Monday, March 30, 2015

My week

23 March 2015

sziasztok mindenki! (hello everyone!)

So starting on monday, this was my week. After emailing and stuff we hung out with the elders. Pretty typical just walking around érd and trying to think of something to do. Pretty boring. But then at six we had a program with Ka_. We talked with her about divine nature and read from president uchtdorf's talk to the relief society in the last liahona. It was really good and we talked about who we want to become and reaching our potential. It was really good and she liked it. She is just super sweet and always gives us tons of compliments. This week she said I looked like a movie actress because of my hair. It was funny though because my hair was just in a pony tail, oh well she is super sweet haha. After that we had családi est and ka_ stayed for that, which was good because she was the only one besides the missionaries. 
tuesday we met with a less active, An_.  She used to be a missionary in this mission but after the mission she got into some anti mormon writings and fell away from the church and decided that joseph smith wasn't a prophet and it is all a hoax. But she works at the museum in town so we went by with the elders because they ran into one of her co-workers who is really into family history work. So we talked to her a bit, she showed the elders around the exhibit and then she brought them to where her co-worker was. It was good but it is still always really hard to share more than a little bit about the gospel with her. But she is super nice and we let her know if she ever needs help with anything (she teaches an english class to kids, so we've helped her translate some things in the past) to just call us. 
After that we went out to deliver some notes to our investigators and we are really hoping that they made a difference. We felt really good about it and it is all in the Lord's timing. 
On wednesday we met wih And_, Év_ and Tib_.  It went super well. I thought it would be really nice if we sang to them at the beginning of the lesson so we decided to sing "maradj velem, as est leszállt" or "abide with me tis eventide". They have been having a really tough time with their lives so I thought it would be super nice for them to remember that they can always call on the Lord to stay with them through the hard times. It was really great and the spirit was super strong. Tib_ really likes hymns so it was really nice to do something that he could feel the spirit with too. We then taught them about the prophets and how they really receive revelation for the church today and then we talked about conference and invited them to conference on the 4th and 5th of April. We also gave them a new bap date for May 30th. We drew out a calendar for them with all the important dates that are coming up and with all the information of how many times they need to meet with us before baptism and how many times they need to come to church and what they need to learn, so we tried to make it very clear so they really can reach their desire to be baptized. We also talked a bit with them about priesthood authority and once we started talking about it And_ really lit up. I think he has a hard time feeling like he can really provide for his family and when we talked about the father as a priesthood representative and leader in the family he loved it. Next lesson we are going to bring the elders and have them explain a bit more about it and talk with them about how baptism really works and give them priesthood blessings. They are just such incredible people and I am so happy that they are still reading the book of mormon every day and trying the best they can to follow Christ.
On thursday we had lunch at Aniko's but this week a past missionary was back visiting so he was there for lunch too. His name was elder miller and he greenied in érd too so that was cool. It was strange for the other people in my district to see him not as a missionary though because they served with him in the past. Later that night we had Angol ora and we gave out a book of mormon to one of our students! 
Friday we had zone training to review and go over Elder Kearon's conference with us. It was super good and it was a good spiritual boost for the last few weeks of the transfer. It was also really fun to see some friends and get to know the other missionaries better. The funny part was that there was a solar eclipse in the middle of the training so the zone leaders told us all to pause and we all took a field trip outside to look at the solar eclipse. You couldn't really see it with your eyes well but one of the elders had a pair of sunglasses that you could see it through. Then we went back inside and continued the training. It was super funny but it was nice to have a little more relaxed and still spiritually uplifting meeting as a zone. That night we had játék est (game night) and this week pátrik, a kind of creepy guy from angol ora was the only one there. He is really nice and helpful with us learning hungarian but he is always a bit creepy and tries to flirt with us. It was okay I guess though but I mostly feel like he meets with us just to creep on us. Well one way or another he is finding out about the gospel. 
