Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Last Letter from Hungary!

Hey for the last time!!
Seriously, feels pretty unreal to think that this is the last missionary email! The last little bit really sneaks up on you!  When I think that this week I'm gonna be back home it doesn't even seem real! It seems like this is the only life I know, and yet it also feels not that long ago that we first said goodbye! Weird how time flies :P
We are actually going to be pretty busy for the last week. a lot of members have invited us over for our last week, so we won't be bored! We also have zone training tomorrow, so we will be going up to Budapest. Other than that, just getting ready to go back! Packing and cleaning out the apartment and what not. I still have a good amount to do before we go home, but we have the rest of the week! We go up to Budapest friday morning, and then Saturday we head out!

Last thoughts on my mission... It's tough, because there really are a lot of things! I will miss the people that I got to know here the most. That's for sure. And I will miss speaking Hungarian. It will be weird hearing and speaking English everywhere I go! I am really gonna miss just being in Hungary. I've definitely felt tons of blessings though!! It's hard to put into words all the great experiences I've had! Obviously, there were bad ones too, but when I think back on my mission, I just feel happy for the opportunity I had to be here and serve!  Honestly, it's hard to summarize my mission and bring it all together, but really, it has been a wonderful experience. I will always think back fondly on my time here in Hungary and hopefully I will be able to maintain relationships with people here for a long time! I feel like I have grown a lot and feel much closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. My faith has been strengthened and I really feel a love for the gospel and for the people here! It  has been an amazing time here! I can't wait to tell you all more about it when I get back! 

See you soon! Impressed that we made it this whole way!!!
LOVE!
Elder Dalton





Thursday, June 30, 2016

Last Stop, Érd Hungary



So yeah, I'm in Érd now.  Great to be with Elder Ady from my group in the MTC and we'll be going home together! Things are actually going pretty well. The branch here is great, they were all super inviting and friendly and I already knew a few of them from Buda so that was cool!  And the city isn't too bad. The bus system is pretty obnoxious, but there are some cool places and lots of cool people!

That's awesome that you got to meet with Elder TD! He wrote me earlier and asked for your number, but I didn't think he was actually going to be able to make it up there! I'm super jealous now that he got to see you guys before I did! It's pretty surreal how close it is now! It's weird I really just feel like I'm going to see you guys tomorrow! 4 weeks seems like such a short time it's unbelievable! I'm glad that you had a good time with Zen and his family. Wish I could have been there, but soon enough...


Elder TD




















One of Andrew's mission companions (Elder Zen Tillemann-Dick) was visiting Bar Harbor with his family this past weekend and we had a fun impromptu get together in Agamont Park before they headed off to PEI.  Watch out Andrew, Zen told us some mission adventures that we hadn't heard before!



Zen with his mother Annette 



It's has been CRAZY HOT here the past couple days. Kind of been dying, but its alright! We will survive! And we don't have any AC or anything in our apartment, so it gets pretty toasty at night, but I suppose it could be worse! I don't know how those South American missionaries do it :P 

The Euro cup is happening right now, and Hungary actually ended up doing pretty decent and people were SOOOOOO excited about it. Even in tiny  Érd they had giant screens projecting the games and everyone was really excited about it. They won the group they were in, but unfortunately, lost last night to Belgium. But that was probably the best they had ever done! So understandable that they were so excited.

Things are still going well here in Érd! Earlier in the week, we went to a members house with another missionary who was coming back to visit. He went home before I got here, so I don't know him, but I had heard of him. It was just cool talking with him about the mission a few years ago and what hes' been doing at home and stuff. And the member is super sweet, so we had a good time! We visited a few other members too. We went to this one families house, and they were super awesome. But they live on top of a hill a little ways out from where we are, so we had to take a bus out and then walk up this hill. I know, that probably doesn't sound too bad, but remember, I said it was REALLY hot this week. So the 20 minute walk felt like days in the desert and we arrived at their house pretty much drenched in sweat. Luckily, they had AC so we were able to cool down and we had a good time with them! They have 3 little kids, so we pretty much just played with them the whole time. It was fun! And then on Saturday, we had sport nap, and that family and another family in the ward came and borught all their kids. It was a little different than usual, given that there were probably 7 young kids and then us, but it was a good time! Once again though, incredibly hot....

Other than that, nothing too interesting happened! We are wanting to meet with members a lot given we don't have a whole lot of time left, but there are some investigators we have too! There is one guy that we teach who just recently started coming back to church. He is a super cool guy and is really getting his life together. We have another guy too that we are teaching who wants to get baptized soon, so I guess we are going strong to the finish!

No big plans for p-day. There actually really isn't anything to do in the city.... So we are going to a members in a little bit and probably just hanging out at there place and playing games or something. So nothing too exciting going on :P Anyway, it was great hearing from you and have a great 4th of July weekend! Tell everyone that I say hi and miss you all lots!

