Monday, December 27, 2010

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve everybody! Are there any children down there? So I think I've told pretty much every Christmas story our family has to all my buddies, and Black Sea Barricuda has become our whole Zone's new catchphrase. At random times throughout the day, I'll hear someone scream from a completely diffrent classroom: "Black Sea Barricuda!!" It's really catching around the MTC, I think I may have invented some cool new slang. All thanks to you Kev, the mater of the Black Sea Barricuda. I have that video running through my head right now, and in my memory Kev says it so incredibly loud..there's no way it could actually be that loud, right? Oh wait, It was actually even louder than what I think. Thank goodness we live in the time of video cameras, and thank goodness we have those now on DVD's which will be passed down from generation to generation. Just wait tell you see Black Sea Barricuda in 3D 20 years from now. Truly terrifying.
So how is everybody! First of all before I forget, gotta say thanks to Kev & Rach for that awesome Christmas treat they gave me. My seat in my classroom is right next to the window, and since it's freezing outside, I put all of my candy out in my "refridgerator" aka outside the window and enjoy some truly cold and delicious Dr. Pepper and Symphony chocolate everyday. Thanks again guys, it really meant a lot to me. You guys rock!
So what are the details about Christmas 2010? Is Mike going for the underwear, or the jar of peanuts this year? What are the chances Dad gets a book this Christmas, and Mom gets a movie? So incredibly good. So I wish I could write all of you's individually but I don't have the time! So this is coutning as my Christmas Letter for this year, enjoy it foo's. Aw man, there is so much magic going on at Via Madera right now, isn't there? How many trips have you guys made down to the Train and blow up Snowman on our street? Do the Leeav's have Christmas lights? Well, everyone enjoy the magic for me, I wish I was back in Mexico. But no worries, we've had some truly classic moments opening presents here at the MTC. Dudes getting so, so excited for clock radios and scripture cases, literally dancing through the halls. So there's definitely some magic. I haven't opened my present from you yet Mom, just like ya told me. But I'm pumped for tomorrow, probably won't even be able to sleep tonight.
Kinda got some interesting news for all of my followers out there, thank you for supporting my blog by the way. I actually have a Sister Missionary as a companion now too. Isn't that craziest thing? All of the Hermanas in my district (there used to be 6) all left for their places weeks ago to go to different MTC's, but this Hermana for whatever reason didn't get her Visa. So they stuck her with me and my companion, and I am officially in a trio with a girl. Definitely didn't see that coming, but it's actually way cool. I'd be lieing if I said my companion hasn't been a challenge sometimes, he's really a pessimist, but it's awesome having Hermana Williams who I click with a little better. So that's been interesting, right guys? Come on! You guys love reading this.
It's so weird, but I seriously know a lot of Spanish. Last night I taught (I tend to talk the most in lessons) an hour long lesson about the plan of Salvation, completely in Spanish. It feels so cool! And I forget to mention it to you guys, but I've already gotten 2 "baptisms" in the MTC! Sure I'm just teaching missionaries, but still a baptism is a baptism. So I'm officially on my 8th week at the ol' MTC, and I'm pretty sure I could walk around this place blindfolded, but it's been an experience I'm not going to forget anytime soon. I've been playing the best Basketball of my life! But I'm definitely ready and pumped to get to Mexico, so that's kinda replaced the Christmas excitement for this year. Which yes, I do forget it's Christmas time 85% of the day, but that's ok, I've got so many more Christmas's. Everyone has watched Muppet's right? One of my best buddies here, Elder Harris from Colorado loves Muppet's Christmas Carol too, and we've successfully remembered all the words to all the songs (except the terrible Scrooge and Girl Scrooge Love song). There's magic in the air tonight...Tis the season to be jolly and joyous!
As for the Lakers and tomorrows game against the Heat. Apparently Lakes are on a bit of a downside, but no worries. This is the game that will turn us around and start a 20-25 win streak. Is Bynum back yet? What's going on with the Big Baby? We'll beat the Heat by 3 points, with some big plays in the end by Kobe. And we'll be on a serious streak right after this. Here's hoping we avoid another Christmas massacre. If someone could DearElder me the details about the game, that would be awesome!
So thanks everyone else for all your letters, can't tell you enough how much I appreciate them. They can seriously change days completely. I really miss all of you, especially at this time of the year, but no worries I know this is exactly where I'm supposed to be and this is where I want to be. But I love you all of you, and want you to have a Christmas for the ages.
Mark and Heather! Wonderful letters, wonderful typing on iPad Marvelous. Mark, how pumped are you for Christmas this year? Chrsitmas's always are the most magical with a video game involved for some reason. Enjoy it for the both of us, bro. Oh yeah! Just remembered tonight is Papa John's night. Score. And how pumped up am I for the delicious Christmas feast tomorrow? A little ham, a little mashed potaters precious, and that's about it. Wonderful.
So by the way Mom & Dad, I'm not sure how it works with needing money for the flight for all my carry on's and stuff. But I might need some money to pay for all that airport garbage, I hate to ask for more but I'm pretty sure my current 17 bucks won't cut it for all my flights and all my stuff and what not. Merry Christmas to me! Love yo guys and am super grateful for everything that you do.
Alright, so everyone love Christmas this year and make it the best. I'll be back for Christmas in no time. Oh! And Brett! Thanks so much for the cd's you sent, so pumped to use those, you know if I get the cd player. And I talked to Elder Kimmy Gubler, and yes his Dad send him a copy of my letter and told him to write more like me. Take that Gubler. Actually I like that kid, even if he writes terrible laters.
Well keep it real, yo's. And Mom & Dad, I'll give you details on my flght stuff as soon as I get them which should be soon. I woudl love it if you guys could meet me at LAX, but if not that's ok. Love each and everyone of you's.
Elder Abbott

