Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 40 Photos - Székesféhervár

From Fresh Nővér's email: 

"This week has definitely been CRAZY. So many train rides, bus rides, and metro rides. I am not going to lie though, I love my life. It's going to be weird going home and not having to walk thirty minutes to a train station and then actually taking the train somewhere. But, nevertheless we had a wonderful week that passed  by so, so fast."

This Wednesday (November 23rd) was Fresh Nővér's halfway mark  as a missionary  and she had a great day! 

"Wednesday was my HALFWAY! We headed up to Budapest for splits with Sister Westover and Sister Perkins. We also met up with a few of our mission friends at the train station to say goodbye because they were going home to America. I have made so many good friends on my mission and I am so grateful for every single one of them … It just stinks to see them leave. ... I split with Sister Westover. They are supposed to help us and strengthen us , and it was really good. They know that the language is hard for me and so it was nice because they gave me lots of good encouraging words. We had a program with Panni on Wednesday and it was the best thing ever :) She is so cute and still loves me, and she was wearing the shirt and headband I gave her... It was so cute :)"

"Thursday I split with Perkins ... I love Perkins and am so glad that we got to serve together! ... We had  a District Meeting and it was cool to be back in my old district with all my Buda friends :)"

Panni and Fresh Nővér ... wonderful friends!
Westover Nővér, Perkins Nővér, Panni, Fresh Nővér,
and Broadhead 
Nővér enjoying each other's company
in Budapest!
Giving out "Pass Along Cards" with Headrick Elder
at the bus station .

Fresh Nővér and Broadhead Nővér went back to Székesféhervár Thursday afternoon to teach their English Class. 

"After class we had dinner at member’s house and it was so, so, so typically Hungarian. The kids were so funny, and so crazy! Pictures will be sent. We had soup, with almost every part of the chicken in it. Then, we had pasta with poppy seeds and sugar. :) After we ate the two little girls dragged us into their front room and did our makeup and hair. I had lipstick all over my face, but they were so cute. I feel like I am their big sister, they don't have a lot of young women roles (since there is only one young woman) and I think we play a big role." 

The elders and sisters serving in
Székesféhervár enjoying an authentic
Hungarian dinner!
Chicken soup ... Hungarian style!
Fresh Nővér enjoys spending time with one of the girl ...
With all three children ...
the girl in the back was baptized last week!
Love the make up ... what beautiful girls these are!

"Friday, we headed to Veszprém for our areas District Meeting ... One of the things we talked about was what one thing we would change in the world if we could. I said that I would want to make sure that everyone knows that God loves them, and that they are important no matter what they look like or what the world finds important. We then took those answers, and our goal was to use them in our streeting and finding this coming week."

"Sunday … This was probably one of the best days of my life!!!!!! We had Stake Conference in Budapest (Yes, another trip to Budapest!) I  got to see so many people I love :) and the city I love and so many missionaries were there! I was really spoiled this week with trips and friends and everything good :) Also,  when we got back to our city the elders had made us dinner :) Hahaha!!! "

With Panni at Stake Conference in
Budapest!!! They like to make funny faces!

"We have another fun week ahead of us... back to Budapest for Zone Conference and hopefully a baptism!!!"

Fresh Nővér

I don't know exactly when this was taken, but it looks
like Fresh Nővér will be warm for winter with this hat!
It was posted on Facebook by a Hungarian friend!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 39 Photos - Székesféhervár

"So guess who has been a missionary for 9 months, ME!!!   It is crazy how fast time is going.  I remember when I first entered the MTC and now I am a real live Hungarian missionary and it’s just crazy. The craziest thing is just thinking back to what I was doing at this time last year and now I am actually living this life. It’s cool though! I love Hungary and so I’ll stay for 9 more months! ... Tomorrow will be a pretty monumental day for Broadhead Nővér and I  :)"

"This week was pretty cool because there was a baptism, not ours but the elders! It was a super cool guy named Gyula and he is so rendes (classy) ... It was crazy because he was baptized in a pool so I was sitting on the tile stairs at this indoor pool with pool floaties all around me and a tanning bed. It was just wild! He looked so happy ... A little 8 year old girl was baptized too!"

At the baptism!
Missionaries and members at the "After Baptism Party"
... a happy time!

Some odds and ends from this week:

"We had a cool experience tracting the other day.  We went out early and the first door we knocked on this really cute girl answered and was totally interested... It’s cool because that never happens. People don’t really love religion here, especially the young people. So it wNővéras cool, especially because all of the other doors were crazy people and we got yelled at twice and kicked out by a néni [aunt] :)"

The caption with this photo was "city dinner :)"
and it looks like the elders are doing the cooking!
Fresh Nővér and Broadhead Nővér with Kitti,
their friend in Székesféhervár.

A couple of weeks ago I asked Fresh Nővér for photos of her apartment in Székesféhervár, which she said was really nice. So here they are:

The living room ...
the kitchen ...
and the bedroom.

