Mailing Address

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Email of December 17, 2012

Hello Everyone! This week was fantastic! We had investigators at church yesterday! Its a family that we had found this week. A little 7-yearold girl on the street asked us if we talk about Jesus. We responded yes. Then she said "could you come to my house then". We said we would and followed her to her house. We met her mother and her brother and left the message of the Restoration. She said she had been to a lot of churches, but none that she saw that had the truth. We promissed her that if she prayed she would be able to know that what we taught is true. She´s pregnant and couldn´t make it to church alone so we got a member to bring her. She came with her two children. Her husband is in Campo Grande, but he will be able to come when he gets back. She participated in the Principles of the Gospel class making comments and her kids made friends with the other primary kids. It was really great. So I guess the world is going to end here in a little. I wonder what people will do. Some people will do crazy things when they think the world is going to end. Marc

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

eMail of December 10, 2012

Hello Everyone, It was a good week. We had a lot of people who said they would go to church this week and a lot of dates for baptism marked. Unfortunately none of them went, but we are still excited to work hard. This week we will try to get a member to bring people to church in his car. Our district president is really excited, just he doesn´t know what to do, so we are going to use him a lot to get the missionary work going here. This week was exciting with the wild life. I got to see monkeys, lizards, and an aligator. I´ll send you all some pictures of them. This week everyone will go to Cuiabá for Christmas conference. I'm excited for that. I like to travel. It's a long bus ride though. Anyway. That's all for this week. I love you all. Good luck with all the Christmas traditions! See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, December 3, 2012

Email of December 03, 2012

Hello Everyone, Christmas is coming! It's pretty exciting. It's cool to be here in Lucas for Christmas. It's a smaller, quieter city; so they can put up christmas lights in the park and on the county house without them getting stolen. It's really cool. It's weird to hear about everyone going on missions. None of our investigators where able to go to church this week, but next week we should have lots of investigators at church. We are going to travel to Sorriso for district meeting today. That should be good. Next week will be Christmas Zone Conference in Cuiabá. I´m pretty excited about that. I still haven´t opened my christmas presents yet. I´m waiting till christmas day, but curiosity is killing me. My companion and the other missionaries in our house think I´m crazy for waiting. I don´t know how its going to work with the christmas call yet. I think it will just be on the cell phone though. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, November 26, 2012

Email of November 26, 2012

Hello Everyone! I´ve been here in Lucas do Rio Verde for the last week. The area here is much more difficult. Its a very rich area with a lot of catholics. Its been 6 months since this branch has had a baptism. It will be a challenge. The members here are great though. Really helpful. I´ll be going over to meet with some of the church leaders this next week. We´ll see how excited they are about missionary work. Its much cooler here. Theres wind and it gets cooler at night. A huge relief after 45 degree weather in Rondonópolis. There is lots of wild life here. Its a smaller town more in the middle of the wild. I´ve almost gotten tired of seeing parrots already. There are a lot of them. Ive seen some turtles, and lizards as well. The other missionaries saw a couple of monkeys a while ago. That must have been cool. We were talking with a member family the other day, when a huge cigarra (a big bug that makes a lot of noise. I think its casayda in english) landed on my head. I thought it was one of their kids grabbing my hair, but then I felt it and it wasn´t. Then I threw it across the room and it started to fly everywhere. Eventually we got it to leave. That was an interesting experience. We´ve had a few possibilities for baptism already. A 16 year old boy and a man that are interested in the church. One is Jefferson. The man is Himundo. We are also teaching a couple with 2 kids. The dads name is Batista. I forgot the moms name. They just need to recieve an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. I´m really excited about the work here. Its going to be great. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, November 19, 2012

Email of November 19, 2012

Hello Everyone! This week was Great! I had the opportunity to Baptize Gabriel. The last child of the family. I will miss them a lot since Ive been transferred to another place. Ana Alice and Daniel and Gabriel all say they will serve missions. That makes me really happy. They are a lot more active in the church than most of the old members which is great. They never miss activities or church. I´m really thankful that I had the opportunity to teach them. I know that its a miracle from father in heaven this type of true conversion. We also had a woman who went to church today. She liked it a lot and said she wants to follow. Ive been transferred anyhow. I will go to Lucas do Rio Verde. I will be the companion of Elder Cayhuan. He entered the mission at the same time as Elder Impa. He is from Chile. I don´t know him very well, but I´m really excited to be his companion. Lucas is way in the North. Thats all I know about it. I´ll leave today at 3:00 in the afternoon. Its really hard to leave a place that I´ve been working 6 months. I´ll miss a lot of the people here. I´ll miss Elder Impa as well. 5 months with the same companion is a long time. I´m glad for it. This last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the first Sacrament meeting ever in Primavera Do Leste (A city about 2 hours from Rondonónpolis). A few months ago we started visiting there. Contacting the members that are already there and seeing how receptive the people are. We were very well recieved and so started to make plans to start up a branch. The branch won´t come untill much later, but we were given permission to start a group and sacrament meetings. We had 43 people in the first sacrament meeting. 7 investigators. We slept saturday night in the house of a member couple who was baptised 6 or 7 years ago, but never went to the temple and have been inactive for 5 years because they moved to Primavera Do Leste which didn´t have the church. They recived us very well. Made dinner for us at night and breakfast in the morning. On Sunday, the wife bore her testimony. She said for five years, she had been pleading with Heavenly Father for some way to be able to go to church again. One day she prayed to Heavenly Father for a sign. Anything that would give her a little hope. The next day, her husband found the other couple of missionaries when we had gone to the city for the first time. He went home and told her and the next time we went we were able to find them. Her prayer was answered. It was quite an amazing experience to hear her bear testimony of the joy she felt to finally be able to participate in the Church of Jesus Christ again. Anyway. Thanksgiving doesn´t exist here, but HAPPY THANKSGIVING. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Marc

Monday, November 12, 2012

Email of November 12, 2012

Hey everyone. Glad to hear things are going well with all of you. Thats so exciting to hear that I will be an uncle twice. Its interesting what you said about whether its Mac or Caleb that gets the credit for the performance. Its the same thing with missionary work. When we have success is it because of us or because of the family we found. The responsability falls on both the teacher and the taught. If one fails, nothing will happen. If both work, the success will be great. If we fail as missionaries, the families we teach won´t be able to be converted to the Gospel. If they fail, we can be the most perfect missionaries, but they won´t be converted either. When we do our part and the people we teach are sufficiently humble, we can bring salvation to people. Anyway. Things are going great. Still no investigators at church, but we are still working hard and doing our part. Transfers will happen this week. We will see what happens. I´m pretty sure i´m going to train a greeny again, but lets see. There will be 13 new missionaries coming into the field. Thats great that Alex got his Visa and is going to Brazil. Good luck to him. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, November 5, 2012

