March 11, 2013

Well hello family, friends, and Levi. 
It has been quite a week here in Brasil. Elder Permann had to go to a meeting in Campinas this week so I stayed with another Elder in Itatiba and worked with him in his area. We had a family home evening with a recent convert family and they have a son who was a familiar face from Campo Limpo. It was a fun time, the only problem is that they had a pool and one of them looked like Tiger Woods so I found the hole in my heart for swimming and golfing that night. No worries I filled it up with work.
Anyway that all went well then the next morning we had a district meeting and it was pretty good. I was super happy to see my Elder Permann again and I was reminded again about how blessed I am to be his comp. We got back home to Amparo and got some tracting in right before we had a family home evening with some recent converts in our area. I was a little upset about using what little time we had this week to walk to their house (an hour away) and they didn’t even go to church this past week. So I kind of let em have it but in a nicer way, and let them know how much I love them and then the wife just yapped for an hour about her life. All in all it was a really good night, and I felt like I had grown a lot. We had really seen a difference in their happiness and I felt bad for thinking so negatively earlier.
The rest of the week we visited Angelica and Leandro and they are doing good and are reading and we invited them to church so they could actually progress. Same with Natal and Michelle but they really have lost it and we ended up inviting them to church even though they seem quite disinterested. We had a few solid appointments set up for the first lesson and each one canceled so we went right back to tracting until Saturday arrived. Saturday is the busy day where we walk everywhere and invite everyone to church again.
Our lunch appointment ended up going for four hours and by the time we got out I was so angry. They were a huge family of grown up northerners with awful Portuguese so I couldn’t understand much, but they all just fought the whole time and wouldn’t let us leave, and thought they could give us some advice on how the church should be ran.
So we finally got out of there and went to talk with some little girls who had been to church several times already, we just finally wanted to get them on solid ground and start the whole baptism process with those who had parents that would approve of it. Well we walked there and they were all like drunk and were hitting on me. So that is that.
We killed out the Saturday and Sunday morning rolled around, we left the house early to go to an appointment right before church and nobody answered the door. So we went to church, and none of our investigators showed up... it was kind of frustrating, and then this big strong gay guy who has been harassing Elder Permann came. It was kind of crazy, and almost a situation to laugh at that the only person who came to church was the one person we didn’t want to. So family, this week we have almost a clean slate of investigators, the only ones we are holding onto are Angelica and Leandro with hopes that something will catch with them. The recent convert family showed up to church and they have become so strong in the past two weeks. It was so great to see them and they said that they want to go make a visit with a less active member with us and we went after our lunch appointment with the branch president on Sunday. The mother of the recent convert family, Adrianna, just laid into the less active guy and did it in a way that didn’t make him mad. I was so proud of her and to see that they are doing the Lords work and that they are of the few who are really caring for the branch here. What great people and I look forward to our family home evening this week.
 After the visit last night we were asked to go to the stake priesthood meeting in Itatiba and it was so great to go with some of the members of our branch. We have very few priesthood holders in our branch but for the most part, the ones that go have great testimonies. It was fun to carpool with them and it was a fun ride. I sat next to the patriarch, his name is "Patriarca Jesus" and he is the happiest 5'0" little black guy. He is my favorite member here and he is a celebrity in the stake, everyone stopped by to hug the man after the priesthood meeting. It was really nice to be there and to talk with a bunch of RMs and to see the power of the priesthood and to imagine the capacity that the men in the chapel held. How incredible.
Well family and friends I love you all much and hope you are doing well. Its a new week here and miracles are going to happen, this is the true church of Jesus Christ, I know we have a living magnificent loving prophet who gives us such wonderful guidance from our Father in Heaven, I am so happy to be able to share such a joyful message with the people here whether they will accept it or not. I love being able to wear the name of my Savior and to feel his love every time I tell these strangers whom I represent. This is His work, and it is marvelous. I love you all. Have the greatest week ever. 

Elder Paynter

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