Well let me tell you, this week was WEIRD! It started off with a visit to the doctor about some constant foot pain I'm having, then him saying "Well it's either surgery or suffering"... uh... so I said well I guess I'll take surgery. So that was wednesday, thursday all the plans were made and friday I was off to surgery! what!? .... I had a neuroma in my foot which is a big ugly bundle of nerves in between my toes which basically kills me every time I walk. I thought maybe I could ignore it, but then I realized I don't even hardly walk in the MTC other than between class and the cafeteria..so how on earth would i walk around Hungary?! So it seemed like that logical thing to do. But then they gave me the options 1. go home and get surgery and be released as a missionary and maybe getting reassigned to another mission (uh heck no I ain't going home!) 2. going home and getting the surgery but staying a missionary but the process could take several weeks (uh.....no) ......3. get it done in Provo and recover in Utah and be back in action in a few days (ding ding ding! I'll choose that!) So i got surgery on friday and today I'm going back to class finally. I've missed 3 full days of class, which has been hard but I'm ready to hit the ground running!!!....well, maybe not running, hit the ground limping, but with the same attitude as running!
The amazing thing/huge blessing is the doctor said in surgery he realized that a ligament had completed encased this nerve bundle, which means that no medicine could have ever reached it, no injection could have ever helped it...and he said If i ignored it and went to Hungary the pain would have been so bad I would have needed to come home from my mission early! wow!. ... so GOOOOOOD THING I got it fixed now. Now there shouldn't be any delay in my departure to Hungary. Even though it's only a little less than 3 weeks away he said it should be healed by then. still tender, with weird nerve sensation, but I will be able to get to HUNGARY!!! HALLELUJAH!!! ...if worse comes to worse i might need to stay in the MTC an extra week..but heck atleast I'm getting to Hungary! Super huge blessings!
So now I have to wear a super cute walking boot and crutches sometimes..and i look like a total nerd with a hobble..but oh well. It's all fixed.
So that was basically my week. pretty exciting change of pace I'd say. But I'm glad to get back in the saddle and catch up on all the Hungarian I've missed. I love the work I'm doing and counting down the 2.4 more weeks until I'm on that big beautiful plane to HUNGARY!!
Love you all! szeretlek!
melissa parr - awesome email. can't wait to respond. i'm tricky like that with my Hungarian dictionary. and tell Tams I love T-rex already.
Evan Moore - YOU SERIOUSLY SKIIED THAT MOUNTAIN?!?! AND YOU LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT?!?!....oh man you are so hardcore. I will write back to your letter soon. sounds like you are rocking NCC.
Jeanette - the world really is on fire?!? what?!?! all that stuff sounds crazy. you're the best mom ever. can't wait to see pictures of the new little one...i'm assuming her name is Autumn jr.
camilla vargas - where the heck are you?!?! did you die?!?! ... you are failing miserably at your commitment.
This week we had a leadership conference for three days. That was pretty cool but very long. It was especially hard because I was taking pain killers and muscle relaxants for my back and I was soooo out of it. All the other missionaries were so confused as to why I was acting so different. I was so mellowed out and rather indifferent about most things, it was pretty funny. Then on the second night I had terrible flu-like symptoms. I was going insane with a fever and muscle aches. That night I maybe accumulated 2 hours of sleep. The next day at leadership it was a miracle that I didn't fall asleep at all but during the ten minute breaks I'd go in to a dark room and just lay on the hard, cold floor and crash for the ten minutes and then zombie in to the meeting again.
Despite that. I learned quite a bit, they went over the sort of "basics" of Preach My Gospel. It was pretty eye opening because I realized that although I had a lot of investigators interested in being baptized not many of them knew, for example, the important of prayer or scripture study in their conversion. On Thursday I was reunited with my companion and did some quality work, adding 4 new investigators and setting 4 baptismal dates. It was way tight.
