Hello friends and family!!
My parents won’t have internet access for a couple of weeks, so I have special permission to post my own blogs! haha I know that it doesn’t really make a difference to your experience, but you can sortof imagine it as one step closer to me. I imagine it as one step closer to you all from my side anyway :)
I have had a wonderful week!!
This week on March 8th was nőnap or women’s day. On nőnap it is customary for men to given flowers to women. So the city was filled with women carrying flowers around. I really liked it, it was adorable! And one fun thing about Hungarians, is that they carry their flowers upside down. How smart! Why fight gravity all day?
I received some more mail this week :) köszönöm! (Sugi, I need a return address from you!!) I love my mail!
I got to attend a wedding this week! It was quite different from what I am used to but it was neat to experience! I was in charge of holding the rice that was later to be thrown :) . The father of the groom thought my accent was funny and we had some fun trying to communicate with one another. I have now attended a wedding and a funeral since I’ve been in Hungary. What’s next? Maybe some sort of graduation. I could see that happening.
This week Papritz nővér and I made some home made pasta – nokedli – and it was super good! She and I also had a running joke this week about an “I Am Legend”-esque disease running through the transit system because weird things kept happening with transit this week. I am so grateful that although we try to work hard, we also enjoy our time together. I don’t think there has been a day yet on my mission where I have not laughed.
Oh also… is it common knowledge that Hugh Laurie is a musician? I saw a CD last pday and was surprised. When I get home, I so want to look into that.
This week on March 7th, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, one of the 12 Apostles, came to Hungary. In the evening there was a general meeting where everyone was invited, but in the afternoon was a meeting just for the missionaries. Both meetings were so wonderful! We heard from Elder Christofferson and his wife, as well as Elder Kapischke of the quorum of the 70 and his wife. At the end of the missionary meeting we all got to go and shake hands with the Apostle. What a wonderful gift.
Hearing from Elder Christofferson was powerful in both meetings. He taught so simply and spoke with such love. My entire testimony was reaffirmed and strengthened as the Holy Ghost bore testimony to my heart of the truthfulness of the things that he was saying. I knew without a doubt that he is a true apostle of the Lord. It was a spritually comfortable experience. Being in the meeting felt so right; it felt so much like home. It felt so wonderful to gather together with the saints in such a united spirit. Last minute Papritz nővér and I were asked to sing in the choir for the evening meeting, so we got to sit in the third row. It was wonderful. In the evening meeting, everything was translated into Hungarian in real time. The translaters were incredible. It was also a wonderful experience to hear everything in two languages. I don’t know if I will ever get to hear so closely from an apostle again, so I am very grateful for this special experience that I had.
Hungarian is continuing to be a struggle. Sometimes it is so rewarding and sometimes it is so frustrating. There are times when I can have a good conversation with someone in Hungarian and I feel so happy. There are other times when I cannot seem to understand a word that anyone says.
It reminds me of my psychology classes all of a sudden, lets see if I can remember the term I am thinking of… something reward schedule… aw I can’t remember. Some of you must be familiar with this: those experiments they did with rats, where the rat had to press a bar and depending on the “reward schedule” food would come out after a certain amount of bar presses. And they found that when the number of presses required to get food was random instead of predictable, then the rats would… press more often or more quickly or something? And it is the whole reason why people get addicted to gambling, because you don’t know when you are going to win, so you keep doing it and doing it hoping that the next time is the win. Well that’s what I think partly keeps me going with Hungarian. Haha. I never know if a certain attempt to communicate will be successful. But when I do succeed it is great! So I keep trying! And becuase it isn’t on a regular schedule where I can predict when I will succeed, it means I try hard every time. Of course there is a spiritual side to all of this, but I still enjoy thinking of rats pressing bars.
This Thursday will be a national holiday! For the past month all over they have been selling these neat little ribbons with the Hungarian flag colours. Papritz nővér and I thought they looked cool so we each bought one and started wearing them around on our backpacks. After a few days of proudly displaying our ribbons, we (embarrassingly) found out from a young investigator of ours that the ribbons are meant to be worn on the national holiday, and the look on his face clearly showed that we looked silly wearing them. Haha I imagine it is like wearing a poppy a month before remembrance day for Canadians. Ah good.
Did I ever mention how vague buttons are here? The buttons to turn on a light, ring a doorbell, and open an automatic door are often all exacly the same button. There have been a couple times where I have rang a doorbell instead of turned on a light because the buttons were right beside eachother. And remember that time I pressed the emergency button on the bus? Same problem. Haha. Maybe I can aquire the minute understanding of the Hungarian button system as my time here continues. I can’t believe there are only 2 weeks left of this transfer! Who knows what adventures await me as I may be transferred somewhere else and begin to serve with someone else! Yipes!
I believe I will see my first baptism before the end of this transfer and I am really looking forward to it!
I love you all bunches and bunches of upside down flowers!