Thursday, October 29, 2015

MTC Week 3

​     So the MTC pretty much feels like all I've ever known, haha, it's great though, I cannot believe how much I have learned and continue to learn about the gospel and this insane language. I love getting dear elder letter from each of you and hearing about what is going on outside the MTC! 
     So last Thursday we had our first TRC. No one seems to know what that actually stands for but it's when we teach volunteers who are members of the church and speak Hungarian. As some of you know I have a good friend who attends BYU and is from Hungary. The lesson set up for which companionship would work with which Hungarian volunteer were completely random so I was THRILLED when the room my companion and I walked into had my friend Levente in it! It was so fun!! We had to pretend like we didn't know each other because if the teacher knew, she probably wouldn't let me continue teaching him so we kept it on the down low and I tried to keep my laughing to a minimum. This was hard, but I couldn't give it away because we have instructors watching the lessons to see how we are doing and well, she probably did wonder why I seemed so happy when I walked into the room but I couldn't hide it. I think we're safe though haha, so I look forward to hopefully getting to teach him again. He is great and I love his family, which I'm excited to see in Hungary again. 
     This Sunday in Church I played the special musical number which was really fun. I hardly had any time to practice during the week because of our packed schedules, but it went really well. I played an arrangement I have of 'How Great Thou Art'. A funny story from sacrament meeting - we have to give talks in our mission languages at church and they randomly pick people to speak after the meeting starts and they announce it. This week was an Elder going to Finland, who apparently had been challenged to use a Dobby voice from Harry Potter when he started his talk. So he got up there and in the best Dobby impression I have ever heard, he said (in Finnish, translated by my friend Sister Jones who is also going to Finland) "When President Garr asked me to speak, I didn't know what to think. I'm just Dobby, a house elf who doesn't know how to speak Finnish!" It was too funny, especially because most of the leaders didn't know what he had said, although let's be real, the Dobby voice kind of gave it away. 
     I taught Relief Society this week which was really fun, hopefully I made that Stake Relief Society mom of mine proud ;) haha, but it was really cool to see where the discussion went and how much I was guided by the spirit with what to say. That is something that I have seen even when I teach lessons in Hungarian. I know that if we trust the Lord, he will help us know what to say and bring words we need to our remembrance. I know that the spirit has the power to help me understand what others are saying even when I have only been studying this language for 3 weeks. It is amazing how much I have been able to learn but I know I'm not doing it alone. 
     This week has been humbling. Faith is such a big concept and something that can continue to increase and be developed if we put in the effort and show Him that we are willing. I have started reading again the four gospels and I am just in Matthew right now, but it has been amazing. There are countless examples of faith in the scriptures that are so wonderful, and I am so grateful to be able to read and study them. Something that I have really loved from reading in Matthew is the amount of times the Lord says something along the lines of "Why are ye fearful, Oh ye of little faith?....Be not afraid.." The Lord knows that it is so easy to become afraid, but he also wants us to completely trust Him so that we don't have to be afraid. What a blessing that is! I know that the spirit is hindered and doesn't emulate as strongly when we are afraid so we have to have greater faith than fear. I also love in D&C 6:36 where it says "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." It is important to remember and rely on our faith at all times, but it is especially crucial in times of opposition and trial because that is when our acts of faith build our testimonies and love of Christ. 
     This week at our devotional, we had Neil L. Andersen (of the Quorum of the twelve) come speak to us. He had an amazing message that was truly inspiring. He talked about four words - Sacrifice, Opposition, Adversary, and Deliverance. He talked about how we should be asking the question, "what can I give?" instead of "what can I get?" I love that! One of Christ's most admirable qualities is that he constantly turns outwards to serve others. Sacrifice is an eternal principle and we know that as we give things up, we become something more. Change is part of conversion, it is how we come unto Christ. 
     The Lord will always bless us for our sacrifices and efforts, the blessings may not come immediately, but they will always come. We are never in the Lord's debt. 
     About opposition, he said "everything with the spirit is uphill...we are going against the current and must fight against opposition." He talked about how trees that grow in a windy environment are the ones that are stronger. They are the ones with stronger roots that spread further, faster, and stronger in order to withstand winds that are sure to return. We can relate to this by looking at opposition as a way to strengthen us. We have been told that we will not be challenged with anything we cannot overcome and with the right attitude, we will be strengthened because of it.            About the adversary, he talked about how it is a real force that works against us. It works for our failure and wants us to give in to selfishness. 
     Onto deliverance, we can find safety, peace, and the power to overcome temptation, in one place. And that one place is in the Lord, Jesus Christ & His Father. Through fervent prayer, as we turn towards Him, He will always help us and lovingly guide us. 
     The past few days have been really helpful. One of our instructors had us read 2 Nephi 4:16-end and also Matthew 19:16-22. If you haven't read 2 Nephi 4:16-end recently, please go read it! We learn that even Nephi at times felt inadequate and that it's okay if we feel the same way. Learning Hungarian for sure has that effect on me occasionally but I have to remind myself that I was not asked to do this alone. None of us are asked to do anything alone. If we have faith and ask, God will help us with everything. It is hard sometimes because we want to think we can do things on our own, but how relieving it is and how overjoyed I feel when I remember that the Lord is always there for us. Yes, we will have opposition and challenges but we are never fighting alone.

