Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week 51: Day 426: The Work is Crazy Good in Szeged! Tomato Soup, Bread and Peanut Butter for a Week!

March 24, 2014


How's life on that side of the world? Life over here is good, and the missionary work is good... Crazy good, actually. Like wow. I'm still in shock. I have never experienced this in my mission before. My first day here, we had 5 programs and we had 18 programs total, on a transfer week! We were in Pest for an entire day (I'll tell you about that later) and had 0 hours, so one entire day was gone. And then... get this! We had EIGHT people at church and it wasn't even a struggle! Where am I? The Lord's work is moving forward in Szeged, holy cow. I've been out here for over a year and those were both records, I think. It's crazy.

Any who... So yeah, Pest. We transferred and it was a great day. Kinda weird, because there were only 6 sisters at transfers and 2 of them were at the mission home, because one was a trainer and the other was dying. So it was me and Sister Kovács and our two new companions and then a bajillion elders. Every other sister stayed where they were. There are four or five sisters dying in three weeks though, so there should be a massive transfer then; no new sisters are coming in until May, so some cities should be shutting down until though. :/ We got on our train to come home and then something happened with the track and we ended up stuck on a not-moving train for 3 hours, plus like a 3 hour train ride when it finally started moving. But we all got to know each other super well, so it was good. Then, we had all pretty much run out of money since transfers was on the last week of the month and we all used our last money to buy train tickets and couldn't get them reimbursed yet so...let's just say, we literally ate tomato soup with pasta in it and bread and peanut butter for pretty much every meal this week, because we couldn't buy groceries... hahaha. Missionary probs. Definitely never run out of money before and then had my card not work for some reason, even though I know there's still money on it. Yikes. But, it's fine, because it's almost the end of the month. Haha

What else... we have Sport Nap here; nine boys and two girls running after a ball. Yeah. And then we decided to just go play soccer at 7 this morning with the 4 elders and one of their investigators and it started POURING rain. It was super fun though, stepping in puddles left and right and people slipping on the concrete. Haha. It was only slightly sarcastic; it really was fun, just really cold.

This city is SUPER cool. It's great. I still feel like I'm a daze though and have no idea where I am, because it's huge! I feel like it's bigger than Debrecen, but I guess it's not. My body is going all out of whack, probably because of the weather. Haha! One day I get a sunburn, because it's super hot and sunny, and then the next I wake up with a cold and today it's been grey and raining all day. Who knows what's going on? I saw Sister Kennedy and her parents today! They came back to visit and all the missionaries and one of her old investigators all got together at the branch house with them. Super cool. She filled me in on all the missionaries who are at home and which ones have gotten MARRIED since they got home! MARRIED! And dating, but that's normal. Back to the city... It's great and there's a really good university here, so there are young people everywhere and everyone is super rendes, attractive and well-dressed. Plus the branch is SO solid. I'm in heaven. I've never served in a city like this before.

I feel like I had more to tell you all. I'll think about it and let you know. We're coming back to email later this evening, because we have a few programs to run around to. Not sure where exactly we're running to, but I'll just run behind Sister Dinehart. hahaha. Speaking of running. I've already run a few times since I've been here... What?! Before this transfer I had run a total of twice, I think. hahaha This transfer will be a transfer of records, I can feel it already.

Love you all!

Sister Megan Butterfield
Sister Dinehart, Sister Butterfield, Caroline Kennedy

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week: 50 Day 420: TRANSFER CALLS! New Pictures Posted!

March 18, 2014


I wish I could send you all videos, because we filmed our transfer call this morning. haha Let's just say... I called it! The APs asked me for my guess before they would tell me, and I was right! Tomorrow morning I am getting on the train and heading to Pest because we're getting transfered. But, instead of heading back here I will be on my way to.... SZEGED (in the very south of Hungary) with Sister Dinehart! She is actually a greenie right now. She's the one that several people told me that I was going to train, because they thought we'd get along. But... obviously I wasn't a trainer this transfer. haha. Anywho, that means I have to finish training her and finish the 12 week program with her. Yikes. It's been almost a year since I did that. I think that I'm going to my dying place! So strange. Home doesn't feel so close anymore now that I know that I still have at least one whole, new adventure ahead of me.
Happy St. Patrick's Day yesterday! I planned to wear green and then... I got dressed and forgot. The bad news is I can no longer wear or use the excuse that I'm wearing green underwear. haha

