Previous Letters

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Good Fight

I know that many probably understand how it is for a missionary to leave the mission, but I just didn´t expect it to be like this... So instead of fumbling around with my words trying to tell you how it is, i´ll just trust that you kinda understand what i´m gettin at. It´s really hard, but it´s also happy. I´m super nostalgic, but i´m trying to just look towards the future with faith. So now i´m excited to get back and to keep bettering myself, to keep progressing, and to keep taking steps towards exaltation. The future is bright.
So no, i´m not trunky, but I look to the future with confidence, faith, and hope. I also know that the mission doesn´t end here in Argentina, I´ve still got plenty of work to do (even if I do live in the shadow of the temple...)
Over the last 2 years, i´ve come to understand the importance of my calling and commission. I´ve been sent as an ambassador for Christ, and as His representative,my authority is above that of kings of the earth.  By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if  He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.  My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.  My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.  How great is my calling!
I don´t have it memorized but I´ve come to understand what it means. I love the confidence that wearing this name tag gives me. I´ll miss it too much.  I love serving the Savior.  I love him, and i´ve been able to feel His love for me.  His atonement is real, i´ve seen it change lives.  I´m eternally thankful for it, because thanks to Him, I´ll be able to be with my loved ones for eternity.  I love you all soo much.  I´ll see you all too soon.  

-- Elder Josh Skousen

Just another day in Paradise

September 2, 2013

I`m still loving my area and don`t want to leave it. I love the people here too much. We challenged 2 couples to get married this week and both accepted. I love challenging and testifying people to come unto Christ and to keep His commandments. But more than anything I love seeing people change their lives. You can see the light in their eyes, as they learn and grow. they are excited and eager to keep progressing. 
We had an activity with all the youth in the stake where we gave a workshop and then went out with all the youth to do street contacts. It was a great experience for everyone. It was especially cool to see 4 recent converts there from our ward sharing their simple testimonies, and in my opinion they did it much better than most of the others :)  This sunday I stood up to bear my testimony in church and saw so many people that I have taught and come to love.  A super nostalgic moment, but I love being able to share just a sliver of what my testimony is.  I try to help people understand just how important this message that we share is.  I try to transmit the fact that we are talking about eternal life, the salvation of the children of God, and if they don`t know that, at least we know it. I know it, and I let them know that that is why we are in their home teaching them.  
We are teaching soo many great people, I love teaching! I really love teaching families. We have been continually blessed as we pray for miracles and for families to teach. The Lord has placed several of his sons and daughters in our path, and has inspired us to open our mouths. These are all miracles! I`ve learned that the power of a missionary, just like the power of the priesthood, comes through obedience. It is a great feeling to be able to pray for, and expect miracles. I have faith that if we are really doing all our part, God works miracles in our lives and allows us to be instruments in His hands to work miracles in the lives of His children. I hope to always live worthy of these miracles, and to always have the same missionary spirit, to open my mouth in every oppurtunity. I still got time to go out and change lives, to plant some seeds, so that the work keeps going forth. 
Love you all

Monday, August 26, 2013

Enjoy the Simple Things

Hey family,
This week we had a lot of success in bringing new people to church that have never been before.  3 new families came!  It´s incredible how much the Lord blesses us.  We are so excited, it is so amazing to teach families.  I feel like i´ve just been learning how to do this for 2 years, and just as I´m becoming the best missionary I´ve ever been, it´s time to go back?  I still have tons to learn, but I feel confident in my ablity to go out and work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, to bring others to Christ.  Right now we are trying as hard as we can to help the rest of the missionaries in the zone reach their potential.  There is nothing more sad than to see someone fall short of their potential.  I hope to be able to help some of them raise their vision, to look up, forget themselves, and just do it!  
It´s a great feeling to be a missionary.  The world here is so much more simple.  I hope to be able to maintain the same eternal perspective that I´ve gained throughout my life.  I´m excited to apply the many things that i´ve learned here in the mission out in the real world.  I´m excited to keep progressing and bettering myself.  I still got a little bit of time to do that here though.  For now, i´ll reap while the day lasts.  I love this work, I love these people, and I love the Savior.  
Love you all too.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sounding in Every Ear

