Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

Family! So another exciting week in Durango, the land which is still pretty much stuck in the Old West days. I have seen so many legit cowboys walking around that could easy be put into a Clint Eastwood movie. I feel right at home, I guess I have a connection with the cowboys. But anyways, things are still going well down here and I am really, really liking it. The weather is a miracle, the hottest day here in Durango is like the coldest possible day in Torreon. It's like going from Palm Springs to Newport Beach, but not quite as fancy as Newport Beach. And there isn't a temple either, but it's something like that. The people here are super friendly too, everyone is always up for a little chit chat and hardly anyone does anything, so they always have time! Perfect situation for a Missionary. So let's see, what kind of interesting things have gone down this week? Well for starters, pretty much all of our investigatores are straight up cholos. One of them just got out of maximum security prison in Arizona, his name is Jose, he's a great guy. Sure I have no idea what he did to get into jail, and I don't think I want to know, but I do know that the Atonement works for everybody, so who am I to judge? So we're teaching a lot of those types of guys, but we also are teaching one of the most classic should-be-mormon types of Grandma's. Her name is Fanny (it doesn't sound as funny with a Spanish accent), and she totally reminds me of a Relief Society lady. In fact she will be teaching our Wards Relief Society how to cook something this next weekend, is that an awesome investigator or what? We will actually be baptizing her this week! She will be Relief Society President in no time, I'm callin' it.

Me and my companion have pretty good times every single day out here. There is always something to laugh at when you're two Grigo's walking around together in the middle of Mexico. The people definitely do a lot of strange things, but I love em'. One of the only things I don't love so much would be the tons and tons of stray dogs in the street. I swear they've got it out for Missionaries, but they're keeping me in shape with all the running away we do these days. But don't worry, Elder Toone and I have a plan, we bought dog treats today. We will be turning our greaest enemies in Mexico into our greatest allies, I'll keep you posted on how our relationship goes with the stray dogs of Mexico, don't worry. I have been eating pretty good lately as well. Turns out Elder Toone is an awesome cook, and we somehow have an awesome kitchen, so everything works out! The deal is that he cooks, we eat, and I clean. I've become a pretty mean dish-washer these days, and I'm actually starting to enjoy it as well believe it or not. For all of you's that have dish washers in your house, you don't know how good you have it, now that is an amazing invention. I have definitely gained a greater appreciation for little things like that, dishwashers, washers and dryers and all that. We can take care of those types of things faster and better, and have more time to do interesting things! "Moon Pies...what a time to be alive..."

So this week we have Zone Conference, you guys pumped up for that? It should be pretty cool actually, word on the street is that every companionship is getting little portable DVD players? Apparently the Church came out with these like Missionary training videos, and we are now supposed to study them. I'm down with the idea, eat a little Frosted Flakes in the morning with a church video? Sounds pretty nice if you ask me. I'll let you guys know how everything goes. But anywho, how is everything down at home? Seems like everyone is in baby-preperation mode, and that is always exciting. So many tiny baby clothes, with tiny hangers, good times. Well everyone keep keeping ol' Uncle Tyler posted on whats going on back at home, I'm always interested to hear it! Okay so I better get going family, but before I finish lets see if I have any good missionary words of wisdom...well the Church is still definitely true. I love all of you more than I know how to say, and the Church is all about me being happy with you guys in this life, and forever afterwards. And I can't really think of anything else I would want more, besides Lakers picking up Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Hey brothers, what in the world is going on in the NBA? Was there even a draft this year? Give me the details. But anyways, the Church is true, the Book of Mormon is for sure the word of God, which means everything else is true. Have a good week family, love you guys, and talk to you next week!

