Friday, April 7, 2017

Skibby sent us the following email and photos on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.  I will include a few translations in italics:

Date:  April 5, 2017 at 8:16 AM
Subject:  A very long week and a half

Dear Familia!

Lo siento por no haber escrito el Lunes. Nuestro dia de preparacion cambio a miercoles por el templo. Pero, al final, no fuimos-- a causa del estado fisico de mi companera. esta muy mal. [Sorry for not writing Monday. Our day of preparation changed to Wednesday for the temple. But, in the end, we were not able to go- because of my companion’s physical condition. is very bad]  She is very sick. We have been dealing with bad shin splints, pain in the stomach and head, and all kinds of not very fun things. I think last night it all kind of got the better of her. I don't know why some people have to go through much harder things than others. It feels like Heavenly Father lets Satan dish out much more than their share of suffering to some people, and to others, hardly any at all. I remember my second week in the field was really hard, and I was completely healthy. I just wish I could take the pain away. I don't know exactly how to balance everything to help her learn but not be overwhelmed, and do enough that I am giving it my all, but that she can handle, and really trying to fulfill our purpose as missionaries. Right now, I'm just trying to be a mom.

Well something that's really changed here is the weather! We've been in the Primavera for a monthish and I think it is just now really starting to get warmer. The springtime here is hard to dress for. This is how the spring time goes: one day warm, one day cold, one day warm, one day that looks like it's going to be warm but is actually... cold. So, if you get dressed based on how the weather was yesterday, you will always dress up wrong. This is what happens to me every day. I take a jacket on the warm days and nothing on the cold days. This is how you need to dress: 2 days after the day before yesterday is today, which means you need to dress up today as you now know you should have dressed up the day before yesterday, or 2 days ago. But tomorrow, you need to prepare to dress for how you found out you needed to dress for yesterday. This week I had so many ganas [?] to just throw off my shoes and sweater and run around in the grass. I haven't done a back handspring in so long. Oh well, I guess it will have to wait. There are so many dandelions. I have been scoping out the best ones just in case we somehow have the opportunity to dye eggs the Swiss way. 

As for our people, we are working on them. Oscar took a pretty bad fall overboard, but I think he's climbing back on ship. We found him completely drunk in a park on my birthday. That was not a happy birthday surprise. We tried to get him to leave and go home, but he wouldn't. He lost his job and a lot of money. But I think he's getting better now. We helped him make a plan of what to do. He has a really pure heart, we just need to help him avoid situations that make him vulnerable. Wickedness never was happiness.
     Fabiola and Anna: They are friends of a member named Meliza. We have taught Fabiola about the restauration [Restoration]. It was an awesome lesson. The spirit was good and I felt like she understood everything and Hna Rivera did a good job, and she has the support of Meliza. It's basically the golden situation that every missionary hopes for. The only problem is she hasn't answered the phone when we've called. Also she doesn't live in our area. So we have to consult presidente on that because she is friends with all the people here. And also we need to have contact with her.
     Luz is from Peru and has been meeting with the hnas for a while now. She knows the church is true and she knows she needs to get baptized, but she wants to wait for her husband to come from Peru. We haven't had contact with her for a while because she changed her phone number, but we finally tracked her down at her house. It's a little bit crazy because she was a reference from the Elderes de barrio 1, and the Elder that found her on the street just got transferred here from Mostoles. He might see her be baptized. That would be pretty cool.
     Fatima y Daniel: Daniel and Fatima have 2 kids. Daniel is a member-less active. Fatima has been meeting with the missionaries desde la antiguedad [missionaries since ancient times]. Pero por fin [But finally] they came to church 2 times because some members did a family home evening with them about the Sabbath day. It worked like magic. We had been trying to get them to come to church for forever!  I always remember when Emily bore her testimony about family home evenings through her letters and I really want to emphasize that here because I think it will help everyone a lot!! But we haven't had contact with Fatima for about a week and a half because she left for a weird 15 day job.

It is really hard to help people when we cannot contact them.

We had a lesson with the testigos de Jeovah [Jehovah’s Witnesses]. It was weird. We talked to Joria on the street and he said he was a Jehovah's Witness but that he wanted to learn more about us, so we tried to have a lesson, didn't finish, and set up a return appointment. When he came for his return appointment, he came with his companion all dressed up and they took us to a cafe and bought us colacau [Cola Cao is a high-energy chocolate drink with vitamins and minerals that originated in Spain but is now marketed in several countries.]. It was weird. We sat outside on a table and they tried to tell us about an activity they were doing in a few weeks to remember Jesus Christ, to commemorate him, "like it says in the Bible we should " (despues de hacer [after doing] the last supper). They celebrate it every year. I wanted to tell them that we did that every week, but I decided not to. Anyway, we explained the restoration and gave them copies of the Book of Mormon which they said they would read. We'll probably try to meet with them one last time to see if they really did read and have any potential, but I was really disappointed because I felt like they guarded themselves about really trying to understand and feel our message. 

AH. General Conference, as always, was wonderful. I didn't get to see all of it, but we went to Pavones because it wasn't being shown at our church. There were a lot of missionaries and we got to watch it in English in a different room. The normal version has a Spanish voice that speaks over the English one. I really think it detracts from the power their voices have. I'm going to read all the talks. Yesterday we had a zone conference and learned a lot of things. There is so much to learn, and so many things I need to be doing better. Really. But I am trying to be motivated to just start changing things little by little, instead of feeling bad about all that I am not doing.

Well, I think you guys got a lot more than you bargained for this week. Sorry. That's what happens when I can't leave or do anything else. I love and miss you all and love hearing about what's going on in your lives. I am happy and good and needing to put on sunscreen. My companion could use a few prayers. 

Hna Christensen (your favorite)

Skibby wrote, "I promise my nose is yellow because of the dandelion."

Also, Marisol, a member gave me a cake for my birthday :)

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