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

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