Thursday, January 28, 2016

4 Months?!

January 25, 2016

Hey Ya'll!! How's it going?

This week has been another great week!! (Besides the fact that the Cardinals just got pooped on) It's been full of lessons, dinners, laughs, cries, and just a little bit of in between. You can definitely tell that Elder Sagmeister and I have been together for 16 weeks. We mess around with each other too much and we disagree more often. If we
stay another transfer together we might rip each other's head off. ;) I find it crazy that I've been out for 4 months yet I've had the same companion and same area for that whole time. Transfers are in two weeks and I am just at a lost of what is going to happen. My companion and I were both new in the area so anything could happen. We could both stay or one of us could leave or both of us could leave (although the latter is very unlikely due to the success we are having in the area)

Quick funny story!!! We were walking in the trailer park late at night and we ran into a couple of our investigators walking in the street. One was holding a long metal pole so I was suspicious. He said they almost got hit by a truck who didn't have his lights on so they were walking around looking for the truck. Elder Sagmeister did not get it
so I had to explain to him that they were looking for the truck to wack it up with the pole!! Oh geez, the people we find in the trailer park.

And yes, we are having a lot of success in this area. We have changed this area from a no baptizing area into a whole lot of baptizing area. It's amazing. It is literally a gold mine. We are running into people who are so intrigued about the gospel and who want to learn more.

We have 2 baptisms scheduled for this Saturday. 1 baptism scheduled for February 6th 3 baptisms scheduled for February 20th And 1 baptism scheduled for March 11th. That is amazing. And yet I don't feel like I've done a whole lot. All I've done is trying to be more obedient, helping others increase their faith in Christ. And being the Lord's tool. I feel the Holy Ghost as my constant companion.

I've also had fun and have been pretty happy this week. There is fun found in the service. I just got done baking a cake that the young women from my home Ward sent me and I still wonder why I am so fat. I just had the best home cooked Chinese food yesterday. I am spoiled. People are just handing us money left and right and I try not to accept it but they won't let me. So I would say that this mission is a very convenient mission regarding housing and finances. But there are plenty of hard days in the field.

Yesterday was a really hard day for me. Not in the sense that I'm struggling. I'm not at all. But yesterday we had a progressing investigator tell us that he wanted to remain Catholic and did not want to listen to the gospel lessons any more. Elder Sagmeister and I just wanted to stop by his house and check up on things so he let us
in his home and explained the whole situation.

I was devastated. That whole night I just felt like crap. During that visit, all we could do was testify. And I don't think that I've ever felt the spirit so strong before. I testified of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, of temples, of families, of real happiness, of coming to church. I literally testified of all the truth I knew. And then I gave a very powerful prayer that involved tears and emotion. The spirit was there and I just hope that our former investigator felt it. Immediately after that lesson, Elder Sagmeister and I were walking in
his neighborhood in the trailer park at about 8:00 pm. We both were just so heartbroken and full of tears. And that's because we both love.

We love the people we work immensely. I knew I loved my investigators but I just didn't know how much. So I learned a couple of things that night about myself that I had no idea. I realized there is nothing I can do as long as I try my very best in helping others come closer to Christ. I guess we were so full of emotion because we both know how much the gospel and change people's lives for the better and it's hard
to hear someone who is progressing say they are not interested anymore. I guess that's all part of missionary work.

So even with that experience I still felt like I had a pretty solid week. A family accepted the invitation to be baptized and that always brings happiness. I feel like I have changed a lot and I've noticed that a lot this week. I gained a strong testimony this week regarding the atonement. Christ did not suffer for all our sins. He suffered for
all our sorrows and pains as well. As we use the atonement, we will be able to keep moving forward and find that strength and peace that we are all searching for.

The mission is tough, it's not easy. Yes we may seem to be baptizing more but that's only because of hard and tough work.

The field is white already to harvest. This is the toughest work. Yet the most rewarding. Rewarding to the investigators, the less actives,my family, and I guess myself as well. The windows of heaven are open and the blessings our pouring out in every direction. I am careful to not be prideful. I pray to be humble each and every day. All I want to do is be the Lord's servant and that will take a lifetime of work to accomplish.

