Thursday, September 6, 2012

Amy and Aldens Reunion - old pictures

Getting the Blog updated!!! Thought you all would love to see these oldies but goodies! Amy and Alden reunited in the mission field.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Autumn - hungary- 2 more weeks, no big deal


Hello Everyone!!!
Well, this is one of the last times you will hear from me, from the beautiful land of Hungary. Only two more emails after this!! Hope you have enjoyed the weekly episodes of Sister Papritz's mission! This week's episode is yet again filled with... MIRACLES!!! So weird, never thought I would see this many miracles...but oh man, they are everywhere.

from last weeks Bridge festival
Well this week Evelin, our golden child.. she showed up to our appointment, walked in and burst into tears and said "I just broke up with my boyfriend ten minutes ago."... uh what?! we were shocked, they had been together since she was 13.. now she is 20. She has been with him for years and years. But she has been realizing that he has not been treating her the way she deserves, not respecting her...and she said "he was one of the biggest obstacles, if not THE BIGGEST obstacle to baptism. So I knew it would end." yet again..... we havent been talking to her about this stuff, she just KNEW he was an obstacle to baptism. She said that she has been living by all of the standards since we have been meeting. It really is such a miracle. It was a really hard time for her, but I know she is so prepared for all of this. The changes in her life will be hard.. but SO worth it.
In pursuit of our 6x6 goal we were stuck in another position where our new investigators cancelled so we were stuck at the end of the week srambling for someone new. It was a crazy week because we were so busy we didnt get a Pday! We were able to shoot off emails, but no pday. So we were kind of just exhausted at the end of the week. But there we were again, needing a new investigator. So off we went tracting again. Saturday was a fine day of tracting but no new investigator. Then sunday came. It was fast sunday, so we were not feeling so great..a little starved you could say. The sun was beating down and we had several hours set aside to tract, but were really hoping to find someone quickly so we could do something other than be finding in the sun for hours. But we were prepared to battle it out till the bitter end. So we started knocking doors. The first one, no interest.. second one...nadda. Third one..BINGO! CHA CHING! There was this older man, who opened the door. Was kind of skeptical, but intrigued by the book of mormon. He was about 70 years old. But a really bright and sharp seventy years old. He was telling us about how his wife, son, granddaughter and younger brother had all died. He asked us, with all of the wisdom and skepticism that comes from a 70 year old, if there was ANYTHING he could possibly learn from us that he didnt already know. We said "yes, actually there is a lot." He said "I find that hard to believe, you are young girls, I am an old man. You really think that?" He stared us down, as if he was analyzing whether or not we were lying to him. Then he got this smirk on his face and said "hmm...ok, we'll try this." haha..so we set up an appointment and asked if we could step in and say a prayer. He said sure and then was amazed at how we prayed and kept saying "This is all so interesting, Im so curious about this book of yours." It was as if we had just stepped out of some whirl wind, and turned this old guys world upside down. Here were two girls that could teach him something new about life! So that was our new investigator story of the week. Best part...we didnt have to tract till the "last door" for hours and hours! God loved us enough to let us find him on our 3rd door so we could get the rest of our work done. hallelujah.

beautiful sunset near my house
This week I'm excited because I get to go to Budapest!!! We get to switch our Pdays so that I can do some last minute shopping in the city! I'm so excited to be back in my city. Oh I love Budapest so much. AND its great because we get to go to the Big Opera House in Budapest for a performance of Madam Butterfly because one of my old investigators, the opera singer that got baptized, is performing in it!! yay!!! So i get to see him perform in the big beautiful Opera House in Budapest...and then shop. Oh man. It will be dreamy.

