Week 63: Finding Success through the Lord

San Juan

MY WEEK! What a rollercoaster this week! Monday was pretty interesting. We had a special transfer and our trio was split up. Now its just me and Elder Aguilar here in this ward! It has been a fun week!

It was pretty interesting, every other day was a switch between incredible success and complete failure! haha. It was a spiritual whirlwind. We started off the week on a good note, we found some new investigators and where able to teach a lot of progressing investigators. One family, The Pereiras, are a less active family who have a boy whose not baptized. He understands like an adult everything. We had a spiritual lesson of the restoration and showed them the video of Joseph Smith’s vision. I think it impacted them. However, they didn’t make it to church this Sunday…

For the next few days we struggled. It was hard for us to find any success whatsoever. We couldn’t teach hardly anyone throughout the whole day. At the end of Friday we were begging to the Lord for a turn around.

Saturday was probably one of the busiest, and most successful days of my mission. We taught so many lessons! Appointment after appointment. It was such a turn around. It showed me when we humble ourselves, the Lord blesses us immensely.

Then Sunday was mothers day, no investigators came. They celebrate Mother’s Day big here in Argentina. It made me think of my mom, who has helped me grow as a person so much. I owe everything I am to my mom! Love you Mom!

That was the week! love you all!

Elder Skonnard

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Week 62: A Few Highlights

San Juan

Well I just realized I’m low on time, but I’m going to tell you the two highlights!

We are teaching the little brothers of our mission leader who aren’t members! They are twins and are going to be baptized on the 28th of October! They are 14 and are awesome, they came to church last sunday and are excited! That was the good part of the week!

Now the sad part. We had an investigator named Maycol, he was progressing a ton. We were actually planning for his baptism this saturday. But suddenly, he has to move to the south for the army and he leaves saturday morning! What a terrible coincidence! We were obviously super sad but hopefully the missionaries over there take care of him!

Other than that we had a pretty normal week. Seba, our mission leader basically came with us every day! He misses the mission a little bit haha. Super fun!

Today were going to spend a few hours at the San Juan river!

Love you all and have an amazing week!

Week 61: General Conference!

San Juan

This week!

We had transfers on Monday, Elder Bigley is now my comp and now were in a trio with Elder Aguilar. He arrived in the afternoon and its been a pretty fun week together! We’ve had a ton to do figuring out which investigators to focus on since the area combined with another area. But its been fun and hard work! The sad part is that we didn’t have like any set appointments with our investigators so it was basically contacting them the whole week and we ended up only being able to teach like 4 or 5 lessons.

The highlights of this week were the general conference and the “district” meeting we had. It was basically a zone meeting because everyone from the zone was at that meeting, (besides Jachal). It was great, we got to know each other from the new people who arrived and were all super energized to get working! I have a ton of hope for our zone this month! We should achieve wonderful things!

We only had a few lessons this week, a few with some new investigators we found. The others with some investigators who have stopped progressing a little bit. We taught the third lesson but they were distracted with the kids, it was hard for the spirit to be present. We weren’t able to help them very much but luckily they said they would come to the conference.

The conference was amazing! We almost kept the tradition with the doughnuts but since there arent any here, we bought churros instead. It made me feel super sick because of all the oil it has greased on to it, but it was so worth it! My favorite talk was obviously from Elder Callister. Picture me sitting in my chair shaking uncontrolably from excitement. That was me during that talk. The book of mormon is the best, I love that book! I learned of the importance of reading it every day and of following the prophet’s inspiring council. We can’t take a revelatory prophet like President Monson for granted! We just can’t! We have to listen to him!

None of the investigators we are teaching came, but the awesome members brought their friends and 3 new people got to get to know the church and watch the conference. We made plans with them after. The members are a huge help!

Love you all and miss you so much! Have an amazing week!

Elder Skonnard

Week 60: Transfers!

San Juan

This week was great! We got transfer calls. My companion left and now im in a trio with Elder Bigley and Elder Aguilar, both gringos! It’s gonna be super fun, Elder Bigley was already in the pension of 4 and now hes staying with me as a comp! they closed one of the areas in the ward so now theres only 3 of us to cover the whole ward! We have so much to do now!

