Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Hunt for Pizza Hut and "Bumblebee" sighting in Hungary

June 29, 2013
Elder Magda and Elder Loveday with "Bumblebee."

Pfsadfsfjaklhsadf, (absolute gibberish….)

Kind of wanted to start out my email with a more interesting beginning. Hopefully my creation up there is worthy of being interesting......hopefully.

This first week of being 21......Is there an expected feeling that comes with it? Because if there is, mine was back pains and being exhausted every day. I don't know what it was that hit me and my companion, but after every day we would just crash. Being old feels weeeiiirrrddd. Not gonna lie. This year, though, we did things differently. It was actually just me and Elder L. the whole day. The only companionship that also has Saturday as their P-Day are the AP's, but they were out doing something else on Saturday, so we just did our own thing. I told you guys last week that we went to the House of Terror, which is a museum in the same place as where the Nazi's and the Communist's head honcho's were officiated. I don't think I could describe the horror that the Hungarians had to face during those years. The 20th century was a real dark time for the Hungarians, where they were controlled for more than half of the century. I know that there were plenty of other countries that were controlled during the dark ages also, but learning a little more about the pain and anguish that they went through made me recognize how blessed we are and how grateful we should be for what we had and do have. Afterwards we relaxed a little bit because we went to Sport Nap in the morning where we played basketball and volleyball for 2 hours or so. For dinner we had heard that there was a Pizza Hut somewhere in Budapest and we were both craving some real American pizza, so we went out on the hunt for it. It took us a while since the mall that it was in was made ridiculously and Pizza Hut was placed in the most random place of the mall, but we found it and we were both were surprised at what we found. You know at home how Pizza Hut is kind of a whole in the wall, at least in some places, and is usually a place where you order a pizza and then you take it home and rarely is it a dine in place? Yeah, not here in Hungary is it like that. In fact, they made it into an entire restaurant where they sit you down and give you menus. Menus!!! And they had more than just pizza ! There were salads, lasagnas and different kinds of foods. It was crazy! It also was pretty expensive, but it was SOOO worth it! We each got our own pizza and it tasted heavenly! It was a little slice of home. :D 

On Sunday we just had or normal church service and at the end we were talking to a woman and she asked me a few questions about me since I had just gotten here and she asked how old I was and I was like '21, starting today.' She told me if I was joking and I just said 'Nope'. She said, 'My daughter’s birthday is today also! Why don't you and the other missionaries come over to our house tomorrow night and we can celebrate.' 'Uhhhh, ok then.' They were so nice! They made an entire dinner for the missionaries; mind you there were 12 of us, and also cake! I couldn't believe it. I couldn't thank them enough for their kindness. As we were walking out of their house from finishing, my companion and I looked over and we saw that they had a new yellow Camaro in their driveway. But as we looked closer, we come to find that it wasn't just any ordinary Camaro, BUT it was Bumblebee from Transformers! That's right, it transformed and everything in front of us and talked to us through its radio! Ha ha, unfortunately it wasn't THAT Bumblebee, but it was a make from the same one from the movie and even has the symbol of the Autobots on the side of it. It was awesome! I'll attach some pictures of it for you guys.  I had a really awesome birthday. Filled with fun, excitement AND amazing food. 
Proof it was really "Bumblebee!"

I don't have too much to write about this week, we have just been preparing to take some of the new missionaries to the bureau here where they can get their temporary visas. So I will be able to see Heather again on Monday and I promise I will get a picture with her. :) We have also been having some small miracles with finding new investigators. This week, even though we haven’t been able to get out of the office a lot to work, we have run into a lot of people who have been interested in the church and we have met with a few of them already and they are wonderful people who have  true intent in discovering the truth. We are excited to meet with them this week and we pray that we can help them in coming closer to Christ. 

Thank you for the packages that you guys sent! I was so surprised when I got the letter one and it had the sheet music for The Prayer in it. Thank you Ashleigh! I'm already trying to find someone who can play it on the piano and maybe someone who can do the woman's part so that I can practice. That was definitely a surprise. Also thank you for the Taco Bell sauce packets and lemonade packets. Also, it was really funny to get Batman and Robin socks. What prompted you to get those? Ha ha, I'm definitely going to be wearing them around the apartment when it starts to get cold.

