Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Into The West--My Final Epistle

March 18, 2014
Drága követőimnek, olvasóimnak, barátaimnak, családomnak és szeretteimnek, (Dear followers, readers, friends, family and loved ones),

Elder Magda and Krisztina
(He is wearing his "whip")
How absolutely fabulous these two years have been! I know I sure have had fun during this journey, and I hope that you guys could enjoy it a little bit with me. It really is unbelievable for me to think that the time has come to return home. I don't even know how really to explain to you all the feelings and emotions that have been rushing through my body this last week and, even now, writing this 'Last Epistle'. What do I say?!?!

I guess I will start with yesterday. Two of our investigators were baptized yesterday and it was such an incredible way to end my mission! One of them was actually one of the other companionships investigators that we put on baptism date right when we combined. Super kewl woman and has been looking forward for this for a while. The other woman was one that Elder Shoop and I ran into on the street and grabbed us and said 'I have been looking for you guys for so long!!!' She has been an absolute wonder to teach and meet with, and yesterday she was baptized after a month of being hospitalized for having surgery not too long ago. She has been prepared by the Lord for sure and she has said countless times that she feels like this is the church that she has meant to be a part of for so long. She is going to be an excellent member and I am looking forward to keeping in touch with her throughout my life.
I am privileged to have baptized this fine Sister.
I was privileged to have been asked by her to baptize her and Elder Dellenbach baptized the other lady, and it was such a moving experience.
Baptism Day
Both talked to us after their baptism and gave us their thanks for sharing with them the Gospel and bringing them closer to their Savior. There was actually a verse, the morning of the baptism that I stumbled across in my personal study that fit right in with this. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father to have led me to it in preparation of this baptism. In 3 Nephi 19, Christ had left the people of Nephi for a short while and the disciples continued on with their work, baptizing and giving people the gift of the Holy Ghost. Christ then returns as they, a congregation of people are praying, and goes off and begins to offer an intercessory prayer to the Father. These following verses include part of the prayer that He offers.

20. Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.
21. Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.
22. Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.
23. And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.
I have seen this very thing with these people and all those whom I have taught and have come closer to their Savior, even if it did not result in immediate baptism or may never will. But this I know from these verses—that  Christ prays for us! He intercedes for us! He is the Mediator and prays on our behalf! And He prays for us and for all those how believe on the words of those whom He has chosen that God the Father may bless us with the Holy Ghost. It is through this also that we can become one with our Father and our Savior. I know this to be true! I have seen it upon the faces of my investigators and members of the church here; I have felt it for myself through following the Savior and keeping His commandments and have witnessed it through the power of the Holy Ghost upon the hearts of those I have taught. Christ loves us. Our Heavenly Father loves us, and the scriptures, like these verses, testify of that love. A song comes to mind when I think of becoming one with God called 'Make Us One' where it says,

 'Make us one, that our burdens may be light, 
 Make us one, as we seek eternal life,
 Unite our hands to serve thy children well,
 Unite us in obedience to thy will,
 Make us one,
 Teach us, Lord, to be of one faith, of one heart, one in thee.' 
As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure my mom sang this as a trio (if I remember correctly) at my farewell and it just hit me that I have been thinking about this song all week. (His mom did sing this with a trio for his farewell.  It’s by Sally Deford) Huh, quite interesting. It is a powerful song that I have come to love and I would encourage all of you to listen to it.

Along with our baptism this week we had the opportunity to go to a Zone Conference with one of the members of the Quorum of the Seventy (a General Authority) being there who we were able to listen to. That man was absolutely incredible! I loved how he addressed us and what he touched on. He talked to us missionaries that are going home this week, including the rest of the missionaries when they would be leaving, but specifically to us he said 'There will be times when you will be amongst your friends, when they will call upon you to be your old self. But it is in that moment when you will have to make the choice, whether to turn back and leave what you have learned behind or choose to keep what you have become and make it grow.' Out of all the things he said, this impacted me the most. It struck me right to the core and I felt like that was something that the Spirit was trying to say to me 'That was for you', along with other little things that were said during the conference. It really was an inspired conference. I enjoyed it immensely.

