Saturday, February 22, 2014

Week 93 (February 15-22, 2014)

Esik az eső ma... legalább nem esik a hó.

Transfers: On Tuesday we had the opportunity to call all the missionaries and inform them about where they will be serving and with who. I get a kick out hearing their reactions. In 3 weeks we will have another "big" transfer where the new group of missionaries come in. It's going to be fun to see what happens!

Farewell: I was able to see off my old companion, Elder Nabrotzky this week. We took him and his group out on a tour of the city then drove them all to the airport early Thursday morning. Being at the airport hasn't really bugged me so far until this week. It really got to me. Just thinking about how soon I was going to be there to board that plane that would take me away from here really put me on a spin.

Tracting Fun: While tracting the other day we had 4 different old ladies tell us that we look cute! I'd say that's pretty good for just one day!

Old Folks Home: We had a handful of random people lately suggest we go to one of the old folks home here in the city. We finally decided to give it a try. Why not, right? We set it all up and when we got there this week we had five little old ladies waiting for us to hear what we had to say. We sat around a little table and talked with all of them. They said a lot of really cute/funny things. They told us about their families and we talked about eternal families. We gave the ones who could still see and read a copy of The Book of Mormon and they were thrilled! It was definitely a neat experience for us and they seemed to have really enjoyed us there with them. If we go back, I think we'll talk about the spirit world... NO! Not because they're close to going there, but because they have a lot of loved ones already there waiting for them.

My Challenge to You: As a mission, we are striving to ask the people we meet with if there is anyone they know who we can specifically pray for. It brings us closer to the people we teach because they feel we really care about them and their loved ones. It brings a special spirit when you pray for people by name and by specific situation. SO, my challenge to you is, as a parent, as a home teacher, as a visiting teacher, as a Sunday school teacher, as a leader, BEFORE you say a... közös ima... what is that in English?! Um... before you say a prayer with other people, make an effort to ask the question, "who do you know that we could pray for? Who is out of work? Sick? Going through a trial? Needs comfort? Etc." and then, by name, pray for those people. I promise, you will love it and you will see blessings.

All is great on my side of the waters. (Maybe you're reading this and you are on my side of the waters! Weird!) I hope all is well with all of you.

Read the testimony of Joseph Smith this week. It's the one in The Book of Mormon before 
1 Nephi starts. But don't stop there. Read on.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

Elder Headrick sent me this picture of us together. Great companionship!

Elder Nabrotzky's last night in Hungary

I like how this one turned out

Old Folks Home

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Week 92 (Feb. 8-15, 2014)

Ahoj!! (Slovakian, you'll understand later.)

Baptism in Kispest: As I mentioned last week, I had the wonderful opportunity of baptizing an investigator I helped find and teach while serving in Kispest. I thanked him for allowing me to share the phenomenal experience with him and he replied with, "well, of course I wanted you to come and do this! You were the one that found me, you were the one that taught me, you were the one that gave me the chance to obtain this new life, and you brought me Jesus Christ's true, restored gospel!" --yea, he's awesome.

100 Days: On Tuesday, one of the Elders from my MTC group sent a text message to all of us notifying us that we only have 100 days left! I just about died.

Another Warm Welcome: So this is going back to that one family I talked about last week who loved that we prayed for them. We were once again in the area where they live and we felt like we should drop by and see how they're doing. As soon as they opened the door it was only a matter of minutes that they had sat us down and started feeding us. They were so ecstatic to see us. There were a few members of the family who were out running errands so they all got on their phones saying, "come quick!! The Americans are here!!" We soon had a full house of people. They were telling us about how they talk to all of their friends and family about us and the miracles we have brought to their family through our prayers. One of the mothers exclaimed, "every time you boys visit us! We somehow get money!! It's incredible!!" We chuckled and explained, "no, no, it's not us. God just really loves you all." As luck would have it, while we were there one of the fathers received a text message saying that he received a certain amount of money in his account for some work that he did. The family wasn't expecting that so they were all amazed and kept attributing the miracle to our prayers and to God.

