Wednesday, July 11, 2018

It's already July? This transfer is already over?? I have a new mission president???

Things are insane, let me tell ya. Insane is good though. It keeps things busy and interesting.

This week, we met the Hettingers! They're seriously fantastic. I can't wait to work more with them over the course of my mission. President Hettinger is certainly the man called and set apart to lead the combined Hungary/Romania mission at this time, and he's doing a great job of it so far. I especially love his sense of humor! He's hilarious!

Another 4th of July has come and gone as well. Last year, I had probably my most ironic celebration ever because I spent the 4th in a Hungarian immigration office in Budapest, and we celebrated by eating hot dogs at a Swedish furniture store.

This year, we decided to continue the tradition by eating hot dogs and drinking sparkling cider. Funny story really quickly: The cider is more like, alcohol free champagne, and I'm not super familiar with champagne or how it behaves....You'll understand what I mean in a second... Anyways, there's like this little metal frame thing that holds the cork in the bottle, right? I took that thing off and then we started saying a blessing on our food, and as we were praying, the cork exploded off of the bottle! It was super loud and scared me to death!

There was a special musical fireside this week at our branch house and tons of people, including one of our investigators, Krisztina, came! There is this woman who has a beautiful voice and she sings a lot of church songs in Hungarian. Anyways, she's been travelling around Hungary doing these little musical firesides and it was awesome! The Spirit was so strong, and I'm so grateful that Krisztina was able to get more aquainted with the members in the branch, as well as have her testimony in the Savior strengthened in a really special way.

We got our transfer calls this morning! Ready for the big news? Drum roll!

I'm whitewashing out of Szombathely (that means both my companion and I are moving out), and I'm whitewashing into Sopron as a trainer and district leader! I'm sad to be leaving a place as wonderful as Szombathely so soon, but I'm also so excited for the next adventure! Can't wait! Also fun fact: I'll be in the city that is as far away from Romania as possible.

Wish me luck!

Burnett Elder

Monday, July 2, 2018

I can't remember what I talked about in my last weekly email, but I think I at least mentioned our lesson with Terézia. If not, here's a really brief overview of what happened, and why I'm bringing it up again:

Terézia is a sick, old, néni who LOVES the missionaries, but is having a hard time accepting the Book of Mormon as scripture. Last week when we went over to her house, she invited us to meet with her neighbor as well. As we were with Terézia, waiting to go over to her neighbor's apartment, she asked us some very difficult questions, and wouldn't accept any of our answers. It felt like playing ping-pong with a brick wall!

Anyways, we walked over to her neighbor's apartment with Terézia feeling as if her questions were left unanswered, and with us feeling a little worn out and uncertain about what was to come. We ended up having a fantastic lesson with her neighbor, and I challenged him to be baptized at the end of the lesson. He said he would, if he got the answer that the things we talked about are true.

Okay, so now that you're caught up with the story, here's why I'm even mentioning it! We were feeling really bad about Terézia, because she's so sincere and really does want to find the answers to her questions, but we felt like we had done all that we could do. We had to leave it up to the Spirit to change her heart, and that was hard for me, because I really wanted to do something to help! Earlier in our week, Terézia emailed us saying that as we met with her neighbor, and as we testified of the Restoration and of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, our words really spoke to her and touched her heart. She said that she felt a power, that told her to try searching for answers again, and to try to listen more carefully and with a more open mind. Then she invited us to come back! 

The Spirit truly is the teacher, and can have such a powerful effect on the hearts of people! What would we do without it's influence? I'm so grateful to know that I can have the Spirit as a constant companion, so long as I remain worthy of that gift.

Someone requested that I talk a little bit about what going to church is like here in Hungary. The church buildings are all very beautiful. They are similar in style throughout the country (much like they are at home), and they are much smaller than the buildings we're used to in America. Some of the church buildings are actually in business offices, which are rented out. For example, the Sopron branch house is on the 2nd or 3rd floor of a building, right above some sort of business. You can take the elevator, and the floors are labelled "Some business, some other business, Mormon Church, etc." It's pretty different from home!

In Szombathely, we have a beautiful meeting house with a baptismal font, chapel, classrooms, kitchen, and a huge yard with a basketball hoop in the parking lot.

Each week, we have on average 30 to 40 people who attend sacrament meeting. Most of the members ride bikes, or take the bus, so our parking lot usually only has 3 or 4 cars in it. Meetings are the same as they are in America, and the lesson manuals are the same as well.

