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, 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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Listening to the Spirit


Brazil is just AMAZING!!! I really do love the area and I love the people, food, and everything! The food is delish! Beans and rice every meal and it is so great! We are blessed to have lunch with the members each day. They are amazing! The fruit is also amazing...it is a billion times better than the fruit in the US. Hard to explain but I probs eat like 3 bananas a day.

The people are super humble and love God, and have lots of faith in Christ, but there are also those haters! But it's alright because the haters are my motivators haha! I could probs go on and on about how much I love Brazil, but I just don't have the time or space.. truly is amazing!!

So this past week I have been struggling with feeling needed here in Brasil. I have been praying for experiences to feel needed and for special experiences to help others feel of the love of our Savior and our Heavenly Father. There are two experiences that I would like to share. First is this super cool experience that I had as we were walking up a massive hill to knock doors. I stopped and looked to my right and saw a sketchy path. It was covered in overgrown trees and just trash everywhere. I felt like we really needed to go up there. So I looked at my comp and said that we need to go up there. He did not agree. I then said to him that the Spirit is really guiding me to go up there, and that is what we need to do. He still declined.. so I just walked up there by myself and made him follow. As we walked up this path there was a small house covered in trees. I went up to the gate and gave a good ole clap. This man came to the gate and I could have sworn that I have seen this man before. He looked so familiar. I introduced ourselves and explained to him why we were here. I explained that we have a message about Jesus Christ that I know will change his life. My comp hopped in and said some things as well. It was such a humbling experience. The Spirit is such an amazing gift and gives me so much strength and guidance. Without the Spirit I can't do this missionary work. The Spirit is who finds, teaches, and touches the hearts of the people.

Another neat story was something that happened the next day. We had a reference to a person named Luciana. We searched for her house, but couldn't find it. We then were about to give up, when we both felt prompted to walk a little farther up the hill and approach a lady standing outside her house. We approached her and she asked us to come pray with her. Her mom was super sick and needed a blessing. We went in and gave her a blessing. It was so powerful and such an amazing experience. The spirit was overwhelming. We talked to her afterwards and she told us how she had just prayed to God and asked for some help. Then as she closed her prayer.. there was Elder Abel and Elder Fortes walking up the hill. Such a neat experience and such a privilege to help others through the guidance and trust in the Spirit. We also had 5 other really neat opportunities to give blessings to 5 other people. All in which we have contacted and they have seen immense progress!!

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I KNOW that I am needed here in Brazil, but I KNOW more that the Spirit is needed here as well. Through the Spirit.. and only the spirit.. the Gospel can touch lives. I am so inadequate without the Spirit. But I also am grateful for the blessing I have to hold the priesthood. It is such a powerful and amazing authority to be able to bless the lives of others through the power of our Heavenly Father. I am grateful that I have a Dad who honors his priesthood. Who is always worthy of it and who is the greatest example to me! I am also grateful for my brothers, brother in-laws, grandpas, uncles, and the way they honor their priesthood. I am truly so blessed to be a member of this church and to be a missionary of the only true and living church on the earth. I want you to know that I know this church is true and I want to share it. God lives, Jesus is the Christ. Only through them can we obtain the greatest gift of Eternal life! Lean on them and know they are there. They can help any broken heart, and bring peace, comfort, and joy into your life!!

Look for the blessings that you have and follow the spirit. I also challenge you all to read your patriarchal blessing and study it. It will bring you peace and joy. I love you all soo much. I am so lucky to have you in my life.

Love, Elder Abel! (:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Conference and Ice Cream!

Well hello there my absolutely favorite people in the whole world!!

Goodness it feels like forever since I last talked to you guys. I am pretty sure this past week was a solid 5 seconds faster than the last week.  Looking on the positive side of things.. those 5 seconds will add up each week and by the end of the mission... time will be flying! haha!  Dang I hate being positive!! Ü 

Thank you for your letters, prayers, thoughts, and positive influence. You don't even know how much you mean to me.  

