Wednesday, December 11, 2013

That's all she wrote.

December 10, 2013

I will admit, I am 100% confident I haven't realized I am going home. I mean, I have one bag completely packed, another one in the works, a lot of clothes stacked up in a closet, and we just finished moving apartments, so we still have to unpack all of that stuff before we go in to transfers tomorrow... hmmm... i hope we can do it. I guess that we have to. No one else is going to. I really am super stoked to go home, I just don't think it is going to make sense until I get on the airplane, and then I will probably just cry a lot, and color. Grandma sent me some kid activity books... and I never really had time for them before now, but luckily there are 4 books, and 4 missionaries on our flight, so we can hopefully stay entertained.

Turns out, languages are super difficult!! I just had a lady come up to me and she just kept pointing at a paper with an address and i had no idea how to understand. She definitely wasn't Hungarian, or English. Asian of some sort. AH! If anything, my mission has taught me to be patient with people who speak different languages. I mean, we all need help, and I truly believe if we are patient enough it will all work out! Hope she ends up at the right post office.

We had an incredible week last week. Lilla quit smoking! We went and visited her everyday and just shared some quick, you can do it, kind of messages and we really enjoyed it. We made a lot of strides, and she is understanding our message even more. I am so grateful that I know her. We had a part in the primary program on Sunday, and so a ward member sat next to her, and they have been texting a little bit, and the ward member invited Lilla into a little choir thing, and so that is really awesome. I love that they are actually friends and not just, the member, you know? We went to a really cool concert in the big church in the middle of town last night, and this is a picture of us waiting to go in. It isn't too cold here, but people keep telling me how thin my coat is. AH! Too bad it is worse in Utah :)

 It has been so nice to meet with our investigators this week. We have had so much progress, and so much movement, and I know that it is just going to keep on going!! We had our branch president in one of our programs this week and we were just kind of talking about his conversion story, and he started talking about his family, and how he knew that his wife was really his wife, and he said, yes, you can imagine your life with them, but can you imagine your life without them? I thought it was really interesting, and I tried applying that to lots of areas of my life, not just to future spouses. Like, everything he said in that program, I just thought it was so good.

We also met with Michael, our Taiwanese friend. Last time we had met we talked about how we should write a list about what we believe, and why we believe, and just a list about believing, but he hadn't, and so we spent some time just writing things down. We talked about things that we were grateful for, things like parents, good examples, and people that help us. And we asked him why he believed and he was thinking a lot and then just shrugged his shoulders and kind of said, i just believe because i believe! oh man. It was sooooo good. I admire the trust that he has, the willingness to act, and believe in the things we teach. It has been a real blessing teaching him.

Last week we got this phone call from a number we didn't recognize, and the lady on the other line told us her name and then said Kennedy novér needed to come over before she left so we could all pray together. There is this cute néni here named Erzsébet. We met her boyfriend while tracting one day, and he said we should meet with her. So, we met with her a couple of times, but everytime we wanted to set up to meet with her she said, don't plan to set up with me, just come, because I am always busy. And, everytime we decided to go to her house, we saw her! Last week we just kind of headed over to see her, and we saw her walking with her boyfriend to an art gallery. Now, she is like 70 years old, and just really adorable. So we came over, and Sister O said the opening prayer, and then she really wanted us to teach her more about giving thanks and gratitude, and she wanted us to show her specific examples from the Book of Mormon. (Blessing!! My talk a couple of weeks ago was planned to be all about gratitude, so I actually had some examples! ) And then, she said a prayer, and then she read us a prayer (and I know that we don't give written prayers, but some really are super beautiful, I really enjoyed the one she read), and then I gave a prayer. She has had some health problems, and she told us that after our first program together, her health improved, and that everytime we pray together, she feels better, so we met and we prayed together. It was really nice. Prayer. It is so important, but I think I forget, because it is such an easy thing, we have just been taught since we were little how we pray correctly, and it really does help so much. This is me and Erzsébet. Love her.

 I have had the opportunity to give my "farewell" testimony three times now, and I have always said something different... but I think the most important thing I have learned on my mission is to always be me. God wanted me to be here in Hungary. So, I had to learn to be me. I had to speak the language how I would speak the language. I had to street how I would street. I had to tract how I would tract. I feel like I have become more refined. I understand the Atonement better. I think I know how to actually pray know (Erzsébet's lesson also helped a lot!). I am glad that my mission jump started this process for me, even though I have gone to church nearly every week for 23 years. But! Anyone can have this happen. Maybe not the whole, Hungarian learning thing, but if anyone wants to have a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ--start living His teachings! Start today. Not tomorrow. God will bless us with the righteous desires of our heart. I know it! God lives. The restored church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today and I have had the privilege of representing my Savior every day for the past 18 months. I love my mission.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

 P.S. see you later.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What's better than a real blanket? Clothes. Those also can be a blanket.

December 3, 2013

We had a fantastic week here in Debrecenland!

Lots of people asked about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was great this year! We had district meeting and then afterward had a thanksgiving lunch. Sister Oberhansley and I were in charge of the yams and mashed potatoes. Now... they don't have yams, or sweet potatoes here... so I used a squash, and I tricked everyone! It was so fantastic. One of the senior sisters is currently serving with a native Hungarian, and so she came, and so did another cute ward member. It was so much fun to all be together, and we also had the opportunity last night to go over to their house and talk. It was really nice. They were some of the first to be baptized, and I could listen to their testimonies all day. I am so grateful for them :)

This is me with Zsóka and Magyar novér.

We talked a lot about things we were grateful for, and we had a large variety of answers. Heaters, the Book of Mormon, trials, the ability to laugh, the ability to play basketball, good health. I was surprised how often good health was brought up. When we talk to people on the street or tract, a lot of people say that they think health is the most important thing in life, or that is our purpose in life, and i have thought about it a lot, whether i agree or not. And then, we went around the room and people kept saying they were grateful for good health, and it just made me think about it a little more. I don't have a purpose to this paragraph I guess... it was just some of my thoughts.

So, we moved last week and it was terrible. Terrible. We kind of just dropped our stuff in our apartment and then went out and worked all day, and then when we came home, we couldnt get the heat to work. IT WOULDN'T WORK! Everything I tried, it didn't work. The hot water also didn't work. There was like a little light switch by the water heater, and I flipped it on, but only cold water still came out. And so, I wore some socks, and two pair of pants, and a hoodie to bed. It was freezing. I couldn't sleep at all because of the cold. Sister O put on her biggest winter coat and she slept in that, but neither of us slept well. I ended up pulling all of the clothes out of my luggage and layering them on my bed like a blanket. That was at 12:48. Luckily that kept me warm enough to fall asleep. We had to catch an early train to go on splits, so we woke up at 4. I heard Sister O turn on the shower and I was so afraid that the hot water wasn't going to work. It would have been terrible. So terrible. But, luckily it worked! And then later that day the landlady came over and got the heaters working, and so that was another little miracle. Weee!

We have had a couple of interesting things going on here, and I really need direction. I am so grateful that my mission has taught me that prayers are answered and that we need to be worthy to receive direction for our lives, and the lives of those around us. Anyway. This weekend, I prayed a lot. And I needed an answer. And something someone said in a testimony really stood out to me, and I guess one might say it was the answer to my question. He said something to the effect of, if we dwell on the negative and continue to just seek out the negative, that is all we will reap. He then said it is the same with good. If we can find good in things, we will be able to be happier, because we will only reap goodness. I thought it was so interesting, and it really helped me understand some of the people here more. Sorry I have to be vague, but that was my insight. Sometimes seemingly innocent actions really will be the things that hurt us the most. Or, help us the most. Opposition in all things!!!

Everything is up and ready for Christmas!! It is super pretty, and I am super glad I get to be here at this time of year!

