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)

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