Week #31

Hello everyone!

I finally met another Surányi!!! We have started to teach a lady who is married to a man who is a Surányi! WOOT! She is convinced that we are relatives because she says I look just like her son. Haha. I like her.

This week, my companion and I had great measurable success. Although we know that when we work hard and do our best that is all that the Lord asks of us, it felt good to see some numbers reflect our efforts. We achieved Mission Super Standard this week. No matter how hard we planned and worked towards our goal of Super Standard, it was so evident that our success did not come from our efforts. It was so clear that God blessed us with the numbers we needed to meet our goals. As a quick example, we had a day where we spent 3 hours going from door to door looking for people to teach and finding no one open to listen. Then at night when we were about to go into our apartment building a person ran up to us wanting to talk to us. So many similar experiences happened this week. We did our best with our own efforts, but the the Lord directed people to us. I feel so blessed to have experienced so many tender mercies from the Lord this week. And I also feel humbled, because it was so very evident that I am not the one who is achieving anything. I am doing my best, but the Lord is giving me the blessings.

One really really cool experience this week was that my companion and I were invited to attend Zone Leader Conference. The country is split into 6 zones and each zone has a companionship of Zone Leader elders (and each zone is split into several districts). So in the meeting were the 12 Zone leaders, the mission president and his wife, and my companion and I. It was incredible. It was an opportunity to have a look into the inner workings of the mission. As a missionary you are the leg work. But the Zone leaders work much higher in the organization scheme. At the meeting, each Zone leader gave an accounting of the last transfer (6 week period) for their Zone and identified strengths and weaknesses within the Zone. Then we would work together to make goals and identify things to concentrate on for that Zone. Then we had a training from the Mission President. It was extremely uplifting. We had a lunch break and afterward had large discussions about several topics spanning the whole mission. It was so interesting! I wish I would have the opportunity to attend every time! I probably will not again have the opportunity, so I cherish this one occasion.

My new ward in Pest is really great! It is international ward so there is always translation into English/Hungarian so everyone can understand. It is a big ward, and feels a lot like home! It doesn’t feel like it is small or struggling. It is so wonderful to see the restored gospel strong and established across the world just like the scriptures prophesy.

I started writing in my 3rd journal this week since I started my mission. I am going to have to start writing smaller or something!

This Friday is going to be Zone conference for my Zone, and I really look forward to it! I will see all the missionaries who serve in my zone. (I am so inconsistent with my capitalization of “Zone” … actually I do not even know if it is a proper noun or not.)

One weird thing that happened this week is as follows: We were on public transit and a lady was staring at my companion’s name tag. My companion asked her if she was familiar with our church. Somehow that simple question lead the lady to cause quite an embarrassing scene. She was talking really loud and it sounded like she was making all these assumptions and accusations and loud questioning (I couldn’t really hear everything she said A. because of my Hungarian and B. because I was trying not to get involved) and everyone was staring at us and it was really awkward. My sweet companion tried to answer in a soft voice but the woman continued to make a scene. Ah it was weird. We happened to both get off at the same stop. We let her finish her ranting and questioning. We talked quietly and simply, and in the end she miraculously apologized and shook our hands and said that she just didn’t know who we were.

We now find the experience funny and kindof miraculous. But it was quite awkward at the time. But it is not surprising. We look funny (skirts and name tags) and talk with a funny accent and try to talk to people about spiritual things. We are pretty uncommon in almost every way, so we know alot of people will not understand or accept us. But we press on! It is worth some awkward experiences to find the few people whose lives can change for the better by coming closer to Christ.

Missionary work is hard and good. I’m trying to use these experiences as refining experiences.

Ah I am out of time. I love you all and am so grateful for the mail you send me!!

With lots of love,

Surányi nővér

Week #30

Hi everyone!

Here I am now in Pest! Big city life! I have only been here a few days now, but so far it has been great! I really love serving with my new companion Hall nővér. She is from Arizona. We seem to always be singing some song. We’ve taken to talking to the dogs that bark at us, and pumping ourselves up with little sayings. The work is better when you keep high spirits. We haven’t had the opportunity to teach very many lessons together yet, but we have many planned for this upcoming week, so I look forward to it.

