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 Jeremy Hansen Serving in Costa Rica

Here are a couple of recent e-mails from Elder Jeremy Hansen:
Sept 13
sorry this is a day late, but we had a surprise zone conference yesterday and that means thursday is preparation day for this week.  one thing i learned was that the gospel is actually completely centered on Christ.  faith in Him leads us to rely on Him.  relying on Him is also known as repentance.  then we agree to follow Him and we are baptized.  then pressing forward to the end is following the Holy Ghost towards Christ.  basically its all about the Savior.  cool no?
the cool story for this week actually starts last week with elder ellis.  last tuesday we taught sister jennifer.  im not sure if she has been introduced or not or if it makes a difference to any of you but she is 27 and has a 1 year old kid.  she is a single mom because her husband nalumos sa sabaw (look it up on google translate).  but weve taught her a couple of times and i really love teaching her.  she is one of my favorite people to teach because she loves the bible, but not to bring up concerns or reasons that the church isnt true or anything, but she quotes bible verses that relate to what we were saying.  also she is a born again christian originally.  so yeah that is sister jennifer.  but last week elder ellis told her that when he learned that the book of mormon was true he started crying.  basically we taught her about the question that he asked. how do i know if i am saved?  and it was a super powerful lesson and stuff.  we read from the scriptures from mosiah 27: 24-26 and we just discussed about how even though alma and the sons of mosiah were baptized earlier (kind of just a guess)  they never changed.  we talked about how baptism is worthless if there is no change in the person.
basically all is great here on siquijor.
love you all,
hope you like my sermon
keep it chill
nalumos sa sabaw means he walked out on her but literally translates to that he drowned in soup
Date: Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 9:07 PM
Subject: moms wisdom

our preparation day last week was so much fun.  we went to the beach and we cooked a fish on the fire (in bisaya its called sugba) and played frisbee and slacklined, see pictures below.  we also invited our super cool investigator, brother dave, who just chilled with us and played with us and stuff.

some cool things that have been going on is that we decided to all pool our money and buy a huge fish.  its six kilos and it should be able to feed us for a very long time.  it also helps that elder ranon who we share a house with is a for reals master chef.  also good news ive learned some stuff and i can actually cook a little.  basically im his apprentice.

something that i have been thinking about a lot these past two weeks is something that my mom sent me about 8 months ago that has come back to my thoughts a lot recently. she said (not an exact quote) “some people think that maturity is all about being independent.  but its not, its all about being interdependent.”  which is way way harder.  currently i am so blessed because i have the great elder cox as my companion.  but something that i have been striving hard to do is to trust in him as my companion.  the past couple of transfers i have been really just shouldering everything all by myself, and to be completely honest, doing a really good job at it all.  but recently i have been thinking about what i can do to improve.  and yeah im pretty sure this is it.  i need to rely on others.  especially my super capable companion, elder cox.

this week is a super cool ponderize about Jesus.  d and c 20:22

well i guess thats all i have for this week.

keep it chill

elder hansen

PS one of the pictures is me eating halo halo.  it’s kind of like ice-cream, from a coconut

Elder Hansen is serving from the Spring Gulch Ward.

Missionary Monday: Elder Murray Serving In Fresno, California

Elder Murray just left and is in the MTC, but here is a recent blog post:

What is up family?

It hasn’t been too long since my last pday because it was only on Friday but some cool things are still happening here at the CCM. Today I think I’m going to draft my first large letter right now, for like a half an hour, because we are going to the temple here in Mexico City at around 10 am our time, which is 9 for you guys. I see that Dad and Uncle Rico are starting to mix in some Spanish words in their letters which is pretty great. I have been learning a ton here at the CCM. I can understand a lot of stuff in Spanish but it is still so hard to understand Latinos. They speak muy rapido.

Alright, let’s see what has happened this week. On Saturday we got two new fake investigators to teach. We have a guy named Yahir who is stubborn and won’t respond to about anything we say. He is just there because his wife wants him to be, he won’t pray, he won’t get baptised and he won’t really listen to the things we have to say because he thinks they aren’t necessary. This is good practice because we will probably encounter people like this in el campo. On Sunday we had sacrament meeting. You do sacrament meeting with your branch in the CCM, so our branch is 14 people all together. The rest of Sunday consisted of the theme of el plan de salvacion. So we had a priesthood meeting on that, then a couple of devotionals about the same thing. My favorite part of Sunday was a devotional that Holland gave in 2011 to missionaries about their purpose and love for the Savior.

