Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reni, stairwells, and perfume

​Hey hey hey!!!

I feel like I say this a lot but I can't believe I'm emailing again, the weeks go by so fast! ​
​We went and visited Sárika again this week, like we do every week and she seems so much happier! She​ is such an amazing example of faith to me. She also brought out her cute little cat who ending up falling asleep on my lap the whole time we were there! So adorable! Afterwards we went tracting in her area which I love. It is real houses, which makes it so much fun! It is close to the same area that Péter lives in, it is pretty rural and so beautiful. I also love it because there's so many dogs and it's like you develop a natural flinch as you walk by because almost every house has a dog that runs up to the fence to bark at you! Jarrett Nővér also thinks I'm some crazy dog tamer because I pet a lot of them through the fences and they will often stop barking and get so happy! Hahahh she said she has never seen anyone do that before, I love it!

At one of the branch activities this week, Izabella was talking about what a wonderful feeling she had when she was baptized. It was so neat to hear her talk about her baptism and see how genuinely happy she is now. I just love her! She, and some of the other members too, were asking about when transfers are and said how they were going to pray for me to stay! Ha, I think I will probably leave at the transfer, in two weeks, but we will see. It will be hard to leave because I love it here and the people so very much. I just hope they send another missionary here that can play piano because I am the only one here that can play right now. 

We visited Péter and his family again this week and they are just doing great! They are so so kind to us, they made us langos for dinner and palacsintas! They are too sweet. His wife, Angélla has been opening up so much recently and it has been fun to get to know her and teach her. We had a great lesson with them and I know that even though Jarrett Nőver and I don't speak the language perfectly, the gift of tongues is real and we are able to address their needs and testify of the things we know to be true. Péter came to church again and their whole family also came to english class which was so fun!

We went to Budapest for splits on Friday and Saturday which was so great! I got to see my cute Hungarian friend Reni, who I met last summer when I was living in Austria. She served a mission in the Alpine German speaking mission and is now living in Vienna as a nanny. Anyways, it was so fun to catch up with her for lunch while she was home with her family for an Easter break, she is doing great!

I went on splits with Hafen Nővér and it was so great to see different parts of Budapest that you don't really see as a tourist. We went to dinner at Klára's house. Klára is a member who was baptized about a year ago by Robinson Elder (who was one of my teachers in the MTC). Klára is one of the strongest members and so so sweet. She made it a goal to feed the missionaries 100 times before her year mark from when she started being taught. Hafen Nővér and I were the 105th meal!! Afterwards she walked us all the way to the villamos station (about a 10 minute walk) and she stood in between us and linked arms with us both and just talked to us like she was our grandma. She makes you feel so special! She waited for the villamos with us and waved as we rode away! So so cute! I truly love these amazing people!

We had a really fun sport nap in Budapest on Saturday morning and then came back to Nyíregyháza! We had a wonderful Easter, I love the Easter Season and celebrating the resurrection of our Savior. We also had a nice Easter dinner in the stairwell with the Elders! Hahah, it was too funny! Also in Hungary, they celebrate Easter on Monday as well and the boys have a tradition of pouring water on the girls! Hahah, now they more often just spray the girls with perfume so we got sprayed with some nice, cheap-smelling perfume hahahha. It was a good day! 

I think that's about it for this week. I have been thinking a lot about faith this week and one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon is Alma 32. I love verse 27 especially which says: 

ut behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties,
​ ​
even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a
​ ​
particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to
​ ​
believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in
​ ​
a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
I love that because this ​gospel is not meant for us to come to it, already perfected. It really is for us to continuously learn and grow as we exercise faith, even if it just a particle, just a small piece, even if that just means a mere desire to have faith. I love the whole chapter of Alma 32, it is good one. Love you lots! 

Sok ​
szeretettel, Schoendorfer 

Lunch with Reni
Beautiful Full Moon

At Sarika's house with her cat, Cica

Splits in Budapest with Hafen Nover and a member, Kata

Easter dinner in the stairwell with the Elders

Getting sprayed with perfume by Kristof, on Judit - it's an Easter tradition 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Has it even been a week!?

