Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alden - MTC - June 28, 2011

hey family. so this week has been crazy.

This last week was the Mission president seminar. wich means that alot of the General authorities were her. Acualy all of the first presidency and 11 of the Twelve. that is so amazing. the sad news is that we didnt get to see alot of them. at a devotional we saw elders: Holland, Oaks, Ballerd, Nelson, Scott, Anderson, and Elder Bednar Spoke. it was amazing. As soon as they entered the spirit filled the room. it was thick you could feel it in the air. it was amazing to see them. Elder Bednar spoke about becomeing a Preach my Gospel Missionary. he gave us 5 points.

1. the missionry must know that he is serving and representing Jesus christ
2. must be worthy.and the other ones i cant remember. sorry. well those two were my favorite. anyways. i will need to find my notes. ok besides that. we have some knew missionaries in our zone. YAY!!
it is so great to have these missionaries here. they are so excited and ready to go. it is also nice to just see knew faces. besides that that is about it. Alot of Teaching and learning.

Sad knews today was our last day at the temple. it is closing for the rest of July. however we get to help clean it on the 19th yay.
well that is about it. only 28 more days in the MTC. almost to taiwan. so excited!! well Love you all.

Enjoy the good weather.
Your Missionary
Elder Alden Papritz
Yang Zhang lao.

Autumn- Pest, Hungary - June 28, 2011


So I get asked a lot.. what do I do as the mission nurse? hmm.... wellll.... to be honest. not a lot. Im really just a normal missionary, teaching, preaching and knocking doors, but I am a resource for the Mission President's wife, So I get calls from Elders with medical questions just during my normal days.SOOO.... that means that I get calls from 19 year old boys, far away from their mommies.... so the calls have gone a little something like this:

1. "uh sister Papritz, is it a problem if my eyeballs are REALLY REALLY COLD" (asking in the dead of summer) "Elder, why are your eyeballs cold? what did you do to them?" " uh.. well theyre just cold" " Elder, you did something....what did you do?" " well, you see I got sunburned really really bad on my face today cause we were outside all day and then I have had cold corn on my face for like 2 hours... and now my eyeballs are really really really cold!" " Are you having vision problems?" " No theyre just cold..." ".. ok well, they will warm back up, stop touching your cold eyeballs and wear sunscreen next time"

2. "Sister Papritz, I am having kidney problems" "Oh really how do you know?" " well I am having a lot of pain in my kidney region?" " oh yea.... where's that?" "Im having alot of pain in my hips like where my kidneys would be..." "Elder, Your kidneys are not in your hips..." " uh.. theyre not? are you sure?" "100%... im a nurse" " oh ... well then maybe I just ate some bad food....ok... bye"

3. "Sister Papritz, Ive been having some really bad chest pain." " Elder, well have you had this before? any previous heart problems... (Etc etc .. assessed for a little bit)" " Well, no previous, problems, except I got this pain before like a few times" " Is it preceeded by something?" "uh.. what does that mean?" "Did you do something different that you dont normally do before the pain started, like eat a REALLY big meal?" " yea actually I had a HUGE LUNCH... like the biggest lunch ever. AND i was also like bending over, kind of like standing on my head and that kind of made it hurt a lot" " Ok... Elder....dont eat big meals like that. It will stop, its just heart burn. and also, stop standing on your head."

You know things like that.... a little different than my Trauma days (which I miss A LOT... and I dream about big juicy traumas a lot) but still entertaining and a little break in the typical missionary day. So no Im not out here doing field examinations, setting up health stations in the middle of Budapest.. just answering phonecalls from Elders. But I dont mind, my nursing skills will all come back when Im home. I love what Im doing so much here.

This Week we have been CRAZILY getting ready for Lászlós baptism since HE bumped his baptism date up a month, and so that left us 2 weeks to plan/teach/organize EVERYTHING!!! So we spent a lot of this week meeting with him basically everyday so that we can teach Him everything. I love it though, because he starts off every lesson telling us what he read, all the cross references, all the indepth doctrine...etc etc. I have always wondered how he studies so well, how he can remember SOOOO much. We found out last night that he was actually a LAWYER in Romania before he came to Hungary, he had a college degree (super rare). He loves to study and learn and worked as a lawyer for a big company had "the life." But he loved money so much that he started stealing from the company and counterfitting money.. etc etc. He went to jail for 2 years for all of that, lost His license, his wife devoriced Him, he started drinking and smoking.....etc etc. But he told us, now he's Poor and he's just a "working man" and he knows the Lord prepared Him to meet us. OUR MIRACLE MAN!!! So this Saturday is THE BIG DAY, I am excited for it alot. Pray we get everything together. Its going to be nuts until then.

Other awesome events this week:
1. we had to find a new place to live cause our land lady went NUTS on us and has been coming into our apartment when we are gone. So we found a new place ACROSS THE STREET from the branch house, which means coming to our programs will only take like 0.2 seconds to get here instead of the 45 MINUTE commute we have been making on bus, metro, walking etc. and the best part....the apartment has a BIDET!!! ...i dont even know how that works (or really what its for..seems a little unnecessary), but its fancy.

