Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Hello from Hungary! 

I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas! It was fun for me to Skype with me family for a little bit. It's hard to believe that the next time I will see them and talk to them it will be in person!! The mission had flown by for me and I am glad to still have until early April to be here. 

I was able to reflect on a lot of things this Christmas season and I think one of my favorite parts of the story of Christ's birth is about the wise men making their journey to Christ by following the star. I love to read this story in Luke and I also enjoyed reading from 3 Nephi, chapter 1 this year. Verse 21 says, " And it came to pass also thanew star did appear, according to the word."  
It is so amazing to me to read about how the prophets talked about Christ many years before He came. It is such a testimony to me. For the wise men, it must have been such a long journey and they must of had such strong faith to follow the star. We can follow the example of the wise men, and we too can still seek Him. Him who is perfectly familiar with us, our Savior, our Redeemer, and our advocate with the Father

Some highlights of the week were going caroling with the Elders here in Szolnok, we had some people even stop to listen to us sing. We also went to the local children's hospital and read stories to them which they loved! We brought "Cat in the Hat" in Hungarian which they had never heard of and they were laughing so much. It is so sad that these poor kids were in the hospital during Christmas but I'm glad we were able to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to them. 

We were also able to go to Budapest this week for the special Christmas Conference. It was so so fun! We went around and talked about what we have been grateful for this past year and what our goals are for the coming year. I am truly grateful to have been able to spend the past year here in Hungary and for the people here. I have seen people change their lives for the better and also met people who have helped me along the way. I am grateful for the encouragement of others and for Hungary. I made a goal of finishing my mission strong, being diligent and always looking for the good, positive, and happy things. You get what you look for. 

We also had a talent show, a white elephant, and watched the movie "The Little Prince" which I just love! We got to watch is last year for Christmas too. One of my favorite quotes from that book is "growing up is not the problem, the problem is forgetting." There are times where it is good to forget, and good to move on. But, more often, forgetting can be sad because it is sometimes easy to forget about life changing experiences and so on. I never want to forget. I never want to forget the time I have had in Hungary and the times I am continuing to have. I never want to forget the people I am blessed to have in my life. 

After the zone conference we traveled to Szeged with their district to have an exchange with the nővérek there, Beck and Dyson. I love them both so much, they are really fun to be around, and my past companion Jarrett nővér trained both of them and she also finished my training so it was so fun to be together with both of them. We also visited all the members in our area which was such a treat! I really love getting to know the people here and it was a great weekend. We even were able to experience tradition fish soup on Christmas Eve!  
Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

Merry Christmas!

Having fun with Christmas lights :)

Got a Christmas package from the family!

We had dinner "The Christmas Story" style and had Asian food on Christmas Eve, complete with Hungarian fish soup.

Loved being able to Skype with my family on Christmas Day :)))))

Christmas market in Szolnok.

It's beautiful with the snow and frost on the trees.

More of our charming city.

Saying goodbye to Elder Nanto.

Splits with Sister Dyson and Beck, who were both trained by Sister Jarrett!

Pictures on Christmas day with Elders Pulsipher and Terry.

A sweet member --- Bea.

Looking at pictures with Erzi and Bea.

Already love this sweet lady.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Moving to Szolnok

It's been quite a week! I left the big city of Budapest and I'm here in the much smaller city of Szolnok. I still don't really know a ton about it, but I will soon learn all the inns and outs I'm sure. Packing up to move was crazy and I didn't start until late transfer eve but I got everything done and transfers went pretty smoothly. We will still be going to on splits with the other sisters once every week with the cities of Szeged and Békéscsaba. I am excited to continue to be a Sister Training Leader, it's always nice to see the other sisters in the mission, and I'm happy to be with Gordon nővér for her last transfer. She is from St. George. The elders here in Szolnok worked with us are Nanto, Pulsipher, and Terry, they are in a trio companionship. It's been a huge change without sirens going off all the time as we walk down the street and it's been strange without the metro and villamos and there are a lot less people, but it will be good. 

We went  back to Budapest on Friday for Missionary Leadership Council and it was really great. I also got to see cute little József bácsi while I was there right before the meeting. He was so happy and a little confused when I showed up at his apartment with a nativity I wanted to give him for Christmas. He was overjoyed! It is also really cool because his daughter, Anna, used to live in Szolnok and she still comes here often so I will get to see her occasionally. 

We had a really fun Christmas party with the members here in Szolnok. It is a rather small branch but they are like a family and are really nice. They are so so excited that I play the piano and a few of them told me that they have been praying for a pianist to come to Szolnok for a long time. One lady said "I know that God answers prayers because he sent you, and especially because he sent you right before Christmas." It was really sweet. 

I am studying a lot about the concept of Humility lately. A mission is a humbling experience and I feel like I also have developed a new understanding of what it even means to be humble. I think sometimes we think of humbleness as a weakness or shortcoming but humbleness is really a spiritual strength. To be humble means willfully accepting God's will and that we need Him. It is selflessness. It is gratitude. It is knowing that we really can do whatever the Lord asks of us with his help. It is improvement. I am so grateful for each day to become better than who I was even the day before. It is never too late to change or work to improve.