I can't believe it's P-day again! It kinda throws you off when you have (preparation day) on a different day of the week. The rest of last week was great though, we met with Péter and his family again and it was so amazing!!! Péter actually called us when we were one minute late because he was worried we weren't coming! It's okay though, because we arrived at his house a minute later. He met us at the gate and we walked in and sitting in the middle of the table was a birthday cake! (Péter's birthday was last Sunday the 13th) He wanted to share his birthday cake with us!! We sat around the table with him and his wife, Angélla, and their daughter, Vikki. They also have a younger son who was content with playing legos on the floor. 

We had a great lesson with them and were able to answer their questions that they had.  Péter even prayed for the first time! It was really a cute experience because he was really nervous, so I asked him if he wanted us to say one first and then he could pray and he really liked that idea. Jarrett Nővér said a prayer and then afterwards he was like "okay, I can do it!" Even his wife was encouraging him, it was awesome! We also learned that he is a bee keeper which I think is the coolest thing, and he gave us a jar of his fresh honey!! 

After coming home from Péter's we went tracting, since there wasn't time earlier, and we were kind of nervous because sometimes people are super cranky when we go after 7 at night. We had a really cool experience though because the first csengő was a super sweet girl who came down and talked to us for a while. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and had a super awesome chat with her, so hopefully we will be able to catch up with her again soon. 

On Thursday we went to Budapest for Jarrett Nővér's eye appointment, where the doctor didn't even really know what to tell her. We were able to go to Vapianos for lunch (my favorite restaurant from this summer) which was awesome. We walked across a bridge over the Danube River on our way back to the train station and also walked by Parliament building which is so beautiful! The last time I was around Parliament was this past summer when it was blazing hot and crowded with people, while I was on semester abroad, before I was a missionary. It was kind of weird being in such a busy place like Budapest one day and then coming back to Nyíregyháza the next. I really love Nyír though, so very much. 

We finally got to meet with Erika again this week which was really neat. It is kind of hard with her super energetic son, Gabór, who ran around the whole time pretending that Jarrett Nővér and I were dragons and trying to come up with a plan to capture us - which should've been easy since we were just sitting there talking with Erika haha. It was a nice lesson though and Erika has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot more recently so it was awesome to be able to talk about what she has been reading with her. We also were able to finally visit Ilona Néni again this week, she has been sick recently and I haven't seen her since last transfer. She called me a "csoda," which means miracle, since when I first got here in December I couldn't understand anything she said but now I am able to talk to her! 

I taught Dáni piano lessons again this week which is always interesting. It is getting easier as I figure out what he likes and how to help him, but it is still challenging. We had a nice lesson with their family afterwards though. The mom, Éva isn't a member of the church like her husband but she has been showing a lot more interest lately. We shared an Easter message with them and talked about the blessings of eternal life and Éva asked "how can I know if it's true?" That gave us a great opportunity to talk about faith with her. Faith sounds like such a simple concept but it is so incredibly important. We talked about how faith really isn't a perfect knowledge but that as she prays and starts to show a little bit of faith, she will receive answers to her specific questions and her faith will be able to grow - and I know that is true for all of us. 

One of my favorite scriptures from this week is in D§C  112:10-11, it says: 

"Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers. I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers...be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself, and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name."

We went over to Izabella's on Saturday night and we got there right as she was walking up to the apartment building with her son. She told us that just a few minutes before, she was talking to her son about how we would be coming over soon and then we showed up! Izabella was beaming with happiness during the entire lesson and we had a great time looking at the photos from the baptism with her. We had a great lesson with her granddaughter, Iza, and her boyfriend, Viktor, as well. They told us that they want to get baptized! It is going to be a little bit still since they are still working on Viktor's residency papers so they can get married. They are really so cute together and love learning about the gospel!

Later this week we are heading to Budapest again for splits with the Sister Training Leaders which should be fun. Have a great week!!
Sok ​
szeretettel, Schoendorfer 
Schoendorfer Nover and Jarrett Nover

This is a dog that we pass all the time walking to the branch house and i always call him over and pet him through the fence, he is so cute! Unlike all the other dogs here, he  never barks at people as they walk by and his is the sweetest! I call him Bobbie (short for Bob Marley since he kinda looks like him, haha)

Left over pineapple stuffing, after sharing with the district!


Hungarian Crrest

Parliament Building 

Wow, I found some Reese's Puffs in Hungary!