Elder Machado the Brazilian Elder I helped me learn a lot of things, especially in the christlike attributes that I have realized I need to work on! All the members were super sad to see him go…

This last week we were able to find a ton of more investigators. We spent our time in a few neighborhoods “alejados” and many people were able to listen to our message. The members helped us and came with us to the appointments we had with our progressing investigators. We had a lesson with the 3 girls who had came to church the other week, and it was a little unprepared so it seemed like the whole time we had no idea what to teach or to say! It was a nightmare! But thanks to the spirit, we were able to help them understand the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. It seems like were going to start all over again the lessons because we don’t feel like they were understanding when we were teaching them! It should be a good transfer, we have a lot of potential baptisms!

 

Our district and zone has a ton of amazing missionaries. Our district now consists of our trio and 2 elders who are opening a new area super north in San Juan that has never heard anything about the church. They are 2 machines, and our going to help our zone so much. Elder Tyler is one of them who was my comp in La Consulta and an x zone leader. And Elder Rawle who was my zone leader in San Luis! We are going to be doing intercambios there because they’re in our district.

Love you all have an amazing week!

Elder Skonnard!

 

Week 59: Christlike Attributes

San Juan

HEEEY!

Super slow week! I’ve got nothing much to share because we’ve been in the pension ALL week! Elder Machado was sick so he wasn’t feeling it. I did a few intercambios this week with some of the Elders from the zone which was super fun!

First I went to the other area of the zone and I went with Elder Velasco. He’s an awesome missionary and I loved working with him. The highlight of all of that was the lesson we had that evening. A family that has a son who isn’t baptized yet has been inactive for 5 years. We had a super spiritual lesson with them and committed them to coming this Sunday to church! it was a super spiritual and uplifting lesson.

The other lesson we had this week was in our area. We invited a few members to come with us to visit our investigators who are progressing. They were able to connect with each other and become friends which will help so much, the members are super nice and willing to help us. My favorite area I’ve been in! This family has come to church but are still struggling to gain a testimony.

Our investigator Monica, who was going to be baptized this week, dropped us ­čśŽ┬áSuper solid investigator, but her husband doesnt want her to keep meeting with us or let her come to church. It was a sad day. But something out of our control, we are thinking about trying to go and talk with her husband but he is super closed to our church and the missionaries. So well see what happens……:(

Overall it was a good week in terms of what I have learned. I’ve had a ton of time to study and learn more about Christ. This transfer I learned so much that I can grow a lot in my patience and empathy. Two attributes of Christ that are so important. I’m thankful for the oportunity we have to learn and grow everyday and become more like Christ! I love the Lord and I love this gospel!

Have an amazing week!

Elder Skonnard

 

Week 58: The Atonement!

San Juan

This week was great!

I think the funnest part and highlight of the week were the conferences we had. It took up most of the week.

First of all, I had an intercambios with the AP and learned so much. The biggest thing I learned from his example is that i need to walk faster haha. Something super small but saves so much time! haha. It was super fun and we had a ton of success in that day working together.

We had a zone conference, I was able to do a training for the zone and I talked about listening and resolving doubts. It was good and I hope it was able to help us achieve understanding of the importance of listening to our investigators. I learned so much studying that.! It changed my perspective!

We had a stake conference with the huge chimbas stake. President Zanni asked me and the other zone leader Elder Richardson to do a capacitation in the priesthood session. We separated in a room with our mission president, stake president, all the bishops, and mission leaders from the ward. Elder Richardson and I talked about key points of the missionary work that we can improve together with the members especially with effective meetings and goals with plans. We achieved the vision of helping them understand the importance of having a ward mission plan! I think that’s going to change member missionary work so much! I loved doing that! highlight of the week by far.

This week I learned even more deeply than I had previously about the atonement. I studied a lot about Christ and I am blown away by how willing he was to make the decision to atone for our sins. If you our having problems or challenges throughout the week, I invite you to study more deeply His atonement. Trust me it helps!

Love you all and miss you so much!

Week 57: Capilla Abierta

San Juan

This week has been great! 4 people came to church, our investigators are progressing, and we’re hoping for a few baptisms this month! Our main investigator, Monica, has to wait a few more weeks to be able to be baptized because of a stake conference next week, but she is super excited and super prepared!!

