Week #44

Hello all!

Budapest is fantastic! Monday was a super sweaty, super internationally attended, super festival to celebrate the National Holiday, of the day Saint Istvan established the state of Hungary, 1012 years ago (Aug 20th). We had an “extended p-day” which meant we were not asked to do any organized working hours. It was a great day!

First, Sister Roney and I took the Metro to Buda to see the festivities going on at vörösmarty tér. There was a boat and air show going on at the same time. The atmosphere was fantastic. We were right by the Duna, people were everywhere, all the surrounding streets were closed to cars, and loud speakers were blasting Hungarian commentary about boats. It was wonderful. We then met up with 6 other missionaries and took a trip to Visegrad (around an hour away) to see some castle ruins. Sister Roney and I traveled back to the big city early to check out the festival going on at the Buda Castle. It was awesome! We arrived just in time to get in free! Blessed timing! We got to go inside the castle walls! There was a big Hungarian craft fair. Not only were the people selling things, but also making them right before your eyes! Making shoes, hats, quilts, painted eggs, clothing, pillows, wooden boxes, food… the list goes on. There were thousands of people walking around to see the hundreds and hundreds of kiosks. Then at night there were wonderful fireworks over the Duna. That day is a memory not to be forgotten. The added blessing was that I got to spend it with Roney nővér. We loved being together, as we always do, and both recognized how lucky we were to be together AND in the big city of Budapest on this great holiday. Hungary is amazing!

It was also Roney nővér’s birthday this past week! We tried to make it special, and I did my best to give her a few little birthday surprises. (Its hard to surprise someone you are around 24-7). One of the highlights was getting together with the Elders in our district to eat pizza and play games. It was so fun!

Sister Roney’s mom sent her a package for her birthday and in it was included matching t-shirts for sister Roney and I. How sweet! So her and I got to match again this week for Sport Nap. Speaking of Sport Nap. I decided to try playing soccer this week, which I haven’t done so far. Well… I managed to completely bail in a field puddle and get soaked and muddy. I’ll send a picture :) It wasn’t enough to just be bad at soccer, I had to fall in front of everyone. It must have been a sight because everyone on the field was silent and watching me as I got up out of the mud. A little embarrassment is good to keep you humble, right? :P

Zone training was last week, and I enjoyed it as I expected. It was a little different than the old Zone Conferences, but I enjoyed it as well.

Sister Roney and I got mission standard this week, which is a good feeling and blessing.

I love serving with Sister Roney and love being on a mission. It is tiring and you are almost always outside of your comfort zone, but it is worth it. I know it. Some of my favourite times are when I feel myself handling something well, that I know would have been harder for me before. It is more the inner feelings and experiences that I appreciate than the sights and the places. I think that is the way it is supposed to be. I am practicing loving people and learning to be more giving. I really hope these lessons follow me home into my “normal” life.

I send so much love and happy news from Hungary. It is a great place and I already look forward to returning someday as a tourist!

Love, Surányi nővér

Week #43

Hello!

Ah what a week. My dear mission president is such a joy to work with. Whenever I see him he has such positive and uplifting things to say to me. He always focuses on my successes and strengths. I am so grateful that he shares those positive things with me. I feel uplifted and I feel comfortable with him. I trust him and support him and the other missionaries seem to feel the same way.

There are a few new rules/organizational points that have been put in place. We are now having weekly district meetings and we will no longer be having Zone Conferences. We will now instead have Zone Trainings, which will only last about 2 hours and will not include a training from the President and the Assistants. I am a little disappointed only because I really enjoyed the trainings, but I am very supportive of the decision of President Smith and know that he has put a lot of thought into this and has good reasons to change things. This week on Thursday we will have our Zone Training and I am sure it will be wonderful! I look forward to it :)

Last week right after I sent my message home we met up with a few companionships and went to a Communist Statue Park. It was a collection of statues from the communist era and we could take all sorts of pictures with them. I think I forgot to send those pictures and will try to remember next week!

