Monday, November 21, 2011

21 November 2011 Letter (Nyiregyhaza)

Monday, 14 November
Another unique P-Day.  Today, my companion and I tried to meet with a new investigator with whom we had scheduled a meeting, but when we arrived at 9:00am, she wasn't home.  We taught M in the evening about Service.  Her Baptismal date was moved to December 17.  I met my first "Hit Gyuli" today at Tesco.  (Hit Gyuli is the only religion we aren't allowed to visit or associate with).  She was aggressive and pretty rude.  The main event of today was that I went Christmas shopping.  Lastly, we cleaned our apartment for inspections tomorrow.  My miracle was getting Christmas shopping completely done in a single afternoon. J

Tuesday, 15 November
We met with Z today.  He did quite a bit of reading while in England, came back with questions, and is still Golden (although I wish he didn't cling to the Bible as much).  The H's came for inspections in the afternoon.  Our only flaw was forgetting to defrost the freezer.  In the evening, we ate dinner and shared a lesson with the S's.  Currently the AP's are here, will be with us until tomorrow night, then with the other companionship until Thursday night.  My miracle was meeting with three awesome people today.  Just a fun fact:  One of the biggest regions in Nyiregyhaza is called "Sostohegy" meaning "Salt Lake Mountain", and the giant zoo we went to last transfer is called the "Sostozoo" or in English "Salt Lake Zoo".  I found that really ironic, and a reminder of home that I can see "Sosto/Salt Lake" multiple times a week.

Wednesday, 16 November
Well, splits with the AP's are over, and I really liked it.  Today, I tabled with Elder S for about four hours, during which the two of us gave out 48 Books of Mormon, as well as collected 42 telephone numbers, far more than I've done in my mission so far (the previous eleven weeks combined).  I managed to give out 20 and get 20 of the numbers, although with three of them Elder S had to step in and help a little.  My companion isn't too happy about us giving away so many Books of Mormon, but I figure that the AP's are better suited to make the calls, and with only 2-3 investigators, we need all the numbers and work we can get.  In the evening, the AP's left and Elder M and I split back.  We taught M about the Word of Wisdom again, mostly trying to convince her that it doesn't matter how smart her doctor is, or what he says; Heavenly Father still knows better.  Afterwards, we traveled out and met with S.  The lesson went well and we luckily made the bus back.  For my miracle today, it would have to be the results of us tabling.  It was the most solo I've been for a while (outside of my talk) and I felt like five of the finds may prove promising.

Thursday, 17 November
Today we didn't get near the results of yesterday.  This morning, I spent a long time on my knees and had a great experience with prayer.  I really do need to always put more effort into my prayers.  My companion and I went streeting today, but didn't give away any Books of Mormon or collect any phone numbers.  We met a guy who said he would meet us at the same spot an hour later, but we watched him hop in a taxi and drive off, figuring we probably would never see him again.  However, I made the decision to keep streeting and be there, just in case.  An hour later, he didn't show up, but I saw a Neni in our Branch, I went over and talked to her a little, until my companion caught up.  Then we learned she was trying to meet two other members but was lost.  We discovered she had come to the complete wrong part of town and we walked with her the hour and fifteen minutes until we met up with the other members.  I guess it's a miracle that the guy had told us to be back there an hour later, or we would never have been able to help her.  It truly was a miracle. 

Two last notes: the ravens all gathered together in one part of town.  I tried to estimate them, and counted over 200 ravens in a single tree, and the horde had filled over 80 trees with more on the buildings and in the air, so I'm guessing there may have been up to 20,000 ravens in a couple block radius, by far the most I've ever seen.  It was incredible!  My two regrets are that I didn't have my camera and that a car never drove down the road honking a really, really loud horn.  It would've been stunning to see them all take flight.  Last of all, we taught M tonight about church callings.  It went pretty well.  I feel good about her baptism.  Her Baptismal date is a month from today.

