Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy, I just finished my 8th transfer and feel like I am a bagillion years old...

July 30, 2013
Dear family,

What an exciting week!  I am so glad to hear that the reunion was a success!  At least, that is what it seemed to say in your quick little emails :)  So cool that you got to visit the Herber's and everything. I love them.  I have a picture with Lea in it and I always tell everyone about how she is our sister, and it is funny. Not like... hilarious... but just funny.

Here are some pictures from this week. This is our friend Ferenc, he is an artist, and he is the coolest.

This is me and sister maxfield outside of the new branch house.  love it.  super gorgeous:

Yesterday, we had an investigator say, I would like to be baptized and pick a date for when that can happen.  WOOOOW.  That was really cool.  I mean, totally wish that he had time today so I could be here with him... but that isn't going to happen.

Oh.  I am being transfered. I am going to Debrecen!  Coool.  President Monson talked about Debrecen in his talk, so that is kind of a cool little connection.  I am really excited to go.  I am going to be with a girl in her 2nd transfer, so I hope that we have a really good time together.  I will admit... packing is going to be really hard.  Turns out I have tooons of winter stuff.  Oh well.  I am going to need it!  You know?  December will be cold.  Speaking of weather... I think my skin is going to sweat off.

People love eating soup here.  It is like... super hot outside, we go inside, and there is a little fan, and like, 8 of us sitting around a table, eating soup.  We just drip sweat.  So gross.  So nasty.  I just try to look presentable... you know?  Ha.  We will see how that all works out.  

Oh.  Hahahaha.... Our shower is like leaking.  That really isn't funny.  But, the plumber is supposed to be coming to our apartment today to fix it and i got scared that he would turn off our water.  Luckily, I couldnt sleep at all last night, because it is really hot, and I never sleep well the night before transfers, so I figured, might as well do my laundry!  So, luckily I got all that taken care of.

We had a really awesome week here.  We have someone getting baptized, we have another one praying about a date, and we keep meeting with people on the streets!  Love it.  Everything is going super great.  We will see what the work brings to us in Debrecenland.


Sok szeretettel,

Kennedy nővér

Happy Reunion!

July 22, 2013
Dear family,

What an incredible week.  We had a lot of blessings, and a nice little trip to Szolnok!  I got to meet up with a lot of my Kecskemét  friends... and you know what was really nice?  Talking to them!!  Ha.  It was really good.  Another victory this week... I read Ether 12 in Hungarian and I was like, woah.  I understood it all.  So, that was an exciting little moment in my life.

This is me in a sunflower field.  Pretty, huh?

I had a companion and it was her dream to find a sunflower field, and I was really grateful that I found this little wonder out in the middle of nowhere.  Because, everyone knows, that is where the best sunflowers are--in the middle of nowhere.

We had a lot of great people at church this week, including a cute family we have been working with since we got here to Szeged.  So awesome!  I asked her ho w she felt when she was there, and she said, weird.  We have yet to find out if it is a good weird, or a bad weird, but we are going to work with what we have got so far... and she came to church and that is a big deal.

This week, I had the priviledge of meeting the Smiths!  I called the office and was talking to them, when they said, oh we have to take the Smiths to Szolnok, they just got here from Randolph.  WHAT?!  So... I was in Szolnok last week, and I got to meet them and talk to them and everything. It was so incredible.  I loved it.   Sister Smith was talking to people in Hungarian!!  She is so cute, and they are already doing awesome.  She was asking this little boy if they were friends.  Really simple, but she was doing it.  I love them.  I want to serve in Szolnok.  That would be the best.

Talking to them was really great.  I mean, I feel like I wasn't really able to get to know  Grandma and Grandpa, and they just kind of shared with me stories about who they were.  Everytime I talked to them, I almost burst into tears. Crying.  What a fun thing.  I brought my ukulele, and I was playing that while the Bishop from Kecskemét was on his guitar, and we were just jamming for a little bit right before we all needed to go.  I ran to their car to say goodbye and Sister Smith just started telling me about Willa and how much she loved to be involved and doing things and how it was really great to see me today.  It just made me really think about who I am.  Where I came from.  Super grateful to be a Kennedy.  We got home, and I started writing in my journal and I just cried.  I  have always wanted to live my life in a way that my family would be proud of me, and that I will be righteous enough to live in the celestial kingdom so taht I can talk to my grandparents, you know?   And, in that moment, I felt like they are proud of me, and that everything I am doing is pushing me towards that goal. It was a really precious experience, and there are alot of things I didn't say, but I think you get the general idea of what happened.  I can tell you that crying is tiring!  I was so tired the next day and my eyes were swollen.  That is the worst.

