Monday, July 1, 2013

Cross Country

Sziasztok!

So let's start with my last day in Nyíregyháza:
We had a lesson with our amazing investigator Jozsef. It was a really great program. He is still set to be baptized in just a few weeks. (also, I talked to Sister Larsen recently and she said he is already half way through the Book of Mormon- the SECOND time). What a cool miracle to have at the end of the transfer. We also stuck around after and sang a translated version of "my kindness shall not depart from thee" for him and Heni, the church member that helped us in a ton of programs. It was a really cool way to end. But, that actually wasn't the last program. This one last miracle in Nyíregyháza is such a huge thing to me and I'll have to back track to even tell you the gist of the story: One of our first weeks last transfer we got a call from one of the elders that used to be in Níregyháza. He suggested a 10-story to tract. We felt good about trying it so we went. There we found an incredible investigator. (I'm sure I mentioned him a few times in some emails). His knowledge of the bible was incredible and we really loved teaching him. But there was a lot of opposition in his life. Then he stopped showing up to programs. We tried to get ahold of him and never could. But we never stopped praying for him. We randomly stopped by his apartment or called him throughout the transfer, had some members try to look him up on Facebook. No success. But we didn't give up. One of the last weeks (I cant remember if I mentioned this in my last email) we showed up at his apartment, and an older lady let us in. And he was there! We were able to get his new phone number and he said he wanted to meet again. But then he didn't come to the baptism or church like he said he would.  Then the last night, after our program with the other investigator, we waiting for him. He didn't show up- again. We called him and he said he would come but not until later. We couldn't stay later- we are obedient missionaries and we had to be home. Right before we were about to leave, he showed up. We were able to teach him a great quick lesson (and still get home on time). It was so great to see our prayers were answered, even in the literal final hour. What a blessing.

Another sweet thing from last transfer. Remember that family I told you about in my last email? With the little girl who draws? Well on our train ride to transfers I drew her a picture of Christ and had Sister Larsen take it to her. Apparently the little girl asked the sisters to bring me back. Wow its so hard to leave, but I'm sure more great blessings are around the corner.
 
Now onto the next stage: Szombathely. 
Sister Montenagro is my new companion. I absolutely love her. Another obedient and hardworking missionary. She's only in her 3rd transfer, so it's really important for me to get the language down better, but she's working hard too and I'm very impressed with her. 
The transfer started off a little long and hot though. Because of flooding, we took a different train. It ended up taking us 7 hours to get to Szombathely- We had water for about the first hour. Just to mock us too, the train took us around the Balaton. Suffice it to say, it was a long, hot train ride and I'm grateful we made it. If anyone wants to make a bunch of money, they should try selling drinks on Hungarian trains. 

Other than that the transfer has been good so far. Our appartment is super old but pretty cool. It is basically a shack build on top of an apartment building. So our "deck" is really the roof. Nothing is better than sitting out on the roof, watching a Hungarian thunderstorm, drinking fruit tea and just talking about Christ after a long hard day of tracting in the sun. Thats one of those little details I think I will always love. 

We have some great goals for this transfer. This transfer's goal is about families. There are already a bunch of strong families in this branch (this branch is a little bigger than I'm used to- they actually have a building), but we feel like our goal should be focused on finding another. We're really excited to focus our efforts on that and hopefully see more miracles in the process. Well back to work :) 

Szeretlek Minding,
Curtin nővér

P.S. the little details:
I already wrote some in the main email, so just see the attached pictures for more:
1. Our investigator, us and some of the branch members in Nyiregyhaza
2. On that super long train ride- I fell asleep for a little and woke up to see a castle out our window. I thought I was dreaming for a little. It was random.
3. Sometimes we study on the "deck" (roof) when it's too hot and humid inside
4. There are a billion crows here- and one day a helicopter scared them all away at once. Pretty fun to watch- the pictures don't do it justice. 

Lemonade

(This post should have come AFTER Cross Country. I thought I had posted this letter, but life got away from me and I didn't get it done. I am sorry!)

Sziasztok everyone,

Things are good. The families in this branch are so great and I've been loving getting to know them. Things are also still going great in my old areas. Our investigator from Níregyháza will be getting baptized this Saturday. It sounds like he is still doing great, he enjoyed church and they have been meeting with him every day to prepare him. I'm still so grateful for the miracle that that was last transfer. It will be hard not to be able to go to the baptism personally since I am on the other side of the country now, but it's not about me- it's about him making a covenant with God and I am so excited for him. 
 
This week Sister Montenegro and I are doing a "consecration week". We started today with a fast (super hard when there are pékségs on every corner). We will be SYLing (speaking only Hungarian outside of the apartment) and will be spending a lot of time finding. We still have a goal to find a family this transfer, and we're excited to devote a very solid week to that effort. Everyone says that the missionary work in the west is slow, but I know that the missionary work throughout the world is rolling forward. After the several miracles I saw last transfer, I don't see an excuse to slow my pace here. 
 
My really good friend sent me an analogy that I want to pass along. Maybe you've already heard it, but I still really love it:
It's a hot summer's day and you're sitting outside on a table with a really good friend (or stranger either works). In front of you there is a giant pitcher of lemonade that is yours and you are drinking it in front of your friend.  The friend really wants some lemonade but is too afraid to ask.  You do not offer any because you don't want to be pushy or make them feel like they have to have any. Now the lemonade represents the gospel.  Those who do not have the gospel in their lives are thirsting for it and craving it but don't know where to find it.  We have the gospel and by not sharing it, in a way, we are keeping it too ourselves for only us to benefit from. We can't assume that others do not want a taste. They are experiencing the same heat from the sun, but don't have a way to quench that thirst. Offer them a glass and your own will run-over with joy. 

Szeretlek mindig,
Curtin nővér 
 
P.S. The little details:
1. Walks - I feel like families go out for walks here a lot more than the U.S. ( and the little kids ride their little foot-pushed cars).
2. Slippers - Don't go barefoot in the house or you will freeze. A lot of people will offer you slippers to wear in the house so that you don't get a cold. 
3. Gypsy pants- I don't know if this is a fashion thing in the states too, but a lot of teenagers wear flowing-almost pajama-like pants.
4. Tip I learned at dinner last night- if you leave your fork and knife on the plate in a line, then you want more food. If you put them together at a 45 degree angle, then you are full. :)
5. Pictures: a church down the street from us and the square where we street and table sometimes. 
 
(To those asking about the changes to internet policy in our mission;
we don't know anything yet. I just think it would be cool if it happens before I go home, but it sounds like it may take a year or more for some missions so we will see). 



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