Week 31 – Yay! Elder Oaks!!

Judith is a cutie like her parents 🙂 Can´t wait to meet her in 9 months! I´m halfway to returning home. How has the time passed for you guys? Slow or fast? I sometimes feel like I only have 5 months. This last half of my mission everyone says flys by.

Sam, wow. Nice muscles. Good job Buddy! Nice job to Seth, too, kicking butt like always. Keep me updated on Grandma.

Chris Peterson! That was fast haha. Did he already know her from his mission or they just met? Interracial couples always have the cutest babies haha. They look very happy 🙂

We had a multi-zone meeting and I saw Elder Nasilai for the first time in a while! It was fun to catch up. My friends in my district turned out to be his best friends from an area they were in together before. Not a big surprise that we all clicked.

I am still enjoying my role as a parent but it´s not easy. She depends on me a lot and it worries me because when I leave in 4 weeks she´ll have to direct the area. I´m trying to be a little more firm in making her do more and be outside her comfort zone. She hasn´t been away from her family before and is the youngest. Lots of homesickness here and she´s very sensitive too. I´m helping her but really I´m not prone to these types of feelings so a lot of times I don´t understand her and just want to tell her to “cowgirl up”. The Elders, or the “doctors of the heart”, as they say, are a big help 🙂 Overall, we´re really good friends and she knows why she´s here so she´ll be fine.

Next Sunday, Elder Oaks is coming to El Salvador!! We´re going to San Salvador to hear him! YAY. The thing is that the Area 70 wants every ward to bring 50 investigators. 50. We all thought Pres. Spjut was joking when he told us. We´ve got to try because this goal comes from the Lord so…..ya. I don´t know how we´ll do it but there it is. We did a fast as a mission to add a little power to the punch. Wish us luck.

I thought I loved and appreciated the cabin before but after being here 9 months, it´s the thing I miss the most about home besides you all of course. That American breakfast looks so good 🙂 Sometimes I have tried to explain the Cabin and what we do there to people here and I´ve learned not to do it again. They find it so weird and barbaric. They don´t know what they´re missing!

I had something interesting happen to me this week. Last Monday we met up to play soccer at a sports complex and another brother from another ward showed up with a book. I had only talked to him once before so I didn´t know him well but he pulled me aside. He showed me this book that he had in English called, “Mapping the Book of Mormon”. It is signed by the author, and it´s the explanation of a theory of where every city in the Book of Mormon correspondes with the modern location. He told me that that same day he was eating lunch and recieved the strong impression that I need to have this book. He just handed it to me, told me to read it and that there is a reason that I was called to this part of the world, and left. It was very strange. This brother is a little interesting but hey I´m willing to read the book when I get back. According to this author, the Book of Mormon largely takes place in El Salvador and Guatemala. Santa Ana, the city I´m in right now, is Ani-Anti, the Lamanite city that rejected the sons of Mosiah and tortured them. No wonder we´re having a hard time here 🙂 haha.

The Paz family are still going good, preparing for their baptism. My companion is going better now. She realizes how she needs to control and dominate her emotions and thoughts about home. Depending on the Lord is key.

That´s all for this week. I scored the winning goal in our soccer game this morning against another zone, so that was cool. I´m having fun, fighting Satan, and kicking butt 😉

Happy and Healthy!

Abby

Week 30 – Pray for my Investigators

I`m so proud of all my hermanitos (little siblings) and their athletic accomplishments. Keep having fun and kicking butt! I saw a highlight this week of an NFL game. I miss American Football.

I try not to think about Hilary or Trump as much as I can. It makes me depressed and is incondusive to my happiness and overall well being.

No, I didn`t hear about Tyler. I imagine that Kim was freaking out because that motorcycle always made her nervous. Good thing he wasn`t hurt seriously. Only economically.

This week was pretty rough. A baptism fell through and not a single investigator showed up Sunday for church. On the bright side, I compare myself now to how I reacted to these kind of things my first transfer. I would beat myself up and get discouraged or emotional. I don`t know if it`s being more accustomed to failure or more faithful but I`m still doing great spiritually, mentally, and emotionally despite it all. I know that the work of the Lord is done and directed by Him alone, “after all we can do”. I feel good that we did all that we could and the failure came from other people`s bad use of agency which I am not in control of and neither is God. No matter how much faith we have, we cannot override another`s agency and God won`t either. Now I`m just working on helping my companion get through this rough patch because this is the first time for her. Please pray for my investigators.

We still have baptism dates for Family Paz and they are great so we can count our blessings. I was telling them stories from the Cabin and they were cracking up. I showed them pictures on Facebook and they were pretty jealous. We have it pretty good in good ole Michigan.