2. Sister Roderick and I wrote a song together last transfer. Its called "you are special" (based off that book about the wooden man and the dots) (she wrote the lyrics and I kind of threw together a piano part) and the song made its world DEBUT in Her zone conference this week. It was really cool, I've never written a song before... much less PERFORMED a song Ive co-written. So it was a really fun experience.

3. I had my first experience with Hungarian birthday candles. Uh... theyre CRAZY. We were at a members house and she pulled out this one candle and an Elder held it while I lit the candle. Everyone was saying, you might want to move your hand.. i thought that was weird, why would I need to move my hand. Then I lit it and all the sudden a THREE FOOT flame BURST out of the candle (well REALLY a firework)...we put it on the cake and this firework candle just spewed and spewed. It was crazy and it was indoors and i was TOTALLY not expecting a three foot firework flame to come shooting out. and I thought the house was going to burn down. Hungarians are so crazy. firework birthday candles. jaj.

Welp thats about it for the week. Lots of great amazing things going on here in Pest. This really is a land of miracles. I love it. I love the mission and I loved something I read today in my studies (talking about a really hard hike)

" The final exertion is more than worth the effort because once the climber is on top, the views are breathtaking. The only way to see the views is to make the climb."

Im so grateful for the climb Im making, the climb my siblings are making and the sacrifice my parents are making in all 4 of us being gone at once. But... I know the view will be breathtaking in the end and we can look back at all we've done, but first we make the climb.

I love you all!!!!!

Remember: im writing on SATURDAY this week.

Sok Sok Szeretettel,
Papritz Nővér

Monday, June 20, 2011

Autumn- Budapest Hungary June 20, 2011


Well let me first say: for any Hungarian speakers that happen to read this.....uh yea, I know the word I used as my word of the day last week isnt real. I didnt realize that before I sent the email, but when I tried to spell it, the computer auto corrected it to esőnő..and I saw it and thought, hmmm..that doesnt seem right...but it must be. then I deducted my own meaning "rain woman"... then sent it and quickly left the computer lab, and realized... uh that is not the word at all. esernyő...check. got it. bingo. dont worry, im learning the language. just got confused. confused, thats all. im blaming the computer

So yet again....awesomeness. just pure awesomeness in Pest. Things are so great here. I really feel super undeserving of all the success and miracles we see here. We got dropped twice this week by people not wanting to meet with us anymore, but it was made up with people that just blow my mind with their preparation.

1. So our Motorcycle man/construction worker (he doesnt have a motorcycle, he cant even afford internet, but LOOKS like he would ride one)... well his name is Lászlo. He is the one that read the Book of Mormon twice, completely...all the way through... in just 3 weeks. Well we met with Him two days ago. We spent the first HOUR of the lesson, hearing HIS LESSON that he prepared for us about baptism. He used atleast 30 scriptures to teach us, each cross referenced between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Then I asked him "so are you ready for your baptism on July 30th?" he said " UH...im getting baptized JUNE 30TH!".... " uh no.... we talked about JULY 30TH" ... "Well I told Sister Roderick June 30th and Im not waiting" ( yea He DEFINITELY never told her that) Then he showed me this scipture on like, If you know its true dont hesitate. So he said, "Why would I wait If i know its true. Why are you wanting me to wait?" Then he basically made me feel like I WAS the bad guy in trying to get Him to wait for his baptism (which actually was just stick to the ORIGINAL date). haha....sooo... Yea. We have a baptism in like 2 weeks, but the thing is we werent planning on it that soon, he still has A LOT OF LESSONS (we just barely taught Plan of Salvation...YEA... but to be honest, we have only meet with him 3 times total).. but he is so Solid. He is so excited.

I dont know if I told the story of how we found Him. That morning Roderick and I had prayed/joked that today we were going to find the first Temple President of Hungary that day and then 10 minutes later after we started tabling, we found Lászlo. He didnt have a phone, so we couldnt get His number. But he promised he would be at church, and he was, in his dirty overalls and huge grin on his face when he walked in. Then he dropped off the face of the earth for 3 weeks! Then one day we were walking through this Metro square, and I saw him out of the corner of my eye, yelled at Roderick that it was that Lászlo.. I had found our prodigal son! where had he gone for three weeks?.. oh dont worry, just to Germany to go to the temple and meet with the missionaries. no big deal. Well weve been meeting with Him ever sense, hes reading the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time now, and hes getting baptized in less than a month after our first REAL lesson with him.

People always said you'll never see someones conversion from start to Finish, you'll never see someone get found AND THEN baptized within a single transfer. But BOOM.... here is Lászlo. One of our miracle children. Oh and also he told us when he sits around and waits to find work he just reads the Book of Mormon to people. awesome.

2. Did some more Tai Chi this morning with our Tai Chi master Béla. Um.. it was awesome but Im AWFUL at it. All we did was take side steps across a big field in slow motion... for a really long time. and apparently my form was awful. Didnt know walking across a field...in.. uh.. like, slow motion or tai chi motion.. or whatever it was.. could be something I could so thoroughly mess up. Good thing the embarassment is worth it, our investigator loves it when we go. Tai Chi is just literally waving your hands and legs around in slow motion, anyone can do it. do it at home. just move around in slow motion, its the same thing.

