Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a Buda Christmas!

     It's officially transfer day!!! And Yes! I am staying in the city so it is actually super exciting! Elder Robinson and I are actually staying together (which is super rare, there were maybe one or two other companionships that didn't change) so we are super excited about that! Apparently they were almost moving me out of here, but luckily they kept us together. And I'm especially grateful because Thanksgiving is this week, and you know what that means. TURKEY BOWL!!! Some American Football in Europe should definitely catch a few people's attention.

     Speaking of Thanksgiving, due to transfers, we actually had a big Thanksgiving feast LAST Thursday, because so many people would be leaving. The senior missionaries in the area cooked a turkey and mashed potatoes with all the works for us and we had a big lunch with all the missionaries here. It was a lot of fun and SOOO DELICIOUS. I'll admit way better than whatever we are able to make at our apartment... There are some pictures, but none on my camera. They should be posted on the Budapest mission blog though, so my mom will probably get some from there. 

     This was a really great week though, and really glad that we get to keep going with the work here! Just some quick points of interest (because I really don't have much time):

    There is one church member who was baptized a few months ago, and he is in a wheel chair, and let me just say, it is ridiculous how terrible handicapped transportation is in Budapest. We were going with him to a different church building on the Pest side of the river, but only one metro had an elevator. So we took that one a little ways, and then had to take a bus to the church building, but we had to wait for a bus that was wheel chair accessible. So we waited about 40 minutes, and the buses come every 5 minutes by the way, until finally one came.   We were APPALLED at how terrible it was. Not quite sure how the European Union lets that slide, but it is awful. So we finally get on a bus, and then literally, 3 stops later, it breaks down, and they tell us all to get off. We couldn't believe it!!! So at that point it just wasn't going to happen. We were going to the other building for family history stuff by the way, but we just decided to head back, and luckily we didn't get too far, so it wasn't all that bad heading back. But, something good did come out of this. So Balázs (that's his name) has a cousin who has cancer. She's a 12 year old girl and it is really really sad. So since we had extra time, we went with him to go visit her in the hospital and that was actually great. I think the Lord guided us on that one. But we visited her, and it was sad, but she was really really glad to have us visit her, and we made her laugh a few times (mostly with how poorly we speak Hungarian in our terrible American accents) but it was a great experience. We are hoping we can go back and visit her again. It always feels so great to help people who have so much hardship in their lives. I'd suggest it. Find someone to help, and it will be great. Pictures here too, but haven't gotten them from my comp yet, so maybe next week.

     On another (also kind of sad) note, we had one lady who was set to get baptized this week, decided she was not ready and that it all came too fast. She was so prepared, but she needed more time, which is really understandable. We were just a little bummed because she pushed it all the way back to the end of February, and we're worried she might fall back into some old habits again. But we're still hopeful and faithful that everything will work out for the best, and hope that we can help her find happiness in her life and come closer to Christ. 

     Not a whole lot of time left, but things are still going super great out here. The language is still super tough, but I'm really excited about the new transfer.  One of my friends from the MTC is coming to Buda as well, and there are a lot of great people here, so it's going to be a lot of fun. Not to mention the people we are meeting with are super great and I just love doing the Lord's work. I am improving in the language which is really good! But still a long way to go! Love you all and hope that you all have a great week and a great THANKSGIVING!!! Always remember to try be thankful for all the amazing things we have, because we really do take it for granted. I know the Lord has blessed us all with so many amazing things, and this is a great opportunity to take a step back and realize all the good we have. Also, go buy something cool on Friday. 

Thanks for all your support and have a great week! Love you all and talk to you next Monday!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Budapest Week 8

     This is officially my last full week before the transfer!! Get excited because next Tuesday we will find out where I will get to spend all of my holidays! (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years). But this past week was amazing! Elder Robinson and I really worked hard and we  had a lot of success! We have found quite a lot of new investigators, and things are going really well with all the ones we have!   We also had our stake conference on Sunday, which means a bunch of different congregations (branches and wards) from all over the country got together for one big meeting and it was really amazing. We had two people come from Germany (they're actually English, but live in Germany... confusing, I know) and they gave some amazing talks. They were there because our Stake got a new Stake President. The one before, President Klinger, has been serving for 8 years, and was the countries first Stake President. The new Stake President who they called is an American who has lived here for 10  years and is the Bishop of our ward (congregation) so we were all super excited about that and he'll be really great, but we're not sure who is going to be our bishop now... 