I love you all!  Everything is good.  I am super happy in Hungary and I am just... going... you know?

Oh.   This is me and Sister Maxfield taking a break and eating chocolate csigas!!  which is like a chocolate cinnamon roll basically... yeah.  We act our age.

Sok szeretettel,

Kennedy nővér

Monday, July 15, 2013

And the highlight of the week... I made soup!

July 15, 2013
Dear family,

Don't fret!  Everything is going great in Hungaryland.  Lately I have been able to have the honor of learning to make Hungarian food.  This week I made fruit soup!  This is my friends Géza.  Missionaries in Szeged absolutely ADORE Géza.  He is an awesome cook, and he loves sharing his talents with us :)  We had to use his absolute largest pot to make this fruit soup, but now I know how and now I can impress all the kiddies when I get home!Inline image 2

Super glad to hear about Rachel and her going out into the big world as a missionary.  It is the hardest and the best thing ever.  People can tell you whatever they want about it... but you just have to experience it!  Give 'em heaven.

We had all of these people we were planning on finding today.  We call them look-ups.  We street and then we try to look them up.  I feel like it is pretty self explanatory.  So!  We were walking, talking to people, when I saw some lady on the bench, and I talked to her.  Exciting.  I told her we were missionaries and then I said, we're Mormons.  And she said she had heard about us, and then she said, i have a few minutes, what do you have to say?  Boom!  I felt like I was in the MTC again.  Except now... I can actually speak the language a little more than, Tudom, ez igaz.  But I pulled out the Book or Mormon and just sat down next to her on this bench.  I testified of how it is true, and how we can get the answers to our questions from this little book.  When I told her I wanted to give it to her as a gift, she like, freaked out.  She said it was a "drága" book.  Drága means like expensive, but also dear, so I told her that is exactly what it was.  A really precious, dear book, and that is why she needed to have it.  She flipped through it to check for the price tag, and then accepted it saying that she likes to read.  I love stories like this.  I have her phone number, and we will see what happens, but just for that moment we had a really special moment, you know?

Transfers are in two weeks, so I will be letting you know about that on the last day of July.  We will see where I go and what happens!  I would guess, if I had to, that I am leaving.  But, one can never be to sure about these things.  

Last week, on Friday, I called President Smith about going to watch our investigator train.  He is this super awesome 13 year old that is a speed skater!  I fully thought we would go watch him this week--but listen to this little miracle!!  Our day had went really weird and I started making phone calls, and we ended up calling asking if we could get permission to go watch our friend train.  So, after our phone call, Sister Maxfield called his mom, and she was like, oh, I am not going next week at all, but I am going right now!  As I said, our day went weird, and so our night was open.  She picked us up, we talked about her relationship with God, we found our where she lives, it was like, so crazy!  really, not a lot happened, but then at the same time it felt like so much.  Plus it was so cool to watch him practice.  He wants to go for the Olympics.  Kind of cool.  We will see how everything plays out there :)

This is random.  I talked to a lady with radiation poisoning.  I listened to her, and she said that no one can understand what it means.  So, it was cool to testify of the Plan of Salvation and about my relationship with grandpa.  That was nice.

Little miracles.  That is where it is at!!  God can work huge miracles, because He is almighty and powerful, and such, but the fact that he works small miracles from day to day, that is where it really is at.  God loves us all so much, we just have to stay aware to it.

Sok szeretettel,
Sister Kennedy (the older one :) )

Not much to say... but I sent pictures...

                                                                           July 8, 2013

In news for this week: Sister Maxfield and I were trying to plan and everything and hadn't planned dinner, so we called in pizza.  And we decided to get the largest pizza we could.  I obviously have no sense of understanding the metric system, and we got the largest, a 60 cm, pizza. Here is one little slice :)

Well.  I am really sorry, but I dont have much time to write this week.  Please don't be upset!!

Everything is going well, as always, and I am super happy.  I see the Lord in my life, and I receive strength from Him, and I think that is what needs to be happening, you know?

This is me on the super awesome trolley car here in town.  So old school.  It is just some random summer thing, and that it pretty fun.  Pretty cool.  I feel like one of my arms looks fake... but, what can you do?  Life has just got to go on.  While riding it, I learned how to say, lean out a window, and to spit tobacco.  Apparently those were problems in the day.

This week we celebrated America.  Angolóra was great.  I read a story about what my family does on the fourth of July.  The story was really simple.  We celebrate freedom and watch fireworks.  Ha.  I guess that was the jist of that story!

