Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas in Szeged

I can’t believe Christmas is finally here! And we get to skype in just 10 days! It looks like you all had a really fun week this week with temple square.. basketball games.. score cakes.. :) ha That video did have the best surprise on it ,) :) I’m pretty jealous! I’m glad that I got to see all of your guys faces! Next week I get to see them LIVE! ha imp also glad that you all had a good time down at temple square! you’re very lucky to be able to go! 
This week for me was pretty busy and normal! It’s starting to get colder and colder. This week was full of programs every day... normal meetings happened.. it was one of those "normal weeks in the life" kind of weeks. 
On Monday after I got done emailing we did go to an escape room with a member that was just baptized. It was TONS of fun. I didn’t even know these kinds of places even existed! So we had to schedule a time and what happens is that we show up... they have this door where you enter to start the game.. and then as you enter they lock the door behind you with a magnetic lock. you then have 60 minutes to get out. there was like 4 other rooms and it was full of codes.. keys.. hidden things.. etc that we had to solve as a team to be able to get back out. It was really fun. it only took us 38 minutes to solve everything and get out. That was a super fun experience :) 
Also this week I was riding on the public transportation here and I was checked for my ticket ( which rarely happens) and well.. no one told me this but apparently I had to write my residency number on my pass.... and I didn’t.. But I still gave him my residency card with my pass and well... he still gave me a ticket. ha. the ticket was for 10,500.00 ft. but he said that if I go to this one place within three days I would only have to pay 800.00 ft. which is TONS better than the other one! so I went to that place and ended up only paying the smaller fine. ,)

oh, so get this! this week we got a new investigator and we gave her a book of Mormon and we told her to just read the introduction part before we come over the next time. We came over the next time and we asked her if she read and she said " ah.. I didn’t have a lot of time and I only got to read a little bit of it." in my mind I was thinking " lady.. how can you just read a little bit of one page.. it’s literally one page. ha " but then she got her book of Mormon out and she started talking about Nephi and everything. I was like .. " wait.. what did you read??" because she was telling us the story perfectly. She showed us and she literally had already read all of first Nephi. ha it had been like 2 days! she read the introduction plus all of first Nephi! plus joseph smith’s testimony and all that other stuff! haha I looked at my companion and started laughing. I was like " im cool with that! :) " ha Then we talked about Nephi a little bit and she had two questions about all of first Nephi (and she had a great memory about everything that she read.) she asked us " why did Nephi always quickly forgive his brothers for trying to kill him?" and " Why did the lord command Nephi to kill Laban?" you kind of have to know her back ground to know why she asked these two questions.. and if I tried to explain it right now it would be too long. But then she told us that by the time we come over next.. she will have finished the story of Nephi. ha I was super surprised! :) I’ll take that any day! :) 
so I found out a little bit of information this week that I need to tell you all! So next week we will have 2 SUPER P-DAYS. which means... our pdays start from Dec. 24 at 2 pm. and lasts till the Dec. 26 at 2 pm. we have all that time off. which means.. next Monday will not be a pday. and if anything is open during those two days we could email if we would like. But the chances of places being opened during those two days are slim. next thing that I need to tell you is that you all should be expecting something in the mail throughout this week and you are not allowed to open them until Christmas eve. the next thing that I found out is that president is asking us to keep our skyping session to around an hour. and then.. we have another couple SUPER PDAYS. which last from dec. 30 from 2 pm - Jan 1 at 2 pm. which we get those days off as well to email and what not. BUT.. there is a transfer happening on the 31st.. and I could be getting transferred. so I don’t know what day I will email. That’s about it :) that’s all I know :) imp super excited to skype with you guys! :) remember it will be at 4 pm my time on Dec 25th! which is like.. 9 o’clock your time Christmas morning :) imp super excited to skype you and to see all of your faces move and to actually be able to talk to you guys since I left! it’ll be great:) 
this upcoming week we have Christmas zone conference in Budapest on Thursday. We will be in Budapest all day and that is where we will get all of our packages :) imp really excited :)  oh! also.. so on the dec. 23 a member family invited us over for Christmas.. and then on the 24th another family invited us over to hang out and to eat and stuff. then on the 25 we are getting fed by robi and skyping you guys :) then on the 26 we are back to work. Justin case you guys were curious of my schedule! 
So this week and this upcoming week we have been really pressing this "he is the gift video" and I finally got a Hungarian translation of it on my hard drive so we have been showing everyone, investigators.. members.. less actives this video. I really love this video, every time we watch it the spirit fills the room really powerfully. And then we bare our testimonies about Christ and how we know he lives and that he loves us. And this week.. and next week I challenge all of you to sit down with your families before Christmas.. and to watch this 3 minute video together as a family. and then have a little "testimony meeting" afterwards on your own personal testimonies of Christ. We have done this will several families here in Hungary and the most special spirit comes into the room and it brings the "true" spirit of Christmas into our lives. 
I want all of your to know that I know that Christ lives. and that he loves each and every one of us. I want you all to know that Christ is more in our lives that we think he is. is aware of everything. He knows everything that has happened, is happening, and what will happen. he knows what’s best for us. He truly lived.. and died for us. So that we could just be happy. he truly loves us in ever since of the word. And he wants the best for us. he wants us to be good. he wants us to be obedient. he wants us to be nice to others. he wants us to love each other like he loved us. he wants this because he knows that it will make us happy. I know that as we put our trust in Him.. all things (bad and good) will work together for our good. whatever it might be. I know that that is why I am out here in Hungary. I might not deserve some things that have and will happen to me.. but I do know this! and just like the hymn goes.. I know that my redeemer lives. He does! its fact! he is REAL. he lives! and it would do us all good to take 10 minutes this Christmas season and to literally just sit there and THINK. (because some people just don’t THINK) think about what that phrase really means. " I KNOW MY REDEEMER LIVES! CHRIST LIVES! 
I love you all! can’t wait to see you in 10 days!:) 
Watson Elder.


