Monday, August 10, 2015

The Fruits of Our Labors

Carta Semanal:

Just a normal week with a few things here and there as always. After a while, I finally cut my hair again. It´s hard to do it yourself, so I had Elder Santana cut it and I told him what to do, at least on the sides and behind. I used scissors to cut my hair from the top and it came out pretty well. The others even said it turned out well for doing it myself.

It´s been a while since I´ve had a good story of be being stupid. Soo..
Last Tuesday, we had just finished our weekly planning when Elder Ramirez and I returned to the main study room to do our language studies. The other guys were outside when we noticed that Elder Cerna had set up a hammock that he had bought in one of his old areas and was lying down in it and Elder Santana seated on an old mattress that we have outside.Me, being a total moron, I thought it would be funny to sit on top of him. Anyway, the second I sat on the hammock on top of him, one side of the hammock gave out and we both hit the ground pretty good. It turned out that Elder Cerna hadn´t really pitched the hammock to support much weight. Anyway, when we landed, I hit my tailbone pretty dang good. Everybody was laughing, but I had hit myself pretty good. I got on my feet, and started the effects of shock, feeling really dizzy. Anyway, I got up and hobbled over to the mattress where I collapsed. The next thing you know, I passed out. It felt like I had been sleeping for a while, but Elder Ramirez was waking me up and I realized it was really just for a second. Anyway, I woke up and I was breathing really heavy, feeling real nauseous. It´s funny because I didn´t even hurt myself bad, just felt pretty sore afterwards. So yeah, I learned a good lesson that day. Don´t do stupid things.

This week, we also had our conference in Feira de Santana. Of course, President and Sister Lisonbee where there as always but there wasn´t a general authority or anybody higher than that, like I had initially thought. I must´ve understood wrong. It was pretty normal. I don´t know what it is, but everytime we have zone meetings or stuff like that, I always feel more motivated and ready to work harder so it was pretty nice. The ride there was tiring. When we finally got to the chapel in Feira, everyone grabbed a church bench in the sacrament room and we all took a nap early in the morning, around 4-5 o clock. When 6:30 hit, our zone leaders were still awake and they took out their small music boxes and played that music that plays in the sunrise of Lion King. it was pretty funny. It was cool being in Feira though because the Juazeiro Zone also went, where my buddy Elder Sterlingis and Elder Nickerson, the other american in my group, is also in Feira so we all had once again another reunion. I had discovered that Elder Sterling is also District Leader in his area too, so I thought that was pretty neat. Anyway, it was a blast. I also met a few other people here and there as well. There´s an Elder that I was talking to named Elder Chastain from Oregon that I had talked to a little bit who´s a pretty swell guy who showed up 1 tranfer after I had already arrived. There´s also an Elder Greener from Australia here who has the same time as Elder Chastain and I also met an Elder Zavaleta from Peruwho was here in Petro Oeste before I was, so he was pretty excited to ask me how some of the people are doing here. All in all, the conference was awesome. Us 4 walked around Feira at night a little because our bus left at midnight, so we had lunch at a fast food place called Habib´s. 

I imagine Nilda has already sent you some pictures of us flying some homemade kites that Elder Santana had made. It was pretty fun actually! I´ve noticed a few things about Petrolina these days. We´re in the season of people flying kites, normally kids. They aren´t any fancy, storebought ones either. Usually they´re just made of cut up pieces of store plastic bags glued to some fashioned sticks that is tied to a spool of yarn. They work surprisingly well. It´s very common for Elder Ramirez and I to walk through the streets and see a bunch of kids flying kites in João de Deus. Kids also love riding bikes here. Literally every kid knows how to ride a bike on one wheel doing a Papa Wheelie. I remember in the beginning, I thought it was pretty impressive, but now I find it annoying. Sometimes when kids pass by, I´ll say out loud, ´´Wooooow! so cool! Do it again!´´ and stuff like that, acting genuinely surprised just to mess with them. They never really hear me, but Elder Ramirez laughs every once in a while that I do that because you see more kids riding on one wheel than riding normally.

These days, we´ve been teaching a mother and a son of about 9 years old and have finally managed to put a baptismal date to prepare them. Their names are Fátima and Júnior, and they´re a pretty good little family. They´ve even fed us here and there after teaching appointments and they´re super nice. The only problem is that Fátima has already gotten a response that the things we teach are true, but she´s expecting something bigger, like a dream or a vision of sorts. We´ve done our best to explain to them that sure, God can do those kinds of things, but about 99.9% of the time, God works through the Spirit and the feelings we feel. She still has a tough time recognizing that that´s true, so it´s been a little bit of a struggle. Our main struggle is getting people to go to church and having them progress but we´ve had little success with respect to that. Regardless, I feel that we´re doing our part but without a doubt we still have some improvements to make and hopefully we´ll see the fruits of our labors here soon.

Anyway, I know there wasn´t much to say, but it´s been a pretty simple week. To close as always, I love you guys a ton and miss you all!

-Elder Skinner

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