Cuiaba Brazil Weather

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week #67 Elder B. Souza gets transferred.

Good morning family and friends, I´m a little sad today cause my companion Elder B Souza is being transferred. That's something that neither of us were expecting. We were expecting to stay at least one more together but I guess that The Lord has other plans in mind. This was only his second transfer here but I guess that's how life is, full of surprises, bumps in the road, rivers to cross, barriers to jump, and burdens to be carried. But that's ok. All I know is that I'm grateful to be able to have had many companions on the mission to teach me many different things. Including the mtc Elder B Souza has been my 12th companion. This last transfer has gone by super fast for me and I have learned many many things, I´ve learned how to deal with and help dissobeident and problematic missionaries and I have been strengthened my the many burdens and stresses and tasks of being a zone leader. And I still have a lot more to learn. So I know that my companion will be Elder Piñon. I don't know much about him because I only met him once and talked with him for about 5 minutes at the Christmas mission conference. I know that he is American but has a Spanish name and that he is from the same group as my companion that I had in Sorriso Elder Geisler. So I think he has about a  year and six months. He was a zone leader in the north in a city called Rondonopolis, which is where Elder B Souza will be going to be zone leader. But everybody says he is a great missionary that works hard and is fun to be around. So I think it will be good. There were relatively few changes in the zone, I know that there will be two Americans from my group that will be coming here to our zone so hopefully they are good. I was super on edge yesterday because everyone was convinced that Elder B Souza was going to be called as an assistant to the presidente, and so I didn't want him to be assistant because that would mean he would leave, usually the president calls beforehand during the day of transfer calls to ask if the except the call, but the president never called so at night I was alot more relaxed and then we got transfer calls and he got transferred anyway! Flip haha, so yeah but the Lord blessed us this week and we baptized Israel yesterday so we were happy to end the transfer on a good note. Heavenly Father has been so good to us, this week I was away from my area doing divisions with the district leaders, it was good and resulted in a baptism that was unexpected  for them I did 2 more baptismal interviews for them of some young men that were baptized on Saturday. I remember on Tuesday we went to Israels house because his dad was home which is rare because he lives in campo grande and it is rare that he is here, so we prayed and went to get his signature so that Israel could be baptized, which was actually super easy we talked a bunch about how much baptism will bless Israel and he will even be a better young man that he already is, then we just said hey but he needs your signature so that he can get baptized and he was like well that I can do and he just signed it with no problems, it was cool and we weren't able to visit gabriele and get her moms signature but she was excited and was at church yesterday and saw israels baptism and was super happy and excited to be baptized I just hope her parents wont have any objections. So we just found out that elder b souzas bus leaves at 2:30 today and he still has to pack and take care of a bunch of stuff so I think this email will be cut short but I will try and get some pictures to you guys, but yeah so this week was good and tiring but we were blessed with a baptism, also mom asked who was in the picture of the baptism of last week, I was with Elder Payne that missionary that I trained in Cuiabá, he had his first baptism in Brazil last week. But yeah so I am excited for this transfer I hope everything goes fine with transfers its going to be a pain having to find rides for everyone to pick them up from the bus station but it will work out fine, I'm glad that Jordan had a good time at prom this week and last week as well, I enjoyed the pictures and thanks for sending them to me. So yeah pray for us so that everything can be fine and dandy this transfer and I look forward to emailing you this next week. But know how much I love you guys and hope you all have a wonderful general conference weekend!
-Elder Kennington

