Elder Skylar Abel
Brazil São Paulo South Mission
Rua Dr. Luiz da Rocha Miranda, 159
8° Andar
Parque Jabaquara
04344-010 São Paulo- SP


Monday, February 5, 2018

Six Months Down!!!

Well hello there!

Thank you so much for all of the love and support this past week.

This Past week I decided to hold the Book of Mormon in my hand as we knocked doors. I don't know what it was, but it somehow gave me power. I thought of this after a long hard day. I was kind of struggling with the language and was about ready to give up. I was tired and nothing seemed to be working. I felt like I needed to use the Book of Mormon. I decided to follow that feeling and pulled out the Book of Mormon to testify of it the next opportunity that I had. As soon as I was holding the Book of Mormon and we knocked the next door, I was blown away. I bore a solid testimony on the power of the Book of Mormon and the importance of it and you could just feel the spirit so strong and see the spirit touch the person's heart as they kind of just lit up. That day we were able to find a lot of people interested in the message of the Book of Mormon which will keep us busy this coming week in contacting and teaching about this great book.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It has helped me immensely on my mission and each time that I read and study it, the Spirit is ever so present and testifies to me the truth that it contains. I know that Joseph Smith truly did translate it correctly and I am so grateful for him and the faith that he had. It is crazy to me to think that with just a little bit of faith from a teenage boy, who had a desire to know the truth, was able to Restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ to its fullness here on the earth. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the power that it contains and I am grateful for the faith that Joseph Smith had even when it was so much easier to just deny everything that he saw and everything that he was asked to do. I am grateful for the guidance and the help that the Book of Mormon gives me in my life. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that he established HIS Church on the Earth today and I know that the Book of Mormon testifies of Him and His life. God lives and will always answer our prayers through our faithful study in the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for the privilege and opportunity that I have to share the Book of Mormon with the people here in Brasil and to help them come to know the truth and blessings that are in store for them. Truly such a blessing in my life!!

Yesterday we had a baptism for Alysson!! Wahoo! He asked me to baptize him and it was truly a privilege and quite a neat experience. The spirit is always so strong. Every time I enter the water and begin the ordinance I am reassured that we are truly a part of the only true church of God. The spirit just testifies of its truthfulness and it's so amazing! He was pretty happy and we are pretty happy for him!

I am going to be hitting my 6 month mark and will only have a sisters mission left!!! WAHOOOO!!! Dangg.. I have been waiting for the day to say that every sister missionary who enters the field from here on out will not leave before me! 

Love, your happy and excited Elder Abel!

Monday, January 29, 2018

This is Brazil!

Hey there my favorites!

You guys are truly such blessing to me and each week I feel so blessed to have such a
great family in my life. You all truly do bless my life.. Thank you! (:

I did a lot of randomly weird things as usual..  Like climb a tree, did the Halls Challenge,
hung from a bar with a solid 10 foot drop, ate MASHED POTATOES (yeah that's something
that is unusual... I miss Mom's cooking) and probs killed a few Yellow Fever Mosquitoes.
Yep.. It's true! São Paulo is getting attacked by the Yellow Fever. Usually the mosquitoes
don't like the big cities and stay more out in the more spacious areas.. But they decided that
they are more powerful than the human race haha. They have moved to the city of São Paulo
and are slowly taking the lives of others. It's a pretty sad deal here. Someone was telling me
that the vaccination is super expensive and they are running low. So they are giving out like
1 vaccination for every 4 people in a household. Pretty crazy stuff!! The Zoo's here in
Sâo Paulo are shut down due to these dang Mosquito's too. I guess a famous monkey got
Yellow Fever this past week and passed away...? Pretty sad deal! But I think I am safe.
I have the vaccination.. Some solid bug repellent for the skin.. And the best shield you can
have.... Being set apart as a missionary. Heavenly Father truly does watch over and protect
His missionaries. I have a lot of faith in Him and I know that He is truly watching over and
protecting me.Ü

This past week we were really working on growing our group of people to teach. We knocked doors upon doors upon doors.. And nobody wanted to hear our message it seemed like. It's a rough thing to get rejected over and over again.. But I am getting used to it I think. It's sad because they will tell us how much faith they have and how much the Savior and God means to them.. But then tell us they don't have time to chat about Them. We ask for 1 minute.. 1 MINUTE!! If you don't have 1 minute to talk about our Heavenly Father's love, or our Savior's example.. I think you gotta rethink your life a little bit! haha