Wow, after reading all of your guy’s emails I am shocked about all the things that have taken place! Probably the biggest one is that ZACH IS GETTING FREAKING MARRRIED! Ha that was a complete shock to me! (He didn’t tell me anything about it!) I can’t believe it! My little Zach is all grown up..... ,)  ha, kind of sucks that I won’t be there for the wedding! But it’s okay! Just get a blown up- life size, poster of me. Ha -- congrats bro! Excited for you!

I’m glad that you all had a fun time celebrating Luke’s birthday! Looks like you all had a lot of fun :) Max, I heard and saw online that you did really well in each of the games! I’m sure that first game was one that you will remember for the rest of your life. I still remember the very first game that I played.. And it feels like yesterday it happened. I also heard that you got a couple awesome chants.. Like.. "Baby Watson!" and "he is a freshman" got to love it :) soak all of those moments in man! They go by really fast! I’m sure opposing schools will start harassing you as well, especially in region! So be ready for that!

I hope you all are having a great Christmas season so far and enjoying all of the Christmas traditions that are going on. I also hope that all of you got an opportunity to listen to the first presidency Christmas message ( I didn’t), but I’m sure that it was amazing. I also hope that all of you have a chance to go online and watch the new Christmas video "he is the Gift" I saw it yesterday and it was super good. They don’t have it Hungarian.. So we have to translate it for everyone. Ha it’s a fun time ,) -- to be honest.. To me, being a missionary... here in Hungary...  honestly all the holidays we have in America.. Such as Halloween.. Thanksgiving.. Etc. even Christmas ( they do celebrate it here.. just not like we do in America ) all of those holidays become... non-existent. For me, it’s weird, it doesn’t even feel like Christmas. Kind of sucks in way, but it is how it is :)

A lot of things happened this week for me and I will just quickly go through all of those!

This week we got a call from one of our investigators and she was in the hospital and she wanted to see us really bad. So on Tuesday we went over there ( I hate being in Hungarian hospitals ) and we looked and searched for an hour and a half and we couldn’t find her! And her phone wasn’t on! So we had to leave, she called us again that night and gave us better instructions. The next day we went back again... and we finally found her and got to talk to her and teach her for a couple minutes. Let’s just say I saw a lot... of sick people. and I hope that I don’t get sick! That was an adventure finding her this week.

Then this week we met with a lot of less active members (for some home teaching). And we met with this one member who hasn’t been to church in 4 years. He has been divorced.. lost his job. is in a really tough situation.. and he hasn’t seen or talked to any of his 3 kids in 2 years! And he has also been through the temple. as we were meeting with him, and several people like him (there are a lot of inactives here) it just really hits you as you are talking to him. 1- you realize how lucky and how blessed you are. 2- you feel the love of Christ for him. 3- you feel terrible for him. and you think to yourself.. HOW in the heck did he get in this situation. It’s a crazy experience. We talked to him about his life. started building a relationship with him, because we are going to be meeting with him every week from now on. And we went back to the basics. talking about the book of Mormon and why it is important and we talked about testimony.. talked about how the book fo Mormon can change our lives.. etc.

