Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Zone Conference in Budapest

December 17, 2013
Greetings Friends and Family,

Alright Ya'll, here's another one for you this week! 

'Alright boys! Get ready to reap the fruits of our labors!'
'Roy, we just blew the crap out of our fruits!' 

'What I just say?'
'You just told them to take out their samurai swords and shave their butts!
'I said that?!?!'

These quotes are from different movies. Let's see if you can figure out where they're from! :D  (Blake’s mom thinks it’s funny that since they can’t watch movies they entertain themselves by quoting them.)

Alright, for this week all start off with some of the things that happened, and then answer your questions. I have a bit to say :) 
Friends from the Eger Branch

Yesterday we had a Christmas Zone Conference in Budapest like we did last year. We had some talks, trainings, lunch, games and carols that we sang also. It was really fun! I enjoyed this year’s conference a lot, especially some of the talks that were given. One of the ones I enjoyed was our Zone Leaders training. They talked about two of the Christ Like attributes from PMG (Preach My Gospel.  It’s the manual they use), which were humility and knowledge. We talked about how humility and knowledge are inter-twined and that both were needed in order for them to be developed. Teachability is how we can gain knowledge,  and was one of the things that we talked about. Also, I was able to bring up ethos-pathos-logos during the training (probably one of the favorite things that I can remember from studying back at home). It was such a spiritual feast for me! I loved being able to gain such knowledge from it. 

The Sister Training Leaders also gave a good training on faith and patience and how they are inter-connected as well. It was really kewl how they explained it. They had my companion stand up in front of everyone and had him stick his arms out for 20 minutes and explain that at the end he will get something. At first he was like 'Alright, I got this! This is easy!' But after 5-10 minutes his arms started to fall and get heavy. The sisters then sent some elders to help him for a minute or so, and then had them leave. Then, we started talking about how we can ask for help and strength during the trial of our faith. Finally he was able to last through it all, with a lot of struggles, and completed the challenge! I don't know if he thought anything of it, but I really got a lot out of it. Because sometimes when we start something, for example a mission, we may be super excited for it at the beginning. We're pumped and we tell God 'I can do this. No worries, I can handle it.' But as we start it and go into it, there may be some point, whether it be at the very start, or the middle or towards the end, there will be trials or struggles, and sometimes we start to lose our strength; we doubt, fear and panic that it's all over and that we can't bear it.

Sometimes, though, the Lord sends us helpers, even when we don't ask for it, to show us the way or to guide us towards that knowledge that we can do it. Or, even better yet, they help us to realize that we should be humble and ask for help. It is then, when we get on our knees and pray for strength and guidance that we are blessed with the power that we need to overcome the trial, and push through. It may not be the strength that we were looking for, but it will be enough in the sight of God so that we can master ourselves and increase our faith and patience. This mission is blasted hard. It is overwhelming at times in many different aspects! But how I have learned to humble myself; to become teachable, and know that the Lord is shaping me and that if I ask with faith then the Lord will lovingly be there by my side.  And so it goes for any trial/challenge/calling/job/obstacle that we, either take upon us or are given. I've learned so much in relation to this while I've been here, and I'm sure that I will have even more to learn when I am at home, but I am so glad that I have a knowledge of it; Our Heavenly Father does love is, sincerely and with all of His heart. I hope that all of you know that. 

Ok then, now for some of the questions that were put up

1.       Who was the youngest person you taught/or talked to about the gospel?
The Youngest person I taught was 8 years old. In Pécs we were re-activating a mother who also had 2 younger daughters that had not been baptized yet. She asked that we teach them and, hopefully, baptize them, which we did. Probably one of the most incredible things ever. Elder Christensen and I learned a lot when we were teaching them. We learned how to teach the Gospel to younger children and also gave us a simpler mind of how the Gospel works and how it should be taught. It kind of gave us a perspective of how Christ would have taught it, since he did say that it is meant to be taught simply. I loved those little girls. I hope they are doing ok and still strong. 

2.  Who was the oldest?
The Oldest.....that's probably a tougher one. I've taught many older people a first lesson but never went to go back because they were never really interested. But there is an older man here that we have been meeting with. I think he's somewhere in his late 60's or early 70's. He's a swell guy, loves the Book of Mormon and has already finished it; we have just been working with him on how to apply the doctrine of what he's read into his life. 

3.  Do you have washers AND dryers there?  (Or do you have to hang your laundry all over the apartment to dry?)
We do have a washer in our apartment, which is nice not having to go every week and waiting to do our clothes, so we can do it whenever we want. But we don't have a dryers, so we have a drying rack that we have our clothes dry on. It's been like this my entire mission and it's been pretty lame because you don't have that nice soft feeling when clothes come out of the dryer. Probably one of the things that I'm really looking forward too when I come back. 

4. Do they have any unusual wildlife in Hungary (that we don’t see here?)
 Unusual wildlife......hedgehogs? Ha ha, I've seen a few on my mission, but that's really the only different animal that you see sometimes. 

5.  How often to you get to have dinner at member’s houses?
It depends on the city how many times you get fed a week. I think the most that I've been fed a week is....maybe 3-4 times? But it's ok, because it teaches me how to cook and prepare meals for myself. :P 
We ate Hurka this week. Look up what's in it, it'll make you quiver. (Hurka is a well known Hungarian water cooked sausage made originally from organ meats such as pork liver, lungs, head meat, rice and onions. Blood is sometimes added.)

6.  What are some popular European clothing trends that we may not have here? (We’ve noticed the suits are much more tailored.)
I think a popular trend is the haircuts here. Guys have pretty long hair on the top but shaved really thin on the sides. It's pretty funky; I may get it once before I leave to see what it looks like on me. Can't make any promises if it'll look good on me though, ha ha. Speaking of suits, I actually splurged yesterday when I was in Budapest and got myself another suit. I had to! We were there with some of the other missionaries and I saw a super nice blue one that I've always wanted to get and it was on sale for pretty cheap and I just gave in. It looks super nice! Similar to my other one, very European, but it's a tad bit shinier. I'll attach a picture for you guys to see. :)
My new European Suit (steal of a deal!)  What do you think?

7. Do you and your companion have any “games” you play as you go tracting or streeting?
 Right now we don't have any games that we have been playing. I've had in the past tallied how many doors we've had slammed in our face before. Ha ha, that one's always a funny one to tally up. 

Alrighty all, last but not least I'd like to give a shout out to Granny Colleen, being that her birthday was yesterday! Happy birthday!! I hope that South Africa is treating you well. :) Heather informed me that you were there. That must be super nice! And also, good luck to all you folks out there taking their finals. Glad I do not have to do those yet. :P But the day shall come! 

I love you all and I hope that you guys have a wonderful week! :D 

Magda Elder

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