Monday, May 30, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Family! I have way too much to tell you guys. But to begin, I finally got to use those white pants you bought me Mom. It's true, Tyler baptized somebody yesterday. Isn't that totally weird? But very cool at the same time. It was something different I have never experienced before, in a totally awesome way. It was like, who the heck am I to baptize somebody? One of those hit you kinda moments when you realize hey, I totally can baptize someone, I really have been comissioned by Christ to do what I am doing. Crazy cool. So let me tell you about it! I baptized Valeria Guadelupe Gabeldone Ramirez, I still remember the name because I repeated it a thousand times before the baptizm so I would remember it. She has about 13 years and the only member in her family is her Mom. The original game plan was for a cool youth in the WARD (I have a ward now! Not a branch!) to baptize her, but she called us up late Saturday night and asked me to do it. And so I did it. And it was great. We're really close with that family, and we're going to work with the Dad and the two brothers and commit them to baptizm. I am going to unite that family! That late sentence was probably the nerdiest missionary sentence ever, but it's really why we're here. Ok so I realize I am going super out of order with everything, but I am just going to write as things pop in my head, so stay with me.
My area, La Rosa, is pretty awesome. Like I said, we have a ward down here. With like 120 members! I totally forgot wards this big existed, but apparently they do, and I love it. I am getting to know the members better and all of them seem to really like me from what I can tell, especially the Hermana Olga. She is actually washing me and my companions clothes as we speak. I feel bad, but she offered to wash our clothes every Monday, and I just wasn't going to say no to that. It's like having another Mom in the mission field! She cuts up my food for me and everything. Just kidding. We have totally quality food every week, and I can't begin to tell you how happy that makes me. As much of a bummer as it is for Jacky and Jacob, I haven't eaten anything weird this week! Which is fantastic for me. It's cool to eat weird food sometimes, but other times it's just plain awful. Our area is surrounded by this really cool mountains that remind me of St. George. If I had to choose one place I have traveled too the most in my life, the answer would be St. George. Never been to Hawaii, but man have I been to St. George! But I have only good memories of St. George, so it's a good reminer with all the mountains around. Also a lady member invited me and my companion over tonght for a family night (noche de hogar), and I am pumped for that, I am pretty sure she said something about ice cream, which is worth it's weight in gold in Mexico.
Also everyone has been complimenting me on my Spanish! Some lady was convinced that I was actually from Argentina, and thought I was joking when I said I was from California. I guess my Spanish has actually been improving quite a bit lately, I think I am finally making that jump to the point where Spanish is just nautal. I think in Spanish, I dream in Spanish, and I talk in Spanish. I remember having dreams in my first few months in Mexico that were in Spanish, but I couldn't understand them. Finally I can understand them! I really do like Spanish, now that I can understand it and speak it. It's the only language I know that says I don't get along with him by saying "me caya bien gordo" translated: He falls fat with me.
Our house is a huge improvement over the last place I had too! The only thing is we have more cockroaches than you could possibly imagine. Guess what happened this morning, I was pouring out my cereal and what came out of the box....a massive cockroach. I don't think I can look at Frosted Flakes the same ever again. But after a week I have gotten use to them, and regularly shower in a shower with 4-6 big cockraches crawling around. It's going to be so funny to look back at things like this, but for now, it's definitely an adventure. As for Elder Rivera my companion....I love the guy. He is 22 years old and from the straight up jungles of Veracruz. We are getting along great and just have fun all the time. We are working hard and he is teaching me a lot, he is a good example for me as a Missionary. He has been out for about 18 months and gets a little homesick sometimes, but we're both helping each other with that kinda thing. Everytime one of us starts thinking about home, we change the subject about something funny that happened earlier or an investigator we have or something. The last two companions I had really weren't that awesome to tell you the truth, but I am happy to say that my companion is great. He already requested another transfer with me to President, so things are working out well. He keeps saying I am going to be a leader after my time with him, but I don't know about that.