Tudom hogy as evangélium miatt boldog vagyokés Jézus Krisztus​él! 

Have a great week! 

Happy Halloween and happy birthday to my mom!!! Don't forget to get your birthday present, it's wrapped and in the office ;) I hope you have a fun birthday and get to eat some chocolate chip cheesecake!

Sok szeretettel, 
Schoendorfer Nővér

My companion didn't want to go to the gym one day, so I had to resort to working out in our room. Another Sister in our District thought it would be fun to feed me gummy bears each time I did a push up, haha. It was kind of counterproductive, but it sure was fun.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

MTC - Week 2


     This week was awesome and I have learned so much, and our district has really bonded so it has been fun! 
     Thanks to anyone that sent a dear elder! I love the letters, we get them each night and it is fun to read at the end of a (sometimes) long day! So ya, keep sending those because I won't be able to get letters that fast once I get to Hungary. If case you forgot, I am in the Provo MTC and my unit # is 108 and departure date is DEC 8 with the mission code, HUN-BUD. 
     One of my favorite moments this week was when we went outside with one of our teachers and read Ether 12 in Hungarian! (Of course we also read in English because we aren't THAT good yet), but I love Ether 12 so very much because it just proves that we are given weaknesses for a reason, so that we can be humble and improve. God promises that if we humble ourselves before Him, and have faith in Him, our weaknesses will become strengths. What a blessing! 
     The funniest thing that happened this week was when I got a letter from a friend who is serving a mission in Spain right now. We got the mail delivered right before class was going to start but I figured I would just open it quick because we had a few minutes. Wrong Choice! I opened the letter and in a matter a seconds I was covered in glitter and had everyone in the room, including our teacher, laughing at me! Elder Horne had filled the envelope with glitter and it doesn't end there - there was another enveloped with the actual letter in it that was also filled with glitter which I ended up opening later. It was a nice break from a stressful day of Hungarian and it's safe to say I was finding glitter randomly on things for the next few days.
    I played piano for church this week which was pretty interesting because the congregation was singing in English, Finnish, and Hungarian so to be honest it wasn't the best sounding but it was way cool to listen to.  It definitely takes some extra concentration but it was so great to be able to play piano. I have been missing the piano and organ lately. But, I also auditioned this morning to play a piano solo in a meeting sometime (Joseph Smith Medley) and I got a YES! I am really excited about that. When I finished the audition, they asked if I was a piano performance major, when I told them I was organ performance they asked me if I wanted to play for a devotional! I am thrilled! I will have to try and find some time to figure all of that out but it's such a great opportunity, I can't wait! I also accompanied a piece that Sisar Jones (Finnish sister in my zone who I have become pretty close with) is singing. We auditioned this morning for that piece as well, and she also got a yes, which wasn't in the least surprising because she has a beautiful voice! She is a vocal performance major and she is so fun to be around. 
     This week I met Elder Juhasz, who is cousins with Levente (my Hungarian friend from BYU!) We got to have dinner with Elder Juhasz who taught us some phrases and told us many things about Hungary. 
     Something I learned this week is how important it is to be listening for the spirit and be focused on what the Lord needs our help with. One night this week I was super tired and it was 10:30 which is when we are suppose to be getting in bed and I was walking back to my room when I heard a girl quietly crying. I continued walking for a second but I knew that I needed to help her so I immediately turned around. At first she was shy and didn't seem like she was going to talk but then she opened up and I was able to help her with some struggles. I know  from being on the other side and having someone come talk to me in the past, how much that means. It is through those little promptings that we are able to really feel God's love and it is so important for us to always have an open heart. The spirit is real, promptings are real, and everyone has the potential to be in instrument in the Lord's hands by serving others.      Something else that stuck out to me this week was about happily enduring the end. We hear the phrase "endure to the end" pretty often but I think  it would be mean even more with the word "happily" in front of it. It is so crucial to faithfully live the gospel because as we do that, we grow closer to Him and more fully enjoy and appreciate the Atonement of the Savior. We also take upon ourselves more closely that attributes of Christ as our hearts are changed which is something we can continually develop and deepen over a lifetime. 