us waterpainting on PDAY (some of us more excited than others. haha.)
the view we were supposed to be painting
So..Reason number 5 i'm on a mission: To be humbled by the language. It is an interesting thing, I have learned a lot about myself through my mission. One thing I realized is that I have never pursued anything that I wasnt naturally talented in. I never sang because I wasnt that good, never danced cause I have no moves, didnt pursue art because I'm not super artsy. So I never did things that I didnt naturally excel at. Well, one of the things I have NEVER excelled at is grammar, spelling and anything involving the analysis of the english language. (as evidenced by I'm sure the many spelling and grammatical mistakes in this letter) Well, along with that I NEVER EVER learned a foreign language before my mission. I never even studied spanish, I somehow was able to fly under the radar and never studied it and graduated from college without it. I even prided myself in the fact I never had to learn a language, and frankly I never wanted to. I knew I wasnt naturally good at it, because it involved learning grammar and sentence structure, both things I really am awful at. To this day still couldnt tell you how to break down a sentence, or what an adverb is. No clue. So when I opened my mission call and there it said "You will be preaching the gospel in the Hungarian language" .. uh.... well, talk about shocked. There went all of my comfort zone. I was able to avoid languages my entire life and now I was being thrown into what some say is the hardest language in the world to learn, for an english speaker. The grammar is intense, the sentence and word structure complex. The grammar is so intricate, its like a giant puzzle. Needless to say, starting to learn it I was overwhelmed. I didnt even know how to learn ANY LANGUAGE, much less this crazy complicated one. So, I was humbled very quickly and placed in the very situation I had avoided my whole life..... trying to excel at something I am not naturally good at. It humbled me deeply, because I could not rely on my natural talent, I had to work. I still remember getting into the country for the first time and just being overwhelmed and felt so inadequatly prepared. I had no clue what anyone was saying and 2 year olds spoke better hungarian than me. But the amazing thing was, I was promised in several different ways that the language would come. 1. Before my mission I was in a meeting with Elder Scott in the salt lake temple, he said (he was speaking to temple workers, but this moment was meant just for me) "if there is anyone in attendance that is in need of the gift of tongues, I grant that unto you" 2. My patriarchal blessing talks about me teaching the gospel "clearly and intelligently" 3. I had a dream in the MTC that I would be able to convey exactly what I needed to even if all I could say was "I know this is true." So with these three promises I knew it would all be ok. But I still struggled and struggled. I know my senior companions must have been so sick of me complaining about how inadequate I was at the language, but I kept working at it. But the great thing was, each transfer the language came stronger and stronger. I felt a noticeable boost in the language. Then I had a big turning point on my mission, I was with a companion that just straight up told me "If you trusted in yourself and spoke more confidently you would be speaking better. You speak better than you give yourself credit for. Stop doubting yourself." It slapped me across the face because I realized I was holding MYSELF back from progressing. From then on I tried to speak more confidently, and good thing because the next transfer I went trainer. Then from that point on I have had no trouble expressing myself in the language. It was amazing to see that Heavenly Father let me struggle in the language just long enough, and then just opened the gates of understanding and speaking. I have loved speaking the language ever since. I have learned so much from being humbled by this language and seeing the miracle of the gift of tongues. It is real and now I speak Hungarian!!




Well that was a long one. Allright. See you all in 2 weeks. haha. wow. that is nothing. Love you all!!

Sok szeretettel 
Papritz nővér

Monday, May 28, 2012

Autumn - Hungary- 3 weeks!


Sziasztok!! 

I will forgoe the lamentation about how much time I have left, lets just say... it ain't much. My mission President is also going home the same time as me, so he has been doing his rounds around the mission saying goodbye to the members and branches. He was here in Szeged on sunday and It was weird because I realized "oh, if he is saying goodbye, then....that means, I am going to be saying goodbye to these people too..." Needless to say, not looking forward to that. I dont think a lot of people know I'm even going home, I havent really been telling people. So, these next couple of weeks are going to be a lot of goodbyes. I just hope I get to come back really soon. 