Love,
Drew




Monday, June 6, 2016

A Trip to Eger

Heyyy!!!!




Things are going fine here! Kind of same old...but we did have a good adventure this week! We took a little road trip with the senior elder here in the office! One of the missionaries washing machines broke, and a neighboring city's branch house was out of internet, so we took a little road trip! We loaded up the big mission van with the washing machine we had here in the storage and drove to Eger which is on the East side of the country. It was actually the first time I have ever been to the east, so that was cool! So we had our road trip, and then dropped off my companion, Elder Krueger, with the Senior couple in Eger, so he could get working on the internet (because he is a computer genius). Then,  Elder Simkins and I drove to Miskolc, a relatively close by city to bring the washing machine. We ended up having to haul the thing up 4 flights of stairs. It wasn't the lightest washing machine, but we somehow managed to get it up there with the two of us and install it in the elders apartment. Miskolc wasn't super pretty, there were a few nice spots, but then we went back to Eger to meet up with everyone else. After a little bit, Krueger was able to fix the internet, so everyone was really happy there, and then we got to go get some lunch with the Petersons, the senior couple in Eger, the ones who know Jason! They are super nice and we talked with them for a little while. They are still in the same ward as Jason's parents I believe and they said they remembered when he was in young mens. Small world. We went to this palacsinta place (I feel like I have mentioned these before, but palacsintas are basically like crepes) which was super delicious. We also got to walk through the city a little bit which was really beautiful!!! I have a few pictures from the trip that I'll attach. We didn't end up getting back till about 6, and we left at 8 in the morning, so it was an all day excursion! Pretty exhausting, but it was fun! And cool to mix it up and get out of the office for a little bit.

Other than all that, everything was pretty much routine! Nothing too exciting, but tomorrow, we have this broadcast stake conference kind of thing at the stake center. I guess its just some sort of area broadcast, it's coming from Salt Lake. Not really sure what it's going to be or what it will be about, but it should be fun! Oh, and the sisters also have a baptism today, so we will be going to that! Should be good! But yeah, I really only have one more week in the office, which at this point, I am pretty excited about. I have liked it here, and am glad I had the opportunity, but it will be nice to get out at this point. After I get out of the office, I just have 5 weeks and then I'm on my way! Crazy stuff am I right?

 Anyway, hope you all have another great week  Happy summer!!!
Love to all,
Andrew




 This is from stake conference. On the way over, we found the one American school bus in all of Hungary!!! Not quite sure how they got it over here, but there it was!






 We actually got to see a little concert :) One of those big outdoor festivals that they always have in Hungary and actually, one of our investigators was playing at it, and invited us to go check it out. He's a drummer and actually wayyyy good. Super cool guy. It was this Elvis cover band that was actually surprisingly good!!!  It was hilarious though because all the everyone started swing dancing in the front and got way into it. Never knew Hungarians loved Elvis so much but I guess they do!  It was cool. Lots of people and beautiful weather!




 Here's the elvis show. Our friend is the one in the back playing the drums. Didn't really get a good picture of him but he was super glad we came!!!




 The entire hungarian army 

  

A few pics from the car. You might be able to kind of see a few mountains in the back. Yes, Hungary does kind of have a few mountains!!! 










The main square in Eger




























And our palacsintas. They usually arent quite that fancy, but we went to a pretty nice place! 

 













Monday, May 23, 2016

Another week in Budapest!

Oh man, I am hungry right now and just thinking about Rosalies Pizza!  Pizza just isn't the same out here! It's pretty dang cheap, but as I'm sure we all know, nothing matches up to Rosalies pizza! We're gonna be busy when I get back!!! 
Well I have 9 weeks left from today. That's one transfer. Pretty crazy when you think about it! I really have been out here for a long time! It feels like this is my entire life, but it also feels like it flew by! Bitter sweet!
My week was good. I feel like I say this everytime, but pretty much same old! Stuff in the office was routine. My friend Mike from BYU went home this week, so that was weird!!! He's going to Singapore where his dad is mission president which is kind of interesting. We also had zone training this week which was fun. Some good stuff and they put on a conference talk and turned off the lights so we all got a little nap in there too! hahahaha. Oh, and a cool little thing for the week: The other day we were finishing up in the office and the weather was nice so we decided to go way out kind of to this random part of the city that is supposed to be pretty nice for some streeting (and a little bit of enjoying the sights) and this is literally a place that I have never been nor will I probably go again, but we get up there and then we are walking down the street, and I see one lady who looks familiar, and then I get closer and she yells out to me and says hi, and I'm trying to place who she is. Well, we go up and talk to her and then I remember she was one of my old investigators from when I was here in Buda the first time! So we talked for a little bit and she said she would like to meet with us again so hopefully we can meet with her next week! One thing I've definitely learned on my mission is that there aren't coincidences for a missionary. Which is pretty cool. God always works with us where we are and we never really know the full extent of his plan and what we might run into that day!!! I have had lots of instances like that running into people we know in random places. So, good to have someone behind the wheel of this work!!!

