Monday, January 28, 2013

A Tougher Week

January 28, 2013
Jo reggelt! (Good Morning!)
It is FREEZING COLD here in Pécs! I have never been in this kind of weather for this period of time and I look back at the kind of weather back at home and I am SO grateful to have been raised in the California Valley. So much fun in the cold. There were times when we would go out streeting in the main square, we would be absolutely FREEZING! There are times where we would be talking to someone on the street and we would be talking for a while and Elder D and I would have to move the stuff that we are holding in one hand to the other so that we could put it in our pocket so that it could get feeling in our finger tips and then switch back when the other hand would begin to lose feeling. We would have days where we would street in the snow and, needless to say, not the most effective thing in the world. It was sure fun, but we didn't last very long. We, one day, finished our streeting and were coming back home for dinner and Elder D and I were basically power walking back home to get to our heater and slap our hands on it so that it could heat up our hands to bring back it's feeling. The heater in our apartment is pretty hot, but it took a few minutes for our fingers to warm up for us to finally feel how hot the heater really was.
Soooo this week has probably been the toughest week in my mission thus far. My goodness, we have worked hours and hours and hours, non-stop in trying to find new investigators, because we don't really have any, and we have found no one. We have tracted, streeted, asked for referrals from members, those who we tract AND street and no one wants to meet with us. We've even had people kick us out of apartment complexes, tell us to skedaddle, close the door on our faces before we even get a word out OR not even open the door at all and they just reply with 'Sorry, we don't live here'. Nothing seems to be going our way at times. We prepare for the day by having really productive studies in the morning, especially in our companionship one where we talk about how we are going to approach people, but we come back with almost nothing.
Not going to lie, it's been kind of depressing at times. I knew what I was getting into when I put in my mission papers, especially when I got the call to Hungary, but I don't think I was exactly physically and emotionally prepared for this. This is why I am so grateful for my companion. He is probably one of the most optimistic and hope filled missionaries I have met, and I am so grateful that he and I were put together. I know that I am optimistic and out-going, but being with Elder D has boosted that even more. He and I both help each other out with each other’s weaknesses and make every finding expedition fun and memorable. With all the doors that we have had shut in our faces, we have turned away with a smile still on our face. We've made sure that our hopes and not extinguished and put out. In everything we have been working hard, including the language. This whole week, outside of our apartment, we have only been speaking in Hungarian. That's 7 days of straight Hungarian. It's been hard, for both of us, but we have really seen an improvement in our language abilities and we are looking forward to another 7 days of straight Hungarian.
I am so glad to be here at this exact time. I have definitely seen how the Lord is shaping me through the refiner’s fire. Though the work is hard, it has, and is, helping me to become a better person and stronger son of God. How I know that this Gospel is true. There are times where I wish that I can stand and speak to all on the street about Christ and preach His Gospel as the sound of trump, or there are times where I just want to break out in song and sing of Christ with the voice of an angel and sing the song of redeeming love so that all could hear how beautiful the Gospel sounds. I can feel the Light of Christ within me, beaming with light and it's more powerful than anything that I have felt before. There is no possible way for me to just keep it in, I have to go out and let everyone else feel this same feeling that I have. This isn't something that I want to keep only for myself; I want all to taste of the fruit of the Tree of Life as Lehi did. He even said in recording of his vision that he could not help himself from sharing this with everyone else. He looked out to all he could find and help them come to the Tree of Life. Recognize the blessing that you all have of being a part of Christ's perfect Gospel and find within yourselves, if you have not yet, that Light of Christ which is in all of us and magnify it and you will feel that exact same feeling. Mormon would not have put that part in the Book of Mormon if it was not important for us to know. The Gospel enhances our Light of Christ through the Holy Ghost. Stay close to it! Strive to have the Spirit with you at all times! Do everything you can to allow it be as close to you as possible so that you may feel that burning in your bosom that your Heavenly Father loves you with all of us heart. I cannot wait for that day to come when I stand in front of my Father in Heaven and He says to me 'Well done, my son. How far you have come and how far you shall go.'
I love you all. I love this church, I love this gospel, I love my Savior and I love my Heavenly Father. What a blessing it is to have such knowledge. Treasure it, nurture it, and help others come to know it. May all of you be blessed this week, and I pray that every one of you will come just a little bit closer to the Savior this week.
May God be with all of you
Magda Elder

Monday, January 21, 2013

To Readers Everywhere......Hi!

