Monday, October 29, 2012

29 October 2012 Letter (Szombathely)

Monday, 22 October
Transfer calls came this morning. Parts of my predictions were right and some were wrong. I am indeed leaving and the other three Elders here are staying. I will be going to Szolnok to serve with Elder Hunnicutt. I will finally be near Hortobagy and have a chance to go there. Other changes are that Elder Nabrotzky is going co-senior with Elder Forsyth (despite being in their 5th and 10th transfers, respectively), Elder Headrick is training, Elders Rosen and Snyder both became Zone Leaders, and Elder Pendleton has been called as Secretary.  This afternoon, nearly everywhere was closed for the holiday tomorrow. I called a couple members and investigators to say “good-bye.” In the evening we had Family Home Evening with the K Family. My miracle is that during the past week the K family went with a couple other Hungarian members to the Freiburg Temple. It was important to the K family because, in preparation for his mission, B was receiving his Endowments. While there, President Monson walked in. They all had the opportunity to shake his hand, talk to him, hug him, or all three. B spoke to him for a while and said he feels like that was a great confirmation about his choice to serve a Mission. Tomorrow's my last day in Szombathely and with Elder Nabrotzky! Crazy!

Tuesday, 23 October
Today is a National Holiday in celebration of the revolution against the Soviet Union. This morning I listened to Elder Holland's talk from this last conference. When he talked about the Apostles returning to fishing after Christ's death, it made me think of the guy who yelled in my face on Saturday. If the apostles weren't quite sure how to react to our Lord's death, I guess it would only make sense that there are some people today who just don't understand either. Anyhow, it was a really powerful talk.  We met with both K's today. K fed us again and we were able to spend 45 minutes just reading the scriptures with her since she didn't read them on her own. We later visited with K and shared a spiritual thought. Lastly, we swung by the Branch House so I could say “good-bye” to five other members. My miracle today is that I'm leaving my first city as Senior, and that the work gradually increased all three transfers that I was here. On to Szolnok…!

Wednesday, 24 October
Transfers were today. I am now in Szolnok with Elder Hunnicutt, but first, back to this morning. When we arrived at the Keleti Train Station - looking around at the other Missionaries - I realized that out of the 18 of us there, I was the oldest! Later, two older Missionaries came, but that was it. I'm getting old in the Mission. While waiting at the train station, I spent quite a while talking to and getting to know Elders Hansen, Mullen, and Hunnicutt, my new companion.  Around 2:00, we all split up. Upon arriving in Szolnok, we dropped of my bags and went straight to the Branch House. At Seminary I had a small chance to meet eight of the members. When we returned I began cleaning, vacuuming, and unpacking. I have everything unpacked, but still some cleaning and organizing to do.  I am already beginning to like this city. We have a good apartment, are close to a fair amount of things, and I have a good companion. I'll write more about Elder Hunnicutt in a day or two (as usual). He's already been more mature, and really nice to me. I look forward to serving with him. On a miracle note, the Sisters here are on fire. They have two baptisms arranged for this Saturday, and tonight they scheduled another for December. Well done Sisters!

Thursday, 25 October
Couple things today. First, something I forgot to write in the past is how well we got patriotic songs stuck into Elder Nabrotzky's head. Every day for almost two weeks he would wake up with, and throughout the day have, “God Bless the USA” stuck in his head. Today we went to a school and joined a couple classes for 3 hours. The second class went really well. It was the youngest group, but the most open and the only one I really look forward to returning to. The last and oldest group was a joke and pretty disrespectful. Afterwards we went streeting and tabling with C for several hours.  My miracle today is my companion, Elder Hunnicutt. He is in his 4th transfer, having served two in Erd with Elder Runnells and Elder Swett, and two in Szolnok, one with Elder Pendleton and now one with me. Elder Hunnicutt is super nice. He has two older brothers, is from Texas (but also lived in California, Washington, and New York), says “y'all,” and likes video games and card games. He also lived with his grandparents for a couple years to help take care of them.

Friday, 26 October
Today I began working on the Ward List and the Area Book. The Ward List is much smaller than Szombathely's, shrinking from 16 ½ pages to 1 ½ pages. Elder Hunnicutt made lunch for both of us today. He really enjoys cooking. We had a program with C this afternoon and challenged him to read the Book of Mormon straight through for his first time. We then went streeting with him.  In the evening we met with G and D. I also planned out the agenda of District Meeting. My miracle today is that I am getting to know many of the members, their faces and names, really quickly here.

Saturday, 27 October (500th Day as a Missionary)
This morning, following studies, I cleaned half of our apartment. Elder Hunnicutt cooked lunch again. The main events of today were two baptisms. A and Z, investigators of the Sisters here, were baptized in a hotel in the city around 4:00 this afternoon. President and Sister Smith were there and I had the opportunity to talk with them and ask President two thoughts on my mind.  After the baptisms and talks, there was a linger longer at the Branch House. There we all talked, ate, and visited, giving me more opportunities to get to meet members. Today's miracle is that at both the baptism and linger longer, A and Z both seemed to be welcomed, accepted, and fit right in alongside everyone. I'm tired. I'm glad the clocks all fall back one hour tomorrow. I'm looking forward to that hour of sleep. It will be heavenly.

Sunday, 28 October
This morning began with an early Ward Council Meeting. Following the meeting, I pulled E aside and asked him to help me go through the lists of active and inactive members I'd collected. That was a huge help. We then had the rest of Church. Elder Pendleton came back from Buda to do A's confirmation.  After Church, we came back to our apartment and did all our studies, followed by scheduling and planning our week. I've already called eight of the fourteen inactive members in the Branch. Two told me to call back later and only one was willing to meet this week. In the evening, I got to spend two hours on the phone fulfilling my District Leader duties. Since I've gotten here to Szolnok, despite our lack of programs, things have been so busy. This week has been one of the busiest weeks of my Mission. Once again I walked into a dead companionship, and I have work to do to build up the work. I'm sure tomorrow will also be a full and busy day. Today, the miracle is that Elder Hunnicutt and I are already getting along well. We seem to be more similar than either of us thought at first.

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