Sunday, August 31, 2014

If it is to be, it is up to me

Hi everyone! Okay so I made a list this week of everything I wanted to say, so hopefully I have enough time to say it. 

First of all, I want to tell the story of the actual miracle of Slovakia! We were asking our teacher, Brat Zabriskie, about miracles in slovakia, and he reminded us that Slovakia in and of itself IS a miracle! 

The story is this:
The church wasn't allowed in Slovakia after it split with the Czech Republic. In order to become an official practicing church in Slovakia, you have to get 20,000 people to sign a petition. Well, as most of you know, there are only 239 members in Slovakia right now, and most are Roman Catholic. So the church hired professionals to go in and convince people to sign this petition in 2004. The professionals went in and worked and worked, advertised and promoted, and after two weeks, they had collected a whopping 150 signatures. It seemed hopeless. What came next was completely inspired--church leadership decided to send in the Czech speaking missionaries into Slovakia. It may have seemed hopeless to send missionaries in that are speaking a totally different language. However, the missionaries, valiant and determined, proselyted for 3 days, asking people everywhere to sign this petition. In those three days, they managed to collect 24,000 signatures!! President Uchtdorf dedicated Slovakia later that year for missionary work! How incredible is that?

Next, some very exciting news. We had some new bibles brought in today!! Apparently, the bibles that our teachers have used in the past were very difficult to align with our King James version. This brand-new version is all in Slovak (not czech, like D&C and Pearl of Great Price), and is almost exactly identical to the King James version! (minus Joseph Smith Translations) The work is truly hastening! I cannot contain my excitement and am already so excited to teach the people there. They are so ready to receive the gospel!

Haha. Funny story #1. Sis. Parsons and I have INCREDIBLE companionship studies, and yesterday, we had a particularly emotional one. I started crying because I was so overcome with the spirit, and as I was wiping tears from my face, a Czech sister named Sister Fredrickson pops in the classroom and says "Anyone want a cookie?" We were laughing at how perfect the timing was. (Is this actually even funny? Am I finally becoming a missionary with poor humor?)

I finally gave in to the desserts at the MTC. Poor/best decision. THEY HAVE CARROT CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ON THE BOTTOM.

Our slovak is really coming! We were even able to have a testimony meeting this week in Slovak, and most of us were able to say a simple but very powerful testimony. The spirit was SO strong--and although our sentence structures are SO bad (I never know when to say Josephovi Smithovi or Joseph Smith or Josephom Smithom or....) (PS that is a real thing with all nouns. There are like 12 different forms of them.) it was still so incredible.

We have a new teacher named Sister Palanikova! She is SO wonderful and is actually a convert from Slovakia! She converted at 21, and after a year and a half (just like Sis Parsons!) went on a mission to the Netherlands. So she also teaches Dutch here at the MTC. She speaks English, Dutch, Polish, Slovak, and Czech. Apparently, after my mission, I will be able to understand most of the languages in this area. Most teachers in my zone talk to each other in Slovenian, Slovak, Polish, Czech, Russian, Croatian, and a couple others, and they can all understand each other! Woah. 

Fun moment with the slovak sisters: All of us using my foot scrub (thanks mom) in the bathroom singing "Lean on Me" (We are basically a travelling choir; no joke) and the Sound of Music. Sometimes missionaries have more fun than we should.

Haha. On Tuesday, Sister Parsons got paged down to the front desk. We were so frightened when we were walking down because we had no idea what it was about. Really. We were freaking out. Turns out, it was just her really good friend (a Covey) who was working there and wanted to talk to us! She was President Nally's secretary (!). President Nally comes in, and all of a sudden wants to talk to Sis Parsons in his office! It was really actually quite perturbing to be separated from my dear spolocnicka. Turns out, he had just heard about her from his secretary and just wanted to talk to her about herself and her family for a minute. So now we are popular. 

LAST NIGHT Sister Russell HID IN THE CLOSET for over TWENTY MINUTES , and as Sister Parsons and I were in bed telling a story she starts MAKING NOISES and the door starts CREAKING and it was probably the MOST FRIGHTENING THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED. Sister Parsons pushes me off the bed and we both leap into sister Eggers bed, trembling and shrieking. I've really never been so scared in my whole life I don't think. I thought there was a ghost/murderer. SO SCARY. 

The thunderstorms on friday and saturday were just such a blessing. Not only did we have rain, but I just absolutely am in love with the weather and the rain and lightning etc. Just one of those tender mercies.

Other tender mercy: I was walking down the hall one morning, and I just said "All I want is some steamed broccoli." Because we never have any fresh steamed veggies, only canned. That night, we go to dinner, and the menu was something like "Beef and Steamed Broccoli". We were all laughing so hard.

