Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 11, 2014

Dear Family,
Sorry, this is going to be a long email.
It's a new week again! This was a long, really good week, I think! We did a lot of tracting, and quite a few people actually let us in! 
Tracting successes:

1. At the beginning of the week, we decided to start tracting all the buildings around the branch house. In the first building, we saw some familiar faces! Every Saturday, we have a big soccer game with the youth, where they can invite their friends. A couple weeks ago, an old lady came up with her 2 grandkids who were Italian (just rotate the flag, and it's all the same) and asked if they could play with us. Then we tracted into them! She let us in and told us that we could come back and talk when they get back from Italy in November. Sure, that might never work out, but this last Saturday, she came to "Sportnap" with a gift for Grampa K, because she is from Kolozsvár. I will have to send it to him. It's a nice little gift.
2. I may have mentioned the man who lives across the street from the Branch House, who claims that he is Jesus Christ and likes to show up to church on occasion. Well, he let us in his house, too. It was an adventure. He wouldn't let us talk, he just spent the whole time showing us dirty antiques that he spent his life savings on. The whole time, I could see his Homer Simpson slippers in the corner. I think he was on drugs, but my companion and I were still able to give him a Book of Mormon, and he promised to read it!
3. Later in the week, we went on splits with the other elders in this city. We got into a building. In Hungarian, Ground Floor is Föld Szint, but the building we walked into was missing a few letters on the wall, so the bottom floor wall had in big letters, "F LDS." We knew we walked into a good place. Some guy coming downstairs told us that we shouldn't waste our time there, because working people live there, so nobody is at home. At all. But we tried, and guess what! We didn't find anyone, dang it!
 Meanwhile, my companion went tracting without me, got let into 4 different homes, and we are going to visit all those people next week. I think he's better at tracting than I am. 
At the end of our splitting day, we met back at the other elders apartment. Their neighbor saw us and wanted to talk to us, so we tried to get away. As we walked away, he was saying, in English, "God bless America, Canada, Hungary... and the MORMONS! I love you guys!" Its nice to be loved.
4. Sunday afternoon was really hard to get working. We had had a very full week, and so we were suuuper tired! And it was boiling hot out. But my companion dragged me outside, and we went and tracted again to his little gold mine area, and we met another person who let us in! She had gotten a Book of Mormon right when the Church first showed up in Hungary, and was pretty interested! I like to find interested people!
Also, we have had a lot of business to take care of, such as meetings. We went to a meeting in Budapest to talk about the missionary work in the country. After the meeting, one of the other elders told us about his intentions to go to a special whip-maker, and that he would go get one for us. So everyone handed him money, and he had a looot. 
And since we had that meeting, it means that we will give a training here for the zone this week. We're excited, I always love the zone trainings!
Something else that we've been working on is helping the ward here in the city. The bishopric doesn't seem to get a lot of support, and everyone is either too busy or not willing to help. So we met with the Bishop at his house to talk about how we can help the ward, and he gave us a lot of names to visit, and invited us to a ward meeting (where only the bishopric showed up). But we have noticed that the ward is really started to kick in more. We got an extra amount of time to discuss things in the "ward" meeting, and at Elders Quorum, and I think that everyone will be more cooperative with us, and will help us put more missionary activites together!
As well as the ward is doing though, our investigators have been stinkers this week! My comp and I estimated that 7 investigators would come to sacrament meeting, and only 1 really came, which is still good, I guess. She is a 14 year old girl, and just got back from EFY last week (fun fact, more non members went to EFY from Hungary than members) and the ward asked her to bear her testimony about it in front of the ward, where she told everyone that she will get baptized soon. It was pretty awesome!
Although nobody was able to come to church, we are blessed to work with a lot of really cool people, especially with a few new people, too!
We have that girl who went to EFY and her 7 year old sister. They are both really set to be baptized within the next few months. We are so excited!
Then we are meeting with another lady, Ivett, who knew a member from work, learned a lot about the Church, and really wants to be baptized and change her life! She is super busy, so we are not sure how realistic our goal of Aug. 30th will be, but she is willing to work towards it! 
We also meet with a teenaged kid named Adam, who is just waiting to turn 18 in the winter, because his mom won't let him be baptized.
A really cool new guy we met this week- Lajos. Some sisters were trying to get on a train in Budapest, and he helped them get their luggage in, and talked to them on the way home. He works here, so we met him this last week, and he also really wants to change his life! I love it when people want to become better and change their lives! We had a really good first program with him and a member, and he said that he feels something here that he wants, and we'll meet again with him soon. Yes!
Then this morning, we were just starting to email, when we got a call from a random lady who asked us to help move some furniture. Eventually, we found out that she was a member's mom, but we were able to help her out, and she knew that we would be willing to help out. I'm not going to lie, she was a really frustrating person this morning for some reason, but it was really cool, because she used to investigate the church, and might want to meet with us soon. You never know who will put themselves in your path for you to help! 

