Saturday, December 18, 2010

Transfer 9, Week 2 (i actually can't remember which week it is.....?)

Hi everyone
So, I am now in the office as a secretary. It was kind of hectic when I first came in two Sundays ago (the 6th). I got some training from Elder Ottley, then he left on Thursday. I kind of stressed out for the first few days, but then i realized that there's really nothing to get stressed about, so i'm fine now. I was with Elder Kubricky for the rest of the time, and then his replacement, Elder Hintze, got here last sunday (the 13th). I won't say that i'm not looking forward to serving with Elder Hintze, but I really liked serving with Elder Kubricky. I gained so much respect for him during the short time we served together, he's got so many great insights, and he's really entertaining. I was kind of super bummed-out when i found out he was leaving, but he's been here for a long time, and he was itching to get out. So, we kind of whitewashed the office--nobody can remember that ever happening before, so it's kind of interesting....we're both kind of learning as we go, so things are moving kind of slow right now, but they should start picking up. Let's see, what is there to know about the office......we're here from 8.30 to 5.30 (sometimes longer, depending...), we do computer stuff alllllll day, sometimes we get to take mail to the Posta (post office), so that's kind of fun. ha, it's kind of funny, there's this very specific route we take to the posta, and Elder Hintze made a comment the other day, just wondering how long it's been there and who discovered it, and then we got talking about Bug's Life where the leaf falls on the line. It was kind of funny. Yeah, so, that's the Posta (oh, and they just opened a Starbucks on the way to the Posta in the mall, so i can still get their apple cider.......a little taste of Seattle right there. :) Other than that.....things are pretty constant here at the office. the stuff that i'm mainly responsible for isn't too difficult, just have to follow directions. the biggest thing i do is probably getting all of the greenies registered and getting them their permits. that's always's just super wierd though, because i totally remember being in their shoes, and it does not seem like that long ago. let's see, anything else........we live right across the street from the mission home, so not too much travel time involved......
Ok, so this past week was transfers. kind of hectic, but manageable......i just had a lot of updating to do, and that was about the most difficult thing. But, we also had 9 missionaries leaving, and the office elders get to join them and the Baughman's and the garner's (the office senior couple) for dinner in the Baughman's apartment. It was really fun being able to have that last chance to talk with all of them, and then there was a departing testimony meeting, which was super spiritual and everything, it was just soooooo difficult, realizing that in the morning, they'd all be gone. That was the hardest part i think, having to say goodbye that night. It was always easier before out in the field, one zone conference they were there, and the next they weren't.....but this was awful, because it was their last night, and you totally knew that they were leaving in the morning....i definitely don't think that someone as young in the mission as i am should be allowed to sit in on one of those, because i know that i'll see them later when i go home, but now it just seems like they're gone forever. If i learned anything from that night, it was a better appreciation for the Plan of Salvation. Especially taking into account missionary slang (for example, when someone comes to the country, we say they're born, and then when they go home, we say they die), it just kind of helped me realize that in this life, we make incredible bonds of friendship with so many people, and if i didn't know that we would have an opportunity to meet again and continue that friendship, it would be super hard for me to deal with things like that. But, just like i'll see all of these missionaries after my mission, that's totally how the Plan of Salvation works as well--we don't have to say goodbye forever. So, yeah. there's my deep thought for the week. :)
I hope you all have a great week, hopefully i'll write again before Christmas, but if not, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Elder Murray

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Transfer 8, Week5?

Hey everyone...
So, in case you all didn't notice, I didn't email on Monday.....the thing is....I came into the office. I'm the new secretary, and I had to come in on Sunday night for training. And, the office staff's pday is on Saturdays. so, sorry for the panic...... : )
Elder Murray

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Transfer 8, Week 4

HI everyone!
Ok, I promised last Thursday, so here's the Thanksgiving run-through. We went to the mission home in Budapest at 8 a.m. so Elder Allen could practice for the Christmas concert. While he was practicing, I made the butterscotch pies. Well, the filling and meringue......Sister Steck and Sister Johnson made the crusts. Oh, funny story. So, the crusts turned out being........a little smaller than would have been desired. So, I poured in the filling for the first one, and it was totally even with the top of the crust. Then, I put on the meringue, and the filling started blurping out the sides. It overflowed a little bit more when we stuck it in the oven. We did the second one better - we saved some of the filling and meringue and just ate it while we waited for it to cook. After that little adventure, we went to an internet cafe to email, then came back and helped set up for Thanksgiving dinner. It was so much fun, there were so many missionaries there, and the food was so good, we all had a really great time. and, a few people even said they really liked the butterscotch pie. What do you know....... :) yeah, so, dinner was at about 3:00 and went to 5 or something......after that, a bunch of people went upstairs to watch some reruns of last years BYU football games. Elder Nikolov, Sister Johnson, Elder Ottley and I went to the MR3 radio station to listen to a live broadcast. It was an anniversary performance or something honoring Hungarian composers. It was pretty cool, there were about 20 people who attended. We got to sit right up at the front. A lady played the piano, and a gentleman played the cello--it was really cool. And, we all got to be on the radio! Well, not really......we just got to applaud before and after the songs, so that was on the radio. was pretty cool though. The songs were really cool, and they both played extremely well. I'm really glad I got to go to it. Everyone else went ice skating after finishing the football game. So, that was thanksgiving. it was a long day, but super awesome.
After that, on Friday we had zone conference. That was super fun, especially since we were combined with the East zone. I got to see Elder Bird again, and Sister Crosley gave her departing testimony--I can't believe she's going home, that is soooo wierd. the mission is starting to get super young. It's wierd to see all the people in the groups above me and all the people in the groups below me. It's starting to get to where I'm older than most in the mission, and it feels super wierd. But yeah, zone conference was cool, and then we had gofri est. We talked to Csilla at that, and had a super awesome discussion. I'll just tell you all Csilla's story real quickly here......So, she just recently moved to Érd to live with her older sister so she could go to school in Budapest. During Elder Saunders' first transfer here, she always saw Elder Anderson and Elder Saunders on the street handing out english class fliers and talking to people. This was when Csilla had just moved to Érd, and from what she's told us, she was looking for a church. Somehow, she found out about english class and came. On her first day, both Elder Saunders and Elder Anderson had the distinct feeling that they needed to meet with her. So, they set up an appointment, and we met with her during my first week. All of our programs with her have been absolutely amazing, whenever we teach her something, she always agrees with it, as if it was something that she already knew, she just needed to hear it from someone. She was born a Catholic, but lived in England for a few years and attended a few different churches. She has basically gathered all of the truths that she has found in those, and now she's getting all of those confirmed by what she's learning, as well as learning new things. She is super awesome! It's really been a blessing for me to be able to take part in this with her. Every time we meet with her, it's obvious that she is moving closer and closer to baptism. One time at Gofri Est, she mentioned that whenever she comes to these kind of activities, she feels like she is at home--moreso than if she would be with her family. She asked about baptism, and what would change after she got baptised. This past Friday at Gofri Est, she pulled us aside towards the end, and said that she had gotten pretty much all of her answers, and she knows that it is true. It was a super amazing experience, Elder Allen and I were pretty ecstatic. so, that is Csilla. She really is an incredible person. Her family situation sounds absolutely horrid, but she has such amazing faith and hope in the Savior, that she is able to overcome most things that would discourage her or hold her back. We are super excited to see her story continue.
So, that's about it for this week. The Christmas concerts start this Friday, so we're all getting excited for those. Hopefully we'll be able to get everything organized for that here.
Well, I guess I'll sign off until next Monday. I hope you all have a great week, and a great start to the Christmas season!
Elder Murray

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Transfer 8, Week 3

Hi everyone!
So, things are getting super crazy around here.......(oh, and sorry if you wrote to me and i didn't respond.....we don't really have a lot of time today). There's going to be a lot of christmas concerts around the country coming up here......I'm not doing anything in it, Pres wants it to be really professional. Elder Allen will play the violin, Sister Roderick, Elder Kubricky and Elder Rummler will be singing, Elder Ottley will be playing the guitar, and sister Bodily will be playing the piano. oh, and a hungarian member will be playing the organ, or accompanying on the piano. It sounds like it's going to be really cool, I'm super excited for it.
So, other than that, not much else.....pretty crazy, because Elder Allen has to practice A LOT for the concert, and we go up to Budapest A LOT so they can all practice together. It's getting kind of hectic trying to get everything worked out and coordinated, but we're managing...hopefully it will just be absolutely great.
Ok, so, other news.......oh, a member of the 70 was here (from Scotland--way cool accent) and gave a fireside, then spoke at both sessions of Stake conference. It was super cool. We brought Csilla to the fireside, and she really liked it. Afterwards, while we were eating Gofris, she started talking about how she's been looking for the right church and everything, and how whenever she comes to activities and stuff, she feels like she's coming home, and then she started asking what would change after she gets baptized.....Basically, she is super ready for this step, and we are so excited for her. Everyone absolutely loves her, and they've totally accepted her and help her feel like she's a member of the family. It was a really awesome discussion with her, we're really excited to see where the next few programs with her take us.
So, that's about it.........I guess I'll report on today's feasting on Monday. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!
Elder Murray

