Monday, October 31, 2011

31 October 2011 Letter (Nyiregyhaza)

Dear Family,

I don't have an incredible amount of time today, but at the same time I don't have too much to say.

Monday, 24 October
During today's P-Day I had the opportunity to do something I haven't really done before.  My companion and I went with the other Elders to the Botanical Garden for over two hours.  M had arranged for the head caretaker to give us a tour of the entire place and explain about many of the plants as we went along.  The three parts I enjoyed the most were the Carnivorous plants, a hedge maze, and most uniquely, a plant (looked like a normal tree) whose petals would close if you touched them.  Similar to the zoo a few weeks ago, the diversity and beauty of the many plants Heavenly Father created was my miracle today.  The night finished with dinner at M's and I am stuffed again.

Tuesday, 25 October
We had two lessons dog us, and two went through.  Both D and R failed to meet today, so we tabled instead and were unsuccessful.  However, we did teach B, where we got fed lunch and in the evening we taught M.  Tonight was the first time that we've taught M at her house, and will probably be the only time.  While she claims to only have two cats, she's picked up 12 strays for a total of 14, and spent much of the time showing us them, and trying to give one to H.  We didn't even manage to talk about baptism.  Afterwards, we went over to the other Elders' apartment and had palacsintas for the first time since my first week in the country.  For a miracle today I chose to think about Heavenly Father's unlimited love and power, and likewise, our endless potential as His children.

Wednesday, 26 October
Another two programs fell through today, but we still managed to teach J (who brought us donuts), M (no cats this time), and S along with her daughter.  S is a member of the Branch, but isn't very active and as far as I can tell, her daughter has never been a member.  Lastly, a funny miracle is that I had to actually cook a real dinner for myself for the first time is five days.

Thursday, 27 October
Well, things are continuing to go downhill.  Finding has still been ineffective, and, while we only got dogged once today, we did manage to meet with B.  However, she brought the Book of Mormon we had given her back, said she wasn't interested, and that her mom had enrolled her in a "language school", so it would be the last time we would meet with her.  So, we got dropped.  M is now our only progressing investigator.  To make things worse, I somehow got called as our Branch pianist, and was volunteered to play four songs this coming Sunday.  So, now my companion and I will get 4-6 less hours a week while I practice, and with there being little to no member missionary work, and only two missionary companionships, things are going to start going even worse each week.  My only consolations about the calling are that I am supposed to dedicate all my time, energy, and talents to the Lord (although I've never counted piano among my talents), and that I'll get to learn piano out of this.

Friday, 28 October
Well, our hours are already starting to hurt.  I have tomorrow to learn how to play 4 hymns (I did get started today, but have a ways to go).  I missed our program with K so I could practice, and will miss another 2 programs tomorrow as well.  We did manage to meet with X today and spent 45~ish minutes talking about prophets and the scriptures.  We'll give her a Book of Mormon next time, but currently it's hard to tell if she'll keep commitments and read it or not.  Lastly, the miracle for today was that all 4 of us went to M's work and had a 18 minute interview on Live TV, where we briefly talked about Halloween in America, then also why we are here.  It was a cool experience, and I'm hoping we get something out of it.  Now I can officially say I've been on Hungarian television.  Funnily, they spelled all of our names wrong except Elder W's.  They spelled mine as "Roys".  Oh well.  Long day ahead tomorrow.

Saturday, 29 October
Our working hours for this week stink.  I'm constantly busy, but am not actually getting any proselyting hours.  This morning we played soccer with B again and shared a quick spiritual thought and two lessons.  The first was with M where we (actually, just my companion) talked to her about baptism.  She started crying when he told her how big a commitment it is and that she'll have to break some ties to her previous Evangelus church.  However, she did say she wishes to continue with her baptism.  The second lesson was with A, but I had to go on splits, and Elder F went to the lesson with my companion so that I could stay at the Branch House and practice piano for tomorrow.  Last of all is my miracle.  Today we were not completely obedient and broke some fairly basic rules.  Also, all of today, my piano practice didn't go even half as well as yesterday, when things just started to flow.  I can't help but think that these two are connected to each other, and that it also shows just how weak I am without the Lord and how much I need His help.  (Which, if that is the lesson I need to learn, struggling with playing the piano in one Sacrament Meeting isn't a terrible situation to learn that lesson from).

Sunday, 30 October
Looks like I'll continue to be the Branch Pianist.  They originally said they were going to try to call someone else, but apparently that effort never got made.  The only other significant thing today was that we went to one of my companion's Angolora student's place for dinner.  Pasta was served as an appetizer and that was the first time I've been served noodles at a Hungarian's house.  We came back with enough food to last us two more meals.

Well, after typing up the blog post, I realized how negative this week sounds.  It's been interesting recently.  Our hours have decreased and work has about stopped.  Yet I've been having the most unique experiences (like more meal appointments, Botanical Garden, TV, ect.)  In a way we're back to square one.  Our only progressing investigator is M....exactly how it was when I arrived here nearly two months ago to the day.  Anyways, this week will be fun, but not much work is going to get done.  Today's not an actual P-Day, but we have 2 hours to email and shop.  Tomorrow's a Super P-Day, and Wednesday is Zone Conference in Budapest.

That's all I have for this week.  Love you all.

Shipp Elder

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