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, May 21, 2018

Post Mother's Day Skype

Well... you guys didn't say it... so I am guessing that you are waiting for me to say it... WAS THAT NOT THE LONGEST NEVER ENDING WEEK OF YOUR LIVES!!! Goodness gracious... I mean... I felt like it was never going to end haha. This is what happens to the missionaries after they talk to their families on Skype. Seriously... you like suffer for the next P-day and time just doesn't pass. Its rough.. but it is whatever because it is finally here.

This past week was alright. Started out pretty solid with my birthday. At our District Meeting.. my homies surprised me with brownies, pizza, and coke. It was awesome!!  Also... we played some basketball which was a lot of fun and made me realize just how terrible I actually am. Luckily enough... basketball is a sport that you play with your hands... so I ended up winning haha.  I sure did miss you guys!!  I really miss partying it up on the birthdays with you all. It was something so simple that I took for granted. It doesn't even have to be my birthday.. I just wanna celebrate SOMETHING with you all. (Side note: The 24th of July will be lit next year) Ü

The people here are just not wanting to listen. We finally brought our first investigator to church yesterday. Actually... he has been visiting the church off and on for the past 60 years! You know the new apostle Elder Soares from Brazil. Well it is his mother and father in law that are investigating. His mother in law was baptized about 6 months ago... and now we are working with his father in law. You think to yourself... if Elder Soares is unable to do it... how is Elder Abel gonna do it Ü  But... God works in mysterious ways... ya never know what will happen. Pray that his heart will be softened and we will see what we can do. This should be a neat experience. (:

So I am sure that you people are sick of the crazy stories and wonder if I even work. But there were a few things that happened this past week that blew my mind. First was a lunch with a member. We went to this house and the member answered. (I didn't know them so I just was like whatever and entered) She was a super nice lady and told us to take a seat as she finished preparing lunch. I didn't think anything of it as another walked in and started talking to me. She was her IDENTICAL twin. I was mind blown!! But it is normal right... twins like that who live together. Well... we started talking to them when one of their sons came walking down the stairs. He was pretty cool and he chatted with us and then went into the kitchen to help his mom finish cooking. Then I heard someone else walk down the stairs.. and as I looked at him my mind was blown the second time within 2 minutes... another SET of identical twins!! I was literally going crazy... it was like everyone was duplicating... and they were wearing the same clothes as well so I was trippin out... it was like I was living in a mirror haha. Well... then to finish the craziness... an older women walks in and I ask her if she has a twin as well... she then goes on to tell me.. no... but that she is 98 YEARS old!! It was nuts!! She was doing everything on her own! This family has some crazy genes!! So there's the secret peeps... have twins and you are granted more life haha. Also... to make it wild... the two married twins and the other two are dating a set of twins!! Goodness gracious... when it was said... `Multiply and replenish the earth..`.... I don't think it was meant to be done so literally and quickly like this family is doing haha. Was wild... defs a moment where you had to be there to understand.  Twins upon twins!

Sooo before I finish it up here... how about them transfers? Nothing happened here in the Bosque. I will be staying here with Elder Mendes and will be DL as well. The district moved a lot... so that should be fun! It is getting `cold` here if you call like 55 cold. Everyone is wrapping up like it is going to snow haha. It is funny... but I am excited!!! I miss the cold and the pure joy that it brings to my soul... (: I also spoke in church this past week for the first time. They gave me a topic to speak on Missionary Work and it went well. Definitely something that I don't wanna do again... it is sketchy giving a talk... then you add the language and you just wanna cry haha. It was cool though... I am still alive.

