December 30, 2013

 Our Hot Wheels Derby was way cool.
 Fried Chicken and Grape Drink
 Tiago and I on Christmas Eve
 Elder Liesmann and I bought these ties for all of them. 
Felipe, Kaique and the ward mission leaders who are great friends of Tiago.

December 16, 2013

You know something Dad, I love my comp. I love this area just you wait and see, these last few weeks we will have baptisms and we will also be the happiest missionaries on the face of the planet.
Wow, just hearing about people already ending the missions makes me so sad. I never want to end the mission. I'm going to move out of Utah just so I can preach the gospel to more people. I don’t know dad, but it’s already been a year and 2 months and I still have fourty years of work left to accomplish in these last 10 months.
One thing is for sure though dad, if I don’t get to talk to you on Christmas, it wont be Christmas. That’s all I could ask for is to talk to my father, and I have been wanting to have just a couple minutes just to talk with you alone. I miss you and love you to death dad. I am not homesick, but fathersick. Ha-ha jk I am fine and we are able to stay really focused here on the work and things are going quite well.
The Christmas Spirit is really hard to get going here but we are going to carol in front of the church and try and stop people so we can talk to them. Its just so weird passing December without any snow, but hey next year this time I am going to be with the fam.
Well this week was a lot of fun, we had some great spiritual experiences and I’ll tell ya about them in moms letter. Well I will definitely be praying hard to have you off for Christmas; you have never worked one in my life so I think that God will keep the streak going. I sure can’t wait for it. Don’t you worry either this ward takes really good care of us, along with God. Ugh, I don’t ever want to leave this place or end my mission. I miss ya dad, I love you tons. Have a good one alrighty. Be so safe too. I love ya 

Elder Paynter





Mom,
I hope you know just how much I love you. I can’t wait to talk to you on Christmas. Its looking like it will be pretty early in the morning, so keep the computer ready while you are opening presents. Maybe I can watch you all open some. Will Ashley and Miguel be opening presents at our house? It’s so crazy that everyone is just grown up now. Ha-ha when I get back, it’s going to be so weird.
Well I love this talk of Zion mom.  It feels so good to say that we are building Zion! The Millennium will be so magnificent to be able to rest with the Savior here on earth and everyone so happy and loving. 
This week was really quite fun and I was able to learn a lot of things. We had been so blessed by the members this week they have been so loving. I don’t know if its because Christmas is close or that they really like us, but its been fun.
We had been running around trying to track down some references but they weren’t ever home, so some time was left over and I asked Elder Liesmann what we should do. He reminded me of a contact that he had done a while back, so we went to visit him. We knocked on the door and an old lady answered and said that nobody with the guys name lived there. I was a little turned off but we decided to knock across the street to see if they lived on the other side and sure enough, he did. It was a big family and they were so so friendly. Tons of people were walking in and out of the house, and they listened to us teaching. In the end they didn’t want much, because they are super Catholic but they were some of the most loving people I had ever met in my life. We left the house and I just kept thinking about how essential it is for everyone to be so loving to ALL people. They truly were great examples to me. And just as it says in D&C we both were edified when we left. I am so grateful my comp follows the spirit and helped us to have that opportunity.  
We had a big ward activity this Saturday, and it was such a blast and brought many new investigators for us also. They had an inflatable soccer field and threw a ton of soap and water in it. The kids played, and then the guys got on and went crazy. It was a pretty crazy thing to watch. Elder Liesmann and I were dying to go play because it was also pretty hot but we stuck around helping set up tables and played a little Jenga also.
Yesterday, we had gone to church and all of the sudden a lady showed up with her boyfriend.  Her name is Vanessa and her boyfriend is Rafael. It was a reference we had from back when Elder Vianna was here. We went to visit Vanessa but she had never let us in, she just kept saying that she would go to church. So we left her alone, and here two months later, she came and now we will teach them both this Thursday. They absolutely loved church.
Our lunch we had was with a family of four and it was so wonderful. They are so loving and I hope one day to have a family like theirs. The kids adored us and we had a blast feeling the love from them. It was just a wonderful week.
And I almost forgot, we got a new ward mission leader and assistant to the mission leader. They are so cool and we are going to buy them ties today to get them excited and tomorrow when we are at the temple we will buy them copies of preach my gospel too. They are both recent converts within a year so they are still so amped up about the gospel.
Well family, this week will be wonderful, we are going to baptize someone, I don’t know who it will be but the Lord will provide the means for us to accomplish this for Him. Let us all go build Zion! I love you all and miss you tons! Have a great week! H.A.G.W.  Ha-ha just like the old yearbook signing.
Elder Paynter

