Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dec 23, 2009

Hi Everyone!
I hope the subject thing didn't fake anyone out, it's just that whenever it snows, Lundeen Elder says that....actually, whenever something great happens, he says's pretty funny.
So, today was pretty awesome! We got to clean the temple! It was wierd seeing it all empty with plastic everywhere (they were sanding some paint), but it was such a great experience! Ha, and we got to wear nifty temple scrubs! Ha, Lundeen Elder and I thought that if we got bigger sizes, the pants would be longer--a reasonable assumption, right? Ha, wrong. The pants are all the same length, so we just had big billowy hiwaters. Ah, good times...
So, after we got back from the temple, we ate lunch and went straight to a TE was our first one one P-Day, and it was wierd...usually, we don't really have to worry about teaching or anything, so that was definitely an interesting experience...but a good one. One of the Hungarian teachers is working there (they get paid A LOT to work through Christmas), so we've signed up to teach him once (sometimes twice!) a day until he goes back to just teaching--I think it's January 2nd....yeah, but we get to teach him as a progressing investigator--in Hungarian! Ah, it's hard, but it's definitely helpful! Before, we just taught to English-speaking teachers, but I think I'm getting more comfortable with teaching in Hungarian than in English...we had an English appointment a few hours after a Hungarian one, and it was wierd....
Ok, so, the Tuesday Night Devotional speaker was.............................Neil A. Andersen!!!!! Oh my gosh, he was so great! His wife talked first about an experience they had when he was mission president in southern innkeeper loaned them his van so they could be home for was so nice, and just reminded me to always be thinking of others and what I can do to help them. After her, their grandchildren came up and sang a medley of Christmas was nice, and one of the grandsons was only 4 or 5, so he couldn't reach the microphone, so he just kind of sang along and did his own was pretty funny. After them, Elder Andersen spoke on looking back and looking forward, and also about "Knowing the condescension of God." It was really good, and he talked about the different types of knowing...knowing something because you see it, and knowing something because you feel it (it went more in-depth, but that was the basic meaning--sorry for the short synopsis, I'm running out of time....) Oh, so I realized the other day that I haven't told you about Hungarian Christmas! So, Santa comes on December 6th (I think) and puts candy in children's shoes that they leave out on their windowsill...and, if they meet Santa at the mall or at church, they have to perform for him, and then they get some candy....apparently, Santa just kind of sits there with a stern expression, and the kids are all, I have to wait a year before I get to have Christmas in Hungary....sounds fun.
And then, on December 25th, Baby Jesus comes and gives them presents. It's nice because they separate between the Santa aspect of Christmas and the aspect dealing with Christ.
Oh, another Hungary, there used to be a law that you could only name your children certain names.....that law isn't around anymore, but people still pretty much name their children those same names, because each of those names belongs to a day of the year, and everyone's "Name Day" is pretty much as big as, if not bigger than, their birthday! Apparently, if you know it's somebody's name day and forget to get them something, it's really bad....but it's ok if you don't know.....the only name day that Sister Snow remembered was Szilveszter (Silvester) which is on New Year's.
So, I was going to send the longest word in Hungarian and a little Hungarian Christmas song, but I'm running out of time...I'll send it in a letter home, and maybe someone can post it with my next email...
Yeah, so, I'm pretty much out of things to say...apparently Greg Olson is coming to speak on Christmas Eve or Christmas....that should be way awesome! Ah, I can't wait for Christmas! A fireside on Christmas Eve, a devotional AND a fireside on Christmas, AND extra letter-writing time! I am so excited!
Oh, speaking of Christmas--thank you so much to everyone who sent a letter! I wish I could thank each of you individually, but the letters are back in my room, and there's only so much time on here...but thank you all so much! Those were so neat to get! Haha, our mailbox was soooo full, and everyone was staring at Miller Elder and was pretty funny. Oh! And when we got those, we saw Elder Floyd down at the mailroom! Ah, that was so neat! Miller Elder and I had looked for his classroom, but we couldn't find it, and then it was just so unexpected to see him, just out of the blue like that! He leaves pretty soon here, and he was sooo excited! Ah, speaking of leaving, we should be getting our flight plans in two weeks! I can't believe we're going to be in Hungary in less than a month! I am so excited! One Elder that left about halfway through our stay here emailed Lundeen Elder and said that he can pretty much teach only kids.....but he's learning a lot! He's a junior zone leader or something (there's only one zone-leader per zone....) in Pest, so he gets to drive around....apparently the roads are crazy though, so that must be interesting...
Well, I love you all, and I hope you all have a great holiday! Thanks again soooo much for the letters! Those totally made my day!
Murray Elder

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