Mailing Address

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

Monday, August 26, 2013

Email of August 26, 2013

Hello Everyone! So... Here's my last email to all of you before I get home! I´m glad Grandma and Grandpa will be there when I get home. Mom gets the first hug of course. It still hasn´t really come to me that I will be going home. It feels like it should be just another transfer. It feels like I´ll just be a missionary forever. I think it will only really come to me after the first day home. I´ve heard the first day at home just feels like another p-day. The investigator that was supposed to be baptized today (Allan) didn´t come to church. He had a late night working and didn´t wake up. We had two investigators at church today. Just that they couldn´t stay until the end. She´s a presbyterian. We´re not sure if she came just for fun or if she prayed and found out that it´s true. We will teach her on Tuesday night and find out. This week will have a lot of good bye dinners for us. It will be really sad, but really great. I´m not sure exactly how I feel. It's kind of a mixture of a lot of emotions, but it's good. I really came to love the culture and the people of Brazil and I´ll miss it a lot. I also miss you all a lot. The mission was great. I laughed, I cried, I worked, I exhausted, I made mistakes, I learned, and I loved. I never felt so sad and frustrated as I have on the mission, but I´ve also never felt so happy as I have on the mission. One thing I do know is that the mission was the best two years for my life and I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything. I love the mission and I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, August 19, 2013

Email of August 19, 2013

Hello Everyone! This week was rather difficult. We didn´t have any investigators at church. One of our investigators didn´t come because he thought it was 9:00 at night instead of 9:00 in the morning. We are excited to see what happens with him. Carlos is his name. He is reading and prayed and feels it's true. He has a son and a wife, but his wife is recovering from surgery still. I can´t believe it's so close. The mission went by so fast. It´s true that I am a little sad. I will miss Brazil a lot. I am really excited to see all of you again though. It's kind of a big mixture of feelings all at the same time. I loved the mission and I can´t believe it's almost done already. It´s weird because almost everyone who arrived on the mission with me is already at home. I want to make these last two weeks count. I hope God will allow us to have some success at the end. All the things that Caleb [Nathaniel] will learn at youth leadership camp will be very useful to him on the mission. Anyway. I love you all! See yah in a couple WEEKS! Elder Skiles

Monday, August 12, 2013

Email of August 12, 2013

Hello Everyone! This week was Great! The less active we were working with went to church. She went to her daughter's baptism on Wednesday and went to her confirmation on Sunday. That was great! The only thing I´m worried about is that the members didn´t talk to her or sit with her. I hope she felt good at church and remembered the feelings she felt when she was baptized. It's becoming more and more difficult to stay excited about working now that the end is coming, but we are still working hard. We´ve started marking divisions with the members every week. We have about 10 members every week to go with the 4 missionaries in the ward. It's helping a lot. One member though told our investigator that she should wait to be baptized. That was frustrating, but in the end all the divisions helped out a lot. Our Ward Mission Leader was released this week. That was kind of sad. He was the ward mission leader when I was in the area two years ago as well. Our new ward mission leader is great though. A returned missionary who knows a lot about how to work and has a lot of spare time. He´s already done splits with us a few times. I´m glad to hear that things are going well. Wish I could be on the cruise with you all. I love you family! See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, August 5, 2013

Email of August 5, 2013

Hey family! I didn´t know you guys were all in Puerto Rico. That´s soooo coool. This week was kind of sad for me. The less active family we were working with didn´t go to church. We did have one investigator. Luara. She´s 13. She wants to be baptized really bad. We´ll see if her mother will allow her. This p-day we went to Chapada. It's a tourist place near Cuiabá with great views and shops and waterfalls and stuff. It was a lot of fun. We are still working real hard. Elder Underwood is a great companion. The ward is starting to get more active in the mission work. We are going to do splits with members almost every day this week. That has never happened to me before. The biggest decision we will have to make this week is if we continue to work to reactivate this family or not. The mother seems to have the desire to come back, but when Sunday comes there is always an excuse to stop her from coming. I love you all! Thanks for the emails. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, July 29, 2013

