Monday, September 10, 2012

10 September 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Monday, 3 September
Another pretty uneventful P-Day.  We went out and tracted for several hours in the evening.  My miracle is that I always have loved whenever it has been within my power to fulfill and keep any of the promises I make.

Tuesday, 4 September
Went on splits with Elder Bullock.  We went tracting and got one let-in.  In the evening we had Angolora.  Two new people showed up that I had invited.  Elder Alldredge gave the spiritual thought on families.  My miracle today is not a miraculous event insomuch as it is a reflection.  Lately I have had a couple moments in which I've questioned my views of some parts of the gospel.  Not my faith in it, or the truthfulness of it, but just whether or not what I believe or am expecting actually aligns with the doctrine of the Church in complete accuracy and harmony.  One example would be about the perfection we all try to aim for.  More often than not, I have looked at “perfection” as being able to not only do everything flawlessly, but to also do as much as possible at the same time, all perfectly and flawlessly, and often for extended periods without any decline, decrease, or break.  Now I'm not so sure that will ever, ever happen.  Even the Lord stopped to see "that it was good."  Rather, perhaps the Church and the gospel teach us to aim for more what I would call "precision" over "perfection." I'm not sure what I often aimed for exists, even in the eternal realms.

Wednesday, 5 September
This morning I planned our District Meeting and made two hours of calls.  Our only program was with K.  We went and did some look-ups.  My miracle is that my character has changed more in these last two transfers than I ever thought it would.

Thursday, 6 September
We're on double-splits right now.  This morning Elder Alldredge and I came up to Sopron to go on splits with Elders Abrok and Bowen.  Elders Bowen and Alldredge went out streeting and tracting while Elder Abrok and I made three hours of calls.  We then had a program with two of their investigators on Baptismal Date.  In the evening was Angolora, where I gave the spiritual thought.  We then celebrated Elder Abrok's birthday, which was yesterday.  My miracle is that in the apartment here I found more Ensigns, including a few special ones on Joseph Smith.  The reason I said it's a double split is that tonight the Zone Leaders came down, also to go on splits with the Sopron Elders.

Friday, 7 September
I'm back in Szombathely.  This morning was District Meeting.  I conducted the meeting, gave a training on Goals and the Key Indicators, learned the Sopron Branch has fallen to shambles (really, it's practically destroyed), and learned that the "golden investigator" Elders Alldredge and Bullock found on splits is actually just gay and seriously interested in both of them.  When we got back, we went straight to the shop and picked up my bike then headed to B's.  She fed us langos's, gave us a referral, and says there are a few others who might be interested and she'll try to have their contact information for us next time.  Our second program was supposed to be at her house.  However, when we csengo-ed (rang the bell) her, she picked up and started talking to us, but once she learned who we were, she hung up, as well as block our phone when we tried calling.  Family night was in the evening.  My miracle today is the relationship between God and life after death.  Plenty of people I have met have said God exists, but that there is no life after death.  I've found that a good question to think about accompanying this is "If there is no life after this one, if death is the end, why is God important?"

Saturday, 8 September
We did a bunch of old area book look-ups today, and scheduled an appointment with one of them for tomorrow.  At another looked-up apartment we met with J and S.  Since the Missionaries last met with them, they'd forgotten everything, even about the Book of Mormon.  They did remember one of the two Sisters had black hair, was named Angelica, and made brownies with them.  (They met with the Sisters eleven times in the past).  We completely reviewed the First Lesson, and gave them another Book of Mormon.  We focused and committed them to pray, read, and come to church.  They both said prayers during the lesson.  We also arranged for us to go there at 8:15 tomorrow morning to walk them to church.  Next, we met with A.  Elder Alldredge led a lesson on Prophets.  A really didn't know anything about Thomas S Monson.  She has her talk prepared for tomorrow.  At Fiatal Est we played soccer and basketball.  My miracle is that all the look-ups we've been doing met with the Sisters in 2006/07.  Almost none of them have been contacted at all in five years!

Sunday, 9 September
Well, to start things off, we went to J's and S's at 8:15, but she said her brother was admitted to the hospital this morning and they were going to go spend the day visiting him instead.  In church, both A and K gave talks on repentance and a foundation on the gospel, respectively.  Both were good.  This was the last day I'll see T for a while.  She left tonight to attend college in Szekesfehervar.  We went to our program that we had set up yesterday.  However she wasn't home and the husband made it very clear that he has no desire to meet, but said we can come back later this week when she's home.  We even got her phone number from him.  I went through a long list of members from a couple years ago with two members, and learned about some 20 less actives in the branch.  Transfer calls come tomorrow.  I think Elder Bullock's leaving.  My hair is still super short.  It's been nearly a month and a half, but it's still shorter than I would like.  Today's miracle is that during lunch some tomato sauce exploded, splattering all over.  Yet, while some didn't splatter far enough and other drops shot past me, not a single speck stained my clothing.  One part had a trail leading right up to me, and then stopped.

Monday, 10 September (Part 1)
Transfer calls came this morning.  I'm staying here, although the rest of my District is leaving.  Elder Alldredge is going to Sopron (so I'll still see him every week, as he's in my district), Elder Bullock is going to Gyor, and Elder Haws is going to Buda.  My new companion is going to be Elder Nabrowsky (Elder Reese's greenie, who took my spot when I left Buda.  This will be his second area).  Elder Masters and Elder Jones are coming here.  I've never been around either of them before.  However, Elder Masters only has two transfers left, so he's pretty old and I've heard a fair amount about him.  Also, I took his place when I went to Szekesfehervar.  Elder Jones is Elder Swett's greenie, and is known purely for his very bubbly, bouncy personality.  (He's probably one of the three, if not the most enthusiastic missionary currently here).  Elder Carlsen went AP to replace Elder Beaumont, and Elder Swett and Elder Beaumont are both training for their second time.  This is the first time I've been in an area for more than two transfers.  I've been able to see the numbers of this companionship increase two transfers ago from the transfer before I got here, as well as see them continue to slightly increase this last transfer as well.  Hopefully we can keep that trend going (and preferably speed it up a bit).  I'm excited to receive Elder Nabrowsky and to get to serve around him.  Lastly, I hit double digits: Transfer #10!  I'm getting old.... well, on to next transfer!

Other than that, things are moving along.  I'm happy that I don't have to pack today and tomorrow.  I'm also happy that I'll get to know Elder Nabrowsky better, and still be around Elder Alldredge.

Well, my companion needs to begin packing.  Remember to make each day be a little better than the last!


Shipp Elder

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