December 25, 2012

Oh dear and best family ever!
I am so grateful for your emails and to hear of all the fun you have had! I am so happy! It’s been a solid 85 degrees here with total humidity!
 No worries Christmas in paradise is wonderful! Today we have just been having a grand old time! The Brazil area president came and gave us a wonderful talk after we got to sleep in! It was great! After that we have been out of the suits and into regular clothes! Playing tons of games, basketball, and watched The Other Side of Heavn! It has been a blast!
Yesterday was the greatest Christmas Eve yet. It was our first day of proselyting! It was so good! We placed four Books of Mormon with some wonderful and very interested people. Many of the people we talk to are going to an evangelical church already and even though they are firm in their faith they are so kind enough to hear what we have to say and to allow us to practice our Portuguese. The first guy we talked to was from up north and spoke super fast! Didn’t pick out a word he said. We were pretty nervous after that but I knew everything else that the other people said and I was able to say everything that I needed to about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The proselyting went really well. It felt so good to finally put the things I have been learning to work, and of course I have received tons of help from the Lord.  
Brasil is just so beautiful. Today it has been super sunny and while in our room looking out over the silent city(literally no one is on the streets which is polar opposite of normal) just sunny and a nice warm breeze. Today feels like I am vacationing in Brasil.
Miguel the accent is coming along pretty well thanks to what you have taught me. The Brasilians say I have a good one but its still gringo and probably will be until a year or so!
Last night after our Christmas fireside we had an ice cream buffet and then we went up to bed. At about ten after ten, all of the American couple missionaries in the area came up with Santa hats on and gave all of us a bag of candy! It was really fun and they are all so loving!
I know with all my heart that this gospel is true. I had my one day vacation here, now is time to work and I really love it all! I know that people need what the spirit wants to tell them. When we were giving out Books of Mormon yesterday, my buddies gave one out with marked pages. The guy immediately sat down and started reading. We walked past him an hour and a half later and he was still reading. I am so grateful to be here. My heart is just full. Brasil is the best. The people here are so loving and so humble. I love Jesus Christ, my savior and I owe my entire self to him.
Family, I love you so much. Have the greatest Christmas ever. I'll talk to you all tomorrow! I love you!

December 19, 2012

Oh Dear Darling Family,
Another super fast and wonderful week at the Brasil MTC! It has been perfect overcast and plenty of rain here so it is kind of like back home. Just super humid and at least 80 degrees, but man I love it! I am just itching to go teach real people already! I love it here and I know I have tons to learn but I am just ready for the labor, and I know it will be tough especially at first but I am just ready!
Family, surprise, I get to e-mail you on Christmas along with p day this week!  Mom I got your card a while back but I think I’m going to wait to open it! But I got tons of cards this week! I am so blessed! I got Levi’s which was just hilarious and I know he has been so busy but I can't tell you how good it felt to hear from that stud! I am glad. I also got the letter you sent with the things from Sunday school and that really cool thing that Chad sent to you. I really liked it! I got one the wonderful card and letter from Grandma. That is so sad to hear she fell. I will be praying for her! I am so sorry Grandma. The primary children sent me cards also and it was so fun to look the cute drawings and such. So kind of them. Thank Val for me. And of course I got the wonderful letter from Sister Sharp! How exciting! What a perfect mission for her and what a bunch of lucky Californians! I am very glad you have all kept in touch! Please tell her I love her and a letter is on the way by snail mail. Also don't send any more letters to the MTC by snail mail because I’ll be gone when they get here!
 Mom, please check up on Gary and Judy. Let them know I love them tons and miss them.
          So many elders have been leaving the MTC but they are having trouble getting new Americans here because of visas. I guess there are 100 at Provo waiting to come here. So it kind of feels like it’s a ghost town right now and I don't think we’ll get more until after we leave! The temple felt like a ghost town today! Usually we fill up the room today we didn't get to half of it!  It is really nice though to be able to think and ponder without the greenies destroying the spirit.
This week was great though the CTM  doctor gave a talk about having a testimony of Joseph Smith. And to be quite honest I had always took the fact that he was a prophet for granted. So this week I prayed to know, just like I’ll be asking my investigators to pray to know, and the Lord answered my prayers. I read in D&C 135. What a powerful section of scripture. I got my answer within hours of praying to Heavenly Father. I love the power of prayer so much and it is something I took for granted in many instances. Sincere prayer is the difference between a day full of learning, joy, and the ability of recognizing God's beauties and blessings for us and just any other old day.
I also wanted to know what to study; I wanted more meaningful study, so I decided I would study about the BOM missionaries. This week I studied Ammon and Aaron. It was super good and I am so excited to study more of them. I learned so dang much about how the Lord works and how missionaries can try so many different things to get to the hearts of the people. I just loved it so much. I am so grateful to the Lord for unfolding his mysteries through the Book of Mormon for me! I Love it!
 Mom, how is Ashley and Miguel doing? I haven't heard from them in a while.
I want to know more about what is going on at home. Thanks so much for the letters. It’s ok if I run out of time. There are great things happening for me here but I want to know about the greatest people in the world too. Momsy, I love you tons. Dad and Lacey, you keep that dog sneezing. Give him a couple from me ok.
I know this church is true; the greatest happiness we can feel in life comes from the Gospel of Our Savior Jesus Christ. This is His work. I know that he loves each and every one of us here on the earth. He is the greatness and glory we thirst for in our lives and he is my life. I love him and I absolutely love this work! I love you all have a great and grand week! I love you! I’ll e mail you on Christmas!
Love Elder Paynter!

