Wednesday, July 18, 2012

They came and they left.

Sziasztok!           July 18, 2012
So, the English sisters that came the same week as I did have come and gone.  It was really weird seeing them off.  I couldn't imagine getting all of the information that I need in order to leave, it just seems like there is so much to learn!  We have two English speaking sisters in our residence right now, and they talk about all of the principles and things they are learning and it is really cool.  I am glad I am not going English speaking because I tend to make things more complicated than they really are.
I would be extremely interested in starting a "Testimony Collection".  So, if anyone is interested in being involved, please send me your testimony written on a 3x5 card that I can then stick in my scriptures or somewhere else so I can quickly flip to it and get the courage and strength I need when days are long and difficult.
AH!  So excited the Hungarian Sister is in Brigham City!!  I desperately wish I could remember her name.
I have come up with a lot of questions while I have been.  Simple ones like, Why am I here?  What does the mission mean to me?  Why am I in the MTC for 12 weeks?  There are more, I just can't remember them.  So yesterday I decided instead of just asking questions I would find the answers to them.  I really enjoyed my search.  My question for the day was, "Why am I on a mission?"  I flipped through the Book of Mormon and I would just stop on prophets that I knew were outstanding missionaries and just kind of read until I found an answer.  The scriptures really do contain answers to our questions.  It was a really cool experience.  I liked Mosiah 27:37.  I think it is verse 37, but I didn't write too legibally.  So, I challenge anyone reading this to think of a question and then to find the answer!  That is what makes questions so good--they can be answered.
The osik, ancients, is the Hungarian district that was here when we got here.  The first day I came in they were all speaking Hungarian at me, and it was terrifying.  I can't remember if I talked about SYL, but that is when you only speak your language.  We've been doing it at dinner and lunch.  I might just sit there in silence a lot, but I actually try to speak Hungarian in my head during those times at least.  Anyways.  This week is their consecration week.  They just started.  So, they can only speak Hungarian and they give up things.  Some have given up mail, candy, dessert, soda, and some are waking up earlier so they can study more.  It is really cool!  Watts nővér is the coordinating sister, and so it is up to Perkins nővér and I to translate for her while she is doing her rounds.  I know it will be really stressful speaking only Hungarian  in Hungary, but at least there is more than 13 of you.  Hopefully they do well with it and learn a lot, and hopefully when it is my turn in six weeks I won't die.
Can you believe I only have eight more weeks?!  WHAT?!
Stratford family reunion?  Kennedy family reunion?  It seems so weird to be missing them.  Send everyone my love... and my address :)  Dad, I am glad to hear that you killed it at horseshoe!  You always make me so proud.  I always loved playing horseshoe with you... so save me a game in 2014.
We never saw any of the mission presidents while we were here.  The day we got here was their last day.  I was surprised by it, but I will meet my mission president soon enough.  I hear he has turned the mission into a White Bible mission.  I don't really know any different, but it will be a blessing to be obedient with exactness.  Because of this, I will be sending back my ipod :(  So much time spent gathering music...  So, I don't really know what to do about that.  There are a couple things that I have that I just don't think will be practical in Hungary, so when the time comes I will get all of those things ready to send to you.  Side note.  There is this way cool Post-Mart thing.  I take a box to the post office here and then they have it delivered to this place for free and they just call you and have you pick it up.  I was thinking with Rachel in Salt Lake it might be worth a shot.  But, I would really be sending anything back until September, so we can figure it out later.
I love and miss you all so much!  I have never wanted to talk to you more in my life.  I am growing in ways that I never really thought possible.  I didn't think it was impossible, but still.  I'm sad to here about my bike,  but they probably needed it more than I do right now.  I didn't read Chelsea's email, but I will!!  Best of luck to the adventurers.  Matthew, congrats on your new place!  And yes, we finally had grits!  I didn't like them... what is the best way to eat them?  Mom, I hope you get feeling better after your surgery.  It seems like so much has been going on without me, but it is okay, because I am doing so much without you.  Parents, best of luck as you find and teach.  None of the investigators here have forgotten an appointment, so I am not used to disappointment yet.  I AM SO STOKED I AM OFFICIALLY GRADUATED!  I even kind of squeaked in the computer lab I am in.  My diploma cover is in the top drawer of the little dresser under the window.  Go ahead and load it up!  And... I am so excited for today!  Hermana Johnson is coming into the MTC and I am going to stalk her like there is no tomorrow.  I will make sure to give her a hug from you mom.
YAY!  I am on a mission and I couldn't be happier.  The Lord loves all of you.  And, so do I.
Kennedy nővér

We we so excited.

