Monday, January 27, 2014

Hooray for Game Night!

January 27, 2014

Ok Alisha, let me tell you what happened after I read that story of yours. While in the middle of reading it, I decided to tell my companion that you actually saw Chris Hemsworth and he was super stoked to hear it.
Then as I read to the end of your story and found out the real story, I , filled with embarrassment, told him what really happened.
He just stared at me like I was some sort of dummy. Ha ha, we just laughed about it. Thanks for the story though! You fooled me. :P I'm a sucker for those, I don't know why. (His sister sent him an email detailing how she and her mom were in Chipotle here in Citrus Heights and ran into the actor, Chris Hemsworth.  The story had SOME truth to it.  Only, the guy was just a look-alike. See the bottom of this post for the tricksy story his sister told. )
By the way, the quote you gave me for this week is from The Office and it's when Michael is speaking to Toby when he says it. I'm pretty sure that's right. I still quote it from time to time.

I really don't know what to so say about this week, I apologize. We've actually been kept really busy with meeting with new investigators and meeting with people. This week we were able to get 6 new investigators! And they are all legit!
Elder Flake and our newest member 
Each of them are interested and are already progressing and keeping their commitments. We should, by the end of next week, have around 18 or so progressing investigators. This city's on fiiirrrreeeee!!!!! We're loving it so much, even more so our investigators.
Having hot chocolate with our investigators 
They are so incredible! We actually put one of our investigators on bap date for March which we are super stoked for! She is really coming along and she is looking forward to it. 
Just can't keep a straight face...

This week we actually went to Budapest again for interviews with our mission president. It was really nice. We talked about how I was doing coming into this last stretch of my mission. We talked about some of the things that I have seen in my progression as a missionary and as myself for when I go home. We talked a lot about the doctrines and principles that I have been able to implement into my life and the teachings that I have been learning as I have been teaching my investigators. We also talked about the work in Eger and how it has been growing. We talked about what could maybe happen to me this last transfer, whether I stay or go to another city for a month before I go home. I'm hoping a stay actually because I would love to be here for some of the baptisms that we may be having these next two months and also I want to stay with these investigators till the end. I am soooo gonna miss teaching people the Gospel! I love it so much! I know I will have opportunities back at home and at church and stuff, but it won't be the same like being here. I'm definitely looking forward to helping the missionaries when I get back home. Hopefully they'll have time for me to work with them here and there. 

For this week I just wanted to share with you what has been starting to grow more and more as the weeks go by here in Eger.....Game night!
For the past few months we have been struggling to find people that have been wanting to come to game night, which is where we play ping pong, puzzles, board games, card games, music and other stuff so our investigators can interact with the members and also with the missionaries more.
Setting up for Game Night
But we've had to kind of shut it down for a while because no one really came. But, as we have been increasingly getting more investigators, especially more youngs ones, we have decided to bring it back and it is a HUGE hit!
Settlers of Catan is a popular game.
We have 7-8 investigators come and a few members with the missionaries and it is an absolute blast! I'm going to share some pictures with you guys so you can enjoy. :) But the main point is that our investigators love going and have so much fun and it has been helping with establishing a good trust and bond with them. :) 
*Sigh*  It was a long turn.

Anyways, that is all I really have for this past week. This upcoming one is going to be super busy though, which we are certainly not mad about. I'd rather be busy than not. I love you all; tell everyone you see that I love them and that I I'm looking forward to seeing them. Just prepare them for the arrival. :) 