December 9, 2013

Thanks so much for that email. It’s so great to hear such powerful words again. I still remember that talk but there are some key things I had forgotten. I love that phrase, it’s up on the board in our church. I absolutely love this ward, and you know what that means, now that I like where I am at I will get transferred. Ha-ha.
Well just a quick recap of these days we had, the baptism we were going to have fell through and doesn’t look like it is one that will recover, however we have a lot of great plans up ahead of us and the ward is just boiling with excitement to build the lords kingdom here on earth! This last Thursday we were out working and I wasn’t feeling good at all so we ended up going easier and I bought some meds and slept really early that night. Woke up on Friday with fire in ma bones and we worked as hard as we could that day and then at 7 we had an activity with the priesthood at the church, playing soccer and having an American bbq with hamburgers and soda. Good times. It was really productive we were able to get a lot of less active members there and get into contact with some new investigators also. I am so excited.
Saturday we went to teach a retired dentist/scientist/author that is partially deaf and it was a cool experience. I had to speak really loud and clear, and that cold stuffy sound that I have been stuck with lately helped with a little with the accent so it was a blessing. He was a really nice guy but said he wouldn’t be going back much to our church because he can’t understand anything and it’s not worth it to sit there for three hours if he can’t hear. We are trying to figure out what we can do to make it worth the while.
That afternoon we had lunch with the bishop, and it was a really cool experience to be able to get to know him better. He is a great guy and in these few short weeks he has brought a lot of great things to the ward and everyone is happy. I am just so happy to be working here with them.
Afterwards we had to go to the temple to help with a Christmas presentations that they had. There were so many people and we were helping to contact all of the non members and get their addresses and such. It was packed and it was super super hot. Especially to be wearing a suit. Nina was there and she gave me Christmas present. It was a jersey from my favorite soccer team here. I had always joked with her about her team. It was really nice of her, and I was also able to see some of the other families that we taught. It was such a great experience to be at the temple to see all of them and also to think about our family and how we are eternal. I really can’t wait to go do some ordinances there again; which we will be doing on the 17th for our Christmas mission devotional.
This week we have a huge ward activity planned for Saturday and we are going to get a bunch of investigators and less actives there and as a result, baptisms and happiness. I just am so happy to be doing the Lords work, and yeah this week was one of the toughest I have had in a long time, but I love this work. It’s so cool to see how the Lord truly is hastening it, and I never ever want to stop helping Him bring about this happiness. I love the gospel so much! I hope you all had such a great week. I am so jealous that you get to see the chubbs again, and I really miss you all. Levi a lot too, but at least Kaique is here to fill in his spot for a bit. He and Levi would get along really well. I love you family, I miss you, and God be with you!

