Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

May 23, 2016

The Good: We had 2 investigators with a baptismal date this week!
                    We had around 20 referrals!
                     Exchanges with the Zone Leaders!
                     Zone Family Home Evening!

The Bad: The 2 investigators are not keeping commitments and are no
longer on a date.
                 Just about every referral wasn't interested

The Ugly: I continue to gain weight on a daily basis
                  Eating Meat and Potatoes every other day
                  Brownies and Ice Cream with every meal

So yes it was a week with our hopes going up and our hopes crashing down. I guess that's part of life so it's a good learning experience. We are keeping our heads held high because that's all about we can do.

His week has been a learning experience more than anything. Our day consists of finding, finding, and more finding. We visit referrals and talk with everyone and we find fun in every aspect of the work. We are finding new people to teach, we teach them. They commit, and then they don't do anything after that. We are really focusing on helping people keep commitments. We have really fine tuned our how to begin teaching skills. We are just running into a lot of people who say they will do something and then don't do it. We are getting creative and we are going to work as hard as we can! I know there are people here that are ready to heard the gospel. We are going to find the elite.

On Thursday we had a zone conference. We combined it with the Brigham and Tremonton zones so we got to drive down to Brigham City for zone conference. It was a 6 hour training on how we can work effectively with the members in the area. It was a good training. A training that I felt was necessary. It was good because I got to see a lot of missionaries that I've worked with in the past and I got to talk to President Allred. Later that evening we had one of the zone leaders go on exchanges. ( Well I guess it wasn't really exchanges because he tagged along with me and Elder Rivera in Malad.) It was a great learning experience. He taught me a lot on how I can improve as a missionary and how I can be an example to all the missionaries. It was a good humbling experience as I sat down and realized all the stuff that I need to improve on as a missionary.

The craziest thing was yesterday. I felt like God was telling me all the stuff I needed to hear. We went to a sacrament meeting where the talks were on obedience and repentance and forgiveness. We then unexpectedly joined a priesthood choir and sang Ye Elders of Israel. In the next sacrament meeting we found an investigator named Hugo who wants to be baptized. He has been coming to church for 4 weeks and the bishop just mentioned him to us yesterday. Oh well. Better late than never. He wants to be baptized and he wants us to teach his whole family which are non members of the church. We are going over on Thursday to teach him so that is really
exciting! Then that night we had a zone family home evening. It's the first time that we ever had one. It was cool we listened to our mission president and an institute teacher speak. Then we each bore our testimony. I told the zone how I felt and that this day has been a day of learning for me.

I really am thankful for those experiences. I have changed in a matter of a couple days and it's only because of Christ that I was able to do so. I am thankful to be here in Malad. It has changed me completely and I'm so blessed to be able to serve the Lord. I love this church and I love all of you guys!

Elder Skabelund

The first week of Malad City Round 2!

May 16, 2016

Hello! Hola! Salut! Hallo! Ciao!

I just thought I should throw in a couple of random languages there. So how has everybody's week been? It's crazy that school is just about getting out. It's hard to believe that I've graduated a year ago. My 8 month mark is next week and that's is weird. In 4 months it would have been a year. Where has the time gone? Something tells me it's just going to go faster and faster.

This week was probably one of the slowest weeks ever. Which is strange. I'm so used to baptizing and baptizing and baptizing but it's just not happening in Malad. I guess in a town of just about 2,000 people you would expect it to be slow. All of our investigators are not keeping commitments and they really are not wanting to change. So we are doing a full cleansing of Malad. Meaning we are keeping a couple of our investigators, but we are on a full man hunt for people to teach. We have the finding switch on and that's pretty much all we are doing. We spend our day Tracting, visiting auxiliaries, visiting former investigators and referrals. It's a busy and slow day but we are finding ways to be more effective.

We planned a stake youth fireside a couple weeks ago and we had it yesterday and it couldn't have happened at a more better time. We really are struggling to find those who want to hear the gospel. So we planned it all out ourselves. We had youth speakers, speakers from the stake young men's and women's, we showed a video, we shared a quick message, and we had the stake president speak. We planned this all out in a couple weeks and it went surprisingly well! We had the speakers focus on how he youth can live the gospel and then share the gospel. We printed out the programs and we inserted two paper slips where they could write referrals. We got about 10 referrals that night so we are pretty excited!! It was a great way to align the keys and work with the members, gain their trust, and then find people to teach!