For some questions that you guys have, we do have a car that we can use. It's technically the office's car and the office couple has first dibs on it before we do, but if they aren't using it, then we are allowed to use it. So, in answer to your question if we have a car, it's a yes and a no. But at least we can use it, right? They are already working on getting me an International Permit so I don't need to get one sent to me. I should be getting it in a few days, then I will be able to drive in Budapest. That will sure be an adventure. These streets are crazy! Tell Sarah Croft (Nightingale. Weird that she's now married by the way!) that I say congratulations! 

Alrighty, that’s all I got for this week! Next week we will be in July AND Independence Day! Tell me all about that and you guys did for it. We have some ideas for what we want to do for the P-Day that weekend, so we'll see how that plays out. I love you all and don't forget to say your prayers this week! 

Sok szeretettel, (Lots of Love)
Magda Elder

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Birthday Week!

Magda Elder in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall

June 22, 2013
To One and For All,

First things first. 

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday deeeeaaaaaarrrr Alishaaaaaaaa (last letter sung on a high note) Haaaapppppyy you. Holy cow Alisha you're 17!! My woooorrrrrdddd that is crazy. This whole time thingy is really going by fast. You'll have to tell me next week how your birthday was and what you did. I wanna know! Fill me in on the details! I hope that your 17th birthday was awesome and, just think, next year I'll be home for your next one! Boom baby! By the way................Happy birthday (said in the Neville voice). :D 

Ok, now on to what's been happening here in this lovely Mission Office that is air conditioned. I'm not going to lie, it's probably the best part about being a secretary. Not saying that the other perks that come with it are bad, but it's definitely up there. The weather here has definitely turned itself around since the last storm that I told you about. It's ridiculously hot! Do you remember last year, all those emails I would send you telling you how hot it got? Well, it's back just like before. And for until Thursday there was no air conditioning in the Mission Office. It was a nightmare! We would come in and it felt like we were walking in to a big thick wall of utter heat! But now it's like heaven in here and we are certainly enjoying the time we have here in the office. SO, to answer some questions that you guys have, do I go out and proselyte? Yes. The office is open from 8:30 to 5-5:30 and there always has to be someone in the office during that time. In the office there are us, the elder secretary's, the Carpenters, who are the office couple, and president. The cool thing is that president has given us permission to leave the office around 3 o'clock so that we can go out and proselyte at least for some part of the day so that we can get some missionary work in. Sometimes we stay longer depending on how much office work we have to get in, but most of the time we can leave a little early and go out and work. And to another question, so far only elders are the only missionaries that can be secretaries. I've heard rumors that sisters may be able to become secretaries, but, those are only rumors. I am actually the guy who is in charge of mail. So, I will be the first one to get whatever you guys send me! Kewl, huh? The things that my position is in charge of, if I haven’t already said this last week, is that I make all of the temporary visas for the new elders and sisters that are coming into the country. For example, I have been working on Heather's visa packet so that she can be a legal person in the country. It's intense stuff! If ever I am to get a secretary job back at home, I will definitely have a little bit of experience. 

