Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Skibby sent us the following email on Monday, October 23, 2017, from her new area in the Canary Islands.  She also sent some photos, but some of them were from taken in Madrid, just before she left.

Date:  October 23, 2017 at 4:34 AM
Subject:  I am the newcomer

Hello from Gran Can!! 
I'm still in Spain, but it feels like I have traveled miles across ocean or something. This place is not Madrid. But I don't mean to say that it is greener than Madrid. It actually looks like we're in the middle of a desert in Arizona. But I can't see very clearly because there's always red hair clouding up my vision. Every day here is Windsday. It makes it hard to plan the calendar. I'm just kidding, it's beautiful here, a little bit humid, and a lot more windy. I left Madrid right before it started to get cold, and now I'm in perfect weather.

I was really sad to leave some people, but it's ok, because they are doing great. Here is a little update on a few:
1. Carmen is preparing to get her endowments. She'll go in November.
2. Mercedes -- when she came to conference, she heard Elder Nelson's talk about the bom and she kept whispering things to me about it. She reads it a lot. And she finds peace when she reads it.
3. Adrián -- Hna Koeber and Eckel taught him the word of wisdom and he went to church yesterday.
4. Carolina went to church yesterday.

Now, here is what happened after I arrived. 
Tuesday night I arrived on the islands. I met Pedro, who was baptized 3 months ago. We talked about family history work. Pedro is really cool. He drives la guagua and loves missionaries. He had always avoided talking to missionaries until one day a little voice in his head told him to stop. So he did and he took a card, later decided that he wanted to learn more Christ, called the missionaries, and has never left since. He is a changed man. He is working because he decided to fast and pray about getting a job. We have a poster board of a picture of Jesus and we use it to go talk to people. So on Saturday, the four of us went and talked to a lot of people. 

We went to a pueblo and passed by to see if anyone was home and on the way we saw somebody moving couches. We asked if they needed help and he said, "no no it's fine, but go inside, my wife's in there". So she got us some water and asked us what we were all about. Her name is Maria Jesus and she likes learning about religions. We talked a little bit about our purpose and the book of Mormon. She said she would read it and we might see her this Wednesday. It was a miracle for us because she was so willing to listen and we have never really been invited to anyone's home like that. 

I met George and Isaac and Peter. They are from Nigeria and Ghana. George was baptized a little while ago. Isaac and Peter are investigating. Peter officially welcomed me to the island. Peter has really bad cataracts that are making him go blind. So, he's waiting for an eye surgery to be able to see. We took him to the store after talking. He holds onto our backpacks and we guide him.

We were walking around a park on Saturday, looking for some people to talk to. We passed the basketball court and turned the corner to a darker part that had a terrace. There was a circle of jovenes and Hna Wihongi said, "doesn't look like there's anything good happening over here," and a few seconds later we heard "dunn duh duh dunnn" and the circle all dropped down really low and then started moving in synchronization. It took us about 5 seconds to realize they were dancing!!! They were really good too. Apparently Kpop is the best kind of music to have choreography to. We applauded afterwards and then they taught us one of the songs. So we learned to Kpop dance. I also learned that you should never judge a book by its cover.

I got to see the bishop and a lot of members. I'm excited to be here and be able to work with Hna Sam y Wihongi and be in Vecindario. Yay! Sorry for the really long email. Hope you have a great week!
Above & below:  in Madrid~with Skibby's former sister trio (love Skibby's crossed eyes!)

This photo shows either Skibby's take-off from Madrid, or her landing in the Canary Islands...

This photo (along with the two below) was taken in the Canary Islands with Skibby's new companions, Hermana Sam & Hermana Wihongi

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Skibby sent us the following email & photos on Monday, October 16, 2017.  She will be transferring soon to the Canary Islands! The Canary Islands are located 62 miles off the northwest coast of Africa.