Email of July 29, 2013

Hey family! Thanks for the pictures. This week was kind of crazy. I got to Verdão and unpacked my bags when the unthinkable happened. I got an emergency transfer to Coxipó! Now I´m going to end the mission in the area that I started. I´m here with Elder Underwood still. This transfer is being great. Elder Underwood is a great companion and we are working really hard. We are opening the area and we already had an investigator at church. That was a miracle. It's the 9 year old daughter of a less active family. We are trying to reactivate the family through the baptism of their daughter. I sincerely believe that this was an inspired transfer. Elder Underwood is an amazing missionary. The mission has changed him a lot as well. We are both getting along really great and learning from each other. Our goal is to keep working hard and to baptize till the end. I still know most of the members here in the area. It's cool to pass in the area you started because you can see how much you have changed over the course of the mission. I was called to give a talk on Sunday right when the meeting started. The life of a missionary. haha. I talked about some of the things I had learned over the course of the mission about the Atonement. When we are baptized we make the covenant to follow Christ´s example by taking upon ourselves the burdens of others. Sacrificing ourselves for God's children. That is probably the most important thing I have learned on the mission. I guess you all have stopped writing me emails because its so close to the end, but it's still nice to hear from you all. hehehe. I love you all. See you in a couple years! Marc

Monday, July 22, 2013

Email of July 22, 2013

Hello Family! I´m glad to hear that things are going well. I´m glad to hear girls camp was great. I´m really excited to see my neice and nephew. I´ll have to do exactly what you said janai. Maybe I´ll go work in provo for a while if I can´t find a good job in Kirkland. This week was transfer. You will never guess who will be my last companion. I was trasferred to Verdão again to be Elder Underwood´s companion. I´m really sad to have to leave Julio De Castilho, but I guess thats the way it has to be. I´ve already packed my bags and I´m ready to go back to cuiabá tonight. Its kind of weird going back to an area I´ve already passed through, but I´m sure it will be a cool experience. I hope to learn a lot my last transfer. I hope to have some cool stories to tell my future children and grand children. I also hope to have some baptisms my last transfer. My goal is to baptise one more family. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Elder Skiles

Monday, July 15, 2013

Email of July 15, 2013

Hello Everyone! This week was still rather difficult,but we are still working hard. We had two investigators at church today that live in the sisters area. haha. Its times like these that we learn that happiness doesn´t come from our circumstances, but from our choices. Its a tricky thing in the mission, because you have to learn to desire with all your heart, might, mind, and strength for something that is outside of your control... That others come unto christ. They have their own agency and so we can only do all we can to invite. This means we must learn to desire that others come unto christ, but be happy and excited even when they don´t. It´s a very phsycological experience. I´m learning to be happy despite the results of our work, even though the desire to have baptisms is still just as strong. The weather is getting really dry. The other day, my nose started gushing blood while we were at a members house to teach an investigator. Luckily it stopped. This week we had a service project in the stake. The city had a little presentation in the park about "Denge" an illness that is spread through mosquitos. They talk about how to clean up your yard so that there is no still water for them to reproduce. We and the members handed out flyers and invited people to come to the park and see. There was also a stand that talked about food storage from the church and we got some adresses from people who wanted to know more about the church. It was fun. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, July 8, 2013