I received some wonderful mail this week! Thank you so much for writing me!!! <3

On my first full day here in Pest, Hall nővér and I talked to these 3 old "bácsi"s (old men) in a park near our house. They were SO adorable and SO hilarious. Alot of the time the old people we talk to are sad, so it was so wonderful and refreshing to talk to these hilarious old men! We loved them! Ah I love me a good group of "bácsi"s.

There is a rule in our mission where you are supposed so speak Hungarian whenever you are outside of your apartment, starting in your 4th transfer. This is my 4th transfer, and Hall nővér and I have been making a real effort to speak as much Hungarian as we can. I hope it increases our learning. She is the senior companion of our companionship and has been in the country about a year. I am glad she is obedient to the Hungarian speaking rule because then I can be obedient too! But as always, Hungarian is still really hard.

I met some of my "great-grand-kicsis" this week. One of the new greenies is from Canada near Toronto. He seems like a neat kid. It is weird seeing the new missionaries come in because I myself still feel so new. Weird.

This week was Mothers' Day so we got to call home! I talked to my parents on the phone on Sunday morning and it went by way too fast. They support my brother and I so much and I am so grateful for their help and love.

This weekend was Stake Conference, so all of the cities that belong to the Stake were invited to come to Pest for meetings on Saturday and Sunday. Although I did not understand everything that was said, I really enjoyed it. I appreciated the parts that I did understand, and I enjoyed the wonderful spirit that was there with us throught our meetings. They even had a special meeting for new members and investigators which was very interesting to me. One sort of funny thing is that in Pest there is always someone translating into English and people have headsets so they can hear it. Well that's not the funny part, the funny part is that as missionaries we are not allowed to listen to the headsets. Haha. It makes sense though. We need to learn. The senior missionaries and the mission president and his wife are allowed to listen to the headsets though. So they, who don't speak Hungarian, end up understanding a lot more than many of the missionaries. Ah irony. :)

Well I look forward to my time here in Pest! The transit system is very complex (for me) and I kindof follow my companion around like a blind bat. But hopefully soon I will begin to wrap my head around it!

I send my Hungarian love your way!

Love, Surányi nővér

Week #29

Hey everyone!

First things first – transfer info! This morning (Monday) we all got our transfer calls and I am going to be going to serve in Pest with a Sister named Hall nővér. Big city here I come! Its right near Buda so I am sure we will see lots of great things on pdays. And hey, I am pretty used to city life, so I have no complaints! We all switch up on Wednesday!

This week went by really fast! There was a long weekend with another national work holiday so we had a Super P-Day. We went to Szeged for it! My “birthplace”. It was great to go back for a visit. Much of the zone was there, all but one companionship. I will have a picture next week to send. We had lunch at the senior couples’ place and then we went to the Synagogue (the same one we went to when I was in Szeged) and then we had a photo scavenger hunt (my team won!). The scavenger hunt was fun but also mildly torturous. My team was very competitive and so we literally ran around Szeged for an hour in 37 degree Celcius weather. Haha. But it was great. Lots of endorphins from it! Then we had a palacsinta night at the Adams’. It was a great day. We played card games and chatted and listened to music. It was fun. If you ever have the chance to play Slamwich, I suggest it. :)

This week we tried something new and went tracting and streeting with the elders a couple of times. I found it to be refreshing and fruitful. We talked to a good number of people and got to learn from each other as we worked together and observed how we each work. Hopefully we will find success as we begin meeting with some of the people we found through our combined efforts. Oh wow I’m leaving! So I wish them success :)

Another interesting thing from this week is that there were a lot of Graduation activities going on. There would be giant groups of people outside some of the schools and lots of people dressed up in nicer clothes. Different days different schools would have theirs it seemed. It also made for night time noise. From our apartment for the last few days it has sounded like there are night time roller coasters going on. Lots of moving cheering and hollering. The whole thing is kindof mysterious but I enjoyed the bits here that we experienced. One weird thing is that each graduating class has a big placard of all their pictures, and the placards are really randomly placed in store windows around the city. Strange tradition, but cool!

