Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

Not much time to email you all today, we've unfortunately got to run for a program! (For Érd, that's a really good problem to have, since this is the only time she had time to meet with us.)

Love you guys all, have a great week and Happy Father's Day! :) Hope to be able to email a little bit more next week!


Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015


We've had a week full of adventures again! Dang straight we're gonna find those here, too! :)

So Érd is not your typical missionary city. It's a suburban area with a lot of quiet people, and stereotypically it's an area of slower work and little progress. In response to that, we've been coming up with all kinds of new methods to get people to talk to us:

1.) We wake up in the morning early when the old Hungarian ladies just start to sell their flowers and fruits on the street. We get dressed in a shirt and tie and buy a few bushels of flowers from whoever is selling them that day. We separate each flower, and walk around the city giving everyone and anyone we see on the streets a flower and saying "Happy Monday or Tuesday or whatever day it is." A lot of people are super surprised by a random stranger dressed nicely giving them a flower and telling them to have a nice day. It's a good way to strike up a conversation with just about anyone. We get a LOT of smiles this way.

2.) We had two bikes in our apartment, but both were in bad repair. We walked around the streets with our broken bikes asking people if they might point us in the direction of a bike store. The bikes needed a lot of work and were pretty beat up, and didn't quite match our clean shirt-and-tie outfits, so people also started talking to us that way. When we eventually found a store that sold the parts we needed, we talked to the store owner about how we were a long ways from home but had an awesome reason to be here. Invited him to come visit us sometime at church, family night, game night, sport day, or English class.

3.) Walk around the city. A lot. When we start to get tired and we've got a good sweat going from the humid, hot weather, we knock on the doors of the homes in the neighborhood and ask if we might be able to receive a glass of water from the family that lives there. Usually, no one will turn a pair of thirsty strangers from the street away from a drink of water, and it gives us a chance to get to know new people that we otherwise probably wouldn't necessarily meet on the streets.

4.) Now that our bikes are fixed, we just ride around the city looking for people to help in the garden or to find any kind of service opportunity. Chances to do a good turn to someone are never in short supply.

5.) We'll sometimes walk down the street greeting everyone that we know in English. We often get stopped by someone asking if we speak Hungarian. When we respond that we speak both languages, we sometimes get asked to teach them English as a second language, which is another great way to meet new people.

6.) We'll go out to a courtyard or a square somewhere and pull out my whip from Hortobágy. The loud noise attracts attention VERY fast... the record was one cracked whip, 12 seconds. People who see usually want to try themselves, and are interested that Americans are teaching them how to use a Hungarian traditional whip. Another good conversation starter.

7.) We walk around the city in shorts and a t-shirt, carrying a soccer ball and inviting everyone we see to come to a pickup soccer game at the park.

And the opportunities just go on!

These are just a few of the new ideas that we've been using this past week, and that's mostly what we've been up to! We're having a lot of fun spreading happiness to these people who are so often without enough of it in their lives. And it strikes up some great new friendships! :)

Anyways, not much more time left to email today, but I hope you're all doing great at home and that you're finding your own ways to spread happiness and make someone's day better! Love you all! :)

Priest Elder

Went to the science center for p-day and learned how to fly, so that's a thing

Playing with Zi Zú, our investigator's dog!

The American family in the branch here took all the missionaries
out for dinner at a real, legit burger place! Super nice of
them to take such good care of us. Thank you, Palmers!

Teaching some of the little primary kids in the 
branch how to balance spoons on their noses

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 8, 2015

Goodbye, Nyíregyháza, Elder Weaver, Sister Whittaker, Sister Wilson, and Sister Viernes!

Very sad to leave Nyíregyháza. I feel like that's the place where I've been growing up for the past few years of my life, when in reality I've only been there about four months. I'm really sad to be leaving all of my friends there, but it's also very exciting to be able to move on and try again in a new place! It'll also be great to go back and visit all those good people someday.

My new city is Érd, a small suburban town on the outskirts of Budapest. Apparently, Érd has been problematic long-term in the sense that the work is very slow here. Not many people are found to teach, and the mission has supposedly considered shutting down the city for mission work many times. There isn't a ton of programs here, so we have a lot of finding to do. But, honestly, I'm excited! Elder Wilcox is really cool and a super fun guy who likes to work, so I think we'll get along very well and get some major work done this transfer. Already, we've had miracles happen. Riding the bus back into town one day, a random lady asked us if we would teach her daughter Spanish and English for a language exam coming up soon. Until now, they haven't been talked to by this lady, and there hasn't been a Spanish speaker in Érd for a while.

It's also fairly cool to be a piano player for the branch again, since before Sunday they were just using a CD player to have accompaniment for the hymns in church service. The branch here is small, but it has many super kind families. One family is an American former missionary to Hungary who served here just after the mission was opened in the early 90's. He came back to Budapest for school, married a Hungarian, and they have an entirely American lifestyle here in Érd. They had us over for dinner the other night and made us REAL kraft macaroni and cheese, REAL s'mores, REAL potato salad, and REAL American barbecue with authentic sauce. Lots of great people here, and needless to say, we ate really well when they shared that with us the other night. Their son is leavin soon for a mission to Switzerland.

The sisters in our district are awesome as well! We have sisters Hafen and Sholly here, both of which are just phenomenal missionaries. Honestly, I'm nothing but excited to be in a district where everyone wants to do good missionary work. It's gonna be great.

It's a little hot here, and a bit more humid than the desert, but other than that everything's sweet here!

I hope everything is equally as good for all of you guys stateside! Be good this week and have the best days possible! Be happy! Love you all! :)

Priest Elder

Found a track to work out in Nyíregyháza! Super fun
to go do some real running out there and lace up the shoes!

Chilling riding a carriage!

Holding the puppies at one of our friend's house
in Nyíregyháza! super cute little baby
boston terriers. 5 or 6 days old

Kalánd park for last p-day in Nyíregyháza!
Zip lines, ropes courses, obstacles... 
all 20m in the air! Super cool.

Last picture with the coolest senior
couple ever, the Vierneses :( So sad to leave them!!

Last picture with the English Speakers Club 
in Nyíregyháza! Gonna miss these guys

Selfie waiting for the train! Elder Wilcox is super cool!
Gonna be a fun transfer because of how much we both like to work.

Graffiti is EVERYWHERE in the big city

Supposedly, everyone doesn't want to serve in Érd because the work is slow and the city is "boring." I say, rubbish! ;) This place is gonna be fun! Really though, we have some great new ideas, and the branch needed a piano player and someone to teach Spanish to investigators. We are excited about the potential for this transfer. Ironically, this was the first picture taken in Érd... Look how happy I am to be here :D