Slovakia: So this entry is going to be a long one. I'll start with this statement: Yesterday, we left the country. This has been something that has been in the works for a couple weeks and we were finally able to pull everything together. Here's how the story goes, a man met with the Elders in Slovakia. He speaks Hungarian and he's been trying to learn Slovakian. He doesn't speak it very well but he was able to get a copy of The Book of Mormon in Hungarian and he knew it was Christ's true church and he joined in Slovakia. He LOVES the church and spends his free time preaching and teaching in his little village. His village is a Hungarian village (because that part of Slovakia used to be Hungary) so all of the people he is teaching and meeting with only speak Hungarian. The Slovakian Elders don't speak Hungarian but this man had a bunch of really interested people who wanted to learn more, attend church, and be baptized. Well, in order for that to happen, you need missionaries!! SO, we were able to get permission from the area seventy to leave the country and travel across the border to see what the situation is like over there and see what we could do. So, yesterday morning we packed up the car with a bunch of supplies and headed over to Slovakia. We met the Slovakian Elders in a city called Komárom. It's a city that is split between Hungary and Slovakia. It was WAY weird to be in a different country. We got there early so we decided to walk around the city for a little bit before the other Elders arrived. Everything was written in Slovakian and Hungarian and we decided to street a little bit as week walked around and everyone we talked to could speak Hungarian. I can't even explain it--speaking a second language in a different country was wild. The other Elders arrived and we went to lunch so we could get a game plan. The waiter at the restaurant was pretty darn confused. He had four 20 year old boys in suits, two of them spoke Hungarian, the other two spoke in Slovakian. When he would come to the table to ask a question, whoever understood what he said would translate it into English for the rest of us and we would reply in our respective languages. Anywho, so we then drove out together to the little village and met up with the super member missionary. He fed us some classic "Hungarian" chicken soup (the Slovak Elders were struggling with it and we were like, "it's just like home!"). This man was brilliant and SO extremely kind. He was lovin' it that we were there with him and we were able to talk about the Gospel in his native language. We then went out with him and met all of the people he's been meeting with and teaching. They were also so extremely nice and hospitable. We probably met with 15-20 people total. There were a couple families that had some people who could speak Slovakian as well so we had 3 languages going on the whole time, it was nuts!! We haven't had any "official" meeting with President. (That will be on Monday.) But we're going to talk about the possibility of starting a group there. (I learned yesterday that a group is smaller than a branch--I didn't know such thing existed!) It's going to be quite the process but it was an incredible day. It was awesome to work with other Elders from another mission. It was incredible to meet with people who live in a different country. (Hungarians are still Hungarians, no matter where they live.) I got a whole new perspective of "member missionary work" and I hope to hold onto it for the rest of my life!

Well, this week was quite the adventure. Here's my bit of advice to ANY new missionary or to anyone that is just going into the MTC: You're running out of time.

The man we met in Slovakia travels an hour and a half each week to church. How long is your trip? In any case, The Book of Mormon (for most of you) is a button, swipe, and two taps away! You have no excuses. Please, read it.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder
Baptism in Kispest

About to cross the border into Slovakia


The Slovak Elders coaxed us into getting a bunch of Slovak weird stuff.

Slovakian Elders with our Super Missionary

We met with a big family in this home.

Behind me is an outhouse--it was quite the experience.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Week 91 (Feb. 1-7, 2014)

Milyen remek ez a hét vége!
Hospital in the Rock: Last P-Day, Elder Miller and I went to a super rad museum about a hospital that they dug out in the side of the hill that Buda Castle sits on. It was super rad! We took the hour long tour in Hungarian and the guide/other group members were astonished that we could speak and understand Hungarian. They used this hospital during the wars and it was filled with all of the old medicine and doctor stuff. It looked pretty sketchy to me so it made me grateful for modern medicine. The place was filled with wax figures and they weren't afraid to show how bad some of those wounds and cuts were. It was almost like a haunted house. But I loved it!

Farsang Party: 'Tis the season of Farsang. It's like Halloween in the sense that people dress up. The Buda ward celebrated it this week with an awesome party. They had a "Ki Mit Tud" which is basically a talent show. We had dancers, singers, instruments, and it was a blast! We ended the night with eating lots of doughnuts. (It's tradition!) 

Miracle Family: The last member of the miracle family (in Miskolc) is getting baptized today! I'm so proud of her and I know it will be an incredible experience for her. She was the one that first let us into their apartment on the first day that we met! I remember it so clearly. Yay for baptism!

Return x2: I was called this week and asked to perform a baptism for a man I found and taught while serving in Kispest. I will be returning once again to Kispest and baptizing him after church. Yay for baptism! ...again!