Saturday we decided to take the train to one of the other cities in our area and tract there instead because érd is a little tracted out so we went to barosstelep which is in the 22nd district of budapest. It was a super sunny and nice day and so we were super happy. We decided to go down one of the streets and walk to the end so we could see how many houses were on it before tracting. We got to the end and sort of looked around a bit and I guess we looked confused because a man in the last house asked us if we were looking for someone in particular. We said no, that we were talking to everyone and we started talking to him about why we were there. He was super sweet and told us about how he has cancer and is catholic and about halfway through our conversation his granddaughter came out and joined in the conversation too. They were super nice and we gave them a pamphlet about the restoration and they said they would call if they wanted to know more and I really think he will. 
We continued down the street and as we were waiting for someone to answer the cséngő this really really old lady came up to us and started talking with us about how there isn't any God. She kept going on forever and a couple of people passed by us standing there being ripped into by this lady. We listened to what she had to say and then just sort of bluntly after that sister sellers said, "I know there is a God and that we are His children and that He loves all of us." and then the lady sort of backed off but she still kept talking about how there couldn't be a god. We simply replied back that there was a God and we gave her a pass along card with Jesus on it and she smiled and told us to have a nice day. It was a little strange but good in the end because as we continued on one of the men that passed us as she was talking to us was returning so we stopped him and gave him a pass along card too. We decided that we really liked that area and we will probably go tracting there again. 
That evening we met with For_, the guy who is from angol ora who just wanted friends. We invited the elders along so he could have some men to talk to too. We talked a bit more about the book of mormon and prayer and at the end he prayed!! He was nervous at first but we simply smiled and waited and he eventually said it. It was really good too, usually the people forget to say Christ's name at the end or they start it off praying to jesus but he said it exactly right even calling God, Heavenly Father like we talked about. He is a really sweet man and just so great.
Sunday was branch conference and the stake president came and spoke to us. He is originally from idaho and was a missionary here about ten years ago and came back and married a hungarian. He is a really fun, legit guy who apparently teaches elementary school. It was really great though because I could understand his talk. Even though he is really good at hungarian and knows a ton he still speaks simply so nobody can misunderstand what he is saying. Our sudnay started off a bit sad in the morning because And_, Év_ and Tib_ texted us that they wouldn't be able to make it to church because a friends grandfather died so we were a little disappointed but actually being able to understand the talk helped a lot. I didn't understand all of it but I got the main message that God's only focus is helping us reach our full potential and that we are his work and his glory. 
It is another sunny nice day today and we are going to go visit a beautiful old estate later and have a picnic with the elders so it should be fun. 
I know that everything is in God's timing and that he really does have a plan for each of us and that we just need to turn our heart and desires over to him and he can make all of our problems right. Christ not only suffered for our sins but or problems and our pains and our sorrows. He feels it when we hurt and he knows perfectly how to help us through the rocky roads of life. Just trust in Him and life can be so much easier.
I hope you have a great week and that you share the gospel with at least one person. Even if it is just through a smile. 
heath nővér

