Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Week 43: Day 370! Less than 6 months left!

January 27, 2014


Somehow I always run out of time emailing... but I'll try to include a lot. This week was good! We actually spent my comp's 5 month mark and my year mark in Budapest on splits (they were a day apart), but we didn't really do anything to celebrate. We did go to Gringo's Amigos for lunch one day though, upon my request. H-3.aha Splits were good. Interviews were good, probably the best I've had so far, but super long again. I think it was just over an hour, but they're only scheduled to be 30 minutes. Oops. haha It's always weird to be back in the city and sleep in my old apartment. I went to their Missionary Correlation Meeting too, and I think it made me miss the city less, because it's weird to be there with a completely different district; none of the missionaries are the same now. It's weird that I have less than 6 months left! It’s Kinda crazy how fast time goes on some days and how slowly it goes on other days.

Things are good here! We get along super well and we literally just laugh all the time, so it's super good. My comp kinda reminds me of Mcat, my roommate last summer, in some little ways. And I loved hanging out with her, thus I love hanging out with Sister Kovács. We have no idea if we'll be companions for only 3 more weeks or for 7... we'll see!

As for the work... throughout my mission, in every transfer and every city I've seen the cycle as it goes up and then crashes and then you have to build it up again... Unfortunately, we're at that point again. A lot of our investigators just aren't keeping commitments, are "sick," moving to other countries for work or just deciding that they interested in hanging out with us as friends, but not interested in the church... So... we begin the finding again.

On the plus side, this Saturday we should have a baptism, if all goes well with the interview. Everything is planned for it and set up, so now we just wait. Also, I don' know if you remember me telling you all about Zsuzsa, who we put on bap date in Veszpém, but she should probably get baptized this Saturday too! I'm kinda sad that it's the same day as ours here, or I would go back for it, but I'm happy that she's still planning on it!

I can't really think of too much else to tell you all... it's crazy that I'll be back in less than 6 months! I've gotten permission to start looking up and figuring out all my school stuff and it's super weird to be looking at all of that again. There's so much to look at to plan my immersion back into the real world. haha But, I still have time here and things happening over here in Hungary. I hope everything is good where ever you all are.

Have a good week!

Love you all,

Sister Megan Butterfield

New Year's Day P-day. We took tons of weird pictures, but this was our city last transfer (:

The free New Year's lunch we got, that the article was about... Don't worry, it's fruit tea, not their typical hot wine here... (: 

 A typical P-day of games last transfer. ;) (the is was the game that similar to Hand and Foot)
One of the inactive members here. She's super cute. Typical Hungarian néni. (:

We may or may not have thrown our Christmas tree off the balcony... Don't worry, we went down and dragged it to the pile. Hahaha!
The cutest member ever! She's coming to BYU (hopefully) next year. (:
Some more people from English! 

One of investigators here. she's the cutest person ever! I love her!

Some of the people from our English class here.

A combination of a few members, investigators and English class people at a little going away party for Sister Broadhead and Elder Bennett.

It's suuuper cold here now. This was the first "real snow" of the season, but most of it is gone by now. They say winter has finally arrived here, but that it doesn't usually snow very much here anymore.

 "The Sisters" in Hungarian.

It was super cold. And we were kind of bored. Hahah!

Teaching my comp some English. (:

A member came from Tatabánya to visit one of the elders and so we all grabbed lunch at the mall.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week 42:Day 363 (AKA - Almost a YEAR!)

January 20, 2014


Well... transfer week came... and went. haha And now my one-year week is here! It's crazy to think that Thursday is my year mark! I don't really feel like I just started yesterday anymore, but I still feel really inexperienced sometimes. I always thought that by one year in I'd have everything down. On the other hand, I also feel like my time is definitely coming to go home. I feel like SO much has happened and my life and perspective have changed. Now I want to put some of it into practice in the real world and... be able to have free time without feeling guilty. haha ;) It will be a good day when I can sleep in and not wake up to think about which programs I have to worry about teaching and which buildings there are left to tract out. Sometimes it feels like 6 months will never come, mostly just on transfer weeks though, because the time usually flies by otherwise.