I love you all. The gospel is true and it is becoming more true each
and every day!!!

With love,
Elder Skabelund

This is what I walked in on my way to church.

What a week!!!

January 19, 2016

Wow this week was one of my busiest weeks thus far in the mission! I thought about just putting all of the numbers I had regarding lessons/investigators on date/investigators who attended sacrament meeting etc..but something tells me I shouldn't. Don't get me wrong staying busy is awesome. I just don't want to give the impression that the mission is all about numbers, because it isn't.

Just to put it in perspective. We cover a whole stake! The Pleasant View South Stake. Utah missions are really the only missions in the world where only 1 companionship covers a stake and it's pretty normal to do that here. Everywhere else it's usually 1 companionship to a Ward or two. This stake has 11 wards! So that means 11 bishops, Ward mission leaders, Elders Quorum Presidents etc.. Out of those 11 wards, 8 of them have real investigators that we are working with. So we work with pretty much all the wards on a regular basis. This week however, it seemed that we had a lesson with ALL of our investigators. Which there are a lot of so if you can imagine from 6pm to 9pm we are just teaching like crazy. Which is awesome!

What's even more cool is that these lessons actually go somewhere. When the Holy Ghost is your constant companion throughout these lessons, you definitely increase others faith in Christ. And this faith leads to BAPTISM!!

We have 3 solid baptisms lined up for the next 3 weeks and we have 1 solid baptism lined up for March (it's later due to the fact that his parents live 8 hours away). On top of these people who are ready for baptism we have a lot more who are just so close to accepting a date. It is only a matter of time.

What I like most about this mission is that a lot of the people we baptize are children with inactive families. So we baptize the children and if you do it right the families come back to church and stay. I have seen this happen with All of the baptisms Elder Sagmeister and I have had and it is awesome! The first baptism we had their family is currently working to be sealed in the temple and I can't wait for that day when I get to see that family get sealed.

I had the opportunity to go to the Brigham City Temple today with the zone and as I sat in the celestial room I just felt so much joy. Sports and airplanes make me happy and I can't imagine life without those things but as I sat in the temple I felt a lot more happier than I would with the worldly things in this life. Eternal exaltation is truly God's greatest gift that he has ever given to man.

I had another thought today. As many of you know my mom does foster care for little children and I have the up most love and respect for my Mother because of that. I feel like one of the tender mercies that the Lord has given me was the opportunity to help my mom with the foster children. I have not had a baptism who is over the age of 10 yet. I work with children a lot and I honestly feel that what my mom did prepared me a lot for this specific mission and I just find that incredible.

Also today after I went to the temple, Elder Benson our stake senior missionary drove us up to the mission office in Logan to pick up some name tags I ordered. I remembered that my family settled in Logan way back in the very early 1900's and I remembered where their first house in America was and I drove by it and took a couple pictures. I just figured maybe my grandma would like that or something.

I'm sorry I wrote a lot but it's the time I have to write these emails that I just think about how awesome the work is going in this area.The transfer is already halfway done so I may only have 3 more weeks
in the area which stinks. The mission is awesome the church is true.

Elder Skabelund


16 Weeks into the Mission Life

January 12, 2016


This week has been pretty good!! It was full of lessons and referrals and lessons falling through and just a good mix of good and bad. But there was more good than bad!!

We are teaching a lot of families! What's exciting is all of our work usually only covers the bottom half of the stake. Just recently a lot of families are opening up their hearts and they are having us come over and teach their families which live on the top half of the stake. A lot of their lessons fell through this last week but they are asking to reschedule and things are looking pretty promising.

I had the opportunity to speak last Sunday in 1 of the 11 wards which I cover. It's crazy how little I have to prepare to give a talk. I literally spent half an hour during a personal study one day and that was enough to speak for 15 minutes. The topic was on converting ourselves so that we can convert others. I shared the restoration in 4
minutes and then I talked about what the gospel really is and also on the definition of conversion. There are 4 characteristics of someone who is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of those characteristics is "sharing the gospel with others" I testified of how from our perspective that we are starting to see miracles happen in
this area and we need all the help we can get. It was a great talk and I know that I helped increase a lot of people's faith in Christ that day.

