30 November 2015

Where's he going in Brazil

I'll bet the Skouson house is full of excitement! Where's he going in Brazil again?
For Thanksgiving, we were at P.....'s house to celebrate his dad's 39th birthday. I did buy food like you told me to though. I told the guys (the other elders in the apartment) they could get whatever they wanted and I'd pay. Their response: Wide eyes, "Really?! Well in that case..." They jokingly grabbed a giant cake that cost 100 reais. haha We got stuff for *cough* weak *cough* hamburgers. So yeah, not turkey haha.  Then they asked the limit. I said 50 reais cause I really didn't know what limit I should set. We got bread, cheese, "hamburger patties", barbeque sauce, and some drinks. It ended up being about 80 reais haha.

We've got a new family of investigators. The mom seems interested and excited, the dad was interested about some things, and the 4 year old girl was asking her parents when we were going to leave haha. Our other investigators are progressing well. :) My Portuguese depends on the person I'm talking with. If the person speaks well and enunciates (hope I spelled that right) then I can usually understand them and reply correctly.

I am eating, we have lunch everyday, and dinner most days, and today I made breakfast for myself. As for service, we helped set up for the ward talent show on Saturday. That was a fun event. I wanted to sing something, but I kinda had an anxiety attack while thinking about signing up and for the rest of that day. Luckily M....... (ward 2's newest member) showed up and sat with me and we talked. I'm really happy I had the chance to meet her. She reminds me of the Haworths, the happier she is the louder she gets haha :D 
Well, I'm running out of time so byebye
I love you a lot

I love you lots! 

24 November 2015


Makeshift tie clip!
booyah! I felt like a genius coming up with this idea!

When we arrived

My first companion Elder Webster and I (3 months in)... 
Check out the difference!

We had to walk through heavy rain to return to the 
casa after grocery shopping so we had Elder Martinez 
take our picture while we stood in the rain outside our casa

Okay so currently, Elder M. Pereira and I have 4 investigators with a baptismal date. Three for December 6th and one for the 12th! If all goes well, L.., one of the young men in our ward who just got his mission call, will be able to baptize his Dad on the 6th! 
Possibly the highlight of my week: Our investigator V.... lives in Campos Dos Jordão. It's about an hour away (by car) from our casa and technically in a different zone/stake but we're the closest ward to his house. We went there with our ward mission leader Y... and his wife. V.... has a baptismal date set for the 12th of December, but honestly I think he's pretty much ready now! Oh he's 23 by the way. He's studied a lot and everything that he says is pretty much answering all the baptismal interview questions! We visited him at his home with his two younger brothers, his mother, and his girlfriend who arrived a little after we did. We talked for a little while, then had dinner, and then gave a message about the gospel of Jesus Christ and his whole family was participating. It was a great visit. Oh and Campos Dos Jordão is a pretty freaking pretty city! It's a major tourist town. It's basically Brazil's Frankenmuth! And I mean that literally, because it looked almost identical! I almost felt like I was back in Michigan ha ha.
Oh and I'm finding families here that I'm starting to grow close to. :)
Um... my toe is almost completely healed! I can finally exercise again.
We had a zone conference on Thursday and it was pretty good. The president and wife and assistants came and gave us a message and training. Sister Silcox is a little worried about my weight loss ha ha. I've almost gotten to the point that I can make a new hole in my belt to tighten it again!
I like the scripture you sent :3 I think Matthew 21:12 is histories first recorded table flip :3

Okays... I love you! byebye

16 November 2015

I've officially lost 21 kg (46.3 pound)


I've officially lost 21kg (46.3 pound) since the start of my mission!

Okay answers to your questions:
1. Who is your new companion?
 Elder M. Pereira

2. What do you know about him?
 He is 18, has 10 months on the mission, he's gained about 13kg on his mission, he played basketball before the mission and doing this messed up his knees

3. Where is he from?
 He's from Fortaleza

4. How is it going - getting around town I mean?
 I don't really know how to get to many places but he's pretty good with getting around.

