April 8, 2013

Hello Everyone,
It has been quite a week and we had so many appointments set up but, they almost all fell through the first time we tried passing by. But we kept with the people and kept passing by their houses and we finally got in and got some great lessons in! It is pretty funny how people work down here, the majority of them say that they are busy but we can pass by another day when we do contacts. They don’t think that we will, they are just too scared to say no for some reason. So we pass by until they let us in or finally say no. Ha-ha I have learned a lot about how you have to be a little annoying to get into anyone's home here and teach them. We have been working close to one of the poor neighborhoods for the past little while. A ton of drunks and druggies just sit out in front of this little Catholic Church under some trees, and drink tequila all day long because it is super cheap. A bottle is like a dollar here. But we have made pretty good friends with basically all of them and usually have to listen to one of them talk his drunk face off for a few minutes each time we pass by.
This week a new drunk stopped us and asked how he could get our power that we have. We both just kind of laughed and tried getting some things through his head, but it wasn’t going anywhere. But he just kept bringing up that he could see our power and wanted to know how to get it. Although it was a super funny situation, it made me think about how grateful I am to be a holder of God's priesthood. I just hope that, with His help, I can develop and grow and become the warrior, the man, and the priesthood carrier that our Heavenly Father expects me to be. It is such an incredible opportunity and such a great responsibility to hold the authority of God. I hope that everyone can truly recognize the duties that God has entrusted us with. I pray every day that I can recognize the opportunities to serve and magnify my calling. Well that was one of the funny points of the week. 
We hadn't heard from our friend who came to the chapel after church was over a couple weeks ago (Jose). On Tuesday after we got back from our district meeting, we worked pretty hard and needed to finish up some contacts before we had family home evening with a member family. I will be quite honest, I wasn’t feeling too well, it was raining, and we needed to walk an hour and ten minutes to get to the family. I really considered cancelling and going home so I could get feeling better, but I said a prayer and just kept going even though my body and mind weren’t so willing. As we were walking we ran into our friend that had come to the church. It was the greatest thing ever, we found out that he had found a job, and was turning his life around. He gave us a huge hug and told us all about his progress, he thanked us so much. He said he wanted to go to church but was unable to last week, but he would for sure this week. Since it was conference we told him to meet us at the church in the morning so we could teach him, and then we would go to the branch president’s house to watch conference. He was way excited; we gave him a little bit of money to go buy dinner with and carried onto the member family's house. I was so grateful that the lord had blessed us with running into him. It made me think of how important it is to be working at all times. I almost cancelled the appointment and we would have lost an even bigger one with our investigator if I had. We ran into him again a different night, and that night he told us even better news, he told us that he was able to take a shower and was able to find a place to pay to sleep in for the night. He was just super happy, and thanked us so much for believing in him and for helping him. I felt on cloud nine after talking with him. That was what I came to the mission for, it wasn’t just to baptize and look at people as numbers, it was to HELP people, to serve my brothers and sisters here in Brasil. We went to the chapel at nine on Sunday morning, and waited, it was about ten and he finally showed up. I was so happy and after that we taught him and went to the branch president's house where we ate lunch and watched conference together. Jose loved it; he took a ton of notes, and made great friends with the branch president. He started talking to us about how after he is baptized and a member that he could be teaching or preaching at the church and stuff.
We were just on cloud nine and so grateful for the experiences this week. It has been a little tough to see how many people wouldn’t read or pray to know about the Book of Mormon, but Jose has made up for it all. We are so happy and hopefully we will see him in white soon. This week has been full of funny and great experiences. 
I want to thank everyone for the prayers, the concern, and for the letters. I have the best family, and friends, and wonderful examples back at home. I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week.
Elder Paynter

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