The conference last week was GREAT! All I have to say, is every morning since then I have been up and out of bed BY 6:25 (That's a miracle within itself. ;) 5 minutes is a long time)! I really enjoyed something that was said by President Smith about the Holy Ghost, that we can't be doing (or not doing) all the little things and still expect the Holy Ghost to be with us all the time. There was a lot that I enjoyed about it and I learned so much, it's hard to just write it in a couple sentences. However, over all, it just changed my determination and motivation again, right when I needed it the most! It was pretty cool, because Elder and Sister Dyches came and sat with Sister Broadhead and me at lunch and we got to talk to them one on one for a while. Sister Dyches is super cute and Elder Dyches goodness literally radiates from his eyes.

We had a great week, probably because of the conference! We had one of the coolest programs of my whole mission on Saturday! We had English class and a little while after it, we had planned a program with a member. There was still a little group of four young adults from English class (who also meet with the Elders and have been having a difficult time progressing) sitting there talking. Right before we went into the other room, I had a strong feeling that I should invite all of them in; I mean, if they're planning on spending their Saturday evening hanging out at the branch house, why not give them something spiritual! (: So, I asked the member what he thought about it, and he said: "Invite them all in!" It kind of surprised us when all four of them actually decided to come in and almost jumped out of their seats. We showed them a church video about missionary work with lots of converts talking about what they felt when they were investigators and first came into contact with the church. We watched the whole video and I wasn't sure how exactly they would take it. At the end, I stood up to turn the off the TV and turn the lights back on. I wish I could have taken a picture of their faces when I turned around to look at them. All four men were just sitting there staring at the TV with their mouths open, not moving, and one of them had tears in his eyes. When we asked what they thought and how they felt, one of them just answered, "Good, happiness, peace, joy." It was one of the best moments of my mission. Then we opened it up to them to ask any questions or concerns that they have. It took a little bit for them to open up, but it was great, because it gave them the chance to be open even in front of their "bros" and bear little pieces of their testimonies to each other. Plus, the member there was able to help so much with answering their questions, because he was baptized about 4 or 5 years ago and told them that he had all their same questions when he met with the missionaries. I can't explain how cool that program was, and all we had planned for was a program with a member to talk about missionary work; instead, we allowed him to actually do missionary work right away!

We had a great last week together. Wow. It all came together and we finally pulled through and got Standard together even on a week where an entire day was spent in Buda. It was a lot of little tender mercies put together. Imagine this! I reached a point this weekend where I decided I actually want to stay here. Even if the work is hard here at the moment, there are sooo many good friends of mine here and so many people that I am going to miss SO much. It's going to be hard to resettle and not see all of these people all the time, but at the same time, I'm ready for a new, fresh start.

We took tons of pictures this week; I'll try to send a lot of them. We decided to photograph what we do on a normal day, everything from waking up, praying, working out, teaching, studying, etc. Also, I send you some pictures of my favorite little girl here. She's SO cute. My two favorite kids in this country are both 7 year old girls, weird? I think so at least. But I just want to squeeze them to death. This one here in Székes is named Napsi (Napsugár), which means Sunshine in English. Random fact, the first movie I watch when I get home might be Remember the Titans because it's still my favorite and I have started quoting it all the time for some reason. SUUUNSHIIINE! Fruit cake! Okay, I'm done.

Anyway, have a good week! And I'll write to you next week from SZEGED!

Sister Megan Butterfield

In a program with a member here last P-Day, Laura! She's planning on coming to BYU next year and I'm stoked. She's so cute!
McDonald's for dinner!

  I feel like this describes us.

Here's one for all the people who speak Hungarian. We laughed.

I was forced to do a photo shoot... during Sport Nap. This is how I felt about it. (I hear there's a picture of it on facebook... hahahaha)

Real Sport Nap. kind of. it started this week, most other people were playing soccer or... reading their scriptures on the sidelines? Welcome to Sport Nap? haha. 
My favorite girl! (sorry, it's kind of blurry...) We went out to see them yesterday!

