Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This week was pretty exciting for sure. Attilla and Dora are being baptized next Saturday, Dezső had his baptismal interview and will be baptized the following Saturday, and we were able to set up with some new investigators! We had a referral from the Church for a man who requested a Book of Mormon. His name is Zoltán and he lives like 50 kilometers away (so basically he lives out in Narnia) and we haven't been able to meet with him because of that. Hopefully we'll be able to meet soon! 

Great news! I found my license! I'm so embarrassed because there was a hole in the seam of my wallet, and my license had slipped into the "walls" of the wallet, if that makes sense. It doesn't matter that it was in a stupid place, all that matters is that I found it. I better tell Rohner Elder and Howard Elder so they stop praying about it every night...

Yesterday we were trying to visit with a woman who gave us her address and told us that we could come by and share our message sometime and she wasn't home. We decided to go and tract instead and we walked over to a nearby building. As we were csengőing, I was praying that we might be able to talk with somebody and share our message. Almost as soon as I finished praying, someone behind us excitedly said, "Sziasztok!" It was the lady who works at our local pékség! We see her on at least a weekly basis because we buy bread from her all the time. She invited us into her building and we talked for about an hour and a half at her doorstep about who we are and why we are here. She wasn't super interested, but she listened and accepted a pass along card. We invited her to our English class and she said that she would consider coming. I really feel like it was a seed planting moment. Who knows what will come from it!

I finished the Book of Mormon this week. If you haven't read it, read it. I have come to appreciate the words and the stories of the prophets of old. There really is an endless amount of teachings available through the Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit. As we read and apply the teachings available, we will see improvements in our lives in every aspect. There are so many blessings just waiting to be poured out into your lives! Search for the truth and find it. This is Christ's true church, restored on the earth. I love you all and I hope that all is well!
Until next week, (which will come sooner than you would expect)

Burnett Elder

p.s. Instead of a word this week, I'll just share something funny that the people do here. When they see that we're missionaries, sometimes people will make a motion with their hand as if they're screwing in a lightbulb, which is like them saying we're crazy and that our lightbulbs aren't screwed in all the way. It's really kind of hilarious, and pretty clever if you ask me!

An example of the Hungarian language.

Unique/modern shopping sign

Magazine sample

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I have no idea where this week went, it just flew by! We had a lot of awesome experiences and fun stories. I got to go on an exchange with Ure Elder and we had a blast. He's super bold, which was scary at first, but it helped me to break out of my comfort zone. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, embrace the awkwardness of a situation, and just go for it. You never know whose life you might touch just by talking with them.

When you're in a 10 story, you can actually get up to someone's front door sometimes. Every once in a while, we'll knock and the person will look through the peep-hole in their door and just hold as still as possible until we leave. It's really funny because we know that they're there, but they just wait for us to leave. The other day, we waited nearly 5 minutes, and we started waving at the person and then they opened their door. They weren't interested, of course, but it was still pretty funny. We always joke that Hungarians think that missionaries can't see you if you hold still! People crack me up.

We tracted into two new investigators this week! We'll be meeting with them again next week and I'm so excited to get to know them and help them grow closer to their Savior and Father in Heaven. The work is definitely rolling and it's very exciting to see. Attilla and Dora (super awesome couple taught by the other elders) are getting baptized next week!

Think about something you're grateful for this week. It's helped me to stay positive when things get rough. Every moment can become a learning moment and we can always improve. When life throws trials at you, turn those trials into a boost of strength and growth. It's way easier said than done, but it can be done! Remember our Savior in everything. He suffered for you and He knows how to help you through anything.

There's a story that I read recently that has helped me a lot. I don't exactly remember where I read it or every detail about it, but the moral of the story was this. A man joined the church and knew that his family would surely disown him, he would likely have trouble finding a job, and his whole life would be flipped upside down. He would have to make many sacrifices in order to be a member of this church, due to his circumstances. A friend asked him. "Is all of that sacrificing worth it to you?" and the man's response was, "Well it's true, isn't it? Then what else matters?"

It's true. Nothing else matters. Press forward and have faith and hope, because it is true. If you don't already have that knowledge, I encourage you to seek it. Search for the truth with real intent and be willing to sacrifice everything because it's true!

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you soon!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

p.s. Hungarian word of the week rázenditeni which means to break out into song!

Yummy soup:

Cool Guy:

This is their friend.  He speaks 8 languages and is wearing his camouflaged onesie. He got to talk with him on Mother's Day while the Elders skyped from his apartment.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Another week has come and gone! We had the opportunity to listen to Elder Kearon of the 70 speak and it was amazing. He said many things that will likely change my mission and ultimately the course of my life. One of the things that we talked about was thriving on opposition. He said, "You see, the thing about Mormons is that we simply thrive on opposition. The early saints were, by definition, refugees, but instead of taking that title, they chose to call themselves pioneers. There are 10 million people in Hungary and roughly 100 missionaries. Those are the odds we like!" 

Although our lives may seem hard at times, our trials will be but a small moment and the reward will exceed any amount of pain we may have to endure. Go and read Doctrine and Covenants section 122. Honestly, go and read the scriptures in general. You will find that the happiest people were those who worked the hardest, endured the most, relied on their Savior, and lost themselves in the service of others. Keep your chins up. There is light at the end of every tunnel. Go to your Father in Heaven in fervent prayer daily. Pray as if you are drowning. You need Heavenly help just like your blood needs oxygen. This week, I have been focusing on the enabling power of the Atonement. I encourage you to study it as well, as it is something that each of us needs in our lives.

We also got to Skype yesterday for Mother's day! It was awesome to see the family again. I can't believe Davis is back already. Keep him in line for me, everyone! Also weird thought, skyping yesterday was the last time that I will hear Corinne's voice until she gets back from her mission in Romania! I'm so proud of her. I'm grateful that we both have the opportunity to dedicate this time of our lives to the same cause, and grateful for her influence in my life. Well, that's enough cheesy stuff to last the rest of my mission! 

I love you all and hope that all is well! Go share the Gospel with someone this week. It really is the most wonderful thing that we have to offer. Let's go get persecuted!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

p.s. Hungarian word of the week is actually a saying I learned. Ne fesd az ördögöt a falra! In English, it means, "Don't paint the devil on the wall!" or rather, don't assume something will go wrong if it is not certain.

Monday, May 8, 2017

It's crazy how fast the weeks go by! Days are long and weeks are short. It makes no sense, but that's how it is! We had stake conference for 10 hours and only 2 or 3 of the talks were in English (that's still more than I expected!) but I didn't really understand anything. I just sat and wrote down as many words as I could pick out that I didn't know and then I spent a good amount of time looking them up in the dictionary later. 

As far as investigators go, we met a woman while tracting who invited us back next Thursday, which is the most success we've had while tracting besides a let in who néni blasted us last week. Our investigator who is preparing for a baptism on June 10th dogged our lesson and didn't come to stake conference, which was extremely disappointing. He's been meeting with the missionaries for years and he has been taught everything. It's hard to know what to do in that situation, but I think that the best thing to do is just pray and follow the inspiration of the Spirit. We are also meeting with two couples who are both really awesome. The Tivadorék (Tivador is their last name and the ék ending means people of Tivador aka their family) are super solid. The husband has a really bad speech impediment which makes it really challenging to understand him. They are so kind though! The other family is the Szilagiék who believe that the Book of Mormon is true and they like what we teach, but they don't feel ready to keep the commandments. They have some word of wisdom problems, but I have faith that they will progress.

The other day I was feeling a little bit down as we were walking home, but I smelled the freshly mowed lawn of the Tihany Tér church building and I was just taken back home. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace and began to think of all of the things that are the same about Hungary. Of course, the European culture is vastly different, and there are inumerable differences, but when I look up, I still see the same blue sky that was back home. There are many little similarities that make the 5,585 miles between home and me seem just the slightest bit smaller. Most importantly, the same glorious Gospel can be found here. The people have the same testimonies, the same faith, and the same steadfast conversion as the people back home. No matter how great the physical distance, we are all united and brought closer through Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I love the message that we are able to share and pray that the hearts of the people will be softened. They don't know what this Gospel is to them and I am privilaged to be able to bring them that knowledge through the Spirit. It is a heavy load, but we can do all things through Christ!