Email of July 8, 2013

Hello everyone! What a drastic experience. I´m so thankful no one was hurt. Its a good thing we have such a great family to take care of us. To bad I´ll miss the reunion. Send everyone at the reunion a BIG HUG from me. Especially Grandma and Grandpa and all of our cousins. And the meyers family. This week was good. We have gone quite a few weeks without baptism. We started to work even harder. The baptism we had this week fell through. The whole mission is having some difficulty. Last week we had only 10 baptisms in the mission. (that is very few) This week was a little better with 20, but still not much. I guess god gives us these experiences for a reason. We seem to be meeting more rejection in our area than usual. We asked the members to join us in a fast last sunday and I hope it helps. Times like these more than ever we need to fast and pray. We had two investigators at church that seemed pretty receptive. We will do a family home evening tonight and one of them will be there. I´m sure we will be able to find the elect. We played soccer again today. It was fun. Good to be distracted for a little from the work. I´m trying really hard to learn to control my thoughts. When the end is near your mind tends to wander a little. It starts to dwell on family and what will happen when the mission is over. I´m learning to focus my thoughts on serving the lord because the mission is not over yet. The end is the most important part because we learn what endure to the end means. The runner runs his fastest always at the end of the race. I hope to be able to run my fastest now as well. I´m so thankful to have all of my family in the church. That is the greatest blessing and motivation. I love you all! See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, July 1, 2013

Email of July 1, 2013

Hey Family! This week was great! It's been cold and rainy all week. We forgot our umbrellas and rain gear a couple times and got all wet. When we went to do divisions in Aquidauana we got all wet and muddy too. We had two investigators at church this week. Regina and her daughter Carmen. They were a reference from a member. They have their baptismal date marked for this week. I hope all goes well. We will do a family home evening at the member's house with them this week. They arrived at church before we did actually. That's what you call a golden investigator. This week we knocked on a door and the man at the door didn´t want to hear, so we moved on. Then he felt bad for rejecting us. He chased us down on the street and said he was sorry he had rejected us and that we should not get discouraged. That was a first. But it really is true that just our presence on the streets going from door to door is a testimony to others that what we teach is true. This last week we were going to a lesson, but changed our minds and decided to go to a different person. On the way we passed a members house and decided we could ask them to come with us. When we got in Irênio (a member) was really sick with laryngitis and they had just called the Bishop to come and give a blessing. We gave him a blessing. I´m sure that we were guided by the spirit to go to his house. Anyway. I´m glad that all of you are doing well! I love you all! See yah in a couple years! Marc Elder Skiles

Monday, June 24, 2013

Email of June 24, 2013

Hey everyone, Its been a great week! It did not rain this Sunday. Thankfully. We had one [investigator] at church this Sunday. Emily. She´s a friend of a member. She doesn´t have a baptismal date yet, but we´ll try to [set] that this week. We did get to see the [Worldwide Leadership Training] broadcast. It was amazing. It gave a vision to the members of how member missionary work is done. I especially liked to analogy of little kids playing soccer. That is soooo true. The little kids have lots of desire to make a goal just like the members have lots of desire to do member missionary work. They don´t know however how to play as a team or think they are playing alone. They don´t know what their position is and so instead just run at the ball. I also like how it showed the examples of missionary opportunities. We don´t necessarily know how or when a missionary opportunity will come, but we need to know to act when it comes. Anyway... This week was kind of difficult with missionary work. We had a really hard time finding people at home because of the rain and cold and the protests that were going on. Seems that lots of people are mad about the price of the bus going up. There are some pretty big protests going on all over Brazil. More than 1/3 of the city was at the protest. We ended up having to knock doors when the other plans fell through. wow. It's been a long time since I´ve had to knock doors. We met a lot of rejection this week, which is abnormal. We did start teaching a woman called Eloir who seems receptive. She accepted baptism, but didn´t come to church. We will go back to find out why. Sometimes Heavenly Father just gives us [uncommitted] people. Just to see if we will keep working. Then the blessing of the golden investigator comes. I hope that happens this week, but if not... we´ll just keep on working. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Marc

