Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week 62 in Hungary (July 23-July 30,2013)

Na, akkor itt fogok maradni! Tök jó!!

So we received our transfer calls this morning and I will be staying in Miskolc once again and for the first time ever, I will be with the same companion for 2 transfers! This transfer will only be 5 weeks long, then the next will be 10!! It's going to be interesting. I'm excited about the news!

I had another run in with some bees. I got into our car yesterday and a little bee friend decided to come in with me. I've never gotten out of a car so fast. Then all of the sudden, there were giant bees flying all around the car going in and out as well as staying inside. I stayed about 20 feet away as poor Elder Nabrotzky tried to get them all out. Then the investigators we had just met with came out of their house because they saw that there was a problem with us. So they also came to the rescue and just started grabbing all the bees and throwing them out of the car. I couldn't bring myself to get into the car and drive away until we were away from the area with all the bees. (Super embarrassing.) So Elder Nabrotzky drove good ol' Evelin down the hill a bit until we were in a safe zone. It was nuts!

So we now have aNOTHER new family who are getting ready to be baptized. This family is the really humble and polite family that I was talking about last week. The mom had sewn covers for their copies of The Book of Mormon. So adorable. We met with them for the second time this past week, and we taught them about the Restoration. They ate it up!! As soon as we told them about the First Vision they all said, "WOW! What is this feeling I have in my heart!? This is so strange!! What does this mean??" So after explaining how the Spirit works they were all really excited and eager to learn more. They all came to church on Sunday and loved it. Afterwards, the son came up to me and asked, "when can I get baptized!?" So yesterday, we met with them and set up a baptismal date for the mother and her son. They are so extremely excited and they are going to be incredible members.
Oh and the update on the other OTHER family is still superb. They are loving it and we're really enjoying the chance to meet with them often.

"Take no thought of what ye shall eat" --It really works! Yesterday, after our apartment checks finally finished, we had to leave right then to make it on time to our first program of the day. We knew we were going to be gone until 9:00 and we hadn't eaten any lunch yet. This little quote from The Book of Mormon came to mind and we left, not knowing what was going to happen. Sure enough, the first program we went to (we weren't planning on being fed) said, "hey! What did you guys eat for lunch??" we replied with, "well... we actually weren't able to eat lunch yet." I swear, within seconds they had sat us down in front of more food than we could handle eating and they even packed up the left-overs and sent them with us. How awesome is that?

We have a man who is going to be baptized here within the next few weeks. He is such a rad guy. I've been meeting with him ever since my second week in Miskolc. He's a brilliant guy and we found out this week that he's actually a famous writer! He used to write books and he was a famous journalist. It was wild. We took a member with us to his program yesterday. This man turned to the member we brought and said, "can you believe that these two, young, servants of God were able to help me to stop smoking and drinking coffee in under a week? I've been smoking for 40 years. I would've never believed that such a thing was possible a few years ago. I love my new, healthy life!" (We gave him a priesthood blessing to help him stop smoking and drinking coffee so it was really nothing WE did.) We then followed up with his prayers on the truth of The Book of Mormon. He replied with, "well... Honestly, I don't believe The Book of Mormon is true...." (my heart sank) then he continued, "I KNOW it's true. As I read from it, I sometimes can't help but cry because of how true and beautiful it is." Yea, he's awesome.

Well, as you can see--or read, everything is going just grand over here in Miskolc. I'm really excited that I get to stay another 5 weeks in this wonderful city.

I left my cursed notebook in our apartment... I'm pretty sure those are all the points I wanted to cover today. If not, I'll fill you all in next week. All-in-all, everything is just grand over here! I'm loving every second of every day I get to be here.

Don't you dare ever tell me that you "don't have enough time" to read from The Book of Mormon.

If it's important to you, you'll find a way--if it's not, you'll find an excuse.
There. Are. No. Excuses. For. Not. Reading. From. It.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder
I love this man!!

One of the families we meet with every week. They are a hoot!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 61 in Hungary (July 15-22, 2013)

Valami ügyes magyarul...
Google translate is going to mess that up for sure.

So we had an incredible week this week! I've loved my time this transfer in the beloved city of Miskolc with my beloved companion, Elder Nabrotzky.

