Friday, April 24, 2015

beautiful, beautiful Bratislava!

Hello everyone from beautiful, beautiful Bratislava! Spring has never been prettier. Of course, there was the day when it was 28 degrees celsius and then the next was 13. That was a little extreme, but for the most part, I am a happy, rain-jacketed, tights-free, short-haired misionarka!

What a crazy week here we had, with being in a trio for the first part, and getting Sister Parsons back to Košice with Sister Seninger to be in the area for a week, I feel like a mom carpooling everyone around! Kind of switched into my mom mode for a little while but now I am back to my normal immature self.

Speaking of which, I still have marshmallow cream leftover from my christmas package and made the BEST BROWNIES EVER last night!

One of the most influencial things that is happening to me is that I am literally LOVING THIS LANGUAGE. Slovak is literally the best language on the face of the entire planet. And I am not being dramatic. It makes so much sense, and is just really the most fun thing. I cannot pray in english anymore because I just love this language.

Some things that have happened.

Had a rockin contacting session as a trio (Besides the fact that we basically corner people). We
literally taught almost everyone who we stopped. First off, an amazing slovakish nativeamericanish man who was more religious than the world, invited us to come and help dish goulash at his events, and all that jazz. THEN hilariousness because we are contacting in the park, when we see someone getting their wedding photo. While becoming completely distracted by the beautiful bride for a moment, we hear a gunshot and marathon runners come parading through the park! We laughed so hard, and could hardly contain ourselves, so obviously we got some ice cream on our way to our next lession. Bomb diggity.

And slovak ice cream is literally the best thing on the whole planet.

We went to Stans garden this week, and I was so set on doing some actual work. Last time, he just had us sisters pick up trash around the yard because he said we were not strong enough to break the wood like the elders were, and those of you who know me probably know how I felt about that. SO after asking stan a million times and telling him I did 75 pushups that morning, he let me take a pickaxe and dig up a trail.


I am NOT as strong as I thought!

let me just preface and say, I really did an excellent job, but

 I am so sore!!

Next time I may give it to the elders.

Also, Sister Russell made me pizza last night.

I just love missionary work. I was sprinting for the tram this morning, and was just thinking, wow. This is seriously so awesome. I told Sister Russell as we were running, how are we so lucky? How are we so privelaged to serve the Lord every day? To teach these people? I feel entrusted with so so many people and love them more than anything. She thought I was insane.

I do not have much time this week, but can I just say how funny it was in conference when Elder Teixeira was listing habits and it sounded like Abbott every time? Just saying.

I love you and pray for you! I read Elder Scotts talk about scriptures from 2011 this morning and I just think everyone should read it. And make some new friends.

Sestra Abbott


Friday, April 17, 2015

pekny prosperious posledny tyžden

Hi everyone! The weather keeps getting warmer and the days shorter here in Bratislava! Yes, I am staying in Blava (Not sure if this is a surprise). Sister Russell has come from Košice to be my little companion this transfer, and we are so excited! Another exciting thing is that Sister Parsons is training our new little sister that is coming in, but she does not come in for still another week and a half, so Sister Parsons, Sister Russell and I are here as a threesome together! Wow! We are literally going to convert the city.

Sister Eggers has sadly been sent to Trenčin.

As I mentioned last week, we went to the zoo on monday..

We have had a great week here full of finding and loving and wonderful things. Miracles happen every day as we plan with faith, go out with purpose, and testify with the holy ghost. I love the members here, and I love the Slovak people. We went this week to serve Stan, our less active member, in his garden, and had a dandy time pruning trees and breaking wood and filling little plastic cups with dirt. I felt like I was in my grandpas garden again, and it was wonderful to wear pants.

We have so many prosperous progressing investigators, who bring the spirit into our lives every day. This week, we taught every one of them and learned so much from each of them, their lives, and their struggles.

ALSO we watched conference!! Best thing ever in the entire world.
Well, it actually seemed so long because I do not think I have sat down for that long since the MTC but it was still really great!

This week, I just wanted to say how much I rely on Christ. I have gained such a testimony of the scripture in Corinthians,

 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
How blessed we are to have weaknesses! 

