Monday, December 29, 2014

WEEK #93

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! My Christmas was really good, it was super hot and then rained a bunch, a little different than the snow I'm used to but it was still good haha. I was able to skype my family so it was awesome. 

It was a bit difficult to find our investigators at home, most of people are traveling right now. But we did have a good branch activity for Christmas. Also we had a huge Christmas eve dinner with Paulo and Marlene (our investigators who are going to get married and baptized soon) It was us missionaries with their family, it was really nice.

This week will be pretty crazy as well because of New Years, we are expecting a lot of drunk people so we just have to be careful haha. But also for my birthday tomorrow we are having a big churrasco at Rafaels house, so it should be really good! 

I'm still doing the six month to sexy program, Ive been doing the Insanity Dvds for a couple weeks now, still going strong. We are also eating healthy and lifting a little with the weights we have at the house. I have mostly cut out Coca cola from my diet but occasionally I cant resist! ;) haha

This week we are planning on marking a few baptismal dates and getting people to come to church with us on Sunday, hopefully we will be able to encounter our investigators at home, most people are pretty busy this time of year but we will see. We are still working with Katia, she hasn't come to church for a long time but we are going to see if she is still interested or not. Also we have had a few recent converts who have become less actives unfortunately, so we are going to be visiting them and trying to rekindle their testimonies and get them to church. 

That about sums up things here, I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed week! I love and miss you all. Tchau 2014, FELIZ ANO NOVO! :)

Elder Kyle Payne

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WEEK #92


I hope you are all as excited as I am for Christmas! I love this time of year, even when I am on the other side of the world and there is no snow ;) 

We had a really good week, we have been working with less actives and our goal for the week was to invite everybody to the branch Christmas activity on Saturday, we had a really good turnout! there were a lot of people that showed up. Also the church attendance on Sunday was almost 100 people so it was great! 

We are also working with Paulo and Marlene, they are such an awesome couple and are planning on getting married at the first of the year then they want to get baptized. We have also gotten a lot of the references from the sisters, they have been doing a ton of street contacting and getting lots of peoples addresses and pass them over to us. Most of the people haven't been interested when we teach them but they are usually pretty nice to us haha. But we have gotten a few new investigators, none of them came to church though which is a bummer. We will keep trying though.

We have been focusing our lessons on Christ though since it is Christmas time, it has been a really cool experience for me. I feel like while we teach we end up learning just as much, it is hard to explain. I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and for his love, example, and sacrifice. I am grateful for my opportunity to share His gospel with others. I am grateful for my family and friends, and for the wonderful life I have been blessed with. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, I love and miss you all so much. 


Elder Kyle Payne

Friday, December 19, 2014

WEEK #91

Friends and Family,

Sorry I wasn't able to email on Monday, we had to travel 8 hours by bus because we had the Christmas Conference yesterday. It was a lot of fun but I am pretty worn out from traveling, we got home at like 1 this morning, but it was good to see everyone again. Our zone performed a song that we wrote for the mission at the talent show, we ate some good food, recited memorized scriptures, all that fun stuff haha. It is still crazy to me that it is almost Christmas, it is so hot here so it doesn't feel like Christmas time but its all good :)

But last week was a good week, our investigators Paulo and Marlene started filling out their papers for marriage, so they are going to get married at the beginning of January I think. so then we will be able to baptize them. I'm super excited for them, I really feel like I have known them for a long time, plus they have a food delivery business so they always make us great food haha :)

Last we also did divisions with the zone leaders, they came to our area and visited our investigators with us, we had a good time. We taught a good amount of lessons, we also had our zone meeting which was pretty cool. Elder Veccho, my old companion, is going home this transfer so I said goodbye to him at the Christmas conference, its crazy that everyone is going home. After this transfer my group will be the oldest group in the mission, super crazy! 

We spent a lot of time last week visiting less actives as well, we are trying to get church attendance up. It used to be over 100 people at church every week but now its usually around 75, there were a lot of things that happened and some drama and gossip between families a little bit ago so the attendance fell, but it is slowly going back up and we are trying to bring as many people as we can to church. 

But overall things are going really well, I am so excited for Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the holiday season. I pray that we can all keep Christ in our hearts during this special time of year and remember the true meaning of Christmas. I love you all so much, have a good week!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, December 8, 2014

WEEK #90

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had an amazing week! So this week was pretty crazy, Elder Marstella foi embora and I got a new companion named Elder Rueda, he is from Curitiba, Paraná. He is super cool and we get along great. He started his mission in Cáceres which is in the Cuiabá Zone, so I met him at a zone meeting when I was still in Cuiabá. He has about 8 months on his mission. But my English has gone downhill really fast again haha since I have a Brazilian companion again, but its all good because my Portuguese will get better.

This week we have been taking care of some stuff around the house, we were faulting a lot of supplies and stuff so we have been buying them this week. I have been showing the area to Elder Rueda and we have been teaching all our investigators, it has been a good week so far! 

We got a new investigator with a lot of potential, she is the girlfriend of a member that lives in our area and he brought her to church, so we are going to teach her this week. Also we tried marking some baptismal dates but they didn't come to church or still don't have a testimony, so we will keep working with them. Our investigator named Eliete is progressing and believes in everything we teach her, but she has to work for a couple Sundays so she can take a break for Christmas, so she hasn't been able to come to church. Her daughter Vitória also ran away from home so it has been a really hard time for her so we have been doing our best to help her out. 

