Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Miracle week!

26 May 2015

Hello all! Boldog Kedd!
So this week was one of miracles,

Tuesday- I had my six month as a missionary mark and we had lunch at Anikos, the most amazing member. Last transfer we had lunch with her basically every week but she has been feeling sick lately and has been visiting her son with cancer a lot so its been a really hard time for her. This whole transfer, almost every single day we make sure to pray for her and we have fasted for her to be feeling comforted and happier and this sunday she came up to us in church and said that she has been feeling a little better and wanted us to come and visit her so on tuesday we went with the elders to have lunch with her. We ended up visiting her almost the whole afternoon but I didn't feel bad about it. She has been going through a really hard time and she shouldn't be left alone. We talked a lot about her family and she showed us pictures of all the missionaries that have served here and she told us stories about them. Then she showed us her cherry trees in her back yard and we played with her dog, Jáki a bit. It was really good to help her and we want to try and go back this week to walk her dog for her or something as an excuse to check up on her and make sure she is okay. 
On tuesday we also met this awesome guy on the street that spoke perfect english! His name was ben and he said he learned it in school but we ended up talking about different religions and buddhism and such and it was awesome. He told us a ton of cool places we could visit around Érd so that was cool. We are going to try and meet with him sometime soon. 

Wednesday- We met with the And_ and told them the news about how it is free to get married on weekdays. They were super surprised and are going to figure out how it all works this week. It was a super great lesson. We read a talk about faith and trials and how we need hope with them and it went well. They just freaking need to come to church already! But we are meeting with them tomorrow with János, a member. Later that afternoon we did some look ups and we met with Ágoston and Mária again!! They were curious about where sister sellers had gone to and Sholly got to know them. We had thought it would be just a quick stop by and visit but it ended up being an hour that we talked and they are just so wonderful. Ágoston picked some fresh strawberries from his garden and they said we could come back sometime. So we had planned on it only being a few minute visit but since it ended up being an hour we had to literally run from one end of Érd to the other to make it to the branch house in time for our program with Imre. It is normally about an hour walk from where our tracting area is to the branch house and we had five minutes to try and run to get there. It was a freaking humid and hot day too so we ended up booking it about half way and it was already ten minutes into our program and we were both about to die, running in skirts and such. We found a bus stop and hurried and asked a lady standing there when the bus came and she pointed and said, "thats it right there" and goodness does God ever love us. We got on the bus and only ended up being 15 minutes late for our program instead of the half hour we probably would have been if we had had to run all the way there. It ended up being a good program. We talked about faith and started the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson.

Thursday- Thursday was sister sholly and elder wilcox's year mark so after district meeting we had lunch and it was good. Besides that not too much exciting stuff happened. 

Friday- We looked up a less active member, Papp Márgit. My first program I ever had in the country was with her and we haven't gotten to meet with her since then so it was super cool to see how much I have improved since the first time I met with her. I remember when I first met with her I could barely understand a thing she said and I was struggling to stay awake because of jet lag, but it was cool to see how this time I could follow the conversation and I could really bare my testimony to her about Joseph Smith. 
After meeting with Márgit we met with Orsi at the branch house. Orsi is a master genealogist and Sister Sholly's great grandfather was from hungary so they have been wanting to figure out where in hungary she is from and so that evening they found out that Sholly is from Szeged and Miskolc! It was super cool to see how it really was not accident that Sholly was sent to hungary and to serve in Érd so Orsi could help her find her family. Next week we are going to try and visit the family history center with Orsi to see if we can find any of Sholly's relatives that are still in hungary! 

