Monday, July 30, 2012

30 July 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Dear Family,

Transfer calls came today.  I will be staying here in Szombathely and will be…!  Elder Headrick is going to serve in Pest; Elder Loveday is leaving to serve in Tatabanya, while Elder Bullock and I remain here and receive Greenies.  It is strange to think that I’ll be with a new Missionary by Wednesday.  It should be really fun though.  Another thing that is going on with transfers is that Elder Reese is going to be one of the two Assistants to President Smith.  The entire Mission is about to change.  On Thursday I will be in the oldest third of the Mission.  On to the blog posts:

Monday, 23 July
Today was an unproductive day, and I am very tired.  We spent a while walking around town trying to find souvenir shops, but weren’t terrifically successful.

Tuesday, 24 July (Pioneer Day)
Today’s Pioneer Day!  This morning we received two calls from people who received flyers about English lessons.  We also made several calls of our own out of the Area Book.  Among the contacting we did was a visit to the Library where we learned that it will be impossible to hold Angolora there.  I called the Carpenters to verify permission for us to rent a place.  We met with A and discussed our duty of Service.  Lastly, all four of us Missionaries had dinner and a short program with the Branch President and his wife.  My miracle today is the legacy, heritage, and testimonies the Pioneers left us.

Wednesday, 25 July
We started today with a dog.  That was followed by two hours of tracting in which we had someone threaten to call the police (first time in Szombathely), gave out two Books of Mormon, and found two women who were interested.  They talked with us for fifteen minutes, gave us their numbers and told us to return later.  We then met with an old investigator who mostly just enjoys learning about various religions.  Angolora would have been tonight, however not a single person came to mine or Elder Loveday’s classes.  My miracle today was that we got to talk to J.  While talking to him, we learned that he finally got permission to live in the US.  He leaves August 2 to move to Utah and finally rejoin his wife.

Thursday, 26 July
Well, today was interesting.  We were really busy, but got little accomplished.  This morning Elder Headrick and I met with a woman out of the Area Book (listed as an investigator) only to arrive and find out that she’s been a member since 1998.  Oops.  So we improvised and shared a spiritual thought and asked for referrals.  Lesson to be learned: keep better records, keep them organized, and know other members in the Branch better.  We didn’t have any other programs today so we spent 4 ½ hours tracting.  We got two let-ins.  Both were really nice and kind to us, the second one even fed us a little and gave Elder Headrick a small gift; however, they aren’t really interested in religion or God.  Afterwards we made more calls out of the Area Book.  My miracle is in remembrance of Elders Moffett, Molnar, and Vandermark – all of whom will be home a week from now!  Lastly, I chipped a tooth playing basketball this morning.  I guess that’s one more thing to look forward to in the resurrection.

Friday, 27 July (300 Days left)
Today I have 300 days left on my mission.  Also the Olympics started today in London.  I wish we had been able to watch the opening ceremony.  My miracle today is that we have a Heavenly Mother out there somewhere.  Families are an eternal principle.  Other than that we went to Zalaegerszeg again today.  We met with Z for the second time (who is progressing well) and watched the Restoration video.  We also had another program in Zala with J.  She was streeted back when the area was open.  However, while we did successfully meet with her, she is not at all interested in the gospel.  Zalaegerszeg is a small city, but has a beautiful Belvaros.  We finished our day with Csaladi Est.

Saturday, 28 July
Our only program today cancelled so we spent a couple hours tracting, but were unsuccessful.  In the evening we had a meeting followed by Fiatal Est.  I went whipping for the second time ever.  My miracle is that I found a place to buy peanut butter!  Lastly, I got a haircut.  And I must say, the metric system has stolen my hair.  While I know Hungarians use the metric system, all my companions and their razors have been American, and all my past haircuts have been a 2 on the sides, and a 3 on top (meaning 2/8” and 3/8”).  However, tonight I enlisted Elder Bullock’s help to buzz my hair.  At the same time I completely forgot that he and his Canadian razor use the metric, not imperial system.  So, when we tried a 2 and 3, it ended up being in millimeters not inches…so, I’m practically bald.  It’s nearly 1/3 of its normal shortest length, and I think my Dad might have more hair than me now.  Oh well.  It’ll grow back, and now I won’t have to cut it as often.