Monday, June 17, 2013

Email of June 17, 2013

Hey Family! I´m so glad to hear things are going well. Things are going great here as well. This week we didn´t have any investigators at church though. It was crazy. It started to rain on Sunday morning. There was strong wind and heavy rain and it kind of scared people I guess. Especially people who come to church on foot or on motorcycles. The church attendance was very low as well. This seems to happen a lot. It waits to rain until Sunday morning. I guess its Gods way of trying peoples faith. We are praying that it will not rain this Sunday. It can rain every day this week, just not Saturday night and Sunday morning. This week there was a party at the public park near our house. Festa Junina. The music was very loud. It made it a little difficult to sleep. Sertaneja. Its like country music in Brazil, just that its very different from country... like red neck music I guess. You guys can show me the new American music when I get back (some of the more popular stuff I have already heard on the street). I´ll show you guys some cool Brasillian music I´ve heard on the street here. We played soccer again today. That was fun. This week we are going to try to baptize Gabriely. She went to church the Sunday before last Sunday and was supposed to get baptised this last Sunday, but the rain made it difficult for her to come. She was brought to church by a less active. We can reactivate and baptize! yay! We´ll see how it goes. Gabriely´s mom is really receptive as well. We are going to try and baptize her too. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Marc

Monday, June 10, 2013

Email of June 10, 2013

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for all the emails. I loved all of them. Its so good to be remembered on your birthday. My birthday was wonderful. A miracle happened. Remember Rosangela that would be baptised if her husband would marry her, but her husband doesn´t want to get married and doesn't want to go to church. He came to church yesterday. I almost didn´t believe it when he walked in. Rosangela was sooooo happy. We are going to try to get them married this week. We´ll see what happens. Neide (one of the members here who is like a mom to all the missionaries) made me a cake. We ate it at her house while waiting to get the transfer [notices]. It was great. I stayed in the same area with the same companion this transfer. What a relief. I´m loving this area and my companion. Today we are going to go to a park in the city. It should be fun. My companion is trying to learn English. He´s doing really well and I´m trying to help him out the best I can. Its amazing how complicated English is. I know what´s right and what's wrong [grammatically], but it's difficult to explain why it's right or wrong. I think I don´t even know the basic rules, but the book explains most of them thankfully. I´m super excited to see all of you as well when I get home. I know however that God is still preparing more of his children for my companion and I to teach. It helps to pretend like the mission starts today. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, June 3, 2013

Email of June 3, 2013

Hey everyone! This week was wonderful. Tatiane and Cleber got baptised! Yay! They got married legally on Wednesday. I was worried that the baptismal date would fall through because we went 5 days without being able to teach them. We taught them in the chapel on Friday. I was all ready to do the commitment pattern and thinking about what scriptures I would use and so when they accepted to be baptised on Saturday without hesitation I almost didn´t believe it. It was a wonderful baptism. There were lots of people and cake afterward as well. We joined our baptismal meeting with the sisters. 4 baptisms all at once! It was very exciting. It rained on Sunday so we had very few investigators at church and the attendance dropped considerably. We only had Rosângela who is an eternal investigator. She just needs to get married legally, but her husband is difficult. Today we got to go to a waterfall with a member. It was really cool. We saw a snake in the middle of a bridge too. I´ll send you some pictures. There is an Elder in our mission who had a stroke. Elder Weiss from Santa Caterina. He went to the hospital last week. Now he is in the hospital in São Paulo and was already released. He is getting better already, but remember him in your prayers. Anyway. I love you all. Have a good week. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, May 27, 2013

Email of May 27, 2013

Hello Family, This week was awesome! I really like my new companion. He´s great! This week the other couple investigators we had didn´t make it to church because they got sick, but we had one more couple at church today. It was great. Now we have two couples that we are teaching that are possibilities for baptism. I got really sick on the bus today. That wasn´t fun, but now I´m better. I think there was something wrong with the breakfast I ate. Our recent convert gave a talk yesterday that almost made me cry. It was amazing. He studied a lot for it. That's pretty much it for this week. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Marc

