Monday, April 28, 2014

WEEK #58

Friends and Family,

I hope you all have a wonderful week! This week was pretty normal for us, nothing too exciting. We dropped several of our investigators because they weren't progressing and weren't showing any effort to do anything. So this week we will be in finding mode, making lots of street contacts and finding people to teach.

Today I received news that my cousin passed away from Cancer, which makes me realize just how grateful I am for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and how fortunate we are to know that we will be able to see and live with our loved ones again after this life. I am so grateful for my knowledge of the plan of Salvation and that our families will be together forever.

It is the birthday of my Dad tomorrow, just wanted to wish him happy birthday. He is my best friend and I love him very much. I hope he will be able to get out and play some golf this week! :)

Last Monday we had family home evening at a members house, but we had it in English! All of the Elders serving in 3rd ward are Americans, and the couple we had the family home evening with speak English very well, so it was a lot of fun. We watched 17 Miracles, which I had never seen before, and then afterwards had hot dogs. It was a lot harder to speak English than we expected, we kept mixing words and were using Portuguese grammar to structure our sentences, it was pretty funny haha. But it was really cool.

We found and taught a new investigator named Roseline, we taught her two lessons this week. She is 68 and is super nice, the only thing is is she doesn't know how to read, and she doesn't know how to stop talking haha so it is really hard to teach her. But she was involved in Macumba in the past, which is some weird religion that like invites spirits and stuff, and she said that ever since then she has been sick and her vision in her eyes has started to fail. But we have been trying to figure out where she is at spiritually and just what she believes in exactly, because she mentioned several times that she has had revelations from God and that she talks to Angel Gabriel through a glass of water that she keeps in her pantry. She shows sincere interest in the learning so we will pass for the house of her again this week to see if she still has interest and will progress or not.

We have been working with a lot of members and less actives lately, we are trying to get referrals from the members, because member referrals are much more effective than tracting and making contacts. But we are really trying to strengthen our relationships with the members here, because when missionaries and members are united, amazing things start happening :)

We have a bit of a rat problem in our house! I had an encounter with a rat that was in my suitcase, that little devil! So a little while ago I received a package with some food, and I was guarding the food in my suitcase. All of our suitcases and clothes are on the floor and stuff, because we don't have a dresser, so we have to keep our clothes in or on top of the suitcases for the current time. Anyways, all of our suitcases are in this room in our house that has peeling pink paint and has really bad lighting, so the room is just creepy altogether. We call it A Quarta do Inimigo, which means the room of the enemy. Several times throughout the week I turned on the light and rats run out the door or run out from under boxes and stuff when we move things, and I noticed there was some rat poop in one of my suitcases so I decided I better clean it out. Come to find out, there was rat poop in ALL of my suitcases and our clothes hampers, which means the rats have been snooping around a ton! haha. So i was cleaning out one of my suitcases, and as I was pulling out some clothes a rat fell out onto my lap!!!! It didn't register for a few seconds what happened, but then I flipped out and the rat ran into the main room into Elder Ellis belongings. But it was so gross haha I just took a shower after. We are going to be buying some rat poison so we can get rid of them, we don't want them in our house anymore.

Elder Ellis purchased a hammock, and I'm super jealous and want one because our beds are like rocks, so I think i might be buying one this week. The only thing we will need after is a beach and some ukeleles! haha just kidding. But it is nice to sit in the hammock on pdays and when we get back at night. This morning the zone played water balloon volleyball, it was a lot of fun, we had a tournament and me and Elder Ellis were the champions! It was pretty sweet. Then afterwards it just turned into a big water fight, not too surprising when you have a group of twenty year olds with a bunch of water balloons. Normally our pdays consist of buying groceries and stuff, and then just playing Truco, a super fun card game here in Brazil.

Anyways, this is the last week of the transfer, so we will be working hard to finish strong and find some more investigators so that the next transfer the area will have a good start as far as the teaching pool goes. 

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

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, April 21, 2014

WEEK #57

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! What a great time of year, when we can remember the life and Resurrection of our Savior. Here in Brazil, they celebrate the whole week, it is called Semana Santa (Holy Week) So all week there were little parties and celebrations. It is pretty cool. But Saturday is crazy, it is pretty much like Black Friday in the States, there are tons of promotions and sales, so everybody freaks out and goes to buy a bunch of stuff, so the roads were pretty crazy. But the members were good to us for Pascoa (Easter) We got lots of food and chocolate :) I absolutely love the members here in Ponta Pora! I hope I get to stay here another transfer.