Sincerely, a vicces barátod (a funny friend)
Magda Elder

Dear Blake,

Wow!  What a story!  I’m so sorry you lost those keys.  How awful to take a train all of the way up to Budapest and not to find them.  So this week was amazing!!! Last Tuesday mom came home from work and didn’t want to make lunch so guess where she took me??? You guessed it Chipotle!! Do you remember Chipotle? Giant burritos?  Lime tortilla chips?  So very yummy.  So we are waiting in this enormous line of people chatting about movies and which ones we would like to see when mom and I noticed this guy standing in line.  He had a wool coat on and short blond hair.  There was something familiar about the way he was standing.  When he turned his head to the side you could see a slight bit of beard stubble on his face.  Mom went all still and quiet and looked at me with big eyes.  I asked her what was up.  Her eyes got even wider.  She leaned toward me and said….”Mumble, mumble, mumble..”  Well.  That’s all I could hear because the noise in the place was unreal.  You remember how it is.  Stupid racket.  Anyway, Mom had to repeat herself several times before I heard her say, “Alisha, isn’t that Chris Hemsworth?”  Chris Hemsworth?????? 
  I turned back to the front of the line and stared.  We both strained our ears to catch what he was saying to the burrito girl behind the counter.  Again, stupid racket.  Finally, there was a break in the noise and we heard the familiar tone of none other than…….The REAL CHRIS HEMSWORTH!!!!!   Can you believe it????  Mom and I wondered if there was any way we could somehow talk to him.  (We wanted an autograph!)  He ordered kind of a large order and there was one other person between him and us.  The crazy thing was no one else noticed him.  No one seemed star struck at all.  I don’t know what we were thinking.  Was he going to autograph our burrito bowls?  Our chip bag?  Hahahahaha! 

He sat down with a couple of people and mom and I decided to brave it out and sit at a table right next to him.  Mom was totally chicken, so I leaned over and in a joking voice asked if he was Chris Hemsworth.  He laughed in that deep sort of voice and told me to keep it quiet.  Can you believe this?????   Mom and I told him we really enjoyed him in Thor, Avengers, and Red Dawn.  We told him that dad was from South Africa and wondered what he thought of America. After a good half an hour of talking with him, people started to stare. That’s when he said it was time for him to leave before it got too crazy. So we shook hands and got him to autograph a napkin.
That is our big, huge, enormous news for this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J Actually, this didn’t really happen this way.  When he ordered the food we realized he was just a look alike.  Ha Ha!  Our week was really boring so I thought we should spice it up a bit.  Did you like my story?  Did I get ya??????  Love, Alisha

Monday, January 20, 2014

Speaking some mighty fine "Hunglish"

January 20, 2014

Alrighty ladies and gents, be prepared for a new era to begin with Elder Magda and Elder Flake! 

Kewl intro, right? Yeah, I thought so too (not being prideful or anything). 

This week has been an interesting week to say the least. But that's normal for transfer weeks for several reasons: departing from old companions and going with your new one, new area, people going home, new missionaries coming into the field which means you're getting older and older, weather changes from cold to colder, clouds that used to hold in the rain are now just letting it all fall.....there may be more, but that's all that could come to my head. It was kind of a sad thing seeing Elder Gaytán leave because we got a long so well and we're now like best buds (I think......)! Plus we really got the work sky rocketing here and all the investigators we're super bummed to hear that we were being split up. Also, on Sunday he told the branch that he was sure that he would be staying and that he was looking forward to be serving around them for another transfer. But unfortunately that didn't happen. The branch was telling me yesterday 'We thought he was going to stay! He said he felt like he was' Well, that's transfers for yeah. Who can predict them, ha ha. However I have been really enjoying these first few days with Elder Flake. He and I have been getting along super well. He is also from Arizona and was born in the same city as Elder Gaytán. He is 19, just a little youngster, and has 4 younger siblings. He is already rocking the language for his age in the mission and we are already speaking some great Hunglish (English and Hungarian mixed together). Probably one of the greatest creations of all time ha ha. 
Here's a photo of me and my trainer.  "Dad" training his "Son."
I basically have one main story that I want to share with you. It's one of those 'Are you serious?!?!' ones, included with a face palm somewhere in the midst of it. On Wednesday, transfer day, when all the missionaries switch companions at the Keleti train station in Budapest, we woke up at 5:45 so we could meet Elder Herd, the senior elder here, at 6:30 outside of his car to drive us to the train station that took off at 7:00. Well, we woke up at 5:45, buuuuttttt right as I turned off the alarm, my head hit my pillow and I was out again until we got a call at 6:30 from Elder Herd asking where we were. Completely dazed and still trying to gather what in the world was going on, I just told him that we would take the later train that left at 9 because we knew we wouldn't be able to make it. That's not the main part of the story. So we got up then and just got ready and got on our train at 9. We arrived in Budapest at 11 and met all the missionaries that were getting transferred. It wasn't until the time that we were about to leave that I realiiizzzeeedddd.......I didn't have my keys to the apartment and branch house........To skip the part about me panicking and trying to figure out where they could be, I lost them. Basically I checked everywhere that I was, where we went to lunch, where ever I took a step, everywhere! I checked the train station and asked if they found keys from the train that we took. They said for us to call them back later that night after they had done their cleaning checks later that afternoon.

