September 23, 2013

This week was tough but we made a lot of progress this next Sunday we will have four baptisms!!! The family is coming along well, but some of them faster than others, and they keep inviting more and more people to come and listen and partake of the gospel. It is so great and has blessed us so much.
Ha-ha I went on a division this week with some missionaries who live in a house with two companionships, and the house looked like my room back at home. Super super messy, ha-ha. But it was a good time there with them and I learned some and got some good insight about how I could help some of the missionaries there.
The card arrived, but I will get it tomorrow at our district meeting. Today, is a very sad day, President Perrotti stopped allowing us to drink coca cola, and it’s not really p day either, its mission cleaning day, so we will be cleaning our house a little bit and then we have a family home evening. Our house is pretty nice, we have a little patio and one room to study in, one to sleep, a kitchen and a bathroom. I like it a lot, and oh, it has a hammock. Sealed the deal. We are really excited for conference coming up and hopefully we can have a baptism between sessions. Sadly it will be in Portuguese but it will be good this time around. It’s just hard looking at the apostles speaking and not hearing their voices. But you gotta love this beautiful language. Well mumsy, my time is up. Next week I will have some great stories to tell. I love you so much, have such a wonderful week! I love you!

Elder Sunsy

September 16, 2013

Hey Dad,
      Well this area has been a lot of work but we have been having break throughs this week. Some words from your email stuck in my head, it’s so funny that even after talking with hundreds of people and all of them saying no, it can be the next person that says yes who changes it all. This week we started teaching an English class in our chapel and a member invited a random girl on the street to go, and after we got her address, taught her family, went back and the family invited two other people and they all accepted baptism on the 29th! It was such a miracle that all of the sudden we have seven baptisms marked and ready to go and ever since people have just been asking to pass by and things are really starting to roll on here. 
     I feel like I really am understanding so much more about faith now, we never complained about anything our time here we just kept working and we know that we will be able to accomplish our goal of 8 baptisms in the next three weeks before the transfer ends. It has just been miracles this week and plenty of good things happening. 
     We also had our stake conference, and the area president of Brasil and our mission president were there. It was pretty cool, and the family of investigators enjoyed it a lot. And it was a week of plenty of adventures also. On Friday the mission president’s wife called us and said that the area president’s wife might want to visit some of the houses of the missionaries. Uh oh, so we cleaned Friday night and Saturday morning and our house was super clean, but we had a lot of full garbage bags and the garbage truck doesn’t pass until today. Ha-ha so Elder Vianna threw the garbage on our roof so they wouldn’t see it if they came, and he threw one bad so it was visible, so I climbed a wall, in my church clothes, got up on the roof and arranged our garbage bags. Man it was so funny, and luckily the area president’s wife didn’t come at all. It was a missionary moment that I won’t forget, I felt a little like the Best Two Years when they find out that the president was coming to their house so they cleaned super-fast. Ha-ha it was really fun.
     Then Saturday, a family from my old area called me and said that they were close by in a super market. So we went there and talked with them, and then all of the sudden members from another area that Vianna passed in were there. So we were both super happy and it was so great to see them. When we were leaving they gave us a ride to our house and dropped off about a hundred dollars in groceries for us. I couldn’t even believe it, I was so happy and wanted to hug them all. I really miss them and for sure will choose to go back to that area before I leave the mish. 
     The week went really well Dad, but I am really stressing about the zone itself. We got a lot of dead missionaries who just say that the area is bad and don’t put up a fight. I have gotten tired of hearing it. I have realized that most missionaries here have just given the excuse instead of giving the resolution and the commitment to do better next week. Elder Vianna and I almost had it out yesterday with an elder. President shows the zone leaders the numbers of that each area got every week. They are color coded and for the most part every zone is doing well except for ours. Almost every number was red in our zone. I don’t quite know what to do to inspire them dad, but I am getting stressed out with what president is thinking? I know he sent me here to help out with the life here in the zone and I want to give him results. Better yet, I want to give the Lord the results that He deserves and I want to help these missionaries reach their potential. 
     Well Dad, enough of that, I really miss you. I have a picture of you and Alaynna together and I always look at it before I go to bed. I am here for a lot of reasons Dad. The mission is the best thing ever, but I really hope that I can fulfill my patriarchal blessing when it says that I have incredible parents and that if I "will bless their names throughout the eternities". Dad, I am so honored to be your son, and to have the opportunity to call you my father. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be able to look at your picture every night and to think about all the things you have taught me. The Lord has blessed me so much with such wonderful parents like you, and I know that I have no excuses to not give my best. I hope that one day Dad, I can truly bless your name and be considered a Paynter just like you and Grandpa and Dean are. I miss you dearly, and love you so much. There are many fonts of inspiration for me to work here, but you are the font which inspires me most. I love you so much Dad, have such a great week. 

