Monday, July 27, 2015

So Much Learning!

This week went well again, time seems to be flying here in Eger. Because the last transfer was a mini we will be having another transfer next Tuesday. We are thinking it will be fairly small, but we'll see.

We had a chance to go on splits with the Zone Leaders on Tuesday. I felt a bit bad becasue we had no programs set up for the day, so it was basically just a bunch of finding for all of us. But it went super well, I was able to learn a lot from Elder Bagley, and we found some people. On the street we met with a Buddhist man (used to be a monk) that we then set up for later in the day. Short program, we'll see where he goes. And the other Elder looked up a referal we got from a man on the street, he said his brother and law might be interested and gave an address, and it turned out to be super legit. We met with him and he has met misisonaries in the past, just has a hard time beieving Joseph Smith was a prophet. But really wants to find the truth, awesome man.

We also had Zone Conference on Friday up in Miskolc, the Zone Leaders gave us some great training on how to be better finders, which went great with what I learned on splits, and the Sister Training Leaders talked about working with members. At first I took that a little pessimistically, how to work with the ward mission leader, yeah, we don't have one, etc. But then I decided I should stop being negaitve and focus on what we do have, because we do have some great members here. One thing I want to focus on is just getting them more invovled in missionary work, coming to programs and stuff. And then we can go find or reactivate a ward mission leader.

We were finally able to meet up with that awesome guy from DC we met a few weeks back. We had a sweet program, it was a but unstructured though because we were still just trying to answer the main question of how we get salvation. But it got more complicted. We tried to focus on the restoration and the plan of salvation. I still don't know other church beliefs super well though, so sometimes we would say something that I thought was no big deal, like we return to live with God, and they would be like, wait a second, you think we already were with him? Pre-existence and stuff. I was very gratefull for my last year of scripture study though because I feel if I had been in that program a year ago it would have been nowhare near as good. I also love Bible talking with non Bible bashers. It's not Bible bashing, just sincere talk by all of us trying to understand each others views and the scriptures. It was sweet. I love the scriptures.

Well, that's about it. Have a great week everyone! I write next Tuesday.
Parkinson Elder

Monday, July 20, 2015

Another Week in Eger

So, this week went fast and had a bunch of stuff that I will hopefully remember as I write this.

Elder and Sister Bailey got back from Romania on Tuesday. Thay are still in the process of moving from Miskolc to here so we have been helping them with that. We also had a couple of meetings with Elder Bailey on how to get the branch going better here, are numbers in church for the past 2 weeks have been 13 and 16, including the missionaries, so we are hoping to get that knocked up. We spent a bit of time looking up and calling people on the ward list (another thing we are trying to get cleaned up, I figure if Tom could take on Oslo's list then we can figure out Eger's). We had one awesome visit with a less active family who I really want to get back to church, we really need famlies here.

We also had a great branch outing on Saturday, we went to a nearby lake and did a classic hungarian thing where you cook bacon on sticks over a fire and then drip the fat on bread with paprikas and tomatoes. Super good, and we had 17 people show up. It then started raining, but overall it went really well.

We spent a lot of time last week out finding too, trying to get our investigator pool up. We had a couple of potential people that we can hopefully meet with more this week, but we'll see. The hardest for me is when we actually have a good conversation with someone and get talking about everything, but then they say they aren't interested. It kills me. But some people say yes and that is why we are out here.

I can't think of much else and I'm low on time, writing the mission president now takes longer that it is in Hungarian. It is good language practice though. I also just finished the Doctrine and Covenants this morning.

Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

PS  A quick book recommendation, I noted it to myself for a post mission read bought thought you two might like it. Eclipse of the Crescent Moon. The Bailey's both loved it, it takes place in Eger 500 years ago when the Turks invaded and the great Dobo István and his army fought them off in the castle right by the city center.