We are working with an investigator this week to quit smoking. It is really hard, but it is going really great! She really wants to quit, and she has already made it three days. We are meeting with her every day, which I am totally okay with, because she is one of my favorite people in the entire world, and we are just trying to keep giving her little nuggets of strength to keep going! Most of the people here smoke. She was kind of explaining that in America we are probably used to seeing one person in 10 that smokes, but here, there is only one that doesn't smoke! It really is so different here. So sad when I see young teenagers, around 15 smoking, and I don't really think anything of it anymore... But! She wants to quit smoking, and stop drinking and everything else. She says she just feels like it is the thing to do. Can anyone say--the Spirit is helping her out? So excited to see how far she goes.

Just got back from Family Home Evening (it has been a weird day...) and we learned about angels. It was so fantastic. We talked about different angels from the scriptures and what, or who, are angels. It was so good. We not only talked about heavenly messengers, but we also talked about Satan's angels and angels on earth, among us, aka people! It was really great. Overall, our purpose is to become more like Christ and to lift the burdens of the less fortunate around us. We can be angels!! So, if anyone has read this far in this email, take the time today to be someone's angel. Ha. Remember how when we were kids we had the magic Christmas wand that we passed around at Christmas time? Maybe the whole world needs one of those, and we can do a good turn, like do the dishes for someone else, or make their bed, or help someone carry their groceries, and then leave that magical wand on their pillow. Man. That was a good Christmas tradition. I always felt good getting that wand, and I always felt good giving it. I love how those things work out.

The Lord is blessing us here like crazy! The work is going well, and we are doing our best to keep inviting other to come unto Christ. Perfect time to share this little message. I guess it isn't little, it is the most important message ever!! Mikulás comes on Friday. I hope I have been good enough to get candy in my shoes!! Bad kids get sticks... but I think since I have been a missionary this entire year, I have got to have something going for me :)

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

Monday, November 25, 2013

so, I read out of a hymnbook instead of giving a talk...

November 25, 2013

Dear family,

I am super glad everyone had so much fun in New York. I am hoping one day to go visit everyone out there :) I am also sad to inform you mom, that I won't be able to make it to the halloween party! If only I had go the invitation sooner... BIG OL' SHOUT OUT FOR THE REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!!!! It's heaven in an orange package. Plus sprees. I had totally forgotten those exist. It was super delicious, and a great pick me up.

What a great week! We really worked hard to invite all of our investigators to church this week because... we spoke! The terror. Church started 10 minutes late, unfortuntately that is a bit of the norm, and then the youngest elder who said he would take like a minute bearing his testimony ended up speaking the longest out of anyone. ha. he did really good. he has been here for like 13 weeks, and i feel like he speaks better than me in my 6th transfer. gift of tongues, some people get a little more of it :) but he did super great, and his companion did a stellar job too. Sister O did a splendid job talking about seeing others as they may become and how important that is, and with less than five minutes left, I brought up a hymn and read the words of brightly beams our father's mercy, and then testified of being grateful, read a scripture, and encouraged everyone to share their light with other people to show their gratitude to God. And, then I sat down. Crazy!!! Sister O and I had taken all of this time to prepare and we had practiced and we were all prepped.... and due to lack of time, niether of us gave the talks we had planned, but it all worked out. We had two investigators there, and there were a couple of less active people there. It was a good time at church.

We met with our investigator Ági. We are planning her baptism for December 21. She is really sweet, and really nice. She has tons of posters up of people i thought were cool in middle school because she has two girls close to my age. The one is in Buda, and so I have never met her, and the other is going to school, so I have also never met her. We have some really good times meeting with ági, and we have had a member coming to our programs, and it really has made a world of difference. Members being involved with missionary work... SO IMPORTANT!

 We are still meeting with Lilla, so everything is good with the girl from the nagy erdo. They are painting in the church this week, so we can't use the buliding at all, so we are going to her house tomorrow and i am really excited!!

Important things. Sister O and I gave a training in Szeged this week. It is a pretty long train ride, over 3 hours long, and in order to get there before the training 10, we had to wake up at 4 and then leave the apartment at 5:10 to take the villamos to get to the train station to take the train at 5:50. And then the alarm didn't go off and so we woke up naturally at 6:30. It was a nice thing, because we realized our bodies are just super accustomed to waking up at 6:30. Bad thing... because we missed our train! So, we just kind of sat in our beds a little and talked about what we should do. We called the Zone Leaders in Szeged and told them we missed our train--there was NO way we were saying we slept in--and they told us to still come down. It was the quickest we had ever gotten ready. Showered and totally ready to go in 40 minutes. We got the train at 7:50, the Hulberts picked us up at the train station in Szeged, and we got to the training only an hour and twenty minutes late--just in time to give our training! We had planned to not eat lunch there and just turn right around and come back, but with all the confusion and everything form earlier we decided to get some lunch and then we headed out. Miracle happens. We got our tickets, jump on the train, and then we start searching all of the cabins to see if by chance some other missionaries are on there that we could talk to. We ended up going all the way to the front of the train and there were no missionaries, so we took a compartment with one lady in it. Now. This is a pretty long train... and so there are lots of options of compartments. the lady we sat with was the same lady we sat with on our way to Szeged in october! WHHHAA?! So cool. We ended up talking to her until we had to transfer trains. She is a textile and carpet designer. So incredible to talk to her. We explained why we are here and we had some really good conversation. Seriuosly. Such a blessing. Oh. And we found at why the alarm didn't go off. It was set for Sometimes that is how the cookie crumbles.

Yeah, but the training was super awesome. I love working with Sister Oberhansley because she is super grounded and analytical, then there is me who is not! And so we really work together really well. I would say we compliment each other very much. Our training was fun, but still direct, and we drew a Christmas tree... overall, super successful :)

Well! Tomorrow we are going to hopefully meet with a fashion designer, and we are going to go off to Szolnok for some awesome splits, so I will be working here with Sister Peterson. Always a treat to work with old companions.

everyday is beautiful
Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

This week I found out Jesus was Hungarian.

November 12, 2013

This week we had a birthday!!! Elder Nyman finally turned the big 19. Youngest missionary in the mission here! We made them some nice Hungarian food to celebrate. It is really good to have him around. He is always so enthused about everything, and that is a really nice thing.

Transfer calls came! I am staying with Sister Oberhansley. I can hardly believe it. I thought I was for sure going... Luckily, I hadn't packed this time... just gone through papers and things to throw away... I almost did, but I luckily didn't. Today all I bought at the grocery store was a palacsinta, or crepe pan... so... I might have to go back there now that everyone knows i am staying...

Me and Nagy Misi!!  I was in Kecskemét for splits, and we met with him and
taught him a program.  It was super good, just like the old times :)
Last week we went to Kecskemét. Ah. Kecskemét. The land of my birth. I absolutely loved being there. One reason... I got to meet with Nagy Misi! He is doing super well, and it was really good to talk to him. He was baptized 11 months ago, and it was so incredible to just talk to him about his progress in the church and his relationship with God. He is the Young Men's president, and he told me all about how he just went to America a couple of months ago. It was really cool to be able to understand everything he said... He was always so good to me so I would understand. I also so the Bishop and his family, and they are all doing really well, and everything is good in Kecskemét land! I am so grateful for the sisters that are there now and that they can keep up the work in the place that I love so dearly. 

Because transfers are tomorrow, we had to get a last final picture of our district! I will just shoot through the names really quick. Back row, me, Sister Rupard, Elder Steel, Sister Steel (they are the senior couple here and are from St. George), Sister Weberg (she is from Hawaii, and we actually met in the MTC. I have always been a super big fan of hers), Sister Falslev, and Sister Oberhansley. On the couch we have Elder Squire, Elder Cutler, Elder Nyman, and Elder Gaytán. So, yeah! That has been our little distrct for the past little while. With the transfer, we are losing three missionaries and three more will come in. I am already friends with them, and luckily and Elder is coming who is a transfer older than me, so I don't have to be the néni of the group. We have district meetings on Fridays for the most part, and we normally rotate whether we have them in Debrecen of Nyíregyháza, so I am on a train at least every week. Do they have trains in America? I mean, I know they do... I have seen them. But, do people actually use them? Sounds like a good plan to me. 

Me and Sister Falslev.  We have been in the same district this past
transfer and thought we might never see each other again... just kidding.
 we are still in the same district.