Sunday, 29 July
A good amount happened today.  We had two feeding programs with members.  The first was with X and her family.  The second was with S.  Both were really delicious and filling.  Elder Headrick and Elder Loveday each gave seven minute talks in Church today as we think they’re both leaving.  Transfer calls come tomorrow.  We think Elder Bullock and I will both train.  It’s pouring rain again.  My miracle today is that one of the S’s sons returned from the Alpine German Mission (the same one as Tyler and Houston).  While there he served as an Assistant, and then finished as a Trainer.  It was really fun to get to talk to him about it.

That’s all for today.  Email you all next week with my greenie!


Shipp Elder

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30 July 2012 Pictures (Szombathely)



Monday, July 23, 2012

23 July 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Monday, 16 July
Emailing went well today.  We also walked around to seven different Cathedrals, one of which had a full skeleton inside.  I still would like to go to as many of the nearby Castles as possible, but we need to get permission to switch our P-Day first, as almost all of them are closed on Mondays.  For some reason I felt bad, or kind of guilty today.  I’m not sure why and hope I didn’t forget anything important.  My miracle is that the feeling might just have been necessary to cause self-reflection and prevent slothfulness.

Tuesday, 17 July
Today Elder Headrick and I went falu-blasting with the other companionship.  We biked out to a small town named Zanat and tracted half of it.  We got three phone numbers and gave out three Books of Mormon.  It ended up being the most success I’ve had in a while.  We had one program today which was with A on Tithing and Fasting.  I also gave her a copy of “True to the Faith”.  My miracle today is that on our way back from Zanat we helped a man who had literally “fainted by the wayside.”  While biking alongside the highway we saw the man completely collapse and fall partway into one of the lanes unconsciously.  We immediately pulled off the road and went to help.  When we first reached him, he was still blacked out.  He regained consciousness, but couldn’t get up without three of us helping him; he had a giant egg showing his concussion, and was bleeding from a big gash on the back of his head.  An ambulance was called and Elder Loveday held him the whole time we waited to prevent the staggering and swaying man from falling over again; although when the ambulance arrived, and the paramedics were loading him, he almost hit the pavement again.  Anyways, I’m glad we were there and were able to help this man.

Wednesday, 18 July
Today we went flyering and streeting for several hours, and as we went around, I stopped at multiple places to see if we could hold Angolora or teach English there.  In the evening we had Angolora.  Only one person (not new) came to Elder Loveday’s and my class.  Because it was hot, sunny, and we were outside for several hours, I tried some Rafaello ice cream, which is now in my top 5 flavors.  My miracle is from a couple days back.  I don’t know how, but I’ve forgotten to write that last Saturday B was baptized back in Bekescsaba.  Elder Vandermark said the service went really well.  I’m very thankful and find joy in having learned of one of my previous investigators being baptized in each area I’ve served in.  I’ve been blessed on my mission.

Thursday, 19 July (400th Day on Mission)
I’ve now been away from home and serving the Lord for 400 days.  It doesn’t feel like that.  Yet, I know that I still have over 300 days left to continue making a difference here in Hungary.  We met with Z this morning.  We started talking about the Plan of Salvation, but that quickly stopped and switched to learning more about his past encounters with missionaries.  Baptism was briefly discussed and we will talk more about it next week.  I also learned that he has come to church three times.  We need to discuss priesthood authority and baptism with him next time.  In the afternoon, Elder Headrick and I continued streeting and searching-out buildings.  Around 3:00pm, Elders Headrick and Loveday left for Budapest to get their Resident Cards.  Elder Bullock and I met with J.  He’s hoping to leave in a couple weeks for the States (hopefully on August 2).  It’s raining again and my miracle is that Elders Wiborny and Molnar are here for splits, so I get to work, talk, and visit with them again.

Friday, 20 July
Splits continued today.  In the early afternoon we had a short District Meeting.  The Zone Leaders gave training on “The Warrior” and how to best use our finding weapons.  Elder Molnar and I then met with S and his girlfriend for the first time.  (S had been streeted by the missionaries once in the past).  Hopefully they will meet again.  They said they would try.  After the program, Elder Molnar and I went through the list of 61 places we had found to potentially hold Angolor.  We called them all up and have it narrowed down to 11, two of which we are really hoping for.  By the time the two of us finished the list, we were nearly out of time.  However we had a little time to go tracting.  We only knocked on one door (or rather, csengo-ed one house), and we got the second let-in I’ve had on my mission.  That was today’s miracle.  We then split back, the Zone Leaders left to Papa, and five minutes later Elders Headrick and Loveday returned from Buda.  I talked to Elder Vandermark again and learned that the Sisters have been moved to Szolnok.  It will be interesting to see if more Sisters are sent, if Elders are sent later, or if there only remain two Elders in the city to maintain the branch.

