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