Monday, October 1, 2012


October 1, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,

6 months.
6 months ago I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to start a new day.
6 months ago I put my suitcases in my family’s van to go to the airport.
6 months ago I stood at the bottom of an escalator, waiting to go up.
6 months ago I spent my last few minutes with my family for the next two years.
6 months ago I stepped on a plane, headed for Salt Lake City.
6 months ago I entered the MTC and began my work as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to serve in the Hungary Budapest Mission.
6 months ago I began my two years to serve a mission for my Heavenly Father, fighting in His army, an army that cannot be defeated.
6 months ago I made one of the best decisions of my life.

Can you believe it? 6 months!! It seems like 6 months should have felt like ages have passed by, but it feels almost completely the opposite. It feels like it was only 1 to 2 months! This is crazy!! And at the end of this month it will have been a year since I put my mission papers in. Whhhaaaattt? Time is so weeeiiirrrdd! But, life goes on, especially as a missionary, and you gotta make every day count.

So some things that have happened this week that I would like to let you all know.

Monday: Wasn't super eventful. We played basketball early in the morning, then shopped, came back and got ready for the day and went emailing. We had a program scheduled for 6pm  and we finished emailing at 2:30pm, so we didn't have much time to really do anything. So, we went to one of the Elder's apartments and played a board game called Settlers.  It's basically an economics game and it is waaaayy fun. I can't really describe it because of the time, but I will just say that it us up there with Risk, which is one of my top favorite board games. We also found a Hungarian Tabloid called 'Hihetetlen' which means 'Unbelievable'. On the front cover was the painting of Christ visiting the Americas. Basically our church was the main story of the tabloid. Ha ha, it was funny to read because it had some things that were true, but a lot that weren't even close. After all this we headed over to our program with Istvan.  It was our second program with him. Last time we gave him a commitment to read the first chapter of 1 Nephi. He came back and said that he read up to Chapter 5. He said that he was impressed and even agreed with Laban being killed by Nephi. He said 'Well, God gave him 2 chances, and I would think that's a lot from God. And if you don't agree with it, well, who's going to win, God or a mortal king?' Totally not expected. We taught him more about the Restoration and he watched the Restoration film with him. After the film finished, we asked him if he had any questions. He looked at us and just said 'Van', which in translation means 'They exist'. So we answered his questions and he said that he would continue reading and would pray about it. Also, he even wanted another Book of Mormon for his friend to read. He is already being a missionary and he doesn't know it!

Tuesday: Had 5 programs set up, only two happened. Our first two dogged us, so we fliered and streeted for several hours before our next program which is with Aniko, who is the girl I baptized two months ago, so we knew that she would probably make it, which she did and we taught her some English and the Word of Wisdom. For those who don't know, after a person is baptized the missionaries still meet with them for a while and teach them the principles and commandments again and other things about the gospel to keep them strong and help them with any of questions they may have. After we met with Aniko we played some volleyball with some of the members of the Pest Ward, Aniko, the Sisters, and a few of their investigators. After that we had a program with Szilard, who has been a new investigator of ours for 3-4 weeks and he is progressing really well. We teach him English for the first half and then gospel for the second and he really likes it and has been keeping our commitments. We had another person scheduled for a first program. She came to the building, but we were still in our program with Szilard. The Sisters were there and they told her that we would be out shortly. They said that a minute had passed and she had already got up and left. After our program we gave her a call and all she said was that it was a bad day for her. We were just like 'Alrighty then'.

Wednesday: Had a District Meeting and I was able to give the spiritual thought for it. A little background before about what I shared, in one of my personal studies I came across 1 Nephi 18, which is the chapter about Nephi and his family taking sail for the promised land and what happened to them during their journey. As I was reading, a whole bunch of ideas and thoughts came to me and I started writing in my copy of the Book of Mormon (a paperback one) all over the place and it was the coolest experience to have! So I decided that this would be my spiritual thought for the meeting. I told our district to think of the story as all of us, personally, going through life as we read the chapter. I won't go over what we all discussed about, but let me tell you all, you have got to try this with this chapter. Just consider your own lives and compare it to the story and your paradigms will be shifted, or as I like to say, increased.