Treats for Christmas

December 12, 2012

Hello Family,
I can't tell how much of an amazing week it has been! I have been so blessed by our Heavenly Father in every aspect! Yes I went to the temple today and it was just so amazing! There is never enough time to ponder here or even by yourself. But the temple is so incredible. The veil is so thin there and I love the revelation and I love to receive. Mom thanks so much for doing that for me. I love the temple. A great blessing is that most prayers said there include the missionaries.
Please tell me about home. I'm not coming back before two years unless I’m in a casket. Its going to take a lot more than homesickness for that to happen. 
Thanks so dang much! Oh my goodness my other buddy got a pizza party too! So next week our district is going to eat so much food! And Doritos and milkshakes are worth their weight in gold! Thanks so much for that, it will be an incredible Christmas present for me and Elder Yarn and whoever else!
I am sending a letter through mission ties today. It’s the one I want you to read on Christmas eve. Sorry I ran out of time and couldn't finish the other one. But I have a good story for it. Tell Levi I love him more than ever, I miss him more than ever and wish he was here so we could have a victory wrestle every once in a while after we dunk our fake investigators! Ha-ha I love the kid and he is my hero. I hope he liked the letter. I can't wait to get his. Tell him I just love him. 
Elder Yarn is the best ever. We are basically the same kids from different places. We like all the same things. And we are both progressing equally! Our personalities are just the same!
This week our instructor gave us a way good lesson about why we need to be crazy excited when we teach and we all got so excited. So I ran up the stairs to bed and forgot something in the classroom so I ran back down and was just pumped, in the midst of my running my shirt caught on the door knob and tore a bit in the sleeve! No worries I patched it up like a docta! I'mma pro! haha
This week I learned so much about the attributes of Christ. I prayed so much for opportunities to prove that I can improve on them. Charity is a huge one and many scriptures talk of how it is so necessary. I forgot which ones! 
One night some new Brazilians came into our room and hung out with us, one asked how much my gym shorts were and where he could get them. I said from the US.  He asked how much he could buy them for. I took them off, put on my other ones and gave him the pair. I felt so good, and though it was hard at first, I was so grateful and the bond he and I now have is worth it!
Mom and dad I am sorry I had so much more spiritual experiences to write about. I am your little stripling warrior. I will always be and Alma 56, I think around verse 46 they talk about how they are blessed by the Lord and he will not let them be overcome. My Lord will not let me either.
I have been born of the best parents in the world. I must go now, I love you.