One night we were visiting some potentials and I noticed the delicious smell of barbecue along with a giant plume of smoke. I told Elder Partis, "I'm just going to follow my nose." We had to awkwardly walk through a couple people's backyards to get to these two Mexicans standing around a barbecue. I could tell they were a little curious as to why a couple of Spanish speaking white guys in suits had just walked right up to them while they were barbecuing but they were so cool. I asked them what they were cooking, they told me it was sausage and steak. One of the guys then said that his wife was upstairs in the house heating tortillas and that we could head up, grab a coke and wait for the meat up there haha. We shrugged and said Okay! While walking up the stairs Elder Partis whispered under his breath, "I love Mexican hospitality." It was so funny, we walked to the little guest room and the lady was talking to another guy there. They both looked at us curiously and then in Spanish they said to each their, "Did you invite them? No. Did you invite them? ....no." Then I told them, in Spanish, "Didn't you two know that we were invited?" They laughed a bit. The lady was sooo nice. We started talking, she invited to sit down. She also spoke very good English, actually. They had two darling little daughters. Then the husband came up later with the meat and we gorged ourselves. Over the hour twenty more people joined the party (invited guests, all Mexican) the husband was way tight and showed us around his incredibly nice house. It was by far the best house I've seen a Mexican own here in the city. He is a carpenter and is even going to put a fountain in his little backyard.
At the end of the party we told them we were going to leave and again he took himself away from his own party to walk us outside. We then started to talk some more and even got in to a gospel discussion. This guy, Fabio, is incredible. He probably has more faith in God than I do. He was saying that someone broke into his house a stole a TV and some of his wife's jewelry but he said that material things don't matter because he knew that as long as he trusted God that he would have what he needed. He also told us that he even had that guest room for the whole purpose of housing people in the hopes that they may want to come unto Christ too by seeing what he had. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he'd read it and we're going back on Tuesday.
There were so many cool things that happened this week. A lot of miracles. But one non-miracle which is that it started snowing again yesterday....it was doing sooo good, all sunny and warm and most of the snow from LAST time it snowed had just melted. Bah humbug.
Love you all. If you've sent me something, a letter or package and haven't gotten a letter back just know that I will be sending you something soon enough. I'm behind 9 people that I need to write. It's hard when I only have one day to do it, so my bad.
This week was kind of slow. We had a lot of lessons cancel this week or they would fang women de gezi (stand us up). Its ok though because it gave us more time to find people. Sister Howell and I had a lot of time to find former investigators. We went on all sorts of crazy biking adventrues through the hills/mountains of Jilong. It was a lot of fun. There is so much area that we have yet to explore and contact. This week also Sister Howell's voice was gone for a while but it has gotten better. With her voice being gone it has forced me to talk more which has been scary but really good. I have realized that I know more Chinese than I thought. It is still really hard but slowly I am getting over my shyness. It can be frustrating at times though because it takes me so long to get up the courage to talk to someone and then the opportunity is gone. Sister Howell has been very helpful and understanding and has helped me a lot. It will come soon enough.
On the investigator front not much has changed. We had 5 people come to church which is a record for us. Water, one of our investigators from India brought her sister's two daughters. It is the first time they have come to church. They said that they really liked it. Lin Hao yi still hasn't come to sacrament meeting. He has a hard time getting up in the morning for church at 9. His mom doesn't really help him get up either so its kind of tough. We are still working with him and set a new baptismal date for March 26. We have had many of our investigators who we have set baptismal dates from suddenly disappear. They won't answer our phone calls and wont' set up. Its really tough. We don't know how to get in contact with them and we dont' know why they suddenly disappear. Its really weird. Our investigator Green who we gave to the Elders is getting baptized NEXT SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are sooo excited. Sister Howell and I still suan him as our investigator. haha I can't wait from him to get baptized so that he can help the rest of his family get baptized. He is doing so great. He comes to church every week and participates a lot in Sunday school lessons. He is pretty much an active member already. The ward is really supportive of him.
