Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Really Wierd Looks


This entry will be a little shorter because I don't have much time today. I couldn't write yesterday, which was p-day, because my companion and I had to go to Budapest. I had to get some stuff done with my passport to prove that I can live in Hungary. But Komló is pretty far away and so I spent about eight hours traveling yesterday. Hooha. (Hungarians say that sometimes instead of wow.)

The past couple of days have been pretty rough in terms of meeting with people. From Friday through Sunday we had 11 programs scheduled and of those 11 we only taught two. The rest forgot or couldn't meet. So that was disappointing. But on Sunday we had three people who were investigating come to church! It was great! And they liked the meetings so that was even better.

We're teaching a really cool kid named József and his girlfriend, Eszter. On Saturday I taught József how to tie a tie for church. It was really cool! Except I didn't know any of the words that I needed so I just showed him how. After a few tries he was getting frustrated, so I just tied it for him and he kept it in the knot. Haha.

On Thursday or Friday we talked to an interesting lady on the street. Well, she talked to us. We introduced ourselves and then she just went off on telling us her life story and she wouldn't stop talking. Haha. And then she sang a religious song to us while waving one of her hands in the air. Usually we get weird looks from people because we're two guys in white shirts and ties when it is really hot outside, but as this lady was singing she was getting all the really weird looks from people. When she finished her song, she started telling us about the big problem in her life. She started crying a lot and I didn't know what to do or say. It was awkward and sad and strange all at the same time. Then she told us that she used to be crazy. So that was interesting to say the least.

Well I better get going. I know that this gospel is true and that anyone can know of its truthfulness by reading from and praying about the Book of Mormon. Thanks for everything!

~Anderson elder

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life in Komló


So now I am in a place called Komló. It is an interesting town. It is built on a bunch of big hills so each hill has its own little mini-town on it. We are on the biggest hill and in the largest mini-town, but there is just one main road that goes through the main part of town. Komló isn’t as compact as Eger so there are a lot fewer people on the streets. On Saturday and Sunday the streets are almost empty and the stoplights just flash yellow after about 5pm because there is so little traffic. Komló hasn’t been open for missionary work that long and so there are only about six members here. We don’t have our own branchhouse, but have to take a 30-minute bus ride to Pécs for church.

Pécs’s branch is SO AWESOME! There are like 40 active members and they don’t even need help from the missionaries to function! Church is the regular three hour schedule. After church this week we hold a missionary meeting and there are three or four youth and a few older members who are awesome branch missionaries. One kid, Bencen, is saving money to go on a mission soon and a young woman from Pécs is currently serving a mission in Salt Lake City, UT. I actually met her last November. If I stay here for two transfers I will see her when she comes home. That would be really cool.

My new companion, Christensen elder, is pretty cool. Right now, he and I are the only missionaries in Komló. Hopefully we will be able to help some more people from Komló find the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Oh just so you know one of the sister missionaries who is teaching Éva is Nester Növér not Ester. I got her name wrong when I mentioned her before.

Ok, so a kind of funny thing happened to me this week. On transfer days we are always in a huge rush trying to catch trains and buses with luggage. One of my suitcases is the kind that has four little wheels instead of two larger ones. My companion and I were running to the bus stop in a hurry to catch the bus. I’m pulling the four-wheeled suitcase and it is unusually hard. So I stop and check it out—because the bus left when we we’re like 20 feet from it—and one of the wheels got stuck and was just grinding on the pavement. That was bad news, and I couldn’t do anything to fix it and didn't have any time anyway. Needless to say, after traveling from our apartment to the train station in Eger, from a train station in Budapest to the mission home and back, from the train station in Pécs to the bus station, and then from the bus station in Komló to our apartment the wheel that got stuck didn't really exist anymore. Most of it had been ground dust and the bottom part of my suitcase was ripped up from dragging on the ground. The only good news is that I got a nice, hard workout dragging that heavy suitcase all over Hungary! So after one transfer one of my suitcases is dead. I’ll figure something out for the next time I move.

The important thing is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored onto the earth and that we can know if it is real or not by reading the Book of Mormon, praying about it and following what the Lord has told us through it. I know that our lives can and will improve if we live the principles and commandments of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is difficult to change our bad habits—and sometimes even harder to change our mediocre habits into good habits—but if we consistently follow the teachings of Jesus Christ life will be more fulfilling, enjoyable, and just better. I love this Gospel and I have a testimony that it is true and that the happiness it brings is worth the effort it requires. Like everyone else, there are a lot of things about me that need changing, but still my testimony stands firm.

Thanks for all of your love, support, emails, and letters. Your emails and letters are appreciated VERY MUCH! I hope I will be able to respond to all of them. It was hard in the MTC to write back and now I have even less time. Maybe I’ll just end up helping you work on the virtue of patience! haha. Just kidding. (Well, sort of.)

~Anderson elder

Monday, May 11, 2009

First Transfer


Well this week has been pretty good. Some exciting news is that I am being transferred to a small city called Komló. It is in the southwest near a big city called Pécs. Being transferred is kind of bittersweet actually. I love Eger and I have started to build relationships with some of our investigators and members, so for that reason being transferred is kind of a bummer. Ilyen az élet (such is life). But I know that Komló will be just as awesome.