Monday, May 20, 2013

Email of May 20, 2013

This week was pretty exciting. First of all we had a family at church this week. Yay! Cleber and Tatiane and their two children. We were so happy they came. They accepted baptism for next week. I think they will have to get married first, but that´s not too hard. The other exciting and sad thing that happened is that my companion got emergency trasfered to Primavera do Leste. I think they just needed another missionary there urgently. He will be leaving at 20:00 today. My new companion will arrive tomorrow morning. Elder Moura. I have no idea who he is, but he seems good so I´m excited to be his companion. This week we had a woman on the street come up to us and say that she always wanted to go inside our church. We taught her and her husband and her son. I´m excited to teach them this week. Elder Lira is in Rondonópolis and gave me great news. The recent convert that Elder Impa and I baptised there bore her testimony that she couldn´t wait to serve a mission. That made me feel really happy. We played soccer today again and ate lunch at Ferreira´s house (other recent convert). Usually we don´t eat at the members houses on P-day, but he offered to give us lunch. It was really good. There was even carrot cake after. He drove us home after on the way to bring his son to school and apparently his son (dudu) thought we were going to go to school with him because he started crying when we got out of the car. He´s 4. He likes to show us his toys and talk with us. He´s really cute. It kind of makes me really excited about having my own kids. The girl that we baptised two weeks ago already has a visiting teaching companion and has made lots of friends at church. I´m pretty excited about that. If this ward keeps working hard like it is they will divide the ward this year. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years... Marc

Monday, May 13, 2013

Email of May 13, 2013

Hello everyone, This week was pretty exciting. We had the baptism of Jackeline on Sunday. Unfortunately we did not have any investigators at church other than her. I was especially dissappointed that the family of D**** did not come. They said they would and even accepted to be baptised next week. We´ll have to find out this week why they did not come. We do have an investigator that could not come this week because she was traveling, but she has been to church once already and so she can be baptised this Sunday. We want to bring lots of members to these two houses so they can get to know some of the members before going to church. That might help them have more desire to go to church as well. We got to play soccer today. We have been playing soccer every p-day. It's a lot of fun. It's good too because it distracts everyone for a little. gives everyone a recharge for the week. Some of the missionaries in our zone are getting discouraged. We will give a training meeting tomorrow and do two 3 divisions this week. 3 is a lot. I hope we can get them more excited and working hard again. I was asked on Mother's Day to give a little more information about the experiences I´m having. I hope that this one was better. I´ll try to make them better for the last 4 months of the mission. Anyway.... Give Hannah and Bryce a big hug for me. I love you all. Stay Firm. The Church is true. See yah all in a couple years. Marc

Monday, May 6, 2013

Email of May 6, 2013

Hello Everyone, This week was a good week. We had a few investigators at church today. That was great! We met a boy yesterday that is extremely interested. He had been investigating about what we do on the internet. We taught him the first lesson and about the Book of Mormon and he felt that it was true. The Spirit was so strong. He accepted to be Baptised. He´s 17 and his parents seem uninterested, but he seems to be an honest and great young man. I hope he will be able to go to church next week so he can be baptised. Anyway that was the big highlight of the week. I´ll have to email you mom during the week, because I´m not sure how its going to work on Mother's Day. It probably will be a normal phone call this time. Does 4:00 your time work? I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, April 29, 2013

Email of April 29, 2013

Hello Everyone! This week was transfer! Yay! I stayed with Elder Herrera still. We are pretty excited to work together again this transfer. We had quite a few investigators at church yesterday. It was pretty exciting. I hope we will be able to baptise some of them these next weeks. Not much to tell yet. Things have been pretty normal this last week. We did hear Elder Richard G. Scott speak on the satellite for Mission Conference. His Portuguese is pretty good. I liked what he said a lot. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, April 22, 2013

Email of April 22, 2013

Hey Everyone! This week was pretty great! We had the baptism of Caio. He´s the 15-year-old son of the couple we baptised last week. The Father had the opportunity to baptise his son. This was a really golden family that got baptised. They were truly guided to the gospel. The are progressing very fast. The Stake Council meeting was already talking about preparing him to be a leader when the ward divides at the end of this year. It's incredible because Heavenly Father knows that this area needs leaders and sent one to them. This week was kind of rough with all of our other investigators. No one came [to church] despite many promising that they would, but I guess that´s part of the mission. We will work really hard to have lots of people to work with next transfer. I just found out that two of the investigators that I was working with back in Lucas where baptised. I got really excited about that. The mission is an amazing experience. I love it. Every day my testimony that this church is true is strengthened. I have no doubt. I know it's true. This knowledge brings great responsibility and great joy. I love you all. See yah in a couple years... Marc

