Saturday, January 31, 2015

okay so who needed a prayer at 2 this morning?

I just am not sure if I have ever not been a missionary.
if this picture is too awkward for life I am sorry

What is life?
I was born and raised in a skirt with a nametag...
literally though life outside of this is nonexistent.

This week was wondrous. Miraculous. Utterly stupendous and fantastic.
It is likely that I am exaggerating slightly, but I feel like I am not..not really...

Between missing our buses and being pelted with horizontal snow, there is so much to be grateful for. Everywhere we go we seem to run into people who need the gospel-or who need a reminder of what they already know is true. We taught a former investigator this week, who was taught a about a year and a half ago when there were no sisters here in Košice. Maybe he was not ready then but he is sure ready now! There was (quite luckily) a warm hour in the day where it was appropriate to sit in the park and have the lesson, instead of a cafe. Telling the Joseph Smith story in a grove of trees was nothing short of magical. The spirit that lingered in the air was so strong that he nearly could not speak! I love when you are in a place that you can really tangibly feel the spirit when you testify.

a while ago when I got to play a beautiful piano in a concert hall in a museum
Another cool thing that happened this week was that we got Mario, the youngest member of the Slepčikovci family (less active) on date! We are working with them so hard to help the family become activated so that Mario can be baptized. Satan is really working hard on them--because we really need them in our branch--but we hope they will start to see more of the blessings from the gospel very soon!

ANOTHER cool thing that happened (I sound like a teenage boy. This is cool, that is cool, you are cool, your mom is cool) is that we have so many miracles in contacting that result from spiritually planning. One example of this is that this week, we planned to find one man, wearing a hat, and teach him about prophets on the street. So you know, it is winter time, so basically every man was wearing some kind of hat, and we were contacting them all like mad women and talking about a living prophet (which by the way is such a blessing), and then we see him. And boy, was he wearing a hat! The classiest little fedora/top hat thing. We just looked at each other and said, "THAT IS THE MAN". Immediately we began talking to him. He was amazing! He spoke slovak, but actually spoke perfect english as well, with a wonderful british accent (Went with the hat). After a long conversation, we convinced him that maybe there was a God and that the Book of Mormon is evidence of that. He agreed to meet with us again and tešime sa na to :)

Our language is so fun. Slovak is the best language in the world. Literally. The elders helped us this week with a couple pronunciation things that would help us sound less like americans. Slash canadians. And boy! Hoorays all around! That was thursday and we have already had two people ask if we were Polish and one ask if we were from Ukraine. Makes ya feel good when people do not just respond with "we do not speak English".

Lastly, by this time, you are probably wondering why we were praying at 2 in the morning today.


I wake up in the middle of the night, slightly confused, and look over and see that Sestra Parsons is kneeling up in her bed. And I am thinking, "Why did I not hear the alarm? This is so awkward, I always hear the alarm...etc" and so after thinking awkwardly for a little while, I kneel up and also begin to pray. We both pray and are about to get out of our bed, and I look over at Sestra Parsons and say, "Did the alarm go off?" And she is so confused! Literally she just tiredly responds, "yes.." And then I say "Do you have the phone?" (Because normally, she gets up and gets the phone when it goes off in the morning) and she is like, "no..." So she gets up and looks at the phone...yep...

2:23 AM.

So who really knows why we were both awake and praying, but nevertheless, like I said, missionaries for life.

OH! Speaking of sleeping, I apparently now talk in my sleep. Which I do not think I have done before. I have said such things such as "Stop, do not go over there, that is a cliff!" And "My dance! My shoes!" And this week, I began to repeat Slovak prepositions in my sleep. So. No sleep only work over here I guess!

foto:doing what I do best:eating chocolate
And also, I love food now. My family will probably die when they hear this, but literally. I love the pickles and the beets and the onions just a lot. I have been given the gift of tongues :) (Cracking myself up over here) And slovak food is so delicious--Sestra Van Dalenova made us the BEST FOOD THIS WEEK IN THE WHOLE WORLD. We went over twice, because we did visiting teaching as sisters, and then we went for a district lunch on Saturday...ah. Little herby chicken patty things and beets and thyme carrots, then this big basically Slovak funeral potatoes, with sausage and eggs and cream and not blame me for gaining weight.

