Monday, April 8, 2013

Many Miracles, 25 Words, and a FewCultural Tidbits

I have been following an older couple's mission blog "The Colledge's". They are serving in Michelle's area. Sister Colledge wrote under this photo, from her blog, "Great Missionaries". I was a very proud mom when I read that!
Sziasztok everyone,

I hope you all watched conference, because it was great. (If you didn't watch it yet, go watch it now). 
We were blessed with a wonderful branch who allowed us to watch the conference sessions in English in the Family History Lab. We saw a lot of miracles in the process of watching conference. 
On Saturday we tried to watch the Young Women's session, but everything stopped (in English and Hungarian). This was Sister Rindlisbaker's first conference away from Utah (and the conference center) so it was really important to her. Plus, it's conference, where we can hear from the prophet and apostles in a special setting, so we all really hoped to be able to listen. So, we knelt down in prayer. We were able to watch all of the sessions (minus Sunday night because that happened at midnight here) and the branch was able to watch it in Hungarian at the same time without any major further problems. We are so grateful that it all worked. 
Sister Curtin, Sister Kimball and Sister Rindlisbaker
We had 6 investigators come. One of which was a women we had just tracted into a few days before. Another was an investigator that we haven't talked to in weeks. We had called several times, but she hadn't ever answered or shown up. We didn't feel like it was time to give up on her though, so we sent a text the night before to let her know when the conference times would be. She lives about an hour train ride outside of Pécs, so when she showed up that night, after not hearing from her for weeks- I can't call it anything less than a miracle. I'm sure she needed to be there for a special reason. And I'm so grateful she was. 

 
Now, time to state the obvious- it was really fun to be a missionary in Hungary as President Monson talked about a faithful tithe-paying member here in Hungary. Plus it was nice to know, that even if I can't speak fluently yet, I can pronounce the names of cities better :) It really was a tender mercy though to hear from the Prophet and to feel the comforting assurance that the Prophet and God Himself, are aware of the Hungarians. They are a faithful people.
 
Right after President Monson finished his remarks, and the closing hymn and prayer were said- we went right out onto the street to do as He told. We stopped to say a quick prayer under a tree in the square by the branch house. The first person we saw when we looked up, we talked to. He was amazed to hear that there is a LIVING prophet TODAY. It was a neat experience to go straight from sustaining and hearing from the prophet, to bearing testimony of him and his calling. That man accepted a Book of Mormon and agreed to read it. This work is moving forward, we are uping our standards. We will see miracles. Why? Because God has not ceased to be a God of miracles. He has not ceased to speak to man though a Prophet, through apostles, through the scriptures and through personal revelation. We have so much to be grateful for.

On another note, I'm finally working on my write-up from the Book of Mormon project that I started in the MTC. (I had read through the Book of Mormon, marking answers to the question "How can I gain a closer relationship with Christ"- specfically Who is He? What did He do? Why did He do it? and What does He want for me?) So now I'm going through all my markings and putting the answers to each of those questions in one place in my study journal. 

Another part I liked about conference was the "What would you tell your family if you only had 25 words". Obviously this email was a lot more than 25 words. But I did take a few seconds to think about that question, and based it a little bit on what I had learned through my Book of Mormon project:
 
To feel close to Christ: learn of Him and act now.
Doubt Not, Cry sometimes, Smile Often
Serve Daily, Ponder Continually, Pray Unceasingly,
Love Always.
 
This next week is going to continue to be great. We have a lot of programs set up and a lot of exciting and important lessons to teach. Next week, we will be in Budapest for Sister Rindlisbaker to go to new-missionary training. So just like last time, my e-mail will likely not be coming until Tuesday. So don't worry if it's a day late. 
Anyway, thanks for all of your continued support. It really does make a difference and I am grateful for you all. 
Love Always,
Sister Curtin 
 
P.S. No one sent me any questions or suggestions as to what cultural/daily details to add, so I'll just add a few random ones. (But still feel free to let me know)
1. It is not uncommon for some of us to sit on the floor or a bed when teaching lessons. A lot of homes have the living/bedroom areas combined. Some people have coach/bed type furniture to use and fold up daily, but a lot of people are just really good at making their beds every day :) Maybe Michelle will learn this on her mission - note from Michelle's mom.
2. Our stove is gas-lit. It took me a while to get down, but now I'm pro. But just as a tip: don't wear a scarf when lighting a gas stove... Michelle didn't give details about this story, but as the mom - it scared me a little.
3. Is camo a fashion in the states right now too? Because I've seen (or have I?) a strange number of people wear camo-pants, dresses, or whole jumpsuits. Sounds like the Ertmann Family would fit right in.
4. Grocery shopping is not as easy in bulk. We buy our own grocery bags and have to carry them back. (Also, milk comes in boxes and bags not jugs)
5. This last week there was some sort of cheese festival in the square, but for some reason every festival they have- is set up on Tuesday and taken down Sunday night (Maybe preparation day is on a Monday for a reason).
Conference in Pecs