Monday, July 25, 2016

58 Books of Mormon!

Hello!! So with our goal of 60 Books of Mormon this past week, we were able to successfully hand out 58!!! Which was amazing for us! It was a really cool experience because we really made an effort to talk to everyone, wherever we were, and it was so rewarding. It made me realize that sometimes if we just raise our expectations and work a little harder, we will actually see a difference in the results. It was a great experience. 

Also this week, Willets Nővér and I did a few trainings at some of the Zone Trainings in the mission. It was even helpful for me in preparing for teaching as we thought of a few questions to ask to have the missionaries think about. There were lots, but one was "Why am I here as a missionary in Hungary?" This is a question that is at times, hard to see the answer to, but was a really great thought for me to ponder. I know that I am here to share something that has blessed my life forever, with the people here who have such a special place in my heart. I've said it before, but I really just adore Hungary. I know this is where I was meant to be a missionary. At times it is hard, being told no constantly, or having someone be mean or rude to us, but the good things override the bad completely. 

Speaking of good things, Krisztián's baptism is coming up!!!! This Saturday! He is doing so great and is super stoked for the baptism. He couldn't be more excited! During one of the lessons this week he talked about how we should always dance in the rain. He has had quite a few medical problems during his life but has such a strong testimony of always finding the goodness and happiness in things. He is a great example to me. 

Józsi, who I just love meeting with, told us this past week that the Celestial Kingdom is his goal and that he has a desire to be baptized. This is new for him!! We are really excited. He has come such a long ways from not even believing in God a few months ago, and it has been so fun to see him progress and learn more as he finds out truths for himself. 

We did a lot of talking to people on the street this week because it is the most effective way to find people. We talked to so many interesting people and some of them were even interested in learning more! We even one night walked alongside the Danube River to talk with people which was absolutely gorgeous. We also went streeting with a member this week which was really fun. Her name is Kristi and we just love her! 

In other news, Elder Lindow went home a few days ago and we have a new member of our district, Elder Larson. Also, an update from Nyíregyháza, Péter brought his wife and also his daughter to church for the very first time! They are also starting to teach his wife and kids which is so exciting. Jarrett Nővér told me that as they taught them the other night, Péter was so excited about knowing the answers to many of the questions they asked. I love that cute family and miss them! 

That is about it for this week. I'll leave you with a part in the scriptures I found that I liked this past week, which is 1 Corinthians, chapter 12. I really liked this chapter because it symbolically talks about how everyone has different gifts and different things they are meant to do. Sometimes it is easy to get discouraged when something is difficult or challenging for us, and we see it being really easy for another person. But, it is this way so that we are able to help one another and build each other up. I liked verse 12, which said: 
"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."

I love hearing how you are doing at home and hope you all have wonderful weeks. Lots and lots of love!

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

Flowers from a cute lady in the metro station.

Splits with the Gyor Noverek.

A beautiful library.

Mexican Night - which has been officially instituted weekly.

Gellert's Hill - where we talked to people alongside the Danube.

Splits with Gordon Nover.

Lots and lots of pouring rain and thunderstorms.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy to Be

Hello! It has truly been another great week here in Hungary!!! I love it here!!! I actually don't have a lot of time today, so this week is just going to be a list of things that happened and why I adore this place so much.
1. We bought daisies from a cute néni outside a metro station who was just so kind and happy to be!
2. We finished teaching Krisztián all the main lessons and he is on tract to be baptized on July 30th and is so so excited and happy to be!
3. We carried a way heavy microwave home on the metro this week. Not so happy to be.
4. I went on splits with Benson Nővér in Pest and we had so much fun together. She just got to the country and is just FULL of energy. We also played basketball for their Sport Nap and creamed the people that showed up. Happy to be! 
5. We saw Nagy Imre randomly on the villamos (streetcar) this week and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon. Side note: we saw Imre on my first day in Kispest when he walked up to us and asked, in English "Will you convert me?" He wants to meet in September. He is truly happy to be bácsi! 
6. We had language study with Gizi, Levente's mom. She taught us animal sounds and we had so much fun, we were all happy to be!
7. I was able to go on splits with Greenwood Nővér who is always contagiously happy to be! We also got ice cream which may have contributed to being happy to be :) 
8. We visited Gyöngyi and she gave us one of the best descriptions of Lehi's dream!!! She also asked me to draw a picture for her so I drew Joseph Smith praying in the Sacred Grove. I also drew his house and a little farm with chickens running everywhere, Gyöngyi adored it, and yes, she was happy to be! 
9. We carried 60 Books of Mormon to church on Sunday, while also holding umbrellas in the pouring rain. Happy to be?
10. Lindow Elder and I played a piano duet in church yesterday which the members loved, super happy to be!
11. Last night on the metro I felt prompted to talk to the guy across from us on the metro and for some reason I was really nervous. I have honestly never talked to someone on the metro before because the one we ride is SO loud. I waited a few stops and then realized I really had no reason to not talk to him. So, two stops before we had to get off, I talked to him for a few minutes and he accepted a Book of Mormon and was really interested and said he would call later. I'm so glad I followed my feelings and talked to him. Happy to be!
12. This is the most important one! We took 60 Books of Mormon to church yesterday because we had the members write their testimony, or why the Book of Mormon is important to them on the inside of the front cover. They got really excited about it and then we asked them if each night they would pray for both myself and Willets Nővér to be able to hand out all 60 books and possibly more. We are really excited for this week and think we can do it. Pray for us - and remember to be happy to be!!!
This whole happy to be thing came from our dear Lindow Elder who goes home this Friday, we will miss him. He always talked about being happy to be with whatever you are doing and with whatever situation you are in. 