So while participating in a combined family night at one of the recent convert's apartments, we were all singing primary songs with the ukulele and having a great time. The windows were open and I was just having a grand old time jammin' on the uke. A dark little figure flew around me for a bit, I thought it was a moth or something. It kept flying around me so I looked up to see what the heck it was and to my deep dismay, it was a massive hornet about the size of my entire thumb. If you know me, you know exactly what I did. I flipped a SWITCH. My word, I was so terrified. I ran out of the room screaming and locked myself in the bathroom. I refused to come out for a good few minutes even after they killed the little monster. Needless to say, embarrassing things happen while in this great and marvelous work. Curse you, Apiphobia.

Besides that, our week really was special. We picked up a couple more families to start teaching. One of them actually came as a referral from some investigators we meet with regularly. They were telling their friends and family about how much they love when we come over and how we always make them feel uplifted and happy. So some other people wanted in on it! We drove out to meet the new family and they were probably the most humble, polite, little family I have ever met. I'm really excited to see how much the Gospel blesses their lives.

Now for an update on the OTHER family that we started teaching last week. The second time we met with them, we combined the program with the recent convert family that referred them to us. We arrived a little late because of our English class and by the time we got there, they were all discussing who they want to have baptize them!! It was pretty wild to walk into a second meeting with investigators and have them asking you if you will baptize them! We watched the Restoration video, and all bore testimony. At the end, the mother said, "well I already know this is true--I feel it."

Wow, talk about prepared!! I'm sure I'll have more of an update on them in weeks to come. That is, if I stay in Miskolc. Which reminds me, next week is transfers. So, I will be emailing on Tuesday instead of Monday.

I once again have no desire to leave the current city I'm serving in. I absolutely love this branch, these members, these recent converts, these investigators, this city. We'll see what the Lord has in store for me.

(The man sitting next to me at this computer station is a HUGE guy just loaded with tattoos and he is trying to type as fast as he can with his two pointer fingers... This is absolutely hilarious... My word. It's so amusing.)

We took our 12 year-old recent convert with us tracting this week. He was a PRO! My word, I don't know how he did it, but he got us let in 6 times in the space of an hour. Everyone adored him and he was a natural pro missionary. While in an older lady's apartment, he started telling her about his experience of being baptized. He then turned to me and excitedly asked, "can we show her how the baptism looks in our church!?!" I said, "sure, why not!" So we stood up and explained how the whole process works right there in her living room. Something I've never tried before but heck, it got her interested!

We've also been meeting with a super super rad guy who has been investigating for about 2 weeks now. He expressed his desire to be baptized but much to our dismay, he is moving... today. BUT I'm not worried at all because the Elders that are serving in the city that he is moving to are stellar. He's already making plans to meet with them so he'll be a baptized man very very soon.

I had a tender moment this week while teaching one of the families with a lot of little kids. Their dad works outside of the country and doesn't get much of a chance to visit them. I guess every time that he does come home, he brings them all candy and chocolate. These kids don't have a lot... but they wanted to share their chocolate with us sobad. They begged their mom saying, "mom!! Can we PLLEEEAAASSSEEEE share our chocolate from daddy with the Elders!? PLLEEEAAASSEEEE!?" and when they got the go ahead they were SO excited to get their chocolate bars and share them with us. If that doesn't pierce your heart, I don't know what would.

You all know the drill, now is the part where I write about how everything is grand for me over here. I wish the same upon you all, then wrap it all up with


And then I say, "with lots of love" (in Hungarian)
Sok Szeretettel,

Op. There it is. 'Kay, good.

And now, my name. (There's a science to all of this, you know)
Alldredge Elder

:) Thaaaat's it.
I was able to go on splits with one of the APs this week.
He used to serve here in Miskolc!

I know this isn't the best show in the world.
But it's still pretty rad that someone painted it on a wall.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 60 (July 8-15, 2013)

Na! Akkor így ment a hetem...
So we just finished meeting with one of our investigators who wanted to teach us and the Sisters how to cook some Hungarian food. We learned how to make Fruit Soup and Stuffed Peppers! It was super rad and our "chef" was really cute about it all.

By the way, here's a shout out to Elder Nabrotzky's family!! I've caught word that you all might be reading this! Just to let you know, your son is the BEST! You all have much to be proud of.

We were cooked and fed some REAL "American Pancakes" this week and I gotta say, it was spot on! I brought some Peanut Butter to share that I have saved up and only the mom of the family liked it... everyone else hated it! Some people just don't know what's good for them. 

