Week 67 – Bittersweet

You were warned and you did it anyway…. I honestly don´t think I´ll need that much time to adjust. I´ll probably be accidentally using a few Spanish words now and then but other than that I think I´ll be fine 🙂 I´m looking forward to just having fun!!! without responsibilities for a month.

Make sure everyone is reading the scriptures and praying everyday as a family and personally. It´s the only way to get a testimony.

I can´t wait to be at the cabin with you guys!! Say, “See ya soon!” to Jaxon for me. This week there isn´t that much to share other than I´ll be planning a wedding for the 15th. Their names are Melvin and Nuri. They are really good friends; those type of people you meet and have a special connection with immediately. Nuri and their son Melvin will be getting baptized afterwards (I hope before I leave!). Melvin the dad is an inactive member but he´s getting back into it. They´re awesome.

I shared my testimony yesterday on the last fast and testimony meeting of my mission! I usually feel satisfied and happy when I think about going home but for a second during the Sacrament I felt a pang of sadness or bittersweetness that this is almost over.

Love and miss you all! see you in about 3 weeks!

Abby

Week 66 – Working hard . . .

Keep working hard…you´ll get into the rhythm of things. Teach true doctrines and the people can change their behaviors. In the mission if someone is failing to fulfill their commitments, it´s because there is a gospel principle or doctrine that they don´t understand. It applies to members too.

I´ll start shopping for a cool hat then 🙂 I´ll find a way to bring it home, even if I have to wear it on the plane!

Love you! See you in a month!

Abby

Week 65 – Too Busy to Write Mom

Ddid you write E. Nasilai because he´s super excited for your letter…if you didn´t do it really quick haha. Yes, I read it. Pretty crazy.

We played for about 2 1/2 hours haha. I´m sunburnt but it´s always really fun. We played soccer for a while then all the gringos got together to play a little bit of football (we found a ball). E. Nasilai and I were practicing rugby for a bit. I miss it 🙂

And I totally want to see Jess, Stephen, and Jude in August!!!!

Love you, can´t wait to see you in 5 weeks!

Abby

Dad,

HAPPY FATHER´S DAY!!! I love you lots, pops 😉 “I Abby, having been born of goodly parents, and having been instructed in all of the learnings of my father…” I don´t know if that´s right because I don´t remember it really well in English but you get the idea.

Sorry to hear about Sister Johnson. Please pass along my condolences.

Last Monday as a zone we went to these little waterfalls and goofed around a bit. It was cool. We also did a bonfire with Fatima and her family and I taught them how to do smores. They loved it 🙂

Unexpectedly, after I wrote last week we got the news that my companion had changes. I was kinda sad because we got along so well, but I´m doing fine with my new companion, Hna. Delgado. She´s from Guate.

This weekend Darwin, Fatima´s 14 year old brother, is getting baptized. We´re working with two other women who have to get married first. The law of chastity is is so hard for them…I´d say that it´s really not that hard to get married when you already have 14 years and 2 kids with someone. But you mention marriage to them and everything is in uproar.

Anyway, I´m doing fine. Last 5 weeks, holy cow! Have a great week.

Love you,

Abby

Week 64 – Elder Renlund

Have fun in the heat 🙂 That must have been an interesting experience going to the jail…I imagine it looks a lot like the “maisons” here. Ya, reptilandia is like a petting zoo. Well, they are all in their cages but they bring them out to be held. It was cool. Elder Nasilai hasn´t gone so we might go again today. I´m sure he would love to here from you, he still has the card that you wrote him in the MTC.

The highlights for this week was obviously the conference with Elder Renlund. Immediately when he walked in he wanted to shake everyone´s hand. When he did, he stooped down to everyone´s eye level to talk to them. I felt the confirmation of what I already knew; that he really is an Apostle of Jesus Christ. It was a special feeling. I sang in the choir which was powerful as well. I felt the Spirit strongly when he told us that the main reason that he came and the apostolic message that he came to deliver on behalf of the church and Jesus Christ himself was “Thank You”. Wow….maybe because I wasn´t expecting it, God´s love and gratitude for my service hit me hard in the chest.