Other than that, stuff is just pretty routine.  I probably only have a few more weeks in the office, I'm kind of excited to go back to being a normal missionary for a little while, but the office is still good, so no complaints! And I'm hoping I dont have to go too far for my last 5 weeks or at least go somewhere I've already been! That way I can at least do something! 

Anyway, thats about it. There are people painting our apartment right now, so we are going to have to be out and about for pday. No plans, but maybe we will find something fun! Hope everything is going well for everyone back home!

Love you!
Elder Dalton
Here's a few pictures










What a surprise to find Tanja's cousin Melanee at church!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Turning 21

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! And before I forget to mention, yes I did get your birthday package! I actually got it last week, I just forgot to mention it in my email! So it arrived with plenty of time to spare!  Definitely enjoyed it. Just some good ol classic American snacks. I have been trying to save the goods and sparingly eat them throughout the week, but last night I opened the goldfish, and went through the whole bag. I just couldnt stop!!  So yeah, I had a good birthday!  You know I like things pretty low key! So the day was pretty much business as usual. Went into the office in the morning. Did normal work and what not. Later on in the afternoon though, we got to play a little basketball which was fun! I was pretty bad given it's been a while, but the weather was GORGEOUS (and still is, not to make you jealous) so that was lots of fun. And then we went out for dinner later and the sisters also brought me cupcakes, so that was actually lots of fun! I will still take a missionary birthday over finals on my birthday like I had in college, that's for sure! 

Today wasn't anything too special either, but it was still good! We had sport nap (sorry, sport day) this morning and played some soccer and basketball, then after we went out to lunch with Sanyi, a member from Győr who moved up to Budapest a few weeks ago. And then we just kind of chilled out, so pretty nice. That's good that you guys are getting some nice weather as well! 

So for a teaching experience of the week... Well, we actually had a good lesson with a guy we taught last week, and he agreed to get baptized next month, but then this week we met with him, and he said that now he has decided that he doesn't want to get baptized. So I guess that's not the best teaching experience, but that's what happened!!! Other than that, we have had some pretty standard programs, but have been in the office extra long because Pres. Szabadkai was out in Frankfurt for a mission president's seminar.  

Anyway, I should probably get going. It's great to hear from you as always  Anyway, have a great week everyone! 

Drew


Some pictures from the Kilátó. It was rather foggy, so we didn't really see much... :P

The kilátó (lookout tower) and some bonfire action!
















We also had a visit to Johnny's last week with the Simkins (not sure if I told you about that one or not...) It is an American restaurant and it was DELCIIOUS! 


                                               
                                                   Yes, that is a real, American burger!




                                                        Birthday cupcakes!


Me with Kati who brought me a birthday cake!




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Notes from the Office- March & April


 Chillin in the Office! 

Most of you now know that Elder Dalton is serving as Mission Secretary in the office of the Hungary Budapest Mission.   With the new office job he hasn't had as much to write about as his work is more routine.  I've included some letters he's sent over the past few weeks in this post.  I've also included pictures taken by  Katy Susan Spitzer who visits Budapest and is kind to take pictures for me (because we all know that Elder Dalton has not been great about sending us pictures!)
So here are some updates from Hungary....
 
April 16
Well it's transfer week and everything went fine.  It's a lot of work for us here in the office, so it was a little stressful getting everything ready, but now things have quieted down again, so this next week should be pretty normal. Yeah, two left from our district. Elder Priest and Sister Hafen. Which I was sad about because I'm friends with both of them and I served with Priest, so it was fun being with him again, but we kind of knew that they were leaving. It will still be a good transfer!

 The weather has been super nice here recently! Spring in Hungary is definitely a lot more like spring than it is in Maine! I would have gladly gone swimming today! It was actually hot! 

It is definitely weird coming up on my 21st birthday. Even weirder since I'm on a mission. Being on the mission just makes it seem like time stands still, and I don't get older and things don't change while I'm gone, but they totally do change and I am way older now! I definitely don't feel 21 yet, but I guess it will be cool!  Not quite sure what I'll be doing, probably nothing too exciting. 

NBA playoffss! Should be fun! I heard that the Warriors broke the Bulls record for wins! Sounds like they are going to take it! The office senior missionary couple keeps me updated on some sports stuff, so that's been nice. Pday plans... We had sport nap this morning, played some soccer, and then we went with the senior couple to this American restaurant called Johnny's Bistro for lunch and it was AWESOME! Really good burgers and we got milkshakes as well. Just like you would find back home, so that was cool. Then we got a little lost on the way back. Other than that, we will probably just relax. Nothing too exciting! 

