Monday, December 28, 2015


What a week! Although we're a little tired because of all the stuff that happened, it was a really good week!

First off, we had our Mission Christmas Party on Tuesday! It was such a fun party, and I got to see Elder Price for the first time since he got here! I knew Elder Price from when I lived in Livermore. We were in the same ward. The best part is, we're both gingers. Which just makes it better. Also, my district put together a hilarious skit in which a pair of Elders contacted Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Also, we had a really great training given by President and Sister Mathews. We watched the First Presidency's training video on the observance of the Sabbath Day. One thing that stuck out to me is when they said that the key point of the Sacrament is not to renew our baptismal covenants. It's to remember and to progress and become like Jesus Christ. We do renew our covenants as we do it, but our focus shouldn't be on being clean from our sins, but rather to work harder and do better to be like Him. Sister Mathews also gave us a training where she talked about a statue of Jesus Christ whose hand's had been blown off by a bombing in the city. Instead of replacing them, the citizens simply put a plaque there saying "You Are His Hands." How true is that? We are here to do His work on the Earth, and he is there to guide and direct us. In a very real way, we are His hands on this Earth.

On the same day, we had our Ward Christmas Party. It seemed like it would have been a lot of fun... the problem was that it was supposed to start at 7pm, but didn't really start until 9. We helped them to prepare for 2 hours, and then we had to go to get home by 9:30, so we weren't there for the actual party. Ah, well. Maybe some day they'll get things started on time here.

After that, it was smooth sailing until Christmas Day! We had our weekly planning that day, so we didn't leave in the morning, but after we called our families in the afternoon (which is always great, shoutout to my fam) we went out to teach. We were only able to teach our investigator Elton John's sister, Nadia. She's really cool, she has a great desire to be baptized but has to help her mom work on Sunday mornings. We're going to talk a bit with her about the observance of the Sabbath Day and things like that, but also our church's hour will move to 3pm next week, so hopefully she'll be better able to come to church and participate!

We ran into Andre finally on Saturday, where he confessed to us that he hasn't been doing very well with following the commandments. We had a pretty powerful lesson on repentance and that process. So he may need some time to work towards baptism again, but we have a lot of faith that he'll make it fairly soon, so stay tuned for that!

Well, other than that, it's just been a lot of work. We found a lot of new people that we're going to work with in these upcoming weeks, and we're looking forward to it!

Ooh, and before I forget, my district went to Cidade Velha today! It used to be the Capital of Cape Verde in the past, but now's just a pretty historic place with some forts and broken-down churches and cool stuff like that. President Mathews only lets missionaries go there once in their missions, so I tried to take a lot of pictures to keep the memory.

Well, that's all I have time for this week. See y'all next week! Have a Happy New Year! Hope 2016 treats ya well!

Abraço para todos,
Elder Penner

Monday, December 21, 2015


Who's as stoked as I am??? Every night I talk to Elder Clegg, our Zone Leader, he tells me to get stoked! And the closer I get to Christmas Day, the more stoked I get! At the same time, it gives me a lot of time to ponder about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and the importance that he had for each and every one of us. As a mission, we've been reading the Gospels in the Bible to prepare for Christmas Day, and I realized that there are so many teachings that He gave us that I want to study and understand better. He truly was the Savior and Redeemer of the entire world, for all time. I feel His love for me and I want to share what I feel with everyone around me. If you haven't yet, share some of His love before Christmas Day!

What a week. I had planned to upload a lot of cool and interesting pictures, but none of the events where I had planned to take them took place!

To explain: This week we were super excited about André's baptism and we were passing his house every day to help him to prepare. He had been going very well, was getting pretty excited to enter into the church, and was even asking us if he was able to go on a mission! We explained to him that he couldn't, because he had kids and his responsibility should be with them now, and he understood. Well, we prepared for the awesome baptism that we would be having, and we called André at 2pm to make sure that he was ready. He didn't pick up the phone until 3pm, when he said that he couldn't be home until 5. Well, we moved the baptismal service to 6, and changed everything so that he could still be baptized on that way. Again, at 5 we called to confirm, only to have his coworker pick up and say that he wouldn't be done until 7! We were so disappointed, and we even tried for a little bit to have it done at 8, but we knew it was a lost cause. We ran into him at about 8:15, and asked him to give us a bit of a heads up next time. He also didn't get to church the next day, because he said that he was too tired from the previous day's work. We figured that it wouldn't be a good idea for him to be baptized this upcoming Saturday either. We're disappointed, but we'll continue to work with him, and I'm sure that he'll make it to that font.

In happy news, our work with the less-active members of this ward has been running very well! We were able to confirm that 3 members were brought back into activity this past Sunday, with more along the way! I'd say we owe this success in the most part to the visits that are being done by the members here. When I first arrived in this ward, the home teaching system wasn't set up at all, and they resolved to fix it up. We've been watching and following up with what's been happening, and we're finally seeing the good results! So I say this to all members out there: do your duty! Go visit those families you've been assigned to teach! Who know's how many souls you could save by just taking a couple hours out of each month?

As I may have previously mentioned, the only other Elders in my District are the Secretaries here, so they have a lot of work to do. Because these next couple of weeks are going to be super busy for them, we had a bit of an emergency division yesterday. I went to their area with Elder Arguello. I really like him, he's a good Elder that is very good at establishing a good relationship with his investigators. I think I need to improve that in my teaching, if only just a bit.

