Monday, November 24, 2014

I'm soo funny ;)

    Well hi!  How are you all doing?

I hope you've all had a good week and that you're getting ready for Thanksgiving!  Maybe I'll buy some chicken on Thursday.  Anyways, I hope you all eat a bunch of Turkey and desserts for me ;)

So this week has been a good week!  Today is the first day of the new transfer.  But we're staying the same!!  It was funny because this last week has just been so normal, it's been so hard to remember that we were going to have transfers.  We just knew that nothing was going to change with us.  It was pretty funny though because all of the people we're teaching, and the members of the ward were all super nervous for transfers.  Everyone was pretty happy with these transfers!  The only elder that was transferred was my district leader, and he had already had 5 transfers here, so it was obvious that he was leaving.  We are still the only sisters in our district of 10 though!  8 elders, 2 sisters. 


So I love that the holiday season is here.  We've been invited to help put up Christmas trees with some of our investigators, and we have gotten to know some amazing new people.  I am so excited for this new transfer!  I feel like every transfer my areas just get better and better!

We were actually doing the Christmas tree with one family and I started to sing Feliz Navidad, just being silly ;)  When I got to the English part, everyone got silent to listen to the English.  That's when I realized they've never heard someone actually sing that part of the song without an accent!!  So I taught them how it goes.  Soo cute!  "I wanna wish you a merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart" in Mexican accents!  Aww!

This week has been soo funny though!  I dont know if you all remember that I had a sweatshirt that said "I think I'm funny" on the back.  Anyways, I was wearing it and my companion asked me what it says on the back.  So I told her, and now she always laughs at me because she thinks that I just think I'm hilarious.  Which I am.  ;D  This week was definetly filled with jokes and laughter.  My poor companion probably thinks she is stuck with the craziest white girl for another six weeks. 

We're reactivating this Sister.  She's soo cute!!!  This is this last Domingo when we didnt know if we were going or staying...

I might have attacked my companion to give her a makeover for transfers.  I was succesful!  :)

The elders, us, and Eunice.  I still dont understand elders... ;)

 
Is this not just adorable??  Feliz navidad!!!!




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just... out of the ordinary ;)

Well hi ;)  How are you all doing this week?  I miss you guys!

So as I said in the subject, this week has just been a little different.  It was pretty crazy!  we had to experience lots of rejections and disappointments this week and we were pretty exhausted by the end of each day.  They shut off our water for part of the week and we didn't know why, we had also rented a washing machine from last Monday until today, and when my companion used it, it worked fine, but when I went to wash my clothes this morning, it literally started falling apart and I had to hold it together as I got soaked in soapy laundry water.  We literally went through it all this week.  By Sunday morning, both my companion and I were just kind of exhausted.  None of our investigators went to church, more rejection and more hard times.

Sunday night our district leader called us and asked us what happened to us this week.  He asked us what we think we could do different this week to make up for the last week we had.  My companion and I just kind of sat there thinking, "What haven't we tried this week? We were giving it our all and everything just went downhill on its own!  This wasn't our fault!"  As we thought about what we could do better, I realized something.  Maybe we had been working hard and we had decided to be super obedient and hard working this week, but yes we can improve.  More than that though, is that this is our test.  If we decide that we are going to give it our all and be the best we can, we cant just expect blessings immediately.  The point of this life is to progress.  If we make the decision to be obedient, the trials are going to come, and they will be hard.  And they will keep coming and coming so that we can learn to stick it out to the end. If we want to be obedient, we have to keep being obedient and exercise our faith, even when we cant see the blessings or the end of the hard times.

That's what life is all about.  Its a test to see if we will be faithful through it all.  So even though this week was a bit different than the rest, were not giving up.  Better yet, were going to put forth more of an effort and stick this out as long as we need to.  The blessings will come, we just have to suffer a bit first.

Anyways,  Just to end with a bit of humor, we decided to give our hands a break from washing by hand, and we rented a laundry machine.  my companion used it last Monday, and I was going to use it this Monday.  It worked fine when my comp used it, but when I tried to wash my clothes, it literally started fling apart and I literally had to hold it together.  By the end, i just gave up.  I was soaked, covered in soap and dirt, and a complete mess.  Also, the house were in might be the only house with a toaster and a toaster oven in the whole mission.  This is soooo rare in Mexico!!  So i have enjoyed eating actual toast, and this morning I made......BROWNIES!!!

Ok, love you all tons!!!  Gotta go now!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Almost cold, almost hot

Hi!!!  So this will be just a short little email.  I don't have too much time!

So first of all, Karen's baptism fell through.  Were pulling a lot of strings and whipping a wedding together.  Hopefully by the end of the week she'll be married and confirmed a member!!  Pray for her!!  She's incredible and she needs this!!

Also, I had the most wonderful experience this week!  There were about 3 days where I actually said the words, "I'm cold!"  (in spanish...)  But no worries.  The cold still isnt here - were back to the heat again. 

I also was talking with the elders in our ward and our bishop.  I shocked the bishop when I put a bunch of chiltepines (super spicy peppers) on my food.  Obviously didn't think the American sister would do any of that!  So then the elders and the bishop all told me that I needed to try habenero.  They say it's the spiciest pepper ever!  So the bishop bought me one, and I took a big bite, seed and everything, and it wasn't even that spicy.  The bishop was shocked and impressed.  I didn't realize how much spice i could tolerate.

It has been an interesting week.  I'm getting excited for the Christmas season!  Loving the work!!

Love you all so much!!!

Is it really November?! (Emailed 11/3/2014)

So, that was a question...  I cant believe that its already November!!  I cant imagine that its probably kind of cold in SLC!  My mind literally cant comprehend it right now...  Almost Christmas season!!  And yes, they're all getting ready for Christmas here too!

So I have to apologize in advance.  I cant figure out how to get the question mark sign to work, and it also keeps switching back and forth from caps lock to normal on its own... 

So this week was actually really good.  We are preparing our investigator named Karen for baptism this week, so hopefully it all goes well!  Shes really great and really excited!  We are actually seeing a lot of success in our area right now.  Working hard for sure!!  This transfer though the work has just started to take off here!!  We always have lots of investigators and lots of people that come to church!  Us sisters are stepping it up here in Haciendas!!!  Hahahaha!!! 

Nothing too exciting happened though.  I did get to go on splits with one of my first companions, Hermana Lindsley, and we had a great time.  We had some pretty powerful lessons this week!  Watching the spirit change peoples hearts and testify to them!!  Also eating a lot of fried sushi and oreo ice cream and pizza.  (That would explain why I have gained weight in the mission...)

Well that's about it for today!!  Don't have too much time!  Love you all tons!!!  Hope you have a great week!!!

Hola! (Emailed 10/27/2014)


Hola!

Well, here's some pictures from my birthday.  Just for fun!  Anyways, it was a good week!  I'm more excited for this week that's coming though.  That's why this is just a little shorter.  Love you all soooo much!!


I'm so old! (Emailed 10/20/2014)

I feel soo old!!!  This past week I completed 10 months in my mission, and Wednesday, I complete 20 years of life!!  What???  When did I get soo old??? ;)

It really is kind of weird though!  So many of the missionaries that were here when I got here, that were my friends and all that, are now home!!  And I'm almost home!!  I dont know any of these new people here!!  Hahaha!!

I got my package for my birthday!!!!  Thank you all soo much!!!  I really do love it and appreciate it!!!  Love all of you so much!  Thanks for the package and the gifts and the cards!!  So exciting!!

This week has been a pretty good week!  My companion is just getting to know the area and life as a missionary in general, but shes soo cute!!  I didn't have my camera this week though, so I don't have any pictures.  But we've been working hard and doing a lot together.  Always having a blast!!  I am trying to get my companion to try all of the foods here.  Shes not too interested in brain tacos, but were going to go for dogos (Sonora hot dogs) tonight. ;)  haha!!

Were starting to really see a lot of progress here though!  We had a really good week.  A pretty great 1st week for my companion, that's for sure!!  Lots of crazy experiences this week too.  Hahahaha!!!  I just laugh my head off because all of these crazy things that always happen to us is just normal to me now, but my companion is sooo not used to it yet.  Pretty funny to watch her adjust to Mexico!

Well, I really love this Ward and this área!  We have some of the most amazing investigators and I love them soo much!!!

I hope everyone has an amazing week!!  Do something exciting on Wednesday!!  Its my birthday!!  Have fun!!!!

Love you all sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!

Transfers again! (Emailed 10/13/2014)

Hola!!!

So, yes, today we did have transfers again!  Pretty exciting! 

This last week has actually been pretty crazy!  Lots of crazy things happening....

Anyways!
So I am happy to say that I get to stay in Haciendas in Obregon.  I like this area a lot and wasnt ready to leave it.  Sadly, my old companion, Hna Hernandez wasnt wanting to leave either, but she did leave.  And today I received my new companion Hermana Garcia!!  She is from Panama and today is her first day in the field.   I'm her new mom!!  ;)  hahahaha!!!  It was pretty funny because I saw President on Saturday and he told me before transfers that I would be training.  Then when I showed up to pick up my companion, we were the only 2 sisters there in a bunch of Elders and it was pretty obvious that we were going to be comps.  This will be fun though!