The weather has been rainy all week and probably will be the rest of the week. I feel really bad when we get to investigator's homes and we are soaked. I bought a coat here that is pretty good at keeping the rain from getting my clothes wet but if it gets too soaked it leaks onto my clothes. I have just excepted the fact that my feet are going to be forever wet. I dry them every night and my tights too in prep from the next day's soaking. We have rain pants that we slip over our skirts. We often used the cheap yellow pancho so we look like we are going to go ride Splash Mountain or something. But Sister Howell and I bought new thicker ones so this week will be better.
Today we attended the baptismal service of a girl in our ward who was getting baptized. They are a wonderful family. She reminds me so much of Alaina jumping around being so excited to get baptized. After she got baptized she shared her testimony and it was so sweet and simple. The Spirit was so strong.
Well I hope that you all have a great week. I love you all so much. Oh just to tell you, next week we have a temple day so our p-day is moved. I will e-mail you on WEDNESDAY. So don't worry mom if on monday I don't e-mail you. Wo ai nimen!!!
Well this week FLEW BY!!! WOOHOO!!!!... that means I'm THAT MUCH closer to hungary. That makes me so excited. Well we got our kicsi (youngers) hungarian elders and they seem soooo little. and man it makes me feel really OLD.. i mean little as in they don't know any hungarian. which, obviously I didn't either at that point. It made me feel a tiny bit better knowing that.... "hey I kind of maybe, sort of know a LITTLE bit what i'm doing!"...and also it means that there is LESS THAN A MONTH LEFT UNTIL HUNGARY!!!! YESSSSSS!!!! So the cool thing is that one of the elder is THE FIRST missionary to come from Cuba...ever. He is the first cuban missionary. His english is perfect cause he lived in canada for a while. but he speaks spanish and english and is now going to Hungary. Also this week in the teaching resource center we taught a return sister missionary who got back LAST THURSDAY! so fresh off the plane from Hungary. Obvously she loved it, and just told us over and over again that we will love EVERY second. It made me so excited.
Well my valentines day was awesome here in the good 'ol MTC. I got a letter from my brother Austin and an AWESOME package from my brother Alden full of Martinelli and a heart box of chocolates. Everyone thought I had some boy waiting for me at home, but nope it was MY AWESOME BROTHER!!! it made my day. (THANKS ALDEN!!)
This week was just a lot of hungarian and...well more hungarian. Time is flying faster and faster, It made me so excited. I love reading everyone's emails and hearing how life is around the world from my siblings. We're taking the world by storm our missionary army!!
Well not much else to report. I'll make some excitement happen this week. Oh yeah...I had to go to the hospital with a sister missionary who got a "stomach scope" done for ulcers.. so when she was coming out of anesthesia she kept saying "i feel like I'm dumbledore...where's my wand?!" "I need to convert people, I need my wand...I'll just cast a spell"... she was soooo loopy and it was sooo entertaining and made me feel kind of like a nurse again, back in the good 'ol hospital.
For church yesterday there were a couple of the young women who gave us little heart suckers for Valentines day. And then when the other missionaries turned away they gave me one of those giant Hershey kisses haha. I didn't really know what to say, I was like, "Wait, did they others get one too?" And they said, "No, this one is just for you. I guess we just gave you a big kiss." Haha. I tried to eat it later but it was a giant fist-sized chocolate kiss so I only got through a third of it and then threw it away. This last week wasn't anything terribly miraculous but there were a couple cool moments.
First of all, on Thursday during morning workouts I was lifting a puny weight and somehow I pulled a back muscle. Incidentally, it was the same muscle I pulled in a bike crash. I went to the doctor for the crash and he prescribed some muscle relaxants. I still had a bunch left over so I've been taken them but it's been making me suuper drowsy and tired during the day. I feel worthless, I honeslty can barely hold a thought. I can't imagine what it would be like taking this crap for a long period of time or being addicted to alcohol or anything else. I'm thinkin' God might have a point with the Word of Wisdom or something like that.
