I have my Christmas music ready to be played starting this Friday.
By the way...: While tracting, we were rejected by an older lady at the door. As we were waiting at the next apartment, she reopened her door and said, "by the way... you boys look really cute..." It made our day.
Drunken-ness: I have had a lot of experiences that have taught me why the Word of Wisdom exists and why it's important. (Just from what I've seen not what I've done.) We had two occasions this week where drunk men have wandered into the branch house, seeking help, while we were there. One man came in during an RCLA so we sat him down with us and he seemed normal and interested then he started the conversation with, "I think... I am really really really really REALLY drunk..... and people are trying to kill me. Two men have been trying to kill me." We were able to talk to him for a while and taught him about prayer. I don't know if he remembered it the next day, but he seemed to really really like it while he was there with us. For sure one of the strangest programs of my life.
Satisfaction: With not much time to write in detail about my week, I decided to give you all a little snippit from the zone training we conducted this week. We talked a lot about satisfaction. Mostly in missionary work but it is also applicable in our everyday lives. I was thinking about what we could do/say to help these missionaries work more/more effectively/plan better. I realized that, if they are completely satisfied with the work they are doing right now, they won't want to change, because they wont feel the need to change, therefore, they won't change. So we had them think about if they were satisfied with the work that they do week by week. Would God be satisfied with the same performance? Would parents and family think that this is the best they could possibly do? (They know these missionaries better than we do.) Satisfaction is an interesting thing. If we meet our own standards, where ever they may be, we will be happy--right? The same is true in life: Are you satisfied? Are you satisfied with how you learn? Work? Associate with others? Love? Live? If not, you will be unhappy. The only person keeping yourself from being satisfied is yourself. Be sure to make sure your level of satisfaction is the same as your Heavenly Father's.
All is fantastic with me over here!! I love you all so much!
As you feast on Thanksgiving delights this week, be sure to feast even MORE on The Book of Mormon. It's delicious.
Sok Szeretettel, Alldredge Elder
The little sign on the little door says "the entrance is the other door"
Rohadt hideg van... és csak egyre rosszabb lesz innentől kezdve.
"...Do You Kayak?": Europeans are very... Touchy. We as Americans would think it pretty weird to kiss people we just barely met. Anywho, old ladies here like to stroke our arms. It's nothing new to us. While tracting the other day, I had a lady stroke my arm for a bit then she she squeezed it and said, "wow! You're so muscly!! ...Do you kayak?"
Well, I don't think anyone has ever told me something like that seriously in my whole life. I thought it was hilarious and all I could do was let out a high-pitched giggle. Then I looked at her and realized that she was seriously asking if I kayak. I decided to play along (it's not everyday I get a chance like this) So I replied with, "nah, I don't really kayak. However, I do pump iron (I KNEW that word would be useful someday) everyday... that's probably what you're thinking of."
Good earth, I'm such a pill--but heck, I had fun with it.
Let Them In, They're Cool: While trying to get into an apartment building we were going to slip in while a lady was coming out. Sometimes they mind, sometimes they don't care. It doesn't matter to us--we always find a way in. This lady turned out to be one of those that mind. As we started to explain why we wanted to get into the building another lady walked by, saw the situation, looked at us closer then said, "hey! These boys are cool. You can let them in. They are Jesus Christs. (It's funnier in Hungarian because she called us Jesus Christs... Not Jesus Christ's) You can let them in, I usually don't let people like them in but I know these guys are cool because my girlfriend was telling me about them the other day. One of you is from Debrecen and the other is from America, right??"
"Yes, ma'am!" we replied as we walked peacefully into the building.
Would You Say the Prayer?: We often struggle when it comes to getting investigators to pray in front of us. We have a few that absolutely refuse to. We had an investigator in Sunday School for the first time yesterday. She had never prayed in front of us before. The room was full with about 15 people. The lesson was incredible and the teacher asked HER if she would say the closing prayer. To our great surprise, she totally did!! It. Was. Incredible. Don't worry, I'm sure baptism pictures are soon to come.
Truth-Seekers: We've had an insane amount of success lately in finding. A lot of people are searching for the truth. Heck, we had a program with a lady just before we came to email. She brought her sister because she knew she would also be interested in what we had to say. We got on the subject of baptism and the one lady said, "Jesus Christ was perfect, and HE was baptized!! That means I really need to be baptized!! But I don't think it's right that I was baptized as a baby... I didn't make the choice!! Where was my agency in that decision?"
Let me tell ya, the whole program was like this. Every time we brought up a point they would exclaim, "that's what I think TOO!! Finally someone else agrees!!"
For example, at the end as we were teaching about prayer I explained how we only pray to God, we use our own words, and we do it in the name of Jesus Christ. That got them the most excited.
Just last night we had a great conversation with a lady while tracting. She said she has been searching for God and his truth for years. As we started to teach her about Jesus Christ's Church, she exclaimed how thankful she was that God had sent us to her.
Well, as you can see, (or read) things are great on my side of the waters. I love it here. Really, I do. Too much. Even though it's dark and cold outside. Time is going by way too extremely fast--I don't like it. Now I'm starting to ramble which means...
Transfers: Much to our surprise, but to our great pleasure, all of the zone leaders stayed the same this transfer! This means I will actually be killing Elder Ábrók. He will be going home to Debrecen in four weeks. I have to be a murderer--again! We're pumped for it. At the end of this transfer, I will have served with Elder Ábrók for 20 weeks of my mission! I couldn't have picked a better Elder to serve with for this long.
"He's only 20 years old...?": So yesterday we tracted into a lady who is in her 90s and her hairdo reminded me of Albert Einstein's hair. As we spoke she said, "you sound funny! Where are you from!?" I replied with, "I'm from America." She sat their silently for a moment then asked, "did you flee to America in '56??" I looked to Elder Ábrók and gave him that "I understood the words they said--but I don't think understood what they said" kind of look and he looked at her and said, "no... he's only 20 years old?" (So I did understand her correctly.) She looked at me for a while then said, "my dear goodness!! I thought you were older!! I can't see very well, nor hear very well. I think it was your nice suit and tie that threw me off." If you think the camera adds 10 pounds, try the suit--it adds 40 years.
An Interesting First Lesson: The Law of Chastity isn't the first thing we usually teach to investigators but we had a program this week were we did just that. We were meeting with a girl who is actually really looking for the truth in her life. We taught her about the Restoration and she ate it up. She even came to church on Sunday and absolutely loved it. At the end of our very first meeting with her, she was curious about our standpoints on marriage and dating and all that jazz. I don't know how the Spirit did it--but we were able to teach about the Law of Chasity to a teenage girl that made her go, "wow... that is so beautiful!! I hope my husband has these same kind of standards."
I don't remember a lot of detail about what we said. I just remember we said things like, "even though we don't know who our wife is yet, we love and respect her so much. To the point where we are willing to wait for her. She deserves all of us and the best of us. She deserves to be our first and we know things will work out because we will have a relationship that is deeper than a physical one. We know that if we live by this law, we will be able to show our wife we respect and love her and our relationship will be strong and we will be a happy family--for eternity" So on and so forth. I guess it does sound pretty cute when you put it like that---in reality, that's what it is.
(I think I messed up the correct English possession in this paragraph--obviously we won't have the same wife. I don't know, maybe it's correct. Whatever. You get the picture.)
Well, time has once again escaped me. You probably often feel like this too. I'm estimating that reading this blog entry took less than 5 minutes for you. If you spend just thatmuch time everyday reading from The Book of Mormon, you will find happiness and peace. Spiritual peace and happiness. (You know, the best kind.)
Cool, well, I love you all. I am loving my time here. I'm learning more and more each day and I. LOVE. THIS. COUNTRY. and I LOVE. THESE. PEOPLE.
SokSzeretettel, Alldredge Elder
We were near the river for a program the other night.
We found 2 canes in a dumpster by our aparmtent. We've enjoyed them.
Monday: Is the day I will NOT be emailing next week. It's time for the big transfers so I will once again be emailing on Tuesday. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me!
Zone Conference: We were pleased to be visited by President Teixeira this week for our zone conference. (You can look his picture up in a Conference Ensign.) The conference was wonderful. I learned a ton and I already see the advice working for our benefit in our everyday work!
The 10 Commandments: So we had a single, 32 year old woman investigator who loved to meet with us. We had our last program with her a couple days ago because she wasn't keeping any commitments and she was too stuck on the Catholic Church. We brought the Elder's Quorrum president with us to teach her the Law of Chasity (to kind of get her to drop us). It sounds awful but it was the perfect plan. She is what we would call here a "pláza cica" which literally means "mall kitty"... You get the picture. She was a super nice lady and she had great intentions. Anyway, when we finished teaching the Law of Chastity she just said, "wow... I am SO glad the Catholic Church does not have this commandment." We replied with, "well... you believe in the 10 commandments, right?" and she said, "well of COURSE I do!!" we replied with, "yea... well, this is part of the 10 commandments." She couldn't wrap her head around it and the program was ended with one of those, "I don't know when I'll have time again... I'll call you."
Hitch-hiking: It was raining, late, and cold. We were in the middle of who-knows-where and the bus wasn't coming. Elder Ábrók had the brilliant idea that we should just hitchhike our way to the main street. I thought he was kidding but he started holding his thumb out to the few cars that occasionally passed by. "You're CRAZY!!" I exclaimed. I was blasted cold so after three minutes, I joined in too.
"We're dressed in all black, no one will stop for us." I soon realized. So the next time we saw a car coming I stripped off my suit coat so that I was just in a white shirt and tie and sure enough a 25 year old guy stopped his car and told us to get in! I was amazed!! He took us to the main road (about a 3 minute drive) and we were able to get his contact information!! I think it should be a new mode of finding--it worked great.
Conversion Story: so President Smith read this to the whole mission during the conference. As he began to read this story I thought to myself, "wow, another missionary had a really similar experience to one of mine!!" Of course, President withheld our names as he read it. By the end I realized that this was the man I baptized right before I left Miskolc. I asked President after the conference and he assured me that this came from that same man! It is a beautiful story so President sent me a copy, here it is for you all:
My situation was hopeless, I was beset from every side and it was in this situation I began speaking with the Lord, asking that he would either call me home, or communicate with me so I might be able to even somewhat help him in his glory. I then opened the Bible and read the following: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Then, in reality, "knock, knock." I did not dare believe me ears. And neither did I believe me eyes once they caught sight of those two angels sent by Him who then gave me the pure source of the waters of life. The two angels by names, because they deserve it, were Elder Alldredge and the first occasion Elder cox--who was later switched with Elder Nabrotzky. I give thanks to our Heavenly Father for them.
When I was baptized, I felt as if all of the waste which was stuck to me was cast off from me. White and cleansed I emerged once again new, entrusted by the Good Lord with a sacred mission. At Confirmation, the Holy Ghost, with fire, burned into my soul a new chapter of my existence. I feel that I have received of him the requisite strength, faith, trust, hope, and love. And now, like a small child learning anew how to live and exist--following the way back to our one and only Heavenly Father. I know I can follow Jesus Christ's footsteps by serving him in the world amongst men.
If that's not incredible, I don't know what is.
Similar beauty can be found in The Book of Mormon. I know I probably don't need to remind to you to read it this week. At least, I hope I don't.