Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 57 (June 18-24, 2013)

Hát, simán ment a csere.

On Wednesday, I drove to Budapest to drop off dear Elder Cox up to meet up with his parents and I got my new companion, Elder Nabrotzky! He's from Ontario. Which I learned is right on the brim of America's nice hat. That's pretty cool, eh? He comes from a big family. He's the oldest of 6. We've actually only spoken in Hungarian to each other since we met up. We plan to carry out such a thing our entire time we serve with each other! He's super stellar at the language so I'm excited to learn all his secrets. (Our cute faces will be attached below)

All of the new converts are doing great. We talked to them about temples this week and they were all super stoked about it. All three boys are preparing to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. It's a wonderful thing!

This week, while getting ready to go to bed, we hear a bunch of chanting and saw a bunch of torches outside our window. It was a bit alarming at first until we realized it was some sort of strange parade at night... with chanting and torches. It was for the "Opera Festival" ....whatever that is. Interesting nonetheless!

We met with one of the recent converts this week planning to talk about the Priesthood. When we started, he told us in detail how the priesthood works, what office you become at what age, and what each quorum's duty is. It was incredible! We asked him how he already knew it all and he told us he already read about it in the Gospel Essentials Book. He then went on to tell us that he did a lot of research on President Monson and watched some videos about him and he basically relayed his whole life's story to us. He was really pleased with himself that he knew more about the prophet than the missionaries did. What a slammin' member, right?

We had some really tender experiences while tracting this week. We had one lady last night who was just dying to hear what we had to say. It was amazing to see such a thing. You could tell that she knew this is what her and her family need right now. I'm stoked to return later this week so we can help the Lord show her what she's been looking for. 

It's been such a blessing and a blast to work with these wonderful people here in Miskolc. It's been a little alarming to realize that I don't miss home as much as I'm sure is socially acceptable. Is that bad to say?

Needless to say, things continue to be fantastic on my side of the waters. Hey! My best friend/little sister is here in Europe! She'll be right next to Hungary soon enough (She's visiting Germany and Austria for her senior trip!!) How rad is that?

It's scientifically proven that you can't be upset, frustrated, sad, depressed, or mad while reading from The Book of Mormon. Do it.
Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder
This is the kind of area that we tract in all day everyday. The beloved "ten stories."

The night parade of torches! Or "Opera Festival"

Elder Nabrotzky and I

Miskolc Streets

The beautiful city of Miskolc.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week 56 (June 11-18, 2013)

Jaj nekem... Sok mindent le kell írnom.
Wow, so yesterday ended one of the most incredible weeks ever. We started the week planning on having 4 baptisms and confirmations... We ended with 5. All on top of reaching our goal of doubling super standard in every category. We ended the week with 70 working hours and a total of 59 programs. Needless to say, it was absolutely amazing.

First things first. Dear Elder Cox is sadly leaving me. His parents are coming to pick him up so I'll get the chance to see him one more time next week before he heads back to the good ol' USA. I will obviously be staying in Miskolc and my new companion is Elder Nabrotzky!! He's Canadian and I've actually served around him in the same district or zone for the last 6 transfers! We've been on splits numerous times and I know we already work famously together. I'm stoked! I'll have more information about him next week. I know he used to work in a cardboard factory. If that's not rad, I don't know what is.

Jajaj ha ezt olvasod most, tudom, hogy ki vagy. Folytass.

Anywho, we were meeting with a lady on Tuesday and she seemed really depressed. When we asked her about it, she just said, "I really don't want to talk about it." We went back the next day and she was acting completely different. We started to say, "can we open with a prayer?" and she interrupted and said, "I want to say it!!! Is that okay?" This took us completely by surprise because in our past programs she was extremely opposed to praying in front of us. She said an incredible prayer and we just looked at her in shock until she explained that she was really upset with a lot of things the day before and she was actually going to tell us never to come back. But she decided to read the chapter I gave her to read. She read it and decided she needed to pray. She prayed personally for the first time in her life and she said she felt absolutely incredible. Later that day, all of the problems she was having blew over and she was loving life. She then told us that she felt like she needed to say the prayer the next time she met with us and she had been praying up until then for strength to do so. It was such a neat experience. You gotta love the power of prayer.

More about prayer, one of the families that were set to be baptized were having a really hard time leading up to the baptism. It's really annoying how much the adversary works against people preparing to be baptized. We actually had a program where we explained that such things are not rare, and they could be tempted a lot before the baptism because that's the absolute last thing Satan wants to have happen. It came down to the afternoon of the baptism and things got so bad that the mother called the family in for a prayer and they later told us how incredible it was to pray as a family without the missionaries just based on their own deep desire for assistance from our Heavenly Father. They all felt immediate peace and comfort and the baptism went smooth for them.

