Skibby sent the following email on Monday, March 13, 2017, I was confused at first when I read her subject heading, “Continuation….”, followed by the first few sentences of her email. I thought she must have sent us an earlier email that I hadn’t gotten. But after reading a little more, I realized that she was just picking up where she left off last week (with no introduction or recap!) on a story she hadn’t had time to finish. So, for those of us with short memories, here’s the background: Skibby was riding on a bus, trying to muster up the courage to talk to a man sitting nearby…
Date: March 13, 2017 at 9:56 AM
So, I thought about it for a while. I decided that I was going to have to do it. There's a whole bunch of scriptures in DyC that says if you open your mouth, the words will just flow out. So, I sat there with my mouth open for about 2 minutes, and then finally got up the nerve to say something. I talked to Victor from Nigeria who is learning Spanish. Just when we had to leave I was explaining about who we were and why we're here. Then the bus doors were opening and I threw him a card and said, "Call us, and we'll give you a Book of Mormon in English!!" and went out. Well, that night or the next night, guess who called? Victor. He was a little distraught that we didn't remember him at first. We set up an appointment, and he called the next day to confirm with us. I don't know what it is about Nigeria, but everyone there loves God. If everybody in Utah loved God as much as everyone in Nigeria, there would be no less actives. So, we met with him and he said he loves to talk about God. He has a whole bunch of friends who like talking about futbol and sports and he says he gets tired of that, but he never gets tired of God. Unfortunately he doesn't live in our area, so we passed him along to the missionaries in Alcobendas. It's amazing to me that he used his agency to call us. It could make the biggest change in his life.
All in all, agency is a great thing. It's so essential to our characteristics as children of God. In Mostoles, we taught someone named Bright, and he always asked us why God allowed bad things to exist. Couldn't he have protected us from everything? But to be able to have albedrio [agency] you have to have both options before you. If there was nothing to choose between, there would exist no agency. I read a talk the other week about agency. It talked about how there is truth. It says:
“To those who believe anything or everything could be true, the declaration of objective, fixed, and universal truth feels like coercion—“I shouldn’t be forced to believe something is true that I don’t like.” But that does not change reality. Resenting the law of gravity won’t keep a person from falling if he steps off a cliff. The same is true for eternal law and justice. Freedom comes not from resisting it but from applying it. That is fundamental to God’s own power. If it were not for the reality of fixed and immutable truths, the gift of agency would be meaningless since we would never be able to foresee and intend the consequences of our actions.”
I'm grateful truth exists. And I'm grateful we have the ability to choose it.
This week was really good. Ups and downs. But the best thing that happened was finding Oscar. We were walking down a street last week, and we started talking to Oscar. He said our companions had talked to him recently, but he had lost their card. He was really excited and he gave us 2 numbers, just in case one didn't work. We set up an appointment for him last week before church, but he couldn't come. He called us the next week and we set up another appointment. When we talked to him again, he told us we talked to him in the same exact place the Elders had found him and that the Elders had set up an appointment with him that he couldn't go to, but he'd lost their phone number. He is very religious and has been feeling a little bit bad in his church and some people he's around, and he really just wants to follow Jesus Christ. I feel like God really put (the elders and then) us in his path because he's ready to hear the Gospel.
I hope everything is going well back in the US!Que paséis una buena semana [Have a nice week] !!!
Note: The two pictures below show Luz and her son, Gustavo, at their baptisms. Skibby loves them dearly! She and her former companion, Hermana Quispe (2nd from left), taught them in Mostoles. Their baptism date was scheduled for about a week after Skibby's transfer to Carabanchel, but Skibby's kind mission president gave her permission to return to Mostoles with her new companion, Hermana Clinton (far right), to attend the baptisms.