Monday, December 17, 2012

My Very Last Email as a Missionary (dum dum duuuuum)

Hey all!

Totally weird to be writing my very last email!  I honestly kept forgetting that I was going home this past week.  I would keep telling all of our investigators, "Next time we meet...." and my companions would just look at me haha :P  But it has been an awesome week full of miracles!

I will keep it short, but basically we had a lot of awesome programs with new people!  (Totally got to go whipping during one of them :P)  We had an awesome program with Éva, the girl from the train, who we had met once before and had felt something in our last program.  This time, she explained that we had answered a lot of questions she had had for years.  She started crying as she talked to us about it.  She also told us how she had remembered during a hard time this week what we had said about finding answers through reading the scriptures.  She read a little bit from the Bible and took time to think about her program and totally recieved an answer!  This is awesome, seeing as when we first met, she wasn't even sure she believes in God!  Anyways, it was an awesome program.  We talked to her about baptism, too, and she knows it is the goal!  She told me that I kept making her cry, though (I kept bearing my testimony about the gospel and about how God loves her)!  She told me how much she will miss me because she really feels like we are connected because I am the one that found her on the train (she is sure it was not just coincidence... I agree!).  Anyways, total bummer that I won't be around for her growth, but I know she is in good hands.  I am so glad that Sisters Behunin and Roney are taking care of my much-loved Debrecen!

I was able to go to a baptism this past week, too.  Some investigators from the city over came and used our building.  But it was really nice.  I actually felt like it was a small gift from God on one of the last days I had as a missionary.  Just to even partake in it was so great and I reflected a lot on how special we all are to God.  There are no ordinary people.  We all have the opportunity to make covenants and come closer to God.  We all can do extraordinary things!

We also had the ward Christmas party, where we three performed a LOT of barely practiced (but successful!) musical numbers.  Sister Behunin and I also performed in church: follow this link for a later recording of the song!

Anyways, I think normally people's last emails are usually shorter and mostly about going home?  I don't know, I am just kind of still obsessed with my mission life :P  I love the people here so much!  It was so surreal on Sunday to say goodbye to my branch and my companions.  All the members patted and kissed me and told me how much they would miss me.  They even recited a poem in church for me haha.  I also had to say goodbye to my awesome awesome companions!  (President had me go up with four elders to Budapest last night.)  That was totally lame because we got along so well!  We seriously must have been the most functional and drama-free threesome ever!  I love those girls to death!

Anyways, not much else to share.  I have been in Budapest today at a Christmas zone conference.  I shared my departing testimony... again haha.  But I really just felt so much appreciation for my mission.  I have loved my mission.  I love the people here.  I love this country.  I love the gospel.  I know that my time here is done, though.  I am excited to use this as a springboard for the rest of my life!  I really think I will be able to trace all good things after this to my mission.  This has been the best decision I ever made!

I was told to send kisses and greetings to my family!  Puszillak!

See you family TOMORROW!  "Come what may and LOVE IT!"

Kramer Nővér (soon to be McKenna)

Merry Christmas!

Hello all!

I was going to send you all Christmas postcards with a little message... but I totally ran out of time.... sooo instead I am going to send my Christmas card this year by email (see attached pictures for lots of Christmas cheer).

I was watching the Christmas devotional and loved this line:

ˇWhether we have experienced 9 Christmases or 90, still we are all children- we are all children of our Heavenly Father." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Let's all take the time this year to remember the gifts that God has given us!

I am so grateful for all of you and your love and support!

Happy Holidays!

Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

Monday, December 10, 2012

Living in a Winter Wonderland :)

Well, it has been quite the week!  (Definitely feels like it has been longer just one week, so much has happened!)  This week has been great!

Sister Behunin and I welcomed a new member to our companionship (haha sounds like we gave birth or something).  Anyways, last Wednesday, Sister Roney joined us.  (And, sidenote: Elder D'Angina left and Elder Greaves got a greenie!  Fun!)  It has been so great, though!  Well, honestly, it was a little weird at first, since we are all super capable, functioning missionaries (we think it might be what it feels like to serve in America?  Minus the third companion maybe :P)  Anyways, we have all served for awhile, can express ourselves well in Hungarian, and know how to be missionaries.  It has been so fun teaching in lessons, since we all are able to contribute a lot!  We had to work a little bit more in the beginning to figure out the balance (and the sleeping situtation-- we weren't actually set up in our apartment to have three people haha), but I think it is coming together quite nicely :)  And we all get along so well, that it has just been a blast!  We tend to laugh a LOT together :)  I am so okay with this!  

We went up to Budapest to pick up Sister Roney.  Before we met up with her, I was able to meet with some members from Kispest (my very first area) for just a little bit.  Do you all remember Orsi?  She was my very first investigator to get baptized and I love her and her family very much (Sister De Leon and I actually spent Christmas Eve at their house last year).  Anyways, her mom and I planned to meet up in Budapest while I was there.  Sister Behunin and I took an incredibly early train to get to Budapest (it was quite beautiful, though, to watch the Hungarian countryside in the early morning... especially as it was snowing the whole time!).  We got off at the train station, where the little family was waiting for us.  The fun catch?  The little girls didn't know we were coming!  We walked towards them and they saw us and kind of did the, "Do I know you?" glance, then started and ran towards me and gave me giant hugs.  I was able to hug all of them and talk with them for quite a bit.  It was such a special experience for me to see and talk to these people I loved so much!

Then I was able to go the train station and see a lot of my mission "family".  That was also really special!  I saw lots of people from my old districts (like Sister Hardy and our elders!).  We grabbed lunch one last time at Trofea's (the Hungarian buffet) and visited while we ate.  It was so weird that I was saying goodbye for who knows how long, but I am so glad I was able to see them!  I am so glad that I have had the privilege of making such amazing friends on my mission :)

Anyways, we brought Sister Roney back to Debrecen and it has been golden since.

We have had a lot of awesome (and slightly untraditional) programs this week-- from playing the game "Ninja" with our branch president's family to singing Christmas carols with the senior couple and ward members to eating dinner with some of our favorite investigators to cutting snowflakes with a neighbor girl, we've had quite the week!  (But do not worry, we've taught the gospel a lot, too!)

