Monday, August 31, 2009

A Little Miracle


This week was nice. There was a big science convention in Sopron this week and so there were a lot of people here from all over the world. I talked to a guy from Colorado for a little while—he was really cool. I also talked to people from China, Algeria, Cameroon, and England. That was neat.

Well, we still don’t have anyone to teach, which is really hard, but we have found a few people who at least seem interested in meeting with us. We had a little miracle this week when we went through the teaching records in the area book and called up a few people who had met with missionaries a while ago. Out of the five people I called, two said that they would like to meet again! That doesn’t happen very often.

We had some neat changes in our branch this week. The former branch president was released and Elder Haslem, one of our senior missionaries, was called as the new branch president. Balázs, a recent convert I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, was called as his counselor. Balázs is such a cool guy and he is excited to work hard. He has a super strong testimony of the Gospel. Elder Haslem’s main job is to train Balázs. And the old branch president received a new calling so that is good too.

My Mom asked me a few questions this week that I think I’ll answer here. The Sopron Branch is pretty small: typically about 20-25 people come to sacrament meeting regularly. There is one kid who is about 16 yrs old and he is so cool. He is the only member his age in the city and he is very strong. He loves the Gospel and wants to serve a mission. Unfortunately, his old friends pretty much hate him now since he is a member of our church, which is the stupidest thing ever. There are also two families in the branch and they are great. I have had to speak in Sacrament Meeting once so far, but will probably be speaking more in the future because there are so few people here. For exercise, we usually go running in the morning or we work out in our apartment to try to stay in shape.

I hope that you liked the pictures I sent recently. It is pretty cool being in a foreign country.

Well I love you all and I appreciate the emails and support. I know that this Gospel is true and that it has blessed my life a ton!

~Anderson elder

Monday, August 24, 2009

Finding People


Hey, sorry for the super short blog entry last week. This week was OK. Because it’s difficult to get people to talk to us we decided to try something other than just streeting (talking to people on the street) people this week. We set up a table on a street in the belváros (downtown) with church stuff on it and with signs that say, “Ingyenes Angolóra” (Free English Class) and, “Kik a Mormonok?” (Who are the Mormons?). People were curious about the table set-up so it was a little easier to talk to them. That was good. Overall, the missionary work here is going pretty slowly, which is hard, but I’m sure that it’ll pick up sooner or later.

Csütörtök (Thursday) was a big holiday here. It’s similar to our Independence Day as there are festivals and stuff and fireworks at night. It celebrates the time when the first king of Hungary united the Hungarian people into a nation. It was like 1,000 years ago. Haha. It is really weird to think that there are a ton of buildings here that are older than America. lol. So that was a fun day and I have some pictures of it.

I know that this Gospel is true and real and it has brought me a lot of peace and happiness and comfort and direction in my life and in the lives of many other people. It is amazing to hear about how people have changed their lives because of the Gospel of Christ. I love teaching people about this gospel!

Well, I need to go now. Thanks for all of the love and support!

~Anderson elder

Monday, August 17, 2009

No One Wants to Talk to Us

Hey Everybody!

Sorry I have no time today! Everything is going great and hopefully I will get my pictures mailed off soon! The work is really hard here in Sopron—almost no one wants to talk to us about religion and that makes the work especially difficult. The people in Komló, my previous city, were much more open to talking about religion than the people here in Sopron. Hopefully the people here will come to see that we are nice people and will want to talk to us.

Here are some pictures... Okay, well I was going to put some pictures on here, but the CD drive thingy is broken on this computer. I promise that I will include some pictures next week. I’m really sorry, but így van (this is the way it is)! Thank you for all of your support and love!

~Anderson elder

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Need of Investigators


I’m in Sopron now. It is a really pretty city. My luggage survived the transfer so that was nice! When we transfer everyone who is moving goes to the Keleti train station in Budapest and we all hangout there in a giant lobby until our trains leave. I got to see a lot of people from my group, the group above me, and the group just younger than me, which was really cool. (Click here for more information on Sopron.)

My new companion is Elder Golze. He’s cool, really quiet, which I’m not used to, but we get along well. Sopron is very nice, except like half of the people on the street are Austrian tourists. That’s kind of annoying. I really hope that Frau Holum (my high school German teacher) doesn’t read this, but I have completely forgotten everything I learned in German class! I recognize words and can understand a few phrases, but I can’t speak at all. Hungarian has totally taken over my German. I remember the first week I was in the MTC I kept thinking, “I can’t wait until I can speak more Hungarian than German!” because Hungarian was so frustrating. And now I can’t even remember more than five or so German words! Crazy.

