Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011

Family! How is everyone doing? Guess what, I actually totally forgot that Thanksgiving happened until just now! How weird is that? I guess last Thursday was the first Thanksgiving meal I had eating Burritos, because that is what we ate. In all honestly I think I like Burritos more, but it's the tradition that counts. But that was in fact, my LAST Thanksgiving in the Mission if you can believe it, thats pretty nuts right? Well it's true, this time next year I'll be in shorts and a sweater, eating pretzels, and watching Sportscenter. Good times are ahead. But sounds like everyone had a great Thanksgiving, big props to H-Bomb for coming down despite being super pregnant, that is some serious family dedication. Thanksgiving is seriously a great time of the year, actually probably the best time of the year. The weather is pretty perfect, family gets together, and don't forgot the best of all, turkeybowl! I'm predicting that not a single Abbott attended this year, which is actually totally fine, it's not like they ever passed us the ball anyways. Guess we should stick with Basketball, but the Hulkamania shirts were always worth it. Oh and thanks for the pictures you sent Kev, I can barely recognize those kids! It took me forever to realize that the kid running around with Joseph was Benjamin, dude has grown a ton! Thats so weird, I specifically remember going with Kev and Rach to some baby store (I'm not sure why I went, I think I wanted to get lunch afterwards), and helping pick out super small shirts of Dinasours dunking basketballs and things like that. That was before Ben was even born, now he is running around that tree that will never grow in our backyard. I love all those kids so much, think they still remember I exsist? I bet 3/4 don't, but thats cool, I still remember all of them and am excited to get to know them even better in the future.

Man I wish I had more interesting things to tell you guys, but nothing is really coming to mind. There are still funny, weird, and random things that happen every single day, but I can never remember them. But just so you guys know, I'm definitely having an adventure out here. Oh wait here's one, the other day contacting we found tons of weird people. The first was the priest-kinda guy of a church of the Seventh Day (I think it translates like that in English), and he tried to give me a blessing so my feet would hurt less. About 5 minutes after that, we contacted a house full of Nuns. There are few things more interesting that knocking doors in Mexico. Anywho, we're still looking for more people to teach and baptize, but they're not as easy to find as we thought. Centro in Durango is like what Utah is for our church, but for the Catholic church, seriously a Cathedral in like every corner. But I am learning important things, especially like love and tolerance for other people and beliefs. Coming from the only completely true church, sometimes we get caught trashing other beliefs and cultures, and thats not cool. I'll admit, I have definitely done that here, but I'm trying to get better at that and love people regardless of their belefs and try to help them. I'm still far from perfect as always, but I like to think I am making progress. Kind of a bummer moment last Sunday, we actually had like 9 people committed to come to church, but guess how many! Wah, wah, waaah, but whatever, we'll get em' next week. Also here's something interesting, we are now teaching an 83 year old lady. Her name is Maria Elena, and she barely understands me, but she is actually progressing pretty well. If she ends up being baptized, I'll be sure to send pictures.

But yeah, life has been good lately. It's suddenly crazy cold down here, it got down to 15 degrees last night! Good thing you guys sent me that classy jacket when I was in Salt Lake, definitely coming in handy. I am definitely in the desert, this place seems to only have extremes of the weather. Either super hot, or incredibly cold. Makes me appreciate the greatness of California where it's great weather always, but like I said, always an adventure in Mexico. Personally I feel like I am learning tons and tons of things. The Mission is kinda like another baptism. We leave behind all the stupid things we did growing up, we basically learn, repent, and start our lives all over again as men. I'm making a point to learn as much as I can so I can become the best man I can. It's definitely a process, but I'm enjoying it, even though I still make silly mistakes like dropping the phone constantly, but whatever. Anyways guys, the Church is definitely true, and I know following the Gospel will make me the happiest and best person I could possibly me. And I am committed to doing just that. Hope everything is great back at home, you guys rock!

