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

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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

Week 51: The Lord is Blessing our Work!

Villa Mercedes

Hello family and friends. This has been another busy, but rewarding week! The lord has blessed us immensely for our work!

The first few days of the week was a soccer p-day, a district meeting, and a long trip to Mendoza. I spent my birthday traveling 5 hours there so it was a little bit different from a regular mission birthday! haha! We had a training the next day with President and Hermana Panzachhi. It was great getting to know them more, and learning from them. We got back on Friday to work the rest of the week since were so far away from the mission home, but Elder Machado and I worked super hard and were able to see 4 Investigators come to church this Sunday. 7 investigators are committed for baptism now and we found 5 new investigators this week! We found some good families- I’m so excited to teach them. One of the families has 11 kids… and this next week we have a baptism! Dario is getting baptized. I’ll send tons of pics – he’s super prepared!

The highlight of my week was being able to teach Dario on Saturday at the members house who invited him. It was a really spiritual experience, and the member started getting a little emotional as he shared his testimony. We all felt the spirit so strong and Dario expressed the joy he felt and the excitement he has for the future and his baptism this week! It was an amazing lesson, I wish you were all there too! haha.

That was my week love you and miss you all!

 

Elder Skonnard

Week 49: 4th of July + Hot Dogs!

Villa Mercedes

Happy 4th!

Nothing unusual for me this fourth of July. It felt like a normal day. But we did make hot dogs 🙂

This was a challenging week, it seemed like all of our work wasn’t converting into progress or numbers. But i know it caused me to humble myself and rely on the lord even more. I grew so much.

We started out playing soccer on monday with the members and investigators, after pday was over, we went and tryied contacting some of our new investigators we had found and both of them dropped investigting and told us they weren’t interested any more… other than that a lot of walking knocking and talking 🙂

Tuesday highlight was a lesson we had with a family who is relatives with the 1st counselor of our ward. They are a golden family, they just don’t realize it yet! They are still scared to commit themselves to baptism-because they haven’t received their answer yet. Super funny and nice people.

ON wednesday we got to meet our new mission president President Pansacchi! They are super cool and are dedicated to help the mission grow. We had a little conference with them where we met them.

Thursday we visited that familia oliva again, and also Rodrigo Ponce,  the boyfriend of one of the members in our ward. The problem is they arent married, but luckily rodrigo went to deal with the marraige papers. It looks like he has desires to be baptized. A member came with us, and it was a spirit filled lesson! They have desires to become an eternal family

Friday was a tough day. We had a district meeting, and in the evening all of our plans we had didn’t work out. So, we decided to visit a few members to see if we could receive references. Although we didn’t receive references, we planted them a desire for the missionary work and are looking for oppurtunities now to share the gospel

Saturday we went to justo daract and did divisions with the branch president and another member in his ward. I went with our branch president and we hit our investigators and all of the less active members. a total of like 7-8 families in a few hours. Super productive. that was the first time I’ve ever done a division in the mission.

Nobody came to church on sunday sadly. And we havent been able to meet with dario. these past few days his been sick so he didn’t come to church. a few of the investigators in justo daract went, however! that night after the hard week we decided to commit ourselves in finding someone to teach. and after knocking various doors, we got into a less active member house (we didnt know them) with the non-member husband. He agreed to receiving the lessons and we were able to teach him! TENDER MERCY! That was the way to end the week.

I love the gospel! So many blessings come from living it. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Con Cariño,

Elder Skonnard

Week 48: We’re here to Change

Villa Mercedes

What a week!

The first few days of the week we had a lot of meetings and found some new investigators. One of them was a part member family who we called to set an appointment, and when we got there they had said they were just about to call us to give their daughter a blessing when we called. The father, who isn’t a member was suprized by that and accepted to hear our message! he saw that as a sign and thinks its true!

We went to Justo Daract a few times this week and havent had very much success. We havent been able to teach the two girls who attend church for the past two weeks so their baptism fell through. They’ve always been gone or sick or something happens. But we’ve had a lot of help from the members, the branch president came with us on saturday for a few lessons. He’s cool, hes only 22 and hes a branch president.

We had a lesson with Dario on Friday and we felt the spirit so much. Elder Machado is learning fast and was able to bear his testimony and help Dario realize that hes prepared for baptism. That night he prayed and the next day he woke up with his answer. He’s going to be baptized on July 22nd!

Towards the end of the week we visited Miguel, an investigator that hasn’t progressed very well. It didn’t start out well because he likes to discuss, but elder machado decided to share a little example for the importance of eternal families and after the example the spirit of the lesson changed. We testified of the importance of eternal families and the spirit was there. we left inviting him to be baptized again but he’s still scared. We don’t want to give him up but it might be time.