This life is full of its ups and downs. It is full of its sorrows, difficulties, trials, and rough times. But the trick is... it doesn't have to be hard.. it doesn't have to be difficult and you don't have to suffer. I am learning SO much in every situation that I am put in. More than anything... I am learning how to be humble and how to accept the will of the Lord, despite knowing the `Why` or the `how come`? Often times... we as humans blame God for our trials... for our difficulties... and we just want to know why us..? But the key that I have found to my happiness on my mission... is to thank Him. To thank Him for the opportunities that I have to learn with every new experience that He gives. Of course I am not perfect... of course I have my moments where I want to cry, give up, ask for an easier route, or just ask myself... `why me`. But luckily enough... like I said before... I am not suffering. I know that I have a Savior that has already done the suffering. I know that He is there for me in every hardship and that He will NEVER leave my side. When we lean on the Savior and rely on the will of God... everything is made better and all is made well. I know that God knows us more than we know ourselves and I know that He has a plan for us even if we don't have the right `glasses` to see the plan in the moment. He is full of love and mercy and He wants what's best for us. 

I love you so much and miss you more than I missed you after hitting that dang TORTUROUS end button on Skype this past Sunday... seriously... that's a lot of miss!! haha!!  I love you so much... you make me happy and bless my life... (:

Love, Elder Abel! Your happy... Sky! (:

Monday, May 14, 2018

Happiest Birthday to our 20-year-old Sky!

Well hello there my absolutely amazing people!!

How about the crazy of the week? There was a lot of crazy and not a whole lot of success. I will focus on the crazy this week because it is my Birthday and I kind of just wanna zone out of the stressfulness for a minute haha. Just know that we are preparing a few people, but not a whole lot of movement as they are not going to church or just denying all of the answers that they are receiving haha. 

So the crazy?! So last P-day... I decided to get my haircut so I can look all good for my favorites. All of the haircuts here are ridiculously expensive (not really... but as a missionary with no money... pretty expensive!) So this older man was the ONLY one in the salon to cut my hair. It was super sketchy!! I walked in there and the first thing that I noticed was that HE HAD NO HAIR!! Okay... wait right here... this is like going to the dentist and talking to a dentist who has NO TEETH or who has some nasty, unclean, not taken care of teeth. If you don't have hair... do you really know how to cut or do hair? It doesn't make sense to me... but maybe it makes sense to you all..haha! So it was pretty sketchy!! He did a pretty good job, but at the end he grabbed a razor blade and placed it against his comb. I thought to myself... `oh great!!! Now I know how he combs his hair and the reason why he doesn't have ANY!!´ He then started to comb my hair with this razor blade and it was like the sketchiest moment of my life. I just prayed in my heart... in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and whatever language... to make sure that Heavenly Father knew of my seriousness hahaha!! Well... as you guys saw yesterday... all is well haha. The dude did a pretty good job... haha. Prayers are answered!

Another craziness that comes from the good ole Bosque... is our house. It blows BIG OLE´ CHUNKS!!! LITERALLY!!! I was washing my WHITES this past week... and as I have mentioned before... we are having some problems with the plumbing. Well the wonderful news is as I was washing my whites... the house decided to blow some big ole chunks of  sewage into our washing machine. Luckily... missionaries are blessed and all of it came out... but it still psyches me out to even wear my shirts now... knowing that these have touched with unsanitary particles haha.

Another craziness is your favorite Elder Abel has officially hit 9 months and that he also has hit 20 years of age!! Yes I am getting old... but I feel like I have been reborn due to the 9 month missionary mark. Coincidence... I think not haha. If I blew your mind... feel free to let me know... (;

Also... I had splits with an American this past week. His name is Elder Alcorn and he is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. You know how it is... once Elder Abel is with an American.. things get wild and happiness is shared. We played some AMERICAN FOOTBALL. It was amazing!!! Made me realize just how special the U.S is and how we actually have REAL sports haha. 

The highlight of my week was talking to all of you!! You guys are such great examples to me and I am so grateful for you and the love that you guys share with me. You all play such a big role in my life and I can't wait to chat with you on Christmas, Mothers Day (next year), and then face to face. Time is going to pick up here before we know it... and we will be partying it up like the good ole days... WAHOO!!! I 