There is also one last thing that I would like to let you in on that happened to me. I first want to warn my family to not be worried in advance, because I know how they can be. This last week, Wednesday, I woke up around 3:30 in the morning with this unbelievably incredible pain in my right side. It was so painful to the point where we had to call the senior couple and have them drive me to the hospital where I remained there for a few hours. I then had a few x-rays and an ultrasound examination where they finally diagnosed me with having a kidney stone. A KIDNEY STONE!!! And the funny thing is that they couldn't even find it with the x-ray or ultrasound. They said that it is probably the size of a grain of sand and is towards the end of its passing. So, since Wednesday, I have been dealing with some incredible pains, along with having to go to a Zone Conference the next day, programs all throughout each day, church on Sunday and a baptism on Monday. This week has been one extremely interesting final last week of my mission. Fortunately, Sunday was the last day I felt extreme pains in my side and I'm pretty sure it will come out any moment.

I have been talking to president about how this all plays out with me going home and everything. Now, this is more towards my family, he said that if I haven’t passed it or if the serious pains have not passed by the time I go home then the result will be me ending up here until that ceases. But, I want you guys to know, first of all, please don’t worry; I'm doing fine and have gotten through the toughest part. I have been drinking a butt ton (is that even a real expression?) of water and have been taking some cramping pills to get it through. I have been praying for it every night for it to pass. And, the main serious pains have passed and I am feeling LOADS better. Tomorrow I will be going up to Budapest and having my last interview with president and the next day I will be heading home. IF things do change (IF is the word), then president will let you know if I have to stay a little bit longer or not. BUT, so far it looks like a clean shot home. 

To tell you the truth, this experience has actually had some interesting things that followed with it. Friday morning I was in terrible pain and we had to cancel one of our programs because of it. There was one other program right after it, but we decided to wait to see if I would feel better before we called to cancel. Not too long after, the pain just dissipated. It was gone. I thought to myself 'Well that was interesting' and I felt like I was well enough to go. We then went and when our investigator opened the door we could tell that something was wrong. We had planned to talk about church attendance but we both felt like that wasn't going to be the right thing. We started to talk with her and felt prompted to start talking about the trial of our faith. After a few minutes of sharing scriptures with her she then began to open up and share with us about some of the trials that she was currently going through and how she has been having stress attacks lately. The program continued to go on and verse after verse came to each of our minds to share with her that were perfect for what she needed.

She began to cheer up and really liked the verses that we had shared with her and she said that they had really helped her tremendously. It was then that I had a feeling that this was the reason why my pain had gone away. She had even said 'I feel like when I am out to help others, there is never anyone there for me and I am left alone by everyone.' It was then that I shared with her about that morning experience that I had and how God had intended for us to be there for her and to encourage her to keep going and to not give up. Her spirit was lifted as we testified to her that she was loved and that her Father in Heaven was watching over her through us. This was such a powerful experience for me this week. Even in the midst of pain we can be a part of miracles. On Sunday one of the speakers talked about trials specifically and said 'When storms come and the rain falls and everything seems dark and gloomy, that is when we choose to dance in the rain.' So true! And I felt like that truly hit it home for me. 
Baptism Day in Eger

This week has been FULL of experiences that I would love to go on and on and on with you about, but I have decided to just tell them to you all when I see you in person this week. It is time for me to return home. I have come to love these people so much, more than they, I think, will ever understand. I love Hungary with all of my being. This has become my home for 2 years and it is a place I can call home. I am so grateful, so ever grateful, for this opportunity. There is a song that has been running in my mind for so long that explains my feelings perfectly that I would like to share with you. If any of you are familiar with Lord of the Rings, you will recognize which song this is, as it is the title of this last epistle: 

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You’ve come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say: «We have come now to the end»
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the West

Az utolsó bizonyságomat teszem nektek, hogy ezek a dolgok, amiket prédikálok két éve, igazak. Tudom, hogy a jó Megváltónk él és, hogy szeret bennünket az egész szívével. Én is tudom, hogy Joseph Smith valóban Isten prófétája volt és Isten irányítása alatt lefordította a Mormon Könvét. Bizonyságom is van arról, hogy amennyiben bízunk az Úrban és követjük fiának a példáját, amit megmutatott nekünk, Mennyei Atyánk meg fog áldani minket azzal, amire van szükségünk. Az Úristen megáldjon benneteket! 

Nagyon szeretlek benneteket! Legyetek erősek és bátrak mindig!  (I love you! Be strong and of good courage always!)

Sok sok szeretettel, (With all of my love)
Magda Elder

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Has Hit Hungary!

