Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct 12: My journal might as well be a cookbook

This is us in a cave with Elder Bednar taking a selfie in the background.
Let me just start off this email by saying that I seriously cannot believe how much we have eaten and been fed this week, just so everyone is not so incredibly weirded out when I cannot stop talking about food. I apologize in advance. Do not read while hungry.

Contacting was probably the most fun thing ever this week because we were able to tell everyone about a living prophet who would speak to us this weekend! I typed up some really small quick info invites last Monday and just cut out a ton of them so we could just hand them to everyone we talked to on the street. The spirit bore powerful witness as we testified of continuing revelation for the entire earth today. Holding up the pictures of our beloved leaders has never been more special to me than it was this week. I am so grateful that I am on the earth at this time, when we have the priesthood power and the fullness of the gospel!

We had a terrific opportunity to visit one of our most wonderful members this week. She is old, but
One of my favorite cathedrals up on a hill!
It is barely visible from the city, all in the trees. I love it.
not too old. She taught us how to make homemade Slivkový Guľky (Knedliky for all you czechs). It was so great! You make this dough out of boiled potatoes and wrap it around whole plums and boil it. Afterwards we put a bunch of mak (like ground poppy seeds) and butter on the top. SO YUMMY we DIED. It has taken me an entire year to consider this poppy seed stuff an actual dessert, but I have come to really like it. Anyway. SO we ate these really yummy things, and she told us her conversion story. The spirit was so strong! I wont type up the whole thing right now, but basically she knew about the church for a long time, and her daughter got baptized in America and went on a mission. Her husband did not agree so she never participated in church meetings or activities or take the lessons. When her husband died, she was finally able to start making the journey to church every week, but she didn't feel it would be fair to her husband to be baptized. When Prezident Uchtdorf came to dedicate slovakia for missionary work, she was there at the dedication site (It is here in Trenčin). He did not even know much about her, but he came up to her afterwards, and (through a translator), he told her "Dont worry, sister, your husband knows now what is true, and wants you to be baptized." She was baptized within the next month, and now she is one of the strongest members I know! I am so grateful for her example!

like a boy scout
We only had a couple of hours to be out on the street on Wednesday, so we prayed and made the most of it, and we saw so many miracles! We saw many of our investigators and had a lot of powerful contacts with really great new people for us to teach. anyway I am bringing this up mostly BECAUSE..

The elders investigator in a little town outside of Trenčin invited us all to come and eat lunch with him that day as well. And I have to say, it was a very strange experience. This man, everyone seems to know him, and he is so friendly and kind, and eccentric a little. His house was spectacular, and he had all kinds of unique exotic plants. He was growing small pomegranates and large limes in his front yard, and all kinds of pepper shaped tomatoes and hard pears in the backyard. He sat us down and fed us a meal of homemade sausage and bread, followed by deer steak and mashed potatoes. It was very good except I was super weirded out by the deer and kept thinking about the deer that got caught on the barbed wire fence in our backyard one Christmas break. Sorry for the graphics. Anyway I ate it and it was good.

Plus the man is cool and is really going to be baptized soon so that is exciting.

THEN the next day, we helped sestra alžbeta paint her fence again, and visited a less active, and both of them fed us as well (I have an elastic stomach). We have about 10000 apples in our fridge, because Slovakia is the garden of Eden, and it is apple season, so the apple gifts are plentiful.
district selfie

Okay I could write about a couple of other things but I am getting hungry so I am just going to skip to this weekend.

KONFERENCIA!! How good was it?? SO good! I was a little frightened that I would not be able to understand it (As it has been in the past with Slovak, at least in conference,) But I was so pleasantly surprised to be able to understand most, if not all of the Saturday session. All of my questions seemed to be answered right away and I was incredibly, and pleasantly, surprised by how much the Lord loves me and His children and wants so that we can be happy and not confused. On Sunday, it was in Czech (we dont quite fit the member quota to have all of the sessions in Slovak), so it required a little more brain power, but I was still in tears and awe during Prezident Nelsons talk and made about 1000 goals for now and the future. Wow I am so grateful for everything I learned!

I think the biggest spiritual impression that I got, to improve on at least, was during Prezident Eyrings talk. I want so badly to be able to be confident that I have the spirit as my constant companion all the time. How wonderful it would be to be able to say 100 percent of the time whether you could feel the spirit or not. I read today in Mormon 2,

 "26 And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren."
and was thinking about how spiritual Mormon must have been! To be able to notice, even after a battle won, that they did not have the Lord with him. I have really resolved to simply be more aware of the presence of the spirit in my life. Then that way, even when I probably am capable of doing something myself, I can rely on the Lord and do it even better, or do it His way. I think being more aware will help us to change small things in order to do the Lords will in every case.

Anyway. Today we went to a really interesting place called Skalka, where monks used to pilgrim to. Pilgrimages. I don't know. Caves. Castles. Cool Place.

s laskou,
sestra abbott

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