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 EspaƱol 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!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Feliz Ano Nueve!!

Feliz Ano Nueve everyone!!!  (heh...heh...Ok, confession.  I don't actually know how to spell that, I've only ever said it, and my spelling isn't so great...)

Ok, is it really 2014 already??  We're so disconnected from the world, and it does not feel like the year really ended.  All of us missionaries here were very confused yesterday though because everything was closed!  It took us a while to figure that one out.

It was really funny though!  New year's eve, we had our Tuesday night devotional, which was so great btw the way, but I'll get to that later.  Primero, my funny missionary story!  So new year's eve, we had just finished the devotional, and we were on the bus to go  back to west campus for a devotional review, and the bus driver decided to wish us a happy new year, and play music.  And I'm not talking missionary music, I'm talking real life music, annoying pop music.  I'm pretty sure one of the songs was a Bieber song... Ahhh!!  My companions and I were so disconnected from the world, and hearing it was such a shock for us, that we didn't even know how to take it in!!  Hahahaha!!!  We got off that bus as soon as it stopped and then just burst out laughing!!  So funny!

That devotional was so great though!  Elder  Stanley G. Ellis of the 70 spoke, and he just did an amazing job!  He spoke about change voluntary repentance.  I loved how he mentioned, especially with all the new year's resolutions this time of year, how even if we set a goal and only stick with it for a month, or a week, or a day, we are still better.  We are still better because of that one day and how we changed.  The way he said it was just so perfect.  He said a lot of great things!  He compared voluntary repentance to Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. :)  It was a good analogy and way to look at repentance and change.  

If you get the chance, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but on Christmas Eve, we had the opportunity to watch the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar, given at the MTC on Christmas I think 2 years ago.  I highly recommend that you watch that if you can!!!

I was reading in PMG a lot this week, and I really focused on how as missionaries, we are participating in the greatest work in the world.  This is the Lord's work and His Glory (Moses 1:39), and I have the ability to participate in it.  I can give Him my all for the next year and a half.  This is going to be the best year yet!  I get to devote this entire year to the work of the Lord!  This is the eternal salvation of souls, and I can help them receive Christ and the gift that He gave us through the atonement!

Even though it's not an easy job, it's the best there is.  Trios are hard, but it's teaching me to completely love and accept others and work harder myself!  I love being here in the MTC!  It's super scary though, because the end of this week marks the halfway mark for my time here in Provo, and I'm already over 1/3 done!  What???  How???  I don't know Spanish yet!!! :)

No pictures this week, our computers really had it with our zone this week :)  maybe by next week they'll be able to handle it all!  

Well I love and miss you all soo much!!  I hop you're having a great year and time off!  Someone mentioned to me that we should keep a daily gratitude journal as well as just a normal journal.  Just wanted to share that idea with you all!  

Love you all!
Hermana Skeen!