Mailing Address

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

eMail of November 28, 2011

Hey family,
Things are going great here. We baptized Bianca on Friday. That was pretty exciting, especially because its my first. Still working hard. The language is coming very well. Still learning loads of stuff. My companion is great. Very patient and very humble and very helpful. Its just the two of us in our apartment. This is kind of good because it means I can only speak portuguese all day every day. The apartment is great. It has a bathroom, two bedrooms, a main room, and a kitchen. It even has its own washing machine. I´ll take pictures of it and send them next pday.

The members feed us lunch (the main meal in Brazil) pretty much every day. There's this less-active member named Edson. He's really great. He loves having us over for food and we go to his house sometimes so he can help me study portuguese. He used to be a teacher. Now he's just doing nothing living in his fairly large (for Brazil) house with a pool and everything, living off his dad's fortune which got passed to him after his dad died. He served a mission in Rio de Janeiro, loves the missionaries and feeds us all the time and drives us places on pday, pays tithing, has nothing to do, has a testimony, and doesn't go to church. It kind of confuses me, but we got him to go to church last Sunday and I think he really enjoyed it.

Teaching is getting better and better. An apostle said that teaching by the Spirit means teaching with understanding. This is difficult when you can´t understand what people are saying. That means it's really really important that I learn the language and even more important that I follow the Spirit when teaching.

Thanks for all your prayers. I miss you all very much, but this is only motivating when I am focused on the work. I love you all. Keep the emails coming. See yah in a couple years!

Elder Skiles

Monday, November 21, 2011

eMail of November 21, 2011 (from Cuiaba, Mato Grosso)

Hey family! It's me from the field. Thanks so much for all you emails. I love reading them. I´m so glad everything is going well with all you guys. Everything is fantastic here.

My companion is Elder Violato. He speaks only a little English, but he's very good. He's very patient as I learn the language and try to understand what is going on when we talk to people. I'm coming along with the language, but it's still diffucult to understand what people say. I´m getting better every day though.

It's a good thing mom that we prepared for the heat. It is very, very hot here. My area is in the city of Cuiab√°. It's called Coxip√≥ (cosheepo). It's about a quarter of the city for just me and my companion. I have a picture, but I´m not sure how I can send pictures yet. We have been doing a lot of reactivation of less active members. We have a few new investigators as well. We brought two families to church yesterday, which was great. They got to hear Elder Bednar speak for stake conference. He also spoke to us missionaries on Friday. It was fantastic.

One of the biggest problems they have here is marriage. You obviously have to be married to your wife to be baptized, but no one gets married legally here. They just live together and have kids. Most of the time they are completely loyal, but marriage costs money and there is really no benefit to it besides heavenly blessings of unity.

The first day I got here I was really scared. But as I stopped thinking about myself and decided to just think about the work and the people we were teaching, I have started to really enjoy it here. We get to travel around and talk to people about the gospel and invite them to be baptized. It really is the greatest work. As we taught in some of the poorer areas I also realized how much I have. Just to have a clean house with a real floor and enough food and clean water is such a blessing. I'm starting to realize how relying on the will of the Lord can make you happy.

I think I might start sweating Coca-Cola. They drink so much Coca-Cola here and they give us so much of it at every house we go to. I love the food here too. There is a type of fruit called pinque that if you just bite into like a normal fruit, it will stab into your mouth. You have to scrape off the outside with your teeth. My companion warned me about it before so I know what to do. It's really good. All their juice and fruit is really good here.

Thanks everyone so much for you emails and prayers. I´ll be thinking about all of you guys as Thanksgiving and Christmas come up. I love all of you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

eMail of November 8, 2011

Hello Family!

I´m so excited about all the stuff you guys have going on at home. I love hearing about it. That's an interesting situation with the lights. I´m sure dad will be able to figure something out. It's true what you said dad about the mission rules even now. Some people tell you "don't be too strict on the rules", but you're always told "exact obedience". I think I´ll just do what I´m told to avoid confusion. Some things are hard tho. There is a rule, for example, that you can only take pictures on p-day in the MTC. But my roommates, who were awesome, were leaving; so, we took pictures together last night. I guess I need to try to do better.

I´m super excited for the field! I´m taking a plane there on Tuesday. On Monday, we got to go proselyting around the MTC. It was a little hard because pretty much everyone and their dog has been contacted around here. But we did find people and placed a few copies of The Book of Mormon.

Next week we will get to go somewhere else out in the city. Today we ate at a barbeque place with our professors. It was sooooo goood. So much meat! I'm stuffed right now. It was the best meat though I've probably ever had. I got to try chicken hearts. They were pretty good. I´m so excited to go out into the field right now. A lot of people are getting really tired of the MTC, but I´m still having fun so I´ll just take it as it comes.

I know so much that the gospel is true. Every day. I got to go to the temple today for the last time in 22 months. It's pretty sad. It was a great experience though. The temple is everything I´m realizing. The goal of the temple and missionary work is the same. To bring families together for eternity. I love this gospel and I know it's true. And thankfully. spreading the gospel is nothing like my sales job. What a relief. I love all you guys! My next email to you will be in the field! Thanks for being the best family. I love you all!

Marc Skiles

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

eMail of November 1, 2011

Hey family! Things are going really great here. I have just two more weeks here at the MTC. No, I have not seen Cameron. But maybe I will. Yeah I did hear Elder Ballard speak the day before I left. It was a really great one about listening to the Spirit. I've gotten one "Dear Elder" from you mom. Which reminds me. Just so you guys know. It takes forever for mail to get hear. About a week or more. So, now you can probably start sending anything to my mission home nothing to the MTC.

Also mom, on this paper I was supposed to send you it says don't send anything by Fedex, DHL, UPS, etc. It says the best way to send any packages is priority mail international which is like 12.00 for up to 4 lbs. takes about 3-4 weeks. Anything quicker is more expensive(express mail international flat-rate). Anything you send should be safe, but electronics apparently cost a fortune to send. So yeah. That will apply to my whole mission, so just in case, now you know.

I´m so excited to be an uncle. I think about it all the time. I can´t wait. That's great that Halloween went well for all of you! There is no Halloween here. unless you count people knocking on our door and my companion giving them candy. All of the sudden there are a ton of American missionaries here and much fewer Brazilians. Before it was mostly Brazilians, but now the Americans far out number the Brazilians. Something I just found out is that it's possible that I won't be allowed to play soccer in the field. I wonder why. I guess I´ll find out pretty soon. It's good that you are all busy with stuff. Busy is always good. How is school going for everyone? Is Brent done or in the middle of mid terms right now? How is all the sports/music/drama going for everyone? I love you all. Thanks for being the best family ever!

Elder Marc Skiles