Email of November 5, 2012

Hello everyone, This week was pretty good. One of our investigators (Israel) went to church yesterday. The rest didn´t make it, but thats just part of the work. Keeping faith and good cheer even when the results don´t come. Israel is progressing great. He will be baptised. The only problem is that he will leave Rondonópolis tomorrow to go back to São Paulo, so he won´t be able to be baptized until he gets back in december. Thats alright though. I did my part even if I won´t be the one to reap the harvest. We are still working really hard and finding lots of families to teach. This week we will find even more. I´m really happy here on the mission. The time goes by so fast. Its wierd how no matter how much time ive been on the mission. I still get nervous to talk to people on the street. Its interesting how that never goes away. Every time we go out of our confort zone to talk to someone, its an act of faith. What are Janais plans about going on a mission? Has she decided what she wants to do yet? Good luck with all the work Caleb. Just keep pluggin away because it will all be worth it. The skills learned working in the theatre have helped me a lot on the mission. Especially about forgetting yourself, working with others, and organization skills. In the end, youll make it. So don´t stress out. It will be so weird going back home now that everone has changed so much. I will have changed a lot too. Hopefully for the good. I did hear about the natural disaster in New York. People alwasy ask me if its close to were I live. Then I explain that I´m pretty sure the northeast of brazil is colser than I live to New York. I love you all. Good luck with all the work. See yah in a couple years. Marc

Monday, October 29, 2012

eMail of October 29, 2012

Hello Everyone! Things are going fantastically. We have an investigator ready for baptism now. His name is Israel. He will be baptised on Sunday. He´s 19 and has been doing pilot school. We also have a couple families that we are teaching. Gilhierme and his family, Alexandre, Carlos and their wives, Márcia and her husband and 2 kids. None have been able to come to church yet, but I´m sure things will work out for them to go this week. Its been hot as usual. Rained a couple times this week. That was good. We were about to teach an investigator on Saturday at her door, which is always the worst because the Spirit is hard to feel on a busy street. Then it started to rain, so she let us in her house where we taught her the lesson much better than on the doorstep. Then her brother showed up and we had the opportunity to teach them both. Aparently it was important that we teach them. That was a cool experience. Anyway. Things are going really well here. Lots of people to teach. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, October 22, 2012

eMail of October 22, 2012

Hello Everyone! Things are going great here in Rondonopolis. Still working hard. We are teaching a Boy called Gustavo. He is 16. He would be baptised, but we have to see if his parents will allow him. His family is very Catholic. Another boy we are teaching is Isreal. He´s really excited, but every weekend he has to go out to his families farm, so going to church is difficult. We have a couple families we are teaching a well. Mauro and his family. Also Márcia and Marcos, a couple with two children. Daniel passed the sacrament this week. That was really cool to see. All the members went to the temple this week, so working with the members to do missionary work will be slightly difficult. Thats great that Janai is planning on going on a mission. The church changed the age to make it easier for women to serve missions. Ana Alice liked the Idea a lot. It will make it a lot easier for her to serve a mission and still go to college. Anyway. Glad to hear things are going well at home. Send a hug to Mac for me Caleb. I love you all. I hope you all have a great week. By the way. Christmas music starts this week for me. hahaha. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, October 15, 2012

eMail of October 15, 2012

Hello Everyone, This week was pretty great. We are teaching a couple of young men and a family right now. They are recieving the messeges very well. Now we have an Elder Siquera living with us in the house. He´s great. He´s really funny. I like him a lot. He´s a great leader. He knows how to gain the trust and respect of people which is a hard combination. Next week will be difficult because all the members will be in Campinas going to the temple. Makes integrating Investigators and members hard when you don´t have Members. hahah. President Reber is changing the mission focus a lot. He´s started to focus a lot more on the importance of the mission rules and working with members. Its an interesting change, but its what the Mission is needing right now. Its great to hear about all the activities that are going on at home and in school. Be grateful for those things because here in Brazil, Extra-Curricular activities at schools don´t exist. Its difficult to find a Brazilian that does some kind of music, art, or sport besides soccer in the street. Soccer was liberated again. We are going to get to play today. I´m pretty excited about that. Daniel (brother of Ana Alice), who we baptized last transfer, made me really happy last week. He´s really shy, but is trying to conquer that. This week he asked if he could go proselyting with us. I got super excited about that. We are going to do visits with him this week. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, October 8, 2012

eMail of October 8, 2012

Hello Everyone! Wow! Thats so great that Janai is planning on going on a mission. That's awesome! When I get back Janai will be almost 20. Are you sure you want to wait that long? If you went on your birthday now, it would only be 2 1/2 years apart. I´m thinking I will ask to stay one more transfer as well at the end. That's great that Caleb got his Patriarchal Blessing. They really are inspired. Study it well Caleb. There are many things in it you don´t understand yet. Transfers happened! I stayed for one more Transfer with Elder Impa. This will be the third. I´m really happy about it. I really enjoy working with Elder Impa. I´m sending some photos of some cool things I saw this week. Janai, you might not want to look at them. The first one is a beetle we found on the street that was about the size of a small computer mouse. Looks like it has a catapult on its head. The last is a dead tarantula we found on the sidewalk. We also saw one alive in the street running around. They were both bigger than my hand. About the size of a salad plate. It was pretty cool. Ive never seen something like that in the wild before. The second is a turtle we saw in a park as we were passing by. The mission president is pushing much more on working with members. I liked the conference a lot. I really liked the talk by the prophet in the preisthood session. He talked about how we should see people how they can become. That applies a lot to missionary work. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Skiles

Monday, October 1, 2012

eMail of October 1, 2012

Hello Family, This week was great! We started to work in a new neighborhood that we haven´t worked before this week. Its been going great there. We have already found lots of people to teach. The Mission President came and did a Zone Conference with us here in Rondonopolis. It was really good. It was the first time ever that a Zone conerence happens in Rondonopolis. Next week is Transfers. I would really like to stay here in Rondonopolis with Elder Impa again, but we´ll see what happens. I´ll go wherever. I´m sure Caleb will do fine on his part. I wish I could see it. I´ll be awaiting that package. It won't take so long to get here. To take so long is a rare thing. The last letters I´ve recieved took only 2 weeks and the packages that Americans recieved took only a little more than a month. I should recieve it in November if all goes well. That's great that Ashley might go to BYU Idaho. That's exciting. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Marc