I also asked Fresh Nővér what her favorite Hungarian foods were and they are "rakott krumpli, paprikás csirke, pörkölt with nokedli, and lecsó. ... I want to make them all for you when I get home so we should have a big family party and I’ll just make a bunch of food and we can try all of it."

rakott krumpli - potato and egg casserole
paprikás csirke - chicken paprika, a Hungarian stew
pörkölt with nokedli - a meat stew often served with rice
lecsó - “Hungarian ratatouille,” consisting of a
stewed mix of peppers, tomatoes, and onions. 

An update on the Hungarian:

"I love English ... but I also love Hungarian :) Okay, so we had a program yesterday and first of all it was cool because it was an RCLA program, and then lady called us a little bit before and said that she had a  friend who wants to hear about the church so she wanted us to come to her house instead... of course that is like the best thing ever for a missionary. Anyway, we talked with them for an hour and half in all Hungarian, and there was only one thing I didn't really understand! It was so cool to be able to understand everything! It’s the craziest thing because it’s not like I hear in my head English words or anything, but it’s just like I know what they are talking about! Hahaha! It was cool! So Hungarian is better, harder some days, but I am feeling that it is coming along... so thanks for the prayers and keep them coming :) The funny thing is after our program we went to get dinner because we had no food at home and had not been able to go grocery shopping yet, and while I was ordering the guy asked me something and it was like the simplest thing but he said it weird or I was getting cocky. Hahaha! I don’t know, but I didn't know what he was saying and then he spoke to me in English. It was so funny because I had just told Broadhead Nővér that I understood like everything but then I didn't understand the simplest thing! Hungarian is crazy!"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 38 Photos - Székesféhervár

Normally we receive Fresh Nővér's emails in the middle of the night, but when we woke up this morning none of us had not heard from her. I had a pleasant surprise, however, when an email from her popped up on my phone about 10:30 am! The missionaries serving in Székesféhervár had gone on an excursion and did not email home until Monday evening, Hungarian time.

She started out her email with the following: "This week was good, hard, fun, faith growing, funny, crazy and every other emotion. Missions seem to do that to you!" 

One thing that Fresh Nővér and Broadhead Nővér did this week was travel to Budapest for interviews with President Smith. This is a photo of her at the train station on a chilly evening. Hungary is described as having "cold, cloudy, humid winters." It may only be October, but it looks like winter has arrived, at least on this day!

Fresh Nővér trying to stay warm
while waiting at the train station.

Today the missionaries serving in Székesféhervár went to visit Lake Balaton and Szigliget Castle which are an hour from the city. (as best I could figure out using Google maps)

Lake Balaton, or "The Balaton" as the Hungarians call it, is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe and and a foremost tourist destination. The northern shore is known for its historic character and the production of wine, while the southern shore is known for its resort towns. Of note historically, the last major German offensive of World War II, Operation Frühlingserwachen, was conducted in the area of Lake Balaton in March 1945. Also, during the communist regime it was a meeting place for many families as not only did citizens from the Eastern Bloc vacation there, but people from West  Germany were able to come also.

On this map of Hungary you can see both
Székesféhervár and Lake Balaton. 
Fresh Nővér's photo of "The Balaton."  
At the edge of the dock with the lake
in the background. 

The castle or fortress of Szigliget is located on the eastern edge of the northern shore of Lake Balaton in the region of Keszthely. The settlement of Szigliget existed in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and the ruins of the medieval fortress stand on the top of Várhegy hill.

Fresh Nővér on the wall surrounding
the fortress of Szigliget.
"I went rock climbing on an ancient fortress today ...
the elders thought I was going to die ... I didn't!!! :)))"
Fresh Nővér with the fortress ruins in the background. 
The Székesféhervár District at the fortress with the 
beautiful Hungarian countryside in the background.
This is not a Disneyland ride, but Fresh Nővér and
Broadhead Nővér look like they are having a lot of fun!!! 

Update on the "beast" ... Fresh Nővér's nickname for the Hungarian language:

"So this week was up and down with the Magyrul (Hungarian).  I have been trying to be really positive about it and just say 'I can do it, I can speak Hungarian' ... but sometimes it just gets the best of me and so I get sad and frustrated and blah … (I’m not perfect). This week I have been studying about faith a lot because I feel like that is where it starts. So I read Ether 12 one day and it was so helpful!!!  Hungarian is my weakness here on the mission. It is sooo hard for me. People have told me that I am bad at speaking Hungarian since my first transfer and that has made me feel so dumb. In Ether 12:27 it says that God helps to make our weaknesses strong.  As I read that I was thinking about how I don’t think that God necessarily takes the things we are bad at and then turns us into pros if we have faith, but I think that those weaknesses bring us strength in other ways. Like, they may bring us closer to God and build our relationship with him. So if I never fully get Hungarian, at least I’ll have a good solid relationship with God at the end of my mission, Right?

