Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 28 in Hungary (Feb.5-11, 2013)

 pizza party  in the apartment

 sweet tunnel we came across

Sziasztok Mindenki!
Hogy ment a héted? A hétem nagyan jó volt.

Before I forget, I will be emailing on Tuesday next week instead of Monday. We're getting our transfer calls and they've switched some things around.

So I don't know how, but my companion and I were able to achieve the mission's 'super standard' again this week! We figure we might as well go for week 4! Getting it just one time is hard enough, but 3 times in a row is unheard of. The only thing we have done is work our hardest. God has supplied and blessed us with the rest. We were actually asked to give a training in our zone conference about "using time effectively" because we have also been getting the zone goal of at least 10 hours of finding time (streeting and tracting) on top of getting 'super standard'. What a great experience! It's definitely set a standard for the rest of my mission.

We had something really rad happen while tracting this week. We felt like we needed to get onto a random bus that pulled up as we were walking. We rode it until we felt like we needed to get off, we walked until we felt like we needed to stop, we knocked on the door we felt we needed to knock on, and when the lady opened the door she said, "oh! please, come right on in!!" The following hour and a half was spent teaching her the Plan of Salvation and answering her plethora of questions. We're going to return tomorrow like she requested. Good earth, talk about incredible!

All four of us Elders visited a recent convert this week. She had bought us all a new tie! She was so excited and cute about giving them to us. They were actually pretty sweet too! Mine has some little turtles on a sailboat. Random, but awesome nonetheless! After the lunch she fed us, she brought out a cake that was made of 30 crepes staked on top of each other with chocolate in between each one. The darn thing was about 10 inches tall but SO good!

I don't know what it is, but Elder Smith and I have a good record of running into anti-mormons. On our way to a lesson this week, we walked past a little family walking and they turned to us and started talking with us. They were all Baptist and they invited us to their service they were going to right then. We apologized and said that we were actually on our way to a lesson. They said that they would love if we came to their service if for some reason it fell through. Well, as luck would have it, our lesson dogged us. We decided we would attend and experience the Baptist meeting. When we came in through the back, the entire place went silent, the pastor preacher guy stopped talking and just starred at us. Then EVERY one in the congregation turned to watch us come it. It takes a lot for me to feel awkward but that sure did the trick. We sat down by the people who invited us. They were SO happy we came. We sat there and listened to the sermon. It was actually super interesting. The meeting was all in English and they had a translator the whole time. (It was actually pretty great language study!) They read some things out of the Bible and we really did enjoy it! We heard about some of the different parables and what not. At the end of the meeting, a different pastor pointed us out and said, "we have some visitors today, if you boys will stick around, we would love to talk to and get to know you." They pray the exact same way we do. That was interesting. We talked with some of the really nice people sitting next to us and we were just asking them about their beliefs and how they do baptism and receive the Holy Ghost. It was really interesting and we hadn't said anything about what we believe. We didn't think that would be right  during their meeting. Afterwards we had people meet us and shake our hands. Everyone was super nice. The pastors and their wives were all from the U.S.A. and they were really really nice to us. This is where things get sour: the second pastor comes up to us and he's pretty much shaking. He starts some small talk and then pauses for a second before telling us that he doesn't like us around telling everyone lies and things of the devil. He used the church's full name and everything after that was just one anti-mormon statement after another. And he was NOT joking around. He really knew his stuff. I swear he got a degree in anti-mormon...ism. I cut in and said, "so, according to you and your beliefs, how is someone saved?" he replied and exclaimed, "well, when you accept Christ as your Savior and what he did on the cross." I smiled super big and said, "That's great!! I'm saved!!" his face fell harder than I've ever seen a face fall. I continued to say, "Really! That's super great news! You hear that Elder Smith? We accept Christ as our Savior and we know that only through him and his Atonement we can live with God again. We're totally saved! Really, thank you for your great news! And sorry, we actually have to get going, we have another meeting we need to head off to." and we walked away right then. We were proud of ourselves that we were able to get away from him without even arguing once. BUT attending that meeting was actually a really good experience for us. We were able to experience what it's like on the "other side" for our investigators. We found that having nice people coming up to meet you makes you feel really great and welcome. We also were able to feel what our investigators must feel sitting in a completely different way of worship while wondering what the heck is going on. We learned a bunch from it.

The fun doesn't stop there. We met with an old crazy lady who read our palms and said we had "the mark" which meant we were close to God. She said she could see the light of God shinning from out of our faces. She put her hands over my head and said I had some deep hidden sadness so she sent her good, healing energies to fix it. She told us that Christ's second coming already happened on December 21st last year. After an hour with such things of this sort, we asked her to say the closing prayer. (to our defense, we thought it would be normal because after we said the opening prayer, she said "yes! that's how prayers should be!!") Anywho, she just started with some deep breathing for about a minute then she started saying all sorts of strange things. She then put her hands on our shoulders and that freaked us out pretty bad. After the meeting, Elder Smith told me that he had prayed in his heart to God that he would send an angel to protect us from anything bad that could happen from whatever she was doing. As soon as he prayed for that she said, "one of you has just invited someone else into the room.... but it's okay, they are good." GOOD EARTH!? Talk about strange! After that she started rubbing my back trying to help my inner, deep sadness... It was extremely odd.

Nonetheless, my week was grand!! I hope all is well in the U.S.A. (fun fact, they say "oo-sha" here for U.S.A.)

Oh! And Happy Valentine's Day! I'm not around to make nasty cookies for anyone--count your blessings! And add one more to your week by reading from The Book of Mormon!

Alldredge Elder