Well, love and pray and hope and dream and tak d´alej for you all...

Sestra Abbott

ps. one tragedy that happened this week. I had to go and get this glue for my boot (because I tragically broke it in a moment of extreme missionary work), so it is this like really really extra strong adhesive..well...yesterday it was still in my bag (you know, for emergencies) and it was so cold outside that something happened to the bottle and the whole thing broke inside of my bag. The good news is that only the used part of my planner is glued shut!



Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Hello again from lovely little Košice! The weather has really warmed up this week and I was so excited to be able to go on a run in the rain this morning. Surprising, yes, but also just the best thing ever. I am bursting with gratitude from all of the support I receive on my mission and feel incredibly lucky to have so many friends and family not only serving missions, but being such wonderful examples for me in their everyday lives. Literally hashtag blessed. There is no hashtag symbol on this keyboard.

more bathtubs
This week started out with a good ole long train ride to Bratislava for a wonderful training. I love train rides. They give me so many excuses to just eat bread, cheese, and chocolate. Anyway, we got to Bratislava, where we had interviews with Prezident McConkie (he is so great.) and then Sister Parsons and I went out and contacted for an hour. We had so much success (nech sa pači, bratislava misionari) and one strange experience. We contacted a girl who did not speak english or slovak and was desperately trying to communicate with us. We discovered that she was from Iran and that she needed help. Needless to say, it ended up being really extremely confusing and slightly terrifying. We gave her the missionaries number. It was weird. That is all.

On tuesday, we had the most remarkable training. I AM SO PUMPED FOR 2015! And I get to spend the entire year in Slovakia serving the Lord! I cannot believe how quickly the time is passing. It is a little stressful, I feel like I have no time at all! But we can make the best of it. We had a great training on how to be a happy missionary, with ten steps to become one. So good. One of my favorites was "forget yourself". We listened to an awesome BYU devotional address given by Pres. Hinckley a pretty long time ago--but it is so good, and everyone should look it up right now and read it. Now.

We got to stay in Bratislava to go on exchanges with Sis. Seninger and Sis. Eggers (yay!) since Sis. Seninger is now the Sister Training Leader over us lovely six slovak sestry. I got to spend a whole day with Sister Eggers, which was way too much fun. And the power of four sisters in Bratislava was just too much to handle! So much success! So many numbers and so many street lessons. We got to teach a couple of their investigators, which was so cool! And weirdest thing--they were taught in English, which I actually have not done yet on my mission. First lesson in English! yeah! (A lot more people in Bratislava speak English fluently than here in Košice.) Love Bratislava and love the people. had Bryndza pizza. Life is good.
pancakes at the castle

The train ride home could not have been longer...hahah not only was it already dark outside, but Sister Parsons and I were determined to teach a lesson on the train (We had not been in our area all week) but škoda, the men who sat next to us were both drunk. But at least they were funny and not creepy! We tried to teach them about living prophets. It was altogether a good time.


Košice. City of miracles. Taught so many lessons, found so many people. I love when the Lord puts
us in places randomly to find those special people. We found one woman this week and taught her about the Kniha Mormonova, and she just kept saying, "Why has nobody heard about this!" And we were just like, "Right?!" haha it was so awesome. She will read and then she will REALLY be thinking that.

We taught that awesome caroling miracle man again. Turns out he is the most prepared man on the face of the planet! He said he would be baptized, although he has not picked a date yet. He just gets it! And you can really see the spirit working on him. I decided that the thing I like the most about my mission right now, is telling people that they are a child of God for the first time. Like maybe, they were born into a catholic family, and know that we are all the offspring of God, but nobody has ever said right to their face "Vy ste dcera Božie!" (you are a child of god) I love watching them process it and see their hearts soften as they get a glimpse of their true identity.