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to have my patience tested here in the mission. As well as my obedience. Both of these things have helped me learn of who I am, and if I really am a follower of Christ. I have really learned to act in faith... despite everything else around me, whether it be comps, people, or other things trying to pull me away. I have learned to act in faith without knowing the `why`.. just putting my trust and faith in Heavenly Father that all will work out. Our faith is truly a blessing. Here in Brazil... Skys faith is growing and developing through scripture study and prayer. I know that we have a Heavenly Father. He is a loving and caring Heavenly Father. Thanks to him and His son.. this mission is a lot easier for me and so is this life. All you gotta do is have faith, be obedient, and accept the harder right, even when it is easier to accept the easier wrong ( I think President Monson said something like this). I am so grateful for all of my many blessing and I am grateful to be able to learn and grow here in Brazil through trials, challenges, and just the daily life.

I hope that you guys are all happy and healthy and that you have a wonderful week. I love you all so much!

Love, your happy and faith growing Sky... Elder Abel

Monday, January 22, 2018

It's our Story


How are my absolutely favoritest people in the whole world? Thank you so much for your emails and all the love that you guys show to me. 

Elder Lopes and I will be staying here in Ubirajara for the next transfer... making this his 4th transfer here. No changes this time around. I am excited!! The work is coming along... I think that is why President decided to leave us here. This area hasn't had much success in the past.

We had the privilege of watching the message from President Nelson. The wi-fi and translation was awful.. so I didn't get much out of it, but the Spirit was so strong! The 3 are going to do amazing things. They all have such a sweet spirit and they really radiate the happiness that the Gospel is. I love our Leadership in the church! (: But it was weird.. when I first saw  the new presidency the first thing that popped into my head was ONE (Oaks, Nelson, Eyring). I don't know why it popped into my head, but it really made me think about why that would have significance.. and the first thing that I realized was that we are ONE as a church. We are all working together as ONE.. with one purpose.. and one goal. Also.. I really thought about how there truly is ONE person that leads this church. Although we have had and will have more prophets... it is neat to think that a Prophet is just an instrument to connect the world to the Heavens. We truly do have a loving Heavenly Father who leads and guides our church today. How neat is that!! Just think about it... pretty eat and such a blessing! So grateful for prophets and other leadership in the church.. (:

I would just like to end with a scripture in the Bible that I really like. It is in Revelations 20:12 ..."and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which was the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works."

I really like this scripture! We literally are writing our own little stories in our own ´books´. We are writing our stories for us individually. Each of us has our own book, and our own pen. All of the things that we do here are written in our ´books of life´ and will be opened up on the day of judgement. We will be judged for exactly what we did here on the Earth and not for the things that someone else did. It will not matter what anyone else did.. Just all of the things that we ´wrote in our books´. This made me think about the book that I was writing right now and made me think about if it was a good enough book for the highest kingdom and greatest gift of glory hereafter. It is always nice to look and see what we are doing and adjust accordingly if we need. I am so grateful that we are judged for the things WE do. I am grateful that we have the opportunity to prove to our Heavenly Father who we are, and what we want, and who we want to become.. through our desires, actions, works, and `stories`. I am so grateful for the things that I am learning here and the opportunity that I have to grow and strengthen my faith in Christ and Our Heavenly Father. Truly it is a blessing and a privilege! I love and miss you like crazy!

Love, your happy Sky...Elder Abel

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Crazy Week in Ubirajara

Hello My Most Favorite People!

This week was a little crazy! But before I talk about the crazy.. Let's talk about the good. We had a baptism yesterday. We baptized Maria. She is 75 years old and kind of feisty (however you spell it) but is a sweet lady as well. Kind of reminds me of our sweet Grammys.. both Taylor and Abel. The Gospel turned her life around and now she is so happy and so grateful! She chose me to baptize her.. And it was a really cool experience.

I feel so blessed to have the opportunity of helping someone find the truth in the Gospel and then follow the perfect example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. When we were getting in the font I asked if she was excited and ready... She answered with tears in her eyes and a HUGE smile.. 'Of course!!' Super special. We have also been working with Alexandre and he is doing good.

So how about the crazy?! Before I tell you this I want you guys to know that the only reason I am telling you this is to show how much love our Heavenly Father gives to His missionaries. He truly watches over His missionaries and He protects His missionaries! I don't wanna freak you out or get you all worried.. But some pretty sketchy stuff happened this past week. They call it 'toque de recolher' which pretty much means 'call of take shelter'. This past Wednesday in a neighboring area (called Missionaria) a group of people started attacks on some busses. They lit busses on fire.. Threw homemade bombs on to these busses.. And started attacking with guns and such. I don't know why or to what extent all or this happened.. But this is what I heard. What happens in situations like this is our Zone leader calls us and tells us to report back to our houses as fast as we can and not leave until it is clear. In this case.. Stay all night. Pretty intense stuff! This 'take shelter call' is for everyone. It's like a call that everyone hears in a rumor or another source. They all just run to their houses and lock up. It's crazy! Then after Wednesday I thought it would be the only time that I would experience that in my whole mission because it was the first time this mission has had this in a long time.. But then came Friday. Friday a shooting/war broke out in another neighboring area (Vila Clara). The police got involved and I guess 4 people were shot and killed and a few injured. Some elders were near, but broke out before it got too sketchy. There was police everywhere in these areas with all sorts of types of guns. So then again São Paulo Sul was locked down in the same call.. But this time just our Zone. Soo.. again... I am not telling you this to worry you! I just want to say that the Lord really is aware of His missionaries and share with you my love that I feel being here. We truly are soo safe here!! I will be honest with you.. I am in the most dangerous part of the mission. People approach you and you just go with strength talking to them and have faith that you are being watched over. I have had a lot of different situations where I have really been watched over and protected. The missionary plaque has power. If I wasn't a missionary then I don't think I could be here doing this work. Really though... Despite all of these problems.. I have felt so comforted this last week.

A scripture has came to my head time and time again. Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 -

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand, and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

This scripture is powerful!! It is soo true too! Heavenly Father is aware of His missionaries, He protects us, He keeps us safe by the Spirit, and He truly does bless us. I know that God lives! He lives and He cares about us. He loves us. He pours out His love to us in His many blessings. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who shows His love for us in everything we do. He supports us and is always there for us when it feels like no one else is. It blows my mind when people deny God and deny that He lives. Literally everything is a sign that we have a living, loving, Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary. I know that I say it a lot.. but it truly is a privilege. We truly are a part of the only true and living Church on the Earth today. The Gospel truly is wonderful and is a message of pure joy!! May we show that joy this week in one way or another.

I sure do love you guys!! I miss you like crazy.. in fact... I miss you more than American Missionaries miss their Dr. Pepper. Now that's a lot of miss haha! Have a wonderful week and give each other some extra hugs this week... something I really miss to be honest! Thanks for being examples in my life. Have a wonderful week!

Love, your happy and blessed missionary.... Sky! Elder Abel!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Miracles and Progress

Well hello there my favoritest people in the whole world?!! How in the world are you all doing?? As always... I am so grateful for the letters and the love you guys give me. Seriously so blessed with such great family and friends in my life. Sooo blessed!!!

Before I go on... I must say.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADEOOOOO!!!! Wahooooo!!!! I hope you guys party hard for this amazing guy! Seriously the best Dad in the whole wide world and I just love him so much! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! I will be celebrating here for you... I will eat an extra açaí ice cream for you tomorrow (While I bawl my eyes out.. because that's just the type of person that I am. haha! Don’t ask me why)

Soooo... As you peeps are probably wondering... we had transfers this week. And I am staying here in Silvina for another transfer, with Elder Fortes.