So I had an interesting week! Elder Rocha got transferred to Dourados, and I received a new companion who just got his Visa. His name is Elder Ellis, he is from Kentucky. He had been serving in Ohio waiting for his Visa for 6 months. But he is here now and is ready to go. He was in the MTC in Sao Paulo for 2 weeks, so he already speaks a little Portuguese which is good. I guess the church is sending Elders to the MTC in Sao Paulo once they get their visas now. I wish I could have done that! When I got here I had pretty much forgotten everything! haha.

So this week was kind of crazy, we only had like half a week to work. When Elder Ellis got here, another new American named Elder Goodrich came with him to stay with us for a few days. Elder Goodrich is serving in Maracaju, another city in Mato Grosso do Sul. He was just with us while he was waiting for his companion to come from Cuiaba. So we were in a trio until Friday, which was Zone Conference. President and Sister Reber came and it was a good conference with good food.

This week we haven't been teaching very many new people, just continuing with our investigators. We have a goal to baptize two more this transfer, and I am sure we will be able to do it. We are still teaching Noemi and her sister Erika, Martina, and Natieli. This week we are going to focus on setting dates for Saturday May 3, the last Saturday of the transfer. So we will see what happens! We just have to work hard and have faith, and the Lord will direct the work.

We have had a rat problem in our house! Last night I woke up because something fell in the kitchen, and my first thought was that it was a burglar in the house, because we have already had a few people try to get into our house in the night. But after listening for a few seconds I realized that it was probably a rat, so i went into the kitchen and sure enough there were two rats at the bottom of our pantry cupboard thing. They had knocked over a broom by the garbage can. Luckily they didn't get into any of my food! Also we have lizards in our house, but we keep them around because they eat spiders so its good :) The lizards aren't too big, just like 4 or 5 inches long.

I have had a goal to put on some weight, so I have been trying to eat a ton the past few weeks, and I actually gained a Kilo! I think its about 2  pounds. Its a miracle! I gave a member some money and he is going to buy me some dumbbells at a mall here called Shopping China. Its a huuuuuuuuge shopping center in Paraguay, they say it is the biggest shopping center in all of the Americas that is owned by just one owner. I have never been there because we cant go to Paraguay now but I heard it is sweet. But anyways I also bought some protein and stuff, so I figure with working out and taking supplements again I will be able to gain some weight back.

I haven't had a problem speaking Portuguese this week thank goodness, it was a lot better than last week! I have really fallen in love with Brazil and the culture and the language here. I definitely plan to come back and visit after my mission! I have met so many amazing people who have touched and changed my life forever. I'm so glad to be here! But I am trying to learn Portuguese as best I can, my goal is to be able to speak as well as a Native speaker by the time I leave. I also hear that after learning Portuguese, learning Spanish is pretty easy so I will try to learn Spanish after my mission. But the language here is really cool. I hope my wife speaks Portuguese ;)

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you for the love and support. I know that our Heavenly Father is watching out for each and every one of us. I know that He and His Son Jesus Christ, our Savior, love and know each and every one of us individually. I know that they live, and that we can too if we live according to the Gospel. I am so grateful for our Savior, and I am happy to know that through his atoning sacrifice, we can all return to live with him and our father in Heaven with our families forever. I love you all, take care :)

Elder Kyle Payne


Big Cheeseburger! 
President and Sister Reber 
Kyle and Elder Richards 
Crazy Moth Thing!

Elder Ellis eating a lizard! 
Baptism of Cida and Roselia

We killed "Ratatouille!"

Monday, April 14, 2014

WEEK #56

Friends and Family,

This was a really weird week, I'm not exactly sure why haha. The work was just different than normal. We had three investigators confirmed on Sunday during Sacrament Meeting, that was a really cool experience. 

But this week was pretty frustrating for me as far as Portuguese goes! For some reason I just had a harder time expressing everything. But now I am back to normal haha. It was kind of funny though, I went on divisions with Elder Dodson, another American in my district, and we spoke English when we were at our house, and I had such a hard time speaking in English! I just couldn't put my thoughts into words, and so half of the words I was trying to say came out in Portuguese. We had some good laughs though, because we both suck at English now.

