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. 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.