"Also, I was studying a few of the conference talks from the General Conference  in April, and  I read Elder Holland’s talk 'Lord I Believe', and it is sooooo good!!!! I love the story about the man with the lame son who didn’t believe that he could be healed, and so he said something like 'help me with my unbelief.'  It’s so cool because sometimes I’m like, 'I wish I had faith to believe that could happen', but I guess that I can ask for help to have more faith and for God to help me believe.  :))) It’s so cool and real!  I find myself saying a lot, 'Hmmm,  I’m not sure I can do this Hungarian thing... but I want to do it and I want to believe in myself.'

"Anyways...these two things really helped to strengthen my faith and to keep me from being a total wreck... Also, President Utchdorf's talk from the YW session last April was really good too. It's for everyone, not just girls! 

"I would really recommend reading any or all of these if your needing some comfort or guidance or your trying to learn Hungarian. Hahahaha!!!"

Just a little example of what Fresh Nővér is trying to learn ... This is 1 Nephi 3:7 in Hungarian:

És lőn, hogy én, Nefi ezt mondtam atyámnak: aMegyek és megteszem azon dolgokat, amelyeket az Úr megparancsolt, mert tudom, hogy az Úr nem ad bparancsolatokat az emberek gyermekeinek, csak akkor, ha cutat készít számukra, hogy végrehajthassák azt a dolgot, amit megparancsol nekik.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 37 Photos - Székesféhervár

Fresh Nővér's email was titled:  "Misszionárius vagyok‏" [I am a missionary] and she started out with ...

"A kedves családom," [My dear family]

"Hogy vagy? [What's up?] Sorry, I just wrote an email to a member from Buda who is going through the temple next week and so I am in the Hungarian spirit!  …  I love talking to members in other cities :)"

"Conference was so cool. I loved it all :) I just want to be better because of it!!! I am really sad there aren’t more temples that were announced, especially not in Hungary :( Someday though there will be one … I know it!!! I think I received answers to my Conference questions, so I hope you all did to :))"

Fresh Nővér is excited about watching
General Conference on the laptop!

"I realized in one of the talks I heard in Conference yesterday that my mission is actually really selfish, and I am sure I am gaining more and being served much more than what I am actually doing for others. It took me back to last summer when I was in Romania and how I thought I was going there to help these kids and that I was really a cool, selfless person for doing that. In reality I was the one who gained so much more from all the experiences I had than I ever gave back to the kids that I loved so much. Anyways, I feel like my mission is similar, because the people who accept the gospel are really prepared and I just lead them to it. They really do it all and always show me or teach me something."

Aimee with her roommates ready for work at
the orphanage in Yasi, Romania.
Doesn't she look cute in her scrubs!

Fresh Nővér gave us updates on her wonderful investigators: Niki, Gabor, Szabolcs, Maria, and Erzsébet. She loves teaching them, and sharing her testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. They ask great questions and are prepared in many ways to to hear the word of God. She has felt the spirit when meeting with them and felt inspired to share certain scriptures during their lessons. She said "missions are cool... we should all go on one :)"

"So …  this week as always, I had a lot of fun too :) First of all, on P-day we went to a castle and then after we found a cornfield and we ran through it :) Hahaha … why not?"

Bory Castle was built by Hungarian sculptor and architect
Jeno Bory with the help of several of his students
between 1923 and 1959.
Fresh Nővér, Bennett Elder, and 
McKissick Elder climbing up the 
stairs to the castle tower. 
A view of the castle from the tower. 
Fresh Nővér and Broadhead Nővér on the top of the tower.
They have been accused by a couple of outspoken
Hungarians of gaining lots of weight since they arrived
in the country, and this statue on the Bory Castle
grounds reminded them of that!
Fresh  Nővér in the corn field.
Hiding or just having fun?
Squirt guns???

Signs in Székesféhervár that Fresh Nővér and Broadhead Nővér saw this week:

Not sure what the red line means ...
but these sisters love Székesféhervár
where they are currently serving!!!
Welcome to Székesfehérvároni!!! 
It was called Alba Regia in the middle ages. 

"Okay, so yea my life is good, Hungarian is still hard, and sometimes I stay awake thinking about lessons in Hungarian and how to say something and all that jazz... but it is getting better, and it is coming. ... Thanks for the love and prayers and everything else, it helps.

"I love you all and am so glad I am a missionary and that you are my family. Remember God loves you and always wants to help you, but first you must turn to him. Also, remember that he has  plan for each of us and in the end when we look back we will be able to see it and how perfectly it has worked out and how happy it has made us. If you don’t believe it look at me … my life went a different way than I thought and I’m really happy! So it’s the truth :) Trust God!!!

"Ok szeretettel, [With love,]

"Fresh Nővér"