Monday, February 10, 2014

No hay nada en mi mente.

Buenos diaaaaas :)

I'll start with the latest on mi amigo ADRIAN! 

We had a movie night with Hna Carreno y esposo y el obispo y su esposa y Leilani (recent convert) last night! With palomitas de maiz y todo! Popcorn and the whole sha-bang. 

Guess what we watched. It was a thriller. Blockbuster. Box office legend. haha just kidding..

THE TESTAMENTS - AKA - the best Movie about Jesus the Church has ever made, In my opinion. Adrian was loving it. We read 3 Nephi 11 in the Book of Mormon before watching the movie just to give Adrian an idea of what it was about. 

I love the verse that says when Jesus visited the people on the American continent after his Ressurection, that he let them feel the prints in His hands.. "one by one." or "uno por uno." that's love right there. There were a lot of people and he wanted all of them to bear witness of his divinity and sacrifice. And when the man that went blind trying to save his son is healed by Jesus and sees him for the first time. Tears. waterworks all around. You can just feel the joy radiating from that man as he finally beheld the Messiah he had waited for faithfully for so long. 

The members were great at making sure Adrian understood everything! After ward we were outside talking to Adrian and he asked us some more questions and we talked to him about baptism. I told him that I can imagine him blessing the Sacrament on sunday, or giving his son a priesthood blessing. I can see him giving a talk. White shirt and tie to replace the baggy jeans and gangsta chains. He laughed and was like QUE VERGUNEZA - which means like ahhh no wayyy I'd be way to embarrassed.. It's so true though. His potential is endless. 

I think a lot about the quote that Grandma sent me a while ago, please tell her I'm referencing her! haha About how the world would just use money to take the man out of the slums, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches the man how to better himself and then he takes himself out of the slums. That thought has completely changed the way I view the Gospel and the way that we teach people. It's all about potential. Like all aboard the progression boat. 

He said a tentative yes for MARCH 2ND to be baptized :) he also showed us a picture of his 4 year old son Randy that doesn't live with him. We have been praying for Adrian's family, too. That he might be able to have an eternal family some day. He still wants to pray about baptism and see one before he gets dunked himself. We're down with that :) 

Ayyyye la vida (fun facts):
- We thought we found this miracle guy named Jose, that wanted to come to church the first time we met him! Then he texted us like "what do I wear?.. oh by the way.. QUE BONITA LA HERMANA CUESTA!" yeah.. so much for sincere intent.. hahaha 

- One of our zone leaders is a Spanish speaker and his companion is noooottt. so he always tries and this week he greeted us saying "Holarrrr" like "Oh-larrr..." Elder Viallba just shook his head haha. 

- We walked to church this week in the rain with one of our investigators that was high when we invited him to church but then we went to go wake him up on sunday morning and he came! We got about half way and then ADRIAN saw us walking, Stopped, picked up Eduardo (other investigator) and drove him to church. haha yesss! Hna C and I had to keep on walking because we're not allowed to ride with non-members.. got to church late, and soaked but VALE LA PENA - it's worth it :) 

FELIZ DIA DE SAN VALENTINE! Les quiero con todo mi corazon. The Gospel is true and it changes lives. I know because it's changed mine. The Book of Mormon, yep still true :) . I've read it and I know Jesus Christ visited this continent as a testament to the people that He lives and that God loves all of His children. I know that God hears our prayers because he has answered mine. I am realizing more and more that this work is so much bigger than just my companion and I - this is His work and with His help failure is not a thing. 


Hermana Skidmore

pics next week!

My Kindred Spirit!

My new companion's (the APs don't like us to say "trainee") haha name is HERMANA CUESTA!!!!!

She is the bomb diggity. She is my kindred spirit. She is from Virginia (right outside DC) but born in New York and her parents are from Columbia.. you know what that means.. she's basically a native! She speaks perfect spanish... yessssss. 

I adore her. She has the testimony of a spiritual giant and she has already helped me become a better missionary. We have the same goals in mind I'm so pumped for this transfer! She likes to run in the morning, is super creative and hilarious! 

On her first night as a missionary.. I managed to get her into 2 almost fights.. yay.. haha FAIL. She is a go with the flow kinda lady so it's all good. 

We live with the Smiths! They have 2 dogs and we LOVE dogs!!! 

I am on the East Side of Tracy so I kind of already know my way around. It's been so nice to focus on people in a smaller area. BAHHH i love ittttt. 

Update on Adrian our Mexican gangster:

- We had dinner scheduled with the Ward Mission Leader so we asked Hno Gonzales if it would be okay if we invited Adrian.. like why not have your investigators at your dinner appointments, right? 

It was great. PAINFULLY awkward.. but great. haha I don't know what it is.. I am usually the one carrying to conversation.. trying to convince everyone that missionaries are normal people too! but unluckily we were all taking bites of food at the same time.. and then chewing.. so there were like luls in the convo and I couldn't do anything and I could get off the same talk, bite, chew pattern of everyone else.. struggles... 


after dinner, we were walking Adrian back to his car and he brought his Book of Mormon drawing assignment with him.. He told us he's like secretly artsy so we committed him to draw a picture of Lehi's vision in 1 Nephi 1 of the concourses of Angels.. etc. IT'S LEGIT! I almost cried. I'm sending a picture of the picture. He gave it to us! 

