Monday, November 25, 2013

The Cold is Coming On

November 25, 2013
'What is this?!?! A center for ants?!?!? This needs to least......10 times bigger than this!' 

'Uh, sir, my fingers hurt.' 'What's that? Well now your backs gonna hurt because you just pullled landscaping duty.'  

Hint, these quotes all come from one actor. Hopefully that helps. :) 

It's a Good Read!

Greetings and Salutations!

Alrighty all, this one may be short, but I'll include some pictures to make up for the shortness of it. We had an interesting week this week. We had programs, but most of them all decided to cancel a few minutes before the program or just straight up dog us. The first few we let slide, thinking that there wouldn't be any more of them for the rest of the week. But, to our sadness, the cancels just kept on coming. There were times were we felt to tell the person that canceled 'No! You're not allowed to cancel on us!' Ha ha, but we were able to enjoy the week still, even though it meant us having extra time finding. We walk so much! Our bikes have been broken for the past few weeks (due to our laziness of going to the bike shop and getting them fixed) so we have had to walk all over the place to go from place to place and we have come back every night slowly taking off our shoes so that they won't fall off. 
Oh the exhaustion!  Oh the DRAMA!

Also, the cold is coming in, which is just wonderful for missionaries. Snow hasn't come yet, but it's been raining quite a bit and it just makes the days seem more miserable than they really are. They also make us so much sleepier. Several times we would be having lunch and just want to curl back up in bed and just fall asleep and hibernate for the next few days, but we've been fighting it. Hopefully we'll stay triumphant, ha ha. :P 
That dazed look you get after a long day.

But this week wasn't too bad because we had some awesome programs with our progressing investigators. I love every single one of them and I look forward to each program with them. They are such incredible people and they all have a real desire to keep the commitments that we give them. For example, we just met with one of the couples that we are meeting with this morning and they were curious about my little lapel pin that I had on my suit that mom sent me a last week that had the Army of Helaman on it and they asked if they could read the story from the Book of Mormon about the 2000 Stripling Warriors.  So when we met with them today they said 'Oh, we read that chapter that you had us read and we liked it!' They're such a kewl couple and they love it every time we come over and meet with them. Today we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we gave them the commitment to ponder and pray about being baptized, to which they responded with 'We definitely want to pray about it.' Such an amazing couple. We also have other people that we have been meeting with, one being a 19 year old boy who we found streeting and has been open to everything that we have been teaching him. He has been reading from the Book of Mormon and loves it. He is just like a spiritual sponge and he even said in our prayer with him last week that he hopes to meet with us continually! It has been incredible to see the change and impact that the Gospel and Book of Mormon have on the people that we meet. I love them all! They are such great people and we are praying for them continually that they will continue to progress as well as they are. 
Autumn day in Eger

I apologize for opening up the wrapped gifts that were in the package. I didn't think that they were also included in the 'Don't open till Christmas' deal. I just thought 'Oh, how cute, mom wrapped stuff up. That's totally something mom would do.' I also didn't think I would get that package as soon as I did. It was just a coincidence that President Smith came down last weekend for the Branch Conference that we were having and brought with him all the mail for the city. I still have that little envelope that I have yet to open, so that will be my surprise for Christmas, along with Skyping you all. :) This, by the way, is crazy because it will be my last Skype! Weird, huh? And also, on Black Friday it will have been 2 years since I've had my mission call. Krazy! Time flies when you’re a missionary, more so if fun is included in it. 

Alrighty, now I'll answer some of the questions that have been requested. 

1. Hungarian Holiday Dish: Well there is a nasty pig jello called 'Korcsonya' (I believe that's how it's spelled, not sure). Weird fact is a lot of Hungarians like it. When I first heard about it, I was kind of disappointed with the decision that Hungary made of making that even a dish to eat. Just imagine it! Don't try too hard though, it may not be pretty.

2. Hungarians don't really decorate their houses. A good portion of the country is 5/10 story apartment buildings, so they really don't have much to decorate. But there are some people that are determined to do so, which is always nice to see the inner holiday spirit of the people. Usually the mall is pretty decorated. 