Well the missionary work is going VERY SLOW right now. We pretty much have no investigators and that is really hard. Believe it or not, but after my first day here in beautiful Sopron, I was homesick for Komló, which is one of the poorest and ugliest areas that missionaries can serve in! The people who live there and who we taught and the members there are so awesome. I’ll never forget them. But I’m sure that I will come to love Sopron too. I didn’t like Komló the first week that I was there. So needless to say, we are doing a lot of finding. I haven’t gotten kicked out of any buildings yet. Haha. Maybe Elder Christensen was exaggerating a little.

Sunday was pretty nice. About 20-25 people came to church this week. They are all awesome too. I look forward to getting to know them.

I have been moved around quite a lot. This is my 4th transfer and 3rd area. My companion, Elder Golze is in his 8th transfer and Sopron is also his 3rd area. He is a lot younger than my other companions, but he speaks Hungarian pretty well so it isn’t a big deal.

OH! Our apartment is SO AWESOME! It has air conditioning! What!? And a deck! WHOA! It is one of the nicest apartments in the mission I think. But it does have one big problem. The roof is messed up and leaks a lot! We finally got some guys to come by and repair (we hope) most of the roof, so it should be better now. But I’m pretty excited about the deck and AC. The weather is a little cooler and less humid here than in Komló, but it’s not a huge difference. The AC is wonderful.

Hopefully we can find some people who are interested soon, or else I’ll go crazy. Haha. A whole day of finding and no teaching is not fun at all.

Oh this is kind of funny. I forgot a lot of my bathroom stuff in Komló will have to wait a few weeks to get it all back. I needed a new razor, but I’m way too cheap to buy another nice one like I have right now. So I went to the store on my first day in Sopron and the only kind I found was the pink kind for girls to shave their legs. So ya, I’m shaving with cheap, pink, girly razors and I laugh at myself every morning. Hahaha. They really are cheap, though—maybe I’ll keep on using them for a while...NOT! They’re no fun at all, they actually kind of hurt! Haha.

Well thanks for all of the support and love and emails. I’m trying to get around to writing people, but it is really hard. I know that this church is true and I am so grateful that I can be in Hungary sharing this awesome message with people! Thanks a ton!

~Anderson elder

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Off to Sopron

Hey Everybody!

I heard that Ryan Miller and Kyle Murray are both coming to Magyarország!?! WHAT!? That’s crazy! I just might be able to serve with one of them! Whoa! Gyertek ide! (For those of you who don’t know them, Ryan and Kyle are friends from high school.)

I’m being transferred again! Already! I’m going to Sopron! It borders Austria! So if anyone wants any Austrian goods you know who to contact. Haha. Elder Christensen is going to be training a new missionary so I’m getting kicked out of Komló. I’m going to miss it and really miss the Pécs branch. Apparently, the people in Sopron are pretty sick of the missionaries. Lol. Elder Christensen was there before he came to Komló and he said that it is pretty hard to talk to people. He said that he was escorted out of apartment buildings many times! So this is going to be a challenge.

Tuesday was really cool! Elder Feuz, who is fresh from the MTC in America, came over to Komló with me for the day and Elder Christensen went to Pécs. It was really interesting because he can barely speak at all and I can speak only a little more. We had one program, and it was really good—well, we taught well at least. I understood almost everything that they said and I could speak a lot better than usual! I know that the Lord was helping me out because that was the best I’ve done language-wise and it was just that day that I did really well. Teaching with Elder Feuz helped me see how much I have improved since my first transfer (a transfer is six weeks), because I could speak and understand a lot better than he could and I just haven’t realized that I’ve improved. So that was a confidence booster.

Oh, the sister missionary from Pécs who served in the USA brought salt water taffy home with her!!!! I had forgotten how good it is!!! If anyone will send me salt water taffy I promise to send them delicious German chocolate! Deal? Deal!

Sunday was awesome. It was fast and testimony meeting and almost all of the youth bore their testimonies and I felt the Spirit so strong! The members here are awesome. And Balázs, who was baptized just a few months ago, bore his testimony and said that his kids told him last week that he has changed a lot since he got baptized. They said that he is way nicer, more loving and patient, kinder and happier. And the whole time he was up there bearing his testimony he had this gigantic smile across his face and you could see and feel how much the gospel has blessed his life. I hope that I’m able to f ind and teach someone like Balázs who really takes hold of the Gospel and lives it as best as he can.

So I have to go soon. I need to find some new luggage since I’m going to be moving to Sopron. It is a beautiful city so I’ll send some pictures when I get there.

Thank you for all of the letters and emails and love and support! I really appreciate it! I love this gospel with all my heart and know that it is true and really blesses people’s lives!

~Anderson elder