That was pretty much the highlight of the week. Everyday we are working hard and trying to work effectively. We are being guide by our missionary purpose and it's awesome to see the Lord put people in our path.

Today we have been deep cleaning the apartment. Elder Tamaska left all his crap so we threw away like five bags full of random junk. We rearranged our studio apartment and we did a lot of shopping. Pretty solid p-day so far.

Elder Rivera is a great missionary. He is short and skinny. Just about 5' 4'' and he comes in about 130 lbs. He has been out for 5 months and he has a strong testimony. We hit it off and he is just awesome to work with. He likes a lot of the things I do. He likes to edit movies and he also went to a vocational school. He hates any type of seafood and he likes spicy food. He likes to sleep and he likes to work. He's also really funny sit his transfer will be awesome! We're going to work hard and kill it in Malad! Well I guess that's all for today! The church is true!

Elder Skabelund

Short email again!

May 9, 2016

Sorry about the short email. It has been extremely busy and we are working hard. Tomorrow is transfers which explains the busy part. My companion Elder Tamasaka is getting transferred to Brigham City and I will be staying in Malad as a district leader.  my new companion is Elder Rivera. He has been out for 4.5 months. I love the mission I had an awesome time talking with my parents! I love you all!

Elder Skabelund


Great Week!

May 2, 2016

Ok ok.... I guess I should probably send out an email today. But it really has been a great week. We have been finding and teaching. What more can you ask for?

Today has been fun. We took the truck off reading a little bit and we got to a trail head and we almost hiked to the top of Oxford Peak. We got pretty deep in the canyons and it was pretty fun. Usual shopping and laundry and emails. There is a grill on sale for pretty cheap and I'm considering buying it. I miss grilling up hamburger and steak. It's at a place called the affordable shop and missionaries get half off. Pretty much like a goodwill. It's closed today so I might have to buy it tomorrow. We are going to a luau today so that will be fun. We are also teaching an investigator who recently got out of jail! So busy day today.

So this week was kind of a blur but it was pretty awesome. I went on exchanges with missionaries from Tremonton and I took him up to my area. And that's when we found. I decided to instead plan for every hour of every day to plan for ever 15 minutes out of every day. We proselyte from 10am to 9pm and then take 2 hours for lunch and dinner. So we proselyte for 9 hours everyday. So if you could imagine that leaves about 36 things that we plan for everyday. We get a lot done and we are always super busy now. It keeps me motivated to go and work because we come up with some pretty quality plans for the day.

We tracted into a family of 5. 4 of them aren't members and were interested in meeting with us. It was more like he was trying to figure out our schedule so he could meet with us so that was pretty cool. He set up the appointment himself. We took our stake president along and I'm glad we did. We got to his house and we taught the family along with their family friend who happens to be a minister of another faith. He is one of those that feel like we have to use the original Greek Bible for it to be true. Anyways the lesson went alright until we got to Joseph Smith and this friend went off on this rant saying how there can't be any more prophets and all this other
garbage. He was using scriptures to back up his points but the scriptures he used meant completely different things. I had solid answers for him that explained everything but he did t want to listen to it. Anyways the family accepted a return appointment and we'll see how it goes.

Well things are going alright. I hope to baptize soon and I know we will if we work hard. The church is true and that's all there is to it.

Elder Skabelund


April 25, 2016

Yes what a surprise!!!! My p-day is now on Monday! Woot! Woot! Which means you get my email one day earlier and I get to email all my mission friends so that will be fun!

It has been a fun week in the good ol' Utah Logan mission in Malad City. Not as many lessons as I had hoped for but we still had adequate success so I am happy.

