Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 14, 2014

Dear family and amigos. 

I don't have a whole lot to say this week. Since I've started emailing, 3 different people have sat next to me, and each one's breath has thrown me into a condition where I can't think to save my life. But for you people... I'll do my best.

Let's start out with adventures while proselyting. 
We went tracting one day, and knocked on the door of a very old man. He took a long time getting to the gate on his walker, and when he saw that we were religious, he was probably thinking something like, "Oh, they want to talk about religion, eh? I'll talk about religion with them!" Then he told us his entire life story. He stopped not once, not even to breathe, and only broke his chain of thought to add in, "Faith... Catholic... Faith... Sixty years of Marriage..." It was actually a really interesting time until the 40 minute mark passed, and we had to get back to another program. Old people do not let go easily. 

While tabling on the main street, a little Irish marching band came through. There were like 5 guys with bagpipes, and for some reason, a huge crowd was following them all through the city. One of the elders we were with went to the front of the band and tried leading them. They all just gave him death stares. 

Also during the week, we had a big Zone Training meeting here. A bunch of different people gave different parts of the training. 2 elders gave one about gaining people's trust while finding. The two did a skit of a guy picking up his date and then gave the "6 Essentials of 1st Dates and Finding"
1. Smile, 2. Appearance, 3 Compliments, 4. Service, 5. Honesty, 6. You have to have the Spirit with you.
I can't tell you how funny it was.

Then another lesson was a chocolate eating contest, to open up a Milka bar and eat it without hands. It was pretty awesome. 

Basically, we actually learned a lot, and it was really fun. 

Then Sunday came and I was exhausted. During Elders Quorum, I was struggling to pay attention, but it was really hard. Eventually, I just got up to go to the bathroom and like 5 guys also got up and followed me there. I was so confused! But if I had been paying attention, I guess I would have known that they went to go show some people how to turn on the baptismal font for a baptism this week. 

Yes we had a great week.
You should have one too. Goodbye. 


July 7, 2014

So for the week. We had a few successes and a couple disasters this week.

Towards the beginning of the week, we got a call from a senior couple who specializes in service projects throughout the country. They asked us to translate for them, so we brought a member who knows english and went to help them. Long story short- The project was from a member here who teaches at a school that needs help with a few projects. Since the senior couple may or may not have left the information at home, we weren't 100% sure of what to do. Luckily the member we brought knew the school where the lady worked... 
Long story short, the member worked at 2 different schools, and one was not supposed to find out about the other. Unfortunately, we went to the wrong school and spilled the beans and made life harder for a lot of people who were trying to sneakily start a new school. The end.

Later in the week, we headed up to Budapest for an important meeting, and I didn't even fall asleep! 

Afterwards, we switched and went on splits with the APs. When people would actually talk to us at the door, the first thing we would ask was, "What is the best Hungarian food?" After we would talk for a little bit, I think people realize that we aren't as weird or crazy as they supposed, and they are more willing to talk. Thomas and I tried the same thing here, and we've actually found a lot more success. A family even told us to come back this week! 

We got to teach a few families this week already! 

One investigator family was super fun. We normally have a FHE with them and someone is assigned the spiritual thought and snack for the week. This time was my turn, so I brought cheese and crackers and somehow made a connection to loving everyone and serving others. It was delicious.

One is a less active family. We got the other elders with us to teach like 8 kids that live in less than ideal conditions. We taught them about prophets in the scriptures and then played soccer with them. Their grandma is a member and wants us to come and show them a good example every once in a while. Then they came to our "Sportnap" or sport day and played some soccer with us. They're like 8 years old and suuuper good.   

On the 4th, we helped put on "America's birthday party." My companion made an american flagout of snickerdoodles. The party was super great and a ton of investigators came with the members. Some guy even brought a British relative who was just in town, haha. Happy 4th of July! 

It's getting harder and harder to stay awake in church. 

Other than this, things kind of went how they normally do. We are having a good time here still, and working to find some more awesome people! 