Honey that Peter gave us (he is a bee keeper)

We went bowling today and we all wore the biggest shoes that they had. The pictures don't even do it justice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Izabella's Baptism!

Wow, so so much has happened in the past week and a half!!! Izabella was baptized and it was the most beautiful night, everything was perfect! 

We are emailing today because yesterday was a huge holiday here in Hungary which closed most of the stores on Monday and Tuesday. It was the Anniversary of the 1848 Revolution.
We got to see just for a few minutes a presentation in the town center with dancers and all kinds of things. There was also a memorial part of the program where they had soldiers and placed lots of flowers. We were still able to visit Sárika even with the bus schedule running really rarely because of the holiday and it was a slower day but it was good. 

Anyways starting from the beginning of last week, we got to celebrate Nőnap (women's day) on March 8th which was really great! We were surprised with flowers thoughout the day, some paper flowers from a 16 year old boy we didn't know, and flowers and chocolates from a few people from the branch, and I also got the cutest card from Kristőf who is just so sweet! 

We also met with Izabella and she was so so thrilled about her upcoming baptism. A quick story from the lesson that makes me laugh is that half way through the lesson, Iza and her boyfriend, Viktor, had to leave to go somewhere so the left and locked the apartment door. Then about twenty minutes later when we were ready to go, Izabella looked everywhere for the apartment keys and didn't know where they were to unlock the door for us! I guess Iza had taken Izabella's set of keys without thinking and Izabella didn't know where the others were. Izabella just laughed it off and we helped her find the keys. She joked that we might just have to sleep over there! And then she told us about one time she wasn't able to come to church because she again couldn't find the keys and I guess Iza had left early that morning. She said she was all ready to go to church, with her hat on and everything and that she started to cry when she realized she couldn't go! But after every story, she just smiles and says "everything is great now!" She is just the happiest! 

Last week we also went to visit Sárika again and on our way walking there we did some tracting since we had some time. We went up to one house but quickly realized it was under construction and were just going to keep going. But right as we were about to walk away two construction workers came up to the gate, covered in wood shavings, paint, and all kinds of stuff and they asked if we needed anything. We explained that we were missionaries and the one construction worker told us he hadn't heard hardly anything about our religion but all that he heard was that we have missionaries that go door to door. And he was like "now you are here!" So we were able to teach them about the Book of Mormon quickly as they had to get back to work but that was a fun experience for us! 

Sárika was doing well when we visited her, we love going to see her. She lives alone with her little cat and really opened up to us recently about some really hard things that happened in her life. It amazes me how some of the most positive people have had the hardest things happen in their life but they just constantly look for the good. 

We started reading a lot about Joseph Smith in Joseph Smith history with Ica last week and it is going great, but we had the funniest time with it too. Ica was trying to read the place names in America (like Pennsylvania) and also some American names and she would just laugh trying to read them and tell us how strange they sounded to her! Hahah it was so funny. 

We went back to Sóstóhegy to teach Péter and his family again this week and it was incredible! We went in and his whole family was already gathered around the table and ready! We taught them about the plan of salvation and the spirit was really so strong. Péter has read up to second Nephi and is loving it, he is amazing. It takes us about 30 minutes on the bus to get to Sóstóhegy and on Sunday morning as we were walking to church we saw Péter riding his bike to church as we got there at about the same time. I'm not sure exactly how far the distance was but I just know it's a 30 minute bus ride from near our apartment and even further to get to the branch house. Also something miraculous that I figured out about Péter that I can't remember if I wrote about already or not is that their house doesn't have a csengő (doorbell). They live in a house in a pretty rural area and Péter just happened to be outside while we were tracting and came up to the gate to talk to us. If he hadn't have been outside we wouldn't have met him that day because there was no way to ring a doorbell or anything and we couldn't get up to the door because of the gate. MIRACLE! I am so excited to continue teaching their family!

On Friday we went to Budapest for a conference where we met with Elder Leimer, a member of the Seventy, who is over our mission. It was the most incredible conference! He is truly inspired. The whole conference it just felt like he was speaking directly to me and everything he said really was an answer to my prayers. He talked about how we can be made whole in our imperfections. He also talked about how making mistakes in this life is inevitable and that we must learn to act, not be acted upon.       In 2 Nephi, verse 14, it says:

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath
​ ​
created all things, both the heavens an
d the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be
​ ​
acted upon."