January 21, 2013
To Readers Everywhere..........Hi!
Already I am sure that this transfer is going to be a BLAST!! Both fun wise and work wise. I already love my new companion, Elder D. He is such an awesome missionary! I know I already told you a little about him last week, but here's some more information. So, he is from San Francisco, California (MY HOME STATE!) and is 6 foot 6 inches. Crazy!! It has already been funny going streeting and tracting with him because people will look at me then look up at him and their eyes get extra wide when they see how tall he is. He is also an intense Volleyball player. He began playing around his junior year in high school and he got super into it and loved the sport. He played for BYU as a red shirt and his plans are to return home and become an actual legit volleyball player and maybe play in the Olympics! Doesn't that sound so kewl?!?! At least to me it does, ha ha. But he says that if that doesn't work out then he will be a professional sport trainer or go into health science. I feel bad for him a little, because his companion isn't the healthiest guy on the planet. But he is teaching me and helping me to be healthier! For example, he has gotten me hooked on eating cornflakes with yogurt. Sounds kinda odd, right? Well, it is definitely a super tasty breakfast or snack and Elder D. has explained to me, in detail, how it is super healthy. Maybe you should give it a try? I promise that it will blow your mind.
In other news about this transfer and how it is going to be awesome, Elder D Angina and I are both SUPER wanting to go out and work and find people all the time. Right now our companionship is in a lack of investigators predicament and this transfer is going to be all about trying to find those investigators and Elder D. and I are going to be working our missionary suits off! Yesterday we had an awesome Weekly Planning and came up with some really good companionship goals that will really push us and help us find those people that the Lord has prepared for us. What makes it even more awesome is that Elder D. has such an amazing attitude and desire about the work and combined with mine, there is no doubt in my mind that we will find those people AND have fun at the same time. We also LOVE the language and are going to be speaking this language all the time and increase our speaking abilities. He is already a genius at the language and he is only in his 4th transfer. He is WAAY good and I am so blessed to have such a good speaker because I, too, am young in the mission and I am definitely not perfect at this language and having a companion who can help me in the language too is such a great blessing.
So, one thing that was interesting for me this past week was that yesterday the missionaries gave talks in Sacrament meeting. I was so nervous!! I know that giving talks is something that I love to do and I get really excited for, but that is in English, and Hungarian, well, that's a different story, ha ha. The topic was Repentance, which was such a fun topic to really study up on, and it went really well! But it still was super scary!
Alrighty, before I leave, I will just say, “Thank you Ashleigh and Alisha for your emails.”  49ers WOONNNNNNNNN YEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Super Bowl here we come!! It sounds like it's going to be one intense game especially that it's going to be a “Harbowl.” You'll have to tell me ALL about it, from all of the families perspectives :P Someone needs to wear Red and Gold face paint for the game for me. (Alisha, I'm counting on you for that, ha ha!) Rachel is going to Honolulu?!?! That's so awesome!! Congratulations!! She will have so much fun!
Thank you so much for your letters and I hope you all have a fun filled week with tons of blessings!
Magda Elder

Monday, January 14, 2013

Transfers Again!

