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...)

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