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