Sunday, March 15, 2015

1 Year Mark


HAPPY VALINTINES WEEK TO ALL! Happy love week! It kind of really sucks being away from your loved ones around these types of holidays.. because that’s what it’s all about! being around your loved ones! I hope that mom is still doing her traditional valentines dinner! That was always a fun time :) I hope that everyone has snatched their "valentine" for this week! :) ( if anyone was interested, Hannah ROSE IS MINE!:) I got the best.. sorry :)... ) BUT watch out for max.. he might have a secret one! ,) jarom, Luke, your too young. but what I did when I was your age was: I wouldn’t take valentines candy or gifts to school.. then I would get one from everyone else and it was great :) free chocolate!:) ha-ha I suggest that route. ,) 

This week we are going to have zone conference on Friday! which means we won’t have a district meeting.. so last week we had district meeting and it was really good :) It was all about LOVE! :) we had some great discussions going on. I made everyone share their love stories. ha then I made them all go around and tell us of a person or people and an example, of how someone else’s love.. effected their life. There was a lot of cool stories shared and actually a lot of tears shed too. It was a very spiritual meeting. We talked a lot about charity, and the love of Christ. 

A lot of surprises happened this week. The first one happened and started on Monday! Each Monday we have this thing called Csaladi Este. ( family home evening. ) ( and yes dad, I welcome everyone to "csaladi Este" ha :) But anyway, we were there and this random guy just showed up and no one knew who he was. So, I went up to him and started talking to him and he was like yea.. I just came! I don’t know anyone. I came once 5 years ago and I just thought I would come again and see what it’s like. So I was thinking,... well cool! so I asked him to meet with us and he agreed. He lived out in gyula. so we went with the smiths later in the week out to gyula to visit this man. As we got there we walked into his house and he had TONS of hunting stuff. it was really cool. he had all the bones from the animals that he had shot. he had stuffed animals ( real ones ) and then tons of fur and stuff. it was really cool. As we sat down we gave us some drinks and some suti. The drinks looked like they were water, so I didn’t think anything of it. But I was really thirsty and took a big drink and as it went into my mouth and down my throat.. it freaked me out! it surprised me. it wasn’t water that’s for sure! it was really bubbly and it had a really good taste it. But then right before the smiths started to drink it I was like " hey! don’t drink that yet." I swore it was some kind of alcohol.  Elder smith didn’t hear me and he drank it and he was just as surprised as I was. ha-ha it was actually really funny. he made a great face. ha :) but anyway. then I asked him if it was and he was like nem! citrus!. I was like.. okay? still confused. sooo I might have tasted alcohol! idk! anyway. as we got to talk to him I guess he met with the missionaries 5 years ago and he didn’t get baptized because he felt like he should study more and read more before he did. so he stopped meeting with the missionaries for 5 years and now he says he has come to find out that this church is the true church. he has read the whole book of Mormon, he knows EVERYTHING about our church history. he would say things like " in 18...something. Jesus appeared to joseph smith in the kirkland temple! and I was like.. YEAh! he told us everything he knew. and he knew everything! and he said that he is ready to get baptized! most prepared guy I’ve met here in békéscsaba. So he is getting baptized in march! :)  super excited!

So that was the first surprise. second surprise I got a email from the church telling me that I pressed a wrong number on the keyboard while I was doing mls. then I got an email from dad about that. kind of embarrassing but nem bi! :) got it fixed! 

This week we also met with this really cool family that we found and we taught them the full restoration. They loved it.. they asked so many good questions and they were all there intently listening. They accepted a book of Mormon and they committed to read it and to learn more. they have a little boy and a 12 year old girl. It’s really cool to have them gathered around and to teach them the restoration. the spirit is really strong as you teach the restoration, especially to an entire family. it was a cool moment, because in Hungary.. you don’t teach full families very often. it’s a rare occasion. 

We got fed some sketchy food from some investigators this week.. and luckily we didn’t get any kind of disease.. ha I was literally so close to sneaking it in my bag or throwing it out the window while they weren’t looking. but I didn’t. I should’ve though. 

Anyway. lately we have been giving tons... of blessings to people. we had the great opportunity to give out 5 more blessings this week to members who needed them. It’s a very rewarding experience. 

