Monday, December 3, 2012

3 December 2012 Letter (Szolnok)

Sunday, 25 November
A and Z came to Church.  It was great to see both of them there.  Today was actually my first time meeting A.  Like Z, he said he was coming to Church last week, but didn't make it until today.  I found A off a Finding Sheet from three years ago.  Like Z, all we knew was his name (and just his first name, not his family name) and that the Missionaries tracted him three years ago.  Both Z and A stayed for all three hours of Church, during which we learned about Eternal Marriage, the Law of Chastity, and the Word of Wisdom.  We gave A a Book of Mormon and already have two programs scheduled.  After Church we stayed an hour for choir practice, then came back and did lots of planning.  My miracle today is that I am thankful that the great apostasy ended, the truth was restored, and that the earth is beginning to bathe in a radiant light of knowledge.

Monday, 26 November
Another early train this morning.  We went down to Szeged today for an extended P-Day to celebrate Thanksgiving, and headed there early to help the Adams cook.  Elder Hunnicutt and I were the first to arrive.  Around 11:00, we had two giant three-kilo loaves of french toast (a total of six kilo's before the eggs, milk, and toppings).  After brunch we went to play football and whip for a couple hours.  The Sisters started watching "Hugo" and we made it back for the second half.  Then came the full Thanksgiving dinner.  I was so full by the end of it.  Afterwards we had no problems catching our train back.  My miracle for the day would be the Restoration of the Priesthood.  It's quite something to be able to act in God's name.  Life and salvation would be kind of impossible without it.

Tuesday, 27 November
Today was crazily awesome.  We started our morning with I.   I asked about his wife and started working more for referrals.  While his wife isn't interested in meeting, and has what sounds like quite the negative view of the Church, I hope to find a way to get her to come to A's baptism this Saturday (and I too, of course).  Also, I is going to try to arrange an appointment between us and one of his friends this next week.  Hopefully it goes through.  We went to the bus station immediately after and barely caught a bus with the Sisters to go visit A.  The main purpose of our visit was for me to meet with her for her baptismal interview.  She passed!  She will be baptized this Saturday at 4:00, and this Sunday I will confirm her a Member of the Church.  Upon taking a bus back, (well, before the bus we found a Neni and her goat which Sister MacKay absolutely loves), we immediately ran into Z.  We actually split up for 30 minutes, and then met again in the Branch House for our program.  We discussed the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  We also talked about baptism again.  He said he's thought about it and doesn't care to be baptized currently.  I tried to challenge him to a baptismal date in January, but he still said no.  I asked him if he had prayed about it, to which he said he's prayed, but never about baptism.  We gave him a challenge to pray sincerely three times this next week just about baptism.  Then, we'll ask again next week.  We'll be praying for it too.  Finally, after Z's program we had an hour to plan and study.  (We left our apartment around 7:40 this morning).  Angolora was tonight.  We didn't talk about the Articles of Faith at all, but I shared a 10-minute Spiritual Thought and successfully committed each of my students (A being one of them) to read 1 Nephi 8 by next time.  Lastly today we met with A.  I have to write "Wow!"  He has a baptismal date for December 15, in two weeks.  Right off the bat I asked if he'd like to be baptized and he said yes, and asked how soon it would be possible.  We outlined all that we need to teach and all he needs to do to be baptized.  We are planning on nine programs, three a week.  Tonight we taught him about the Godhead (he previously believed in the Trinity out of tradition).  We also taught every single part of the Restoration.  It helped that he had already read all the prefaces since receiving the Book of Mormon on Sunday.  We asked about the lessons from Sunday about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity.  He answered that he's already and will continue to keep both.  We have another program set up for tomorrow and he's coming to Seminary.  We committed him to read at least 10 minutes a day from the Book of Mormon and to pray daily, particularly about Joseph Smith's First Vision and the Book of Mormon.  He said he probably will have time to read the Book of Mormon an hour a day!  Lastly and most importantly, we taught him how to pray.  He said his first personal and uttered prayer.  For today's miracle can it get much bigger than that?  So, today was awesome!  I hope your day was/is too.

Wednesday, 28 November
Two cancellations and two dogs today.  Ouch!  A was one of the two dogs, but two hours later we managed to get a hold of him and find out that he's in Pest for three days.  So, we made a couple hours of calls today, and had Seminary in the evening.  Not much else today.  My miracle is that like today, life is all a part of a bigger plan.

Thursday, 29 November
I am currently in Kecskemet on splits with Elder Moses.  The splits began this morning in front of the Szolnok Train Station.  After taking a train back to here, I had a baptismal interview with M, one of the Sisters' investigators who will be baptized at the end of next week.  Like everyone else I've ever interviewed, he was awesome, prepared, and excited.  We then met with P and taught about Repentance, the Atonement, and Prayer, and extended the commitment to pray daily.  Next we met with K.  A man whose dream for 10 years has been to sell one of his houses so he can afford to travel to Salt Lake City and be baptized there.  We talked about the Word of Wisdom and Fasting.  I enjoyed meeting with him, but he is extremely stubborn.  There was going to be a Missionary meeting tonight, but it was cancelled.  Elder Moses and I took two hours to organize the Area Book instead.  My miracle for the day is the Pre-Mortal Existence.  It is that we actually dwelt with God before this life, talked with Him, and learned His Gospel.  Now we're all here working to learn it again and remember it.

Friday, 30 November
Elder Moses and I caught a train with Sister Kimball and Sister Kennedy this morning to come to Szolnok for District Meeting.  The training and goals appear to have gone very well.  Our two programs today both cancelled; so, we made calls and studied.  In the evening was a youth activity that we went to to support.  They went over some basic kitchen and cooking tips and made pumpkin pie.  Today's miracle is the gift of our bodies.  Our bodies are not only temples, but are even more precious and can be even more holy than any of the other temples constructed by men.

Saturday, 1 December
One cancellation and one dog today.  We met with Akos and talked about obedience as well as faith, hope, charity, and what kind of people we try to be and why.  Attila was unable to meet again!  We've had to push his date back to the 22nd instead.  We met with Baksa Istvan.  He is very talkative; especially about the Bible (he knows a lot about it).  It was very good that Biro Elnok was there too.  Aniko's baptism has been postponed to tomorrow, and her confirmation to next week.  We'll see if I'm still around to confirm her.  Today's miracle is that there are eight investigators who have said they are coming to church and the baptism tomorrow, with another three who said, "possibly."  It will be wonderful if that many show up.  We'll find out soon enough.

Sunday, 2 December
So, today was a bit of a depressing day.  Only I came to church today, and only for the first half of Sacrament Meeting.  No one came to the baptism (well, none of our investigators).  It is cool I came for some though.  He's been investigating for over 3 years and today was his first time attending the meeting.  I also talked to A, and learned that he has moved to Pest.  I gave all his info to Elder Headrick.  Hopefully he still gets baptized by the 22nd.  After church was A's baptism.  It was wonderful to see her nephew be the one to baptize her.  For miracles and closing notes today, this afternoon I feel like I caught a glimpse of what Christ might have felt when, during his ministry, he used his time, his energy, and his faith to work, teach, and even perform mighty miracles, only to have thousands reject his efforts and, by the end, leave him standing completely alone.  I have worked hard, and for a while have had quite tangible results, but now at the end of the transfer and contemplating the possibility of leaving, they aren't so visible.  I know there are still blessings and many things I've accomplished; they just aren't in forms the eye can see.  Lastly, transfer calls come tomorrow.  I'll accept whatever the Lord calls me to do, but I am hoping I'll get to stay one more transfer.  We'll find out in the morning.

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