What a week!! It feels like this week has been much longer than one. Which is good, because it makes me feel like I still have got a bit of time before I come home!
This past week my companion and I took our first shift teaching at a local highschool/tradeschool (I am not exactly sure what we would call it in English). We taught 3 different classes in a row. Grade 11, grade 9, and then grade 13 (yep, they have that sometimes here!). It was SO interesting and a little bit weird. The students we taught were all studying tourism, and thus had many many English classes. We didn’t speak a word of Hungarian to them, and they all seemed to follow along alright. Amazing! Each class had about 30 students in it, and it was amazing that they could all speak English at quite a high level! The grade 13 class was the one we were warned about. We heard that they are not very respectful and like to talk alot. We were prepared, and some of them did chat while we taught, but many of them participated. We did our best to make the classes interactive and interesting instead of a boring grammar lesson or something. We tried our best. In the grade 13 class, when we passed around a paper for the students to write suggestions for what they would like us to teach and discuss in the future, we got it back at the end of class to see that a few of them had written sweet notes to us. They told us they liked us and that our lesson was good and cute things like that! It made us so happy! I am grateful for kind people.
Ok next story. So there is a prison on the same street as our church, and sometimes there are people who have friends in prison, and they stand on the street and yell up to a window and have a chat with one of their buddies in prison. It is SO WEIRD. Why is the prison so close to society? I think its so funny and so weird and slightly disconcerting.
Also, we’ve been running in the mornings! The first few mornings’ results were quite painful, but my legs are finally getting used to it. We run right along the Tisza river and over a bridge, and back along the other side and over another bridge. It is really cold… but so awesome! We smile and say good morning to every person we see along the way, and it is funny how much it throws them off. Just spreading the joy!
Ok we met the most wonderful woman this week! We normally meet with her son, but we felt to ask him if we could come meet his mom, and he said yes! We set up to come to their home. It was like a missionaries’ dream. Their apartment was SO clean and well decorated and simple. We talked with the boy and his mom and it was such a good feeling there. They gave us delicious pudingos suti. We taught them the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was so wonderful to hear their thoughts about it, and watch the mother’s face as she felt such peace and hope. She kept thanking us for being there and set up to have us come back again to teach more. Sister Burdick and I are looking so forward to going back!
I got to do some translating this week in church – it was Branch Conference and the mission president was there. Some missionaries translate all the time, but for me it is uncommon. I silently translated for two seniour couples during the first hour, I translated silently for the mission president’s wife during Sunday School, and then I got to be the translator for the Mission President’s wife when she taught in relief society for the third hour. It was so cool in the third hour! I was stressed during the first hour of church, but the next two were more calm. Translating in relief society was so cool because I had to keep switching back and forth from English to Hungarian. I would translate into Hungarian when Sister Smith (the mission presidents wife) would talk and teach, but then I would have to translate comments and answers into English when the class would participate. It was so cool!! I wasn’t perfect of course, but everyone was able to understand. I didn’t feel like the people were judging me for my language skill. I felt like they were focused on the lesson and that they were supportive of me and looking to understand and help me and not looking for faults. It was such a good experience.
I remember when I thought I would never ever be able to translate. But now I can. Not professionally. Not without hiccups. Not without help. But I can do it! What a cool blessing! The Lord really has helped me a LOT with Hungarian.
Then after church there was a boy who got ordained as an Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood, and they invited the whole branch to sit in. It was a little surprising when they first invited us all (it is a small branch), but in the end it was such a nice experience to all support the boy together. Everyone gave him a hug after or a handshake and it was so great to see. I am so proud of him!
There is a boy here who recently got home from a mission in Spain, and he taught a family history program the Saturday. It was so great! He was such a patient and powerful teacher. I could feel the Holy Ghost there and I felt more inspired to search for my ancestors when I return home. I am glad I got to be there to participate. I hope that I can still be a powerful teacher when I get home, even if I will no longer be a full time missionary. I remember when I took a mission prep institute class before coming to Hungary and my teacher was a newly returned missionary. He taught SO powerfully, it was amazing. I cried almost every class because the Spirit was so strong. I loved it.
I bought a cook book today! Fun!
Every week when I email there are like 50 people I want to shout out to, and so I normally just hold back. But now that I have become a mama ( a trainer ) I have gotta throw a shout out to my mission mama. MAMA!! My mission mama was/is SO amazing and I am so so so grateful to have had her to “raise” me. I try to be as good a trainer as she was. I understand her so much more now that I am in her shoes. I am so grateful that she was always patient with me and supportive of me. I remember looking up to her SO much. I couldn’t imagine becoming like her. It surprises me that I am now doing those things that she used to do for me or help me do. When I worry about whether I am helping my new missionary in the best ways I can, I wonder if my trainer worried about those same things for me and I am so grateful, because I am sure she did. She cared about me so much and she still does. She sends me supportive messages and I LOVE HER SO MUCH.
My heart is full and I am trying to work hard. I feel like home is still a lot of work away, and I am trying to do my very best.
I am happy and healthy and loving my mission!
I have a million more things to say with no time to say it.
Love you all!!!