Sunday, April 13, 2014

"El Evangelio no es una carga, sino las alas para voler."


"The Gospel is not a weight, it's wings!"
- Sister Stevenson- President of the Primary...right? haha


It is so cool to know that the Prophet, Apostles and other leaders have prayed and fasted for such a long time to know what God would have them say to His children around the world! 

I loved that President Monson talked a lot about how tons of people say they love God, but if we really love him, we ought to love His children as well. Love yo neighbor! 

Other quotes (sorry if they're inaccurate, we were watching in Spanish) haha:

"The Internet is good but is also full of trash.. and we don't play in the garbage." 

"Gratitude is the daddy of all Christ-like attributes." (I'm pretty sure I mis-heard this one...) haha

"Keeping divine commandments brings blessings EVERY TIME; just as breaking divine commandments brings problems... EVERY TIME." I love this because sometimes the consequences of our actions aren't evident immediately. 

Gosh gosh gosh. So many great things! 

This week we taught Diego and the ninos La Palabra de Sabiduria - the Word of Wisdom (AKA the health code that God gave to the prophet Joseph Smith to bless the lives of the members of Christ's Church.) It was hilarious. Everyone drew their favorite food and then we talked about the 5 things we don't eat or drink: Tabacoo, Alcohol, Illegal drugs, Coffee, and Tea. Then we flipped all the papers upside down and one by one flipped them over and the kids had to decided if it goes on the "Si (as in yes)" side of the white board o "No, no debemos tomar.." Diego was laughing like a little girl at the different things his kids drew. He started drinking coffee because his brother does.. but he's like I DON'T EVEN LIKE IT! haha queee bueno! He dropped his baptism date and they weren't able to come to conference but I know they'll get there :) I just hope I'm still here...

La Familia Ortiz came to conference!!!! They are progressing really well! They have had a serious health issue come up in the family. Margarita, the mom, is going through some really tough stuff, and we just kept promising her that if she came to conference she would feel peace and find answers. They came and LOVED it. Espeically Elder Bednar and Elder Utchdorf about gratitude. 

I thought a lot this week about what it says in PMG under "A successful missionary" That "No effort is wasted." sometimes I feel that way.. like if I'm doing my best and preparing really well... then why do we sometimes not get to use what we prepared? Well...

Hna Cuesta and I love the scripture in the Book of Mormon that says : 1 Nefi 11:17 - I do not know the meaning of all things, but I know God loveth His children. 

I'm gonna go ahead and agree with Nefi... God's got it under control :) I've also learned a lot about our Savior's sacrifice. When Christ died for us, He suffered for our sins.. so the redemptive power of the atonement, but also overcame things so that we can find strength in Him... the enabling power. I know that there is no way missionaries could do what they do without being able to call on the Savior to offer just a little more strength.. just a little more "you can do it..and I'll help you." 

I know this Church is the only true church on the Earth today. I know that because I know that Jesus Christ himself leads and guides the church through a living prophet. I love President Monson and i know he is not perfect but that he is chosen by God to do what he does. 

I know God lives. I know he lives because I look into the eyes of His children every day and I feel of the love He has for them. an indescribable and undeniable feeling that just... is. 

Les amo con todo mi corazon,

Hermana Skdimore

Monday, April 7, 2014

La union hace la fuerza.

There is strength in unity!

ALOOOOO mis queridos! 

This week we were slapped in the face over and over and over again - by MILAGROS!

Like woah baby. Tracy is exploding. Everyone in Tracy is looking for the truth. 

We have been blessed with three families to teach! 

I don't even know where to start so I'll just tell you about them really snappy fast.

La Familia Machuca - we had a bomb Family Home Evening with our Ward Mission Leader (Hno Gonzalez) and his family and then the Bishops wife (hna Levy) because those three families all live in the same house. 

I thought my heart was going to burst out my chesty chest when every one was singing the opening song, off key, as ususal :), HAAAYYYYY AMORRRRRR HAYYY AMORRRRR, O QUE GOZO TODO ESSSS CUANDO HAY AMOR!!! = when there's love at home (hymn). 