Other quick facts: We had planned a district activity to go to Cidade Velha (old city) which is a cool tourist attraction, but Sister Haycock got really sick, so maybe next week. Elton John had his baby, who he apparently named Kelton John, haha. We met new investigator who was telling us of this Illuminati conspiracy theory he saw on a YouTube video. We're teaching this guy who doesn't believe in God, which is pretty rare here. This transfer is going to be a week longer because they couldn't find flights for the first week of January.

Well, that's about all I have time to talk about this week, but I really hope that all of you have the greatest Christmas ever! Ficam bem!

Elder Penner

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hark the Harold Angels Sing

I don't really know why I put it as Harold, but it just seems really funny to me that way. Who are you, Harold? What are you doing with a bunch of singing angels?

This week surprised us with almost every appointment that we had made falling. It seemed like we ended up passing almost all of our current investigators every day, a feat that we aren't very able to do when we have as many appointments as we usually do. I liked it though, it helped us to work with those that were more interested in giving their time to learn about our message. We also ended up having a lot of success with less-active work this week, which is just as important as finding and teaching new people. As is evident in the parable of the lost sheep, the Lord is very worried about each and every one of His children that leave the church for whatever reason. It was good to see some members return to church yesterday.

Well, André had been going very well this past week. He was actually going so well, we were so excited for his baptismal interview and to be able to go and watch the baptisms this week, but apparently work kept him late! He also had some family emergency yesterday, so he also wasn't able to make it to church. We're a little worried about him, but seeing as it was things out of his or our control that happened this weekend, we still think that he may be able to be baptized this upcoming Saturday, so stay tuned for that.
In awesome news, the entire mission recieved a new microwave for Christmas this year! We got ours last week when our house was inspected, and today we bought a bunch of microwaveable popcorn to celebrate.

Well, I guess I technically don't hit my year mark this week, but I would have hit my year mark this Thursday had I not gone home. Shout out to the others who I came with who only have a year left of service! I reckon that my year mark now rests somewhere in March. Maybe I'll just say it's on St. Paddy's day for the heck of it.

Oh, I also just wanted to mention that a member the other day called me "pumpkin head" in English. Yeah.

Hope your Christmas is going great! Take the time to share a special message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone you love! They'll most likely appreciate it, and especially in the next life!

Elder Pumpkin Head


Monday, December 7, 2015

Rockin' Around the Christmas Trees

It's the most wonderful time of the year down here in Beach, Green Cape (literal translation) and I'm just having the hollyest jollyest old time down here! Last week I recieved some Christmas music (special thanks to my mom) and I just got so stoked for Christmas to come! We saw the church's new Christmas video and now we get to use it along with and I just got so stoked! Christmas trees are coming up around town! I even heard a worldy Christmas song playing in someone's house! Get pumped, people!
Well, the great news is that our boss investigator André is progressing along very well! He accepted the date of the 19th this month to be baptized! He passed by us the other day and reminded us about church on Sunday, haha! Also, the last time we talked to him, he brought in his friend who was a little drunk at the time. We had planned to teach him the Word of Wisdom, and he ended up basically taking over the lesson and teaching and supporting his friend as we explained it. It was so cool. His friend also wanted to talk with us more, so we're going to teach him this week. His name's Cebola, which literally means Onion. He's a pretty funny guy.

As for how the rest of the work is going, I feel like we've run into a little bit of a stunt right now. The investigators that we thought were really progressing lost interest in progressing, a lot of appointments that we set up fell, and I just felt like we did a lot more walking than sitting and teaching. Our investigators Giovana and Zekinha pretty much fell, and we had to drop a lot of others who weren't progressing either. These moments happen in the mission, and you just gotta push through it until you reach a breakthrough. They always come, if you try hard enough. The Lord rewards you for your work, you just gotta find out where He's put it.
Some cool news though is that Elton John's girlfriend had her baby this last week! We showed up to our appointment and it took us about 3 seconds to understand why everyone was at the hospital. We've been working a lot on helping him find the courage to start working towards marriage with his girlfriend, and I think that his feelings for his newborn child will help him out with that. We're praying for it, we've got the faith, now we just need to put the plan in action! Also, in funny news, we learned that he's got a brother... named Elvis. We think his mom is a fan of the classics, haha.

I think one of the biggest things I've learned on my mission so far is to have patience. Patience with a companion who I don't agree with, patience with people that need more time to progress, and especially patience that the Lord's timing is much better than mine. I understand much better that some people aren't ready to make huge changes in their lives until they see and understand the smaller changes that happen from following simpler rules. For example, if an investigator has a job on Sunday and doesn't want to lose it no matter how we explain the Day of the Lord to him, I like to focus more on their reading of the scriptures and following other commandments that aren't so much of a struggle. As they realize the blessings that come from doing so, they'll feel more confidence that the Lord is also there to help with bigger challenges. As the scriptures say, we learn line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. A little.
Well, that's all I have for this week. Spread that Christmas cheer! Start jingling them bells, dangit! Make sure you have a not so silent night!
Abraço para todos,
Elder Kringle-Penner