Wow, so in case you were wondering I am currently sitting in some random internet cafe in Budapest Hungary, so I guess that’s pretty cool!!! So first off, let me just say that this keyboard is all flipped around and what not so please be understanding of my typos and everything. The z and y are switched so just keep that in mind as zou read.... Anyway, there is a lot to talk about!!! I guess I will just start from the beginning and then at the end we can have the more exciting stuff.
OK! So first, my last week in the MTC was good. Just getting ready and all that, actually prettz relaxing, but then we had to leave the MTC at 6 Monday morning and head up to the Salt Lake City airport for our flight! Our flights were kind of long, but all together they weren’t terrible. We got to talk to some really interesting people (including this awesome guy named Chiggy from London). The London flight was kind of long, so that was a little annoying, and I didnt sleep all that much, but now I’m in Hungary so that is great!!! Also, the spacebar is super sticky, so I apologize again... Anzwaz, back to everything! So we landed in Budapest after some long flights and got picked up by our Mission President and a couple of other missionaries. Thez grabbed all of our stuff and threw it into a big van and we piled into a little shuttle and went down over to the mission home which is right in Buda. We showed up, got some quick snacks because we were all starving, had some quick interviews with the President, and then went and checked into our hotel for the night. By the time we finished all of that, it was about 6 o’clock and President Smith and his wife had all of the new missionaries over for dinner (it was pulled pork. It was amazing...). After that the APs (Assistant to the President) They’re just missionaries who help the pres with stuff so they took us up to this awesome big church and we had this great view of Parliament and it’s all lit up at night. I got a couple good pictures, but most of them didn’t look that great so sorry about that. So then we were all absolutely exhausted, so we went back to the hotel and instantely crashed. In the morning, we got up for a complimentary breakfast in the hotel and it was amazing I couldn’t even believe it. We have been eating MTC food for two months, I am absoluletly loving everything that I am eating out here it’s so great. Maybe it’s just because we haven’t really eaten real food for a while, but it seriously is the best food I’ve had. Anyway, after that we went over to the mission home where all of us went out with the AP’s and a few other missionaries and went
streeting for the first time ever! This basically means that we go out to the street and try and talk to people about our church and hand out english class fliers and stuff. Yeah, we also teach english classes... and it’s all in Hungarian... so it was really quite interesting!!! I seriously think that it is just a chance for the other missionaries to look and laugh at us, but it actually went pretty well! I actually gave a Book of Mormon to one guy who was working in the plaza. I think he just wanted to try and sell it at his stand... but I don’t even care! I’m counting it as a success because I couldn’t even understand anything he said. I just told him to take this book.
After that we went back to the mission home, where we got our trainers!!! So this might be the more exciting part, but my trainer is Elder Robinson and we are serving in Buda right now, so I didn’t have to travel far at all! Everyone else went out to farther parts of the country, but I am super glad that I get to stay in the city because it is soooo beautiful. Anyway, I don’t have a whole lot of time, but there were lots of very interesting stuff this past week! So the first day, when we were carrying my bags around, my trainer left his key at the church house, so when we got to our apartment, a good 20 minutes away, we had to lug all of our bags back again, get the key, and go back to our apartment. It was kind of awkward carrying all my big bags around the city and the public transport, but pretty typical of your first day am I right? So that was super intersting. Also, in the lessons, I really dont know how to speak much, so I just kind of sit there and say a few things at the end, so it’s totally great! I actually can understand the gist of what people are saying some of the time, but then they look right at me and ask me a question, and that is when I just give them this blank stare because i have no idea what they said or how to respond. So yeah, its been a pretty eventful week!!!!
Also, in case you all were wondering, my apartment is pretty gross and I’m pretty sure someone died there, because it smells like old people all the time... and my bed is a little hard... and by that I mean it is basically the floor... but other than that I am really loving it here!!! I can’t really understand what’s being said, but everyone is still super nice! Every Hungarian has a dog, every Hungarian smokes cigerettes, and they really really love to talk sometimes.
We have actually been super busy though! So I was kind of expecting to be working on the streets and knocking on doors for most of the time, but surprisingly, this area is doing great! We seriously have programs all the time. That’s just what we call the meetings with people. Like I said we teach English (and by we, I mean my companion talks and I just write down what he says...) and we are meeting with like 6 people every day. Its unbelievable. And we actually already had a baptism too! It was really surprising but the first week we were here! My trainer was doing super great work before I got here though so it has been awesome. I love it all so far. This country is great. The food is great. The language is hard... but someday I will have it! There is probably a lot of other stuff to talk about that I forgot, but I will just try and get some more info next week. Today is our P day and I think we’re going to do a little boat tour down the river. Love you all lots and love to hear about whats going on back home! Hungary has really been amazing and I love my mission! Have a great week!
So today is the last update that I am going to be writing from the MTC!!! That means the next time that I write you I am going to be in Hungary!!! Super weird to imagine, but I am more than excited about it!!! So we are flying out early Monday morning from Salt Lake City. We connect over to Chicago, then out to London, and then to Budapest!!! I think Chicago to London is about 9 hours, so that might be a bit of a rough one, but hopefully I can just catch up on some sleep.