Elder Paynter

December 4, 2013

Hey Dad,
Thanks a lot for the email. It really is a lot of what I needed to hear. This week went quite well. We weren’t able to get tons done on paper but I feel like we are really helping a lot of people with what we were able to accomplish.
Kaique's mom, Andreya, called and said that Marcios, her future husband, decided that he wanted to be baptized and he felt that the time had come! We were all so happy. So his baptism will be this Sunday and Kaique will baptize him now that he is a priest! It has been so cool to see the whole process happening with Kaique and to see that he is so firm in the gospel. He has been talking a lot about a mission lately which would be a huge sacrifice. He has a scholarship from the government that pays everything for him until he graduates but if he leaves on a mission he will lose it all. And college here is super expensive. But those who are converted recognize the importance of sacrifice.
 We also had our activity on Saturday at the church, I didn’t think many people would show up, and it came to the point where I was only expecting to have five or so people, the bishop his wife and the ward mission leader and his wife, but more people showed up with low expectations and we hit a home run. I had bought Jenga with my Christmas money so I could do this game. We divided the group of about 25 people into two and then asked a bunch of questions. If the team got the question right, the other had to take a block out of the Jenga tower if they got it wrong then they themselves had to take the block out. It got so competitive and exciting that people would get up and start dancing when they got the question right. It was such a fun time and I am excited to see the outcome for the next one.  
Sunday night we went to a fireside where an area seventy was there. He and our mission president gave a training thing about working with the members. Kaique and Marcios went and they loved it. They shared some really cool things there and more than ever the work of Salvation here is speeding up. They also said that we had 90 missionaries after the mission divided; now we have 140, and soon we will have 220. Yeah, we have a lot of work to do here to get people trained and ready to go.
Monday was an interesting time at the leadership meeting. I had gotten sick on Sunday and just was not feeling so hot, and then the bus drivers were on strike so I sat waiting at the bus stop for two and a half hours and then ran to the meeting in my suit in the hot humid Brazil and showed up super sweaty. But it all turned out good. President was just throwing it down on some things here on the mission. Obedience is one of them, he basically told everyone if you don’t want to be obedient go home. It was really cool to see that.
We got out of the meeting at about four and then I went to the mission office to talk with the secretaries who are part of my zone and ended up helping them out a bit with some struggles and didn’t leave there until seven thirty at night. We took a bus back home and went to a family home evening with Kaique and some other missionaries who live close by because it was one of the Elder's birthday. We had a big bbq and ate cake and lit fireworks and after we had sang for the cake the members grabbed a bunch of eggs and broke them on our heads. I couldn’t believe it! Then everyone started throwing cake and all kinds of food at each other. Kaique almost escaped but then they threw a bunch of milk on him. It was so funny. We turned on the hose and sprayed everyone down, and then we grabbed a bus home while everyone stared at the guy in the soaking wet suit. It was such a good time and I will never forget it.
Yesterday we had to go downtown to get Elder Liesmann’s visa taken care of. We have got a lot of things to do this week and there will be zero time. We will be having a big activity with all of the priesthood on Friday night and also we will be helping with the Christmas presentation at the temple all day Saturday. But I prefer the busy life. I would just like to get rid of the cold I have.
Well Dad, that’s my week. Full of miracles and great things and I feel like more than ever I am changing. I think I am finally starting to understand what missionary work really is, what the gospel truly brings and what role it’s playing in my life. I have never felt like this before on the mission but it’s something really really good. I love you and thanks so much for the email. I am glad to hear you had a Christmas party and that the week went well. Be safe and have a good one Dad.

I love you.
Elder Paynter  

Super cute little kids, the little girl in the middle is an angel, 
and the other two are pretty wild.
These are some activities we did.
Then for a family home evening we played the game where you have to
get the cookie from your forehead into your mouth without using hands. 

Great memories made in these past couple weeks.


The flag is my buddy's. He is from Georgia and he is hilarious.




November 18, 2013

Hey mom,
It’s been quite a fun week getting a new start on everything again this transfer and with my new awesome comp Elder Liesmann. It’s been a blast even though this week was a bit tougher because Friday was a holiday and everyone left town or was drunk at the bar. But all in all it was a good time and another great learning experience. 
It was just another week of work but we held a mini zone meeting to be able to present everyone and talk about our expectations as zone leaders and then we left time open for everyone to give their input on what they would like from us. I just want everyone in the zone to be really happy and hope that they all can have lots of success. It was a really good meeting and we have tons of good ideas now to incorporate in training and teaching the other missionaries. 
It was a good Sunday also, I was asked to give the talk that I didn’t give last week. After I spoke the patriarch's wife spoke about marriage. She is a pretty old lady but she is just hilarious. She spoke forever and church ended twenty minutes later than normal. But it was worth it all. The new bishop had kept telling her that her time was up but she just ignored him and just finally said, ok just five more minutes and started pulling out magazines and tons of other books and summarized a bunch of long stories she was going to tell. It’s always a blast listening to her. I hope when I am old I can be crazy and funny too.
That night I had a meeting with the district leader and the other zone leader to plan our meeting for tomorrow and I am pretty excited. But we also discovered that two missionaries in our zone had gone to the hospital to get their appendixes taken out. It was pretty crazy but now everyone is doing well. 
Today I was really excited to get out and play some basketball and meet up with a bunch of other elders in a big park that they have downtown but Kaique’s mom wanted to have lunch with me and the AP, because the AP passed in this area and baptized Kaique's mom a transfer before I got here. I wasn’t too happy because lunch was in the middle of our day and was going to use up a bunch of time and I just wanted as if I was a grounded little boy. But when we got there to eat we all ate and talked and she sat us down and started talking to us and thanking us for what he had done as missionaries. She read us her patriarchal blessing which she had recently received. It talked about her posterity. We were all kind of crying together and she just thanked us for helping her. Mom, I don’t know what the Lord is trying to teach me, but recently I have been reading in the Old Testament and everything they did had to do with the posterity. I was really taken back, I had complained to go and use up a few hours of my p day to eat but had I known that I was also about to have one of the best lessons of my mission, I wouldn’t have complained one bit. I am so grateful to the Lord and grateful to Andreya (Kaique's mom) for the things she had taught us and for opening our vision to see the effects of the gospel and this work.
I just kept thinking in my mind all day “this is the work of SALVATION" and it wasn’t easy to get a testimony of that. A lot of times we as missionaries look at our work as simple be a friend, or knock on a door, or church work or whatever little insignificant thing our tiny earthly brains think of. But it’s so so so much more than that. The results are things we can’t imagine and I just can’t wait to grow my whole life having these new friends and the life to come we will all be rejoicing together.
 I love you all so much, Dad have the greatest birthday ever! Next one, I will be there to celebrate with ya. I love you all have the greatest week.