I really am so grateful for all of you women in our family, and I hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day, and that you were able to relax and feel of the love of our family and our Heavenly Father. You all have such a great part of the plan of our Heavenly Father and I don't think that it is fair to give you guys only one day to celebrate. You deserve at least one day each month!   I absolutely loved our family prayer yesterday and I do not regret doing it. Even though it was through a weak service and through a camera.. I really could feel of the love of our Savior and Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for you guys. I am grateful for your examples in my life. We are so blessed! Thank you all for being there yesterday and for showing me your love and support. Each one of you just means the world to me and I am eternally grateful for all of you and the relationships that we hold. Although we may be split up into separate families of our own and may live miles upon miles away from each other... we are never separated. We are always close no matter the distance. We are tied together heart to heart and bound with love, service, care, and shared happiness. Seriously... We are all so blessed! I am grateful for my family that I have now and that I am able to have a family of my own in the future with such AMAZING examples of how to live a Christ Centered life and just with such strong testimonies and powerful spirits that you all have and are. I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you and I hope that you never forget that I pray for you and that I think about you. You guys are my everything and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank my Father in Heaven for each and everyone of you and how you are all perfectly placed in my life!! 

I hope that you have a wonderful week and that you know that I love you so much and miss you like crazy... in fact... I miss you more than you guys `missed` your opportunity to roast me on my birthday... hehehe!!  Now you all have to wait another YEAR to roast me!

Love, Your favorite Sky... who is counting down the weeks until Christmas... Elder Abel! (:

Monday, May 7, 2018

Baptism Blessings

Well hello there my absolute favorites!! 

This week I will be skyping my favoritest people in the whole world!! It is looking like I will be skyping 5:00 Brazil time... so I think that is 2:00 your time! I hope that that works for you guys! I will probably hop on at 4:30ish and try to get things set up. Sound good...? I hope that it doesn't interfere with any of your plans with church or anything. If so... I can try and do something a bit better. Just let me know if it needs to be later or a bit earlier. I will try and check Sunday morning and see what we can do. But I am so EXCITED!!! I have a few rules though... Everyone has to be there and everyone has to bring a question to ask. The question can be small or big and I will try and answer it to the best of my ability haha. I hope that I can speak English. I am struggling to speak English to be totally honest. I sound like I am 5 haha.. at least that's what one of my american buddies told me. But anywho... I. AM. SOO. EXCITED.!! I love you all so much!!

Not a whole lot of crazy has been happening here in the new area. Bosque is a pretty big city and is full of all sorts of people. Tons of apartments and a pretty busy place. It is very very different and is pretty hard to get people who are interested in the Gospel. But we had a few miracles this past week that was pretty sweet. I will tell a couple stories. So the first story was when we were knocking doors. I saw a sign at a house that said ´American Country` and I instantly became happy haha. I knocked on the door and asked if the man spoke English... Unfortunately... He didn't speak English but he is very passionate about the United States and everything about them. He wants to live there but loves his family too much to move away. But it was a way to get into his house. He loves Americans and has a lot of respect for Americans. This was the first time that he had ever talked with the missionaries and he was just so excited. (Side note: His house made me a little homesick because when I walked in there it was like I walked into the the United States haha. His house was decked with Ford cars, and other English signs. He had the statue of liberty sculpture.. the american flag... and everything. It was awesome!! But it was neat to be able to teach him the Restoration and to explain to him the importance of the things that we believe. He was so interested and he explained to me just how it makes so much sense! It makes sense that it was in the USA in that time and it makes sense that it was there due to the safety that we have and he went on to say that if God really was to restore the Church it would be in the United States. It was like he was building a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel within seconds of hearing the message. It was so neat and it was nice to have someone actually want to hear and understand our message after tons of rejection here. But unfortunately we haven't been able to get in contact with him since. We are hoping that he prayed and that he has a desire to learn more. It was really neat and it was one of those... `I swear I have met you before` moments. He even said the same thing haha. Super neat! We will see what happens. His name is Oswaldo.
The work is going well and I am enjoying this area. Although it is hard... it makes finding someone to teach just so much sweeter!! I love teaching this gospel and I love helping others find the truth that we truly have here on the Earth.