We actually have had the opportunity to meet quite a few new people this week, which has been awesome.  We were able to set up with this girl I talked to on the train ride back from Budapest a month ago when I picked up Sister Behunin.  This girl was very friendly, nice, and receptive, but busy, as currently she is getting her PhD in Psychology.  However, we were finally able to meet with her this past week and it went really well!  She had a somewhat religious upbringing, but due to hard things in her life, finds it hard to believe in God.  We talked about how much God loves us and how hard things are part of His plan for us to grow.  She seemed really interested in what we were saying and at the end told us that she had a lot of feelings that she couldn't express just then because she would probably start crying.  We talked to her about how one way God communicates with us is through our feelings.  She told us that she would write down how she felt and share it with us next time!  I will keep you updated :)

Tomi (who we have been meeting with for awhile) told us that if he wasn't Catholic, he would be a Mormon.  Success... of a sort?

We've had this awesome opportunity to meet with our neighbors a couple of times.  There is a cute little family (mom, dad, young teenage boy, and 6 year old girl) that lives right above us.  Last week, they were putting Christmas lights up on the house and we got to talking and they invited us over to breakfast.  We went over there on Saturday and got to know them better (beforehand, we had just said "hi" in passing) and shared a spiritual message about the importance of remembering Christ at Christmastime.  It went great!  The family told us that they hadn't really talked to any of the missionaries since the first sisters moved into that apartment about 3 or 4 years ago.  They told us that they had really appreciated how friendly we were!  (Small lesson on the power of just smiling at someone and saying hi!)  We had a good discussion about religion... but we had to cut it short because we were already late for our sport ward activity (ended up playing soccer... in the snow... quite European :P).  However, it worked out perfectly because we set up to come back the next day (yesterday) and talk more about their questions (and teach their little girl how to cut snowflakes like she had seen in our windows).  The next day was great--- they are a very sweet, friendly family and we had a lot of fun playing with the little girl (who made us necklaces out of paper.... quite fashionable!) and talking to the family about the difference between the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  I hope that they continue to meet with the sisters!

Yesterday, Sunday, I also gave a twenty minute talk in church.  I talked about how special each of us are to God.  I had a couple of members come up to me afterwards and thank me specially for what I said.  They told me it was exactly what they needed to hear!  It was so neat for a few reasons!  One, it is so plain cool that it is not even a big deal to speak in Hungarian in front of a bunch of people anymore.  I really have grown so much in just the language.  Two, it was so awesome that I was able to use that language to be a tool in God's hand and say exactly what someone needed to hear!  Yay for missions :)  We missionaries also sang a special musical number in church.  If I say so myself, it was soo good!  Greaves Elder's greenie has a good bass voice, so we were able to make a four-part harmony with Sister Roney on the piano (advantage to being in a threesome!).  We sang "Angels We Have Heard On High".  Totally made some people tear up :P  But, seriously, it was a great sacrament meeting and a great Sunday!

Bah, so much else happened this week!  The work is really starting to take off (of COURSE this is when I leave haha).  Oh well.  I am excited to do all I can in the upcoming week to prepare Debrecen to switch hands.  You will all hear from me one more time on my mission!  Know for now that I love life! I'm still working hard!

Have a great week!

Kramer Nővér (aka McKenna)

Monday, December 3, 2012

"There are no ordinary people." -C.S. Lewis

Hello All!

Well, it seems far too soon, but transfer calls were today (crazy how an emergency transfer can throw off your timeline!).  Anyways, don't worry, I will be "dying" (finishing my mission) here in Debrecen with Sister Behunin.  However (wait for surprise twist)..... we will be getting a third companion!  Sister Roney, who is one of my kicsi from the MTC, will be joining us!  We figure we will be just about the oldest sister companionship ever (between the three of us, we will have 27 transfers), but I think it will be a lot of fun!  Anyways, so Sister Behunin and Roney will be running the area after I leave.

Anyways, enough of that craziness.  Let's see what happened this past week!

We had a busy week!  We travelled a lot, visited a lot of members.  We had a very sweet program with the Cummings and the mother of the Hungarian elder serving in Hungary.  She fed us dinner and we talked about life.  It was so neat to see, throughout all of our lives, how much God has helped and comforted us.  I especially appreciated it because this woman has had some difficult trials, but has remained so true to her faith.  It is cool to learn from their experiences.  Don't get me wrong, I have a strong testimony of God's love and help and have lots of experiences from my own life.  However, lots of people we talk to ask how we can know anything for sure since we are so young.  However, here at the dinner were people who have raised families and have had hard times, but still cite the gospel as the number one reason for their happiness and success.  How cool is that!  (It reminds me of this little elder who once stood in our zone conference to bear his testimony about the work and excitedly said, "It really works guys!"  I feel that way about the gospel :D)

Saturday, we were able to see the change and growth in someone's life, as there was a baptism of one of the elders' investigators- Tibór.  It was quite nice :)

There was a kind of sad moment this week, too, though-- in Young Women's yesterday, we watched a video about the new YW theme ("Stand in Holy Places").  One of the girls afterwards mentioned how they just showed "pretty" girls in the video.  We told her that she was beautiful, too, but she didn't believe us!  It was so sad.  Really, she is gorgeous.  However, here in Europe especially, people are just bombarded with false ideas of what makes a person worth something.  Sister Cummings bore her testimony about how beauty comes from the inside- it is the light shining within.  She also talked about our divine worth and how we are all special children of our Father in Heaven.  That worth doesn't changed based on how you look, how much money you make, or anything like that.  This is a topic that I feel so strongly about.  We are ALL precious.  It reminds me of a quote from The Little Princess: "I am a princess.  All girls are.  Even if they live in tiny, old attics; even if they dress in rags; even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young.  They're still princesses.  All of us.  Didn't your father ever tell you that?  Didn't he?"  I want you all reading to know that YOU are precious and special and loved.  You matter to a lot of people.  You matter to God.  I love this talk by President Uchtdorf, (which I am sure I have shared before), but it talks about how even though there are billions of us on the planet, we are each special and important to our Father in Heaven.  And it is so true!  When we understand that, it changes all of our interactions with others.  That reminds me of another quote by C.S. Lewis:

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which,if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilites, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

I love that!  Seriously, we are all so special in God's eyes and we all have so much influence on each other.  Let's use that influence for GOOD!

