Monday, July 24, 2017

Hey everyone! Another crazy week full of surprises, miracles, and more surprises!

First of all, let's talk about some miracles that we saw this week, and one that I forgot to mention last week. This was last weeks miracle that somehow slipped my mind:

We were looking through our area book and found the name of a less active member who hadn't been to church in a really long time. We decided to go to her house and see if we could help her with anything. When we got to her house, someone answered and told us that the woman we were looking for didn't live there anymore. Anyways, a week or so passes by and Margit, a ward missionary here in Pest, calls us and tells us that she set up a lesson for us with a less active member. We were grateful for her setting up this lesson, but didn't think too much of it. During the lesson, this less active woman mentioned that lately she had been feeling like she needed to come back to church. She was really unsure and said that she would come back to church if she got a sign. That same day, her son called her and told her that two young men from the Mormon church came looking for her! Then, she went looking for a phone number that she could call, found Margit's number, and went to call it when suddenly Margit called her! Margit had been feeling like she should call this less active member and ask her how she was doing and all of this led to our little meeting! It was so cool! Such an amazing miracle. This less active member has been coming to church and she also wants us to teach her family! Let me just tell you, I felt like we were living an Ensign story.

A car blew up (admittedly random placement in this blog):

This week we also saw some really cool miracles! Yesterday, we decided to look up a former investigator who we found in the area book. On our way over to their apartment, a woman stopped us in the street and told us that she had met with Mormon missionaries almost 20 years ago! She said that she wanted to come back to church and start meeting with us again and she gave us her phone number. It was really awesome! We didn't even have to do anything but be at the right place at the right time! Then, we continued on to finish our look up. We got to the 10 story where our former investigator lived, and we rang the csengő, but nobody answered. As we were walking away, a woman called out to us from across the street. We walked over to her and she asked, "Were you ringing (her door number)? Cause that's me! I was just thinking about you guys this morning." Then we had a nice conversation and set up a time to come back and teach her and her family. What a miracle!

As far as fun things this week, we got to go to the Fina world championships (for some swimming events) and watch some preliminary matches for free, which was super fun! It was like being at the Olympics! We got to cheer on Katie Ledecky and were the only ones cheering for her, since we were pretty much the only Americans there. Anyways it was a fun and unique experience to be there.

Recently I've been studying from the Teachings of the Prophets: President Gordon B Hinckley manual and it is phenomenal. If you haven't read much from it, I highly encourage doing so. His words are so powerful and applicable to our lives. I really admire his consistent positive outlook on life. He offers great counsel on how to develop a positive lifestyle with a focus on serving others and dedicating our lives to service to the Lord. There is great strength to be found in the scriptures, and the words of modern prophets are indeed modern scriptures! I love the Gospel. It just makes so much sense. I'm so grateful for the guidance and counsel that we can find through the words of prophets of old as well as prophets in our own day! We are a blessed people with a unique privilege to live in a day when the fullness of the Gospel is restored to the Earth.

Until next week!

Burnett Elder

Hungarian word of the week is just a random word: Barack. It means apricot. Hungarians think its really funny because of Barack Obama!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This was probably one of the craziest weeks of my life. We met with an FBI agent, a world class boxing judge, and a super cool new family!

