Week 95: Rosana’s Prayer

Salto de las Rosas

HEY!

This was a great week! Elder Rodriguez and I have been working a ton and have seen many miracles! This Sunday 10 investigators came to church! It was crazy! We have a few amazing families who are progressing a ton.

This week the highlight would be teaching our investigator Rosana. We started teaching her after Fernan’s baptism, and she’s already ready to be baptized!!! We made sure to focus on her being able to receive her answer on the truth of our message. At the end of our lesson on the restoration, we invited her to say a prayer on her knees and it was the most spiritual prayer I’ve heard. You could feel that she really had a strong desire to know which was the true church. After the prayer, she didn’t feel anything right away, but I already knew she was going to receive her answer!

During the next lesson as we talked with her, she told us she had felt a ton of peace while reading the Book of Mormon and we helped her recognize that she had received her answer! She’s excited to be baptized this week, as long as she doesn’t have cold water like Fernan did. hahaha.

Its been amazing seeing my comp push through a lot of challenges this week. He fell off his bike twice this week and hurt himself up pretty bad, but he keeps working through it all and because of it were seeing so many miracles!

I love this work! Have a great week fam!

Elder Skonnard

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Week 94: Fernan and Dilan’s Baptisms

Salto de las Rosas

THIS WEEK FERNAN GOT BAPTIZED! AND DILAN! WOOOOO

It was a special week. Fernan had been a little depressed when we found him, but the gospel has already changed him so much. There is a new light in him and now he has hope for a very bright future. We taught him in 2ish weeks and he progressed super fast! What a miracle! We just barely met his mom at the baptism and she also came to the confirmation on Sunday. She got emotional during the sacrament meeting, and after came up to us and thanked us for teaching him. She had tried many methods in helping him overcome the depression he was having, but now is so grateful for the gospel. She loved church and of course we set an appointment to teach her. Now Fernan can help us teach the lessons and maybe she’ll decide to be baptized as well 🙂 I’ll send photos!

That was the highlight of our week, besides that its been raining and super cold here. We had exchanges with Malargue they told us it was snowing over there….. how much I long to see snow. We ate choripan with them argentine style 🙂 We also had transfers and I’m going to finish my mission off with Elder Rodriguez another missionary from Guatemala! 3rd comp from guate hahaha. He’s super funny haha. I just met him today and we are already having a blast.

Can’t wait to keep working my butt off over here! CONGRATS MICHELLE ON THE BABY! Saludos a Willy 🙂

Love Elder Skonnard

Week 93: Fernan

Salto de las Rosas

OK, so this week went by super fast! We’ve continued to find some new investigators and all that but the highlight for me was being able to see the progress of Fernan.

It was crazy, we found him two weeks ago and since then he’s kept EVERY commitment. He’s come to church with us twice now, and this week he’s planning on being baptized. He has the beginning of a testimony and loves coming to church. Wow I feel so grateful every time the Lord guides us to people like him. So merciful.

We’ve given him papers with chapters to read in the Book of Mormon and questions to answer. He’s answered them all perfectly . The other day I told him in order to get baptized he needs to prepare by reading, praying, and attending church. He looked at me and started laughing and said “duh obviously” haha he’s a capo.

That was the miracle of the week, along with many other spiritual experiences and tender mercies. I love the Lord and I love this work!

P.S. Gloria and Jesus came to church again this week! They are making progress!

Love you all!

Elder Skonnard

Week 92: Fernan & Basketball

Salto de las Rosas

This was a great week!

We found a new investigator named Fernan who came to church with us this week! We taught him a few times, in the beginning we didn’t think he would progress very much. He looked uninterested and pretty shy, but then he seemed very interested in figuring out the true church and in reading the Book of Mormon. He read and said he felt the spirit when he prayed! He loved church and he told us he would like to be baptized! I hope we can help him get prepared and that he can gain a stronger testimony and join the church!! That was the miracle and highlight of the week!

