Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yummmm... Ranch.

What a wonderful week!!

Thanks to everyone that sent me a little something on my birthday.  It was quite a treat, and super delicious.  I already ate the Poprocks AND i had ranch dressing on the potatoes i made yesterday for Sunday dinner.  YUM!
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This is me and all of my rewards.  I bought this cool shirt the other day in the touristi area in Pest, and I was actually walking the same streets that we were on when we were tourist people!  so, that was pretty crazy.  But, we had some time to look at a couple of little shops and yeah.  I would love to bring the WHOLE family back here... so let's plan that for the summer after Rachel gets home.  I probably won't have any nieces or nephews yet, so, let's all plan a good ol' fashioned trip on out here.  They also speak Hungarian in Transylvania, so we can go pretend we are vampires and hang out over there too.  Why not?  Welp.  That was random.

Thanks to everyone that remembered to send me a picture of how you celebrated my birthday!  I really liked looking at them, and I am glad people still enjoyed my birthday even though I am clear over here.

So, for English class this week, we taught all about birthdays!!  We played birthday BINGO (which they loved, no one really knew what BINGO was), and then everyone practiced English conversation about their favorite
Inline image 2 birthday, and then I made them all sing Happy Birthday to me!  Ha.  It was way funny.  The biggest surprise came at the end of class when a guy came up and asked if he could see my ear.  I thought he was going to pull out a quarter or something!  But no, he just pulled my ear!!  I guess that is one of those crazy Hungarian traditions.  They have this little thing that they say, something like, May God bless you with many years, and will your ears stretch down to your ankles.  Because if you have a lot of friends, a lot of people will pull on your ears, and then they will reach your ankles.  Weird.  But, yeah.  Only in Hungary.  This is our English class.  We are the funnest!!
Ha... all that I can think of that happened this week was my birthday!!  Ha... Umm...  Oh!  I thought of something else.

So, on Thursday, we did a concert!  mom.  I know you have been wanting to hear all about me singing in Hungary--and here's the scoop.  I did it!  I sang.  There was a college class that came in and listened to us sing and we answered there questions and talked about our church.  it was really cool.  i was surprised when they had written on the program that i was singing a solo.  ha.  what a surprise, but it went really well.  they were really interested, and they got our information about church and stuff, but we had a program so we had to leave early and unfortunately we werent able to set up with anyone on the spot, but we will just see how it goes.  That is how I feel a lot of the time.  We will just wait, and see how it goes!  ha.  Yeah.

On my birthday I pulled out the ukulele and we sang in one of the main squares in town.  We had a couple of people stop and talk to us, and they seemed to really like the simpleness of the music and everything, but then, there was a flash mob people dance, so there was like a live band and everyone doing the people dance.  like.. their native dance.  i dont really know what to call it i guess.  like... the dance that hungarians do.  ha.  there was an accordian and all these people just started dancing, and it was fun because i learned how to nép tánc a couple of transfers ago so i was like stomping my feet and wanting to dance, but then i talked to a drunk guy about English class instead.

We have been teaching this incredible AWESOME guy name Dávid.  We met with him last Wednesday... and he had already read up to Alma 40.  The first time we met with him was the week after conference.  So, I bet he is done with Helaman, or something.  i dont know, but we will see where he is today.  He always asks tons of questions and is really involved.  The hard thing is, he lives in Pest.  It takes him a half hour to walk to our branch house, but it would take him two hours for him to go to the church where he lives... so... we need to start getting everything figured out so he can start meeting with the missionaries he is supposed to.  It is really hard, especially since he lives so far away.  But, the Pest sisters are so solid, and the ward there is super cool, we just got to help him see that it is right. Too bad I am just too hilarious and awesome that he wants to stay here.

Most of the people we teach think I am pretty funny.  I was telling one of our investigators that I am going to die in the summer.  She just laughed... but I am serious.  It is already like 90 degrees here, and April hasn't even finished.  Everyone tells me it hasn't even gotten hot yet.  How dreadful.  It would be nice if you prayed for the work... but also pray that I dont die from heat exhaustion.  That would also be appreciated.  So much.

