Monday, September 29, 2014

WEEK #80

Friends and Faamily,

I hope you are all doing well and are enjoying whats left of September! haha I cant believe how fast time is going! So we had a really good week, there was a huge stake activity at the church on Friday, there were over a thousand people that showed up! It was a Pioneer celebration party type thing, so there were a bunch of pioneer games and presentations and stuff. It was pretty interesting to see Brazilians dressed up in handcart pioneer costumes but it was cool! There were tons of non members that showed up and we got tons of referrals. We met a family of 3, who are actually looking for a religion right now and have already been to church a couple times, just in a different ward. But they live in our area so we are going to go teach them this week :)

We still didn't end up going to Caceres, we are trying to find time still haha. We were going to plan it for this week on Thursday, but we are going to be doing divisions with the mission president and the elders in São Mateus on that day in their areas, but we might go to Caceres on Friday if we can.
We had 3 investigators at church yesterday so it was a pretty good turnout! We also met a family walking down the road right after lunch, a member was visiting that family and they called us into the yard to meet them. They are super cool and super receptive, they also have some sweet exotic pets that they are going to show us next time we come over haha. But we have met a lot of awesome people this week so I'm super excited to teach them and see what happens. We have been working with each of the district leaders in the zone and all of the districts are doing awesome, they all have several baptismal dates set up so we are working on following up with all of them and see how the progress.

We still have something big living in our ceiling, we cant figure out what it is but they are super fast and run across the ceiling, they are probably just rats but there is definitely more than one of them! haha. Also Elder Watchman and I are still doing our 6 months to sexy program, we are working out every day and eating healthy! We even buy spinach and kale at the market, we are taking it pretty serious! haha.

Oh also somebody broke into our house! Well actually they didn't break in to the house part, but they bent the metal fence spike things down and bent the barbed wire up top and entered into our yard. We live on the same property as a member, and the members said that they stole some white benches or chairs or something and some other stuff, but they didn't steal any of our stuff! Its just scary though, now we double check to make sure our doors are locked haha. We don't know when it happened either, we just noticed that the fence was messed with one day. Pretty much all of the houses here have to have barbed wire or electric wire above the tall gates to keep people out, but people still get in its pretty crazy.

But that's about it for this week, nothing super crazy happened, everything is good in the hood! We are working hard and definitely having a lot of fun. I hope you all have a great week, I love and miss you all!

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, September 22, 2014

WEEK #79

Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a great week! I don't have very much time today, so I´ll get right to it! haha. We had two investigators at church on Sunday, we also still have two investigators with baptismal dates, João Vitor and Elaine. We will also be marking a baptismal date with a woman named Mirian, we have taught her a lot in the past but she never got baptized for some different reasons but we will be working with her this week and trying to put her on date.

Last week we worked hard and taught a bunch of lessons, we found 7 new investigators and some showed up to church! It was pretty awesome. Also the group in São Mateus is still going strong, the elders there are doing good work! 

This week we will be going to Cáceres which takes about 4 hours by bus, but luckily its one of those tour buses that has AC and free water and stuff so we should survive! I always try to sleep but the highway is super bumpy and I have a ton on my mind so I cant sleep on it haha. But we will be doing divisions with the Elders up there, so we will most likely spend 2 nights there, it should be fun. 

On Wednesday we are going to be playing basketball with the other American elders in our district, they have some investigators in their area that want to play against us, Brazilians vs Americans so it should be really fun! We are all over 6 feet and they said the rim shorter than usual... haha :) None of us have played ball in a long time so we will see how we play. 

