Monday, February 24, 2014

WEEK #49

Family and Friends,

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

Ether 12:4

Monday, February 17, 2014

WEEK #48

Beleza gente!

Oh man I don't even know where to begin!!! This past week was super crazy, so many things happened haha. Hopefully I will be able to remember everything!

So first off, we got transfer calls last night. I will be staying here in 3rd ward in Ponta Porã, and I will be training a new missionary! Also I was called to be a District Leader here. I'm a little nervous because I cant speak Portuguese as well as I want to yet but I will get there eventually! But Ive heard a little bit about my new companion, his name is Elder Rocha and he is from Rio Grande do Sul (the most southern state in Brazil). That's all i know about him! haha he will arrive here in Wednesday so we will see! I'm excited for this next transfer, we have a lot of good things going on here as far as the work goes. I'm pretty sad though I will miss Elder Vecchio, he is going to Campo Grande. But we are getting another American in our ward named Elder Dodson, he arrived last transfer. In the city of Ponta Porã, there are 3 wards and 12 missionaries. There are 4 missionaries in each ward.

Sonaira still wants to be baptized, and she said that her mom will let her be baptized on her birthday which is the 3rd of March. So we are going to be working with her mom and Sonaira to prepare for that date. I'm excited! Hopefully everything will work out.

So it has gotten harder for me to speak in English and form sentences, when I speak in English I feel dumb because I feel like the things I am trying to say don't make sense haha. Also it is hard to explain things and tell stories in English! But I had tons of crazy experiences this week, I will try to explain them hopefully everything makes sense haha. 

So we have an investigator named Cecilio, we have been teaching him. On Wednesday we taught him and his wife a lesson, and they both said that they are sick and feeling unhappy, so we offered to give them a blessing. I gave one and Elder Vecchio gave one. The blessing was great and the spirit was there, when all of the sudden a crazy drunk guy came and started yelling random things about Jesus and sinners and stuff. Turns out he is a friend of Cecilo and is a heavy alcoholic, his name is Antonio. But he said we could come over to his house and teach him and his family. He lives with his sister. We asked when we could come over and he said right now! Come with me! So after the lesson with Cecilio we went to Antonio's house and taught him and his sister and her family. Antonio was really drunk but he said he truly wants to change his life because he wants to be happy again. But after that, we taught him another time and his family. Its just funny how we met him and started teaching him! He didn't come to church because he had to go to Paraguay, but he said he will come next week. 

On Wednesday night we had a Churrasco for Elder Vecchio, he reached his year mark on his mission. That was really fun and we had lots of meat and stuff. 

Thursday, I had probably the coolest experience of my entire mission! So we are teaching this woman named Suni, she is from Paraguay and doesn't speak Portuguese hardly at all. Her husband is a Brazilian and he is a member but Suni is not. Suni was really sick and asked for a blessing, and I had the opportunity to give her one. I was a little worried that she wouldn't be able to understand the blessing because she cant understand Portuguese very well. But I had a little prayer in my heart that she would be able to understand. But once I started giving her the blessing, I was speaking in Spanish! SPANISH! I don't really remember what I said, I probably didn't say everything right but she said she understood every word. I know without a doubt that the Spirit helped me give her a blessing so that she could understand and be comforted. The Gift of Tongues is real! It was a really cool experience and I will never forget it.

On Friday morning we got a microwave and a toaster! It felt like Christmas Morning! haha I'm so excited, now we can cook more things! Our house doesn't have any pans or anything, just one pot. So the other week I bought a frying pan that I will take with me throughout my mission here so that i can eat breakfast! haha. Later that day, I had a crazy experience, I got hit by a car! Its not as bad as it sounds, but it was legit! Me and Elder Vecchio were walking uphill on this road. Here in Brazil there are lots of speed bumps randomly in the roads to keep people from going too fast. But lots of people go around the speed bumps and just keep driving fast. Anyways, I was in front and Elder Vecchio was walking behind me. I was right by the speed bump, and some idiot in a car went around the speed bump and he hit my left arm and hip! It was funny though, I didn't fall down or anything, all I did was spin around in a 180 and I was looking at Elder Vecchio! Both of us just froze out of shock of what just happened haha but then we both started laughing! It was crazy though and we are both super lucky. All I have is a little bruise on my wrist!

Later Friday night we had a Rodizio at a restaurant with a member. It was a Pizza Rodizio and I ended up eating 15 slices of pizza... i about threw up haha. The pizza here is thinner than it is in the States but still i ate a ton that night! 

Last night we had another Churrasco at a members house while we were waiting for transfer calls. But we taught a lot of lessons this week and have lots of good things going on here in Ponta Porã! I think that pretty much sums up the week, it was definitely crazy but lots of fun at the same time! 

