Monday, December 10, 2012


December 10, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
OHHHHHHHH MMMMMYYYYYYYY WOOOOOOORRRRRDDDD!!!!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! I feel like this is the BIGGEST Christmas present I could have received!! More so for Heather, but this is definitely a big one for me as well. For those who are reading my blog, I will give you a heads up with what just happened in my family. As you all know, I am serving in the Hungary Budapest Mission (given). Another cool thing is that I am serving in country where my grandfather was born, which also means that I am a quarter Hungarian. When I got the call to come here, all of my family and I were excited for me to come here and we knew that it wasn't just a coincidence. Now, this is where it gets much more interesting. Recently, my grandfather’s daughter Heather, who is 20 years old, who is half Hungarian, put in her mission papers to serve a mission like I am. Ever since I got this news, I have been hoping and, in some aspects, praying that she would come here to Hungary for her mission so that I would have another family member serving here in the same mission as me. Plus! she is WAAAYYY cool and would be an awesome missionary here in Hungary. Well, she just got the news aaaannnnndddd........YES! She is coming to serve here in Hungary!!! And we will both be on Hungarian soil in June! How awesome will that be!!! I soooooo hope that we will be able to serve in the same area as each other with the time that we will be serving in Hungary together. What is so funny is that she is going into the MTC almost 2 weeks after I went into the MTC. I will be hitting my year mark when she goes in. AND I will be hitting my year mark in the country when she comes into the country. Do you know how cool this is going to be?!?! I'm also thinking of when we get home from our missions and we can talk in Hungarian with each other ALL THE TIME!!! Oh my goodness how excited I am for this news!! She needs to know that she can email me anytime with any questions that she has. Because she is family I can email her and let her know some of the heads up and answer some of her questions. OOOOHHHH how I am so excited for her and her preparation for serving this mission. It truly is the best mission, no matter what people say ;)

Ok, now I will catch you all up with what is happening here and what has happened. So I just got my new companion, Elder B, on Wednesday who was recently serving in Győr. We met each other at Budapest and headed back towards Pécs. Before that though, I was able to run into Elder A (1st companion) and Elder H (2nd companion) and say hi to them and spend some time with them before we left. It's still so awesome that they will be serving together this next transfer. They are going to have so much fun, I just know it. It was also sad to see Elder C (3rd companion) go. I loved serving with him and we had so much fun this last transfer. Included is Elder Cox, which this will be the first time that we will not be in the same area as one another, not even the same Zone. But both of them are going to good areas and with good companions, so they will have a really good transfer.

So, some things about Elder B. He is from Gaylordsville, Conneticutt and just turned 20 this last transfer. He has played football for most of his life and is a big fan of the, you know it, 49ers!! I got super excited when he said that. Elder C was also a 49ers fan, but Elder B is even more of one and it's been kind of a bonding thing for us. He is also in his 4th transfer and is in my Kicsi group, that means 'Little Ones' in Hungarian. I got to know him a little bit in the MTC and a funny thing that happened was that towards the end of my stay in the MTC, I had this small feeling that I would be serving with him sometime in the future. Little did I know that it would be in our 5th and 4th transfers AND when I was going senior. Crazy thing, right?? We are both ready for it though. Something that he has already been teaching me is to be brave and to just get out there in the work. I know this may come to a surprise to some, but I am a little timid sometimes and I sometimes just keep to myself. Recently I have been getting better with it, but being with Elder B these past few days, he has helped me in not being afraid and just talking to people no matter what. We've already tracted for a little bit and fliered also and he is just out there. Even though our language abilities are still young and we are still learning, Elder B's determination, I know, is going to help our companionship, and us personally, grow.

With some updates with our investigators, the ones we have on baptism date are still going strong and they are all progressing really well. No problems have come up and we are all looking forward to the 22nd. But there is one person who is kind of nervous and that is........this guy right here, Magda Elder. Why? Well, let me tell you. The 20 year old that is getting baptized came up to me after English class on Saturday and said 'I have something I need to ask you.' I was like 'Sure'. I wasn't sure what to expect, but she then asked 'I was wondering if you would like to give me the gift of the Holy Ghost for my confirmation.' I lost my breath after I heard her say that. I told her 'I would absolutely love to do that for you, but you do know that I am not the best Hungarian speaker, right' 'Yes, I know.' 'And you do know that someone who is Hungarian would probably be better to give it?' 'Yup.' '..........Well alright y then.'  I know I shouldn't be nervous, but I don't want to mess this up! This is a once in a lifetime thing! I have already been praying for my language abilities to hike up a little. But I have also felt comfort in my prayers about it that all will be well as I have faith. I'm definitely super excited and honored to be giving this gift to her and I know that it will be such a spiritual experience.

