March 25, 2013

Well hello everyone!
What a fun and great week! It was great to take advantage of the more time that I have with Elder Permann. We have had a great week, and because of transfers we didn't have to blow a bunch of time traveling to Bragan├ža Paulista for a district meeting. So we were able to get a ton of contacts in and try a little more with some of our investigators. We kept trying to get into some houses this week but none of them worked out. We kept passing by so many of our investigators but none of them were home. And we had hardly any of our contacts that said we could come back and "try" to find them at home another hour so we could teach them. But we worked pretty hard this week and knocked on every single door in the neighborhood close to the church. A lot of the people thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses and were pretty rude. I guess they really force doctrine on people and bible bash all the time so people get us mixed up with them and kind of ruin our chances. So it is on to another neighborhood this week that will hopefully give us some good people.
 Saturday came around and we had a lunch appointment with the recent convert family in our branch. We stayed there kind of long because we taught them a big lesson after lunch and helped out with some work they were doing on the house. We had a lot of people planned to visit that day, and it was a little stressful that we had lost that much time. But I remember praying that morning specifically for effectiveness of time and to have the spirit there to guide on who to visit and when. So we just went with it after that and to our amazement we were able to talk with everyone that we had planned to even though a lot of them were just quick invites to church and then marking another appointment. We finished off our list of people and were about to go buy dinner for the night when I remembered one contact that lived nearby and we went there. To our astonishment they let us in and they really needed some help. The husband’s father had passed away three weeks ago, and he had started drinking a lot. He was a depressed guy. The wife said they didn't have much time so we read a few verses from the bible with them to help them out, marked for another day and left a pamphlet with them. It was a miracle that we were able to go there and to have the spirit guide us there. It felt like such a good night and I knew we were able to accomplish all of that because Heavenly Father was looking after us. 
Sunday rolled around and again none of our investigators came to church so it was yet another discouraging moment. After the block, we sat and waited for the secretary to finish up with the tithing numbers so we could get a ride to our lunch appointment. We were just hanging out when a man walked into the little house that we have for our chapel and asked if he could eat lunch with us. The branch president rolled by and said wait a second. He came back with money and told us to go buy something for him at a nearby mini restaurant. Yeah, I know it was Sunday and all but the man needed some help. At first I thought he was a bum, but he was actually very polite and very smart, and very clean and explained his situation to us. He was living with a Jehovah’s Witness for a couple months but got in an argument with him because he was trying to push his doctrine on him. So he left there and was waiting for an interview with the city today to see what help they could do for him because he is a working citizen. He asked us so much about the church and our doctrine, and after we bought his food for him, we taught him the first lesson. He said if everything works out and he can stay in Amparo for a while longer then he will be going to church for sure. It was such a miracle to be able to do that and it was so exciting that the lord trusted us and blessed us enough with that opportunity. After that we went to our lunch appointment, ate and started back to our area of focus and it started to rain a little. We stopped by one of the public bathrooms (they are pretty clean here in Amparo) and then got ready for the rain. I stopped Elder Permann and said, "Random prayer time." He looked at me funny and I just started praying right away ha-ha. I prayed that we would have a good and successful evening, and that we would always remember what happened that evening so we could enjoy it. So we started out and it started raining harder and harder and I had never been out in such crazy rain. Then wind picked up and blew a big sign of a building and shattered all over the road, avocados from trees were flying everywhere and crashing at our feet and breaking, our umbrellas were folded back like pieces of paper and almost took us away into the river. It was so cool and fun! Ha-ha it honestly felt like we were in a hurricane for a moment. We were so drenched from head to toe. There wasn't a spot that was dry even though we had umbrellas. We walked through the big bus airport building' and people looked at us so funny. It was the best, people already look at elders funny but when they are drenched from head to toe, it is even better. So we walked through laughing really hard, and went right back out in the rain. Super drenched. It really is a time that I will always remember because it was so fun.
The Lord always answers prayers, maybe not in ways we expect or ways we want. But he always answers them. I hope you all had a week as good as mine; I miss you all dearly and love you. 

Elder Paynter  

Oh here is a silly stray dog.

This is how drenched I was after the storm.
A nice sunset.

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