Let's have a success moment. Tóth János gave a talk in church on Sunday!! He was baptized in September, and he gave a talk on the priesthood, and it was sooo good. When he first walked up he didn't have any notes, or scriptures, or anything, and I was kind of nervous. And then, he started talking about how he hadn't prepared a talk and then on Saturday two angels visited him. I got even more nervous!! But, then he talked about how they were angels from Debrecen and they gave him some church manuals and he was able to write his talk. It was a very well done talk, and we were really excited for him. He gets along so well with the branch and he is really making a big impact. He wrote me a really nice letter and when I get home I have been instructed to share it with my parents, so I will be doing that. 

Now let's have a crazy moment... We are tracting. We knock on this door. A big guy opens it. I start off, hello, my name is Sister Kennedy and we are missionaries for our church. He asks, which church? I say, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Then he just starts talking. It was crazy!! He started telling us about how it is foolish that we believe in the last days, and then he said that we aren't christian, because Jesus Christ never talked about there being the last days and that it is all an internal thing anyway. Sister Oberhansley started to lead into the fact that we are Christian and started to say that when he just opposed us. He raised his voice and told us that his church was the only true church. It has been around for 5,000 years. Then, this is what he says, Jesus was not a Jew. Jesus was Hungarian. Oh my... He continued to tell us that we needed to throw away our Book of Mormons and then he closed the door. So crazy. So CRAZY! Tracting is the coolest. That is where the best stories come to life. 

There are a lot of really, really sad people here in Hungary. A lot of broken homes, and a lot of problems. That is why I love the hope the gospel brings. Hope is an interesting word. We can say oh, we hope in things, but it can be hollow and empty. When we say, as members of the church, that we hope for things, we are really saying that we notice the brightness around us and that we are going to work to attain it. We are meeting with this guy, really cool, just called us one day and asked us for english help, and now we are teaching him. He is super quiet and it is kind of awkward everytime, but his eyes kind of light up when we talk about our church. It is cool. He doesn't fully recognize it yet, oooh, but he will! He will!!! 

I hope everyone has a happy week and that the reading in the Book of Mormon is going awesome! I will be honest in admitting I have got to play catch up a little... but I am still doing it! 

Sok szeretettel, 
Kennedy novér

I bought a rabbit...

November 4, 2013

...hat. I bought a rabbit hat! Don't send PETA on me...

We had a super awesome week. We went to Budapest and had Zone Conference. It ended up being a pretty long trip, we had a meeting on Thursday morning at 9:45, and then that afternoon from 11-4, and then that evening from 5:30-7:45. We would have had to wake up at 4 to catch our train, and then the last train that goes to Debrecen had left before our meeting even ended, so we ended up spending the night. I saw Sister Perkins a lot, and we got to talk, and that was really interesting. On Friday morning we talked to President Smith and I ended up asking him for a blessing, just so I can have that extra push, and it was a super, super cool experience. I am very grateful for President Smith and everything he has ever done for me. But... let's get into the good stuff... what happened at Zone Conference?!

Elder Teixeira came. He is the President of the European area, and he is in the quorom of the 70. Super cool. Everything he said was so incredible. He taught us more about repentance, more about personally discovering who we are, more about becoming real missionaries. It was such an incredible day. He taught us different ways to street, how we should really be praying for people, how to really determine success. I don't know. It was just good. But, there were some things that just really stood out to me. I will admit. Sometimes I think, no one in this whole world will ever understand my mission. The Hungary Budapest mission is the hardest one in the whole world. Only people that have served here could possibly understand. It is the hardest. But, during our leadership meeting, he told us about how we don't know what hard is. I was kind of surprised... and then he explained how much harder it is in Brazil. He told us, I know, you think that the white suit always hangs wet behind the door from baptisms, and they just walk out on the street and people come find them, but that is not true. He talked about how they walk everywhere and that we don't understand. They wear through 6-8 pairs of shoes, and then he just kind of started crying saying that we didn't understand what hard meant. It was a very humbling experience. I have been praying for mre humility lately... got it!

His wife also spoke to us. She was really impressive. She told us how her husband never lets her prepare, just tells her to be led by the spirit :) She got up and told us how the white handbook is really good, but a couple of times it specifically says always and a couple of times it says never, and how that is so direct and how it will help us so much. That was cool. She also told us that it took Joseph Smith 60 days to translate the Book of Mormon, and so we should all read the whole book before the end of the year. So, if anyone wants to join me in on that, I might have a bit of a jump start, but if you read like 9 or 10 pages a day you can totally get it. How cool? Yeah. Me and Sister Oberhansley just kind of moved our bookmarks back to the beginning on the train home and started over. She was in Mosiah, whereas, I was only in Jacob. It is really fun to read it together with her because we keep in the same area and we have really good discussions from it.

We met with the cute red head from the forest this week! We told her we wanted to just read from the Book of Mormon with her and work through it, and then we asked her if she would rather us read from where she is, or read our favorite parts. And then she said, why don't we just talk about your church!! Ha. She had a lot of questions and just kind of went through the different things she had heard from friends and the internet and stuff. We covered the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, and polygamy! Scary... but she still planned to meet with us tomorrow. So, that is awesome! :) She absolutely loved church. She told us she wants to come back every week. She rocks. I am so glad I met her! When we talked about the law of chastity she was like, well, i guess this means i probably need to get married before i get baptized. She put those together on her own. She rocks.

Sorry the picture is kind of blurry, but this week was the day of the dead, so we all headed off to the cemetary to take a walk around. It was really great. Most of the people we went with had someone close to them pass away and they thought it was super weird that we wanted to go and walk around the cemetary, but I have always really liked cemetaries. For me there is just something so... peaceful about them, as well as, intriguing. Don't really know how to describe it. I just like them.

sok szeretettel,
kennedy novér

They don't even have a Hungarian word for "nerd."

October 28, 2013

I hope everyone has a happy halloween! We will be having zone conference that day, so we should have a rocking time. Luckily I got all of my "dressing up" all out of me, so I won't be tempted to wear something silly in front of an area seventy. 

So, we had a little halloween party here the other night, and it was pretty great! We dressed up as nerds! But, no one really recognized what we were... they just kept saying, oh what cute school girls you are! Umm... nerd. Turns out, Hungarians have altered the German word stréber to mean nerd, so, that is interesting. Here we are!

They had bobbing for apples! It was the girst time I had ever done it. Roberta volunteered to hold my hair out of the water (see yellow arm) and she kept PUSHING MY HEAD IN! Ha. I was super unimpressed. But, it was a super fun time. I really enjoyed the party. People were saying that it was better than any party... possibly ever. Probably better than american parties! We had two nonmember families who came to the party, a lot of people from english class, and a couple of our investigators. It was so awesome. Everyone really felt good the whole time, and everyone had lots of fun. There were kids running around throwing things and there was some screaming, and it was really loud, and I didn't like it, but then one of the senior sisters said, it sounds like home, and I realized she was right! It sounds like singles wards here... always super quiet... and then you go to a home ward and it is too loud! So, I guess our goal is to bring some kids in here to make the group a little bit... louder!

This cute, super awesome family brought a cake to the party with fingers and eyeballs!  Ha.  The mom is a neuroligist, and she was dressed up as a witch telling us how she worked the night shift last night, and how that is how she got all of the things, and then she cackled.  So, so brilliant.  It really was so much fun.Oh!!  And I almost forgot.  See that jar of worms?!  I won that!  I have never been good at those guessing games, but, for the first time in my life I guessed right!!!

We went on splits this week and I was with Sister Falslev--super fun! It is always weird working with my old companions. First off--probably because they can speak Hungarian now. Second off--we don't have to do any like, chit chat to find out information about each other, instead we just know each other and just talk. So, I really liked the split. We talked about tons of different things, and had some good work. We went tracting and had a miracle. Not a huge miracle, maybe a little smaller than a regular miracle, but it was a good miracle, nevertheless.