Thursday: We had some time before English class and we felt that we should tract the building next to ours. We assumed that our all of the buildings near us haven’t been tracted in a really long time and we felt prompted that we should try it out. There were 5 floors, each with 10 apartments on them. We were able to give out 2 Book of Mormons. One was to an old lady who was just so happy to see boys representing Christ. She was Catholic but she wanted to see what we were giving away, so we gave her a copy and she started hugging the book saying 'Thank you SOO much! You boys are so kind!' We were unable to speak with her more, but we may be able to see her some other time. The second copy we gave was a really amazing let in. We knocked on the door of an older man in his 70's and he let us in to his apartment. He told us that he was a basketball player in his younger years and loved Stockton and Malone during their glory years. He also told us that he was Catholic but didn't mind hearing about us. So we gave him a brief lesson about the Restoration and he had good questions. At the end we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said that we could come back anytime. But before we left, we were able to say the prayer and I was asked to say it. I included in the prayer that the Lord could bless the Hungarians and help them in all ways. After I said the prayer I looked up and saw the man’s face, filled with tears, and said to me 'That was a beautiful prayer. Thank you so much.' Prayers truly are a gift from God. They bring the Spirit so fast and it can fill an entire room. It was such a blessing to see this man's heart touched by the Holy Ghost. 

Friday: We had a service project working at a woman’s house doing yard work for several hours. It was fun and tiring. We had to pull out an entire tree stump and several bushes that had died from their roots and it just exhausted us. We were also fed A LOT, and the women who fed us just kept telling us 'Eat! Eat boys! Or you'll get sick in the winter!' So we ate a lot, needless to say, ha ha. And, this is a little thing for my mom; I ate an entire bowl of vegetable soup. That's right; I just said vegetable soup was good. And, it was quite delicious. :P After the service project, we still had to finish our studies from what we missed in the morning and it would take the rest of the night. We were tired also and we thought that it would be good to catch some relaxation. But when we finished showering, Elder Headrick felt that we should tract our building, at least for an hour or so. So, we did, and there was really nothing from it. One woman even told us in the middle of our sentence 'I'm Catholic and I'm staying!' It was a funny interruption. We came up to the apartment that was exactly above us and we said to each other 'Alright, this will be the last one of the night.' The woman opened the door and let us in without even a word from us. Incredible! We spoke to her for an hour about the Restoration and answering some the questions that she had about news that she has heard about us. For some reason Hungarians think that we are Amish because of some film. It's really funny because we show our watches on our wrists and the phone that we use and say 'Yeah, we are definitely not Amish.' She was really firm in her faith and basically said that she just likes hearing about other religions. In the end we gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to read it and that if she had any questions that we were the apartment right below her. She gave us cookies when we left and they were SOOOO good! And just a little fact, this woman’s house, along with many other Hungarian houses I've been in, smell exactly like Granddad’s house because of all their Hungarian cooking, and they smell SOOO good! So the next time you walk in their house, just note that many of the houses here smell just the same. By the way, did you know that the cucumber salad is a Hungarian dish?? I sure didn't know that till someone told us here.

Because I am short on time, Saturday and Sunday were really great days also. So many things happen and I wish I can tell you them all! But at least I write in my journal every night, so when I come home and you have questions about certain things, I can go back to my notes and be able to tell you the details of everything that happened.

It is so cool to hear how connected Dad is with the missionaries back at home. So connected that he even has a nickname! That is way awesome! Tell all the missionaries back at home that they he is recognized as the coolest dad from his son in Hungary and they sure are blessed to have someone like him helping them out and taking care of them. The 49ers defeated the Jets! And the Springboks are taking name in the other greatest sport in the world. I will send pictures! Hopefully today. I'll try. But if not, then next week for sure. I am not sure if I still have the Pez dispenser from Ashleigh. I'll see if I can find it in my luggage. Another package?! I don't want you to feel like it's needed for you to do that. They are great, but I don't want you to feel like it's a commitment. I will definitely looking in the mail though. Thank you so much! My companion and I will keep America in our prayers. Even though my Hungarian patriotism grows every day while I'm here, my patriotism for America shall never die. I hope that all things work out in the elections and that the hand of God is in the work.

This week has been fantastic! A quarter of my mission has passed, but as President Uchtdorf has said, 'Always keep in mind that you are in the middle, wherever you are in life.' I am still working hard and still moving forward.

Az eg├ęsz Szeretetemmel,
Magda Elder

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