Another cool story- A guy I started teaching back in Buda, got baptized this week!!!! I called him on the phone and congratulated him. I only taught him once, but he remembered me, so that was really cool! Then, just now as I was writing this email, I got a text from him!!! It says (it was a long text), 
"Hi Young! I am past baptism and confirmation. Since then, I feel like I've been changed. As if a large stone has been taken off of me. I feel that I have found the church that I have been searching for for a long time. I found the true brothers and sisters in the church. I give thanks to God for it. I need to stay on the narrow path. I know that it will be hard, but we will stay on it together, to reach eternal life. Thank you for the righteous guidance and for giving me the Book of Mormon, and that you showed me that there is still something for me to fill my heart and my spirit with. God Bless you and all the best. M.B."
Sometimes as a missionary, doing the same things, I don't think of the kind of effect that we can have someone by just sharing the Gospel. I only spent an hour with this guy, but he has changed his life, and something that my companion and I did helped him make that change. If he feels like this for me, I wonder how he must feel towards the other elders and church members who spent more time and effort learning with him, and how he feels towards Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I'm really grateful for the opportunity to be here on my mission. It's amazing to see people grow and make changes to grow toward Heavenly Father, and to kind of coach them through these things, even if I don't get to stay to see it happen! Thank you family for all you do for me so that I can be here! Have a great week!
PS. some pictures

1. A normal picture of me. Are you happy, Mom? 

2. Me with a cool old couple (we went to help them translate for their relatives who never came)  who we stopped meeting with.

3. The guy who is getting our whips for us.

4. Me, Elder Nichols, and Viki

5. Me, Hansen, Sindy, and Goldy

August 4, 2014

Hello! So we decided to try emailing later in the day, but apparently this library closes 20 minutes after we arrived here, so we'll make this snappy. 

We had the greatest week. Number-wise, it was the best week of my mission, seeing that we got one of those make-believe awards called Super Standard for the first time of my whole mission (When I told Elder Hansen that I hadn't ever gotten it, he said, "Oh, you will this week."). You just have to have good balance with all your numbers, so we set the goal and actually achieved it! Yay! 

Well, for working, we decided to try a new tracting area, since things had been going slow in our other places. We tried something fun- "accidentally" tract into the ward mission leader so that he thinks that we are hard workers. We did that, and started tracting his whole neighborhood, and it has worked out really well. They directed us to one of their neighbors who let us come back (let's not talk about the fact that they have yet to actually answer their door since then) and we found a couple interested people around there! 

Also, we have tried setting up and decorating a table in the main square area and talking to people there. It actually worked pretty well! I met a couple cute girls who gave us their email addresses (I guess I'm not good enough to get phone numbers, darn). There's a boost of self-esteem! 
We are meeting with a super awesome lady who started meeting last Sunday and really wants to get baptized and change her life! If all goes well- Aug. 30th

During the week, we got to go up to Budapest for interviews. On the way, we got stuck in the front of a huge traffic jam- a watermelon truck tipped over and there were smashed melons EVERYWHERE! And we had to wait there till they cleaned up the highway or something. Then I spotted an old friend in one of the semitrucks... the scary toilet paper man from a couple weeks ago! 

Funny story- In sunday school, there was a lesson about work and effort or something. The teacher talked about a man who married her friend, but doesn't work, or even look for work, he just sits at home and relies on others to help them get by, and she doesn't appreciate the way he treats her friend. "I try to be nice to him, but it's very hard..."
Also, there is a man who has started coming up to the branch house to church to reveal himself as Jesus Christ. He has done this a few times now. Well, I found out that this Jesus guy is the very same lazy husband. Yup, the teacher doesn't like him coming up here, haha.

Uhhh.... yup, I had a good week. I got a bunch of letters from Mom and Grandma Y and Mikes wedding announcement. k I gotta go bye love oyuű4 mithc

July 28, 2014

Another amazing week. Can I tell you about it?

The beginning of the week was interesting, because Elder Thomas was to leave.  So on Wednesday, we got up to make the big switch, and I got Elder Hansen. Transfers are interesting, because most of the people going to new cities will meet in the same place, and so I got to see a lot of my old companions! The ones who were in Buda, my last area, were telling me about the investigators they still meet with. A lot of people who I started meeting with who were either really busy or just really stubborn have become suuuper legit! A few are even going to be baptized in a few weeks! 
After this, we went homeward to Győr! 
We had a really good start to the transfer, and got to meet with a few new people right off the bat. 
We also spent a lot of time tracting, and actually found some cool people to talk to who actually want to meet again! 