Elder Paynter

November 13, 2013

Hey mom!!! I got to email really quickly today because my new comp had to tell his parents that he arrived here in Brasil OK. So just wanted to send you some quick love and some pictures! Sorry I didn't have my camera the other day. My new comp is Elder Liesmann from Missouri he is a hulk and a great guy. Once he gets the language down he'll be incredible. We are both happier than ever and he loves to work out so maybe one day I can get to his size before we get transferred.


November 11, 2013

That sounds like a marvelous Sunday Mom! It is always a great feeling to be on top of things and have a bit of time to relax. Probably one of the biggest rewards on the mission is when a little time is left over to ponder. It feels like its just run from one place to another to another to another and another! Sunday nights generally stay pretty nice though. Well I am pretty excited for the Thanksgiving turkey when I get home. Ha-ha turkey here is really expensive and I only have missionary money ha-ha.   Well mom, the beef jerky always got here fine and my comps have never had any trouble with it coming in. The taxes don’t generally happen if the contents of the package are less than 50 dollars so yeah as long as you did that there shouldn't be a problem mom. I am really excited for them to come! Dad said you sent two?!!!! yeahhhhhhh!!!
Well I have been saving up to buy a pull up bar too so I can work out the back and the shoulders and the chest a little better but ever since we started doing our exercises I have felt so much happier and energized, its easier to wake up and its just been really nice.
Studies are sacred and I love every minute that we have set aside to study together. I decided to read the bible because there are so many good stories and examples in the Old Testament that I can use in the teaching and it’s just nice to read some new text. Ha-ha its a little crazy that I have never read it all the way but I am loving it a lot. Its super hard to understand the Old Testament in Portuguese and I generally end up rereading the chapters in English. But man, the times in the Old Testament were pretty crazy and God demanded a lot from the people, now a days it is much simpler and these people still have such a hard time giving up so so so little to have salvation and happiness. 

Speaking of salvation and happiness, this Sunday was absolutely incredible with Kaique. It was so great. I had never said this but we have become such good friends. He reminds me of Levi. He is such a cool kid, he loves the same chill rock music that Levi does and he is just such a polite respectable guy. It is so incredible how the Lord has prepared him, and seeing that he has, I know that he will have some great responsibilities in the church someday. This Sunday I baptized my brother and it was the greatest feeling in the world. So Kaique was pretty nervous about it all and we spent the entire day with him on Saturday. He signed up to help with a church service project and so we did too so we could be with him, but nobody else from the church came to help so we ended up leaving and went out to eat lunch together. That was a lot of fun and it was pretty good food too. After lunch we went to his Mom's house and talked with him for a while about life and the gospel and it was just so cool to see how he is truly converted. I never like when an investigator is nervous about baptism but in this case I did. He was only nervous because he understood the weight and responsibilities of the covenants he was going to make. Then our district leader came and interviewed him and everything went super well, and after we ordered pizza to celebrate. Lets just say we were stuffed by the end of the night and no we weren’t able to get our night workout in because I also had to prepare a talk for the next day on "How to invite others to come unto Christ" it was only a ten minuter so no biggie. 
When we had showed up to church Kaique was there and ready to learn and I knew right away that he was still pretty nervous but more ready than ever. Everyone there was quite excited for him. 


