Monday, October 22, 2012

22 October 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Tuesday, 16 October
We started our day with studies and a quick cleaning of our apartment.  We had to go shopping today as the stores were closed yesterday.  We met with an inactive family.  They originally met the Missionaries twenty years ago, and one of their daughters is currently serving a Mission in Finland.  After their program, Elder Nabrotzky and I played and sang Hymns (including some patriotic ones) at the Branch House until Angolora started.  My miracle is that while it rained today, we were greatly blessed with our weather yesterday at Sumeg.  Yesterday's sunshine was much brighter and warmer than all of last week or what any other day this week is forecasted to be.

Wednesday, 17 October
Only one program today which was with K.  We're starting to progress finally.  It's taken longer than usual, but we're finally starting to understand one another better and be able to talk about the gospel.  Today we were even able to fit in the entire Plan of Salvation from start to finish.  One thing I've learned on my Mission is that most people of other faiths believe that The Plan ends with the Spirit World.  Their belief is that after this earthlife comes the Resurrection, Judgement, and then Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison.  With that picture in mind, there would indeed be no way for those who died without knowledge, without faith, without baptism, or without repentance could be saved.  But our God is more loving than that.  Spirit Paradise is not "heaven," and Spirit Prison is not "hell," and the judgement cometh not until after every soul has been given opportunities to receive light and accept Christ.  Anyhow, jumping back to today, we were very happy about the program.  Our other would-have-been program with a member dogged.  So, we made calls instead.  Lastly, today's miracle: as we were riding back after being dogged, Elder Nabrotzky and I were having a slightly pessimistic conversation about the work.  As we were talking, a member zoomed by on his bike shouting, "Remember… the Book is blue, and the Church is true!" then took off.  We don't know if he knew what we were talking about when he shouted that, but we thought it was funny enough to end our conversation.

Thursday, 18 October
This morning I spent planning out District Meeting.  I also tried calling Z again.  We have been calling Z every week trying to set up with her, but she has been in Gyor the past four weeks taking care of her Mother.  I would've loved to have gone to Zalaegerszeg to meet with her every other week if we had had the chance.  We had four programs today.  First, we met with B and D.  We talked about Alma 32 and read part of it together.  B committed to read 3 Ne 11 and to come to church this week.  Our second program was with Z.  It was mostly Gospel with little English.  He read Mosiah 27 but was confused by it, so we talked about it and committed him to read the prefaces.  The third program was a referral arranged by a member.  We met with a man who, for the first 40 minutes, talked about all his problems with the scriptures, with clergy, or any kind of organized religion.  It was impossible to get a word in and very contentious.  However, somehow, miraculously, I was able to gain everyone's attention and read the Testimony of the 3 Witnesses, with it somehow remaining silent the whole time I read.  After, I talked of the millions of other witnesses of the truthfulness of the gospel and added my own.  That was the first time I have ever used the Testimony of the 3 Witnesses in a lesson like that.  It would appear as though there is indeed a good reason why their testimony is right after the Introduction in every single Book of Mormon.  After that, the entire spirit of the lesson changed.  During the last 10 minutes, we were able to give him a Book of Mormon, commit him to come to Church, and say a closing prayer.  After the closing prayer, he was crying.  He asked us why he felt the same as when his wife died.  He described it feeling like his heart was warm, but more than just his heart, but his whole chest, and more than just warm, but he said a strange feeling.  We told him it was the Comforter, and it meant he was closer to God.  What a great ending!  Our last program was with B.  We had another feeding program.  We talked a lot about prayer and her son.  I asked her when the last time he heard her pray was, and then, when the last time was that he heard her pray specifically about him.  We also talked about his twelfth birthday coming up this next week, and what we can do, and what we could ask other branch members to help do, to get her son ready and worthy to receive the priesthood.  I plan on asking our branch leaders at church on Sunday.  In the evening, we finished our day with calls and updating teaching records.

Friday, 19 October
Today we were the victims of a series of unusual events.  On our way over to District Meeting, my bike seat broke off.  Then we received two calls from a private number, but no one was on the other side.  After the second call, for the first time on my mission, someone chased us down on a bike shouting, "Elnezest, elnezest! Mormonok! Mormonok vagytok?" (translated to "Excuse me, excuse me! Mormons!  Are you Mormons?").  He said he was interested in meeting sometime and had two nieces who would be interested in Angolora.  After talking, he crossed back to the other side of the road and took off.  An interesting miracle encounter.  At District Meeting we analyzed D&C 4 together.  Afterwards we went to get my bike seat fixed.  On the way, we saw a Neni lying on the road who had fallen off her bike.  A man helped her up and she started walking home leaning on her bike.  Elder Nabrotzky and I hopped off our bikes and I asked if I could help.  She said "no" and kept walking a few steps then fell forward, faceplanting it onto the asphalt.  I called the ambulance, and then handed the phone to someone nearby so they could better explain.  We remained with her until the ambulance and the police arrived.  After we got my seat fixed and then got dogged.  We met with K, talked about peer pressure, and then headed to Sopron.  There we met with J and B, and I did J's baptismal interview.  Like B, she did great. 

Saturday, 20 October
Back in Szombathely today.  We had Fiatal Est in the evening.  This entry will mostly be scattered notes.  For the first time, today I had someone scream in my face "Christ is dead!  He died!  Get it?  Christ is dead!"  It was quite disturbing and something I never care to have happen again.  My miracle today is that this transfer Elder Nabrotzky and I achieved both our District and Zone goals.  Lastly, some thoughts about transfers.  36 hours until transfer calls.  I have 5 out of 15 left.  I'm pretty sure I'm leaving and the other three elders are staying.  I've really enjoyed serving with Elder Nabrotzky.  I wouldn't mind staying here in Szombathely for a fourth transfer.  We'll see what happens.

Sunday, 21 October
Today at church I talked to a lot of the members.  It could possibly be the last time I see them.  We went to the S's for lunch today.  Afterwards we did some studies, planning, and then had a silly night with the other Elders.  This morning I woke up with, and have had since, an eye infection.  It's annoying, but leads me to a miracle on sight: glasses and contacts.  It's nice to be able to see better most the time rather than walk around blind.

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