Last P-day until the field! Time has flown here at the MTC.
Mom: Hahaha! I totally imagined you singing that in my head. and Thanks for getting everything together for me! Tell John I said thanks for everything because I really appreciate it. Good luck on your EKG test tomorrow! I'll be sure to pray for you tonight. I'm sure you'll ace it! As far as my departure goes, the date says November 11th. Next Tuesday I believe. Give everyone at Matta's my best the next time you guys head over! I'll have lots to write about the next time around when I'm in Salvador, so on the off chance my P-day is on a different day, just know that I'm fine! Also, my pictures will be sent as well! I'm sorry it's taken this long. I sure hope I get to see the Meet the Mormons movie sometime. It sounds really good. Anyway, I love you a bunch Mom! Thanks for everything! I feel so loved even out here.
Tommy: "You know what, Josh? You're a troll!" "The Trolllll-iest!?" Hahaha! Don't worry about the shortness. As long as I know you're thinking of me, that's all that matters, bro! Portuguese hard or easy? Hmm.. It's a little of both, actually. Here in the MTC, it's pretty easy. I'm always being asked for help from my friends. Out there, it's a bit harder because I'm not used to hearing it like I am English. Once I'm home, I'll be quoting stuff in Portuguese all the time hahah. Anyway, thanks for the email, Troll #1. Love you a lot, Tommy! Remember: Battleblock Theater when I get home! Hahaha
Maddy: The Phoenix Temple sure does sound beautiful. Maybe when I get back, we could go there or to the Mesa temple and do baptisms for the dead sometime. I'm excited to hear how your temple visit goes. Be sure to tell me how it goes! I'll have you in my prayers. Love you lots, Maddy!
Dad: The MTC has gotten a little repetitive. I'm really scared because I know the field will be a lot different than the MTC. I'm nervous about my first companion, my first area, and how I'll do. I feel ready but unprepared. Do you know what I mean? I guess all-in-all, I'm just panicking over not knowing what's out there. I'm sure by next P-day, my attitude will be much different. It'll be a bittersweet day because I've come close to a lot of Elders and Sisters here and it'll be weird not seeing very many of them again. That video sounds interesting. Was it posted on LDS.org or did you find it somewhere else? Anyway, I'm glad to hear that all is well with you guys. Thanks for keeping me informed on everything that's been going on in the "real world" hahaha. I think about you guys every day too. Love you, Dad.
Karli: Those movies sure sound good! Be sure to keep a list of music too. I miss music sooo much. It doesn't hold a candle to family but it's definitely number two on my list. That's good to hear about your driving. It just takes practice. How's school going along so far? Everything good? Those dreams of yours sound awesome! Maybe I'll start having them too, hahaha. Anyway, I heard that there's a solid chance depending on where you're at that on Christmas, you get to Skype your family! I'm excited for that. The food I miss the most? That's hard. I miss everything. Definitely Mattas, Pei Wei, Sauce, Oreganos, and Barro's. Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head anyway. Love you a bunch Karli! Talk to you next time!
Anyway, same ol' same ol' has been happening here. It's been raining here quite a bit actually, probably half of the week. Sao Paulo's been in a major drought supposedly so this is good. I bought a scripture case last week and I just picked it up! Made of leather and each one is unique regardless of whether or not two missionaries picked the same images to put on their case. It's pretty neat. The guy that carves the images or whatever does a different take on the characters, like I have Moroni burying the plates, and he looks kind of Brazilian. It's interesting. I decided to buy it just incase in Salvador they didn't have something this cool. I consider it an early Christmas present. It was about $45. I'll be sure to send pictures of it because it looks pretty sweet! Speaking of which, I spoke to the guys at mission ties and they said they could only send 1 or 2 pictures at a time. I don't know what the deal is, but that's what they said. So I just decided to wait until the mission field to send them all out. I hope that's okay. Also, I have a small request. I don't really write near as much in my mission journal as I do in my emails. Would you guys mind printing out my emails as my mission progresses and keep them in a binder or something like that? Just a thought I had. If its too much of a hassel, that's okay.
Last P-day at night for Halloween, Elder Mochaki and I went around to each door and gave candy to people. It was super awesome. Even one of the maintenance ladies walked by and we gave here some and she seemed happy about it. After we did, Mochaki and I were joking around like we were saints or something. Mochaki said they were going to name schools and holidays after us. "Saint Mochaki and Saint Skinner", hahaha! After that, Mochaki and I ran upstairs for our time to get ready for bed, took our bedsheets and pillowcases, and walked around a few floors, knocking on doors, dressed as ghosts, saying "Doces o Travessuras!" (trick or treat). We had a group of hispanics with us with shirts tied over their faces, halloween ties, and handheld jack-o-lantern buckets. It was absolutely hilarious, like I'm laughing about it as I'm writing this. One room even busted out some orange christmas-style LED lights outside their dorm. It was sooo funny seeing everyone laugh hysterically at Mochaki and my makeshift costumes. The next day though, our instructor must've found out that we spent our planning time giving out candy because he made sure to scold our district and others. It was really awesome and funny but in hindsight, you could say it was a bit childish and irreverent. Sometimes I forget who I'm representing and I feel I need to do better at that. It just seemed like some harmless fun at the time, but maybe I need to behave differently.
Mochaki and I traded a tie. I gave him the dark blue one I patched up before my mission and he gave me a dark one with small white polka dots. He told me that someone from his branch in South Africa gave it to him and told him to give it to someone special. Mochaki is seriously the greatest guy ever. Only 2 South Africans came here, our district got both of them, and one was my companion. So many memories have been made. One time, I made 2 white paper nametags for both of us that imitate the instructor's nametags and in the morning, we put them on and our instructor busted a gut laughing when she turned around and saw us. Irmao Mochaki and Irmao Skinner. It sure is going to be weird not having him as my companion anymore in 4 days. I told him I'd visit him in South Africa someday if I could. You never know.
Anyway, I'm pumped for Salvador. I've been told mixed things. Everyone says, "Muito Quente" (very hot). I've heard the food there is as well. I've heard that there'll be many, many baptisms but I've also heard that they're very lazy and they;re tough to make committments. I've heard they have a bit of an accent and that the state of Bahia uses some different slang. Oh, boy. Please pray for me that I'll get used to being a missionary for real. I'll need it.
Oh Yeah, be sure to tell Dad I tried some flan here at the MTC. It's pretty good stuff. Kind of a little like Tapioca pudding but with a flan texture. Turns out we've had it a bunch but I just never realized it.
Love you guys a bunch!!