So this last week was a little rough. Pray for me to find a more positive outlook in the mission. I need it!  I have decided that my comp is a mixture of two of my favorite people.... The Grinch and Sid the Sloth.  But, just like ketchup and chocolate.... both are absolutely amazing, but they can't be mixed together. Ü
Also, I don't know if my belt is growing or my waist is shrinking, but I have lost another belt loop. I promise I am eating. I am probs eating more than I should.  In fact, I had the most amazing ice cream EVER!!! I had Açaí ice cream (Dad.. I promise we will have this when you come. It is okay to be a little jealous!!) But anywhoo... I am losing weight and I blame it all on those dang hills.  Rain and bug bites are life here. It pretty much rained all week!  I also have like 20 bug bites.  But, I am blessed in so many other areas of the mission life that I have no room to complain. 

I LOVED CONFERENCE!!! There was no English for the first two sessions, so I listened to them in Portuguese.  I was feeling pretty good about my speaking/understanding Portuguese until Conference, and I didn't understand a single thing.  Very discouraging!!  But I learned a lot from this experience as it forced me to find the positive in every situation.  Although I couldn't understand anything, I did understand the language of the Spirit.  The Spirit is the only language I need as a missionary.  If I can teach and help others by the Spirit, I will have a successful mission and be happy.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to listen in Portuguese and have this moment. I am also so grateful that I can apply this to become a better missionary.  It is such a blessing to be a missionary.  I am also glad that I was able to listen in English as well!  A member was kind enough to let us watch the Priesthood session in English, and also fed us pizza. (Yes the Pizza is better here than the States. That is a fact!)  I watched all of Sunday in English as well. Conference was pretty special. Some of my highlights:

Elder Uchtdorf, "Through the Light of Christ we can see our mortal trials in an eternal perspective."  Eternal perspective is everything!! 

Elder Bednar, "Sometimes we run so fast that we forget where we are going and why we are running. We need to elevate our vision from the things of the world to the blessings of Eternity."  Again, eternal perspective is everything!! Eternity is the most precious gift that we have been given from God.   

We have a loving Heavenly Father who is always there for us. He cares about us and has made a perfect plan for us. Through Him and Our Savior, we can obtain the greatest blessing of Eternal Life. Times are hard... but we just need to have an Eternal Perspective and everything else falls into place.

I miss you and I love you all so much!!

Love your blessed missionary, Elder Abel! 

Monday, September 25, 2017

BRAZIL aka BRASIL...First LONG week in the mission field!

Hello my amazing people!!

How in the world are you doing? Before I go on about my week.. HUGE shout out to the most beautiful girl in the whole world... Hermana Kaytlin Dowdell!! She is on her way to the Dominican Republic!! I am so excited for her!! Pray for her to have safe travels and great success.. she is amazing!!

THIS HAS BEEN THE LONGEST WEEK OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!! I really struggled this past week, I won't even lie to you! I felt like the days were like months, and this week was like a year! My companion is Elder Fortes. He is from Cape Verde Africa, and doesn't speak any English. He speaks the ugly Portuguese. The type of Portuguese the Portugal missionaries learn. So not only does he not speak any English, but I do not understand his Portuguese either. Seriously the hardest thing ever!! I will try and stay positive and love him no matter the differences we have. My Mission President is really cool. I didn't get to talk to him much, but he spoke and was quite powerful. I really am having a good time and am so blessed.

First things first... THE HILLS!!! Holy flipper flapper the area that I am in (Silvina Ward, Sao Bernardo) is complete hills. If you are not walking up a hill, you are sleeping or walking down a hill. It is so crazy! I knew this mission had hills, but I didn't know they had so many.

Second... The language. Soooo.... I am unsure why I was in the MTC for 6 weeks, because I don't think I learned the language of my mission. The people here do not speak that same language that I was taught in the MTC. I kid you not, people ask me so many questions and then somehow.. in some way... I answer them. Honestly I have no idea how I do it, but it happens. The thing that I have come to realize is that the real language you need as a missionary is the language of the Spirit. If you can speak by and with the Spirit, then all is well. You can teach, invite, and help all you want... but without the Spirit people will not be truly converted. Pretty sweet!