There's not too much to tell you all about. Usually the work seems to take a hit whenever there are transfers, unfortunately. We had some wishy-washy investigators and some of those pretty much dropped us. A lot of people are "sick" or just "really busy." Some of them dogged programs this weekend or cancelled last minute... Luckily, Zoli is holding strong and is still on track to get baptized next Saturday, which will be super cool! With transferring so much, I have usually only been able to be a part of someone’s progress, whether finding, teaching in the middle, the final stretch and baptism, or post-baptism, but this will be the first time I've experienced teaching someone their first lesson and still being in the same city when they're baptized! It's cool! He is one that was most definitely prepared beforehand; our first program with him was December 30 and his baptism will be February 1st, so that means the whole process will be like a month and 2 days! Crazy!

Other than that, things are going. I love my new companion, Sister Kovács! Even though there's definitely a cultural difference, we have a lot in common about how we were raised and grew up, or what we didn't experience in comparison to the "typical American culture." Luckily communicating is never a problem, but it's cool that I can already feel my fluidity improving in sounding like a native and using words that young, normal people here actually use, rather than words I learn from a dictionary. We're both pretty homesick this weekend, so it was kinda hard to motivate each other, but I'm sure that'll get better. haha. We're kind of at opposite ends of our mission, I'm about to hit my year mark and only have 6 months left; a little after that, she'll hit her 6 month mark and have a year left. Crazy to hear that someone goes home in February... 2015... and other missionaries that go home in the end of 2015. Yikes. haha sounds like an eternity, if you ask me!

What else.... We get to go to Buda this week! We are going on splits from Wednesday to Thursday with the STLs and then we have interviews on Thursday with President. I'm sure those will both be great. haha At least I'm sure it'll make the week go by faster... haha

I hope you all have a good week. I can hardly wait for next Monday to hear all about it. If only we could email twice a week instead. Oh well. 6 months! Sorry this isn't the most positive of emails, it's been one of the longest of weeks. haha Miss you all!

Sister Megan Butterfield

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Week 41: Day 357: Transfer Calls! My Companion is the only Hungarian Missionary in the Mission!

January 14, 2014


I don't have too much to tell you all about this week, but... well... we got transfer calls... haha definitely always surprised by them. I can't think of one transfer call that I haven't been totally surprised by, except my greenie transfer because I had no idea what was going on. haha (and not counting the weird half-transfer-transfers when I stayed with Maxfield and then stayed with Broadhead for the whole 9 and 10 week transfers). Anywho... I'm staying here (no surprise there) and getting... Sister Kovács!!! The only Hungarian in our mission at the moment! She's only been out for a couple transfers and she's coming to me from her greenie area, Szeged. I actually didn't even realize this, but when I got Maxfield, she was in the exact same position, coming to me from Szeged, her greenie area too. Weird. Anyway, she doesn't speak English, so... we will be speaking Hungarian... all day...everyday... The good news is that it'll help my language a lot, I'm sure! I'm pretty nervous, but I've heard she's pretty cool and down-to-earth, so I think we'll have fun! Elder Hancey is staying and getting a junior as well! All of our elders from the MTC are going to be seniors! (:

Like most other transfer days, I can't really think of much else to tell you... We had to teach the Law of Chastity this week to our male investigator... by ourselves. hahaha it was a good time. Honestly, there hit a point where I was literally just praying "Please help me to be more mature right now; I just need to make it through this program." hahaha I can't really explain why or give details about the program but... we've concluded that Hungarians have this idea, for some reason, that they should tell missionaries their entire lives and secrets, and sometimes that also means their entire sex life history, and even in programs that are not about the Law of Chastity. They're just super open and.. idk... they feel like they need to tell us their whole lives and then some. It's been an interesting year here in Hungary, to say the least. hahaha.