One of our investigators! (: I love her!

We made a priority jar for some programs! 

This is her!!! The branch President's daughter. Isn't she so cute?! (:

Love these kids! The two girls are the branch president's kids, we teach their step sister. The little boy is the son of another member, we teach his dad! (:

A look into a normal day with us. Hahaha 6:30 am.

8:00am (Personal Study)

Week 49: Day 412: Words of Wisdom From My Planner

Day 412

March 10, 2014


Sorry, I spaced on time and have been trying to figure out classes and housing and such, but we have a program in 25 minutes, so I'm going to have to run pretty quick. I'll send this week's pictures later. Before I forget, I just want to send some birthday shout-outs to Emily, Katie, Alise and Nate. Everyone's getting old! Yikes. Also, I'll be emailing on Tuesday next week instead of Monday, because it's.... transfer week! Yes, again. And again in 4 weeks.

Uhh…I didn't really write good notes this week for things to tell you about. Mostly... well…On Wednesday we're heading up to Buda for a combined Zone Conference with the Budapest Zone. Elder Dyches (of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, I believe) is coming to talk to us. So, pretty excited for that!

We had a rough week last week work wise, but we have a busier week planned this week, just praying that everything works out. But, it’ll all work out the way it needs to, so I'm not worried. (: We have a new investigator who is preparing for baptism for April! I can't believe that we already in March, which means that April is next month! Anyway, we're meeting with him on Thursday and planning to set that in stone! Guess what! Another priesthood holder for the branch! I mean, don't get me wrong, women are good too. It's just interesting that all the people baptized last year and this year are men that will strengthen the priesthood in this small branch.

I read a great talk this week by Elder Corbridge from when he was a mission president: The Fourth Missionary. It has really helped to shape my perspective yet again. This week I'm working on charity. I changed my perspective and rather than asking myself, "Is this wrong? Is this okay?" I try to ask the question we all know, "What would Jesus do?" Rather than walk the line or float along beside it, I would really like to do what Jesus did and stay from the line, on solid ground. Anyway, these are just a couple of my goals for the week. (:

Anywhooo, have a good week and I'll talk to you on Tuesday with transfer news. Ah! Oh, and happy St. Patrick's Day! Sorry the email's a little weak, but we have to run to the branch house. Don't ask me why we have a program at 1:10. Sometimes people choose really strange times.


Sister Megan Butterfield

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 48 : Day 405: Happy March!

March 3, 2014


Happy March! Hope it's a good month for everyone! We have reached the time for... the D&C Challenge to begin! What is this, you may ask? A challenge to read the Doctrine and Covenants before you finish your mission, one chapter a day, for your last 138 days. So, I shall begin that on Friday! Crazy. But, I wanted to extend the invitation to whoever would like to join me in this as my release date approaches. I think I counted one extra day, for travels and stuff, so you will probably finish it a day before I actually get home, unless you start Saturday. I mean, while you're on that, you can join me in reading the Bible too, but that's not an official missionary challenge, just a personal one. (:

Interesting things that have happened this week... Well, early this week while we were tracting a building, a man came out of his apartment door and started yelling at us, saying that he would call the police on us if we didn't get out. He "herded" us towards the elevator, pushed us in and got in after us. He proceeded to escort us down to the ground floor and all the way out the front door, where he slammed it behind us and watched us through the glass. It probably didn't help that we smiled at him the whole time and were trying really hard not to laugh, or that my companion turned to him right before we got into the elevator and said something along the lines of "okay, but you could have said that nicely." hahaha. Added yet another "escorted out of an entire building" to my list.

