Monday, June 4, 2012

4 June 2012 Letter (Bekescsaba)

Tuesday, 29 May
Three programs today.  We actually started our day by going to the bank and then the newspaper office so that D could help us get an advertisement for English Class in the paper.  We then met with E and had a lesson on Happiness and Joy.  Afterwards, Elder Vandermark and I left D and rode our bikes out to try to squeeze emailing into our day.  When we got back, we had lunch with D and went with him to the train station.  Now that he’s gone, it's back to just the two of us.  I'm glad D came.  To be honest I was really impressed by him.  His great help to the work, sense of humor, love to talk, willingness to discard humanly pride to help others smile and have a good, yet clean time, his teaching skills and testimony, and his love for his fellow Hungarians is a great miracle.  After we saw D off, we met with B.  B got his old job back after talking to both his bosses.  They are now on better terms and more respecting and understanding of each other.  He is also doing well on his reading and praying.  Our last lesson was with M on the Plan of Salvation.  Every now and then, it's best to just review the basics.

Wednesday, 30 May
W met with E, E, and K.  All three programs varied in detail, but the root message of the main parts of each of them focused on Sin and Sorrow versus Righteousness and Joy.  Today, pictures win the miracle-seat.  They allow me to see my friends' and family's faces almost anytime.  I can hang pictures of Christ or Temples above my desk and bed.  And they can help preserve the memories I make here.

Thursday, 31 May
Two programs, two cancellations.  With G we discussed the stories in the first few chapters of 1 Nephi.  In Angolora, we spent a while talking about service in an open discussion and I ended sharing a part of King Benjamin's teachings on the same subject.  I haven't written anything in my Book of 1000 and 1 Testimonies for several weeks now.  The Liahona-a-day is keeping me busy.  Today has left my soul very weary.  I greatly sought knowledge and put effort into learning, applying, and trying to feel the Atonement.  I felt its healing power and its humbling power more this morning than almost any other time in my life.  I hope this morning's trials and searching will eternally change me.  I need it.  With the knowledge, gifts, opportunities, and circumstances I have been given, I often feel that I am and have been living below my potential and where I need to and should be.  Yet today I know I made progress and that's my miracle.  I just hope it proves to be lasting.  This evening reflecting on it, I have noticed that I feel greater love, from both the Savior as well as from those back home.

Friday, 1 June
Two programs today, but one cancelled.  First was M.  We still aren't quite sure what his thoughts are about moving to Austria.  It sounds like he's still planning on it, he just doesn't know when.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and a Liahona and used the big picture in it to discuss and teach Lehi's Dream of the Tree of Life.  Second was Institute.  Usually there are only 5-6 of us, however today there were 8.  We read different parts of Psalms concerning prophecies of Christ, and then jumped to the New Testament to read about the fulfilling of them.

Saturday, 2 June
Today can be broken down into three parts.  We started off our day with studies, so for me, reading Liahona's.  The second part was a Branch Bogracs/Picnic.  Elder Vandermark and I went over early to help start getting the food cooking and set things up.  It was a good thing we did; the food took five hours to cook.  In the meanwhile, we all talked, played with the dog, cat, and kitten, and played a card game called "Ligretto", during which I earned the nickname "Vilam Kez" (translates to "Lightning Hands").  My miracle was that over 25 people showed up, including B, K, and M.  It was also cool that it was my first Bogracs, delicious, and fed all of us, with there even being food left over.  The last stage of the day was clean-up.  Elder Vandermark and I stayed until after 8:00 cleaning up the picnic, then the two of us biked back and cleaned the Branch House until 9:30.  Yay cleaning.  Today's Bogracs was a good meal to have before tomorrow's Fast Sunday.

Sunday, 3 June
Today is my halfway point.  354 Days gone and 354 Days to go.  This has all been so fast.  This morning waking up at 3, 4, and 6:00 I discovered I am sick.  I've found that the only two times I really allow myself to sleep-in on my mission are Super P-Days and when I'm sick.  Luckily I'm already starting to feel better.  Fast and Testimony Meeting was pretty good today.  A good number of members shared their testimonies, as well as B.  My miracle today was a realization that I have made and had friends in every major area of my life: as a child, elementary school, junior high, high school, in our cul-de-sac, at church, in fencing, at college, and now during my mission.  While I may feel alone and the odd-one-out at times, Heavenly Father has never suffered me to actually be alone.  That's always a happy thought for me to remember.

That's all for this week.  We're going to try to go to Gyula and to a castle today.  Hope you all have a good day too.


Shipp Elder

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