Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Autumn- Budapest Hungary May 31, 2011


Well this week was our BEST WEEK in pest. Most success we've had the entire time Ive been here, had some awesome miracles and tender mercies. and obviously tons of HILARIOUSNESS too. I asked Sister Roderick how we are getting so much success when everyone always said the work would be so slow here and she said "these People are just diamonds in the rough" and its so true. We found a lot of diamonds this week, some of those diamonds without teeth.....but diamonds none the less.

1. On wednesday we were out in some random part of Budapest that wasnt full of buildings and I SAW A SUNSET!!!! a sunset I tell ya! The first time I have seen one of those since Ive been here. We are stuck in the middle of the city usually, which I love...but then we were outside the city looking for a random house and saw the gloriousness. We were watching it from some traintracks, and then a man yelled at us "GET OFF THE TRACKS YOURE GONNA DIE!! A TRAIN IS COMING!!"... as if we wouldnt have seen/heard a train coming. kinda killed the mood. but still, the sunset was awesome.

2. Like 4 weeks ago I wrote how we found the Hell's angel/construction worker guy on the street. Well we lost contact with him for a few weeks and then RANDOMLY i saw him on the street. I was so happy! We set up with him and he said he had been reading our book. Well come to find out he had read THE ENTIRE book of mormon TWICE!! not once, TWICE! all of it. It was marked up all over the place, and he said he hadnt called us cause he was in Germany...but not to worry cause he was meeting with missionaries there while he was away. AWESOME! He was basically teaching us out of the Book of Mormon, and telling us all about the characters and stories..and we asked him to be baptized and he said "Meg!"....which in Hungarian is like a really definite YES!.

3. We are also teaching this other really rendes guy who is a Tai Chi master. LIke the people you see doing the sissy kind of karate in the park. Thats this guy! Hes the leader of it. So next week we are going to be doing Tai Chi in the park. Im so excited!! and he is also progressing really well. Such a deep thinker, like his mind was just BLOWN that God is our Loving Heavenly Father. Like he couldnt comprehend that. He said he needed to go to the park and just think for a few hours. haha. it was cute.

4. On our way home one night we saw a Pigeon laying in the middle of the sidewalk dying! Like full on taking its last little breaths, we watched it for 20 minutes, Roderick kept saying we couldnt let it die alone. She sang it little songs to comfort it in its final flight to heaven like "blackbird singing in the DEAD of night" and "God Be with you till we meet again", we felt really bad. We sat on the steps of the Catholic church it was dying in front of..and then gave it its last rights or something like it. and then tomorrow we are having a proper burial for it. Its name was Gali short for Galambos Gábor... (you know youre on a mission doing when having a funeral for a pigeon is an exciting event)

5. We are teaching this other wonderful girl, well 28 year old, named Linda who is so cute and normal and has a job and car. Which is rare. She carries the book of mormon everywhere because she feels SAFER with it near her. She reads it at work. and last time in her Prayer with us she said she has been searching for this for 10 years. I just want to hug the heck out of her. She is so awesome. She Found us through english class, its so crazy how the Lord just leads people to us. We just sit back and let it happen.

6. Had my first BAD food experience. We were eating at some families house and they served these meat dumplings. Its looked like big dumplings that you would put in chicken and dumpling soup but inside was a MEAT SURPRISE! like little bits of who knows what, and then little crunchie somethings. I dont think it was supposed to be crunchy. Well it started off good, then I finished my plate. The dad made some motion to the pot and I thought he was saying TAKE SOME MORE! SO i dove in and took more. But then I realized nobody else was taking more. But it was already on my plate. So I started eating, and the meat surprise, was not as satisfying the second time around. then everyone was finished. and they were all staring at me while I ate. At this point i was CHOKING it down eating it so slow with huge gulps of juice in between. Then everyone gets up from the table and leaves...even my companion. They all get up and leave me alone, at the table, to finish my extra serving. With this look of like "that pitiful american" (well not my companion) The wife thought I didnt like it cause I was eating so slow, and Roderick just starts laughing and walks out of the Room. I felt like the bad kid whose parents leave them at the table to finish all their vegetables. but it was me and meat surprise. I was looking DESPERATELY everywhere for a plant pot or an open window to throw the stuff into. Roderick told me later all they had asked me was whether or not I liked the food, they werent telling me to take more. silly me and not understanding this language. I finally choked it all down. but it was disgusting.

Well thats about it for this week. LOVE IT HERE. loooooove it. Having fun and living it up. I know the things I am learning here are changing my life. and I know im going to be a Dang good wife and mother because of this. (if I may say so myself). Its the best.

Love. Sister P.

Word of the day: csigavér (chiga vare) It is slang for "Chill" and literally translated means "slug blood".

Cultural Tip: I forgot to mention people here do the whole Kiss on both cheeks thing. Its called Puszi here. So I am totally kissing people on the cheeks all over the place. Even people you dont know, you just kiss them when you meet them. Weird lack of personal space, but its cute.

Favorite Food: I REALLY love fruit soup here. Its like cold soup just filled with fruit and fruit broth. Its called gyümülcs leves.

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - May 31, 2011

Dear Family,
A very fun and successful week on this last full week of the transfer. It's crazy that we will be getting transfer info this Saturday, these transfers are really just rolling. Yesterday all the libraries were closed because of Memorial Day so that's why my email is coming a day late. So since we had an extra few hours yesterday we went to a barbecue with some of the members of the branch here. They had delicious barbecue and tons of watermelon we played games and then we had a little Family Home Evening afterwards. It was a way fun night. It was way funny, I thought, because there were some young women from the branch there and I noticed my companion getting pretty familiar with them. Just figuring it was small talk or whatever and then I go over there and he's talking about dating, holding hands and kissing. And I was just thinking, What the heck is he doing?? I mean, I kind of got a kick out of it hearing the stories of his "over 40 girlfriends" from this cute little shy awkward new missionary. haha. Then later at the barbecue one of the daughters from one of the families came up to me and told me to talk to him about not talking about stuff like that because it made her uncomfortable. It was the same girl that Elder White held hands with during a Catholic style prayer a few weeks ago and he has kind of brought it up every time we are around her haha. Sooo I had to explain to her that he doesn't mean anything by it. But, woops, looks like I just got a little player of a boy.

A funny story from a few weeks ago, I was at an FHE with a family and I was talking afterwards about desire and how your actions are a reflection of your desires; I don't remember exactly what I was saying but I what I wanted to say is that I had the desire "to fly" which is "volar" in spanish but I said that I had the desire to "violar" which means "to rape (people)" aaaand I didn't realize what I said at first until I realized all the sisters where looking at me in horror. I quickly explained myself and now they have never let me forget it. They will come up to me at church and tell me, "You have been flying around lately, have you?"
Okay, I got to go, we are in a bit of a rush today since this isn't our usual email day.
I'll talk to you all lateer. I will explain more stuff later.
-Elder Papritz

