Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Week 6

Week 6:
Crazy week!
All of the new mission presidents were here this week. It has been hectic. The cafeteria is usually very very crowded normally but this week they crammed all of the missionaries into just one half of it. So there have been some 30 minute long lines to get food. It was like Disneyland minus the Disney... We were only getting food.
BUT I did get to meet my mission president! He is so incredible! I am so excited to be in the group of his first missionaries as president! He was telling us all of these cool things about when Hungary was dedicated for missionary work and I guess the Hungary mission has only been open since 1990! So it's pretty new! Anyway, he told us what to expect to do on the first day that we get there. We are going to tour around Budapest, then hike to an outlook point to see the whole city across the river. And then we are given a Book of Mormon and we have to place it with someone before we can go back to the mission home. Sounds like a blast and a half! He also showed us some pictures of the mission home and it's right in the middle of the city. It looks so nice and I can't believe I'm going to be there in a little over a month! Talking with him just made me that more excited to leave to Hungary!
I have gained even more weight since being here. I am loving it! Another 8 pounds. This is great.
During the TRC this week, Becker Elder and I had an interesting experience. So for our TRC, the situation is supposed to be that we are teaching someone who is already a member of the church. (So it's more like Home Teaching all in Hungarian) So we were just going along with our lesson plan and it was about the importance of attending church. Becker Elder asked the volunteer if he would share his testimony about attending church with us. The volunteer gave us a long answer in Hungarian but ended in a "no"... I was able to catch enough of what he said to understand that he said something along the lines of, "I have never attended your church... so I don't have a testimony about it." Becker Elder just thought that he was uncomfortable with sharing that with us so he just moved on to the next thing while the volunteer and I exchanged very puzzled looks. Come to find out, the volunteer thought he was supposed to act as an investigator. Haha Becker Elder and I got a kick out of that and decided to listen closer to the answers that people give us to our questions.
My district has decided to do a lot of "District Unity" activities this week. We wore the same color tie everyday... and on Friday night we challenged another district in our zone to a kickball game. We didn't keep score because we're not allowed... but if we did (which we totally didn't) it was something around 23 to 5. We had a blast because we all wore our Hungary shirts that we bought. (Pictures soon to come) And we just yelled, cheered, and went crazy the whole time.
Another thing we had to do this week is create "Investigator Profiles" so that we could teach each other in our district as different people. So we had to write down a bio of people who we really know who could be real investigators of the church. And then when being taught, we have to act/talk/respond like they would. My "easy/golden" investigator I chose to be is Sebastian Pozgan. And my "more difficult" investigator is Otto Kaltner. It was fun to describe myself as these fine young men. My favorite thing to say as Otto is, "MIERT?" (WHY?) and, "szeretem alkohol" (I'm sure you can figure out what that means. And Otto, if you're reading this, you know I love you!)
The devotional last night was incredible! We had 10 out of the 12 apostles there. (Everyone except for Packer and Hales) It was SO amazing to see all of them. We heard a great talk from Elder L. Tom Perry. There was an incredible spirit in the room. The best part was when all of the apostles were leaving, Elder Holland turned to all of us in the crowd and blew a kiss to us. I got a kick out that.
I love this work that I am in and I can't imagine doing anything better right now. Know that I love you all but the Lord loves you more! Rely on him and he will never let you down. If you haven't read The Book of Mormon today--Do it.
Alldredge Elder

