Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas: Lights, Markets, Turtlniks, and Drunks

Another beautiful week in Slovakia. I am literally living in a National Geographic Magazine. I am eternally sorry for not sending more pictures. But I am hore dole hore dole and crazy busy. The work
is hastening! These people here are amazing. They are pioneers and I feel like there are so many people searching for the truth who recognize it when they hear it.

First off, I am with Sister Parsons (From Montreal, MTC companion, best friend for life, etc etc). Second of all, it is Christmas. Which is my most favorite time of the entire year. There is the most wonderful spirit that we feel when we testify of Jesus Christ. We got the He is the Gift video translated into Czech, (still not Slovak, but still UZASNE) and I love it so much. This week, we had our Annual Branch Christmas party. It was such a party. Hahaha we did a Christmas program, watched a lot of mormon messages (So funny because we just have someone translate while it is playing), and played and sang a lot of Slovak and English Christmas songs. The best is that the missionaries have to sing the english songs, but there aren't very many of us, so I still play the piano and sing at the same time, which is sometimes a bit pathetic. President Van Dalen told me on sunday to either sing or play the piano. He wants to be able to hear my voice, so he likes it better without the piano. A Capella for days.

So at the party we had this program, you know, we read scriptures and things, and then we had the best food ever. We had the traditional cabbage soup that Slovaks eat on Christmas Eve (I have really taken a liking to these things: Cabbage/Sauerkraut, Homemade sausages, potatoes, sour cream. Still tolerating pickles.) Then they have potato salad..a little different than american potato salad but you know. Potatoes, potatoes. Then, usually, slovaks would eat Carp for christmas. Our branch was not going to buy fish for everyone. And turns out, most Slovaks do not have Carp. Whenever I am talking to someone on the bus or something about it, they all tell me that there are too many bones and it is too 1) hard to cook and 2) dangerous to eat, so everyone just eats whatever other fish they like. Then we had delicious pastries. I had no idea what was in them.

Anyway, so this week has really been jam-packed. We have so many people to teach that we do not have enough time to teach everyone! We are trying to call a million people to do Christmas visits, and it is really quite an excursion. It feels like I have been running a marathon for a whole week--but the best part is that I can do it! Such a good feeling. And yes, maybe sometimes we only have five minutes to stuff something down our throats for lunch, but it is so worth it.

A goal that I made was to talk to every family with kids that we see, no matter where we are. And what wonderful results we have seen from our sacrifice. We have been immensely blessed. We have gotten so many numbers--I could not believe when we totaled the 9 or 10 numbers we had received in our first 2 days. The best part about Sister Parsons and I being together again is yes, we are both very new. Yes, we have really been thrown into missionary work. But no, we are not drowning, and nothing can stop us! Somehow the language is here. We might not sound super educated and we are not always completely crystal clear, but the language is not a barrier! Which is wonderful! In fact, we travelled to Brno and back! Woohoo! (But really, that was a little intense)

Anyway, speaking of the language, I had to give a 15 minute talk on sunday in Slovak, which was a little intimidating. President Van Dalen said that he "wanted to hear about the Spirit of Christmas from someone who actually had it". So I really tried my best. It was kind of an awkward sacrament meeting since I also played the piano and sang a musical number. It was kind of like "Woo look at sister Abbott" A little awkward. 'specially since I probably said the same phrase in my talk 1000 times. Hahaha

Something that little poor sheltered Utah me did not know came with the holidays is this thing called alcohol. Haha so weird. They just sell so much hot wine and beer at the markets. But the markets are still so beautiful! I will spare you all the drunk/fireworks(really loud fireworks here) stories for now, but haha just something funny that happened this week was that we met this guy to teach him and of course he was in the marketplace, totally drunk and playing his accordian, and wanted to have a lesson right in the middle of the market, so I just thought, okay we will just teach him something really quick. Obviously that was a bad option because he was not listening at all, and I felt like we needed to leave, so (in slovak obviously), I just said quite firmly, We will Not teach you if you are drunk, and this is Not a spiritual place. We left and I was a little frazzled and Sister Parsons was just laughing so hard. It was pretty funny. All I know is that we are so protected by the promptings of the Holy Ghost! haha

Haha I am just laughing about this right now.

Done laughing. So we went to Brno this weekend (in the Czech Republic) for our Christmas training, and it was so wonderful! Although Kosice is so far away--haha, we are closer to the mission homes in Ukraine and in Hungary than we are to Prague--The train ride was fun because there was SNOW!!!!!!!!! We do not have snow in the city yet but going through the mountains was a winter wonderland. It finally felt like Christmas! Ah! And our training was so wonderful--we did a lot of Czech/Slovak traditions, like splitting an apple for good luck, eating wafers with honey and garlic on them, and floating candles in walnut shells. And of course, eating a huge meal. President talked about Christ (samozreme haha) and His life, and about the story of the people lifting their friend through the roof of His house to be healed. It was so inspiring. He talked about how we all need to "lift our corner" and that each and every one of us is a good missionary and we contribute, no matter where we are. He gave us all a kind of mutual blessing--well, it was literally a blessing, and it was really the coolest thing that has ever happened. I felt like I was getting a patriarchal blessing or something. It was really incredible.

