Friday, September 18, 2015

Week of Maria

we had a jarmok this weekend!
Hi, everyone, hi, I know that you were all just incredibly worried about me, but actually, I am emailing now today because everything has been closed this weekend in honor of Pana Maria, the virgin Mary. I am in quite the quaint little catholic town and they have been celebrating all weekend! Not only did she have a name day, but there is a state holiday honoring her seven pains. I do not really know the doctrine behind this. A lot of people have been attempting to explain it to me, but I do not think I could explain it clearly. Basically they love the virgin Mary.

name day celebration in our backyard
So, here we are today, and I can hardly remember what happened last week! But I do know it was full of the spirit. On Monday we had an excellent family home evening, celebrating our new converts birthday and talking about how faith is like a mustard seed. The best part of family home evening was when Ladislav leaned over to Elder Driskill to tell him something, and was confused by someone else talking in his other ear, so he said "Ty si zazrak.", or "You are a miracle." Elder Driskill responded, "Thank you!" And grinned. We have been saying Ty si zazrak all week.

I am not sure what happened on Tuesday. I am looking at my planner, but it is only reminding me that I need to call someone today.

On Wednesday, we went to an old lady's home and successfully taught her and her friend the entire plan of salvation, amidst other visitors, bathroom breaks, vodka breaks, and persistent asking if we needed anything. Needless to say, I felt the spirit! haha

our friend's beautiful garden
We are teaching the most wonderful girl. She is about 23 years old, and is a vegan. She prayed for the first time a couple weeks ago, and was a little on the fence about God, and now, I cannot even explain what has happened. I have never seen the spirit touch someone so strongly. She understands everything and is willing to accept it all. She loves prayer. She prays multiple times a day and has testified of answers that she receives. This gospel is changing her life! This week, she accepted the invitation to be baptized and prayed about and picked her own date. I am learning so much from her and am becoming more and more converted as I am able to be part of her conversion. She knows that when she does not understand something, she can just pray about it. I can feel Gods love so strongly whenever we are with her and have never been more grateful to be a missionary! I am on the edge of tears all the time because I am so grateful and so full of joy because of this gospel. I know with my whole heart it is true and I love these people! they are changing me and changing my heart. I am so determined to do everything I can while I am here to support and help them in their personal conversions and in their little congregations.

comp photo of the week

This girl, she is also a hardcore vegan. SO this week, we are vegan. Let me tell you, this is possible and it is very strange that I have not eaten any animal products in such a long time. The good news is that I can still eat very dark chocolate so everything is still okay. I do not think that I have ever eaten so much fruit in my entire life, though. It is really weird. I am confused, like, did I never eat fruit before? Either way, it is really delicious. I probably will not be vegan for the rest of my life, but I do have a lot more energy and I never feel super gross and lethargic! Definitely am going to step it up in the fruits and veggies category in the future.

This week, we were tracting around, and all these really old war planes were flying all over, and it was a little strange, I wondered if another war was starting or something (not really but I was still confused), and all of a sudden we see all these little parachutes all over. Just little men being dropped out of the plane!! I was really freaking out because it was really amazing. Tears were shed.

On Friday, the sestry from Jihlava in the Czech Republic came for exchanges. They are really awesome. We had a great chalk display where we made a whole board game on the cobblestone and made steps necessary to have an eternal family. It was wonderful. We taught many families and were almost surprised at how many people were mesmerized by this simple game we had drawn on the sidewalk! Missionary work is great.

We met a really cute couple on the way home on Saturday, whose last name is the Falcons. Well, in Slovak. We are going to visit them soon. The real reason why I put this sentence in my email is because I was really proud of myself for knowing the word for falcon in slovak. Sokol.

On Monday, we went to our vegan friends house so she could feed us. She was a little bit worried about us, I think. She fed us pumpkin soup with chickpeas and cucumbers on the side. Picture attached. She is amazing.

Oh also, we painted this playground this week with our little branch, and I really have a great pair of pants for painting in the future, because apparently I am not capable of painting anything without completely attacking myself with the paint. When we were going home afterwards, a lady flat out stopped on the street and stared at me and yelled "čo sa vam stalo?!" Which is like WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?
Anyway I did not take a picture but that is probably a good thing.

Well, there is a lot for you all to think about. I just wanna put this great story in, because it is hilarious, for all the kids who just started school, specifically my brothers, and encourage everyone to do what you can today and dont leave it for tomorrow!

From a talk called "Do it Now" by Donald L. Hallstrom
sorry so long.

"When our oldest child (who is now a father of three and sits in this priesthood congregation this evening) was 11 years of age, he was given an assignment, along with the other sixth graders of his school, to submit his favorite family recipe. As its contribution to a large spring fair, the sixth grade was producing a cookbook that would be distributed throughout the community. When the teacher announced the project and a deadline of a week from Friday, our son Brett immediately concluded there was plenty of time later to get the job done and dismissed it from his mind. Early the next week, when the teacher reminded the students of the Friday deadline, Brett decided he could easily complete the required task on Thursday night and until then he could occupy himself with other more enjoyable matters.
 On the appointed Friday morning, the teacher directed the students to pass their recipes to the front of the class. Brett’s procrastination had caused him to forget the assignment and be completely unprepared. Flustered, he turned to a fellow student seated nearby and confessed his problem. Trying to be helpful, the classmate said, “I brought an extra recipe. If you want, use one of mine.” Brett quickly grabbed the recipe, wrote his name on it, and turned it in, feeling he had escaped any consequences related to his lack of preparation.
One evening several weeks later, I arrived home from work to freshen up before going to my evening Church meetings. A few days prior, I had been called as a stake president after serving several years as a bishop. We were somewhat known in our community as members of the Church who tried to live the tenets of our religion. “There’s something you need to see,” my wife, Diane, said as I walked through the door. She handed me a bound book with a page marked. Glancing at the cover, titled Noelani School’s Favorites—1985, I turned to the identified page and read, “Hallstrom Family, Favorite Recipe—Bacardi Rum Cake.”
Many of us place ourselves in circumstances far more consequential than embarrassment because of our procrastination to become fully converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know what is right, but we delay full spiritual involvement because of laziness, fear, rationalization, or lack of faith. We convince ourselves that “someday I’m going to do it.” However, for many “someday” never comes, and even for others who eventually do make a change, there is an irretrievable loss of progress and surely regression."

Love you!

Sestra Abbott

beautiful Vah River

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