We also had President and Sister Smith come visit our branch here in Székes, last minute. haha They called us Saturday night to give us a heads-up and confirm the branch house address. They'd never been to church here before, but everything went smoothly and we even had 4 investigators come! We were all really nervous, especially for our Gospel Principles class, with 6 missionaries (including the Smiths) and not that many investigators, but it went well. haha Which reminds me, they brought me a little package with chocolate bars in it from the Wardens in our ward; tell them thanks for me if you see them around! (: That was super nice of them!

Anyway, I'll try to send you all some pictures soon. I hope you have a good week! Talk to you next week! (: Hopefully I'll be completely fluent in Hungarian by then. HA. That's a good one, but I can always dream! (:

Love you all!
Sister Megan Butterfield

PS - Happy 2nd Birthday, Carter! (:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 40: Day 349: Cockroaches and Exercising and Donuts for Breakfast!

January 06, 2014

Hey everyone! (:

I have a really long list of things to write about today, but like always I'm kind of running short on time. I'll try to write really fast. haha.

I forgot to tell you last week, I found a cockroach sitting on my pillow one night when I was about to get into bed. Yeah. Definitely the highlight of that week... haha! Help! We don't even know what to do about them, but they've started migrating towards our room and we haven't found as many in the kitchen and bathroom anymore.

Can you believe it's 2014?! I literally cannot. I COME HOME THIS YEAR! Not next summer, THIS summer. So crazy! I hit my year mark THIS month. I got to Székes in November, I can't believe that it's already January! Speaking of, transfer calls come next week, so we will be emailing on Tuesday. Also, not that I'm counting days or anything (we were trying to figure out when we have to start the D&C challenge), but we have less than 200 days left! What!

I was talking to Broadhead about this the other day, sometimes I feel like I have landed on an alien planet. haha I love the missionaries in this city a ton, definitely one of my favorite combinations, but I have never been surrounded by so many people that literally love working out all the time and count calories and stuff, what? Let's just say - I ate a chocolate donut for breakfast today...with cream inside. Yeah. Sorry. haha They just live to work out, it's their favorite thing in the world. My biggest struggle is getting out of bed every morning and "working out" - AKA stretching and mayybee doing some sit-ups, squats or dancing (the latter being most likely). hahaha I just don't understand it, I mean I'm not mad about it, but I literally just want to die when I work out and it's not an actual sport. I get judged for it, but I'm not mad about it. haha I blame my asthma and all my past injuries. ;)

Hmm.. .what else is new this week? OH! I made Taco Soup for our family dinner at the branch house last night with the elders and an investigator. SO good! I miss American food! It was probably one of the best things I've had in a long time; I used your recipe, Mom! We also used our day off on New Year's Day to learn how to play this game, Canasta. I don't know if you've ever played it, but it’s really similar to Hand & Foot, just more boring. That's one thing I've missed is playing games all the time. Everyone laughs because they think it's funny that I don't get very competitive working out, but I do playing games. oops. (: I've been teaching them games lately, like Nerts. We're combining our two interests for P-Day today and going to a gym with the elders for part of the day, having some programs and then meeting up at the branch house again to play card games tonight. It's a good balance.

This week has been reallyyy good! Probably one of the best, work-wise. We put three people on bap date, had 5 people come to church and met a ton of people tracting (5 let ins in one day!). It's kind of crazy to see the difference in our work and our investigators since November. I'm stoked for next transfer (assuming that I'll still be here, which I probably shouldn't. I've learned my lesson 4 times. haha). We have two baptisms on February first (so about 3 weeks) and one on March 22, which we're going to try to move closer. We are going to challenge 5 more solid ones this week, if they have time to meet and we'll see how it goes. We haven't been able to meet with almost all of our regulars for like 3 weeks with the holidays, but hopefully it settles down soon.

I feel like my faith and my hope have increased immensely on my mission and it is so GREAT! I don't feel like I'm a perfect missionary or that I have everything down pat, but I find myself enjoying everything a lot more (like English Class, I would never have said this before, but I LOVE it) and not feeling so stressed about all of the little things. I know that there is a lot that I can improve in and that I need to do better about some things, but I don't feel the need to beat myself up in the process as I slowly work on things and get everything in order, because I don't think that's how the Lord feels about change and progress. I can see the change in my work ethic, even though I'm still not perfect. I can feel that the Lord is satisfied with my efforts, even when I fail and have to try again.