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 17, 2010

Merry Fishmas everybody. Is it seriously almost Christmas already? Man, time is the weirdest thing ever in the MTC. Sometimes I forget it's December, and I'm wondering when Thanksgiving is going to finally roll around. Then again, when the Holidays really aren't that different from any other day, it's easy to forget what day it is and where I am. I guess I'm in Utah, but the MTC is a lot, actually exactly like the Vatican in Italy. A country in itself, with a President, and the most obedient citizens of all time. The MTC is such a well oiled machine, I mean there's way more missionaries than there are teachers and things, yet everything runs so smoothly. Gotta admit, it's pretty amazing seeing so many young people do exactly what there supposed to do without being told. It's kinda like if Communism actually worked.
So anyways, Merry Christmas everybody! How is everything going in the outside world? Hopefully those who are headed down Abby's direction remember the magic of the Dingley Balls, as well as those cool streets in Brea witht he coco Christmas lights. The Dingley Balls are just so great, easily the best kept secret of Southern California. Oh, and Miles Joseph, make SURE you repeatedly sing "Oh Dingley Ball, Oh Dingley Ball, how lovely are you Dingles" several, several times over the Holiday season. Make me proud, boy. Oh, and who is buying for who this year? Pretty much everyone is solid these days, and there's no real down side to picking anybody's name out of the ol' hat. Hmm...although I want to say this year, whoever Kevin & Rach is buying for expect a nice thoughtful card and candy bar. Kev isn't Mr. Lawyer yet. But prove me wrong Bevington. And for whoever out there has Brett, congratulations, he will get you something awesome, for incredibly cheap. Who picked me out of the hat this year? Kev, I expect a great candy bar, milk chocolate Symphony bar would be fantastic.
So life is getting better and better at the ol' MTC, but so is my excitement just to get out to Mexico and start doing the real deal. Can you all believe I've been here 6 weeks? Which means in about two weeks or so, I should be shipped down south to visit my Mehicano hermanos, and man am I excited. Who wants a toncil update? Alright! Totally better, it was kind of a tough week to be honest. I never knew getting toncils out was going to be so terrible afterwards, it was incredibly awesome right afterwards. So many drugs, watched so much SportsCenter with my companion in the hospital. Every time the nurse asked us if we were ready to go, we smiled and said..."not quite yet." She eventually caught on, got some chocolate milk, and watched SportsCenter with us. Truly magical times on the mission. My Spanish has really been coming along lately, and I'm feelin' pretty confident these days. But don't worry, I definitely know it's not me who is good at Spanish, it's absolutely Heavenly Father blessing me to be able to speak it, the minute I start thinking it's me whose good, I lose it. Seriously! If your not spiritually there, Spanish does not come. But when your sincere about teaching somebody and pray for the gift of tongues, Heavenly Father will never leave you hanging, and it's awesome. We taught a really cool family in TRC this week about the Restoration, and it went really well. Me and my companion have our first "baptism" this week! How cool is that?
Oh and by the way, each and everyone of you rock. I'm pretty sure I got a letter from one of you every single day that I was kinda hatin' life with my throat just hurting way bad. I kinda needed some encouragement over those couple of days, and you guys definitely gave it. So thanks! And by the way, I got my voice back a couple of days ago, and man did I miss it. Mark! How fantastic is the new game? Your such a wise man, when used smartly, video games are a gift that can keep on giving. Keep writing me about it, and give me the details on what's going on! Sounds like you guys are having a magical Christmas, and maybe it's time for a Christmas miracle? Marvelous getting a yob? Stay optimistic Marv, I know for sure that your going to find exactly what your looking for. And thanks for the advice Heather, I'm going to build so many forts for my wife!
Brett! Fantastic Wilbon article, and I called this way before that D. Rose was going to be awesome. And perhaps the next franchise guys for the Lakes? Maybe CP3? Whoever we get, I'm calling it's going to be an awesome PG. Does anyone know when Kobe's massive contract ends? Here's hoping we don't give a 35 year old man a 5 year contract, even if he is the Mamba. Are Lakes pulling out of their skid lately? My Lakers source is a dude who works at the MTC gym, and I think he's been sick, so what's going on? Has Bynum's legs exploded yet? They should just have him on a wheelchair every moment of his life, except when he plays Basketball. That dummy. And Becky! Really appreciated your letter as well, I pray for you guys every night that you will really enjoy your lives. I think it's really cool that you guys are as happy as you are, may not be the most exciting time in your lives, but enjoy it! Life is short. Something I'm figuring out more everyday.
Greg & Family! Write me, ya dang fools. Especially you, you uneducated Shmutz. Love you
Kev & Rach! And of clouse Baby Benjamin. Hope all is well with you foo's and it's a magical Christmas wherever you may be. To quote Kevin: "I have a good Christmas..and...and...and..I hope ya get what ya want." Also! Go on more dates you two! And have Holly babysit, she's bored these days. Come on Kevin, Rachael is awesome and deserves more dates!
Mom & Dad! Loved getting the chance to talk to you last night and good to hear everything is going good and not too much has changed. Have an awesome Christmas! And thanks so much for all the packages and what not Mom, it's really added a lot to my Christmas. You guys rock. I love both of you so much! You deserve an awesome Christmas.
So all is good with ol' Elder Tyler. Just kinda counting the days tell Mexico, which is not too far away by the way. Oh and apparently Mike is a hero? I always knew he was.
Elder Abbott

