Wednesday, September 21, 2011

21 September 2011 Letter (Nyiregyhaza)

Hello Everyone, I'm sure you wondered why I didn't send an email on Monday.  I was attending Greenie Training.  We all missed our P-Day, but we have been allowed a short time today to send some shorter emails.  So, I'm going to do a quick blog post.  Thanks for bearing with me. J

Monday, 12 September
Another P-Day, another email, another shopping trip, and another fast: completed!  Tonight my thoughts spent some time drifting to fencing.  I hope I'll be able to build my fencing skills back up as fast as I hope.  I also hope my teammates at both Utah and Penn are doing well, and also that I'll have some amazing new teammates to meet when I get back.
A highlight of today was breaking my fast and eating dinner with a member.  She is a great cook and made fruit soup, Hungarian-style loaded potatoes, and some kind of really good dessert.  Also, her house and garden were amazing.  They both looked like something out of a movie (sort of like the Weasley's house in Harry Potter, but only 2 floors). 
Before going to bed, I first need to get in my little daily miracle.  One of my little miracles today was not being very hungry, tired, or thirsty during my fast.  It was fairly uncommon and helped make my day even better =).

Tuesday, 13 September
Today was a very busy and very tiring day.  We cut our studies short this morning, and left at 8:30am so we could meet with an investigator and her daughter.  Her daughter just returned over the weekend after being in New York, DC, and Miami for two months, so we talked to her about it for the first while, but most the time we spent discussing the Restoration.  We ran twenty minutes late, so we got to jog for half an hour again to get to our next investigator. 

We discussed the Restoration again.  He leaves for London this weekend, so we'll only get to meet with him one more time.  However, he asked us if it was alright for us to continue to communicate via email, and said he'd continue to read the Book of Mormon and pray every day while he was in London.  I really hope things work out with him.  He is a great, smart, and mature person.  That lesson lasted over an hour and a half (although the first 30 minutes was the English part), so we got to jog to our next appointment as well.

The lesson with this investigator went well as we talked about the Plan of Salvation.  He has a good personality and gives a lot of thought to important things in life, but, unfortunately, he rarely does the things that he needs to and we aren't quite sure how we are going to get him to read the Book of Mormon or keep commitments.  Also, because we started late, we finished late, and got to jog to our next lesson (if this keeps up for the rest of my mission, then I'll be in great shape). 

She told us today that she doesn't like to read, so, while we haven't given her one yet, it will make asking her to read the Book of Mormon harder.  She's putting more effort into her prayers, and I am hoping to see some progress there. Next time we plan on giving her a Book of Mormon.
We had a fifth lesson planned with a member of the Branch, but when we called her a couple minutes before, we learned she had forgotten and also decided to back out.  It was a little strange to have my first cancel be from a member.  We instead spent the time with a different member who was having a rough day.

Lastly, my miracle today was the blessing of a healthy body, having the energy to jog from lesson to lesson, and not getting incredibly stinky while doing so. =)

Wednesday, 14 September
Today we spent the day in RCLA's, teaching 3 lessons (all members).  All three lessons went well.  I am on splits right now and will be teaching four lessons tomorrow.  Lastly, today the little miracle was finding out that Joseph Isaac won Junior Epee at Summer Nationals.  Congratulations Joe! It will be fun to see how I do against him when I return.

Thursday, 15 September
I have now been on my mission for exactly 3 months, and am 1/8th of the way through.  Yet, I still have a long ways to go concerning the language, the work, and just about everything.  I spent today on splits and am still on splits until tomorrow evening.  Today we taught five lessons.  We taught two lessons on Charity and Service, taught one on the Kingdoms of Glory, and one on scripture reading.  I taught the English class again tonight, and, while there was only one person at the start, I had a class of five by the end.  Unfortunately, none were interested. 

My miracle today was having money for bus tickets, even though I rarely take money with me, and I had grabbed enough to cover two tickets before I knew about the splits and also before I knew about the bus.

Friday, 16 September
Splits are now over.  The damage to my food supply is bearable, although the dishes have built up again.  I didn't have any programs today, and I feel like we accomplished very little.  We planned a little bit of the "PMG" class for Sunday, got in hours of studying, and went streeting for an hour, but did not manage to get a single person to listen to our message for more than ten seconds. =P  We finished the day and splits with Out-Reach, where we once again played ping-pong.  One day I'll be able to speak the language better and help make it more creative.  I may try to sooner and try to have one of the other missionaries interpret for me. 

The miracle today was learning how vast a majority in our branch are the only members in their family, yet are still active.  Despite all but a few being from part or no-member families, it's amazing to see their testimonies and their efforts, even during just these first two weeks.

Saturday, 17 September
We taught four lessons today.  The first two went well, but the last lesson was even worse than last time.  We didn't feel the Spirit, nor did we even manage to teach a lesson.  The whole 50 minutes was just them yelling, with the exception of my companion getting in one sentence.  That was literally all either of us said. 

The other crazy thing was that we went to play soccer with a member for a little while, and within 60 seconds of playing he ran into a post and left a 1 1/2 inch gash running down his forehead and another below his eye, that were  as wide as about 2-3 times the thickness of a fingernail.  We took him home, from where, he went to the hospital.  As a result, we met with him again in the evening to check up on him.  He got 5 stitches, but should be okay in a couple weeks. 
So, that is my miracle for the day, modern medicine.

Sunday, 18 September
We had Sacrament Meeting earlier today.  A senior couple came and both spoke.  It's amazing that they're both here serving the Lord.  I also learned that one of the Elders here is blind.  His determination and commitment is definitely my miracle of the day.

Monday, 19 September
Back in our apartment finally.  I spent today sitting in lines and at Greenie Training with the rest of my old District.  It was fun to see them all again, and hear what experiences they've been having across other parts of Hungary.  Our "networking" plan here in our city is definitely the most unique, which isn't really a bad thing.  I know I've enjoyed my time here a lot.  As nice as it is to be done with the long train rides, we need to get up nice and early again tomorrow to catch the 7:00 train for Interviews.  So, I'm going to bed (before 10:30 I might add). J
Today’s miracle: Being so busy, but also enjoying it.

Tuesday, 20 September
I know I've written this before, but time is so distorted while serving a mission.  It truly feels like I just got here, yet, I'm halfway done with my first transfer.  Stranger still, everyone I've talked to has said that, like the MTC, it will only start to go by even faster!  I spent the day in Interviews.  It went well, but also took all day.  This week doesn't feel like it's really begun.  During the entire week we are only going to be able to meet with one of our five investigators.  We got back to our city in the evening, went shopping, ate, and are now at 10:30.  My mission so far has been busy, tiring, and also enjoyable.  It's more unique than what I used to believe missions were like.  (I'm sure it'd be different if I served elsewhere).  Get to email again tomorrow as we missed our P-Day. 

Miracle: How far and how fast we can travel with modern technology.  It really does make so many more things possible and much more convenient.

Since coming out here, I've begun to glimpse more of how awesome missionaries are, and that only the best are sent to serve in Hungary (that doesn't mean all the best get sent here, but just that everyone here is counted among the best) =D

Love you all.  I'll be sure to email on Monday when we are actually able to have our P-Day!


Shipp Elder

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