3. Oh do they have pets, especially dogs. My word Hungarians love their dogs. I'm pretty sure people take their dogs out on walks 3-4 times a day, because I swear I have seen the same person out with their dog at about 1-2 o'clock in the day and then around 6-7 coming back see them again out walking their dog. Sometimes they even walk their cats! No joke! The next time I see it, I'll try to sneak a picture. Funniest thing, ha ha! 

4. I guess the strangest encounter I've had is just tabling in Békéscsaba with Elder Channell and just watching people and then feeling something hit my leg, then looking down and seeing that a bird had just taken a crap on me. I think the worst part of that though was looking up and seeing the bird still up in the tree and just staring at me. I don't know what I must have done to make him mad at me, but I'm pretty sure it was an intentional shot. Birds...........

5. Dating is somewhat interesting here. It is similar in that fact that the just hang out with their date instead of going on an actual date. They also start dating, almost all the youth, around 12, sometimes even younger. Interesting culture. 

6. I would say that Grandparents normally live with the extended family, at least from what I've seen, or they just live by themselves. I've run into some really old couples where they probably should be in a retirement home, but they'd rather just be in their own apartment. Interesting, but, I guess if that's what you want, go with it. 
Basilica in Eger

Hopefully you enjoyed this week’s edition of 'Gettin Hungary with Elder Magda'. I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving! (Which, by the way, here we will probably be having dinner with the senior couple here in Eger) Enjoy the holidays and have a couple of homemade rolls in my name!

Sok Szeretettel,
Magda Elder

Monday, November 18, 2013

This Week Has Skyrocketed to AWESOMENESS!

November 18, 2013
“Yeah, how bout you tell them about operation.....Ku-sum-wii”

I hope someone figures out where this quote comes from. Because if you do... :)

Greetings one and all!
My little Spartan
Basically this week has just sky rocketed to absolutely awesomeness! I don't even know where to begin! Let’s start with my new companion, because he deserves it. 

Elder Gaytán. Nuff said....Ok, I guess I'll add some more info in there. He hails from the land of Mesa, Arizona and he is a member of the 'Old Guard' as mom puts it, being that he came on his mission when he was 19. He was actually in the same group as Heather in the MTC. He says one of the main things that he remembers about her is that she said that she has a battle axe at home. Yup, that's her for sure! Get this though, he has 7 siblings. Why is it that I get all the people who have like a billion siblings?!?! Every time we meet with a new investigator I'll be like 'Oh, I only have 2 sisters' with a nice reply 'That's nice. And how bout you? How many do you have?' 'Oh, have 7' And they flip out and just adore him! Ha ha, it doesn't bother me, but I just find it funny how I always end up with the big familied companion. Other things about him: He's half Mexican, half Portuguese; he wants to be a journalist or business man when he goes home; he's a movie quoting machine, which is sad for me cause I was usually better than all my other companions at it; he also played rugby in high school, and we both are having the time of our lives right now. My goodness I have not laughed so hard in so long! I don't know what it is, but we laugh at the smallest and dumbest things and there have been times where I can hardly breathe, ha ha! It's been so great. 

Next off, one of our investigators was baptized this weekend and I had the privilege of baptizing and confirming her. It was such an awesome experience! Plus she was totally ready and prepared for it. She was found in July and has been progressing super well ever since then. She loves the Book of Mormon and she has said that she has seen how much of change the Gospel has made on her life and how she is grateful for the missionaries in tracting into her and sharing the gospel. There was a point when we gave her a priesthood blessing to help her in giving up coffee and she had me give it and afterwards she said that she felt super warm inside and that she could certainly feel the Spirit in the room and the next time we met with her she had been doing a lot better with coffee and hadn't been drinking.
Baptism Day in Eger
Then at the baptism she was so happy and afterwards I could only see strength and happiness radiate from her. And when I gave her the Gift of the Holy Ghost I just allowed my mind to be open to the Spirit and just said whatever I felt was right and afterwards she shook my hand and told me that it was exactly what she needed to hear. I didn't think anything of it, but I know that I was speaking that I felt a warmth throughout my body and I knew that what I was saying was right, or that it was according to the Spirit. This weekend has been a spiritual high and I am absolutely blessed to have been able to be a part of teaching such a tremendous person. Already she is going to be a great strength to the branch and in blessing other people’s lives. I am excited to see the Lord bless her and her family’s life.