 So, we went back to Eger, starting it off with a wonderful adventure of how to get into our apartment and what to do to get into the branch house when we need to meet with people. Luckily our land lord had a spare key to our apartment, so we've been using that for the past few days. However, we did call the train station back and they said they found some keys on the train, but we had to go up to Budapest in order to get them. So we got permission from President to take time out of our day and get them the next day. We went up there, went up to the desk, assuming that all was good and we were home free.........they weren't our keys. Super bummed, we decided to just look around some of the stores nearby because we had a 2 hour wait till our next train back. We stumbled across a really kewl soccer store that had authentic stuff and I ended up getting an Arsenal jersey, being the Arsenal fan that I am. So, to some up this huge fiasco of a mess, we lost our keys and are still kind of looking for them and while we went back to Budapest to find our keys, which weren't there, I got myself a shirt. We are currently looking for a key copy place to make a copy of our apartment key and are going to be contacting some people within the church here to see if we can get a key. You can all face palm now, I'll allow it. I've basically been kicking myself these past few days for this dumb move that I have made. Oh well, what can you do?

Outside of that story, the work is still picking up here. There really hasn't been a point for a very long time now and it has been such a sight to see. We are finding people left and right and most of them have been from them coming to us! That is the weirdest part of it all! Throughout my entire mission, at least most of it, most of the investigators that I have found was through our efforts, as in going up to people and being the one to start the conversation. But recently it's been people walking up to us that are starting something and that have been interested. That's when you know that they are going to be great people to teach, because they actually have that desire to learn more about us. With something that you quoted from Dallin H. Oaks, where he said that strengthening people's faith in God is the most important thing we can do is something so true! In the world that we are now living in, faith in God is something that people need. Sure we would like for people to be a part of the Restored Church, but if we are at least helping people come closer to Christ by some means, than we have been fulfilling a part of our responsibility as Christians. It is, sometimes, hard for people to understand that we are to be examples and help people to grow their own testimonies of Christ. It's something that I have been so glad to experience while I've been out here and I'm looking forward to the day when I come home and be the same example towards the people around me. 
This is a photo from Pec.  How I loved this area! 

 Alrighty ya'll, I'm going to have to close it for this week. I'm sorry, I don't have any pictures for this week, but I promise I will have some more for you next week. Maybe I'll include some throwback pictures to spice things up. Have a tremendous week and don't forget to stay say to yourself before you walk out the door 'Did I think to pray today?' 

Love you! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

News! Right Back At Ya!

January 14, 2014
Greetings friends and family!

This letter is for all of you that are interested (and also to the ones that are not interested—here’s hoping that it may interest you later on, but we'll see, it's just my hope......anyways).

Stumped you, did I? The answer for last week’s movie quote was from none other than......The Other Guys!!!! For those who haven’t seen it, you should, ‘cause it's hilarious. 