All my love, s
ok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

Splits with Benson Nover

Our new apartment

Splits with Greenwood Nover

Budapest is so Beautiful!

Pretty door knobs
Elder Lindow goes home on Friday - :(    Member is Bukkosi Margit

Another church member, Kriszti - we adore her!!!

Levente's darling little brother!

Just a few of the 60 Book of Mormons we had members from the ward write in yesterday. We have a goal to give give them all out this week. The average amount of books given out in a week is less than 10.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fields of Yellow

I can't even describe how much I love this place!!! I just adore it!!! I love the busy atmosphere of Budapest but also the quietness that we have at home and as we meet with people to help others to find happiness in this gospel.

One of the funniest lessons we had this week was with a guy named Misi. He comes to English class each week and asked to meet with us. Misi believes in Misi-ism, which was his way of telling us that he only believes in himself. He has some of the best thoughts though, and he is really smart. We told him that he had amazing thoughts and he responded, "Sometimes I think I have too many thoughts, life would be easier as a plant..." We loved teaching him! We talked about the Plan of Salvation with him and he really loved it. 

Besides Misi though, we also met with Krisztián who is getting baptized on July 30th and he is SO excited!! He is so smart and I feel like I learn from him when we meet; I feel like that with a handful of the people we meet with right now actually, it's kind of funny. I feel like I have really gotten a new and clearer perspective of the gospel in meeting with people here that haven't been baptized or even taught for very long. It is a really fascinating experience. We also met with Józsi again and he is still just as much as a free thinker as he was before, but more and more, his thoughts truly line up with the things we teach. He uses different words to describe things but the feelings and thoughts are really similar! We talked about how sometimes we have thoughts and feelings that we aren't able to put into words. I think this is true for all of us. But, as we pray to Heavenly Father and focus on developing a personal relationship with him, and as we express our thoughts and feelings to Him as well as turn those into actions that show our faith, we will ultimately be happier and the blessings and impressions we receive will become stronger and more abundant. 

We also met with Csilla this week which was really great. She is also so smart and in tune with the spirit! The first thing she brought up was that this past week she had found an answer to her question in the scriptures. Her question was "why do bad things happen to good people?" This is a question that is often pondered by people but her find was really great. In Alma chapter 14 it talks about Alma and Amulet and how they were imprisoned and how righteous people were dying. But, in verse 11, its says, "But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, accorrding to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day." This is kind of a complicated thing to think about but it does have a lot to do with the precious gift of free agency we all have. It was also a great reminder to me about keeping an eternal perspective in all things, and that Heavenly Father truly has a plan for us. 

Another really great insight from this week came from when we met with one of the members, Panni. She is just adorable and we talked about overcoming hard things in this life. I loved two scriptures about how God will not give us trials or temptations that we cannot overcome. In 1 Cor.10:13, it says " There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." And in Alma 13:28-29, it says, " But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.

I don't mean to overwhelm you with scriptures this week but I just loved these. I know that God truly won't give us experiences we can't handle and also that He will always be there by our side. There is always something to learn from the scriptures that we are able to apply into our lives in order to live happier lives. 

In other news, we got to see the most beautiful sunflower field this week on our way back from Szeged. As you can see from the pictures, I love sunflowers!!!! I could have looked out at the sunshine field all day long. 

We also moved apartments this past week and now live a lot closer to the belváros and to where we meet with people. It is a nice new place and we are happy to use less of our time traveling to our area each day. Also, yesterday at church we had the nicest surprise!!!! We have been meeting with a woman named Melinda every Sunday afternoon at her workplace because in the past many years she hasn't been able to get Sunday off and she hasn't been to church in quite a long time. I have loved visiting with her, she is a sweetheart!! Yesterday at church though, I was playing the piano at the last minute because the pianist wasn't feeling well and I didn't have time to play the organ because it was really only a few minutes before the meeting started that I found out they needed me to play. As I was playing prelude, Melinda came up and said hi!!! I can't even tell you how excited I was to see her there. I guess something happened at her work and she has the weekends off now! She was overjoyed to be there and just gleaming! 

Have a great week!

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

I absolutely love sunflowers!!!

