Monday, September 29, 2014

Birds, Cauldrons and Impatient Trains

First of all, Happy Birthday Dad! I hope you enjoy the big day, it sounds like you have good plans.

So my new companion is Elder Gonzalez, he is awesome. Cuban dad, Hungarian mom, lived in Canada, so knows English, Spanish, Hungarian, and French. It's been good to have a fluent speaker out here, the ward loves him. We got off to a good start on our first day, when our train got back to Tatabánya I had trouble opening the doors (I accidentally opened the wrong side at first), and the train was running late so right after when I opened the right door the train started moving. Luckily we were able to jump off quickly while it was still going pretty slow, and avoided a 2 hour trip out to Györ.

This week was hard, I had to call everyone to set up appointments because Elder Gonzalez doesn't know them, which was a little difficult. We didn't end up having a lot of programs, a lot of people canceled or didn't show. We had a couple good ones though, and this next week is looking a lot better.

We did have a really good branch activity on Saturday. We hiked up to the Turul, the big bird statue, and cooked up a big cauldron of paprikas krumpli. It was super good and we had 3 investigators show up and interact a lot with our branch members. Elder Gonzalez also brought a chess set, I never knew how much Hungarians loved chess, that was a lot of fun.

We had a good district meeting yesterday on the importance of commitments, how we should be setting up the commitment before the lesson and planning the lesson to help them keep that commitment. I think that is something we could work on a lot, hopefully it will help our investigators progress better. I have to keep remembering that this is a big change and so I need to be patient with them. I have been getting better at being bold though, straight up telling them the truth, not trying to hide the hard stuff or avoid the difficult questions. It really makes things easier, here's the truth, if you read this book and pray you can know it too. It always comes back to the Book of Mormon and prayer.

Sorry no pictures this week, the computers here are very on and off on whether or not they accept my camera. Maybe next week.

Love you all!
Parkinson Elder

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First Transfer Down

So I'll be staying it Tatabánya for another 9 weeks! Elder Spedding is leaving for Budapest and I will be getting Elder Gonzalez, I'll meet him tomorrow but he sounds awesome. He grew up in Canada but his mom is Hungarian so he speaks Hungarian and English fluently. That should help with the language a lot. He is also only 2 months older then me in the mission, so we'll have 6 months of experience between us. I'm excited for this next transfer.
We ended this transfer on a good note though, we had 6 investigators at church, 4 of them for the first time. One we had just met the night before, she was friends of another investigator. That went super cool, only problem is we had to do the sacrament so couldn't sit by them for the first part, our members are super good at fellowshipping though, they are all awesome.
The new investigators we have are awesome, 2 from English class, one we met on the street and her friend. They have lots of questions, which I really like. It reminds me of what Tom said about Elder Bednar and how he did a question and answer session to teach. Our lessons go really well, hopefully they all continue to progress.

One fun finding story, we tracted  into 2 men the other day, both young 30's probably. We talked a bit and then one said, "do you smell that, we're having a BBQ", he invited us in and showed us everything (I guess we're BBQ pros because we're American). After we repeatedly turned down his beer he decided to give us some BBQ instead, my meat was completely black, but the roll was good. Both very interesting, one had some pretty interesting beliefs about positive and negative energy, Jesus tattooed on one arm and Satan on the other. Anyway, hard to describe but is was a super interesting experience, they did accept a Book of Mormon though so we'll see if that goes anywhere.

That's about it. Love you all, find some referrals for your local missionaries!

Sok Szeretettel,
Parkinson Elder

​The bat from a few weeks ago up in the top left corner.

​Lecso and bread, my favorite meal. After my first few weeks I learned that white shirts and tomato sauce don't go well together, hence the stylish bib

​A little lake by our apartment.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lord's Way

Family and Friends!

This week went well again, but was a little frustrating. Hungarians are super hard to set up with, they aren't good at answering there phones and then people cancel on us too, so we did a lot of finding this week. There were some cool things though.

We had a great Zone Conference this week. President Smith came, he talked about Luke 5:1-10 and compared it to missionary work, we need to be doing it the Lord's way. That's something I want to work on, he's the one that knows what needs to happen. It all comes down to being obedient and being willing to follow the small promptings of the Spirit. Those are things I've been trying to work on. I also finally got my mail, thanks to everyone that sent letters! We then met a couple from Arizona on the train back, Mom got a picture from them. Cool to see some Americans.