Also, Fatima got baptized on Saturday and was confirmed yesterday! Everything was happy and cute. We´re teaching her future sister-in-law now who has agreed to get married and baptized 🙂

This week is the first week of my last change! The time is going fast! Last calls for things that you all want so I can bring you back cool stuff.

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Abby

Week 63 – Reptilandia

Super small world in the church! There is only one sister from Chile in the mission, so it must be Hna. Lopez. How crazy that I happened to be in the photo that they showed, because I´ve never even been in her same zone. I was her Sister Training Leader for about 3 months. And how the heck did Grandma ride a horse at Elder Christianson´s house?? HAHA

This week Celso (77 years old) and Fatima (11 years old) will be finally getting baptized. It´s been a long, tough road. Even the 77 year old men here have law of chastity problems with women MUCH younger than them 🙂 Holy Cow haha.

I´ll definitely join in the fasting and prayer for the growth of the Hastings Ward. How cool that it is growing so much. I´m excited to see in 2 months!

I don´t have much to say that I didn´t include in Mom´s email, but I´m sending you this photo of me and Hna. Thompson by a wall in El Espino that made me laugh almost every time we passed. These are the kinds of things Latins who think they know English say to me hahaha. Here in El Salvador, their pet names for each other are things like “gordo” (fattie) or “viejo” (oldie). They are more like insults. Here in Juayua I´ve even heard spouses call each other “son” or “daughter”. It´s weird.

Last Monday we went to a place called Reptilandia, where they keep a ton of huge snakes that you can hold. This yellow boa is 100 lbs!! Super heavy and it was moving all over the place. I was the only one who wanted to hold it and the other three hesitantly obliged me 😉 Cool photo, huh? It was crazy feeling the snake´s head caressingly slip up my arm and around my neck!! Once and a lifetime chance that I obviously had to take.

Tomorrow is the conference with Elder Renlund!! Get excited!

Love you all so much!

Abby

Week 62 – Boat Building

This week was good because I´m exhausted; this means we worked hard! Not much to update you on. This week I´ll go on interchanges to my old area so I´ll be able to visit my old friends. Hna. Alvarado, my companion from Costa Rica, is visiting El Salvador this week as well, so I´m looking forward to catching up with her. Can you believe we´re practically in June?

Celso will be getting baptized this Saturday and Fatima the 10th of June. These have been hard baptisms to work, so I´ll be happy when they happen.

You won´t be able to please everyone as bishop, obviously, but using the wisdom of the Spirit to judge how the Lord would will win you most, if not all, the hearts of the ward. Remember these feelings of excitement and eagerness for later when you feel discouraged and frustrated. I´ve had to go back to my journal and read entries from awesome days to revive my spirits sometimes.

I learned something cool this week. 1 Nephi 17:8-10 talks about how Nephi had no idea how to build a boat nor how to find/create the tools he needed. He had never done it before and he had to rely completely on the Lord. I can imagine how he felt, but he accomplished it eventually. Then in 2 Nephi 5:15-16, after they had arrived in the promised land and separated from the Lamanites, Nephi was teaching his people all kinds of crafts and construction. He built a temple. Sometimes the Lord commands us to do things that seem overwhelming but He has even bigger things planned. He trains his servants ahead of time. He´s trained you to be a bishop and maybe something more in the future. We build boats now in order to be able to build temples later. Not only does this apply to this life but even more so in the life to come. This mortal life is us building a boat so that when we become gods, we can build temples 🙂

I´m healthy and safe here. I´ll be careful this week though…don´t worry 🙂 I had a dream about arriving home….ahhh I´m trying not to be “baggy”. I pray for you all as well. Have a great week! Love you

Abby