Bummer to hear about the Lakes, but if they had to lose, it's better they do it now. When you think about it, I did come in my mission at the perfect time for the NBA. A weird, unsuccesful Lakers season, and next season will be all about the lockout. Lakers will make some awesome off season moves, and I will home in time to be apart of the next great season for the Lakers. The Kobe Pau era has closed, and we made it to the championships three times in a row! That's nothing to gawk at. Is that a saying? I really don't know. I am hoping for a Dwight Howard or a Chris Paul trade, that would be pump me up so much. Dwight!
So how is everyone doing at home? Sounds like everyone had a great Mothers Day and the Mothers were sufficiently appreciated. Enjoy the Jaqueranda trees that Mom loves so much, and I also heard another Pirates is coming out. Is that true? Pirtates 3 was so weird...why another? Well hopefully it's cool and Johnny Depp will be in it.
Alright family I better go. I have lots of new pictures to send you guys, but I forgot my camera! Next week I'll give it a try. Have a good week, and check out Jacob 4:6 I think it is, and D and C 121 is amazing as well. Thanks for all the love and support I have from you guys. When it's crazy hot outside and we're knocking doors it's nice to know I have literally more than 30 people behind me from my family. Some are very small, but still. So have a good week, keep the emails and DearElders coming, and keep it real. Love you guys!
Posted by Brett Abbott at 3:06 PM
Monday, May 9, 2011
Family! Alright so looks like I somehow got a second P Day this week, so I thought I would shoot you guys a quick email! Yes, I am officially in my new area after my short, air conditioned filled spint in the offices. It was really an awesome two weeks, beyond the air conditioning and all that, I really did learn a lot and make some serious decisions about the kind of missionary I want to be. I mean, I am a missionary! That is still kinda weird to me believe it or not, but I figure if I am going to be a missionary, I want to be a good one. And I think I finally got a companion that wants the same kinda success that I want to find. Being a Junior missionary still, it's all luck of the draw if you get a cool Senior companion that wants to take care of business. Looks like my luck finally turned up, and going out to work won't be an argument! In fact, we have a baptism this week! Ah, this feels good.
So let me tell you about him. His name is Elder Rivera, and he is from the straight up jungle of Veracruz, like monkeys and everything. He has a lisp, but it's the kind of lisp that makes you like him more if that makes any sense. He seems like a pretty cool guy and is just way more friendly in general than the other dudes I worked with. I am serving in a place right outside the city, and considering I have literally only walked down two streets, can't tell too much about it, but I heard good things. There is also some sirens going on in the background, finally where the action is at. Our house is kinda cool too! It's less than 400 years old like my old house, which should have been a musuem, not a place where missionaries live. Still a cool memory though.
So awesome to talk to everyone yesterday, as crazy as it was. I didn't get a chance to tell everyone I loved them like I wanted to, but I want everyone to know that I love them. Definitely don't love the fact that the Lakers were swept in the second round to the Dirk's, but I was too excited to talk to everyone to really care. I had two fantastic years of Lakers championships before my mission, and then the Lakers will kinda stink for 2 years, and then they will be awesome again when I get back. The cycle of life continues. Whoever rigged up that all brother conference call did a fantastic job. Greg, was that you? Good work, Greg, You da man. Man I love my family, more than anything, and hearing everyones voice was a good energizer for me. It's nice to be reminded that you got literally 20..something people behind you. Love all of you guys. Lately I have been learning about life to tell you the truth, the kinda guy I want to be. And a life as close to the Lord as possible is the way to go I figured out. Read Lehi's dream one more time, that suddenly made so much more sense to me lately. Maybe because I read it an English, but I loved it. Just live your life close to the Lord, remember to enjoy it, and be cool. To quote Abraham Lincoln on Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: "Be cool to one another, and always remember.....PARTY ON DUDES!" I remember watching that with Marvelous and rewinding it like 15 times. So great. Okay, I think that's all I have got for you guys, but expect cool things next Monday. PS-We are back to the Monday P-Day thing, so change your schedules accordingly, which should revolve around when you email me.