Crazy story... First threat this past week. (Mom.. I am alive. I am breathing and no bumps, bruises, cuts, or scratches.) Anywho, it was wild. I was on a division with Elder Fernandes and this kid was dragging a huge bamboo and a massive machete down the street. He was a solid 50 yards away and I turned and looked at him after talking to someone and this kid started yelling at me. He was yelling `LEAVE!!! Nobody wants you here! Leave now or I will get you!!` Then this kid took off in a dead sprint towards me and my comp with his HUGE machete. I just about pooped my pants.. but I am pretty sure I broke my 400m record haha. He stopped chasing us and we left the area. Now it's just a sweet story to tell haha. Brasil is wild!! (:

Sooo... GREAT NEWS!!! We have found 2 people who are ELECTS (completely ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ) BAD NEWS!! They both have mothers who are not on board!! One of the gals we are teaching has a strong desire to know about the church, and a desire to be baptized. We taught her and answered all of her questions in a lesson. The next lesson we came and saw that she had 2 pages of notes. She had billions of questions, and had written like a testimony about the things that she knows. I was sooo pumped to teach her and I thought for sure she would be our first baptism. But her mother doesn't trust us and she doesn’t like the church unless it is Catholic. She told us to never return. This sweet girl bawled her eyes out, but we can't do much about it. She is only 15 years old and needs her mother's permission to be baptized. We are sending the troops (Bishop, Bishop's wife, YW Pres, and young women) in this week to soften the mom's heart. It will be interesting to see what happens with them. Keep her in your prayers please! You just never know what can happen.

 The Zone Gang

This week we will most likely be having a baptism... my first baptism!! Two 9 year olds are ready to be baptized and have a date for this Sunday. We need to work a few things out, but it is possible to have my first baptism this week and I am so excited for them! (:

Well my amazing people.. I just want to finish with my testimony about families. I love you all soo much!! This past week I have felt extra blessed to have you all in my life. I can't tell you how many times we sang `Families can be together forever`. But I cried every single time. Families really are forever. What a blessing that is. We really get to live with each other forever and all eternity. God's plan is perfect, and is complete happiness. I am soo blessed with you guys. Thank you soo much for all that you do and the amazing examples that you are. I am always thinking about you, worrying about you, and praying for you! I hope you can feel my love and prayers from this far away! You all truly mean so much to me! I want you to know that I know that God lives. He loves us and has a perfect plan for us. It is through our Savior that we have the opportunity to have Eternal Life. Thanks to the love of Christ and the perfect plan of our Heavenly Father, we can have Eternal Happiness. This life is such a small speck on the timeline of our eternity. I am so grateful for this knowledge and thank our Father each and everyday for you in my life! May you find joy this week and feel peace and comfort. I sure love you guys!! Smile and remember I am always here for you.. I will help with anything in  the best way I can. And better than me.. So is our Father in Heaven. He is there for us in all that we do and is just one prayer away. I sure do miss you guys. I miss you more than Dad misses his original wedding ring! (Sorry Dad.. your birthday is tomorrow. I had to throw you under the bus! I love you soo much! Have a wonderful Birthday!!) I love you all soo much! Thanks for all that you do. Smile a little extra and party a little more for me... You are just the bestest! Until next week.. (:

Love, Your favorite missionary... Elder Abel! (:

What the Walmart?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Eternal Happiness

Well hello there!!

This past week was good. I am learning a lot and I am loving the people and the food of course. There is one thing I've come to realize.....I would rather have someone tell me straight up that they don't want to hear the things I have to say, and that they will pass... then have someone lie and give the wrong address or an address that doesn't exist. Seriously.. it is so annoying to spend time looking for a house that doesn't exist. Just tell me you don't want the Truthfulness of the Gospel, and that you don't want Eternal Happiness... I will gladly give it to those that want it. Haha! Sorry.. little rude of me to say, but it is true! Oh well... I have 2 years to figure this out right?!

CRAZY STORY!! We were teaching Vanessa and Suzete about the Word of Wisdom and it was a pretty solid lesson. Of course they are having a hard time giving up their coffee... but that's normal. Anywho.. after the lesson Vanessa told me a pretty neat story. Her boyfriend is in Prison right now, and she wanted to give him a Book of Mormon. So we gave her a Book of Mormon to give to him, and she went to visit him. Before she even talked about the missionaries and before she even gave him the Book of Mormon he went on to tell her about a dream that he had. He explained this dream to her. She said that he explained a tall, white, blond haired, American sharing a book to them. Testifying to them about the Savior and explaining the importance of this ´book´. She went on to say that he described me perfectly and described the church perfectly. He said that they accepted the book and became a part of the church. He didn't even know they were taking lessons from the missionaries. You guys.... straight chills!! This was a really cool experience and it made me happy because it helped confirm the truthfulness of this church to Vanessa. We are hoping she holds that close to her heart and decides to join the church. I am so excited to see what happens next with Vanessa. Pretty neat!