So, Wednesday morning, we met with that one guy who told us that "we won" in church a few weeks ago. As soon as we got to his apartment, he sat us down and said, "I need to ask a big favor from you guys." We said, "yea, sure! What is it?" He then said the following: "I need to be baptized this Saturday. I don't care what I have to do, or where I need to go to get interviewed, I'm going to be baptized this Saturday." Within five minutes, President was called and we had his interview set up with one of the APs for Friday, the day before the baptism. The thing I love about his conversion story is the first time I met him he told me that he likes meeting with the missionaries but he "will never be Mormon." In the end, everything worked out perfect... well almost perfect. With the rush of everything, we sorta kinda forgot to tell him to bring a change of underwear to the baptism. Quite the baptism to remember, right?

Okay, let's just skip to Saturday!! It was beyond words of description. We had a 39 year-old mother and her 15 year-old son with another mother who is 43 with her 12 year-old son, along with the 21 year-old who jumped in at the last minute.
I was able to baptize the 39 year-old mother. She is the mother of the "Miracle Family." It was my first time to ever baptize someone. She was really worried that I wouldn't be able to pull her back up out of the water. "He's just a little guy!" is what she kept saying. Yet she insisted that I be the one to baptize her, I'll tell you all why later. So the font was actually pretty dang cold. I went, "aaaeeee!!" when I stepped in. (Embarrassing.) I thought fonts were always nice and warm!? Something to know is that this lady is absolutely terrified of water. She stood next to me clenching both sides of the font just scared to death. I don't think my arm has ever been squeezed so hard. As soon as she came up out of the water she just started bawling. She couldn't move so she just hugged me in the font crying and crying for a good 20 seconds. In.Cre.Di.Ble.

So there are obviously a lot of reason why I've called them the "Miracle Family." But I think the biggest reason was because I had a dream while I served in Pécs. In this dream, this mother that I baptized came up to me and said, "please, find me, and find my family." I thought I had failed when I was leaving Pécs. I thought that since that's where I was serving when I had the dream, that's where she'd be. Nope. As soon as Elder Cox left her house the first time we tracted into her, I turned to him and said, "you'll never believe this, but I've had a dream about that lady... She told me to come find her." Sure enough, we found her with the guidance of the Spirit and now she's enjoying all the blessings of being baptized in Christ's true church.

After the baptism, I turned to her daughter and said, "you're next. I'm baptizing you before I leave this place." I can be a pill sometimes. :)

President Smith and his wife even came down for the event. They also spoke in church the next day. The 21 year-old asked President if he would be the one to confirm him a member. It was such a neat experience. I myself was given the opportunity to give the 12 year-old boy the Gift of the Holy Ghost and confirm him. It was quite the day.

I could go on and on for ages about how great the whole week was. I love being here in Hungary. I love being here in Miskolc. There's absolutely not a single other place I'd rather be. I love these people.

These 5 new members are thrilled about reading from The Book of Mormon everyday. Are you? I hope so.

Sok Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder
Five newest members of the church. With Elder Cox and I.

Miskolci Missionaries with President and Sister Smith.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 55 (June 3-10, 2013)

Wow, this last week has been crazy. We're getting everyone set and ready for their baptism this Saturday! I'll be sure to take a lot of pictures of the beautiful event! We had a total of 39 programs this week which is absolutely nuts. Everyone is progressing well and I really love these people we're teaching.

We held a family night last Tuesday which was a huge hit! We had a bunch of investigators and members there and they all loved it! We sang, had spiritual thoughts, played games, and just talked! It was a blast and they all requested that we do it again this week.

So, our car's name is Evelin. (said the Hungarian way) And one of our investigator families thinks it's beyond hilarious that our car has a name. They always ask us, "how is Evelin doing today!?" They get the biggest kick out of it. They offered to clean Evelin with us over the weekend and we gladly agreed because using the vacuums at the gas station is expensive. They loved it. They were so excited to give Evelin a "bath" and we all had a great time together.

Speaking of our car, we were in Budapest this week... Oh and speaking of Budapest, the Danube River is flooding! It was insane to see it so high! Anywho, we were in Budapest and we needed to park our car. Budapest is MASSIVE and finding parking is not the easiest thing to find/do. So we found a huge "P" and drove right into the little garage. A man signaled us over to a little box looking place. We were extremely confused and just parked on this little platform thing. We got out of the car, and turned around to watch the "box's" doors shut, then we watched through a window as the platform raised our car up into a little slot! We were astounded! We had no idea that we had parked in such a place. All we could do was say, "ahhh!! What did they do with Evelin!?" It was great. It ended up fine. We returned to the garage a while later and the little platform picked up our dear Evelin and lowered her down to us.