Then on Sunday it was fast and testimony meeting and I got up and bore my testimony on that lesson and on the basic principle of prayer and reading. and I read moroni 10: 3-5, which we are all familiar with. and I said how we read this scripture to several people every week. And then I talked about how once we gain that testimony.... (and it doesn’t come all at once. it’s a line upon line concept.) how we must constantly nourish it ( táplálni ) and if we don’t.. we will lose it. and then I talked about how we need and how we can nourish it. and what it means to nourish it. and then I bore my testimony on it. 

this week we met with his lady twice ( sorry, imp not supposed to give names ) and it’s taken us 4 lessons to get through the plan of salvation! it’s really cool. she is so interested. and she is so accepting of everything! she asks really hard questions though.. ha super hard questions  ( mostly about the atonement and how it works. ) . hard questions that are even hard to answer in English! but, we don’t teach her in English. it’s all in Hungarian. But the lord always gives us a way to answer her sincere questions. It’s really cool and amazing to see her progression and seeing her come unto Christ. 
this week also, we found a really good pizza place really close to our apartment :)  that was a good thing! also! for some of  comp study this week I cleaned our bathroom.. and tub.. and everything.. and it was disgusting once again. I guarantee you that it was the first time that place have been cleaned in at least 2 years. ha looks bran new now :) those rubber gloves are coming in handy ,) 
another cool event happened this week. very simple..and small.. but it was really nice and rare. I was talking to these two older ladies on the bus. and I was asked them where their favorite restaurant is in Szeged. and like.. if they want to learn English... or and if they like to read.. and all that stuff. :) anyway. we had a good convo going and at the end she came up to me right before we got off the bus and she gave me this huge chocolate bar! ha ( NO ONE ever does that .. especially in Hungary. ) ... -- but sad thing is that.... that night as we were going home on the bus we were again talking to some other people and before they got off I gave them the chocolate bar and told them "boldog karácsonyt!" it was kind of funny. they were caught off guard. 
Elder king and I have been getting closer and closer. he is a really good and funny guy. especially when he starts to talk to people. He is very good at going up to speak with people. I get a laugh or two out of it each time. 
then.. last night! get this.. as a district we decided to go caroling... and we got a ton of those "he is the gift" cards.. and books of Mormon and everything. and then we were going to go around and sing and then have me and another elder be the "finishers" who would talk to them and give them the stuff. get this. we go to this apartment complex.. ( because they have nothing else in Szeged. ) and we start at the very top floor. first floor we do.. nothing. no one came out. second floor.. nothing.. third floor.. I knock on a door and it’s the first person that we have talked to and imp talking to him and then he and she start yelling at me and telling me we are way too loud and that they are going to call the cops if we do not leave right now. haha I was stunned.. all I could mutter out at the very end was.. " well... boldog karácsonyt.!" ha it was terrible! so we left... our idea was destroyed.. but then we went down town to the main square.. and just started singing there and it was 10x better! we talked to tons of people. god strengthened us so that we could sing well. ( I was proud of my singing )  so this is what we would do.. we would have the "finishers" stand on the edges.. that was me and another elder.. and we would have all the weapons.. ( book of Mormons in my bag.. cards.. etc. ) and if anyone stopped to listen to us ( which a lot of people did) we would slide out and talk to them. I ended up giving out all of books and cards and people loved it. one person we talked to started crying actually. she was like my dad died a couple days ago and this is exactly what I needed. ( we were first singing in Hungarian front he hymn book.. but then we weren’t as strong in that so we decided to just sing from memory all the English Christmas hymns. silent night.. all those. although it was in English.. people actually paid attention more because we really actually sang really good :) ha I was impressed. ) anyway! it was great! just imagine us in a huge down town square.. where all the festivals are at.. thousands of people.. and us just right in the middle singing about Christ! it was tons of fun, I lost my voice. and it was fun talking to people :)  I also talked to a Romanian and a Hungarian couple.. the Hungarian wife had to translate for me so I could understand what the Romanian was saying. in that moment.. I had one of those moments where I was like.. holy crap.. I know Hungarian.! ha it was kind of crazy! 
anyway.. Sunday sacrament meeting was really spiritual. I loved it. 
so for my spiritual thought this week... I want to talk about a heavy long farm gate ( so mom.. and grandpa and grandma Gardner.. and grandpa Watson you should be really familiar with these things.) first of all.. the substance of our lives.. is making choices. making decisions. we constantly make decisions every single moment of every single day. -- if we are familiar with a heavy farm gate... it has very small hinges that make very small movements. when you move the gate... the small hinges.. make small turns.. but if you look at the circumference.. at the end of the gate it is making a large.. long.. wide.. turns. and I would suggest.. that so it is with our lives... all of the decisions.. and choices we make throughout our everyday lives are like the small hinges... but in the long run.. the circumference is actually big. those small choices make a huge difference in our lives. every single choice we make.. every single decision we make... will somehow effect the direction.. and destiny of our lives. remember this week.. that becoming like Christ.. and becoming perfect like he is a PROCESS... it is good choice upon good choice.. it is constantly consistently making the right choice. it is a line upon line.. precept upon precept concept.
I love all of you guys! 2 weeks until skyping!!!! BTW! Dec 25 at 9 am YOUR TIME... I will be skyping you guys. it is set and locked in. that is the official time! I get to have an hour and a half with you guys! can’t wait! make every minute count!:) 
Watson Elder!  