Then another surprise happened. so a while back, since we are the branch presidency.. this member called me and said that she would like to go to the temple and that I needed to register her to go on this temple trip ( so quickly I will explain how it works here. So the closest temple isn’t very close. and Hungarian is a very.... not popular language so not very many people speak it. so they could go to the temple at any time.. just the endowment sessions wouldn’t be in Hungarian all the time. so they have things called "Hungarian weeks" at the temple. where everything, for a whole week, is in Hungarian and everyone in the temple is Hungarian. so for these weeks I guess we have to register everyone and do all the planning for that. ) but before I found out about it I didn’t know about it. she wanted to go with some other ladies from szeged to the temple on this temple trip. so I told her to contact the szeged president because he would know how to do that. Then I told her that we can only give the temple recommend interview and we didn’t know how to do the registering. Amway.. a couple days later she called me and said that the szeged pres. said that I must do it. so I called pres. smith ( because our branch is under the mission.. not under the stake.) and he told me that we aren’t supposed to do that. so then I called her back and told her that and I told her to contact the stake president. well.. anyway. long story short.. he couldn’t do it either so what I had to do.. was call the patriarch for the eastern Europe region and he had to walk me through of how to do it. I guess we was the administrator for these types of things. It was kind of cool to talk to him though. he isn’t Hungarian, he’s German. and he learned Hungarian too because of his wife. ha so we were both speaking our second languages to each other. because he didn’t speak very good English. it was really funny. I’m surprised we got it all worked out. so on Thursday.. we spent a good 3 hours trying to figure it out because there was so many problems. but we finally got them registered and ready to go. know if anyone else wants to go.. I know how to do it real quick! :) ha It was kind of a fun adventure on the computer. ha 

Then on Saturday we got a call from the people who were supposed to speak in church telling us that they were all sick and that they couldn’t this week. so I called elder smith and told him and he asked us to fill their spots. ha "great.............." I was thinking in my mind at the time. because here church is only 2 hours. sacrament and then Sunday school or another class. and we already had to teach Sunday school as well. ha so Sunday was a realllllly busy day for us. we ended up having to give half hour talks each because the sacrament literally takes like.. 3 minutes to do since there isn’t as many people. I decided to talk on the gospel of Jesus Christ. but I focused on the parts that I wanted to focus on and then I made those parts really personal for the people there in church, since I know everyone and everyone’s situation. I ended up saying little of what I had planned because I ended up going off tangents that I felt were needed. But the talk went well and the spirit helped me speak Hungarian well and helped me speak period. It was a cool experience. ha how many get to say " yeah.. on my mission.. I was in this tiny town called békéscsaba.. and I conducted the meeting. then I blessed the sacrament, then gave a talk, and then taught the Sunday school. ha " it was really fun for us :) 

anyway! so that was the week for us this week! including last night when our power went out and we tried to fix it but it didn’t work so we have to contact our land lord.. but she hasn’t answered yet.. so we are out of electricity for right now ! 

mom- food and money supply is doing really good. :) weather is still freezing. snowed once last week. I’m jealous that its getting warm for you guys. you’re in for a hot summer!:) 

dad- I got the videos you sent of you and the fam.. but the problem is that I have a crappy computer right now and they won’t let me watch them :( sooooo I will save them and when I get a better computer I will watch them. Just so you know! 

This week for my spiritual thought I want to say what I said to our little branch here in békéscsaba and I told them that this message isn’t coming from me.. or from my comp. or from elder smith.. or from pres smith.. this message and ( talk) is coming from God. 

In D&C 64- 9-11 it reads : Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
 10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
 11 And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds
Hungary isn’t an easy place to live in. you are constantly being attacked by Satan and his tools. You are truly on the front lines. The members are fresh here. the church is fresh here. there is a lot of people who persecute the church. And the members, especially at school or in work places get made fun of a lot. and, just like in any ward.. there is always some drama going on. 
But just like this scripture says.. and the commandment to love one another is so vitally important in our lives today. We aren’t perfect. We won’t be perfect. we will make mistakes. we will sin. it’s so important that sin is condemned and that mistakes are addressed. But it’s even more important to show an increased amount of love after they are condemned or addressed. Love is the essence of the gospel. it is the gospel. 