Everything else has been pretty normal though.  Things slowly keep progressing.  We have been able to find new people to teach and the ones we have are progressing!

Funny story of the week.  Here, theres a dish that's pretty common, called menudo.  It's basically a maiz and cow stomach soup.  This Saturday, we had the opportunity to go to our investigators house with the Elders in the ward, and she gave us menudo to eat.  As we ate, one of the elders began to ask her if the stomach would be able to digest stomach because of the acid and the lining that stomachs have.  Anyways, it was pretty bad... ;)

Anyways, Love you all!!!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference!!!

Hola hola hola!!!

So I hope you all liked conference as much as I did!!!  Or that you were all able to see it!  I absolutely loved this conference!!  So good!  And even better, they decided to show it in English for the missionaries, so I got to watch it in English.  And when the speakers spoke in Spanish, we snuck over to watch it in Spanish too.  That was such an awesome experience!!!  I learned a lot and loved so many of the talks this time!!!  Cant wait to get the Liahona to read it all again!

Nothing too exciting has happened this week.  No disgusting foods that I can remember :)  Just lots of fun experiences!!  Actually, today, I got to take my companion to the lake here!  That's the big thing of Obregon, and she had never gone.  It was pretty cool.  We ate Obispos, which is kind of like a snow cone, with real fruit, sweetened condensed milk, and topped with ice cream.  It's pretty good ;)  Then we went for lunch with the elders.  it was funny because one of the elders told me to pour some hot sauce in my broth that I had and drink it.  Without hesitation, I dumped a bunch in and downed it.  He was completely shocked.  Then continued to have me try different salsas and chiles plain to see how much I could eat.  He gave up before I did ;)  I shock everyone when I eat super spicy things like it's nothing ;) hahaha!

So cute story of the week.  We're teaching this family that has a son that's 3 years old.  The mom has been inactive and has started teaching him to pray and praying with him.  When we went and visited them this week, he got super excited for the prayer and shouted all giggly because we were going to pray.  He sat there with his eyes closed and head bowed and after his mom said something, he would whisper, "si!" or repeat the last part of what she said, trying to listen to everything that his mom prayed for.  Then at the end said amen in the cutest way possible.  This family is the most amazing family though!  They're excited for the gospel and want to do everything possible to be there.  The wife prayed for a job, and found one and was hired the next day, and told us it was a blessing from God.  Then she found out she was going to have to work Sundays and went and told her boss that she's a member of this church and was just starting to reactivate and wanted to be able to take Sundays off to go.  She told us she was super nervous to ask her new boss, but that she impressed her boss so much, that he gave her Sundays off.  They want to be sealed in the temple and everything.  Soo beautiful!!!

Anyways, love you all tons!!!!!!!  Have a good week!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What's in these tacos again??

Hola!!!!  How are you all doing??  Hoping that you're all doing well!!

This week was a pretty exciting week.  I had lots of fun!! 

So we're teaching an investigator that I absolutely love!  Actually, we were just getting to know her, and haven't even taught her the first lesson.  But we went to her house, and out of the blue, she told us that she wants to go to our church.  That she already has it planned for this next Sunday, and that all of her family already knows that she's going to go with us.  Golden!!!!  I love her though!!! She's in love with my blond hair and blue eyes, so it's pretty funny.

We also had a pretty awesome Saturday!  We broke the record in the mission for numbers of tours.  24 in total.  It is an amazing way to contact people though!  We found a lot of new people to teach, and a few of them said then and there that they knew that this is true and want to be baptized.  Cooool experiences!!!  Its all in the the limonada! ;)

Also, we ate some pretty interesting tacos this week...  Eye tacos, brain tacos, and a combination of who knows what else...  The elders were too chicken to try it, but my companion and I made it through and we didn't even throw up!!  ;)  Not the best experience...  but now I can say I did it!!  YOLO.... .:/

Anyways...  it was a good week :) 

Love you all tons!!!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

9 Months... (Emailed 9/22/2014)

Hi everyone!!!  How are you all doing??

So this week was pretty good!!  I still cant believe that the time has gone so fast.  This Thursday I hit 9 months in the mission.  The halfway point.  I am now officially and sadly, on my way home.  I was talking with the Elders in my district today and I only have 5 transfers left...  Pretty scary!!  ;)  Actually, 2 of the elders in the district go home the next transfer, and then after them, is me going home before all of these other elders in my district!!  When did I become so old in the mission!!! 

I do have to say though.  I love this area here!!  It's super hot and there's not many trees here, and it's not too pretty, but I am loving it!  I love it that I can get to know these people here!  This week we have been working a lot with some families that had been inactive in the church.  We started working with them and with their non member family members.  We found some amazing new investigators that are golden.  We have really enjoyed working with them, trying to get the whole family back into the church.

There's actually one family here that were teaching.  The wife is a member and has 23 years, and her husband is 21.  They have a 3 year old son that I adore!! We're definitely good friends ;)  Anyways, Magui, the member, is amazing.  She told us that when we first came, it was like she was receiving a second chance and that everything we talk about is exactly what she needs to hear in that moment.  She is doing everything she can to be active in the church again, and wants her husband to have the gospel in his life too.  And Pablo, the husband, is super interested in the church and wants this too!!!  Love this family!!

We're teaching a lot of other great people too!  Too bad I dont have enough time to just tell you all about them!!  I love teaching and getting to know these people!  I also get to be friends with all the little children here!  My companion always laughs at me because when we go to visit someone, the children and the dogs always are super excited to see me and want attention from me the entire time.  It's all about the kids and the animals for me ;)  Nah, es Broma!


We have had some pretty great experiences here.  We have seen the hand of the Lord guiding us in His work everyday. We are becoming stronger as missionaries and we are seeing the miracles of the Lord.  This really is the most important work!!

Love you all tons!!!!
Hermana Skeen :)


15 de Septiembre!!! (Emailed 9/15/2014...obviously!)


Feliz 15 de Septiembre a todos!!!!   (or happy Mexican 4 of July!!!!!)
hahahaha!!!!

Yup!!  Today is a great holiday here!!!  So far nothing exciting has happened.  I was actually really excited because it's P-day and it's a holiday, but nothing out of the normal.

It has been raining all day long though.  Lots of rain and flooded streets.  It is so nice!

I actually don't have any time left.  I was going to send pictures and write a lot more, but it will have to wait until next week

 Love you all tons!!!

News from Obregon (Emailed 9/8/2014)

Hey everyone!!  How are you all?

Ok, well lot's of different things happened this week.
So the sister that was baptized this week is a very interesting story.  She's fairly old, doesnt read or write and was never educated.   Her mom wasnt too nice to her all of her life and she never learned anything about religion.  She has grown to love the church and has been acting completely on her faith.  She has a problem though.  on each of her legs, she has these realy bad open wounds.  And they are big and really bad.  Have you seen the move about John Tanner?  They look like those wounds.  And they're from having way too many varicose veins.  It's pretty bad.  Anyways, we watched the John Tanner movie with her this tuesday.  That's when she accepted to be baptized.  Anyways, the spirit was super strong.  She listened intently to everything we were saying and I had scriptures and different stories popping into my mind, we were compelety guided by the spirit.  It was really great.  We also saw how powerful Satan can be too.  Everytime we were at a really spiritual part of the lesson, something would happen.  One of her sons would pass by or someone would drive by selling something or any sort of distraction.  But it was a great lesson and we didn't let anything get in the way.

Then saturday morning, we had tours in the church.  We made limonada and the elders had a sign and went out in the street trying to attract the cars and the people walking by.  Pretty hilarious!!  We had success though!!  Then afterwards, we had the baptism.  We were panicking a bit because obviously Maria Jesus cant walk very much with her legs, and she lives really far from the church.  We couldnt find a ride for her and we were running out of time.  it was almost 2 and we didnt have much money to call a taxi for her and didnt know what to do.  Then we received a miracle phone call from a member who had happened to pass by the house of Maria jesus and called us to ask if she should give her a ride to the church!  Time and time again I have witnessed little miracles like that.  Where imediately our prayers are answered and everything works out.

Anyways, sunday she was confirmed, and we had the fast and testimony meeting. 
It's pretty funny here though because everyone asks me how much time I have in the mission and I tell them or even when I'm just speaking with them.  They're all shocked and say that wow!  I speak spanish already!!  Then they laugh and say that they cant speak about me now.  makes me wonder if the people in my first area talked about me and I didnt understand.  But I guess this means that my spanish is pretty good.....  But I think it's just because I'm the first american sister, and the only american elders that have been in the ward recently were newish and didnt speak spanish...

Anyways...  Today has been pretty good.  It's funny because when I was in Guasave, there were only 6 missionaries total in the city so on mondays we didnt really get together.  now that I'm here in Obregon, Mondays are super different!  We got together as a district today and played soccer and ate pizza and talked.  Then afterwards other missionaries called us and a whole bunch of us met up at dairy queen and had a blast.  Hermana Mendez was there too!!  So I got to see her!!!

Ok, well love you all tons!!!  Have a good week!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Changing, Changing, Changing

Hola!!   How's it going for you all?

