Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

Family! Another week down in the ol' Mish. It's nice how fast time goes now a days for me, I feel like every other day is P-Day, the second most sacred day in the week. So what has been going on lately? Well sir, it's actually been a pretty good week considering this being the week when the Pope was in Mexico again. I've got nothing against that guy, but I feel like he is here too often, and makes me people less interested to listen to us. Word on the street was his Pope-Mobile was going to go by Zacatecas, but change of plans and he wen to Quetero instead, lame! But all in all, we had 4 new people in the church this week, which is like the equivalent of a triple-double in the NBA. Score! Plus my companion got "sick" for a couple of days. I think I understand a little better how Mom felt when I said was "sick" in elementary school. But either way, the results where there when Sunday rolled around, so no complaints.

So how are the coolest investigatores you ask? Well let me tell you. Juan is my favorite right now, the one who is originally from Texas, but got deported. I actually have taught a lot of people who have gotten deported, but I really enjoy talking about the United States, so it's all good. Juan has been in jail for over 9 years, but he's totally not the way you think he is, just got involved with the wrong kind of people is all. But now he is turning it all around, and making things happen. He speaks more English than Spanish, so it's always fun to get our chit-chat in my native tongue and no one else understands us. When we went to pick him up to go to Church on Sunday, he told me, "hold up, let me grab my jacket, I'm working the Mr. Rogers." The classic sweater and jacket combo. Investigatores who say stufff like that definitely don't grow on tree's around here, or should I say they don't grow on cactus's around here. Get it? I'm in the desert in Mexico. That's right, I've become 100x more funny as a Missionary. Speaking of funny things that happen as a and my companion were talking last night about all the weird things the other ones does while there sleeping. Turns out I talk in my sleep and give missionary lessons in Spanish. Apparently I talked about fasting a couple nights ago, and I talked about Joseph Smith the other night. It's weird being bilingual even in your sleep. Sleeping in the same room as my companion is like being stuck with that guy who snores like a elephant for that one night in Fathers and Sons, except you experience it every night. But whatever, I think I'm getting used to it. Anywho, the other cool investigator is Jose Abel, who is actually in a Marache Band! I never thought I'd teach a Marache guy the Gospel, but the Mission is definitely full of surprises. Today was a solid P-Day playing hoops, and playing the card game Bang! that I bought in Utah forever ago. This week should be pretty laid-back with Zone Conference tomorrow and General Conference this weekend. So much sitting down. But it's all good, sitting down is a underrated thing for me at this point. I hope I get some letters tomorrow in Zone Conference, I haven't gotten any in forever!

So that's my life these days, whats going on back at home? Sounds like Hunger Games was totally awesome, definitely put that on my list of movies I gotta see when I get back. Those books are in my third favorite book series of all time, right behind HP and Lord of the Rings. Such fantastic books to read the Summer before the Mish. Man, lots of stuff I got to check out when I get back, Harry Potter movies, Hunger Games, new Batman....that Zombie TV series that came out. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little excited about all that stuff. So what else is going on back at home? Mom and Dad are super close to being Missionary, which is still kinda nuts to me. They'll love it though. Can you guys think of people more awesome than Mom and Dad? Such great parents to 7 sons, always served in the church, never got their in-active on, so many back-to-school nights, guaranteed giant pocket of pop-corn every time we see a movie. And now they're serving a Mission? Heavenly Father must love Mom and Dad, they have been so solid for years. I'm super proud to be an Abbott. Other than that, sounds like everything is great at home as always, and Ramon Sessions is fast and can stay in front of someone on defense, everything that my beloved D-Fish could not. PS - I choose Syracuse to win March Madness, hopefully I beat Elder Tarabila for the second year in a row. Anyways, I love all of you guys, and am super grateful for everything you guys have been my entire life. The Church is all about us being together forever, and that something definitely worth fighting for. Boo-urns.

Elder Abbott

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

Family! It's Monday! What once was one of my least favorite days of the week, is now one of my favorites. Everything changes in the Mish. But I plan on continuing liking Mondays forever, I'll totally be a lame R.M. in no time, and I can wait to get super into FHE with Mom and Dad when I get back. Heck, we'll all be R.M.'s, we're going to have some pretty inspired FHE's I think. Me and Dad can even sing bass and tenor parts when we sing either "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel," or "Do What is Right." The two classics of Abbott Family Home Evenings. Can't wait. Well sir, It's been another week in the Mish, was ok, I guess. My turtle (Donatello) is disproving the odds and still going strong. We didn't find any cool investigators though, which happends sometimes. Or alot depending on the situation. My arm kinda hurts right now and after 2 straight hours of Mexican Basketball. It's like American Basketball, but you get punched the face more often. Always a confidence builder though, I think I understand a little better how Dwight Howard may feel when he gets so many boards.