Church can be overwhelming when you only understand half of what is said at all times, but I always leave feeling happy and ready for another week of work! I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to be in this interesting, and beautiful, country!

We had an interesting experience yesterday while tracting. We were just going around tracting, and around 8:30, we decided to start making our way home, streeting people as we went. "For some reason" I felt like we should go a different route. About 10 seconds into our journey home, I started talking to a bácsi on the street, and he asked, "How are we doing?" I was super confused at his question, and he repeated it, "How are we doing?" He was referring to his team in the world cup... Hahahaha. He then went on to talk about his favorite team in the world cup, and.. well, really everything else about his life. He invited us into his courtyard, and we went in, hoping to share a message. He then asked us if we wanted to see his "pincer" which is like a storage area underneath the buildings here (most places have one. They're like... literal dungeons made of stone and people use them for storage), and we agreed to go in.

Long story short, this man was a blacksmith and a carpenter, and he did most of his work in this pincer. I wish so badly that I would have taken pictures, but my camera was dead. It was a real life dungeon, with all sorts of crazy tools and things on the walls! Definitely one of the moments where I stepped back and thought, "Well, I'm in Europe!"

The guy ended up talking for 50 minutes straight before releasing us. Hopefully this interaction will serve a greater purpose in this man's future. For now, it's an interesting story for us!

President and Sister Szabadkai have been released and now President and Sister Hettinger are living in Budapest, serving as our new leaders! We are so excited to have them! We're going to Buda tomorrow for a "meet the President" meeting where we'll learn about the new changes and things. It should be good!

I'm grateful for this crazy journey and for all of the lessons I'm learning. I've been focusing on looking for a miracle each day, and so far, there hasn't been a single day that didn't have a miracle of some sort! I would encourage you all to do the same. You'll be surprised to see how involved the Lord really is with your life!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

Hungarian of the week: One of my favorite sayings is "Két legyet, egy csapásra" which literally means "Two flies with one slap". I feel like this saying makes much more sense than its English equivalent, "Two birds with one stone". I've found myself slapping flies far more frequently than I've found myself stoning birds!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

You know, not every day in the life of missionaries is sunshine and chimney cakes! This week was on the more difficult side, but it was good nonetheless!

First of all, we got to go on a tour of a Jewish history center for p-day last week and it was super fun! I even got to wear a Yamaka (I don't know how to spell it, okay?) which was on my secret bucket list! It was really cool to learn about anothe religion, and much of what they taught us reminded me of our Temples.

Yesterday, we went to Zalaegerszeg for a lesson with Terézia and her neighbor. Terézia asked some of the most difficult questions I've ever heard, and she wouldn't accept any answer unless it was very clear in the Bible. We did our best to follow the Spirit and answer her questions, but in the end, I felt a tiny bit useless. All we can do is our best! Hopefully the Spirit will be her teacher as she continues to search for answers to her questions.

After that lesson, she took us over to her neighbor's house and we had a lesson with him. We talked about the Restoration, and about our beliefs in general. After we told him about Joseph Smith and the Golden plates, I said, "I know it may be hard to believe that something like this is possible, but I know that it is true, because I have read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it, and I have receieved the answer that it's true." His response totally shocked me, because it was so unexpected. He said, "Actually, I believe it. It's totally possible. I'll read the book and pray about it and find out for myself." 

What better thing can you hear as a missionary?

After he said that, I felt prompted to challenge him to be baptized. I said, "If you do receive the answer that it's true, would you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized under proper authority?" and he said YES. We didn't set a date, but he said that if it was true, he would be baptized. Pretty cool experience.

This was President Szabadkai's last week with us! President Hettinger comes in on Friday, and from then on, I'll be in the Hungary/Romania, Budapest Mission! We're all so grateful for President and Sister Szabadkai and their diligent service, but we are also excited and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Hettingers!

I know that the Lord is directing this work, and He is at the helm. There is nothing to fear when we have this knowledge. Sometimes, things happen in our lives that we just can't understand. The important thing to understand is that God has a perfect plan for each and every one of us. Everything that He does is for our benefit! That has brought me so much comfort and peace as I've faced uncertainty and confusion in this crazy world. 

There was a huge festival here in Szombathely this week for Szent Iván day. There were rock bands, fireworks, and amusement park rides! We tried to meet with a man who told us to come back, and he wasn't home, so we decided to go and search for him at the festival. Of course, the Lord put us in each other's paths and we met him on the street and were able to talk a bit! Now tell me that He isn't directing this work!