WE PLAYED SPIKEBALL AND BASKETBALL!!!! on p-day an elder had a spikeball kit and a basketball. Can you believe it’s basically the first time I’ve played basketball since I left on the mission? It felt great. Better than the Latinos at something for once! haha

We set some new goals this week since we weren’t finding any new investigators and this week we made new plans and taught 11 new investigators!!! They all have a lot of potential! Now we have some work to do to get them progressing with the others we have.

Gloria is still working on her divorce so she can get married. We hope she gets it all situated this week!

I love you all! Have an amazing week!

Elder Skonnard

Week 90: 3 Amazing Baptisms!

Salto de las Rosas

It’s been raining a ton this week! haha Some elders came to do exchanges for us while doing baptismal interviews and they got so muddy on the bikes riding in the mud trails while elder kitchen and I walked around visiting people in the neighborhood. (elder kitchen lives in my stake by the way) like 2 minutes from my house.

THIS WEEK! Hernan, Jonaton, and Alvaro got baptized!!! They are all kids who we’ve been teaching for a while who finally were able to get baptized on Saturday! I got to baptize Alvaro! His parents still aren’t members because they still are working on getting married, so we went ahead with the baptism of their kid since that was the only thing keeping them from being baptized! All of their family who aren’t members of the church came which was amazing! They loved it and now we’ve made plans to go back and teach them.

The Fuentes, who were the 2 other kids that got baptized, were baptized by their dad. They are basically reactivated in the church now and are doing great. It was a special moment for their dad to baptize them. He almost didn’t do it, but we convinced him this would be much more special if he did it. They are doing great. The baptismal service was filled with the spirit, even though there were some stressful moments. We got to the chapel and we realized there were only 2 pants for the kids!!! We called all the other missionaries and finally got into contact with some elders who were at another baptismal service… they said they had some pants for us. They hurried over to our chapel, and when they arrived we found out the pants were wet!!! They had just barely used them!!! ahhhh! so stressful. So I decided to give Alvaro my pants and we rolled them up a ton, and I used some other pants that were a little bigger. He looked like a little white ninja walking around everywhere haha. There’s always something that doesn’t work out right in the baptisms hahaha.

That was obviously the highlight of the week! The next day at church they all came and Gloria and Jesus (Alvaro’s parents) had their son receive a baby blessing. It was a miracle, during the whole meeting their baby was crying, until the end, right when we presented the baby. That was probably a tender mercy for them and for me!

It was a good week! they are flying by! Love you all!

Elder Skonnard

 

Week 89: The Lord is on our side

Salto de las Rosas

This was a great week!

We’ve continued working with our investigators we’ve been teaching for the past few weeks and they are progressing really well. We hope they are ready for baptism this Saturday! We will see, but they seem super prepared.

We have been teaching an investigator who has passed 3 or 4 years investigating the church and has had several companionships. We are trying to help him realize he’s ready to be baptized now and hes starting to show encouragement towards this step. He came with us to church yesterday which was a stake conference and he loved it. We just need to make sure he keeps his commitments to read the book of mormon and pray, and he will most likely be baptized soon. We hope to have a frank talk with him this week to try to set a date with him this week or next week!

We also found a few new investigators which were tender mercies from the Lord! We taught someone named Lourdes, who we found when it was dark outside and she came out with a shovel in her hand because she didn’t know who we were 🙂 After realizing we were missionaries she opened up a lot and said this exact day she was struggling through a lot of trials and was overwhelmed. After leaving she said she felt a lot more peace and that was exactly what she needed. Now we’ve taught her a few more times and she’s told us she feels really happy when we teach her and she wants to come to church! We are exited to see what will happen with her.

We also one day were biking on a super long and deserted road one day when we passed by a house and knocked on the door. She told us she was Jehovah’s Witness and after trying a bit of persuasion she didn’t budge so we left. As we were leaving out of the corner of my eye I saw another house that was hidden behind a dirt trail. I felt a distinct impression that i needed to knock that house. I kept pedaling but realized I needed to turn around and go back. I had just been studying earlier in the day “how to recognize and feel the spirit” in preach my gospel. I’ll just say I’m glad I trusted that feeling, because the 17-year-old dude that came out was super interested in the message and told us he has been wanting to know which church is true. He felt the spirit and he has real intent. We’ve only taught him once, but I already know he will progress. As we left I was filled with gratitude for the Lord in helping me recognize the spirit and having the courage to follow it!