I love the work.  I love the people.  I love Hungary.  I love you (all of you)
Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

Monday, April 22, 2013

I don't know what to say!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, and family, and my friends,

Hi!  I am still working in buda, and I love it.  I had an interview with President Smith today about what is going on in my life, and I feel like I am going to be in buda for awhile.  We will see how it goes!  I hope it goes well :)  I do love it here.  These are my companions, being super obedient!  I ran to the other side when it started flashing, and they didn't make it.  made for a good photo opportunity.  The weather is perfect today, on the verge of really hot, so it just kind of starts from here.  No needs for coats any more!!
Today Sister Falslev had trainings... so we went and hiked a "mountain".  It was really fun!  This is the view of our hood.  There are no sky scrapers in Budapest, so that is kind of interesting.  Just a lot of taller buildings... but they had taller buildings in Kecskemét too.  Well.  That is how life goes!
I am so sorry I dont really have time to email today!!!  I promise i will do better next week.  Mom, dont worry about me being tired.  It is not like I cant function and we arent worried about me getting sick either :)  I am being smart, but i am just working... a lot!!

Awesome story of the week.  A cute girl got baptized!!  Her name is Noémi, and if she is reading this--hi and i love you :)  She was reading a random blog of a lady in Salt Lake, found the church, and got baptized!  The lady whose blog she found came out and was there for the baptism, and she took pictures of us to send home... so that might be happening soon.  How awesome!!  Being a good example at all times and in all things is soooo important!!  Are we always trying to be missionaries and represent Jesus Christ?  If someone asks how our weekend was, why not say, I went hiking, and got ice cream, and church was cool.  I learned about the importance of the ten commandments... done.  Missionary work.

I love you all!!
sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

It all goes back to Friday.

Dear Family,

As you can tell from my subject title, this whole email will be focusing on Friday.  Oh Friday, what a mystery.  This coming Friday, it is my birthday!  Happy birthday to me :)  What I think would be a rocking birthday present would be this:  Everyone take a picture celebrating my birthday and send it to me!  That would be soooo cool!  So, I expect pictures of cartwheels, and smiles in my mailbox next Monday.  It would be fun to see people's faces.  For my birthday I thought it would be really cool to soap box it.  Go get a box, stand in a main square, and start teaching the first lesson.  I dont know if I am brave enough... or if I have the language skills to really keep it going for that long... But, I guess we will see.

This week was good.  Lots of hard work, lots of disappointments, and lots of positive attitudes.  We have had to give six investigators to different companionships this week due to ward boundaries, so that is always kind of hard to deal with.  We just keep trying to be positive though and we try to look at it as a blessing so that we can go out and find more people to teach.  These are some of the cute girls that we had been meeting with.  They are twins, and I love them :)

I am a real fan of streeting, not the biggest fan of tracting, but I think it builds character.  Yesterday we went out tracting and I brought my ukulele, because we thought we might be able to sing some songs to people!  Hopefully we could get in and just share a song and a message.  No one let us in :(  No one l
ikes happy music!  Ha.  Everyone we talked to was really nice in rejecting us though.  I really do find it extremely interesting the different ways that people reject us.  When we were tracting a lot of people just said they didn't have time right now, so when I asked them if we could come back next week they just kind of extended the no time right now into no time... ever...  Ha.  It was actually pretty funny and we had a really good time out.  I started playing my uke while we waited for the villamos and we were able to talk to a couple of people that way, so that was nice.

Oh.  Here is a picture of me emailing in a super sketch place.  Please note Sister Larsen's constant enthusiasm.

Anyway.  My main focus on my email today is last Friday, not this coming Friday.  Tricked you all.  So, let me just fill you in on the day!  We did studies, we did weekly planning, and then we went to go teach a program.  We got there, and she didn't come.  We call this, getting dogged.  I don't know why.  I don't even know if other missionaries call it that, but we do.  And so, we went out and talked to people in a park.  We had another program scheduled at 5:00, with a backup plan of dinner, and so when we got dogged again we went home and ate.  I probably had soup.  It is getting to hot to eat soup, and I dont know what to eat anymore.  Anyway.  Then we went and taught an awesome program.  It was quite awesome.  We have only met with him three times now, and he is already finished with first and second nefi!  We had a program scheduled that evening, but she cancelled, and when we called the member that was supposed to come with us she was glad we called because she couldnt make it either!  So, our night was completely clear.  We decided to go streeting!  My favorite.