Speaking about Heather, she is finally here! It has been the kewlest reunion. I was able to get permission from president to give her a hug and when she walked into the mission home, both our faces lit up and we gave each other a huge hug. It was so kewl! Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture of such a moment, but I promise that the next time I see her I will get one for you all. So her first day she was introduced to the Mission Home and she was taken with her group by the Assistants to see Gellért Hegy and Heroes Square. 
The next day she received her trainer, who is Sister Perkins! Do you remember her? She was a greeny in Pest when I was there in my 3rd. And now she's training! I'm getting so old in the mission! It's crazy! She will be serving in Debrecen, which is in the East of Hungary and is the second biggest city. I've only heard good things about it and I know for sure that she will love it. Two funny things that happened that day: First, before the new missionaries received their trainers, they were able to rest for a little bit while their trainers were being debriefed and their new roles as trainers. The elders in Heather's group were really chatty and we were able to talk to them for quite a while and get to know them. But Heather and the other two sisters from her group took a room, closed the door, laid down for a nap and they were OUT. Ha ha, they were absolutely exhausted with the jet lag and all. They slept for at least an hour and when president called them in to be given their new trainers, Heather walked out with her hair lookin’ all crazy and I told her 'Well don't you look perky' and she replied with 'Shhhhhh. Use your quiet voice. I'm still recovering.' She is still Heather, ha ha. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have her here. She's going to be tremendous. Oh, the second funny thing that happened. This one is for Ashleigh. Do you remember the EFY we went to in Logan, Utah? Do you remember the red haired guy? Guess what, he's serving here, too! He is in Heather's group and when I saw him I kept scratching my head trying to figure out where I know him from. I finally started asking him a few questions and he said that he was from Brigham City which led us to remembering that we were both at the same EFY and then I asked him if he knew you and he was like 'Yeah I do! You're her brother?' Small world, right? He is actually being trained by Elder Becker, my first junior companion. 

Lots of fun things are happening here in the beautiful country of Hungary. I actually have a really awesome story about a guy we found on Thursday. Elder Loveday and I had been streeting for a little bit and we had had no real success. We talked to a few people, but no one really wanted to give us their number or set up with us. After streeting for a while we headed back to the branch house for a program. I felt kind of bummed, because I had prayed that morning asking Heavenly Father to help us find one person that we could teach that day and I was really diligent in looking for someone new while we were streeting, but with no success. We got to the branch house and waited for our program when we got a call from them saying that they weren't going to be able to make it today: another little downer on our parade. But we figured that we could use that time to go out and find. As we were walking out the door of the branch house, a guy, around mid 20's, came up to us and said that he heard that there was an English class that we held and he wanted to know if he could join today. We told him that we did have one, but this week there would be a break. He immediately asked if he could meet with us personally and we responded with 'of course!' So we helped him with English for about a half hour and then we started talking to him a little bit about the Gospel. He said that he had heard about us and that he was interested in learning more about us and what we believe in. Throughout the whole program I could feel the Spirit confirming to me that this was the guy that the Lord had prepared for us and was the answer to my prayer. It was incredible! Also in bearing testimony of the Gospel, I felt the Spirit bear witness through me of the truthfulness of the Gospel. We were able to set up with him again for next week and both Elder Loveday and I were filled! We both knew that this was no coincidence. Prayer truly does work! The Lord does answer our prayers, even if we may see the request to be lofty. He has told us numerous amounts of times that all we have to do is ask in faith with sincerity of heart and he will answer. It's real! 

Alrighty, I am off to go do some fun! Thank you for the birthday wishes! This old man here is going out to play some basketball and probably break some sort of bone because of how old and frail I am (Don't worry mom, I won't break anything, I was just kidding :P). 

I love you all! And tell the puppies that I love them too! 

a legkirályabb/legtök jóbb  (The coolest/the rightest)
Magda Elder 

Hey, so we just got back from going to a museum here in Budapest called the House of Terror, which is a museum about Hungary during the Nazi and Communist reign. It was frightening! To learn and see some of the things that happened during the reign of these two totalitarian governments was quite the scare. But while I was there I got to take a few pictures of me in front of a chunk of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. 

Magda Elder and the Iron Curtain

Monday, June 17, 2013


Elder Magda next to a Legit Knight!

June 15, 2013
Dear All You Peoples Out There,

So, I know this is probably a surprise to you all that you are getting this on Saturday rather than on Monday. Well do I have a surprise for all of you! 