Hey Family
We had 3 miracles this week and more on the way.  We had an amazing baptismal service on saturday.   We are living in really awesome times.  This time in the mission, church, and world are really unique.  Lots of cool things happening, and tons of mountains to climb.  I like the whole "give me mountains to climb" attitude.  That´s something i have tried to develop.  Always wanting to learn and grow and overcome challenges.  I had a little chat with President Carter a while back about why good people go inactive?  He said it was because they choose to do the easy thing.  They take the easy path instead of the one less traveled.  I hope to remain worthy to always take the road less traveled in all decisions of my life.  It´s all about enduring to the end, sprint to the finish, reap while the day lasts... 3 phrases that have stuck with me.  3 phrases i´m going to live my life by.  

Monday, August 12, 2013


Hey family,
I am having a great time here in Argentina, we are finding, teaching, and baptizing families.  This weekend, Analia, Martina, and Digna are getting baptized.  Ricardo, Analia´s husband, is also progressing really well, but has only recently started hearing us because he always is working.  He prayed out loud for the first time in his life on saturday night(pretty much mom´s birthday).  It was a super humble prayer, super simple, but powerful.  He asked his Heavenly Father if he should get baptized.  It is for moments like that, that we work unceasingly, to find those who are ready to hear the invitation to come unto Christ.  Please pray for us, so that we can continue to find this people.  continue to pray for and look for miracles in your own lives.  Don´t expect them to happen if you don't pray for them.  :)  I´m thankful that Heavenly Father is a God of miracles and that he blesses us with them constantly.  Christ lives, this is his church.  Families can be together forever.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Quick Week

Hey family
We were gone for most of the week doing capacitations and other meetings, but the Lord blessed us to be able to find new people to teach, and find time to do almost everything we normally do.  Our investigators are coming along great.  Keep praying for them.  Yesterday in church, someone called me out of sacrament meeting because someone outside wanted to talk to me.  I went out and Jose Ledesma was there.  He is the dad of the family that I got to go to their sealing a few months ago. He said he had gone to a couple churches looking for me and finally found me.  He wanted to let me know that his wife had just had a baby and that she was in the hospital, it was  soooo good to see him!  Hard to describe.  I love the people here in Argentina so much.  I got tons to do in the next 6 weeks.  Love you all, gotta go!

1. Merlo sunrise
2. We went and played tennis with the Carters on pday :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Good week

so it´s really cold down here...  There´s no way of getting out of it either.  I´ve got 5 layers on right now, but it doesn´t really matter, especially when it rains.  But that´s ok, my spirit´s on fire!  This week Estefania and Karen were baptized and confirmed.  it was one of the better baptismal services i´ve seen.  There was a really good spirit there.  Guillermo (karen´s dad) explained to us his desires to be able to get baptized and eventually sealed to his family.  we are working hard to get him divorced and married... a very slow process.  and Estefania´s mom really wants to get baptized as well, it was really hard for her to see her daughter get baptized and know that she wasn´t able to do it.  Her husband doesn´t seem to have any desires to get married either... I love them all.  Please pray for them
This week Mauro, the son of the family ortiz( the family of nayla that just got baptized a little while ago... i dont know if you remember...)  anyway, he had an operation on his trachea (spelling?) on wednesday.  It was a pretty hard experience for the family.  Thankfully it all went well, but the family is really progressing.  Martina (the grandma) has never gone this long without smoking.  she is going on 6 days now.  she feels like she´s finally beat it.  They are immersing themselves in the scriptures and prayers, and that´s why they are seeing the blessings.  They are all surprised at the divine help that has come into their lives when they decide to keep the commandments and develope that relationship with our savior.  I love them SO MUCH.  Pray for them too please.  
sooo sorry if this letter was all over the place, but i love being a missionary, i love you all!  

Elder Skousen

I attached pics of the baptism Estefania is black haired, the guy in the wheelchair is Pino, he was baptized a month and a half ago, Estefania and her mom were references from him.  He doesn´t have legs, he´s the best.  
The other is Guillermo, Florencia, and Karen.  They are amazing.  
The other is my comp and I walking the streets of Merlo.  You may notice the giant river of sewage... I love Merlo  (this picture didn't come through)