I'm also excited to put all of these things in practice when I go home as well, I'm just trying not to focus on that. I'm trying to live in the "now" and enjoy everything here, rather than worrying about what will happen at home with some people. I have to admit, sometimes (usually) it's a struggle, but I'm doing all I can think of to stay focused - praying. (I know - call me a missionary. Surprise!)

If you have a few free minutes, read "Be Meek and Lowly of Heart" by Elder Ulisses Soares from the last Conference. It's become one of my favorites! There's another one too, but I can't remember what it's called right now. Sorry...the mission has fried my brain and I can never remember anything anymore unless it's about investigators or missionary work. haha

I hope you all had a really good New Years! I'll send you some pictures next week, and I'll see you all THIS SUMMER.

Sister Megan Butterfield

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Letter from the Ward Clerk: Picture of Missionaries and Article on New Year's Day.

Dear All,

My name is Krisztian and I want to send a picture to you about your super missionary.

It was taken yesterday in the downtown when they eat the free tipical hungarian new year food.


Best regards,

Krisztian Tillmann

ps.: You are the best... :)

Note from Donna Butterfield: I had google translate the whole article and this is what it produced! If you are patient enough to plow through it, you will get the gist of it! And you might even get a few laughs! 
   PUBLIC LIFE  -  2014th 01 01 16:12  -  www.szekesfehervar.hu 
 The Hungarian Defence Forces cooked goulash cannon room in Székesfehérvár common lentil stew. The lucky year in the 120 kilograms of lentils cooked in the traditional way Iulia soldiers. Thomas Vargha MP, Andrew Palkovics Change-mayor, the city vice mayor and city council members as the food offered on the first day of the new year. 
Galeria common lencseevésről
 Traditionally Creator intention was launched a year ago, my lucky lens offer for sale at Székesfehérvár. This year has arranged for the second time together Szekesfehervar Local Government, the Ministry of Defence and the Hungarian Defence Forces Headquarters Plaza and Alba, in happy start to the new year in Székesfehérvár ones. Since about 1000 doses of lentil stew cooked goulash cannon in the morning of the military. between the abundance, richness establishing the main dishes of lentils, beans, small grains or any food, pig and cabbage. The latter not only can not stay off the menu because of a hangover stomach receipt tion, but because of a lot of letters to be plenty of food, according to popular belief. All of these among the most traditional of the lens, which is almost every family, if not at other times, but this time for sure.Primarily consumed as a vegetable dish, but many other dishes can be made ​​from it.

Topping the stew and warm tea offered by Thomas and Andrew, Change Vargha-Palkovics mayor, the deputy mayor and the city council of several members of the arrivals. The lucky food Kótai Lieutenant Robert, chaplain blessed.
"The 2013 Year Memorial of St. Stephen's when you start thinking about it, to have a common program in which citizens of the city to meet, in addition to the lens and eating good luck, happy and successful new year to make a wish for each other. The initiative was very successful, so this year, the third annual event. "- Said dr. Andrew tan-Palkovics mayor. He added that the soldiers helped me a lot, because in addition to prepared the stew, also took part in the shipment. Székesfehérvár mayor of the city, every citizen of prosperous, happy new year to be.
Thomas Vargha Secretary of Defense noted: "The Hungarian Defence Forces and the city merged exemplary. The military kondérokban thousand doses of lentil stew cooked, serving grilled sausage and hot tea for them to arrive, and wish you a happy new year. "
Sörpadokon Alba Plaza set sitting in the tasty spooned the delicious food in the fehérváriak. The conversations also revealed they were with this one-dish luncheon reported daily bread. From the table and everyone is replete with the assurance stood up to everything done in order to be happy and abundant 2014 year.

Week 39: Happy New Year! Read Book of Mormon 5 times in 2013!!!