So I'll start with the weirdest day ever. Last Tuesday, right after emailing, we were looking for a place to eat. I was having trouble deciding, since I don't understand half of what's written on any menu, when suddenly we heard someone shouting, "Salt Lake City! Utah Jazz! Salt Lake City!" We turned to see one of the most energetic old men I've ever seen in my life. He spoke a million miles an hour. He asked us if we were from Utah, we explained to him that neither of us were, and then he went on his way saying, "Bye bye, good luck! Bye bye good luck!" We returned our focus to finding me something to eat. Within 30 seconds, he was back and he was just spitting Hungarian faster than I've ever heard. Even Elder Harris was having trouble keeping up! We misunderstood him and thought he was asking us for food, so Elder Harris offered him a slice of pizza that he had just gotten for himself, but the random old guy was like, "Nooo, I want to buy YOU lunch! What do you want?" I was stunned and just said, "Nem tudom!" (I don't know) So he took my arm, brought me over to a burger stand, commanded the people to make two burgers with everything on it, quick and clean. It was super nice of him and he kept trying to speak English with us. He was like. "Sprite? Sprite? You can't have burger without Sprite!" While we were eating, he started talking about how he had met the missionaries once. He was Roman Catholic and believed in being nice to everybody. We taught him that when we serve others, we serve God, and that we really appreciated his kindness. He started singing "I am a Child of God" which was super funny! He said that he wanted to meet us at the same time, same place, next week so we'll see him tomorrow again I guess. It was just the weirdest, nicest thing ever! 

Winter Coat

Winter Coat in action

So many other weird things happened this week, so I'll just list a few good ones:
-We were given a JW bible by a man who let us in to talk, but he ended up being super cool and introduced us to his family. His grandkids were 8 and 10 year old boys and they were super talkative and sassy. So cute! We saw the kids again the next day while tracting!
-Elder Harris fell under a bus because he slipped on some gravel. It was a parked bus, so he's fine! I laughed way harder than I probably should have.
-Some of our investigators asked us if we could go to Romania with them. Sorry, not allowed.
-Some guy tried to sell us fidget spinners on a bus. Elder Harris bought them and gave the guy a Book of Mormon. Sell to the salesman!
-I accidentally bought the worlds biggest hot dog thinking that it was ground beef.

Butcher Shop

Celebrating the 4th of July with Ikea Hot Dogs

-We found some JW cd's in our apartment. They're all in Hungarian sign language!
-We also found a cd labeled "classical tidbits" full of intense orchestral music. It goes great with the JW sign language videos!
-We were at the Hivatal (immigration office) and as we were coming home, we got on this super crowded bus. The other Elders told me to hit the stop request button, to let the driver know that we wanted to get off at the next stop. Instead of hitting the normal stop button, I accidentally hit the emergency stop button! The bus came to a screeching halt and the bus driver asked us if everything was okay. We were all fine, I was just really embarrassed!

Modern architecture

One Hundred thousand billion pengo

For some strange reason, people have just been approaching us and talking with us this week. I think on around 6 or 7 different occasions, people just came up to us and started talking about random stuff. We are joking about how it's because Elder Harris got some new hair gel that says "irresistible power" on it. Speaking of funny English translations, I uploaded some pictures of some hilarious bootleg toys we found at a store.

We were able to go home teaching at the Snyder's house in Buda. Brother Snyder is in the FBI and had some CRAZY cool stories. We also met with a less active member named Greg Hughes. He's 80 years old and still in great shape. He was a world class boxing judge, art teacher, English teacher, and karate instructor! He's a super cool guy, but he believes in a weird mix between the Mormon church, Catholicism, and Zen Buddhism. We're going to start bringing him the sacrament each Sunday and I'm really excited!

That's about all I can think of for this week. Before I finish, I just want to encourage you all to look up the talk by President Uchtdorf called "The Best Time to Plant a Tree". It's a great talk about becoming who our Heavenly Father knows we can become.

"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

Hungarian word of the week: fájdalomcsillapitó which means liquid medicine.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sziasztok! Another fantastic week has come and gone in the good 'Ol Magyarország! We had some interesting ups and downs this week. We were dropped by one of our investigators who we thought had a lot of potential, and we were able to meet some cool new potential investigators! One of them was a young guy, probably around 20 to 12, named Oliver. He answered the door wearing nothing but his underwear. At the front gate, he interrupted us and said, "You probably get super hot and thirsty while you're out here tracting. Do you want some water?" Of course we accepted. He ran back inside and returned with some extremely refreshing water, and we continued our conversation. Oliver had just recently had a dental operation, so he wasn't feeling super well, but he invited us back next week! We exchanged phone numbers and set up to meet with him again. I'm super excited!