I will share one more story that was really cool too. We were teaching some people as we knocked doors. We knocked a door and a pretty hardcore catholic answered the door. (Her name is Ana) She wasn't interested at all about our message but said that she really respects our service as missionaries. I felt prompted to teach about Baptism and how Baptism is an important step in this life. She went on to tell me that she was baptized in the catholic church and she knows that it was valid. I decided that I would still teach her what we be(KNOW)leive to be true and leave an invite to ask of God. She was a little bit iffy, but decided to accept the invite. We went back to her house yesterday to see how she was doing and she went on to tell us a pretty neat story. She said that she said a prayer that night that we came to her house and she didn't really feel anything. She went to sleep that night and woke up at 2:00 in the morning and couldn't sleep. She woke up worried about her baptism and if it really was valid or not. She wasn't really mad at us but you could see the fear in her eyes. I went on to share my testimony about the Truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how this is His Restored Church. She was pretty interested and said that she would like to learn more.. so this week we will be teaching her and her family. 

I would just like to say that I am so grateful for experiences like these that strengthen my testimony and make me realize just how amazing the Gospel truly is. I love the Church of Jesus Christ. There are so many false teaching in the world but it is so cool to know that we have nothing to hide. We are truly a part of the only true and living church on the earth today and everything is in the scriptures. We have nothing to hide and we HAVE the fullness of the Gospel in its full and complete form. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. We are the Saints that are living in these latter days and it is such a blessing to KNOW and LIVE the truth. Our road is paved for us to Eternal life... we just need to stay on the road and make sure that we are aligned with what Heavenly Father wants from us and for us. I am so grateful to be a missionary and help others find or stay on this road. It is a privilege and is blessing my life each and everyday.

Love, your happy... and PUMPED for Mothers Day Sky... Elder Abel! (:

 UTAH Football Fan in BRAZIL!

Coke = Happy Elder

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Race!

Well hello there my absolute most favorite people in the whole entire world!!

I. AM. EXHAUSTED.! I don't know if it is a normal thing but I am just completely exhausted in all ways. Physically, mentally, and spiritually haha. I have never felt the way that I do right now. I am getting better though. I am slowly getting more and more used to this craziness here in Bosque.  My companion is Elder Mendes. He is from Fortaleza Brasil and is 25 years old. He is a pretty cool kid.  He is struggling here on the mission in a few ways and if you could just keep him in your prayers that would be much appreciated. Also, if you could keep me in your prayers to be a better example to him and help him become what he wants to be... that would be much appreciated as well. I am so grateful for you guys. I tell you this because I know how much you care, how much you can help, and how real the power of prayer really is. I am so grateful for the opportunity that we have to pray and to talk to our Heavenly Father... He is real and He is listening and helping. Soo amazing!!

So how about that new area? Well.. we are living more in the city now. There are literally apartments EVERYWHERE!!! It is so hard to make contacts because people will either lie about their address... or give an address to an apartment and not give us their room number. It is so annoying. We walk and walk and walk with hopes to teach and then we get there and look up to a 20 floor apartment building without a floor number. It's the worst!! 

The house is another crappy part about our area. It is a two story house with a billion problems haha. Fun fact: My companion was taking a shower and decided to go to the bathroom. `Don't flush the toilet when you are taking a shower...?` Well it is REAL!!! He flushed the toilet and it went down and came out of the drain in the shower... EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE!!! I just hear him scream and it was the funniest (yet grossest) thing that has ever happened in Brasil. Hahahaha!!  But besides that and the other million things that are wrong with it.. we do have AC in our room and a bed to sleep on...which is nice. At the end of the day.. that is all I really need. Ü