Love,
Drew

April 9
So I know I am writing a lot later than usual because we actually had a ward hike today, and it ended up taking literally ALLLLL day. We left at 10 and got back at 6:30... It was really fun though! We didn't go that far (about 11 kilometers. I don't even know miles anymore :P )  When I say hike, it's actually just a walk through the woods, because we don't really have mountains here.  We had to wait every 10 minutes for people to catch up but we got to this little look out tower which was cool. It was foggy, so we couldn't even see out far, but it was still really cool. Then we made a fire and cooked some stuff and had food and sandwiches. It was a fun time hanging out with the members, investigators and the other missionaries. 

We actually have transfers this week (crazy!!!) but we were told we will most likely stay, so I'm not too worried about it. My comp is Elder Krueger and he is a really good guy and I like him a lot! It will be fun having another transfer! Office stuff is good. It can get boring sometimes, but there are some days when it is really not boring, and so I do like it a lot! I probably won't be here for the rest of the mission though. I have now, 1 and a half transfers, and so I will probably be in the office for another full, and then go somewhere for 5 weeks before I head out. So that will be cool. 

Conference was good! I still haven't seen the Sunday afternoon session, but I read some of the conference summaries and it sounds like they were good! I watched all of them in Hungarian, I guess that's good for the last time, but it was really great and I understood a lot of it (when I was paying attention). Always fun having conference, but I am excited for my next conference to be in English! 

Yeah, Mom. I figured you were freaking out a little bit after the attacks, but seriously, Hungary is not a target at all. But they still have police and anti-terrorist people at the airport and metros, but I think we will be alright. And don't worry, I'm not planning on going to the airport for another 4 months.  Yeah, really sad about those missionaries though. We get some updates on them from the office couple here, and my heart goes out to them for sure!

It's been super nice here and spring is totally here. I have been here for over 20 months! It's totally crazy! Can't believe how time goes by. Less than 4 months now. Office work has been going well! We have had more chill weeks with not too much going on which is actually pretty nice to have less stressful stuff going on. So still liking it a lot! Actually, the baptisms in the mission are going down a little bit, but hopefully we can have some more success coming up! Things have been going pretty well with us! We don't have too many people we meet with, but the ones that we do are really great! Hungarians do have a pretty big Easter here. I think it's a much bigger holiday here in Hungary than it is back home which is actually really nice. And they have this funny tradition where the guys spray the girls with perfume and then the girls give them an egg, cuz that totally makes sense! I just think it's funny and want to bring this tradition back to America!!! 

Anyway, sorry gotta run now but I love you all lots! Hope you have a fantastic Easter and a great week! 

Love,
Drew


March 19
We had a mission conference recently with a general authority visiting. It was a pretty big conference. We got to go to the one for Budapest, which was actually a lot smaller than the others, because it was just our zone and all the other conferences were multiple zones, but it was still lots of fun. The 70 was a super cool guy and he talked about some really good stuff. I liked it a lot and it was probably my last big conference with a 70 or someone else coming from other places, so that's also kind of weird. Not much else to say though, we just kind of talked about how we can find people to teach more effectively.  It was good! And these conferences were all in English because the 70 doesn't speak Hungarian. For some conferences, Pres has spoken Hungarian, and the rest of us just English, but I think he's been trying to do more in English so that the younger missionaries can get more out of it as well. 
















Sunday, March 6, 2016

Hiking the Hills of Budapest




Hey guys!

The week has been good so far and p-day last week was super fun! We went for a great hike, and I will include some pictures too! It was really cool because Hungary really doesn't have a whole lot of hiking opportunities. But it actually didn't take too long to get out to the mountains (hills). They are right next to the city. The weather here is still pretty nice and getting nicer. I'm just about ready for spring in full, but it has been taking it's time. I've still been wearing my winter coat around, but hoping to shed that pretty soon and enjoy the nice weather coming up! 
With the office work our time for daily studies and exercise is different. We go into the office at 8:30, so we have a little time for some of that study, but really not a whole lot, so it has been kind of tough adjusting, but we basically have a part time job along with normal missionary work, which really hasn't been too bad. I'm still liking it so far! 
As far as the missionary work, one family that we teach came to church last week so that was pretty cool! They are super awesome so we are excited about them. Other than that, things have just kind of been going along as normal. Today we are going to meet up with the APs and make a little bonfire somewhere and cook some hot dogs and s'mores. So should be a good day!!! 

Love you all lots and hope you have an awesome week!
MISS YOU
Andrew


Hiking Pictures from last P-day 







Priest and I went down that little crevice there. It seemed like a good way down until we reached there, and there was no going back up. So we kind of just climbed straight down a cliff, the pic doesn't really do it justice, but the sign says: "Dangerous, falling rocks, forbidden to cross" So it was an adventure.  I felt like a hobbit walking through middle earth!