Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week 46: Day 392: A Tough Week

February 18, 2014


Well... transfer calls came, once again. During the weekend, we both started thinking that I was getting transferred out and I was pretty ready to leave. But, I woke up this morning and just had a really strong feeling that we were staying together. A couple hours later, we got the call and... we're staying together for the next four weeks and then we'll deal with these ridiculous transfer calls once again. Four weeks later we'll have another mid-transfer-transfer and five weeks later will be the normal transfer. I think by that time, we won't have any more mini-transfers; at least that's the plan. Things will settle down, right in time for my dying transfer. Hahaha, so it actually won't affect me at all.

How was my week, you might ask? Well, I'll just say, we got dogged (or cancelled on, with less than an hour’s notice) 10 times. That's more programs than we had ended up having this week. The good news is that we had a pretty good Saturday, to boost us back up and yesterday was good too! Gizi came to visit on Saturday and brought me a bunch of baked stuff! (She's my favorite néni--the one from Veszprém, if you remember). She couldn't stay for too long, but it was good to talk to her for a few minutes. I would definitely go back and serve there, if given the option. However, I have been in this same district (Székes and Veszprém together) and zone for 7 months already, and I'm feeling like it's been an eternity, so maybe not. Haha.

The people came back again yesterday and cleaned our house with some strong substance that is supposed to kill all the cockroaches, since the fumigation in November didn't work. We're hoping. They also replaced like 8 light bulbs that had all burned out. We've been living in half-darkness for a while now. Haha! I don't know if I ever told you about our ghetto Christmas-tree lights that we've been using as our light in the bathroom? We decided we still like those more than the bathroom lights. They've been out since before I even got here, over 3 months ago, so this is the first time I've seen them. To add to our great week, we had one of our upstairs neighbors come down stairs Sunday night during weekly planning and yell at us on behalf of our neighbors for complaining that there were still cockroaches in our building. What? Yeah, I wrote it right. Apparently, when we left our landlord know that we were still living with cockroaches, he notified the building owner and they went around to everyone, telling them that they all had to pay to get their apartments cleaned too, to rid the entire apartment for good. So the good news is that our apartment and neighbors hate us now, because, according to the guy yelling at us, it's completely normally to live with 10, 15, 20 cockroaches every day and "the poor things are just trying to get out of the rain and cold." Hahaha uh?

The story I forgot to tell you last week: One day we were tracting and trying to get into a building. Someone buzzed us in, but through the glass I saw an older lady by the mail boxes inside the building, who looked at us with a kind of shocked/unpleasant look and hurried up the stairs, which isn't an uncommon reaction. So, when we got inside, we waiting on the ground floor, so that she could get upstairs and take the elevator and not have to run away from us or come down and yell at us to get out. Haha. But, we realized she had stopped to ring a doorbell and was talking to another lady. We were creepily standing there in silence, waiting, but as soon as we heard them, we both looked at each other with big eyes. Sister Kovács just started whispering "a jehovák!" After a few minutes, we heard them move to the next door, and then, finally started coming down the stairs towards us. We quickly went around the corner and pretended to be finding a mailbox, until they got outside. As they walked by, I caught a glance of their magazines and pamphlets. Lo and behold, they were indeed JWs. Of the hundreds of buildings in this city, we somehow got into the same building that they happened to be tracting. We almost died laughing and were kind of hesitant to retract what they just tracted, but surprisingly no one told us that they had just been there. (Some days people get super angry and say that we're the 5th of 10th people to knock on their door that day. People always think that we're the JWs.) Anyway, that's my story for the day. I don't know if you knew this, but a lot of their missionaries are pretty old, either two old women or an old couple, at least here.

Anywho... Hope you all had a great week and Valentine's Day and such. Sorry I don't have too much good stuff to tell you this week. Happy Birthday on Saturday, Jenny! Weird, this is your second birthday since I left!


Sister Megan Butterfield

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 45: Day 384: Reflections on Missionary Work and Life

February 10, 2014


Happy Valentine's Day on Friday, AKA, my least favorite holiday. haha Regardless of that fact, we painted our nails in that awful color in celebration. (: hahaha. Okay... back to the important stuff. I hope you all had a good week! Ours was long and hard but it all pulled through by the end of the week and made it worth it and I think my talk even went okay!