We held our Zone Training this week and I gave a little training to everyone on how to tract a little more effectively and how to get "let in". It was extremely rewarding to see some of the companionships double their amount of lessons they teach in a week. I've already had a few companionships within the zone call me and tell me that they're amazed by the success that came immediately when they applied what they learned. Yay for the Spirit!!

I know how much missionaries loathe role-plays at zone trainings (I'll be honest, they're not always my most favorite.) So we decided to make the role-plays, NOT role-plays! We invited a bunch of the members, new converts, and even some new investigators to come and let the missionaries practice. We actually had one of our investigators there who we have only met with once so far. We didn't tell the missionaries who were the long time members, who were the recent converts, and who was still investigating. It made everything SO. MUCH. MORE. meaningful, fun, and memorable! Everyone involved loved it! The members liked being able to meet a bunch of other missionaries and the missionaries liked practicing with REAL Hungarians. After seeing how enjoyable it was for everyone, I think I'm going to continue such a thing for every training that I get to do!

Up until I came here to Miskolc I was constantly working for and wishing that my companionship had a lot of families to teach. During our weekly planning, I realized that we're teaching 8 different families as of late! One of the families especially loves when we come over. They tell us that their kids are so impatient and ask for hours when we're going to be there. There is a lot of them and they make it a really huge thing. They invite their extended family too! So we have a little living room just filled with kids and adults of all ages. It's been fun to focus so hard on one area of the city. As we walked from one program to another on Friday (about 5 minutes long) we were stopped and greeted by 5 different groups of people who we meet with and/or see often around the city. They were all like, "HEY! It's the missionaries!!" I guess it was just cool to me because it's what every missionary desires walking around a city to be like. And for me, that wish was quickly put out at the beginning of my mission--but now it's a wild forest fire!! 

These new converts are on FIRE! Our "Miracle Family" invited a complete stranger and her whole family to our Branch's family night activity. They all came and loved it. Everyone is friends with each other and we've began to teach them and they are loving the Gospel just as much! These new converts are all such great little missionaries and some are actually thinking about serving a full time mission... It's so rad!

Everything is going swell for me. I'm loving everything I'm doing and learning out here. This is in absolutely no way a sacrifice on my part.

Did you all know that The Book of Mormon was an acronym? Yea. It is.

Krap loads


Moments with God, that come
Only through
Reading from it
Often and
Never taking it for granted.
Yea... It's a stretch. But you get the point.
Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

We were made American Pancakes!

It looks a lot better on him!

I was able to try on a real, traditional, Hungarian Attorney coat, jacket, thingy.

One of the adorable little girls in one of the families we meet with.

Stuffing the peppers this morning. She insisted I wear the apron.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 59 (July 1-8, 2013)

Ma, vágni fogom a hajomat.
Last P-day, Elder Nabrotzky and I went on a little adventure with some of the youth from the branch. We went to Lillafüred which is pretty much a little lake nestled in some foresty mountains. It was beautiful and we had a blast with all of them.

I totally spaced the 4th of July. It wasn't until the 5th that I realized that's what all of America was doing. I didn't even wear a red, white, and blue tie. I fail as an American. Maybe I'm just catching the Canadian fever. What I realized is that it's the first big holiday that is my last time to miss on my mission... if that makes any sense.

Miskolc had a HUGE party in celebration of getting a new tram. The main street was flooded with people on Friday night. I was bummed we had to stay in our apartment and we wouldn't be able to see the new tram. BUT as luck would have it, the new tram came rolling through right in front of our window and stopped there for the huge party! There was a band playing and it was quite the ruckus.

Here's a story about someone who made my week:
While we were walking in the neighborhood we usually tract in, a little girl (probably about 7-8 years old) in the distance started sprinting toward us. I looked around and behind me to see what she was running so quickly towards. As she got closer, I realized she was headed straight for me. We slowed down our pace and when she got finally got to me she latched onto me and gave me a big hug around my waist. I was shocked because I had no idea who this little girl was, let alone why she was hugging me. We usually shake-hands and say hello to all the little kids as they are running around and playing outside, so that's probably where she had seen me before. I just kind of stopped there for a second not knowing what to do with this little thing squeezing me. After a moment, she looked up at me and said, "te vagy a legszebb!!!!" Which translates to, "you are the prettiest!!" Then she let go and ran away. Strange, but adorable!

