Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Final Note from Hungary


This past week was a blur, a really sad blur. Saying goodbye to so many amazing people has been incredibly difficult! I can’t begin to describe my feelings about leaving Hungary. I seem almost bi-polar! One moment I’m really excited to go home and get back to school, and then the next moment I’m so sad to leave Hungary and the wonderful people here whom I love so much! I wish I could just rip Hungary out of Europe and stick it in Montana or Wyoming – that would be the best solution I think. It’s really depressing that I might never see these people again. I would love to come back but, sadly, there is no guarantee.

It is really humbling to have people express over and over their heartfelt gratitude for me and for what I’ve done, especially since I feel like I haven’t done much to be worthy of such thanks. I’ve worked hard, and have tried to improve whenever I slowed down, to teach this wonderful gospel and share my happiness with the people of Hungary – that’s all. Serving here has been really difficult and stressful, but when I think about the friendships I’ve made and the good experiences I’ve had, the difficult times seem small and insignificant in comparison. I can easily say that my experience here in Hungary has been the absolute best experience of my life! I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to serve a mission! I thank everyone for all of the support, love, letters, and emails you have sent to me over the past two years!

~Anderson elder

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Coolest Experience Ever


Yesterday was one of the best days of my mission! Does anyone remember that one crazy day in Érd I mentioned last summer when my companion and I were tabling and a drunk, homeless man volunteered to help us? The first person he approached was a girl named Nóra who actually came over and talked to us. She began meeting with us regularly and eventually became a strong investigator. But then she moved to France. I feared that might be the last I heard of her until I got a surprise email from her telling me that she was getting baptized on October 30th in France. Of course I was super happy!

A few weeks after her baptism, she told me that she would be coming back to Hungary for a visit around Christmas time. I was hoping that I could meet her in Érd before leaving Hungary, but she never replied to my email. And then yesterday she walked into the branch house in Pápa for Sacrament Meeting!! My jaw dropped and I was almost speechless. Her timing was pretty good because I was giving my last talk in church as a fulltime missionary. After Sacrament Meeting ended, I got to talk to her and it was the coolest experience EVER! She showed me her French baptismal certificate and told me how happy she is. It was amazing to hear her talk about the gospel and the church and to see how strong her testimony is!!!

During this whole time I was in shock to be talking to Nóra, my old investigator with whom I had struggled to teach the gospel and resolve lingering doubts before she basically just disappeared into France. And now here she was: a strong, dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ with a powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. To think that I was able to help her in the very beginning; well, there is NO better feeling in the world than knowing that you have made a difference for the better in someone's life! I still can't believe how fast yesterday went by, but I will never forget it. Nor will I forget my personal testimony that the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18:15 really is true!

~Anderson elder

Monday, January 17, 2011

Working with the Members


I don't have much to write about today since I just wrote a few days ago. Four of our investigators came to church on Sunday and they really enjoyed it! That’s pretty exciting.

This week will be interesting because our mission president wants us to place special focus on meeting with the members so that we can build our relationships with them and get referrals from them. I’m sure that will be really fun because members can be the best missionaries ever! So please pray for us and the members here in Pápa this week!

~Anderson elder

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Crazy Week


Well this week has been pretty crazy and busy which is why I didn’t have time to write until today. One thing that is kind of frustrating for me right now is that people have started referring to my mission in the past tense! My mission wasn’t great! It IS great! I haven’t left yet! It is really weird to think that I only have a few short weeks left – so I try not to think about it.

Things in Pápa are doing really well. We started a branch family night that has really helped our investigators get to know the members and develop friendships with them. Such friendships are important because we missionaries eventually always leave, but the members don’t. The people we are teaching are doing well and getting more serious about studying the gospel! It is so neat to see them progress! I know that as they continue to come to church and read the scriptures they’ll gain a testimony and receive an answer from God that this really is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness and that with this gospel they can find true peace and happiness in their lives! This gospel has blessed my life in so many ways and it is so cool to see others progress and receive those same blessings!

~Anderson elder

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Miracle

Boldog Új Évet!

Happy New Year! Life goes by way too fast!

The coolest thing that happened last week was when Elder Austin and I along with Lackó, one of the youth here, tried to visit a few inactive members. We couldn’t get in touch with the one we looked for first so we decided to try to visit someone who had been on our minds lately. He was really surprised and actually very happy to see us. He invited us in and we had a super long program with him.

To make a long story short, this less active member told us that he regrets leaving the church and that he was happier when he was fully active! He kept on saying that. Something happened to him recently to change his heart and now he recognizes what he had once had in the past but is now missing. He came to church yesterday for the first time in a while and everybody was super glad to see him! He had such a good experience that he wants to come to all of the activities! What super great news!

The thing that was so neat about this experience is that we didn’t do anything! The Lord did all of the work and we just witnessed the wonderful blessings of His work! I really hope that this member will continue to come to church because he is such an awesome guy. So, the lesson for me is: don’t give up on people who aren’t active in the church. You never know when the Lord will step in and show us one of His miracles!

~Anderson elder