Monday, February 22, 2016


look SO TALL in this picture, but these are some of our favorites :)
 She made us some great halušky. She doesnt look this short in real life.
Okay well now I feel really awkward because I really liked the older first paragraph that I wrote, but now you all already know that it is warm in Trenčín and I regret wearing tights right now, so, hot.
But nonetheless, this week has been just incredible! It has flown by faster than I can even explain, but it has been really great. I love Trenčín and the people here. Something has been reocurring this week that I guess happens to a person when they are in a small town for eight months. It seems that every person we stop on the street and they know me but I do not know them for the life of me. I cannot remember anyone! Typical conversation:

"Hi! We are the--"
"I know! Abbott, I know you."
"Oh really, when did we meet?"
"You dont remember? It was last year on July 16!!!"
It is really so terrible. I always feel so bad. I am trying to memorize these faces. It seems to help
Whats in my bag
when I make sure to ask for names...
Something else really intense happened this week when we were speaking with a man on the street. We were having this great spiritual conversation with this man when we heard this huge crash! We all turned a full 180 and saw that behind us, a car had fully rear ended another car going full speed and was completely smashed in. We all just stood there for a few minutes, really confused, and then the man turned back to us and picked up right where he left off! Sister Ratcliffe and I were both extremely confused, to say the least, and were pretty distracted the rest of the conversation while police came and people dragged the car off of the road. Luckily, nobody seemed to be hurt!
cute čaj
We had an activity this week that really tested my crafting skills. Paličkovanie--we looked it up in our big dictionary, and found "Button lacing". Either way it is a pretty traditional slovak craft, and SO DIFFICULT. Everyone should look it up online. I think after the activity, we were all a little wasted and had literally no more brain power. But I think the point is that we learned something new. AND this scripture describes exactly how I felt:
"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. "
Except that I guarentee that none of my paličkovanie could ever confound the wise. In time, my friend, patience...
Well, lastly, I think I just want to say that church was so great this week! Church is always a
cute church
spiritually uplifting experience and I am always grateful that we can take the sacrament. I know that the Lord gave us the Sabbath to feed our spirits and I love sundays! This sunday was special to me because our friend came to church this week and brought her two children. It was so wonderful to hear the little rustles of children in sacrament meeting. I love when families are together, especially at church, because it is really what the gospel is all about. I have been so blessed to see that here in Slovakia and do not think I will ever be able to take it for granted again! I was grateful for the focus on Jesus Christ in our meetings and for the spirit I was able to connect with there.
Well, I think this is all for this week, I forgot my planner of course, so I am sure there is more but I cannot remember. I know it is not much, but I hope that everyone can add their own experiences to mine this week! Life is wonderful!
Sestra Abbott
PS OBSESSED With this video this week. Showing it to everyone.

Monday, February 15, 2016

First comes love the verb, and the noun follows.

God is sure pouring blessings down on Trenčín! Whenever I feel that life could not possibly be any better, He throws some more sprinkles on or dips it in chocolate or something and everything is just sweet and you have it all right in your hands. I think that yes, there are always some bitter herbs in there, but because of those, the sweet is even better and you feel so much more grateful for the blessings that you are receiving.

This week was full of blessings. On
getting some gifts from the members
monday, we did not have too much time to talk to people on the streets, so we ran out for a few minutes, and talked with a few people. After a few minutes, we felt like we should turn back around. So we did a quick 180 and the first man we talked to, right behind us, was the most elect father we had ever met! He had already received a book of mormon and had been reading. After an incredible conversation about Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, he asked us to come to his house and teach his wife and three older children! We feel so blessed and are so excited to go and visit him.

Trencianska Tepla bags
THEN we went on exchanges!! I got to go down to visit Blava this week and was not only drenched by a rainstorm but by love for the place (hahah this is the best cheesy sentence I have ever written). They have such cool people and I was so grateful to teach and learn there, especially when we had quite a fun lesson with a man from Nigeria who is getting baptized in a couple weeks. It is so incredible to me the different ways that people recognize truth. Whether they see it in the facts, in the logic, in the spirit, in the scriptures, in dreams, or other ways, they always feel it and recognize it when they have real intent. Truly God speaks to His children today in the ways they need it!
Valentines breakfast

This week, we had a KONCERT! So much fun. So much love and joy. Get this, I make these concertflyers, and the concert is called "God is Love" Or "Boh je Láska", and I later in the invitation wrote "Donuts, Music, and Love" or "šišky, hudba, laska". For some reason, everyone who read this flyer only saw the part that said "šišky, hudba, laska", so everyone who we gave them to was walking around saying in a questioning voice, "šišky, hudba, laska?" But I am convinced  that everyone came because of it! (wink wink.) But either way, our concert was wonderful and many of our friends came! We talked about the family and sang a few pieces, and afterwards had lots of donut and music and love. It was really wonderful! We were so grateful for the confirming spirit which we felt there that confirmed the divinity of family and that the family is really ordained of God. I am truly grateful for the family I have been blessed with and for the gospel
We made cookies and delivered with an invite to our concert
that brings us so close!

conversation of the week:

YSA boy-- "čo ponúkate?"
                 "What are you offering?"
Sister Abbott -- "Večný život."
                        "eternal life."

