Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pictures from My Insider

Like I explained in the last blog post, the Felsted's, friends from Baltimore are also serving in Hungary. They sent me the following pictures today. I feel so blessed to get extra photos and information before Michelle (Sister Curtin) will be able to email on Monday.
The greenies
Just after finding out that she would be with Sister Kimball (I think) and they are going to Pecs!

Michelle Arrives in Hungary!

I am so grateful for an insider in the Hungarian Mission. Brother and Sister Felsted lived in the Jones Falls Ward in Baltimore when we lived there. They are now serving a mission in Hungary. I have been following their blog. It is a lot of fun to see their photos. Senior missionaries have a little more leeway when it comes to writing blogs and email. They are able to write more frequently. Sister Felsted wrote the following email to me Tuesday morning.

Hi Andrea,

Just a note - I was out shopping with the new Senior Missionaries (who will be going to Szolnok) when the new young missionaries came today. But Sister Smith called me to come upstairs and meet Michelle before they sat down to a nice dinner in the Mission Home suite. She looks great and was smiling!!! I am sure I will get to talk to her later... They will stay overnight with the Smiths then be off to their new places tomorrow afternoon. I do not know yet where she is going... but will email you when I know (tomorrow!).

Szia! Kathie --
M. Kathleen Felsted

What a blessing it is to know she had arrived safely. In the evening we received the following email from the mission president.


15 January 2013

Dear Curtin Family:

This e-mail is to advise you that your missionary has arrived safely in the Hungary Budapest Mission. We are excited for this opportunity of serving with her! Attached is a copy of a photograph taken of your missionary with President Lowell V. and Sister Lynne C. Smith in the Budapest Hungary Mission Office.
     Today we returned from the airport to the Mission Home for dinner. The missionaries then went on a short tour of Budapest, including Gellert Hill (the place where Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated Hungary to the preaching of the Gospel) and Hero's Square. Tomorrow will be a busy day. Following brief interviews with President Smith, your daughter will be taken to have photographs taken for residency permits. While she is (and the other missionaries are) out, the missionaries will be contacting individuals on the street. After some brief training, companionship and city assignments will be made. The missionaries will depart to their new area of service, with their companions, and will immediately begin service.

     We are so excited to have your daughter here. We will do all that we can to help her have a wonderful, successful mission. We have asked the missionaries to e-mail their family on Preparation Day (Monday). You should expect to hear from your missionary then. We know that you will be excited to share your missionary's experiences with others. We would caution you regarding posting of personal, sensitive, private information on the Internet. In a recent letter from the Missionary Department, it states:

Protecting the privacy of those whom the missionaries are teaching is a matter of courtesy, respect, and security. We live in a time when anything posted on the Internet can become widely available to people beyond the originally intended audience. . . When missionaries write home, they should not share sensitive information that might be used to identify people they are teaching or members they are working with.

     Your missionary is excited to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." Thank you for your prayers on behalf of your missionary - and on behalf of the missionaries in the Hungary Budapest Mission.

Best personal regards,

A Note of Explaination and Confession

As you will see from the graphic below, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints give up a lot of "things" to serve the Lord. Michelle put aside her education, career, and other worldly things because she felt strongly that serving the Lord for 18 months was the right thing to do. The missionary’s families also sacrifice "things" while they serve. We give up being able to talk to them whenever we want(only emails once a week and a phone call twice a year). We often help support them financially while they serve. I wanted to confess publically that I broke the rules. We are not supposed to go to the airport when our missionary leaves the MTC and flies to the country they will be serving in. Monday I knew approximately when Michelle would be checking in for her flight. I just happened to be at the airport when her district arrived to check in for their flight to Hungary. Michelle was not supportive of my decision. The first thing she said to me was, "Mom you are not supposed to be here. You are breaking the rules." Yes, I broke the rules. I am sorry, sort of. I am not sure if you can really repent unless you feel badly for what you have done. I am not sure I feel badly. I needed to see my daughter for 2 minutes. I needed to know that she was really feeling OK. In emails she said she was better, and through the phone call with President Brown I could hear her sweet voice in the back ground saying she was ready to go. But, as a mom when you look at your kids in the face, you have a better understanding of how they really are feeling. I needed that. I needed to look her in the eye. I needed to make sure. I am so glad I went to see her. She looked great!!! She looked beautiful and happy and ready to serve the Lord in Hungary. All of her district looked great. They were so happy and excited. I want the world to know that I had been watching people come and go from the airport for over an hour. You could have been able to tell that these young people were ambassadors for Christ even if they were not wearing their name tags. You could see a light, a joy, a happiness that I can't explain in words coming from this group of young adults. I am telling you. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church. Why else would these beautiful, strong, smart, talented young adults give up their schooling, friends, family, jobs, and other worldly "things" to serve the Lord for 18-24 months? It is truly amazing to me. Michelle said she had not had any pain at all for two day. This would be pretty much about the time we collectively decided that she was well enough to go to Hungary. Maybe this was all just a trail of her faith. I don't know. But I know she is ready to serve and the Lord. I know He will watch over her. I love her and I am so very proud of her for taking this time to dedicate "everything" to the Lord.