What a week! Another week gone, another week up! This week was just like all the others in the past, busy busy busy! But this upcoming week we are going to try to slow it down a little bit. Sometimes in life it’s not the best to be going 1000 miles per hour week after week after week. It’ll get to ya eventually! But we have enjoyed being busy and working hard. We have also begun to enjoy the fruits from it.
A miracle is starting to happen.. It’s starting to get cooler! Finally! :) I’ll be fine if fall just starts right now.. It’s going to make days even fly by that much faster! It’s interesting how the weather really effects days as a missionary.. If it’s burning hot.. It’s a long day.. If it’s nice.. It fly’s.. :)
This week we started our busy week early! Tuesday we woke up at 4 in the morning to get on a bus to head to veszprém for the day. We arrived at 830ish and then we spent all day with the elders there. I was able to go again with elder king, one of my past comps, for a day! It was a lot of fun.. It’s a beautiful city, and we also got a lot of hard work in. We went in to visit one of their investigators who cuts hair.. and he actually owns a really nice place. And then we walked in there and introduced myself, then he offered us both free haircuts and free washing of hair too. ha ( that was really Hungarian like how I put that. ) ha but of course I couldn't turn that offer down so I got a free hair cut! Then we went to dinner with the elders there. Then we got on a bus going home at 730 and we got home a little after 10 because the bus was late at where we were supposed to switch buses and we ended up having to wait an hour. Yes.. it was a long day.. but it was a lot of fun to see veszprém! The reason why we couldn't stay is because we had to get all our preparations done for our zone training on Thursday. We weren't quite finished yet.
President Szabadkai and sister szabadkai showed up at our zone training this Thursday. And it was an amazing zone training. super spiritual. super motivating.. super inspirational! We got an "okay" to use videos in the training so we used some clips from the movie miracle.... about the hockey team.. then we used a football clip from LSU. and we used others about Jesus Christ. atonement and missionary work. Our training was focused on Jesus Christ. his atonement, his Resurrection. and then about team work. We are all on the same team. about never giving up. And about success. We met with sister szabadkai and president szabadkai afterwards and they said that they just loved it. sister szabadkai told me that I really sounded like a coach or something. ha Videos are very powerful and they have a huge impact.. especially to missionaries.. because we never get to watch motivational videos or anything. Everyone ate them up. they loved it.
So the training went really well and then after we gave a couple blessings with pres. szabadkai to some missionaries.. and then we went with pres. szabadkai to our bap. dates house for an interview. That went really well.. she passed!:) Then after we splited with the elders from kaposvár. WE had a good rest of the day with them. They are two really funny elders.. and get his.. one of them literally has this sleep dreaming problem.. where he acts out his dreams when he is still asleep. I told him if he walks in my room and jumps on my on my bed and tells me to watch out because he sees a tiger.. he will be getting a bloody nose. haha but sadly.. nothing happened. I was kind of hoping something would happen. just for the story. ha
Saturday was the baptism! we went over to the kapnolnásiak for a lunch before the baptism. they are a really cool family in the branch here in duna. then we had to go over to the branch house and I started filling up the font.. and I made sure everything was clean and everything..
Then we had a wonderful baptism!!! it was very spiritual and a very cool experience! :) Elvira, she is 80 years old. she has been investigating for a long time... and we finally helped her get over her coffee addiction and she was baptized! haha, a funny thing happened.. so the day before I practiced getting baptized with her.. and I just told her to squat because I guess she has a bad spine.. so anyway.. as we got in the font.. an as she squatted.. she didn’t go far enough at all... and she was like floating and wanting to come back up really fast. soooo I had to kind of.. literally force her to get under the water. lol yes I pushed pretty hard, but yes it was successful the first time.. and it was nice.. soft.. slow... and she came up clean!:) ha and she is still alive:) It was fun for all of us. I’ll tell ya what! baptizing is a lot less stressful than confirming.
so that went really well and then the confirmation went good as well on Sunday! :)
Before I have to go today I wanted to tell you guys of a cool.. special.. rare moment that happened this week.
