Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30, 2016

Hey, everyone!

Monday again! Here's the usual quick summary of the week!

On Wednesdsay, we had a good time hosting our International Night that we hold every other Wednesday here in the Pest ward. We bring a snack and something cultural to share about America, so we made some peanut-butter sandwiches with Hungarian peanut-butter (not quite the same, but they didn't know the difference) and Elder Martineau and I talked about the desert. One of the members here named Margit brought a lesson about how Christ is always with us in our lives, and she shared a poem about "footsteps in the sand" with everyone. After that, we played a card game with them and taught them how to play chair soccer, which then broke into an impromtu game of 21 on the basketball court. The whole evening turned out pretty well, and we had a good turnout!

Wednesday night after Nemzetközi Est, we had splits with the AP's, Elder Paul and Elder Parkinson. Because Buda is so close to Pest, I went to Buda for the day to work with Elder Paul, and Elder Parkinson stayed in Pest with Elder Martineau. The splits were really nice, because it's always good to get to know someone else a little better and help them with the work in their own area--Elder Paul was a really good guy, and we had a good time looking up people, trying to find new people to teach, and then holding English class later on in the evening! Thursday night, we un-split and were back at home in Pest.

Friday was a fairly quiet day, consisting mostly of meeting with the other elders in Pest for district meeting, and then visiting one of the hospitals here in pest. We've been going there as much as possible to help a member from California who came to Budapest to go on a river cruise with his wife. While here in the city, he got pretty sick, and he's been in the hospital ever since, so we enjoy getting to sit with him and try to cheer him and his wife up while they're still here in the hospital. He and his wife are both such nice people, and we hope they can both fly home to California soon, happy and healthy!

Saturday, we had a trip to another doctor's clinic to have an MRI scan of Elder Martineau's leg, since it's still been bothering him a lot. The doctors didn't provide a conclusive statement because only radiologists were in the office at the time, but it sounds like his ankle may have been broken for the past five weeks or so now. We'll find out soon when he heads back to a physician who's going to take a look at the scans.

Sunday, we went to church and then spent the rest of the day visiting Brother and Sister Clark in the hospital again and resting Elder Martineau's leg. And that's about it!

Love you all lots, and hope you have a good Memorial Day today! :)

Went on splits with Elder Paul this week, and took a picture of
a picture that he took with his Polaroid camera. Picception!

The top of the bell tower of one of the
Catholic churches here in Budapest

Just a cool flower picture that I thought Chelsea would like

Another random cool building by the Erzsébet bridge

Another church in a different part of the city with 
a pretty different architectural design

The front of Keleti, the biggest train station in Hungary

In the waiting area of another hospital here in Budapest. 
This one had a vending machine, but we're not really sure 
why they decided to put it right in front of a row of chairs...

Tried to take a selfie and missed, but it was funny anyways
because Martineau decided to poke me right at the same time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 23, 2016


Gonna try to keep this email quick today. Here's what happened in our week!

Wednesday, we had our zone training for the month at the branch house on Hajnóczy Utca. As the focus of the training, we worked on being good support and help for the missionaries once we've already returned home (since we had a lot of missionaries in our zone who just left on Saturday or will leave in another two weeks or so). We had Attila, the fantastic mission leader from the Buda ward, come in as part of our training and talk to us about how we can better work with members to help people. He's a great leader who teaches through his own example, so it was really great to have him there with us as part of the training!

After the training, we headed back home to grab the things we needed to go on splits with the elders in Érd. On the way there, the Palmers (a really nice famliy from the Érd branch) invited us over to have dinner with them on Wednesday night. It was great to see them again and get to talk to them for a little bit, and then we headed off to meet with Laci and the elders at the branch house. Laci's one of my best friends that I've made here in Hungary, so it was nice to talk with him with Elder Winegar! Being with Elder Winegar on splits was also a really neat experience, because I hadn't seen him too terribly much except for at zone trainings or occasional mission conferences since we'd been in the country, and it was a blast getting to be around him again and see how much we've both grown since the MTC!

On Thursday, we met with some more good people from Érd, finished off by a lunch at Anikó's house. She fed us SO much food, but it was all sooo good! That ended our stay in Érd, and we headed back to our own house here in Pest.

The rest of our week consisted of doing some streeting and finding, a doctor's appointment for Elder Martineau's ankle, and saying goodbye to Sisters Rankin and Hafen from our MTC group. It's crazy to think that they're already home! Our week was topped off with church on Sunday, and then that brings us back to today!

I think that's pretty much all the news for this week. Hope you're all doing well! Love you lots! :)

Got to see my good friend, Laci again when we went
 back to Érd for splits this week! :)

With Anikó, one of the nicest ladies from the branch in Érd! 
We visited her in Százhalombatta with Elder Winegar 
(my comp from the MTC), and Elder Craig, who
went home this week on Saturday

This is the shore of the Duna, right where it bends past 
Százhalombatta at a place called the Halászcsárda.

A few pictures of the heart of Budapest by the 
Parliament Building at the Kossuth Lajos Square

It's super funny how many people ride Segways around Budapest.