Things for me are going good :)  First of all  - I apologize in advance if this letter is a little bit harder to read or understand.  This keyboard and computer isn't exactly the best and it has been doing it's own thing here and there, making it very difficult to type.   But hey!  that's life !  ;)

So,  as you might have guessed, we had changes this week!!  I honestly cant believe that this last change has already ended!   I don't know what happened to that month! 

So they have changed me out of Guasave!  Actually, out of Sinaloa completely!  I am back in Obregon, Sonora!  I am a bit sad  to be leaving.   I was really loving the members there and our investigators and everything!  But at least there aren't mosquitoes here like there were there!  Only cockroaches...

It's so crazy though how much everything changes!   I've been thinking about that a lot lately.  I've changed cities and areas completely. I've changed companions now too.   But what has really impacted me is the changes that I have seen in the people that I was teaching.  Watching them start to change their lives in little ways, and in big ways.  Changing their perspectives on life and their way of living.  Watching them learn and grow in the gospel and seeing how  much the gospel can change a person and the happiness that the truth has brought into their lives.   Watching the atonement of Jesus Christ change someone is incredible.

Even more than that though, is being able to look at me and see how much I have changed.  I was thinking about that a lot this week , and this transfer.  Since I had the opportunity to train someone new, I was able to see a lot of similarities that we had when we both started our missions, and then see how much I have grown since then.  all the  ways that I have changed. 

Well, I have to go now, but I love you all tons!!!!!!  Have a good week!!!

Inez!!! (Emailed 8/25/2014)

Hola!!!  How are you all doing??  So, yeah, this week was pretty good!!  Inez finally was baptized!  It was actually a pretty crazy week!

Wednesday, President Munive came down to Guasave to have interviews with our district.  We were supposed to have our interviews at 9 in the morning, and then at 10 we were going to give a tour to Inez and her daughter Eva.  Eva hasn't been to church yet because she works, but she really wants to. So we were going to show her around and also show Inez how her baptism was going to be on Thursday, then after, our district leader was going to interview Inez for her baptism.  President ended up late, then took for ever with all of the interviews.  So we gave our tour while waiting for our interviews.  It went soo great though!!!  The spirit was so strong!!  Eva had chills and kept saying that she wished she could be baptized the next day with her mom.

Then Thursday morning, the elders went to fill the font.  We stopped by and they told us that there wasn't any water in the church, and that they were going to have to fill the font by hand.  And that font is not small....  So they borrowed the hose from the neighbor and started filling it from the window, but it was hardly any water.  My companion and I went to all of our investigators and the members that lived nearby and asked for buckets so that we could borrow water from across the street and fill the font with buckets.  It was soo crazy!  6 of us missionaries all working together to hurry and fill the font by hand for the baptisms that night.  It was literally a miracle that we were able to pull off that baptism and have everything ready by that evening! 
Then Inez showed up with her daughter and her grandson.  We have been teaching Inez, and her daughter, as well as her son and daughter in law and their family.  Inez was really worried though, because her son is always working and she didn't think anyone else in her family was going to come, only her daughter Eva.  We had told Inez though to pray and have faith that all of her family can be there the day of her baptism.  We started the service, and still not all of her family was there, but before the service had ended, all of her family had shown up.  That is a miracle for sure.  I have never seen Inez so happy.  And then Sunday, Inez was confirmed, and for the first time, went to church in a dress!  She didn't have a dress to wear, and spent the night before sewing something to wear to church the next day!!!  It really is amazing!!

I am also suffering from hundreds of mosquito and ant bites.  Since it has been raining so much here, and they don't have street drains really, there are just "lakes" of water everywhere, and that means more mosquitoes.  We also had the lovely opportunity to teach a lesson outside with thousands of ants this week.  Were talking ant bites on my legs, arms, hands, feet, everywhere!!!  hahaha!  :)

I did go to Guamuchil for a day on divisions.  That was fun.  Really just spent most of the time cleaning the chapel with all the missionaries in Guamuchil.

Well, that's really all the exciting news of this week!  I'll end with some quotes though ;)

"Voy a reir!  Voy a bailar! Vivir mi vida lalalala!"  (Proof of my growing love for mexi music!  I'm def. going to listen to the mexican radio stations they have there in utah! ;)

"Jesus, who suffered the most, has the most compassion for all of us who suffer so much less"  -Elder David A Bednar
Just take a minute and think about that and His love for us.

Love you all!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hola!

Hola!!  How are you all doing??

I'm doing fine here in Guasave!!  Having the time of my life ;)  So I actually completely ran out of time to write this week.  I had some great stories to share with you all though.  I don't have time to tell you all about it though.  It was a good week though!  Met a lot of great people and honestly have never had so much love for these people. 


Well, hope you're all doing fine!!!  Hope to hear from you all!  Love you tons!

Bueno bueno bueno! (Emailed 8/4/2014)

Hola!  How's everyone doing?  I hope everyone's fine!!!

So this week has been pretty good!  We were able to work a lot this week.  We have contacted many people and have lots of new people to start teaching!  It seems like were really starting to get this area and this ward going again!

It really is so fun to be a missionary!  you should all be jealous!!  I'm spreading the gospel, helping people, bringing people to Christ, testifying daily, learning a new language, eating a lot of Mexican food, walking a lot, sweating, smiling, laughing, not worrying about the world, and currently, I'm sitting in a cyber and it just started pouring rain!!!  Like, a lot!  Already started flooding in the streets!  That makes me happy!!  I don't actually know how we're going to make it to our appointments tonight, but, it's all good!!  Wow!!  I wish you could all see this rain!!!!

Anyways...  This week has had some pretty crazy moments, that's for sure!!  I actually was pretty much surviving on 10 pesos these past 2 weeks.  That's the equivalent of 1 dollar.  I ran out of money this last week, and we dont get money until the first day of the week, and we didnt have the time to go to the bank during the week, until today!  Sooo I am definitely learning how to survive being poor!  Preparing myself for my college days...  :)

As well as all of these crazy moments, I have been blessed to see all of these little tender mercies of the Lord.  Like when our set appointments fell through, only to have us meet some amazing person that we can teach or completely relying on the spirit to understand someones personal needs and be able to share what they need to hear.   I really do love being a missionary!  Living for all of these small moments of being able to help these people!!   It's the best!!

Well,  I love you all and cant wait to hear from you!!!  Miss you!!!!

Hermana Skeen

Week 1 as a mom ;) (Emailed 7/28/2014)

Hahaha!!!  Ok, I love putting little funny titles in the subject line.  Ellyse already knows that....But yeah!

How are you all doing?  Sorry I didn't write a letter last week!  I got too busy.  What happened is the mission president is now requiring all the Spanish speaking missionaries to write him in English every week, so of course that meant I was helping my companion and my zone leader write their letters in English.  :)  That was pretty funny! 


But yes, this past week we had transfers and I received my first hija!!  As in I'm training another missionary.  Her name is Hna Rojas.  We are going to work super hard in this area.  This is only her 2 transfer and it's her 2nd area.  There's a lot of work to do here, but we're both excited to get to work and make some progress here.  We are also going to work a lot with her English.  By the end of her mission, I want her to be fluent! ;) Bahaha!


It's a really different change though!  This last transfer, my companion was getting everything ready to go home and was really focused on the end of her mission.  This transfer, my companion is just starting out and has a lot of energy to work.  That's good though, because I want to work a lot.  There's still a lot to learn though.  It's hard at times to train, but it's good!


This has been an interesting week for sure though.  I started off the week in the emergency room again.  But I'm already better!!  I drank some sort of "magic tea" from a member here who really takes care of me, and since then, I haven't had any issues.  So that was exciting! 


We also tried to contact some members who aren't active and also some people in the area book, but...there aren't addresses on anything.  Sometimes I'm lucky and they have written the name of the street and  even better to look for a white house or something....  But the truth is, we're not having too much luck with that.


I remember one time we received a reference from a member who told us to look for the house that has a white car parked in front of it sometimes and that there's a neighborhood dog there in the street.  :D  Hahaha!!  Oh, the life of a missionary!!


I love it here though!  Sometimes I'll just be walking down the street or sitting in a bus or just talking to someone and I am just over come with an immense love for these people here and the culture and Mexico!  I just love these people so much that I start crying sometimes!  I'm so happy that I was sent to this part of the world to preach the gospel and help others.  I just want to help them!  They are such a special people!  Just sitting here writing, I just cant help but think how happy I am.  Sincerly happy!  And I'm out in the sun all day, sweating, walking for miles, looking for houses and people that arent there, and happier than you can imagine!


It's funny because at times I think about when I'll go home and how I miss America :)  But I don't actually want to leave this!  I don't even want to leave this area and this ward!  The members here are so special!!


Today, I actually bought something super cool!!  I bought leggings that say Mexico all over them and they're all red white and green!  Bien padres!!!  Bajaja!!!


Ok, well this week I actually attached fotos!!!  Enjoy!!!

Crazy Week!!! (Emailed 7/14/2014)

Hey everyone!!  I hope you're all good!!!

