Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 8 (Sept. 17-24, 2012)

 The pretty city of Sopron

 Waffle Night!!!
Ez volt egy nagyon jó hetet!

As Elder Ábrók has been making calls this week, I have enjoyed reading over old Teaching Records. Some are rad and funny, but I came across one I thought was funny enough to share. So the last time this investigator met with the missionaries was in 2010 and the for the last visit, the missionaries wrote: "He met Satan and gave him a hug. He loves Satan so if you don't want him to eat your soul, DON'T MEET WITH HIM!" Oh man, I got a big kick out of that. The things missionaries write on those things are too funny.

In better news, I get to participate in my first baptism this Saturday! I'm super super excited! I've been able to teach this investigator a bunch since being here. It's going to be really cool because it's going to take place in a hotel pool! I'll have to tell you about it next week!

I was able to take 2 pretty big steps this week: the first was when I translated a spiritual thought from English to Hungarian for a Branch activity for our senior couple here. It was actually pretty fun! The second was during splits on Saturday. A Branch member called and asked if we could give her a blessing because she's having work done on her leg. Ábrók Elder had another appointment to go to so I had to go over and give the blessing in Hungarian. It was a really, really cool experience! I'm lucky I was given the chance to be able to do that already in my second transfer.

This week I've been doing some extreme language study. Ábrók Elder just sits me down and says, "Okay, teach me the first lesson." Then when I finish he says, "Okay, do it again, but say different things." Then after that, he says, "Good, now do it again." By the end, my brain is completely fried. BUT I know it's helping me. Slowly but surely. I'm lucky that he's being very patient with me.

For a Branch activity this week, we had "Waffle Night!" It was super fun! I can't even remember the last time I ate waffles. And these Hungarians know how to make them great by putting lots of Nutella on top of them! It was grand!

We also had a zone training this week in Györ. It was great! I learned a lot and then we did a little streeting practice as a zone. We were paired up into new companionships for the streeting activity and within our new companionships we had to create a goal, then go out and try to achieve it. My companion and I decided we wanted to stop someone on the street, teach them about the living prophet, then give them a Liahona Magazine about the prophet. We were able to do it! It took about 8 rejections to finally make it happen, but the guy we stopped was super nice and open about it! It was a really neat experience!

On a side note: there are these things called "tie bags" in most of the apartments here in the mission. It's just a garbage sack FULL of hundreds and hundreds of neckties. I've made a goal to wear a different "tie bag tie" everyday this transfer. So, if you see some hideous ties in some of my pictures, you'll know where they came from.

Yesterday, we had a District Conference with three branches. We all met in Szombathely so it was soooo so so cool to see all of my old friends and the people I knew in Szombathely. Anna (the one who was really sad that I had to leave) was so cute, she had me sit next to her for the conference and she wouldn't let go of my hand when I we shook hands to say goodbye. I love all of these people here in Hungary. I was able to talk with them all after the conference and it was just a really rad thing even though I had only been gone for 2 weeks.

Anywho, great things are happening. I hope all is well with every single one of you.
Don't forget that you're never alone. Have faith. Show love.
AND make your day by reading out of The Book of Mormon.

Alldredge Elder

Friday, September 21, 2012

a letter from the senior missionaries

Our family got an email from the Sister missionary, who is serving with her husband, in the area that Cameron just got transferred to. Here are some things that she said and some pictures she sent:

"Hello, We are the Flammers and we are lucky enough to get to serve with your son in Sopron. He just arrived here last week but he had jumped right in with the work here in the branch. You should be very proud of the kind of missionary you have raised. He is learning a lot about the Hungarian culture and language living with Elder Abrok.  
We are from Providence, next to Logan and have been in Sopron since last January. We love it here and also love the people in our branch. We are called as member leadership support missionaries which includes a little bit of everything. 
We have been visiting members and trying to get everyone coming to church again, but I must say that it has been the most discouraging part of our mission. I was wondering if we were making any difference to any one being here. Then President Smith emailed us just a line from your sons letter and it made my day. He said how happy he was to be in Sopron and how much he loved working with us! Onward and upward. He is fun to feed.
 I wanted to send you a few pictures of your missionary. The first pictures is when he served in Szombathely and came to Soporn for district meeting and we got to feed all the district elders at our home. He did splits with Elder Bowen and we had a house warming party for two sisters who are scheduled to be baptized soon. It was a tiny apartment. Because we had district meeting in Szombathely last Saturday, Elder Alldredge called and asked if we could bring his luggage back with us so he did not have to take it all the way to Budapest and back to Sopron. It was a tight fit but we did it. The last pictures are of Elder Flammer teaching him how to play his ukulele. It is so much fun to serve with such great missionaries.
Thank you for raising such a great missionary. 
Flammer Nover (Sister Flammer)"

Monday, September 17, 2012

a few more pictures!