March 10, 2014
Dear Friends and Family,

GAHHHH!!! This is SOOOOO weird that this is my last full week in the country. I feel like this 9 year old kid that's running around the room that doesn't know how to react about something. I don't know. We'll just leave it at that.

Let's see, what to fill you in on from this week.....Spring has hit Hungary and it is SOOOOO nice! Winter was super short here (can't really complain) and we decided to start up a sport day on Saturday since the weather has been so nice recently, and it was an absolute blast! Basically everyone who went was investigators, and some of our investigators brought their friends and we played some soccer, Frisbee and some inter mixes of other sports. It was soo nice being out in the sun and playing sports again: though my body disagreed with it quite a bit. I am definitely out of shape. That’s something that is definitely going to have to change when I come home. :P 

We also went on splits this week with the Zone leaders. I went with one of my Kicsi  (little ones) from the MTC, Elder Hatfield, and we had quite an adventure. We went tracting for quite a while since all of our programs rescheduled for another day and we had some fun stories from it. One woman came out and after listening to us for a second she started to give us a piece of her mind. After her little rant we asked her if she may know someone that may be interested in hearing our message. She replied with 'Good heavens, I hope not!' After we departed both of us started to chuckle. You can't help it! It's just so funny to see someone start telling you the things that you should be doing instead and how wrong you are. I don't know, maybe I've just gotten used to it and my sensitivity layer has been strengthened over the course of two years to that kind of stuff. Laughter has been the best way, and more enjoyable way, of getting around that stuff. Sure, not the best thing to be doing in certain circumstances, but it is definitely fun to do after something like that. Elder Hatfield also had an interview with one of the people who is getting baptized next Monday. She is definitely ready and is looking forward to being baptized. We are right beside her with that. We also have another person being baptized on that same day and she will be having an interview this week with the Zone Leaders again. It'll be super kewl! We are definitely looking forward to it all. 

This week is going to be a pretty busy week again. This last week went really well and we had quite a bit of programs. This week we are looking at the same, along with a baptism next Monday on the 17th, the Monday before I go home. 

So you wanted to know a little bit more about Elder Dellenbaaaaccchhh. Info time: He is from Holiday, Utah. He is now 19 and is actually the youngest of 3 boys. He actually had a brother come home from his mission from Alaska while he was in the mission. Luckily they got permission to see each other in the MTC when his brother arrived. He always tells me how much he loves skiing along with hunting. When he gets back we are planning on going on a hunting expedition. He's freaking hilarious! I love the kid to death. We have both been in this city for so long and we laugh at all the things that have happened while we have been here. 
Last thing I have to answer. You asked about how things work with the branch. The branch president is actually the elder senior couple, but since he doesn't speak Hungarian we translate for him (more like me, since I'm the oldest) and get a lot of things assigned for the upcoming week. There is a first counselor member in the presidency, but basically I fill the second and the clerk, since I also deal with the finances and computer stuff. We, the missionaries, also teach some of the classes in for Sunday school and priesthood, depending on the week. It's not like Békéscsaba where we did absolutely everything, but the missionaries here still have quite a bit of responsibility in the branch. This week I actually gave a talk on Women because this weekend was 'Women's day' in Hungary and next week I am going to be doing a musical number with one of the members. It'll be nice. 

I'm so sorry for not taking any pictures this week. We did take one group one for Elder Dellenbach's birthday. We went out to eat for his birthday and the senior couple made some cake and ice cream for him and we took a picture of us all. That day was also super nice cause it was filled with programs. 
Elder Dellenbach's Birthday

Alrighty ya'll. I have one more p-day next week and it will be on Tuesday. I will see you next week on my last entry of Gettin' Hungary with Elder Magda'!


As Always,
Magda Elder

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I would never change this experience for anything in the world!

Monday, March 3, 2014
Hey Everybody!

So my time is short, so this will have to be brief unfortunately. 

This week went pretty well. We did plan a lot of programs for the week, but, as surprising as it may sound, a lot of people dogged. Super dumb! I've gotten used to it more, but it is still annoying as heck when someone dogs! One, for example, set up for us one day and didn't show up and I called him back asking if he was coming or not. He replied 'Oh! I totally forgot! I will be there tomorrow.' 'Alright, sounds good.' Next day.....didn't show up. Both of us were like 'Are you serious?!?! Come on!!!' Although we had some dogs, our week was still really good. We had a really good program with one of our bap dates this last week. She has been trying to figure out how to solve a certain trial that she is facing and we have been helping her with it. We talked about the law of the fast this week and we encouraged her to fast this past Sunday, which say accepted to try. The day before, we met with her again and she had some questions concerning prayer. She asked 'I feel like I'm not getting any answers. When I've been asking for something I don't feel anything or hear anything in my thoughts. Am I doing something wrong?' Instantly my mind went to D&C 9 where it talks about the way to discern what kind of answer we are receiving from the Holy Ghost. When we read it to her, she stopped and paused after the part where it says 'You assumed that I would just give you the answer. You must first ponder it in your minds THEN ask me if it is right or not.' She continued to read the verses and afterwards we talked about it a little bit. It was also led perfectly into our lesson about the Trial of our Faith. I had actually wanted to find answers to that question for a while and in my personal study that day I found so many things!! So many answers!! And they just fit for an amazing program! 

This is the thing I want to share most of all to you guys. This week I have recognized my great love for the scriptures. I have learned and have grown so much from reading them! I look forward to starting my day off reading from them and feeling the Spirit every morning and expanding my knowledge of the words of the prophets. Recently my studies have been reading through the Book of Mormon and looking for things that relate to the Atonement and also the Book of Isaiah. I remember reading Isaiah back in Seminary and thinking 'This language is crazy!!! This isn't even English!' But these last few weeks I can hardly put the book down! It contains so much of the personality of God and his great love towards his people and the House of Israel or, in other words, us! Along with all this, I think one of the greatest things I have been learning about is the mercy of God and the power and gift of repentance. It truly is a wonderful gift! I could read of scripture after scripture with you guys and show you the evidence and merciful hand of the Lord, the power that it has to change us to become the incredible people that we can be, to cleanse us of our wrongs, the love of God that we feel when we turn to him and trust in him! I could go on and on, but I'll just have to wait till I come home with their being a lack of time for me to tell you guys all about this. But, that's not to far away either. But I have really come to have a greater understanding of how Alma felt to cry 'O if I were an angel and could cry repentance!' I could never change this experience for anything in the world. The power I have experience of the Holy Ghost working through me and, even greater than that, seeing the Holy Ghost work through my investigators and testifying to them of the truthfulness of these things is worth more than any kind of worldly riches in the world. I am so grateful to have been called here. I cannot thank Heavenly Father enough for Him to have picked this country, the cities I have served in and the companions I have been able to serve with and the investigators and members that I have been able to be around. Such a blessing, not even words can describe. 

Well, my dear family and friends, brothers and sisters of the royal army, I am off to start another week. It’s still weird to think that I only have one complete week in Hungary after this one. And, btw, Elder Dellenbach's birthday is this week! Shout out to the soon to be 19 year old! :D 

I love you all, and keep on prayin'!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid!

February 24, 2014
Hey everybody! 

This week has been one tiring week, that's for sure. And next week looks to be even more tiring! We had our weekly planning last night and after making calls and making arrangements for meeting people, looking for a new apartment, cleaning out the old one AND branch meetings, my companion and I looked at each other and almost burst into laughter having almost every spot in our planned filled out with things to do. It's unbelievable how much stuff we have to do! We have so many investigators that we have to meet with and new ones coming in also! Gah! It's intense, I tell you, intense. But, I can't really complain too much cause I'm pretty sure this is what every missionary wants on his mission. 

Alright, because of lack of time, I'm just going to answer some questions that have been asked and see if these can give you a glimpse of how the week went. 
This is some amazing graffiti we found when walking
through tunnels to get here and there.

1. The strangest thing I ate this week. Actually, this week it was something that I drank. My dear companion, oh how loving he is, made me some Kool-aid from a packet that was sent to him from home.  He had put it into the freezer for it to turn into a Kool-aid freezy. You wouldn't think that this drink would be weird. But just wait! So, I think it was Saturday, when we pulled it out of the freezer; both super excited and looking forward to a refreshing kool-aid frozen beverage after a long day, and after taking the first little spoon full, immediately the sour taste of pink lemonade hit our tongues and our faces contortioned in to that face you get after having a war-head. I was like 'Elder, what did you do to this?' 'I don't know, I just put the powder into the cups, filled it with water and froze it. That's all!' 'Did you put any sugar in it?' '........I thought there was sugar already in it....' ':........Elder..........' Needless to say, the reason for the sourness of the drink was because he forgot to put sugar in the cool-aid. Note to self: DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AID! 
This is Rakott Krumpli, made with potato, ham,
boiled egg, sour cream, and of course
Paprika!  We made it ourselves.  I LOVE IT!

