I will forgoe the lamentation about how much time I have left, lets just say... it ain't much. My mission President is also going home the same time as me, so he has been doing his rounds around the mission saying goodbye to the members and branches. He was here in Szeged on sunday and It was weird because I realized "oh, if he is saying goodbye, then....that means, I am going to be saying goodbye to these people too..." Needless to say, not looking forward to that. I dont think a lot of people know I'm even going home, I havent really been telling people. So, these next couple of weeks are going to be a lot of goodbyes. I just hope I get to come back really soon.
Since I am dying and obviously I want to go out working hard. Sister Kramer and I set a cool goal for my final transfer, We call it the "6x6". So there are 6 weeks in a transfer. During those six weeks we plan on doing 6 days of SYL everyweek (speak your language.. only talk Hungarian outside of the apartment) and achieve mission Standard (or super standard) 6 weeks in a row. So 6 SYLs x 6 standards. The 6x6. (the mission standard is a set of number goals that the mission has set as a higher standard for the amount of lessons to teach and people to find, book of mormons to give away etc). So far we are 3 for 3. We have 3 more weeks to go, and we are going to totally rock it. The greatest part about this goal is that we are seeing miracles from it. like crazy stuff. For example, this week started off and we had absolutely NO new investigators planned. We had NOBODY slated as a new investigator. So we were kind of nervous because the mission standard calls for 2 new investigato4rs, in order to achieve "standard" So we knew we needed 2,but had absolutely nobody planned. So that meant we were going to have to do a lot of tracting to find new people.
Well in the middle of the week we realized we had met and taught our neighbor a lesson before but never set up for another lesson, so we went back over to her house set another appointment and phew.... that counted as a new investigator. So 1 down. Well then the rest of the week we proceeded to tract, a lot. For hours. We faced the WORST rejection I have EVER had on the mission. EVER. Slamming doors like you wouldnt believe. Door after door slammed, cursing, people yelling "Did you really THINK that I wanted to talk to you" and "I DO NOT LIKE THE BOOK OF MORMON!" **SLAMING OF DOOR**. So yeah, getting kind of nervous to not find someone new.
While tracting in order for it to be a new investigator you have to 1. get them to actually open the door 2. they have to let you into their apartment 3. you have to have a lesson with them and end with a prayer 4. you have to schedule another appointment with them to meet. So its way more than just getting them to open the door, they have to actually be interested and willing to listen and invite you in. So it wasnt looking so good. We had a lot of temptations to stop several times, we were tired, we were hungry, the big Bridge Festival was going on downtown with lots of souvenier shops set up and we wanted to shop REALLY BAD. haha.
BUT we endured...so friday and saturday no luck. Sunday was our last hope. BUT we only had 30 minutes to tract because of other appointments. So we set off with the impossible task of finding a new investigator in 30 minutes of tracting. We started in a building and faced the same rejection we had all week. We had one lady open her door and take a book of mormon, but didnt invite us in. So the 30 minutes had lapsed, we had to run to our next appointment. It stunk because we knew that we had lost standard and that the 6x6 was over on only the 3rd week because we couldnt find the 1 new investigator. But we had 1 more door left, the LAST DOOR (dun...dun..dunnnnnnn....yes, this is a LAST DOOR story) We decided we would knock it so that we could say we had finished the entire floor of the apartment building we were on. So we knocked and this sweet woman came to the door that was doing her dishes, her hands were all soapy and we started talking about the Book of Mormon. She was intrigued, she asked us a lot of questions, called us cute little girls, and was a religious woman that had been wondering about the Mormons. She accepted the Book of Mormon gladly, we set up another appointment with her to return, then we asked if we could end with a prayer. She said "really? you want to? of course... COME IN!!" We were getting LET IN!!! WOO HOOOO!!! She invited us in, introduced us to her husband. She was a mother of 4 girls, 9 grandchildren (but she was a super young looking grandma) We shared a message about families and asked to prayer, and she LOVED IT! She was super excited to have us back the next week. BOOM! MIRACLE!!! The last door, after SOOO much rejection. We got let in, and that made it all possible. The 6x6 is still going strong on account of miracles. We basically closed the door politely behind us and then sister kramer and I ran to our next appointment screaming in amazement at what had just happened. oh man, it was priceless.
So things are still going wonderfully for us. The work is going great. I'm ending strong. So for this week reason number 4 I am on a mission: GRATITUDE!! Wowzers am I grateful for EVERYTHING in my life now. Life is soooo different in a post-communist country. Let me say first off... this is not everyone. But a majority. People are unemployeed, down on life, have no money, no dental care, no car, no laptops, iphones, Macbooks. nobody has anything of any value or luxury. These people are living poor. (not EVERYONE, but the large large majority). I was talking with one of the single adults about incomces here. I was sharing how much I made in america, just as a nurse, and his jaw just dropped. He said "Sister Papritz, do you realize you make almost as much as the Prime Minister of Hungary?!" ... uh.. no I didnt. The average person here makes 100,000 forint a month. Which is rougly $650 A MONTH. To support a family. They live off of that. I make about 750,000 forint a month. I make 7 times what the average person makes in this country. The prime minister makes about 1,000,000 forint a month. I only make 200,000 less forint, or about $1000 less a month than the prime minister. I make more than doctors do here in this country and I'M JUST A NURSE. We calculated how much my dad makes in a year, and in just a year of work he makes more than people make in a lifetime here in Hungary. A LIFETIME! It really blows my mind. Talk about being humbled. I do not deserve my blessings. I do not deserve to be so lucky. There are so many single moms, working single moms struggling to provide for their kids. Their are so many people that are the only member of the church in their family and everyone opposes their involvement. Their are so many people that can't afford dental care, so their teeth just rot. 6 year olds walking around with brown rotting teeth because they not only dont care for their teeth, but can't even afford to fix them if they wanted to. I can't even get started on how grateful I am for my family. They surpass all the blessings I could ever imagine to deserve, and we live in America. Truly, I am so blessed. So gratitude and perspective have been a HUGE thing I have gained on my mission.
also Today for language study we went to a shadow puppet show at the local puppet theater. It was AWESOME!!! Highly recommend Hungarian puppet shows if anyone is ever in these parts. It was sooo cool. Sister Kramer and I were the only adults in a theater full of 6 year old children on field trips. It was hilarious. All of the kids kept yelling "jaj de szép!" everytime the scene changed. (ohh...pretty!) It was hilarious.
Well. If anyone has any good dying advice for a dying missionary, send them my way. My days are numbered. I can see the light..and I'm trying not to go towards it.
I love you all.