We found a few people who I have really high hopes for and it looks like we have more programs set up for this week, which means not so much finding without any breaks! We did a lot of finding this week, pretty much just tracted, and got a couple let-ins! We've started tracting with no bags or anything and no written out survey. We just "wing it," but really, we're not winging it at all; the point of it is to give room for the Spirit to come in and direct our words and the questions that we ask by inspiration, rather than a rehearsed survey that we just ask and then move in. It's been pretty cool so far. I think this transfer has really humbled me and helped me to appreciate the tender mercies and the rare times when people will stop and talk to us or let us in. I also really appreciate my bed, but I feel like we sleep for 5 minutes and then the alarm goes off and I'm still exhausted. It's strange. I'm getting a little bit tired of this city, but I also feel like I would really like to stay here with Sister Kovács. I really love her and we have so much fun, even when finding is long and hard. I can't decide what I think is happening next week. We'll see!

I love it out here, but I'm also so excited to come home. Sometimes I feel like I could bounce off a wall and burst, because I'm so excited. I don't want to come home and face some things and the real world, but I'm trying to focus on the things I am excited about instead. I'm glad I can still focus on all of this and serve for 5 and half months though. I feel like there's still so much more out here for me to do. Sometimes I wish I could just have both worlds though. (: It's SO weird to hear about everyone getting married or getting mission calls or moving to other places now. It's a weird concept that I left and life still went on and everything will be very different when I come home. I'm glad that I came out though. I feel like I've changed a lot, yet not really at the same time. I'm so much more prepared for life now, have better habits and a more serious view on life and church. Yet, I feel like my personality is almost exactly the same, just more refined with things like patience and maybe a little maturity.... haha (: I can't believe that I graduated from high school almost TWO years ago and that I have nephews and brother-in-laws. What? When did that happen?

Anyway, I hope that you're all enjoying your every minute. Even when all you want to do is go home and lay in bed, or go on a date (hahah), and your day is really long and hard, just find reasons to smile and laugh. Enjoy today before it's gone and before you know it, you're 20 years old and halfway through a mission you never planned to go on and your brain hasn't even registered that you're old enough to be serving a mission yet. Read your scriptures! Pray! And not just once in the morning and at night or when you need help. On my mission I've learned the true meaning of always having a prayer in your heart. Try to have a constant conversation in your mind with the Lord throughout the day. It helps! If you love the Lord, keep the commandment; All of them. No excuses of what your weaknesses are. If you haven't been, well, that's what repentance is for. (: Thank goodness for that, eh? (:

I love you all! Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you from the far-away Hungary-lands and I will do it. Have a good week! Talk (Write) to you on Tuesday! (Not Monday!)


Sister Megan Butterfield

 Last Sunday night, we realized we had accidentally left our phone in the branch house in the morning, but we were already in pajamas and we had to hurry back to finish weekly planning, so we tried our best to look presentable.... Hahaha! We almost died the whole way laughing because we felt ridiculous, but it was sure dark outside. and luckily we found the phone. (: 

The JW church building we always walk by. OH! We went into a building a couple days ago to tract and who did we find?! The JWs tracting the same building at the same time! Hahaha. I'll tell you more about it next week, if I remember.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 44: Day 375: New Member--from first lesson to baptism!

February 3, 2014


How are things over on that side of the world? It's weird, sometimes I feel like Hungary is an island or a planet of its own. When people talk about other nearby countries, how they have friends serving "a few hours away" in another country, or when people are going on vacation to Romania or Austria, it always shocks me to remember that there is life outside of Hungary and missionary work. Weird. Haha. Even weirder, I'll be part of that "outside world" in less than half a year. It feels like my time is winding down though and I feel like coming home is almost tangible. However, I still have a few transfers left to focus on. Well, only 2 transfers... ah! and 2 mini transfers, so that makes it sound a little longer. I'm excited to see where I die and who my companions will be. I still haven't gotten my release date, so I'm not sure if I'll be coming home in July or if there will be another mini transfer in June that we go home in. We'll see. I'm banking on it being July though.