But this next week we will be visiting lots of less actives and marking dates, trying to get things going for this transfer. It should be really good, I'm excited. Its crazy to think that this is my second to last transfer! Time has flown by its insane! 

Also the zone leaders are coming to do divisions with us for a couple days so I'm excited for that, the zone leaders are my two good friends Elder Weeks and Elder Stevens, I'm excited! :) 

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love and miss you all so much. Talk to you soon!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, December 1, 2014

WEEK #89

Friends and Family,

Happy December everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was just a normal hot day for us here, it was pretty good though. We ate some pizza with a member so it was alright haha :) We had a good week here, we had the baptism of an investigator named Charles, he just moved here to Lucas do Rio Verde recently and is super awesome! Elder Marstella was able to perform the ordinance. Charles is also married and his wife wants to be baptized. So the goal is for him to get the priesthood soon so he can baptize her in a couple weeks! I'm super excited for them. They have a little blonde daughter named Natasha that is like the cutest thing on the planet as well haha :) Oh also I heard Philadelphia beat Dallas last week, so that's also awesome :)

So today is transfer day, hard to believe another transfer has flown by! We got calls at 11:30 last night... and I am staying here in Lucas! :) President said I will most likely finish my mission here so I'm happy about that, I really like it here. But Elder Marstella is getting transferred to Cáceres in the Cuiabá zone again! When I was a zone leader there he was serving in Cáceres, and now hes going back there again! haha pretty crazy. He is pretty excited though so that's good. Elder Watchman is going down to Campo Grande again, that lucky dog, it is a lot cooler down there in Mato Grosso do Sul than it is here. My new comp is Elder Rueda, he was in my zone a couple months ago when he started his mission so I already know who he is! he is super cool and I think he is from Curitiba but I cant remember. I'm excited though, he will probably be my last comp on the mission so we are gonna tear it up together! 

Katia still wasn't baptized, we are still going to visit her but she hasn't really been progressing as an investigator so we dropped her. She will get baptized one day but right now doesn't seem like the right time for her. We are still teaching Marlene though and they want to get married soon so we are still helping her get ready for baptism.

We also met a family last week and we taught them with the sisters because the wife really likes the sister missionaries. They are an awesome family and seem super interested, but we found out that they aren't married either. they say they are planning on getting married soon but who knows! They have a daughter who has 12 years though so hopefully they can get married and all get baptized together.

We visited a lot of less actives throughout the week as well, we are trying to increase church attendance in the branch. There are so many people that live kinda far from the church and don't have a car or a motorcycle so its hard for them to go, but we are doing our best to help them. We have a couple ideas, like with some of them we will give them our bus passes so they can go or we can set up a ride with a member, but we can only do that for so long before they need to start getting themselves to church. It has been frustrating though because sooo many people have to work on Sundays, so its tough. We will keep trying though :)

Today I start doing the Insanity DVDs as well, and I will stop drinking coke! I made one change though, I decided I will let myself drink coke only on p-days haha. other than that its just water for me! :)

But things are going really well here, I'm excited for the new transfer and for Christmas! I hope you all have a good week and remember our Savior during this special time of year. I love and miss you all, talk to you soon! 

Elder Kyle Payne

WEEK #88

Friends and Family,
I hope you all had a wonderful week! We had a good week here in Lucas do Rio Verde, it was really hot but it also rained almost every day during the afternoon so it helped cool off for a little bit... then it heated up again and got really muggy haha. Our area is just small enough that we don't need to take the buses everywhere because it wouldn't be worth the 3 bucks each pass, but it is still big enough that we have to walk a ton. But its all good! When its super hot outside and we have to walk far to appointments I seriously just daydream about diving into a huge pool of Gatorade...

But anyways we weren't able to mark a date with Katia, she also didn't come to church yesterday which is a bummer. Everybody says they will come to church on Sunday but only like 1 in 10 actually come here in Brazil. It is hard when they don't have rides and stuff, so we are trying to get people rides and friends to help them get their butts to church. 

We were able to reactivate a guy named Anderson, he is 17 and was baptized a while ago but hasn't come to church since and has had some hard times recently, but he has shown a lot of faith and humility and he came to family night last week and came to church on Sunday it was awesome!

Yesterday we had a family night again at a members house, there was a really good turnout, almost the whole branch came and there were several less actives and investigators. We then ate Salgadinhos (fried dough ball things with meat inside) and cake :D 

We visited a lot of less actives this week, trying to get them to come to church. We also talked with Paulo and Marlene, the couple who want to get married so that Marlene can get baptized, and they have plans to do it at the end of this year or first of next year, so I think I will be here when they finally get married! I am super excited for them though, they are an awesome couple. We also got a few references this week from some members, so we will be visiting them and teaching about the restoration, it will be good.

The 6 month to sexy program is still coming along, I will start doing the Insanity workout program on the 1st of December so I'm taking it pretty serious! haha. Also I will stop drinking soda as well, which is super hard here because everybody drinks so much Coke. But I just have to resist :) 

But overall things have been going really well, just a normal week as a missionary :) This is the last week of the transfer already so we are gonna finish strong! I think Elder Marstella might be transferred, he has been here for about 4 months already but we will see. Anyways, I love you all so much, and I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. I heard the Eagles and the Cowboys are playing on thanksgiving day, I love the Eagles and my companion is from Dallas and a die hard Cowboys fan so it will be exciting! haha. Boa semana, abraço! 

