Monday, September 7, 2015

FROM AUG 17, 2015:
It's SO FLIPPIN’ HOT HERE! However, the last two nights, lightning and thunder storms have included HUGE bursts of lightning that are SO bright and light up the room at night, and then five seconds later this huge, way loud pop and thunder. Kinda crazy. 

On Monday, we met with that family who stopped us on the street and talked to us. SO NICE--they made us dinner and were really nice to us. They I think they just want to be friends, but we gave them Book of Mormons and talked to them about it. One of the church members actually works the husband, and they love that member, so we want to meet with her too.  Not a coincidence!
We also have this elderly man investigator who is a Calvinist and speaks perfect English. He's super nice and is an Economist-- super cool.  We taught him the Restoration with Sister S. 

We watched the Joseph Smith movie with Á. and hope by next week he will be ready to decide a baptism date. And lots of tracting, which I’m not the hugest fan, but we found one or two people that seemed slightly interested, so maybe that'll work out. Although… WAY too many people are just openin their doors in their underwear! No thanks.

 SO remember the guy Sister J. and I talked to on the bench in Székesfehérvár? And he was super cool and basically taught us the Restoration? Well, he is scheduled to be baptized on the 29th of August...he asked that I be there, but it’s not possible, which I am sad about. Oh well. Missionary life. 

FROM AUG 24, 2015:
SO, big celebration of Hungarian Independence Day!  We watched the fireworks and went to this way cool festival complete with Hungarian crafts and people dressed in old Hungarian dress. SO COOL. Watching fireworks over the Duna? Yes!!

This week was crazy. We did two trainings, one in Buda and one in Dunaujváros, and I think they both went well. Everyone told us they really liked them!  We talked about finding, and focusing on the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. I have seen that people are a lot more receptive to this (it's unique and special, and believe it or not, lots of people believe they will live with their families after this life). Like I said to my comp.... we believe in, but don't have a monopoly on the Bible, but we have a monopoly on the Book of Mormon. J

We got caught in this HUGE storm and had to pack with a bunch of people on a bus, but one guy commented on our nametags (never happens) and we gave him a card. We met this Satan worshiper on the train, and he yelled at us for like 10 minutes—hahaha.  Once he got off,  everyone on the train just started laughing.  

Lately, there are TONS of refugees from  Syria and they are all packed in the train station with nowhere to go. It is just crazy!

We did splits and we actually went to Érd to help them in their area, and we found some people, so hopefull y that helps them out. We found this Gypsy family that was SUPER nice.

So we almost gave Á. a baptism date! He said he loves the "warm atmosphere" that is here :) I think he wants to get baptized too, so right now he is praying about September 26. Pray for him!!!!

One day this guy who spoke perfect English helped us on the bus and we met with him yesterday! He totally reminded me of J, and was also an Economics major. Now he works as a business analyst and has read the Bible like 4 times and also the Koran-- SO cool! He just feels like he wants answers, but when he reads these books he just gets more questions. He feels like there is something missing from the Bible. SO COOL teaching him the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon!! We testified that he can know the whole truth with these things. HE totally understood the Apostasy and the need for priesthood power and prophets; he even asked, "So are there prophets today?" After reading Moroni 10:3-5 with him, he responded, "So I need to read this book and pray about it?." So cool.

I love the BOOK OF MORMON! it is just the best book ever. I can literally FEEL such a difference between when I do and don't read it.

FROM AUG 31, 2015:
This week wasn't too eventful, other than we went to Eger, this really pretty city, to go on splits.  Anyway, I’m SO excited though because we got permission to go to Pest for pday today. Honestly, a lot of the cool stuff in Budapest is actually on the Pest side. So we planned it all out with my travel book and we’ll see some cool basilicas and synagogues.

We met with J., who is less active, and he talked about how, now that he has been reading and praying lately, and watching church videos, he is feeling the Spirit so much. It was cool. We can forget our spiritual experiences so we can't stop cultivating new ones.

We taught A., this young 19-year-old girl in English, about the Plan of Salvation. She had read Alma and really understood it. We focused a lot on the Savior and the Atonement, and I felt the Spirit strongly in that program. I have gained a strong testimony of the Atonement as I have taught it. Christ truly died for us, and I am so grateful for his sacrifice. She said the lesson answered her questions about what she should do when she does something wrong, so that was cool.

We tracted into this nice younger mom who let us in. She was cute, and talked to us for at least 30 minutes about communism and the economical-governmental state of Hungary. But we gave her a book of Mormon and got a word in edge wise to explain it.  She said we could for sure come back, and she is curious, so we'll see.

