Monday, November 14, 2011

Almost done with my first transfer!! - Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello everyone!!

I have been in Hungary for more than a month now!!!  (Okay, so I've been here for a month and 3 days... but STILL!)  I cannot believe how fast time is flying!  I am almost at the end of my first transfer in the country!!!  I have been on my mission for 3 1/2 months.  I have passed my 100 day mark!  That means I am more than 1/6 done with my mission :(  De Leon Nővér told me that it just goes faster and faster!  I believe it!  There is always so much to do every day, new places to go, new people to talk to, improvements to be made!  That is okay, though!  I plan on making every second count :D

My companion and I don't know if we will be staying together next transfer (I will let you know as soon as I do on Monday) because, starting next transfer, exactly half of the sister missionaries in Hungary (there are 16 sister missionaries total) will have been here only 2 transfers or under.  It will be super interesting to see what happens!  I hope that I stay with De Leon Nővér-- I love her!  She has been such a great trainer, giving me opportunities to grow!  And we are such good friends!  We are always laughing at something or the other.  Last night, after planning, I was literally crying on the floor because of laughing so hard at something funny that had happened.  I love our attitude of working hard and having fun while doing it!  BUT.  I know that whatever happens will be for the best :)  (If she does actually get transferred, though, someone might want to email me my own words, though, haha)

This past Monday, De Leon Nővér and I walked across quite a few of the bridges in Budapest (for those of you who don't know, Budapest is split into two sides, Buda and Pest, by the Danube River).  It was super pretty, with the city lights all around us, reflecting off the water.  We both just loved the fact that we LIVE here in this beautiful city!  I am so grateful to be here :)

We were able to go to a missionary concert this past week, put on by a couple of musically talented missionaries (including my MTC companion, Sister Christensen) and members.  It was SO GOOD.  They played a fun jazzy classical, with spiritual hymns and thoughts interspersed.  There was a clarinet player who was SO GOOD (I played clarinet for 8 years, so I was super impressed by his skills) and De Leon Nővér took a picture with him afterwards haha.  (That is my explanation for this random picture of us with a Hungarian man.)  Music is so great though!  And Hungary has a super rich history of classical composers (example: Franz Liszt (or Liszt Ferenc, as he is called here in Hungary)-- you should check them out!  Or do something this week to add a little "culture"!

This past week was actually kind of weird, though.  De Leon had some version of the stomach flu and the mission nurse ordered her to sleep it off.  So, we only did the basics necessary, in regards to teaching programs, and De Leon slept and slept and slept.  And I studied and studied and studied haha.  I started and finished multiple BOOKS.  I cleaned.  I cooked.  At one point, I found myself doing lunges around my apartment in circles.  (For those who don't want to work on their missions, they are crazy!  It is boring to be home all day!)  BUT.  I learned a lot!

I read the new Relief Society book, Daughters of Our Kingdom.  It was a really interesting read about the history of this women's society and I really enjoyed the design of the book.

women reading in a garden

I found a favorite quote in there by Julie B. Beck, "When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves."  This is SO TRUE, of missionary work and of life in general.  I do not think success is measured by how big of a house we have, what type of car we drive, or how many baptisms we have.  I think it is determined by our motivations, how hard we try, and, ultimately, our relationships with our families, friends, and God.  What do you think?

This quote was followed later in the chapter by a reminder from President Gordon B. Hinckley (a past prophet of the church): "I have been quoted as saying, 'Do the best you can.'  But I want to emphasize that it be the very best.  We are too prone to be satisfied with mediocre performance.  We are capable of doing so much better."  This was a good reminder for me.  I want to give my ALL-- my very best-- to this mission!  Why would I want to live with regrets?  So I challenge all of you to choose one of your goals this week and just GO FOR IT!!  Life is so much more fulfilling when we try :)

This reminds me of a poem I read with my English class this last week:

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl, 
One was an optimistic soul; 
But the other took the gloomy view, 
"I shall drown," he cried, "and so will you." 

So with a last despairing cry, 
He closed his eyes and said, "Good-bye." 
But the other frog, with a merry grin 
Said, "I can't get out, but I won't give in! 

I'll swim around till my strength is spent. 
For having tried, I'll die content." 
Bravely he swam until it would seem 
His struggles began to churn the cream. 

On the top of the butter at last he stopped 
And out of the bowl he happily hopped. 
What is the moral?  It's easily found. 
If you can't get out -- keep swimming around!

I think attitude is so important in all we do.  My mom always told us, "Fun is an attitude, not an activity."  I did not really like that quote when I was younger because I was convinced that it was the other way around.  As I've grown, though, I have realized attitude really IS everything.  Through our attitudes of love and optimism, we can have success, peace, and happiness.  And it is OUR choice how we react, how we love, what we love.  So go and make some positive attitude choices this week!  Your week will be better, I know it :)

Anyways, sorry to just talk about a lot of random stuff in this email, but, like I said, not a lot happened this week, due to illnesses!  So I had a lot of time to think :P

I hope you are all well and healthy!

I love you all!
Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

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