Monday, July 28, 2014


I made it to Hungary! It is awesome. The plane ride was really long, we got delayed in Chicago which made us miss our flight in London, but while we were waiting Craig Elder and I gave a man a Book of Mormon and taught the first lesson. That was cool.

Hungary is awesome, I am serving in Tatabánya, a small city of about 100,000, with Spedding Elder, we have two other Elders in our city as well, Sperri and Ehardt (also from Idaho so everyone calls him Krumpli Elder). They are all great. We only have a small branch here with about 15 members, but missionary work here is awesome. Some examples of how awesome this city is-

Our first day here a man walked up to us on the street and asked us in English if we could meet with him because he might want to join our church. My first time tracting we get let in right away on the fourth door, and taught about the Book of Mormon. She was interested, and set up a return appointment. She also gave us some small pots she makes out of rolled up newspaper, it's hard to explain but it was way cool. You should try it Dad. Only way it could have been better is if she had working glasses so she could read the Book of Mormon. We had a baptism on Saturday, and 3 more investigators have baptismal dates. We also had I think 10 investigators at church Sunday.

I can't take credit for any of that because I just got here, but I'm excited to get to work. We have some awesome investigators and I can actually understand the lessons pretty well, the hardest part is trying to get to know people because I can't understand the non-gospel vocab. I just smile a lot and nod my head, and my companion explains afterwards. He just said he's a drug dealer, she thinks she's already been resurrected, etc.

I have only sworn at one of our investigators so far. No, it was not on purpose.

The weather here actually isn't too bad, it's probably been 80/90's most of the time. The worst part is that there is no AC so that's how it is in our apartment as well.

Food here is great, the bread is incredible. We haven't had a lot of real Hungarian food but it's still awesome. The best is the Pékségek, the local bakeries. Cheap and delicious.

I went through our area book yesterday, I wish missionaries took better records. Some of the records were like this - Met her, taught her, she had vision of Joseph Smith telling her church was true (no joke), set baptism date, the end. Micsoda. Hopefully we can find some of these people.

Sorry I don't have pictures, there's only one place in the city to email and it has really old computers that I don't know how to work. I'll work on it.

Anyway, this is getting pretty long so I'll stop. Life is awesome. Love you all.

Parkinson Elder

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Arrived in Hungary

Erik made it to Hungary!  His plane from Chicago was delayed so they missed their connection to Budapest and arrived there 4 hours late.  They did get dinner and their picture taken, but missed the tour of the city.  He'll get his first assignment tomorrow.  We will hear from him next Monday.

Photo taken at the SLC airport by the kind dad of a former Hungary missionary

Arrival at the mission home

Monday, July 21, 2014

Leaving the MTC

Erik is en route to Budapest Hungary.  He called from the airport and gave us a short lesson in Hungarian -- he speaks as quickly in Hungarian as he does in English, so that's a good sign!  He is excited and ready to go.

Add caption
Here he is with his cousin Christopher who just entered the MTC going to Thailand.

This picture is from a kind man who saw the missionaries at the airport this morning and happened to be the parent of a former Budapest missionary.  He took pictures and sent them on to the families.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Last MTC Letter

The time here in the MTC has really flown by. It's hard to believe there are only 4 days left. The first few nights here I thought it would never end.

Consecration week went well. It really wasn't too bad, I think it was the worst for the Finns and Vanem Caufield, because they had no idea what I was saying most of the time. I told them just to learn Hungarian, but they didn't. They survived. When we came out of the temple this morning it was weird to be speaking English. I don't want to get too much into a habit of English again though.

The temple this morning was great, we did endowments and sealings because it will be our last chance for 22 months. So we were there for almost 4 hours. That was awesome.

We had an awesome TRC lesson last Thursday. We taught about prayer and I had really been praying for the Spirit before the lesson because I feel like prayer is taken for granted and I couldn't get the importance of it across by myself. The lesson was incredible, we really touched the person we were teaching. I'm not completely sure how because I didn't understand a lot of what he said but it was really good. It showed me the language really isn't that important.