Have a great week. Love ya,

Abby

In my facebook there are people that want me to accept their friend request. Gertrudis Paz (or Torres), Jorge (or Isaac) Paz, Vanessa Alvarado, and Josue Quinterros. Please do that for me 🙂 Thanks!

Week 29 – General Conference

I loved Conference too!! Saturday I listened in Spanish but Sunday I got to listen to it in English with all the other gringo Elders. I found that I love the voices of the prophets. I really missed that. The talks by Bro. Nattress, Robbins, Ballard, Davies, Oaks, and Christenson were some of my favorites. All of my questions that I brought were answered in such a direct way it was almost scary if you don´t believe in modern day prophets. Before Conference I was trying to explain why Shakespeare is so awesome to an Elder in my district. When Shakespeare was quoted, he texted me and said to not let it go to my head but I was right 🙂

All of the missionaries in our zone got these jerseys but our district actually wears them when we play soccer. They´re pretty cool although mine is super big. It even has our names on the back. I wanted number 18 but that’s the number of one of the gangs here so that was a big no no 🙂

I´m the most latina gringa for my soccer skills, the fact that I can dance, my willingness to do anything (other gringas have the reputation of not wanting to get dirty or ruin their clothes, ect.), and the way I joke around. I tried to explain that there are plenty of gringas like me but apparently all that they´ve met have been sticks in the mud.

You know how there are people that you´re friends with but no matter how hard you try you´ll never get really close to them just because of the mix of your personalities? There are others that after 10 mins you´re best friends and you can joke around like you´ve known them for years. It was like that with them. I would return to Guatemala to hang out with them. They´re crazy and super fun; then you add the great spiritual experiences we have together and that does the trick.

Congrats Sam!! Just so you all know, I brag about my parents and siblings all the time. You are awesome! Miss and love you always,

Abby

Week 28 – “Gringa Most Latina”

Haha I´ve eaten chicken feet too, only they eat it here in soup. Super weird.

I´ll be praying for Karen Johnson.

I don´t have much to share about this week other than I´m still happy and healthy. Having a good time. We´re teaching a family named Paz: Hertrudiz, Jorge, Isaac, and Rodrigo. They´re really a special family and we´ve grown to be good friends. They all want to get baptized except the youngest, Rodrigo. He goes to a Christian school and he´s not down with this whole Mormon thing yet. We´re planning things with Jorge and Hertrudiz, his parents, for him to feel the Spirit so they can all get baptized together. If not, we have to convince them to get baptized without him, hoping that someday he´ll see the light.

I was told this week that I´m the gringa “most latina” in the mission. I was pretty proud of that comment.

As I told Maddy, I´m in a pretty amazing district right now. We actually work as a team, visiting and helping with each other´s investigators, which is a first for me. It works and they´ve become really good friends. If I ever return to Central America I´ll want to visit Guatemala in addition to El Salvador. For the people and the sites. I´ve heard from everyone that it´s gorgeous.

Good luck to everyone in sports and school. Send them my love.

Love and miss you always,
Abby

Week 27 – Surely Working

Awww, Natalie looks cute and happy.

Of course you can send video if you can figure it out. I´ve seen other missionaries get videos. I always thought that Reagan would be a good setter.

The picture is of me next to the door to the house that I could have been mistress of. HAHA. It is a nice house….but it´s not Pemberly.

Sunday I gave a talk about how we can build Zion through repenting of pride, working in our callings, and missionary work. I was pretty straightforward but I only heard good feedback so hopefully no one was offended. A new bishop was called yesterday as well so I think this is a turning point for the ward. We´re trying to encourage them to work and visit more and it´s slowly but surely working.

Flor fasted and prayed with us this past weekend in order to soften the hearts of her dad and grandpa towards the gospel and the Church. It worked! I was so happy to see her testimony grow through the change in attitude of her family. She´s getting baptized the 5th of October. She´s so strong despite her hard family life. She´s like a little Cinderella living there but the Church and the ordinances are going to help her so much. She already says she wants to prepare to serve a mission! 🙂

I´m doing well and enjoying my time. I´m going to complete 8 months tomorrow so you guys can start the countdown from 10 months! Crazy, huh?

I´m proud of Seth too! Wow how awesome. He didn´t let the circumstances affect his effort and performance. When a player can give it his all despite the hopelessness, that´s character. Congrats, Seth. Congrats to Reagan too. Keep it up, Sam! Take advantage of high school sports. When it´s over, you´ll miss it 🙂

Happy and Healthy and Missing you,

Love,

Abby