Alrighty then, I'm almost finished. Now just for some last minute tidbits about the Christmas Call. So I am definitely allowed to Skype you and I can Skype for, the longest, an hour. I am allowed to Skype other people in my family, I think it would just be faster if I just Skyped my own family and if anyone wants to talk to me they can be there at our house when I Skype home. Elder B and I were thinking of doing it on Christmas Day. We still aren't sure 'exactly' because we have to talk with some of the members or investigators and see when we could use their computers without inconveniencing them. I have no idea how Skype works from foreign countries. Do you have to pay to Skype like that?  Let me know how your Christmas is going to be and we can try and coordinate around the times. I think we are at a 9 hour time difference, just for a heads up.

Ok, I hope that all of you have a good week. And Congratulations to the soon to be Magda Nővér!! I Love you all!

Magda Elder

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Going Senior in my 5th Transfer!!!!

December 3, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,

I can't believe the storm you all just had!! That is so intense!! I can already picture in my mind how the neighborhood must have looked like as you drove through it. I remember one year a while back that our area was flooded and our scout troop helped in placing sandbags around stuff to prevent from flooding.  But it sounds like this year was WAY bigger and more intense. For weather updates here, yesterday was my first day of snow in the country!! It was so awesome! We were headed to one of our programs when it began to rain and I said to Elder Christensen 'You know, I think it may just snow today.' Well, right after our program, one of the kids in the house that we were teaching in jumped out of his seat and said 'Hey everyone, it's snowing outside!'
Winter in Pécs

 I felt like a little kid because I quickly turned my head to look out the window and saw all this snow fall and my face lit up with excitement. Living in Citrus Heights for my entire life, snowfall was very very rare and the only time it did snow was just slush, so it would never stick to the ground. That's why, for me, it is really exciting to see snowfall like it did yesterday. Of course it was super cold, but I enjoyed and embraced it. I probably won't in the next couple of weeks if it continues for a long time and I'll be wrapped in all of my clothes as I walk out and look up at the sky while I'm streeting or something and say 'STOP SNOWING!!!! I'M FREEZING DOWN HERE!! CUT THE ELDERS A BREAK WHY DON'T YA?!?!' Ha ha, but I'm looking forward to it anyways. 

Some news from the top!! We have received our transfer calls and information. Elder Christensen will be leaving Pécs and will be going to..........PEST!!! That's right, he is going to the city I just got out of and replacing my old companion's spot AND serving with his greenie. Isn't that just way cool!! ALSO, Elder Headrick, who is now leaving Pest, is going to be serving with my trainer, Elder Abram, in Miskolc as Zone Leader!!! Isn't that just so awesome?! It's like a little circle of life going on here. Now, about the part that's happening to me. I will be staying in Pécs and going Senior with Elder Becker who is from the group right below me! A few things are going through my mind right now. 1, I'm going senior in my 5th transfer!!!! WhhhaaaaaAAAAAaaaAaAaAttttt??!! I feel way to young in the mission to be going senior. 2, how am I going to do this?!?! I'm not a pro at the language; I'm still only amateur, or maybe even lower than that. And Elder Becker is only one transfer below me and I'm afraid that I won't be able to help him like a senior should. I've learned so much from my senior and they have all been significantly older than me, the youngest being Elder Christensen and he was in his 7th while I was in my 4th. There's only a one transfer difference between Elder Becker and I, which is SUPER young. I know I sound like an anxiety bomb that's going to go off, but between getting the call and now, I have been feeling more confident that this companionship is going to be really good, at least in the learning perspective.
Pécs, Hungary

 I think Elder Becker and I are going to learn a lot because of how young we are in the mission, language-wise, teaching-wise, basically everything-wise. And the most important part is that as we put our faith in Heavenly Father, we will be able to learn what we need to learn and grow into what he wants us to become and the work will come. The scripture mastery Proverbs 3:5-6, saying 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding' has been in my brain for a few weeks now for many reasons and I think it's going to be with me for a little bit longer with this upcoming transfer. It's going to be an adventure for sure and I am excited to see what will be in store. 
Magda Elder and Christensen Elder

