Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I know I come home in a week, but I'm sending some of these home. We were up in Budapest this past week for zone conference and since it was my birthday, my lovely district leader, Elder Haroldsen, took us on a sight-seeing trip around Budapest. I took some shots. I hope you like them.

This past week has been awesome. So many great opportunities.
First of all, Tuesday was my birthday. I turned twenty-one. Watch out, I'm legal. That could be dangerous for any parties involved in the future. Tuesday happen to be the day that we went to Budapest for my last Zone Conference. Turned legal in Budapest. Party of my life.
No we didn't party too hard, we were sitting in our conference for six hours so we couldn't do much. However, after zone conference my district took me out on the city and we walked around Budapest for awhile. It was loads of fun!
Zone Conference was good. We talked about how to invite the spirit into our lessons. It was really good training from our mission president and his wife, our zone leaders and sister training leaders.
Thursday, we got the opportunity to go to Kecskemét for splits with the sister training leaders. That was fun. Both of our sister training leaders happen to be former companions of mine. Plus, I got to see my girl Kíra. Sister Kovács, Hungarian girl who I served with in Pápa. Her family lives in Kecskemét so I go to visit and talk with her and her family.
Got to teach some really sweet people while there. Super nice people.
Being a dying missionary is real. I probably won't send anymore emails. I'm sorry, but it's been real and I'll see you guys on the other side!

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Attachments8:43 AM (23 hours ago)


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wow, this week has been awesome. I'm dying soon as everybody knows and I've kind of been waiting for an amazing week to finish out this transfer. This one, so far, has been that week that I've been looking for, but I still have three more weeks so we will see if any of the future weeks beat this one.
We extended a baptismal date to one of our investigators. A really cute 23 year old girl (AH). AH is really special to me, she is studying to be a personal trainer. Her and I get along really well and often talk about exercising and stuff like that. She speaks and understands English fluently so that makes talking easier. Super solid. AH first started meeting the missionaries a few years ago, just for the sake of learning English, but over time she's developed an interest for the gospel. She's been taught all the lessons and she has accepted everything, it's been pretty awesome to be part of teaching her. Honestly, I don't feel like I've done that much, because I came to Szolnok after she had been taught everything but the big three commandments (Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, and Law of the tithe), but we got those knocked out. Easily accepted them and now she's on bap. date. Her baptismal date is scheduled for the seventeeth of October. Unfortunantly, I won't get to attend but I will be there in sprit for sure! AH is also going to talk to her family about meeting with us because everyone in her family are really open to the gospel. Her dad loves her reading the Book of Mormon to him outloud and her brother has recently said that he wants to be baptized into a church but wants to know which one. Lots of good potentials, right? It will be good.

For the rest of our investigators, they are doing well. We had one investigator at church this Sunday, which is really good.

Thursday there was a special broadcast from the Budapest Stake Center that we watched. For all of you Rapid City people who know Heather Shirley and her family...yeah, they live here in Hungary. Anyways her husband, Cameron has a stake calling and they arranged for a concert pianist from America (Dan...oh crap I forgot his name.) Wow, I stink. I forgot his name. Dan Culverall, Something like that. Anyways it was really good. He spoke and played beautiful music and even though we watched it through broadcast it was still really beautiful. His messages were inspiring and I learned a lot about having faith and trusting in the Lord, from him. The spirit was felt that night.
Time is running out.
Love you all,
Whitaker Nővér

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Sep 14 (1 day ago)

to Connie, me

Monday, August 31, 2015

Well it's been another hot week here in Szolnok. What can I say. Summers last forever here, but I've heard from a few little birdies that the weather is supposed to be cooler this next week so I am highly anticipating the "cold-front." 

This week we tripled the amount of programs we had last week. That was an accomplishment in itself. 
Progressing slowly, but still progressing. 

Lesson learned this week:

Yesterday, during church, we received a call from a family who said that they were interested in meeting with us because their five year old son had questions about God and the devil. I was kind of surprised that a five year old boy would have questions such as those running through his mind. The father requested that we meet that day, in a few hours. We set up a time to meet with them at the branch house. The missionaries had a few other meetings that required their attendance but we after we finished those we met them. 
The family was really nice in the beginning. Turns out the mother's mom (the child's grandma) is really sick and her time here on the earth is coming soon. The boy was curious what would happen to his grandma and where she would go. I was very impressed that a little boy would be curious onto this subject. 
We started teaching about the plan of salvation, but we were teaching a five year old boy. YOU HAVE TO TEACH TO YOUR INVESTIGATORS NEEDS AND AT A LEVEL THAT THEY WILL UNDERSTAND. No matter how old or young, uneducated or educated, unattentive or attentive they are. I made the horrible mistake of teaching everything I knew about the plan of salvation and to a little boy who is five years old, he's not going to understand nor pay attention. 
I still feel really bad and the lesson ended up with the parents saying that what we have said was good, but it's been a lot of information for the boy and he's starting to lose interest. They left and I felt like the worst! Why would I not sit back and think about him and his needs. 
I don't know what will happen out of it. They didn't schedule with us again. We didn't even get through the whole lesson. 
I definitely learned my lesson. We shouldn't teach everything we know, and teaching according to the investigators needs is the most important. 
Oh well, no regrets, just lessons learned. We move on. 