 This one is with Anna (the one who wasn't too happy about me leaving) she was still pretty sad when we took the picture.

  In the new place on the first day! Random shots of it!

 The fancy knot I learned how to tie

Pictures from week 7 (Sept. 10-17)

 In Budapest!

 Jammin' on the Uke!

 Sweet view off of our balcony

 My kitchen

 My side of the room (but my companion's ties hang up just like this too)

Week 7

Jó Napot Kivannok!

Transfer number two is going great!! I'm loving it in Sopron! The city is so beautiful and I'm hoping to get the chance to take a lot of pictures of it soon! My companion is awesome! We get along swell. I've forgotten how much I love living around a European. He's already been able to help me loads with the language so far! So things are slammin'!

I was able to say goodbye to some of the people in the branch before leaving Szombathely. There was an old néni named Anna who was upset about me having to leave. She just kept saying, "You just barely got here!! You can't leave!" It was so cute. I have a picture with her and she was sad. The nice part is this Sunday the Sopron and Szombathely branches will have a combined meeting. So I will get the chance to see everyone there again!

Oh! In other news, while in Budapest this week, I received permission from the president to buy a Ukelele... So about 20 minutes later I had one in my hands! It's been a blast to jam on during meals and after, and when we come home in the evenings. And Elder Ábrók has much enjoyed being able to play the one song he knows on it. We're having a good time with it.

There is a senior couple here with us (The Flammers). They are sooo cool and nice! It's been nice to have them around. They help us out a lot! AND they have a car! So that's even better!

It's been a big change from the Szombathely branch. On Sunday's there, all I had to do was show up. But yesterday, in Sopron, I had to: Prepare the sacrament, pass the sacrament, be the chorister, say the opening prayer, and give the first talk. Yea. It was crazy. It's a good branch though. They are all really, really nice.

One thing about Elder Ábrók that would be interesting to mention is that he is known throughout the mission for being the one and only missionary who doesn't do any tracting, sreeting, or tabling. He works only out of the area book and with referrals. (Because he's perfect in the language) so that's also been a change. (A nice one.) 'Finding' is how I spent most of my time last transfer... but now we have more lessons in one day than I would sometimes have in a week! Craziness!

I did have a cool experience this week: We have a member here who worked on Sundays so he never came to church. We taught him this week about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. I shared a story about how I used to have to work on Sundays at Wendy's, but I didn't want to, so I asked if I could stop working on Sundays. They said no, so I quit. BUT I was able to find a better job doing something I love. SO, the next day this member asked his boss if he could have Sundays off, the boss said absolutely, and he was at church yesterday!! Great things are happening.

That's about it for me!
Read the Book of Mormon. It'll change your life. Seriously. You'd be doing yourself a HUGE favor.

Alldredge Elder

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pictures (September 3-9, 2012)

 Funny sign that Elder Haws and I ran into.

 I'm going to miss my lovely roof...

  Last dinner with the Szvoboda family! (Sad day)

Week 6 (Transfers)

Sziasztok Mindenki!!

Good earth I can't believe that my first transfer is already over!!
I'm a little frazzled right now because I received my first transfer call about an hour ago but I'll save that for the very end.

This week was swell! Elder Shipp and I went on splits to Sopron! It's a super super pretty city and LOVED their apartment. It's about 4 times bigger than mine and they have a great view and it was just a really nice place. The best part was that the branch's meeting place was just a flight of stairs below it! (Remember these details for later) Anywho, so the splits went great. I went tracting with one of the Elders there. There was one particular door we knocked on and the woman was familiar with the Book of Mormon. She had to run to take a phone call and she left us at the doorway for a second. The other Elder turned to me and said, "I think I'll just invite her to read it and that's about it." I replied with, "No, you're getting us in, and we're teaching her right now" he just looked super surprised (and I felt pretty surprised that I had just said that) and said, "uh... Okay... I'll try?" AND sure enough, he did and she let us in and we were able to teach her about the restoration! It was great!

Later that night, we taught English class. I was in charge of the spiritual thought. I had planned on giving it on Charity and Service. But about 30 seconds before it was my turn to share it, I switched it to prayer. I'll be honest, not a single word was my own. But it had a pretty big impact on the people in the class because we had a few people from the class asking more questions about prayer, God, and our church after the meeting. We were able to give away some copies of the Book of Mormon and a lot of really really good things came out of it! So that was a rad experience!