We have some solid lessons lined up this week, so we will have some good teaching opportunities. We still havent moved out of our house, and we definitely have something with 4 legs living up in our attic, we can hear it running across the ceiling sometimes but we are both too scared to go up there and see what it is! We will be movingv pretty soon though. It is tough to find a good house here though that is the right price and in a good place for us, because our house is in a perfect spot for our area, so we are still looking because we dont want to have to walk farther than we have to every day to get home haha ;)

The other day we had lunch with a member and I think I found my favorite Brazilian dish, its called Bife Role, it is thin slices of beef rolled up and filled with cooked vegetables and bacon and spices and stuff, but I about died it was so good! It is held together with toothpics then like grilled and so its just like meat filled with more meat and it is amazing. The member said she will give me the recipe so I can make it when I get home :)

Oh also, me and Elder Watchman have been working out and eating pretty healthy, because we have started our "6 Months to Sexy" program. Pretty much every mission has it, its not like official or anything but basically the last 6 months of your mission you work out a ton and eat right so you can go home in tip top shape! haha. We have been doing P90x and lifting, I brought some weights with me from my other area so I have put on like 2 kilograms which is about 5 pounds more or less, so Im happy! It is good to gain some weight back haha :)

Anyways, the work is going great and we are having lots of fun, our goal this week is to lower our intake of Coca Cola, last transfer we added up how many liters of coke we drank over the 6 week period..... It added up to be over 50 liters of coke... haha but this transfer we will better. Its just so good here!

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

Elder Kyle Payne

p.s. I forgot my camera today but I will send pics next week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WEEK #78

Hello everyone!

Sorry I wasn't able to email yesterday, we went to the Chapada with an investigator and didn't get home in time to email. But it was super fun! We went with a girl named Bruna, we met her teaching English last week, she is AWESOME! She already helps us a ton, she gives us rides places and gives us dinner and stuff. She even gave us sunscreen because she is worried about is walking out in the sun all day haha. She is really interested in what we do as missionaries and loves talking to us about the United States and English, she has a lot of potential so we will keep working with her. Elder Goodrich and Elder Nickolaisen slept at our house on Sunday night and they went with us to the Chapada as well, we all had a lot of fun. I will send pics later :) It rained super hard at the end though and we all got soaked but it was worth the trip!

This morning we had Zone Meeting here in Várzea Grande, so all of the missionaries in the zone came. It went really well, we all designed a zone t-shirt that we will get for each of us so it will be fun. I gave a training on Loving One Another and becoming true followers of Christ, and Elder Watchman gave a training on working with members and teaching investigators. We are focusing this transfer on taking members with us to our lessons. 

Last transfer our zone had 12 baptisms, so we are making good progress. But this next transfer our goal is pretty high, we are going to work towards 26 baptisms. That means that each companionship will baptize 2 people, which is really possible we just have to work hard. Plus our zone grew by 3 companionships, and São Mateus has 4 missionaries now and now that they have a little chapel it will be easy for people to come to church and be baptized instead of coming clear to the center at our chapel. The Elders there will baptize a ton. Also, this last Sunday was the first day of the group, and there were 44 people at church! That's so awesome! The group will become a branch here soon, no doubt.

Last week we also had Mission Leadership Council in Cuiaba, so all of the zone leaders in the north zones came together and discussed how to improve the mission. It went well and it was good to see my friends of the mission. But after the mission we took a bus from Cuiabá back to Várzea Grande which usually takes about a half hour, but with traffic at rush hour it takes about an hour and a half. But on the bus we took, all of the windows were sealed and we couldn't open them, and there was no AC so it was like a sauna! The bus was super packed as well. A woman standing next to me had a watch with a thermometer on it, and it said 54 degrees Celsius which is like 120 something in Fahrenheit. It was insane, probably the worst hour and a half of my life haha. But me and Elder Watchman survived so its all good :)

We also marked 2 baptismal dates this week with our investigators João Vitor and Eliane, so we will be teaching them this next week as well. They are awesome, they just haven't been to church yet so we will be sure to help them come to church with us this Sunday.

Anyways, I think that's about it for my week, but I hope you all have a good week, I love you and miss you!

Elder Kyle Payne

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WEEK #77

Friends and Family,

I hope you had a wonderful week! So besides from roasting in the sun, we actually had a good week as well. We did divisions with the Assistants and other Elders in Cuiabá, so we slept there on Thursday night. We worked all day Friday and came home Friday night. It was a lot of fun, I went with Elder Phipps, he is one of the APs here in the north. Also we made salsa and dip at the district meeting in the morning so that was good! Then Friday night we helped Elder Davis (the senior missionary) move a bunch of furniture to the house in São Mateus. The funny thing is, the car he used was full of furniture so I had to sit on Elder Watchman's lap in the front seat for like 45 minutes in a tiny car full of furniture! We got so many stares and weird looks and we felt really dumb but we got a good laugh haha!

