I am feeling so great! I feel truly happy and I feel blessed in so many ways. This past week was Zone Conference which included interviews by the new mission president President Smith. I always love Zone Conference and this one was no exception. It was wonderful. One thing that every missionary wonders about when the new president comes is what the rules are going to be. President Smith is in favour of using the White Missionary Handbook as a standard for our missionaries. There will be a few things specific to our country that I am sure he will guide us on, but it is nice to have a clear definition of what the rules are. One of my favourite things is that I am no longer required to wear a suit coat on Sundays and to Baptisms or to Zone Conference!! YAYY! (Every missionary around the world has the same white missionary handbook, and to my joy there is nothing that requires sister missionaries to wear suit coats in the book, so the new president said we don’t need to! I found them very uncomfortable.) The mission rules are going to be a little bit stricter now, but also a lot more standardized and I know I will see blessings from obeying the counsel of my mission president.
As part of our missionary work we are asked to try to have members of the church be present often when we teach investigators. There are times when this is a good experience, and times when it is not. Some members misunderstand their role in a lesson and try to take over the teaching. I do not feel upset at them because I know it is part of my role to help them understand their role, and also that they are doing their best and what they think is right. However, it can be a frustrating experience. For example they can confuse the investigator with too much unrelated information in a non-logical sequence. But this week we had an example of an outstanding “member present” lesson. The member was incredible. His testimony was strong and so helpful. He generally only spoke when my companion or I asked him things (which we did throughout the lesson) and he kept his answers clear and powerful and brief. I wish I could photocopy that man. He had personality and was personable, but also respected us and the investigator and allowed us to teach and lead the lesson even if he may have had his own ideas of what could be said. I am so impressed with his patience and wonderful help. I hope that when I return home from my mission I can be an equally good “member present”.
This week none of our investigators came to church. It was sad for us, but we got a wonderful blessing. Sister Roney and I got to attend English Sunday School. It was wonderful! I know I have already said that a lot of things are wonderful in this email, but it really was! I am mostly saving the wonderful things to tell in my email :) A. I could understand everything! B. The teacher was fantastic. He prepared well. He was passionate about the lesson. He asked questions and promoted conversation. He was great. C. I had recently read the chapters we were studying and thus I was also prepared for the lesson. D. The chapters were interesting. (Alma 30-31) E. The Spirit was so strong. I wish I could go to English Sunday School every week! But I know that is one sacrifice I need to make. It is my role to accompany investigators to their class and help them understand and feel comfortable. It might sound strange, but it feels good to make this sacrifice. I know how wonderful the class is, yet I am willing to fore-go the experience so that I can help someone else feel the Spirit. I can delay gratification! (I think that it a huge part of self-control, and I am glad to be able to learn a little bit more about it. Now if only I could do the same with chocolate …)
This week starting today is Consecration Week. Every fifth week of the transfer is consecration week. (I literally just figured out that pattern as I typed that past sentence). For consecration week we are being asked to speak a total of 48 hours of Hungarian in the week, as well as get in 5 full language studies. My companion and I generally always speak Hungarian to each other whenever we are outside of the apartment except on Pdays, so, for consecration week we’ve decided to take it one step further. We are going to speak only Hungarian at all times (unless we are teaching English class or speaking to and English speaking person). It has only been half a day, and so far so good… but I will have to let you know next week how it goes! Both of us are excited to do this and we hope it will help us improve.
Random exciting news that will make sense to some of you: There is bubble tea in the Árkád – one of the malls near our home! Bubble tea in Hungary!!! It reminds me of home and going to late night bubble tea. Also it seems like no other missionary has ever heard of bubble tea. How sad. I noticed it last week, so I think I am going to get some today!
Immature Hungarian word of the week: Púp. Pronounced “poop”. It means a hump that a person can have on their back. Such an important word to know. Love it.
And on that spiritual note I bit you farewell for another week.
With so much love,