Thursday, September 14, 2017

Skibby sent the following email & photo on Wednesday, September 13, 2017:

Date:  September 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Subject:  Milagros existe!!

Hola Familia! Como estan todos?!?!

I feel like weeks have gone by since I talked to you.

I have only been gone a year, and the world is literally falling apart. Can't we keep it together!?

Here are the 2 biggest miracles:
1-- we set a goal as mission to have 25 baptisms in August. And we worked really hard. We got 26 the last day.
2-- we have been trying to get permission to get ... facebeook.. We got it, and every companionship will get a smartphone!! Really weird. I am excited about the success going up, but not that excited about having to use those things.
3-- President Pack is a miracle worker. My release date has been changed to December 28. I know that that was a really tender mercy, and I'm so excited to be able to make both things work.  [Skibby's original release date was Jan. 9, 2018, but she asked Pres. Pack if she could get released a little earlier so she could attend Emily's wedding on Dec. 29 and also be able to start her semester at Utah State on time, on Jan. 8.] 

Well, I am staying in B6. Hna Koeber is from Utah. That's my first Utah companion. Anyway, she came down from Leon and I am back in trio life. It's taken a little bit of adjusting, but I'm really excited for it, and I feel like this past week has been so busy and crazy with talking to people and doing things, and It's been great. 

Here's a small miracle: we passed by a piso that I have passed by many times. Nobody answered, but then a lady walked in and we talked to her a little bit. Come to find out, it's the lady we were looking for. So we set up an appointment for Monday. That was a miracle. Well Monday she wasn't there. And about 20 minutes later we saw her walking down the street. When she saw us, she obviously hid behind her hair and waved to no one across the street as she passed us. (We were a little farther away, so I didn't say anything) We'll keep trying, but it's a good reminder about how important agency is. It definitely can further or hinder the work of the Lord.

We've met with some new people this week:
Francisco (from Colombia. Here on vacation. Loves God. Told his son he wanted to go on a walk and that he was going to talk to somebody. His son: who?? Well we found him and talked to him on a bench for a while. We gave him a BOM. He goes back to Colombia next week)
Cecilia (traveling back to Peru. We taught her the plan of salvation in her friend's house (member).  We gave her a bom and exhorted her to read it.)

That's about it. Yesterday was a crazy day. We can just say that at one point
1 I was trying to teach Ivan a piano lesson
2 Hna Koeber was helping a member set up a profile for pathways
3 We were supposed to have a lesson with Adrian, but all those things were going on
4 A member was talking to Hna Eckel
5 So Adrian came in and said he would just listen a little bit. 
6 Hna Eckel and the member started singing hymns --- while I was teaching-- and Hna Koeber and the members were talking. It was hectic. Luckily I think Adrian liked it.

My lifelong nightmare of getting stuck in an elevator came true. Luckily I lived through it. Love you all! Have a great week!

mom, can you send me Nate's email address?? love you

Skibby is on the far right.  Next to her is Hermana Eckel.  I am guessing that the next person over is Hermana Koeber, the third member of Skibby's new trio.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Skibby sent the following email and photos on Monday, September 4, 2017.  We dropped Nate off at the MTC today.  He will be there 6 weeks, and then fly to Argentina on October 16, 2017.  I am in the process of creating a missionary blog for Nate, and I will let you know when it's ready in case you would like to view it.  Thanks for caring about and loving our kids!

Date:  September 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Well, this week has been really great! We met with Adrian 2 times. The plan of salvation makes so much sense and it made perfect sense to him. He says he feels happier since he started talking to us. He has tried to find happiness in things that don't actually bring happiness. So he's trying this.

We met a really old lady who is half German half Spanish who grew up in the Philippines. She majored in piano and has a piano in her house.

We had intercambios [exchanges] and I got to be with Hna Quispe. She is awesome.

We had interviews with President.

We are going to be in a trio again. Woohoo!
Skibby & her companion, Hermana Eckel

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Skibby sent the following email on Monday, August 28, 2017.  At the beginning of her email, when she mentions our family's "crazy and really busy week," she is referring primarily to our exciting news that Emily got engaged last Saturday night to a wonderful guy named Michael Stirling, and Nate had his missionary farewell last Sunday!

Date:  August 28, 2017 at 9:17 AM
Subject:  not that busy of a week

Well. I've heard that all of your weeks have been crazy and really busy. That's great!

I feel like this week was a little bit slow, and I'm not sure why. We visited with a recent convert and talked about how she could share the Gospel with people. All of her family members kind of judge her for her decision and she feels like they make fun of her, or complain that she is different. But the Gospel makes her feel good, and she has a really strong testimony.

We met with Adrian on Tuesday. We were all sooo excited, because we were finally going to teach him the plan of salvation. Long story short, his friend came and started asking questions about religion and Adrian answered a few of them. He is just genuinely so cool. So then, we were going to meet him Saturday, but surprise! I had to play for the baptism of b8 elders, and they were like, “Hey! Do you know the Savior Redeemer of My Soul song?” We'll, I didn't, but we went over and plunked it out and it turned out well. So we didn't see Adrian. But we are going right now to see him.

