WA Week 42 - Locked in a Tower

Once upon a time, there were two sister missionaries that lived in a magical land called Moses Lake.

One morning while playing soccer, an elder kicked a soccer ball in one of the sisters' face, giving her a concussion.

The sisters wanted to work, but the mission nurse told them that this sister had to stay inside, in a dark room, for several days. She couldn't listen to music, look at a screen, or even think. It was a dark and dreary time indeed.


No, I'm not the sister who got the concussion. It was Sister Hirsche. :(

It's been a very interesting week.

She got injured last Monday, but we went about doing our P-Day activities, and then she still had a super bad headache so we stayed home. We stayed in pretty much all week except for part of Tuesday when Sister Hirsche tried to be tough but we ended up having to go in, District Council on Wednesday, and then an STL meeting we had down in Yakima on Thursday.

The STL meeting was super fun! I loved being able to talk with all the other sisters and was able to get a much better understanding of my responsibilities as an STL.

 After that, our mission nurse told us Sister Hirsche couldn't leave the apartment until church on Sunday

Since Sister Hirsche hasn't even been allowed to think, I've been flying solo planning and pretty much doing everything. Luckily, we live with two other awesome sisters ...

... who have gone on mini exchanges with me to lessons that we've had set.

One of the best lessons of the week was when we met with this awesome investigator named Alex. Alex is this amazing man who found the #Hallelujah website the church put out at Easter time and referred himself to the missionaries. He's super religious and has been really excited about the Book of Mormon but is still looking for his answer. We met with him on Friday and asked a member named Brother Waites to come with us to his lesson a few days before. Brother Waites didn't text us back until a couple hours before the lesson but told us he could come. At the end of the lesson with Alex, Alex said, "I know God is answering my prayers because I had prayed that Brother Waites would come with you today, and he came!" It was such a cool little miracle. We're super excited about Alex!

Other than that, I've been keeping busy updating the area book, cleaning, reading scriptures, watching The DistrictMeet the Mormons, and My Forever Family (yeah, I was kinda desperate).

I've felt a lot like Rapunzel (hence the fairytale theme of this email.) #2ndfloorprobs

I'm hoping this week will be a little bit more productive. We've got three exchanges we have to go on this week so I'm really praying Sister Hirsche will be able to function.

In all of my down time, I've been able to think a lot. I've finished reading the Book of Mormon again, and the last few chapters of Moroni blew my mind. I think Moroni 7 could maybe my new favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon.

Moroni 7:24 says: "All things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them." I thought a lot about this and about how every single good thing comes from Christ. Our motivation to do good comes from the light of Christ. Without His Atonement, we wouldn't feel that. There would be no good in the world. We would be so lost. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon, and for how it's helped me recognize and understand and feel the Atonement in my life.

I hope that this week you all will take the time to recognize all those good things in your lives, and realize that it's all because of Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful week!

Sister Skousen

WA Week 41 - The Field is White Already

 Hello, everyone! It has been a pretty incredible week. We went on two exchanges, had a few conferences, and in spite all of that, we had some amazing things happen in our area!

I'll start by talking about the conferences!

On Thursday we went up to Wenatchee for a zone conference with my Grandpa's cousin, Elder Daniel L. Johnson. It was great to be back in the motherland, and so much fun seeing all of the missionaries in the northern zones. 
MTC Reunion

The conference was so amazing. Elder Johnson talked a lot about how important our message as missionaries is. So often we take for granted the knowledge that God is literally our Father, with a body of flesh and bone, and that He loves us and wants us to be successful and happy. He also THREW DOWN about how we shouldn't waste our time visiting people who aren't progressing, but focus on finding people who are prepared NOW.

On Friday we had a special MLC with Elder Johnson in Yakima, and then on Saturday and Sunday Elder Johnson was at the Moses Lake Stake Conference.

In spite of all these meetings, we had an amazing week. I honestly don't know how we did it. We taught over 20 lessons and found a lot of people that we've got return appointments with this week. It's seriously only through God's help that we've been able to see this success with everything that we've had going on. It would not be possible without Him.

I also loved being able to go on two exchanges this week. I got to stay in our area both times, which was so good for me to get to know my way around the area a little more.

One of my favorite things about going on exchanges this week was asking sisters questions about why they decided to serve a mission, what they've learned so far, how they've changed, etc. It makes me think about my own answers to those questions!

One thing that I've noticed is that before I came out I was so focused on my own life. I would constantly make plans and decisions based on myself. On the mission, we do everything with other people in mind. Since being out, I've talked to hundreds of people about their own lives, and testified to them about how I KNOW the gospel can help them specifically. I've listened to strangers on the streets, in living rooms, and at doorways tell me about their joys, desires, fears, and struggles. Spending my days focused on other people has been such an amazing blessing for me. I really believe that I've come to feel a small part of the love the Savior feels for us. It's amazing!