Transfers have come early for me and it is quite an interesting transfer indeed. But first things first, what's happening to my companion. I don't know if I mentioned this in any of my emails, but my companion, Elder Ch, has been dealing with some health issues throughout his mission and recently it's not been doing so well and President Smith and he talked about the situation and he is actually being sent home to America today. Whaaaaattttt?!?!? I know!! It's crazy! But he is taking it really well. He has served for a year and a half and has done a great job while here and it's been awesome to serve with him for his last two transfers. We got the call on Thursday evening and we were told that we were supposed to come up on Friday. Then, while on the phone with President, Elder Ch hands the phone to me and tells me the president wanted to ask me something. 'Elder Magda, how are you doing?' 'Doing well President, how can I help you.' 'Well your companion is going to be coming up to Budapest tomorrow and you will need to come with him.' 'Well he is my companion for the time being so I certainly will be coming up.' 'That's great, but we are also going to ask you to pack your bags to, but you aren't going home *chuckles*. We actually would like you to be Secretary in the Mission Office. Would you accept this calling?' Of course I said yes, but I was totally not expecting to get the transfer call to secretary! This is crazy!! I am serving in Budapest again! The only difference is that I am on the Buda side this time. But the cool fact is that last year, exactly a year ago to be precise, I started my mission in Hungary in Pest and now I am back and am on the Buda side this time. Whhhaaaatt!!! So I am going to be able to be here for some awesome stuff for the 2nd time. 
The writing here roughly translates to "eternal companion."  They thought this was so funny!

Going off that, can you believe that it has been a year since I've been in the country? It's hard for me to believe that I have lived in a foreign country for a year now. Aaaannnnnddddd, guess what else! Someone is coming into the mission in a matter of 3 days. That's right; Heather Magda is going to be here! Can you believe that it has finally been 7 months and now she is here! It's going to be such an awesome reunion, and it is perfect timing for me to go secretary because I'll get to be here when she comes in! Woooo hoooo! Who has two thumbs up and is stoked to see his aunt come into the mission? *Pointing to myself* this guy right here! I'll let you in on the reunion next week. Aannnnddddd, guess who is going to be turning 21 and becoming an old fart in 8 days. *Pointing to myself* this guy! I'm getting old!! This is crazy shinaniganness! I'm going to be looking for my first grey hair soon. I'll let you know if my search is successful or not. :P

Alrighty, so being secretary my p-days are now on Saturday's instead of Monday's because office hours are Monday through Friday. Sooooo if anyone wants to write me an email, don't forget that Saturday's are when I get them. I can't tell you all of what I'm going to be doing because I have yet to be trained by the previous missionary who was in my secretary position, but he will be training me for the next few days and getting me used to what I will be doing. Oh, if any of you are confused, this is a normal companionship, as in I do have a companion who is also a secretary. My new companion is Elder L, who is actually from the same group as Elder C who was my first companion in Pécs. Right now, all I know is that he is from Colorado and he is a super funny guy and we are both excited for this transfer. 
Elder Loveday with a bow and arrow!
It's sad though. Because we had to pack up and leave for Budapest right away, we were unable to tell the Békéscsaba members our good byes. I loved Békéscsaba and I was really hoping that I could stay there for another transfer and keep things going there. But now I'm here, going from one of the smallest places in the mission to the biggest city. Definitely a change. But it is definitely great to be back in the big city again, not going to lie. I love this place, which is probably because this place was my greeny area.
Well, interesting stuff sure is happening and I'll be sure to let you know what happens being a secretary. Hope you have a good week!
Love you all!
This is the Duna River that separates Budapest into "Buda" and "Pest"  

Magda Elder

Last week, Blake talked about all of the rain that had fallen in Budapest and Germany. The Duna River picture shows the water level at 10-15 meters above normal.   He also mentioned getting to go to a party that was close to the Romanian border.  The family that had invited him and his companion drove them to the border to take pictures.  Here they are.
Elder Magda at the Duna River.  Elder Shipp is the photo bomb.

100 meters from the Romanian border

A beautiful morning in Békéscsaba

Monday, June 10, 2013


June 10, 2013
From Hungary to California,

Now do I have a story for all of you. Well, I have a few, but I have one big one that will make you all laugh, gasp, and be amazed with wonder. I'll do my best to make it as close to how it seemed when it happened. 