A super funny thing that happened this week is accounted in the following:
So when I was on splits with Elder Bullock a few weeks ago, we taught an investigator who was really doing well and progressing and he was looking like a really great candidate for baptism. This made me really excited, but after we taught him, he basically fell off the face of the earth. He never answered his phone or his door. Then a few days ago (this is without hearing from him for a few weeks) Elder Bullock received a text from this guy that said the following:
"Dear Elders, I'm sorry I haven't been able to meet, I have been in the hospital. I will be honest with you, I'm gay. And I find you guys very pleasing to me."
That's seriously all it said! Oh good earth, I got the biggest kick out of that. I think we're going to leave further teaching to the sisters...

Also this week, Elder Haws (the other new missionary) and I went on splits. Which is always fun because we just do all that we know how to do and hope it works. We were able to try all sorts of different door approaches. We made a goal that even if they don't want to hear our message or anything--we were going to at least get them to laugh or smile. One of our favorite things to say was, "we are from America, that's why we have these beautiful accents." and the person would usually get a good kick out of that. It was a lot of fun!

After teaching a cute older couple about the restoration this week, we asked the wife if she would say the closing prayer. She was really scared and nervous and her husband said "it's okay, I'll help you." Oh man, it was so cute to watch the husband whisper things to her to say and she would say them outloud for us. So, so cute.

OKAY! Now time to tell you all about transfers! SO, I'm going to be serving in.... SOPRON! (The place my first paragraph talks about) BUT, here's the crazy part. So, there is only one Hungarian missionary here (Elder Ábrok) and HE is going to be MY companion! So it's looking like I'm going to have to get a million times better at the language if that's all that I'm going to be speaking all day everyday! Ah! The other cool part is that I'm going to be even closer to the Austrian border! (about 2 kilometers away) and about 20 minutes away from Vienna! I'm really excited to move into the super nice apartment and there's also a senior couple there which will be nice to have! I think they already have 2 baptismal dates set so that will be rad to experience! It all happens this Wednesday! It's also nice because I'll still be in the same district and I'll still get to travel back to Szombathely for splits and district meetings. I'm excited! Things are moving right along!

Always dig for reasons to applaud and never scratch for excuses to gossip.
And as always, please, please read the Book of Mormon.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pictures from August 27 to September 1

 Really pretty lake near our place.

 Elder Bullock (being a goof) and I meeting with a recent convert from our branch in the park.

Week 5

Sziasztok Mindenki!

This week, while on splits, I was able to meet with a family from our branch who has a bunch of little kids. They were so fun and they absolutely love the missionaries. It was the first time I've been able to do a program with children since being here. Elder Bullock and I had a fun lesson planned for them with some games and candy and they loved it! It was really fun to do. After the lesson, while the parents finished preparing dinner, the little boys dressed us up with hats and army stuff and we played this little "gun game" with us and they got the biggest kick out of when we would pretend to die when they shot us! It was a blast. For dinner we had "Lángos" which is a popular Hungarian meal. It's basically scones, with a little sour cream, then shredded cheese on top! It's super duper good and for sure on my list of favorites so far!

Yesterday we had some Austrians in church visiting another family in our branch. Some shared their testimonies with us with a translator. It was really interesting to hear German translated into Hungarian! Basically from one language I don't know... to another that I don't know (but not as much as I don't know the first).

It's been raining here a lot lately... But the leaves are changing colors which is exciting! I'm being told often that it looks really pretty here in the Fall. 

Elder Shipp and I traveled to a place called "Zala" the other day to meet with an investigator. Zala is an hour away by train so it's really hard for the missionaries to meet with her. But she's made tons of progress! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she said she is willing to be baptized! We're working hard on getting the details figured out and it's hard because she's so far away... but that was an awesome part of my week!

It was good to get back in the normal swing of things this week. School started today for everyone so it'll be interesting to see how that effects the work!

Since there's not too much to write about this week, (because it was mostly spent tracting and such) I'll share a funny story:
While on the street, we were just talking to everyone we passed. I stopped a teenaged boy who looks kinda like a trouble maker and in Hungarian I introduced ourselves and then I asked him if he would want to TEACH about Christ instead of if he wanted to LEARN about Christ. With a confused look he replied, "um... no?" and then walked off. THEN I realized what I had said. In my defense the words for teach and learn are similar... kind of. Oh well! I thought you might all get a kick out of it!

Anywho, have a question about anything? Read The Book of Mormon. The answer is in there--I promise. Really though... Read it.

Tovabbi szép napot!
Alldredge Elder
Or as the Hungarians say, "Ol-dered-guh Elder" (they have the hardest time with my name, I feel bad sometimes)