p.s.  the hungarian word for bangs is frufru! just like jiboo!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Another week in Érd!

16 March 2015

hello all! another week here in Érd!

So this week has been kind of a crazy one. We had zone conference in buda on wednesday which was incredible. Elder Patrick Kearon of the 70 came and spoke to us. He is british and has the coolest accent ever. He came to us in a sort of somber mood since the night before his wife called him to tell him that her mother had died. He basically got up and told us that he was going to be a bit distracted the whole time thinking about his "sweetheart". But it was an incredible conference. He spoke with us a lot about understanding our investigators. He was a convert himself and shared a couple of cool experiences he had in his conversion and related them to how we can best help our investigators and converts. The main theme though that he emphasized was just having real, pure love for all the people around us. As we try to exemplify Christ and his attributes we will best be able to help our investigators and understand their needs. It was a really great conference and it was nice to see friends and talk to some of the other missionaries in different zones. 
After Elder Kearon's talk sister sellers and I felt that we should write our investigators some notes. We finally were able to get a bible for Év_ so we wrote her a note telling her we were sad that we weren't able to meet that week because of Ti_ being sick and we also gave her a conference edition liahona to read and we dropped it off in their mailbox and she was so happy when she got it. She sent us this text saying how grateful she was for us and how lucky she felt to have us as friends. It was so nice to see how one little letter could change her day so we decided to write some more letters for our other investigators so we will drop those off later today. We are hoping that Ág_ and Má_ really remember how much we love them. 
We had one program this week with a less active recent convert, Ka_. We taught her about preparing for the temple and a bit about choosing a good spouse. She is living with her boyfriend still but she wants to work towards the temple so we talked a bit with her about how to know if the people around you are the best influences and what sort of people we need to be to enter the temple and the importance of eternal families and how they don't only bless us but our generations to come. We read a part out of the liahóna in the children's section about the temple because it is actually understandable to us in hungarian and it is simple but full of truth. She loved it and we are going to meet with her again tonight and hopefully she will have prayed about working towards the temple. We told her also that it is important to speak with the branch president about preparing for the temple and so we hope that she will have set up a time to talk to him. 
On friday we had our first fiatal est [Youth Night]. The youth in our ward weren't able to make it but a couple from angol óra [English class] came and it was good. We played a game called "bang" which is apparently pretty popular with the missionaries in this mission. It is a wild west themed card game made by italians translated into hungarian so it is interesting for sure. It was fun though and we shared a nice spiritual thought and they seemed to have a lot of fun. 
On thursday one of our Angol oraians from our budatétén class asked if we could meet with her on saturday morning so on saturday we went out there to teach her. Ma_ is an older lady probably in her 70s and semi crazy but pretty cool. Her house had tons of cool art all over and was eclectic and awesome. She apparently has a son that is living in finland so she knows finnish and a bit of russian and hungarian and english so it was interesting talking to her. We helped her with her english but then when we tried to talk about the gospel for the second half of the lesson she changed the subject and told us that she needed to cook us lunch and then her grandchildren skyped her from finland so she wanted us to come talk to them. It was sort of all over the place and we couldn't get too much in about the gospel so we're not sure if we are going to meet with her again. She was super nice though but it sort of felt like we were kidnapped for a couple of hours because she wouldn't let us leave even when we had to get our train because we hadn't eaten any fruit yet. It was super interesting but crazy. Hungarian grandmothers just always want you to eat more and more. I swear sometimes I am going to explode from all the food. 
Well that was about my week. It was sort of all over the place and a lot of tracting and traveling and weird weather. But it was good and I just love hungary so much. I hope you all have a good week! 
sok szeretettel,
heath nővér

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Another week in Magyarország!

9 March 2015

hello all, another week here in Magyarország! (the hungarian name for hungary, in case you didn't already know.) Fun fact dad, the name of spain is spanyolország! how weird is that?

So we had a bit of a crazy week here for the Érd district. A couple of elders in the mission got sent home for health reasons and such so they had to do a lot of switching up of elders so that meant that on monday before we went to play basketball with the elders then our elders got a phone call from the APs that elder lindow was getting transfered to székesfehérvár and we were getting elder loveland instead. So it was kind of a sad day saying goodbye to lindow. But he is such a good sport and was sad to leave but excited for what was in store for him in his new city. But now we have elder loveland with our little district of Érd. He is from virginia and is very talkative. He has been out for about a year and a half I think so he is older than elder meek but meek is still the senior companion which he was confused a bit about when he first got the call but it is great. It is always interesting getting to know new people. Sister sellers is kind of sad though since she was good friends with lindow but its getting better now that we're getting used to elder loveland. 
On tuesday we went to Tatabánya to go on splits with the sister training leaders. The train there was cool since we drove through a lot of little towns and farm fields. It was nice to get out of Érd for a little bit but it was also nice coming back. Tatabánya has a lot more factories in it and is mostly ten stories so it was good to get back to our családi houses and more greenness. One of the sister training leaders is actually hungarian so it was interesting going on splits with her since she speaks the language perfectly. It was nice to get some advice from her and how to use the language more naturally. 