There was a baptism this weekend! One of the Elders’ investigators, Anikó, got baptized! She is 21 and a wonderful girl. I love to be around her and am so happy that she is a member now. The baptism was wonderful and the Spirit was there. She even shared her testimony at the end! She asked Magda elder and I to sing at her baptism, the same song from the concert.

Speaking of singing, a surprising opportunity came up! I got a call last week from a member in Buda who was at the concert where Elder Magda and I sang. She said that there is a man in Germany who is in charge of recording the Hungarian translation of the EFY cd. She said that he “heard about me” (I don’t know how) and would like to have me sing on the CD. I reminded her that I have a funny Hungarian accent. She said that the man realizes that I might and that we can try. If it goes well then good, and if not, then they won’t use me. She asked permission from my mission president (because singing on a CD is not missionary work) and he said that I have permission to do it. Eep. So. If my accent is not too weird, and if they still like my voice when I go to the rehearsals… then I might be on the Hungarian EFY CD. Scary. Funny. But also a wonderful compliment.

ok I am running out of time, so here are some point form things that happened this week:

– Sister Roney and I made a makeshift couch in our apartment out of a cot. We love it.
– We finally found the ice cream truck that we always hear and never see. And bought ice cream!
– We went streeting with the Elders on a really windy day and it was terrible. Everything kept flying away and our skirts kept flying up and it was ridiculous. We laughed through it, because it was hilarious, but it was kind-of a big mess.
– one day we met people from different countries and ended up using 5 languages that day! (The ones we didn’t speak, we just used all the words we knew and the people would smile. It was great. Sister Roney said the words to order an ice cream from one man on the metro in Italian for example. It was fun!)

I am very happy and love my companion and my district. Being in a great district and a great companionship makes a big difference in how good you feel. It feels good to really enjoy being around your companion and “your” Elders.

This week (in his email that we read today) our President Smith has asked us to study and ponder on how we can keep our thoughts and actions on a “higher plane”. It is interesting to think about that. Trying to keep our thoughts and actions above filth, above laziness, above the carnal, etc. is not easy. I think it will be a rewarding experience to see how we can really try to purify our thoughts and actions further. One important part I think is that we only compare ourselves to ourselves. When I think of having my thoughts and actions on a higher plane, I don’t want to think of them being higher or better than X person or Y person, but higher and better than my own previous thoughts and actions. I think that is the righteous way to improve ourselves. To see our growth and compare our actions to the scriptures and the truths we learn from God and Christ, not by checking if we are better than someone else. I sure hope I will notice big changes in myself between when I left home and when I return – changes for the better :)

I send my love to you all!

– Surányi nővér

Week #42

Hello everyone!!

The weather is very very hot! Its been hovering around 40 degrees Celcuis! I know I will be grateful for Vancouver weather when I get home :)

This week was transfer week, but as you know I did not have to transfer :) Sister Roney and I are loving being together. We achieved mission standard this week, which feels good after putting in hard work.

Our new district leader is Elder Headrick – who I know from my group in the MTC. He has been wonderful already in this short time. We have gone out “tabling” together as a district already and he has already been inclusive and kind on several occasions. We are really grateful to have Headrick Elder with us. He and Elder Magda are a great team and we love serving with them in Pest.

I got to say goodbye this week to Elder Moffett, a missionary who was in my very first district in Szeged. He has finished his mission and gone back home. He was such a good example to me of a hard-working missionary. He was also very kind and extremely accomplished at the language. He made me think and hope that all missionaries would be like him. He set a good standard for what I think missionaries should be like. I am grateful to have served around him, and I like to imagine that my brother is something like him over in France.

I have been practicing my beat boxing skills (or lack thereof) and Sister Roney and I have been performing the “Taco Bell rap” for some of the other missionaries. Sister Roney and I are always finding ourselves smiling and laughing and enjoying our time together as we do the work and aim to improve and be better missionaries.

We are short on time this week or I would write more!

I send my love!!!

<3 Surányi nővér