Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Transfer 15, Week 1 - August 30, 2011

Hi everyone
Oh gosh, it felt super weird writing that up there in the subject line.....Elder Lundeen goes home this transfer....that's in just 6 weeks! I can't believe it, it seriously feels like yesterday that we got to the country.....uh......weird.
Ok, this last week was pretty normal...not too much going on....no splits or anything. Monday was fun, we went to the Bakos family's house for lunch and to whip, that was a lot of fun. Lunch was super tasty (of course :) and whipping was super fun. Throughout the week, we were kind of prepping for the concert that we just put on on Sunday (I think I totally forgot to mention that we were having one....Hey, everyone, we had a concert this Sunday). So, that was a little recurring thing throughout the week.....We tried to get some networking done with the skateboarders and other people, we'll see how that goes later. On Friday, we tried out a finding idea....we pretty much just stood out on the walking street with a sign that said "gift books" and passed out pass-along cards about the Book of Mormon. We had quite a few people come over and take one, in addition to leaving their name and number - I'm interested to see how that turns out when we call them later. Saturday was pretty good, Sunday was nice, we had good lessons and talks, and afterwards we prepared for the concert...kind of stressful, but we managed to get everything organized and to practice, and we even got lunch in there somewhere. The concert went pretty well.....I sang in a total of three songs, two of which were fairly good, just becuase there were more people we were singing with, but the first one was kind of nerve-wracking. There were only 5 of us singing, the two sisters, a member, my companion and I, and I was the bass line; for those who don't know, I can't sing. Ok, that's a lie, I can sing the basic melody of something. But, singing something that I've never really payed attention to before was rather intersting. I've discovered that if someone else is singing a certain part, I can usually pick up on the notes they're singing and copy them....this was a little more interesting though, just because I had to listen to it played on the piano, and then sing it by myself (while everyone else was singing their parts...yeah). It sounded pretty cool though... and, the bass line had maybe 4 different notes, mostly just 2. So, that was neat. We had a good number of people come, and the missionaries from Debrecen came to help as well.
Yesterday, we ended up taking a work day because we had a meeting set up with the university here in Miskolc in the morning. That went pretty well. We talked with the head of the foreign language department to see if we could do any volunteering in the english classes or anything like that...she said she'd talk to the teachers and get back to us, so we'll see where that goes. Other than that, Monday was pretty normal as well...aside from the fact that we got the transfer calls. This transfer is definitely going to be interesting, there are a lot of interesting companionships...speaking of which, my companion was called into the office as the new AP (he's totally flipping out about it, he definitely wanted to stay in Miskolc, and never thought he would go AP) and Sister Wright is going to Dunaújváros (which is weird, we were totally expecting Sister Johnson to go, just because she's been here longer....I guess she's looking to break Sister Crosley's record :). Sister Johnson will be getting two mini-missionaries, each serving for three weeks. I'm not too familiar with the one coming for the first half, but I know the one coming for the second half from my time in the office - she's from Pest. So, that will be fun. Definitely encourage all of us to speak Hungarian more. And, I will be getting Elder Diamond, who is in the group below ours. So, that will be a lot of fun, it will be a blast to get to serve with him. It definitely makes things a bit more interesting for next transfer though, because I'm probably out, just because if we stay together for two, then his next companion after I go home will only have three weeks with him before he goes home...but that's getting ahead of myself......for now, I'm just excited...and a little bummed out, because we had a blast here in Miskolc with Elder Davis and Sister Wright...they will definitely be missed. :)
Alright, that's about it for this week.....I hope you all have a great time with your weekly happenings!
Elder Murray

Monday, August 15, 2011

Transfer 14, Week 4: Splits (Aug. 15, 2011)

Hi everyone
ok, so this week was pretty cool.....started off with Pday, we went to Aggtelek, which is a cave right up on the Hungary-Slovakia border. we thought we weren't going to be able to go in because we missed the tour we wanted, but there happened to be another one about 20 minutes after we got there, so we got to go through.....super awesome. there's this one big open part where they have concerts and weddings.....kind of interesting. they played a few songs for us, it was really cool to hear how it sounds in such a big enclosed area.
Tuesday we went to Eger for splits and district meeting. I went with Elder Velasquez, he is such an awesome missionary. He has such a love for the work and the people of Eger, I know he's going to be great no matter where he serves. It was really fun getting to work with him, even for just a day, he's got such a positive attitude and is willing to do anything. Wednesday was fun, we had english class and everyone seemed to have a good time. Thursday, not too much, english class again, then a discussion afterwards. Friday, we went to Debrecen, had district meeting, then split. Elder Davis stayed in Debrecen with Elder Remy (who also happens to be his greenie) and I came back to Miskolc with Elder Wiscombe. We had a super fun time together, he's from California but attended BYU Hawaii, and he is so layed back and chill. He also plays the guitar extremely well. We had a really fun time serving together, he's so rad. For the Friday night activity, we tie-dyed. it was pretty fun, except kind of hard because we just had to use clothing dye in plastic water bottles, and we didn't have any soda ash (which apparently helps a lot with holding in the color...more on that later), so the color kind of got everywhere.....i looked at the one i did though, and it turned out super awesome, so, success! however, the thing with the soda ash is that it helps hold in the color, so we didn't have any, and the first shirts we tried just turned pink in the washer machine....you can still see the original colors in the spiral, but all the white parts are now pink. interesting. but, it was fun. It was Elder Wiscombe's first time ever tie-dying (actually, i think everybody's...) so it was fun. i'm going to have to do more of that when i get home... :)
Saturday morning, we split back....then we had some programs in the afternoon, during each of which, we were fed. we had already eaten pizza during weekly planning, so we were pretty well stuffed by the end of the day. Sunday was super awesome because someone we just met last week came to church, so that was super awesome. and another person we are meeting with was able to have a little chat with the branch president, which he was pretty happy about. So, church was pretty much awesome. afterwards, we had more programs, during which we were fed yet again. there's just no stopping the Hungarians when it comes to accepting food. It's okay though, because it was all super delicious, i'm always so happy to accept any food they give us.....i just don't always have room for it :)
so yeah, that was our week....this week should be pretty good, we'll be going on splits in Nyíregyháza, i'm pretty excited for that. Then, Saturday is the 20th (it's a national holiday here) so we'll be going to Debrecen for the Flower Carnival. It's kind of super weird that I'll have been there for both times....i'm excited though, just to see how it compares with last year. So, i'll let you know how that goes.
until next week, be good y'all!
Elder Murray