This sunday 5 of our investigators attended church! they love church but they don’t like committing to baptism, but this week we are going to commit them all!

love you all! This week I learned that we are here on this earth to CHANGE. we aren’t born to keep our weaknesses for all of our life. We were born to overcome them. This week I’ve felt the truthfullness of that as I’ve strived to overcome my weaknesses.

Have an amazing week!

Elder Skonnard

Week 47: Paulina the Dog

Villa Mercedes

This week was great! We hit some of our goals and are working a lot more with the members.

This week on Monday we visited a less active family whose husband isnt married but wants to get baptized! He has a strong testimony. Right now were waiting for them to have their baby so they can start going to church and him and his son can be baptized! It was a great lesson

On tuesday we visited another family of 3 who we’ve only taught a few times but they committed to going to church this Sunday! They are a fun family, and they are related to one of the members so thats going to be a huge help!

Wednesday we went to Justo Daract in the morning, but all of our appointments fell through, and in the evening we left to san luis for a zone conference the next day. The funny thing is the dog paulina who follows us everywhere. Followed us into the BUS. so Elder Bustos had to carry her out haha.

Thursday was our zone conference and the last one with President and Hermana Goates. It was a sad day. They helped me a lot. He gave us life advice in this conference which was life changing. Its all about the temple. We also had intercambios (exchanges).

Friday we had intercambios with the zone leaders in san luis. I went with Elder Vejar and one of the doors we knocked we didnt even say anything he just invited us in. the easiest new investigator I’ve ever seen. They are an older couple, but love listening to the gospel so they let us share a message with them. That was the miracle of the day. We finished our intercambios and had a few more lessons in villa mercedes with Elder Machado.

Saturday we went to justo daract and visited some families with the branch president. We found a new investigator named Michael and he is sweet. We committed him to church!

4 investigators attended church on sunday! 1 in villa mercedes, and 3 in justo daract! Dario, our investigator in villa mercedes has 4 attendences already and has decided to be baptized. He is still a little uncertain with the date he has right now

Elder Machado army story of the week:

For a training, he had to stay in the same position aiming at the same point with his sniper until a bird passed by and he killed it. It took 72 hours for him to kill one. He couldnt even budge go to the bathroom or anything.

That’s the week! Love you all!

Elder Skonnard

Week 46: Live with Exactness

Villa Mercedes

Great week! this week we have been full of challenges and a straight miracle. It blew me away.

Monday tuesday and wednesday was elder cuque saying goodbyes to some families, traveling to mendoza, and going on exchanges with elder roderick for the day in the city who is also training. We staying in the offices that night and on wednesday we met our new comps! Im training Elder Machado. He’s from Brazil. So humble and so excited for the work. He’s been in the army since he was 14 so he has some crazy stories. he’s learning fast!

We got back to our area on Thursday finally and only had a few days this week to get to work. The area is still new to me so a lot of the time was figuring out where we were. But now i feel comfortable with the area and I feel like we are going to be very effective this week. on Thursday we visited Dario whos been to church 3 times. Sadly, he hasn’t received his answer yet but he’s searching sincerely. He’s going to receive it and be baptized.

Friday we had a district meeting and talked about the importance of the holy ghost in the lessons. Its so necessary. the most important thing in missionary work. Later that day we visited a few families, walked a TON. and came back with broken legs.

Saturday we were planning on going to Justo Daract, but last minutes we changed plans and ended up visiting a few contacts in villa mercedes and talking to people on the streets.

And on Sunday we woke up to COLD. 2 investigators came to church this week, we were expecting more. But we were happy to see them there. Dario and Miguel. Miguel isnt progressing as much because he still hasnt accepted a baptismal date… but dario is progressing! That night we visited a member family to see how they can help us in the missionary work. That was super effective. They are super willing to help!

Amazing week! we are doing good and working hard! love you all. I know the lord will give us strength as we follow with exactness his gospel!!! have a good week!

Elder Skonnard

Week 45: The Pure Love of Christ

Villa Mercedes

 

This was a good week! We just had transfers, this time it was only for 3 weeks. Elder Cuque is leaving me in this giant area that i still don’t understand haha. I received the assignment yesterday to train again! I’m going to meet with my new companion this week in Mendoza.

This week we had a fun p day with the whole zone. We played volleyball and made tacos. It was super fun. After I had an intercambios with the zone leaders. I learned a ton from Elder Rawle hes such a good missionary. the biggest thing i learned is that we need to love our investigators with all of our hearts. Charity is the most important attribute we can have in life and for that reason its so vital in the work. I’ve made goals on that and have already seen so many results.