2. The funniest thing that happened this week. I'm going to have to say church would be the funniest thing that happened this week. Not because something funny happened in church, but reason being because it was just super entertaining to see at the end of church, when everyone is gone, how church turned out and finally getting a chance to relax and rest. I never really understood till I came to this city how EXHAUSTING it can be to make church the way it is. Making sure that the sacrament is taken care of, the speakers are on time, everyone has their lessons planned for Sunday School, Priesthood, Relief Society, exc. I'm so tired after church every time. But it makes me laugh seeing how tired I am and how other leaders of the church must feel. I'm just helping with a small branch, how much more interesting must it be to have an entire ward or stake to be in charge of! Crazy to think about. And I've come to really respect the other people with their callings in the church that help keep things moving and keep it well structured. Shout out to all you people around the world that have callings! You are all vitally important! 

3. Interesting finding story. The only thing that I have that I can remember was streeting into a girl that was from Poland. Super sweet girl and it was kewl to actually talk in English for a little bit. Unfortunately she wasn't too interested in our message, but she extended appreciation for what we do and respected our opinions. Super nice and now I can say I streeted someone from Poland. :) 

Because of time I will have to cut this short, but I will include some pictures for you guys. My companion and I just got back from whipping actually.
I've been looking forward to the opportunity to whip since the beginning of my mission, but none of my companions have ever had whips and if they did we were never in the mood for doing it.
(Ok, before you start thinking he is a bit weirder than usual; this is his mom’s side note.  Hungarians are well known for their whips.  They were used by shepherds, wranglers and herders.  You are really missing out on the Hungarian experience if you have not got a chance to go “whipping.”) But today we finally went out with my companion’s two whips and I learned how to whip! It's freakin sick!
Sounds like a gun popping off! We were in the main park here in Eger and we both started to get the hang of it and everyone was staring at us ha ha. Little kids came up to watch us as we cracked these things. I remember when Granddad showed me for the first time a Hungarian whip when I was like 12-13 or  something and when I heard the crack my eyes peeled back from being blown away with how kewl that is.
Hopefully I can get one from one of the branch members here. He makes his own whips out of pure leather and sells them for super cheap for the quality that he makes them out of. Totally going to see if I can get one before I leave. I'll have to show you guys how it's done. I got it down pretty well. I'll have to show granddad maybe a thing or two. ;)

Alrighty folks, sorry to end this so early, but I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the time without me while you can! :) 

Blakemeister, meister Blake

My costume for Farsang was this awesome soccer jersey!
P.S.  I forgot to tell you that our Branch celebrated Farsang!  Farsang in Hungary may mean many different things: Busójárás (e.g. scaring Winter and Turks away), a final party before Lent, a celebration of the end of winter, and eating lots of really fattening food, like ribboned doughnuts. YUM. But, for Hungarian parents of young children, Farsang means an endless parade of children’s costume, buying/making costumes to outdo everybody else’s and more parties. It’s a fun, yet tiring period, making Lent, with its fasting and self-denial, a lot more appealing.  It’s kinda like a Hungarian Carnival. 
Prepping for Farsang
 Last year I celebrated it in Pec, but this year, I'm in Eger!!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Last Transfer

February 18, 2014
Hey Everybody!

And thus it begins; the beginning of the last transfer. It's pretty freaky, I must say, actually knowing that I am actually going home soon. Cause up until this point I thought it was some sort of fickle imagination of my mind saying that I would go home someday but really I would be here forever. I actually wouldn't be too mad about it, but there is still that other part of me that is looking forward to coming home. We'll stay clear of that topic for a while now.

