I have to repeat what mom said in her email.. " I am in disbelief that I actually wrote "1 year mark! ".
It is so crazy to think that I have been studying this language for 1 year, that I have been away from you all for 1 year, and that I have been a missionary for the Lord for 1 year! There are a lot of mixed feelings like I said last week. I feel like I have been out here for ages.. but at the same time, especially looking back on the MTC day pics that dad sent me.. it feels like I just started. And the statement "the second year will go by even faster " is 100% true. it is already flying. Mondays come so fast. I only have 51 more emails left. it’s kind of crazy to think about.
This point in my "mission life" is a great time for reflection and change. It’s a great time for goal setting and revising. This last week President Koraen came to visit our mission. He is from England with an awesome accent. He is an amazing man. He didn’t serve a mission, he was a convert at the age of 24 years old. and now... at age 50, he is in the first presidency of the seventy doing a lot of good for a lot of people. during his stay here in Hungary.. on Thursday of last week, he got a call from his wife, who was in tears, reporting that his wife’s mother had passed away suddenly. but during this trying time he decided to stay with us and speak to us. The meeting was very spiritual and powerful. He expressed his thoughts on the plan of salvation and told of the joys and peace that he has received in just the past few hours from it. He described what it felt like having a loved one pass through the veil. He said that when our loved ones pass through the veil.. there must be blessings attached to it, that at yet, we do not understand until we go through the veil. We had to wake up at 400 to get to Budapest by 900. we were in Budapest from 900 to 600. and we got home at 1000. It was a very tiring.. spiritual draining day. Pres. Koraen spoke of many great things that wrote down and that helped me with my " reflection and change, goal setting and revising" period. I will share with you one thought at the end.
This week was full of spiritual experiences and miracles. First I must tell you about one of our "golden" investigators ( friends ) who wants to be baptized into the church on April 11. Her name is Alexandra and she has a 5 year old daughter. I found her while we were tabling. I went up to her and started talking to her and asked her if she spoke English. she said yes, so I gave her an English class flyer that we had made. then I felt like I should give her a book of Mormon, so I told her that we are giving out free books today and offered her one. she accepted. I got her number and I set up with her a time to meet. at the time I met her she seemed drunk, loopy, she was in a state of darkness, in all sense of the word. we went and met with her for the first time and as we walked into her house, she had her friends over and her brother and her dad, and they were in the kitchen drinking and smoking. we went into the other room and sat down. we felt the darkness all around us. then we saw her little daughter Vicki. She is so cute and she loves us. As she sat down she pulled out the book of Mormon and said " I started to read it, and I want to know more. " she went on to explain the rough situation she was in in her life, and how she didn’t feel like there was a way out. I won’t go into details of what she has gone through, or what she is going through.. Through the course of the last 2 and half weeks we have taught her everything. she understands it, she understands the spirit! it’s so cool having her explain to us what the spirit feels like. the book of Mormon has LITERALLY changed her life. now, when we walk into her house... that darkness has left and the spirit is there. there is no drinking.. no smoking.. nothing. we are giving her a picture of Christ to put in her house. The total feeling of the room has changed. though she hasn’t had any schooling since the age of 8, since her mom took her out of school so she could have more money towards drugs, she understands the spirit and the scriptures just like a member who has been in the church for 20 years. the spirit has enlightened her mind and her heart. we literally didn’t ask her to be baptized. she said " I want , and NEED to be baptized. " it has been a joyous journey thus far with her. her life has literally taken a 180 and we are blessed to be here to see that take place. -- I cannot explain to you the happiness and joy, the love of Christ, and the rejoicing that has thus far taken place with her. After that first meeting with her, My companion and I looked at each other as we were getting on our bikes and we both said " she needs the gospel. " we both felt the power, we both felt the love Christ has for her. -- on Saturday we put her on schedule for baptism for April 11. she committed to us that she is done smoking and done drinking, done with coffee, done with tea, everything. She came to church on Sunday and afterwards, later in the evening we dropped in to see how she was doing. she said it has been extremely hard not to smoke and she is going through withdrawals from it. she started smoking when she was 13. she is 24 now. I felt prompted