Monday, January 7, 2013

7 January 2013 Letter (Szolnok)

Wednesday, 2 January
It's still weird to type "2013."  Today we had three programs.  First was with A.  She met with the missionaries 2-3 years ago, said that she's done a lot of thinking since then, and wants to join the Church.  So, we're trying to move things along.  Today we taught her the Restoration, which she actually remembered really well.  Sunday she is coming to church, and we will continue to roll from there.  Our second program was with T.  He is a new investigator.  He believes in God, but is not united with any religion, and is actually strongly against all religions.  He is of the opinion that you can find out everything about every religion on the internet, and that it's possible to find many flaws in all of them.  He was disappointed that we don't have multiple wives, was hard to teach, but after saying he'd never read any of the Book of Mormon, accepted one and said he'd read out of it.  Lastly, we met with B and Z.  We completely focused on the Quit-Smoking Program.  Our Landlady is coming tomorrow.  

My miracle today is a New Year's Resolution to do a better job of letting myself be happy.

Thursday, 3 January
We met with J today.  We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He's beginning to take the lessons more and more seriously.  After our program, Sister Smith and Sister Carpenter came for Apartment Inspections.  While they were here, our Landlady showed up.  Elder Hunnicutt and I were able to get a new shower head and a microwave.  In the evening we headed to physical therapy in Kecskemet.  

My miracle is another resolution to pay more attention to the miracles of the earth, such as water and many of its miracles.

Friday, 4 January
Today, Elder Hunnicutt and I went up to Budapest for interviews.  It was my second interview with President Smith, the first being when he arrived in the country six months ago.  During the interview he said that the two things each of us can do to hasten the work is first to be more obedient, and second to work harder.  I think I'd agree with that.  After Elder Hunnicutt finished his interview, we returned to Szolnok, made some calls, and I prepared tomorrow's training.  

Today's entry receives yet another resolution.  A resolution to be more obedient than last year.

Saturday, 5 January
This morning we had District Meeting.  We focused on reflections and goals.  Afterwards we had a couple hours to make calls.  We have five investigators who said they'll be at church tomorrow.  We found out that Elder Hunnicutt is indeed very likely to go senior next transfer, and so, to better prepare him, I've made him acting senior for next week too.  

My miracle is more resolutions.  I made a list of all of my worst habits and am going to try to break all of them this year.  A year's a long enough time, right?

Sunday, 6 January
Fast Sunday was today.  Only A came to church.  At the beginning of Sacrament Meeting, E got up to announce, as a goal for this next year, the effort for all possible members to make it to the temple at least once.  After church we did our usual weekly planning.  This week we have a lot set-up.  In addition to Zone Training, Physical Therapy, restarting our teaching Angolora and at the high school, and splits with the Kecskemet Elders, we still have 18 programs set-up, with members coming to 10 of them and another 8 people who said they'd be able to meet this week (but have not yet scheduled an exact day and time).  We'll see how it goes!  

Another resolution for future miracles: to be more prayerful.

In a Christmas letter I received I was asked about Hungarian Christmas traditions.  I don't remember whether or not I shared any last year, but for the sake of efficiency, and to have them in an organized place, I thought I'd write about a few of them. 

In Hungary there are unique Christmas-time Songs, however there are no Hungarian Christmas Stories.  Here they celebrate the Advent, putting up all kinds of wooden or canvas tents around the main walking streets and squares, from which they sell winter clothing, odds and ends, and especially treats and drinks.  The most popular of treats are called Kürtöskalacs's, which is a sweet bread, wrapped around a large wooden stick, then rolled above a fire, and finally covered with something, typically cinnamon, chocolate, sprinkles, crushed nuts, or a vanilla glaze.  Their traditional and most popular winter drink is boiled wine.  

In Hungary Santa Claus does not bring the presents on Christmas, but rather visits on December 6 with his little imp helpers (why are they imps?....I don't know....but Google probably does).  He usually only brings presents to younger children though.  It is also on this day that people typically dress up in the common red Santa Hats, and Santa Suits.  Then, on the 24th, the beginning of their Christmas (as Christmas in Hungary is considered to be from the 24-26), Baby Jesus brings the presents.  The presents are opened on the night of the 24th, and the traditional Christmas Dinner of Fish Soup or Stuffed Cabbages is usually eaten on this night.  (Or one on the 24th, and the other on the 25th).  However, the 26th is also considered "Christmas" just as much as the 24 or the 25 are.

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