What else has been going on this week? Alejandra finally got confirmed! Except we accidently got to the church a little late that day because we tried to bring someone to church with us, and we didn't really get to see the confirmation, but still. Oh, also my companion, Elder Garcia was Senior Companion this week. The Zone Leaders wanted us to change roles so that the young guns can learn how to become Senior Comps. It was pretty laid back for me not having to make so many decisions, and Elder Garcia could see it's not as easy as he thinks to be the one calling all the shots. But still, I'm glad to have the cell phone back in my possesion, I was missing all the Simpsons quotes last week. I also got a chance to do divisions with one of my best friends in the Mission, Elder Young, who is actually a zone leader, this week. He's a huge Rush fan, and we have tons of stuff in common, so it was pretty awesome to kick it with him for a little while. Oh, more big news in the Zacatecas area...we just had our ward combines with another branch right next to us! Guadalupe (my ward), basically ate Arroyo de la plata (the branch that goes to our building as well). I'm a fan of the trade, our ward basically just doubled in size, and we finally got a Mission Leader as well! Besides, one big, excited ward is way better than two other seperate wards who are pretty lazy.

Well thats all the exciting things I got for you guys. Personally I'm doing pretty good I suppose. Just trying to do my part and help people out down here. But whats new back at home? Mom and Dad already gave their farewell talks? And Greg and Mike newly sang "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel," infront of the Yorba Linda 3rd Ward congregation? I find that hard to believe, but they did tell me miracles would happen in my Family as I serve a Mission. Success! I would pay every peso in my pocket to see Mike and Greg belt that song in church. Plus I'm positive that they still totally remember the words of the whole song, that's so classic. I'm sure Mom and Dad loved that. So I guess the cycle will be complete, every single one of us has at one time been in the MTC, and now it's Mom and Dad's turn. But even though I'm coming on 17 months as a Missionary, they're still going to get home before I do! Live it up Mom and Dad. My buddy Tarabilda just sent me a March Madness bracket, and me and him we'll do our Annual Mission March Madness bet. Loser has to buy the Winner a coke. I triumphantly drank that coke last year thanks to UCONN, let's see if I get lucky this year.

Anything else new going on back at home? Is my X-Box still going strong at Greg's house? Chances of it being broken....95%. But hey, that's okay. I'm learning that material stuff isn't nearly as important as just being with the people you love and living the Gospel. I plan on enjoying both of those things as much as I can when I get back. I'm not going to lie, I miss all of you a ton. I love this Gospel, and I'm learning a lot as I'm trying to teach it to the other people, but I can't wait to apply all of these principals into my indepdent life again and be a better guy. I love all of you, have a great week! This is just between you and me.....smashed-hat.

Elder Abbott

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pictures - March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012

Family! Fast week in the Mish, which is always a good thing. Why? Because when you've had a fast week, it means you worked good and got a lot of chances to teach people. And weeks always go faster where there is a baptism at the end of it. And that's what happened this week! Alejandra has been one of the easiest investigatores ever, here's what a typical discussion with her went like:

Me: Hey Alejandra, did you read everything we told you to read?
Alejndra: Yes, and I totally understood everything.
Me: Really?
Alejendra: Yeah, and I went ahead and read some more stuff.
Me: Really?
Alejendra: I want to get baptized.
Me: Really?

That was kind of an average conversation with her. It's the best when you get the chance to teach someone who is totally ready for the Gospel. We had a pretty good showing for her baptism, and she asked Elder Garcia to baptize her. To be honest, I prefer not baptizing, the majority of these people freak out when they get in the water, I've got sort of punched in the face like everytime I've baptized. Elder Garcia took care of it like a champ. We even had a few investigators there to check out the baptism, always a good thing. Also we watched the Joseph Smith Restuaration video when Alejandra was changing, and the power went out right as Heavely Father, why does stuff like this always happen? Still I think it turned out pretty good. Except for the fact that she hasn't gotten confirmed yet, she was mysteriously taken away to Mexico City that night by some political group. No, I'm not kidding. But happy to say she is back, and ready to go for the next Sunday.

What else happened this week? We're still struggling to find new people to teach, but we've still got a good bit of investigatores. But we have so many hills in our area! Like as bad as that hil I always had to run up when I went to hangout in the Olson home. It's totally hot too, so I'm definitely getting my sweat on. Like Shaq at the free-throw line, ok not that bad, Shaq was totally drenched. One of my favorite investigators right now is Juan, who is actually from Texas! He knows Spanish and English, but more English than Spanish, and does some of the most hilarious Spanglish of all time. He always says "yes sir" to everybody, and sometimes makes up words that sound like Spanish when he doesn't know the word. I can definitely relate to that. Other exciting news, I bought a turtle today! Some lady on the corner in downtown Zacatecas was selling turtles with all the fixins (tank, colorful rocks, little platic tree, and food for 2 months!) for 55 pesos, can't say no to that. In fact he is swimming in a cup next to this computer, I feel good about this purcahse. Hey Cameron, want to help me pick a name for him? Send me an email and whatever name you choose will be his for time and all eternity