And last.. the rejection! This is something they need to teach and prepare you for in the MTC. It honestly hurts. It hurts really deep. Like I knew it was hard, but it is the hardest part about the mission and will never get easier. We really do have something so special and so important... and it hurts to see people not accept it. The Gospel is needed in this corrupt world. There is nothing that brings more peace, comfort, happiness, and joy than the Gospel. With the Gospel, everything is so much better!! So the rejection is the hardest part about this last week. It pretty much brought me to tears to watch. It just means they aren't quite ready...but, soon they will be Ü

When I meet up with someone, I just have so much I want to say and feel prompted to say, but it never comes out the way I want. Please pray for me to obtain the Gift of Tongues. I can't do this without the Lord's help. I am so inadequate, yet so willing to submit to the Lord for help. Such an important thing to do. I challenge you guys to find more ways to submit to the Lord this upcoming week.

I would just like to end with an experience that I had and my testimony. Yesterday was a really hard day. I wasn't really understanding the people in the ward, and I was feeling pretty homesick....having a rough go. Then we sang, "Ye Elders of Israel" in Priesthood. This song is a little different in Portuguese, but it has such a huge meaning to me. The last line says.. ´sagrada missão precisamos cumprir´ which means ´sacred mission we need to fulfill.´ I just started bawling my eyes out. This mission is so sacred and I feel so blessed to have the privilege to be a missionary and share the Gospel with these amazing people. There is nothing that is more needed here in Brasil. The people love God so much and have so much faith, yet it is incomplete without the Gospel. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have to share the Gospel. To stand in the shoes of our Savior.... to do what He wants done, to say what He wants said, and to be as He would be. It is an honor to wear His name on my chest everyday. We have a Savior. He loves us and has done everything needed to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. What joy that brings. Look for Him in your lives....He is there.


Love, Elder Abel

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I'll go where you want me to go....

So the news is official.. I am heading to Brasil!! To be honest, I am quite surprised?! I really didn't think that I would receive my Visa, but I am so happy I did. I guess the Lord needs me in Brasil, and I can't wait to do what He wants me to do. Heavenly Father is great and is totally aware of His children. I have really found a love for the song, I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go. I love how it says:

"Perhaps today there are loving words, which Jesus would have me speak. There may be now in the paths of sin some wanderer whom I should seek. O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide, Though dark and rugged the way, My voice shall echo the message sweet: I'll say what you want me to say. I'll Go where you want me to go, dear Lord, Over mountain or plain or sea. I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord; I'll be what you want me to be."

This has given me so much peace and comfort as I have been here in the MTC. I have truly submitted to the will of the Lord and have been trying to become the person that He would want me to be. I am so excited to share the sweet message of the Gospel and the pure happiness that exists in the the plan of Heavenly Father. It brings me pure joy to be able to share this message, and I have been waiting sooo long to do it. I know how hard it is going to be, but I am so excited to begin my journey in Brasil and have them change my life. I have come to realize that it is not me that gives this message though. I am just an instrument for the Spirit, and I can't wait to have the Spirit bring the Brazilian Souls unto this great Gospel. I know that the Spirit is the true converting power, and it amazes me how strong and powerful it can be. I love this work!!

So I don't know if you have all heard the news but Kaytlin has not received her Visa. Everyone in her District got flight plans and Visas.. except her. She may have a reassignment or may receive her Visa this upcoming week. Either way.. I know she will bless so many lives wherever she is to go and serve. She is such a great example to me and I look up to her so much. She is going to do amazing things. Please keep her in your prayers that she will receive her Visa and will make it safely to the Dominican Republic.

One thing pretty sweet about this week was a Devotional we had with Elder and Sister Kearon (of the Seventy). I really liked what he said, "You get to give people the context of life." This was so simple, but it hit me hard. It made me remember and think about the importance of this life and how incredibly small it is compared to the eternity that we have ahead. For reals... you take this life and it is a small sliver compared to the rest of our time in Eternity. Then... I look at it with this mission in mind and it is just a small speck compared to the eternity that we have ahead. The thing we all need to realize is that though this life may be small and just a bump to Eternal Life, it is one of the most crucial parts in the Plan. This life we get to be tested and show Heavenly Father our faith, trust, obedience, and commitment to Him. There really is such a great reward ahead and is worth all of the hard work, trials, challenges, and testing that this life gives. A reward that is not like anything else, and that is the greatest blessing we can ever obtain! I love to have the knowledge that families are forever, and that I get to be with all of you for eternity!

The Church is true, and I know it with all of my heart. God lives, and Jesus is the Christ. We are a part of the greatest work and the most perfect Plan. Heavenly Father is a God of love and wants all to return to live with Him. I can't even wait to share that with the people of Brasil. They are going to change and bless my life in so many ways. I just know it.

I am so happy to be serving and I really do appreciate all of your prayers, love, and support. I can feel them and I am so blessed!!

Love, your happy and excited to leave Provo missionary... Elder Abel! (:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last week in the MTC!


I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the temple this morning. It really is such a blessing to be able to attend the temple. While I was in the Celestial room, I said a prayer and then just randomly opened up the scriptures to a random verse. I landed on 2 Corinthians 5. My eyes went to verse 7.. and then directly across to verse 17. It was exactly what I needed. It reads: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:), 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Faith is so incredibly important in this Gospel. It takes a lot of faith to be a member of the church, but a little bit of faith goes along way. This past week I have felt pretty inadequate. I felt like Satan was just on my back trying to pull me down and make me feel like I wasn't worth anything......using my past mistakes to make me feel worthless and feel like I wasn't enough. I prayed for the help of Heavenly Father, and prayed for the Atonement to help me. I realized that my faith was just a little too weak. I needed to show more faith and do something a little extra to prove that I have trust in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement. As I humbled myself and tried harder the next day to become a little more Christ-like, I could feel so much love and comfort of our Savior. This was exactly what I needed. I realized that we are not always helped out exactly when we need it. Of course our Heavenly Father will never leave us alone, but sometimes we need to put in a little more effort and become a little more Christ-like to show that we are weak without Heavenly Father and Christ. I know as we center our lives a little more on Christ, and obey and trust our Heavenly Father, that we will be blessed and better off. Each and everyday we have the wonderful opportunity to forget the "old things" and "become new." I love this Gospel. I love the joy that it brings into my life and the happiness I feel as I am anxiously becoming the best I can be as a missionary and a saint. The Temple is so amazing! I challenge you to go this week, because we are so blessed to have it so close to us. Pour out your soul in prayer and open the scriptures for an answer.. if you have faith, I know that it will be answered. God is great and WANTS to help us. Just let Him and Christ into your life, and watch the blessings and miracles come. Elder Oaks said this week at our Tuesday Devotional.. "We must have a mighty change of heart. Desire what is right, and pray for help." I know that to be true. I love being a missionary and I love the opportunity that I have to share the truth to the people that need it most. I am so excited to get out there and serve this next week. There is nothing that is more needed in this corrupt world. God lives and Jesus is the Christ.

Pray for everything to go smoothly with my visa. The Lord knows where I need to be, and I have full faith in Him and the assignment that awaits me whether it is in Brasil or somewhere in the US. I know there are those who are being prepared as we speak. I also know that they aren't being prepared for me to teach them, but for the Spirit to teach them. I am just an instrument to their conversion. I am one lucky and blessed Elder.
I love you!! Ü

Love, Elder Abel

Always proud to be a UTE!

Monday, September 4, 2017

I feel my Savior's love!

Good morning!!

How are my favorite peeps in the whole entire world?! Time is really picking up! Days are going slow, but weeks are cruising. I am pretty shocked about it already being P-Day again, but I am so glad that it is. I have a lot to tell you guys!!

My companion(s). I have lost another companion today. Elder Stimpson peaced out today and is on his way to Brasil. Pray for him to have safe travels and much success!! The kid is going to do amazing things! I also have gained a new companion this last week.. His name is Elder Ranger. He is literally Krenny! He is pretty chill. He is going to the Brasil Santa Maria Mission. He is pretty excited and was told that he will only be here for 3 weeks, then will be heading to the Brasil MTC. I hope he gets his visa, because if not he will be left all alone here at the MTC as the only Brasil missionary. If we both get our visas, we will fly out together, so that's cool. But I have had some weird dreams about Texas. I have a feeling that I am supposed to be there for some reason. I heard that it is under water, and it blew my mind because I had dreams of doing service there before I heard the awful news! I hope all is well there. (Someone please update me on that). I have been so pumped to serve and I think I might actually be bummed if I don't go stateside for a bit. I have talked it up so much, that I am so excited for the adventure. Nonetheless... I will be more than excited to go straight to Brasil. I will go wherever the Lord needs me! Missionary work is the bestest!! Ü

This past week was a little rough! I will be totally honest with you! I have never felt so alone, yet so comforted in my entire life! It is the craziest, most unusual feeling, that I have ever felt. It is really hard for me to sit in class for 6-9 hours a day, all by myself. I have to learn all by myself, teach all by myself, and do a lot of hard things all by myself. The thing that I have come to realize is that I am not by myself. I have the help of Heavenly Father and I have Jesus Christ to lean on. I was having a pretty rough day, and I had to teach Catia (My Teacher who is acting like an investigator in her mission. Same lessons, responses, and all). I was planning on teaching about The Word of Wisdom, but it just didn't feel right. I kept having this feeling that I need to teach about the importance of Baptism and the importance of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I just kept having this feeling, so I changed my lesson plan. Little did I know that I was to be teaching with another teacher who would be acting like a "Member". I talked to him about what I was thinking to talk about, and he did not agree. I told him.. "Listen to me! I know that this is what she needs. I have felt it in my heart, so we are going to teach it. In fact.. The Spirit is going to teach it." He didn't agree with me still, but went along with me.. although he thought it would be a fail. When I said a prayer in Portuguese before teaching Catia, I was just overcome with the spirit. I was overcome with the feeling of peace, comfort, and the love of our Savior. I went in there and that is exactly what needed to be taught. Catia had questions about baptism and the importance of it. I was able to bear my testimony, and share through the spirit the importance of baptism. Then I did something that blew my mind! haha! I know that I talk about these things all the time, so they don't sound special anymore, but the Gift of Tongues is real. I was able to ask her (in the exact words that are listed in Preach My Gospel) if she would be baptized. I hadn't even studied it. I haven't even really looked at it. I just went on as if it was something that I have memorized. It was the coolest thing and I still know it to this day. It was like a gift from Heavenly Father.... when I needed it most. You guys.. we are not alone. We have a loving Heavenly Father that helps us get through things that feel we can't do ourselves. I know that it was a small thing in my past week, but it was one of many that meant the most to me. It helped me realize the love that God has for me and the way that I can't do this by myself. I am never alone, no matter how alone I may feel. I love you guys so much! I am so grateful for your examples and testimonies that you have. I am grateful for your love and support and all of the amazing things you offer in my life. God lives and loves us. He wants what's best for us and will never leave us. I hope you find the love of the Savior and of Heavenly Father in your week. I know that if you are looking, or not, you will be able to find it. He loves you more than you know!! He loves you and wants what's best for you, so lean on Him for help and guidance. I am so grateful for all of you and appreciate all that you do. Have a wonderful week and look for the Lord's hand in your week. He is there and always will be.

Keep on smiling and being you! You guys are the best! Ü

Love, your blessed missionary.. Elder Abel! Ü

P.S- Cheer extra loud for me this week. I will be having a red out with my ties haha!! Time to make it 7 in a row! Go Utes!! I love you!! ♥

Monday, August 28, 2017

Seek the Spirit

Well hello there favorites!!