Yes, I love you all, bye

Elder Young

June 30, 2014

We had a great week this past week. 

Some cool experiences that we had:
There is a super cool lady that we teach. We started to go through all the commandments to prepare her for baptism (her date is in August). We reach the part about reading the scriptures. So, this nice lady tries to read from the Bible and Book of Mormon, but she says that the language is very hard. We told her about how if we read it more, and get used to it, then it's not as bad. We also explained that if we ask for help from God, then the Holy Ghost will help us understand more. Then we taught her about baptism, that we feel like she could be moved closer. She was not sure about that at all, and seemed pretty nervous. 

We have another investigator who is really interested, but still hadn't come to church, on account of his bus leaving either at 7, 2 hours before church (he lives in a little village 30 mins away) or at 9, after church starts. This week, we convinced him to come, and we met with him and a member and had breakfast at 8 at the branch house! 

Then, during sunday school, the lesson was on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Both of our investigators were participating in the conversation. Our first investigator even mentioned during class that she will either be baptized "at the end of August, or sometime next month." Then she told an experience of how the missionaries explained to her the Holy Ghost and how He helps us understand the scriptures, and since then, she has been able to gain answers and help from reading!
Our second guy also loved to church and wants to come back! 

Some cool stories during the week. Some guy came up to the branch house while 2 member girls were there. He started banging on all the windows and yelling and scared the wits out of the members! 
While walking by the branch house we ran into this man. He was hysterical because he had to drop off a huge load of toilet paper and cleaning supplies, and nobody was in the branch house. It was an adventure trying to get all the stuff in, since this guy was absolutely crazy! Yup.

On Friday, we were walking down the street and some guy stopped us. "Are you Jesus Christ??" "No, we're just missionaries, that's all." "Wait... are you Jesus Christ??" and then his girlfriend was like, "So you're not Jesus Christ....? Well... do you have any money?" 
Then the next day, we ran into another guy right by the branch house. He was shirtless, wearing shorts and Homer Simpson slippers, stretching right outside the door of his apartment building. "I AM JESUS CHRIST! I AM THE REDEEMER!" Apparently earlier that day, he actually came up to the branch house and told some members that he was coming to church on sunday to reveal himself. He didn't come :( The prophecy was not true. 

We had a wonderful week. I wish I could tell you more about it, but I won't. 

have a wonderful time! 

June 23, 2014

So this week was not super crazy at all. We did a lot of tracting and stopping people on the street, but not too much exciting happened. When we tract, we always run into people who were baptized a long time ago but have since given up on the church, or usually just the people there. It's crazy that so many people who still believe in the church will let other people stop them from going to church and doing other things to strenthen their testimony. 

We meet with a number of people who are having trouble coming to church and staying active, as well as a few recent converts that we still meet with to help strenghten them. This week, all of them came to church! Hurray! I think that it must be really hard to come back to church after being inactive for a long time, so it is really cool to see people progress back! 

Most of our investigators are being pretty cool too. We have one lady who has been planning on getting baptized, and I have never actually taught her in a program before! So I finally got to teach her this last week! She is really prepared and is so excited for her baptism! We had a sunday school lesson on baptism and she and her recently baptized son (who gave a talk in sacrament meeting) were the best participants. 

We had zone conference on friday. It was really good! My comp and I even gave a little training for part of it. We just had everyone practice a big role play where you find a way to bear your testimony about the Book of Mormon in different settings- either 1. While tracting 2. if someone stops you on the street and asks about english class 3. if you are on the bus and you catch someone gawking at your nametag.

Elder Thomas and I have been trying to run more often. We ran almost every morning this week. I'm not a very good runner, but I have actually seen a noticeable difference in my endurance while running. Noticeable enough to inspire me to go and buy real running shoes today, since the ones I've been using are 5 year old walmart shoes...

There's a girl who we meet with who was baptized less than a year ago. She speaks perfect english and is moving to America in a few weeks, but will be going to BYU in the winter, and she will also be studying biology, which is pretty awesome! I love being able to make friends while I'm out here! 

