Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

Family! So guess what, my missionary email got deleted last week for some reason. They told me it was because I had two emails assigned to my church account (I had one before the Mission, and they gave me one to use as an email for the Mission), and they got confused which one was which and they Church ended up deleting my Missionary account. So I guess I have to use this for the next two months. I don't have everyone in the families email address, so if you guys could send me your current email address, that would be awesome. Sorry I can't respond to your emails this week or even read them, my account got deleted last week. But yeah, it's been a good week in the Mish. I have to give a Zone-Conference to 50 missionaries tomorrow...totally not ready for it, but should be good times. Also we've got a baptism lined up for this next week! His name is Fidel (not Castro), I'll try to get back on the picture train and send more next week. I'm also turning 21 next week, sounds kinda crazy, doesn't it? The Church is true.
Elder Abbott

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Family! Wow, first week as Zone-Leader down. I know I usually talk about how incredibly fast the week went by, but this week was kind of a different story. But it's pretty much always like that your first change in a new area, especially when it's 1000 degrees outside. Yep, I've entered the sweat-zone again, and yes, I am sweating as I right this. Sort of like that fat guy on Simpsons..."I shouldn't have said anything about a secret's too hot today.." Sorry Mom and Dad, I may be a Missionary, but Simpsons will never stop being funny for me. Anyways, I'll fill you guys in whats going on in my life nowadays.
My new companion is Elder Garcia, yep, the Elder Garcia companion part 2 (same last name, different guy, thank goodness). This is actually his last change, and we're Zone-Leader'n it together. He's a pretty cool guy, the first Mexican I've met with a British sort of sense of humor. Totally reminds of me of the Michael on the British version of The Office. He's from Puebla, and will be out the door in no time, so I probably won't even really get that used to him. But he is teaching me the ropes on how to be a Zone-Leader, which is a whole different ball game I'll have you know. It's fun, and is actually less work than being a District Leader, win-win. The area, Alemedas, is pretty ugly, but still good. We've got a man named "Luis" who lives next to our house, and he is 98 years old. For some reason he thinks that we don't speak Spanish, and always tries to speak to us in English. Makes me laugh so hard, I have no idea what he is saying when we walk by and he yells at us. My companion does like practicing his English with him though. Our ward is cool, but we're actually going to have a huge change in Torreon this week, combining and taking out wards and whatnot in all the Stakes out here in Torreon. We've got some pretty fancy meeting this week with Stake Presidents and other people to plan out all the changes. I never thought I'd be involved in the kinda meeting where the fate of several stakes is involved. Yes, I'm finally important! It's a cool feeling. But no, it's not getting to my head. I'm sure I'll just sit there and not say anything, but still. The other good news, is that I've good a cool buddy in the Zone, Elder Bell, who happens to be from Laguna Beach. Nothing better than finding a fellow Californian to joke around with, as much as I love kids from Utah...there's no comparison for me. 
So I guess that's everything going on for me right now. People keep telling me how close I am to going home, but it still doesn't really feel like it...but I guess it's sort of true. Well I want to make sure that I taught everybody Heavenly Father wanted me to teach during my time out here, so I'm doing the best I can to finish strong like Kobe. Speaking of Kobe, I'm assuming that Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are direct results from me working hard as a Missionary. Heavenly Fathers knows me, and he definitely knows how to bless me. And he is for sure doing it. So how is everyone back at home? Was there some kind of huge get together last week or something? Man, how much more family events are going to happen in the next two and half months? Why can't we just all hold off for a little bit, and then go nuts for all of November and December? Think about it. Well Family, life is pretty good, I'm going to go eat some Little Ceasers right now. Yep, it's true. I love all of you guys, and I love Christ and his Church.
Elder Abbott

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pictures - August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012

Family! Alright, so I've got like no time to write, but here's the skinny: I am a Zone-Leader?  Yep, it's true. I just got bumped up to Zone-Leader last night, I just got to my new area in Torreon... so incredibly hot. I left Zacatecas this morning, and 6 hours later in the bus (with some truly weird movies), I'm back in Torreon. Wish I had my time to talk, but the two main highlights were Esmerelda's baptism, and the cool Vacation Hawaii activity we did. Happy to say that both of these things went pretty awesome. Kinda like my farewell from Guadalupe, it was the best 6 months of my mission, easy. So yep, just 12 weeks left as a Missionary, but I have to ratchet on up now more than ever being a Zone-Leader and all...I haven't eaten anything since like 8:00 in the morning, crossing my fingers some nice lady we teach will give me something to eat. So happy about Dwight Howard. So happy. I love you guys, talk to you next week! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pictures - August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