It doesn't stop there. 

He came to church again (4th time) on yesterday and he ran out of old recippts to write on so he started taking notes/questions on his HAND hahaha and he's kind of started to leave us.. like he's all "hermanas.. I got this.." AND. He volunteered to take our really old recent convert home from church (He's 80  yrs old and in a wheel chair.) WHY IS HE NOT A MEMBER YET!? 

Sunday night we had another lesson with him in a member's home. Hermano y Hermana Carreno just talked his ears off about how they joined the Church and their testimonies. Adrian had a lot of really good questions and he shared that his Mom was baptized 2 weeks ago in Fresno.. WHAT!? He said he's really noticed a change in her and that he's been talking to her about what He's learning. He asked a lot of questions about how long it ususally takes before a person is baptized.. I guess it took his mom about 3 weeks but his other friend investigated the Church for 3 years. We just explained that it's personal and he needs to pray about it.

I really have come to love him. He's very humble and patient. He's attentive and has sincere desire. I asked him what he was thinking.. a lot of times the members just chat it up and he doesn't really get to say much. I tried to explain that baptism is only half of it. He will also receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to lead and guide him throughout his whole life. He said he would get back to us this next weekend. He also wants to tour the Oakland temple with his mom and the Carrenos exchanged phone numbers with him and said to call if he ever has questions. YES MEMBERS EMBRACING HIM! We have really been working hard with that. 

Also while we were talking on the way to his car last night.. I apologized that we take up so much of his weekend and he said (in spanish haha)

"Hermanas.. when I'm at church, I turn off my phone.. and I don't look at the clocks.. when I'm learning from you and from the members, I don't look at the time because time doesn't matter to me when I'm learning about God." 

Que? Is he real? I feel so blessed to have the privilage of teaching him.. 

We gave him a little notebook, a pen, and a tie for church :) he laughed and seemed to appreciate it. 

This week I have really progressed personally in the Gospel. Part of that I attribute to my new companion who has rekindled my fire. I am learning more about our Savior Jesus Christ and that he wasn't just killed by evil people.. He gave his life. willingly. 

I like the lyrics to an Alex Boye song that says " put your heart on the alter, trade silver for gold." 

I'm trying so hard to do just that. I'm giving it all over to Him whose work this is. 

Job 23:10.

Our Zone is exploding and the work is moving forward like never before. 

I love this Gospel. I know it's true. 

Con todo mi corazon,

Hermana Skidmore

Onward Christian Soldiers

Wowowow this week was woahhhhh! 

So many things going on!

First things first! It's official. Hna G and I are both training and I will be in Tracy East (not where I thought) haha SO I'M MOVING!

We pick up the new missionaries tomorrow morning! 

I'm moving in with the Smith Family on the other side of Tracy. Ahhh we didn't think I was leaving haha. 

I'm trying to go really fast so I can send pictures, too!

This week we tried SO HARD to find new people and teach lessons but it just wasn't happening.. I did a lot of re-evaluating, what can I do better? Why am I on a mission? How can I be a more effective instrument in the Lord's hands? Lots of time kneeling in prayer - but then you get up and get workinnnn. Hna Griffith loves to say "onward christian soldiers!" haha 

Bunch of random stuff:

- I learned that you should NEVER eat tostadas on a date when i get home. It's like a mexican salad on top of a GIANT chip we ate with a member.. it's so good but so ugly. No matter what.. creama on your nariz y todo. yep. guacamole close to my eyeballs and little pieces of chip left over in my scarf when I took it off at the end of the night haha. Needless to say, I got over my whole "I don't like eating in front of people" thing.. haha Lookin' at you Tay and Kelsie. 

- Our Recent Convert, Alfred, breeds these really expensive dogs and he names them after prophets! hahaha Right now he has Benson (Ezra Taft Benson) and Flora (President Benson's wife..) haha

- DO NOT joke about dating the Bishop's son.. the little old spanish ladies are already planning our wedding and talking about our future children.. he's serving his mission in Florida right now and Hna Bastias is trying to get me to write him a letter she's all "Tell Obispo that you're doing service for me by writing to Elder.. I have arthritis!" haha 

- Hna Griffith and I are out of miles in the car so we have been walking/biking ALL this week and it's actually lead to a lot of adventures and good opportunities to talk to people. We ended up in a park on sunday.. standing in a circle with 20+ homeless people while we held hands and prayed over their hot dogs that were provided by one of the other local churches, what uppp!

The week was hard but Sunday came and Adrian came to church again! Our gangster came with his shirt tucked in!!!!! He also took notes during church and wrote questions in the margins of his Libro de Mormon! ahhhh He's such a miracle. I'm excited to keep teaching him with my new missionary.

