Hello everyone! The Wenatchee Valley is on fire!!! Literally and spiritually.

Thanks to everyone who's been writing me! I wish that I could respond back to each of you individually but I don't have too much time to write each week. Anyways, I have big news! I'm being transferred! It's pretty crazy. I've only been out 6 weeks and usually new missionaries stay with their trainers for 12 weeks, but there are so many new missionaries coming out so Sister Wilson's going to be training someone else and I'm going to be going across the river to Wenatchee to finish my training with another sister who's only been out 6 weeks. So we're going to train each other. That should be interesting. Luckily I'll still be in the same zone so I'll be seeing Sister Wilson and everyone else a lot, and the sister that I'm going to be serving with is really cool. Back at home I never realized how dramatic transfers are haha. One of my favorite missionaries, Hermana Alcocer, is being transferred down to Oregon so we're super bummed about that. I'm so, so sad to be leaving Eastmont Ward. :( The people here are so awesome, and we had an AMAZING week with our investigators. It must have been a tender mercy from the Lord that I got to see so many awesome things happen before I leave.

We got FOUR NEW INVESTIGATORS this week, which is crazy. I think I talked about a couple of them last week. There was one who was referred to us from across the river named "J", and she wasn't as solid as we thought she would be, but we're still working with her. She told us she really is just interested in learning about different churches, but not joining a church. We have no idea how she was on date to be baptized with other missionaries. They must have gotten her on date super sneakily. She does like the church though and if we can get her to recognize what it could do in her life, she may become more interested. We also started teaching this lady named "A" whose boyfriend is a less active member who's trying to get back to church. Our third investigator is this lady named "C" who's visiting from Chicago. She's visiting her friend who's a former investigator that we contacted. She seems way more interested than the former investigator, so it's cool that we contacted her at the exact time that she was there. No coincidences, I tell you!

Our last one is this lady named "V" who just married a member. She's different from other people we've taught so far because she grew up Seventh Day Adventist and her grandpa was super high up in the Church. We have a few things in common that she's really happy about, like the importance of the Sabbath Day and the three distinct members of the Godhead. She didn't really even have a hard time with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but she has a really hard time with baptism. Her baptism into the Seventh Day Adventist church was really important to her and her grandpa baptized her. The idea that he didn't have proper authority, even though he devoted his whole life to his church, is really hard for her to get past. She's really trying to understand though. We just really emphasized that if she gets a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the things we're teaching she'll understand better and have the desire to be baptized. It was hard when we met with her because her in-laws were there and they made things much more complicated than they needed to be. She was getting so stressed out. We're going to start meeting with her privately.  The best things that happened this week happened after I found out I was getting transferred! 

Remember that lady, "P", I told you about last week? Well, we knocked on her door every day and she never answered, even though we could tell there were people in the house. On Thursday we decided we'd give her some time before we knocked next. But on Saturday, we felt prompted that we needed to go try again. When we got to her house we found the Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet we gave her outside the door with a note that said, "Sorry, sisters. Can't do this right now." We were super sad, and so we started to write her a note to leave her. While we were writing, "P" opened the door and came outside! We had a really good talk with her. She's been so, so stressed out lately and has anxiety so she felt like it would have been too much to meet with us. We read her scriptures in the Book of Mormon about how the Lord strengthens us during afflictions and that's why we were there. She said we could come back this week and gave us her phone number! (Which is awesome because she's really distrustful and paranoid about people). If we weren't prompted to knock on her door exactly at that moment we wouldn't have been able to see her and probably wouldn't have come back for awhile because of her note. This was a testimony to me of the Lord's love for each of His children.

Church yesterday was the icing on the cake of my time in Eastmont Ward! "A" came to Church! He was all dressed up in a white shirt and tie. He fit right in! During sacrament, he said: "Skousen, it feels awesome being here." And I was like, "That's the Spirit!" And he said, "I know!" It's amazing witnessing the conversion he's going through. It was really cool because it was the primary program. He was so impressed with how well the kids behaved. I think he could envision his kids up there someday. During Sunday School he seemed so comfortable and was participating in the lesson, and then we had AWESOME fellowshippers who took him to elder's quorum and by the time we saw him after Church, they were joking with each other and the member had invited him over for Family Home Evening. I can't believe how much progress and change has taken place in "A" these past weeks. It has brought me so much joy being a part of that. That scripture about "how great shall be your joy" bringing souls unto the Father---that's what I've felt with "A". Leaving "A" in the hands of another missionary will be really hard for me. I feel like I was meant to be here with Aldo, and I know everything happens for a reason, but it's gonna be difficult. :( I told "A" that when he gets baptized I'll be there!

So to sum up this LOOOONG email, it's been a crazy but wonderful week. Even though it's going to be so hard leaving this first area that's grown to mean so much to me, I'm excited to meet more wonderful people across the river. I hope that you all have a fantastic week, and remember that Heavenly Father loves you and is looking out for you. Until next time ...

Sister Skousen

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