Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 20, 2014

Hello, all! Hopefully things are going well at home! You guys are in my prayers, although it sounds like things are starting to slow down, so maybe you don't need my prayers anymore, haha. Just let me know. 

Wow, we had a great week. I can't believe my stay in Budapest is over! Today, we got our transfer calls, and I will go to a city in the West called Győr! It's right by my 2nd area, Pápa. I've spent a lot of time there already, and it's super pretty and full of awesome people, so I know that it will be just the most wonderful time. My new companion will be Elder Thomas, who actually went to high school with Elder Dellenbach, haha. Thomas is from the group younger than me, so I already know him pretty well from the MTC. 
We will actually have a car in the companionship, and since I don't have a licence (and can't get one at this point), I don't have to drive... ever!
Well, since I've been here for 6 months now, it's kind of hard to part from some people. Of course, I'm a missionary, and so I'm used to it. Some of our investigators and other friends who have gotten used to us think it's hard to part with all the missionaries who are coming and going. Elder Dellenbach is staying here, and is going to be the same age as his new companion, which means that he's growing up! So we are proud of him as well. He's a fine young man and will get the work going really well here.
This week was pretty crazy. We had a ton of new people who agreed to meet with us, but most of them didn't show up, or chickened out at the last second or something. Either way, we still got to convince like 5 people to meet with us again! 
One guy we met with was a little drunk when we showed up... it was like 10 am, but most everyone else was very sober and willing to listen. Only one of our investigators laughed at us for believing in what we believe, so it was a good break, I guess, haha.
We had some suuuper cool stuff going on too- some BYU Orchestra came to town and played an amazing concert in a really nice concert hall place, then had a fireside on another day. We were able to go to both, and they were awesome! One of the people came here on her mission- she was in my district during my first transfer, and her last one. I was suprised that she remembered me, but... I guess you can't forget a face like mine, huh?
We also got to go to a wedding for a good friend of mine from Miskolc (my last area) and our ward mission leader! It was awesome! I'm super happy for them!
Some kid during a zone meeting changed into a dress for a special spiritual thought... they called it a "laughing tip." Then he just wore the dress for the rest of the meeting. Funny things.
Well, one thing that I love is when someone comes to church for the first time. Maybe it's out of curiosity, or maybe they are seriously looking for a new place to belong, but I love seeing people take that first step of faith to try a new experience. For me, seeing someone walk into the branch house door for the first time is so exciting! We have been able to get a few people over the last week to start coming to church, and it's been awesome! I'm so proud of our investigators! 
Right now, I'm really sad that I have to leave Buda. The work has been slowly improving over the last few weeks, and now it's starting to pick up a lot more. I don't know how much of that was me, but it feels so good to be able to be a part of it. Another thing that is sad is that a lot of my friends are going home this week ... I think we have like 17 people going home, a lot of whom I served with or around. It's weird to think that I am as old as they were when I first came to Buda. 6 months!

Well, that's the end of another good week. Hopefully yours was good too! 
Elder mitch
1. Wandering by the Duna river
2. At the concert! 

3. "Neighborhood garage sales"

4. The best views I could find of the wedding

5. Farewell gifts!

6. Watching church history movies at night

7. District breakfast while waiting for transfer calls

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 5, 2014

Dear Family,
We had quite a week. 
We were able to talk to quite a few people who were pretty interested in hearing about the Church. One really cool experience was a couple that we tracted into. They let us in and we talked for about an hour. They don't believe in God, but were willing to listen to us. The husband said, "I'll be honest guys, I normally hate it when religious people come knocking on our door, but I let you in because I felt something different." We talked to them a little about the Book of Mormon, and they gave us their number so we could talk about meeting again sometime.
Unfortunately, they told us yesterday when we called that they will be really busy "until August," which probably means that they don't really want to meet anymore, but it was still a special experience for me because I've never had anyone say that they let us in because they felt something different, especially someone who doesn't even believe in God. 
But we did find a few more people to set up with for later this week or next. 

Also this week, we were able to go do splits in my greenie area of Érd again! This time, we both went over there to work, so I went with a greenie. It was super cool, because the only people we taught that day were people who I taught in my first couple weeks in the country! We also got lost like 3 times, so it was an interesting day, but I'm always glad to see my old home town again! 

The best news was that we had the baptism! It was awesome! Elder Driggs, my last companion came back and taught him. Szilvia asked me to choose everything for the baptism, so I also had myself give an opening talk about baptism and a member give a talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, but for some reason, they told her to talk about baptism, so I had to do the other one. I got really nervous, especially since that's what I talked about at Balázs's and it went really bad. But I went up there and my talk went well, and I was told that it went much better than the last one, haha. Maybe the Holy Ghost helped me talk about Him this time, haha. 