On Monday we got back into the regular swing of things and learned about some language and ways to teach and pretty much just bonded as a district. Everyone in my district gets all kinds of packages and letters every day through some website thing that you can send stuff directly here to the CCM with. This week the language things we have been learning are pretty repetitive. We have leaned Tener Que, Querer, Necessitar, and Deber which all mean you should or you have to or you need to do something so not super duper helpful but it still teaches you about grammar and flow in Espanol. This week during gym time we played a lot of ultimate frisbee which is very fun but it rains a lot here so its sorta muddy and that isn’t always the best thing when you dive for a bad pass and cover half your body in mud! Looks like we are doing laundry today, not like I wouldn’t have done it anyway.

My last day was yesterday which was Tuesday. We do normal stuff all morning like teach our investigators and language study and power of prayer stuff then towards the end we have a devotional because all of the new missionaries come in on Tuesday. We also get pizza. The devotional last night was from an area presidency member and they had a translator. I sang in the choir this week and I have already asked Hermana Pugmeyer if I can audition to be a special musical number so I hope I can get to do that.

As for you guys it sounds like your week has been pretty good other then Jacob’s idiot coach.Who does he think he is? Jacob is a beast. The hike sounds like it was pretty fun. Too bad we couldn’t have taken some more “senior pics,” Sucks that BYU lost, but I figured that they would. One of the guys in our district works for ESPN and so he gets all the sports stats every week. They have a lot of cereal here at the CCM so I could eat Fruit Loops every day if I wanted. Sadly their isn’t any Cinnamon Life. Keep up the good work back home. I love you all.

As for a little spiritual thought, I will share with you this. When I first left on the mission I don’t think I really knew what I was in for. I didn’t know for certain why I was here or why I sacrificed so much. Now that I have been here for a while, I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that the church is true. I can tell you that I know the only way to receive true happiness in this life and in eternity is through our Savior Jesus Christ. When He rose on the third day He came to his apostles and asked Peter if he loved Him three times, and three times Peter replied that he did. When you ask me why I am serving it is this, Jesus Christ told Peter that if he loved Him then he was to feed His sheep. That is what I am here to do, because I love my Savior and this gospel. I will do what He asks of me and that is to feed His sheep.

Elder Murray (Dave)
Elder Murray is serving from the Spring Gulch Ward. To find out more about his mission, you can visit his blog by clicking HERE.