December 10, 2010

Family! Aw man it is so good to be emailing everyone, let alone be communicating with anybody. So apparently when they take your toncils out, they take your voice too because I sound like a 400 year old man. Just straight up whisper all the time, so grumpy. Well, not too grumpy. Just grumpy when I get asked for like the 25th time that day how I'm doing, when they know very well I can't answer them. But that's ok, I'm on the road to recovery. So let me just apolagize in advance for any weird moments in this email, I am absolutely hopped up on goofballs at this very moment. I don't know what they gave me, but it's been pretty entertaining, just ask the guys in my district. So let me just start with the good stuff: my surgery. It was way early in the morning on Tuesday, and they wanted me to dress in my Hospital best once I got there. Which means no clothes, just gown. It took me a good ten minutes to figure out the barn door of that thing, eventually just wearing shorts underneath and not telling anybody. It's just too soon in my life to wander around a hospital with my barn door wide open. They shot an IV into me, I sort of remember having a conversation about the Ocean, and bam! Woke up with zero toncils. What happened before that, I have no idea. But the beauty of it, was I literally woke up eating some delicious yogurt and what was on TV? Sportscenter. That's right family of mine, Sportscenter. I knew in that moment that Heavenly Father knew me personally and loved me. Considering this, I felt no guilt watching rerun adter rerun of Sportscenter while the very nice nurse pumped some serious goofballs into my system. My companion was loving life too. We did everything we could to milk it, and stay as long as possible at the hospital, which totalled like 8 hours or something...I also watched Family Feud. Seriously good times. Eventually they caught on to the fact that I felt fine and was just trying to stick around for round 3 of the Feud, so they kicked us out. We picked up some medicine at the pharmacy right after, and I crashed for hours!
I've basically been bed-ridden since, but it hasn't been too bad actually. Gotten a lot of sleep, some great reading in the Book of Mormon, and just some time to myself. It's weird, I thought this would kinda go like my Wisdom Teeth and I would be fine in no time, but this is kinda kicking my butt to tell you the truth. But no worries, I'm definitely getting better and I'm super grateful to have those golfballs out, especially in a week or so. I'll probably be down and out for the next couple of days, but I should be back into action fairly soon. I have no idea how people back in the day were just bed-ridden for like months. My back is killing me! But of course, I still make it to gym time everyday. It would take quite a lot to keep me from gym time. Oh, and I also still made it to the Temple this morning, which is always awesome. Going to the temple is just so refreshing, I promise everytime you go you'll be happy you did. I don't know, everything just becomes easier and happier when looked at from the perspective of being in the temple. We're so lucky we get to go once a week. Man am I pumped to gloriously return to Newport Beach when I get back, I feel a very close connection to that temple.
Thanks so much for all the letters I got this week! I don't think there was a single day I didn't get a letter this week, and I kinda needed it this week. You guys rock. I'm still laughing about that Uncle Ron thing Rach, can't you see why me and him battled so much? You know he did that on purpose just to mess around with you, someone needed to stand up to him, and that someone was me. Brett! Loved the HP review, even though Ebert doesn't know the first thing about Harry Potter. I seriously love those things you send me Brettsky, those Simmons articles are so good! As well as your normal letters, on behalf of all the brothers in this family, we're very lucky to have you. Oh and yes, I met Elder Kimmy Gubler. Kind of an awkward kid, but pretty cool non the less. He's actually in the same district as Holly's cousin, so I'll say hey to those foo's every once in a while.
Mark and Haether! No worries about the yob Marko, I promise something will work out for you, I even got my whole district to pray for you last fast Sunday. And never let the dream of Southern California die! You better believe that's where I want to end up, and the more Abbott's we have down there the better, Randy & Sandy will figure it out eventually. And good work on the splurge, look forward to each and every one of those. Keep writing me and telling me about them! I get seriously pumped when I hear about it. and Heather! How cool was the nativity thing? And have you and Marvelous started my Christmas care package yet?
Kev! Thanks for the letter as well me amigo. I've totally become good buddies with my teachers, it's weird that there like totally my age. A lot of my good friends from back home are older than they are, so that's kinda weird. But still, there great teachers and I can definitely tell I was supposed to get these guys. I can definitely tell there's a lot of teachers in here that I just wouldn't click with, but these two dudes, it's easy. Definitely guys I'll write a letter or two when I'm out in Mehico.
Mom! I got your package, and I can very confidently and easily say you are the best Mom that ever was. Seriously Mom! A bag for each day? I've been loving opening them, and it gives me something to look forward to everyday. Even though I can't eat the goldfish yet, they make me more motivated to get better faster, so I can enjoy that delicious cheddar snack. I really appreciate it. Oh! And expect a call from me when I can talk again, which should be in the next couple of days. And with that I will have officially been able to call home 3 times from the MTC, I'm the man.
So is everyone getting pumped for Christmas time? Everyone promise me right now that they will watch Muppet's at least once this Christmas season. That's one tradition that cannot, and shall not, die. It's just too great. You can't tell me you don't get filled with Christmas Magic everytime you hear "When a cold wind blows, it chills you!" Even you, Gregorious. Also, very pumped to hear about fantasy NBA being alive and well. I have a strong testimony in the power of fantasy Basketball and what it can do to unify this family for years to come. Especially when we all finally jump on the iPhone train. Please tell me we can all do it when I get back, and I'll definitely get into fantasy Foosball as well.
As for the Lakes, that 4 game slide was not even a big deal. We're too good to really care about that season, we know what we've got come post season, And you know Phil knows exactly what he is doing, and if he's not worried, than I'm not. So what are the chances Lamar makes the all-star team this year? Oh, and by the way, Pau is officially in his prime brothers. And he will be on the All-NBA First Team. Also, the Lakers next franchise player: Chris Paul. Tell me it can happen.
So anyways, I hope everyone is doing well. I love each and everyone of you so much, and I love hearing from you guys. Stay strong in the faith, because what is our church all about? Us being able to live together for eternity in total happiness. Now I don't know about you, but that's a church I would want to be a part of. Nothing makes me happier than the knowledge I can be with all of you forever. It's like a very own family camp, where we play a team of Lynn Zaugg's for the Basketball 'ship. So keep on rockin' family, the church is true and all of you know it. Adios!
Elder Abbott