So this week has been crazy!!  I has rained a lot!  And we're talking dirt roads, no drainage system, full on flood rains!  :)  It was awesome!!  It makes it really hard to walk everywhere and all that.  We have to carefully navigate our way across lakes that used to be streets.  I love it though!!

Wednesday was really great too though!  Elder Valenzuela, the second counselor in the area presidency came and spoke to us.  I got to go up to Mochis and see everyone!!  It was great!!  Really spiritual and uplifting.  Now we're all super motivated to work really hard!!  ;)  Then afterwards, Elder Valenzuela asked to have an interview with me.  That was pretty cool.

The rest of the week has been pretty normal though!  We're teaching some great people here!  It's been really cool!

Anyways, just loving life here!!
Love you all

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer storms, Independence day, Guasave!

That is the week in 5 words -  just in case you were wondering.  Actually, I should have put doctors and IVs and needles in there too, but that was more negative sounding ;)  And anyways, I am back in Guasave, so there's no more hospital to go to anymore!! :)

I love the summer rainstorms here though!!  I was in Obregon, and it doesnt rain too much there, but when it does, it rains like no other!!  We're talking full on flooding the streets kind of rain.  I was siting in the mission offices, and all we could hear was crazy wind.  Then the power went out for a few minutes.  I open the door, and it had just barely started to rain.  10 minutes later, we couldnt even leave because of all the crazy rain!!  I loved it!  The next few nights, we just sat outside on the porch there and watched it rain.  The coolest part though was the thunder and the LIGHTNING!!!  The sky was constantly lit up with lightning!  More lightning than I have ever seen in my life!!!  I loved it!!  All of the other missionaries were a bit annoyed with it there, because they had to be out in the rain at times, and then the next mornings it's always really hot and it evaporates, so it's just like walking through steam.  It was really cool though!!

I hope you all had a good 4th!!  I spent my day in obregon in the hospital, then we went out and street contacted a bunch of people because we didnt want to go back to the house, and then back to the hospital again.  The street contacting was really great!!  That's one of my favorite things to do, and we just had all the time in the world to go talk with everyone we saw.  We found a few people who are just completely golden, too bad that I wont be able to teach them!  That night we were waiting to hear if we would be headed back to Sinaloa, but no one answered us.  Until the next morning, when we received a text from the president sayning that we would be leaving in 30 minutes.  Good thing I never actually unpacked any of my things in Obregon!  So I'm back here in Guasave, with my old companion.  it's pretty crazy though, because she leaves for her house in 2 weeks now, and just got her itinerary (Sorry if that's spelled wrong). 

I cant believe it though!!  That means that this is the second to last week in this transfer!!  That's crazy!!  I feel like I have hardly got to experience this transfer!!  Crazy!!!  I'm excited though!!  I love being a missionary soo much!!  I love the mission field!  l love being in Mexico so much and all of these people here!!!  I was thinking about that a lot with all the street contacting we did and all the driving through all the different cities here on my way back down to Guasave.  I love it here so much!  I just makes me so happy!   I'm hoping to live these next two weeks with my companion to the fullest!! 

This Wednesday, actually, we are getting a visit from Elder Valenzuela from the 70.  So we will be in a meeting all morning with him.  It's pretty exciting!!

That's pretty much it though!!  I did learn today, that I cant take a shower while my companion washes the dishes...  That was fun!

Anyways, Love you all soo much!!!!  Miss you all and cant wait to hear from you guys!!

Cambios Especiales (Emailed 6/30/2014)

Yup!  So this week, I had special changes.  I'm back in Obregon to be close to the President until I'm healthy enough again to go back to work.

The good thing is, I don't have dengue!  They just dont know what I have.  I'm good though!  No worries :)

It's soo hot here in Obregon!!!  I miss Sinaloa!!!  We'll see what happens though!!!  I did just make history though!!  I am the first American sister to be companions with another American sister in this mission.  My new companion is Hermana Weeks and she's from Los Angeles California!  :)  We are the first and the only American sister companions.  And our new area is...the hospital.  BROMA - translation - Just kidding!!!  Hahahaha!!!

Anyways.  Hope you're all doing well!!!  Have a good week!!!

My visit to Mochis!!! (Emailed 6/23/2014)

So, yes.  I did get to go to Mochis this last week.  I love that city and the people there soo much!!!  Too bad I had to go there for other reasons, not just to visit.

This past week I had been working, but I still wasn't feeling good.  After a week straight of not feeling good, the president told me that I had to go to Mochis to go to the hospital there.  Yes I love Mochis, but I dont really want to go to the hospital there...  Anyways, I went, and they took a few tests, then made me stay and wait for the results.  The next day I returned and they told me that I have dengue!!  So ever since then, I haven't been allowed to be out in the sun or walking, and I had to return again this morning for them to monitor me and my blood tests.  So, lots of fun there.  Actually, that means that I have lots of funny stories!  The mexico experience, that's for sure!!!  But don't worry.  I wrote them all down and I'm saving them for when I get home to tell you all about it!!   Lot's of fun!!!

Well, I hope you're all doing good!!  Can't wait to hear from you!!  Sorry that this letter is kind of boring, but I really didn't get to do much this week.

Just a short Hola! (Emailed 6/16/2014)

Hola!!!

I hope everyone is doing well!!!  I'm still here in Mexico!  In Guasave to be exact :)

It's pretty great here!!  The people are really great!!  I love this área and I'm excited to be working here!!  Sadly, this week we didn't get the chance to work very much.  I spent most of the week asleep in bed.  Yup...  On Wednesday I woke up feeling a bit icky, and by the end of the day I wasn't in the best shape.  I was even worse on Thursday!  Still not exactly sure what I have, but today I recovered enough to be up and out and I was able to eat a bit more too, so that's a good sign!!  It's been a fun experience though, that's for sure...  And I guess if I'm not completely better by thursday, they're going to make me go to the hospital :)  It's all good though!!  I'm improving and I dont think I'll be going anywhere, so no worries!!

That pretty much sums up my week though!  I wasn't able to meet very many people here or do very much, so there's not too much to tell. But I'll try to have some pretty good stories for next week!!

Well, love you all tons!!  Miss you!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Well... That was a shock!

Ok... :)  Yup that pretty much describes this past week!  In a good way for sure, but still!!

So just to catch you all up since I couldn't email this last week...ok, I don't even know where to start!  This week has been crazy!  I've experienced some pretty crazy things here in Mexico.  Debating what I should and shouldn't include in my email ;)  Bajajaja!!

I guess I'll just stick with the basics for now ;)  So two weeks ago, we were preparing a youth for her baptism.  She's 13 and has been going to church a lot.  Every lesson we taught her, she had already studied the pamphlets that we gave her and her scriptures were already marked.  Her brother was also going to church with her and loved it but also wanted to test out another church and was just crazy :)  But they were the only ones in their family that had an interest.  Her baptism was scheduled for the 7 and she was just waiting for her dad to get home for her baptism.  Her mom was even really excited for her baptism.  So Monday night, we get a call from a member.  He told us that our investigator's dad had returned, but told her that she could be baptized until she knew what she wanted.  But then the member continued to tell us that her older brother who had been going to church had prayed specifically for an answer and had received it and wanted to be baptized that week.  So he was!!!  It was the most perfect baptism ever though!!  It all went flawless, he was sooo happy, and he wanted to let everyone know how happy this made him!  After the baptism, he told me that his baptism was incredibly special.  He's also been praying for his sister that she will be able to be baptized as well, and all of his family!  Then in church, all of his family actually came to church!  When I first met this family, the dad was drinking and smoking like crazy.  The mom didn't want anything to do with us, the three kids were just sad and always arguing with each other, and just unhappy!  Then we went to their house on Sunday and they were all soo happy!!  I have loved watching the entire household completely change!!!  Then, Lesly, Sebastians sister who was originally going to be baptized, told us that she had permision to be baptized in July!!  And her brother's going to baptize her!!  Then their dad told us that he was going to give up drinking and smoking to be baptized by December!!!!!  They were happier than ever!!!  Sebastian's prayers are being answered!!!  So amazing!!  And he is already preparing for a mission!!!!!

But...I'm no longer in Mochis.  I loved Los Mochis with all of my heart!!  A bit sad to be leaving that ward already and to leave my investigators, but everything happens for a reason!  I just keep going further south though!  I'm in Guasave!  There have only been 2 other sisters in Guasave.  The only other time there were sisters allowed to serve here was about 20 years ago.  It's really small here! Only 1 ward in the whole city, and only 1 other companionship.  Otherwise, it's pretty similar to Mochis!  My companion is Hermana Rodriguez!  She is super cute and laughs just as much as I do!!  I'm her last companion in the mission though, so this will be really fun!  She's too cute!  She was companions with my companion from the MTC, Hermana Cook, and they were super funny together, so I'm excited!!

I'm also super happy that I get to spend this transfer in the very south part of the mission.  It's not as hot here!  It's still in the hundreds... But in Obregon its 115-120, so it could be worse!!!

Well gotta go now.  Love you all tons!!  Miss you all!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Missionary Life

Hola!!!

So how's everyone doing??  So I'm just livin the missionary life here still! :)  Having a blast!