It took place on Friday night. you remember those guys we played basketball with on Saturday? well we played with them again.. this time in bball clothes... and they started to ask questions about our life.. about what we like to do.. about America.. and then they asked this questions which really surprised me, they said " so you know that book that you gave us last time? we read out of it and I read the first couple pages about joseph smith. could you explain to me more about what the book is? " these are two 16 year old dudes, and the one who got the huge thing of beer asked me this question. so I started to explain it.. and then they started to ask more questions out of real curiosity. " why are you here? what do you do on a day to day bases? " " why don’t you drink? what other things do you not do? what’s the difference between you guys and all the others? --- so. in reply to all these questions.. to 16 year olds.. you learn as a missionary to really get take advantage of every question. and you learn to not give back quick, short answers that don’t explain anything. So, in return to this boys question.. I started to talk about the basics. I explained that I was here because of my faith. And because what it’s done for me in my life and I want to share that with others. well.. as soon as I started to answer these questions... I started from where we came from. I explained the plan of salvation. I talked about good and bad, happiness and sadness.. true happiness and fake happiness.. wickedness and righteousness. etc. and I explained our real purpose.. and that there is a purpose to life. I explained how I didn’t need to drink and do drugs and smoke to be happy. I explained that through relationships with loved ones., families.. sports.. working out.. doing fun things.. and coupled with the knowledge of the plan of salvation and that our relationships with our loved ones are forever. And once we begin to understand our big picture in life and in the eternities.. that is true happiness. I went on and talked about the 2 hardest commandments for youth everywhere, especially in Hungary.. the word of wisdom and the law of Chasity and explained to them why and what they are. surprisingly they were so interested and they asked tons of questions and they wanted to learn more. during the conversation and the teaching I had one of those weird moments that you have on your mission where you are like ' what the.. I’ve been here before. " or at least it seems like that. and then the spirit tells you that you were supposed to be there and you were supposed to teach them these things. the 16 year olds listened and they weren’t embarrassed by the other 20 21 year old boys and girls ( great and spacious building ) who were making fun of us for a little bit.. until I gave them an ugly stare. They stayed. The one 16 year old who had the big glass of beer asked me at the end " so I don’t need this to be happy?" I told him, " NO, no you don’t. '" it taught me a great lesson. that they have just been born into this. they don’t know any better. they’ve been taught that this is happiness. they just need to be told that it’s not..and then let the spirit touch them. can you feel the spirit in a bar when you are teaching the plan of salvation, restoration, and the commandments? while people are making fun of you? YES. yes you can. because you are on the lords errand. if we all could’ve seen the unseen.. we would see angles everywhere supporting and protecting us.
I love you all! have a great week! school is almost here again!
Dear Family and Friends!
I hope you all know that I love each and everyone you! And I hope that you all know that you are all in my prayers and that I cannot wait to get home and party with you.
This week I had my first interview with the first ever Hungarian mission president! And yes, it was in Hungarian! literally.. I come out of the interview just.. really grateful that the lord has given us the gift of tongues.. it’s amazing to see how far I have come from the first days in the MTC and in the Field. It’s as if I had an interview in English with president smith! we had absolutely no problem understanding each other.. no vocab problems.. it’s amazing. The gift of tongues is a powerful, real gift. But to missionaries.. most of the time subtle. I say subtle.. because we still have to exert all of our energies in trying to learn it and we have to struggle.. and struggle.. and struggle.. and sometimes you feel like you are going nowhere and it’s impossible.. but then before you know it.. you are just speaking like a Hungarian and people are asking you if you have any Hungarian blood in you. -- President and I talked about some zone stuff.. about life.. other than that.. interviews went really well! Sis szabadkai made cookies for each of us.. got to spend some time at the mission home.. and it was fun!
the next day we had cleaning checks by a new senior couple.. Elder and sister Lund.. they are really young and super cool but super.. super... greenies.. haha. it was hilarious.. they walk into our apartment.. mind you guys that they just got off the plane yesterday and this is the first real Hungarian apartment they have been in .... and they were just going off about everything.. asking me so many questions.. and then she started to speak to me in Hungarian trying to explain her family and to show off her skills that she got in the mtc.. ( because she is trying to learn it) and I thought she was speaking French! I didn’t understand a word.. lol :) it was so funny:) reminds me when we first came out. ha I told her nicely that she was doing great and that she had a nice French accent. ha :) but what really mattered was that they made us banana bread! AMERICAN BANNANNA BREAD!!! and we got an A^+ on our apartment check :)
This week president szabadkai made a couple of interesting cool moves. as far as right now.. in all the month of august there is no English class. he doesn’t want us teaching any more English to people.. only the gospel. it’s cool, but interesting because English class has been around for at least 20 years! So it’ll be interesting to see what happens!
The day after the cleaning checks we went on splits to székes. It went really well. we played basketball with some Hungarians.. I showed em who is boss... :) ha and we had a good day with the elders down there. I also conducted a baptismal interview with one of their bap dates that is going to get baptized next week. That went really well.. no problems there. Then on Saturday it seemed like we had meeting after meeting.. with district meeting.. ward meetings.. then we had a game night with the branch.. and that took most of Saturday up. Then Sunday was a normal fast Sunday.
other than all this.. nothing really special happened this week. I would encourage you all to watch Max’s new highlight film.. it’s crazy how much he has grown since I have left. the link is : https://www.youtube.com/
I’m super proud of him.
The one little thought that I would like to leave with you all today is this
The secret of change.. is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old.. but on building the new.
I love you guys! have another great week! only about 30 more of these! ha
Dear Family and Loved Ones!
