Monday, December 5, 2011

5 December 2011 Letter (Szekesfehervar)

Blog posts (much, much shorter than last week)

Monday, 28 November
Today was a Super P-Day, although, many of our plans fell through.  We went to a pekseg (bakery) and took a tour of part of the town, where we found a cool hideaway park and the coolest clock ever, which is my miracle today.  Finding a clock that does an entire show each hour, tells the second, minute, hour, day, month, constellations, Zodiac, sunrise, and time of the sun set (and is also hooked up to a dozen bells).

Tuesday, 29 November
Today was average, well, except the evening.  We met with K, G, and B today.  I felt like K's lesson on prophets, priesthood, dispensations, and apostasy was the most successful.  I had herbal tea for the first time at G's.  My miracle today was the funnest part.  This evening, Elders Nealy, Peterson, and I recorded a bunch of videos of us singing.  It was pretty 'inspirational'.  Also, we streeted a Neni that had met with and loved meeting with the missionaries before.  It will be cool if something comes out of that.

Wednesday, 30 November
Today was a busy day.  We met with a 17 year-old girl named R.  We weren't sure how interested she actually was in the gospel, but she seems to be pretty interested.  We set up another lesson and hope to move things along at a good pace.  While tracting we found an old investigator named G.  The missionaries never got a phone number for him, so no one had been able to meet with him for a while (that was my miracle today).  We met with a less active Neni, and talked to her about the importance of the sacrament, and she committed to come to Sacrament Meeting.

Thursday, 1 December
It's December!  Things are still continuing to get colder.  Today we met with M and discussed dispensations.  We also had Angolora and met with R, where we discussed the Book of Mormon.  I woke up this morning sick.  My miracle today was only a half miracle.  Elder Molnar got a call from a new investigator, who really seemed legit, and is the first person I've had who's actually looked us up (as opposed to the other way around).  Unfortunately, Elder Molnar thought it was a prank call at first, said some things he shouldn't have, and we lost her.  She also used a private number, so we can't call her back.  Hopefully some missionaries find her in the future.

Friday, 2 December
Today was Interviews and a Conference in Budapest.  It was long, but good, focusing on Christ-like Attributes.  My miracle today was that, despite not getting the Conference Ensigns yet, we did receive new Christmas Pass-Along Cards.  My sickness is getting worse, and I think tomorrow will be the worst day of it, so I'm going to bed.  (A second miracle was that I saw my first skiff of Hungarian snow while in Budapest)

Saturday, 3 December
Well, I'm still sick, and, as I guessed, I feel even worse than yesterday.  I'm tired, ready for bed, but, I do have many great things to write about.  Today was Elder Nealy's Birthday.  A member baked him a cake, we brought ice cream, and another person brought soda, we sang and played "Deal, or No Deal".  We set-up with three investigators today, but only met with R.  We did a long discussion on the Plan of Salvation, and at the end, she committed to coming to church.  We also called up some of our other investigators, and two more said they would come.  So, we have a potential of 3 coming to church.

Sunday, 4 December
Well, I'm finally feeling better, but still have an inconveniently annoying cough and runny nose.  By tomorrow they should both stop.  Two highlights of today: We had french toast as a District, which was really good; and my miracle was that L, an investigator we were seriously considering to drop, was the one investigator that came to church.  He said Sacrament Meeting was interested and that he wanted to meet with us on Thursday night.  We are a little disappointed that R and F didn't come, but are happy L chose to and that we are scheduled to meet with all three this week.

Some other random thoughts:
I spent half of this week sick and am just now finally recovering.  I also spent some time this week pounding in the basics and the amazingness of the simplicity of the gospel (I read True to the Faith, Gospel Principles, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, The Living Christ, and parts of Preach My Gospel).  Still no Conference Ensign, but we should be receiving it this month.

It's Christmas season! Yay!

Today we are going to try to fix my bike, and then go to the white castle, and go bowling afterwards.  I'm hoping to have my Christmas package sent off by tonight.  Let me know when you receive it.  Also, I received my visa while in Budapest earlier this week.

Last of all, this is a short thought I remembered this week: At the MTC we learned about the declining of the idea of "repentance".  Originally in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word "schub" was used, meaning "turn (from sin towards God)."  In the New Testament, it was changed to the Greek "metanoia" meaning simply "a change of mind".  Around 400 AD, it changed again to the Latin "paenitieve" for "to feel regret or contrition".  The speaker spoke of how over time, the efforts of the devil had changed the general opinion of repentance from good to neutral, to bad, where it is today.  He asked us all to look at repentance as a good thing, the partaking of the atonement and turning towards our Heavenly Father.  I think that sounds right, and like it is a great perspective to view and approach the abandoning of our sins.

I hope you are doing well, and I will email you again next week.  Have a great week!

Sok Szeretettel,

Shipp Elder

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