So I remember kind of a funny story from a few weeks ago. We went to the hospital for the first time to do service and got kind of lost. This one guy who is on the grounds keeping crew, whom we now call Spears—you’ll see why in a minute—helped us to find our way to where we were going to work. He had one of those sticks with a metal tip on it to stab garbage and pick it up and he was pretty good at using it. Well the funny part is when we were on this little dirt road within the hospital complex and a car pulls up behind us really fast and stops really quickly, almost hitting Spears. So this is why we call him Spears: He was obviously quite frustrated from almost being hit by a minivan and to make sure that the people in the car were aware of his frustration he whips out his stabbing stick, or spear, and acts like he is about to throw it through the windshield of the minivan!haha. It was like he was a caveman trying to fight off a fierce lion. Then he just continues to guide us to where we are working, mumbling something in Hungarian. So now we call him Spears and he is one of our favorite guys at the hospital.

Oh and it is just super awkward when we’re tracting apartment complexes and we knock on someone’s door just as their friends come up the stairs and knock too. So we’re all waiting and then the people inside are irritated with us and stuff.

Yesterday I got to talk to my Mom and Dad for an hour or so and that was really cool. It was weird to think that I haven’t talked to them since January. But it was great to talk to them and brag about how awesome Hungary is. My parents are the best in the world. No offense to every other parent, but I’m kind of biased.haha.

On Sunday we went tracting for three straight hours. It was pretty intense, especially since it was super hot. It was kind of weird though because we found two people who are interested in meeting with us and they were almost neighbors. That was really cool and I hope that goes well. I’ve realized that being rejected about a million times everyday really doesn’t bother me. I’m not sure why it doesn’t bother me, but I sure am grateful that it doesn’t.

OH! Ester növér (Sister Ester) in Budapest called me this morning and gave me an update on Éva, the girl that I streeted while chalking and with whom I got to talk in English and teach a little bit too! She is doing really well! She’s met with the missionaries twice and loves everything. She even went to stake conference and loved that too! I’m so excited for her! I’ll continue to share updates about her when I get them.

It is starting to get really, really warm here and I am sweating like crazy and its gross.haha. I wonder what people think about us when we are walking around in the summer in dark pants and a white shirt and tie. Everybody stares at us a lot.lol. It’s a little awkward, but I’m used to it now.

Well I sent my sd cards to my parents so hopefully within a week or two there will be cool pictures of Budapest and Eger on the blog.

I know that Christ lives and that if we follow God’s commandments that our lives will be better, happier and more enjoyable. We have a living prophet on the earth today and he receives revelation from God for the world. I am so grateful that I am a missionary for the Lord and even though it is really hard at times I love it.

Thanks for all of your support and I’ll see ya later! Sok szeretettel.

~Anderson elder

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stolen Flowers

Jó napot kívánok!

This week was pretty good. Especially since I FINALLY got to watch General Conference in English! Well, at least three sessions. We watched the Sunday Morning Session, the Sunday Afternoon Session, and the Priesthood Session. They were really good. I saw one of my old home teachers from BYU-I, Spencer Horner, in the choir for Priesthood session and that was really cool.

So apparently Davie has had some crazy experiences in Mexico. I don’t have anything that can compete with what he has experienced. Everything here is kind of normal. But I remember something kind of funny that happened a few weeks ago. I was on companion exchanges with Daybell elder and we talked to a guy on the street. When we introduced ourselves he said that he had seen “the movie” and that he knew all about the Mormons. (There was a movie here about the Amish that had been translated into Hungarian really badly so a lot of people think that we are Amish. Haha.) He started talking about how we can’t use technology and stuff, so Daybell elder pulled out the cell phone and told him that it was ours. The guy was like, “no you can’t use that, that’s not allowed”. Haha. He refused to believe that we weren’t Amish.

Oh! Something else kind of weird happened recently. There are some planters in front of our branch house that were full of weeds. We bought flowers and planted them before General Conference so the branch house would look nice. But one day someone stole four of our new flowers! I mean come on, they are only 90 forint (like 45 cents) a piece, buy your own! Then a few days ago someone stole another flower and left this weird symbol made of orange electrical tape next to the door. Maybe it was a gang symbol and they were trying to show us how tough they are by slowly stealing our little flowers. Haha. Nevetséges (ridiculous).

Our investigators seem to be örökké való érdeklődők (eternal investigators). They are all awesome, but they don’t have testimonies yet and so they aren’t very committed. Coming to church isn’t as important as other things to them and it is just really hard for them to consistently follow the commandments. Sometimes I just feel like dragging them to church. Haha. Maybe that’s how some parents feel sometimes. Of course we will continue to try to work with them as long as they put forth effort to try to follow the commandments, but I don’t know. So that is difficult.

I just want you all to know that I have a firm testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He knows everything that we go through and will help us if we ask in faith. God really is our Heavenly Father and He wants the best for us. The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in our day and we can know that for ourselves if we read from and pray about the Book of Mormon. I know that it is scripture from God and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God.

Thanks for everything everybody. Have a great week!

~Anderson elder