Then Hermano Gonzalez gave a great lesson about temples. Baptism is the first step but the goal is to be with our families forever and the only way we can do that is if we make it to the temple! 

Hermana Levy is secretly HILARIOUS and really good with kids! julio the youngest - was telling her how he speaks english and spanish and she was super impressed haha. They were talking in Spanish and then in english she goes - gimme fiii = give me a high 5. 

We played this fruit game and everyone was running around, it's like musical chairs except with a grocery store and fruit. haha Diego (padre) was like shoving his kids to the floor trying not to lose. hahaha. then while we were eating, we mentioned the womens' conference was for girls from 8 - 108 and Julio goes... "ya son muertos" under his breath, which means.. they're already dead anyways. and Hermana Levy just about lost it she was laughing so hard.

Hna Gonzalez is the kids primary teacher so Hno Gonzalez asked Joana what she thought of her primary teacher.. He's like "malo? bueno?" Hna Gonzalez is sitting right there, Jonana thought for a second, picked her words carefully and said "eh, mas o menos" which means "Eh she's aightt." hahaha. LITTLE MEXICAN KIDS ARE THE BEST! 

They weren't able to come to church due to family stuff but we're going to see them tonight!

Familia Aguilar: 

Juana, her son Andrew who's 22 and Jenifer (12), and Kevin (19) CAME TO CHURCH! We were late for church again.. haaha like sweet job hermanas... because we made them muffins to get them awake and took them to their house. Juana was like Oh MUFFINS? Let me make Pancakes! hahah it was 8:40 and church starts at 9... VALE LA PENA. It's worth it :) We got there in time for sacrament water (don't worry we stayed after for the next one ;)) 

Jessica and Andrew loved it! The youth did a great job making friends and including them - yesss! Juana and Kevin were a little freaked out because we talked about word of wisdom (what we don't drink/eat as members of the church) and emergency preparedness. haha Like they probably left thinking we eat grass and are preparing for a zombie apocalypse.. DON'T WORRY EVERYONE - Mormons love to eat (maybe a little too much sometimes, like there's no refreshments?! Why did I come!?) haha just kidding :) 

La Familia Ortiz: another member referral! Their daughter, Liz was being taught by the english elders but her parents and aunt speak spanish so they passed the family off to us! They came to church too! and at first we didn't realize it because we were so surprised haha. 

Gosh I'm so happy. After church, our district of missionaries (there's 8 of us in the Monte Vista ward) knelt together to say a prayer of gratitude. The work is hastening. and how lucky are we to be a part of it. 

I've really been working on humility, especially now since things are picking up. Funny how when we ask to develop a virtue, God gives us a chance to develop it. Pray for patience? and He makes ya wait! I know Who's work this is. I am so grateful for this privilege. God loves His children and wants nothing more than to welcome them home with open arms. We just have to give them a chance to remember that they were already taught this plan before they came to Earth. We have to help them remember, to feel the familiar Spirit and the rest will come. 

Les amo a ustedes con todo mi corazon, no se olviden de orar. 

Hermana Skidmore 

no such things as strangers.


Guess who came to church? 

LA FAMILIA MACHUCA CAME TO CHURCH EVERYONE! and they LOVED it! almost took up a whole bench! Diego the dad, and 5 kids, us, and members that just really did a great job making them feel welcome. 

If you think puppies are cute, wait it you sit next to a 7 year-old mexican little boy while he speaks spanish to you during sacrament meeting. haha Julio is the youngest and he was like "Hna, van a pasar el pan? y despues el agua?... porque tengo sed...." hahah

Hermana are they going to pass the bread and water? because I'm thirsty.. good job Julio! thinking of the "living water" during sacrament. 

Julio reminds me of Brodi Sabiston from high school. He's a fire ball but still a good kid and he can use the bathroom by himself. not that that was one of Brodi's strengths.. you know what I mean haha HE'S JUST CUTE. 

Deigo loved Gospel Principles and all the kids got cookies in Primary! And they learned about Jesus! 