I had an investigator pass away, so that was a big thing to deal with.  It is hard working with the family, but such a delight because we really love them.  I was reading Henry B. Eyring's talk, the Caregiver, and I really was like, this is so good.  We really feel and understand love when we serve.  I love this little family more than anything, and we are still working with them and still serving them and helping them in all that we can.  It is really fun.

Visited an adorable family this week!  Me and the little girl were matchy matchy!!

So much fun.  I love the mission.  Definitely the best thing ever.  I would recommend anyone go and do it... especially if they are going to the airport in like... 8 days.

Nos.  Puszilak!
Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

All in well in Szegedland.

                                                            July 1, 2013
Happy Year on the mission!  Here is my little party in Mexico.  It actually has been surprisingly cool here lately... so that is nice.  Look.  I am wearing a sweater.  But, you know, that is how life is sometimes.  I would like to thank everyone for praying for the weather to cool down... sorry that the heat just ended up coming your way.  That is too bad.  I would pray for you... but I am scared that could just send the heat right on back!!

This week has been super crazy.  Sister Maxfield wanted to go for Super Standard, so we went for it!  We had everything lined up--except for the recent converts of less actives.  I always feel like they are the hardest to find.  So, we just started looking, you know?  We called a lot of people, but after everyone rejected us, it came down to the fact that we needed to just start going up to their doors--you know--remind them of how they probably met the missionaries in the first place.  We were able to get two planned out of it, such a huge blessing, and we were able to talk to this one guy that told us--oh, i gave up that church two years ago.  What?!  We just talked to him, and it was the weirdest thing.  I felt as though he had been working, everything had been going great, but he was maybe a little wishy washy, and then he got oended, which gave him the opportunity to leave.  so interesting.  I still don't understand it completely.  He probably also doesn't understand it all completely either.

I had a really interesting coversation this week with a missionary.  We were just talking about time (super appropriate because I reached my year mark and he goes home soon), and everyone has been allotted the same amount of time, but some poeple drag their feet through the years, some people like it and stuff, but some people love it.  We just talked about actually using the time you have been allotted and loving it.  Doing everything you can to enjoy the ride, but doing everything you can to really make it your own.  A lot to think about for the next six months.  So much to live for, so I gotta do it!!

I am so jealous to hear of everyone's adventures this week.  Aunt Dorothy sent me the itinerary for the family reunion this year.  I informed her that I would, unfortunately, not be able to attend.  It looks like the brothers and rachel are just partying until the end--eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow rachel is going on a mission.  Hope that her visa and everything comes in.  I will make sure to pray for the specificly, now that I know it is a problem.  I hope everyone is playing hard, but being safe, because life is fragile, as you all know.

I am trying to think about which crazy person I should talk about this week...  We seriously talked to so many different and unique people.  It was incredible.  We met with someone, for the first time, and we invited him to get baptized.  And he said yes.  WHAT?!  So cool.  At first he said, what?  i dont understand... and then we cleared up the Hungarian, and then he totally accepted.  Really excited.  The work here is like, exploding!  We met this super cute girl on the street and told her about how we teach english, but we also want to teach people of God.  She got really excited, and thought it was so cool.  She asked if we might even be able to meet individually and talk about what we believe in.  I said yes.  She came to church on Sunday.  I gave her a Book of Mormon, and the she gave it back.  She explained that she has tests this week, and if she got that book she would just read it and woudn't study.  I mean, there are worse things in the world, but we're meeting with her after her tests and we are going to be able to just keeping sharing the good news with her.  All is well in Szegedland.

Oh.  Fourth of July is on Thursday.  That means we are teaching the National Anthem for English class!!  God bless America.  May we always live worthy of His blessings.

Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oh... what do you do in the summertime?

                                                                                                    June 24, 2013

Well, to start off with, it rained Saturday night.  I think that there is proof that God loves us!  The weather has been so warm.  I keep trying so hard to drink water, but I hate the taste of it, and it is kind of heavy to carry around in my backpack and then it just turns hot and gross anyway, so that is a super downer.  I feel like my Hungarian has gotten worse because my brain melted and it ran all over my shoes.  Not really.  My shoes are totally fine.  Anyway.  The main idea is that it rained, and it is supposed to be a lot cooler this week.  So coooool.

I also didn't take any pictures this week... so I will do better on that one.

I really like finding on Friday night, and I realized why.  I feel so much focus when I am looking for people to talk to.  You've got the teenagers, adults, families, all of these people that are enjoying their time together and are really happy with the things they have.  We talk to those people to pass the time, but what is really golden is when we find the people that are alone.  They are looking for something, you know?  It is a Friday night, and they are alone, so maybe they just go down to the river and sit by themselves, or they go to a park, or they sit on a bench on the street, but they feel alone and they are searching for something.  So, we get to go and talk to them!  This week we talked to a lady that was sitting by the river, just kind of using facebook to pass the time, so we asked her what she was doing, and then we just talked to her.  She has for sure had a rough past, she is currently in some interesting situations, and she is looking for help.  We talked to her about the Book of Mormon and how important it is to us in helping us find comfort and relief and then we gifted her a copy and left.  Called her, she isn't in town, because her life is crazy, but she said she will call us when she gets back.  It is one of those things where the day after when we look back it is kind of like, ooh.  i wonder if it really mattered.  But really being able to be there for people in the moment and share our testimonies of the truth is so awesome.  I love it.  I love finding on Friday nights.

We went tabling this week, and I was able to play the ukulele and sing and talk to some people.  There are some really interesting people we talk to.  So interesting.  I talked to this one guy that was telling me that faith is more like... chance.  He asked if he could have a piece of paper and so I ripped him out one from my planner (he later ripped out two more pieces, so that was a tragedy) and he wrote on the one and folded it up.  then he drew a circle a square and a triangle and had me pick two.  then he drew something else and put it on top of the shapes i had selected.  then i picked one more and he unfolded the paper and then had me unfold my paper, and it said that i would pick the circle, and the one that i picked, that was folded up, was a circle.  He told me that was faith.  Interesting.  Entertaining.

Well, let me tell you about my best friend in the whole world!  Turns out I haven't told you about him at all.  He was walking one day, when some Elder gave him a free English class flier.  He loves speaking English and he was having a bunch of tests and stuff, because it is the end of school, so he came.  And then, he started to meet with us.  We would do like, half hour English, half hour gospel.  And he realized how this is what was missing in his life.  And now he doesn't even want to practice English, he just wants the gospel, and he is involved with the YSA and he wore a suit to church on Sunday, and he is the most awesome person ever.  I was talking to the Elder that gave him the Angolóra flier, and he said that he just felt like he had to give that to him.  He like, even went out of his way to give it to him.  And look--this is what happened!!  So cool.  He wants to be baptized, but he is busy with his job this summer (building the scenery for the summer theatre company... coooool).  He was telling me about how he knows without a doubt that God inspired the Elder to give him that paper.  He can totally see God's hand in his life.  It is so awesome.  Ah.  I know that I am just a part of it all, but I am so grateful that I get to be even just a small part in the Lord's work.  When we tell people that we don't get paid to be here, they just like gasp at us, and then I say the only thing that we get is blessings from God.  That is way better anyways, right?

This gospel is true.  God loves all of His children.  Never say never!!
Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

To my father... and family.

                                                                                                                       June 18, 2013

DADDY!!   HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!  Sorry it is a little late... but I hope you know if I had the option of calling you, I would have been on the phone so fast!!!  I'm glad to hear how we are always here!!

It was so nice to read Joe Ann's obituary.  What a wonderful way to remember her :)

President Smith recommended I show this to my family and friends, but I don't really know what it is ... because I can't look.  But take a gander!!  I hope you really like it.

It has been a really good, crazy week.  Yesterday, I said goodbye to everyone planning on leaving at the transfer, but what a surprise when I got my call--and not only am I staying in Szeged, but I am staying with my companion.  That is really cool, and a really cool blessing.  I am so grateful that I get to stay!!  The work is going really well, and the people here need work.  There is a lot of struggles with family relationships, law of chastity, word of wisdom, all that good stuff, but it is all good.  The work is going and I love it.  Oh!  I had a lady that wanted to see my family, so I showed her the one I have, and she wanted to see more.  Could you send me family pictures?  Just through the email and I can print them off here.  Like wedding pictures, grandparents, like real family stuff?  If you send ones I don't like, I won't print them, but I love my family, so I probably would print them.  :)

We were out tracting a bit in the family houses, going up to their main gates and giving them a knock.   Here, they have like a gate around their yard, so rarely do we ever literally knock on someone's front door (unless we are in an apartment building).  They always have signs on the gate saying that the dogs bark, but I thought this one was super cute, so I am sending it to you!!  Somedays I think, wow, it would be so cool to have a dog!  When I go home, I am going to buy a dog!  And then I go tracting for a couple hours and I hear all of the barking and I change my mind.  Eh.  Who knows what I will think in six months!