Monday, September 24, 2012

eMail of September 24, 2012

Hello Everyone! Things are going fantastically. This week was pretty busy. It was me that took that money out. I had to buy a new SD card because the one I had got a virus and a flash drive to put the recuperated photos from the old SD card. Lets just say I´m never going to use a SD-USB card adapter anymore. By the way: Could everyone send me some cool photos in email of everone so I can put them in an album here. Its really great to have to show members and investigators and other missionaries. To break the ice you know. I´m already going to put in some of the photos you have already sent me. Daniel and Maria Luise (Ana Alice´s brothers) recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost this week and Daniel was interviewed to recieve the preisthood next week. That was pretty exciting. I´m so glad to hear Ashley went to the temple! Thats Great! That really is the goal of missionary work. Get as many families to the temple as possible. I miss the Temple. The really hot weather ended and right now its being perfect. Its supposed to rain A LOT this week. We are going to do an activity this week in the chapel. ITs going to be about the Plan of Salvation. The participants will be guided holding a rope and visit all the kingdomes of glory. They start with outer darkness and keep moving up untill the Celestial in the chapel. The rooms will grow gradually brighter and brighter. It should be really cool. We are going to try and get investigators to go as well as some less actives. Anyway. I love you all. Untill next week. Send those photos please. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, September 17, 2012

eMail of September 17, 2012

Hello Everyone, glad to hear things are going well. Wish I could have been there at Deception Pass. I did get the letter from Ashley about her dad a few days ago. Thats good that you are suporting her in this difficult time. This week was great. Ana Alice´s brother and sister were baptised on sunday. The begining of this week was really HOT. It reached 42 a few days in a row. Then at the end of the week we finally had rain. It rained on saturday for the first time in 3 or 4 months. It supossed to start raining a lot now. I enjoyed the rain a lot. I was starting to miss it a lot in the dry season. The work is going well. My companion and I are still working really hard. When President Costa came he talked about how when we are focused on the work we don´t think about the sacrifices. Thats really true. When we weren´t focused on missionary work the sun seemed hotter. When we were thinking about our work, we forgot about the heat because it didn´t really matter anymore. Its cooled off already anyway. Its wierd that its been a year already. When your in the middle of something it seems like the time isn´t passing, but its really going by fast. Anyways. good luck everyone with school. I love you all! See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, September 10, 2012

eMail of September 10, 2012

Hello Everyone! I´m glad to hear things are busy. I can´t belive I´ve hit a year already. The mission really does go by really fast. There are 3 other missionaried from my group in my Zone as well with 1 year. This week was good. We have found a few families which is great! I hope that one is the family that is willing to take the steps of faith and eventually be baptized. Thats good that Ashley is still going to church. That makes me really happy. For someone who is entering the church, staying firm can be really hard. We will have to do a camping trip everyone together when I get back. That would be a lot of fun. It can be the first of the Skiles family reunions for just our family. Sorry if that scares anyone. Things are changing, but its good. I love you all and I hope you have a good week. I know this church is true. We are not perfect, but this church is perfect and we will have all the experiences we need to become like Christ. Good luck making new freinds as this next fase starts out. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, September 3, 2012

eMail of September 3, 2012

Hello Everyone! Its sad to see the old cars go, but thats cool you bought a new one. Starting school huh? Thats always fun. Just enjoy it. We are still in our search for families. We have found a few already that we are teaching. We went to Cuiabá this week for a meeting with President Costa of the Quorum of the Seventy. It took us about 8 hours by bus to get there because there are a bunch of Indians blocking the freeways outside the city on strike. They´re mad because the governments been taking thier land or something. Anyway its making things complicated for all the busses and trucks to get through. The meeting was really good. It talked about a lot of things that need to be different. The mission is going through a little bit of a focus change right now. Its starting to focus more on finding families and having "real growth" happen. We got stuck in Cuiabá for one more night afterward because of the indians and didn´t get home until 1 in the afternoon on saturday. Anyway, just keep pretending i´m just at College like Caleb said because it will all pass by really fast. Good luck with just Caleb and Nathaniel at home now. It will all be fine. I love you all! See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, August 27, 2012

eMail of August 27, 2012

Hello Everyone, Wow! I can´t believe I´m going to be an uncle twice before I get home. There will be a 1 and a half year old and a 7 month old. Good luck in school janai. It will be a great experience. This week was great. We are still in search of that family. The brother of one of our recent converts (Ana Alice) came to church this sunday. He is extremely shy. He doesn´t even go buy things at the store because of the casheer. We will help him though to make friends here in the ward. I had the opportunity to help a young man who recently recieved the Melchezideck priesthood give his first blessing to a girl in one of his home teaching famlies. It was a cool experience.I feel bad for my Zone Leader. He was going to baptize a great family in our branch this next transfer who he helped marry, but he got transfered to Campo Grande. He was pretty bummed about it, but He´s excited to go to Campo Grande anyway. Elder Impa and I stayed here together this next transfer. I´m really liking working with Elder Impa. We´ve become great friends. I´m excited for this next transfer and to find this family thats waiting. Good luck starting school all of you! I love you all! See yah in a couple years! Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, August 20, 2012

eMail of August 20, 2012

Hello Family! Hello Everyone! I´m writing my letter late today. Good luck starting school Janai. That´s so cool that you met stacie! Shes was a great friend during school. It will be great. It really will. Things have been going well. This week we went to an English teaching class and talked with some people who are learning english. It was really interesting. We basically just talked with them normally in english and brought up the gospel principles when we could. I got a little sick too this week, but it already passed. Our big goal this week is that we will be brought to a family that is being prepared to hear our message this week. We will be praying and working hard for that. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, August 13, 2012

Email of August 13, 2012

Hey Everyone Things are going well here. Our Baptism last week was confirmed. My companion and I are still getting along real well. He´s starting to open up and talk a lot more. We both gave talks in sacrament meeting today (The pleasures of serving in a Branch instead of a ward). His talk was good. Being with a greeny reminds me so much of how things were when I arrived in the mission. I´m such a different person now its crazy. The mission changes everyone. We´ve been working really hard this week. I kind of feel bad for my companion since he´s not used to walking so much and he´s a little shorter. He never complains though. I´m really excited for this week. I think it will go really great. The weather is now Hot Hot Hot and Dry Dry Dry. It's been over a month since it rained. Still we are happy and working hard though. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, August 6, 2012

eMail of August 6, 2012

Hello everyone! We had a baptism this week which was great. It was a baptism of one member of a really great family we found. The parents can´t be baptized yet because they are not married. Thier 16 year old daughter is the one who was baptized. She was well prepared. She´s already been going to seminary and made lots of friends at church.

