Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Domingo ontém, dei um discurso!

Carta Semanal:

Outra carta, outra semana. Parece que cada semana, as cartas ficam mais e mais breves. 

So, last week we basically just spent at Yasmin and Daveide´s house. I sent my letter first and then my companion, so while he was doing that, I went down stairs outside their house and messed around with their son, João Pedro, the kid I mentioned some time back that got baptized. He´s pretty funny. Often, I don´t understand him so when he gives me instructions for the games we play together, I have to ask a lot of questions, hahaha. But I usually have an idea of what he says. We messed around, playing wallball and we even set up some empty bottles and did some bowling with a little rubber ball he had. I took a brief clip of our little misadventure last week. Which reminds me, I remember talking to Elder Rivera and he said if I use Google Drive, I could send you guys videos! So I´ll be sure to check that out after I write you guys. 

Weeks been getting better since last time. Been raining a bunch this week, super cloudy and even thunderstorms (of which my companion has been very happy and nostalgic because São Paulo has a lot of rain). Our area is so huge and spread out with really only 1 area with people and the other 3-4 areas with next to nobody. So often times, we have to debate how we´re going to manage our time wisely and if we´re going to spend an entire day in an area with next to nobody. One day, it worked out well though. The name of one of the areas we work at is ´´Castelo Branco´´ (White Castle), and we had to walk a considerable distance to meet an investigator and see if she was available (because we don´t have her number) and she wasn´t there. But one street contact we made one time with Elder Rivera, a 22 year old girl named Londimila, we tried to visit for the 3rd time or so on our return back from Castelo Branco, and this time, she was actually available. She even mentioned during our visit that it´s kind of a coincidence that we met her on a really good time, because she usually works that day and often throughout the week (coincidência? Acho que não ;-)  ) it was really neat though. She had her ´´avó´´ e ´´bisavó´´ home (grandma and great-grandma) and we had the opportunity to teach all of them. Easily one of the best lessons we ever gave because Elder Costa e Silva and I were dynamic together. The talking was fluid and our investigators actually contributed. I had the opportunity to relate the story of Joseph Smith and it went really well. They´re both Catholic and Londimila is kind of nowhere, having tried many churches but never staying, but they were all really open to talk and stuff. It was interesting, because in the middle of the lesson, as I was relating the first vision, Londimila´s 10 year old brother walked into the room and started to interrupt and ask a question, but the grandma raised up a hand without it even looking at him, looking straight at me because she was listening to what I was saying. Really awesome. Who knows what will happen with this family. They´re super nice and they said we´re welcome to return whenever and even offered to give us lunch one of these days. Pretty sweet, right?

Domingo ontém, dei um discurso! Yep, I gave a talk in church yesterday. I had prior knowledge for a good week or so, but I always found myself never getting to it. So the night before, we came home an hour or so earlier and I got to writing and preparing. I talked about Church and divided it into three topics: my testimony, the difference between the Church and the Gospel (explaining that the members aren´t perfect, but the doctrine is, and we need to forgive others for their imperfections and ´´offenses´´) and also how we need to be members on the other 6 days of the week, not just Sunday. I wasn´t necessarily thorough and detailed but It went really well and I got some compliments here and there. I decided to talk about that because those are some of the things that I noticed about members here. Sometimes they get lazy or they get easily offended. Anyway, From what I noticed, my pronunciation and grammar was outstanding. One of the members told me that my grammar was very good, saying that he studied English for many many years and couldn´t speak as well in English as I did. That certainly lifted up my spirits.

As always, I like to relate my progress on the language each week. It´s going well. I converse fairly regularly with all 3 of the missionaries in our house and joke with them. As always, I almost never understand the first time and have to ask them to repeat often, but it´s good. They´re pacient and funny. We like to joke around. I talk the most with my companion and quite a bunch. Sometimes, I get a little angry when the members and people here say that I´m shy here because I don´t speak a bunch with them when in reality, it´s just that I don´t understand and therefore don´t speak. Looks like that´ll be my motivation to open my mouth more and be more humble about messing up.
I can´t think of much at the moment so looks like this is it for this week. I´m going to try and send some videos that I took from the time I got here in Salvador until now. Love you guys!

-Élder Skinner

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