We got into a ten story and we were just knocking it out. We had some good conversations at the door, but no one had really let us in or anything, not a big deal. We just kept going. And then we knock on this door, right? He opens the door. I tell him that we are missionaries and that we are doing a survey. He tells us that he isn't a believer, and we tell him that is not a big deal to us (I mean, all the better, right?) and then he is like, oh yeah, come on in! He starts kind of like, shuffling stuff around, tiding up a little, and then lets us in. We just asked him a couple of questions. How many books do you read a year? 5-10. Are you interested in a free english class? No. I am too busy. What is the most important thing in your life? My family. Then he told us about his little five year old girl. Do you believe in life after death? You know, I do. And you might think it is weird because I am not religious, but I really do. If you could ask any question to God, what would you ask? Well, I would have to believe in God to ask Him something. and then I didn't really know what to do... So I asked him what he thought the purpose was to our life. And he said, I don't know. It was just, so awkward. I didn't really know what to do, or what to say, so I just testified of God's plan for us, and then just threw this one out there--we normally meet with people so we can talk more about these things and how we can understand our purpose on life more. Can we come back another time? Here is the miracle-- he says yes! Not like, hmm, maybe, but yes. Can we meet tomorrow? Unfortunately n
o, but we are meeting with him on Tuesday. He told us that he had been thinking how he needs more direction in his life, and more guidance, and then we knocked on his door. I thought it was cool, and then he said, literally. As soon as I thought that, you knocked on my door. What a miracle.

We also had a musical number in church with recorders. And, that made me start thinking... maybe I want a recorder for Christmas!! I mean, I don't know how to play... but I know Matthew was pretty good at it. Didn't he play it at like... the Renaissance festival a couple of times?

Oh. In other news, the weather has been super awesome. I am not even wearing tights anymore. Hmm... people might be upset about that. Last night a lady gave us sweatshirts and socks and she made us wear them home because she was certain we were freezing. We had to take some backstreets home, because we might have looked silly! Ha...

Things are going super great with the girl from the forest. Ha. She and her boyfriend came to church, and they really liked it. He was a big fan of the music, and how simple and gorgeous everything was. They also came over to dinner at the Steel's where we carved pumpkins!! They are so great. She is so important to me, and I feel like we have a really great connection. I am so blessed to be able to teach her. We haven't gotten into the commandments yet, but she was telling us about how she wants to marry her boyfriend, so that is really exciting! I am so excited for her. I just love her!

Well. All is well here. The whole, all of my friends having kids is starting to really weird me out, but it is good that I probably find out about them before I go home, so keep that news coming, I guess.

Egyem meg a szívedet,
Kennedy novér

Sometimes missionaries need second chances too.

October 22, 2013

Well, last week started off with interviews in Budapest. It was really great talking to President Smith. Kind of weird... we talked about how I am coming to the end of my mission and we kind of started prepping for that. Talked about getting me a new temple recommend and kind of talked about what the last two months of my mission might bring. As far as the mini transfer going, SIster Oberhansley and I are still together in Debrecen, and we love it. Naturally we are super happy together. Oh. The other day I put on a skirt and she said, I think that skirt has lived it's life... Which is true. It has lived it's life. So, I am throwing it out. And some tights. And shoes. Just a heads up, I might be pulling out some money to go shopping... But, at least I warned you, right?

This was at church on Sunday. This is us and super cute Anna. She is a member here, and I love her. So, there is a picture!

The weather has been super interesting here. Right now I am wearing a shirt and a cardigan. I can't decide if the cardigan is too much. Oh well, it goes well with my outfit, so I will leave it on. We were walking to a program after tracting when we got blessed with this gorgeous sight. Unfortunately, it wasn't a double rainbow, but it was really, really pretty. The opposite sky was orange and reminded me of a creamsicle. Oh, how I love creamsicles.

 We went tracting yesterday, and that was really nice. There were a lot of older people in the building and they were really nice. We normally start our "approach" with a little survey. We ask them about what books they read, if they are interested in english class, and then if they believe in God, life after death, purpose of life, importance of family, most important thing in this life, whatever. We just ask. But yesterday, it was a different experience. We would say, hi, we are missionaries and today we are performing a survey, and then they just started talking to us before we even asked them any questions. So, that was pretty cool. One guy was just like, come in, come in. So... we did! And then this lady inside was telling us how she met with the missionaries a couple of years ago and she always loved it, but now she can't read because her eyes are bad. It was actually a very inspired and good conversation. The guy that had us come in was in the military in the 60s and he is super put together, so we are hoping that some good stuff comes from this.

My eye keeps twitching, and it is really annoying. It has been happening for an entire week now. I heard if I eat bananas it will go away. We will see.

Well, I tried to see if I told you this story, but I guess I didn't. I promise I wrote it somewhere... maybe it was my journal?

Last transfer I was with Sister Magda, and we were out walking around and streeting. We walked by this really cute, normal looking girl, and I got too scared to talk to her (when I told a member here that she rolled her eyes and said, thanks... oops!) and then I was going to go back and talk to her and it was kind of awkward, but I ended up never going back to her. But, her face was just kind of there in my head. I knew that if I ever saw her again I was going to talk to her. I promised that. And, I really hoped that I would be able to find her again. Flash forward a couple weeks. Sister Oberhansley and I are working and it is raining and we had like, a half hour or an hour to go streeting, and she said how we should go because we would be blessed, and so i said, right on, and we went out. I don't even know how it happened, but we saw this same girl and her boyfriend in the great forest (the name of the closest park... there are a lot of trees there) and I was just like, finally! walked right up to her, asked her about happiness, and then asked if we could talk more about what we believe in. Her boyfriend wasn't interested, but she was. and still is! In our first program she told us about how she had thought she should start reading the bible more, and then she met us. And then we talked to her mom and she was like, yeah, i have been looking for more in my life, and i want to get answers to my questions. so she is open to it too! Havent met with the mom yet... but they are coming to church on sunday! cooool. Oh. and the really cool girl wants to be baptized before i go home. and she is a hair cutter/doer so i might color my hair red right before i go home just to remember how everyone here colors their hair funky red. but seriously!!! such an incredible miracle. I mean, not everyone gets a second chance like that. I mean, for me to be able to have found her again is such a miracle and I am so grateful that the Lord gave me that opportunity. Eternally grateful. 

Jelzotuz Atyám kegyelme
sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

Friday, October 18, 2013


October 14, 2013

Well, let us start with an exciting look into missionary life. This video (it's the one entitled Mit Lehet Tudni a Mormonokrol?) was filmed last transfer with the assistants to the presidents in our mission. The first elder is elder andersen, and he knows the law family super well. he goes home next week. It's in Hungarian... but why not check it out?

They are building a house next to where we live... and it is totally different than they build buildings in America. They don't even really use any wood in it. We had an investigator make fun of us for building our homes with so much wood. He kept telling us how they were going to just catch on fire and burn down so fast... meh. Whatever.

Speaking of wood... The mission leader here unexpectedly went to the hospital and he had been working on cutting all of this wood. So, they asked us if we could stack it. I thought, no big deal. We visited someone, and then went with the Steels out to stack it all. We were still in our skirts and everything... and first off--he lives off a dirt path and then off another dirt path and then we literally drove through a forest, and then we went off another dirt path and found it. Mind you, none of this happened quickly... And then we got there and there was actually a HUGE pile of wood... huge. So, we talked to this old 83 year old neighbor with a cow and a wheelbarrow and I asked if I could borrow it (wheelbarrow, not the cow) he said there was some corn in it and i should just dump it out, and when i dumped it, a scythe fell out too. Like, one of those curvy blade things that they use in the restoration video. To say we were out in the boonies means nothing. I loved it though. Super hard work. It took a really long time, but I really loved it. I haven't done service like that is a really long time. Most hungarians aren't all that excited about accepting service. We later went back and talked to the cute old bácsi man, and he just talked to us about everything. We talked him about tithing and about the law of chastity and about the restoration. He was so surprised that there could still be young, virtuous girls in the world, and I felt like it was a great compliment, even though he is an old timer, it still meant a lot. He actually kind of reminded me of brother Cox. It was a very nostalgic day. Made me think of Randolph too.

Speaking of Randolph...

