Tuesday, August 28, 2012

28 August 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Tuesday, 21 August
Not much for today.  Shopped, emailed, studied, and tried to find new investigators.  I was able to find out that Elder Alldredge and I biked over 33 miles yesterday.  For a miracle, I haven’t gotten sick in a long time.

Wednesday, 22 August
I have lots to write about today.  We finally met with I after four weeks of trying to set up.  He loves to talk, and it was interesting to listen because he mostly talked about his six years in Africa.  While he’s read parts of the Book of Mormon in the past, he believes that the way to Peace is through brotherhood and friendships that every society needs to form; that Churches aren’t necessary, but exist to assist in that purpose.  We also met with Z again.  Finally!  During the past three weeks he has been sure to pray every day (every evening), and has read out of the Book of Mormon about every other day.  We had to push back his baptismal date, but he wants to continue investigating and we laid out a plan for the rest of the Missionary Lessons.  The other Elders were in Budapest today, so Elder Alldredge taught the Profi class and I taught Kezdo.  In the evening, we met with K and his wife.  They are both members, and K served a Mission.  We ate dinner with them (fruit soup, rokott krumpli, and apple pie), and shared the story of Naaman.  Neither of K’s parents are members; they aren’t interested in learning about the Church, but said we’re always welcome to come and visit.  In the end, they’re all pretty awesome and really friendly.  Today’s miracle is patience and persistence.  I first contacted I, as well as K’s Mother, back on July 21 and have been trying to meet since.  Also, the last time we had met with Z was July 31.  It’s taken a long time to finally meet, but it was worth it.  Finally, a funny story:  today Elder Alldredge bought a container of sour cream and started eating it.  Within a spoonful or three he realized it didn’t quite taste much like yogurt.  Doh! 

Thursday, 23 August (9 Months left; start of the Savaria Carnival!)
Today, like yesterday, will also be a big entry.  This morning we went over to K’s (the woman whose daughter lives in Provo), and had lunch with her.  Like last time, she was super kind and we had a nice visit.  She prays but hasn’t read the Book of Mormon, so we gave her a challenge to read two parts and told her we’d like to watch the Restoration Film next time.  She sent us home with a bunch of leftovers.  In the evening we went to two home teaching appointments with C.  We visited A first, and C shared a lesson on the Holy Ghost.  We then met with B.  B was baptized three years ago, but has become inactive since then.  With her, we all talked about faith.  She is in charge of the Relief Society lesson in two weeks.  Hopefully with that, she’ll start coming back to church.  In the evening, we barely made it back in time to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Savaria Carnival in the Foter.  They had a small squad marching in Roman Armor.  A fire magician and fire dancer performed and handed a torch off to the Mayor dressed as a Roman senator and he lit the beacon.  Afterwards, a band and dance group performed a series of various Jazz and Latin routines.  While there, we met K and R and stood with them throughout the show.

Friday, 24 August
Today started with District Meeting.  I gave training on “Teaching Patterns” and we set a District Goal to challenge any investigator we meet to Baptism.  On the way back, Elder Alldredge’s tire popped.  In the afternoon, we went to some parts of the Savaria Carnival.  We tried going to the Ruin Garden but nothing was set up yet, so we went and looked at shops in and around the Foter.  I made two of my own metal souvenirs and bought my first whip (it’s white).  Our only program cancelled.  We stopped back by the Ruin Garden where they had a talent show and slave auction.  Our day ended with Csaladi Est, playing soccer.  My miracle today was a thought on Pride.  It came to me today that whenever anyone is unwilling or hesitant to make a change for the better, it will be a problem with Pride.  While there may be other excuses given or presented, in the end, the refusal to change or improve will have Pride as its source.

Saturday, 25 August
One dog and one cancellation today.  We got Elder Alldredge’s bike back this morning.  For our language study and lunch break, we went to the Historical Theme Park.  While there, we saw mounted cavalry archers, medieval artillery, dozens of fight reenactments, and the “Great Gladiator Games.”  We had time to look around more of the stands, find some bracelets, pouches, and Elder Alldredge bought the nicest whip we could find.  In the evening for Fiatal Est we all went to the parade.  We went over half an hour early to find our favorite spot and to be right up front.  The parade was really fun to watch and an hour long.  We saw K and his Dad in the band.  My favorite part was an impromptu battle between the Crusaders and the Nomads right in front of us (within a foot at times).  Elder Alldredge and I are both sunburned.  My miracle was that I was able to serve and be here during the three days of the year at the same time of the Savaria Carnival.  If I was anywhere else, I would have missed it completely.  The Savaria Carnival really was one of the neatest and most unique events I've had (and probably will have) on my mission.

Sunday, 26 August
No investigators came to church today.  We don’t have many programs planned for this next week.  In the afternoon we left to Budapest.  We are at the mission home right now so we can be here in the morning for Greenie Training.  My miracle is that it rained all of today and not yesterday or Friday during the Carnival.

Monday, 27 August
Greenie Training was today.  Ten of the trainers, me included, went and played basketball.  Right off the bat I jammed my ring finger.  It’s colored and swollen now.  Today President Smith shared our story of finding K.  He also made several new announcements about rules concerning the internet.  On the way home we all made it – no one missed the train this time.  When we got back to Szombathely, we found that all four of our bikes, along with all the other bikes locked outside the train station overnight, had their tires slashed!  We all need to get all our tires replaced.  My miracle for the day is that I’m lucky to have received and to be training Elder Alldredge.

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