Don't forget, God is at the helm!


Burnett Elder

Monday, June 18, 2018

t's getting hot, and I know it's only going to get hotter! It has rained SO MUCH since I've been here. Over the past two weeks, it has rained over 10 times. I love the stormy weather! Train rides in the rain are surprisingly peaceful (well, depending on the train... the newer ones are super smoothe and quiet, the older ones are super loud and rattle a bunch. Anyways...).

We got to go on splits in Győr, which was incredible! I was with Elder Van Duyse, who is from Canada. We worked on teaching while we find and finding while we teach. We thought of some ways to bear testimony at the doorstep, and tie our approaches into the Restoration. We had a really good time tracting! As we were coming out of a building, a bácsi stopped us and said, "This is a beautiful work that you're doing. Thank you for doing this! You see, I'm also Catholic and I hope that everyone will one day become Catholic!" Hahahahaha. We clarified that we were actually members of a the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and he just smiled and walked away. Good times...

While we were in Győr, there was a huge storm and also a huge flood! The other elders were out doing service with a member, and they were on their way home when the flood started. The water was so deep that cars were getting stuck, and the elders had a super cool opportunity to help people get unstuck. 

Okay, we HAVE to talk about the Győr apartment really fast.... You walk into a lobby, and they have a little key fob thing that you just flash against this little pad and it unlocks the door to the building. Super cool. When you walk in, the whole place looks like a 5 star hotel (probably an exaggeration). The best part about it all is that their apartment has AIR CONDITIONING. I know, I was freaking out when I heard too! They also have electric blinds, which when they are closed, don't let any light in at all. Even in the middle of the day, with the blinds closed and the lights off, you can't see your hand in front of your face (not an exaggeration). Needless to say, with the AC and the darkness, I slept pretty happily, despite being on a mattress on the hardwood floor.

We had a few opportunities to serve this week as well! We went to an assisted living home, Holnap Háza (Tomorrow's Home), and made lavender bouquets with some of the people who live there! It was super fun and the flowers smelled so nice. After we bunched them together, we tied two bunches together with some twine and hung them up around the patio. It smelled super nice and it was a much needed hour of arts and crafts for us!

We also got to do some service at an elementary school nearby. We went with our branch president to this elementary school and basically, we dug up these bricks that were buried about 8 inches underground. My job was to walk around with a wheelbarrow and collect the bricks and then drop them off in a pile. It was awesome! We broke 3 pickaxes, one of which was broken, fixed, broken again, fixed again, and broken another time.... By the end, the handle was about 2 feet shorter than it was originally!

Finally, we had some great success while whiteboarding this week. We took a big whiteboard into the town square and wrote, "What makes you happy?" on it, and invited people to come and write their answers on the board. A few people wrote things, but most people just walked by and kind of laughed. Toward the end of the night, Elder Gilson and I stopped this pair of guys walking along, eating some ice cream. Our conversation was friendly and happy, and they wanted to meet again so that we could give them a copy of the Book of Mormon!

Immediately after that, I had a great conversation with a drunk anti-christ! During the whole conversation, he was very aggressive, but I literally felt some outside force speak through me and control my mood and everything. I felt like an observer in this conversation, and I said some things that really surprised me. I got a little stern with the guy, but it shut him up and he listened to what we had to say. Afterward, he bought us sodas hahahaha.

It was a powerful experience for me! Especially when I looked into his eyes, which were drunken and frustrated. I felt the love of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for him, and I wanted SO BADLY for him to understand how much better life is with Them in it. He had such a negative view of Them, because of his past, and I wanted him to understand his relationship with Them better. It would have made his life so much happier. I tried my best, and in the end, he didn't show much change, but he was passified, and hopefully a little happier.

I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and that They love each of us! They care deeply for us and sincerely want what is best for us. As we put our trust in Them, we have NOTHING to fear. Not even drunken, swearing, aggressive, anti-christs! I have witnessed first hand, that with a little bit of listening, love, and patience, we can show others that there really is a loving God in Heaven, and that Jesus Christ really is our Savior! We have such a happy message to share with others, so let us share it and let us share it happily!

Have a wonderful week!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

Hungarian of the week: "Levendula" means "lavender". 

"Levendulát kötünk csokorba" means "We tied lavender into bouquets"

Monday, June 11, 2018

Huha, it's getting insanely hot! The eternal sweat has nearly begun! We had a super packed week. I really wish I could share everything with you all, but there just isn't enough time! I'll summarize with a good ol' fashioned bullet point list!

