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