Anyways, sorry that this email is so soapbox-y, but one last pitch-- I got to watch the Christmas Devotional today.  SO GOOD.  Check it out!  It is so important to remember the Christ in CHRISTmas!!!  Sister Behunin and I are starting a tradition of writing miracles and services that happen daily and putting them in a Christmas box under our Christmas tree.  (We also want to start reading nightly Christmas stories with hot chocolate.  What can we say?  We love the Christmas season!)  But, anyways, it is to remind us of all of the blessings in our lives and the small gifts we give to Christ by serving others.

I love all of you!  Have a wonderful week!

Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

Monday, November 26, 2012

"How did it get so late so soon?" -Dr. Suess ... (aka time is flying!)

We had lots of big events this week!  Since I spent most of my emailing time today sending in pictures for the mission slideshow  (it will comprise of pictures of the entire last year.  Seeing as I have been here all of that time, have had awesome adventures, taken great pictures, and most of the people I've served around have since gone home, let's just say I sent quite a few pictures in haha).  So, yeah, sorry for the shorter-than-usual email (although I am sure some of you are grateful haha)).  Anyways, I will just quickly summarize my week:

We had Zone Training in Miskolc.  After President Richards was here, the zone leaders were told to call these meetings to discuss changes in the mission.  However, after the training, it turns out there weren't really any big changes, like we thought there would be.  Instead, there was more of an increased emphasis on exactly following the white handbook.  I am grateful that I have always tried to do that on my mission!  I was also able to give my departing testimony.  I am not going to type up the whole thing here (maybe later I will type it up in a seperate email), but I can say looking back at my mission, I have learned a lot, grown and matured a lot, loved a lot.  I am so lucky to have had this experience!

The Thanksgiving Dinner was a success!  Our seniors are awesome and pulled through with an absolutely delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 60 people.  We contributed two pies (apple and banana cream).

Our ward had a service project-- we cleaned up the streets and lawns around our branch house.  Sister Behunin picked up a LOT of cigarette butts and gum.  Gross.  We had two investigators come and help, which was awesome.  Service is so great!  I always feel so good after it :)

Sister Behunin and I are still doing great :)  (We have been talking and laughing lots!)  She has been sick this past week, unfortunately, but she is feeling better!  I have been bringing her up to speed on the ward and our investigators, as she will most likely be taking over the area after me.  I really feel like she is going to be perfect for that, though!  Love that girl already!!  Neither of us can believe we have only been together for only a week!

And just as an interesting note, it is apparently becoming tradition for me to last-minute play the piano and perform musical numbers here :P As I was practicing for church (after being told 20 minutes before sacrament meeting I would play), the Cummings and the branch president invited me to join their musical number.  So I ended up playing, translating, and singing in church.  I have to say, I really do feel needed here!  I love it, though!

Anyways, gotta run!

Love you all!!
Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

P.S. Totally decorated our apartment.... and started listening to Christmas music this past week!  LOVE IT :D  Yay for the holidays!!  Part 1 of two Hungarian Christmas days is coming up this week.  Kellemes Mikulást kivánok mindenkinek!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality." -Alfred Painter

Well all, it has been quite a unique week.

We had an awesome zone conference in Budapest with a member of the 70, Elder Kent F. Richards (check out this talk he gave in General Conference last year).  It was so great!  I took pages and pages of notes.  He encouraged all of us to be better, basically.  I was so impressed with his knowledge of the scriptures.  He would teach us a principle and then emphasize it with scriptures, just turning to one after the other from his head.  It was great!  And it was very inspirational :)  I really love that everything we believe is based in the scriptures.  And that they can give us guidance for each of our different situations!  Anyways, I think there are going to be some big changes in our mission because of this conference.  I will let you know more about that next week!

After Zone Conference, the emergency transfer happened.  Sister Watts and I gave each other big hugs and then she took the metro to her new home (my old one) and I brought Sister Behunin (and her luggage) on the long train ride back to Debrecen.  So, Sister Watts and I are no longer companions, which is weird.  But I love Sister Behunin already, so I know it will be okay.  (See attached picture for Sister Behunin and I today eating at a little cafe.)  Some fun facts about Sister Behunin: she is super short (4'10") and totally looks Asian in photos.  (But she is not actually Asian.  So don't be confused when I send pictures of her!)  She's super funny and we have been enjoying talking. She is my first non-greenie companion in 4 transfers.  I realized that I have served more than half of my mission with sisters in their 3rd transfer and under.  So, it is fun to have someone in their 5th!  We will hopefully be able to use both of our experiences to see a lot of good and progression here in Debrecen.  And I am trying to help her get ready for senior after I leave :)  Good all around!  (Also, for those of you wondering, Sister Watts has said she is doing good in Kispest.)

I had a lot of Szeged people in Debrecen this weekend (there was a YSA Institute conference at our branch house, which was awesome, with participants from all over Hungary and parts of Romania).  It was so great because I was able to talk to them a little bit and say my goodbyes.  Evelin was there (she is still so golden-- such an active member with such a strong testimony and such a light) and told me all about her new calling in the Young Women's Presidency back in Szeged.  She was way excited about it!  It is so so so neat to see her making awesome choices and continuing to progress.  I was also able to say goodbye to the Adamses, who were a big support in Szeged and who I love.  So, it was great because it was like having a little piece of home with me this weekend.  But it is totally weird that I am starting to say final goodbyes.

For those of you wondering why I am saying goodbyes, I actually hit my month-left-in-the-mission mark yesterday. That is right, I will now be home officially in less than a month!  (Craziness.)  In case I don't say it enough, I just want you all to know that this mission was the best decision I have ever made.  I love my mission!  I have learned and grown so much personally.  I have seen so many miracles.  I have met so many amazing people.  I have had awesome experiences.  I have worked hard and I will continue to do so.  Missions are basically the best!!!  I encourage anyone thinking about it to seriously pray abou it.  God knows what is best for you.  And, honestly, you will never regret serving!

Also, I wanted to wish all of you a great Thanksgiving!  I love this holiday!  Food and thanks :)  Honestly, we have all had so much given to us!!  The other day, I read this awesome article in an old Liahona from President Monson in which he encourages us all to focus less on the materialistic things and more on the simple, God-given gifts that endure.  (I encourage you all to read the article.)  But, honestly, we all have been given so much by God.  And it so important that we give back.  Love this poem he quotes from The Sound of Music:

A bell is no bell ’til you ring it,
A song is no song ’til you sing it,
And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay—
Love isn’t love ’til you give it away.

