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