Monday, April 22, 2013

A Spiky Tooth with Anger

Sziasztok Everyone,

So to explain the subject line first: my friend from China said in her e-mail that when she was younger, she thought Hungary would be a scary place because the Chinese translation of it sounds a lot like "A Spiky Tooth with Anger". Luckily it's actually quite a nice place :)
Pécs has warmed up into spring and is now preoccupied with eating ice-cream and partying at concerts in the square every night (I'm beginning to see why they call this place the "Disneyland of Hungary"). While Pécs has been busy doing that, we've been going every which way- up the mountain and back down to 10-stories- to Kaposvár and Komló, hospitals, homes and dentists... streeting, tracting, teaching and preaching and preparing for some baptisms. It has been a hard week for many reasons, but we've also seen miracles. I can't remember if I explained, but I've been working on applying what I learned from my Book of Mormon project. I've written down a list of advice

 I had gotten from the "What does Christ want for me" section of the project. I had enough for more than every day of the rest of my mission. (I have almost exactly a year left). So I've been making one of them my motto every day. For example, one of them was "if God says go, GO!"...So there we were at the branch house. We had just had a program cancel, so our backup plan was to go finding. We said a prayer before leaving to decide where to go. My first thought of where to go, I almost pushed aside until I remembered my motto of the day- GO! So we went. We were able to find and teach 2 mothers with completely different backgrounds. They couldn't have been more different, but it was cool to see how the gospel applied and hopefully will continue to apply in their lives. It was also cool to see the fruits of applying something learned from personal scripture study. It's actually been kind of amazing how I’ve been able to find a very specific way to apply that daily advice each day. Hopefully it will continue on that way. I'm sure this week is going to be just as busy if not more busy as we prepare for a wedding, a conference, a baptism and the end of the transfer. (Which will be the end of Sister Kimball's mission- which is super weird since I've been with her since day one). But if we work hard, stay obedient and remember our calling, I can't expect anything else than more miracles. Journey On.

Szeretlek Mindig,
Curtin Nővér

P.S. The little details--
1. Students- it's a very typical thing to see students coming home for the weekend pulling luggage on and off of buses. I'm pretty sure that's normal anywhere, you just notice it because their bags aren't stuffed into the trunk of their own car.
2. FYI it's hard to walk in even the slightest version of a heel on cobble-stone roads.
3. The Hungarian language involves a lot of verbs. For example, you can say that you are "Englishing" rather than "speaking English".
4. Ice-cream- It's everywhere. I feel like every 10 steps I take, I see one of those cute outdoor ice cream stands. Also in relation to the previous point- we went "Ice creaming" yesterday.
5. Flower boxes in windows. Can life be cuter?
6.  Food- I really like Paprikás csirke and a lot of the soups are good and the stuffed peppers are good. We really don’t eat that much Hungarian food, because we do a lot of our own cooking. I don’t have recipes for you right now, but I bet you can find them online.


Sziastok Everyone
Wow I'm already running out of time to write this email. Time is a crazy thing here on the mission. It doesn’t seem to exist. Even when we pull a Hermoine and do 2 things at once (by going on splits with members- I taught my first lesson by myself with a member this week) we still don't have enough time.
BUT it has been a fantastic week. One again we got standard of excellence, but more importantly, we got some miracles along the way. For time’s sake, I will just share one.
We were tracting and this old man that looked like a white-headed Abraham Lincoln came out and spoke to us in English to tell us he wasn't interested. He told us to try going to tract up the hill and around the corner. Normally, we would have ignored his advice and pressed forward in the same neighborhood, but we decided to try it.
At the first door we got to in the new neighborhood, we met a teenage girl. At first she claimed she wasn’t interested, but invited us in anyway. I’ve never met anyone more prepared to hear our word than her. When we gave her the Book of Mormon, she held it in her hands and said "You know, I'd like to read this Book and then pray about it... but then.. this might be weird to ask... but is there something else I should do too?" So willing to act. (And yes, we did talk about baptism after that).
She was super sweet and so prepared. She was so surprised to see us at the door, but thanked us immensely for coming. I really felt like we were sent to her.
The rest of the week was good too. Yesterday, we got back from taking Sister Rindlisbaker to New Missionary training. Sister Kimball and I had a great day while she was in the meetings. We got to see a lot of Budapest and just take a walk around the city and across the river in beautiful weather. Somehow I'll try to get pictures sent... eventually... (maybe Elder Allrdige posted some to his blog- he tends to get the whole picture-sending thing to work more often than me)
We also had interviews with President Smith which were great. I have a lot of prep to do for this next transfer. No matter what actually happens, there will be a lot of change.
I wish I could magically find the time to give you every detail of this week. We've seen a lot of great things and had some wonderful experiences. I wish you could all experience it too. Thanks for all of your emails and letters and prayers and support. I love and miss you all!
Sister Curtin
P.S. A few more cultural or detailed tidbits
1. Harry Potter trains- yesterday I got to ride on my first. (A train with room-like compartments)
2. Flowers from Nénis- all over Hungary you can find older lady’s selling freshly picked flowers on the corners
3. Public transit- it’s the best. Yesterday we took a train, a bus and a tram. And of course we walked :)
Pecs missionaries watching conference