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, November 17, 2014

WEEK #87

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great week, we had a good week here in Lucas do Rio Verde! We didn't end up having Katias baptism, although she came to church on Sunday. Last Thursday we marked a date with her for next week and she came to church, but She left right before sacrament meeting because she had to go prepare lunch for her family. Before she left she told Elder Marstella that she wasn't sure about getting baptized anymore, so we will visit with her tomorrow and see what's up. 

Also, we went to a city that is about an hour from Lucas to spend the night with a member family that lives out there. The city is called Novo Mutum, it doesn't have a ward or a branch, just that family but they don't have the means to come to church here in Lucas every week. So once a transfer we are allowed to go there. We stayed the night there at their house on Friday and had a family night with them and another family that they invited. We had a churrasco with lots of meat and good food, it was super fun. We will be going back next month as well. We taught about the restoration and it went well. There were a bunch of kids though so me and my companion were kept really busy doing magic tricks and translating things into English haha. 

The sisters here had a baptism though of a 17 year old girl, it was really cool. After the baptism we had a branch activity at the chapel and had a decent turnout. Also last night we had family night with the whole branch at a members house, we do it every Sunday night. But we made visits with the young men during the afternoon on Sunday and brought some less actives with us to the family night, it was a lot of fun! We also played this game where you have to switch and compete for chairs a lot and run around, and I ended up basically tackling two people by accident haha everyone was laughing super hard! I felt bad though but its a dangerous game! haha.

Also our investigator Marlene came to church with Paulo who is a member, they are planning on getting married soon so we can get her baptized, hopefully before I go home in February! Marriage here is pretty expensive and takes a while so we have to see what we can do to help them. 

That about sums up the week, we just worked as usual and tried to strengthen the branch. but it was a good and fun week. I hope you all have a great week, I love and miss you all! 

Com muito amor,

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, November 10, 2014

WEEK #86

Hello Everyone,

I don't have very much time today so I will get right to it! :) This week went really well, although we didn't have our baptism of Katia. Her birthday was Saturday so she traveled with her husband to spend the weekend in Rondonopolis. But we will try for this next week :)

We taught English on Friday night, we only had 2 people show up this week but we got their names and addresses so we will visit them this next week. Right now our focus as far as work goes is increasing the attendance at church on Sundays and helping the branch grow, so we are trying to find new families to baptize, as well as reactive less active members. Also we had interviews with President on Friday night, and he said that he wants Elder Marstella and me to really help the young men in the branch, right now there are about 7 who will be able to go on missions next year, so he wants us to go make visits with them, teach them, and help prepare them to go on missions next year. It should be a lot of fun though, the young men here are awesome! I will be really happy when they all go on missions soon.

We have a couple investigators who want to get baptized they just need to get married first, so we are trying to work things out and help them do that. Also we have been teaching Katia´s son, he is super interested and wants to be baptized as well, he just has a hard time coming to church because he has to work. So we are praying that all of our investigators and less actives and members we are working with will be able to resolve things with their work so that they can attend church on Sundays. We will help them as much as we can and keep encouraging them, but they still have to work and provide for their families so its a tough situation.

I have really been thinking a lot the past few weeks just how important it is for us to show love for our family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Little acts of kindness make the biggest difference in the lives of those around us. When members or missionaries or investigators have helped me and shown me love even in the simplest ways, it has made a huge difference in my life and in my mission. I was reading the other day that love is not only a noun, but it is a VERB. If we want to feel more love in our lives we need to show more love for others. I hope this week that we can all take advantage of opportunities to serve, encourage, and most of all love those around us. I know that as we do so, the spirit will be more abundant in our lives and we will truly be blessed. "Do good, feel good!" :)

Anyways, things are going good, we are working with the members here and the work is going great. This branch has grown a lot this past year and I'm excited to be a part of it, hopefully we can make a difference here as well! I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love and miss you!

"Começar é para todos. Continuar é para os valentes. Terminar é para os heróis!"
(To begin is for everyone. Continue is for the brave. Finish is for heroes.)

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, November 3, 2014

WEEK #85

Hey Everyone,

I hope you all had a good Halloween! They don't celebrate it here in Brazil, or at least where I'm at, so I didn't even realize it was Halloween until like 6 at night! haha. But its crazy to think about, I received my mission call 2 years ago on Halloween! Time has gone by so dang fast!

This week was really good for me and Elder Marstella. We still have Katia on date to be baptized this Sunday, she didn't come to church yesterday so it was a bummer. She had to work. We only had one of our investigators show up for church, even though we invited like 6 of them! It is so hard to get people off their butts sometimes! haha jk. But church starts at 9 am, and everybody here wants to sleep and relax on Sunday mornings. Most churches here have their Sunday services in the evenings, so some people think its weird to have it Sunday morning. We will keep trying though! We actually got a lot of references from members here though and taught some good lessons. Some members also brought their friends to church so we got some new investigators that seem really cool, we will go visit them this week and invite them to church next Sunday as well.

We had a pretty crazy experience though on Saturday night though, we were walking at night on our way to one of our appointments, and a drunk guy rode past us on his bike and called us over. We went over and he started saying I'm a drunk, I'm a drunk, you guys need to help me. Then he started saying how he is drinking again because his wife doesn't want to be with him anymore and that she has a new boyfriend now. Then he starts getting all mad and saying how he is going to kill her and her new boyfriend and anyone that is at the house! The thing is he was a little drunk, but he wasn't totally wasted either, so we weren't sure how serious he was haha. But then he said he was going to get an axe and kill everyone, so we just told him not to do that and that he needs to cool down a little bit and pray and ask for help. We told him that things would be much worse if he killed somebody so he shouldn't do it. But he kept on saying that he was going to, so we just invited him to church and said it would help him and change his life and we gave him a pamphlet about the Gospel. Then he rode off. he didn't come to church but I wish the best for him haha! We got his address and phone number so we will go visit him this week.