January 14, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,

Once again, transfer calls have been received and the new transfer begins.  I am already BEYOND stoked for this transfer. This past transfer has been a little rough with the work and everything, but I am excited for what we have in store. So, with the flood of new missionaries there have been a lot of changes around the mission, including Pécs getting a companionship of Sisters! Way kewl!! Some more information about our city, Elder S., who has been in Pécs for his entire mission so far, is staying for another!! 5 Transfers!!! Can you believe it?! Lucky kid. And for his companion he is getting Elder A. who is from his group AND who also served with Elder B. (my current companion) in the MTC. They are going to get along really well co-senioring. And for me and my companionship, well, we will be serving the Lord, of course :) . Elder B. (my current companion) has been transferred to the city of Pápa and will be serving with Elder R. who will be going home at the end of this new transfer. He's looking forward to it, but the only thing is that it is a much smaller city and they are the only companionship in that city, so it will be a little more difficult. I, on the other hand, will be staying in Pécs (YYYEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!) and will be getting Elder D'Angina, who is going in to his 4th transfer and is coming from Szombathely. He's my grand kicsi! Or, in other words, the group after Elder B's group. I am so excited for this transfer! I have met D'Angina a few times and I think he will be a great companion. He is also 6' 7 I think and plays volleyball for BYU. How cool is that?! As you can see I am pretty excited, especially that I am staying here in Pécs. I LOVE this city! It's so beautiful and I just love the people here too. There's too much to say about this city and how awesome it is. But, in general, I am excited for next transfer.

 Can you guys believe that I am going in my 6th transfer? It's crazy! By the end of my 7th transfer I will just about hit my year mark as a missionary, and in my 10th transfer I will hit my year mark in the country, June 19; which, by the way, will be the day that Heather (my Auntie who is one month older than me) will be hitting the country. The transfer when she comes in, Wednesday, June 19, will be my year mark in the country. Pretty insane if you ask me. And, just in case you all weren't sure or asking, I'm still excited for her to get here! I talked with President about it again and he is just excited for us to both be serving in the same country. 

There wasn't too much that happened this week. There was a baptism from the other companionship on Saturday and it was way awesome. Their investigator that they baptized was so prepared and the missionaries taught her well. Elder S was able to perform the baptism and Elder W gave the conformation. It's so cool to see that happiness of a new convert. They are filled with faith and hope and the Spirit just beams from their countenance. I'm sure you all felt it at the baptism you attended this past week. I am so glad that dad was able to stand within the circle for it also. I hope that he felt that same Spirit that we felt here. 

Anyways, that was really all that happened this week. I am excited, SUPER EXCITED I must say that the 49ers beat the Packers. AAAWWWW YYEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!!! Sounds like it must have been an intense game. I hope they win their next game against the Falcons. If they do, they'll finally be in the Super Bowl!! Go Kaepernick!!! 

Thank you so much for the notes for the week from my MTC book. Funny thing is that they are actually what I needed for this week. Thank you for them.

I love you all and wish you all a wonderful week. 

Sok Szeretettel, (Lots of Love)
Magda Elder

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

January 7, 2013
Happy New Year!

I am so glad that the package I sent to you made it! I was afraid that it would have gotten lost somehow, but it looks like it made it to you all safely. I'm glad that you all enjoyed the gifts. I have no idea, though, what the 'pals' format is, but I hope dad figures out a way to convert it. It's so cool hearing a movie in another language. I always watch the short film version of 'The Restoration' in Hungarian and it so awesome to hear it translated. You'll enjoy it, even though you won't understand it. I also got the package from Monty the other day. We had a District Meeting and one of the other companionships was in Budapest and they picked up some of our stuff while they were there and brought it with them to District Meeting. I loved it!! Please tell him how grateful I am for the package and I hope that they receive blessings for their kindness. Funny thing, I was actually thinking about Darian this week and how close he was to getting his mission call. Independence, Missouri!! That is so awesome!! You'll have to inform him of where Grandma and Grandpa live so that he can visit them or something if he is ever in their ward or area. 

