Monday, November 30, 2015

Gratitude X900

Oh, wonderful week. I just have to say, that I kind of feel silly after last weeks email when I complained about there being no snow, because literally as soon as Sister Parsons and I left the library, we were talking to this man on the street, and completely lost focus because within minutes we were standing in a huge blizzard! The snow was pelting our faces and we were completely frozen in a few minutes. Now it is gone but I eat my words from last week.

We saw so many incredible miracles this week! It is really remarkable how when you feel like things are not going as you planned, or you have a couple of strange obstacles in the way, the Lord still sees your willingness and worthiness and puts you where you need to be. I am so grateful that as we are prayerful and spiritual, He leads our footsteps into the paths of people who really are prepared and who need His love and the truth!

We saw that this week when, on monday, we knocked on our neighbors door in our hall. We had met a couple of times before, and she is a pretty crazy lady, so we love her. We simply wanted to invite her to our thanksgiving feast (more on that later). She was a little riled up about the world and about politics in America, so it ended up being her being quite loudly opinionated in our quite echoey hallway and us patiently listening to her for a little over an hour. Needless to say, this did have a part in Gods plan. In the middle of this loud friendly conversation, our other neighbor came out to walk her dog and intervened for a moment. After argueing a bit with this lively woman, she turned to us, and in perfect english said "Girls, she does not know what she is saying. I have experiences, and I know God is real." After a few more minutes, she left. We were so incredibly grateful for this angel!

The next day, we were walking home from english, and it was dark (Which means nobody is out), and we saw this woman outside of our building with her dog yet again. She approached us and began to talk with us. It turns out that this incredibly lady is french, but speaks german and english and slovak as well as french. She is divorced and has two little boys, one of which has cerebral palsy. The dog is specially trained to help this child. She opened up to us about how, when she went through a hard time, the Catholic church rejected her and condemned her. She turned to God and has been trying to have a personal relationship with him. It was really one of the most incredible moments! One of those times when you look at someone, and you know that God is real. As we walked back up with her, she said she noticed that we lived alone, and that she would be alone on Christmas Eve. We are now spending Christmas Eve with her! It was really so remarkable I cannot explain.

I am now just going to go ahead and skip to the thanksgiving part of the week, because it was seriously the best thanksgiving I have ever had (no offense to everybody.)! Wednesday, we received our "obrovsku morku" (our VAST or GIGANTIC turkey). Our kind friend went and got it for us, and dropped it off at our apartment, and I really cannot describe how incredibly grossed out we were. It was, luckily, feathered and cleaned, but it had a neck and was bleeding and, I wont get too into this, but lets just say that it looked like a small child. We were  pretty terrified. And there was no way it would ever fit in our oven.

This is where God stepped in--the elders have the most incredible man they are teaching who is a father, and also a chef at the Grand Hotel. They told him about our turkey, and he simply stated that there was no way we could cook that ourselves, and to bring it to him at the hotel. All we had to do was drop it off and wait until 6 pm the next day. Literally the most awesome thing ever.

So we invited all of our dear friends to eat thanksgiving dinner with us. Sister Parsons and I made seriously SO MANY DELICIOUS AMERICAN ROLLS (finally figured out how the yeast works here) and a real pumpkin pie except from a butternut squash, and homeade stuffing, and gravy, and I think that is all. The elders made SO MANY vegetables and mashed potatoes. It was really unbelievable. Everyone hated me a little bit when I continued my family tradition and made everyone go around and say what they were grateful for before they could eat. We have so much extra, now, as well. We gave away so much and still have 5 kilos of turkey left.

I think I have already written far too much today, so I lastly want to talk about a another big step that
we had in Slovakia this week! This weekend we had our first district conference as an independent District.We went down to Bratislava on Saturday and had relief society, priesthood, an adult session, and the next day district conference. It was so incredible to see all the members there. I cannot express my love for these faithful saints. To see everyone I love so dearly all gathered as Latter Day Saints of Slovakia literally overflowed me with joy. I was crying. I love to see all these people who do so much for this church and can stand so firmly in their faith every day. They go through so much, I wish I could really describe how converted these people are. And our district prezident, who is just a 24 year old chlap (recently engaged to a czech member! hooray!), stood with such power, humility and authority at the podium that there was not one person in the room who was not looking up to him with incredible faith and trust. I was called up as one of the random "hey we are going to make you bear your testimony now" testimonies and I was scared to death because there were so many people there (it was about a third of our ward at home), but I stood up there and was overwhelmed by the smiles and love from everyone and realized I was just with my family. I cannot believe how lucky I am to be with these people who are so caring and trustworthy and firm in the faith of Christ! they are such great examples.

Also, one of our primary children from žilina had her drawing pictured in the childrens section of the Liahona this week! not sure if that means it is also in the friend or what magazine but you should look at it!

Sestra Parsons says I need to cut this message down but I am just going to stop writing and send it.

S laskou,
Sestra Abbott

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