Tuesday, December 16, 2014


My new city is SZEGED. Okay. I LOVE IT HERE. Szeged is incredibly beautiful! First of all, we have a new beautiful branch house on Gutenberg Utca and it's the prettiest thing ever. But as for the rest of the city... there are opera houses, theater houses, cathedrals, statues, rivers, towers, everything!! So, because I was the worst at taking pictures last transfer, I think copious amounts of Szeged pictures will likely ensue.But seriously, this place is gorgeous. ESPECIALLY because it's ALL SET UP FOR CHRISTMAS! We went tabling one night, and all the lights in the belváros (downtown square area) including the huge Christmas tree all lit up! I freaked out—haha, it was super pretty. Today, before emailing, we checked out a bunch of the little Christmas fair shops.  I'll be honest; I would totally not mind spending another Christmas in Hungary. :) 
I'll be honest some more and say that I actually have kind of missed Pápa! I didn't think I would, but I just knew everything there! Like, EVERYTHING. I could find my way around super easily, knew all the town drunks, and obviously I miss the branch members. But I do love it here! Just give me like a week or two more and I'll be obsessed with it! Also, there's more to eat here than just döner, which is also a good thing, haha. 
I like my companions!! Sister C, as you know, and I had a religion class at BYU together, and she's really nice and a good missionary. I also really like Sister E- - she's from Salt Lake (East High) so we have a lot of mutual friends! It's cool because Sister E's dad is from Sweden, Carle's is from Scotland (or Ireland maybe?) and then all of our Mom's served missions, which is super cool. Trios are always a little more disorganized and crazy, but I like them. 
So. Angolora, English class, was super fun here with more people attending.  Also, Szeged is a college town! I'm actually emailing at the really cool University library as we speak! So there are TONS of young people, which is the opposite of Pápa - the city for retired old couples or really young children and FEW in between haha! Like I said, there is lots of art, statues, culture, and music here which I obviously love! I'm hoping one of these P-days we can go to an orchestra concert or art museum sometime. 
We also have investigators.. kinda cool, right? Haha! I really like our investigators!
There's L. who is this really funny, B., who came to the baptism, and I think he really liked it! He was there dressed all nice and just really excited to be there :)  The elders had a baptism on Saturday... the first baptism in the new branch house. It was really nice and the spirit was really strong. C. got baptized and I think he's like 20 or 21,super sweet and fluently speaks English. We, the missionaries, sang "Joseph Smith's first prayer" and the Spirit was so strong. I looked at how C. looked so happy :) He was sitting by his parents, who are not members, and just beaming. So sweet. N. also was at the baptism, and at church yesterday! All the branch members were really good about talking to everyone, which was super cool.

We had a program with our investigator Z., who is really close to baptism but is struggling with depression. C., a recent convert who is super awesome, came to our program and was really helpful. Z. asked what we can pray about, and C. was just like "anything!" and started giving examples of what we can pray about. Z. was so surprised, she was like "oh, I didn't know you could pray about anything!"

We also taught D., a girl whose mom is a really strong member, and she's really sweet, but I think, and really respect this, that she really wants to be a member for herself and not her mom. Church was good too; all the members are super sweet and nice. There's D.- - a Sister RM who went to Finland, a really cute family with little girls who played with my hair all during sacrament meeting, haha, and actually quite a good size group of priesthood holders! So that's cool - the mission correlation leader and branch president are both really young, but really nice and good at their jobs. I'm surprised at how many people know 'VanDenBerghe' is from Holland.

Also, remember B., the Christian girl from Pápa? Well, I really only talked to her about 2 times ever, but before I left, she gave the elders some gifts for me! She wrote me a suuuuuper sweet note and gave me a really cute Eiffel tower necklace and a handmade notebook! She is SO sweet! I'll never forget her!
I love Szeged and I lOVE MY MISSION!