We were able to get a few really cool investigators, thanks to the fact that the sisters got kicked out of our city.

1. One cool couple that we found had a cool story. They were planning on meeting some relatives from America. The American couple had had done some family tree research and wanted to visit some relatives in Hungary. The only problem was that they couldn't communicate much more than out of a dictionary, and so they stopped the sisters on the street a few weeks ago and asked if they would help translate. And since they would be gone by then, they had us call them...
So we went to visit on Wednesday and on Sunday. It turns out that they are really interested in the Church, and we had 2 really good meetings with them! It was especially nice, because the relatives never ended up coming, so we just talked about the Church instead. Then the guy figured that God must have wanted it that way, and now we will be coming back this week, too!

2. Yesterday, we were just standing in the foyer, greeting people, and a member came in who I didn't recognize. She introduced me to her friend, though, and told us that she wanted to meet with us. My companion sat by them during Sacrament meeting, and at the end, she said that she wants to be baptized, as soon as possible. 
 It was cool, because we found out that the member is less active, and the sisters were teaching her before they left... which is cool because we got the referral, too! 
 Miracles like this, where someone brings in a friend who is very prepared, don't happen every day! But I guess they happen! 

Another cool event that we experience was during tracting. We wanted to start a new tracting area, but neither of us knows the city very well, so we just got in the car and prayed to find a good place, where we can find someone to teach. Eventually we made it to a certain area, and the first door we tract was a really cool family... who told us to come back in September (which means never). Oh well. Then we start ringing the apartment telephones on the next building, and my companion starts to say something,  then we hear, "Waiiit, are you the Elders? Come up right now!!" 
Walking up the stairs was so exciting! My companion said something like, "I don't know about you, but I think my testimony is being strenthened right now!" 
Then we get to the top, and I recognize who it is. We see a man who is wearing only a towel, and is just an investigator who the other elders here have been trying to avoid. So we almost got an answer to our prayers! 

But then, after a little while, we gave up on that area, and just retracted our old area. There was a cool family with a Spanish dad who told us to come back. We actually were let in by the father-in-law and have been back a few times since. He's super cool! And the best part is that he said that the family thinks we're a cult, wants nothing to do with us, and "goes for a walk" every time we come by. I guess we just had good timing for our return appointment, haha. 

I'm really grateful for this week, because we've had several miracles like this throughout the week. My companion is a really good missionary, so I will just blame it on him. 

Hope everyone is well. Have a great week! 

mitch elder young elder

July 22, 2014

Dear Family, 

What a loooong week! Because of transfers, we have p-day on tuesday this week. That means that we just overcame an 8 day week! A lot of cool things happened this week, so I'll try to remember them and tell them to you.

First off, today was a disaster. We went to email, but all the good places are closed on tuesdays. And all the bad places are completely full... so a kind member is letting me email on her computer. 

For the transfer, my companion, Elder Thomas is leaving to KisPest, which is part of Budapest. I'm getting a guy named Elder Hansen who is a great man. We came to the country together, so I'm super excited to be with him! 

Okay, for the week-
last monday, I bought a harmonica.

We were able to give a few baptismal interviews this week. One member I knew in one of my other cities is baptizing someone in another city, and I gave the interview! So that was pretty cool. That same member is starting a 5 week mini mission tomorrow, too, so he's super excited! 

Then we went on splits. I went with a kid named Elder Anderson, who is from Omaha, and we actually knew each other before the mission, so it was super good! He's a great man too. We tracted a lot and ate a lot of ice cream. 

There is a really cool member here who got baptized less than a year ago. She is moving to Germany for a few months, then will go on to byu for the winter semester. She left on Saturday, so we went to say goodbye to her, so that was kind of sad. 

On the weekend, an investigator invited us to come up to his house to meet his family! They were really cool and open, although they were not interested in the gospel at all. It felt really good to know that they don't mind if he wants to be baptized, so that helps a lot!  
That day, there was also a really cool baptism. It was a little 9 year old kid. After the baptism, he wanted to say a few words to all those attending. "Brothers and sisters, I wanted to be baptized as a Mormon, because I want to follow the example of Thomas S. Monson... and become a prophet." It was sooo funny, haha.

Also, yesterday was terribly hot. We went with the sisters to get ice cream (we eat a lot of ice cream here) but all the places seemed to be closed. Everything here closes exactly when you need it.

Okay, pictures and I'll get out of your hair. 

Alrighty now. íLove you! bye.

-Elder Young