Saturday, January 25, 2014

Week 89 (January 18-25, 2014)

The Hungarian Language: So, I love this language. The Hungarians are very very proud of it. I thought I heard it all until we ran into a man while tracting this week. He went off for about twenty minutes about how Hungarian is the pure language that everyone spoke before the Tower of Babel. He showed us all sorts of books and articles about it. He said that everyone in the world spoke Hungarian until God mixed all the languages and that's how we have so many today. He proceeded to preach to us that if everyone in the world would learn Hungarian, it would solve every single problem and create world peace. Down right fascinating, I think. He didn't even seem impressed that we managed to learn it.

Customer Loyalty: I managed to get my customer loyalty card stamped 9 times at Gringos Amigos. I don't know if that's something to be proud of... but hey, I get a free meal next time! Sweet! (And mom, you can't get mad at me for this because you know that you have a deep love for fast food as well. I got it from you.)

In Our Humble Way: I was able to get a hold of the Saturday's Warrior soundtrack not too long ago. You know you've been in the field too long when you enjoy listening to those songs.

Desperate Prayer: For some reason or another, people have really liked to cancel our programs lately. I mean, we're pretty used to it because things come up but this past week was a little bit ridiculous. All of our programs were cancelling day by day. In desperate prayer, we asked Heavenly Father to guide us to a golden family. We drove out to where we have been tracting and I was busy making phone calls with members telling them that our programs were cancelled. I wasn't really paying attention to where we were walking. I thought I was following Elder Miller and he thought he was following me. We wound up at an apartment building and it didn't take us too long at all to be let in by an adorable little family that was very, very interested. They were so sweet and asked us all sorts of questions. Come to find out, they've been looking for a good church and organization to join. They said, "If you boys wouldn't have found us today, we might've just come to you sooner or later!" We're going back tomorrow afternoon!

Our Investigators in Canada: President Smith received an email from a Canada mission's president. He said that some of his Elders are trying to teach a couple who came from Hungary. The only problem was that the missionaries there don't speak Hungarian and this couple doesn't know English very well. We were able to arrange a skype session with them. Yesterday we started skyping them at 8 pm which was noon for them. We met the couple and they were so adorable and so prepared. They have children there in Canada who are already baptized and active members but they needed some missionaries to teach them the Gospel in Hungarian before they can get baptized. They told us that they love going to church and they always feel so good and peaceful. We explained that they feel the Spirit when they are there and they said, "OH! It makes perfect sense when you say it like that! We totally understand this now!!" They asked us the classic question, "I've already been baptized as a baby, why do I need to be baptized again?" So we were able to teach them about the restoration of the priesthood and the lady said, "oh wow! I'm getting goosebumps! It's so great to learn about this in my own language! I already know it's all true--I feel it in my heart!" It was also funny to see that Hungarians are always so similar no matter where they are in the world. For example, we asked when we could meet with them again over skype and they said that Monday wouldn't work at all because they're going to the doctors. (It's funny because if an older Hungarian person ever has a doctor appointment, it doesn't matter what time or for how long, they will NEVER set up an appointment with us for that day. No matter what.)

Alright my loved ones, it's time to head out. All is well over here! I'm loving every second of it.

You know what would be interesting? Reading The Book of Mormon backwards. I mean, like, starting with Moroni 10 and reading all the chapters chronologically in reverse until you get to 1 Nephi 1. Something to think about. Either way, it doesn't matter how you read it to me, just so long as you are reading it.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

Family Night

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Week 88 (January 12-18, 2014)

Confirmation: I had the wonderful opportunity of confirming the Buda ward's newest member last Sunday. He was so excited and the confirmation went great! Giving blessings in a different language is quite the experience.

New Missionaries: We received 6 new Elders and 4 new Sisters this past week. We were able to pick them up to the airport, get them settled in the mission home, and take them on a beautiful tour of Budapest. It was a blast and a half! It made me remember my first day in the country with my APs. They are such a stellar group and they were so excited about everything. We had one missionary from Vienna, Austria. It was fun to talk to him for a little bit. He said he's been to Sopron a few times because it was always only about 20 minutes away from him. Elder Headrick drove the van from the airport with two of the Elders and I went with the rest of them in a shuttle. We gave all of the missionaries a Hungarian chocolate bar. (The kind with cottage cheese stuff inside.) They were all talking about how they didn't really like it. Heck, I didn't like it at all on my first day either. Now, I LOVE them. I eat at least one a day which isn't too healthy but... oh well. Anywho, they were talking about how they didn't really like it and the driver was like, "what? You guys don't like them!?" (it was in Hungarian so they didn't understand what he said) and I piped in and said, "I know! They're crazy, right?" and then he said, "woah wait, are you Hungarian?" and I said, "no, I'm from America like them." and he said, "but you speak Hungarian perfectly! You must have Hungarian parents or something." etc. etc. Then before I know it, I'm teaching him all about why we're here as missionaries, about The Book of Mormon, the Restoration, etc. The coolest part of the story is I happened to grab a copy of The Book of Mormon as we were heading to the airport that morning. So as he dropped us off at the mission home, I gave him a copy, we exchanged phone numbers and it made all the new missionaries who were with me SO stoked to finally be here, preaching the Gospel.