Sunday, May 29, 2011

AMy - Tianmu, Taiwan May 29, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
This week I have been spiritually fed. On Wednesday we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the temple. I have always loved the temple and not being able to go every week like I did at home has been hard. I love serving in the temple and being able to feel the Spirit so strongly. It also made me think of my dear family and the eternal family that we have. On Wednesday Sister Liu and I after the temple watched a movie called the Emma Smith movie. I reccomend it. It is really good. She was such an amazing women. She had so many trials, more than many of us will face and yet she remained faithful through it all. On Thursday I had my interview with President Grimley. We talked about me going home in December and he said something really funny. He called our group of four Sister Bready, Tanner, Riggs, and I a nickname. Basically it is the name for the four people after Chairmen Mao died in China who tried to take over the government. His wife was included with three other men. haha I'm glad our foursomes nickname is associated with overthrowing governments. I prefer the Fantastic Four.
We also had the opportunity to learn from Elder Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy in mission conference or revelatory meeting. First it was so great to be able to see all the missionaries especially Sister Bready who was sent to Huailien which is the farthest south you can go in the mission. We got our little group of four back together, Sister Bready, Tanner, Riggs and I which was great. Elder Jensen talked a lot about having the Spirit to be wtih us as we teach. He talked a lot about how it is critical that we have the Spirit to be with us and how as we don't elevate ourselves above our investigators we will both be etified together. It was a great meeting! I wish I could write all my notes from it. He gave a talk in the November General Conference about the Holy Ghost and Revelation so I invite you all to read it.
As for this week investigators wise. Brother He had his baptismal interview this week and passed!!! He will be getting baptized on Saturday. I am so excited!! He has a lot of faith and desire to change and to have an eternal family and baptism is the start of that. Pictures will come next week of his baptism. We experience a little heartache yesterday when we found out an investigator family didn't want to meet with us anymore. It is a family who have three daughters and a son. The mom and one daughter who has health problems have been really interested in the Gospel. We taught them the first lesson and was really excited to teach the Plan of Salvation since they had a lot of questions about their purpose in life. When we called to confrim the third daughter, who is not interested at all in the church and opposes, answsered the phone and told us that they didnt' need our lessons!! She said that they have their religion and we have ours and we didn't need to come by anymore. Their father passed away recently and she said it would make him angry if they switched religions on him. ugh!! He problaby has already accepted the Gospel and is waiting for them to accept! Sister Liu and I were really bummed. I hope to go over and visit them in maybe a week or so when this third daughter isn't home. They need the Gospel especially the Plan of Salvation!!! Other than that our other investigators are progressing a lot.
Well I hope that you have a great week. I love you all. I know that this Gospel is true and will continue to go forth until it fills the whole earth. It has already started and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I know that despite the challenges in the world through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can recieve answers to our questions. Especially about our purpose in life and our relationship with God. I know that Jesus is the Chirst. I love this work!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alden MTC May 17, 2010

hey Every One.
so this is it my first email as a Missionary. this week has been so amazing. first of all our district is part of a new pilot program that they are starting here. they are practicaly pushing us into the water. we had to teach our first investigator in chinese on friday. his name is Kong yi and he is great. so far we have taught him 3 times. all in chinese. it is amazing to see how blessed we are as missionaries to be able to teach a lesson in a foreign language that most of the Elders in my district have not even look at.
my companion is Elder Montalto (Meng Zhanglao) he is just great. he is working so hard to learn chinese. he has never look at it or spoken it before. he took spanish in high school and thought he was going to go Spanish speaking. but i guess the lord had other plans. i know he well do great. he has already learned so much.
so going back to the first day. it was very hard as it got closer to the time to enter the MTC. there were alot of tears form my mom and me. as we left the parking lot near by where we said our good byes and headed toward the MTC i felt like i was walking the green mile. it was so painfull. but as we pulled into the MTC all of my fears were gone and i was ready to go. so the actual good by at the curb was not as painfull. since then there has been no time to stop and feel sorry. this program they the have got us new elders on keeps you busy 24/7. here at the MTC i have found many people that i know for school. my companion always points that out when there is another person that i find i know. my branch president here is Brother Baker. he was Amy's Branch president here and he remembers her. also my teacher is Sister Chang who was also Amy's teacher. she is great. i could not think of any one better then her. she is very funny, but she is very spiritual and always shares a strong testimony. classes here are faichang hao ( very good.) class is all in chinese except in guided studies and doctrine but even then our teacher tries to talk in chinese. now i know how to testify, pray, make commitments and give promises. but outside of class i have learned a lot of vocab for the lessons. i am 100% positive i will be able to teach all of the lessons by the time leave. one of the coolest things about my district is our diversity. we have a companionship from New Zealand, and a missionary from Tahiti, he only speaks french and very little english but he is doing great.
well that is about it. a lot of work and a lot spirit. the MTC is every thing I was told it would be, every thing i thought it would be and more. plus the food is really good.
i am so grateful to be serving a mission and to be her at this time. i know i have been bless greatly.
Love you all
the newest member of the papritz army.
Elder Papritz (Qiu zhanglao)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - May 16, 2011


Man that was weird. I just had to enter in all of my siblings emailing addresses and they were all their mission email. Cheers to Elder Alden Papritz for making it a hambone (bowling reference). Beer and cheese all around!.
Elder White and I had quite a bit of success even though I had a lot of problems with my Crohns. I woke up 3 days of the week with absolutely terrible stomach pains and tightness. I constantly feel like I have to go to the bathroom but then nothing happens.
We had a lesson with an investigator we found this week while contacting a member referal (what a miracle that was!) and him and his wife are just a darling, intelligent couple with a cute little daughter named Juliana. They were just glued to every word we said. It was so cool, she took notes again during the lesson and was writing down scriptures that we talked about and names of prophets and things. She had run in to some stuff on the web, which I warned about last time, but she was so good about understanding the explanation and willing to still work with us. They both read in the Book of Mormon and, in fact, the wife prefers to read in English and so she just went to the library and checked out an English one. So incredible, I love them both.
This week our members stepped up sooo much, especially with it being rainy and me not feeling well. They took care of us and gave us rides to appointments, gave us plenty of referals and brought family and freinds to church. Church was especially cool because this Peruvian family just moved in to the branch and they are way cool. One of them is a return missionary that served in Spokane, Washington. I loved talking to him and learning Peruvian Spanish words and stuff. Then there was a way cool Dominican guy that I had no idea was on the stake council. He helped me teach gospel principles and he was way smart and had a lot of cool stories from his mission in The Dominican Republic.
There was a bunch of other stuff that happened but I can't really remember and I'm out of time. I'll just make a bigger email next week.
Much love,
Elder Papritz

Autumn- Budapest Hungary May 16, 2011

Hello everyone!!!

Well another week in Pest! I cant believe time is flying soooo fast. I was thinking the other day about the day I received my mission call and how crazy it was that it said " Budapest Hungary"...and I had NO CLUE where that was. Now I live here! weird!

So this week was fun, President gave the missionaries in the area special permission to go see Phantom of the Opera on "broadway" here. Or the equivilant of Hungarian broadway. The production was all in Hungarian with really poorly translated english subtitles. It would say things like " my Angel of Music is a happiness unto me"...haha. I realized I actually understand Hungarian cause I leaned over to sister Roderick and said " that is DEFINITELY not what they just sang" cause apparently the translation was WAY off the entire show. and also the Phantom was like 90 years old! haha... or it seemed like it. He started singing and I thought it was going to be like some young phantom, but he started warbling like an Old man...totally killed the mood of the Whole show. a 90 year old phantom is not that scary or intimidating.

It was definitely a cultural experience. One crazy weird culture thing about Hungarians is that they clap in unison. So when the show was done, instead of clapping everyone at their own clapping pace they all clap together. As if there is a beat, but theres not a beat. and Somehow EVERYONE knows when it starts. and also they did like 6 "encore" bows. They seriously applauded for 20 minutes...all in unison. It was so weird.

Another fun event this week Sister Roderick got asked to perform at this Memorial concert for the death of one of our investigators friends (the investigator is like some PR lady that knows famous people...or so we thought). So we thought it was going to be this somber event. We were prepared with all of these death pass along cards. We show up to the place, everyone was like atleast 80 years old..and come to find out. It was a variety show! It wasnt a memorial concert at all, they didnt even MENTION the girl they were memorializing. They had a big picture of her up on a screen, but never mentioned her. It was like a Nursing Home Birthday party. and all of these old Famous Hungarian Crooners got up and performed a bunch of "Golden Oldies". I was so confused the whole night cause I kept waiting for everyone to be crying in memory of this lady, but everyone was having a party. There was a drunk man yelling bravo the whole night behind me. People were singing along to everysong. Old people were dancing in the aisles. I was sooo confused. We thought people would be in mouring, but they were just having the time of their lives! So we felt awkward passing out "death is not the end" pass along cards to all of these people that basically had one foot in the grave already at this "party". But I sure as heck passed out every single one of those cards!

We streeted a blind man this week. It was really awesome. He was so grateful we talked to him. We saw Him from far away, and I said we have GOT to talk to him. Cause how often can you just walk up and talk to a blind man! So we talked to him for a while on the street and It was so great. He was so greatful to have someone to talk to. After the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe the cloud of nuclear chemical settled right over Hungary. So there are sooo many people that have developmental problems, and lots of eye problems. So many people walk with limps or have other health issues because of Chernobyl or other communist things. Its crazy to be in the middle of a place like this. There is so much history, so much these people have gone through.

It also hit me this week, during communisom people were forbidden to join ANY religion. So alot of these people have never been religious in their lives because it was forbidden. So I am really apart of a pioneering work here in Hungary. These members are pioneers. They are the first members to join the church. There is no temple here, the church is so new. It just really struck me how new the church is here, and how much work there is to do. It makes me excited to be apart of the History of the Church in Hungary.

One of the pictures this week is me holding a giant Iron Nail. I wrestled that nail out of our Investigators 5 year old sons hand. (the one I play vickings and robbers with) He was swinging that thing around and it was looking REALLY dangerous. So I took matters into my own hands and solved that little dangerous problem. Then he burst into tears, called me a SLEW of bad names. and kept saying "youre stupid!" and then pummeled me with his fists. His mom was TICKED at him. but then later he apolozied and it was the cutest thing ever. But he was SOOOOO ticked at me and I had no clue what he was yelling at me..but I could tell it wasnt nice.

Well.... Thats it for this week. Lots of other funny and amazing things happened this week. Sister Roderick and I have so much fun here in Pest.

The gospel is true and I love being here! Everyone be happy!!


Sister Papritz

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Amy - Tianmu, Taiwan May 15, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
So this week has been really good. Really fast. I feel like the weeks now are just going by really fast. Being the senior companion has been taking some adjusting. I am so used to having my companion plan everything but now I am the one having to plan everything. We visited a lot of less actives and investigators and wrote cards. We also met with one investigator who will have her baptismal interview this week. Her name is Zhong hui ping. Her younger sister is a member and really sweet. Pray for her.
We have two wards here in Shuanghe so church was really interesting yesterday. We had to split work so I was with a member. Even though we split work in Xinzhu I am still not used to it. I would see Sister Liu and she would rattle something off to me in Chinese about needing a peike or some one I was supposed to wait for and then leave. Crap! I have no idea what she said or what she wants me to do.. oh well. Luckily she is so paitent with me. It was great to meet the ward members. They are all so wonderful and so willing to help. These two wards are willing to peike which is a nice change. Our ward mission leader is a really easy going man that looks like Barney Fiff from the andy griffiths show. He has a 5 year old daughter who is in my English class. She is adorable! She reminds me so much of Abby. Here we have 3 American Elders and one Taiwanese. There are no sisters in our area. I'm not even sure if our zone has sisters. Weird. They are great missionaries.
So funny story. On Thursday we were coming home from an appointment around 8:15 or so and we have to be home at 9pm. Since I dont know this area very well sister Liu was leading. I got stuck behind a garbage truck and a large van so I couldn't see sister Liu. By the time I got ahead of the trucks Sister Liu was gone! I couldn't find her. She had turned onto the main road and hadn't looked back to see if I was behind her. So remembering my years of camping with the family I knew I needed to stay in the same spot and she would come back to get me. I waited for 10 minutes and she didn't come back. Luckily I also from many camping experiences learned how to read a map so I knew somewhat how to get home. I tried to get home but I kept getting turned around. Finally Sister Liu called me from the pay phone. She has gone all the way home. I finally found my way back after about 45 minutes of waiting for her and trying to find my way back. And of course it started down pouring! Luckily the little rain didn't stop this Oregonian and I got home. Sister Liu was a good sport. It helped me get to know the area better. I am grateful for moments like this that humble me and give me unexpected learning opportunites.
I hope that you all have a great week. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord. I know that this Gospel is true. There is nothing that I would rather be doing than getting lost in the streets of Shuanghe and sharing the Gospel. I love you all!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
P.S Mom, I got a package from the Burrows for Easter. Can you tell them I got it and I said thank you and that I loved it. I am mailing a thank you card to them today. It was so sweet of them to do that.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Autumn- Budapest Hungary May 9, 2011

Jo Napot mindenkinek!!!!

So this week was another wonderful week in the land of milk and honey...Pest!!! Sister Roderick and I have so much stinking fun.... oh and we happen to do a lot of missionary work on the side. actually not on the side, thats the main thing we do.. the fun is on the side. haha. my priorities are straight I promise.

It was WONDERFUL to talk to my family. -sigh- so wonderful. My favorite part was the wonderful rendition of "doe a dear a female dear" duet that my little sisters did from the sound of music. made my heart melt. Love my family so much. but I also LOVE the work I am doing here. Its is so worth it. Im sacrificing my family and my job which I love for a year and a half so that I can bring other people ETERNAL families and ETERNAL happiness. a year and a half is nothing compared to that.

So I liked the numbered list of events so here we go, top events of Paprikas Nővér's week:

1. Had my most AWKWARD streeting experience of my life. I approached this lady on the street walking her dog and had the book of mormon in my hand. I was confident. i was ready. i had a little something something i was going to say. I approached her and said "papritz nővér vagyok. Hálotál erról a könvyeről?".....simply "Im sister papritz have you heard about this book?"... she started RATTLING off Hungarian..I knew it wasnt going good, I started sweating, my eyes got all shifty, I had an awkward smile on my face...I still had no clue what she was saying. So all I said was " hát jo" or "well ...good"...and then stood there Awkwardly staring at her...and then just walked away. bahah... Sister Roderick bust up laughing and translated for me what the lady had said " I have heard of that book and frankly Im not interested, Im not interested at all!!!!!!" and all I said back to her enthusiastically was " well GOOD!"...and walked away. bahah. not good. not good at all. The awkwardness was OOOOOOZING... oh man. just POURING out of me. haha. Good thing all of this awkwardness makes for AWESOME stories.

2. Our miracle LAW OF CHASTITY investigator, Imre, is still on fire. Its so great. He basically teches us every lesson. and this week after we taught him about the restoration. He just looked at us and said "well This all just makes sense"....WELL PERFECT! We hoped youd say that. and he again reemphasized how much he loves chastity. haha.. well awkward for letting us know, but awesome that you love it.