It's always so funny on Mondays because I do so much in the week and I always think, "Oh!!  I have to tell everyone this on Monday!!"  But then we get to Monday and I sit here at the computer and I can't remember what happened!  It's just always so much all the time!  Anyways...

So this week was good!  I ate a lot of food this week.  I don't know what it was, but it seemed like everywhere we went everyone wanted to give us food!  I did try some new things this week though!  And I ate at a really nice Mexican restaurant with a member this week.  Wasn't expecting that!  Probably gained a few extra pounds too...  ;)  Soo worth it though!!

We met a new family this week too though!  It's always so funny because everywhere I go, everyone always watches me pass and there's always someone who calls out a few English words to me as I pass or asks me if I speak English or Spanish.  I think it's hilarious and I'm always entertained by it.  But we were walking down the street one day and this little boy riding his bike stopped and really nervously tried to ask me if I knew English.  It was soo cute, so of course I stopped and talked to him and ended up contacting his whole family.  They're great though!  There's 4 kids and the entire family wants us to teach them more about the church.  Years ago they were actually taught by the elders and went to church once, and they really liked it.  Don't know what happened, but they seem really good!  I can't wait to teach them!  They're really excited about the church!

I have sweat sooo much this week!  It's just so unbelievable I have to tell y'all about it!  The heat and humidity is out of this world.  I have never just been soaked like this, and it's not even the worste yet!  July and August are supposed to be death!  But seriously, I go all day, and then I get to a lesson, and my shirt is WET!  It's soo bad!  But my companion sweats like 5 times more than me.... So funny!!  But we just use the heat here as an excuse to grab an ice cream, so it's all good!

I got to see Hna Cook and Hna Lindsley a bit this week.  We had a meeting for all the southern part of the mission, so I got to see them!  That was soo fun!  My old companions!!!  :)  We have a blast together! 

But yeah, just normal missionary life here!  Experiencing it all that's for sure! :)

Love you all so much!!!!!!
Hermana Skeen

It´s already Monday? (Emailed 5/19/14)

Wow!!!  It seems like I was just writing 2 days ago!  But a week has already gone by!  That's crazy!  And it's even more crazy because the transfer is already half over, and yesterday was 5 months...wow...

So far so good though!  I met an Elder today who has almost a year, but has only had 2 areas in his entire mission.  I've got half the time, and I'm in my second area.  Crazy!!!

Everything's been going good though!  Our ward here was able to have a temple trip friday and Saturday.  It's hours away though, and so it was a big thing for them.  I'm so gratefull that we're so lucky to have temples so close to us in UT!  The members really enjoyed that though and had a good experience!!  So cool!

Not much has changed this week though.  I'm in Mochis, just working away!  I did see a surgery this week!  That was exciting!  Lot's of fun stuff!!

Ok, well I'll talk to you all later!  I'm out of time.

Love you all so much!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Livin' the life in Mochis!

Hola everyone!!!

So, can I just say, I love it here in Mochis!!  There's actually trees here!!  Not too many, but there's trees!!  It's a lot prettier than Obregon!

I love this transfer though!  I have the cutest companion, and the best sisters in my district.  The only elders in my district are the district leader and his companion, so it's really just a bunch of giggly sister missionaries having a blast!!  We're all in the ward Anahuac, so it's pretty fun! 

So my area is a whole lot of nothing though!  Lots of agriculture, lots of empty torn down houses, lots and lots of garbage.  LOTS of dirt....  I actually like it here though!  We even have 2 little villages of sorts that are in our area that we have to ride the bus to.  They're prettier though...

The people here are nice though!!!  We're having lots of fun!  We found some families that we're working with and things are looking good with them!  One of them was able to go to church with us on sunday, and they were telling me that they just felt sooo good.  They were happy and they kept just feeling warm and nice!!  Then before I could ask when we could visit them next, they asked us when they could see us and set up the time and everything!  Usually we have to ask them and work harder to have them agree to a set date and time!!  Soo sweet!!!

We also visited another family and the husband told us that he wants to get baptized, and knows that he will, he's just waiting for his wife to agree and he works on Sundays and can't go to church with us...yet!!  His wife is sweet though and she wants to, just wants more time.

Zone water balloon fight, we are all soaking wet!















Monday, April 28, 2014

Bienvenidos a Mochis!!!

So, you can probably guess, I've been transferred to Los Mochis!  I'm so excited!!  I'm really happy that I got to go to Mochis.  It's great here!  A lot prettier than Obregon, a lot more green!  Still a complete desert and all, but better!!  It's also not as hot!  Don't get me wrong, it's still suuuuper hot!  And it's a lot more humid here, so we actually sweat more...  But that's just life!

My new companion is Hermana Mendez.  She is sooo sweet!  And there's 2 more companionships in the ward, so there's 6 hermanas total serving in my ward.  It's about triple the size of my last ward though, which only had about 55 active members.  I know one of the other companionships, and the 4 of us really just hit it off today!  We are going to have soo much fun!

I am sad to leave Obregon though!  Things were great there!  But it was time for me to leave!  It was so sweet though!  My last saturday, Marisol was baptized!  The rest of her family all want to be baptized, they just can't yet.  In a bit more time, they'll be able to though!  It was soo cute and sweet!  The whole family is adorable!

Saturday was a little crazy though!  About 30 minutes before the service was supposed to start, we realized that while the font was supposed to have been filling up with water, the water in the whole building stopped working and there was only about 3 inches of water in the font.  There were 2 baptisms, 30 minutes away, people were already there, and later that night, there was supposed to be more from different wards.  We were all going crazy trying to figure out how to get water!  There were investigators there and some hermanas ran to go find buckets to fill the font by hand, and we were calling people  to help!  Greatfully, the elders got the water to start working again, and everything went perfectly from then on!  It was so sweet!

Things are going good though!  I love being here and doing the work of the Lord!  I'm super excited for this new transfer and for everything!!

Love you all tons!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Just a quick hi from Mexico!

So this is just gonna be a quick little letter.  Today I went to guaymus again for my visa with a bunch of other missionaries.  It was soo fun!!!  But we weren´t able to write until now, so....

But this week has been good!  I still can´t believe that this is my last week in this transfer!  We´re all making predictions of what will happen, but who knows!  The mission also is getting 10 new sisters and 1 elder.  I think that by June, there will be more sisters than elders serving in this mission, which is CRAZY!!!  When I got here, there weren´t even enough sisters to train the rest of the sisters, but that´s all changing!

We´re preparing for the baptism of the daughter of an investigator for this Sat.  She´s 11 years old, and is soooo sweet!  Her mom can´t be baptized right now, but she´s going to, and her sister will be 8 in June and can´t wait to be baptized.  The whole family is just sooo cute and after a bit more time, everyone should be able to be baptized!

Ok, well gotta go!  I love you all so much!

Monday, April 14, 2014

4 Months!

Well... Hola!!!

I hope everyone's doing well!!  Just in case you're wondering, I'm doing fine!!

More than fine actually.  I'm having the time of my life!!

At the end of this week I complete 4 months as a missionary.  Yeah - I'm shocked.  Where has the time gone, and what has happened!!  I can't believe this!  I'm sad because  I don't want the time to go fast, but this transfer is already almost ending!  On the other hand, so much seems to have happened in so little time.  I think that's what's really shocking me.  It seems like I haven't written in forever!  I haven't even thought about it, but it feels like I could have skipped a few mondays of writing in between.  That's how much happens in a week here! 

Ok, question:  what's the weather like in Utah right now?  Because here, summer is coming!  The heat really isn't here yet, but everyone's saying that it's a lot hotter than it was last year and that the summer is coming.  I'm pretty sure the bottoms of my feet are going to be burning through my shoes.  Already  the ground is crazy hot, but it's supposed to be worse.  Don't know how I'm going to live exactly... :)

We did move!!  It's a good thing that we don't spend much time in our house during the day though!  We moved into an apartment that's above another house, and it gets hot!  It's nice though!  We have a normal bathroom, and there's even a window to the kitchen in the shower if we're feeling hungry!  Broma!!  Jajaja!  No, but seriously...  I can't wait for wednesday though!  right now we have 2 full size beds, but they're in different rooms, so our sleeping arangements have been a bit funny!  So wednesday some Elders are finally going to help us rearrange the furniture and then we can finally unpack and settle in! Just in time for our last week of the transfer!  This transfer I haven't ever fully unpacked my suitcases...  Crazy stuff!

The house is good though!  It's pink and yellow!!  My companion's favorite color, and mine!!  Perfecta!  jajaja!  And we have to climb the (bright yellow) stairs everyday, so I'm getting a bit more excercise!  Someday I'll get up early and we'll go for a run... someday... :)

The work has been good here though!!  We probably won't be having any baptisms this month though.  One investigator hasn't been to church in weeks and the other has lots of other issues but LOVES the church, and so do her children, which is great!!  We've found lots of great investigators though!!  If we work really hard and things keep going the way that they are now, mayo is going to be an incredible month here for barrio mayo!!  probably just jynxed it though...

But wow!!  This is amazing!!  Watching and helping people learn and grow and change is so incredible!!  I love seeing how what we're teaching affects others and how they come to know of the truth of it all.  It really is incredible!!