I was on splits this past week and we were climbing a mount everest of a hill. (Actually... we were at the bottom of it and I was about to cry haha.) Like this is the type of hill that is a 90 degree angle of your tie and the rest of your body as you walk up it. Well.. then some Brazilians were all like... `Look an American.` They started talking to me and telling me how they could beat me in Soccer. I went on to say how I can't play soccer but I will race them. They told me that they would demolish me and they were all dressed in their soccer clothes. They started laughing at me and they asked me when and where. I told them to pick their fastest kid and I will race him. They picked the kid and he was pretty athletic.. I was pretty scared but I had faith haha. I told the kid (Marcos) that he could pick where and he told me up the hill. I thought to myself... ´Elder Abel... you are so stupid. You are dressed in church clothes and church shoes and you are not gonna win this battle.` But High School Track Sky was totally down. I tightened up my shoes and as I was tying my other shoe they shouted `GO!` and the small, quick, Brazilian went off. It was epic as I took off... I don't think I have ever ran so fast in my life. All of my pride and the pride of the Church was on me. haha! This was like life or death for me and for these Brazilians to hear the Gospel. Well to shorten things up a bit.. I won. I beat this soccer kid.. up the hill... and it was a highlight of the week. I don't know how I did it.. but you wouldn't imagine the amount of Brazilians that witnessed it and were in such shame haha. It was a proud moment of mine. But the best part of this was not that I only won.. but that these kids want to hear more about the Gospel and that they are very interested in what the Gospel and the Church is all about. Sometimes it takes being a little bit more normal and relatable to get to the hearts of the people here. It was so cool and it strengthened my testimony... as weird as it sounds.

This past week we had a conference with Elder Toledo (of the Seventy) and his wife. They are both Brazilian, and have such amazing testimonies. They are truly amazing!! They taught me so much and the spirit they brought to the meeting was incredible!! But after the meeting he said that he would like to interview 5 missionaries. One of those missionaries was me!  I was scared out of my mind. I had nothing to hide, but I was so scared. It wasn't the type of `worthiness interviews´ that you may be thinking... but was more about the mission and about my personal life. He asked me a bunch of questions that really hit me hard and made me think quite a bit. But then at the end... he said... `Elder Abel... I have something that I need to tell you that your Savior would like to say.` My heart just dropped, got instant chills, and I just started to cry.. the spirit was so strong and it was incredible. He went on to tell me how much Heavenly Father loves me.. how I have a purpose here on the Earth and how I have a purpose here on my mission. He also went on to tell me how much my parents love me.. in great detail of EXACTLY what my parents are doing in that very moment and exactly how they feel as I am here on the mission. It was such an amazing experience and made me just feel so overwhelmed with the love of my Savior and the love of my Heavenly Father and earthly parents. It was such a powerful experience and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I am so grateful for the spirit... I am grateful for the leaders of this church who receive revelation and know what we need. I have no doubt in my mind that we have a loving, living, Heavenly Father. Everything on this earth is a sign of His existence, love, and is care towards us. I know that we have loving Heavenly Parents who watch over and protect us.. just like our parents here on this earth. I am so grateful for my mom and dad. I am grateful for the love that they show me and the love that they show to our family and to others around them. They are my greatest examples in all things and there is no other mom or dad that fit me more perfectly than those two do. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you and the examples that you are in my life. Sometimes it blows my mind that we were placed soo perfectly together and that we strengthen each other so perfectly. I am grateful for all of you and the eternal family that we are. I am also so grateful to have the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father and Mother who live, who love, who care, and who bless us. There is not a doubt in my mind that they weep when we weep, smile when we smile, rejoice when we rejoice, suffer when we suffer, and bless us when we are in need just like our earthly parents do. I am so grateful for all of you and I love you all individually so very much!!

Love, your happy and feeling very blessed Sky... Elder Abel! (;

Monday, April 16, 2018

District Leader, Trainer and New Area

Well hello there peeps...what's up?! Oh how grateful I am to have you all in my life!

Sooo... not a whole lot of crazy went on this past week, but I did have splits with my American friend again. That was pretty solid! We chatted a lot about sports and just related a lot more. It is like a breath of fresh air to speak English and to just feel comfortable around your companion. Something that I haven't really had my whole mission besides the MTC.  We spent 72 reais on 2 pizzas...Ü  It is like tradition in the mission to buy pizza on splits.. so we went nuts this splits. But don't be deceived my friends... it was only about 25 American dollars. 