The very best to you this week!              July 11, 2012
All is going well here in the MTC.  I finally feel like I am living the missionary lifestyle, and that is really great!  Want to know what is not really great?  Learning Hungarian.  It is really difficult to remember the words.  The words aren't sticking in my mind, and there are a lot of rules, cases, and conjugations.  If the sentence is indefinte, the verb gets a different conjugation than if it is definite.  You also have to pluralize lots of things and put a "t" on the direct object.  If only I had tried harded in Mr. Yates' class, I might be having an easier time!!  But, it's okay.  I am on my third week, and I know that the Lord will bless me with the strength that I need to carry on.
Mom!  I got your letter the day after P-Day, and I had quite forgotten about your surgery.  Hopefully everything went alright.  I am not sure if you are okay... because I haven't gotten an email or anything from you since I have been here. 
Last week I was really down in the dumps.  On P-Day I was so frustrated and angry, and so I took a nap.  I felt lost.  Then I rolled over and bam!  I saw written on the wall right next to my bed, "You can do this."  I was like, Yeah!  I totally can!!  And then we had this awesome 4th of July celebration and we sang all of the Primary songs we wanted!  Popcorn popping, Once There was a Snowman, Army of Helaman.  All of the good ones.  So, I continued to feel better.  And then at the fireworks I ran into Elder Danny Olsen.  What a treat it was to see him!  He is doing really well, and talking to him really helped me calm down and I realized that even though the mission is going to be really hard, if I just take it one step at a time, I know I will be okay.
I would encourage everyone to read Alma 43:1.  Short scripture.  BUT!  Alma was still dedicated to the work and he did what we all need to remember to do:  Endure to the end.  You never know who is going to be inspired by something you do.  Also.  Everyone should go on a mission.
My companion, Perkins nővér, is so weird, and so fun. (When I turn the keyboard into Magyar everything kind of goes weird... so no more !)  We have really been enjoying our time together, and there hasn't been any real conflict.  I am also really enjoying the Elderek in our district.  They have all been very nice to me and they are totally willing to help out in any way that is needed.  They are all learning the language so well.  We have been doing Speak Your Language at dinner time and it is really difficult.  Knowing gospel words makes eating time not as fun.  But it is good to have practice.  This week I did make a good insight today though.  I was able to use Rebecca Black's Friday song to illustrate the emphasis of repeating who you are addressing, aka, we we so excited.  Everyone loved me. 
In our branch, they assign the theme for the talk on Thursday, and everyone is to prepare.  Then they announce who is talking and it is a big surprise.  Our first Sunday was fast Sunday, so we were all okay and didn't get called on.  This Sunday, Brother Peneger, a counselor in the presidency, made eye contact with me and I knew it was coming!  (I found the !)  It was scary, but it really feels so good to teach in English.
This week we are teaching an investigator, Ircsi.  It is really our teacher, Sister LeFevre.  Oh dear.  We are definitely trying to teach her in Hungarian, but probably we forget the things we memorized.  We try to involve her and try to ask her questions, but we are scared to ask her questions, because then she will reply, and when she replies, we have no idea what she says, and so it is just a lot of head nodding and confused looks.  Luckily, the spirit is able to say the things that we can't.  Who knew?  Missionaries rely on the Spirit?  It has been really incredible, and I am learning how simple this gospel really is.  Teaching is so hard, but I am getting better, and I know with patience it will all come.
AH!  We played kickball this week as a zone.  It was our Hungarian district, and the American district, VS the other Hungarian district!  They have 13 people in their district.  What?!  Crazy.  We aren't supposed to keep score, because then it is competetive, but I am pretty sure score was kept.  I wasn't really paying attention as you probably know... but!  I definitely scored a point!  I knew you would all be so proud of me.  Gym time is fun.  We have gym either at 1 in the afternoon, not my favorite, or at 8 at night, my favorite.  D'Angina Elder played volleyball at BYU as a red card, or something like that, and so we all play sand volleyball at night and he has been coaching me to get better!  I can serve overhand now.
Hearing my alarm every morning has not been the worst thing in the world... but... hearing the fire alarm go off at 12:48 am?  That is close to the worst.  We had to evacuate and I didn't get back into bed until 1:20.  People were laying in the parking lot just waiting for the time to pass.  Awesome.
Oh!  The Hungarian hymn books were barely even made in Hungary!  The MTC got them just a week before we got here, and they got them in Hungary only a couple of months ago.  The older Hungarian district bought all of the hymn books, so hopefully some new ones come in soon!  I love singing.
I love you!  I love this gospel, and I am so grateful to be living in the MTC.
Kennedy nővér 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I luv 'Merca.