Our teachers have told us a little about Hungarian customs which was interesting. Apparently they have lots of supperstitions (no idea how to spell that. That's another thing, whoever came up which English was not thinking straight because spelling is impossible. In Hungarian it's easy, just sound it out.). Being cold is very bad, because that means you will become infertile. So no sitting on the ground ever, or on benches in the winter, and no air-conditioning ever. It also gets really hot, so that will be fun. Apparently they are just not big on wearing clothes in the summer to compensate.

I think we are taking a bunch of pictures on Sunday so I will send those later. I'll send more pictures when i get to Hungary, but here there really isn't a lot to see.

We are also supposed to be 100% packed by tonight, our branch president is coming by to check I think so I should really start on that. We have laundry in right now so I should have a solid 1.5-2 hours. I don't own much so I don't think it should take too long.

I think that's it, I'll write again in Hungary!
Parkinson Elder

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Megszentlelési hét

It's hard to believe we only have 11 days left here. We should get our travel plans later today, from what I know now I think we leave Monday at 11 AM or so. I'll let you know when I have more details.

We had a big celebration here for the 4th of July. We had a really good devotional at night and then watched the movie 17 miracles. It was really good. After that they let us go out and watch the Stadium of Fire Fireworks, and they gave us ice cream. I guess that's not really too big of a party but it was for us.

On Sunday we had the devotional by Josh Wright, a famous piano player. He played for us and talked. We then watched a really good talk by Elder Bednar on doctrine, principles and application. I highly recommend it. Many people focus on teaching applications, but we should be focused on teaching doctrine and principles. That was a good reminder. Tuesday devotional was by Elder Anderson, he gave a really good talk on the Spirit.

Today we got to help clean the temple for 3 hours in the morning. I helped to 'replant' all the fake trees in the temple. And yes, I did get to pet all the oxen in the baptistery. I can check that off my bucket list. When we walked out the doors of the temple we began consecration week, which is speaking just our languages for a week. We will finish when we go into the temple next Thursday. That has been good so far, but it is difficult when Vanem Caufield can only speak Estonian at the same time. We use lots of sign language. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well we can speak though. The really hard part in Hungary I think will be comprehension. And talking about non-gospel stuff.

We had another Skype TRC this Wednesday. That went well again, we understood a decent amount of what was said. The people are really nice and willing to repeat things multiple times which helps a lot.

That's about all I can think of. The indoor gym is closed for renovation until we leave so gym now consists of 40 Elder soccer games. The fire alarm went off Monday.

Parkinson Elder

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Week 6

This week went super fast, I realized when I was getting on the computer that I have no idea what happened this week. Hopefully I can remember some things as I write.

Teaching continued to go well this week. We had a really good lesson with one of our investigators about the Book of Mormon and Plan of Salvation. Teaching about life after death in Hungarian is hard, especially the 3 kingdoms of glory. We weren't really sure what to say when she asked if we believe in a hell. It worked out in the end.

We also had our first Skype TRC this week with members from Hungary. We talked with 2 different people for 20 minutes each. The first had a really bad connection, so we couldn't make out anything he said. He could hear us fine though, so we just taught and hopefully he learned something. The second one went well. He was difficult to understand but I understood a decent amount of it and we taught what I though was a pretty good lesson.

I also bought the Stories from the Book of Mormon picture book from the Bookstore in Hungarian which is great. It is uses simpler language from the scriptures, so I understand it pretty well, and the pictures are in English which helps.

Church this Sunday was great, 2 of the Hungarians gave talks in just Hungarian and did very well. We also had a great priesthood lesson on revelation. When you receive some, ask God if he has anymore he wants to give you, because he wants to help you out and if you are already receiving revelation you are obviously worthy. Good advice.

We had a great devotional on Tuesday (not an apostle this time), and he talked about being converted. He mentioned Peter specifically. It reminded me of the talk Elder Holland gave in General Conference about Peter (I think the same day the mission age changed). We must make a choice once and for all to serve the Lord. Very good talk.

Fun Hungarian fact of the week: In Hungarian you go into places and onto events with one exception. You go onto Hungary because it is so awesome and above every other country. So next time someone asks, I'm not serving in Hungary, I'm serving on Hungary.

I think that's it. Love you all!

Parkinson Elder