Monday, November 12, 2012

12 November 2012 Letter (Szolnok)

Tuesday, 6 November
Today could’ve potentially been the busiest day of my mission, but it wasn’t.  To start, we got dogged three times and had four cancellations (one of which was because she lives in Debrecen).  However, we still met with I at 8:00 this morning.  It went well.  He gave us a referral, and we talked about temples and baptisms for the dead.  He said it is completely new and amazing and would like to learn whatever he is allowed to about Temples.  We also reviewed the Plan of Salvation, which he had almost entirely forgotten.  In the evening we had Angolora.  Halado class is still going strong.  Today was really cold and rainy.  The Sisters returned from Budapest this evening.  My miracle is that despite seven programs falling through today, the work here is still growing.

Wednesday, 7 November
The first thing I learned today was that Obama won the election.  Other than that, we had yet another dog.  We went to the school and taught two classes.  Fortunately it went better than last time.  In the evening we had Seminary.  Today I finished calling every single teaching record we have.  All that’s left in our entire Area Book are some finding sheets.  Today has an important miracle.  I found out that Elder Harvey from my MTC group is happily married!  Having not seen, talked to, or heard from him since he left, it was great to hear that he is doing well.

Thursday, 8 November
Today I was on splits with Elder Loveday.  The two of us met with J and E.  Both of them are super kind.  We got in a good discussion, and they actually fed us lunch as well.  I found them in the Area Book (just like all but one of our investigators here).  On their teaching record it describes J as one of the happiest men in the country.  I look forward to meeting next week.  Later I made calls for three hours, setting up another six programs.  It also gave me more time to talk with Elder Loveday.  My miracle, and my gratitude, is that all of my companions have been amazing and fun while still being obedient.

Friday, 9 November
Today was a crazy day.  It started with District Meeting… well, the journey to District Meeting.  This week we were holding it in Kecskemet.   We missed one of the two stops. Dah!  Once we finally made it and started District Meeting, we found ourselves short on time and we had to shrink our 1 ½ hour meeting to 45 minutes.  Afterwards, we split back and returned to Szolnok.  Elder Hunnicutt and I then had 3 programs.  First was I (different than Tuesday).  He is very, very talkative and very theoretical.  We are going to need a member’s help with him.  Second was I.  (Another new I.)  He spent 15 years in school studying Judaism and Ancient Scripture.  He’s interested in studying the Book of Mormon and actually seemed really promising.  It’ll be an adventure meeting with him.  He has a great knowledge of the Bible.  Last was P.  We talked about the first half of the Plan of Salvation.  He’s really big in comparing Hinduism to Christianity.  I took some more time learning about his personal religion and beliefs.  My main concern is how I can best help him develop faith in Christ, since he already has his own beliefs, with Christ not being one of them.  Luckily, he is still accepting commitments to read, pray, and to continue meeting.  My miracle is that at the end of our program, P said his first prayer to Heavenly Father (and he even made it slightly personal and closed in the name of our Savior).  While the outcome of our programs is uncertain, I do have hopes for it.

Saturday, 10 November
This morning we spent studying and cleaning.  In the afternoon a new senior couple, the Wiggins, came to inspect our apartment.  We passed and got Oreos.  We then attempted to go to Sport Nap for an hour, but it fell through.  We took a bus with the Sisters out to Ciblakhaza where we met with the S Family.  My miracle today is that Elder Hunnicutt and I have been breaking out the Christmas music.

Sunday, 11 November
Today in Church one of the speakers forgot to prepare his talk.  So, their solution was to have me give an impromptu one instead, which I did on the influence and example of our actions and words.  Later, we sang the funniest Hungarian hymn: “The First Noel.”  I say it’s the funniest because in the translation they change the chorus from “Noel” to the equivalent of “Christmas time, Christmas time, Christ-mas, Christmas time.”  I had a hard time not laughing as we sang.  It reminded me of District Meeting last year in Szekes when we sang it with the Zone Leaders, and Elder Braman blurted out, “This is sooo retarded!” which resulted with all of us laughing so hard that none of us could sing.  Anyhow, in addition to me having to give a 10-minute impromptu today, Elder Hunnicutt and I have also been put in charge of the lesson in Priesthood Meeting next week.  My miracle today is the generosity of my companion.  Today he volunteered to make five different cakes for five different missionaries in our Zone.  Also, this week we and both Kecskemet companionships all had the same number of programs.

There’s all that.  Now it’s time for the scattered ending.  Here are a couple quotes I found this past week: “The most important of all the commandments of God is that one that you are having the most difficulty keeping today.”  “No matter how briefly we interact with someone, we can leave a positive impression of the gospel and ourselves.”

This week Elder Hunnicutt and I saw 4 dogs and 9 cancellations, yet our work is still improving, and I’ve started having some of the best work this area has seen for a while (if I have heard and read correctly).  So, both of us are feeling pretty good about the work here.  On Wednesday we have a Zone Conference which our Area President will be coming to.  I look forward to getting to hear from him.  It’s nice and early though.  We need to leave our apartment around 5:45 in the morning.

That’s about all the time I have.  I love you all and will email you again next week.


Shipp Elder

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