Sunday, March 27, 2016

March 26, 2016


Quick email for today, because we've got some more stuff going on later this afternoon!

This week was fairly normal for us--just full of talking to people on the streets, trying to talk to people at home, and the other usual missionary stuff. We held our English class on Thursday and had a Sport Nap today at the park, which was fun! The turnout for both of those was a little bit meager, but many people leave Budapest to visit their family or friends in the countryside on Easter weekend. Maybe there'll be more next week!

Probably the top two best things from our week so far was 1.) that we started meeting with someone named Áron recently, and that he's such an awesome guy! We had a great discussion with him on Thursday, and he even decided to take time out of his Saturday to come play some soccer with us as part of the Sport Nap. We're really excited to get to know him better and hopefully be able to help them! 2.) we started teaching someone else named Tibor via Skype here in the mission home. He's actually someone who's wanting to be a part of the church, but lives too far away from any significantly big city, and there's no missionaries within about 2 hours of his small village. Luckily though, he was able to get in touch with Elder Dalton through email and set up with us to talk over Skype! His faith is already super strong, and he's already made some pretty big, life-changing decisions already. Other than that, the rest of our week was fairly uneventful.

We were notified of the attack in Brussels on Wednesday, and have been advised to be careful and watch out for our surroundings. We are sorry to hear that many people's lives were ended abruptly by the actions of men with poor intentions, and we hope that those in serious conditions recovering from wounds and injuries will be comforted and helped as their bodies heal and repair. We also feel very sad to hear that some of our fellow missionaries in the city of Brussels were so badly injured in the attacks at the airport. Our prayers and thoughts have been with them and their families in the days since the attack earlier this week, and we continue to support them as members of the same worldwide team of missionaries for the Church.

I hope all of you at home are also kept safe. Make good choices and help the people around you. Love you all, and we'll talk more next week. :)

Basically the only picture from this week... Didn't end up using my camera all that much! Anyways, there's lots of flowers all over Budapest right now. Big ones, small ones, wild ones, and planted-on-purpose-by-people ones, too. According to the plants, springtime is here!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 19, 2016


The rundown for the week goes like this:

Monday, we had meetings with President Szabadkai, and then did normal missionary work afterwords. We had a chance to be invited to family night with the Szabadkai's and Mátyás, and it was a great lesson about Easter and how we can all find a new life by following the Savior. Sister Szabadkai was also very kind to make us little Hungarian hotdogs, and we had a good time visiting with them and spendingMonday night in the home of some good people.

Tuesday was splits with the zone leaders from Dunaújváros! They came up here to Buda, and I had the chance to work with Elder Beaumont for the day. He's an awesome missionary, and I learned a lot from how he did his work! We went up to the Buda castle to flier people, and we must have passed out a pretty decent number of cards for the Easter initiative! We talked to a lot of people, and it was a great time. Then, we went up the hill to try to find people at home around the Sváb Hegy part of town. We were surprised to be caught in a snowstorm, because we're supposed to be in springtime by now!

Wednesday was pretty normal, with the exception that Elder Bagley and Elder King came up to Buda for their last day in Hungary before finishing their missions and going home. We had dinner with them and the Szabadkai family on Wednesday evening, after which we took them up to visit the Buda castle one more time as a missionary, then escorted them to their hotel room for the night.

Thursday was another normal day, topped off by a huge turnout in our English class! We almost didn't know what to do, because there were so many people who came to attend. We taught the highest-level of English class, so we held mock employment interviews with the students. I was really impressed by how well some of them did!

Friday, we had district meeting, more missionary work, and then weekley planning in the evening.

And now, we're back to Saturday again! It's a quiet day so far, but we'll see if we can find some sort of p-day adventure before we go back to work again tonight.

I think that's pretty much all the news that we have for this week! Everyone should take a look at the website if they have about two minutes of time. It's an awesome message about Easter and the meaning behind it! Check it out!

Anyways, have a good week! Love you lots! :)

Last Saturday after emailing, we went for a short 
hike in Budaörs with Virág, Lina, Zita, and the Secretaries! 
It was good to be out in the fresh air, even if it was 
kind of cloudy and a little bit cold because of the wind.

Tuesday was March 15, a national holiday here in Hungary. Ironically enough, the 15th doesn't mark the strategic winning of any important battle or revolution for independence, but rather is an occasion to celebrate the fact that they tried and lost. Sounds kind of silly, but it's one of the few days in the year that Hungarians are all proud of their country, and it's neat to see everyone wearing their "kokárda" pins (little Hungarian flag ribbons) and to visit the little shops and stalls assembled everywhere as part of fairs and festivals. These pictures are from the festival up in the Buda castle, where we went to go street and pass out tons of our Easter initiative fliers!

Hungarians' famous "kürtös kalács" (Kert-oosh Call-latch"),
or chimney bread! Super delicious, sweet bread cooked
over an open flame and seasoned with cinnamon.

Hungarian chefs cooking up "sült kolbász" (shoe-lt coal-bass), 
basically just traditional sausages. Lots of good street-vendor foods!

Even though the weather was cold and drizzling, the
people still turned out in pretty impressive numbers!

Later that day, while on splits with Elder Beaumont from Dunaújváros, we went up to Svábhegy to talk to new people. After the bus had taken us a little ways up the mountain, we noticed that the rain turned to snow! There was a little mini-blizzard at the top of the mountain where we had gone to talk to people, and most people stayed inside their houses. Met a few nice people though who were willing to talk, even in the falling snow!