Saturday, 21 July
I don’t have too much to write about today.  During the afternoon I called several dozen numbers out of the Area Book, but only got one program set up and it’s not until August 20.  We had one program today which was with A.  We reviewed the Law of Chastity which went well until we reached homosexuality, (despite my thoughts that this would almost always be the easiest part).  Unfortunately, this is something that is often debated in the media and the scientific and political world which often falsely teaches that some people “are just born that way” and “can’t change the way they are.”  Other than that, she also shared her sorrow and frustration with the weaknesses of old age, and the older body that accompanies it.  Fiatal Est was in the evening, and uneventful.  My miracle today is that although I’ve had my patriarchal blessing memorized for almost a year now, I am, and can still, learn from it.  One phrase in particular continuously ran through my mind and preoccupied my thoughts today:  “You have been blessed richly through your membership in the Church.”  This applies to any active member of the Church and is no secret.  However, how often do we think about it, how grateful are we for it, and do we realize how much of our lives are affected by it, or how wide its influence extends?  I thank the Lord for membership in His holy house.

Sunday, 22 July
It’s already Sunday again.  Today I had the opportunity to spend some time writing letters to those I’ve never written to before.  Something I forgot to include back during my split with Elder Molnar was a quote from him that I told him I would add: “If you are going to be stupid, don’t be stupid about it.”  Good advice for us all.  Today during church three unique things happened.  First off, the Gudgells and the Carpenters (the new office couple) came and spoke.  One of the members in the branch showed me a picture he had drawn and labeled as an analogy using the five steps I had talked about last week in the priesthood lesson.  Third and my miracle today was that D and T, two of my past investigators from Buda came to Sacrament Meeting.  They were both born here, grew up here, and their families still live here so they came up for a visit.  I’m glad they chose to come to church while they were here.  It was fun to get to see and talk to them again.  A couple other things happened today.  In the afternoon and evening I found three rats and then a porcupine on our street.  Also, the quote book I have been working on, now containing several hundred quotes, is almost full.


Shipp Elder.

23 July 2012 Pictures (Szombathely)

A Nearby Jewish Synagogue

A Nearby Cathedral

Monday, July 16, 2012

16 July 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Monday, 9 July
Played basketball a lot today.  We went to Tesco and several other stores to try to buy a fan.  The majority of stores were sold-out, and the few fans left were too expensive to get reimbursed.  We also made a bunch of calls today to both members and investigators, but hardly anyone was able to meet this week.  However, I do have a miracle today.  I'm pretty good at always emailing some pictures back home each week, but it's really nice to receive them as well.  It's nice to see those back home smiling, changing, and growing.

Tuesday, 10 July
Zone Conference was today.  I finally got to meet President Smith and his wife.  It has been a great thing that my parents and they have been in contact; although I will admit, it made our relationship today slightly strange, as neither of us quite knows what the other one knows about us.  However, I did have a great interview with President Smith and look forward to getting to know him and his wife better.  During the rest of the Zone Conference, President Smith started with his training on "The Dawning of a New Era".  Sister Smith followed by sharing some history and experiences from their lives.  The Assistants compared the role and workings of Christ to the five steps of His gospel.  The Zone Leaders connected 2 Nephi 33:1 to 1 Nephi 2:16, and led a training and role plays on giving commitments to our investigators.  Last of all were departing testimonies.  Elder Moffett and Elder Molnar both shared theirs.  It will be sad to see them both leave (and Elder Vandermark - I'll miss his departing testimony).

Wednesday, 11 July
Our bathroom is exponentially cleaner now than it ever has been.  Today we had one dog, one cancellation, and Angolora which I was in charge of this week.  Elder Headrick and I printed and copied several hundred flyers today.  Today's miracle is that, like in Szekesfehervar, I had a scare over a physical, material object that helped remind me how much more important spiritual, eternal things are and helped give me the blessing of increasing the fervency of my prayers for those things that matter most.  The miracle was that the scare gave me an increased desire to pray.

