Thursday, April 24, 2014

                                                                       Chilling out
                                                     Easter leftovers for the food bank
                                                                        One month
                                                     Hawks Nover and I hard at work
                                                                 The Hungarian group
                                                           Hawks Nover and Michaela
                                                                   Elders being silly
                                                                     Temple Tulips
                                                    The Danish group leaving 4/20/14

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Boldog Húsvetét! (Happy Easter! A few days late.)

I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter. My week hasn't been a big deal. We only had THREE Apostles come talk to us from last Tuesday to this yesterday. We had Neil A. Andersen last Tuesday, and then on Easter Sunday we had President Uchtdorf, and last night we had Dallin H. Oaks. I think we might have Elder Holland sometime before we leave too, so I have truly been blessed since being here.
I think about the great opportunity I've had in my life to listen to God's prophets in person. I've gotten to go to General Conference a few times and then I have had the opportunity to hear them at BYU and now here at the MTC. I can't think of anything better. They are speak with such power and conviction. There is no way anybody could doubt their testimony, for they truly have experienced conversion. 
It makes all of us hopeful that we can someday become spiritual giants, just like they are.

Well my companion and I are up to at least one lesson, sometimes two, lessons a day. We are pretty much finished with all the Grammar lessons. We just are reviewing and vigorously practicing our teaching for the next couple of weeks. As you may have already figured, when learning a foreign language it is easy to say something, thinking you said it correctly, but you actually said it totally wrong and you said something that doesn't make sense, but is funny! We've already had multiple situations with this, but the most recent is we were told that we were saying part of our prayers wrong. Hálásak Vagyunk means gratefuls we are (we are grateful for...). The whole class has been saying Halasok Vagyunk, which actually means fishy we are. So yeah, that's only one out of the many mistakes we've made while talking. Our teachers actually have a "quote book" that they write our mistakes down in and when they need a good laugh, they read it. I thought that was really funny! They know how it feels, they have had their fair share of saying one thing, but meaning a total different thing...somtimes in Sacrament Meeting, or a lesson! I'm glad I'm learning my mistakes now, and not while I'm standing in front of everyone, who is laughing at me. 

It's so nice to sit outside on our P-Day and watch all the new missionaries come in. The work of the Lord is happening and there is no doubt that his children are totally dedicated to him, just by seeing the amount of people coming in, each Wednesday

This doesn't really concern any of you but just to inform you, my P-Day, starting next week, will be Thursday, instead of Wednesday. We were a little bummed when we found out about it, but we will not complain. I'm thankful for the day that we can email and talk to everyone through email. 

I found one of my childhood friends the other day! We had no idea that we'd be in the MTC at the same time. It was so great to see him! We haven't seen each other in seven years. It was really nice to catch up with him.
I don't really have much to say this week. I am just so grateful for the opportunity to be here.  I can't believe that we've been here for five weeks, today. It seems like I've been here for months, but then I look back at the individual days and then I think to myself, "time has flown!"
It's been great hearing from all of you, and letters and emails are always welcome!

I love you all, and may God bless you and your family this year along with many many more years to come!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We had a pretty powerful experience this week. 
During the evening sometimes we are assigned to do TALL, which is an online learning program that helps us learn the language. Well on Monday night when we were supposed to be doing TALL a majority of us decided to watch some Mormon videos on the Mormon channel or some of us (me) was checking out the Hungary Budapest Mission Blog. You should check that out by the way. It's a blog about our mission! I'll be on the site in five weeks! Crazy! Anyways, Grossen Testver (Brother Grossen) walked in on us and saw that we were not giving our 110% but instead we chose to watch videos, which I guess we're not allowed to do, not even during our additional study. Videos are only to be watched on P-day along with blog checking. That's the blog. I guess you could post that link onto my blog, if you want.
We all went back to the classroom and Grossen Testver talked to us about how he wasn't upset, but that he was sad that we were not using the Lord's time wisely. He only spoke in Hungarian but by now we can understand most of what he is saying, and you could just tell in the tone of his voice that he was disappointed in us. After telling us how important it is to use the Lord's time wisely and the importance of giving it our all, he read us the Hungary Budapest Mission's dedicatory prayer. In that prayer it (essentially says) that the missionaries that are called to serve there were "foreordained, before the world was formed, to take their place in Hungary." That blew my mind. I can't believe that. Everybody who served/ is serving/ or will serve was foreordained to do so. Grossen added his own words in and said "You've been waiting a long time and we knew it would be hard, but we chose to accept it. That almost makes me want to cry knowing that the Lord trusted us so much that he already knew and had assigned us to a mission where we would be effective in spreading the Gospel. The last thing that Grossen said that I really liked, not out of the dedicatory prayer was that "they (Hungarians) have been through the worst and they need the Lord's best." I can't believe that I was that selfish as to turn my focus away from the Lord's work and essentially the Hungarian needs to satisfy my own wants. 
This experience and what Grossen Testver said made me think about It made me think how the situations and and outcomes in my life aren't simply miracles, but they are blessings from God. My Adoption is just one example. All the events that happened prior to my adoption and during the adoption process weren't just miracles, but the Lord had them in my plan so that I could end up where I am today: On a mission. On a mission that I agreed to do, even before the world was created. Ah! That gives me chills every time! I know that God knows all of us, individually. My parents often say that while they love me so much, their love is imperfect, compared to God's love which is perfect and I have a testimony that, that is true. 