2 Quotes from this week that I absolutely love, the first is the title of this letter, and it was given at the devotional on tuesday:

If it is to be, it is up to me. 

The speaker, Elder Martino of the seventy, spoke to us of hard work and diligence. I've never been so motivated in my life! The devotionals are always so amazing. Another quote he read from Thomas S. Monson talked about "Taxing our Talents." I think that is so important to remember! Sis. Parsons and I were talking about how taxing our talents means to make sure that we share our talents with EVERYONE and that we shouldn't be exclusive about who we share them with.

Quote 2 from choir practice:
If you are all wrapped up in yourself, all you are going to have is a really small package.

How true is that? I have so much to say about this quote but really not enough time, so how about everyone else can just say what they think and, Voila! Testimony meeting!

Next, MTC volleyball is probably the best thing ever. People can actually play volleyball! And it is so fun! They even have sand volleyball outside. I love playing with the elders and sisters in our zone. We always yell, (Sorry, no accents on this keyboard), "Ja chcem SMRT!" or, "I want death!" or "TY CI MUKEL!" which is, "you are a muggle!" Of course, we don't keep score, so it always ends well. Tied fun to fun every time!

Haha. Funny embarrassing moment. S. Parsons and I were teaching our new investigator Bajo, said Bio, (AKA brat Bateman), and I messed up big time. Haha. We sat down and said our how do you dos and all that, and then I was going to ask him if we could say a prayer. However, instead of saying 'Do you mind if we say a prayer", I accidentally said "Can we come back tomorrow?" Hahahahhaha so awkward. I then proceded to say/yell, "Nie Nie Nie!" and rephrase. It was a good thing he isn't a real investigator. Haha. I'm still laughing right now. 

For some reason all these people we don't know know who we are...we will be walking around campus and this group of elders will yell, Hey! The Slovaks! And we will be confused/weirded out. 

This week, our district is focusing on Christlike love. I know that this is something I need to work on. I just can't believe the difference that it makes when I have the spirit with me all the time--I become so conscious of the things I said, and am so inspired to change the way I do things. Making goals daily helps too. I just know that I am so surrounded by love and prayers, and am so grateful for that. My relationship with my Heavenly Father grows stronger every day, and as my prayers grow longer and longer, I get happier and happier. This gospel is so true! This knowledge has never been so tangible to me in my entire life! I feel like I understand His plan for His children so well and know the love that he has for each and every one of them. I feel this for people I haven't even met yet.
I also have found so much peace in the words of the scriptures. I don't remember which apostle said that every time they read the scriptures they learn something new--but it is so true. I could read the same chapter 15 times in one day and get something different out of it each time. I get so lost in personal study between footnotes and scriptures and preach my gospel and I feel like my mind is expanding 12,0000X! I'm like seriously the grinch. I came here, and my heart has grown 3X in the short amount of time I have been here. The light that is this gospel is spreading, and it is spreading fast! 

Here are some scriptures I/we have found:
1) Jeremiah 15:16: Thy words were found, and I did eat them;
This scripture literally describes my life right now. I am not going to write the entire scriptures that I list here because I want YOU the person who is reading it to look them up and mark the parts that apply to you because they are so amazing! 

2) D&C 123:12-14 and Exodus 18:18--wear yourself out in the work. The news of the gospel is HERE and there are people who are blind only because they do not know where to find it. It is our responsibility and duty as missionaries, members, and those who know the truth to spread it so that others can find happiness! We can't be selfish and hog the whole cake.

3) Isaiah 26:2-4--How can I keep the Lord in perfect peace? I hope that I can heed the promptings He sends me quickly and without hesitation so that I can become His trusted servant. This one also, for me, ties into Jacob 5:72--because not only can I become His trusted servant in His vineyard, but I can serve side by side with my Lord and God. 

One last thought I want to leave with everyone from the tuesday devotional--If we act on our faith, we have to set goals. And when setting goals, sometimes we have to believe in impossible things in order to push ourselves! Think of the parable of the sower--a sower plants seeds in many places, and some spring right up where they are planted, and others aren't so lucky. Elder Marino gave the example of a tree planted in the middle of the sea. Sometimes we have to believe that that seed will grow into a tree in the middle of the sea. Sometimes we have to set goals for ourselves that seem far-fetched in order to see how far we are able to go. Sometimes we have to believe that other people will be willing to accept things, even if they seem completely hopeless. 

All my love,
Sestra Abbott

P.S. I sent a few of you some fun Slovak words. Hopefully next week I will have even more to put in the email! But it is hard to type them, because I can't have accents, so it is silly.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Spirit, Slovak, and inSanity (haha)

Ahoj and Dobry Den to everyone!