We went down to Széll Kálmán Tér, and we were talking to people and it was all good and stuff, and then we realized the only people that were really there were high school kids that are too cool for school and a lot of drunk people, so we just hoped on the villamos and went!  A villamos is like trax in Salt Lake.  So, Sister Larsen started talking to a lady on the villamos and this lady was super stoked to talk to us and really excited about everything we had to say, and when Sister Larsen asked if she could get her number the lady said, szívesen!  I don't really know how to describe the word, but she was totally willing, and even a little bit excited to give us her number.  That doesn't happen everyday.  Sister Falslev got the number.  Rock on.  So, she got off, and we just kept riding and then we decided to get off.  And then we saw another villamos was going back in so we got back on, because it was after 8 and we needed to start heading home, so we hoped on there for one stop, got off and kept walking. We would say hi to people, but no one was really interested in what we were saying.  But then, I heard like a scream of anger, and i looked and there was this girl all alone that had just thrown her purse on the ground and was really upset.  She was crying, and stuff, and she was really frustrated.  So, I went up to her!  And I asked her if I could help.  She's like a high school girl.  She just started talking using a lot of words that I dont know (I am going to guess that all of them were swear words) and then she asked if I was Hungarian.  When I said no, she kindly switched into English for me so that I could understand her swearing :)  Seriously.  I have never been filled with love more instantly in my whole life.  I don't even know this girl, but I just hugged her, and she cried so much she got mascara on my shirt, and I am not even mad!  She had a lot of problems with God not loving her, and she was screaming, literally the whole time, and I was trying to comfort her, and calm her down, and we just let her scream and rant for probably 15 or 20 minutes.  And then I pulled out the Book of Mormon.  I told her everything that it meant to me, and why it was important.  She didn't scream anymore, she wasn't crying anymore, she could feel it.  She told us that she knew God loves her.  She told us that she loves us.  She kept saying, we don't even know each other!  And, I agreed, but I was so happy to be there to help.  When I gave her the Book of Mormon, she was just so shocked.  So amazed.  She has had a serious hard life, and I know that God put us in her path so we could bless her.  We were there right in that instance so we could help her.  I know that God loves all of His children, and that truly we are never forgotten.

So, that was my miracle of the week.  I truly felt like I was an instrument in God's hands.  It was so awesome.  I absolutely loved it.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary.  I didnt understand when people said it was the hardest and the best thing ever, but yeah.  It totally is.  Ha!

I hope everyone has a happy my birthday this week, and that everyone can be missionaries at home.  Yeah.  Missionaries.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

There isn't a fire!!

Dear Family,

Daddy!!  I am so sorry I forgot to wish you a happy birthday, I totally remembered and everything, I just didn't say anything last week.  All day I kept telling my companions, today is my dad's birthday!  Such a good day.  Also, super glad to hear everyone's thoughts about the temple.  Rachel.  Congratulations.  You've got more responsibilities now, but way more blessings too!!  And Grandma, happy anniversary.  You married a classy, fantastic guy.  Luckily, the church is true, and you had the honor of having an eternal marriage with him.  Can't wait to party with grandpa in the eternities!!

What a crazy week it has been!  Sister Falslev and Sister Larsen just want to work all of the time.  I love it!  I am so tired though.  I feel like I should be able to catch a break sometime... but I am not.  Still just working and living.  I am tired all of the time, and I am sure if at any moment in the day someone told me I had to take a nap, I could fall asleep in under ten seconds.  Maybe not completely true... but it is true what they say.  Missions are hard work.  Missions make you tired.  But, it's great!  If I wasn't tired I would be nervous I wasn't working hard enough.

I feel like nothing really happened much this week, but then Sister Larsen keeps asking me about different people, and turns out a lot of stuff happened!  I will get around to our week later.

Conference was awesome!  Just like last conference, I imagined getting a text from dad saying something about how awesome it was.  I hope he still sent it out :)  We were able to watch all of the Saturday stuff, and the morning Sunday session.  We were hoping some of our young women aged investigators would come to the Young Women Session on Sunday morning, and we could watch it with them, but no one could.  I had the impression if we were to go out and work really hard during the time when they were playing it, we would find a golden.  Welp.  We came home empty handed and our backpacks were full of Book of Mormons.  Not as successful as we had hoped, but we were able to testify of the living Christ, and that is what it is all about.

