Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 57 - Dunaújváros

Sister Fresh began her email with, "This week was great here in the Dunalands!" (Dunalands is one of the nicknames she has for Dunaújváros.) 

Here are some of the things that made it so great:

Transfer Day - "Wednesday morning we loaded the zone leader's car with all of Elder Nelson's and Sister Sexton's stuff ... and then 4 people. They have so many things that we were packed in and I could not even move my arms, but it was super fun so I couldn't be mad.  :) We dropped Elder Nelson off at his new apartment and picked up Elder Seegmiller, which was really convenient. He had a lot less stuff so that was nice! Transfers were fun because I got to see some of my elder friends and some of the sisters too. We had lunch and then I got my new companion Sister Peterson."

Sister Fresh and Sister Sexton 
are squished in the back of the car!
Elder Nelson, Sister Fresh, and Elder Jones "stuffed
in the car" on their way to missionary transfers.  

Sister Peterson - "Everything has gone well so far. She is really nice and funny and pretty. She is really good at Hungarian. She just doesn't fear like I do, which I really admire, and hope some of that will rub off on me :) Sister Peterson is cool because she thinks I'm funny. I know we will be good friends!

Fresh Nővér and Peterson Nővér are all
smiles as they work together in Dunaújváros. 

Tracting - "On Thursday we tracted ALL DAY LONG!!! and it was seriously like one of the funniest days ever. We had 4 let-ins and just a lot of really funny experiences. One of our let-ins was with this bácsi (literal translation is uncle, but it means older man). We called him the 'happy bácsi' because when we were talking with him we told him that 'When we pray we use our own words. We don't read it from a book.' He just got so excited and was like 'Yes!!!! That's how it is supposed to be!' Then, I don't know what happened, but I just threw my arms up in the air and was like 'Yea!' and he just loved it!"

"On Saturday we had a harder day. We went tracting all day again but only had one let-in and people were really not so friendly. We did meet this girl that met with the missionaries a while ago but didn't join the church. So we got her number and are going to meet with her this week. We are super excited about her :) Our let-in was a cute little néni (literally translated as aunt) who we gave a Book of Mormon to and then she gave us these little like pencil pouches she had made... It was sweet getting a little present in return :)"

Programs and Investigators - "On Friday we had a lot of programs. ... János is so great. He is like so so solid, and when he is ready is going to be the best church member ever!!! We also met with a new couple. Sister Sexton and I had tracted the husband last week and he told us to come back so we could meet with him and his wife. It was really good! We gave them a Book of Mormon and are meeting with them on Wednesday. :)  We met with Marta, our cute néni investigator and she made us palacsintas. We talked with her about faith and repentance, and we asked her if she had ever prayed about the things that we teach her. She said that she had and that she really hopes they are true. We told her to pray again during this week and that we would talk more about it when we came back to visit her again. We also met with Szandi, our RCLA. She is so cute, and kind of talks a million miles an hour. I'm surprised I understand anything that she says, but she is great! She is progressing so much and really is starting to understand things more."

Palacsintas is a thin crêpe-like variety of pancake
common in Central and Eastern Europe.

Duna - "I really love Duna!!!  I feel like every part of my mission has been so good, and I have learned a really important lesson in each city and each part. I still don't know what I am doing all the time, but I just go forward and don't worry. I think that is why the end of your mission is so great because you have worked hard, learned a lot, and even though you are not perfect, you know that if you do your best it somehow just works out. I love that! So ... Duna is great!"

"Szeretlek titeket :) 
Fresh nővér"

"PS   I'm stoked for baby fresh number three to come this week :)))) Next p- day will be so exciting!" (Her brother Matthew and his wife Brooke's baby is due this coming week. When Aimee got her call she made her married siblings promise that if they got pregnant she would be the first to know ... and she was!) 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week 56 - Dunaújváros

In her email this week Fresh Nővér said:

"It's Tuesday which means there are transfers this week ... again! [They have been having transfers once a month lately] So I am staying in Duna but am getting a new companion. Her name is Sister Peterson, but not the Sister Peterson I already served with."

She will miss having Sexton Nővér as a companion. These are some of the things she has said about her: "Sister Sexton is great. I love her. We are very very different, but it worked! She is super sweet, and I am grateful for her :)"

Sexton Nővér and Fresh Nővér ... their last Sunday
together before transfers. 
This sweet girl, Hajni, took the photo of
Sexton Nővér and Fresh Nővér.

