May 26, 2014

Well Mumsy,
Let me just say that I love you dearly. We had a marvelous week, Marta got baptized and it was such a spiritual service. It was so great to see her so happy. She was pretty nervous while we were in the water, but no worries Elder Paynter dunked her quick so it wasn't a problem. Ha-ha. Just kidding, but it was a great moment to see someone so willing to make promises with our Heavenly Father. 

Other than that, it has been raining here ever since Wednesday and it is cold!!! Gets a little frustrating because we don't see hardly anyone on the streets to talk with but its been a good time. Other than that I found a cool hat that was like two bucks so I had to get it. I am loving the mission. Love my comp, and I love the gospel! Sorry I don't really feel I have tons to say . I love you mom!

Elder Paynter

May 19, 2014

Well Paps,
     I couldn't have dreamt of a better week to be quite honest. The money, I just took it out as cash and yeah. It’s a little easier to track that way. I bought burger king when I was out with Kaique and we broke a door in our house and I needed to buy some medications and a few other things so, basically it’s been that. Oh I also bought meat for our BBQ we did last night at our house. It was great.
     Well I will try and remember all the great things this week. We got our new comps, Elder Ferguson (my comp) is awesome. He works hard and has fun. I couldn’t' ask for anything more. And yeah my whole redneck expectations, didn’t really come true. He isn’t the biggest country fan and doesn’t hunt, but he does have a scripture case made out of duct tape so that was right on.  I showed him around the ghettos and we had some fun together. We had to divide our teaching group, but it’s all good. We will have one baptism this coming Sunday, and we are just looking around for families. We have been talking to every creature, even the lazy dogs that live on the streets. 
     We had lunch at our ward mission leader's home this last week and Elder Batista told them it was my birthday. So on Sunday they brought me a way nice soccer jersey! 
     One day we started leaving a neighborhood and there were three small girls carrying a big TV in a bed sheet and they asked us for help. So we started walking up these way big hills and whatever. Our arms were burning when we finished. It was funny. After we left a message with them and invited them to church. It was a fun memory and hope we have some more like it. 
     It has just been nothing but joy, we are working hard, and loving every second of it. I could not have imagined a better birthday here on the mission. It seemed so spiritual and it felt so good to be able to speak again at church. I am so so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary in this day and age. There is nothing greater. I love the church, I love the gospel, I love the opportunities that I have had to meet such incredible people and eternal friends, and I love my Savior. 
I love you dad thanks so much for everything. Congratulate Dave for me.

Elder Paynter

April 23, 2014

Hey mumsy,

I am quite glad to hear that Easter went so well for all of you. Sounds like you had a great time with darling Alaynna at the Easter egg hunt. I can't believe how big she is now! Each picture you send she looks so much bigger and different. I am starting to see the "Ashley" in her. But the pictures of her from Christmas and now are so so so different. Can’t believe it. Lacey is darling as ever and always smiling. And Levi looks like a stud. We have such a wonderful family. Glad to hear that everything is going well. Not too excited about dad's knee but it will all go well. 

Easter here in Brasil is a different experience for sure. The custom is to buy a gigantic chocolate egg and give it to your loved ones. They can be pretty expensive and Friday is a holiday and Saturday along with Sunday. Nothing is open these days. Everyone traveled we had gone downtown to visit some other missionaries and it literally looked like a ghost town. It was pretty strange. 

           Sunday rolled along and we had been expecting our beloved family to show up. They didn’t. We did have a recent convert's mother show up and she liked it a lot. She is progressing really well. Elder Batista and I were really hoping for something special we could do this Easter for Christ. A bum walked in the front of the church and asked if he could participate in the meetings. He was young, 24, and dirty. His clothes probably hadn’t been washed in months. He paid so much attention and didn’t ask for anything. I wanted so badly to let him go to our house to shower and to give him clothes and other things but we couldn’t. He really liked the meetings and we invited him to come back for the activity we will be having this week and the next Sunday too. We had gotten our chocolate egg from the ward along with a bunch of food from the relief society. We put it all in a bag along with ten dollars and gave it to him. I hope that he had a great Easter, because the opportunity that he gave us made my Easter. I could help but think of this guy and how he would be with his own family and young children in the church. All dressed in white baptizing his own family members. I know he has such huge future and i am so excited to see him change his life. I hope more than anything that he comes back. The rest of the week was great. The normal routine, but it was great. 