We also got some new beds finally, they are still really crappy beds and are super hard but they are better than the other ones we had. They got delivered on Thursday, we had to wait for 5 and a half hours for them to deliver the beds. They said they would be there at 2 but didn't show up until 7 30, so there wasn't much we could do but everything worked out. On Friday we had a meeting with our zone leaders Elder Nere and Elder Weeks, they slept at our house and had to use our old mattresses! haha. But then we did divisions with them and it was a lot of fun, good to see them again.
6 months to sexy program is still going strong! haha. I'm trying to eat as healthy as I can. I limited myself to only one coke per week, its hard though because we always have soda at members houses for lunch. But I'm trying haha.

Anyways things are going really well though, we should mark some more baptismal dates this week and if everything goes according to plan Katia should be baptized this Sunday. We are super excited! We also have 2 investigators who want to get baptized really bad and come to church every Sunday, they just have to get married first because they live together. But we will still work with them. But I hope you all have a wonderful week, love and miss you guys!

Elder Kyle Payne

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WEEK #84

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful week! So I guess its getting close to Halloween huh?! haha I completely forgot about Halloween, they don't really celebrate it here but its all good. Candy is too expensive here anyways haha. But Brazil just had their elections for their President, there was a tie a couple weeks ago between two of the candidates so they had to re vote and President Dilma won again for her second term. Some people here are excited but also a lot of people are really angry that she won again haha. I don't really know either of them so who knows.

So my first week in Lucas was awesome!!! The full name is actually Lucas do Rio Verde (Luke of the Green River) The city is pretty good size and its super organized and clean, I love it! Everything here moves at a little slower pace than in Cuiabá so its a lot less hectic! the people are more tranquil and are super nice to us. The branch here is awesome as well, they are super loving and welcoming already, I feel right at home here! I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday on temples, it went well. At first right when we got to church I was asked to give a 5 minute talk about faith, so I started preparing a little talk and then about 30 minutes before Sacrament meeting started the counselor came up to me again and asked if I could give a 10 minute talk on temples instead, so I got some scriptures and stuff ready and found a Liahona talk about temples so it was all good haha. But here in Lucas there are two sets of sisters and one set of elders, so there are six of us here.

We taught and visited quite a few people this week, we marked a baptismal date for next Sunday with a woman named Katia, she is in her late 30s and is awesome, she and her family love the missionaries. She knows everything we teach is true and is reading the Book of Mormon so things are going really well. The only problem is that sometimes she works on Sundays so she wasn't able to come yesterday :( We will keep working with her though.

Also every Sunday we are going to go on divisions with the young men in the ward, they are all really cool and willing to go teach with us so its awesome. It rained super super hard yesterday though so we weren't able to go with them. When it rains here pretty much everything stops because it rains so hard! We were on the bus when it started raining after lunch and the bus driver had to pull over and wait for a while because he couldn't see ahead of him at all!

This week we are going to have zone meeting, our zone leaders are going to come here to Lucas instead of us going to Sorriso where they are at, so the zone meeting will be done twice in the two areas. But my old companion Elder Nere is the zone leader here, so we are going to do divisions together this week so I'm stoked! haha the other zone leader is Elder Weeks, were in Ponta Porã together so we are good friends already.

Anyways, things are going really well here, I love the area and the people here already so it should be a really good transfer. I love and miss you all, have a great week!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, October 20, 2014

WEEK #83

Friends and Family,

So I´ll get right to it today, we got transfer calls last night and I am getting transferred to a place called Lucas, it is in the Sorriso Zone up north. It is about a 6 hour bus ride from Cuiabá. But good news, it is cooler up there than it is here, so I wont die of heat every day! I'm sure it will still be hot but nothing compared to this Cuiabano Heat! Last week one day it got up to 50 degrees C in Cuiaba and 48 degrees here in Varzea Grande which is like 120 degrees Fahrenheit! No lie! They had to shut down some buses and stores and stuff until it cooled down.

But my new companion will be Elder Marstella, I actually know him pretty well already, he was in my zone when I first got here to the north 6 months ago, hes a really cool guy he is from Dallas, TX and has about a year on the mission. He never had to wait in the states for his Visa either, that lucky dog game straight here! haha. But I'm really excited. Also, I was released from being Zone Leader. Since I only have 3 transfers left on my mission I think President Reber is letting me rest a little for the end of my mission haha. When the told me that it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders haha, now I can just go into a new area and not worry about all the zone leader stuff
Anyways, I have to leave super soon and I still haven't packed all my stuff so I have to go, but things are going good and I'm excited for what this new transfer will bring! I love and miss you all, talk to you soon!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, October 13, 2014

WEEK #82

Friends and Family,

Woooooooooowww its hot! I hope you are all enjoying the nice October weather up there, because this is the hottest I have ever been in my whole life! haha. This whole week is supposed to be 40 degrees Celsius or more, which is like 105 Farenheit haha. Oh boy!

But we saw a lot of miracles this week, so about 5 months ago I taught a guy named Valtene when I was with Elder Baughan. He had been coming to church for a while because his sister is a member. But he wasn't ready to be baptized but we still saw him every once in a while and he came to church sometimes. But after coming to church and watching conference this past weekend, he made up his mind that it was time to be baptized. He just came up to us at church and told us, so it was definitely a miracle for us! haha. We are meeting with him this week to mark a baptismal date for hopefully this Saturday.