Saturday- Saturday morning we met with Imre again and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. It went really well. He understood the fact that baptism is the gate and that we have to keep the commandments and endure to reach our end goal of eternal life with Heavenly Father. He asked us what the commandments were and how we could keep them and we told him we would teach him that later. It was interesting because in our first program with him he told us that he would probably wait til he was about 50 to be baptized but after this lesson he told us that he wanted to be baptized after he came back from working on the cruise ship. We were both super excited but he then said he wanted to be baptized into the catholic church so we ended up talking to him again about the proper authority and how it is important that the person who baptizes you has the power of the priesthood. He sat a few minutes thinking about it and then asked us how we were baptized and if it was in this church. And we told him and he asked us where we are baptized so we explained it a bit. It ended well and he had a lot to think about. 
After Imre we caught the train to look up a family we found in the area book, the M_. The are the most rendes (basically means orderly or classy) people I have ever taught. So we called Ferenc, the father, during weekly planning last week and we set up for saturday and we were super excited. That morning while we were planning their lesson I was just overwhelmed with the strongest feeling of love for them even though I didn't know them. I seriously felt like I knew them and that they were like my family. When we got there the mother, Anna, opened the gate and lead us into their huge house. We walked into the mud room and two of their kids (anett, 18 and erik, 16) were standing there with perfect posture waiting to greet us. We had to run from the train station to make it to the program on time so we were both out of breath and hot and we felt so silly. Anna gave us slippers to wear and the kids led us up to the kitchen where anna had made lunch for us, this fancy berry sauce meat with potatoes . While we were eating we talked to Anna, who speaks english pretty well, about how they met the missionaries. So I guess 20 years ago, they were living in budapest and the missionaries tracted into them and they had a really good program with them but the elders never came back and then 10 years later, the had moved to Budatétény and a set of elders tracted into them again, they immediately let them in and started meeting with them regularly. They met with them until their original elders got transferred out and then they met with the elders less regularly until they eventually stopped. Anna said that they were excited when we called them because we were girls. She also said that she knew it wasn't an accident that we called when we did. They had had a really hard month last month and when we called it was like a sign from God that He wanted to help them. She said it was funny that every ten years or so the missionaries find them and that when we came in she immediately felt the spirit. By this point she was crying and gosh was the spirit strong. Ferenc then came in and told us that they were ready for us in the dining room with dessert. We then went to their living room/dining room where they had this giant dining room table three pianos and giant white couches and t.v. We ended up talking with Ferenc a lot about how the world has changed and about their first missionaries. It was super great and they asked us a ton about ourselves. It was super great but my hungarian really struggled, but they were so nice and patient with us. We then shared with them Elder Bednar's mormon message about light and revelation and they loved it. They were so surprised with how modern it was and so we showed them on their computer and how they could watch the most recent conference and it was super great. They are seriously the nicest and most legit people ever and I already feel like they are members they already know so much about the church and love it they just need to start coming again and get baptized! I just feel like it is too good to be true teaching them. They invited us back again for the same time this week and I am so excited to go back. 
That evening we had játék est with the Palmerék kids, Ali and Aston. It was really good. I am going to be so sad to leave Ali once I am transferred out. Honestly if I couldn't have done anything here in Érd but helped Ali I will feel like it is enough. We just talked and played Bang with them. Ali was getting kind of sad at the end since we were saying how it is going to be one of the last játék ests before the transfer. It is going to be okay though. She is just such a trooper and has a strong testimony. 

Sunday- We had a couple of great miracles happen on sunday. So first this sweet little less active néni randomly showed up and we set up to meet with her this week. She is seriously so cute and your stereotypical hungarian néni. Second Papp Márgit and her son came! And third and most amazing was that Dávid Sándor came! So Sándor is the father of one of our other young woman, Brigi. He has met with the missionaries for years and was super close to being baptized but then when his wife died he stopped meeting with the missionaries. We have been asking Brigi most of the transfer when we can come visit them but it has never worked out but this week they both came to church and after Sándor and Brigi came up to us and asked when they could meet! So we are meeting with them friday!! 
That evening we met with the gyönygiék, it was really great. We did our little missionary lesson we did with the kövesyék, with the little missionary name tags and it was great. They are just the craziest and funniest family. 
the Gyönygiék (Gyönygi the mom, Eszti, Levente, and little Peti)

Monday- We met with Imre again and this time Attila, our ward mission leader, came. We taught him the plan of salvation and it was really good. He understood it all and he connected the fact that the things we taught him in the last lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ are the things we need to do in this life to make sure we get to the celestial kingdom. And he prayed in the lesson!! He really loves reading from the book of mormon and he says he feels peaceful and calm when he reads it so we told him that it was the spirit!! It was a really great lesson and him and Attila walked out together and Attila called us that night and told us that Imre asked him about the priesthood and why it was important with baptism and so he explained to him why baptism in other churches are not valid because they don't have the priesthood. And I really think Imre is going to progress. I just am frustrated because he is leaving in two weeks to work on the cruise ship but it is all in the Lord's timing and the Lord knows how it will all work out. 

Well, that was my week. I have seriously seen answers to my prayers and fasting this week. I truly love Érd. It is a hard city but I have come to love it. It is amazing to see that love really is the answer and the motive behind everything of worth. It is God's love that allowed us to come to earth and gain bodies. It is Christ's love that allows us to be saved and return to live with God. It is the love of others that allows us to feel loved and it is our love of others that brings us feelings of fulfillment and allows us to be filled with charity to all men. I love being a missionary and it is such a blessing to have the hard times, they truly make the good times that much more sweet. 

I hope you all have a good week and that you can feel God's love for you.

Heath Nővér

Napsi (means sunbeam) our neighbor's shih tzu puppy

Some photos from May 18

Another visit to Parliament before zone training


Is this the real life?

Sister missionary tan lines...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Zone training, Bible bashing, and God is inside our heads.