So we got transfer calls last night... I am staying here ANOTHER transfer! Watchman and I will stay together so we are both really excited for that. But this is my 4th transfer here so its pretty crazy. Me and Watchman are going to tear it up though this transfer so look out! :)

Also, São Mateus will be receiving 2 companionships instead of just one! It will be awesome! so there will be 4 missionaries there this transfer. The work is going to be so great there. So now we don't have to work in São Mateus and can focus on our area more so it is a relief to us haha. Also, an area called Imperial is getting another companionship so our zone just grew by 6 missionaries, which means we now have 26 in our zone... We have our work cut out for us that's for sure haha. It is now the biggest zone in the mission again but I'm excited! 

This week we will have Leadership Council in Cuiabá, so that will be good to talk about the news and changes in the mission. Next week we will be having our zone training, so we have to decide what we are going to discuss and everything. But overall I'm really excited to stay here one more with Elder Watchman, it will be a lot of work but a lot of fun too. I just really hope the weather starts to cool down just a little bit! Or at least I wish that God could have a little mercy and send us just a little bit of wind or something! haha. 

Anyways, we have lots to do today for transfers and have to pick up new missionaries and stuff so I don't have too much time today, but that about covers whats going on at the moment! I love and miss you all so much! Talk to you soon!

Job 30:30

My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.

Elder Kyle Payne

Monday, September 1, 2014

WEEK #76

Friends and Family,

I'm sorry I don't have very much time at all today to write, we have a bunch of stuff to do to get ready for mission tour tomorrow, there will be a bunch of elders coming to stay at our house and stuff so we have to get things ready.

But Elder Watchman and I had a good week, we weren't able to meet with Luciana because she and her husband both worked and traveled, but we were able to set up an appointment for this Thursday so we will see how that goes. The also weren't able to come to church, which was a bummer for us, they seemed really excited to come But I think its because they just got home.

We met a man named Antônio, he came to church on Sunday so that was awesome! He gave us his address but we were unable to find his house because there is no number on it and he said its kind of hidden. He didn't have a cell phone before, but now he was able to get one so we are going to call him tomorrow when we get close to his house and he will help us find it. He just suffered an accident of some kind so he has to walk on crutches and he lives by himself, so I think the gospel would help him a lot right now. I am really excited to get to know him and teach him.

We had to be in a trio for most of the week last week because an Elder finished his mission last week and went home, so Elder Tibbitts stayed with us. It was pretty fun but he had to be outside of his area for a long time. But he went on splits with our Ward Mission Leader and went to Cuiaba with him to teach English so it all worked out alright.

We were able to teach some really good lessons though, and all of our recent converts are still active and coming to church which is good! This week we are also going to reactivate a less-active family if they come to church one more time so that's good :) 

Unfortunately this week one of the less active members we were visiting passed away, she had terminal cancer and passed over the weekend. Her name was Alice, she was super sweet and always so nice to us, but I know she is in a better place now and isn't feeling any pain. It really hit me hard though, because earlier in the week I had the thought that we needed to go see Alice and her granddaughter, but we also had to go to Cuiaba that day so I just planned to go visit her over the weekend when we had more time. But then we found out that she passed away. I know that was a prompting of the Spirit to go see her when she needed us, but I didn't listen like I should have. I feel guilty, but I want to use this experience as a learning experience for me so that I can do better in the future. When we get promptings or feelings from the spirit, these are things from God and he trusts us to do what we feel to be right. I hope and pray that all of us, including myself, will be able to pray and ask for guidance from the spirit, and then have the courage to act on those promptings we receive. I know the Lord guides us through the Spirit and that we will be blessed from our obedience to its promptings.

I love you all so much and I am grateful for all of your thoughts and prayers. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Choose the Right! :)

Elder Kyle Payne

PS I forgot my camera today but I will send lots of pictures later on in the week! :)