3. So craziest event of the week. Sister Jordan and I were walking to the bus stop at Keleti, the big station near our house, and were walking up to the front of the station and we notice a crowd gathered all looking at one person. We glance over and see there is a BUCK NAKED woman in the middle of Keleti. BUCK NAKED... like this girl just standing there, there were cameras filming and she had a camera in her mouth (im assuming to catch peoples reactions or something) and she was as naked as the day she was born. WELCOME TO EUROPE! I just kept thinking like, Im pretty sure this is illegal. But then, well, must not be cause the cops decided to just stand and watch instead of do something about it. good ol Budapest.

Well thats about it. Good week, minus the naked lady. Love the letters I get from people, and so proud of my siblings and all the awesomeness they do. So happy to be apart of the Papritz Army right now.

The 5 Star General of the Army (Sister Papritz).. obviously, Im the oldest.

Cultural Tip: I was told last week that Children are given 2 birthday cakes on their birthday. One to COMPLETELY destroy and the other for the family to eat. good idea.

Word of the Day: Not trying this again, for fear of embarassment for putting a made up word and an incorrect meaning.

Food finomság: Fast food restaurants, like in a mall food court, have all their food sitting out, and then they just microwave it when you want to order it. So today Sister Jordan and I thought we were getting good like beef and rice asianness.... but oh, no... the meat smelled like .. uh... well....poop. dont know how that happened. but dont eat from microwave places.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Amy - Tianmu, Taiwan June 19, 2011

Dear Fam,
Well another week has gone. Weird how fast the weeks are going. Its already near the end of June. First things first, transfer news. I am staying here in Shuanghe and my new companion is Sister Jensen. She is from the states but I dont' remember which one. I will tell you more about her next week. As for Sister Liu, she is moving to Neihu, which is really close to Jilong my old area. She is so excited to move. She has been talking about moving since the fourth week so I'm glad we know now who is leaving. I will miss her. She has been a good companion.
This week nothing special has happened. Just the normal work. On Tuesday we went to Taipei with one of our new members to a music performance. It was an old Taiwan Taipei mission president and his whole family all 20 of them including a bunch of little kids. The story is that their great great grandmother is from Taiwan and a lot of the children have served in Taiwan so they have a lot of clost ties with Taiwan. They are from Hawaii so they performed a lot of Hawaiian dances and music. It was really cool. They focused a lot on familes and the importance of families.They performed in a concert hall right by Taipei 101. The really ironic thing is that right after their performance there was a gay rights rally. So we left right after the performance. haha Its interesting how Satan works at underminding the family. So that was really fun.
I really dont' know what else to write. This week has been pretty normal. All of our investigators are doing pretty good. We have one named Chen shi yi who is 11. She has the worst ADHD that I have ever seen. She has a hard time focusing. Some weeks are beter than others but this week has hard. I think that if she continues to not focus we might have to stop meeting with her. We can't teach anything she is so up and down. Yang shu ping is a lady who is Catholic. She has been struggling a lot with the Book of Mormon but has continued to read it. Yesterday she talked to Sister Liu and said that she has gotten her answer about the Book of Mormon and likes to read it but she really likes Catholic church better. But she siad she will keep on meeting with us and reading the Book of Mormon. So keep her in your prayers. Also Penny our amazing investigator is taking the big college entry test at the beginning of July and its a big deal so keep her in mind too.
I'm sorry this e-mail is so short and borning. I dont' really have much to write about this week except transfers. I love you all. Have a great week!!
All my love,
Sister Amy Papritz

Alden MTC June 14, 2010

So this week in the MTC was very emotional. the older generation of Mandarin Missionaries are gone and now we are the "oldest". it was very sad to see them go. even though we only knew them for 6 weeks, and barely see them through out the day we will all miss them. most of the older generation are going to Taizhang so we wont see them, very sad.
well as for the rest of the week. there has been a lot of teaching and learning. this week as we taught yan hai lan, she expressed that she feels peace when she prays but does not know what to do with it. she is very frustrated with that. it hard to teach. she expresses a lot of worry for her family in china and her son. she does not mention her husband that much, and we are fairly sure there is something going on, but we cant just come out and ask her to reveal everything. but besides that it is going well.
this Week at the MTC we were warned about a virus that has been going around in the outlining community, it the nurro virus. it includes stomach pains and throwing up. this Saturday after dinner i felt sick and everyone thought i had it. i didn't it was just some chicken that didn't settle right. my stomach hurt but that was it. it lasted for a few hours and was gone. but man people shun you when they think you have some virus.
also this last week we heard from Elder Kokuchi. he bore a great testimony of the gospel as he told us about his conversion story. he also stressed the importance to show are willingness to the Lord through our actions. it was a very nice talk. you can read his story online.
this week i was also told that i will be singing this week for the incoming missionaries. i will be singing for about 400 people. i cant wait. i am so happy to have the opportunity to sing.
and finlay, the last part of news is that i am now the music coordinator for the branch yay. since the older generation is gone, all of the calling got rearranged. i am so excited. i am just glad i get to do something.
well that's about it.
Oh and i heard from a good source (the custodial people) that President Monson will be coming at the end of this week, for Mission Presidents week. we'll see if it really happens.
Well that's about it. Working hard and doing well
halfway through the MTC. 6 weeks to go.
Love you all.
Elder Alden Papritz
Yang Zhanglao. (officially)