Regardless, Elder Partis and I have been working on adding new investigators. It was pretty cool, we have spent this whole week talking to more people on the streets and stuff and not too much has come from it. But on Sunday I took like a three hour nap after church because I was sooo out of it because of the medicine. Then I woke up and I just said, "Enough. We're going outside." Pretty much the first guy we passed he was looking up to the sky and then I noticed he looked over at us as we passed. I turned back and asked him if he needed something and he replied, "I was just thinking about what a coincidence it was that he was just looking of to the stars and thinking about God and then we passed." So that was pretty cool. We're going to meet with him later this week. I thought that was quite a miracle.
I did splits with our new district leader and it was pretty cool. He did yoga before he came out on his mission and I was telling him how I was having problems sleeping and stuff and he asked me if I had ever tried yoga. He said that yoga really helped him to relax before sleeping at night. That night he showed me some stuff and I was surprised at how good and relaxed I felt. So, now I did some basic stretching and breathing every night. It's way cool. I never thought I'd ever think about doing yoga. But since I hurt my back I haven't been able to do it but I got drugs to help me sleep for that ha.
This week we have a three day leadership training. My boy is going to be all by himself for 21 hours this week in our area. Pray for him haha but I know he'll do good....or maybe I'll come back and half the city of Milwaukee will be on fire. We'll see.
Welp not much happened this week. The weather for the first part of the week was gorgeous! We saw sunshine for the first time since I have been here in Jilong. It was great! The work picked up a little since guo nian is over. But later this week it started raining again and won't stop for a week. Blast! Good thing this Oregonian loves the rain! Anyways, Sister Howell lost her voice on Thursday so for the last part of the week I have been doing most of the talking. Its kind of scary but it has been great to see how much I understand and can share. The gift of tongues is an amazing thing!
We experienced some heartache this week. Huang li qin one of our investigators last week missed her baptismal date. This is the third baptismal date she has missed. We finally got a hold of her at her friend's clothing booth. We have been trying to call her for the whole week with no results. When we asked her what happened she said that she went to Taipei with her family. When we asked if she still had a desire to get baptized she said she wasn't sure. She has all the sudden become very flaky. We invited Sister Chen to peike for us but Li qin didn't show up. Long story short, we are going to have to let her go. Sister Howell and I when we got home just sat on our floor and cried. It is so hard to see an investigator who we have worked so hard with. We walked to her house for pete's sake which is 30 minutes away one way. We had so much hope that this baptismal date would be the one for her. It is really hard but I know that Heavenly Father still loves her and is mindful of her. I hope that she will one day get baptized and reiceve the blessings that come from it.On a happier note, our Elders had a baptism last Saturday. He is 80 years old!! He is a sweet old man with such a big heart. It was so great to see him get baptized. This is the first baptism in Jilong for a long time.
The new transfer starts today. We recieved the move call on Friday and Sister Howell and I are staying in Jilong together for another transfer!!! I am so excited to stay here in this wonderful place. Huang zhanglao is moving to the southern part of Taiwan and Chen zhanglao, our district leader, is training again.
I hope that you all have a great week. Sorry this e-mail is so short. Nothing really happened this week. I love you all so much!!
o napot mindenki! hogy vagytok? (good day everyone, how are you all doing?)
Well another week in the MTC... and this week WE'RE THE VETERANS! WHAT?!?!?.... that means that today we get our "kicsi" our "youngers" ....and we are the "osi" (OLDERS!). I really don't feel prepared for this. I mean, like... youre supposed to know a bit of hungarian before you start setting the example as the "expert" right?! haha... it's going to be a hoot. I'll sure have them fooled. I've memorized a couple of fancy phrases... i'll just use that on them until they're smart enough to realize, hey she keeps saying the same fancy thing over and over again. But it's exciting because that means we're so close to getting to HUNGARY!!!! heaven is soooo close!!!!! I can just taste the chicken paprikas and feel the hungarian wind in my hair.
This week I made some AWESOME hungarian mistakes. In teaching someone I thought they said "I pray while cleaning the toilet"..so instead of assuming I hear wrong i indeed decided to clarify "so, you pray while cleaning the toilet"....haha.... uh yeah... they definitely didn't say that, and I defintiely just made a fool of myself. Luckily we were just teaching my teacher and she laughed a lot.
Also My hungarian CTR ring... well it says VAJ..which is already funny in english. Well in hungarian... even though the letters V A J stand for choose the good in hungarian. the word VAJ means BUTTER! BAHAHA.....so I am wearing a ring that says butter on it..awesome. good conversation starter.
Well I'm running out of time. Not tons of exciting updates. but I know this gospel is true. the scriptures are so awesome and help me more than ever in life. The work I'm doing is EXACTLY what the Lord wants me to do and I am priviliged and excited to be his servant and messenger.
Oh man, last night was pretty cool. I had a member updating me on the score of the Super Bowl throughout the game since our Mission President told us that all missionaries had to be in their apartment by 4:00 PM. I had figured out they had won when I saw fireworks lighting up the inside of our apartment. They were probably lit-off about 20 miles away on the lakeshore in downtown Milwaukee. I kind of wish I could have been down there, it would have been crazy. Also, our apartment is right next to a major road on the Southside of Milwaukee and we heard people honking and going crazy all the up to two or three in the morning. It was great. Elder Partis and I took to opening our windows and yelling at people on the street, "HEY! THE PACKERS WON!!" and they'd most often respond, "Yeaah...I know," in which we'd reply, "Oh...okay." And then pull our heads back in the window. But it's way cool over here and I hear the parade is going to be tomorrow in Green Bay. I'll have to ask some of the Green Bay Elders how that goes.
Last Tuesday night we had a crazy blizzard storm which was incredibly convenient because it swept through Wisconsin on the day of transfers. The Spanish Elders in the city south of us got hit hard. There was so much snow (a wall of snow measuring 4 feet) outside their door that they literally couldn't even open it. In fact, the whole city was shut down. It was illegal to drive on the streets and the highways were closed off. I heard that 900 cars were stuck on the highway and actually had to stay there over night?? I can't possibly believe they did that but I heard it from two different people and also since they were completely stopped over night, snow continued to fall and filled in the gaps in between the cars. I'm not even sure how everyone got out....I don't know, heck, maybe they're still there! So on Wednesday we didn't go outside at all. I've never seen so much snow in my life, none of the buses were running on all the city. I looked all over our apartment for shovels and I couldn't even find any. So we just stayed in all day and studied.
Next week we have a four day training for all leadership and trainers. So four out of the seven days next week (not this week) I will be at a meeting from 9 to 4. We'll see how that goes. I guess my boy will have plenty of opportunities to get to know the area.
I wish I had a solid update on our investigators but as you can tell we weren't even able to get out much between the Super Bowl and the terrible death-defying weather. We got to do work this week especially since my boy will probably be in a threesome with the other Spanish Elders and they will have to split time between the two areas next week when I'm in the leadership training.
I survived Guo nian! This week was very interesting. It was a great week in the sense that we got to meet a lot of the members and get to know them better but not a good week for sharing the Gospel. The whole week we taught a total of 6 lessons. A lot of people were at home with their families so they didn't want to meet with us or they weren't at home. But we did find 3 new investigators so the week was still very sucessful. So basically for Chinese new year we went from eating appointment to eating appointment. The feasts started on Wednesday. I thought I was going to die! We had one appointment in the morning with Li jiating. Sister Li is in the Relief Society presidency. The family is a great example to the ward. We ate very traditional food. The whole week we ate a lot of seafood. I am so grateful that growing up we ate a lot of seafood because thats a lot of what they eat here in Taiwan. After stuffing our faces at that house we went to eat with Song yuan ting. She is an investigator who is my Taiwanese mother. Everytime we meet with her she gives us food. She is always so worried about us. haha I love her. We ate chicken, squid, tons of veggies, and a doughy rice noodle that was really good. We also bike everywhere which was a blessing because it helped my stomach digest faster. Than we had a dinner in the evening. By the end of the day Sister Howell and I were about to explode. Luckily the rest of the week we only had 2 dinner appointments a day. We ate a lot of hot pot which is basically a pot full of broth and then on the side you have vegtables and meat and you can choose what you want to eat. Then you put it in the broth to cook. It is so delicious!! I also ate raw fish and lots of squid. Yumm!! It was so wonderful to get to know the members. We have so many great members here in Jilong. Many of their families are the first generation members. Talking with them has made me so grateful to be a member of the church. I am so grateful to have the blessings of the Gospel especially of eternal families.
As far as our investigators go we gave the Elders Green. We realized that his wife is not making as much progress and doesn't have much interest. He will quickly progress now that the Elders are teaching him. We also had one of our investigators Huang li qin fang us. She was suppose to have her baptismal interview this Sunday but she didn't show up. She also didn't answer when we called her. It was really hard on Sister Howell. This is the third baptismal date that she has set with Sister Howell that she a week away from being baptized stopped contacting us or told her she didn't want to get baptized. We hope that everything will work out with her and that we can resolve her problem.
Well I hope that you all have a great week. Thank you for your prayers and your letters. They have been so wonderful and have given me the much needed support. Thank you also for the Valentines day package. I love it!! I love the sweater and all the yummy candy.
Jo reggelt en csodalatos csaladonkat es baratainkat! (good morning my wonderful family and friends!!!)
The mtc is same old same old except I'M HALF WAY DONE!!! BOOOYAH!!! also... it is groundhogs day, and this place eerily feels like the movie groundhogs day. wake up and do the same thing everyday.... hmm... so i'm kind of living in a time warp right now, living groundhogs day on groundhogs day!
So this week my big news!! I HAD A DREAM IN HUNGARIAN!!!!! YESSS... for those of you who know how important dreams are to me this is a big deal!!! haha... now don't get too excited i didn't speak anything that exciting. but the dream went like this: I was in my first area in budapest with a Sister Abundi Abundi (don't ask me where me brain got that name! haha)... so it was my first day in the area and we were walking down a street and we saw these two girls in this garden one of them looked up and said "i recognize you! i have been wanting to talk to you, i am looking for happiness"... my companion looked at me and said "go for it"... so i said "Isten szerett minket. Az o gyermekei vagyunk! Az evangeliuma igaz!"..... (translation: God loves us. we are his children. the gospel is true)... the girl looked up from the garden and said "that's is exactly what i was hoping to hear, please teach me more!"....SCOOOOORE!!!!!!!
...so then we taught her and her friend. and I woke up so pumped and excited that ALL I NEEDED was just those simple phrases and I knew that my hungarian would be enough. i don't need to be eloquent or perfect, as long as i can testify that God loves us, we are his children....it will all be ok! So needless to say it was a major blessing to be so reassured that I know the Lord is perfectly happy with my performance and my little tiny bit of hungarian. luckily I have six more weeks to get it down, but even if I don't know anymore than I do today... I will be ok.
So this week we had the opportunity to hang out with two missionaries who are FROM HUNGARY! so we met real hungarians. they were so awesome and I just fell in love with them both. It was so inspriring. one was a convert and was found by my teachers husband in budapest. it was so good to have some perspective of real hungarians and their story and the story of the people in hungary and how much they need the gospel. The field is white!!! It was a good week.
Also for funny story: this week the firealrm went off blazzing loud at 1020 at night..we all had to evacuate and go into the gym in our pajamas. come to find out some girl had microwaved a poptart in the wrapper. it exploded and started a fire! haha.... that's about as exciting as this place gets.
I love being here. I love serving the Lord and I love all of you!!!!!!!!