I just want to end with my testimony of the Savior. You guys.. we really do have a Savior. He is real and really did atone for us. It is through him that we can get through challenges, trials, heartaches, and be strengthened from them. It is because of the Savior that we can feel comforted in hardships, see light in darkness, and be helped when we have a pitfall. The Savior is perfect and it is a privilege to be a missionary and a representative of our Savior. I really do get a small (very teeny, tiny.... super duper small... with no real good comparison) taste of to the things that he went through. Through all of the rejection, mocking, laughing, inappropriate comments, and hardships that I have as a missionary I get a small taste of the things that the Savior has went through. It is a privilege and my testimony of the Savior has really grown tremendously!! The Savior has completed the Ultimate Mission in the life. It is through His mission that we have the opportunity to live with our Father in Heaven again. It is through His mission we can have happiness in this life and Eternal Happiness in the life to come. It is through His mission that we can do all that our Heavenly Father wants us to do, and become all that He wants us to become. I am so grateful for the Savior. I am grateful for His love and the peace and comfort that I receive through Him on my mission. It truly is such a blessing!! I love this Gospel and I love being a missionary. Thank you so much for your love and support and the amazing things that you do for me. I am so blessed to have you all in my life.

I love you!!

Love, your favorite Elder... Elder Abel! Ü

Monday, October 16, 2017

Keep the focus

Well hello there!!

Can I just start off with saying how adorable Scotti is. Seriously the sweetest little thing in the whole world!! I look at these pictures and just cry because I just want to hold her. Make sure you guys give her lots of extra loves from her favorite Uncle. I wish I could!! I also have had dreams of holding her and hearing her name. Last night I had a dream her name was Kitty McKitty Cottam. Hahaha! So thank goodness Colter and Aimee have a little better taste. (; But what a blessing she is and I am glad that all went well and that she is happy and healthy and so is her mama! Been praying extra hard for the Cottam family and the Harmon family this week. You guys are the best and I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you guys. 2 new different and fun adventures! Enjoy (:

Thank you all for your letters, support, love, and prayers! I Can't thank you enough. I am truly so blessed with the best!! I am going to shorten this group e-mail a bit to try and email personally today. So hopefully I don't run outta time.

Also had some firsts... first Division, interview with president and Sister Acosta, and also my first haters. The haters say things like gringos or rich Mormon's in the streets. They mock us and try and speak English. I was actually spit on by a guy this week. So that was cool. Luckily I am a missionary and didn't deck him. Thought about it tbh. Also one of the members kids flipped me off. I am in the middle of the prayer, and the kid is pounding on the table trying to get my attention. I look up and there was a 4 year old demon... flipping me off. okay I laughed spiritually, but not physically. It was pretty funny!!

The ward is also epic. I have so much love for the members. They are so happy and they truly do care, worry, and love us. They are always feeding us and asking how they can help. So that is a blessing!

Alright I will end with the miracle of the week! We were teaching an investigator about the importance of Baptism. We were telling how important it is but Luciana just didn't get it. She says she needs more time and that she will never be ready. I then bore a testimony of the importance of Baptism. How we don't need to be perfect, but that through baptism we can become perfect. We have a Savior and a loving Heavenly Father. I shared the promised blessing and it just felt great. I think it was a gift of tongues experience because the Portuguese was so smooth and the spirit was so strong. I am so blessed you guys!! I love my mission. The people can be a pain sometimes, but I love them anyways!! It is a privilege to be a missionary and to teach something that is so important and so needed. I want you guys to know how much I love you. Thank you for all that you do and the amazing people that you are. Thanks for the emails and for your support.

God lives. He is aware of us and wants us to just lean on him. He is always one prayer away. We have a Savior. He is perfect. Even when he was denied, spit on, and crucified.. He still accomplished the will of the Lord all that was needed for us to return to live with them again. He never gave up and never lost his focus and the importance of the atonement. He loves us and is our Savior. I hope we don't lose our focus on the Atonement and we strive to become more like the Savior. He is the perfect example in all things.

I miss you like half of my neck misses the sun. (For reals... dipped cone from arctic circle right now! It is ridiculous!) Keep on smiling!! I love you so much!!

Love, your favorite... Elder Abel! (:

President and Sister Acosta