Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

MTC Week 2:
So since being at the MTC I've seen a lot of old High School friends and a lot of my college friends. I have been getting pictures with them and last Sunday, all of the AFHS 2011 Elders took a cool picture by the big map at the MTC. I'll hopefully be able to send that picture soon. I've heard from Elder Rasband and Elder Zwick at the devotionals and those have been an awesome thing to attend. As of May 24th, I have gained 6 pounds since being in the MTC. I haven't weighed myself since then because I spend all of my gym time playing soccer outside. I'm hoping I've added another 5-6 pounds! During the week, my companion got really really sick. He thought it was strep throat or something. So I gathered all of my district in our room and I gave him a blessing. It was a really cool experience. He ended up having an ear infection but he recovered extremely quickly!
As for the investigator I was talking about last week, we were told that this guy moved to Utah from Hungary, had some interest in the church because he was hearing about it and that the MTC asked if he would be taught by Missionaries at the MTC. Which he agreed to. They wanted to make it as real as possible for us, so, our teachers had us actually convinced that he was a REAL Hungarian investigator. So we treated him like one and it was a really cool experience! (We later found out he was the teacher for the class that is leaving to Hungary soon and he's a return missionary who went to Hungary. He is also occasionally our Language teacher) ANYwho, so last week I said we were going to challenge him to be baptized. When we asked, he said he was already baptized as a baby. So, my companion was quick and had him read from Moroni chapter 8. He read it then asked us some questions about it. (All in Hungarian which we obviously don't know very well at ALL yet) And we were able to pick out a few words so we just replied with "igen" which means "yes". Come to find out, when he revealed his true self, he told us that his question was something along the lines of "So, since I was already baptized as a baby, with out the proper priesthood, I'm just going to go straight to hell?" ... which we just looked at him and answered "yes" to. So that was a good learning experience for us.
We now have 2 "Hungarian Investigators" (our teachers) and 1 English Investigator. We have quite enjoyed the English one but the Hungarian is coming along for us. I have quickly learned that my name badge isn't the only thing that's backwards in Hungarian. Basically, the entire language is backwards to English in the aspect of sentence structure. So in English, It sounds like we're all speaking like Yoda. "Alldredge Elder, I am" or "The late-day holy followers Jesus Christ church." They also don't have the word "of". So we have to say "Wisdom's Word," and stuff like that. Also, in prayers we say, "Thank you this day for" etc, etc. So everything translates over super funky. One difficult thing is you have to know exactly what you're saying before you say it. Because before you speak you have to first decide if your Direct Object in your sentence is definite or indefinite. And whether it's definite or not creates two different conjugation charts for all of the tenses to what verb you're using. And then, in every sentence you have to add a "t" onto the what ever the Direct Object is. If the word ends in a vowel, you have to add an accent over it. If it ends in a consonant, you have to add a vowel and a "T" according to something called "vowel harmony." Vowel harmony is really cool because it's used solely to make the language sounds pretty. But anyway, that's what I've been learning in class lately.
Other than that, everything else is just grand! I am enjoying my time here and I will leave you all with this cool quote I heard:
"As a missionary, I am not only changing lives--I am changing eternities"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23, 2012

Week 1:
Funny story: The FIRST person I met in my district as we were all getting settled and oriented said "Hey... aren't you a hypnotist!?" I guess some friends of his had told him about me... Pretty interesting way to start out my mission. It's been a weird thing not hypnotizing people... but I'm still going strong! It's probably been the biggest adjustment to not be defined by that, because up until Wednesday, that's who I WAS. Hypnosis was my life but now Jesus Christ and his gospel is my life. Besides that, the food has been great and I've been eating a lot. I tried for four days straight to successfully crack a bananna in half across my forehead and I FINALLY got it. The language has been extremely difficult. We had to teach an entire lesson to a Hungarian investigator on Friday (two days after being here) and it had to be entirely in Hungarian. All I really knew how to do was pray and share my testimony (but sometimes that's all it takes, right?) Anywho, since then, I've been able to pick up the language a little better. Our name tags are BACKWARD. It's so weird. So mine says "ALLDREDGE ELDER" and that's how my district has to address each other. People keep thinking our tags are messed up or that our last name is "Elder." And what it says after my name is "AZ UTOLSO NAPOK SZENTJEINEK JEZUS KRISZTUS EGYHAZA" (with a bunch of little accents over most of the letters that I don't know how to enter into this message). The other interesting thing is that Hungarian doesn't have Q, W, or X. But it's been fun to learn. Another interesting fact is that actually no one really "learns" Hungarian. Even if someone were to move Hungary, they wouldn't learn the language. It's only if you're born there or you're an LDS missionary that you would learn it. My disctrict consists of 6 companionships and 1 sister missionary from Australia. So 13 of us total and we are all getting along pretty well. I like my companion, Becker Elder and we have found a lot of common ground in disliking the same things/behaviors. So, it's been good there! Tomorrow we are challenging our investigator to be baptized, it's going to be interesting! I really like both my teachers and everything really is going just swell. My expected departure date is July 30th! If the weeks go by as fast as this one did, I'll be in Hungary in no time! I miss you all and I want you to know you are in my prayers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012: Went to lunch at Culvers with my family. Arrived at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) at 12:45. So excited to get to work.