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3, 2010

Family! This is easily in the top 5 best parts of the week. Oh what's that, you want me to tell you the top 5 best things at the MTC? You got it. I'm just going to go in no particular order, because I feel bad putting P-Day number one. You've got a little Tuesday Devosh, which this week was, ya'll ready for this, Relief Society President Arlen Beck! Her name is something Beck, I'm not sure what, but she was pretty awesome. I play some serious Ball 5 times a week, every Friday we got PaPa John's Pizza, and I have perfected the showers here. The key is to go down two floors, shower where there's nobody around, some nice warm water, so peaceful. Why hasn't everybody figured this out? And to top it all off, you get to go to the temple every week! Not too shabby family, not too shabby.
So I don't know if you've heard the rumors or not, but I'm having sugery this Tuesday. Relax, it's not a big deal. I'm just getting my giant, golf ball like toncils out of my mouth. Which is such a relief. So last week I got diagnosed with Mono and Toncilitus, awesome! Actually it is kinda awesome. I kinda have this free nap pass that I like to use occasionally, no one questions you because you have Mono. Which is think is super contagious by the way, I've easily gotten like 15 people sick of thats the case. No worries, Mono isn't that bad. So I got to go see this specialist in the outside world, or "Babylon" is what we call it here, it was the craziest thing ever! I haven't seen anything beyond the MTC in a month. I felt like I time traveled from the 1700's or something, or I just got back from the Island on LOST. Everything was so weird! But walking around in Provo with a missionary tag instantly makes you a celebrity. Everybody and their Grandma will just freak out everytime they see you and tell you how their grandson just got their call. Good times. It sounds way worse than it is, I'm not doing too bad at all, except the fact I got an MTC haircut today. I look just terrible.
Anyways, how is everyone else doing? Good to hear Abby and Papa are finally back from their "Tyler's Finally Gone" vacation. Hey Mom and Dad, I miss you guys! I really do. Same goes for all of you. How was T-Giving? Sounds like it was pretty awesome from what I've heard from everybody (Brett). Even when your in the MTC though, a loss to the Jazz just hurts deep down. Actually, especially in the MTC. Naturally everyone loves the Jazz here, and naturally everyone loves it when I insist on wearing my Kobe jersey every single night. So how much did Sammy freak out when you came home Mom and Dad? Aw man, wish I could have been there, Sammy probably almost self destructed on pure excitement. Kinda like "Black Sea Barricuda" for a dog.
Life is pretty swell out here for me. We got a new district of kids the last week. My group has been the youngest group for the past 4 weeks, it was definitely time for some new blood. We got a kid from London, which we were all pumped for. He sounds like Wallace from Wallace & Gromit. I love it. The language is definitely still progressing. I've gotten really comfortable teaching about The Restoration and The Plan of Salvation in Spanish if you can believe it. Hey Uncle Bert, Rando, and Mike, brush up on your Spanish, you better believe we'll be talking in it when I get back. I've just really settled here at the MTC. I've gotten to the point where I know the drill, I'm buddies with everybody, I know what to eat and what not to eat, I finally figured out which was the Men stairs and not the Lady's Stairs in the Temple. I've officially been on my mission an entire month!
Thanks again to everyone who has been awesome writting me. Brett, you gotta know how awesome of a brother you are. All of you are the best brothers ever, but Brett is the true keeper of the keys. I loved that Simmons article, even though I kinda hate him. But keep the letters coming! Just when your sitting there, got nothing to do, go on DearElder and write your old Brother/Son/Uncle a letter. It will seriously make his day.
So just wanted to reiterate how much I love all of you. I feel so, so blessed to be a part of this family. I've got the greatest neices and nephews ever, who have helped me become a better person more than they'll ever know. So we've got this system in my class where everyone is a progressive investigator for the other. For one companionship there teaching me as Gregorious. And for another companionship there teaching me as Miles Joseph. It's really fun and interesting to work that out. Special shoutout to Greg and his family, you guys are the bomb. Hope everyone is doing great, and I'm praying for you every night. Keep it on keepin' it real. Play Stump for Wood for me. Copy and paste more Bill Simmons articles for me. Read the Book of Mormon a little more for me. And most imporantly, be happy. You guys rock!
Elder Abbott