This week was pretty normal / crazy / busy / surprising.. just as every week is right? ha
On Wednesday I was up in Budapest almost all day again, and as I was in the mission home a surprise came walking into the building! It was Brother Grossen.. he was my MTC teacher and we were his last group in the mtc. He taught us Hungarian and he only spoke Hungarian to us for the whole two months. ( that must've been so hard ) it was hard for us.. that’s for sure. But he walked in and it was so cool to see him. He has his wife and his little boy that was born when I was in the mtc. its so weird how time is going. 18 months later we meet again! He started to speak hungarian to me to test me on how ive progressed and it was a little funny because I dont really know grossen when he speaks english.. its interesting how you gain two kinds of personalities.. ha but anyway.. so we talked for a little while in hungarian. about life.. about where i've served.. some experiences.. about his life.. what he has been up to. and etc. In the MTC we couldn't understand him at all.. and we could only understand like a couple words if he said them really slow... But it was so cool to have him come back..and he had a really hard american accent because he has been out of practice for a little bit.. but it was so cool to understand him completely and we talked and had a convo just like we would in english. It was a good reflecting moment for me. and he didn't correct me once! ha I passed the test! ---- as I was on the train ride home I was thinking of the odds of meeting grossen up there in buda. he didnt tell anyone was coming.. and I happened to be up there for some reasons.. and we ran into each other at the perfect time. It also dawned on me on how much one person can grow.. and develop in 18 months. We truly can accomplish great things and become great people in such a short amount of time here on earth. If we refrain from becoming idle. and if we work hard toward righteous goals.. with heavenly fathers help we can accomplish miracles. He will help us. And he will send us strength and power.
This Friday we went what we call.. Falu blasting.. that is where we prayerfully select a near by village and then we go there by bus or by train and then we walk a couple miles into the village and we preach the gospel by going door to door. ha aka tracting. these people in these falus have never received missionaries.. EVER. ITs a really cool feeling and its what I pictured my mission to be like before I came to hungary.. being in a random.. in the middle of nowhere village going from door to door bring the "great message of great joy". we arrived at 12 in this village and we stayed until 6.. we tracted for about 6 hours straight and it was hot. very hot. ha we had to walk this really long road to get into the village where the village only consisted of 8 big roads.. and probably about 200.. 300 people. we tracted only a portion of the 8 roads because of the success we were having. people were so nice and willing to talk and let us in.. and even people would see us walking down the street and offer us water because it was so hot. even though I had water in my bag we accepted it so that the Lord could bless them. we were able to gain 4 new investigators and we gave them all a book of Mormon and we set a return date to visit them and teach them. These people in these villages don’t really get out much.. as in.. they don’t go to the big cities much.. and no one who we talked to heard of us "Mormons". Its really cool for us and its really cool for me because going into these villages.. you are truly like the missionaries of old carrying the gospel message to peoples and cities that have absolutely no idea about anything. You go up to doors and if it feels right you tell them exactly who you are and what you are doing with the power of the spirit inside of you being poured out upon them. And you give them an opportunity to change their lives.. to accept the restored gospel that will change their lives and bless their lives forever. You are truly preaching the resurrection of our lord and savior Jesus Christ, that He lives.. that He speaks.. That through a modern day prophet he has restored His church upon the earth and that HE personally has sent us to proclaim this message to all the ends of the earth. In some situations I cannot tell you how powerful the spirit is as you tell people that and they listen and they feel your love and they feel the love of God. They have no option but to let you in and let you teach them. as we got towards the end of the 6 hours.. we were out of water.. out of books and sweaty and sun burnt.. and as we were walking on that long road back to the train station in the middle of nowhere.. I can’t describe it to you.. but you receive the greatest feeling of satisfaction. knowing that you have blessed this village. That the Lords kingdom is moving forward.. that it is truly touching every area of the earth.. that he is preparing his children.. that he is going before your face and his angles are round about you to bare you up. That you are involved in the greatest work that anyone could ever do while in the the mortal tabernacle and in the spirit. And as the spirit fills your soul like that.. you have absolutely no desire to do evil. all of your trials.. all of your pains.. and sacrifices become light because you realize that it’s all worth it. and that God will bless you and your family and loved ones and every single person that you come in contact with forever. What a privilege that we get to be the "elect of God" that we were saved for this time.. that.. it’s the fourth quarter in a football game.. with 3 seconds left.. and Jesus Christ.. ( the coach) has put in his best players for the last play of the game. AND THATS US!!!!!!! Do all of you realize that??? If there is another thing that I’ve learned while out here in hungary.. is that we are literally in a war.. that we are literally playing against satans team.. and satans team has been around a lot longer on the earth than we have.. and they might be stronger than us individually.. and they might keep knocking us down on our butt.. laying us out.. and giving us blind sides.. and in the pile doing dirty things to you.. but if we are relating this to a football game.. for life is truly a big football game.. we have been given some handicaps.. like the loss of our memory before we came to this life.. and a " used"' uniform.. (our imperfect bodies) so that the game would be fair. But if we try to play the game by ourselves.. satan and his team will always knock you down. again and again. We must work together as a team. We must call for help and