We're going over for another Family Home evening tonight!

Oh! I forgot! Last week we did the FHE on Monday night in another member's home and it was THE BOMB! We made the bathroom into the celestial kingdom and baptism was the door to the bathroom. Get it?? then inside the bathroom all of the kids had a Sun with their name on it :) and afterwards all the kids were like "ARE WE BAPTIZED NOW!?" because they walked through the door.. haha. not yet ;) 

Then it was dark outside .. so our water balloon activity was going to be ruined.. BUT we hermanas think on our feet! 

"Let's just throw the water balloons at a target instead of tossing them to each other!"

We get outside. Hermano Enriques says, "aim at the fence!" 

In my head I thought, no way.. we're making this interesting.. So impromptu volunteered myself and Hna Cuesta as the targets haha

bad idea.

we were soaked. but the kids LOVED it. And Diego is so patient and humble and is loving what he's learning. Gosh I love them so much.

So get this,

after church yesterday. I was so happy. I could barely contain myself. We got home. and I decided to kneel and say a prayer of gratitude. 

I was so happy, there was condensation on my eyeballs... like water gathered around my retinas.. this hermana was cryyyyying from pure joy. 

This Gospel is the best thing that I could ever have the privilege of sharing. I know it's true with all I have. There is no way that this much pure joy could come from something that isn't true. 

I know God lives. I know he loves us. I know it because I am becoming more and more aware, the more people we talk to, of the divinity of each and every one of us. We were made in the image of God. and our potential is endless. 

There is strength and peace from keeping the commandments. Sometimes peace is better than happiness because it stays. Happiness is great! but peace is priceless. A confidence in that your Heavenly Father has a plan for you. just you. 

Con todo mi corazon,

Hna Skidmore

Paso a paso!

Queridos! Que tal?! Como estan!?

Gosh this week was grand. 

Hna Cuesta think we've finally got this thing figured out! We are teaching really simply and not try to cram too many details into a lesson. We are learning patience and that God has a plan for everyone that we're teaching and we need to respect that. 

We are also trying to get healthy.. when we call to confirm dinner appointments, we tell the members that we're not allowed to have postre (dessert) and THEY LAUGH AT US. haha. It's like the new ward joke that the Hna's think they're fat.. hahaah they all get together during ward council like.. "how can we sneak sugar into their food!?" 

We ate dinner with a member and she told us her life story. 

It. was. unbelievable.

She's from Peru but ran away from home because her father had always told her to get an education, but when he died her mother told her she couldn't. She ran to her uncles house, escaped from the Police that her mother had sent out to find her. THEN she worked for someone who worked for someone that was involved in the Peruvian Mafia. so she knew information that she shouldn't and they were after her!!! Her uncle sent her to the US to protect her and she managed to get here safely because she has a manly voice. haha. 

I thought to myslef, "Hna Skidmore, you are so blessed to be able to get to know these modern day pioneers who sacrificed so much to get to this country...they are so humble and so patient. They also have so much trust in the Lord. Like why aren't THEY teaching Me!?"

Deigo is doing great, and his family! They all took turns praying at our last lesson and we're having a family home evening with another family tonight - Plan of Salvation :) and water balloons! YESSSSS! Hna Skidmore and Cuesta style. Diego said that if he knows these things are true, he will follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized on April 12th :) His kids are praying about it, too! 

Don't have much time left but this week I've really been thinking about the Book of Mormon, and humility...

Book of Mormon: Attention everyone! If you want straight-up evidence that God loves you, read the Book of Mormon. This week tried to identify why it is so important to me personally... and it's because I realized though the experience shared by the prophets in the Book of Mormon, wars, mothers teaching their children, fighting the bad guy, winning against all odds, is all evidence of how much God loves his children. No matter how many times we fall or think we can make it on our own - when we humble ourselves and rely on Him, he is waiting with open arms to receive us. In essence I guess the Book of Mormon is a book of love! 


Read Heleman 3:35 in the Book of Mormon - in order to grow my faith, I have to be humble and recognize that all that I have is a blessing from my Father in Heaven. And how precious an experience I have to talk and counsel with His children each day. 

