Hoy es dia!

Hoy es dia!
Updates while serving in the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission taylor.abel@myldsmail.net
Current Mailing Address:
Elder Taylor Abel
Uruguay Montevideo West Mission
Enrique Martinez 1167
11800 Montevideo, Uruguay

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Always in the Middle"

My dear family, How I love you so much.

How the heck are you guys?  March has come and gone and seriously, time is flying by.  Changes are next week and I will finally finish baby sitting Elder Vargas.  There were a lot of downs that I could go on and on about for who knows how long but you know what.... none of that is important.

What is important is I had a big UP this past week.  We had the opportunity to have interviews with President Smith.  First we had the chance to teach a little about the Gathering of Israel and it was a mess.... we didn't teach together and we taught it all wrong.  President had to help us.... I was humiliated.  I sat down and just put my head down and wanted to cry.... I didn't even want to look up.  I honestly have never felt so embarrassed in my whole life.  However, in this moment, I had 2 decisions.. 1. I could have kept my head down and let it affect my whole mission by losing my confidence and letting my embarrassment, or 2. I could lift my head up and continue to participate and enjoy the things we learned.  I decided in this moment that choice 2 was much better.  I lifted my head up from the humiliation and began to participate again. I learned a lot.  Later that day.. like seriously... we were the last ones to go in for interviews. 

I went in first and President could not stop complimenting me on the teaching we did.  I am pretty sure that he knew that is was horrible and a train wreck but it honestly helped me so much.  I gained my confidence again and I am ready to teach in front of the Zone again.  Other than him making me feel like 100 bucks, we talked about Elder Vargas.  He asked me how he was doing.  I was very honest with him.  He then began to tell me about a talk from President Uchtdorf called, "Always in the Middle."  He told me that we need to read it together.  We tried it and Vargas kind of blew it off,  but it helped me put my mission in perspective. Give it a read if you have time, it is from June 2012. 

He then told me a possible companion that will come to Obelisco with me.... Elder Del Castillo.  He is Mexican and is my mom in the mission.  I love the kid. Although it is not for sure that is who he has for me right now.  There are a lot of changes coming to the mission because 25 missionaries are going home and we are only getting 5 missionaries, only one of these missionaries being a sister. They are opening more missions with less missionaries so he has had to really take his time to plan out what areas he will close and who will take the 9 ZL spots that are going home.  Elder Del Castillo could be one of them, but we shall see!

Who is ready for some #conf?  I am! Everyone got there questions written down?  I hope that you all have time to sit and enjoy the direction of the Lord through his servants.  We will watch it in the stake center live.... only it starts at 1 pm here.  I feel like there could be some big news coming.... who knows though!  Found out with the Zone that Elder Oaks will be coming to Uruguay on April 21st!  We are super excited!!  Should be such a wonderful experience!

Well peeps, I sure do love you all soooo much!  I hope that you have a wonderful week and that all your questions you are looking for are answered through the voices of the those who will speak to us.  I hope that you all find some happy times this week!  Keep smiling and know that God has a plan for each and every one of us!  I ♥ you!

My stud comp Elder Devashrayee and Elder Del Castillo

GO UTES! I was reppin´my red and this little reminder in my agenda. 
There is always next year. I have faith in my boys!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Irene's Baptism

What a wonderful week. 

Despite the many difficulties in the week.. it ended up being a great week.  I am always going to learn from my comps no matter what and what I have learned and realized is that prayer is very important. You can really start to fall off the track if you distance yourself from the basic things that we do everyday as disciples of Christ. Even if we are called as missionaries of the Highest God we can distance ourselves from the very basics such as prayer and scripture study.  I now know that I will never put this gap between the basics because I see what it does.  It is just the little things that cause problems.  Lucifer is hastening his work too. If there is a gap with you and these very things.... close the gap!  You will find more happiness and love!  I LOVE YOU GUYS.

Onto the fun stuff!  We had an activity on Friday. It went really well even though we didn't have the kind of attendance that we wanted.  As you can see in my first picture, the activity started at 7:30 and it was 7:37 and no one had showed up.... gotta love Mormon Standard Time.  Once we finally did start the activity around 8:05, we played Jeopardy.  It was super fun.  We had 2 teams and we had made a powerpoint with 5 different categories.... Uruguay, International, The Missionaries (US), The Gospel of Jesus Christ and 1 Minute to Win it. The activity was the best one that I have had in my mission.  We had lots of fun and had some pretty sweet music in the background playing thanks to the Godoy family and their computer.  We really hope that everyone had a wonderful time because we sure did as Missionaries.  This was our activity.... and for some reason when the members hear that there is a missionary activity, no one comes.  Kind of frustrating but they missed out!