Since I am dying and obviously I want to go out working hard. Sister Kramer and I set a cool goal for my final transfer, We call it the "6x6". So there are 6 weeks in a transfer. During those six weeks we plan on doing 6 days of SYL everyweek (speak your language..  only talk Hungarian outside of the apartment) and achieve mission Standard (or super standard) 6 weeks in a row. So 6 SYLs x 6 standards. The 6x6. (the mission standard is a set of number goals that the mission has set as a higher standard  for the amount of lessons to teach and people to find, book of mormons to give away etc). So far we are 3 for 3. We have 3 more weeks to go, and we are going to totally rock it. The greatest part about this goal is that we are seeing miracles from it. like crazy stuff. For example, this week started off and we had absolutely NO new investigators planned. We had NOBODY slated as a new investigator. So we were kind of nervous because the mission standard calls for 2 new investigato4rs, in order to achieve "standard" So we knew we needed 2,but had absolutely nobody planned. So that meant we were going to have to do a lot of tracting to find new people. 
Well in the middle of the week we realized we had met and taught our neighbor a lesson before but never set up for another lesson, so we went back over to her house set another appointment and phew.... that counted as a new investigator. So 1 down. Well then the rest of the week we proceeded to tract, a lot. For hours. We faced the WORST rejection I have EVER had on the mission. EVER. Slamming doors like you wouldnt believe. Door after door slammed, cursing, people yelling "Did you really THINK that I wanted to talk to you" and "I DO NOT LIKE THE BOOK OF MORMON!" **SLAMING OF DOOR**. So yeah, getting kind of nervous to not find someone new. 
While tracting in order for it to be a new investigator you have to 1. get them to actually open the door 2. they have to let you into their apartment 3. you have to have a lesson with them and end with a prayer 4. you have to schedule another appointment with them to meet. So its way more than just getting them to open the door, they have to actually be interested and willing to listen and invite you in. So it wasnt looking so good. We had a lot of temptations to stop several times, we were tired, we were hungry, the big Bridge Festival was going on downtown with lots of souvenier shops set up and we wanted to shop REALLY BAD. haha. 
BUT we endured...so friday and saturday no luck. Sunday was our last hope. BUT we only had 30 minutes to tract because of other appointments. So we set off with the impossible task of finding a new investigator in 30 minutes of tracting. We started in a building and faced the same rejection we had all week. We had one lady open her door and take a book of mormon, but didnt invite us in. So the 30 minutes had lapsed, we had to run to our next appointment. It stunk because we knew that we had lost standard and that the 6x6 was over on only the 3rd week because we couldnt find the 1 new investigator. But we had 1 more door left, the LAST DOOR (dun...dun..dunnnnnnn....yes, this is a LAST DOOR story) We decided we would knock it so that we could say we had finished the entire floor of the apartment building we were on. So we knocked and this sweet woman came to the door that was doing her dishes, her hands were all soapy and we started talking about the Book of Mormon. She was intrigued, she asked us a lot of questions, called us cute little girls, and was a religious woman that had been wondering about the Mormons. She accepted the Book of Mormon gladly, we set up another appointment with her to return, then we asked if we could end with a prayer. She said "really? you want to? of course... COME IN!!" We were getting LET IN!!! WOO HOOOO!!! She invited us in, introduced us to her husband. She was a mother of 4 girls, 9 grandchildren (but she was a super young looking grandma) We shared a message about families and asked to prayer, and she LOVED IT! She was super excited to have us back the next week. BOOM! MIRACLE!!! The last door, after SOOO much rejection. We got let in, and that made it all possible. The 6x6 is still going strong on account of miracles. We basically closed the door politely behind us and then sister kramer and I ran to our next appointment screaming in amazement at what had just happened. oh man, it was priceless. 

So things are still going wonderfully for us. The work is going great. I'm ending strong. So for this week reason number 4 I am on a mission: GRATITUDE!! Wowzers am I grateful for EVERYTHING in my life now. Life is soooo different in a post-communist country. Let me say first off... this is not everyone. But a majority. People are unemployeed, down on life, have no money, no dental care, no car, no laptops, iphones, Macbooks. nobody has anything of any value or luxury. These people are living poor. (not EVERYONE, but the large large majority). I was talking with one of the single adults about incomces here. I was sharing how much I made in america, just as a nurse, and his jaw just dropped. He said "Sister Papritz, do you realize you make almost as much as the Prime Minister of Hungary?!" ... uh.. no I didnt. The average person here makes 100,000 forint a month. Which is rougly $650 A MONTH. To support a family. They live off of that. I make about 750,000 forint a month. I make 7 times what the average person makes in this country. The prime minister makes about 1,000,000 forint a month. I only make 200,000 less forint, or about $1000 less a month than the prime minister. I make more than doctors do here in this country and I'M JUST A NURSE. We calculated how much my dad makes in a year, and in just a year of work he makes more than people make in a lifetime here in Hungary. A LIFETIME!  It really blows my mind. Talk about being humbled. I do not deserve my blessings. I do not deserve to be so lucky. There are so many single moms, working single moms struggling to provide for their kids. Their are so many people that are the only member of the church in their family and everyone opposes their involvement. Their are so many people that can't afford dental care, so their teeth just rot. 6 year olds walking around with brown rotting teeth because they not only dont care for their teeth, but can't even afford to fix them if they wanted to. I can't even get started on how grateful I am for my family. They surpass all the blessings I could ever imagine to deserve, and we live in America. Truly, I am so blessed. So gratitude and perspective have been a HUGE thing I have gained on my mission. 