Here are some other things that are happening where I am, transfer wise and investigator wise—Elder Cox and Elder Smith will be splitting up unfortunately this next transfer, but in a way we didn't think would happen. We assumed that Elder Cox would be training a greenie and Elder Smith would be going to a new area. Well, or assumptions were wrong. Instead, Elder Cox will be going Zone Leader in Györ with another elder and Elder Smith will be staying here for a 4th transfer with Elder Wright, who is an AWESOME elder. Elder Wright was one of the secretaries in the mission office in Buda when I came to Pest and because Buda and Pest are so close to each other, so are the elders and I saw and hung out with him and his companion during P-Days a lot and he is such a fun elder. I'm really sad to see Elder Cox go because I've basically been in the same area as him for these 4 transfers and he is definitely one of my best friends in the mission along with my companions, but I am also excited to hear what he will be doing and I know it will be a great work and a lot of fun. But I am also glad that Elder Smith will be staying. Because he was in the group right below me, I knew him a little bit in the MTC before the field and it has been great serving around each other in the field and I know it will be a lot of fun with this upcoming transfer. 

Teaching in Pécs
The program that I mentioned earlier, with the kid jumping up and saying that it was snowing, was with the 20 year old girl that we have set up for baptism. We actually had to move the bap date for them, and the other two young girls that we have on bap date, for the 22nd of December because it was better timing for the younger girls and the pool that we have to reserve for the baptism. Because the branch house here doesn't have a baptismal font, we have to reserve a pool here in Pécs for us to do the baptism, so according to the scheduling of the pool we could only do it on the 22nd instead of the 15th. But, going back to the program, we taught our investigator the 10 Commandments and the Word of Wisdom. When we taught her the Word of Wisdom and went over what was a part of the commandment, we asked her if she had any thoughts about it. Without fail, she astonished us with her answer by saying: ' Actually, when I was younger, I used to go out and party with some of my friends and we normally would drink too. But I soon found that I really didn't like it and then my brother in law introduced me to the Word of Wisdom and said how it blesses people’s lives. Now I have been keeping it for some time and I really agree with it and don't drink with my friends and even encourage them not to. But I have already been keeping this commandment for a while.' Every time we teach her we ask 'Why haven’t you been baptized already?!?!' She is so awesome and she will be an awesome member to the branch here. 

Thank you for the pictures that you sent. Ha ha, I definitely laughed when I saw that picture of Ashleigh in her work outfit. But it looks like she can make a mean cup of yogurt. Oh, I forgot to tell you last week, here in Hungary, Dr. Pepper is in a very low demand and is rarely sold here and when it is it is very expensive. But, last week while we were shopping, we found 2 liter Dr. Peppers on an amazing sale. All of us dropped our baskets and screamed for joy because we both agree that it's the best soda ever. We bought several because we didn't know when the sale would end. Ha ha, thought you all would have liked that story. 
I am also glad to hear Alisha's worldview. Ha ha, that is so awesome!! All 3 of us have defended something different: Communism, Socialism and Biblical Christianity. I'm sure Alisha will have a lot of fun with it. I know I sure did, even if I was defending something that I absolutely despised. It is the one of my greatest memories and experiences, going through that program and, in particular, the world views. Speaking of TJYC, I actually translated the Mission Statement in Hungarian this week and I wanted to end this week's letter with it at the end. It isn't exactly the same because the exact translation in Hungarian doesn't make sense (I asked someone and he helped me in making the right translation). But the concept is still the same and, in general, the wording is still the same. 

Ráébredünk személyes célunkra
Feltüzeljük magunkat, 
hogy a végsőkig kitartsunk
és növeljük erkölcsi hatalmunkat, 
hogy az kihasson a legszélesebb körökre
tiszta tudáson keresztül képmutatás nélkül
továbbá víve a szabadság lobogóját

We are:
Awakening our sense of
Personal Mission,
Igniting our Passion to Pay the Price,
Increasing our Moral Power to Affect
Forms—through pure knowledge and
Without hypocrisy;
Carrying forth the Banner of Liberty!

I got goose bumps when I translated it. But, no matter what language this statement is in, it is still the same and it should ring true to all of our hearts, especially to those who took TJYC. We should not, no, we cannot, forget the calling we have as TJYCers and continue to carry forth the Banner of Liberty. 

Continue to press forward in faith this week and hope for miracles and blessings. 
Magda Elder

P.S Tell Tara that I am excited for her call to Moscow. That will be such a fun mission as I have heard from several Hungarians who have served there. 
Ok, Now it's time for Mom, "The Blog Keeper."  In Elder Magda's Halloween post, he mentioned that he and his companion carved some funny shaped gourds for the holiday.  The next day, November 1st was the national holiday, "All Soul's Day" where Hungarians honored those who have died.  Elder Magda just happened upon a grave marker with his same last name!  Here are the photos.