Lastly, I would like to thank you guys for the package that you sent me. It came in so fast! I didn't expect to get it so fast! President attended our baptism on Saturday and brought the mail with him and told me 'Well, I have a nice package for you in the back of my car.' Totally caught me off guard, but I was super excited after I opened it and found all of the goodies that were in it. (Ok, little mom note here:  I wrapped these things in CHRISTMAS PAPER hoping he would get the hint and open it on CHRISTMAS!!!!  nope)  My companion too was excited since you had stuff for him. He says that he loved it and the hats were genius, thank you so much! We had some fun taking pictures that night, so I'll include some pictures of our night of fun with the elf hats.
Christmas Elves waitng with awe and wonder for Santa.

I also want to thank you for the Springbok Scarf!!! OH MY WORD I was so stoked to get that! It's amazingly nice and I cannot explain to you the biggest grin that I had when I saw it. Was that from dad? Please tell him I love it so much and I'm looking forward to wearing it with my jersey the next time we watch a Springboks match. Plus, my companion is a rugby player and was super surprised when he saw that I was a Bokas fan. Thank you so much you guys! I loved it so much—especially the candy and peanut butter. Thank you, Sister Marshall for putting those in the package. :D BTW, the little envelope that says 'Don't open till Christmas' has been really tempting me. I'm going to wait till Christmas, but it definitely tempting to open, ha ha. 
A nice, normal picture of Elder Magda and the Springbok scarf.

....and this is the REAL Elder Magda!
To answer some questions—one of the weirdest things that someone has said to me as we were at their door? Ha ha, I think my favorite would be that I asked this guy the question 'If you could ask God one question, what would that be?' and the guy said 'What is your favorite ice cream flavor?' Ha ha ha, I just busted up laughing inside! I don't know if I would say that is weird, but it was sure funny to hear. I would like to know that answer to that question too! It's just not the most important one to be asking right now ha ha. Your next question was ‘What is considered a large family in Hungary?’ A large family I would say is having 3-4 kids. It's hard for them to imagine having more than that. ‘Do many people in Hungary speak English?’ Most people can speak a tad bit of English, or at least the basics. But it's rare to run into someone that is pretty fluent, or at least here in Eger. 

Alrighty ya'll, this week has been great with a wonderful Spirit and we are looking forward to our first full week together workin' hard! I will send letters out! I promise! I'm already trying to make up from my terribleness in the past! Don't hate me, ok! :P

I love you all! Be strong and of good courage! 

Magda Elder

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Church is True, The Book is Blue, and I am Elder Magda!

November 12, 2013
And thus it begins, 

A new dawn, a new era is born. But, before I even go into my news and story, let me start off with something important. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FROM ALL OF ME TO YOU! I WISH IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY, SO I CAN PARTY TOO, HEY!  I couldn't remember the last part, so hopefully that makes sense also, ha ha. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHLEIGH!!! I hope you don't think I forgot, because I didn't! I was thinking of including it in my email last week, but it would have been a week early and so I decided to do it today. I know that it's technically a day late, but I was definitely thinking about you yesterday. In fact, we had cleaning inspections by the senior couple here yesterday and told them 'Guess what! My sister is 20 today!' Random for them, but I needed to say it because It still is shocking to think that you're 20. Goodness gracious time is flying! I hope you had a great birthday and next year I will be home to celebrate it with you. :) 
P-day Shenanigans!  Playing "Settlers of Catan"

In relation to transfers, there has been a change. For my companion, he is leaving and going to Szolnok to be with Elder Shuck, who is technically my son because I'm his mom. He's sad to be leaving Eger because this is his first area and he has done a lot here, but he is excited also to be going to a new area and working there. I am staying, on the other hand, and I'm getting an elder that I have wanted to serve with ever since he came into the mission. Elder Gaytán!!! You have no idea how stoked I am to be getting him! He is actually in the same group as Heather. He was the first group that I took to the Bureau as a secretary. That's where we had a bro bonding session and we both said that it would be a miracle if both of us would serve together in the future. And look what's happenin!!! Ahhh man, I can't even begin to explain how awesome it's going to be, also I don't have very much time to either unfortunately. But, just in short, we're going to love it!