Firstly, I am going to inform you about the drastic drama that has just occurred, which is, in the missionary language.........transfer calls. *Duh duh duuuuhhh!* Things have changed for this companionship, sadly to say. Two brothers, born from another mother, are being torn apart; separated from each other. Tears have been shed *that may be a lie*, but seriously, it's definitely a bittersweet departing. Both Elder Gaytán and I have had SO much fun together. Plus, we have done some amazing work this transfer. We've loved every bit of it and have grown tremendously from our time together. Now the question is for all of you, who do you think is staying and who is going? Well..........I'll give you some time to think.....................waiting...........waiting...........have you got it?............Are you sure?...........Is that you're final answer?............If you're answer was that I was leaving and Elder Gaytán was staying, then, unfortunately, you are the weakest link, and I must say goodbye to you. But, to those who believed that I am staying, you are correct! I am staying for at least another 5 weeks here in Eger with Elder F. who is coming from Szeged. He is actually from Elder Sh.'s group, so he is still pretty young in the mission, but I'm pretty excited to see how everything plays out. I haven’t heard much about home, only that he was trained by Elder H., one of my companions in Pécs and also from the same MTC group as me. But other than that, I don't know much about him. Elder Gaytán pedig(in turn) is going to Buda with someone from his group, Elder G. He's pretty stoked for his transfer call. He's going to love Buda. You wanna know something interesting about this last transfer calls? It only means that I have one more left......and then I'm done. Weird to imagine, right?
Riding our horses to the country music

Alrighty, I'm so sorry to do this to you all, but I'm just going to send some pictures for you all and throw in some behind the scenes info. We have so many people that we are meeting with today it's almost not even funny, ha ha <-----I just laughed after saying that, so it is a little funny. But I hope you enjoy the pictures! :D 
We're making tacos!  Duh!
We can read a recipe.  Got it!

On New Year ’s Eve we went over to our investigators and made real tacos with them. These were the pictures from them. The one where it looks like we're riding on a horse (1st of the pictures) is because we were listening to country music and we decided to pose for the picture.
Eating tacos makes us happy!

So here are the pictures of the girl that was baptized this week.
Baptism in Eger.  
She was actually supposed to be baptized on Saturday, but apparently the pool was scheduled for a different day and we didn't know that till we got there.
Awesome new member of the church!
So, we rescheduled it for yesterday and it went wonderfully. Elder Gaytán baptized her and I will be confirming her on Sunday. She is super awesome! She is way prepared and has already told us how she already feels different and how she is looking forward to Sunday.
Eger members at the baptism

Here is another investigator we are teaching. 
She is super fun! Plus she is really interested in everything we teach her and has already finished 1 Nephi and is praying about baptism. We love meeting with her and I am super glad to be staying her to continue teaching her.
Awesome Investigator.  We, however are silly.

This is what eating at restaurants does to our faces.
And for a little home stuff to reply to. Brother Folkman is our new bishop?!?!?! What the wha?!?! That's crazy!! I did not see that coming. Congratulations! I hope he's excited for it! I now kind of understand to an extent the weight that he is going to have on his shoulders after serving here and in Békéscsaba, being that the elders are basically in charge of the branch and all of its functions. Tell Brother Stevenson that I loved him as a bishop and appreciate the wonderful service he put into the ward. He is a remarkable leader and a wonderful example to me and I can only hope that I can acquire some of those same skills and talents of leadership that he had. And the apostle Dallin H. Oaks is coming to our stake?!?! GAHHHH!!! He should have come to the NEXT one, which I'm pretty sure I would be home for, ha ha. You have to tell me about it! I'm sure it will be a fantastic talk. :) 

Alrighty ya'll, I don't have a quote for this week, but maybe I'll think of one for next week. We'll see. Love you all! And keep sticking to it! Keep saying your nightly and morning prayers! God is there and listens to all you have to say. 

I'm going to end with something from the beginning.  Here is a "Throwback Tuesday" picture of me tableing in Pest.  I was on my 2nd transfer in Hungary almost two years ago.  Now I'm on my 2nd to last transfer in Eger.  Crazy stuff!  
Tableing in Pest two years ago

That guy who is still serving in Eger and will be maybe till the end of his mission and is really weirded out by the fact that this may be his last area before he goes home and is now thinking of stopping this because it is still weirding him out.........Blake