I love you all! The Lord is on our side as we make sacrifices to serve him! I know that!

Have a good week!

Elder Skonnard

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Week 88: The Spirit Works Miracles!

Salto de las Rosas

We had a pretty normal week… Basically we have been working a lot with our investigators and they have progressed…. still no baptisms for a few weeks but this Sunday two of our investigators came to church which is a good sign. Our investigator Victor fell off the face of the earth and we lost complete contact with him since he’s been working in Alvear. And it seems like he’s been going back to his old church which is not a good sign! We can only pray and hope well be able to teach him again! He was a great investigator.

We have a few other investigators who are basically ready for baptism and only need to attend church one more time before being baptized! One of them has the nickname “Pancho” which means Hot Dog (I don’t know why he’s called that) and he has been an investigator since he was 14…. but he’s still not baptized!! Pancho just barely turned 18 and now doesn’t need permission from his parents to be baptized, so we’ve been working with him.

We also found a family of 5 this week who are awesome! The first lesson she said she would listen to us but would never be baptized! We left explaining we would be talking about baptism a little more in the next lesson and when we taught her about the gospel of JC. She completely changed her mind about baptism and agreed for us to pick her up to go to church on Sunday! The spirit works miracles and we saw that with that lesson! I was not expecting that at all. She didn’t end up making it to church because something came in the way, but she’s still going strong with the lessons!

This week we had a zone conference with Elder Texeira (70 President of Area) it was awesome and helped me understand how to use my time more effectively. He opened our eyes to teaching in every moment and working with members in every conversation with them. It’s cool seeing the mission grow and to see how achieving high goals gives us higher motivation! I’m excited to apply what I learned!

I love you all and hope you are all doing swell 🙂

Elder Skonnard

Week 87: Prophet of God

Salto de las Rosas

Well! Nothing much to report this week. Same old.

The highlights were 1:

We have been teaching an “eternal investigator” family for a while now, and they just haven’t been taking the steps to get married. So we had a frank talk with them to see if they really have the desire to be baptized. After passing a few minutes of silence, they decided they really wanted to do it. We offered to buy them cheap rings for now so they can get a head start 🙂 They finally committed to going to the place to start the marriage papers! That was a huge success! during the lesson some drunk friend was there sitting in on the conversation and he made a negative comment saying something like, “oh, you guys just want to baptize the whole world don’t ya?” and I just stared at him for a few seconds and said, “Uh. Yes” confidently I don’t think he was expecting me to say that and he quieted down a little bit. I thought that was pretty funny haha!

We finally got into contact with this family… Gloria and Jesus. They are still doing well, they have just been sick. They didn’t make it to church again which hurt my head a little bit and neither did the other family with the kids who need to be baptized… But luckily Diego came! He’s an awesome investigator who lives close to church who has already felt an answer that President Nelson is a Prophet of God. That’s the first thing he asked in prayer before asking if the book of mormon was true, and he explained feeling a strong impression inside that he was. I know that President Nelson is a Prophet of God and that we need to follow his teachings to be guided in this difficult world! I felt that so strongly this conference!

Hope all is well with you guys have an amazing week!

Elder Skonnard

Week 86: “Pajaritos y Abejas”

Salto de las Rosas

This week was just normal!

Nothing really happened. We actually had some challenges with our investigators because we lost contact with them. Our investigator Victor, didnt get baptized this week because he’s been out of town. I hope well be able to visit him again this week and get things going again. Some of our other investigators have canceled on us a few times so the progression has slowed too.