On Wednesday, I put us on another bus. But this time we actually left the main city and went to another little falu (village thing) in our area to tract. Last week, we stayed in Székes just went to the far area with family houses, and I had been there twice, months before. But I had never been to Szabadbattyán before. I'm not sure my comp really appreciated it too much, because we had no idea where we were going or what the stop or falu looked like. But that's what I loved when I opened Veszprém. You literally just go, relying completely on the Spirit to show you were to go. Plus, exploring something new is all part of the adventure and excitement. (: Anywho, we had heard the stop was "about" 15 minutes away, but we had no idea and didn't want to get off in some random tiny, one-street falu without realizing. 15 minutes passed and we weren't sure if we were at the right stop and decided to stay on the bus. We reached the next stop. Nope, wasn't feeling it. We pulled up to another one, and I just turned to Sister Kovács and said "I have no idea if this is it, but I feel like we should get off here." We got off and walked over to look at the little bus chart. Sure enough, we were led to the stop in Szabadbattyán. We walked around for a few minutes, trying to figure out the little town and found a little map, read all the streets, picked one and started tracting it. The third door we knocked on? Let us in. We're going back this week too. Turned out to be a good day and I think my comp appreciated it by the end! (: haha we got some good pictures, not ONE person was rude and we have some people we're going back to. Sometimes you just have to get out of the route that you get stuck in when you've been in a city for 4 months, tracting 10-stories all day every day.

Ohh, also, I'm enjoying finally being able to have some greenie moments with the language. haha Remember when I told you about that time one of my companions got mad at me at the end of my greenie transfer because I never had any greenie moments that they could make fun of me for? Well... they have finally come when I'm really tired. Well, only like 2, but we find lots of reasons to laugh at dumb things. Anywho, when we were in that let-in in Szabadbattyán, I was explaining to the lady about the churches official name and why we have the nickname, but it all got jumbled into one and I actually told her that our nickname is the Book of Mormon. I quickly corrected myself and laughed. I don't think the lady even noticed because it didn't even faze her and it doesn't sound too funny now, but Sister Kovács lost it once we left her house. Lately both of us have been mixing up our "s" and "sh" sounds and I'm not really sure what's happening to us. It's funny when we're tracting and people don't even understand her when she's speaking, and she's Hungarian! So it's not just us Americans! haha. But other than that, I'm super glad that I can serve with her. I don't think that I've ever gotten confused as a Hungarian or been complimented so much before this transfer.

I made this week a "Gratitude Week" and worked on that. I started saying only "gratitude prayers" again at night and not asking for anything. We set goals to work on not complaining and being grateful for what we HAVE been getting, rather than focusing on what we're missing. I also started keeping a dream journal a few weeks ago and it's so funny. I've dreamt way more than I can ever remember before and they're super weird dreams. I think that means that I'm not sleeping deeply very much anymore. It's strange, cause most of the dreams are either about people that I've met on my mission, but take place at home, or are about people that I haven't seen in ages from Russia. Super weird.

A while ago, I read a scripture in the Bible that I wanted to share with you. Matthew 5:48 reads, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." I keep referring back to and studying that verse lately and the footnotes too it. Obviously, we know that no one - The Godhead excluded - is perfect right now, but that is what we aim for. One of the footnotes to perfect says "potential;" we all have the potential to become better and to - one day - be like God. At this point and in this life, we have to realize that we are never good enough, but that's okay. Whether you're on a mission or going through normal life, we should never reach a point where we're comfortable with staying in the spot we've reached or think that we've done enough. But, that doesn't mean that we remain in the past and think about all the things we didn't do that we should have. Rather, we always look forward at the things that we have control over and that we can still change. We can ALWAYS do better. A lot of times out here, your weaknesses are magnified and right when you start to feel like you're finally mastering it and doing better... something else is pointed out; over and over and over again. It literally is a never-ending process and plan that is set up to HELP us and help us reach that "perfect" potential that we all have, one step, one attribute and one trial at a time. Just like Nefi says in that scripture we can probably all quote, "For I KNOW that the Lord giveth NO commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." Anyway, I have learned on my mission that truly "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Just rely on the Lord through those times and know that it's for a reason and that reason will always be for your, or someone else's, benefit.