So.  We are working with all different kinds of people right now.  Some  are super close to baptism  (people we met like... 2 weeks ago...) and some people are further out, but it is incredible that they are all still working for this same goal.  I feel like we keep finding people in random nooks and crannies (who knows if I spelt that right !) and it is such a blessing.  We talked to this guy who is in town for one week, and he was waiting for his friend who didn't show up, so he was sitting on a bench and we talked to him.  And, recently he has been trying to find God in his life, and then we show up.  And, I mean, he hasn't answered our calls and he goes home in a few days, but what a blessing from God that we were able to talk to him for just a little bit to testify of the truthfulness we have in our lives.  Today we talked to a lady who is really well versed in lots of different churches, really trying to find the one that is right, the one that is different, and she kept pointing out to us the differences in our church, and  how much she loved it.  Normally when we tell people that we can feel if something is right, they think it is kind of weird... but she totally loves it.  It is incredible.  I am SSSOOO grateful to stay in Szeged.

 I am so grateful for the time I have sacrificed to be a missionary.  Sacrifice means something different to everyone and the more I talk to different missionaries, the more I see that is true.  So interesting.  I don't really have much different to say about that... I just thought about it for a little.

Oh.  I met a girl from Canada here on the Rotary youth exchange program... Rotary... strikes again!!

Yeah.  I love Hungary.  Keep me here.
Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér

Highlight of the week: I gave an old man water.

                                                                                                               June 10, 2013
Dear family,
Let us start with the fun stuff!  Baptism.  We had two cities together for two baptisms!  Fun stuff.  It was held at the Seventh Day Adventist church (so, that was kind of fun and different!) and it was really cool.  I love baptisms!  True it is evidence of us fulfilling our purpose and such, but really I just love their reaction as soon as they come out of the water...  Everyone is always so different, but it is just pure joy right in that moment.  Yeah.  I didn't actually teach anyone that was baptized yesterday... but it was still super great to support our new branch members!!

So, we went to a program this week.  I pulled out the map and saw the street we were going to Petőfi Sándor sugárút and that is was in a suburban area and we would need to take a long bus ride, and we were a little bit late, so we just grabbed our stuff and bailed!!  And we got lost, and I forgot the map, and so we prayed that we could make our way to this house.  So, I talk to one lady, she's not from Szeged, next guy tells us where we need to go to find the bus.  Next lady points us exactly to the bus stop.  I ask the guy on the bus which stop will get us closest to this street, he is actually getting off at that same bus stop!  Miracles?  Oh yeah!  So we get off, and I look at the street sign.  Petőfi utca.  NOOO!!  It was the wrong street all along.  The street that we needed was only like a ten minute walk from our apartment...  But I talked to this great old bácsi for a while.  He was really funny.  No teeth.  Super hard to understand.  He just sits outside and watches a couple of cars drive by every hour and says hi to them.  He was really thirsty so I gave him my water bottle and we talked to him a little bit while we waited for the next bus.  We hurried a long way to give an old guy a drink, but it was really nice to talk with him.  This picture is us waiting at the bus stop.

Wow.  Looking back at this past week was super crazy!!  I got a fine for riding with an expired bus pass (Turns out month passes are literally only good for the month that they were purchased...), so that was exciting.  We had a program with this lady and her cute little girls--we colored the plan of salvation with chalk and then this lady told me about how I was too white--so she got some bronzer out from her house and kept spraying my arm...  She then said how brown I was and that it looked better.  I could see no difference other than the fact that my arm was so saturated with this spray... of course it was a different color.  She can't wait for me to be brown like her :)

The Lord blesses us when we do what we need to.  Countless times he has commanded us to obey the commandments... and he always promises that we will prosper in the land.  I can see the Lord help us, and the land is really prospering.  So cool.  It is hard work, it is different than I thought it would be, but it is super worth it.  I love it.  I am so glad to be here and to be a missionary!!

Yesterday I realized something, and I thought it was really cool.  As missionaries we work a lot with numbers, and it is a big goal for us to work with people not numbers.  We teach people, not lessons.  And so I was thinking about names.  And then I realized, even the names aren't important.  It is the person behind the name.  And even more than that--It's not the person behind the name, but it is who this person can really become.  I think it is so true--All of us have the opportunity to become more than ourselves, to really take our name and become something.  We also have the opportunity to hide behind our name.  It really is just up to all of us.  We do what we want.  If we have no desires to change, to become, we won't.  So... what do you want to become?

Keep on living the life!  I know that I am.
Sok szeretettel,
Kennedy nővér