Date:  October 16, 2017 at 10:31 AM
Subject:  Same old same old

Every time we call Jinzuro and ask him how he is he says: same old, same old. 

And everything is same old same old wanna know why? Because, even though I might be changing areas and companions, I will still be in a trio. Pres. Pack says maybe I will be queen of the trios.

It has been a pretty nostalgic week. Here are the highlights.
1. We took Adrian to a ndh [I think “ndh” is an abbreviation for Family Home Evening in Spanish:  Noche de Hogar] last Monday, and invited a member who we thought would be fun. It turns out he's crazy and dominated the whole ndh. It was terrible. Afterwards, Adrian said he was very grateful that we answer his questions.
2. We met with Flor and talked about baptism. She wants to learn more. We ate really good Colombian food. We met with Flor and had a good lesson. I always feel the spirit with Sol. She is 14, but less active.
3. We met with Jinzuro and read Lucas 2 [Luke 2] with him. It was cool because he really doesn't know who Jesus Christ is. 
4. We met with Carolina. She respects what we say about the Sabbath day, but she doesn't feel like it's a commandment that needs to be followed. No obstante [however], she came to church on Sunday. Woohoo!
5. Thursday was festivo!!! We celebrated by playing futbol. Adrián and Jinzuro came. 12 de octubre is a really cool holiday, but our ward is celebrating it next month. The day after playing, my whole body hurt.
6. I gave Ivan his last piano lesson.
7. the rest of the week was just going from one place to the next and eating and eating and eating. I have never felt so full. Kebap, senami's, Yvonne's, in bautismo, y Raul's. It was sad, but good. 
8. Adrián came to church for the first time. It was awesome!!! Afterwards he sent us a text saying he felt very happy and was glad he gave us the chance to show him a different way.

I am leaving. On a jet plane. To Las islas canarias [the Canary Islands]. My companions will be Hna Sam y Wihongi.  Eso es todo [This is all]. 

Have a great week!!!!

Friday, October 13, 2017

I have been very slow about posting Skibby's last two emails, and I apologize!  But here they are. My attempts at translations & explanations are in brackets and italics.:

Date:  October 9, 2017 at 10:22 AM
Subject:  La Madred de todos Los libros [The Mother of all Books]

Hello family:)

Here are the haps of the week:

We met with Adrian to teach him about the 10 commandments. So I brought the Bible. Adrian is a really good person. He asked us why we do this if so many people reject us. It if is worth it. So we read d&c 18:10-16sh and we said, "does that answer your question?" Respondió "bastante" [He responded, “quite”]. Anyway, we were about to start the lesson and so I said, "look what we brought today!!" And I heaved over my bible. His eyes got all big and he was like, "que es eso? La madre de todos los libros! [what is that?  The mother of all books!]" And as he finished saying that, he flipped open to the page that says: "LA SANTA BIBLIA [THE HOLY BIBLE]" it was very dramatic. So we taught him the 10 commandments. He was interested to know that the Catholics have a hard time with commandment #2 [thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image]. He had a lot of good questions and in the middle we started talking a little bit about the plan of salvation, and he was wondering about perfection and asking if it said anywhere in the scriptures that we couldn't reach perfection here on earth. But by the time we finished with the commandments, I think he had changed his mind completely about if perfection was possible. We all decided that we love teaching Adrian because he has good questions, and then listens to our answers and understands them. Then asks other good questions.  He is a thinker. He thinks about why some people are natural runners, and why do they have that talent and not others? And what would happen if somebody had all those talents combined, so they were like, more complete? That's when we started talking about perfection. And how is it that we as humans only use about 20% of our brains? We would ask him on every commandment what he thought it meant, and he would give his opinion, but when we got to #7 we said, "que significa adulterio [what is adultery]?" And he said "dímelo tú [you tell me]," and we got it all sorted out.

