Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 10

Week 10 (And LAST full week at the MTC):
Szervusztok Mindenki!!
In 5 days I will be flying from the Salt Lake City Airport and taking a direct flight to Paris, France (Chas De Gaulle). And after hanging out in France for a few hours we will then fly to Budapest, Hungary!!!! Our flight leaves at 4:30. So I will be out of here right after lunch on Monday!! I. Am. So. Very. Extremely. Excited!!
I'm the "Travel Leader" on the way to Hungary. (It's not because I'm special, it's just because I came first in the alphabet) It's going to be interesting to have to take care of 11 other 19 year-old boys get on and off of planes without any trouble. They're all great/responsible Elders though--So let's hope this goes smooth.
Good earth. Speaking just Hungarian all week was killer. It was pretty difficult and frustrating at first but after the third day, it was a blast and a lot easier! Thanks to the Lord, I think we were all able to get a whole lot better at the language.
Wearing just one tie all week drove me way more crazy than I thought it would. I'm excited to be able to wear a different tie tonight for class. (Good earth you know you're a missionary when you say a sentence like that.)
Nothing super exciting happened this week. My companion and I finished our last lessons with 2 out of our 4 investigators. We will be completely finished tomorrow. Friday is "In-Field Orientation" and I'm really excited for that.
I have loved my experiences at the MTC but I'm ready to move on to Hungary so I can teach the Hungarian people this wonderful gospel and source of unlimited happiness. We learned that our first Sunday in Hungary we will all be sharing our testimonies in Hungarian in a sacrament meeting. So we've had to spend a lot of class time lately practicing and making sure we know what in the world to say and how to say it.
I got another haircut today! It's basically a buzz-cut. Which is a little radical for me, but heck, I kinda like it and it's much nicer for the summer weather.
If you plan to send me any letters/DearElders today and tomorrow will probably be the last time to send them before I'm off and away on Monday.
What am I most nervous/scared for once I get into Hungary you ask? What a great question. Here is the answer:
Nervous about speaking the language? No. My two companions will help me with that (The Spirit and my Trainer).
Nervous about the culture? No. If it's like the rest of Europe--I know I'll love it.
Nervous about the food? No. I ate a whole can of raw spam in a "spam eating contest"-- you can't get much worse than that.
Okay so here's what it is--What I'm actually most worried about is my Trainer not working me to death and not pushing me the hardest I can go. That's honestly it. I hope he stretches me like crazy and is super strict and precise. That's all.
Anywho, I hope you all are doing wonderful. I don't know when I'll send my next email. And it's super odd to think that I'll be doing it in some Hungarian library or computer center. BUT--I will send another email as soon as I am able to.
And as always, read The Book of Mormon. Not because I said to--But because God's prophet and God himself asked you to.
Alldredge Elder

