Friday, October 23, 2015

FROM OCT 6, 2015
Oh. My. Goodness. This week. I can't even describe it. Everything fell into our laps. It was so incredible and miraculous I can't explain. It was just really good :)

SO... for my last transfer, I found out I’m staying in Buda and getting Sister L. to be my Sister Training Leader companion, and Sister D. is leaving to train in Szeged! This transfer went by SOOO fast-- it literally flew :(    Ahhh, I can't leave my mission!! Make it stop!

On P-day, we went to Esztergom, a beautiful city with a huge basilica. You climb a million steps (it's kind of like St. Peter's in Rome) and overlook the river crossing into Szlovakia. Gorgeous. 

Sister D. and I were tracting one day and we talked with this Ukrainian néni that had the cutest, thickest Russian accent. She said,  "Let me get my friend; we usually pray together." So she goes next door and gets this late 20s girl, haha, and we all go in the néni's  home and we taught about the BoM and gave them each one. Then we each said a prayer, with the néni saying the Lord's prayer. Then, she gave us Ukrainian candy.  :)

We had so many amazing programs this week! We finished teaching A. and her cute family the Plan of Salvation. We asked them why they'd want to live with their families forever. H. said it would be really boring without them :) A. said she'd like to have more time with her kids, and M. said because he loves them.  A. said the closing prayer and thanked God for bringing the Nővérek and this religion to them.

Before E.'s program, she looked really tired and kind of down. She hadn't read, so we read 3 Nephi 11 with her and by the end she was smiling and happy. 

We met with R., the photographer we tracted into. He literally said "You know, the only reason I came back is because last time, I was really touched by something. I just felt something and that's why I didn't say that I don't have time or something." It was awesome-- no one has ever said that before! He had read Alma 32 that we gave him and said that it was really new, different, and confusing. But he literally said that, even though it was hard to understand, the good feeling just "cancels it out!” It didn't even matter to him that it was confusing and different because of the good feeling he had! He said the prayer and asked if all week he could feel the good feeling he was feeling right then.

General conference was really good! I liked Elder Lawerence's talk about how the Spirit can help us find ways to improve one step at a time. Á. said he probably couldn't come to any of the sessions, so we were sad, but he came to priesthood! He took notes and said the messages were really powerful. A. and E. came to the Sunday morning session and E. also took notes and loved that they talked about following God even when the world doesn't. 

We met with Á. twice and the first time he recapped his prayer and scripture experience, saying it was the most pleasant feeling and that he couldn't describe it, like light was surrounding him. He noted that the prayer is what made the scripture reading so meaningful: he called it a "package deal" :) Last night, we met with him and talked about baptism. The Spirit was really strong, especially as he said the closing prayer. After the prayer, we all sat there for a minute in silence-- the Spirit was so powerful. We again asked that, if he feels ready by October 31st, if he would be baptized. He said "I'm planning on it.” He is really amazing. 

I don't really want to think about the fact that this is my last transfer. I can't leave this place. I can't leave the néni-s (even if they yell at you sometimes :) and I can't leave the members. I can't leave the big ugly Communist ten-story buildings that follow you everywhere, and I can't leave the investigators. My heart is going to break into a million pieces when I leave. But for now... here's to my last transfer here in Magyarország!!! 

FROM OCT 12, 2015
Hey guys! My new companion is cool-- she is half Finnish, and we actually met some Finnish members while tabling, so that was cool! Her dad is from Finland, but he grew up in Australia. She has lived all over the place for her dad’s work, including Beijing, Mexico City, etc. She's 26 and graduated from BYU in linguistics and worked in Texas most recently, so she's amazing! 

Things are good. Á. is doing well, so busy and has been sick so we haven't been able to meet with him as much as I would like. We may have to push the baptism a few weeks for this reason, but he's doing well. 

E. is also doing well, but is still into believing in everything. We really focused on Joseph Smith restoring the priesthood power to the earth and why that is so important because we can only make these covenants with God if it is through someone that holds this priesthood authority. 

We were able to finally meet with economist A. again and talked about the plan of Salvation and it was really good. We talked about how a good father lets his children live and learn and make mistakes, just like our Heavenly Father. 

We also  tracted into an Indian-Hindu guy, so that was cool. But how do you even start teaching or talking with someone who doesn't really have much of a knowledge of Jesus Christ? Still, it was good, and we talked about God and his plan for us and Jesus Christ and I really felt the Spirit as we did so. He wasn't really interested, but it was still a cool experience.  Another cool thing that happened: a girl saw us struggling with our luggage, so she ran up to help us. We talked with her and got her number.