Love you all! Have a good week!
Elder Young
PS. The computer here isn't working very well, so I can't get any pictures out to you! :( maybe another time... haha.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April 28, 2014

Dear Family, 
This week was alright. It wasn't as great as last week, but that's okay, haha. 
We had an interesting start to the week. 

Tuesday, we met with a guy who has worn the same white t-shirt and pink sweatpants every time we've visited him. He expressed an interest in going to church, and asked if it was a problem that he only owned sweatpants.
-"No, probably not, as long as you wear something dark. Just make sure that you don't go to church wearing... I don't know... pink or something." And he got really offended.
-"ARE YOU SERIOUS!? You think I would wear pink in public? These are paJAMas! I'm not gay! I wouldn't wear this in public!" We met with him 3 times this week, and every time he promised he'd come to church... then he didn't come.
After that, we were talking to people on the street. Someone called me just as my comp started talking to a very old lady so I couldn't help him, as the lady was screaming her head off at him. Poor Elder Dellenbach hasn't learned to just walk away from screaming old people yet...
One day it was raining in the morning. We had an investigator who asked if we could meet another day because the weather was "terrible." By the time I got his text, the sky was clear, and it ended up being the nicest day of the whole week! Haha.
The rest of the week went by really, really slowly and I felt like I was just dragging my face on the ground. I'm glad I have Elder Dellenbach to keep me going or I'd probably just die. 
We also try and have fun with our investigators. One day, I was not in the mood to do much, so we told our investigator, who had just finished 2nd Nephi, to teach us about it. He wrote 5 main points that he learned on the white board. Then we continued the discussion while all sitting in the same row of chairs, all facing the same direction. I thought it was hilarious. 
Lastly, yesterday, we were going to meet with our investigator who is getting baptized next week so she could find baptismal clothes that fit her. When we met in the foyer, she said that she wasn't able to go downstairs, and was having second thoughts for the baptism. The bishop walked in, heard what was going on, and suggested that we go and pray about it. She didn't want to go anywhere, but agreed on the prayer idea, and gave a really nice prayer right there, so that she should know what to do/be able to go downstairs. Right when she said Amen, the office elders (who we were waiting on because they have the key) walked into the room and innocently asked, "Alrighty, shall we go downstairs?" and our friend said, "Igen!"
Then, with the Érd elders, she had a dinner at her house with the rest of her family, who have been against her decision to be baptized. Apparently it went really well, and the family really opened up to them, and those elders are even going fishing with her dad next week! It's cool to see awesome things like that happen to make way for the baptism! 
Uhhh.... other than that... I went pretty crazy on the groceries this week, and I will try a ton of new dishes for the rest of the week! Yummm...
That's all I have.
I love all of you! I'll see some of you on Skype soon!
Elderrr Young.
PS. Pictures:
1. Nose goes for who says the prayer!

2. The sunset.

3. My dear companion.

4. Some company we found.

April 21, 2014

Happy Easter! 

I'm glad that the location of our new home brings lot of great things to do. I hope you were able to do something fun with the family in our new house. I got a couple letters this week from you, Mom. It was cool to see some things from the house! Do you have any more pictures? You can just send them to me by email.
This week was pretty crazy for us! We had a stressful start to the week by planning Balázs's baptism. The ward mission leader was out of town last weekend, and so has everyone in the bishopric, so planning was really hard because nobody knew who would be available. I did what I could and everyone else said they'd figure something out. But we'll get back to that later.
We kinda went crazy on our investigators with baptism. Szilvia, who we've been meeting with and who has been thinking about baptism showed up determined to get baptized. We brought a lesson about temples or something and she said, "That's fine, but I already know this. Let's talk about something that I'm really interested in- baptism!" So she told us that she would love to be baptized on the 3rd of May! But she actually lives in a part of town that belongs to another branch.... Érd! My greenie area! So we have been working with the Érd elders to get her moved over there. I was really nervous, because I have a friend who had the same situation, only reversed, and she stopped going to church because she didn't like it here in Buda. So we introduced Szilvia to the Érd elders, and they invited her to church with them. She went there, and loved it! Last night, she passed her baptismal interview, so she will get baptized in Érd on May 3rd! 
   Other investigators- We are meeting with a kid from english class who is really interested in the Gospel. We just do all of our lessons in english. We brought up baptism for him and he was really open to it, so we suggested a date of June 14, and he accepted!
   We also meet with an older guy from tracting. He seems like he doesn't really have much optimism for life, but we've seen that he is enjoying our visits more and more and wants more faith and hope in his life. He would be willing to be baptized on the same day- June 14!
   Our Zoltán guy who met us begging to be baptized changed his mind. He texted me this week- "Hey, I can't meet your church's expectations in the sun- I'll just go to the stars." So we are working with him some more too. He actually wants to be baptized, just wants more time. 

