Mailing Address

Elder Marc Austin Skiles
8013 NE 115th Way
Kirkland, WA 98034

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

eMail of October 25, 2011

Hey family,

Thing are going great here. First of all, the mail system is different here. Use dear elder [] or you have to write exactly the adress that I wrote to you guys [see above address]. Just don't send any packages cuz that is a different story. I was supposed to send you the paper that explains everything, but I think I put in the wrong one. Once I get to the mission field you will be able to do anything and the package system is safe here. I can't remember exactly what to do, but it's written down so I will mail it to you later.

Actually, church is in English. We just say the opening and closing prayers and sing the hyms in Portuguese. Everything else is English. The biggest difference here is there are only about 250 missionaries here as opposed to over 2,000 in the Provo MTC. It's very small. We do get to go out into a small part of the city on p-days [preparation days]; and, next week, we will get to place Books of Mormon somewhere in the city.

I´m learning Portuguese much much quicker here because there are so many Brazilian [missionaries] to talk to. They are all so willing to help us with Portuguese and to correct us. It's great. The MTC (CTM) here is one tall building and a gym. It's right in the middle of Sao Paulo. We live on the top floor so we have a fantastic view from our window of the city. A couple nights I have sat at the window with one of my Brazillian roommates and named things that we see from the window in Portuguese and English. All the Brazilian [missionaries] here are trying to learn English so we help them out with that. One Brazilian elder wanted the verb card I had to learn English with; so I made kind of an English equivalent for him. He left today.

We got to go to the temple today. That was great. The food is fantastic. So good. Especially their desserts. We always sit by Brazilian [missionaries] as much as possible to get practice speaking during meals. A bunch of the Brazilian [missionaries] call me Justin Bieber or Elder Bieber. It's pretty funny. They know most of the popular music from America.

It's so humbling when I have to ask them to slow down so much to understand them. They don't mind it, but it makes me want to work harder to learn the language. I have two companions. Elder Stotts who was in my ward at BYU. and Elder Herrera who was in my district in Provo and got his visa the same time as me.

The flight here went well. Met a lot of nice people on the planes. That's so great that Byron received the priesthood. It's always amazing and motivating to me to hear all of the stories about people turning thier lives around like that. It just testifies so much of the power of the atonement.

I wish I could see Nathaniel and Evan do their speach thing. But... I wish to be here more... sorry. :) I´m sure it will be great. It's not hot at all here. Just warm. Probably high 70´s. Sao Paulo I guess is pretty temperate. All the Brazilians say it's really hot in Cuiabá--really hot and really dry. Sounds fun! I love hearing from you guys so keep the letters and emails coming. It's so great to hear from home. I don't have any time left so I love you all and thank you so much for your prayers.

Elder Marc Skiles

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