Thank you for all your wonderful notes and packages--we really enjoyed wearing the mustache/glasses while Brat Bateman tried to teach us how to conjugate verbs (he ended up teaching us with his back turned to us because he was laughing so hard--and the cookies from the candy counter! SO GOOD! I've been doing so well at eating healthy but I can't resist those chocolate chip cookies. My district appreciated it too.

I love the Spirit I feel here. I'm not sure if I have ever really felt the "constant companionship" of the Holy Ghost in my life, but this week has been exhausting and overwhelming because of the amount of the Spirit we have felt. Sestra Parsons and I have been on the verge of tears all week because we are so happy and feel so close to God right now. We have already taught five discussions to our "investigator" Peter, and it is incredible how much we have learned. Our vocabulary is very limited to the gospel terms, so it is kind of funny when we go in to teach a lesson because there is literally no small talk. But the spirit has been so strong! When we taught him about the Book of Mormon and testified of its truthfulness, we asked him to pray if he knew it was true, and he says (in Slovak), "Right now" and we say "Yeah!" So he does, and immediately, the room was full of the Holy Ghost and all three of us walked out crying. Yesterday we got him to commit to baptism next month. (Of course, he is really just the head of the Slovak department here, but it is still fun because he is so good at pretending he doesn't know anything).

Sestra Parsons and I have so much in common it is crazy. We have already had multiple people tell us that we look and act like sisters, and we are sure we must have been best friends in the pre-earth life. One glance from each other and we can see an entire conversation. Today we were blessed to go to the temple, and the first name of the girl I got was Catherine. I looked over at her name, and it was Katherine. What are the chances! We have begun to think that there were no chances, and no coincidences. We are sure there are trials ahead of us that we are going to have to face together, and that is why we have been blessed with this friendship. Our voices are the same, we both say "literally" literally every two seconds, "We finish each other's sandwiches", and etc etc. We both chew on our pens which was a terrible discovery because we were sharing our colored pens. So either we break the habit, or both get sick. I'm sure we will be lifelong friends.

Also weirdness---I know the girl that introduced her to the church from jr high.


We were so blessed to sing in the choir on tuesday for the devotional--What an incredible experience! We sang "precious savior, dear redeemer", and it touched me so deeply. Sister Oscarson, YW general president, spoke at the fireside and was just incredible. She had so many missionary stories!

I loved Sunday too. It is a little strange because church meetings are kind of scattered throughout the day, but it is also really relaxing. The sisters get to go watch Music and the Spoken word, and since there aren't a ton of sisters here, we all have a big Relief Society together. I loved sacrament meeting--it was pretty emotional because all of the Polish starsi and sestry left on monday, and I actually know a lot of them from BYU. But they were so ready! After nine weeks, they said it went by fast--we will see if I say the same thing.

From what our teachers tell us about Slovakia, it is 1) Freezing, freezing cold. 2) Beautiful, and the language is also so beautiful. The throaty sound isn't really there. it is more like a whisper. 3) Delicious tasting--except a lot of the meals are apparently animal organs, but they say it is good 4) No members. They said about half of the 230 listed on the LDS newsroom are inactive. So...

Haha. The language is really coming. It is kind of ridiculous how much we have learned in only a week, but I guess you learn it quick if every single hour of the 12 hours a day you spend in class is in Slovak. Well, not all 12 hours because 1 hour is personal study, 1 hour companion time. Our district is really really great. We joke because we are all so similar--outgoing, musical, funny, stubborn. Well, what is actually really funny is that the one Elder Bowen actually going to Leeds, England, speaking Slovak, is less outgoing and funny. He is always telling us to "Zamarat sa!" Or focus. We laugh, but know that we do need to focus most of the time.

I don't really know what has happened...Haha. I love the early morning exercise classes--my companion doesn't really but it is good because we have authorization to go on companion exchanges for that. We are really bad at getting to bed on time because we all get along very well.

Something spiritual for you peeps: In the MTC, they keep reading the scripture in D&C about bringing one soul unto me, and if you bring many, how great will be your joy (Sorry I don't have my scriptures with me. I will look it up.) But they put so much emphasis on that one soul being yourself! First, bring yourself to the Lord, and then you can find others. I'm so happy that I was able to become converted through personal study and revelation before I came on my mission, because otherwise, this would all probably be really hard.

Second, everyone should read Mosiah 27 verse by verse. I wrote a mini testimony/a couple sentences from each verse, and I've never been more spiritually fed in my life. I discovered so many new things!

Third, in Matthew 3, when it talks about Jesus Christ being baptized, look at the Joseph Smith Translation! Who knew that it was John the Baptist who witnessed the heavens opening and the Holy Ghost descending like a dove and hearing the Lord's voice! I always assumed it was Christ!

