Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Transfer Numero Nyolc (8)

March 26, 2013
Well Howdy!

Transfers, once again, are here and as quickly as ever! This transfer came ridiculously quick and both my companion and I kept telling each other today 'Where did the time go?!?!' Yeah, it was way to fast for my taste, well, for both of our tastes. News from the top: Unfortunately, Elder H and I will not be staying together; neither will I be staying for a 5th transfer in Pécs. Blast! I so wanted to stay for another because that would have meant that I would have been here for 6 months. Wouldn't that have been way cool?! It would be at least some kind of record. Anyways, Elder H is staying and getting a younger companion and I, pedig (however), will be going to Békéscsaba into a threesome. Whaaaaaaat!! Crazy, right? There's more, in this companionship, the senior companion, who is now going to be in his last transfer, is the Branch Leader for the Branch there, and because this will be his last transfer, I have been told that I will be filling in his position as Branch Leader probably when he leaves. Even MORE crazy!!! That means I will have to do everything a Branch Leader does in HUNGARIAN!! I have both feelings of absolute excitement and nervousness. It's going to be so much fun. It will definitely be interesting to be in a tripanionship, but it will be fun nonetheless. 

Another sad thing with transfers is that Elder A, my trainer, is going home. It's now been two years for him and he is heading home now. It's so saddening because I love that guy so much. He has been one of my closest friends in the mission, which is probably because he was my trainer and everything. But, it will definitely be a sad thing to see him go. He'll definitely have a lot of fun being back home. But his mission son will definitely miss him. 

Some other stuff that happened this week, yesterday it snowed six inches of snow!! Yeah, it's definitely not like the spring that's happening over there in Cali. So, basically, yesterday all of our programs cancelled and tracting wasn't really working, so we spent the rest of the day going around people’s houses and trying to offer service somehow. We actually ran into a married couple that we met with a while back who we haven’t been able to reschedule with for a while and they were working on shoveling the snow from there walk ways and drive way so that their car could get in. So, we were able to help them out with that! That marked my official first time snow shoveling in my life. It was so much fun! Plus the couple was really glad that we came to help them out and they wanted us to come back and visit them sometime. Thank yyyyooouuuuu service opportunities! Ha ha, there was a part when I was shoveling the snow where the wife kept telling me 'That jacket of yours is too thin! You're going to catch cold!' It was soo funny. 

So, for a cool miracle find for the week, Sunday we had a few hours of finding left in the day and we felt as though we should go try and visit this less active family that we have been given by the branch. We have tried several times already with no success. So this, time we went, rang their bell aaaannnndddd.......no go. No one picked up. With that, we decided to tract some other apartment buildings that were right next to it. After going through 1.5 buildings, we came across an older lady, who said, when she opened the door, 'Oh, are you boys the Mormon missionaries?' 'Yup, we sure are.' 'How wonderful, I used to be Mormon a loooongg time ago.' 'Really? Would you have time for us to come in and share a brief message with you?' She then closed the door (I forgot to tell you that she was speaking to us through this miniature door within her front door......confusing? Just imagine a front door with a much smaller door that's right dead in the center of the front door that you can open up just to see who the person is that is knocking) and opened it back up and let us in. We were able to talk to her for quite a bit and about some of the concerns that she had with the church and we helped her in answering some of them. She also has been having some health issues and we offered to help her with anything she needed and she gave us the biggest grin and told us that we could come back anytime. Elder H and I really felt like the Lord’s shepherds in that program. I felt the Spirit so strongly during that program. 

Oh, and another cool program we had this week. We met for the first time with this younger teenage guy who had met with the missionaries a few years back. We tracted into him last week and we set up a program with him. When we met with him we were able to see why he met with the missionaries in the first place, what he liked about having them over, why they stopped meeting and he told us that he still believed that the Book of Mormon is true, but had some other concerns whether or not there needed to be one true church. We then talked to him about the Restoration and about the priesthood authority to lead and direct Christ's church and about Joseph Smith being that latter day prophet to restore Christ's church upon the earth again. After reading the first vision with him and bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon, I felt prompted to ask him if he had any questions or concerns about what we talked about and he sat there for a little bit, then looked back at me with a such a sincere smile on his face and said 'I don't have any'. There was an immense power in that room that was so indescribable. I honestly felt like my spirit was testifying with all of its might of the divinity of Jesus Christ and of my Savior and it was magnified through the Holy Ghost. It was such a powerful witness to me that the Spirit does bear witness when we testify, and I only pray that the guy that we met with felt it also.

This week has been so great for me and my companion and it is sad to see that it is coming to an end. But, I still have work to do and it is now going to be in Békéscsaba. I'm super excited. Oh! And by the way, next week Thursday will mark my one year mark. Crazy, right? I think this has been the fastest year in my entire life. Why did time have to choose NOW to be the time when it should go by really fast? Ughh! So weird!

Alrighty, you all have a fantastic week this week and keep the Spirit as close to you as possible. Love you all! 