I really did love conference.  It gave me a lot of things to think about.  I just want to be a better person.  Also, in our companionship we were talking about how it was all targeted about being moms!  Ha.  Not all of it... but there was some really good things to take into account for the rising future generations of the church.

So, Friday night we were over at the church.  We walk in.  Smells like marshmallows in the microwave to me!  Turns out it was burnt syrup.  Nasty.  Everyone is like scraping and cleaning it up.  We had a member to pick up before we went out to teach at this investigator's house.  We walk outside.  Who pulls up?  The firemen!!  Ha.  It was so funny.  People started shouting English at them--There isn't a fire!!  Right.  Because they understand fluent English.  It was seriously funny.  The next morning we were studying, when what should appear?  Another fire truck!  I thought it was the funniest thing, so I peep out my window and see the firemen start running into our building!!  I got so scared, and we were standing in the middle of the room, holding our breath!  I didn't dare move.  I don't know why, but it really scared me.  They didn't come into our apartment though.  I had a Hungarian explain to me how fire alarms work... and it was kind of hard to understand it all... but mostly if the fire alarm goes off they have the firemen check it in case the people can't afford to call the fire department.  That could be completely wrong. Who knows?!

Thursday we were waiting for a program.  Really cool lady we met a couple of weeks back--the email right before transfers.  We were waiting for her, when suddenly, in walks this really cool guy!  He's like our age, and he just wanted to know what we believe in.  Speaks awesome American English, turns out he went to a Christian school taught by Americans, and he just wants to know about our church and what we believe in.  Woah.  So cool.  So, we talked with him, we ended up meeting with him the next day and it was awesome.  We will see how teaching him goes and where we end up!  Who knows?  I don't!

Our big push in the companionship this week has been to find.  We need to find people to teach.  We need to meet with people that need a change in their lives.  We need to offer something that will let them become whole in Christ.  So, we are stopping everyone, walking down the street.  Lots of people say no.  We love hearing rejections, because when they reject us flat out when can have more time to find the people that are ready!  Stop this guy, not interested, okay.  Next guy, not really sure, but why not--here's my number, next girl, not interested.  We've got tons of ups and downs.  So, we are walking down this street and we stop this girl.  We tell her we want to talk about how we can find more happiness in our lives.  She says words I have never heard on my mission--Sure, I've got two minutes.  What?!  So, I pulled out the Book of Mormon and said it was hers.  I testified of the truthfulness of it and then I started going through the pictures with her, and what it means to me.  I opened up to Christ's picture and testified of this book bringing us happiness through Christ.  She just started crying, and then she said she had to go right then, and she left.  I was testifying with power, and I could literally feel the Spirit coming off of my tongue.  We tried to follow after her, but she disappeared.  Woah.  It was incredible.

The Lord blesses us every single day, we just have to find it.
Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Today is April Fools. The only joke is that no stores are open.

Dear family,

Happy Easter!!  Hungarians celebrate holidays for a long time... so today is still Easter.  Something we hadn't really planned on... so all the groceries stores are closed... and yeah... so we are hoping to find some random corner shop that is open.  That would be cool.

Want to know what isn't cool?  When you tell me about all of these crazy changes going on at the house and no pictures are sent.  Something as monsterous as all of our bushes being ripped out of our front yard is a huge deal... I have literally no way to comprehend what our house even looks like.  My mind has been blown...  Rachel's right though.  No more kissing on the front porch.  Everyone will be able to see.

What a week!!  What a change!!  I am so happy.  I love it.  Seriously.  We are so happy together and this is just week one!  I am trying to introduce both of them to lots of Hungarian eats, and so that has been fun.   Oh no.  I had an awful dream where I gained so much weight that when I was wearing my biggest skirt it was still too small.  It was awful.  The skirt is big and has an elastic waistband.  I wear it where I used to wear my pants.  It was an awful dream.  Awful.  Anyway... Here we are!! 