I had a really wierd dream last night. I had a dream that I went to the calendar to see how many days were left until I went home. I saw that it was only three. Then I was "at home" in a place that wasn´t really our home and dad was there. I sat around doing nothing for a bit then I got really stressed and sad and wanted to go back to the mission because I hadn´t finished it yet. There was still a lot I needed to do. Then I woke up and realized I was still on the mission and still had some time left. Weird dream anyway. Even though I miss home, I definetly would not want to go home right now because there are so many experiences and things to do still to come. I´m learning so much on the mission. For sure I´m going to come back a completely different person. This really is the best two years. I love you all! Have a good week! See yah all in a couple years Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, July 30, 2012

eMail of July 30, 2012

Hello Family,

My companions name is Elder Impa. I forgot to tell you his name last time. It's been going great. We have some possibilities for baptism next week as well. The weather is hot during the day and a little cool at night. Our zone leader (Elder Balieiro) is in our same ward. He started a program called the heaven chain that integrates members with investigators and recent converts using family home evenings with a different member every night. I think it will be great. Elder Balieiro really knows a lot about missionary work.

This week we got to go to Primavera do Leste. They are going to open a branch there and we went to visit the families and knock doors to see how receptive they are. Just knocking a couple streets we found lots of non-members who had already been to church in other places, but were never baptized because they move to the city which doesn't have a branch yet. One went to church near New York City. Another old lady we found went to church a lot in Portugal. She wants to become a member of the church. Already read most of the Book of Mormon. It was a great experience.

I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Skiles

Monday, July 23, 2012

eMail of July 23, 2012

Hello Everyone! I´m staying in Rondonópolis 1st, and my companion is Argentine, not chilean. Hes really cool. When I can, I´ll send a picture of us to you all. Everyone laughs at his name because in português it means even, like even and odd. Also, people give him a hard time because the Corinthians (a brizillian team), beat Bocajunior (an Argentine team), in soccer. Its funny. Hes really great. I´m liking working with him a lot. He´s really shy with people he doesn´t know. Reminds me a lot of me at the beginning of the mission. He speaks great portugues already which is good. He can already do contacts and teach the lessons well. This week was rough because none of our investigators came to church, but we will have a lot of success this transfer for sure. We are switching houses today, because the other one doesn´t fit four missionaries. Anyway. Glad to hear everythings going well. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, July 16, 2012

eMail of July 16, 2012

Hey everyone, Elder Underwood was talking about bugs huh... The bugs aren´t too bad. Really all you have to do is keep the house clean and they leave. Here in Brazil, its really unmanly to clean the house and do laundry or dishes. Thats girls work. I´m just thankful Ive had practice already at home. This week was great! My last week with Elder Lira. This is sad because we got along super well. This transfer went by really fast. So I´ve been transfered to the Second Branch of Rondonópolis. Same city... different branch. Rondonópolis was a district, but it became a Zone this transfer. I´ll be "opening" the area because my companion is a new greeny coming in. Elder Impa. I´m sure it will be difficult, but Heavenly Father knows what He's doing I guess. Aparently my companion is Chilean. I wonder how good his portuguese is. It should be alright since he speaks spanish. I´m really excited. I´ll go up to Cuiabá tomorrow for a training meeting and I´ll meet him there. The Mission President told me in the interview that I´m heading into the best part of my mission. I´m loving serving a mission. It has its difficult parts for sure, but its really a blast. This was one of the best transfer´s I´ve had yet. I will send a picture of my last District. We were all really great friends. All but one of them will stay here in Rondonópolis for this next transfer. I´m glad to hear things are busy. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, July 9, 2012

eMail of July 9, 2012

Hey Family, This week was great. We had another baptism. The brother of a recent convert. This week the member with the pick up couldn´t make it so we had 3 members with small cars go to pick up the recent converts and investigators. One of the cars (a normal 5 seater) came back with 12 people in it! My companion rode in the trunk of the car. I wasn´t there though. I only saw them arrive at the church. I think the District President wants to buy the bus again. There were 24 total people this time from the neiborhood we are working in. 7 investigators. The rest are recent converts and such. We are going to Cuiabá today to be interviewed by the new president and have Zone Conference. Thats why i´m sending my email so early today. I´m pretty excited for it. We should get back late at night on teusday. I´ll get the mail as well. Anyway. We have to get ready to go though so... I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, July 2, 2012

eMail of July 2, 2012

Hello Everyone! Happy 4th of july! Hope you all are having a great summer so far. Things are going fantastically here. We had 2 more baptisms this week. One was a friend of the family we baptised a few weeks ago. The other was a cousin of the other family we baptised a couple weeks ago. The first family we baptised recived home teachers this sunday. That was great to see. I really hope that they get visits from them. We switched mission presidents. Now its President Reber. President Oliveira went back to Recife. The new Mission President is American. Everyone is afraid he will ban Coca-Cola. hahaha. For me I don´t mind either way. I only drink it when the members give it for lunch anyway. The picture I´m sending to you all is us bringing everyone to church in the back of a pickup. Most of them live a long way from the church and don´t have money to take the bus so we have to organize a ride. It was a lot of fun. The others were lucky and got a ride in a Carola from another member. haha. Anyway. I love you all. Glad summer break started for you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, June 25, 2012

eMail of June 25, 2012

Hello Everyone! The work here is going great! We had another baptism this week of a boy named Victor. We also found a new investigator. A man who showed up at church yesterday. His only doubt is that he wants to know everything before being baptized. The couple won´t be baptized for a while I think. The unfortunate thing is that their dad drinks a lot and smokes and spends all their money. She doesn´t really think it's worth it to marry him because of this, but she can´t exactly separate with him because he's the only source of money and food for her and her 6 children. Really complicated, but she and her kids are loving the church and progressing a lot. Expedito, one of her sons, wants soooooo bad to be baptized. It's really cute. He´s only 6 years old though. It got cold here again which I think is great unlike all the Brazillians. Our shower head broke though so taking a cold shower is rather difficult :). My companion and I are getting along great. We are enjoying seeing all the parrots. We see them all the time. There are some yellow and blue ones, and some red and blue ones. I never realized how huge parrots are. They are amazing to see in the wild. It's amazing how on the mission you learn so much about how the church as a whole functions. How every single calling you could have in the church has the same basic purpose: Strengthening the saints, reactivating the less actives, and helping people to be baptised. Everything we do in the church has this purpose. It's amazing! Anyway. I hope you are having a great summer. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, June 18, 2012