5. Did you have Elder C. Santos sign your neck tie?
 I did have C. Santos sign my tie.

6. Did M... and her son G....... get baptized this past weekend?
 They did get baptized! I didn't get to attend though because we already had a commitment during that time. She said that we're gonna have a little "WE'RE MORMONS!" party later though haha.

7. Who took Elder Bicca's place?
 Elder Martinez, he's from Guatemala. He's pretty cool. He came from the same casa as my friend Elder Beatty (from the mtc)

8. How's the toe doing this week?
 My toe is getting better slowly. It's no longer pussy at the end of the day, but there's still blood on the bandage.

9. Is Elder Matos still there helping you on your Portuguese? How is his English coming?
 Elder Matos is actually in Caçapava now training an new American! He calls every once in a while and talks with me though, asks how everything is going, making sure everything is fine and all.

10. Hey how is it going asking a barber to cut your hair for you? Does he do what you want?
 I got my hair cut the Friday before leaving the MTC and haven't done it again since but yeah it went well. I got a 2 on the sides and back and scissors on the top. A super basic Brazilian/missionary haircut I guess.

Okay, honestly, my fears were made worse by my knew companion for the majority of this week, but on Sunday it kinda all worked itself out. I gave a talk during sacrament about missionary work and I talked about my struggle to get on a mission and the blessings that came from it already and then the fact that every member is a missionary and I talked about Dad's conversion. Elder M. Pereira said I talked for about 13 minutes. Honestly about 3 was spent in silence trying not to cry. (I did a lot of that this week...) After sacrament I got a lot of complements on my Portuguese because apparently I'm a bit more advanced than most people thought (due to the fact that I don't talk much because I never know what to say) Then later we went to the house of a part member family and taught the lesson of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the non member father who's been investigating the church for many months now but never agreed to get baptized. M. Pereira included me a lot more than I've participated in other lessons so far and then at the end I extended the baptismal invitation and he accepted! So we're aiming for the 6th of December for his baptism. It was after my talk and after that moment in the family's home that I finally started feeling better.

Other than that... I've got nothing. 

I love you!

09 November 2015


(I told Elder Lundy that we are up to 8-9 Roosters in our flock and that we were going to have to say goodbye to most of them.)
Darn roosters :( We've got one nearby our casa that's always crowing (is that the right word? Not sure)

Sister Charles wrote you again?! Yay! She's wonderful. And I feel that her culture shock experiences are a bit more extreme than mine.

(I was teasing Elder Lundy about his pants slipping because of his weight loss)
I poked the hole in my belt after almost running out of my pants. That event was the indicator that it was time to make the new hole. And I think I'm kinda getting into shape. We did a service project helping a family move. Elder D. Silva lent me a shirt that could "get dirty" (aka a plain black shirt) and It was basically a muscle shirt on me haha. 

As for the shaving, I'm all good on razors and I'll have to start the second container of shaving cream soon. And my skin's somewhat alright, but my left cheek specifically is a bit roughed up.

I'll be praying for Diana! (tell me if she does anything funny if she has to use the loopy gas stuff)

Okay, other than that here's the rest of my week:
I found two little otakus in my ward! :3 We had lunch at the family's house and apparently someone mentioned to the son of the family that I like anime, so he asked me to confirm then he and his older sister proceeded to show me their personal artwork from different anime and cartoons that they enjoy and
A) I recognized what their art was from,
B) A bunch of the drawings were from some of my favorite animas , and
C) They're art was really really good!

We had two baptisms on Saturday! M..... and M..... M. is the girlfriend of one of the members from our ward, and M. is someone the other Elders met. He was interested in multiple churches and "stumbled upon" the missionaries, took the lessons, and wanted to get baptized.
Possibly at the end of this week Ala 2 will have two more baptisms, a mother M. and her son G.
The other big news is that
A) we were wrong about transfers, they're tomorrow, and
B) Elder Bicca AND MY TRAINER Elder C. Santos are being transferred. We're a bit confused about that. And I'm pretty nervous because
A) I'm still having lots of trouble communicating with people and
B) I don't know the area well enough to get to and from many places.

