Monday, October 27, 2014

It's starting to feel like Norway!

First off, not much really happened last week for the holiday. It was a working day for us like normal and I hardly noticed anything, we we're mostly in programs too so we didn't find a lot which might have had something to do with it. We saw some soldiers marching by out the window in English Class but that was about it.

The time change this week was big too, luckily a few members called us to remind us or we would have showed up to church an hour early, we knew it was coming up sometime but had no idea when. It's also getting dark by 5 now, which makes missionary work more difficult because a lot of Hungarians rise and fall with the sun. I wonder what it's like for the other Elder Parkinson up north, I just think of that and stop complaining.

Our church meetings here just got cut to 2 hours, no more Sunday School. We have few enough people that they canceled it. We'll have to work to get those numbers back up, but for now church is only from 9-11, not 9-12. That will be strange.

A couple good stories, we returned to the bácsi I talked about 2 weeks back and he is up to Jacob already in the Book of Mormon. That was awesome, but he's on our growing list of investigators that refuse to pray. He also had some problems with Nephi, first he stole Laban's sword, and then cut off his head with it. I've heard a lot of concerns about the cutting of the head part but never really with the stealing. We'll see what we can do, hopefully he keeps reading.

Also, there is this man, Tibor, he is the one that came up to us on the street my first day in the city. We met with him twice but after that he disappeared, he never answers his phone. Anyway, we ran into him at a pizza place on Elder Gonzalaz's first day here and talked, and he recently starting answering his phone again. We have a program set up with him this week, so hopefully that goes though. I think he's also planning on moving to NYC soon so I'm hoping we could set him up with some friends there.

We had splits this week so I spent a day with Elder Luke who I was in the MTC with, that was a lot of fun. It's also starting to get a bit colder, winter is approaching.

Happy Halloween!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tovább, Mennyünk Tovább

I'm getting to the point where I never really know what to write about. Whenever I sit down in front of a computer the past week just seems like a blur.

Elder Gonzalez got a little sick this week, luckily he's feeling better now. It was nice to get a long personal study in while he was recovering, especially since I taught investigator Sunday School yesterday on the gathering of Israel. I also got to read through some old General Conference talks from April, I'm still looking forward to that new Liahona.

We got a couple of good new investigators from English Class this week, we had 18 people show up to our class, easily the most I've ever had, and 2 of them are meeting with us outside English class now. One of them met the missionaries a few years back when playing the accordion on the street and has already read all of 1st Nephi. We'll see what happens there.

We have two investigators that we meet with that have a lot of potential but just wont pray. They are still pretty new but it's frustrating. One of them told us she is afraid to pray because then she will be responsible for the answer she gets. We still haven't taught the plan of salvation to her yet so we are hoping that if she can see the bigger picture it will help her. The other doesn't want to pray because she needs to figure out if this is true by herself before she prays. There both good friends too so I'm hoping we can get one to start praying and then they can help the other. We'll see.

Fun story, we were walking home from a program Friday night when a Bácsi on a bike just started talking with us (Bácsi's bike slow and missionaries walk fast so we were going about the same speed). We chatted and he then showed us his garage, he had disco lights and started to sing and play on his piano. He was pretty good, especially for being 80. He isn't really interested in the gospel (said he believes in himself), but it was super funny.

We have a big holiday on Thursday, the 23rd is the anniversary of the 1956 revolution. Flags are already being put up around the city.

Lots of Love,
Parkinson Elder

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Book of Mormon

We had another solid week this week, we did a lot of finding again. We have a decent amount of people we can meet with, but we are having trouble meeting with them as often as we would like. Work schedules in Hungary are weird, a lot of places have 3 8 hour shifts (6-14, 14-22, 22-6) (we use 24 hour time here too) that everyone rotates through, so schedules are never the same. We are trying to get people to meet with us twice a week consistently, most people had been doing once a week or sometimes twice, but the more we meet with them the better they progress.

One thing that I've been thinking about a lot this week is the Book of Mormon. It's an incredible book, but no matter how much I try to stress that to our investigators they never seem to get it. There are three ingredients necessary (also, in Hungarian necessary is kell, WAY easier to spell) for investigators, reading, praying, and real intent. All of our investigators problems comes down to lacking one of these three things, not wanting to read, not wanting to pray, or not wanting to change. I read a short article in the Liahona this morning about the last one, not wanting to change. Real intent is important when we pray, because we might not like the answer but need to be willing to act on it anyways. We also had an old bácsi we tracted into recently and taught. He is a very smart man with a ton of deep questions so it is difficult to teach him, he doesn't like talking about the basics. After a long not super productive first lesson I just took a Book of Mormon out of my bag and told him if he reads it and prays about it he'll know what we're saying is true. Hopefully he does.

Not a lot of other stuff really happened this week, the weather got super nice for a couple of days, it had been a little cold but is now warming up. Hopefully it starts getting a little colder again soon because starting Wednesday we have to start wearing suits until April.

After hearing other people's comments on General Conference I'm really excited for the Liahona to come out. There was definitely a lot that I missed. Still super grateful for what I did learn.

Also, pictures are working today!

​Making a big pot of Paprikás Csirke! That pot was almost full by the end.
​Elder Gonzalez and I with Tatabánya behind us. Thanks for the jacket Grandpa!

​Foggy morning on the way to church.

Love you all!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lots of Learning

This week was great, not as much missionary work as normal due to a zone training on Thursday in Budapest and General Conference, but those were both really good. I learned a lot.

In Zone training we talked a lot about how to become better teachers. Making sure our investigators know that we love them and being persistent. We read some scriptures about persistence and I noticed that whenever missionaries in the scriptures were persistent people usually tried to kill them. But there were still a lot of converts. We obviously have to be respectful, but it's all about doing what Christ wants, not the people. I want to work on that more.

General Conference was really good. The only down sides were we watched the whole thing in Hungarian, and due to the time difference never saw Sunday Afternoon. The rest was really good, I really liked President Monson from Sunday morning and President Uchtdorf and Elder Christofferson from Saturday morning (I think, we watched the sessions in a mixed up order so it was confusing, President Uchtdorf was super good in priesthood too). I was praying a lot beforehand that I would be able to understand, and I could understand a decent amount. It was super hard to stay focused the entire time though, and when I would zone out for a couple seconds I would get completely lost. I can't wait for the  Liahona to come out now.

Outside of that we had some decent work this week. A lot of people dogged or canceled on us, at one point this week we had 7 straight. The programs we did have were good though, and it looks like we have a solid week set up for this week.

Also, at Zone Conference we have a 'missionary store' with a bunch of old clothes missionaries left so I got a decent coat and some good gloves for free! It's starting to get colder so that was a good find.

Remember to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving today.

Love you all!
Parkinson Elder