eMail of June 18, 2012

Hello Family, I´m glad to hear things are going well. This was a good week as well. We baptised the brothers and sisters of a member. We were able to get a bus to bring all the people from this neighborhood to the church. The bus had almost 20 people. Next week I think we will be able to get more. There are A LOT of less active members in this neighborhood in which we are working. Our district went and ate pizza to celebrate my birthday and Elder Lino´s. His was on the 8th. That was fun. It's amazing how on a mission you get to learn sooo much about how the church works. You learn about what has to happen for certain programs to function right and what kinds of things can get in the way and the points of view of all the members in whats going on. It's amazing how much difference one person can make for the negative or the positive in the church. In the end, the purpose of everything we do in the church is to Baptize, Confirm, and Retain the most amount of people possible. This depends on everyones willingness to grow in faith and repent. During part of personal study, I´m trying to finish reading the New Testament. I´m in Ephesians right now. It's really amazing to read about the ministry of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. It's also interesting to see why there are so many doctrinal confusions amongst the Christian faiths. There are a lot of things that the Bible just doesn´t explain clearly. It's a good thing we have the Book of Mormon. I never realized there are so many Christian faiths. Brazil has a different sect on almost every street. This cultural aspect makes proselyting interesting here. The predominating idea is that "the church sign doesn´t save anyone. Its faith that really matters." This is a half truth that the adversary likes to use here. It's true that the church sign does not save anyone. Faith is what really matters. But its Faith in correct gospel principles and saving ordinances performed by people that hold the priesthood of god that only exist in The Church of Jesus Christ. That is the main truth that we have to teach. In the end everyone has to gain a real testimony of the Book of Mormon. Anyway. I love you all. The Gospel is true. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, June 11, 2012

eMail of June 11, 2012

Hello Family, I glad to hear things are going well for you all. It sounds like you guys want me to talk a little more about what I´m doing here. So, Rondonópolis is a safer city than Cuiabá. Our area is just as big even though the city is smaller. It just has more types of areas. It has the center with the shops, richer parts, poorer parts, and farm lands. All a lot closer together. My companion is Elder Lira. He's great. He´s from Natal. He´s the most strict about the rules out of all the companions I´ve had yet. That's a big relief because the contrary is difficult sometimes. We found this huge family the first few days. A next door neighbor whose children had already been baptised called the branch president saying that there was a family in need of a visit from the missionaries. We went there and were extremely well recieved. They had already been to church a long time ago and all wanted to be baptised. The mom and dad can not be baptised yet because they are not married legally, but we had the opportunity to baptise all their children over 8 years old. (4 out of the 6 children they have). We also baptised the friend of a member who had been recieving the lessons before I got here. We had 5 baptisms this week. It was great. Now we just need to get a marriage date for the parents. It was really cold this week. I even had to wear my jacket when we went out. My companion is from the Northeast of Brazil which is always hot. He said the only thing he had ever experienced before the mission like the cold this last week is the inside of a freezer. He had never experienced cold before. Anyway I love you all. Keep being good. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, June 4, 2012

eMail of June 4, 2012

Hey family, Thanks for all the Happy Birthdays! I can´t believe I´m turning 20. That can´t really be possible. Turning 19 was alright because I was still a teanager, but 20 is like... really old. Everyone here who guesses my age says I´m 16 or 17 though. The transfer is today. I´m going to Rondonópolis. Elder Lira will be my companion. I don´t know him at all. I´m pretty excited. That's great that things are busy over there. Busy is good. Relaxed is good too though. I can´t imagine Caleb driving. In all the pictures dad sent me he looks HUGE. He looks like he´s catching up on dad. I think he´ll be taller than me. Don´t worry that you hit the garage door caleb. I got in a couple accidents too. Your lucky you get to drive. A Brizillian Missionary with a drivers liscense is really rare. They can´t get a license until 18 and cars are REALLY expensive here. Too bad about the stage and the audience in the play. I´m sure Nathaniel did fantastically though. Its amazing how quickly things are going by. It seems like as I get older and older, time goes faster and faster. I love you all. Thanks for all the emails. See yah in a couple years! Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, May 28, 2012

eMail of May 28, 2012

Hello Everyone, I´m glad to hear everything is going well at home. It's good that you all will have a pretty busy summer. Sounds like a lot of things are changing. Caleb will be in high school. Janai will be in college. Carlene and Brent moved. David is married. It's crazy how fast things change. Things are going great here in Brazil. We have some possibilities for Baptism next week. We´re praying that it will turn out right. We're also about to change mission presidents. That should be interesting. Apparently a lot of the Areas will change around. At the beginning of the week, we were walking and all of our plans were falling through. People weren´t at home or were too busy. So we decided to go eat Ice Cream and think about what to do next. We started talking with one of the workers there. She said that just talking to us her opinion of us had changed from what it was when she had only seen us passing by. We started to talk about the gospel and she's really interested. Another cool experience that we had was we walked a long way to visit a member's house to teach this member's wife and daughter who are not members. We looked at the house and everything was shut and no lights were on. My companion said "no one is here" and we turned around to leave. I clapped (which is what people do here in Brazil because the front is a gate usually and not a door) just as a weak, partly-joking effort as we turned to go and the door opened. It was the member. We talked with him a little and soon his wife and daughter showed up and we talked with them. I was reminded of something that I heard an Apostle say once. That when we are worthy, sometimes we are guided by the spirit when we don´t even know we are being guided. I didn´t clap because I felt I should and I didn't think anything would happen, but that doesn´t mean it wasn´t an inspired action. I thought that was a kind of cool experience. Anyway. Good luck with all of the changes you all are going through this summer. Remember God loves you. I love you all too. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, May 21, 2012

eMail of May 21, 2012

Hello Everyone, Glad to hear things are going well. That's great that Janai got another scholarship. And that David got married. That sounds really wierd to me. David got married. David got married. Congratulations anyway, David. Maybe I´ll be an Uncle twice when I get home. Things are going well here. I´m still loving the area. My companion and I are getting along fantastically as well. We hope to have a lot of Baptisms next week. Our new President is coming really soon. Everyone's afraid he will ban Coke. Personally I don`t mind. I´m excited to see what will change though. Thanks for your prayers. Keep firm in the Gospel. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, May 7, 2012

