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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