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.