This was my message to the branch this week and to you as well! make and extra effort this week, and every week, to show and express more love to those you love. to your family members. forgive them if you need to forgive them. get over yourself if your need to get over yourself. say the phrase "I LOVE YOU." people need to hear that. they need that even if you don’t think they do. they need to know someone cares. you never know what people are going through. and as members of this church, that is our sacred calling. is to LOVE. You can be the best basketball player, the best baseball player. the fastest man on the court, the smartest person in school, the most popular, etc. you could have the most gifts and talents than anyone else.. but without charity you are absolutely nothing. we teach in part, we prophesy in part, we learn in part, we have the gift of tongues in part, we receive revelation in part, and to all these things there will be an end. But charity truly never fails. it’s easier said than done. But make it more a part of your lives this week! and make it more of a staple in your lives! because therein happiness is found and achieved. 
I love you all! I hope you know that. you are all in my prayers constantly. 
sok szeretettel, 
Watson Elder. 

Hey my awesome family!

Yes! Spring has finally shown itself here in békéscsaba! Last week it got up to 53 degrees and it felt soooooo good. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining bright! :) It really affects your mood each day. And this week is supposed to be the same! It supposed to just keep getting warmer and warmer! :) I love it! That means summer is almost here! 

I enjoyed all of your guy’s emails this week. It looks like everyone had a fun, busy week. It’s so crazy to me that Basketball is almost over. Max, make the better of every second! And once the season is over, after your last game, I would suggest to you to take a piece of paper and write down all of your thoughts about that season and about what you liked, and didn’t like. About what you did well, what you struggled with. What you wish you would’ve done better. And then take that piece of paper with you into the auu season and work on those things. Because you will get a rush of mixed feelings at the end of each season. Make sure you make the best of them. 

Hope you all had a great valentine’s day. We had a pretty good valentine’s day here although I was missing my valentine back home! We had zone conference on Friday and then all day Saturday we had a district finding activities and then a party at the church that night. My district just consists of us, the sisters, and the smiths. So in the morning on Saturday the sisters and the smiths went in their car and "heart attacked" people. We went with ricsi and did some less actives around békéscsaba.. and well.. I made one mistake that actually turned out to be really cool. But I will talk about that in two seconds. 

Then we had lunch, and then we had a district tabling session. during the week we cut out and made tons of hearts that we could hand out to people on the streets. And on Saturday around 1 everyone was outside in the main square walking. It worked out perfectly! We set up the table and then we all spread out and talked to everyone that passes by and told them happy valentine’s day and gave them a heart. Then if we could we would try and talk to them about the book of Mormon and stuff. We got a couple of new investigators out of it and we also made a lot of people smile and laugh. We had a really fun time doing it as well. It made a lot of peoples day. 

Then that night we had the party where most of the branch members came and a lot of our investigators came. But get this! at the end of the party 2 crazy things happened. 1- a 9 year old girl accidently broke the glass on one of the doors in the church. ha I was right next to her as it happened. She just tripped and her butt accidently hit the window really hard and broke it! ha but since I was right there and I didn’t want her to start crying or feel bad I started laughing and smiling and gave her a high five and told her it was alright and everything. guess what! she didn’t cry! ha she almost did, but I stopped her! Then the 2nd thing, was that towards the end, a random couple showed up. we had no idea who they were. Well.. come to find out we accidently "heart attacked" the wrong house on one house. ha-ha and it turned out to be this guy’s house.. and when his girlfriend came over and saw all the hearts that said " we love you!" " come to our party tonight!" and "we miss you!" ha-ha she got a little mad. So they came to the party to figure out who did it. and once she saw it was us she chilled out and was really cool with it. ha The guy thought it was awesome and we got a selfi with him. ha-- we ended up talking to them for a good 30 min. about us. and about why we are here and about our church. He really liked us and we really clicked.   accident that turned into a miracle!:) got two new investigators out of it! :) 

That was my valentine’s day. Then president Lázar came down on Sunday to visit us. ( he is the 2nd councilor in the mission presidency. )  It was cool to visit him and to hear him talk in church. 

Also on Sunday, we finally had our first real priesthood meeting and next week we are going to organize our first priesthood quorums here in békéscsaba! It’s so cool to be a part of. it’s so cool to be serving in a place where the church is still super new and the branches are small. It’s so cool to be able to teach and direct the future Hungarian church leaders. Elder sterri and I taught the first lesson to them and conducted the first priesthood meeting. Historical moment in békéscsaba! 

a lot of other things took place this week. such as:

I fixed our electricity in our apartment! turns out there are 3 separate breaker switches here in Hungary! ha and this one that I needed to flip was clear outside. 

