Here is a recent letter from Elder Skidmore:
September 4, 2017
We had an excellent last week of the transfer in Magdelena. We were both sick all week and felt horrible. Upset stomach, body pain, fever, the whole nine yards, but we didn’t want to waste our last week together, so we toughed it out. I think one of the harder parts of being so sick was that it was Elder Hardts birthday. Everyone here loves Elder Hardt, so we received like 5 cakes and everyone made special food and we just couldn’t eat like we would have liked to. One up side is that there is still a lot of cake in the house so that is great.
On Elder Hardt’s actual birthday it was pretty tough. We went to contact with the hope of having some birthday luck and we got rejected a bunch and the few people that we did teach just straight up didn’t understand. So we were sick and it was going bad, not a great first half of the day. After lunch we went to Imuris to collect the rest of the baptismal font and the elderes from Imuris came with us to Magdalena and the zone leaders came to Magdalena to have divisions and so if you’re doing the math, there were now 6 elders in our area but whyyy????? FOR ELDER HARDTS SURPRISE PARTY woohooooo! Brother Mario (our mission dad) bought a pinata and a cake and invited a bunch of investigaters that we usually teach with him. We had dinner and cake and busted the pinata and it was great. My comp was happy especially after a hard day so that felt good.
Then the next day we had those divisions with the zone leaders and I went with Elder Tomatani. It was his last day in the mission we’ve been in three zones together and I know him pretty well. It was an honor to be able to work our tails off on his last day. He was always a great example for me and for everyone and he was determined to work as hard as he could his last day in the mission. We found a lot of great people and we really tried to follow the spirit in the lessons and they went really well. I mean of course there were still really determined catholics who want to pray to the virgin of guadalupe and some crazy guy who had some strange ideas about how he’d seen god in a cloud shaped like a dove and stuff like that, but we also found some great new people and felt really connected to the spirit.
The next day we had our baptism. We made the baptismal font by hand following the instructions. It was like playing with giant legos and it looked pretty good. The plastic water proofing liner makes it look like its made of granite from far away, so that’s legit. Elder Hardt performed the ordinance like an old pro and I conducted the ceremony and was a witness and then confirmed her the next day. (one of our investigators took a pic of me confirming her which technically isn’t allowed but he didn’t know, so I’ll try to get that pic) but yeah, she’s great. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned Valeria before. She’s 14 and she’s really smart and she’s been the only person to regularly attend seminary in this branch. She’s been investigating the church more or less for 4 years. Her mom has been inactive and we reactivated her and Valeria finally felt comfortable getting baptized. Anyway on Sunday the testimony meeting was very special. One of our investigators bore his testimony and it was really sincere and he shared how the gospel has changed his life and how he felt and it was great. A bunch of our best members got up after him and shared their testimonies directly to him and also to Valeria so that was great to get some branch support. Afterwards I taught Gospel Principles and priesthood and that was exhausting. Just wow. I was spiritually drained.
Anyway the transfers were this week and Elder Hardt got sent to Penasco te paradise so i sent him off this morning. We had some great times. Arguably my favorite transfer I’ve had. We worked hard and had a lot of fun. He taught me a lot about toughness, that guy can do anything. As for me I will be staying in Magdalena, buuuut surprise! Since there are a lot of elderes leaving and none coming, president had to downsize the zone soooo, I am now in charge of branch Magdalena and branch Imuris which has so few members. I will be a branch counselor, which means temple recommend interviews and tithing. woohoo! My area is bigger than most of the zones in the mission and just to give you an idea, what is now my area was once divided between 14 elders 15 years ago. So yeah, I’ll be busy. My comp is Elder Chahin. He is from honduras and we have exactly the same amount of time in the mission, so we will both be carrying the equal weight of this heavy area. I’m sure it will be fun though.
Elder Skidmore is serving from the Spring Gulch Ward.