Friday, July 29, 2016

Skibby sent us the following email and pictures on Thursday, July 28, 2016:

Date:  July 28 at 6:57 AM
Subject:  Que Pasa, mufasa!?

Hola Hola!!
I can't believe it's been another week here!
Here's the lowdown:

My companion is great. Her name is hermana Webster and she's from the land of bigger things -- Texas.  We're pretty different, but we get along pretty well. The two most common things I hear daily from her are, "get it hermana" and "Texans, you know how they are." There are 5 of us in a room, so some companionships are split up. The Russians leave next week. That means we'll be getting some new ones, but also a bunch more native speaking Spain bound missionaries. The Russians are great, and I'll miss them. They seem so much older than the rest of us, but they're not. Just had six more weeks of mtc time than we have.

It's hot outside -- honestly not that hot, but they keep it really cool in the CCM. The trees here are beautiful.

We get to go to the temple every p-day. I'll try to send pics if I can figure out how. Technology is a struggle. The temple is gorgeous.

Que Mas, que Mas?  Almost all my teachers are native Spanish speakers, so they should help us a lot more than provo mtc teachers. I'm really not that great at Spanish, but I know it just takes time and practice.

The park this Saturday was awesome!!! It's the Retiro park in Spain.  I don't know, maybe you can look it up with Google maps??? My companion was hma Twede (who is great) and we talked to lots of people, using Emily's little dictionary. We got a referral from a couple on their way to Catholic mass. I hope they follow it and learn it, so they can see much more they can have in their lives! There's a guy who plays jazz on his trumpet, so we contacted by him. It was really good. I can break the ice at contacting pretty well now. But now I need to bridge to the gospel.....

For p-day today we went to an archeological museum. There were lots of old rocks there. I was impressed with the ancient tweezers. Even back then, humans were taking care of the necessities. They had bones of the Neanderthals. What do you think about all of that? There was a real life mummy. On the way back we stopped at the store for candy. All in all, a pretty good trip.

We ride the metro a lot. To the park and for p-days. It's interesting to see all the different types of people stuck together in a little box, and not talking to each other.

I really love it here!! I love to learn how to teach, even though it's humbling. I love to try to learn Spanish even though I can't sense any progress. I love feeling the spirit and listening to people who love the gospel speak to us. I love looking at the Spanish people and knowing that it's my job to help them have a happier, more fulfilling life. But it's also a huge responsibility. How much I can progress will determine maybe, how many people I can help.

I love and miss you all!! I'm praying for you and your health.


Spain, Madrid Temple

The temple and the CCM (MTC) are located on the same city block (Madrid's Temple Square).

Skibby and her teacher's sister, Hma. Nunez, standing outside the CCM

Skibby and her companion, Hma. Webster, standing outside a store where they bought candy. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Skibby sent the following email on Thursday, July 21, 2016.  Her P-days will be Thursdays for the next 5 weeks until she leaves the CCM (Spain's MTC).

Date:  July 21, 2016 at 7:21 AM
Subject:  Vale Vale Vale.. Already week 2 in the ol CCM

Hola Familia!!

First off, bear with me. Before I left I vowed to make emails brief, but this week's is going to be long.

The most important word I learned this week was: vale.  It means "ok" in Spanish. So to all of those Spanish speakers in Los Estados Unidos, hay una palabra para ok en espanol! Changed my life. 

What I learned this week:

1. Preach My Gospel is a helpful book. Who'd have thought? It has literally the answer to everything in it. It's annoying really.

Here is how the CCM works. On Saturdays we go to the park and proselyte. It's about 3/4 the size of New York's Central Park. It feels exactly like the park in 101 Dalmations with all the dogs. Except I am a missionary. I say "on Saturdays we go to the park" because time here is weird. Even though I've been here for barely over a week, so many things happen during the day, and we plan everything so much (Em and Sam will attest), that it feels like it's been a long time. Yet somehow there still isn't enough time to do everything you need to. Its a conundrum. At the park we proselyte and speak Spanish with the people, which we don't know, so most conversations crash and burn. However, I'm told, with faith and more practice, the park will become one of my favorite things here. I believe it. I just wasn't assertive enough last week.

Sundays we have La Santa Cena. President stands up and calls whoever he feels prompted to, to come give a talk. We all prepare talks for the same subject. I spoke on Charity on Sunday. I was the first missionary to speak from our new transfer. Hope it was ok. President Packer is "tremendous." He says that all the time. But he really is. I'm pretty sure he'll be the next member of the twelve called. Loving, powerful, spiritual, caring, smart. What are the cons? His wife is the exact opposite. She's very sweet, but quiet and softspoken. Guess they're not lying when they say opposites attract, aye? They are both amazing.

On Sunday we also watched Elder Bednar's talk about the character of Christ. Ask Em and Sam about it. Straight fire. Literally the best thing I've ever heard. Main message: to become like Christ, you must turn outwards when the inner man would like to turn inwards. But you can't do it if you're trying to because then you're still focused on yourself. It's also a conundrum, but still possible. Easily the best talk I've ever heard. Sorry, parents, that you can't hear it. You'll have to become a senior couple or something. It's worth it just for that.

I'm working hard studying here. I feel like Hermione Granger. We work on the language a lot. Much humbling, but that's ok. President Packer said, "God's words are better than yours", talking about using the scriptures. Fair enough. I can't argue. It's good to learn now that you're a terrible teacher so you can improve.

I'm happy and busy and learning. And probably getting fat from all the chuches : candies. They are gummy candies. Grammy would love it here. Love and miss you all. I'll email more at the same time next week. I only have an hour to email, so sorry if you wanted more.

Yours truly,
Hermana Christensen  (or Christiansen, as the Elders often mispronounce it...)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

We received the following email from Skibby on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.  I would have posted it sooner but I was away at girls camp until yesterday.  "CCM" is Spain's "MTC" and it can accommodate as many as 72 missionaries.

From:  Elizabeth Bright Christensen
July 12, 2016 at 12:21 PM

Well, the time has come for all of you to have to read my emails.
Lucky you guys...! Let me tell you that I have been gone for a day
about, and 13 and half of those hours were spent on a plane, eating
wonderful airport meals and not watching the movies the people next to
me were watching. There might have been some sleeping. Anyway, there
were probably 25 missionaries that flew from salt lake. We met up with
more on the other flights and total arriving at the ccm is 48!! 40
left the ccm this morning. President and Hermana Packer greeted us at
the ccm. They knew each of us by name and where we were from. They are
awesome. Grateful for small ccm!! I´m safe and well. I have to go, but
I´ll email again a week from Thursday. Best of wishes!! Feel free to
edit any of my emails always, to make them sound better. mucho amor,
Hermana Skibby Christensen

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Skibby is on the verge of leaving for Spain to start her mission!  Her farewell is tomorrow (Sunday, July 11) at 9:00 am at our church, 13950 S. 1300 W., Riverton.  She will fly to Spain on Monday and she will be spending the next 6 weeks at the Madrid MTC. We will miss her so much, but know she will have the experience of a lifetime!