Monday, February 16, 2015

Carnaval Started

Carta Semanal:

Carnaval started about 3 or so days ago, and it sucks. I am writing this email in the house of Yasmin and Daveide, two members, because practically everything is closed today. We had to walk quite a distance, unsuccessfully looking for a LAN House without any luck. Anyway, I'm glad to have the blessing of having members who are willing to help us in our hour of need. We also have to return home a little bit early so as to avoid trouble on the streets. It doesn't help that I'm tall, skinny, white, and have blue eyes. Don't worry though, all of the partying happens far from our house and area. Not much has happened this week to be honest. Just a few little funny stories here and there.

Apparently, my companion, Elder Costa e Silva, woke up in the middle of the night with some stomache pains. It was bad enough to the point where he wanted to wake me up and ask me for a blessing (he was informing me of this the next day), but anyway, after the pain passed away for him and as he was about to fall asleep, apparently in my sleep, I randomly said out loud, ''Isso!'', which translated literally means ''That!'' but how I say it, it more means ''There we go!'' hahaha. I don't even recall any dreams or anything. All 4 of us in the house got a kick out of that story when my companion recounted what happened. 

We spent our last week with Zeak. We started our day off doing some grocery shopping and then we went and met his wife, Christine, for some lunch (more like dinner because it was later) and then spent some time at the beach. Of course we couldn't get in, but we got our feet wet. It was nice. Zeak tells me he's determined to get a picture of me in full missionary attire at the beach on a rock looking like a sailor of sorts. Stay tuned for that. 

I got my package by the way. I almost forgot it, we were leaving a Zone Meeting and one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Lee, called me and was like, ''dude! you forgot something! Are you guys at the bus stop because we're coming there!'' I loved it. The taco bell sauce packets made me laugh. I'll be sure to sneak a few to lunch appointments and administer it to the bland beans I eat everyday. I've already given away some of the CTR rings and the other 3 elders in the house wanted one too so I gave them each one too. The photo book was marvelous. Made me a bit trunkee looking at it after a while so I had it set aside for now. I try not to spend very much time thinking about home but I love it. It's the best gift I've been given for my mission. :) I'm glad to hear another package is coming along. I really do appreciate them and I'm excited to see what I get. If I may, I had a few other requests. As far as I'm aware, handheld little flossers don't exist here and I really wanted some. I still have a few but I'm running low. Another small request is some workout protein drink mix powder. I've been starting to put on a little weight and I've been going harder on my exercises so I thought'd It'd be good to try and get some muscle hahaha. They have it here, it's like 35-40 bucks for 3 kilos, which is quite a bunch. I think I might go with my companion to the pharmacy to buy some with some of my personal money. Anyway, like I've said, none of these are real necessities. Just some things to think of if you ever run out of ideas.

I've been getting frustrated with the teaching lately. We spend a lot of our time waiting for the bus because too often, they're late and we've been running out of people to teach. I'll admit I'm kind of lazy about contacting people randomly on the streets. Sometimes very rarely, they'll let us write down their address to return to teach them but every time recently, nothing happens. It doesn't help this week that we have to be home before the sun sets this week because of Carnaval and also, we all leave the house together for our lunch appointments, and usually I'm the first Elder to get ready, and then my companion some time later, and the other 2 take forever.  The language is going fine. My talking rate is improving and my understanding spoken words has been more or less stagnant. Some days I feel on fire with the understanding and others I feel down in the dumps. I've asked my companion to repeat himself a billion times and even when I know what it is he wants from what he said, I'll ask him to repeat himself so that I can understand every word he said. He's commended me for that and thinks it's awesome that I have a determination to learn, of which I feel grateful. Really though, everyone has been complimenting my ability to speak lately. It's just easy to forget that when you're not perfect. Patience is the biggest thing I've been lacking these past 4 and a half months. 

Anyway, things are going well. I'm starting to get a serious farmers' tan on my arms, and half of my neck up. It's starting to look funny. The other 3 Elders have already commented on the appearance of my darker skin. I've noticed that my morning exercises are starting to go well too. My arms look a little bigger and I've also been eating a ton. I'm starting to put on weight, which is good because I've always been a little too skinny hahaha. Sorry for the brief letter. Carnaval has basically thrown our week down the drain as far as numbers and teaching goes so the events have been the same. I doubt we'll be doing much today but I'll be sure to let you guys know next week. Love you guys!

-Elder Skinner

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