November 28, 2012

Dear and loving family,
I can't tell you how great it feels to read your letters. I am so glad to hear about Levi. I love my brother so dang much. I sent him a letter today. There are a couple sets of twins here at the CTM and also another district with three brothers in the same district! I wish more than anything Levi could be here with me and we could be as the sons of Mosiah, bringing nations to Jesus Christ and to salvation!
I am so sorry that the letters are not getting there! That is quite annoying! Tell that darling little Carli three things. 1: I love her so much. 2: I have written one letter every week so at least four are on the way as of today and 3: The church is so true. Oh and that I got her first letter! Thanks so dang much!
Mom I don't think you need to put more postage on than one stamp. Merriloy’s letter only had one stamp and it got here and also I got your card on thanksgiving! Perfect timing. I am so grateful for every single letter I receive and especially the emails too. They really bolster me up and get me going! So thank you! Dad I would love to send a letter for that. I hope it will get home in time!
Ashley that is great! I have prayed every night for you and our up and coming family member! Tell me all of the details, I want to know and I can't wait!
This week has been great! I have been way sick but I have been so blessed with the strength from the Lord through all of this. I would never feel this good without the help from the Lord. I have been on mucinex and dayquil and tylonel and all sorts of goods. I bought some things from the pharmacy and they helped. I am pretty much better but still have a bad cough. Sleep has been scarce but I don't need sleep! The Lord has blessed me with every bit of energy to get on with his work. Elder Yarn has been so patient and helpful. I am so grateful!  This week I kind of slacked because I wasn't feeling good but I learned so much about the gospel and about our Lords work.
The teaching with the investigators has been pretty well but we had kind of just been walking through the motions. Elder Yarn and I had a heart to heart on Sunday and decided that we are done with being good missionaries. We want to be great, we want to be chosen. President Hansen and Watson said at camp Helaman the difference between being called and chosen is the desire of the servant. This week my desire has grown more than ever. Family, I know with all my heart that I am working for the Lord. Every breath I take is in his name, every thought I think is for him. I love him and I am leaving my "nets" and my "boat" behind so I can feed his sheep. My life will be changed immensely by this but most importantly the lives of others will be changed also.
Dad, thank you so much for the lesson you taught me just before I left about your experience on your mission. That is one of my most treasured moments in my life. For our fireside last night they played a video of a talk that Elder Holland gave in the Provo MTC last year. Man it was powerful. I absolutely loved it. He spoke about what a great missionary was and about preach my gospel. Dad I know that you were a great missionary and I’m so grateful for your example. Preach my gospel is one incredible book for anything in life.
P day has been good today. I bought some new scriptures at the distribution center after the temple today because they give us a paperback  Book of Mormon and a tiny little bible. I am OCD and needed to get some that were the same size and had a better binding. They were only like thirty American dollars total so you’ve nothing to worry about.
As of right now I am doing well with things here mom. No worries on gifts and I am excited for the package. Dad I'll do my best to get the letter there asap but I  have paid priority mailing each time that I have sent a letter so I am not sure if it will make it. Tell Carli I love her dearly just like I love you all. I am going to try to send something out next week but I don't know when it will get there. Family I love you so much. Lacey thanks for smacking my dog. I miss coming back to something that is so happy to see me. But I feel your love all the time and I am so grateful for it. What a wonderful time of the year. What a wonderful thing for the family to do together. I hope that you can feel how much I love you. 