Israels Baptism

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Brazil Ponta Para Week #66

E aí gente, man I am super tired today we worked super hard this week. The week went by in a blur. We knocked lots of doors taught lots of people met alot of great people and alot of not so great people. Contacted some good references and had 6 investigators at church. The Lord was good to us this week and he poured out his blessings upon us. So as a result of our work this week we have two baptismal dates set for next Sunday on the 30th. We set another date with Israel who is 15 and his neighbor who is the niece of a less active that is returning to church, her name is Gabriele she is 11 years old. Then we worked alot with them this week. It was my turn this week to stay in the area and Elder B Souza went to the district leaders areas and did divisions with them. So Yeah we spent alot of time knocking doors this week but we actually met some cool people, we are working in a different area than before. It is actually the area of another pair of missionaries, but they said we could work in it because it is right on the division of our areas. So yeah we just went crazy knocking doors spreading the fire of the Gospel. We taught Gabriele for the first time and her aunt, Gabriele went to church, but her aunt is only 17 slept in, yesterday at church My first son on the mission Elder Payne had his first baptism in Brazil, Gabriele saw the baptism and I asked her if she wanted to be baptized the same way next week, she said yes but she wasn't sure if her parents would let her. SO this week we will talk to them and I hope that we don't have any problems getting their signature, its the same thing with Israel his dad is in town  which is good, because he really likes the church and even expressed that he thinks it would be cool if his son served a mission in the united states. So this week we had a great lesson with Israel, because he was kinda wishy washy and didn't go to church last week but we had a great lesson where we watched the restoration then we bore our testimonies and just told him that he needs to be baptized and that he knows and feels that he also needs to be baptized, we then gave him two dates, this week the 23rd or march 30th, he said the 30th. Yesterday he was at church and he had been going to all the seminaries. So tonight we are going to his house and we will pray and hope that his father will give his signature so that he can be baptized. I hope that all will go fine and that he wont have any problems with him getting baptized and also with Gabrieles parents so please pray for us so that these two baptisms happen this week. We have worked a ton this transfer and I just want to see some of these fruits. So also we got a reference from a member of a couple that they had met in the hospital so we contacted this couple during this week and they are super cool people and were super stoked about going to church, the only problems is that they are engaged about not yet married, they are on parole haha, and they are addicted to marijuana. They confessed this all in my first visit there, I thought it was kinda funny but it was cool how they were open about it and they expressed their great desire to stop so we will help them, their names are Anna and Marcelo. They went to church yesterday and loved i I think it might take a while to baptize them though because they have a history of crimes and drug trafficking which they also admitted. But there a super chic family and I look forward to working more with them. It rained quite a bit this week as well but it wasn't as bad as the weeks before. I went on another split with Elder Payne on Friday that was cool, and Saturday we had a family home evening with a member here name Cynthia, she is from Paraguay, but lives in Brazil she is helping relearn and learn more Spanish, she has a car store in Paraguay that she owns and so she is a very wealthy lady, but has a heart of gold and they have a huge tv that is bigger than my bed. But we had a fun family night and we played some games with them and gave a message and we had some investigators there and then we ate pizza there, they had some Mexican pizza there that had calebresa peppers and bacon that I thought was perfect, but everyone thought it was too hot, I've gained quite a taste for spicy food on the mission. Also on Thursday I had a family home evening at a members home that was about the armor of God, we had a good time and ate popcorn and stuff, we also have been running early in the morning to help get our bodies in shape, we walk all day but it doesn't seem to do much for our bodies it just puts calluses on our feet so it was good to run and sweat out some fat cells and toxins and stuff haha. We have been having to resolve some problems in the zone this week there are some members that like calling us for every little thing that happens that doesn't seem right to them, but its alright though we are helping our zone to be more obedient and to not do stupid things, we ha vent had any major problems but transfers is next week and there will be a few missionaries that will efinatly have to leave the zone, because the members are complaning alot about them. Me and Elder B Souza always joke and say that we´re not the zone leaders because we are the best missionaries in the mission or the smartest or the missionaries the baptize the most or work the hardest, but we are the zone leaders because we don't do stupid things! Me and Elder B Souza and getting along great and working great together, yesterday when we were reporting the zone numbers to the assistants we told the assistants to tell president that we want to stay 5 transfers together haha, it is possible that we will stay together 3 but 2 is most likely, also like I said transfers is next week and I hope we stay together but who knows what can happen at transfers, yesterday was cold and I decided to where a sweater that I bought from Elder Almeida before he went home back in November, so I took some sweet pictures but after lunch I got hot and so I took it off. But yeah please pray for these baptisms to happen, we are worried but we have faith. Im Grateful for the Gospel and the sacrament and the Book of Mormon. There is no greater peace than that that comes from living the principles of the Gospel. We´ve been tired this week our bodies and minds have been heavy with exhaustion but it is good because I know that we are serving the Lord well. The Church is true, the Book is blue, and Moroni is on the ball. Paz e amor seja com vocês. 
-Elder Kennington
Elder B Souza & Elder Skyler Kennington

