Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We got our transfer calls this morning! We waited forever, thinking that we had been forgotten. My stomach was tied in knots as I stared into my bowl of Spar brand budget corn flakes- unable to concentrate, at the time, on my own bodily needs. The anticipation of transfer calls was a far greater risk to my health than was my starvation. Luckily, I survived both! I'm going to be staying in Pest with Elder Harris! It will be an awesome transfer!

This week was crazy. We celebrated Elder Ure's birthday at Attila and Dora's apartment and it was so much fun! They're the nicest people ever. 

Funny story- I decided to fast earlier this week (normally I wouldn't mention something like that, but it's for the sake of the story), and we had been out tracting for a few hours that day. We were on our way home to prepare for our English class that we were going to teach when we saw two young boys playing basketball at a local court. We offered them the classic "beat to teach" challenge. We destroyed them. So after we played, we sat and talked with them and I was DYING of thirst (it was ~96 degrees that day). After our little discussion, we gave them a card and headed back to the apartment. As we were headed home, we noticed that the parking lot was flooded and that there were some big sink holes everywhere. It was really weird, but there was nothing we could do about it, so we just kept on our way. We got to our apartment and headed up the stairs. Climbing those 5 flights of stairs up to our apartment was one of the hardest things I've ever done (not really, I'm just being dramatic), but I pressed forward. The only thing on my mind was the refreshing taste of a nice, cold, glass of water, which was so close. Having conquered the 5 flights of stairs, I triumphantly burst through our door and bolted to the sink. Finally, I would be relieved of the thirst that had been plaguing me in the heat! I'll never forget the feeling in my heart, and my mouth, when I turned on the faucet only to hear a depressing sputter, symbolic of my impending death by dehydration. Our water was down. I ended up drinking ~900ml of Madár tej (sugary milk) instead. Luckily, I survived. We ended up not having water for the rest of the day though and we ate dinner at the church building that night. It was a fun experience!

The very next day, there was a huge thunder storm and our power went out too! We finally had water, though it was brown at first, but now our electricity was out. We showered in the dark (it doesn't matter if the water is brown if you can't see it!) which was fun. Both Elder Jones and I suffered a bad hair day because we couldn't use our blow dryer. Wo is me! The electricity was back on later that night.

Finally this week, we had an amazing dinner of homemade lasagna and home made chocolate ice cream from some members! We finished off our transfer by having family home evening at Zsolt's house. It's been a wild ride, but there's nowhere I'd rather be!

We also got to hear from Elder Homer of the 70. He came to our church building to hold a question and answer session for young adults between the ages of 18 and 30. He had some amazing advice which I've been trying to apply. One thing that stood out to me was that he said, "Sometimes it's harder to feel your way to better behavior, but easier to behave your way to better feelings." Stick to the basics. There's a reason why the Church puts such an emphasis on them and simply put, it's because they work! I promise that as you do the basic things, you will begin to behave yourself to better feelings, and a more peaceful, happy life. I'm not saying that life will be problem free, but rather that you will grow spiritually and find comfort as you begin to better understand your relationship with our Father in Heaven and His plan for you.

Until next week, Szeretlek titeket!

Burnett Elder

Instead of a Hungarian word of the week, I'll do another culture thing. So I guess every summer, everyone decides to just have a giant yard sale, except the street is your yard and there isn't really a sale. People just throw random things that they don't want anymore into the streets. There are hundreds of junk piles EVERYWHERE and people just come and take what they want and leave the rest. I have no idea what happens to it all, but we'll see!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

This week was pretty busy. I had Zone Leader splits with Elder Ure, a huge zone party since we had 5 baptisms, zone training, a birthday party with Illdiko and Tivadar (for Illdiko), Bogi got baptized, and I made a néni cry!

For our zone day, we basically got a free p-day as a reward for getting 5 baptisms in the zone. We played capture the flag, board games, other sports, and watched Storks. It was super fun!

Bogi's baptism was wonderful. She was our golden investigator who we found through our English class. One day she just came up to Elder Jones and said, "How can I learn more about your church?" and we were dumbfounded. I felt like we were in South America! Things like that only happen in Ensign stories! But she was a true seeker of truth and was very prepared.

While Elder Jones and I were tracting, we met a néni who listened to us. I bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon and about Jesus Christ and his Gospel and how we can receive so many blessings from it. When I finished, she had tears rolling down her cheeks and she asked us what she needed to do to receive these blessings! It was a super good experience and I'm excited to see what will happen next. There really is no greater work than the Lord's! 

We only have 8 days left in the transfer as well, which is crazy. Time is both flying and crawling. I think it's just best if I ignore it, honestly! There are more important things to think about.

