Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Moving Onward

First off, happy birthday to David and happy homecoming to Hannah! I realized Thursday night that I can no longer tell people there are 3 of us out on missions.

Transfer calls this week! Thus the weekly email coming out on Tuesday. I'm leaving Tatabánya, heading off to Miskolc! It's a big city in the northeast, but I don't know much about it. I'm looking forward too it. I've loved my time here in Tatabánya, I loved the people here. It will be hard to say goodbye, but they will be in good hands with the next missionaries.

We had an awesome baptism on Saturday. The other Elders have been telling us how great József was for 3 months, he pretty much found himself, he bap challenged himself, he's incredible. We had a full member program for the baptism, great branch support on that. Baptisms are awesome.

Fun story of the week, I went on splits with Elder Luke from my MTC group again this week. In the morning we did some look-ups and tracting, about 10 minutes after getting out the door we had a lady call the cops on us. Two women (undercover) walked up and pulled out their badges on us. They examined our passports and made sure we knew our birthdays, apparently we scare people because of how well dressed we are. It all turned out fine, we just moved our tracting area a couple blocks down and hopefully we won't have anymore problems.

I can't think of much else, I have loved serving here and I look forward to moving on to Miskolc.

With lots of love,
Parkinson Elder

Monday, November 17, 2014

Idahoans in Hungary

Happy Birthday to David on Saturday! We'll be celebrating on Saturday with a baptism, an awesome investigator the other Elders teach. I'm really hoping we can get a lot of our investigators to show up, it would help them a lot.

Big news this week was Stake Conference yesterday. They rearranged the stake presidency, a pretty big deal because that was the first stake presidency in Hungary. They had been there for 8 years and pretty much oversaw the entire church in Hungary. The new Stake President is from Idaho, he was a missionary here but then came back and married a girl from Hungary and has been a Bishop in Budapest for a while. It sounds like he will do a great job. We also got to hear talks from a few British members (I think area 70's or something), it was cool to be able to hear the English and then the translation.

Some good programs this week. We dropped by Erwin again, the old man we gave a Book of Mormon to a few weeks back who won't pray and loves questioning things. He read though, he is on page 160 ..... of the index. Already finished the entire book. That was sweet. He had a lot of complaints about what he read (apparently the fact that Jews were supposed to marry Jews in the Law of Moses is comparable to the Holocaust), and still wont pray (when we asked if we could say a prayer at the end he said yes and then walked out of the room), but he read. The Book of Mormon is so great, if he keeps reading it he will figure it out. He might need some time though. I think we'll try to bring him some General Conference Ensigns next time.

We also have an investigator who we teach English and gospel too, and I'm starting to really appreciate people that learn English. It is a ridiculous language. We were teaching tenses too him, and I'm pretty sure we have at least 6 past tenses (not even counting conditional or imperative). I was struggling to figure out why we use each one, super hard to explain. He's progressing super well in the gospel though, that's the more important part.

We had a great Zone Training on Friday in Győr. I really liked a thought one of the Zone Leaders shared at the end. Whenever you are tempted to slack off or not do your duty, imagine where you would be if Chirst had not done his. Then get back to work. He did everything for us, now it's time for us to do our part. Very applicable to us as missionaries and throughout our lives.

Love you all, enjoy the miracles in life!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, November 10, 2014

The One

Big news of the week, Monika came back to church! She was the women who got baptized my first week here but she went completely inactive a few weeks later, didn't want to meet with us at all. On Sunday she just decided to come back, she told us her life had been going downhill since she left and so she came! When I saw her 7 year old son running up the stairs and then she followed I was so ridiculously happy I can't even describe it. The parable from the Bible about having more joy from the 1 lost sheep that returns then the 99 who stayed makes a lot more sense now. Anyway, we hope that she will continue to do well, we are going over to her place on Wednesday, and hopefully we can start to teach her boyfriend too, who came to church with her and loved it. Long story short, it was awesome.

We had a really great meeting with a less active member on Saturday. We had met them a few times before this but this time it was us, a member, her, her non member husband, and her non member brother, sister, and mom. Her sister had also been in English class a few weeks before so already new us, and we were able to have a great talk with all of them. They also had a rubix cube there and thought it was super cool that I could do one (apparently it was made by a Hungarian so the rubix cube is one of their claims to fame here). Shout out to those old Minnesotan missionaries for teaching me. Anyway, hopefully we can get that member back to church and get her family interested too.

The birthday went well, mostly pretty normal, one of our investigators bought us McDonalds for dinner. Some nice American food. That was a lot of fun, and we had a good chat with her afterwards about commandments and the Book of Mormon. Hopefully she continues to progress.

We also had our quarterly interviews in Budapest this week so we got to go over to the big city for a bit.

Love you all!
Parkinson Elder

PS  Thanks to interviews this week I was able to get the packages and letters on Tuesday, they were awesome, thanks! I'll enjoy that chocolate and peanut butter (and use the toothbrushes too of course). I enjoyed the letters, and all the Hungarian was correct, good work! Thanks again, I love all of you!

Parkinson Elder

Monday, November 3, 2014

He matures

Happy Birthday to the other Elder Parkinson up in Norway! It's hard to believe that it is already November, time is flying fast. It's also getting a lot colder, time for the inner Minnesotan to come out.

First off, Elder Gonzalez broke his leg this week while tracting. Long story, but pretty much he told me his parents read my blog so I thought it would be fun to add a fake story about him breaking his leg. Don't worry, your son's really doing great.

On to serious stuff, while having lunch the other day one of the other Elders asked the classic what if this was all a dream question to get some conversation going. That made me think a bit. That is pretty similar to our message when you think about it. You had a life before this one that you completely forgot. You don't know who you are or why you are here. We are here to remind you and show you what you need to do to get back. Sounds like the plot line of a great movie, but it's just missionary work. That was interesting, gave me a new perspective on why we are here. I've also been thinking more about submitting our will to God's. He knows everything and loves us so has given us this guide to make us happy, the gospel. Commandments and rules aren't barriers we have to stay in, they are a map to the best life possible. It's our choice to follow the map or not.

We've been having a hard time setting up with people recently, everyone is super busy. It's strange thinking of people actually doing stuff, our whole life is just missionary work. Some pretty solid programs though. Zsofi, one of our investigators who wouldn't pray prayed in a program this week. That was sweet. We've also stopped tracting houses and moved on to 5 and 10 story apartments. Warmer and closer to us. The Russians built a ton of them during the cold war, all concrete and exactly the same. They cover Hungary.

Other stuff this week was good, we had a branch pumpkin carving activity for Halloween. Halloween isn't really a Hungarian thing, they celebrate it a little but not a lot. They didn't really get why we carve pumpkins. I don't know either, but it was fun. We also have an investigator who is a wrestler so we got permission to go to one of his matches. He won, now we need to get him to come to church.

Also, I found out that my name is a Hungarian word, érik- he matures/ripens. Usually used in connection with fruit. Pronunciation isn't quite the same put pretty close, I thought that was cool.

Love you all, have a wonderful week!
Parkinson Elder