Monday, August 27, 2012

Patience in Language

August 27, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,

My word has this week been hard. I have been so tired the past few days, and it doesn’t help when you're apartment is just about as hot as it is outside (which is really hot) while you sleep and have a fan that blows all the hot air around. Now I'm not complaining, ha ha, I'm just stating the facts. :P But being tired every day is a good thing because it just means that I am working very hard. One thing is for sure is that this language does not come easy. I have been pushing myself to speak better and better and to understand better and better, but this ability to know this language is so hard. There are times where I can understand what a person is saying, but my mouth just does not spurt out the right words that I want to come out. And there are other times where I cannot understand what a person is saying, but I can speak pretty well. At the end of these days I collapse on my bed with my pillow in my face and just think "Why can't the speaking and the understanding both go together? Why can't this come quicker and easier?" Don't I sound like a little toddler, ha ha!

I have really begun to realize how much faith is important in knowing a language while on your mission, or not on one for that matter. I think back to two scriptures every time I question why I'm not getting this. One is James 1:3-6. Sure, everyone knows James 1:5-6, but I really love the two verses before 5. It says that the "trying of your faith worketh patience" and let "patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." I love that scripture! Whenever I think to myself "I just want this now, Heavenly Father." I go back to this scripture and know that this trial of faith is working and strengthening my patience, and if I endure it well and let patience work perfectly, I will be made strong. The second scripture is Ether 12:6, where it explains that knowing that the blessings come after the trial of your faith. So as I continue working and striving to be better and speaking the language to the best of my abilities, the Lord will bless me. Yes, this language is ridiculously tough and it still will be for a while, but I know that as I continue to have faith and pray for strength that I may be able to speak this language, the Lord will bless me when he knows is right.

Another thing that has been tough this week is that we had a really good week scheduled with new investigators that wanted to learn about the gospel. We were really excited because we haven’t had any new investigators for quite some time and the ones that we do have are either slowly progressing or barely progressing at all. We plan, prepare and pray that lessons will go well with them and that they will progress, but even when the lessons are good it is up to the investigators use of free agency and their sensitivity to the Spirit that determines if they will progress or not. So we were really excited at the beginning of the week when we had scheduled for programs with new investigators. Tuesday we had planned 3 programs with the new investigators. Our first one canceled. We asked if we could reschedule for Wednesday and he said sure. So we used that time to finish up our studies that we hadn't finished. Our second program canceled also. She also said that she didn't want to meet with us in general. We asked why that was and she said that it was because she had heard some stuff about us and didn't want to be a part of it. We were super bummed, but we had hoped that our third one would come because she seemed more prominent of showing. She dogged. We tried to get a hold of her and she wouldn't answer. We decided to call one of our other progressing investigators and see if we could meet with him so that we could at least help someone that day. Fortunately we did, but we were really bummed with the canceling and dogging of 3 possibly new investigators. And the guy who we scheduled again for Wednesday dogged us and we later called him and he said that he didn't want anything to do with us. It's just hard to think that when we are working as hard as we can, Lucifer is working just as hard with his followers to prevent us from bringing people closer to Christ. We switched the attitude of being kind of down to being positive, seeing that we now had more streeting and tracting time to find more people. We have been streeting for at least 4-5 hours a day and have been finding some really awesome people. Some people have been miracle finds, because if we hadn't had streeted one person than we would not have found the person that was really interested. Sure, having bad things happen to you could give you the excuse of just saying "It's been a bad week and that's why we haven’t been doing so well", but you can change that attitude into a better one by just saying "We have been working hard so that we can make this week a good week." The way we say things can completely change the outcome of your day, week, month or even year! If it wasn't for Elder Headrick and I's good attitude, we would not have had the awesome programs that we have set up for this week, which is a lot. Attitude changes everything.