November 21, 2012

         Holey moley doley smoley ravioli! I just e-mailed you guys yesterday! Haha time is a flying in Sao Paulo Brazil! This week is just like any other! I'm really getting into the swing of things! The language is coming really well, still progressing and the teaching is coming well also! 
         For our TRC this week we ended up teaching Brasilians!!!! Crazy because they usually don't have you teach them until week five, but we lucked out and our Brasilian roommates were who we taught and it went really well. We just taught the restoration with a big camera in our face while we could barely understand what our investigator was saying back to our questions! Haha just kidding we understood most of what they said, but it really went well!
Monday this week was killer. We taught three lessons and it just fried my brain to do that much thinking in a different language! But it went great! Sunday was good, I finally feel more comfortable with our closet sacrament meetings! On Thursday night Elder Yarn and I were waiting to teach a lesson to our instructor and instead of preparing I told him I needed some time to ponder. I just wanted to think about the gospel but for some reason home kept coming into my mind. I couldn't stop thinking about home and you all and I was getting irritated. Finally I just let it happen and I was reminded that Dad had surgery coming up. I started my fast that very second and didn't eat until dinner the next day. Dad I love you so much. The spirit is so incredible and I'm so grateful for the reminders and directions that he gives to us in our lives!
           When we first got here one of the elders said on week three everyone gets sick. We didn't believe him but guess who's sick now that its week three? This guy! Haha, three people in our district are sick but the Lord has blessed me so much with the strength and energy to carry out the days to the best of my ability. It’s been such a humbling and learning experience! Hopefully it clears up soon! Elder Yarn gave me a bunch of Dayquil to use to beat it! Last night I drank Nyquil powder and I slept so so good! Best sleep yet at the CTM! I think I am developing insomnia! jk
           We went to the temple today. Our district was put into this big ugly van without air conditioning and the rest of the elders were put into a way nice comfortable bus! It was fun because we got to take a different way and get to the temple faster and see more of Sao Paulo! Elder Yarn forgot his recommend so I thought we would just have to sit around until the other elders got out but they figured out a way to let him in! I'm so glad! It was a good time and the temple here is very small and simple but so beautiful just like all of our Lord's houses. I love the feeling!
           We had some great speakers for our Sunday and Tuesday night firesides this week. The CTM president's wife spoke about the power of priesthood and it was so good. What an incredible power Dad, Levi, Miguel and I hold. How blessed we are that Dad has been worthy to bless us with it all the time!
            Levi, they have Kinder Eggs here and on p-day we stock up the candy ma friend! Today we are gonna kinder this baby up! A mission is a lot of work man but it is the most fun thing ever also. I feel like I'm here with my best friends and being able to relax from the  world and work for the Lord is the greatest thing! Family I am so sorry I can't type fast and now my time is up! Happy Thanksgiving, its so weird to think that. We don't have that here. It’s summer and blazing hot and humid! I am so grateful for my wonderful parents; mom, dad I love you two so dang much! And for such great siblings who help me and teach me all the time!
            I Love you all so much! Have a grand week! Fight my dog for me!

November 14, 2012


That is perfect. That is tons of great news to hear! I got the card from Sis Degn. They are some great people. Let me excuse myself in advance for my typing mistakes. The keyboards are a lil different here and it’s difficult to get it right. I was thinking about that experience and your prompting to do that and how important it is to listen to promptings. I sent Dad a letter today with priority mail. So we'll see how long that takes!
This week has been pretty dang good! Much faster than last week! The language has been going so very well! Elder Yarn and I have been very blessed and have progressed so quickly. We had what we call a TRC on Friday. It’s kind of intimidating because they put you in a mock living room and make you teach missionaries that have been here for seven weeks or the Brasilians! Worst of all there is a camera in the corner of the room that any general authority can watch at any time to check up on the progress! But when we got the feedback the elders we taught said they could not believe how well we are speaking and that was on our twelfth day!
Sunday was pretty good! For sacrament they make everyone prepare a five min talk and when they make the announcements they say who will speak in our small branch that day. I got chosen and shared a quote from Holland and my testimony. I also prayed to close sacrament. It was a pretty good day, but I think Sundays are the hardest because I still am not used to the tiny branch and a closet for a sacrament room.
 I got a letter from Aunt Merriloy. That was so kind and I am so grateful! It was such a spiritual boost for me to be able to receive a letter I could read before p day! For p-day today we didn't get to go to the temple because the area president came and spoke for a devotional this morning. As much as I miss the temple, I was sure grateful to hear the testimony and the message he left here. Such a spiritual boost.
 I want to be a missionary that gives every last bit of myself to the Lord for his work. It’s easy to say you will before you get here but when you do it’s a whole different thing. I was reading in Ether 4 this week and it just hit home with me. All things are possible with God. Most times it just takes a little work on our part and a whole lot of faith. But what reason have we to doubt? Not one. He made this earth, He made us and He gives us miracles when we believe that they are possible.
After we did our laundry and all we went out on the streets to the market and to the photo store to print some photos. I didn't know how to say anything about photos so I kind of froze up when I got in there! It was embarrassing because usually I am the one to speak to the workers and what not. It feels so good to know that you can get your point across.
Our "investigator" is coming along well. We just challenged him to baptism. Haha it’s so funny to talk about but when you are teaching it feels quite real. I love it though. I remember when President Hansen said that I will learn the language after a trial of my faith when he set me apart. I don't know what language the spirit was referring to but I think for myself that it is the language of God and not the Portuguese language. I really have a long way to go before I could teach, I would need is His Spirit. With the power of God all and anyone with that can teach. 
           Family I love you all so much. I can't express how much your support lifts me up and strengthens me out here. It has given me some of the toughest mental battles that no man could fight without the power of God. But I love it all here. The church is so real. It is THE WAY to happiness and joy and only through our Savior and Redeemer's name can we find that. Nothing else in this world can bring that to us. No job or car or person or any amount of money can do what He does for us. I love you all so much. I have been so very blessed with many miracles in my life but the greatest of all would be our family. I love you have a wonderful week!
Love Elder Paynter