This week has been a whole lot of getting ready to leave!!! Today we had to buy a bunch of stuff and are working on packing everything! Now it's actually starting to feel like we're actually gonna get to go to Hungary!!! We are all sooooo excited, but I really did love the MTC. I had a ton of fun and met a lot of great people, and it will be a little bitter sweet leaving. I will be sad, but don't get me wrong, I can't wait to get out there and start helping some real people! And it's crazy too how fast it has gone by! The days do get pretty long, and in the middle it was a little daunting with so much time, but looking back, it seems like just yesterday I was back home on good old MDI!!!
Anyway, this past week was pretty crazy, because as I said before, this was consecration week, meaning that we only spoke Hungarian all week. It was SUPER hard but I feel like I improved so much. It was extra hard because there are only 12 of us who speak Hungarian, while everyone else in our zone is speaking their own language, so it was really difficult to speak to each other. I felt like I improved so much though. Don't get me wrong, it's still a super hard language, and when I get out to Hungary, I will probably be able to understand absolutely nothing because they all speak so dang fast... But it has become so much more natural with speaking and stuff. And believe it or not, at the end of the week when we finished our Hungarian, it was weird speaking to each other in English again!!! Not that we forget it or anything, it was just a little strange for a little while. But in just a few days, it's going to be all Hungarian all the time, so hopefully I can get used to it!!!
Yeah, other than consecration week not a lot happened, but I promise that next week's post is going to be a little more interesting!!! Hopefully I have a little bit more to say about my first week in Hungary! It's a little bit weird coming down to the end though. Our class is a lot more relaxed now, and our teachers tell us a lot of stories from their missions in Hungary. It seems like the more we talk about the people, the more excited I am to just go out there! If you have the time, look up some Hungarian history, because they are a country that has been through a lot. Our teacher was telling us about it , and it's unbelievable how many times they have been taken over by other countries. And this is all recent history too. Our teacher told us that they have just been consitantly overtaken, that now that they have their freedom, they don't even know what to do with it. She said that just about anyone over the age of 30 has seen war and have basically been unhappy their entire lives. They don't have a lot of faith in themselves, because they have their freedom now, but they just are waiting for someone to come and take it from them soon enough, because that's just what happened for years. The reason I am here on my missin is to help these people. Help people who have never been happy in their entire life and really don't believe they can ever be happy. I just know how much my life has been blessed because of the gospel and I can bring people on the other side of the world the same happiness that I've experienced my entire life. We really are fortunate people, and it's easy to take what we have for granted. I am so grateful for my family and my friends and everyone back home. I am so excited for this chance to spread some joy and help people in this world, and I ask you all now reading this blog to try and do the same this week. I'm not going to be able to do a lot this week since I won't be able to speak much, but I'm am just going to try and bring a smile and hope that I can change at least one persons day for the better with that. There's always good we can do in the world, even if it's just going through the day with a smile on your face. Just try and take some time this week to stop and think about all the amazing things you have, and I promise that everything will be better and that you can be a happy person because of it. Let me know if any of you have a good experience with this, and I will try and do the same and update you all next week.
I am so excited for this amazing opportunity I have to serve. I thank you so much everyone for supporting me, or even just reading my blog. To hear that people are actually interested in the things that I am doing, really motivates me to work even harder. By this time next week, I will be writing you all (from a crazy weird Hungarian computer) and hopefully have some good experiences to share with you all too. Love you all and thanks for the support!!!
Another week here at the MTC and this marks my 7th week out here! Can you believe it??? In just one and a half short weeks I will be on a plane headed off to my new adventure!!! We are all getting so excited and are just counting down the days till we get to step off that plane in Budapest. We actually get our flight plans tomorrow, and we are all super excited for that. That will mark 10 days before our departure and it really is hard to believe that it has come by so quickly!!! We all really need this next week to go by super fast, because this is megszentelési hét (consecration week) which means that from today till next Thursday, we are only speaking Hungarian. So today is our first day and it's really not that bad, because we've done days of speaking just Hungarian, but what we are all a little worried about is day 4 or 5, when we are just burnt out and want to go back to good old English. But it's gonna be a really great experience and is definitely going to prepare us well for when we actually leave (when we only speak Hungarian every single day!).
