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.
P.S. see you later.