     Chad Lewis came this past Tuesday for our devotional and it was so fun to hear from him! I loved that he said "faith is putting your love of Christ into action." I think that is so true. He also talked a lot about loving others and doing our best to see everyone through Heavenly Father's eyes with charity in our hearts. One of my favorite scriptures about charity are Moroni 7:43-48. Chad Lewis served his mission in Taiwan and he said "I know God loves the Chinese people because He made a lot of them." He was for sure an entertaining speaker, but also had an amazing message. He closed by talking about how if there is anyone who has lived on this earth that didn't deserve harm or pain it is the Savior, Jesus Christ, yet He is the only one who paid for our sins and afflictions - and he did so out of LOVE. I think it is hard for us to comprehend how much Heavenly Father loves and cares for us. He wants to help us so much, and we just have to be willing to reach out to Him. I think something that is hard today is that we sometimes feel like asking for help makes us seem weak. I think it is the opposite though, it is so comforting to have the gospel of Jesus Christ to rely on each and every day.             
     During choir practice this week, the choir director brought one of his students in who is 8 years old and getting baptized soon. Her name is Mia and she has the most amazing voice for an 8 year old that I have ever heard. After she sang, our choir director talked to us about how Heavenly Father sees us all as children and is so happy to give us loving guidance and help us along the way. God is never disappointed in the person who is repenting. He welcomes us back with open arms. Never does he say anything like "what have you done" or "what were you thinking." He will say the opposite. He will say something along the lines of "I've missed you and have been worried about you" as He helps us make any changes we need to make. Change is a good thing and I am so grateful for the Atonement - the reason we can make positive changes. Even more than helping us to make changes, the enabling power of the Atonement helps us stretch our capacities and do more than we ever thought possible. In 1 Nephi 3:7 and in John 15:5, we learn about how with Him, anything is possible, as long as we are faithful. If you haven't already seen the video, The Hope of God's Light (mormon messages 2014), I really recommend it! It is so inspiring and rings true the message about being faithful, how we cannot just expect to see the spiritual light if we are sitting in darkness - in takes an act of FAITH! 
     This week we taught Francsiska, who is really our teacher who plays the role of a gypsy in Hungary. It was eye opening to teach her and I realized how important it is to really connect with people and find out their needs because that is how we can build trust with them and show our sincere love for them. I feel like my Hungarian is getting a lot better with practice and I also know that there is a lot more I have to learn. It blows my mind almost daily, how complicated the language is but I am so grateful for this time I have to learn it. A translation from a Hungarian scripture to English that we learned this week in from Moses 1:39.
In English: 39 For behold, this imy work and my glory—to brintopass the immortality and eternal life of man.
In Hungarian:39  Mert íme, ez munkám és dicsőségem – hogy véghezvigyem az ember halhatatlanságát és örök életét.
Direct translation from Hungarian to English: Because behold this work and glory my that I should complete that people immortality their and eternal their life.
     One more funny thing from this week that I just thought of is the spoon incident. Elder Dixon will often stick a spoon from the cafeteria in the suit coat pocket of another one of our Elders, without them being aware, and before they caught on, they would randomly just pull a spoon out of their pocket - it was so funny! I also saw Elder Flandro! I think he has left but it was really awesome to see him. I also saw Elder Russel (a friend from BYU) and saw Sister Wilcox (a friend from Study Abroad this Summer). I was actually there when Sister Wilcox opened her mission call this summer in our hotel room in Austria so it is really awesome to be here with her now, she is going to Hong Kong so she'll be here the whole time I'm here! 

I love you all and love hearing from you! Have a great week!

Sok szeretet
tel, Schoendorfer Nővér

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Missionary Training Center - Week 1

     Wow, I don't even know how to put into words everything that has happened in the past week. First off, I love hearing from you! It is really easy (and free) to send me a letter on the service called DearElder. I think the website is something like but if you just google it you should be able to find it. You can type a letter on there and I will get it the same day! I am in the Provo MTC and my unit # is 108 and departure date is DEC 8 with the mission code, HUN-BUD. Or if you feel like sending anything handwritten (which I also love!) my address is:

Sister Hannah Elizabeth Schoendorfer
2005 N 900 E Unit 108
Provo, UT 84602

     You can always email and I get time to read them but it is sometimes hard to email back right away, so if you don't get a personal email from me it's not that I don't love you, it's just because my time is so limited! I will write you a letter back though if I have your address! Anyway, my companion's name is Vashica 
Nővér and she is from Serbia. It has been fun to get to know her and I am trying to see her as the Lord sees her and love her because I know that is that way we will have success in learning and teaching together and be happy. Something that stuck with me this week about working with companions  was said by one of the leaders here, he said, "You don't have to think alike, you just have to think together." That is so so true because we are so very different from one another but I know we are companions for a reason and we really have gotten better at teaching together already just by "thinking together." The Hungarian language is challenging but I have already seen the gift of tongues working in my life. It is so important to always have the spirit with you so that God can get us the help that he so wants us to receive! 
     I will get into some of the actual important things of this week but here are some funny moments that we had, because let's be real, I love to laugh! One of the sisters in my group told us one day that she had the "winkies." Okay, is it just me or is that a completely made up word! We all laughed so much when she said it and she explained that it's when you're so tired after a long day (like all of our days here) and everything seems funny. Needless to say, we now all use the term "winkies" regularly hahah. Also, since my companion is European, some of the things that come out of her mouth are super funny in the sense that we just wouldn't think to say things like that! I got a letter from a friend and she said "Oh is that a hot dude friend of yours?" I started laughing along with all the other sisters in the room before I could even answer. That term is also used almost daily because of her innocent comment haha and no, Vashica 
Nővér, that's just a friend. Also I love when she forgets to pronouce the "th" sound in words like "thinking?" Sometimes when she asks me what I think about something she said in a pretty low and stoic voice, "what are you tinking?" It makes my day. 
     Our daily schedule pretty much consists of being taught SO MUCH HUNGARIAN, having meals, exercising, listening to talks, teaching "investigators" (who are really just members who act as an investigator to help us learn Hungarian). Our first lesson was pretty rough because we went in, on our THIRD day and were not allowed to speak a word of English and had to teach a 15 minutes lesson with no notes. It went okay but I can definitely see a difference in how much better the lessons have gotten in just a week of being here. In our last lesson, I felt so much more comfortable talking and was actually able to understand what she was saying to us. I love learning this language and even if it's one of the hardest languages, I am so grateful to be one of the lucky ones serving in Hungary. This morning we had the opportunity to go to the temple where I had a really special experience. One of the temple worker's told me to go to one spot but then right after that, another sister told me to go down a little further. Then, after waiting a few seconds, the temple worker who was there to help me was Nikki Infanzon! Those of you from home know that she is one of the sweetest girls and I actually was roommates with her at BYU for a semester. It was such a relief to see and and I felt an overwhelming amount of love. Heavenly Father does little things for us sometimes, especially when he knows we may be a little more stressed out than usual and sends us little reminders that He knows what we are going through.  One of the biggest things I have learned this week is the importance of shifting my focus completely onto others, and especially on those we teach. One of Christ's most important attributes was his selflessness and willingness to serve everyone not because He was suppose to but because He wanted to! The mission is not about me, but about helping others. It is so important to turn out in compassionate and loving service when the natural man would turn inwards. I also think it is important to always have a deepening, continuing conversion with Christ, and not just rely on our testimonies alone. We should be constantly praying to understand what we should be doing to benefit those around us. Our devotional speakers this past Tuesday were L. Whitney Clayton (presidency of the seventy) and his wife. I really enjoyed his wife's comments. She told a story about a time when they were traveling in Africa and she met a woman who said something along the lines of, "I heard that in America you have a phrase 'are you looking at your glass half full or half empty?' Here, we are grateful when we have a glass, and doubly grateful if it has anything in it." This story really impacted the way I have been thinking, because I feel so amazingly blessed and wish I could just give so much to people that do not have the same blessings as I do. Sister Clayton went on though, to say that the gospel is what people need to fill up their glass. Everyone needs this incredible gospel! It brings blessings that we cannot even imagine and the best ones are not the worldly, temporal ones. No matter what a person's living conditions are, the thing they would most benefit from and be the happiest with is the gospel. I also really enjoyed President Clayton's comments. He talked about the view from above and the future of the church. We know that we are in the last days and because of that the Lord's work is in full swing. I am so grateful to be a part of that work and share the message of the gospel with the Hungarians. He talked about how in 1820, Joseph Smith was the only person on earth at that time to know the truth of the gospel - he was one person against the whole world. Today, in 2015, there are 15 million members of the church, General Conference is translated in 93 different languages, and people all over the world are able to share the same beliefs! That being said, there are still so very many people who need to hear this message. There are so many who are prepared to hear what we, as missionaries, have to say. Going along with that, our teacher this week told us that Heavenly Father wants for us to learn Hungarian even more than we, ourselves, want to learn it. He wants for us to be able to successfully teach when we arrive in December and He will help us learn it if we are diligent and willing. The spirit may come and go, but God is always there for us and wants the best for us!

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Time in Utah before MTC

     We've had a great time in Utah for the past few days. We were able to attend General Conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, which was wonderful. Hannah was set apart as a missionary on Sunday evening in Midway by our dear Stake President who was also in town. We enjoyed seeing family in Ogden, and visiting several friends. Hannah was able to attend a Organ Master Class and visit with the music program she is apart of. We enjoyed Hannah's last free day spending time with Sarah and the twins, running errands, packing up, and having dinner with friends. Hannah gets dropped off tomorrow at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, where she will be for the next 9 weeks as she immersed in all things Hungarian. You can reach her at or send a letter/package to:

Sister Hannah Elizabeth Schoendorfer
2005 N 900 E Unit 108
Provo, UT 84602