Monday, February 23, 2015


At the John Deer Factory

Time for your Midwest weather update courtesy of Sister Skaggs in Bettendorf, Iowa. I seem to always start with the weather, probably because it is constantly changing, it gets me in typing mode, and it's a good way to awkwardly start a conversation. It was cold this week. One day we scurried back to our car, after 20 seconds on a door step and no answer, close to ten times. It was just so bitterly cold and the windchill took it down into negative temperatures.
We had Stake Conference this weekend and President and Sister Jensen were there. It was a great opportunity to feel the spirit and receive guidance from our leaders. This week is transfers and Sister Jensen said she won't be seeing us there. Sister Nakayu and I will be together one more transfer together and I am so happy! Things are slowly picking up with the work and I am grateful that finally I feel that I know the area and we are going in the right direction. 
Something I wanted to share real quick was what I realized in my studies this morning. I am reading in the beginning of 1 Nephi, and Nephi is just flabbergasted at his brother's lack of faith and inability to remember the Lord. So many miracles benefited Lehi's family and still Laman and Lemuel could not muster the faith to trust the Lord would deliver them yet again. They saw an angel for crying out loud! And yet they immediately murmured. I thought as I reflected on their stubbornness, "experiences do not equate to conversion." It does not matter how many amazing spiritual experiences we have if we do not couple them with faith and action. 100 Miracles x 0 Faith x 0 Action = 0 Conversion. It's as simple as that. We mus have faith, act, and remember the goodness of our Father in Heaven.
I hope y'all have a good week and stay warm.
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs

Monday, February 16, 2015


"I can't believe I bowled!"
Finally a dog in her life!

A wise man once said that "the Midwest is flat and the wind whips like no other." He was correct. I don't actually know that a wise man once said that, but it is a true statement nonetheless. I say "ow" a lot when walking to from our car to the house. The sun can be shining and it can be colder than a walk in freezer outside. Sometimes I miss San Diego and Hawaii and the locals here just chuckle with sympathy. But hey, we are doing the Lord's work and frostbitten fingertips thaw nicely!
This past week we found two new people to teach, Gary and Hazel. Gary even came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it! He is an older guy who lives in a nursing home, and is a friend of a less active member who lives there. Gary wears a coonskin cap anytime he is not lounging in his room watching movies on AMC. He's pretty much awesome and we're excited to help him progress in the gospel. 
Last week we had a rad zone preparation day. We went bowling. If you know me, you know I'm not the greatest fan of bowling. I just feel the athlete's foot coming on as I wear old shoes that hundreds of others have sweat in as they walk the 15 feet to the lane, chuck a ball, and walk back. Also, the natural grease that coats your fingers as your stick em in holes that little kids and old men have used after sneezing and eating nachos, is not the most pleasant feeling. Regardless, I was determined to overcome my aversion to the plentiful germs that infest the sport of bowling. I relay this message because I'm pretty sure I bowled my best score ever. A solid 152! I was saying I was happy to break a 100 and when I was knockin them pins down I just thought, "my dad would be so proud!" Super cheesy and somewhat prideful but I wanted to share my amazing bowling experience! The power to overcome dislike and being not a fan of something is real! Now, I'm not gonna say I love bowling, but putting up a 152 makes coping with the germs, weird feeling toes, and sticky fingers a lot easier. I could draw a gospel parallel to this subject, but it doesn't seem terribly appropriate.
Instead I will write to you all of something great I learned this past week. So last week we ended up with a big zero in the investigator pool. Cashena dropped us and thus went her daughter. It was hard but I learned that we did our job. The Lord put us in her path as she was taking out her trash. He had prepared her with thoughts about being baptized for two weeks prior to us meeting her! She was totally prepared. He put us in her path and we opened our mouths. God had done His part and we His servants did our part, she exercised agency to not accept the message of the restored gospel. Although it is sad to see her make that choice, it is extremely gratifying to know that the Lord is able to use us as His tool, and that He trusts us with those people who He has prepared. 
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are so incredibly invested in our lives. But in the end we must exercise our agency to make the correct decisions. There are powers seen and unseen working on our minds and hearts, preparing us for what is ahead. We must yield to the Lord, for He knows best, and is completely, entirely, totally invested in our lives. For He said "This is my WORK and my glory- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." 
I hope that lesson from the learnings of Sister Skaggs is more uplifting and enlightening than a bowling analogy would have been. Love you all and I thank you for your support and kind words. 
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

hope is a good thing

This past week was pretty cool, we still have major piles of snow everywhere because of the big storm. Instead of it being pretty and white it is all black and mucky now. Definitely doesn't look like shave ice material anymore! The last few days have been in the 40s though and I didn't even wear a cardigan or nothing. I never thought 40 degrees would feel so good! It's awesome. 
We are working hard here and trying to build up our teaching pool. Key word is trying. The Sister Training Leaders from Clinton came in on Saturday for exchanges and it was so fun to work with them! I was with Sister Harmon, who is from New Mexico, and she beat boxes so good. We've got a lot of potential investigators and are trying to work with some formers but now much is going on. We just keep a smile on and have fun. How can you not when you're in the service of the Lord? 
I read Ether chapter 12 this morning in my personal study. It is pretty much the most intense chapter ever because it is packed with counsel and revelation from two amazing Book of Mormon prophets. I could babble and type a good bit if I had the time and I knew y'll would want to read my sometimes insightful scriptural finds, but I won't. Just one cool thing I learned is in verse 4. Read it! How often do we wish we glorified God to a greater degree or abounded in more good works? I do a lot. Well, hope, Christlike hope, and faith, leads to those sought after traits. We often times underestimate the power of hope. One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Shawshank Redemption. "Remember... hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." When we feel spiritually or emotionally or physically down, hope is what brings us back and elevates us. Hope enables us to abound in those good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Hope is a good thing.
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs

Monday, February 2, 2015

We fully flower in heaven

It finally snowed in Iowa!

This week was a good one as we found two new investigators! Yay for having people to teach. Cashena and her daughter, Chastity, are totally rad! We have found a lot of potential investigators as well so the work is starting to pick up a bit. Sister Nakayu is still awesome as ever and we have a lot of fun together. 
Something not so fun was having church cancelled because we got close to seven inches of snow overnight! Then we proceeded to receive three or four more inches through the day. It was crazy! We weren't able to drive our cars. In the morning we shoveled snow for a good two hours. I'm going to be pretty dang buff by the end of winter. We have to have our driveway clear and sidewalks clear by the end of today, so that will be some good exercise. The plow trucks put a whole slew of snow right at the edge of our driveway! Not cool. That's the only bad part about snow, moving it around. Other than that I had some major fun jumping in the massive piles and climbing over them like a mountaineer. 
This morning in my personal study I read something near from Russell M. Nelson. He said "as seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven." I absolutely loved that! Our purpose on earth is to blossom. We should understand that we don't have to be a perfect and full flower yet! All we must do is be sure that our seed is planted in good ground, that we water and nurture it daily, and that we pull up those pesky weeds that pop up so frequently. Plant, nurture, protect. That's what we must do in order for our spiritual buds to blossom. Plant yourself in the soft and moist soil of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nurture your spirit whether weak or strong with the scriptures and earnest prayer, daily. And pluck out those bad habits and vices through the atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is not better way to prepare to fully flower in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Love ya'll,
Sister Skaggs