Monday, December 29, 2014

Short Letter

Me opening up my presents. :) 
Yep! Christmas was much needed that´s for sure. Don´t worry about me though. If anything, I´m happy to know all is well and that I can know that I don´t have to worry about you guys. Thanks for the packages, family! I never thought i´d be so grateful to get cereal and lots of food for Christmas before. Elder Rivera made sure to give thanks for the Silly Putty and the car too! That reminds me, the remote control for mine doesn´t work. it charges well, but when you push a button for it to move, it´s not working. Should I just mail it back to you guys? I love the puzzle game for sure! I´ve gotten a few rounds in before I go to bed and it certainly gets hard! I don´t know if you guys had the chance to try it out.
This message is going to be really short today because I didn´t have anything prepped to type and plus we already talked a bunch at Christmas. So I´ll just talk about a few things that may have happened lately. Well, I started running a little bit with Élder Medina, the other Elder today. I´m amazed I wasn´t huffing and puffing as much as I thought I would. We even talked a little as we were jogging, asking me about quanto eu gosto de meu Pai, Elder Rivera. As a missionary, when you´re being trained, the Elder training you is nicknamed as your Dad. When I first got here, for example, we took a picture with Elder Rivera´s trainer (my grandpa, technically hahaha). Sometimes I sit down and think about who my son(s) will be when I´m a trainer. Crazy stuff. Like I was saying though, I got to talking about him and our relationship. I´m glad you guys got to horse around with him on Skype and get to see what a chill guy he is and I´m happy Dad got the chance to talk with him and all kinds of stuff. Rivera certainly is my friend, and you can bet we laugh a lot as companions out here and I will certainly miss him when we leave. He´s taught me a lot, both words and by example. He even asks me for help in Portuguese sometimes, which makes me realize that we´re always still learning. 
As far as the language goes, getting better. I would say I´m starting to get to the point where people still talk really fast and I still don´t understand what they´re trying to communicate, but what they´re saying doesn´t sound foreign. Does that make sense? Like, they´re not speaking Japanese out here, they´re speaking words I already know but need to assemble in my head to understand. This certainly is a process and the Lord is certainly teaching me patience.
Before I end, I wanted to leave a good scripture I found today. Jacob 2:17-19. It teaches that we need to seek the kingdom of God before riches, and if we obtain this hope for Christ and really seek hard for God in our lives, we´ll obtain those riches. But, it also mentions that we´ll get these riches IF we seek to do good with them. I love that about the Book of Mormon, and how it teaches us to help people. it´s really edifying.
Eu agradeço ao Senhor por esta oportunidade eu tenho na minha vida para servir aqui no Brasil. Servir uma missão não é fácil. Com certeza, mas aprenderei coisas que eu não aprenderia em qualquer outro lugar. Eu espero que eu usarei estas experiências para ajudar à minha vida e as vidas dos meus próximos, e também vocês. Eu lhes amo muito, e eu sempre vou sentir saudade de vocês. Mas tenho que utilizar todo do tempo que o Senhor tenho me dado. 
According to Google Translate: I thank the Lord for this opportunity I have in my life to serve here in Brazil. Serving a mission is not easy. Sure, but learn things I did not learn anywhere else. I hope I will use these experiences to help to my life and the lives of my neighbors, and also you. I love them a lot, and I will always miss you. But I have to use all the time that the Lord have given me.

Oh yeah, and tell me how google translate does with some of the things I write in Portuguese. I´d certainly like to know. Love you guys a bunch! Until next week! Tchau!
-Elder Skinner 
​Us doing the same method of blessing the food that the Baptist pastor did.
We had burgers at Zeak´s house with white cheese, guac, and bacon. Amazing.

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