Lastly, yesterday was another miracle day. We found a woman on the street who, also, we had previously caroled to. (I AM TELLING YOU THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IS A REAL THING. the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.) We taught her, then directly afterwards, we saw Vojto, who God is really watching out for. Also we taught someone who said that he believed in LSD (I do not know if he was on LSD or not because I do not really know what LSD does) but we told him we had something better than LSD and that that is the Kniha Mormonova! He agreed to try and read it.
sorry, can't see the castle through the fog


Lastly, today, was the best thing ever. Because we went to a castle. And there was fog. and Rain. and beautiful villages. and hiking. And I loved it. So I will send pictures.

loves and prayers forever, dovi,
sestra abbott

PPPPS. have a great week

Monday, January 12, 2015

Košice on fire!

...Not literally on fire....


picture of a snowflake that landed on sister Parson's arm
I am sto (100) percent sure that we could be a movie over here in Slovakia. Actually. Like when you see those really cool films or photos of missionaries out in a beautiful land, knocking on a little tiny door to a house, or in a beautiful winter wonderland, that is us. I wish someone could be filming us all the time.

I do not know what the exact definition of a miracle is, but I believe it is when you are able to see God's hand in the work (or in your life). I cannot believe everything that happens to me. Sometimes I am really confused about it. But most of the time, I know that the Lord is using me as His tool. There is nothing better than having the confidence that you are doing God's will and that you are where you need to be at the exact moment you need to be there.

picture of a bathtub in someone's summer garden
This week, I have become a lesson-teaching crazy woman on the street. I am really becoming more
confident in the language (Beware: confidence does not always equal fluency of any sort), and am discovering that I can teach anyone I find. So many lessons on the street this week! And I love it. I love watching people's faces as I tell them they can live together as a family forever, or as I tell them that we have a living prophet on the earth today, or when I tell them that we have Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Not all of them set up with us, but not all of them are prepared! And the next time they see missionaries, they are going to remember how they felt.

Anyway, so miracles were just pouring down on Košice this week. I mean, usually, there is a steady downfall of miracles that we see every day, but this week, it was like the Teton Dam broke and washed us away in the strength of its running waters (Is this becoming extremely lyrical? hahaha)

So miracles:
1) Remember that woman with the baby and the snowman and so forth who we found last week? Well, directly after emailing you all, we went to tesco to purchase a vacuum bag, and as we were walking out, there she was! With her child right outside! And she was so happy to see us and said that she read in the Kniha Mormonova and that she was looking forward to us coming again! Wow! Then we came back yesterday, but she was sick and couldn't meet, but still ended up seeing her and setting up for next Sunday. And giving her a Plan Spasy pamphlet, which she said she would read. What!

2) Also, last week in tesco, I saw that woman again with the red coat and the kids who I contacted on the bus! She is meeting with us this week as well now!

me looking awkward and apostate in Svaty Dom Alžbeta
3) Remember caroling miracle man? First of all, he is amazing. Met with him again this week, and he is so prepared and so elect. Plus he was wearing suspenders and he teaches art. Second of all, we were going to teach him on Friday night, but coming back from dinner, we ran into him (This is fifteen minutes before his lesson) and he was waiting for a friend who was really late. So we re set up with him for the next day, and began to go back to the building for our dinner hour. Heading back, we saw a huge family with five small kids! I Just thought, we Have to contact them. So we did. Ended up teaching them Plan Spasy and getting a return appointment! Dreams coming true all over the place!

4) Then, we planned to find a man with a mustache and teach him about the book of mormon. We found the most slušný man who lived in Presov, with a mustache, taught him the whole kniha mormonova, and he took it and said he would read it on the train! Really really cool.