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week #65 Ponta Pora, Brazil

Hey everyone! Happy Saint Patrick's day, I had completely forgotten until today because mom reminded me that it was today. You all know how much I love green and know that as usual I am using a green tie. I forgot to put on my green suspenders that uncle Ryan got me though haha. Well this week seemed to go by quick. It was a good week that was full of triumphs for our zone, but in me and Elder B Souzas area we experienced many disappointments. we are still stuck in a hole here with almost no people to teach. There are plenty of wonderful members in our area but just no investigators. I think I have already explained much about our area, it is very small and half of this small area is just stores and shops, the other half is the where the richest people in the city live. Which makes it almost impossible to get inside any ones house and teach it. Our area is newly opened because before no one ever wanted to work in it, and now I can see why. It has been hard to try and keep the faith and move on in the work. We had our investigator Israel but this week he gave alot of excuses and it sounds like his mom has been putting alot of thoughts into his mind. He didn't go to church yesterday and every time we brought up the subject of church or baptism he tried changing the subject. That kinda bummed us out cause he is our only hope for a baptism this transfer, this is elder B souzas second transfer in the area and his second without a baptism, that's tough for him because before he was serving in São Paulo where they baptize alot, the church is like in Utah there and they baptize almost every week there, so it has been teaching us both patience and reminding us that we need to rely on the Lord and that we need to do what He want and not always what we want. That's hard to accept sometimes, maybe our purpose here is to strengthen our zone and help them to baptize, but maybe at this time its not our turn to be the ones baptizing. I don't know all I know is that this area has been one of the greatest challenges for me and Elder B Souza. But there has to be something we can do to find the Lords Elect, we got a reference from a member yesterday so hopefully that will work out. This week we had a regular divisions again, this time it was my turn to leave the area, Wednesday though the assistants came and did a division with us, I went with Elder Hancock who is a great friend of mine, I lived with him for 2 months when I was in Campo Grande but the last time I did a split with him I was in Sorriso over 6 months ago. We had a good day we just tried to find new people to teach, we made some contacts and there was a few people that said we could come back, we went back later in the week though and they weren't home. Thursday I went and did a split with Elder De Melo, they had an eternal investigator that in the last division Elder souza went there and got her excited for baptism and did here baptismal interview and they marked her date for the 15th, during that week this investigator who is a young woman that's 15 years old had one of her old young womens leader from the Catholic church come and told her and her mom that if she was baptized her family would be cursed and that nothing would go good in their lives and that it was the worst decision they could ever make, and a load of other junk she told them, this scared the girl alot and it sounds like she was very shaken and didn't know what she wanted to do. This happened on a Tuesday, I went there with Elder De Melo on Thursday and we talked a bunch and we showed them a video called I am a son of God that is on the Mormon channel that shows when Moses went to the mount and had a great vision from the Lord and saw Him and talked to Him, and then after this great revelation and manifestation of the Spirit, Satan came and tried to show his power and say that he was God. But Moses wasn't deceived and cast Satan out. The point of the lesson and the video was that many times after we receive an answer or revelation from the Lord Satan comes in many times to try and scare us or negate what just happened. After we showed the video the Spirit was super strong and her mom said now I understand, we had them explain their feelings and they felt that it really was Satan that had tried to scare them and dissuade her from being baptized. We then asked that Saturday at 6 o'clock would be what, and the girl said my baptism and smiled. And indeed she was baptized on Saturday along with 3 other people in other wards. That made us happy and the divisions have helped the elders to have these baptisms. Now we just need to baptize in our area, please pray so that we can come in contact with the elect in our area, pray that the Lord can provide away so that we can meet them and teach them. Friday was cool I went and did a division with my first son Elder Payne! that was cool his area is super humble and has wonderful humble people, they just live super far from the church and have no means of transportation. We visited some good people, they have a lady named Martina that wants to be baptized but she just has to stop smoking first, we talked with her and set some goals. Hopefully she will do her part and also rely on the Lord. Saturday and Sunday were uneventful we visited with some members and tried to visit with investigators. We did our weekly planning on Saturday and this week we plan on trying some new things, there is a part of our ward that is technically the area of the other missionaries and they said we could work there, it just a few streets but we plan on trying to knock on every door and make a contact with everyone. I hope that goes well and I again ask for your prayers so that we kind find success. Supposedly we will also be going to a school and giving a 40 minute presentation on health or something like that, I'm still not sure exactly what we will be doing but I hope it goes fine. So funny things this week Elder B Souza told me that I talk in my sleep and that I talk in Portuguese, and also  his bed broke haha, but we got it fixed but we had to sleep on the ground for about a week. I also decided this week that I am addicted to ice cream and cake. But both of these things are expensive here. But yeah so that's about it not much this week. I was excited to here that Cassidy Jarman got her visa, sounds like she will get to Brazil 1 year to the day after I got the Brazil, also I was excited to here of aunt Sids call, I hope all is well with her and that she can get recuperated quickly. Looks like you guys had a good week and I was happy to see that stake conference must have been great.  I love my family and I love my friends, the mission is the best and hardest thing that I have ever experienced, there are many ups and downs many good times and hard times. It teaches us many things and there are many hard lessons to be learned, I need to be better, I need to apply myself and dedicate myself more to the work of the Lord, but I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow and to be better everyday. I hope you all have a great week and take good care! com amor
-Elder Kennington

