Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nov 25 e-mail

hi everybody!
Ah, this week has gone by so fast! Actually, everything has just gone by so fast...It's so crazy how full our days our, but then how fast the weeks seem to go by. Sister Steck said she heard once that the Lord has so much He needs to teach you that He makes your days longer so you have more time to learn it (or something to that effect...).
So, I did get the packages-thanks so much to everyone who sent something! It's always nice to get a little something from home and from the heart. And, I've gotten your letters, but I didn't bring them with me, so any questions you had, I'll answer in my letters to you. Oh, and I think Aunt Denise and some other people wanted my mission address; it's Elder Kyle Murray MTC Mailbox #95 HUN-BUD 0118
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT
You might want to double-check that though, because I don't have my address card on me and I don't exactly have it all memorized...
So, how's everyone doing at home? Every once in a while I'll think about home-not really homesick, just someone will do something and it will remind me of someone at home.
Things are going pretty good here...oh, and the really good news...Elder Dallin H. Oaks was the speaker at the Tuesday Night Devotional! Ah, it was so cool! He was like, right there! It was so amazing to actually see him in person! And, it was kind of funny, because before every devotional, we sing 4 or 5 hymns, and after the third or fourth one, the choruster said "just to let you all know, if we have an apostle or a member of the first presidency visiting, we stand when they enter the room." It was just really funny, because then everyone knew that one of them was going to be speaking, and Dallin H. Oaks came in about halfway through the last song, so we all stood up, and we finished singing, and he was singing with us, and it was just such an amazing feeling to have an apostle of the Lord there with us.
oh, and, when the MTC president introduced him, he said "he was called as an apostle in, wait,, 1984. I know sometimes it seems like 1948....." and everyone was laughing, Elder Oaks was practically falling out of his chair...but then, his wife spoke before him, and her talk was good...she laughed a lot, i don't even think she meant for some things to be funny, it's just that when she said them, everyone just started laughing, and then she started laughing, and it was just really fun. Then, Elder Oaks spoke on missionary work. I don't have my notes with me, but I do remember that he spoke about focusing on "working smarter, rather than working harder." He shared a story about a mission president who challenged his missionaries to door-approach 200 people in 2 days. At the end of two days, only one companionship had gotten to the mark, and after the mission president had praised them, the senior companion said "aw, that was nothing...we could have gotten through a lot more, but people kept slowing us down by wanting to talk to us." It was pretty funny, but it also emphasized our purpose for being here. We are helping others come unto Christ, and it's not about numbers, it's about people. Each person we meet will be influenced by what we say, just as we will be influenced by having met them. He talked about some other things, like how to be a successfull missionary. Speaking of successfull missionaries, if you want to see a good talk on that topic, watch (don't just read--you have to watch it) "Miracle of a Mission" by Jeffrey R. Holland. It is such an amazing and inspirational talk. Oh, and speaking of Elder Holland, rumor has it that he's going to be speaking at the Thanksgiving morning devotional! We're thinking of skipping breakfast so we can be first in line. it would definitely be worth it.
Um, I can't really think of anything to say to the ward; I did find a scripture in Romans that is really good, but i forgot to bring the reference with me! i'll send it in the letter home, and hopefully you get it in time...if not, tell everyone I love them, and not to take the gospel or missionary work for granted. Everyone can be a missionary--all you have to do is bear your testimony to others. i'm starting to realize that now--i'm just finding out how little i know about the gospel, but at the Referral Center, i can still bear my testimony to others, and I know that a lot of them have felt the spirit because of it. And the gospel is so important! never forget that, and don't think of reading it as a burden...there are so many lessons in the scriptures, and they can be so fun to read--just ask the Lord to help you have a desire to read and understand them, and I know that you can have an amazing experience! One of the things Elder Holland spoke about in Miracle of a Mission was to be the best missionary you could be, so that you could live without regrets. that's something that I'm really trying to follow right now, and I want each and every one of you to follow that advice too. if you feel prompted by the Spirit to do something like testify or share the gospel or both, then DO IT! Don't ignore it, you never know whose life you can change just by being a witness of Christ.
Well, I hope you all are having a great time at home (and at school, i guess, for those of you who are at college--ah, i can't wait for college!). i love you all, and don't forget that even the simplest testimony can change someone's life. Always follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost--he knows exactly what it is that people need to hear. Trust in the Lord, and you will find joy.
Until next week!
Murray Elder
p.s. you can still write to me! anytime......seriously.......whenever......haha.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2nd week at the MTC

My second week at the MTC has been great! The language is starting to come a little easier now, because even though we have to learn a TON of charts (verb conjugation, possession, pronoun endings, etc., etc.) they all have similarities, so now that I've noticed that, they should be easier to memorize...and some of the vocab is easy too because it's what we use in the lessons and stuff.
Oh, Sister Nieman will be happy to know that I got my first haircut today, and it looks pretty good (if I do say so myself...haha).
Ah, so the mail has been driving me crazy! It takes a few days for me to recieve anything that you send me, and then a few days for you to send a reply, so by the time you get my answer to your first letter, you've probably already sent another one! That's ok though, I love getting mail, even if it's about something that I wrote about in my last one...haha. Oh, and send pictures. and more letters. and anything. I love getting letters! And I'll try to send replies to most, if not all of them, it's just difficult because we're only allowed to write letters on Wednesday......I can do it though! We have a pretty big chunk of free time, and when we do laundry, while we're waiting we can write as well.
Ah, so I'm getting so excited for December to get here! They've been putting up Christmas lights since we got here, and they're still going at it! I can't wait to see what they look like all lit up! And, I'm still waiting for this Utah snow that I've always heard about...when does it usually snow? Because so far there's been one day of rain, one day of (extremely light) snow, and the rest have all been sunny and clear! They're still pretty cold though...
Oh gosh, everyone keeps talking about college because most of them went to a semester or two before coming out here, and I'm getting so excited to go to college here! The mountains are seriously like, 15 minutes away! I could go hiking every week! But, I'm trying to ignore that for now, and just focus on my mission...haha.

