Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Szia Stok! Hello Everyone!

Well, I can't believe it's already been a week! I will be in the MTC for 9 weeks so that's crazy. We had a unique experience because the previous wave of Hungarian missionaries were still here when we got here! They were super awesome and showed me what I can be by the end of my MTC experience if I just work hard. 

The spirit here is amazing! I haven't cried yet, but I have to choke back tears a lot because there are so many incredible stories that just touch my heart. My testimony has grown so much even in the short time that I've been here. 

So my first day of class was insane. There are 6 Nővérek (sisters) and 4 Elders in my district (meaning, there are 10 Hungarian missionaries). So when we have class time, the teacher only speaks in Hungarian, meaning the first day was a big game of charades. Everything was going well, I was kind of understanding what I was supposed to do, when I look up and see one of the elders had a glossed look in his eye. He looked up at me and just puked all over the table. I just thought to myself, "What a lovely way to start my stay here!" He just kind of sat there in shock for a second so I said, "Well, go to the bathroom!" Poor Howard Elder. He and his companion left to go to the nurse and we didn't see them again until 10:30 that night! Later, I found out that Howard Elder's appendix was inflamed and it caused him to throw up. He and Rohner Elder, his companion, spent the day at several doctors offices. Supposedly while they were there, a nurse noticed that they were missionaries and asked if they would give a patient a blessing. Once Howard Elder was feeling better, he and Rohner Elder gave some random lady in the hospital a blessing! The Lord surely works in mysterious ways! I sincerely believe that the only reason Howard Elder got sick was so that he and his companion could be at the right place at the right time.

So much happens in a week, so it's impossible to share every experience in an email without writing a novel. I'll try to keep it short and sweet, focusing on the main points of my experience here.

The language is very difficult! Hungarian is a "lego language" meaning they have certain prefixes and suffixes that you can tack onto base words to make them mean different things. For example, Jézus Krisztus is obviously Jesus Christ, but Jézus Kristusröl, means about Jesus Christ. So the suffix röl adds "about" to the previous word. Kind of crazy! They also talk like Yoda. Jol vagyok is Well I am, or I am doing well. It's a little confusing, but a lot of fun to learn a new language. I already pray in Hungarian (not exclusively, but I at least open and close each prayer in Hungarian) and we have already started teaching an investigator in Hungarian! We can give basic overviews, bear testimony, and pray. I would say it's going pretty well, considering we've only been here a week. Most of my conversations with the other Hungarian missionaries are in Hunglish, because we replace the words we know and use English for the words we don't!

My companion is Daniels Elder. He is 24 and comes from Scottsdale Arizona. We get along very well, but he's a little unorganized. We spent a lot of our study time running errands because he didn't come very prepared. He is brilliant when it comes to the gospel! He has an incredible testimony and great faith. I was asking him how he felt about the language and he said, "Well, I may not be very good at it right now, but the spirit is the real teacher, and as long as I try my hardest, the Lord has promised us blessings, so we have nothing to worry about." I admire his faith in those blessings.

The food is great, there's a lot of variety usually, but sometimes it can feel like a glorified school lunch. Nothing wrong with that! We set a goal as a district to eat an entire tower of cereal (the cereal dispensers are 3-4 foot towers) and I think we're going to try to take on the Cocoa Puffs for our fast Sunday dinner.

The people here are amazing! I've already made so many awesome friends! We have been blessed with a fantastic zone, full of spiritually brilliant missionaries. I love EVERYONE in our zone. Seriously, there isn't a greater group out there. Our zone consists of 3 Albanians (2 elders, 1 sister) 3 Turkish (all elders) 4 Dutch (all elders) and 10 Hungarians (4 elders, 6 sisters) and we're all really close. It's amazing how close you get to people after just a week! Having so many friends here to uplift me and make me laugh makes service here feel so much easier. There is a lot of pressure to learn here, and it's a little high stress. 

Which brings me to my next thing; I'm the district leader! Yaaaaaay! It's been an awesome, humbling experience. I have to plan each meeting and assign every prayer, hymn, and lesson. It can be a little overwhelming, but it just means that I have to manage my time better in order to keep up with everyone else. I love being able to lead and conduct! It's great. Love it love it love it!

Well, It's about time for breakfast and my laundry is finished (I've been typing this email up on a computer in the laundry room) so I'll end here. If anybody has any questions, feel free to ask! I'll be able to respond later today. If you haven't noticed, my P-Nap (pay nop, or P-Day) is Wednesday so you can expect emails each week.

Sok szeretettel, (with much love)

Burnett Elder

Departure Day - Feb 15, 2017

It was hard to say goodbye to Elder Burnett, but we are grateful that he has chosen to serve the Lord!