Basically, we have a lot of pretty golden people to work with right now! It's really exciting! Last week, we started praying specifically for golden investigators to find, and ever since then our investigators have been softening their hearts, and we've found about one legit person each day! 
The baptism for Balázs went really well this week! Sort of. 
So they managed to wrangle up someone from the ward to conduct the meeting, but the first problems hit when the guy to give the musical number wasn't able to come, and the hot water to the font decided not to work. Did you know that if you take a huge font full of ice water, and spend just 45 minutes dumping buckets of boiling hot water into it, absolutely nothing happens? Because that's what happened. Ricsi and Balázs were super scared for the cold water, but they ended up braving through it! I was asked to speak about the Gift of the Holy Ghost- I mentioned that after a baptism of ice, the "baptism of fire" will feel super great! Everything ended up working out- we got a special musical number from the Buda missionaries, a whooole ton of people showed up, and there were refreshments afterwards! Milka chocolate, and some strange green Russian soda, that I accidentally spilled all over my companion. 
Balázs is finally a member! He's been waiting for this for a long time, and it happened exactly on Easter! What a perfect time to start a new life! 
Szilvia is also doing really well. Last night, after her baptismal interview, she hung out with all the Buda missionaries as we dyed eggs and ate Paprikás Csirke, the world's best food. Today, we taught Szilvia with Balázs (his first lesson as a member) and the Érd elders. 
We played soccer with a bunch of people this morning. I injured my foot, and so I have been hobbling around to all of our other activities, including visiting the Máttyás Templom and looking at touristy shops. I have a present for Lesa, but I don't know how to get it to her, so she'll probly just have to come back to Hungary if she wants it... just kidding. 
Well, this has probably been one of the best weeks of my mission so far. I can really tell that the Lord has been mindful of our work here, and it's so exciting to be able to see some things happening, and see my investigators progressing. I was talking to Balázs about how far he has come in the last few months, and he reminded me of when we taught him to pray for the first time! I am loving being able to see people make changes to their lives and becoming happier! Hurray! Happy Easter for new lives! 
Speaking of Easter, today is Easter Monday, with the old tradition for boys to dump buckets of water on the girls. Nowadays they just spray perfume or water on them. (Some old guy was telling us about it on Friday, and to demonstrate, he grabbed some of his "smelly old man cologne" and opened up the bottle and dumped it on my hand. My hand still smells bad, haha.) Maybe I'll go around and try my luck at it on the sisters or something... haha.
Okay, that's all I have. Have a great week all. 
1. Playing cards as we teach Szilvia.

2. Tracting our minds out!

3. Elevator pictures.

4. My favorite people at my favorite restaurant (Balázs and Zsolt who introduced him to the Church).

5. "Heating up" the font.

