Monday, August 29, 2016

"cseppről cseppre" (drop by drop)

Hello!! It's been another really great week here for us. We went to Pest (a different area than ours) to go on splits with another set of sisters which was really great. I went with Benson Nővér who arrived in the country the transfer before this past one. I remember going on splits with her a few months ago on her second week of being in the country, so it was really fun to see her again last week. We also had the Szombathely Sisters on splits this week which was SO fun because they were both in my MTC group. I was able to go on splits with Vasica Nővér who is my darling Serbian MTC companion, it was fun to be with her. Also, because of Zone Training, I got to see ALL the sisters from my MTC group in the same day which was amazing because that never happens! I just love seeing them. 

We had a really great Zone Training where we talked about lots of finding ideas. We also talked about the story of Moses and the Red Sea and I think that story if so interesting because the people had to just start going and then the sea was parted. Which means that we need to show our faith first by taking action. 

We saw Krisztián a few times last week and he is doing so great!! He is doing a lot better health wise and he is one of the most positive people I have ever met! One of the coolest analogies I have learned from him is that a sunflower can't grow in a dark room. It needs sun and water just like we need certain things to live. Obviously there are the physical things we need to survive but we can also compare the sunflower to things we can do to be truly happy in our lives and some of those ways come through scripture study, prayer, service, smiling, etc. It also reminded me of a talk that one of the members, Zsuzsa, gave at church. She was talking about how important it is for us to find spiritual peace in our lives, no matter what age we are. It is something we each need to find, children and adults alike. She also talked about how one of the biggest temptations in our lives is not doing the things that truly bring us that spiritual peace. When it comes to this peace, we should not put things off that will stop us or hinder us from receiving it. Things like daily prayer and scripture reading, spending time with family, taking time to ponder, are ways we can find spiritual peace in our lives, no matter what age we are, or what our backgrounds are. Like Zsuzsa said, we can add to this peace "cseppről cseppre" (drop by drop) as we do these things. 

We met with some really cool people this week who we haven't met with before. One of them was named Ali and he is from Turkey. He is a historian and knows so much! He is really interested in prophets and thinks it is amazing that we have a living prophet who guides our church. The other two people we met with were from Nigeria. We were approached by Taylor on the street the other day when we were at a bus stop, where he works. Some of the bus stops in Budapest are also bus stops that they use for tourist buses and Taylor works for 'Hop On Hop Off', which is one of the tourist companies here. Anyway, he came up to us and just said that he wanted the address to the church and wants to come! He had never even seen mormon missionaries before or heard of our church. He gave us his phone number and so last week we called and he said we could come over to his apartment any day after 5 pm to teach him more about the gospel. We went over and had a wonderful lesson with him and also with his friend Ken. They grew up together and call each other brothers. They are both really interesting in what we have to say. Taylor and Ken are some of the kindest and most humble people I have ever met! They have lived in a few different countries because they just love learning about different cultures and meeting people from all over. Something funny that Ken said was "If I don't like it, I move, I'm not a tree!" We all sat on the floor in their apartment and had an amazing lesson and the spirit was so strong. It was really cool because at one point, I just looked around and we had two guys from Nigeria, one Hungarian, and two American sister missionaries and I just felt so grateful to get to know these people and help them learn about our Savior Jesus Christ and things that have helped me in my life and also to be able to learn from them and their experiences. 

This next week we will be able to watch the Re-dedication of the Freiberg Germany Temple which I am really excited about, I have never seen one before. Have a great week! I would love to hear how you are doing and what you are up to so feel free to send me a note!

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

 Vasica Nover, myself and McGregor Nover; we were all in the MTC together. It was super fun to be on splits!

Today we took a tour of the Parliament Building, it was amazing!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Szent István napja

First, a history lesson:

August 20th is a really big day here in Hungary, it is called Szent István napja! In the year 1000, Hungary's first king, the Christian St. Stephen, was crowned on August 20th and the Hungarian state was founded. A case containing the right hand of St. Stephen is carried in a procession from the Basilica through the streets of Budapest. In 1949, Hungary accepted it's constitution. They have parades, music, and fireworks at night over the Danuve River to celebrate. We didn't get to see any of the other festivities but lucky for us, we live right by the Danube river and walked by and saw the amazing fireworks, some of the best I have ever seen!