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I am serving with Sister Larsen, from Gilbert, Arizona.  She is in her second transfer.  Before this she served in Kecskemét.  She graduated in something like exercise science before she came out here--that's a blessing after my crzy drm--and she is really a go getter.  Doing GREAT with the language and isn't afraid of anything.  Then we've got Sister Falslev!  I barely figured out how to say her name.  Ha.  She is from South Weber, Utah.  She got her call in August, so she is 21.  There were a couple in her group that we 19 and 20, but we got ourselves one of the "old" ones.  She studied to be an elementary school teacher, and she is also a go getter!  These two just want to find people all of the time.  I love it.  We had seven programs not show up in two days... so we got to turn lots of teaching time into finding time, and the best part is that they were totally willing to just go and do it.  We have taken up a new favorite finding technique that we call Metroing.  What that means is that we go into the Metro, like a subway, and we talk to people waiting for the the metro.  Once they get on, we move the other platform and talk to people there.  I don't know if it is or isn't allowed, so when the cops show up we get on the metro and go to the next stop and talk to people there for a little while until we feel like we need to ride back.  It is pretty funny, but good work.  

Yesterday we wanted to go tracting.  We were going to get into an apartment building and go crazy knocking it out!  But, no one would answer the buzzer at the front door, and when they did they just got mad that I was bothering them on Easter, so we gave up and started walking around.  Seriously, I have never felt more lead by the Spirit in my life.  We turned around.  First person we talk to on the corner--from California, started building a relationship with God last summer, would be interested in what we have to teach.  Cool.  Go to Széll Kálmán Tér.  Try talking to people, doesn't feel right, oh and it is freezing, so we decide to go Metroing.  We go down, police are at the first station, so we ride to the next one.  Talk to a couple people, feels awful.  There is a big picture of Buda on the wall and I tell Sister Larsen to pick where we should go next.  As we are standing there talking, Sister Falslev just starts saying hi to people.  One lady got confused that she said hi, because she thought they were supposed to have known each other (I say it is a premortal existense friendship), and then we start talking to her.  Big family, already religious, but wouldn't mind learning more.  Cool!  Ride back to Széll Kálmán tér with her.    We get off. Have absolutely no idea what we are doing, so we decide to pray.  We went around and said what we felt.  Sister Larsen and I didn't have anything to go off of... but Sister Falslev wanted to go back to the white building we had walked by when we first went tracting.  We head up there.  I hit the last name on the buzzer.  I ask her if she will let us in.  She says she will, but she doesn't want us to come to her door.  Awesome!  So we go in.  Knock all of the doors.  Absolutely nothing came from it.  Went on the street.  Talked to two guys from England.  Sister Falslev had a long day, church on the first Sunday is hard, and she said when they started speaking British English she was just like, I can't even speak English anymore!!  Ha.  They had really thick accents, but they were really cool.  Not interested in learning more though... at least they were honest!  And all of these "little" moments led to the point where we started to go home and we met Zsuzsa and her son.  We just said hi to them, and asked how they find happiness in their lives.  Her son is our age, he talked about music and stuff, and he seemed really cool, but Zsuzsa gave him the keys and he went home.  Then Zsuzsa and I just talked.  It was seriously, so good.  She shared her feelings, her hopes, her fears.  She is incredible.  We gave her a Book of Mormon, and I am going to be giving her a phone call tomorrow.  She doesn't want me to call today, because it is a holiday.  It is so incredible.  The Lord lead us to the places we went just so we could have that seven second opportunity to say hi, and then he gave us the next few minutes to openly discuss what we believe.

God loves us.  I have always known that.  I have always been so sure of it, but it is in those beautiful instances when it truly becomes glorious.  He is greater than we are, but He is still mindful of everysingle one of us.  So, in Alma 26:37 it says, "látjuk, hogy, Isten minden népre gondol, bármely földön legyenek is; igen, megszámlálja az ő népét"  That is the part that I like the most.  It says that, We should see that God thinks about every people, seriously, like everyone, and that God counts His people.  He really does care so much about us.  He wants us to be happy.  He wants us to do what's right.  He wants us to find Him.  I love it.  So.  That is why I am here.  Gotta help people find out more!  I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the opportunity I have to help people learn more about Him.  I started the Book of Mormon again, from the first page.  I loved it.  The Book of Mormon.  Another testament of Jesus Christ.  I already know what the book is going to be about!  Jesus Christ.  Must be a good read.

This is us in front of the church.  We moved.  We literally live right across the street.  Fine.  Across the street and over to the left.  But, it is really nice, and I can write notes on my windows for the people in the mission office :)

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Welp, daylight savings was yesterday, and I am more exhausted than ever! Feel free to pray for me :)

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér