of good friends that i hadn't seen in many many months and also meet alot of new missionaries, everyone is so young now on the mission, they all had these astonished looks on their faces when they asked how much time we had on the mission. I still feel young though, I aint no old missionary! anyway we took a picture there which I will upload right now. So also to of my old companions will be getting on the plane back home today, Elder Geisler and Elder Piñon finshed up their missions today, they are in a group that is going home 2 weeks before the transfer because of school or something. That means that there are only 6 missionaries in the mission older than my group. That's so weird, but 3 months is still so much time and there is still so much to do. Well this week was pretty good I guess we walked alot in the blazing sun and I got pretty red. We marked a date with that guy José, but I think he was traveling or something the end of the week cause we went by his house like 3 times but his house was locked up, we even went by Sunday morning but it was still locked up. We did take a les active member to church that hadn't been in years, she is wheel chair ridden and has never been able to walk. Luckily though she lives super close to the church so we just went there in the morning and pushed her to church, she had a great reception at church because there were lots of members that remembered her I know she really enjoyed going back. I did get a little irked with one brother there who has a reputation of being a little "louco" we pushed her in and he looked at her and yelled "Sumida" which means pretty much disappeared then he yelled "fugida" which means like ran off, it doesn't really make much sense in English. But pretty much he meant to say  well look who ran of and disappeared and came back!  But the way he said it was not at all pleasing and its the last thing  people want to hear when returning to church. That grinded my gears pretty good, and I told him after that that's not the kind of reception people deserve when returning to church, i just hope it doesn't happen again. We ate alot of food this week and we had one day where we didn't have lunch and so a sister from the ward Marechal Deadoro where I had served before invited us to eat with them. It was nice being in my old area again and being able to enjoy the company of old friends. My shoes are officially hole ridden and everyday I get back home with my socks full of dirt and dust. It is what it is though, anyway so we are going to have to leave here now but next I will give a better account of whats going on. O also this week the president of the area of Brasil President Claudio M. Costa will be here in our mission on Saturday and Sunday, he will be presiding our stake conference that will be cool but I heard that he can be pretty rough on he missionaries at times, but I guess that's a good thing, I tell you about it next week.I love you all and hope you all have a great week, I hope school goes great for the brothers and I was thrilled to see that everything went great at grandma and grandpas anniversary party, which I had been there but thanks mom for the pictures. Well take care and have a great week!

 -Elder Kennington

Campo Grande Week #87

Bom dia  meus queridos, so its been another quick week, I'm glad that it went by quick and didn't drag on. We worked alot we had really high numbers this week, and we were blessed to have an investigator at church yesterday. We met alot of new people this week which was cool. we went after all the members in the neighborhood of the church. There was alot of members there, alot of them had moved though, some of the people that had moved in were open but there were alot of kinda closed off people so we didn't even offer to come back, everyone was polite though some people are dingbats with the missionaries but this week was good, we taught alot of new people alot of people that we call mole, which means soft. Just alot of soft people that didn't really want to agree or make any commitments, so we cut alot of them in the first lesson. Our investigator that went to church is called José, he had recently moved into a little house where a member had formerly lived, he was open and let us right in he lives close to the church and so it was easy to walk he actually got lost cause Sunday morning we stopped by an investigators house that wanted us to stop by and walk with him to church, on the way there we passed José on his way to church, I told him there would be other missionaries there and that we would be about ten minutes behind him, he got to church but there was nobody he knew and the chapel is super big and he didn't know what to do so he got cold feet and walked back home, the investigator that we went to walk with wasn't at home,( he was probably off at some bar drunk as a skunk) so we walked back to church but José wasn't there so we called him and he said that he went back home but that he was leaving again and would meet us half way so we met with him and he went to church, he said he enjoyed it and there were alot of people who talked to him and got to know him. José is probably about 50, he drinks and smokes quite a bit but he said he was looking for a church that could help him stop with his addictions, we will work with him he lives by himself and cant read very well but who knows lets see where it goes. That investigator was some guy that stopped us in front of his house and was like hey you guys need to help me stop drinking, but is sounded more like ei sedpwesdiasdfiasodmkdfsnsduiabsdjkfgsd. It was so hard to understand him haha, he was super drunk, his name is antonio and he's like 60, and that is his life is just drinking, he said that he wanted to go to church we didn't even invite him and he already wanted to go, we stopped by his house again later in the week and his mom was there, we talked to her and shes like you need to help my son stop drinking, we were like alright by he will definitely have to put in his fare share of effort, I said a prayer there and I had a hard time not laughing cause his mom is one of those old ladies that we call Crentes, which means like Believer, but they are old and annoying and are usually that ones that have all the crazy ideas about mormons and missionaries and that think that we are all the devil and are going to hell, but she was actually pretty cool, still really weird but better then most, so alot of time when we pray these "Crentes" have the habit of praying at the same time or at least saying "words of praise during the prayers"  It happens alot on the mission but she was defiantly one of the most distracting during the prayer. everytime I said something in the prayer she would yell hallelujiah! or amen brother! or glory to Jesus! and a bunch of other stuff, it was anooying and hard to concentrate but mostly I just wanted to laugh. I want to visit these churches because they do the craziest stuff sometimes, its ridiculous to us but I guess to alot of these people its just normal. anyway anotonio wasn't at home sunday morning for whatever reason his mom said he left the night before and hasn't come back yet. Sad how alcohol controls the lives of so many people I have seen so many times on the mission the destruction of alcohol and drugs on families, inside and outside of the church. Satan really does play dirty and has no mercy. No wonder the Lord has counseled us and blessed us with the word of wisdom. Funny how every little thing in the church even the smallest commandments can have huge effects in our lives and are there to bless and benefit us. Last week we went to walmart again cause elder Heidt and never been to a walmart in brasil, it ended up making us kinda trunky because there are alot of things that are exactly like the walmarts in the states. I bought some peanut butter as well that I found at a store, it was 20 reais so it was probably like 8 bucks or so, it was that peter pan brand, I think its about twice the price here than in the states, I have been eating alot of pb&j sandwiches this week, I had forgotten how much I loved eating peanut butter and jelly. yesterday we went on splits with some brothers and we went to visit alot of less actives, we got ten lessons with members between the two of us, I went with Irmão Marcos who is the man, we walked a ton, we are trying to update the ward member list, we went to a house that had a family that had been baptized about 30 years ago and had been moved our for years and years and no one had updated the list even the the new owners said the missionaries had already past by many many times. it was a good week though we walked alot and my left shoe has a whole in it, but i will try and go another 3 months with the same pare of shoes, I gave my other shoes away o I only have these ones, but if worse comes to worse I will just by some new ones but i will try and make it by with these shoes. I remember on Friday that It was august 15, 2 years from the day that I had received my mission call, it seems like yesterday that I got it. My how the time flies. Sounds like everyone is having a hard time in the mission, the zone here hasn't baptized yet but hopefully things will get better, its usually pretty slow the first few weeks of the transfer. But yeah so that's about it for this week, we had a cool family home evening at a less actives home that we found, they said it had been about two years that that the missionaries hadn't gone there, they said they want us to eat dinner there every week. But yeah life is good there is still plenty  of work to do in the Lords vineyard.  i love you all and thanks for your emails and for letting me know how you all are I hope the brothers are having fun and grandma and grandpas and hope all will go well for grandma and grandpas anniversiary, I will pray for you all. 
-Elder Kennington