Family! How's it going? All these Mondays are totally flying by, I totally forget what month it is all the time. I spent the majority of this week thinking that we were still in, I'm not kidding. Once you really get into the flow of things, you really do lose track of time as a Missionary. Suddenly it's August...and I have officially finished 21 months as a Missionary. That's totally a long time, isn't it? It's weird, all the other guys who I saw as the legends of the Mission have already took off, and suddenly I'm one of the oldest dudes out here. I mean, how did that happen? Who knows, but I gotta admit, it's kind of a nice feeling. It's also a nice feeling that USA has like 60 gold medals or something like that...I never realized how much I loved our country tell I left it. Michael Phelps will have 1000 gold medals.
Alright, so it was a pretty awesome week actually, let me tell you about it. First and foremost, we finally had Gerardo's baptism which was long overdue. I actually gave him his first interview, but he had to fix up a few things with Presidente, but he was totally ready to go. Presidente finally came out to Zacatecas last Monday, and he was able to get his interview and be good to go. Did I tell you guys what Gerardo said when he got married to his wife? (like two months ago, I was an official witness!) After the little ceremony and everything..."see you in one year for the divorce!" And after his interview with Presidente, he broke out the classic.."see you in one year for my baptism with the Jehovah's Witness!" Classic. Maybe that comes out bad on an email, but Gerardo is a total jokester and makes me legit laugh so many times. I also have to fake-laugh a ton out here, I still understand only like half of the jokes Mexicans make. But with Gerardo, there's no problem. Long story short, his baptism was awesome, and he and his family are super pumped up. His wife, Marisol, who has been strong in the Church for about three years, was just overjoyed to see her husband be baptized. They've already set the goal to be sealed as a family in the Temple in a year. It's super cool being able to play a small part in all these amazing blessings for other people. But I guess thats what the Mish is all about, good times. We've got another baptism lined up for this weekend actually, Esmerelda, a cool girl we found knocking doors.
Well this is the last week in the change, and it defintely looks like I'll have changes. I've been out here in Guadalupe, Zacatecas for about 6 months now, and it's been the best experience of my Mission thus far. I've had more success here than any other place (and all the Missionaries say you can't baptize in Zacatecas) I've been, and enjoyed it the most. But I think I'm going out with a bang. We've got the baptism planned for this Friday, and Saturday night we're having a huge Missionary Activity for the ward. the idea is this: Hawaii Vacation. We'll be decking out the chapel, and we're going to simulate the Plan of Salvation. The people will get in a "plane" that ends up crashing, and everybody dies. Then an Angel comes an gives them a tour through what happends after death (Spirit World, Atonement, Kingdoms of Glory, etc.). Each room in the chapel will be a different part of the Plan of Salvation, and we put a different organization in charge of each one. Relief Society in charge of the Celstial Kingdom room of course. I'll let you guys know how it goes, but it should be pretty epic.
So I guess that's life for me right now. Whats new at home? So much China still beating us? I hope not, we gotta establish ourselves as the most athletic country in the World, or else my Mexican buddies will keep trying to trash on the US of A. I totally hate that. But I got faith in my Country. Other than that, sounds like everything is great at home, especially now that Marv and Heather are at home again. Can't tell you guys just how much I'll enjoy that first Laker game with Uncle Marv, eating goldfish. Paradise. But for now, just gotta live it up in the Mish and take care of everything Heavenly Father is expecting out of me. The Church is true, love you guys, keep on truckin'.
Elder Abbott

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 30, 2012

Family! Another week down, and yeah I guess it is going faster every week. No thanks to the Olympics, which I totally wish I could get into...but gotta love the 5 minutes I catch every once and a while to watch China win some weird event that I don't understand. But the Olympics should be the last great thing that I miss out on, and then it will be 100 years of enjoying everything. I plan on living that long. And when I say "miss out," I don't mean to bag on the Mission, because I know I'd be missing out on something way better if I were home right now. I'm exactly where I should be right now, and I'm where I want to be. Olympics 2016 will be that much better knowing I brought it in the Mish, and I should be driving a rocket-car by then.
It's been another pretty solid week out here. Oh, and I'm writing you this week on a Tuesday instead of Monday because we actually had our interviews with Presidente yesterday and had a little change of schedule. I was hoping some of you would freak out and think something happened to me, and write me more after not getting my email yesterday...but nope. Whatcha gonna do. But hey, I've really got no room to complain, you guys have been awesome with the emails the entire Mission, big ups. Anyways, the best news I've got for you guys is that we are going to baptize Gerrado this Saturday! Funniest dude ever. We talked about his baptism, and he wants the first hymn to be "We Will Rock You," by Queen and he wants to be dressed as an 80s rock star with lights and fog and everything. He's been blind for the past 12 years or so, and he always tells us about the funny things that happen to him. He always shakes the hand of strangers thinking that they're the person he's talking to. I think it's awesome how he takes his disability and turns it into something positive. He is always smiling and laughing, I'm a huge fan. His wife, and little kids are all super-active in the church, so we'll just be completing the family. Looks like they'll be good to go for the Temple in a year. Good times. Other than that, we're doing pretty good out here and we've got some pretty cool investigators we're teaching. Oh, and we also had a Ward Mission Activity that involved some messages, food, and playing Jeopardy. Me and my companions made up the questions/categories and everything, and it was so funny. Say what you will about the Mexican people, but they for sure know how to make things fun/super loud and get super competitive.
I had my 2nd to last interview with Presidente yesterday, and it was good as always. It's always a validating feeling when he tells me that I'm doing good, and that he trusts me. It's weird to think that by the time I have my next interview with him, I'll pretty much be out the door. I finish 21 months as a Missionary this week, crazy right? Home seems really close, but totally far at the same time. 3 months is still a bit of time, but it does kinda give me a perspective on really how short the Mission actually is. I'm also going for 6 months in this area. That's right, the time I had in this area, in the same amount of time that Mom and Dad have in their entire mission! Goes by quick, doesn't it, Mom and Dad? Well I'm super grateful to be where I am, and I know what I'm doing is something really worth while. Love you guys. Go Team USA.
Elder Abbott