     So here's some other cool random stuff that happened this week. Well, sorry thats a  lie, so this didn't happen this week but we met with the guy from this story this week! So a couple of weeks ago, we found this one guy as we were tabling at a metro station close to our apartment  called Móricz Zsigmond Körtér. So we never had gone tabling there before, but we decided to this day to try and mix it up, but we soon found out why people don't normally go tabling there. THE PEOPLE ARE STRAIGHT UP CRAZY!!! There was a crowd of about 15 homeless people or so and they were having some sort of homeless party or something. They each decided to come up to us one by one asking us for money  and then they would go back and plan how they can get money from us again.  They just walk up and say the exact same thing as the first guy. One man actually tried to give us money so that we would leave and tried to steal a Book of Mormon to throw it in the trash... With that, absolutely nobody wanted to stop and talk.  But after about an hour of this we met one guy who was SUPER cool. He speaks English well and we met with him this past week, and he told us that he thought that we were a message from God, and that he needs to hear what we have to say! So we are WAY excited about that and hoping things will go well!

Another quick experience this week...we are teaching one family (actually just two daughters, two other elders from Germany and Austria are teaching the mom German) came to church last Sunday and when we met with one of the daughters this week, she told us that her sister was really sick and has been for a long time, and while she and her mom were in church, they were praying really hard for her. Then a couple days later, she got totally better! We were amazed! I know the God really does love us and that he does bless us so much in our lives!!!

So one more thing about the lady that is getting baptized in a couple weeks. We met with her just this morning and she is totally perfect. She has so much faith and is so ready to be baptized. We taught her about tithing and promised her the blessings that come from it, and she really doesn't have much money at all, but she was so  excited to pay tithing because she knew that the Lord would bless her. I know that when we follow His teachings, that we will be blessed in our lives, because I have been blessed in my life. I am so happy for this gospel and for this opportunity to share it with the people of Hungary. I love them all so much and I love you all as well! I hope you have a great week and I will talk to you  next TUESDAY and we will see where I will spend the rest of 2014!!! Love you all lots and have a great week!

Elder Dalton

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Budapest Week 7

     Sorry, I don't have much time this week to write  but I will try and make it somewhat interesting for you all to read.  We actually had a really great week! We taught a lot of lessons, and had a lot of success.  Ági, our one investigator I think I mentioned before, is progressing amazingly well. She is set to be baptized on November 29th, and she is more than prepared.  I think I mentioned too that she has to go to Pest, so we kind of have an interesting situation right now, but we think it will work out.   We  are teaching her during the week, because she works over here and can stop on the way to work, and then on the weekends, she is going with the sisters to pest for church. We had a meeting all together (Pest sisters, Agi and us) and it went well. She keeps thanking us for helping her in her life and she has found so much happiness and joy from the gospel.  She went to church yesterday and totally loved it and is so excited for her baptism.  The gospel really does help people in their lives, and I have gotten so much happiness and hope from the church in my own life.  I am just so grateful for the amazing opportunity that I have to do this work here and share something that has blessed me so much in my life.

     Last week on P day we went with some other missionaries to Pest to a store called Mr Sale that gets clothes from other places when they are over stocked on something, so they have some ridiculous deals and a lot of pretty high quality stuff. We all got a bunch of ties for 250 forint each (thats about a dollar). Other than that we didn't really do anything that exciting last week and we don't have anything that exciting planned for today. We already had a couple of lessons this morning, and one in the afternoon, so after that we might go do some sight seeing, or might just clean our apartment. Next week is Thanksgiving so hopefully we will do something exciting for that!  Then the week after that we have our transfers, so that will be exciting also, because we will get to see where I will be for Christmas (hopefully still in Budapest...). 