Well, I don't have a ton of time to write, but I just want to wish everyone Merry Christmas! I love you all and am grateful for the influence each one of you has had on my life! This year I have thought a lot about the Shepherds, and about how they were really one of the only ones who had to exercise their faith in the Nativity scene. Mary, the wise men, Joseph--all were commanded by someone to fulfill their callings. But the shepherds had a clear choice. To go, to leave their sheep, and exercise their faith, to see a baby and believe that he was their Savior--or  to stay contentedly at their work. And they did. They chose to go and see their Savior, and to be the first to behold their Salvation. And when they did this, they immediately began to spread the word abroad, that a Messiah had been born, and that they had found their Salvation. How incredible they are!
(Sorry, blurry, but totally necessary)

Anyway, before I get too excited,

Merry Christmas,
Vesele Vianoce,

I will talk to some of you soon :)

s laskou,
Sestra Abbott

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Here we are at another end...transfer week.

Transfer week! 

This week was completely crazy and remarkable at the same time. We did so much!

We taught so many people! We had so many miracles! I do not have very much time to write, but I just want to say that CAROLING IS AMAZING. That man we caroled up to last week? Yeah. He is amazing. He met with us and is the best human.

Then, we went caroling again this last sunday, and had such miracles. The cutest young mom put her two little girls up in the window to listen to us, and then they all came out and gave us Christmas ornaments, and set up a return appointment. Shortly afterwards we got two more return appointments, one with a family! And we handed out many pass along cards while people tried to give us money.

I finally made halusky by myself and it was a complete success.

We went to the 12 apostles, an amazing restaurant that Elder Bednar supposedly ate at. PS Do you know he has ancestors from Slovakia?

Discovered the cutest little place to tract at and have a return appointment there also.

The Christmas trh is still as cute as it ever has been, and is the most wonderful market. We got trtlniks, most delicious things, and sister seninger bought a hat that looks like a Koala. However, the namestie gets SO crowded and everyone is drinking hot wine at night so we kind of have to stay clear.

Lastly, we had transfer calls. I just put it out of my mind until it finally came. I was so terrified. Really. I had no idea about what was going to happen. But president called, and told Sister Seninger she was going back to Bratislava, where she started her mission exactly a year ago. Then he told me I was going to stay here in Kosice HOORAY and my companion was going to be..

wait, short side note, there is a girl in the library now that is on familysearch.org. We are freaking out and so confused.

Oh, so my companion is Sister Parsons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can anyone believe this? Surely I still cannot. We are follow-up training each other. Hahahahaha
All I can do is laugh.

Today we went with the senior service couple here in Kosice to Presov to visit this really cool home for handicap people that we have been helping. It is really nice and the people there are wonderful. We sang for them and they all gave us little gifts.

Anyway, I am still as grateful as ever to be here in Kosice surrounded by wonderful people, and especially grateful to be serving the Lord! I know he will help us in this work and will support us after all that we can do. He is my feet, legs, and mind, and I hope I can do His will wherever I am!
I love you and will talk to you, well family, soon!!

happy holidays.

Sestra Abbott

Mikuláš Memories (Hehehe was this the cheesiest title or what)

First off--I'm sorry because last week, I think that I wrote Michalovce instead of Mikuláš, because I was talking about Michalovce when I was writing my email. Michalovce is a city. Mikuláš is a holiday. So sorry...

Second off, this week was jam packed of wonderful things. On Monday, we went to the most INCREDIBLE MUSEUM and I am not even really sure where it is but it is in a little city outside of Košice, and has all these human bones in an old church and really insane cool stuff. The weirdest thing is that it is only 1 euro to get in and they do not even have security, and there are just literally human bones in paper bags that they dug up, and all out in the open, and it is all very confusing but the government will not give them funding so basically that is how it is and it is all really weird. And you have to set up a little private tour for yourselves because it is not always open. And there is like not much light and no air conditioning or heating systems. BUT IT WAS SO COOL.

Second of all, (Hahahah I just realized I already said second off, but oh well) it was birthday for
Andrej on monday, which was a lot of fun because we had FHE and were making clay nativities and all that jazz. The big 20! he is literally so funny. 

Also, I totally wrote this whole list of what I wanted to write about this week, and I forgot it. Again. So I am really sorry. I guess there is something on the list that I was not supposed to write about or something. 

On thursday, we got to do our districts once-a-training cultural event, and we went to a ballet! Hahaha it was so fun. It was a Slovak story called Janošik, which is basically a more tragic version of Robin Hood where everyone dies in the end. But it was funny and a great time. A miracle that happened after that is that we were on the bus, and we saw a dad and his daughter who we had talked to on the bus one time before! He said he is trying to make time to meet with us. Tešime sa na to. BUT ACTUALLY BECAUSE HE IS SO SUPER COOL.

I also met the coolest mom this week named Silvia. We had talked to her one time on the bus before, and commented on her red coat, and then again I saw her on the bus, and waved, and then this week we got on the bus and there she was again, just sitting there! So obviously that was a znamenie and I had to sit with her and I sat down and said, in Slovak, You still have a pretty red coat! And then found out she is a mom of three boys, and got her number. I am literally (yes, literally.) so grateful for the Holy Ghost. The gift of tongues is so real. I sometimes look at how much I have progressed in the last four months and just been really confused because I do not understand how I am speaking a different language, or how I understand all these people around me. But it is what I do! I talk to people in a different language all day! And about the gospel! It is incredible, and I definitely have not and do not do any of it on my own. And of course, I am not even near perfect, but when I cannot do it, the Lord makes up the difference.

On friday we did the last session of our sewing blankets activity, and it was such a success. Five people who we texted came! I could not believe it. Even a mom with twins from english came and sat with us the entire time. She reminded me so much of just a regular mom, with her 16 year old twins calling because they were fighting over the TV...it was so wonderful. I love families so much and as we pray to find them, we do! So excited for Christmas and hope we will be able to teach the families that we find. 