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - June 13, 2011

My Beloved Family,
So I'm a day late on my email because we had a pretty crazy pday. The other Elders took the car to go do service (which they said would take 1 hour but it took FIVE hours, they said the garage was just CHUCK full of stuff) then when they came back we were going to go together to email and I had the keys to the car but then they remembered they had an appointment so we had to bike to the library and then we get a call when we are almost to the library because I had left with the keys accidentally. So we had to bike another 15 minutes back and then by that time it was just too late.
This week is going to be very rad. There are five general authorities coming to speak to all the missionaries. We are encouraged to pray, fast and study on the recent talks of them so that we can be completely ready. Elder Cook is going to be the presiding apostle. Also, we have a small 16 person choir that I'm in so that'll be cool too because it guarantees we get to be seated in the first 3 rows.
I don't know if you remember Silvia and her daughers Aimee and Brianna and how Silvia told us at first that she was never going to speak to missionaries again but then started to open up to us after I kind of showed my family photos. Well we have been working with her and doing service for her and helping her find work and the other day they invited us over to give us thanks for everything we've done by feeding us delicious Guatemanteca Enchiladas. We told them we have no other way to thank them than by teaching them from the scriptures (note that in her frustration with life here in America, Silvia has pretty much denounced God and has done so in front of her daughter). She has had a hard life with much abuse from many different people in her life. But Silvia and her 16 daughter Aimee were both in tears when we promised them a way out of the hole they are in. It felt so good when she told me, This is really what I've been waiting for. I'm ready to take out the trash and get on with my life.
We have a baptism next Saturday! It's so cool, Lorenza is such a cool lady and I'm very very happy to see her joining her son. In fact, the other day we went to the gym with her son and worked out at 4:30 in the morning. Now that's dedication. I get along with all of the young men in this branch, they are all so cool and talented and invested in life. I love getting involved in their interests, it has made for really good friendships.
The branch is getting ready for Girls' Camp here and we helped the branch in doing a desert auction and chili cookoff. At first the branch president's wife asked the English elders to make a desert and for us to make a chili. I thought back to going to a dinner appointment in Milwaukee with the branch president's family and they made this INCREDIBLE sweet chili so I called them up and got the recipe and it was super easy. I made it and gave it the name, "wasn't aware that any other chili's were invited." And every loved it and voted for my but it lost by ONE point and I'm convinced the lady that won only won because her kids sat at the voting box and put in a bunch of votes for her. But their family needed the $25 gift card to Pick N Save more than I did sooo it's all good. Then the English elders were going to make these incredibly good home made cinnamin rolls but somehow messed up on the amount of yeast or something and after 3 hours they just decided to run to Kmart and make these mud pie cookie sandwhiches. They ended up selling for 25 bucks which was one of the most expensive items because these two guys got in a pride war and just wanted to see who would pay more for them haha. But those cinnamon rolls would have gone for like 40 bucks for sure.
Mucho amor,
Elder Papritz

Autumn- Budapest Hungary June 13, 2011

Hello Everyone!!

Well Sister Roderick and I said our goodbyes and ended our amazing awesome wonderful time together..and I received my new companion. The fantastic SISTER JORDAN!! Awesome things about her: She was born in Tahiti (lives in Arizona now..well not now, but before the mish).. she is a professional Tahitian dancer. She can move her hips like nobodys business. She is going to teach me how to move mine this transfer...will be probably our biggest feat, because my hips dont move at all. Like I think those joints somehow were fused at birth. But she garuntees me success. sooo.. that will be awesome.

Also she taught me how to wip.... the big thing in this mission is buying authentic leather bull wips from the countryside and then learning how to do awesome wip stuff. She served out in the country So she can wip crazy good too...so yesterday for Pday we went to a park and she taught me how to wip. Not to brag, but I cracked the wip on my first try. Big hearty crack. yea... Im learning good skills for my future child rearing and marriage. Hip shaking and wip cracking. My goal is to learn how to double crack and wip with TWO wips... its going to be awesome.

So this week Sister Jordan and I have been settling into the groove of a new companionship. She is so layed back, and I am too.. so Its been pretty effortless. This is gonna work good. We had a lot of success this week, and it was so good to see the members accepting her. She had big big shoes to fill with Sister Roderick leaving, since she had been here 10 months, but we have been paving our own path into their hearts. We could never replace sister Roderick but we are for sure building our own relationships. Its been a greet week of just establishing relationships and its fun for me to get to know these people even better. They are so wonderful, I am falling in love with them more and more. (helps that Im speaking the language a little better too, or atleast understanding better)

