Monday, March 24, 2014

Let's Go to the Beach (Week 33)

Quote of the week:
"There will be lots of protesters at the open house. Do not engage in conversation with them."
"Can we punch them in the face?"
"Yes, punching is allowed."
"Maybe I'll dress up like a protester and then punch them in the face. 'I'm converted!'"

Tis true, the open house is coming. It actually starts this Saturday, and I am so excited it's crazy! We can only go through it when we have an investigator going with us, but that's easy for us because we live right by the temple. So we'll be going next week for the first time!! It's so cool to see how excited everyone here is about the temple. We have so many people on the streets just ask us about the temple and what it's for. It's one of our best tools as missionaries right now!

So we're going to the beach today. I'm pretty excited! It's going to be the best thing ever. Except it's a little cloudy, so hopefully it clears up. I'll take some good pictures though. We're not allowed on the actual beach, but we can take pictures from a safe distance:) We started knocking doors over by the beach a few days ago, but they were all snobby rich people who didn't want to listen to us.

Alright, so here's what happened with Leonard, who was supposed to be baptized yesterday. We'd talked to him on Saturdayand he was all set and super excited about getting baptized. Then Sunday came by and he didn't show up to church. We went to his house afterwards and he said that he'd prayed about it the night before, and after he'd had a vision where a voice told him that he didn't have enough faith yet. So...that's dumb. We're going to do all we can to get him baptized and get him the gift of the Holy Ghost this week though! We also have Rose still, the old haitian mamie! She's finally back from her trip that she unexpectedly took, and she's excited to be baptized. And we have a cool Haitian family who all came to church and loved it yesterday. The two kids want to get baptized, but the mum doesn't, though she's fine with the kids getting baptized. We're still trying to figure out if it will be better to just baptize the kids to set an example for the mum, or if we should wait and try to get the mum to accept baptism with the kids first.

This week we've given a large focus on trying to follow the spirit completely. It's getting a lot easier for me to follow the spirit in knowing which houses to knock on, but I usually get so caught up with trying to help the investigators during teaching that I sometimes forget about trying to follow the spirit, which is one of the most important times to be sensitive to its promptings. So I'm working on that. It's amazing how the spirit can guide us all the time though, not just in being guided to certain places. It can help us know what to read in the scriptures or who to talk to when walking down the street. I'll definitely be doing all i can to follow the spirit as much as I can the rest of my mission, and even when I get home. 

Well, I love you all muchly! Don't let the dryness of Utah kill you! 
Love, Elder Skidmore

Monday, March 17, 2014

Umm...(Week 32)

So here's the thing. I have like five minutes left because we have a meal appointment with a Haitian member really soon. So pray that I don't get food poisoning because from what I've heard, she's one of "those" Haitians who is totally fine just throwing fat and bugs together in her food. Oh gosh.

This week was really good. We found so many committal people, and we were able to get seven investigators at sacrament, which is incredible! So be expecting six baptisms this coming Sunday (one of the seven was some crazy guy that was just asking for money the whole time, but I guess there's still hope with him too:)) Rose is doing really well. She came to church again yesterday, but didn't feel ready for baptism, and we dont' want to push her too much because she can get a little emotional. I feel like this is her week though, so I'm excited! We also have an investigator from Barbados called Leonard. He's super cool!!! And he has a really fun accent. We went over to his house on Saturday to teach him, and he was really sick and said he wouldn't be able to be at church, so we taught about fasting and fasted with him until Sunday morning. And he came to church!!! Now he's preparing for baptism this Sunday!!! I'm so excited. The work truly is progressing, and the Lord is blessing us for our hard work. This work isn't easy at all, and there are still loads of discouraging days, but then there are days when blessings are brought in abundance and miracles are performed, and it's just so amazing.

Other than that, not a lot happened this week. I saw an alligator, which was pretty cool. Didn't have my camera on me next time:) Didn't get hit by a truck or bike into a bar, so that's good. haha, I love you all so much. Have a great week!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Whole Lot of New (Week 31)

Oh man, oh man. So, the thing is, this whole mission thing is totes cray cray for realz. But really though, it's super crazy. You can never expect what's going to happen because nothing you expect to happen ever happens, and everything that you expect not to ever happens, happens. Tis true. Why do I say this? Well, let me give you a snippet of what happened at transfer meeting this week:

The read-off of new companions and new areas had already started. Left and right people were being assigned to their new lives for the next six weeks. There were lots of laughs as people were assigned to zone leader positions, and a few squeals of joy as sister missionaries were paired together. As I watched Elder Brockbrank be assigned as the newest zone leader and take his place with his new companion, I couldn't help but wonder what was in store for me. Obviously I'd mapped out all of the Creole Elders and who could possibly be joining me in Fort Lauderdale. However, when every Creole missionary was already assigned but Elder Claude, it seemed the unexpected would be happening and we would be paired together once again. Then, something even stranger happened.
"In Fort Lauderdale Creole area, Elder Skidmore and Elder Perkins."
Who the cheese is Elder Perkins, was the first thought that came to my head. True story. I'd never heard of an Elder Perkins before. As I scanned the room to try and find my newly called companion, I noticed that all of the Spanish elders were laughing and looking at one of the Elders in their group. Then a tall Elder stood up, walked over to me, and gave me a huge hug. Yup, his name was Elder Perkins.

This transfer is definitely going to be very different for me. Not only am I taking over the area of Fort Lauderdale Creole, but I also have a Spanish companion. The first few days were very stressful because I had to do all of the Creole lessons, and I was terrified of messing up and not having somebody to fall back on. However, on Saturday after praying for a very long time, I finally realized that I always have somebody to lean back on, and that's the Spirit. I don't speak Creole well at all, but when I have the Spirit I can speak almost fluently, and they understand the message and the Spirit that they feel. My companion, Elder Perkins is also always there for me. Just because he doesn't speak much Creole yet doesn't mean that he can't help out in lessons. Though I'm still pretty stressed about trying to teach all of these incredible Haitian people that the Lord has blessed us with, I know that I have my two companions who are always there to testify of truthfulness and help these amazing children of God to accept baptism. 

