Monday, July 23, 2012

Pictures - July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012

Hey-O! How's it going, Family? Ready for another totally long, and mostly boring letter from Tyler? Yes! And even though I'm sure only half of you guys read these things now, I'll make sure to jazz it up. But this has totally been the weirdest change of my Mission thus far. Yep, another missionary in my district got sent home this week, they're dropping like flies. We started the change out with 8 missionaries. And now three laters, three got sent home for being dummys, and one just sort of disappeared to Torreon. Best District Leader ever. And now I'm in a trio of three missionaries, and I am responsible for two areas. And my two companions already spent all their money for the month and I have to pay for everything! Awesome. It's for sure been an adventure, but oh boy am I tired. But in all honesty, my district is probably better off now than it was when we started out. Now we've got two solid Sister Missionaries doing their thing in the downtown, and I got to take all the investigators that were in the area of the Missionary that got sent home. Score!

It has been raining a ton out here in Zacatecas. A ton! So much that the roof of our house got pretty much destroyed. We got back to our house Wednesday night, and our house was basically flooded and it was raining harder inside than it was outside. Worst thing ever to come home to when your totally tired from working all day! We moved all the beds downstairs, but that was the wetest mattress I have ever slept on in my life. Plus I ended up getting sick that night from the food the member gave us earlier that day. Oh man, that was a long night. I'm totally complaining a ton right now, aren't I? They always tell us how we should just talk about the good things that happen, but I mean, you guys are my family, I think I can be honest with you guys. But it's funny, all these lousy things we have to go through sometimes always end up being good memories. I was sort of laughing the entire time I was writing this. I figure the whole Mission will be like that looking back when it's said and done, just good memories. And don't worry, some definite good things also went down this week. It's looking like we should be able to baptize a few more peeps this change, including Gerrardo, who's blind actually, and his wife and kids are member sof the church. He's the funniest dude I've met here in Mexico. He was an investigator for the other missionaries, but looks like we'll be the one's who get to baptize him. I actually did his pre-baptism interview, but turns out he needs an interview with Presidente, so we're waiting tell President can give him the interview and he's good to go. We've got some other people coming out of the woodwork, and things are looking up. Oh, and it stopped raining, and our house isn't nearly as wet. Thank goodness.

So thats been whats going on out here, can't complain I guess. Whats new at home? The Olympics are just about ready to start, right? The best Olympics moment of my life, was when me and Marv we're flying to Utah for some reason, JetBlue of course. The second the little TV's turned on, it was tip off of a Team USA versus China Basketball game. Super entertaining game, and the game end literally as we were making the descent into Salt Lake. That's more like one of the best moments of my life. True magic there. Enjoy those Olympics, and enjoy Michael Phelps winning 35 more Gold Medals. Other than that, sounds like everything is pretty laid-back at home. As it should be. Well, the Church is just true as it was when I told you guys last week. If not more so. I'm pumped to live the Gospel the best I can with my wife and kids someday. Good times around the bend. Keep it real Family, you guys rock.

Elder Abbott  

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012

Family! All these Mondays are coming and going so incredibly fast. Guarantee you guys totally lose track of time too and are like, "why does Tyler write me like every other day?" Yep, thats kinda how I feel these days too. It's like Tuesday-Saturday is like one big day, Sunday, and then Monday. Basically three days in the week for me at this point. And I'm always in a tie. Always! It'll be so weird to be hanging out in shorts and a t-shirt again, but oh man will it be awesome.