Brazil Week #64 Ponta Pora

Good morning everyone I hope the weather is nice today at home haha cause today its raining a bunch sadly water enters our house if it rains alot so we will probably have to mop up the floor when we get back. There is alot of lightning and thunder and stuff but that's ok. Its been kinda cold this week and rainy and honestly there isnt a whole lot to report. Last Monday we didn't really do anything we played some truco which is a card game that originated in Spain that I enjoy playing, it rained alot last Monday as well so we just stayed inside we had a meeting with our ward mission leader Monday which was good. He is a great guy named Mario he served his mission in New Jersey and so he speaks English well he travels to the united states frequently. We had splits again this week and this week I stayed in my area for 3 days with the companions of the District leaders here. We didn't have hardly any investigators to teach in our area still, so I made a big list of all the less actives in our area and so during these three days we just went trying to find these less actives and try and find new people to teach, which proved to be alot harder than it sounds, many people were not home and many who were non members were not willing to accept and let us teach them. That kinda gets discouraging. But, I know that there are elects in our area, we just have to fish for them and find them. Its a good think that we have more help than just our own, we have a Heavenly Father who guides us and it is He that allows us to find and have success. I mentioned that young man named Israel last week, this week I was finally able to find him at home he lives with his mother in law. She told us that she thinks he needs to mature more and prepare more before he can be baptized, I just told her that God created the earth in 6 days and so he can prepare someone for baptism in the same time, he went to church yesterday and he even went to lunch with us at a members house, then we had a family home evening and he went there, it was really cool. Also this week I visited a family where everyone is members except for the dad so I went there and we taught them and he showed up to church yesterday. He just has to marry his wife legally before he can get baptized. Friday night we went to a pizza rodizzio, where they bring out pizza and you eat as much as you want. I ate about 20 pieces but they were just little pieces but it was super good! We visited a member that got in a motorcycle accident last week and has been back at home, but he had to go back to the hospital because the doctor forgot to take out a huge sliver of wood that had been stuck in his arm, it had started a big infection and now he had to have surgery. But now it looks like he is getting better. Friday President Reber came to Ponta Porã and did interviews with all the missionaries. It was a great experience for everyone and he said that he was pleased with the work of Elder B Souza and me. I hope we can continue working hard and helping our zone, we had some more baptisms in our zone this week and next week we are expecting more baptisms as well, please pray for us so that me and Elder Souza can also find more people to baptize and that we can baptize those who we are currently teaching. Specifically, Israel pray for his parents that their hearts may be softened. This week I ate alot of ice cream this week and I walked alot. But I am happy and this week it will be my turn to leave my area and go on splits with the District Leaders, I hope that I can be inspired to know how to  help them and their investigators. Yesterday I was taught something by the