-Monday we went to Köszeg for p-day and we met a very interesting Bácsi. He told us that Freddie Mercury was Hungarian, and I replied with, "I've actually heard that George Washington was Hungarian too!" and he paused for a second and said, "Yeah, probably." Hahahaha. The sad part is, supposedly there's a statue of George Washington that says, "George Washington: A Hungarian American Hero" somewhere in this country! Later that day, we were talking about it and I said, "That was the 2nd craziest thing I've heard all day..." and everyone looked at me and asked, "What was the first craziest thing?" and I said, "I don't know yet, I'm still waiting for it." As we were walking back to the train station, one of the sisters said, "This might sound crazy, but I've been away from Mexican food for so long... what does a burrito look like?" and that's when I said, "There it is! That's the first craziest thing I've heard all day!" It was pretty funny.

-That last bullet point was huge

-Tuesday we met with a new investigator named Krisztina! She was found by the Székesfehérvár elders and she wanted to meet! Our lesson was awesome and she wants to meet again tomorrow! She has a ton of great questions and she's very friendly!

-Wednesday we had a zone conference in Buda. We woke up at 4 a.m. and weren't at the mission home until 10! The training was amazing. We talked about having unity in our work and it got me so pumped up to work with our branch leaders more closely.

I think this is his outgoing Mission President and wife, Pres and Sister Szabakai.

-Thursday we learned that it's important to know that you're on the right train... We were sitting on the train, on our way to district meeting, and I felt like I should make sure we were on the right train. I got up and asked a woman, "Does this train go to Sopron?" And she replied with, "Oh, no! This train just came from Sopron! It's going to Pécs!" So we hurried off the train and found the right one, luckily... We almost ended up on the wrong side of the country!

-Friday we had an awesome backyard barbecue type thing with a Priest from the Reformed church (it's a long story how we ended up there, but long story short, we were invited to go by a man from English class).There were a lot of people there and we were able to have so many good conversations, give a family a Book of Mormon, and eat some home made Hungarian cheese!

-Saturday I broke a guitar string and we went tracting in a little village about 10 minutes from Szombathely by train. We had a conversation with a really grumpy bácsi who didn't want to talk with us at all, and then we moved on to talk with his neighbors. His neighbors were picking cherries from their tree, and we offered to help them. They happily accepted our help and we had a super good conversation! We taught the entire Restoration, gave them a Book of Mormon, and asked if we could come back! They said that they would call us if they wanted to know more, but that they would surely read the book. They were so nice! The grumpy bácsi from the previous house was picking cherries from the other side of the fence and heard the whole conversation. Hopefully his heart was softened as he saw that we want to help people in more ways than just spiritually!

What the heck?

-Sunday was amazing. We have an investigator named Terézsia, who lives in a village called Zalaegerszeg. She was a self referral, but she's really old and sick and never wanted the missionaries to come over because she's too embarassed of her living condition. Instead of visiting her, we sing her a hymn each week, and call her on the phone. She LOVES the missionaries to death! On Sunday, we decided to just do a surprise visit. She was so excited to see us and we had an awesome lesson! She has read a ton online and has been waiting for a copy of the Book of Mormon for a long time. She was very excited to finally get a copy, and she invited us over next week as well for another lesson! She's incredibly sweet and I can't wait to meet with her again!

Sorry about the big wall of text, but there's a report of our week! Lots of miracles, lots of funny stories, lots of great memories, lessons learned, and friendships made.

One final thing before I end this; We were listening to President Nelson's youth devotional that we downloaded, and it was amazing! He talked about how we are all enlisted in the Lord's Battalion for Gathering Israel. It totally changed my perspective, and several times throughout the week, I was pushed by the thought that I was working to gather Israel. There is no greater work on Earth! It can be difficult when Israel doesn't want anything to do with being gathered, but you know what, when we try, the Lord magnifies our efforts and makes miracles happen. 

I love this work and I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has brought me so much joy and purpose in this life, and it will do the same for you! Now go out there and gather Israel! It's a lot of fun!


Burnett Elder

Monday, June 4, 2018

You know how when you're driving, bugs sometimes splatter on the windshield? Well it turns out if you ride your bike fast enough, they do the same thing to your nice, white shirts... I can't even tell you how many bugs I've swallowed straight out of the air either! You know, if you don't think about it, that sounds kind of impressive.


