Before I start telling you about all of the awesome things I have done in the past week, I just want to ask that people consider using DearElder.com. It's free to sign up. Basically, you type a letter (like email) but the service will print it off and give it to me that same day. It is totally free while I am in the MTC and while I am in the mission field, it is the price of a stamp. So definitely consider using it for the next 11 weeks! I can only check email once a week on Wednesdays and for only 1/2 hour, so this would really help me out. And make me feel special during the week. Also, if you email me instead of writing me through letter or DearElder, please include your address so I can write a letter back to you (if you are not a member of my family.)
Anyways, enough of that. Onto the good stuff:
The first day here was crazy! I was dropped off by my family in front of the MTC, said goodbye, had some pictures taken, and then my new life began! Some elders (male missionaries) brought my luggage and I to a sister missionary who acted as my host for the day. She brought me around to various stations and then my classroom. At one of the stations, I recieved my missionary tag!!! It was a pretty exciting moment :) Something interesting to note-- on my tag, it does not read Sister Kramer. In Hungarian, they put the family name and then the given name or title, so I am actually called Kramer Nővér (pronounced Noovair). In my classroom, my teachers spoke only Hungarian to us, introducing themselves and giving us some basic instruction. My teachers' names are Daybell Testvér and Erickson Testvér. (Some interesting connections with them-- Daybell was in Michael Cheney's MTC district and Erickson was roommates with Devin Bell his freshman year. Weird how small the LDS world is, huh?) I also met my district. EIGHT new Hungarian speakers came that day (4 Elderek and 4 Nővérek, including me) and we more than doubled the Hungarian population. My companion's name is Christensen Nővér. She is from Idaho and was a music major at BYU. We were actually Facebook friends before we came into the MTC because of our mutual friend, Laurie, who let us both know that we were going to the Hungarian mission on the same day. And we are now companions! Thanks universe! Anyways, after class, we had dinner, unpacked, then went to a new missionary devotional, where the MTC presidency and their wives spoke. I got to give the closing prayer, which was pretty neat :)
The other days have been a blur. The first three days were so busy and full, it felt like three weeks. Since then, I've become more accustomed to the schedule and I am loving it here!!! The food is fine (I have not put on a pound yet, thank you very much!), we get to exercise every day (I just run and run because I have so much pent up energy. And then I go play four-square, which is a Hungarian tradition.), and we have LOTS and LOTS of classes. One day, I was literally in my classroom from 7AM to 7PM. But the Spirit is strong. We've had some awesome devotionals that I don't have time this week to share details about. And awesome teaching and learning experiences.
Some other neat connections that I have been able to make are:
-Sister Kara Leigh Grenfell. She left this past Monday, but before that we were able to see each other a bunch, talk, and take pictures together.
-Sister Danielle Roberts. (We worked together.) She doesn't leave for another week.
-Sister Sajatah Boyle!!!!!!! (My best friend when I was <5 years old.) I didn't even know she was serving a mission but we ran into each other on our classroom floor. She is going to Armenia! She leaves this week, I think.
Everyone has been asking about the Hungarian language and my learning of it. It IS hard to learn. I actually found out that, according to some language scale at the MTC, it is the third hardest language here, after Finnish and Mandarin. (However, the differences in difficulty are pretty slight, so call it how you will.) It is really nice and easy in some ways, such as the fact that it is written the way it sounds, so I can "read" Hungarian (out loud, at least). But the grammar is very difficult. Hungarian has more cases than any other language- 24 in total!!! And you kind of speak like Yoda. So that takes some getting used to. I just need to practice!
However, despite the difficulty, we actually taught an "investigator" on Friday, after being here less than two days. I was terrified. I don't actually speak Hungarian, remember? But we prepared some questions and were able to talk to "Gabi" about God. And the crazy thing is we had this conversation and could actually understand a lot of what he was saying. At the end, Christensen Nővér and I were both able to bear our testimonies. Here is my testimony (in Hungarian):
"Tudom, hogy Isten el. Tudom, hogy Isten szeret téged. Tudom, hogy Isten válaszol imákra. A Szentlélek által tudom, hogy ez egaz. Ezt mondom Jézus Krisztus, nevében, ámen."
(I know God lives. I know He loves you. I know this through the Holy Ghost. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
It's short, yes. But sincere. And pretty impressive for two days of Hungarian, I think :P
Anyways, I'm out of time!
P.S. There are 400 sisters to 2200 elders!! We are just a little outnumbered haha :P