Friday, November 26, 2010

November 26, 2010

Familia! How's it hangin everybody? How many times was "Name something you take with you to the beach" said at Abby's house on T-Giving? Somewhere in the range of 10-35 I'm going to say. Thanks again for all the letters I've been getting from everybody lately. Here's the first couple of weeks top writers:
1. Brett - Truly the greatest keeper of the keys any family has ever seen. Zero chance I don't get a letter from him, it's just zero.
2. Mark & Heather - Barely beating out Kev & Rach, because I'm pretty Kevin didn't write me last week. Rachael definitely did, which makes her awesome. But Mark & Heather going to Heather's mom's office to type out a letter, mass points
3. Kevin & Rachael - Consistent, uplifting letters. Good stories, good times, special times.
4. Mike - Writes me at least once a week. Just kidding. Isn't that the same brother who said "Your dead to me" to Mark before his mission? Yup, it definitely was. Awesome.
So life continues at the MTHans. I'm trying to remember all the interesting things that happened this week, stay with me here. Well whatever, I'm just going to start on Thanksgiving. So get this family, not one, not two, but three devotionals! Greatest day ever. They all kinda went in decreasing order throughout the day. First and foremost we had Jeffrey R. Holland come in the morning! Coolest thing ever, dude is such a cool apostle. Really strikes a good balance of entertaining, loving, and spiritual. He brought his entire family and told us not to be homesick today and just to pretend his family was ours for the day. He has all his grandkids come up and sing for us, and it made me appreciate how cool my neices and nephews are. So for all you neices and nephews out there who are reading this, you guys rock. He spoke about how much Christ and Heavenly Father knows us personally. That totally doesn't do it justice, I wish everyone could have been there. One of my favorite things about apostles, still reading right Greg, is how you can just tell they've seen some amazing things that are much too sacred to dicuss. I'm positive those guys are absolutely called of God and have a very direct relationship with him, thats why it's the Church of Jesus Christ foo's, not the Church of Jose Smith. Well anywho, after that we had a devotional about poor kids in Africa which wasn't depressing at all, just kidding. But no worries, because shortly thereafter we got to make backpacks! It was really fun actually, and now those crazy kids can carry books in their backpacks instead of on their head, which apparently they do. We got thanksgiving "dinner" at 12:00 Noon and it really wasn't too bad believe it or not. And to top it off, Thankful fireside that night. Awesome, right? Everyone in my district got packages from their families, way to be in Australia Mom & Dad. That's fine though, I ate so much of other peoples food. Rarely even asking anybody. I was kinda like Kev and Marv on Christmas Morning 15 years ago, opening everyone's packages for them, and then I was like Greg 15 years ago, stealing them. Good times.
So get this family, this is way cool. You know that TRC I was telling you about? Well this week our task was to basically teach the entire second lesson (Plan of Salvacion) in 35 minutes, all in Spanish. And guess what family, I did it. There is no better feeling than feelin' it while your teaching a lesson with somebody you really do love and care about, not to mention in a different language. The lady said how much she liked us as missionaries and we committed her to baptism. So yes it was practice, and yes she is a member of the church and a volunteer, but hey, it's not easy asking someone to be baptised regardless. So, yeah that was awesome. Heavenly Father is definitely making an impact on my Spanish. I could barely have a 2 minute Spanish discussion in two years of High School, and I've been in the MTC what? Almost 4 weeks now?
So time for personal shout outs:
Brett - I really like that out to dinner once a month thing. I want to use that in my family someday, it's good to get some one on one time with the parentals. Also, seriosuly thanks for keeping me updated, it's really awesome.
Rachael - So when is Holly's first try out with the Benjamin Babysitter Club? How about every weekend for the next two years? Deal. Just kidding. Just every Friday & Saturday.
Marv & Heather - So cold outside! Isn't it just terrible? Heather, how did you grow up in this? But anyways, how is Thanksgiving in P-Town?
Randy - Strong showing Rando! So everything seems to be pretty crazy around the homestead these days, but try to enjoy it. Sunrise....Sunset....I think that's a song, and I think you should listen to it. Keep it up, bro!
So as for the Lakers - I've been doing the math everyday, and they absolutely should win this year. It's the deepest team I've ever seen. If Sasha is ever the tenth man on your team, your in good shape. Just imagine who the Pacers tenth man is, Brother Burt or something. And Brett, if you ever feel like DearEldering me the postgame reports of Laker W's, it would be so, so appreciated.
So things are good with me. I've been a little sick lately but I'm feeling better. How's that for an exciting report? Oh, and Mom if you ever come home from Australia and have this deep desire to send me a care package lined with Sports Pages, a carton of GoldFish would just make me so happy. The food has been good here, plus they sell Pretz in the book store, but I've got this craving for a cheesy, salty snack, it's overwhelming. I've gained like almost 10 pounds! Pure muscle. So things are good, with my companion (even though he's from Utah, and occasionally rips for CA for some reason), my district, and the zone. I feel right at home, I guess. But please keep writing me if you can, and I love all of you! I forgot to mention Sambo last week, and it kept me up all night. Express my love for Sambo. You guys are the best, and I consider myself extremely lucky to be an Abbott. The church is true ya'll, keep on rockin' it.
Elder Abbott