I think this well describes my feelings when I decided to go on a mission and my feelings still.  I remember thinking, "I always say that I believe these things are true.  I really DO believe that this gospel is true!  Well, then, why don't I go and share it?  I need to DO something with my testimony!"  And on my mission, I have just learned this lesson so much more.  We gain so much love and blessings the more we serve others.  So funny that it works that way.  But it is great that love and service are gifts that just keep giving and benefit all who partake!

Well, anyways, I am going to run!  I hope you all take the time to remember (and even write down!) all of the things you are blessed with and grateful for!

Life is beautiful.  Seriously.

Love you all!
Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

P.S. Before Sister Watts left, she and I bought the most epic companion item last week.  (See attached picture)  Yup, that's right.  I am now the proud owner of onesie pajamas.  Pretty awesome :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Life's Little Miracles :)

Hello all!

We have had a BUSY week.  (What's new?  :P)

Some highlights:

Met with a totally golden investigator-- she is actually the friend of the one Hungarian elder serving in Hungary (he is originally from Debrecen).  He had asked us for her number last week and was able to meet with her in his city and give her a Book of Mormon and tell her to meet with us.  We called her up after that and she seemed super excited to meet.  We met with her with Dori (our awesome member) and the program went great!  Rózsa is a super smiling, friendly 20 year old studying to be a nurse.  We were able to talk about God's help with her and how the gospel makes us happy.  She loved it!  And she is so awesome!  She already has a strong belief in God.  She prays.  But she is looking for something more.  (We told her we could help her with that!)  She has been reading the Book of Mormon and has already read up to 2 Nephi.  She said she reads it every night because it makes her feel so good.  And then at the end of the lesson, she asked about baptism!  We will see where it goes (I mean, we've only met her once) but she seems very prepared!

We had a cool experience with the senior sisters.  We often go with them to look up the inactive young sigle adults.  This past time, we went to a couple of the addresses we had and the people there had moved or went home.  Undiscouraged, we talked to those living there now and left newsletters at the others'.  Sister Watts and I had a scheduled program with an investigator that we needed to get to, but I felt impressed to look up one last person with the sisters.  I had a list of all of the names we were focusing on and I had already pulled out a few names to look up.  However, I felt like we should go look up this last person that wasn't on my list of people to look up that day.  His name just kept coming into my mind.  So, we drove out to the outskirts of the city and pulled up to his house.... which was dark and empty.  Totally anti-climatic haha.  But I pulled out the newsletter and begin to write a note on it, expressing that we would like to meet with this young man sometime, planning on coming back in the vague future to check on him again.  As I was sitting there writing, a car pulled up near ours.  I finished my note, hopped out of the car, and went to put it in the mailbox.  However, as I was stuffing it in, the woman from the car called out, "Can I help you?"  I went over to talk to her and turns out she was the young man's mother, just arriving home from work.  She was able to tell us that he doesn't live there anymore and gave us his current address and phone number.  It was just one of those cool little moments where the timing worked out just right!  In this situtation, we would've been totally justified in going back to the branch house, since we had the program.  However, I followed the feeling I had and we showed up at the exact time that his mother did.  I guess some people would call that coincidence, but I have seen way too many "coincidences" in my life.  We were talking with the senior missionaries about how many small miracles we see in our lives.  They were saying that the longer you are around, the more you see God's hand in your life.  I really believe that God cares about this work and these people!  It is awesome :)

Saturday was super busy.  We last-minute went to a baptism over in Nyírigeháza.  We had invited an investigator who is thinking about baptism to go, but his schedule conflicted with the time.  However, he called us before the baptism and told us that his schedule had cleared up and he would love to go and check it out.  We were able to rearrange our own afternoon and we headed on over to Nyíregyháza Saturday afternoon with our investigator, Tamás, and Dori.  We had a nice train ride (complete with Oreo Milka chocolate... yum :D) and arrived about half an hour before the service started.  When we arrived at the branch house, though, the elders came up to me and told me that they needed me to play the piano.  They said they had been praying for someone all week that could play the piano (since their normal pianist couldn't come) and then I unexpectedly showed up!  And I can "play" the piano (at least better than anyone else there!).  The thing is--- I am still not THAT great of a pianist haha.  And they had already picked the songs-- both of which were ones I didn't know.  However, I had a few minutes, so I went and practiced up until the baptism.  And the great thing is-- it went fine!  I really felt God's help with that, too-- I learned two new songs from the hymnbook in a record amount of time for me.  And played tons of prelude music and stuff.  And it all worked out :)  Again, maybe a small thing to some, but I am sure it mattered to the girl getting baptized.  And I sure appreciated the extra help :D  (And, btw, our investigator totally loved the baptism-- told us that he felt that same feeling he gets when he reads the Book of Mormon-- that calm peaceful feeling where everything else fades away.  We told him that was the Spirit!)

Ironically enough, that experience at the baptism prepared me for Sunday, when I showed up to church and was told I would be playing the piano in sacrament meeting that day haha.  Thankfully, I had the option of using the easy hymnbook, so that wasn't stressful at all (if you all haven't noticed, I have been emergency asked to play the piano a LOT on my mission!  I am kind of getting used to it.)  I had a busy sacrament meeting, as I was also translating for the seniors (so I would scurry back and forth from the piano bench to the congregation) and Greaves Elder and I sang a special musical number (which went very well!  Greaves Elder and I are so used to singing together after all of our time in the MTC together... we were able to whip something up really quick (which was good, seeing as they asked us on Friday to do it!)).  We also had a cool moment during Primary.  Actually, no kids showed up, but we were able to have an awesome conversation with the Primary teacher, who used to be branch president once upon a time.  He told us about how some things have happened to make his testimony struggle and how he still is here, but it is harder than it was.  It was actually really cool that we were able to talk to him (I had never really had the opportunity to talk about more than the niceties with him before) because both Sister Watts and I had life experiences that really fit some of his problems.  Also, found out that he has been to Connecticut!  I guess his job takes him there sometimes?  (Mom and Dad, I gave him your phone number, and told him to look you all up sometime while he is there.)  Just more testimony about how God puts us in the right place at the right time to help someone.  That was strengthened even more in sacrament meeting, when Sister Cummings, one of the speakers, spoke directly about some of this man's concerns, without even knowing their existence or about our conversation.  She talked about how as people, we don't know everything and about how faith is a choice.  But when we choose to believe in God and follow him, we are so so blessed.

