Week #69

Hello everyone!

So this morning I got my very last transfer call of my mission! I will be staying in Szolnok with Sister Burdick and our Elders are staying too!

Official mission statistics (barring any unusual occurrences):
Total areas: 5
Total companions: 8

woot!

I don’t feel like things are winding down because we are still in the work full swing. It is nice for me not to have to get used to a new place or pack all my stuff for this last 5 weeks. Listen to this! Transfers have generally always been 6 weeks long, but as soon as I leave they are officially changed to 9 weeks a piece. Hú-ha! That will be something new! We have planners that are based on a 6-week schedule so I wonder if they will create new planners too!

This past week was Valentines day! The Elders were on splits and we didn’t even see them all day, but we bought them each a box of chocolates and hid them in the church for them to find. It was fun :) Elder McCurdy couldn’t find his because Sister Burdick taped it to the bottom side of a table! haha!

I have been studying out of a book we call “the green monster” and I am loving it! Everyone gets a copy in the MTC. It is a Hungarian language study book, and it is green, and enormous. Also made several decades ago and refers to people with titles such as “comerade”. So funny!

Ok, so there is a party this Saturday for “farsang” at the church. It is a celebration to welcome in the new season. They wear costumes kind-of like our Halloween. But since we didn’t know who would be transferred we didn’t look for costumes. So now we have just a couple hours left today to find a costume! Wish me luck!

Things are going quite well with me. I am happy and sharing my love with others. It is sometimes hard to feel or see if we are making a difference, but I have faith that my small acts are meaningful. This past conference there were some really great thoughts about everyone doing their part and that it makes a big difference when you put all the small loving acts of service together.

I hope things are well at home!

Love, Surányi nővér

Week #68

Happy Family Day Everyone!

According to my father this is a real thing – a new holiday in BC. I am all for it!

OK so for some weird reason, even though I know in my mind that I am coming home soon, I cannot feel it at all. Not a bit. I feel like I will still be here for ever. Maybe it will hit me at the airport on my way home, or on my last night spent in the mission home. I’m sure it will sink in some time.

Since my brain knows I am leaving, I have been trying to get some souvenirs. Today Sister Burdick and I are on the hunt for something called a doromb. It is some kind of instrument. Possibly something that might be called a mouth harp? We do not know what it looks like and I have one faint memory of what it sounds like. We have very limited information and cannot use Google… BUT we have a strong desire to find and purchase such an instrument. Logical? no. Wonderful? I sure hope so!

Let’s see let’s see. Ah, yes. Library cards. We got library cards this week! This is mostly interesting because… it was by accident. So. We hopped into the library to try to run a quick errand… well there is still a lot of Hungarian that I do not understand. By the time I figured out I had us signing up for library cards we were about half way done and so we just went with it. They were free which was nice. Ah funny.

It has been snowing again this week, but luckily it isn’t too too cold. Oh, we met a guy from Calgary on the bus! He moved there in 1957 and is here visiting Hungary. He heard my companion and I SYL-ing (speaking Hungarian) and he tried to help us out. It was cute! When he butted in, we could tell he was waiting for an opportunity to say something. My companion asked me in Hungarian what a certain word meant, and he quickly responded in English. It was so cute. He said he had never met missionaries from our church before and I told him I was honoured to be one of the first. Oh public transportation.

Another funny thing happened on a bus this week when an older lady went to sit down but didn’t realize she had to fold down her chair first. She flailed and grabbed her friend beside her. I tried to do a concerned face (we were sitting across from her) but when she started laughing and explaining herself then I felt it was appropriate for me to laugh a little. I was glad not to have to hold it in. I tried to do an understanding laugh. :)

We went to Szeged this past week for a Zone Training. It was nice to be back there. I served there this time last year. It was beautiful nostalgia. I had lots of memories of being there with MY trainer, and now I was there AS a trainer. WEIRD. We even went to a pékség that I used to go to with my trainer all the time. (Kerek Perec! And I really wished I could have stopped in to A Capella too!) Le sigh. Time just keeps ticking on!