Monday, August 11, 2014

Campo Grande Week #86

Hello again everybody, another Monday haha this week has gone by super quick for me, We worked like crazy, but sadly Sunday arrived and we didn't see any fruits, it is what it is though not much we can do about it, we did our weekly planning this yesterday and we got an updated list of our ward and so this week we are going to work in a different neighborhood that's closest to the church house, I feel that we will find success there, pray for us to be able to find these people who are waiting for us. This week I was able to understand how immense our area actually is, we walked so much just to get to lunch, then we usually just stayed in the area where lunch was, everyday at the end of the day I remember walking back up the stairs to our apartment and my feet and legs just felt like jelly. We have been going after our list of members that we have, its organized by neighborhood so its easy to concentrate on just one neighborhood at a time. We have been using a list that's about 4 years old though so it was missing alot of new members and the addresses weren't all up to date. We went to alot of houses where the house had been demolished or didn't exist, its really frustrating walking for nothing, we made alot of contacts and talked to alot of people, we taught alot of lessons as well. But out of all these people that we taught none went to church and none are really elects. They are great people but I know that The Lord has others that he is preparing for us. The hard part is just finding them now. Its sure hot here though and it has made me miss Ponta alot but still Im am very happy to be here, this entire week though I have been having dreams about being at home or going home, I hate trunky dreams, me and Elder Heidt have been keeping focused though and we are working hard. Just kind of a dull week though, it went by quick but there's not much to comment on, last Monday we went to the city center, and I bought several souvenirs to take home, I have been keeping my eyes open lately for neat stuff to take home to be able to always remember the mission. If I had to guess I would say that this will be my last area and that I will finish my mission here, I guess we´ll see though, I would like that very much, this week we got a call from the executive Secretary in the mission and he asked what was the closest international airport to my house, that means that before long I will be receiving my itinerary in the email and I will know when exactly i will leave and get back home. That was an exciting moment. Also I got another postcard from Grandma Dale at the beginning of the transfer, it was a picture of Old faithful I remember well the time they took us there several years ago, I think I was 15 or 16 I'm not quite sure. That sounds fun that JOrdan and Kaden will be going and spending some time in Logan an then at Grandma and Grandpa Kenningtons, that will be fun for them, I guess summer break is almost over already, that seemed to go by pretty quickly. Just tell them to be safe and to not do anything dumb. Wish I could be with them though. I'm hearing about alot of good friends that are finishing up their missions, I'm still not sure how I feel about finishing my mission, it seems like all of the sudden it was like bam! You and have 4 months left! Tomorrow I will have 1 year and 8 months, that is what we call an old missionary. There are three missionaries from my group here in our zone, me my companion and Elder Duncan who is in another ward, and what do you know we are the oldest missionaries in our zone, we had our zone meeting this week and me and my companion were the last ones to introduce ourselves in front of the zone, its funny cause everyone was like HI I'm elder or sister so and so I I have 5 months on the mission,  and then its like Hi I'm Elder Kennington and I have a year and 8 months on the mission, and everyones like oooooooh  their so old, haha it was really funny the reaction we have a really young zone. I will send a picture of our zone meeting, me and the other two from my group were flashing a 4  for four months haha.  Also I included a picture of our room, of course my bed is the green one if are there are any doubts.  So yeah The days and weeks are going by quickly, next week when I email you guys again the transfer will already be half over. I really appreciated your emails this week thanks for always taking the time to write me, thanks for you thoughts and prayers as well. So this email is really short hopefully next week there are some better stories and more stuff to share with you guys. But know how much I love you all and I know that I love this great Gospel and church, I love being a missionary and know that these really have been and are being the best two years so far in my life.  It truly makes me happy being a missionary and I hope to be able to have many missionary moments through out my life. I love you all and wish you all a wonderful week!
-Elder Kennington

Campo Grande Zone and all the missionaries that have 4 months left.