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 19, 2010

Hey everybody! So has it gotten to that point yet where everyone is totally bored of my emails? Well just wait tell you hear about what I did this this week: had some spanish class, had some meals, slept, had some solid spiritual thoughts. Just kidding, the MTC is way more exciting than that, and believe it or not, I'm not even kidding. But first things first, you guys rock! Thanks so much for all the DearElders you guys sent me today. We get to check our mail twice a day, and it's either a time of total glory, or deep sammy-like depression. I go and check it out on Monday, and bam! 12 letters from me familia. You guys are seriously the best, I can't tell you how much I really do appreciate it. Keep em' coming, they're awesome. Glad to hear everyone is doing well, and nothings really changed from back home. Thats the thing about the mission, you kinda feel like everything is going to change back at home once you leave, but it doesn't really. Lakes are still doing awesome, Greg is still spending tons of time at Abby's, (he has officially broken the record of most hours at Abby's), and I hear just as much from Mike now, as I did when I was home. Burn, Smike. You should know though, that my email username thing is menchutz. And of course on the first day I had serious stress figuring out how to email, had to run down to the front desk for literally an hour of deep searching to find out what my username was, because I forgot. Once that guy found it in like my birth certificate or something, he said "oh, here it is: men-chutz." So wonderful. New rule of thumb for you foo's, if you DearElder me, you get a personal shout out.
Miles - Alright, so you didn't DearElder me, but whatever. Isn't it your birthday, foo? Happy Birthday Miso, I have your Vote for Miles Pin in my dorm room, I'll do what I can in Mexico to rally the people behind you for next years election
Rach & Kev - Thanks guys! Especially you Rach, I love so much the idea of Holly babysitting for you guys. How could she resist Ben's boyish charm? Get on that as soon as possible por favor, especially on weekend nights. Don't let her bring a "friend" that's a boy either. You guys rock!
Brett - Love the highly detailed journals, your kids crack me up so much and I love hearing about it. Keep them comin' Bro!
Jacob - I like you too, Fish
Jackson - I'm loving my Mission buddy! I'll see what I can do about you getting Mario for Christmas, did you know that if you have an uncle on a mission, you get whatever you want for Christmas?
Mark & Heather - Great showing you two. All around, great. Truly great story about the interview Marv, let me know how it goes! I keep you in mah prayers everynight, a BYU/Business School graduate who is fluent in Chinese should simply have a job. Heather, always check your purse for spiders!
Sorry if I forgot anyone, emailin' time is serious stress mode. So many missionaries crammed into the laundry room, so hot, so little time. But anyways, enough about you, let's talk about me. That was kind of a Dr. Spatzo reference, whatever that is. Everything is going pretty great with me. I had a little bit of a fever yesterday and got to walk down to the BYU pharmacy with my companion. You have no idea how pumped we were to see like cars, and intersections, and people without tags on. Ok, I realize it's only been like two weeks, but it was unbelievable. The MTC is totally just a world of it's own. Word on the street is that Mexico Missionaries are infamous for having to stay like 14 weeks because of visa problems. So there's these couple of guys on my floor who I love who are on their 13th week of the MTC and there going to Mexico. These guys are literally going insane, it's hilarious. One in particular, Elder Calvert reminds me so much of the Old guy on Shawshank. He's been here for so long, he's so afraid to leave. Truly terrified of the outside world, so that'll be me I guess. Wonderful.
So cool story? Once a week we have something called the TRC. It stands for something, but I don't know what, but basically volunteers outside of the MTC come and pretend to be investigators for us to practice. This week we were supposed to practice door approaches in spanish, but once we got inside, switch to english and teach the first lesson. We knock on the door, and naturally we get a little Mexican lady who doesn't speak a world of english. Great. So long story short, I rocked it. I have no idea what happened, but I taught the entire first lesson about the Resturation in spanish. It was seriously the coolest thing. It's so obvious to see that Heavenly Father is playing a part in me learning Spanish. No other way I could have a half an hour long spiritual discussion in spanish any other way. When I was done, the Mexican lady, who was awesome by the way, was shocked to find out I've only been in the MTC for two weeks. So cool.
Other than that, everything is going good. I really love my district, and me and the other Elders have some serious good times everyday. No apostle at the devotional this week, but as the Holidays are comin' up, we're expecting some good speakers. By the way, how is Australia Mom & Dad?! Sounding pretty awesome from your emails, which I was able to skim through. Try your best to reinact the last scene of Lord of the Rings when you climb Mount Doom. "I may not be able to carry it, but I can carry you!" I imagine Mom being Sam. Dad - Frodo.
So hope everyone has an awesome of a Thanksgiving as Me, Mike, and Mark had at some restaurant many years ago. At least they were nice enough to get me McDonalds on the way. If only Mom & Dad left us a little more money. McDonalds was good though.
So just want everyone to know how much I love them. Mom, Dad, Mike, Randy, Greg, Kevin, Brett, Mark, Heather, Rachael, Sandy, Luke, Caleb, Eric, Oscar, Stevie, Devon, Miles, Cameron, Benjamin, Anna, Joshy, Becky, Jackson, Joseph, Jacob, Kaitlyn, Uncle Ron & Uncle Clay - I love all of you. I feel so blessed to have you in my life, and the fact I can be with you guys for eternity is the greatest knowledge I have ever recieved. Keep doing what's right, and just so you know, the Church is in everyway completely and totally true. Everything we have didn't come from a 14 year old boy, I can promise you that. This is Christ's church, foo's.
Elder Abbott

Friday, November 12, 2010

November 12, 2010

So anyways, good week family! It's definitely getting to the point where I've lost all track of time. It's seriously P-Day again? The days go by so fast, but at the same time they are so jam-packed with stuff. Hey Greg, how much does hour 3 of discussing Investegator Body Language pump you up? Speaking of Gregorious, we do tons of role play stuff here and they tell us to pretend to be someone we know taking the missionary discussions. Naturally, I'm Greg and naturally I give them a super hard time, but end up agreeing to come back to church. Eat my dust, Greg.
But seriously, life is good at the MTC. Espanol is definitely coming, pretty slow, but it's coming. I can pretty comfortably pray and say my testimony in spanish and me and my companion are working on giving the first lesson in Spanish. This is such an interesting letter, huh? Well listen up, these are the things I have to get pumped up for these days. I'm really loving Gym time. Me and my buddy Tarabilda try to break the MTC records every single day. I was 3 free throws away from breaking the all time MTC record, I tried to channel my inner Shasha, but I ended up bricking it, so I guess I did channel my inner Shasha.
Oh ya! Elder Bednar came this week so speak to the MTC, and it was so awesome. Let me tell you about it. Actually I don't think I will, this letter is about me not Elder Bednar. Alright well I will say this, doctrine is everything in the church, the answer is always in the doctrine. Think about that family.
Mom/Dad - Australia! Only slightly cooler than last year's "vacation" to Viscalia. No offense Bert, I love Viscalia. One of my good buddies here is from Australia, and he says Kanagaroos are more dangeros than they look. Watch out Dad.
Brett - What's better to hand out after a soccer game than hand made Burritos? Forget buying popsicles for the kids on your soccer team, nothing like a Burrito after a game. Greatest coach ever.
Mark/Heather - Good to hear from you guys! Marvelous, would you kindly write me more letters? Terrible joke only you will get, but seriously play it again. Tell me about the next game you get, and what about Marv Abbo? Starting PG for the Knicks? Heather! I will definitely talk to Hermano Wood, everyday in class we try to get him to talk about his love life. He just got back from his mission and is super awkward, we're trying to set him up with Tarabilda's sister.
Randy - How's the house? And yes, the MTC is the worst smelling place in the world. It makes the PetHotel smell like the Buddhist people's garden across the street.
So like I said, I'm doing really good. I'm super close with my district and we're all buddies. We just have tons of fun laughing at ourselves and especially the new missionaries who just came in. That was so weird, seeing the new missionaries come in. They all seem so young, but I guess that was me like a week ago. But seriously after the first 4 days here, you own the place. Greg could run/walk this place in 10 minutes.
Sorry I don't have that much time to explain everything thats been going on and all the good times like the Norweigan kids who sit with us at dinner. Those kids rock by the way. But anyways, if you could please find the time to write me on DearElder every once in a while, letters really have the power to change days. I love all of you so much! Keep up the good work, and just remember how cool it is we can be a Family Forever! That's what it's all about foo's.
Elder Abbott