Elder Abbott

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011

Family! Man it's been a really fast and slow week all at the same time. Part of me feels like I just got here to Durango, and the other part feels like I've been here for a while now. Well obviously got a lot to tell you guys, and don't have much time, so I'm going to try my best to remember everything. First and foremost, the weather here is absolutely amazing, I have barely even sweated! After having sweated continually for like the past 5 months, the colder weather feels awesome. It's a little on the hot side today but nothing compared to how hot Torreon is. It rains here pretty much every single day, and it rains super, super hard. Not sure if you can see it really well in the picture I sent, but we got pretty drenched on the way back to home one day. This is the kinda place where the streets get majorely flooded and people start paddling in their boats. Okay the last part isn't true, but it does rain pretty hard in Durango. Well to be completely honest, Durango is just better in about everyway. It's less hot, cooler, less desert-y, and prettier. Also it's pretty good times with my very first white companion. Elder Toone is a great guy and I'm lucky to be with him. They actually put me with him to help him relax if you can believe it. Apparently he had problems with getting overly stressed and so they put me with him to help him relax and have fun while we do the work. I feel qualified for the assignment, I guess I have kind of reputation for being a laid-back guy, which is cool with me. That's not to say that I don't work, I just know how to enjoy what I do I guess. Not to mention Elder Toone is a master cook and makes delicious breakfast and dinner everyday. How incredibly awesome is that? He made brownies last night. That's how awesome it is. We both have a lot in common and we have a good time doing a little chit chatting.
As for the ward, I really like it. At first I definitely did miss everybody in La Rosa, but now I'm getting used to everybody and really enjoying it. We don't have a ward quite as big as La Rosa, but that's what we are here for, to get more people in the church. The Sisters in the ward give us food every single day, and it's delicious 95% of the time. Sometimes it's something really weird, but still not too bad. We should have two baptisms next week, and even more in the following weeks. We have a lot of people we are teaching and they all seem to be progressing really well. We had 7 investidatores in the church last week! Pretty sure thats the most I have ever had, so I'm happy with it. I still have a lot more to get to know around these parts, but so far so good in Insurgentes (my new area).
So hope everything is going really well at home for everbody. Now I'm going to ask a favor from everybody that I really hope you guys follow through with. This may come out really cheesy, but I want to hear how everybody in this family got their testimonies. Doesn't need to be some huge, miraculous moment or whatever, but how they slowly and steadily got their testimony. If you guys could write me about that I would love it.
Anyways better get going. But the email Brett sent of Kevin traveling back in time to be his own Santa Clause made me laugh so hard, and so did Greg's family night blooping story. Man I love this family. Okay everybody, take it easy, have a quality week, and talk to guys next time.
Elder Abbott

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pictures - September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011

Family! Oh man do I have a ton to tell you guys. Consider this your first letter from the great Mexican state of Durango! That's right, this letter is actually not coming from La Rosa if you can believe it. We got the transfers last night, and I said my goodbyes and now I am in a completely different state in Mexico. For those of us who know a thing or two about Mexican geography, before I was in the state of Coahuila where Torreon is, but now I moved down south more to Durango. Check a map, it's true, I know my Mexican geography. So today I woke up early, got to the bus station, and after a really long bus drive I am here! The drive was pretty epic though, a few of my buddies came with me down to Durango and we had a good time on the trip. The bus was actually really, really nice. It kinda felt like being in an airplane or something like that, even gave us never ending free Sprite, how great is that? So this new place I am at is called Surgentes and it is way different from where I was before. Durango is actually green! I haven't seen anything really green for months, so it feels great to be in a place that isn't nearly as dry, or hot. I've literally been here for like 30 minutes so officially I am still getting to know everything. Next week I should have some more interesting things to talk about. But here is some interesting companion is a Gringo! It's true, they put me with another white dude, and I am really excited about it. I still don't know him super well, but his name is Elder Toon and I am pretty sure he is from Utah. Go figure. Oh I also got to see our house too, and it's actually pretty nice! Easily the best house I have had in the Mission, it's the first house I have had with a kitchen.
So let me tell you a little bit about my last week in La Rosa. Jose and his Mom took me and my companion out to eat at the Mexican equivalent of Home Town Buffet...Sirloin! It was pretty good, but not great. But thats the thing with the buffets, may not be the best food in the world, but your for sure going to leave full. I definitely did. But honestly other than that nothing too crazy happened during my last week. It was harder than I thought it would be to say goodbye to everyone actually, never realized how close I got to everyone out there. Everyone asked me if I am ever going to come back and I had no idea what to tell them. I mean I love the people here, but I think if I take a vacation in the future it would be Hawaii and not the Mexican desert. So I said my goodbyes to everyone, everyone gave me their addresses and everything to keep in contact, and yeah, time for a new area. My time in La Rosa really was something special for me, I learned a ton. But as much as I loved it, I think I was honestly ready for a change. I was tired of being so hot all the time, I finally understand how Mom must feel in the Summer.
How is everyone doing at home? September 11th was last week, and I almost forgot until somebody reminded me. Turns out it was a massive event here in Mexico too. I still totally remember that day, I was in....3rd grade? Or maybe 2nd grade, not sure, but I remember our teacher starting to cry and trying to explain to us kids what just happened. Then I remember coming home and seeing Mark watch the news, and Mark never watches the news so thats when I knew something crazy went down. Definitely a day I won't forget anytime soon. Being here in Mexico has really made me appreciate how incredibly awesome our country is. We really are blessed to live where we do and enjoy the freedom and protection we get from the law. The police here are terrible, just a bunch of schmutzes. But anyways, I definitely feel grateful to be a Gringo we pretty much got it made in the shade back in the US of A.
Okay family, think I gotta cut it kinda short this week because it's a little late. I'll tell you everything about the new area and companion next week. Apparently right now we are going to eat tacos with some members, this area is already being good to me. Hope everything is going really good at home, the church is true, and I'll talk to you guys next week!
Elder Abbott