Things are going good though, everyone in the zone seems to be happy and doing well. This Friday we will have another Mission Leadership Council, except this time it wont just be zone leaders it will be all of the district leaders as well. So it is supposed to be an all day thing in Cuiabá, it should pretty good. We Mormons sure do love our meetings! haha.

It is the last week of the transfer already, its so crazy how fast time has flown by though. I think I will get transferred though, I have been here for almost 6 months now so I'm betting that I will get transferred. We will see next week though!

We weren't able to mark any dates with our investigators this week, but the zone had 4 baptisms this weekend I think so that's awesome!

Alexandre, our recent convert, will get the priesthood this week and will bless the sacrament next week so I'm way excited and happy for him! he is so awesome. It is amazing to see the difference that the gospel makes in peoples lives and how much they change when they choose to follow Christ and his teachings.

Anyways, that about sums up what is going on here, sorry it isn't a very long letter, today we are going to Cuiabá for a big Churrasco with both of the zones combined so it should be pretty fun! But things are going well and we are staying busy trying to keep up with everything that's going on in the zone haha. But I hope you have a wonderful week, I love and miss you all!

Com amor,
Elder Kyle Payne

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WEEK #81

Friends and Family,

Minha nossa estamos morrendo de tanto calor!!! I hope you all enjoyed conference weekend! I loved it, I seriously loved every single talk. We were able to watch it in English, but it was also super cool to hear some of the speakers giving their talks in their native languages. I cant even pick a favorite talk, I feel like each one of them had something that I needed to hear. I love conference, its crazy to think that it was my last General Conference as a missionary!

This week was a good one for me and Elder Watchman, we worked hard and were able to get some good lessons in. The group in São Mateus had their first baptism yesterday between sessions, it was awesome! She is a young girl named Vitoria, she has 12 years and is super solid. Also on Thursday, we did divisions in Sao Mateus with President Reber and his wife, and the two office Senior Couples, Elder and Sister Harris and Elder and Sister Davis. So we all went to Sao Mateus and worked with the elders there. Elder Watchman and I went with Elder and Sister Harris, they got here about a month ago in the mission but they are assigned to the office, so they loved getting out on the streets and teaching people. We visited a couple families and had some great lessons, they really enjoyed it. We got ice cream at the end of it so it was great! haha.

I feel like we have been walking even more than usual lately, or maybe its just hotter, or both! haha right now is the hottest and driest part of the year so we are suffering a little bit. But everybody knows that the more we work out in the sun and rain, the prettier our wives will be! haha at least thats what we are told! ;)

Anyways, we had two baptismal dates but they both fell through, we are working with them to try to set another date. Also some of our investigators have stopped coming to church because they don't feel welcome in the ward. We have tried really hard to work with the members and help make friendships and everything, but two of our investigators (a mother and daughter who had a baptism date) stopped coming to church because they heard several women talking bad about them before Sacrament meeting started as well as during relief society. It is super sad and frustrating for me and Elder Watchman, we have been working hard and were trying to get them to come watch conference with us but they didn't even want to go into the church because they are worried people will judge them. They love the missionaries and will still meet with us, but we are stumped as far as what to do to help them come back to church. Hopefully we can help them in some way, we will figure it out. We are trying to find as much time as we can to work in our own area but we have been super busy going to the other areas and doing interviews and stuff. But this week should be better and hopefully we can stay in our own area longer.

This next week we will be doing divisions with some of the district leaders in the zone, so it should be fun. This is the start of the 5th week of the transfer already! I cant believe how fast time has gone! But overall things are going really good, we are staying busy and trying not to die of heat. Also we are still going strong in our 6 months to sexy program so no worries there :)

Anyways, I love you all so much and encourage you all to read and re-read the conference talks when they are available. These truly are the words of God coming from inspired men and women and will help strengthen our testimonies and desires to serve Heavenly Father. I hope you all have a wonderful week, abraço!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, September 29, 2014

WEEK #80

Friends and Faamily,

I hope you are all doing well and are enjoying whats left of September! haha I cant believe how fast time is going! So we had a really good week, there was a huge stake activity at the church on Friday, there were over a thousand people that showed up! It was a Pioneer celebration party type thing, so there were a bunch of pioneer games and presentations and stuff. It was pretty interesting to see Brazilians dressed up in handcart pioneer costumes but it was cool! There were tons of non members that showed up and we got tons of referrals. We met a family of 3, who are actually looking for a religion right now and have already been to church a couple times, just in a different ward. But they live in our area so we are going to go teach them this week :)

We still didn't end up going to Caceres, we are trying to find time still haha. We were going to plan it for this week on Thursday, but we are going to be doing divisions with the mission president and the elders in São Mateus on that day in their areas, but we might go to Caceres on Friday if we can.
We had 3 investigators at church yesterday so it was a pretty good turnout! We also met a family walking down the road right after lunch, a member was visiting that family and they called us into the yard to meet them. They are super cool and super receptive, they also have some sweet exotic pets that they are going to show us next time we come over haha. But we have met a lot of awesome people this week so I'm super excited to teach them and see what happens. We have been working with each of the district leaders in the zone and all of the districts are doing awesome, they all have several baptismal dates set up so we are working on following up with all of them and see how the progress.

We still have something big living in our ceiling, we cant figure out what it is but they are super fast and run across the ceiling, they are probably just rats but there is definitely more than one of them! haha. Also Elder Watchman and I are still doing our 6 months to sexy program, we are working out every day and eating healthy! We even buy spinach and kale at the market, we are taking it pretty serious! haha.