say "come on bro.. you need to get my back! he keeps cheap shooting me! " whether it be with moral struggles, anger, pride, jealousy, worries, doubts, anxities, word of wisdom.. pornography.. whatever it may be we all have weaknesses and satan knows them and sends his biggest and strongest players to attack us.. because he doesn’t want us to win. but we must ask for help from our coach.. from our fellow teammates.. our captains.. ( friends, bishops, parents, stake presidents, priesthood leaders, missionaries ) because alone we will not make it back to the big party that is waiting for us at the end of this journey.. but only together we can make it all back to the big homecoming party that our heavenly mother and father are planning for us with all the mansions that we get to have :) ha We are in the fourth quarter and we are on the last play. We must do our part and work together and watch out for our brothers and sisters. every one of them. and what a privilege we have to be chosen by our coach Christ.. to be is players in this last and final play to decide the game. (although we know we are going to win.) preach the gospel! be good examples! ask for back up from your teammates.. don't go head on with one of satan's biggest toughest players thinking you can do it all by yourself. because you cant. Get rid of your pride and use your big 500 pound lineman who is an all-American to block for you, or double team with you.. or to protect you from being cheap shotted in the pile. and always remember we are on the winning team! We will win. no matter how hard tracting gets.. no matter how hot it gets.. no matter how hard or cluttered life gets.. we will win and if we endure and help each other.. we have the biggest homecoming party you can ever imagine! and a homecoming party alone is boring.. we want all our brothers and sisters to be with us. to celebrate with us the win on the field! and don’t we all want a celestial mansion that God created for us? ha I do :) Lift others! be good examples! be bold and courageous in the face of temptation and fear. ˘! stand up for what is right. love others. support them. pray for them. back up your teammates with their weaknesses. and pay attention to what play Coach Christ calls from the QB position.. because he isn’t just leaving us to play... he is playing with us. isn’t that a great coach? ha
I love you guys! have a great week!
ps. we had 2 baptisms on Saturday. 2 younger girls got baptized :)
love you all!
Dear Family and Loved Ones,
Another week has passed and another week has come. Full of events, stories, fun times, hard times, miracles, prayers and fasting.
This week we had a Mission Leadership Conference In Budapst. It was a really cool, spiritual meeting where president Szabadkai and Sister Szabadkai gave us a wonderful training. Then we discussed some mission topics together as leaders. Following we had subway for lunch! I’ll tell ya what.. I really miss American cookies.. the Subway cookies were heavenly! It was also good to meet back up with all of the other Elders that I have served around or have served with.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday were all normal working days full of tracking and full of doing Less Active look ups. Our work right now is at a very weird state. We have done like an end of summer cleaning” I guess you could say. ha. Right now we don’t have very many investigators who are serious and interested in the church. So, lately, we have been spending most of our time finding. Which is sometimes really hard as some of us know. Ha But, these last couple weeks we have been really focused on doing Less Active work. It’s sometimes really hard and sometimes it can get frustrating because the address or phone number on the list could be like 20 years old and it could be totally wrong. We have spent a ton of hours looking up these „lost” people and trying to figure out what happened with them. We will learn that wherever the church is fairly new and young.. there will be quite a few of inactive people. There is a „retention” problem. And the Leaders of the church have been really focused on retaining all of these new converts.. because if we dont.. then there is no point in new baptisms. We have to keep those who have come into the fold and not lose them.
I’ve said this one time in a past email about Less Actives, but my experience and knowledge was renewed again this week as we met with several inactives” who don’t or haven’t come to church in the last 6- 8 weeks. Or some of them.. 15 years. It was wonderful for me to meet with these people.. get to know them.. see their new kids that they’ve had.. visit in their homes.. and then share a little spiritual message. But the same thing has came up in front of my eyes time and time again. As missionaries.. leaders.. Bishoprics.. etc. We ask ourselves.. „why did they go inactive? What happened? How can we help them return? At least in Hungary.. From all my experiences.. the #1 reason for inactivation in the church always begins with a discontinuation to read from the Book of Mormon daily. Faith begins to weaken. Things start to offend you more and easily. Pride gets in the way. We stop going. We stop saying our prayers. One step leads to another and before you know it we are inactive” . We are not progressing towards god and towards returning back to his presence.. but we are going in the opposite direction. In one experience of mine that we had this week was of a parent and a Daughter. They have been inactive for a good couple years. We started to talk and talk about the gospel. The little girl goes to a catholic school, where catholic doctrines are taught. This is all she knows because her parents haven’t taught her anything about Christ or of his doctrines. One of the parents brought up baptism to her and she said „ I want to be baptized like everyone else does .. „ and then she made a cross on her face with her finger.. because that’s how the Catholics do it.. by sprinkling. „ I realized that she is young and that’s all she knows. But It hit my soul really hard. And then I talked about the Book of Mormon and its purpose and then I read 2nd Nephi 25 which reads :
The second thing that I learned again this week and that hit my soul really hard is that WE MUST TEACH OUR CHILDREN. We must raise them up in righteousness” We must study the scriptures with them. Teach them how to pray. Teach them about Jesus Christ. Teach them about his atonement and his plan. And most of all teach them their true identity. Because if we don’t.. the world will. And the world is corrupted. We must create a safe haven” for our families and for our children. Where their souls can rest.