to ask her if she wanted a priesthood blessing. I explained to her what they were and how they are to be used and how they could help her. she said " oh, yes please!! today in Sunday school I heard one of the ladies say that they were struggling with a bad habit and then when she received a priesthood blessing it helped her get over it. and I want the same." I explained to her that this is the power of god and that the blessing will be coming directly from her heavenly father. and that it would bless her with the strength to overcome those bad habits according to her faith. she understood. she asked me to be the voice in the blessing and as we laid our hands upon her head I could’ve just said " Ránk ruházott mélkesideki papság felhatalmazása altal, helyezzünk a kezünket a fejedre, és a jézus Krisztus nevében, egy aldást adjuk neked. " and be done because I felt the power go into her body. but throughout the course of the blessing I probably spoke the best Hungarian I’ve ever spoken in my life. God loves his children and he wants EVERY ONE.. of his children to return to him. EVERY single one of them. he loves them. --- she texted me this morning and she told me " I am feeling so much better than yesterday, thank you so much for the blessing. it’s helped. I’m doing it! " obviously in Hungarian. but it is truly a miracle. her changing her life, will bless her daughter’s life, and it will bless her children’s children. she is a pioneer in her family. in all senses of the word. It is the coolest thing to see and to experience the power of god.. the power of the atonement, the power of the book of Mormon and prayer affect someone’s life so much. Within this 1 year of being out here in Hungary.. that’s one, of the several amazing experiences that I have been blessed with. and I have learned.. grown.. become more like Christ than I ever could have than if I would’ve stayed home. because of these 2 years.. I will become a 10x better son of god, son, grandson, husband, father, and grandfather and brother. I’m very grateful for the hard times I’ve had out here. for the successes and failures. for the struggles, for everything that I have experienced. and I’m grateful for the opportunity that we all have to grow closer together as a family. extended family, and loved ones.
other random things that happened this week
I met the owner of the big mall here in békéscsaba and he is going to get us into the mall for free to advertise our English class. which will greatly progress the work.
my comp ate some bad food and got sick for a day or two.
this is the busiest I’ve ever been on the mission! so much work going on!
So transfers are on April 1. so next week pday will be on a Monday.. but then the next one, it will be on Tuesday. I could be moved. we will see what happens!
so Pres. koroen ( forgot how to spell his name) , said so many good things that I could tell all of you. but these two stuck out the most to me.
1. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.
as missionaries. you can choose to be happy or not happy. as people in this life, we can choose to be happy or not happy. reguardless of our circumstances. it’s a mental choice. but further than that.. WE CAN CHOOSE to be a great missionary, we can choose to be obedient, to be humble, to smile, to laugh, to be cheerful, to work hard, to be successful. WE CAN CHOOSE. God has given us all free agency to be agents unto ourselves... to act. and not be acted upon. WE can choose to be happy a smile and laugh reguardless of our circumstances.
2. ATTACK YOUR DAY.
replace attack, with REAL INTENT. wake up and attack your day. as missionaries.. you have to do that to accomplish your goals and be successful. as missionaries.. you will never have a perfect day. NEVER. EVER. you could always do more. but we must attack our goals. with a sense of urgency. and our driving force should be our deep love for our savior. and as people, as members.. we should ATTACT our days as well.. live each day to the lord. re- convert yourself every day if needed.
I love you all! I hope you have a great week! :) we have hit the top of the peak! 51 more weeks.
Hello from békéscsaba!:) It is a beautiful spring morning here in Hungary. The sun is out, its warm, the bird or chirping. sometimes in the morning after I get done working out and taking a shower I go out in our back yard, because the sun is out by that time, and I put my face up towards the sun and close my eyes and pretend that I am on the beaches of Hawaii:) its very relaxing:) fun fact! the sun is up now at 515 every morning! :) it makes it so much easier to get up in the morning. In the winter.. oh man, it’s so hard to get up. anyway!:) Summer is coming around the corner and Easter is truly here! Transfers is also here, next Tuesday morning we will get a call from president, getting the call for where we should go next! I’ve been here the longest, so I’m expecting to leave, but who knows! anything could happen. If I do end up staying this will be my longest area. It would be cool if I stayed. We have so much work going on, it would be cool to see the people progress and to see them get baptized. We have a couple planned that are going to happen in the next transfer, so it would be awesome to see that.