I went to Szeged this week to give a training and I got to get a picture with the Smith's!! It is always so fun to see them and I always really like it. We gave a training in Szeged and it was really great. I guess a couple of missionaries really liked it, and as long as it was inspiring in some sort of way, then I am good with that. We gave out little treats from America and that was really fun. Scripture chases. We also went to a zone training in Miskolc (that is a longer story about how we didn't end up giving our training because of missing a train #missionaryproblems) and I really just love meeting together as missionaries. Like, we all have this goal of moving forward and success and being everything that we should be, and that can happen. They do farewell testimonies of the missionaries that are leaving at the end of the transfer, and just the way things work out, there are five elders going home next week, and then three weeks later the transfer really ends. But, we got to hear 3 of the 5 farewell testimonies. The one that really struck me the most was in the Szeged zone training. The elder was super composed and really well spoken, and then he talked about how sometimes he calls back old areas to check up on people he taught and worked with, and it always breaks his heart when the missionary says, you know what, they're actually inactive now. He just started crying and talked about how he knows he can go home because he did the work he could do, but that we have to keep up the work and keep doing our best. He said that he knows that the missionaries in the areas he was in are doing their best and that he is glad that they can be there now to help continue in the work he started. I just really felt like it was just this, legacy. Like, am I working hard enough to honor my "fathers"? The missionaries that have come before. I mean, they had goals and dreams and success, and failure, and what am I doing to help heighten the work that they started? I really, really liked everything he said. It even made me cry! But, hey, i am a sister missionary, it is all cool :) And then in Miskolc we were reviewing goals. We have a goal to get 200 baptisms this year in our mission, and we were talking about goals for this month to push us towards that, and we talked about the faith of our fathers, the zone leaders, and people that thought we could really do this. We can't give up now!! Gotta keep going. It was actually really inspiring. Super great.

This is us yesterday after church. What a surprise when our favorite Taiwanese friend walked into the chapel door wearing a suit!! I helped him kind of tie his tie during the opening song, but yeah. It was super cool to see him show up in a suit. I mean, having investigators come to church in the first place is really cool, but when they show up looking really good in a suit, that is just... awesome! I loved it.

 Sister Oberhansley and I were talking about musicals that we had seen and she asked me which show had the best costumes. It was just, really nice, because I love fabric, and I love clothes, and I love sewing, and I love costumes, and I love theatre. Sometimes I freak out, and I am like, what am I going to do when I get home!? And I am a crazy mess, inside, naturally, and it was nice that we just kind of talked about it and I still love it. I don't want to go home and go back to school to actually be something random and totally different... so that is good :)

Yesterday we had an hour to kill, so we went out streeting. That is when we talk to people... on the street! There are a lot of people here from different countries. Most of the time we've got Africans and Middle Easterners. We stopped this really tall guy from Nigeria and started talking to him about how we are missionaries and then he was like, okay. Tell me about your church. What? Coooool. So, we went over to a bench in front of a library and we just talked about everything. He had tons of questions, and he kept apologozing when he questioned what we were talking about, but I loved it. I read somewhere recently, that our church is all about questions. You should ask questions. But you shouldn't just ask, you should also be willing to find them. That is what Joseph Smith did. So, we just invited his questions and we ended up talking for quite a long time... He sees so many churches and they all say they are true, so, how is he supposed to know which one really is true? Great question. We will be talking on Wednesday so he can understand more about that. We referred him to and gave him our names so he could look up our profiles. Hope my profile isn't super lame!

Well, the church is true. I love it.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

I may have saved a drunk man's life this week.

October 7, 2013

Me. And Sister Falslev. On a mountain. Curse those Hungarians!! They've tricked me into thinking hills are mountains!! But today we travelled out to Tokaj, a super cute wine city, and we hiked a mountain. I brought the whip and pretzels, and it was a huge success of a day. Turns out there are wild boars up there. I was making my way down and talking to an elder when all of a sudden I heard all of this snorting and moving in the bushes and something running towards me!!!! I started freaking out and then i turned and saw the bright blue shirt... funny. One of the investigators that came with us is reeeeal good at making wild boar noises. It was funny. Yeah. It really was.

Oh. And if you can tell from this picture at all... i have a new backpack! Traded it with some kid here when President Smith told me we are probably getting out of backpacks. Just found out that will be happening in January... so I actually use a purse now to carry all of my personal belongings. Can you believe it?! I know, I am super grown up.

I think the main question of the day is, what did I think about general conference? I mean, that is important, because I am a missionary. I live for conference. I will go into specific details as to satisfy all of the questions people have about these parts of the world. We watch conference live! When we can :) So, on Saturday we start off with watching the morning session at 18.00. We worked all day, and got all ready and excited for the day. Naturally. I am not sure if I had any specific questions, I just wanted to be filled with goodness, and I got me some goods. We used the satelite, but we couldn't get a constant stream, and so we had to reset it a lot and we missed a lot, but I think I liked it? Basically, the whole time, that was our biggest problem. At one time the sound in the Hungarian room went just to English, and so that was hard. I think a lot of the members and investigators were bummed about that and by Sunday evening most people had just called it quits saying that they could watch it next week on the internet. On Sunday there was a special meeting at 10:30 for the priesthood here, because János got the priesthood! So, we went to that, and it was awesome! And then we went to Relief Society at 11. That was in Hungarian. It was really nice. I like listening in Hungarian, because I can't understand it like I understand English and so I am able to listen more to the spirit and understand more what I need specifically just for me. Really nice. I like that a lot. We then had a break for sandwiches, Hungarians are really good at making open faced sanwiches (they use some little sliced sausage, and cucumbers, and hard boiled eggs on buttered bread... and I LOVE IT!) and then we watched the saturday afternoon session of conference, as it was broadcasted again at 14.00, and then we watched the sunday morning session at 18.00. It was really nice. Oh. Except the sunday morning session had TERRIBLE reception. We ended up just watching it on a computer, but the Hungarians was in and out so much, that most of the Hungarians had given up, like I already said. We ended up missing a LOT of conference. It was really too bad. I didn't see any talk start to finish until we switched to the internet. I can't wait to be able to read the talks in the Ensign... but, i am pretty sure they release the liahona to us in english only when they release it in Hungarian... so it normally takes a couple of months to get out here. So, I guess I will read it in America. So that is a little bit about how it works. We watched it in english in the Relief Society room.

Here is me, Michael, and Sister O watching it all play out.  
Definitely had a member here tell me about how they are building a new temple that is so much closer than the temple in Germany... I am pretty sure that didn't happen... That didn't happen... right? I feel like there would have been more reactions if that were true... but... I mean. What do I know? Turns out there is a LOT of stuff going on in the world and I have absolutely NO idea. Meh. What can you do?

I really loved Elder Oaks and Elder Christoffersons talks. I also loved the one by the old BYU quarterback (can anyone tell I watched conference with elders?) that was talking about exclamation points. I mean, didn't catch the whole talk... but I caught the enthusiasm. So important. This gospel isn't a passive lame thing. It is awesome! I felt like I was just at another conference when I watched it. It was only going to be as good as I let it be. I mean, if I go to zone conferences and don't want to get anything out of it... then I won't. But, I just loved it. It was soooo good. Can't get over it.

The work this week was stellar. We have two people working towards baptism right now, that is exciting. We are seeing so many blessings here in Debrecen and I feel that the Lord is really trusting us with His work. Things continue to go well with the sisters in our area--There are three companionships over our 5 zone mission, and Sister Oberhansley and I are over the East and the South East zones, with Szeged as an exception. We are going down to Szeged on Wednesday to give a training at their zone meeting, and we are really excited for that. Seriously. Just seeing so many blessings.

