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, 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!! ♥