6. At the baptism.

7. Cleaning up messes.

8. Egg coloring.

9. Fisherman's Bastion w/ Érd guys.

10. Some random lady I taught once while on splits in another city.

April 14, 2014

Hello! This was a fine week this week! 
We had a very interesting time last week after emailing. For our Pday on Tuesday, we went out to play soccer and explore the town. We were not in our church clothes, but we had a program at 6, and as the program approached, we had less and less time to go back home, change, and go to meet our investigator. Once it dawned on me that we didn't have enough time, I tried to cancel or postpone the appointment, and she got really offended, so instead we just rode the tram back with her (she lives around where we do) and invited a member who lives by and hung out at a park and played cards and talked, haha. I don't know if we are allowed to have lessons in shorts and t shirts, but we did this time, haha. But she was sooo mad at us for a while.
Then Elder Driggs had to pack, because he left to the Pest side! So on Wednesday, I got a new companion named Elder Dellenbach! He is a super cool guy and loves to work hard.   He has been in the country since September, and came in with one of my older companions, Elder Olsen (who I was with on Christmas). Although I am pretty sad that Elder Driggs is gone, I love having Dellenbach around. And the fact that he can actually speak the language is a plus, since I haven't equally shared teaching a lesson since November, haha. 
Balázs got his baptismal interview done on Wednesday as well. He was super happy, and we were able to plan out everything that he wants to happen at the service. I will be giving a talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and it will be my first talk ever on my mission, so that is exciting! 
On thursday, we ran into 2 ladies of another faith. They were asking us what/how/when we celebrate Easter and things like that. They were talking about how important the death of Christ was, and they asked something like, "Do you celebrate His death or probably just His resurrection?" We replied with something like, "Why not both? His physical death saved us from our sins, but his resurrection saved us from death..." And they were like, "Hmmm, good point. But his death is more important because..." and we talked a little more, and were all very nice and cordial with each other, but we kind of felt sad that they only focus on death death death. I love that we believe in a risen Savior that lives.
Our English class went really well on thursday. We teach the high level class, and taught them card lingo, and then taught them how to play BS. Some people don't really speak that well, and didn't understand the rules... so it was funny trying to play haha. 
Friday, we had a Zone Training. There is a phrase that our mission president always says about missionary work. "Catch the Vision!" Well, we have some smart alec ZLs here, so they said that that is too casual. "It's too easy to justcatch the vision. We need to go for it! We need to Snatch the Vision!" So now we are striving for our "Snatch Standard" goals. 
Afterward, we had a great few lessons, with a different member to each one! We taught Szilvia about temples. It was hilarious because she can't keep on track with the lesson. We tried to tactically bring it back. When she started going off about dating, we'd say, "We know that dating is an important thing. It prepares us for an eternal marriage in the temple!" Then she'd go off on how she believes in guardian angels and how they help us. "Yes, guardian angels help us out and watch out for us. Did you know that we can help them back in the temple!" We had a fun time with that one, haha (I guess the members don't always help though).
Saturday was great. We challenged a few of our investigators who are struggling for answers to fast with us. One of them took us out to lunch, and even bought us ice cream! So good. Then we held a big ward Easter Concert, which was very interesting. A few of our investigators came and enjoyed it. 
Then on Sunday, we met with this guy named Zoli. He came up to me about a month ago and really wanted to be baptized, but can never meet. And, he has apparently been meeting off and on with missionaries for 8 years and knows nothing about the church. We taught him the plan of salvation, and he put his hand over the terrestrial and was adament that that was his place. After a while of getting frustrated, I told him that if he wants to go there, he probably shouldn't bother meeting with us, because this road only leads to celestial. Our sane friend explained that he received an answer from God that he can do whatever he wants, and then he will become a god and can party and chase women for the rest of eternity. My first thought was, "What religion does this guy believe in? Is he a Kolozsvárianist?" Then I told him to have fun in the telestial kingdom. 
Then I felt bad because while planning later that day,  I was thinking about how he should probably think differently if he wants to be baptized, my companion was pondering how we can help him feel the Spirit and learn more about the point of the Gospel. Oh, yeah... that stuff. 
Church was sooo good! Since our baptism on Saturday has yet to be planned, and the Ward Mission Leader is not in town, and one of our (legit) investigators suddenly decided that she wants to talk to the Bishop about baptism, and several investigators came, and we had to talk to all of them, and let my new companion get to know members, we were all over the place yesterday after sacrament, and pretty late to sunday school, haha. But all of our investigators loved church, and 3 of them fasted with us! They really want to gain answers to their prayers! It's amazing when we promise someone that things will work out better when they do things like that, and then after church, they tell you how much better everything went! One of our investigators has been super busy and stressed lately, and has only come to church twice in 9 months of investigating came to church and fasted yesterday, and told us later that it was definitely worth it and things were already getting better! 
Then, at the end of the day yesterday, we met with Balázs, who is getting baptized on Saturday. The TV wasn't working very well, so we had to watch the Restoration in black and white. We invited a member we didn't know very well and it went so good! We related Balázs's story to Joseph Smith's. It was a really good program. 
Then I practiced cooking a new dish that I make at home sometimes. I have a few Hungarian foods that are super delicious. Speaking of food, not too long ago, I found out my departure plans for the end of the mission. I guess right now, the plan is for us to come on the actual day of thanksgiving. How sweet would that be? I'd get home around 4, and then we could have a big feast!!! 
Other than that, I've been doing really well. I hope that you guys are alright. Is there any news with the house business? I heard that Jason might have to stay another 6 weeks for technical difficulties. Here are some pictures of the last couple weeeks:
1. Birthday cake at the stake president's house.

2. Watching Nacho Libre at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

3. Gringos Amigos. 

4. Elder Dellenbach. He's like 2 months older than Jason.... that's sooo weirdddd!!!

5. All my sisters dying!!! They're long gone now.

6. Taking advantage of hula hoops we find in our apartment building. 

7. The coolest building in the world.

8. This one's for Aunt Linda

9. Watching the Restoration movie in black and white.

Love you all! Keep of the good work with whatever you're doing! 
Elder Young