But speaking of baptisms! Elder smith was able to baptize this man named "Zoltán" this weekend. It was so cool to see. I had to help teach elder smith the baptism words in Hungarian, and haha he had a hard time memorizing it, but he finally got it!:) We were worried that he would have a hard time getting him up out of the water, but he did great! his pronunciation was great as well :) And he got him completely under the water, so we didn’t need to do it again :) And then on Sunday, I was blessed with the opportunity to confirm him to the member of the church and to give him the gift of the holy ghost. It seems like I just confirm everyone! haha must be good at doing it or something! or.. the lord is still giving me opportunities to do it because I keep messing up! ha one of the two :) -- THEN!!!! here is the surprise for the week! Alexandra has officially stopped smoking, and she says she is ready to be baptized! So there will be another baptism here in békéscsaba on Saturday! And... haha guess what.. she asked me to confirm her! lol :) I’m getting really good at this confirming thing:) I’m excited. It will be an awesome weekend. It’s cool to see someone you found just a month ago on the streets.. and then watch the Book of Mormon change their life.. and then watch them get baptized. once again, I can’t explain the joy that you feel as you see someone change their life, and get back on the path. its csodálatos.
It was another normal week, another busy week. We were full with programs all day every day. But some interesting things happened, like for example, I got to hold a kakás.! ha There is a first time for everything.! It was big bird too! They run relaly funny:) ha ha I cracked up laughing several times just watching them run around. I might’ve turned into a 4 year old again for 2 seconds. I Started chasing a couple just so that I could see them run... haha.
We were invited to more schools this week! We taught a total of 4 English classes in different high schools this week. Once again, it’s a great "rep." for the missionaries, and for the missionary work. People are actually starting to like us there! But like I said last week, schools have a very different standard here.. than they do back in Utah. There is a lot more bullying, a lot more.. well.. everything. ha -- It was fun to teach them about our lives, and why we are there. we have got several new investigators from going to these high schools. -- GET this! so we met with an 18 year old kid, and he mentioned to us that in one of his classes they watched the movie " the other side of heaven" and I about died! haha I was like what??? serious?? are there any Mormons in your class?? and he said " nope, and the kid who brought it is far from Mormonism.! " It was shocking! so I guess people watch that over here. It’s a great show!:) For those who haven’t seen it, I suggest you look it up. It’s about a Mormon missionary life in Tonga! :)
On Friday we were invited over for dinner by the coolest, only, Mormon family in békéscsaba, and her name is edina, and the husbands name is Tibor. Tibor made us some American hamburgers and we had a good time playing some games with their little kids. At the end we shared a little spiritual message about prayer. We related prayer to a hamburger, and we taught the little kids how to pray. Then we finished up by reading the scripture out of 3rd Nephi where Christ says " knock, and it shall be opened unto to you, ask, and it shall be given you. " ( or something like that:) ) It was a really fun night!:) Edina and one of the daughters just got back from week long temple trip that they took to the temple in Germany. They talked in church all about their experience, and it made me miss temples a lot. I cannot wait to go the temple every week again. It’s amazing how much you NEED the temple in your life. Especially for you who have received your endowments. It is VITAL, that you go back frequently and refresh all those covenants that you have made with the lord. I can’t wait to go to the temple again! We are so blessed in Brigham city to have a temple literally... 3 blocks away. We don’t need to save tons of money to take a weeklong trip to some other country. IT is a so accessible to us. USE IT as much as you can!:) don’t take it for granted. Because there are hundreds of Hungarians who would love to go.. who haven’t gone.. who don’t have enough money to do it.
On Thursday, we went to szeged for zone training. It was good. Everyone was shy because president was there. It was awkward for a while until my comp and I started commenting and making jokes and making people laugh. ( appropriately obviously ) Then it lightened up a bit. It’s funny, when pres comes.. everyone gets way.. way... to tense. I’m sure those who have served a mission know what I am talking about. I hope :) ha That was my year mark! and we went out to a way good Indian food place that I knew about :) It was a busy, fun day. didn’t have time to burn anything though :( it’s alright!:) it’s against the rules anyway. ha
I played basketball for the first time in 3 months on Saturday.. and holy smokes.. it’s so sad. I’m so out of shape.. for example.. is it bad that I woke up the next morning and my fingers hurt and my hands hurt from dribbling the ball too hard and too much? ha my fingers aren’t used to it! then I jumped a lot and did some crazy things, so my back and butt, and calf’s hurt too. ha getting old..... ha jk:)
FYI! next week pday is on Tuesday! Transfers are on Wednesday! This week is really exciting for us:) we get to go to 3 high schools and we get to go to a huge convention here in békéscsaba! It was an idea that came up in our branch council a month ago that actually worked out! And this is what it is: Since our church has the biggest family history thing in the world.. we were going to hold a huge convention with the city officers, police, and the cities family history people, and everyone else who is interested. We brought this idea to the city, and to the police, and they loved it. They really want to target the youth here, because the youth get into really bad stuff ( obviously) because they have nothing else to do. So.... this week we are having this big convention in a really nice building in békéscaba. And it’s going to be all about the family search program of the church. We will also be advertising the book of Mormon, and English class. It’s being advertised as well:) we are pretty excited about it! it’ll be big for the missionary work here in békéscsaba! we will be the representatives there, and we will be able to speak and introduce everything. I’m a little bit nervous, but it’ll be good:) I’ll tell you all more about it next week!