The last thing I will share with you about my week is about our investigator from China. We've met with him twice this week and our first program with him was about the Word of Wisdom. He had a tough time, and still is, with not drinking tea. Now, to citizens of the western world, tea isn't that big of thing because it's just another drink that they like to drink. But to citizens of the eastern world, specifically China or other Asian countries, tea is really important to them. They use tea as a way of showing kindness to people when they are welcomed into a home. It's a sign of respect in some ways also. It's very much a part of their lifestyle and culture to drink tea frequently and our investigator was having a tough time getting around the fact that God would command us not to drink such a drink. He kept saying that he agrees with giving up smoking and alcohol because they can be very addictive and bad for you, but tea just did not make sense, especially when he has heard from doctors that tea can be very good for people. We tried to explain its importance, but he still didn't understand. He said that he was willing to follow Christ, but he felt unwilling to follow this commandment. We were unfortunately out of time, but we committed him to pray about it and gave him Alma 32 to read for our next appointment.

Through the week he was on our minds and we just hoped and prayed that we would be able to help him come closer to Christ and come up with a way that could help him accept this commandment and to understand why we need to follow it. Our appointment with him came and we planned to discuss more about faith and why it's not to have a perfect knowledge of things. We began the program and helped him with the concerns that we had. This program I could see the Lord using each of us, both Elder Headrick and I, with our individual abilities and skills to help our Chinese investigator come closer to Christ. Elder Headrick would share a scripture and then I felt a prompting to use an example to help explain the scripture. We had never planned these scriptures or examples beforehand and I had never really thought of using them in this lesson. But I couldn't deny the promptings that were popping into my mind after Elder Headrick would share a scripture. We did this several times, back and forth, in between the concerns that our investigator had. After I had given my last example, he finally just looked at us and just sat there thinking. After a while, he finally told us "How can you help me with this?" Both of us were filled with happiness and we told him that we would help him every step of the way. He said that he wasn't sure if he should give it up yet and he told us that he wanted to pray again about it first before he makes his decision. We told him that would be just fine and we were excited to meet with him the next week. Yesterday we fasted for him and prayed that he will get an answer and find a way to accept and keep this commandment. It's been a really amazing week this week. Even though it has been really hard at points, we continued to push through and keep the positive attitudes that we needed.

Nate I. got married?! What is happening?!?! I thought I pushed the pause button on life back at home when I went up the escalator in the Sacramento Airport. My word, everything is continually changing back home. It is so cool that you are talking to Sister MacKay's mom. She and I are awesome friends and it is always super cool to us that we have done TJYC and other stuff that are similar in our lives. It's way awesome. Tell Paul A. I say , “Hi!”  I'm glad that Valley Choral is still going strong and that you and Ashleigh are having fun singing in it.

That's all I have for right now, but I will have more to say for next week, I am sure of it.

I love you all and continue moving forward steadfastly in Christ.

-Magda Elder

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This is a FUN ONE!

August 21, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,

Alright, so yesterday, August 20th was St. Stephan’s Day where we celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian state 1000 years ago.  It is their main public holiday and all of the stores, literally ALL of them, were closed. The only ones that were open were restaurants and fast food restaurants. So, basically, I was unable to email yesterday because all of the internet places were closed. But yesterday we had an extended P-Day, so we were allowed to stay up later to enjoy some of the cultural things that were going on, so I have a lot to say, hopefully. Yesterday, my companion and I started our day by playing basketball with all of the Elders in Budapest from 7:30-10-30. 3 hours of non-stop playing, exercising and being drained of all our energy. It was so fun! And there are so many elders that play the sport really well and we all played really hard.
Skiba Nover, Magda Elder, and MacKay Nover at Visegrad.
After that, we came back home to shower and get ready to go with the Buda Sisters (Sister Skiba and MacKay) and the Secretaries (Elder Johnson and Wright) to Visegrad, which is a huge castle with ruins 45 minutes north of Budapest. The Pest Sisters came also, but they only stayed with us for half of the trip. We started our trip from 1:30 by train and arrived at the city below Visegrad around 2:00. We then took a Ferry across the river, because there was no other way to get to Visegrad, and started our hike up the mountain. Holy cow this was an exercise! We all knew that we were going to hike, but not this much! I don't know how I can explain it with the short amount of time that I have, but let's just say that it took us 20-30 minutes to walk up the side of the hill. Finally we arrived to the top of the hill and toured the castle. I had never seen such a beautiful site. The only way I can explain it to you is by pictures which, unfortunately, I do not have because I gave my SIM card to the Sister Skiba for her to copy some of my pictures to her memory card.
Skiba and MacKay Novers, Headrick and Magda Elders
MacKay Nover and Magda Elder at Visegrad
 She is actually leaving this week to go home, which is sad because she is one of the first missionaries I met here in the field and we have had a lot of fun in the transfer and a half that we had in the same area. She is really excited to go home, but she said that she will really miss Hungary and serving here for a year and a half. She loves this country and hopes to return soon to visit. Like I said before, I don't have the pictures with me right now, but I will get them back this week before she leaves so that I can post them up for you next week I email you. (Since this email to my family, Sister MacKay's mom sent my mom some pictures.  :D  )   