[Dad's note: getting caught up on the blog after a very busy June.  Will post several letters in the next week!]

just hanging out at a castle, no big deal

18 May 2015

Well this week was in interesting one.

On tuesday we had interviews with President Smith so we went up to budapest. They went really great.We talked a lot about how to help Érd and it was super great. I then had an interview with sister smith and that was good too. We are going to be getting ipads hopefully in a few months and so she talked about what is going to be expected of us as missionaries when that happens. It will be really cool and will definitely help the work a ton.

After interviews we went and got palacsintas (literal translation is pancakes but they are more like crepes) at guru, a restaurant that is pretty popular with the budapest missionaries. 

On wednesday we tracted in budafok. It went well, we didn't have too many people that were interested but budafok is prettier than Érd so it was at least nice looking at the pretty gardens and houses while tracting. It is rose season here so all the rose bushes are gorgeous. We had angol óra that evening and one of our students, érnő (eh-r-new), brought us surprises. He is an older man maybe in his 60s and he loves to joke around a ton. He has a joke with sister sholly that he calls her llama girl because she has llamas back home. So he came into class and he gave us each a big envelope. Sister sholly's said S.S. L.G. (Sadee Sholly, Llama Girl) and mine said H.E.H. (Hannah Elizabeth Heath) and we opened them and in it was a smaller envelope. In mine was a picture of a cat and in sister sholl's was a picture of a llama. And the other thing in the envelope was wrapped in a colorful napkin and tin foil were cookies and these fruit bar things. It was super sweet and funny of him. It is always a surprise with Érnő. 

Hero's square and a nearby castle.

Hero's square

On thursday we had zone training so it was up to budapest again. It was super great, we talked a lot about how we can better recognize and help our investigators recognize the spirit. After the training a couple of the missionaries that are going home the end of this transfer gave their departing testimonies and the office senior couple, the bagozzis gave their departing testimonies too. It is going to be strange without the bagozzies here. It is definitely beginning to have a bittersweet sort of feeling around the mission home with the bagozzies and president and sister smith starting to finish their service here and preparing for the new mission president. After waiting forever at the train station to get back to Érd we finally made it back, a little late for our program with the A__ family. It was a good program because we met with them in the branch house. We finally got them to at least see the branch house if they haven't come to church yet. The beginning of the lesson they were super happy and they told us that they had had a miracle. András somehow got some extra money and they said they knew it was the Lord blessing them. We were super excited because we were thinking, perfect, they are that much closer to getting married. But they then said that they spent it on some other random things. And we were a little annoyed but we didn't try to show it. We asked then asked them about how the saving for the wedding was going and they both sort of avoided it and it was a little frustrating. I love them to death but it is starting to seem to me like the only reason they meet with us is to have someone tell them happy things. It just seems sometimes like they don't get the idea that they have to act even when we straight up tell them, you need to show God that you are willing to follow Him. You can't just expect blessings without working for them. But we'll see. We talked with them about fasting and are going to fast with them tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. That evening we met with Orsi, a branch member, so  I could practice the restoration and she helped us make sure we said all the things in the most understandable hungarian. It was super great. She is just a wonderful wonderful member.

cutest ice cream ever.

