Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 5 CCM--August 25, 2015

I'm kind of a big deer

so funny stuff here. our teacher hermano bajan related us as bambi deers at the beginning of our time here in the ccm. now that we are in our last week (what?!) he calls us big deer missionaries. and isnt that crazy that this is my last email from the ccm?? who knows when you all will hear from me again! maybe not even for another two years! well probably not that long but you get the point. so, this last week was an absolute blur and as far as i can tell nothing out of the ordinary realllllllyyyyy happened. but thats okay. lets get down to the nitty gritty. so something that was a big topic on sunday was obedience. and that has been something that i have been thinking of a lot lately too. when youre at byu or on a mission there are a bunch of new rules and whatever. and lots of times people hate them. but! the people that really dont mind the rules or the commandments in general are the people that are actually keeping them! when you are breaking the rules you become frustrated because you get punished or just because you know youre a terrible person. well not a terrible person but just not doin whatcha supposed to ya know. and that is something that i have noticed here A LOT. especially with all these younger guys. they get reminded constantly about rules that they arent keeping and need to keep and they keep asking why we needa have that rule, why its important, all these things. and its like dude just do what youre supposed to and i promise you it will be okay and you wont be upset by it. im not perfect, and every once in a while i too will stretch a rule or two here. but the rules that people complain about i think are so silly because i have no problem with them at all because of the diligence that i am striving for in keeping them. so you young ones out there, when your parents give you rules for curfew or chores or whatever, just do it. you will only have problems if you make them problems. and those at school or going on missions, dont be dumb. youre an adult now and you need to have the mind of an adult and the submissiveness of a child so that you can humbly accept the things that your leaders and your Lord ask you to do. okay spiritual rant over. in addition to being my last p day here it was also my last time going to the guatemala city temple. little sad about that. but! it was the best trip i have had so far. being able to feel absolute peace and clarity of mind is a great blessing. dont take for granted the opportunities to go to the temple because i have no idea when the next time will be that i can go again and its a little sad. but ill be okay. the ccm is great and im gonna miss presidente y hermana cox tons and all the friends ive made that wont be going to my mission. missions are great. the Lord is great. this whole church and gospel are great! theres an hermana here from belice and she asked me and my companion to find her mom and baptize her because she is the only member in her family. just hearing that lets me know exactly what my purpose is. to bring families together for eternity and in everlasting happiness with our Savior and Father in Heaven. i love you all so much and i pray for you guys. remember to pray when you feel you need the strength or guidance in your life. you will receive. matthew 21:22 (for sure this time) Y todos los que pidáis en oración, creyendo, lo recibiréis. and remember to be obedient. because thats how you can find fun and joy in your life. okay talk to you all whenevs! bye!

an addendum: on sunday elder ostler y yo got to bless the sacrament in spanish and president cox after told me that that was the best job any nortes had ever done on the sacrament prayers so that was cool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 4 CCM--August 18, 2015

I thought of a good title earlier but I forgot it...

heyyyyyy! so we just got back from the temple. good stuff right there obviously. and i finished the family names that i brought. tonight and tomorrow we are getting new missionaries again. feels like we just got this last group of latinos and they are already gone. we are officially the oldest missionaries in the ccm! and as of this very moment i am THE oldest missionary! until some 23 year old latino comes again. so its really hard to think of things to write about because the things i do are so trivial every day. ya know lessons and stuff. but! on friday i reached my goal of reading through the entire book of mormon while being in the ccm! super great and im proud of myself for being able to do it. everyone read the book of mormon! im already back in alma from restarting it and i cannot stop reading it! this last week the director of all the international mtc´s came to guatemala and he will be here for another week i believe. hes a super cool guy and can speak 4 languages fluently! he was also one of the people who worked on preach my gospel so getting to learn from him has been so cool. his name is brother lane steinagel. he told us the other day that the guatemala ccm is the best mtc in the world! not bragging or anything. yesterday he and one other director sat in on a lesson that elder ostler and i had with our investigator. luckily, it was probably the best lesson we have ever had. it was all on the importance of family and how commandments blesses families because the husband of our investigator is not too open to having us teach his wife. but we committed her to invite her family to our next lesson and gave her the proclamation to the world and all kinds of good things. seriously cool lesson. i just realized that this is my second to last email in the ccm. thats kinda crazy. we are all getting so excited to head out though its unreal. alright imma go respond to some peeps here and there and do the Lords work. love you guys! les extraño mucho!

-elder abilez

ps. a talk we watched this week was elder bednars from the provo mtc christmas 2013 (super cool q&a) so try to look that one up!

so here is our new picture with some of the new missionaries from this last week. we will take new new pictures next monday with the incoming missionaries. not much has changed but my hair is growing back. that is until theyll probably cut it tomorrow

Elder Abilez has requested that if you want to write him within the next two weeks that you do so through his email address, which is posted on the right. Snail mail takes two weeks to arrive to the CCM and he only has 13 days left there! Hard to believe we're down ONE MONTH already!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 3 CCM--August 11, 2015