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Transfer 8, Week 2

HI everyone!
So, this week was pretty stressfull...I'll see if I can recap everything that happened.....
On Monday, Elder Saunders and I managed to get one of our investigators to Családi Est (Family Home Evening) in Budapest. It was pretty cool, I think she had a great time. On Tuesday, we had a 'farewell' program for Saunders with the branch mission leader and his family. That was pretty fun. Dinner was really tasty, and we had a good time with them.
On Wednesday, we went to transfers. That was good, as usual. Saunders found his new companion (apgood) and I found mine (Allen). Oh, and I got my new whip from Sister Crosley........:) So, transfers was good, we were in Budapest pretty much all day because Allen had a doctors appointment. After that, we got back and had angolóra, then got home. Thursday was good, we did a lot of fliering and had some great programs. On Friday, we had two programs, then took those two people to gofri est in budapest. They all had a super fun time, Elder Allen was in a meeting with Pres Baughman pretty much the whole time discussing a Christmas concert. (More about that later). We caught a later train back home and went straight to bed. On Saturday, we made food for the baptism (thanks again for the cookie recipe Sarah :), and got everything organized for that (pretty much, the most stressful day of my life.) We got to Budapest, the program went smoothly, the baptism was great, and everyone felt awesome. It was really a great time, the young lady who got baptized had an absolutely wonderful experience, and she said later that she never wants to forget it. We're so happy for her, it was really great. Sunday was also a good day, the same young lady was confirmed as a member and got the Holy Ghost. It was super amazing, she kept saying over and over again how grateful she is. It was a super great feeling, being able to take part in her conversion process, I'm so glad that I could be there to walk at least a part of it with her. Sunday night, we took her to a fireside in Budapest, which was awesome, then we got home and went straight to bed. Again. Yeah. We did a lot of that this week. We like sleeping, (not while we're supposed to be working of course, but when it's time to sleep, we sleep.) Today was pretty good, we went to Budapest (as usual), Elder Allen practiced for the Christmas concert, then we went shopping a bit. Not too much, but we had a fun time.
Ok, so, the Christmas concert. Pretty much, there's a ton of talent in Budapest right now (or in the surrounding areas in Elder Allen's case). One of the sister's in Pest is an absolutely amazing singer, I believe she has a cd out, the other sister is a concert pianist--I believe she is one of the best in the US or something.....and, both secretaries are (very) musicaly inclined, an Elder in Kispest is a very good......singer? (I actually don't really know, I just know he's involved in it somehow), and Elder Allen plays the violin. Oh, and there's a member who plays the organ like that's all he's ever done. So President wants to capitalize on that as much as possible, and is organizing a Christmas concert. Basically, these people all get together in Budapest every Monday to practice for 3 or 4 hours (I just hang out with Elder Peugnet--his companion is the other elder), and there are going to be 10 or so concerts around the country on the weekends leading up to Christmas. It sounds super awesome, I can't wait to see it. Just hearing the first practice today was super amazing, they really have a lot of talent. It's really going to be a great thing for people to be able to go to, I'm super excited.......although, I am wondering what I'm going to be doing while my companion is away.......ah, that's a problem for a later date. :)
So, that's pretty much it for this week........things were kind of hectic with transfers and everything, but they're starting to settle down, and Elder Allen and I are getting things going here in Érd. So, I guess I'll talk to you all next week!
Elder Murray

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Transfer 8(!?), Week 1

Hello everyone!
For those who are wondering, that is an exclamation of bewilderment.....I can't believe it's my eigthth transfer already......wierd....
Ok, first of all, last week.....not too much going on......I carved a pumpking right before going to bed on the 30th, so we had one to celebrate Halloween with (then, on the first, we threw it down the garbage chute....hehehehe). Monday we weren't able to email......everything was closed because hey, surprise, it's a holiday! (so, everythings closed....) November 1st, All Saint's Day. Basically, Hungarians get together with family to honor their dead.....they go to their graves and absolutely cover them with candles and flowers. Apparently it looks absolutely amazing.....wish I could have seen, we ended up going to Budapest, going on a little hike (turned out to be a mini-marathon...about 5 km or something), then eating lunch at Ariba's (I don't know how to spell that, it's spanish). It was pretty fun, because a) it's legit mexican food and really tasty and b) our whole MTC group was there, so we had a little reunion and mini-celebration for reaching our year mark. It was a pretty cool day, not too much went on, but just kind of relaxing and fun. Oh, and we went down into the parking garage at the mission home, and I kind of taught sister Steck how to whip......she really likes it, I'm pretty sure I got her hooked....hehehe. But yeah, that was Monday....then, on Tuesday, we would have been able to email, but we had interviews with president. Those were good, we had some great trainings to review what we learned from last time, and then when we got back, we had a super awesome program with a family we tracted into. They were super cool, they ask really good questions, and they actually are looking to apply the things they learn. Super cool. Then, on Wednesday, we had angoló, same old stuff.....then, on Thursday, we had splits with the zone leaders in Dunaújváros....I went there and ended up having to conduct a baptismal, kind of a surprise, but it was really cool. We had a pretty good split, I got to know a few people there, and the interview went well. One of our investigators also had an interview with the zone leader....she passed, and will be getting baptized this Saturday! Super awesome! and, super cool story from, it was the first Sunday, so everyone was going up to bear their testimony. A few people got up to bear their testimonies, and then there was a little bit of a lapse....she leaned over to me and asked if she could go up......I must say, it took great restraint on my part not to stand up and scream like a little girl who just got a pony for Christmas.....I managed to convey that of course she could, and she said that she was scared. I said she didn't have to be, just say what comes from your heart, and she walked right up there and bore her testimony! She said that she knew this church is true, and she shared a story about bearing her testimony to a classmate at college about the Book of Mormon! It was a super awesome experience, and everyone congratulated her afterwards, and she told us that it seemed like there had been a little voice just telling her over and over again to go up and bear her testimony. We told her that that is the Holy Ghost and that she will be able to feel things like that all the time after she is baptized. She is so awesome, she keeps saying that she never thought anything like this was possible (she was completely atheist before meeting the missionaries), and she tells us all the time that she hopes to one day have the kind of faith of that she sees in us. From the way things are going, she is well on her way! She is so in tune to things, and she acts on every prompting she gets. It has been super awesome to see her spiritual growth, especially in these past few weeks, and we are soooo super excited for her baptism on Saturday! Super cool!
So, that was last week......not much, we got transfer calls. Elder Saunders is going to Békéscsaba, and I am staying here to get Elder Allen. He's going into his 6th transfer, so that'll be cool to have an older missionary......I've gotten to know a few people from his group: I served around Elder Hommes in Székes, and I went on splits with Elder Davis a few times. They're super awesome, and I got to spend a little time with Allen in Nyíregyháza when I went on splits there, so I think it's going to be a pretty awesome transfer. I'm super excited to be able to get to know him better and see what he has to bring to Érd. I'm super excited, it should be a pretty sweet transfer.
So, that's the big news for the past two weeks....I'll let you all know how the baptism goes next Monday, and until then, I hope you all have a super great week!
Elder Murray

