It was SO amazing to skype with you all! Definitely the BEST Christmas gift. After skyping you guys, we played some card games with the Elders in the branch house, then went home and made some American brownies which we ate with vanilla ice cream. DIVINE. Now my comps are skyping at different members' houses.
This Christmas week was crazy and wonderful:
We extended a baptismal date for L. for January 25th. He said yes! I really hope it can all work out... we'll see. I'm a little worried for the law of tithing, which seems like it would be hard for him. L. actually brought one of his friends to one of our programs! And then his friend came to Church and was like "that was the most beautiful mass I've ever been to!" haha! So one more hurrah for investigators that give you referrals.
we taught Szabolcs and he was so sweet. He was like "I have a question, it's kind of weird.... I love my dog a lot. Will I be able to see him in Heaven?" It was so sweet. We were like "Honestly, we don't know for sure, but I really think so!"
We did more caroling finding! I got to play the violin too! So fun.
On Tuesday, we ate at a member's and I literally thought I was going to die from so. much. Food: fish soup, fruit soup, stuffed cabbage, pork chops, pörkölt over potatoes, and chocolate cake. Ya. He just kept bringing out plates and plates.
Yesterday was one of the best Christmas Eves ever! We went to a member’s house and it was SO fun! We ate fish soup and this Hungarian version of cordon blue and played a bunch of games, it was so great.
Sunday was also really great. We had a Christmas concert thing with missionaries and some ward members singing Christmas songs, and it was really beautiful. I looked out at Z. in the congregation and saw her crying, it was a really, really touching moment. We sang Csendes Ej (silent night) as our last song with the congregation, and i just looked around at all the branch members and Z. and L. and felt so much love.
Christmas Zone conference was wonderful. We had a white elephant exchange and watched a slideshow of the mission, so that was super fun. The trainings were excellent, with the zone leaders giving this really good training about humility. I have been so humbled during my mission - trying to speak this language, to teach this people, or to even get people to listen to me. But it's made me trust in God so much, more than I ever have in my life. And he has helped me more than I deserve, constantly turning my weaknesses into strengths.
I just want you all to know how grateful I am for the Savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives, and that God truly sent His Son for us because He loves us. Jesus Christ truly is the greatest gift. I have loved being able to show the Churche’s video to my investigators, and especially to be able to bear my testimony of the Savior so much this season. I love him, and I love you all. kellemes ünnepeket.
FROM DEC 30:
Transfer news: I'M STAYING IN SZEGED!!!! Phew! With Sister E.... and Sister C. is leaving. I was SOOO scared that I would have to leave Szeged and I did NOT want that! So I am SO happy I'm staying here! Especially because lately, our work has just really started to move forward. I thought it was going to be hard to do things after Christmas, and to an extent it is because a lot of people can't meet yet. BUT we have just been finding tons of people which is super cool! Basically I haven't really gone tracting in Szeged yet because streeting has been working so well here. The other day, we basically just streeted for 4 hours straight, which was FREEZING cuz it SNOWED (woohoo!) but also super successful. So that was good. Honestly, Christmas was hard to be without you guys, but it felt so good to be at such a kind member’s house on Christmas. And even though it felt good to have a little break, it felt even better to just be a missionary again! The past few days, we've just been pumpin’ out work and it's what really makes me so happy! I don't know how to explain it.... talking to people on the street for 4 hours in the bitter Hungarian cold of winter doesn't seem like it would bring someone that much joy... but it does to me. It was so cute—I met this lady and she spoke perfect English, and we talked about Cathedrals and how beautiful they are, and she just had this cute little voice that sounded like Snow White. We bonded over our love for Notre Dame and Prague and all that good stuff. So there you go - art history DOES pay off! Haha! Hopefully you hear more about her in the future... we should be meeting soon! The only dumb thing is that Hungarian phone numbers are so unreliable and people don't pay for their phones sometimes, so it can be really hard to get a hold of people :( but, you know, faith.
We've also had some super great programs lately! We taught L. tithing. I was pretty nervous for this program... but it went really well! We had a member present, and he did such a good job explaining what tithing is, why we have it, and the blessings we get from it. L. was really receptive! He was like "Ya, cuz you have to pay for the lights, for the floors, and the windows" and all this stuff. It was cute :) He said he would live the law of Tithing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I love him. It's really amazing to see how much God has been helping L. prepare for baptism. Out of the blue, he told us that he left his girlfriend whom he had been living with, and he was going to have to find some place to live. And later he told us that someone called him to tell him that, when his mom dies, he gets her house! I know that is God helping him and I am so grateful for that.
We also taught K. and B. They're a couple, and K.'s sister is a missionary in Washington, the only member in her family. It's cool how we found them... K.'s number was in our phone, so we called him and set up. The sad thing is, both of them will be leaving to live in Dublin, Ireland :( But, one of the other missionaries from this branch is actually serving in Dublin right now! So that would be super cool if they could meet still! Anyway, we teach them 1/2 English and 1/2 about the Gospel. For the Gospel part, we watched the Restoration video, and it's actually the first time I've showed it to an investigator. Anyway, I felt the Spirit really strongly as we were watching it. After, I bore my testimony of how I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet. As I said those words, "I truly know Joseph Smith was a Prophet,” tears welled up in my eyes and I felt the Spirit strongly testifying of these things. I told them I know this because I prayed and REALLY wanted to know. And that they can know these things for themselves too, if they also pray with a sincere heart to know the truth, because God always answers to those who seek. And, I don't know, there was just something in their eyes that seemed like they also knew, too, that what I was saying was true. So that was a really great program, and, even though they will soon be in Ireland, I hope they can continue to meet with the missionaries there, and that they really WILL try to know for themselves.
Also another miracle... our water heater got fixed!!!! so now we aren't freezing in our apartment! Woohoo! Haha!
Finally, a really meaningful part of the week: we went to mass with one of the Elders’ investigators and it was really good! The priest gave a beautiful talk about loving each other. He told a story of a woman who was a teacher, and one of her young student’s mother died. The teacher realized she needed to then teach with love. The student grew up to be a very successful student and doctor, because of the example of the teacher. I really liked the hymns we sang, and at the end of the mass, the organist played what I'm pretty sure was a Handel sonata or something? I don't know what it's called, but it's a pretty famous organ piece. So as that was playing, we looked at all the stained glass and nativity poster, and afterward we met the Pastor, so that was just a really nice experience. It was also really touching to see all the nénis devoutly kneeling and saying the prayers and singing. It made me grateful that they love God so much and want to have a relationship with him.
OH! Okay, you guys HAVE to look this up on youtube: Meglátjátok-e azt a csillagot It's the video of the Christmas program that we did!! You can just skip to the parts of us... but watch it! Köszönöm :)