Week #5

I believe this week marks the half-way point for my time here in the MTC and I am still loving it so much here.

I believe my worries may begin to increase as my time here nears a close, but now I am feeling really good. One of the biggest worries though is learning enough. There is so much to be learned and gained and when you are not 100% focused, you miss out. Wherever some time goes wasted or not used to its fullest, I feel like I have failed. I do not become hopeless or give up, but I do feel the weight of it. So I continually strive to learn all I can because I know if I use all the time the Lord has given me here, then I will be prepared to be lead by Him and do His work in Hungary.

I just love being here so much though. My teachers are so so so good. They are wonderful people and have strong testimonies and teach with the power of the Spirit. I never want them to leave at the end of the day because I love the feeling when they are with us.

Hungarian is still extremely difficult, but we continue to learn and practice and teach lessons in Hungarian. We currently have two progressing investigators who we have been teaching for weeks now and we are getting two more this week who will be played by other missionaries in our district. So that means that I too will be someone’s investigator. It will be tricky because our other investigators are played by our teachers so they speak perfect Hungarian. It will be harder to teacher each other when none of us speak very well. But I am excited to try it and learn from it in a new way.

Tomorrow is (American) Thanksgiving so we wont have classes and instead we are doing some sort of service project and will have some special Devotional or something I believe. Yesterday D. Todd Christofferson came and spoke to us for our Devotional! My companions and I sang in the choir and it was lovely.

Elder Ioannidis left for France this past Monday. We met up on Saturday after lunch and had a little goodbye session. I love him so much. I can’t wait to hear from him once he is there in France. We will be allowed to email one another because he is family! Le sigh. So much love for my sibling. I can’t imagine how much I will love my children one day.

I am so well taken care of here by God’s love that I don’t feel worried for myself and don’t feel like anything bad will happen to my family while I am gone. And I also have faith that whatever does happen will be the Lord’s will.

I think of my friends at home and across Canada and in YSA and throughout the world and and I feel love for them. Every single person is important and I feel so lucky to know and love so many. I hope to develop a similar love for the people of Hungary as I bring them a message of hope and peace, as I invite them to come and feel the love of God and receive the blessings He wants for each of us to have.

I guess one thing I miss about home is hugs from friends and family. There are hugs here too (with other Sisters) so that is good, but its not the same. So I will be happy to hug you all when I return.

I think letters take a really long time to get to you from here so there are probably a few letters still in the mail coming for some of you.

You taught me a lot about love Mom and Dad. And i have the opportunity to share that with my district sometimes. I am grateful to have been born into my family and to have the brother that I have. Most people in my district have far more siblings than I do, but I am happy with my family. I think we are the way that we are supposed to be.

I am grateful for the support from all of you who are my friends and family. And I am grateful to have the privilege of serving this mission.

So much work and joy lies ahead. Through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.

As a representative of Jesus Christ, I again express my love to you, and testify that He is our Savior. He knows and has experienced each struggle and hardship we will ever face, and thus knows perfectly how to help us through. Only through Him can we be made perfect.

I love you all,

Suranyi nover :)

Week #4

I have officially been in the MTC for a month! Happy month-aversary to meee!

Szervusztok barataim es chaladom! Hello friends and family!!

I received the package from home yesterday! Thank you for sending the card and gift from Sister Geekie and for sending the tights and watch. I don’t know who Jessie is though, but it sounds like he did something nice for me. Maybe the watch got broken in the mail or there was never a battery in it, because none of the hands are moving, and I don’t think I can buy a watch battery here, but thank you for sending me one. Maybe i can figure something out later, or i can buy a watch from the bookstore. They aren’t the greatest but they tell time, so that’s good. It was nice to receive a package from home :)

I will try to find Elder Ioannidis to give him his Visa, ill bring it to meals with me where I sometimes see him.

I am sending some pictures home so hopefully they don’t take to long to get there. None of the pictures are of the Christmas decorations but there are pictures of my companions and I, and of my district, and of the 3 “older” Hungarian nover (sisters) who are leaving the MTC next week. I tried to put names on the back of some of the pictures :)

Here at the MTC we get to go to the Provo Temple at a designated time on our Pday (every pday), so today we will go again to the temple :) It is lovely to experience a different temple and expecially going as a missionary it feels special.

