Monday, September 26, 2016

A roller coaster week.....

Sorry, but this is going to be a short posting today, but I will briefly tell you about our week. Last Monday we had such a great time at the zoo with Gizi and Álmos, they are so much fun and we even got to pet some kangaroos!!!! We were also able to visit Hosok tere (Heroes' Square which features the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  

We did however have a week full of ups and downs, between being really sick, lots of cancelled lessons, some new people to meet with, Krisztián writing us a song, an investigator coming to church and then leaving before it started, spending a lot of time at the Hivatal - Records Office (Government Building - think of the DMV in the States and then times it by 10), and more. 

We were blessed to be able to attend  Johanna's baptism in Győr which was the absolute highlight of our week! I got to teach her once on splits a while ago and we have had lunch with her here in Budapest. She asked me to play the organ for her baptism and we also had a special musical number which was beautiful. She is so amazing!  Yesterday they had the primary program in church and it was too cute! I played piano for the program and the kids did a great job and it was so enjoyable to watch, as always. 

I hope you all have a great week and I'll leave you with a few quotes from my absolute favorite prophet (are you even allowed to have a favorite prophet?) I adore this man and his advice -- President Gordon B. Hinckley.

"I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we “accentuate the positive.” I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good

It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.
It all works out. Don’t worry.
I say that to myself every morning."

"Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way."

"Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds."

Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great purpose in heart.

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

We had a great time at the zoo -- az allatkerti!
We even were able to pet the Kangaroo.

Gizi and Almos :)

Heroes' Square in Budapest

We were tired after a long (but very enjoyable) P - day.

Baptism in Gyor!
This was the highlight of the week -- Johanna's baptism!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Going back to my grennie city with Greenwood

I was able to go back to Nyíregyháza for a split with Greenwood Nővér!  It was such an amazing few days! We went in the evening and arrived in time to go over to Péter's! He was so excited that I was back in town for a little bit! He even made my favorite dinner, túrós tészta! He was so happy that he remembered what it was haha. It was so fun being with their family again, I adore them! They wanted to hear all about life in Budapest and what I had been doing. I felt so at home being with them and it was really cool to see how much they have progressed. His wife, Angéla is now really interested in learning more about the gospel and so is their daughter, Viki. Angéla is always sure that they pray before they eat. Angéla also told us a story about how Péter was climbing a mountain recently and his foot had been hurting before and so he said a prayer that he would be able to make it up safely. Angéla talked about how before we came by their house on that cold day in February for the first time, Péter very rarely prayed. Now, he prays several times a day. They all seem so happy and are doing so well, the kids are back to school and their dog is still happy as ever. 
After we left, we took a bus back to the city center and on the way back I tried to give Iza (Izabella's granddaughter) a call. She didn't pick up so I sent a text. But, when she didn't answer, we decided to head home. Then, about 15 minutes later we got a call from a random number and it was Izabella! She just kept asking where we were and then said she would be there soon and hung up. We weren't able to call the number back so we were really confused because we had talked about meeting in two different spots. Then she called again about 15 minutes later and we realized we were a good 20 minute walk away and it was already 9 at night. Sister Greenwood and I sprinted to the train station where cute Izabella néni and her granddaughter were waiting for us. Izabella was absolutely thrilled! I was so happy to see them and it was so fun to sit on a bench with them and catch up. Izabella went on and on about how she doesn't think there will ever be another girl in Nyíregyháza like me, it was so cute. She didn't want to say goodbye and asked when I would be there again. She is such an amazing lady!!! We also ran into Enikő at the bus stop who was another lady I taught while I served in Nyír. She saw us waiting for the bus and walked over after she had worked late. It was so good to see her too! 
The next day we went over to visit Valika - my hungarian grandma. Valika was one of the best examples to me when I served in Nyíregyháza and was always so encouraging. She made us a nice fancy lunch and is still the most adorable chef, she made chicken for us, in the shape of hearts! She kept adding things like garnish or olives and saying "it's not ready needs to be just right." It was so nice to chat with her. I always learn so much from her every time I am there, she is so wise. We talked about miracles and read in Moroni 7 which is such a great chapter. She talked about how there are so many small miracles in our lives each day. She said that the birds being able to make nests is a miracle and even us being able to talk is a miracle, especially with me coming from America and being able to communicate with her in Hungarian. That is a miracle for me too! I am so grateful I was able to go back to Nyíregyháza for a little bit and it was also great to be with Sister Greenwood. Nyíregyháza will always hold a special place in my heart! 
In other news from Pest, we had an MLC Meeting which went really well, we had some great lessons, and also got caught running in the pouring rain where we then went soaking wet to a lesson with Taylor and Ken, the Nigerians. Annie got a job this past week and we are so happy for her. She had a really cool experience where she was praying to find a job and when she finished praying and checked her email, there was a job offering that a friend had sent her that was in the perfect location for her and the right amount of hours she can do. I am so grateful to be able to teach her, she has such strong faith and is so down to earth. 
We also met with Krisztián who always does whatever he can to get us to laugh - it's always his goal, and he does it well! We also got to help in primary which was so fun. The kids will put on a primary program this coming Sunday which will be really cute. Oh, we also met with József again, the bácsi who we found tracting who told us about how he almost got baptized a few years ago and the one whose mom was a member. He told us that he has been reading so much in the Book of Mormon and that he wants to get the Danube River! He just needs to find someone willing to get in there with him to baptize him haha. Have an amazing week!
Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér
Peter and his family, his wife Angela, daughter Viki and son Peti. What an amazing family.
Here is my wonderful friend Izabella! 
And her granddaughter, Iza.
Corn - Kukorica
It's was so much fun being with Valika once again!

