Date: January 16, 2017 at 10:27 AM
Subject: mis pensamientos en quanto el mundo [I think this translates to something like, “my thoughts on the world”... maybe…]
Bueno, Esta semana ha sido muy bien. las experiencias que queria compartir Miercoles..
[translation: Well, this week has been great. The experiences I wanted to share Wednesday ..]
About 2 weeks ago we had a lesson with Juan Carlos(ma) and we were sitting on a bench, all of us with our libros de mormon out and open. There were people walking past every now and then, and I thought about their perspective and I thought -- "They probably think we're some weird kind of book club or something." It's true. We kind of are like a giant book club that talks about and rereads and has conferences and everything you can think of on the best book in the world/heavens. The Book of Mormon is the best. And now I feel like the church is a giant book club. --You don't have to put any of this in the email if it sounds too weird.
There are lots of people we talk to on the street that say they believe in themselves only. They say they don't believe there are any good people in the world. None. About 2 weeks ago we were boarding the bus to head to a pueblo. There was someone waiting in a wheelchair. All of the buses have 2 doors: one to enter and one to leave. The exit door is in the middle of the bus. So the lady in the wheelchair was waiting at the exit doors to enter there (because there is a place to seat belt wheelchairs there), and we had all been waiting there for a while. It takes a little bit of time to load everybody because you have to pay or swipe your abono [Google translates this word as “fertilizer,” so I’m thinking something’s lost in the translation…], but finally we were all loaded except the lady in the wheelchair. Either the conductor didn't see her, or he forgot she was there, but he started pulling away. Immediately there was an uproar from the entire bus to stop. They got her on, and while the person who was with her was paying, a lady, already sitting down, got up and buckled her wheelchair in. This is a really small example, but I feel like it shows that all people are generally good. That lady was none of anybody's business, and we would have left a little bit faster had they not said anything. But instead of just zoning into their phones or starting to take a nap, they worried about her and were ready to cry out when the driver forgot her. I firmly believe it is the Light of Christ that helps people be good. It's sad to see people who are rude or mean because I think they've had enough trials in their life that have hardened their hearts enough to push aside their Light of Christ. They become so hardened that they can't see the good in other people or any good in the world. I believe in people. And I believe in God. The more we believe in God, the more we are able to see our potential as people, and the more we are able to spread good (which is the Light of Christ) and help others. The hard part is making sure our selfishness, struggles, or fear doesn't hinder our Light of Christ (ability to do good). Anyway, it's an experience that really proved to me that people are good. We live in a fallen world, and there are lots of bad things, but most people are good and strive to do the right thing.
This week we had intercambios [exchanges]. We went to Barrio 3. I was with Hna. Schriever. She dies this transfer. I know this part of my life is really important and that it will go by fast. It is going by fast. I'm trying my best to do everything that God wants me to do. But there are so many things I need to do better.
Diana and Family
Diana is an old investigator who we dropped because she said she was always working and hung up on us when we would call. Luckily Hna Quispe is from Peru. Diana is also from Peru. We meet so many people from Peru it is ridiculous. I think I have only met one person here who is from the United States who is not an Elder/Hna. Anyway, we ran into her and her husband a few months ago and started teaching her/them again (and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they are Paisanos [a peasant of Spanish or Italian ethnic origin].). I feel a little left out sometimes, but it's ok. Anyway! This week we shared the plan of salvation with all of them. It was awesome because they have 2 kids and their kids were really interested and asking lots of questions, Tatiana: "Yeah, this is something I've always questioned.. Why are we here, and where are we going after this life??" -- well, that is why we are here.. (sometimes I feel a little like Inigo Montoya with these questions -- lemme explain.. no no, there is too much, lemme sumup). It was the first time I shared the plan of salvation with an entire family. We gave them the Proclamation on the Family and asked them to pray as a family. I really hope they can progress as a family because they would love the Celestial Kingdom.
Friday: we visited Carmen. She sometimes feels really sad because she has a lot of hard things in her life. This was one of those days. Her faith in God is huge, but so are her pains. We shared Alma 28:4-6 (I love this scripture), and we decided to fast all together Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday: We start our fast. I fasted especially for Aurelio (Carmen's son) to see the example of his mom. I called Mary to see if she could come to church, but her friend was still with her. She was going to leave in the morning, so we said we would get in contact with Mary later.
Sunday: Diana was going to come to church, and we went to pick her up, but she called us when we rang her bell and failed us. Luz, her son Gustavo, and her cousin Wilmer came to Sacrament Meeting. But they always leave right afterwards. So in Gospel Principles, Hna Quispe and I were sitting alone. About 10 minutes in, the door opens and who walks in? Aurelio. We didn't even officially invite him. About 20 seconds later the door opens again. Would you believe Mary came? That was amazing for me because I really saw the importance and the power of fasting. It showed me that God loves his kids a lot. I don't know what motivated them to come because Hna Quispe and I were not pushing them, but I know I was so grateful I had fasted that day for Carmen. It's the best place they could have been spending their time, and if they can stick with it, it will change their lives.
Sorry if this email was really long and boring and missionary-ish. I hope all you people are well and happy. I miss you, but I'm glad I'm here. Have a great week, y no hagan ninguna cosa peligrosa [and do nothing dangerous].
con carino [fondly]
Hna Skibby Christensen