So.. the point of all this is.. read your scriptures daily.. and Do the things you’re supposed to do.. And then teach others about it. And be examples of the believers.
This week we made friends with the biggest guy in duna. Ha He is a body builder and he is really funny. HUGE ARMS! Ha We can’t wait to bring him to church.. he will take up two seats.
Outside of this.. not too much happened. We cleaned the church Saturday night..
Then this week we have a zone training here in duna on Thursday! So we are getting ready for that! The on the 20th.. is the Hungarian national Holiday! Fireworks will be shot over the duna river. We are excited to see that and all the festivals that are coming to town!
I hope all of you have a great week!
Remember that Good things will always happen if we get out there and work our hardest or the Lord. In all aspects of our life!
Love you all!
Dear My Beautiful Family and Loved Ones,
Another wonderful, busy week has pasted over here in Hungary. The rains finally came in this week, and I’ll tell ya what! I’ve never seen it rain that hard before in my life! There were literally lakes in the roads. In budapest.. there was so much water that the roads started to cave in and give through. It was insane! But today its clear skies.. sunny, everything is green again. It feels like spring! My companion said something interesting this week. He told me „ well… you probably won’t ever see 40 degree weather again here in Hungary.” Which.. that statement is true. He also said „ and the cold is slowly coming and you are going home in the cold” which.. that statement is also true. That hit me pretty hard this week. I’ll be honest.. I was a big baby all week long.
This week we had an amazing Zone conference. We were in charge of it. President, his wife, and his daughter came. We invited other missionaries, senior couples from other cities to come and join as well. There was about 27 of us there in the chapel ( our chapels look different here, just so you know ) We had the Sister Training Leaders talk about finding ( which was the main subject given from president this month for us) And then we divided up the conference into 2 sections. 1,. Finding. 2. personal and mission development. We then invited Elder Lund.. a senior missionary to talk about becoming „that” missionary. That kind of missionary that you want to be at the end of your mission. And on the last day of your mission.. what do you want to be like. To look like. What do you want others to be able to say about you. What do want to have accomplished. Etc. The reason I chose him was because he was literally the only one in the room who is a RM. Who has served a full time mission. No one else has, even president. He got really emotional talking about his mission and his regrets and what he wished he had done better.. and then he shared a very motivational and inspirational message. It touched all of our hearts. It was a perfect addition to the conference. Then we talked about the culture and traditions of the Hungary Budapest mission and how we can improve them. We focused a lot on obedience, because we have a big problem with that and with complaining and gossiping (especially with the new mission president and the new changes he has made). We had an open comment session where people could tell their thoughts on what they thought the culture was. It was a very real conversation. It was very blunt, bold, clear. And it was much needed. As people were discussing and talking through my direction the conversation started to become kind of heated” with different opinions, but then one elder raised his hand and I called on him and he related to everyone the story that actually happened to me in my mission because he knew about it. He described this story: A missionary got „emergency” transferred to me a while back.. and he was good friends with this elder that was talking and on the train ride to me he called this elder and they started to talk about the new transfer call and how he was going to „watson”.. and then this elder who was being transfered said to the elder that was in the conference „ill „break” him.. itll be quick” ( meaning he would „break” me by making me become less obedient and being more chill about things.) throughout the whole transfer I had no clue about this. It was a weird first couple weeks thats for sure. But then miracles started to happen. Hearts began to change. And in 14 weeks we got 6 baptisms. ----- as he related this story obviously in more detail.. he finished up by saying „ whatever you did elder watson.. it worked.. He was the most disobedient missionary in the mission and something changed him. So you should tell all of us how to fix all these problems and how to have that change of heart within ourselves” --- after that.. I used that transfer as a perfect example. As I started to talk about this elder and about our transfer and all the miracles that took place that most people don’t know about.. I became really emotional and actually cried for the first time in my life in front of a bunch of missionaries in a zone conference. ha, President szabadkai was right next to me up in front and he gave me his last tissue. Ha, it was really nice of him. It was a very spiritual moment.. one of the rare ones. The spirit was so strong in the room that everyone was feeling it very powerfully. I then shared the whole story. Then I shared with them Dads famous war story that happened in world war one.. with the Americans and the Germans. ,) shout out to dad.. ha I Did give you credit for the story.. now everyone knows who you are. Ha --- That really hit home to a lot of people.. I drew it up on a white board and everyone loved it. Then I shared some final thoughts with some final scriptures found in alma 57 : 27 and then 1 Samuel 15: 22 23 I think… And I talked about how we… are the ones who are going to change this culture.. I told them how sick I was of hearing all the complaining and gossiping about other missionaries and about president and his new changes.. and I told them what would happen if we started to change the culture of the mission.. what kind of effect it would have on so many people. Especially the Hungarian people. I got everyone to pledge that they would stop and they all were willing and were happy to change and all agreed to the need to change. Then president szabadkai talked last and he got emotional and started to cry too.. ( just a bunch of manly men in this room.. haha ) and he had some wonderful thoughts.