So this week has been one of the most fulfilling weeks of my entire mission. I never expected to have such a week as I had in my entire mission! I knew that when I came here that I could have one of those missions where work is slim and I will have to be working and finding all the time and still may get nothing. And I know that there are those missionaries that have missions like that in this mission and around the world. I was willing to accept a mission that could be rough at times. But this week showed me that there really are people out there, prepared and are waiting to hear the message. We have found so many people these last few weeks and this week was chalked full of work! We have amazing progressing investigators and have also been finding couples, youth and families that are open to hear the gospel!! I have gone my whole mission having maybe one of those in a matter of 3-4 transfers! And this week I think I may have beaten all of that! This week we were able to meet with one of our investigators who we were only planning on giving him a small baptism challenge and to just think about him being baptized and to pray about it. But, we were inspired to give him 2 Nephi 31 the program before and when we met with him this week he opened up to us and said that he was baptized as a little baby and he didn't even ask to and doesn't even know what it meant to him and he asked if it was possible to be baptized again. We were shocked! Astounded! We discussed with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end, with awesome questions and promptings, I felt that we should give him a date for January 4th, and he smiled and willingly accepted it! And then at the end of the program he said the closing prayer, which he hasn't done yet!! The room was filled with the spirit! It was incredible! And it was such a beautiful experience for both me and Elder Shoop. It was such a blessing to just be in that room and to feel the warmth and power of the Holy Ghost. I cannot deny what I felt in that room. It was, for a fact, there. There were more programs this week where both my companion have been asked something or as we were teaching, something came to our minds and we acted upon it. It is marvelous how the Spirit works! It is magnificent! I just love my mission, and I can't wait to see what is in store for us. 

Well, my time is running short, but I will answer the questions that you asked me and send you some pictures to make up for the lack of meat in my email. :)

1. To prospective missionaries, all I have to say to you to prepare you for your future mission is choose now to love your mission, even before you set foot into the MTC, or even before you get your call, love it! And that love will grow even greater as you are where you are to serve. And start working now! Don't think you have to wait till you are there and have a tag on. I have seen the fruits of the Gospel blessing the lives of my friends and loved ones as I shared the Gospel before I started my mission, and it was such a great preparation. Start now! Ne halógass! (Do not delay!)

2. If there was something more I wish I had done, it would have been to really read PMG. (Preach My Gospel) I just skimmed it when I was at home and really didn't take head of the stuff that was in there, but it would have meant so much more to me if I had done that more and had set the time to read that along with my scripture study. 

3. Ok, funniest thing was last week Monday. As a missionary, P-days are your greatest friends. They just make you feel relaxed, you get to email and have a little fun to prepare you for the week. This past p-day we had some programs that were kind of far from each other, so we used our bikes (cause we normally walk) to get from place to place. We had everything timed really well, and we were heading to our first program and I looked at my watch and thought to myself 'Alright, everything is going well, if we do this right, p day is going to be awesome.' Seconds after I thought that, I hear my name 'MAGDA!' from my companion behind me on his bike. Fear struck my spine, because I knew that it wasn't a good 'MAGDA!' but one of destruction of a P-day. I looked back and he looked at me and said' My tire blew'. My heart sunk so fast! Ha ha, just at the thought of our whole day being shot! It was like when He said my name, a clay pigeon was flung into the air, and when he said 'My tire blew' the shooter pulled the trigger and blasted the clay pigeon into bits. For the first few moments I was just like 'WHHHHHYYYYY?!?!' But after a few minutes, we just looked back and laughed. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. It did kind of take a lot of our p-day away, but we still made it good. But I think that was one of the more funny things that happened to us this week. 
Ok, the Landlord came to put in the shower holder and we thought what he meant by that was it would be up top like you normally see in america where the water comes down on top of you. Well, when he meant holder, he certainly meant a holder because he put it down WAY low and it just did not make sense. So I had to take a picture of it.

4.  I still have to say eating brain is the craziest thing I have eaten thus far. That is still super gross! BLECH! Hopefully that never happens again. Thanks Békéscsaba! 
A food staple

Gospel is true, the Book is Blue, and my name is Magda Elder signing out saying 'Hallo!'

Magda Elder