Monday, April 15, 2013

Email of April 15, 2013

Hello everyone. This week was great! We had the opportunity to see a family get baptised this week. They got married on Thursday and baptised on Saturday. Its was an amazing experience. Their son will be baptised this Saturday. My companion and I are working really hard and having great success. This ward is a great one. The leaders help us a lot. We have a fantastic ward mission leader. He called Ward Missionaries on Sunday and did a meeting with everyone were they assigned couples and Recent Converts to every couple. It was great. This ward will continue to grow because the members are playing an active role. We got to go an Animal Rehab place today with the Zone. It was cool. There were monkeys, macaw´s, toucans, anta´s, and mountain lions. It was cool. They are all sick or injured animal or some that where taken away from animal traffickers. We got to tour free because a member works there. I´m still happy and working and my big goal is to not get trunky, but to give my all till the end. I love you all. see yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, April 8, 2013

Email of April 8, 2013

Hello Everyone! This week was pretty exciting. I didn´t have much time to work in my own proselyting area. We had meetings and divisions all week. The family we are preparing for baptism is going great. This is a family that was clearly sent from Heavenly Father. We don´t have to persuade at all, they just go. His progress is through his own self motivation, so we just have to teach. He is a future leader for sure. He was looking for the true church for him to work in when he found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He heard of the Church because of Mitt Romney actually. Oh. The rules about email have changed a little bit. I´m not sure if it's here in Brazil or in the whole world, but now we can write email to anyone we want. If anyone (friends, family, ward members) wants to email me I would love to hear from you. We now have 1hr and 30min to do email, so I have lots of time to read emails. Sorry if you are still awaiting a letter reply from me, It's been a little hard to find time to write letters. I´m going to write a bunch today and send them off. Thanks so much for all the letters and emails you have sent. Letters and emails are the best thing ever on the mission. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, April 1, 2013

Email of April 1, 2013

Hello Everyone! Happy Easter. My new area is really great, but really strange. There are SO MANY MEMBERS!!!!!! there were 167 people at church on Sunday. I had to bear testimony and I got a little nervous. It's very different to work in such a strong area. We Baptised 3 people on Sunday. A single woman and two kids (cousins of members). All of them were references from members. I like my new companion a lot. Elder Herrera. As for when I go back home. Most of the Americans that come to the mission with me will go in the middle of August, but I want to stay until September. I don't want to have just a week at home and then go out to college again. Also... The mission is two years right? not 1 year and 11 months. Anyway. Things are going great here. A lot of work to be done. We are teaching a great family. The father looks like a member already. They will baptize in 2 weeks. I´m pretty excited about that. I keep praying for Bryce. I´m sure he´ll be fine. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, March 18, 2013

Email of March 18, 2013

This week was extremely hectic. My companion got sick and went home. That was on Friday. So there is an emergency transfer and I will go to Cuiabá. I´ll be there for a week until the actual transfer happens. We had two families at church including 3 married couples. I´m kind of disappointed not to get to teach and baptise them, but its ok. One of the families is a mom and her 4 children, 2 of which are married. All of them and their spouses read the parts of the Book of Mormon we left and received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. The couples will have to be married civilly, but the rest can be baptised in the next weeks. The other family that came was a couple who have their baptism date marked for next week. We went to teach them after church and the husband was drunk. We will teach the Word of Wisdom next week and help him stop though. Not "we" actually because I will be gone. I would have stayed here one more transfer. I´m really sad to have to leave here. I really love this area and the members here. I am really excited though to get to see a new area and start over again. Every time a change happens we get to start over again applying all the things we learned before and learn new things. The mission president just found out that American missionaries can not stay even a day more than two years. That means I´ll go home like normal. September 2nd. I´m really excited to see my first nephew. He doesn´t know it, but he´s gonna be a missionary some day. That's something I love to think when we teach families with little boys. I tell my companions and they think it's funny. Anyway. Thanks for all the emails. Especially mom and Carlene who are exceptionally diligent. I love hearing about what's going on at home. It is the best thing as a missionary. I love you all. See yah in a couple years Marc