Stay strong and always remember your Savior, Jesus Christ. How amazing is it that He can help us through anything? He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows the best ways to help us and comfort us. Sometimes we may feel alone, I know I do, but He is always there. Press forward in faith and you will grow. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

p.s. A good Hungarian word for this week is magyarazni, which literally means "to Hungarian" but it means, to explain something. I don't remember if I've already shared this word, but if I have....sorry about it hahaha.

Bogi's baptism:

The dog bites (with scorecard):

Parker selfie:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hey everyone! Week 17 has come and gone. Transfers are nearing an end and it has just flown by. A lot of crazy stuff happened this week. 

We'll start with the good. While weekly planning, we made a bold move and decided that we were going to set a goal to get two new investigators this week. The next day, while tracting, we were let into an apartment complex where we had a wonderful conversation with a college student named Zoltán. He was very accepting of the Restoration and found the Book of Mormon interesting. About twenty minutes into the lesson, his mom came home and joined us. She was just as interested! We gave them a Book of Mormon, bore our testimonies of the Savior, and ended with a prayer and they invited us back. It was a miracle and we left the lesson full of happiness and excitement. We were also able to witness the baptism and confirmation of Dezső! It was the most interesting baptism I've ever seen. He's just a funny guy!

Next, the bad. There really wasn't anything necessarily "bad" but some weird interactions took place this week. We had a few conversations with some homeless people, who wanted to hear about Jesus and told us some...different ideas that they had about Him, we were cat called by some drunk women from the sun roof of a limo, and an English woman told us that we need to support Trump by talking with people in the streets and telling them to take back power from women. People are strange sometimes.

Finally, the ugly. Here is a journal entry that I thought was worth sharing:

"I drink out of a green, plastic cup with pictures of Santa all over it. I have ever since my first day in Hungary. Today after church, I grabbed my cup from its usual place on the counter, filled it with water, and drank from it. I noticed a strange taste, almost as if it had been cleaned by some weird minty chemical. I went into the kitchen to try to wash out the minty taste and to my horror, saw my ACTUAL green santa cup sitting in a different spot on the counter. I had just drank out of a mysterious, identical, green Santa cup. I asked Elder Jones what he had used the other cup for, and he said that he used it to hold his retainer every day while he isn't wearing it. He filled it with mouth wash and let it soak. In a failed attempt to protect me from the very mistake that I had already committed, he had set the identical, green Santa cup, then already tainted by the retainer, in a place where he thought surely I wouldn't fatally mistake it for my own green Santa cup: on the counter next to the rest of our dishes. I am slightly horrified by the thought that I essentially drank his retainer water, but we laughed pretty hard about it. It's been a long "test of faith" kind of day. I now drink out of a pink, flower cup, which I made certain is one of a kind."

I love you all and hope that all is well! When times get hard, think of how your situation can help you grow. Sometimes, you just have to press forward with faith, as Nephi and many other prophets of old, not knowing beforehand what will happen! I know that Jesus Christ lives and He loves each of us personally. Stay strong, valiantly serve, look for ways to help others around you. I have found it a blessing in my life to strive to listen, learn, labor, and love each day and I challenge you to all strive to improve in each of those fields each day! May the Lord bless you all in all that you do.

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

This week's Hungarian word abbahagyni, which means "to stop". Stop signs here just say "stop" probably because abbahagyni wouldn't fit!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hey everyone! This week we were able to witness the baptism and confirmation of Brunda Attilla and Brunda Dora! They're super awesome and will be such a blessing to the Pest ward. It is such an amazing opportunity to be able to witness the lives of these people change as they grow closer to Christ and follow his example by making and keeping covenants. This Gospel is the dearest thing to my heart and I'm so lucky to be able to share that with the people of Hungary.

We were able to have a lesson with a Venezuelan woman named Elaine. Great news! She only speaks English! Plus, I hear pretty good things about people from South America and their willingness to accept the Gospel! All joking asside, we had a wonderful lesson. She loves the Plan of Salvation and said that she finds peace in the fact that we can live with our families forever. She also explained that she was comforted by the knowledge that we have a Savior who suffered and died for us. She even said the closing prayer and expressed gratitude that she was able to meet us! It was very tender and it helped me to realize what an incredible blessing it is to be a missionary.

The days are getting hotter and hotter as we get deeper into Summer. It's been around 30 degrees celsius, I think, but it's supposed to get above 40 in July and August. That should be a lot of fun, especially considering the fact that air conditioning is next to non-existent here! Bring it on, Hungary.

This week, during my personal studies, I focused on being actively engaged in missionary work. The Lord doesn't need sleepwalkers to do his work! We need to go about doing good with energy and enthusiasm. As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we will surely find ourselves. Be actively engaged and you will see the windows of Heaven opened up in your lives. I love you all and hope that you're doing well!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

The Hungarian word of the week is selfizni. I'm not even kidding, it's a real word that means "to take a selfie"

With some investigators: 

Pday:  Board games for days: