Missionary Monday: Elder Skidmore Serving in Mexico

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
Elder Skidmore is serving from the Spring Gulch Ward.

Missionary Monday: Elder Harrell Serving in Peru

Here is  a recent letter from Elder Harrell:
Hello again everyone! So something I forgot to mention last week was that I am a district leader! I we all had interviews with the branch president and I guess they picked me and 2 other kids out of the 30 something mmissionaries. In related news, I have become great at pretending I know what I´m doing. I dont do too much as a DL, I just make sure everybody is somewhat following the rules and nobody is having any personal problems. If they do, then me and the other 2 district leaders handle it using a sock filled with pennies. Hahaha no not actually. But its been a great experience and has definitley forced me to grow spiritually and mentally.
Also, aparently I have now slept through 3 earthquakes. They were all minor, like 3-4 on the scale, but I guess alot of people woke up cause the drawers were shaking. Also, another wierd thing about here is that the sun is literally never out. There´s this weird persistent haze that never leaves. But it makes the temperature nice so  I cant complain.

My fitness class is growing too hahaha, alot of people have resitance bands and we´ve been able to jury rig some half way decent equipment. The quote from the week in the class was ¨vomit is only weakness leaving the body” from this hispanic elder during our leg workout XD. We´re up to around 10 people now!
Anyways, Elder Oaks came to our MTC and gave a great talk on missionary work! I got to shake his hand which was super cool!
My spanish skills are weird. I can talk well but I have no clue what people say to me. Which is awkward because I just have to give super general answers to people and kinda guess what theyre talking about hahah. One time I told somebody that I was very tired in spanish, but I got the inlfection wrong and missed a letter and said that I was very married. So now half the latinos think i´m married, I don´t know enough spanish to explain myself so I guess that´s just the way it is now haha.
Another thing: the Churros here are NEXT LEVEL. I didnt know food could taste so good, but down here it does. Seriously, when you eat these churros, your soul exits your body and ascends to the next dimension.
Another awkward spanish moment: I asked a practice nvestigator if he was married or had a girlfriend and he responded that he was single. However, I thought he said that she left him becuase the phrases sound similar in spanish, so I said i´m sorry. So what ended up happening was he said “Im single” and then I said “Im sorry” and it was really awkward.
So 2 nights ago, I started singing Country Roads for some reason, and like the entire floor started singing it too and the whole dorm building errupted into song. It was quite possibly the greatest thing ever.
The latino kids here all stay upo till like 12 and party and its the funniest thing ever. They all stay upsairs, and we can always hear muffled screaming, singing, and whatever general nonsense is happing up there. The good thing for me is that they arent in my district which means they arent my problem hahahha.
The last thing I´ll talk about here for the week is ties. Ties here are like cigarettes in prison. They are straight up currency. Like if you want a dude shanked in the lunch line, you just need a nice tie and im sure someone would do it. Just kidding, but for reeal ties are SOOOO valuable here. If you have a nice looking tie, you instantly become a king pin. Tie trading is also very popular.
Anwyas, thanks for all of the support guys! I love you all and miss you guys!

Elder Harrell is serving from the Daniels Park Ward.

Boundary Changes Info and Map



Meet in the Colorado Building

Sacrament Meeting at 9 AM

Bishop Joel Cowden

1st Counselor- Chris Ellsworth

2nd Counselor- Bill Petry

Ward Clerk- Jeff Young

Executive Secretary- Michael Howard

Christmas Party: 6:30 PM, December 16th, Colorado Building


Meet in the Stake Center

Sacrament Meeting at 11 AM

Bishop John Walton

1st Counselor: Chris Coberly

2nd Counselor: Brad Alberchtsen

Ward Clerk: Kelly Rogers

Executive Secretary- Dave Dixon

Christmas Party- 9:30 AM, December 16th, Stake Center


Meet in the Wildcat Building

Sacrament Meeting at 9 AM

Bishop Mark Carley

1st Counselor: Allen Welch

2nd Counselor: Morgan Simmons

Ward Clerk: Ty Weiss

Executive Secretary- Aaron Watts

Christmas Party- 10 AM, December 16th, Wildcat Building


Meet in the Stake Center

Sacrament Meeting at 9 AM

Bishop Gregg Harris

1st Counselor: Scott Driggs

2nd Counselor: Michael Hammond

Ward Clerk: Ashley Lemon

Executive Secretary- Jack Borland

Christmas Party- 10 AM December 16th, Colorado Building


Meet in the Wildcat Building
Sacrament Meeting at 11:00 am
Bishop Bryan Merrill
1st Counselor – Matt Pickett
2nd Counselor – Garrett Callister
Ward Clerk – Derrick Dillon
Executive Secretary – Glen Whittier
Christmas Party – 6:30 pm
December 15th – Wildcat Building




Elder Jackman Serving In the Philippines

Here is a recent letter from Elder Jackman:

Hello to all of you again!!! I hope you all had a great week. This week was good and bad for us over here but we’ll try to focus mostly on the good haha. This week was really long, It felt like it lasted forever but we finally made it!!

