Monday, March 16, 2015


Carta semanal:

Phew! Another one down. Something that´s been on my mind lately is that I´m approaching the year mark to when I opened my mission call. Nossa! Hahaha. I´ve also started to realize that the mission isn´t that long at all. Weeks pass by like days for me here and if the time passes like it did a year ago, then I´ll be boarding the plane home before you know it. Anyway... onto what happened this week.

Results of the transfer were as expected. I returned with Elder Costa e Silva into our area and Elder Graça received Elder Gaby, who was Elder Rivera´s companion after me! :) The transfer meeting was awesome though. I always loved being with other missionaries who aren´t our usual group of 4. I spent a majority of the time hanging with Elder Rivera. This dude cracks me up. Only 6 weeks passed by, but when we saw each other again, it felt to me like Alma the Younger meeting the Sons of Mosiah after several years. (Alma 17: 1-4).

It´s been a week of service as well. One day, we spent some time behind the Bishops house to dig up weeks and make space for some kind of shindig he plans on building. I didn´t exactly understand everything, but anyway, it was good. We had shovels, hoes, and yes, even machetes. I had the opportunity to feel like I was in the jungle, hacking and slashing away at some rather large weeds. It was fun to say the least. The other service project we did was dig up some dirt in the front yard of a members house, put it into some large flour sacks, and scale some stairs to place them up there to block against rain because here in Salvador, water retention is basically none existent. Medium level showers will cause some flooding. No joke. It´ll be interesting to see what will happen once I get transfered to the interior parts of Bahia in the future. I´ve heard stories of floodings in Barreiras and Luís Eduardo Magalhães. Vish! 

P-day last week, nothing happened. Elder Graça and I had lunch with a member with the other two elders as well and we proceeded to spend our night with Christine and Ezeakiel. I feel kind of bad for them, they´ve been spending a lot of time locked up until the day comes for them to leave so I´ve been doing my best to try and spend as much time with them as I can.

Shoot. My minds drawing a bit of a blank right now! Funny thing about Portuguese in Salvador, I think I mentioned it in the past a few times, but to put a good comparison, it´s like English in the Southern States in the US. The accents here are downright terrible and it just adds insult to injury for a Gringo like me to learn the language. It only gets worse when they´re drunk, and let me tell you, people LOVE to get drunk here. It´s so bad that they literally have a nickname for the way they talk. It´s called ´´Bahianese´´. It´s basically just a bunch of cut up Portuguese that sounds like it´s being spoken by a 4 year old. Not fun. Costa e Silva tells me that he´s met plenty of people that even he can´t understand. How in the world am I going to?! Hahaha! 

But anyway, as far as the progress is coming along on the language, it´s going pretty well. Same ol´, same ol´. It´s kind of interesting the range of peoples´ perception on my speaking capabilities. Some have said that I sound like I´m actually from Bahia and others (very few, not to brag or anything) have told me that I´m not from around here based on my accent. As if my skin tone and eye color didn´t give that away, good job genius, but anyway.. sometimes I like to joke around with people and tell them I´m from Germany or Russia. We as missionaries like to do that a lot. We like to lie and say we´re from other countries to see people´s reactions. One time when Elder Varela and Graça were still companions, they told the truth and said they´re from Cape Verde and when it came to me, they lied and said I'm from there too. Can you imagine two tall, skinny, dark Africans saying they´re from Africa and then it comes to me and I say I´m from the same country? Priceless. 

Anyway, life is good. I think I can finally say that I don´t have any dumb worries like I did in the past about some aspects of missionary life. Feelings of homesickness only come on P-days when I write letters, so that certainly is good. Hope all is continuing to be good back home. Love you guys!

-Elder Skinner

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