Monday, January 16, 2012

16 January 2012 Letter (Szekesfehervar)

Monday, 9 January
Today during our P-Day we visited a Catholic Cathedral, which, while not the biggest or the grandest, was still pretty sweet.  We also went bowling in the evening as a Branch Activity.  That was today's miracle.  Despite bowling less than ten times in the past decade, and less than fifteen times in my life, I still managed to avoid the gutter (all but twice), and also break 100 in both games.  We met with C today, who, I am happy to write, is returning to activity.  Our other program was with a man named W, who seemed really cool, and we were really hoping to meet with him, but he dogged and we don't have a way to contact him to reschedule.  Maybe we'll find him again someday.

Tuesday, 10 January
I finally got my bike fixed (one of today's miracles).  It was only about $30 to replace both tires, the chain, buy a new cover (for the chain), fix the back brake, and tighten the front brake.  With it being less than half of what I expected, I was very excited over it.  We also spent today fasting for K to find a new job.  While we had two dogs and only one successful lesson today, we received four new investigators with another three set up for tomorrow.  (Another miracle today.)  Hopefully they all turn out well.

Wednesday, 11 January
Yay!  We managed to not only successfully meet with four of our five programs, but we also got our three new investigators.  (Today's miracle.)  We met with B, who taught us on the Restoration; J and her friend J for the first time; G also for the first time; and with C and L together in the evening, where we discussed the Plan of Salvation.  Csaladi-Est failed miserably, and we did absolutely nothing tonight, so I went off and read.  We also made over 2,000 Angolora and Pass-Along Card fliers.  This week is going well so far.  Hopefully it continues to do so and the fliers bring us some success.

Thursday, 12 January
We met with R today.  We followed up on her scripture reading, then began to introduce her to the commandments, beginning with the Ten Commandments, which she committed to live.  We hope to talk about the much feared Law of Chastity.  I hope we are able to follow the Spirit and are able to teach her about it without scaring her off.  Time will tell.  We also had another lesson with a new L.  We spent almost the entire time talking about the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  He said he's not really looking to join a church, but he did agree to schedule to meet with us a second time, so I'm hopeful.  He seems like a smart and happy guy.  We'll see how the second meeting goes.  I'm not going to mark a specific event as a miracle today, but I will remember how great and incredible it is that I'm able to be here in Hungary serving a mission.  Last, but not least, here's just a line I found in the Teachings of Brigham Young that I would like to share, "The men and women, who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom, will find that they must battle every day."  We are always fighting against sin, and as members, we have an obligation to always do so.  (Also, I smiled about wielding a sword every week before, and hopefully, after my mission).

Friday, 13 January
I spent all of today on splits with Elder Remy.  We spent nearly six hours handing out fliers and managed to give out and share over 500 Pass-Along Cards and Angolora fliers. I don't think we quite reached 1,000, but we definitely broke 500 (and probably 800).  That was my miracle today.  Our one program was with a member, G, who said she didn't really feel like she knew anything about the priesthood, and that they haven't really talked about it in Relief Society.  So, we abandoned our planned lesson, and I shared everything I could within an hour with her.  She took particular interest in Patriarchal Blessings.  She's been a member for some time and is an active, full-time member.  However, she said she's never heard of a Patriarchal Blessing.  If that seed of an idea was successfully planted during the conversation, then I would definitely consider the lesson a success.  Patriarchal Blessings are amazing!  Last of all, during Gyuli Buli, I learned how to play "Rummycube".  I took an immediate liking to it.  It's quite a strategic game.

Saturday, 14 January
Today we had one dog and one program.  We planned on teaching R about the Law of Chastity, but she was in Pest.  So, that's been postponed to next week.  We spent more time cleaning.  My miracle today was a realization of my progress concerning cooking and playing the piano.  Our one program today was with K, N, and L.  I fear the latter two have little interest in the gospel, but K has been reading from the Book of Mormon like we asked, remembers the Restoration film in great detail, and seems fairly interested in learning more and wanting to believe in it.

Sunday, 15 January
So, in my first three transfers I found a total of 14 new investigators (not counting any of the tabling find in Nyiregyhaza.  I heard that 13 came out of mine and Elder Moffett's efforts my last week there.  However, I wasn't there for that, so....).  This week alone, we found eight new investigators.  That's a miracle to me.  Other than that, today at Church Farkas Elnok was released as Branch President, and Tibi took his place becoming Szabo Elnok.  We have also been asked and have received permission to begin teaching S, the excommunicated member, as he has expressed a desire to be rebaptized.  It's an uncommon, but pretty cool situation.  Separately, our washing machine broke earlier during this week.  Elder Molnar and I have heard many tales about our landlady and are not looking forward to meeting her, but between our lack of cold water and the washing machine, we figure that we can't really avoid it.  Tomorrow's another P-Day.  I'm not sure what we'll do yet.  It might just be a day of rest. 

That's all for this week.  I can only think of three other things to include:

1)  I've heard multiple times that the nice weather we have been experiencing here is finally drawing to a close, and we're going to start entering that bone-chilling Hungarian winter that we heard about before I came out here.  Luckily, I have yet to have to really bundle up, and have only worn my thermals once.  It's also nice that I'm in the southern part of Hungary rather than the northern most part of it, like Nyiregyhaza.

2)  Thanks for updating and keeping the blog for me.  It's a good feeling to know that other people have the opportunity to get a glance at some of the experiences I'm having out here.

3)  President Baughman sent out an article to all the missionaries.  I plan on forwarding it.  I thought it was pretty cool.

I'm not sure how much I'll get to write next week in addition to the story for Bishop Borup.  Guess we'll find out.  Talk to you then,


Shipp Elder

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