also Today for language study we went to a shadow puppet show at the local puppet theater. It was AWESOME!!! Highly recommend Hungarian puppet shows if anyone is ever in these parts. It was sooo cool. Sister Kramer and I were the only adults in a theater full of 6 year old children on field trips. It was hilarious. All of the kids kept yelling "jaj de szép!" everytime the scene changed. (ohh...pretty!) It was hilarious. 

Well. If anyone has any good dying advice for a dying missionary, send them my way. My days are numbered. I can see the light..and I'm trying not to go towards it. 

I love you all. 

sok szeretettel

Papritz nővér

Monday, May 14, 2012

Autumn - Hungary- HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!


Sziasztok! 

Wow what a wonderful day it was yesterday to see my family through the beauty of technology! It was sooooo fun to see my brother Austin fresh home from his mission, he was so manly and grown up. I can't wait to go hang out with him. Then my amazing sister Amy was there and she is still just the same old incredible Amy like always. I wish I could be half as amazing as she is. Then my wonderful Alaina and Abby put on a little piano recital and a bird call identifying talent display, they also danced a lot. Then talking to my parents just made me realize how blessed, truly blessed I am to have the parents I have that have sacrificed so much..and just succeeded so much in parenting 6 amazing kids. (not to toot our own horns, but I dont think we turned out half bad..) golly... I love my family. (missed you Aldie ) Of course, the running theme was "oh yeah when you're home.... etc" "38 days!" "hey, you'll be home soon" "come home!" ..etc. yup.... so, yup. I am. Home is around the corner, surprise! Still kind of blowing my mind..but that will be me home sitting on that couch laughing with all of them in no time at all. So glad I still have 37 days to ROCK THIS PLACE!!!! Gonna go out on such a high note. It is going to be an epic cast off into my unknown future. 

Well I was able to tell my family about some investigators yesterday, but realized I have been a little keves on the details in my emails.There are SO MANY miracles here.  So for the last 2 weeks we have been meeting with a new miracle girl. Well, her name is Evelin. She is 20 years old and such a fire ball. She was found by sister Kramer while we were doing our "talk to 300 people" extravaganza. She stopped her on the street and had her fill out a survey. We called her later, set up. Met up with her twice and ever since then she has been absolutely HOOKED! We have literally only taught her about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel... no laws, no commandments nothing. Well she has been hanging out with a lot of the members in her free time, she has been to every Young Single Adult activity since she started meeting and they have been teaching her about all of the commandments, much to our surprise. Last week she told us "I have been thinking a lot about all of this. I think I might have trouble keeping all of these rules, I'm not so sure about all of those. BUT Im not baptized, but I always wanted to be and all of the sudden I feel like now is the time in my life to get baptized. So I already told my Catholic grandma that I am probably going to be Mormon and she was fine with it!" ...... uh WHAT?! we have never even mentioned Baptism...other then in passing. She just figured that all out on her own. Then yesterday at church (p.s. she even comes to church... MIRACLE!) she told us "So I was talking to Laci (one of the members) and he said I should probably start setting small goals to work towards, because I can't make big changes in my life right now and GUESS WHAT! I have started drinking less coffee!!! I am ADDICTED TO COFFEE, sometimes I drink 5 cups a day, but NOW there are some days I dont drink any!" uhhhhhhhh.....WHAT?!?! How did we get SOOO lucky to find this girl. Again, never have EVER mentioned the word of wisdom or ANY commandments to her. She just naturally stopped drinking alcohol 3 weeks ago, decided she didnt like it. Started drinking less coffee, is wanting to break up with her boyfriend of 6 years because she is realizing she is finally finding her place in life and it never was with him. etc etc. So basically one of the most prepared people I have ever met here on my mission. That girl is so awesome and its great because all became instant best friends with her. Its so perfect. I am so blessed 

So that is an exciting part of my life right now. I wanted to continue that list that I started a while ago, about reasons I am on a mission. So reason number 1 (in no particular numerical order) was Zsofi Katona, my wonderful Zsofi. Well reason number 2, of reasons I am on a mission... is..... my companions. 

