Tuesday, March 17, 2015

FROM MARCH 2, 2015
As you can see from the photos, we went to Lake Balaton for P-day, which was quite pretty. This week was interesting and also kind of hard, but still good in some ways. We went up to Budapest for interviews with President and that was great especially to get encouragement  with our companionship and the work we're doing here.  We did get lost coming into Budapest, and also barely missed our train back to Székes because we were carrying this heavy box of Book of Mormons--but we ended up talking to a really nice woman on our other train.
Z. couldn't meet with us again this week :( We're supposed to be meeting with him tonight, but he hasn't been picking up his phone lately :( We hope things are okay! 
One of our English class members brought his girlfriend from Cyprus a couple weeks ago, and we were able to get her a Turkish Book of Mormon while we were in Budapest. It's like 1\2 as thick as the Hungarian Book of Mormon. #ohhungarian Also, remember B., the English class girl?  Well, she brought her boyfriend to our program! We taught the Restoration, and we asked him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. He said he'd read, but he did not want to pray. B. said she would do both, though! 
One of the Elders bore his testimony about the Book of Mormon for the spiritual thought in English class. Afterwards, one of the students asked me about the "Mormon Bible". So I gave him one and talked a little about it. He timidly asked, “May take this? I'll bring it back!"  "Trust me, buddy. It's yours! "  was more or less my response...
Another good experience: we had  a program about the Plan of Salvation, and I felt the Spirit so strongly as I bore my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Experiences like these really are what make missions. Also, we had a program with T.  The Sisters had met with a lot, but he wasn't super progressing. We were finally able to meet with him this week, and it was a good program, totally by the Spirit. He told his story about how he felt like he needed to go to English class and he didn't know why. It was snowing that day, and he just literally weathered the storm to go to English class because he knew he had to go! So we talked about the Spirit and how we can get answers. I asked about when he reads the Book of Mormon and prays about these things. If he came to know these things are true, I asked him, what he would do then, what the next step would be? He thought about it for a while, and then said "well, I guess baptism."
Some sad news. L. was taken off baptism date in Szeged. He said he doesn't have enough money to move out of his girlfriend’s house, and he doesn't have enough money to pay tithing.  I'm terribly sad. I hope the Sisters can help him with these things, and I'm praying my little heart out for him. I love him so much, and I just really hope things can work out for him.
Well, sorry, not too eventful of a week. Just know that I love you guys to DEATH!
Ülellek titeket (I hug all of you!)

FROM MARCH 8, 2015

It's getting warmer! Today especially has been warm and sunny so hopefully it keeps up! 

Not too eventful of a week. We saw a lady carrying just these HUGE bags of groceries, and no one was helping her, so we helped her and that felt good. We went to T.'s with K. (a member). I don't remember if I told you about him?  Hungarians can be pretty talkative, and he was no exception, but we somehow managed to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and he accepted to reading it. Then he had us sit on yoga mats on the floor while we listened to this collaboration of Jesus' sermons from the New Testament with meditation music in the background. Mom, you would have loved it!

Z. is doing well, other than the poor guy hurt his leg and is limping now :( But we had a good program about the Sabbath day and fasting, and we decided to fast with him to help him get off cigarettes. We also made him a little "box of cigarettes" with little paper cigarettes that have scriptures written on them and the box says "smoking forbidden! When you want to smoke, read these scriptures". Z. loved it :) We love him so much. He talked about how he thinks it's really great that we go and visit sick people and spoke about how a lot of people really don't like the Gs here (Gypsies... derogatory word so we say "G"), but he lived around some and really respects them. Z. wants to be a good person, and he is. He as a good heart and he thanks us for helping him. 

The Elders had a baptism on Saturday and it was really good! Z. came and I think he enjoyed it. The baptism was great and the spirit was strong. The Elders investigator (now member) was so cute--after his baptism, he just kept telling everyone "ujra születtem" "I was born again.” Oh, it was so great. 

We met Á. again, the one who has a really hard time because of her daughter’s and husband’s deaths. We taught her the plan of salvation, and she just kept saying like "I can't wait until I can see them again.” It was sweet. She is slow to accept commitments, but it's okay--everyone progresses at their own pace. 