This last week was pretty solid. I had some struggles with a few things, but in all I am still as blessed as ever. The Lord's hands really are in this work, and I know it without a doubt. Today I had to say goodbye to Elder Judd. His adventure to Brazil is about to begin, and I am so excited for him. The kid is truly such a stud and is going to do great things on his mission. Keep him in your prayers as he travels, and keep him in your prayers for his strength. He was struggling a bit with being nervous and worried that he wouldn't do well. He feels inadequate, but I made sure that he was aware that there is no such thing as inadequate missionaries. The Lord really does strengthen all of the missionaries through experiences and trials. Although times we may feel inadequate, I know that that we are never alone and as we commit ourselves completely to the Gospel and have faith that Jesus Christ we will feel of His love, His peace, and His comfort. It truly is amazing!!

So a little update on my past week. The Eclipse was pretty lit. We had a devotional the next day and he talked about the Eclipse. Weatherford T. Clayton made an analogy about how the Sun is the Savior and the Moon is Satan trying to block out the light of our Savior. He said.. "There is nothing that can cut us off of the light of our Savior." Although Satan may try his very hardest, he will never fully be able to block out the light of our Savior. The Savior will always be there for us no matter how dark and dreary life gets. We can always pick ourselves back up and find the Light of Our Savior. I love it! Another cool thing we did that night was sang "Army of Helaman" a cappella. It was soo cool to hear all of these missionaries pound out that song. The spirit was so strong and it made me realize how important this work is. So neat!! Another favorite part about my week was seeing Hermana Dowdell. That girl has a lot of power and a lot of strength. Her testimony is amazing!! She has given me a lot of strength this past week and I am grateful for the opportunity that we have to be here together and lean on each other for support and help. She keeps me focused here at the MTC. I love her and love seeing her! Such a blessing!!

I know that I talk about the Gift of Tongues and the Spirit a lot, but it is just so real and has been such a blessing in my short time as a missionary. We got a new investigator (our teacher), and we were writing a script to take with us so we could go through a lesson smoothly. I kept having this feeling to just forget about the script and let the Spirit guide. I ignored it and continued to get ready for the lesson with making notes and a script. But then I felt the same thing and this time I acted on this prompting. A minute before we left to teach I told Elder Judd that we are going to leave our script and notes behind and that we will only be taking our pamphlets and the Book of Mormon. He looked at me like I was crazy and was pretty upset at me for a bit. He was really iffy about the situation, but I told him to trust me on this and to rely on the Spirit for help. He humbled himself and we both went in with complete faith that we will be able to speak the things of our hearts and rely on the Spirit to bring to remembrance the language. My heart was pounding, but as soon as I walked into that door to teach, I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace. I sat down and we carried on a perfect conversation. We were able to say exactly what we wanted to say, and everything went so smoothly. It then came time for me to bear my testimony and I got the chills as I went on and bore with perfect Portuguese my testimony. Everything was just coming out of me and it was straight from my heart. My mind was blank in this testimony, but the Spirit had made me that promise that everything would be alright. The Spirit taught in that lesson and we came out of it in complete shock. Elder Judd had the same type of thing happen with him, and he told me that he couldn't thank me enough for giving him that opportunity. I felt wrong taking the credit, and told him that it wasn't me that had the idea to leave the notes, it was the Spirit. You guys.. The Holy Ghost is real. I know it is because I have felt the love and peace that it has offered me. I have only been a missionary for a few short weeks, and have felt its strength day in and day out. I know that as we rely on the Spirit, and are worthy of its companionship, that we will be blessed beyond measure. The spirit is my favorite companion here on the mission, and is needed to bring souls unto Christ and this great Gospel. Because it is not me that brings people to the Gospel, it is the influence of the Spirit. I know as we rely on the Spirit in our day to day activities, we will be blessed immensely. The Spirit will guide you, keep you safe, bring you joy, and give you comfort at times that you need it the most, or aren't expecting it. I love this gospel and I love the joy that it not only brings to my life, but to the lives of others. It brings me pure joy to know that families can be together forever. I love my eternal family, and I know that God is aware of each of us individually, and knows exactly what we need. I challenge you guys to look for the Spirit this next week and see what blessing it gives you. Faith is a very hard thing to have these days, but I know that if we even have a little bit of faith, that it can go a long way. I love you guys soo much and pray for you day in and day out. I am so grateful for the love and support that you offer to me, and the wonderful examples that you are. May the Lord bless you, and may you look for the hand of the Spirit in this upcoming week.