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Week 5

Hello all!
So not a lot really happened this week but nonetheless it was a grand week.
I do have one cool story: So this week my district thought it would be a good idea to try the "Tower Challenge" (basically where we all empty one entire tower of cereal) Those towers are pretty big. So we set the day for Saturday's dinner. We all walked in, each of us filled up 3-5 bowls of cocoa puffs and began draining the tower. I ate 5 bowls. People walking by thought it was CRAZY. We had about 6 people come by and ask if they could take a picture of it. It was quite the sight to see all those bowls of the same cereal. Any who, after 63 bowls of cocoa puffs we emptied the entire tower. As the last Elder was finishing his last bowl, a cafeteria worker came to our table, scolded us, went on about how it costs them MORE money when do something like that as opposed to getting a real meal. And THEN they kicked us out. By that time the last Elder finished so we didn't really care BUT it was still pretty dang awesome!
Something funny about the language is in Hungarian, when you want to say you're going to Hungary you have to literally say you're going ONTO Hungary not INTO Hungary. (Because they think they're so much higher and better than everyone else) haha so I would say I'm going into America but onto Hungary. I got kick out of that.
This past Sunday my companion and I were able to bless the sacrament in Hungarian. It was really cool and they had another Hungarian speaker up on the stand with us to make sure we do it correctly because obviously the Branch President couldn't do it.
We get to meet our mission president this Friday! We are very very excited! We're also hoping that all of these new mission presidents bring in an apostle or something for next weeks devotional!
During one of the afternoon gym times I had this week there were a million people playing soccer and it got crazy so I went and played softball instead. After the mini try-outs, my team made me be the pitcher. About 40 minutes into the game, I pitch it to an Elder and he line drives the ball right into my shoulder. It came back so fast I didn't have time to dodge it. I was able to get up and finish the game but it hurt like crazy! I have a nasty, nasty bruise. (Pictures soon to come)
On my way to play soccer yesterday the MTC P.E. instructor challenged me to a game of Ladder Golf. I have never played that in my life but I said "why not?" So before we started he said "Okay, if I win, I get your shoes." I thought he was kidding so I agreed. I actually didn't lose TOO bad for it being my first time but he obviously won... by a lot. At the end of the game he seriously made me give him my shoes! So he wore my favorite red vans around... so I had to go play beach volleyball because I had no shoes. Pretty odd.
OH! and after two days, I was able to memorize the entire account of the first vision in Hungarian! I was the second Elder in my district to do it. But I'm glad I have it down already!
All of the new Hungarians come in next week! My district and I are looking forward to that!
If you haven't read the Book of Mormon today--Do it.
Alldredge Elder

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week 4

Week 4:
Wow! I'm on week 5 now! Time is really passing quick.
I learned this week that Hungary is getting a new mission president. My district is the first group he'll have once we get there! We will be meeting him in the last week of this month and we are all super excited! We've heard from a lot of different (but reliable) resources that the mission president who is there right now is pretty relaxed and chill. But the new guy is going to be pretty darn strict and shape a lot of people up. It will be interesting to see!
I sang in the choir for the devotional last night. We sang "Be Still My Soul" and it was an awesome experience!
The ösi [oo-she] leave this week! (That means "acients" in Hungarian... It's what we call the older group going to Hungary) And THAT means that my group will no longer be the kicsis! [key-cheese] (That means "the littles") We are excited about that!
The ösi got their flight schedule this week. They are flying from SLC to Chicago then to London then to Budapest. Sounds like a pretty cool route! They just got done with their "consecration week" and they could only speak Hungarian for the entire week! Crazy stuff... but I'm excited to do that when the time comes!
Some things we learned about our mission is that we will be teaching at least one English class per week and the Elders eat at least 2 dinners per week at member's houses. I'm excited about that!
So the classroom my district is in is a little bit smaller than our dorm rooms. It's extremely tiny. There are 14 of us (including our teacher) who cram in there every day. We have two fans that are on high all day but it's still blazing hot. Anywho, I was trying to come up with a way to get us a new room or something like that. I did some research and I found out that according to the building's firecode, there can't be more than 12 desks in a room. So I got a copy of the resource and passed it along to the district leader... He's going to bring it up with some higher authority and hopefully get us a new room! We're going to play off the whole "Well, according to the white handbook, we need to obey the laws of the land. We feel we are not being exactly obedient when we are breaking the firecode." haha I get a kick out of that. I just think it's super lame when the English speakers with less people in their district (who are only here for 3 weeks) get a HUGE classroom with super nice padded seats, big desks, and a whiteboard while we get put in a tiny sana all day for 12 weeks.
Until this week, "TALL lab" was one of the most hated things we had to do during the day. It ended up turning into "Nap lab" for most of my district. This discouraged me because the lab is supposed to help us with learning the language. SO, I came up with "SUPER TALL!" (basically just all of us playing "around the world" with the flashcard feature in the lab on the the big screen) Anywho, it turned into everyone's favorite activity! We actually look forward to TALL lab everyday now and our teachers are amazed because we actually learn all of the vocabulary a million times better! So that was definitely a highlight of the week.
Everything is going grand with me! If you're reading this, chances are, I'd love to hear from you! And if you're reading this and haven't read The Book of Mormon today, turn off the computer and go read it! My district has had to literally PULL me away from mine the past week so that I could join them for meal time. Seriously--Read it.
Szeretettel, Alldredge Elder