Happy December to all of you! :) It’s crazy that Christmas is almost here once again! And it’s even crazier to think that spring is right around the corner. I hope you make this December, Christmas, season one to remember. Also.. this means that there is only 25 more days until we get to skype! imp  excited! 
First and foremost I have to wish LUKE..... a happy BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!  HAPPY birthday this week buddy! I still remember when you were born! ha
Max, congrats on the first basketball game of the season. I saw that you scored 8 points and that you had 5 assists! That’s probably almost more assists than I got in one year! haha jk :) It’s good to see my number still being worn by a Watson! I’m sure that this first game was really crazy for you and imp sure that you were nervous. let me tell you this.. your first home game will be the same way! So will a lot of games that you play in. learn to enjoy that feeling! and then just go out there and work harder than everyone else! Give it everything you got in every practice, even in defensive drills which imp sure that McKee is doing a lot of :) ha And I loved that turnaround jumper that you had. if there is one thing that I could suggest to you it would be this: work on your first step. That first step explosion is critical. Then just work on driving to the hole and getting into the paint. keep up the good work bro! way to represent! 
Jarom, keep staying studly bro. Hannah said " Its freaky how tall jarom is getting"  ha just remember I can still take all of you down at any time I want. ha :) 
It sounds like everyone had a good thanksgiving and now is getting everything out for Christmas! im glad that no one died at black Friday! And imp glad that you are leaving the lights that I did last year on that one tree. I did my best to make it look like temple square ( like dad said he wanted it to look like)  until I ran out of lights. ha anyway! have a great time going back to school this week!:) 
My week was pretty insane, and hectic.

