Cuiaba Brazil Weather

Monday, January 27, 2014

Brazil Week #58 Good Week in Campo Grande

Good morning dearest family, This has been one of the fastest weeks I have had so far on the mission, last week was one of the slowest I have had on the mission. That was  hard week for me, for me it was one of those refining fires, and I am very happy and grateful to Heavenly Father that he gave me a tough week like that one. Satan worked alot on me that week, not with normal temptations, but just with thoughts of self worthlessness and self pity. He knows that it's a weakness of mine, One of my biggest fears is to disappoint someone, and it seemed like that entire week, he only told me that I was a disappointment to everyone. He even got me to believe for  it for a few moments. I am glad to know that I am not a disappointment to any of you or my Heavenly Father. And I am grateful that my Good Father in Heaven brought me low so that he could take me higher. Its kinda funny how Satan makes our problems seem alot bigger and alot more difficult, because now I'm looking back and everything turned out fine. I really was worrying and stressed out for nothing, but I'm glad the The Lord showed me how good I really have it right now. The Lord blessed us abundantly this week, I prayed alot this last week asking what the Lord wanted me to do different or what he wanted me to change. And the answer was always the same. Just keep going and moving on and don't look back, have faith and the blessing will come. So this week that's what we did we endured and persevered, we continued  and the Lord blessed us with much success. The week didn't start out too great, Tuesday we just went out looking for a lot of less actives. We didn't have any success though with that and we didn't find anyone at home We ended up just getting burnt in the sun and making various contacts. We had our first activity in the church that night, there was about 25 people that went, the bishop gave a message and then it was the missionaries job to have a little game with everyone there, we played  game called I have never... which is where we start in  circle and everyone has ten tokens which we used little macaroni's and then every person has to say something they have never done, for example I have never ridden an airplane. And then everyone that has already ridden an airplane has to give up a token, and the last four people that still had tokens at the end won and got a prize, (oreos) yes I found oreos finally here in Brazil which made me really happy. So that was fun and went well. Wednesday was a special day, it started off bad as well we went and finally got a hold of a reference that had been taught by the missionaries and was supposed to be an elect, and was going to be baptized, but that was back 6 months ago when they had pulled out the missionaries from our area because of some things with the ward. So  this lady named suzanna hadn't been in contact with the missionaries for 5 or 6 months. But we got there and she was like well my sister is living with me now and shes catholic and so I have started going back to church with her and I think I am going to baptize my kids who are 3 years old and another that is 4 months old. I was thinking the whole time about how messed up it is to baptize perfect children. But we talked for a while and I nicely told her that she will never have full happiness in life if she continues in the catholic church and baptizes her children in that church. I just told her why we are baptized and what is required in a baptism.  So I just kinda let the spirit give her a bit of a burning. So I left there a little bummed out cause we were hoping that she would still be excited about baptism and stuff, but it sounds like she lost most of that desire. I couldn't get a hold of her after that to invite her to church and set up another lesson. After that we were walking and made a contact at the house of  a really fat gay guy that was dying to have us come into his house and have a drink of water or something. I was just like naw we´ll come back another day cause we are busy right now. So we left we were looking for houses and making contacts with lots of people. We met alot of good people as well that I look forward to going back and teaching this week. So I don't know why, but I called  sister in our ward to ask her about a house that she said is for rent, I don't know why I called her honestly, but it was like all of the sudden I was on the phone with her and I mentioned the name of a road called Marinha.  