The day is Friday June 7, 2013. It is a beautiful, hot sunny day without a cloud in the sky. All of us, meaning Békéscsaba Elders, are coming back from Szeged after an awesome District Meeting. We get back to Békéscsaba and we go off to do our own things that we had planned. We went on splits, having me going with Elder R. and Elder B. with my companion, and Elder R. and I went and taught one of their investigators who was preparing to be baptized this Sunday. After our program, we walked out and began to see some clouds coming our way. 'Do you think those clouds will do some serious damage? (as in pouring rain, thunder and lightning and stuff)' I asked Elder R. 'Nah, they don't look too bad. And if it does, it will only be for a short while.' We head back to the branch house where we were going to meet the Elders to get some stuff from them when we hear some thunder from within the clouds that are, now, right above us. When we finally arrive, it begins to rain a little bit. Good timing, right? The other Elders haven’t reached the branch house yet. They were on their bikes coming back from getting dinner and let us know that they were on their way. So we waited, and as we did the rain begins to pick up. Oh and did it pick up, even to the point that the drops that were falling were not your ordinary little drops, but HUGE water droplets. Elder R. and I stood underneath the overhang that leads to the entrance to our branch house watching the storm pick up. Thunder was going off, the wind was billowing and the rain was relentless. 

We began to worry about the other Elders, hoping that they would return in safety. Right as we were talking about them, they came around the corner on their bikes. The only difference about their appearance was that they were COMPLETELY drenched in water. There was not a part of their body that wasn't covered in water. Elder Burch wears glasses and it was hilarious to see them completely fogged up. We all started laughing when we saw them come back, but that stopped after I realized that I needed to go back to my apartment to get something before I headed over to the other Elders house for splits. So they gave us the bikes, wished us good luck and were off. 

No joke, all of the streets were flooded in some way or another. One of them, which we went through, was entirely covered in water! We rode through it and water just sprayed upwards all over us and we could not avoid it accept by jumping off our bikes and falling into the puddle of water below. Going home and back was the most hilarious thing! I think I laughed the whole way because I could barely see with the rain hitting me in the eyes the whole time AND because it was ridiculous how it was raining downwards, and at the same time there was water coming upwards from the ground while we were riding our bikes, so I was literally trapped by water. When we returned home, by the way we dropped by a little corner shop to get bake at home pizzas for dinner that we also used as little umbrellas over our heads as we rode home, we were soaked from head to foot. IT was incredible! Even the clothes I had in my backpack that I took with me were wet, so I had to use some of the other stuff that they had at the house. It was SUCH a fun day, even though it made us soaking wet. 

I don't know if you have heard, but Europe, apparently, has been going through some serious flooding, specifically in Germany. I've been hearing all over the place that Germany is having some major flooding problems. The Duna river in Budapest has also been flooding the streets in Budapest pretty badly also. The Sisters and Elders this past week that are there helped sand bag the place for hours. It's quite interesting how in California you all are going through a drought and here it's quite the opposite.  

So that was the main story that I had for this week for you guys. Other things that happened, we had a baptism for the Elders’ investigator that we held in Szeged with another baptism with the Szeged Elders investigator. It was definitely a great experience. The funny thing about this baptism though was that it was actually held at a Seventh Day Adventist church. They couldn't find a pool or place that would allow us to do it, but the Seventh Day Adventists were kind enough to let us use their font that they had. It was wonderful and we are so grateful for their kindness in letting us use their font. 

We also had two parties on Saturday that we were invited to by investigators, where also we were fed enormous amounts of food. It was unbelievable how much food there was at both places. It was so nice of them to have us over and prepare all of the food that they made, but afterwards my companion and I were walking home moaning because of how much food we had eaten. But, how can we complain, we're missionaries, and feeding programs are the best. :)

Sounds like you all had an awesome week as well. It's so weird to think that TNT is still going. It's another thing that reminds me that things back at home are still going even though I'm away. I'll definitely be seeing them when I get back home next year. That will be awesome! Ashleigh has glasses again! That's way cool! Well, not cool about the fact that you need them but cool because I think they look cool. Plus I'll probably need to get some when I come home, so we can all have glasses! Cool, huh?

Well, that's all for me. I hope you all have a wonderful week and, for a note this week, don't forget to say your nightly prayers! You will be amazed with how much they change your life around if you give at least a few minutes a night by speaking with Heavenly Father. 

Sok Szeretettel,
Magda Elder