I have learned and changed a ton this past week too!!!  I have loved this week!!

Today, we went to the zoo here!!!  They sell carrots and you can feed all the animals with your hand!  of course I lost it with the cows!!    I also fed a black bear with my hand!!!  And a girraffe, and lots of monkeys!!  Actually, I was holding a carrot just out of reach of a monkey for a picture of him reaching to me, and he lost patience and next thing I know, his tail snatched the carrot from me!!  I also fed a huge wolf!!  Lots of animals!!!  So much fun!!!

Ok, well I love you all sooo much!!!

- Hermana Skeen :)

April 7 Email

Well... Hola!!!

So, first of all, I don't know what happened to my email last week...  I thought I sent it, but I honestly can't find it anymore, so sorry if you didn't get it! 

I can't believe how fast time goes!  This transfer is half over!!!

So, quick update - we're moving again!  So our house wasn't actually in our area and it wasn't the best, so we've been keeping our eyes open for some houses for rent.  We've actually found a few that are perfect, and we got the ok to move, so we should be moved this week.  We were going to be moving today, but that didn't happen, so maybe tomorrow we'll have to...  Anyways, that's good! 

We spent a lot of time with our zone this week.  Friday we had zone conference, and then Saturday and Sunday was GENERAL CONFERENCE!  Which the whole stake watches together in the stake center.  Gratefully, that's our chapel, so we don't even have to go far to watch!  And in the past the missionaries were only allowed to watch if they had investigators, but this time, everyone could watch no matter what.  We actually had 1 investigator come, who has a baptismal date, but she's not going to be able to be baptized...so that's a let down...  But it's pretty funny because hardly anyone but the missionaries wen't to conference on saturday.  The stake president and his family, a few other people, and all the missionaries in our zone. 

I didn't catch too much of General Conference though.  I was pretty sick and out of it this weekend, then throw in that it was all in Spanish.  But what I did get from it was pretty good!  I LOVE conference!!

It was also super great that I did have the opportunity to watch it in Mexico, in Spanish, with people from my stake.  Watching and being a part of the gospel being preached to everyone in their own tongue was a really special experience.  I just love these people!

Not much else is new though.  Just living the missionary life here in Mexico! 

Pues, Love you all tons!!! 

 - Hermana Skeen

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Week 1 in Mayo B! (2)

Hola everyone!!!  How is everyone??

So this was my first week working in Mayo B!  I actually really like opening a new area though.  Lots of work, especially since almost all of what we did in my last transfer was in what's now Mayo A.  But I love it!  We are contacting a lot of new people.  We pretty much have to start from scratch though.  My old companion threw away all of our information for past investigators and most of the members live in the other area, so we're just goin' with it!

My area is still in what's the nicer part of Obregon and were still in the city area, but it's definitely on the poorer side. 

We might be moving again.  We're not currently living in our area which is difficult when we walk everywhere, and our house is interesting for sure.  Found some dead lizards this morning, and at nights there's swarms of cucarachas in front of our house.  So we use lots of spray...  Oh, did you know cucarachas fly???  I didin't, until I was trying to dodge one on the ground and all of a sudden it starts flying towards me!!!! So lots of searching for houses for rent on the side!  :)

We have lots of fun though!  It's fun to have 4 hermanas in the same ward.  We see each other everyday and we're almost just like a companionship of 4.  It's super fun!

There's lots of work to do here though!  The barrio is growing and becoming stronger!  I just love them all so much!  The people really are so amazing!


Well, this is probably it for now.  I'm running out of time.  But I am so grateful to have the gospel in my life!  It's amazing to be able to share this message and this joy with others!  I love this!  Watching people learn the truth and want and accept it is sooo amazing!  The impact that this has on their lives! 

Well love you all and miss you tons!!!

Adios!!!
Hermanan Skeen

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cambios!!!!

Ok, first transfer is over.  What happened to the time!  I can't belive I've been in Mexico for a month and a half!  It's crazy!

We were able to end the transfer with the best baptism ever though!  Ezequiel was baptized on Saturday!  It was beautiful!  He was so incredibly happy!  And he bore the most beautiful testimony ever afterwards!  I'm so proud of him and so happy for him!

We even had 2 investigators come to the baptism and they are super excited and ready for their turn!  It won't be until the 20 of April though.  And, I only have one of our investigators....because of cambios!

So my area, Mayo, is the smallest area and ward in our zone.  They love the missionaries, so they actually requested more to help the ward grow, and that's what happened!  So I'm actually in Mayo B now, which we honestly never even went in.  So this will be an adventure, because my companion doesn't know the area at all either!  I did move houses though.  That was fun... :)  We're actually not even in my new area, or my old area, but we're close!  There were just no houses anywhere for us though!  Our new house is nice, but super small!  The bathroom is part of the bedroom, then we have a kitchen and 1 table.  We'll see how this works! :)  I'm super excited for it though!!  And my new comp is super great!  Her name's Hna. Ortiz, and she is just about to hit her 1 year mark this week!  She's really great though!  And I'm happy that we're staying in the same ward, and so is my other companion, she's just in Mayo A.  So we'll still get to see each other daily!  This is so fun!

So funny story of the week:

Today we moved in to our new house.  The house had nothing.  No dishes, almost no furniture, nothing!  It did have a TV, but we had them take that out for us :)  So of course, my comp and I went shopping!  It was just the 2 of us, and my comp is tiny!  Probably the smallest person I've met yet!  We bought a lot of stuff.  We needed cleaning supplies and dishes and food!  The only stores that had what we needed though were far away, and so we took the bus.  So then we're walking out, with no ride but the bus, and way too far to walk, and lots of groceries.  We didn't want to spend the money on a taxi, so we put our bags on the broom that we bought and a rod that we bought to hang our clothes on and got on the (crowded) bus.  It was a joke!  It was all super heavy, and there was no room, and we're just these 2 silly giggly girls carrying it all on a broom and a rod!  Then once we got off, we started walking to our house, and almost all of the bags broke.  We have no phone because our area's brand new, and we have no way to get help or a ride.  Struggle!!!  We were laughing sooo hard!  Eventually a member from another ward saw us and gave us a ride to our house, but it was hilarious!

Anyways, it's been a great week so far!!  I've learned a lot (like when to ignore the crazy drunkards following us, and when to run from them...But no worries!  I'm completely safe!  I have promise of the Lord!) and done a lot, and seen a lot!  Loving being a missionary more than anything!!

love you all and miss you all!!!

Hermana Skeen

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rain!!!

What a week!! (emailed 3/10/2014)

So I hope everyone´s doing well!!  I miss everyone!!

This week I spent a lot of time sick in bed.  Both my companion, Hna. Lindsley, and I were super sick.  Lots of fun there!!  We´re both feeling better now though, so that´s good!  Still recovering, but 10 times better!

This has probably been my craziest week yet!  I´m a little short on time, so I don´t know how much detail I´ll be going into.  I actually spent most of my time in Guaymus for my visa today with some other missionaries.  It was super fun because my companions from the MTC went with me!  We all had so much fun!

So we didn´t have water from Friday to Sunday.  That was interesting.  I just love not showering and walking around in the heat all day!¨:)  haha!!!  It was pretty hilarious actually!

Yesterday it rained!!!  The first time yet!  It´s been overcast fairly often, so I´m always waiting for the rain, but it never comes.  Well, until yesterday!!  And when it rains here, it REALLY rains.  In about 30 seconds the streets were flooding!  It was crazy, but super good!  It didn´t rain much, and the sun did come out later, but we were drenched!!  I loved it!!

So bad news, Carlo decided he wasn´t ready for baptism and is now extremely hard to get a hold of.  Ezekiel´s baptism is scheduled for this Saturday though!  He´s golden!  I love him so much!  We´ll see though...  He´s moving and there´s been some ¨miscommunication¨ of sorts.  He´ll be baptized no matter what, I just might be transferred before then.

Speaking of, what???  My first transfer is next week!  That´s crazy!  Where has the time gone?

So, I want to share a funny story from this week, but I honestly don´t know which one...  I could easily say that this week could be the strangest, funniest, craziest week of my entire mission.  Hands down!  Well, actually, things just keep getting stranger and funnier as time goes by so we´ll see.  If this pattern keeps up though, the end of my mission will be insane!!!!   Hahaha!!

I actually was eating lunch with Hna. Lindsley at a miembro´s house this week and she told me that I had to use the bathroom there.  I didn´t actually have to go, but she was adament that I see this bathroom.  So it´s in the hall between the bedroom and their family room of sorts.  The only door there is a sliding glass shower door.  Then inside the bathroom, both the toilet and the sink are right up against the shower, which was another glass shower door, and the other door to the hallway.  The sink is sooo close to the toilet that there´s almost no room.  So she opens the bathroom door, and calls to someone in the shower.  They´re probably about 13 years old, and she just tells her that the missionary, me, needs to use the bathroom.  Then she proceeds to have me go in and use the bathroom, in between the 2 glass doors, while people are in the other room, and next to someone showering!  I didn´t actually have to go, but I couldn´t even fake it, because everyone would know!  So I go back out and my comp. is smiling and asks me how I liked the bathroom.  I couldn´t even keep from laughing as I told her that someone was showering as I went.  We both lost it.  We were doing everything we could to keep from dying of laughter.  We did teach a lesson though!  Tears streaming down our faces and all!