Mission Leadership Counsel: Elder Miller and I gave a training this week to the zone leaders. We talked about obtaining and using "spiritual power" as missionaries. We drew a remote control and we had everyone add functions and buttons to make it a "missionary remote". We had "on demand" which was the Spirit. We had toggles for work and love. We had buttons for obedience, positivity, and unity. The little transmitter thing was teaching and the batteries were our energy. The whole thing was a touch screen because "we gotta look good!" The most important button, however, was the POWER button! The missionaries had a fun time creating this remote and we all learned a lot.

It's All Thanks to YOU!: While tracting the other day (I swear, everything happens while tracting) we ran into a large family. They were very humble people and they explained to us their difficult situation. A lot of the adults were out of work and there were about 10 kids total. We told them that all we could really do to help them is pray with them and for them. We left with a prayer, blessed them and their home, then headed out. A couple days later, we were in the area where we met this family. One of the family members ran up to us and asked, "were you coming back to us right now!?" (we were just going to go tracting so we said, "uh... of course!") We walked into the apartment and they all gathered around us then started thanking us deeply for the prayer we said for them. They were saying things like, "ever since we let you boys in and you said that prayer, TONS of great things have been happening to us! We all found work and we have money! Everytime something good happens we know it's only because of you boys and your prayer!! We always pray to God and give him thanks and we thank him for sending you to us!!" They sent one of the older kids to run to the store to buy everyone juice and soda to share with us. It was incredible to see how humble they were and they recognized that they got the assistance straight from God.

All is great on my side of the waters. We have had some incredible lessons this week with some incredible people. The Spirit will always guide us when we allow it to.

Tudom, hogy A Mormon könyvének a benne lévő üzenete igaz. Tartalmazza Isten szava. Olvasd el! Kérlek.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder

Making dinner with the little ones

Farsang party!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Week 90! (January 25-Feb.1, 2014)

Családom és barátaim:
Paper Football: It was our turn this past week to bring the lesson and the game to a family night. We taught them how to make and play paper football. The family really seemed to like it but the mother quickly discovered that flying triangles of folded paper was not very safe. She whipped out a pair of 3D glasses for everyone so we could all have protection. It was a lot of fun and we all had a great laugh. For our lesson we talked about how "just a little bit bad" is what Satan will try to do to deceive us. He doesn't need us to commit serious sins if he can slowly taint our lives little by little. We brought up the analogy of how great brownies are and what it would be like if the one who made them just put a teeny tiny bit of dog poop in them. It's just a little tiny bit, so it wouldn't be too bad--right? WRONG! I like that analogy because I like brownies. Just not dog poop-brownies.

Adventures: Elder Miller and I toured around Buda last week. We went inside the Mátyás Király cathedral and we toured around the art museum inside Buda castle. It was massive and a really neat place. We walked around the whole city and had a blast and a half!

Canadian Friends: We've continued to skype with the adorable married couple in Canada. We taught them about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and they absolutely loved it. It's funny to hear how excited they are about everything and they always exclaim how great it is to hear the message of the Restored Gospel in their own language. They really understand it and they love every minute of it.

Reunion: Ábrók István was up from Debrecen visiting Budapest this past week. It was awesome to see him. We met up with him and I was able to catch up on his RM life. He's moving to London fairly soon to start working at the MTC! It'll be such a great job for him.

Huh... I guess I didn't have as much to say as I thought I did. We traveled a lot for splits this week and we've been hard at work. The work here is really starting to get on a roll. Taking a look at how our next week is already set up, I'm sure I'll have lots to write about!

Vomit: I just looked over at a stack of papers and something caught my eye--my own name! As luck would have it, it's the itinerary for my group to fly back to the USA in May. Bleh. I didn't need to see that. Not yet at least.

All is well with me! Next week we will start the planning of the next round of transfers. Strange, because I feel like we just barely set the last one! I am loving my time here in Buda. I love you all and I pray for you all!

The Book of Mormon is like an entire pan of perfect, triple chocolate, gooey, warm brownies--always. rEA(T)d it.

Sok Szeretettel,
Alldredge Elder 

P-Day adventures

Buda Castle

How can one not fall in love with this place?

Playing paper football with our "protective goggles"

Some things never change.