"Of course we went tracting this week and a few funny things happened ...
First, this guy answered the door and we did our whole tracting approach and then he says, 'Yea you can come in as long as your not those Mormons.' We were just like, 'Well... that's us.'  And we all just kind of laughed and then said good-bye. It was so funny!!! Another time we did the same little approach, and we told the lady that answered the door that we were Americans and she was like, 'I don't deal with that American stuff.' I made this really funny surprised face at her like 'How could you say that?' She kind of made the same face back and then she let us in :)) Haha! Another cool experience was when we tracted into this lady who we are now meeting with. She doesn't really believe in God, but it's ok because we will help her with that!!! We also knocked another door and this guy came and was like, 'Oh, you are the Mormons, Salt lake' in really awful English and then he started making the kissy face and noises at us ... I laughed. The joys of tracting :) It's so fun because every door brings a different surprise!"

One of their investigators is János who is trying to quit smoking. "We decided to go and bring him a surprise and try to give him some hope that he can do it ... We went to his apartment and brought him some snacks and he was so happy. We just told him we know that he can quit with God's help. ... He is super great!"

Fresh Nővér and János

"And it was Valentines Day ... I'm so in love with Duna!!! We did go out to lunch with the elders, which was fun. I paid for Elder Jones because he forgot his wallet ... take it for what is worth. I call it NOT a date! Hahaha!  On Valentines Day we met with this semi-active sister and I love her!! She just talks and talks and talks!  Her husband died a few years ago and so she is kind of sad and lonely. I just know that we bring so much light into her life when we visit that I can't help but love her!"

"Happy Valentines Day ... szeretlek !
(don't mind the mess)‏"

"What else happened this week ... We cleaned the branch house. I mopped a lot with Elder Nelson and would always forget to wring out the mop and so it was really messy, but it was fun. We also had a panini party last night with some members. Elder Nelson and I made all the food. Hahaha!  So get this I cook now! Sister Sexton asked me to help her learn how to cook and it kind of turned into I just cook for us, but I love it! I only really know how to make soups and pasta dishes but I don't really burn anything so that is exciting :)"

"Other than that ... life is good. I am happy and the work is moving along. I love being here and being a missionary. I have learned so so much that I will ever be grateful for :))) Thanks for all the love and support."

"How can it already be the middle of February??? I don"t like this time going fast thing!!! SLOW DOWN!"

"Sok szeretettel
Fresh Nővér"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 55 - Dunaújváros

"So my week was good, but also really up and down. I know you probably all could feel like I was really stressed [last week] and just feeling down on myself, and that maybe God wasn't going to accept my work a a missionary. Well, I was trying to shake those feelings this week and everything was getting a lot better and then I thought that maybe I should get a blessing. I honestly tried to talk myself out of it, but I figured that I probably did need some divine help. So Elder Nelson gave me a really great blessing. Some of the things he said were:
  • That I am where I am supposed to be, with who I am supposed to be with, at the time I am supposed to be there. 
  • That as I continue to work hard, I will leave my mission with a smile on my face.
  • He didn't mention Hungarian, but he did say that there are people in Hungary that specifically needed me and my personality. 
Everyone's mission is different and maybe part of mine is struggling through this crazy language because through the struggle, I have had to rely on my Savior and gained a lot more than I would have if Hungarian wasn't hard for me. Just a thought!"

"Me and Duna" (Dunaújváros) in the background. 

"On to my week:

"I met the cutest little bácsi (older man) that reminded me of Allyn [my dad]!!!! This is the story ... I was sitting on the bus when this bácsi sat down and I thought I need to talk to him. I looked at him and he looked so much like dad. I asked him a language question to start the conversation and then we just started talking. We were joking and I almost missed my stop because I had so much fun talking with him! It's weird because I feel like a lot of people have Hungarian look a likes :)"

"We tracted a lot this week and I decided why I like tracting so much ... because each door is like a surprise and you never know what kind of person will be behind it - old, young, happy, mean, pantless! Hahaha! The possibilities are endless ... and then sometimes they even let you in and those are the really good doors!!!"

"We knocked on one door and literally right after we said hi, the néni let us in ... easiest door of our lives. She was super spunky and really cute. She is a Jehovah's witness though and gave us all these weird pamphlets, so we said we had a pamphlet we wanted to give her. We came back the next day with a pamphlet on the Restoration.... we will see if we can bring her over to our side :)"

"Some weird houses in Duna ... stacks on stacks."