In other news, we have 3 companionships in Kispest now! I forgot to mention this last week. We have 4 Elders now and also myself and Willets Nővér. Also, I think I forgot to talk about this as well, but we went to a little "young women's camp" last week for the girls in our ward. It was in a place called Nagykovácsi which is a small town close to Budapest where one of the members live. It is a really small and cute town! The girls were so excited that we were able to come and spend a little bit of time with them. We went out with them and talked to people about The Book of Mormon and they loved it. At the end of the day we had given out 17 Books of Mormon! One other thing to note from our trip to Nagykovácsi is that I totally got flashed by a néni -- yikes.

Willets Nővér and I made some great goals for the upcoming transfer to really focus on missionary work in the belváros (the center of the city, on the Pest side where we work). I am really happy to continue working with her. We also had a mission leadership meeting last week which was great, the missionary work is really picking up and we talked about some great ideas. Our Mission President talked about how there are huge blessings waiting for us as we diligently serve our missions and love the people of Hungary. 

Something funny from this past week happened on the metro. Willet Nővér and I were headed home and we ran into the metro station just in time to jump onto the last car of the metro. After the doors closed, we looked into one of the other cars and realized there weren't nearly as many people and there were places to sit. So at the next stop we got out of the car we were in and hurried to the next, almost missing it before the doors closed. I don't know how to describe these doors closing but let's just say they will chop your hand off if you aren't careful. Maybe look up the number 3 metro on Youtube if you're a visual person; anyways, we called it the Hungarian fire drill. 

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We were able to meet with Csilla again this week and we had a great lesson. We talked about the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:2-7) and about how Christ will always lovingly welcome us back and wants more than anything that we are in His fold. A scripture in the Book of Mormon that I really love about this is Alma 5:60, which says:

"And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed."

Also, I don't remember if I mentioned this, but Krisztián has been having some serious health problems lately. He is amazingly doing much better now and he is one of the most inspirational examples to me. He has such a positive attitude and has complete trust in the Lord that whatever needs to happen concerning his health, will be what is right for him and what needs to happen because God has a specific plan for each of us. He is so excited to start helping out the missionaries more with lessons and he told myself and Willets Nővér that we make a great team together. Last week, he asked us if he could teach us about charity and some things he learned while he was in the hospital. He has really strengthened my testimony and I am so glad I am able to learn from him. He talked about how much love our Heavenly Father and Christ have for us​ and that charity is truly the pure love of Christ. He talked about how we need love ourselves so that we are able to love others. I thought that was a really interesting thought. 

​Have a great week!​

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

A part of our new District.

Holocaust Museum.
A beautiful Synagogue near the Museum.

Just one of the numerous perks of having to walk by the Danube River to get home to your apartment at night is being able to watch the fireworks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Here's to another two months in Kispest!

We received transfer calls this morning and we were jumping for joy!!! Sister Willets and I are staying together here in Kispest!!! I am so excited to keep the work going here with her, because I think we make a great team together. 

Last Monday, we were just walking around and decided to climb the more than 300 stairs to the top of the Basilica and it was so fun! We were also able to go to an organ concert while we were there, which was amazing!

This past week was great and it flew by and we stayed really busy. We visited a member that is going through some hard times right now and it was really strengthening to be with her. She is really strong and it was fun to spend time with her because her little daughters name is Hanna! We also met with a handful of new people this week which was really cool! Also, Krisztian is one of the best examples to me! He has had some pretty serious health challenges, this past week especially, but he is so strong. He knows that everything will work out in the end and that he is loved. 

Something that I learned this week from the scriptures is that calm seas don't carry barges to the promised land, but stormy seas do. This came to me as I read and studied Ether 6. In many cases, our challenges are the times when we learn, grow, and are strengthened the most. I know that is true and I have been able to see it with Krisztian. Also, I think I talked about this last week, about the woman who helped the missionary couple from Romania in the grocery store, well her name is Annie and we met with her this past week. She is incredible!! It was so neat to meet her. We didn't get to know her too well because we weren't able to meet for long but we are going to meet again soon and I am so excited. I have the best feeling about her. She is the sweetest lady and has the most darling little son. Sister Willets told me that she feels like part of the reason I am here in Kispest right now, is to teach Annie. 