on Tuesday, after we emailed we went to this member’s house. He fed us a 6 course meal. it took us 2 hours to eat it. ha literally. insane. Then.. I got a call from presidents 2nd counselor telling me that we are switching apartments with the sisters. ( shoot me now!!!!!!!!) that was my thought when I heard it. I would’ve fought back and told them I didn’t want to.. but.. what can I do. So I guess this is what happened. The sisters got their transfer calls. and they were being put into a three-some here in Szeged. and since our apartment is bigger one of the sisters complained and wanted to move apartments... sooooooooooo long story short.. we were forced to move. so that night, ekstrom and I started packing together. it almost felt like I was going home with him. it’s really weird having a companion that is going home. Anyway, then we woke up at 4 in the morning, finished packing, then we walked to the train station and got on the train that left at 550. That whole day I was pretty much hanging out at the mission home. I had to pull out some money because I had to pay for ekstroms ticket since he couldn’t reimburse it. Amway. it was a long day up in Budapest. I finally met elder king and then we headed back to Szeged. when we got back we had to do the "moving process". we moved everything to the other apartment with the zone leader’s cars, and then the sisters moved everything to ours. it took a little while and by the time we finished, it was late and we had to go to bed. It took me a couple of days to adjust to a new apartment ( its way smaller and way... more communist like feeling.-- kind of sucks. ha worst apartment I’ve had so far. I’ve been pretty lucky with getting good apartments till this one. it was also super dirty when we got there so we had to clean it tons. ) our warm water smells like rotten eggs for heaven sakes! ha anyway. imp getting adjusted to it! I feel like I have moved to a whole new city. Elder king is a lot different than elder ekstrom, so it’s kind of an adjustment, but it’s okay! everything is going well now! And we live on the completely opposite side of the city. so we had to buy a public transportation pass for this month. because it’s way too far to walk. anyway. that’s the new news on that! :)
haha so here is a funny happening. So I was putting some stuff away in a closet at the branch house one day this week.. and I bent down and... well.... I heard a loud RIP!!!! ha ha whoops. ripped my pants! ( reminded me of SpongeBob for some reason.)  it ripped on the back side. .---- k, ill pause right now and tell you this.. I HAVE NOT GOTTEN FAT............... !!!!! I have actually lost weight and I don’t like it. I just bent down at a weird angle and it ripped. I just wanted to make that clear. ha BUT... one of the members found out and she told me she could sow them back up and so I gave them to her and she gave them back to me on Sunday.. and well.. now they are like bran new! :) ha she did a good job! anyway. It was just kind of funny! 
Then on Saturday we attended csabas baptism... it was super cool and csaba is going to make a great member. It was so cool to see him baptized. it was officially the first baptism in the new branch house! then we had sport nap with the members there and it was dumping rain..... it was crazy.. but we still played soccer. it was super fun. I got soaked. it was freezing too. ha Then later, the other cool part,  that afternoon we went tracking in this big ten story building.. and we went up to the very top and started knocking doors. Well as we were walking down the stair case.. about.. 4 floors from the top.. this lady came out ( from the top, who didn’t answer her door) and she stopped us and started yelling at us and was saying things like "what are you doing??? you guys are idoits! why are you bugging us?? don’t you know that the kids are sleeping??? ( it’s like 6 o clock btw. ) We don’t want you bugging us!!!!! then I nicely told her ( since my comp didn’t quite understand what she was saying since she was yelling. ) 
" hey, we are just giving out free books to everyone." then she was like " oh really? what? okay." then I asked her " are you familiar with the Mormons? " then she blew up again and started saying how she doesn’t deal with people like us and she yelled at us to get out of the building and to go home or she would call the police. I said.. alright. then I waited for 2 seconds and then I kept knocking all the doors. ha it was pretty funny. my experience is this..... whenever temptation.. or opposition comes in our lives... and when it gets hard.. or.. in this case.. you have someone threatening you and telling you to get out.... On the other side of that temptation.. opposition.. if endured well.. with faith... great blessings lay on the other side waiting for us. because THE BLESSING ALWAYS COMES AFTER THE TRIAL OF OUR FAITH. -- get this. the 2nd door I knocked on after that let us in and we had a really good discussion with her. and then the 3rd door.. this lady opened the door and she was crying. we asked her if she was okay.. and then as she couldn’t speak because she was crying... we began to testify of the book of Mormon and of the restoration.. and of the plan of salvation and how it can and will affect her life. she accepted our message. --- immediately after that I turned to my companion and I was like... those are the two we were supposed to talk to in this building. we finished knocking the doors and no one answered. It was another great lesson to me. it was a miracle. it is also a great reminder for all of us. only after the trial of our faith.. do we receive the blessings..
Sunday... I was able to give the Holy Ghost to Vámos Csaba and to confirm him to  the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We got up there with a chair in the front, it was me, the branch president, his counselors. It was a super powerful spiritual experience. I cannot tell you how stressful it is to confirm in Hungarian. Usually.. when I confirm someone.. I ponder and pray about it for a week.. and I like.. pre-plan.. things to say so that I can be fluent in my speech and I can sound like a Hungarian. but also get him the blessings he needs. But this time I just got up there.. I still pondered about it a little bit. but not as long. and I didn’t pre.-plan anything. It’s truly a miracle.. and a blessing.. and a very powerful spiritual sign and witness to me. It’s amazing how.. when you are in tune with the holy ghost.. those words, in a completely different language, come into your mind. it’s amazing how the lord strengthens his servants just enough so that they can get HIS work accomplished. That’s the amazing thing. 
so that was a very cool experience this week! :)   
I also got a call from sister smith this week and well.. we are all getting flu shots. great. I promise you all of us will be sick for at least a week. ha should be fun. 
anyway, that was my week! my short spiritual thought this week is this!
One of the most popular scriptures that we read to investigators is mornoni 10:3-5. the promise that is given by moroni to all those who will read the book of Mormon and who wants to know the truth of it. and wither we were born in the church or not.. we are all converts. or rather... for some of us.. most of us.. we are all being converted. we are all in that process. In that promise it reads..: and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. I want to focus on that REAL INTENT.. part. a lot of us.. even I.. struggle to truly understand what that "real intent" means.  what does it mean? These are my thoughts.. 
It is like.. taking the sacrament. without a point behind it you are just eating bread and water and it does no good for you. WITHOUT YOU..... yourself.. within yourself.. without you completely turning.... to god. turning your thoughts.. turning your ways.. your actions..your sins..  turning your whole heart and mind to god.. and with "REAL INTENT" committing to live the higher law..  the sacrament, the atonement.. does nothing. one cannot expect to go to sacrament.. and think by just taking the water and bread.. and thinking that will cleanse him. a promise needs to be made. a commitment needs to be made. a dedication needs to be made. That real intent needs to be there. --- so.. we can say that "REAL INTENT" is really a "commitment to ACT" When we do as moroni says... or.. when we pray to god with any kind of questions.. desiring to know the answer... we must pray with that real intent.. which means.. when we ask.. we commit.. ourselves to act. we commit ourselves to act on whatever the answer might be. -- with the book of Mormon for example. we commit to follow its teachings and to apply it into our lives. 
In our personal questions.. and as we continue to seek the truth.. and especially as we are taking the sacrament each week.. let us do those things with REAL INTENT. with a dedicated commitment within to ACT. 
I love you guys!
Watson Elder.


This week it got even a little colder! and with the moisture in the air.. it gets to your bones faster!

This week there was a bomb threat in the mall here. I guess it was the 3rd one this year. Kind of crazy. we were walking by it and all the police were everywhere!

