Monday, October 27, 2014

"Dead Thing"---It's not Courtney's attitude!

This past week was a good one! We went to Quincy, Illinois on Tuesday for interviews. We have a nice talk with Sister Jensen and an interview with President Jenses and meet with our district as other missionaries are being interviewed. It was so great and I love President and Sister Jensen a lot. President is like your bishop, dad and grandpa all wrapped into one out here.
On the way back from Quincy Sister Paul and I played a fun game. The ride is a little less than two hours and the game is called "Dead Thing!" I made it up and it's pretty fun. There's so much roadkill out here it's rediculous! Different animals are different points and you have to yell out "dead thing" when you initially see it and then you get the points after it is identified. I know, not super missionary-like but I wanted to let yall know that I am having a good time!
On Saturday we went to two baptsims! Not for our companionship, one was for an eight year old boy and another for a convert in the other ward. It was so nice to attend those baptisms because it reminded me why I am here and what our goal is. The same exact power of the priesthood held by Christ is on the earth. I have no doubt of that because too often has the spirit of truth confirmed that to me as I witness baptisms, see the sacrament blessed and passed, and attend the temple to participate in the ordinances there. What an amazing blessing!
There is not much to report on in terms of the work, I'll let yall know when we've got some people on date for baptism and they're coming to church. As for know we are working hard to find Heavenely Father's elect sons and daughters. This work is amazing, I have never been happier, and I know without a doubt that the Lord has His hand in every piece of the work of salvation. True and everlasting joy is found in obedience and diligence in living God's commandments. No other way. If I were not keeping the commandments and staying close to the spirit this work would not bring me joy. Getting doors closed in my face, people telling me the Book of Mormon is not the word of God, investigators dropping us and avoinding us like the plague, and walking ten miles a day. It's hard. Really hard sometimes. But I am happy, my soul is filled with joy as Ammon would say. I don't understand how it works but me being as happy as I've ever been is proof of the truth that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to find peace and joy in this life and in the life to come. I know it.
Love yall,
Sister Skaggs

Monday, October 20, 2014

Breakfast burritos!

So this past week was pretty crazy because we had transfers and Sister Ramsey left! So much of the two days before transfers was spent packing and seeing members she wanted to say goodbye to. On Thursday we went to Iowa City for transfer meeting, it took pretty much all day as we had to wake up at 5:00 am and we didn't get home until 5:00 pm! But the meeting was good and President Jenson told a joke that when a hair falls out of his head and he sees it, he'll pick it up and say "see ya in the resurrection!" That had all us missionaries rolling! I love President and Sister Jensen. I was last to be called in the meeting and my new companion is Sister Paul, from Garden Grove, California!! I was so excited! She is super cool and just has two more transfers so I will probably be the one to send her home. We talked about Mexican food for a good half hour the other day, then we went home and I made breakfast burritos for dinner. I think we're gonna get along!
Quick story that kinda relates to what I wrote about last week about being in the right place that the Lord wants you. Sister Paul and I were walking down the street and saw an older lady raking leaves so we decided to go see if she needed help. We started talking to her and I asked her name, she said Lois Gillum. The gears turned quickly in my head and I remembered the name, she is a former investigator that Sister Ramsey and I had been looking for! We visited with her for a little while (I mean she talked for a good two hours straight!) and invited her to church. She knows one of the members of our ward and has put it on her calendar that she is coming in two weeks, after her son's wedding! We are excited for Lois and will be stopping by and helping her rake her yard and hopefully teaching her in these next two weeks in anticipation that she will be at church soon.
The Lord puts us in the right place at the right time if we are about His work. I am realizing more and more the hand of the Lord in all we do. There is no such thing as a coincidence because the good Lord has his hand in everything good that comes about. I know that for a fact. I love being on the Lord's errand, as Ammon and his missionary buddies say, "my joy is full." There is no greater joy than to be an instrument in the Lord's hand as He works His magic here on earth!
Love yall,
Sister Skaggs

Monday, October 13, 2014

Meet the Mormons

Courtney's first visit to the Nauvoo Temple

I am running out of time unfortunately so this one will be shorter. This past week we had the opportunity to go to Nauvoo, Illinois on Tuesday! It was such a great experience because we watched Meet the Mormons with all the missionaries in the stake and then Sister Ramsey and I went to the temple. I just loved Nauvoo and it was a great experience. The drive to the city is great too as you drive alongside the Mississippi River for about ten minutes, winding your way north to the city. The drive reminded me of  the drive to BYU-Hawaii from town and it was very nastalgic as the river slapped the shore and came close to the road at times. It was not as pretty as the blue waters in Hawaii because the water was a muddy brown, but it was pretty because it was the most water I had seen or been near in months. 
Everyone should go see the movie Meet the Mormons! It is like an I'm a Mormon message on human growth hormones. It was so so great as it was funny and informational and uplifting. One of my favorite messages from the movies was that we are all sons and daughters of God no matter what our background may be. There is so much power in that idea, that if we can recognize every single person as our brother or sister things will be so much better. I know it sounds all hippie and peace and love, but it is true. Happiness comes from loving others as your brothers and sisters even if your are different or have opposing views or come from a different culture. I am so grateful that the movie gives that message so poignantly.
I'm going to be vague but I learned so much this past week about my purpose as a missionary and why I am here. If you follow the Lord's will and you are in the place where he wants you to be, no matter what comes your way or arises know that you are in the right place. I'll quote a scripture to the best of my ability that is in the Bible somewhere that a general authority gave a talk on at one point.. it says "cast not therefore away your confidence." Trusting in the Lord and His plan for you is one of the greatest strengths we can have in this life. I know that me being on a mission at this time in my life is the best way I can bless the lives of my brothers and sisters here in Missouri, help my family that is back home, and become the person my Father in Heaven sees me becoming. Trust in the Lord and do not cast away your confidence, because He is always going to come through if we are keeping His commandments and following His will. 
Love yall,
Sister Skaggs

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sister Skaggs finds a unicorn and fruit

So it's official. I scared for winter. Saturday we it was 42 degrees as we were walking to the church building to watch conference. The wind chill was probably down in the twenties and my knuckles were stiff because I made the mistake of not wearing a skirt with pockets. I wore tights for the first time since I was seven. Members joke and say "oh that wasn't even bad, wait until February when it two degrees and the wind chill is negative twenty." I'm glad it was only a tease for now and it's back up in the sixties, but I am definitely wanting fall to run a little long!
This weekend was General Conference and it was like a feast for us missionaries. Never before has eight hours of addresses flown by so fast! It was finished and I was like "no, I want more!" I am so grateful that Christ's church is on the earth and that we have a Prophet and Apostles to learn from. Their teachings are the words of God as they are inspired men. I can't wait to go back and read the talks when they come out in print.
Two weeks ago we focused a lot on finding and I even gave a training on it at district meeting. We learned a lot about it because we were doing so much of it! The number of the people we were teaching had dwindled and the ones we still had were all pretty busy or sick. It was tough that despite our efforts and focus were had not found any new people to teach. But this past week the lessons we learned in that tough week really benefited the work as we found three new investigators! We were bold in our invitations to be baptized and really worked diligently to talk to everyone we saw. I know what Moroni said is true in Ether 12:6, that often times we do not receive a witness or see the fruits of dedicated service until after the trial of our faith. It might be hard now and things may be going slow, or not even going at all, but the Lord will provide. He sees our efforts and hard work on His behalf. If we bear it with patience the fruits of our work and lessons we learn will be that much greater!
Love yall,
Sister Skaggs