The Fuentes have been doing good! We were able to teach them a few times this week and they have been feeling the spirit. We gave them CTR rings which they loved! The hard thing was that they didn’t make it to church despite our efforts to help them. They are going to have to wait for their baptism too.

The one cool experience that happened this week was one afternoon after working the whole morning looking for people to teach, at about 1:30 in the afternoon we started making our way back to each lunch. My companion felt the impression to knock one last house on the way back. So we stopped and this man was already outside excited to talk to us! He invited us out on his porch to teach him our message. Well to shorten things up a little bit, at the end of the lesson we explained to him how to receive revelation from God. He asked the Lord humbly if Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God… and paused for a few 15 seconds. The spirit was strong and you could feel “pajaritos y abejas que daban voces de loor” after his prayer he looked at us and said with a smile on his face, “I know he was a prophet!” What a great experience. I hope to be able to teach him more this week and see how he progresses.

This was our week! Love you all keep being good!

Elder Skonnard

Week 85: Inspired General Conference

Salto de las Rosas

MY WEEK!

It’s been a really fast week! Basically we only had a few days to work in our area this week because we had a lot of things going on. We had an intercambios and went 3 hours south to Malargue to have exchanges with the Elders down there. It was really fun and I learned a lot from Elder Vergara.

This week we have continued teaching some of our investigators Victor and the Fuentes family. They are continuing to prepare for their baptism in a few weeks! They didn’t come to the general conference which was a bummer. It was a little far from our area and they don’t have much transportation. But boy the general conference!

It was filled with inspired revelation for me!! I had a ton of questions and it was testimony building to see that they were all answered. I loved the talk from Presidente Nelson in the importance of receiving personal revelation. He told us we need to listen when we pray and take note of the impressions that come to us. That is exactly what we are doing here on the mission. Every morning when we say our prayers, we take a good amount of time take ask specific questions about our investigators, and it is crazy how the inspiration comes as we wait. And sometimes ive noticed that if it doesn’t come in the moment, it usually comes later during the day sometimes when were already teaching the lesson.

I also loved Massimo de Feos talk! being filled with Christ’s pure love is the sign of a true Disciple of Christ and the way we can forget about ourselves in the Lords work! I loved that talk and it was edifying for me with my personal challenges.

There were a lot of changes this conference!

I’m excited to see how this new method of “ministering” changes the way members can fellowship one another and help grow the Lords vineyard!

…and wow! A temple in Layton, Salta, and India/Russia! Crazy!

I love you all and hope you are well temporally and spiritually 🙂 be good!

Elder Skonnard

Week 84: Bike, Teach, Bike!

Salto de las Rosas

THIS WEEK!

It has been a busy week! To sum it up: It’s been…

1.Bike 2.Teach 3.Bike

Literally all of the investigators live spread out. The town is small so we have to work in other places to to get the branch growing. It’s been so fun working here. The thing I don’t like is that we have a lot of time to think when were on the bikes–which isn’t a bad thing but I’m not gonna lie, I get trunky sometimes! haha.

This week we’ve been teaching 2 important people. I’ll start with Victor. He is Bolivian and is the nicest person I’ve ever met. He is super humble. I can’t believe how willing and accepting he has been. He basically already has a testimony and has been to church twice now. We’ve only taught him 2 times so far, but we’re thinking of preparing him for the 7th. He is an awesome investigator. The other day we did a family home evening with another member family and him, and it was really good for him to open up more.

We’ve also taught the Fuentes, who are a less active family, but they are reactivating! They came to church yesterday and brought their 2 kids who are going to be baptized! (also the 7th). We don’t have a font so we are going to do it in a river…just kidding! haha It’s way too cold. They are an amazing family. I’m surprised their kids haven’t been baptized yet. The kids understand so much of what we teach them, I was so impressed.

There have been so many tender mercies this week! I have continued to grow through challenges and learn from mistakes. I know this gospel is true and that the Lord is on our side!

We have a companion, Viki, who is our mascot and follows us everywhere. This dog is 9 years old and can keep up with us on the bikes haha!

Love you all and miss you!

Elder Skonnard