I know that any of you can do anything with the Lord on your side. I love you all and I truly hope that your week goes smoothly, despite the trials and hard times that I know you're facing. One day, it will all be worth it. But enjoy today, even if today isn't that day. (:

Sister Megan Butterfield

PS: If anyone wants to be added (rather than just reading the blog) or removed from my email list, let me know, because I can't really remember who wants to be on it anymore and I think it changes every week as I get emails from different people and new email addresses. I won't be offended. I don't want to annoy anyone. (:

PPS: One of these pictures we took while tracting to the edge of Szabadbattyán. The one in the mirror was last week while tracting the family houses in the rain in Székes. The third is just one to show you the four missionaries here and... Yeah, we were really bored one P-day, waiting for our programs to show up. haha.
While tracting to the edge of Szabadbattyán.

Last week while tracting the family houses in the rain in Székes.

 The four missionaries here and... Yeah, we were really bored one P-day, waiting for our programs to show up. haha.

"Studying" one day at the beginning of our transfer. A peek into our nice, clean apartment...
Bored p-days.

Many failed attempts at doing "the bridge." I always landed on my head.. or couldn't get off my head.

 The city. I never noticed before how strange people look when they do the bridge.

Chillin in the Branch House.

In the car on the way to dinner on another p-day.

A puddle we found among many puddles in Szabadbattyán.

What we treated ourselves to while we were waiting for our bus back to Székes after a long day of tracting. (:
In Szabadbattyán

In Szabadbattyán.

In Szabadbattyán.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Week 47: Day 396: A burst of energy and motivation!

February 24, 2014


Happy P-Day... to me! haha and Happy 13 months, yesterday! Time is flying by. I hope you're all enjoying it though.

We had a good week, to look at the positive side. Work is still struggling, but we're working on it. It was a little hard with so much finding and us both being really sick all week. However, I took lots of medicine and I think that's the fastest any cold has ever gone away. It's not completely gone, but it's manageable without medicine now. We've gotten pretty tired of tracting so much here in the city, so on Wednesday, I put us on a bus and we rode it to the end, got off and tracted family house... and then it started raining again. haha We weren't able to find anyone interested out there, but we enjoyed the change in scenery and the fresh air for a day.

The elders have a baptism this weekend for a super cool, pretty new investigator. So we're really excited for that! This branch is increasing in priesthood members, one by one!

Like I said, the work out here has been a little rough lately, and it's been rough to keep myself motivated. However, I think that it has really helped to tear me down (which sounds strange), humble me and then build me in a better way as a better missionary. Just like President Monson said in this last conference:
"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life."

I feel like this weekend I have received another burst of energy and motivation to do this work, to build up this branch, find new people, be a better, more loving and obedient missionary, teacher and person. Sister Kovács and I had a great weekly planning yesterday and set some new goals for ourselves. I've realized that the closer I get to going home and with making plans for home, the harder it is to always stay focused on missionary work. As a result, I'm trying to find more things in the work to stay occupied with and focused on and making sure that my mind is always filled with the most productive of things. For example, if we ever have a bit of extra time after eating lunch, dinner, or planning, I use it to really study the scriptures or do area book work, rather than just "think."

We were teaching a lesson this week to an inactive YSA girl here and talking about goals, change and how we are capable of things. A story came to my mind that I hadn't ever realized before, as an example of how we always progress and change without noticing until further down the road. I don't think I ever shared this story with anyone before that, but I remember my first "full day" as a missionary in my greenie city. Before we even left the apartment in the morning, I had a secret breakdown inside my head and seriously considered calling President Smith and telling him to send me home right away. I thought that there was NO way that I could go teach someone a lesson that day or that I could teach the lessons that we had planned for the rest of the weekend and then go out and talk stop people in the street! Ha! A year late, it's amusing to think back to that. Teaching is not my favorite thing in the world, and I wouldn't choose to do it as a career for the rest of my life, but I no longer think I'm going to have a heart attack if I have to teach a lesson! My testimony is much stronger than it ever has been before. My mission is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but the best decision I have ever made. I want to stay extremely busy for the next 5 months and take advantage of this privilege the Lord has given to learn and grow, through the good days and the bad ones. As Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "You are never too young to learn, never too old to change. Each day brings opportunity for decisions for eternity." We can always do, become, and be better; no excuses.

I hope that you can all find ways to become better versions of yourselves. (: Have a good week!


Sister Megan Butterfield