The best part about this week was that we met with our Miracle girl, No-Tag Viola. Remember how Sister Roderick and I lost our tags on the same day, then met this really amazing girl named Viola (who was a missionary for another church).. like shes practically american..super cute and awesome and rendes. Well we thought the story was over a few weeks ago when we called her, and this random person answered and said this number wasnt hers. We were sooo bummmed..cause it was a miracle that we met her. So we thought, oh well.. we just wont tell anyone thats what happened... pretend like it ended good. haha. So this week I was texting people telling them about a dance program and I decided to just randomly text her number.. maybe whoevers phone it was would want to come. WELL.... surprise THE Viola texts back and says " I was just thinking about you all last night, weird that you texted me today. Could we possibly meet on Sunday?"... THE STORY WASNT OVER! So Sister Jordan and I met with her (and her friend) on sunday, and it was just an awesome lesson. So great. She was so curious and she has such a strong religious background, I was really worried she would think this was all just a joke and turn us down.. but she got it. She got it all. She asked amazing questions, and just had this like Thirst to know more. Who knows where its going to go... BUT THE STORY WASNT OVER!!!

Another awesome thing this week. The BYU Folk Dance team was touring the country this week. So they did a performance at our Branch House and then we got to go to one of their big performances on our Pday yesterday. It was AWESOME. a little slice of america right here in Hungary.And the Hungarians fell in love with them. Our investigator that was with us, she was so happy she started crying in the middle of their performance. Didnt know that country dance was such an emotional thing but she said "this just makes me so happy!". It was also fun to talk to americans. It was just a really fun time with them.

Well thats about it! Things are still Rocking in Pest. Loving life and living it up.

Sister P

Cultural Tip: If you sneeze while someone is talking it means whatever they just said was True. So I have sneezed a few times in programs and the people are like " OH THATS TRUE!"... Im going to work on timing my sneezes better to correspond with the First Vision.

Food Tip: The most amazing thing here is called Túró. It is like, hmm... cream cheese and heaven mixed together. We eat it in crepes, in chocolate, I would have it on everything. Soooo goood.

Word: Learned today that an Umbrella is called an esőnő... which I think means rain woman. if you literally translate it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Amy - Tianmu, Taiwan June 13, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
Another week has gone by in the busy city of Shuanghe. This week we have been busy. The weather is really starting to heat up. I mean really heat up like 90 degrees with humidity. Yahoo!! I instantly start sweating when I get out the door but thats ok. People are still willing to listen. Mangos are also in season which is amazing! A member gave us two mangos the other day. Luckily for me Sister Liu doesn't like mangos so more for me!!
On Wednesday I went to a special training meeting for all senior companions and district leaders. Oh man, it was exactily what I needed to hear. The whole meeting was about finding and being agents. No, not secret agents but agents or people who act. President Grimley talked about how we need to be missionaries who will act and not just wait for people to walk up to them and contact them. He said, "Faith without works is dead, work without faith is stupid." haha An agent is someone who understands his or her responsibility and is accountable for their actions. They also have faith in their calling as missionaries of the Lord. The assistants shared the example of Peter walking on water in Matthew 14 starting with verse 28. Peter when he finds out that it is Jesus he tells him "Bid me to come unto thee on the water." He is the first to act. He didnt' wait for Jesus to say come. When Jesus bid him come Peter got out of the boat. I imagine he leaped out of the boat not gingerly dipped his toe in. He had full faith that he could go to Jesus dispite the fact that it was impossible. As he kept his focus on Jesus he say a miracle! He walked on water. Only when the wind and water were big and scary did Peter take his focus off the Lord and start to sink. I love this story! I realized that I have lately been not exercising a lot of faith like Peter and getting out of the boat or my comfort zone. I am too worried about being rejected or what I am going to say instead of just doing it. This meeting was a big call to repentance for me.
So this week I have been applying what I learned. Everyday in my prayers I pray that I can be a better agent and contact more people. Then in the evening at account for the day. It has helped me be more accountable and a better example for Sister Liu. I have found that when I contact with faith and just go out and do it I have seen more success. Last night, for example, Sister Liu and I contacted at the park near our house in the evening and met a lot of great people. Near the end of the evening I saw a women and felt like I needed to contact her. She ended up being great. We talked a lot about prayer and how her prayers will be answered. She was so suprised that her prayers could be answered. We exchanged numbers and said we would call to set up an appointment since her schedule wasn't certain. At the end she said that we changed her day. At first her day wasn't going very good but we made her happy. She said she felt something as we talked to her. I explained it was the Spirit. I am so grateful that I contacted this dear sister. I know I was suppose to contact her for a reason. It is SOOO important we contact everyone we see. We have the Gospel! We have the only thing that will help them change their life and return to live with our Heavenly Father. Only the Gospel can help them be freed from addictions and sin. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to meet so many wonderful people here in Taiwan. So my invite to you all is to be better agents. To this week be more commited in finding and sharing the Gospel.
I hope that you all have a great week. I love you all so much.
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
Sister Amy Papritz