"We knocked on another door and it was Sister Sexton's turn. She was talking with this guy and he wasn't really having it and I had the thought to just be bold. So I was like 'How about we come in share a message and if you like what we say, great, and if not then we will leave.' He let us in and we had a good conversation. He doesn't really know about God and so we just testified of Him. We tried to get him to let us come back but he wasn't too sure, but we were planning on maybe just stopping by in a few days with a Book of Mormon. The next day we were tracting again and he called!!!! We almost died because that never happens, so we set an appointment up with him for the following day. We were so excited because he was super cool and young, and we could see him being a really great addition to the branch. Then he didn't show up to his program so idk. We called him and he just sounded weird. I was super bummed about it, but we haven't given up... we are going to try and set up with him sometime this week."

Fati and Fresh Nővér ... a sweet girl from the branch.

They are also teaching a man named János. "He is so legit ... he basically teaches us every time we meet. Also, he showed up to church yesterday in the cutest suit and shirt and tie combo! Fast Sunday was last week and so he saw that everyone was getting up and bearing their testimonies and so he wrote his out and was like 'Can I share mine today?' We had to tell him not this week but the next fast Sunday he could. He let me read it though and it was so cute!!! ... Sister Sexton and I say he is the light in our lives, because the rest of our investigators are far from where we would like them to be right now."

"We had a farsang buli (carnival party) on Saturday with the branch ... It is like their Halloween. I dressed up as an elder. I know that the worst costume ever but hey I had no time and no resources. The party was so fun! We ate doughnuts off of strings, did potato sack races and all sorts of games, and I got to play with the kids."

Szandi and Fresh Nővér at the farsang buli.
"Doughnut eating ...  fank means doughnut
in Hungarian‏"

"All in all this week was really good. There were lots of ups and downs, but we worked really hard and although we didn't find a million new people we still had fun, bore our testimonies, and tried, so it was a successful week :)"

"NAGYON SZERETLEK!!!!!! (I do love you!)

Fresh nővér"

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 54 - Dunaújváros

"This week was really interesting and probably one of the harder ones of my mission. I think I kind of freaked out because I only have 6 months left and I feel like I haven't learned enough yet and just haven't done enough good ... There is a part in my setting apart blessing that says at the end of my mission I will feel that I have served the Lord well, and for some reason those words just keep haunting me. I kept having these day dreams of me sitting on the plane feeling unfulfilled and then praying to know if I had served Him well and getting the answer of 'no'. It's just crazy because I felt great about my mission for the whole first year. I mean I had hard times and feelings of inadequacy, but this week was overwhelming. Hungarian was really hard this week probably because of all the doubts I was having. Sometimes I think Hungarian is part of the reason why I feel this way because I feel like I should speak and understand the language better. Anyways ... enough about all of that! I don't like thinking about it! Haha!"

"Me with some graffiti."

"It rained here the other day and was so cold that all the rain froze. The streets were kind of like ice skating rinks! The weather was so bad on Sunday that only ten members came to church and none of the teachers, so the second two hours got cancelled!!!! Okay, call me bad but I kind of thought it was cool! For a kid that never got to miss school or church because of a snow storm, this was the closest thing to one :) It was unfortunate though because I was supposed to teach Sunday School and I woke up at 5:30 to finish preparing and then no one was there to hear my lesson. I will get to teach next week so it is nice that everything is already prepared. Let me tell you one thing I have learned from my mission ... That everything is way less hard and scary in English! Hahaha! I think about teaching in English and how nervous I used to get, and then I think about now how I teach Sunday School in Hungarian and how it's like kind of scary. I just feel like teaching in English is the easiest thing ever now!"

"We went on splits on Wednesday. It was good, but hard too because I was still feeling down on myself, inadequate, and like I had to prove myself to the STL. We were in Pest and I really do love going to the city! I got to see a few of my elder friends, so that was fun! I went with Sister Chamberlain who I really like and we had a good time."

Fresh Nővér and Chamberlain Nővér
in Pest on splits.

"We shot a bow and arrows last p day... it was so fun :) We are going sledding after emailin, or more like icing actually since everything is frozen over. I don't know how safe that is but it will be fun :)"

"We had a children's English class this Saturday and it was the cutest thing ever ... I love all the Hungarian babies!  Babies speaking Hungarian is my favorite thing ever!"

"Sister Sexton and I realized we are kindred spirits this week as we both felt kind of down about our progression but recommitted ourselves to be more positive, not get down on ourselves, and give it our all. I think we will have a better week :)"

"Other than that ... I found a quote from my quote book that is from DEB!!!! [my mom]:
"In trials, perspective makes all the difference. Concentrate on one step at a time, not the end result, that can frustrate you. You are much better than you think you are." 

"That is really what I need to do, stop worrying about the end and just focus on working hard now,  and if in the end I gave it my all then my answer will definitely be a 'YES'!"

"Well, I love you bunches and miss you,  but not too much!"

Fresh nővér