Monday, February 23, 2015

Loving the People

I've been thinking a lot about the importance of loving the people lately. My companion has a great perspective on that, when he was investigating he really felt the love of the missionaries, even at the times he was not progressing as well. We have been trying to work on that, and have had some cool experiences with some people we had been trying hard to help even though they hadn't been progressing a ton.

Probably the coolest thing that happened this week was an awesome program we had on Saturday. It was an investigator that we had talked with a bit (he was also then one that went running with us a few weeks back), but he never seemed super interested in the gospel. We met him for a late lunch and had a long talk, he poured out a lot of his life story, which is super similar to my compaions (I think they are spirit twins seperated at birth), super cool. We then met a member at the church and we taught him the restoration. Easily the best restoration program I've been in. When we started talking about prayer he asked us how to pray, and after we explained he said he wanted to try it. He said an awesome prayer right there. He now said he really wants to read the Book of Mormon, he said he felt reborn. Overall it was just a super awesome experience, I can't wait to see where he goes.

We had another great program with our investigator who is athiestish, we have been talking a lot about getting spiritual knowledge. He hadn't seemed as interested in previous programs, mostly just liked talking to us in English, but this week he seemed really engaged. Asked a lot of questions. And he asked us to bring scriptures next time to answer a some of the questions that he had.

We also had a lot of fun last Monday going over to one of our new investigtor's houses, we had lunch with him and his sister, who was already being taught by the other Elders here. It was awesome because he is new but she asked us some religious questions so we got to have a great talk about why we are here and how the gospel helps us. I love it when Elder Depallens pulls the convert card in those situations, it works great.

We got to have interviews again this week with the mission president, it was wierd not having to travel for those, we just ran upstairs after a program, had interviews, and then ran down again for English class.
We got invited over to dinner by members on 4 of 7 nights last week, definetely a record on my mission. It was cool being able to interact with the members a little more. I also gained a lot of respect for my parents after having dinner at a household with 4 young kids.
Sok Szeretettel!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, February 16, 2015

Albanians in Bakeries and Bulgarians with BoMs

First off, Happy Birthday to Hannah and Grandpa Beckham! I love you both!

We had a sweet week this week, lots of programs and lots of cool experiences.
Saturday we had a program cancel, but then ended up meeting with the member who we were bringing, were able to talk a lot and help them a lot with some things, at the end he asked if we could all say a prayer, which we did, super strong spirit and cool experience. Right after that on the way to another program we had a man walk out of a bakery and start talking to us. We chatted for a little about what we do as missionaries and then he had to run. At the end I finally realized why we knew him. He worked at the bakery, I had met him when buying something a week ago, I don't remember why we started talking but he mentioned he is from Albania, so I impressed him with a couple of Albanian words I picked up in the MTC, super cool. Unfortunetly we have no contact info, so pretty much we have to keep going back there and getting huge nutela filled crescants until we find him again.
We also gave away a Bulgarian Book of Mormon this week. On Wednesday we met someone who speaks Bulgarian, and then on Thursday we just happened to stumble across a Bulgarian BoM in the branch house when looking for an English one in a program, so we were able to hand that out later in the day.
I also met Ricsi, a man one of my MTC teachers taught and the investigator we pretended to teach my first week in the MTC. He is our bishop's son and the ward mission leader in Pest, I was super excited when I figured out that he was the same person.

We had Zone Training on Friday, it was wierd because our Zone is basically just the people in Budapest, super small geographically.
I started teaching past tense to our beginner English class, Hungarian has one past tense, English has 6. At least. Another reason to love Hungarian. It goes pretty well though, I just try to say as little false doctrine as possible, especially as I have no idea why English works.
Lots of Love,
Elder Parkinson

Monday, February 9, 2015

More Work in the Big City

Another good week this week, I feel like I'm getting the city down finally so I don't feel as lost anymore. We also got to see a baptism this week from 2 of the other Elders, those are always incredible, and a lot of ward members showed up as well.
We had a lot of good programs this week, a couple of people we teach are really close to baptism. We had one awesome family we teach accept baptism dates which was super cool. The son got baptized a few months back, and we have been teaching his parents. And when they said yes they told us that we would have to do something else too, we needed to get these two friends of theirs baptiized as well! Pleasent little suprise, hopefully we can meet and start teaching them soon as well.
The one thing about having a lot of programs is that we don't have the big blocks of finding that I had in my past cities. It's awesome, that's how it should be, but I need to now get better at using the small chunks of time we have more productively, talking to more people on the street while traveling, people on trams, etc. 

Elder Depallens and I have started going running in the morning, we went three times last week, we ran up Gellert's hegy, the hill where Hungary was dedicated for missionary work, super good view of the city. We also had an investigator come with us on one of the days which was cool, and then he showed up at church yesterday as well, super awesome.
We had dinner at the Stake President's yesterday which was awesome. He is from Idaho, his wife is Hungarian, and they have 3 boys that speak fluent Hunglish, they interchange English and Hungarian words all the time when talking. Super funny.
Scripture of the week that I really enjoyed - Alma 56:8. The people of Ammon saw the trials of the Nephites and wanted to help, it only seemed right. But following our commitment to God is always the correct choice. No matter what the worldy situaition looks like. We will never be worse off for following God. God's ways are above our ways, he knows what is right. And what was God's way in this situation - the Army of Helaman. I'd say it worked out pretty well.

Have a great week all of you, every member a missionary!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, February 2, 2015


I made it down to Budapest. It was sad leaving Miskolc behind but this is a good place. I have a lot I still need to learn though. First off, Budapest is big. I feel like my sense of direction is better than it used to be (which is good because in America it was awful), but it will take some time to figure out where everything is. I like being here though, it feels a lot more alive than my other cities.
We have a big list of investigators here, most of whom I still do not know. That will be fun meeting and working with all of them, by the end of the week I should have a better idea of what's going on. The people we do meet with are awesome though. We have one super cool member we meet with who lived in America for a long time and had a pretty rough life. He is now working super hard to turn his life around and serve a mission. He's inspiring. Also, that non-smoking program the church has is super good, if you know anyone that wants to quit let them know.
I've been loving serving with Elder Depallens, unfortunetely he's been a bit sick so we haven't been able to work as much but what we have been able to do has gone great. He's a convert to the church which is awesome because his testimony is real and powerful. He knows the change the gospel can bring. He was also a succesful buisnessman when younger, meaning he is very much a people person, good for me to learn from because I am a bit quieter in nature. Should be a fun transfer.
It was nice being in a ward on Sunday, actually having a lot of people. I have missed the little kid messing around in sacrament meeting sound. It will take a lot more time than my last areas to get to know the members, but I look forward to it.
We got a little bit of snow this week, it melted after a day but I got to see Budapest in the snow which I had been hoping for. Super pretty. I think one of the nicest things about this city is the architecture, and by that I mean not everything is 10 stories tall and concrete. It's nice for a change.
We have an investigator that works at the theater here who got us free Shakespeare tickets that we got permission to go to today, so that should be fun.

Have a nice week!
Parkinson Elder