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.