On Tuesday we had a lot of miles to use so we drove down to Tremonton to spend the day with them! It was pretty fun. I got a new haircut and I like it a lot so I think with this haircut we will have more baptisms #FlirtToConvert .....just kidding...but I really did get a new haircut. I look like a "city boy" as everyone says. We also did our shopping and laundry and usual stuff. We also found a bowling alley! It's a fun little spot that lets missionaries bowl for free so we are happy :)

On Wednesday I had another district meeting which was fun. It consists of all the missionaries of my district and their senior couples. I love senior couples but they have a tendency to talk about irrelevant stuff which just eats away my time. I had a pretty good district meeting planned but we got on a lot of topics which had nothing to do
with the district meeting so I didn't have too much time. But hey I'm not complaining. I love district meeting. It's a chance for me to share what I know about missionary work and to help other missionaries improve in their work. It's also a chance to hear from other missionaries to see what has been working for them and what hasn't been working.

We also taught a Book of Mormon class that Wednesday night. We do it every Wednesday and we get a couple investigators to show up so that is always fun. The Book of Mormon is awesome. If you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon everything falls into place. The gospel is simple. If the book is true than Joseph Smith is a prophet and this is Christ's church. If you want a testimony of the gospel read the Book of Mormon. People don't understand this. Just yesterday we were visiting a family whose kids aren't baptized and the lad said that she does not believe in the Book of Mormon because it "adds and takes away from the bible" (which is far from the truth) I asked her if she has ever read the Book of Mormon and she said no and then she went off on another concern like polygamy, first vision, all other stuff and every time I asked the same question. Have you ever read the Book of Mormon. Same response "no" Everything that she says really had no validity because she has not read the Book of Mormon. There is so much stuff out there that tries to prove the church wrong. But with the Book of Mormon we will always know it is right. You can answer every concern with the Book of Mormon. If you know the Book of Mormon is true than nothing else matters.

On Thursday I went on exchanges with missionaries in Tremonton. That was fun. That whole morning we did yard work. This lady pretty much had half an acre of weeds 2 feet tall and all she had was one weed eater. So I used it and my companion picked up all the weeds. I pretty much mowed a lawn full of weeds. Fun. We taught a lesson that night about the Book of Mormon. Similar situation. This lady had a lot of concerns and we went back to the Book of Mormon every time. We read the introduction with her and Moroni 10. The difference here is that this lady aphid an open heart. She wanted to know if the things we taught were true. We explained to her that this is the way. The gospel will always be true. There will just be different people that are ready to hear that truth.

On Friday we did some more service and swept the whole post office parking lot for two hours which was fun. A lot of people saw us working and I think we built a lot of trust with the community. We also had a pretty good dinner that night who gave us a couple solid referrals. We are planning on visiting them tomorrow.

On Saturday we branded cattle. Yes you heard me right. Saturday was my time to shine as a cowboy. It was an awesome experience. A bit stinky but fun! Pretty much all the cows have to have a brand for a permanent
identification. You do this when they are calves. We separated the cows from the calves. There were multiple corrals next to each other so you pretty much had to stand and walk in the right place to get them to move somewhere. It's a bit of a task to separate them. The cows start mooing like crazy because it's like you're taking away their kids but we were able to separate them and we got 12 calves. Then we put a rope around their hind legs and when you pulled the rope it tightened and you were able to drag the calf out. Once you get them out of the corral, you pick them up and flip them on their side. One person is holding the rope still and another person puts their knee on its neck and you hold back the front legs which is what I did. Then while you got them on their side and when they can't move anywhere you castrate the males. Don't worry we didn't cut it off we just do it with a rubber band. We then vaccinate them with something. Then with people on the sides holding the calf down someone brands them. Once that's over than you stand up and they are able to get out of the rope and go back to momma. It was awesome and super fun!!! I have a couple pictures and videos. Unfortunately I didn't get any of me branding but I did do it trust me!!! We'll probably be doing that every weekend so I have something to look forward too!

Sunday we went to church and Jeff was there! Yay!!!!! I'm hoping he will be baptized soon. You could tell that he loved church. He got a little emotional and you could tell that he felt the spirit. We also
had a big luncheon in Holbrook which is about 30 minutes West. Pretty much it's a farming town with about 200 people hahaha. Middle of nowhere but it was fun. We made a lot of contact and we found pretty solid potentials that day!