5) Saturday, we had a lesson on the namestie, and he did not show up. So we were a little sad and naturally decided to run and get some chocolate from the grocery store (Cures all ailments). We turned onto a street we are not normally on, and there was one girl walking down the street. I immediately said to S. Parsons, "We have to contact her!" So S. Parsons stopped her with the classic, "Prosim vas", and the girl looked frightened out of her boots! Her eyes were so big and started shaking her hands..and speaking english! She was from Austrailia, and we said, well that is perfect because we are from America and Canada! So so weird.She was so relieved. Turns out she is basically travelling the world by herself and got stranded in Košice alone while she was trying to get to Budapešti. She could not understand the language at all, was just very confused and lost, and talked to us for about 30 minutes.  We helped her a little bit, but we were so happy we ran into her. Later, we looked at our planner, and the back up that we had planned was actually to be on that exact street and contact a girl with a red scarf. Yep, she was wearing a red scarf.

6) yesterday in a nutshell: One of our members apologized to another member in church while giving a talk on forgiveness (hug was included), we got our less active member to church, and Sis. Slepcikova, who said she would not come. Then we found a wonderful girl on the street who took the Kniha Mormonova like it was treasure and said to call her on Monday.  then we went back to Tahanovce and, like I said, found that mom again. Then we tracted into the SECOND mom that we found last week and set up for next Sunday. Then we ran into another man who has a Book of Mormon and was taught one other time before who said he would read again. Then I made friends with two huge dogs. It was the best thing ever. Their owners were not home, but one was so cute and brought me a ball and pushed it through the gate so I could throw it to him (My hands became really sufficiently dirty), then the other dog was SO TALL he stood up on the gate to look at me and he was a bear! He looked like a lion! And he defended us when another dog started barking at us. THEN we saw this woman who literally did not have a shoe on and we asked her if she needed help (long story short: Shouting, etc. She did NOT need help.)

Sorry this needs another paragraph. Then it was getting a little dark and we were heading back, and there was this drunk man. In the middle of the street. And nobody else was out, and he just stared at us. We had no idea what to do, and were very frightened, so we said a quick prayer and asked heavenly father to send us some angels to help us. Just as we said amen, two rowdy teenage boys came tramping down the street as loudly as possible. The drunk man got a little scared and ran away. I have never been so happy to see two annoying boys in my life. So yeah. Basically day of miracles.

This week they also had another holiday, called Three Kings day or something. They celebrate when the kings brought the gifts to the baby Jesus. Pretty cool. mostly everyone just goes to church.

So. These are just a few of our miracles. I could not believe how many lessons we taught this week and how much success we are having! I love Slovakia more than ever and am truly finding joy in the work. And when we miss meals or we feel afraid of drunk men, I love to remember this scripture:

 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

 31 ¶But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:32

Anyway. I think this is everything..probably not, but, either way.

Love and pray for you all!

Sestra Abbott

P.S. I am such a pro Halušky maker now.
"Mier" Peace

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

šťasteny novy rok všetci, želám si zdravia, radosti, jedlo, život.. (sorry for 90 spelling errors, you slovaci)


I am in love with this holiday. Besides the fact that everyone is smoking and drinking while lighting them, the fireworks are just so fantastic. And fireworks are literally my favorite thing ever.

The holidays really make the work interesting. Lots of food, less people. This week we are ready to get up and running and start teaching again but let me tell you about the holiday here (since it is all anyone is asking about..)

WELL new years was too fun. It is really just a party all day, all night here. They find any time to celebrate! New Years Eve is called Silvester, and I cannot tell you how many fireworks were going off. It was totally crazy. The kids have these fireworks that they just like throw at you and they are so loud and sound like gunshots...geesh. It was all still very exciting. We tried our hardest to work, but it is extremely hard to find people when no one is out! When we were finally going to the millers, there was one last woman on the street, and our work was technically finished for the day, but we both thought we should try for one more. She ended up giving us her number! Hooray for miracles.

We spent New Years eve at the millers (We had to be in at 530, then were able to go to our own apartment at 700), and they fed us hawaiian haystacks (HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO YUMMY) and then we had the opportunity to watch the Saratov Approach. Hahah I cannot tell you how many people have told me not to watch this movie but it was so great! I do not mean to frighten anyone when I say that, yes, that movie is almost exactly how it looks when we are doing missionary work here in Slovakia. We were dying at the beginning with the train scenes and the buses and the apartment buildings, and then the snow (yes! We now have snow!), and even the language! Amazing how much of the russian I was able to understand. Granted, there were subtitles. But still. Sounds similar. Looks similar. I am in the coolest mission ever. Anyway, it was not as scary as everyone says ,and basically just gave me confidence that if I ever get kidnapped, I would just convert whoever were my kidnappers. It would be so great.