I got a letter from Grandma the other day and I am almost done my response which I will mail to her. I was happy to hear from her :) Tell her I love her and that a letter is coming :)

You asked about the TRC. I think TRC stands for Training Resource Center. For languages like English and Spanish, people are paid to work in the TRC and act as investigators and the missionaries teach them lessons. For the less-spoken languages like Hungarian, volunteers come into the TRC and they don’t play a character. They just be themselves and we teach them a lesson on a topic we are assigned. They could be members, non-members, families, return missionaries, etc. It is really interesting. We got to teach a father and son the other week and the son was adorable! He was about 6 and learning Hungarian. It makes the lesson flow so differently with a child present, and I appreciated the chance to experience that. After the volunteers are taught they are asked to fill out a feedback form that has a couple questions on it. Then out teachers give us the feedback forms to look at and discuss with our companions. It is very beneficial to practice teaching in the TRC and the volunteers have so far always been so nice and patient and helpful. We teach once a week in the TRC.

I am so happy to hear that both of you mom and dad are studying your scriptures daily. I am glad you are teaching seminary mom, I think that both you and the students are learning a lot together and I am glad you are helping them memorize the scripture masteries!

Oh yes, I sent the tags to Elder Deyell my first week here and we have even corresponded a couple of letters since then. Thank you for checking that I did it though, and he seems to be doing very well in Arizona!

I am glad to hear you are trying YYoga mom. I suggest Power Yoga, it is my favourite kind!

Whenever I hear that you at home pray for me, it really strengthens me. I appreciate so much the support that comes from friends and family. I am trying to do my best, and knowing that there is a large group of loving friends and family behind me helps me all the more. Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts and caring and love. I love you all so much!

My companions and I have been participating in the MTC choir. We rehearse on Sunday and Tuesday for an hour each and then perform the song at the Tuesday night devotional. We have to miss some personal language study to participate in choir, but I think it is a rewarding experience. I always feel a bit of a struggle to have to miss some study time, but it really is lovely to participate in making beautiful music. Elder Ioannidis also was in the choir this week and the song we sang was an arrangement of “Be Still My Soul”. I loved it.

You asked what we do for service, we do things like cleaning toilets and mirrors and showers, or setting out new bed linens for new missionaries, and things like that. Our service day is Monday, but other districts have different days.

I wish I had more time to write, because there is so much that happens here every day and I wish I could tell you all more about it.

I still love it here so much, everyday is a day to grow and learn. Everyday is a day to love my companions and my district and teachers. Everyday is a day to prepare and teach our “investigators”. Every day is a day to use Hungarian and to make mistakes and learn from them. Every day is a day to be spiritually fed and uplifted. I am excited to spend two more months here. I know it is a long time, but there is SO much to be gained here that will last me the rest of my life.

I am here for the people of Hungary, to bring them a message of joy and peace. I am here for my future family. I am here for my current family. I am here because God wants me to be here.

With so much shining love and beaming joy,

Suranyi nover

Week #3

Sziasztok mindenki!!! Hey everyone!!!
Ah the MTC is still being so good to me. Everyday has the potential to be incredible. And almost every single day is incredible. And if it’s not incredibly, its great or good. And its great or good because of me and not because of anything else. So this place is such a blessing. I am so lucky to be able to leave many of life’s difficulties behind and focus solely on improving myself and learning and becoming more Christlike. It sure is a hard task, but I know its right.

I have written down a few bullet points and I will type a bit about them as fast as I can! (running low on time today). There is an elder on my floor (classroom floor) who is from Belgium and is going to Greece. So I get to speak to him in French from time to time which I lalalalalove, and then speak the couple of words of Greek that I know. Did I ever mention before that we say my last name here like it is truly said in Hungarian, because it is a Hungarian last name. It is so awesome!

It seems that so many families know so much about what goes on at the MTC because they have had so many children who have already gone. Everyone has the same amount of things they need to do in a week but different districts are given different schedules. So for example different districts have their PDay on different days, that way not everyone is trying to do their laundry on the same day. And they give you a time slot for laundry on your Pday. Everyday you have gym except Sundays and PDays, it is in your schedule and you can pick what to do. I have been mostly jogging and sometimes playing volleyball. Every Tuesday there is a devotional and on Sundays there is a fireside, both at 7pm and the whole MTC attends. There are many many “branches” each made up of a few districts with whom you meet on Sundays. So there are a tonne of different sacrament meetings happening all at the same time. Each week you have to prepare a talk and then they tell you at the meeting who will be giving the talks haha. And they assign the topics. Once a week you also have a workshop which changes weekly. Everyday there is classroom instruction and language practice and such. And we do a lot of practice teaching with progressing investigators (actors) that we meet with several times over weeks. We also do personal study and companion study and planning and spiritual thoughts and other lessons and such.