On wednesday we went to Justo Daract. We visited some of the investigators weve been teaching and they seriously are so ready for baptism. They told us they already have their answer and they explained they felt joy as they prayed to the lord! they have a real intent. theyre planning to be baptized in a few weeks!

We had a district meeting on thursday and we talked about conversion in the investigators and in us as missionaries. This made me realize that if we are really converted to the lord, we will give him our souls. We will give everything to the lord in our service and we wont hold anything back. We all need to do everything we can to become converted missionaries.

The end of this week we had a stake conference, and after taught an investigator who showed up. He likes are church and wants a remission of his sins so he accepted baptism! His story is awesome. A member whos preparing to leave on his mission invited him to church and he came for the past few weeks and now wants to get baptized! what a miracle. The members are key for the work.

Love you all! hope you are enjoying the sunny weather. my hands are freezing as we speak. i can barely even write.

Have an amazing week!

Elder Skonnard

Week 44: Week of Miracles!

Villa Mercedes

Fast week! we did so much this week. and saw so many miracles.

On monday we had our p-day and played soccer with our investigator Dario. He loved it and he feels super comfortable with the ward. He loved church on sunday too. whenever i play soccer with the argentines it makes me feel like i have no idea what im doing but that doesnt matter its so fun.

Tuesday was our district meeting, with doughnuts we found in villa mercedes. havent eaten a doughnut for so long. We talked about goals and we all realized the importance of goals in the mission. it was very impactful for me. after we left to our area and were there working all day.

Wednesday we went to Justo Daract and had a lot of success. We found the investigators that our attending church every week after searching for a while and taught them. They are already ready for baptism they just don’t have missionaries in their area. so we started teaching them. They have been attending church for almost 2 years hahaha. it was a huge success.

On thursday we had our weekly planning session and then after

Friday was pretty fast. We did intercambios with the other elders in our district. I went with Elder Hyer and Elder Cuque with Elder Parker. It was fun, we worked in his area and I learned a lot.we talked to everyone when we were passing the city and got rejected almost everytime hahaha. but thats alright.

Saturday we went to justo daract again. the branch president helped us a ton, and received permission from the parents of the investigators to teach their kids. And we set an appointment with their parents who arent attending church. it was perfect. Our branch president invited our investigators to be baptized and she hahaha (even though we had already invited her)

Sunday was insane. we had 8 church attendences between our ward and justo daract. 5 people came to church and 2 new people. They love church and the members retain them . we just need to help them feel comfortable with baptism hah. In the class we had with the investigators a few of them started crying and felt the spirit so much! That was the miracle of the day.

A fun week. nonstop. it went by so fast too. i hope everyone over there in utah is doing well. love you all and miss you

Have a good week!

Elder Skonnard

Week 43: Villa Mercedes!

Villa Mercedes

This week.

This has been a great week in my new area. San Luis is beautiful, it’s in the mountains… but im in a different city an hour from there called Villa Mercedes. So much work here! The area is huge and we dont have bikes. I’ve walked more in this past week than i have in all my mission! haha . We are staying in a pension of 4 elders it reminds me of the best two years. Theres a ward and a branch in our area so we get to work in the 2. The other city is called Justo Duract.

On Monday i said goodbye to some of the families of alvear. It was sad, I was sad to leave.

On Tuesday I left at 8 in the morning and traveled all day until i arrived in San Luis at 9 pm. it took forever… I parted ways with elder neto which was sad. I learned a ton from him. I met up with the zone leaders in san luis and stayed with them the night.

On Wednesday i finally arrived in my area and met my comp, Elder Cuque. A short dude from Guatemala! He’s awesome. He loves to work and talk to people so we are going to get along well. We ate lunch and got straight to work. we have to walk 20 minutes just to get into our area and 40 minutes to get to our church.

On Thursday we passed by members houses introducing me to everyone and asking for references. We got 5 references doing that it was super effective…there’s also a ton of members willing to help its insane. The area is awesome.

Friday we worked all morning then studied at a members house so we wouldnt have to walk all the way back to the pension and after left with a member to visit some families. All of the appointments fell through, but we talked to a ton of people and had a ton of contacts.

Saturday we had our district meeting and in the evening went contacting people we had talked to. Nobody was home again, but we invited a lot of people to church.

Sunday after all the work, nobody we had invited showed up to church. BUT, a member, Bryan who’s preparing to serve a mission, invited one of his friends and he showed up! He was super interested and now today is coming to play soccer with us. Out of nothing but a pure miracle! There was also 3 other people who attended church at another branch in our area so we are going to have to go to that branch a few times this next week. It’s a small town on the border of Cordoba.

So much to do next week. so excited. love you all have an amazing week!