After a second a  guy came up and started talking to my companion but, my companion didn't really know what he was talking about, he was pointing out a road and was saying this is the road marinha, I already knew that, but I felt the strong feeling that The Lord had just delivered one of his special children into our hands, so I knew that I had to make a contact with him and get his information, so I was talking with the sister on the phone and making a contact with the guy at the same time. We talked for a bit his name is Max and attends the Spirit Church, which is a church that believes in reincarnation and stuff like that. He almost made it sound like it would be a bad idea if we went and visited him. But I got his info and then we went about our day. We went back Friday with a member and taught him the first lesson, he understood it well and was very interested in the Book of Mormon. He said that he would go to church on Sunday, because he wanted to see how it was. We went back the next day with another member and taught him again and he said he was dead set on going to church the next day. So I called him Sunday morning and he said that he was already heading to the bus stop to go to church. That made me super happy we got to church and he was already there and had already had  tour with one of the member that showed him the church and introduced him to the members. The Lord was so good to us yesterday, Josíe came to church, but his wife didn't, because she is pregnant and was going through alot of pain. I called him in the morning and said that he would go, we also had  another couple go to church that we had taught during the week that our the daughter and son in law of a family that we helped reactivate here. There names our Junior and Adrielly. Adrielly was really superstitious before she went to church, because all her family had told her that our church is horrible and is of the devil and stuff like that, but they went to church and they payed alot of attention and I think they liked it. Its hard to teach them during the week, but we will teach them again this week, hopefully we can baptize them as well because they re married legally. So after church we taught max again in the church with a member we taught him about baptism and he accepted to be baptized.  We asked him if he would accept our help to be baptized on the 8th of February and he accepted. He said he felt a peace and happiness at church and he felt that he was in the right place. He is 19 years old and is really tall. That made me so happy and I know that the Lord blessed us and it was really a miracle from Him. Please pray for max this week because he will be visiting his mom this week until Friday so I don't want anything to happen that will dissuade him from being baptized. I was so happy that the Lord heard my pleadings and blessed us with investigators to church and a date. It has been a while since we have had such a special investigator. And please pray for our other investigators as well, so they can have the desire to be baptized. Well this week was great and we worked  tons  with members, we had 17 lessons  with members present this week, hopefully we can do the same this week right now. Thanks for your letters and lectures of consolation haha I needed them. Today we are supposedly going hiking on  trail somewhere. Well I love you all and I am grateful for you all and for the many wonderful blessings the Lord gives us. And I am grateful that he humbles us and shows us our weaknesses.  Well this computer has alot of problems with the a button. So mom might have to do some correcting for me. Here is  picture of a nice house for rent that we found. If you look hard you can see the house in the background haha. Love you guys so much! Have a great week!
-Love Elder Kennington