So prepare to get a little jealous now. (:

Last night, for our devotional, Neil L. Anderson came and talked to us. Yes, he came and was in the same room as us. The spirit was there so strongly. He spoke to us about sermons of Christ and his Atonement, in the Book of Mormon. 
My favorite he talked about were in 2 Nephi 31 and Alma 7: 11-12
I encourage you to look at those this upcoming week as Easter is quickly approaching. 

Guess who is coming to talk to us this Sunday. Elder Holland. Yeah, no big deal. I know (: I am so excited! He is one of my favorite apostles. When he came to our Rapid City Stake Conference I was blown away by his talk and the spirit he brought. I get to feel that same spirit in three days and I'm stoked! 

I have been thinking about how blessed I have been. I have heard from at least six different apostles, in person. Not counting me going to General Conference, but going to BYU I got to listen to multiple apostles at our devotionals and now, here at the MTC, I get to see them very often. I love it. I know that they are men called by God

Do me a favor, sometime this week go to: and at least watch the video that's on the very top. There are other things on the site, but I really love the video and it helps remember the significance of this Easter Holiday.

I love you all.

God be with you 'til we speak again.

Növér Whitaker
                                                                    I love my turtle

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Title: General Conference Review

Sziatók! Hogy Vagy? (Hello All, How are you)

So we got the awesome opportunity last weekend to watch General Conference. For those of you who don't know what General Conference is, it's when many leaders of the church speak to us. The live session is held in Salt Lake City at the Conference Center, but most of us just watch it through broadcast. 

