Monday, August 12, 2013

This week...

Dear Family
This week was a rollar coaster.  We said goodbye to sister Pond today and sent her off to the airport.  It was bitter sweet.  Sad to see her go, but good because I know that it's the right decision for her. 
Yesterday I saw Heidi (gainer) and Ryan and their baby Archer, at Joey Stewart and his wife's house. They had us over for dinner and Heidi and Ryan came down from DC to spend the day.  It was so good to see them! I have a pic, but I left my camera so I'll send it next week.  It's still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that heidi has a one year old baby. And he's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.
We got to spend the night in the mission home last night, and we had so much fun. We stayed up playing games with president and sister Wilson and one of the other missionaries who was going home and his companions.  I love staying in the mission home. It brought me back to my first night in the mission when I stayed there.  We all had a great companionship study this morning with President.  Wow. I just don't think it gets any better than that.
I've been learning lately a little more about how the Lord speaks to us... and how often he speaks to us.  The Lord reaches out to everyone, those who follow, and those who are lost.  Think of how many times the Lord spoke to Laman and Lemual, and the Alma the younger and the sons of mosiah... I like this verse in Mosiah 27:12
"And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them."
and compare that with 3 Nephi 11:4-7
And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they aunderstood it not.And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did aopen their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
Behold my aBeloved Sonbin whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
Sometimes we get distracted, or we don't hear what the Lord is trying to tell us... but he always gives us second chances, and he is always there.  We just have to do what the nephites did and turn our eyes towards heaven and open our ears and really listen.  And I think the trick is too listening to the right things.  Like Alma the younger was so wrapped up in his astonishment and falling down that he couldn't understand or hear the words the angel was speaking to him the first time.
I see people, investigators, members, and even myself sometimes get wrapped up or distracted by things that don't matter. Even if they are gospel topics or scriptural interpretations that we don't fully understand.  We just have to pay attention to what the Lord is telling us... pay attention to how our hearts feel, because things of the spirit will always communicate with our spirit.  What matters is that the book of mormon is true, and it was translated by the power of God through Joseph Smith.  What matters is that the priesthood power is restored and real, and we have all the ordinences and blessings that God has to offer his children available us. We have it. The whole truth and nothing but. People need to know it and they need to see it in action through the way we live.
Hanna is set for baptism on Aug 24th. I am so happy for her and so excited, because she is ready.  She faces a lot of opposition though, and I am humbled to see the kind of faith it takes for someone to leave behind everything they knew - everything they've been raised with and surrounded by - to follow Jesus Christ... and she is doing that.
This work is all about finding the ONE.
...interpret that however you want to.
 I love you all and I am SO excited that Joshy and I are reporting on our missions the same day. Oct 20th! I couldn't be happier. Hope you all have a good week.
love love love
sis Skousen

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