November 7, 2012

Dear family,

Mom that sounds great. please give Daniel the card when he gets back that would be great! Yes I still love the scripture and won't change my mind! The flight over here was absolutely awful and the longest nine hours of my life! I was in the very middle of the plane and couldn't get up to take my jacket off. There was so much turbulence and so little space to put any carry on bags. So I managed to get and hour and a half of sleep  before arriving to Brasil! It is so very beautiful here! It looks like a concrete jungle with skyscraper apartments as far as I can see. Instead of mountains like back home we have tall buildings surrounded by little poor houses. The CTM, what we call the MTC, is really nice. It is seven stories tall and we are on the sixth floor and have such a beautiful view to go to sleep to every single night. they are super strict about when and where we can take pictures here so it might be a second until I can get some out to you. The first day here when we arrived we just had a lot of orientation kind of things and some on the second day. The night of Thursday when we got here was great. We had just learned very little Portuguese and we had to teach a lesson to an "investigator". We couldn't speak English so my companion and I spent a little time in the middle of our lesson looking up words but we got through and I thought we actually did quite well. My companion is Elder Yarn and he is from Baltimore. I love him and I have been blessed with the best companion. Out of our district he and I and one other elder have really progressed quickly with the Portuguese. Taking Spanish helped so so much! It is such a beautiful language but it is really tough and we have tons more to go!  This first week has seemed like a month! All of the other Elders say the first week is terrible and then it gets much better and before you know it, it's week six! I'm so happy to finally have p day. It feels like Christmas and a birthday mixed together! It has been tough to focus all of my energy on one thing for so long but it has been great. The reward of teaching a good lesson to our investigator is well worth the work. I just need to be patient when it comes to learning. I wish more than anything that I knew all of the Portuguese! Today for p day we got to go to the temple in Sao Paulo and it was incredible. Something I definitely needed. The testimony is growing each day. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here. Brasil is way humid but it didn't take long to adjust to the temperatures and it doesn't usually get above 95 or so degrees in Sao Paulo. Campinas will be the same thank heavens. It is so nice to have native Brazilians here to speak with. They all love Elder Yarn and it has been so nice to have them as friends. We are always sitting next to them and talking to them during breaks. It helps the learning go smooth and It feels good to apply what we know for some real use. I love this work so much. There is no other place that I would rather be than here! The work is hard but salvation is not a cheap experience and so I don't expect it to be easy. I can't tell you how much I love you and miss and I would love to be laughing with you all back home right now but I am supposed to be here and I am going to lose myself in this glorious gospel. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ and it is the only way to feel pure joy and happiness. I know that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and loves each of us more than we can love anyone else. He died for me and for you all. I love you all so much. I hope everything is great at home! Levi, get ready for the best time of your life. This is perfect for you. It may be a commandment to serve, but it isn't a commandment you'll want to miss out on. I love you bud. Dad and Lacey, thanks so much for your letters. I love them so much. Mom, I couldn't find yours. I'll keep looking though. I love  you so much! You are the best. Hugs and kisses. Love the gospel for me! I love you all so much! Have the greatest week! Talk to you soon!
Love bunches,
Elder Paynter

October 31, 2012

Arrival at the Brazil MTC  October 31, 2012