Saturday, May 11, 2013

WOW

A note from Michelle’s mom.  We got permission to Skype with Michelle this past Sunday, because our family was together for Erik’s baby blessing and it was Hungarian Mother’s Day. The technology wasn’t great, most of the time she couldn’t hear us and she was pretty pixelated, but it was still wonderful to see her beautiful face! We miss her terribly, but we are so proud of the work she is doing in Hungary. I have attached a picture of Daniel, Lynette, Hailey and little Erik on his blessing day and a picture of Sister Curtin – our favorite Hungarian missionary!
 
Sziasztok everyone,
 
Yea, wow is about all I can say! Let me go through the last couple days in speed-style: Friday- Our investigators got married. Saturday- they got baptized. Sunday- they received the Holy Ghost (and I got to briefly Skype family that night). Monday- we had a lot of "goodbyes" for Sister Kimball. Today- I found out that the goodbyes are for all of us. All 3 of us are leaving (Sister Kimball has finished her mission and will return to Spanish Fork, Utah and Sister Rindlisbaker and I were transferred.)
 
Now let me work backwards: Today I got my transfer call. I will be going senior and serving with Sister Larsen (super awesome sister who was in the MTC group that came in right after us) and will be opening a city called Nyiregyháza to sisters. Sister Rindlisbaker is leaving as well. Sister Peterson (my MTC companion) and Sister Burdick (another Sister from my MTC group) will be "whitewashing" Pécs. There are so many changes. It will be really hard to leave tomorrow, and honestly- it is going to be a really hard transfer. I am super excited about my companion, but I need to learn this language so fast. I need nothing short of a miracle. But I also know that it'll be fine and I am excited.
 
Now about our investigators. I wish you could all meet Gabor and Mónika. They are so amazing Their wedding was simple, but so sweet. The baptism too was great. Their cute little 7 year old girl (who played a big part in her parents conversion) said the opening prayer. She also sang with us "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" (the Hungarian version obviously) which was a surprise for the parents. Then on Sunday, they received the Holy Ghost and bore their testimonies. It was an amazing sacrament meeting. Now looking back, it was a great one to be my last Sunday in Pécs. We also sang a translated version of the song "My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee" which was one of Sister Kimball’s mission goals :) It was special for her and for us and for the branch. I’m so happy for Gabor and Mónika as they move forward in this church. I love this family and our other investigators. It will be so hard to say goodbye tonight at csaladi est. In church on Sunday, as Gabor bore his testimony- I felt very strongly that he is going to be a huge part of the church here in Hungary. He will receive the priesthood next week and I feel confident that they will remain a big, active, solid part of the church here. I am so grateful that I could have been a part of that. Mónika is also such a great example. On the same Sunday she became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, she wrote her testimony in a Book of Mormon and gave it to a family-member. Her humble, but strong testimony has been such a blessing to so many people. I'm excited to hopefully stay in touch with them. I know it will always be such a sweet memory. My first baptisms in my first area- an amazing family who will always be family to me.
 
Well now I have to get going. I have to pack and get things ready for the sisters coming in and get myself ready for a complete change. Thanks for all of your prayers and thoughts.
Love Always
Sister Curtin
 
P.S. A few detailed things:
1. Yesterday I had ice in my drink- everyone thought I was going to die. I have not ever (other than yesterday when I froze it myself) had ice in my water since I got here. Luckily I'm still alive :)
2. When greeting people you know or when saying goodbye- you kiss first on the right cheek then on the left. Don't get that mixed up or it can get really awkward :)
3. Everyone keeps asking what Standard of Excellence is. There are "key indicators" (See Preach my Gospel) and our mission has some high goals that are set. If you receive those high goals in ALL of the different areas, then that is Standard or Super Standard. I know that was a simplified explanation but hopefully it helps.


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Daniel, Lynette, Erik and Hailey at Erik's blessing.


Michelle is Budapest. Michelle went from the South West part of Hungary, near Croatia to the North East part of Hungary, near Ukraine.
  
http://www.nationsonline.org/maps/hungary-political-map.jpg

Eskevű‏

Sziasztok everyone,
A pretty crazy, but good week. It was full of those little detail stories that I'm sure I will tell when I get home. Certain details aren't meant for an e-mail or blog, but for a gist and for a reminder of what stories to look back on in about a year, I'll give you these couple details. 
 
1. Story one involves singing Beatles songs to a bácsi (older man) through the window, sitting on a street curb with a bag of chicken and crackers.
2. Story two involves 2 young investigators that went from chasing the elders down the street, to taking the atonement very seriously.
 
Anyway, now onto some exciting things this week. One was a baptism of a cute little 8 year old girl (The one that I mentioned in a few emails is such a good example, like when she placed a Book of Mormon). Her baptism was so precious. Her mom gave a talk about baptism and in it, she mentioned that when she (the mom) was baptized, the little girl had been sad they couldn't get baptized together because she was too young. But now it was her day. She was so sweet and you could tell that she found so much joy in receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. She told me later she felt so good. She is still such an example to me. 
 
Then yesterday we had conference. We traveled with our branch on a little bus for about 2 hours to the are conference (the fields of Hungary are beautiful I might add). The area together made about the size of a Utah ward, but it was so cool to see the strength of just that many. It was a beautiful day and so fun to see so many members from across Hungary. The church is growing here and it will continue to grow.
In fact, it will be growing this week. This week is going to be super busy. It is Sister Kimballs last week in the country (maybe my last in the city, but I wont know that until next Tuesday). And we have a wedding, a baptism and a confirmation to prepare for. Our investigators that are getting baptized this week are actually the first investigators that our mission president and his wife ever met. We are so excited that they have decided to make this next step. They've been such great examples already of how to keep baptismal covenants, even before they are baptized. They sent us with food to a different investigator who is in need, they pray for others, they look for ways to serve and support the branch. Yesterday, seeing the father at the conference talking to our mission president and our branch president, there was a special feeling of excitement for him to possibly become a great priesthood leader in Hungary. I'm so excited for this week and so excited for them. 
Hope all is well at home and you are finding ways to seek and enjoy the gospel. Remember- duty is joy. 
Szeretlek mindig,
Curtin Nővér

p.s. the cultural details.
1. I'm so sorry. I keep getting requests for recipes and don't remember until I'm here at the internet place. Ill try to get some soon. We are having dinner with a member tonight, so maybe I can ask her for the recipe of whatever she makes. For the record- my favorite so far is still probably Paprikás Csirké
2. My grandma requested details on the grocery stores. For the most part, they are pretty normal (minus you have to buy your own bag). The place we go to is called Spar but there is also a popular place called tesco. Some unique things are the bakery part. Bread is so much better here and so much fresher. The vegetables and fruits are also fresh, but also obviously not washed. They also go bad incredibly fast. If I don't eat a banana within the first maybe 3 days of buying it (even if it was green) it will be bad. They also have a whole wall with chocolate- the most popular kind is milka and it is really good. We have to pay 100 forint to use a cart, but you get it back when you return it. And it is located in the mall which is a little different.
 

Missionaries at Conference
 
 
Well after that explanation, it is about time for me to go grocery shopping :) Let me know if you have any other detailed requests. Have a fantastic week!