Monday, July 13, 2015

First Week in Eger

This has been a busy week. I will have plenty to do this transfer here in Eger. We have a very small branch here, the branch President is a senior missionary, Elder Bailey (I served with the Baileys in Miskolc, now there are here to help out the branch), and I am the second counseler. The Baileys are in Romania right now because they also do auditing around easter Europe, and I still haven't met with the first counseler. On Sunday we had 13 people at church, I conducted, helped bless the sacrament, and gave a 25 minute talk. One of the sisters who just got here gave another long talk, played a musical number on the violin, and taught Sunday school. My goal for my time here in Eger is to get the branch up and going more so that the members are carrying the wait more by themselves. I am also hoping to work a lot with the inactive members this transfer, we have a lot, apparently a ton of people went inactive about a year back, so we are hoping to meet with as many of them as possible and get them back. The members I have met so far are great though.

My companion here is awesome, Elder Egan (funny because it sounds like Igen, Hungarian for yes). he has been here for 5 weeks so far, was just getting trained by Elder Hall, who Tom played basketball against back in high school. (Note to Tom - I think he told me to say hi to you from him my first day in the country but I forgot, so hi). He is great, loves to work. We don't have a lot of investigators here either so we are hoping to change that.

Eger is a beautiful city though, super European.

We had an awesome experience on the street last night, we met with a young guy from America, he is religious, knows the Bible and we had a super awesome talk. He had a super good definition of how grace and works, works isn't want saves us, only Christ does that, works is just a natural consequence of what we do because we are in awe of what Christ did for us. Super cool guy. We had a hard time explaining to him why our message is important though, because he doesn't really see a need for a church. We told him we'd try to formulate a better answer for him and meet up later this week, after we left I had one of those I really need to read the scriptures more moments.

I also just finished the Book of Mormon in Hungarian! I made it a goal to get it done by my year in the country mark, and finished a few days early. That book is true!

I'm out of time, but life is going great here! I love you all!
Elder Parkinson

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Leaving Kaposvár

Wow, it was a long week. A lot has happened. We have a mini transfer going on due to a bunch of people going home, and so I will be going to Eger, a city between Budapest and Miskolc. It will be sad leaving here, but I heard that is a good place. And I will be serving with Elder Egan, who has only been in the country for 4 weeks, so that should be a blast.

We also got a new mission president this week, President Szabadkai! We had suprise Zone Conference on Thursday so we could meet him (we got a call about it the day before). The trains were down so we took buses, left at 11 and got back at 11:15 for a 1.5 hour conference. It was worth it though, super good. And the whole thing was in Hungarian! President Szabakai is also a math major! And he gave a great talk too, I'm looking forward to this next year under him.

I also got to meet with Uncle Tom this week! He drove down from Veszprém on Wednesday and we went to dinner with him, had a great chat. Super cool to get a visit. I also found out that when Hungarians say they invented the Atom Bomb and Microsoft they aren't entirely lying, there were some big Hungarian influences in both. I'm still skeptical about the Ford Model T though.

We had one really cool program this week with the guy we met last week that new us from South Park. He basically said he believed in God but the European religions didn't satisfy him, thought our church looked like it had some good stuff (thank you South Park). Super cool man and very smart. It was cool to just bear testimony that we know this will bless him and his family. Awesome. The program was also Sunday right before we were about to head home and break our fast, it was super hot, and we had just biked a lot. He asked if we wanted some water and we succesfully politely declined. Then 5 minutes later his girlfriend walked out with a pitcher of cold lemonade with lemons in it she had made for us. Yeah, we broke that fast early.

Also, I had multiple people this week talk to me about Hungarian history, they said the Hungarians started out in this area originally, then went out east, and then later came down from Russia to here. One lady said Hungarians are actually the Summarians and that Hungarian is 10000 years old. Basically, I'm convinced they're the lost tribes of Isreal (from here, went out east, came from the north, apparently they believed in the trinity before they hit Europe...).

Elder Lee and I made it in the paper. We were streeting one day and a man with a camera came up and said he was from the county paper and wanted to get a picture of us drinking out of a fountain. He then wrote an article in the paper complementing our summer style (I guess short sleeves with a tie is a no in Europe trends, but he said we looked good in it, shout out to David for the birthday tie).

Also, happy 4th of July! We celebrated with an American Night at the Millers on Friday (a day early I know), a lot of members and investigators came and we had hot dogs and s'mores. A good send out for the Millers as well, they are on a plane right now back to America.

American Night​

Goodbye to the Millers​

​Goodbye to our Branch President

Well. that was a lot. Next week I will be emailing from Eger. I hope you all have a great week!
Parkinson Elder