Friday, August 18, 2017

Another good week bites the dust. Tomorrow I hit my 6 month mark! It's been quite an interesting ride so far, but I'm excited to see what opportunities the next year and a half bring.

The weather is cooling down which is an incredible blessing. It's not too fun to go out and tract when it's 100+ degrees outside and very humid, so I'm very excited about the weather cooling down!

We were able to offer a few priesthood blessings this week, which is always incredible. I'm so grateful for the great gift of the priesthood. We visited an old English man named Edward Penn. He's been homebound for years and lives with a Hungarian caretaker. He doesn't speak much, or any, Hungarian so he and his caretaker can hardly communicate. His wife died years ago and he's been in this state for quite some time. I imagine he gets awfully lonely, so it's always great to be able to go and visit him. We went with an American member in the ward and brought a spiritual message and left him with a prayer and a blessing. It was a beautiful experience and I'm grateful to have been able to go.

We also visited Brother Hughes this week. He's full of wisdom and a lot of great insights. He's an inactive member who joined the church a few years ago. He used to be a world class boxing judge but now he teaches English from his apartment here in Pest. He's going in for a surgery and we offered to give him a priesthood blessing for comfort and peace. He happily agreed and told us that he needed all the help he could get. I had the privilege of offering the blessing and it was a great experience.

Never before have I felt or seen any manifestation of power so great as I have through the use of the priesthood in my life. I remember on several occasions, asking my dad to lay his hands on my head to give me blessings of healing and comfort and I'm so grateful for those memories and experiences. I'll never forget when I was given the Melchizedek priesthood. I felt the love of my Heavenly Father pour into my body as those worthy men, each one a good friend of mine, laid their hands on my head and bestowed this great gift to me. I simply cannot deny the power that I felt that day. I'll never forget the first blessings I was able to give. I remember being terrified, walking into the bathroom to offer up a silent prayer for help. I felt peace and comfort as I laid my hands on the heads of my family members and spoke words of comfort to them. In no way am I trying to get praise through sharing these experiences, but rather I want to focus your attention on our loving Heavenly Father. He has given us this great gift, the priesthood, which when used righteously can bless our lives in ways that nothing else can. What a wonderful gift is the priesthood!

In other news, we were able to attend a fireside where some returned missionaries who served here 30 years ago when the country officially opened up for missionaries came and spoke to us. It was really cool to hear of their experiences and stories. Back then, they couldn't wear name tags, there were only 100 members or so, and they met in the apartment of the Elders!

This Sunday was pretty interesting. None of the members of the bishopric were able to attend, so the High Priest group leader conducted and presided. It was pretty interesting and I've never seen it happen before!

We also tracted into a house which said "Bomb Detection KFT" on the bell. When we rang, a few seconds later, the gate unlocked and opened, but nobody was there. A few seconds after that, a small man came out and started spouting Russian at us. Somehow, we gathered that he wasn't too happy to see us, nor was he interested in our message. It was really strange, but we laughed pretty hard about it.

We also accidentally locked our keys in the church building when nobody else was around. We were on our way home from tracting and I really had to use the bathroom (this seems to be a recurring theme of my mission...) and so we stopped in the church building to use it. I was in such a hurry to get to the bathroom that I threw my bag and the keys onto a table in the hallway. On our way out, I grabbed my bag... but it wasn't until we got all the way back to our apartment that I realized that I had left the keys on the table. Luckily, there was a light on in the building when we got back! A member, Tibor, had stopped in to grab some paperwork after we had left for home, and he happily let us in. It was a cool little tender mercy to see!

That's about all that I can think of for this week. It was a good one! I hope you all have a fantastic week as well. Remember to have faith, have hope, live like His Son, and help others on their way!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

Hungarian word of the week is "űrhajo" which means "spaceship". "Űr" can mean void and "hajo" can  be ship or boat, so when I first read it I thought that they called them voidboats.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

This week, I am grateful for rain. I feel like I've been thrown into an oven and there is no escape from the heat, besides the rain.  It's been raining since yesterday, keeping the temperature and a really nice 23 degrees!

We had a lot of good teaching opportunities this week and I've been feeling much better about the language. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts!

One night, as we were laying in bed trying our best to fall asleep in the heat, the power went out and our fan died, so that was fun! Also here's a quick, moderately funny story:

We go to the international ward, where they speak English and Hungarian, so we get a lot of visitors. Last Sunday, a girl in her 20's bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting. One of the first things she said, referring to the previous woman who had born her testimony, was,"That was my mother in law who just bore her testimony..." My companion was pretty disappointed to find out she was married hahahaha.

I got kicked out of a building for the first time so that was exciting. It amazes me how offended people get that two 19 year old boys would try to share a message about the thing they hold most dear to their hearts. A simple "no" is never enough for some people!

Well, I know that more things happened this week but I legitimately can't think of anything more to write about, so I'll share a Spiritual thought I had this week.
Lots of paper work:

My favorite hymn of all time is "He Sent His Son". My favorite part of the song is the ending line, which says, "What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say? Have faith. Have hope. Live like His Son. Help others on their way." It's hard for me to contain my emotions as I listen to those words. The things we are asked to do are simple. Have faith. Have hope. Live like His Son. Help others on their way. I have kind of made this the theme of my mission. As we constantly strive to live better lives, may we have faith, have hope, live like His Son, and help others on their way! In the words of President Thomas S. Monson, "Unless we lose ourselves in the service of others, there is little purpose to our own lives."

Cool building:
I know that my Savior lives. I know that because He lives and loves me, I can live with my family forever. I am so grateful for the peace and joy that the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into my life. Life is good!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

Hungarian word of the week is "faház". Fa means "tree" and ház means "house" but the compound word "faház" means cabin, which I thought was pretty funny.

Made a new friend:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

From the rolling hills of Kistarcsa to the winding cobblestone roads of Vác, this week was full of good times and great memories. The weather is getting insanely hot. Tomorrow it will be 43 degrees Celsius (109 fahrenheit!) with the normal Hungarian Humidity. Pray for us.

We were able to meet with a new family (the one we found last week when we rang her csengő and she said she had been wanting to meet with us again) and Irén said that she would be baptized happily if she could just understand the law of tithing. We're very excited about having discussions with her and her little family and hope that the Spirit will be able to teach her the importance and truthfulness of these things.

An appropriate sign:

We did a lot of tracting in little villages outside of Budapest this week and one day, we were having a particularly hard time talking with anybody. Everyone seemed so angry and quick to slam their doors. Anyways, at the end of the day, one of the last people we talked to said that the JWs had just tracted that street THE SAME DAY! It explained everything and we felt pretty bad about the disturbance. Oh well! On our way home that day, we got on the hév (basically a smaller train) and we saw a bunch of people wearing formula 1 gear. I guess there was a huge event that had just gotten out and a bunch of fans and even some crew members were riding on the train with us, so that was pretty cool.

We also had the opportunity to attend a zone conference where we received counsel and training from the zone leaders and our mission president. One thing that we talked about that I really liked was how we need to always behave in a way that the Spirit will be with us at all times. The Spirit is not just an old sweater that we can take off and quickly throw on as we rush out the door to teach a lesson.

I know that we will receive blessings and see miracles in our lives as we press forward with faith in all that we do. We must humbly serve others and act as Jesus Christ would act. This will lead us to have fulfilling and happy lives. I have seen it in my life and in the lives of others!

We went home teaching with one of the most Christlike people I've ever met. His name is Tibor and he looks a lot like Jim Carrey. We were going to home teach a less active member who hasn't come to church in 2 years. Tibor speaks English very well so we were talking about a lot of different things as we rode the train to our home teaching appointment. We talked about books and movies and he was always connecting them to the gospel and to real life. It was amazing because he just radiated faith and you could tell that he was very passionate about what he was talking about and what he believed in. When we got to the teaching appointment, I was shocked by Tibor's patience. He came to home teach this less active man every month, and the less active man basically just had Tibor fill out paperwork for him the whole time. The man seemed demanding and impatient, yet Tibor helped him fill out the paperwork and afterward shared a beautiful spiritual message. Tibor also did what I think was the most Christlike thing and told the man that he would have to start doing some of these things on his own. The Church is a great resource for help, but it is not a means of getting your chores done for free. I was just very impressed by Tibor and his faith and action and for the way that he taught this other man with love and kindness. May we all follow his example, and more importantly the example of our Savior, and reach out to everyone with love and kindness, no matter how hard it may seem. Replace hate with love, anger with kindness, frustration with patience, quick judgement with caring, and we will make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ restored again on the earth and lead by a prophet, called of God. I love the gospel and the peace that it brings into my life. May we always strive to share that with others!

Sok szeretettel,

Burnett Elder

I'll do a sentence this week: Legyen nagyon jó heted! means Have a good week!