Week #10 (Christmas Week & Leaving for Hungary)

Surprise! We found out this morning that they let us write a Christmas e-mail today!

Merry Christmas family and friends!!!

My flight from Salt Lake leaves at 7am and arrives in Chicago at 11:15 (Chicago time I’m guessing). I have a long layover there till 5:05 so I will probably call sometime in there. I may call from salt lake quickly but I’m not sure. I feel bad not having better info, but you should for sure expect a call from me. I hope that doesn’t make any plans difficult for you. I wont be able to get any information from you before then, so hopefully it all works out. :)

Ah my lovely parents! I love you so much. Going to Hungary is becoming so real as it is just days away. I have loved receiving Dearelders from you during my time at the MTC and look forward to telling you about my time in Hungary. My wonderful teachers do a great job of showing us the love they have for Hungary and the people there. I can see myself falling in love with Hungary. I know I will!

Kellemes Karácsonyt a családom! Szeretlek titeket és akarom hogy minden jó veletek. Boldog vagyok hallani hogy ti gondolkoztok Krisztusról ezen a Karácsonyon. Én is gondolkozom róla.

I’d write you more, but the computers are all having problems freezing every few seconds and its making it extra hard to write in Hungarian. There very well may be many grammatical mistakes in there, but I did my best :)

We’re missionaries now and even in the airport, and we are taught in “Preach my Gospel” that we are meant to talk to everyone,. So our phone call should not be too too long so that I can still fulfill my purpose as a missionary and not become too distracted from the work. But I still look very forward to talking to you both! You will have to update me on Elder Ioannidis as well!

I hope we can all keep our covenant to always remember Christ. This Christmas is wonderful and I feel so much love for all of you. I am so happy that you are both reading the scriptures and keeping your minds on things of eternal importance. I encourage you both to continue with me in growing in the gospel – in testimony, and in conversion. Let us not only learn more truth, but gain a stronger resolve to continually live what we know to be true.

I wish I could write more but the computers are being very difficult right now. I love you so much as Ive said. “Preach my Gospel” has a chapter on Christlike Attributes which we study often here. We should all try to become more like Him as He is the perfect example and our only way back. I also am learning about how vitally important members are in missionary work. Missionaries really need members’ help In finding, in teaching, and in retaining. When I return, I hope to be a helpful member to the missionaries.

Have to go now, love you so much! Merry Christmas! I pray for your strength and happiness and appreciate your prayers for mine.

Suranyi nővér

Week #9

Hu-ha! 6 days to go! In a few hours, consecration week ends. We are going to try hard not to slacken on our efforts though. We have made new goals to still speak Hungarian whenever our district is together and I also have personal goals that I will be working on.

What a wonderful place the MTC has been. My companions and I all got haircuts today, which makes leaving seem one step closer to being real. Its real.

I must have written it in a hand-written letter and forgotten to put it in an email that missionaries in the MTC do not get to call home on Christmas. There aren’t enough phones here for the ~2,500 missionaries to call home.

One thing I have noticed lately as a gift from the Lord is the gift of wakefulness. I have be blessed to be alert and wakeful whenever I need to be. Many people here are tired a lot of the time, but I more or less always feel energized in my mind. I am grateful for that. I feel it has helped me here.

In Hungarian, there are certain circumstances where you have to speak in “formalization”. My brain can understand the concept, but when it comes to speaking it, I get really stuck. Its hard to remember all the changes I need to make to formalize someone, especially because I am so used to speaking in informal Hungarian. I need some more practice because I’ll be using it in 6 days! Hu-ha!!!

Although there is nearly infinite more Hungarian for me to learn, I can see that we have come a long way here. Periodically we are interviewed by our teachers, and this last interview I had a couple days ago was completely in Hungarian! It was wonderful! I can also look back to the first lesson we taught in Hungarian on our third day here and see how far we’ve come since then.

Sometimes I wish I could write email on a day other than P-day. Although p-day is wonderful and necessary, its not as spiritually packed as many other days here.

We had a wonderful wonderful Devotional last night. L Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the 70 and his wife spoke to us. They just glow with love and spirit. Sister Clayton talked about receiving gifts, and how an important part of gift giving is in the receiving. She talked about both temporal and physical gifts. It was wonderful. It was also our last time singing with the choir last night!