Oh, and I tried to do a foot surgery... on myself. And I failed. I got an ingrown toe nail and it's been quite the nasty little bugger. I've had it for about a week now, and it MIGHT be getting better.
I've been putting table salt directly on it because that's the best we've got at the moment. 
I think that's all now...
haha yeah...
I love you mom.
I gotta go now though. Times up :(

I love you a lot!! Byebye!!

02 November 2015

FHE at a few member homes

We've gone to FHE at a few member homes and a part member home recently. One time we were heading for one in the rain. The rain got intense so we had to run through it. My belt didn't work too well so I was struggling to run through rain that was difficult to see through while holding up my pants ha-ha. That was an experience.

I also found out that I'm definitely the fastest of the four of us Elders but they could probably run longer. Another special one was the part member FHE because the non-member is one of our new investigators we started meeting with this week. His girlfriend is a less-active member and her family's house was where we met for the FHE. He is pretty receptive to what we've taught so far. He even came to church! Our next goal with him is to get him married to his GF because they're living together and their baby girl was just born. Oh! We got to stand in on the baby's blessing in church yesterday! 
Me and the Comp. at the Temple

The Trio reunited at the Temple
The Temple trip was great! The Campinas Temple is a bit different than I'm used to because it was made with the fact that people would have to travel a lot to get to and from it, so there's a cafeteria in the lower levels and a whole extra building with "hotel rooms" pretty much. It was just my zone and the next one over and the President and wife that attended.

The other zone happened to be the zone of Elder Matos and Elder Kebker so I got to see them again.
Oh Matos
Elder Matos said he was always reminded of me whenever he'd see certain things so he collected a bunch of stuff to give me. He gave me a Halloween themed piece of candy, a twix, a minion figure, a Torkoal figure (Pokémon), a Magic card, and a papercraft Mystery Machine.

Oh!! The devotional from the MTC in Sao Paulo that was recorded when I was there was finally broadcast! I watched it after lunch at a members house on Tuesday but everyone else saw it at the church on Sunday a week ago. When people saw me the next time at church they were all coming up to me saying that they saw me in the broadcast! It was weird to watch though cause I kept seeing so many people I knew and that never happens with church broadcasts.

As for the pictures from last week... Everyone drinks from the blue bottles depending on where they live. We actually drink from the kitchen faucet in our casa. And I have no idea about the microwaves but we never use the bottom one. We actually hang a lot of our clothes, and all of my church clothes are hanging. the machine in the laundry room is a washer, we hang our clothes to dry them. We do our laundry on any day we need and whenever no one else is doing theirs.

For the backpacks, Elder Bicca has a messenger bag too. Mine works very well, especially to keep things dry!

The bedroom: mine was the one under the window, we've got two fans and one was pointed directly at my bed. One fan was taped to a stool to keep it from falling off as it rotated. Elder Bicca re arranged the bedroom though so now all our beds are against a different wall framing an open space in the middle of the room.

Transfers are next week I believe, and I'll be staying in this area at least until the end of December. Training is for 12 weeks with the same companion. I'll possibly stay at least one more transfer after Elder C. Santos leaves. Elder Bicca started in Taubaté and has been here for 7 months so he'll possibly be leaving next week. As for the study... We technically have the same structure as what Chris had, but... in this particular casa the Elders are a bit less structured. I'm doing my best to keep a structured schedule though.

Oh those puppies (Our family dogs)!! I miss them a bunch so I'm always petting the members dogs (if they allow them inside) It's a struggle when I see the stray dogs in the streets too.

The pen is a reference for the
distance of the new hole in my belt
One more thing! I can see my ribs and the top of my abdominal muscles again!! I've lost at least 34 pounds last time I checked.

Okays, I love you lots!! Bye byes!