Monday, August 6, 2012

First week in Hungary

Jó napot kivanok!!

I'm HERE! Good earth!! Okay, let me start from the beginning:

So we flew to Paris. Our plane took forever to get into the gate and the Paris airport is massive. Right after we got off the plane we ran to our next gate but we had to go through secruity again. Our district got all split up and the line was taking for ever. A few Elders were able to get through and they ran to the gate to ask if they would hold the plane for the rest of us coming. They did and we were all able to make it on safely. It was extremely stressful though. 

Then the President and APs met us in the Budapest airport and drove us through the beautiful city to the mission home. We got settled and they took us out right then to do some streeting. We got paired up with an older missionary and they helped us out a little. The helper for my companionship stopped people for us and said that we had an important message for them. When he gave me the signal that it was my time to give the message, all that was able to come out in Hungarian was, "Jesus loves you... and I know that if you communicate with our church... You will be happy... Because I'm happy in this church." So... It was a little rough but don't worry, it has gotten a million times better.

Then that night they took us around the sites of Budapest and it was just an incredible city. The lights in the city and on the bridges were amazing!

The next morning after breakfast, we all went out again to go streeting in the city. This time with out any help. We did it for about an hour. My companion and I placed 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and gave out about 15 pass-along cards and actually got 2 phone numbers! It was a great time! I loved it!

Then it was time for what everyone called the "sorting hat meeting" where we all received our trainers. It was really cool!!

SO I am currently being trained by Shipp Elder from Orem. And we are in SZOMBATHELY! Pronounced "some-bot-heh" and it literally means "Saturday-Place" (you should google it). It's a really big and incredibly beautiful city! It's on the very west side of Hungary. We are actually only about 10 minutes away from the border of Austria. It's one of the more wealthier cities in Hungary. It's just amazing!

Alright but here's the crazy story. Shipp Elder is the district leader so he had a meeting right after we met each other. My city is one of the two cities who recieved two new missionaries. So it's been way nice to have someone from my MTC group with me. So I went with my new district to lunch while he was in the meeting. After that we went and saw some sights of Budapest while we waited for the train. It was time to go catch the train so we gathered all of our stuff and headed over (this was the first time all day that my trainer and I got any time together). The train was leaving soon so we had to hurry to the train station. Upon arriving (with all of our massive bags) the other trainer ran and bought a ticket for him and his new missionary. We started loading our stuff on the train while my trainer bought our tickets. We jumped on the train and we were waiting for my trainer to jump on with us he ran out of the ticket booth with my ticket and his but I watched in horror as the door closed and my trainer was left on the platform as the train started to move away. He tried to run and jump on the but the worker couldn't open the door back up. So... he was left behind... but luckily I was still with the other two guys. It was a three and a half hour train ride (time I was planning on using to get to know my trainer) I was also SUPER lucky because the ticket guy saw my trainer get left behind and the other trainer was able to explain that he had my ticket. Good thing that ticket guy was really nice and understanding or I could've been in big trouble for riding without a ticket. We arrived in Szombathely I hung out in the other Elder's apartment until my trainer arrived there about an hour later and took us to our apoartment. Craziness.

I guess while on the topic of crazy stuff, my bike seat was stolen yesterday... But hey, now my legs will get strong from standing the whole time--right?

Oh! But the apartment I'm in is SUPER nice. (I guess it's one of the nicest in the mission) We are literally right in the middle of the city. We walk down a street of shops to get to it. Then we are on the very top floor. (Great exercise from all of those stairs) But my favorite part by far about it is that we have a huge roof we can walk out on!! It's awesome. There's a normal size door to a huge roof-look-out-deck-thing and then we can go up another ladder even higher up. I LOVE IT! I eat out there and study out there, it's just the greatest! And on the weekends they have nice live music playing just a couple streets over so it's nice during journal writing time at night. 

Church yesterday was grand. They all speak extremely fast here so I didn't really understand much, but it'll come in time. The branch here is amazing and they are all really really nice and they love the missionaries. We had our first dinner with a member family last night and it was so much fun! The food was great too.

Most of the day is spent finding. On my first day in Szombathely we met with a guy for the first time who met with the missionaries in the past. He was really nice and I was able to ask him a few questions about reading the scriptures and the importance of them that my trainer said were perfect! Good times are brewin'. We have a lot of lessons scheduled for this week. I'm really excited!

On Saturday, the trainers decided to send us new guys out on splits on our own for 6 hours. It was crazy and we had no idea what we were doing. I had done only streeting since being here and the other new missionary had done only tracting/door knocking. So we rode our bikes around (oh that reminds me, I ride around on a purple bike...) and we came to a HUGE apartment building (it was 10 stories high). We looked up at it, looked back at each other and said "let's do it." The door was locked so we began calling people on the little calling box (I don't know the English word for that). We would ask people if they would let us in and if they said "about what?" we would say "about life" and it actually worked!! So we rode the elevator to the tenth floor and just started from there! Our approach was that it was our 4th day in Hungary and we had a short survey. With one lady, after the survey I was able to say "we are from America and the reason we are here is to teach the Hungarian people about Jesus and to make them happy." She seemed really interested so we got her number and we gave her a B.O.M. It was awesome! Before I go on, our trainers told us not to expect much when tracting. They have both only had one "let-in" their entire time in Hungary. We didn't let that discourage us thought which was good because the next good find we had INVITED US IN! He was one of the nicest guys we have ever met! He was really really interested in what we had to say and so we gave him a booklet about the Plan of Salvation and a B.O.M. He was really nice and gave us his phone number and said he wanted us to come back and teach him more. It was crazy! We were able to get a few more phone numbers and give some more things out. It was a huge success! After we finished the entire building, we were unlocking our bikes and we saw that same really cool guy again and he was on his way to play soccer in Austria. He said he had already read the booklet and he liked it a lot and gave us some good times for us to call him to set up an appointment! We were so happy and our trainers were in disbelief when we told them of all our success! But we already have a few appointments set up for this week from the finds that we had from our "new missionary splits."

My trainer and I have found some really good people from streeting the past few days as well. Now it's P-day and I'm sitting in a little internet shop typing on a crazy Hungarian keyboard.

Good earth I'm probably forgetting a million things to tell you all BUT I guess that's great about when I come home!

Hey--The Book Of Mormon doesn't just change these new investigators' lives, it can and will always continue to bless and improve yours. Read it.

Alldredge Elder