Elder Abbott

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

Family! Don't have much time, but just wanted to let you know I had a good week. It took forever to send all the pictures, so hopefully those can give you a better idea of whats been going on lately. It's been a pretty normal week, knocked some doors, taught some people, ate some food, all good times. We've kinda been struggling lately finding new people to teach, these people are super, super Catholic! But we got a good game plan for next weeks contacts, definitely should get us into more houses. We're going to involve the Virgin Maria in our contacts, because they believe in her more than Christ. They actually believe there are tons of Virgins, including one who was born in Mexico named the Virgin of Guadelupe. I think it's crazy, but the people here are really crazy about it. So we're going to tell the people we want to share a message about the Father of You, Me, and the Virgin, our Heavenly Father who loves us very much. And then we figure as time goes on with the lessons, the people will understand that we shouldn't worship anybody besdies Heavenly Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We'll see how it goes, wish us luck.
I wish I had more to tell you guys, it's been another super fast week and I can't exactly remember anything in particular that went down. We did go to some cool Musuem today, I thoroughly enjoyed as you can tell by the pictures. It's like a Discovery Zone type place, but more Mexican. For a group of Missionary these kind of things are actually super fun. We don't really do too many things like this, so when we ge a chance we make the best of it. Hopefully you like the pictures, and yeah I know I have even more asian eyes. It's just that I am so tired lately, hard to keep my eyes fully open during the afternoons. Who am I kidding, I was just somehow born with Asian eyes. It's a mystery we'll never understand. Oh also we gave talks again this last Sunday. I swear I give a talk every other week. So I finally started the "not reading my talk" technique, and just go off pure notes. It actually went super well, talks are way more fun when you don't just read it the whole time. I guess my Spanish has gotten to the point where I don't really need to think so much before I talk, just comes out. My companion says I sleep talk in Spanish as well, apparently last night I said "Hermana, puedo pasar a su baño" lots of times.
Hope everything is awesome back at home for everybody. Big ups to Kev for passing the Bar Exam, but it's not like we ever doubted that he wasn't going to pass. Kev was born a genius, just like I was born an Asian person, both of which are mysteries. I love all of you guys, and hope everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving. Don't worry about ol' Tyler, I got a nice Thanksgiving dinner planned out with the guys in the District. I'll let you guys know how it goes next week. So the Gospel is true as always, I'm still learning, but I know all of it is true. Keep on rocking and doing what you do, and I'll talk to you fools next week!
Elder Abbott

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pictures - November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011

Did Ron Artest really change his name to something like that? Dude is absolutely crazy, but I can grow to love World Peace just like I grew to love Ron-Ron. Anyways, hows it going Family! Sounds like everything is going super well back at home. When I take a step back it's actually pretty easy to see how my family has been blessed for my service out here. I mean think about it, Mike had his first baby girl, Mark found a job, Kev and Rach found a cool place to live, Greg found a cool place to live, Randy isn't balding as fast as we thought, we're having two more baby girls in the family, and Mom and Dad have gone on cool trips and Dad is still Emulex'n it up. Isn't that cool? It's been a very progressive year for the Abbott family, and I like to think I helped somehow.

So it's been a pretty crazy week in Independencia, but I am super happy to say that we had the first baptism in this area in more than a year and a half! That's right, Prycilia made the decision to be baptized and it went super, super well. It was actually kind of a small miracle considering on Thursday she was starting to have second thoughts about being baptized. But Elder Astete and I got our praying on, and we actually did divisions the next day with the District Leader. So me and Mr. District Leader went to visit her, we explained baptism over again and what it meant, and she said yes! We even got her parents to give her the okay as well, which we thought would be a definite obstacle. So as you can tell by the pictures she asked me to baptize her, I wanted my companion to baptize her, but whatever. We had an awesome turnout as her baptisimal service, including her non-member family, and everything just went really well, way better than I thought it would. Just goes to show that if you do your part, El Señor puts the rest. We confirmed her last Sunday and now the family is wanting to know more. So we're hoping that good things are ahead in ol' Independencia. Besdies that nothing too crazy happened, now we just gotta find more people to teach. Easier said than done out here, but we'll do everything we can. You guys can check out a little bit of Durango in the pictures I sent. There are lots of huge Catholic Cathedrals, but it's actually a pretty area. Also I just ate Chinese Food for the first in forever, that was fun. The food really wasn't that good, at least compared to Panda Express, but still. Also actual Chinese people work there! How many times has there been Americans, in Mexico, eating Chinese Food? I imagine not too many, I like to think I am the first.