We got new phones! which means... I had to change all of our numbers over to the new one.. yes.. that was painful a little bit. ha. 

I finally got my papers into the Bank and got my name on the church’s account here in békéscsaba, so now I can clear things that go through békéscsaba on online banking. 

We got bikes! :) it’s starting to be nice weather and not too cold to ride bikes so we got some! now we are cruising all around the city! :) it’s a lot more effective!:) 

I gave ricsi a haircut.. and ha-ha believe it or not.. I’ve given tons of haircuts on the mission. So it turned out pretty good! ha 

We did tons of tracting this week and had a lot of success. We taught quite a few of lessons and we got a lot of let ins. thank goodness. it’s rare to have weeks like this. 

Another one of my investigators in Győr called me this week and told me he was getting baptized and that he really wanted me there!!!!! ( but it’s too far :( ) his name is Ádam. I’ll tell you what.. it’s very satisfying to see those you found and taught.. to progress and  to get baptized. Then you look back on the whole story.. ( since I was able to see the whole thing)  and you get to see the miracles that you didn’t notice while you were in the moment. It’s a very rewarding thing. 

yesterday I was invited by an investigator from the sister’s companionship to go play basketball with the békéscsaba basketball team. ha-ha They heard that I am going to college to play and they were like freaking out and they want me to come play with them during a practice. That’ll be next Monday at 730 at night. I’m super pumped. I haven’t shot or touched a basketball in 4 months.. but.. I promise you that they will be dominated. ha-ha. I just need to watch out for my eye. ha 

anyway, that was my week! coming up on 11 months down on the mission, months are flying. I’m stepping into my 12th month in the service of the Lord here in Hungary. The feeling, the experiences, the spirit that I have felt and that I am feeling is indescribable. You truly feel like you on the wings of angles as you are out here. Some days you look back on the day, or some days you take a pause and think about what is really happening right then... and you truly feel like you aren’t yourself. you’re not in your shoes. you aren’t living your life right then. You feel like you’re walking in someone else’s greater, larger shoes. You feel like you are being carried by your lord and savior. I’ve had many talks with my companions about this very thing and they confirm to me that they feel the same. You learn to make sacrifices. you learn to be obedient. you learn to love. you come to learn what life is really all about. You learn to feel the spirit more than you ever have before in your life. and you learn to follow the promptings of the spirit. you learn to smile. you learn to enjoy life in the moment. you learn to be patient, even though it is really hard sometimes. you learn to wait for things. You truly learn how much you loved your love ones. you truly understand the definition of FAMILY. You learn to give yourself to the lord. 

I just want all of you to know, Family mom, dad, bros, extended family, Hannah, Holgate’s, friends, That I know that Christ lives! And that the divinity of missionary work is real. And all those things that I just described are the blessings that are promised to those who FAITHFULLY and humbly SERVE THE LORD. I love you all. I miss you all! 1 year left! 

love you! 

Watson Elder. 

Dear Family, 

This week was one of the best weeks, as far as the work goes, that I have had on the mission. We were packed with meeting with people that we have found from 10 in the morning to 930 at night. What a wonderful experience it is to meet with these people in Hungary. You truly gain a pure love for them that only comes through the Christ. As you humbly and faithfully serve the lord with all your heart, might, and mind.. you truly BECOME a true disciple of Christ. It is a becoming process and I am learning more about that each day. I am so grateful for all of your support that you all give me. I want you all to know that I feel your prayers and they make a great difference here in Hungary. A mission is truly an affair for all that are involved. And the blessings are for all in involved. Of course it’s hard at times, and it will be hard at times. But the Lord knew that we could get through those hard times and that, in the end, they would all workout for our good and experience. GLORY IN TRIBULATION! for tribulation worketh patience, and patience worketh experience, and experience worketh hope. Always remember that as you go about your life. Go about doing good. Do all things cheerfully that are layed in your reach. and then stand with the up-most assurance to see the salvation of Gods hand. God loves each one of us. We are children of a Devine God, and we each have a divine nature and destination. When times of trial hits, keep pressing forward. Look to serve others. Because you are truly happier when you are serving others than when you are serving yourself. Keep the commandments, re.-arrange your priorities if needed, read from the book of Mormon every day. support, lift, and love everyone that is in your life and everyone that you come in contact with. You might not know what is going on in their life. And everyone needs an uplifting, loving, encouraging hand in their life. Don’t judge. Be loving. be charitable. Do all things with a Form of godliness. Love God with all your heart and all your mind and with all your soul. 

These are just some of the things that we get to teach people everyday. these are some of the things that we get to practice in our lives every day. And it would be good for all of us to continually revise, review, and change our lives. Exercise and experience the joy that the Atonement of Jesus Christ has in store for each and every one of us. 

Like I said, we got to meet with many people this week. It was a rollercoaster as we tried to serve them with the love of Christ. You truly feel the saviors love for them. You are given the gift of discernment to feel what they are going through in their lives. You rejoice with them, you sorrow with them, you cry with them, you share the warm amazing feelings of the spirit with them. Your testimony grows as theirs grows. 

We were able to move up our bap date to march 7th! so next week we will be having a baptism is everything falls through, which it should :) 

We are meeting with 3 families right now and it is so cool to see the effects of the spirit that it has in their lives. What a miracle it is to see that change occur in their lives. 

We were able to give several blessings this week of comfort and of sickness. It seems like everyone is getting sick this week. My companion and I, during our course together here in békéescsaba have given probably upwards of 15 blessings each. Miracles are happening in Békéscsaba. 

We finally connected to our investigator that we didn’t know to do with.. and guess what! it was family search that go to him! We are starting to do his Family history with him and he loves it. The spirit of Lord is touching his heart. 

We were able to teach Sunday school this week again about john the Baptist and about repentance. A lot of us take the Atonement of Jesus Christ for granted. I would strongly encourage everyone, as they teach, as they hold family home evening, as they take part in councils.. to tie everything back to the atonement of Jesus Christ.. "that our children my know to what source they can find a remission of their sins." 

The Weather is becoming more like spring weather. Probably the best time to be in Hungary out of all the other seasons. 

I love you all. Be good. Be virtuous. Be valiant in the Testimony of Jesus Christ. " Let every man learn his duty, and act in all diligence in that office." Each one of us has a great responsibility in life. Let us control to the best of our ability everything that lays in our power to control. And then let the lord take care of the rest. 

sok Szeretettel,

Watson Elder 

Dear Family,

We are officially stepping into the 12th month mark of my mission! Each day I realize more and more how quickly the mission goes. But then again, how slow it goes. I wouldn’t say the mission goes slowly or fast, I would say it just GOES. Time just keeps on ticking from one second to the next. But I begin to realize how short this mission really is. Each day I come to understand better the short amount of time that we have, right now, to be ordained servants in the Lords hands. The minutes that you are given are so precious. 

I loved all of your emails from back at home. And I am happy that everyone is doing well and everyone is happy. I got a world update from dad and it seems to be the same old world. Except possibly Russia could invade Hungary next, or ISIS will come up through Rome from the south. The more we read the scriptures and the more we look at the signs of the times... the more we realize that the second coming is truly on our door steps. 

This week in Békéscsaba went pretty good once again! I don’t know if you guys have heard about this, or saw it on KSL. But I knew about it a long time ago, and just never remembered to tell you guys, so I guess I will tell you now! Hungary’s new mission president is going to be Hungarian! It will be the first Hungarian mission president. Everyone is pretty excited and it just shows that the work in Hungary is increasing. We will be getting a new mission president in July. And since he is Hungarian... ( he does speak a little bit of English) but all of the interviews, zone conferences, etc. will be held in Hungarian. It will be a big change and it will stretch our language skills. But it will be a great blessing to all of the missionaries that come to Hungary. 

Another history making moment took place in békéscsaba this weekend. Elder Smith, my companion, and I were able to organize the very first priesthood quorums EVER here in békéscsaba. We set apart 2 priests as assistants and then we set apart a deacons president. It was a very amazing, special moment for all of us. 

A couple people got really sick on our branch this week. One of them got cancer and the others got this influenza that has been going around. We had the opportunity to give several blessings of healing and of comfort. It’s really cool to think that there are only 3 people that hold the priesthood power of god for a good 20,000- 30,000 people. The members here really rely on us. It is a good reminder constantly to us that we must keep ourselves clean, and pure and spiritually tuned at all times so that we may be ready to act in the Lords place. 

We went up to Budapest earlier this week for interviews with president. They went really well and it was nice to sit down with president for a little  bit and talk. 

We met with a lot of people this week but I want to tell you guys about two people that we met with and what happened with them. 