3. We did yoga this week with an investigator. We are trying to do some creative activities with our investigators. So sister Roderick was the yoga instructor, i was the entertainment, and our investigator got to watch the hilariousness of my inflexibility and Sister Rodericks profiness... oh and our investigator participated too. She kept saying "i dont like this sport!"...haha...we were little nazi instructors "TOO BAD YOU WILL DO DOWNWARD DOG!"... haha. it was fun though. good investigator bonding time.

4. We had stake conference this weekend. and well the entire country is the stake so members from ALL OVER the country were there and the stake center was PACKED. It was great sitting in the chapel and looking all the way back and just seeing it full of Hungarians. We'll get a temple here before we know it!

Well those are the highlights... not a super over the top week. Just normal and full of FUN and SPIRIT and awesomeness. The gospel is true. Im so grateful to be here and preaching the word and trying to speak this crazy language..and sometimes succeeding. It is so worth it though.

-Your little Hungarian

Cultural Tip of the week: Hungarians are always betég! They are always sick! and their kids are always sick. Like we will call an investigator and they say " well Marcell caughed today, Im pretty sure he is sick now" "oh really? like really sick?" " oh.. no.. just one cough...but I know hes sick now".. so all it takes is one cough and theyre kid has CROUP! ...haha. or it just has to have like ONE RAINDROP fall and the moms are all staying inside. Theyre kids WILL NOT catch the cold that will kill them .cause FOR SURE they will die. apparently. and in the middle of one lesson an investigators kid had a runny nose, so she Ran to the vacuum and stuck on this attachment and SHOVED it up her kids nose! and started just SUCKING the snot out of it. im talking TRAUMATIZING getting a VACUUM hose shoved up your nose. Its called an Orszivo Porszivo. or a nose vacuum apparently. it was traumatizing for me...and I wasnt even the ones getting my brains sucked out.

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - May 9, 2011

Hey Family,
It was nice to see and talk to the family on Sunday. We got to go to a member's home la familia Cruz and use their computer to Skype. Brother Cruz is this hilariousbig-gut Mexican. We were playing soccer on Saturday and he was telling that he didn't use to always be this big. He use to be a "flacito" or little skinny guy until he married his wife. And then he was describing that whole thing and how he didn't like the ditzy giggly girls in Mexican and then he met his wife and thought, "Wow, shes is so serious, that kind of interestin." Notice that he told the whole story in Spanish and then he expressed his "mind thoughts" in broken English and so it was funny. I help a lot of the members here with their English and they appreciate it so much. It's nice to start being really comfortable with Spanish where I can feel like I can sacrifice some of my time to help them learn English where otherwise I would have rather spoken in Spanish so that I could learn. They truly get excited that I correct them, I've heard it three times now where the Hermano will tell their wife, "I'm going to learn a lot of English with this Elder." And they'll throw up there arms in excitement. It's pretty cool.
This week we found 3 new people that are excited to learn about the Gospel. All three of them were found kind of on accident too. We were trying to contact another person but they weren't at home so we knocked the door for the first floor and we found Rafael and his wife Rut who are a darling young family. It was cool that when I introduced the Book of Mormon to him he asked me to pick a part for him so that he could start reading. Then we got a referal from a member and we knocked on the door and we met this way interested guy who knew the church a bit back in Mexico. He really wants to be a missionary and admires what we do a lot. But then we found out that doesn't even live in that house and that he was just visiting his sister who lived there. Pretty cool.
Last Sunday the young men's leader had us join them for the third hour of church for an activity he was going to do with the boys. It was way cool. He had the blindfolded and then had them stand on a wood board. He told them that the missionaries (us) were going to lift the board above our heads (at which point their like, WHHAT?) And he puts their hand on his shoulder for balance but really what he does is when he says 3-2-1 we just lift the board like 5 inches and the young mens' leader just lowers his body until he is kneeling on the floor and it somehow gives the person on the board the feeling of being lifted up really far but really they are just like 5 inches from the ground. They then have to excersize "faith" to take a step down (Which they think is like 6 feet down) some of them had interesting reactions and it was all kind of funny to watch. Some of them tried to jump of the board thinking they were jumping 6 feet. The young mens' leader brought the men in one at a time too so that it wouldn't give away the trick. It was a pretty cool lesson to be apart of.
We went to the birthday of an investigator's daughter on Cinco de Mayo, she was born on 5/5/05 which I thought was pretty cool. We had Guatemalen style tamales and we met a lot of her friends. There was a pinata afterwoods too and they gave me the honor of breaking it (after everyone went and had a go at it). Then after that we went to a Cinco de Mayo party that was put on by the city Spanish Center here in Kenosha. It was done in the lobby of a lake front hotel and it was way cool. There was tons of food (which normally costs 30 bucks to get in but because we volunteer for the Spanish Center teaching English we got in for free). There was live Spanish music and dance groups. It was a cool experience. But I didn't get any pictures because my camera's lense is broken. It broke 2 days after I had FORMATTED ALL OF THE TWO HUNDRED PHOTOS AND 30 MINUTES WORTH OF VIDEO I HAD ON MY CAMERA. 9 months of my mission. Gone. Disappeared. I almost wanted to cry. I accidentally pressed okay instead of cancel and it just deleted everything. So I haven't had much technology luck this week.
Oooother than that. I'm doing decently well. Crohn's is being a punk but it's not getting me down. Nuttin is.
Much love,
Elder Papritz

AMy - Tianmu, Taiwan May 9, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
Well another week has passsed in Tianmu. Our numbers lately have been going down. We try to set up with people but the appointments fall through. We spend a lot of our time contacting. This whole transfer I have gone door to door contacting more than any other time in my mission!! It has been interesting to be on the other side of the work. Before I have been on the harvesting side but this last transfer I have been the one seeding. At times it was hard to get the motivation to knock one more door but we kept going because I know that there are souls that need the Gospel. Sister Tanner and I saw many miracles. Vicky Lin for one. She has been progressing a lot but hasn't come to church in two weeks. She loves the Book of Mormon and has made the goal everyday to be happy and it has really helped her change her attitude. I'm sad that I will not see her get baptized. Hong Jiemei also has progressed a lot. At first we had to constantly remind her to read the Book of Mormon and now at the end of the transfer she is reading 30 minutes everyday. She even bought a triple combination. She really wants to change and to join the church. With Sister Dowdle going home and me moving they combined Shilin and Tianmu again. So the apartment will be quite again. Sister Tanner and Pederson will be great. I will miss Tianmu though. I was only there for one transfer but I loved it. I didnt' get to know the ward very well. I will definately miss Kumiko and Ya ting. They are two recent converts who are amazing. I think I talked about Kumiko before. She joined the church in December and is amazing!! She absolutely LOVES Disney and especially Mickey. Every time she sees something Mickey she gets really excited. I hope Alden will serve there so he can meet her. Ya ting also is amazing! She is the only member in her family and has been a member for a year. She wants so serve a mission.
Well since I talked to you on Mother's Day not much has changed. I am writing this e-mail from my new area Shuanghe. It is still in Taipei city. My new companion is a Taiwanese Sister named Liu. This is her third transfer so she is still really new. She is soo cute! I think we will get along great. Since she has only been out for 3 transfers I am offically Da tongban (senior companion). Scary! It will be fun.
One thing I have been meaing to tell you is super funny. So last transfer I went to go eat dinner with a Shilin member. I had never met the family. But just in the first 3 minutes of meeting them the wife turned to me and told me, "You look like Snoopy." She then asked her daughter if I did and she said yes!! So apparently I look like a cartoon dog! haha The whole family thinks I do. That was the joke all of last transfer that I was snoopy. I dont' know how I do but oh well.
Well I dont' have much left to tell you. I hope that you all have a great week. I love you all!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

Monday, May 2, 2011

Autumn- Budapest Hungary May 2, 2011


ok well this week was CRAZY...as usually and I didnt have a lot of time to email. so im going to make this short and sweet and include the highlights!