On a more serious note though, Saturday our ward had a trip to the temple!!  It was so cool!  We didn´t get to go, but my first recent convert, Audino, and his other recent convert friends, Hermes y Raul, all went and did baptisms together!!  They were soooo cute about it!  So spiritual for them!  They loved it so much!  On Sunday they showed us all their pictures and told us their great experiences!  Afterwards they went shopping and bought some church things.  They are so incredibly happy to have the gospel in their lives!!  It´s amazing!!!

Well I love you all tons!!  Take care!

Con amor,
Hermana Skeen

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pues... Hola From Your Favorite Missionary in Mexico!

Hola todo!

This week's been a crazy one, that's for sure!  I love being a missionary though!  Best thing ever! 

So wanna know about some of my amazing investigators?  Well you don't have much of a choice... :)  Haha!!

So on the 15 and 16 we should be having 2 baptisms.  Their names are Ezekiel and Carlo.  Carlo's uncle is actually a recent convert and so we started talking to Carlo.  He's a hilarious spaz, but he's great!  He reads everything we ask him and actually knows all the information, but as soon as we begin talking about why it's important, he gets super quiet and thoughtful and tells us that it's all just beautiful.  And he actually says beautiful.  He's trying to work on his English, which is super hilarious at times.  He's said some downright funny things, where I can't help but cry from laughter! 

Then Ezekiel, we actually just met a week ago. He just walked into the church and no one actually knew who he was.  Turns out, he had been working for the church as security, and actually met Elder Christofferson.  He had been attending a different barrio in the city, but he didn't know where his ward was supposed to meet, until this sunday.  We met his girlfriend, who's a member, and she's adorable!  But Ezekiel is just amazing.  Our second lesson we had with him, we asked him if he had prayed about what we had taught him.  He immediately teared up and said that yes, and he knew that it's true.  The rest of the lesson was amazing!  And at the end we had him pray.  As he knelt there, he offered the most sincere and heartfelt prayer of gratitude to his Father.  And as he prayed both him and his girlfriend were sobbing.  It was soo beautiful and spiritual.  Some of our elders were having a baptism later that day so we were able to show him the font, and he met the boy being baptized that day.  He couldn't stay though, so that was kind of sad.  But he's just soo great!!  I love him so much!!

We have 3 more investigators scheduled for march 30 as well, and these women are just incredible!  I'll have to tell you all about them next week though! 

Funny stories of the week -

So we were studying with our zone leaders this week.  One of them is from Utah, the other is from the Dominican Republic and speaks almost no English.  For some reason, we were having our studies in English that day though.  So he was trying to share a scripture with us but he couldn't remember how to say "chapter."  My cute companion was trying to help him and started to speak, but then he blurted out, "shut up!"  we were all just sitting there in shock for a split second until we realized that he actually though that was the word for "chapter"  I lost it!!  Tears streaming down my face lost it!!  Sooo funny!!

Then Carlo was trying to tell us that he had to find this sheet of paper for his work.  He was completely serious, but then when he tried to pronounce sheet in English, his accent said something completely different, and we were at church and everything!  My comp. and I both lost it there too! 

This just makes me super worried for my Spanish!  How do people not crack up when I'm speaking???  Hahahaha!!

Oh, and I learned that I cannot say I like anything that someone has.  They'll give it to me without a second thought and will not accept a refusal...  I have now aquired a mustache bracelet completely by accident....

But that's Mexico!!!  I love it here!  Love the work!!!! This is the best!!!

Love you all and miss you tons!!!!!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Skeen

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous?

Hola!

Yeah, I'll get to the title later... :)  But this week has been so crazy!!  Audino is officially baptized and he is amazing as ever!  He has so much faith and was so prepared!

The rest of the week has been a whole lot of awkward moments though!  Just practicing for the whole next 16 months!  Can you believe that!?  Only 16 months left on my mission!  That's really sad actually!

So story time!  I have some pretty good ones this week!  Lot's of good awkwardness...heheh...

So first of all, my companion and I were able to go by ourselves on Tuesday and Wednesday because our other comp had a meeting and then stayed with a member.  We had lots of fun and were able to do a lot of work!  It was really good!  Until I broke one of investigators cups when I went to kneel for a prayer and then spilled some soup everywhere at a member's house...  Then on Thursday we were eating at another members and I look over and their dog was peeing on my bag!  That's not the worst that's happened though, so I'm really un-phased by most everything now.  Kind of crazy!  Today we were actually riding on a bus, and let me tell ya, these buses are the most disgusting things you can ride in and I'm pretty sure they could fall apart any minute.  But there was a truck stopped in the road, so all of a sudden the bus driver slams on the brakes, and they don't drive slowly here, and then starts backing up until he came to an intersection as all the other cars just passed us.  Then he crosses the median over to the other side of traffic.  Cars are coming and there's not enough room, but that's not going to stop him!  So eventually he goes half on the median, tree branches are hitting people through the windows and we're just barely missing oncoming traffic!  Still - I'm used to that stuff already...

The only thing that still kind of bugs me is the bugs.  They're big, and they're everywhere.  I'm used to all of our little pets at home though, and most of the spiders just stay in their corners.  I've changed so much when it comes to that!  I can deal with them!  One of our biggest spiders disappeared the other day and we haven't seen him since!  I know he's still here somewhere though... kind of miss him... :)

And now I'm sure you're all wondering - AA?  Yup!  I spent Sunday night in Alcohol Anonymous in Mexico.  I can honestly say that I never thought I would have ever said that!   It wasn't bad though!  Audino and his friend Hermes, the one that originally referred us to Audino, run AA every night at 8, and they really wanted us to attend for support!  We couldn't stay the whole time because we had to go home, but who would've thought?

This is so great though!  I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be here!  Even with all the horror stories of the heat - and other things I wont tell ya'll about ;)  I love it though!  I love seeing the hand of the Lord in everything and seeing other's and their willingness to change!  And then seeing Audino!  He was the happiest I have ever seen him and it's incredible to me how much the gospel really does bless the lives of others!  That's why I'm here!  Even when it's hard, the Lord is constantly blessing us!  I can't wait to bring others this joy!

Loving missionary work, missing y'all, love you so much!
Hermana Skeen

P.S.  I'll try to have more time for next week!!!  And maybe share some more stories that I didn't get to.  Really cool stuff here in Obregon!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Living It Up In Mexico!

Whoa!!  I'm living in Mexico!  Well first of all,  I'm already so jealous of the cold in Utah!  Its 90% humidity here, and even though the mornings and evenings are super cold, once it hits like 10am, it gets sooo hot!  And this is their winter!  I was talking to my trainer about how hot it is, and she was just like, this is nothing!  She was telling us how in the summers, its just deathly hot!  120 everyday, and the only reason to be out in the streets in the summer is if you're a dog, which there are tons, a crazy homeless person, or a missionary!  She said that no one else is crazy enough to be out in the streets.... So this will be fun!

This city is beautiful though!  My first area is here in Obregon.  It has like the same population as SLC, but it's a lot more condensed.  In some areas it even smells worse than San Francisco though...  And I'm in a trio again!  My trainer has been out for 9 months and is from Mexico, and my other companion has been here for about a month and a half and was one of the first sisters in Mexico from America!  Im in the second wave, so there's not very many of us American sisters! :)  It's fun though!

I don't understand much of what's happening yet!  But that's normal.  Everyone says that after month four, Ill be great!   I just have to make it to then!  :)  I love it here though!  The people are so great!  and my district is really fun!  I absolutely love Presidente and Hermana Munive!!  They're so amazing!  So happy!  It was really funny though, because my first night here, they were driving us to the mission home for dinner and we passed a Walmart and Presidente Munive said that one of us would be in the city and he was so excited to tell us that we would have a walmart!  he then laughed and said, "You'll be saved!"  So funny!

So I have my first baptism this week!  So exciting!  He is amazing!  His name is Audino, and he is so incredible!  His faith and testimony is insane!  He is just so sure of the truth!  After my second lesson with him, he started crying.  We shared a scripture with him, but he couldn't even finish it.  Then he looked up and just said, "I know that this is true!"  Afterwards, he said that during the lesson, we were all glowing and he actually thought that we were angels sent from God!  So crazy!  He's sooo excited for his baptism!  And the first time we showed him a pic of the Prophet and apostles, he said that he knew without a doubt that they were prophets of God and had complete faith!  Then yesterday, we were in church and the Bishop said something about how the members need to be giving references to the missionaries.  He really took that to heart and has been spreading the gospel and telling everyone he's Mormon!  He's already given us references!  I just love him!

Anyways, the ward is great!  Very small, but great!  The people are just amazing!  And the food has been really yummy too!  Lots of food, and lots of meat, but it's been tasty! 

