Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I rode a train!

Hello family and friends!

A big shout out to Tom Brinton!  Thanks for the letter.  I didn't get it when I first got here, but I did get it at our zone training last week.  Sounds like things are going great for you!  Good luck with the internship and best of luck with school.

Sounds like life in Brigham City is as peachy as always.  In church yesterday we sang, "The Spirit of God" and I couldn't help but think you would be singing that later in the day!  Hopefully you got to.  I love the power of music, and I think that song is perfect for a temple dedication.  I enjoyed the various thoughts and stories from the dedication.  It seems like it was a wonderful event.  If it is possible to get a copy of the dedication prayer, I would really love something like that.

This week has been pretty cool.  We teach a free English class every Tuesday, and it is really fun to speak English and help people learn.  We gave a spiritual thought it Hungarian, and the whole class helped me with what I was saying and they helped me get the right case ending.  Ha.  There was a class of about 10 people.  We have it divided up into beginner, intermediate, and advanced.  We teach intermediate.  There is a guy, his name is Tamás and he is an airplane engineer, in the advanced class that we had met with the week before for his first program!  We did English practice in the beginning, but then we taught about the Book of Mormon in Hungarian.  He also was really helpful and wanted to teach me some new words and helped me phrase things.  The people here are very patient and very good to me.  Anyways.  We asked him to read the 3 Nephi 11 and on Tuesday I asked him if he had read.  He told me, "Yes, and it is true."  Wow!  It was helpful that he said it in English, because I was able to immediately understand, but then it was just really cool.  We will see how meeting with him goes, but for now we seem to be at a good spot.

Zone training was good.  I rode in a train.  I learned there are some helpful signs above the window.  One has garbage being thrown out the window, and the other has someone leaning out, and just a red circle around it.  I learned that those are good things, because if it has a cross through it, it means your head would get chopped off from another train if it was passing by.  Someone told me about this, I didn't learn it from experience.

The ward here is really involved and really wants to help.  Last Monday we went to a Family Home Evening lesson at a members house and there were some investigators there.  The investigators thought I looked like another missionary that had been there, and they said something about how she spoke much better than me.  Eh.  So is life.  The investigators invited us to an FHE tonight at their home!  So that is exciting.  It is a mom and a boy, but I only remember the boy's name is Lajos.  He is really smart, and when I don't understand he speaks slower for me, but he tends to only really emphazise the words that I already understood.  But, the ward is great!  They want to be involved and included with our lessons and they have reached out to our investigators when we come to church.

We are teaching a mom, her name is Szilvi, and her son Gordon.  I haven't technically been in a lesson with them yet, but we are meeting this Tuesday.  Her son is almost two, I think, and he has cancer.  They are in Pest a lot getting that taken care of, but every weekend they come back to Kecskemét, and so we walk to church together.  From what I understand, she really likes church, and I think it is because the members pay attention to her.  Members are so important in missionary work.  We are meeting with a girl named Csilla, and she is meeting with us as well as the Jehovah's Witnesses.  She lives kind of in "no man's land" and she technically doesn't have any missionaries in her city, but whenever she is in Kecskemét we try to meet with her.  She says she feels better when she meets with us, but she when she came to church she didn't feel like people reached out to her, unlike when she as the Jehovah's Witness's church and they really loved her.  So.  What to do?  It is important that each of us make the commitment to welcome and be kind to the people in church that we don't recognize.  It is our responsibility to welcome and to love those who are coming to church.  So, to any person reading this, make a new friend this week!  Find someone that is sitting alone and reach out to them, and love them.  You might be the best influence in their accepting the gospel.

I know that God is my Heavenly Father.  He loves me and is mindful of me and every situation that I am in.  I was studying accountability before I came to email, and I have always known that I am accountable to the Lord, but our relationship with Heavenly Father is personal.  We need to account to Him what we have been doing, what has been going on, and be honest in our report.  He can only help us and strengthen us when we want to be accountable for our actions.  I mean, if I don't feel accountable for something, I probably won't do it.  But I really do receive strength from prayer.  It is the best!!


Kennedy nővér

This is a cup tower my companion loves to teach about the establishment of God's church.  My favorite is when we talk about Christ's time and when the apostles died, and we take them out from the bottom and the whole tower falls.  We then rebuild it, and talk about how it is the same church that Christ established.  Good times, right?
Me and a pizza!   Hungarians think corn is super American, and so they put it on pizza.  I won't lie, I really like it.
I still love you!  Also.  So weird, the time just seems to go by so fast.  I have been out for a solid 3 months now.  Wowza!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Greetings from Kecskemét!

This is my MTC district at the map.
Well family and friends, I made it to Hungary.  I am currently serving in Kecskemét. In other news, the only word that hasn't been "mispelled" is Kecskemét, so I think this is the real deal.

It has been awhile since I have written, so I will try to catch everyone up in the best way that I can.  The MTC was fantastic.  I absolutely loved it.  Getting all packed and leaving was a lot less stressful than I thought it would be.  I packed everything that I wanted, and I made it under weight!  Only by a couple of pounds, but it was still a victory.  Did Tom get my packages?  Hopefully you understand what to do with all of the odds and ends I sent home.  Oh, and Mom, please forward this email onto those people I listed in that package.  I met so many great people in the MTC and I want to keep them involved with my új life. 

