Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Hello family and friends!

I have had quite the exciting week.  I feel like I am back at the MTC!  We had two general authorities talk to us this week and the Temple President from Frierburg.  My companion and I were just talking about how much they spoil us there... but what a blessing I got to hear so much of the good word here!  Elder Kent F. Richards, Area Presidency, came and spoke to us on Wednesday, and then on Sunday it was Stake Conference, and we heard from Elder Craig Wright, Area Seventy, and the temple president spoke to us, along with the temple president's wife.  Okay.  We'll talk about Stake Conference first!  Yeah!  Hungary has a stake and I am a part of it :)  We left at 7:30, got there around 9:00, and then the fun began!  It was like a Utah ward!!  So many little children wandering around, the Stake Choir, which I am in, was rehearsing in shifts according to when people showed up, we were helping investigators find seats, it was a mini missionary reunion, and the bathroom had a long line.  It was the best!  I was so happy to be there.  We sat on the front row right in front of the speakers, which was cool because I got to make some good eye contact with the speakers.  A couple of Hungarians spoke and bore simple testimony.  It was great.  And then the temple president and his wife spoke, and then President Smith and his wife spoke, and then Elder Wright spoke.  The only one that didn't speak English was Sister Temple President, she speaks German, but there was a girl that could translate for her.  And they had different translators for every speaker thereafter.  I still don't know a lot of Hungarian, but I understand enough that I can tell when someone translated something a little funny, or different.  Wow!  What a blessing to have people in the Stake the could translate though.  It was a really great conference.  I learned that we need to be worthy to receive blessings from God, and that it is really up to us to help missionary work go forward!  By us, I don't mean just the missionaries... but member missionaries... naturally.  I also learned to be your own kind of beautiful.  I liked that.  It was simple and intriguing.  We should really be who we are and love it--we are in fact all children of God.

The zone conference on Wednesday was fantastic.  Elder Richards was blunt and to the point.  Obey the Missionary Handbook, follow Preach My Gospel, and break mission traditions that don't support either.  It was so cool!  We learned what being exactly obedient means, and turns out, we can all do better, but that we are also doing better than we think.  He spoke with such power, and I know that he has been called of God, and I am so grateful I was able to listen to the words he said.  There was one time where I literally could not move.  I was paying so much attention to everything he said, and I wanted to know more, and then I noticed that I couldn't move my body.  It was weird.  But, then I just ignored it, and kept on listening.  The work is hastening.  Missionary work is growing.  I am so grateful to be here and that I can be a builder of the kingdom!  Yeah!  Missionary work is awesome!

Sister Kimball and I have been working on having better language.  Our investigator, Tamás.  English is his passion.  So, we speak a lot of English when we teach.  He heard us say something like dang, or shoot, and we had to describe to him what it meant, and the context for why we were using it, and we realized although those words are considered harmless, that we should really be shaping up our language.  Sometimes we wouldn't have any problems with it, but sometimes we really do!  Working with a companion to fulfill goals is so much more successful than doing it alone.  Plus, we have a money jar that we put 20 forint in every time we say something.  Today an investigator scared me!  40 forint later... Things are going well.  I am trying to speak with more reverenced language, I think it will help me develop meekness, which is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  What an exciting time of year :)  Say hi to Camille for me!  Wow.  Can't believe she's headed home.  I love her so much.  Too bad she didn't learn a common language like Hungarian on her mission.  I don't know how she will ever find a way to use Spanish in Utah.  Leah.  I loved your list.  It was fun!  I am glad I made it on the things to be grateful for.  Ma and Pa.  I hope the East Coast is treating you well.  I am SO grateful you finally saw Warhorse.  I want to see that one someday.  Because it is Thanksgiving this week, I will give a good ol' fashioned Thanksgiving dinner answer--feel free to cut this out and read it to the family as everyone is eating ravenously.  This year I am grateful for Gutenberg, the man who invented the Gutenberg Printing Press.  Everyday I use things that have been printed out, and I read from books, and I do stuff...  the kind of stuff I wouldn't be able to do unless someone invented the printing press!  Honestly.  I am so grateful that I have a copy of A Mormon Könyve in my backpack everyday that I can give to someone, to change their life.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and it changes lives.  When people know their purpose, when they understand the direction they need to go to return to our Eternal Father in Heaven, they want to be good.  They want to do what is right.  They have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good, continually.  We meet so many people, everyday, and so many people tell us they aren't interested, but for some reason they stick around and talk to us a little bit longer.  We bare testimony of what we know to be true.  They ask a question, so we talk a little bit longer.  People are ready to be found in Hungary, and they are ready to be taught.  Sure, I am not crazy busy teaching all of the time, and I get rejected TONS, but last night we were out tracting for two hours, and we had two people talk to us, and it was really awesome.  Who knows if anything will come from it?  Not me, they said they aren't interested, but it was such a blessings to bare testimony and share a copy of the Book of Mormon with them.  A Book of Mormon that couldn't have been printed if there wasn't a printing press.  And, that is why I am thankful for Gutenberg, and his printing press.