Monday, January 20, 2014

Brazil Campo Grande Week #57

Before his Haircut

After His Haircut. Nice Job.
Hey everyone good morning, I am really grateful to be able to write you guys today. I think I have been taking p-day for granted lately this last while It truly is a blessing to be able to read your emails and write to you every week. This last week has been a tough one for me. My family has occupied my mind and dreams alot. I have been having to bare alot of weight it feels like on my back. With new responsibilities and difficulties that i am facing. I have spent alot of time on my knees pleading for strength and comfort, and indeed I have felt the  presence and help of the Lord, I felt his love and it warmed my heavy heart. Our Bishop here is wanting us to do some activities which I am willing to do no problem but still I felt alot of pressure from him. I have also been really stressed because we have been working so much these last several weeks but we are seeing almost no fruits. Ive never gone so much time without having a single investigator in church, and I feel like the Bishop and members are wondering why there aren't any investigators at church. I'm not sure why we haven't been having any success. We have been praying and fasting and planning and sacrificing so much so that we can help our investigators go to church and have the desire to follow the example of the Savior. I had many moments this week when I felt very alone, almost like I had been forgotten. But I was reminded of how Good our Heavenly Father is to us I know that he loves and cares for us. Last week we went to Walmart on p-day, just me and my companion Elder Bryson Tibbitts. I was a little disappointed because it was about the size of Stewarts or Jubilee But still I bought some stuff. The didn't have any peanut butter which I was really hoping they would have. But today We will be going back to the center with the assistants to go drink a milkshake, that will be nice. It is nice being with the assistants, we are very close friends. This week we visited alot with 3 investigators in particular, Edinaldo, and a couple Josíe and Gabriele. We visited them several times over the week we took members there to visit and meet them. They all had motorcycles already and everything was ready for them to go to church but Sunday morning came, and we called Gabrielle and Josíe and they said the were awake and were getting ready to head to church, but they never came, we called several times but the phone just kept on ringing and the never answered we even tried with a members cell phone. Edinaldos phone was just turned off and went straight to voicemail. But the Lord did bless us and we had a less active young man go to church and he brought his girlfriend who is only 14 years old, the problem is she lives in the other Elders area, so we will see if she wants to be taught at her boyfriends house who lives in our area or at her house which is in the other area. Either way though i was glad that she was at church yesterday. I really hate when we pray and fast and do everything possible to get our investigators to go to church and something happens and they don't go. I prayed so much to Heavenly Father begging him that everything would work out so that our investigators could go to church. But they still didn't go. I'm still not quite sure what The Lord is teaching me or what he wants me to do differently, but  I shed many tears this week in behalf of our difficulties. I am grateful though for the hardships that we have, it makes us stronger and helps us realize how good we have it. We made alot of contacts and contacted references this week but there were just alot of uninterested people, it kinda bummed me out. But on the bright side we visited alot of less actives and almost all of them went to church yesterday, we had 9 less actives in church yesterday. We have been able to help reactivate 2 families in this last month or so. That might not mean anything to other missionaries and we they aren't the same as baptisms, but to me it means alot and I would rather help reactivate a family then baptize someone every once and a while. But I know the Lord is happy and to him, their souls are  valuable and even though it is not his will to allows us to have alot of baptisms he is giving us success with the less actives and I am grateful for that. I sometimes wonder if you guys back at home think to yourselves, geeze Skyler is in Brazil in south America he should be baptizing every week. I sometimes think the same thing, I wonder if you guys are disappointed that I'm not baptizing and sending pictures of a whole lot of baptisms  every week.  I wish we were baptizing more because we are doing all we can to find new people to baptize and finding families and stuff. But I guess the Lord has something else in mind for us at this time. I'm glad that the Lord sent me to a mission where the church still isn't very strong because I will be able to see the things that don't work and be able to help our home wards back at home after the mission. All I know is that the Lord always has a greater plan in mind for us. So this week like I said we walked alot talked to alot of people, taught alot of people, and tried to make our Heavenly Father proud. I hope everyone at home is proud. I was sad to here the Jacob Augustus has to go home to have surgery and stuff, I will be praying for him. We have been focusing alot on planning and being more obedient and teaching with the spirit. I know I have felt a difference in our lessons and I have felt the people who we have met have their hearts touched. I know we are the Lords instruments and I hope I can always people ready and well prepared to help Heavenly Father. This week we had lunch at a rodizzio which was really good they brought us out a ton of meet on a stick and cut the pieces off that we wanted. I enjoyed it very much. We were going to have an exchange with the zone leaders, but Elder Tibbitts foot was hurting really bad that day because he had blisters and they had become infected so we missed a days work cause he couldn't stand to walk on it but we talked to president Reber who is a foot doctor and he gave him some advice and now his foot is alot better, we also had a zone meeting this week which was good. We haven't had any baptisms in our zone yet so I haven't had to interview anyone but this week we will be having a district meeting so I will probably give a training there but the district leader duties aren't too bad so far, I just accompany with everyone at night. I enjoyed the emails from everyone and looks like everyone had a good time at the nitro circus show that must have been great. Also I got mu hair cut this week by Elder Moraes one of the assistants that we are living with, he actually did a great job and was one of the best haircuts I have had in a while, and it was free! Well I need to get going, but I want you to all know how much I love you and am grateful for you all I love you so much and am always praying for you all. Thanks so much for your prayers and can feel the strength of your prayers and without them I don't know what i would do. I hope and pray that everyone will have a great week this week. Love you all so much! Com muito amor
-Elder Kennington