Irene's baptism!  I woke up and I went out for my run to start the day and I was a little worried, the sky was dark and looked like it was going to rain.  I knew that if we had rain, the attendance at the baptism would be low.  Rain is the kryptonite of Uruguay.  However, God is great and we had a very beautiful day.... and it wasn't as hot!  It was amazing.  The baptism itself was such a blessing.  I had the opportunity to perform the ordinance. It was different than my other baptism though, she didn't want to go down haha. However, when she came up.... my heart was full.  It was so neat to have her finally be baptized after waiting 8 months.  She then gave her testimony to close up the meeting.  I then knew that she realizes that baptism is only the door and that there is much more.  She has some real desires to keep progressing and she has many talents that this ward needs.  Such a blessing!  On Sunday, Elder Vargas confirmed her as a member and she received the Holy Ghost.  What an amazing weekend it was.  Not too mention our attendance of 110 at church!  Two weeks in a row with 110 or more!  The Lord truly does bless us even when we do come short.  I am so grateful for the blessings of life. 

I am so grateful for all of you and for the blessing of the knowledge that I have that Heavenly Father listens to his kids and that he loves us!  I sure love you all with all my heart! Have a wonderful week!  Until next week.

Love, A very blessed Elder Taylor Abel

The Mormon Standard Time pic.. classic right?

The whole fam damily Ü

The Crew of the night.. such a great day!

I ♥ U!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Life In Obelisco

Here I am in Uruguay trying to think of a clever hook again.. and I've got nothing.  Just give yourself a little chuckle and continue reading.  Ü How are you guys?!  From reading all of your emails, it seems like you all are doing really good!  I am always sooooo grateful for your emails.  You truly don't know how much joy it brings me.. like LOTS!.. and LOTS!!  What is new with all of you? 

This past week we had a really good week.  Irene's wedding was truly such a blessing.  They do stuff way different here. Actually.. I am not 100% sure because I have never been to a civil wedding before, but it was weird for me.  However, it has been 8 months in the making.  She told her fiance' that she wanted to be baptized so we either get married or we separate.,,. you pick. How would you like that ultimatum?  They are the newest couple here in Obelisco and we are so excited for this Saturday to have Irene enter the waters of baptism and for Sunday to be confirmed as a member of the church.... the only true church over the face of the earth!  She would be a great primary leader because she loves kids and has some patience.... if only I had her patience. Ü  Oh yeah.. went to my first party with alcohol.... pretty weird that my first party with alcohol was on my mission. However, I will count that as one of my blessings!  Gotta love wedding receptions Ü

Things this week with Elder Vargas went good!  We reached two of our goals. We were able to find 4 new investigators with members this past week and we had 113 people in the church yesterday. We have truly been so blessed with less actives reactivating.  Remember the story about the Familia Araujo?  They are all going to seminary. The 3 of them.... to help their son Dan realize the importance. They are awesome people and they are loving it.  The hermano wore a white shirt yesterday....so it is only up from here!  Love seeing people change, it is so cool!  It really strengthens my testimony that the gospel changes lives.  I know that it does with all of my heart.  I have seen it way too much in my mission to deny it.

I am so grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful to be apart of it.... it is such a blessing to my life. I am so grateful for my mission, it blesses my life in so many different ways.  I also am grateful for all of you and for your love and for your support through my difficult times.  You guys are the best I could ever ask for.  I love you all soooooo much!  I hope that you have a wonderful week and always look on the bright side of things!

Elder Taylor Abel.. your grateful missionary!

Sunset.. across the river is Argentina! So pretty

If the start of my email didn´t make you chuckle.. giggle at my awesome sun burn lines from Volleyball last week!  Ouchie!

#selfie.... just because I can ♥

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How are you all doing?!  I got the package.... and it could not have come at a better time! This week has been a rough one to be completely honest.  It started off really difficult, but got a little better as time went by which was good.  I don´t know if it was my patience growing or if things actually got better.  I know that I am with Elder Vargas for a reason.  I actually had a pretty neat experience the other day with him.  On Saturday we sat at lunch for more than 2 hours.  Elder Vargas was watching the TV (#trunkymissionary) and Irene was just talking and talking.  I was so frustrated.  After this long lunch we headed to pick up our clothes from the bishops house around 3ish.  I didn't say a word.  I put my shirts on the hangers and washed a couple pairs of garments and then went straight to my knees.  I was just praying for help, for patience and for calmness.  I was just about to rage but I kept my cool.  I felt pretty normal with my prayer and began my language study with reading in Jacob 5.  After my study, Elder Vargas asked me a question and all the frustration had vanished.  I was no longer mad or upset.  I know and can truly say that the Book of Mormon can calm us if we let it.  It truly brings such comfort to me as I felt so alone this week.  I know that our Heavenly Father answers us and helps us according to our needs and wants.  I love the Book of Mormon and I am so grateful for it in my life.  I would like to extend a challenge to all of you to please read Jacob 5 and then D&C 101.  I know that Jacob 5 is enormous but it is worth it.  I have been studying it and have found a lot of new things this time through.  I have taken notes today but I would like to give you guys the opportunity to read it this week and then I will share my thoughts.. deal?  Also with D&C 101... it ties in with Jacob 5 because it is all about the vineyard.  So what do ya say.. can all of you do it and email me your thoughts?!

Our investigators..... not too much is new.  Irene is getting married this week and her baptism in next Saturday so that should be sweet and give us some encouragement as a companionship!  Sebastion accepted to be baptized on the 28th of March too.  It should be a great month.  We are really excited!  Elder Vargas is really a great guy...just a little trunky and is already a little dead. (dead meaning that he's almost done with the mission!) Ü Hopefully we can finish his mission strong... however I can only do so much!