Most importantly (okay, maybe not) Mikuláš was this week!!!!!!!! Best thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it too much. Why we do not have it in America I do not know. The tradition is that Mikuláš (St. Nick) comes on the morning of Dec. 6th because it is his name day (Everyone in Slovakia has a name day pretty much) and puts good yummy treats and things in childrens boots if they have been good, and coal and whips if they have been bad. And on Christmas, Santa does not come, Baby Jesus does. SO. 
It was just so fun because now Košice is all lit up and the shops are all open (went and got a potato pancake thing. WILL RETURN SHORTLY) and the lights are all over and there is a giant tree and all that jazz. And I love it. And music everywhere, most of which is in English, but some in Slovak and Italian and Spanish, and I just loved it. 

he who wants to live long, has only to drink water :)
Of course Mikuláš did not come to us because we are Američanki, and we also forgot to put our polished boots on the windowsill, but Prezident Van Dalen did a good job at giving us lots of Slovak and Dutch treats. And Sestra VanDalenova made us homemade sausages this week, which I am not really sure what was in them, but they were way too yummy with potatoes and sauerkraut. 

THEN on Saturday we had a very busy schedule, sometimes we have to juggle around our studies in order to try and get all of our teaching appointments in, but we had a few miracles when we had only been out contacting for a few minutes.We gave away a Kniha Mormonova, and ran into this mom who we talked to a few weeks ago who was just crying and did not give us her number--but THIS TIME SHE DID BECAUSE SAMOZREME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ZNAMENIE! And then, the weirdest thing, on Sunday morning we ran into that dad on the train again. Just while we are on the topic of miracles. 

And also, we went christmas caroling as a district and it was too fun. Four kids out caroling. There was a guy sitting up on the fourth floor in his windowsill smoking with the window open, and we yelled up to him and were like, hey! Can we sing to you? and he was just like, yeah, sure, go ahead! So we sang up to him, and he asked all these questions and got his number and will go back and meet with him now! SO BOOM CHRISTMAS MIRACLES

So, basically, this week was just really good. As always. Christmas is coming and Košice has a gazillion people in it, and food and music and we gave away like 5 kniha mormonova s this week, and just everything was wonderful. This week, I think I learned a lot about the atonement as well. I am so grateful for the strength I recieve from it. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to utilize its saving power and access the blessings that my Father has for me. I hope I can constantly be tailored by the Lord in order to return to Him again, and I am more grateful than ever for the plan of salvation and the opportunity I have to grow and progress on earth, and prepare for exaltation with my family. And how trusted we are as missionaries to be sharing this with the people here in Slovakia! 

Anyway, I love you, I pray for your success and health, and know the Lord has blessings He is waiting to give to you. 

Happy holidays,

Vesele Vianoce, 

Sestra Abbott

OH! PS READ HELAMAN 5 I just love it. More than ever. I love Nefi and Lehi and their incredible examples. I was reading, and thinking about the man Aminidab, who once had known the truth in the story and helped everyone repent. And I was just thinking, he is an inactive member, a member of a family who has fallen away, who has people praying for him. He is the prodigal son that the father was praying would come back, the member of a ward that once fell away, and those peoples prayers brought about this amazing event. Prayer works! And maybe an event that earth-shattering took place because of peoples diligent prayers for an inactive member. Just a perspective but still. Love Helaman 5.

s laskou,

Sestra Abbott

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hidden Poklad (treasure)

This week was really wonderful, of course. It started with the most wonderful thanksgiving we could ask for (Do I use the word wonderful a lot? Because I feel like I do...Sorry.) I thought it was a little strange to be away from home, but I did not even really think about it until after the day was over because I was surrounded by so many wonderful people! The Millers, our senior couple here in Košice, were so good at organizing everything so we could have as close to an american thanksgiving as possible.

We had everything! Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes sidenote--Sister Seninger and I were assigned to make the mashed potatoes. The Vandalenovci and the Millerovci and the Elders were all going to be there, so we pĺanned to make quite a lot. But then the Elders stressed us out because they were warning us "You better make enough mashed potatoes" And "If we run out of potatoes it will not be Thanksgiving" So we made even more, and now we still have about 10 kilo extra mashed potatoes. And they ate a lot of them. So there is that.

We also made rolls! And they worked even though we have no way to tell how hot our oven is!

Some of our biggest miracles this week-- 

i did not take this picture 
We were going to contact by Sestra Burdigova house, and we hopped on the tram, even though we knew we would not have very much time by the time the tram got us there. We felt good about it anyway. Well, there was a weird situation with the tram, so we got off after just one stop and decided to just contact there and find the family that we have been searching for. We stopped every person we saw, and no luck. It was freezing outside and nobody wanted to stop. We continued on, and saw this old woman carrying a bag of groceries, hobbling down the sidewalk. We passed her and as we smiled and said, "Dobrý!" she dropped her bag on the ground and started crying. We helped her with her bag and held her arms and walked her to her apartment. She told us her husband had died only a couple weeks earlier and this was the first time she was going to get the groceries on her own. We sat in her apartment with her, and she showed us pictures of him and her family. I have never felt so blessed to be in the right place at the right time. If we have righteous desires, the Lord will put us in situations where we can serve and fulfill our baptismal covenants.

so many miracles, but I will just write this incredible one that happened yesterday because it is going to take a minute to write..

Yesterday, we were going tracting. We have had our eye on these streets up the mountain for the last little while, but there is only one bus that goes up there. oh, the 14 bus. And it comes at really weird times, especially on weekends, when we tract. So we keep trying to catch it and we keep missing it. BUT we were UNDETERRED yesterday, and felt that we must catch this bus. So we did.