On august 20, that same day.. it was Hungary’s National holiday.. there was a huge festival! And a bunch of fireworks.. it was really cool. We went with some investigators and met all their friends.. got some Hungarian food.. It was a good time. My last 20th in Hungary! Pretty crazy. Really sad at the same time. It’s a super weird mix of emotions I’ll tell ya that!
This week is another busy week. We have splits in budapest.. then in veszprem.. and then we have Friday.. Saturday.. and Sunday home in our own city. Lots of traveling. I like it a lot though.. I feel like one of my main responsibilities now is to teach and strengthen the missionaries rather than be outside finding all day long like a normal missionary. I personally love it. It is so rewarding.
I hope all of you had a wonderful week! I love you all! And always remember that
OBEDIENCE IS GREATER THAN SACRIFICE, AND TO HARKEN THAN THE FAT OF RAMS.
Dear Family and Loved Ones,
Welcome to Fall! School is back both in the USA and in Hungary. All the kids are returning back to the city of Duna, and it’s become lively once again! My last August in Hungary was a good one! Our work is finally starting to pick back up again after weeks and weeks of struggling. We have made many great friends and we have a couple new investigators from it! The heat has returned again this last week but the Hungarians say that after Thursday the winter is going to start to slowly come! Thank goodness! Idk I how much more yellow my shirts can get! Ha.
So, I have exciting news for all of you! This last week I got a call from president Szabadkai, and I also received an email from him, telling me that my Release Date has officially been switched to February 18, 2016! This is some pretty big news for me and a lot of people! It will be a month earlier than the previously decided Release Date! That means I have about 5 months left, 170 days.. but who is counting?,)
Everything has been starting to get pretty real! It hits me every once in a while that I will be leaving this place in a short time.. and it’s crazy to think that I only have that many days left! I started with 730 days.. 24 months.. and now it’s down to 170. These last 170 days will fly!
So that is my exciting news to all of you!
Congrats to Amanda for getting engaged!!!!! Goodness! Is everyone getting married while im gone!? I can’t wait to see it! Im so happy for you!
This week was a really good week for us! We went on splits in Budapest with the Buda Elders. Its a really fun time for all of us. It’s one of those refreshers for missionaries. While we were there in buda I ran into a lot of old investigators and members that I was teaching while I was serving in kis pest. And I actually got to teach a lesson to one of my less actives that I was teaching in kis pest! His name is Rolland. He has a very interesting life story… He actually lived in America for 15 years.. he was baptized when he was 8. but he is still Hungarian.. and then the US kicked him out because he kept getting into trouble.. he came back to Hungary.. Tried to get his life back together again.. but kept gettting into bad things with a bad group of friends.. He has some addictions with drugs.. he got fired from his job.. etc. He has tried to stop the addictions and tried to find a new job.. but he keeps going in a circle. ( we can relate it to the pride cycle ) And right now he is back at the (compelled to be humble stage) and he is sick of going in these circles and he completely wants to change his life for good. We met with him in the mission home.. and as we were sitting there starting the program President szabadkai knocked on the door and someone was asking for the elder that I was on splits with. So President szabadkai and I ended up teaching the lesson. We talked about all his feelings.. And maybe why he keeps going in circles. While he was explaining to president szabadkai his story.. a couple things popped into my mind that I felt like I needed to share with him. The whole lesson was focused on repentance.. change.. and forgiveness. Along with building a new foundation for his life.. built upon Christ. I started to explain to him that if he really wants to change.. if he feels that godly sorrow that pricks one to repentance.. and that godly sorrow.. that guilt.. is bugging him so bad.. so much that he cannot handle it anymore.. then this is what you need to do ( and I feel like these suggestions can be applied to all of our lives, to our bad habits.. to our sins.. and to our personal foundations. ) I told him that he needed to completely and totally erect his foundation and just pull it up out of the ground. ALL of it. He needs to get rid of his friends.. bad influences.. he needs to move to a new area.. he needs to get a new house, he needs to get new clothes, he needs to change his hair style, he needs to change his daily routes.. he needs to change his job. I told him that he literally needs to change everything. Because if he leaves even a little bit of that deep rooted foundation.. that little bit will become a slippery slide to him like it has been in the past. One smell.. one reminder of his past life can quickly and dangerously get him back into his old ways and habits. Then I recognized the difficulty of the task and told him that there will be a period in this changing process where he will be friendless.. jobless.. and where it’ll feel like he is in a dark tunnel that is constantly growing darker and darker and smaller and smaller because of his bodily withdrawals that he will be having. After saying many other things I told him that we are 100% here to help him. The bishop is here.. and we are going to do this. He showed to me that he ACTUALLY WANTED TO.. that he felt that godly sorrow.. that he felt as if he was in prison with all of his addictions. I suggested to him that he needed to be with the missionaries every single day and that we would be the new friends until he could find some new ones and until he could stand on his own. He loved it and accepted it. He accepted a priesthood blessing. I told him that he needed to read from the book of Mormon for 1 hour every day.. and I promised him that if he did that, it would give him the strength to withstand that day. He accepted. Then we went on and started to talk about building that new foundation.. Obviously the previously mentioned things are a start.. but we read heleman 5.12 which says:
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storms shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
I told him that as he rips up his old foundation completely.. and as he starts a new one on Christ.. it wouldn’t be an overnight process.. it will be long.. days.. maybe even years.. to build a strong enough foundation on Christ. I told him that he needed to have faith, to be patience.. and consistent in his righteous actions. Because after 20 years of several drug addictions.. etc. He will have to dig down deep to gut it all out. And he might even have to dig and try again and again. So that he can successfully build this new.. better.. glorious foundation. I then related to him the story of the Chinese bamboo tree.
