April 15, 2013

Hello everyone!
Yet another great week in Brasilian Europe serving the Lord! We had a tough time getting to any investigators, and our golden hope, José the vagabond, didn’t come to church again or the activity so we didn't see him or teach him. We were doing a contact with this guy one day and while we were talking to him, his neighbor came over and started saying things about the church and man I got heated fast. A lot of people here don't know much about neither the bible, nor our religion and then try to bash with us. And it is hard to fight back because they are so limited with their gospel knowledge that all the say is no in response to everything. Ha-ha it was annoying but it’s part of the work.
We finally got into an old investigators house and read from the book of Mormon with them and invited them again to say a prayer. I have been praying so much that they will somehow feel the truth and at least have the desire to know if it is true or not.
We went to Bragança Paulista on Monday night after p-day ended at six and had our district meeting in the house of the elders because Amparo has two bus times in the day to get back. It was super fun. We did practices in our pajamas and it was me and a newborn Brasilian Elder as missionaries with Permann and the other as our investigators. It was super funny and I was able to see how much I have progressed with the teaching. I loved it.  
The rest of the week went pretty slow until we got to our Multi-zone meeting which was really good. It is always a great spiritual booster and I love learning some new great things there. The night before I had remembered that President Perrotti asked everyone to study 2 Nephi 31 because he would randomly choose someone to give a forty minute lesson to the crowd at the conference. So I stayed up late and had a super awesome study session even though luckily enough, I wasn't chosen to teach. The kid who was chosen was taken quite off guard and clearly wasn't prepared. I also got my packages there and it was great! Elder Permann and I didn't get back home until 9:15 that night. He got two packages also and we both just had a huge party and colored eggs and after we enjoyed some eggs and amazing hot sauce! It was a great day! 
On Saturday we went to visit one of our "mothers" who hasn't been able to make it to church for a while because her father's health is going south and she is looking after him. When we got there she told us about a lump she has in her neck and that she would be getting some big tests done on it soon. I immediately thought of the worst. I had operated on way too many people at Huntsman with "lumps" in their necks and seen a lot of instances where it turned out to be something really bad. I immediately thought of the worst with her. She told us she would be wanting a blessing soon. She then told us some awesome experiences she has had with priesthood blessings in her life. She is like a wise old shaman and everyone loves her. She then said that a priesthood blessing depends on two people, the faith of the recipient, and the faith of the giver. It really touched me to the core when she said that. I would not have been ready to give her the right blessing at that moment because I allowed the thoughts of my own past experiences interrupt the capacity of God's power. I have since then worked so much harder to strengthen my faith so I can always be ready to give the blessing that the Lord wants me to give to those who stand in need. It truly was a humbling experience and a reality check. It is often hard to remember everything about this gospel in every moment, but I had realized that it has been a while since I have evaluated my faith.
Finally Sunday rolled around. We were almost able to get a single mother to church; she let us pass by her house quickly on Sunday to walk with her to church so she could make it to sacrament meeting. When we showed up she was all dirty and was cleaning her house so she didn't go but promised us next week. She was really sincere and we probably have the most hope in her at the moment. So we ran back to church and got there a little late, so they made the other priesthood holders pass this week. It was kind of nice to be able to sit down and think about the wonderful covenants I have made with Heavenly Father and to think of how I would improve myself this week. It was a great spirit there. At times it is hard to make Sunday feel more sacred when every day is the same for me, but the Lord blessed me that I was able to feel of His Spirit and of His love. It wasn't a profound week. But it was great. I am so grateful to be here serving the people in whichever way I can. I love this work. I love the Lord with all my heart. I know that this is his church and we have a wonderful loving prophet who guides us and leads us. I love you all and hope you had a week as great as mine. Have another good one okay?
Elder Paynter

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