So, on to the results of the transfer. So, in short, I am dying here in Eger (dying is slang in missionary language for 'going home'). But that's not the weird thing that happened. We all assumed that I was just going to stay and die here in Eger, but we were also thinking that everyone else would stay too. Reasons: Elder Flake (my companion), I just got him last transfer and it would make sense for him to just kill me (more missionary language for 'the companion that serves with you as you go home') and then go senior companion as I leave. Elder De Vries, just got here as well, had surgery this last week on his hernia and was told not to be moving heavy luggage around for the next month or so and probably would stay. Elder Dellenbach, because his companion can't help with luggage carrying he too would stay and all would be happy in the land of Eger..........such a result did not happen. Instead, both my companion and Elder De Vries are going to Szombathely and I am just moving in with Elder Dellenbach! WHAAAATTT?!?! Crazy!  Elder Flake and I were so bummed when we got the call. Of course I was glad to hear that I was staying because that was what I was hoping for, but I really wanted to be with Flake till the end. Super sad. Plus he was really getting along with the branch here and we have been having a blast together....quite sad, like I've said before. And then De Vries is leaving, which was a super weird one with him having the surgery. So we are going to help him along with my companion getting his luggage to Budapest on the train. So that'll be fun.
The little dog I tried to get a picture of wouldn't cooperate.
But I am looking forward to serving with Elder Dellenbach. He and I have been serving around each other for 4 1/2 months now and we just got out of a threesome together last week and now were back! I don't think I mentioned it already, but they actually closed the other companionship down here in Eger.
Success!  A little Hungarian doggie
There have been two companionships (sets of elders) up until now, but as of today there is only one companionship. SO now we have both companionship’s work put together and it's going to be one heck of a week! Included with that is trying to find another apartment for us to live in because our landlord sold our apartment to someone else.  We have till March. Go figure that I would have to be searching for an apartment right before I leave. Well la dee friggen daaaaa! Life is loads of fun on the mission. :) 

Anyways, this week was pretty busy. Not as busy as last weeks, but it was still busy enough to keep us going. Friday was Valentine's Day and we actually went to Miskolc (another city where missionaries are) to have a Zone training, which was really kewl. One being that 2 other people from my MTC group were there and we got to see how well everyone was doing with getting ready to go home soon. Second being that we had a really kewl training from the Zone Leaders about companions and the importance of them and how we should treat them as we are serving for two years. It was fun because we related it to them being our 'valentines' and listed stuff that we would want to see in a companion and how we should strive to work together and doing the work. It was really fun and everyone enjoyed the training. We then had, later on, our game night which, as usual, was super fun! Everyone has such a great time there. Plus, I actually did get your package mom this week and we wore the ties that you put in there for Valentine’s Day. Everyone got a kick out of it! Thank you so much for the package! Both my companion and I were really grateful for it. 
Valentine's Zone Meeting 
Work-wise, we were able to put another person on bap date this week. It's actually the son of the woman that I baptized in November. He's 10 years old and is such a fun kid. He's a little bit shy, but we talked to him about baptism this last week and we committed him to prepare for baptism for March 8th. We're excited for him and for his mom. We also had an awesome program this week with one of our couples that we've been meeting with since I've been here. They are progressing amazingly! It's been so wonderful to still stay here and be able to see their progression in the Gospel. They have been reading through the Book of Mormon and have been starting to pray, which is something entirely new for them, and I can't even put it into words how great it is to see their faith grow. We asked them if they could see themselves being members in the church, which they responded with yes but they said that they want to be 100% confident in themselves that they are going to endure to the end. They told us that it is so different for them to see the way we think and that that is what is the most difficult thing for them to do is change their way of thought that they have had for their whole lives. We shared with them Moroni 6:3 which says that those who entered into the church of God covenanted to serve Christ to the end.  That is the core of the way we think. Every other thing we do or how we act is according to that one thought/desire in our minds 'I will serve my Savior and King till the very end'. It is when we establish that way of thinking that other things will come together. 
Someone must have said, "No more food for you!"

Unfortunately that was all I have to write about my week. I know there isn't much in the email about it, but it really was a good week. I could go days and days and days about each program that we had, but, one, that would take too long and, two, it will be way better to tell you guys in person when I come home. Plus I have all my planners that I have used throughout my mission which can help me remember what we taught each investigator for the week. 

It is unbelievably kewl to hear that Chris is a dad!! I can't believe it!! I remember him getting married a few months after I had started my misison! That is so uber uber kewl!! Tell him and his wife I say congrats!! It's also weird to hear that the Olympics are happening. I just arrived into the country when the summer Olympics started and now the winter ones are starting right as a I am about to come home. Friggen sweet! I just heard actually on the streets that USA beat Russia in hockey. That's right boys. Rock it out!
That's my week. Next week I'll let you in on the scoop of the new adventures of Magda and Dellenbach!

Sok szeretettel......és fingokkal,
Magda Elder

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm Loving It!