Our baptism on Saturday was a success! So cool to finally stay in a place long enough to be able to teach someone their first lesson AND see them get baptized. I love seeing the Lord's hand in preparing people like him. Even greater news, he was confirmed on Sunday AND received the Aaronic Priesthood! (: We're really hoping that Hungary has enough Melchezidik (wow, I can't even spell that in English anymore, I have no idea how to after seeing in Hungarian- embarassing, sorry, haha) holders by Stake Conference in April to make a second stake here. We're only a few short, last I heard. So... high hopes! (: I don't know if you knew this, but once a country has two stakes, it qualifies for a temple.......yeah! I mean, let's not get too excited, that takes years, but progress is progress.

So last week, I told you about how most of our investigators had been falling through, either getting new jobs, moving countries or just deciding that they aren't interested anymore. I thought that we had seen the worst of it and that things (after I wrote that last email) could only go up from there. Think again. Early the next morning, Tuesday, we headed over to one of our investigator's houses to teach her again. We had been praying for her a lot that weekend during weekly planning and such to figure out what we should do with her, because we'd taught her the Restoration a few times and weren't really sure how to move forward with her. We were at her house for literally 2 minutes when I asked her how her reading of the BoM had gone during the weekend. She looked up and said something along the lines of, "I have to be honest. Religions interest me and I like learning about them, but I don't want to convert to any other religion in my life. I don't even read my own Bible regularly though, so why would I read your Bible? I'm just not interested in doing all of this or changing my life." Ask me how many times I've heard that in the last yea; Too many to count. But, hey, the Lord answered our prayers, definitely not in the way we had hoped. Anyway, that was a great start to our week. Haha! We had 4 programs planned for the day. That one lasted about 10 minutes. Another one in the afternoon dogged (a new investigator) and wouldn't answer her phone. The other two were...interesting. haha. Our most solid investigator is now a member. Pretty much we're working on finding an entire new pool of investigators right now. That's our life in a nutshell. The good news? Tracting is still my favorite part of missionary work. I know, call me crazy, everyone else here does. People are so interesting though and you never know what you're going to find on the other side of the door or what they can tell you about their life. Sometimes they're crazy intelligent, many times they're just crazy...crazy, sometimes they're drunk and fall over, sometimes they yell at you through the door, other times they just slam their door and talk to someone else in their house about us, completely unaware that you can hear every word they're seeing. Sometimes, their cat will even run down the stairs and the person will run out the door after them and fall up the stairs in the process (yes, this did indeed happen this week) and all this time you have to try really hard to stay mature and not laugh at all the craziness that happens around out. We fail at that. Frequently. But we always manage to keep it together until their doors close. Anyway, other times you find super cool people to teach. I could name more reasons I love it, but I don't think one can fully comprehend what tracting is like without having experienced, especially in Hungary, where every other person opens their door with no pants on, man or women, sometimes both at the same time. Oh, the joys of tracting. I will actually miss it when I come home.

It's also gotten super cold here! Winter finally came. We were hoping that it'd be skipped over this year, since we almost made it to February with no snow. It warmed up and started raining, so everything turned to ice and church was literally almost empty yesterday. Sad day. They didn't even have Relief Society because no one came but us and the one teacher; Kind of ridiculous. It's supposed to warm up again this week though, so hopefully everything will melt. I just hope there isn't snow until April again, like last year. We'll see. I hope more people come next Sunday, except that I have to give a talk. Yikes. Somehow I snuck through over a year of my mission without ever having to give a legitimate talk on Sunday (so not including introducing myself), but they finally caught me... My topic is the importance of commandments. Never given a talk on that one before, but I've thought and taught about it plenty on my mission. I decided I'm not even going to write it all out, just a few bullet points in English. Wish me luck. Let's hope my Hungarian is still working that day. hahaha.

Anyway, that was our week. We had some super frustrating days with some investigators and finding has been pretty rough, but I'm confident that we will find some new people soon. We already have some potentials, plus we fasted yesterday. (: As hard as each day was, by the end of it Sister Kovács and I came home and just laughed, or ranted, at all the ridiculous things we experienced. Overall, it's been a good time. Hopefully your week was better!

Sister Megan Butterfield

The view from a ten-story that we were tracting.

Zoli, who got baptized Saturday and  Tibi, the branch President, who baptized him.

Zoli, who got baptized Saturday.