Nothing much really happened this week. For half the week we were in Mendoza in a Leadership Counsel and in the end, there were a lot of changes made to the mission. We are now going to be doing all of the studies in the morning and working the siesta. In the end its going to give us a lot more time do work and be more effective but it has been a challenge in getting the mission see the vision…haha.

We found fewer people this week, but the good news is, our investigators came to church this week! It was such a tender mercy. In our ward the last hour is sacrament meeting and we called the family and sent them a message to see if they were coming. They came late, but were able to enjoy the last 30 minutes of testimony meeting! They are awesome, they still havent accepted a baptismal date but have true intent and this week I have faith they will accept to be baptized.

We had a capilla abierta this week, which was an activity with the ward to invite everyone to come see the church from the inside and it turns into a ton of references. We got the whole zone to come and help us present the organizations. Elder McCausland and I left to go bring people in the church. We talked to so many people in those few hours hahaha. We were in the end we only ended up getting about 8-10 people to go in but Elder Mccausland was telling me that out of all the capilla abiertas he had done they had only gotten 1 person to come in, so i think that was a pretty big success! A lot of good references from that event it was awesome!

Those were the highlights of the week!

Love you all!

Elder Skonnard

Week 56: Diligence & Humility

San Juan

This week was great! Full of learning experiences

This week we set the goal for 10 new investigators and the last day we hit it! I was so happy.

On Tuesday we found a golden family. It was a reference from a member. One of them has problems with drugs and wants to change and draw closer to Christ. I know that we were guided there by the spirit and that they are ready to receive the restored gospel.

Wednesday we had a little problem and I went on emergency intercambios with Elder McCausland. We had a ton of appointments planned so it was good not canceling those. In the end we were able to find 4 more new investigators. A few of them felt like we were forcing ourselves in their houses, but it’s because we know how much the gospel will bless their lives!! haha.

On Thursday and Friday we visited a few more families and by the end of it we were able to commit 8 people to going to church. It was awesome and we made the arrangements and everything for them to come on Sunday.

Saturday was a harder day. We had appointments planned from after lunch until the time to head back to the pension, and all of the appointments fell through. But the Lord showed his tender mercy for us and after knocking doors and talking to people the whole day we were finally able to teach a family. The last house we knocked! Diligence is so important in missionary work!

We got to Sunday super excited about all of our investigators who were supposed to come, and in the end, nobody showed up! I was a little confused actually because they all had confirmed the night before. But now we’re going to have to pospone our baptism with Monica for the next week ­čśŽ it was a multistake conference and Elder Rasband spoke. It was inspiring and good to hear the words of an apostle.

I’m still learning so much, this week at times, has lead me to my knees and to humble my self, but my patience is growing so much and I feel myself becoming a servant of Christ with every decision.

Love you all ! have a great week.

Elder Skonnard

Week 55: San Juan!

San Juan

This week! It was great!

We got to the new area in San Juan. It’s the Los Pinos Ward.┬á We are washing the area, so we don’t know anything.

This Wednesday was great! we found 4 new investigators which was a miracle! Two amazing families who seem like they will progress a ton! We also found another family which was another miracle. We talked to Maria, an old lady, first, who told us she is super evangelist and doesnt want to hear anything. We convinced her to answer a few questions we had about families and she let us in. We slid in the lesson and at the end she agreed for us to come back! that was the best, that usually never works, but it did this time.

Sorry for the sister missionaries we had to take the investigators they were teaching that are actually in the Los Pinos ward. And the investigators have baptismal dates, so we are going to baptize them in a few weeks! They are awesome investigators and have testimonies! Thank you Hermana Mena and Hermana Quispe!

On Friday we found 7 more investigators and taught like 10 people in one house. And they were all listening it was the coolest thing. I’ve never taught a full lesson to so many people like that!

On Saturday and Sunday Elder Machado continued working our hearts out and we had a lot of success! This week we found 16 new investigators!

The district is awesome. It’s a district of 4 and we all stay in the same pensh. Like the best 2 years but not as funny…

Love you and miss you all!

Elder Skonnard

Week 54: 7 New Zones!

San Juan

IMG_6282This past week went by so fast! What in the world .