Turns out, it went to a totally different part of Košice, and took us to the end of its route, so that was a little weird. The stop took us to a bridge by a river and we could not see much (Because it gets dark at about 4 here), but we could see some houses and streets across the bridge. So we felt like this is where we needed to be. Granted, we had no idea where we were, but this was good.


This little town is the most wonderful place. We found a door that did not have a gate, so we knocked at the door, and immediately, all these little children were there and they were wonderful and wow! A family with five little children (They had to all have been under the age of 8) opened the door. We talked to them for a little bit and the dad had a Kniha Mormonova! So we are going back next week.

Then we met ANOTHER family, out on the street, a mom with four kids, the two who we talked to were probably 12 and 14ish. She said we could come back next week as well.

Almost gave a man a Kniha Mormonova.

And another family at the bus stop with the cutest little boy who kept just grinning at me and waving his little fingers.

A hidden poklad right there. 

Oh haha, and turns out that this little town is way far away, and has actually been this little place by the mountains that I love to stare at every single day!!  Dream town.

How blessed are we?! This is truly the Lords work. We see his hand in everything we do and we love it!

And then we made halušky after so..... That was great.

And, it is so magical here. Michalovce is on the 6th, which is when St. Nikolas comes and puts candy in shoes and all that jazz. Baby Jesus comes on Christmas. So there are Christmas lights and trees being put up everywhere, and best of all, the Christmas markets are opening this week! I hope to send pictures soon, because it is like I live in Christmasland. And there are always street performers, and wonders, and all these things. So great. Still has not snowed, but still wonderful. 

However, it is getting really cold. I love scarves and wool socks. 

Well, I forgot to bring my planner to the library (such a greenie, I know) so I do not really remember everything I was supposed to write. There are just so many miracles that my brain explodes! 

I am so grateful this week for prayer. I love the ability we have to communicate with our Father in Heaven through prayer. I know He truly hears us and will strengthen us, and that we can be strengthened in Christ and His atonement every day. I do not know how it is possible that I am still standing on my cold feet every day, but I do know that it is because of the strength I recieve from Christ! I love and can feel the strength I receive from your prayers as well and am ever grateful for them. 

Love you and talk to you soon! Pokoj!

Sestra Abbott

Monday, November 24, 2014

It still hasn't snowed and we are still working hard!

What an eventful week.
I love working all day, every day, and coming home and feeling too tired to hold a pencil up but still being incredibly happy. How is that possible? I don't know. Haha.

We started the week by going to Bratislava for a really incredible training. Preparing for Christmas! Besides the fact that I almost passed out because I was so warm on the train, the train ride was long as always (7 hours) but still fun. We were incredibly blessed to have a wonderful older couple sit across from us in our compartment for the last hour of the ride, and they were so cute! Sister Seninger gave them a Kniha Mormonova, and they are from Trencin, where we have missionaries, so I hope they contact them soon! We rode into Bratislava and it was raining, but somehow still so warm. It was so good to see the sisters in Bratislava and the rest of my MTC group at training. We made halusky for the Bratislava sestry and it was delicious, as always.

Something that I am incredibly grateful for this week (hey, Thanksgiving! haha!) is the history of this remarkable country. I am grateful for our President for telling us the incredible stories of people having the courage to stand up for what is right and have the courage to make a difference. This week was the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in the Czech and Slovak republics, and the first march before the march in Prague was actually in Bratislava! Yeah slovaks! The stories are too incredible. Search for Dubček on the internet. He is wonderful. dubček! dubček! Anyway.

Some Miracles that happened this week:

1) We were contacting the other day, and started down the path where we had originally planned to go, but something didn´t feel exactly right. So we said a prayer to ask our Father for help, and began walking again. I had the strongest impression that we needed to turn around and go to a bus stop. I didn't immediately stop, but with every step it seemed to get stronger and stronger. So I told Sestra Seninger, and we turned around and started walking to the nearest bus stop. And of course, we met the sweetest YSA girl. We had a really meaningful conversation and got her contact info and hope to have her as a new investigator this week!

2) Vojto, our investigator, has really been noncommittal lately, so we have really been praying to know what to teach him. He is 20 years old, and is a professional hungarian soccer player. He is basically too cool for school. (but actually, he doesn't go to school). He missed 6 of his meetings and was not reading. However, last time we met with him, he had read 19 pages in the kniha mormonova! Our mouths were both hanging open. But he said it was because we told him that it only took 36 seconds to read a little every day and we texted and reminded him a few days. Then yesterday, when we met with him, he had read all the way into second nefi, and had a lot of questions about serving a mission! Even when we brought up the cost, he said "Fuha" and thought he may have to sell his dog to help him pay for it. haha. Now he just has to start waking up to come to črč. (AND he brought his friend Slavo to the lesson! So funny that we were sitting there teaching 3 20 year olds about the gospel.)

3) I am getting increasingly more confident in my very broken slovak. people are starting to understand me!

4) Yesterday, we taught a man on the street the whole first vision! Basically it was really inspired because we had been thinking we needed to do it and so we just went for it and gave him a Kniha Mormonova!

So many more miracles then I can even count happen every single day. I am so grateful for this place! Košice is really really so wonderful. THEY ARE PUTTING UP A HUGE GIANT LITERALLY 50 FEET TALL CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NAMESTIE AND IT IS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! you will never see anything like it. once I get a moment to take a picture of it. They are starting to hang up lights and it is starting to get cold! But most košičans do not think it will snow by Christmas. Lame.