We were able to stop at a sunflower field on the way home from Szeged.

Don't you just love sunflowers?

Can't get enough of how beautiful the fields are in Hungary!

Fun painting on a building we found.

The train stop in Kispest.

We are loving our new apartment building.

Cute kids that I taught on splits with Gertsch Nover in Szeged.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Boldog Születésnapot America!

Happy Birthday America! 

It has been another great week here for us! We started looking for a new apartment at the beginning of last week and today the contract was signed! We will now actually live in our area so we won't have to spend so much time traveling back and forth everywhere. We are really happy about that. We will move on Saturday! We are feeling really blessed because everything went really smoothly and we were able to find the apartment on the first day of our search! It is a perfect place. I really love it here. It has been a big change from Nyíregyháza to the hustle and bustle of  the busy city of Budapest and we are really busy each day, which I am really happy about. 

We went on two splits this week. Earlier in the week we had the sisters from Szolnok come to us here in Kispest and it was very productive. I was able to go on splits with Greenwood Nővér, whom I just adore! It was the first time we were really together since the Missionary Training Center. She is so much fun!! Later in the week, we went to Győr. It was actually kind of a funny story; because the day before we were planning on going, Willets Nővér got a call from one of her investigators in Győr (she served there before coming to Kispest). The lady's name is Johanna and she said she was in Budapest for the day and we were able to meet her for lunch. We told her about our plans to go to Győr that same night and she said she was also planning on going back at that same time and she gave us a ride!! It was so kind of her!! We had a nice car ride (and a little nap in route) to Győr and the next day on splits we enjoyed visiting with Johanna and eating cheeseburgers that she made for us and also a cake (for Willets birthday!). It was also great to see Ure Elder at the District Meeting we had as well, he is a great District Leader there. 

While on splits with Cribbs Nővér, there was one lady and her son that I talked to in Győr that was really so tender. Her son had some special needs and was in a wheelchair but he was so incredibly sweet and kind. I talked to them for quite a while when we were talking to people on the street and after being told no from others for the past hour, it was really refreshing to talk to someone genuinely interested. It was a testimony to me that there are people who want to hear our message and that is why we have to do our part in being brave to talk to people because you never know when you will have a conversation with someone that is ready to hear your message at that moment. And although her son couldn't communicate very easily, his sweet smile was more than enough and I hope the message of the Book of Mormon will reach their hearts. 

As far as other news from Kispest goes, we had a nice time visiting with some of the members here and getting to know them. There are really some amazing families here, and it has been so wonderful getting to know them better. We taught Csilla again this week (I'm sure I've talked about her before) but we had such an amazing lesson with her. We talked simply about the gospel and how every step of the gospel --- faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end - really works together like one continuous circle. Each of those concepts are so so important and as we remember each of them and continue to do them, we will see such blessings in our life. Of course baptism isn't something we repeat, but, however, when we have the opportunity to take the sacrament each week, we can remember those baptismal covenants we made to remember Jesus Christ and strive to always follow his example and take his name upon us. Everything in the gospel is connected and I think in the end it all leads back to love. Our Heavenly Father loves us so very much that He sent his son, Jesus Christ and because of that, if we have faith, we can repent and we can take his name upon us. As we endure to the end, we can go back to our loving Heavenly Father and forever live with our families. Everything in this gospel can be traced back to love. Csilla said that she would pray about the decision to be baptized and expressed to us that it is a desire of hers, so we are so happy for her. 

We have also continued to meet with Krisztián who has a baptism date set for July 30th and he is doing really well. He is so bright and I feel like often he is the one teaching us. He will be a great member and already wants to help teach others the gospel. 

Last Saturday we had a really fun Vízi buli (water party) with our ward. We had water balloons and played a bunch of fun water games. We played this one game where they had frozen two shirts in a block of ice and we were divided into two teams. Each team had to break open their block of ice and get the t-shirt out and put it on someone, haha it was hilarious. Sunday at church there were SO many people. It felt like I was back in my home ward in America, the chapel was completely packed. In addition, there were two Russian families visiting from Moscow, and it was wonderful meeting them. It is also so amazing to me, that now matter where you go, the church is truly the same all over the world! It was great to have Krisztián at church and also another woman, Gyöngy came. It is so exciting that she came because she hasn't been back to church in over 20 years. We have been visiting her recently and she was so happy to be back. We sat with her and she was the happiest I've ever seen her as she pulled out her outdated hymn book with a different translation and listened to the testimonies that were shared. She is such a cute lady and I'm so glad I was able to she her joy as she came back to church. 

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér
Look, I'm wearing my red to celebrate the 4th of July!
Great going on splits with Greenwood Nover.

Pictures from Gyor - and Cribbs Nover
More pictures from Gyor
I love our view of the Parliament Building, especially at night.
Our happy faces right after we found our new apartment.
I was caught having a little nap in the car on our way to Gyor.
Lunch with Johanna!
Group shot from Gyor :)