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were normal days of work. Elder Machado and I had a lot of success. A member came with us and we had a few lessons with part member families. It was great, and they want to come to church! We found some new investigators and worked hard. On Thursday I had to go with the zone leaders to Mendoza for a special leadership meeting and didnt get back until Saturday. So that basically took out the rest of the week. We figured out all the crazy transfers in the meeting and opened 7 new zones! I found out that im leaving and heading to San Juan! I’m in one of the new zones.

Saturday we worked in Justo Daract and said goodbye to everyone there. Finally they are opening the area!

Sunday we said our goodbyes to the area because now Elder Machado and I are both heading to the area Los Pinos! It was sad saying goodbye to all the members. I’m going to miss the area. But Elder Machado and I are super excited.

Monday we arrived in the new area, we dropped our bags and decided to go find a new investigator during the siesta. And suprizingly we found one! A miracle. San Juan is amazing. The people are so nice. We are dividing and washing in area so we are basically starting from zero. Theres 4 elders in the ward.

So excited for this first week in the area!

Week 53: Faith means Action

Villa Mercedes

Hello! This was a normal week!

I hit a year this week! Today I’m burning a shirt! I’ll send pics next week! 1 more to go.

This week has been great. After the baptism of Dario we realized we don’t really have many other investigators who are progressing. So we are going to need to find a lot more new investigators this week. This past week we spent contacting people and visiting a few investigators.

The highlights of Tuesday and Wednesday was that we did some service projects with a sister in our ward. We cleared out a bunch of cement blocks in her yard and did some yard work. From doing that we saw a miracle and got a reference! The other highlight was I did another baptismal interview of a kid being baptized with the other Elders in the district! It was great and he passed! He’s Nate’s age.

On Thursday we had our interviews with our new President, President Panzachhi. It was great, I like the vision he has for the mission and im excited for the changes.

On Friday we had a zone conference. I learned a lot, we studied straight from the preach my gospel which I loved. I learned a lot about the authority we have as missionaries and what it means to have faith. The coolest thing I learned is that Joshua, in the bible, and the group he was traveling with were commanded to cross a dangerous river. They didn’t question, murmur, or anything, but showed their faith and stepped their feet straight into the water, although it seemed impossible to cross. The instant they stepped their feet into the water, the water parted and dried up in the path they were walking to cross. Great story I hadn’t heard before, and it really helped me understand faith more. Faith means action. If we have faith we will ACT.

Saturday was our only other day to work. We visited a less active part member family and committed them to church to present their new baby tomorrow. We went to a baptism in the other ward in our district to support them. An awesome kid who was super prepared!

Sunday was good but harder, because we didn’t really see many fruits of our labor for the week, and realized we don’t really have much progress in the area right now, but as we finished the day we set goals for this next week to work even harder and have more success.

I love this work! It pushes me everyday to become better! I love you all and miss you so much!

Elder Skonnard

Week 52: ONE YEAR!

Villa Mercedes

Hey Family and friends! I have good news: Dario was baptized! It was so special. Ill talk about it later on today. This week was long and a lot of work. It was all focused on the star Dario because we needed to finish teaching him the lessons. The first few days of the week we didnt meet with him so we had to visit with him every day from Wednesday to the baptism to finish everything. Dario was super excited and super prepared! Im so happy right now!

Monday through wednesday we didnt do much. On monday we planned a super family home evening with 3 investigator families. I made a tres leches cake (thanks for the recipe mom) but just before, 2 of the 3 families canceled. That stressed us out but we still had a good time with the one family who came and it was good for them. On friday we had the baptismal interview for Dario, the zone leaders came to do the interview and he passed! Saturday morning Dario the man came to help us clean the baptismal font. haha what a capo. In the evening him and brayan (who baptised him) got a haircut to be looking sharp for the baptism. It was a great service. And super spiritual. There was a lot of support from the members who filled the room. He is going to be a well  taken care of member. We ended the week with his comfirmation and I gave a  talk on fasting.

The biggest thing I learned from studying that this week is that it can be a huge oppurtunity for spiritual growth if we fast appropriately with 2 things: a purpose and a prayer. I invite you all to apply these 2 things this week as fast sunday arrives and well all be edified immensely! Love you all!

Elder Skonnard