Then we have a baptism on Saturday, then we have a couple birthday parties to celebrate! Elder smith is entering the 70s decade. And then it is also, since this is our last week of the transfer, and we might be leaving, our investigators are all inviting us over for a goodbye party, and a dinner! Can’t complain with free food:) -- so we have a fun week ahead of us. And then its goodbye to the last march I will ever be in Hungary! The best season to be here in Hungary is the late spring, and early summer. It’s pretty, warm.. and they have a lot of fun things going on.
for my spiritual insight this week I just wanted all of you to know how much I love you and how much I think about all of you! I also wanted to thank all of you for the great lives that you are living. Each one of you has a great impact on many lives, including mine. Even if at times it does seem like you’re making a difference.. you are. People are always watching. Each one of you is holding up your light that you have, which light is really Jesus Christ. And it literally changes people’s lives. people might not even know you, but they know that you are a Mormon and they see that you have a smile on your face. And they want that smile on their face as well. Heavenly father has dropped us off at the school of life, and he wants to receive everyone back into his arms when the last bell, of the last hour, rings. Everyone is "homesick." And the light of the gospel is the medicine that fixes that "homesickness" that everyone has. And it is our responsibility to share that gospel with everyone. If you have someone in your life right now, in a class, a neighbor, someone on Facebook ( even though Hungary is really behind and we don’t have Facebook privileges) SHARE THE GOSPEL. be brave. offer then a free copy of the book of Mormon and promise them that it will change their lives and it will make them happy. Be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, and in deed. Thank you so much for the lives that you are living. The good lives that you are living. Each one of you does so much good in the world, more than you realize. Keep it up.
with much love,
Well another transfer is winding down to an end, and another transfer is about to begin! We received calls from the APs and from President this morning concerning our transfer calls and it was really surprising to both of us. The smiths put on a transfer morning breakfast for us at their house. And there we all heard each other’s transfer’s calls. I was expecting to stay here in békéscsaba for another transfer or two, and we were expecting elder sterri to leave for his last transfer. But, obviously, that’s not how it turned out to be! Drum roll please...............................................................................-------------------------------------------- I am heading up to the great city of Budapest! I will be stationed in the Kis Pest part of the city. I have to finish training a greeni. I honestly am super excited. I’ll be a great new adventure. I feel like I’ve accomplished everything that I was sent to békéscsaba to accomplish and I’m ready to go onto the next. I can’t remember my new companion’s name, so I will have to tell you that next week! Tomorrow I leave békéscaba. But since I wasn’t expecting to leave.. I haven’t packed at all, so I don’t have much time to write emails today. - I will probably be in Budapest all summer long. Which means.. I will be here for august 20th!!!! It is the Hungarian national holiday! Like the 4th in America. And.... that means that I will be in Budapest for the celebrations on the big river during that day! I’ve heard it’s one of the coolest things you can see in Hungary! Plus, in Kis Pest, I will be able to see all the cool buildings in Budapest. so, in short, I’m pretty happy about the transfer call!
Like I said, I don’t have much time to write emails, but I will quickly tell you some events that went on this week.
In the big picture of things, it was a really normal missionary week. But we also got to do a lot of cool, special things. For example, we got to go to békés... and we got to take part in a Family history convention. The people in charge saw us walk in, and they knew that we were Mormon missionaries so they called us up to the front. As we got there, and after having her introduce us, she asked us to give a presentation on our family search website. We were shocked. We didn’t know what to do, we didn’t know that we were supposed to give a presentation on family search... so I was trying to quickly think of something to do.. and the first thing that came to my mind is to log in on my account and to show them ( about 50 people ) my family tree! to show them you guys! So I logged in, and tried to navigate myself around family search for 30 minutes. Luckily, it all worked out, and all of you got shout outs! So that was a pretty exciting event this week!:)
This Saturday we got to experience another baptism! Our investigator Héjjas Alexandra got baptized! She has come a long way since we first met her. She has stopped smoking, when she started smoking from 13 years old. She has stopped drinking, coffee, ect. Her life has taken a 180 degree turn for the good. She has a new life! She has, and is and will be facing a lot of challenges, but the gospel will help her overcome all of her challenges. Elder sterri baptized her on Saturday, and then we had a big lunch for her afterwards at the branch house. And then that night we celebrated Elder smiths 70th birthday ( for the 2nd time, because us missionaries threw him a surprise party on Tuesday morning) with a big dinner at their house, Alexandra was invited that that as well. Then Sunday was a super busy day. We had to get everything ready for conference, we had tons of announcements and tons of things going on. But probably the best part of it was when we got to confirm Alexandra as a member of the church and she received the gift of the holy ghost. It was a very spiritual meeting and the ward members are doing a great job with welcoming her into the branch family.
