Sunday, October 5, 2014

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I can hardly believe it!! I can't tell you how excited I am to finally start eating real vegetables and fruits again! I cannot remember what real bread, mashed potatoes, or meat tastes like at all. But I can't believe how fast it has gone by.

The language is really coming along. There are some days when I feel like I could be doing so much more, but there are other days when I remind myself that I never thought I would learn this much in the MTC. I am far from perfect, but I can understand and communicate at probably an elementary level, which is semi-okay.

This week the highlight was Starsi Kuhlmann's birthday. He has really become like a little brother to us, so we really went all out. Well, for missionaries. The big 1 9 ! haha, these elders. We went and spent the rest of our five dollars on a bunch of candy for him, hung up a leftover sign from a sister's previous birthday, taped the candy all over the classroom (along with printouts of his picture), made tape streamers above his seat, made him a cardboard crown, and really surprised him when he came in and we started playing primary birthday songs and jumping up and down. It really was a bonanza. Or a rozruch. Haha really though. THEN his mom sent him this HUGE package

wait, side note....

When his mom dropped off this huge package, she drove slowly around the field while we were having gym and yelled out the car door (I LOVE YOU!) It was so funny. We all jumped up and down and waved at her.

Anyway, this HUGE package contained EVERYTHING necessary for an all-out birthday party!! She made this incredible Nissan car cake, so delicious, and put in all these shark-themed decorations and forks and plates and napkins and the whole shabang! It really was so incredibly fun. Sister Palinikova gave in and let us go outside and set it all up (Even though it was freezing) and she even taught us the Slovak birthday song.

Anyway. This fast sunday, I had the best experience fasting for the people of Slovakia. I was feeling pretty inadequate the few days before, and feeling very unprepared to do this great work. However, when I was fasting for them, I had the most overwhelming feeling of love with me all day. The older sisters who spoke of their previous missions in relief society talked of the people, and I was just crying because I can feel those spirits who are so prepared and so ready to hear this wonderful word of the gospel! I know that sometimes it is scary, but I know that even if I couldn't speak the language at all, I could show them God's love for them and our love for them.

OH! On Starsi Kuhlmann's birthday also, during gym we played kickball, and it was my turn, and there were three outs already and I REALLY did NOT want to be our fourth out. So of course, I kicked it directly to first base. I kind of got really competitive and sprinted to first, and ended up jumping/diving/tripping over this elder who somehow was on the ground in front of me, and really bruising up my knee (Like real bad). It was pretty epic. But I think what really matters is that I made it to first base, and Sister Parsons made it to home base because of it. So.

Back to Sunday.  On our temple walk, a very frightening thing happened. The member of our branch presidency who was with us, President Robinson, suddenly collapsed and was unconscious. It was really terrifying. We all thought he was going to die. Our elders immediately rushed over to hold him up, and took turns holding him. When he became conscious again, his face looked almost blue. His wife ran to the car and to call 911, while the elders continued to help him. After a few minutes, one of the Elders pulled out his consecrated oil, and they leaned P. Robinson against a tree and gave him a priesthood blessing. How grateful I am for the priesthood! The ambulance came, and he ended up being fine, only deprived of nutrients, but it was really frightening. I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many worthy young (and old) men who hold the priesthood--I know that the power of God is real and that through it, miracles really can and will occur.

HEY! Our Elders are singing in priesthood this week!!  Watch conference and watch for our elders! (Like you would be able to recognize, but we have like 20 from our zone!)

One thing I have really been grateful for this week is how prepared I have been for this mission and to serve the Lord. I am so grateful for the way that my parents raised me! From little things like fasting for 24 hours (A lot people's main stress stems from this) to following the rules exactly and staying far away from the line, I know that because of my parents' diligence I have far less trouble than many missionaries in the MTC do.

One cool story from this week: A woman spoke in our devotional about her experience as a mission president's wife in Russia. She talked about how scary it was to be in Russia and have no language experience, and feel so unprepared. She said that at one point she had to carry all her luggage down a huge, icy staircase without a railing. She counted 96 stairs, and she knew there was no way she was going to make it down all 96 of those stairs without tripping and falling. She said a short, faithful prayer, and as she embarked, she felt tangible arms gripping hers and supporting her down those stairs. She talked about how she knows there are angels around us, supporting us every step of the way. This could not be more true! My mission may be 18 months, or I may have 12 more days in the MTC, or maybe go down 96 stairs, but I know that if I rely on the Lord, I will be supported every step of the way and he will not allow me to fall! I am so grateful for the angels I have already felt around me and for the spirit I feel so strongly in every moment of my day.

Scripture of the Week: D&C 6:34-36:

34 Therefore, fear not, little flock ; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
36 Look unto me in every thought ; doubt not, fear not.

Sorry, no slovak words this week because this computer is weird and the keyboard doesn't like accents. Anyway,
Sestra {Kalli-Paige} Abbott

P.S. Last P-Day, we ran into the Coveys at the temple (Which was SO wonderful!) And they sent us FRESH FRUIT! Who knows how they got it in, but I was crying eating the raspberries. I almost died. Raspberries and peaches--nothing better.

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