Welp. I almost signed off without telling you one of the most exciting stories of my week. So, it was freezing, and I was here with a Sister Rupard. We were streeting walking down the street, elders on the one side, us on the other, when we see a guy at the villamos stop (you know... one of those like, trax things that i tried to explain at mothers day. it has train tracks down the streets). The villamos travels down the middle of the street, so the stops are accessed by crosswalks and are just in the middle of the street. So, this guy is like dancing, and i thought, look at him, dancing to his own beat. But, then we realize he is completely drunk, and he is falling off the median thing and into traffic. So, Sister Rupard is fearless (and really tall. Like 5'10". Afraid of nothing) and says we have to go help him. Seriously. He was going to get hit by a car. So we went out there and she grabbed his arm while he was still kind of swaying (oh. he is a little plump guy. maybe not even as tall as i am...) and I just talk to him about everything. I asked him how old he was, to which he replied 16... but he then told me about his full time job and he had a lot of scruff, so i guess he lied. But, our goal was to just keep him distracted until he got on the villamos. But, when the villamos came he wanted us to get on first. Yikes!! We didn't have any cash, no tickets, nothing... so we like get on, get him on, and then it starts beeping that the doors were going to close and I start screaming, get off, get off, get off!!! It was really funny. We never felt threatened in the situation, and the elders were there the whole time, but it was just another moment from my mission. Oh. My mission.

I love you all! We need to be better than we were yesterday... so. What do we do?! Become like Christ. I challenge everyone to pick a Christlike attribute and really work on that this week. I also would like to remind everyone of the challenge I extended last year to read the Book of Mormon studying a specific topic before I came home. It might come sooner than I would like.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

Monday, October 7, 2013

That is all.

September 30, 2013

Don't you worry. Us Kennedys... we are professional. Found this sign in Kecskemét. Can you believe that I lived there for 6 months and only barely came across it? Fun fact about our last name. It is super for people to pronounce. They love it. I mean, I serve with Sister Oberhansley... most people give up on it :) But, they read my name tag and then just say, oh, like the President! Are you related to him? Yesterday in church an old investigator just showed up, I mean, I didn't know her, but I had heard of her, and so we were talking and she said, Oh. Kennedy. Like the president. And there is President Clinton, President Monson, President Obama... Hmm... One of these things is not like the other. We figure we will meet with her one time and we can just see what happens :)

It was really weird to be in Kecskemét, to be honest. They have the new branch house all done, but I was too scared to go inside, and luckily both of the programs we had planned there couldn't come, so I didn't have to go inside!! Save that for a later day. Pretty interesting being there though, I mean, most of my investigators have either become baptized or they have moved on. We got a lot of finding done, and we got to just walk around town, which was probably the best thing for me at that time. I think if I met with people I had known that would have been too weird. I did talk to a girl on the street, and she said her cousin had met with some elders last year, and I knew the elders, and I knew her cousin! That was neat. She said she would come to church, but I don't really know how that went down.

Being a sister training leader has been really nice. It is a LOT of travelling, and I run out of money really fast now a days (mom, if you noticed, i have probably been using my home card a lot recently...). But, it is totally worth it. We always talk to the sisters before we get there so they can have goals about what they actually want to accomplish on the split and we really just try to help them be the best they can while we are there. After, when everyone is back in their own area and settled down, we call the sisters and ask them to make goals so they can improve. It has been soooo cool. We try to call them and see what is up and help them out every so often, and they are getting a lot more let ins while tracting, and more numbers while streeting. I had a teacher in the MTC that told us specifically that Hungary needs "finders". And, we have to be effective at finding, or else we are just wandering the streets and enjoying the nice, crisp fall air.

Ooh. It has finally become fall. It is niiiiiice. I am wearing a sweater today :)

This is a picture of me, János, and Sister Oberhansley. János isn't looking at the camera, but it is okay, because that didn't affect the importance of his baptism in the least. So, let's run a brief little recap on our friend János. We will start off with the basics. he is 6'3". One of the tallest people I have ever taught. He came to english class my first week, and I didn't know anyone, and I tend to figure that everyone at english class has been there for awhile. The next week I shared a spiritual thought on the Book of Mormon and after class he came up to me and was telling me how he had one of those books. We planned to meet. He had the old translation--I have no idea how he got it still--but he had never met with the missionaries. Our first meeting was on August 18, and we just went from there. He is really deep and has been really interesting and really great to teach. He really wanted to bear his testimony in english at his baptism, and then on sunday he could bear it in hungarian. He wrote this whole paper and he spent so long translating it into english. At the end he didn't know what to say, so he said, that is all, turned around to sit down, and then he remembered and ended in Christ's name. All in all, I would say it was a success. We had a little program after and we were just talking to him and we brought up how tomorrow he gets to get the holy ghost in church. He looked at us straight faced and said, I have been baptized, I don't need to go to church. That was awkward... but I just kind of started laughing, and then after a few seconds János started laughing and then told us he wouldn't miss it, and that he is going to always stay true. I am so grateful I got to teach him. Super ready, and he is going to be a super awesome addition to our little branch here. 

God has people ready. That is what I have learned out here. 

English class has always been a great finding tool for us. We do have a structured lesson plan that we can use, but it is weird because we have it divided into 10 week programs, supposedly, and people are always coming and going within the ten weeks, so the 10 week break doesn't always happen, and then we just end up teaching them according to what we think they should be learning. I am sure it is better to have the structured program that you have with the Daily Dose program. Some missionaries really hate english class, because they didn't come on a mission to teach people english, but I like it a lot. 

Sok szeretettel, 
Kennedy novér

I'm sorry my emails are shorter, I just literally don't know what to say anymore.

September 23, 2013

Welp. It turns out that my companion and I only take pictures on P--Day. It would be a probably good idea if I started to take picture at other times in the week, so we could get ourselves some more variety, but here we are in front of the big church in Debrecen. Today I learned there used to be an older one there, but it was burned down a little while ago. Crazy stuff!!

I dont remember when this happened, but I will tell the story now. The other day I saw this super cute girl on the street. Short red hair, she is like in her 20s, and has this cool braid in the front of her hair. So, I saw her, but then I got to scared to talk to her, and I was like, if I see her again--she's mine!! And, I saw her again! We were streeting in the rain, trying to be all sorts of diligent, and then I saw her. I was so excited. And, I talked to her. And she accepted to meet. She is really cool. Ha. What do I know, we haven't even met with her yet!! But, she was really excited and totally willing to plan a time to meet. So, we are meeting on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed! It should be good. 

Speaking of things that should be good, I am going to Kecskemét this next week on splits. Actually tomorrow I go there. Oooh. Scary! I am interested to see how the work is going. Who knows, I will probably end up somewhere super random where I have never been. I will be honest, it seems unlikely to me, because I was there for half of an eternity, but who knows! I love that little place, and it will be good to go back. I worked with Sister Peterson this week, and that was really crazy. Last time I served with her, it was March, and snowy, and she didn't speak Hungarian! But, we were just streeting and tracting and talking to tons of people and she was just super involved and talking and it was so weird. She still sings just as much as we did when we served together :) I was super glad to spend the day with her.

Last week we met with an adorable girl who found the church from the Book of Mormon Musical. She is super cute, really fun, and she likes sushi, so she is a win in my book. She had met with Elders in a different city, but she moved here for school, and so we picked her up, but it was such a cool meeting with her. She knows that the Book of Mormon is true! So, we just need to find time to meet, she is just so busy with school... understandable, but a real bummer. I have been amazed with how many people I get to talk to because I have done theatre. It like, has this underlying connection or something. Really interesting, really cool!

We've got ourselves a baptism this week, so that is really exciting! I will make sure to send you all pictures next week.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

Monday, September 23, 2013

Are you a jedi or a sith?

September 16, 2013

Where to start? We will start at the very beginning, that is a very good place to start. I love being a missionary. I love missionary work, and I feel like the Lord is just blessing us in ways I could have never imagined. We went on splits this week, so that was fun. A couple of people have asked me what I do as a sister training leader, and I still don't know. Ha, but we just go with it, and it is all working out. We went to the Leadership council meeting the Friday after transfers, that used to be just the zone leader meeting, but now it is like, all the leaders. So, I went. And we got a good training about the direction President Smith wants to take with the mission and everything, and that was pretty nice. So, we got some good direction and then they told us that they want us to go and work with the sisters in our area as quick as we can.