Last highlight from Sunday-- totally fed three times.  It was awesome!  Had lunch at the senior sisters with an investigator and Dori, went to a members' house and were able to give an awesome object lesson (the kids really liked it-- it was messy and fun :D  One of them said, "This is way better than the elders!"  haha.  We told them if we came again, we would try to bring a comparably fun lesson, but no guarantees that they would be able to get their hands dirty again :P), and then we met with a new lady that we had just met that day after church.  This cute little néni walked into church right after sacrament meeting ended, wondering when our church started.  We told her that she had just missed it, but offered to meet with her before next Sunday.  She asked if we were free that day and so we scheduled her in after our other programs.  We went to her house, where we had a sweet little program about families and the Book of Mormon.  And then she unexpectedly fed us, too!  She was a cute lady, who totally loves her family.  She also apparently is from a really old family in Debrecen.  She had lots of old pictures about her ancestors, who had been mayors of Debrecen when there was still a king.  So that was neat :)

I know that this email is already super long, but there is one last important thing I need to write about.  This one is kind of sad actually.  Sister Watts got a phone call from President Smith a couple of days ago informing her that she will be Emergency Transferred.  There is a sister in Kispest who is having some more serious medical problems, and, as Sister Watts is the misison nurse, President wanted her to go and take care of this sister.  So, on Thursday after Zone Conference in Budapest (we have a general authority coming), Sister Watts is going to leave and I am going to get a new companion-- Sister Behunin.  Total craziness.  I didn't actually think I would have another companion on my mission.  And it is totally sad, since Sister Watts and I have been doing awesome work and get along really well.  But, I know she will be able to help the other sister out and I have been telling her how awesome Kispest is (for those of you who don't remember, that was my very first area in Hungary).  So it will be okay :)  I don't know much about Sister Behunin yet, except that she is really short, a rock climber, and sings really well.  I will give you more details next week!

Anyways, I love you all!  I hope you have an amazing week!

Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

Monday, November 5, 2012

"The worth of the souls is great in the sight of God."

Hello All!

Another crazy week!  The time is FLYING!!!  I can't believe how little time I have left and how much I have to do!  I can say, though, I am going to "die" still kicking :)  Aka we are working HARD!!!  :D

Anyways, this week has had a lot of interesting activities!  Like I said in my last email, we did a service project with the YSA of tying blankets for children, then we had an activity on Tuesday with the Young Women carving pumpkins (I was the carving expert, seeing as I was American and had done it before :P  It was totally fun and the pumpkins turned out great!) and decorating for the ward Halloween party, on Wednesday we had the ward Halloween party (total success!  We had bobbing for apples, cutting-jack'o'lanterns-out-of-orange-paper contest (instead of a messy carving contest), decorating "monster" cupcakes, mummy wrapping (done with toilet paper), a small lesson on the tradition of Halloween (since they don't celebrate it here), trick-or-treating, and topped it off with popcorn and a film (Casper the Friendly Ghost... and Monsters and Aliens (not strictly Halloween, but we couldn't find Monsters, Inc. haha)).  It was a great success!  We had quite a few church members and a lot of friends!  I think everyone had a great time :), Thursday was a holiday (more on that later), Friday we had district meeting (we've had a few changes to our district, including Elder Greaves coming here and Elder Hatfield (my "nephew" (aka Elder Velasquez's greenie) from Szeged) to Nyírigehaza.  It is so fun having old friends and "family" come here!), Saturday we had a big soccer tournament (I am pretty sure I won, seeing as (due to numbers) I ended up playing on every single team at some point haha.  It was great, with members coming from Debrecen and surrounding branches and towns.), and Sunday we had Fast and Testimony meeting, followed by a giant lunch at the Cummings (I told you about their tradition of inviting members over... we had a record-breaking SIXTEEN people there in their tiny apartment) and a program with the Chinese boy I told you all about (we were able to bring Sister Wieberg, who actually speaks Mandarin, since she lived in Taiwan for 6 years.  It was really interesting teaching someone with almost no Christian or religious background.).  All in all, quite an eventful week, filled out with programs and finding :)

But, Thursday deserves its own paragraph, for sure.  It was another holiday here in Hungary (All Saints Day, to be followed by Day of the Dead... they remember those who have passed on and show respect by placing flowers and candles at the graves).  We had planned to explore the city.  Unfortunately it was raining, but we braved the water and wandered around Debrecen taking pictures.  After a few hours (and a lot of pictures), we came back (rather damp) to the branch house and played games.  I had the most random phone call from one of my old investigators from Kispest while there.  I don't know if you all remember Béla and Ilona?  (Béla was the one who read the Book of Mormon in just a few weeks.)  They had a date to be baptized about a year ago, but due to Ilona's health problems and other events, they didn't end up getting baptized.  However, recently, they really felt like they should start meeting with the misisonaries again and called the Kispest sisters up to start meeting.  Anyways, I got a call from Béla because he happened to be in Debrecen (his son lives here); he wanted to know if we could meet.  We were able to meet at the branch house for about 20 minutes and it was so neat to talk to him and reminisce!  (It was also cool because I understood everything he was saying!  Haha, how much has changed since I was a greenie :P)  I still have so much love for all of the investigators I have ever met with!  So that was so sweet to talk to him again.  After, we had to run to dinner at the Cummings, and then we went to the cemetary to look at the candles and flowers.  It was beautiful!  We stayed for awhile, walking up and down the rows, admiring the piles and piles of flowers and the flickering lives, and talking about life.  About 8 o'clock, we decided to leave and went to the gate... but (here comes the adventure) it was LOCKED!  We were a little perturbed (it was NOT that late) and worried (we had the senior sisters with us), so we tried another gate.  That, too, was locked!!!  After a failed search for security guards and agreeing that we had zero desire to spend the night with the dead, we came to the conclusion that the only thing to do.... was climb the gate.  So that's what we did!!  (see picture)  Let me tell you-- it was an adventure!  (Most of all for the senior sisters, I think!)  It was a team effort getting everyone over safely, but I am pleased to announce that we all arrived on the other side none the worse for wear (although Sister Hanson did admit to shaky legs).  We all just basically bust up laughing about it whenever we think of it.  I seriously have the most random adventures!  Who gets locked in a graveyard and has to climb the fence?!?!  (Answer: me.)

