Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 25, 2016

Hey, Everyone!

Another week's gone by! I think this was one of the fastest weeks that I can remember from my mission so far. It feels like we were just sitting here emailing a couple of minutes ago, and that was already a full 7 days behind us!

We had a good week this past week, the highlights of which were having splits with the elders from Kispest, Elder Ady and Elder Lawrence, helping out with the ward's "International Night" program, and attending Mission Leadership Council on Friday. It was really good to go on splits with the Kispest elders--I was with Elder Lawrence for the day, and he's such a good missionary! He's confident in speaking Hungarian and he's just a genuinely nice guy that connects well with the people he works with and talks to. Elder Martineau was with Elder Ady for the day, and they had a great spit as well!

On Wednesday evenings, the ward here in Pest holds an event called "International Night," where the missionaries, church members, and investigators from Pest all gather and have a cultural exchange night. As a treat for everyone, we made American-style french toast (which no one there had ever heard about) and shared that with them. It was really fun to get to know them better, share an uplifting spiritual thought and teach them about self-worth, and then spend time with everyone and teach them about American and international cultures.

Later on Friday, we went to MLC in Buda and got to meet up with all the other zone leaders and sister training leaders from around the country. It was good to see President and Sister Szabadkai again, and to also see a lot of my other friends who are spread out around the Hungarian countryside in different cities right now.

Other than that, we spent the rest of our week streeting around and talking to new people, tracting in different parts of town, and teaching some of our good friends!

I think that's everything that's new around here for right now... Until next time! Love you guys! :)

Only ended up taking one picture this week, but it turned
out kinda cool! It's one of the big Catholic churches here in
 the area close by where we live. Kind of looks like a fairy-tale castle.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 18, 2016


It's been a week and a half since I've sat at a computer! Transfers were last week, and that meant that it was time for me to leave Buda, and now I'm here serving in Pest with Elder Martineau!

It's cool getting to serve with someone else from my MTC group again, because it shows how much everyone's changed since then! The small changes that happen day by day are a lot harder to notice, but the changes made over time are a lot more significant.

I think Elder Martineau is the most American human being I've ever met. If he were to start bleeding, it'd probably be red, white, and blue, alternatively. He loves guns, driving big trucks, and doing other fun things that are all-around generally American. He's also a really funny guy, so it's nice to be able to talk some more and get to know him better as we're working here!

The other missionaries in our district are also really great. One of them is brand-new to Hungary, and he just got here from Australia. He already speaks Hungarian super well, and he and Elder Jensen, his trainer, are both so solid. It's kind of strange being in a different ward, but the church members and everyone here in Pest are also really nice, so it's a good change!

We even got to go to primary yesterday in church, since they needed someone to help play the piano for singing time. That was super fun, because I've never really had a chance to be a part of a Hungarian primary before! We finished off our week with lots of street contacting and knocking on doors to try to find some new people to teach.

Anyways, I think that's all the major news here in Pest for today. Hope everyone else is doing well at home! Love you all! :)

Had some homemade icecream at a festival at a castle! :)

I think the grafitier confused himself...

Not a very good picture, but I tried Shawarma (that stuff 
they eat at the end of Avengers, ya know?). Super good!

We went streeting by the Hunyadi Castle in Pest, since 
there were so many people there! We even ended up meeting
some church members from America that were here on vacation!

Found a random statue of George Washington
 while streeting the other day

Missionary in Budapest!

Other side of the Buda palace

Looking south on the River towards Erzsébet Bridge and Gellért Hegy

The Chain Bridge and some of the first buildings on the Pest side of the river!

The palace in Buda and the Chain Bridge

Took a river taxi ride, since it's covered by the public transportation
passes that we use here in Budapest. Really cool way to see the city!

Parliament building in Pest! 

Saying goodbye to our good friend, Miklos! 
He's such a great member here in Buda! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 9, 2016


Another quick email today, but it's just gonna have to work!