Magda Elder

P.S Congratulations Heather with your Farewell!!! Oh I wish I could have been there to support you, but I guess seeing you when you get here and being there for your welcome home will have to suffice. By the way, if I am called to be a trainer when you come into the country, I will get to be there in the meeting with you when you get your trainer! That will be SOOO awesome if that happens. And in answer to your questions, the internet cost here is around 200 forint an hour, which is around 1 dollar. Pretty cheap. What do sisters eat here....well the sisters in our district said that they eat sandwiches and soup quite often and sometimes have McDonalds since it is right across where they live. Ha ha, I don't know so much about that question. Basically you just get what you want and you can always try and make something new then you just have to be thrifty with what you have. Oh, and if you know how to make Hungarian dishes back at home, then you will LOVE making them here because they have all the 'true' Hungarian stuff here which makes it ALL the more better. And other advice.....study from Preach My Gospel before you go into the MTC. It helps SOOO much. Trust me. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Quick Update

March 18, 2013
Dear Everyone,

Alrighty everyone, this will have to be a quick one because our day is busy today, unfortunately. But here are some quick little updates with what has happened this week.
The weather here has been CRAZY!!! Last week Monday it seemed like summer could be around the corner. The sun was out, the temperature was wonderful and it seemed like nothing could happen to destroy that. Then on Tuesday there was a little bit of showers towards the beginning of the day and then, later, some thunder and lightning storms that made the weather so much more intense. By the way, if you all haven’t realized this yet, I LOVE thunder and lightning. To me it's the best kind of weather. Anyways, returning back, Wednesday was a downpour. It seemed like the rain would just not stop. Plus, it wasn't just a warm rain; it was really cold, which only meant that the next day would probably bring snow. And snow it brought. Thursday was absolutely CRAZY with snow! It was snowing in all directions: down, left, right, diagonal, backwards, frontwards, inside out. My word was it crazy! Plus the wind was almost carrying us from place to place and almost made it so that we could fly! Ha ha, there was a few times where I felt like I got some air. It was pretty cool. That night we had English class, where in our beginner class that we teach in we normally have up to 15 or sometimes 20 students, but this past Thursday we only had........2. That's right, only 2 people showed up. These 2 people we called the 'Courageous Students'. It was pretty intense. Now the weather is kind of dying down a little. It's raining a little bit today, but we are hoping it just stays like this and that it doesn't get any worse.

Friday was actually a holiday here in celebration for the Hungarian revolution of 1848 and for it we had the day as another P-Day, which was really nice. The branch had a ping pong tournament where we expected a lot of people to show. Well, the weather was still quite intense and so only a small few were able to make it through the weather. But, the tournament went on and I actually did pretty well I must say. Elder Christiansen in the other elder companionship knocked me out unfortunately, but it was a really close game: 11-9. You should have been there to see it. There were some people in the branch that completely threw us off guard with their ping pong skills. Pretty crazy. After the tournament, the other elders and my companion and I hung out and played games for most of the day and were able to watch Wreck It Ralph, which was a fantastic movie!! Totally blew my mind with how well they made the movie. We wanted to go out and see festivities and stuff that they normally have out for the holiday, but because of the weather no one was out and everything was mostly taken down. Pooo. But we still had a fun and eventful day.
Work wise, all of our programs canceled for the week because of the weather and we were unable to get anyone to talk with us while tracting. Kind of a bummer, but this week looks a lot better and we will have a turn for the better.
Alrighty all you ladies and germs, that's all I have for the week. Keep being awesome and stay on the sunny side of life. :D
Magda Elder
P.S.  Today marks the one year mark of my farewell......AAAHHHHH So weird!!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Week of Sickness

March 11, 2013
Guten Tag! (German, I know)
This week wasn't the most eventful of weeks unfortunately, especially since I caught the sickness that has been hitting all of the Hungarians here in Pécs. None of the other elders caught it, only me. Pretty sure it's because I'm part Hungarian. It just couldn't choose to pass over me. Oh, what the sickness was, forgot about that part. I have had a really bad cold, congestion, sore throat and terrible headache. Definitely not the most fun of illnesses. I tried to go out and tract for a little bit with it, but it ended up exhausting me to the point where I was going to collapse, so Elder Hunnicutt and I decided to help me recover by getting some rest. We had a fair amount of programs this week, which was really cool, and they are all progressing really well. We've been praying for them and preparing for them and things have been going really well.

Oh, almost forgot, along with the sickness I kind of lost my voice, which also took away most of my ability to sing and on Friday we had a program that we had to sing for. I was so depressed! Singing is one of the closest things to me and it's something that I cherish with all my heart and having it basically taken away from me saddened me quite a bit. I have really grown in my appreciation for music since I have been on my mission. I think it's because of all the things I did before my mission and then coming here there are only a limited amount of opportunities to use my ability, so I treasure every moment that I have to sing and love music.