I was reading out of the most recent general conference Ensign this morning and just loving every word. We got to watch one of my favourite talks this past week with Hungarian translation and it was so powerful. I really love general conference. It is so funny because I remember how boring I thought it was as a child. Well I guess I have grown up a bit since then! One of the talks I read this morning was Elder Nelson’s talk with the repeated line “ask the missionaries; they can help”. That talk makes me feel so humbled every time I hear it or think of it. It reminds me that I am here to do a great work, and that I am here to serve and help, just like the apostle said. It also makes me feel that I better be worthy and willing to help anyone in any way and that I really need divine assistance to be able to do what I have been called to do.

Seriously, being on a mission makes me feel so incapable in so many ways. But in a good way! In the kind of way that drives me to my knees in prayer and inspires hard work and improvement. I can honestly say that it is better to feel that I need the Lord’s help than to feel like I can do it all fine enough on my own. This mission is a blessing in every way! There isn’t a part I can think of that isn’t designed by the Lord to bless my life in some way if I let it. Incredible.

The snow got bad enough that even though we dubbed ourselves “extreme runners” we only got out running once this week before the snow got worse. Well, I hope it clears up so we can run some more. But only kinda…haha.

There is a new family that we are meeting with and there are two ADORABLE children. I just LOVE seeing them. OK well I have only met the kids once… but I cant wait to see them again. They are SO cute. The girl is 3 and the boy is 5 (or something along those lines) and they both have the most adorable little kid speech difficulties. The boy has SO much energy and just wanted to show us everything! He put on this CD and then was dancing and running around. It killed me it was so adorable. At one point he just kind-of zoned out and sat in front of the CD player and was sweetly singing along to the song into this little attached microphone. Le sigh. Kids are crazy and adorable. Every other minute they would be crying and then get over it and then cry again and then get over it. All I could do was laugh. I haven’t seen children in a while, I think that’s why it was extra great.

Oooookie. Off to find a crazy mouth instrument if I’m lucky!

much love,

Surányi nővér

Week #67

Hello everyone!

This week we are emailing hyperspeed! We were in Budapest today (we arrived last night) so that the new missionaries could go and get their Visas. SO LISTEN TO THIS: I got to spend the day with Sister Roney!!! She is also training a new missionary. So while our companions were in trainings and dealing with visas, Sister Roney and I got to be companions again!!

We spent our free time going out to meet with some investigators that we used to meet with when we served together in Pest. IT WAS SO GREAT! We took the buses to and fro, taking all our old routes, and reminiscing along the way. It was wonderful. We got to meet with 6 people that we used to meet with and it was so uplifting. We only had a short time with each of them, but they were so happy to see us and we were so happy to see them. A few of them are preparing for baptism and it was so lovely to show them our love and support in person one more time. Ah it was so great! One lady kept saying that we have gotten so beautiful and that we were glowing and radiating. It was so touching. We love her! It is hard to leave the people you love and move to a new city, but I know the Lord sends His missionaries to where He knows the most good can be done (both for the missionary and for others). The Lord is very involved in our lives, and being on a mission helps me see that so much more clearly.

I wish I had time to describe all the great experiences I am having. There are of course also experiences that are more difficult and uncomfortable, but those make the good experiences even more precious.

I translated again in church this week (just silently for our new seniour missionary couple who have officially moved in) and this week it was more of a discouraging experience. I was more highly aware of all of my shortcomings in the language both in communicating and understanding. But I did not give up! I know that the Lord wants me to look at the positive and to always try harder and to be grateful for what I can do. I was fasting at the time, which I had hoped would give me a more spiritually uplifting experience, but I have come to feel that the struggle is much more valuable than if it had been blissful. Ah the things I learn. I love when I feel something is so true even when it is counter-intuitive – ex. being grateful for struggles – because then I feel that I really am growing a testimony and not just relying on my carnal mind. I like it! I am looking forward for the next not commonly accepted truth! hah. :P just being silly.