Another funny story that happened this week: I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting! It was all in Hungarian, and I think I did a pretty good job of it. I wrote it in English first, and with the help of my companion, translated it into Hungarian. But that's not all... the BYU Cougarettes were also in town and came to our ward! It gets even better, if you can believe it. As I was sitting up on the stand, my stomach started to hurt super badly. I have had a terrible diet consisting mostly of dairy and fruit (I know, I'm a genius) and it struck me at the worst time possible. I patiently waited for the bishop to finish the announcements, and as soon as the opening hymn started, I speed walked out of the chapel in Olympic record time, motioning for my companion to come with me as I walked out. Sound familiar? Almost the exact same thing happened at my farewell talk! Anyways, everything worked out and my bowels dwelt in peace for a season as I delivered my address. It was a pretty eventful sacrament meeting!

I wanted to share a few quick spiritual thoughts with you all. One of my favorite Book of Mormon prophets is Alma the younger. In Alma chapter 36, he offers some great advice to his son, Helaman, which can apply to all of us. I particularly like Alma's display of faith in Jesus Christ. He states with power that he has a testimony of our Savior and his redeeming grace. He talks about how he knows that as we put our trust in the Lord, we will be supported in our trials. I know that I'm only 19 years old, but I've definitely seen the hand of the Lord in my life in this way. I know that as we put our trust in Him, we can receive blessings and comfort no matter what we are going through. I just love the strength that we can receive as we study the words of the prophets of old. On that note, have you read the newest Liahona? I highly recommend checking those out. They are full of great stories, advice, and encouragement.

I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!

Sok szeretettel,
Burnett Elder

p.s. The Hungarian word of the week is one I heard at church and it made me laugh out loud. It is pipa, pronounced pee paw and it means check mark!

Monday, July 3, 2017

A week into the second transfer and so far it has been SO good. Elder Harris and I get along super well and we have a lot in common.

*Saying Goodbye to Jones, a great trainer*
The work is going wonderfully as well. We had 3 new investigators and a really cool potential investigator this week. Robi and Győngyi are a Romanian couple (shout out to Corinne! p.s. happy 1 year together, you're the best!) and they are incredible!We met them through our English class and they were really interested in learning more about the Church. We had a great program at their house and they asked some crazy hard, but good, questions. After our lesson, they gave us some weird Romanian snack which was basically like a bag of pre-stale Cheetos that had the texture of a packing peanut. They were surprisingly good! Our 3rd investigator is a nice bácsi (grandpa?) who lives in a nice little city called Vác.

Other notable things that happened this week worth mentioning: We saw a really cool house which ended up being a chocolate museum, we ate some really sketchy but delicious Chinese food at a little hole-in-the-wall buffet where they reheated our food in the microwave, we went to a super cool escape room with Zsolt, Marton, and Marton's girlfriend, and I got to see my MTC district again!

On my mission, I have learned that you don't have to be a missionary to do missionary work. I feel like most members, including myself, want to share the Gospel with others, but they're afraid or uncertain as to how. I wish that somebody would have pushed me to be a better missionary and to learn how to teach and share the Gospel before my mission because I've learned how easy and rewarding it can be. You don't need to go and preach door to door, but you can easily find ways in your every day life to share the Gospel with your friends and associates. You can just share simple truths and your testimony of those things which have blessed your life and which you know are true. Don't be afraid to share what you know to be right. You will never regret sharing your testimony and you will always have Heavenly help. You never know how much one simple message can change someone's life for eternity! Trust me.

Parker says "This guy turned on sprinklers"

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

P.s. Hungarian word of the week will be megrövidebbítendő which means "to be shortened", ironically.

Throwback photo:  Man, things have changed.  Here's Parker and his brother Davis in their "cool hair" phase.