Friday was one heck of a day. So as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, we got a let in with a man named Sándor. We taught him the restoration and it went well. So we set up with him again. We messed up train times that morning. So we thought that the 10:35 train stopped on the kástélypark stop but instead it goes straight into déli and it was the 10:22 train we were supposed to take so we had to wait an hour til the next one came. We called him to make sure it would be okay that we were a little late and he said, "umm, yeah I think that will still be okay." So we finally got to the program and when we got there we were surprised to see that he had a friend there too, a beautiful, super rendes (translates to orderly, used like legit in america) lady named Aniko. Sándor asked us if we wanted a cappuccino, and we said we were okay, but he said are you sure? And we reassured him we were and then he asked why and we were like, well, we don't drink coffee. Then they started out asking us how our week was and so we told them about our zone training in budapest and how we talked a lot about the holy ghost, which translates to szentlélek. But they corrected us saying it is called the szent szelem. Basically the difference I guess between the two of them is that the szentlélek translates to holy soul or something and the szent szellem translates to holy ghost szellem literally meaning spirit. But in the church we usually use the szentlélek to mean holy ghost and so they were just a little annoyed by that. But we didn't take it as a big deal until sándor pulled out the restoration pamphlet we gave him and said he said he had read it but he wanted to clear up a few things. He opened it up and it was all underlined and there were scripture references from the bible written all in it. We then started to realize what they wanted to do. And so began the Bible Bash! Aniko spoke perfect english so she did a lot of the talking because sándor thought we couldn't understand. He started whipping out all these scriptures arguing about how there is only one scripture and how nobody has seen God and how you cannot add to or take away from the bible. Aniko had printed out two copies of the scriptures he was talking about in english too. We did our best to defend ourselves but not argue. But it was super intense. Sister Sholly said it was the most intense she has ever seen on her mission. It was kind of nice that Aniko was there because she would speak in english a lot so I could understand it better but it was really tough. Basically they were just telling us that everything we believe is blasphemy and that we are possessed by evil spirits telling us to believe these things. I was pretty fed up with it and I looked Aniko straight in the eyes and I told her that I have read both the bible and the book of mormon and when I read them I get the same feeling and that I have prayed about both, many times and I have gotten an answer that they are both the word of God. And I told her that I know that it was an answer from God because everything good comes from God and the feeling I got was a warm, peaceful, good feeling so I know it was from God and that I don't only believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he saw God but I have a testimony that has grown into a knowledge of these things. And that no matter what anyone may tell me, that it is wrong or I am being fooled that I know what I know and I cannot deny it because I cannot deny the Holy Ghost. And gosh, the spirit was strong in that moment and I could see tears in Anikos eyes, so I know that she recognized that I wasn't lying. But even after that they still had arguments. So I invited Aniko, because Sándor was past listening at this point, to read the book of mormon and pray about it, but only if she did so with an open heart because if she read it just looking for the mistakes she would be closing herself off from the Spirit. And she sort of said, okay I'll try. And sister sholly told her again, don't read it unless you really want to know. So she said a bit firmer yes, and then we asked if we could say a prayer. We prayed and aniko really liked it and then Sándor "blessed" us with the gift of discernment and sister sholly, with just the perfect amount of sass, said the same to you. And we headed out back to the train station. It was probably the most intense program I have ever been in. It was clear to see that they had been planning this since he first met with us.

Later that evening we went tracting and met this other interesting guy named István. He was interesting but turned out to be pretty cool. At first he said he only had a few minutes because his soccer match was starting in a few minutes but we ended up talking with him outside his house for a good half hour. We talked about everything from his children to the fact that he things God is just someone inside of our heads. He had some interesting ideas about God but he did believe in him and he said that years ago some swedish man gave him a book of mormon so that was interesting. About three fourths of the way through his wife opened the door and asked "why haven't you invited the girls in yet?". So we talked with her a bit too and she was super nice, she spoke a bit of english too because on of their daughters lived in san francisco. They seem cool, at least interesting so we're going to come back another time. 

huge bazilika on the pest side

 bazilika on the pest side

Saturday we had a program with a man from angol óra, named imre. He is 31 and is going to be leaving in a couple of weeks to work on a cruise ship in florida so he wanted to practice his english. We had planned on just doing half english and half talking about the book of mormon but when we got into the lesson we sort of just started all about the gospel and we both got the feeling to teach him the restoration. So we did and he seemed to really like it. We couldn't always tell but when we told him about the book of mormon and how we have to ask if it is true he told us that he already thinks it is true and that what we told him about prophets and joseph smith makes sense. We were super happy but we wanted to make sure he wasn't just saying that or anything but to make sure he really felt it. And so we told him about the holy ghost and how he needs to pray about it and he said he would. And I got the feeling that I should ask him about baptism, so I asked him if he got an answer about the book of mormon, that it was true, if he would prays about being baptized. He was hesitant. He said that he hadn't been baptized into the catholic church but that he was catholic and was waiting to be baptized until he was about 50. So I told him that if he got an answer that the book of mormon was true and that joseph smith was a prophet that I knew he would get an answer about baptism and when would be right to be baptized. It was really good and I have never experienced extending a commitment like that so it was cool. After that program we streeted around town a bit and found that there was a random fair in the middle of town and so we went through it and talked to some people and met this super sweet néni who made these beautiful beaded things. And we talked to a kind of crazy lady that we streeted a couple of weeks ago and gave her our number again, and talked to a couple of people about angol óra and it was good. 

Sunday was really good. We helped teach sunday school and young womens to the palmerék. I really feel like a big reason why we, as sisters are in this branch is to help Ali. She is just the coolest young women and so strong. She was having a really hard time this week and we talked with her a lot about why the book of mormon is so important. She goes to an evangelical school and so basically our bible bash program is what she goes through every day at school. We just talked with her a ton and it was so good to help her. I am really going to miss her when I get transferred out of Érd. 

Our neighbors that live behind us got a puppy. So we get to play with it whenever we take the back way out of our apartment. It is probably the cutest thing in the existence of ever. 

anyways that is about it for this week. I have my 6 months as a missionary mark on tuesday so we'll see how we figure out how to celebrate it. I love you all and hope you have a good week! 

Heath Nővér

Ronald Reagan!

after finding out we couldn't tour parliament.


George Washington monument in the middle of Budapest



jewish shoes memorial by the duna