Sooo.... The wildest thing that happened this week was probably an experience I had with some MASSIVE overgrown drunk man. The dude was seriously GINORMOUS. He probably was about 6 foot 5 and weighed in at probs 308 pounds!! Story time: Elder Abel was just minding his own business walking home late one night and this massive drunk dude came sprinting around the corner (I think he robbed someone... I don't know) and just barrells through me. I don't know how to explain this... but I was literally like a wall. I felt like Superman. The dude ran into me and just about fell over. It was crazy!! And to be honest it was a miracle because I was on a pretty small sidewalk and if he would have barreled through me (like he should have) I would have been thrown into traffic and been hit by a car. (I know.. sounds SUPER dramatic. But I am serious. It was nuts!!) I kinda felt like Superman because I saved my life and also his.. as it changed his direction from going to the middle of the traffic... to running the opposite way. haha! The dude didn't even apologize or thank me or nothing. It was crazy!! I have decided that I need to wear a GoPro as a missionary. I see some pretty crazy things here and I am sure they sound super unrealistic, but these things are actually happening. Pretty crazy!! Elder Abel is blessed. Ü
Sooo... the investigators are solid. Unfortunately... we didn't have a baptism this week. We were teaching them and at the end of the lesson Kamilly said, "So... Do I get to choose who baptizes me?" We told her yes... and she said, "Well... I Choooooooosssseeeeeeee YOOUUU  Elder Abel!!!" It was so cute!! I was so happy and really just so excited for her. She is so excited to be baptized. The great grandmother went on to say how she may need a little more time and then they made her decide to wait a little longer. I was a little bit butt-hurt with the way this all went about. Whatevs... I don't need to baptize her, but you can't crush a 9 year old's dreams and happiness like that. She is probs going to be baptized in about 2 weeks. I am still so excited for her to take that next step.. even though I won't be here for it. (Another hint for transfers)

Alright....I will be leaving Ubirajara. I will be heading to `Bosque da Saude`. This area is super close to the Mission Office, the airport, and is in the area (but not ward) of where President and Sister Acosta live. I will be training a new missionary that will arrive tomorrow, and I will be the District Leader there as well. I will be opening this area and I am pretty dang excited. What a humbling experience this really will be and a new adventure. I will be completely honest with you guys.. I am so nervous! I am so scared and I really am worried with all the things that are to come here in the next few weeks. I am not a perfect Portuguese speaking missionary... I am not that great of a leader or teacher.. and I just feel so inadequate. But I am SO GRATEFUL (I literally can't say it enough) for the trust that the Lord has in me and the trust that President Acosta has in me. I have faith that all will work out as I just put my trust in the Lord. I think that this will help boost my confidence with the language and as well strengthen my testimony as I lean on the Lord even more than I ever have.  I know that I am here in Brazil for a reason. There is no doubt in my mind that there is someone waiting for me in my new area and I know that there are also a few missionaries that may need me as well. I also know that I need the people there and that the missionaries that I will work with and the people I will be with... will strengthen me and make me more into that person that I really want to become. I truly am so grateful for the love, peace, and comfort that I feel as I am serving here in Brazil. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is blessing me. I know He is blessing me and I just hope and pray that you are all able to see the blessing that He is pouring out to your lives.. because I also know that He is blessing you. I know that we are a part of the only true living church on the Earth today that is lead by real revelation and by a real Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. What a blessing that is and what a blessing it is to know that our leadership is truly called of God. From the Prophet all the way down to the conductor in sacrament meeting.. this church is ran by God. We all have a purpose here and it is amazing to know that there truly is a loving God who is watching over and protecting us. He is loving us, He is blessing us, and He is supporting us. I know that this church is true and I know that you guys know that too. I am grateful to have your examples in my life and to see your love for the Savior and our Heavenly Father. I love you so much!!

Love, your favorite, random, and crazy Sky... Elder Abel! Ü

Monday, April 9, 2018

Brazil is keeping things interesting!