We invited 2 investigators to be baptized on the 30th of January and they both accepted. One of them is a 13 yr old young women and the other is a 9 yr old girl. It is the same old Utah Story. Inactive parents, unbaptized children. Honestly these baptisms are my favorite baptisms. The family gets active and their children accept the gospel. So instead of only having one person come to church, we can help bring a whole family to church.

On top of two investigators accepting baptisms for this month. There are families who have dropped us that are starting to seem interested again. Particularly one inactive family. The parents in this family are inactive with one baptized 19 yr old. The other 3 children in their teenage years have all wanted to be baptized. Their only hold up
was the mom and she is finally allowing missionaries to come back to teach their family. The first lesson we set up fell through however she called us the same day and apologized and rescheduled for later this week so it should be a pretty solid and awesome lesson!

I love this area so much. We are having so much success and it is awesome. It's crazy to see how quickly the Lord prepares people in Utah. Of course their is a lot of people who are against the church but there are people still here who are searching for the truth. We had one guy ask us if we can help him find peace and joy in his life. "The field is white already to harvest" D&C 4. Not white with snow, but white with people who are willing to come unto Christ!

The mission is the best choice I have ever made and it is blessing my life so much!! Stay close to Christ and he will stay close to you!!

Elder Skabelund

Btw I saw a police chase on Sunday!!! Pretty dope the car crashed into
someone's front yard

The Crazy Cold in the Utah Logan Mission

January 5, 2016

Hello once again Family and Friends!

I hope everyone's new years was awesome!!! I know mine was! We got together as a zone and we played sports from 6 to 9! We also watched the cokeville miracle and that was a surprisingly good movie! It made
you think that there are truly angels among us (btw thats a really good song).

It was the first time in my life where I missed my family's annual rocket shoot this year. It's crazy how fast the time has gone! I remember waking up super early to go with my dad to help set up everything out in the desert, tying streamers on bushes and setting up the launch pad. Ahhh good times!! We were in bed by 10:30 on New
Year's eve and honestly it was really nice. Our landlord has a bunch of fireworks (they may or may not be illegal) and we launched off a mortar which was pretty cool!

It is getting really cold in Pleasant View. My feet are just so numb its crazy. I guess its my fault though. I hate putting on winter clothes so I usually just wear my normal socks and dress shoes. Its not so bad to do that in 20 degree weather but when it drops to 5 degrees I'm kicking myself in the but for not wearing my wool socks and
boots. My coat keeps me pretty warm along with hand warmers so I'm not dying put here but I would definitely be in shorts and a t-shirt in Arizona's weather right now.

I have gained a lot of weight out here. Just about 20lbs or so. I weigh about 228 and that is the heaviest I've ever been. It wasn't too big of a deal until last Wednesday when I ripped my pants and I decided enough was enough. So today I bought chicken, steak, brown rice, eggs, oatmeal, broccoli, carrots, greek yogurt and granola, water, and this really nutritious green drink. It has spinach and kale and all the fruits and vitamins you'll ever need and it surprisingly tastes good. So hopefully I can lose some weight and look good in my suits!!!

On Sunday I ran into my mtc teacher in one of the wards I went to. Apparently her parents live there so that was cool to see her! She invited us over to lunch at her place and it was great to catch up on all the things I've learned! Plus we got a referral from her family whom we are going to teach tomorrow evening!

I am almost thru with my Book of Mormon reading. I literally have 2 more chapters to go! There are far too many people who criticize this great book and try to prove that it's wrong. Well it is promised that as we read with real intent, meaning we intend to act upon the feelings and thoughts we receive, and as we pray to ask God if the
things which we have read are true, then we will gain a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon. Don't rely on someone else's belief about the Book of Mormon. Don't go on the internet to find out if it's true. I exhort you to read for  yourself and pray. That is the only way. Just do it.

We are still having a lot of success in this area. We probably won't have a baptism this week but we are working with a lot of people who are progressing in the gospel and they will for sure be baptized by the end of this month.

The gospel is true and I love this work as always. I love you guys all so much and I wish the best to you this new year!!

Elder Skabelund