We also decided to stop back by this house where we met a teenage boy named Jose. He was really friendly the first time we stopped by but said his parents probably wouldn't be interested and that his mom wasn't home.. HE LIED hahah. We were fixing our bikes and she came outside to go to work. We taught them an amazing lesson and we all knelt and Marta (the mama) said the prayer at the end. 

I've realized this week that the thing that makes us different is that we are all about progression. We believe in the quest for perfection and that our potential is endless. I love this Gospel so much. It's all about improvement, and even though improvement hurts, vale la pena. siempre. It's always worth it. 

Con todo mi corazon </3

Hna Skidmore

Spreading More Than the Gospel

hna. skidmaaas esta enfermaaaa.

spreading the gospel and germs! wooooo. from your emails it sounds like the whole skid squad took a nose dive health-wise at the same time - true family bond right there. family that sneezes together stays together am i right?

everyone and their abuelita tienen la gripa! My voice sounds like a cool combination of Presient Packer and Emma Stone, whatuppp. Hna Griffith says I talk to her in my sleep even more now because I feel the need to tell her how bad I feel haha. She's a champ. Letting me blow my nose todos los dias and no complaints :)

This week we've been trying really hard to contact 20 people a day as Elder Ballard has asked. It's so fun! I've found that the more people I talk to, the happier I am.. I got sick on Friday so the first part of the week was more successful.. people don't really like to take pass along cards after  AHHHHCHOOOOOO all up in there - I don't blame them.

Milagro: Savannah - the miracle girl from last week. She arrived RIGHT on time for our appointment and as we talked to her she interrupted and she said "Sorry to interrupt but I just realized something (we had been talking about the Spirit). I was at my friends house just now and no offense but I completely forgot you were coming.. but for some reason.. something told me it was time to leave my friends house.. and right as I drove up, I knew it was because you were coming."

yeah girl yeah! We have to pass her off to english because she's more comfortable there :( but we get warm fuzzies from knowing that we helped her find the truth!

the rest of the week was a little hard.. but just like Elder Worthlin says "Sunday will come." if you don't know where that quote is from - research time :) it's a life changer. 

Sunday came.

Adrian and Jose came to church! Adrian is miracle man from last week and Jose is an on-again-off-again investigator that knows all the missionaries hace como dos anos!

We had a choir number.. I got pushed to the back because I sounded like a teenage boy going through puberty, alright. it's fine.

Church for the investigators could not have been more perfect. One speaker spoke about the talk by Sister Burton of the Relief Society - the story about the oveja (sheep) that misbehaves and how the shephard just loves it and loves it some more and eventually the sheep se comporta bien (behaves well). It just really hit home with Jose I think. After sacrament he told me he thinks he's the sheep. I looked at him and said, "not anymore. you've found your place. i know it." He has a Mormon friend in Utah (like who doesn't right? haha) and they have been talking more and more! We're praying that it's really time for Jose to make the change. The Good Shephard is always there, He's just waiting for us to accept the unconditional love. UN-conditional. It's never too late. You've never gone too far off the path. Yep.  

Adrian LOVED church. He's a little shy in his converse high-tops and SERIOUS bling-bling haha but that's okay! The ward members really made him feel welcome.

Hno. Gonzalez - the member that reminds me of Dad :) - said something in Gospel Baics Class that I really liked, he said..

"Todo lo bueno, cuesta." - Everything good, costs.

Gonna keep that one in my noggin for a long time.

Sunday night (last night) we had another great lesson with Adrian, Alfred and Leilani. (Alfred and Leilani are both recent converts of about a year). Get this - It was a bonfire. A BONFIRE hahahah. We asked Alfred if we could have a lesson at his house with Adrian He was all "oh yeah! I can start a fire outside because my family will be really loud inside." haha whatever works!

We talked about repentence. Alma 22:18 and how the king says that "I will give up all my sins to know Thee."

I will give up all my sins to know thee. Not I would.. if I had the time.. Not I would.. if it wasn't so hard.. he says: I will. He wants a relationship with his Savior and his Father in Heaven THAT bad.

Adrian really wants that realtionship and to understand who Jesus Christ really is. We talked about how repentence is good! It means change for the better! All it takes is a prayer and determination. Our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ are our biggest cheerleaders.. I've realized a lot this week that it's usually us that hold ourselves back from that positive change because we figure that there's no way they could forgive us.. again. But yes. That's why the Gospel is such a blessing. Doesn't matter how many times you fall as long as you get back up again.

Fun facts:

- Everyone serves us Juice :) because no matter the country, usually where they're from, the water isn't good.
- All of the silverware is always on the right side - don't know why!
- Spanish people don't mind the annoying beeping of a dying fire alarm, so almost every house there's a beep.. haha.

Pics! Not sure the order!

In Tracy people actually have yards and sometimes there's more stuff stored in the yard than in the house haha. Hna G and I have this new hobby of finding treasures, we ask people about it and they're like TAKE IT PLEASE! hahahah our room is like an art exhibit..


Les quiero siempre.

Hermana Skidmmmaaaassss.