Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Miracles Happen Once In Awhile!" -You know, that song from Princess Diaries - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear family and friends,

This past week has been awesome!

We had the greatest miracle.  Sister Papritz and I, like I have shared, have this goal of getting standard and speaking Hungarian for every one of the six weeks this transfer together (we are calling it the six by six goal).  Anyways, this past week was looking to be a doozy.  We didn't have any new investigators scheduled, and we need two new investigators to make at least standard.  But, believing, we wrote down our goal of getting two new investigators and got to work.  We remembered that we had taught one of our cute little néni neighbors a lesson, but had never set up with her again (which is required for it to count as a new investigator).  So, we went over to her apartment, set up with her again, and check!  One new investigator.  After that, though, we were out of clever little ideas like that, so all that was left was the ol' grind.  We got to work.  We tracted a LOT this past week (as that was the only other way we could find a new investigator, if someone let us in, let us teach a lesson, and set up again), with mixed success.  We were able to hand out quite a few Book of Mormons and got some promising numbers.  We also had some pretty discouraging doors.  Saturday, for example, we faithfully went out to tract (despite the GIANT bridge festival set up right outside our apartment (torture... we could literally smell festival food while studying haha)) and encountered some of the worst reception I have ever seen on my mission.  The first twenty or so doors just slammed in our faces, with things like, "Why on earth would you think I would be interested in that?"  "I do NOT like the Book of Mormon!!!", eye-rolling and shutting of doors without any words, etc. etc.  We honestly felt like God was testing our faith and diligence.  But we kept at it and tracted for a few hours straight, giving out some "Book of Mormon"s and getting numbers, but no new investigators.  We weren't worried, though-- we had planned for a couple of hours to tract on Sunday, hoping that we would meet someone then.  As our Sunday worked out, though, a program got moved, a different one ran long, and we ended up with literally only THIRTY MINUTES to tract and find, teach, and set up with somebody before we had a scheduled program.  We got to work on the top floor of our program's ten story, knocking and introducing the Book of Mormon.  We handed out one, but basically, most people weren't interested.  We moved down to the next floor and started knocking.  Nothing!  We had five minutes before our program, so we decided to try ONE LAST DOOR.  We knocked on the door, and a cute little néni answered.  It was my turn to go (we switch every other door introducing ourselves and why we are there), so I smiled nice and big and told her who we were and that we were giving this book away today.  She was interested.  We talked about the Book of Mormon, how it is scripture, like the Bible (which we love and read), teaching the same principles, but from different prophets in America.  Still interested!  We kept talking, explaining more about the Book of Mormon, and then asked if we might be able to say a prayer with her.  She was excited and said," You want to pray with me?  Come in!  Come in!"  So, she invited us in, we were able to talk a little more about the Book of Mormon and how the gospel blesses families, prayed, set up to meet and again, and then left, absolutely GRINNING.  She shut the door behind us and we just looked at each other disbelieving.  We had just gotten the new investigator we had been working and working towards!  It was so awesome!  God really has such a hand in missionary work!  I can't tell you how many miracles I see like that!  We work and work and work, and then God hands us miracles.  So, we are going strong with our goals!

The rest of the week was really great, too.  We were able to go to Békéscsaba, a cute, small town about two hours away, and "blitz" the area with our elders.  Basically, that means that all four of the Szeged missionaries stayed there and worked with the missionaries there to really give their work a boost.  I was able to go with one of the Békéscsaba sisters to a program with a less-active member, who was very cute.  We were able to talk to her about some of her concerns and just simply visit with this lonely lady, too.  When we left, she gave me two big kisses on my cheeks and told me she hopes that I serve there someday.  The people in that city are so kind and friendly!  After that, Sister Barnhart and I went tabling.  We were able to hand out 13 "Book of Mormon"s in under two hours and get 13 numbers to go with those.  It was such a big help to the sisters, who have really been struggling to find new people.  Now, they have a whole bunch of new people to meet with!  Sister Papritz and I are really in such a good position to help these other sister companionships.  We will be actually be doing the same thing in a different city (Kecskemét) tomorrow.  It takes a big chunk out of our own week, but it is so worth it!  We just work harder on the other days :)

We also had branch conference here this past Sunday.  President and Sister Baughman came down to Szeged and spoke to the branch.  I really appreciated their comments.  They are going home in a month and shared some of the things they have learned in the past 3 years serving here in Hungary.  President Baughman gave "Five Humble Suggestions for Strengthening the Church in Hungary" that I think are applicable for all of us.  They were 1) Continue to love and study the doctrines of the church ("We all need to be nourished by the good word of God. -Hinckley)  2) Live worthy to recieve personal revelation (Revelation is not just for prophets and apostles!) 3) Be united, not judgmental! (We are ALL works in progress.) 4) Always look for opportunities to share the gospel with others (If we pray for opportunities, miracles will happen) and 5) Point your lives towards the temple.

We had a lot of amazing programs, small moments, laughter (we had quite the adventure rearranging our apartment haha), growth, and happiness this week :)  This upcoming week is looking to be very very busy, but just as good!

I love you all!

Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

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