Missionary Monday: Elder Folkman Serving In South Korea

Here are a couple of recent letters from Elder Folkman:
Alright so first off getting to Korea was much harder then it should have ever been. So getting to Korea we left on Monday from the MTC at a beautiful 4:30 in the morning. Got soaked in the rain, and then got to the Salt Lake City airport. We left there at like 10 am, got to Washington, and missed our connecting flight. They gave us 32 mins, which was not enough time, so we stayed in Washington for an extra day. We ran all around that airport trying to figure out what to do next. We stayed in a hotel for the night then left the next day at 11:45. I had a pretty normal flight from Washington to Korea, it was 14 hours so super fun!
      In Korea, we road this bus to 대전 (Deajeon) and got settled in. We did not do much that night because the schedule was all thrown off so much. The next day we went to the 목요탕 (Bathhouse) which was AMAZING! Holy cow those places are the bomb! It is like a hot tub party on steriods! After that we had breakfast and went to the city of 광주 (Gwang-Ju) to listen to Elder Bednar! WOOT! The spirit is incredible. Listening to the spirit is the most incredible. Elder Bednar really made an amazing day for me because it was my birthday in Korea that same day!  The thing I learned the most from Bednar, is we must act. We must not wait to be acted upon but we ourselves must act to have the experiences we want to have.  a lot of amazing missionaries there at the meeting and the 대전 (Deajeon) mission is incredible. After we drove back to the mission office and slept there for the night again.
     The next day/rest of the week. The next day we stared the day at the 목요탕 (bathhouse) again which is the best! Then we had a new missionary meeting and got our new companion and area. My new companion is 하민수 장로님 (Elder Ha Minsu). He is from northen part of Seoul and he is the BOMB! He is fluent at English which helps a ton, but most importantly he is fluent in Korean which helps the most. The area I am currently in is called 곽양 (Gwanyang) and it is the most southeast you area you get in the 대전 (Deajeon) mission. To get here we took a taxi to a train to a bus and it took like 5 hours it was nuts. I felt so bad because my luggage weighed so much but we made it and it is awesome. So far in the area we have handed out a ton of Book of Mormons, and we have a lesson planned later today for an investigator.
      In Korea it feels like when you try to talk to anyone over the age of 30 will just not want to talk, but everoyne else is willing to atleast listen, well not to me, but definetly my companion, that is becasue he is a stud so that helps a lot! We have a branch of about 40 memembers and they are really kind. We are doing our best to help the branch out, but it is hard. I hope to grow closer to this branch as I learn more and more Korean. My korean by the way feels like it has gotten worse. Everyone is SO FAST haha and pronunciations are so difficult! I have a ton to learn while here in my first area, and I am going to do my best to stay positive.
Elder Folkman!
This week felt great. It felt like a longer week but was still so incredible. Korean was a huge struggle this week, and I am getting pretty nervous because I leave in less then 2 weeks! We had this lesson in class were the whole class went outside, and then the teacher, Brother Campbell, asked us to try a street approach. Just out of the blue we needed to try and figure out how to talk to someone, it felt impossible. It was an awesome experience trying to talk to him as we have never met him, but only using Korean it was so hard to flow sentences, and trying to make him interested in what we had to say. We also got to skype a RM missionary who served in Korea, who is from Degu Korea. She was so sweet and nice, and teaching her a lesson was such a blast. Listening to a native speak is so difficult though because they talk so fast hahaha, but it was an awesome learning experience and I really enjoyed it!

So conference. If you have not yet watched all of conference both Saturday and Sunday sessions, please go do so, all the talks are incredible and can truly help you in your life. I am so glad they talked so much about Joy. Joy is such a beautiful thing, and listening to the apostles talk about how much joy can come from the gospel made me so happy I get to share that with the people of Korea. Joy is not something that is easy to always feel, life is going to be hard and trials will always come your way, but I know we can find joy and we must strive to find joy.
Sunday was just straight spirit bomb. We got to listen to conference which was amazing and then the Sunday devotional we got to hear from Vocal Point! Vocal Point shared such an amazing message through song and the messages they prepared. My favorite songs they sang where Nearer My God to Thee, and Brightly Beams Our Fathers Mercy. Music is such an amazing way to feel, and invite the spirit it was so strong and so lovely.
Love, Elder Folkman
The MTC this week was super awesome. Korean is still super hard and super long, but that is alright because I am learning so much which is so cool! Elder Burridge left for Korea today, which was super hard, and then Elder Hansen leaves today which is a bummer. A lot of people are leaving to there areas and I am still here which is hard to watch, but I know I have so much to learn while I am still here so that is what I must focus on.

On Sunday I got to here from Brother Allen (Stephen B Allen), and he was super great, one point I really liked from his talk was how much we gave up to serve are missions, and how it is always worth it. We left a lot behind, but the work we are doing is far more important which makes me super stoked to be here. Tuesday we heard from Sister Schwitzer (Jo Ann Schwitzer) and Elder (Gregory A Schwitzer, who is a member of the 70. Sister Schwitzer spoke on going on your mission with NO regrets. My favorite line she shared was, “Everyday you are on your mission you will think about home. When you get home, everyday you will think about your mission.” It was so powerful and it really makes me want to be able to look back at my mission and know I did my best. Elder Schwitzer talked about the commandments, and the importance of building a relationship with the commandments and how to build relationships through commandments. We must understand the importance of the commandments, and the write the commandments in our hearts.
The people in the pictures, are all so awesome. The pictures are me with Elder Burridge and my companion. Elder Burridge with his compaions. I am also with Elder Taylor who was in Elder Burridge’s district and he was so sick! One of the pictures I am with Elder Guthier who is serving Chinese speaking Toronto Canada, I think, but he is a stud and we wanted a picture together haha. The picture I am in the middle of a group of Elders who are all going to the Albanian speaking Adriatic South mission and they roomed right across from me. THEY WERE AWESOME! It was sad to see them go but super exciting.
Anyways having a super awesome time here at the MTC, but I also can not wait to go out to Korea!
Elder Folkman 🙂
 Elder Folkman is serving from the Spring Gulch Ward.

