February 25, 2013

Well this week, was quite a week. Amparo is a great place with some unique people and the members are quite unique also. They are great though. Because the branch is so small we have lots of responsibilities and the stake is really throwing some pressure on us to work on reactivating the young men. They don’t have a Young Mens leader or mutual or such so we are in charge of doing branch wide activities each week. The Sunday school teacher teaches a long and boring lesson then we need to do a game that is short and calm enough for old people to play. So if anyone has any ideas we need all we can get!!! Ha-ha it has been stressful but I am grateful for the opportunities that we have been blessed with, now it is time to capitalize on them and change this place.
We found a couple families this week who we are teaching and we have a lot of hope in them. They will be some great members. We are just having a lot of trouble with finding times other than Sunday to meet with one of them so they can progress faster. We also have two young girls that are about 12 years old that really want to be baptized but the parents are quite against it so we’ll see how much shmoozing we can do with that. It has been a great week with a lot of learning experiences.
One of the families that we are teaching has a father named Natal which means Christmas in English, ha-ha but it really was like Christmas for us when we contacted him because he is so friendly and him and his wife, Michelle, have been prepared by the Lord for sure! He pointed out to us before we even taught him anything that he and his wife don’t drink or smoke and have no addictions so they are just waiting to be baptized and have been going to a bunch of different evangelical churches before they decide which one is right. They already know that the Catholics are off the board.... ha-ha thank heavens! Anyways we are super excited for them and have tons of hope in our investigators! The other family, Leandro and Angelica, accepted baptism and will be baptized on March 16, which is Elder Permann’s birthday! So it will be a great day indeed!
We have been super blessed with so many great opportunities and members and support here. Each member feeds us lunch twice a month. One of the members and his wife spend the rest of the day after lunch doing visits with us in houses of less active members, and they are do well at getting them back to church. They are older and just hilarious. Some of my favorite people here in Amparo. We have two "mothers" here that make us stop by and spend time with them twice a week and fill us with food and Coca-Cola before we get out the door! Yes, I am gaining tons of weight, and this time I don’t think it is muscle.... ha-ha. Culture night this week was Italian food, and Elder Permann and I cooked spaghetti with our Italian mustaches that we drew on our faces.

Ha-ha things are going great, this week was a major setup week for what we have coming and I can’t wait to share the experiences with you. There are many great promises in store for the people of Amparo. Oh and other news, yes there are 58 new missions, 7 new in Brasil, and our tiny mission is getting divided in July! It is super nerve wracking and I really don’t want to be split up from my buddies but I know the Lord does everything for a reason and I will serve him any place any time and in any way.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much. It has brought so much peace, happiness and tranquility to my life. I know that He loves each and every one of us so much. He has prepared the way for our happiness and has blessed the world. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week! Love,
Elder Paynter

February 19, 2013

Well family and friends,
I would just like to let you know how blessed I have been and want to thank everyone for the prayers, the love and all the support that I have felt here, thousands of miles away in Brasil. Amparo is just incredible. It is kind of a tourist town and tons of Catholics, retired people, gay and crazy people live here.
This week we got to know the area and knocked on door after door after door. Elder Permann said it has been the hottest week yet for him in Amparo and man I have felt it! We have tons of work to do! After doing contacts we have tried to teach some lessons but only got into a couple houses to teach this week. But we met a lot of the branch members and met our mom of Amparo. Her name is Laide. She is about sixty and has been a member for about six months. We have dinner with her on every Friday night and we are trying to get her son to give us permission to baptize her grandson, Arthur. It has been a long process and hopefully it will work out soon. She is wonderful and so is Arthur and I have loved the time spent with them.
We had sacrament meeting and the branch is so small that the missionaries always pass the sacrament, we always teach gospel principles, and speak often. But I have enjoyed it. I got the opportunity to bear my testimony and it felt really great. They had a lot of people from the stake there and the branch president was running around with is head off because they are thinking about closing the branch down. Yeah, membership is awful there, and we were given the job to reactivate all of the young men, we don’t have any young men or young women. Hah so we have a little more to do than usual but it’s the joys of the work and we are doing are best and just working!
This place is pretty crazy, I have seen some pretty crazy people just walk up and talk to us and say weird things but it has been funny. Dogs, they hate missionaries more than anything! We walked down one street the other day, and we had plenty of dogs barking at us from each house. Man it was loud. Then we stopped and knocked on a door, while we were waiting for the person to answer a horse came walking down the street without any one next to it. Ha-ha I just feel like this place is so beautiful but it is pretty unusual. I am grateful for the little funny things that the lord has blessed us to see here.
Sunday night we had to take an hour and a half bus ride to get to one of the other elders houses. It was such an incredible view during the ride. It was just breathtaking with a beautiful sunset. We got to the home and six other elders arrived and we all made pizza and slept on the floor! It was fun then we got up and walked to the church where we have our zone meeting each week. Had a great zone meeting and had interviews with President Perrotti who is just great and so loving. It was a wonderful time. When we got back yesterday evening we got to work at about five and the Lord blessed us so much to find some people who were receptive to what we had to say! I am so excited to see how this week goes and to tell you about the successes.
Best of luck back at home everyone! I love you so much! Thanks so for the prayers and the love!