Monday, October 25, 2010

Transfer 7, Week 5

Oh wow, this week was super fast. (I'm getting more imaginative with the greetings, eh?)
So, this last week was consecration week--the focus was on perfect obedience and extending the invitation to be baptized......we were able to stay very focused on obedience. I think our biggest problem in past weeks was getting to bed on time, but this week we did absolutely great! Other than that, there were a few things I noticed as we were reading the white handbook that I could do better, so I kind of focused more on really helped too, we both felt really well rested all week and everything just kind of worked out......really a super awesome week! The other focus, we didn't get much opportunity for......our one investigator with whom we meet a lot already has a baptismal date, another two we didn't meet with. One of our investigators said that she will be baptized when she feels that she has a stronger personal relationship with God, and another said that as soon as she feels the prompting that she needs to be baptized, she will. So, not too much opportunity to extend that commitment, but the people to whom we extended it did accept it. So, that was about it.......we got a lot of work done, especially with flyering, and we got two phone numbers off of tracting. We have set up an appointment with one of them, and with the other one we should be able to set up an appointment on Wednesday. So, things are going pretty smoothly here. Érd kind of has a reputation as being a super slow city in relation with finding, but we have had some fairly good success lately. Hopefully we'll be able to continue that and continue to see the work improve here.
So, that was about our week...not too much out of the ordinary......oh, Saturday was cool. We had a super p-day, so Elder Saunders and I went whipping in the morning (I had kind of been going through withdrawals....hahaha), and then we caught a train to Budapest. We got to the mission home, at which point we learned the value of finding out other peoples' plans earlier than that day. Pres. and Sis Baughman were the only ones there, everyone else in pretty much the entire zone had either gone to Tata or Hortobágy. Kind of ridiculous. But, it wasn't too bad, Elder Saunders and I both got packages (thanks grandma and grandpa!). So, we decided to walk up to Buda castle and get some pictures. We wandered around up there for a long time, and then we went into the museum there. It was cool, just super huge! We spent maybe two hours in there, perusing the artwork (ooh, I forgot how much I like that word...). After that, we went out of the castle grounds and walked along the Duna until we were across from Parliament. We got some pictures of that, then walked back to the mission home. Everyone else had gotten back by then and already eaten, so we stopped at Burger King. (I know, not exactly tiszta magyar, but it was quick. So, we got to the mission home, played some table soccer and ping-pong, and then we watched Hercules. (I forgot how ridiculously funny that movie is.....). It was super fun, Sister Steck and Elder Lundeen were there, so we had a mini group reunion....minus Elder Miller :( All in all, it was a pretty awesome day, Elder Saunders and I were pretty much completely dead by the end of it, but we got a lot of pictures, and it's always just super fun to have a little time to relax with a ton of missionaries.
So, that was our week. Not too many big things, but we had a lot of fun moments throughout it. It's really inspiring to see how the Lord is blessing us and the people here to be more attentative to the Spirit and follow it's promptings.
I hope you all have a great week, and I'll talk to you all next Monday!
Elder Murray

Transfer 7, Week 4 (10-18-2010)

(I know, it's not the holidays or anything, I just wanted to start it off with something other than "hello eveybody")
So, things are going pretty good over here in Érd.....we had a pretty normal week, a lot of programs, a lot of time flyering for english class......we did have quite an interesting Friday though......(I'm kind of using this as a backup for my journal in case I forget to write in it, so sorry if this story seems boring or something. :) So, we had a program set up for 7:00 with a guy from angolóra who lives in Budaö's another little suburb thingy of Budapest, and it's just north of Érd. The problem is, there's no buses that go straight from here to there......we called him, and decided that the best way to get there would be to take the train into Budapest, then catch a bus from there to Budaörs......well, Elder Saunders doesn't really like taking buses, because there's usually a lot of waiting, we modified the plan, and just decided to take our bikes and bike from the train station to his house. Not too bad of a plan actually, he didn't live too far, and it was downhill. So, we started, got going, got to where we thought we needed to turn off the main road, but of course, there's no street signs (at least, if there are, they aren't conveniently located). We wandered around, finally got oriented, and ended up taking the road we needed. It was a gravel road, but looked fairly well traveled, so we didn't think too much about it. Well, gravel turned to dirt, which turned to grass, which turned to forest. Yes, we were on the right road, the map just failed to show that it was pretty much completely overgrown. We managed to make it through that to a nice paved road, traveled on that for a while, crossed a river (on a bridge :) and biked on another dirt road. This was where Elder Saunder's back tire popped. So, we made it back onto another paved road, and a random guy on a bike came up and asked where we were going. We told him the street, and he said he'd take us there. it was kind of a creepy experience, there weren't very many street lights or anything, and we're just following this guy in the dark. But, he got us to our destination, and told us that he'd bring a replacement for Saunder's, he turned out to be a super nice guy. After that, we went in, had some chit chat with the english class guy and his wife, and just as we were about to start the lesson, the doorbell rang. The guy had come back with the tire. So, they invited him in, and he commenced to tell his entire life story and philosophies. It was quite interesting, the only problem was, he took up the entire time. So, no time for a lesson. We told them we had to get going, went down and fixed the tire, came back up to wash our hands, he talked for another 15 minutes, then he said he'd take us back to the train station. So, we followed him, made better time going uphill to the train station than downhill to the guy's house (mostly because we were led by somebody who actually knew what he was doing... :) He waited for the train with us, we got to know him a little bit, he invited us to come over sometime when we're in the neighborhood, and then our train came, we got on, and finally made it home. The funny thing about this whole entire experience, is that Saunders looked at the map later, and discovered that the street where the english class person lives is right by the villamos stop where they went to visit somebody else. So, basically, we could have gotten off the train one stop sooner and taken the villamos all the way to his house. Nice. But, then we wouldn't have met this random nice bike guy. Oh, turns out he's run in an iron man......2 or 3, in the past 5 years, and he's about 67.........pretty intense. So yeah, that was Friday night.
Sunday was really awesome, one of our investigators (whom we just started meeting with) came to church. We have met with her once, and she came to church....that is quite rare here. So, she came, really liked sacrament meeting, and then after that, pretty much at least half of the members there came up to her, introduced themselves, said they were glad that she came, and invited her to stay for Sunday School. She pretty much was swarmed by people who wanted to make friends with her. It was super awesome, she stayed for the whole time, and by the time she left, she had a huge smile on her face, and she just looked like she had had the best Sunday of her life. It was pretty cool. We're excited to meet with her again and talk with her. Super awesome!
So, other than that....this week is consecration week, we'll be focusing on perfect obedience and extending the invitation to be baptized.....should be a great week, we've noticed things that we can be more obedient in, and it will be interesting to see how well our investigators react to the invitation. I guess I'll report on that next week. :) Until then, I hope you all have a great week, and keep on being awesome!
Elder Murray

Monday, October 11, 2010

Transfer 7, Week 3

Hi everyone!
Ok, so, first of all....a few of you all were asking about the toxic spill/catastrophe thingy, so I'll tell you all that I know about it......apparently, there's this factory, and they had a lot of toxic sludge, and they had to get rid of it but didn't really know what to do with it, so they built two big reservoirs and filled them full of this red sludge. And, wouldn't you know, this factory is on top of a hill, with a little village at the bottom of it, which kind of sits in a basin between that hill and another hill. Well, it rained quite a bit, so apparently one of the dams on one of the reservoirs broke. All the sludge in that one oozed down into this village and just kind of sat there between these two hills. (Oh, I forgot to mention--this stuff is also slightly radioactive). Then, the dam on the second reservoir broke, so that came flowing down, picked up the sludge already in the village, and flung it all over the next hill. Yeah, so, pretty much, this radioactive sludge stuff is slowly oozing wherever, and they're trying to stop it. Apparently, at least four people died and quite a few's pretty outrageous. We just got an email from Pres. Baughman, apparently the church is helping as much as they can, and they're willing to give as much money as is needed.....luckily, there weren't any missionaries there and the ones in Pápa have been working really hard to help as much as they can.
So, that's the catastrophe.....other than that, I don't know too much about it. We heard about it the day after it happened because one of our investigators told us about it.
Onto less saddening news......Érd is pretty cool. We do a lot of angolóra advertising, so we ride our bikes a lot. We just go around and drop fliers in peoples mail boxes....not too bad in and of itself, but when you combine that with dogs barking at you, it gets kind of lame.....and, when one of these dogs happens to bite your companion's arm, that also tends to poop the party......he's fine, it didn't even pierce skin, but it left a nice bruise and some bite marks.
So, last week...a lot of angolóra fliering, some programs with investigators, and we set up some programs this week with some people from angolóra....we would have had a program tonight, but something came up, so hopefully we'll be meeting with them later in the was really good too, we had a great fast and testimony meeting, and after church we went out to visit a little néni (I had to bless the sacrament for her.....luckily, it's gotten a lot easier for me to read Hungarian.....and, it helps that I've heard them said a ton of times now, so I know kind of how they, that was a cool little program. The member who came with us, I actually knew in my greenie city, Székesfehérvár....he's a member of the stake presidency or something, so he was in Székes a lot, but he actually lives here in Érd--he even recognized me too, so that was kind of cool.
Oh, so, one of our investigators is super awesome! We had our first meeting with her on Monday. We introduced the Book of Mormon and told her about it, and when we explained where it came from, she just kind of said "Oh my gosh, I had no idea about this!" She just completely accepted the whole thing, just as something that she didn't know about before and now does. She had a bunch of really awesome questions which set it up really good for the next appointment with her ("Oh, sorry, we don't have time to answer all those questions....when should we meet again so we can answer those?" :) Then, there were a few members in the branch house at the same time, so they all befriended her and invited her to church and everything! it was super awesome, and she totally accepts all the stuff we teach. She is super awesome, we're really looking forward to meeting with her again.
Let's see....what else happened......ah, today, we went to Budapest. Elder Lynn and Sister Crosley were there, so we had a little district reunion. We went to the Chinese, pretty much the only way I can describe it, is like this: if anyone has ever been to Pike Place Market, imagine that, but with a lot less space between the different shop things (oh, and instead of shops, just little stall things), everyone smoking, and the whole atmosphere is as sketchy as can was a lot of fun. :) hehe. I was looking for a tie for me and Elder Bird, but no luck. After that, we went to Trófea for lunch. It's pretty much the most fancy buffet I have ever been in. All the people speak quite good English, and all the food was delicious! It was super fun, there was me, Elder Saunders, Sister Crosley, Sister Johnson, Elder Lynn, Elder Gardenhire, and then Sister Steck, Sister Kovácsis, and Elder Kubricky came later. It was a super fun meal, we completely stuffed ourselves. So yeah, that was our Monday. Pretty cool.
So, I hope you all have a great week, and I'll talk to you all next week! Bye!
Elder Murray