REMEMBER... idk if you all know this yet, imp sure you do! BUT we just got an email from the first presidency telling us of this HUGE news for the church that is involving all missionaries, members, everywhere! The church is buying out YouTube for a whole day, Dec. 7. which means.. that on the front page.. and then EVERY SINGLE ADD on YouTube for that day is going to be all about the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. HOW AWESOME IS THAT??? do you realize that YouTube literally covers every single part of the world that has internet access? do you realize how big of a missionary opportunity this is? do you realize how expensive that is?? ha  This is just one of the ways the church is calling the world to come unto Christ. I hope that we all can take part in this huge event by inviting all our friends to YouTube! ( how easy is that? ) there will be a new video on Christ ( HE IS THE GIFT). The church is making very specific pass along cards that we are supposed to give out to everyone just for this purpose! DO NOT miss this great opportunity to do missionary work. I seriously am so excited for this. This will be great for Hungary. I invite all of you to get INVOLVED!!!! open your mouths! be bold!

Also this week there was an open house for the new church house that was built here in Szeged. WE spent the whole week getting ready for it and advertising it. There was a surprisingly GREAT turn out! the whole chapel was full of interested people. And it was a great opportunity to get the member missionary work going. The members here took charge of the open house. And our job was to mingle with people. ( talk about a feast for me... ) my job, specifically, was to stand by the door and talk to people as they were going out and see if they were interested in learning more and to give them book or Mormons if they were and wanted to meet sometime. by the end of the 3 hour period I alone had given out 46 Books of Mormon and had set up with several of them. It was a huge success. such a  great opportunity!!:)  it was fun!

this week I got another hair cut! um... yeah. it’s kind of weird having a comp going home. sometimes I felt like I was going home with him. ha it’s a weird experience. BUT today we got our transfer calls and I am getting Elder King. he is from orem Utah. I will be meeting him tomorrow up in Budapest. I’m really excited!:) this transfer flew! and this one will as well. 

Almost one year from today I received my mission call. Black Friday of last year. I can’t believe that it already has been a year since that time. I remember the excitement of waiting for the call to come. I remember everyone coming over. I remember how it was hard for me to even open the dang packet. I remember not recognizing the name of the place I was called to serve. I remember looking it up. I remember hearing the language for the first time, it sounded like Chinese. I remember that and so many other things. it’s crazy to think that a year has past, I can speak the language, my relationships with everyone has increased, And it’s no more a foreign land to me. Time moves very differently on a mission. It’s very weird.  Just 4 more pdays I will be able to talk with your guys once again since the airport! Then I only have 2 more home calls to make and then imp home! Each one of these "mile stones" is always a good time for reflection and for remembering where it all started. I read something really interesting the other day, and this all ties in very well with thanksgiving also. It said "
President Brigham Young pointed
out that all men know there is a God even though some have forgotten that they know. He said: “I want to tell you, each and every one of you, that you are well acquainted with God our Heavenly Father, or the great Elohim. You are all well acquainted with him, for there is not a soul of you but what has lived in his house and dwelt with him year after year; and yet you are seeking to become acquainted with him, when the fact is, you have merely forgotten what you did know. “There is not a person here to-day but what is a son or a daughter of that Being."
The fact that we are ALL sons or daughters of a heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother and that they love us and have done everything for us from the very beginning (if there ever was a beginning). To the talents that we have, to the family that we have, to the husbands, wives, children, Food, warmth, shelter, happiness, a Christmas tree, computers, iPad, iPhone, the very hair on our heads, EVERYTHING.... we can be thankful for to the very God that created everything including us. We can be grateful for health that we have received! we can be grateful for the opportunities that we have to play basketball or football or soccer or whatever it may be! we can be grateful for the opportunities that we have to be with our families and to create memories with them. We can be grateful for the friends that we have. We can be grateful for the opportunities that God gives us to serve others. WE CAN Especially be grateful for the knowledge that we have of the plan of salvation and of the gospel of Jesus Christ. --- We can even be grateful for the hardships, and discouragements, and the trials that we all face in our lives. we can be grateful for resistance. Or, rather, we can teach ourselves to be grateful for those things, because they allow us to grow, to experience, to appreciate the good times more, and to become more like our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. WE CAN, AND SHOULD be grateful for all things that our God has given to us. And we need to show our gratitude to that God who has given us all things through obedience, through serving others, through loving others. We should show our gratitude by living the law of obedience, the law of sacrifice and the law of consecration.  With that we must always remember that Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory.  I invite all of us this thanksgiving season to show a little more gratitude to each other, but especially to God, by being more obedient. by being more Christ like. by giving a little more, by loving a little more, by trying a little harder, by sacrificing a little more, just BY BEING GOOD PEOPLE. I love you guys, I am so grateful for you and I hope you all feel that love that I have for each and every one of you. Have a great thanksgiving weekend! 4 more weeks till I get to skype with you all! be safe till then! ha
Watson Elder.

Sup family!