Alright.. I got two weeks of crazy to catch up on... so here goes nothing!! First things first... Chicken feet..?! That is just not okay! Her we were at a members house about to enjoy a yummy lunch when she uncovers the food and the first thing that I see is chicken feet! What did I think to myself you may ask..? First, "What in the chicken feet?! " Then I made a plan in my head as to how I am going to avoid this one! Ü As I made the `sneeze plan` in my head I was about to dish up.. the member took the spoon from me and told me that she wants all of the chicken feet because she LOVES chicken feet. (Prayers really are answered my friends) As hard as it was to not put the chicken feet on my plate.. I gave the spoon to the member with a big smile on my face and let her take the chicken feet. Now you may be wondering... what was the "sneeze plan?" Well, I won't leave you hanging there... the "sneeze plan" consists of going for the other parts of the chicken, but if the spoon decides to hate me and accidentally picks up one of the chicken feet.... I would pull a fake sneeze and drop the spoon and try again. Haha! I am such a noob.. but I thought it was brilliant and I will be using it next time with the pig snout, liver, hairy chicken, chicken feet, or other wild things that us humans SHOULDN'T eat!! Anywho... I am still alive.. God is great. (: REALLY, the people here are so kind and generous, and I truly am thankful for their food.

Okay... Now that you are all probs wondering if I work here... let me give a quick spill about out investigators. We haven't been having too much success here. People are receiving answer, but nobody is wanting to act on them. We have had some neat experiences with some people who are really interested, but they need to get married before anything. The work is a struggle here in Ubirajara.

I would like to end with one of my favorite quotes from someone we contacted as they asked about the Church. The lady said... "Wow!! You guys follow Jesus Christ more than we do or any other religion." Something that came to my mind was a conference talk from last week... Bishop Gérald Caussé saying, "This is not the closest church to the Church of Jesus Christ... this IS The Church of Jesus Christ.. The key is to follow the Savior in ALL things!" What a blessing it is to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. What joy it brings me to share this happy message and to help others feel of that same love that I have felt through our merciful, loving, caring, and perfect Savior.

It is definitely not the easiest time in my life, but I know that it is worth it. I am learning and growing on the daily. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your love and examples. And more than anything... thank you for choosing to be a part of and live as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Love your favorite missionary... who is learning tons... Elder Abel! Sky! Ü

Weird Stuff...TMI

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Long....but SWEET Testimony

Well hello there my absolutely amazing family!! How in the world are you all doing? I miss you like crazy!! Thank you so much for all of your emails and the love and support that you give me. I really am more blessed than I even know and definitely more blessed than I deserve. THANK YOU!!!

So ya know that type of "Game Time" feeling before the opening kickoff to your favorite team in a football game and you know that it is about to get lit..? Well if you don't... I am sorry! But if you do.. I totes had that as I sat and waited the countdown to General Conference. Yep... Elder Abel is super duper nerdy... but I am PROUD of it!!  I would also like to say that I knew that a Brazilian was going to be called as an Apostle as I told quite a few members. They didn't believe me... but now they are mind blown and shocked that I could tell the future haha. (Side note: Can't tell the future... just a good guess..) I also knew that President Nelson had big news, and I knew that he had something else for us after toasting and roasting the Men in Priesthood session. Because it just isn't fair to burn one gender and not the other as well.. Our church is just and equal... you all know that.   But it was just so powerful wasn't it?! I LOVED General Conference... especially because we watched it in ENGLISH!!! We watched the first session in English and I told my Brazilian friend, "We have English, a TV, and almost everything... all we need is AC and my life is set." He said... "Elder Abel.. Wait here... I can arrange that." You best be believing it... we watched Gen Conference in English with a TV AND had AC. It was like I was in the U.S again!! I love ´Merica!!   It really was such a powerful few days!! I learned so much and the Spirit was so strong and just testified of the truthfulness!! As far as the news goes... it totally makes sense to me!! After Priesthood Session... I went back to the house and studied to see the answers they got from the scriptures and it makes total sense!! I stayed up until 2:00 in the morning studying my notes and the scriptures... haha! Like I said before... NERD ALERT!!  But, the other news was amazing too!  I don't know if you remember me talking about ONE (Oaks, Nelson, and Eyring).. but I really thought about that as they announced these things. Our church is really beginning a new thing that will reunite us more as ONE as we are preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. A scripture that a lot of people used was Doctrine and Covenants 38:27.. that says... "I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine." It is so neat to see that in action. I know that these changes will help us all more work together and make us strive to do and be the people that the Lord wants us to be. President Nelson said... "Our Unity helps us discern the Lord's will in helping his children" (talking about the unity of the 12 Apostles and first presidency). Could not be more perfectly said. Our Prophet knows that unity in the church is what we need and without unity we are slowly moving away from the will of the Lord, and His plan for us. I also noticed a lot about the Second Coming of the Savior. I liked what Elder Cook said... "This conference has been perfecting the Saints and preparing us for the Second Coming of the Savior, and to live in the presence of God." Everyone seemed to tie that in to their talks in one way or another. I don't know if it is just because I am on my mission in Brazil... way far away from my comfort zone and my cute family.. and the Second Coming is one of my biggest fears (haha).... Or if it really is just that close and we are really being more prepared and warned of His coming. But in my opinion... I really do feel like it is closer than we all may think, want, or hope. And that is how I would like to end this email.. with a question that I asked myself during General Conference.. "Am I ready for the Second Coming of our Savior and how can I become more ready?" My answer came as the Prophet stood and spoke to us about Personal Revelation. He said.. "How can we become the Christ-like Servants that the Lord needs us to be?"  