Love, your humbled missionary, Elder Abel!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bitter with the Sweet and... Hermana Dowdell!

Well hello there!!

Goodness gracious.. I miss you all soo much! This week was pretty amazing! Elder Judd and I got here at the same time and we have truly enjoyed being companions. Exciting and sad news came Friday though.. Elder Judd has received his Visa and will be heading to the Brazil MTC to finish off his MTC experience. We opened up the mailbox and pulled out the mail. When we saw the flight plans we just started bawling. Elder Judd was crying because he doesn't really want to leave me or Provo, and I was crying out of pure joy for the kid. I am super duper excited for him and the progress that he will have in the MTC in Brazil. The Brazil MTC is so much easier to catch on to the language because everyone speaks Portuguese and it is rare to hear English. It's a blessing and a curse! But yes.. that does mean that I will be a solo missionary. Meaning that I will be in class all by myself, teach investigators all by myself, and will depend on other missionaries to get around the MTC.

Some pretty amazing things happened!! I saw a lot of miracles and I am continuing to progress in ways that I can't even express to you. First things first.. all of you have been asking if I have seen Hermana Dowdell. When she first arrived, she showed up to her study room. I was talking to a teacher, as she turned the corner from the stairs and we caught eyes. It was the best moment of my MTC experience, and I have had some pretty amazing moments. Like I just lit up and instantly felt so happy and full of so much joy! I quickly finished talking to the teacher and made my way to Hermana Dowdell. We shook hands and just talked for a bit, but she was late for her class so she slid in and met her first companion. It's so crazy! I have seen her everyday that she has been here, and we have been able to talk quite a bit. She gives me so much strength, and seeing her makes me feel overwhelmed with the amazing work that we are about to take on. She is such an amazing example to me and I am so proud of her and the sweet, kind, and loving character and personality she has. She is going to be an incredible missionary and she is what keeps me sane and focused while I am here. It's hard to explain, but she is such a blessing!!

I have been blessed in so many ways! We were teaching one of our investigators (a member.. in fact another teacher) the Restoration. I was kind of relying too much on the script, and not on the spirit. Then as I was giving the first Vision all of the sudden I looked up and with the Spirit I recited the First Vision perfectly in Portuguese.. (side note.. I had not even practiced it, nor did I know anything but the first line). Our investigator started crying and my eyes welled up a bit. The spirit was so strong and I ended it with my testimony. I don't exactly know what I said, but it was powerful and something I will never forget. The Gift of Tongues is real. I know it is because I have felt it. I have been overwhelmed with an amazing spirit here at the MTC and have learned soo much. I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the blessings that he bestows upon me. Truly blessed beyond measure. I now am still working on the First Vision, but almost have it memorized. Just need to get the last line down. The language is coming along and things are starting to pick up a bit more. I have learned a lot and have honestly been blessed in so many different ways, that I can't even describe. Small miracles come day in and day out. I love it and I love being a missionary.