​We will have challenges in this life but as we yoke ourselves to the Lord, He will come to match us. We don't have to match Him. Christ will embrace us in His love as we seek His help. The Savior literally suffered for anything that anyone has felt or ever will feel. What a blessing that is! I love this time of year as we celebrate Easter and the fact the Christ lives.

Now for Izabella's baptism!! On Saturday we went and bought fruit in the morning and made a fruit salad for the Gyümölc Buli (Fruit party) we planned to have after the baptism. Izabella is on a pretty limited diet because of some health issues so we suggested a fruit party and she loved the idea! We also got some flowers for her and I finished writing my talk and looking over it. We also had Sport Nap and played a fun game of soccer. Néomi and Levente (Valika's grandkids) came and we actually went home with them afterwards with their mom. We were able to meet with Néomi and had a great lesson with her and Valika. Valika is another great example of positivity to me and she has such a strong testimony that she's not afraid to share! 

We came home and got everything ready for the  baptism and went early to make sure everything was cleaned up. We got there and not shortly after, Izabella, Iza, and Viktor showed up way early! She was just so excited! I have never seen Izabella so genuinely happy and smiley! We started the program after everyone got there and Klára Néni gave a great talk about baptism. After her talk I played a piano solo, 'How Great Thou Art'. Izabella was sitting really close to the piano and part way through the song I saw her start to cry. After it was over I went and sat back down next to her and she said the spirit was just so strong and that she was so happy! 

Then we all walked over to the Fürdő (Indoor pool, we don't have a baptismal font here in Nyíregyháza) and took some pictures. Then, Roberts Elder baptized her. He did a great job. After Izabella came out of the water everyone was hugging her and no one even cared that she was soaking wet! She gave me a big hug and thanked me for everything, it was so tender. She got changed and we met back at the branch house for the second half of the program. I gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and I also told a story about Izabella from when we first started teaching her. I remember when Wilson Nővér and I went over to teach her for one of the first lessons and Izabella had already read the whole pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation and instead of us teaching her, she taught us! Izabella really is just amazing, she is always willing to learn and always positive. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to start teaching her and see her progress to this point! The fruit party afterwards was really fun and everyone had a great time. It was the best night!! András did a great job with the confirmation and church was also awesome, especially since Péter came! 

Have a great week, wherever you are!

 szeretettel, Schoendorfer 

Hannah and Izabella right before her baptism
Jarrett Nover, Iza, me, Ica, Izabella, Kata and Josi (Kata's husband)

Izabella's Baptism!

Iza and her boyfriend came which was super great, they have been there for every lesson and love the gospel! 

Izabella and Klara neni, they are the cutest neni friends you will ever meet. Both learned about the gospel when they were older and are both from Ukraine. They love each other!

Iza made a really yummy cake!

Izabella's Baptism

Jarrett Nover, myself and Andras, who did the confirmation for Izabella on Sunday

This totally reminded me of home and the huge pussy willow tree that we would always cut around Easter time!

Last Tuesday was Nonap! (Women's Day). We were surprised with these paper flowers from a 16 year old boy while we were walking.

We got stuck waiting in a train station in Budapest for 2 hours because all the train were full. Luckily we had a fun Easter package to enjoy while we were waiting, thanks mom and dad.

Easter stickies look great in our window.

There was a holiday here - the Anniversarry of the 1848 Revolution with a presentation with traditional Hungarian dancers in the town center

Monday, March 7, 2016


Hey Family and Friends! 

I hope you are all happy and doing well. 

"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry." I say this to             myself every morning. This is one of my favorite quotes, from one of my favorite prophets, Gordon B. Hinckley. My dad sent this to me in a package recently and I just love it! Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the things that aren't possibly the way you would like them to be, or to forget about all the things that we are blessed with in this life. I know that things do work out and that we will face challenges each and every day, but as we faithfully endure them, we will see blessings

We had another great week here in Nyíregyháza. It is crazy how fast the time is going, I have been on my mission for 5 months today! It feels like I really just got here a few weeks ago. The week started out a little slow, but it quickly picked up. We were able to visit a branch member this week that we've never visited before and I'm so glad we went. Her name is Juliánna, but everyone calls her Jutka Néni. She is so so sweet! Her apartment walls are covered in the most beautiful paintings!! We spent a bit of time getting to know her and she also fed us some of the yummiest food I have ever had! My companion and I didn't really understand exactly what she was saying when she was explaining the soup and she brought out these round little circular crackers with it so while she was in the other room, Jarrett Nővér and I were tossing them in each other's bowl of soup haha. Okay maybe that's not what she was saying to do with the crackers, but it might as well been! She also came out with a bunch more food for us, you don't go hungry in Hungary with the nénis here, that's for sure!

