Sunday, July 7, 2013

Freedom and Liberty

July 6, 2013
Magda Elder and Magda Nover in Budapest
Merry Independence Day!

Ha ha, funny random thing to start this letter off with. In English, we wish someone a 'Merry' Christmas, right? Well in Hungarian it's 'Boldog Kar√°csonyt', which is, translated, 'Happy' Christmas.  I know this is 6 months after Christmas, but one day last year Christmas time, we were finishing English Class and everyone was going home, but as they were leaving, all of them said to us 'Happy Christmas!' and my companion and I were holding back laughs! I don't know why it was so dang funny, but we couldn't help but laugh after everyone left. Just a random thought for the week. 

Well it sure sounds like you had an interesting 4th of July. Trust me; ours wasn't too exciting, at least on an American patriotism level. Want to know what we did? Office work from 8:30 till 4 then we had a program with a less active member, then English class then a program with an investigator afterwards.  But even though we didn't really celebrate Independence Day like we would have at home, being able to meet with people and teaching them the Gospel or helping them come closer to feeling the Spirit and to the presence of God also brightens the definition of liberty and freedom. It makes me think how we are helping these people from wickedness and sin. Not saying that the people that we meet with are terrible sinners or wicked men, but that the grasp of the Adversary is weakened and, eventually, broken. This is the purpose of the Gospel of Christ, to free us from sin and from the bonds of slavery. I remember in TJYC we wrote an essay on the Chains of Slavery and through the discussions that we had in class and the final essay that I wrote, my paradigm of what bondage is, spiritual bondage, has been shifted. I am here freeing people! Loosening their chains and helping them get back up on their feet and remain in liberty! I am so grateful to be a part of this work and to be a liberator, so to say, for the amount of time that I have hear. 

Another thing that I would like to encourage all of you to think about is how great a blessing it is to live in a land that is free. Whether it be in America, Hungary or any other country that is free. It is something that is kind of missed or forgotten for a holiday that is about a country becoming free. We are distracted by fireworks, food, friends, etc., but I hope that you all remember the true meaning of Independence Day. Always, Ether 2:12 comes to mind when Independence Day comes around, 'Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ.' President Gordon B. Hinckley adds to this scripture with his own words his appreciation and love for this country: 'I love America for her great and brawny strength; I love her for her generous heart. I love her for her tremendous spiritual strengths. She is unique among the nations of the earth--in her discovery, in her birth as a nation, in the amalgamation of the races that have come to her shores, in the strength of her government, in the goodness of her people. God bless America, for she is His creation.' 
Elder Magda found a bit of California in Hungary!
 What an extraordinary country! And what makes it extraordinary is the people that make it, along with God being its Creator. But we cannot forget that the longevity of America and what it is known for is because of 'the goodness of her people' and 'of her generous heart'. That comes from us! We must be those people that make America what it is and be good and loving towards all people and have a generous heart. 

Anyways, that's my spiel. Today we are actually going to celebrate the 4th by hanging out with the AP's and having a BBQ because they have a mini grill and we'll be making hamburgers, hot dogs and have some chips and dip and play games. By the way, did I tell you guys that I like hot dogs now? Well, if I didn't, then, surprise!!! I like them now. :D 

I'm glad to hear about the story you guys had with finding the dentist and everything. What an amazing thing prayer is! I can't tell you how prayer is such a miraculous tool in our lives. In fact, in my daily quote book by Gordon B. Hinckley, for July 3 the quote that they had for the day was: 'Believe in the power of prayer. Believe in getting on your knees every morning and every night and talking with your Father in Heaven concerning the feelings of your hearts, and the desires of your minds in righteousness. There is no power upon the earth like the power of prayer.' And that is just my message for you this week, as it normally is. Don't forget to say your prayers this week! Follow the teaching of the prophet! It truly is a wonderful gift. 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week this week look for those blessings! They are everywhere!

Magda Elder

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