We met B. and B. again (her bf) and we talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and why it has helped us in our lives. I love my investigators and I care about them a lot and pray for them constantly. But sometimes it feels like they're not progressing and it's just like pulling teeth to get them to do anything! But I know even the smallest ounce of trying is still trying! It's still showing God that we love him, and that we want to be better through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for this. 

MARCH 15, 2015

So yesterday, the 15th of March, Hungary celebrated it's (attempted) 1848 Revolution. Today, we went to Hungary's biggest war museum/memorial that celebrates this revolution, and basically every war Hungary fought in after that. It's about 20 minutess away from Székes, so that was really fun! The little boys would have LOVED it! They had tanks, soldier clothes, guns and flags, memorials, huge obelisk for 1848, and even a trench! Lots of celebration yesterday. Everyone wore a red-white-green ribbon pin, just like the political rebels would've in that time, fighting for Hungary's  People dressed up from the time period riding around on horses, and during church you could hear the gun shots and cannon-ball fires-- haha. The belváros had some shops set up, and a stage, where a bunch of high school - college age students were acting out the street rallies, where people would get up and yell out the poems of Petöfi Sándor and other famous Hungarian political poets or what have you. So that was cool! Also, Ice cream shops are opening up again. Despite the fact that it's cold enough to still wear coats, you bet we're getting our daily dosage of fagyi! 

This week was interesting. Lots of wind, lots of cancelled appointments. We met with B., one of our half English class--half Gospel investigators. It was cool-- he said, "I randomly opened up the Book of Mormon and read a really good chapter!" He opened up the Book of Mormon to Alma 32, and was like "I loved it! about the seed!" He said he believes the book of Mormon has truthfulness in it and also came to sacrament meeting, so that was super cool! He still says everything is just compleeeetely different than what he has been taught and what he believes, but hopefully the Spirit can help him navigate which direction he needs to go. Z. is, I think, doing fine, but he STILL hasn't come to church and hasn't been answering his phone :( 

We had a Zone Conference with Elder Patrick Kearon of the 70. It was really good! He told of how the sister missionaries taught him, and their mission president told them they were wasting their time with him! We talked about listening to our investigators, following the Spirit, all that good stuff that I've really been trying to work on more and more. (For example, we were doing some look ups the other day, and there is this less active member whom we have tried to contact for forever and she's never been home, but I said, "Hey, let’s try J." so we did and she was finally home!)  Anyway, Elder Kearon chose a few missionaries to have an interview with him afterwards, and I was one of them! It was super cool. So I'm really thankful for that experience. 

We also met with B. and B.. B. is the one who doesn't believe in God and didn't want to pray. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and talked about how God has helped us know the truth and be happier. B. said that it would be amazing to feel those things. He said he just doesn't have faith. We told him that it's okay--he needs to just try and pray, even if he doesn't believe anything's there. With time, it will come and he will feel God's presence. He said he'd think about it, and that he was just glad to be around such happy people. It was cool. 

So that was the week. As for my Szeged peeps: A. is getting baptized this week, and G. taught English class gave the spiritual thought, because the sisters were in Budapest! Also, remember that G family that I taught that was super legit?? So I guess the Sisters couldn't ever get a hold of them after that, but S., the wife, called the Elders and told them that she's been reading the Book of Mormon and wants to meet with the Sisters! She told them that her husband also really needs this spiritual guidance right now! Super cool. 

The transfer is almost over, in about 2 weeks! It's been a harder transfer in that we've just had a lot of disappointments. And I'm not excited for Sister Sholly to leave :(  She has been the best.  It's gone by SO fast, I hardly believe this was a whole transfer. 

Petöfi Sándor was quoted in the belváros, and in Church yesterday—totally fitting, Hungary's national poem. He said (in Hungarian it sounds much prettier, but for your sakes, here's the English): 

 On your feet, Magyar ('Magyar' means 'Hungarian'), the homeland calls!
The time is here, now or never!
Shall we be slaves or free?
This is the question, choose your answer!  
By the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

There's more to it, but that's the best part. I know that we are free to choose captivity or death from the devil, or we are free to choose life and happiness from God. I'm grateful for this agency. I'm grateful to God for the freedom that the Gospel brings. I love you all.