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 :)

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