Anyways, back to the adventure. After touring around and taking pictures for 30-45 minutes, we headed back down the mountain, got some ice cream and crossed the river again by ferry and got on the train back to Budapest. Though it was an awesome experience that I am so glad I had, I was so tired from it and I felt like I could pass out at any moment because of how tired my body was. 
Visegrad Castle and Ruins.  They are standing by the Danube.


 But we still had things to do that evening, so I had to push my body for a few more hours. We arrived back at the Mission Home around 7:30 and got changed from our regular day clothes to pros so that we could go out and see the fireworks that the city was going to have. After we got dressed, we headed to Deak Ference Ter and met up with the Buda Sisters and Secretaries and found a good spot by the Duna to watch the fireworks. It was way awesome!! We were so close to the fireworks that when the really big fireworks went off, I could literally feel my pant legs move from the vibration of the explosion. 
The last time I saw really cool fireworks like these, at least that I can remember, is when we went with Granddad and Granny to Lake Tahoe and watched the fireworks for 4th of July. It was like that, but we were closer and I believe there were even more fireworks. I felt like a little kid again when I watched them. I smiled the whole time and kept thinking how cool it was for all the little kids who were watching it also. The fireworks lasted for a half hour and ended at 9:30. After they were over, we had to push our way through the immense crowed of people to get to the Metro station where even more people were there waiting to get on. It was crazy! We literally waited to get on the Metro for 45 minutes when usually it takes 5 minutes, ha ha. But, after all the hecticness of the evening and of getting back home, we arrived safely back home and we collapsed on our beds and fell asleep. Probably the most intense P-Days I have had yet while here in Hungary. I guess it was a holiday, but still, I can't deny that it was an awesome P-Day.

Now for a spiritual part of the week that, I think, tops all of my teaching experiences here in Hungary. Again, it was with our investigator from China. We met with him last Tuesday and we felt really prompted to invite him towards a baptismal date because he is at that point in being baptized. I felt prompted to read the talk from President Uchtdorf "Waiting on the Road to Damascus", which I had used once before with Elder Abram for a program with Aniko that we had where we invited her to be baptized after we read it and she accepted. Her concerns were very similar to our Chinese investigator. He believes in all that we teach to be true and he really wants to be baptized, but he wants to be exactly sure before he makes a decision. If you haven’t read "Waiting on the Road to Damascus" yet, then I would ask you to read it now, because it is an excellent talk. If I had time I would give a brief summary, but I don't have time to do that even. So I just ask you to read it for yourselves. Back to the situation, I had felt prompted to use this same talk with our investigator and Elder Headrick felt that it would be right as well. So, for the first 1/4 or so of our program, we read the talk with him. After we had finished reading, he told us "Just like that scripture you shared with me last time from Ether, I feel like this talk was written just for me." He had been praying for a while now, sincerely asking if baptism is the he need to go and if he needed to do it sooner than later and he says that he hasn't received an answer. So we talked with him about what the talk said, that not all answers are big and they don't come the same way every time. Sometimes they come by a feeling, sometimes they come through the scriptures, sometimes they come through friends or family, and sometimes they came through ways we can't even explain. He was astonished by this and nodded to everything that we said, and then we invited him to be baptized on the 15th of September and if he would prepare himself for that day. At first, he tried to explain how he was a logical man and liked to study the whole situation out before he makes the decision. But after talking for a little bit, he stopped, and finally, just simply, said: "Alright, I'll try. I'll try to be ready for that date to be baptized." We felt so excited after he said that. I told him that I was quite the similar person; I like to know exactly what I am getting into before I decide, but when you pray to know what is true and go in faith, the Lord will bless you and say to you "Take my hand, and I will direct you where you need to go." He was kind of nervous and explained that he knows that this is a happy thing and something that is for the purpose for his eternal salvation, but he doesn’t know why he feels a little scared. He shared one concern with us. He asked us when you know when you have a testimony, because he has heard people bear their testimonies, but he is afraid that he won’t be able to bear one to himself when he feels that he has doubt. Elder Headrick answered it perfectly. He asked him, "What do you know about Jesus Christ?" His answer filled the room with the Spirit, "I know that He was a Holy Man and that he is truly the Son of the Lord. I know that he sacrificed himself to save all of us and that we will be able to be perfect like Him." For a man who knew nothing about God when he was first taught, his answer shocked us. We may have brought the Spirit into the room in the beginning, but he sure increased its presence 10 fold. Both Elder Headrick and I almost had tears come to our eyes by the simpleness of this man’s testimony. We said immediately "That, right there, is a testimony. You have a testimony." No one needs a big long speech to know that he has a testimony. This man’s testimony was only 4 facts about Jesus Christ and it brought the Spirit to the room instantly. We continue to pray for him and we are meeting with him again this week and we are going to be teaching some of the commandments with him. I continue to pray that I will have these same experiences that I have in English in Hungarian someday. That is my main goal right now. This really was a spiritual miracle. We hope that he will keep to baptism on the 15th. 

Elder Lindelof's family lives in California?! Where? How is that possible? I have never personally met him before, but I know that he is in Tatabanya right now and is serving with Elder Loveday. That is so weirdly cool! This world is definitely a small one. There is another Elder that just left the mission. His last name is Wiscombe and he lives in Davis. I went on splits with him for a day and he is such an awesome missionary! I told him to stop by Citrus Heights some time and see if he can find you guys and tell you about Hungary a little bit. already (Here is some family chatter my mom will spare you.) I have only gone to a member’s house once for lunch, but other than that I haven’t eaten with any members. But, interestingly enough, two members from America in our ward came up to Elder Headrick and me on Sunday and have asked us to come over for dinner on Friday and Sunday. It was like a miracle for us because it never happens. Tell Emmett I say Hi from Hungary and I hope that he is doing well. 

So, that's all from this Elder. Keep in touch and I'll be sure to let you in on the exciting things that have happened this week. 

Sok Szeretettel,
Magda Elder

Monday, August 13, 2012

My First Baptism in Hungary

August 13, 2012

Dear family and friends,

I have had the most spiritual week this week. I'm going to try and explain it and maybe upload some pictures, so this entry may be shorter than the others. But I will definitely write my experiences of the week. 

Saturday at 5pm was Aniko's baptism and it was such an amazing event. Let me explain the events that led up to the day first to give you a sort of background.  Aniko's interview was Tuesday and she passed it with flying colors. Unfortunately, we planned for Elder Abram to be the person to baptize her, but because he was transferred to Miskolc, which is quite a ways away from Pest, and is a Zone Leader and is busy all day every day doing leadership things, it was basically impossible for him to come. So we told her that she would have to think of someone else to baptize her on Saturday. She was kind of bummed with the news because Elder Abram was the one that found her, taught her everything and encouraged her to be baptized. But, because of the circumstances, it was inevitable that he wouldn't make it. So she said she would thing about it and would give us an answer on Thursday when she would meet with us again. Between her interview and Thursday, we had been praying every night that everything will be ok and that she will be ok with picking someone else to do the baptism. Thursday came and we discussed about the technicalities of the baptism and what all will happen and found the right sized baptismal suit that would fit her. We then asked her if she had thought of anyone that could baptize her. She then looks at me and asks, "Would you mind doing it?" I completely understood what she said, but I was just so surprised that I didn't even say a word. Elder Headrick then looked at me and said, "You know what she said, right?" "Yeah.....I just don't know what to say" "Say yes, of course!" So I replied that I would love to baptize her and she smiled and said that she was excited. She then explained that she is a little nervous about her work schedule that she gets the next day and she doesn't know if her boss will schedule her for that Saturday when her baptism will take place. We said that we and the other missionaries will pray for her and have faith that all will be well. She smiled and we concluded the program and she left. I was still stunned. Elder Headrick kept telling me, "Can you believe it?! You're baptizing someone this week! And in Hungarian!! And your only 2 transfers old in the mission!" I felt so many different feelings: I felt like I was taking somebodies opportunity of baptizing someone who was much older than me and still has yet to baptize someone, I felt super excited because I have already baptized my best friend in the entire world and now I will be doing it in Hungarian, I felt nervous that I would mess up the words because Hungarian is still hard for me. With all those feelings, I was just a ball of energy for the entire week. Friday came and Aniko was blessed to have no work on Saturday, and she even said that she was so happy and that she would go to SportNap Saturday morning and play sports with us and she then be ready for the baptism later that day. We were so excited and all the other missionaries were too.