Monday, January 13, 2014

Brazil Week #56 with New Companion Elder Tibbitts from Mesa Arizona

Hey everyone, I hope your all doing well, sounds like it has been a wild week for everyone, I was surprised to hear the dad was sick cause that's pretty rare that that happens. I hope he gets feeling better and I will be praying for him. I want to thank everyone for the emails that they sent me and for the time and care that you all take to write me emails, they are greatly appreciated and I do not take them for granted. Thanks for the pictures that mom sent me and for her letter, she thought she was boring me but I always enjoy reading everything that you guys write me. Thank you and thanks grandma dale as well for her quotes and for her thought that she shared today. This week has been pretty wild and alot of different things happened. I feel very humbled, and I have been reminded of how strong Gods hand is in our lives, and how much we rely on Him. I'm grateful to know that we are never alone. So all of Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday I stayed with the assistants in a trio. It was pretty hectic cause of transfers so we had to go to the bus station to help missionaries that were being transferred, there was alot of problems this transfer alot of people missed their buses so it put alot of stress on the office elders and the assistants. Last Monday my companion left at about 5 cause his bus was leaving at 6.  Tuesday night we had to go to the bus station at about 10 at night to wait for a missionary that has missed his bus and would be arriving at the bus station at about midnight, the only problem was that his next bus wouldn't arrive until almost 6 in the morning. So we had to wait with him the entire night cause they didn't want him staying alone in the bus station for  6 hours. We finally left the bus station at about 6 in the morning to go back to the house. I had slept about 20 minutes in the bus station just cause the seats were so bad there, so  we just ended up  playing a card game called truco for most of the night. We got back to our house at exactly 6:30 the time that we are supposed to wake up, but instead of waking up we went to bed. We didn't have lunch so We slept till about 1 in the afternoon. Then the assistants had to take care of some other things at the lan house so we went to the lan house so they could do their stuff. The mission office called and told me that my companion would arrive at 8 in the morning on Thursday. So we went to the bus station again really early and we had the missions first counselor, President Oliveira, give us a ride back. So, I will tell you all about what I know about my newest companion and son, Elder Tibbitts,  He is from Mesa Arizona. he is 19 and graduated in 2013. He has 3 sisters one of which is serving a mission in Indiana. Elder Tibbitts served in the Georgia Macon mission for 3 months. Right now he has just over 4 months total on his mission. He goes home September or August of 2015. He was trained well in Georgia and we are both learning alot together, we get along great, but its weird speaking alot of English again, but he is learning quick and I am letting him teach and speak alot with members and investigators. I will send you a picture of us. So we lost Tuesday and Wednesday of our days, but we worked our tails off the rest of the days, we made alot of contacts and found alot of new people and taught alot of lessons. In particular we found 2 couples this week that I feel were answers to our prayers and were put into our paths. The first was on Thursday me and Elder Tibbitts first work day together, we were looking for a members house because the next day we would have lunch there, so I wanted to find it ahead of time, so that the day after i wouldn't be lost looking for their house and show up late.
So on the way there we a man crossed the street and was walking parallel with us, so I took advantage of the situation and made a contact with the guy, we started talking and he asked where we were going and I said we are looking for a certain road, and he said oh yeah that's where we I'm going right now, so I just said cool we will just follow you to the road, cause we don't know where it is, so we chatted for a while and we got to his father in laws house, so I took down his address and the address of his father in laws house. Then we planned on going back to teach them on Saturday, so Saturday we were walking to lunch, and we were crossing a street and a guy randomly stopped and took off his helmet and was like hey guys its me Josíe, it was the guy that we talked to on Thursday he said that he had moved the day before and the he was now living in a different house and so he gave us his new address, he said that he would be at his father in laws house after lunch and said we could go and teach him and his wife. So we went their after lunch and taught them. They didn't understand a whole lot of what Elder Tibbitts said but they felt the Spirit. They said they would go to church the next day, so after that we left and we passed by a bus stop that had a couple waiting, it was raining but I stopped and made a contact with them, he said that they weren't attending any churches currently because he didn't like the way the churches have changed and how its all about money and people yelling at church and stuff like that. I told him that our church is very different and that we would stop by to teach them this week. I don't know but with these two couples I have just felt something different and I have felt that it wasn't a coincidence that we had ran into them when we had. So on Sunday I called at about 8:30 to see if the one couple was still going to church, I called and Josìe said that they were heading to the  church already and would get their soon, I told them that church doesn't start until 9:20 but there would be others people already at church. But we got to church and we searched the church cause there was already 2 other wards going on but we couldn't find our investigators, I tried to call them a million times but their phone was all of the sudden turned off. That made me sad I don't know what happened. We will go this week to see why they didn't make it to church. Also right before sacrament meeting a crazy guy entered the church and saw the picture of Christ and started telling everyone we were going to hell because we worshipped images, and then he started handing out papers that had the ten commandments, he was saying terrible things though and told everyone that we were in the church of the devil and that were were all the worst of sinners, we kinda messed with him a little bit and i told him that to be inside of our church you had to be baptized so I told him come on lets get baptized right now the baptismal font is full and ready already, he got the biggest eyes and a scared look on his face and he said no no no I'm already baptized, and then he called me a demon and told me to get my hand off him, we just let him finish giving out his 10 commandment cards and then he finally left. But he kinda scared alot of people so maybe it was good that our investigators weren't there. Who knows? Well yeah so love you guys but we are heading out right now. Thanks for everything and thanks so much for all of your prayers. Love you all and I hope you all have  a great week!  Com Amor.
-Elder Kennington
Elder Kennington & Elder Tibbits