Also, I have a new love for kebabs. They are either wraps or sandwiches with lamb meat and cabbage, usually an onion or tartar sauce of some kind, tomatoes, etc. They are so yummy.

Anyway, love you all and hope that your holidays are going as planned! They are wonderful over here in Košice!

Sestra Abbott

no bake cookies that look black because the cocoa is amazingly real
(made with peanua instead of peanut butter)
p.s. oh my goodness so funny-- this week, those three YSAs, Vojto, Slavo, and Ernest (new convert) asked us all these funny questions about America. Like if we knew any celebrities (This was weird that we did not, since apparently so many people in america are celebrities) and if we had seen the movie Sam Doma. Guess what that is....haha. Home Alone. Of course the movie they know best is Home Alone!! And Vojto was really confused about why I did not want to be an actress. Since anyone in america can be an actress.

Anyway, love and prayers ako vždy,

Sestra Abbott

Vzdy vpred, stale len vpred, hosana jeho mene (Always forward, continue forward in behalf of Hosanna) Nov 17 2014

Well, well, one month here and it literally feels like only one very busy day. Time flies when you are doing the work of the Lord! (haha how cheesy was that?) Another entire week in my area, and I'm happier than ever. Last night I was so exhausted, I was upset because I couldn't physically express how happy I was. All I could do was turn on some christmas music and lie on my back in bliss.

(PS I love Christmas. They are starting to put up decorations here!!!! But still no snow. It is so warm and I still have to wear a coat because if not all of the old grandmas get so mad at me. If I don't wear tights, all of the little babickas tell me that I'm not going to have kids.)

But really! The work is hastening! I am still amazed every day at what a miracle our little Slovakia is. The people are so ready and so prepared. Our prayers are answered every day! People say that these missions are hard because of the low numbers--and that is just completely untrue. If we could keep a count of how many conversations, numbers received, people we saw for the third time randomly on the street--we would be considered the most successful mission in the world! I can't believe how obviously the Lord is blessing His people here. I don't even have time to write about everything I see every day that testifies of this--Also, how amazing is it that we have the Kniha Mormonova in Slovak? Sister Seninger was just saying yesterday that it really statistically should not be being produced--there are only a little over 100 active members--but still we have it, and we are bringing back boxes and boxes of books after every training. AH!

The week before last, we found a wonderful little family who was so prepared. I think I wrote about them but I'm not sure. Anyway so they said they would come to church, but we didn't get their contact information. So that saturday, we fasted that they would come to church, or that we would be able to tract and find them.

They didn't come to church.

So, we were disappointed, but undeterred. We resolved to tract every apartment near their tram stop that we could. We claimed the entire area. And on wednesday, we prayed our little hearts out and set out in faith to find this family.

Now. We were supposed to get on the tram earlier, but we ran into one of our recent converts on the namestie, and were a little sidetracked contacting a few people. But we kept our prayers in our hearts, and got to the tram stop. We got an older man's info (Another miracle in and of itself), and got on the tram. As we were standing in the tram, and Sister Seninger was putting his number into her phone, I watched as people got on from the next stop (plotting who our next victim would be, wink wink) and my heart stopped. THE MOM OF THE FAMILY STEPPED ONTO THE TRAM. I about died. We fell over ourselves, basically running over to the other side of the tram, and talked to her for about a half hour and got her number. The Lord knows His children and does answer our prayers! He is preparing His elect and will provide a way for us to accomplish His work! Who knows how he does it, but it happens.

On a slightly (but not by very much) less exciting note, I consumed a bug this week. Yes, I was walking and talking with Ernest, and it flew into my mouth and it went down my throat and I just about died. I guess it is a sign that I need to stop talking so much (No matter what language it is in), so I don't let all those flies in.

Ew. Seriously grossest thing of my whole life.



It was amazing. 

Plus I made brownies this week, which half turned out okay and the other half were really hard because our oven actually doesn't have a way to tell how hot it is? Like you light the flame on the inside,but you don't actually know the temperature so I basically burn everything. Hahaha so sister seninger was trying to pry one out of the pan with a knife, and it flies out of the pan and lands five feet across the room in the garbage can! It was really a proud moment.

We got two new investigators this week!! (Kind of three, but one had been taught five months ago, and not more than six, so..) It was amazing! Helena is wonderful--positive about everything and everyone around her. She is a grandma, and is so funny. She brings us chocolate. And Stefan, (don't have slovak keyboard right now, sorry), who is from our english class and is basically a modern day Joseph Smith! He told us about how he went to basically every religion, even the Hari Krisners, searching, and still hasn't found what he is looking for. We are so excited to teach him! And wonderful Frantisek, who gave us little ceramic dolphins and rubber band bracelets when we taught him. He is so cool and always brings other people to his lessons.

We taught the visiting teaching message on Dieter F. Uchtdorf's last conference talk about light and testimony. (Sorry, I don't know the title exactly in english). It is such a wonderful talk! It makes me think about how we can receive more and more light, the more we study. And if God had all light--all knowledge and enlightenment, how wonderful is it that we are able to have a small piece of that light! In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul talks about charity, and about how we are only able to see a part of that plan--how this earth is covered with a veil and until that glorious day, we will not be able to see completely clearly.  I love the last few verses:

 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

How great that now, we have a part of that light and knowledge, but that this knowledge can grow greater and greater until that day when we can be reunited with our Father in Heaven. He is constantly watching over us and helping us grow, and if we will draw near unto Christ today, we will surely be the sheep to heed His call when he comes.

