Monday, September 17, 2012

Every end is a new beginning.

Hello family!

So, this week has been absolutely CRAZY.  I am not even sure where to begin and we do not have a lot of time.

To quickly summarize:

Tuesday was full of programs, from 9 in the morning to almost 9 at night.  It kind of is not so fun saying goodbye to people you love.  But, I know that they will be in good hands :)  And I do know that this transfer will be good for everyone.  So, I am not worried.  I just knew it was saying goodbye to an era.  Anyways, Tuesday was also Sister Hardy's birthday.  I tried to make it special (in spite of the kabillion goodbye programs) and put little sticky notes every (22 of them!) as to why she was so great.  During our last program that night, the elders called (and we buttoned them, as we were in a program).  We left our program and found a package outside the branch house door with Sister Hardy's name on it.  The elders had left her a gift!  We found them hiding on the street and proceeded to have a princess party for Sister Hardy's birthday, complete with funfetti cupcakes on princess heart plates (courtesy of Sister Hardy's mom), a birthday banner, and presents.  I got her a sweater she had been dying for, the elders bought her children's clothing (Sister Hardy is only 5' tall, so we also joke that she is a child).  It was super fun and such a great way to say goodbye to the district I have grown so close to!  Then, I stayed up most of the night packing.  (Transfers don't really give you a lot of time to get stuff together... and turns out, after 6 months in Szeged, I had a LOT of stuff).  We had to catch a 6:30 train the next morning, but our elders really rock and gave us a ride to the train station (and carried my ginormous, super heavy suitcases).  We caught it in time, thankfully!  It was quite smooth.  Budapest was a bit trickier, seeing as Sister Hardy and I had to lug my luggage around on public transportation.  I am pretty sure we both dropped suitcases at various points in the trip.  Thankfully, for the most part, random men would see us struggling and help us carry our luggage.  The funniest time, though, was when I was carrying my small suitcase upstairs, leaving the larger one a flight down.  A man saw it and went to grab the suitcase in one smooth motion, but, apparently he didn't realize that we were struggling because the suitcase was HEAVY.  It kind of pulled him back down.  But he was a sport, handed me his backpack, and wrestled my suitcase up the stairs. Transfers = half the missionaries in the country at a train station.  It was fun seeing all the friends I have made over my mission!  And all of my sisters from the MTC were there, so we were able to catch up.  Finally, it was time to say goodbye, though, and I handed Sister Hardy off to Sister Hall and went off with my new companion Sister Watts.  We had a four hour train ride to Debrecen, which is in the east part of Hungary, (it was a looong day of travel), but finally got there safe and sound later Tuesday night.

Every since then, I have been trying to get a grasp on this area.  The situation is a little interesting, seeing as they whitewashed the elders, so Sister Watts is the area senior (aka the missionary who has been here in the longest) but she has been here for a total of one transfer- her greenie transfer.  So, we have all been trying to figure it out together :)  We are here with the elders (Elder Beaumont, whom I served around in Szeged and who is coming from the AP spot, and his greenie, D'Angina, who played volleyball for BYU (he is 6'6")), a brand new senior couple, the Cummings (the old senior couple literally just went home today), and we are getting a new senior sister companionship this week.  So, there are a whole bunch of new missionaries in this city!  I think and hope that we will really rejuvenate it :D  I've really like what I've seen of the city so far.  It is very pretty.  I love the members I met so far.  I had heard about a lot of them from my trainer, Sister De Leon, who started her mission here.  Our branch leader seems awesome.  We had a great meeting with him and he told us that he has heard a lot of great things about all of us and excited to use us and make great changes here!  I have had a lot of members tell us that the missionaries are like their family here.  So, while it is still a little strange being away from Szeged, I think I will fit in :)  (Funny story about getting used to the change-- tonight I needed to call our elders to tell them they had a program waiting for them here.  However, out of total habit, I accidentally called the Szeged elders and told them about the program before I realized who I was talking to.  Velasquez Elder was like, "What the heck are you talking about?".  And then I realized I was totally talking to the wrong person haha.  He told me Debrecen was a little far away for a program of theirs haha.)

I actually haven't met a whole lot of the ward, though.  We had the equivalent of stake conference in Miskolc on Sunday.  It was great, though.  I was actually able to see some familiar faces (missionaries, some YSA that I had met in Szeged and Budapest), and some others), which was nice.  I didn't really know who was in my ward versus the other ones, though, haha.  The conference was great, though, with the Smiths and their counselers speaking.  The general theme was temples, and it was great to hear the talks.  One of my favorites came from a counselor in the mission presidency, who is Hungarian.  He told us that everyone always asks him when we are going to get a temple here in Hungary.  He told us he didn't know.  He then went on to give an awesome talk about how our body is a temple, housing our spirit, and how we need to respect our body and our spirit.  He talked a lot about the changing power of the gospel, too, and how it is about becoming good, loving people.  He said at the end that we will get a temple when we better understand the things he talked about that day.  It was pretty awesome :)

The members I have met, though, seem nice.  I had heard about some of them from my trainer.  Like there is this one girl named Ananda, who is from Nigeria randomly enough.  She was baptized last year and is totally awesome.  She is active, a teacher in Sunday school, but doesn't speak any Hungarian.  She just knows this is the truth, so that is why she does it.  I met her for the first time last week and she is awesome.  She told me it felt like she had seen my face before, but I figure we were just meant to be friends :)  I also met a recent convert of a month, who is from Afghanistan (apparently this ward is multi-cultural.  (Oh, yeah, btw, there is a major university here in Debrecen, too!  I am in a university town again!)).  He got a copy of the Book of Mormon in Persian, read it, and wanted to be baptized.  The sisters call him their "saint" because he doesn't understand everything, but has such a desire to follow God.  And then, I met a lot of Hungarians, too!  The rest of the YSA is great, too!  (We just had Family Night with them.)  There is a girl named Dori, who I met last year in Kispest when she came to visit with her brother one time.  She is super sweet and loving.  There is a boy named Tamás, who totally turned his life around to be a member.  And tons more.  My testimony is constantly strengthened by the examples of the people I meet here.  It is really my privilege to serve here.

So, basically, I still don't know a whole lot about the area, still haven't met all of the investigators, but Sister Watts and I are making it through together.  I think it is going to be really great!  I am excited! (Also super excited for a nasty cold I have had ever since I came to be gone.  That would make everything a lot easier).  I will keep you all updated on life, don't worry!

Love you all!  Szeretlek!
Kramer Nővér aka McKenna

P.S. Sorry that I haven't sent pictures in forever!  I need to buy a new camera connector cord thing!  Don't worry, I am still taking pictures though and will send them when I can :)

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