February 10, 2014
Hogy szolgál a kedves egészséged?  (Google translate doesn’t give us much.  Something about how nice is your health…)

Alrighty everyone, we have one small problem. We just found a new email place here in Eger (FINALLY!) and we are excited to find that it is way faster than the branch computer AND we all get to use the computers at the same time! But, the only downfall is that we only have an hour to really use the internet. We don't know yet if we are allowed to sign up for another hour after our first hour is up, but if not, then I must apologize in advance for the shortness of this email. 

This past week was SOOOOO busy! Since we had Elder D with us this week, we had both our investigators and his investigators that we had to meet this week. It was exhausting! I now know how it feels to be exhausted from finding all day and from having programs all day. Holy dang! Definitely not complaining, I'd rather have this than a week full of finding, but it definitely took it out of us. Plus it makes the days go by way faster. It's been really weird this past week for us because each night when we would hold our nightly planning we would look at each other and say 'Weren't we just finishing our day yesterday not too long ago?' We couldn't believe how fast the days have flown by. 
On the tracks in Eger 

We have been meeting with so many investigators and they are all progressing so well! For one, one of the couples that we have been meeting with (the one we went over to Skype) came to church for the first time yesterday! They missed the first hour of church and we didn't think they'd be coming after we saw that they didn't arrive for the first hour. But as we were getting ready to head up to Sunday school, my companion looked out the window and saw them with their little baby! We were so stoked! They could only stay for the 2nd hour of church, but they said they enjoyed it and set up to meet with them again for this week. They are so kewl! We also taught the Word of Wisdom to our investigator who is on baptism date for the first of March and she is coming a long super well! We absolutely love meeting with her and she always lets us know that she enjoys learning from us. 
In front of a weird building that looks to have been occupied by a few bums here and there. 

One of the things that all 3 of us have really realized this week is that we have had a great flow with our teaching. Teaching in a threesome is pretty difficult most of the time, trying to give each person time to speak and fitting everyone in so that the investigator still understands what they are being taught. But for us 3 it felt really natural and everything had a connection. After each day we would talk about our programs and how we felt in them and whether or not we could feel the Spirit and we have been really focused on making our teaching effective as possible and the incredible thing is we have seen it throughout the week how effective we have been able to teach! We are sad that it is coming to an end this week, which is also good news because that means Elder D gets his companion back and that he is well after his operation, but it is somewhat of a bummer because we really liked how we have been teaching together. 

I honestly don't know what else to talk about for this week. It's just been really busy and super fulfilling spiritually. It's just been great to see our investigators coming closer to their Savior and seeing the change that they are making in their lives. I think that's another thing that I have been learning on my mission, seeing the changes that people have to make out of faith and having that hope that they will be empowered and blessed for the sacrifices that they have to give and, as they do, developing a greater love and charity towards their Savior and their fellow brethren and sisters. These people have been such a great example to me and how, even though been a member my whole life, I need to continually look keep my faith strong and having a 'perfect brightness of hope' and growing and nurturing my charity towards everyone. Gosh there are just so many things that I am learning out here!  I'm loving it so much! I can't tell you how great it is to be out here in the field.

Alright ya'll, I've gotta go, but I'll throw in some pictures to keep this entertaining you. I love you all! See you on the other side sooner than you think! 

A szolgád és kis Magduskád, (The humble servant, Magduska)

Magda Elder

Monday, February 3, 2014

Prayers and Breadcrumb Trails

February 3, 2014
Na, csákány sztok!

Alrighty folks, this week was interesting for starters. One being that the busy week that we planned turned into a not so busy week filled with an oh so wonderful time of finding. Not what we were exactly looking for, but we made it fun anyways. We were able to find a few people that were interested and 1 of them said they would be able to meet this week. On the bright side, all the people that we weren't able to meet with this week said that they would promise to meet with us this week. So this week will be full of teaching opportunities. Super stoked! 

Also, for this week, we actually have an addition to our companionship.....Elder Dellenbach! Simply put, one of the elders from the other companionship here in Eger had to go up to Budapest today and will be up there for the next week or so for surgery for a hernia that he has. Ouch, I know. But he's a way kewl guy and isn't worried about it at all. I don't know about him, but I for one would definitely be a little bit nervous. Surgery just does not sound pleasant, but he is taking it like a champ. In result, his companion, who has only been in the country for 5 or so months, is staying with us for the week and we are excited to have him with us.