Jakey Jake at the airport.  He is moving to London.
The airport was good.  The phone cards weren't all that helpful.  I called Mom, and then I called Rachel while Dad drove home, and then I went to call Matthew and it said I was out of time...  So that was really quite dreadful.  Luckily, Elder Miller had purchased another card and he let me have it, so I could call the parents again and talk to both of them.  I am sorry I didn't get everyone called.  Please know that I love you, and that I desperately wanted to talk to all of you.  Hopefully you know there is someone in Hungary that loves you.  Oh!  But, I did see Jake Hillyard in the airport.  That probably means nothing to my family, but to my friends from Logan that might be of some interest.  I will send the picture we took. 

We landed!  I felt so sick.  Just nauseated and motion sick.  But the mission president and his wife told me to just lay down and rest and the Carpenter's (They are the awesome couple from Perry) got me some ginger ale.  It was delicious and I felt a lot better.  My first meal in Hungary was taco salad.  My second meal in Hungary was cold cereal, and my third meal in Hungary was a burrito from some Mexican food place.  (Don't worry, the Elder's did make a Hungarian meal for my companion and I on Saturday, so I have had one Hungarian meal.  Ha.)

Anyways, my companion is Jeppson nővér.  She grew up in Maryland, went to SVU, and her family is now living in Colorado.  She has been on her mission for a year.  She's really nice and reminds me a lot of Jami Butler.  We've taught a handful of programs already to so many different people.  Old people, young people, less actives.  It has been pretty cool.  Jeppson nővér is really cool at letting me say a couple of things every lesson, and then after our program we will talk about what was said, and thus far I have kind of understand the general theme of it all.  Ha... she did tell me all of the things one of our investigator had said, and I honestly had no idea any of that had happened... so that was funny.

Oh!  So, on Friday we went to teach a part member family.  We were really excited to go and we knew they lived in a little town that we would travel to by bus, and we were so excited to street and tract after our lesson.  We wanted to contact people that were less likely to see us everyday.  The daughter we were teaching met us at the bus station, and it was so cool.  She was so happy!  People here think it is the strangest thing when I smile and wish them a good day, and so when I saw this girl just smiling and waving I got so excited!  The gospel really makes people happy.  It is the best.  Anyway, we got on the bus and we headed out to Szentkirály.  We got off the bus.  We were literally standing in the midst of fields.  And then we walked a dirt path, road, thing for 5 minutes or so.  We realized we probably weren't going to have much success tracting or streeting... Their house was the only one that we saw the whole time.  I learned a lot of words for animals while we were out there.  They had goats, dogs, cats, chickens, a goose, and a bird that I thought was maybe a turkey, but my companion and I aren't really sure on that one.

We went tracting on Saturday.  We got into a classy 10 story!  At least, that is what my companion called it.  It took us a long time to have someone let us into a building, but a man I had given a free English flyer to just opened the door when he saw us walk up the steps.  Tracting is way fun!  I definitely can see how people get depressed.  No one let us in, and only 3/30 apartments listened at all...  That is actually super depressing when I put it like that... but I loved it!  One large man opened his door and he was only wearing his boxers.  He saw who we were and just said, thanks, and closed the door.  Not an uncommon thing come to find out.  My favorite thing that happened.  We rang the bell and were just waiting outside of this apartment.  We can hear people talking, and there was some sort of bird or something and we wanted to see what it was, so we were just waiting for them to open the door.  My companion whispered to me, they think we're the Jehovah's Witnesses.  They didn't come to the door, so we rang again.  He let out this big ol, jaj!!  He never came to the door... but his sigh of despair was just what I wanted to hear.

Church was really great.  The ward here is phenominal.  I sat next to Istvan, a recent convert, and when we sang the hymns he used his finger to help me follow along.  I was asked to bear my testimony, and I was terrified, but I said what I could, and I cried.  So, I sat down, and a little boy came up to me and showed me his collection of buses and trains he has made out of paper, and then a lady gave me a tissue.  The language is really hard.  But, I have never really felt hopeless or alone.  It has been pretty nice.  I am so grateful for my companion, she helps me out a lot, and the people in the ward were very patient with me.  Some people I understand pretty well, but some people sound like they have a marshmallow in their mouth.  One day... I will understand them!

So.  That is most of my letter I think.  Feel free to give me suggestions on what I should write about.  I am sure once things aren't so "new" I will write my letters a little bit differently, but for now this is what you get.  Leah!  Thanks for the great email.  It was really fun to read.  I really like having a physical letter, but we only check mail at the mission home at every transfer, and I don't have the address to our apartment, so I can't give you that either.  Best of luck with all of your stake choir stuff.  Exciting.  I sang in the choir yesterday.  That was fun.  My P-Day is on Monday.  Grandma, I loved your email too.  Thanks for the love and encouragement.  Parents.  You both wrote basically the same letter, which was funny to me.  Sounds like you are keeping the ol BC safe for me.  Good.  I hope everyone enjoyed a nice peach this weekend (or whenever Peach Days was) for me.  I had some peach juice, which was delicious.