Oh also somebody broke into our house! Well actually they didn't break in to the house part, but they bent the metal fence spike things down and bent the barbed wire up top and entered into our yard. We live on the same property as a member, and the members said that they stole some white benches or chairs or something and some other stuff, but they didn't steal any of our stuff! Its just scary though, now we double check to make sure our doors are locked haha. We don't know when it happened either, we just noticed that the fence was messed with one day. Pretty much all of the houses here have to have barbed wire or electric wire above the tall gates to keep people out, but people still get in its pretty crazy.

But that's about it for this week, nothing super crazy happened, everything is good in the hood! We are working hard and definitely having a lot of fun. I hope you all have a great week, I love and miss you all!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, September 22, 2014

WEEK #79

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a great week! I don't have very much time today, so I´ll get right to it! haha. We had two investigators at church on Sunday, we also still have two investigators with baptismal dates, João Vitor and Elaine. We will also be marking a baptismal date with a woman named Mirian, we have taught her a lot in the past but she never got baptized for some different reasons but we will be working with her this week and trying to put her on date.

Last week we worked hard and taught a bunch of lessons, we found 7 new investigators and some showed up to church! It was pretty awesome. Also the group in São Mateus is still going strong, the elders there are doing good work! 

This week we will be going to Cáceres which takes about 4 hours by bus, but luckily its one of those tour buses that has AC and free water and stuff so we should survive! I always try to sleep but the highway is super bumpy and I have a ton on my mind so I cant sleep on it haha. But we will be doing divisions with the Elders up there, so we will most likely spend 2 nights there, it should be fun. 

On Wednesday we are going to be playing basketball with the other American elders in our district, they have some investigators in their area that want to play against us, Brazilians vs Americans so it should be really fun! We are all over 6 feet and they said the rim shorter than usual... haha :) None of us have played ball in a long time so we will see how we play. 

We have some solid lessons lined up this week, so we will have some good teaching opportunities. We still havent moved out of our house, and we definitely have something with 4 legs living up in our attic, we can hear it running across the ceiling sometimes but we are both too scared to go up there and see what it is! We will be movingv pretty soon though. It is tough to find a good house here though that is the right price and in a good place for us, because our house is in a perfect spot for our area, so we are still looking because we dont want to have to walk farther than we have to every day to get home haha ;)

The other day we had lunch with a member and I think I found my favorite Brazilian dish, its called Bife Role, it is thin slices of beef rolled up and filled with cooked vegetables and bacon and spices and stuff, but I about died it was so good! It is held together with toothpics then like grilled and so its just like meat filled with more meat and it is amazing. The member said she will give me the recipe so I can make it when I get home :)

Oh also, me and Elder Watchman have been working out and eating pretty healthy, because we have started our "6 Months to Sexy" program. Pretty much every mission has it, its not like official or anything but basically the last 6 months of your mission you work out a ton and eat right so you can go home in tip top shape! haha. We have been doing P90x and lifting, I brought some weights with me from my other area so I have put on like 2 kilograms which is about 5 pounds more or less, so Im happy! It is good to gain some weight back haha :)

Anyways, the work is going great and we are having lots of fun, our goal this week is to lower our intake of Coca Cola, last transfer we added up how many liters of coke we drank over the 6 week period..... It added up to be over 50 liters of coke... haha but this transfer we will better. Its just so good here!

But I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you and miss you!

Elder Kyle Payne

p.s. I forgot my camera today but I will send pics next week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WEEK #78

Hello everyone!

Sorry I wasn't able to email yesterday, we went to the Chapada with an investigator and didn't get home in time to email. But it was super fun! We went with a girl named Bruna, we met her teaching English last week, she is AWESOME! She already helps us a ton, she gives us rides places and gives us dinner and stuff. She even gave us sunscreen because she is worried about is walking out in the sun all day haha. She is really interested in what we do as missionaries and loves talking to us about the United States and English, she has a lot of potential so we will keep working with her. Elder Goodrich and Elder Nickolaisen slept at our house on Sunday night and they went with us to the Chapada as well, we all had a lot of fun. I will send pics later :) It rained super hard at the end though and we all got soaked but it was worth the trip!

This morning we had Zone Meeting here in Várzea Grande, so all of the missionaries in the zone came. It went really well, we all designed a zone t-shirt that we will get for each of us so it will be fun. I gave a training on Loving One Another and becoming true followers of Christ, and Elder Watchman gave a training on working with members and teaching investigators. We are focusing this transfer on taking members with us to our lessons. 

Last transfer our zone had 12 baptisms, so we are making good progress. But this next transfer our goal is pretty high, we are going to work towards 26 baptisms. That means that each companionship will baptize 2 people, which is really possible we just have to work hard. Plus our zone grew by 3 companionships, and São Mateus has 4 missionaries now and now that they have a little chapel it will be easy for people to come to church and be baptized instead of coming clear to the center at our chapel. The Elders there will baptize a ton. Also, this last Sunday was the first day of the group, and there were 44 people at church! That's so awesome! The group will become a branch here soon, no doubt.