After the Devotional we had a district review (we have one every week) and it was incredible. Our district leader Anderson elder asked everyone to share something they liked from the talks and how they felt and then after testify in Hungarian. (We had to speak some English because a member of our branch presidency and his wife joined us for our meeting). It was such a powerful time. It was our last district review and we all knew that. Many words of love and thanks were expressed and exchanged. We have all come to learn that we were put here in the MTC at this time for a reason, and that we are together for a reason, and that we are going to Hungary for a reason. I also think there is a reason why we are going a week early. Maybe one of us needs to find someone who would not be found if we left when we previously would have. My district has been such a strength to me here. My teachers have been some of the greatest gifts to me also. I learn so much here. I know I need to rely on the Lord to accomplish that which He would have me do.

As I consider myself and my progress and the level of development of my Christlike attributes I often think of my parents and brother. Mom and Dad, sometimes I get to see beautiful glimpses of what our family can become. I see what potential the four of us have as individuals to improve, and then I see how much we can grow stronger together. We have incredible potential! I LOVE MY FAMILY! Elder Ioannidis still remains on the top of the list of people I love the most on this earth. I don’t know why I got to be blessed with him as my brother. And I was put into the home of incredible parents. Mom and dad, lets all live together for eternity okay? Okay!

I, Suranyi nover, am an extremely blessed person! So much love and support and care is shown to me! I am lucky lucky lucky to be a missionary. I pray that I will do my part with all of my abilities.

Szeretlek titeket!

Suranyi nover

Week #8

Sziasztok mindenki!!!

“Huha!” Things here are still as great as ever. Everything about this place has felt right. Most of you probably know I am a fairly apprehensive person and I don’t look forward to change, but coming here I wasn’t nervous, and being here has been fantastic. I wish I could say the same about going to Hungary on the 27th. But I am working hard on trusting the Lord. He wouldn’t send me on the 27th if He didn’t know it was the right thing.

This coming week (starting in just a couple hours) is “consecration week”. Consecration week is generally done a week before your last week. What it involves is your whole district vows to speak only your mission language (except in Emergencies, etc). So, I will say farewell to English for a week. We also come up with individual goals to help truly consecrate our time and life to the Lord. I expect to do a lot of growing this week and trust that I will continue to feel peace and happiness throughout.

I feel so much peace here. Although I have stresses and worries, I feel peace. My heart feels right.

This week we (he whole MTC) had Sister Elaine Dalton speak to us (YW general president) and Sister Dibb (2nd cnslr gen. YW). My companions and I got to meet each of them! We got to hug them and speak to them. And Sister Dibb even asked Motra to say hello to the Mission President’s wife when she gets to Albania. Did you know Sister Dibb is the prophet’s daughter? She is such a strong and wonderful woman. She also spoke to us all a bit about her father, which was so warming and powerful. It really is great being here in the MTC. I hear more incredible people will come at Christmas time too!!

Haha so, I sing in the MTC choir. And there are big big screens up during all the Devotionals when we perform. The screens show whatever is going on; there are several cameras in the room and AV people working hard all the time. And so they show the choir on the screens when we sing, and the speakers when they speak, etc. We are instructed not to look at the screens while we are singing, because it is distracting and draws attention to yourself. So I never look. But it is so hard because the screens are right behind the conductor. There are always in your peripherals and you have to try so hard not to focus on them. Well last night when we performed, Motra (one of my comps) was wearing a bright blue cardigan and i was wearing a bright fuscia scarf. Well which two colours I saw, extreme close up, on the screen in my peripherals? Yes bright blue and fuscia. I had to use all my might to keep my eyes on the conductor. I have NO idea what faces I may have made as I tried to ignore the fact that I knew everyone could see me. Including people at all the other MTCs around the world receiving the broadcast. HAHAH ah so funny. I am glad I had the strength not to look though. But still: funny.

I have received so many wonderful letters and cards this week!! Responses to some are in the mail, and I am doing my best to write back to them all. My heart is so lifted by your words! Some I remember off the top of my head: Emily, Erin, Grammy, The Deyells, Richmond Ward, Sister Head, Anna Theo, the Waltons. The time you take to write me means so much to me!!! I wish I could tell you all right now what I thought and how much I appreciate your words!

I have briefly emailed Elder Ioannidis. I don’t have time to read the email he sent me so I’ve printed it out and will read it later tonight after 930 when I am allowed to open mail.

