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.

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