We had a killer lesson with Carolina. I don't think I've told you about her, but she is from the Dr [probably Dominican Republic]. She has 2 little kids. She receives us throughout the week, and then the testigos [“testigos” translates as “witnesses.”  Maybe Skib is talking about the Jehovah’s Witnesses???] on Saturday. We wanted to show her why it is important to go to church every week. So we talked about the Sabbath day. She read 1 nefi 2 (Woohoo!) and we talked about verses 9-10, and how God also wants us to be constant like that too. It was a well structured lesson. I like well structured lessons. She also talked about what day the Sabbath day was, and how Jesus had talked about helping the ox or buey [ox] on the Sabbath day. I had mas o menos [more or less] randomly studied those 2 things recently, so we were able to pull them out and read them. Even though I wasn't specifically studying for Carolina with those things, I do not believe it was coincidence that I had read about them (D&C 84:85). She committed to come to church, not because we invited her, but to better keep the Sabbath day holy. Only then we found out that another stake had stake conference in our building and our meetings were changed to the afternoon. She said she couldn't go.

A few weeks ago, this guy named Juan Jose called us, asking about English classes and we ended up meeting with him. We works as a waiter (which means basically you have no other time). He has Wednesday nights and Thursdays free. We taught the restoration and he said he would read. Well we met with him Wednesday night, and he had read up until 1 nefi 4. I think he has a photographic memory or something because he started talking about 600 bc and stuff like that. It was cool to see how much he had understood the bom. He said, "si termino el libro es seguro seguro” [Google translates this as, “if I finish the book it’s safe insurance."  Not sure I’m buying that translation…]. But he is reading because he wants to learn, not necessarily because he wants to become closer to God. But he is really cool. We'll see him again this Wednesday.

Devi sent us a wassup saying she had lost her phone or something. We'll meet with her Wednesday too hopefully. I really like her.

Kebaptism-- there's a Turkish fastfood place called Kebap here. Hna Eckel hadn't had it, so the elders said we had to go to kebaptize her. Missionaries love kebap here so much, It's basically a second religion.

We did video chat with Angel and Maria (peruanos) [Peruvians]. They said they are still kindof struggling. We are trying to pass them off to the hnas in b1.

Jinzuro: we talked to him about the importance of the scriptures and how they are God's words. He agreed to read 5 versus every day. We asked what he had learned about nefi and he said, "yo nefi, nací de Buenos padres" [I Nephi, was born of goodly parents.”]

Ivan (son of Yvonne) has almost learned Grande eres tu [perhaps this is the hymn, “How Great Thou Art”?] all the way (with the right hand in C) 

There were some hard things in the week, but all in all, things are going well. I am really grateful to know and work with all the people here.
Love you!

Hna Christensen 

Skibby email on Monday, October 2, 2017:

Date:  October 2, 2017 at 11:01 AM

Hello Family! It's Belén anpther great are haré at the olé 
It's been another great week, here at the old coral. (That's how Spanish autocorrects that sentence)

Here are the deets 
We met with Jinzuro and helped him with English. He is confused. He doesn't know if he should believe in Buddha or God. We helped him a lot with english.

Devi: her phone is turned off or out of contact. No contact

Lourdes: finally called me and said she would come to general conference. But she didn't come. It is so hard to help people when they won't let you.

Adrian, Flor, and Carolina came to gc Sunday night=Sunday morning for you people. I was worried because oaks had talked and uchtdorf and also Holland. And I was just praying that they would save elder BEDNAR to speak so they could hear his powerful words. Thank heavens he did. That was an awesome talk, and exactly what all of he needed to hear. We'll see how they took it this week.

All of b3 was at the conference.

Victor came and found me

I loved pres. NELSON'S talk. 

We taught all about profetas this week. I love teaching about them.

We talked about some American history to a member who is taking an English course. America is cool! Never know what you're missin til it's gone. 

Hna Eckel was kebaptized. I'll explain next week.

Love and hugs, but no kisses. JK. besos is the only way we salute here.