Monday, February 27, 2012

Autumn - Hungary - Cabbage Fields Forever!

Hello Family and Friends!!!

Well this week was pretty normalish. Nothing earth shattering or ground breaking, no random parties that we had to go to. haha. I seriously sometimes think you all must think my mission involves going to parties, seeing musicals, and traveling. but trust me, its so much more awesome than that. I get to do MISSIONARY WORK! ... and see musicals and party. which reminds me, in march we are going to see West Side Story. haha! awesome!

This week we met with our wonderful investigator Maria. She is the one that loves to teach us how to cook. I have learned how to make stuffed peppers, Gyulas soup, langos or fried bread, and this week we learned how to make stuffed cabbage! It was quite the experience. I have never been a cabbage person. It just smells bad and tastes weirdly sour. But this week she surprised us with all of the stuffed cabbage supplies and we prepared the stuffing and started rolling it in these huge pickled cabbage leaves. Then they cooked for a while, and we came back later that day and she gave us a huge tupperware full of stuffed cabbage. So i heated some up, and bravely tried it for the first time. and it was GOOD!!! I had to ignore the horse stable/farm animal smell that I assume accompanies all cooked cabbage. but I was very pleasently surprise. mm... soo salty and good. So maybe Im going to be a cabbage eater from now on. and now I KNOW HOW to make stuffed cabbage. Im becoming quite a little hungarian cook. Sister Suranyi and I have made it a goal to learn how to cook several new hungarian dishes this transfer and we are on a roll so far. I baught some hungarian cookbooks today and am excited to try out new recipies. The best part of the meeting with Maria that as we did our lesson with her we were talking about goals in life and she said "Spritually Im already in America, I want to see where Joseph Smith lived, I want to know what kind of person he was, I want to see what kind of life he lived, Im already there" (i dont REALLY understand what it means to be spiritually in America...uh.... but sounded positive to me!) She really is just loving all of the things we are teaching her and is slowly but surely understanding how important it all is.

We also have been meeting with Zsofi and Laci, our engaged couple (and zsofi is getting baptized), and they came to church this sunday! It was awesome. It was the first time she had been to church and she just beamed! We went to their house after church and she said "I just felt so good. I felt so much peace, it was a wonderful experience". she just LOVED it. She really is a miracle to me. She was a smoker and two weeks ago we challenged her to stop smoking and offered her help and stuff and she said "If I decided to do it, I will do it" and when we went back on sunday she said "I havent smoked at all." I asked if she felt like if God had helped her and she said "Absolutely. I dont even have the desire to smoke anymore. He took away my desire to smoke." It is so awesome. You can almost see a physical change in their life, the more we have been going over there the cleaner and cleaner their apartment gets, the more light you see in their eyes, the more you can see that the gospel is just really changing their lives. It is so awesome.

We are also teaching this 18 year old girl named Nikoletta, or Nik for short. She has been investigating for a long time and was always just taught by the elders. But when we came, the elders had dropped her, and so we picked her back up again because she is best friends with one of the members and was starting to open back up to the church. It is really incredible because she is such an analytical brain, so scientific...and whenever we meet with her I feel like I am teaching myself, if I had been an investigator. It is such a surreal experience to be teaching myself essentially. Its really incredible because I feel like there have been certain experiences, or weaknesses or struggles with my testimony that I overcame that prepared me to teach her. I feel like there is so much that we talk about that I experienced in my life just so that I could tell her about those experiences. It is really such an awesome thing, to know you are placed in cities and missions for a reason. I just really hope that she starts seeing that she actually does have a testimony of all of these things. She says she knows she needs to get baptized, she is just scared to do it. So, I hope it will all come around for her.

Well the hilarious/horrifying event of the week happened in church. There is this "special" woman in the ward. She isnt a member, but comes every week. She always says AMEN really loud after everything. and even after special musical numbers ends with a huge AMEN! So its so great to have someone with so much spirit and livelyness in the branch. But on Sunday I sat behind her during sacrament meeting. Well as the sacrament was getting passed around, the bread was all layed on the trays nicely. I took my one little piece. Saw the other people take their one piece. Then the tray was placed in front of her, and she DOVE at the tray and grabbed and entire HANDFUL of bread! Like, not a few pieces (like sometimes we accidently hope will happen on fast sunday to make up for our hunger), she took an entire HANDFUL and then held the whole pile of bread near her chest and ate it like popcorn! She was just popping the bread in her mouth throughout the rest of sacrament meeting. Then as the water came by she grabbed a little cup and DRAINED IT, like threw her head back and slurped up the water. I didnt know what to do, I just sat their with my jaw dropped! I just kept imagining she didnt realize what was going on. For all she knew these cute little boys brought around the mid church snacks for everyone to eat, she must have thought "thats stupid why are people taking only one. Im hungry!" or like "why dont they start passing out different snacks everyweek, its always bread and water!" Oh man. I coudlnt help but laugh during it all thinking of all of the interesting sacrament stories I have to tell from my mission. Like the one time our FEMALE investigator got up and started passing the sacrament herself to people, or when one of the members children in the middle of the sacrament started CLIMBING a window in the middle of sacrament! haha... oh man. Mission stories are the best. These things are real, they arent made up!