Brazilians at church, I noticed that everyone during the sacrament closes their eyes and bows their heads. I had been curious as to why they always do this, and so I tried it out I assumed everyone must have been praying and so I also prayed while the sacrament was being distributed, I felt like I was in the temple again praying and I felt close to my Heavenly Father and to my family and I felt His love that He has for all of us. From now on I plan on always praying during the Sacrament. also we had our ward conference yesterday and the bishopric was all released and now we have a whole new bishopric I was kinda bummed cause I was excited to work with the Bishop here but the new bishop seems really good and so I am really looking forward to having the new Bishopric, so yeah I will send some pictures of my last week in Campo Grande when it was raining alot there and we were being crazy in the rain haha. But that's about it its been kinda chilly and rainy this week and it looks like this week will be the same. But all is well, also I got the valentine from Grandma Fitzgerald which I much enjoyed she also included a thought from the Ensign that I appreciated, also I got letters from Justin and Jessica and the girls they sent me an envelope with letters which I much enjoyed as well. Thank you for taking the time to write me letters :)  it made me happy. Let Cousin Dillon know that i love him and that I hope he is well and congratulate Jordan for being a stud and going to Prom twice, I though that was really cool and it will be super fun for him. But next year i will be at home to see him at prom. i guess that Wednesday I will hit 15 months, pretty crazy! Its probable that I will leave Ponta Porã in July or August, its weird to think that this could be my second to last area. But i wont think like that because those are trunky thoughts and I still have much work to do and many things to learn on the mission. Some days I wish it would end already and other days I wish it would never end. This mission is too good. Well I need t to get off and take care of other stuff. But know how much I love you all and am grateful for you! Have a wonderful week!
-com amor
-Elder Kennington 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week #63 Ponta Pora, Brazil

Good morning it´s preparation day again, I'm excited that its finally p-day and I can read emails and see how everyone has been. It seems like the week has gone by slowly for me but at the same time it seems to have passed by very quickly. I have been dinking around with my camera and pen drive right now alot on the computer because in campo grande a few weeks ago I had them both plugged into the computer and I think they both got a virus, so I have been having alot of problems these last 2 weeks getting pictures onto the computer, they show up fine on the camera but when plugged into the computer it has problems and alot of times wont let me upload pictures so I have been transferring photos around because I am going to format my camera and sd card and also my pendrive, so I have to save my pictures and music in another folder or another devise because if I don't it will erase all of my stuff. Sorry I didn't send any pictures last week, my camera wasn't working with the computer, but I think today it should be ok. So last p-day we played soccer at the church and also a Brazilan card game called Truco, I think that's what we will be doing today at the other Elders house is playing truco, its  been pretty rainy these last few days and today. It rained alot yesterday and water entered our house and got a good part of the floor all wet, its kinda frustrating, our