THEN we got to go home. This is the best part of the story. We have the best view ever (I have sent
some pictures) and I am not kidding vôbec when I say everyone in all of Košice lit off fireworks at 0:00!!!! (yes we had permission to stay up. best mission ever) FIREWORKS EVERYWHERE! coming out of our neighbors windows! Right out our windows! It was like we were in a war zone! The whole city was on fire! We were dying. Our videos are pretty hilarious. We stayed on our balcony for a while even though it was really freezing cold because it was totally worth it.  And we ate crackers and cheese and lots and lots of chocolate. (Fudge! yummy!) I got about a gazillion pictures of the fireworks, but none of them do it justice.

Anyway, so it was really cool. Then literally nobody was out the next day but at least we met with Ernest! Haha. had to be in early still, but it was really great. Hahahah

So another thing that happened that was just funny was that our water got turned off but we did not know we had no water and were a little stressed and a little while later we looked out the window and everyone from our building was going outside with pails and garbage cans and buckets and going to a truck that said water on it...haha so we figured we had to go get some as well. Literally was so funny that we had to go and fetch water. I wish I could have carried it on my head.
This story has no climax. They turned our water on that night. They were just doing something with the water heaters.

So yesterday was the most miraculous day ever. Po prvy, it snowed. And it was doing some kind of weird half snowing thing where sometimes it was a blizzard and sometimes it was not? Not really sure. But it was white and beautiful and we were going tracting in Tahanovce. Literally so wonderful. We were in a winter wonderland. We literally should have been in a missionary movie. So cute sister missionaries in this little cute village with a train, and freshly fallen snow everywhere, and the sun setting and making the sky purpleish, ah! So beautiful. Then we find this mom outside with her four year old son, making a snowman, carrot nose and all. We started talking to her, and it was so great. Sister Parsons distracted her son and shielded me from many snowballs (the child kept saying "Na Velky! Na Velky!" or, "on the bigger!" because I am taller hahaha and kept throwing snowballs at my back) while I was teaching his mother about the Book of Mormon. In beautiful falling snow. She was so interested and took it, gave us her number, and said she would read and that we could come back! we also talked to a second mom and gave her a pamphlet, and contacted and spoke with two other families. So great. Then we visited some formers who were home, and the whole day was just a wonderful miracle. Ah. Then we made the best halušky we have literally ever made (probably because we used twice as much bacon hee hee), and ate and were so contentedly happy. Košice is a land of miracles.

This week we invited two of our investigators (well, like two and a half) to baptism and they are both so close! Thinking about their dates. The work is hastening! I am excited for this week because we have a lot of people who are coming back from visiting their families that have promised to meet with us. yay!!

I love the gospel so much and am so grateful for everything I am learning. I feel like I am starting to feel the Spirit much differently than I have in the past. I feel much more directed and confident, and I feel many times like I am remembering something. Like deja vu but different. And I am sure it is because of the wonderful plan of salvation! truly, we lived with our Heavenly Father before this life and I love when I can testify of that to the people around me. I know that those same elect that led us in the premortal life surround us and only need that reminder to rise again as Gods chosen and elect people! I am grateful for every one of those elect that I meet here in Slovakia, and those who I am surrounded by at home.

I love and am grateful for každy z vás! Hurrah to those missionaries and love to those at home.

Dovidenia a sťasteny novy rok!

Sestra Abbott

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas, Carols, Cookies, Cool Characters, Cabbage soup


Hello everyone! This week has really been exciting. I haven't had one moment to stop and breathe. I love this season! And we have been so lucky this week to share a Christmas message with so many people. Our mission does this amazing thing where we have a little four minute video (this year it was the He is the Gift video in Czech or this other Piano Guys video with nativity scenes) and we carry it around in our little dvd player to peoples homes and share it with them. I have been all over this entire city this week with this little dvd player of joy! Haha yes of joy! We have shared it with former investigators, members, investigators, less actives, and even people we had never met before. It was such a blessing.