Our week was full of miracles! I don't have a ton of time, so I'll get straight into the stories.

One day, we were tracting. It was a particularly difficult tracting session. The people were mean, nobody wanted to talk to us, one néni roasted us for not speaking very good Hungarian, and I had actually just been yelled at by this guy who was kind of just being a jerk. Basically, we weren't feeling too super about the day... but we kept on going anyways. When we got to the end of the street, there was a young boy riding a bike. He was clearly not natively from Hungary. In my head, I thought, "He's too young, it would just be awkward if we tried to talk with him..." and I kept on walking past him. We knocked on a few doors, and I SWEAR I heard him say, in English, "What the heck are they doing?" 

I ignored it and kept tracting...

Then we got to this house where a man answered. I'm pretty sure he was deaf because I honestly didn't understand a single thing that he said and he made a lot of signs with his hands. He was very nice, and kept pointing in the direction of the young boy on the bike. After that encounter, we were kind of wandering, thinking about what to do, when Elder Gilson said, "Do you think we should talk to that boy?" Immediately I said, "Naw, he's too young. It would be so awkward if we tried to talk with him." I took a few steps, stopped, and said, "But awkward is just a word. Let's go talk to him."

I walked up to the boy, who was now standing in front of one of the doors we had already knocked (nobody answered) and I started talking to him. He stopped me mid sentence and asked me if I spoke English. I excitedly replied that yes, I do know English! I explained that we are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that we were trying to teach people more about Jesus Christ, our purpose on Earth, and how we can find happiness in this life and forever. He thought about it for a second and then went to get his dad.

His dad came out and I shared basically the same thing. This time, I included the fact that we believe that families can be together forever and that God is our Heavenly Father, who has created a plan for us so that we can live together with Him and our families forever. He looked at the floor for about 5 seconds, looked back up at me, and said, "Would you like to come in and have a glass of water?"

They let us in and we had an absolutely fantastic discussion with the whole family (there are 4 of them. Parents, a daughter and a son who are high school aged)! They have only lived in Sombathely for 2 months and they have no jobs, but they are searching for work. They fled their home country to find a place where their children could be raised in a Christian household and a Christian environment. They described how they left everything behind to come here. They had lives back in their home country. They had good jobs, family, and friends. But they left it all behind in search of something better.

Elder Gilson tied their story in perfectly with the story of Lehi and his family and how they left everything behind in an act of faith, in search of something better. We taught them about the Restoration, we explained how we believe in a living prophet who guides us and receives revelation from God, and we explained the Book of Mormon and how it can help us. When I started talking about Joseph Smith, the wife stopped me and excitedly said, "He must have been one of those living prophets you were talking about!" It was so exciting!

When we finished, I explained that we typically end with a prayer, and I asked the father if he would like to choose someone to say the prayer. He responded with, "You two are the ones bringing the word of God to me and my family... who am I to choose?"

Before the prayer, the wife asked us if we would pray for them, that they could find work and that they could have help in learning the language. The whole experience was just amazing! They don't have a phone, and they don't have regular access to the internet, so we can only communicate through email and only occasionally. Yesterday, we dropped by with some copies of the Book of Mormon in English, with our testimonies written inside, and they happily accepted them.

Could you imagine if I had just continued to ignore that young boy, and the prompting to talk with him? What if we had just kept going on with our day? What if I selfishly decided that they would never accept the Gospel? I am so grateful that I followed that prompting.

And guess what! It happened a second time, just two days ago!

We were in a little town called Köszeg and we decided to do some tracting, after a lesson we had with a potential (that's a whole different story that I wish I could share, but this is already a novel). While tracting, we found ourselves in a very similar situation to the one we were in on Wednesday; hot weather, angry people, you know what I mean.

Well, we had just about finished that street when we came up to the last house. We were outside the gate, looking for the csengő (chen-goo, or doorbell) but there wasn't one. We decided to leave, and as I turned around, I saw a man out of the corner of my eye, sitting at a table on his porch. I ignored it and kept walking.... As we turned the corner, I admitted, "Actually, I saw a guy sitti-...." and before I could finish, Elder Gilson said, "Yeah, I saw him too. Let's go talk to him..."

I was preparing myself to get denied, but without saying a word, the man stood up and pointed to his gate that was on the other side of his yard from where we were standing. My words seemed to just bounce right off of him. We walked over to the other side of the gate, and he let us in without a word. We awkwardly walked in, and then he pointed to some chairs at his table. When we sat, he said, "Alright, NOW we're in a proper environment for me to hear your message. Go ahead!" 