Yesterday we taught each other (my district in class) in Hungarian for the first time. We have taught lots of Hungarian lessons before but never to each other. It was very fruitful. We did it one-on-one and I was matched with Bracken Elder. It was great. We were to teach each other about prayer. We took turns being the missionary/investigator. It was a very good experience and uplifting. It is really really hard to teach in a language that you barely speak, but it is amazingly helpful to practice together. You can have the spirit there even if your grammar is poor and your lexicon is small. It was great.Kimball nover and I have decided to do SYL (speak your language) dinners. So everyday at dinner time we only speak Hungarian. Our other companion does the same thing with her Albanian district, so we aren’t excluding her :P

Our ‘usis ‘(the older Hungarians here in another district) are beginning their ‘consecration week’ in a few hours. They will speak only Hungarian, csak magyarul, for the next week and also eat no sugar. We interact with them a lot so this should be a good experience. Usually you do consecration week a week before you leave the MTC it seems. They will probably learn a lot from this and we will probably do the same before we leave.
My comps and I made friends with the lady who runs our residence and she gave us Christmas lights and decorations so our room is all wonderful and decorated! When people walk by they like to stop in to look because it is so awesome!! So festive!

Ah le sigh, I wish i could tell you more.
I have a lesson to teach tonight to our investigator Bence, and tomorrow we teach at the TRC which is a super cool thing! Where volunteers (mostly members) who speak Hungarian come and then we get to teach them a lesson. Its pretty awesome! I love my teachers, I love my companions, I love my district, I love you all at home, I wish I could write more to you because I love you all so much! I love all your letters and dear elders!!!

Love, Suranyi nover

Week #2

My lovely family and friends!! Csaladom es barataim!! (I wish i knew how to use accents haha)
AH THE MTC IS AMAZING!  I know right now that I will not be able to properly express the things that I think and feel being here at the MTC. I am going to do my best to give you a taste though.
Every day in this place has potential for growth. Every activity, every hour, there is something to be learned. And every hour it is up to me whether I will make myself teachable. I am experiences challenges different and more constant than ever before. But at the same time, I am granted tender mercies greater and more frequent than ever before. My heart is filled daily with love from others and for others.
It consistently amazes me how much work goes into making the MTC a place for good people to become great missionaries. The teachers and instructors and all the people who work here put SO much of their heart into this place. I am so grateful for all of them. I am truly blessed to have the teachers that I have and to be part of the disctict I am in. All of the people that I spend most of my time with are amazing. We strengthen and support eachother so much. I love them. I pray for them.
We have taught several lessons in Hungarian by now. We have two new investigators (actors again) this week. It is a great challenge every time but a learning experience too. I can feel that I am slowly understanding more Hungarian and very very very slowly speaking a little bit more.
We talked a lot this week about stress and how we mustn’t let it cause us to feel discouraged. We have so many resources at our fingertips – prayer, teachers, disctict, the scriptures, support from family and friends, etc – that we should use to overcome the stress and grow from the experiences. I am trying so hard everyday to grow.
I am loving who I see that I can become by doing my best here. I can see that if I continue to put in a consitant and increasing effort in all areas, that I will become something wonderful. I am so excited to blossom and become an even better me. Being here, and seeing yourself grow, really helps you learn to love yourself more. I feel the love of our Heavenly Father daily. He truly has his hand in this place. My testimony is so strengthened as I participate and pray and study and ask. I am so looking forward to the 10 weeks I have left.
Erik should have arrived here about now!!!!!! I sure hope to see him today!!!! AH I AM SO EXCITED!!!! You all know how beautiful of a person my dear brother is. I can barely imagine what he can become from being here. I feel so blessed to have him in my family. Being here is going to shape our lives forever. I cannot even begin to imagine what growth and learning will occur in the mission field. WOAH I just realized he is Elder Ioannidis now! AMAZING!!!
I have heard that the MTC has changed a lot over the last few years. For example we had a workshop last week where we each got an Ipod touch and used it to take a tour and watch relevant film clips at certain buildings and paintings. We also begin teaching in our language on the third day. I hear that is new. We get to practice teaching often. We teach eachother in class a lot too. It is very good to practice.
I laugh a lot here. There is much happiness! The elders in my district are hilarious. We have a good time together. Mealtimes are often a good time to socialize and have some fun conversation and maybe a Disney outburst (most often started by the Elders hahaha).
I wish I had more minutes so I could take the time to figure out what else I should tell you!!! I have 2 more minutes, eep!
I know that every single person has potential to grow and improve. I love that. We can all be better every single day.
I love you all so much and your letters! Letters are on the way for those of you who have written me! ( Mail takes a long while to get to Canada )
I love you all so much, and your prayers and support mean so much to me.
Love, Suranyi nover