Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

Family! Who's ready for another totally boring Missionary letter? Come on Greg, doesn't our investigator Juan pump you up? Well actually I'm not really pumped up about that guy either, didn't come to church. So this is probably like the 120th email I've sent you guys, I wonder who still reads these things...Most of you fools have iPads or iPhones or iTouches or something like that, so no excuses! But I would still totally read Mom and Dad's email before mine, Pennsylvania has got to be super exciting. Not in a "I got robbed!" kind of way, but in a more Spirtual kinda way. I think I'd probably prefer Pennsylvania exciting over Mexico exciting, but hey I don't think I'd rather be anywhere else right now. Gotta love those drunk guys trying to speak English. But man, you guys have been so solid writing me this whole time. I'm sure I never say it enough, but I love you guys. Well then, whats been going on in my life?

Good week, and guess who is our best investigator right now...Jose Abel! Thats right, the Mariachi! In fact, he gave me and my companion breakfast the other day. Incredibly spicy scrambled eggs, but still, totally delicious. And besides, It's gotta be a good sign when your investigators invite you eat with them, right? The only thing is that his Mariachi buddies give him a hard time while he is trying to live the Word of Wisdom. But the man is determined, and I'm pumped to teach him. The rest of our investigators our kinda starting to disappear, but we've still got tons of doors we haven't knocked, so always opportunities around the corner. I got to do divisions with my good buddy Elder Young again (who happends to be Zone Leader, we're supposed to do divisions!), which is always good times. We're both trying our best to not stress out a little bit about all the big decisiones we have to make pretty soon. How in the world am I coming on my 21st birthday? Whatever, I shouldn't think about it, alls I knows is is that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, and thats a good feeling. More exciting, I found a trantula in our house the other day! Not even kidding, I turned around in the kitchen, and this gigantic spider was right behind me! But within seconds the thing just went sprinting to the door, totally ran into the wall the first time, but then it figured out where the doors at. I guess another example of Mexico exciting. I remember Brett telling me about him waking up in the Mission with a trantula on his face. Dude, that sounds terrible. This one wasn't as bad, but still. Oh, and we also got to help out in a Youth Conference thing out here. The stake organized this whole Lehi's Dream acitivity, and all the kids has to follow this rope (the iron rod), blindfolded. So it was our job just to distract them, and I just sprayed kids in the face with a water-sprying thing (whats that called in English) for like an hour and a half. Totally good times. Always fun when you get a little change of pace in the Mish. I'm loving my time as District Leader, I think it's exactly what I needed. It's cool to see how the Lord is teaching me how to care about other people more, even other Missionaries (even the guys I totally didn't like before). I have to do divisiones all the time with other missionaries, but I actually like it. I know like all of Zacatecas now. Maybe I'm getting better at remembering directions, I remember being a Freshman in High School having literally no idea how to get home from El Dorado. It took me like two years to figure it out. Thanks for passing along that great attribute to me, Mom and Dad. Thank goodness man invented the GPS.

So how is everyone back at home? Marv told me about the Lakers/Thunder game, sounds like it was pretty nuts. Can't say I'm too suprised about Ron-Ron, did we really expect him to go through an entire season without getting into some weird fight? I guess even the Metta World Peace version still gets involved in weird stuff. Hey Brett, thanks for the videos of the kids, they are already totally better than I have was at baseball. They hit the ball! What studs. And, and a public congrats to Kev on buying his first mini-van, you are officially an old man! What ever happened to the Green Civic? Thats the classic Kevin car. Just like Mike's classic car was the one he told to the Mexicans who live behind the house. Greg's is his black jeep...and Brett's is the peanut M&M, and Mark's is the passport. I've been walking non stop for like 18 months, man do I miss having a car. So what else is going on? Do you guys realize I get to call home again in like two weeks? This is my last phone call of the Mish, so we gotta get the mega-podcast going on. Can't wait. Well sir, life is pretty good at this point, just trying to help the Lord in his work and at the same time I'm starting to notice how much he has taught me during this time. It's hard to see when it's super hot and you're stuck with a totally weird dude all day, but when I take the step back, mam I'm grateful for all the things I've learned out here, I never, ever would have learned them otherwise. The Gospel is true, and it's what gives us eternal happiness. I know it, fools. Love you guys, have a good week!

Elder Abbott

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pictures - April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Family! Man, it's been another totally crazy fast week. There are tons of stuff I have to do as District Leader! But I gotta admit, I'm really enjoying it. Somebody explained it me like this (why do people always compare mission stuff to being married?): when you're just the senior companion, it's like when it's just you are your wife, making decisions together and kickin' it. But when your district leader, it's like you have your family, and you gotta watch out for all those fools. But being Zone Leader is like being grandparents, plan some family gatherings, make sure the parents are doing their job, and thats about it. All in all, I think it's way easier to be a grandparent, but it's cool. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense, I'm realizing more and more that my English is seriously slipping. How weird is that, right? But when I'm talking English, I say things that don't make any sense all the time. Plus when I called home on Christmas and Mark picked up, he totally thought I was some random Mexican dude at first. That was a blow. But hey, I'd rather come back from the Mish sounding like Jack Black in Nacho Libre than Michael Jackson (Marvelous). Softest chinese voice ever. Anyways, so whats going on in my life?

