Monday, August 4, 2014

WEEK #72

Friends and Family,

Can you believe its August already!?!? I seriously don't know where the time is going. Its passing way too fast in my opinion! But things are going great here, we had some great visits with Alexandre this past week, turns out we misunderstood what he was trying to say about his family. We thought he had family problems meaning that his family didn't want him to get baptized, but what actually happened was that last Friday, the day before the baptism, his uncle suffered an accident and had to have brain surgery and is now in critical condition at the hospital in Cuiaba. So there was just a lot going on and it wasn't the best time to be baptized. But we taught the Plan of Salvation to him again and focused on eternal families and that everything happens for a reason, I think he really enjoyed the lesson. He has progressed so much and is now saying prayers in church and is talking more openly about religion and his feelings, I know the Lord has prepared him to be baptized! He has become a very good friend to me and I cant wait for him to be baptized. We had lunch with him and his girlfriend and her family yesterday, then after we played Monopoly with them for a while, it was a lot of fun haha. This may be bragging, but I completely dominated in the Monopoly game, at the end I had more money than the bank did! haha. But I deserved to win though, because I lost pretty bad playing soccer with them before lunch haha.

So tomorrow we have Zone Training, everyone in the zone will be coming to our chapel in Mapim for the meeting in the morning. Elder Nere and I will be giving trainings, it should be good. Elder Nere will talk about marking baptismal dates with investigators and also following up every day and leaving commitments to be sure they will keep their baptismal date to help them progress. I will be talking a little about personal development and how we will have more success as missionaries as we practice self discipline and strive to continually learn and better ourselves. 

Last week we had Mission Leadership Council again, once a transfer all the zone leaders and sister training leaders get together with President and discuss ways to improve the mission, it was a pretty good meeting. There were quite a few changes as far as counting numbers and the statistics of the mission, and how we can get rid of some bad "traditions" of the mission. It will be tough but we will make progress slow and steady in the mission.

This transfer we will be working a lot in an area called São Mateus, it is a neighborhood that is part of the Mapim ward right now, but there will be a group opening up there next transfer. A group is smaller than a branch and a ward, so there wont be very many people in the beginning but it should be growing really fast! the area is full of people who are ready to hear the gospel, and in no time it will grow into a branch and then a ward, no doubt. We will be working a ton there getting members together and getting things ready to have Sunday meetings and everything. We already got a missionary house and a house to have Sunday meetings there, and we will work with the ward mission leader a lot to make visits and invite people. It should be good and if all goes well the group will open up next month :)

Anyways, we also met some great families this week and had some awesome lessons, unfortunately none of the new investigators came to church on Sunday. We did our best to invite them and follow up, but maybe next week we will have more success getting people to church. We met a woman named Sandra, who had lessons with the missionaries about 5 months ago but stopped taking the lessons. But we asked if we could visit her and her husband and 7 year old son and she said yes and seemed very receptive, so maybe now she is more prepared to hear the gospel. We will see this week.

But things are going really well here, we will be doing divisions with the Elders in the zone this week and working in their areas, so we will be super busy. Woohoo! 

I hope you all have a great week, I love and miss you all! But at this time in my life I am so grateful to be a missionary, and to have the opportunity to see what the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ and his Atonement can do for people. It truly is a blessing in our lives. I know that as we live the commandments and do our best to follow the teachings of the Savior, we will receive so many blessings and live happier and richer lives. We are promised by the Lord in the scriptures that even when times get tough or we have a rainy day, we can always count on our Heavenly Father to listen to us and answer our prayers, and that we will receive comfort and help from him. I have felt his love throughout my mission in the hardest of times, and I know these things to be true. The Lord always keeps his promises.

Elder Kyle Payne

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