Monday, March 30, 2015

Blessing come in all forms

Wow, this past week just flew by! The mission is such a weird time warp, things go by so fast but it seems like years ago that I was in Kirksville. Craziness. 
This past Thursday I went on exchanges to Clinton, which is just up the river. It was an interesting city that smelled like processed corn and dog food. There is a Purina dog food plant as well as a corn processing one there. It is quite the combination of aromas. I was with Sister Garrett and in the morning we went running on a path that goes right along the Mississippi! It was so beautiful as I was huffing and puffing trying to keep up with my temporary companion. I've been working out more this transfer, but evidently not enough! Also in Clinton I met a free mason. He was cool and totally dished secrets about masonic worship! Not really, but it was neat talking to him.
So I haven't mentioned it, but with spring coming in "Dead Thing" is totally back in full swing! Sister Nakayu is all about it and we have a good time spotting lumps of animal carcass on the side of the freeway. Also with spring rolling in there is actually green stuff on the ground. Oh how it makes me happy! Whenever I think of spring I just picture like it is in the movies when grass grows in three seconds and lilies pop out of the ground like nothing! It doesn't quite work that way, but slowly things are looking prettier and prettier.
This past week my testimony of so many gospel principles has been strengthened. How grateful I am for the Holy Spirit which testifies of truth! One of our investigators has been a great example to me of the importance of obedience. We taught Elena the Word of Wisdom two weeks ago. It took her two days to stop drinking coffee. Within the next week her paralyzed muscles began to function much more than before, her son became more loving and kind, and her testimony and faith just skyrocketed! Blessings come in all forms when we are obedient to the commandments of God. Elena will enter the waters of baptism and be confirmed this Saturday. I know that without a doubt that obedience begets miracles. Our father is eager and willing to bless us. We just have to use the obedience tool and open the windows of heaven! He WILL pour them out. 
I am so very humbled and blessed to be the Lord's tool. There is no greater call, and no greater means to receive blessings and pure joy, than to be on His errand. 
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Apply all the awesomeness

Unfortunately I don't have much time to write. This past week was a pretty solid one here in Bettendorf. The weather cooled down and our car turned into an Easter egg of ice this morning. Not cool. 
Here are some sweet things that happened this week:
(I know, bullet points.. lame)
  • We were fed corn beef and cabbage twice this past week! It was delicious. I will have to learn how to cook on day because it should not just be served on St. Patrick's day!
  • On Thursday we had Zone Conference in Cedar Rapids (Rabids, Crapids). It was also my birthday and it was a great treat to see other elders and sisters I know as well as President and Sister Jensen. We learned so much there and it is a challenge now to apply all the awesomeness.
  • On the way from the Iowa City area as we drive east to go home there is a 10+ foot picture of Will Ferrell's head. No joke. I'm going to get a picture of it one day! The Midwest can be a totally weird  awesome sometimes. 
  • When painting nails at the Fountains Assisted Living, a resident, Marj, walked around giving out free slices of bologna. She was happy to share as the person who bought her groceries "just bought way too much!" I had two slices and it made her day. I love old people!
  • Elena came to church! She loved it and even took a nap during Relief Society. She will be baptized on April 4th and we are excited to stay close to here in these next few weeks to help her get there. 
Check out #becausehelives if you haven't already! We saw the video at Zone Conference and it was great. I have had some very sacred experiences as I have served as a representative of my Savior and Friend. I know with out a doubt that He live. He beckons. He succors. What a joy it is to know!
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