So anything else new happening on the home-front? Word on the street is that the NBA is not doing too well. Really when you think about it, I had the best possible Mission-NBA situation possible. First year fairly dissapointing without a ring, and now the NBA is basically non-existent. And then when I come back, Pau and Kobe will be well-rested and good to go. And how come nobody has sent me a picture of my new neice, Bella? I expect pictures of all the new babys, but not any gross ones, in fact maybe wait a couple of weeks to send me the picture. Don't get me wrong, I just think babys are cuter when they are out of their looking kinda like an alien stage. But I love them just the same. Also is Miles Joseph really turning 12 this week?! Dude, I totally remember when I was 12 years old, I was such a schmutz. Thank goodness Miles is Mr. Cool as always. Happy Biirthday Miles Jo, you the man. Okay Family, better get going, but sounds like everything is going well back at home which is always good to hear. Keep living the Gospel and doing what you know is right, and I promise you will all be happy. Guaranteed. I love all of you guys, have an awesome week!

Elder Abbott

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pictures - October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011

Family! How is everybody doing? I was super pumped to hear that I am officially a uncle to 15 kids! Welcome to the world Baby Bella, from me and all of your friends in Mexico. Mike has more than accomplised than what I told him to do when I was 9 years old..."get married, get a job, get an apartment." Totally in my face, because Mike is living the dream. Make sure to send me photos of my new half-Mehicano niece. I'll print the pictures out and show it the people here, they'll go nuts over her. I'm pretty pumped to see all my new neieces when I get home, and they all be like one years by then! I do my best to try to not hold a baby who is less than one year old, just too much stress going on. But I'll have no problem to hold baby Bella, Lamar, and Chewy by November of next year. Success!

So it's been a pretty quality first week in my new area in Independencia. Like I said me and my companion both just got here, so we really knew nothing going into it but we have learned a ton this first week. First of all, the area is super, super cool. It's a total, straight up city, so much different from where I started in Mapimi. The only thing is that it way Catholic here, in fact as we speak the body of the Pope who died a couple of years ago just got here to the city, and there is like a 6 hour line to go and see him. It's like waiting for Splash Mountain, but much less fun. But I guess thats a fun way to spend Halloween, checking out the Pope's body. People are pretty strange here, but I like them alright. This area is also the smallest I have ever seen, you can walk the length of the area in less than 30 minutes, so in that aspect it is pretty cool. It was always a bummer to have to walk like 45 minutes in-betwen appointments. The members here are really cool as well and we're eating well which is always a good thing. The only thing is that there hasn't been a baptism in this area in more than a year and a half, but I do believe we found someone who we're going to baptize in two weeks! I'm confident we'll baptize here, and we will be heroes in the Mission for baptizing in Independencia! Well, we'll see.

So my companion is a pretty chill dude. He is a super tiny, but very well dressed Peruvian man. He is one of those dudes that spends an hour in the bathroom every morning to get his hair right, but it's all good. We're working well together. You know how every 5th Sunday is when the Men and Woman get together for class? Well me and my companion gave the class this month about how we can work better as a Ward. I have given way more talks and classes in Mexico than I ever did in Yorba Linda 3rd. But thats cool, I would rather listen to a nice Anaheim East highcouncilmen anyways.

Oh, and Happy Halloween! Halloween isn't a super big thing here in Mexico, but the central part of town is all Dia de Muertos'd out and looks pretty cool. So what is everyones plans back at home? Going to hit up the whole trick-or.treating route? Consisting of Via Madera, Via Ceresa, Timberlane, The News Street, and then getting too tired of walking around and going back home? Man I have some magical memories of Halloween back in the day, easily in the top three best Holidays of the year. So make sure to take pictures of everyones costumes and send them, I want to check them out.

Alright Family, better get going, but are you guys aware that I will officially have a year in the Mission this Thursday? I can hardly believe it, but I guess I'll be on the downhill of the Mish. I have learned a crazy amount of things this year, and my testimony has been tested and grown a lot. The church is true, and living the Gospel with your family is the greatest happiness that someone can find in this life. I can't imagine how cool it will be when we can all be together after this life in the greatest circumstances ever, it'll be sweet. Lets keep working as a family to get there. Alright family, take it easy and remember to goof and gaff it every once in a while.

Elder Abbott