Monday, October 4, 2010

Transfer 7, Week 2

Hello everyone!
So, I am now in É, what can I say about it......there's a total of about 4 ten-story apartment buildings, surrounded by 5 or 6 four-story apartments, and the rest is just houses, as far as the eye can see. And, basically one little tiny section that is good for streeting. So, basically, what we do is go streeting for a while (about english class), then go and flyer houses (about english class). Nobody on the street is really interested in the gospel, and neither is anybody at home, so we pretty much just try to get as many people as we can to Angolóra, and then try to get investigators out of that. It's worked pretty good so far, it just seems so foreign to me, I'm so used to tracting and streeting and meeting with people. Here, it's a bit more complicated, lenghty process. We'll see how things go, I want to tract the apartments around where we live, if for nothing else, then just for something familiar.
General Conference was super awesome! Elder Holland's talk on gratitude was absolutely amazing and really makes me want to work harder so I can be deserving of that gratitude. And then, Elder Uchtdorf's talk was super funny, where he was talking about trees and then said "now you're all probably saying 'that's cool, but what does it have to do with flying an airplane?'" It was super funny, and our investigator who came didn't really get it so we kind of had to explain that in all of his talks, he applies something about flying an airplane. And, the rest of the talks were super awesome as well, it was really a great conference. And, the investigator who came actually came for all of the sessions and absolutely loved all of them! She is so awesome, and she is doing so great! We're really excited to continue meeting with her, she's said multiple times that her life has gotten so much better since she started meeting with the missionaries and learning about these things.....super awesome!
So, other than that, not too much news.......I have a bike now, which is super nice, I can work off all the weight I gained after having a car for 3 transfers (yeah.....all two pounds of it....) haha, and I was using Elder Andersons helmet that he left for a few days......let's just say there is a significant difference in the size of our heads. I now have a new helmet that actually protects my head rather than just sitting on top of it. :) That was about the most exciting news for the week (other than conference of course).
Oh, a little bit about my companion....his name is Elder Saunders, he is in his 2nd transfer, and he's from Ogden, UT. His trainer was Elder Anderson (Kind of cool. I can tell everyone here that I knew him before we came on our missions). He's a pretty cool kid, kind of doing most of the senior companion stuff since he's been here longer.....all I really have to do is make calls and just talk to people more. Kind of a nice way to ease into senior companion-ness (yes, I just made up a works in hungarian...)
So, that's about it for this week......hopefully we should be getting a lot more of investigators out of angolóra soon, so then we can meet with more people and spend less time biking around in the frigid weather. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love biking, but in this weather, it doesn't help too much with having a little cold.....oh well, I'll survive somehow. :)
I hope you all have a great week, and I'll talk to you all next monday!
Elder Murray

Monday, September 27, 2010

Transfer 7, Week 1

Oh my goodness. I'm in transfer 7........ah!

Hi everyone!
Sorry for that little random thought.....just super wierd to think that I'm in transfer 7 already....didn't I just get out here a few months ago? What is going on here?
So, this last week was pretty good....on Monday, we went to Hortobágy.....super fun, of course.....and, the Szolnok elders were there too, so I got to see Lynn again.....and, I bought another whip..........yeah. After Hortobágy, we went to a member's house for dinner.......super tasty......and, Elder Bird and I whipped for quite a while....super fun....we were sore for the next few days though, hehe. It was super fun though! He totally got obsessed with whipping!
After that..........Elder Bird and I wanted to keep the momentum going that we had during consecration week, so we set a goal for 30 finding and teaching hours....we managed to get 28, which is actually more that we usually got in the weeks before, so that was super awesome......We met with a few people, not too much out of the ordinary.......Sunday was probably the best day........Church was good, there were a lot of good things said, then afterwards, we met with one of our investigators. We actually kind of combined with the sisters and a recent convert, and we watched a session of last October's general conference, the one by Elder Holland (I think it's called "Safety for the Soul"....super good). So, that went well, I think we're all super excited for general conference now......which, it's super wierd to think about, because the last time I watched general conference, I was still with Elder's already been 6 months since then! gah! So, yeah.......that lesson went well. Then, we made some soup at the branch house because we didn't have time to go home for lunch.....we had another lesson right after lunch with an old investigator, which kind of turned into him just asking us about, not too effective gospel-wise.........we'll see where that goes. After that, we met with one of our investigators at his house...his wife is a member, and she was there too, so that was great. She even gave us lunch, which was super tasty, just kind of hard to find room for it. After that, we taught them about eternal families, hoping to get the husband more interested in learning we drove up to the Avas for a program with a lady who we tracted into. We ended up teaching her and her mom (well, the mom was there.........she is just kind of super old, and she kind of kept interrupting and going off on tangents...). That went really well, the lady seemed to understand everything we said, but she still had questions, so that was a super awesome program. There was a lot of back and forth conversation, and she seemed very interested in everything we were saying. I'm super excited for the elders to meet with her again!
So, transfers.........yes, I'm finally leaving Miskolc......ha, kind of wierd, becuase Elder Bird has "killed" me out of both of my areas so far. He was my last comp in Székes, and he is my last comp in Miskolc.....huh......They are re-instituting the dual-zone leaders, so Elder Bird is being joined by his MTC ősi, Elder Egan. Elder Egan was Elder Lynn's favorite companion, so hopefully he has a good time here. And as for the rest of the district, both of the sisters are staying.....I'm the only one leaving. I'm going to Érd. I really don't know too much about it. It's just southwest of Budapest, actually really close to Székesfehérvár.....and, I don't really know too much about my companion.....he's going into his second, so I'm going to be senior companion....gah! hopefully I don't destroy the place..... :) But, I believe that he was Elder Anderson's greenie, so that will be kind of cool. And, Tóth Nővér was a mini missionary here in Miskolc for about 2 weeks with Sister Crosley, and she lives in Érd, so I'll at least know 1 person.
So, yeah, that's pretty much all the juicy news for this week.............pretty exciting! I'm super nervous to be going senior, but then again, there's another elder going senior in his 5th transfer, and whitewashing (both companions are new to the area), I think I can handle this..........ah, we'll see......
I hope you all have a great week! I'll talk to you next monday!
Elder Murray

Monday, September 20, 2010

Transfer 6, Week 6

Hey everyone! So, we just finished up consecration week! The goal was to get 30 total finding and teaching hours....we managed to get exactly 30 hours, so we were really excited. We had a really excellent week, we met with a ton of new people, and a lot of them really liked the message we shared, so hopefully we'll be going back soon.....that would be excellent! But yeah, so, the week went pretty good...not much happened on Monday, we decided to devote most of that to working so we could be sure to get the 30 hours.......Tuesday was pretty good, we actually had a cool little experience that night. Elder Bird and I were just kind of streeting around, walking around some back streets and stuff. We passed one street, and I noticed someone just kind of sitting on a railing. I kind of thought, "You know, we should go talk to her" but, she was the only person over there and I kind of thought that it would be awkward, so we just kept going. But, I still felt like we should go talk to her. I asked Elder Bird, and he agreed, so we went back with an angolóra flier. We went up to her, and she was actually crying, so I kind of felt super more awkward, but we talked to her anyways....we talked for a while, gave her an angolóra flier, asked if she wanted to hear about the gospel, then left. She wasn't really interested, but as we were walking down the street we were originally walking on, she followed us and then talked with us for a while as we walked, until we got to where she lived. It was kind of cool, because I didn't really think too much about it, but later Elder Bird was just saying how glad he was that we went back to talk to her. Yeah, she wasn't interested in the gospel, but when we started talking to her, she was crying, and by the time we left, she was laughing. I don't know, it just helped me see that yes, we are here to share the gospel, but why do we want to do that? Because it makes us happy. We offer that source of happiness to people, but if they don't accept it, that doesn't mean that we can't try to leave them happier than when we found them. So, that was just a cool little moment this week. Kind of one of those moments that's a mix between a duh moment and when the lightbulb turns on with the angels singing in the background. So, that was cool.Other than that, we met with a ton of people this week. We went on splits with Nyíiregyháza, so I got to come back to Miskolc with Elder Miller...that was a pretty cool split, we got some finds and even got let in once while tracting. Fun stuff. Then, later in the week, we met with an older lady from angolóra...that was super awesome because her husband and grandson were there too, and they all seemed super interested in the gospel. After we left, Elder Bird kept saying how it felt like just talking with your grandparents. They were just super nice and kept feeding us stuff, haha. We're excited to keep meeting with them, that should be really fun. Other than was good this week...the Folsters came from Eger to speak in sacrament meeting...they're the senior couple there. All in all, a very good consecration week....the only bummer was, we just barely missed standard. None of our investigators came to church, so we missed that this week....dang. But, we got our thirty hours, so that was super awesome! I'm still super excited about that. :)so, that's about it.......we're going to Hortobágy today, so that should be pretty awesome....the missionaries from Szolnok and Eger are going to be there too, so there's going to be a whole crowd of us.....and I'll get to see Lynn again! yay! haha. Not much else......I'll let you all know next monday whether I'm staying or going, so be waiting for that! I hope you all have a great week! talk to you all next Monday! Elder Murray