So it's been kind of a crazy week actually, we had changes! Presidente came to town a few days ago to give us the low-down on all the new mission game plan, and what we're going to do all day instead of knocking doors. But as Presidente was leaving, like literally out the door, he mentions, "by the way, some of you might have changes, just so you know." Changes are a pretty big deal out here. When you have changes, everything gets turned upside down all over again and you pretty much have to start over. So naturally we were kinda curious about who would have changes. Turns out we get a cal that night and Elder Calderon is outta here and getting shipped out to Torreon. I happened to be doing divisions with Zone-Leaders at the time, so that made things more complicated, but we worked it out. So happy it wasn't me that got sent to Torreon, it's a million degrees out there. Out here in Zacatecas, I gotta break the sweater out from time to time, it gets chilly. But anyways, that same day my new companion, Elder Vargas, got here. He's from some impossible to pronounce state of Mexico, somewhere in South. But the truth is that I'm a bigger fan of this dude than Elder Calderon. Calderon is cool, but it's never fun being senior companion to a junior companion who has a year in a half in the mission. Elder Vargas has like 9 months in the mission, thats much more doable. And since he got here, investigators have been kinda coming out of the woodwork and we're starting to make things happen. We've got three mas-o-menos sure baptisms for this change, just gotta get two of them married, and the other one just has to come to church one more time. I've been the witness to some many weddings out here. I never thought I'd be signing my name on a Mexican Marriage Certificate. As you guys can probably imagine, it's a cool feeling. What else is new? So we haven't stopped knocking doors yet, we're still waiting here in Zacatecas for the Stake to figure out the missionary work game plan. A few stakes in Torreon have already started, but out here in Zacatecas things are a little slower, but I'm sure we'll make things happen soon enough. Is that what they do back at home? The only fun time to knock doors in Yorba Linda is when it's Halloween, and even that can get a little tiring after a few 100 Grands and Almond-joy. Hopefully all the missions make this jump soon, it can really make some big improvements in the Church as a whole. If the members get a little more involved, we could double the number of members in the world in no time. Callin' it.

So I guess thats my life right now, can't complain. And so yeah, I've had Steve Nash and the Lakers 2012-2013 season in the back of my head for the past week or so, but I don't think thats a bad thing. Alright, so sometimes it gets a little overwhelming when people out here tell me about all the cool things happening...Steve Nash trade, new Batman movie, new games, music, etc. And here's the truth, I am super excited for all that, but at the same time I feel like I have a better understanding of what really is important in life. I'm not just going to be the exact same ol' Tyler when I come back, I guess I've got a better feel for priorities in life. Don't worry, I'm not going to be super weird when I get back and totally freak out at Greg when he drinks his Green Tea, but just make some personal changes in my life afterwards to keep the same spirit I've been feeling going. But anyways, how excited is everyone to see the new Batman movie? It looks incredible. Christopher Nolan is one of the sure-fire guys for me in this world, along with Vampire Weekend, Peter Jackson, and Bill Simmons. If they come out with something, you know it's going to be awesome. Also I would put the Prophet on that list too. #1. Hope everything is great back at home, and people are livin' it up in summer time. The Church is true, and it really does make a difference in the way we live. I love you Family, keep on truckin'.

Elder Abbott

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pictures - July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012

Family! Another week down, which means I have like 17 weeks left. I'm not counting or anything. Doesn't that seem like a long time, and a really not that long time? Sure 17 weeks isn't like next week or anything, but it's a whole lot less than 24 months. Don't get me wrong, I'm super grateful to be out here and to be learning the things I'm learning, but what with the Steve Nash trade and all...I'm sort of really exciting for some Post-Mish things. I think thats entirely normal, right? And I'm still ratchin' it up down here, so nothing to worry about.

So in all honesty this was one of the slower weeks in a while. We sort of baptized everyone we had all last change, and suddenly we have like nobody. I guess I was banking of having changes, but the Lord can have a funny way of teaching us things we need to learn. I'm optimistic though, we're going through some pretty drastic changes out here in the Mission Mexico, Torreon, believe you me. Hey Heather, do you remember when you told me that all the missionaries in San Francisco stopped knocking doors all together? Well, we're going to do that too! This is pretty amazing news after having knocked doors for 20 months in true heat. Apparently we're going 100% working with the members and getting references from them, and when we're not getting reference we go and work with the less-active peeps. And if the Ward never gives us reference and uses the missionaries, they're just going to take the missionaries out. Interesting, right? I'm excited about, because it's definitely time for a change out here. After so many years of knocking doors, and the members doing pretty much nothing for the missionary effort, it's time to change things up. So I'm hoping we can get a lot of new investigators out of that, we could use the help. I don't know if they already started doing that back at home, but it should be fun. Hmm...what else is going on? All the members make fun of me for being here so long, the Bishop was asking me if he should get my records from Yorba Linda transfered to Zacatecas. I told him if they keep me here another change, go for it.

Oh, today I went to Sam's club. That was pretty cool, I haven't been there in forever! We didn't really know what to do when we walked in, so we basically stood around for 5 minutes, and then went and bought pizza. It's not as good as Costco pizza, but not bad. But all the rich people from Mexico shop at Sam's Club, so it was cool to see Zacatecas' highest class citizens, I felt sort of out of place actually. I've gotten totally used to less-than-fancy things.The Brea Mall will blow my mind when I see it again. Oh, and I'm also sending the pictures from the baptism we had las week. As always, the people in the picture look like they're in pain, why do Mexicans always look so angry in pictures? And then there's me, getting my asian eyes on hardcore. People totally believe me when I say I'm Japanese.