Went to visit Klára on Tuesday night, because it was her 1-year anniversary of meeting the missionaries for the first time! On this exact day one year ago, the first missionaries she'd ever met knocked on her door, and they'd taught her and visited her ever since. She's now been a great example of faith as a strong member for almost 8 months, and she's always welcomed the missionaries into her home to visit her. Since the first time that missionaries visited her on March 15, 2015, she's had missionaries over 101 times (yes, she did keep track!), feeding the missionaries with a delicious meal each time they came. On Tuesday, we celebrated the 101st visit! She's definitely one of my best friends from here in Hungary.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 12, 2016

Quick email for today!

Most important thing to note is that Elder Leimer, one of the Area Seventies in Europe, came down from Germany to visit us in church on Sunday and then to be part of our zone conferences as a mission tour on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Needless to say, it was pretty busy with Mission Leadership Conference on Wednesday morning, the Budapest Zone Conference in the afternoon and evening, and Győr/Dunaújváros Zone Conference all day Thursday, with Szeged/Miskolc Zone Conference on Friday.

Elder Leimer was a really great teacher! We also had a part in preparing a training for the missionaries, and it went fairly well, but the highlight was definitely getting to hear from President Szabadkai and Elder Leimer. Nothing that they talked about was really new, but it was all exactly what the group as a whole needed to do and it was one of the best meetings I think I've been to, at least in a long time.

Now, we're just about to go out for another hike in the foothills in Budaörs, with Virág, the other Elders from Buda, and Lina! We haven't really been able to meet with Virág for a while because she's been pretty busy, but we're excited to see her again today and get to teach her some more next week! :)

Other than that, nothing's too new over here!

Hope you all have another good week of wholesome adventures and helping others! Love you all!

"Kiss" is a common last name in Hungary (pronounced like "keesh", but funny because it looks like "kiss"). Decided to take a funny picture by someone's csengő (bell)!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

March 5, 2016


Here's the quick rundown for how things are going here:

Monday, we just had regular meetings with President like usual, and then we went out and did normal missionary work. Good day, and we went with Roli to visit Klára in Békásmegyer!

Tuesday, we were on splits with the zone leaders from Szeged. Elder Bagley was on splits with myself, and Elder Parkinson was with Elder Martindale. Elder Bagley is fantastic! It's a shame he's finishing up his mission pretty soon in just a couple of weeks, because he's one of the many people I'd liked to have serve around if I had had the chance to. He's a really good storyteller, and he's talented at making people feel important and cared about when he's with them. We took care of a lot of stuff in the office, preparing for the New Missionary Training that we held the next day on Wednesday. We were also working on mapping out Buda and making sure that all of our work was up to date and documented. We went tracting and to talk to people on the streets, and Roli came with us to help out. Another good day!

Wednesday morning, the Szeged zone leaders went back and we headed to the office to set up for our New Missionary Training. It went really well, but it also went way over time. Originally, we had allotted about an hour and a half (two hours at most) for the meeting, but it ended up running almost a full five hours. Needless to say, it was good, but we were all excited to get up and do something else when we finished.

Thursday was a fairly normal day, and there wasn't anything really too exciting going on. Just normal missionary work!

Friday, we had district meeting here in Buda in the morning. The zone leaders from Kispest also came across the river to be part of that as well, and it was good! Afterwards, we went out to a restaurant called "Trofea's" here in downtown Budapest. It was a little bit pricy by Hungarian standards, but it's a serve-yourself, all-you-can-eat-and-drink restaurant with really high quality, fancy foods and we went there for Elder Oakes' last lunch in Hungary, so it was definitely worth a shot to try it once. The food was all really delicious, but we left feeling way too stuffed. After lunch, we did some more missionary work and then ran some errands for President Szabadkai towards nighttime, followed by some weekly planning and making some homemade banana bread! Elder Peregoy was with us at our apartment on Friday night, and it was fun to have him be here with us, since I hadn't seen or talked to him much since we went on splits back in December.

Saturday so far has been relatively quiet. We've just been at home taking care of some cleaning and housework. Our apartment's looking pretty good right now! I need to get a haircut today, since a Seventy is going to come in to visit the mission this next week and gotta be lookin' fresh for that. ;) We're planning on going up to János Hegy tonight with the secretaries, the Buda sisters, and some of our friends and members from here in Buda to have a campfire and roast some hot dogs and stuff. Should be fun! I really like getting out on p-days and doing some kind of fun adventure, because it's good to be out of the Budapest air for a while, and I feel like it helps recharge me for the coming week.

One of my good friends from here in the mission, Elder Kellogg, left to go back to Arizona today. We're all really proud of him, and he's one of the most trustworthy and sincere people out here. Most people from the mission are from Utah, but there are a few who are from Arizona or around the area, and I'm excited to get to hang out with them again back in America in a few months!

Anyways, I think that's most of the news for today! Hope everything's going well for everyone at home. Love you all lots! Have good adventures and we'll talk more next time. :)

The church on top of a hill overlooking Budaörs! We went for 
a hike for p-day last week right after emailing, and it was beautiful!
Fun rocks to climb on top of, and the view was spectacular.

The houses in Budaörs, just on the outskirts of Budapest

Elder Parkinson, Roli, and Elder Dalton climbed to the base of the cross!

This is a picture of a cliff. It looks a lot less scary than it is,
but the sign says "Prohibited to pass--Danger of Death" due to
 crumbly rock faces and sleep slopes. Unfortunately, there's no sign
 at the top of the cliff, and we tried to come down this way from
the top (since this is right behind the cross picture I just sent). We
made it down the cliff safely, but it took some time and some
very careful foot placement. Only casualty was a few scrapes
from sharp rock edges, and a lost name tag.

Adventure is out there!