1. Had Barby's baptism this week. Our little ball of fire. she had perfect form into the water. no drowning. In the middle of her baptismal service she called all the sisters up to give us presents. She gave me a hand drawing she did of the Chain Bridge over the Danube.... it was definitely no Monet or Rembrandt... but it was cute.

2. While streeting this week we approached someone and said "we have a message about Jesus Christ to Share" she replied with a pleasant grin "Sataniszta vagyok" or in other words..... "Well... I'm a Satanizer!"... and then walked off. haha....well hadnt heard that one before.

3. Our AMAZING investigator Barbye went tracting and streeting with us. Thats how amazing the people are in Hungary we are teaching that our INVESTIGATORS go streeting with us!! So streeting is when we stop people on the streets and share a message with them and tracting is when we go door to door (well apartment to apartment here) and she totally approached people and knocked doors with us. she is awesome! hungary is amazing.

4. One of our investigators came to church and she is really a little bit "unaware" and when the sacrament tray came to her she just stood up and started passing the sacrament to other rows... haha.. so our female investigator started passing the sacrament. we forgot to tell her that only the 12 year old Deacons do that. whoops.

5. During one of our lessons with an investigator Sister Roderick decided that it would be more productive for me to play with our investigators 5 year old (CRAZY) child instead of struggle/suffer/attempt to teach in Hungarian. So I got to wear a viking hat and play Vikings and Robbers with a 5 year old the whole lesson...way more fun. BUT it was a little embarassing when I realized the 5 year old spoke better than me.

6. Sister Roderick and I have always joked that we are going to street with the Law of Chastity. That that will be our very first contact to someone and we will just preach abstinence to everyone and they will say " YES THATS WHAT IVE BEEN WAITING TO HEAR MY WHOLE LIFE....etc etc" haha... so we've always said were just going to tell everyone about chastity. Golden idea right?

Well so on Saturday IT WORKED!! A 25 year old male...attractive hungarian male (which that is already hard to come by) met with us and the first thing out of his mouth was " Im sick of the immorality in this Country I cant stand the way women act around here and yesterday, before I saw you in the metro, i prayed that I would find people that live a higher moral law. I am looking for a group of people that have high morals and women that live high standards..." ...UH BINGO....We've got just the thing THE LAW OF CHASTITY!!! TADA!!!! So we literally for the first lesson taught the law of chastity... it was our dream come true. and HE WAS HOOKED!!! he was seriously hooked with the law of chastity and then he was asking when he can serve a mission...basically GOLDEN.. and it all started with the law of chastity.

7. got hit on by toothless old man in the metro. he winked at me and said "szervusz!" in an awkward seductive tone. then he interpreted my jaw dropped look of horror for a "come hither look" and so he then came even closer, winked again and yelled "HELLO LADY!!".. what a crooner.

allright thats all for this week. Would send pictures but this computer is SUPER SUPER SLOW.

Love you all!!

-Your little Hungarian.

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - May 2, 2011

Dear Family,
a pre-note: it says to only email friends in the white hand book. In an effort to be more obedient I'd be cool if you could forward this to Katelyn and Melissa. They are pretty much the only other ones I add anyways. Practically family but just a technicality.
Well, Elder Kelly took off on Wednesday. I had a very nice trainers' training before getting my new companion and then we along with the other trainees and trainers had another training with the President and Sister Jones and the Assistants. They mostly focus on expectations and then we practiced inviting people to be baptized. Then I drove with my new companion, Elder White, Kenosha. It's also been tough because my Crohn's has really been acting up and I hurt my back pretty bad too. So I was hunched over and limping around the whole day and I got a couple good teasing from the missionaries going home and even President. My backs pretty much fine but I'm getting preeetty bad and frequent Crohn's pains. It's the good ol' joke around the apartment too. Any pain is Crohn's pain now. If someone hurts their ankle or stubbed their toe or cut their finger, "Ahh, my CROHN'S!" haha
I'm way excited to be training again and I love my new companion. Such a nice, soft spoken missionary from a tiny town in N. Carolina. He is the only active member in his family (his going on a mission has reactived his parents and is reactivating his older brother that didn't serve a mission) he is the only one in his family to go on a mission. He wasn't even planning on it but one of his friends really got him thinking about it. I'm glad he made the decision and that I get to train him. He also has an autistic brother (pretty severe) and he even told me that he has undiagnosed slight autism (he tells me from his own prognoses haha). At times he can fumble with his words and often not like looking at peoples eyes when talking to them but I've learned a lot from him and I love him as if he were my own son.
He is also just about one of the worst bike riders ever haha. We had some pretty funny moments getting him on a bike the first time "in 9 years." We ride bikes every day and he's on a big ol' mountain bike and I'm on a sleek rode bike and he has to peddle his little legs 5 times to keep up with one of my peddles (he's not that short, just like 5'7"). But we are having a riot being on the streets talking to random people and knocking doors. We went to go contact this former investigator but we knocked on this door and this 25ish year old lady answers it with one eye worth of makeup on, she says to us (Oh I thought you were the pizza man) then we looked behind us and the pizza guy drove up. We waited for the transaction and then she invited us in to eat some. She was a brash-spoken lady who just got out of jail and was on parole, she let a few cuss words slip but would quickly apologize. She loved telling us all of her offenses and problems in life. It was pretty fun to talk to her despite the interesting circumstance. She told us her parole officer would be proud to hear that she had talked to mormon missionaries. But she actually is a really nice lady with a soft nougat center. She has two twin boys from a Mexican husband that used to beat her. We gave her name to the English Elders and hopefully they'll get in contact with her and she will actually do something to change her life and not just be amused by it.
We had a pretty sweet encounter with this old investigator. Her name was Sylvia and she told us that she never wanted to meet with missionaries again because she was offended by one of them. After quite a while of talking to her we softened her up. Then she went in to the other room and her little girl was in the room just staring at me. She reminded me of Alaina (about the same age) so I decided to show her my family photos. Sylvia walked back in and saw the pictures. I showed them to her and she told us how her daughter loved EVERYTHING about China and wants to learn Chinese and got here and learn kung fu. I told her about my family and she just fell in love. I bore strong testimony about how I have such a happy family only because of this gospel. She was really touched and by the end of it even invited us back. It was an intense interaction, we thought we were just going to lose her even though we had prayed and prayed over the area book for who we should visit and we felt really good about her. Especially Elder White was excited to meet her and when she said she didn't want anything to do with us I felt devastated. But I'm glad it worked out.
I got to go, we haven't an appointment soon.
Much love,
Elder Papritz

Amy - Tianmu, Taiwan May 2, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
Boy is it getting hot and sticky!!! This whole week the weather has been heating up. Its really spring!! I am so glad it is starting to warm up. But heaven help me when its summer!! A great thing though is that Mangos are in season!!! In June we will be able to buy those delicious heavenly fruit. I ate them in China and LOVED IT! Alden you will be getting here right in the thick of the great fruit season. There is also a really good dessert that is shaved ice with condensed milk on it and fruit. I dont' know who to spell it but it is amazing! In two days sister Tanner and I ate 3. hehe. We are finding ways to keep cool. Luckily our apartment has air conditioning.
This week was really slow. A lot of our appointments fell through so we did a lot of contacting. Everyday we knocked on doors for 4+ hours. It has been fun Sister Tanner and I make it interesting. Here there are a lot of 5 floor builidings. The doors are usually right by each other so its easy to go from one to the other. Sometimes just for fun Sister Tanner and I if one door doesnt' answer we will riverdance/ clog over to the next door. Usually that starts us in our usual laughting fit which is really awkward when someone answers the door. Oh well, gotta break the monotany some how!! We have seen many miracles through door contacting. We met this one Philippino women who literally is a slave. She will work here for 3 years and works from 6am to 11pm. She has no days off and no cell phone. My heart just broke for her as she started to tear up. She has so much faith. She says that prayer is the only outlet she has since she cannot leave the house. We are going back to visit her this week and will take her a Book of Mormon. In that same building one door had Celine Dion music blaring. We danced in the hallway to My heart will go on before we knocked on the door. It brought be back to our many days in the car as a kid when we would listen to her CDs. Good times.
We met this week with Vicky twice. She is amazing!!! We shared the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom. She said that she knows that it is from God and that he wants whats best for her. When we talked about the Plan of Salvation her face lit up. She talked about how her grandpa had passed away and how she prayed to know where he was. When we told her that he too would have the chance to hear the Gospel her face lit up even more. During her prayer she expressed how much she loved her grandpa and wanted peace. She also apologized for everything that she has done wrong and promised she would start doing good. Her faith is so amazing!! I realized how much my prayers need fixing. Hers are so sincere and faithfilled. It is truly like she is talking with God like a friend. I love her!
Well I hope that you all have a great week. As for mother's day I plan on calling Sunday morning around 6:30 MY TIME. That would be Saturday evening your time. I can't wait the talk to you. I guess I will talk to you more about coming home when I call. Crazy my last phone call home as a missionary!!! AHHH! I love you all!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

AUtumn- Budapest Hungary April 25, 2011

Hello family and Friends!!

Well this week was an exciting week! A crazy week! I feel like I lived 20 weeks in just THIS WEEK! Well I will start off with my most traumatic story this week. So I decided it was time to get a haircut. Those that know me, know that I have only ever let two people touch my hair in my life, my haircutter in Oregon and my hairlady in Salt lake city. Thats it. Im pretty particular about my hair. But i was DESPERATE this week, its long and gross and so we decided to go to this hairplace next to our grocery story. (red flag number one....grocery stores should have NOTHING to do with haircuts) so my wonderful companion translates for me. I told her I just want it a little bit shorter and thinner. So she says to her in Hungarian "a little bit shorter and not as much thickness and shorter bangs"... Seems straight forward ugy-e? (right?) ...so I sit down the haircutter lady seemed really nice but her hair looked like an edward scissor hand creation (red flag number two)...so then she washes my hair, no problem... then she proceeds to cut. she cuts a little off the bottom layer..and it looks fine. Then she starts HACKING at the rest of it, layers are coming out of NOWHERE!...all the sudden there are INChes and INCHES falling off my hair. what?! There were SOO MANY LAYERS.. and so she starts to blowdry it and she starts swooping the layers ito my face so ive got all these layers just like hanging in my face like a shaggy dog. Then she starts approaching the bangs and I forbade her!!....so she finished styling, and Im just mortified, the front looks like a layered fiesta..and in the back it felt like there was a little extra. So she turns around and unveils the final product.... yeah, the little extra in the back WAS A MULLET!!!!! I have this long EXTRA LAYER in the back. A little Euro surprise! So i was just MORTIFIED... horrified, felt like crying and running and flying home to my hairdresser. So we immediately go home and I tame the mullet down with some straightening. Now it just looks like some weird crazy european layers and I usually just tuck my little mullet into my collar.I actually just fit right in here in Hungary. but oh man.... I am never going to a grocery haircut place AGAIN..im going down to the Opera house district even if it costs me tons of money. Never again will I have a mullet! (Im just going to let my current mullet grow out.) I dont have any really good pictures of the mullet. I will tease it up a bit one day and take a picture and send it next week.

So besides that horror, the rest of the week was amazing. We teach this man named Zsolt and his deaf mother Katalin. Zsolt is a famous Opera singer in Hungary! He lives right next door to the Opera house and His speaking voice is just this deep beautiful sounding Hungarian, I could just listen to him talk all day. Well I got the wonderful Privilige of inviting them to be baptized on wednesday and they both accepted!! Well Zsolt was thrilled, and Katalin hadnt really heard what was going on so Zsolt yelled to her " do you want to be baptized with me?!" She had this look of like "oh please" ..and then said "hát......igen"... like "wellllllll........yes" with this wink like, whatever you say. she is the CUTEST náni EVER!

On sunday we had a miracle, this women came into Church that we had never seen before. She grabbed all of the materials off of the info table and went to Sunday school. She was reading through them frantically, like she had never seen such a thing. She introduced herself in sunday school and said " I had been standing outside of one of your buildings and I saw the name of your church. So i went home and looked it up online and I just felt something, I felt like this is what I needed. So i came to church to figure our if this is really true".....WOW!!.... Not everyday someone struts into church saying that. so we definitely taught her this week, and were just SOOO happy that we had that miracle this week. She had such a pure desire to learn more.

This week we had our Easter concerts. Every missionary in the budapest area participated. We did a concert in kispest, buda, and pest...we had concerts friday, saturday and sunday. It was a busy weekend. But it was so fun to play the piano and to share the gospel through music.

For easter we went and ate at a members home. She fed us stuffed egg shells, like egg shells stuffed with Rice...i have NO CLUE how she did that. These little meat patties and some Chicken noodle broth soup. Then the grand finale was another soup, it was a spinach soup...but it really just looked liked a huge bowl of bright green thick BABY FOOD!!...yeah..so I had my first experience trying to pleasently slurping down spinach soup/baby food. I had do drink lots of juice with it to keep it down. Im grateful because the food is REALLY good here. Im lucky I havent had anything that is disgusting. We made paprikas Cirke the other day and it was divine. But it was a Hungarian recipe, uh...and were not really proficient in Hungarian culinary vocabulary..so we improved it. and it turned out great. I havent had anything too weird..I cant wait to have a good weird food story.

The weather is PHENOMINAL HERE! It has just been sunshine ever since I showed up. The trees are blooming with bright purple and white flowers and the sun is out, and it has rained a couple of times...but Im defintiely not in Oregon anymore. No more rainy springs!

Oh yeah... so we get home late at night on Saturday and the doors to our balcony are WIDE OPEN and we DEFINITELY didnt leave them open. So we start freaking out that someone is in our apartment, me freaking out a little less than sister Roderick..but still a TON for ME...and I grabbed knives and was equipped to fight this INTRUDER. So we get our district leader on the phone and he starts walking us throug his "plan" what a joke! He basically said just run in and start stabbing the air! start stabbing anything! then he started telling sister Roderick to start speaking in Hungarian, formalizing him and using lots of "maga's" telling him to leave!.... (which means just speak really fancy to him, and make it sound like fancy hungarian cause maybe that would be intimidating! bahah!) Well...I finally switched a light on and charged the room..and used my flashlight and looked EVERYWHERE there was noone there. But we sure as heck didnt open those doors. So who knows what happens...i think all of the formalization worked, he was out of there! we were TOO fancy for him!!

Well that was my week. Like I said. CRAZY busy week! Lots of excitement. Lots of spirit. Some miracles thrown in there and some wonderful baptisms set up! Barbye gets baptized on saturday and Im soooo excited! I will send pictures next week, I finally found my camera Chord so I can charge my camera.

Love You all!!

- Papritz Nővér

Cultural Tip of the Week: hungarians have some weird easter traditions. One is the men pour perfume on the womens hair, and the other is that they dump water on girls as a surprise. So... yea our elders definitely took advantage of that tradition and dumped us last night on Gellert Hedge.

pictures: 1. Sister Roderick and I at a wheelchair benefit. The church donated a bunch of wheelchairs to an organization and sister Roderick sang in the ceremony.

2. Me infront of some cute old men playing chess in the subway. Dad and Austin would love to play!

3. This is the sign we pass everyday infront of our bus stop: "Good mornin starshine!" ...how random!

4. My beautiful city from Gellert Hedge.

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - April 25, 2011

Hey family,
So I got a call from President on Thursday, he started out all casual asking about my health. Then he started asking about how my Spanish is coming and how the area is. Then he asked if I would train next transfer. It caught me totally off guard. I had just finished training and I thought there were a couple of other people that would train before me that are older than me and haven't trained yet. I also found out that they are moving the Zone Leader area to the English Elders that are over the same city. We also share an apartment with them. So I'll be training in the same apartment as the zone leaders. It should be interesting. I also wonder what they are going to do with the car (usually the car is shared between the two companionship) since Zone Leaders usually always have a full time car but our area is bigger than theirs. I might be on bikes again, but at least it's getting a lot warmer.
This should be a lot easier to train this time, now that I know what to expect. I never anticipated that so much of the work would fall on me. You definitely feel a lot more of the weight of the work when you're training, especially in language missions since the companion can't speak the language very well. I don't know who I am going to get but from what I saw both of the new Spanish missionaries are from Utah so it's unlikely they will know Spanish.
I hurt my back while working out one morning so I'm back on the muscle relaxants that I used when I got in a bike crash in Milwaukee. I hope I can get it healed before my boy comes so that I can be an example to him and workout in the morning. Oh, I went to a doctor because I've had a cold for 28 days straight and he told me something genius -- I probably just have allergies. So I started taking Claritin and it was fixed in two days haha. Gosh I wish I would have thought of that earlier. I've never had allergies before too so that was weird and everyone else in my family gets itchy eyes and stuffy noses when they get allergies but I didn't really have any of that.
We have interviews with the Presient next week, I'll be looking for to that. For Easter we ate at our Branch Presient's house and we got to do an Easter Egg hunt with their family. It involved finding clues in specific scriptures and then trying to find it based on the scripture. Elder Kelly this morning went golfing with the Branch President. They had plenty of time to talk and he counseled him a bit on life after the mission (I just went on exchanges with the English elders while he did that). Elder Kelly leaves this Thursday for home. He tells me it's bitter-sweet. He's going to miss alot of people here but he is excited for this next part of his life.
Sorry I don't have any way cool stories or anything. It was a pretty normal week. We made Easter cards for some of the members, I felt like Martha Stewart making them. I printed out a scripture and then glued it on this fancy paper background. It was pretty decent.
Much love,
Elder Papritz

Amy - Tianmu, Taiwan April 24, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
I hope that you had a great week. I am so grateful that we had that meeting last week with the historians. I felt suffeciently humbled when they talked about keeping a journal. It is something I have been trying to catch up on this week. I realized just how important it is to keep a journal and how we are expected to. I'm not quite caught up yet but I'm getting close. I hope that you all are keeping journals. It doesn't have to be a long entry but a short paragraph will do.
This week we met again with Vicky Lin. She is amazing!! We met with her twice this week. On Friday we taught her about the Restoration. She said that she believes Joseph Smith's First Vision is true! She has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon. On Sunday she came to a baptism and then to church. We also met with her afterward. She said she loved church and had a great questions. She asked a lot about Adam and Eve which was our Sunday school topic. We are planning on meeting with her on friday and teaching the Plan of Salvation. She is going wonderfully. Her prayers are so sincere and heartfelt. We planned on her getting baptized on May 14 but we might need to move her date back a little bit because we won't be able to finish the lessons then.
We had a lot of lessons this week cancel so we went contacting A LOT. There are a lot of neighborhoods we still haven't contacted. So this week wasn't really eventful. I don't really know what to write about. For Easter the ward didn't do anything special. When Sister Tanner and I would tell the ward Happy Easter many didn't know it was Easter! haha When we got home from church the Shilin sistes hid a bunch of candy around our apartment so we had a little Easter egg hunt. It was a lot of fun.
Well I hope that you all have a great week. I am so grateful for this Easter season and the opportunity it gives us to remember the Savior. I know that he did Resurrect on the third day and that He lives. I am so grateful for his Atonement and the hope that it gives me that everyday I can change. I love you all!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - April 18, 2011

Thinking back, nothing too out of the ordinary happened this week. There is this young man in the branch that was baptized recently and he is the only member of his family. We are trying to work with his Mom but she is very indepent thinker. This week her younger son had a birthday party and we were over there and they had a bunch of friends over there and they were all so surprised to see us there. Some of them would walk in and see us and say, "Oh boy, I didn't know I was going to church today." And another lady (who we found out was dating another lady at the party teehee) abruptly told us, "I'm athiest." When she walked in. They all assumed we were these stiff Jesus preachers. As the party went on and they saw how genuine we were I saw every single one of their hearts open up with time. One of the ladies, a Puerto Rican (who are usually very outspoken), even admitted that she had judged us but that she wanted to actually come to our church. She felt like we were different than other religious people. And the athiest (also lesbian) admitted that she was religious at one time but lost her faith when she grew up and kind of learned to hate the world and God. She even admitted that she woudln't mind spending more time trying to get to know God more. So it was way cool.
So Kelly is going home soon and all the members are gearing up and putting meal appointments together. Last Sunday we had more meal appointments than the entire transfer combined. We went to this Brazilian family's house and had some delicious Brazilian food and talked about Brazil forever. And that night we got an unexpected phone call from the Branch President's wife and she invited us over for a dinner (after we were already stuffed) but we didn't put down the offer. The branch Presidents Mom was in town and she is from Uruguay but she also lived in Brazil and spoke Portuguese, French Spanish and English. It was cool, so in the last week I have had 3 Portuguese conversations in the middle of my Spanish speaking mission in Wisconsin. My Portuguese is getting pretty decent.
I'll tell you, our members are dang bold. There was this random white guy that was at church because one of the Hispanic ladies works with him (note that he doesn't speak Spanish and she hardly speaks English) but he had expressed to her in some way that he had a bad experience at his old church and so she simply invited him to church. He was a way cool guy, real humble guy. A recovering drug and alcohol addict just trying to survive in this economy. I got to know him well because I interpreted the entire sacrament meeting for him while just sitting next to him.
It's pretty weird to think I'll be at a year soon. It just does NOT feel l ike I walked in to those MTC halls almost a year ago. I hear the second year goes even faster. What a shame. I pray for you all at home. And from what I hear about Brazil I'm sort of glad to be here. The father of that family was telling us how he was shot at and saw robberies and violence and all sorts of stuff. The favelas (ghettos) of Brazil are pretty bad, way worse than anything we have here in the US. I count my blessings every night, for such a tight family with all active members. Just about every companion I have had has one less active family member and half have had an immediate family member die. Gosh I'm so lucky.
With much love from Kenizzle Wiscizzle,
-Elder Papritz

Autumn- Budapest Hungary April 18, 2011

Hello Everyone!!!