This mission has been the best thing, and I am so grateful that I've been able to have this opportunity. And I'm glad I've still got 9 months of miracles left! It's gonna be great.

Stay tuned!

Sister Skousen

WA Week 40 - Becoming

Hello everyone! I hope you've all had a wonderful week. It's been pretty busy here!

And hot. Like in the hundreds.

I've come to the realization that whatever season it is, I'll probably serve in the part of the mission with the most extreme weather. In the winter I was in the coldest part of the mission, and now in the summer, I'm in the hottest part.

To make things worse, there's this beautiful tempting LAKE taunting us wherever we go.

Uhhhh ...

One thing that I'm having to adjust to as an STL is all of the meetings!  On Wednesday,
we had our Mission Leadership Council down in Yakima like 2 hours away. We drove down with some zone leaders who ended up taking a wrong turn and we accidentally left the mission and showed up half an hour late to the meeting. It was really good though! It was so much fun seeing all of the other missionaries that I don't get to see very often.

MLC took pretty much all day long. Then on Thursday and Friday we drove to three different zones for their Zone Leadership Councils, and Saturday we had a zone training meeting. To top that off Sister Hirsche hasn't been feeling too well so we had to stay in a couple times. So I still don't feel too familiar with my area yet, which has been hard, but one thing Sister Hirsche mentioned that I've seen is true is that even though we have to dedicate a lot of time to our leadership responsibilities, the Lord always makes it possible for us to maintain our area. We've had days where we have only a few hours to proselyte and we would have some pretty incredible things happen. We found some awesome people, got solid referrals, and had good lessons.

This week's probably going to be even crazier. Elder Daniel L. Johnson of the seventy (my cousin!) is coming to the mission, so on Thursday we have a zone conference in WENATCHEE (!!!) and Fridaywe have a special MLC with Elder Johnson in Yakima. We're also going on my first two exchanges this week, but I'll be staying in my area both times which will be good for me getting to know the area and people. Our first exchange is going to start tonight! It's going to be interesting.

One thing the mission has been focusing on lately at all of the meetings has been the idea of "Becoming." In life we are always changing, and we can either be changed accidentally or deliberately. Since I just passed the halfway mark in my mission I've thought a lot about who I've become since I've been out and who I want to become before I leave. I've thought a lot about all of the missionaries that I've admired and I've realized that the best missionaries aren't the ones who have incredible numbers, but have Christlike qualities. There are so many things that are out of my control in the mission. I don't really have control of who listens to us or how many people decide to be baptized, but I do have control of myself, and at the end of the mission and my life, the person that I've become is what will matter most.

I remember this quote that really affected me at the beginning of my mission by Elder Richard G. Scott:

"We become who we want to be by consistently being who we want to become each day."

This week was a great reminder of that, and I'm going to try and be more diligent at being the missionary that I want to become.

As always, thanks for reading! I'll talk to you next week.

Sister Skousen

WA Week 39 - JUNIOR COMP!!!

Greetings from Moses Lake, Washington!

It feels like forever since I wrote last. The beginning of the week the hermanas and I were so sad saying goodbye to everyone. They also got doubled out of their area, so it was cRaZy packing up all of their stuff at their apartment and then all of my stuff at my apartment.

To top all of that off, on Monday night some branch members fed us super spicy chicharones (sp?) that must have not been super good, because Tuesday morning the hermanas woke up with food poisoning.

Luckily they started feeling a little better by Tuesday night, because the hermanas' branch mission leader had a little farewell for us. He asked us beforehand what each of our favorite desserts are and got them for us.

So yummy.

The good people of Sunnyside.

Wednesday we drove up to Moses Lake, where I met my new companion, Sister Hirsche! (It's pronounced Hershey.) It's a little weird because we play the same sports, like the same things, and have same scriptures and camera case. It was a little weird.

We live in a super nice apartment with two other sisters, which has been super fun. The area has been pretty good so far! Moses Lake has a pretty big Mormon population. I think they say that 1 in 5 people are LDS. The last sisters have worked really hard the past couple of transfers and they've got a lot of really cool investigators. I'm still getting to know everyone and the area. It seems like we've been super busy acquainting me with STL stuff so I feel like we haven't had a lot of time to "missionary" yet, and this week we have a lot of meetings, but I'm hoping we get some good proselyting in!

One thing that has been really nice is that I'm finally JUNIOR COMPANION! I've been senior companion since my first transfer, so it's nice kind of taking a backseat. Sister Hirsche is such a great missionary. She has good desires, is strong in the gospel, and is so good at teaching. Even though I didn't get to stay in Sunnyside like I'd prayed for, I feel like my prayers to have a hardworking companion were definitely answered by being with Sister Hirsche.

I'm still adjusting a lot but I feel like it's going to be a great transfer, and I'm especially looking forward to working with all of the sisters in the area.

I hope you all have a great week, and remember,

The Church is true, the Book is blue. God loves me and He loves you too!

Sister Skousen