Elder Paynter

September 9, 2013

Hey Mom, 
That is great to hear about Teagan’s court of honor. I can’t believe that. That is so cool. Those houses up there are incredible, aren’t they? It’s really calming to take a drive up there, and my heaven will be the one with a little cabin in the woods by the lake with the family inside it. So yes I agree mom. Ha-ha! Well I didn’t buy a backpack, I just found an old one in the little house we were living in, but now I will have to buy a new one because the church changed a few standards and backpacks aren’t allowed anymore, we have to use shoulder bags for now on. so in the next few months the mission will be getting a deal on some shoulder bags and I will buy one but for now, no worries. I still didn’t buy an umbrella, but I got an SD card. This next week we will be going downtown to buy some things on p-day. I am really excited for the letter mom, I can’t wait for it really. I absolutely loved the package, and I loved the panda sauce, the Books of Mormon were great. Dad was right we can get the English Book of Mormon, we just can’t get the English minis here and I wanted to give some out as gifts. So I kept a mini and gave away the others. It was really nice. Well things I would like. I don’t quite know, I am kind of sick of my ties, but I can buy those cheap here, and I will be trading a lot with some people also. Elder Vianna wants me to ask for some nerf guns so we can have battles here, (they are super expensive here) but we will see when the time comes around with what I want for Christmas yeah? One year is coming up, and I can’t believe it already. Time has just flown by. 
I have been studying so much about the missionaries in the Book of Mormon. The funny thing is they all were super successful but they passed through some super tough situations. And I feel like a lot of the elders here forget that, they think that everything should just be given on a plate at times, just like I did when I showed up, but after these tough times comes the big blessings just like Nephi and Lehi when they baptized 8000 people, or the sons of Mosiah. The zone here has been through some rough times, and it will come out well when we help these missionaries grow some real faith so God can perform miracles. I have never worked harder in my life, and I am just so happy to do so, and it has been a great time so far learning a whole lot about helping and serving others. 
This week was pretty great, our area is like a "West Jordan" in relation to Campinas being Salt Lake. It’s been a little tough so far finding some people who will accept us but we are close, I can feel it. We went to a recent convert's home to follow up with her and she sat us down for some tea. She works at the Fox channel here and knows a lot of people, she is like forty-five-ish and has a one year old darling daughter. So it has been to see what my niece will be like when I get back. Anyway getting back on track. She invited a pastor from another church to come and swap ideas about religion with us, and she said " oh she just preaches with fire, she is the best preacher that I know and is just so powerful, so you guys are going to preach to her and then she will preach to you!" and the whole time the recent convert spoke, Elder Vianna was just pinching my leg in a scream for help. Ha-ha but luckily the pastor didn’t come and we didn’t have to do any bible bashing. Yay, we got to keep the spirit with us. We were pretty bummed Saturday night because we had some appointments fall through Saturday that were our only good investigators, and while we were walking home late, we stopped a lady and she was really receptive and brought us to her husband and her son and daughter in law that night. So we'll see how that all comes out.
But, my time is gone and I really miss you all. I am happier than ever here on the mission and I wouldn’t trade this for anything, I am so grateful for the opportunities God has blessed me with. It is so crazy to think that I am on another continent, speaking another language, but still so close to my family. I am so grateful for the love I have felt from all of you and hope you have a wonderful week! I love you! 