Friday, 18 November
I'm on splits yet again, this time with Elder F.  Today I went tabling for another hour and gave out three Books of Mormon and received three numbers.  Our only scheduled program was supposed to be with Z, but he cancelled.  However, on splits, Elder F and I met with B; and in the evening we met with L's two daughters.  Other than that, while tabling, I streeted five Jehovah Witnesses (whoops).  There are so many more of them here in Hungary than in the US.  My miracle today was just finding ways to be happy.

Saturday, 19 November
Splits are once again over.  Today, the only real event was a Branch Activity where we sang, listened to some quick spiritual thoughts, and ate desserts.  Also, for the first time, M's baptismal date moved forward.  It is now on the 10th, because the building is not available on the 17th (so it is just three weeks from today)!  My miracle was that Z's sister randomly showed up at the activity today with I.  Random, but now we've met and can setup a lesson with her.

Sunday, 20 November
Transfer calls are tomorrow.  Today at church, Elder F gave a 10 minute talk on obedience.  M didn't come this week, so we're pretty nervous about what's going to happen with her.  Next week President Baughman is coming to visit and will be speaking in church.  Elder M and I spent some time this evening helping V apply to BYU.  Last of all, my miracle today was finding a couple answers to questions I had, while reading the "Gospel Principles" book.

Monday, 21 November
Whew!  Today has been and is going to be a crazy day.  First off, transfer calls came this morning.  With transfers, the AP's, secretaries, and President Baughman meet 3-4 times to discuss and decide what happens.  This time all four meetings were held, and up to the very last one, Elder M was leaving and the rest of us were staying, just as I had guessed.  However, around 9:00pm last night, during the second half of the fourth meeting, President Baughman decided to try a new tactic.  This morning, when we received the calls, we learned that I am leaving to serve with Elder M, Elder W is leaving to serve with Elder A, and Elders M and F are staying to serve with Elder S (my MTC companion) and Elder D (who is on his last transfer).  So, I'm leaving.....didn't see that one coming.  I'm a little stressed out about packing, and I didn't say goodbye to anyone in the branch, but there's nothing I can do about that now.  I'm excited to serve with Elder M, but also know absolutely nothing about the new area.  I've heard other missionaries talk about over half the areas in Hungary, but never heard anything about that area.  So, I'm more surprised and anxious than anything else.  I'll just have to wait and see what happens.  At least it should be warmer there (although, not too much.  Probably somewhat comparable to moving from Salt Lake down to Orem), and the work should go a little better, but I won't really know until I go.  The reason I said earlier that President Baughman is trying something new is that, at the last minute, he decided to move nearly everyone around.  Only four companionships in the entire mission (outside of senior couples) are remaining together.  Nearly everyone is moving cities or changing companions!  So, that's what my morning has been like.  Craziness.  The only additional information I've been able to find out about the new area is that the Branch is slightly bigger and that the other missionaries in the area are Elders N and P.  So I'll get to meet and work with one who Dad asked me about, and the other is one of my Osi.  Anyways, that's all the thoughts I currently have on that subject.  (Once the initial shock and surprise passes and after I get past the annoyance of packing, I should be more excited).  Oh, the other parts about it are that I won't get to see what happens with our current investigators, what happens with the 56 Books of Mormon we gave out this week, and I'll be gone for M's baptism.  L

Well, I'm really not sure what's left to write other than "Happy Thanksgiving!"  I hope you all end up doing something fun and enjoy the holiday (and the break from school).  President Baughman decided to not give a Super P-Day on Thanksgiving, so I'll be spending my holiday working outside with a new companion.... =P.  With him not giving a Super P-Day for Thanksgiving, like usual, all the missionaries are wondering if we're going to lose our P-Days on Christmas and New Years too.  Only time will tell.

Have a great week, enjoy the holiday, and I'll email you next week from the new area.


Shipp Elder

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