FROM OCT 19, 2015 
Hey guys, no time this week!  We went on splits in the beautiful city of Veszprém and I got to be with my greenie again, Sister J. Oh, I love her SO much!

Everything is good…my investigators are just suuuuper busy and can never meet :(  But they're good.   We were able to do the stop smoking program with the less active G. and she said she loved it! Although, halfway through the week we called her and she said she was still using the synthetic pipe that she doesn't think is bad for you at all---but she stopped using it, so apparently the program worked!

Basically no new news... We were able to meet with Á. twice this week! He is doing well! We moved his date to the 7th or 14th of November, just to give us time to teach everything, so he is deciding which one he wants right now. He came to both sacrament and Sunday School, so that was good, not just sacrament. That's his biggest struggle, I think, is the coming to all three hours of church. But we taught the Sabbath day and he was like "Ya, there needs to be a day to rest ourselves spiritually". He has been reading the BoM and also listening to the conference talks he missed. We also taught him about tithing, and then in church the next day, a member gave a really in-depth talk about tithing! Haha! So that was cool. When we asked why God would give us the commandment to pay tithing, he responded thoughtfully:  "Well, on one hand, to practice our faith" (or something along those lines) "and on the other hand, for the ecclesiastical matters" (or something).  Oh, Á. is so great.

And a final random side not: Do you guys remember the family I taught in Szeged? With the son who is baptized and the little girls? Anyway, the Grandma, M., apparently got baptized a couple of weeks ago! Just thought I'd share that.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

FROM SEPT. 14, 2015:
So this week tried my patience, but it ended up being good, actually. 

We went on splits in Nyíregyháza, this cute city that I like. I went with Sister C. (my old comp from the Szeged trio and BYU classmate) and Sister J.-- they are both fun and happy and not annoying, haha :) We gave some BOMs, found some people, the usual. We met with a gypsy girl in a bathroom where she works taking money--we explained the Book of Mormon with the pictures.... in a bathroom... I love it. 

B. basically dropped us by telling us that she doesn't think religion is important. We talked about how the Book of Mormon can help us know that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. But she basically said that that wasn't important to her. Okay then....that was disappointing.

Thursday and Friday, we had a program with B. that got kind of off topic, but he came to church on Sunday.  Then we took A. to a concert-fireside.  When I looked at him as the performer was speaking, there were tears in his eyes and he wiped some away. Afterward Á. said that he really liked it and that the speaker had a lot of "magic." I love the way he describes things. 

Also on Friday, we got néni-ed. One Gypsi néni that we tracted into told us that our church just says we believe in the Bible so that other people will listen to us. We were like "No-- we believe in the Bible!" To which she responded, “No, you don’t, girls!” So annoying. Then, we met less-active G. and we brought a member and G.'s friend was there, so things tended to get off topic, but we want to help G. and especially help her quit smoking.

I LOVE E.!  She read 2nd Nephi 2 that we'd assigned her and loved it! She even shared a scripture from it that she liked, and she loved the Plan of Salvation! You can seriously tell about her that she loves God and Jesus Christ so much. 

So one day, we streeted this Romanian girl and gave her a Book of Mormon. On Sunday,  she came to church. What the heck!! It was so cool! And she stayed for Sunday school!! So it was SO cool............... and she literally moved back to Romania that very day. STORY of my LIFE! But hopefully the Romanian missionaries can meet with her.....


FROM SEPT. 21, 2015:
Good week!  It started on P-day when we went to a park with all the old Soviet statues that were torn down in Hungary after the 80s. It was so fun and really cool. All that's left of the huge Stalin statue is his boots: “Stalin’s Boots,” it’s now called. 

We went to Érd to go on splits and did some tracting, talking to a Jehovah's Witness who took a Book of Mormon from us and said she'd be interested in meeting. We went to Érd's family night and played Uno with the 3 members that were there. I felt so much love for them--it was really nice. 

Sadly, neither Á. nor economist B. could meet this week :( But Á. came to church again and  I think he's doing really well! 

We've been seeing the fruits of our tracting efforts. Remember the young mom who let us in? Well, we met with her and her 2 kids - they were so cute! And they were showing us their workbooks for their Bible classes at school--super cute. A. (the mom) had read 2nd Nephi 2, the chapter we gave her when first giving her the BoM. We taught them the first part of the Plan of Salvation, and I felt the Spirit so strongly as we taught, especially about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I think that is my favorite thing to teach. We taught a real family!!!! That is SO rare here in Hungary, Pray for them.