A few other exciting things from the week are that we went tracting and spent some time with Sister Szabadkai, the mission presidents wife. While we were tracting with her, the cutest woman, who talked to us for the longest time, gave us necklaces that she made! It was adorable and she was so happy to see us. Also, we were with Gizi and cute little Álmos one day in the train station waiting for someone and I was talking with Álmos and walking around with him and we kept finding little pieces of money on the ground! He thought it was so fun and his mom was so confused hahah. Sister Willets and I went to a small village outside of Budapest this week and spent the day there. There was a member who wanted us to teach his 90 year old mom. We met with them and it was really great. She is a really sweet woman and Sister Willets and I started teaching her. Also, just to help you picture this, we were all sitting in a small room that didn't have enough chairs and so Sister Willets and I shared a chair as we talked with this family. It was great to be there though because we were able to visit some members that live in this village that we normally wouldn't be able to visit because they live so far.

On Sunday there was a baptism for one of the daughters of a family that is originally from Kispest. They heard that I was an organist and asked me to play for the baptism which was really so fun for me. Sister Willets and I also sang a duet 'A Childs Prayer' in Hungarian for the baptism which was really pretty, here is the link if your interested:

Have a great week! 

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

We were able to attend an organ concert last Monday!!!  So great!!!
We climbed with the 300 stairs to the top of the Basilica.

We visited the cutest family with darling children.

The kids loved wearing our name tags.

One of our favorite members, Kriszti, who is a chef, taught us how to cook a little bit.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Prayer in a Bottle

It!s been another great week here in Kispest!! On P-day last week we went to Buda Castle which was beautiful! Our week was a little bit more rough though, we had 8 lessons that fell through or didn't work out but hopefully we will be able to find a better time that works for investigators this coming week. 

We went to Békéscsaba on splits which was really fun! It is the smallest little town, but I love it. I went on splits with Sister Dorny and we even got to ride bikes! Sister Dorny is in her first transfer but one of the bravest people I have ever met! We met with a really sad lady named Rozsa and had a lesson with her and by then end we had her smiling! There was also a woman on the street who started speaking only German to me and it was the weirdest thing because I understood what she was saying! It was so cool! She knew Hungarian too so that's how we continued communicating because Hungarian is better for me, after she had told me a little bit about herself in German. 

In Kispest this week, while we were tracting, we found the coolest lady named Beatrix!! We were just about to leave the building and were by her apartment right as she was coming home. She and her cute family just moved in recently and are really interested in meeting with us. After talking to her for a few minutes in Hungarian, she randomly spoke in perfect English and asked "Are you from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" Well, yes, yes we are! She was really nice and I hope to be able to go back and meet her and her family. 

We were able to meet Balázs this week and we taught him about the Restoration. He came to English class for the first time last week and just happened to come on the same week that another member came (she doesn't normally come) and they live really close to each other! After the class, they took the same bus home and were able to talk a little bit about what our church believes and he said he wanted to meet with us! Our lesson went really well with him and I am excited to meet with him again this week. For English class this week we had a scavenger hunt which the class loved! They had so much fun! 

One of my other favorite experiences from the week was learning how to cook with Gizi! She taught us how to make túrógombóc which were really yummy! Cute little Álmos was at home and was so excited to see us. At church yesterday he knocked on the door of the classroom we were in and he was asking everyone where the Nővérek were haha. At church I was also able to play the organ for Sacrament meeting which was really fun, I haven't been able to do that in a while! One last little story from this week is a referral we got. There was a missionary couple from Romania visiting Hungary and they were in a grocery store trying to figure out which water bottles were carbonated and which were not. A lady came up and asked them if they wanted help reading the Hungarian because she spoke English. Her name is Stephanie and after talking with this senior couple, she told them about how she had been looking for a church to join and how she wanted to know more about ours! We were able to call her last night and will meet with her this week! 

