Monday, September 17, 2012

I've still got Greenie Fire!

September 17, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Alright, here we go again. Another week has passed, another Monday has come, and it's now time for an email from Magda Elder, serving in the beautiful country of Magyarország (Hungary), and doing his best as a follower, servant and emissary of Jesus Christ. I hope you're all ready for this issue!

This week has been quite fun and has had some ups and downs, with the downs only lasting for a brief second. So, after we got our transfer information that we were staying, we also found out that the sister companionship in our district was getting a greenie! We were super excited and we all want to start this greenie off with a great district. Her name is Sister P and she arrived on Tuesday with her group and she got her trainer, Sister R, on Wednesday. Already this new sister has impressed us. We got her luggage and stuff, had lunch and then headed over to the sisters apartment to take up her luggage up 5 flights of stairs (with no elevator.) But before we even got to her apartment, we were on the bus on our way there and she was already asking people on the bus if any of them spoke English or wanted to speak English and began advertising our Free English class that we have on Thursdays.

One of the people she found was golden! We didn't know this till the day of English class though. She gave this guy a flyer and then he came to English class the next day. Elder Headrick and I were talking to him afterwards and he said that this was a miracle for him and that there was no coincidence that we ran into each other on the bus. He said that he had prayed earlier that week asking for something to help him with passing an engineering exam for the military that he has to take. One of the requirements is that he must be able to speak English pretty well in order to pass the test. He was worried about it because he said that he knows his English was kind of poor and he asked God if there was a way that he can help him. Little did he know that he would be asked by a greenie sister missionary if he wanted to come to a free English class. Even better, he said that his family was religious but he wasn't so much, or at least that he didn't agree with the Catholic Church, and we gave him basically a first lesson outside of English class while in the hallway of the church. He said that it sounds right and is really interesting to him. Unfortunately, he is not our investigator but the sisters, so we can't teach him. But the good thing is that we are all on the same team, so if they are able to bring him closer to Christ then all the missionaries rejoice. He is such an awesome guy! This greenie is already on fire! I know I'm only in my 3rd transfer and my greenie transfer was only 2 transfers ago, but that fire of mine was built even greater just by the first few days she's been here.

Another thing that happened that same day, the day we got the greenie, we had 4 programs set up for the day starting at 3 in the afternoon, an hour each (Which is really good here in Hungary) and we were super excited. What happened next is what no missionary wants to happen: 3 of the programs, in less than 5 minutes, one after the other, canceled. We got 3 texts saying that they wouldn't be able to make it and we'd have to plan for another day. We were so bummed! We had planned for this since the beginning of the week and it just looked like an awesome day. Luckily he still had our last program say that he would still be able to make it, but we still couldn't believe that 3 programs, so fast, just cancel on us. So we had 4 hours open to go finding, so we looked at each other and said 'Alright, let’s start'. We tracted and streeted and passed out fliers a little bit too. We could have just stayed back for a little bit and done 2 hours of finding, but we knew that we had to use all of the time we had, even if it would make us tired. We didn't find anyone who was interested, but even so, nothing comes easily, so we need to work.

Some other stuff, it rained nonstop on Thursday, so we stayed inside and did some area book work until we had English class. Friday we tabled and gave out a total of 10 Book of Mormons with the Sisters. Sunday I think was really big for me, seeing how far I have come in the past 3 months or so in the country. This is nothing against Sister P at all, because I was in her exact same spot when I was a greenie. But having her be in the same district has helped me to see how much I have grown in this language. I've been seeing everyone who is way older than me in the mission and I just think 'Dang, I'm never going to get to their level of speaking with where I am at right now.' But with Sister P being here, it has really helped me with my confidence. We asked her at the end of Church on Sunday how her first Sunday was and she said that she could not understand a thing and that she tried and tried but all she could do was pull out some words. We all encouraged her and said that that is how we all felt on our first Sunday as well and that the language will come in due time as long as she keeps trying every day.

And it's true! I didn't get anything my first day, in fact the first few weeks. But now I can finally understand what people are saying! Or at least 1/2, which is a HUGE improvement! For example, at the end of church I had a full 15 minute conversation with a woman who could not speak a word of English. Of course there were some parts where I was puzzled because I didn't know what some of the words she said were, which that is an improvement also! That is because before, I couldn't even tell what was only a word and what was a sentence because of how fast they spoke. Now I can pick out what a word is and, in the long run, I can understand things!! Even today, when I was getting my new Metro ticket, I spoke to the lady at the counter and she looked at me and said 'Where are you from?' 'California.' 'How long have you been studying this language?' '5 months.' She was so surprised! She told me that I am one clever boy, ha ha! I wanted to say 'If you think I'm clever, you have to hear my companion talk because he's WAY better.' The language is coming and the Holy Ghost is definitely helping.

Well, that's all I've got for you this week. Now it is time for some replies to questions and stuff. I heard that the Niners beat the Lions from one of the Elders here. Woo hoo! Another win!! They need to keep it up if they want to win the Super Bowl this year. That's so cool that Brother Forman got to talk at the Constitutional Fireside! That must have been so cool to have been there. I've been slowly teaching all of the missionaries around me about TJed , mostly my companions since I'm with them 24/7, but they love it and enjoy hearing more about it. Tell the Forman’s I say hi from Hungary! Tell Alisha that she needs to go to the Fireside with Jimmer there. That would be so awesome!

Have you heard about the Lindelof family? Because they are from Granite Bay and their son is serving here and goes home this October. He said that he knows the Florences, Fergusons, and all of them over there. He even has a sister that just started TNT! How wild is that!? Way small world.

That's all the time I have, but stay tuned for next week and don't stop with the emails! Keep'em comin'!

Sok Szeretettel,
Magda Elder

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