WA Week 65 - #LIGHTtheWORLD!

Good MORNING, everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! It's been a great week here! We had a zone conference, Thanksgiving, and lots of great things happen in our area.

Wednesday was zone conference, and it was awesome being able to focus on Jesus Christ right before Thanksgiving. There are a lot of things to be grateful for, but He is who I'm most grateful for! I'm so thankful for the time I've been able to have to learn about Him, teach about Him, testify of Him, and figure out how He plays a role in my life.

A big focus at zone conference was the new #LIGHTtheWORLD Christmas campaign the church is doing! You can check it out at mormon.org. It's definitely one of my favorites ever. The campaign is focused on being a light like Christ. There's a really cool advent calendar you can download at mormon.org/downloads with 25 ways over 25 days that you can serve others the way that Christ did. It should make your Christmas much more meaningful! Last year serving as a missionary at Christmas time was so powerful. Everyone is a little more kind and considerate of others. It's a wonderful time to be a missionary! I'm grateful I get two Christmases on my mission!

Thursday was THANKSGIVING! President Lewis told us that he didn't want us knocking on doors that day, so we tried to figure out what we could do. We had heard about a member in the stake who owns an orchard but who's out of town. Apparently he had tons of apples that weren't being picked, and that would go to waste if no one went to pick them, so that's what we did that morning!

It was super fun. We ate turkey later that day with some members, and spent the rest of our day delivering apples to investigators and members. 

We also picked up a few new investigators this week! We got a media referral (which NEVER happens in this mission. Whoo!) and found a couple people from tracting. Hopefully those go somewhere. Lexy and Richard are still doing good, but still waiting for an answer. Keep them in your prayers, please!

I hope that you all have a great week and look for ways to LIGHT THE WORLD! 

Love you!

Sister Skousen

WA Week 64 - Take a Leap of Faith

Hello, everyone! I hope you're having a great Monday. It's been a great week for me!
On Monday, Courtney (our recent convert in YSA) brought her friend named Cheyenne to FHE. We taught the Restoration right there and put her on date to be baptized on December 17th! Courtney texted us later in the week and told us that Cheyenne has been reading the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized sooner. Woooo! I wish that all members had as much fire as recent converts do. Honestly, the fear members have of doing missionary work is 100% SATAN. There's nothing offensive or awkward or relationship-ruining about asking friends to meet with missionaries. If you do it out of love, you won't have to worry about offending them. The worst they can say is no.

We don't have a ton of other investigators, but the two we've worked with a lot this week have been doing amazing. 

We've been meeting with this guy named Richard, who is honestly seeking for the truth. It's refreshing teaching someone who understands how this could bless his life if it's true and who is doing whatever he can to get an answer. This week we had an amazing time watching Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with him. After the lesson, we asked him if he believed Joseph Smith was a prophet. He said, "Yes. I don't know how anyone could have gone through what he went through and not be." So that was awesome! The only thing holding Richard back is that he's having trouble understanding the Book of Mormon, so this week we're going to focus on reading the Book of Mormon with him.

The other main investigator we have is named Lexy. She's dating a member in our ward and has been going to church for a few months now. She's basically a dry Mormon. She's almost finished with the Book of Mormon. She feels good about everything, but is really wanting to be 100% certain that this is true before she commits. Last week we committed her to pray about a baptism date, so we'll see what happens this week!

The highlight of this week was that MARIE GOT BAPTIZED! YAYYYYYYY! I love driving back to old areas for baptisms. This was the view as we drove over the Columbia River ...

It was so good to see Marie and Sister Rasmussen again. 
I love them!

This is Bianca! I talked a little about her back when I was in Moses Lake.

We drove up with Courtney. She was taught by both Sister Smith and Sister Rasmussen before she was baptized.

On Sunday I had to give a talk in YSA. I've decided to talk about something that I've been thinking a lot about ... faith. 

I think sometimes we feel like our faith is strongest when we're feeling the Spirit, and when we aren't feeling the Spirit, we feel like our faith is weak and that we're doing something wrong. But that isn't true! Sometimes we may go for a long period of time without feeling the Spirit, but when we take a leap of faith and do what we're supposed to anyways, we're exercising a huge amount of faith. Faith is a principle of action. I've seen so many times that if we act in faith even if we aren't feeling like it, we can receive so much power and blessings!

Hopefully you can keep this in mind if you're feeling down or feeling like your faith is week. Just keep hanging in there!

