Monday, December 19, 2011

Pictures - December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011

Family! Man, check out Baby Claire! Thats gotta be the cutest, and least alien-looking newborn baby I have ever seen. I'll be honest, I never really thought babys were supposed to be cute for the first couple of months, but Baby Claire just disproved that. Or maybe I just grew up and like babys a little more, who knows. So who is up next then, Kevin and Rach right? When is their baby due? Nobody tells me these things. I just keep getting random emails telling me that I have another nephew or neice. It's great! Welcome to the Family Baby Claire, I will be her favorite uncle by the year 2014. Congratulations Marv and Heather Abbo, this family is exploding and it's so awesome. I will have at least 10 kids. Just kidding, but I definitely plan on having some.

So it's been a pretty alright week in Independencia I guess. Still haven't really found anybody cool to teach, but at least we're narrowing down the people that don't want to listen to us. Gotta look on the bright side as a Missionary. Speaking of brightside, our Ward Christmas activity was pretty good times. Sure there was only like 15 people there, but man did we eat a ton. Before the Mission I have never even been offered a tomale, and now I am eating them pretty much everyday. So good! You guys probably already knew this, but it's a tradition here in Mexico to have some piñata action for Christmas, but probably what you don't know is how dangerous it is. Relax, nobody got hurt, but man were there many close calls. They blindfold the kids and adults, and they just destroy the piñata with this huge stick. The second candy comes out, the kids come running to get some while the other guy is still taking swings at the piñata like Manny Ramirez. Truly was a miracle that no little kids were smacked so hard in the face. Speaking of miracles, have I mentioned how many Scorpions we have found in our house? Everyone tells us to be super careful, because within 30 minutes after one stings you, you are dead. I don't know if I believe them, but I'm not taking my chances either. My companion found one in his shoe the other day, and I found one right next to my head while I was sleeping. Nothing like a Scorpion filled Christmas in Mexico. Next year should be a little more chill, I have definitely never seen a scorpion in Yorba Linda.

So this week, we have been trying to focus more in the less-active members because we're really not finding anything productive knocking doors. So far we have found some very interesting people, including a crazy lady that thought the old Missionaries drugged her and baptized her without her knowing about it. She literally screamed of terror when she say us...some of these people are so weird. Glad to say that that was the strangest experience so far, hopefully it doesn't get any worse than that. Half of the members went to the Temple in Mexico City this week, so looks like we might be on our own for a lot of our meals. Wah, wah, waah. But still makes me grateful to have a Temple so close back at home. I can't imagine how great it will be to visit the Newport Beach Temple again. Anywho, today has been a pretty solid P-Day. As you can see by the pictures, we continued the Abbott tradition of putting clothes on a dog during Christmas time. That Black dog follows us everywhere, and he is super nice and obedient. He apprently likes wearing the tie as well, because he tried to bite me when I took it off.

So needless to say I miss all of you, but that will just make next Christmas all the more magical. The way I sees it, is that this is my last Christmas in the Mission, so I'm just going to make the best of it. Sure nothing beats a Christmas back at home with everyone you love, but I'm sure my Mexican Christmas will be very...interesting. I'm excited about it. So this Sunday I will be making the call. I'll call Mom and Dad first in NC, and then when we finish, Dad can call Brett or Greg and give my number so we can do a Brothers conference call. But just so everybody knows, the number of the house from which I am calling is 618-812-7866. And the number of my cell phone here in Mish just in case is: 618-189-0170. I'm super pumped to talk to all of you guys. There is some serious NBA talks we gotta do. So CP3 is officially on the Clippers, and I am officially jumping on the band-wagon. Okay, so Lakers are still and always will be number one for me, but the Clips are still a home-town team and I'm a CP3 fan, so I'll root for the Clips over anyone else except for the Lakes. But I've still, Mark convinced me to have hope this year, we've got a quality bench in my opinion. I had to idea we picked up Kapono, and Troy Murphy, and that other PF, sounds pretty cool to me. Enjoy the first game of this season this Christmas, lets hope the Lakers finally win this year.