Then, Saturday came. I woke up with such excitement and I kept thinking to myself, "If I feel like this, I wonder how Aniko feels right now." We went to SportNap in the morning and played from 10-11:30. We played basketball and soccer and Aniko played in both. After we finished playing, we announced that Aniko was having a baptism and we wanted everyone that could come to please come. Everyone was so excited and was ready to be there at her baptism to support her. We then headed back home, had lunch, got cleaned up and prepared everything that we needed to bring and headed out. We arrived at the church building around 3pm”ish” and filled the baptismal font and started folding the programs we had made for her baptism earlier in the week. Our mission leader, Tamas, then came and helped us out with folding programs and setting up. He then helped me with reciting the baptismal prayer in Hungarian and said that I would do just fine. Around 4:30, people started to come and so I got dressed into my baptismal clothes: My white shirt, tie and pants. I looked at them and thought "I didn't think I would pull these out until much later in my mission." It was half an hour before the baptism and I still could not believe that I was the one doing this. I walked out of the dressing room and got some pictures with my companion and district before Aniko arrived. When she did, she went and got dressed into her baptismal suit and she had the biggest smile on her face. She knew, with all her heart, that she was doing the right thing.
We then took pictures together with her and went and sat down for the meeting. We began with the opening hymn; "Nearer My God to Thee" (all of this was in Hungarian, of course). Half-way through the song, I saw in the corner of my eye Aniko beginning to cry. I couldn't help but smile and told her "It will be wonderful". There was no part of the church where I could not feel the Spirit, it was that strong. We first had a talk from a Recent Convert named Viki who spoke on baptism and told Aniko that this was where she is meant to be and that baptism is our way of coming closer to our Heavenly Father. After the talk, we headed to the baptismal font. My heart was pounding out of excitement and nervousness; nervousness because I was afraid that I might mess up the words. But I felt this calm feeling that just said to me "Everything will be alright.”  We then walked into the font and got in our positions. I raised my hands and recited the prayer, without any mistakes, and baptized her.
I don't know if anyone knows this, but right after someone is baptized, there's this immense radiance of joy and brightness around them that you don't see anywhere else. I've seen it at almost every baptism that I've been to, especially at Jordan's. And Saturday, I saw it again. After Aniko came out of the water, she had the greatest brightness of hope and happiness that everyone has after they are baptized and it spread throughout the whole building, and I was blessed to be the person right next her. It is the greatest privilege, in my eyes, to be in the spot, standing right next to someone after they have just been baptized. There is no better spot in the entire room. I had tingles right after she was baptized and walked back into the women's bathroom. I felt like a little kid again and felt like I could jump up-and-down for joy for her. It was an incredible feeling and I pray and hope that I may be able to experience it again in the future.

After her baptism, Sister Suranyi, MacKay and I sang "Lelkem, Nyugodj" ("Be Still My Soul") (the song we sang for the concert) for her. The bishop then gave a talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and gave to her her very own triple combination scriptures. We then finished the service with a song and prayer. It was absolutely wonderful. The missionaries then took her out (after everyone had congratulated her and left) for dinner at Burger King (because that's all we could really afford unfortunately). She loved it! And she asked for Elder Cox to give the conformation at church the next day. Elder Cox was like "Sure I will" and then came back to the group of missionaries and said "How am I going to do this?!?!" We all told him that he spoke the language just fine (He's in his 10th transfer I believe) and he shouldn't worry about it. The next day at church, we had the confirmation and we placed our hands upon her head and Elder Cox spoke perfectly and gave her a beautiful blessing after she was given the Holy Ghost. He told her that she was in a good place and that her Father in Heaven is pleased with what she is doing and that she will be blessed with the Holy Ghost all her life as she continues to follow Christ. Aniko is going to be an excellent member of the church. She is an absolutely wonderful person and she loves the scriptures and loves feeling the Spirit and will do anything to keep the Spirit with her always.