I’ve made a lot of friends while being in békéscsaba. Its treated me well, it’ll be hard to say goodbye to everyone, but it’ll also be super fun to start a new adventure in a new city.
General conference is coming up this weekend, I’m really looking forward to it. It’s crazy that its already here again. 6 months go by so fast. This is my second to last general conference! So crazy! I encourage all of you to prepare yourselves spiritually and mentally for this great opportunity to listen to a living prophet and living apostles! And be safe in all your guys’ travels!
I love you guys! I’m excited to get your emails next week to hear how everything went!
I just quickly wanted to let you know that Gods hand is in everything. Everything happens for a reason and God has a great plan for each and every one of us. I’ve learned that.. just about more than any other thing on my mission. For me, I’m put in different cities for a reason. I have companions for a reason. I talk to certain people for a reason. I find certain people for a reason. For you, you are where you are at for a reason. You are by your neighbors for a reason. you know those people you know for a reason. The challenge is realizing and finding that reason, and then accomplishing that reason.
I love you all!
What’s up family!
I loved reading all of your emails and seeing all of those pictures that you sent me of your little weekend adventure up to Idaho. I’ll be honest, it made me a little jealous... But grandma Gardner.. I am so proud of you for shooting your first gun, and I’m pretty impressed by mom shooting the AR15. I’m super glad that you all had a great week up in Idaho and that you all enjoyed G.C.
SO! I’m officially in Kis Pest. Transfer weeks always seem like extra-long weeks. You have to adjust to a new city.. a new companion, new people.. new members.. new everything! Especially coming up to Budapest.. there isn’t a city like it in Hungary.. so it was almost like a culture shock all over again. But, I am beginning to love it. The city is so beautiful and HUGE. ITs quite amazing to see. -- So the place we are emailing at, is the place where the elders have always emailed at here in pest. But its super.. super.. getto. And literally it sucks. ha We have to pay to use the computers so... this email might be shorter than the rest have been. I won’t be on as long as I usually am. which sucks.. but... I’ll try to figure it out. :) I’ll have to go search out a college or something. But for this week I have to email here! so sorry!
My new companion is elder Nordberg. He is a greeni. And he is from the state of Montana. He is actually a convert of 17 monthsish.. He was baptized in October of 2013. He is a great guy and it’ll be fun to work with him for the next 9 weeks. It’s fun to finally be able to teach someone to speak Hungarian. haha. He is my first young companion in the mission( although he is still older than I am ) Ever since my second transfer in szeged I have been senior companion and I have been like.. " the older one". but now, I have someone who doesn’t know how to speak Hungarian! so I am pretty excited about it. it’ll help my language skills out by helping him learn Hungarian. it’ll be a good 9 weeks!
We live in a 10 story... yeah.. kind of sucks. but it’s not that bad. My bed is super hard though. but we have a great couch in the front room, honestly I sometimes just fall asleep there. It’s a lot more comfortable. The kitchen isn’t horrible, but it’s not the best.. as I’m sure you can all see in the picture. but all in all.. it’s not that bad.
our area here is soooo big. we cover 700 thousand people. just us 2. haha And I have a feeling that in the summer we will be running into a lot of tourists. It sometimes takes us 45 minutes to an hour to get to one person’s house, and then another hour back. And well.. the public transportation here is massive.. so let’s just say we’ve gotten lost a couple of times. :)
Some areas here are really sketchy. for example. we were in eating somewhere last week, and I was ordering and this guy came in right behind me and used me as a shield to steal a couple of drinks. I didn’t even see him or notice him, but another guy saw him do it and it erupted into a big yelling fest. IT was crazy!
Another example.. we went tracting and as I walked up the first floor.. I heard some snoring... I paused and I was like " no way... " I looked and there was homeless drunk people passed out of the stairs. It’s so crazy. So I told my comp to get a word of wisdom pamplet and told him to go prop it up right in front of his face, so that when we wakes up.. he will see it :) haha it was pretty funny :)
The church members here are pretty cool. It’s a big ward, so it’s hard to get to know everyone. But I’ve met a lot of cool people so far.
Happy late Easter to all of you! The Hungarians have some weird Easter traditions.. they do have the painting eggs tradition and the Easter bunny. but then another big one is where... the men go around and spray water on all the girls and the girls have to either give them chocolate.. or a kiss. (weird) but Hannah and mom, watch out next year,) better have some chocolate or kisses ready ,) :) ha
Anyway, so that was a little bit about my new area and about my week. it was tough to leave békéscaba and all of my investigators. Kis pest is 100% different than békés. ha :) but I will learn to love this place too. This Saturday and Sunday, as you all know, was General conference. This was the first general conference where I watched all of it in 100% Hungarian. And haha I actually really surprised myself! I understood all of it! I honestly understood elder packers talk better in Hungarian than I did in English! haha ( just probably because he sometimes is hard to understand in English. ) It was really cool to understand, and to hear all of general conference and to hear the prophet talk in a different language. As we all sat together as a ward in our chapel watching it there was a great spirit with us. It’s so cool to serve in a place where the church is still like a baby. I love it.
Then yesterday, for Easter, we went around and visited some families in the ward, and some in active families to share a message about Christ. The last family we met with was the coolest. They are all inactive except for 1 girl who is really active and loves the gospel. She is having a lot of struggles because of her inactive family. There house is really a humbling thing to see. they live in a small house with 11 people. 2 old ladies, the mom and dad, and 7 kids. Its chaotic. there’s crap everywhere. But it was so cool to go in there and create a spiritual climate. We all gathered in the living room, and I made everyone come in and join, ( some of them didn’t want to.) but I forced them anyway. ha :) then we sat down and we had a little testimony meeting right there in their house. And it was amazing to experience to feel the spirit come into their home. (which hadn’t been there before. ) as each one of them talked about Christ. My comp and I finished the testimony meeting with ours. My comps was simple, but powerful in broken Hungarian. And then I finished with mine and asked them when the last time they felt the spirit was. ( obviously I told them not to answer that question. ) but I asked them. And I told them how I was feeling the spirit right in that moment and I bore my testimony about how Christ lives. and what the real meaning is when we say " Christ lives". Then I challenged each one of them to read and pray every day. They all accepted :)
It was a small, but awesome experience. And that is exactly what I got from the prophets and apostles this last weekend. The importance of family, of marriage, of raising kids, of temples. those things are truly the goal of life. its true happiness. its real everlasting happiness. the role of a mother and father are vital. it was so cool to go into that home and conduct a little family home evening with them.. that I’m sure they hardly ever have. I’m grateful for the example that I have had with my family back home. Family, family prayer, family home evening, family scripture study, and family trips to the temple, family meals, and family everything is so important. I can truly testify to that.
I love all of you guys! be so safe for me!
My Dearest Family and Loved Ones!
The second week in Budapest was a lot better than the first! This week seemed to just fly right by! I’ll get to more about what happened during the week in second! But first I want to tell you all how much I enjoyed everyone’s emails this week. It’s so fun to get pictures and get updates from all of you. It seems to me like all of you had a great spring break and you all did a lot of fun things. I’m really jealous that I am not there to do all those things with you! And dad, I’m really happy that you caught some fish. ha.
It’s so crazy to see Dillan home. He is looking really good. I loved all the pictures that you sent me of what I’m assuming was after church luncheon thingy! I really wish I was there! And it’s so crazy that Elder Richards is home. And.. haha I’m glad that he, somehow, even if it takes being at the temple at 6 in the morning, ran into all of you guys to deliver the messages I told him to give to you all. I Saw him on Wednesday in Budapest before he went to the airport. We usually saw each other at transfers! I hope you all enjoyed him speaking a little Hungarian to you all! ITs a crazy language huh? It’s not an easy one that’s for sure!
Mom! I got your package last week! And I loved it soooo much! Thank you so much for sending that mom:) I love my little ball, it gives me something to play with at night :) ha And Hannah Rose! I got word that your package is there waiting for me at the mission home! :) And I’ll be going up there on Friday for zone training, so I’ll get it then :) You guys are the best :)
So, as for me and this week... honestly not too much happened that was crazy. It really went by fast and before I knew it I woke up and it was Monday! Crazy how time is going!