We had a good week today, mostly composing of traveling to Győr for splits with the zone leaders there. I was back with my trainer, Elder Gonzalez, one more time before he goes home to Canada next week! It was fun to be back with him for another day and to get to see some of the progress that we'd both made since our time serving in Nyíregyháza.

We also had our interviews with President Szabadkai this week! He decided to put together some interviews this week to help him prepare for the upcoming transfer next week, and I think it's fun to sit down with him and talk for a little bit. I'm a little nervous about the transfer, but that's just another part of being a missionary, I guess! It'll be good, whatever happens, and I'm sure it'll help me grow and become better. I'd like to stay here in Buda, just because I really enjoy serving together with Elder Parkinson, the members here are fantastic, and the other missionaries in our district are really fun to work with as well, but we'll see what next week has in store for us!

We had a long day today, because the branch put together a little hike in the hills of a place called Nagykovácsi, but the hike ended up being a little bit longer and more complicated than we had anticipated because of muddy trails and a large group, but it was fun! We had some great members and friends come out with us, and the weather was awesome.

I think that's about all I have time for today! Love you lots and hope you have a good week. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April 2, 2016


Sorry for the high quantity of pictures for this week. They sum up most of what we did better than I could in words, anyways, so I probably won't write very much this week.

Basically, the highlights of the week were that we went to Pécs to have splits with the elders there. I was able to serve with Elder Shepherd, who was great! He's still pretty young in the mission, and he's only been here in Hungary for about 7 weeks or so, but he's already speaking Hungarian really well and he's brave and confident when he talks to people. It's always fun to get to be around the younger missionaries, because it's neat to see them improve and grow. We spent most of our splits trying to contact old members that no one had heard from in ages, with varied success. It was a great day though, and we even had time to talk to people on the beautiful streets of Pécs!

The rest of the week was fairly normal, with the exception of Friday. The senior couples had their conference with President and Sister Szabadkai on that day, and they concluded their conference by taking everyone out to see a traditional Hungarian music and dance presentation at the Hagyományok Háza (House of Traditions) here in Buda. They ended up having two extra tickets, and we were invited to go with all the senior couples and the Szabadkai's to see the performance. The singers, dancers, and musicians were all from the same small village of Transylvania, and they traveled to Budapest to share the old Hungarian traditional song and dance that has largely become a thing of the past here. It was cool for us to get to see the performance though, because it showed us a side of Hungarian history and culture that we hadn't been too exposed to before!

Then, this morning, we had our Sport Nap at the park with our friends Áron, Huba, Attila, the other missionaries from Buda, and some other strangers who decided to join in the game of soccer with us. Fun morning, and now we're just getting ready for General Conference tonight!

I think that's about all the news. Love you all! :)

Eszlári Kati, one of the nice ladies in the ward here in Buda, 
made us an Easter gift of painted Easter eggs. Pretty impressive.

We were going from house to house and talking to people 
the other day, and we got to the end of the street we were
on and ran into the Parliament. Don't have these
kind of things happen in America too often!

Took a few cool pictures of Pécs while we were there, since 
it's a very beautiful town! This one is the theater in the center of the city.

One of the side streets in the center of Pécs
(I guess cars are allowed here, too?)

Many picturesque squares all throughout Pécs:

Elder Shepherd and I took a selfie by 
the Székesegyház church in Pécs!

These next few pictures are about a cultural thing that Hungarians in Pécs do--I guess they buy a lock, write or engrave their initials on it with their boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé and lock it onto the bars here and then throw away the key. Kind of a fun tradition!

"Forever and Ever" in Hungarian

More locks!! Some of these things are 
ancient, and there's thousands of them!

We took another picture by the Basillica in the main square.

More cool pictures that look like Europe:

Giant Easter Egg that Croatia gave as a gift to the city of Pécs

The Jewish synagogue in Pécs

The train station before going back to Buda!

We made it back to Budapest! And that's the
end of our adventure pictures for the week.