Alden MTC June 7, 2010

Nimen hao!
as always the MTC is a lot of work. we are still teaching our two progressing investigators. its great. the spirit is so strong when we teach. we are having trouble with then since they dont have any religious background but we are slowly helping them develope that faith to pray and know God is there. besides that it is going well.
This past week i memorized the Missionary Purpose and Joseph Smiths first Vision both in Chinese. it is great, i cant wait to teach the restoration soon. also we are starting to SYL (speak your language) tomorow we are planning on SLYing 100% that is going to be hard but i love speaking chinese so much i cant wait.
Also this last friday at our TRC Elder Montalto and I gave a short lesson on the Book of Mormon to a very nice sister. she just got back from her mission in Taiwan. the spirit was so strong as we talked about the Book of Mormon and what it containts. as we were stubbleing around with the language the spirit was so strong. i asked her to share her testimony of the Book of Mormon, and man was it powerful. it was a simple testimony, but the spirit testified so much. i started to tear up a little bit.
This week Elder Montalto and I started bearing our testimony to missionaries that we find sitting around outside. it has been so great to bear my testimony, but even better to hear Elder Montalto give his testimony. he has learned so much. we had a great expirience as we bore our testimonies to a senior companion. as we were giving our simple testimonies the sister started crying. i could tell that even though our testimonies were simple. she was very touched. she told us afterward that they had just arived that day and were going to italy. she was worried about learing italian since they would only be there for 8 days. she was very touched and comforted by the spirit.
finaly this last sunday was mission conference and fast sunday. during the conference the spirit was extremly strong. there were great talkes on faith. one thing I learned is that faith is not only beliving that God will help you or even knowing he can help you. but knowing that he WILL help you. just like the brother of Jared who knew that if the lord could touch the stones they would light up or the women who knew that if she touched the robe of Christ she would be healed. they did not just hope, or just belive that i could possibly happen. they knew it would. they knew that by the grace and power of God they would recieve these mericals. as i think on that i am trying more to really trust in God and truly belive he will bless me and help me.
Well that is about it. the spirit is strong. i am doing very well. the food is great. i have been trying to cut back a little. im sleeping well and studying hard.
I love you all.
Elder Alden Papritz
Qiu Zhanglao

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - June 6, 2011

Dear Family,
We got transfer calls on Saturday and we found out that Elder White and I will be staying together another transfer. Next transfer is going to be pretty crazy though, one of the zone leaders, two of the sisters and our district leader are all dying and Elder White is very likely to get transfered too sooo we will be losing most all of our district and then the next tranfer after that the other zone leader dies. We had a fantastic week in finding. We found 7 solid new investigators. Including 4 legally married couples which is so rare to find here. On Sunday we found one of the couples and they have 4 kids who are all older than 12 years old, and they seemed quite interested. They even threw a barbecue for us when we got there, they were so impressed by us and kept showering us with compliments. Then that night I talked to the Branch President and he said that he had been praying and fasting that a couple solid new families could be added to the branch soon. He was very pleased to hear our results for the week.
So I forgot to mention but a couple weeks ago at an FHE we were doing an egg walking competition (ya know where you hold the egg on a spoon in your mouth) and I chipped a very small part of one of my front top teeth. So I don't know if there is anything I should do about that, or if it is more susceptible to cavities or what. But it's pretty small, you pretty much can't tell I'm missing anything unless you are really looking for it. So Dad .... some tips would be nice.
We have one baptismal date right now, for June 25 with Lorenza Rodriguez. Her son was baptized last year and he has been solid going to church being the only member of his family. He has really changed his life around from doing drugs and drinking alcohol to being an awesome member. I have really taken a liking to him and we've talked alot about college and a mission. He wants to go to BYU and is seriously considering going on a mission. I also give him workout tips which he loves so that he can get huge and get some of the ladies. But his Mom is just awesome. She is so level-headed and knows that the church has just been incredible for her family, especially her son. When we talked about baptismal she straight up told us her doubts and concerns and we've been doing our best to solve them. The other day we had a barbecue at their house and it was funny because she has a son that is only 4 years old and he's so funny. You can barely understand him when he talks (English or Spanish) and he's completely hyper-active. But his Mom made an Angelfood cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream (which is funny because her other sons name is Angel, which is a normal Hispanic name) but the kid said something muttered and sluurred to his Mom while pointing to the cake and we all thought he was saying that he wanted a peice and so his Mom answered, "She baby, go right ahead." And then you hear him mumble, "Ohkcool." And then just slammed his face in the cake hahaha. It was soooo funny. I made sure to get pictures and then I was getting close to the cake and the kid was behind me and just jumped on my head and then my face went in the cake. The whole thing was hilarious. That little kid was strong, I tried to pull back but he just slammed my head right in to the cake. Then we ate it despite the boogers and hair.
The weather is really heating up around here but I love it. Also, the mesquitos are coming out which is not fun. Where do they come from??? I don't understand, you can't see a single one during the winter then they just come out of no-where during the summer by the thousands. (some bug spray would be nice, Mom and Dad. thanks)
Well that's all. Love you all and hope you have a great week.
-Elder Papritz