But this week in Hungary, the weather is starting to get really warm. Starting this week we don’t have to wear suits every day. ( thank goodness) :) all last week I was sweating all the time. But I’m excited for summer to come! Summer in Budapest will be really fun, and that means winter is right around the corner! :)
This week Alexandra, The person that I found in békés, She came up to Budapest to visit some of her friends and me! on Wednesday morning we went up to the train station to visit with her for a little bit. We went out for breakfast and got some pictures before she headed back to békéscsaba! And get this! She called me last night to tell me that she got a new boyfriend, and she really likes him and that he came to church on Sunday and he wants to meet with the missionaries and get baptized! I was so excited! If everything works out as she wants it, they will be getting married pretty soon! It’s really a miracle. She has been praying to find someone to marry for a while now, and now she might actually have found someone! Just so you all know, it’s really hard to find people to marry here in Hungary as a Mormon. So it’s truly a miracle.
the ward here is great. it’s the most self-sufficient ward in Hungary that I have seen. it’s a big change for me because I don’t have to do anything. But we were sitting in ward council and it was really impressive. I felt like I was in a real ward in like.. Utah or something. The ward here is pretty big. The bishop and the counselors love us and they are great guys. They made me introduce myself in sacrament meeting and to give a short 5 min talk ( spiritual thought really. ) ha it was the biggest ward I’ve talked in ( I mean.. they actually have youth speakers every week! haha :) ) , and everyone after was congratulating me on how well I spoke Hungarian. They are all very nice and loving here. I’m very impressed. I told them that as I introduced myself.
This week, this is our Accident ( but miracle ) of the week! We went to visit this old investigator that was in our phone, who we called and re set up with. And as week got to their place, we were 5 minutes late because of the tram. And We knocked on the door and this black dude opened the door! I was taken back, because the person that we were supposed to meet with was 1) a girl. 2) a Hungarian. haha so I was shocked. I started to speak to him in Hungarian, but I quickly realized that he didn’t understand what I was saying, so I dropped down into English and came to find out that he is from Nigeria! and he speaks okay English. I asked him if Anita was home, he said that she just barley left. So I was considering just telling him that we would come back later when she was home, but I had this feeling to keep talking to him and to get to know him a little bit. His name is Kenny and he really reminded me of one of my buddies from Dream Vision. So, as we stood there at the door talking to him I found out that he is playing pro soccer here in Budapest, and that he has been here for 7 years. Anita is his Girlfriend. They have 3 little boys. As we started talking and laughing at the door, he invited us in and we sat down on the couch and we asked him if he knew about the Mormons. or about the church of Jesus Christ. He had never seen us or ever heard of a Mormon before. So we started to teach him about our church and about the restoration. He absolutely loved it. he is super humble dude and loves Jesus Christ. As we started to talk about the book of Mormon we invited him to read and pray about it and we gave him a copy. But then he told us that he can’t read or write. it kind of took us back for two seconds.. we didn’t know quite what to do.. but then we were prompted to still give him the book of Mormon, that was in Hungarian, that he couldn’t read or understand., and ask him to pray about the book of Mormon that night and ask god, with the book in his hand, if it was the word of god or not. The spirit was really strong and he accepted. At the end of the meeting he told us that he really wants to learn more. So we set up another appointment for Friday. On Friday, we went back there and we had a super intense awesome program. As we sat there and started to talk.. he said some very interesting things to us. He really opened up to us and told us his story. he said " I never have opened up to someone like this except for with my girl. I just feel something really good from you guys and I feel like I can trust you and be open. " which really hit me hard.. because that is EXACTLY what Alexandra said in the second meeting. We listened to his story.. he doesn’t know who his mom or dad is. he grew up literally in the streets of Africa. he luckily got here to play soccer.. meet his girlfriend, and that was a miracle in itself that she accepted him. people are really racist here. and he shared a lot of other things with us. The spirit was super strong and we talked about the one question he had " how can I get rid of all these feelings of guilt and sins that I have made in my past? " Because he said he had been praying nonstop for years to get rid of the feeling and it never has left. Right then we followed up with his prayer and he told us that he had the coolest experience and without even reading it he knew it was the word of god because of what he felt. We talked to him about the atonement and the plan of redemption and about baptism. long story short, he wants to get baptized and he loves us! :) haha Its the coolest thing to see. We have to work out the girl friend situation, but after that.. he is ready to go. Luckily his girl is really humble and nice. Tonight we are meeting with him and his whole family at their house and it’s going to be really cool. He just might be the golden one from kis pest.
so my thought for you all this week is that there REALLY IS PEOPLE being prepared.. and people who are prepared to receive the gospel. It’s the coolest thing to see. And it’s one of the greatest feelings in eh world when you find one of those who is ready. You literally can feel it. and see it. And the spirit tells you " That man, or woman, Is ready. "
The gospel is true! The church is Christ’s. ITs all really Real.