I am so glad to be here in Hungary and pray every night in gratitude for being blessed to be called to this amazing country and to be blessed with the ability to speak this beautiful language. Which, by the way, I am improving on! I have begun to realize how my ear is becoming more and more familiar with the way Hungarians speak and I'm starting to understand, better, what they are saying. It is so cooooollll!! I love this language! Even if there are at times, which are a lot, where I'm just lost and wish I could have a slowdown button and point it at the persons mouth so I can have a chance to understand.  I am finding out that I am beginning to catch on and I know that I cannot be learning it this fast if it wasn't for the Holy Ghost. It is needed in order for me to learn this language and testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's only been 2 transfers in the country and my experiences continue to get greater and greater. There are other things that have happened this week, but I only had time to write about the baptism. But just to let you know, this week, besides the baptism, has been really good. We had really good programs with our other investigators and are continuing to find people who may be interested.

Answering some of the comments and questions from last week: I do know Elder Olsen! He was actually Elder Abram's companion in the MTC. I have met him 3 times I believe so far, but I have heard a lot about him from Elder Abram. But he didn't mention Elder Olsen being Thomas Jefferson educated!! That's so awesome!! The world is so big, but at the same time is so small. It seems like the Lord wanted some TJers in Hungary. I can't remember the Adams exactly. Elder Headrick says that they are in Pecs right now, so they must have visited Pest for a little bit. I hope they can forgive me for not remembering, but I probably will have another opportunity to meet them. I took a picture with my camera of the information you sent me in your email about the gravesite. Hopefully, maybe a p-day during this transfer or something, I will be able to go to the gravesite. I would really love to go there and I think it will be a real blessing when I do go. And about the Communist park, it was so cool!!! I was able to take a lot of fun pictures of some of the stuff AND get a souvenir of a communist hat from the Cold War. I'm going to see if I can upload some pictures of all this stuff at the Mission Home on their computer because I don't have time to do it here at the Computer Cafe that I'm at. And the day we went to the park was one of the hottest days too. We were dying of thirst after we were finished, ha ha! But besides the heat, it was way fun and it was definitely an experience much needed for a person who defended Communism for TJYC. :)   (Blake did a World Views simulation where each of the students had to defend a world view i.e. Cosmic Humanism, Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Biblical Christianity etc.  The instructor selected Communism for Blake to defend so he had to really study it and try to defend this position before a board. He is not pro-Communist…:D )  
Skiba Nover, Magda Elder, and MacKay Nover at the Communist Park.
Magda Elder in Communist Cap.
Headrick Elder and Magda Elder "Morman Helping Hands" in Hungary? 

Alright, that's all I have for you fans of "Gettin Hungary with Elder Magda".  (See Stay tuned for next week and know that the Lord blesses all those who follow his path that he has made for His children and the blessings that he has for us are greater than people can imagine. Continue to Carry Forth the Banner of Liberty!

-Magda Elder 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

My New Companion, Elder Headrick

August 6, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
There are some people who don't count their MTC companion as an actual companion I have heard, but I am totally counting mine because I loved being companions with Elder Beaucannon and we spent 12 weeks together in the MTC. Then I was given my trainer, Elder Abram, and had him for 6 weeks. He helped me understand the ins and outs of being in the field. Now I have Elder Headrick, who is already a fantastic companion! Let's see if I can explain what I know so far about him. His name is Stephen Headrick and is from Champion, Ohio, which is a small little town but has a big reputation with its name. He is a little taller than I am, has brown hair, hazel eyes and a desire to work every day. He has been on is mission since October of last year and is in his 6th transfer in the country. He has served in Kecskemét, Nagykanizsa, Szombathely and now is here in Pest. He has been telling me how much he was wanted to come to the city since his first transfer. He says it's because there's a lot more people here and more opportunities to street and find in the big city rather than the outer cities. Doesn't he sound awesome already?