Jaj. I really should stop writing but I wish I could say so much more!

Um ok quick list:

– We went to Kecskemét this past week for district meeting. I love singing hymns with my district. 4 part harmony in the strongest way!

– We visited a member family this week and they (over)fed us the most DELICIOUS Hungarian food. It is so wonderful to be fed by the members here especially because almost always they do not have very much money. They give of what little they have to serve us. I am so grateful!

– I only had one person in my English class this week , which was great because it is WAY less scary to do a personal tutoring session than a big lesson. But… we put a thing in the paper and it seems like a lot more people will be coming this week. I’m scared. I don’t know how to teach beginner English. Le sigh du jour. I will do my best.

– we made cutouts of the Plan of Salvation this week. SO GREAT. And we even got to use them twice already. Yay for visuals! Not just for kids. :)

OOOKIE I have like a quadrillion more thoughts… but no time.

I love my mission. I love Hungary. I will never forget being here. It has changed me so permanently. Well, I have decided to make it permanent. No regression I say! I say!

Szeretlek titeket!

– Surányi nővér

Week #66

Hello everyone!!!

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!!!

Surányi nővér

Week #65

Hello everyone!

Wow! What a long week it has been!! Long yes, but also wonderful!

I have received my new companion – her name is Burdick nővér and she is WONDERFUL! I am having such a great time with her and she is so prepared and so willing to work and practice and learn! It is great! She is from Massechusetts (I am sure I massacred the spelling of that) and she has red hair (I am so jealous!).

We are trying to figure out Szolnok together. We have been making lots of phone calls to try to get a hold of people that used to meet with the other sisters when they were here. Other than that, we have been looking for new people to teach! The only missionary who was here before this transfer is Shipp elder, and he is really helping us out. He is helping us know what buses to take, and what days of the week we teach certain programs etc. Apparently we teach at a private highschool! Scary. We will be doing that for the first time this week.

Guess what… the first day in out new apartment we managed to turn off the heater and not know how to get it work again. It turned into a 2 day cold spree… reminds me of last transfer haha. We slept in sweaters and fuzzy socks, and studied all wrapped up in blankets. Luckily our landlord was able to help us get everything back in order. We again have heat :) I am becoming increasingly grateful for heat, something I never really thought of as a blessing. Look how much I am learning from my mission! Unbelievable.

I has the opportunity to quietly translate into English for 2 senior couples who came to church this week. It was a little bit embarrassing, but mostly a good experience. I remember a time when I thought I would NEVER be able to translate for anyone.

Having a new missionary helps me see how much I have progressed in the language since I got here. When I see her struggle with some things, I remember when I struggled with those same things too. It makes it so easy to be patient and supportive of her. She is doing such a great job, and it is such a blessing to me to be able to realize that I have progressed enough to be able to help someone.

One of the most fun blessings of being able to speak and understand more Hungarian than before is that I can have a more playful and light relationship with the members instead of strictly business. I can make jokes with them now and I can understand when they are poking fun at me and I can play back. It was so fun doing that this Sunday with a group of the members!

There is this interesting feeling I have been having here in Szolnok. Even though I have never been here before, there are some of the members that I feel like I already know. It might be because I have been switching from city to city for a year now and talking to so many strangers that it has become commonplace, but it is still interesting to me. I like it. It feels safer and more comfortable.

Oh listen to this other fun thing. Having a new missionary makes me notice how many cool Hungarian things there are and fun mission traditions. I have been introducing her to all these things, and it makes it exciting for me again. So cool! I am grateful to be able to be a trainer so late in my mission. I could not be more prepared than this. There will be so many new sisters coming in in the following transfers that these sisters are going to be training much earlier than I did. I am grateful that I got so much time to prepare :)

I have high spirits and am looking forward to getting to know this city better.

I send my love and European awesomeness!

Sok szeretettel, Surányi nővér