And today I got a package from the Miles!!! Ill open it tonight after 930 as well :) YAY EXCITED!!!!!!!

My wonderful Miles and Seegmiller families. I pray for you daily and mention each of you by name. You are so wonderful and meaningful to me. You’ve changed my eternity!!!

This mission is not just something I am going to think about for the rest of my life, it is going to become part of me. If my teachers here in the MTC are any example of what I can become, I look so forward to it. They are incredibly people who sacrifice so much and work so hard in all areas of their life it seems. They are blessing my life so much. They are so much more than instructors. They are incredibly servants of the Lord and angels to me.

Ah I have 30 seconds left!

I love you all so much!

Ah oh!!! If anyone ever wants to write me in French, please do!!

Love Suranyi nover

Week #7

Hello family and friends!

Since my date still seems to be Dec 27 I will need to start preparing soon to leave. There are a bunch of things that I would like to leave behind or send home. Such as some clothes that I won’t bring and some used up notebooks and journals etc.

Happy baptismal anniversary mom and dad! It was on the 5th right? Ah so exciting. Your decision to join the church is why I am here. It blesses me daily and will continue to bless me eternally.

I haven’t heard from Elder Ioannidis at all yet. Maybe he has been very busy or does not know my email address? Would you send it to him for me mom and dad? I love him with my whole heart and hope he is doing well. One of the things I pray for the hardest here is not to forget French. I love French so much and my heart will be broken if I cannot speak it anymore. I try to speak it in my personal prayers sometimes and it scares me because of how many words come out in Hungarian. It is great that so many words readily come to me in Hungarian, but I pray so hard that my mind will have the capacity to separate the two languages so I can retain both. I have a feeling I will come to love Hungarian even more than I love French and I am excited for that. How much I love French shows me how much I will be obsessed with speaking Hungarian.

This week we (our district) have a goal to memorize the First Vision in Hungarian. Ive memorized the words now but need to keep practicing it to get it to come more smoothly and without having to stop and think of the next words. I am glad I am memorizing it.

I received some wonderful letters this week! From Richmond Ward, two from Mika, from Krysta, from Emily Turner, from Mom, from Elder Deyell and even a couple more that my head can’t remember right at this moment. Ah thank you all so much!!! Some letters in reply are in the mail now and some are in the process if being written, I love hearing from you all so so much and feel so happy as I respond and as I get to think of you all.

Ooh Mom and Dad thank you for the package you sent me! The new watch is wonderful and fits perfectly and works perfectly. Mom, is it one that we had looked at together? I feel like I recognized it and appreciate if you remembered it was one that I liked! The socks are perfect and the candy is always wonderful! And I keep ripping tights :( So i am grateful that you sent more :)

Ok now I am going to say more wonderful things about the MTC and missions! I love it here, I love it here, I love it here! My companions and I grow closer and closer together as the days go on. We support one another and strengthen one another and learn about each others’ wants and needs. I feel so blessed to have them. Did I mention that Motra Richardson (one of my companions) is from Edmonton? The other is from 20mins away from the MTC, in Spanish Fork. I love them and it is nice to have girls around when I have left all my friends behind. My teachers still blow my mind all the time. They speak with such love and power. They speak truth and it is incredible. They sacrifice for us. They often stay later to help us, or miss their own classes (they are BYU students) because they are scheduled to teach us. It breaks my heart a little to know what they give up for us, but makes me feel their love for us and for missionary work. They truly love the people of Hungary, they both served missions there, and they show us that love all the time. They help us develop a love for the people and for the language. They are wonderful teachers.

Our district is also so amazing. We had a district review, or “district strengthening session” as I like to call it, last night. The spirit in the room was so strong. Everyone was united and we just beamed with love for one another and for the gospel.

Here I feel so strongly the love of God for me. I am blessed all the time here. I am blessed with feelings of peace and support. I am blessed with feelings of love. I have faith in promised blessings that come when we follow what God asks for us. As my departure date draws nearer the reality of going to Hungary and working with real important people sinks in more and more. My actions are going to affect real people. real spirits, children of God. I pray so strongly that I can get out of the way and let the Spirit work through me. I want to be a good tool in the Lord’s hands. I want to bring the message of joy to the people who need it and have been prepared to hear it.