February 13, 2013

Well this week has been pretty good!! It was kind of strange with Carnival here. The entire world travels out of town, and the young men and women have youth conference during it so they were all gone from church this week and we couldn't get hardly any members at church let alone investigators! But it was good! We had to bless the sacrament and the bishopric passed it. It was fun! And there were some good fireworks at night ha-ha.
Well we didn't get much of a chance to speak with Monica this week because everyone has just been gone! We had to go to the sister’s area and drop some forms off for them, and we didn't have any money so we asked a member for a ride. It was Alan again. He is awesome and after he gave us a ride he took us out to eat and talked with us for a while about the gospel. It was a great time!
 It was a bit of a rainy week which was frustrating because I really needed my laundry to dry. It didn't so I washed it again and then finally we had some sun!
When we were at our zone conference this week, my belt broke. Ha-ha Levi, if you go, don’t buy the belts that rotate so you can have a black and brown belt. That is the second belt that broke so I had to go buy another one and they are not cheap here! But it was an experience!
 Anyway, I couldn't email on p-day this week because everywhere was closed in Campl Limpo! Then we had transfers! Yes I got transferred!!! I was pretty happy! So on transfer day we all go to the bus airport station thing and meet with all the other elders being transferred. It was a blast because I got to meet up with some of the guys from my group in the MTC and it was a blast to see how they have progressed! It felt good to speak some Portugenglish with them too! Ha-ha there I met my new comp, Elder Permann! He is pretty cool and he is a hard worker so I am super excited to have the opportunity to work with him!
            I am now serving in the Zone Itatiba! The area is Amparo! Wow this place is so beautiful! I never thought there would be any place like this in Brasil! It has been a little tough here lately and it is super Catholic! It is smaller, but such a clean place and I have never been in a town so pretty as this. I was literally shocked. They have some pretty cool Catholic churches here. It is just a dream to be in a place like this.
            But we arrive in our area at about three yesterday, I unpacked and we talked about our hopeful investigators! He made some pancakes, oh yes I have missed pancakes so much, it was great! Then went to the streets and knocked some doors. It was pretty fun and Elder Permann is a great guy, and is teaching me quite a bit! I am a little nervous to change areas again but I am pretty excited for what is in store! It will be a great transfer with him. He has been here for a while and he is a pretty calm guy but likes to crack some jokes.
Well family all is good here, it was kind of a ghost town here yesterday but now the streets are stirring and I am excited to jump into this area!
Well family, have a great week. I love you tons!

February 4, 2013

What a crazy week with finally a lot of stuff to do!
Well I decided my letters have gotten boring so I will finally just ramble and if you don't care then don't read, sound good? Ha-ha
So I had a great time at the zone conference this week and got to have and interview with president which was great and it was nice to take some concerns to him. The language is getting much better especially this week!
We had a lunch in the house of a member this week, and Brasilians don't like pepper on their food, but this member liked pepper! Holy cow my face was red and my nose was runny by the end of that one! I drank tons of juice that meal! Ha-ha but it was pretty good! Rice and beans and pasta and chicken for just about every meal ha-ha.
Mom and Carli thanks so much for the letters this week! They really helped me so much and I was so happy to get them! Car, it is so funny because the Brasilians think that a letter in a blue envelope means that it is a Dear John letter so they always wig but I just laugh at them!
So the people here are great, everyone believes in God and Jesus Christ so it is nice that they have that faith. There is tons of religious activity here and there are so many different churches here that it is insane! But at times it is nice because they can relate to the situation that Joseph Smith was in! We got a reference from a member that was so great; this lady's name is Lucia. She is great and asked all the right questions, we are so excited to have her in church next week! We went to another neighborhood which is super far called Botojuru and taught an elderly lady there, she was so nice but I don't think she'll ever make it to church because of her health problems and the distance it is to the church. That was quite a walk to get there, but Botujuru is a super beautiful neighborhood, kind of secluded and reminded me of a nice visit to the mountains at home. Things with Monica have improved! She still has such a great desire and the marriage papers are finally coming along! So hopefully they can get a start on their journey towards an eternal family soon! They are some great people.
I was lucky enough to have an exchange with the zone leader this week and it was so great.  His name is Elder Boring and he taught me so much gave me so much confidence. He was shocked at how well the Portuguese was coming along! He is a pretty outgoing and super friendly, he has only been in that area for four weeks and he has made friends with tons of the everyday people there. It was a complete 180 from Elder Leal.
We got to his area called Jacare and went to visit the husband of a member, his name is Paulo. This guy was cool; he pulled out one of his three twelve string guitars and started playing some older American music like dust in the wind. It was pretty cool and he was super nice, then we talked to him about the church. He has already had like ten sets of missionaries teach him, but has never felt so much of the urge to be baptized. So hopefully they can do some good with him there.
After that we went to a group reading of the Book of Mormon at a house with some people in their ward. It was fun. There was a girl there who is like rain man. Her brain is missing the connection between both sides so she can do some things super well and others like feeding herself she can't. But she had the Book of Mormon memorized word for word. So when it came to her to read, she would just recite it. It was cool to see. Imagine the capacity of our brains, we have so much potential that we don't know. Just like some people don't know of their eternal potential.
After that Elder Boring and I went to the store, bought this way good candy that he and I are addicted to. It is like the center of a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup without the chocolate around it. It’s super good! We just ate and talked about the gospel and some cool experiences that we have had. It was the best day in the field for sure. He is an awesome missionary, for sure one of the best here in Campinas and he works so hard. He is from Logan got to talk tons about the cool town up there and the great people attending Utah State! Go Chubbs!
It was rainy the next day and my backpack was full from clothes so I didn't bring my umbrella and I got drenched! But it was fun. He didn't have one either. We stopped by the empty skate park and ran around in the rain. It was fun! I am so grateful for the exchange and it was an answer to my prayers.
Exchanges are coming up next week and I am pretty sure I will be getting a new comp. I am pretty excited to see who it is and to learn more!
Ashley happy birthday! That is so crazy how time is going by!
Well family, it has been a good week. I love you all and miss you so much! Glad to hear it has warmed up a bit! I love you all and have a great week!
Thanks for the emails and the letters. They mean a ton and help a ton! I love you!