Last week we also had Mission Leadership Council in Cuiaba, so all of the zone leaders in the north zones came together and discussed how to improve the mission. It went well and it was good to see my friends of the mission. But after the mission we took a bus from Cuiabá back to Várzea Grande which usually takes about a half hour, but with traffic at rush hour it takes about an hour and a half. But on the bus we took, all of the windows were sealed and we couldn't open them, and there was no AC so it was like a sauna! The bus was super packed as well. A woman standing next to me had a watch with a thermometer on it, and it said 54 degrees Celsius which is like 120 something in Fahrenheit. It was insane, probably the worst hour and a half of my life haha. But me and Elder Watchman survived so its all good :)

We also marked 2 baptismal dates this week with our investigators João Vitor and Eliane, so we will be teaching them this next week as well. They are awesome, they just haven't been to church yet so we will be sure to help them come to church with us this Sunday.

Anyways, I think that's about it for my week, but I hope you all have a good week, I love you and miss you!

Elder Kyle Payne

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WEEK #77

Friends and Family,

I hope you had a wonderful week! So besides from roasting in the sun, we actually had a good week as well. We did divisions with the Assistants and other Elders in Cuiabá, so we slept there on Thursday night. We worked all day Friday and came home Friday night. It was a lot of fun, I went with Elder Phipps, he is one of the APs here in the north. Also we made salsa and dip at the district meeting in the morning so that was good! Then Friday night we helped Elder Davis (the senior missionary) move a bunch of furniture to the house in São Mateus. The funny thing is, the car he used was full of furniture so I had to sit on Elder Watchman's lap in the front seat for like 45 minutes in a tiny car full of furniture! We got so many stares and weird looks and we felt really dumb but we got a good laugh haha!

So we got transfer calls last night... I am staying here ANOTHER transfer! Watchman and I will stay together so we are both really excited for that. But this is my 4th transfer here so its pretty crazy. Me and Watchman are going to tear it up though this transfer so look out! :)

Also, São Mateus will be receiving 2 companionships instead of just one! It will be awesome! so there will be 4 missionaries there this transfer. The work is going to be so great there. So now we don't have to work in São Mateus and can focus on our area more so it is a relief to us haha. Also, an area called Imperial is getting another companionship so our zone just grew by 6 missionaries, which means we now have 26 in our zone... We have our work cut out for us that's for sure haha. It is now the biggest zone in the mission again but I'm excited! 

This week we will have Leadership Council in Cuiabá, so that will be good to talk about the news and changes in the mission. Next week we will be having our zone training, so we have to decide what we are going to discuss and everything. But overall I'm really excited to stay here one more with Elder Watchman, it will be a lot of work but a lot of fun too. I just really hope the weather starts to cool down just a little bit! Or at least I wish that God could have a little mercy and send us just a little bit of wind or something! haha. 

Anyways, we have lots to do today for transfers and have to pick up new missionaries and stuff so I don't have too much time today, but that about covers whats going on at the moment! I love and miss you all so much! Talk to you soon!

Job 30:30

My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, September 1, 2014

WEEK #76

Friends and Family,

I'm sorry I don't have very much time at all today to write, we have a bunch of stuff to do to get ready for mission tour tomorrow, there will be a bunch of elders coming to stay at our house and stuff so we have to get things ready.

But Elder Watchman and I had a good week, we weren't able to meet with Luciana because she and her husband both worked and traveled, but we were able to set up an appointment for this Thursday so we will see how that goes. The also weren't able to come to church, which was a bummer for us, they seemed really excited to come But I think its because they just got home.

We met a man named Antônio, he came to church on Sunday so that was awesome! He gave us his address but we were unable to find his house because there is no number on it and he said its kind of hidden. He didn't have a cell phone before, but now he was able to get one so we are going to call him tomorrow when we get close to his house and he will help us find it. He just suffered an accident of some kind so he has to walk on crutches and he lives by himself, so I think the gospel would help him a lot right now. I am really excited to get to know him and teach him.

We had to be in a trio for most of the week last week because an Elder finished his mission last week and went home, so Elder Tibbitts stayed with us. It was pretty fun but he had to be outside of his area for a long time. But he went on splits with our Ward Mission Leader and went to Cuiaba with him to teach English so it all worked out alright.

We were able to teach some really good lessons though, and all of our recent converts are still active and coming to church which is good! This week we are also going to reactivate a less-active family if they come to church one more time so that's good :) 

Unfortunately this week one of the less active members we were visiting passed away, she had terminal cancer and passed over the weekend. Her name was Alice, she was super sweet and always so nice to us, but I know she is in a better place now and isn't feeling any pain. It really hit me hard though, because earlier in the week I had the thought that we needed to go see Alice and her granddaughter, but we also had to go to Cuiaba that day so I just planned to go visit her over the weekend when we had more time. But then we found out that she passed away. I know that was a prompting of the Spirit to go see her when she needed us, but I didn't listen like I should have. I feel guilty, but I want to use this experience as a learning experience for me so that I can do better in the future. When we get promptings or feelings from the spirit, these are things from God and he trusts us to do what we feel to be right. I hope and pray that all of us, including myself, will be able to pray and ask for guidance from the spirit, and then have the courage to act on those promptings we receive. I know the Lord guides us through the Spirit and that we will be blessed from our obedience to its promptings.