The Church is true!  Christ is my Savior, brother and friend.  If you don't know that, pray about it, read the Book of Mormon, and find out for yourself.  It is up to us as individuals to find God's truth, and it is here, just for us.

Kennedy nővér

Monday, November 12, 2012

I speak like a child.

Dear family,

MOM!!  Congrats on your win.  What a great blessing.  Whenever people asked us about the election we would just let them know we haven't studied it out and we don't really know what is going on.  One ward member asked us who we would vote for, and when we asked who she would vote for she said, I don't know.  Obama's favorite singer is Beyoncé, and she is my favorite singer, so probably him.  But, we will see how things go.  We just need to remember to love and serve our neighbors and be good representatives of Christ so we can receive blessings!  We have been promised that when we keep the commandments we will prosper in the land, so we should keep 'em!

On Halloween we had a little party for our English
Students.Sister Kimball and I dressed up.  Better yet,
we tied our own ties!!!
Oh.  When I went to the doctors last week I was told I have eye exhema.  Don't know if I spelled that right... but that is what I have.

I loved hearing about Grandma's temple tour.  I miss the temple a lot.  How lucky you all are to have temples in your home towns!!  Or even one less than an hour away.  A couple of people needed temple recommend interviews here, because theirs had expired, and so a member of the Stake Presidency in Budapest had to drive down in order to conduct interviews.  We are so blessed to have grown up where the church has a strong footing.  

Want to know about one of my favorite moments this week?  Okay!  It was definately the Primary Progam!!  There are ten primary kids in our ward, and they did a really good job.  It was funny, too.  Just like any other primary program I have been to.  The church really is the same everywhere!  At the close of the program the kids got up to say their final testimony.  They said things like, Christ is God's son, the church is true, the Book of Mormon is God's word, families are forever, just general things like that.  As they finished I was so stoked I had understood everything they said, and I realized that I had memorized every one of those phrases in the MTC so I could teach.  Awesome!  I guess it just proves that I speak like a child.  At least, when it comes to the gospel.  Kids say stuff all of the time to me that I can not understand at all.  Perfect, leaves room for growth.

Sister Kimball and I at a momument here in
Kecskemét. It represents how Kecskemét is
the center of Hungary, and it goes through
the different areas of Hungary, mostly
the affects of World War II when they
lost so much land. It is really cool.
The work is going really well.  Tamás has chosen a date to be baptized!!  We are so excited to keep working with him and preparing him for that.  He is really excited to see a baptism, and there will be two in December that we are planning on going to, one is our investigator Misi.  He asked us the other day how many people normally go, and we told him it varied, but maybe 20 or so, and he said, 20 people will see me in the water in my swim suit?  Not exactly... but it was a funny thought.  He is so excited to follow Christ and to follow the path that God wants him to follow.  

We continue to prepare Misi for baptism.  He is so different from when we first started meeting with him.  It is amazing the difference in his eyes.  The gospel really makes people happy.  I love it!  We learned about the 10 commandments last program and Sister Kimball showed hand signs for each one, and Misi remembered every one!  I know this because I saw him flashing them to Berta, his girlfriend, during the Primary program.  I am so grateful I get to help with the growth of these people.