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 6, 2010

Hola me familia! Oh my gosh, so much to say and I've only got 24 minutes and two seconds! I've got a little timer in the corner of the screen which reminds me a lot of the show 24. So much pressure, so many clothes to wash at the same time. So hey! It's true, I'm at the MTC and It's been a total trip the past three days, which seriously have felt so much longer than that. It's already hard to remember the good ol' days of Eggo Waffles in the morning taking Sam on a walk. Ah, those were the days. Well anyways, It's honestly been pretty awesome the past couple of days. I know all this will probably be pretty boring for those of you out there, like Greg for example. But whatever, I'm givin you the low down anyways:
My Companion- Elder Heyer! It's pronounced "Higher" but of course I don't call him that. I put a little Spanish twist into it and call him Elder Ayer. I like to think he appreciates it. He's a way cool guy from some little town called Helper, Utah and is watching me write this, so yeah, way cool guy. We get along really nicely, and he laughes at my jokes, so no worries. We taught in spanish today for the first time, and it was uh, interesting. When I run out of things to talk about with a potential "investigator" I always just say what I like about them. Me gusta usted zapatillas, me gusta usted ojos. Wanna know how I know I'm gay? Saying me gusta usted ojos to a missionary.
Socially, things have been pretty awesome. I'm kinda the leader of my gang like the good ol' days, and I think they think I'm kinda crazy. But we always have fun and we all get along great. Oh yeah! The other dudes in my district are cool too. My best friend here is probably Elder Terrabilda, he plays basketball at UC San Diego and his Grandpa is in the sixth ward. We had a three point shooting contest yesterday and I beat him. Highlight of the MTC thus far.
Just kidding, It's probably time for the spiritual thangs. I've grown so much in the past three days, but I'm still me. Thats what I was afraid of on the mission, I'd grow so much that I'd kinda lose the guy I was. Well, no worries about that, I'm going to run this place in another week. But spiritually, it's amazing. Honestly, in just three days so much has changed for me. I'm just so much more suspectible to the Spirit than before, and it's awesome. Without the Spirit, this would be so much harder. My teachers are these way cool 24 year old returned missionary dudes. Not returned missionary in the "let's go to the pizza parlor and cheap theater" kinda way, but legitamitely cool dudes that I can talk to. One in particular, Hermano Wood is a single man and I always ask him what his plans are that night, I'm encouraging him to go after an Hermana teacher down the hall. I believe in him.
Gym time is fantastic. So much basketball, me and Elder Terrabilda are so happy they let us play. By the way! Brothers, remember the Schmutz's that beat us in Family Camp basketball? Remember the white guy returned missionary who acted like his leg fell off when he twisted his ankle? That guy works here! Took me forever to figure it out, but thats the guy.
Anywho, how is everyone else doing? More specifically, how are the Lakers doing? I wore my Kobe shirt here on the first day and half the elders here call me Elder Kobe. All the Jazz fans really appreciated that, which is like 90% of the people here.
Mom - How is work going? How is that crazy lady you work with doing? Ok I don't really care so much about her, but how is life without ol' Tyler to make grilled cheeses for? How pumped are for your Australia trip? How often do you use the iPad? Tons, right?
Dad - Dad! How is everything going back at home? I expect you to still be running three times a week when I come back, and I also expect you to be running three times a week when my kids get back from their missions. You can do it, Big D
Hey Brett! Check out the website - Coolest thing ever. If you could put a link to it on my blog, I'd appreciate it. Basically you can write a letter on that website, they'll print it out for you and give it to me the day you write it. And of clouse, it is free! It makes a world of difference to get a letter from someone, and I've already gotten several from Mike. Just kidding. But I'm optimistic.
The food here is actually pretty great. I'm eating a ton, and trying lots of new stuff. We've had hamburgers for three meals already, I miss In-N-Out so much. Anyways, a little box just told me I have to finish up. So I'm doing good up here, the days are long, but all satisfying. Keep praying for me and I'll do the same for all of you. I love all of you and hope you guys are coping well without me, especially you Mark. Whoah, remember those numbers I told you about the top right of the screen that times me? Now they're becomming bigger and bigger, so much pressure. Well anyways, keep on rockin' family and friends. Keep on rockin'
Elder Abbott
PS - Those of you at BYU, if you see Holly walking around, give her a hug for me. Muchas Gracias

Monday, November 1, 2010

Farewell Talk

Morning Brothers and Sisters, in case you haven’t seen me in the past 19 years my name is Tyler Abbott. Happy Halloween everybody! I know it’s kind of a bummer to have Halloween on a Sunday, but look at the bright side; at least you don’t have to give a talk! Well, I finally made it here and I guess I’m still technically a youth speaker. I always knew this ward had a great sense of humor. But I’m just going to have to use that as an excuse to continue just reading my talks, considering if I look up and make eye contact with anyone on the front row, I’ll either crack up or get a little emotional. It could go either way with my family!

In case you haven’t heard, I have been called to serve as a Missionary in the Torreon, Mexico Spanish speaking mission.

Bishop Child (still getting used to that) assigned me to give a talk on D&C 4. Even though it’s only 7 versus long, it perfectly embodies why we go and serve the Lord on missions. You know what; it’s so short I’m just going to read the whole thing.

1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.

2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

4 For behold the afield is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.

6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

After reading that, the idea of dropping everything and leaving the life I knew behind suddenly becomes a lot less difficult. It is such an honor to think that I’m going to be a part of this marvelous work, doing exactly what Heavenly Father would want me to do. Honestly that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to most on my mission - the perfect knowledge that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to do. I’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is exactly what Heavenly Father wants from me, and in turn I know I will be blessed more than I’ll realize anytime soon. If I could just talk to the young men of this ward for two seconds, I would challenge them to look at everyone they’ve met that has gone on a mission and analyze their lives. Chances are they have a beautiful wife and are very happy, that is the dream boy’s. It has been very clear and evident to me that if we are willing and worthy to serve the Lord, he absolutely will bless us and give us the best life we could ask for. How cool is it to live in a completely different place with a completely different people. As exciting as The Land of Gracious Living is, we really need to go out there and experience the world. And just throwing this out there guys, my good friend once told me “your girlfriend might not wait for you, but your wife will.” Just think about that for a second.