Monday, January 6, 2014

Brazil Week #55

Woohoo p-day again, a new day a new transfer and more news for you all. So We got transfers last night finally after like 10:30 because the assistants were at the church doing the transfer and our lone leaders didn't call us so we didn't find out what would happen till late. So yeah I ill be staying here in my area here in Campo Grande, and Elder Campos will be going to another city here in the south call Maracaju, and I will be training another American again here. An American named Elder Tibbits who is also a visa waiter. Also i was called to be the district leader here, cause the other district leader is going to be a zone leader in another area. So yeah changes again, I kinda was expecting to train again but I wasn't expecting to be called as district leader, I was district leader in the mtc but that doesn't mean anything at all haha. I don't know the I guess it will be cool, Now its my responsibility to call and follow up with the other missionaries and see how their days were and stuff, I will also have to do the baptismal interviews when someone in our district has baptisms, and Ill have to give trainings every week at district meeting. So that will be fun, not really but it will be a good experience to learn and  grow. So yeah It will probably take a while for my new companion to get here, so I will probably be in a trio for a bit or maybe I will stay with one of the zone leaders because one got transferred so we shall see. But as for this week it wasn't too great. I met alot of cool people we taught some new investigators, all of which said they would go to church on Sunday. But no one showed up. But we had several less actives that we had been working with that came to church that made me happy. It rained quite a bit as well this week which kinda screwed up alot of our plans. We have a young man that we have been working with named Jairo, that has already been to church a few times but its being hard to find him at home and plus him mom was telling him that he needs to wait longer to be baptized even though he is already 14 years old, but I have been looking for families to baptize this last while, its been harder than I thought though, some people are kinda jerks to us especially people that are a little better off financially. I'm on the hunt though, I have a goal of visiting every less active member in the ward this transfer and get references and baptize them. It should be good though this transfer and I am excited. Oh we also found out Monday night last week that new years day would be like Christmas and we wouldn't have to work. So we played soccer and then I just slept cause Ive been pretty dead these last several weeks, and I just needed to catch up on some sleep. No news on our house I called the financial secretary yesterday and he said that he had sent the contract and all that stuff to the people and he was just waiting for them to send some stuff back to him, he said he would call today to see what's going on. I'm getting sick of living so far away from our area. Its cutting out on alot of good work time that we could have. Saturday it rained a ton, but I was sick of just finding refuge a some members house and waiting out the rain so we both had our umbrellas so we went to a less actives house that have been wanting us to come and visit them and teach their daughter that isn't a member, so we finally found their house and her daughter wasn't even their which kinda bummed me out, but they wanted us to dedicate their house so i dedicated their house and we talked for a while the couple had alot of crazy stories about stuff that had happened to them over their life. The lady had some pretty crazy experiences where she had died and had all of her blood already sucked out and they were about ready to cut here open and do an autopsy and all of the sudden she woke up and so she was living without blood, so they put more blood into her and she stayed in the hospital for like three months and then she was able to leave. She said that while she was "dead" she visited with the Savior and he told her that she was going to go back to earth and that she had alot more work to do. So then she found the church and was baptized a year ago, but went less active but she had the desire to come back to church cause she was reading the book of Mormon, so her and her husband have been coming to church the last 4 weeks. she had some funny stories of before she really got to know the church because she had been told that there were images of the devil painted on every tile of the floor in the church, and that there was a person under the sacrament cloth that was sacrificed and stuff like that. People make up the craziest lies and stories about the church. But its just another proof of the truthfulness of the church because Satan works so hard against the church. But yeah I'm glad that I know that the Church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true. I got the letters that everyone had written me on thanksgiving thanks for that i really enjoyed the letters from everyone. happy Birthday to Grandma farm today as well I hope its good and also that Grandma and Grandpa have a nice vacation trip. I also got a letter from the huffs in our ward so tell them thanks. So yeah we don't have much time cause my companion leaves at 6 tonight and we have alot to do still and he still needs to get packed. But yeah happy new year,we just  hung out at the house and watched fireworks which was cool but that was about it and we had a bbq at a members house, it was good I liked it. But yeah thanks for the letters from everyone. I love you all and am grateful to be here on a mission! Everyone have a good week
-Elder Kennington