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