Monday, March 26, 2012

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln - Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello Everyone!

What a week this has been :)

Last PDay, we celebrated Mathews Elder's birthday.  He wanted to go walk around some interesting areas of Budapest.  Well, we ended up having a blizzard that day!  So we walked around in the snow.  It was very cold haha.  I decided that day that I should probably buy a hat that covers my entire head instead of just wearing that little red ear-warmer-headband type thing :P  Later that day, after lunch, we went bowling with our district.  It was super fun :)  I feel really lucky to have served with the people here in Budapest.  They are all excellent missionaries and good people!

We had a really cool member come to one of our programs with the Three Musketeers (awesome ladies that we teach half gospel, half English to).  They are all moms, so we invited the old Relief Society president, who is also a young mom.  (She served a mission in Ireland a few years ago and told us how much she misses it.  It is crazy to think that my mission will end some day!  I am trying to make every day count, though, so I go home (a long long time from now) with no regrets.)  Anyways, she was a super star!  These moms believe in reincarnation and this member was a champ at answering their questions.  She bore her testimony about the joy to be found in families in this life and the next.  Afterwards, her and I were talking about the program and she mentioned how sad she thought the idea of reincarnation was.  It removes our sense of responsibility in this life (why does it matter what I do if I get a do-over next time?).  I am so grateful for this opportunity as a missionary to tell people that there is a meaning and purpose to this life!  What they do today DOES matter!  It brings responsiblity and meaning and joy into our life when we understand that.

Sister Johnson and I went on splits this last week with the Pest sisters (Sister Hall and Sister Hudspeth (my ősi from the MTC).  It was super fun :)  Sister Johnson went to Pest with Sister Hudspeth and Sister Hall (who is Sister Hudspeth's ősi) came and played in Kispest with me!  It was really neat, actually.  Sister Hall and Sister Hudspeth were put together when they were in their 4th and 2nd transfers, so Sister Hall and I were able to talk a lot about the stresses of going senior so young.  It was really cool to hear about her experiences and to share mine and talk about things that have helped both us (member presents are key!  They speak Hungarian waaaay better than us haha).  Sister Hall was super cool and she was a really good example to me; when we went to look someone up, she talked to everyone we passed, handing them a flier and talking to them about upcoming events.  It was a good example to me because I have gotten set in some of my ways, and I think that I am not always that good at just talking to people on the street as we are walking by.  But it is really quite simple to just hand them a card and tell them a little about our message.  So, I was very grateful to her example :)  It is really cool because, even as missionaries, we can be better every day.  This whole life is all about trying today to be better than you were yesterday :)  We are not perfect, but I think the important thing is that we are always trying to move forward, putting our trust in God.

So that was some of the good this past week; there was also some of the... strange, too.  We had a super weird program this last week.  It was probably the weirdest on my mission actually.  We have been meeting with a man from Angol Óra (English class) that seemed super cool and interested.  However, he didn't come to church yesterday and when we called to ask him why, he told us a weird story and told us that he could never ever come to church.  Concerned (and a little confused- he had never brought up problems before), we set up to meet with him later that afternoon.  We met with him at the appointed time and something was different and off right from the start.  He was very hard to get focused (he was talking about all sorts of random stuff other than the gospel), but I finally steered the conversation back to the gospel and asked if we could start with a prayer (which we always do).  That was when it got really weird.  He told us no, he was not actually comfortable with that (which was weird because he has always been open to it before, even saying the prayer quite often).  We asked him why, especially since it had never been a problem before, and he then went into a crazy long explanation, sharing that he was actually a Scientologist with the spirit of Samurai and that prayer is for the weak who have spirits of children.  Rather taken aback, we tried to talk to him.  He told us that he had been sent to learn about our church and that is why he had met with us and pretended to be interested, but really he had felt more and more uncomfortable every time.  We told him that we were sorry he had felt uncomfortable; that was definitely never our intention.  We were just there to share what we believed and had helped us find happiness with others.  It was weird, though, because as we continued to talk, he kept contradicting himself.  At one point, he told us he had never prayed.  At another, he told us he had.  Sister Johnson flat-out asked him about the contradiction and he said something about how he must have remembered wrong (20 minutes before?!).  As we talked, I noticed that his pupils weren't dilating and he was kind of twitchy.  I came to the conclusion he was probaly high on something (and possibly kind of crazy).  Having had a really bad feeling the whole time we were talking to him (and since he kept bringing up weird things and getting kind of worked up), I texted our elders and asked them to come by the branch house.  They were there within 10 minutes (I love my elders!).  We were wrapping up the program at this point (We told him that we know that prayer and our relationship to God helps strengthen us and invited him to keep reading from the scriptures and praying.  We all mutually decided not to meet again, though.) and then walked him to the door, the elders right there with us.  Nothing really bad actually happened, but I was super glad our elders were there because who knows what could've happened.  I felt much safer with them there.  I am so grateful for their service!

I don't want to end this email on a bad note, though!  This week has overall been really great!  This morning we had breakfast with our Elders (blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes with syrup!  It was very American and very delicious :D) as we waited for our transfer calls.  Some crazy things are happening here in Hungary this transfer!  ....Not with me and Sister Johnson, though (thankfully)!  We are both staying!!!!  The APs totally built it up on the phone, making us wait and wait, but finally just told us that we would stay here together for another transfer!  Yay!  I love Kispest and I am so glad that I do not have to leave the people I love here yet!

Like I said, though, crazy things are happening.  For instance: Schwieger Elder (one of my elders (aka an elder serving in Kispest), who has been here every since I have) was supposed to go home after this next transfer.  However, President called him last week or so and asked him to extend so he could be AP.  Which he did!  (All in secret of course!)  So Schwieger is leaving to be the Assistant to the President for the next two transfers!  It will be weird not to have him around (he has been my big brother these past three transfers) but he is going to be a great leader!  We also learned that Elder Chistofferson (of the 12 apostles) will be visiting our mission in March and we will a have a mission-wide training with him!  The mission is also opening two new cities this transfer, which is so cool!!!  They are both just for elders at this moment, but it is so neat to see that the work is moving forward :D  There are so many people we have to share the gospel with!  It is going to be a busy transfer :)

I have to run, but know that I love you all!  I invite you all to tell the people you love that you love them TODAY!  Something I realized when I though I might be leaving this transfer is that time is precious.  Take the time today to make it count.  (And take lots of pictures!)  You never want it to be too late :)

Have a great week!  SMILE!

McKenna aka Kramer Nővér

P.S. I bought bright pink waist-high pants for seven dollars the other day.  (I am currently wearing said pants.  Will try and take pictures.)  I love Europe :)

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