I love you all! be so safe this week!
Well family! another week has passed and another week is up! It is so crazy that its almost may already, and it is my 13th month mark! we are almost into single digits on the count down! And my English is slowing getting worse and worse! My comp is kind of struggling with the language.. so he asked me if we could speak Hungarian almost 24 7 to really help him progress because he is sick of not understanding and sick of not being able to teach. So I agreed to do it with him, so the past week I probably only spoke 5 hours of English total. It’s really hard for me.. because he doesn’t understand perfectly. So I really have to explain myself and stuff.. but it’s a great teaching and learning opportunity.!
Outside of that I am so happy that all of you are still alive and you are all loving and enjoying life back in the states! summer is coming up very fast, and I hope everyone is ready for a hot summer! Because it’ll definitely be very hot here. Last week, even with short sleeves on, I started to sweat as we were preaching.
Luke, I know that you will be going through heck tomorrow.. but be strong lil nig! You’re a tough kid! Everything will work out perfectly! Just know that we will be praying for you here in Hungary!
SO! Tons happened this week. so I will try to quickly get to everything!
On last pday, we went to margit sziget.. an island in the middle of the river here in Budapest.. Just before it closed to missinoaries.. But it is a beautiful place.. whenever I come back.. that is a place to go for sure! And like in the pictures I sent to you.. there is a zoo, there is gardens.. ruins.. water parks.. trees that are huge and that you can climb on. That.. literally took me 5 tries and a fall to get to the main part. BUT! with persistence.. I finally made it! :)
This week we met with Kenny a lot! we practiced the ABCs with him, and we practiced writing the abcs and we practiced making the sounds. haha literally, there were so many times when I was helping him with the sounds and I lost it! we would both be crying because we were laughing so hard. since he is African.. some of the pronunciations he can’t say perfectly. ha :) it’s so funny.. Love that man! This week he wants to go to church and we are going to take him to the international ward in pest. There, church will be in translated into English and there will be some Americans there. So it will be really good for him.
We did tons of traveling around Budapest this week. it seemed we were always on the bus heading from program to program! it’s good that we are busy at least:)
We had zone training this week. President was there, and it was a really good training! I gave my part of the training, it was a "mission miracle" And I shared the story of Alexandra and how much she changed and how she now has a new life.
Then on Saturday, one of our investigators who is 17 really loves basketball. And he honestly isn’t that bad at it either. So we went and played some ball with him at a park. It was the first time I’ve played ball since szeged! long time! Let’s just say I was really sore! BUT!!!! I Still got it :) lol :) idk what it is.. but I think because of all the rest my body has had.. my muscles are just so much stronger.. we invited the other elders to come play with us and one of the elders were throwing me ally ops and I was literally flying. ha It was a 10 ft. hoop too! I was dunking with ease! :) And my hands can actually grip the ball hard enough so that I can just throw it down. ha It was a really fun, relaxing time for me :)
Then on Sunday, president came unexpectedly to our ward. And guess who got to translate for him.. YEP! this guy! And let me tell you. speaking, writing, understanding, and translating are completely different things. I translated for them in church, and in the other two hours. Translating is not an easy thing to do. I really have respect for those who do it for like general conference and stuff. Its hard work! But it was a good experience for me!:) I did better than I thought I would do :)
Other than those things.. the week was pretty normal. I can’t wait to skype with you guys. next week I should have the info about when and where I am going to be skyping. I’ll be trying to find someone this week :) I’ve been scouting out for a while to see who has the best toys that I can barrow and use:) ha I have a couple good places in mind! :)
Anyway, I love you guys! be safe for me this week! Be good boys and girls! be good examples. Be nice to people. Help others. Do the little things. Tell people you love them. serve them, do the dishes, ( be grateful for a dish washer), read your scriptures, pray, and lift others around you! You are all awesome and have had such a big effect in my life! I’m so grateful for all of you!