I am so happy to be here on the mission. I am so happy for each opportunity that the lord blesses us with to serve. I hope you all have a wonderful week and are also blessed with so many opportunities to serve others. 

Elder Paynter

May 6, 2014

Hey Paps,

Well just to let you know, I am not sure what time I will be skyping. I will try to do it later on. What time is church for you guys? I am really excited to be able to talk to all of you and I just can’t wait. 
We will be getting our comps a week from today. We are both super excited for the work to go forward. We have witnessed the lord truly accelerating his work here in so many ways. We have eleven ward missionaries and we gave our first training meeting this last Sunday night. It was spectacular and I am so excited to see the results of this here. 
Kaique and Andreya live about thirty minutes away by car. Much closer than when I was out in the boonies. They were still going to go visit me if I was still out there though. It was so great to be able to see them all. It was a wonderful time. 
Well this last Sunday we confirmed Carol and Gabriel and it was great. However, their father went a little sour again and didn’t come to church this time. The mother and the rest of the family is strong though. It was a little disanimating to see that he didn’t show up but we will get him. 
It was also fast Sunday, and it was terrific. I usually don’t bear my testimony on fast Sunday because I feel like I have so many opportunities to bear it and to let it grow during the week. I like to leave the opportunities for the members to share because there is usually a big line of people waiting to bear their testimonies here. But I woke up that morning and I knew I had to bear my testimony. The spirit prepared me from the morning. It felt so good to stand and share my love for the Savior and to testify of his work. It was such a great meeting. The young men in the ward that are going on exchanges with us, surprised us and they went and shared their testimonies and it seemed like all of the RMs and everyone went up and shared their testimonies about missionary work. We are so blessed to live in such an exciting time to see the Hand of God pushing his work forward. I am so excited to get our comps and to see this place grow and divide this ward. Pretty soon this place will be just like the good ol' 3200 west with four chapels on the same little road. 
Dad, I just want to thank you and mom for the package. There is nothing that I cherish more than the letters that I got about grandpa. I don’t want to write too much because I will cry and everyone will look at me here at the internet cafe. But thank you so much. The best thing anyone has ever given me. I love you so much and I am praying so much for your health. I hope you have a nice week taking care of the house and playing with the crazy wire-eating dog. 

Elder Paynter 

I got the package. Thank you so much for it! So wonderful and I am so excited to eat some Chinese foooooooood! I will be staying in the same place, so will Batista, they will just pack our tiny little house full of stuff for four missionaries and it will be really fun. They will get in the mission in a week. Batista is great. I love the kid and he is the only comp I have had for more than two transfers. 
The world cup will start in June, and goes for a month. And yeah basically Brasil will shut down. It’s been more than fifty years since the world cup has been here and it will be pretty nuts. President is waiting for authorization from the area presidency to let us watch the games but yeah, basically our work is going to be super tough during this time. It will be pretty cool though. 
Unfortunately we don’t have many limes here, mango season is done too and it was a super dry season too so lots of the fruit production wasn’t the greatest. We did play monkey a few p days back and climbed up an avocado tree to grab some. We had to go pretty high because all of the easy ones to grab are always gone. It was fun. The avocados here are massive and we make a shake out of them with milk and sugar. It’s delicious but avocado has a lot of fat so we go with calm. Ha-ha. 
I would love that whole beam some cookies to me thing! Ha-ha get on the invention ok? 
Well mumsy, I gave the weekly update to dad. We have been running around so much this past week. I don’t even feel like we stayed in our area, just doing a bunch of divisions and helping out some other missionaries. But that’s the fun of it all right? 
I love you mom. I hope you have a wonderful week! I can’t wait to see you next Sunday on Skype!