Thursday, 12 July
Two programs today.  First was with Z.  He has read to 1 Nephi 19 already, and we watched the Restoration film today.  Our second was with J, in which we continued to help him with English.  Our would-have-been third program forgot we were meeting with her.  Today's miracle is that, although all three times we've met with Z he's been 20-35 minutes late, he still comes.  I know too many who would cancel or dog if they were too behind or late; yet because he still comes, we're able to meet and help him progress.  Also, something else I noticed today is that we, as members, are aware of many sad events in the history of the Church which resulted in attacks and persecutions from the Devil and his advocates.  What I don't think we see as much are the nearly as numerous sad events in world history which were also caused by Satan and his influence; or at least I don't know if it's commonly recognized as being, in large part, caused by his influence.  It's not just God's Church that is under attack… but all of mankind.

Friday, 13 July
It's pouring rain outside, and a few minutes ago there was a performer at the cafe nearby playing "All of Me".  Today we went streeting, had a short District Meeting to plan the lesson we'll be teaching in Priesthood; and we met with K, sharing a message on Alma 37:6-7.  During Csaladi Est we played basketball again.  With no exaggeration, by the end of next transfer I will have easily done more basketball here in Szombathely than the last 20 years of my life combined.  My miracle today isn't really a miracle, just knowing I have to change.  Often, I laugh or mildly cheer or find humor when someone else gets hurt or worried, or distressed.  I know this is wrong and generally feel terrible after.  Somehow I need to more fully change it.

Saturday, 14 July
Long entry coming today, so get ready.  As for actual events today - we did full studies, prepared our parts for the Priesthood lesson, went streeting, found a hidden park and island, got dogged by our only program, and went tracting and flyering. (It was my first time tracting in Szombathely.)  Also, in the evening, we got a call and I was asked to go practice a musical number with a member.  On a random note, I have found all manner of strange things within the past couple days including a "Bomb Shop", green electric smoke, Easy Women, the Prestige, and my 3rd Giant Metal Apple (with the first being in Nyiregyhaza and the second in Buda).  My miracle today is actually something that took a long time to develop, that I realized last week but haven't written about until now.  It is hope.  I've always considered myself a hopeful person and believed in happy endings, but it was not until my reflections and soul-searching here in Szombathely that I found the switch to make the transition from "believing" in happy endings to "knowing" that each of our stories will have a happy ending.  This hope has grown within me over my lifetime thus far, but now it is coming to the surface at a very rapid pace; and I've already found several situations that it has applied to.  For example: rather than "believe" with a hope that I would learn something new at Zone Conference, I went with a hope "knowing" that there would be revelation waiting.  As I read a story from the war chapters in Alma, to the tale of Joseph Smith, to current people talked about in an Ensign, I know that each story will end in a glorious victory.  Such it is with each of our lives.  Comparing and implementing it into the Mission Field, although transfers may cause anxiety, although you may feel tired, although programs may dog, though investigators may drop, and it feels like you have made absolutely no progress or difference, lives will be forever, eternally affected.  Two of the most tragic parts in world history have been completely illuminated by hope.  Concerning the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, which many in the world would consider the end of his tale, we have been reminded that afterwards thousands have died, and millions have lived, claiming that they know the Book of Mormon and the Church, which espouses it, to be true.  And the true ending is yet to come, when the Kingdom of God is completed on the earth in all of its glory and the Son of Man comes to rule again.  In the dark nights and struggles of our lives, we could all fear that things could be even worse.  Scarily, "without the Atonement it not only could be worse, it would be worse."  Yet, in the darkest day of all, during the time of Christ's crucifixion, we received the one thing - the Atonement - which guarantees each and every one of us a brighter future than we could ever dream.  As long as we keep the commandments we will have a happy ending.  Our Savior has already seen to that.  I'm thankful for this knowledge, I'm grateful for the blessings, and I'm especially grateful for the hope it brings.

