Saturday, May 18, 2013

18 May 2013 Letter (Budapest)

Saturday, 11 May
Today was a relaxed preparation day.  We didn’t go anywhere today.  While emailing I learned that more friends, both from my ward and from high school, have gotten married and more are engaged.  I think it might be one of the biggest contributors to culture shock when I return home.
Sunday, 12 May (Mother’s Day!)
Today was our Fast Sunday.  We had four investigators at church today.  E, Z, Z and her husband, all came.  It was great!  After church was a short choir practice.  In the evening, because today is Mother’s Day, I had the grand opportunity to talk to my family.  I’m happy and very grateful to write that they are all doing well.  My miracle on this Mother’s Day is of course my beloved mother.  Mom is awesome, kind, and loving.  Everything I have and am I owe to her.  What more can I say?  God be blessed for creating Mothers!

Monday, 13 May
Today was a crazy day.  One investigator called and cancelled his program.  In the morning I spent my time working on the Hivatal Residency Permits.  We met with E today.  R came again.  E had more questions today, her main one being a question as to why we drink water rather than the wine in the Sacrament, when the Book of Mormon and Bible clearly specify wine.  She’s still progressing towards her baptism, which will be two weeks from Saturday.  After her program, R took us out to lunch.  Upon returning to the Mission Office, we streeted a man who said he needed help and was going to kill himself.  We met with him at the Mission Home, and learned that he’d lost all relationships with his family and friends, lost all of his possessions, his faith in God, and had cut his forearms to shreds.  We tried to talk him out of taking his own life.  About 45 minutes in, while Elder Loveday was reading parts of D&C 121 to him, he actually fell asleep.  We finally got a hold of the Bishop and President Smith.  After finding out the hotline was out-of-service, we ended up calling the police who, after showing up a half-hour after we called, talked to him and loaded him into an ambulance to take to a psychiatric hospital.  I just hope we really did the best we could.  Next we met with M.  He has read the entire Book of Mormon and Index since we last met.  He said he knows it’s true and this is Christ’s Church.  When I asked if he would like to join the Church he asked if he could be baptized on August 31?  So, we have a new baptismal date!  The only foreseeable problem is that he only works on Saturdays and Sundays since he lost his job as a Geography teacher and had to get a job performing physical labor, and doesn’t have any savings to fall back on.  He doesn’t know when he will be able to come to church, as it is hard to support yourself off of working only two days a week.  By the time we got back and started to catch up on our office work it was already evening.  We keep winding up in late nights.  My miracle is that I’m now teaching two people who have entirely read and gained a testimony of the marvelous work and wonder that we know as “The Book of Mormon.”  It really does have a main role in missionary work.

Tuesday, 14 May (700th Day on Mission)
I’ve been a missionary for seven hundred days now.  We had one program dog us today.  We first met with I.  We finished teaching her the Plan of Salvation.  She’s read through the Stop-Smoking Program and is beginning to apply some of the steps, but still needs to start doing the rest.  I has continued reading the Book of Mormon and praying daily.  She’s doing much better health-wise and tomorrow is returning home to her family in Kecskemet.  So, this is the end of our time meeting with her.  However she has agreed and promised to continue meeting with the elders in Kecskemet, so Elder Hunnicutt will be in charge of teaching her now.  Our second program was with P.  B came to our program to help.  We taught P about the Word of Wisdom.  The only problem he has and doesn’t already keep is drinking wine and tea.  He had a hard time understanding why he shouldn’t drink a little wine from time to time.  However, I’d still have to say the programs are going well.  After P we met with Z.  R came to the program.  Z committed to come to church again and said she’ll try to bring her husband again.  With her we talked about prophets and the Sabbath.

Wednesday, 15 May
Mission Leadership Council was today.  We met with E again, and once again guess who was there?... If you guessed R you were right.  We talked about the Ten Commandments, keeping the Sabbath day holy, and prophets.  The discussion went great.  In the evening we met with the H family.  A and A are a young married couple.  They have a five year-old son and a two year-old daughter.  They are all very endearing and kind.  We had dinner with them and mostly got to know them.  They met with the missionaries in the past.  They are practicing, active Catholics, but open to our message.  Hopefully we’ll be able to meet with them more in the future.  My miracle is that with all the Zone Leaders here I got some news about some of my past cities.

Thursday, May 16
This morning we ran to two different government buildings to get the Hivatal forms (well, some of the forms we still needed).  We had a fair amount of office work today.  I wasn’t feeling very well through all of it.  Elder Loveday and I met with E and R.  We finished reviewing the Restoration.  I’d say E’s pretty much active again.  Now we just need to get the rest of her family active as well.  We then met with I and L and talked about Christ’s life.  They failed to read or pray at all this past week.  During Angolora tonight Elder Loveday taught the English part and I gave the Spiritual Message.  My miracle is that I’ve started making a “Time Chart,” helping me decide better between what is important and what is not.  It is also supposed to function to help me better prioritize and see how much time I truly wish to give to various activities.
Friday, 17 May
One dog today and a member cancelled.  We had District Meeting this morning.  There were brownies and ice cream which automatically made the meeting the best.  The Pest Sisters finally met with E today.  We’re trying to help make sure they meet with her at least once a week so they can help her better fit into the Pest ward and build a stronger support system.  Our second program was with Z.  She still likes to talk and literally I had to interrupt her every single time I said something.  We watched the Restoration Film with her.  At the end we invited her to be baptized, but she said she wasn’t sure.  She did accept a commitment to pray specifically asking to know.  It’s pouring rain in a massive thunderstorm right now.  That’s why my miracle is modern shelter.  Shelter has never been as strong or great as it is in the world today.  I’m thankful for strong, concrete walls and a roof that doesn’t leak.  Lastly, I don’t think I’ve written this before, or at least not lately, but I have tried every single flavor of “Boci” and “Milka” chocolate that I’ve ever found on my mission, in both big and small bars, regular and limited editions.  It’s just been a fun little hobby I’ve had.  Oh, also, something else, I finished reviewing the brown Hungarian grammar book we received in the MTC.  That’s one more thing to check off my mission bucket-list before I kick-the-can.

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