I'm glad that you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that you were able to spend time with the Dunham's for the holiday. We, on the other hand, just stayed inside and played board games all day because outside was a nightmare. We all agreed, the 4 of us missionaries, that New Year’s eve here is taken WAY more seriously than in America. There were explosions EVERYWHERE, even in the main part of the city. And the funny part was that it wasn't only at midnight that they did this, but it all started at 5 pm. People were already getting drunk and the New Year was still hours away. We would just say 'Come on, if you're going to drink, at least don't get completely wasted hours before midnight.' Included was small riots and stuff here and there, so our safety was our apartment and our fun was playing board games. I'm pretty sure that your New Year’s Eve was much more fun than ours. 

This week was a little bit harder than some. None of our regular investigators wanted to, or could, meet with us this week, which meant that we had a lot of time to go out and work. We trackted a lot and we got several let-ins and some really good first lessons in with the families and people that we found. But, unfortunately, every person that we met with, after asking them if we could get their number and if we could meet with them again, replied with 'Well, if this feels right or if we become more and more interested from the Book of Mormon, we will give you guys a call.' It's such a bummer because we get a let-in, which is hard to get in general, but they just don't reschedule with us. Sometimes it crosses my mind 'Am I just not a good enough teacher? Am I doing something wrong?' I feel like I'm letting the Lord down when I can't even get a single phone number. But I have continually been reminded through my personal study to 'not allow discouragement get to me'. Lack of success in the work is going to happen, but as long as we have the commitment, that full commitment to work for the Lord with all of our hearts, then we can find what the Lord is trying to teach us and then we can grow from it. I've been really reflecting on this past week and I have seen those things that I needed to learn and understand. 

In our District Meeting that we had this past week we really dissected D&C 4. Every morning we recite this in Hungarian and our district leader really wanted us to understand why we recite this every morning. It was such an educating experience for me! One thing that I learned in a greater understanding was verses 3 and 5. In verse 3 it recites that if we have desires to serve God we are called to the work and in verse 5 recites that when we have an eye single to the Glory of God, qualify him for the work. We related these scriptures to 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' Many of us in the church, and even outside of the church, have desires to serve God. Each of them are called to serve Him and He will be there in there service. But, it is those who have 'An eye single to the Glory of God' that are chosen. We really went in depth with this and defined that the eye single to God is a simple desire lined up exactly with the will of God; lining up with the attributes of our Savior and King and seeing the work as he does, putting aside our opinions and our ways and making them more like His. That is when we are 'qualified' for the work. We need to see the work the way the Lord does and it is when we do that that we can see the greater happiness and have that greater light and power to proclaim the gospel and testify of the divinity of the Savior and of His restored church.  This has become such a greater scripture in my eyes. Sure I have memorized it in English and Hungarian, but understanding it makes it all the more powerful and more meaningful. Such an awesome scripture!

Here is a good trackting story for the week. While trackting, of course, Elder Becker and I came across a guy who let us in because we were Americans. We were asking if we could give a quick survey and he said ‘You sound like you’re not from here.' 'Well, we're not. We are actually from America.' And before we could even say which part his eyes got big and said 'No way!! Come on in!!' An awesome beginning, I would say so myself. We then gave him the survey and afterwards talked to him a little bit about our church and we were there. He then asked if he could talk in English with us for a little, which we said sure. Perfect English speaker, by the way. He asks us 'So, how long have you been here?' 'For 5-6 months'. Again, his eyes got big and said 'Bull crap!!' But in the swear form, ha ha. 'There is no way that you guys know this language as well as you do in under half a year.' '........Well it seems like we do.' We had a great conversation about languages and then tried to see if he would like to meet with us again but turned us down by saying he would call us if he had any interests. Kind of a bummer, but it was such a cool memory to add to my list of 'Trackting Memories'. I hope you enjoyed my little story :)

Alrighty then, I hope you all of have great week! Tell everyone that you come in contact with that I say 'Szia!' (“HI”) :D

Magda Elder