So that's just a glimpse of how my week went. It's been fun and awesome. I am absolutely loving it out here. I know I say that every time but it's so true. I love preaching the gospel with everybody I see. It's awesome to come to that point where you don't have any fear about sharing the gospel with others. There are people out there who
are looking for the gospel and they don't even know it. It's awesome to preach the gospel to those people. You really see people change right before our eyes. One thing to remember is that we always have to be bold. Loving them to activity ain't going to do it. You have to be bold with love towards those you know who don't come to church. Being bold shows that you love them. Jesus Christ was bold so we should be bold too.

This church is true. There is a God who love us. There is a Christ who died for us. We have prophets who lead us. We have bishops who pray for us. We have the gospel which lifts us.

Elder Skabelund


Short email...sorry!!!

April 19, 2016

Hey everyone! This week was a pretty good week. The AP's came out with standards of excellence which is pretty much like goals for the whole mission. Elder Tamasaka and I sat down and thought of ways that we can
hit these standards of excellence. We have been doing a lot better and we are finding a lot more success.

I am really learning to like Malad. It's like no place I've ever live before. Just today I tried to get a haircut and everywhere was closed because you have to name an appointment to get a haircut. There's not enough business for them to just be open all the time. There is only about 2000 people that live in Malad. Heck my high school and twice as many people.  It really is a genuine farming town. But I enjoy it. The people here are really friendly. Once you get to know them they will help you out with anything.

This past week was my birthday! I had a good birthday. I went on exchanges in Tremonton. I enjoyed that because we could actually go to a decent place to eat. I went to The Grille it has the best burgers in town. And some random person payed for us! Woohoo! Thanks for all the birthday notes. It's good to know that people still care for me and know who I am.  Hahaha

But seriously this week has been good we got an investigator on date and we are teaching more. The mission has been good for me and has been a blessing for those I teach.

Sorry I have t responded a lot to the emails. I've been pretty busy and I usually only have time to email my mom and send out this group email. But I love you all and I'm grateful for your support and I love reading your emails! I know this church is true without a doubt in my mind. It's true no matter what anyone says! I love you all!

Elder Skabelund

Another day in the Utah Logan Mission

April 12, 2016

So my iPad froze up so I am going to attach the picture of the first part of my email

So we got permission from our zone leaders to go to the fireside in Logan. We had Eddie come out to church this week which is good. He should be baptized either by the end of this month or the beginning of next month. We had Blake come out to church. He's 10 he wants to be baptized and his dad won't let him....ugh... But we are teaching we are having people come to church. Things are going good and they'll get better.

The church is true and it always will be. Jesus Christ is our savior and he always loves us. We have families on this earth and we will be together always.
Elder Skabelund

Another day in an ancient farming town

April 5, 2016

Well this is the second time at I'm writing this letter which kind of sucks. It was a really good letter too. My iPad froze up and deleted my whole letter. Ugh.....stupid Apple hahah

Well yes I am currently serving in Malad,, Idaho. Malad is one of those towns that used to be really busy and cool but then they built an interstate right next to it and now there is no need for anyone to go there unless you live there. It's a whole different world out here in Malad. It was kind of a culture shock to me. We cover a fifth of
the mission. The size of our area is bigger than some missions. All it is farming. And yes people live on the outskirts of our area so we get to travel a lot.

The one fast food place here is Burger King. And it's in a gas station. I guess you got subway too. There is one grocery store out here called Thomas market. It's crazy expensive and it's pretty much like a glorified convenience store. There are a couple of other restaurants but they are all too pricy so we don't really go. Oh and the best part of it all is that we live in the good ol' Hess lumber store. Pretty much a member who owns the store bought an even bigger store right next to the one we live in now. He uses the old space for storage and his old office as our apartment. It's great. I use like 5 lint sheets each time I lint roll my clothes. Fun! But really there is a lot of success to be found here in this town of Malad.

We are teaching a part member family with 5 unbaptized children. They want to make sure that the kids understand everything and I mean everything before they are baptized. They are close and should be baptized this month.