I LOVE CHRISTMAS. Christmas finding should be fun! We already tried a little yesterday. We tried to go tracting with the Elders --- they would go around an apartment floor and knock on the doors, and then we would start singing carols. Ya... it did not work, haha! The first floor no one came out, the 2nd one person popped his head out and then shut the door, and then the 3rd some people said they were gonna call the cops on us if we didn't leave -_- So... we left and went caroling in the square by the Christmas tree, which was way better! It was actually really fun! And two of the elders went out talking to people... one lady was crying she was so touched by our singing! So that was really cool. AND I got to PLAY THE VIOLIN!! Elder N. has a reeeeeeaaaaallllllyyyy crappy violin some guy gave to him in Veszprém! But it was a violin none the less! So that was super fun. Hopefully we do more Christmas finding like that. 
Last week after emailing we went to the Dome Church... it's gorgeous (and free!)! It's super byzantine-style and just really pretty.... unfortunately a lot of stuff was covered up though because they're doing construction on it :/ look it up on google though! You guys'd like it. I love the Christmas market! So much cute Hungarian stuff! And, you wouldn't believe it considering I've been here in Hungary for almost 5 months... but i had my first lángos (fried dough with sour cream and cheese -- aka a heart attack waiting to happen haha.) So ya... i like Szeged ha! I think today we're going to go to the Egyptian museum! So that should be fun. 
The week was really good! People are very open here. My companions call me the finding angel-- haha! I just came from Pápa, where we had to find all the time, so I can just go up to and talk to a bunch of people on the street like it's no big deal. But trust me, I did not get to that point without a LOT of awkward situations, haha! I really had to push myself to talk to people, and to not be afraid and just speak. Obviously my language is better now, but I really had to pray a lot and really work hard to be more natural about finding. I talked to a lady on the street who we met with this morning actually. She was really sweet and thought it was crazy how us young foreigners could understand her, could "get" an older person like herself. I also streeted this guy who actually CAME to our program that I set up (that shocked me out of my mind)… but he would NOT come in the branch house! He made us reschedule because he was super self-conscious about his muddy boots, haha! We were like " It's seriously FINE!" but he would not do it (the branch house is SUPER nice). 
Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting, it was so sweet. So we're teaching M's family (M is 11 and just got baptized). He has the really cute sisters that always play with my hair. Anyway, the Mom and Grandma LOVE everything - Church, The Book of Mormon, everything, but the Mom's living with her boyfriend :/ and the Grandma thinks she's too old to be baptized :/ Anyway, in Sacrament meeting, M gets up with his mom and starts telling this story, but he got really emotional! It was so sweet! So his mom finished it for him: she kept saying "Jesus Christ was with us" because they had left a ton of money on a train and when they went back to get the money, it was still there.
We taught L. the 2nd 1/2 of Jesus Christ's Gospel. He is actually really attentive to everything and I think he really understands. We talked about baptism, and I told him to think about baptism and pray about it. He was like "well I can't do it tonight or tomorrow" and then at the end of the lesson, I asked him what his assignment was this week and he was like "Keresztelő!" "Baptism!" Haha!  Also, his wife's friend and her daughter were there, and they came in during the last part of the lesson when we were talking about baptism. We thought they were going to think we were really weird or something, but they were super nice, and they were like "next time you meet with L, come to our house to do it!" So basically they just referred themselves, haha!  
Our other investigators are also cool!
-Z is super sweet and likes everything, and she had a bap date, but she's struggling with some personal issues.
-N comes to church a lot and I think he likes everything, but he can't get over the fact that he doesn't see angels like the people in the Book of Mormon. We talked a lot about faith with him, but he kept asking questions we had already answered. 
-S is a young guy who is really sweet. He said the sweetest prayer for our program, and asked God to bless everyone that they would have a great Christmas :)

I have been listening to Handel's "For Unto us a Child is Born" on repeat, and getting ready for Christmas!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOHOO-- I LOVE CHRISTMAS! and I get to SKYPE you guys NEXT WEEK!

So we did free hot chocolate finding this week. It was SO fun!! I want to do that more.  We got like 6 phone numbers out of it so that was cool! One lady was like "Hm, i'm gonna try and come to Church on Sunday... I haven't tried this church yet!" She didn't come... but I got her contact info so all is well. I also talked to these 2 people, and one of them was (supposedly) really impressed with my Hungarian, even to the point of telling me "Magyar vagy" over and over (which means "you're Hungarian") and the other one was like, "oh, wow, ya, you do speak really well!" so that was a confidence booster for sure! 
Last week wasn't too packed with stuff... but this week we got a bunch of programs lined up so hopefully they all work out! also, Zone Conference in Buda on Thursday! So ya, this week’s goin to be good!
The other day we went tracting in uj szeged (new szeged) and it was freezing and dark and misty, but actually kind of cool! We tracted this really nice guy who spoke perfect English and was like "I'm really glad you guys are here. We need people like you here. Our morals are so low, and we need people to be telling us how to live well. Thanks for being here!" so that was super cool. It made up for the lady who kicked us out of her building, that's for sure! 
We taught the M’s family about the word of wisdom. M is so ugyes! Just like totally on top of answering all the questions and why things like cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol are bad for us. After, he had us play a game where you stand in a circle and pass someone a balloon and then you have to say nice things about that person. :) so sweet. 
Okay, so, we had been planning on giving L a bap. date, and so we'd been thinking and praying a lot about it. I was praying about it, and the thought of "January 25" popped into my head. Sister C was looking at the calender and was like "hm, I think January 25 would be good!" So that was super cool that we had both thought of the same day! Unfortunately, we didn't get to meet L at all this week :/ he wouldn't answer his phone! Which is SO unlike him! I hope everything’s okay, and we're gonna go knock on his door if worse comes to worse, haha! 
As for our other investigators i told you about
-we gave N to the Elders, because he just hasn't really been progressing with us
-didn't meet with S this week

-we did get a few new investigators though, because we had to go through our phone and call everyone, so hopefully stuff works out with them, and also a bunch of the people we've found in the past few days. 

Gosh. I love this missionary life. Love you all!!

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