We have an awesome new investigator that we met in English class, Detti. She is curious but has super hard questions. Luckily she accepts when I say I don't know. A few example questions she asked - polygamy, why no women witnesses to Book of Mormon or women prophets, weren't there multiple languages before the Tower of Babel, how did the Urim and Thummin work (whose breastplate was it), etc. Also, awkward Hungarian mistranslation, in the Joseph Smith Testimony where Joseph Smith said he could see Moroni's bosom, the word they chose in Hungarian really means breast. Investigator quote - "only women have that". Yeah. She seems genuinely curious though, said she'd keep reading the Book of Mormon.

We did splits again this week, I worked with Elder Ehardt again. It is really cool to see how well we can speak when we don't have older missionaries to lean on. We had a super good day tracting, a lot of people told us to come back. We were working in their area though so I won't see them again, hopefully the other Elder's can find come success with them.

Great finding story - Apparently a long time ago an Elder put an English class flier somewhere in the place where we email. A few weeks ago this old man found it and had a strong spiritual prompting to go to English Class. Yes, he already understands the Spirit better then most of us do, and no, he doesn't really want to learn English. Now the other Elder's are teaching him and say he is incredible. Super smart but super spiritual despite no religious backround. People can come from anywhere.

Also, transfers are next week (the real one, not just a mini), so my next email will be on Tuesday.

Love you all!
Parkinson Elder

Photo sent by a kind woman who was traveling in Hungary.  She texted all 4 moms right after seeing the missionaries.

Monday, September 8, 2014


The best part of this week was easily yesterday in fast and testimony meeting. We don't have a lot of people in church so last month we had a lot of empty time, but this month the Branch President had trouble ending the meeting, and we went almost 10 minutes over. The Spirit was super strong too, and I could understand at least the general ideas of what people were saying which helped. Our 12 year old new convert of just 2 weeks bore a super good testimony, as did her half sister who is now investigating, and another one of our investigators. The other Elders here had a couple of miracles there too, a man that they had just met at English class Thursday came to church and went up to bear his testimony as well. He loved church. Also, there is one lady that they had taught for a few times and loved everything, but then sent then a text one day saying not to look for her anymore a few weeks ago. She came to church again and loved it, stayed the entire time. All in all super good church, hard to put in words but it was awesome.

As far as teaching this last week was pretty rough, we had a lot of people cancel on us, I've gotten pretty lucky with that so far in my mission. We had some good lessons though, one lady we met from English Class has lots of questions about the Plan of Salvation, we gave her a pamphlet and she read the whole thing. She has had a hard life so hopefully we can help her.

Speaking of English class, we had 16 people in our class last time, about 10 more than usual. That was fun, hopefully the members spiritual thoughts and the end will peak some of their interests. Luckily we have awesome members.

Fun story of the week - Sunday at about 5 in the morning I woke up to my companion running out of the room yelling that we had a bat in the room. Not quite sure how it got in, it was just flying around the room in figure eights. It was hard to get a good picture but I got a decent one before opening the window to let it out. Other wildlife note, we ran into a dog tracting the other day that I think was Sirius Black reincarnated. It reminded me of Splash, I love the dogs out here when we go tracting, it cheers me up when people aren't answering the doors.

That's all I can think of. Love you all!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tatabánya: Hol az álomban jártam..

This week was great, we had some really awesome new people that we met with, which was good because we have had to drop quite a few old investigators. We have a lot of people that love meeting with us, but just aren't very interested in the gospel.

We had one lady that we taught the first time and were planning to do mainly just a get to know her/introduce the Book of Mormon lesson but she was super interested and so we taught her all of the 2nd and 3rd lessons as well. We had one man we met tabling who said he had met with the missionaries before, he has had a lot of drug problems and is really trying to turn his life around.

Fun story from English class this week, my companion and I teach the more advanced class, so our main goal is just to get them talking in English. We start off every class with some questions we discuss in English, one of them this week was if you could be PM for a day what would you do. I thought it would be a fun little question, but it ended up going super political, we had trouble getting them to a different topic. We then tried to teach the how to use like as a filler word, they were all really interested but it is super hard to explain, because we usually don't even know when we do it.

We had a fun experience with the Humanitarian Missionaries on Wednesday. We went with them to translate while they donated some dining carts to an old folks home. Apparently they lives in Grandma and Grandpa Beckhams ward for a while, and moved to Aunt Ann's ward right before coming out here. Small world.

 That's about it, not a ton happened this week. It's been starting to get rainy more, but it has been a very cool August so that makes up for it.

Parkinson Elder

Erik and companion -- Picture taken by Stan and Sharon Miller, humanitarian missionaries