Sunday, 15 JulyChurch today.  We taught the lesson in Priesthood on "Sharing the Gospel Effectively".  No lunch at the S's today.  Instead, we had palacsintas with the other Elders in the evening.  My miracle today is that my Mission has been comparably easy so far: all my companions have been cool, as have my areas; and compared to many other Missions, my apartments (even the attic in Bekescsaba) would probably be as desired as a hotel.  Nothing has gone terribly wrong at home or with my health.  I've never had a gun pointed at me.  My Mission hasn't been too hard so far.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

9 July 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Monday, 2 July
Today was hot and humid, and I woke up with nine bug bites.  My bike was in the shop, so we couldn’t travel far, so once again we didn’t do much.  I was in charge of FHE, during which we read Elder Bruce R McConkie’s final conference address on the Atonement, which I focused the discussion around.  In the evening, I put up my bug net for the first time on my mission.  While I know not much was achieved today, and that today’s entry doesn’t sound very incredible, I am glad to be here, experiencing the best two years for my life.  To borrow the words of a letter I received near the start of my mission, although the realization and meaning of them has sunk in so much deeper than when I first received them, my mission has been a sacrifice, the rewards of which have been spectacular growth in areas that would certainly have been neglected in almost any other setting.  This growth is precious and sweet to the soul.  And it is happening because I am “…in the right place and doing the right thing at the right time!”  Missions are amazing.

Tuesday, 3 July
I am happy to write that we accomplished a good number of things today.  We cleaned part of the apartment, got my bike back from the repair shop, got tabling supplies, and fixed the fridge.  We also streeted and made calls, but met with no success.  We had one program today with a new investigator named L.  We got off to a rocky start as I was told we were meeting with a 15 year-old boy who smokes, and we were thoroughly confused and didn’t realize for a while that the 40ish year-old man we were talking to was L.  But once we figured that out, we found a place to sit and had a proper first.  L is Catholic and active, attending church every week, so the Restoration is a little hard and foreign for him; but thankfully, he’s open enough to see what we have to say and set up with us again.  My miracle today is my parents, specifically what a blessing it has been to have two reservoirs of knowledge and experience constantly beside me and teaching me and my siblings throughout our lives.  My Mom and Dad both know so much, have taught me so much, and I hope to continue learning all I can from them in the future.

Wednesday, 4 July (Independence Day!)
Today is America’s most patriotic day, but a regular day in Magyarorszag.  Today we designed new flyers for English class; we also found a copy center, followed by tabling and streeting.  A good number of people stopped to ask questions about Angolora while we were tabling; however, not as many stopped for the Gospel.  We currently only have three Books of Mormon left between both our apartment and the branch house, so we have to be very careful and hesitant about handing them out.  In about a week and a half we’re supposed to receive 50-70 more, but until then we are very limited.  Angolora was tonight.  Two new people came, and I gave the spiritual thought on Prayer.  My miracle today is Independence Day.  Yay 4th of July!  Yay Freedom!  While I did fix a slightly bigger dinner and listen to patriotic songs for 1 ½ hours to celebrate the USA and the liberty our Founding Fathers fought for and obtained for our country, and all those since who have fought to maintain that same standard of freedom, there was another cause for liberty that I celebrated.  Beforehand, I watched “To This End Was I Born” and listened to several songs such as “Redeemer of Israel.”  Pondering upon the messages those describe was definitely worthwhile and equally as applicable to the cause of Independence, Liberty and Freedom.  For the reason of Christ’s life really was freedom – physical and spiritual, from death and from sin.  The Spirit of God is in the spirit of liberty.  The imprisonment and captivity of Joseph in Egypt, the Israelites, Christ before his crucifixion, the tyranny of the colonies, and Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, all ended with more freedom and a radiant increase of light.  I’m thankful for those magnificent increases that have come through the efforts of men, and I’m most deeply grateful for those which have come through the efforts and divine power of God.  Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, 5 July
Can I just start out by saying that it is fun to see Nuns?  You never, ever see them in Utah, nor did I see them in Philly.  They’re a small, but fun part of the culture here.  We met with Z today.  He’s read all of the prefixes and the first five chapters of the Book of Mormon.  When I asked about it, he retold everything… and I mean everything.  He remembered locations, dates, and even names (like the difference of Lemuel, Sam, Zoram, and even Laman and Laban).  He also had several questions, not about the validity, but rather about its history; and he said he’d love to learn everything that proves it is true.  As far as reading goes, he’s already one of the best investigators I’ve had so far.  My hopes are rising.  We had two cancellations, and met with J.  He’s trying to move to Utah and really wants to learn English before then, so we did what we could to help.  Lastly we went tabling.  My miracle is the progress I have made (am still making) in breaking bad habits and replacing them with better ones like SYL-ing (Speak Your Language) all the time.