Walking down one of the streets that lead to the Basilica in Pest

Some parts of the city are definitely very square and cold-looking,
but the Hunyadi Castle is a really pretty building!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016


This email's gonna be a litte bit quicker, because not too much really happened this week. We spent most of it indoors, with Elder Martineau elevating his ankle and staying off his feet. I think we've both got some pretty severe cases of cabin fever, but we're staying pretty sane with all things considered.

Our mission had a challenge for everyone to reread the Book of Mormon and highlight in pencil anytime there's a reference to "The Lord," "The Savior," "Redeemer," or any other name or title that refers to Jesus Christ. As part of the challenge, we were also encouraged to mark the text whenever he spoke towards the people, so that we'd be able to better recognize how much the book really does talk about His life and ministry. We spent quite a bit of our time reading this week, and we both finished the challenge on Thursday! That was probably one of the most exciting highlights of the week.

We also had splits on Friday with the elders from here in Pest. I was with Elder Jensen, and we went out and visited all of the people that their companionship and ours works with, and Elder McKim and Elder Martineau stayed indoors and did a little bit of streeting later on. Elder Jensen was awesome, and I had a really good time getting to serve with him for a little bit! Later on this week, we're planning on visiting Érd for splits as well, and I'm really excited to go back and see all my friends from there when we're with Elder Winegar and Elder Knight!

I think that's all the news from Europe for this week. Hope you're all doing well, love you lots! :)

Took a few pictures this week of some of the old ten-stories built by the Soviets. They're pretty simple buildings that are sometimes falling apart and usually not taken care of very well, but these ones are in pretty good shape and are a lot less scary-looking than most!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 9, 2016


So I've gotta apologize for the lack of information last week, and the fact that you were kind of left hanging! Our week got a little crazy, and it's actually a really long story, but I'll see if I can sum it all up quickly:

On Tuesday night, Elder Martineau badly hurt his ankle. While playing basketball at a ward function here in Pest, he came down hard on his left foot and had some pretty serious, immediate pain. That ended up brinding a close to our sport nap activities for the day, and we ran to a nearby hospital to take x-rays and make sure that nothing was broken. The doctors there made a very brief inspection of his leg, and then concluded that nothing was too badly damaged, and said he'd probably be able to walk the next day.

Unfortunately, state-run government hospitals in Hungary aren't very well-stocked with supplies, so they had no brace or crutches to give him to help him get around until he can walk on his own again. A very kind friend who was at the basketball game with us drove us back to our apartment, and the next morning we went on splits with the other elders from Pest to get a hold of some crutches and a brace for his ankle.

That same day, we headed across the city to the mission home in Buda, where we gave a zone training. With the help of the Simkins senior couple in Buda, we hitched a ride and made it there right on time. We came back home and spent the remainder of our day in our apartment, because Elder Martineau was largely immobilized.

The next morning, I woke up and called Sister Szabadkai, our medical coordinator, because it had been a sleepless night after three or four painful days with a bad stomachache. We made a doctor's appointment for that same morning, and again went off on splits with the Pest elders so that Elder Martineau would be able to rest and stay in our apartment. The doctor took urine samples, blood tests, and put in two liters of fluid through an IV as the results from the lab were being developed. The conclusion was indecisive, and ultrasounds were also decided upon. In the end, the ultrasounds didn't seem to prove exactly what the problem was, but the doctors knew that the pain was not caused by a virus, and that there was internal swelling in the abdomen.

In order to make sure that nothing too serious would happen before they could determine if the problem was bacteria or appendicitis, they suggested that I stay in a hospital overnight to be monitored in case of a more serious emergency. Our missionary insurance is really good, and it ended up covering the cost of staying in a private hospital here in Budapest. Long story short, they decided to operate when no signs of improvement were seen the next day, and now I don't have an appendix.

The rest of the week, and the majority of this week, as well, was spent in recovery at the hospital, then at the mission home under the care of the Szabadkai's, and then finally at our own apartment in Pest. Nothing turned out to be too serious, and the doctor said after going back for a checkup the other day that the bacteria is almost gone and no symptoms of the appendicitis remain. Elder Martineau's leg is still pretty damaged and they will take some ultrasounds later this week to determine if it is a badly sprained ankle or a ruptured ligament. Hopefully, it's nothing serious and we'll be able to get back to work soon. :)

Anyways, that's most of the major news for this past week, but I'll also include a few pictures that let you know what we've been up to recently! Love you all lots and hope you have a great week. :)

We went to visit the big Jewish Synagogue here in Pest a few weeks
ago for a p-day activity. It was so beautiful! Really cool to see, 
I guess it's one of the biggest ones in Europe! This is the cemetery
inside the Synagogue walls.

Inside the Synagogue

They give everyone a Yamaka who goes inside the Synagogue,
because all the boys and men need to cover their heads.

Elder Martineau and I inside the Jewish history museum!

Beautiful architecture of the Synagogue

Star of David

One week after having surgery, and feeling all better! :)