He was SO COOL! We had a wonderful conversation, and he excitedly accepted everything we said. He said that he really wants to come to our Church, because he doesn't associate with any church right now. He believes that most churches have some truth, but that they have twisted doctrine to fit their own desires. (he loved it when we explained the Apostasy!) 

We explained the Book of Mormon, and when Elder Gilson said that 400 years after Christ came, the people became wicked again, and he stopped us and asked "Wait, why would they become wicked if they had seen Christ?" and I said that it was because they had prospered and forgotten about Christ. He then said, "Ahhh, yeah, we can see this in our world today! People live such comfortable lives, they don't really want God because they don't really need him. They only use religion when it's convenient for them!"

Long story short, it was a great lesson and I KNOW that God led us to people this week. God definitely directs this work, and it's our job to boldly follow promptings, no matter how awkward we think it's going to be! Remember, awkward is just a word!

I would invite you to pay special attention to the promptings of the Spirit this week. What does he want you to do? Who does he want you to reach out to? Who can you lift up? Who can you share with?

I love you all and thank you all for your love and support. Sorry this email is long, it was just a great week and I'm pumped up about it!


Burnett Elder

p.s. Hungarian word of the week is "rétes" which is basically this super crazy pastry they make here where they roll out dough as big as a table (not kidding, they can be like... 5' x 7' or bigger!) and they fill it with a ton of stuff and then roll it into a giant burrito and bake it! Try and look up a video on YouTube or something, it's pretty cool.

Monday, May 28, 2018

I feel like I spent half of my week on a train.... We went to Győr and Pest this week, so we spent a lot of time and money on getting around. Tuesday was our p-day last week because of Pentecost and on Wednesday, we had a zone day/interviews in Pest. It was so fun to go back to my birth-city! It's been almost a year since I've been there and it's the same, good ol' Pest I know and love! It was fun to be there with Elder Harris, who was my companion this time last year in Pest. So many memories and laughs!

For our zone day, we played games and watched "One Good Man" and had our final interviews with President Szabadkai. At the end, we had a testimony meeting that was very powerful. It's always a lot of fun to get with the other missionaries and to hear their experiences and testimonies.

Here's an LDS chapel in Hungary:

While we were on splits, I set a goal to pray more sincerely for my investigators, and more specifically for their needs. I prayed for the Hajnál family and asked God to help them have a desire to make it to church on Sunday. Guess who walked in right as we finished singing the opening hymn! If you guessed the Hajnál family, you guessed correct! It was super good to have them at church. I know that God hears and answers our prayers and that He wants to help us to achieve our righteous desires!

One other fun thing we did this week was go on a kirándulás (excursion, but we don't really use that word very often in English...) with the Szombathely branch. We went out to this little village near the Austrian border and played soccer, basketball, pingpong, and other games together and then went on a beautiful hike. At the top, there is a giant lookout tower thing that's made of wood. I'm kind of scared of heights (it's my 3rd biggest fear), and while we were standing at the top, one of the members started to rock back and forth and the whole structure started to wobble! I said, "Stop that, or we're going to die!" and he replied, with a smile, "Well if we die, we will be resurrected, so it's not a problem!"

Eh, he's not wrong, but I still have a few things to live for, personally!

Anyways, the whole thing was a ton of fun and it was really cool to see that part of the country. You could even see Austria and some Austrian villages from the lookout!

Did you know that the Church has been in Hungary for almost exactly 1 year longer than McDonald's has? The Church celebrated its 30th anniversary last April, and Mackies, as some Hungarians call it, is celebrating its 30th anniversary now.

Now you know!

You know I know? I know that God lives, and that He loves me. He loves each and every one of us! He loves us so much, that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from sin and death. Lots of people don't know that.... I can't imagine getting through this life without that knowledge and without the purpose and meaning that it brings into my life. Because God loves me, I have a place on this earth, I have a path to follow, I have a direction to go, and I have peace and joy in this life that can't come from any other source. I'm so grateful to be here and to share this wonderful news with everyone!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

Word of the week is "szivacs" (see-vach), which means "sponge". I thought it meant "eraser" because they use sponges as erasers in the Branch House and that's what they were calling them, but it turns out, it means "sponge". Who knew?

p.s. My release date is now August 8th, just in case you were wondering!