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