Anyway. Yesterday was a wonderful Valentines Day filled with a whole lot of love from my most favorite people. We saw so many miracles and on top of that, got to visit all of our favorite people. They are truly like my family! They feed me and listen to me and give me great advice. I sure do love them more than anything!

Love you all too.
s laskou,
Sestra Abbott

PS this week I tragically injured myself when I was attempting to fix our coffee table. The fortunate thing is that the coffee table IS FIXED!!!

Sister Abbotts facial mask

More gifts

Elder Cantrells new name tag #frywithtartar

We are on the billboards in Trencianska Tepla

Monday, February 8, 2016


This week was so full of unexpected miracles and new friends and great surprises. I absolutely adore Trenčín. I am in love with my neighbors who surround me and with those people I see all around. They have really become my big family and I feel like I really belong here. I am always greeted by familiar faces (And new faces, surprisingly), and lots of cheek kisses and hugs everywhere.

This week, I have to say, just so you all can picture this in your heads, was all four seasons mixed into one. Just picture two very confused sister missionaries dressing all up in their winter clothes to go out, then walking outside and discovering that the sun is beating down on them and the birds are singing and the snow is melted. So the next day, they go out a little less prepared, leaving their hats and gloves and scarves, and immediately a huge snow cloud builds above them and pours out the windiest, iciest snowstorm you ever did see! If you want to guess further, the next day we had a really wet rainstorm. Anyway. It was just really fun.

I am trying not to write about food because I do not want everyone to think my missionary purpose is "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel and eating their food", but the food is always just so great I cannot not write about it! First of all, our great french neighbor made us this like lemon tart that was SO delicious. It was just like lemon bars but a little more sour and it was so perfect. I was in heaven. I forgot how good stuff like that is. YUM

Then, on Saturday, there was something called Fašiangy here in slovakia, which is basically a huge "Eat, Drink and be Merry party" for tomorrow the Catholic fast of forty days starts. They have this huge party where they just drink and kill pigs and eat meat and have a costume party for the kids and make homemade donuts with apricot filling and just give them to you for free! Anyway it was really a super great time. We were offered a lot of shots but people got so funny about our nametags when they saw them. We happily ate many donuts and fruit tea and shyed away from some of the scary meat that was happening. There were a lot of people there who said I looked just like I belonged right there in their town! I seriously love slovakia.

We had a really sweet testimony meeting this week. I adore the members here and adore their
fašiangy when they cry over the tuba more parties
examples of converted, constant missionary work. One of our members decided that she was going to read her Book of Mormon on the bus when she took her weekly grocery trip to the mall. It is just a short 15 min bus ride but she decided to utilize it. As she was reading, a woman was reading over her shoulder. When it came about time to get off, the woman asked her what the book was. With all her heart, our little member testified that the Book of Mormon was a treasure, and from God. The woman asked her where she could purchase one. Our dear member hopefully gave her the address for our little church building, and hopped off the bus.

And the woman came to the building! Of course, we were not there at the time, but she saw the Elders phone number and gave them a call, explaining the entire story and asking when they could meet so she could have a copy of that beautiful book. The elders excitedly agreed and they are meeting this week! You never know when or where you are being a missionary and who is watching you. Our member expressed gratitude in sacrament meeting and curiosity at who else on the bus may have heard her simple testimony. I just about died with happiness when she stood again and bore testimony of the truthfulness of this book. It was so powerful!

angry bird suckers
Okay this is about to be long, but this is what has really been exciting for me this week. I have been so amazed at our bodies, and at eternity, and I am confused and really overwhelmed by the greatness of it all! Life is so good! Prezident Nelson had a great talk in Oct. 2013 called Decisions for Eternity. Here is an exerpt that I love:

"My professional years as a medical doctor gave me a profound respect for the human body. Created by God as a gift to you, it is absolutely amazing! Think of your eyes that see, ears that hear, and fingers that feel all the wondrous things around you. Your brain lets you learn, think, and reason. Your heart pumps tirelessly day and night, almost without your awareness.8

Your body protects itself. Pain comes as a warning that something is wrong and needs attention. Infectious illnesses strike from time to time, and when they do, antibodies are formed that increase your resistence to subsequent infection.

Your body repairs itself. Cuts and bruises heal. Broken bones can become strong once again. I have cited but a tiny sample of the many amazing God-given qualities of your body.

Even so, it seems that in every family, if not in every person, some physical conditions exist that require special care.9 A pattern for coping with such a challenge has been given by the Lord. He said, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; … for if they humble themselves … and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”10

Stellar spirits are often housed in imperfect bodies.11 The gift of such a body can actually strengthen a family as parents and siblings willingly build their lives around that child born with special needs."
anyway, necham to s vami,
s laskou,
sestra abbott

Monday, February 1, 2016

nech sa páči

I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life! This week has been so incredibly full of miracles and good people and good times and beautiful weather. Every day when we wake up I seriously feel like I am living in a fairy tale! How incredibly lucky we are to be here and we have a castle and wonderful people and nice smelling air and everything is beautiful.

Some highlights:

One of my favorite things about being a missionary is that you are always where God needs you to be. There are people who we see on the streets a second or third time, and it is so evident to us how many chances God is giving these people to accept our message! We ran into one of my favorite people this week and had a chance to talk with him about receiving his answer. He was adament that he was always praying to find the truth, and never receiving an answer. After some discussion, we discovered that he did not really want to receive an answer. He admitted this and admitted that maybe he was not quite ready to receive an answer. God will always, always give us an answer--when we have real intent and desire to act on that answer.

We had a great time this week when one of our members came to our english course. It was probably
beautiful Vah
the weirdest thing in the entire world for me! She speaks english very well, but I have never spoken english with her in my entire life. It was probably the weirdest thing ever. I felt like I could not speak english adn every time I did it felt like I was speaking this foreign language! I do not know why it was so strange but let me just say, I would rather speak slovak. hahah

This week I found in the church building the coolest autobiography printed off by Martha Toronto, the wife of our missions first mission prezident Wallace Toronto. Our mission has the coolest history in the entire world! I could not believe the stories of missionaries being imprisoned, the mission prezident being called at age 24, smuggling things in and out of the country...I found so much faith in the stories I was reading! The Lord is incredible and is really at the head of this work. The pioneers in every country are truly such faith filled people. I cannot explain how grateful I am for everything they did in order for us to be able to spread the gospel in these countries today.

this is how sister ratcliffe gives me my snacks
Another really cool miracle that happened this week was when we were going out to talk with people, and I kept having the thought that we needed to go a different way and contact in a different neighborhood. I was a little confused because there arent always a lot of people out over there, but decided to follow the prompting anyway. SO we turned all the way around and headed over there. While over there, I thought of a less active member that lived down there but who had presumably moved. We decided to ring her bell and just see if she or her family was there. And she was! She invited us in for the first time and we were able to have a wonderful spiritual visit with her, her mother, and her daughter. We are so blessed! I am so grateful for the promptings of the spirit and know that when we follow them the Lord will truly use us in the ways He needs to.

This week, Sister Ratcliffe helped me out a lot. She helped me to overcome a few of my fears. Particularly, she helped me to do a handstand. That was pretty fantastic.

We had so much success this week going door to door, I was amazed! People have been so kind to us and so open to learning more about Jesus Christ and His restored church. It is interesting to see how the spirit can really soften somebodys heart. Maybe at the beginning of a contact, they will say, no, no, we dont want, but after speaking with us, they always seem to realize that what we have is precious and they have question after question. It is totally worth all of the terrifying dogs to go ring everyones bells at their gates, because we get to have these amazing spritual experiences with people!

We helped our dear Sestra Alžbeta shell some stubborn walnuts this week. Highlight.

We made zuchinni bread and delivered it to people. Highlight.

Church was seriously so great. Highlight.

Oh man we got to go to this mans home this week, and seriously it was incredible! We sat in this outdoor indoor villa thing which was all nice and warm and randomly had a motorcycle. Plus he was wearing all white flowy clothing so that was pretty fantastic. His wife was really sweet as well. Didnt really have interest to be baptized in the end but you know, it was a great and strange experience. Gotta have a few of those.

We are so grateful for this older couple that has us over every sunday. They are so sweet and we always feel the spirit so strong at their house. We had a wonderful conversation with them about listening with spiritual ears--that each one of us in life can learn different languages, be it slovak, english, the internet. But the most important language we can learn is the language of the spirit. If we are always actively listening, we can hear what God wants to tell us personally when we read in the scriptures or when we pray. I loved this exerpt from the Bible Dictionary about knowledge:

"One of the attributes of God (Isa. 46:9–10; Acts 15:18; 2 Ne. 9:20). Knowledge of divine and spiritual things is absolutely essential for one’s salvation; hence the gospel is to be taught to every soul. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:14). Knowledge is not obtained all at once, even by revelation, but line upon line, precept upon precept (Isa. 28:9–10). The scriptures, and also living prophets, are given so that the people might have knowledge of things of God and “know how to worship, and know what you worship” (D&C 93:19). Knowledge is one of the endowments of the Holy Ghost (John 14:26; 16:13; D&C 34:10; 121:26–33) and one of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8; Moro. 10:10; D&C 46:18). Peter lists knowledge along with faith, patience, kindness, and virtue as necessary acquisitions for one who would seek for a divine nature (2 Pet. 1:3–9). Since no one can be saved in ignorance of the gospel (D&C 131:6), and one progresses only as fast as he gains knowledge (HC 4:588), it follows that the person who gains knowledge will have “the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:18–19)."

I love you all! Have a great week!
s laskou,
sestra abbott