Other than that. It was a good week. My companion and I lost our keys on Monday so we were hajléktalan for the begining of the week. Not really, we stayed at a friends house. it was all good. We ended up calling our landlord and getting another set of keys from her. She was super nice and understanding. We really have no clue where they could have gone. Everything is good now though. Then we lost our phone, that was kind of a freaky story. We were at our friends looking for our keys, Sister Rankin took the phone out because we had gotten a call. She claims that she put it back in her bag, but then we looked in her bag and it was gone. We looked around, called it. Nothing. A few hours later we get a call that somebody found our phone in a window flower pot at the hivatal (city-center). The flower box was on a window, high above our heads. The guy who found it said he was watering the plants and he saw a phone standing up in this flower pot and decided to call the first number he saw. It happened to be our friends number because we were calling it all morning. Anyways, phone was returned to us. We were just kind of freaked out for the rest of the day how in the world did it get there. Weird, right?

Be responsible, kids. 

Whitaker Nővér

Michaela Janae Whitaker

8:48 AM (1 hour ago)

to Connie, me

Monday, August 10, 2015

Szolnok! Well, here I am. This place is completely different than Debrecen. Little. Quiet. Not the prettiest. Filled with cool people though. That's the point.

 Transfer day was rough! All three of us got transferred out of Debrecen (white-washed). Among the three of us we had eight bags. Only one of our elders got transferred out. The day before we went up to Budapest we all got train tickets together because if we don't get them together we can't sit next to each other.
Our two and half travel to Budapest ended up turning into a seven and a half travel. #publictransportationproblems. To make a long story short... well there's really no way to make this story short. Basically, Wednesday morning comes earlier than I would have liked. We get up at seven to catch the eight o'clock train, but then we missed our villamos to take us to the train station so we had to call a cab. A cab rolls up and puts our bags in the back, well there's still three girls that have to make it to the train station so we ended up having to call another cab for us. We all arrive at the train station, looking for our elders. No where to be found. Time got close for the train to leave, we jump on the train, elders still no where to be found. Train leaves. We try and call the elders a million times, no answer. Ends up our train goes to a city, we have to get off, catch a bus that goes to another train, which eventually goes to budapest. well.... uhhh. Because we are three girls and had eight large bags with us, when it was time to get off the train and get on the bus in Nyíregyháza we spent most of the time trying to drag all of our bags that we ended up missing the bus. Ended up staying in the Nyíregyháza train station for two and half hours while waiting for the next bus. I literally ended up sleeping on a bench like a hobo. Don't worry though! We actually ended up doing some finding in the train station. Sister Sellers and I went to the little ladies room, but here's the cool thing in Hungary in order to use the bathroom you have to pay and you pay for exactly two square of toilet paper. Well the lady who took our money saw our name tags and asked about the church, so we had a little finding moment. Got some phone numbers átadtunk them to the missionaries in Nyíregyháza. That was cool. Finally the next bus came so we jumped on that one super fast. I passed out. I was just super tired the whole time. Sellers fell asleep too. What's the advantages of being in a trio? I don't know! Our third companion, Dohm, came to the rescue and ended up talking to this lady on the bus and gave her, as a referrel, over to the Miskolc elders. Wow, bam! Even through all this bad luck we are still finding people. No big deal. So we ride the hot bus for like an hour, get off, make it the second train on time (thank goodness) and "We're off to Budapest!"  That train ride was the longest train ride of my life. I don't know why everything was so slow. The train ended up stopping twice in some random field for like thirty minutes. We didn't think we'd ever get to Budapest. When we rolled in it was three thirty in the afternoon. Everyone had already met at Keleti, grabbed something to eat and headed to their new cities before we even got there! Story of my life. It's okay. I got to say hi to a few friends that had been waiting on us.

Poor Sister Rankin had been waiting on me for a long time. I had just gotten off a train that I had been on for a good three hours, plus all the other switching over prior to that. Well I ended up turning right back around and getting a ticket for the next train to Szolnok. We jump on the train to Szolnok. All of a sudden this huge rain storm comes out of no where as were about to board the train. Rankin and I get soaked. My bags get soaked. Life can't get any better. Oh wait, but there's more. We're sitting on the train waiting for it to depart and all of a sudden train workers get on the train and say that we have to get off and go to another train, but the vágány for this train is on the other side of the train station. We get off the train, run (literally) over get on the other train. We have to stand because the train is packed and we take off for Szolnok. Luckily the train ride to Szolnok is only an hour and a half so not too long. After traveling for seven and a half hours, what's another hour and a half.

I got here to Szolnok, lookin pretty rough, but I got here.

First couple days here were good. It's only a million degrees but other than that. It's a pretty chill city. The people I've met so far are super chill and nice! They are like solid too. No games with them. They meet with us because they want to and are just super solid. Super nice though!

Church on Sunday was amazing! I don't think I've felt more welcomed in any branch before than Szolnok's. Everyone here was super nice and greeted me like they knew me! Everyone came up to me and stroked my face (my favorite.... hahahahaha). But really, there are a lot of coool members here. Guess who followed me to Szolnok. Kovács Kira, my hungarian companion I had in Pápa. She even gave me a S/O (shout out) in chruch. First S/O in Hungary. I can scratch that off my bucket list.
Oh I forgot Saturday night we went over to our MCL's (Mission correlation leader) house and had a little game night with his family and some other members. It was so fun. Played lots of games, laughed at our language barrier at times. It was a good time.
I can't really talk about our friends, down here in Szolnok, yet. I just introduced myself to the majority of them this week, but next week will be good and full of teaching and success. I can't wait.
Eight weeks and I'll be on a plane back to America. I'm excited but it will definitely be hard. Gotta finish this strong. Thanks for all your support while I've been out here. Love you all
Whitaker Nővér