So what's going on back at home? 4th of July just happened, and I didn't even realize it until the day after. Hopefully 2012 will be the last time that ever happends. You know, if the world doesn't end and everything. Which almost everyone here believes. But obviously the best part of 4th of July....Steve Nash! I've always liked Steve Nash, how could you ever hate on that guy? Totally great player, hard worker, not trashy, family man...what's not to love? Him and Pau might just go down as my favorite Lakers ever, if Nash stikes around and doesn't stink it up. Man, I am so pumped up for the next season. True magic there. Other than that, life sounds like it's pretty sweet down at home. The Church is true, the Gospel is what makes us happy, and I'm totally sure about it. Had I never gone on a Mission, I probably would never really have figure that out, or at least it would have taken a way longer time. Take it easy Family.

Elder Abbott

Monday, July 2, 2012 Profile

July 2, 2012

Family! So yep, just like that it's a brand new change in the Mish Dish. Was that just me or did that last change go by incredibly fast? You guys probably didn't even really notice, but man it was fast for me. So me and Elder Pineda had changes, what do you guys think happened? Considering I had more time in this area than Elder Pineda, wouldn't it make sense that he would stay here in Guadalupe, and I would go to a new area? Wrong! Yes sir, Elder Pineda had changes, and I get to stay here for another round in Guadalupe, Zacatecas. By the end of this change, I'll have 6 months here. Whole quarter of the Mission. We were all pretty surprised by the news, everyone thought I was out of here, but I guess President didn't get the memo. I'm totally cool with it though, this area has got to be one of the best of the Mission, and by that I mean the least hot. It's actually been raining a ton out here if you can believe it. Isn't that awesome? Everyone else in Durango and Torreon are totally gettin' their sweat on, and it might as well be Winter out here in Zacatecas. Cool deal. Not to mention that I love the Ward out here, there are tons of people to work with, and the house is sweet. Win-Win.

So want to hear about my new companion? You guessed, he's another Latin kid, of course. White companion? That'll never happen. Well this one is named Elder Calderon, and he is from Vera Cruz. And for those of you that are keeping track, he's my 3rd companion from Vera Cruz. I still don't even really know where that is, and I don't think you guys do either (besides Vicky), but sounds like a nice place. I actually met this dude a year ago, he was in my zone in Torreon, and I haven't seen him since until just now. He's got like 18 months in the Mission, and still isn't ready to be Senior Companion, that should say something for those of you who have gone on missions. But the truth is that I'm a fan of the guy, I just gotta keep an eye on him, and we'll be good to go. But speaking of time in the Mission, tomorrow I will officially have 20 months as a Missionary. Crazy, right? That's a whole lot of time! I remember hearing when I first got here about missionaries who had like 20 months, and I would think to myself "no way! that dude has been here forever!" So yep, now I guess I'm that dude. But that's cool, I feel pretty at home around these parts. I still get lost all the time, but thats nothing new. Oh yeah, we baptized Gabby last Saturday! I forgot my camera cable so I can't send the pictures sadly, but you guys can take my word for it for now. It was the easiest baptism ever. We accidently almost flooded the baptismal faunt, and the water was nearly up to Gabby's neck. I basically just had to bend her back a tiny bit, and she was completely under water. Gotta love baptizing not gigantic people in very little water. So actually that last change with Elder Pineda was my most successful change thus far. 5 baptisms! Not bad, right? Who says you can't baptize in Zacatecas?

So thats whats going on in my life right now. Whats going on at home? 4th of July action? Nothing was better than kickin' at Greg's apartment all day, and watching the fireworks right outside his house. Going down to the high school to check out all the cheesy 4th of July stuff. Good times. It's kinda comforting to know this will be the last time I miss 4th of July, I hope to never, ever be in a different country during 4th of July again. I'm confident that I'll complete that goal. So enjoy 4th of July family, United States rocks. Believe you me. But I still got a special place in my heart for our buddies from the South, Los Mehicanos. Other than that, hope everything is awesome back at home as always. Oh and check this out: . That is my profile. Seems like the Church is making a big push with this website, so you guys should make one if you have the chance. Well anyways, the Church is true, and I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to be able to represent it. Keep it real, Hans.

Elder Abbott