Monday, August 8, 2011

Transfer 14, Week 3 (Aug. 8, 2011)

HI everyone!
Oh gosh, i ran out of time again...i'll try and sum this all up really quick...so, last monday we went to Eger, visited the city, ate at Palacsinta Vár, it was pretty fun...we just kind of wandered around the city, took pictures. then on Tuesday we went to Budapest for Zone conference, that was exciting to see everyone....oh gosh, the departing missionaries gave their departing testimonies, it was super sad, both Elder Mullen and Elder Rowland are going home this transfer! it's going to be super weird with them gone, especially since i was with them in the MTC....super weird...time just goes by too fast....but yeah, zone conference was pretty good...i got to see Sister Smith again, that was fun. i'm going to miss her, she is totally super awesome (she reminds me a little of Aunt Tammy :) after trainings and lunch, we got to go up to the museum on castle hill and see the Munkácsy Mihály exhibit...he did three huge paintings (like seriously, i think they were bigger than my room....) on Christ...one when He was taken before Pilate, then when Pilate presented Him again before the people, and then on Golgotha.....the artwork itself was absolutely amazing, it is really awe-inspiring to stand in front of something so big and so masterfully done, and then when you think of what it is depicting....it was just really amazing to see.
After the museum, we rushed back to miskolc to meet with the branch president and discuss the activity on Saturday (more on that in a second). Wednesday was pretty fun, we had some programs, did some finding. In the evening, the sisters had profi english class this week, so they had a game where everyone had to choose one item from a bunch, then present it like a salesman as something other than what it was. it was interesting seeing everyone's imagination at work, pretty funny as well. then, we threw in another game at the end where we write down a bunch of totally random sentences on slips of paper, then give two each to two people, put them in a situation (business meeting, airplane ride, anything), then have them start a conversation in that situation. when a sign is given, the first person reads one of the papers and tries to get it to fit into the conversation. a few minutes later, they pull out the next one, and so on. all i can say to describe it is super hilarious. seriously, one of the most entertaining games i have ever played. Thursday was good, english class was pretty normal, Friday we had an activity night, then Saturday we had a branch outing to a park where the members cooked paprikás krumpli (potatoes with paprika). it was super fun, everyone had a super fun time, the food was amazing, the weather was great, it was just an awesome day. Sunday was good, we are in charge of teaching the aaronic priesthood class now, so we're kind of getting used to that now...kind of interesting, especially since the only manuals we have are in hungarian....good language study though :)
After church, we went to Kazincbarcika to visit with some old investigators....we were talking to this one lady for a while when her daughter and her (daughter's) family came in...turns out, they live in England and were baptized about a year ago.....so, super random, super awesome, we talked with them for a while. it was super fun getting to talk with them, and just how it turned out that we were right there at that time......blessings! they're awesome!
So yeah, that was our week, in a nutshell. I hope you all have a great week, let me know if anything exciting happens! I'll talk to you all next week!
Elder Murray

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Transfer 14, Week 3 (Aug. 1, 2011)

HI everyone
oh wow, i put this off to last again.......we gotta go soon.
Really quick, what happened this week....umm.......so, this whole week was pretty average...last Monday we had FHE at a member's house, and we taught the Hungarians how to play Uno....super fun, i love the comments they make, even though i think they're the same comments we would make in english, it's just super funny to hear them in Hungarian and to translate them. so, that was fun. Tuesday was pretty normal, Wednesday we went to Budapest for zone leader's council....that was good, just a super long day. Thursday was busy, and after Angolóra we talked about the Restoration and handed out Book of Mormons...there were quite a few people who seemed interested, i'm excited to see what comes of it. Friday, we made desserts for the Gyüli Buli (branch party). that went pretty well, we had a good number of people present. Saturday was super awesome - we had some leftover dessert that we had made, so we took it over to a member who hasn't been able to come to church for a long time because of work.....he actually happened to be home, se we stayed and talked to him for a long time. He was baptized shortly before i got to miskolc last year, and he's definitely one of my favorite people here, so it was really fun to be able to see him. He said he'll have a lot of days off coming up, so we'll be able to get him involved a lot in activities. that totally made my week to see him, it just isn't Miskolc without him. Then on Sunday we had branch conference, and President and Sister Baughman came and gave some talks....the whole thing was really good, everything went really well and the lessons were all super great. plus, there were refreshments :) but yeah, that was pretty much our week.....we're planning on going to Eger today to see the castle there, so that will be lots of fun. Then, tomorrow, we go to Budapest for Zone conference.....we'll have about two hours of training, then lunch, then go to the museum on castle hill....i'm really excited, the exhibit that's the highlight right now is apparently super amazing. So, i'll report back on all that next week :)
oh, spiritual thought for the week...i was reading in DandC 20, about the responsibilities in different priesthood offices, and i just realized how much trust the Lord actually puts in us.....it's an amazing responsibility to be out here representing Him, and it just really made me think about how i'm using my time and how i can place my trust in Him and do what He asks me to do.
Elder Murray