So, Sister Oberhansley and I went out! We are over Miskolc, Nyíregyháza, Szolnok, and Kecskemét. I went to Miskolc and she stayed here. Want to know what is weird? Working in another person's area. Seriuosly. We met so many incredible people and we kept getting their phone numbers and everything. We got let in and had some good programs while tracting, and that was awesome, and then I left. That was kinda weird. Spend a whole day working really hard and then just leave it and go home. I will admit, it felt really good to get off of the train in Debrecen, but it was fun to work with Sister Montenegro. We worked on different ways you can talk to people, different things with Hungarian, and we also taught english class together. I love english class. My absolute favorite thing to do is draw someone on the board and then just dress them. The best part is, I don't have to know the Hungarian word if I draw it. I just draw it and say what it is in english and then they are like, oh! Skirt, that is szoknya. And then I agree and keep drawing. One member after the class just kept coming back to me and telling me how great it was... It was funny. And then we actually went back to Miskolc for a district conference on Sunday, and the same member found me again and told me how great my lesson was and asked me if I was going to be serving in Miskolc anytime soon. I told him probably not... and he didn't like that. Not at all. Pretty funny though.

These are all the missionaries in the cute little city I am serving in. I will go through the entire picture, from left to right. We start with Elder Nyman. He is like, the youngest missionary ever. Just graduated high school. He is like, my best friend. From American Fork. Elder Cutler. I served with him once in Buda and two transfers here. He is cool. His dream this week is to be on The Bachelorette. Then Elder Andersen. He is from Arizona... and is in the same ward as the Law family. Turns out they played volleyball together. Fun stuff! Then there is me. And then Kati, and her daughter Katika, and they aren't missionaries, but they had us all over to sing. And then Sister Oberhansley. She is my companion and we are getting along swimmingly. She speaks Hungarian like a champion so I am learning a lot from her and that is good, because I like to sound smart. And then we have Elder Brown. I have also served with him three transfers. Once in Buda and twice here. He always makes me smile. He tends to hiss at people, and thought Sister O was walking behind him, and turned around and hissed at her, only to find out that he hissed at a Hungarian. Awkward... We have district meetings every Friday and we travel a lot by train, and we have activities at the church often, so right now you are looking at my little family. I love it. Who knew these people would be some of my best friends? I had no idea.

I just, don't even know what to tell you anymore. We have two investigators working towards baptism, I mean, I guess all of our investigators are working towards baptism, one on September 28 and the other in November. So, we keep working with them and moving them towards that. We had a district conference in Miskolc on Sunday and they were both able to come and they both really liked it. One of our investigators is from Taiwan, so I spent my whole time translating, and so I can't really remember what was talked about. It was good though, and I felt really good while I was there.

I am so blessed to be serving in this mission. I mean, every mission is unique, but I feel the Hungary Budapest mission is truly unique. God loves all of His children. We testify to them everyone. On the street, in their homes, in creepy elevators, in forests, on trains. We gotta just spread the good word, you know? I learned something in Hungarian this week. ige means verb. Or, it means the Word. That is pretty cool. I mean, I liked it.

But, I think I would like to end this email with a really good inspirational picture.

"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh;...they are free to choose" So, whether you choose jedi, or sith, it is up to you. But, may the force always be with you.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér

And this time last year...

September 9, 2013

Well. We have it. I finally did it. A made it a year in the country. And, I am still alive. I know, what can I say, I am really impressive.

Sister Magda and I went to an all you can eat sushi style buffet thing. The selection wasn't the best, and we definitely regretted our decision, but this is a picture of me eating nuclear toxin. You can tell because it is so neon green...

Let's start with exciting news. Our awesome investigator, the one that had the Book of Mormon for like 15 years, and just barely started meeting with us and everything... he is getting baptized!! On the way to transfers he called and asked for the branch president's phone number, and so I naturally gave it to him. The next day we met with him. I like, walk in, shake his hand and he says, "Caroline (because some people here really are very anti last names, because they want to feel like we are friends), I am going to be baptized this month. I already asked the branch president to baptize me." WHAT?! I was like freaking out. We are walking up the stairs and I am trying to tell Sister Oberhansley about it, because we were maybe thinking about November, but I guess she didn't hear me because she asked him if he would want to be baptized in November, and he said no. September. So! He is getting baptized on September 28 and we are super excited about it. When we got to church he was helping put up the numbers for the hymns we would be singing, and he is just really cool. He is going to help the branch out SO much. What a dream. But, you know. We will just keep working with him and see what happens. He is pretty stoked about it all, so, yeah!

As far as being a sister training leader. Who knows what that is?! Ha. We are really excited to just kind of see what happens and to... do it! We are going on splits this week in Miskolc, so I will be working up there and getting to see a little bit more of Hungary. I am most excited for when i get to go to Kecskemét. Oh. Szívem. It will be super great. We were travelling a lot last week, we had a meeting in Budapest on Friday with all of the leaders, and I really liked it. It gave me a brand new insight to the workings of the mission. So that was cool. I hope that I can help the sisters in my area to really feel the spirit of missionary work and to feel happy with the work they are doing. So great.

This is me and Sister Oberhansley. IT IS UNREAL serving with her!! We like... both speak Hungarian... and we dont really worry about anything. Like, I say something and then she says something, and then I say something. I bet this is how people feel in English speaking missions. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to serve together and we will just keep on kicking it and doing missionary work. I really do like missionary work. Did a survey for the mission and I checked the box that said I have served for 15 months, I have had 4 areas, and had 10 companions (That includes the MTC. Except I didnt count it as an area, because the MTC is a world of its own). Pretty crazy.

I love my God. I love my Savior. Gotta go spread the good news.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy novér


August 26, 2013

Well, another transfer come and gone. Transfers are next week. This one was a real quicky, totalling at a grand total of five weeks. Next transfer is going to be ten weeks, and then after that we will be having nine week transfers. So crazy!! But, I go home halfway through the first legit nine week transfer, so that means I come home in a transfer and a half. Or, as it turns out, in one semester. Thinking of it as a transfer and a half makes it seem like I am coming home really soon. Thinking of it as coming home in a semester makes it feel reeeeaaallly long. Even though I am graduated, school still makes things feel like eternity :)

This week was August 20. That is the big celebration here in Hungary! We celebrate the first Christian King, the creation of the Hungary state, and lucky for me, I celebrated it in Debrecen with the flower festival!! It was pretty cool. There were all sorts of people here. We had a little table out with information about our church and with some little drinks, we gave those out in hopes that people would stop (it worked :)). We ended up having a huge group of Ukranians come up and talk to us. We were right outside the branch house, and they asked if they could use the bathroom. I couldn't believe that the parade was so long that people had a big enough break to go to the bathroom, but hey. It was cool. They had really pretty costumes, but they are from Ukraine, so only a few of them could speak Hungarian or English.

We had a hard time meeting with our regular investigators this week, but we met with that guy I told you about last week. He is really cool, but for some reason feels like he can only speak to us in English, and that is kind of hard, but it is going good. We had a big branch party in honor of the holiday, and he came out, along with a bunch of people from our english class, so we are really hoping to get them involved with us. Sister Magda and I left the party early to go get in some streeting, and when we left people were surprised and we told them how we had to go teach people and they for some reason hadn't understood, every week, when I said we came here to teach people about our church, but they understood then, and we are looking forward to meeting with some of them this week :)

This is the super gorgeous city in which i live. This is the main square. I climbed up the tallest tower in the church and got to take a little peak out. It is one of the prettiest cities I have served in :) I love Hungary. The people have gone through a lot. But, they certainly know how to build things up again and make them look good. This is the proof right? I know it is the same with us. God gives us trials, and maybe we get emotional destroyed or something, but we can only go up from there. Satan is tricky, and he really does like to make us think we can't progress, we can't move on. But, we can. It just takes some introspection. Does that word choice make sense?

Répa retek mogyoró korán reggel ritkán rétkant a rigó.
Kennedy novér

Tomorrow is like, Hungarian's 4th of July. Make sure you wear red, white, and green!

August 19, 2013

What a happy, crazy, long week.