The church is true!!  I love it with all of my heart, and I am so grateful to serve the Lord, literally, everyday.
Kennedy nővér 

Pictures?!  Cool.  


My very first tordulrodni.  YUM.

These are pictures at the main square

Perkins nővér and I at Gellérthegy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sister Kennedy has Arrived

      Following your missionary’s arrival, President Smith conducted a brief interview and welcomed her to the Mission.  The missionaries had dinner with President and Sister Smith and were then taken on a brief tour of Budapest – seeing Hero’s Square, Gellert Hill (where the country was dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel), and other landmarks.
            Today, Sister Kennedy went “streeting” and contacted a number of individuals.  She then returned for some brief training. Companionship and city assignments were made.  The missionaries have departed to their new area of service, with their companions, and will immediately begin service.
            Your missionary is excited to “invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”  We know she will be successful as she serves the Lord with her heart, might, mind and strength.  We appreciate your prayers for your missionary and for the missionary work in Hungary.  
Best personal regards,

Caroline's last MTC words:
     The MTC means so much to me. Whenever I told anyone that's here that I came in June, and that I've been here for 12 weeks their jaws drop. Every Spanish Elder says, "I would die!" and most everyone else just says, "wow". I am so grateful that one of my teachers told me-- "There is a reason  you are in the MTC for 12 weeks and it's not to learn that language-- you'll do that in Hungary." So. It became my objective to figure out while I was here.
     Little things no one told me: bring a water bottle, bring a pair of flats you don't really care for, and bring cough drops!! Ha. I eventually got all of these things, so that was good. 
     I really think it's important to always have a positive attitude and love everything. Once I get in the field things will not be easier to love, so I really tried to love my companion, love the food, love the gate, love gym time, love the Elders that can't talk without yelling. I know as we make loving a pattern now in our lives, it will bless us so much more when we move on to the next phase in our lives.
    I am so grateful for the peace I have felt at the MTC> Everyday I am blessed to be apart o the 2,400-2,700 missionaries that are here. The positive energy of love and excitement is unreal. I <3 it.
   Jesus Christ is my Savior. the Book of Mormon is God's word. Faith happens when we work. There is no way to truly believe what we have been taught unless we try our faith and work for what we want.

      Kennedy nővér

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

i leave in 5 days

We have our cute district-- Me, Perkins nover, Decker elder,
Miller elder, and D'Angina elder

What a week!
This week has really been quite remarkable.  First off.  I spoke Hungarian, for an entire week!  The only times that I didn't speak Hungary was when I was at the doctor's office, which was a relief.  Because of my experience speaking the lanugage, I feel closer to God, and I feel that I have a stronger love and desire to be with the people of Hungary.  It is amazing, isn't it?  There were some really cool moments where I would be speaking Hungarian and I didn't have to think about every single thing that I was saying, but instead it was all just flowing together and it just worked.  Sometimes I sat in silence because every word I had ever learned had left my brain and all I could really say was igen, yes.  But those times were only a little bit and they became less and less everyday.
Me and my companion, Perkins nover.
I will be in Hungary in less than a week!  We got our travel plans, and we leave on Monday, September 10!  I am super excited.  We are taking the direct flight to Paris, and then one more flight to Hungary... Seems a little familiar, doesn't it?  Ha!  But, the great news is that we will have good company when we fly.  There is a senior sister that is serving in Hungary that will be flying with our district, and the French missionaries will be flying with us to Paris!  So, I will be spending a long time with Sister Lexi Bracken from Perry!  I see her a lot actually, we have class on the same floor, and so that will be kind of fun to talk to people that aren't going to Hungary.
Speaking of going to Hungary, I leave next week and I am freaking out!  I love the MTC.  I know, it sounds so bizarre and not real at all, but I really love it!  It is quiet, the spirit is so strong here, people are nice.  When I went to the doctor we rode in a van.  First.  I haven't been in a moving vehicle since June.  HJonestyly, one of the weirdest sensations i have ever felt in my entire life.  It was so lame that I felt so weird... but, eh... so is life.  The doctor's office was really nice and there was so music playing, real nice gentle stuff.  I started freaking out!  I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't not listen, and they kept playing really soft stuff that I love, like Adele.  It was so weird.  And when we were outside waiting everything was so loud and I felt like a fish out of water.  The world is so loud.  There is so much going on!  And so, that is kind of why I am a little scared.  Going back into the world.  Terrified.  Excited.  Blessed.  So many feelings....
Anyways.  The computers are freaking out at I have a haircut at 11, so I  have to go!  Expect a phone call on Monday between 3 & 4!!!
I love you!!  Always and forever
Then there is just me and Elder Perrenoud.  He is funny, right?! 
He knows how to say hi, how are you, and yes, in Hungarian.  What a champ.
Kennedy nover

And, my best friend!!  Hermana Johnson.  Aren't we the cutest?!