Monday, 11 June
The storms are continuing and limiting our options for
P-Day. We started with shopping, business, and email. Afterwards we
went to one of the two big cathedrals in the middle of town. This was
followed by roaming around the Csaba Center. That was actually most of
our day, lots of roaming between rain showers. During Family Night we
played the bean game. My miracle today is that I received an email of
thanks from S. That was very uplifting and encouraging to read.
It's kind of ironic how his letter of gratitude made me grateful.
Tuesday, 12 June
I'm in Szeged right now, on splits with Elder Nealy.
Today we had three programs. This morning Elder Vandermark and I met with
D and had a lesson focused around 1 Nephi 7 & 8. We went to J's for a
feeding program and read Alma 22 together. Afterwards, we took care of
some Branch House maintenance. When the Zone Leaders arrived we had a
short district meeting before Elder Nealy and I rushed back to Szeged for a
program. The program went super well and
the investigators there were my miracle. There was a mother, daughter,
son, and her son's girlfriend. The three in the family have only met with
the missionaries five times, but all said they believe the Church is
true. That's just the beginning though. They had been researching
religions, and found information on our Church, ordered some books and the
Restoration Film, and then later, looked-up the number for the Elders here in
Szeged, and called them up. So, in addition to looking up and finding the
missionaries, they'd all seen the Restoration Film, and had begun reading the
Book of Mormon. The mother already finished completely reading the
Booking of Mormon, the Gospel Principles book, and a couple pamphlets! Whoa!
They came to Sacrament Meeting back on Fast Sunday, and after the Branch
President turned the time over to the congregation, the mother was the first
one to get up and say she believed and knew most of everything we taught them
about Prophets, Apostasy, and Dispensations. The son bore his testimony
and the mom said, "This is the true Church of God. I have
investigated many churches, but this one is the closest to God. It has
the Book of Mormon and I know it is scripture from God." Yep.
This has been the best miracle in a good while.
Wednesday, 13 June
Back in Bekescsaba. Two programs today. First
was T, an inactive member's wife. Unfortunately she's not progressing,
and Elder Nealy and Elder Moffet are planning on dropping her in their next
program. We went flyering then met with Z, a really cool young man who
has already done some pretty amazing things in life, but isn't quite as amazing
when it comes to the gospel. Szeged is a beautiful city. It is a
college town and has the most beautiful cathedral I've ever seen.
Thursday, 14 June
This morning and afternoon were entirely free from programs,
so we had full studies then went tabling. The Adams came down from Szeged
and took our District out to lunch for Sister Barnhart's last Thursday in the
country. Afterwards, Elder Vandermark and I went flyering for English
Class, which is restarting next week. Our evening concluded the day with
a program with G on 1 Nephi 3-6, followed by M talking about Daniel and the
Lion's Den, and then a cancellation. The weather was good throughout the
whole day and I spent a while cleaning our apartment again. Today's
miracle is how much cheaper food is here. At lunch, we went to a nicer
sit-down restaurant and were each able to get a soup, small salad, and main
dish for the equivalence of about $2.60 a person.
Friday, 15 June (One Year Mark on Mission)
Only one program today, which was with E and her
family. We read together the story of the Title of Liberty. It is
always a good feeling to be in their home. E, the mother, is a fully
active member of the Church, all three of the children are growing up under the
gospel and attend primary, and the Sisters are working alongside Edina to help
the husband be baptized. Their family is one of the most complete,
ideal-feeling families I've met in Hungary. That is my miracle today. We spent the rest of the day tabling and
giving out several hundred flyers. We're hoping that they prove fruitful
and flood English class with all sorts of new, promising investigators.
In the evening my MTC District all did a conference call to commemorate our
year-mark. It was nice to talk to them all.
Saturday, 16 June
Spent the day flyering, cleaning the Branch House, and
teaching three programs. The first program was the hardest, with B.
He's very much gone downhill emotionally and mentally and spiritually to the
point where all he was willing to talk about was how he hates everything: his
job, his family, his life, the country, everyone in it, etc. We learned
he has already fallen back into old habits, and he desperately wants to leave
(all of Europe). He has become very disillusioned on "how perfect
his life in the States used to be" and that "life can never be good
or amount to anything again." The whole time his plea to us was to
send him back to America. I realized four main things in this
program. First, how much situations, struggles, and desires vary
person-to-person. B's desire is to go back to America, but is stuck here,
the opposite of F’s back in Buda, who was doing everything in his power to try
to get through the struggle of staying here and not having to go back to
America. Second, the degree of the results of sin can vary and have very
far-reaching effects. For B, one sin has permanently and drastically changed
his life. Some people in the world might think that since others are able
to break greater commandments and commit larger sins such as adultery, and
seemingly escape any punishment within this life, that they would be even safer
committing more minor sins. They do not seem to realize that all sins
will be suffered for, and not always in the next life. Nor can we predict
entirely what that suffering will include.
Third, as we all know, the Atonement applies to everyone and every
circumstance. Its reach, power, and effects are infinite and
eternal. It can heal both the heart and the soul. It can raise
anyone far beyond their own capacity. Fourth, it helped solidify and more
blatantly show the blessings and the safety of the gospel and all of the
commandments in it. My gratitude deepens every time a realization of
those blessings hits me and I further recognize them and the happiness they
have brought into my life. Stay on the path. The highest way is
both the safest and the happiest way. Elder
Vandermark and I both pray daily that we can help B change his life and lift it
into a much greater plane in the gospel light.
Program number two was with M on 2 Kings 22 and the importance of both
having and living the scriptures and the laws they contain. Last was G,
with whom we read and discussed the first chapter of Mosiah. Today's
miracle is that so many people in the world have made the conscious choice to
love life. I am one of them.
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