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 

1 comment:

  1. you are writing in your post about "Lelkem, Nyugodj" ("Be Still My Soul") song. i want the text from this song in hungarian. can you send it to me somehow? thanks for your help. my mail(