I love you all and hope and pray daily for your well being. It's been a wild ride for sure, but it's been incredible. Feel free to email me with questions or things. I'll do my best to answer them! Have a wonderful week!

Sok Szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

p.s. Hungarian word of the week is böfög which is burp. It's just a funny word I learned this week!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

This week has been such an adventure! We had a service assignment where we helped a bácsi move some furniture. It was a pretty standard service assignment. We had a zone training which was amazing! We got the classic quote, "For every door knocked in Europe, someone is baptized in South America!" Though that may be true, I'm determined to flip it around. Every time we baptize someone here, someone in South America has to go knock on a door! Baptism is definitely possible here. We have 10 people on bap date in our zone alone!

Yesterday was Hungarian labor day (I think?) which is why we postponed p-day to today. We went to a huge festival in Hero's Square (go look it up, it's AMAZING) and we went music finding! Basically we played hymns on the guitar and sang while two missionaries street contacted. It was a lot of fun and actually really successful! I had the opportunity to go street contacting all by myself with no help! I basically would just say, "My friends and I are missionaries and we would like to share a quick message about families and Jesus Christ." and 9 times out of 10 people would just walk on by. That one time where they let you continue really catches you by surprise, let me tell you! I stopped this couple and explained what we were doing and they said, "go ahead!" and I just panicked and thought, "That's not your line! You're supposed to say no thanks and walk away!" But I collected myself and bore a simple testimony and handed them a little picture of Jesus with our information on the back page. It was scary, but great practice!

We were able to give a bácsi a Book of Mormon as well! He was very friendly and knew a lot about the Bible.

We also got our first let in! We were tracting a 10 story and we were about 2 floors down when I realized that I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. I told him we would go until I couldn't hold it anymore and then run back to the apartment. He jokingly said, "Watch us get let in!" We got to the last floor, second to last door.... and a néni let us in... She had a lot of stuff from the JW's and she was talking a lot about Jesus and how she's really sad about how wicked the world is. We tried to teach her a little bit, but she never stopped talking. She showed us pictures of all of her kids and told us about her family and neighbors for about an hour.  We call this getting néni blasted. They let you in just to tell you about their family, with no real interest in our message at all. I had to use the bathroom so badly the whole time, but there was no way I was about to destroy this nice old woman's bathroom like that.

We had an appointment with a man named Zsolti this week as well. We got to his house, which was really far away, only to find out he didn't care about our message in the least. He was only interested in learning English. He specifically wanted to learn English slang. He was very excited to have us over though, so we made the best of it. He showed us his glow in the dark toilet seat, with a little target in the toilet bowl, and he showed us these really big speakers he had fixed up. He was a speaker repair man or something so there were speakers EVERYWHERE! We taught him a little bit of English and then tried to mention the Gospel whenever we could. He told us that the next time we meet we would watch a movie and translate it for him when he didn't understand. We kindly explained that that isn't allowed and that our job isn't to teach the people of Hungary English. He drove us back to the bus station, but told us that he absolutely had to show us something first. He took his car off-road into this little park, which was super sketchy but whatever, Hungarians just drive wherever their cars fit. Anyways, he pulls up next to this hill and starts backing up the hill and was like, "This is my favorite hill. You see that school over there? I went there for 6 years. Okay, we can leave now." And that was that. He drove us out to this hill, which was like 15 feet tall at the most, just to show us the beautiful view of his elementary school. I love this country.

I love you all and hope you're doing well! Feel free to ask questions that I can answer in next week's email. We don't get a ton of time to email or read emails every week, but I'll do my best. Have a wonderful week!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

p.s. I realize I didn't include a Hungarian word of the week last week, so I'll do two easy ones this week. Bácsi (batchee) and néni (naynee). A Bácsi is just an old man and a néni is an old woman. They're everywhere and they're all so similar. They're exactly what you would expect them to be!

Hero Square:

Train Station: