Monday, November 5, 2012

Good Day to Everyone!

November 5, 2012
Jo napot mindenkinek!  (Good day to everyone!)

Well isn't the weather just an interesting thing, ugye (right)? Funny thing that happened today with the weather here, Elder Christensen and I were getting ready to walk out the door to go emailing and we opened the door and it was pouring rain! So we went back inside and got on our jackets, buttoning up and zipping up, and walked back to the door. We opened it and the rain had stopped. We looked at each other for a little bit, threw our hands in the air and went back inside and took off our jackets and just put on a sweater because it isn't super cold outside. So we started walking outside and, all of a sudden, the sky begins to just dump water on us. Ha ha, we just look up at the sky and say 'Make up your mind, will ya?!?!' 

I have been hearing from investigators and branch members little tidbits about the hurricane that hit (or has been hitting) the east coast. Luckily, none of us elders here in Pécs live on the east coast. There are maybe one or two elders that I know of that are from the east coast in this mission, but I haven’t heard from any of them and how they're families are doing. Those pictures that you sent are CRAZY!!!! I told all of the elders here in the computer place to come check them out and they were all astonished. We hope and pray that everyone there are doing well. It definitely sounds like a great opportunity for the missionaries to get out there and do some service. Let me know if Matthew is in on it at all. I would love to hear that! 
Hurricane Sandy: New York, New York South Mission

Hurricane Sandy: Managing downed trees in Pennsylvania

I got a letter from Matthew in my first transfer and sent him one back in my second transfer but I haven’t gotten anything back since. I have been hoping that he got it because I haven’t used the envelopes that the use here in Hungary if you are sending a letter outside of Europe. But the girls got my letter to them that I sent, so now I have more hope that he did get it. I'll have to send him another one to check and see how he's doing. He's certainly my best friend and I always refer to him and where he is serving to all of the other elders and sisters here. I hope everything over there in DC is going well. Tell Keri I said hi to her and her family! I love 'em all!

The elections are here?!?! AHHHHH!!!! Another huge thing that I am missing! That's crazy that it is already here! I have been praying for America for a while and all I have to depend on is faith, especially when I don't hear anything about it over here. There are some people who ask me who I would vote for on the streets but I don't give a preference because we are not really allowed to. For being an American History nut that I am, I wasn't the one who remembered that they were coming up in a few days. Elder Christensen told me when we got into November 'Hey, doesn't the elections happen on the first Tuesday or something?' My eyes got huge and just said 'That's right!!!' This is another reason why I want to stay in contact with Matthew, because he is in the heart of it all kind of. I remember talking with him before we left on our missions about where we were being sent and how awesome it was that I am being sent to the land of my fathers in a way and he was being sent to the land, or city/area, of our founding fathers. We both felt like little kids who had just gotten a bunch of candy when we were talking about it! I hope all goes well in the election. No matter what happens in the end, the Lord's hand 'is stretched out still'. 

Last week’s p-day we didn't do to much because it was a half p-day instead of a full one. Reason being is because November 1st is nation holiday here in Hungary called 'Day of the Dead' or 'All Saints Day' and our mission president gave us the entire day off or Extended P-Day in mission language, since everyone would probably be doing something that day and there would be no work for us to do. So all we did last p-day was shop, email our families and then go out and work. Halloween then came, which isn't a very big holiday here as it is in the states. They don't do trick or treating or anything and they don't carve pumpkins either! They just recognize it as a kind of holiday for some reason. But, we were able to go to a member’s house who loves having missionaries over and carved pumpkins. It was way fun! Unfortunately, when we went to the store to get the pumpkins, all of the regular sized ones were gone so we got the squash shaped ones instead. It was still fun though, I made just kind of a regular faced pumpkin along with Elder Christensen, but the member carved several things in her pumpkin and they looked WAY good. I wish I could send you pictures of the adventure! I will when I get the opportunity. Finally came Thursday, our extended P-Day. We played some games with the other elders and had pizza along with it. We had a meeting in the middle of the day that we had to go to for an hour and a half and then we came back home, got dressed into regular clothes and then headed out with the other elders to a cemetery when it got dark.
All Soul's Day in Hungary

 Apparently, a tradition here for Hungarians on this day is that they go the local cemetery or something and they bring candles and flowers and give respect to those who have passed away. This is a holiday that I kind of wish that I was in Pest for, because I have yet to go the grave sites of my great-grandfather and grandmother there in Budapest and this would have been a great opportunity to do that. But I was here and so we made the best out of it. We walked all around the graveyard looking at all of the graves and we came across one section that was dedicated to the communists who fought and died against the nazis. In the middle was this HUGE statue of a communist comrade holding the communist flag up high in the air and all of the graves were around it. We looked through the section and found that most of the names were Russians and really wasn't dedicated to the Hungarians. Quite an interesting thing to find for someone of my background :P 
All Soul's Day

Also, throughout the entire time I was there I was searching for a grave that was for a person or family named Magda. I did not find a single grave until the very end, found by Elder Cox yelling 'Hey elder!! I Found a Magda!!!' I know there is probably no relation at all, but it is still awesome to see my last name there. 

So a really cool thing that we had happen this week was that we had a woman in the branch that has been kind of less active but she is a really strong member. She is married to a non-member and has 3 kids, 2 girls and 1 boy. The girls are 10 and 7 (turning 8 in 3 weeks) and the boy is 2. She gave us a call one day and asked if we could teach her daughters. They said to her one day that they would really like to be baptized. Her husband wasn't interested but he said that it would be a really good thing for his daughters to get baptized. Of course we accepted the offer and we then taught her daughters, who are the cutest things in the world, about the Gospel of Christ and we extended a baptismal date for the 1st of December and they accepted it with open arms. It was such a wonderful program! And their mom was such a wonderful support! She actually served a mission in Russia before she was married and she shared some of her experiences with us and it was so awesome! We even made the lesson with a lot of examples and stuff and the girls were super excited to participate. I already love everything about this city and the branch also. There aren't that many people in the branch, but it is SO strong and filled with faith. I have only been to church here twice and both times I have walked into that building and felt a wave of the Spirit hit me. It is such a powerful feeling and I love it so much!

Well, that's all I have for this week. I hope everyone has another good week and keep America in your prayers! 

Magda Elder

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