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Week 3

Week 3:
I just got done spending two straight hours with my district outside. We sat on a bunch of benches right outside of where ALL the new missionaries have to come out in order to drop their things off. As we sat there, we yelled "ELDER! ELDER! HEY ELDER!! WHERE YA GOIN?" and then whatever their response was we would all yell "AHHH!!! OOHHHH!!! AWEEEESSSOMMMEEEE!!" and it was fun to see all of their nervous faces crack a little smile. By far the best P-day activity. (It's a lot better than when we throw used, rolled up napkins into each other's empty cups at the end of dinner.) Anywho, it was a great time and we all plan to do it every week.
My district also loves our "Sunday Walks" and our favorite part about it is all the protesters that stand on the corners. We have to stand there and listen to them while we wait for the light to change so that we can cross the street. Once we get out of ear shot we make fun of whatever stuff they were yelling at us. We enjoy it.
I was given the opportunity to usher for the devotional last night (a member of the 70 spoke). It was fun to welcome everyone in but the spot they reserved for us to sit in was not a good spot for me because I was in sight of the sign language interpreters... I couldn't stop watching them! It was fascinating. Yet again, I'm easily amused. BUT it was a great devotional!
So, here's some more about the Hungarian language: One thing that I find hilarious is that in Hungary (because they HATE the French) when you want to tell some one to, "go to hell" (which I would never say) you literally say "go to France." I get the biggest kick out of that. The other weird thing we learned this week is that in Hungarian, there is no difference between a sentence that is a question and one that is a command. The only way you can make it a question is a certain voice inflection on a certain vowel in the last word of the sentence. It's way confusing and really critical when speaking. Without the voice inflection, "Will you be baptized?" turns into "You are going to be baptized." Odd stuff!
My companion and I have been doing really well with teaching and especially with our English speaking "investigator." In fact, in the last lesson we taught him, we were able to get HIM to pray. When we were done and he was giving us feedback, he said, "Wow Elders. You are the ONLY companionship that has gotten me to pray!" and that's because we were persistent and he said the reason he didn't want to is because he was afraid he would give a dumb prayer. So we were able to easily put him at ease and get him to pray.
I bought a mini whiteboard this week and I have enjoyed drawing little visuals before going in to teach lessons. (the plan of salvation that I drew is an example of that)
I also really enjoy going to the temple (we do it on the morning of our P-days) except our session STARTS at 6:30 am so we have to wake up even earlier. But it's still great!
Tomorrow is "csok Magyarol nap" which means "only Hungarian day" which means we can't speak any English all day. I think we are all going to be really good at charades by the end of the day (and Hungarian of course).
Tudom hogy, a Mormon Könyve igaz és Jézus Krisztus sabadito. Tudom hogy, az evangéliumat igaz. Isten és Jézus szeretek minket.
I don't know what the outcome of that will be if you put it through a translator. It would be 3 pages long if I didn't have a time crunch! Anywho, read The Book of Mormon. I'll write in another 7 days!