This week was a little different than most. It's interesting how God works. He gives us what we ask for, and it's not until after some sort of trial that we realize we received what we asked for--and then some. Just for example, I really wanted to improve my quality of prayer this transfer. There's no way such a thing could've have taken place without something happening that would have caused me to rely on/turn to prayer. Don't any of you worry, nothing crazy happened. Everything is great, if not better. I was just in a pickle because a lot of people that I really love and care about were going through a hard time and I didn't/couldn't/failed to help them. I really like to do things myself and take care of everything and everyone all by myself. It wasn't until I couldn't do such a thing that I had nowhere else to go but to God. Which is lame because I've just been too stubborn to ask for his perfect help. Needless to say, I got what I wanted. It's interesting that in The Book of Mormon it describes praying to God as "crying unto God" more than anything else. I never fully understood what that meant. Now I do.

You learn a lot on a mission. You learn about the Gospel, the God Head, Christ and His Atonement. You learn how to study, plan, clean, communicate, pray, and trust. (I'm still trying to work on the cooking one...) I've learned a lot so far. I've also changed a lot. I learned this week that I still have a lot I can change and the best part is: I'm not going to do it alone.

In my own strength, I am weak. With God, I can do anything.

I love you all and I hope all is well with you!

I don't have anything clever for encouragement in reading The Book of Mormon. I just sincerely hope that you are reading from it. That's all.
Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

Lillafüred Adventures

so cute

Lillafüred's lake

The tram party right outside of our window

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 58 (June 25-July 1, 2013)

I learned that word this week. It means, "make up" and it's super fun to say. It's pronounced {SHM-EE-NK}. Try it. You'll love it.

I was able to watch the massive missionary broadcast thing this week. It was really rad and motivating. It's been strange to reflect back on being at the MTC this time last year and see how much has changed and happened. Time is slipping away much too fast.
This week was swell. (When does one not have a swell week while serving a mission?) A lot of good things are happening and it's just amazing to see how much the Lord assists in his work.

Elder Cox and his adorable parents came and visited all of us during our family night activity. The branch put on a huge celebration and there was enough food to feed a small African country. You gotta love how much these Hungarians love to cook. I have yet to find a Hungarian meal that I don't like.

In meeting with all of the recent converts this past week, we've started to talk about temples with them. It's incredible to see them get so excited about it. It made me realize how much I took for granted having one 5 minutes from home all my life. They are already planning on who they want to be baptized for in their families. These people plan for months and months in advance, how and when to travel to Germany, so that they can attend the temple.

While tracting, an older lady let us in. She told us she was in her 70's which was surprising because I thought she was for sure in her 50's by the way she acted. She was probably the spunkiest grandma I've ever met in my whole life. She was a dance teacher for the longest time. (You know how those dancing grandmas can be...) When we first sat down she said she only had a couple minutes because she had to cook before her guests came over later. 45 minutes later she closed her massive photo album and finished telling us her life story. My word she was hilarious. Before we left, she grabbed a bag of chocolates from the shelf and offered one to each of us. They looked harmless so we thanked her and popped them right into our mouths. Much to our dismay, as soon as we bit down, we were surprised with a burst of... rum. Poor Elder Nabrotzky looked like he had been violated. My word, it burned our mouths and throat. Szegények... És béééénnnaaaa.

We visited a member family this week that has some of the most adorable little kids I've ever seen. Next time we visit them, I'll take a picture with them for sure. The youngest one is super super shy with everyone. She's almost 4 years old and for some reason, we really hit it off! All I have to do is look at her and she just grins the biggest grin and giggles. I had never heard her talk before and as we were leaving she grabbed my hand and lead me to a tree in the yard. She then started to point at it and talk to me! I didn't understand a single word but it was still surprising and super adorable.

This week I also had the opportunity to do my favorite thing in the whole wide world! Give a priesthood blessing! I actually was able to 3 times this week. Giving a blessing in a different language is a whole new level of odd. While giving them I'll usually be thinking, "dang! I didn't know I could even conjugate that correctly! I gotta remember that!" There truly is Godly power in the priesthood.

On Saturday we had the chance to meet with a big family. We had met with the mom just at the door a couple times. They were a really sweet, cute family that were just fascinated by what we had to say. At the end of the program, they asked us our opinions about pretty much every single Hungarian meal known to man and just laughed and laughed and laughed as we would excitedly tell them how much we love them. They requested that we come over next week and to never forget to visit them!

Hey! I hope you know I love you all. And hey! It's summer! The perfect time to read lots and lots from The Book of Mormon. Yay!
Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder