Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 75 Corozal, Belize-December 26, 2016

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Hello all friends and family! I hope you all enjoyed Christmas! Here we had a great Christmas! The obvious highlight was being able to talk to the whole family yesterday! We received many great blessings and gifts from the members and people around town this week too so it definitely felt like a very special Christmas. I apologize that I am writing so late. Apparently Belize celebrates Boxing Day so everything is closed and we had to share one laptop between the 4 missionaries here. Also won't be able to send pictures until next week. Well the new year is coming in already. It seems pretty unbelievable. But I hope that even in the New Year you all will be able to carry the special Christmas spirit always. Who wouldn't want that anyway? So I am giving you all permission to listen to Christmas music well into August. At least. I don't have too much more to say nor the time to say it. But just remember that the church is true. Jesus Christ is our Savior. And that I love you all. Okay have a great week!

Elder Abilez

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week 74 Corozal, Belize-December 19, 2016

Christmas Vacation

Hello my friends and family! So this last week we did a whole lot of traveling (and we are doing even more today!) So it was like traveling on vacation but not really because we were working haha. The meetings that we went to in Belize City were super good though and we learned a ton! The Christmas Multizone was super cool and really got us focused on the real meaning of Christmas. We also had our zone conference so it was fun getting together with the whole zone and getting pumped for the rest of the transfer. So we are already down to the last week before Christmas. Crazy right? After that comes in the New Year. It will be a great time to be able to think more in the Savior. Also, in these last couple of days I have also been thinking about how those two holidays are connected. New Years comes exactly one week after Christmas always. It's the holiday of "resolutions" and "new beginnings". Sounds a little bit like repentance right? How perfect is that then? We spend a whole month thinking about the Savior, the birth of the Savior, and the life and mission of Him. Then, with that significance in mind, we can use our testimony and faith in Him to make our resolutions for the New Year (and follow through of course). Thats powerful! A lot of times we have the tendency to let Christmas pass and then be done with it. But it can, and should, just as easily be carried over into the New Year and then for the rest of the year. A Christ centered life can begin this Christmas. And it's never to late to start! So I hope you all enjoy your holiday with friends and family. I know I'm excited to see my family! But always keep the Savior in your thoughts as well. I love you all! Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!
Elder Abilez

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Week 73 Corozal, Belize-December 12, 2016


So I have now been exposed to my fifth language on the mission. Spanglish. Here in Corozal that is one of the most widely spoken languages. And this isn't Spanish 2 high school students throwing in a spanish word from time to time to prove they learned something in class. This is another level, grammatical, english here a little there a little, spanglish. Its pretty funny actually. But so far things in Corozal with Elder Rasmussen has been super great! The area is awesome and the branch is actually really strong! Probably the strongest branch that i have been in my entire mission! The work here is always tough but there are a lot of really great people preparing for baptism and less active members who want us to help them get to the temple! The people here are a temple loving people and there isnt even a temple in this country! I have learned a lot already just being here for a week. I hope all of you are doing good keepin up with the Christmas initiative still. Serving others always. My comp and I are gettin pumped for our last Christmas in the field and have been decorating quite a bit in the house. Its gonna be a good one. This next week we have meetings and multizones so its gonna be really busy and fly by quick. Christmas will be here before we know it! I hope you all continue enjoying the season and continue seeing miracles in your lives. Love you all so much!
Elda Abilez

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week 72 Dangriga, Belize-December 5, 2016

From one beach to another

Hello everyone! I hope you all watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night because it was super good! This last week was strange (especially considering that i like just emailed you all on wednesday) because of how the work week turned out. But it was a great week anyway. We made donuts! Anyway, so last night we received the call for the changes and I will be leaving Dangriga. I am a little sad because i do really love this little town but I know that the Lord has His hand in where I am going. My new area is Corozal, all the way up north. And it is also by the beach! I dont think it is as close as it is here but I am happy I dont have to give up the beach just yet. My new companion is Elder Rasmussen! He is from my MTC group (well he actually went to Provo) and will end the mission with me. Hes a super good guy. I was actually in the same zone as him for a transfer back in Layco. It will be an awesome transfer for sure. I hope youre all enjoying the christmas season so far and continue to enjoy it and to spread the christmas spirit with everyone. I love you all lots!
Elder Abilez

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Week 71 Dangriga, Belize-November 30, 2016

Mormon Family's 25 Days of Christmas

Hey guys! Can you believe it's the last day of November already?? I can't...So sorry for not writing on Monday but like I said we had our conference with President Duncan of the Area Seventy. It was super good. He shared a few of the same things he said to us in the MTC more than a year ago but it was a really great reminder for some solid principles in the mission. The whole meeting was packed full of really great stuff to help us out. We even had a Thanksgiving lunch in the middle complete with turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and rice and beans (because we are in Belize). It was such a great meeting. So now that we are on the eve of the month of December, I hope all of you guys have seen the new Christmas initiative set out by the church, Light the World. I love it. If you haven't seen the video go watch it! I especially love it because, well, I'm a missionary! So I get to fully immerse myself with this theme. But I hope that all of you as well can go out and be a light to the world. Remember, Christmas and this whole theme isn't a matter of getting people to accept the gospel or come to church or any of that. Christmas, this whole season, is all about Christ. So don't be afraid to just try to be a little more Christlike to others. The smallest action of kindness and charity can literally light up the life of another and maybe change their own world. That's why I love this theme so much. And if anything really cool happens during all of this activity in the month, let me know! I love hearing stories from you guys. Any little experience is great. Alrighty, I love you guys. I miss you guys. And I hope you are all just as excited as we are for the Christmas season. Have a great week!
Elder Abilez

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 70 Dangriga, Belize-November 21, 2016

"They say Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Is that true????" "Yes! He was a prophet!" "Okay, thank you!" "Ok..."

That was a quick conversation we had with a slightly crazy man early one morning last week. It gave me a good chuckle. So this past week was pretty interesting to say the least. Garifuna Settlement Day 2016. The whole week in terms of working was pretty lackluster. No one let us in. And pretty much all of our investigators just told us that we had better try again the next week after the holiday was over...A whole lot of people came to Dangriga from all over the country (this is the "Culture Capitol") to celebrate the 19th so the streets were full. The actual day itself wasnt all that exciting. There was a parade and a fair and a lot of music and drum playing. We still enjoyed ourselves and got into the cultural buzz. The trip to the zoo was really really fun. Didnt get to hold a toucan though...this next week we are starting to plan some cool activities that we hope will start to get the members excited. This last week we began to start making some big realisations about the work here. We have been trying really really hard to reactivate and fellowship inactive members. But, this whole time we have been neglecting that in fact the active members need just as much help. If not, more. We were busy searching for the one when the ninety and nine were also starting to stray off. So before we start to go off looking for the one we need to make sure that the rest are okay and can manage for themselves before we go out searching. If that makes sense. We are all children of God. And so our needs are great. Whether we are active or not. So we hope that helping these active members first will help the Spirit thrive here and see that the branch becomes more self sufficient. Dangriga is a blessed place. This next Monday we will have a multizone with President Duncan of the Area Seventy so I am not sure when i will be writing next. So just be ready at all times. Be prepared. As they would say. Alright well I hope you all enjoy this week and especially Thanksgiving! Give thanks to all and especially thanks to the Lord. I am especially thankful that this thanksgiving I get to keep being a missionary. Love you all so much!
Elder Abilez

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 69 Dangriga, Belize-November 14, 2016

Article of Faith 12

Just a reminder....I know that with the whole national business that went down last week....just remember what WE believe in. No matter what the outcome was (even since all of the outcomes would have been pretty bad). Thats all in that respect! Hey! this last week was good! We had a visit from some of the District Leaders yesterday in church and they gave us and the other leaders some really great counsel! Especially one of them pointed out the absence of youth in our branch (which is a sad truth). We have come to find out that there is a lot of young men in our branch who actually never have received the priesthood! So now we are on emergency rescue plan. In my last area (Central) one of the greatest parts of that ward was the great strength of the youth there. I know that the youth have a huge impact on the spirituality of a church unit. And if the ward or branch is spiritual and thriving, the work will follow suit. So all you youth, remember how important you are and what big of a difference you can make for your peers and other members. To all the adults, take care of the youth, and dont take them for granted. Dangriga is a blessed place and I love being here. It is very, very tough but I am very happy at the same time. I dont have too much time to write because we are going to the zoo today! I have a goal to hold a toucan. life goal. This next weekend is a national holiday so we will most likely not be working at least on saturday but maybe not on friday either. should be interesting. Okay I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
Elder Abilez

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 68 Dangriga, Belize-November 7, 2016

He was a Buffalo Soldier

Hello friends and family! This past week was a really really quick one! On Thursday we had our zone conference and then on Friday I had to spend the entire day in Belize City for Immigration business. But we still had a really great week and a lot of success. After searching for a couple of weeks we finally found Pamela again! She wasnt able to make it to church this past weekend because a problem came up but she has accepted a baptismal date for the end of this month! We are going to be working super hard to help her meet this goal. There are a few other really good people that we want to be helping during this next week as well. Especially we are trying to get the members involved and support the leaders so that the branch can grow. Other than that there isnt too much to contar here. Just remember that it was Buffalo Soldier. Okay love you guys lots! Be good this week and always follow the Spirit and look for the small miracles in life! Im starting to write down and remember more the blessings and miracles I see everyday and it really amazes me! Have a great week!
Elder Abilez