December 30, 2013


Happy New Year... in two days! I feel like I don't have too much to write, since I just Skyped you 5 days ago, but Christmas here was great! We did a lot of city exploring and photo shoots with the elders, so I now have stacks on stacks of pictures. I actually filled up my memory card and bought a new one, 32G! So, I should be good for the rest of my mission...and then some. haha It was only like 30 bucks! Pretty good, I think! I don't want to overload your emails though, so I probably won't send too many.

Anyway, on Christmas Eve we had District Meeting here in Székes and then went caroling in 10-stories and in the city center with the Veszprém missionaries. We went home for dinner and each opened one gift (thanks for the scarf, Grandma!). We still had a few more hours, so we went over to the branch house with the elders and played some soccer and had a giant dodge ball tournament using the balls and stuffed animals from the primary. haha Hancey and I against Bennett and Broadhead. I won't tell you the results... But, it was probably one of the funnest nights of my mission. We also acted out the nativity and one of our member friends filmed it, so I'll show it to you when I get home! Bennett was the narrator and angel, Broadhead was the shepherd and Wise Men, Hancey was Joseph and somehow I ended up being Mary. haha. We used a blanket for baby Jesus, because the only doll in there was in pretty bad shape and looked like it had coffee or something (probably hot chocolate) spilled all over it.

On Christmas, we woke up and had scrambled eggs and orange juice for breakfast and then opened presents. We headed out at like 12 to lunch with one of our investigators and the elders at her house. We had a few hours to kill before we could Skype, so we went out streeting\exploring and taking pictures with the elders. Then we Skyped! (: Afterwards, we drove around for a while, trying to find any open restaurants for dinner. We finally found one and I had the weirdest Cordon Bleu ever. haha

We were still on break for most of the 26th too, but we went out streeting with the elders and then in the afternoon we went out tracting with them, which was funny. Kinda sketchy, cause the 26th is still considered Christmas here in Hungary, so we weren't sure how people would accept us, but it wasn't too bad. That night, Sister Broadhead and I went over to our branch president's house for dinner and we played some Monopoly Empire with his two little step-sons and they're the cutest, most well-behaved kids!

We were supposed to go on splits with our Sister Training Leaders from Friday to Saturday, but they actually called us and told us that something else had come up and President had called them and asked to cancel our splits because "he's not worried about us" or our work. hahaha. I'll take that as a good sign? So, it all worked out, because even with a two day break, we still somehow managed to get Super Standard again. We've been seeing cool stuff out here and have a lot of promising new investigators that are referrals from people and that we tracted into.

On Saturday night, we went to this pizza and gyros place that elder Bennett has been wanting to try for ages. I'll send you a picture of how huge my gyro was...bigger than my face. And it was in normal, thick bread, not pita. I had to finish it all, just to say I did. haha It was a struggle, but Hungary has been training me well. I also had to try the nastiest food the other day... pretty much a cube of fat in the consistency of Jell-O. I'll have to steal some pictures of it from the elders.

We had a challenge from Elder Texeiera, the Area President who came to our Zone Conference in October, to read the Book of Mormon all the way through this year starting on October 31. I finished! Which makes that 4 times that I've finished it on my mission and 5 times that I finished it within 2013! My all-time record. haha. My goal is to finish Jesus the Christ (I'm about halfway through), the Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Mormon in Hungarian (almost there) and the D&C challenge by the time I come home in just over 6 months. It's weird to think that it's coming that fast and that I'll be Skyping you again in 4 and a half months.

Hope you all have a happy New Year and a good New Year's Eve! Love you all!

Sister Megan Butterfield

Hancey and I. (Our dodgeball team, one MTC district vs. the other)

Standin' in no-man's-land.

Playing Uno with one of the part-member families that we teach here! I love these cute girls!

Our Christmas lunch at Kati néni's apartment!

Our investigator, Kati! (Yes, we bought matching and yes, we did wear them on the same day!)

An interesting bike rack we found while street exploring.

Cool staircase.

Pantless statue?

His hand was too big to hold... and his sword was poking me. Haha!

The giant gyros I destroyed!

All gone!

And learning to tie ties. This was my first try... I may not have kept the big end long enough...