My companions. Where do I even start with them. Gosh, I love them all so much. Makes me get all chocked up typing this, because they have made my mission the incredible experience that it is. I can't imagine my mission without a single one of them. They have all influenced me so much and just made this all so worth it. It started off with my incredible trainer and then the eternal best friends just kept pouring in. I am so blessed. I can't even imagine that I have contributed a 10th to their life, of what they have done for mine. I have never laughed so hard as I have on my mission, I have never had more soul searching conversations as I have on the mission. Companionship studies that blew my mind, so revaltory.. might as well have been in the temple they were so awesome. I have truly come to know myself more through my companions than anything else on the mission. They mean the world to me. I loved raising all of my mission children on my mission. My own misson mother set an incredible example and legacy that I was able to pass on. I partied really hard on my mission, and worked my guts out too, always with a best freind by myside... and lots of Beyonce (shout out!). Everyone knows I am a super SUPER independent woman and lived by myself before the mission. So I can't say I was excited to be sharing EVERY SECOND of EVERYDAY with someone else. When I turned in my mission papers I couldnt believe I had just agreed to be followed around by someone for the next 18 months. Luckily, Heavenly Father loves me a heck of a lot..because I was given the best companions on the face of this planet and everysecond it just got better and better. I am so excited to go home and see them and can't wait for the others to follow behind me soon. I love you guys so much. So thats big reason number 2, my companions. I would have served my entire mission just for this reason, these eternal relationships are some of the most important in my life.

Also in honor of Mother's Day. I just watched this clip. It is incredible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LQ80TFOGvw&feature=g-all-u
I am so proud and blessed to say that I have a father that truly loves my mother. He is the best example of this and it really has made the biggest difference in my life. I have a testimony of this video, because I have seen this in my life every single day. My parents love each other, and my father really does honor her and love her and that makes me want to be like my mom, because I know she is special because my dad treats her and loves her as the incredible woman she is. So, it might seem a little backwards. But on this mothers day I want to say, thank you dad for loving my mom. It means everything to me, to see that kind of love in my life and to have a mom that can truly live her divine role to the fullest in raising us and loving us and setting an incredible example for us. I love you both.

Well thats my week ya'll. I am still loving it. Going to end big. I love you all. 

Szeretlek! (or "shake a leg" as my dad thought I was saying on skype yesterday... hungarian really does sound like gibberish)

sister papritz.

p.s. everyone go read the new FOR STENGTH OF YOUTH!! That thing is soooo inspired. I love it so much. The section on Agency and Family, and Hard work... oh my word. I love it all. Everyone go read it, then LIVE IT!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Autumn - Hungary - BIG SURPRISE!!!! AHHHH!!!!

Hello everyone across the ocean..... 


Well... so this week I had a fun little surprise, ehh.... well that is a dramatic understatement. More like the biggest surprise of my eternity. Katelyn just... uh.... decided to surprise me yesterday. yup.... just decided to pay me a little visit in HUNGARY... IN PERSON...LIVE. (for those that dont know....Katelyn is my soul sister best friend. we have been in daily contact with each other since we were 15 year old beehives, minus our missions..and she married a missionary that served here... which is PERFECT for me) 

So the story goes like this:

I had heard some slight rumor that they would be coming. But had no clue when, where, how.. or if the rumor was even true. I completely dismissed the rumor because I thought FOR SURE they would let me know. Im a missionary for heaven sakes... you cant just go around surprising missionaries. We have busy schedules. So I basically forgot about it, or figured it was way far in the future because I knew that I would be told about it... or would be able to sense the surprise coming. But no.... didnt sense it at all. I figured because Kyle was a Hungarian tutor for the Senior Couple serving here in Szeged that somehow they wouldbe involved in this. So I figured, well Im sure they would let me know. Well I heard nothing. So I proceeded to just live my litlte missionary life, figuring well someone would clue me in soon. Well nope.... everyone has been keeping this a secret for a long long time apparently. 