Im writing this in an internet cafe, next to a crazy Hungarian whose ring tone is the sound of a fly buzzing. its super weird.

Well it was another LOVELY week in Pest. Im loving all of this more and more. and Me and Sister Roderick are just having the times of our lives together. We got to travel to this amazingly cute and prefect city called Gyűr, because she was performing in her one woman show concert there. (well p.s. did I mention she is an INCREDIBLE singer... which is so fun for me) and I got to go to the concert then we spent time in the city and ate some amazing Hungarian food...stayed at the Gyűr sisters apartment, which is like a penthouse. Seriously it makes our apartment seem like a dog house. There apartment is huge so we all crashed there for the night and caught the 530 am train back to Pest to be on time for church. It was a fun little adventure and I was glad to go because the night before she also had a concert and she traveled with another sister and left me in Budapest to fend for myself! I went on splits with Sister Johnson and we had a blast... but we are both SUPER NEW..and super...uh...lacking in the language department. So it was a hilarious night us trying to survive with the language. But we taught my super spunky amazing investigator Barbye and it was so funny cause we kept getting things confused. At one point Barbye was talking about something about a building... I thought she was talking about the Temple... sister johnson thought she was talking about the Great and Spacious building...and come to find out she had been talking about the Tower of Babel all a long!! haha.... well I was definitely WAY off. Then another part of the lesson she kept asking us about a jossznő (i dont know how to spell it) well neither of us knew what that was. So she showed us in the dictionary.. and it said "prophetess" and we said no ... President Monson is the Prophet. Well she just got more confused with our answer..and well, again...we were a BIT confused. she had actually been asking if "she should still go to a FORTUNE TELLER!".....haha.... well that was A LOT easier to explain than prophetesses. oh man.. this language is so confusing! but hilarious!!

So on tuesday we went streeting at this busy intersection/Metro station area and we set up tables and stuff to talk to people. and We had a lot of success! We found these 3 really rough looking construction workers who were totally interested. One of them is named Laszlo and he is built like as if he works with a jackhammer everyday... he is like a mix between a Hell's Angel and a body builder... Hes bald and has this awesome mustache. anyways he was super interested in what we were saying and said he wanted a Book of Mormon and that he would come to church. but didnt have a phone number supposedly. So all week we thought I bet he's going to dog us and not show up because he probably really has a phone but didnt want us to have his number... and so then I prayed super hard all week that somehow he'd make it to church. I was in the middle of playing my prelude in sacrament meeting and in walks in Laszlo my Hells Angel-Body Builder!!! and the best part is afterwards when I asked him if he had read much in the book of mormon he pulled it out and said "yeah tons! I read all the way till Alma 3!" .... what ?!?! alma 3! that was like Music to our ears! and the best part is he had the book all high lighted and he took furious notes all through sunday school and asked all sorts of questions. yeah.. im super excited about him. it was so awesome that he came to church.

Also funny at that streeting experience, we got flashed.... By a man. This man just walked into the middle of the square and dropped his pants. and Im sitting there talking to our construction worker friends and I just hear Sister Roderick yell out " SISTER PAPRITZ WHATEVER YOU DO...DO NOT LOOK TO YOUR LEFT!!!"... yeah.. unfortunately I had been looking to the left. prior to the warning...and boom....got an eyeful. WELCOME TO HUNGARY!!

Also it was crazy this week we visited a family who lives in the 8th district... or as I like to call it the Holocaust district.. cause it looks like your walking into a concentration camp. The people that live there are soooo poor and sooo lacking in just basic needs. Hardly anyone there has power or food. and the family we visited lived in just filth. It was soooo sad. But so humbling. My life is so blessed, not only with material things but just with the gospel and an eternal perspective. The mission is an amazing culture experience and big life lesson teacher. I definitely wont take things for granted after all of this.

Also this week I accidently told the mission presidents wife I felt like I was on vacation.... uh whoops! she gave me a look of like "vacation huh? thats what this is?!".... "UH NO THATS NOT WHAT I MEANT...i meant you know the joy you feel when youre ON VACATION... its like that with LOTS AND LOTS of missionary work. emphasis on Lots of work.".. yeah had to back peddle out of that one.

well I love you all so much! and I love the work! and I love Hungary!!!

Papritz Nővér

Amy - Tianmu, Taiwan April 18, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
This week has been great. We continue to see miracles here. Sister Tanner are doing great here in Tianmu. Heavenly Father has continued to bless us. We has quite a few investivators that we had to let go because they were not progressing. But on Sunday we met a amazing women. Her name is Lin Vicky. We were on the phone trying to get a hold of an investigator but she didn't answer. When we turned around she walked up to us. She said she wants to go to church but has a problem with drinking coffee. we taught her about Heavenly Father and prayer. She really opened up. When I invited her to be baptized on May 28 she asked if she could get baptized earlier!!!! Her goal is to be baptized on May 14. She even said that she will try to rearrange her work schedule so that she can come to church. When she prayed at the end of our lesson she thanked Heavenly Father for leading her to us. She said she was, "longing for the truth." Tears rolled down her cheeks as she thanked us and left. She is wonderful!! We are both so excited to meet with her again. Afterward Sister Tanner and I said a huge prayer of thanks and just kept shaking our heads and marveling at the miracles the Lord puts into our lives.
We has Zone Conference this week which was wonderful. We talked a lot about sactification. I realized I have a lot to repent of and change. We talked a lot about how we can personal sanctify ourselves to become more like Christ. I loved this scripture that the Assistants shared in Joshua 3:5. I like how it says that as we are sanctified we will see miracles. I know that that is true since we have seen so many.
So last P-day I wrote really early because we went and hung out with the Neihu Sisters and a recent convert. We went to the beach in Danshui and watched these really cool parasailors. It was really fun. I felt a little bit closer to home as we stood on the beach. We also ate at this really good Texas Steakhouse...yup it was legit. The member we went with bought us these huge steaks along with a bunch of other food. It was soo good!! The steakhouse has a bunch of pictures of John Wayne and other Western movies and a big Texas flag! Our table was in this one part of the resturant that had a door like a jail cell. Afterward we also went to Yangmingshan (a big mountain) and saw the Cala lilly festival. The lillies were gorgeous! It was really foggy though so it was difficult to see. Wang Jiemei bought each of us some lillies which now beautify our apartment. It was a lot of fun.
Today for P-day we woke up early to buy groceries and then went to Taipei. Two church historians came and talked to us. It was a great meeting. They talked a lot about record keeping. It definately reminded me that i need to be better about keeping a record. It was also opened up to question and anwer time. It was so much fun to learn from them. Afterward, the Neihu, Shilin, and us Tianmu Sisters ate at an all you can eat hot pot place. Oh man! It was sooo good. for about 10 American bucks we ate tons of hot pot of our choice and ice cream and all sorts of other goodies. It was delicous. We also are going to the Shilin night market to buy some skirts. yahoo!!
Well i love you all. I hope that you all have a great week.
Sister Amy Papritz
Yang Jiemei