Alright, so thanks for everything you guys have done, are doing, and will do for me. My family is the best, nothing in the world like it. I must have done something right before we all came here, who knows what it is, but this really is a special family. Everyone stay in touch with one another too. And yes, about that, sorry Randy and Sandy I didn't get a chance to talk to you fools! I feel bad about it, I really wanted to say hey, but it didn't work out for some reason. I'll do better come Christmas time. PSS- I told a few Elders the story about "are there any children down there?" And they loved it, they say it to me everytime they see me! Okay, gotta get going, but I love all of you guys, and....have a good week!
Posted by Brett Abbott at 3:20 PM
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Family! Wow, what a crazy week. Just nuts. Not sure if I will be able to explain it all in this email, but I am definitely going to try. First and foremost, just want to say, I love you. All of you! Yes, I have totally become that guy in the family who always insists on saying I love you to everybody. Coming from a family of mostly dudes, I am very proud of that. No doubt I was going through a really rough point of my mission lately, but all the letters and everything from all of you guys really made a difference. I know why I am out here, and I know how important it is. To quote what is now writen in my agenda, "I know I am going to live, I know I am going to die, what's inbetween is mine.'' I don't know why, but I love that quote. Probably because it reminds me of my brothers more than anything, thanks for sending me that Uncle Bert. Hmm...I am not really sure where to start with everything, so like all of my emails, this is going to be super random. I guess I've just got some good insights on life in general, I am seeing more the big picture of everything. When you take a step back and just look at life as a whole, you start to focus on the things that are really important. And for me, I also realized how short life really is. Grasping the idea of eternal life is not something easy, but man is it important. I have taught all these people about how they can live forever with their families, and it kinda finally hit me what in the world I am actually say. I can hangout with my brothers and play wiffleball forever? I can talk to Mom or Dad whenever I want for forever? I can hangout with my wife and my kids forever? It finally hit me that yes! Holy crap! I definitely hope they have wiffleball up there. So in other words everybody, I think my testimony finally became real recently. I always thought I had one, but I was moreso just borrowing other peoples for my whole life. Glad to say my testimony is finally becomming mine and meaning something specifically to me. I still have a ton to grow and figure out, but I feel like I am going in the right direction. Life is something we need to appreciate too. Tons of people don't realize what a gift life is. Alright, so I totally sound like a Hallmark card, but stay with me here. We are given a body and a huge open world, and we are free to just run with it and do the best we can. There really is so much we can accomplish in life if we really want to, and the most important things are things that will stay with us forever! I want to make the most of everything, so taking a super small part of my life to serve the person who gave me everything I have is pretty cool. Plus I get to play hoops once every week, can't complain. If only the Lakers would just start winning....then I could finally be at peace.
So let's see, what has been going on lately. I am still in the offices and it's been a super cool experience. I am totally in the inner circle of whats going on in the mission. Changes are coming up, and we are getting a new assistent to the President, and I totally know who he is! In fact, he is sitting right next to me. Stuff like this may seem pretty boring to you guys, but information like this in the mission is pretty valuable. Plus with Elder Beltran coming in (he is going to be the new assistant...don't tell anybody, it's a secret) that means I get to work with Elder Guiterrez who was assistent before! Love that man. Hopefully the pictures I am sending work out, so you can see that he is the guy holding up the sign that says ''pero, en las oficinas.'' He is like 27 years old and is one of the coolest cats I know. It feels just like working with an older brother or something, he is just laid back and cool and we have good times. How crazy is it that he decided to go on a mission when he was 26 years old! He could have totally lived his life like normal not having gone on a mission, but he told me he felt like something was missing. Something hit me right there. I guess I always thought the mission is something you just kinda check off the ol' list of stuff you gotta do, but it's a little more than that. Also, we get to