So on sunday we took a 2.5 hour bus ride to my old stomping grounds in Duna for a area conference. I got off the bus and proceeded to go mingle with all of the missionaries I had been excited to see, and talk with members... etc. Well then randomly this Elder serving in this other city said " Sister Papritz. The senior couple accidently brought back a package from Budapest that I thought was mine, but it actually had your name on it. Sorry, I kind of accidently opened it before I realized it was yours. So you can come get it off our bus." I thought...."hmm..weird... well if my name was on it, why would you open it. But whatever." so I followed him to the bus. As we approached the bus, the bus then started driving away. I said "oh, Elder. Obviously its leaving to go park... we can just get the package later." He INSISTED we get the package. and I said "uh.... should we be running after this bus then?" "yeah...we should probably run" .... ok... weird. so we start running after this random bus. We flag the driver down... I keep thinking "this kid is really persistent about the package......but whatever" so then the bus driver stops and opens the door. I didnt get on the bus with him, becuase I didnt want to be alone on a bus with an elder.... you know, mission rules. but then he was like "looking all over" for the package. and was like "oh, I cant find it" I looked right above his head and was like "Elder.... the package is right there"..... "oh, yeah weird. didnt see it... uh... ok".. so then I turned back around with the package and got off the bus. The package was completely opened, and labeled with my name....again, weird... why would he open this when obviously it was labeled with my name. It was from Katelyn and I was excited becaue I was expecting a package from her in like a week. Then I open the package and pull out this letter that on the front says "LOOK BEHIND YOU!"... I do...and no one is there (hahaha... because I was supposed to be ON THE BUS)... so I look behind, and thought... ok that is really weird. Then I open the letter and it says "if you havent realized it yet.. I am in Hungary. and if you didnt know and havnet seen me...than I just ruined the surprise"... still at this point I thought. OH NO...she is probably in Budapest and thought I would open the package in Budapest and they would be there. So i was like, weird... this is NOT working out the way they wanted it. So I turned to start walking away from the Bus...then all of the sudden this girl in this blue dress comes running down the stairs of the bus, followed by this tall dark haired guy with a camera. I realize that, uh..... oh my word... THIS IS KATELYN!!! I had like 3 seconds of like, disbelief and like..... silence... cause it hadnt hit. Then...commenced the screaming... the hugging, the yelling. The "OH MY WORD..... OH MY CRAP... WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE....WHHHHHHHHHHHAT AREEEEEEEEE YOU DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOING HEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!"..... yup. and now she is standing right beside me as I am writing this emails. 
video

So on that note. Im going to go hang out with my best friend on my pday.... yup. My life rocks. 

Also did a lot of missionary work this week. Had 3 new awesome investigators and Sister Kramer and I talked in Hungarian all week, 6 days straight. It was awesome. Life is soooo goood. 

Well on that note...I am off to party. 

