I have officially been on my mission for four months now! It feels both like eternity and the blink of an eye. How confusing. :)
We went to Budapest again this week :) . I feel like in every email I am talking about a trip to Budapest! This time it was for transfers. We dropped off Kimball nővér and Nielson elder and came back with a new addition to our district – Beaumont elder. Whenever we go to Budapest we get to pick up mail, and I got some lovely letters from some people I love and I even got a package! ( Thank you Dana!!! I am excited to open it in two days like you said :) !!!!! ) I even got a letter from myself… which was actually a return-to-sender – I plan to resend it this week. Oh and in Budapest the snow was intense! There was heavy snow and strong wind and I felt bad for all the people lugging suitcases around. We also had a funny experience where we accidentally sat in the first class cabin on the train on the way home (it’s between all the second class cabins so we didn’t know) and got kicked out by the ticket checker. Then everywhere else was too full to fit the four of us so we did a train car ballet for the remainder of the trip as people would leave the train. Eventually we all got back together :)
We had our Farsangi Buli this week at the branch house! It is their celebration to usher in the Spring season, and they dress up! We sort-of equate it to Halloween because of the dressing up… but that is the only similarity really haha. Papritz nővér dressed as an orvos (doctor) and I as a beteg (patient). The elders dressed as tie mummies (they wrapped themselves in ties… haha!). There were some fun games like human Foosball and blindfolded-eating-cookies-off-a-window etc. The day after the party we visited some investigators who were not at the party and they said that they had already seen pictures of us on Facebook. Crazy. I thought I left Facebook behind, but you can’t run away from social media!! haha! (I have to not think too far into it because it can get scary actually).
This Monday we were invited by a member for a transfer meal and it was so so good. I ate the most delicious stuffed pepper I have ever tasted in my life. Mmmm delicious memory.
This week I came to the realization that we’ve been lucky to meet many people who have natural inborn desires to do good. It amazes and impresses me. Sometimes the world can look like such a gloomy and selfish place, but then to meet all these naturally giving and caring people provides such a spiritual lift for me. I am so blessed. I keep feeling like I am being blessed more than I am being a blessing. I feel so lucky.
One program this week was incredible for me, and I’d like to share some of the feelings I felt there. I really felt like my heart was breaking during this meeting. I felt wrenching feelings and pain in my heart from sadness. Those feelings were not for myself but for the people with whom we were meeting. The things they shared with us caused me to feel this way for them. It was physically uncomfortable inside me in a way that I almost wished we could leave. Then, as my heart was in such pain, I came to the realization that it was my love for them that was allowing me to feel such feelings for them. I did not know them before, but as they invited us into their home, I was blessed to develop a love for them. My feelings of pain then turned to gratitude as I recognized what a blessing the Lord had given me to feel so connected to these people so fast. That is one example of how I feel I am being extremely blessed. Isn’t that incredible? Suddenly I feel like this has happened before and maybe I have already shared such an experience with you all. Maybe I can eventually learn to skip the pain part and go straight to the gratitude for love part :) :) Either way it is incredible. Opposition in all things! It makes the good part feel so much better!
Oh and my little “France” mishap is still following me around. One person, who I had never even met before, who wasn’t even in the meeting when I said the France thing, who isn’t even a member of the church met me and said “oh you’re the France girl”. Oh boy. Maybe when I leave Szeged it will stop following me.
Ooh another great thing from this week is that we had a “mini missionary” come serve with us. There are a couple different situations where you might find a mini missionary, but in our case, we had a member, Viki, come serve with us for two days. She didn’t live with us, but we did morning studies together and did all our programs together throughout the days. She was such a good example of courage to me. She did such an amazing job in all of our programs and was such an added benefit. Her testimony and the way she spoke were a great help to those with whom we were meeting. One day we scheduled two programs at the same time. Papritz nővér invited another member to teach with her in one program and then Viki and I taught the other program. Papritz nővér asked Viki to be the Senior Companion in the lesson which meant Viki would lead the whole lesson. She did such an incredible job!! I was so impressed at how well she lead and guided the lesson. The whole experience working with her for the two days was a good one. In church on Sunday Viki bore her testimony about the things she had learned during her time with us, and I was so happy to hear that she also benefited from it. The Lord blesses everyone involved when we try to do good things!!
I haven’t taken much opportunity to talk to children in Hungarian yet, but this week I had the chance to talk to a little boy and a little girl. They were ADORABLE!! But the best part is that they don’t understand that I don’t understand Hungarian. When I ask them what a certain word means they just get confused and say it again. I can’t really describe it, but it is adorable and funny. I hear that is the norm with children. That is so interesting to me. I’d love to learn more about that.
It is still snowing in Szeged. We thought for sure it was done several times, but then it always starts up again. Luckily we have enough programs that we are not outside too much :) But the eternal slush on the sidewalks is tricky to manoeuvres in. I have warm boots though, so its not so bad.
Im onto my third bed now! My first one broke, then I was sleeping on a makeshift one on the floor, and now that Kimball nővér is no longer living with us I have taken her bed. It is kind-of a miracle bed. Every morning, I wake up and the top cover has slid off my bed onto the floor in this perfect accordion fold. Its kind-of neat. But I do wish the cover would stay on.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson is coming to Hungary on March 7th and the missionaries get to have a special meeting with him! I look forward to this!! (He will be in Europe already and he is making a stop in Hungary).
Things are good here. I am still learning all the time and have so much growing to do. I feel so blessed and know I need to always recognize those blessings and know the source from which they flow. I love serving with Papritz nővér and I have a lot to learn from her.
I love you wonderful people!!