Other funny moments from this week: our investigator chided us for not wearing more sturdy shoes while it was raining and told us that if we didn't come in boots next week, he wouldn't let us in :)  We had a random Hungarian from Iceland stop us on the street and later show up at the branch house to talk.  He wanted to be Facebook friends.  We gave him a Book of Mormon instead.  I had an awesome conversation with the guy who cut my hair (FINALLY got my hair trimmed after more than a year of not cutting it) about religion and why we were there.  It was kind of ironic because I looked to find somewher that spoke English (I figured hair was something better understood by all parties), but we ended up talking in Hungarian the whole time anyways.  At the end, I gave him a Book of Mormon, too!  I love random finding moments :)

Also, as I am sure you have noticed in my emails, we have been working a lot with less-active members recently.  My old companion, Sister Papritz, put the importance of this really well in an email she sent me and I want to share it with you (hope you don't mind Autumn!):

"also I don't know if I expanded on something I wanted to say a couple of weeks ago...but just major props to you for doing such amazing work with less actives. I gained such a huge HUGE HUUUUUGE testimony of that in Duna and really feel like that can move the work forward just as effectively as streeting and tracting. We won't have a temple there without our inactives coming back into the fold. They need to be focused on too, they need to be brought closer to christ. it is a hard balance because all of that work isn't reflected in the numbers, but eternally it is so significant. I think it's great that your last transfers you're able to have a bit of a shift in approach and focus. It's not about numbers there, just in the same sense those other harder areas aren't..duna, bekescsaba...etc. but really your'e focusing on what's important, the missionary purpose, bringing others unto christ and preparing the country for a temple and strengthening the ward. You've been doing the traditional missionary work you're entire mission, this is the stuff that is applicable after the mission. You will ALWAYS be searching for inactives, you will always have others to lift up and a ward to strengthen. I just think these experiences in Debrecen are priceless, albeit unrecognized and perhaps a little less "fruitful" but in the end...the numbers never mattered and you know you're helping people feel closer to God and come closer to their eternal potential. It's almost more rewarding I felt like to remind people of their covenants, to remind people of the spirit they used to feel. I think it is just as valuable as any other traditional work we can do. So keep it up. I love it."

She's so right.  It is SO important to help members!  Sister Watts and I have been going crazy with it!  This last week we had 9 programs with less-active members.  We walked one of them to church on Sunday (after she told us she hates going by herself and was afraid she would be alone at church).  We have been looking a lot of them up, alone and with the senior sisters, and delivering Liahonas and messages.  I think a lot of them just need love and support!  Our mission purpose is "to bring others unto Christ" and I think before my mission I thought that just meant that I would help others to make baptismal covenents.  However, throughout my mission, that definition has been expanded.  I have realized that I, too, am included in the purpose (how can I effectively help others lean about Christ if I haven't studied or built my own testimony?), my companion (one of my most important investigators!), the other missionaries, the ward members, the less-actives, and, of course, investigators and other people are, too.  It is ALL the Lord's work.  We are ALL important in his eyes.  He loves us all :)  The gospel is for everyone!

Tonight, I shared the spiritual thought at Family Home Evening (FHE) that kind of ties in with this.  I shared one of my favorite videos called "The Touch of the Master's Hand", based on the poem of the same name.

It is about the worth of a soul in the sight of God.  In the scriptures we read that the worth of the soul is GREAT in the sight of God.  And it is so true.  There is another scripture I love in the Bible (2 Timothy 2:20-21) that talks about  how there are vessels made of different materials (some gold, some wood) in the Lord's house.  It talks about how each can become a useful tool in the Lord's hand.  We all have different talents and abilities, but we all have great worth in the Lord's eyes.  That is so important to remember, both about ourselves and others!  God loves you!

I love you all, too!  I'm going to end this essay of an email now, but know that I appreciate your love and support!  I hope you have a great week!

Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

Monday, October 29, 2012

(I forgot to write a subject line this week...)

Hello All!

This week was pretty great :)  Looking back, though, I can't even believe that all of things that happened were in the same week!  It has been great, but looooong.

Tuesday, we had a billion "goodbye" programs, as we had thought that Sister Watts would be leaving.  She didn't leave, but we were still able to tag along with the elders and be fed by half our ward.  We had one adventure where we were coming from an investigator's house, trying to go straight to a lunch program with the elders.  Tuesday was a holiday here, though, so the buses were running less often than usual.  Our bus arrived at the big bus stop right when the other bus we needed to did.  We were on the phone with the elders and told them to hold the bus and started flat-out sprinting to the other side of the station.  The elders fumbled and struggled as much as they could and told the bus driver that we were coming.  We were totally within sight of the bus and running when it shut its door and drove away.  GAH.  The elders waved at us as they went off to the program.  We ultimately caught a later bus and got there in the end.  Turns out the elders had taken the wrong road anyways, so we showed up only a few minutes after them!  We had more public transportation adventures after lunch when we all sprinted for our return bus, holding bags, a guitar, and Beaumont, his companion.  Haha.  Missionary life.  So exciting :P  We rounded out the night at our branch president's house.  His family is so nice :)  They were all bummed that Elder Beaumont was leaving, but told me that they are so glad I am staying!  It has been weird this week adjusting.  We all relied a lot on Beaumont Elder, but I think Greaves Elder and I have balanced out the translating now :)  I know it will be okay!  It is so weird, though.  For the first time on my entire mission, I am the senior (along with Greaves Elder) missionary in my area.  I think it is going to be a stressful transfer.  But a good one!

We had an awesome program with a less-active with the senior sisters.  I was playing double-translator (sisters into Hungarian, the less-active into English), but it was great!  We talked about how to keep the Spirit with us.  Sometimes it feels like the Sunday School answers of "Read your scriptures.  Pray.  Go to church." are too simple and we want something deeper or more.  In a cool coincidence, there was actually a talk about that in this month's Liahona (the church's magazine) about how really those are the best answers.  And I was thinking, I have been able to read a lot of books by the apostles and prophets and other general authorities, and they have been super interesting, but really, all of those books are based on the scriptures.  The member said it best, when she said, "Well, Christ really said everything.  I don't know that anyone could say it better than him!"

I have been given a calling of sorts here!  I have been helping Sister Watts teach Primary, but I have been given my own calling-- secretary in the Young Women presidency!!

In our ward mission meeting yesterday, after reviewing the giant list of people Sister Watts and I had looked up, our mission president announced (jokingly) that it would be my responsibility to reactivate everyone.  Haha.  He told me one a month wasn't enough!  Haha :)  Sister Watts and I HAVE been working really hard to strengthen the ward!  I hope it pays off!