We already love our companionship together and have already been working hard these first few days. First off, our companionship is really young. I am only in my 2nd transfer and Elder Headrick is in his 6th. But because we are both so young we still have our "Greenie Fires", and since we still have our Greenie Fires we will be able to keep them burning and continue to have that desire to work our hardest every day, and since we both have our Greenie Fires and our desire to work we will be able to learn from each other every day! What a perfect set up, right? Our area is in definite need of this and we both feel that as we continue to work every day that we will be able to pick up our area and keep it thriving. So let me give you the heads up of what's been happening so far.

Wednesday was transfer day and I was given my new companion around 10:30 in the morning at the train station. We took his stuff back home then headed back to the Mission Home to say goodbye to everyone and for Elder Headrick to have his DL (District Leader) training. During all this, Elder Abram was getting all of his bags into a car to be taken to the Mission Home where he can transfer his luggage into another car that would be headed to Miskolc. But somewhere along the way, one of Elder Abram's bags went missing and he thought that someone might have forgotten to have picked it up for him and he wanted to go back to the train station to see if his bag may have still been there. His new companion was in a meeting that would take a while, so we had my new companion go on splits with Elder Abrams new companion while he and I went back to the train station. We got there and everything had been taken away and nothing was there. We tried the lost and found and they said that nothing had been brought to them. Elder Abram said that there wasn't really anything too important in the bag, but it's still a bummer to lose a bunch of stuff. When we got back to the Mission Home, we saw on the table his bag that had been missing. Apparently another car of missionaries picked it up and took it with them back to the Mission Home. Some people might just say he got lucky, but I say that it's a small miracle. After my companion had his DL training, we said goodbye to our previous companions and all the other missionaries that were going out, went to lunch, came back home, went out shopping for food, came back and updated on our investigators and went to bed. We both were really excited to be companions and we looked forward to our first full day of work.

Thursday: We had two programs set up, but one called us in the morning during studies and told us that he would have to move today's program to next week. We were kind of bummed, but we also looked at it as a good time to street and find people. After lunch, we streeted for 2 hours with no success. We then got a text from our other program of the day saying that he wouldn't be able to meet today either and wasn't going to be in town for 2 weeks. So my companion and I just looked at each other and said "Alright, lets tract."  We tracted half-way through an apartment building, before realizing that it had already been tracted by the sisters not too long ago. So, we finished half-way and went to an area of houses where Elder Abram and I had been tracting. I looked down the street of houses and thought "This is going to be a long one." Funny thing that I would say that to myself, because the first house that we came to was a let-in. My first one!! It was so awesome!! The woman we found had gone to our church once before when it was first built back in the 90's and she had been going to different religions to see which one was the right one for her. The missionaries didn't approach her when she went, but when we found her we definitely felt that it was the Lord's way of saying "Here is one that I have prepared for you." We taught her half way through the Restoration lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was so surprised that we would give her the book for free and thanked us so much for it. We are hoping to meet with her again this week. Elder Headrick and I discussed how if it wasn't for our dropped programs that we wouldn't have been able to find this woman. It was such an adrenaline rush! Actually, it was more like a Holy Ghost rush.

Friday: We tabled with the sisters in our area and were able to give out a total of 15 Books of Mormon! Super awesome, right? We do think that half of them might have been given to homeless people who probably might go out and try to sell them for money, but the other half we believe are legitimate people who could possibly be investigators. After tabling, my companion wanted to get familiarized with the area, since it's pretty big. So we took 3-4 hours exploring all around Pest. We handed out English Class flyers here for the last few hours to have said that we did some work while exploring. We then had a program with Tamas at the end of the day. I don't know if I've told you about Tamas, but he is a really awesome investigator. He's 18 and absolutely loves the gospel already. The Buda Sisters found him first then past him down to the Buda Elders then past him down to us because he lives in our area. We taught him the first three lessons and he accepted them and believes everything that we teach him is true. He has even finished the Book of Mormon and is already reading it again. He also speaks like a roadrunner and it's so hard to understand what he says. I already have trouble understanding from people who speak at a normal pace and when he speaks it is even harder. Ha ha, but it's good training for me. We taught him the 10 commandments and extended a Bap Date for the 8th of September and he accepted it without hesitation. We are super excited for him and we are really hoping that he will continue to go through with his commitment.