eMail of May 7, 2012

Hello Everyone, Glad to hear things are going well at home. Only about a month untill summer break for all you guys huh. Glad to hear people are finding jobs and working. Things are going great here. I really like this ward. Its pretty great. We are pretty spoiled by the members here actually. We have a few families who have told us that we can come eat dinner or lunch any day at thier house. The members are used to 4 missionaries here so there is a TON of food for lunch. We already have some great baptism prospects. The mother of the elders quorum president suddenly decided to get baptised next week. She´s been going to church forever. Her son is a returned missionary and everything. That was really exciting. The Elders Quorum Presidents family really reminds me of our family. Its nice. They have three boys and a younger girl. Ages 2 to 14 I think. He jokes and plays around with the kids just like Dad. The Elders Quorum President and his Counsilor took us out to visit some less active families they want us to visit. Its was really helpful since we are both new to the ward. This ward seems really involved in the mission work. Its really great. I´m really excited to see how it goes. I love you all. Be good. See yah all in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, April 30, 2012

eMail of April 30, 2012

Hello Everyone, Sorry about your lungs Caleb. I hope you get better. I´m glad to hear things are going well. Good luck in the play Nathaniel. It will be fun. So... My new area is Verdão. My companion is Elder Britto. We are opening the area so this week has been interesting. Neither of us knows exactly were stuff is in the area. Its been a great experience though. Our house was a pig stay when we got there. Tons of garbage and thilth! The second day we spent about 8 and a half hours cleaning it out. We moved all the firniture around, threw away a ton of garbage and old clothes and wood, and swept and cleaned the whole place. Now its great. There are two rooms that each have two beds and a closet. The one we sleep in has the desks as well. Then there is a bathroom a little hall way, a main room with a book shelf and a desk and a kitchen with a table, stove, refrigerator and washing machine. Its an apartment. Its really nice now that we have cleaned it out. Today we hit winter in Cuiabá. It should last for about a week or less. it was cold enough that I needed a blanket. Its about what its like during the late spring in Washington. About 60 degrees and cloudy. I´m loving it because its not so hot. The ward here is great. They all like the missionaries. We got a warm welcome to the ward. All of the members have driven us to thier houses for lunch because we don´t know the area so that was really nice. I love you all. I hope all goes well. I will keep you all in my prayers. See yah all in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, April 23, 2012

eMail of April 23, 2012

Hello everyone, Fortunately I did have the opportunity to do email today. Tonight I will get transferred to Verdão. Its in the center of Cuiabá. My companion will be Elder Britto. I know him a little bit and he seems really cool. We´ll be opening an area because it used to be the area of the Assistents to the President. They got moved to a different area so now both Elder Britto and I will be new to the area. It was really sad to say goodbye to all the people here. I got to know all of them pretty well because I stayed here for almost 6 months. I´m really excited to finally move to my second area on the mission. I´m really excited to see how it will be. I´m sending some more pictures. The first on is my companion Elder Reis and I. The second one is our ward mission leader who is amazing and a boy in the ward I became really good friends with. The third one is a member whos more or less less active who I became great friends with. He might serve a mission next year. The fourth is a cool flower that only comes out at night on a tree by our apartment. The fifth is just a cool view. I wish I could have been there for the baby blessing. Thats great that everyone got to be there for it. You guys are all a great motivation for me on the mission. I´m so thankful that I have such an amazing family. And that its growing. Family is really the purpose of everything. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, April 16, 2012

eMail of April 16, 2012

Hello everyone,

Glad to hear things are going well. Congratulations on your scholarship Janai. That's sooo awesome. Good luck at finding a job David. I´m glad I don't have to worry about such things right now. I´ll be praying for you.

Things are going well. After this week I will be transfered finally. I´m still in my first area on the mission. The Mission President already told me I´ll be trasfered, so this time it's for sure. I wonder where I will go. After this next transfer, the Mission President will switch. The next one is american. I forgot his name. Everyone is afraid he will ban coca-cola and tereré (a really good herb water drink thing hear that can give a stomach ache to an american if he drinks a ton). Personally I could care less about coke. I wonder how it will be different though.

I do have kind of a cool story to tell. So. Because of conference we were left withought knowing who was signed up to give us lunch for the week. We couldn´t get a hold of the sister who has the calendar. We were kind of worried that we would have to go hungry or go buy and make something. I was reading that morning in 'Our Heritage' and reached a part about when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were translating the Book of Mormon. They had run out of writing supplies and food. They went out to find something and couldn´t. Coming back home they found Joseph Knight with food and writing supplies for them for no reason. Just as I read that, our cell phone rang. No one ever calls to confirm lunch and most of the time people forget, so I have no Idea why this brother called, but he called us to tell us lunch was at his house and he had the schedule for the rest of the week. I felt like Heavenly Father was saying `Hey Marc! stuff like that doesn´t just happen in church history you know. It's kind of cool the way Heavenly Father teaches us with our every day experiences. We just have to look for what it is he´s trying to teach us right now in our lives. So yah. Thats my story. I love you all. See yah in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, April 9, 2012

eMail of April 9, 2012

Hello Everyone,

This week was good. We still don´t have a lot of possibilities for baptisms, but we've got some new investigators. We had a less active member show up at church though. He told us he wanted to learn more about how the structure of the priesthood works so we went into a room and answered his questions and stuff. He told us his whole story and why he went inactive and everything. He was baptised in Japan actually. With everything that happened to him it's amazing he set foot in a church again. He has a very strong testimony.

That's great that you all had a good time in Utah. Wow. I´m already realizing how much things are going to be different when I get back. Janai will be in college, David will be married, Hannah will be 1 and a half, Caleb will be in high school and driving, and Nathaniel will be a teacher (right?).

Thats great that there is a reactivation and a Baptism happening in our ward. Just more saved families. Our mission President is going to switch after this next transfer. That's great that you gave lunch to the missionaries Dad. Lunch is kind of a stressfull thing for Missionaries. Sometimes people think they have to make something really fancy for missionaries so they hesitate to put their name down on the calendar. If there is something to eat, we´re grateful.

I love you all. Prepare, Caleb and Nathaniel, for your missions (Janai too even if you don´t go). A mission is pretty much the hardest, fastest, funest, most difficult, most challenging, happiest thing in the world. Except maybe raising a family, but I´ve never done that before. I love you all. See yah in a couple years!

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, April 2, 2012

eMail of April 2, 2012

Hello Family,

Things are still going fantastically here in Brazil. My companion is awesome. The best one I´ve had yet. He's super Christlike. I´ll send you all a picture of us next week. That way mom can put it on the magnet board.

I really enjoyed General conference. I had to watch it in Portuguese. I can understand all of it, but it's difficult to focus and take notes and translate at the same time so I think I´ll have to read them all again in English. We had just one investigator there. One couldn´t make it, and the other got sick with denge (a sickness that comes from mosquitos here that makes you really sick, but its rarely leathel even for children so don't worry about me).

