Tuesday, November 4, 2014

FROM OCT 27, 2014
This week was good—or maybe just not that bad! I don't want you all to think I'm just like dying out here tracting 24/7 haha! Honestly, Heavenly Father has just been blessing me to not get down on things easily; it has been such a blessing to me. I'm just grateful for the little things and get really excited about little things. Like our favorite pékség opened up again this week!! Nutella croissants here we come.... and it's COLD AND GREY AND STORMY NOW!!! My absolute FAVORITE weather!! It has made it feel like a new Pápa, so I guess that's why I'm excited about it :)
So this week was interesting because Sister S was sick, so I did more splits with the senior sisters. When I go with them, I always seem to find the sweetest old couples, and we got let in by another couple that was actually probably my favorite this time (although they wouldn't turn off the T.V. :(  ).  The husband was taking a lot of shots at us, with the wife trying to be nice.  Finally, the husband was like, "Okay, teach us something!" Haha! So I went into prophets and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. The husband was looking at the pictures in it, and the wife was like "It's cold out so it's perfect reading weather - I will read it!" So they were sweet about that, and it felt good to be able to just really testify about what we believe in, even in a short amount of time. Again, they weren't interested in having us come back :( But they were so sweet, and the women just kept saying "I respect you guys a lot. You are doing a great thing and being so respectful and nice and happy". So it actually did feel really good to kind of get some uplift-ment from a Hungarian. So she is now my new favorite Hungarian :)
Wednesday we did a little Halloween party for kids at the Disabled School. It was SOOOO great. My camera died though :(((  It was super fun--we played the donut-on-the-string game with them, did face painting, and played some other games with them. They did a little "fashion show" while they showed off their costumes while dancing to Michael Jackson, so that was super great! One of my favorite things I have done thus far. 
Saddest part of the week: we told S. that we could still be friends, but that we’d stop giving him the discussions. That was actually a LOT harder for me than I thought it was going to be. We had a lesson with him at the branch house, and just kind of told him that he hasn't been progressing or trying to know these things for himself. He thinks that Christ did not establish his "church" on the earth, but rather just Christianity. We told him that, as missionaries, we aren't just here to have a cultural experience, or to get to know people and try and just have insightful discussions. We're here because we KNOW this Church is the true Church on this earth, and we are here to share that with the people of Hungary. It felt good to really be able to testify of that, and I truly know that's why I am here. But it was still hard to say "we can't meet for progams anymore".  I will forever have engrained in my mind the image of him walking away from the branch house, walking away from the Gospel in his little hat and backpack.

Later that night, for the first time on my mission, I cried. I cried and cried thinking about how much I love S. and wanted this so badly for him. But he didn't want it for himself. In some ways, and I know this isn't true, but I was feeling like I had kind of failed a little bit as a missionary. I know it's not my responsibility if he didn't want to accept the Gospel, but I still felt so bad. In a lot of ways, it didn't feel like anything would be really wrong with just meeting with him and talking to him, especially because we don't have any other investigators and he's just this lonely old man. But pretending that he wanted the missionary lessons wasn’t the right thing to do. Still-- that didn't make it any less sad. Not even necessarily disappointing, because I knew we were going to have to do it eventually, but sad none the less. So I was just feeling pretty sad about the whole Sándor thing, and just decided to read the account of the First Vision in Joseph Smith History. As I read that, I felt the Spirit so strongly. I know that Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. I know we can all know this for ourselves, but we can only know if we have a DESIRE to know, and if we put in the EFFORT to know. S, unfortunately, didn't do these things, but it doesn't make the Gospel any less true. 

So basically that was my week! I can't explain to you guys how much I really do love being a missionary, and I really do love this country and this language even if it is crazy. And I love this Gospel, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know I am here to testify of him and his TRUE, Restored Gospel, restored the the TRUE prophet Joseph Smith. And I LOVE you all SOOOO much :)

FROM NOV 3, 2014
Boldog Halloween kivánok nektek! 
I hope you all had a great Halloween (from the looks of it, you did!) In Hungary, on November 1st they celebrate "Hallotok Napja" or Day of the Dead, where they decorate the graves of the deceased with lamps and flowers. It's quite pretty; I ‘ll send you some from my huge mass of pictures.

I actually DID have a Halloween :) We had a party for our branch and it turned out really great! We did the donut-without-hands game, toilet paper mummy game, face painting, fishing for prizes! So it was really fun and I think everyone had a good time! 

Other than that, I have to say, not too much happened! The senior sister and I went tracting together again, but unfortunately, no cute old couples. Just this lady that told us we had to leave the building immediately or she would call the rendörség (police) if we didn't get out of her building right that second. Okayyyy then. 

Also, this morning we met with a women we streeted, and she was really nice and really interested in the Book of Mormon! She was like "Oh, I get it, Mormon was a prophet, right?" and she just seemed really understanding and open, it was really cool! She thanked us for bringing her the Book of Mormon, and, if my understanding is correct, said that she was grateful for God's Spirit that led us to her on the street and talking to her! I hope things can work out with her! I don't want to get my hopes too up; after all, we finally saw our miracle lady on the street after trying to contact her for weeks, and she just kind of said a low "sziasztok" and quickly crossed the street :(  But megyünk tovább!!

We also got a lesson with a nice old couple that had an old translation of the Book of Mormon, and we met a lady on the street who was super excited about us bringing a Book of Mormon to her, so I agree with Christian, the Book of Mormon is SUCH a powerful tool! This morning I was reading Ether 12 (one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon) and Moroni talks about how he is worried for the Gentiles and he doesn't want them to reject the words because of the "awkwardness of hands" or because of the imperfections of man in the Book of Mormon. But he says that FAITH is the only thing that matters, that he has faith that the Gentiles will accept the word and will accept Jesus Christ. I related to that so much!! I’m just a little 19 year old girl. I haven't had too much life experience and here I am trying to extend the Gospel in Hungarian to Hungarians. I don't know why God trusts me to do that, especially in my "awkwardness" of speaking, but he does. I need to have faith that his children that need his Gospel WILL get it that need to get it (in some way or another) through me (or rather, through the Spirit through me). I may not make sense all the time, but that doesn't matter-- the Spirit speaks to everyone in their own way. And maybe my source of bringing people unto Christ doesn't mean that I see many baptisms, or even any, but I trust that God loves his children enough that he isn't going to let my mistakes fail them. 

Oh! also... some funny tabling stories:
So we've been doing a lot of Book of Mormon tabling lately
-one lady wanted to buy our Bible, and we said we just give free Book of Mormons, so she wanted like 4 to send to her grandkids as Christmas gifts--haha
-several people came up to us and just asked us really weird questions about the ages of people and things in the Bible, like "If you know about the Bible, why don't you know how old Moses was when this happened?" 

I love you all so much and am thankful for your examples to me! I am thankful for this Gospel, and for the big role that Faith plays in it - knowing that we don't need to have a "perfect knowledge" of everything to partake of Christ's goodness and mercy.

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