What else? I bought a tooon of food last week so that I could practice cooking a number of Hungarian dishes this week. It's pretty dumb though, because apparently when you ask any human being what the steps are to make something, they take it as, "Please make this food for me because I'm helpless," so I really came out from this week not cooking much, but eating a lot.
At any rate, we had Töltött Káposzta (stuffed cabbage), Madártej/madártej cake, Paprikás scirke, and some other really good soups. I didn't even have to buy groceries this week.

Okay, cool, so that's my week. I left my camera cords in the car... woops. no pictures this week. 

Love you all! 
Have a great week!

Elder Young

June 10, 2014

Okay, we had a great week. It was a long one for sure, but a lot of good things have happened, and so that, I guess, is a good thing. 
Well, if we start with last Monday, after we emailed, we went bowling. Except it was weird Hungarian bowling where the ball is a lot smaller, there are no holes, and there are only 9 pins. It was really, really fun! 
After this, we parked our car at the branch house in anticipation for a program to teach 30 minutes later. Since we were not wearing church clothes, we were going to go home and change before our investigator got there, but we were suprised to find him arrive there right when we did, so we just taught him in our bowling gear (shirts and shorts). It was weirrrrd, but our friend had no idea that it wasn't normal, haha. 
To make things crazier, we got a call right at the end of the program. "Hey, Elder W. split his head open, we're at the hospital, we need you to come here and get something for us. K, bye." In this frantic situation, we didn't know where the hospital was, but luckily, there were 2 members and another investigator hanging out at the branch house, so we had to take them with us. Then, as we arrived at the hospital, we got another call. "Hey, no worries, you don't have to come." So we just drove back, and on the way back, we said a prayer, pulled out our scriptures, and taught a little lesson in the car, then Elder Thomas said a closing prayer as we pulled into the branch house parking lot. Normally, we're not supposed to have people in the car, but this was an extenuating circumstance, and we were able to use our time wisely anyway, haha. 
Next cool story. We were on our way to teach a lesson in the branch house, and this Nigerian guy came up to us and said that he used to meet with the missionaries in Ukraine, but had to leave (he lives in a refugee place now) and would like to know where the branch house is. So we just took him to our program with our other investigator. It was pretty cool, and our other investigator loved it! So that's that. 
The other day, we also were able to go on splits, and I went back to Pápa, which was my 2nd area! It was awesome to see people who I knew all the way back then, but to actually be able to talk to them! 
While we were at Institute there, the branch president explained something that blew my mind! We were talking about the sacrament, and he said that the different sizes for the bread and water trays are symbolic, because when the sheet is over them, it is supposed to represent Christ's body lying in the tomb. That was pretty interesting! 
Well, the best part of going back to Pápa was that we got to visit a family that I used to teach, who have since then gotten baptized! The whole lesson was a testimony meeting, and it was amazing to me to see that a whole family has been able to gain and strenthen their testimony, and that I was able to be a little part of it! It meant a lot to be able to hear their testimonies and share mine with them again. Also, the mom of that family loves to give kisses and doesn't care about the rules. She would keep hugging me and kissing me on the cheek, haha. 
Well, the p-day situation was kind of messed up this week. Yesterday was still the normal p-day monday, but because of Pentecost, all the stores and email places were closed, so I'm emailing today. Well, anyways, yesterday, we went to visit a castle kind of place! It was really pretty! Then, we explored the castle grounds, and there is a huuuge field outside full of huuuge gumdrop-shaped bushes, so we had a lot of fun there. 

Then we went back to the branch house later and played games in the "multipurpose room." We even used chairs to turn the room into a sort of pickelball court. 
At the end of the day, we were able to convince a member to come streeting with us. It was really fun! What is streeting? Streeting means that we go outside and talk to people on the street on the way to getting ice cream and back. We street a lot. 
Well, that's all I have. We had a really cool week.
God bless you all. The Church is true! 
Elder Young