Church was really nice yesterday. I missed all the kids running around in Budapest but the branch here is charming and I am excited to get to know them better. I have only met with one person who the sisters here have been teaching. Her name is Rózsa and she is really sweet. She opened up to us a lot last night and I already love her. We are going to be doing a lot of finding here because there aren't a ton of people that they have been meeting with, but I am excited to find people. 

I hope that you each have a fantastic Christmas. I love you and look forward to see you in a few months. I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ and for this special time of year. I know that Heavenly Father knows us personally and what is best for us and that He loves us more that we can comprehend. I am so grateful for this time to be a missionary here in Hungary and to share the light of this gospel with the people here. Two of my favorite scriptures are in Isaiah 9, verses 2 and 6. We truly can be a light to others as we love and serve them each and every day. 

 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

If you haven't watched this years Christmas video yet be sure to watch it!

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

New District in Szolnok.

Coming back from Budapest, we had to transfer at a train station in Cegled.

A few last pictures from Budapest. I will miss Kriszti.

I will also miss Piroska and cute Hannah.

And I am also truly going to miss McGregor.

Szolnok and my new companion Gordon Nover.

This was our train ride home from Budapest after the MLC with the Zone Leaders that are serving in Szeged.


The Branch Christmas Party -- this is Erzsi playing pin the nose on the reindeer.

Sandor, a member that Greenwood nover taught while she was here months ago, who got baptized. 

We also traveled to Cegled, a close by city, about a 10 minute train ride.

A little Christmas in our apartment.

Coming back home from Budapest, we had a beautiful sunset.

Making some Christmas cookies for the Branch party.

My new companion, Gordon Nover. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Saying Goodbye to sweet Kispest...

I couldn't have asked for a better last week in Kispest. We received transfer calls this morning and tomorrow I am leaving Budapest and headed to a city called Szolnok. I am headed back to the east! I will be serving with Gordon nővér who goes home at the end of the next transfer in February. 

We were pretty busy this week and I am a little short on time, but here's a quick overview from the week. We went ice skating as a district for p day last week which was really fun. We also walked around the out door Christmas market with a member, Adri, who came with us while we taught Tillman. We have been teaching him the past few weeks and he is from Austria studying medicine here. He is a really great guy and loves learning. On Tuesday we got to visit a number of members! We visited the Remesék family who are always so sweet to us and feed us periodically, Mária is a great cook. We also met with Zibrányi József bácsi and his daughter, Anna. I will miss them so so much! We also went over to Piroska and Hanna's. They are so fun and Hanna is the cutest. We also visited Kriszti in the evening who is one of my favorite people here. She is so thoughtful and such a joy to be around. 

The next day, we had a zone day! We played sports and watch the movie Finding Dory which was really cute. Then in the evening we took a train to Győr. We were there for their district meeting and that was the day that I hit being in Hungary for a year! I can't believe how quickly time has flown by. It was especially enjoyable because Elder Ure was also there and he, Mcgregor nővér and I all came to Hungary at the same time and were in the Missionary Training Center together. 

Another highlight of the week was being with Gizi and the Medveczky family. We had a language study with sweet Gizi and last night we went over to their home and watched the Christmas Devotional. Also, this week, Mcgregor nővér and I were the surprise at a little girl's house on her birthday. Her name is Mirjam and she loves us so much, so her mom had us come over and surprise her. She is turning 6 and she said that us coming over was the best present she received. 

It was hard to say bye to the members I have grown to love at church. This area is so special to me and I am so grateful for the friendships I've made and for the people I've met here. It was especially hard to say bye to all the children here who all know me as süni (hedgehog). 

One more amazing highlight this past week was attending an organ concert in the Mattyás Templom on the Buda side. It was a great concert and I loved every second of it! We also got to meet with another József who is someone I met with a few months ago and haven't seen in a while. It was so good to meet with him again and he is actually from Szolnok! We also saw Krisztián yesterday which was really great. 

I hope you have a great week!

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

Amazing organ concert at the Mattyas Templom.

Isn't this a beautiful place to go ice skating?

Ice skating on P-day.

Donuts that sweet Anna (Jozsef's daughter) gave us for walking her dog.

When we went to Gyor, it was exactly the one year mark since myself, McGregor and Ure Elder had been in Hungary, so they had lots of balloons and cookies for us -- so fun!

This is a beautiful city with amazing people!

Cute little Almos!

Saying goodbye to cute Eva.


Zibranyi Jozsef

Sweet, sweet Jozsef.

Adri, a member that I adore!

Gizi, she is truly the most amazing person!

Anna and Jozsef, they are the best!

A villamos (tram) with lights on it for Christmas time.

Such an extraordinarily beautiful church and an amazing organ concert!

Everyone enjoyed the organ concert.