Alright guys, I better get going, but man do I love all of you guys. I have so many awesome memories of Christmas back at home. There really is nothing like Christmas at home, but just so everyone knows I'm doing well and trying to do my best out here. It's definitely a blessing to be part of Christ's church when we're celebrating his birth. I know he lives, and I could never explain how grateful I am for what he did for us. We can't really wrap our minds around it, but the Atonement really was the moment where all of his we're saved and given immortality, and a chance at Eternal Life. So make sure to remember what Christmas is about, and enjoy Muppets Christmas Carol and Mannheim Steamroller. You guys are the best!

Elder Abbott

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 12, 2011

Heya Family! How is everybody doing? How pumped is everybody to read another one of my emails? I'm pretty convined at this point they all are basically saying the same thing, but whatever. I think the reason they let us email once a week is just to pretty much let everyone know we are still alive. So there you go Family, I have survived another week in the Mission! So today is actually a huge day in Mexico, thats right, it is Virgin Maria Day! It's pretty nutso outside, so I don't think will be doing too much knocking doors today. Guess I can't get in the spirit of the Holiday, but thats totally fine with me. And to think, next Virgin Maria day I can spend with my family, it'll definitely be a day to remember.

So this was the first week of transfer part two in Independencia, and it was...alright. I probably shouldn't complain so much to you guys, but man is it hard to find people to teach around these parts. I guess I'm starting to understand why their wasn't a single baptism here for two years before we baptized Priscila. But I'm confident we'll find somebody, just gotta keep the faith up and keep on rockin' it, somebody will open their door. Needless to say we've been knocking a lot of doors lately, but I actually enjoy it believe it or not. You would not believe the people we find around here and the things they tell us. If you are knocking doors in Mexico, I guarantee there will be a truly hilarious/weird moment every 20 minutes. So me and Elder Astete just try to make the best of it and not stress ourselves out too much. I wish I could remember all the funny things that have happened, but I always forget them. Other than that nothing too crazy has happened this week. One of the members of our ward let us borrow his CD of Christmas songs, and it is so awesome. Totally changed the spirit of the apartment, it feels like Christmas! Sure it would feel even more like home with songs from Muppet's Christmas Carol and a little Mannheim Steemroller, but I guess that can wait tell next year. The things is, as a Missionary you really do kinda lose track of time and what Holiday it is, but I want to make my first Christmas in Mexico, and my last in the Mission, memorable. We've got a nice ward party to look forward to this Wednesday, and we have a few investigatores we're hoping that can come as well. Nothing better than Christmas magic combined with the magic of Missionary work.

I'm super excited to call everybody in two weeks. I already found great members who will let me use their phone to make the call. I'm thinking I'm going to call Christmas Day, but you guys need to tell me the time. Earlier would probably be better than later, like around 12:00 or so in the afternoon...but let me know. It'll be so good to hear everyones' voices again, and apparently there is a lot of riff-raff and scuttle-butt (as Mom would say) going in the NBA right now, and I need to be filled in. I'm keeping the faith that we won't have to lose the Handsome Spaniard to get fake Superman. I was counting on Pau to wait for me my whole Mission so I can see him in his glory when I get back. There probably are people who read that last sentence and wonder how we can love a team so much, but I've been surrounded by the Lakes for as long as I can remember, how can I not love them?

So still no new neices this week? I'll cross my fingers for the next week. I still haven't gotten a picture of Baby Bella yet, I gotta see what Mike's daughter looks like. Well I hope everything is going super well back at home and people are getting fired up for Christmas. Whats everyone asking for this year? Gameboy Pocket? Just make sure to "not put Gameboy Pocket in Pocket," like what the Honduran directions say. When is Jesus' birthday party planned for? I want to be a part of that too. I totally forgot what I put in the box last year, and I want to see if I made it happen after all. I've got a lot of things I owe to the Savior. I still can't quite undertstand everything that he did for us, but the more I am understanding, the more grateful I feel. What a cool Holiday Christmas is. All the people you love get together to celebrate the birth of the Savior. It's also a great opertunity to try to understand even better what his Birth meant. To me, it means that we can be happy forever as a family, and that is the most important thing to me. Anywho family, life isn't too shabby in Mexico, and I'm doing my best to take care of business down here. Make it the best Christmas ever, and tell me every trade that happends in the NBA. You guys rock. Talk to you next week!

