Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kispest

Sziasztok,

Well week 1 in Kispest. So far it's been great. Honestly I feel like this is one of those changes that teaches me about how God often gives us blessings that are better than what we would have asked for ourselves. I would have been very happy to stay in Buda as a Sister Training Leader with Sister Burdick, but now that I'm here training Sister Naegle in Kispest, something just feels right about it.
That doesn't mean it's been easy though. We have just 1 solid investigator from the transfer before, so back to the ground work I go just like every other new area during my mission. I guess it feels natural. The miracles do come though, it just takes 200 doors first.
One of the first days we were together, we had a good 5 hours to do tracting. So we tracted. and tracted - in the rain. Not even our soggy hair and american accents were helping us get into homes. We literally tracted the whole street (it's long) for 5 hours. Not a single person let us in. We had 10 minutes before we needed to go home, but there was one more house on the street. So, we tracted one more house and what happens at the last door in missionary work? They let you in.
A super nice 20 something year old guy named Tibor let us in. Tibor and his mom are both religious. We had a cool, short lesson and Sister Naegle even got to practice what we had learned in the 12 week program that day, and asked him to kneel when we said the closing prayer. He gave us his number and hopefully we'll get to meet with him and his mom soon.
So maybe that's how it's going to be. I only have a few more weeks on my mission. It might be tracting in the rain for 6 weeks straight, but I feel like there's at least 1 more good thing that needs to happen before I head out.
Szeretlek mindig,
Curtin Nővér

P.S. The little details- pictures
1. Kispest. It's defiantly not the prettiest city I've served in yet, but the diversity and the amount of people makes it fascinating
and beautiful.
2. We didn't have a picture together, so we tried to take one on our way down in the elevator this morning. Didn't quite work, but at least you know we exist. 

Steam

Sziasztok,
"If you're not seeing miracles, you need to go to the edge- miracles happen where water meets steam"- MTC
Well this week has been what I'd title intense. It started pretty typical with some great splits. I love splits and all I've learned from the sisters. We had some great conversations about sincerity in missionary work.  Then came Friday and I never could have imagined what a unique day that would be. It started with interviews. President's big topic of discussion was change- How have we changed throughout our missions? How has our testimony grown? Then shortly afterwards we had Zone Training. As Sister Training Leaders and, of course, since it was Valentines day, we were assigned to give a training on loving the people we serve. Then all of what we had talked about throughout the day, was tested to the max that night. A thousand aspects were pressurized in one of the most difficult nights of our whole missions.
You know, to keep it simple- I've never really been a fan of the saying "Your mission will be the time you are the closest to the Lord". Whether true or not, it's incomplete without the following: "Your mission will be the time when the adversary wants you to feel the farthest from the Lord".
Never mind frozen fingers, never mind when investigators you love make mistakes or give up, never mind the fatigue, the hunger, and the old man who chases you away from a building- your own standing with God is the true trial of a mission. As I've gone on splits and worked with the sisters and through my own experience, that truly is the test of a mission. That's the true boiling point.
We felt awfully distant that night. But you know what? We moved forward. We stepped into the steam.
Miracle number 1. On Saturday we met with a member from Pest and his referral for the first time. She's a super cute artsy lady who has had a lot of trials in her life. She came to a baptism right after that, church the next day, bore her testimony in Sunday school about the spirit she felt in sacrament meeting, met with us that night and accepted a baptismal date in 3 weeks.

Miracle number 2. One potential investigator we had tried to call several times. She would set up and then not come. We were starting to give up on her. Well, she showed up to church and found us. We set up that night, met with her and she accepted a baptismal date for April. Super sweet lady. She has overcome some huge and terrible trials in her life too and really wants to do what's right. She was also really excited to learn how to pray. I absolutely loved teaching her.
Miracle number 3. We met with a kid who Sister Burdick found streeting. Really nice, but basically told us he wasn't interested. He said he was content with his beliefs as is. He doesn't believe in God right now, but he let us say a closing prayer, where I prayed for his family. He took a Book of Mormon and said thanks, but didn't set up to meet again. Well a couple hours later we got a text from him: "Hey! Our prayer might have just worked! My bro came back home with an amazing offer from his boss! Bless you all! :)". Hey guess what? God exists and He is listening.
Miracle number 4. The Nyiregyháza sisters were in Buda for interviews. They saw me and told me something super exciting. While I was serving there, there was an investigator who I absolutely loved. I prayed a lot for him. Shortly after I left, he stopped meeting with the missionaries. I kept praying for him anyway. Well I guess a few weeks ago (about 7 months later) he walked into the branch house and told them he was there to meet with Sister Curtin and Sister Larsen. God doesn't give up on people.

Miracle number 5. This one is an accumulation of my whole time here in Buda. It's crazy to think that less than 2 months ago we found Zsolt. This Sunday he blessed the sacrament. We also had a really cool opportunity to go to his mom's house. We talked to her and his dad. While we were there, his sister brought over his niece. We got to meet everyone in his family. It was such a blessing to spend time with them. His mom told us how proud she is of him and how they're grateful for the opportunity to support him in this decision. The gospel blesses families.
It would have been soo easy to check out that Friday night. It was so hard. Missions are crazy hard. But if you follow Him into the steam, the miracles are worth it.
mindig szeretlek,
Curtin Nővér

 P.S. The little details...
1. Well I guess this isn't a little detail, inkább a huge one. Not sure why I left this for a p.s. but today was transfer calls. I'm going to Kispest to finish Sister Neagly's training. President thanked me on the phone for my service as a Sister Training Leader and said he's excited to have me finish my mission working one-on-one with a younger missionary again. Finish...? What?
2. Normally here in Hungary, it takes about 2 years to be able to get your patriarchal blessing. But those who are getting married, or going on missions, or other special cases get moved up. My investigator (now member) Bogi, is here in Buda today to get hers! :) Hopefully I'll get to see her.