This week was a good one! My new companion arrived on Tuesday and we are already like best friends! His personality is pretty much just like mine so we are laughing our butts off all the time. His name is Elder Rocha and hes from Rio Grande do Sul. He is 18 years old and is super ready to work! I can tell we are going to do some good work this transfer.
We had 3 investigators at church, so that was good. Also, about 6 weeks ago when i was here with Elder Vecchio, we met a less active girl named Emily who had 16 years. She was baptized in Paraguay with her boyfriend, but her boyfriend was killed last year and after that she didn't attend church anymore. She lives here in Brazil but her boyfriend was from Paraguay so she went to church there. Anyways, she didn't seem that interested in coming back to church when we taught her the last time, but on Wednesday night she called us and said that she has been praying for help in her life and she knows that she needs to come back to church! She bore her testimony to us over the phone and she said that she knows everything is true she just has had a hard time the past few months. But we have visited her a few times this past week and she really has a desire to follow Christ again, and she is going to invite her friend to come over so we can teach her next time! At first when I met her i was a little sad that she didn't want to come back to church, but now she has opened up to us and we have been able to help her. I know that everything happens for a reason, we just have to trust in the Lords timing!
Also this week we went to a Thai restaurant, it was super good! It was nice to have some Rice and Curry instead of the normal rice! haha.
So the mission has kind of changed its focus a little bit. Brazil has a really high baptizing rate but a really low retention rate! So now, we are instructed to focus on helping people achieve real growth. So we are still trying to get baptisms and everything, but we are also focusing a LOT more on Less Active members, recent converts, strengthening members in our wards, and also helping those who are preparing to serve missions. So we have been working the past few weeks with the less active families here, and so far we have seen a lot of success! We have had several families come to church with us and it has been great to become friends with the people here and see their willingness to come to Christ. I have met so many people here who have truly changed my life and I will always be grateful for what I have learned here!
So our new toaster and microwave have been the best thing in my life I swear! I have been trying to eat as much as i can, I don't want to lose anymore weight! Food here is really expensive, so its hard to eat Breakfast all the time. But we always have Lunch with members and if we are lucky we have dinner sometimes! I weighed myself the other day and I weighed 94 kilograms, which is about 207 pounds. Its crazy because when I left Montana I was at almost 225! So i have lost like 17 pounds or whatever. Crazy!
Today we are going to the center to play soccer with our zone. Our zone has like 3 new Americans who just got there visas and its their first transfer in Brazil, so now there are 5 Americans in our zone. The new Americans are super stressed in learning the language, its just funny because I was in exactly the same boat like 3 months ago! Even now I am still learning a lot and I have a long way to go with the language, but it has gotten a lot easier for me now and I can pretty much understand everybody now. But the language comes in due time. Here in Ponta Porã we are super close to Paraguay and so there are tons of people who speak Spanish, and also a lot of people who speak Guarani! Guarani is a native indian language from Paraguay and it is suuuuuuper hard to speak, but I'm learning a little bit so i can talk to a few people :) It is really cool here to see the combined culture of Brazil and Paraguay!
Anyways, things are going great here! I love you all so much and I hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Kyle Payne