I continually strive to push out the negative thoughts and increase my positive attributes. Developing Christlike attributes is a large focus here. We study them and work on putting them into practice. I dont know a better place for me to learn and grow.

I love you all so much!!!!!

Suranyi nover

Week #6

Hello friends and family,

Interesting (and slightly scary) news! Our departure date has been pushed a week earlier, so now we are expecting to leave on December 27th! Aye! That means less than a month left! There is still a chance that this will change, but it is the new expected date. The way we found out about the change is kind of funny. Our mail started showing up with red pen scratching out the old date 0102 and putting in the new 1227. It was ominous looking! And one by one more people starting getting the red pen marks!! It was kind of funny and like a missionary version of a scary movie. Dun dun dunnn , who will get the red ink next?!! But my companions and I asked the post office worker what it meant today and they said that our date has been changed so they are asked to change it on our mail.

American Thanksgiving was great! We did a big humanitarian project that was incredibly well organized. It was amazing how well organized it was. We made 8000 “injury kits” and it was enjoyable. We also had a couple firesides that day and Russell M. Nelson spoke to us!! He told us to send his love to our families! So I send his love to you family! In the evening we all got to watch a movie “17 Miracles” it was great! We even all got popcorn! Whenever the whole MTC meets, we meet in a big building (the gym actually) and they set up a whole stand and pulpit area and they have big screens so everyone can see. And we sit in chairs and bleachers. It is wonderful.

It was fun because the Thanksgiving big meal was at lunchtime and then we all made sack dinners so that the cafeteria staff could go home for thanksgiving :) I really enjoy the sack meals we have. I find it relaxing to eat in my residence with my companions instead of in the noisy cafeteria. (We get about 2 sack meals a week on p-day and on the morning we do service.)

I am so happy to hear that Elder Ioannidis has made it safely to France! I haven’t heard from him yet, but it was nice to hear from you Mom and Dad that he is there and to take a quick peek at the pictures you sent me. I will try to take similar pictures with my mission president and his wife when I arrive in Hungary!

Oh! The new Hungarian group came in yesterday and today. There are 7 new elders. We met three of them yesterday because they are international and we will meet the other 5 today hopefully. They will be in their own district but their classroom will be right beside ours. They are our new “kicsis” which means littles. Well its the Hungarian word for little with an English plural “s” on the end. So we are now “usis” which means ancients. With the same English “s”. I don’t know where those terms started, but its being passed down through the MTC generations. Our usis have been gone for over a week now! Wow!

To my friends who have written me, your letters make me so happy! Mika, Jenn, Jenicca, I am working on writing you all back! I love the time I can think of you as I read your letters and think of you more as I respond to them. I love you my dear friends! Naomi, there is also a letter coming for you with some distribution tasks; you’ll see what I mean.

I just love all of my friends and family so much! Whenever I think of you I think of good things. Different people come into my mind at different times and I am happy and warmed by the thoughts that accompany them.

Ohh I wanted to tell you all something interesting about Hungarian. I spend so much of my time on it but don’t write much to you about it. So here is one interesting thing. In Hungarian, the difference between a question and a statement is often only intonation. You have to raise your voice pitch on the second last syllable and then lower it on the last for a question (unless the question starts with a question word like who what where when why etc). So to ask some one, are you hungry? You say, “you are hungry” but change the end intonation as I mentioned. So whenever we forget to do the intonation properly some funny things happen where we are telling people things about themselves instead of asking. Its pretty funny. Especially when you are asking about beliefs or if someone understands and instead you are telling them what they believe and what they understand haha. It won’t be funny in Hungary, but right now as we are learning, it is pretty funny. It is also interesting because it is very difficult to change your intonation in a way you aren’t used to. We all try to go up on the last syllable like in English if we want to ask a question, but it doesn’t make sense in Hungarian. So that is something that I like.

Hungarian also has quite a sophisticated case system. So instead of using prepositions (like: on, with, toward, to etc) for example, you have to put special case endings on words. Maybe I will tell more about it another week because I am running out of time. Hungarian is very difficult but becomes more and more beautiful to me as I speak and understand it more.

I love you all so much! I love it here. My teachers are beyond incredible people. I love my companions, they are so lovely and fun and we support each other and work on improving together.

So much love!!!!

Suranyi nover