Monday, December 21, 2015

Dec 21st Bud´ Santa´s Elves or Ježiško´s Anjeli

I have recurring confusion whenever I sit down on Pdays to email because it really feels like I just stood up from writing my last email! Honestly I have no concept of time anymore.

But looking back at the week, it was a great time. We are going a little crazy with Christmas and it is SO GREAT. We have been making gifts out our ears and running around everywhere trying to prepare for (I almost just wrote the second coming...) the 24th. I love Christmas in Slovakia. It is just the most traditional, beautiful thing. The people here have held onto their traditions with their lives through the last 40 years and it is very admirable. I am so grateful that they always want to share them with us!

We got to have our culture event this week! We ate at a fancy ish restaurant and then took a trip up to our beautiful Trenčianský hrad. The castle is always magical and it was especially cold this time! Who knew it was so much colder up in the air above the city.

We had a great opportunity this week to go and talk with some people at a nearby homeless shelter.
They have an incredible organization up and running! The man at the head is incredible. They provide meals and beds for homeless people that will follow their standards--so they cannot smoke or do drugs, and cannot be drunk at all when they come in and they are seperated men from women. We visited with the sweet women there and had a really spiritual conversation. It was very interesting to observe how easily they could feel the spirit because of their humility. It was a great experience. The best part haha was that a nun brought some donations over and stayed for a second to visit, and she was uncharacteristically smiley and introduced herself as Sestra. The most hilarious thing was her face when we as well introduced ourselves as sisters. She was confused.

Then, our Christmas celebration was this week! We had a concert and a dinner afterwards. At first, we really thought not many people were going to come. There were a few members and investigators there that we love, and we were happy to have our little concert with them. We started, and the best moment was when our favorite older couple who didnt know if they would come stumbled in late and smiled these huge smiles at us. It felt like our grandparents had just walked into the room! They were clapping and singing along and taking picures of us the entire time--we just really felt like we were with our family. Afterwards we had the traditional cabbage soup and lots of goodies and it felt like a family Christmas party! Everyone that we love was there and we were so grateful.

We also decided this week to take neighbor gifts to everyone in our apartment building. We made a whole ton of sugar cookies and packaged them up (this was a production...I sometimes get a little too
neighbor gifts
creative) and went door to door. The slovaks are so great in this way. They were very confused and very cautious about taking food from us but we ended up creating relationships with most of our neighbors and now we feel like we live with all our friends!! Our favorite mom who lives down the hall from us let us in and we had a really incredible conversation with her. I love Christmas and families and talking about Christ! It is all just a bunch of incredibleness.

Lastly, yesterday we had the most fun caroling door to door with the elders. It was very successful and we have a lot of return appointments! Everyone gives us food and tries to give us money, so it is really great. Caroling as a missionary is probably one of my favorite things ever. The best was when a woman tried to give us some egg liquor, and we really couldnt take it....

"We dont drink alcohol, sorry!"
"but this one is okay, it is holiday liquor!"
"No, no, we really cant, we really--merry christmas!"
"Please, just take it, it only has a little bit of alcohol in it, it is very delicious"
"Our present for you is that you can drink the delicious liquor! Merry Christmas!"

It was pretty great.

Well, I think that is pretty much it. We are running around like crazy and are heading to Brno today so I do not really have time to think of much else! Happy Christmas!

Lastly, Merry Christmas! I have a testimony that the Jesus is Real. He was born and he died for each one of us. I know it! I feel it! I cannot deny the power that I feel when I read about Him and when I pray I can feel the power of His atonement. Every week when I take the sacrament I am never more grateful then I am in that moment when I can feel the confirming Spirit around me and telling me that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, our Savior, Redeemer, and King. I am so incredibly grateful that I am able to represent Him at this wonderful time of year and serve others to show my love for Him. I want to show to Him my gratitude by following the great advice of king Benjamin: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God”. I know this is true. I hope we can all take moments this week to reflect on the Saviors birth and life, and then act by showing our gratitude and serving those around us. Veselé Vianoce!

s laskou,
Sestra Abbott

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