Week #58

Hello!

It is almost December! Where has time gone?! I remember sweating in the August summer heat like it was yesterday. Although I cannot imagine eternity right now, I think it will make a lot more sense than this funny time thing. :)

This week I got news that the c.d. that I sang on is officially “out”. It is in Budapest and I am waiting for a copy to make it’s way over to Miskolc! Jaj! Nervousness!

In other news: I think my little brother is possibly one of the greatest missionaries this planet has ever seen. The things he says and the things he does and the example he sets just blows me away. I wish he were here in Hungary to whip me into shape! But I know that they need him there in France!

I bought an advent calendar today! Christmas time is really coming!

There was a baptism this weekend in Miskolc and another will be next weekend. It was so wonderful as baptisms always are. I really felt the Spirit and was so touched when the young man who was just baptised bore his clear and simple testimony of Jesus Christ.

I love the moments that build my faith and understanding of that which is spiritual. I value my physical life and the practical lessons I learn, but I hold the spiritual experiences so much more dearly. I am so grateful to be able to grow both practically and spiritually. I get to improve at temporal things as well as eternal things. And I bet a whole lot of the things that I deem to be temporal will eventually prove to be of eternal significance.

This week I learned an important lesson. I cannot go home perfect. I have this dream and desire to have really grown and improved through my mission experience. I think this is a worthy and good goal. But I need to remember that I will still have flaws and mistakes when I go home. I wish I wouldn’t have any – but I will. It is hard to know what to expect of myself. So I am trying to look for signs of progression instead of setting a standard for how good or close to perfection I need to be. The important thing is that I am improving and working towards being better. And I know that with the Lord’s help I am capable of that. So the motto which has just come to mind will be : Progression not perfection!

One funny thing that I worry about is that I will not be able to drop the habit of kissing people on the cheek. I don’t plan on being socially weird when I get home, but I fear I will slip into routine and accidentally kiss some friend on the cheek as I go in to hug them. So, I apologize in advance for the possible accidental cheek kisses you might receive. I am sure with time I will shake it.

Haha, that is an example of the “temporal”.

You know something I will miss about Hungary? Pékség and paper stores. I need to write a song. “Pékség and paper stores.” OK not really, but I love them. I am going to miss cheap delicious baked goods from the Pékség. I will also miss the mediocre pékségs too actually. And I will miss the giant paper stores full of pens and paper and every kind of office supply and art supply and more. There is always something hilarious and wonderful in every paper store. It is hard not to buy everything. Also right there is proof of my continued struggle to learn Hungarian. What is a paper store? Is that even a real word in English? I heard it from other missionaries. What is it in Hungarian? I think Irószer or Irószer bolt or something. Maybe I’ll speak Hungarian one day :) But rather I think I will just convince myself that my accent is endearing and my language mistakes are no big deal.

I honestly can’t imagine doing something better than serving my mission. There are so so many experiences that are making me into someone that I wouldn’t become without them. I like this path that it is taking me on. Small example: I get to struggle to speak every day! What an interesting and weird challenge for someone like me who loves to talk! Think of all the growing I can do through it.

Lets all do hard things! Ok good. deal. Hard things will be done.

I send my love in big Hungarian ways!

<3 Surányi nővér

Week #57

Hellósztok!

This week feels like it has been three! Here come a few highlights from it.

We had mission conferences this week. On Wednesday my zone and the Budapest zone met together in Budapest to be taught and instructed by our mission leaders and also by a visiting authority Elder Richards of the second quorum of the seventy. He is incredible! I had the opportunity to be the only Sister in a morning leadership meeting and right away I could tell he is a wonderful man. He taught so lovingly and boldly and really got us to think and feel things. He inspired conversation and helped us learn together. Later in the general meeting it was the same. He spoke on many subjects, including obedience, teaching, prayer and so on. I felt wonderful feelings and know that all he spoke was truth. It was so fantastic and powerful to be there and participate and learn under his direction. Later in the day, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by him personally. He is so kind and intelligent and I felt so safe and comfortable in his presence. I am grateful he came here to serve us. At one point in the interview he asked me what I plan to change in response to what I felt and learned during the day’s meetings. I am grateful he asked me and I have written some goals and specific things I want to do and improve. When the Lord blesses us with wonderful experiences and learning, it is up to us whether it will just become a nice memory, or whether we will act on it and change and improve because of it.

This week I have also been reading a little bit through some of my mission journals. I feel that the words I read came from a better person than I was back home. While reading this week, I experienced some feelings of shame or sadness concerning who I was before, and how differently I understood things. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, through which I can erase the feelings of guilt and come to a better understanding and become more Christlike. I am grateful to notice some degree of progression within myself, and I hope it continues!!