But I'm quite sorry, once again, there is not that much exciting that goes on in the MTC. I mean, it's kind of like when I come home from school and my parents ask me, "how was school", and I always just respond, "fine." because it's really just kind of sitting in a class and studying stuff. So imagine that is what I am doing, except it's just Hungarian and it's a lot longer. But I will try and pick out a few of the more interesting spots. So we did have Skype TRC again this week, which was actually a lot better than last week. We actually skyped with a women out in Hungary and two missionaries who were out there right now, which was super interesting. The woman was super nice and she talked nice and slow for us which was helpful. It is still pretty hard on skype, just because sometimes it cuts out a little bit, and with english that might be ok, because you can kind of just assume what they were talking about, but when you are struggling to understand as much as you can, it is a little bit harder. Not super excited to make telephone calls in Hungarian, because I already hate talking on the phone in English... Anyway, it was also great because the missionaries told us (partly in english) that the language is going to come soon enough and not to worry about it, and it was super reassuring because I think that one of them had come into the MTC in March and had only been in Hungary since May or so, but I might be wrong, because you can't quite catch everything they are saying. That's probably going to be the hardest part for me when I get out there, is understanding people. I don't know if I have described to you all the Hungarian language before, but it's pretty terrible. There isn't any real sentence structure, there are a couple of rules, but for the most part, you can just put any word where ever you want. You know what they are saying because you add a T to the end of the direct object, so in each clause or phrase, you have to find the thing that's doing the action, what is being done, and then what is being acted upon, and they could come in any order. Then you kind of have to rearrange it all in your head so that it can make sense. It will probably be a bit of a struggle, but our teachers keep reassuring us that eventually it becomes natural (but I think they might just be paid to say that...)
Anyway, other than that, things have been great. I am super tired of the food over here, and really excited about the food over there. Our teacher tells us about it all the time, and apparently it is just super cheap, but really really really good. Apparently they have life changing cereal over there too, so Logan, I will have to send you some boxes. We actually did have one more interesting experience this week. We were teaching a lesson to one of our teachers, and while we were talking to him, he fell asleep... It was a little embarrassing for us, and he said he was really tired and that it wasn't our fault, but if I had to sit there and listen to three kids struggle to speak Hungarian for 30 minutes, I would probably fall asleep too... So lets hope that real people don't fall asleep when I talk!
Alright, so I don't have a whole lot of time left, but I just want to say how wonderful you all are! Thank you so much for all the support you have given me, and really just thanks for reading this. I love hearing feedback from everyone, or just knowing that people are interested in what I'm doing! I absolutely love my mission and am so thankful for this amazing opportunity. I know that God loves all of His children and I have come so much closer to my God here at the MTC. I have seen how much this gospel has blessed my life and my family, and I am so very glad to have the opportunity to share it with the people of Hungary, and to be able to help those who are less fortunate than myself. I love you all and thank you for everything.
Elder Dalton Moroni 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is His grace sufficient for you, that by His grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God
I can't believe the time is going by so fast and I have just a couple more weeks before I leave for Hungary!!! It's super hard to believe and I know it is going to be a struggle (especially with the language...) but I am more than excited to go out there and definitely counting down the days!!! We've had some good progress with Hungarian this week, but also a pretty humbling experience. We have three days out of the week that are SYL days, where throughout the entire day, we try and speak Hungarian. We can still use some English for words we don't know, but we really try to think of different ways to say things instead of just giving up and speaking English. It was super great this week and we were making a lot of progress, thinking we were starting to get pretty good, but then yesterday we had a Skype TRC lesson. If you remember me talking about TRC before, this is when volunteers come and we teach them and talk to them all in Hungarian. It's mostly return missionaries and a couple locals, but it's really useful. But then yesterday, we did the same thing, except over Skype, with someone who is in Hungary right now. We were all a little nervous about it, but thought we'd be alright. We went into the lesson, and we did not understand a single thing that he said. I think I got maybe three words in the entirety of a 20 minute lesson. It was kind of embarrassing, because he would say something and then we would just kind of look at him with a blank stare, then nod our heads and say, igen! (which means yes) even though we had absolutely no idea what he said. I know when I get to Hungary it's going to be like the first day here all over again, but I am still super excited, even if the first month is me just nodding my head and blindly agreeing with what people say.
This was also a bit of a rough week because our friends the Finns left on Monday, and it was pretty sad saying goodbye to them. You get really close spending 6 weeks together!!! I'm just excited I get to fly out with all my Hungarian friends and see them out there all the time!!! It definitely feels a little empty in our zone now, but we still have a lot of really great people, and the new Finns are pretty cool too. Along with that, we had our second virus circulate through, as one of the new Finns brought in something new. So I did get sick again, but it was really only for a day, so it wasn't too bad. Both of our teachers are super sick still, and one of them is getting married in a week, so we are all hoping she can get a little bit better for that! I guess that's just what you get for hanging out with a bunch of 18 and 19 year old kids in a stuffy room for 12 hours a day.
Other than that, there really isn't that much else going on over here. I love it in the MTC, but I am definitely ready to leave. We will be getting our flight plans in a week, so I really just have to look forward to that. We start consecration week next week, which means that we will spend the whole week only speaking Hungarian (with some translating for all the normal people who don't know this language). I love my mission so much and I am so very excited to go and make a difference in people's lives. I love this gospel and I love being able to teach it. I have come to know with such a surety that God really does love all of us and that as I turn to Him in my life, I can feel His love for me more and more. I love you all and I apologize that there really isn't that much exciting stuff going on here, but hopefully it will get more interesting in a couple weeks!!! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about how things are going, about what I am going to be doing or teaching, or if you just want to show some support, it really helps me get through the tough days. Love you all and have a great week!!!