I really loved general conference this past weekend. You can tell by the power the speakers speak with, and the authority in their voices that they're men and women called by God to deliver His message. I have no doubt in the world that Thomas S. Monson along with all of his apostles speak to God and receives revelations for us, in these trying times. 
A few talks/bits of conference I liked:
1) Jefferey R. Holland
This man is such an amazing speaker. One thing he said is "If you think about breaking a commandment, you have already broken in, in your heart." I had never heard someone say that, and it makes me think about how many times I have done this. If I'm truly faithful to the Lord with all my heart, I wouldn't even consider breaking a commandment. I don't want to break commandments through my actions or my thoughts, so I need to not give into even the slightest temptation because it could to breaking commandments, in my heart.
2) Linda S. Reeves
She began her talk about warning us about pornography, but she said something about filtering what comes into our minds that I really liked. She said, "The greatest filter is our testimony of God's love and the Savior's Atonement." I love thinking of our testimony as a filter. If we thought of God's love for us , and the price Jesus Christ paid in order for us to return to live with them again, would we watch the movies, listen to the songs or go to the websites that would ultimately decrease our chances of gaining a stronger testimony? We need to think about our testimony as a filter. If what we're doing is not drawing us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we need not to do it. 
3) Neil L Anderson
In the beginning of his talk, he taught us a lesson about trees and their complex root system, and how it gets stronger as harsh winds blow against it. He compared us to that of a tree, and how through our personal winds (trials, temptations, tribulations, etc.) we can make our roots stronger in the gospel. I loved that, but one thing he said really struck me, having to do with the temple. He said, "The way you feel in the temple should be a pattern of how you should feel in your life." After having many experiences in the temple I've come to discover that the experiences you have there cannot be duplicated anywhere else. I can't imagine how great and joyous my life would be (It's pretty great and joyous right now) if I could have the spirit with me, as strong as I have it in the temple, all the time. I would probably be the happiest person in the world! 
4) Henry B. Eyring
This man is just so cute! I love him! I loved his talk too! During Saturday Morning he spoke about his grandpa and the great inheritance he had, but how he eventually lost it due to a bad investment (or something along those lines). He said, "We as members want to leave an inheritance of Hope for our posterity and genera! tions to come. We can do this by being good examples." You never know who is watching and what they are learning from your actions. 
Another part of his talk that I loved is when he said, "Because of the Fall we have a universal inheritance of temptations, trials, sorrows, sins and death...because of the atonement we have the universal inheritance of cleansing, peace, forgiveness, and comfort. That really struck me. When we're born we will face all kind of temptations and trials. It's inevitable because of the fall. Nobody is safe from Satan. Satan has access to everyone and he strives to bring all of God's children to misery like unto himself. But all hope is not lost. Jesus atoned for our sins and we can repent. We are not perfect, but Jesus Christ was and has borne the burden of our sins. The atonement is available to everyone. It's our universal inheritance that makes us "rich" in the gospel. "Rich" because we have an eternal relationship with He! avenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. 
5) Robert D Hales.
Obedience. A word that should be in everybody's lives. Elder Hales spoke about three ways of being obedient. We can have the natural man's obedience, where we reject God's gospel purely for our own selfish desires, like popularity. We can have selective obedience where we select which commandments to fully obey. Then there is mature obedience, where we truly love the Lord and Jesus Christ so we obey all of their commandments without being asked, or told to do so. I think I've gone through all stages of obedience, more than once in my life. The first two come with temporary joy and pleasure, because it feels good to do what you want, when you want. The only way we can receive true everlasting happiness is by having mature obedience. Putting the Lord's will first, before your own. Loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ unconditionally and putting your life in their hands. This is where we can find true happiness. 6) Gary E Stevenson
He talked about the recent 2014 Olympics, he spoke about the event called the skeleton, where one lays on his or her stomach, with their chin just inches above the ice, reaching speeds up to 80 mph, heading head-first down a slippery track. The event is only sixty seconds, four times, but it's an event that the competitors train for all their lives. He compared our life, here on earth, to that of the four minutes the skeleton competitors train for, while participating in the Olympics. Just like Olympic athletes we were trained before we came to earth, we knew our "four minutes" would not be easy, but that it'd be worth it. My favorite line he said was, "I am a competitor who wants to do my best, and who wants to help other competitors do their best." I have always been pretty athletic and super competitive. I was thinking about that line, and I related it to my past experiences I've had in athletics. Sometimes we get so caught up with "me, me, me." "I want to score!" "I want to win," that we don't remember that even though we're playing against other people, we're playing them to help them become better. Not to beat them and laugh at their defeat, but to build them up to be better athletes. Likewise, we are not here on earth to be alone, we have other "competitors" that can help us along the way. We all need to reach out to our "competitors" so that we can be victorious in this race, called life. 
7) David A Bednar
I love this guy. After listening to the Character of Christ he is in a close run for my favorite apostle (aside from Holland). The talk he gave about his friend wanting a four-wheel drive pickup, ultimately getting it, and then getting it stuck was awesome. The whole message was about how his friend got stuck in a snow bank with his truck, but once he put the firewood, that he cut, in the bed of the truck, the truck gained enough traction  n to get out of the bank, and to make it back home, safely to his family. He compared this to us, and how we need "spiritual traction" in order to get out of the bank so that we can make it back home to our Father in Heaven. 
I could go on and on and on about conference, but I won't. It suffices me to say that I was very pleased with Conference and I can't wait for October to come so that I can listen to it again. Although it will be different because I'll be a day ahead of all of you! Crazy, huh!
8) Last but not least, is our beloved Prophet: Thomas S. Monson. I love him so much and the talk he gave about having patience with one another and loving one another is just what I needed to hear, as my biggest struggle since being at the MTC is having a companion. I love my companion to death, but being an only child, never having to be around someone my age for an extended amount of time is different. I'm getting better, but that talk just instilled some confidence in me that I can love like Christ loves, and that we are all God's children and need to treat each other with respect. 