This week we and the Elders were invited to a lady’s home and she treated us like royalty! She fed us delicious food and was such a joy to speak with and be around. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and had the opportunity to look through it a little bit together and even show her how to use it to find answers to questions! It was exciting to see her already interested in learning more about it. I know how much the Book of Mormon blesses my life, and I feel so happy when someone else is willing to look into it. The Book of Mormon is meant to bless every child of our Heavenly Father. He had the prophets write for us! He wants us to be happy and has given us scriptures so we can know how to attain that happiness. I love it! It really works. There isn’t a better way. God created us and knows us each individually, so He knows what really will make us happy.

Some people see it as weakness to rely on some “invisible” God and to live according to laws and commandment. I know from personal experience that it is strength to accept the will of God above our own. I also know He is willing to confirm our faith. He is willing to show us that He really does exist and care about us and know us. He is willing to give us all understanding and all happiness, we just need to do our part. I am so grateful to be here in Hungary and to help people, who desire to know, what it means to do their part. Only blessings come from it – eternal blessings.

Hungary also brings the blessing of deeeliccious chocolate into my life. I am going to miss Hungarian food in general.

So much happens here and there is so little time to write about it!

Which reminds me – I got so much wonderful mail this week! Thank you all so much for writing me!!! It makes me feel loved :)

I love Hungary, but also miss home. I look forward to seeing many of you again. The end still feels far away, but I know it will come all to quickly.

With bushels of Hungarian love,

Surányi nővér

Week #56

Hello!

Hungary is alive and well!

Listen to this- whenever there is a national holiday, people have to make up the work days on the weekend. Kids have to go to school on Saturday and people have to go to work. School on Saturday?! Poor kids. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a country with so many national holidays. I love the holidays though! It feels like they are always celebrating something or remembering something. I think it gives people a reason to be proud to be Hungarian and it helps bind them together. I like it!

There are a bunch of baptisms coming up here in Miskolc and I am really looking forward to them! Each baptism represents the work of a lot of missionaries, and a lot of personal work, effort and growth of the person to be baptized. It is such an exciting step in the process of returning to live again with our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful to get to participate in this work of inviting people to come unto Christ, and to help them receive the blessings that are promised to them.

This past week Csányi nővér and I found ourselves going from program to program. It is so great to be booked up with people to meet. We were fed several times this week. It is such a blessing and an honour when people work hard and spend, the little money they have, to cook for us and feed us. I know they will receive many blessings for the kindness they show to us.

At home (in Canada), we live in the city where the “mission office” is also located. So, like here, where I travel to Budapest for conferences and trainings, in B.C. the missionaries often travel to the lower mainland where I live. My parents have been housing groups of missionaries who have been coming in groups of about 8 at a time. I think that my parents will get many blessings from serving the missionaries. It makes me happy to know they are in contact with the missionaries there, it makes me feel, like as they serve the missionaries back home, they are also supporting me.

Any story of someone being nice to a missionary makes me feel happy. If you ever see missionaries, say Hi! They are so nice! And look in their eyes, because something special glows in there. I always looked up to missionaries back home. I hope I am worthy of the respect of the people here. What a blessing for me to be here!

I am still working hard on becoming the best person I can be. A lot of learning happens here as I need to be the one to give hope and support instead of expect it from others. It puts me into a situation where I can be more Christlike. A mission really facilitates positive growth. I think being a wife and mother will do the same thing. It will give me consistent opportunity to learn to forget myself and focus on others. And always always always, when we uplift others, we ourselves are uplifted for more than if we had been selfish.

Here is some old news: Hungarian is still really hard. Even though I speak it every single day, I still struggle a lot to understand and to speak. I have decided to start a stronger push on vocabulary. I think the more words I know, the more I will be able to piece together what people are saying. I think any language is hard to learn, not just Hungarian. I have not lost hope. I never will. But I really really want to understand more and speak better! Having a Hungarian companion helps because I know that if I do not understand something, she does. But she will not always be here. So it is important for me to learn. I want to be able to speak Hungarian for the rest of my life too! So learning it now will be really important. How crazy are languages?? You communicate the same thoughts, just with different sounds. It is also interesting how my memory works in Hungarian. Sometimes the word I want to use is attached to my knowledge of the English word and I have to think of it in English first and then think of the translation. Sometimes the Hungarian word is attached to the meaning in my head and I know the word and what it means, but then have to struggle to remember whT the English word for it is. It is so interesting! Brains are incredible!

Its getting chillier and I am looking forward to wearing my winter boots. I hope they have survived my several moves, being smashed in a suitcase. I haven’t put them on in a long time! They are so warm and comfy. And I get to wear socks with them instead of just tights all the time. Yay!