One of my favorite things that happened this week was after we went to Ica's apartment. We had a nice visit with her and were able to read to her. We haven't gone over to her apartment too many times before so I wasn't super familiar with the bus schedule there. We were waiting at the bus stop and almost got on the wrong bus when a very kind lady helped us. She explained when the right bus came and we talked to her at the stop and on the bus. She immiediately opened up to us and talked to us about how there had recently been a death in her family. We did our best to comfort her and talked about how this life is only just a small moment. We gave her a Book of Mormon which she was so grateful for. She said she herself was a religion teacher but wanted to read the Book of Mormon. 

We went back to Sóstóhegy this week to meet with Péter and his family who we found last week tracting. We went in and at first we were only talking with Péter, we were unsure if the rest of his family was even home. But then, we asked if we could watch the restoration video with him and he had to go find his kids to ask for help with the DVD player, ha! Before we knew it we were watching the story of the Restoration with Péter, his wife, and his two kids. It was a really spiritual experience and I am so grateful to be able to teach this cute family. We talked about the restoration more and about the Book of Mormon and Péter told us he believed it to be true. I am excited to go visit them again this week and see how they are doing. 

On Thursday of this week we had another day where we were only allowed to speak Hungarian! The district came up with new punishments for everyone this week and mine was 40 push ups for everytime I spoke English. I slipped up twice and had to do 80 push ups on Friday morning. It was good though, Jarrett Nővér and I woke up feeling really good on Friday and knew it would be a good day! In the morning I promised Jarrett Nővér that we were going to get a let in that day! We had a district meeting, and went out to lunch and then went tracting. We had already tracted for an hour and could've gone home and done the weekly planning we needed to do but we decided to do one more apartment building. We talked to people in the building through the csengő and someone told us they weren't interested, but would let us in to talk to others. We talked to a few more people inside and then we went to door number 7 where we got the most amazing 'let in'! Let ins just by themselves are a miracle for us because they don't happen very often, but when we get a 'let in' and have an amazing lesson it's a huge miracle! 

Juliánna was the woman's name who let us in and she was so sweet and so ready! We introduced her to the Book of Mormon and talked a lot about prayer. She told us how she prays each day and thanks Heavenly Father for all that He has given her. She is so grateful for everything and understands that life isn't easy, but that Heavenly Father really does love each of His children. We were able to set up a second appointment with her again this week and I'm so excited to see how she is doing. At the end of the lesson when Jarrett Nővér and I bore our testimonies she started to cry and gave up the biggest hugs! It was incredible. I love that as a missionary, I am able to get to know people on such a personal level who were complete strangers to me just an hour or even less before and create such great relationships. It is such a great blessing, to help other come unto Christ. I know that wherever we are and whatever we are doing we can make positive differences in other's lives.

On Saturday evening we called Iza (Izabella Néni's granddaughter) and found out that Izabella still wasn't home from Ukraine. Iza invited us to come over anyway and talk with her and her boyfriend Viktor, who have been there for all the lessons with Izabella. We had been there for about 10 minutes when we heard a key in their apartment door and in walked Izabella! We were all so excited to see her and she was also thrilled that we were there. She is so excited for her baptism which is this coming Sunday! It has been amazing for me to really watch her grow and get to know her these past few months. She has such a strong testimony, is so selfless, and is always willing to learn. She is such an example to me!

That's about it for the week. The weather is finally starting to get warmer, and it has also been raining a bunch, but we are just so happy to be warmer! I hope all is well at home for you all!

Sok ​
szeretettel, Schoendorfer 
The stages of tracting, when either no one answers or will let you in

The first stage of csengo-ing
Dora, a YSA in our branch that actually just finished her mission papers!

a flower I painted - I love sunflowers