Transfer Calls: Tuesday morning Elder Headrick and I got to call the whole mission with their transfer calls. I've never had people pick up the phone so fast and so excitedly. It was fun to hear how excited/shocked people were. There were a lot of changes this transfer. Elder Bennett (whom I trained) is now a senior companion and he is serving with Elder Cox! He also became a district leader--he's doing so great!

I Don't Believe It!: Not the best words that a missionary hears but in this situation, they were a huge compliment. While tracting with Elder Headrick, we were let in by someone. We began telling them that we are American. They said, "so your parents are Hungarian?" and we said, "no, they are also American." They got all huffy and said, "well how are you able to speak Hungarian perfectly without an accent!?" and we said, "well, we love this language and we've just learned it while we've been here." "I don't believe it!" they said. "You speak without accents! It's perfect!" So we ended up having to show them our licenses from the U.S. to get them to believe us. It was pretty wild! We got that compliment a lot but this case was pretty radical.

Goodbye Elder Headrick: I sadly had to take Elder Headrick to the airport this week. I thoroughly enjoyed serving with him. We already know we're going to hang out after the mission as well. He's already sent me an email from his iPhone just to mess with me.

Hello Elder Miller: So I've known for a couple weeks now who my new companion will be! He is one group behind me. He's from Salt Lake and he's really smart and sporty. He works out like a mad man in the morning. While I'm doing my little, normal workout he's just going to town. We get along swell and he's already really enjoying his time as an assistant.

All is grand on my side of the waters. I hit my "4 months left" mark this next week. If that's not a disgusting thought--I don't know what is. It makes me sick to think about that. So--I won't!

I'm sure the shuttle driver has been reading from The Book of Mormon. Are you?
Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

The weather has been like spring lately!!
This came from the hike we went on with a family from the ward here.

Buda ward's newest member!
Baptized by Elder Headrick, confirmed by me.

My little Hungarian sisters asked me to draw them a horse and a puppy.

Goodbye Elder Headrick!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week 86 & 87

Hű, régóta nem emaileztem.
January 1st: On January first we went with a member family on a little hike. It was a really foggy day but it was still a blast. We had fun finding walking sticks, playing on the playground, using penny-smasher machine... things, eating scones, playing games, and having some great conversations with each other. It was a great way to spend the holiday. A lot better than walking through the dead city avoiding all the spots of vomit.

Our Older Brothers!: So, going back to talking about the family in the previous paragraph, we also met this past week to hold a family home evening with them. The mother wanted to tell us about how cute her two girls were when their neighbor asked who their guests were going to be that day. The little girls replied with, "well... our older brothers are coming over today!!" These two girls are so adorable. I would totally adopt them to be my Hungarian little sisters. (Of course, no one could ever replace the two amazing little sisters I already have who I love so much.)

The Big Day: Being Elder Headrick's last P-day before he goes home, we have a lot of things on our "to do" list. Right after emailing we have a day full of activities and places to visit. Then, we're going to end the day with a baptism! Elder Headrick will be baptizing this man and tomorrow I will be confirming him. He is a stellar guy. He met with missionaries before I got here but I have already seen him progress so much. He was able to successfully overcome the addiction of coffee and cigarettes. We are really proud of him and as we met with him last night we asked him, "are you nervous?" He replied with, "well, yea!! This is the biggest most important weekend of my life!!" Yea, he's awesome.

Persian Family: While tracting the other day we found a family who spoke Persian. There was one girl there who had learned Hungarian so we were able to communicate to the family through her. We would speak in Hungarian and she would translate it into Persian. They all sat down crossed-legged on the floor in front of us. They all had those head things... Head dresses? Is that what they are? I think so. I'm sure you get what I'm talking about. Anyway, they were extremely nice and humble and they loved having us there. We then said a prayer with them before we left and the girl translated it as it was being said. It was really neat and really spiritual for everyone. It's not everyday we get to experience something like that.

Transfers: Transfers are next week which means I will be emailing on Saturday instead of Saturday. HA! The transfer doesn't change my P-day. BUT we have met with president for about 4 hours this week just  to talk about transfers. Just when we thought everyone was where they needed to be with who they needed to be, we didn't feel quite right about it and basically changed everything. We thought we had it all set as of yesterday but President just barely came in and said he wants to talk about some changes he feels need to be made after we email. Ack! But this whole transfer thing has been such an incredible experience. It's so spiritual and I know the Lord is guiding his work ever so carefully. This means that on Tuesday, we get to pick up the new missionaries from the airport! I'm super stoked about that! We get to take them around their tour of Budapest and be in the "sorting hat" meeting where they get paired up with their trainer. I'm super stoked for it.

I don't have much more time to email, we have lots to do today! Everything is great on my side of the waters. It's going to be tough having Elder Headrick leave this next week. Not because I want to leave, but because I have really really enjoyed serving with him. It wasn't long enough!!

If you feel unhappy or discontent right now in your life, it's prrroooobbbbbably because you don't study enough from The Book of Mormon. Just sayin'.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

Hiking up to János Hegy

Making the records while tracting up a storm.

Our January 1st adventures with the Sisters and our 2 "little sisters"