Dovidenia! Love and pray for you all! And for those of you on missions! Vzdy vpred, stale len vpred! Onward!

PS  today is the Velvet Revolution day over here. It is really cool to hear some of the stories people have about when it was happening.

Also, PPS, I was reading over my conference notes and was really thinking maybe you all
could watch it as a family or something? maybe you already have? Don't know.


Love you!

Sestra Abbott

Monday, November 10, 2014


Ahojte! This week was just so incredible and wonderful and full of miracles--and it was the first entire week I have spent in my area! Weird, right? I guess that's what happens when you don't know anything and they send you to 100 trainings (we have another one next week haha).

So we had so much luck this week! We saw a lot of miracles. The feeling that you have and the things that happen when you know you are doing what the Lord wants you do be doing is so great. I am really starting to recognize the Holy Ghost in my life as my constant director and teacher. I feel like His influence on me changes depending on what circumstances I am in--Sometimes I find direction through other people, sometimes in my own thoughts, and sometimes in my own feelings and ideas. At first I was very overwhelmed by the responsibility that I feel I have to follow the Spirit--but now, as I hav begun to put my entire trust in the Lord, I have found that I find more and more confidence when I follow promptings I receive.

We have met so many families this week, and are really hoping to start meeting with them. I remember praying so hard to find a family who we could touch and help come closer to Christ--that day, while waiting for the tram, I was just singing (because obviously, as always) hymns in english and there were two girls just staring at me. When we got on the train, Sister Seninger complimented one of them and they were both very surprised that we spoke Slovak. Immediately we became involved with these two young women and their mother and got of the tram at their stop so we could talk with them. We are praying they will come to church, because they didn't have a phone number (fooey.) But the spirit was so strong. We couldn't do much else but say a prayer of gratitude to our Father in Heaven.

I've really been trying to speak this language. I think it is funny when people think I'm speaking english because my accent is so strong. I will approach them in Slovak, and they will say "I'm sorry, I don't speak English", or "no english!" Awkward. But some people say it is good. We will definitely see....Languages aren't something I have much experience with. But I do find that when I bear my testimony, people understand when the Spirit is there. I did almost an entire contact with a YSA boy on my own and got his number and everything! Really, we are seeing so many miracles. I wish I could write them all. One day this week, we got 6 numbers (Which is really good. For us.)

We made 3 lbs 10 oz of halušky, and it is just so good, and I was basically in a coma after we ate it. I think I gained 5 lbs. BUT IT WAS JUST SO YUMMY
I might die when I can't make it in america.

And we get this delicious cereal that is like...chocolate pillows filled with Nutella. Let me just say that it is my major downfall.

I love our Senior Couple here, the Millers. They are the humanitarian representatives for Slovakia, and always have us over for dinner and stuff. They organized a little project to sew some blankets for a hospital. We invited all of our members, and then felt inspired to maybe text some other people about it. We had the most crazy/inspired idea to text all the numbers for every potential investigator in our phone! hahahahaha

some people may say that was a poor decision...

But we did it anyway. And, yes, we got a couple of rude texts back, but I didn't know what any of the words meant, so whatever, right? But there were so many people who were interested and couldn't come, and felt bad, so now they have set up appointments with us! This little man called us apologizing like 90 times and invited us to his little domček outside of the city for tea. What. MIRACLES FROM THE TEXT! LET'S ALWAYS šit deki!

Anyway, sorry, I was getting a little excited there.

I'm really trying my best to devote myself to the Lord. Sometimes it is difficult, to like, move at the end of the day because I am so exhausted, but that is how I know it has been a wonderful day! And the more I trust in Him the more miracles I see.

Scripture of the Week: Alma 37:46-47
 46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.
 47 And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.

I love the phrase "look unto God and Live" . It is something that as missionaries we are constantly inviting people to do! If we can have our eye constantly on Him, we have no need to fear, and can live forever. However, I also love how it tells us not to be slothful because of the easiness of the the way. Yes, it is a straight and narrow path, But it also has many obstacles that we have to be wary of. If we are lazy, we may forget. If we can constantly be looking to God and staying on His path, we will be on an easier, direct path. It is like when you are hiking, you know? You've got to stay focused on the path so you don't trip while you are looking up at some pretty bird in the trees.

Anyway, lots of happiness and health,

Love you all!
Sestra Abbott

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ahojte ! ! ! ! (HI)

Hello again from beautiful, wonderful, Slovakia! I'm really second guessing my spelling today, so forgive me if this email is really awful. I am so full of the spirit and so grateful for everything that has happened this week and everyone I have come in contact with. I can't explain how happy I am to be here doing the Lord's work and sharing His love with the people around me! Half the time they think I am totally insane, (Also cannot speak Slovak. But that's beside the point) but I don't really care. This last week has been full of miracles and just...miracles.

I can't really write everything that I want to about this--but planning is so inspired. If we say we want to find a woman in a brown coat, we find a woman in a brown coat. I was planning and felt like I needed to find a mom with short blonde hair--the next day, we ran into a little family with a little girl and a mom with short blonde hair! We shared our message, but they didn't give us a number. Later that day, an appointment cancelled and we were out contacting again--we ran into the same woman!  I think both of us were a little shocked and she really listened to what we had to say. The Lord is preparing those who he needs and I am so grateful for the trust He gives to us to find those sheep who He is waiting for.
Hooray! MTC Reunion! Starsi Williams and Sister Russell were there too,
just not on the same cart. Sorry I look like I'm pregnant. 