First we met with this couple who we tracked into a week before. They let us in and they fed us some homemade kólbász and this weird cheese and bread. ( total Hungarian meal) It wasn’t bad though. Then we were able to teach them a really good lesson on the restoration. But during the end of the lesson the couple made some pretty interesting comments. The wife said " hundreds of missionaries like you, from all sorts of faiths, have knocked on our door this is the first time my husband has let someone in like this. " then the husband said " did you guys feel that feeling as you knocked on the door and we were standing there at the door talking and you were telling me about this (restoration) Joseph smith? did you feel that feeling that we were like... good people and that you needed to talk with us? because that’s what I felt. " In short.. this man is a very.. hardy man if I was trying to describe him. And he was trying to describe, in his own words, the spirit that he felt as we were teaching him about the restoration of the fullness of the gospel right there as his door. Sometimes as missionaries you are so used to having and feeling the spirit that sometimes you don’t recognize that the spirit is going through you to those people you are teaching. It was an eye opener to me that truly, as you teach the restoration in the very first meeting with someone, wither it be at their door, on the street, or at any other place, that the spirit powerfully works through you and it testifies unto them. 

Then we met with this man named Karóly. He actually found us. He walked into the buildings English class last week and he wanted to meet and talk with us. As we met and talked he explained his story about how he is a x priest at a reformist church. He said he quit because everyone was hypocrites and he felt this emptiness inside of him. He remembered seeing us on the street and wanting to talk to us. So he came to find us at our building. We met with him twice this week. In both of the lessons miracles took place. in the first meeting with him, we taught him the restoration. And about how every church has truth to it.. but that the fullness of the truth is found here in the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. We went on to explain to him how there was a great apostasy and how there was a need of a full restoration. As we taught him about joseph smith and about the priesthood. Then about the book of Mormon and the role of the book of Mormon... He opened up to us and he started crying telling us that he knows that this is true because he didn’t feel empty anymore, he felt the spirit testifying to him. Long story short, it was the 3rd ever program.. on my mission where all of us were eventually crying. The spirit was so strong. We invited him to pray with us to ask God to see if these things that we taught him were true or not. We all knelt down together in a circle in the room where we were meeting and he offered a very heart felt prayer. He struggled through his tears finishing it. We sat there and I asked him how he felt and he said " I know it’s true. " We asked him to be baptized and he accepted. right now we have 2 baptisms planned for march 21. ( since the zone leaders have to come in and interview him since I am the district leader and cant interview my own investigators. ) 

We met with several people this week and those were some of the better more spiritual ones. 

All in all, miracles are happening in Hungary and more and more people are coming to the knowledge of the truth. And it is a great honor to be able to be a part of it. And to see people change their hearts and come unto Christ. You learn very quickly as a missionary that you aren’t living your life and the words that you are saying aren’t your words. ( or at least that’s how it should be) 

As your investigators testimonies grow.. yours grows. as your investigators change, you change. Although missions are not easy, and my seem long at times...  When you are in the baptismal font and you put your arm to the square and say " having been commissioned of Jesus Christ.." It is something that is not only meant to change that person you are baptizing forever, but it is meant to change you forever as well. It’s supposed to change you into a more devoted, faithful, loyal disciple of Jesus Christ for the rest of your life. 

This is something great for all of us to understand, put greatly by Elder Holland, 

The first and great commandment is to love your God with all your heart, might, mind and strength. And the crowning characteristic of love has been and always will be Loyalty. 

In what ways can we be more loyal to our loved ones? In what ways can we be more loyal to our loving savior Jesus Christ? 

I love you all! 12 months left! 

Watson Elder. 

My Dear Family,

I really enjoyed reading all of your emails that you sent me this week. I look forward to them each week. I’m glad that you guys had a lot of fun and a lot of cool experiences happen to you this last week. And I’m also glad that it snowed back there! 

This week in Békéscsaba it was sunny and felt like spring all week :) Couldn’t ask for better weather. I’ll tell ya what! Weather has a huge effect on your attitude, especially during missionary work. It also has an effect on the people, they are naturally nicer and are willing to talk/listen to us! A couple of unexpected things happened this week. 1- We were able to visit 2 different high schools this week over here in this area. On Tuesday of last week we were invited to go over to a high school to visit the different English classes. It was a really cool experience for all of us. We finally got to see what a Hungarian high school is like. And let me tell you this, you are way... lucky to go to the high schools / middle schools that you go to. this example should sum up what I am talking about: We met the teacher and she took us to her class room, it was in between the bells so kids were walking everywhere. And then the tardy bell rung, and a student wasn’t there. The teacher asked where the student was, and another student said " Oh, he’s out taking a smoke." Then the teacher leaned over to us and said " oh, he’s just out taking a smoke, he will be here in a few."    I was like, wow. in America it’s illegal to smoke on school grounds, and here it is like.. encouraged almost. And these kids were like 14- 18 year old kids! As we sat there in front of all the classes we got some weird looks. They all asked a lot of questions about America. We got to stand and introduce ourselves.. it was a good time. They all wanted to play me in basketball. I was like.. "bring it!" ha :) We got along with all of the kids. Then once they noticed that we were normal.. kind of cool American guys they opened up more. Everyone is scared of that name tag ya know... ha 

Then we were unexpectedly called this week by another English teacher who needed us to come be judges for this regional English speaking competition at another school. Where kids from all of the schools in the region came and competed. It was a lot of fun and we felt like we were famous. All the kids were like. AH!!!!! Americans! ha they were all excited and they all wanted pictures with us. This age’s group was from 12-16 or something like that. I sent you guys a lot of pictures of it. We had to judge, then we went to an award banquet where we had to give out the awards and give like a little speech to the kids. It was a lot of fun, and we got a lot of good pictures :) And it was a good view for the church. All the kids’ parents were there as well and they got to see us missionaries. So I hope when we go tracting now.. someone will have seen us and they will let us in :) ha 

Our work is going great. We have a huge pool of investigators. We are working harder and more efficient than we ever have in BOTH of our missions. We had a total of 35 programs all together this week, with 7 investigators in church! Zoltán is getting baptized next week, then we have 2 more baptism coming up in the next few weeks including ( Karcsi, and Alexandra. ) It’s a great privilege to have to be over here and to work with these great people. We have seen their lives totally change, some turned completely upside down, and go from that darkness to that light. It’s amazing what the gospel can do :) 

We went on splits with the Zone leaders this week. They came here. Honestly, splits kind of like. Through a rock into the week. You’re just never as efficient as you are when they come. But all in all, it was a good split. They spent the night over at our house and we ordered pizza for them. 

Yesterday was a pretty big holiday here in Hungary. It was Nő NAP!!!!!! which means.. Woman’s day! It’s a big thing here. and the tradition is that on woman’s day.. they usually go around to all the woman that they know, spray them with water, and then give them chocolate and flowers. it’s very similar to mother’s day. I suggested to my district that since its Hungarians mother’s day.. we needed to skype our families. They liked the idea.. ha :)  so.. to all the woman in my life.. ( mom, Hannah, grandmas, aunts, cousins) HAPPY WOMANS DAY! in church we got flowers for all the woman and had the men go around and give them all flowers.. like we would do back in America.  

Other than that.. it was a good week! full of programs.. sometimes we were in the branch house from 2 pm- 930 pm full with program after program. It’s much better than tracting 8 hours a day :) ha 

Weeks are flying, transfers is coming up once again on the first of April. Only a couple weeks away. this week a 70 is coming on a mission tour. We have to go to Buda on Thursday for that. this guy spoke in general conference in 2010. his name is President Patrick Kearon . and he gave the talk  “Come unto Me with Full Purpose of Heart, and I Shall Heal You,” found in the October 2010 Session of General Conference.  So we are looking forward to that. We also... have found a golf course that is only 500 ft to go! so.. one pday we might have to go try that out :).. we will see! 

I love you all and miss you all. You are all in my prayers every day. 

As a missionary you see things, hear things, and experience things that are incredible. You hear of the most horrific life stories... you hear the saddest words. You see evils surrounding people everywhere.  You see people’s lives torn to shreds. You experience the sweetest joys, and also the loneliest lows. But through all of it your testimony of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father grows tremendously. You see the lord’s hand in everything you do. you learn to work with the lord. You are called and expected to grow spiritually faster than anyone else, and more than any other point of your life. And as you humbly, and faithfully serve the lord, this takes place. But the opposite can take place as well if you are not careful. 

I know that Christ lives, and he is in each one of our lives. We will get to that glorious day of the first resurrection.. and I think we will all be surprised at just how familiar... Christ’s face and our heavenly Fathers face looks to us. He knows us, He’s taught us, He has spent time with each one of us individually. like it says in 1st nephi : Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

I know that this is true.

Watson Elder

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