Monday, March 11, 2013

Email of March 11, 2013

Hello Everyone, This week was pretty great. We are teaching a few families now that I´m pretty excited about. Not much to tell actually. We are teaching a woman whose husband is a less active member. She and her children are not members. The church attendance fell a little, but it was much better than it was a couple months ago. I´m really excited about the mission work right now. Anyway. I love you all! See yah in a couple years :) Elder Skiles

Monday, March 4, 2013

Email of March 4, 2013

Hello Family, Sorry about not sending a letter last week. I wrote it. I remember typing it out. I must have shut down the computer without sending it. Oops. The work here is going very well. We baptised last week and the other Elders baptised this week. The church attendance is staying high. 81!!!!! yay!!!! We are getting so many references from the members right now its crazy! Its amazing because its the members that are doing all the work right now. This makes our work much much more effective. I had an interview with the mission president last week and I asked him if I could stay 1 or 2 more transfers. He´s gunna let me stay 1 more transfer! yay! so now my mission will go until the 13th of October. More than 30 after the 14th of September would require special permission which is really hard to get, but the transfer ends just within this 30 day limit. I´m pretty excited about that. We are losing 3 branches to the Manaus Mission because it will be split soon. There will be a New Mission: The Brazil Porto Velho Mission. A lot of sisters will be coming here to the Brazil Missions. Brazillians and Americans. Brazil now has the second most missions in the world after the US. The church is growing here. Fast. Its really exciting to see these things happening. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, February 18, 2013

Email for February 18, 2013

Hello Everyone, This week was pretty exciting. We had a ton of people at church today. Normally the attendance is in the 50´s to 60´s. This week we had 87. Everyone was really excited about that. The members are really getting in to the work now. We are teaching a woman (Pablita) who is from Paraguay. She is progressing very well and would be Baptized but she's not married in the law. It's kind of a complicated situation, but we are trying to get him to come to church. Our Ward mission leader got changed. This one is a little more motivated and very humble so I think he´ll be great. Something heavenly father is trying to teach me right now is that there is no secret golden key to this work. I always thought there was a magic thing you could do to be a good leader and to have miracles in the mission work. But we don´t need to think of crazy new ideas or different techniques. There is no secret golden key. Everything we need is already written in the scriptures and in Preach My Gospel. The path is already laid before us. If we humble ourselves and do the simple things, the results come. Anyway. That´s great that we will have a Christmas all together when I get home. I love you all. I´m excited to see my new nephews! see yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, February 11, 2013

Email for February 11, 2013

This week was extremely eventful. Our recent convert family had an extremely life changing experience. The mom who was pregnant (Vera) had her baby this week. The baby died immediately after being born. The members have been extremely helpful during this time. She receives visits from members every day to help her clean the house, make lunch, and go out to buy her medication. I was really happy that the members stepped in the help her. Her testimony has grown a lot and she is very excited to do visits and help serve as well when she is better. This experience has helped strengthen the branch and her family a lot. This kind of selfless service that the members have shown is a great example to me as well. We had a baptism as well this week. Jefferson. He´s 20 and is really cool. He´s already started to attend meetings and activities with the branch. This week he will do visits with us. He´s thinking about maybe going on a mission. I´m crossing my fingers. Anyway. That was my week. I´m so glad to hear that things are going well at home. I´m excited to receive pictures of my new nephew. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, February 4, 2013

Email for February 4, 2013

Hey everyone! This week was great! We had an new investigator at church today. We have been teaching him for a couple weeks now and he went to a baptism of a married couple on Saturday and went to church on Sunday. He will be baptised next week. I´m pretty excited for that. He´s 20, so he still could serve a mission. We´ll see how it goes. My companion is doing much better. He´s a lot happier now and is getting used to mission life. He is a little sick though. I´m pretty excited to see how this next week goes. My companion is trying to ask the owner of the internet house to print something. He´s doing great with portuguese. I feel so happy on the mission right now. I´ve realized how sacrifice brings blessings. When we say we want to serve God, God asks us what we are willing to sacrifice for him. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Elder Skiles