This morning we had a beautiful run by the Danube River and the view is more breathtaking each time I see it. I absolutely love it here. Transfer calls are next week so I will email on Tuesday. To end this post, I just want to put this little story from Winnie the Pooh that one of the Elders in our district shared with us the other day. Here's the excerpt:


IT rained and it rained and it rained. Piglet told himself that never in all his life, and he was goodness knows how old--three, was it, or four?--never had he seen so much rain. Days and days and days.

"If only," he thought, as he looked out of the window, "I had been in Pooh's house, or Christopher Robin's house, or Rabbit's house when it began to rain, then I should have had Company all this time, instead of being here all alone, with nothing to do except wonder when it will stop." And he imagined himself with Pooh, saying, "Did you ever see such rain, Pooh?" and Pooh saying, "Isn't it awful, Piglet?" and Piglet saying, "I wonder how it is over Christopher Robin's way," and Pooh saying, "I should think poor old Rabbit is about flooded out by this time." It would have been jolly to talk like this, and really, it wasn't much good having anything exciting like floods, if you couldn't share them with somebody.

For it was rather exciting. The little dry ditches in which Piglet had nosed about so often had become streams, the little streams across which he had splashed were rivers, and the river, between whose steep banks they had played so happily, had sprawled out of its own bed and was taking up so much room everywhere, that Piglet was beginning to wonder whether it would be coming into his bed soon.

"It's a little Anxious," he said to himself, "to be a Very Small Animal Entirely Surrounded by Water. Christopher Robin and Pooh could escape by Climbing Trees, and Kanga could escape by Jumping, and Rabbit could escape by Burrowing, and Owl could escape by Flying, and Eeyore could escape by--by Making a Loud Noise Until Rescued, and here am I, surrounded by water and I can't do anything."

It went on raining, and every day the water got a little higher, until now it was nearly up to Piglet's window . . . and still he hadn't done anything.

"There's Pooh," he thought to himself. "Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right. There's Owl. Owl hasn't exactly got Brain, but he Knows Things. He would know the Right Thing to Do when Surrounded by Water. There's Rabbit. He hasn't Learnt in Books, but he can always Think of a Clever Plan. There's Kanga. She isn't Clever, Kanga isn't, but she would be so anxious about Roo that she would do a Good Thing to Do without thinking about it. And then there's Eeyore And Eeyore is so miserable anyhow that he wouldn't mind about this. But I wonder what Christopher Robin would do?"

Then suddenly he remembered a story which Christopher Robin had told him about a man on a desert island who had written something in a bottle and thrown it in the sea; and Piglet thought that if he wrote something in a bottle and threw it in the water, perhaps somebody would come and rescue him!

He left the window and began to search his house, all of it that wasn't under water, and at last he found a pencil and a small piece of dry paper, and a bottle with a cork to it. And he wrote on one side of the paper:

                        PIGLIT (ME)
and on the other side:

                IT'S ME PIGLIT, HELP HELP!
Then he put the paper in the bottle, and he corked the bottle up as tightly as he could, and he leant out of his window as far as he could lean without falling in, and he threw the bottle as far as he could throw --splash!--and in a little while it bobbed up again on the water; and he watched it floating slowly away in the distance, until his eyes ached with looking, and sometimes he thought it was the bottle, and sometimes he thought it was just a ripple on the water which he was following, and then suddenly he knew that he would never see it again and that he had done all that he could do to save himself.

"So now," he thought, "somebody else will have to do something, and I hope they will do it soon, because if they don't I shall have to swim, which I can't, so I hope they do it soon." And then he gave a very long sigh and said, "I wish Pooh were here. It's so much more friendly with two."

I love this little story. We are all like Piglet at some time in our lives. It is okay to ask for help and in fact it is strengthening to get help. I have found comfort in the knowledge that God is our Heavenly Father who truly loves us and is always there for us in times of need. All we need to do is throw out our little note in a bottle and He will help us.

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

Beautiful Buda Castle.

Pretty bridge on our way back to our area.
Splits with the gyor sisters.

You have to be careful, because your dress can 'blow up' from the metro station.

We talked with the man for a while, his name is Kovacs Janos (Joseph Smith in English) we enjoyed chatting with him.