Elder Paynter

September 4, 2013

Hey mom,
Yes I got your letter but I didn’t get the thing of my priesthood line of authority. Thanks a whole lot for the scriptures, I really liked that. Teagan will be very good out there and no doubt will find some really tough experiences. I really liked the emails this week mom, I am really sorry but I wont have much time to email everyone who sent one to me so I will just give you a nice longer one and try to do my best with the left over time to get with everyone else. 
Well that’s all some pretty crazy news with everyone really. I am super grateful for Dad and all that he has done for us and the example that he has been and all of the love that he gives us.
Well new things coming along for me in the mish. My new area is called Ponte, and it is a lot different from my last area. I showed up and met my comp Elder Vianna. He is from Porto Alegre, the south of Brasil and looks like cousin Braden. He is a really cool guy and works really hard and we have had some pretty fun times. He has been giving me tips on leadership and on being a better missionary all around and he is a great example. I did however, show up and we don’t have a teaching group so we have been talking with everyone and their dog about the church and scraping our fingernails off to get lessons.
Right now we take care of the second biggest zone in the mish with only 18 missionaries and our zone is all good, we don’t have any sisters but everyone is getting along thus far and seems like a pretty tight group. I really missed my last zone and last area, it was hard to say goodbye to some people there but I know that I have other tasks that Heavenly Father wants me to do here. We are in the principal ward in the stake, but the number of active members is super low, I am really surprised that we have a chapel, but we do and we will get those members back also! We have spent a ton of time out on the streets trying to get some investigators and thus I have darkened my skin tone a little more, for the first time on the mission I used sunscreen. It was a landmark day. 
So my comp is a lot like Braden, and our bishops wife looks like mom, and they have a train that passes right by our house so I think of dad driving by. It is fun to have the family by me again. Ha-ha well we had a really cool time at the house of a member eating lunch, the members grandfather ate with us and he looked a lot like what I remember of grandpa Paynter, and he said some cool things about the gospel. But in all he told us a story about how a neighbor decided to be baptized in the church because of the service that the old man did for him. I thought a whole lot about grandpa and I thanked Heavenly Father that day for the wonderful opportunity.
He said something great about the priesthood also, every priesthood holder knows what the priesthood is, they can basically spit a defining line out about it, "the authority of God, given to man, to act in His name" Well this old guy said, “The priesthood is the opportunity to wear the same sandals that Christ wore and do the things he would do here on the earth for others.” I kept thinking about grandpa and how I always heard about the service and the man that he was. He really understood what his purpose and role was as a man of God. I hope when we meet, he will be proud of how I treat his name. 
So it has been a lot of work, we emailed today because I had a leadership meeting on Monday and my time is super short today, we decided to work today so we could get a better teaching group and baptize before the end of transfers. Family, I am really sorry that it has been such a hurry lately. I promise I will do my best to get back with you next week on emails. Thanks so much for all of them and for all of your support. I love you!

Elder Paynter

August 26, 2013

     Well, that was one name tag that I really was blessed with while wearing, and I wanted to give one to you and Dad. Spongebob is the best. On the inside I am still me even though at times I don’t show that. Ha-ha well it was a wonderful week mom, I am so glad to hear that the blessing went well, and that is just hilarious that she was able to wear the same dress! I can’t believe it! She is just darling! The pictures of her yawning were so cute! Well Lacey is the best and that makes me laugh so much about what she said with the roommates. That is hilarious with what she said about you guys, I got transferred mom, and I am sad, but glad also because my comp likes to eat so we ate a lot! Ha-ha

     Well this week was incredible! We had one more baptism, and it was really great! The ward has gotten really excited with all of the baptisms happening and has gotten more involved with us. It was number 16 for the mish, and the 15th in this area for me. How funny. But this kid is super special. He is 18 and he is really successful. He is finishing a degree at the most renowned university in Brasil and he didn't even pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true, he prayed to know whether he should go on a mission or not. He will be such an amazing missionary and we already made plans with him to baptize his girlfriend in two weeks when he gets the priesthood. I am really sad that I didn't have time to make a stronger friendship with him or to see him continue on. But I am so grateful that the Lord blessed me to get to know him! We have plenty of other good things in the works but, I won’t be here anymore. I am super nervous for transfers because I was made a zone leader! So we’ll see how it goes! I don’t know what the Lord sees in me, but I trust in him and hope I can give him my all!

     This last week for district meeting, we had to teach about the importance of revelation at church, so the zone leaders and I held our little fake Sunday. It was really fun, we talked about chasing behind investigators to help them progress, faith, and finalizing investigators. I taught about chasing behind them, so I got dressed in gym clothes, and put on a work out DVD, and then we all did exercises, and Elder Albuquerque dressed up in baptismal clothes and everyone had to get him. Ha-ha it was fun and then I taught some spiritual stuff. It was a really great meeting!

     Well mom, I am glad you had an awesome week, I hope you have another great one! Send a big hug to everyone! I love you so much!

Elder Paynter