Tuesday: At this time Elder Lacsao was still with us so we were in a threesome in Tolosa while his comp Elder Canas was with our ZLs. (Zone Leaders).  SO on Tuesday Elder Arienda got really sick and we let him rest for a while cuz it was really bad… we did our studies that morning and all that but after that we let him rest. While he did that I worked out and then did some laba (laundry) too, just to stay busy and get stuff done. Later on that night when Arienda was feeling a little bit better we went up to Canmogsay and did FHE with Nanay Lita and her family and such so that was fun we had a great lesson and did games too. I lost in the games so I had to sing for everyone haha. So I sang “The Inn Keeper” from the Forgotten Carols.  But they said I was a good singer. 🙂   Well, you may be thinking “Jake, isn’t it a little too early to be singing Christmas Songs?”  Well, over here in the Philippines, Christmas Celebrations start in September.  All Christmas decorations are up and music playing.  They LOVE Christmas.  So, the song fit in quite well.
Wednesday: We had our Zone interviews with President. That was Reeeaaallllyyy long but it was great!!! My interview with him went sooooooo well he told me so much stuff that really helped me and he told me that he thinks that I am a great leader and can become a great leader in the mission and after the mission. That was  really cool to hear!!  It really made me feel good!!  But he also told me to be ready for my next assignment that he has for me…..I don’t really know what that means it kinda worries me but I’m sure that I can do it hopefully! The reason I say that the interviews were so long is cuz we were at the church from 7:00 am- 3:00pm it was a really long time!!! After president finished all of the interviews and all the other missionaries left he interviewed the San Roque elders together after their interviews and that took a really long time so we just waited for that to finish cuz that is my district and I also had the key to the chapel so I had to lock it all up after we were done. But I guess president ‘fixed’ their problem. They are still comps and they are back in San Roque….it was really surprising to me that that is what pres decided to do….I hope it works out…. And I trust that President knows much more than me.
Friday: We had a devotional in Tocloban with some General Officers that came to visit. It was elder Heiyne (the 1st counselor in the Philippines area Presidency) and Elder Soares of the 70 (he gave a talk last Gen Conf).  It was soooooooooooo cool to go to that!  We got to meet them and talk with them and they both gave devotionals. Oh man, it was SO good – the spirit was very strong and I learned SO much.  It was just so amazing!!!  It really inspired me to be better and to try and work harder. Elder Soares really focused on our purpose as missionaries and how we are truly representatives of Christ.  It was a real eye opener for me on how I really gotta be better!!
Saturday: We did a Service Project for a Lady in the Tolosa branch.  We went to the house of her father and did extreme weed pulling. I say extreme cuz the weeds were up to our knees. There was soooo much to do. But we got a lot of work done and man it was hard hard work but we aren’t even close to being done.  We gotta go back this week and try to finish the rest!!! I also climbed another coconut tree and got us some coconuts to eat when we took a break.  No one else knew how to climb coconut trees – so I did it because I have done it many times before.   It was the best coconut I have ever had!!  The coconut milk was so sweet and the coconut meat was perfect!!!  It was great!! I’m really good at climbing the coconut trees now.  This one I just climbed was probably a goot 25-30 feet haha it is so fun!!!
Sunday: On Sunday We went to church in Tolosa and we didn’t have any investigators at church so that was a major bummer but we had a good day on sunday. We went out and worked with our BML (Branch Mission Leader) that day and scheduled some FHEs (Family Home Evenings) with some LA (Less Active) families so that will be really fun!!! After we worked we went and had a boodle fight at Brother Benjies house. That is when you lay all the food on banana leaves and eat with your hands it is the best ever!!!  I just love eating with my hands.  The food tastes so much better when you eat it with your hands.  Ahhh, it was so delicious.  (Rice, hot dogs, ham, noodles and sauce).
Oh, also I got a package!!  Thank you so much.  It was full of Protein Stuff and I loved it!!  Also, Elder Arienda received the “Greenie Package” you sent to him.  He was so happy!  Thank you.
I also got a letter from mom with a new picture of Christ in it.  I love it mom – Thanks.
Well that is how our week went it was pretty good in the long run. I hope you are all doing great and recieving many blessings!!! Love you all so much
Makabuhat kita og lidod nga mga butang  (We can do hard things – in Cebuano)
Makabuhat kita hin makuringa mga butang  (We can do hard things – in Waray Waray)
Hurrah For Israel!!

Elder Jackman is serving from the Daniels Park Ward.