Ah! So, guess who spoke at the Sunday night fireside?! I'll just tell you because I don't want to wait a week for you to ask me who--it was Sheri Dew. For those of you who don't know who she is, she's the president and ceo of Deseret Book....she gave an awesome talk! A member of the presiding bishopric spoke at the Tuesday devotional, and his talk was great too. Ah! AND I found out that the mission president in Hungary right now invented the Tickle-Me-Elmo! Ah, I like him already.
I am getting sooooo excited to get out in the field! I know you're not supposed to stress about stuff at the MTC because it's all just practice and it's just supposed to help you, but.....I stress! It's just what I do....I feel like it will be better out in the field, because by then I should have at least the basics of the language down. That's what's got me the most stressed right now.....Oh, and if my English progressively gets harder to understand, especially when I'm actually IN Hungary, don't worry....It's just because Hungarian word order is crazy wierd.....they talk like Yoda! Like, if i wanted to say "I need a pen", the literal translation from Hungarian to English would be "My need it exists onto a pen." Crazy. Even stuff like "I'm tired" translates to "Tired I am". Ah, but I can't wait until I'm completely fluent....returned missionaries come to the TRC so we can practice teaching, and it sounds so awesome and flawless when they speak! And, I'll be going to BYU, so I'll be able to come and do that when I get back! So excited!
Plus, apparently missionaries from most other districts don't really stay that close, but missionaries from Hungary apparently are a really close-knit group.
Well, I've only got a few minutes left, but I just want to say how much I love all of you! It's such an amazing feeling being here, because although I sometimes think about you all, I don't feel any homesickness or longing, I'm just so excited to be serving the Lord and doing His work, there's no time or energy left to devote to being homesick! I wish everybody could feel the things I feel down here, it is just so amazing!
Well, talk to you all later, and again, I love you all!
Murray Elder
p.s. send me mail! everyone else gets a ton! haha...but seriously, mail is so fun to get! and don't forget pictures!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nov 11 e-mail from Kyle

Hi everybody!
So, it's officially been one week since I arrived here at the MTC. It has been so awesome! The language has been difficult at first, but it seems to be getting easier...I think the hardest thing is going to be memorizing each word...and it's kind of funny because every time we learn something, I think about how I would say it in German....I mean, it's cool that I still remember how to speak German (at least a little bit), but it can make learning Hungarian a little more difficult.
So, besides learning Hungarian, we've also been studying out of "Preach My Gospel" which is, pretty much, amazing. There is so much stuff in it that I probably never would have thought of...but it is all so heplful!
I think the most stressful thing right now is the TE and TRC...that's where we go to practice teaching investigators (they're actually teachers and returned missionaries)...I can usually plan out what I want to say pretty well before we go in, but then my mind just kind of goes blank....
So, my companions here are Miller Elder and Lundeen Elder (Hungarian is the only language where the last name comes before the Elder....everyone else thinks it's a typo, so we have to explain at least once a day...haha). In our district there's only us and Steck Nover (Sister Steck), so it's pretty tiny...she's also a solo sister, so we usually have to escort here everywhere...unless she's with her roommate sisters, but they're all going to Albania, so that can be difficult for her.
One of the most fun things we do here is the RC (Referral Center). What we do is call people who have ordered things from the church--although we also take calls from people who see the commercials, and we get to chat online with people who ask questions on It's funny though, becuase everyone wants to do a chat, so as soon as one pops up, everybody tries to click it first on their computer...this last week we went there for the first time, and we just tried to contact people who had ordered things....I didn't talk to ANYBODY the whole time because they all lived in the midwest and the east coast, so it would have been really late...
The meals here are awesome too! There's usually at least one thing on the menu that I would like, and when there's not, I just hop in a line, and the food is great anyway! Well, sometimes it's just good....haha. Every Sunday and Wednesday we get ice cream! Too bad they don't have pistachio....that recently became my favorite flavor...haha.
So, Wednesdays are our district's Preparation Days, so those will be the only days that I can write or send emails. I can recieve emails and letters any day though (I won't read the emails until Wednesday) so send letters as often as you want! Ha, whenever one elder recieves mail, all the other ones are's pretty funny. Um, apparently there's a website called Dear Elder where you can type a message and they'll send it to the MTC for free...I think they start charging postage as soon as I get out in the field though....I don't know.
OK.....i only have about 12 minutes left on here...ah! The time goes by so quickly!
Today was our first P-Day, and it was awesome! We got to go to the temple this morning, and it was such a neat experience! The room was full of missionaries! And we get to go every Wednesday! I'm really looking forward to that, I love going to the temple.
Another great part of the MTC is firesides every Sunday night and devotionals every Tuesday night...both of those were awesome this week....a member of the first council of the 70 came Tuesday and he's in charge of temple stuff, so that was what he talked about....we had a testimony-meeting-type-thing afterwards, and it was so amazing...I love the temple! And I love that I can be out here preparing to serve the Lord and the people of Hungary!
God be with you (all) till we meet again!
Murray Elder
P.S. Anyone who wants to should send me pictures, because I meant to bring some with me, but I forgot, so my wall is looking pretty sad right now....haha. Oh, and I forgot to tell Uncle Bret in my letter to him, but Marceil Elder is one of our zone leaders....he told me that he remembered meeting you at the temple! Cool!

Kyle at the MTC

We dropped Kyle off at the MTC on Nov 4th at 1:00pm. Here are some pictures.