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

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