The Chinese bamboo tree, according to American geographics, must be watered and fertilized every day for 5 years. Its a very hard nut. And if at any time this watering and fertilization process stops.. the nut will die in the ground. But, after 5 years of watering and fertilization.. it finally breaks though the ground.. and in 6 weeks it grows 90 ft. Tall. Now the question is.. did it grow 90 ft tall in 6 weeks.. or in 5 years?? The answer is obviously.. 5 years! It takes it that long to build its foundation.. to learn, to grow, to figure it out., to learn how things work, to build itself, to figure out how the market works, to learn the business, etc. But 2 things are required to this amazing tree! 1. Faith 2. persistent, consistent action in through the hard times.
As I related to him this story.. he absolutely loved it. It was something that he really could relate to himself.. his spirit.. his new foundation. It might be a long process.. but it is worth it. I would suggest to all of you to apply this in YOUR own way in YOUR own life. There are some key, true principles.. and we all need to strengthen our foundations.
On Sunday one of the youth here in duna got his mission call! We had a big branch lunch together after church and he opened it up in front of everyone! It was really cool. Its really rare for a youth to go on a mission from Hungary. Because there isn’t very many! Ha. It reminded me of when I opened mine back in November 2013! Goodness! Can you believe that? Almost 2 years ago! He was called to the south England mission. It looks like we will be going on splits a lot with him and helping him with his English ha
I love all of you! This week we are going to kaposvár for splits. And.. yep! That’s all the new news!
Be safe and have a GREAT first week of school! At least try to enjoy it! ha
Family and Loved ones! :)
So this past week President Szabadkai has come out with a new commandment that only allows us to email for 1 hour... Sadly I didn’t do a video this week so this week’s communication from me will be really short. Sorry! But I’m going to start doing all me "weekly emails" in video format so that it will save me time to write people back personally and so that I can still tell you everything that went on throughout the week. Mom and dad! I loved the videos that you sent me and I will reply to those next week in a email. BUT.. keep doing your weekly emails like that if you can! I really liked them and they are really good for me and I need them! and it’s more fun for me! So keep it up!
Once again I apologize for the shortness and the lack of information from this week. This week we had a really special event where a seventy, elder leimer, came to visit our mission and he wanted to meet with all the leaders. So we had our monthly leadership meeting in budapest this last Saturday where we , the zone leaders, sister training leaders, and the assistants, got together and we were able to be taught from Elder Leimer. He is a great man and the spirit was so strong in the meeting. He hit on several different points but I would like to share with you one of them.
REMEMBER WHICH WAY WE ARE FACING.
He introduced this as a leadership principle. That we, as latter day saints, ( and also more importantly for bishops, missionaries, stake presidents, etc ) must always remember which way we are facing. He expressed this principle in an example.
He explained how he was a stake president and how he had bishops coming to him all the time telling them the struggles of the members and the ideas and needs and wants and complaints from the members suggesting that he changes some things and adapt to their complaints and needs and ideas.
He then explained what it means to be facing the same direction as Christ and as our priesthood leaders. If the prophet was standing next to you and as one of his chosen leaders you wouldn’t stand right next to him.. you would stand slightly behind him but facing the exact same direction ( sign of oneness and unity ) . You would never come up in front of him and be representing the members to the prophet.. but always the prophet to the members. And this is how it works not only with the main leaders of our church.. but with every organization of the church.. especially missionary work. When president comes out with something new.. from revelation from the lord.. then we quickly align ourselves with him so that we will be facing the same direction..
I also think that it is imperative in our lives.. that we always remember which way we are facing. sometimes we forget. but When we recognize that we are facing the wrong direction.. let us practice repentance and apply the atoning sacrifice into our lives.
I love all of you! have a great week and be safe!
Next week you will all get a video!