We are teaching a fellow by the name of Eddie. Eddie is about in his 60's and he is really interested in the gospel. He is one of those people that when he says he is going to do something he does it.  His word is his bond and I like that. We watched the Saturday morning session of conference together and he really enjoyed that. He is coming to church this next Sunday so we are excited. He was originally attending the baptist church but he had a falling out with them so he joined the free mason lodge out here. Yes there is a mason lodge about 50 yards away from where we live. Awesome! Haha but he is really interested in the gospel so he should be baptized soon.

We are also teaching Jeff. Jeff is in his 50's and he is really shy. But he is the coolest guy ever. He has the best fellowships ever. They are his best friends that are working close with him towards baptism. He is currently playing the organ for the Presbyterian church. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon he is just waiting for that neon
sign of an answer. Jeff is amazing. He can play like ear like no other. If you sing a song that he hasn't heard of before, he can play the whole song like a music genius. Yesterday we went over to this members house and there was a group of people gathering for their weekly music session. Jeff was there and he was playing an organ and I
was singing some lds hymns and he was able to play songs that he's never heard of before and it was amazing. I think the small things like this will help Jeff increase his Faith in Christ towards baptism.

Well that's all for today. Malad is literarily just small shops and farms. I'll send some pictures. It's absolutely beautiful out here. Just too much of a farm life for me to live here forever.

I am in love with the mission. I love the work and I am excited to see where this takes me. The people are awesome. When you really get to know them, they have amazing stories to share and I have a big love for them. I think that that is going to be the key to have success here. Show the love and spread the love. That's what Christ would do.

The church is true. Christ loves us and cares for us. He died for us so that we can be happy. It's as simple as that. I have grown closer to Christ more than I ever have the past couple of weeks. I truly have that desire to go out and serve the lord and it feels great! I love you all!

Elder Skabelund

Transfers!!!! Round 5

March 29, 2016

Very short email today! We have a very busy p-day. We are taking a recent convert to the Ogden Temple today to do baptisms. That's pretty cool. I'm excited!!! It's out off the mission so we had to call our mission president to go and he gave us permission so I am stoked. It was recently dedicated in 2014 so it looks pretty awesome.

Transfers are tomorrow and I found out that I will be serving in Malad, Idaho. I went from the south tip of the mission to the north end of the mission. The area is huge!! So we get a car!!! Yay!!!! They are letting us drive a brand new Nissan Frontier. It's only fitting that I drive a truck so that will be cool. My comp is Elder Tamasaka.
He is from Hawaii so he's super chill and he works hard. I will meet him tomorrow. I will stay district leader and Elder Tamasaka has been out for 4 months so I will stay senior comp.

We had a baptism this last Saturday! I will send you pictures. Johnny got baptized. We found him in the trailer park in November. He was supposed to be baptized in February but he got super sick and we baptized him over Easter weekend. It was a great baptism, Elder Sagmeister baptized him, President Allred drove down to see the

Well I love all you guys! I'm doing fine and I love the mission! The church is true!

Love Elder Skabelund

Super Fast Week!

March 22, 2016

Holy cow did this week go by fast! This mission is just zooming along! It's going by too fast! But I think it's because we are working hard. It's so much more fun when you really work as hard as you can. You can really see the blessings roll on in.

So we didn't have too many lessons this week but we did meet a lot of new people. My companion and I decided to count all the people we don't talk to that we see that day. On average it's around 1 or 2 people which is pretty good. Once we started talking with everyone things really started to click. We are getting return appointments and
people are really interested in hearing about the gospel.

I had the opportunity to see the Provo City Center Temple Dedication. It was pretty sweet. Elder Oaks dedicated the temple. The temple has a really cool story and I would invite you all to research that story. Pretty much it used to be an old tabernacle (fancy meetinghouse) and it burned down and then the First Presidency decided to rebuild it as a temple. Pretty cool. It is absolutely just stunning to see the transformation that has taken place. It really is a House of the Lord. We had a couple recent converts show up so that was a good highlight!

