Monday, August 6, 2012

6 August 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Monday, 30 July
Transfer calls came this morning. Summarized, Elder Bullock and I are indeed both training here in Szombathely. Elder Loveday is leaving to Tatabanya, and Elder Headrick is going to Pest. Elders Rosen and Swett are both Branch Presidents, and Elder Reese is the new AP. So, I will be receiving a Greenie. I’ve always wanted the chance to train on my Mission; it’s just weird to think it’s actually happening.  Elder Headrick and I ran several errands, going to seven shops. My miracle today is transfer calls. In two days, I will be with a brand new Missionary, fresh out of the MTC.

Tuesday, 31 July
We had four programs today. First was with Z again. We reviewed Priesthood power, Apostasy, and Baptism. During the program, he accepted a Baptismal Date for September 15! Yay! I really would love for this to go through. Program #2 was with N - a member who fed us lunch because Elder Headrick is leaving. We shared a short spiritual though on Mosiah 2 and service. Third was A. We spoke about families and eternal marriages, and she gave us a large snack. Last was J. He leaves tomorrow for America. We went to say good-bye, thank you, and best of luck. Tomorrow I’ll get a Greenie. It’ll also be my last chance to see Elders Molnar, Moffett, and Vandermark in the Mission Field. It’s going to be a very, very big day. My miracle today is that J also fed us, leaving us with two feeding programs today.

Wednesday, 1 August
Today was a long day. My companion and I got up at 4:30 this morning. Our train left at 6:00. J and L took the same train as us, which was cool. We arrived in Budapest around 9:05 and were there 45 minutes earlier than any other Missionary. At 11:00 was the training for the Trainers. At 12:30 was the Sorting Hat Meeting, with all 28 of us (Trainers + Greenies). I received my new companion, Elder Alldredge. I’m excited to serve with him and will write more about him in a day or two. After that meeting, we began the third meeting for the District Leaders. There are a lot of changes being made. We will see what fruits they bring.  All seven of my companions were there today. I got pictures with each of them, but wasn’t able to get one with all of them at once. I did however get a three generation picture with my Dad - Elder Moffett, and my Son - Elder Alldredge. It was hard to believe that today was my last time seeing the 13 dying Missionaries for the next year (or longer). They’re gone. It’s so crazy. Half the missionaries I know, my brothers, are going home. In addition, I’m now in the oldest 33% of the mission.  I finished my day with a crazy story for me, my Greenie, and a final laugh to the departing Missionaries from me. Due to conflicting metro and train times, we took a train back to Szombathely with the Gyor Elders. We were cutting it close, and I ended up buying tickets for the six of us. As we were loading all the luggage, the train began to roll out. We got all the suitcases on and all the Elders… except me! The door closed automatically right in front of my face. There was a railroad worker in the back where we were getting on, and he tried hitting a button and yanking on the door to get it open (I could see and hear him yanking and punching the button), and I ran alongside for a while, but it wouldn’t open. So, I was left alone and the other Elders were missing half their tickets. Well, all that I could do was laugh. I called Elder Moffett to let all of their group know what happened so they could laugh too; got on the next train, and arrived 2 hours after the other group. There were only 3 of us (passengers) on the 11 cars. While I was using the bathroom a worker took my suit thinking someone had lost it, but I was able to run and find her. I didn’t get back until 11:30. My miracle today is the great shift in the Mission. Out with the old, in with the new; goodbye to 14, hello to another 14. Also, it’s a good thing I was left and not my Greenie - especially since he wouldn’t have his bags/money or a phone (in addition to the language barrier). That would’ve been an even crazier first day for him. What a crazy way some of us start off (and could start off) our Missions.

Thursday, 2 August
We started our day with studies and giving Elder Alldredge time to unpack. We also went shopping, and then had even more studies (as we are now asked to get at least 4 hours every day). We had only one program which was with P. It went really well. Elder Alldredge was able to ask him some good questions, and, while he only wanted to learn out of the Bible we were able to have a good lesson. The highlight was talking about how we cannot love what we do not know. P loves that saying and I applied it to reading the Book of Mormon. In the end we not only scheduled another program, but Elder Alldredge successfully committed him to read one verse out of The Book of Mormon each day.  After his program, I found four dentists and scheduled an appointment with the one I liked most for Wednesday (the soonest possible slot). I felt really uneasy about my tooth and know that it needs to be taken care of ASAP, as in one day my mother, President Smith, and a member all told me I should get it looked at or it might fall out, with a fourth, another member, telling me the next day. I am convinced that if I don’t act fast, then it really will fall out later down the road. I pray otherwise.  Our district went to Boston so our Greenies could try some Pekseg. We also went both flyering and streeting. We then finished our last hour of studies. It’s late now. The events of yesterday feel non-existent: that 14 left, that 14 arrived, that I’m now in the oldest third, that I’m training. It’s all so weird.

Friday, 3 August
Another 4-5 hours of studies this morning. (I’m fine with it. I’ve always like studies more than 90% of other missionaries). We had one cancellation today followed by several hours of streeting. We were able to get two finds. Csaladi Est was tonight, and would have been the first branch activity for Elder Alldredge and Elder Haws (Elder Bullocks greenie); however, no one showed up. My miracle today is my Mission Son, Elder Alldredge. It’s time to finally write about him. He’s from American Fork; has two younger sisters; attended SUU studying psychology; he has a degree/certificate or something in Neural Linguistics which made him the youngest certified Hypnotist in the nation. He’s traveled around Europe before. His grandmother, Mrs. Alldredge was my First Grade Teacher at Northridge. He did all kinds of hypnotist performances, had nine assistants. Other than that he’s already started blaring EFY music. (I think it’s hilarious whenever I see him fulfill a typical Greenie stereotype.) He has greenie fire and lots of desire. He says “Hello” to everyone we pass on the street. In all, Elder Alldredge is awesome and I look forward to serving with him this transfer.

Saturday, 4 August
Elder Bullock and I met with a less active member named D. We focused on trying to commit him to come to church. We then went streeting for a while and ended our day with Fiatal Est and more streeting as no one came to the activity (like yesterday). If you noticed, today was me and Elder Bullock (as written above). My miracle is that we sent Elders Haws and Alldredge on splits from 12-8:00. During that time they were able to obtain 4 phone numbers and give out two Books of Mormon. Not bad at all. Also, I called and have already set up a program with one of the four numbers they received.

Sunday, 5 August
Today was Fast Sunday, and D came to Sacrament Meeting. The Stake President and his family came and he spoke at the end of Fast and Testimony Meeting. Elder Alldredge and I planned for this coming week. All four of us had dinner with A, the Ss, and the Ks to break our fasts. I’m pretty sure those are two of the biggest families in all of Hungary. Tomorrow is Elder Haw’s and Elder Alldredge’s first P-Day in the country. They’re both pretty excited about it. My miracle today is that happiness and enthusiasm can be contagious. Elder Alldredge’s excitement and high hopes for some things has made it easier for me to be more positive about them. Having a good attitude not only blesses your life, it blesses others as well.


Shipp Elder

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