My companion is great! Elder Pineda is totally laid-back and likes American things, so we have stuff in common! I had to fake interest in so many others with older companions, but now I don't even have to! Good stuff. The dude kills me in Monopoly Deal everytime we play though. Good thing the "no dice!" days are over. But Elder Pineda has been helping me out a ton with all of my new responisibilities. I am in charge of 6 Missionaries and 4 different areas, and I have to make a lot of phone calls every day. I feel like how Randy must feel every day of his life, true businessman. Hey Mom, do you remember talking to the Mom of Elder Myers on that Missionary blog thing? Well gues what, he's in my district! Always good to have another guy from California, we do some good great Lakers talk. All the guys in my district are good guys, some of them are kinda struggling with a few things, but I've definitely been there, so I'm going to do my best to help them out. I actually had some good support from my district lesson this week (I have to give a class every week). I choose to talk about Esperanza, or hope (sounds cooler in Spanish). The point I tried to make was this: if we don't have hope that something good will happen, we won't have any desire to do the right thing. Gotta have hope that all the sacrifices we make out here will result in awesome blessings in the mission field, as well as in the rest of our lives. I make the Missionaries make card castles out of playing cards, and the winner got gummy bears. They ended up getting into it, because they was a prize. Same thing in the Mish, if we got our eyes on the prize, we'll get much more into the work. Well I definitely learned something when I was giving the class. Cool stuff.

Today we went to a pretty cool musuem. Thats right, my emails just keep getting more and more exciting. It was all these masks from differnet parts of Mexico in ancient times. Most of them were creepy looking, but it was good times. Check out the pictures! As for ther rest of the week...well we had someone new come to the church! A lady and her two little kids, except her two little kids totally went nuts when they got to the church. Well whatever, I'm sure the Spirit was able to break though all of it and get to our investigator. The rest of the peoplwe we're teaching get lazy every Sunday. Boo....

So whats going on back at home? The usg? Price is Right re-runs, and the "Run/Walk?" So hey, when do playoffs start? Like around May, right? I almost hope the Lakers don't win this year, so they'll have more momentum going into the next season when I can actually watch the games. I beat Heat will end up winning with an asterisk because of the shortened season, and end up being the only title Lebron actually gets. Should never have left the Cavs. Anyways, time for the spiritual stuff I'm thinking. Wherever you guys are right now, you guys really should just be happy. Life is all about the simple things, and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is about as good as it gets. I mean, think about it. When are we the most happiest? When we're all together as a Family, right? Well the Gospel is all about us being able to do that forever, and be good people. Can't sniff at that. Love you guys, keep on truckin'.

Elder Abbott

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Family! Lots of cool stuff to report this week, definitely should be one of my less boring emails. First and foremost, I had changes! I'm still here in Zacatecas, but had a little change of companion acion. And those of you have been following my emails know that that is exactly what I wanted! My companion actually hasn't even got here yet, I have go down to the bus station in a second to pick him up. But I actually already know the guy, and I'm definitely a fan. His name is Elder Piñeda, and he is from Honduras actually. Guess me and Brett will understand each other a little better over the next couple of weeks. I've sort of noticed that I actually get along mostly with people who aren't from Mexico. My American companion, Elder Toone, fantastic, my little Peruvian companion, Elder Astete, good times, and now I get my shot with a dude from Honduras. I don't know, it's just sort of easier to relate with guys who also feel sort of new in the country. Plus I can speak my mind a little easier about some of the less than great things about Mexico. Don't get me wrong, I love the people around here and the chance I have to teach them, but not sure I would ever want to live here. No offense. And guess what else, I'm...district leader? Yep, it's true. Now I'm in charge of like 8 different missionaries and have tons more responsibilities! I'm actually pretty excited about it, should be a good change of pace and keep me focused. Except now I have to give a class every single Sunday, and call the Missionaries every night, and lots of other little things, but whatever, it's where the Lord wants me right now.

So back up a little bit. It's been a pretty good week, just looking for people to teach as always.We've actually got some people who are sort of progressing, but nobody who really seems that golden. Plus this whole week has been semana santa, or Holy Week, which means the majority of the people have been drinking definitely more than they should. So that didn't really help us at all, except it is sort of funny when all the drunk people try to talk to me in English. It seriously happends every time, "hey," in a super strong accent. But they generally friendly, so no big deal. And besides that, tons of people were out of town, so kind of a tough week in that aspect. But! Alejandra's Dad did end up coming to Church this week, which was totally unexpected, but very cool. That always seems to happen, the people we're working with strugle a ton coming to church, but when Sunday rolls around, somebody always ends up being in the Church. No complaints. So pretty much the week ending up going by pretty fast, and now one of my best buddies, Elder Payzant is going home in three days! In fact, he is right next to me, I will be missing him. He is from Rancho Cucamonga, right down the freeway, and he promised he'll think of me when he takes a bite out of an In-N-Out hamburger later this week. I'm only a little bit jealous.