Music is definitely something that I want to study when I get home. I love it SO MUCH and I only want to increase my knowledge, love and appreciation for it. I also want to come home and take voice training classes to help me fine tune my voice. I am so grateful to have been raised in music. It has been such a blessing in my life and I thank you, mom, for raising me in the music world. It's now something that is definitely a part of me and I never want to lose it. I'm excited to see what is in store for me when I get home. Of course it's not something that I am focusing on, but it has been in my mind for a little while how much I want to keep this in my life and be able to share the beauty of music with my talents.
It sounds like there are a lot of things that are going on back at home. Goodness gracious, the people going on missions is incredible! It's so exciting to hear all of the people leaving and getting their calls. I congratulate all those who have gotten their calls recently! I also wish the best of luck to Tara! She will be an outstanding missionary and she will absolutely love her mission and language.
Well, this week’s email will be cut short unfortunately, but just know that I will have a lot more for next week.

Magda Elder

Monday, March 4, 2013

Catchin' the train from Budapest

March 4, 2013
Hey Fam!

Alright, this email is going to be really quick. I say quick because right now I am in Budapest and we have a train we have to catch really soon and we don't want to miss it. Long story short, President had interviews and we were called up so we spent the whole day here in Budapest and barely had time to do anything, including emailing. But, this is basically an email to let you know that I am still alive and kicking! 

So, for updates for the week, Elder Hunnicutt and I have been working hard and have LOVED it! It has been such a fun week with absolutely awesome results. At the same time, time has flown by so fast for us this week! We couldn't believe at the end of every day. We would both say to each other 'Didn't we just go to bed?' Well, it seems like when you are having fun, time just wants to fly by. This week Elder Hunnicutt and I were able to get 8 new investigators. 8!!!! I have never had that many in one week. Five of them came from a family that we ran into who were so awesome!!! They welcomed us in with open arms and were excited to hear about our message about families. The other 3 were with other amazing people that we are excited to be meeting with. There are also many other people that asked us to come back another day this week who will count as new investigators once we meet them. Can you believe it?!?! This is absolutely amazing!! This is the first week since Pest (October) that I have had a busy week with programs! God is blessing us abundantly. And what makes it so much better is that I seriously LOVE my companion. He and I get along so well. We both love music and the deep doctrines of music and we are both bookworms! He absolutely loves books and has declared, officially, that he has read over 4000 books. WHHHAAAAT?!?! We are both making lists for one another of books that we love and haven’t read before for when we come home. Those are only two things out of the other plenty that I have.

 I absolutely love my mission. LOVE it. I am learning so much here: from my companion, the work, the branch, the city, people, scriptures, music, and, most importantly, from my Heavenly Father. He has been teaching me so much about myself! I have found the scripture true that says 'He that loses himself for my sake shall find it.' SO TRUE!!! I have come to know myself, and who I was before, so much more than I ever have. I have been growing so much from the knowledge of the scriptures and of the church and of the Lord that I have had a VAST love for just working and telling everyone of what I know. My companion has been a great help in this progression of mine. Every companion has, but Elder Hunnicutt I have found to be one of my closest brothers from the pre-existence. He has really been a blessing for me at this time. Yes, the work is picking up a lot and it makes days much easier, but that is only a small portion of why I love my mission. Oh, and another reason why I love my mission.......I LOVE THIS LANGUAGE!!!! I love Hungarian!!! It's so amazing. I have really grown to love it of its uniqueness and sound and everything that defines the language. Sure it's still hard from time to time.......ok, most of the time, BUT, it is definitely one of the best languages EVER!! Nothing beats it! It comes close to English, but it's a close race. :P

Ok, now to end this email. Alisha, I am so proud of you!! YOU DID IT!!!! You can now fill in the spot in The Ring of the Magda TJYCers (TJYC because that was the original class AND because I get to choose the name because I was the first :P). Now all three of us have completed the class. SO KEWL!! 

"Let it be known to all the world that we, Blake, Ashleigh and Alisha Magda, have succeeded in passing TJYC/SYC and can now stand with the Banner of Liberty, letting it wave for all to see."  

Ashleigh! You got into BYU-I!!!!!! That is so awesome!! I am so thrilled for you! You are going to be the first one out of us Magda kids to go to BYU! I am so excited and thrilled to hear this. There is a quote that I actually just found today, it came from a letter that I received from President Telford, it says: 'Time is only numbered by man. But God has your eternal perspective in mind. -Ezra Taft Benson’ Though things may not be going your way, or the way you would wish it to be, the Lord has your entire life in mind. He knows what is best for you and is only trying to bless you in ways you can't even comprehend. All you have to do is trust him and have faith that what he has in store for you is for your eternal progression. Ashleigh, you are absolutely going to love it! I just know it. Stay close to Him, follow and do what He asks and the Lord will bless you. D&C 82 10: 'I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say...'  

Alrighty everyone, that's it for me again. Till we meet......well, write.....again! 

Magda Elder