I love you all and hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever!

Sister Skousen

WA Week 63 - Time is Flying!

Man, oh man, what even happened this week?! I don't know quite where to start. I don't have too much time to write today because I have to finish college applications, so I'll apologize right now for this short email. Sorrryyyyyy!

On Wednesday we had transfers, and we were sad to lose Sister Hopkins from our apartment. :( For a couple hours while we were waiting for Sister Banks's next companion, we had fun tripan-ing it.

and then we got Sister Banks's new companion ...

SISTER HOLMES! My firstborn! Sister Holmes has already been out for a year. I'm so old.

On Thursday, Sister Lewis came out with us to teach, which was so cool, and on Saturday Sister Michalek and I did a special class with some young women from the stake. It was so much fun talking to young women about missions! 

We've done a lot of tracting this week, and have found some cool potentials 
we're excited to go by.

The best part of the week was finding out last night that MARIE FROM MOSES LAKE IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! Woooo!

We're planning on road tripping up to Moses with Courtney this weekend. 
It should be super exciting!

We're also going on a couple of exchanges this week so we should be pretty busy.

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

Sister Skousen

WA Week 62 - And Then May We Stand Still

Good morning, everyone! I hope everyone's had a great week. It's been pretty crazy here. 
This transfer has been the fastest transfer of my mission, and on Saturday we got transfer calls!

I found out I'm being transferred!

JUST KIDDING! I'm staying with Sister Michalek again. Woooo! There actually aren't too many changes happening.

Monday night was Halloween so we had to be in our apartments by 6pm. We carved pumpkins ...

... and Sister Michalek and I put together CDs with our favorite songs that we gave to all the sisters we go on exchanges with. This was our album cover ...

Word's been spreading, and lots of missionaries want it now! Today we have to burn like 10 more CDs.

Tuesday was MLC, and it was one of my favorite MLCs ever!

(Elder King's looking at our CD in the background)

This MLC we had some awesome things happening. We got a sneak preview of the Church's Christmas initiative that's coming out after Thanksgiving. I can't say much about it yet but I'm just gonna say that it's one of my FAVORITE ONES EVER! It's gonna be so good.

A couple of the new policies we talked about is that we can now wear logos on our P-Day/exercise clothes. WOOOOO! I am so pumped about that.

There's also a new policy that every companionship has to tract at least one hour every day except Mondays. I'm super excited. There are a lot of missionaries in the mission that spend their days driving around from potential to potential and end up not talking to anyone all day, and one of the principles for finding people to teach is that we need to talk with everyone. I'm excited that this will make those missionaries get outside of their comfort zones and talk with more people. Our mission is a pretty successful tracting mission, and I'm sure we're going to see a lot of amazing things happen with this policy.

On Thursday I got to go on exchanges with Sister Miller, and I got to see Louie! I taught Louie in Wenatchee almost a year ago, and he ended up moving to Yakima right before he got baptized. It was so good to see him again.

This week we had so many meetings and our time to proselyte was cut really short. I'm hoping this next week will be better.

I also got a chance to VOTE last week! I know you're all probably sick hearing about the election, but I've been thinking a lot about it lately.

I've been thinking a lot about how people these days are so caught up in things that are happening in the world. The internet and the news make us a lot more aware of all of the bad things that are happening-- the riots, the corruption, the violence, etc. ... but the thing I've realized is that even though those things are terrible, we should be more concerned with the things that are happening around us. People know all about what's happening in the White House thousands of miles away, but do they know that their neighbor down the street just had a family member pass away? Do they know that the lady three doors down just found out she's terminally ill? Or that there's a lonely old man around the corner who has no one to talk to?

No! They don't. Knocking on doors I see this all time. People don't know their neighbors. They are so wrapped up in themselves and in their computer screens and they get angry and depressed about huge world problems that are outside of their control. If we all would just take the time to look at our own circles of influence we would be able to see that there are so many things happening that are in our control.

"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." -D&C 123:17

I know that if we do the good that we can with what we have, we will be happy no matter what happens in the world. That's one of the greatest promises of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

I love the gospel so much. My testimony of it's reality and power has grown more than I can describe since being a missionary.

I hope that you all will take a look around you and look for ways that you can be the good in your own world, and then stand still and know that God will take care of the rest.

I love you all, and hope you have a great week! This world is a wonderful place!

Sister Skousen