I'm sure I'll have a lot of great stories for you all next week. I actually have to keep this email brief because for Elder Cox's last week, we are striving to DOUBLE the super standard requirements in every category. It's going to be insane but what a cool way to end your mission, right?

After teaching about the restoration to a lady this past week we simply asked her, "how are you feeling right now?" to which she replied, "this is so strange, I feel like I just want to start crying but I have absolutely no idea why! I feel really really happy but it's different than anything I have ever felt!" Thank you, Spirit!

I love you all! I've been a slacker in taking pictures lately, I'll send try to send a lot next week to make up for it! All is grand on my side of the waters. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Prayer works. Try it. Heck, mix it in with reading from the Book of Mormon and you've got yourself a recipe for happiness. The timer is set by your obedience.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

Monday, June 3, 2013

week 54 (May 27-June 3, 2013)

And the story continues. . .
I broke a window in our apartment yesterday. Like, completely shattered it. There was a HUGE fly on the window and it was buzzing and smacking itself against the glass and just being a complete nuisance. I said, "I'll put an end to this!" so I grabbed the first Ensign magazine off the top of our huge stack and rolled it up. Little did I know that it was a conference edition (that detail will come into play a little later). So anyway, I quietly walked to the window and smacked the fly to its death. I swear, I didn't hit it that hard, only enough to kill the darn thing. Anywho so the fly falls dead and brings the window crashing down with it and Elder Cox yells from the bathroom, "ELDER! WHAT did you DO!?" and all I could say was, "uhhh... I killed the fly!" I'm assuming that if I just used a normal Ensign edition, I wouldn't have had a bunch of broken glass everywhere. But noooo it had to be the conference edition. Dang it all! But the story doesn't stop there. After looking at the shattered window, I quickly realized that our landlady is a member. Which was great news until I realized that she was feeding us later in the day. At what point in time during a free meal do you tell someone you broke their window??
Do you mention it:
--At the beginning? "Thanks for inviting us over and cooking all day to feed us by the way I broke your window this morning in a heroic act of killing a giant fly."
--In the middle? "Wow this is really really good food it's probably the best meal I've had since being on my mission and I broke your window this morning."
--Or at the end? "Well! Thanks again so much for the meal! I guess we'll see you again next Sunday! Or maybe if you wanted to swing by and give us a bid on how much fixing a window might be, I mean, if you really want, like, we could meet then as well."
Luckily, she was super cool about the sour news and will be coming to see how to fix it this week.

Okay, enough with that tangent. We had another stellar week! Just yesterday we had an extra half hour between programs so we decided to tract a random building and we ended up having someone on each floor of the building gladly set up to meet with us this upcoming week! It was nuts!

Church was super incredible yesterday. By far one of the best testimony meetings I've been in. We had 8 investigators at church yesterday. It unbelievably awesome. We took up an entire row with all of them and we were pretty squished. They all loved the meeting, at least the ones I sat next to cried a little bit during the meeting as well. Afterward the miracle family told us, "did you guys tell all of those people beforehand exactly what they needed to say up there!? We feel like they were all speaking directly to us! It was so great!"

This past week, Elder Cox and I picked up our handmade Hungarian suits! I love my suit! My word. I took some pictures of it so I'll have to shoot them over.

We were in Budapest this week for interviews which went swell! We have to go back to Budapest again this week for Zone Leader Council meeting but who doesn't love thick city traffic?!

We so far have 4 people set to be baptized between two families in just a few short weeks! They are all really excited and we're going to have a combined family night with both of them and some members tomorrow night! We're stoked for it. Who wouldn't be?

We met with a lady this week to present the stop smoking program to her. At first she seemed really closed off and acted like there wasn't a chance that it would work. After we went through it, however, she was really excited about it and was telling her family that she was going to totally do it and that it will be so great and all that jazz. I just think one of the most interesting things we get to experience in this work--watching people's demeanor just completely change within 10 minutes of talking with them. It's fascinating.

Well, I send everyone my love. I hope you got a kick out of the window story. I know I did. I know that rereading this entry would be awesome for you, but read out of The Book of Mormon for a bit then come reread it.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder
The inside of the incredible Cathedral that we were able to walk through this week.

New suit!!

Gotta love the Hungarian flag inside.