I loved all of the videos, emails, and pictures that you all sent me! :) made me miss you guys a lot! I’m glad that life is moving along really fast! Luke and jaroms pictures in the leaves were really funny :)  it was good to see all of you on camera and to see all of you still alive. It’s crazy that purple and white basketball game is this Friday. I remember last year’s game like it was yesterday. Max you better kill it! you got to keep the Watson Legacy going! ha I heard that you got the jersey #1! ha That jersey is going to be in the Watson name for the next 10 years :) I love hearing about your success. I am really jealous though. you’re lucky! take advantage of every single second. And just enjoy it and have fun!

It looks like grandpa and grandma G got the first snow fall of the winter this last weekend. and That’s awesome that stake conference was last week, so was ours! and we had 2 of the seventy here as well! I will talk more about that in two seconds though! 

This week was really cold here in Szeged. Then yesterday it rained, imp really surprised that it didn’t snow. Also, had my first hot chocolate of the winter season this week! :) Hot chocolate is outrageously priced here. ha anyway. 
This week I pulled a little prank on my companion. So I don’t know if you guys remember that in your package that you sent me, there was a little ring spider... ha-ha well.. while my companion was in the shower, I went and placed it on the top of his bed. I placed the ring part down the wall so you couldn’t see the ring part. Then I waited for him to see it. He didn’t even notice it till that night. We got back into our apartment and we were changing and stuff. And then out of nowhere he was like "elder Watson, get over here right now.  come here come here. " and I was like in my mind " yes he found it." and I had to try really hard not to laugh. So once I put on a serious face I went over and checked it out and I was like " dude.. that’s a huge spider holy smokes! " and then he jumped back to the other side of the room, grabbed this rod thingy and was freaking out. At that moment I hurried and said, " dud I got to film this! " so I grabbed my camera and got the rest of it on film. ha-ha it was so funny. He flipped out and said " dude, I have a freaking phobia of spiders, and bugs. Like seriously, I can’t even go over there. you got to do something about it. " ha-ha then he went to poke it with the rod that he had in his hang and then he noticed it was a ring and he said he was going to kill me. ha Hopefully you can see the video. I will try to find a way to send it. its hilarious :) anyway, that was fun. Never really pranked a companion before. ( actually yes I have. but not with a spider. ha ) --- that was a funny thing that happened this week. 
We did tons of tabling... tons. this week. And it was pretty successful. We tabled in a new spot in the city. It was at a huge tér where there was thousands of people. I got the opportunity to talk to a lot of JWs. I talked to this one Jehovah’s witness for about an hour and a half and got her to accept a book of Mormon, which they are not supposed to do if you know anything about JWs. It was pretty funny. she pulled all of her moves on me like " do you know what god’s name is??..... JAHOVAH! " " nothing is outside of the bible " then she quoted several scriptures. then she kept asking me crazy, random questions. I didn’t bible bash with her ( although I would’ve won ) I kept my cool and used the book of Mormon a lot. I used moroni 10:5 the very popular verse. and talked about how we can know all things are true through the holy ghost. and then I asked her what she knew about the book of Mormon and the Mormons. and she didn’t know much. and then she started to get all defensive, and saying.. " I feel like you’re  in a bad place" and she talked about Armageddon and all that crap. then she said how imp in a bad place and that it’s not going to be good for me at the day of Armageddon. Then she told me " I am a Jehovah’s witnesss, i represent him" and ha, after that, I had a lengthy reply to that........ I told her, how can you tell me imp in a bad spot when you don’t know what spot imp in?? how can you tell me the book of Mormon isn’t true when you haven’t read it, let alone know nothing about it? then I went off and told her and boldly told her how we represent Jesus Christ and we hold his power and authority, and how the true church has been restored ( I told her and talked to her about apostasies, Noah, Moses, Abraham, etc. ) anyway.. an hour and a half later.. I got her to accept a book of Mormon and she committed to read it. :) ha  that was my JW experience for the week. There are so many here. 
Then we met this new lady this week, which is turning into a very legit investigator. She came up to us after she saw us tabling and she had her baby with her and said, " I want to learn about your church and I also want you to talk to my baby in English. because I’ve heard babies who learn English when they are young are then smarter. " ha funny thing. but we met with her this week and we taught her about the gospel and the book of Mormon, she accepted a copy and said she would read it. then we literally talked to her baby in English. ha-ha  and next time she said she wants us to bring the English book of Mormon and read it to her. ha ha-ha so funny. It was fun though. it was The baby, the mom, and then I and exstrom and we got a story book and made up our own story with the pictures in the book ( in English of course ) it was pretty funny. but that family.. would be the coolest family if they got baptized. they have 2 sons that are 12 and 10 and they love basketball. so this Saturday we are going to play bball with them. It’ll be fun :) 