I just want to bear my testimony to you all that I know that we have a true Prophet of God here on the Earth today. He loves us, he prays for us, he sustains us, he cares about us, and he is here to help us. There is not a doubt in my mind that he is a mouthpiece of the Lord as he guides, leads, and directs the church on the Earth today through proper revelation and priesthood keys. I know that personal revelation is something that we really need here on the earth today and in our lives. We really are a part of a world that is corrupt and we are at times found lost... not knowing where to go, what to do, or who to seek for help. But through our own person prayer, we can receive our own Personal Revelation.. and we can have our own witness and testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel strengthened. I can't express it enough of how grateful I am for the opportunity that I have to be here on a mission.. not only helping others with their own personal answers and revelation... but as well with mine. As the Prophet stood and talked about Revelation and the importance of it in our lives.. it just gave me the chills. Everyone has a question, everyone has a doubt, everyone needs guidance, peace, love, comfort and help. How can we obtain that help you may ask..? Doing exactly what our Prophet asked of us... through Personal Revelation. We have the opportunity (and privilege really) to talk to our loving Heavenly Father. How cool is that?! We get to talk to God. We get to humble ourselves to Him and let Him strengthen our weaknesses, clear our doubt, and give His love and comfort.  I know that God really is our loving Heavenly Father. I know that He lives and I know that He has a perfect plan for us. I also know that He gave His Son Jesus Christ, our Savior.. and is THE most selfless act of all time. I know that we have a Savior, we have a redeemer, and that He is perfect and established His perfect Church on the earth many many years ago. I also know that almost 200 years ago a 14 year old boy.. with doubts and a desire to receive his own personal revelation.. restored the Church of Christ again to its complete fullness here on the earth. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We truly are in the `latter days` and need to be aware of that as we live as examples of Christ in all ways and as we help others come unto Him. I know that President Nelson is a living prophet here on the earth today.. who guides the Church of Jesus Christ through revelation and the perfection of God. I know that person revelation is crucial and important as we are preparing for the Second Coming. Of course we don't know when He will come.. but the thing is... we know that He will come. We have faith that He will come and the only way that we can prepare for His coming is by listening to the Prophet and other leadership of the Church.. and living in the ways that are taught to us in the Book of Mormon. And as we do that, and take on the challenges that the Prophet gives to us, and have faith in God and His perfect Plan... all will work out. I am so grateful for this knowledge and I am so grateful for you all. You all strengthen me and make me better each day. Thank you for your love and support in all things and the pure joy you bring into my life. I hope you all had a Happy Easter, enjoyed Conference, and enjoyed time together. I miss you all so much and can't wait to chat with you next week!! I miss you all more than I miss the fun Easter egg hunts with the family and the hanging out at conference... and that is A LOT of miss!!! You guys are the best!! Keep on being you and let me know if there is anything that I can do for you guys... I love you so much!! Have a happy and successful week.

Love, your happy and healthy but quite nerdy Sky... Elder Abel Ü

General Conference with the English Crew

Member Friends:  Amanda and Atila

No Monkeying Around