Friday, 6 July
No programs today - just streeting, tabling, and basketball for Sport Nap.  Yet, I am still super tired.  My miracle today is the care that many around the world give to the elderly.  Children take care of their aged parents and grandparents, and Governments often help by give them funding or support.  We have retirement homes, assisted-living centers, the occasional hospital, and other facilities or organizations to give them help as well as love.  I think we all owe the older generations for all they’ve done for us.  I think there’s a lot we can learn from them.  I also think that part of the tragedy that would (and sometimes does) occur when they are neglected, not taken care of, or forgotten is that they can become bitter or grumpy.  It can be so hard to maintain happiness if others, especially family and neighbors fail to love us and forget us.  I think many would lose the light they once possessed, or the light could dim.  This is especially sad to me since we know we are resurrected to the same state, the same soul.  For those that have gone through so much of life and its trials, I hope that we can each do our part to help them maintain their happiness and be resurrected to that same light they possessed at the time of their passing.

Saturday, 7 July
Well, this morning I woke up super tired.  We went to Zalaegerszeg today to meet with a new investigator.  Zala was opened back before I came to Hungary, but closed again after only 7 ½ months.  The program was half-English, half-Gospel.  It went really well.  My miracle today is that although the new investigator is very well off materially, during the discussion she said family is way important to her; enough that, without us asking, she said she’d give up her possessions, car, money, etc. if she could guarantee health and happiness to her two children.  It was easy to see that family is very important to her.  We’re hoping to be able to go down to Zala every other week to meet with her.  When we got back we went streeting.  I figured out what was wrong with our fridge: we had a power-outage the other night.  Today there was a small Croatian Festival in the Főtér.  Lastly, there was a Branch party, and everyone went swimming in Austria except….the Missionaries.  Aw...

Sunday, 8 July
Short entry today:  attended church; lunch at S’s.  Still haven’t had any investigators come to Sacrament Meeting.  However, we did receive our second referral for this transfer.

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9 July 2012 Pictures (Szombathely)

Netting required for the first time

Always proselytizing 

A Cathedral near the center of the city

Szombathely's Belvaros (also called the Főtér)

Monday, July 2, 2012

2 July 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Monday, 25 June
Today was P-Day, and we got up early to play basketball with the other Elders. It ended up pouring rain for the rest of the day, severely limiting our options. It ended up being a pretty dead and boring day. In the evening we had Csaladi Est, during which we all talked about things that make us happy.

Tuesday, 26 June
I took my bike in this morning to see if I could get it fixed. We then tabled for several hours. In the evening we had a District Meeting with the other elders. They chose some really ambitious goals. Hopefully enough effort will be put in to really try to meet them.

Wednesday, 27 June
Basketball has continued as our exercise each morning. We went tabling, and had our first program with the Bible Preacher. He seemed fairly receptive; it’s just harder to tell when we know he’s starting his own religion. In the afternoon we went to pick up my bike, and my fears were confirmed in that it’s still broken as they are unable to fix the bent frame. It’s pretty permanently messed-up. I did however manage to sort of fix the rip in my suit pants.  During Angolora in the evening, the other Elders completely missed it, so Elder Headrick and I had to improvise to teach it. My miracle tonight was that Elder Walker called from Nyiregyhaza and said he had gotten in touch with two of his past investigators and set up a meeting for us. The work is starting to pick here, but it’s still super low.

Thursday, 28 June
New record for me today, since coming here to Szombathely. Today we met with an investigator and two members. First was the investigator. He is interested completely in the religious part of our mission, despite speaking English near fluently. He’s never been religious before, but has recently felt great guilt for the things he’s done over the past several years. He readily admits he thinks he has to change, yet he knows almost nothing about God and is afraid whether or not he can truly repent. He desperately needs knowledge and the blessings of the atonement in his life. We have high hopes for him.  Second was a member. She loves several of the past missionaries that have come here, and tries to keep in touch with many of them. She’s been a member for about a year, and seems to be doing well. She has a large collection of old coins that aren’t used any more, and let me and Elder Headrick pick out ten. That was really cool, as well as really nice. Last was another member. We spent most the time getting to know each other. We ended with a spiritual discussion on prayer.  Some other notes for today: our laundry machine has become very faulty. Also, I’ve started becoming grumpy lately. I’m not sure what’s causing it, but it’s annoying for me and those around me. I’m hoping the attitude will just vanish into thin air soon and never come back. That would be nice. My miracle today is that although our apartment is hot, at the top of three flights of stairs, and our washing machine is dying, at least everything else is really nice.