Had a cool program with an investigator with a returned sister missionary.  I have to say-- I am looking forward to the day I can express myself that effortlessly!  Obviously, I can speak this language about a billion times better than I could when I first came here, but it would still be easier in English.  One thing I have learned, though, from speaking and teaching in another language-- it is always best to simplify the gospel when teaching it.  For a long time, I was forced to, and actually that was really good.  Sometimes, I have a tendency to throw a ton of information at people at once.  Not the most effective way to learn!  So, I am grateful for that!  Also, I have learned that, really, my ability to speak aside, God is the one teaching.  Yes, obviously it is important how well we explain it, but, in the end, the person is going to have to make the decision themselves with God whether or not these things are true.  I think we are really more inviters or introducters to the gospel.  And then, people take off!

Our mission president was here this weekend!  We were able to have dinner with him, his wife, the other Debrecen missionaries, a member, and an investigator.  We had a lot of fun eating delicious paprikás csirke on ironed bedsheets (sometimes you have to get creative here :P) and it was so good!  The investigator said at the end that he just felt so GOOD in the circle of smiling faces!  We told him that the gospel makes you happy :)  And it is so true!

Had some fun tracting adventures-- we actually tracted into an exchange student studying here at the university.  He is from China and we had a cool discussion about the scriptures.  At the end, he gave us Chinese cut-outs!  Seriously, the most random things happen on my mission!  I love it :)

This next week is going to be even better!  Service projects, Young Women activities, a ward Halloween party, possible SNOW (it will be Sister Watt's FIRST)!  I will keep you all updated!  We are currently making blankets with the YSA, though, as a service project, so I have to run!

Love you all!  Jók legyetek!
McKenna aka Kramer Nővér

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Lost time is never found again." -Benjamin Franklin

Hello all!

'kay, because of a super busy P-Day (Elder Beaumont's last ever -- included malls, pictures, food, Family night, attempts at bowling, and the game ninja), I don't have a lot of time to write!  I apologize for that, as someone told me recently that is becoming a common intro to my emails!  I think there is never enough time!  I will try to be better next week, though!  And maybe even send some pictures :)

The first part of this week was pretty special.  Sister Papritz was in Debrecen, so we were able to spend P-Day together, whipping in the Great Forest, attempting to find Debrecen University t-shirts, and going up the tower of the big church here in Debrecen.  We also did a bit of fliering and streeting together!  Felt like we were companions again :P  It was fun to see her for a bit.  It was a weird reminder that missions end.  But that reminder was helpful, too, as it also totally made me want to work as hard as possible in the time remaining to me!

The rest of the week, we have been spending a lot of time looking up people on our branch list and verifying their information.  We even went to another town with the senior sisters to look some up.  We have such a big area (the city of Debrecen and surrounding towns) and such a big list, that it sometimes is kind of an intimidating task, but person by person, we are getting it done.  We've actually done so much that when we brought the list to our branch meeting, the leader could hardly believe how long it was and told us the branch president would cry with joy if he saw it!  haha :)  It is a lot of just plain, hard fact-checking, but it is so worth it, as we are getting the list up-to-date and meeting with a lot of great people, as well!  And our efforts are paying off!  This past Sunday in church, we had a TON of people and families that haven't been coming for awhile!  Yay!  There was such an awesome feeling in church of togetherness and family, which is how it should be.  (Also, somehow we ended up singing two musical numbers.  It was kind of awesome, actually.)  I have a lot of hope for this branch to be healed and strengthened by the time I leave!

Also, on a totally random note-- I and my hand have been kissed and patted by a lot of old men this week.  I don't know what it is, but the bácsi's love me!  One told me I am an absolute joy to talk to, I am that adorable.  haha.  Kind of weird, but whatever.  Also, there was a totally funny moment in my English class, when one of the students (not a bácsi this time, more like a 30 year old man), told me it was his birthday on Sunday and tried to get birthday púszi.  I kind of just gave him a look and he was like, "Oh, yeah that's not allowed."  Super funny because it was a church member... who the elders meet with.  We all laughed about it later together.

We also had a great dinner at the senior sisters' on Sunday.  They and the Cummings have decided to start hosting seperate weekly Sunday dinners with the two sets of missionaries.  And then we or they invite investigators and ward members.  It is such an awesome, easy, and totally delicious way to make great friendships!  We ate with Anánda, her brother, and Dóri this past Sunday.  It was fun!  Ananda and her brother told us all sorts of stuff about Nigeria and Dóri showed us bits from her prom/talent show/presentation ceremony (it is a Hungarian tradition for seniors in high school... they perform dances and get a ribbon to welcome in their final year).  We laughed a lot and had a lot of fun!  Anyways, I mention it because I thought it was a totally great idea for anyone wanting to do misisonary work!  It just provides an opportunity to have conversation with new people!  So doable :)

Anyways, overall this week has been great!  We had a lot of people "dog" us (not show up to our programs), but we used that time to go finding and do look ups and managed to give away a lot of copies of the Book of Mormon and talk to a lot of people!  There is always more good to do as a missionary!

Oh, and I guess i should've mentioned in the beginning, transfer calls were this morning.  Sister Watts and I are actually staying together!  We both thought she would be leaving, so it was such a happy surprise when the AP told us that we'd get to continue for another transfer!  Elder Beaumont is getting transferred to Canada (haha dorky mission humor... he is going home this week.  Which is so weird... I have known him my entire mission and served in the same district as him twice... he is such a good missionary, I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had to learn from him and become friends with him!), and Elder Greaves, one of my elders from the MTC, is taking his place!  I have a LOT of work to do this next transfer!  It is going to be awesome!

Have amazing weeks!  Do all you can!  and if you mess up, be better tomorrow!  I believe in change :)

Love you all!

Monday, October 15, 2012

2 Nephi 31:17-21 "This is the way"

Hello all!