We tried to teach a bunch of lessons early in the week because on Thursday we needed to cestovat
(travel) to Brno (Czech) for some zone training with President McConkie.  I know, I'm a world traveler.  This time the train ride seemed very long, and we got into Brno pretty late, but we were with the Elders and they are pretty entertaining. The two elders in Košice (kosheetsa) with Sestra Seninger and me are Elder Ringger and Elder Clark. They are both such good missionaries and are always watching out for us. It is Elder Clark's last transfer, so he knows what's up.

Anyway, so we stayed with the Brno sisters, who we didn't know, and after wandering aimlessly around Brno for a little while, constantly confused about where on earth the apartment building was, they came and got us. They are darling. Brno is a beautiful city, and it is really clean. Everything seems to be really..remodeled or something but I really like it. Anyway, we had training which was AMAZING. President and Sister McConkie are really incredible. They are so inspired and gave us the best counsel.

Also, everyone keeps asking me about the food, so I think this is a good time to mention that I'm pretty sure the national food of Slovakia is pizza. (Or pre-made baguette sandwiches.) We have pizza all the time. I say this because we had it at training.

Haha, so, we got 3 boxes of materials for our area, and we took one of them home. You would be really surprised at how much a box of 40 books of mormon weighs. Literally. So we had our luggage and our books of mormon, and it was really a hassle. After carrying them around and running to make connecting trains, I'm pretty strong. My muscles are growing. I'm swoll, man.

Oh! So it was Halloween on the day of training, but we obviously weren't really allowed to do anything for it except like have orange napkins for lunch, but the best part about it was that we had to stay the night in Trenčin (That castle there, though...COOLEST) and I literally felt like I was in a scary movie. Best halloween ever. We got off the train (pretty late because we missed our first train), and there was just fog everywhere and this orange moon and we were walking through these trees...I was so excited about it. I was just waiting for the mythical creatures to start popping out. Anyway, though, it was really cool.

Fog that every morning I think it snow but it never is :(
There is always fog in the mornings, in every city basically in Slovakia. It is so cool. Sometimes you can't see the sun. Actually most of the time.

We were on time for church this sunday, and did not have to run for the train, which was good. But on Sunday, we mostly just tracted. It is kind of funny to tract, because many of the homes have locked gates around them, and you have to ring a doorbell at the gate and get them to come out. A lot of people just stick their heads out the window and ask us what in the world we could possibly want with their sunday afternoon. The best part is that a lot of times they can't hear us, so they end up coming outside to talk to us! Haha. We had a few really good experiences. The most miraculous part was that as we were walking down the street, we see the woman whose family we are teaching right now! And her family! And her husband, who we haven't met yet. Ah! Such a miracle. We talked to them, and her husband, who is Buddhist, seemed really opposed to the church. We are hoping his heart will soften so we can continue to teach his wife and their family.

We ran into so many former investigators and inactive members while we were contacting also--it is just so great how when you are doing the Lord's work He will be able to lead you to the right place at the right time so that you can accomplish all you are able to do.

One thing that we learned at the training is how to contact on the family and on family history. (Speaking of which , Sister Seninger and I were volunteered to be the example for half the mission, and it was just embarrassing since I've been here for like a week) Anyway, but it was so inspired. We have been teaching on rodina history and it really works! We already have many people's numbers and a family's number. I love the Spirit of Elijah and how it is able to touch people's hearts. I am incredibly grateful for my own family and for all the family history that is being and has been done on either side--I don't know how I have been so blessed!

Lastly, one quote I want to share is by Corrie Ten Boom: "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still" I loved at training, Sister McConkie shared the story of the 33 miners trapped in a mine in Chile a few years ago. If you don't remember the story, you should look it up, because it is a really incredible story. Truly, we are unable to climb out of this pit without assistance. It is impossible without our Savior, who is truly our Redeemer and Advocate. He knows the way and the method to touch and change every person's heart and bring them to Him to inherit the kingdom of God.

Oh wait. Not last thing. LASTLY, I love the talk given by Tad R. Callister called "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary". It is basically my little four pages of goals. One thing I really want to do on my mission is make it a "celestial mission". I hope to consecrate all my efforts, thoughts, and self to the Lord so that I can achieve that goal. Omni 1:26 is such a good scripture about consecration. "Yea, come unto me, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him.."

I love the Lord and I love my mission! It is really worth every minute. I have so much gratitude for
Him and for this sacred opportunity I have been given.

I love and am praying for each of you! And I love hearing from you!

Sestra Abbott

P.S. Christmas is coming!!!!!! Elder Clark has gotten mad at me several times for singing Christmas songs but I love Christmas! Hooray!


The food is basically the same, but not...I eat a lot of bread and cheese. My favorite is BRYNDZA! Which is sheep cheese. None of the cheese and milk are pasteurized, so they are just really yummy. AND we always make Halušky... oh wow so yummy.  Um..one woman in the ward always cooks for us, and makes us stuff with potatoes and sausage, ALWAYS. Honestly, I have no idea what is in the sausage, but it is really good. Oh! And sauerkraut. I really like their sauerkraut. Sauerkraut + Mashed Potatoes + Sour Cream + Sausage = yumminess. I don't know if there is a food I really miss. Because their chocolate is a hundred times better. 

I think the thing I miss the most is..I really don't know. I miss you guys mostly! But I absolutely love being a missionary! I wish I could do this for the rest of my life! Literally! I have such incredible purpose and ALWAYS am doing something. It is amazing. I don't really travel from house to house a lot, but when I do it is weird because I have to ring a doorbell outside their gate. We get around on buses everywhere and trams. I just walk straight up to people and start bearing my testimony! sometimes they stop, sometimes they don't. It just depends! Most people are catholic.