This might sound strange. And I feel like I have hated my weaknesses my entire life. But I am coming to see that the more weaknesses I have, the stronger I become in Christ.
Not because he takes away my weaknesses. No, sometimes, I think I can see my weaknesses even more when I am trying to improve. What He does is something far more significant and far less fathomable. He takes upon himself our weaknesses and gives us His strength.

I really had never thought about what that meant to me before. But I see now that all of these weaknesses I have, all these mistakes I make--can truly become strength, stronger than my talents, because they become the strength of Christ. Being bad at something does not make you a failure. It truly makes you a champion--because who can measure up to the strength of Christ? Those things that seem impossible to us, are, indeed, impossible. Sometimes I literally cannot do something. Maybe I am not even physically capable of doing it. And that is when Christ, like Elder Holland said so powerfully in conference, reaches out and grabs your hands. That is when His grace is sufficient--when you have enough weakness to allow His strength to enter you. Humility is only a bridge that allows Christ to reach your weaknesses and fill us with His grace.

I know that this is true. I know that Christ lived, died, and lives for us today! The messsage of the Restored gospel is true, and His church is on the earth today. He knows His sheep and calls them by name--we must only learn to recognize His voice. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and will teach us how to apply and use the atonement in our lives to more fully recieve His strength with gratitude!

It is true!

I promise!

I know it!

Anyway, also, this week, sister eggers and I bought a can of peanut butter, which was probably 3x more expensive than it is in the US and probably was a poor decision, INITIALLY,

But actually it was SO WORTH IT

Peanut butter, it fills the cracks of the heart.

Also got to play soccer outside for sports night this week! Too much fun. Who knew it was so fun.

Lots of love,

Sestra Abbott

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

happy happy easter week everyone

I am so happy to be here testifying of Christ during this wonderful, wonderful time of the year. I am so reminded of his life in everything I do! I mean, yes, I am a missionary, but there are also flowers! And green things! And beautiful weather everywhere we go! And random snow storms in the middle of a beautiful day that remind me that God has something like a sense of humor. Easter is such a big holiday here in Slovakia and I love how much everyone loves it. There are some crazy traditions ...Friday is when everyone does their fast, and all of the stores are closed all weekend. Then on Sunday, it is Easter of course, and everyone in the country pretty much goes to church. Then, there is a very interesting tradition which involves the boys lightly whipping the girls with a wooden whip and chanting a little rhyme, after which the girls give them painted eggs and candy. Right.
Also, they splash water on them for fertility and such.

Since I am in Bratislava, I got lucky and did not really get splashed with water or whipped, but in the villages and towns outside of Blava it is pretty normal.

A really fantastic thing that happened this week is that we had a CONCERT! hooray! It was really really great. We advertised with flyers and such and texted everyone in our whole phone for our free Easter concert on Friday night. It was so successful and wonderful. We as missionaries sang for half of it, then we had a wonderful member who is great at piano play for the second half. He is literally a professional so that was pretty amazing. And we even had refreshments afterwards! We split up and taught so many people there and got a lot more numbers. There were probably 40-50 people there! It was really a success.

We got to go to Sanjas this week again, and the coolest thing in the entire world happened because she HAS A SALAMANDER WHO LIVES IN HER BACKYARD. It is black with bright bright orange spots and is poisonous. So. We did not touch it.

just put that in for the boys there

We had a great meeting with a girl who we contacted on the street last week and asked her to read a very specific chapter and come back with it prepared...and she did it! We were so happy. She read in Alma 32 and was so determined to find faith because she had a desire that she knew would grow. My favorite part about teaching people right now is to see them go through the repentance see the spirit working on them, and then to see them change and grow through their desires. It is really really an amazing thing.

Hahahahah something so funny that happened this week is that we taught someone over their zvoncek {Bell thing? Intercom?} when we were tracting because they thought that we were the pizza man. So basically, when they found out that we did not have pizza, they asked us who we really were, and in the end, did not let us in but let us teach them over their intercom thing. So that was terrific.

Today we went to the zoo! It was great fun and I want to send a hundred pictures but I just cannot because I forgot my camera cord and I also do not have very much time. SOOOOOOO

Basically, everyone, I am so excited for general konference and hope that if you have not already watched it then you will. And watch the easter video because that is incredible.

Love and pray for you all!

Sestra Abbott

PS transfers this week pray for me :)