We all got water filters recently in our houses so now we all have clean water from the faucet. YAY! Before we were putting clear coke bottles out in the sun to get clean water. The sun is so strong here it purifies water. Otherwise you have to go and buy these huge jugs of purified water.

I´m absolutely loving the mission. It's so fun to go out and teach the gospel to people and help them to progress until Baptism. It's so fun to learn about the culture and about the people and the language. There really is no work in the world that brings more joy than missionary work. Except maybe families, but thats a type of missionary work any way. It's amazing to be able to focus all your time and effort into just the gospel. The gospel brings so much happiness. I´d just like you all to know that I know that this church is true. And that Christ really did atone for our sins. Absolutely everything that happens to you every day happens for a reason. God knows what people you will meet and the experiences you will have and sets them all up exactly perfect for your good and the good of others so that we can all return to his presence. Even the bad things in life are for our good.

Stay firm and work hard in the church and in school and at home. I love you all. See yah in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, March 26, 2012

eMail of March 26, 2012

Hey family,

So I met my new companion and we worked this week. He's fantastic. He´s on his second to last transfer on the mission, but he's not trunky at all. He says it's because for him it doesn´t matter how far he is on the mission, he´s still on the mission so it's the same thing. We're working real hard so I´m pretty happy about that.

We've gathered some new investigators from the area book and some references from the mission office. Sandra is still having a tough time quiting coffee. The problem is she's been drinking it twice a day everyday since she was a toddler. Also she has shifts at work nights and days back to back. But were working with her and we have faith that she´ll make it. Our other investigator is Linda. She's married to a member who did pretty much everything in the church before he divorced and became less active. Then he married her and is coming back to church.

I´m eating well and staying healthy. I´m eating more now than I ever have, but the members who give us lunch still say I don´t eat very much. I´m not gaining any weight because we walk so much. The weather here is a lot cooler now. (cool for here, but not for me). I´m not sure how some people come back from the mission with accents. My Portuguese doen´t seem to me to effect my english at all. Also Ive talked with people with a lot more time on the mission and they don´t seem to have any accent in english. Interesting. Thats so great that Caleb did well in wrestling. Its a whole different game in High School though. I wish I could go with all you guys to see hannah. But I´m supposed to be here so. Just three more months of school for you guys huh. I love you all. Stay firm in the gospel cuz its true. See yah in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, March 19, 2012

eMail of March 19, 2012

Hey family,

Thanks so much for the emails and the pictures of hannah. Thats so great that you guys are so busy with her. Family is a great thing to be busy with. No one told me that Janai got in to BYU? I guess I knew she would. Thats great about the scholarship. Don´t stress yourself about anything Janai. Youve made it. Just have fun now. Seems like yesterday I was waiting for high school to end. What a blessing that Dad still has work. My companion was super excited to go home. Hes gone to go climb a mountain with the Mission President. I havent met my new companion. His name is Elder Rais (hayz). I hear he´s pretty quiet. We didn´t get a baptism this week either. Sandra didn´t quit drinking coffee yet. But she will. One of our eternal investigators (she has to get married) is moving. It might be in a different area. This kind of makes me nervous because its real easy to lose an investigator that way. Shes been going to church for about 8 months. I´ll find out tomorrow where it is shes moving. I love you all. Good luck woth Hannah and school and work and church and drama. See yah all in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, March 12, 2012

eMail of March 12, 2012

Hello Everyone,

Thanks so much for the pictures of Hannah. She is sooo cute. I can´t wait to meet her when I come back. She'll be 1 and a half years old! Its crazy that I´ll be burning a tie at the 1/4 mark this week. It goes by so fast. This week we didn´t baptize. Mirian became really wishy washy again. Theres just no desire. But we´ll have a baptism for shure next week. She got married to a member about a month ago. She had to quit coffee first which was super hard. She drank about twice a day before. Everythings going really well. My companion is super excited to go home. Just one more week for him. I love you all. See yah in a couple years!

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, March 5, 2012

eMail of March 5, 2012

Hello everyone,

No baptisms this week, but everything is going good. We should have 3 baptisms next week. My companion and I are still getting along real well. Leticia was confirmed this week. It was testimony meeting and 3 of the 4 baptisms that I've had bore thier testimonies. That was pretty exciting. It's always fantastic to see people stay firm after baptism. I hope you all have a good week. Happy Birthday Dad. Give Hannah a hug for me. See yah all in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, February 27, 2012

eMail of February 27, 2012

Hey family,

Thanks so much for the photos. She is really cute. I really badly want to hold her. I'm super excited that I´m an uncle now. It's kind of wierd to think my parents are grandparents now. Happy Birthday Mom and Caleb... and Hannah. Which reminds me that I forgot to say happy birthday to Carlene. So happy Birthday Carlene too.

Things are going great here. My companion and I are getting along real well. I found out that I am alergic to cats and apples now. I developed them both at the same time a couple weeks ago. (David would think that was interesting I think). The same allergies dad has. It's weird because one day I was petting and holding cats totally fine and then all of a sudden I go into allergies if the house has a cat. Cool anyway.

We're gunna have a baptism next week. She's the wife of a member. They've been going to church together for 4 months amd they got married a couple weeks ago so she's more than ready. This is one baptism I think will definitely end up in the temple. My companion and I are super happy about that. He had been praying that he would be able to marry a couple and baptise them because he had never done it before. Now we have 2 dates of baptisms for couples recently married. His prayer was answered. We´re still working to baptise mirian as well. I think she´ll be the key to reactivating her children who are baptised.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, February 20, 2012

eMail of February 20, 2012

Hey everyone,

This week went pretty well. We baptized liticia on friday. She was really happy. Sister Janette made cake and brought soda and a present (a journal). It's members like her that grow the kingdom and make missionary work a lot more effective. Unfortunately she got sick. really sick. She went to the hospital. We gave her a blessing on Saturday and she went to the hospital last night. We'll be praying for her.

Patrick went to the youth camp which is fantastic. We had 7 investigators at church today which was great. This means we have a lot of teaching to do this week. There was a couple there that I think is really interested. They just have to get married (always the problem:) ).

That's so great that Hannah is coming. I´m super excited to be an uncle. Send me lots of pictures (to this email). I´d be excited for spring and presidents day as well, but neither one really exists here.

This week is Carnaval. The most important holiday for Brazil. Its pretty week in the streets here in Cuiabá, but everone talks about it. If you research it dont be too scared because it will show you stuff in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. It's huge there--and a little dangerous.