firery darts

I realized this past week that my writing had become boring to me, and if it is boring to me then it is definitely boring to the reader! So, like missionaries do, I evaluated myself and did a better job of taking notes this past week of interesting things to write about! Hopefully this is a little more enthralling than the last few months have sounded. 
With the nice weather there are people out doing something on every block! Winter hibernation has ceased and people are soaking up the rays. Something cool about Bettendorf is that wherever you go in the city there is a two lane exercise path. Literally, everywhere. Even on major and big streets! It's pretty rad because it makes for some good people watching as we drive. The other day we saw a lady rollerblading, her husky pulling her, hair flowing and she was jamming out to some tunes! It was quite a site to see. 
Also something funny about missionary work here is that when we knock on a door and the people are not expecting us we often times just hear "who is?!" It caught us off guard the first time and but now we just yell back "missionaries!" It's fun, except for when they don't open the door. 
The work is going better here and we are seeing our area the investigators progress more. We were blessed to find more investigators this week and look forward to helping two others progress to baptismal dates. Elena is one of my favorite people I have ever taught! I love her so much, not only because she cooks for us, but because of her sweet spirit and fun loving personality! The people of Iowa are the best.
This past Saturday Sister Nakayu and I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Nauvoo Temple! We went with our ward Relief Society. Nauvoo is about two hours down the Mississippi. It was great to be there and have the opportunity to worship in the temple. After our session we went over to the stake center for lunch. Walking up to the building I recognized a car, it was from Kirksville! When we got in the building we learned that the young women from the Nauvoo stake were there for a meeting and activity later in the day! I was so blessed to see so many people from Kirskville. It was most definitely a tender mercy of the Lord. 
A side note, I've never mentioned, but there are Bald Eagles everywhere! Especially down by the river. They are not in vans though, we saw like six up in a tree on Saturday. They are huge and so majestic! 
I am so very grateful that as a missionary I have the opportunity to study the scriptures for two hours every morning! They provide the armor for us to go out into the world. Read 1 Nephi 15:24 what better way to prepare for the day than to fortify ourselves against the fiery darts of the adversary! Feast, don't just nibble or put it on the shelf to have every once and a while. A greater resolve to stand in the ways of righteousness will come as we do so!
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs

Monday, March 9, 2015

this is His work

Another great week in the service of the Lord is in the books and boy what it was! We got an ice storm that put a shell on our car. No joke, it was like cracking a hard boiled egg. I was smacking the windows to get the ice to shatter so we could scrape it off. Once it cracked a lot is simply just slid off in huge ice sheets! It was totally crazy and kinda fun. Much easier to get off the car than snow. 
We also had the great opportunity to teach a family and they are new investigators! The Leapley's are so fun and definitely have a desire to follow our Savior. We look forward to meeting with them again this week! Also, Elena accepted a baptismal date for April 4th! She is a totally funny lady but is so in tune with the spirit. Sister Makayu and I are crazy excited about these developments in our area because we had seen so little for so long as we have worked here in Bettendorf. We pray that these wonderful people will progress towards baptism. What a blessing it is to teach them!
Also two weeks ago we went out to LeClaire with a couple in our ward. It's a cute small town in our ward but not in our area.  We went to this sweet restaurant right on the Mississippi called Sneaky Pete's and I got a buffalo burger! It was so delicious.
I want to just quickly include something that my friend sent me. We were in the MTC together and he is serving in Alberta, Canada. He said, "The Lord will help you, for this is His work. We are just blessed to be a part of the ride." It is so true! That advice rings true for us all as we are engaged in the work of the Lord whether it be in the temple, as a missionary, as a loyal and supportive spouse, as a parent, as a primary pianist! It is amazing how I have seen the hand of the Lord in His work. If it is something you haven't seen or picked up on, think about it and pray to recognize the Lord's hand. Greater clarity and understanding comes when we are on His errand and trust that He is in charge. WE are His work and it is an amazing blessing to be along for the ride.
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs
P.S. It is in the 50's today and I could not be more ecstatic!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Do IT!

Somehow the two don't go together

Hey just a quick note today cause I'm running low on time somehow. 
This week we didn't have any crazy happenings as there was transfers and Sister Nakayu and I are both staying put another six weeks. Last Wednesday was our preparation day and we played dodge ball with racket balls! It was pretty brutal but it was nice cause I could throw it as hard as I could at the elders but they felt bad hitting me hard! Many many laughs were in order that day. Sister Nakayu even loved it, she bought some racket balls at Walmart this morning! We had some good lessons but no new investigators and no one at church yesterday. 

Yup, the real deal

Something kinda cool I have learned on my mission is the importance of finding the Lord's will and doing it.The knowledge does not always come right at once, sometimes it takes weeks. But as we find the Lord's will through counsels, scriptures, prayer, and listening to the spirit it is imperative that we then DO IT. The Lord can do great things with us if He can trust us with His work. What a blessing it is to be on His errand! 
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs