Monday, February 11, 2013

11 February 2013 Letter (Szolnok)

Sunday, 3 February
We had our regular church meetings today.  Z came to church today.  I'm still translating some of the meetings.  That's one thing I won't miss back home.  After church we had choir practice.  We then returned to our apartment to plan.  I got a hold of A.  She apologized for not coming due to being sick and having some leg problems.  She will be going to see a doctor tomorrow.  Around 4:45p we left to Budapest.  We had the opportunity to help the secretaries a little, and then finished our evening by having dinner with the Smith's.  

My miracle today is getting to stay in the Celestial Room and the great sleep I'm going to get on the softest bed I've had on my mission.

Monday, 4 February
We had breakfast with the other trainers, new missionaries, and the Smith's this morning.  While Elder McCurdy went to get his Residency Card, I went with the rest of the older missionaries to the Stake Center, where fifteen of us played basketball for several hours.  When we returned to split back, we all took off to our own areas.  

My miracle today is that depending on transfers, today may have been one of my last days to walk around Budapest.

Tuesday, 5 February
One dog and two cancellations today.  This morning we met with I.  We invited the Herd's to his lesson and the three of them ended up talking the whole time.  We found that one of I's concerns is he wants to make sure he can keep all the commandments throughout his life before he commits to being baptized.  We then met with A.  Biro Elnok came to the program.  A has been reading and praying since our last lesson.  We finished talking about the Plan of Salvation.  Biro Elnok feels like he has a lot of potential.  We finally made it emailing, then tried to go get new bus passes, however, the lines were too long, so we left.  During the dogs and cancellations we made up studies.  We also went to the Herd's apartment to try to help them a little.  In the evening we had Angolora.  We had fourteen students tonight, and all the new faces went to Kezdo.  

My miracle today is that we re-established contact with J and E.  They are feeling better, are no longer sick, and both setup a time to meet on Thursday.

Wednesday, 6 February
We had a Zone Training down in Szeged today.  I was the oldest one there.  The training itself focused around prayer, and by the conclusion of the training we had each become responsible for 4 goals: praying each day for a new investigator, speaking Hungarian more, kneeling to pray in programs, and streeting, tracting, and tabling at least six hours a week.  On the way back we missed our train by less than twenty seconds.  We got lunch at a really good Indian restaurant.  Their mango curry made me wish that they had more curry out here.  It's very hard to find here in Hungary.  When we finally did get back, we met with A.  Zsuzsa came to the program to help.  A is doing better health-wise.  We finished teaching her the third lesson.  We also checked-up on her commitment from last time.  

My miracle of the day is that A prayed about it multiple times and feels that March 9th would be a great day to be baptized.  We have a second baptismal date!

Thursday, 7 February
One dog today.  We finally met with J and E again.  During the past couple weeks J has learned that he has several serious health problems.  He has several pills he must take daily and strict dieting rules to follow for the next couple months.  Since our last visit he's done his reading, watched the rest of the General Conference session, and prayed.  We talked about what he heard and read, as well as the priesthood, and about faith.  We then met with E and began teaching the Plan of Salvation.  She has several questions.  The Jehovah's Witnesses regularly meet with her (and have for years), but she expressed to us that on Monday (three days ago) she got into a bit of an argument with them about a couple points of doctrine.  I'm happy to write E's stance on them were correct.  Right now the main thing we can do to help E is to start introducing members to her.  A friend in the Church is going to be especially important to her.  In the evening we met with Z.  Bea joined in to help us review the Restoration.  Both know the doctrines and principles of the Restoration very well.  It was especially uplifting to hear that Z has not smoked at home or at work since throwing his cigarettes away last week.  He says he's excited to continue pushing towards his baptismal date for March 2.  The Zone Leaders are here tonight so we may begin splits tomorrow morning.  

My miracle was my dream from last night in which I dreamt about my remaining four months.  It caused me to realize how little time I have left.  My time remaining in Hungary is very limited!

Friday, 8 February
Today I went on splits with Elder Snyder down to Szeged while Elder McCurdy remained here with Elder Greaves.  Elder Snyder and I had two programs cancel.  We spent a couple hours tracting before meeting with M.  With M we discussed the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  During the program, the discussion somehow got pushed to excommunication and re-baptism for a time.  That was a strange part.  It was interesting to learn that the rest of his family are Nazarenes.  In the evening we split back.

My miracle today is the Plan of Salvation.  While on splits, Elder McCurdy received a call from President Smith in which he learned that one of his neighbors and good friends back home has passed away.  He is my third companion to have a dear friend die while I've been serving with them, and this is the third time I have not known how to comfort them.

Saturday, 9 February
We met with A in the morning.  He forgot we were meeting, so it was a bit of a surprise when we showed up.  We spent the whole time teaching the gospel, and none on English.  We mostly focused on teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  A needs to read the Book of Mormon more frequently.  After A's program, we went to help C move.  He had very little stuff.  We expected a lot more.  Later we met with Z.  We talked about Christ-like Attributes, especially love and charity.  Unfortunately there's no way Z can come to church tomorrow.  However, we gave him some parts of General Conference to watch instead.  

Today the miracle is that I am most of the way through "Preach My Gospel" again.

Sunday, 10 February
A came to church today.  I'm pretty certain everything will go fine for her baptism.  We've planned and arranged a lot of member present lessons this next week.  We did weekly planning and I spent 3 1/2 hours on the phone with other missionaries mostly due to our failure to meet goals.  Due in part to some poor mission traditions, and actions of some missionaries, many missionaries fail to take any goal seriously or go out of their way to accomplish it.  

My miracle of the day is that the mission world is changing, our mission included.  Plans have been laid.  However, each of us is going to have to stretch to follow these plans and make these changes.

There have been a couple new rules released recently.  One of which is that next week's P-Day might be moved to Tuesday.  That is still uncertain, but I might end up having to email then.  In another short note, next week is transfers.  However, transfer calls will not be coming until Tuesday, so if I do email on Monday still, then I probably won't be able to tell you what is happening.  
I hope you are all doing well.  I look forward to reading your emails.  I love you all, and thank so much for writing me each week.  Good luck at school and with work.  Have fun.  Only 4 months until I'm back home with all of you.  My time here is disappearing!   

Email you all again next week! 

Shipp Elder

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