This has been the best week EVER!!!!  Evelin was baptized!!!!  And I was able to go :D :D :D  It was so amazing!  Let me tell you how the whole day went down:

We went with Sister Hanson (one of the senior sisters in our city) by car, which was super convenient (since the train would have taken longer and would have been way more expensive).  We had planned to leave at 7am, but, as travel often goes, we didn't fully leave Debrecen until closer to 8am.  It is about a 3 and a half hour drive by car, through which Sister Hanson's GPS took us on the prettiest route EVER through Hungary.  We went through little towns, farms, and forests.  We shared the road with bicycles, tractors, and horses/wagons.  It was awesome!  And so so pretty, seeing as autumn is starting to show here.  The absolutely funniest thing happened on that trip, though.  We were driving along one of these little country roads when Sister Hanson asked me, "What does "ferry" mean?"  I looked at the GPS and sure enough, it said "Ferry" at the top where it normally had the Hungarian street name.  I told her that didn't make a lot of sense as a Hungarian name (the spelling was all wrong) and we looked at the screen for a second, until the GPS announced that we should board the ferry in 80 meters.  We looked at the GPS and then each other in disbelief.  And thought, "Is it serious?"  But, sure enough, we topped a hill and saw a little river with a small ferry fording back towards us.  Sufficeth to say, we all just busted up laughing.  We couldn't believe that the GPS was taking us across a ferry!  We waited for our turn (the ferry only took 2 cars at a time), then carefully drove the car on.  While on the ferry, we took lots of pictures (see attached).
I tried to tell the other driver why we were all laughing and taking pictures, but I don't think he found it as funny as we did :P  We crossed the river easily, though, and then just continued on our journey.  (It is kind of epic that I can say we drove across the country and even had to take a ferry to get to the baptism!  Nothing was going to stop us, though!)  We had a few other driving adventures throughout the trip, including the bumpiest roads you have ever been on, the GPS trying to take us down a walking street, being stuck and surrounded by one-way streets, etc., but I am pleased to announce that we arrived safe and sound in Szeged :)  It was so cool slash slightly weird being back, since driving in, it kind of felt like I had never left.  I really do love Debrecen, but Szeged will always be a home to me.  Anyways, it was made even weirder when we showed up to the Adamses and I opened the door and found TWO of my old companions there.  Sister Hardy and Sister Papritz (now Autumn) were sitting in the Adamses' dining room.   (I actually knew she was coming back to Hungary, btw.  So it wasn't a surprise or anything.  But it was still crazy to see her!)  It was so fun being with my mission family and friends (we, Sister Hanson, the Adamses, the Szeged sisters, the Szeged elders, and Sister Papritz were all there).  We practiced a song for Evelin's baptism together and then headed over!  Evelin was getting baptized in a water park, actually, on the other side of the river, since the Szeged branch house is rented and does not have a baptismal font.  We walked over there, seeing half of our ward on bikes as we were on the bridge.  We got to the water park and walked in the front lobby, where I was then greeted and kissed and hugged by tons of my old ward members!  It was so nice to be back :)  Evelin came barreling at me and gave me the biggest hug and told me she was so glad I was there!  (I was so glad too!)  In the lobby, we had to get little foot booties to protect our shoes, seeing as it was a water park and all, then walked through to a small mirrored room for the service.  We said the prayer, sang songs, listened to a talk, and then it was time for the baptism.  We went to the big open room (which I can't properly describe-- I will try and get some pictures of it later) where there were multiple swimming pools connecting to the outside.  There was a perfectly circular, raised hot tob in the middle of all of these pools, which was where Evelin was to be baptized.  There were some people standing on the ground level, right around the small hot pool, but most of us were on a second level balcony right above it, as it was easier to see.  It was kind of weird at first because there were still people in the various swimming pools around us and it was kind of noisy.  As Evelin walked into the water, though, the whole room hushed and watched.  She stood in white in the water, looking absolutely beautiful and happy.  Our ward mission leader said the baptismal prayer and then baptized her.  It was so special!  The spirit was very strong.  It was so amazing to be there and see her take this step.  When I streeted her about 6 months ago, she didn't even believe in God!  How far she has come :)  After the baptismal ordinance, we went back to the small room, where we continued to sing and write notes for Evelin while we waited for her to change.  Something kind of interesting happened then.  While we were singing a song, Evelin's grandmother, who is not a member, starting crying.  Later, when I asked Evelin about it, she said that her grandma was just so so happy about the whole thing, and that at the baptismal she just felt something that she couldn't even explain (the spirit!) and so she started crying from all the happiness and feelings.)  Anyways, when Evelin came back after getting changed, we missionaries sang our special musical number, (I personally was beaming at her the whole time, I was just so dang happy!).  There was another talk, another song, closing prayer (which she had asked me to give!  She had the two sisters who were there when she decided to be baptized say the prayers.)  After the service, we went back to the branch house for the "party".  Aka we ate a lot of food and talked to everyone there.  It was so fun to catch up with my old companions and my old ward.  While there, Evelin came up to me and told me that I was glowing!  I literally was just so happy :)  I was surrounded by those I loved!  She had just been baptized!  It was all just so GREAT!  And it was so cool to see her growth-- I found Evelin, taught her all of the lessons basically, was there when she decided to get baptized, and now was able to be there at her baptism.  It was so so special.  I asked her how she was feeling, since she was glowing, too.  She told me she felt so much and it was all so special that she didn't even want to talk about it because she would start crying.  She told me she was so so happy though :D  She also told me how grateful she was that I was able to come.  I told her it was kind of a miracle (our President had changed the policy on going back for baptisms, and so, under that new policy, I really probably shouldn't have been able to go.  But he gave permission!  Totally a miracle).  She told me, "No, it wasn't a miracle!"  Kind of taken aback, knowing how lucky I was to be there, I asked her what she meant.  She told me, "Because I prayed that you would be able to come!"  Her faith is so awesome :)  She is such an example to me.

Everything else during the week kind of pales in comparison to that.  We had an awesome palacsinta night with the senior missionaries, have been looking up a lot of less active memebers (one actually lived at the address listed!  Miracle.  And then let us in!  More miracles.  We had a really awesome program with her about all of her concerns.  I think her biggest one is that she was afraid people would judge her for not being perfect.  This church is not the place for perfect people!  Yeah, God says in the Bible, "Be ye perfect." but there is no "Now" included in that.  Seriously.  That is our goal, but we are imperfect people.  We all make mistakes.  We are all here to help each other get better.  To love each other.  To grow and to learn from our mistakes!), a few great programs with investigators, and had a generally really good week :)  But, Saturday, like I said, was probably one of the greatest days of my mission!  So I think I will leave this week's email at that :9

Make the world a better place!  Smile!  Make good decisions!

Love you all!
Kramer Nővér aka McKenna