Saturday: We had a service project in the morning and worked through the afternoon. We did a lot of yard work and some other small things here and there as well. We then came back and got cleaned up and headed out for two programs that we had scheduled. Both are English speakers, so we were confident that we would have good lessons. Our first one dodged, but interestingly enough, some guy showed up to the building and asked if we could teach him English one on one because he wouldn't be able to make it for the regular time we teach on Thursdays. We said yes and scheduled to meet with him on Sunday.  Even though our investigator appointment fell through we had this new one—what a  blessing. We then studied Hungarian while we waited for our next program with Justin who is from China. This Program was so awesome! We planned to teach him about faith and how it is through our faith that we can receive miracles because he was having doubts about being baptized and then having to back to China to live with his family where there is no church except for in Hong Kong. He said that it would almost be impossible for him to keep all the commandments if that happened. So we planned this lesson on faith and miracles for him, but before we started we answered some of his questions from the Book of Mormon. This is when it got really interesting, because his last questions was, "It says here that God is a God of miracles. Have you seen any miracles in your life?" This question led perfectly into our lesson. Elder Headrick told him as story about his older brother having surgery as a baby and surviving after being told that he wouldn't be able to and I shared my story about my wisdom teeth and how we had no money to pay for the surgery. We prayed and prayed for a way to pay for it and, somehow, the Lord provided for us and I was able to get my wisdom teeth out. We then asked if he had seen any miracles in his life and he said "I never really thought about that." We then went into our lesson and shared with him 1 Nephi 7:12, James 1:5-6 and Alma 37:37. We explained that we can council with the Lord and it is through our counseling and our faith that we can receive miracles. He said something about how he was expecting something to happen as he would develop faith. Right then, Elder Headrick felt prompted to share Ether 12:6 which says that miracles don't come until after the trial of our faith. After he read that, Justin said "I feel like that verse was meant for me." We committed him then to pray for faith and to council with the Lord about his problems. He said he definitely will do that and we pray and hope that next time he will have the faith to step closer to Christ by accepting a bap date. It was one of the most amazing lessons I have ever had. I hope that I will have the same thing in Hungarian sometime in the future.

I'm almost out of time so I will just say that Sunday was a really awesome day and we gave a blessing in Hungarian to a member in the church and had 2 programs that were very productive. One thing I would like to say before I finish this is, do you remember Sister Mackay? Something interesting that we both found out is that we were both homeschooled our entire lives! And she took TJYC! And she went to George Wythe University and SVU! And she knows Cameron Leavitt! We were super surprised to find out how small this world is and that there are two TJYCers in Hungary. Cool fact, huh?
Reading about the Chick-fil-a thing sounds crazy! That would have been super cool to be a part of. I'm glad you had fun. Alisha just keeps getting sick. It sounds like she is just prone to getting sick this summer. Hopefully her immune system buff's up and will hold strong for the winter and I hope that she is able to go to girl’s camp also. I'm glad that Ashleigh is finding small blessings even though it's hard to find jobs.
I think it would be fine to send snippets of the Olympics. That would be great to see how things are doing. We have been seeing some sports on the TVs as we go to eat somewhere or shop in stores. It's in Hungarian also, so my companion can understand what they're saying but it's still super hard for me. I hope I can be as great as my companion who is only in his 6th transfer and is speaking and understanding like a pro. I'm studying my brains out to get this language down. It seems like ages before I will understand this language, ha ha! But I know through the Lord, anything is possible.  Today we are going to a Communist Statue park for P-Day. After the fall of communism they took all of the communist statues and put them in this park where anyone can climb up on them and take pictures and stuff. I think it's a way to mock the statues, so I have heard. But being a TJYCer who studied communism in and out to defend it, this is something really cool for me. I'm super excited. :)

I'm glad to hear that this week went well and I hope that this week brings many blessings also.

Love, your missionary,
-Magda Elder