     As always, we had a few lessons with a few super crazy people, but the majority of them were really good! There really are people who are willing to hear our message even in Europe. We did go tracting and find some interesitng people who wanted nothing to do with us at all. A few old people who were very unhappy that we woke them up (at about 4 in the afternoon), so we always have some good laughs while we're tracting.  
     I know that this was probably super boring, but there was really not a whole lot new this past week. Things are still great and I still love it out here. Language is still super tough but it's coming along (slowly...). Budapest is totally amazing and I am having a great experience. Email me if you have any questions and I will talk to you all next week!

Elder Dalton

Monday, November 3, 2014

Another Great Week!

Happy P day everyone!

A really great week out here in Magyarország!  Things are going really well and I love being out here!  The language is still tough, but I am improving, so that’s a start!  This week was pretty normal, nothing too exciting, but here are a few highlights:

So first off I think I mentioned last time that we are losing some of our investigators to Pest, which is kind of a bummer, but this week, we really worked hard and have found 7 new investigators which was totally amazing. One of them we found the other night while we were tracting. So first off, tracting is just going door to door and seeing if anyone is interested in hearing about our church, which can be pretty tough, especially in Hungary.  Most people aren’t home during the day, and when you bother them at night, when the people are there, they get super mad.   Most people are sleeping (at like 6 oclock. it’s super crazy), but I convinced my trainer to go tracting at night despite people getting really mad at us. We went through a couple of buildings and didn’t find anyone who was interested. As we were heading back for the night walking by one building,  I just kind of walked over and tried pushing the door to see if it was open, and it was!  This is a miracle in and of itself because that doesn’t really happen much. My trainer kind of wanted to just go home, but I told him that the door was open, so we need to at least try.  We go in, not really knowing what we’re doing, but then the first (and only) door we knock on in that building, a lady just said, yes, yes, I would love to meet, you should come back tomorrow!  We were both super excited and knew that the Lord had guided us to someone who was prepared.  We taught her the next day and she is seriously, the coolest person ever.  She converted to Judaism, but is kind of both Jewish and Christian, and just really loves hearing about different religions.  She is a single mom and also teaches English, so we don’t have to speak Hungarian which is great for me!  Her name is Hajnalka and she is the coolest and I hope that we can keep working with her!

Some other good news, I think I mentioned that the lady that got baptized when I first got here disappeared, but this week we finally made contact with her! Apparently she was sick and because she has so much stuff going on in her life, from the baptism, a divorce with her husband, and looking for a job, she just had to take a break from the world for a little bit, but we were finally able to talk to her on the phone! She was sooooo glad to hear from us and we called her everyday this week. She came to church on Sunday too and still really loves us and loves the gospel. We’re working with her closely and hope that she can pull through!  She felt great at church though and even though she is in a really rough place in her life, she was smiling the whole time. It’s really amazing to see how her life has been changed.

A couple of other things that might be interesting to you (might not, sorry, but it’s your fault for reading this far) we had a Halloween party with the young single adults from all over Hungary which was super fun. As missionaries, we weren’t allowed to dance, so it was pretty difficult for me to just sit on the side and watch, but it was still a lot of fun (and we got to listen to some normal music for a little while). A lot of our investigators came and had a great time!

Also, that one picture with the crazy bird thing is actually at a cemetary. This past Saturday was a holiday for the Hungarians, where they all go to visit the graves of those who have passed away and place flowers and candles and stuff all around. That weird thing is a griff, and apparently symbolizes the resurrection in the Catholic church. Anyway, its just a giant cemetary and there are candles all over the place and it was actually really cool. We wanted to go when it was dark, because then everything is all lit up, but didn’t have time. Look it up online though, because its super cool. Its called All Saints Day, or Day of the Dead. 

So I am now running out of time (and by time I mean money... this internet gets expensive...) but I hope that everything is going well back home and where ever you are! I love it out here in Hungary and have already learned so much! I’m so grateful for everyone who takes the time to stay updated with everything that’s happening with me (especially because I can be pretty random sometimes with these letters.)  I love you all and feel free to email me with any questions you have or if you just want to send some support! It really means so much to me to hear from all of you! Hope you all have a great week and we will talk to you next week!

Szeretlek Benneteket!
Elder Andrew Dalton