We actually had a funny weekly planning with him last night though. Their companionship is been going through a bit of a dry spell lately and has been finding nonstop for the past month or so with very little success. It hurts me seeing it because I know exactly how they are feeling having been through similar situations. So when we planned for our week and started talking about our investigators and writing down what we were going to teach them all, a little more than half way through our investigator list Elder Dellenbach says 'Holy cow, I have to go on to my next page in my planner!' Poor guy, ha ha, I couldn't help but chuckle though after he said that though. But he is excited for this week and having lots of programs planned with us. We're going to have a lot of fun. I've been serving around this kid for the past 3 months or so and he is an outstanding missionary. He has been a great example to me and reminding me about that greeny fire that has always been burning within me and to keep it alight all the way to the end. For a shout out to Elder Dellenbach's family, you have a great son. I love him to death and he is doing a marvelous job. 

For a funny note this week, when I went shopping last week for food, normally I get some kolbász, which is the Hungarian sausage, to go with some of my meals. I just grab it from of the shelf and then go. Well, later in the week when I was going to use it for the first time, I go to open up the package that it is in and realize........someone had cut a piece off of it already!!!! And that's how it came!
The skimpy sausage
Wrapped, packaged and everything! Someone had the audacity to sell kolbász with a piece of it missing! What, did the guy at the factory or something get a little hungry and looked at it and was like 'Hmmmmm.....you know, I didn't have enough lunch this afternoon anyways.......no one will notice'. Pfffffttt, thanks a lot big guy! It sure made for a good laugh though. Took a picture of it too. I think it pretty much expresses my feelings after realizing what I bought. Note to self: Look at the entire package BEFORE purchasing. Stupid move on my part.

Now, on a more spiritual note, this week I got to prepare for another district training for district meeting and had the kewlest experience ever! I don't know if I've expressed it already before, but I absolutely love training at district meeting because I have the greatest experiences in my preparations for it. For this week’s training, like all of them, I had no clue what subject to train on and my mind was not producing any sort of ideas. So, I turned to prayer and asked for some guidance during my personal study to find that which I should teach my district. After closing my prayer I just decided to turn to where I left of in my Old Testament reading. These past few weeks I have been getting into the book of Isaiah and have loved it! On a quick side note, I have really recognized the innate feeling that I have towards looking forward to the Savior's second coming and having gone half-way through the book of Isaiah, I have come to love his words! Not only that, but I have finally begun to really understand what he's saying and the symbolisms that he uses. Anyways, so I went back to where I stopped and one of the verses from the chapter I had read the previous day really stuck out to me. It read, in Isaiah 35:3-4 'Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.'  That first verse specifically had an impact on me. So I decided to use that somehow, but had no real clue how. Keeping that prayer that I offered in my heart, I decided to look around and right things down that would come to my mind and the scriptures that I started to find along the way. It wasn't until AFTER I finished my training outline that I realized that this was exactly what the Lord was leading me to teach.

I got the biggest goosebumps after having finished it. I recognized too how the Lord, with the scriptures I found, led me to the final result like a trail of bread crumbs. I can't explain to you how invigorating it was! Later in the week after that I also found a scripture that explained perfectly the experience that I had with the Spirit, when Nefi, before he sneaks into Jerusalem to get the plates from Laban, he says in 1 Nephi 4:6 'And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.' I really had no clue what to teach! But after praying, I allowed the Spirit to direct me and by doing so, I was lead towards that which I should do. Plus, Elder Dellenbach gave the spiritual thought before my training at our district meeting and the verse he used was one of the ones that I was going to use! And Elder Flake chose the opening Hymn and picked How Firm a Foundation, which also went perfectly with the training. And after I gave the training I had that confirming feeling within my entire body that what I taught was what I was meant to teach. Such a testimony builder! I love the scriptures! I love prayer! I love having the Spirit with me! It is the greatest gift to ever have! If I could declare to the entire world how absolutely life changing these things are I would. I love how the Lord has been guiding me, in this instance and in others and in ones that he will in the future. Read your scriptures! Pray beforehand especially! And I can guarantee that you will be blessed immensely. 

Well that was my spiel. I hope you enjoyed this issue of Gettin' Hungary with Elder Magda. I love this work and I love the Lord. What more can I say! 

Sincerely, a te fiad, (your son)
Magda Elder