Friday, 29 June
Three programs and a cancellation today.  First was a man out of the Area Book. He’s met with the missionaries in the past for half English, and still remembers how to pray and a little bit about the Restoration. Next was Z. She had never met with the missionaries, but does remember the missionaries’ tracting into her once. She has three young kinds and no religious background. However she said she’s not too interested, but will read all the prefixes to the Book of Mormon then decide if she wants to meet again. In the evening we had Sport Nap, which ended up just being basketball. My miracle today is that I believe that God will always, always answer our prayers in one way or another.

Back in Szekesfehervar, near the beginning of my mission, I came up with a theory. Over the course of my mission, I have come to believe that every single prayer we say, and every single thing we pray about, will receive an answer. While every good Christian recognizes that prayers are heard and some are answered, I’m not sure they realize that every prayer is heard and every prayer is answered. This does not mean the answer will always come immediately or when we want. It does not mean that we will receive the answer we want, or that we will always like it. It does not mean that it will always be powerful, or even recognizable. What it does mean, and what I believe, is that it will always come.  I believe that whenever someone prays, be it for anything, they will get an answer. Sometimes silence is the answer, and God’s way of saying use your conscience. Maybe it is to give the person more time to study it out in their thoughts, or to exercise patience, persistence, and endurance. Sometimes the answer is delayed. Other times it is in a form we cannot recognize at the time, or it does not come all at once but over an extended period of time. I feel like most answers come in at least one or a combination of these forms. As far as missionary work goes, I sincerely believe that if an investigator prays about the Church or to learn if the Book of Mormon is true, they will get an answer – even if they only ask once. It might, however, not come for three months and at a time when they aren’t thinking about it, and they’ll completely miss it. On the other end, as a Missionary, I believe that each prayer to find a golden, prepared investigator will receive an answer at some point.  So, I say: “Let Us Pray”. Let us raise our voices to the heavens in praise and thanks. As we make our prayers more sincere, more consistent, and more selfless, we will receive more powerful answers and we will be better prepared to recognize, hear, and receive them. Prays are heard and answered, every one.

Saturday, 30 June
This morning we went streeting, after which I got a flat tire. We barely got my bike into the shop before closing, and I’ll have to wait until Tuesday to get it back. We made more calls out of the Area Book which proved to be successful. We had to walk to both A’s and Fiatal Est, which added over an hour extra travel time to our day. A was sick; however, still healthy enough to meet. We reviewed the Word of Wisdom, and at the end, one of her sons arrived to check up on her; and after briefly talking with him, he said he’d like to meet. We then had to walk to Fiatal Est. The broken bike ended up being a great blessing, as that extra time to slow down and think was much needed, and it was during that long walking period that I finally got rid of my grumps. For Fiatal Est, we had a water fight. Oh, President & Sister Baughman left today to return home. President Smith arrived two days ago and is now our new Mission President. Last of all, my second miracle today is that some of the Relief Society sisters cleaned and ironed a bunch of clothes for people in the Ward, and I got stains and spots taken out of two shirts that I hadn’t been able to get. Thanks Sisters!

Sunday, 1 July
Random fact of the day: it’s Canada Day.  Sacrament Meeting and Fasting was first today. We took a bus so that we wouldn’t have to walk out there. I ended up playing piano again. We challenged three investigators to come to church, and I sent them reminder-texts two hours before-hand, but none came. We went to the S’s again, where we broke our fast. There was an even larger group this week (24 people). They are so kind. The rest of the day was planning and studies. The miracle is that by now my family should be safely back from Trek, filled with various memories and experiences.

2 July 2012 Pictures (Szombathely)

The District out Tabling

Our Appartment in Szombathely

Rooftop view from our Appartment

Street view in Szombathely