This past Sunday was Hungarian mothers’ day. Maybe for all of Europe even? And in church the children did a special mothers day presentation and all of the men also sang a song for the women. It was really adorable and sweet. The only scary thing was that as the men were gathering at the front to surprise the women with the song, the Bishop turns to me and says, “will you play hymn number 186?”. I had no idea whether I could play it, but we made it happen.

New experiences await me as I wind up my time here with one last day and then off to new things!

See you all next time from Pest!

Love you love you! Thank you so much for your time and thoughts and prayers, I appreciate them greatly and I know they make a positive difference in my life.

Love,

Surányi nővér

Week #28

Hi everyone!

A lot has happened, but let me first tell you about today!! The weather has gotten hot here, and today was no exception. Today we went to do service at a member’s home which is a farm. The four of us missionaries went, plus our ward mission leader and one other man from the ward. All four of us missionaries weren’t sure what kind of service we would be doing, but we knew it would be something to do with yard-work. When we got there, we didn’t really understand what people were saying, so we patiently tried to figure out what we were supposed to do. The home/farm belonged to a man and his wife and their daughter. The man went off and grabbed a chicken, and we missionaries joked together that he was going to go kill it. Well… he went around the corner with it and when he came back… dead chicken. And then he did it again. Then the wife takes them and dips them in hot water and starts pulling their feathers off. Then the four of us missionaries are lead out to a yard where we are shown how to turn and fertilize the soil. As we are about to start working on it, my companion and I got called back out of the yard. We were to help pluck the feathers of the other chicken!! My poor companion is a vegetarian, but she did a really really good job of staying calm. So… we de-feathered a dead chicken!!! It was still warm from being barely dead. It was kindof gross, but way too cool to pass up the opportunity, so it was awesome. I had no idea how easily the feathers come out! I thought it would be harder, but they come out without any effort really. So then as we are doing this they tell us how they are going to cook them and we are going to eat them later! After we de-feathered the chicken, they sent us back out to help the elders with the soil. It was really hard work. My hands and elbow and back are really sore now and tomorrow will probably be worse, but it was good to serve! I wish I had time to tell you everything that happened, but the whole service experience was really neat. They had a lot of animals and it was so interesting to see how they live and to help a little bit. The chicken tasted really good by the way! It was amazing to think.. I saw this chicken alive a few hours ago. I am so spoiled at home! I feel so lucky to have experienced the whole chicken ordeal today and that the people were willing to share their livestock with us. I feel like those two chickens probably represented a pretty good portion of money. Missions are crazy and amazing!!

Ah I don’t have much more time so I will just list a few quick things:

-This week I learned that my pupils are off-centre. merp. How did I never notice this before?
-We accidentally tracked into one of our investigators this week and he answered the door in his underwear!! Haha. It was right after my comp warned me that a lot of Hungarians don’t wear clothes at home in the summer. True. (He got clothes on after luckily).
-The Elders locked themselves out of their apartment this week and had to wait a day to get in.
– We have a really cute investigator who always brings us fruit when she meets with us :)
– we have an adorable old man investigator who I love!!! So cute!
– we had some INCREDIBLE member present lessons this week. Members help so so much. (especially because they speak Hungarian) haha.

Ah I have more, but time I have not.

I love you all at home! I love my mission! Things are harder than they have been yet, but I am grateful for the opportunities to recognize my weaknesses and to ask the Lord to help me work to turn them into strengths. I can see so much for me to grow into. I really hope I accomplish it!

Hungarian is still hard, but good. It is so so familiar now. Even when I don’t understand, it is still so familiar. I do my best to speak clearly and people are generally understanding me. I have been making more phone calls lately and am getting better at that too.

Tomorrow is another super pday and we are going to Szeged! Woot!!! And then next week is transfers!

So much to do, so much to learn!

Lots of love,

Surányi nővér