WA Week 33 - Sister Whitlock's in the House!

Good morning, everyone. It's been a pretty good week here in Sunnyside. I love transfer weeks. Something about switching everyone around just makes things feel more fresh and new and exciting again.

Last Monday we ended up not going mini golfing with the zone because we found out Sister Mork had to get her finger looked at. We found out she broke her finger pretty bad and it's going to require a pretty intense surgery. We're not happy about it, but we think that she'll be able to just get the surgery done in the field and she won't have to go home to have it done, so that's good!

Transfers were on Wednesday, and I picked up Sister Whitlock from Yakima. She is a fireball!

She had a really tough first area in Yakima, so she was super happy when she got here and we were teaching lessons. Last week I talked about how she's only serving two transfers here in Yakima, so this is her last transfer. I knew that because this is her last transfer, we could definitely see some miracles! And we've already seen some!

The first two days we were out, we would go out knocking and a few people let us right in and we were able to teach them the Restoration. That doesn't happen very often! I told Sister Whitlock, "This isn't that normal, Sister! You're good luck!" It's going to be great.

The most exciting thing that's going to be happening this week is that Brittany's getting baptized! We're pretty excited about it.

Esther has still been trying to quit smoking. She's been doing really well! She has smoked a cigarette about every other day. She's getting there! Hopefully she'll be able to get baptized before Sister Whitlock goes home. 

Well, I guess that's about it for this week! Not as many interesting stories to share, but I figure y'all probably like looking at the pictures better anyway, so here are some more :)

Proof that the mission isn't all skirts and dresses!
Okay! Well, thanks for reading everyone! I hope that you have a wonderful week as always. 
Talk to you next time!

Sister Skousen

WA Week 32 - Just Another Typical Yakima Transfer

It's a sunny Monday morning in Sunnyside, Washington!

The weather has gotten super warm! It's been in the 80's all week and I'm getting a nice shoe tan that I'm pretty excited about. There are blossoms EVERYWHERE!

So beautiful!

Mt. Rainier
It's been nice getting to talk to so many different people who have been outside enjoying the weather. I have to say though, right after people were telling us that weirdos come out when the weather gets warm, we have met a lot of weirdos.

This has been the last week of this 7 week transfer! It's been a great transfer. I feel like I've become a better missionary and my faith in the work has grown so much. I'm so grateful to be in a ward where the members have the mindset that this is a baptizing area. They expect success, and I've come to discover that having those high expectations gives us a greater sense of urgency for the work, and we see more miracles.

One of my favorite things about the end of the transfer is that it always seems like things we've been working on over the course of the transfer come full circle. This week we were able to meet with people who we've been trying to see for weeks. Our investigator Esther has made a ton of progress quitting smoking, and some less actives we've been visiting came to church! It was such a satisfying week. Most definitely a tender mercy from the Lord!

Yakima Zone!

Once again though, transfer calls were cRaZy!!! I have been wrong on all of my transfer predictions! 

Normally President Lewis and the AP's send us voicemail messages letting us know who's getting transferred, but our phone has a different carrier than the other phones in the mission, so we weren't able to get the voicemails!

We just got a text from our district leader saying, "Sister Mork is being transferred to Terrace Heights to serve with Sister Fabiano." We were so shocked! We were convinced we were staying together. Typically missionaries stay with their trainers for two transfers, but since the start of this mission, because the number of missionaries has been growing so much, President Lewis has had to shuffle a lot of people around. So this will be my 7th companion in the field!

My companion will be this sister named Sister Whitlock. She's actually from Richland and she's just serving a two transfer mission to see if she'll be able to handle an 18 month mission. This will be her second transfer. Last transfer she was with Sister Christensen! It should be really good. From what I hear about her, she works super hard since she doesn't know if this will be all she serves of a mission.

Today our zone is getting together in Yakima for a barbecue and mini golfing. It should be fun! It'll most definitely be an interesting week. 

I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk to you next time!

Sister Skousen

"J-Lo the Food Pit bull"
AKA the member who makes sure we get fed. She calls herself a pit bull because she "doesn't leave until she gets the job done." 

Sunnyside has the best members!

WA Week 31 - Welcome to Sunnyside

Good morning, everyone! It's been a pretty wild week here in Sunnyside. We've just had a lot of weird things happen! First of all, we found out that Sister Mork broke her finger playing volleyball on P-Day, and that she'll have to get surgery on it! That same day, we got locked out of our apartment when the hermanas accidentally took our keys with them to district council.

Tracting this week was also really weird. It seemed like no one was home, and when they were home, they didn't speak English! We probably tracted into like 10 English speaking people this week. We heard it's spring break, so maybe that's why? I don't know, but it was weird.

Washington or Mexico?
People have also been really busy because it's getting to be fruit and asparagus season! I am so excited about all the delicious fruit that will be hitting the streets soon.

We also saw this freakish creature last night that we are thinking is half dog, half rat. Here is an artist's depiction:

All weirdness aside, we have managed to have some good lessons!
We've got two investigators on date to be baptized in a few weeks. One of those is this lady named Esther, who was the very first person we talked to in Sunnyside. She has been through a lot in her life, and she has found a lot of peace and happiness since she's started meeting with us and going to church. She goes to all the church events and we don't even have to sit by her at church anymore because she knows where to go! Her only problem is that we're not sure how much she understands, and she smokes. :( BUT she has cut down a lot in this past week, and we're hoping that she'll be completely done smoking by the end of the week.
Our other investigator on date is Brittany, who is doing awesome! She's soaking everything up. We don't really have any major concerns with her, except her living situation isn't super great so we're just praying she stays in Sunnyside so she can stay in the ward!
This week, we're going to really try and focus on finding new investigators, so that we can keep a big teaching pool.
The highlight of the week was most definitely GENERAL CONFERENCE! Wasn't it fantastic?! Some of my favorite talks off the top of my head are Elder Hallstrom's, President Uchtdorf's, Elder Kearon's, and Elder Holland's, but it's really hard to choose a favorite. One of my favorite things about this general conference was hearing answers to specific concerns that our investigators have. Their words are so inspired.
There is not a single doubt in my mind that the prophet, apostles, and the other leaders of the church are exactly who God himself has chosen to lead his Kingdom here on the Earth. When they speak, I can feel the Spirit testify to me that they are really called of God to lead us through this world that we now live in. I'm so grateful to know that there really is a prophet on the Earth to guide us the same way that Adam, Noah, Moses, and others guided the people in their day. It's evidence that we really do have a loving Father in Heaven who doesn't want us to be confused or left to get through this life on our own.
I hope that you all were able to watch conference, and if not, go to lds.org and watch it! I can promise you that you will be uplifted and inspired and receive personalized answers to specific questions that you have.
I hope that you all have a wonderful week!
Sister Skousen