Also, remember the other guy who let us in tracting, the photographer? The one who said he is interested in other religions? We taught him about the Restoration and watched the Joseph Smith film. He liked it a lot (mostly for cinemagraphic reasons, haha), but he was interested and had good questions. 

One day,  we got a call from a girl speaking English saying she had been in contact with the Mormons but she had moved and was now back, and she wanted to meet that day. So we did-- turns out she's from Ukraine and she had met with Sisters for a long time. So I guess we'll see where things go with her. 

E. Is. AMAZING. She is so incredible - her love for God and Jesus Christ is so strong. I want to be like her. We had the BEST program with her - one of the best, if not the best of my whole mission! She had read her assigned chapter of 2 Nephi 31 and loved it. She asked what baptism under the water symbolizes and we explained washing away, or burying our sins and old life and coming out of the water as a clean, new person ready to follow Jesus Christ. She also asked about the "baptism of fire" and so we explained the gift of the Holy Ghost and having that special feeling with us. She said she feels peaceful and warm when she prays, and that she wants to be clean from sin. We taught her the Restoration and she loved it. So we asked her what she'd think if there were a prophet on earth today and she said, "That would be so great!
We need guidance in this life and we need help for our families too." When we asked her to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, she said she doesn't know if the Book of Mormon is true yet, but what she has read she feels has truth. She said that as we were talking about Joseph Smith and when he "had the Revelation" (the First Vision), she felt that it was true. And I felt the Spirit as she said that. It was so cool. She is amazing! She said she feels God sent us to her. She can't come to church because she works, but she is already praying about getting a new job. I love her.

Ahhhh-- I love my investigators!! They are so genuine. I love being a missionary. It's the life. 

FROM SEPT 28, 2015: 
Hey so this week was pretty meh... but it ended up okay. 

We went to Visegrád last P-day - a beautiful castle on a bunch of hills overlooking a river.

E. is doing well.... we watched the Joseph Smith movie with her. The thing is... she kind of believes in everything - like all religions. Awkward. She talked about how she wants to get baptized into a church, but she doesn't like rules or commandments and she doesn't want to stick to a set of beliefs. She wants to believe in everything. She likes the BoM but she apparently finds things in it that she doesn't think are true. So I think right now we will focus on gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Priesthood authority. 

We went tabling again, something I haven't done in a while and I forgot how much I love it! (Mom - I talked to a Brazilian girl! She was really nice and open—I can see why you love your Brazilians.

While tracting, we literally got kicked out of 4 buildings. Okay, well Sister D. did (she was on splits and they got kicked out of two), but all together got kicked out of 4. One lady opened the door, and immediately started yelling us to go away, leave, the door is at the end of the stairs. She was literally pushing and grabbing and shoving my companion. We weren't mean, but we told her she needed to stop and that she can't touch us. We just went down a level and kept tracting. We had finished the last door and she came down the stairs yelling at us and literally grabbing and pushing us out the door. It was so annoying. But then we went to the next building and talked to this néni who had been through all these terrible things during WWII and during the Soviet occupation. We told her why we were here, and she literally started crying she was so grateful that we would do this. It was a drastic comparison between the two nénis.
We had a zone Conference and Sister D. and I gave a training about how to focus our teaching more on baptism and how to more successfully give baptismal dates. I feel like I have NO credibility on this subject.... actually I feel I have no credibilty in any case! I have no idea why I'm a Sister Training leader, but whatever. 

B. stayed for all 3 hours of church! That was awesome! Á. also came, but he always has to leave after sacrament meeting.

With Á., we went over the Plan of Salvation because he was still hung up on the "being-resurrected-to-physical-bodies" thing. It was still really weird to him. We'd given him Alma 41 to read. During the program, I felt impressed to get him to really pray about the Book of Mormon, even though he wants to study it more before doing so. I talked about how he can ask God about whether or not we'll be resurrected into physical bodies. We encouraged him to read every day, and pray before reading. Later, he texted us saying he re-read the chapters and prayed and that it "lit him up so much"-- haha! It was adorable. We asked him about it at church and he said he couldn't explain what he felt... he just couldn't describe the experience. I was like "You felt really good?" and he said,  "Ya!" He's the best. I know what you're all expecting me to say... and I'm gonna say it... PRAYER WORKS! Haha THAT, my friends, is the TRUTH!