Happy fourth of July!  I hope that it is treating you well and that you are all very happy.
This week has been quite the crazy ride.  We have a baby district, and there is just 5 of us.  My companion, Perkins nover (nover is pronounced new-vehr, and it means nurse, or sister.  Why?  I don't know.), and then our three Elderek.  In alphabetical order they are, D'Angina Elder, Decker Elder, and Miller Elder.  We are all from Utah, except for D'Angina Elder, who is from a town just outside of San Francisco.  My companion is really cute and very sweet.  She reminds me a lot of Ashley Tolman, except she is latina and not a red head.  Her parents are from Puerto Rico, but she was adopted and really doesn't know where she is from.  She might be the only one in our district to not know any Spanish.  I made it a goal to learn three new things about her everyday, and thus far it has been really good.  I have been making friends and I keep seeing people that I know.  Examples?  Okay.  Elder Reese Sullivan, Elder Danny Olsen, Elder Reed Rasband (although I haven't talked to him, I just creep on him...), Elder Jon Fitzgerald, Sister Rachel Austin, and a couple people from school like Sister Jess Wallace, Sister Angie Helsten, Sister Emily Clayton, and Sister Natalie Miller (she will be serving in Camille's same mission, although she is English speaking.).  It makes me feel kind of popular to know so many people.
The MTC is a totally different experience than I could have ever imagined.  In our residence we had five sisters, but now we are down to three.  The two Albanian sister's left on Tuesday, and so things are a lot quieter now.  They were very kind and welcoming, and set a good example to me of how to treat people and be nice.  It seems silly, but we don't have much time to get to know some people and so you have to be nice and accepting really quickly.  The other sister in our residence is Watts nover from Australia.  Shoot.  She has vegemite, so I tried some.  I don't know if I will be trying anymore of it... but at least I can say I did it!  She has about seven weeks under her belt at the MTC, and so she is more than half-way there.
Our zone consists of a district going to various places throughout the United States, two districts of Hungarians (the osi, or the "ancients", have 13 people in their district!  A huge contrast to our district of five.), and it used to have a bunch of people going to little islands in the Pacific as well as the Albanian district.  So now we are just a small branch, but I hear the English speakers come and go like crazy, and we should be getting some new people in the next week or so.  Because today is a holiday, there are no new missionaries coming in.  What?!  Oh well.  They will miss out on fireworks!!
Here is the biggest surprise of the MTC:  I am actually good at waking up.  Sometimes, I even get up before my alarm even goes off.  What?!  It is really hard work here.  We taught out first investigator, Jozsef, on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.  I made up a lot of words and said things that made no sense whatsoever, but I was able to bear my testimony.  It was really simple most of the time, and I also acted out most of the things that I said.  "Isten (God) ummm... (and then I would cross my arms over my chest) szerete...szeretel?...szeretetete.... ummm... (and then i would reemphasize the crossed arms because I had forgotten the word for love...)... Jozsef."  It was amazing.  I can't believe all of the things I can do in Hungarian.  Things like, read, and pronounce all of the vowels correctly, and I can even conjugate for indirect objects.  Hungarian is hard :(  I keep trying to speak Spanish... but that really isn't helpful.
I don't feel well at all today.  Last night I only slept two hours and I feel nauseaus and like I am going to pass out.  I think the food here has finally gotten to me, but luckily I can lay low until class starts tonight at 6.
I hope this was informative and not just super rambly...
Kennedy nover

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Write me! Hope to find your letter in the mailbox soon.

Sister Caroline Elise Kennedy
MTC mailbox #280
HUN-BUD 0910
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793

The First Day

     There really are missionaries going everywhere! It is incredible and so exciting. The MTC is good. My companion is Perkins nővér from Spanish Fork, UT. She is a cosmetologist and said she will cut my bangs and hair when I need it. My official prosylyting card says I will be home December 19, 2013. My P-day is Wednesday and so that is super exciting.
     Things are going well. I just tried to enjoy the day. I don't understand Hungarian at all-- but I should be able to pray at the end of tomorrow.
     There are 5 of us in our district. Me, my companion and 3 boys. There are 3 nővér(s)---> (I don't know how to make things plural) in our zone-- me, my companion and Watts nővér.
        I LOVE YOU!
I also love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
P.S. My roommates are Perkins, Watts and the Albanians. Fuuuun!

June 27, 2012