Con todo mi amor!!!!

Hna Skidmore

Echa pa'lante!

move forward :)

hola mi familia!

This morning we woke up at 4:50pm and went to the temple allll the way in Sacramento - 2 hours! and I was responsible for keeping the member awake that was driving.. like eyes closing... must... stay... away... ZZZZzzzz... Sudden braking! following too closely! I'm acting like Dad in the passenger seat! hahaha we got there safely and by some miracle, ON TIME! Punctual Hna Skidmore was feeling her blood pressure climb as the clock counted closer and closer to 8AM haha. It was a great experience and the weather is beautiful! I'll send pictures so this email might not be as long! 

This week was a little rough at the beginning, we haven't heard from Adrian.. it seems like everyone has a physcho-ex like "who's that?" "Oh just my psycho ex..." We tried to turn it for the best though and we've encouraged Adrain to invite her to church! He laughed at us.. haha. He will hopefully be calling us soon.. He knows what's best. 


A member (Hno. Tercena) ran into an old friend that had been taught by the Hermanas a while ago. His name is Diego :) Single dad of 5 kids! 11 and under! Ahhh he's amazing. He is defintiely a manly man make no mistake about that, tatuajes y el es un mecanico pero todavia he treats his kids so well and they are very obedient and he has their respect. We have taught him 2 times and he just accepts everything! He loves praying and isn't bashful about praying in a group or anything. We were even able to having a kneeling family prayer after the second lesson with all the kids around :) ahhhhh they're so neat! 

Last night after Buff Wy Wy, the members that took us went with us to see Diego and his family! we took over some coloring pages in order to help them understand the Jospeh Smith story and his role in bringing back the original Church of Jesus Christ that he organized when he was on the Earth. They colored while we talked to Diego about the Book of Mormon and how it helps us understand the teachings of Jesus Christ even more clearly. And how it's the record of his greaaaat greaaaatttt grandparents that lived in the Americas a long the same time as the Bible just different part of the world :) The kids were all done coloring, so we had them line up in story order and read the caption to their Dad haha. 

"Jose Smith queria saber, cual iglesia era verdadera?"

"Jose Smith leo en la Biblia en Santiago capitulo 1 versiculo 5."

"Jose Smith decidio a preguntarle a Dios como la Bibla dice." 

"Jose Smith fue un arboleda y Dios nuestro Padre Celestial y Jesucristo, vinieron." 

"Por medio de Jose Smith, Jesucrist restauro Su Iglesia. La evidencia es el Libro de Mormon. Jose lo tradujo con el poder de Dios. Es el relato de las personas en las antiguas Americas." 

I wanted to take a picture of them so baddd! but my better insitncts were like "resist the urge Hna Skidmore!!! Resist the urge!! going to ruin the Spirit!!" haha

THEN - we all watched the Restoration movie and the kids all sat still to watch it, too! Even Julio! the youngest and most fiesty haha. 

They're coming to Church on Sunday and Deigo accepted the invitation to be baptized :)

Today we're headed to the Girhdelli chocolate factory that is in Manteca!!! YESSSSS!!!! I'll try to send something home, mom :)

Fun fact!

Spanish people love glamor shots, they put on lots of make up and costumes and then hang the pictures in the living room :) 

This week I've really thought about happiness, what is it that makes us happy and how to we make the best of rough situations. The mind has so much power. It's all about attitude, life is what you make of it and so is the mission :) I got a letter from Mitchell and it really helped me, "Make the best of your mission, you've only got one!" so true. 

I love being a missionary. There is a special spirit that comes when we recognize how much we depend on the Savior, to make us better, to help us change ourselves and improve through his Atonement. I love it. 

I know the Church is true. I know it is. I've prayed about the Book of Mormon a lot of times on my mission, just to make sure it's still true, I'm still out here for something that's true. Good news :) it is. It is so true. and I promises it will bless your life if you let it. 

Con todo que tengo,

Hermana Skidmore