Monday, June 6, 2011

Amy - Tianmu, Taiwan June 6, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
Oh man this week was crazy!! It started on Monday when one of our investigators called us in the morning and said she wanted to get baptized this week!! WHAT?!?!?! Sister Liu and I were freaking out! Zhong hui ping had already had a baptism interview and was supposed to get baptized at the end of May but she said she felt a lot of pressure and didn't want to get baptized. When we tried to set up a new baptismal goal she didnt' want to. I guess when she talked to He dixiong last Sunday he said something that clicked. So this week has been crazy getting ready for two baptisms on the same day. Sister Liu has been freaking out getting ready for it but with the help of our ward mission leader everything worked out. The bapitsm was great. The spirit was strong. It was so wonderful to see two people that we have been working with for a while getting baptized and making sacried covenants with our Heavenly Father. Hui ping when she came out of the baptism font had the biggest smile on her face. When they were confirmed members and recieved the Holy Ghost both were beaming! I know that they will both be great members of the church. He dixiong will be a wonderful Priesthood leader in his home and bless his family so much. I'm just so excited to see them get baptized!!!!
This week in English class I gave the spiritual thought on choosing the right. I then handed out CTR rings to the children in my class they all love them. Thanks mom for sending them. This week has also not been without its challenges. Sister Liu and I lately have been having a hard time. They say that the companion right after the juinor companion's trainer is hard. Its true. A lot of what I do annoys, or isn't right in Sister Liu's eyes. I have made mistakes, I know I'm not a perfect companion. It has been hard being senior companion in a new area. Even though this is the start of the 5 week I feel like I still dont' know the area or the members very well. Whenever I ask Sister Liu who someone is or where this house is she sighs and is very impaitent with me. It must be hard having your second companion be a forgeiner and a first time senior companion. I am trying my hardest to do my best. I know that everything will work out though. Heavenly Father made us companions for a reason. We both have something to learn from this companionship. I am so grateful for her hard work and paitence with me so far. She is wonderful.
I realized last week I forgot to tell ya'll something. I finally passed off Phase 1 in the language study program!!!! I dont' remember if I told you guys about the Phases but here we pretty much have a set curriculum to study during language study time. The first Phase focuses on the lessons and learning how to teach them. The second Phase is a bunch of flashcards with a variety of words on them and phrases. It is suppose to help us expand our vocabulary out of the misison vocab. The last Phase is characters. It is also a bunch of flashcards with characters on it. I am so excited to get off of Phase 1. I have shed many frustrated tears over that book. It has been great to study these cards and I have already seen my vocab and understanding grow a lot.
Well I hope that you all have a fantastic week. Enjoy the warm weather. Here is has been blazing sticky hot. I love it!! I love you all.
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
Sister Amy Papritz

Autumn- Budapest Hungary June 6, 2011


Well this week was crazy. ABSOLUTELY CRAZY! Every week really seems to be, and I know I say it all the time but life is so full of surprises. We got transfer calls this morning...and...well....the Rodritz duo has come to an end. She is being ripped from my arms, tears and all...but its awesome cause she is opening up a new area Dunaújváros!! She is starting a new area with a mini-missionary (we think) So her and a native Hungarian are opening the area...but its perfect cause that means (well we are REALLY pushing/praying for it) that we will be reunited next transfer and I can KILL HER!! (mission term for sending someone home, since its her last transfer) So we are really hoping this is only a temporary separation.

But the goodnews is I am staying in Pest and getting Sister Jordan, which is EXACTLY who I was hoping to get. She is tahitian (well her parents are, but she lived in Utah) and shes really cool and sweet and fun. Ive only spent a couple minutes with her before, but Ive heard rave reviews about her. So it is a perfect situation, especially If Roderick and I will be reunited next transfer. So Roderick is going to prepare our Summer Home in Dunaújváros and I am going to be on my Tahition vacation in Pest.

So Roderick gets ripped from me on wednesday so the next couple of days are going to be insane with her getting everything ready and saying goodbye to all the members. She has been here 10 months, so these people are attached and love her so much. But I know that me and Jordan Nővér will win their hearts back and wipe their tears away.

So this week our Hell's Angel/Construction worker man IS ON BAPTISM DATE!! We asked him when he wanted to be baptized and he said "tomorrow" haha... well thats a little soon. So we said August 6th, that was waay too late for him. So we settled on July 30th. His name is Lázslo and he reminds me a lot of my grandpa, just sassy and big tough guy that wears overalls all the time. So Im so happy to see Him loving the gospel. and also we are working on a little romantic connection with Him and another convert in the ward. We conveniently introduced them in the last lesson with him, and sparks were flying. So we're hoping to get a love connection going. We offer so much as missionaries, eternal salvation AND AN ETERNAL COMPANION! Its a TWO FOR ONE!