Anyways, I love you all so much, I hope you have a wonderful week! Fica firme!


Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, February 10, 2014


WEEK #47


I hope you all had a wonderful week! This week was pretty good for me and Elder Vecchio, we worked hard. It was tough as well, we had to drop some of our investigators because they weren't progressing or keeping any commitments. We dropped the family that came to church the other week, because they wouldn't keep commitments and all they wanted was money. They were needing a little bit of money to get their little girls started in school, so they asked our Bishop for $50. But after that they didn't come to church, and every time we went to their house to teach them they just kept asking when they would get the money from the bishop. We explained that he needs to see them at church and he needs to see them showing their faith. But the next time we went there, the grandmother said that she needed $3500 for a down payment on a new house and she said that the Bishop promised her the money (which he didn't.) It was just a really complicated and frustrating situation for us, but its all good because we found some more investigators. We taught a lot of lessons this week and we had 5 investigators at church! It was awesome.a 

Sonaira is still wanting to be baptized, and earlier this week her mother said that she could be baptized if she wanted! So we got super excited and were planning her baptism for Saturday, but then her mom changed her mind and said she cant be baptized anymore. Go figure! We are still trying though.

We´ve also been teaching another girl named Erica, the only problem is her parents don't want her to be baptized until shes 18 either. But right now we are teaching another family, the wife and kids were at church and they really liked it so we are going to visit them this week as well.

There has been a lot happening here in the ward but we are just focusing on working and not worrying about the gossip. We have responsibility for our areas, so we are just going to work! Also transfers are next week, we will see what happens! I kind of have a feeling that I will stay here for another transfer but we will see. We are also moving into a new house next week which is like twice as big and is a lot better suited for 4 missionaries, so it will be good. 

But things are going really good here! The  people are awesome. The work is coming along, hopefully we will see some baptisms shortly. I love seeing the difference the gospel makes in peoples lives. I am so grateful to be part of this work! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love and miss you all very much.

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, February 3, 2014


WEEK #46

Hey everyone, 

Is it really February already? Dang! I hope you all had a good week! So I hear Seattle won?! That's exciting I feel so out of the loop with sports and music and... life haha. Oh well haha.

Well this was probably the most frustrating week of my entire mission! Me and Elder Vecchio are about to go crazy. I cant really go into all the details, but there is a huge problem here in Ponta Pora with gossip and rumors and drama in the wards. I feel like I'm back in High School again! It is frustrating, because we are adults trying to do the lords work and help people. But transfers are on the 15th so we will see what happens. We have a mission conference this Thursday so that will be good. I am going to talk to the mission president to see if we can try to better the situation here. It has been really frustrating for me, because right now I don't have a leadership position and I cant communicate in Portuguese as effectively as Id like to, so I feel like I cant really make a difference right now I just have to go with the flow. 

But last night we had family home evening with some members, and they had the Superbowl on TV before we started. There were 6 missionaries there and a bunch of members. The game hadn't started yet and everybody was talking and yelling, but before the National Anthem started we asked for people to be silent during it and be respectful. But then some missionaries were like dude you're in Brazil not America! But some of the members were nice and asked people to be quiet too. Then the lady started to sing the National Anthem, and some members and missionaries started yelling and making fun of the national anthem. It was really frustrating for me, I explained that there were many many people who gave their lives for our country and for our freedom, and that the National Anthem symbolizes our love and honor for our country and for those who died. But still, they continued to crack jokes and sing during it. I couldn't believe it. I feel like I'm in high school again with a bunch of kids! haha. 

But anyways we only had one investigator at church yesterday, it was Sonaira. Her mom still wont let her get baptized. But Sonaira got up and bore her testimony in Sacrament Meeting, it was so beautiful and I am praying that she will be able to be baptized here soon! We are going to fast this week again and hopefully things will work out. But we also have to remember the Lord knows everything and things will work out how they're supposed to! 

We went on exchanges with some of the young men in the ward two days during the week, so we taught a lot of new people and we got 16 new investigators this week. We will be really busy again this next week making return visits to see if people read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. Fingers crossed! There are so many good and humble people here that would be baptized, we just have to work hard and find them.

It was super hot this week and we didn't have very much rain, so that was nice! i hate the rain during a mission because we don't have a car, so when we get stuck in the rain it is awful! haha. 

I have had Red Red Wine by UB40 stuck in my head for like 4 days! Hopefully i can get a hymn or something stuck in my head instead! We will see! 

But anyways I love you all so much! I know the Lord has a plan for us all and that everything will work out according to what He wants. The Lord is always with us and is always willing to help us! I'm so grateful for this gospel and for my family and friends. I hope you have a good week! 

Elder Kyle Payne