Monday, October 29, 2012

Well hello there all you people in America!

October 29, 2012
Well hello there all you people in America!

So, as I have already stated in my last week’s email to you, I am now serving in the city of Pécs, which is one of the most southern cities in Hungary. Before I tell you how AMAZING this city is, let me tell you the events that led up to the day that I departed for this fantastic city. I got my call on Monday, but we don't leave for that city till the Wednesday of that week. That means we have 2 days to get some last minute things that need to get done, packing, and saying good bye to the Ward. After I emailed you, Elder Headrick and I went to a store and he got himself an over the shoulder bag, which is like the one that I have that is white that you see in the pictures of me, except his is blue We also had a program that evening with a family from the ward. The wife has been a member of the church for a while, but her husband is not a member but he always comes to church and always shares his insights in Sunday School and stuff and he is a really awesome guy! They also have a son who is 6 years old, I think, and he is the cutest kids! We asked the family on Sunday if they would like to meet with us on Monday and they said that they would love to. The program went SO well. The husband was really open and he even said 'You know, I would like to be baptized, but I don't want it to happen, like, next week.' We told him that that wasn't our purpose to baptize him in a matter of days, but rather to teach him of the Gospel and help him come closer to Christ and that we are here to help him recognize these blessings that come from it, including the blessings that he can receive from baptism. He really loved what we taught him and we set up an appointment with them for the next week.

MacKay Nover, Magda Elder and Headrick Elder

On Tuesday, we had several programs that we had scheduled. One of them was with the girl I baptized in August and she said in our program that she really appreciated that I baptized her and for helping her on this journey. She wished me good luck in Pécs and we took a picture together before she left. After her program we had another with one of our investigators who have been really opening up and progressing really well. The program went wonderfully! Something else that was really cool was that I said a small prayer during the program that Heavenly Father would help me in speaking in the program. It would be my last program in Pest and I wanted everything that I had learned with Elder Headrick for the last two transfers to be put on the table and I prayed that I would be able to say the things I wanted to say and that I would say them correctly. And, to my astonishment, when I felt prompted to speak and it was my turn to talk, I said everything clearly and cleanly! There were maybe one or two things that I had to change in the way I said it, but all-in-all I spoke well!! It was like a miracle to me! It was such a wonderful feeling and I know that it was because the Lord was listening to my prayer and blessed me with that ability to speak.  This is evidence that the Lord does answer prayers, even when they are spoken within your heart. That night I finished my packing and Elder Headrick and I did some last minute calls and then went to bed.

Wednesday was the big day. Because where our meeting place was so close to where we live, we had some time to do some last minute apartment cleaning and we really wanted the apartment to look nice for the new greenie that would be coming to it soon. We then got all of my stuff and departed for our meeting place for all of the missionaries. When we closed the door to the Pest apartment, locked it and began walking away, it almost felt like I was leaving a part of me in that place. I experienced so many things in Pest! It is my greenie area and it was what helped me to grow and begin my life as a missionary in the field. So many memories happened in that apartment and they are ones that I never want to forget.

In one of our Zone Trainings recently we talked about our names and how important they are to us and how important it is to keep that name unspotted, especially in the mission. We are going to be making a legacy where ever we go in our mission and we want each place to remember our legacy as one of righteousness, one that when they hear the name of the missionary they will think 'He was truly a missionary who know his purpose and loved the work.' I looked back at that apartment in Pest and had the assurance in my mind say 'The legacy you have made here is of righteousness.' This is my goal for all of the areas that I go to and I am so glad that I worked my hardest in this area and I can be satisfied to leave it and know that I did my part; I did what I was meant to do.

We then got to the mission home, where Elder Headrick would get his greenie and I would get my new companion, Elder Christiansen. When it came time for him to get his new greenie and for me to go to my new companion, we gave each other a hug and wished each other the best of luck. Elder Headrick is a spectacular missionary and I loved every moment serving with him, through the easy and the tough times. His new companion is Elder Shuck, who is fresh from the MTC and ready for work. My new companion, as I have stated before is Elder Christiensen and he is such a great missionary! He is from Salt Lake City and has been in the mission for almost a year now. He is in his 7th transfer and is now going into his 4th transfer in Pécs. His first 3 were in Eger, which is in the east. I am his first Junior missionary and he said that he is a little nervous going senior, but I already knew, in the first few moments of getting to know each other, that it would be a great companionship and I told him not to worry and that we would work together to help each other out. Along with our companionship in Pécs there is another companionship of Elders, which will be Elder Cox and Elder Smith. That's right, my mission mom, Elder Cox, is going to be in the same city as me!! He is such a fun Elder and he is waaaayy funny, I love being around him. Elder Smith is in the group below me, so he is going into his 3rd transfer.

After we had gotten all of our stuff together, we headed toward the train station and began our journey on a 3 hour train ride from Budapest to Pécs. Loooonnnnggggest train ride in my life!! What made it longer was that I couldn't fall asleep! I don't know why, I think it's just me and my inability to fall asleep in a traveling vehicle, ha ha! We finally arrive in Pécs around 6:30 pmish and it was already pitch black, so I couldn't really see what the city looked like. We take a bus towards our apartment. We drop my stuff off and then go shopping, come back and I settle in and we go over our investigators. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of investigators here in this companionship and we have a lot of work to do. I'm really excited though to be here! The city really is one of the most beautiful cities in the country! And the branch here is SOO kind and they are all so welcoming and loving towards new missionaries. I was able, yesterday, to give a little introduction about myself in front of the branch as the newest addition and I told them that I would work my hardest and help this branch in becoming stronger and helping in any way that I can. I can't express how much I already love this area. I have already met with some of the investigators that we have and they are we nice and are progressing well in the gospel. I have already seen the progression in my speaking abilities since I have left Pest. I feel much more confident in my abilities and Elder Christiensen has been really helping me in giving me time to talk and be a big part of our programs. I am LOVING IT here in Pécs!! It's way awesome!!!

Some small updates before I go to answering questions: It is beginning to get preeettttyy cold over here in Hungary and today it is 4 degrees Celsius, which actually is the coldest it has been for me here and I have already been pulling out my sweaters and other winter clothes. In Pécs there aren't any metros, so we just use the buses all the time or just walk. We don't have any bicycles in this area, but I know that there are in other areas. The Branch House is actually 2 minutes away from where I live. We basically walk out of our apartment and go down the street and there it is. But, the Branch House isn't a church building but rather a place that is renovated by the church. It's pretty different than what I have been used to in California and in Pest, but it does give it a little cozier feeling since it is smaller. My apartment is actually not bad. It's quite big, at least the living and dining room. The kitchen is pretty small, and the toilet room doesn't have a door, so we have to warn each other when we are going to the bathroom, ha ha! Also, the little heater thingy’s that we have isn’t working. I have tried so many times to get them to turn on but everything that I do does not get it to work. We will probably have to call the land lord and see if he can figure it out. That'll be interesting to communicate in Hungarian :P But the most interesting part of the apartment is the bathroom with the shower. It's basically a quarter of the size of our bathroom at home and the water pressure to the shower is terrible. Ha ha, it basically pours water out like it is trickling from a stream. And the hot water only lasts for a few minutes so we have to take quick showers. It's so funny, but I love it! Unfortunately the computer place that I am emailing from does not allow us to hook up our cameras to the computer to send pictures, so I don't know when that will be when I can show you. :P

Ok, now on to questions and stuff. Heather is putting in mission papers?!?!?! AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! That is so exciting!!!!! She NEEDS to be sent here!! Do you know how awesome that would be?!?! Two Magda's in the mission field here in Hungary, including that we are related!!! I can already see it now  'Magda Elder and Magda Nővér, tearing up the work in Hungary!' You have got to keep me up on all of the updates with that. Tell her that I am crossing my fingers and hoping that she is sent here! Then we could talk in Hungarian and use it as our secret language so that no one could understand us.....except Granddad of course. :P Ashleigh got a job at Costco?! That is so legit!! I am so excited for her and glad that Cassandra and Heather D. helped her out in getting it. What a blessing! I hope that she does get permanently hired there. And I won't lie......I did chuckle for a bit that she gets to wear a hair net for her new job. I couldn't help it! We both laughed when we all saw other people wearing them! So it's just natural! :D Unfortunately, with sending stuff, they don't forward it to us. IT just stays there at the Mission home until we come back the next time for Zone Conference or Transfers. It's unfortunate, but oh well. :P

Alright, that's all I have to say. I hope everybody has a good fun week this week! Love you all and I am excited to be here in Pécs!

Magda Elder

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