We passed through the first two hours of church and then the bishop told me that I wouldn't be able to speak because something came up. I was a little bummed but then again I would've summed up my talk in a couple short sentences. "How do we invite others to come unto Christ?" 1st- convert yourself 2nd- go with Nike and just do it. But anyway they changed out the bishopric and it was a cool-ish meeting. Kaique and I were sitting together in sacrament and all of the sudden his dad and his grandmother came and sat by him. He just started bawling and said that he wasn't nervous anymore. It was so cool to see the support that his family had for him even though they don’t have any certain religion and his parents are divorced.
It was even better to bring back feelings of how much Dad and Mom have always supported me in life and the feeling of having Dad at the football and baseball games and the church talks and the school things is just something indescribable and extremely rare these days. I couldn’t help but tear up as I saw that and as I thought about our wonderful parents and family. We are just all so blessed.
After Sacrament we changed really quickly into our whites and took some pictures and started the meeting. It was a simple baptism, but every time I enter the water with one of God's children and have to opportunity to recite such sacred words, it is a feeling that I never want to let go. Just like Elder Holland said the words "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ...." These words are words that change lives and the true understanding of them makes these people who are commissioned change the world.  As soon as Kaique arose from the water he was crying and we both hugged. It was just the greatest experience. 

Well that was the cream of the week, other than a lot of hot, sweaty hours out in the sun, it was a great week. As for this week, transfers are tomorrow because of the holiday season and I will be training a greenie again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so so so so excited, the other zone leader who will be coming to our zone will be training in another area also and I literally cannot wait. We will be getting two more sisters in the zone and opening two areas. We are now the second biggest zone in the mission and yes, the true work of salvation and the Kingdom of our Savior is growing here on earth. I am so happy to be part of it!
Family, I hope you have a wonderful week and maybe take into mind my advice on inviting others to come unto Christ, convert yourself and then just do it. I love you all! Have such a wonderful week!

Elder Paynter

November 5, 2013

Dad,
Thanks so much for the experiences. You had an interview with an apostle after the mission?!! I really hope you know how excited I am to share more with you after the mission but I am more excited to hear your experiences. They get me really excited to get to work. Well Dad, this week was absolutely miraculous and I sent a massive story to mom. It was the best week I have had on the mission and I can’t tell you how happy I am. Yes, we will be baptizing this Sunday and it will be the most memorable yet. 
          This week at our leadership meeting, president showed us a little clip from YouTube called Missionary Work and the Atonement. It’s a part of what I had said in my talk and it has Elder Holland and President Eyring speaking. I think it would be good to watch it. I know it talks about missionary work dad, but I haven’t been able to hear the words they say without tearing up. I feel that I am going through a phase with greater love for our Savior and it feels so good dad. 
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6FKiNVbw3Y)
This week we had the best testimony meeting ever. A recent convert who has a little daughter went up to the pulpit and talked about how her 2 year old daughter had fallen down ten steps on her head and that she was so stressed and wasn't able to sleep for three nights and that she was a complete wreck. Then the bishop called and asked if she was doing alright, she said yes I am doing fine. Then the bishop shared that he hadn't been able to sleep for three nights and when he was praying he saw the 2 year old girl and decided to call. He went there and gave her a blessing and everything went fine after and her daughter had instantly gotten better. After she had gotten up and shared her testimony the bishop got up in the end and shared this sacred experience and then reminded everyone that he didn't receive that revelation because he was bishop, but because he was a priesthood holder and that all of us are entitled to help others if we seek those opportunities by respecting and honoring the power in which we hold. 
There were so many cool experiences this week Dad. We had been working pretty hard and nobody wanted anything but we started receiving a bunch of texts on our cell phone. They were references from the church and we were able to get into a lot of houses after that. Dad, it has just been miracles. Yeah maybe we haven’t been baptizing every day but more and more I feel like we are fulfilling our duties. 
            It has really heated up so now when we walk to lunch I am already sweaty all over and I use the back of my tie to wipe my forehead and then its soaked when we get there. It is funny but it feels good to sweat also. We also started working out two times a day and we are on day 7 now! I’m just getting ready for our adventures that we will be having Dad. This week we are going to get everyone to go to church to see Kaique's baptism so they can see the purity of it. We have some great things in store here Dad and soon this place will be a piece of Zion. I am sorry it snowed and I hope you have a great week Dad. I miss you so much and love you even more. Just weeks now until I get to talk to you all again!! I love you have a great week and be so safe ok! Love you!
Elder Paynter