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 9

Week 9:
Szervusztok Mindenki!
Jó napot kivánok!
I leave to go to the other side of the world in 12 days! Good earth!
We are expected to get our travel plans this Friday! So, my next weekly update should have my route to Hungary!
Today started consecration week. That means:
--I can only speak Hungarian until next Wednesday after my morning temple session. (By the way, my group will be the first group to do a session in the Provo temple since its cleaning.)
--I will be wearing the same tie every day for the whole week.
--I'll be getting up at 5:45 am everyday to study the language early before I am supposed to get ready.
--I won't be able to read any letters that are sent to me until next Wednesday morning.
--I will have at least 250 new vocabulary words memorized by the end of the week.
Sounds like a blast and a half, right?
Another random fact: I was actually the last person to speak English in my district before our consecration week started. Because I gave our "starting consecration week" prayer!
This week, our teacher had us practice sharing short messages while in a "public transportation" type situation. It was a lot of fun because we set up seats in a classroom like a bus and had a short period of time to try to get someone interested in a message of the gospel.
We also learned how to make say things "formal" this week... It's a pain. You speak really fancy in formal form. They directly translate to statements such as, "How does it please you to be?" (What's up?) or, "Where does it please you to be going?" (Were ya headed?). Kinda interesting. But what's funny about it is that we aren't allowed to talk like that to girls who are around our age--at ALL. I guess it comes off as extremely flirtatious.
Speaking of things we aren't supposed to say in Hungarian. We also learned that we aren't supposed to introduce our companion using the Hungarian word for "companion." If we were to do that, people would think we were gay lovers. I get a kick out of that. So, we actually just introduce them by saying, "this is my friend, ______ Elder."
Another odd thing we learned about the language this week is the word "-e"... yea--that's the actual word. You put it at the end of a sentence to make it mean "or not". So if I wanted to say "We can know that it's true or not" I would say "Tudhatjuk hogy igaz-e." ...Strange.
We've been starting to teach 40 minute long Hungarian lessons about 3 times a week lately. The first time I taught a 40 minute lesson about 4 weeks ago, I was worried that I was going to run out of things to say real quick! Now it's to the point where our teacher has to cut us off because we start to go overtime. Just goes to show how powerful the power of God is.
Well, I really wish I had some more interesting things to say. BUT do you know where to find the most interesting things in the entire world to read?? That's right. The Book of Mormon. Read it. Love it. Live it.
Alldredge Elder

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week 8

Week 8:
Sziasztok mindenki!
Good earth, it's crazy to think that I'm on week 9 now!
Today I was finally able to get my haircut (I haven't gotten it since being here because the last three weeks they were either booked or closed on my P-day because all of the Elders leaving soon get first priority). My hair was getting pretty long, but now it's nice and super short again. Oh, and this is random but I was in the laundry room just now and there was some film crew there and they filmed me loading my clothes up in the the washer? (kicsi forcsa [little weird]) I wasn't able to see where they were filming for BUT if you see me on the news tonight or something let me know!
Next week starts consecration week. This entire week our teachers will only speak Hungarian to us. Then next week we are supposed to speak Hungarian 24/7. We can't speak English at anytime, to anyone for that whole week. I'm actually really excited for it! I think it's going to be a blast and it'll force me to get a lot better at the language.
My district versed another district in our famous "Friday Night Kickball". It was once again loads of fun... Now that I think about it, a bunch of 19 & 20 year old men running around playing kickball probably looks pretty odd to the people driving by. BUT you gotta do what you gotta do.
It's also really weird to think that this time last year I was actually in Europe. Soon, I'll be returning--but for a completely different reason and I will have a completely different experience.
In class this week we focused a lot on teaching the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity... I think our teachers had a fun time telling us some interesting stories about teaching these two points in Hungary. It's pretty intimidating. It's where most Hungarians have the hardest time. But a little challenge is always healthy--right?
I thought learning how to tell time this week would kind of give us a break from this extremely difficult language. But no, even telling time is a pain. First they go by the 24 clock (which isn't that bad). But then they do everything opposite from English (once again). For example, If you want to say it's 3:15. You wouldn't say, "It's Three Fifteen" You'd say, "It's Three Quarters to Four"... they measure everything according to the next hour. So 12:30 would be "Half to One" and so on.
One thing that gets the me the worst in Hungarian is the word "with". If you ever want to say the word "with" in Hungarian, you have to change the end of the word that you want the word "with" to be used for. For example, in prayers you would say, "bless us the spirit with" And it's not that you just add something to end of the word--you actually change the word. According to what the last few letters are you have to decide which way you need to change it. BUT I will not get discouraged. I will learn through the spirit how to perfect this crazy language.
Fun Fact: The Rubik's cube was either started in Hungary or a Hungarian man made it... maybe both. I can't remember.
We've also lately been focusing on our streeting skills. It's been loads of fun to practice "streeting" here. It basically means  we get to walk around the MTC and find either other Elders in the district or our Teachers to teach while walking "on the street." We were able to do it in English the other day and it was a blast, I just talked to everyone and even went into the bookstore and shared some messages with some of the cashiers! As I walked out one of the cashiers said "wow, that was beautiful" Haha I got a good kick out of that.
Anywho, things are going great here. Wait, what's that? You haven't read the Book or Mormon yet today? So you're telling me you haven't participated in the simple yet life changing act of reading from a book that men have died for and others are dedicating their lives to share? I see something wrong here--Don't you? Yeah. Do it.
Alldredge Elder

