Monday, February 25, 2013

25 February 2013 Letter (Szolnok)

Monday, 18 February
Not much of anything today. No one was able to meet today. We did some streeting. At Csaladi Est we prepared decorations for Farsang (the Hungarian equivalent of Halloween).

Miracle of the day: transfer calls tomorrow. We all think I’ll be the most likely to leave.

Tuesday, 19 February
Today was our P-Day. This morning we received transfer calls: I’m staying. With Elder McCurdy and I staying together, it feels a little more depressing that we cancelled six programs today. Other things about transfers (most actually stayed the same): our whole district stayed except Sister Kennedy; Elder Bracken replaced Elder Snyder as our Zone Leader; and Elder Nabrotzky is training.  I’ve been listening to General Conferences every week, and am back to April 2008. Out on the street today while trying to figure out our Farsang costumes, we ran into A (our former bapt date), as soon as I tried to say Hello, he saw me, turned, and ran off. We had Angolora in the evening. Our class has changed from 6 to 34 attendants within only a month.

My two-part miracles today are that in addition to A, I also found I today. His phone hasn’t been working, but we set-up a program for next week. The second part is that I get another transfer here. Here starts my fourth transfer in Szolnok.

Wednesday, 20 February
Four cancellations today. We went tabling with the Sisters, but due to the cold and wind not many were receptive. Seminary was in the evening. In the evening I called B to make sure she threw Z’s cigarettes away (which she did while we were on the phone). Later I spent nearly an hour talking to E and Elder Heard about how to best help Z.

My miracle today is that Elder McCurdy and I took time this morning to figure out personal and companionship goals, both short term and for the transfer.

Thursday, 21 February
Lots of tracting today. After a couple hours of tracting look-ups, we met with E.  E came to help. We talked about Faith, Repentance, and the Resurrection. E is still a little harder to teach due to all her encounters with J-Dubs. She is planning on coming to all three hours of church on Sunday, if the weather permits it. After E’s program, we went tracting for several more hours, until the end of the day. In the end we found two families, each of four, who are interested in meeting.

My miracle is that life is still finding ways to humble me and show me my weaknesses, as today I had a couple things happen where I didn’t step-up to do something I know I should have.  Maybe one day I’ll get it all right.

Friday, 22 February
Miracle first today: all of my senior companions are home now. Elder Reese finished his mission yesterday.

This morning we met with I. The Herds were there again. We talked about faith and repentance again. He forgot to keep any of his three commitments. We then met with G. It was half-English and we know that’s why he’s meeting. At the end of the lesson, Elder McCurdy took the lead in teaching the Restoration. G, like the rest of his family, immediate and extended, is not religious at all. We went out to the north part of town where we met with A. She opened the door saying that she’s lived a very depressing and unlucky life, not having the most joyous relationship with God. However, she let us in, saying shed be willing to listen. Once inside she opened-up, telling us about her son’s death and other struggles. We taught the entire Plan of Salvation to which she was very responsive. At the end she accepted a Book of Mormon, said she’s read the Bible all the way through and would like to do the same with the Book of Mormon, and asked that we come back sometime. Wouldn't it be nice if we could help her change her attitude towards life around?  Last was Z and B.  Z is still smoking and B is allowing it and even deeming it understandable due to their current financial hardships, waiting for Z’s boss to pay them for the last two months. Z’s baptismal dates been pushed back. I don’t know how we are going to get him to quit.

Saturday, 23 February
One cancellation today. We met with A and E came to the program. With E’s help we taught A the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Law of Tithing, and about Fasting, and she committed to live all four. That checks everything on the list for baptism except for the interview. The Zone Leaders will come up next week for it.  After A’s program was the Farsang Buli (Hungarian Halloween). It went really well, being both enjoyable and well attended. Half-way through, G came. He and I ended up entering a nearly two-hour conversation, the vast majority being about the Church and the gospel. He’s already read ten pages or so from the Book of Mormon, and it seems to be intriguing him after all. After the program finished, we had a meeting with Elder Herd and E, discussing a new Stop-Smoking Program that E is going to do with Z.

My miracle today is all that has happened on my mission. I spent some time tonight flipping through both my journals. There’s a lot in them! And I’m glad I kept them.

Sunday, 24 February
Priesthood Meeting this morning. A and E both came to church. Something very disappointing that I learned later this afternoon is that a member was not very friendly with A, and had an encounter with her that was offensive enough that currently A would like to postpone her baptism two or three weeks. I hope that if we wait a day or two, then A will choose not to be offended. (Elder Bednar has a beautiful talk on that, in 2006 or 2007 I believe).  After church we had our regular calls, studies, and planning. As expected, numbers went down this week. I learned tonight that transfers have finally been stabilized, resuming normally until I go home, then, changing to nine-week transfers shortly afterwards.

My miracle today is that this evening I had a fun time being creative with Candle Pictures.

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