October 28, 2013

Hey mom,
Thanks for the nice email. Well Mumsy, I am quite jealous that you all went to the concert but I think it’s so cool and I just love and miss you all so so so much. Lacey has been coming home a lot lately. I sure miss visiting her up there and just seeing my happy beautiful family. I have really felt the "in the cage" feeling lately and I just really am hoping that it stops soon. With the package you can just grab some ugly ties from the DI and send them here. And maybe if it fits send dog. And some gummies to keep him full on the trip. 
Well we had our mission tour this week and it was really nice, the church historian came and visited and had some good remarks. The next day we had found a less active member, she weighs around five hundred or so pounds and cant get to church, but she still has a strong testimony and showed us some of her wonderful paintings also, yeah she paints really well. She talked a whole lot about a bunch of things and how she plays computer games online all day with Americans and stuff. She started talking about elves and dwarfs and it was really hard to hold it all in without laughing but she was a cool lady. Then she asked for the bishops phone number because she needed his help with getting garments in her size. Even though she was less active, she still is committed to the gospel. It’s too bad that she can’t get out and about to easily. Then she asked us to give a blessing to her daughter who is less active also and visiting from another city. It was an adventure in that house but it felt good to leave knowing that our duties were fulfilled there. 
We had been teaching a few families for a while, and we decided it was time to cut one of them. We have just been hearing too many excuses and although they went to church a few times, they aren’t reading or really doing anything to feel if the church is true. We gave them lot of lessons and invites to read and pray and so we decided to spend our time on others. The other family we had been teaching has been a little like that also. The marriage and everything took a slow dive because the husband never told us upfront but he doesn’t like the church because he likes to drink and basically said he would sell his family for a never-ending glass of beer. I hate alcohol so much. There are two things that will never run out here in Brasil, rice and beer. Every corner in every little neighborhood has a bar and its full of men from 10 am until who knows when in the morning. 
So we went on the week searching for some people until we got a reference and she lived way up far in the very corner of our area. We only had to go there Saturday night, and we saw the mother who is a little old lady and asked for her daughter. The little old lady wasn’t really receptive and we begged her just to ask her daughter to talk really quickly with us. When the old lady came back she was a lot nicer and just invited us in the house. The house was in the middle of the ghetto but when we got in it was super nice. Felt like I was back in the states again. The daughter came out and she is about 50 years old and she told us her story about why she asked for a missionary visit. This lady's name is Sandra and her daughter died five years ago, and her son is giving a bit of trouble to her. So she had already teared up and we could feel a lot of pain in her. We invited her to church and told her a bit about the gospel before leaving to get home. It was a humbling experience to be reminded of the needs that everyone has for the gospel.
Sunday came around and sadly none of the many investigators we had invited and expected came along. But a bunch of other surprise investigators also came. Its so funny how the Lord has blessed in different ways. The one that did come is the 18 year old, Kaique, who read the "teachings of Lorenzo Snow" book in one week. Last week I gave him a Book of Mormon, and he read quite a bit of it. This week when I was sitting by him in sacrament he told me all that he thought about the gospel and such. It has been this way with us for some weeks now. He told me why he hasn’t been baptized in other churches that he has always disagreed with some things but now that the time has come he is really nervous. I could tell that he knows the church is true. He said he couldn’t get good sleep these last few days because he can’t stop thinking about this big decision that he has to make. If he gets baptized he will have to move from his dads and step mom's to live with his mom, and he is nervous about what some friends will think and some responsibilities that he will have. I am so grateful that he understands the gospel and the consequences and duties that come along with that knowledge.
A few weeks ago I told him how grateful I was to have a father who held the Melchizedek Priesthood so I could ask for a blessing at any time of need. He reminded me that I told him about that, and then asked for a blessing from me. It was so cool, so we went to the bishop’s office, (yes a ton of people have keys to the bishops office) and I we talked a little more about these blessings and his concerns. Then I gave him a blessing, we went back to sacrament meeting and the stake president was speaking and closing up the meeting. What the stake president said the moment we sat down was inspired from God and meant for Kaique to hear. 
I pray so hard that he will make the right choice and I am so grateful that I was able to see the true, pure conversion of someone happen these last few weeks. The word of God is "sharper than a sword" and I am so grateful for the experience that the Lord blessed me with to see those feelings in someone else. It made me think of my own true conversion when I too learned that I needed to follow the Lord and that this is His church. 
Well that was my good week, and I love you all so much family. We are so blessed by having priesthood men in our family and to have had mom and dad for the best examples of how parents should be and how our heavenly father loves us. I hope you all have a great week with some wonderful spiritual experiences. I pray for you and love you so much!

Elder Paynter

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