Monday, September 13, 2010

Transfer 6, Week 5

Hello Everyone! Wow, we had a pretty fun week! So, on Tuesday, we went to Eger for district meeting....that was really fun, the Elders there are so awesome, and the senior couple are great as well. We had a good district meeting; Elder Bird gave a great training on motivation, vision, and goals. After that, he stayed in Eger with Elder Peugnet, and I came back to Miskolc with his greenie, Elder Jackson. We had a pretty good time together, we got a lot of finding time in and actually quite a few people gave us their phone numbers, so that was really encouraging for the both of us. It was his first time tracting, so it was really good that we could have so much success. On Wednesday morning, we took the sisters with us to split back with the elders in Eger, then we drove straight from there to Debrecen for another district meeting. That was good as well, then afterwards, the senior couple there fed us lunch (it was super good), and Sister Johnson stayed there with Sister Breithaupt, Sister Jordan came back with Sister Crosley, Elder Bird stayed there with Elder Hosch, and Elder Johnson came back with me. We had a pretty good split, we tried looking up some inactive members (without too much success...:( Then, the next morning we split back. It was a ton of driving. Definitely not the highlight of my week. The splits were absolutely great...the driving, not so much.....but, it was worth it. We all had a great time and learned a lot from each was interesting for me because I was with junior companions both times--one is in his second transfer, the other in his first. So, I had to talk a lot more than I usually do---I guess that was good for me. :) The rest of the week was fairly good....on Friday, we had a Film Est (movie night) and we watched The Testaments (it just came out in Hungarian, so we were all really excited). Everyone absolutely loved it, it was so great to have everyone together to watch it and to just feel the spirit in the was pretty much amazing. Then, on Sunday, we had a district conference here in Miskolc, so the members from the branches in Debrecen, Eger, and Nyíregyháza all came to that, as well as the missionaries and the mission president. That was super awesome, it was so cool to see the chapel completely full, and the talks were all absolutely great. Three young women gave talks that were amazing--two of them had served mini missions, and they talked about the importance of member missionary work. They were super awesome, and it's so great to see the youth getting so involved with missionary work. Other than that, it was just super awesome to see all the missionaries from the zone and to get to know a lot of members. It was a pretty super awesome conference. After that, we went home for lunch, then went out to work. We started at 2:30 and pretty much worked straight until was a long afternoon.......not too much happened with that....we managed to get a phone number from a family that we streeted, so we're looking forward to meeting with them. Other than that, not too much.......after we were done, we came home for dinner, which consisted of a baguette from tesco (actually quite tasty), popcorn (we have a few bags leftover from the movie night) and palacsintas. Yeah, maybe not the most healthy dinner, but it was fun. Oh, and we had herbal tea. That was good, it's been a super long time since I've had tea.
So, there's this film festival taking place at the arts house (I have no idea how to say it in Hungarian, it's Művészeti Ház) which is seriously about a 10 second walk from the front of the building where we live. Apparently, along with that, they're doing nightly concerts, which, along with being really loud, have a stage right where we usually drive to get to our parking area. Luckily, they have provided a little ramp on a side road so we can make it home every day, but the thing is, it's still pretty close to the concert. So, we got home kind of later one day, and ended up driving right through the middle of it.....hehehehe.....we were kind of laughing the whole time..."hehe, we pooped the party....hehehe." so, yeah, we're nerds. but we enjoy it. :)
So, this week.......we're hoping to set up a lot of programs with angolóra students, so hopefully we'll have a lot of people to meet with. We're also going on one split to Nyíregyháza. And, it's consecration week, and the focus is on getting 30 total finding and teaching hours. We managed to get 25 this week, so hopefully we should be able to get the 30,,,,especially since we only have one split to worry about. It should be a great week. and, we're planning on going to hortóbágy next monday, so we'll let you know how that goes.......hopefully we'll have time to email, but if we don't, I'm giving a heads-up right now, just so nobody worries. :)Well, that's about it.......I hope you all have a great week, and I'll talk to you on Monday!Elder Murray

Monday, September 6, 2010

Transfer 6, Week 4

Hello everyone!Ok, this week......well, we started out on Tuesday by going to Budapest.....there was a training there about being better teachers, and it was pretty much actually lasted three days, so we spent Tuesday and Wednesday night at the secretaries' apartment. Everyone had a really awesome time; the west and the east zones were there, so there were quite a few people to talk with. The schedule was pretty much the same every day: we got there, Pres. Baughman gave an hour long training, the APs gave an hour long training, then we had an hour for role-plays (the APs said our zone had the best role plays.....ya, go east zone! :) and then we had an hour for lunch, then repeat twice more. It was way fun, even though we were sitting for a really long time. The trainings were all great, and everyone did really good in the role plays, it's really cool to see how other people teach certain things, I really learned a lot from all of the people I practiced teaching with. So, that was pretty much the schedule for the first two days, then on Thursday, we just had two sessions. We all had a super fun time, and we're really trying to apply the things we learned to our teaching. Awesome! So, after that, we were trying to stay pretty busy for the rest of the week....we taught some programs on Friday, not too much new stuff......oh, although, we did have a program with one of our investigators, whom we haven't met with for about a month--that was super awesome! Then, Saturday......interesting......we had two programs in the morning, both with people from angolóra....the first lady missed a few days of angolóra, so her friend gave her her notes to study, so when we went to meet with her, she pretty much said "Well, I've got all this to study, so it would be pretty much pointless to learn anything else about we talk about your church?" It was pretty awesome. We had a really good program with her. She seems really excited to learn more, so we're looking forward to meeting with her again. Then, we met with a guy who can understand written English pretty much perfectly and actually speaks fairly well, he just wants to improve it a lot. So, we talked with him for a while, got to know him a bit, and talked about the Book of Mormon....he's super interested in it, so we're looking forward to seeing where he goes..... Then, later we wanted to visit an investigator who is in the hospital, but then the sisters called to say they got on the wrong train to Budapest (they were taking a p-day so they could go to a baptism, but it didn't quite work out...) so, we went with them to the hospital (good thing too, I would have totally gotten lost trying to find where the room was...). So, we got to visit with them, and that was fun.....then, Sunday.....we went to church, that was awesome, then we went to visit the less-active members in Putnok and Kazincbarcika....that went pretty well, and then we looked up an inactive in Kazincbarcika....that was really sad, he's a 16 year old kid, and let's just say his life isn't on the best path........super depressing meeting.....and that was pretty much how we ended our, today..........not too much planned, we should just kind of be wandering around to some stores......we have Családi Est tonite (family home evening), so that should be pretty fun....we still need to coordinate with the sisters whatever it is we're planning.....but it should be good! So, that's about it for this week......not too much new stuff going on.....I hope you all have a great week, and I'll talk to you all next Monday! Elder Murray

Monday, August 30, 2010

Transfer 6, week 3 (Aug 30, 2010)

Hi everyone!
Ok, let's see, what happened this's really nice having a
planner, I don't really have to think too hard about what to write about, haha. So, we had zone leader council on Tuesday--all of the zone leaders are new, so that was really interesting....especially since all of the companions have been to at least one other zone leader council. So, that was fun.....president is really expecting all of us to get standard, which is understandable, it's just kind of stressful for the zone leaders, because he was really stressing how they need to be examples and pretty much get standard every, we'll be really working as hard as we can in the coming weeks.
Other than that.....not too much stuff throughout the week......had some good programs, got quite a few finds from tracting, got a lot of working hours for this week.......not too bad, but we did have some time that could have been used more yeah. Sunday was really really great though--church was great, especially the third hour--the elders quorum and the relief society all met together in the chapel, and the branch president gave a little lesson/training on pass-along cards. There was a little article out of one of the Liahonas or something, so I think they did similar lessons all over the country. It was so great, and I think it really showed the members how easy member-missionary work really is. You just give a card
to someone who you think will actually take the time to look at it and might be interested. That's all they have to do. Plus, you can get free stuff--who doesn't want free stuff? haha. But seriously, it was a really great little lesson thingy, and everyone took some cards to pass out to their friends and other people. It was really encouraging, just because this is the kind of thing that we missionaries are always talking about--we always want the members to help, and then finally they hear it from the branch president and everyone understands. So yeah, that was really cool. Hopefully we should be
seeing a lot of success with that.
Other than that.....let's see....this week, we'll be in Budapest from Tuesday morning until Thursday afternoon....there's a big training we're doing so we can learn all of the new stuff that they're teaching in the MTC. I'm super excited for it, it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. So, I'll be sure to report on that next week.
Well, I think that's about it...I hope you all have a great week! You're all awesome!
Elder Murray

Transfer 6, week 2 (Aug 23, 2010)

Hello everyone!
Wow, we had a pretty hectic week......first of all, on Monday, Elder Cheney and i were rushing around trying to find a comp tie.....then transfers was pretty exciting.......there were a lot of missionaries at transfers, it was really fun to see everyone again and get some more pictures. Sister Crosley got a greenie, Sister Johnson, so she was really excited about that. Sister Johnson already speaks fairly well, and she seems really happy to be here. And, I got Elder Bird (After his one-transfer-stint in the office) He said he's a little rusty after being in the office, but i think he's doing great now. We're still getting adjusted and everything, but things are going great and we're really excited to be serving together again.
So, after transfers....we came back to Miskolc, had English Class (for the four students and one member who showed up...) and then we had a meeting with the young single adults from Nyíregyháza, Debrecen, Eger, and Miskolc, along with the two senior couples from Debrecen and Eger. It was pretty good, we talked about upcoming activities and how to get the youth more involved. after that, we had an ok thursday.....all but one of our programs cancelled, but the one that didn't was really good. after that, we had angolóra again, then kind of an unplanned program after that. so, not a total dissappointment. then, Friday was August 20th, pretty much independance day, so all the missionaries (along with a lot of the youth) in the zone went to debrecen for the Flower was really cool! i pretty much gave up on taking pictures and just took movies, because there was a parade with a bunch of floats and some dancing and stuff--it was way fun! there was even a Star Wars float! it was pretty much amazing! haha, i was pretty much geeking out..... :) after the parade, we all met in the park for lunch, then we went to the stadium where all the floats were so we could take pictures and stuff. i got through all but two or three of the floats before my camera died :( so that was fun too. after that, we had a fireside at the debrecen branch house with Számosfalvi Laura, who talked about how we all need to find the good things about ourselves, not just concentrate on what we don't like when we look in the mirror. It was a really good fireside, and then we had pizza with everyone and she answered questions about BYU (she's going to school there). all in all, a pretty rad day. we got back to miskolc at about 8:30 and would have gone to see the fireworks, but there weren't any......the city spent the money that would have gone to the fireworks on flood relief.
So, let's see....Saturday was good too, we had a ton of finding time, so we went tabling for a while...then we had a program, and one of our investigators should be starting the stop-smoking program today, so that was great to get to meet with him and get him ready for that. He asked for a priesthood blessing, so when he came to church on Sunday, a member gave him a blessing---that was super awesome! he's also fasting today as a start to the program. He is so amazing, he really is determined to quit smoking. He really is doing everything he can. Haha, and it was funny earlier, because we helped out in primary, and it was just so funny to hear all the little kids' answers to some of the questions.....they were so funny, and it was awesome because i actually understood them! :)
so, after church, we went and visited some members in Putnok and Kazincbarcika. In Putnok, the member's husband was home for the week from Germany, and he's really cool, so it was fun to get to meet with him. Apparently he reads the Book of Mormon all the time, he just doesn't really feel the need to get baptized......and it's super hard to meet with him since he works in Germany all the time and comes home kind of on short notice...but he's really cool, and it's always fun to meet with them when he's there.
After that, we went to Kazincbarcika, had some programs with some less-actives, and then we looked up a referral from the office. She was way cool, she lived in Miami for about 45 years, so the entire time we were with her we spoke english. She's really interested in learning more, and it was just awesome getting to hear about her experiences. It was cool too, because when we first got there, she said she wasn't interested at all, but then Elder Bird asked if we could just talk a little to get to know each other and so she could practice her english, and then by the end, she said she was very interested and wanted to meet again. It was a super awesome program, and a great end to the week.
So, that was about it for last week......hopefully i remembered everything.....i don't really know how this week is going to go, i guess i'll find out as it goes along.....we have zone leaders council tomorrow, so we'll be going to budapest. that should be fun.
well, i guess that's it.....i'll talk to you all next monday! i hope you all have a great week!
Elder Murray

Transfer 6, week 1 (Aug 16, 2010)

Hello Everyone!
Ok, first of all, i'll tell you all about last the suspense for transfers....hehehe.
So, last week was good......we went on splits on Debrecen, so I stayed there with the greenie, Elder Johnson, and then Elder Kunze came back to Miskolc with Elder Cheney. Oh, and Sister Wunderli stayed as well, with Sister Breithaupt, and Sister Zomboszki came with Sister Crosley. It was really fun, we had quite a bit of success with streeting (even though it was inconceivably hot outside), and then we had a meeting with the senior couple who are in Debrecen, the Williams'. They are so much fun, i really hope i get to serve in a city that has a senior couple sometime. We will be going back to Debrecen on the 20th of August for a young single adult activity (plus, it's a super's pretty much the Hungarian independence day). So, that will be fun. Then, on Friday, we had our concert in Miskolc, yay! It was super fun and absolutely amazing! Both of the concerts that we were involved in were absolutely great (if i do say so myself....)! We had so many non-members come, and it was such a great environment for everyone to be in--I absolutely love music, and just how quickly it invites the Spirit, and how it isn't stopped by language or age barriers. I think everyone went away from the concerts having gained something, and everyone said they loved it. The theme of the concert was The Plan of Salvation, and the way it was set up was really cool--there would be some songs about a
certain part, and then one of the missionaries or a member would get up and say something about it. I had such a great time, even though i didn't sing (i think everyone appreciated that... :), and we've gotten so many compliments and requests to do it again.
So, after that.....oh, Saturday was Sister Crosley's birthday, and we were in Nyíregyháza for the concert, so we went to the Mexican restaurant afterwards. It was really fun, we took a lot of pictures (well, Sister Crosley did....i'll steal them from her later :)
Other than that.....oh, we had dinner with the Szamosfalvi family (he is the district president, and two of their kids are married and living in america...his daughter is attending BYU, so i only really know his son--he's super funny). So yeah, we had lunch with was pretty much a little slice of america. Their house is so american, it was totally screwing up my brain, haha. It was so much fun though, just to be among so many members and just talk about stuff---besides that too, just being with a family that has been together for so long and are still so happy--it's kind
of a rare thing in hungary, so it was really nice.
Ok, so, transfer calls.......oh wait, first of, it's one of Sister Crosley's mission traditions that all the missionaries in her district have breakfast at the branch house on transfer call monday. So, i was going to make a pie for lunch or something (for her birthday), so i started making the crust last night.........let's just say, it is quite difficult to make things when one is lacking measuring cups.......and, when the recipe calls for crisco, and all you can find at the store is lard that
smells like, needless to say, it was not too successful.....we'll see how it turns out next time :) other than that, breakfast was great (we had pancakes!)--we watched The Testaments (we just got it with Hungarian voice overs, so we were super excited to watch it).
And, we got transfer calls. So, Sister Crosley will be training this transfer (an american, finally. She's had a lot of mini-missionaries lately), and I will be staying here (kind of obvious since my comp is going home...) and my new companion will be.........Elder Bird! ah, I was super excited to hear that i get to serve with him again! we had an awesome transfer together, I can hardly wait for this next one! (plus, he was just in the office, so he has his driver's license already--yay, I don't have to drive all the time!) Yeah, so that's transfers. For Miskolc, at least......
So, in other news.........we have transfers on Wednesday......that should be, we're going to a park to walk around, take pictures, practice whipping, and get a district item. (usually companions get a tie, but since there's also sisters here, we're each going to get the same....item.....we have yet to decide what. :)
So yeah, that's about it. I hope you all have a great week, and I'll talk to you all next Monday!
Elder Murray

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Transfer 5, Week 6

Hi everyone!
holy cow, transfers is next week! wierd....
so, this past week was pretty crazy.....let's see.....last Monday, we just worked, since we moved our p-day to Saturday (more about that later....). So, then on Tuesday, we had a multi-zone conference, which started at 9:15.......yeah, we had to get up pretty early......but it was really good, we talked about a lot of stuff, like how we can improve as individuals and as a mission, and then we talked about following up on committments we give to people. The assistants gave that training, and it was pretty funny. Elder Daybell likes to poke fun at the way missionaries say certain things, so he had everyone laughing for a while. Then, after zone conference, we all went to Skanzen and Szentendre. Oh, and, super, it was super hot out, so President let all the elders take off their felt super wierd, haha. So, yeah, back to the outing.... Skanzen is an open-air museum, so there was a bunch of different little areas that all were different parts of Hungary during different time periods. It was pretty cool.......the only bummer was, first Sister Crosley's camera died, so I let her use mine (since she would take more pictures than I would, and then they would be on my card.......yeah, I thought of that one all on my own....with some help from Sister Crosley.......haha). So, she took nine or ten pictures on my camera, and then mine died. But, it was close to the end of that part of the trip, so there wasn't too much else that we wanted a picture of. After that, we went to Szentendre, which is pretty much just a little tourist town....I didn't buy too much, just two is a Hungarian flag with an American one, and the other is the Hungarian crest that's on some of the flags. So, that was zone conference.......after that, we came back to Miskolc, and went to bed....long day. :)
The rest of the week was pretty good....we had a linger-longer after both angolóras, and everyone really enjoyed those. Then, on Saturday, we went to Tatabánya for two baptisms. They were so great! It was just kind of funny, apparently the people being baptized couldn't agree on a place, so one was at 9:00 at a lake, and the other was at 11:00 at an indoor pool. Both were really great though! Haha, and the members are so amazing, it's just like a little family! Everyone wants to feed the missionaries! People kept coming around with food afterwards, asking if I wanted any...I kept saying that each one was the last one, but then they came around again and wouldn't leave until I ate some more! haha. Afterwards, we went to a members house for lunch, and the one member who had been doing most of the food-giving said he'd be waiting for me to get transferred to Tatabánya so they could feed me more. They are all so great though, I really would like to serve there. haha. And then, after getting stuffed full of food, we came back to Miskolc and had a meeting with the mission leader here, who fed us as well....first rice and chicken, then watermelon, then ice cream.....yeah. We were all pretty much stuffed. I was so glad to get back to Miskolc though, it was about a three-hour drive to Tatabánya........I was so happy that I didn't have to drive....I think I'll be letting Elder Cheney do all the driving for the rest of the transfer, haha.
So, Sunday was good as well....we got to meet with a family of a member from America....he and his wife were in Hungary doing family history work, and they met these distant relatives of his (I think they're second cousins....?) but yeah, so, he gave us their names and address, so went over to visit them. It went really well, they were really friendly and seemed pretty interested.
OK, so, Monday.......long day. First, we had apartment inspections at 9:00......that went pretty well, seeing as we just moved in two weeks ago--how dirty could it get, right? haha. Just kidding, we take really good care of it. So, we passed :) and then we picked up the sisters and drove out to Polgár, where a member and her mom took us a while to find their house, but then we had lunch with them (rakott krumpli and palacsintas....delicious!). After that, we went to Hortobágy! That was pretty fun. There's actually not much there, just a bunch of touristy stuff (there was a ton of english speakers there---it was really throwing me off. We met a family from Canada, so Sister Crosley was really happy). we spent most of the time trying out whips, which was really fun. I tried for a while and finally got a decent crack, but then we went somewhere to take pictures, came back, and I couldn't do it. But then, the guy told me to do it with my left hand, and I did it really good on the first try! It was kind of, I bought a whip! Elder Cheney is really good at whipping, so we'll probably be doing that next monday (yay! :). So, that was Hortobágy.....after that, we drove to Nyíregyháza to practice for the concert. After that, we drove the member back home, and we ate dinner with them (once again, really tasty!) and then we drove home to Miskolc. So yeah, long day.
That was about our is so wierd that it is already the last week of the transfer....hopefully we should be able to meet with a lot of people this week. Last week a lot of people cancelled at the last minute, so that was a little frustrating.......but, we got some good finding time in, so that was good.
I hope you all have a great week, and I'll talk to you all next Monday!
Elder Murray

Monday, August 2, 2010

Transfer 5, Week 5

Hi everyone!So, it's week 5...super crazy......This week was really good for us--it was consecration week, with the focus on diligence...the goal was for each companionship to get a total of 30 finding and teaching hours....we didn't get the 30 total hours, but we do have possibly 2 new investigators--one of them saw us tabling for english class, came up and started talking to us, then started talking about religion, so she seemed pretty interested. Then on Saturday, we met with an old investigator who was just too busy to meet with the elders when they first contacted him. He is now done with school, and we had a really interesting conversation with him about living in the world, but not being of the world--he's already got really high standards and a solid foundation to start building on, so we're really excited to start meeting with him more often. And, one of the students from angolóra is becoming friends with one of the members who is also learning english, and she came to fiatal est as well! it was super exciting to see her there, and the member friend from angolóra is already starting to teach her about the gospel! The rest of the week was fairly ordinary--we did a lot of tabling, and had quite good success with that. And then, on Sunday, we had a really good lesson with a less-active member--the lesson really seemed to apply to something that she had been talking about just before we started, and then she agreed to say the closing prayer without any complaints or anything (she usually doesn't really want to pray whenever we visit, so that was really great!) After that, we went with the sisters and a member to a recent convert whose husband is in the hospital. He is able to come home on the weekends, so we gave him a priesthood blessing, and they were all so happy that we came over. It was a really great experience, and so great to see the members excercising the priesthood. Church was really great too, as it was testimony meeting--there were a lot of really great testimonies, and 3 or 4 young women from the branch shared their testimonies, after just having gotten back from EFY--those were so great to hear, everyone was so happy afterwards. It was just a really great day!So, that was about our week...Elder Cheney and I seem to be getting along a lot better than at the beginning of the transfer, so that's really great. We've been finding that we actually have a lot in common, so it's fun to talk about those kind of things with each other. We've also had some really great conversations about our plans for the future, and it's been fun getting to know each other better and what we're planning on studying. Most of our conversations kind of end up making me trunky though, so that's not too good.....haha. so yeah, that was about it for our week...this next week is looking to be really full......tomorrow, we are going to budapest for zone conference, and afterwards, we are going on a trip to a little tourist-type village--it should be really fun! the one bad thing is that we have to be at the mission home by 9:00 in the morning...yeah, not looking forward to that drive.....then, on saturday, we will be going to tatabánya so elder cheney can attend a baptism there....not looking forward to that drive either, but hopefully Cheney will have his license by then....for the last 2 weeks of his mission.....nice. :)so, i'll let you all know how that all turns out......i hope you all have a great week, and i'll talk to you all next week! Elder Murray

hey, so i forgot to mention...last monday, we went to Nyíregyháza to practice for a concert that we're going to be putting on....then, when we got back, we had to rush and pack everything together to move to our new apartment (pres. said we needed a new one closer to the city). It is super nice, and right on the walking street, so we can just wake up, get ready, and go outside. it is really nice! yeah, so that's just a little more news for last week :) Elder Murray

Monday, July 26, 2010

Transfer 5, week 4

Hi everyone!So, not too much going on this week....We did have a really amazing little miracle though....there's a 21-year old young woman who has been coming to angolóra for the past week or two, and she has stayed for the spiritual message and made friends with László Csaba who is going to the kezdő class. We invited her to church, and she actually came! and then, she stayed for all three hours--she really liked sacrament meeting--the Szamosfalvi family spoke, so it was really good; and then in sunday school, we watched Legacy--she said she would like to set up a meeting sometime so we can finish that with her; then Sis. Crosley took her to Relief Society, and all of the women there were so welcoming to her and invited her back. Then the sisters called to report numbers that evening and said that they had walked with her for most of the way to the train station (she lives in a falu) and had a really great talk with her. She said the thing that she liked the most was how nobody was really the "big boss" of the whole thing--everyone had an opportunity to teach and share their opinion. She seems to be really interested, and we are really looking forward to our next meeting with her--we will probably let the sisters continue teaching her after the next meeting, but i am just really glad that we could see this start, it is really encouraging to see the seed of faith starting within her.On Thursday, we went on splits to Nyíregyháza....that was really fun, in the morning we went tabling, and then in the afternoon i split with Elder Hiencze (i have no idea how to spell his name...). That was pretty fun. Haha, so, the elders in Nyíregyháza made up a's called "claim your territory" the summer, it's really hot, so all the bácsis (older guys) roll up their shirts and kind of just walk around with their belly hanging out....the elders say that they're 'claiming their territory', there's not much to the game, pretty much just people-watching....For dinner, we all went to this little Mexican restaurant...there are very few mexican restuarants in Hungary, so that was quite a nice little treat for us. So, other than that, not too much......ooh! it rained on Sunday! and today is completely overcast! I was so happy! haha, kind of the opposite of what most people feel on those kind of days, huh? It had just been a really long time (for me at least) since i had seen rain, and i was getting quite fed up with the blistering hot that was nice. Not much else to report on.....hope you're all having a great time! Talk to you next week!Elder Murray