Well, God be with you 'till we speak again!

Whitaker Növér

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MTC: Making The Change.

Jo Napot! (Good Afternoon)

Two weeks down, seven to go! It's not like I'm counting the exact number of days (forty-nine) until I get out of the MTC and get to embark on my wonderful journey to the beautiful country of Hungary. But seriously, I really love it here. Everyone is super friendly and nice and helpful so it makes the stay here very easy. 
Let's see, what happened this week? Well my companion and I taught our last lesson to our first investigator at the end of last week. We felt like we did pretty good, and that Peter (Brother Beaumont) understood us fairly well. This week we have had to teach two investigators (Other two teacher-- Grossen and Hardy). The only difference is is that these lessons, instead of being five minutes each, they have to be thirty. Which is a lot harder than five. We taught our first one to Adam (Grossen) earlier this week and it didn't go as well as planned. We went into the lesson confident and come out very frustrated and disappointed, but I know that this is preparing us for the field. Not all lessons will go as you want, and we will face disappointments out in the field, so we mise well get used to it. We have our second thirty minute lesson this evening with Monika (Hardy). We'll see how this one goes, hopefully better than Adam's.
Tomorrow we have to go teach a lesson at the Teaching Resource Center (TRC). In which we will talk to an "investigator" that isn't one of our teacher (they usually pull an RM from BYU that served their mission in Hungary). We're excited, and hope that we can bring the spirit into our message, to make up for our broken "Hunglish," As we call it. 
One of the things I really love about this gospel is that it remains consistent, and the doctrine doesn't change, no matter where you go. I see this a lot, with having five different languages in our branch. Every Sacrament meeting, we are expected to pray, speak and sing in our mission language. It sounds so cool to hear everyone in their mission language, even though you don't exactly know what they're saying, you can definitely still feel the spirit as strong, if not stronger if you were all talking in English. This past Sunday, was the Albanians last Sunday with us, they left on Tuesday Morning, but before they left Sacrament meeting on Sunday they all sang "God be with you 'till we meet again." The spirit was so strong as I sat there, my eyes welled with tears thinking about how we don't know how life is going to turn out, but if we remain strong and faithful in the gospel, we will eventually all meet again. Whether it be in this life or the next. It was amazing!
Okay, so like I mentioned before, the devotionals here are awesome! But the one we had last Sunday will be hard to beat, in my book. We got the privilege to hear Robert Elliot, who is the organ player for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, speak about his conversion to the church and all the wonderful experiences he's experienced since his conversion. He had a few mission stories to tell and then we played the organ the rest of the time! The most impressive thing about his organ playing (there were a lot of impressive things), but at one time he injured his hand and couldn't play the organ, so what did he do? He learned how to play, "Go tell them on the Mountain" just with his feet! It was so incredible! I felt a little inferior, seeing how I can't even play the organ, let alone the piano, with my hands! Following Brother Elliot, we go to listen to David Archuleta! Live! Yes! David Archuleta came and spoke to us, and blessed us with his amazing voice. For those of you who don't know who David Archuleta is, I strongly recommend to look him up! He's very popular around the word. He just got done serving his mission in Chile, speaking Spanish, and it was funny because he was struggling the whole time to speak English. 
Sunday night we always are scheduled to watch a movie. Hawks Nover and I decided to go to the "Character of Christ," by David A Bednar! If you can, I would go to and look up that devotional. It's so amazing! I would really like to hear what some of you think of it. It would suffice for me, if you just watched it! It's a powerful message that really makes you think about Christ's Character compared to the natural man's character. If you do happen to watch it, let me know what you think!
Anyways, That's about it for this week. Weeks 2-8 are the same--classes, eat, classes, eat, gym, classes, etc. It's not until the last week that we change anything in our schedule. 
I"m sorry if my posts start to seem repetitive, I'll try to spice things up for you a bit, so you don't hear the same thing over and over again
Again, I would love to hear from all of you. My mom gave me some names and addresses of some people, and I'll try to get some letters out this week! I love you so much!
"Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith."
God be with you 'til we speak again!

Nover Whitaker