Hello beloved friends and family!
I am literally dripping with sweat as I write this email, but I am also dripping with high spirits! Even in the sweltering heat comes joy from hard work.
I have attended two baptisms since I last wrote! Last weekend we traveled to Szeged to attend a baptism there. There were about 14 missionaries there! This is very uncommon. Many of us missionaries had the opportunity to teach and come to love Nick and thus we were happy and willing to change our pday and travel to Szeged for her baptism. It was wonderful to see her and to feel the Spirit there and feel the love of members I knew when I first began my mission in Szeged. I am so glad we went.
This weekend we had a baptism in Pest. A lady the Elders had been teaching was baptized. This was the most powerful baptism I have attended in my life. The feeling in the room as we met was an indescribable warm and happy and safe feeling. I couldn’t stop tears from falling as I saw on her face how prepared she was for that day and as I heard the words spoken by the speakers she chose. The next day in church she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and again that same wonderful powerful feeling came over me. A couple of investigators who were present for the baptism told me that they feel a desire to be baptized. I have such a strong testimony of baptism and that it truly is a new birth. Every past sin remains behind us and we step into newness of life. I hope to soon attend other such powerful baptisms and feel the joy of seeing another children of God come closer to Him.
This week my companion and I worked very hard. We had quite a few people who did not show up for programs yet the Lord blessed us with some miracles and we were able to be the only companionship who reached Mission Super Standard this week.
This week we learned to do Kézi Munka. I wish I knew the English translation. Needle work maybe? Hungary has a lot of very beautiful “needle work” and I look forward to making some of my own to bring home and remember. There are very traditional styles and patterns and I hope to find time to make some ( I don’t know when… but I can hope). I have been practicing on a beginner pattern and I am really enjoying it!
One funny story from the week: We were going from door to door to search for people who are interested to hear our message. It was hot out. We ring one bell at a gate and a teenaged boy comes out and closes the gate behind him. He asks as what we want and we explained why we were there and asked if he wanted to hear our message. He the yells over the fence into the yard (we cannot see in) “DO WE WANT TO HEAR A MESSAGE??”. Apparently the answer was yes because he opened the gate and let us in. There were several other semi-dressed teenage boys sitting in a circle on some chairs and workout equipment in the yard. A couple of them stood and motioned for us to sit down. Then their mother came out too and sat with us. I wish I could describe the picture. Roney nővér and I knew that only on a mission would we end up in such a situation. Two girls in skirts past the knee with name tags sitting with a group of rebellious looking boys in a yard. We actually got to share part of the message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the mother accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. We will be going back there tomorrow to meet with them again. It was in the end a positive experience.
On a mission you really learn to love people. We are asked to talk to anyone and everyone. We learn not to judge people by the way they look but really try to connect with them and see who they are on the inside. Each person is a child of God and it is important for us to treat them as such – especially when we are wearing the name of Jesus Christ on our lapels.
I often think of home and have very good memories and look forward to my return, yet I know that I cannot forgo the learning I am experiencing here. I know I am able to help the Lord do good if I work hard, and I know I can become more than I am now and return home a better person than I was when I left. I am so grateful for these experiences.
I send my love and happiness and hope we can all remember to treat each person with love and kindness.
Sok szeretettel, Surányi nővér