Plus, I get to stay here for the temple open house so heck yeah!!! I don't know if we'll be doing anything for it...but still! Lots of excitement going around because of the temple!

So I don't know if I talked about Rose yet, but I'm going to now because she be awesome. Rose is a 70 year old Haitian lady who we found a little over five weeks ago. In that time, she's already read the whole Book of Mormon, and she's stopped drinking tea and coffee too. She finally made it to church, and is preparing to be baptized this Sunday!!!! Heck yeah Ellis! Rose is one of the most elect people in the world. She just hasn't been able to come to church the last few weeks because her niece is really really sick and in the hospital, so they've all been going over there on weekends to stay with her. But now Rose is going to be baptized and it's going to be the best thing ever! 

I just remembered one of the funniest jokes ever. Or rather, should I call it an account? I rode my bike into a bar yesterday. Well, I was riding my bike and my face hit a horizontal bar. I was really confused, for it blended in with the road. Thankfully, there's no cosmetic effect. I just have a good story from it. It's fun, because I'm sure the Lord protected my beautiful face. It's one of his masterpieces after all. I kid, I kid!

Well, I've definitely grown a lot in my testimony of the necessity for the Spirit in teaching the gospel. Not only that but I've also realized that members are the best thing that ever happened to missionary work. We took a member out with us every day this week, and the lessons were so much more powerful. People were a lot more open too, which was really good. If you ever have a chance, you should go out with the missionaries. It be cray cray. Our ward here has so many funny and very interesting people in it too. I'd try to explain but I can't do it justice, so I'll just have to take you all here one day to introduce you.

Well, you all be awesome sauce and stuff. Please don't get killed by a meteor shower, because that would be the lamest thing ever. Which reminds me of a quote from Chad Stephens from this week. "You know what's the lamest, sir? When somebody's deheading your head, sir!" Gotta love Jamaican kids. Haha, I love you all. Have a great week!

Mwen renmen nou anpil anpil anpil!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Transfers (Week 30)

Quote of the Week:

"Man, I love you like a fat kid love cake." -Larry Andrews

Hello there fanmi mwen!
Sak Pase? Nou ap boule? Thought so. Well this week's been a lot more relaxed than last week. No angry black women getting into fights with tasers and bowling pins, so that's good I guess:) Khadijah and Rickia got confirmed on Sunday, which was amazing. The spirit was so strong. And we took Khadijah out teaching with us and she just threw down with her testimony of the restoration. She told us after that she can't wait to serve her mission in 4 years! She's definitely going to be one of the strongest members ever. Her younger sister Rickia is only 11, but we can start taking her out in April, which is excited.

So transfers are tomorrow. Oh man, stress for days! Elder Brockbank is transferring and I'm taking over the area. Too bad I've only been here a few weeks and don't know where anything is. This week is going to be super hard and stressful, but that's okay. I just want to baptize Haitian people. 

We've been teaching this really cool old Haitian mami named Rose Fatale. She's at least 70. We've taught her for the past 6 weeks, but she was never able to come to church. Well she finally made it this Sunday and is now super excited to be baptized this Sunday!! Larry Andrews, another guy we've been teaching forever but have to wait until my birthday until he can be baptized because he's on house arrest, brought his sister to church with him this Sunday and she wants to be baptized too. We still have to teach her everything though, so I don't think it will be this Sunday. I'm super excited though. The Lord's work continues to move on speedily. Our mission's working towards having 175 convert baptisms this month. That's a crazy big goal since we average about 120 a month, but I think we can do it! I'm excited to see what miracles march brings in the work.

So I read this on the other day and it's one of my favorite things ever. Thought I'd share it with y'all since I'm supposed to be an example or something strange like that;)

I went on exchanges in the English area and we knocked into this guy named Frank. He answered the door and said, "Oh, Joseph Smith was just here with his magical glasses. You know the Urim and Thummim." Oh gosh, that's always how the bashers here in Florida start. I was on exchanges with a new missionary too who had only been out for 5 weeks and was struggling a lot with confidence, so he doesn't really teach a lot yet. I was really worried for a second because I didn't want him to have a bad experience, but I decided to just go ahead with the approach. "Cool! Did you tell him I said hi. My name's Elder Skidmore and this is Elder Bortman. We're representatives of Jesus Christ, and he sent us to you today to leave a special blessing on your home." Well he immediately went off about how Joseph Smith was a liar and all that fun stuff, but instead of trying to bash back like a lot missionaries here do, I decided to try a different approach. "Sir, I know that Jesus Christ truly loves you, and wants you to know the truth. I can testify that he sent us to you today to leave this prayer and to invite his spirit into your home." He was taken back by this, because I guess he's used to people just arguing right back. He let us say the blessing, and right afterwards, he just said thanks and had us leave. He was crying though, and I know that the spirit really did touch him in that moment. It was a huge testimony builder to me of the power of the spirit and also the pure love that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father have for each one of us. 

Anyway, that was my week, basically. I love you all so much! thanks for your constant emails and prayers. They really do help a lot! Love youuu!!!

Eldè Skidmore

Haitian lesson of the day:

Hello                  Bonjou
What's up?         Sak Pase?
I'm good             M'ap Boule  (literally means I'm burning)
See you later      N'a wè (pronounced nah way)
Have a good day    Pase yon bon joune (passay yon bon jounay)
 ^^Be jealous^^