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Transfer 5, Week 3

Hello Everyone!
So, week three......yeah. So, I actually kind of started this email about 2 hours ago, but the internet went down, so we went to another mall, wandered around for a bit, and then came back. (it's working now :)
So, things are going a little slower here in Miskolc--the weather is definitely not helping, haha. The heat is turning everyone into little walking sweatboxes who don't really like to stop and talk.... This week has also been a little discouraging, we had one of our investigators skip three appointments without calling, and another potential investigator not show up to our first meeting (although, I should be honest, I think we are partly to blame for that one--we set up the appointment last Monday for this Sunday--yesterday--so, it is very likely that he just forgot about it). But, there is always a bright side to everything--one of our investigators came to church finally! He's actually been a lot of times in the past with his wife, who is a member, but this was the first time he's been to church since I have been here. It was great to see him there, and all the members were really friendly to him. Which reminds me, the members here just seem to be getting more and more friendly, both to the missionaries, and to those we invite to church. It has been extremely encouraging to see the change in them, even though it is an extremely slight one. They all just seem to be slowly becoming a big warm family where everyone is welcome!
So, other than that.....not much going on.....last week we went to the Avas Kilátás (lookout), and then the Diosgyöri Vár (castle)...those were pretty fun....took some pictures.....fried in the heat.....yeah. Throughout the week, not too much going on...went to Budapest for zone leader council....that was pretty good...oh, and we found out that for zone council, after the trainings and everything, we're going on a city tour of Budapest! It sounds pretty fun, I actually haven't seen too much of Budapest, just the same road over and over again that we drive on to get from Miskolc to the Mission Home--it'll be nice to see some more of the city :)
Um.....yeah.....not much going on right now......we're just pretty much dying in the heat....or, at least Sister Crosley and I are......Elder Cheney is from Atlanta, so he said he's pretty much used to this weather, whereas Sister Crosley is from Canada, and I'm from doesn't usually get too hot there......or, maybe I just never went around in the summer wearing dark pants and a button-up shirt......yeah, I'm pretty sure that would make any place seem really hot. But, it's bearable.
So, yeah, not too much to report on......oh! pres. Baughman sent us a cool article....I'll try forwarding was really cool, and kind of subtly emphasizes the benefits of serving a mission.
So, I think I'll stop rambling now.........I hope you're all doing great! Talk to you all next week!
Elder Murray

Monday, July 12, 2010

Transfer 5, Week 2

Hello everyone!Not much to say about this week......interesting with transfers and everything, but i think we're all getting settled in.Transfers was kind of stressful, helping elder Lynn pack and then getting up early to get to Budapest on time, and then getting back to Miskolc and getting adjusted to a new companion.....i managed to keep my sanity though, and things are going really great now with Elder Cheney. He's from Atlanta Georgia, and this is actually his last transfer....wierd. He's having a great time here in Miskolc, maybe the only thing he's struggling a little bit with is the whole zone leader thing--but, he seems to be doing okay in that department too, so we're just looking forward to ending his mission with a bang! haha. Not much new with investigators....we didn't have much time to meet with them this week, with transfers and some other activities. we should be meeting with a lot of them this week, as well as possibly getting some new ones! exciting! Other than that....We managed to meet with the branch leader here before church on Sunday, and the advice we got from him to strengthen the missionary work was to reactivate the less- or in-actives here in Miskolc. That's pretty much common council throughout the country, but it really seemed like he was very determined to see more of the members return to full activity. He gave us a new list of members, with certain names hilighted in three different colors, so we can easily see who is less-active, who is inactive, and who doesn't want to be visited (luckily, there's only one of those...). It was really a great meeting, he gave us all a chance to voice our opinions/questions/comments, and the list was absolutely great. We're really looking forward to using it and to bringing more members back to church. We are certain that when the active members see more and more people returning to activity, they will become more involved in the missionary work. We are really looking forward to giving a little more focus to RCLAs this transfer. We actually have one that we have already been working with for a while--she came to church for the second time this Sunday, and she brought her daughter, who isn't a member. It's been really cool to see the change in her as we've been meeting with her and she's started to return to church. The active members are all great too, making her feel at home once again.Friday was absolutely wonderful with the Szvoboda family's fireside (although, it was very wierd to see Elders and Sister Szvoboda as non-missionaries). We had an amazing turnout, and a pretty impressive amount of investigators as well. Everybody absolutely loved it, and it was such a great experience--the Spirit was so powerful during the whole thing, and it was just so great to be there!So, that's about all the news for this week....Elder Cheney and I are doing pretty well, we're getting off to a pretty good start this transfer. He seems really excited to be here--maybe having a little bit of a struggle being a zone leader, but he seems to be handling that just fine as well.So, that's our transfer so far in a nutshell.....we're looking forward to this week and we're excited to see what we can accomplish here.I hope you all are having a great time, and know that i frequently think about you all!Elder Murray

Transfer 5, Week 1 - July 5, 2010

Hello Everyone!Happy Fourth of July! Happy Canada Day! haha, so, we had zone interviews on Canada Day (July 1st), so everyone was saying happy canada day......Sister Crosley is Canadian, so she was talking about it the whole way to Budapest in the car. she even sang us the Canadian national anthem! pretty cool stuff....haha, and then she called us sunday night to sing the American national anthem with us, and we got her to recite the pledge of allegiance with us.....we're slowly turning her into an American..... :)So, this week.....Monday was really fun, we went to Lillafüred on a little train. The train ride was about 15 minutes long, and at Lillafüred there's a really cool waterfall and a lake and a castle-turned-hotel. It was a really fun day, we all had a great time just kind of wandering around. On Thursday, we went to Budapest for zone interviews (and to celebrate Canada day...hehehe). those were really great, we got to see a lot of missionaries, and the APs gave a really good training. They taught about talking with people on the street, so at the end, we all got to go outside for 10 minutes and try to apply what they taught. It was really fun, and a really great training, because we all immediately got to apply it, so hopefully we'll be able to internalize it and apply it for a long time and not just forget it. After interviews, we went on splits--i went to Nyíregyháza with elders Davis, Pinkston, and Nikolov, and Elder Kubricky went back to Miskolc with elder Lynn. wow, train rides get really boring after three hours. but, we finally got there, and i had a really good time there. I was with Elder Davis for Friday, and then on Saturday I was with Elder Nikolov. They were both really great, and i had a great time and learned a lot from both of them. So, little story for the week....we have one really good investigator who we're meeting with right now who is progressing pretty well. She said that she had been having a hard time this week, so we just had a lesson with her about the scriptures and prayer, and the strength we can gain from those. She was really willing to do the things that we asked her, and she seemed like she was excited to try them out and see improvements in her life. And, then we got a referral from Budapest, and when we called her to confirm the lesson that we had already set up with her, she said that that time wouldn't work, but she can meet later this week, and she wanted to know if she could bring a friend as well who is also interested! It was a very exciting phone call, I'm really excited to meet with them. Both experiences were really great, we're excited to see the gospel start changing their lives for the better. haha, so i just about sent this without saying anything about transfers! haha. So, Elder Lynn is going to Szolnok to be the branch leader there, and his new companion is going to be....Elder Miller! kind of wierd, because they were just companions a few transfers ago...but, he's really excited to be going there and to work there. My new companion is Elder Cheney...i've seen him a few times in Budapest,--i don't really know a whole lot about him, but he seems like a great guy....i guess we'll see....haha, and he doesn't have his driver's license yet, so it looks like i'm going to be doing a lot of driving in the near future.....yay....haha, yeah, so, that's the news for this week. not much else. a lot of interesting things going on with transfers.....oh, and my trainer is going home this week! gosh, that is so wierd to think about.....i can't believe that so much time has gone by since i got here.....Hungary is going to be really wierd without Elder Huggard here.....i guess we'll survive somehow....haha. well, i hope you all have a rad-tacular week! I'll talk to you all next week!Elder Murray