President Smith challenged us to build our relationship with Christ and to become more like Him, mostly getting us all prepared for Christmas and such.  We are working on a different Christlike attribute every week.  I have been kind of doing the same thing, but I love the specific direction it has given me.  We should talk about our progress as companions, and we should keep working to really develop it, not just learn about it.  So, this weeks challenge is to get ahold of a copy of Preach My Gospel and read through the Christlike attribute chapter.  Just flip through it, and pick one.  And then try to live that attribute better.  And then in a couple of days, maybe read the whole section about the attribute you picked, and then on Sunday, or another free day, study out the scriptures on it, look it up in True to the Faith, or compare what the "world's" view on the attribute is, and then compare and contrast it to the gospel's definition.  I know that as we study who Christ was and try to live more like Him we will be blessed with peace, comfort, and happiness.
This is the big church in town, and a remarkable sky.
How beautiful.  I am super lucky to leave here :)
The Church is true.  I am so grateful of the little moments I have everyday to testify of what I know to be true.  I want everyone at home to know that I love them, and that I am so grateful for the prayers, love, and support.  Hopefully you all can feel my prayers for you!

Kennedy nővér

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday was packed with blessings.


So sorry, but I don't have much time right now.  We came to Budapest for doctors appointments and got distracted with the big city, so we don't have much time to email.  I got a ton of mail in the office today, and that was really exciting!  Thanks to everyone that wrote me.  I got Daniel and Leah's adorable Halloween card, my awesome moustache(!!!!) and note from Tom, and I got a letter from Ian and Elder Robbins, so it was a pretty good trip to the mission home.

Sister Kimball and I have had a rough time getting into things.  It is so bizarre.  We will have things planned and are all ready to go for the day, when we get a call where someone is coming to fix our apartment (our apartment has been super broken for awhile, so we are getting it all fixed up) and then our day is kind of thrown off.  We have been trying to work our best and put in as much as we can.  We experienced a ton of blessings on Sunday, and I really feel like I don't deserve it.  Luckily, God loves me enough to be able to see all of them.  Let me just run through my Sunday with you.

We woke up, got ready, went to church.  We walked in and there was a couple there from Nottingham.  Best part:  they only speak English.  Her dad is Hungarian, but moved to England, so they come back a couple of times a year and do family history work and go and talk to the family!  We talked to them about the free family history site, because now their nonmember family is super excited about family history, and we told them we would love to meet with them.  Gave them our number they said they would call.  There was a random guy I had never seen before, so I went and talked to him.  His sister is a member in Szeged, and he just moved to Kecskemét for awhile, and doesn't have any friends, so figured he would give church a try.  Awesome!  We spoke Hunglish together, and he should be able to meet with us later this week.  Our investigator who is 87 years old and can't walk very well, got a ride, and came to church!  One of the members brought him.  He has always complained about leg pain and heart pain, but he told me, with a huge smile on his face, that his legs didn't hurt when he was at church!  Such a great blessing.  He saw immediately the blessing from being at church.  It will be interesting to talk with him again and see what he thinks.  All together we had six investigators at church, as well as five less active members.  It was the most full I had ever seen the ward.  During the testimonies I just kept feeling the spirit so strongly and I was so grateful that all of the people there could be experiencing it.

After church we went to a little town, Kiskunfélegyháza.  Our landlady invited us out for dinner, and we had a couple of people we could visit out there, so we went for it.  We took the bus, and talked to the bus driver about why we are in Hungary and we gave him a Book of Mormon card.  He was really nice and made sure we got off at the right stop.  We went to our landlady's home, and we had dinner and we talked a little about the Book of Mormon and left them a copy.  Very amazing family.  They are very well-to-do and had a massage chair we used for a little bit.  It was the weirdest feeling thing ever.  I loved it.

We then went out to visit a member that has been at a recovery hospice place, I couldn't really understand what was wrong with her, but I think she had a stroke last year and has some problems with that, and we talked to her.  It was amazing.  Sister Kimball and I had our lesson plan, but we didn't talk about a single thing we had wanted to.  The spirit just took us somewhere else.  She needed to feel loved, and I am so glad we got to go out to see her.

On our way to the train station we got a call from the unknown number.  Who could it be?  Oh.  The bus driver!  He wants a Book of Mormon and he wants to meet.  So awesome.

The work in Kecskemét is going along beautifully.  Please keep praying for me.  I feel it, and I love it.  God works miracles everyday, we just have to be open to noticing them.  Best of luck with the election, still would love to see a picture of the campaign materials (mom...) and I hope everything is going well with the storm.  People in Hungary pray for the people of New York.  It is so incredible.  They really care about America.  That was just random, and I thought I would share.

Sister Kennedy