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011

Hey Family! So yup, I am officially 20 years old, can't you guys tell? Believe it or not I actually feel older, usually I feel pretty much the same after a birthday but now that I am in the big 2-0 I guess I feel a little bigger than before. I probably don't really look it in my pictures, but I definitely don't feel like the same Tyler that left for the Mish ten months ago. What they say about the Mission really is true ya know, you grow a lot. I mean if I was still at home right now going to school and everything, I'm sure I wouldn't have the same kind of growth I've experienced while being a Missionary. There are tons of experiences and things that you can only find in the Mission, and you really do learn a lot from them. Anyways, had a pretty quality Birthday week this week considering I got to have two delicious dinners on two seperate occasions. Like I told you guys I got to eat some super good Carne Asada on Thursday with cake and the whole thing, and then on Friday got to eat some huge hamburgers. The people here in Mexico give you so much food, you wouldn't even believe it. If you don't ask for seconds your basically saying that the food was terrible, so as a Missionary you gotta ask for seconds everytime. Needless to say I ate a ton this week, and it was really, really good. Can you tell in the pictures that I am thickening out? I feel way bigger than I ever was before, all my clothes have gotten too small for me and I've got some of the worlds tightest white shirts that I rock everyday. Oh and guess what else happened this week, I got my birthday package on Sunday! How perfect is that? It was pretty much like a normal Birthday when you think about it. I had some good food with friends on Friday and Saturday, and got the family package on Sunday. That's how my birthdays go normally, right? Friends and stuff on the weekend, and the family party on Sunday? Well I thought it worked out perfectly, And Mom just so you know, the pants fit perfectly, the socks are exactly what I needed, and the ties are awesome. And even as we speak I have Haribo gummy bears sitting in my fridge at home, I cannot wait to go and eat them. Really couldn't ask for a better birthday for my first in Mexico. So 20 years old is going to be the only year of my entire life that I will be a Missionary for the whole year, kinda weird, huh? I feel like I just turned 19 not too long ago, and I'm sure this next year will go by even faster, so I gotta take advantage of the time here while I got it.

So besides all the Birthday festivities and what not, nothing too crazy to report this week. Me and my companion were both sick this week and I'm still a little sick to tell you the truth. First I got sick with a cold/fever kinda thing, and then Elder Chavez got sick, and then I felt better and now I feel kinda sick again. It's kinda been an off week, but whether or sick or not we are going to have to get to work this next week. 95% this is my last week in La Rosa and I want to make sure all of my converts are strong in the church and we find a few new investigators for Elder Chavez and his new companion that will be coming in next week. One funny thing did happen this week though, Saturday our Zone Leaders asked us to go to the Stake Primary Talent Show that was in our building to go and see if any investigators come. So we went and took Jose with us, no investigators came but it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. So many stressed out parents trying to get their tiny, tiny kids to sing songs that they don't even know. It pretty much changed into a parent talent show because none of the kids wanted to sing and so the parents just did their talent for them. Naturally me, Elder Chavez, and Jose really enjoyed it.

So how was were the Birthdays back at home? Hopefully Greg and Dad has awesome Birthdays too and got plenty of socks as well. What did you guys eat for the Birthday dinner? How good did Mark and Greg sing Happy Birthday this time? How long did they hold the last note on "" Well I'm sure it was good times at home as it always is. Also Mom, I got the Abbott Family jeopardy thing in the package as well. The only question I remember it "what is the nickname for our neighbors who live across the street." I instantly knew that one, the Fat People. I only remember seeing that family like three times in my life, but each time they seemed to get fatter and fatter. Sorry, is that no class? Well it's true. Okay family, thinking I better get going, but just want to let you all know how much I love you. Thanks everyone for remembering me on me and Greg's Birthday, I really didn't feel home sick on my Birthday because I knew everyone was remembering ol' Tyler back at home. So as always the Church really is true, and it's the way that we can be a family for forever and have many a Birthday to share together.

Elder Abbott