We have been teaching Martina still, she hasn't stopped smoking but we are going to work really hard this week with her to help her stop so she can be baptized on Saturday. We are also teaching Noemi and Erica, although they didn't come to church on Sunday. We even got a ride ready for them but they said they had to leave with their sister to go to Paraguay or something.

Right now its super cold compared to normal! I'm not sure how many degrees it has here but its colder than normal. Luckily, we met a family who we started teaching (they are actually our neighbors across the street) and they gave us fuzzy blankets to sleep with so that's good. We have no clothes for cold weather, because in our mission calls it doesn't say anything about cold. But we have transfers on May 4, so who knows! I have a feeling I'm going to get transferred.

Also this week we have Zone Conference, so missionaries from Dourados and Maracaju are coming to Ponta Pora for the conference. It should be good, Ill be able to see Elder Mayolo and Elder Rasmussen from my MTC district again.

Anyways, nothing too out of the ordinary happened this week, just normal missionary work! We continue to be blessed and see miracles every day. I know that this truly is the Lords work and I'm grateful to be a part of it. 

Sorry this letter is kind of brief, we have to go to the center to do some paperwork to renew my Visa so we don't have much time today. But I love and miss you all! I hope you all have a great week!

Boa semana,
Elder Kyle Payne

Hello everyone, so we just got word last night that my companion Elder Rocha is getting transferred today to Dourados! It is the middle of the transfer so it was really unexpected. But I will be receiving a new companion tomorrow, he is an American who just got his Visa and got to Brazil yesterday. He will be taking a bus from Cuiaba to Ponta Pora today and will arrive tomorrow sometime. I don't know anything about him but they told me they think his name is Elder Willis, but we will see when he gets here. I will be his trainer here in Brazil, which I'm a little nervous about because I only have like 4 months here but it should be good! I'm excited. This also means that I could be staying here in Ponta for another transfer after this one to finish up his training, which would be my 5th transfer here. Pretty crazy! But now my district will consist of all Americans! Not a single Brazilian! haha we will all just have to work and help one another learn the language, since none of us are native speakers. Anyways, just wanted to let you all know about the change that happened! Hope you have a great week. Love you all!


Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, April 7, 2014

WEEK #55

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful week and enjoyed General Conference! It was a really good week here in Ponta Porã, two of our investigators, Cida and Rozelia, were baptized on Saturday. It was such an incredible experience! It is truly amazing to see people exercise their faith by making changes in their lives and coming unto Christ. It was a special day for all of us in the ward in Ponta Porã. 

Also, Conference was awesome!!! All of us who speak English were able to watch it in English in a separate room. It was good to be able to hear the Apostles and Prophet´s original voices. Priesthood session, however, we watched in Portuguese. It was great as well, but just a little different hearing the voice of the translator!

We have a baptism coming up on Saturday, her name is Martina. We are working with her to help her stop smoking. It is difficult, but we have already seen the Lord bless our investigators who are working towards baptism by helping them stop smoking. So we will be working with her this week, hopefully everything works out.

Also, we have two more investigators that accepted our invitation to be baptized, we set the date for next Saturday the 18th. Their names are Erica and Noemí, they are sisters who we found and started teaching. Erica is 18 years old and Noemí is 15. They both came to one of the sessions of General Conference and watched our baptisms on Saturday and really seemed to like it. Also already some of the youth have fellowshipped them and made them feel welcome. So I we will be teaching them this week and preparing them for baptism.

We are also teaching a few other people who we will be trying to get on date for baptism. This week we aren't going to focus on making contacts and getting new investigators as much, we are going to really focus on helping the investigators we already have, and bringing members with us when we teach. I'm really excited on whats happening here.

This morning we played soccer at the church, it was really fun. I'm getting better at soccer, but I'm still horrible compared to some of the Brazilians here haha. But I scored some goals today so I'm satisfied haha. Next week we are going to play basketball as a zone, so us Americans are excited to show all the Brazilians whats up! haha just kidding :)

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Always remember when we are humble and have faith, the Lord will work miracles in our lives. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for all of the blessings our Heavenly Father gives us. Love and miss you guys!!!

Boa Semana!
Elder Kyle Payne