Monday, April 26, 2010

The Synagogue in Hódmezovásárhely


Life in Hód is pretty swell! In fact, last week was great. On Wednesday Elder Roundy and I went to Budapest for a Zone Leader Council Meeting. (Elder Roundy, my companion, is a Zone Leader.) The meeting was really cool. We discussed mission policies and talked about what to change, what to keep the same, and how things are going in the mission. I found the meeting especially interesting because I got to see how and why mission policies are developed. A lot of times when policies are changed all the regular missionaries are told is that a change is being made, but they don’t get to hear the discussion behind the change. It’s tempting to think of a change as ridiculous or something if you don’t know its context. So it was cool to see how things work and to hear the discussions behind the policies, and to know that our leaders in the mission are really just trying their best like everyone else to be more effective missionaries. I now have more confidence that there are lots of good reasons for the mission’s various policies.

In Hód there isn’t much to see. It is a pretty small city and it’s not that pretty. There is, however, a really beautiful Jewish synagogue here that we visited today. One of the students in our English class is married to a Jewish man. He’s in charge of the synagogue and gave us a tour. It was way cool! I have a ton of respect for the Jews here in Europe. There are so few of them nowadays and that’s really sad. About a half million Hungarian Jews were murdered in World War II and now there are barely any left in the country. It was both wonderful and sad to see the synagogue today, sad because it is a big reminder of what has happened to the Jews in the past. I had planned to post some pictures of the synagogue to my blog but just found out that the computers in this Internet place won’t allow it. Lame.

We had the opportunity of going to Békéscsaba last week! Elder Roundy had to hold baptismal interviews for a couple there. The coolest thing was that this couple is the family that Elder Smith and I found in Doboz! Since I left, the husband started investigating the gospel and the family has been coming to church. Now they are getting baptized! It was so cool to see them again and I am so excited for them! It is way cool to be with the Zone Leader, especially since I have already served in this zone a bit.

Well I am going to go now. I love this gospel and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to teach it to others! So cool! I love you all!

~Anderson elder

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sándor’s Baptism


Last week went by pretty fast! Sándor and Ancsa got married on Monday and Sándor was baptized on Saturday! It was way cool.

Transfers were pretty interesting. Maybe you remember the blog entry I wrote when I first got to Kecskemét—I said that I broke my camera and that my suitcase died. Well, I got a new camera, but I didn’t get a new suitcase. Haha. Needless to say, I hope that I don’t get transferred much more. So with only one wheel working, I dragged the suitcase all over Kecskemét and Budapest. It was a really good workout!

Elder Gardenhire and I ordered a tiebag while we were in Budapest! These things are so famous in the mission. There is this guy in Budapest who somehow collects hundreds of ties and sells them in huge bags! It is pretty crazy. When I go on splits in Kecskemét, Elder Gardenhire and I will divide up the ties. I’ll be sure to take some sweet pictures for you.

One of the coolest things about serving in Hód is that we have a car! I don’t have a license so I can’t drive, but that’s fine. I get all the benefits anyway! I might get a license next transfer.

On Friday we had a little branch party in Szeged. (There isn’t a branch house here in Hód so we have to travel to Szeged, which is about a thirty minute drive by car.) It was a lot of fun. We played ping-pong and some of the people played basketball. My companion got pretty into the game and slid on the ground. He was in pros—mission lingo for proselyting clothes, meaning that he was wearing a white shirt, tie, and dress pants. He totally ripped a huge hole in his pants! It was really funny.

Saturday was also a really fun day. In the morning we went to the branch house in Szeged where we helped the members clean the building. Of course, they gave us the hardest job! Haha. We had to clean the walls with sponges. The paint that they use here in Hungary is a lot different than what I’m used to in America. If anything rubs against the paint the color will rub onto the wall. So we had to scrub off all those spots with sponges! It was actually kind of fun! Then we ate some really good Hungarian gulyás (goulash) and it tasted so good!

After cleaning the branch house, we drove to Kecskemét to see Sándor’s baptism. That was really cool. Tons of members were there and it was really good to see them all. Sándor is such a stud! It was so cool to see him baptized! I’m really happy for him. And his wife came to his baptism! I hope she liked it. It was a really cool experience.

Well I need to go now. Thanks for all your support! I love all of you! Keep on strengthening your testimonies of the gospel and reading from the scriptures!

~Anderson elder

Monday, April 12, 2010

Transferred Again!


Today we got transfer calls! It was crazy as usual. I’m getting transferred again! I am going to Hódmezővásárhely! I went there on splits while I was serving in Békéscsaba. Looks like I am going to be in this zone for a while! So this is my 6th area! I’m kind of tired of moving! And I have a terrible curse. Whenever I leave an area someone gets baptized soon after I leave! And Sándor will be baptized this Saturday and I’m leaving on Wednesday! But I’m sure that I’ll be able to get back to Kecskemét for it.

Well, that’s pretty much all of the exciting news I have since I just made a blog entry a few days ago.

I am super grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission! It is such an awesome experience! I am learning so much and it is way fun to help people strengthen their testimonies of Christ. The mission is definitely stressful—I’m getting a crazy widow’s peak on my head!—but it is totally worth all of the effort! The Hungarians are wonderful people; going on a mission has easily been the best decision I’ve made in my life thus far!

Sok szeretettel,
Anderson elder

Friday, April 9, 2010

Great News!


I have great news: Sándor is getting baptized on the 17th! He has been investigating for a few months and now he has so much faith. He is awesome! I should have written more about him, but the point is that he is so cool and he is finally ready to be baptized! He is 26 years old and is getting married to his girlfriend on Monday. They’ve been together since they were 16! She isn’t interested in the gospel (yet), but she is way cool too. I am so excited! He is a super cool guy and it will be great to have him as a member. He was so prepared because he didn’t really believe in much before he met the missionaries, but now he has a strong faith in God and in the restored gospel of Christ! So cool!

So pretty much nothing else is as cool or important as that, but last week was pretty fun. We went to the Stake Center in Budapest on Saturday and watched conference! It was a great experience! Six of us missionaries slept in the same apartment Saturday night, so it was a little crazy! Elder Murray was there too and it was way cool to see him again! The first session of Conference, the Saturday “Morning” session started at 6 PM for us! But it was fun to be able to watch it live. In the end we were able to watch all of the sessions—some live, some recorded—except the Sunday Afternoon session. I loved all of the talks! They are always so spiritual and motivational!

We did another really cool thing on Monday. A few of us took a short trip north of Budapest to visit a fascinating and historic Catholic cathedral in a city called Esztergom. The Duna (that’s Danube in English) River right next to the city separates Hungary from Slovakia. The excursion was really fun. The cathedral is one of the biggest in Europe, I think, and it is REALLY big and old! I wish we had big old buildings like that in America.

Things are going pretty well here in Kecskemét! The weather is getting a lot nicer so that is really cool! The trees are becoming green and everything is blooming and it is super pretty. I love you all tons! I wish you could be here in Hungary with me! (It’s all right to be jealous!)

~Anderson elder