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Week 7

Week 7:
Szervusztok Mindenki!
Happy 4th of July everyone! While you're out having BBQ's, waterfights, and partying, I'm going to be in class then go to a devotional! So I'm sorry, I'll be the first to tell you that I feel bad for you all. I'd stick with my plans ANYday.
This week was so great! Here's why:
One of the new Elders in my zone was having some troubles being here, he wasn't sure what to do, and he was just having a really hard time. He asked our zone leaders what time the counseling center opens (I didn't even know they had one here). Our zone leader told him and then said, "there's actually an Elder in my district whose like a certified therapist, counselor... person. Want me to go get him to see if he can help you out?" The troubled Elder said he'd love that. So I get a knock on my door and I'm told that my services are needed. (I know what you all are thinking and no, I did not hypnotize him. When I worked in the psychological counseling center at SUU I did normal sessions as well--so just get that out of your head. Thank you.) ANYwho so I went to his room and just talked to him out in the hall for close to an hour. By the end he was just so much happier and doing great. Great right? Just wait.
So the next day I went to his room again to check up on him. The first thing he says to me is, "So, I've made my decision, I'm going home." I was super shocked by this because he was doing SO great by the time we were done talking the day before. I actually don't really know what I said for the next 45 minutes. All I know is that it sure wasn't me who was saying any of that stuff to him. I just remember thinking "dang, I should be feeling super bummed that I failed and he wants to go home!" but I didn't feel that way at all. I had the strangest feeling of peace.
Then the NEXT day I go down to his room to see if he was still there because as far as I knew, his bags were packed and he could've already been home. BUT he runs out and gives me a hug and says "I'm staying!" I was shocked once again but he's here and he's doing better than ever.
It was SO nice to be back in my element. Being at the MTC is great, but I just feel kinda weeny because I'm not actually helping real people. I'm teaching my teachers all day who are already members and they are just making up different pretend problems. Anywho, it was just a cool experience and just goes to show you how powerful the spirit really is.
Other than that, we had an incredible fireside on Sunday where the speaker acted out the entire account of Willard Richards (I think that's his name) It was awesome. He had props and a costume and told the story of the restoration and Joseph Smith just like Willard writes it. It was INCREDIBLE! There were so many different little stories about Joseph Smith that were just crazy and amazing to hear about. (And is he a prophet or what?!) At the end we all stood up and sang "Praise to the Man." Good earth, let's just say my eyes got a little sweaty and it takes a lot for them to sweat.
Last night we had Elder Kukuchi (I think that's how it's spelled... I really gotta start writing these names down). He's a former 70 member. His talk was really really good. I'll quote on of my favorite parts:
"Sometimes, if dog is barking you, you just say, 'hello dog, I love you.' Maybe dog will feel spirit and stop barking you."
Oh man, I got the biggest kick out of that. It was a great talk though.
Things are going fantastic here. It's the weirdest feeling to begin to catch on and get good at speaking another language. (at least for me because I've never been able to fluently speak another language before) Especially when the spirit is helping you. I'll just spew out a sentence I didn't even know half the vocabulary to, let alone how to conjugate it! BUT I know that it all comes with obedience and relying on our Lord.
As always, if you haven't read the Book of Mormon today--Do it. Fireworks don't start until dark, so you have no excuse.
Alldredge Elder

Monday, July 2, 2012

photos from the MTC in June

 My stuff

My corner

my schedule for the 10 weeks in the MTC

The first vision that I memorized

We are breaking the fire code!

My friend Ty and I

 Ty and I at the map

my softball injury

My planner

 my district

 The Cereal Tower Challenge

My district!