J. got baptized in Székesfehérvár!! It's so weird how similar his story is to R.'s story in Szeged! I found them both before the transfer, and was only able to teach the Restoration, but they were both so interested, so understanding, and so prepared! I don't know why I didn't have the opportunity to teach them all the way and I wish that I could have. But I got to call J., and he was happy and said he knew that I would've been there if I could. I hope they will stay strong! R. has the priesthood now and passes the sacrament, which I thought was cool. So again, I wish I could've had the opportunity, but in the end, THEY are the ones that did this for themselves. I feel like I do SO little as a missionary, because, if it's the right person, and if they actually want this and do stuff, it happens for them.

FROM SEPT 7, 2015:
 I know you all want to know about the refugee situation in Pest, but honestly, you know more than I do with the international news. I’ve seen a few newspapers and glimpses on random TVs, but not much else.

We're not supposed to go to the Kelet train station because that is where THOUSANDS of them have been and I guess there have been riots and way too many crowds.

But on Monday, p-day, we were in Pest by a different train station and I saw a refugee group that looked like a family. It broke my heart to see them sitting on the steps in their dirty clothes with nowhere to go. A Hungarian lady brought over a garbage bag and gave them baby wipes, and they began to wipe their arms and faces. I thought of them with nowhere to sleep and probably not much to eat, and the little kids wondering when they would be able to go home and I just wanted to cry. We had bought these huge bottles of water because it was so hot, so I gave my bottle to one of them and she nodded and smiled. I have seen so many Hungarians giving out food, walking around with garbage bags of supplies, and other things, and it has really made me love the Hungarians even more. At the end of the day, we saw memorial with of statues of shoes along the Danube commemorating the Jews who were shot into the river, and that contributed to the solemnness of the day.

But there were fun things in Pest, too.  We saw St. Stephen's basilica, the great synagogue, and another little synagogue where there was going to be a Jewish festival in the evening, so we got to hear the singers practice their songs, which was cool. We also saw hero's square and some other stuff. 

Other happier news: one time we went tracting and met this younger guy who studies religions.  He was Buddhist and quite open. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon, and he gladly accepted and was excited to read it and talk about it. We also met a younger girl who took out her headphones to talk to us (a big deal actually). She reads the Bible and goes to church, so she was also really interested. 

The Dunaújváros Sisters came up for splits and stayed Wednesday to Saturday morning because they had doctor appointments. So we literally went on splits with them for 3 days and I didn't get to meet with half of my investigators, including A. (But Sister D. said he's doing well and just needs more time before he gets baptized.) Also, we met this really sweet girl on the bus named E. and she is a “Jew for Jesus.” She walked home with us and was super interested. Sister D. was supposed to meet with her on splits, but got lost. So as I was walking with sister B. (from Duna), I saw this girl and thought, "Hmmm, I should meet with that girl," and then, I realized it was E.! Haha, funny how the spirit works, and we were able to help her find the branch house. 

I met with less active G., who has been coming to church lately! We'd planned to teach her tithing and when we got in there, we didn't say anything, but she just said "Well, i want to go to the temple, but I’m not a full tithe payer. But I’ve started paying a full tithe," and she basically taught herself about tithing. Wow, the Spirit really helped us out this week. 

Okay, so A., the economist.... he is SO COOL! Seriously, I think he is the COOLEST investigator ever! He again said he was so interested and curious. What’s more, he didn't google anything about the Mormons because he didn't want to get weird or untrue things, but things from the source itself! HE DIDN'T GOOGLE MORMONS—amazing. Who is this guy???  We brought a senior couple, the S.’s, with us to watch the Joseph Smith movie. Elder S. told about how he was inactive by the time he was 14, and in college, he only believed in science and thought religion was stupid. However, he felt like his life was really missing something, so he started reading the Book of Mormon and would always get answers to his questions, and went to church and found what he was missing. A. is one of those people whom  you know wants to know if this is really true! 

I feel bad that I was annoyed that we had to go on a 3 day split and that I have been ungrateful for my mission lately, simply focusing on the things I haven't seen or experienced. I’ve been thinking about all the refugees with no shelter or surety or promise of any part of their old lives back, and I have realized how many blessings we got this week (and every week and every day for that matter). I am so blessed. God helps me so much more than I deserve. The Spirit does everything. Literally. I am so slow to remember the Lord and so quick to rely on my own wants. And yet I make so many mistakes. God is good to us all. Please pray for the refugees and for my investigators. I LOVE YOU GUYS!