 anywho, we taught four programs this week.
The first one was on monday before családi est. We taught Ka_ who is a recent convert and a less active in her 20s. We taught her about missionary work and a little bit about following the prophet. She is a really sweet person... We think she lives with her mom too because she told us that her mom won't let her get married but we couldn't really understand why so we are guessing that her mom must think that if she got married then she wouldn't be there for her anymore. But Ka_ told us how she really wants to work towards the temple and getting married but it is hard with her mom not really agreeing. So we taught her about missionary work and she said she wants her mom to learn about the church so we are hoping that if her mom becomes more accepting of the church than ka_ will be able to get married and such. 
We also met with Ág_ and Má_ again, this time with a member, Aniko. So it was kind of an emotional lesson. The first thing when we got there Ág_ welcomed us in but the first thing he said was that he wanted to give the book of mormon back and that he wanted to stop meeting with us. We asked him why and he said that it was just all too hard and that he was too old to change and basically as we kept talking to him it was also hard because he didn't want to change alone and because Má_ didn't want to change he wouldn't. We we just so grateful that Aniko was there because she is a convert herself, and like má_ used to be roman catholic. She ended up talking to them and comforting their fears enough to get them to keep the book of mormon and agree to go to church at least once before completely disregarding everything. Sister sellers and I were really close to tears during most of the lesson because we pray for them so so much, at least like 10 times a day so to hear them feel like they can't do this just broke our hearts. It just makes me wonder what happened in between our lessons to cause such a change. But we are going to give them a week to cool off and then call them again so I am just praying that they will feel the truthfulness of our message. 
Our next lesson we taught was on friday to our angol órian, Kla_. She is just the coolest person ever. She is 20 and blonde and just super cute and sweet. We met with her in the branch house and she was waiting outside for us when we got there with her boyfriend. When we went inside she told us that they have been dating for three years and she hopes they can be together forever. She is just super cute. We started with talking about english and such but she almost immediately started asking us questions about the gospel. We ended up just switching to hungarian and talking about the plan of salvation. I guess her father is from the city and her mother is from a falú or the country so her father isn't very religious but her mother is a strong catholic. She said that as kids they raised them with a belief in God but that when they grow up to search for a church that they believe in and want to join so that is what she is doing. She super loved everything and when we gave her a book of mormon she was super excited to read it. We are just so stoked for her since the moment she first walked into our angol óra we knew she was different. She was interested in learning more so we are meeting with her again this friday!
Our last lesson was with a member family. The mother Gyö_ is a member and two of their kids are baptized but the father isn't a member and their youngest son isn't old enough yet to be baptized. They are super cute and we decided to watch the restoration movie with them and then talk about what we liked in it. It was so sweet to go around the room and have the little kids tell us what they like. Their daughter is eight and was baptized a few weeks before I got here. Her name is ez_ and she is just the cutest kid ever. She always makes us bracelets and such out of those woven rubber band things. She is apparently really funny but I have a hard time understanding what she says so we mostly poke each other and make goofy faces to communicate but she is the cutest. When we were at their house she was sitting next to me and said that my earrings were beautiful and that I looked like a princess. Seriously she is the cutest and she wants to be a little missionary someday so we put our tags on her and pretended that she was our third companion. 
We have zone conference on wednesday so we'll be going into buda again this week so that should be fun. It should be a pretty good week, the weather is getting nice here and flowers are starting to bloom so hopefully that means that not everyone is going to be sick but life is great and I love hungary. I hope you all have a good week!
heath nővér

Sunday, March 8, 2015

sziasztok csaladom és barátaim! (hello my family and friends)

