Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Baptism in the Rain

We had transfers this week which is why I'm writing today, everyone in Tatabánya is staying, so we'll have at least 4 more weeks together. Transfers are usually every 9 weeks but the group going home had to leave early so they could start school.

The big news of the week is that we had a baptism yesterday, Ingrid, the daughter of Monika who was baptized a few weeks ago. That was really cool. They had a hard week before the baptism but they have a ton of faith, especially Monika, so got through it. They are an incredible family, I'm pretty sure Monika talks to more people about the church then we do, it changed her life a ton, so told us she just tells everyone they need to be baptized. And they have 6 year old boy who in sacrament meeting just walks around giving people hugs. Coolest family ever.

Only bad thing about the baptism was the beforehand I intelligently decided it probably wouldn't rain so my umbrella was not necessary. It rained. I got pretty wet on the long walk home but luckily my suit survived. And now it's cleaner.

The 20th was apparently a huge holiday but not much really happened. No one was outside. We had a branch activity in the morning where we went to an outdoor museum and then we played basketball a little with the other Elders.

We went on splits twice this week, once with the zone leaders in Győr and once with the other Elders here. That was fun, especially when I went with Ehardt Elder, he's only one group ahead of me. We when tracting for a few hours, it was really good for our confidence because we had to speak which helped us realize that we could. It's still hard but it works.

Other things - what are you supposed to say when the cops knock on your door at night and you don't speak their language? Also, Parkinson is a disease in Hungarian too, but whereas no one makes the connection in America plenty of Hungarians do. That's fun.
Two pictures I forgot last week, on P-day I visited my first castle and got a sweet Hungarian whip.

Life here is great, love you all!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, August 18, 2014

This week

This week we didn't have as many lessons as usual, so we did a lot of finding. It went well, but not super successful. The problem with tracting in Hungary is that we find a lot of nice old people that are willing to let us in and chat but are not interested in changing. That's why we really promote English class here as a finding tool because it helps us find younger people and everyone wants to learn English. I also tracted into my first speedo bácsi the other day (In Hungary all the old ladies are nénnis and the old men are bácsis). Very different from America.
We had our first zone training on Thursday so I got to go out to Györ. We have about 20 missionaries in our zone and I got to meet some of the senior couples as well, they are all great.
We finally got to meet with the man that we met on the street my first day here. He is super interested, doesn't have a religious backround but has seen that religion can bring lots of joy to our lives and wants to know more. The only problem is he moves to Japan in a few months. It was cool to think that I have missionary friends all over the world, including Japan, he can find people to teach him anywhere.
This Wednesday is a huge holiday in Hungary so it will be our P-day, we are just emailing today. It celebrates the foundation of Hungary and the crowning of King Stephen (fun fact for Dad - I'm pretty sure you're descended from him, I saw him on family search once, forget to mention that earlier).
We have another baptism coming up on Saturday, the daughter of the woman baptized my first week here. They are an awesome family.
Our members here are awesome, we have about 15-20 members in the branch and got about 8 referrals last week. So those Boise missionaries should be getting about 100 this week. I never really appreciated referrals until I went finding on my mission. Much more effective.
Also, I gave my first church talk on Sunday, the topic was why I decided to come on a mission and how I prepared. It went well, luckily I was familiar with the vocab related to my topic so it wasn't too bad.
That's about it, good luck with school starting!

Parkinson Elder

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Week in the Mine

So the title of this email might look depressing, but it makes sense because Tatabánya literally means the mine of Tata (another city nearby). And that's really a sweet name because mines are full of gold, silver, and platinum investigators. They are just difficult to find at times. Not so sweet because mining jobs don't pay well and people are always complaining about working conditions (although they have a point because minimum wage here is about a dollar an hour).

On to other things, this week went pretty well. We had our training on Monday and President Interviews on Thursday so that cut into our working time a little. We met a really cool man on the train ride back from Budapest though, he was English and Spanish teacher so gave us some tips for our English Class. Also, apparently Pulitzer (as in the Pulitzer prize) was Hungarian. Fun fact.

Our best day was probably Friday. We had lessons set up almost all day, and they all went pretty well. I did my first 1st vision recitation in a lesson, all the reciting in the MTC paid off. Most of our investigators are good, the main problems we have are coming to church due to work, strong Catholic families opposing joining our church, and then just not wanting to read. I guess that's just missionary work though.

We had one cool experience Saturday tabling. A women walked up to us with questions about the Book of Mormon. At first it seemed like she just wanted to be confrontational, she kept asking why we weren't handing out Bible's, but after an hour of talking to her she walked away with a Book of Mormon and a commitment to read 3 Nephi 11. She spoke English which was awesome, so the other Elder that's only been here a transfer more that me and I got to talk to her. It felt really good for both of us to just be able to say what we wanted to say.

Friday morning we went and visited an awesome ward member. She lives in a beautiful little village outside the city, and made us an awesome meal with stuff straight from her garden. It was incredible. We actually get fed a decent amount by members/investigators here which I was not expecting. It's awesome though.

That's about it, I think I just figured out how to send pictures so I'll send a bunch after this.
Love you all
Parkinson Elder

Our last zone picture at the MTC

Our district with the MTC branch presidency

Cousin Picture

​Classic map picture. Red eye included.

​My comp and I at the Turul, a mystical bird that lead the Hungarians during the wanderings (back in the old days before they settled down in Hungary). It overlooks all of Tatabánya.

Looking down on Tatabánya

And that was just he main course.  Best meal ever!  This is the one I talked about in my email, homegrown.

Eva, who made the above meal and her home

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Week 2 in Hungary

Time is starting to go a little faster. This last week is kind of a blur but I'll try and remember.

First off I'm writing today because yesterday we had a new missionary training thing in Budapest so we weren't able to email. That was fun, I got to see all the Elders from the MTC and chat with them a bit.

We've had some more great lessons, I feel like the hardest thing is just staying on topic. Hungarians really like to talk, and so they will just go off on random subjects at times. And once we go off the gospel I have no idea what they are saying. When we are gospel focused it usually goes pretty well though. My companions been trying to let me teach more, which goes fairly well. I can teach the lessons more or less, the biggest problem is just comprehension. It's coming though, the biggest help is just speaking Hungarian as much as possible.

We've spent a lot more time this week finding. It's difficult. I think that can be one of the times when not knowing the language helps because being rejected is a lot easier if I don't know what they are saying. I just smile and wish them a nice day.

The food here is awesome, and cheap. Pékségek (bakeries) are incredible, a kilo of fresh bread costs about a dollar. And plenty of other delicious things are there too. Like a crescant the size of my head stuffed with Nuttella. And we've had some people cook for us too which was awesome. Lecso, stuffed cabbage, it was awesome.

Hungary has as many pigeons as NYC. It makes me feel right at home.

Also, sorry about the lack of pictures. I'll see if I can try one of the other computers later but we're in a bit of a rush now as it's not actually P-day.  Next week I should be emailing on Monday like normal.

I can't think of much else to write, Hungary is awesome, being a missionary is awesome.

Love you all,
Parkinson Elder