So so much has happened, I don't even know where to begin. So the process of getting to Hungary had us traveling for about 27 hours, counting when we got up at in Utah, made our way to the travel office and then all the way to the Mission Home in Budapest. We first flew to Houston, then to Munich and finally arrived in Budapest. On the flight to Germany I was feeling nostalgic from this past summer in Vienna and when I ordered my soda I was able to talk a little bit in German with the flight attendants. I don't think my German is very good any more, ever sense I started learning Hungarian, but it was fun to converse in German for awhile. I also slept pretty much the WHOLE WAY to Germany. The flight was great because I was in the aisle seat in the middle section of seats, and there was no one in the middle seat next to me, and then it was Ure Edler in the next seat, so we had a nice time chatting, well at least, when I was awake. After I had woken up after sleeping for so long Ure Elder just looked at me and was like "Really? You just had to sleep the whole time!?" He obviously couldn't sleep very well, haha. Anyways, we went through customs in Germany and then we were on our way to Hungary.
When we finally landed, and were met by President Szabadkai and his wife who were waiting for us with the APs (Assistant to the President) they helped us get all of our luggage to the van and we then went to the mission home. We then went to exchange currency, got some lunch, and had interviews. President Szabadkai is extremely kind and very energetic. He talked a lot about smiling, which I love to do, and it was really wonderful talking with him. Afterwards, we went to get photos taken for our Residencey Cards and I almost got hit by a police car crossing the street with a few others. Don't worry, hahah, we made it! That evening the Senior Missionaries took us to Buda Castle, which is absolutely beautiful! I went there this summer when it was blazing hot, so it was fun to be there in the cold and see the Castle at night. It gets dark here in Hungary around 4pm in the winter, so it always feels later than it actually is.
Later that evening, one of the Senior missionaries read the Mission's Dedicatory Prayer to us, which is beautiful. I wish I remembered more of it right now. I'll have to look at it more later, but it talked about how Hungary has it's scars and has been through hard times but how the missionaries sent here have been foreordained. I loved that it talked about how Hungary has had it's scars, because I feel like as people we all have scars, we all have things we wish we could just get rid of or hard things that we have gone through, but, just because something has scars, doesn't mean it can't change. The spirit was so strong as he read that dedicatory prayer to us and I know that this is where I am suppose to be.
We stayed in a hotel the first night and the next day we were assigned to our new companions. It was sad to say bye to all the other Nővérek (Sister Missionaries) but I know I will see them again at some point or possibly serve with them later. The meeting where we got our new companions felt like the sorting hat experience from Harry Potter, haha. All the new missionaries were on one side of the room and the training missionaries on the other side and then Pres. Szabadkai read the name of the area and then the names of the two missionaries. Well, drum roll please........................
I am serving in Nyíegyháza with Wilson Nővér! This is actually her last transfer and she goes home in February, so I hope we will be able to make her last area a productive one. She has served here once before about 5 months ago, and it has been interesting picking it up from two other sisters who left. Nyíegyháza is the furthest East you can get in the mission. I love it here! The Elders that are here with us are Murdok, Roberts, and Ure Elder. Yup, I'm STILL with Ure Elder! It is really fun to see a familiar face and I am so excited to serve in our first area together. A cool story actually, Ure and Murdok are friends from back home and played football together so it is fun to see them together as well.
So getting to our new area, we had a 3 and a half hour train ride to our town from Budapest and once we arrived, it was already dark and we had to go up a bunch of stairs with all our luggage and then walk a half hour. It felt like we would never get there! We even walked down this kind of sketchy alley with all our stuff and it was sort of comical because we were each dragging two suitcases behind us. We finally got to the apartment, which is rather nice, although it was left pretty messy, so we cleaned it a lot today, and it is pretty good sized considering where we are.
The following day I taught my first real lesson, to Enikő. She has been taking lessons for a while. She is really sweet and we will see her again . We attend church in the Branch House, which is actually in an office building. It has been an interesting experience going to an office building, but it's good. I love talking to people in our town. They have a Christmas market set up which is really charming with a very large Christmas tree, that center part of town is my favorite place to talk to people. I gave out my first Book of Mormon there to a woman and her children. It was sweet, she said she doesn't have a lot of time to read, usually because of all her kids but she seemed really interested and was really kind.
I was able to play piano for a choir practice we had. There were only 6 people there, but it was really enjoyable. Kati is the Music Director and she really loves music! She also talks sooooo fast, so I just play the hymns she tells me to, people sing, and I do a lot of smiling!
We also taught the beginning English class which was quite an eye opening experience. We didn't know we were teaching the class because the sisters who were in this area before didn't tell us much, which has been honestly a little challenging. I felt really bad for the man who came to the English class. He has special needs and his mom brought him and afterwards he walked out and I saw him wiping tears from his eyes and heard him tell her it was hard for him. I went up and told him about how hard the Hungarian language was for me! I assured him that we would help each other and that it will be easier next time.
We had another lesson with a woman named Anna Maria. She has had some really challenging things happen in her life and she is very sad and depressed. When we called she told us she didn't want to meet, but then she realized that it was a different set of sisters and she had remembered Wilson Nővér from 5 months prior and she had us come over. We went and met with her and she wants to continue meeting. I shared my testimony and a scripture to try to help her, she said that I spoke well which was nice to hear. During the lesson though, I couldn't understand a lot of what she was saying but she started to cry and my heart ached for her and I could tell my own eyes were tearing up. It is so sad to see some of the realities of life with people that I didn't even know a week ago, but have such a love for already. I look forward to meeting with her again.
I wish I had more time to write, but I have to go, we are teaching a lesson to a woman and her daughter. She is a néni (older woman) who just walked into church!
I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all so much! Also if you want to send a letter or package the address is:
Hungary Budapest Mission
Hajnóczy József Utca 14