Elder Abbott

Pictures - December 5, 2011

Decemeber 5, 2011

Family! How is everybody doing? How pregnant are Heather and Rachael right now? So pregnant. I was actually pretty excited to check my mail and see if I got any new neices, but no luck this week, crossing my fingers for next week. But anyways, changes just happened and my companion are staying together in the same area! So yeah, not the most eventful change in the world, but whatcha gonna do. It's been an interesting change, and definitely a super fast one. But I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous about this next one. I have spent a lot of time with my little Peruvian companion and my pacience is running a little dry on a few things, but thats when as a Missionary you gotta dig deep and not say anything. Don't get me wrong, Elder Astete and I actually get along way better than I thought we would, but the dude takes forever to get ready every morning. He's really, really clean...which I guess thats better than him being really, really dirty, but still. Sorry, I think I'm just complanining to you guys, I'm sure next change will go fine. My good buddy Tarabilda is still in another State, so looks like my chances of playing some pick-up ball aren't too good this change. But I can always work on my soccer-game. We really don't know what to expect from President when changes happen, that guy is full of mystery. But good news, my best buddies from the District are staying around for another change. It's always good times with them, so I'm excited about that. Especially considering that this change has not only Christmas, but News Years as well! Not that New Years will be interesting considering we're in our houses by 9:30 every night, but maybe we can use it as an excuse to go out to eat or something. Christmas will be cool though, a lot of activity plans are in the works right now, I'll let you know how it goes.

So for those of you who are keeping track, I offically finished 13 months in the Mission this week! Man, it really doens't feel like that long ago that I just got to Mexico, and now I'm one of the older dudes in the Misison if you can believe it. Tons of Missionaries have recently gone home, and even more have just gotten here the past couple of months, so suddenly I am one of the older guys of the Mission. The young guns in the Mission ask me how much time I have and when I tell them 13 months, they're like: "no way! That is so much!" To be honest I probably should know more than I do considering my time. But whatever, I am learning a ton and am super grateful for the things I am learning. Before the Mission, I guess I sort of liked to read the Book of Mormon from time to time, but know I seriously love learning about the Gospel. You would not believe the things that you find when you really study the Book of Mormon and the Bible, unbelievably cool things. I'm actually just about to finish the BoM again, I'm half way through Moroni, good stuff.

Hmm...I'm trying to remember any cool things that have happened this week. Basically the same ol', same ol' to tell you the truth. Lots of doors, lots of meeting really strange people, and lots of Catholics. We have people that we're teaching, but they're not really doing anything on their own, so I think we gotta find some more solid people. I just wish I knew where they are, still a total mystery to me. But it's all good, we'll find some cool people this week. Hey we actually got a chance to watch the Christmas Devotional last night which was super awesome. Although I get a little bummed when Elder Uchtdorfs voice changes to a loud Mexican guy translating his talk. But still fantastic messages and great music, definte Christmas magic there. Sure it made me a little homesick, but the way I see it it's my last Christmas in the Mission, might as well make the best of it. Plus I am super excited to talk to everybody. Here's the low down on that: I can either call Christmas Eve, or Christmas, it's my call. So you guys tell me whats best for you and I will make it happen. Hopefully when we can do what we did before and get the conference call on so I can talk to everybody. So let me know how you guys want to do it, and I'll make things happen on my end.

So how is everyone doing at home? All the Christmas Decorations are offically up, and the magic of the season is beginning. I'm very happy to say my buddy Elder Toone is going to lend me his Muppet's Christmas Carol CD to burn, now that is a gift that will keep on giving. Are the lights already up at Abby manor? I always thought putting Christmas Lights up was super stressful, if you slip that could be game over right there. Sorry, I didn't mean to scare anybody, but putting up Christmas lights was definitely a secret fear of mine. I hope everything is going great at home, and people are loving the Christmas season. Don't get too stressed about the presents (which I totally did before), and realize what Christmas is really about. Celebrating the birth of the person that made it possible that we can be together forever. That's what it's all about, and that's why I am so far away from all of you's. I love you guys, I know the church is true, and keep me posted on the new-baby patrol!

Elder Abbott