I love you all so much and I am grateful for all of your thoughts and prayers. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Choose the Right! :)

Elder Kyle Payne

PS I forgot my camera today but I will send lots of pictures later on in the week! :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

WEEK #75

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a great week! Elder Watchman and I had an awesome week, we worked hard taught a lot of lessons. I am absolutely exhausted right now! haha. We went on exchanges with the elders in Cáceres over the weekend, it was a lot of fun. So on Thursday night after we worked we went to the Elders house in Cuiabá and slept there, then bright and early Friday morning we took a travel bus to Cáceres, which took about 4 hours. There are two companionships there, so on Friday we went with one and then Saturday we went with the other. But when we got there on Friday we ate lunch then went right to work. Me and Watchman split up and I went with Elder Bowers, he is almost done with his mission, he only has about 2 months left. But it was great teaching with him and meeting his investigators and some of the members there. On Saturday we switched and I went with Elder W. Rocha, who used to be here in Várzea Grande but is now a district leader there. We have done divisions before in the past, so it was fun to do divisions again with him. We have become good friends. After working with them we took a bus back to Cuiabá, and finally got hom late Saturday night. Overall the exchanges up there went very well, I feel like I learned a lot and we taught some great lessons with their investigators and met some really cool people. It was also nice because Cáceres has a nice breeze pretty much all day, so even though it was really hot, we could at least cool down a little bit because of the wind :)

This week we also met an awesome couple! We first met Luciana, the wife, at church 2 weeks ago because a member brought her to Ward Conference. We set up a visit with her on Thursday and went there with the members, it went very well. We met her husband who is a champ, hes super nice and respects the missionaries a lot. We taught about faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. It was kind of cool though, because once we asked Luciana about baptism, she said she was already baptized, but it was when she was a baby. But then she continued and said that in her mind, babies don't have sins and don't need to be baptized, and went on to say that she wants to be baptized now that she is aware of what she is doing. She accepted our invitation to be baptized but we didn't mark a date, because she said she wants to read and pray about it first, which is good. So we are going to follow up with her tomorrow to see how things went. They didn't come to church yesterday though, so we also need to find out what happened. But they are an awesome family and I'm excited to keep teaching them! :)

Alexandre, our recent convert, is still doing great. We had family home evening with him and his girlfriends family, it was pretty fun. Also, his girlfriends grandma was there, and she is Suuuuuuper Catholic, but after the family night I talked with her a little about the bible and the Book of Mormon, and she said she wants to learn more as well. She already has a Book of Mormon though so she said she will pull it out of her boxes and read it this week. Awesome! haha :)

We have still been working in São Mateus as well, we helped the office couple move in a refrigerator to the new house there on Wednesday. Then after that Elder Davis (the office Senior Couple) took us out for ice cream at this place called Chiquinhos, it was pretty good. We had a really good talk with him, he served over 50 years ago in the Brazil South Mission. But it was really cool to hear about his life and how him and his wife ended up serving a mission together in Brazil. Looking back he said that everything in his life and the people he has met have all worked out perfect so that he and his wife could have this opportunity, even some of the people that he met and taught on his mission that he has kept in contact with are now in the Brazil Cuiabá Mission. Pretty amazing to see how the Lords plans work and that everything has a purpose. even the little things.

In total we taught 28 lessons this week in our area and found some new investigators, so I am super worn out right now! But things are going great, we are working hard and having tons of fun. This next week we will keep doing divisions with the district leaders of the zone and trying to mark baptismal dates with their investigators, so it should be good! 

Anyways, I love and miss you all and hope you have an amazing week! I know that the Lord knows whats best for each and every one of us, we just need to put our full trust in him and have faith that everything will work out. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ, I love this gospel, and I love the people here in Brazil with all my heart. I'm so grateful to be a missionary right now and I wouldn't trade my time here for anything. Have a great week!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, August 18, 2014

WEEK #74

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a great week! Sounds like summer vacation is wrapping up there, where did the time go?! I feel like time has gone by super fast! 

This week was pretty good for me and Elder Watchman, we spent lots of time getting things ready for the group in São Mateus that will start here in a few weeks, also we have been visiting a lot of less actives and contacting referrals that we received throughout the week from some of the members here in the ward. It turned out to be really cool, we met some great people and set up return appointments this week to teach them. A member brought a man to church that used to go to church for like 10 years, but then moved here to Varzea Grande after his divorce and then became inactive. As we conversed more with him, he told us that he was never actually baptized and confirmed, but he had always considered himself a member. So we are going to teach him and hopefully commit him to baptism this week! It should be very good.

Out zone had 2 baptisms this past week, so we are making progress! Hopefully we can get close to our goal of 20 baptisms for the transfer. We are about halfway through, and each companionship has many potentials and are working hard, so I know we will have a lot of success this transfer. My first transfer here the zone had 6 baptisms for the transfer, and last transfer the zone had 10 baptisms. So this transfer we are trying to push ourselves and get more baptisms, we are making great progress.

Elder Watchman gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, it went really well. Everyone in the ward likes him too and always comment how he is the first black American they have seen in Brazil haha. But we are going to work closely with the members this next week, visiting the referrals that they gave us, it should be good. 

Yesterday after church we visited with our recent convert Alexandre, he is doing awesome still! We made American Brownies and they turned out to be really good! Alexandre will be receiving the priesthood either next week or the next one, he just has to have an interview with the Bishop but the bishop is out of town. But it will be such an awesome blessing in his life, we are super excited for him.

I think that about sums up the week though, we mostly focused on meeting new people that live in Sao Mateus and telling them about the group that will open up there, and contacting new referrals! This next week we will doing the same thing as well as doing divisions with a couple of the District Leaders in the zone, so it will be another busy week for us. But things are going great, all is well! I'm so glad to be a part of this work. On Saturday we will only have 6 months left on our missions, it is crazy to me how fast the time has gone. I hope to make the most of my time here in Brazil and work as hard as I can. I love and miss you all, have a great week! 

Elder Kyle Payne