Morning runs are so enjoyable along the Danube River.
We love cooking with Gizi.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Krisztián's Baptism!

This week was wonderful! Krisztián had his baptism on Saturday and it was great! There were a few hiccups, like someone forgetting to fill up the font an hour before the baptism but it all worked out. We had fun filling up lots of buckets in the bathrooms and pouring them in, it was a project! I was able to play the hymns on the organ which I loved! I haven't been able to play the organ since the Missionary Training Center. The ward really appreciated it, they love music. Elder Beumont, who is serving in the Pest area right now, was able to come and baptize Krisztián. He taught Krisztián when he used to live in the Pest area a few months ago, but since then, Krisztián has moved into our area. I am so grateful that Willets Nővér and I were able to teach him and also that we were able to learn from him. He has such a strong testimony and a really amazing outlook on life. The Relief Society sisters made sandwiches for the baptism and Krisztián was smiling the whole time! 

In other news, we went on splits in Sopron which is an absolutely beautiful! It is only about a half hour train from away from Vienna and I'm pretty sure I was able to see some of Austria just being in Sopron. It is also a little bit cooler weather there which was really nice. I loved being in Sopron though and it reminded me of living in Austria last Summer. I can't believe that was more than a year ago now. 

So, back to our trip, the train tracks were under construction so getting back to Budapest was a little bit interesting. We got on a train but then had to switch to a bus that took us to Győr and then we got on another train from there that took us back to Budapest. When the bus got to Győr though, we looked at the schedule and saw that our train was late and wasn't leaving the station until 6:35. So, since Willets Nővér knew that city really well after serving there and since we were hungry, we decided to hurry to the belváros (city center) and get some gyros for dinner real quick. We got some food and walked back to the train station and thought we still had 15 minutes before the train left. As we walked into the station, we looked at the schedule which had changed and now said it was leaving at 6:21!!! I looked down at my watch, which is a minute or two fast, and it said it was 6:23! Without much though, I sprinted towards the train and yelled to get the train conductors attention, who had just waved the train off to go. The train blew it's whistle and luckily the train conductor saw us and allowed us to get on. She was laughing at us as we ran up with our side bags, our over-night split bags, a huge bag of random foods (soups, canned goods, pastas) that a senior couple in Sopron had given to us, and each of us with a really hot gyros in hand haha. We got on the train and it started moving before we even sat down. The train conductor was laughing and said "jó étvágyat!" Which is basically, enjoy your meal. She was so entertained by us and said we got on at the very last moment! Willets Nővér and I felt like we cheated death a little, haha, okay not exactly but we felt SO lucky! 

Can I just say again that I truly love serving here in Kispest and love being with Willets Nővér. We have found a handful of new people to start teaching this week and we are SO excited! Most of the people we have been able to set up appointments with are the people we found last week during our intense Book of Mormon give out. We also had splits with the Szeged sisters and I had so much fun being with Vielstich Nővér who was in my MTC group. She is doing great. One more cool experience from this past week was when we went to visit a less active woman named Lenke! She was so excited to have us over and she also had her cousin there with her who was interested in learning about our religion! We had a great first lesson with her and taught her about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. Lenke's cousin's name is Teri and we are excited to go back and meet with her this week.
One of the scriptures I really liked this week was Moroni 6:4, which says:

"...they might be remembered and nourished by the good work of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and finished of their faith."

I know our faith in Christ can be such a powerful influence and that it is a great help in my life. I feel so blessed to be here in Hungary to share this message of love with these amazing people because I know it is true and I know that Christ truly is the author and finisher of our faith. 

Sok szeretettel,  Schoendorfer Nővér

Baptism photos!!! Krisztian was so happy!!!
Carrying bowls of water to fill the font.

The beautiful town of Sopron.

Vielstich Nover and I got caught in the rain...again.

Some bacsi's playing chess in a park, I took this picture because it reminded me of the beginning of the movie    A Bugs Life with the old man playing chess by himself, hahaha.
This is when we just barely made it on the train with our gyros!

We ran into Krisztian on the villamos (street car) on the way to his baptism AND afterwards! Both by chance!

We built a temple with the primary children yesterday, SO much fun, they are all so adorable!

I love these children :)