Thursday, August 21, 2014

Halfway to Hungary

     One month here in the MTC and it's hard to believe that it's been that long. I am almost half way now (I leave four weeks from Monday) and am so so so so excited to head out to Hungary! But I am also really learning to love the training center and am having a truly amazing time! And believe me, I am not in a rush to get out. As far as the language goes, I still have quite a ways to go with that... 

     Anyway this has been a really great week! I will start off with last Thursday night when we had our weekly TRC (which is where we teach and speak with volunteers from around the area, (all in Hungarian of course) and it was a really great, but difficult experience. We walked into the classroom where we have the meeting and found ourselves sitting down with three people, when we only expected to teach one. Let me say, that it was much more intimidating than you can imagine, especially when they were making jokes and laughing and you just have no idea what they are saying. Two of them served their missions in Hungary, but one was a native Hungarian, and she was VERY intimidating. Worst of all, I really don't know my second person plural conjugations very well, so it was a little bumpy and awkward. They were all super helpful, and we taught two lessons, and both turned out really well!  We were able to ask some questions and have a little bit of a discussion and it was the first time that I really felt like I knew what was going on. Don't get me wrong, I still only understood about 10% of what was said, but I was able to (somewhat) get my ideas across and it was pretty cool! There is definitely a reason they push us hard here in the MTC because that is what helps you learn it best. Those tough situations really make the difference. 
     Along with that, we started to teach our daily lessons without writing out what we want to say before hand. Previously we would just write out a full lesson, translate it, and just memorize the lines, but our teachers told us we can't do that anymore and have to get a plan, study useful vocab, and then teach in the moment, to better help the needs of the person. It was REALLY scary at first, but over the course of the week, our lessons have improved so much and my Hungarian has improved quite a bit as well! One of the most amazing experiences I've had here at the MTC was the other day when we were teaching a lesson to our investigator (someone who is interested in the church) Rita (actually our teacher). Rita was enjoying the lessons we were teaching her, and liked talking with us, but she didn't really see why it was important and wasn't super invested in making a difference in her life. We had been struggling with her for the last couple lessons, and before this next lesson, I told my companions we were just going to go all out, bear everything we have in our hearts, and not leave until we convince her of the truthfulness of the things we taught. This was one of the most amazing lessons, and experiences I've ever had. We read a few scriptures with her, and said a few lines, and then just each took turns pouring out our entire souls to her in whatever broken Hungarian we knew. I just told her how much this church has blessed my life, and how I feel God's love for me and all of his children every single day of my life. I told her that I know with a surety that the Book of Mormon will bring her closer to Christ and that she will be greatly blessed through this. It was really amazing and I could tell our teacher was getting emotional. We had her pray right then and there to know if what we said is true and if the Book of Mormon is true and it was really the most amazing experience. I got so invested in helping this fake person in her life, I just can't wait to go help real people out in Hungary.

     One of the great perks of being in the MTC for so long, is that we get to host the new, incoming missionaries, meaning we get to pick them up at their cars, swoop them away from their families, and help them get settled in. It was actually a really cool experience because we got to see all these sad families say goodbye to their children for 2 years, but you could also tell they were so happy and so proud of the commitment they were making. After some tears and some goodbyes, I would take the new missionary and all his stuff around campus for a little bit, get all the stuff they need, take them to their residence and then their classroom and then move on to go pick up someone else. It really is just great to talk to more people who are giving up so much to help people and serve the Lord and see some different circumstances than my own. We did that for about 2 hours and I hosted 4 missionaries, who were going to Mexico, South Dakota, Paris France, and Tokyo Japan. It was super fun (and an awesome break from class) and I really hope I can do it again next week.

     Well, I think that is about it for this week, because other than that it is just cramming Hungarian ALL THE TIME or making jokes and having fun with all the awesome missionaries in my district and in my zone. I absolutely love everyone in my zone and we are having the best time. Unfortunately, the Finns just started their consecration week, which means that they only speak Finnish all the time. This goes till next thrusday, and then they leave that monday which will be SUPER sad and really weird not having them around. It is really an awesome awesome time here at the MTC and I am totally loving it. Once again, feel free to email me if you have any questions (or Dear Elder me, you can ask my mom what that is if you want) and I would be happy to answer them if I can! I absolutely love my mission and I love God, and I have never felt closer to him before in my life. I am so thankful for all of you and the amazing love and support that I have felt. Szeretem Titeket (I love you all). Have a great week!!!

Dalton Elder

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