Missionary Monday: Elder Bone and Elder Taylor Mission Companions!

Elder Miles Bone (Roxborough Ward) and Elder Kraig Taylor (Spring Gulch Ward) are currently serving as companions in the  Leesburg District–Florida Orlando Mission.  
On Monday, September 12, 2016 7:45 AM, Miles Bone <miles.bone@myldsmail.net> wrote:
Hello everyone! My week was great. Teresa got baptized this week which was awesome! During her baptism she had to get rebaptized three times because her leg or hand kept coming up. She will make a great Mormon. During the start of the week our week went pretty well. Mary wants to be baptized as well so hopefully we can get her to progress and reach that font. Last week for Pday we went bowling again and that’s always fun (haha) but other than that we didn’t do too much out of the normal this week. We helped a lady in our ward build a shed. So that was good to get some labor done with a hammer and nails (haha).  I miss doing those things. Also we found out about transfers again and me and Elder Taylor are staying together another! That’s three transfers with us Colorado boys! 🙂 
But this week I learned a lot about gratitude. It was on Thursday that a read a talk called “Pray Always” by Elder Bednar. He gave some good points about prayer and how to make it more meaningful. One point that he mentioned was about gratitude. How sometimes in our prayers we need to be more grateful. He mentioned a challenge he received from an apostle that during a family crisis where they needed to pray for a certain family going through trials, that they only pray with gratitude in their hearts and ask for nothing. Elder Bednar found it hard a first because of the situation but went forth in faith and prayed and had a awesome spiritual experience. So that led me to want to try so after a lesson with Mary I said the prayer but only said things I was grateful for and I felt the spirit really strongly! So I know that it was true. It was a pretty cool experience so I would challenge everyone who reads this that one day this week during a prayer you give simply a grateful prayer. Only offer thanks for what you have. Awesome! Well I hope you all have a great week. The Book of Mormon is true. I am grateful for it and for the blessing of being able to read it and overcome trials and struggles. The power that is has is real. I know it.

The Gospel is good news! 

Elder Bone
News from Orlando FLORIDA—post Hurricane Mathew
On Monday, October 10, 2016 7:47 AM, Miles Bone <miles.bone@myldsmail.net> wrote:
Hello everyone! 
So this has truly been he strangest week of my mission. It started off with exchanges on Monday night.  Those were good. I was with Elder Wilde and he is truly a Wild man. We had fun. We helped some people move then got fed Chinese buffet food which is usually a missionary’s favorite word “buffet.”  Anyways Wednesday came and we had some missionary meetings.  Those were awesome.  That’s when the week starts to get silly.   On Wednesday we start preparing for Hurricane Mathew.   So we scrambled to prepare everything.   Most missionaries were relocated so we went to Apopka with some of the Elders in the district.  
But it was like apocalyptic out here. Everyone was crowding the gas stations for gas, the stores were empty shelves, you literally couldn’t find a bottle of water ANYWHERE.  So it was a little scary especially because they kept upping the severity of hurricane Mathew. So we get to Apopka and we have to wait out the storm.  So we are stuck inside from Wednesday to Saturday.  I now know what it’s like to experience cabin fever.  After two days I couldn’t take it anymore.  We were at each others throats almost (haha).  There is only so much you can do when you have only three games to play.  But our power went out for a full day. The storm itself wasn’t bad where we were but the coast got some.  On Sunday the whole mission and almost all the members went to the coast to help clean.  Unfortunately me and Elder Taylor stayed behind because we had some people coming to church that wouldn’t come unless we were there.  So I missed out on my dream to do hurricane service cleanup but that’s ok. On Saturday when we returned to our area we had a few people who had fallen trees–so we got to help!  That was good.  We got to participate in a baby blessing of Caleb’s baby sister who was just born  (Caleb who we baptized two weeks ago) so it was good. 
I know God loves us. Hurricane Mathew could have been much much worse for Florida but through prayers and faith it wasn’t. 
We are so blessed to have a loving Father in Heaven. 

The Gospel is good news! 

Elder Bone