Monday, October 26, 2009

A Fast Week


This week was kind of boring, but it went by really fast at the same time. It was Elder Carlson’s last full week here in Hungary and so we had a lot of goodbye programs with people. One of the members took us out to eat at a really nice restaurant—and that was great! Hungarian food is really tasty. Friday was a national holiday celebrating the 1956 revolution against the communist government. Hungary was either the first country or one of the first countries to rebel against communism, but the revolution lasted only a few days and ended when Russia brought in a few hundred tanks and lots of soldiers to suppress the freedom fighters. When the communists ruled Hungary, they added a crest onto the Hungarian flag. Today people sometimes cut out that symbol from those communist-era flags so now we occasionally see flags with big holes in the middle. Those are pretty cool.

The missionary work is still going along as usual, we just need to find some more people who we can teach. Unfortunately that’s a pretty difficult task.

My Dad asked me about Christmas here in Hungary. It is different than in America. First of all Santa comes on December 6th and brings presents. On December 24th Hungarians set up their Christmas tree so that Baby Jesus can come and bring them more presents. They open the presents from Baby Jesus on the 25th. So a Hungarian Christmas is definitely different than an America Christmas. Personally, I like the way we do it better, but I guess that’s just because I’m biased. Haha.

Well, thank you for everything! I appreciate the emails and support and love! I believe with all my heart that God and Christ live and love us!

~Anderson elder

Monday, October 19, 2009

Eszterházy kastély

Hey Everybody!

Last week was pretty good. We went to see a giant mansion called Eszterházy kastély that was originally built a few hundred years ago. It was really neat. I’ll send some pictures.

Earlier last week it was way cold. The wind was really strong and that made it a lot worse.

Marika is doing really well. She is awesome! We decided to talk to her about smoking and to help her quit, but she told us that she had already quit! We were a little taken back. She said that she had already thrown all of the cigarettes out of her house and that she had told her co-workers not to ask her for cigarettes because she doesn’t have any anymore! She is a very determined person. She is progressing well and it’s awesome!

So about the Lutheran missionary girl we’ve been talking to—we had a good discussion last night. We had planned on talking to her about original sin and about what happens to those who don’t learn of Christ during mortality and to answer her questions about becoming like our Father in Heaven. We had a ton of sweet scriptures from the Bible to prove our points. Well, as is usually the case, our discussion didn’t go as planned. Our scriptures were awesome, but she had a different interpretation for all of them so they had no effect on her at all. Our discussion became a “now you know why we believe what we believe and that we have scriptures to back up our beliefs and our disagreements are a matter of different interpretations of those scriptures” meeting. But it was so sad to hear her talk about how babies and others who don’t hear about Christ in this life will go to hell and suffer eternally. She admitted that it’s a hard thing for her to accept.

Truly, NOTHING can convert people to the gospel except the Spirit of God and only then when those who hear the gospel are open to the Spirit’s guidance and are willing to follow it. Talking to this Lutheran missionary has made me think a lot about psychology and about just how ineffective and destructive it is to try to disprove someone else’s beliefs. In our discussion last night, we just talked about our different beliefs in a courteous manner. We didn’t convince her of anything, so some might say that nothing much was accomplished. On the other hand, when a discussion degenerates into contention only bad stuff can come from it. Talking to her has given me a lot of experience discussing beliefs without being contentious. I really like it when neither party in a discussion like this tries to prove the other wrong, instead focusing on exchanging beliefs and trying to understand one another. So it was cool.

I made an interesting language mistake this week. While talking to one of the members, Ádám, I just couldn’t think of what I wanted to say in correct Hungarian. I told him that what I was about to say wasn’t going to be correct. But when I said that I made a mistake! OK, that was confusing. I meant to say „nem lesz helyes,” which means “it won’t be correct,” but instead I said „nem helyes lesz.” OK, so it wasn’t a funny mistake, but it was kind of ironic.