Splits with Sister Jarrett, she goes home at the end of this transfer in October.

Angelika, a church member here in Pest.
We were pretty excited when we found some American soda. 
Here we are after being caught in the rain, we had umbrellas so luckily at least our heads stayed dry, but everything else got really soaked.

Monday, September 12, 2016

'Toto.....I've a feeling we're not in Hungary anymore'

Well, we are now officially teaching more foreigners than we are Hungarians! It has really been a great week though and we were able to see so many amazing things happen! We do have a few Hungarian people who we are teaching right now and one of them is a new young man we found tracting the week before and his name is Andras. We set up a time to meet a few days later after speaking to him briefly at his front door. When we met with him, he told us he had read 40 pages from the Book of Mormon already and had been reading on He is out of town a lot for work, but hopefully we will be able to meet with him again soon. 

We went to Sopron this past week. I love going there, it is such a beautiful town and the people are really kind. I was able to go on splits with Sister Grogan who was in my MTC group. It was so fun to be with her. I think I told the story of the man named Jozsef who we found tracting whose mom was mormon. We tracted his door a few weeks ago and a few days before we were there he had been thinking about what he would do if the mormon missionaries came by again, and we came! Anyway, we finally got to meet with him this past week and it was amazing. He knows SO much about the church and has studied religion a lot. After we met with him he said he was going to pray about baptism and start reading from the Book of Mormon again. 

Now to our foreign investigators. We are continuing to teach Taylor and Ken, the Nigerians who approached us on the street one day and said they wanted to come to church, and this past week when we went, they had invited another one of their friends who wanted to learn more about the church!! It was amazing! They have so many questions and are really looking for the truth. We met with another guy this past week named Mr. Deen. He is from Africa and studied with the missionaries a few years ago. We had a nice lesson with him and were able to talk more about the plan of happiness with him, as he is still struggling with his mom having died a few weeks ago. President and Sister Szabadkai came with us to the lesson and it was really funny because at one point, 
Mr. Deen started singing and then President and Sister Szabadkai joined in singing, it was hilarious!! Mr. Deen also has so many questions that we are hoping we will be able to answer but I at least know we are bringing peace into his life. He also wants to make us African food one of these days and told us not to let him forget! 

We met with two french speakers this week (who also speak English), one is from the Congo and one is from Canada. They are both so sweet. The one, Annie, is the lady that the senior couple from Romania found, that I talked about a few weeks ago. She is so incredible and really searching to find the truth. She is one of the strongest people ever and so so sweet. We helped her and her cute son get to church yesterday and she really enjoyed it. She has learned a lot of things throughout her life through, really unique experiences and I love learning from her. She already believes so many of the same things that we teach! Her son is such a sweetheart and had fun with the other kids at church. 

The other french speaker is named Debora and she found us when she stumbled upon a  page a little while ago. We got her phone number through a media referral and got to meet her this past week. She has only been learning English for about a year so she still struggles, but she speaks amazingly well. She also has been learning about many different churches and was so excited to get a Book of Mormon from us in French. She said that she really felt good while we were there and with the message we brought her. She doesn't know a lot of people here in Hungary and is so excited to get to know more people at church. She is so fun and one of the happiest people ever! 

Speaking of happy people, I am still so grateful to meet with Krisztian, who was baptized in July. He has such a positive attitude that is completely contagious! He walked into the room the other day for our lesson happily singing a song and he always cheers me up! We also had a really amazing lesson with Csilla this past week. She has come so far and next week we are talking to her about baptism. She has a really strong faith and I just love her! I am about out of time and I feel like I wasn't even able to fit everything in, but I truly love being here! I want to share an amazing quote that I heard the other day by Neal A. Maxwell.

“God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.”

​I know that is true and I have seen it so much on my mission. Have a great week!​

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér

Sopron is such a pretty town.

I love Sister Grogan, we were in the MTC together. 

These are beautiful birds that fly into the trees each night in Sopron.

Monday, September 5, 2016

My life in Budapest

This week went by so quick! We were really busy pretty much every day which is great! We are meeting with József again and had a great night at a member's house and an amazing lesson. The kids were so excited to have so much company over and were really fun to have around. We had a great split with the Pécs Sisters and did some singing finding! We went close to one of the metro stations and sang and played the ukulele and were able to talk to some really cool people about the gospel. 