So incredible--I can't even explain how much of the Spirit I have felt. THIS IS REAL. This is true, and I know that this is exactly where the Lord wants me! I'm so grateful for this opportunity and for all the people around me who build me up every day! Sometimes it is hard to "zamarat sa", but a little prayer can fix anything. Anyway,


Sestra Abbott

P.S. Please send me Dear Elders! They are so fun to read and receive throughout the day! I loved the ones you already sent! It is nice because I don't have much email time on P-Day. Which, by the way, is Thursday.

Friday, August 15, 2014

First days at the MTC

Kalli with Debbie Miller (aka Sara's Mom) at the MTC on day two!
Hi family! Just a quick email to let you know that all is well and wonderful in the MTC! I have never felt the spirit so strong in my life--he is truly my constant companion! Well, besides my own companion, Sestra Parsons, who is amazing and so perfect! We get along so well and are so similar; we even have almost the same color of hair. Seriously I love her. She converted to the church 1.5 years ago! And is 20. And is from Montreal, Canada, of course. Her first language is french but she speaks perfect English.

I have to hurry and put this--Mom, I need you to send my two dates for my MMR shots to the MTC. Apparently I didn't put the first date in. If you could fax it that would be great. That's what they told me. ASAP aka before next Thursday.

AHH. Slovak is so great. And hard! But my teachers are great. We have three elders with us, although one is going to the Leeds, England mission speaking Slovak! (!) And four sisters--and we are all in the same room. It is so great. We are all learning together...I guess they haven't had slovak speakers in a long time! And we are the biggest group they have had yet.

I ate a mexican salad. Of my own free will. (it was gross)

But really I am eating healthy, even though it is only my second day. Right now things are kind of crazy because it is our first week, and the schedule is different, but it will be pretty routine pretty soon. It is crazy how much I have learned in the short time I have been here! Seriously! Slovak is going to be difficult, haha, we were laughing so hard in class today because our teachers aren't allowed to speak ANY english AT ALL and they were struggling so bad. He was trying to tell us the word for "prepare" and was miming a gun for some reason? We were so confused. "You have a gun?" "You're going hunting?" "Your mom has a gun?" We were dying of laughter he was so confused. And we all just go along with whatever he says. Dak, dak. Ano, Ano. When in reality we are all so confused.

AND ALL OF MY SESTRI SING!!!! ALL FOUR OF US! Today we were all singing Slovak hymns. No way we are pronouncing them right but the spirit was there, nevertheless. We are going to join the choir and maybe do some musical numbers. 

Also, you guys should use DearElder! Just look it up online and follow the directions because you can just type me a letter and they will print it out and bring it to me the same day. Haha there is this Elder from Wales going to Poland in our Zone and he has already received like 1000000000 letters. Okay maybe that is an exaggeration but seriously.

Haha, I had to pull my luggage up four floors and my arms are really sore. It is bad.

We have to teach our first Slovak tomorrow! hahahahha I am already laughing at the train wreck this is going to be. Ja som....Something that means laughing. You know, they said that I would only get five minutes but this is going a lot longer because there are less of us. Anyway, love to everyone. Good luck with the last week before school starts! 

AND SEND THE IMMUNIZATION RECORD sorry if we don't have a fax machine that's what they said to do.

Sestra Abbott

(Seriously I love the MTC. And this nametag is great haha. AND I am on the same floor as one of my best friends Ellis Benson from BYU and with the twins Dylan and Tate Wright (all polish speaking)! SO great but they are leaving on Monday. Aubrey and Emilee came and said hi to me yesterday too! I know SO many people. My companion and the other Sestri are just like, WOW Sestra Abbott YOU are popular. Haha Utah. That's all I have to say.)

P.S. Sestra Parsons got this HUGE package today from her friend who converted her (her family aren't members) and another little box, but it was so light! So we had to carry it to our residence, and I was carrying the huge box, and everyone was just staring at me and saying "Wow someone must love you." We had no idea what it was, but when we went back and opened it, there were all these helium-filled balloons! Kind of the best thing ever.

Okay, so long for now for reals this time.

Dovidenia again.

Sestra Abbott 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Tonight I get set apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I'm so excited to learn and grow from this experience and share the wonderful news of the restored gospel with those in Slovakia! I will be heading to the Provo MTC, and will be there until October 13th, when I will be flown to Europe. My letters will be posted on this blog, and please email me at I may not have time to email back, but would love to hear from you!

MTC Address:

Sister Kalli Paige Abbott
2007 N 900 E Unit 70
Provo UT 84602

After October 13th, letters can be sent to this address:

Cirkev Ježiša Krista
Sister Kalli Abbott
Badeniho 1
Prague 6   160 00
Czech Republic - Europe

*FOR PACKAGES: Please contact my parents. Weird stuff is happening with those.