sok szeretettel

Papritz nővér

Monday, April 23, 2012

Autumn - Szeged, Hungary - The awesomeness continues


Hello my dearest loved ones,

well well, yet anther week has flown by. Life here is soooo good. I love my city, I loooooove my companion, I love my district. I love the work. I love my life. I have been contemplating a lot about reasons I served a mission. The biggest...God commanded me. The answer to serve was a little too obvious not to follow it. (see D&C 15 for my obvious answer). Since embarking on this, I have then gained other reasons to serve. Reasons I never even realized were waiting for me. I think each week till the end I would like to focus on different reasons why the Lord called me on a mission. Since, I dont know.... if I were all of you, I would be looking at this crazy girl that left her dream job, all of her friends and family, everything and went on a mission, and I would think "does she think it's worth it? Was she happy she served?" Especially those that know me very well, know this was NEVER EVER EVVVVVVVVER in my life plans. My dear friend Bailey wrote me a letter the other day, and she reminded me how ADAMENT I always was against serving a mission. She said "It's so funny cause I still remember that one night at liberty park and you were talking about how a mission would be the LAST thing you would ever do. And now look at you!" bahaha.. yup. That sums it up perfectly. This really was the LAST thing in the world I would have ever done, wanted to do, or would ever plan on....but ironically enough, it is the most important thing I have ever done in my life. But I guess it must have needed to be this way, I must have needed to HATE the idea of a mission so passionately to erase it completely from all life plans, to then realize how much it has changed my life. It is kind of great that before the mission I never imagined a mission because I truly came here with no expectations, no clue what to do, just kind of threw myself into this thinking "whelp, Heavenly Father, here I am. I showed up for this mission thing. Do with me what you will." Looking back I am so glad that was how it happened. Because I never had an opportunity to create this "perfect missionary" image for myself, or a "perfect mission" in mind. I have never been dissapointed in the way my mission has turned out beause I never dreamed of baptising X amount of people, or achieving any kind of status, or having any kind of success, beause I honestly NEVER WANTED THIS. haha. So how could you develop expectations for something you never wanted? But it worked out perfectly, because It allowed me to really come on the mission and just figure out the LORD'S expectations for me. I have been able to just turn my mission over to Him, and let it all be in His hands..because my hands have NO CLUE what to do with this foreign concept of a mission. So luckily, I can say it has all turned out the way He wanted, because this was His call... not mine. But I am so eternally blessed and happy that I responded to the call. I've never regreted it for a single milli-second. 

So on that note, Here is the first reason I was called to serve a mission: 1. Zsofi Katona. This girl has been one of the biggest reasons, if not THE reason I was called to Hungary. Zsofi was my investigator that was baptized on March 25, so almost a month ago. Well I have been truly blessed to have seen her entire conversion. From day one, first time hearing about "Eternal Families" to the day of her baptism and beyond. I am so grateful that I listened to the prompting and called her Husband (Well fiance at the time) Laci, even though his name was on the less active member "do not contact list". (p.s. NEVER LISTEN TO THOSE LISTS.. CONTACT EVERYONE!) Then going to their house, I was so surprised to realize she was not a member, and then on that first meeting feeling the spirit so strongly asking her "Would you like an eternal family?" and seeing that light in her eyes beam as she said "yes. I really do." Well, there you have it. end of story. The rest is history. From there her conversion was effortless. She accepted everything whole heartedly and entered the waters of baptism with a budding testimony of all of this. Knowing it would change her life. I was able to witness those changes in her life, and that light in her grow and grow. I saw her wedding and witnessed the formation of their little family as they combined all of their children into one happy family. Laci, her husband, has been taking the steps of repentance, meeting with the bishop and getting is own life in order. The whole family is in for the long haul, their goal is the temple. 
Yesterday we went over to visit them and the appointment before we told her to pick a topic from the Gospel Principles book and teach it to us. Well we showed up yesterday and she had picked the "Restoration" (atta girl! my favorite topic) Well she taught us an INCREDIBLE lesson on the restoration. Incredible. She taught the lesson better than most of the members in the ward would have. Then she said two beautiful words that just blew my mind. "Bizonyságomat teszem...." or "I give my testimony...." The thing that immediately came into my mind was "wow. She HAS a testimony." she ACTUALLY has a testimony to share. When we first met she didnt. She knew very little if anything about the church and all of the sudden she has a testimony! Well.. those two words were followed by a series of even more incredibleness "... hogy ez egyház az egyetlen igaz egyház a földön." or " that this church is the only true church on the earth."... yup... that's my girl. I taught her well. haha. Really I felt like a proud mother. I couldnt believe that I was listening to her bare testiony of these things and she truly meant it. She truly said all of that with all of the incredibly sincere conviction in her heart. and I was there to witness her go from NO testimony.... to a real testiony of these things. It has been one of my greatest joys in life to see her conversion and arrival at an understanding and appreciation of the gospel in her life. MISSIONS ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! 

So there you go... Reason number 1 why I am on a mission. More to come... much much more to come. 

This week we went on splits with the sisters in Kecskemet. It was so great to go to that city and split. We have been trying to help out the other sister companionships in our area, so we decided the best way was to do splits and see how the work is going. So I got to be with Sister Suranyi again for a day and night, (mother and daughter reunited!) It was really great because Sister Kramer and I were really able to help them get some new ideas on the work, help them out a bit. I was able to give Sister Suranyi some awesome motherly advice on how to keep rocking the mission. It was such a testament that splits are so worth it, because it was great to be able to go to an area and help it out even for just a day and a night. We are going on splits with the Bekescsaba sisters next week and I will be reunited with my other mission daughter, Sister Mills. We are excited. 