Well I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night and my brain just isn’t working so I’ll end now. I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to be here and to help others become happier through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Thanks for everything, I love you all!

~Anderson elder

Monday, October 12, 2009


Hey Everybody!

This week went by really fast, but some cool things happened. The lady that we helped move last week, Marika, is meeting with us regularly and now says that she wants to be baptized! So that is way cool. Last Tuesday as we were walking through the city, we went past her new apartment complex. We noticed her putting her name on her new mailbox so we decided to go and talk to her. She invited us up to her apartment. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy of her own. She said that she would read from it. Then the next day we met with her again and talked about what she had read. We asked her if she wanted to know if the Book of Mormon was true or not and she said that after reading and praying about it, she already feels that is is true! I was thinking, “Whoa! This doesn’t happen everyday...or week...or month!” We also taught her some more about the Restoration and that went really well. So then we asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she said yes! And then I thought, “WHOA!” It was way awesome; I felt the Spirit really strong and knew that this was something God wanted. We have been teaching her more and it has been great. I love to see her happy and to hear her tell about how people who know her can see that she is happier, even though they don’t know why. The Gospel of Christ really does have the power to bring so much happiness into our lives. In other words, it’s awesome!

So we watched General Conference at church this week and it was really cool. I understood a lot more than I did six months ago. Of course I didn’t understand anything then, but still.... This time I could understand the basic message that they were talking about, but not exactly what they were saying because they translate it really well in pretty fancy Hungarian that is way over my head. So sometimes I would understand a few sentences and then there would be a few sentences that were just too full of fancy words and grammar principles that I didn’t understand. And then after a while it felt like my brain would just overload and I would fall asleep. Haha. I could only take so much of that fast, complicated Hungarian at once and then when I hit that mark I would just fall asleep like a rock. But when I payed attention it was somewhat understandable.

Well I’m kind of in a hurry, we have a program with Marika soon, so I better get going. Thanks for everything and for the support and love!

~Anderson elder

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coworkers and Friends

Hey everybody!

Apparently some people think that my blog entries are getting too short. Well, I agree; but I can only stand being in front of the computer for so long! And two hours, which is the average time it takes me to read my emails and write in my blog and to my parents, is plenty long for me.

So with that disclaimer, this week was really good. This morning we did some service, which was really enjoyable. Balázs, one of the way cool members here in Sopron, has a coworker who was moving. He invited us to help them and it was a lot of fun. We had to move the coworker’s stuff out of the third floor of her building, a pretty interesting task at times. Then when we got to her new place we discovered that the apartment wasn’t empty yet. So we helped the former tenants move their stuff out and then Balázs’s coworker’s stuff in. It was a really good workout! And it was cool because the coworker said that she would come to church on Sunday, which is when we’re showing General Conference in Hungarian—that’ll be way cool.

Speaking of General Conference, Balázs had us come to his house Saturday night at 6pm to watch the first session live on his computer. It was way neat to watch conference live, but the kids were a little distracting. Haha. They have the cutest little girl named Laura, whose nickname is Lala. I don’t know when we’ll get to watch the whole thing in English.

We recently met an American girl who is on a mission teaching English for the Lutheran church. Unfortunately her church sent her out here without any language training at all, so she can’t speak any Hungarian. We have started to meet with her to teach her a little Hungarian and talk about the Gospel. We are pretty sure that she isn’t interested in joining our church, especially since her father is a Lutheran minister, but at the very least we can clear up all of the lies and misconceptions she has heard about Mormons. Maybe she will even become a friend of the church and defend us and spread the truth when she hears bad stuff about us from others.

Thank you for everything, especially for your love and support! I know that God and Christ live and love us and that they truly care about us. If we try to follow Christ’s example and pray hard, we will receive answers to our prayers and questions. I have experienced that for myself and I’m here to help others experience it for themselves too. I love you all!

~Anderson elder