The weather hasn't been too bad. It is definitely hot... and told I took of my backpack after tracting and I definitely had the sweat marks on my back. I can still feel it... so gross... but other than my back just being wet a disgusting looking all else is going well. We are meeting lots of interesting people, no one seems too interested in meeting us right now, so maybe I am doing something wrong, but we just keep going out everyday and trying to find those people that are ready.

So... I had the weirdest thing happen to me while we were tracting last week. Here they have 10 stories. I don't know if I have written about them before. But they are buildings... that have 10 stories. There are anywhere between three and six rooms well, typcally. At the bottom they have all the bells and the door is locked, so once you get in, it is golden, you can just knock every door as your heart delights. Sometimes when I ring in and tell the people who I am they say how they are super not interested, and then I ask them if they would still let us in, and they say, yeah, just don't come to my door. Ha. Anyway. The 10 story we were at didn't have a speaker system set up, and when I rang this doorbell the lady let me right in. We were so excited. We like smiled at each other with like open mouths and like, ran in. So exciting. I didn't exactly remember who I had rang, and then I talked to someone else before this lady, and then we went up this stairs where the lady was. But this lady, upon seeing me, grabbed me by the shoulders, turned me around, said she would never in a thousand years let me in the building again, and walked me out the building. That was super awkward. I mean, she literally grabbed my shoulders and literally turned me around the building and she literally watched us until the door locked behind us. I was still like trying to talk to her and be conversational, but it didn't turn out. Oh the life of a missionary.

We had a miracle this week. We ran to an investigator on the street. And we talked. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

But let's get down to the juicy stuff. We met with a super awesome guy from English class! I gave my spiritual thought from the Book of Mormon and he was telling me how he has one of those books. I thought that was cool, I asked him if he would be interested in meeting and he thought it would be cool. Sometimes we end up meeting with people from English class that have been meeting with missionaries off and on for years, but you never know, so I went with it. He showed up to the church, gave us a bunch of fresh veggies (I taught our class how veggies is short for vegetables and they loved that one) and he was explaining how hard missionary life is, and he wanted to help out. So, this guy understands missionaries. And then I asked him if he had met with the missionaries before, planning on asking him maybe, who he met with, how everything went. And he said he had never met with the missionaries. I have no idea how he go it, but he got the Book of Mormon when he was 20, he is now 35, and he has been looking for missionaries ever since! Maybe not, actively looking, but looking still. And, we met. He has read the whole Book of Mormon, he knows that it is true. He was asking me a question, and there was one word I didn't understand and it was the crucial word in the sentence so I couldn't understand what he was asking, and then he said, it's okay. I'll just read the Book of Mormon and find the answer. WHAT?! So cool. I invited him to be baptized and he said he was already baptized, Greek Catholic, so we are going to start right at square one and go from there. I am really excited to work with him. It has actually been a really hard week, and I feel like the Lord seriously just blessed us so much when we met with him. It is really nice.

This is a really interesting monument. It says, We believe in Hungary's resurrection. It is just built into the country side. I think Hungary is gorgeous, and I loved being able to look at the country side. It is way different up here than in the Southeast, where I have been before. Anyway. I know that God loves each of His children, and that as we loving serve each other and give of our whole hearts we will be able to feel of His love more abundantly in our lives.

Sok szeretettel, Kennedy novér

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Finally. I can whip it good.

August 12, 2013
What a crazy morning!!

Today has been like a total mix of emotions. We got permission to go out to a little farm town, Hortobágy, to get whips and just kind of check it out. I was so excited I couldn't even sleep!! I woke up at like 6:00 and couldnt fall back asleep. Turns out my life is great. We planned to get the 8:45 train and everything was great. And then, I went to the ATM, and it ATE my card!!! I was freaking out. The bank we were at didn't open until 8:30, the train left at 8:45, and so, I was kind of really flustered. I mean, the ATM ate my card! Ha, I kept calling all of these different numbers and stuff to get it all figured out, and I just kept saying, the ATM ate my card!! The first lady asked if I spoke english, and then after I explained the whole situation, she was like, this is a real estate agency... Awkward... But, in the end, I made it to Hortobágy, and I got a whip! I explained the situation to the whip master, and he gave me an awesome deal. It is kind of an older edition... but it is sweet.

Here it is, in my little hands.
It cracks really pretty, so that is nice :)
The trip was really fun, and I would even say successful. Don't worry that I have no money to my name, the apostles of old didn't even worry what clothes they needed to wear! And at least I have got clothes, so that is a nice start.

Sister Magda and I in Hortobágy.
Every area is so completely different. I have like, given up on having expectations. Ha. Obviously I work and do my best, but you just never know what is going to be around the other corner, you know? So, I just keep moving forward with faith.

I have done a lot of soul searching this transfer, and it has been really cool. Last night I was reading to Sister Magda from my journal, and that was fun. I wrote in my 4th transfer something really cool: I finally realized why I am on a mission--to teach the gospel! Ha. Turns out it was a really simple answer, but I read it last night and was like--yeah! That is why I am here. Anything else I gain through my experiences and stuff is literally from the good grace of God, and I will be eternally grateful for those things I receive, because it is hard to see the fruits (baptisms) or our labors in these here parts sometimes. And so I keep just growing and changing, and become better. So, I am not the perfect missionary, and I don't have the Book of Mormon memorized... yet... but, that is okay, because I really know who I am, and I understand more of who God is. Love that.

We went tracting this week, and we talked to a lady. She doesn't believe in God, and we just kind of asked how she finds happiness, in her family, and we asked her about the best Hungarian food, and then we asked her if she were to ask God anything what would she ask. And she had an answer almost right away. Really interesting. She wanted to know why God would let people, especially little children, suffer. And she was like, I am not talking about wicked people, i am talking about kids that are hungry and can't eat. And then she thanked us and left. So interesting. For not believing in God, she had a very good and a very real question for him, but didn't necessarily want to hear anything else from it. It was just an interesting little story.

I know that God loves us. I know that He is aware of our trials, He is aware of our fears, He knows what makes us happy, and He wants us to always be happy. Eternal happiness. Sounds incredible.

WOW!! Some lady we talked to last week just walked into the Internet place. Wow. Seriously, God loves us.

Kennedy novér

Crazy old men keep complimenting me on my eyes...

August 5, 2013

Dear family,

I now live in Debrecen. It is actually really weird... I have never been here before. The last time i had never been to a city that I was serving in was... when I started my mission in Kecskemét, so I feel kind of out in the middle of nowhere. Not a problem, just have to figure out where everything is.

Moving was really hard. We went on a different train than the Elders, so I had to like, be really nice to people to ask them to help with my luggage. They were always really quick to point out that it wasnt light, and that it was really heavy. I smiled and said, I know, that is why I asked for help!

This is me and Sister Maxfield on our way to transfers... Yikes...

Way cool that we got to ride in a car though :)

Debrecen is a beautiful city, and yeah. We have some really cool people we are meeting with, and that is great! We are teaching a Nigerian, and he is solid. And, we are also teaching him Hungarian. Turns out, I didnt realize how far I have come. I asked him to read something outloud, but he had now idea how the alphabet here even works. Oops. But, yeah. I can kind of teach people how to speak Hungarian. Not well--do not solicite this to your friends.

Sister Magda is super sweet. She is really real, and I love it. We are just working and loving life, and that is perfect for me. This transfer is short, so next transfer day is in, literally a month.

Oh! So, some missionaries do this, so I decided to do it too. It is called the D&C challenge, or count down, or something. Ha. I don't know. But basically, you read a section of D&C everyday before you go home. It is really disconcerting. I dont know if I like it... but I feel like everything I read is just for me, and that is conventient. So, if anyone wants to read with me, today we are on D&C 10. I think.

This is me and my companion.

Yep! I dont really have much to say about the work here yet, because we have just been finding. We did have a program with a really rude guy. They found him through English class, and I asked if he would be interested in meeting, and he said yeah, but he is literally only interested in English. He like, rolled his eyes all of the time at us, and it was so frustrating. So, I mean, it can only go up from here, right? Well! I love you. 

Ilyen a csíp?s élet,
Kennedy n?vér