Monday, October 27, 2014


going into my apartment for the first time
This week was really just exciting. That is the only word I have to describe how many trains we had to catch, people to see, and goals to keep. Last week started in Bratislava and Brno for a mission conference (wonderful, wonderful, all good times) and ended here back in Košice. Because I had to go and do all my visa excitement on wednesday, we had to stay in Bratislava for about half the week. It was fun to be with all the other slovak sisters but also sad to be away from our area for what seemed like a year! 

I love Bratislava, and I love all the people there. It is incredible to me to see so many people everywhere speaking in different languages and from so many different cultures. Sister Seninger and Sister Rosenthal were brave and decided to leave me, Sister Parsons, and 
first time on the namestie (main square)
in košice. 
Sister Eggers by ourselves to contact on a namestie for a while...maybe too brave. Haha well, we really tried and it was really funny. We are all able to understand most slovak, and we stopped a couple of really interesting people who had a lot to say. One man was telling us that we were all pieces of God and expounded on the conception of Christ and we were all just standing there hoping he wouldn't ask us some complicated question that could not be answered in our limited slovak. But it was still fun, nevertheless. We had so many miracles there, because Sister Seninger spent the first few months of her mission there. We saw so many people who she had contacted before and handed out a Book of Mormon and a lot of pass-along cards (Okay, we are always handing out a lot of those, but still.) 

me eating halusky and looking like a complete crazy person.
On Monday night we made halušky (noodles and cabbage)... so that was the best thing ever. 

I contacted by myself on the train for the first time. It was a party. 

Sidenote: This little tiny spider keeps landing on my computer screen and I keep thinking my mouse is moving on its own, and it is actually a little frightening because I'm afraid it will land on my head. Help. I promise I'm not in an attic or anything, its actually really beautiful here in this library, but you know, still....

Okay sorry I'm focused. Wednesday we had to go to like 40 million doctors and people to do our visa stuff, and that is really all the detail I'm going to go into about that. Enough said. I'm healthy and now reside in Slovakia. 

Wednesday night we basically ran out of Bratislava to catch a train back to Košice, and the nine hours passed by slower than normal because it was dark, but it was still fun because I felt like I was in a Harry Potter movie. 

from our apartment window
Okay so anyway THEN we finally made it back to our beautiful area! Oh, I love it so much. We have had so many miracles the few days we have been here. And the new members we are working with are so great (I see the spider right now, by the way). Between teaching and contacting, I feel like we have already been here for a year. 

The biggest miracle we had this week, though, was when we got our investigator Inga to come to church! She is a mom! And has the cutest two little girls, who are 2years and 6months old. We were so excited to walk her to church on sunday morning. Church starts at 9 so we went and waited outside her apartment at 8. Unfortunately, it took her a really long time to get her kids ready and it was 8:45 and we weren't sure what to do because it was branch conference and I was playing the piano and it was really a fiasco so when she finally 
entering our church building for the first time
came out and we discovered that the busses all didn't come until 9:00, we told her that we were just going to have to run and we would meet her there. I'm sure it was really a sight to see two sister missionaries running down the street for almost 3 kilometers to a 
church building in long skirts and laughing the whole way. The congregation was waiting for us when we got there five minutes late, and we burst in, threw off our coats, and casually walked in, and I sat down to the piano and wiped the sweat off my face. Needless to say, Inga came to church and loved it so it was all worth it. (even though my voice was basically gone when we had to do a musical number.)

Yesterday, we had a miracle because the night before, Sister Seninger felt really strongly that we needed to go to a certain place and find a woman in a brown coat. We did! She was so wonderful and we talked to her for almost 45 minutes. Shortly after we had a bench lesson with a woman who is so incredibly prepared--she asked every question a missionary could possibly want-- and who we will most likely be teaching again this week. 

These are just literally 1/2000 miracles I see every day here on my mission. I am so grateful for the people here and for everyone around me. I wish I could write everything about every person I have met here but 1) that would take me eight years and 2) probably inappropriate to just tell other people's lives for them. I'm excited to finally be here in Košice, where I can see people selling beautiful flowers everywhere and run when the sun is coming up over the city, and be surrounded by wonderful people anywhere I go. Even on sketchy busses. (Miracles happen on sketchy busses. Am I even spelling busses right? is it buses? I really just don't even know english.) Anyway. And I love the Van Dalens too!

cvicova (tenderloin dumplings and cream)

THEY FEED US SUCH DELICIOUS FOOD I COULD DIE. Honestly I don't even know what I was eating, but there were potatoes and sausage and soup and walnut cake and I just was so happy that my stomach was bursting. Also, the elders made 6.6 lbs of halušky last night so at least I'm not as bad as some people with the food thing. Just kidding. I eat what I want. 

Scripture of my week: Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
really small elevator with sister seninger

There is really no reason for us to be ashamed at all of this gospel 
because every ounce of it is true! It is a map for every person in this life, truly. I hope to share it in everything that I do and say and have never felt more grateful for anything in my life. Not even for halušky. Right now, there are a lot of people that are surprised at
 my slovak and that I can understand anything, but I'm actually just like a four year old telling people (quite brokenly) what I know and handing them pictures of Jesus. Which is fine because its the best I can do! The Lord expects nothing more of us and I know that He is able to make our weaknesses strengths. 

I love and am praying for you all! Thank you for all of your emails and notes! Talk to you soon!

Uvidíme sa!
Sestra Abbott 

church in prague

church in prague

church in prague

lock bridge in prague

pink apartment we stayed in in prague