This week, amongst all the problems and my feelings of being alone in a Spanish world... the package arrived!  I got it around 1ish in the afternoon on Tuesday at the stake center.  It actually wasn't too long of a wait this time!  We headed home and this is where my picture comes in.... headed up to the house with my amazing package.  However I didn't open it until that night.  I don´t like to open my packages until the night so I can truly enjoy them and man oh man did I love this package!  It was filled with lots of love and lots of yummy treats.... some sweet ties and some awesome music!  I have been listening to the music every chance I get.  I love the Saturdays Warrior.... it brings a smile to my face every time.  Also, I love the Lynsdi Houskeeper.  I listened to her all day yesterday.  Her voice makes me feel more at home and it brings such a sweet spirit! 

I love you guys so much!  You truly are the greatest and you make my heart oh so happy!  I hope that you all have the best week and find many blessings in your lives!  May you all enjoy a nice spring break!  I love you!

Love, a happy, ready to work hard - Elder Taylor Abel

Monday, March 2, 2015

How are we doing?!   Elder Abel is doing really well here!  Did you happen to send my membership records yet? (;  This week has been really good.  We set some goals for the change..... with the main goal to start and finish this change with strength and obedience.  I truly believe that through our Obedience that the Lord blesses us.  It has been good to be with Vargas because my Spanish is coming along really well and I have been able to see some of the struggles of a dying (#endofmission) missionary.  However, we are gonna work hard and find some success this week!  We had a good companion fast and are really excited to see what comes from it.  We have already seen so many blessings this past week of the change. We taught a lot of family home evenings this past week and a lot of less actives.

On Saturday night, we had a family night with a family that has been inactive for a long time. The hermano is excommunicated but has realized in the last little while of his life what is really important and what is not.  He has realized that the house doesn't matter or his car.... but that his family matters.  He realized that he wants the best for his 15 year old son and knows he isn't the best example for him.  The hermana is really a sweet lady, she has a big heart and the desire to change.  As we started to talk to them, they decided that a charla with their son and his friend would be the best.  So they invited the son and his friend into the house and we said a prayer.  The Spirit entered the room right after the prayer even though we didn't have any idea what to talk about. We began to talk very basic doctrines of the gospel as that was what came to mind.  The son is a member but hasn't been very active at all in his life. However, he has something special about him.  It was a very good charla.  We didn't teach any profound doctrine, it was only just about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and what they want for us and our purpose here.  On Sunday, as we walked into the chapel shaking the hands of everyone, Elder Vargas and I were shocked to find them at church.  It is truly amazing what the Spirit can do. It had nothing to do with us being there or us as missionaries.  I know that is was the Spirit that truly moved them to feel the need/want to go to church. Really neat experience for us.  It really has given Elder Vargas some ammunition too!

I have learned a lot about a love for the people from Elder Vargas. I know that he truly does love everyone we talk to.  He really is a big teddy bear.. just a little trunky at times!  We get along though and so I can't complain.  We do have some really good chats about the people here and what we can do to help them..... it is just putting that to action!

Last night we had kind of a creepy experience. I woke up for a second and was just switching positions in my bed and then all of the sudden Elder Vargas began to say my name.. A-bel.. A-bel.... A-bel.. it got a little louder every time. He was having a bad dream. He felt as if someone was squeezing him and he couldn't breathe.  He was awake but couldn't do anything so he began to say my name.  It was interesting to say the least.  Hopefully it doesn't happen again!  If that story doesn't make your hair stand up I don´t know what will (; Gotta love the good ole hymns after experiences like that right?!

Our investigators... we had 4 in church!  Irene, Estefani and Cristian her boyfriend!  It was his first time and he liked it,so we are hoping that it sparks something for them.  Also Sebastion went to church too!  I sat in the middle of them all.  It was really cool to have them all there and all chatting with each other including Marcia!

With all the time in Obelisco you think I would get bored, but I truly do love it. I see blessings everyday with the changes that I see within the people.  I think that is one of my favorite parts of the mission is to be able to see the changes that people make for the good!  So amazing what the Spirit can do.

This past change with Elder Vargas, I really found a love for The Book of Mormon.  My first 6.5 months I was reading mostly everyday but when I would study something else like the conference talks or Preach My Gospel I wouldn't read the Book of Mormon.  I read 64 pages in my first 6.5 months.  This last change and up to this point I am on page 130 and am learning so much.  Take a look at 2 Nephi 27.  It really strengthened my testimony of Joseph Smith and his story.  Take a look at some of the foot notes too!  I love the Book of Mormon and know that it truly changes lives.  If you aren't reading I would hope that you would start!

I sure do love you so much!  I hope that you all are enjoying every single day of this crazy thing we call life! I hope that this week brings lots of joy and that you all are happy and healthy! Keep on keepin' on!  Until next week! 

Elder Taylor Abel.. a happy Obeliscano (;    

Huge 30 minute rain storm.....buckets of rain!

A week of hard work in this shirt
(the rest of my shirts were in the wash!)