Dear Family and Loved ones:
What’s up family! I first need to congratulate max.. on being asked out to his first dance.. and to his first date:) ha He is already doing better than his older brother! haha jk.
But this week was another crazy one! I’m still trying to get adjusted to all the new things. If i had to describe it to you guys.. it would be EXHAUSTING. I’ve never been so tired in my life! All day all three of us ( my comps) have red eyes because we are constantly going and going. But I will also tell you that it is very rewarding and i have already learned TONS! I love working with the missionaries. I love talking with and about the missionaries. I love talking and discussing how we can make this mission a better mission and how we can help the missionaries be happy and have a great mission. We spent most of our time this week planning, giving training's, working and meeting with president, going on splits with missionaries, and working in the office. Our main ˇwork days^ˇ are Thursday and Fridays. where we get to focus on our work all day. but even then sometimes we are on splits somewhere. This upcoming week we have to travel with president to the zone conferences. Which means we will be going to szeged! I’m really excited to go back. we are also going on splits there.. so it should be really fun! ALSO! the following week i am going back to gyor for the first time in a year and a half and i am so excited! All my gyor friends have been calling me and telling me that they want to meet when i come. So its going to be a party!
SO! about my week!
on Saturday after i emailed.. we had the church call and tell us that there is an investigator is a famous painter and he is here in Budapest and they needed us to go with him and meet with him and look at his art. ha So we did that at the ART BUDAPEST building. ITs a huge building and there was a lot of cool things that i saw. But some of them reminded me once again that i was in Europe. ha But it was fun! He was from Romania! and he spoke okay English!
this week we hit the day were we switch from just slacks to suits.. and good thing too.. because my slacks are BEAT UP! ha but from here on out until i get home i will be wearing suits every day!:) pretty crazy! i get to retire my slacks!
There is 3 senior couples here in buda and they feed us literally all the time. its not good.. because they feed us sooo much. and too much mashed potatoes.. and gravy.. and rolls.. literally. Its killing me. but its soooo good! i can count on one hand the times i have had that meal throughout these two years!
on Sunday i was able to take the sacrament to someone who was a shut in. it brought back so many memories.. i haven’t done that since i was a priest! I missed it. It was a really good experience except for i left my scriptures there on accident and i haven’t got them back yet. ha but no worry! I’ll get them tomorrow.
On Monday.. and every Monday.. this same family invites us over for FHE. They are a really cool family! they are a family of 4. mom, dad, and then 2 girls who are 10 and 13 years old. They always feed us really good food.. i feel like I’m serving in Utah or something when I’m there. Then we have a spiritual thought, lesson.. and then they bring the game. Its a really fun time for all of us. i sent you a pretty funny pic of the game we were playing. we had to ask questions and try to figure out what we were.. yes.. i was a kacsa. ha.
On Monday and Tuesday we spent a lot of our day planning and getting things ready for MLC ( mission leadership council. ) i had to order about 30 sandwiches from subway and then arrange the seating. ha They were really good. everyone liked them .:) then on Wednesday we had the council. It was really good and we got a lot done. here is part of the email that i wrote to the mission this past week and something that we talked about in the conference.
Thought for the week:
The two-horse rule
"The concept of teamwork can be illustrated by the two-horse rule. If one
horse can pull 700 pounds and another horse can pull 800 pounds, how much
weight will they pull yoked together? The answer may surprise you. The
two-horse team will pull their own weight plus the weight of their
interaction. Therefore, yoked together, the horses can pull 3000 pounds!"
"The concept of teamwork can be illustrated by the two-horse rule. If one
horse can pull 700 pounds and another horse can pull 800 pounds, how much
weight will they pull yoked together? The answer may surprise you. The
two-horse team will pull their own weight plus the weight of their
interaction. Therefore, yoked together, the horses can pull 3000 pounds!"
A funny story.. well.. kind of funny. i was on splits and its been raining all week and i experienced the classic! My comp and i were standing next to the curb waiting for the light to change.. and well.. we didn’t realize that there was a huge puddle right in front of us on the road.. and well.. a huge car came and .. well.. yep. he splashed it all over us. we were soaked. ha classic. that’s all i have to say. ha
other than that.. our week was full of programs.. and more planning and preparing for the upcoming week.
I mentioned this in one of our meetings that we recently had.. and i would like to share it with you guys:
The most important duty that we have as missionaries, as a Representatives of Jesus Christ, Is to bare simple, pure, bold testimonies of the reality and divinity of our Savior. I bare my testimony with all the conviction of my soul that Jesus Christ lives. That he is working with us in this work of a wonder. That we haven’t chosen him.. but he has chosen us to represent him and to testify of His reality to all the world. To boldly stand before all the people in the world and to testify that He lives and has restored his true church through a modern day prophet. And that he calls everyone to come unto him and repent and be baptized.
And i would like to tell you all the same! I know that he lives! I know that he is waiting for us to come unto him so that he can heal us. for he is anxious to do so.
I love you all! have a great week!