Thanks for all the Email. I love to hear what's going on at home. See yah all in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, February 13, 2012

eMail of February 13, 2012

Hello Family ,

So, I couldn´t email last week because I spent all day in a van. We had the transfer last week. I´m in the same area Coxipó, with a different companion. Elder J. Silva. He´s awesome. He has 38 days till he goes back home, but he teaches amazingly. I´m going to pay real good attention to how he does it because it's always very clear, very convincing, and full of the Spirit.

We´re going to have another baptism next week. It's Patrick´s sister, Leticia. Hopefully we´ll baptise merean as well. She's been with missionaries for a couple years and almost all of her children are baptised. Elder J. Silva almost got her to commit to baptism. She has a loyalty with the catholic church and Elder J. Silva was catholic up until he got baptised 5 years ago so he understands her doubts a lot.

I´m glad to hear things are going well. I´m super excited to be an uncle, and to have a new sister. Missions do grow families. It's hard to believe I´ll hit the six month mark and burn a tie at the end of this transfer. I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. They are definitely felt hear. The gospel is true; so see yah in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, January 30, 2012

eMail of January 30, 2012

Hello family!

That's super great that everything is getting ready for Hannah to come. I´m really excited about that. I´ll be keeping Kiersta in my prayers. Like all trials, this trial has a purpose for our family. Two Gentleman of Verona huh. That should be really great. I enjoyed reading about all the things going on this week. It's always very motivating in the mission work.

I got the Christmas book on Wednesday. I read it. It was really great. I enjoyed it a lot. Now I have something I can turn to and read when hard times come.

This week was good. We baptised Patrick. He's 11. We're trying to baptise the rest of his family as well, but as always that proves complicated with marriage and such. His mom is super receptive, but wasn´t able to make it to church. His friend came to church as well and was super excited about being baptised as well. We´ll go and teach his family this week. Heavenly Father really does prepare families to recieve the message that we have. It's always great to see it start to happen.

I´m kind of at a stuck point in Portuguese where I know most of the sentence structures and stuff, but there's always a word thrown in that I don´t know. This means I have to start memorizing words instead of studying grammar.

That's cool that the theme is Arise and Shine. It's so true that what you do in the morning to start your day affects your entire day so morning prayer is super important. I love you all. See yah in a couple years.

Elder Skiles

Monday, January 23, 2012

eMail of January 23, 2012

Hey Family! Thanks for All the emails. Thats So cool about the snow. I love it when everything gets shut down for snow. Its crazy that here I´m sweltering in the heat and there your freezing in the cold. Its funny to hear the Brazillians talk about -5 celcius being extremely cold. I think thats about 25 degrees farenhieght. Most people have never seen snow here so for them that is really cold.

I´m Glad the Best of EFY went well. I wish the youth here in Brazil could have more things like that. The lord really does put strong spirits in more dificult surcmstances because he knows that they can handle the adversity. Its amazing how many activities we are blessede with there that they don´t have. So... Thing are goig great here. We´ll end our trasferr in a couple weeks and I think well be able to get a couple baptisms before it ends. Were teaching this fantastic family. Mother, father and two sons. You can just tell that the gospel is exactly what they need. The mom and dad are not married of course so it will take a little more time with them, but we plan to baptise the two sons the next two weeks. The next transfer I go from being trained to being a junior companion. That should be exciting. Keeping being a great strength to our ward. The member families make all the difference in missionary work and in streangthening testimonies in the ward. I love you all. see yah in a couple years.
Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, January 16, 2012

eMail of January 16, 2012

Hey Family,

This week was a little slow because I got sick for a couple days. I still don't really know what it was, but it's gone now so we´re good. Still we lost a lot of time. Edson came and helped take care of me which was really helpful.

Things are going good. On Saturday, we organized an activity with the young men for a football tournament. The idea was that my companion and I and the young men would invite or bring a bunch of non-members and that they would come to Church the next day as well and we could have a bunch of new investigators. No one that my companion and I invited to come came, but a bunch of friends of the young men came. Just goes to show that this work depends so much on the help of the members. It went really well. Some of us got sun burned, especially me because i´m white.

We're trying to reactivate two families and a young man. This is proving difficult, but we´ll keep persistent. We don´t have anyone close to baptism yet, but we have a few good investigators starting out.

That's so cool that it's snowing up there. I always love that because it keeps everyone home. Keep enjoying the snow. Send me some pictures of the snow. I love you all. See yah in a couple years.

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, January 9, 2012

eMail of January 9, 2012

Hello Everyone

I´m glad to hear everything is going well. It's sad about the green couch, but it's ok. It was time for it to go. Happy Birthday Janai and Nathaniel! Don´t worry. I didnt forget. I wrote that it was your birthdays in BIG letters in my planner on the 5th and the 8th. I can´t believe Nathaniel is a Deacon. Wow. I also can´t believe Janai is 18. Next year she'll be off to college. Has janai started to apply for BYU yet?

We're kind of in a rough spot right now in terms of baptisms, but things are going well here. We have a lot of new investigators now. Still staying excited (spelled it write this time) and working hard. The other day my companion said no to playing soccer with some of the other missionaries (soccer is not allowed) . This is pretty amazing because I know how much he loves to play soccer and misses it. He really is an awesome companion. The husband of one of our investigators who can't get baptized because she's not legally married quit smoking and drinking. I have no idea why, but we haven't had a chance to go visit there yet. I´m pretty excited to go meet with him. It's always amazing when someone decides to give up something like that. It's especially amazing because where they live is a very poor area and pretty much everyone smokes and drinks a lot. Other than that it was a pretty normal week if such a thing exists in the mission field. I love you all and am so glad all is well with you all. Thanks for your prayers! See yah in a couple years!

Elder Marc Skiles

Monday, January 2, 2012

eMail of January 2, 2012

Happy New Years Everyone. I´m sure we're all excited to see if the world ends in December or not. Just Kidding. Things are going great here. Still trying to baptize and reactivate. It's been difficult but we're working hard.

We started to teach this guy named Manuel. He always has a lot of difficult questions like if God and Jesus are the same person and if Animals have spirits just like we do, but I have a good feeling about him. He seems very humble and ready to accept the gospel. We´ll see how it goes.

Thanks for all of the pictures of Christmas Mom. I really enjoyed them. The "Shock" pictures are my favorite. I´m glad to hear everyone's reading scriptures and New Era and working on Duty To God. All those kinds of things are really important and fill your oil lamp for hard times.

I´m glad to hear things went awesome with meeting Amanda's family. I just can't wait till I get to meet them. My companion is the district leader now. That means that a lot more work falls on me for our area, but He's still always there when I need help. Keep doing all the things you all are doing. Pray for missionary experiences. I know that this gospel really does bless lives and everyone needs it. I love you all. See yah in a couple years!

Elder Marc Skiles