Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Skibby sent us the following email and photo on Monday, January 2, 2017.  I am including translations (compliments of my mom who is a Spanish whiz) of some of Skibby's Spanish words and phrases in [italics and brackets]. 

Date:  January 2, 2017 at 9:16 AM
Subject:  Hola- coca cola!

and other phrases I heard in the street this week:
Feliz Navidad! [Merry Christmas!]
Igualmente [The same to you.  Ex.: Person 1: "Feliz Navidad!", Person 2: "Igualmente"] 
no tengo tiempo [I don't have time.]
es que tengo prisa [The thing is, I'm in a hurry.]
no puedo atenderles [I can't attend to you./ I can't give you any time now.]
Feliz Ano! [Happy New Year!]
no tengo interes [I'm not interested.]
que no que no que no que no (my personal favorite. it's amazing how many times they can say that in one breath) [Basically, this means, "no, no, no, no, no, no, no..."]

Well! It was a great week. The cold really hit on Friday or Saturday. We woke up and the world was WHITE!!

....with fog. The fog made it a lot colder. Before, it was in the 5-10 degrees (celsius obviously), but now it is about 2 degrees. Only the air is a lot brisker. So I guess really we're still above freezing here in Spain, but we are getting close. It's a hard knock life for us.

In South America and Spain, they celebrate Christmas and New Year's with FIREWORKS. I am telling you. All this week I thought I kept hearing bombs going off and was ducking for cover. We went to sleep at 11:00 like usual New Year's eve, but at midnight, there were so many fireworks that we woke up. Not to mention we keep our phone on loud, and Carmen called us at 12:19 to wish us a Happy New Year. We didn't pick up, but since we'd woken up we looked out the window just for a minute to see all the fireworks. Then went back to sleep. I hope you guys still did the usual for New Years. Pots and pans crashing together at midnight always keeps the neighbors happy.

Other events of the week:
We ran into a whole bunch of Jehovah's Witness members. They really are good people. We run into them a lot, but these 2 stopped and talked to us for a while. Rey and Carnita (Incarnacion). Carnita (older Spaniard at least more than 60) was all dressed up in her bedazzled earrings, bedazzled shirt, shimmery silver skirt, and black fur coat. Not to mention her bright pink lipstick. Anyway, she was a character and we talked and talked. I exchanged beliefs with Rey while Carnita explained her whole life story to Hna Quispe. They are good people, but they are still stuck in the Reformation. They belief in the Great Apostasy and that doctrines changed and were corrupted. So after a time, many, many people began making their own churches. But one group was able to look and evaluate the Bible and find the problems until they searched hard enough that they could arrive at the truth.
A whole bunch of their comrades came by while they were talking to us and invited us to their meeting. We respectfully declined. We should have taken a picture of everyone (especially Carnita), but now that we're friends, the next time we find them in the street, we'll take a picture for sure.
I ran into another Jehovah's Witness member on Saturday, and we exchanged cards. So I have a Jehovah's Witness card just in case.

I have been praying to see Luz more often. She's been really busy with her kids home for the holidays, but we need to see her more. We saw her Friday night and scheduled an appointment for Saturday morning. We saw her 3 times on Saturday. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. (we ran into her 2 times in the street) She asked if she could have a Book of Mormon to give to her friend who was interested in the church. We respectfully declined. Just Kidding!! Luz is amazing. She has a really difficult situation. But she told us on Friday that, of the little she's read in the BOM, it talks about enduring to the end, and that's what she's going to do. She is a rock, and we are praying for miracles, so her situation can improve.

The other major miracle among many:
We met Mary on the street right before finding Luz again. She's from Nigeria and speaks no Spanish. So we said, 

Mary: "no Espanol!" 
Hna Quispe: "Do you speck English?" 
Mary: "YES!" 
Me: "Where are you from?" 
Mary: "Nigeria."  
Us: "Do you believe in God?" 
Mary: "YES! I am a child of God!!" 
Us: "Would you like to come to church tomorrow?" 
Mary: "YES! I would love to go to church tomorrow. Where do you people meet? I don't know where anything is here. Maybe can we meet here?" 

So we met there on Sunday and walked together. The Elders translated Sacrament Meeting and Gospel Principles for her, and I did my best through Relief Society. Carmen is working on her English and it was fun to hear them talk. She said, "Call me anytime. I would love to come for English Classes. You just call me and say, 'Mary, we have classes at 7.' And I will be there." We are really excited for Mary, except we have to teach her in English, asi que hemos hablado todo el dia en ingles para que Hna Quispe pueda practicarlo [therefore we have spoken all day in English so that Hna Quispe can practice it].  [Note:  Hna. Quispe is Skibby's companion.  She is from Peru and speaks no English.]

La proxima semana voy a escribir completamente en espanol para que podais corregirme y practicar su propio espanol. que tengais una buena semana. Siento muy agradecida ser meimbro de la iglesia. No se donde estaria o que opiniones tendria si no fuese miembro, pero se que este es la verdad y que puedo tener la mayor felicidad donde estoy que en cualquier otro lugar.
Amor por todos, hablamos la proxima semana!! 
[Next week I am going to write completely in Spanish so that you might correct me and practice your own Spanish.  Have a good week ("que tengais" literal translation is something like, "that you might").  I feel very grateful to be a member of the church.  I don't know where I would be or what opinions I would have if I weren't a member, but I know that this is the truth and I can (or I am able to) have greater happiness where I am than in any other place.  
Love to everybody, we'll talk next week!!]

Hna Skibby Christensen

Also-- We decided to save our stockings for January 6 because it's the day of the kings. It's the real holiday where everyone gets presents. We went to a mall today with Hna Leticia (she's really awesome and I've offered our house to her if she comes to General Conference.. I hope that's ok...) and instead of 1 chair for Santa, there were 3, for los reyes [the kings]!
Nativity sets

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