My apartment is actually pretty big in comparison to most.  It's about the size of the kitchen and breakfast area at home! :)

I think the funniest thing so far is the fact that I'm super white.  I've actually tanned a bit, but you can't tell!  Everyone is super obsessed with my blue eyes!  We were with one family and they went on for 10 minutes just about my blue eyes!  But everywhere we go, they bring them up!  It's so shocking to them to see a gringa here though, because they're not used to seeing white people, especially girls and I'm just white as can be, all dressed up walking around everywhere.  It gets everyone's attention that's for sure!  My companion is scared to death though that we're going to die!  She's very cautious now that I'm here, which makes me laugh.

But I still can't believe I'm in Mexico!  I find myself doing the most bizarre things sometimes, but it's so great!!!

Love you all and miss you tons!!!!

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Skeen

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Estoy en Mexico!!!

Hola familia

Ok, so sorry I couldnt talk to you!  I made it to Mexico though!  Its so beautiful here, and its warm!  Loving it!

I miss you all tons!  Hope youre doing well!  I love you! 

Just letting you know that I made it to my mission ok!  Im actually headed to my area in a few minutes, but everythings great!

Love you!

 - Hermana Skeen :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Last Days in the Empty Sea!

Hola!!

I can´t believe it!!  In 3 1/2 days, I´ll be in Mexico.  For the next year and a half!!!!  I´m so excited!! Being a missionary is the best thing ever!!!  I am honestly sooo sad that I really only have less than 17 months left!  It´s so short!  All of the teachers here tell us how jealous they are that we´re just starting out, and I totally get that!  I don´t want this to end!  We fly to Mexico on Monday, leaving to AZ in the morning, and then flying to Mexico.  Mom has the details, so ask her :)  I just don't have enough time!!

Ok, I just realized the keyboard has been switching back and forth between Español and English, which explains why I´ve been so confused as I try to type... But that´s the computers here for ya!  And ya, I still can´t get the pictures to work again, so maybe in Mexico I´ll finally be able to send you some pics!  If not though, I´ll show you all when I get home!  But these comps are crazy! 

What a crazy week it´s been though!  I can´t believe it´s only been a week!  Everything seems so long ago, but I don´t feel like I´ve been here for over 6 weeks!  Time is soo warped here!  :)

So we're back together again!  Hna. Benally left for Mexico on Friday.  She had been trying to get her travel plans for at least a week and they didn't have anything, then Friday afternoon, they came and told her that she would be flying to Mexico in a few hours, so she needed to go pack!  Ahh!  And she was flying completely alone too!  But there's been a lot of changes this week!   Our classroom has been moved to the classroom farthest away from everything on the end of campus, which is hilarious, because our residence is the one on the farthest side of the opposite side of the campus.  We get great exercise!!  All through the snow and rain and cold!! :)  Also, yesterday was our last day with one of our teachers because he's going out of town, so we're back to substitute teachers again!  the first 3 weeks here we didn't have our other teacher because he was out of town too, so we're soo used to that!  (We have 2 teachers per district...)

We also had our branch presidency rearranged on Sunday, which happens every 4 years, so that has been a little crazy!  So we're just getting used to that now!  When they do that, the MTC president and his wife are there to call and release them, but usually its just the 4 districts in our zone.  So anyways, every Sunday we prepare talks and then they just call on whoever they feel like in the meeting, and since next Sunday is fast Sunday, and then our district leaves, it was guaranteed that it would be 2 from our district speaking, in front of the president of the MTC.  So of course it was me who was chosen!  Just my luck!  I get to speak in front of them a lot I guess!  Which reminds me, I need to tell you the other story of me speaking... It's kind of long though.... so maybe when I call from the airport I'll give a brief overview?  Hahaha!!  It's funny though! 

But I love being a missionary!  I don't want to leave here!  We actually have 2 real investigators that we won't be able to be here for their baptism, but we taught them!  So crazy! 

So from West campus alone, there's 130 missionaries leaving on Monday!!  It's insane!  I absolutely love getting to spend time just surrounded by missionaries!  The spirit is always soo strong!  This is the best ever!!

Well I know there was more that I was going to talk about, but I can't remember it all!  So I guess this is it for now!

I love you all and thank you for the letters!  I love hearing about what's been happening in your lives, but that will be a lot harder now!  The mail is really bad in Mexico...

I've also heard from some sisters that they've been washing their clothes in buckets... there have been some crazy stories so far... but I can't wait!!!!!!

Love you all tons and I miss everyone!!!!!

 - Hermana Skeen :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Loving the MTC!!

Sent January 23, 2014

Hola!

It's been such a crazy past few weeks!  Sorry I didn't send out an email last week!  I was sick though, so I have a good excuse!  I am getting really sad to leave this place though!  Don't get me wrong, I am more excited than ever to go to Mexico, but I only have 10 days left in the United States, and I love being in the MTC!  I guess it's getting real though, since I went to go get my visa yesterday!

I love the MTC though!  This past Monday, we lost two districts from our zone!  I was really sad for them to leave, because we all just loved each other so much!  But then we welcomed 2 more new districts to our zone yesterday!  And all four of us Hermanas in my district have been called to be the zone's sister training leaders.  We were the only hermanas left to call, and they had to call all four of us because Hna. Benally is leaving us within a few days!  So we'll be back to a trio again. :)

I love being a missionary though!  It's so fun here and I can't wait to go to Mexico!  When we were on our way to Salt Lake, we met this Hispanic couple that spoke almost no English, so we were able to speak with them!  Totally went into missionary mode!  :)  It was super exciting!

So we have had some amazing devotionals these past 2 weeks!   We had Elder Bednar come again, which was sooo great!  And we've one of the head people running the MTC speak (he's not in the presidency and I don't have his name handy), but at that devotional, he actually called me up and I spoke in front of the entire MTC.  We had the Presiding Bishop speak, and we've had Sheri Dew come, and just this last Tuesday, we also had the 1st counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, Gerald Causse.   I loved that one so much.  If you can, watch it!  I don't know if you'll be able to get your hands on the video because it was just for the Provo  MTC and it wasn't broadcast, but you should try!  It was sooo amazing!  And if you watch his eyes when he speaks, he looked directly at me a lot of the time, so try to figure out where I could have been sitting!

I love these devotionals though!  They're so great!  I want to tell you about all of them, but I don't have time, but they're really good!  But that one was my favorite!

Well I love you all!  Write me lots!  I love hearing from you and then I can be more specific about all of my crazy experiences!


Hermana Skeen

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hola from the MTC!

Hola everyone!

Can I just say again how much I'm loving the MTC!  It's so great here!  It's not the easiest, but it's great! 

I miss you all so much!  I hope everyone is doing well!  Feel free to write me! :)  I love getting mail! Haha!

So on Tuesday, the Presiding Bishop of the Church came to speak to us!  It was amazing!  He really talked a lot about finding our visions in life.  Finding the vision for ourselves in life, the vision for us as missionaries of the Lord, and our vision of the people we are serving.  It was great!  He spoke with his wife, and they were both just super cute!  I loved it!  One of my favorites so far!  He really focused on how we can be better missionaries!  Anyways, I loved it!  Just wanted to share some of that.  He quoted Preach My Gospel, when he was talking about learning the language and seeking it.  I won't say it exact, but it was talking about how part of seeking is the labor and the struggle.  But it all pays off in the end!

So I'm no longer in a trio!  It seems like every week so far things have changed!  One of our districts in our zone left this past week, and one of the Hermanas had to stay behind because she broke her pinky and couldn't go to Mexico for a few more weeks.  So she is now in our district, and her new companion is my old companion.  Now my companion is HNA. Cook!  We all still live together, but since HNA. Andelin and I were companions originally, we had to switch all of our things around to get the 2 rooms to each companionship again.  It's just been crazy!  We feel like it's been hard for us because all the Elders have had their companions for 3 weeks now and have figured out how to best work with each other, and every week us hermanas start all over!  But we love it!  These girls are great!

Ok, so funny story, in our apartments, there's one larger room with a nicer bunk bed, 2 desks, 2 dressers, 2 closets, one of which is a walk in, and then in the other room, there's only 1 of everything and it's smaller.  So after we had switched our rooms around, we were talking with 2 of the elders in our district, and we asked them if they had a good room and a bad room in their apartment and who had which one.  So one of the elders (these 2 were not companions) replied no, and the other one said something about how yes, his room had 2 closets.  So this other elder, with a completely shocked look on his face looks at the other and is all like, "Wait, what?  You have 2 closets??"  it was so funny!  I was dying!!  But then it gets even better!  Turns out, this elder had split his small closet with his companion, given him the 2 better drawers in the dresser, and his companion also took the closet in the hall.  So he has 1/2 a closet, while everyone else in the apt. has one just for themselves!  He was soo shocked!  Hahaha!
This elder is great though!  He's always so nice and he really doesn't care!  It was just really funny!

So great news!  HNA. Cook and I got our first practice "investigator"  to commit to a baptismal date!  Due to the crazy Christmas season, we really haven't had our real "investigators," just a lot of different substitutes.  But it was such a great lesson!

I'm so excited to be a missionary!  I can't wait for Mexico!

Well I love everyone and I can't wait to hear from you! 

Love,
Hermana Skeen!