Anyways, got a little side tracked there. I in no way mean to say that I’m excited for my mission for just personal gain, although that is going to be great. The true purpose is to share this truth we know with other sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. If you ever wanted to try doing something scary, think about your life for a second if you had no exposure to this church. If you lived your life without its guidance and assistance. I don’t know about you, but I’m positive I wouldn’t be half the person I am today. I have been given so much knowledge about the Plan of Salvation and it is a pleasure and a responsibility to share that knowledge. My good friend Peter Parker’s Uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Brothers and Sisters, we have been given so much from our Heavenly Father, literally everything we have is because of Him. All he asks of us is to share his love with his other sons and daughters. He wants to bless us brothers and sisters; He wants to bless all of us. Heavenly Father knows each and everyone us, but not all of us know who He is. We have to do our part to have others reestablish their connection to Him and in turn share in this happiness we have. Remember brothers and sisters the words of Mosiah: “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”

Time for a story. By the way Sister Olson, I borrowed your book of Missionary Stories, I appreciate it. This one is called “The King’s Highway”:

Once a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to have a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their challenge was to see who could travel the highway the best.
On the day of the contest the people came. Some of them had fine chariots, some had fine clothing, fine hairdos, or great food. Some young men came in their track clothes and ran along the highway. People traveled the highway all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king that there was a large pile of rocks and debris left on the road at one spot and this got in their way and hindered their travel.
At the end of the day, a lone traveler crossed the finish line warily and walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king with great respect and handed him a bag of gold. He explained, "I stopped along the way to clear a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This bag of gold was under it all. I want you to return it to its rightful owner."
The king replied, "You are the rightful owner."
The traveler replied, "Oh no, this is not mine. I've never known such money."
"Oh yes," said the king, "you've earned this gold, for you won my contest. "He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those who will follow."

No matter what our circumstances may be, we can always make others lives run a little smoother. And I know that our lives run the best they possible can when we are in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Above anything else, the best way we can help uplift and strengthen others is by sharing this gospel that others may have the peace of the Holy Ghost. By following the example of the elderly man in the story I know we’ll be blessed beyond our comprehension.

I can’t reemphasize enough how blessed we are brothers and sisters. I know personally when I look back at the impact this true church has had on my life, I’m amazed. I’ve somehow managed to get through my teenage years and not make too many mistakes, which for those of you who know me, that’s kind of impressive. But honestly, I couldn’t even begin to relate how happy I have been to grow up with a life centered around this church. Standing from here, I can see where I was blessed as a baby; I can see where I passed and blessed the sacrament for the first time, and where I was sitting when I watched my brothers and friends give their farewells. Brothers and Sisters I love this church so much, and I love all of you who are in it. I have so many priceless memories that have come from this church that are all big factors in why I am standing here today. Much of which I probably shouldn’t share from the stand as many of my former Priest and Priest Leaders would agree, looking at you Hoke.

One story I’d like to relate to you Brothers and Sisters, involves a little cave called E-Ticket. When I say little cave, I really mean a tiny tunnel our scout leaders made us crawl through on a campout a few years ago. No kidding, this probably half a mile long tunnel was a foot and a half tall and completely pitch black. Those of you who have been a part of this church for as long as I have can tell when a good metaphor is coming, and this is no exception. In the middle of that cave in the dark, I was pretty scared and at times didn’t even know if I was going in the right direction. I would scrape my knees and my shoulders on several occasions. I’ve got the scars to prove it. Right when things just seemed to be overwhelming, Brother Chang did two things for me after I asked for a little help. One, he gave me a light so I would feel less afraid and so I could finally see where I was going and prevent myself from getting those scrapes. And two, he told the young men to just sing a hymn and we would feel more comfortable. Within seconds we not only knew where we were going, we also knew the Holy Ghost was with us in the cave. Here’s the metaphor part. At times our lives can seem like that dark cave, feeling misguided and lost, as we experience many bumps and bruises along the way. However, we are very fortunate to have a Father in Heaven who loves us dearly and desires nothing more than to help us. If we follow the guidance in D&C 4 Verse 7 - Ask and ye shall receive: knock and it shall be opened unto you.” We just need to ask of our Heavenly Father to light up the cave that leads to the literal and figurative light at the end of the tunnel, the Celestial Kingdom.

Brothers and Sisters, I am so excited to serve the Lord on my Mission. I have been preparing for this all of my life, and I’m truly excited to share what I have been given with the people of Mexico. Truly the field is white and ready to harvest, and we get the great opportunity to do our part in this great and marvelous work. We just need to thrust our sickles for the harvest and bring Heavenly Father’s children back to him. Those of you who are parents would absolutely want the same thing if you lost one of your children, wouldn’t you? Well we can be the one’s who can reunite Heavenly Father with his children.

This is truly a great and marvelous work Brothers and Sisters, and we are an integral part of it. I found this poem by an Unknown Author that was really a motivator to me to become a better missionary. It’s called “Christ Has No Hands, but Our Hands”:

Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible the careless world will read,
We are the sinner’s gospel; we are the scoffer’s creed;
We are the Lord’s last message, given in word and deed;
What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?
What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?

While I’m here I just wanted to thank all of you who have played an instrumental part of my life. My wonderful parents who given me more than they could ever know, my brothers who I’ve looked up to for as long as I can remember, the several teachers and leaders who attempted to teach our class. I’d also like to take the opportunity to apologize to many of you who were forced to deal with me in my formative years. And also a special thank you to the mothers of this ward. Your sons are my absolute best friends and given me the best years of my life. Especially the ones who are currently serving on missions, they are such a great example to me.