Mom,
Thanks so much for the email. You know, I was really able to feel your love this week. And this Sunday was the best Sunday that I have had on the mission and one that I will never forget for the rest of my life. 
Kaique, the investigator that we have been talking with a lot on Sunday and who I gave a blessing last week showed up to church extremely happy. I had been praying so hard that morning that the investigators that came could feel the spirit and that especially Kaique would finally make the decision to be baptized. And Kaique just came super smiley and we went to priesthood and started talking a little. He said he went to the temple grounds this week.
Then the next class we didn't really have any opportunities to talk but in sacrament meeting we sat by one another again and we chatted away. He first looked at me and thanked me for the blessing that I had given him last week. That the big meeting he had with his bosses from the United States went really well and that he had been able to sleep a lot better recently. And then he talked about his experience at the temple. He had finished his meeting early on Wednesday and was going to go to his college early to study, but he asked the bus driver how many more stops it was until the temple and it was only two stops away. So he just went for it.
When he got there the security guard at the door showed him a kind lady who walked around the garden with him and shared her own conversion story. Then she showed him the waiting room and the temple sealer came and talked with him. The sealer decided to be baptized when he was 19 and his family kicked him out of the house and had shared so many things with Kaique and it really helped him. Then he stopped telling the story and looked at me and teared up and said, now I am ready, the time has come. We both had teared up and then he asked when I was baptized and I told him when I was 8 but I was converted when I was 14. Then I went up to the pulpit and shared my own conversion story and bore my testimony and a lot of people were crying and Kaique had told his mom, who was recently baptized, that he decided he would also be getting baptized. I went and sat down and she gave me a hug and we all sat on our little benches with watery eyes for the rest of the meeting. There were so many miracles that the Lord performed for us. I know that he prepared and paved the way for Kaique and that Heavenly Father cares for us in every little thing in our lives. I am just so grateful to be out here and to be able to have such wonderful experiences like this. I know that Kaique will be a true soldier here in the fight for righteousness and that he will help build and strengthen the kingdom of God!
What he did to the shirt before burning it.

Before Sunday this week we had decided to have a little Halloween party and carve watermelons and eat pizza with some elders who live close by. So we made use of the last little bit of our day and had a great time. I also burnt my shirt to celebrate one year! 

Watermelon Jack-O-Lanterns and Brazilian Pizza
(Such nice smiles of these two Elders)

Yesterday was our leadership meeting with the zone leaders and I was asked to give a message about our responsibilities as leaders in the Kingdom of God. It was really a great learning experience for me. Afterwards Elder Vianna and I were called up to give a 10 minute doctrine also and everyone really liked it. It was a great experience yesterday. After the meeting it started raining like crazy and the bus stop is 20 minutes from the chapel there so we punched a hole in a big garbage bag and then I threw a smaller one on my head and we walked and still got soaked but it was a really fun experience. One of the greatest weeks on the mission and I am so excited for this Sunday and the baptism of Kaique.
I love you all so much family, I am so grateful to be here helping these people and singing on the streets about the wonderful and glorious love of our Savior and of God. I hope you all have a week like I had! I love you!
Elder Paynter



Mom to Preston: "Hi are you there?"
Preston:  "Hey mom!!!!!!! How are you?!!!!!"
Mom: "Good I'm so glad to hear from you.  I've been missing you so much.  I love your e mail about Kaique.  How wonderful for him. How great is your joy."
Preston:  "It’s indescribable! Mom, I love the Lord."