Well obviously., I love this stuff. I love being here and I am really just trying to cherish the little precious time I have left. These last few months are going to fly and I just am blessed to be along for the ride.

I love you all

sok szeretettel

Papritz nővér

Monday, February 20, 2012

Autumn - Hungary- Boldog Farsangot!

Boldog Farsangot kívánok! Happy Farsang!

This week was our celebration of Farsang! It is the "halloween" of the country. It is a celebration of winter getting chased away and spring coming. So they dress up in costumes. I dont really get it, Im sure wikipedia could shed some light on it. But that meant that there was a big party and I got to dress up in my typical get up...yup.... a NURSE! I got to sport my stethescope (dont ask why i brought that thing, hasnt even ever left my suitcase except for this) then used a blood pressure cuff I got in the MTC and then dressed up Sister Suranyi as my patient! It was quit the hit of the party. Everyone was amazed I had all of this real nurse stuff and kept asking me to take their blood pressures. It was hilarious. It was great because we had a couple of investigators come to the party and they loved it. We did all sorts of fun games, like building a "chairless" chain of people.. dont know how to explain their is a picture of it. Then people fished for smarties in a giant bowl of flour, there was Human foosball, and some thing where you eat cookies that were stuck to a window with a blindfold. It was a pretty creative set up. I was impressed. Then everyone just hung out and ate fánks... (homemade doughnuts).. that is the tradition. So it was really fun. The Elders dressed up as "tie mummys"... they had hundreds of left over ties and tied them ALL OVER their body. it was HILARIOUS... because they kept falling OFF of their bodies. So it didnt look very mummy like by the end, just looked like a bunch of ties wrapped all over their body. it was so funny.

So we got new that on March 7th Elder D. Todd Christofferson will be coming and doing a conference for our mission! It will be so AWESOME! I am so excited. I have always heard about these apostle visits from other missionaries in other missions and I am so excited to be able to have that incredible opportunity here. No big deal, just mingling with apostles over here in Europe. So that is in March.

Well today we experienced an epic fail. It is Pday and since we live only 17 km from the border of Szerbia we thought we would drive over and get an awesome picture infront of a giant sign saying WELCOME TO SZERBIA! So we set off on the adventure, ended going 30km in the wrong direction..corrected our situation. Then started approaching this prison looking place...there was no sign saying YOUVE MADE IT TO SZERBIA it just looked like a prison. So we thought, well maybe we're not there yet. so we kept driving and then approached this gate thing and this man asked for our passport and we asked "oh are we at the border" he said "obviously" (well actually, not that obvious).. so we gave him our passports but sister suranyi forgot hers, just had a copy of it. So we tried to pass it off and he would have NONE of that. Then when we told him we just wanted to take a picture in front of the sign he just scoffed at us and said "that is rediculous. if all you want to do is take a picture. I cant let you in. But if you wanted to you could leave THAT ONE (pointing at suranyi) and cross yourselves, but your going to have to leave her" it was so epic.. we felt like he was trying to tear our family apart, telling us "your only hope is to leave her behind!"... haha. so obviously we decided not to split up across country borders. instead we turned around and parked in the random parking lot and took a picture infront of this ugly european union sign. and then some random pictures infront of the prison. so dissapointing. no szerbia sign or anything! not even a szerbian flag! so I really have no proof I was at the border other than a picture that looks like a prison, that I can SAY was the Szerbian border. haha. oh well. memories.

This week was awesome because my favorite member here in Hungary, Viki, served a two day mini mission with us. She is this incredible member that got baptized in April of last year. She is 22 years old and is the most incredible member ever. She helps us with SOOO MUCH. She really would make in incredible missionary, she just cannot afford it. She and I have become such good friends. I really love her. Well this week she served with us for 2 days and I took her tracting (which was also Suranyis first time tracting) well Viki was a little tracting BEAST! We would knock a door, and Viki would take that book of Mormon and just bare her heart and soul to these people..and they would take it! Just door after door people were taking these Book of Mormons from her. She told us later, she doesnt know where that came from, but she knew that the spirit was putting words in her mouth. Then on sunday got up and shared her testimony in church about how those days gave her such a strong testimony of missionary work and that the Lord will truly place words in your mouth and calm your fears as long as you just SHARE THE GOSPEL with others. She just bore a strong testimony of the power of those two days and of missionary work in general. I was just so happy to be apart of such a strengthening, life shaping experience for her. I cant even imagine what it would be like for her if she was able to serve a full time mission, because just those two days with her were incredible. 18months of that would change a lot of peoples lives. The members here really are so incredible, holding strong in this pioneering country.

I love these people. I love this work. and time is just flying. I love you all. Minden jót!

sok szeretettel

Papritz nővér

picture - epic Szerbia fail.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Autumn- Szeged- Transfer 9!!!!