drive a car! Thanks to Elder Guti (nickname) and his seniority, we landed the mission car this week and we are driving! That is an unbelievably cool blessing, believe me. But I also had the opportunity to work with the other Elders who are working here in the offices too before Beltran came in, and those have been some good times as well. Want to know something pretty amazing? It rained 3 days ago! Sure, it rained for maybe 15 seconds, but man was it great. Torreon is the straight up desert of Mexico, and things like this just don't happen that much. Did you guys see the movie Holes before? Remember that part in the end, where it starts raining randomly and everyone starts dancing? Kinda like that. This is moreso for me to remember in the future than for you guys to know, but the guys here in the offices are Elders' Welch, Guiterrez, Young, Juarez, Burgin, and Payzant. I get along great with all of them. Elder Welch is an assistent and is definitely a go getter, but he is easy to tease and mess around with when he needs to be reminded not to take himself to seriously. Elder Juarez is a Mexican Mr. GQ, so classy, and he thinks he knows more English than he actually does, so thats always really funny. Elder Burgin does a tons of weird voices, and is kinda like the Dwight of the offices, but not as annoying. Elder Young is awesome, he loves the band Rush and we have tons of the same interests. We do top 5 movies and stuff like that all the time, Marvelous, the man has seen Memento before! Elder Payzant is from Rancho Cucamanga or however you spell that, like 20 minutes away from home! He is a great guy, and I he just walked up to me 5 seconds ago and said, "disregard women, aquire currency," and walked away. The mission does weird things to a guy, but thankfully there always really funny.
So yes, I am still very much so enjoying my warm showers and air condition. Air condition! Gosh, I forgot that existed before. Such an amazing, amazing invention. I am eating way better as well, I haven't eaten anything weird all week! Sorry Jackson and Baby Fish, got nothing for you guys this week. Also word on the street is that we are going to eat some Carne Asada tacos later today, gotta love the offices. We have changes this Monday, and I have no idea where I am going to be. I am little nervous about it, but I get the feeling this is going to be a big transfer for me. I definitely would like to work here in the offices officially, but who knows whats going to happen. Just like what is going to happen with the Lakers. What in the world is going on! A Mexican guy told me this morning when I was playing basketball at the Bosque that Lakers are down 3-0 to the Mavs. What a bummer. Well I mean, if Lakers have to lose, It's better they do it when I am in a foreign country and can't watch Laker games. I have no room to complain, I watched every game of two back to back championship seasons before my mission. And besides if the Mavs go on to win it, I would like to see Dirk win a ring. Just not the Heat or the Celtics. IF Lakers go down, and that is still a big if, I vote for Mavs out of the West and Bulls out of the East. Two teams who haven't been in the finals in forever, it'll be entertaining. And I hope this will convince the Lakers to sign CP3 as soon as they can, easily my favorite non-Laker in the league. I will continue to work hard on my mission so not only the people I love will be blessed, but the team I love as well.
So how is everyone doing at home? Kev and Rach are living it up in Hawaii as we speak I think. Gosh that sounds so nice, I really hope I go to Hawaii at some point in my life. But we all know Kev totally deserves it, he has been in school for longer than I have been alive, geeze that is so much school. Oh yeah! I am calling you guys tomorrow! Totally forgot about that. And Happy Mothers Day Mom! You are the greatest Mom ever and I love you a ton. Hopefully the family took you out somewhere nice to eat, like delicious Mimi's Cafe. Just kidding. Hopefully they took you somewhere better than that. But yeah, about that call I will be making tomorrow. I think I am going to give you a number, and a time to call. We will be at a members house and be using their phone to talk to you guys. Once I get the details about it, I will let you know. But just so you know, it should happen sometime in the afternoon, maybe around 4, 5, or 6. I think I am two hours ahead of you guys out here. I am super pumped to talk to everybody, or atleast as much people as I can, it'll be good to hear everyone's voice again. Are we going to do some kind of conference call or something? More people the better! Any chance we can get Uncle Clay on there or something?
Okay well I think thats actually all I have got for you guys this week considering I will be talking to you tomorrow. Have a good day, and a good week, and remember the important things in life!
Posted by Brett Abbott at 3:08 PM