So how is everyone doing back at home? Mom and Dad are totally getting ready to go to the Mission, how nuts is that? Soon they'll be at the MTC getting pumped up for Friday night Pizza like I was, and Dad can school some of the Gringo's playing hoops in the MTC gym. So how does that work? Are Mom and Dad allowed to leave the MTC? We definitely weren't able to, it was kinda like The Shawshank Redemption when you finally got out. Okay not that bad, in fact I really enjoyed the MTC, but man did it feel to get out of there. What else is going on these days? March Madness should be in full swing, lets go Oral Roberts! Word on the street is Lakers beat the Celtics, that kinda stuff gives me the strength to walk up these super steep Zacatecas hills. Also Pau on the trading block? I love that handsome Spaniard, but I'm thinking we need some new blood. We had back-to-back rings in the Kobe/Pau era, and that is total success in my opinion, but time to start something new. Well sir, I guess thats all I got for you guys this week. I'm super tired in a lot of ways to tell you the truth; but I keep going because I love the Lord and everything he has done for me, and everything he wants to give me. I love all of you guys more than I know how to say, keep it classy, golf and snolf.

Elder Abbott

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pictures - March 5, 2012

March 5, 2012

Family! So I guess I officially finished my first week in Zacatecas, and it was definitely an interesting one. Zacatecas has a totally different vibe, but I'm learning to like it. It is kind of hard to leave an area you were totally used to and come to a new's like making the jump from middle school to high school or something. You had all your buddies and knew what was going and where you were, but now you have to start from scratch. Needless to say, I'm lost about 95% of the time, but my companion is helping me out to learn the area. Speaking of which, our area is gigantic! My old area was about the size of the lakebed, but this new area is like the whole city of Anaheim! It's nuts. I'm slowly but surely getting the hang of it. We do have a pretty awesome house though, easily the best house I've had in the Mission. It's two whole stories! We have two wholes bathrooms! Things like this are definitely worth getting excited for in the Mission, especially the two bathroom thing. I bet Mom and Dad won't even have two bathrooms in their fancy Pennsylvania apartment. But I bet they'll have a more comfortable bed, a TV, and less cockroaches. We also live in a really nice neighboor, it's like a little gated community, but without the gate. Our neighbors are cool and they greet us every morning, I think I've gotten a close as humanly possible to Via Madera in Mexico.

The work is actually going really well despite Guadalupe being another kinda famous area is not have baptisms. We are actually baptizing somebody this Saturday! And we're planning to have another baptize the next Saturday! And..the next Saturday! That's right, the next 3 Saturdays will have a baptism if we play our cards right. It's kinda risky to get excited about these kinda things because sometimes it doesn't work out exactly how you'd like it to, but gotta keep the faith up. Just so you know, this first Saturday is Alejandra's baptism, the next is Matzin's (never heard that name before), and the last one will be Juan (I've heard that name 10000 times). They are all super cool, and I'm way excited for them. Make sure to include them in your prayers if you can, it would be super cool if we can them all baptized. The ward as a whole looks like it's struggling a little bit, we had like 30 people in the church. Oh, and of course I am speaking next week...I'm like a Mexican high councilman. But the people we do have in the Ward are all quality, even though they can't really pronounce/remember my name, but I guess thats nothing really new.

I got to know my companion a little better this week, and he is for sure an interesting dude. I'll be honest, wasn't really a fan after the first couple of days, but we worked things out and things are going a lot better. Elder Garcia is 23 years old and from Puebla, Mexico and talks a ton! He also snores like a machine. I guess I could get used to it, but the room we sleep in is pretty tiny, and his snoring always wakes me up. Heck, it echoes around the entire house! Last night I moved my mattress into the hall way, and it was worth it. We're still getting used to each other, but things are going pretty well. He did live in Chicago for a year, so we have a little bit of United States connection. But the good news is two of my best buddies in the Mission are in the zone with me. Elder Payzant, and Elder Young. We text Simpsons quotes back and forth, very good times. This was the last text from Elder Payzant: (who is from So Cal as well!) "Bill Clinton: here is that trophy you wanted just remember if you don't get things the way you want...just complain until someone listens. Marge: that is pretty lousy thing to teach people...Bill: well I'm a pretty lousy President." Gotta love American buddies in the Mission. We also did a cool scavenger hunt thing around Downtown Zacatecas today, I went with Elder Payzant, check out some of the photos!

Well sir, it's been a long week, but I'm optimistic for the next one. So how is everything going at home? Anything cool? Very happy about the Lakers victory over the Heat, thanks for the update Marvelous. So we're officially in March Madness Season, where is my bracket? I may be in a different country right now, but I can still beat you fools in March Madness. Well, I feel like I should talk about some spiritual things now...let's see, what have I learned this week? Me and my companion had the opporunity to fast last Sunday, and it was easy to see the blessings when both Alejandra and Matzin came to church. I realize that sometimes blessings can take their time to come, but you gotta believe that they will always come. Can't lose faith of that as a Missionary, or as a person. For me the two hardest things to learn are pacience and humility, and I feel like my Mission shined a bright spotlight on those weaknesses, and I can catch glimpses that I'm actually improving in those things. Weak things become strong, but I think I'm still a working progress. Well, I love you guys, the Church is true and the key to happiness. Keep it classy, Family.

Elder Abbott