So this one will be interesting

Oh hey guys! so this will be fun because like all day yesterday i was trying to think of what i was gonna letcha all know about my life and stuffs but i really cant remember a lot that went down last week. for real this week was crazy fast. in fact, i missed several days writing in my journal and now i have no recollection of what happened on thursday or friday really. but hey ive got a few things! so wednesday we got a whole new zone of new missionaries! thats fun. theyve changed a lot of the schedules here so i really only ever see my zone around and ive gotten to talk to like 5 of the new missionaries. but i getta talk to the new latinos a bunch during meals so thats great. and we have two of the latinos living in our room now! good stuff. oh and wednesday night presidente and hermana cox invited us to their apartment for popcorn and lemonade shhhhh...it was super fun though and we were just chatting with them for like an hour and it was soooooooo cool. like i dont know how presidente cox didnt baptize the entire country of peru when he served because just listening to him talk is so powerful. i cant imagine what it would feel like to receive a lesson from him. so lets skip to saturday cuz i really dont think thursday and friday exist. on saturday my companion elder ostler became our district leader! so thats fun to work with him and its cool because hes a pretty natural leader and has great motivation. we taught 3 lessons on saturday. one to each of our investigators America y Max and another to a menos activo. also i just realized my keyboard is actually set to spanish so now i really dont know how to use it. anyway, those lessons were great of course! look for the Spirit because he will provide great guidance! sunday was the bees knees. all kinds of good talks and lessons. the best though was we got to watch a talk by richard g scott that he gave in the provo mtc 2 years ago (when dylan was in the mtc!) and it was an amazing talk. if its at all possible, try to look it up. it was given april 16, 2013 and was all about prayer. oh and we got to watch a live broadcast of elder nelson speaking in the provo mtc last week. that was great too. i saw keri lidell in the choir so thats fun. ummmmmm yesterday was more or less typical except it was super fast. we started teaching an investigator that another missionary has come up with. that was cool except that we had like no time at all to actually teach anything. oh well. so yeah temple this morning was obviously bueno, and elder duncan of the area seventy is coming tonight so lots of cool things! next week we become the oldest missionaries here! (even though im already like the oldest missionary here) crazy that im halfway out of the ccm already! okay have fun everyone! dont break your arms. dont use too many tissues on your tears cuz you miss me so much. look up matthew 22 21 (or maybe its 21 22) for a simple but powerful scripture on prayer! love you all! nos vemos!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week 2 CCM--August 4, 2015


so good news. im pretty much like 95 percent healthy again so thats fun. terrible story though, like 20 some missionaries got sick last week with food poisoning. well i think it was food poisoning but they say it was a bug. there was no way that everyone got sick all in the same night so violently though for it to not have been food poisoning. im just glad i didnt get it because food poisoning sucks more than anything. only like 3 guys got it in our district and only one of them was super bad. i dunno if i mentioned our investigator pablo last week or not. well he "died" and we arent teaching him anymore. But! we had a lesson with him last week (actually our last lesson with him) that was totally awesome. we had planned to teach him about the commandments but when we walked in he was drinking a cerveza so i went ahead and lead the lesson into the word of wisdom. we totally scrapped like everything we had planned right there at the start of the lesson. i was amazed at how everything we felt we needed to express we were able to in spanish. elder ostler even was able to reference a talk from one of the apostles to help pable understand. it was seriously perfect and the biggest breakthrough we had had with pablo. and then he died. we got two new investigators though! America y Max. America has a lot of doubts but shes interested so we kept our first lesson simple with an introduction to the book of mormon. then max is super quiet and has a lot of problems because his wife left him a month ago and took his kids. that was a great lesson with max. from the moment he said that he lost his family i just felt an immense love for this man. i expressed to him how my parents are divorced and the trials that come from it but because we have the gospel in our lives we are able to be happy and blessed by the Lord. i shared d&c 58:3-4 with him and i think that helped a lot. we got him to open up to us quite a bit too. both of these first lessons we did without our notes and by the direction of the spirit so it was super cool. learn from your experiences so you can help bless other people! thats what i try to do in my district and in my lessons. so in opposition to our great lesson with pablo Wednesday, this past Saturday we taught a real less active member. the introduction was great and i was handling all the get-to-know-you and "find the need" questions. once the actual lesson started i totally blanked and couldnt think of what i was supposed to say or even how to say it. i just kept bearing my testimony simply cuz thats all i could come up with. luckily elder ostler is the man and basically taught the entire lesson but it was still a rough time. i figure i should talk about my district some more. so its me and elder ostler, our district leader elder mcfarland and elder maxwell, our zone leader elder harris and elder hartwell, elder lawrence and elder kreutzer (who we met in the airport) elder garfield and elder gardner, and elder gee and elder hallman. kreutzer y yo are from california, gardner and hartwell from idaho, ostler from washington, and lawrence is from arizona. everyone else is from utah of course. also everyone just graduated this year so thats cool. most of the time i dont even think about how im so much older than everyone here but occasionally it can be pretty obvious that some elders havent quite grown up yet. i even found out that my teacher hermano bahan is only like 8 months older than me. my district is a bunch of good guys though and we are all pretty close so thats cool and it makes it fun. its like living in the dorms again except maybe the dorms in idaho because there are all kinds of rules up in here. you know whats really cool here? how fast the clouds move. like really go out and watch the clouds move and i bet you its 20 times faster here. its crazy. just a random thought there. also it hasnt been as hot and humid here as i was expecting it to be but i know that el salvador is gonna be a lot worse. it also hasnt been raining as much as normal and guatemala does get more rain than el salvador. its interesting. the weahter here is seriously just like california though. cool in the morning (bordering on chilly) and then hot during the day but breezy. and then its super stuffy in our room at night so it really is just like being at home. except the bunks here arent inteded for 12 year olds so i can actually sit up in them (my family will understand this struggle) anyway, things here are good. food is good (we had pupusas for breakfast the other day!). people are good. this place is kind of a cespool of germs right now but its good. and a bunch of new latinos are starting to come in today and then the rest of the new missionaries will come tomorrow! im gonna miss a lot of the latinos that left this morning though. they are a fun, wild bunch. okay everyone be good! sorry my email is horrendously long so bless you if you actually read it all. church is true. missionary work is cool. learn spanish cuz its so fun. Love you all!

Elder Abilez and his district at the temple!

MTC photo (not inclusive, he says they're missing some of the Elders and all of the Sisters)