Monday, October 31, 2011

Hungary Week 2 - Monday, October 24, 2011

Hello all!

Well, I have officially had a full week in this country now!  Woohoo!  (Although, let's be honest-- it feels like I have been here for SO LONG (in a good way) because we do so much every day!)  My companion and Í laughed and laughed when we realized it would only be my second time in church yesterday.  We were both convinced I had been here a month or so!

Anyways, let me tell you a little about this past week's adventures:

First of all, I did not end up playing in the Primary Program at church.  A ward member who is super good at the piano turned out to be in town so he ended up accompanying.  It's funny- I was super relieved not to have to showcase my limited piano skills in front of my new ward, but I was also a little disappointed (haha) because I had been practicing every day to get ready.  Ok, I was probably more relieved than disappointed, though!!  And I was still able to use what I had practiced to help the primary kids practice before the program.  And THEN somehow I was assigned to play prelude music before church (my companion is a big believer in using our talents... and volunteering me for stuff haha) so I was still able to play before everyone:P  The program was super cute, though!  They all gave little talks and one girl played a song on the piano and another played a song on the guitar.  They were so cute!  And a lot of them were way too short for the microphone stand, which was funny :)  One girl who was in this intermediate height category tried to stand on the box thing by the podium, but she ended up towering over the microphone :P  I'm sending a picture of our cute little primary!!
There were two investigators baptized in our ward.  They were investigators of the elders in our ward (Taylor Elder and Schweiger Elder) and both of them are men in their thirties, I think.  The baptism on Saturday was neat because the ENTIRE ward showed up, it seemed!  And all the Nénis (Grandma type ladies) made TONS of food!  Seriously, there was a buffet table full of sandwiches and cookies and deliciousness!  I really liked that there was so much support for these new members.  The ward really welcomed them into the "ward family".  And the two men were both so excited to get baptized, and, then, on Sunday, be confirmed.  One of them after his confirmation, literally skipped down the aisle with a big grin on his face :)

We taught a fun lesson to Orsi (little 9 year old girl who is getting baptized in a couple of weeks) this past week about every member being a missionary (pictures included).  I drew some sister missionary coloring pages for her and her little sister and we all colored them and talked about what missionaries need to be missionaries.  The girls drew those things around their little missionaries- scriptures, a bag, a smile, a testimony, love, etc.  We told Orsi that she already had all of those things and we gave her a little tag (the one thing she didn't have from their list) and invited her to invite her friends to her baptism.  She was so excited that she started filling out names on the invitations we gave her right there!
So, I didn't tell you last time that I teach an English class here!  I taught it for the first time my second day here, which was kind of crazy to me.  But I teach the Profi class (the Pro class) and so we basically just have conversations and play games.  It is pretty funny sometimes.  For instance, this last time, we played "Two Truths and a Lie."  One boy said that he really loved computers for his first thing.  However, he said it something like this, "I am really cubed about computers."  I was super confused, especially since all the Hungarians in the class were like, "Yeah, he's cubed about computers!"  Turns out it is a Hungarian phrase or something referring to how you are hunched in front of the computer all the time?  IDK.  But it did NOT make sense in English!  (He ended up changing it to he is crazy about computers haha)  But I could totally relate because that happens to me a lot when I try to translate my English to Hungarian.  It doesn't always work because the different languages really just have different ways of expressing things.  And there are other different rules, too.  For instance, we have these two cute investigators named Béla and Illona.  (They are Roman Catholics in their sixties probably who were given the Book of Mormon last week and have already read a hundred pages of it!)  One time after meeting with them, I didn't shake their hands or give them puszi.  Béla called my companion later and asked if they had done something wrong.  It turns out they thought I was mad at them because I didn't say goodbye in the right way!  :(  De Leon Nővér explained I was REALLY new haha.  And I made them banana bread and apologized and we are all good again :)  But I am sure it will not be the last of accidental misunderstandings here!

I also practice English with a girl named Lilla in our ward who is a senior in High School.  Her English is SO good!  It is fun to practice with her because I can actually understand the conversation for once haha :P  Her family is so nice and gives us little treats whenever we go over to their flat.  Their family is all super tall-- I think her and her mom are probably about 6 ft tall.  Her little sister is so cute, too.  She greets us at the door whenever we go over and gives us kisses and hugs.  Then we all put on slippers (they don't go around houses without something covering their feet) and have conversations about the gospel and school and family and books and nature and whatever.  Their family is so rendes (a Hungarian term that we don't really have in English.  It means cool and sophisticated... kind of.).  And they are really strong in the gospel!

At our Fiatal Est this past week, we played Minute to Win It.  I remembered Noah going to a birthday party with that theme and suggested it for our Young People's night.  It was lots of fun!  I highly recommend it for a fun activity!  We added a game of our own-- Blindfolded Pictionary.  It was super funny!

Last PDay, we went to St. Istvan (St. Stephen's) cathedral.  I've included some pictures of that because it is gorgeous and very elaborate!  We also got to go and see his hand!  Yup, you read that right!  You could probably google it and get a better explanation than I am about to give you, but basically, St. Stephen was the first Christian king in Hungarian.  For whatever reason, they have his mummified hand and they bring it out during parades and stuff.  So that was interesting!  De Leon Nővér was such a good example to me on that PDay because she still talked to people about the gospel.  We are really missionaries all the time, not just when we schedule it :)

De Leon Nővér and I have worked so hard this past week!  Our goal was to make super standard in the mission (the highest goals we have) so we worked really hard!  We had about a kabillion appointments to teach and we handed out a whole box of Book of Mormons!  And she is so good at pushing me!  She had me call a bunch of people on the phone to make sure about appointments, I had to talk to people on the bus while we were travelling, etc.  But, as scary as it is, it is really good for me because sometimes I am too comfortable to let her do all the talking!  But, for instance, I talked to one lady on the bus all by myself (sometimes I feel about 5 years old when I talk about my accomplishments haha... "I'm a big girl now" :P) and gave her a pass-along card.  And we were able to have a conversation!  So that was really neat :)

We want to be able to get the youth of Hungary more interested in our message.  When Hungary was dedicated for missionary work, it was promised that the youth would be major forces in the gospel.  I have already seen that- so many of the youth are so strong, serving mini missions, talking to their friends, being the only members in their families, etc. etc.  But if any of you have great ideas about connecting with the youth and getting them to open up (so far we use a Sports Day where we play soccer), please send them my way!

I want you all to know that I laugh a LOT here!  It is hard (and sometimes disappointing) work (sometimes I have felt like crying, too) but this gospel brings JOY.  Like that investigator who skipped down the church aisle, it is something to be celebrated and enjoyed.  God wants us to be happy, but a lot of it is our choice!

So smile this week!  Reflect on all that God has given you!

I love you all!

Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

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