I love getting mail! I love hearing how people are doing at home! I also love getting mail from other missionaries around the world. I love hearing how they experience things and the things that they are learning. This year and a half is going to have a huge impact on my life. It is so worth taking the time to serve. My whole life is a gift from God, so really no matter how much I give back, I still am in debt. Good thing He doesn’t expect us to pay Him back – we never could. I feel so warm inside when I feel God’s love. The more I study the scriptures and go about trying to do good, the more personally I feel His love for me. Nothing can replace that feeling. It cannot be substituted. Knowing that God loves me is vitally important to me. I love knowing it. And I do know it. I also know He loves and knows every single person that has ever come and ever will come to this Earth. I also see that not every person here realizes how much they are loved by God. Sometimes I get to help people see and feel that love, and it is so amazing. I want to be like a little sample stand at Costco – I want people to feel my love which is just a small sample of the full product. And hopefully that sample will make them interested in receiving the whole thing. And the best part… the whole thing is free, not just the sample. Ok that was extremely cheezy. But I really mean it.

I am so grateful that I was raised with so much love around me. I have loving family, friends, teachers, and love from heaven. I am who I am because of all the love I have received.

I am so blessed!

I hope you all feel the love that I do, and that you can be little Costco sample stands too!

:)

Loooooooove,

Surányi nővér

Week #55

Hello!

Somehow time has more than flown by and I don’t have much time to write!

I can tell you that I am well! We had a week packed full of programs and one of biggest struggles is finding time to eat!

I enjoy teaching people about the commandments of God because they give me the opportunity to remember how grateful I am for those commandments. I feel such joy when someone desires to start keeping a commandment that they didn’t know about before, and I love when they are excited about it. Without fail, when people begin to keep commandments I see them receive blessings. I know it works that way in my life too. I am so grateful that God has given us commandments to show us the best way to live happily. I know that if I could just do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, that in the long run I would not be happy. I would just be indulgent and would not grow. I am so grateful for the opportunity to try to live according to God’s direction and that I can repent and try again when I make mistakes.

I wish I could stop the clock so I could write more!!!

Today we are going to go to a store called Müller which my companion says has really good chocolate. So, I am obviously quite excited! I also need a new journal because mine is completely full! I really want to remember this time of my life.

Thank you for your love and support from afar! I look forward to catching up and hearing about your lives when I get home.

I send some Hungarian love!!!!

Surányi nővér

[Here is the Link to the Conference talk that Sister Suranyi asked me to post back in Week #51: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/ask-the-missionaries-they-can-help-you?lang=eng&media=video]

Week #54

Helloo all!

Guess what?! It is snowing right now! This really is not Vancouver. Brrr it is getting cold fast! The memories, however, of last year’s winter cold have completely faded, so I know that so long as I don’t lose any fingers or toes, the cold wont be what I take away from this wintery season.

This Monday finds me in good spirits! I now have my new companion! Her name is Csányi nővér (which rhymes with Surányi nővér – awesome!). She is from Kispest which is in Budapest. She doesn’t speak English, or even like English. Thus, I get the coveted opportunity to speak with a real Hungarian all the time! It is a little bit different feeling working with someone who has not been trained in the MTC, but it is a positive experience and helps push me into a position of leading. I am grateful to report that it feels more or less natural to lead us in the work, which means I must have been paying attention this past year of serving :) I am hoping that my 6 weeks with her will be enough to help boost my understanding and fluency of speaking in Hungarian.

Because of transfers – which took us to Budapest – and settling in the new companion, the remaining days of this week proved to be filled with traveling from one program to the next and getting home just at curfew everynight. It has been both tiring and rewarding.

Oh, listen to this cool thing! One of the two Elders who came in from the MTC this transfer is named Seegmiller elder. A Seegmiller missionary taught my family! I will forever love the missionaries that taught my family about the gospel and have also come to love their families and value them as my own. I nearly cried when I met this new Seegmiller missionary. He was full of missionary fire and didn’t seem to be bothered by my immediate joy. He happily let me take a picture with him. Who knows how related he is to my Seegmiller missionary, but it was a wonderful happy feeling to see that name here. :)

Time really is so very strange. It never feels right. It either feels too fast or too slow. Although right now my mission feels like my whole life, I know that it is just because it is now. Although I will forever remember my mission, there are so many other things that I experienced before I came here and that I have yet to experience. I hope I will remember to keep the future in mind as I try to work hard through my whole mission. It is so easy to want to be lazy. Why must that desire haunt me so often? I really want to look back on my mission when it is over and think, “I really did my best. I am proud of the effort I put in. I feel I grew and helped others to grow.” I do not want to look back over the time – that I know will feel like it was the blink of an eye – and wish I had worked harder or done more.

I want to come home and tell you all that I am so happy and that I served a wonderful mission! Feel free to ask me when I get home!

Goals goals goals. Without them, we just become whatever the circumstances afford. Let’s do things on purpose. Let’s become someone on purpose! We will be so much happier if we do. I need to remember that more often.

I send bundles of snowy October love!

– Surányi nővér