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. 

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