phone charger was plugged in and got wet as well and when we got back to the house last night our phone died and the phone charger was fried, so we couldn't call anyone to get numbers, so this morning we finally found a member that had a charger that we used so we got all the zones numbers, and got them to the assistants early this morning. It all worked out fine though. So yeah last week we had our zone meeting and training, Elder Souza and I talked alot about the importance of work and how we will never see any fruits if we don't work, we talked about our love for Heavenly Father and that if we really love him will will serve him and feed His sheep. We had some trainings and practices on various techniques, it was cool for everybody and went really well, I was kinda nervous to be giving a training as a zone leader but Heavenly Father helped me alot. Before the meeting we had a training with 3 district leaders in our zone, we talked about splits that we were going to start doing every week with each one. So from now on we will be going on 3 splits per week, that's going to be tough but it should be worth it, it will help keep our district motivated and working. I ask for you prayers as we do these splits so that we may be guided and that we can be successful in helping our zone. This week I will be staying in our area for the three days, we still have few people to teach and so I think we will be doing a lot of knocking doors which will be difficult considering that most of the houses in our area are mansions. I also ask for your prayers as well I still don't know our area very well and am a little nervous as to exactly what I will be doing to find new investigators but I ask for your prayers and I know that you are always praying in my behalf. So directly after the meeting we started the splits I went with the Elder that was having some problems to his area and his companion stayed in our area with Elder B Souza. Well I got there and he already told me that he knew why we were having this division because his companion had told on him and also the members had called the president as well, I explained that yeah that's why we were doing the split and then we chatted a while during the splits, so they didn't really have anybody to teach, they have a tough area and they were just kinda stuck with nothing. Its hard when there is no one to teach and you are in a hard area where almost everyone has already met with the missionaries. But the first day it rained alot and we just ended up doing a bunch of contacts and knocking doors which stunk, there was almost nobody that agreed to let us comeback and visit them another day. The second day I went over his area book  which had lots of former investigators and addresses, I wrote alot of them down we also found a new  neighborhood that he had never worked in before that had alot of former investigators. So the next day we went after alot of these addresses alot of people werent home but we still made alot of contacts and found some good people to teach and gave him some ideas and ways to find new people to teach. The third day it also rained alot but we talked alot all of the days about the improvements that could be made, the Elder is an excellent Elder he is an amazing teacher and know everything, I think Satan has just been working alot on him because he knows his potential, but all in all it was a good 3 day division and we both learned much and the elder says that he thinks things will go alot better now, I really hope they do President Reber said he was pleased with our work and what we did. I hope it was worth it. I'm grateful for The Lord and for the help that he gave me. It sounded like Elder B Souza spent alot of time knocking doors as well without much success, he did get some references though. We have a couple that we are teaching but they aren't married. We have a young man named Israel that has gone to church 4 times and that we were going to baptize but he hasn't been at home at all during this week so we weren't able to teach him, we are also teaching another young man name João Vitor, but he didn't go to church yesterday hopefully this week the Lord will provide us some good people to teach and baptize. Well Ponta Porã is nice its way way colder here, we have to have blankets in the houses because it gets cold sometimes, its been really rainy and chilly but I have enjoyed it. Our house is about a 2 minute walk from the Paraguay Border, there is only a road that divides the border, we just see stores on one side with Portuguese words and the other side is everything in Spanish. I heard that there are 5 branches and chapels in the city next to ours.  here we have 3 wards and 2 chapels. I love being here though and the ward is great and we have an awesome Bishop. I love my companion he is great and we get along and work super well together. He reminds me of Jetsons personality a little bit. I looked through my letters and I don't think I have received grandma Fitzgeralds valentines card yet but it should be coming pretty soon.  I left my calender in my suitcase so I didn't see whose birthday is coming up I will open it up and pull out my calender so that I can stay on top up things happy birthday to Kaiden and uncle Cody, ha i hope they had a good Birthday. We ate alot this week yesterday we ate 3 different times at 3 different houses, the members are very generous here.I'm trying to learn Spanish here as well most people speak it, but its hard to understand I wont lie, it seems like a much more gurgled and mashed together language, to me it sounds like someones speaking Portuguese but they have their mouth filled with marbles. hopefully I can pick up on the language of Spanish a little bit more. But that's about it I still need to email more members, know that I love you all and am grateful for your emails and prayers. I always pray for you and know that you are all well and the The Lord will protect you all. have a great week!
-Elder Kennington