Monday, December 1, 2014

No Longer the "Newbie"

Can you believe that it's already December?!? Christmas is just a few weeks away and Budapest is getting super festive (and by that I mean its rained most days and nobody wants to do anything anymore). So we have had quite an interesting past week. First off, its way cold here, but still no snow. The city just doesn't really get snow at all, but we are all praying pretty hard for a white Christmas. Secondly, it's cold and raining, so obviously it is WAY too much work for people to show up for their programs, or even call us to tell us they won't come. We're getting dogged (when people just don't show up) quite a bit which is always pretty frustrating... but anyway, lets start off with something fun.

TURKEY BOWL!!! So yeah, on Thanksgiving morning, all the missionaries in Budapest woke up at 5:30, and had a big turkey bowl in the park!!! It was actually really fun and felt just like back home. We even had an audience there watching us (two homeless men sitting on a bench). But a lot of people did give us quite a few looks seeing all these crazy Americans running around and screaming playing some crazy sport they'd never seen before. But it was really a ton of fun. Also super tiring though. We all agreed that we are in terrible shape now, because the next day, everyone was crazy sore, but definitely worth it. After that though, we didn't have anything else exciting for Thanksgiving, because we had our big dinner last week, so I think part way through the day I actually forgot about it... But it was still fun!

Along with the Turkey bowl, we also had our transfers the day before that. So you all already know that I got to stay in Buda, but everyone else moved, and I also got to see all the new missionaries coming in. Since my companion and I weren't moving, we got to go with them to the metro station and help them street for the first time. Let me say, that it is super great not being the youngest anymore, because I could see how much I had actually improved working with them.  I am actually feeling a lot better with my language now (despite still understanding very little) after spending some time with the newbies. It was a lot of fun though. And I really like my district now too. I miss, the one before, but the new people are cool too. One elder from my group is actually in Buda now, so that is going to be super fun!!! Excited for the rest of the transfer!

With some fun stuff this week, we also had some not fun stuff. So my companion had to make a surprise visit to the hospital, because he got Scabies (not sure on the spelling on that one). But essentially, it is these tiny bugs that you can get under your skin and cause you to get rashes and itch all over the place. So he's had that going on, and it is very likely that I will get this as well. But he actually had to go to the hospital, and really got to see how terrible Hungarian hospitals actually are. The doctor was literally googling stuff the whole time, and literally said, "Well, according to Wikipedia, it looks like this..." Never the most comforting when your doctors primary source is Wikipedia... But he got some treatment and so far its helped a little bit. Were going to have to wash and iron all of our clothes to try and get rid of it all, so we're going to be pretty busy cleaning the next couple days. 

Along with that, as I mentioned, people have been being pretty frustrating recently. A lot of our investigators are just skipping out and it really wastes a lot of our time. And one interesting story, this one guy, his name is Daczi Pali, who had already met with missionaries, but just wanted to hang out. He always comes to church though, so we decided we would try and see if he would be willing to get baptized. A while ago, he told us he would, but then the other day, he had a program with us, and he basically told us he doesn't want to get baptized anymore, and will not commit to doing anything, and we tried so hard, to get him to do anything, but he just wouldn't. It's really interesting, because my companions family just had Thanksgiving dinner with Elder Bednar (one of the leaders in our church, super awesome) because I guess they are related some how. Anyway, he was talking to my companions parents, and he asked about how things were going in Hungary, and they told him that a lot of people are looking for better things, but just won't make any change in their lives. He said, (paraphrasing) that communism has had such a lasting effect on all of these people. They have been taught for so long to conform and that they can't make their own decisions, that people are afraid to make individual choices or make a difference in their life. This is so spot on, because so many people just can't imagine making a change in their lives. It was against their entire societal core for so long, it's just rooted in the beliefs of the people. It's so hard to try and get people to change their lives for the better, but it really comes down to them wanting it for themselves. Like I have said again and again, we can all make a change, we just have to be willing to work for it. Its the same thing with Gál Ági that I talked

about earlier, where she wants to change, but just doesnt feel like she is able too. Really sad though and hard to see people like this... But this is why I am here and am so grateful to be here helping people find happiness and joy in their lives. 

Thats all I have for this week. I have a couple pictures from last week, where we went up on Buda hill. Theres Matthias Templom and a foggy view of the city. So beautiful out here and I love it so much. Thank you all for everything you are doing back home. Love you all so much and I'll talk to you next week. 

Elder Dalton

One more thing I forgot to mention, speaking of Turkey bowls and football and what not, we actually went to go visit a part member, less active family last weekend which was really great. The mom goes to church semi frequently her two sons are completely in active, and the dad is not a member. Anyway, we went to their place for dinner and had a really good time, and I'm really hoping that we can start working with them more. But the reason I bring this up, is because I got to talk with the boys about football and basketball and stuff! Yes, there are Europeans out there who watch American football! He knew all the teams and players and stuff and it was really fun talking to them about that stuff (in Hungarian mind you, so it was pretty tough for me, but luckily names are the same). Really fun though and reminded me a lot of home with their little family. Thought you might appreciate that.

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