So whats going on back at home? Mom and Dad are alerady out of the MTC! I was in there for forever, and I definitely didn't get to stay in the Marriot Hotel like they did. But the MTC was pretty classic times, I enjoyed it. But Mom and Dad are hittin' the field, and we'll do some definite good out there in Scranton, their first area. But other than, sounds like life is pretty laid back back at home. And thats just the way I want it to be. Well, I probably shouldn't start my new companionship off on a bad foot and forget my companion at the bus station, so I better get going. But I love all of you guys, and I love the Church, easily the two most important things in my life. Keep relaxin', and maxin', and golfin', and snolfin'.

Elder Abbott

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pictures - April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Hey Family! How's life? It's Monday again and that's just fantastic, as always. I've watched that Brandon Flowers "I'm a Mormon" video about 35 times (just to listen to the music in the backround). And let me tell ya, I am loving it. Anyways, I guess this won't be the only boring Missionary letter you fools get this week, Mom and Dad are officially Missionaries! I bet Mom and Dad's letters will totally be more exciting and mention the NBA less, win-win situation for everybody. I guess there is a part of my brain thats constantly looking for NBA analogies in the Mission, it helps me understand things better. I feel the brothers will know what I'm talking about.

So whats been going on this week? It went by super fast, which usually means and lot of stuff went down, let's see if I can remember all of it. You guys would not believe how many conferences I have had to atttend this week. I feel like a Prime Minister. Actually I guess it's not that many, just two, Zone Conference and General Conference. Both being great because we get to sit down for so long. I remember Greg asking Mark once about what kind of things Missionaries get excited about or look forward to, and being in a somewhat air-conditioned room, sitting down for a long period of time is for sure in that list. I think the two Mark mentioned was sleeping and eating...those are for sure true as well. But besides that, I definitely learn a lot in those conferences. In Zone Conferences, President Flores usually just kinda gets mad at us for 6 hours, but he does drop some straight-up wisdom every once and again. I have never appreciated General Conference enough in my life, it's the coolest thing ever! I mean think about it, the things said in that conference is exactly what the Lord wants us to know for the next 6 months! It's really not that hard figuring this life out, you just gotta listen to the Prophet and Apostles, they'll tell you whats up. Uchtdorf as always is my main man when it comes to conference talks, he always hit the perfect chord with me. Maybe thats why there are 14 Apostles, all of them sort of apply to a different way of thinking. All of them are great of course, but I kinda can connect better with others. Not to mention, all of un American Elders watched Conference in a seperate room on a little TV, in English! So much better when you can hear their voices. Such a bummer when you hear the Prophets familiar voice, and then some random Spanish translator with a weird comes in. I definitely prefer English. I'm for sure going to get more into Conference back at home than I did before, Conference Bingo won't even be necessary Mom.

So that was the good side of this week, the bad side, I got totally sick! Every once and again. the lady who gives us food that day will just give us money to go buy something to eat. I love when this happens obviously, I will always love going out to eat when I get the chance. But anyways, we went to the classic taco stand by the Church, and I ended up eating 10 tacos and a bunch of grilled onion. Turns out some it ended up being under-cooked, and so my stomach more or less exploded for the next couple of days. So that was awful, but I'm definitely feeling better now. In fact today we did a Carne Asada at the Stake Center for the farewell of one of my best buddies in the Mish, Elder Payzant. Crazy to think it, but he's catching the plane back home next week. It's weird seeing a lot of friends starting to go home, I guess my turn really isn't all that far away. It's April already! I'll be 21 in 5 months, now thats ridiculous. Well sir, those were the highlights and the lowlights of the week. It's finally the last week of the change, my companion has been pretty terrible, I'll just tell you guys the truth. President actually came to inspect the houses out here in Zacatecas, and when after he checked ours, he told the Zone Leaders that: "Elder Garcia is a problem, we need to send him to an area where he can learn obedience and be humble, Elder Abbott has become an excellent missionary." I'm not even making it up! Maybe I'm bragging a little bit, but I was super happy to hear that. I don't mean to throw my companion under the bus so much, but I'm taking Presidents side on this one.

So how is everyone at home? Is March Madness over yet? I guess Syracuse lost, what a jip! It is so hard to pick the right team in March Madness. But man is it fun to watch when you have the chance. I heard that the Claytons are moving to Texas, what a jip! One of the greatest YL3 families to enter the Ohio Building, I'm bummed I won't be able to talk to Bish Clayton when I get back. But I bet they'll visit, right? Whats happening to Yorba Linda Third Ward? Mom and Dad gone, Claytons gone, who's next? Youngbergs?! Nope, that will never happen. Well I hope everything is great back at home, as it usually is. I love all of you, and I love the Gospel. Had I never been a Missionary I don't think I ever really would have gained that testimony, I've really had to depend on the Lord at points where there is really nobody else. The Mish has a lot of not so great things that happen, but at least I know I'll be walking out of it a better man with a stronger testimony of the Gospel that I did coming into it. So yup, thats my life, I love all of you. "Look! A Frezier Greezer! ....Moon Pies, what a time to be alive."

Elder Abbott