Our biggest event this week was quite dramatic. This man was referred to us from the office elders, and he dogged us on 2 different appointments...so we were sure he wasnt going to show for this 3rd. To our surprise he shows up, and we all sit down and he starts pulling out all of these legal documents (mind you I can understand maybe 25% of whats going on...very little) He told us his wife had died 6 years ago, and his son died last January and these documents were his will. He was willing everything he owned to the church. Which was weird, he was a younger guy, maybe 50s..not like dying anytime soon. So the conversation starts to get heated (mind you I can only tell from their body language) He is pulling out document after document showing them to us. Then he is getting really heated and I look over at Barbye (our awesome new member who was teaching with us) and she starts just crying. and sister Roderick starts crying, but not like feel the spirit crying, like panicked crying. I was so confused. Then sister Roderick keeps saying "listen that is a big decision, there is another answer! There is another way! We can talk to the Bishop!" She was pleading with him. and I had no clue what was going on, but I just had the feeling that this man was suicidal and he was going to kill himself. So I can see Barbye and Roderick just begging him to think this through. Then I immediately start going into Trauma nurse mode, thinking of all the worse case scenarios. We've got a crazy man here whose family has died, he has no job, he has no money, and he's suicidal. I am worried that hes going to get impulsive and pull out a weapon...and then I flashed back to the Bishop in california that got shot because a crazy person came into his office. So needless to say, I was a tiny bit panicked. He was really mad and so I had no clue what was going to happen. I got out my camera and started to film him underneath the table so I could see if he had a weapon on his waste, and I started thinking like I could use my pen as a defense, and throw my bible at him to startle him. oh man. my mind was just thinking of all these crazy options. mean while Roderick is in full on negotion mode, just begging him to calm down and not be impulsive. I am praying my GUTS OUT the whole time. Then Barbye pulls her fancy ring off her finger and gives it to Him to sell. She was insistant for Him to sell it so he could get money for diabetic medicine he needed. He wouldnt accept it, and then finally Roderick said "Look at the picture of Christ on the wall" he said " yeah Ive been looking at that for the last 30 minutes".. then like out of nowhere, he just calms down. stops arguing and insisting he needs to die and just says "maybe I need to come to church, maybe I need to be apart of a group that can help me because I just feel alone. A group would make me feel so much better"...then he said " I would really love to get one of your bibles". We gave him a book of mormon and shared a few scriptures. I put down all my weapons..haha. and He finally said he was not going to kill himself, he was going to see if this church could help him instead.

PHEW!! dang. It was intense. Roderick translated for me later that he was saying that this meeting with us was he final act in life and he was going to leave and jump infront of a train after this. No wonder they were so panicked, good thing I was oblivious and in protection mode. I had an escape plan ready, weapons in hand... I was going to save us no matter what. Good thing the spirit protected us instead and softened his heart. Wow it was INTENSE!!!

That is the kind of craziness that goes on here. Life is CRAZY I TELL YA!! and awesome.

Well I will send an email with pictures too. LOVE YOU ALL!! HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK!! Wish me luck with all of the transfer changes.

Sister Papritz

Alden MTC June 1, 2010

Hey Family.
Its another hard working week at the MTC. honestly i am trying to think of what to say. not a lot more has happened that is different for any other week. we have been working hard studying chinese. we teach every day. right now we have two progressing investigators, Qiu weimin and Yan hailan. it is so amazing to teach in chinese. the spirit has been so strong as we have taught. both Elder Montalto and I agreed that we had our best lessons this week. our chinese is at its best so far and now we can teach by the spirit. as i told y'all last week we are part of a pilot program that requirers more of the missionaries. we are expected to learn alot of the chinese on our own with some mentoring by the teachers. so over all it is very hard work. we are studying all day.
last friday we had TRC, it has changed since everyone else has been here. now we teach lessons. we teach real people real lessons. in chinese. this last week was mostly members, but there was one room that had two investigators. i did not get to teach them but it is just amazing how we are even able to teach them in chinese and have them feel the spirit and understand us.
last tuesday Elder Russle M. Nelson spoke to us. it was amazing. from the moment he walked in the room you could feel the spirit, and when you looked into his face you could tell that he had a testimony of Jesus Christ. Honestly I dont remember exactly what he talked about but what I got out of it, was to represent the Lord at all times. I am here on the Lords errend and I most testify of him.
As for the rest of the week. I was planning on auditioning to sing for devotional but it ended up that that tuesday the choir decided to sing "This is The Christ" which is what i had been practicing. so obviously they were not going to choose someone to sing it again. however i decied to audition anyways. but when i got there the Elder auditioning right before me sang "This is the Chirst" along with three other people that day. but when I sang the Sister who was listening, started crying. i was very supprised. after hearing that song three other times I would think she would be sick of it. but when i was done she sat there speachless. then she told me and my accompinist that that was the best interpretation of the song she had heard. she told me that they most likley would not choose me to sing it this week but that Since i had a few more weeks left they could still have me sing it. and then she also asked if i had any other songs that could sing right then she would love to hear them. sadly they didnt have a song that my accompianst could play or that i could learn that fast. but they bought me some music that i sang back at home that i am audtioning for this week. it is very interesting how that worked out. because when i heard the choir practicing that tuesday, i was frustraited and annoyed that i would not be able to sing it. but after Elder Nelsons talk i realized that i was singing the song for myself and not to bear testimony of chist or to bring the spirit. i felt that i was able to sing that way at the audition and my accompianist was able to play like that because we decied to perform it as a testimony, not just a performance.
well that is my spiritual thought of the week. I am doing great here. I love it. I love the spirit that is here. by the end of the day i just want to shout the truth of the gospel from the roof tops. i know i have been blessed to be able to speak chinese. i know that by the gift of toungs i have been able to teach a lesson every day in chinese. i love This gospel and i know its true.
Love you all
Elder Alden Papritz.
Qiu/Pan/Yang Zhanglao.