October 28, 2013

Hey mom,
Thanks for the nice email. Well Mumsy, I am quite jealous that you all went to the concert but I think it’s so cool and I just love and miss you all so so so much. Lacey has been coming home a lot lately. I sure miss visiting her up there and just seeing my happy beautiful family. I have really felt the "in the cage" feeling lately and I just really am hoping that it stops soon. With the package you can just grab some ugly ties from the DI and send them here. And maybe if it fits send dog. And some gummies to keep him full on the trip. 
Well we had our mission tour this week and it was really nice, the church historian came and visited and had some good remarks. The next day we had found a less active member, she weighs around five hundred or so pounds and cant get to church, but she still has a strong testimony and showed us some of her wonderful paintings also, yeah she paints really well. She talked a whole lot about a bunch of things and how she plays computer games online all day with Americans and stuff. She started talking about elves and dwarfs and it was really hard to hold it all in without laughing but she was a cool lady. Then she asked for the bishops phone number because she needed his help with getting garments in her size. Even though she was less active, she still is committed to the gospel. It’s too bad that she can’t get out and about to easily. Then she asked us to give a blessing to her daughter who is less active also and visiting from another city. It was an adventure in that house but it felt good to leave knowing that our duties were fulfilled there. 
We had been teaching a few families for a while, and we decided it was time to cut one of them. We have just been hearing too many excuses and although they went to church a few times, they aren’t reading or really doing anything to feel if the church is true. We gave them lot of lessons and invites to read and pray and so we decided to spend our time on others. The other family we had been teaching has been a little like that also. The marriage and everything took a slow dive because the husband never told us upfront but he doesn’t like the church because he likes to drink and basically said he would sell his family for a never-ending glass of beer. I hate alcohol so much. There are two things that will never run out here in Brasil, rice and beer. Every corner in every little neighborhood has a bar and its full of men from 10 am until who knows when in the morning. 
So we went on the week searching for some people until we got a reference and she lived way up far in the very corner of our area. We only had to go there Saturday night, and we saw the mother who is a little old lady and asked for her daughter. The little old lady wasn’t really receptive and we begged her just to ask her daughter to talk really quickly with us. When the old lady came back she was a lot nicer and just invited us in the house. The house was in the middle of the ghetto but when we got in it was super nice. Felt like I was back in the states again. The daughter came out and she is about 50 years old and she told us her story about why she asked for a missionary visit. This lady's name is Sandra and her daughter died five years ago, and her son is giving a bit of trouble to her. So she had already teared up and we could feel a lot of pain in her. We invited her to church and told her a bit about the gospel before leaving to get home. It was a humbling experience to be reminded of the needs that everyone has for the gospel.
Sunday came around and sadly none of the many investigators we had invited and expected came along. But a bunch of other surprise investigators also came. Its so funny how the Lord has blessed in different ways. The one that did come is the 18 year old, Kaique, who read the "teachings of Lorenzo Snow" book in one week. Last week I gave him a Book of Mormon, and he read quite a bit of it. This week when I was sitting by him in sacrament he told me all that he thought about the gospel and such. It has been this way with us for some weeks now. He told me why he hasn’t been baptized in other churches that he has always disagreed with some things but now that the time has come he is really nervous. I could tell that he knows the church is true. He said he couldn’t get good sleep these last few days because he can’t stop thinking about this big decision that he has to make. If he gets baptized he will have to move from his dads and step mom's to live with his mom, and he is nervous about what some friends will think and some responsibilities that he will have. I am so grateful that he understands the gospel and the consequences and duties that come along with that knowledge.
A few weeks ago I told him how grateful I was to have a father who held the Melchizedek Priesthood so I could ask for a blessing at any time of need. He reminded me that I told him about that, and then asked for a blessing from me. It was so cool, so we went to the bishop’s office, (yes a ton of people have keys to the bishops office) and I we talked a little more about these blessings and his concerns. Then I gave him a blessing, we went back to sacrament meeting and the stake president was speaking and closing up the meeting. What the stake president said the moment we sat down was inspired from God and meant for Kaique to hear. 
I pray so hard that he will make the right choice and I am so grateful that I was able to see the true, pure conversion of someone happen these last few weeks. The word of God is "sharper than a sword" and I am so grateful for the experience that the Lord blessed me with to see those feelings in someone else. It made me think of my own true conversion when I too learned that I needed to follow the Lord and that this is His church. 
Well that was my good week, and I love you all so much family. We are so blessed by having priesthood men in our family and to have had mom and dad for the best examples of how parents should be and how our heavenly father loves us. I hope you all have a great week with some wonderful spiritual experiences. I pray for you and love you so much!
Love

Elder Paynter