We also had the most amazing lesson with Csilla this week. I absolutely love her and I learn so much from her. I read Moroni 7 earlier in the week which we felt like was perfect to share with her and it was! That is an amazing chapter and it is really jam packed full of wonderful teachings. I love in verses 16-17 how it talks about the spirit of Christ. I thought it was interesting reading that and then thinking about our conscientiousness as human beings because that is truly what it is. Another point that I thought was amazing as I studied this chapter was the fact that so much of the Book of Mormon takes place before Christ came. Prophets and angels were sent to make the coming of Christ manifest to the people, which we also read about in Mosiah 3:13, during King Benjamin's speech, "and the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them." Christ came in the meridian of time. We are able to read in the Book of Mormon about a time that took place hundreds of years before Christ all the way through his coming and to hundreds of years after He came. I think it is such a testimony that the prophets, since the beginning of time, testified of Christ. From the time of Adam and Eve, a savior was needed and it was all a part of God's plan for us, His children. 

Lately, we have been finding so many foreign people. Or should I saw, they have been finding us! We met with another guy this week who was from Africa. We got in contact with him the same week that his mother had just died and we were able to go over and talk about the plan of salvation with him and he said he felt so comforted. He is a very humble man with a lot of questions and we are excited to go see him again. We visited our new Nigerian friends again, Taylor and Ken, and they are doing great. They still have lots of questions and slowly, but surely, we are able to do our best in answering them, they said to come over whenever haha. They are both such positive people and love to learn about what we have to say. Also, I don't know if I mentioned her before, but there is a woman from Győr who I absolutely adore and her name is Johanna. I met her one day in Budapest when she was here taking a test and went out to lunch with Willets Nővér and myself (Willets found her when she was serving in Győr). Then, we were already planning on going on splits to Győr that day and so she drove us there! She is such a sweetheart and when we went to teach her the next day on splits, she made us burgers and had a cake for Willets Nővér's birthday! She is amazing. Anyway, the reason I'm talking about her is because she just decided to get baptized!! She asked me to play the organ for her and I am going to accompany her and Willets Nővér singing together. We are going to go on splits on the weekend of her baptism and I am so excited, she is such an amazing lady and I'm so grateful for splits to be able to meet such great people all over the country. 

We ran into Melinda on the street the other night which is amazing! She is a less active who has been so busy lately and we haven't been able to get a hold of her. She has been having some hard times and she said that the day before she ran into us, she had prayed for the first time in a long time and that it was no coincidence that we ran into her. We had a great talk with her and are going to go on a walk with her tonight.

I had a rough experience tracting the other day with a really grumpy man who was being really quite rude to us about our beliefs, and criticizing the way we spoke Hungarian. This happens more than I wish it did, but for some reason I felt really hurt more than usual. We learn how to brush things off quick as missionaries because of these experiences but it still hurts, especially as you do get better at the language which means you can understand every rude thing they say to you. I thought to myself that it was easier as a new missionary, it hurts more when you can actually understand them! Anyway, my point of sharing this is that, after experiencing this for almost a year as a missionary, I have truly felt why missionary work is so hard to do a lot of the time. It goes back to what I learned from a talk by Elder Holland in the MTC. Missionary work isn't an easy experince because salvation is not a "cheap" experience. We need to expect to take a few steps towards calvary, and spend a few minutes in gethsemene because we are representing Jesus Christ, who suffered so much for us. We can't do what He did, we cannot. But, we are His missionaries, His disciples. Elder Holland said, "what type of disciples would we be if we didn't know some of the suffering Christ experienced?" I know that as we teach the gospel to others, we need to be strong for Christ who went through so much more for our happiness. We were at a member's house yesterday (Kriszti) who I am so grateful for because her words touched my heart and I know it was exactly what I needed to hear after having this experience. She talked about how we should always resemble Christ. We should be kind to everyone around us and love them because we never really know other's situations and what they have or are going through. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to bring this amazing message of the restored gospel to people here, even with the rough patches along the way.

We were able to see the Freiberg temple re-dedication yesterday and it was amazing!!! It was wonderful because Elder Bednar spoke in German (he served a mission there 40 years ago) and then Elder Uchtdorf also spoke (in his native tongue - German) and talked about how it is out of love that we learn languages. I love that! It was a really spiritual time and I was even able to sing in German which was really fun for me! It was really cool that it was a re-dedication because they talked about how we can personally "re-dedicate" ourselves. I know that is true and I am so grateful for this gospel and how we are able to consistently progress with Christ's help. 

Have the best week!

Sok szeretettel, Schoendorfer Nővér
Freiberg Temple Rededication
Some of the my MTC group - love these sisters.
I randomly ran into Elder Ure at the mission home.

Chalk finding - it says: Why is family important? If this topic interests you, call this number.

Practicing the ukulele for our music finding fun.