Wow this is so crazy. Time is flying sooooo fast. I remember when I first got in the country and started my FIRST TRANSFER!!! Now 8 of those have passed here in Hungary. I only have 2 more after this one. I just cant believe it. June 21st will arrive, and poof I will be home ... and this will all have seemed like a dream. One incredible dream. wow. Time is flying. Good thing the name of the game is to MAKE THE MOST OF IT!!!!

I am LOVING Szeged more and more. I just never want to leave. I love this place so much. I love the young adults we work with. I love everything about it. I love our investigators, I just really love what is going on here right now. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how we met with Zsofi and Laci...Laci was a member and his fiance said that she wanted an Eternal Family! Well on sunday we were teaching them, and Laci's niece, Kiti...and we asked them if they wanted to be baptized on March 24th and they GLADLY ACCEPTED! With HUGE smiles on their faces!! It was so awesome. I was sooooo happy. It means we have a lot of work ahead to get ready for two baptisms that are 5 weeks away. But it really is so exciting. It just makes me so glad I came to Szeged and followed all of those little promptings to set up appointments with less actives, and then didnt give up on calling this random number on the ward list...and it just happened to lead us to Laci and Zsofi and his niece. and they want to be an eternal family. I am just so happy.

This week we had a WESTERN NIGHT! With the Young Single Adults. The senior couple, the Adams, planned a wonderful activity and it was so much fun having a seed spitting contest, dancing to cotton eye joe.. and Sister Kimbal choreographed a line dance that she taught all of the young single adults. It was really so much fun. I just wanted to let you all know, I placed second in the seed spitting contest. I was able to sport some western wear, and it was just so great to meet some of these Young Adults friends, and hang out with a few of our investigators. I loved it.

The snow is still falling here. My toes are constantly freezing. Probably doesnt help that I have developed a nice little winter case of the sinus cold. Well transfers are this week and I am going down to just ONE greenie instead of two. Sister Suranyi will be staying with me and Sister Kimball got transfered to Miskolc, a different city. and I am so excited because one of my favorite elders of all time is coming to serve here. Elder Beaumont. We served together for a while in Pest and so it will be a PARTY here in Szeged. I am really excited. This next transfer is going to be a blast.

Man well that is about it. I love my mission. OH this week I finished the book "the Great Apostacy" by James E. Talmage. and wow. I loved it with every bit of my soul. I have a testimony of the great apostacy! It REALLY happened....and that is why we needed a Restoration of all things. The Lord really thought this all out when making this perfect plan of life. I just love the restoration, and the apostacy and I am so grateful I am able to serve a mission, if not for anything other than to be able to fall in love with the gospel more and more. I love it.

Well you all have wonderful weeks. I love you all so much.

szeretlek benneteket

papritz nővér

Monday, February 6, 2012

Autumn - Szeged, Hungary - AHHH!! SNOW!!!

Hello Everyone!

Well...i TOTALLY jinxed myself this week. A few days ago I was telling my companions...haha..."well I am SO glad that this winter has been mild. I totally dodged the bad winters everyone complains about on their missions."...and then BOOM. We got dumped a FOOT AND A HALF OF SNOW.....that is 1.5 FEET in just 2 days. There hasnt been a storm this bad since 1987. It has just been FREEZING. like -15 celcius. I am just trying my best to stay warm. The roads are covered in snow..nothing is getting plowed. There are just HUGE piles of snow that people have hand shoveled everywhere. There is SO MUC SNOW. people are just trying to make their way down these little random tracks in the snow. and we are having to trudge through snow everywhere we go. Luckily this city is beautiful when it is covered in snow. AND the entire TISZA river is frozen! I have NEVER seen a frozen river. Only crossed them on the Oregon Trail Game. haha.. so it is cool to see a real big frozen river covered in ice.

So...besides the cold. This week was so busy. We had so many programs and frankly they all are kind of blurring together. The works is going really really good here. We have some incredibly promising people. I almost dont feel deserving of how well the work is going here. It has all just been handed to me. I am so grateful for it. Our one miracle woman Erica, the one who just came to church, has been doing wonderfully. She has been praying and praying and begging for an answer from the Lord and has not received one. But there have been noticeable changes in her countenance. Each week she comes and there is just a little more bounce in her step, a little bit more light in her eyes. She brought her 12 year old daughter to meet us last time. So I am so excited to meet with her this week and see where she is with getting her answer. I have never taught anyone that has sincerely prayed this hard to get an answer. I know it will come eventually, they always do.

One of the cool things we did today for Pday was visited the big giant Synagogue in the area. It was gorgeous! and the funny thing was, this man basically unlocked the synagogue for us and said "ok do whatever you want...and just let me know when you want to leave" so we had this HUGE synagogue all to ourselves! so we all took a billion pictures and just explored the place. It was so fun and beautiful. Man if I wasnt mormon, I would have totally been Jewish. Their buildings are beautiful. haha.

Well.... not much to report this week. Kind of just busy and trying to stay alive in this frost. It is SOOOOO cold. Pray that I dont freeze to death. My back has been acting up more I just hope I dont fall and break something amongst it all! Oh man life is an adventure on the mission...but so worth it.

I love you all

sok szeretettel

sister papritz