2 March 2015

Well it is the season of colds. The beginning of this week we had about 15 programs set up to teach but all but two of them canceled on us so we only ended up teaching two lessons.
The first one was one of our angol óra students, L_.  He is in his twenties and has these huge arms and wears those really tight european v-neck shirts so hes interesting. He is a buddhist  but he enjoys talking about our different beliefs. We met with him half to work on his english and the other half we tried to teach him about the plan of salvation. The lesson basically ended up with him telling us about his past lives. Apparently his last life he was in new york city and was walking in central park and these two guys came and beat him up and stabbed him and left him to die. He told us very animatedly how he could feel it "right here in my stomach, again and again". it was rather interesting. It was cool though because he explained that life is like a computer game and god puts us here and lets us play until we get it right. We asked him why would God just have us play again and again and how would we know that it was finally finished and where we go once the game is done and he sort of dodged the question and started talking about karma. It was cool to hear about how other people view the world but it is so reassuring to me that all of my questions in life, have an answer in the gospel. Everything about the plan of salvation and happiness make sense and there is a purpose for everything we do.
After that lesson with L_ we had Családi est and Ag_ and Má_ came!!   Anyways it was awesome. We watched the restoration movie and it was fun seeing it in hungarian. It was really nice and the spirit filled the room. After we all went around in a circle saying what we loved about the film and the ward members were awesome. When it finally got to Ag_ he said again how he knew that this was the true church but still had a lot of questions. So that started a little discussion with the ward members. I couldn't follow all of it but it was so great to have the ward members be able to answer everything in perfect hungarian so they could understand. When it came to Má_ she said she felt the same as her husband. She is a little more reserved and still a little stubborn about saying she is catholic but I feel like she is going to be the one in the end that helps Ag_ really commit to the gospel. They are just so great and I think once we can finally schedule with them again so we can teach more they will keep progressing but like I said earlier it is the season of sickness here so its been hard to set up with people. 
on wednesday we ate with Aniko again. This week we first had a sort of sweet tomato soup with noodles in it. It was wicked good and then we had a sort of meatball thing surrounded with a bitter cabbage. its called töltö kaposzta which literally translates to stuffed cabbage so yeah, thats what it was. It was meat, rice and seasonings and the sauce had kolbasz or sausage and ham in it. It was pretty good for the first few bites but she alway fills our plates up so much that by the end I felt like I was going to throw up because I couldn't get it down. Luckliy this week she didn't have two huge cakes that we were supposed to eat at the end of the meal, instead she brought us out turo rudis because she knows that we love it!! yay aniko!! But it was good overall. After thought all I wanted to do was sleep so it was kind of rough working after it. 
We went to lunch at a ward members house (aniko) the day before sister sellers birthday and she made us this amazing cherry fruit soup and rokos krumpli and two birthday cakes for the two newly 20 year old missionaries. Such a cute lady!!
On thursday we tracted all day but it was so cool. It was raining so we had our umbrellas out and we working through the muddy streets. I had to write in the tracting book which was a little rough since I was holding an umbrella too. But we tracted into this really nice young mom (ezster) who let us in even though we were all wet and muddy. She had an adorable little boy (andrás) who was just the cutest thing ever. When we started talking with her we found out that she used to be evangelical and married to the priest's son but when they got divorced the congregation shunned her and wouldn't let her come anymore so she hasn't gone to a church in a while. Her current husband isn't religious but she sometimes talks to her daughter about god. She said she wanted to find a religion to raise her children in and she is just so golden. We gave her a book of mormon and she said that she wants to read it all and once she reads it all to join our church if it feels right, We told her that that would be wonderful but that we still would like to meet with her even if she hasn't read all the book of mormon. She is so cool and we are going to look her up in a couple of days again if she hasn't called us in between. 
On saturday we taught an_, év_ and ti_ again. Ti_ was really sick last week so we couldn't meet with them but finally we got to meet with them this week. So here in hungary everyone greets eachother with puszi or kisses on each cheek. An_ and év_ are really big on the kisses so they always kiss us when we meet but this week ti_, who usually stands in the corner and is pretty quiet actually came up to us and said "I want kisses too!" so he kissed us on both cheeks. It was awkward but super sweet to see that he is that comfortable with us and an_ and év_ were so happy. When we were in the lesson we read in third nefi and went around the room each reading a verse and ti_ wanted to read too! Oh it was so sweet to see an_ and év_ look at each other when he was reading. They told us that the doctor said in two weeks ti_ should be well enough that he can stay full time at home. usually he can only get about two days at home away from the hospital but he has been doing better so once he can stay at home they will hopefully be able to come to church. We had to postpone their baptismal date because they have to come to church first but they still really really want to be baptized. It was a little sad. Év_ was telling us that because she has to take care of ti_ so much and work all the time she doesn't really have good friends. The only sort of friends she has are the ladies she work with and none of them believe in God so it is hard for her. But we told her about church and all the wonderful ward members and we are trying to set up with a member to come during our next lesson and she seemed so excited to have friends who are like us. They are just the nicest people ever and I keep praying for tibor to feel better and I know heavenly father is answering my prayers.
Fun fact about hungary. When you have a baby, they have a list of names to pick off of and if you want to name your child something else you have to submit it for approval so that is why everybody here basically has the same names. I swear every old lady's name is Ica or Ilona and all the men are name jozséf or András. anyways fun fact.
other crazy things that happened this week.... 
We got meowed at by a creepy guy on the street.
Every night as we walk home there is always the same drunk guy who walks past us and says "sziasztok" all creepy like
we got recited romantic poetry by this strange man as we were walking up a hill. apparently he has recited it to my companion before and was upset when we said we had to keep walking. 
well, I think that is about it for this week. It should be a good p-day. We are going to play basketball with the elders after lunch so they are stoked for that. I love you all and hope you have a good week and remember how much God loves you and that he really answers prayers. 
sok szeretettel
heath nővér