Monday, January 28, 2013

Email for January 28, 2013

This week was pretty good. We had lots of investigators at church. I asked the mission president about staying on the mission two more transfers in my letter and he said we would talk about it. I don´t know what that means. I feel so happy on the mission. It's interesting how on the mission you can get rejected the entire day and still feel great. My companion has his ups and downs still. I think he´s doing much better now. It's hard to start out the mission. I try not to talk in English with him, but its hard. This is the first time on my mission that I live with another American. It's weird speaking in English. He´s learning pretty quickly though. Alex Burt took 4 years of English right? If he did, the language should come really fast. As long as he has a Brazilian companion. If his companion speaks English it will take a little longer. It's raining like crazy hear in Lucas. The mission president made some minimums for our mission. Most of them are pretty normal, but the real big one is 42 contacts per week. That is a lot. We got 24 last week. We missed a day though traveling to Sorriso for an interview. 42 is a lot. Its going to take a lot of work, but I´m sure we can do it. Just like Nephi says. The Lord provides a way. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, January 21, 2013

Email of January 21, 2013

Hello Everyone! I hope everything is going well. The mission work is going great here. We had a few investigators at church yesterday and the church attendance was much higher than before even though it rained. Elder Edstrom's Portuguese is coming on fantastically. He´s starting to understand what people are saying. It's been raining a lot here. I like the rain a lot, but its not real great for missionary work. Its hard for members to join in the work and for investigators to come to church when its raining. Anyway. I asked the Mission President in my letter if I could stay on the mission for 1 or 2 more transfers. We´ll see how he responds. Most of the people in my group will go home early to start school. I hope he doesn't make me go home 1 early. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years! Marc

Monday, January 14, 2013

Email of January 14, 2013

Hello family, This week was amazing. The family that we have been teaching got baptised on Saturday and were confirmed on Sunday. It was a miracle. The mother was having some doubts about being baptised and if she really wanted to make the decision. She prayed and prayed for an answer and couldn´t sleep the next night. In the morning she went to work and saw her co-worker (the Branch President) and the answer just came. She new she should be baptised. It is a very humbling experience to see a family decide to follow the Savior and join his church. I gained a greater testimony that a missionary can´t convert anyone. Only the Spirit can. The family is Vera (mom), Renato (dad), and Renã (son). They have a little girl as well who will turn 8 this year. I attached a picture of their baptism. The ward here has started to get into action. They are going to start doing activities and call branch missionaries. I´m really excited about all the work here. It's hard when you want so bad to help someone, but you don´t know exactly what to do. Anyway. I love you all! I have a year and 4 months on the mission today! See yah all in a couple years! Marc

Monday, January 7, 2013

Email of January 7, 2013

Hello Everyone! I´m glad to hear everything is going well. Especially glad to hear that Brent will stay another semester for us to hang out. So this transfer I have had a lot of responsability put on me. I´ll be responsible for a district of missionaries and another greeny. This will be the second time I train a missionary, but this one is American. Elder Edstrom from Salem Utah. He's really cool. Doesn´t speak a lick of Portuguese. He's learning really fast though. The days are a lot more tiring now. Planning, teaching, following up, studying. When I´m not walking in the street teaching, I´m sitting at the desk. I´m enjoying it a lot. Doesn´t leave any time to sit around getting trunky. Only room for working, eating, and sleeping. I like the fast pace a lot better. It's amazing how the simple faith of a greeny can be so motivating in missionary work. We had two investigators at church today. The family we are teaching didn´t come because the mom got sick and the dad went to Santa Catarina to get medical stuff done. It's amazing how fast time goes by now. Anyway. I love you all. See yah in a couple years. Marc