next, we had zone training this week ( it was here in Szeged ). They asked me to give a little disclosure on faith at the very first of the meeting. So at the very first I talked about faith for few minutes and used 1 peter 1:6-9 to help me express myself. It was really good. I talked about how.. our faith can be put into anything. faith in my companion, faith in the weights to get big muscles. faith in the computer, faith in... etc. and the scripture says.. we will get the object of our faith.. so the question is... what is the object of our faith? what do you put your faith in? What should it be in?... our faith should be in Jesus Christ and his atonement. Faith in J.K and his atonement is an enabler.. that allows us to change our lives. to let go of the past mistakes. it allows us to overcome every sickness, challenge, hardship, trial. if that trail is waking up at 630 every morning.. if our trial is the language.. if our trial is the music we listen to. if our trail is loving someone. if our trial is patience. if our trial is forgiving.. if our trial is overcoming one of our bad habits or weaknesses.. whatever it is... with faith in J.C and his atonement.. we can overcome all things and "receive the object of our faith" which is salvation to our souls. ----- that was the really short version of what I kind of talked about.
Saturday morning we had to wake up early and go help this member in the branch move some furniture from his friend’s house to his house. He lived clear out in the falu ( village ) outside of Szeged and his door to his house was literally 5 ft. tall. ha I had to duck to get in. and then imagine us carrying huge long furniture in there. I had to like squat and walk at the same time. ha and of course, they made me carry all the heavy, big stuff. ( since I was by far the biggest one there. ) It was quite the experience. Then after that we had sport nap ( which was really fun and competitive ) after we had a lunch appointment at this lady’s house ( who we tracted into on Tuesday, got a let in, then she invited us back for lunch on Saturday ) it was probably the healthiest meal I have had a Hungarian feed me. it was rice, potato soup, vegie.. mix.. stuff. then some nuts and stuff for a sweet afterwards. ha it wasn’t too bad tasting.. it just didn’t fill me up at all. So afterwards, we went and got some pékség real quick :) 
On Sunday, it was a big stake conference. The stake doesn’t consist of everyone in the country. only some cities. and Szeged is a part of it. So we had to ride up on a bus with 19 other branch members that could go. it was really fun and it was really good for us. We built some good relationships with the members in the branch. it was about a 2 or 3 hour bus ride to the stake center. It was cool as we got there because all the members from győr were there.. I got to see and talk to them again. Then they put in the 2nd stake pres. and presidency EVER. it was pretty historical. two of the seventy came, of which I got to talk to one of them and to president smith for a little bit afterwards. They are awesome men. the senventy that I talked to gave a great talk with a lot of great thoughts. ( it was in English of course, there were translators there) which I will share those for the spiritual thought at the end. 
other than that.. it was a pretty normal week. Work is going good. It’s just getting better and better. It’s crazy. transfers are next week on Wednesday! that means.. next week I will not be emailing on Monday, but on Tuesday! I will probably remain in Szeged because exstrom is going back home to Alaska next week! pretty crazy to have a companion who is going to be home. and he will be in Utah before I will be. ha.
Anyway, for my spiritual thought.. imp going to use what the seventy said. and I am going to tweak it just a little bit too.
So, we have a rose (the flower. ). think about everything a rose symbolizes... it represents love, happiness, beauty. and when you look at it from a distance, or even just a few feet, it is beautiful. BUT.. when you put it under a microscope.. it is absolutely HORRENDOUS. UGLY. But.. when you look at it from a distance, it looks good. (the seventy related this to the stake president and presidency as a joke, it was funny. ) but then he continued and talked about this:-------------------- how... WE SHOULD NOT.. put people, leaders, even ourselves.. under microscopes.   we are all imperfect. we will not gain perfection in this life. newly called leaders.. need time to grow. they need time to fill the "mantle" that has been put on their shoulders. ---------- We always need to remember.. ( but 95% of people forget ) ... that listen.. God does not measure us by our talents.. our beauty.. by our wealth.. he does not measure us by how good our hair looks or what kind of clothes we have. He does not measure us by what jewelry we have.. those are all worldly measures of the pride of the world. we must always remember that this fight we are in... is not against each other... ( yes competition) . but it is against sin itself. --- I invite all of you to take a step back this week and look at those things that really matter in this life. how we use our time.. look at the rivers that we need to cross ( because we all have rivers in our lives that we need and are asked to cross... ) ask you.. what is my next river? what is it? then create a plan to cross it. and ask yourself.. ( what do I need to do today to help me cross this river? --- in our life.. we aren’t asked to do that hard of things. the commandments aren’t hard to keep. Christ has already done the hard part. are we going to do ours? are we going to CHOOSE to be healed?? because healing is a choice
I love you all. have a safe week this week. we get to skype in just a few weeks! 
sok szeretettel,
Watson Elder.

1 comment:

  1. Great mission and missionary! Thank you for posting these. Keep up the good work.