One incident, we went to find a woman named Renata who had given us her address. For some reason, it was incredibly hard to find the apartment building that she lived in, and it took us far too long to find it. After searching and searching, we eventually found it, and it was really strange because she did not even have a zvonček (what is this in English? It is like a doorbell but you ring it when you want to get buzzed in...I do not think I have ever known the word. Intercom? I do not know.) and she did not answer the door. Unfortunate but we were UNDETERRED. So we went to the nearest apartment building and I said to Sister Parsons, "We are not leaving this place without sharing our video, so who do you want to ring?" She picked someone immediately, and they answered, and when we asked if we could share our message, they were like, sure, why not? and buzzed us up! What a miracle! We got to share it with this really cool couple, and hope we brought the spirit into their home.

We had the most incredible opportunity to share the video with four different families this week. We are so blessed and privelaged (How do you spell this word I have no idea) to teach families. The spirit is always so strong with them because they are already participating in Gods plan by having a family and a lot of time they do not even know that! Truly it was an incredible experience to pray with them and to testify of Jesus Christ.

Another really weird miracle that happened this week was that I lost my really wonderful red glove when we went to training in Brno, and I was a little smutná, but then, weirdly enough, Ernest had it! Still confused about where he found it because I thought I lost it in Brno but that is cool.

Sister Parsons and I both got evaporated milk in our packages!
Haha so Christmas. What a party. We did not have snow, but it has been snowing ever since the 26th! We went to the Millers house, our senior service couple here in Košice, and they fed us shrimp and shrimp salad on Christmas eve, then when we returned on Christmas, they gave us more shrimp and ham and funeral potatoes (YES) It was fun to get together with everyone. We couldnt go out and proselyte on Christmas because of danger etc etc. But it was still fun! In the morning we went to a seniors residence to sing, and it was fun because when we got there, we had to wait for them to get out of Catholic mass, so I kind of got a taste of what they do in Christmas mass. Then we sang for a little while for a couple people (Literally haha) and it was so much fun to play carols on the piano and sing with everyone. Then we went and took pictures on the namestie (this was before the weather dropped to bitter freezingness) and then to the Millers to skype and play some games (Hooray!)
 hot chocolate and Christmas

We continued work (it seemed like forever before we could start teaching again!) and it was so much fun. The snow is here! And it is pretty cold! This week it is supposed to drop down to -18 C in the night. Woo hoo! I have to admit, I kind of enjoy wearing a gazillion layers and resembling an oompa loompa.

There are fireworks all over for new years! And Fireworks are just one of my most favorite things. They are so loud! There were some literally right outside our window the other night, and it was so exciting and wonderful, but they did not last long enough for me to get my camera, sorry. They were literally right outside our window!

Lastly, we were able to have a traditional Christmas dinner with the Van Dalens on the 26th. Cabbage soup, potato salad, salmon(usually it is carp but nobody actually eats carp because it is apparently very bony), and apple cake raisin dessert thing. And these delicious cookies that I do not know how to describe. They are like butter cookies shaped like crescents. And then the Van Dalens were so cute and gave us presents! A book about Košice and a candy bar. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to open a picture book for Christmas. It reminded me so much of the books I have opened every year at my grandma abbott's house.

I am so grateful to be here at Christmastime! There is nowhere else I would rather be than representing Jesus Christ at this time of year when we celebrate Him and His life. I know He lives and I have seen His hand in the lives of everyone who we come in contact with! The tender mercies Nefi talks about in the first few chapters are real. In slovak, tender mercies translates to, well, basically Gods merciful love. And that is truly what they are and why we have them. Because of His merciful love.

s laskou,
sestra abbott

ps thank you everyone for the wonderful packages and letters! It made Christmas so good. Especially from my passey grandparents, parents (of course) and the young womens...The advent calendar was the best thing ever.