ALSO... this week we went to a little place called Olpusztaszer. It was this awesome Historical Park, that had this "living mural" of the history of the settlement of Hungary. Basically a 20 ft. tall mural that lined the walls of a circular room. So the mural wrapped around the entire room. It was complete with sounds, and all of these like recreated scenes, recreated huts, real dirt on the ground and narration (hard to explain, just imagine awesomness in art form). It was so cool. Then it was topped off with an authentic Hungarian Horse Show! Complete with arrow shooting, sword fighting and some kind of horseback football game. It was AWESOME!!! They were dressed in traditional hungarian HUN clothes. For those of you that dont know, Hungarians are descendents of the HUNS.... as in Atilla the Hun. They trace way  back to Mongolia, and so the Huns came from over there and made it on over to this area. They had conquered much of the area, including parts of Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Austria.... basically if you ask any Hungarian they clame it was half of Europe. Anyway.. it was a really cool cultural experience. We also herded a herd of goats in the Hungarian country side, and took leaping pictures off of ancient Hungarian ruins. It was a DREAMY DAY. Oh man. This place is awesome. 

Well that was my week. No big deal. So good. Life is so good. I love you all. 

p.s. hit my 2 month mark left... I might barf. Its coming too soon. 

szeretlek benneteket



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Monday, March 19, 2012

Autumn - Szeged - Super Pday Adventure!



Sziasztok!!!

Well this week was quite an adventure, literally!! It was Hungarian Revolution day and so we had a giant Zone get together here in Szeged. We had 12 missionaries here total and we spent the morning at the Szeged Museum. It was free for the day and so we got to see incredible paintings about the 1879 flood of Szeged that destroyed the city. Then we had a wonderful lunch at the senior couples apartment and got to hang out with everyone for a while. Then we went across the river to this Adventure park! We went on this ropes course that had a big zipline! It was so fun. We were all harnessed in and flying around the trees... it was soooo fun! Then we did some awesome whipping. I am getting super good. I can crack it SO LOUD! You will all be so impressed by the many skills I have aquired since I have been here. Then we finished off the night watching Kung Fu Panda 2 and playing apples to apples with our elders. It was super fun.

Oh yeah... speaking of things aquired I wanted to mention things I can do now/things I like now that I didnt used to before my mission.
1. speak Hungarian. uh... kind of a big one.
2. I love beets.
3. My new drink of choice is Ginger Ale. Super obsessed with that.
4. I love sour stuffed cabbage. mmmm.....so delicious.
5. I can whip a bull whip
6. I can wear earrings/ am obsessed with them
7. I wear glasses now (that started in the MTC)
8. I love hungarian folk music
9. I kiss people on the cheeks when I greet them. puszi.
10. I have long hair and curl it frequently.

So... that is a little taste into the different me. haha... not really that different. Just a few tidbits.

This week Zsofi passed her baptismal interview! She is getting baptized on Sunday. We do not have a baptismal font here in Szeged...so we have been looking for a new place to hold baptisms. We have been really worried cause its the week OF the baptisms and we dont have a place!!! ahhh!!!! We were going to do it at the local Thermal bath...but they are only open for those tuesday morning. That doesnt work. So then we heard that the squash club has a pool..but its outside. and its too cold for that. So then one day we visited some less actives out of the blue. They told us that they were mormons for 7 years and are now 7th day adventists. (i guess its just that easy to switch!) .. haha. So we got on the topic of baptisms and they said "oh if you ever wanted to do a baptism, we have a font at our church!" it was the most inspired out of the blue thing any person could EVER say! as a matter of fact WE DO NEED A FONT! So the elders started on the approval of the use of the 7th day adventist church and font. It all got approved...and we are holding a baptism at the Adventists place... but its going to be a point for our team. haha. So the baptisms will be wonderful I am so excited and so s Zsofi. It is going to be wonderful

Well I love you all. Pray the baptism goes well!

Sok sok szeretettel

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