We have a couple baptisms coming up! We have another one for the 26th of March, one for the 15th of April and another for the 16th of April! So exciting! I may or may not be here in April. Transfers are on the 30th and I'm pretty sure that I'm leaving. Pleasant View has been a fun little town to serve in but I think it's my time to go. I have to use my expertise elsewhere ;)

I love the mission. The church is true and it gets truer everyday. Lives change because of the gospel. It's changed mine. I love it so much!

Elder Skabelund

Baptisms, Zone Conference, and Snow in March

March 15, 2016


So since it's daylight savings, most of you will get my emails on average an hour earlier! Yippee!!! I hate daylight savings. Like its cool because you get more sun but in the spring you set your clocks forward an hour so you lose an hour of sleep. So now all you Arizonan's are on Pacific Time and I'm stuck on Mountain Standard Time
or Mormon Standard Time whichever way you look at it.

So one of my buddy's on a mission sent out an email saying that only in Arizona do we say cheese crisp for a cheese quesadilla and it's so true. No one know what a cheese crisp. I've said it more and more often just to test this theory and everyone I mention it too has never heard of a cheese crisp. Random fact.

So yeah the work is going good here. We had 3 baptisms today. 1 on Friday evening and 2 on Saturday morning. The first one was an investigator named Josh. He was a referral from a lady in the Ward back in November and we've been teaching him since then. He wanted to be baptized, but he had one silly concern. He wanted to wait until June to be baptized so he could be baptized in a spring on his boss' ranch. We were teaching him one night in January and he knew everything to be baptized but he still had that concern. I finally asked him if he has ever prayed and asked God to see what he should do because sometimes it's not about what you want but it's about what God wants. He said he hasn't and he said he would pray about it. The next week I asked him if he prayed and he said he got an answer to be baptized on March 11 in a baptismal font. It was so specific so that was pretty cool and he held true to his answer.

The other 2 baptisms are Ivan and Julian. They are brothers and Ivan is 11 and Julian is 13. Their mom and mom's boyfriend take car of them and the whole family are nonmembers. They are from Montana and they recently moved to Utah in December. They lived with their family friend who is lds and then they bought a trailer to live in just north of their friends. We found out what house they lived in and we knocked the door in February. The mom answered and agreed to have the lessons. The first lesson we had was great. Everyone was there but the boyfriend. It was a pretty powerful lesson and all 3 of them accepted a date to be baptized on the first lesson. We continued teaching the family and the boyfriend kept listening in. Now the 2 boys were definitely ready to be baptized and so was their mother, however the mother currently has to get a divorce to marry her boyfriend so they couldn't be married right now. Which I think is a good thing. I'll explain that in a little bit but the baptisms on Saturday went great. Ivan wanted me to baptize and confirm him so I had the honor to do that and it was awesome. So in sacrament meeting at the confirmation the whole family came, even the boyfriend and the entire time the boyfriend was reading the Book of Mormon on his phone. He actually got through 4 chapters!! So I think the boyfriend is slowly progressing towards baptism and I think by the time that he is ready to be baptized it will probably be around the same time that they will be married. They both have said that they notice that the home feels a lot better and that it's brighter and that the gospel is changing their lives. It's cool to see how a whole family can change and accept the gospel. God works in mysterious ways and things work out for a reason. The boyfriend always mentions that we always have an answer to every question he asks us. I explained to the mother that the reason we have an answer is because we have the truth. We have the restored gospel. We have the Book of Mormon which contains the fullness of the gospel. We have prophets that lead and guide us in this dispensation. We have the answers right in front of us. Because we have restored truth, we have those restored answers.

So yes the boy's mother and mothers boyfriend should be baptized in May or June. How awesome. We should have a couple more baptisms at the end of the month. Our goal is 7 and we should do it. I have faith. Our AP told us that if we hit our goal he and he president will take us out to eat anywhere we want. So that's my only motivation to hit the goal. (Just kidding our motivation is to serve the lord with all our heart might mind and strength and to fulfill our purpose).

And about zone conference. We had an 8 hour zone conference yesterday. And about the Snow in March. Yes it is currently snowing right now. Ughhh.

But I love working and I love baptizing and this is the best and most fun thing I've done in my life so far. I love the church. I love this restored gospel. And I love Jesus Christ.

Elder Skabelund