We met la pareja de Maria. His name is Angel and he is a stud. He had a lot of questions and, even though they came to church 2 hours late, really enjoyed the elders Quorum lesson. We'll meet with them Tuesday. He said he would figure out if our message was true, when we asked if he would ask.

That's about it.

Love you all!! Have a great week!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Skibby sent the following email and photos last Monday, August 21, 2017.  I'm sorry to be so late getting this posted!

Date:  August 21, 2017 at 10:36 AM
Subject:  It’s a jungle out there

Hello family!
Last week, all of a sudden, I got the Monk theme song stuck in my head. And I realized it's true. It's a jungle out there. A concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Disorder and confusion everywhere. No one seems to care-- well I do!  

Well, since I hardly wrote what happened last week, I'll try to fill you in.

Moratalaz-- aka Lima Peru:
Last Monday on our way to the castle, we got a call from Maria. We didn't remember who she was, but she said she was coming to the church. We asked if she could come on Tuesday. No problem. So we met with them on Tuesday: Maria and Vicky. We found them in the retiro park a few days before that and had left them with our card. They came from Peru and have been here a month. They are looking for work and a different piso. Well we shared with them about how God is our Heavenly Father. We gave them both a BOM and they said they would read it. We introduced them to Raul (our mission leader--Peru). We set up another appointment to see them on Friday. Which they came to. Just 2 hours late! So we explained a little bit about the BOM and then they stayed for the baptism the Elders of a different barrio had. I was asked right before if I would do a musical number. So I just played the John the Baptist song. Props of playing the piano. We invited them to an appointment. We told them to meet us at 5:30 so we could get there by 6:30 because they always came late. We only got there 10 minutes late. We shared the restauracion, and they came to church yesterday. We also helped them move from their piso to a hotel on Friday. (The matrimony couple helped us with their car.) At the same baptism we invited a girl named Jeisel (Peru) and her friend Pierro (Peru) to come. They got there late, but we planned to eat with them on Monday. Well we did, and it was delicious, but we didn't have time to share anything. We lost Lourdes for about a week and a half. On Friday, I asked Heavenly Father to help us have some kind of contact with her that day. It didn't happen. But the next day, we saw her in the metro, and we went quickly to get on the same train. She came to church yesterday and then came to eat with us at Raul and Lily' s house (Peru). Bishop (Peru), 1st counselor (Peru), we visited a member, Gloria (Peru), and shared the restauracion. At Zone conference the hermanas told us that they were visiting Cynthia and her Family (Peru) (do you remember them?) And Andrés (11) said he wanted to be baptized!! I don't think he told his dad yet. Then on Saturday, they came to Pavones to play basketball and I got to see him. He ran over to me with the biggest grin on his face. Man was I happy to see him. Saturday, Diego (Peru) was baptized, and we did a little musical number. Cuando me bautice con mas cerca Dios de ti. La mayoria de Las cantantes siendo... peruanos.  Yo esperaba servir en Perú, pero no sabía que mi Perú sería Pavones. [… musical number.  “When I Am Baptized” along with “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”  Most of the singers were Peruvian.  I hoped to serve in Peru, but I did not know that my Peru would be Pavones.]

Tuesday we had zone conference and that was a lifesaver. President talked about the restoration. We are supposed to be teaching it to all members in 4 minutes. It's what President calls a message with a lot of meat. He's not joking. Anyway, so we went out with renewed energy and on Wednesday, we shared the restoration with a family. They said they really liked the message because God has 2 attributes: amor y alegria [love and joy]. They said Hna Eckel was amor and I was alegria. Go figure. Then we started walking around and talking to people and we stopped a guy walking his dog. Turns out his name is Toby (the dog), but I thought he said Dobby. He has the coloring of Cubby, but he's just not as cute, darnit. The guy's name is Adrian. I said, "You live around here don't you? Haven’t you ever had any curiosity about this giant white building over there?" Adrian: Si, what is your religion about? Yo: well to be able to understand what we believe, first you need to understand who God is for us ... and we did the restoration in 4 minutes. It was nice to have just practiced it. He had some really good questions about knowing if the Bible was true, or how can you know if you've chosen the right path. I feel like we just had a really good heart to heart chat. And then he asked, "Ok, so why are we here?" we said: “Ahh! We would love to explain this, but maybe tomorrow. So we met with him the next day with some rm members and we talked some more about the restoration, then met with him yesterday. On Wednesday, we’ll talk about the plan of salvation. He is so cool. I really think God made our paths cross, and at a time when we were ready to share.

Yesterday we also met with a girl named Jesse. She has a friend in the US that told her how happy she is, and told her it was because of the church. 
I think that's about it. We are sad about Barcelona. Maybe this will make Spain a little more united.

If you paid attention you'd be worried too. You better pay attention all this work we love so much, might just kill you...
Some days are hard, and some days I don't know how we'll make it. But it is all worth it.

love you all!!

Hna Christensen