I would just like to finish things up with my testimony. I want you guys to know that when times get hard, we always can kneel and plead to our Heavenly Father. We have all been gifted with so many different talents, and abilities.. I challenge you guys to use them. Find ways to serve others, because this life is so crucial, yet so small, to the life we have beyond the veil. We have also been given many trials and challenges, where we are tested of our faith, strength, and ability to overcome. Take those as a blessing. It is God's way of saying that he has faith in you. He has trust in you to do what is needed to overcome those trials and challenges and become better from them. Remember that you are never alone through your trials, we have a loving, caring, kind, and generous Heavenly Father who cares about us deeply and wants us to do what is needed to return to live with Him.. and is a prayer away from answering any question, fixing any problem, and offering any peace/comfort that is needed. We also have the perfect example in our lives, Jesus Christ. Who took his life away for us, for YOU, to do all that is needed in this life to return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven. A great analogy from Elder Holland came yesterday at a video I watched, about how hard missions are. He likened a mission to the suffering and atonement of Jesus Christ. He said.. "The road to Salvation, always goes through Gethsemane." Times are hard, but how can I say I am a disciple of Christ, if I don't expect to have hard times like Jesus Christ did while he was on Earth. My trials are a lot different and not even close to as big.. But I know that through Him.. all is made possible. I know that because I know that the Atonement is real. It blesses us in ways that seem impossible, but are so important and so crucial in this life. You guys.. God lives, Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of this world. Remember them this week and remember that they are always there for you no matter how hard life gets. I love you all so much and am so grateful for you all. I am grateful for the thoughts and prayers in my behalf, and the love that you have for me and the example that you set. I sure hope you guys are doing well and that you have a wonderful week. Always smile for me, because life is amazingly. I love you all so much and am so grateful for you.

Love, Your favorite Elder, who is happy and smiling.. Elder Abel! Ü

Monday, August 14, 2017

A very HAPPY Missionary!


First things first... the subject of this e-mail. My Companion is Elder Judd and he is from Mesa, Arizona.
He is going to the Brazil Campinas Mission and is a total stud! We literally laugh like 24/7... mixed with a little bit of work for the Lord and our Mom's of course. Ü I am the district leader over the MTC District. I don't know if I can take this as a compliment though, because it is literally only me and Elder Judd in our District. Yes you read that right.. 2 of us in one zone and he is supposed to leave in a few weeks if his Visa arrives. Leaving me as a solo missionary. So I guess pray for me that he doesn't get his visa or I get mine. The rest of our Portuguese Zone left today besides some other Brazil visa waiters, so we are the examples now I guess.

How about how blessed I am? Upon arrival we came up to my classroom and the teacher was speaking Portuguese and Portuguese ONLY!! I pretty much understood like all of it and I was answering and everything. It was incredible and I truly do believe that God gave me that moment to show me that He is aware of me, my sacrifice, and all that I am doing and serving. The gift of tongues is real. While we are on this subject.. I have a pretty crazy story! Elder Judd and I have been speaking Portuguese as much as we can because of SYL (speak your language) and we were like completely shattering our minds because we had done so much work and just were getting stir crazy and going insane. So I told Elder Judd to come on a walk with me and so we went for a walk and without realizing it... we spoke PORTUGUESE for like 10 minutes. When we finally realized what we were doing we looked at each other and I teared up a bit. This is our first week and we already have been introduced to the Gift of Tongues. We were so grateful for that moment and the opportunity that we had to humble ourselves and give all of the credit to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I literally have been so blessed ever since I have been set apart as a missionary. I know that God is aware of me and His hand is in all that I do. It is simply amazing!!

He knows us. He is aware of us and loves us. All He wants us to do is submit to Him and do all that is needed to return to live back with Him. I love this church and I love my calling. I KNOW that I am called of God. I am here to embark on a service that is needed in this world wherever I am called to serve.. As hard as it is to be away, I know I am where I need to be.

I would like to finish by sharing a quote from Elder Bednar from Characters of Christ. He says.. "A testimony will never be enough, but if we are converted unto the Lord.. I PROMISE that you will never fall away. Conversion is consistently being true to what you know and the testimony you have. The Character of Christ turns outward, as the natural man would turn inward." You guys.... If we can do as Elder Bednar says and become converted rather than just have a testimony, I know that we will be better disciples of Christ. I know that oftentimes we tend to do as the "natural man" would, and turn inward rather than outward. But I know that as we look for opportunities to serve, and be like the example that Jesus Himself, we will become all that God wants us to become and be able to finish our earthly mission with smiles and confidence.

I love you guys soo much and thank you for your prayers. You all are so special to me and mean the world to me in ways that you would never imagine. Thank you soo much for your love and support. You guys make me smile. Smile for me today, and throughout your week. You rock my world.. I love you! Ü

Love your happy and excited missionary, Elder Abel Ü