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.

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