Monday, July 28, 2014

 Last train ride with sister Sexton
 My new companions
 Companionship craziness
 More companionship craziness
 Streets of Papa Hungary
 More streets of Papa Hungary
 More streets of Papa Hungary
One of my new companions

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Szia from Pápa
Well, I've almost completed my first full week in Pápa. It's safe to say that it is A LOT different than Sopron. Quite honestly, it's been hard. It's amazing how close you get to a city and the people in it, in just nine weeks! I didn't think leaving Sopron would be a hard thing to do, but when I came to Pápa and had no clue where we live or how to get there, it kind of hits you that, "Wow, I'm in a new city, it won't be the same." Each week during weekly planning we set personal goals to work towards during the coming week.One of my goals that I made, before the transfer was to "Serve with happiness and without self pity." I knew that the chance of me going to a different city was high, so I made that goal with the intention to not think about what happened in Sopron, but to focus on my new area. I would be lying if I said that I completed that goal. This week has been full of "poor me, poor me," "I don't want to be in a different city. Pápa is nothing like Sopron and I don't know anyone," and "I want to go back to Sopron." It's been rough, but I am reminded of what President Hinkley's dad said to him, when President Hinkley wrote him saying that he was discouraged and he didn't exactly know why he was on a mission. His dad gave him a short, but very true statement and said "Gordon, forget yourself and go to work." These past couple of days I have thought of that statement often, and I know that that is exactly what I need to do. I need to forget myself and go to work. Because it's not about me, but it's about the people that I serve and the people that I serve around. I hope that I can apply President Hinkley's dad's words into my missionary work, and to not think about myself and how comfortable or uncomfortable I am, but to always serve others because through
One of my teachers in the MTC always told us, before we left to be "Happy in the moment." That has gotten me through a lot of harder times too. It's so true though. We dictate our own happiness. If we're unhappy, it's not anybody else's fault but our own. We can choose to be happy and see the postives from our trials or we can dwell in self-pity, like I did this past week. Let me tell you from first-hand experience, the first option is SO MUCH better! Be happy no matter what life throws at you. It makes this journey great and when you're happy it makes people around you happy and then everything is great
Missionary work is great, God is good.
I love you all,
Whitaker Nővér

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This is Erzsi. She just got baptized about two months ago
 Beaumont Testvér and all of us. He taught all of us and taught me in the MTC. Isn't his wife, just adorable!?
 this is the Lady that let us pull her honeysuckle and she fed us. Beautiful daughters
 Family Home Evening Monday night.
 For our English class last week, I made a Scrabble Board. It took a long time, but it was fun and I think the English Class enjoyed it as well
 Here's Sister Sexton (Aniko-- one of the Elders investigators) and I at FHE, last night
 This is one of the members and she's probably the craziest but funniest person ever.
 A local investigator.
 This is the Saint János Temple. It's beautiful
 This is only a little part of a big cross-stich project in an investigators home that we visited last week. It was BEAUTIFUL.
This is one of the people who comes to Angol Ora, often. She took us out for ice cream and then bought us chocolate. She knows what sister missonaries need!!!

Michaela Janae Whitaker

6:50 AM (38 minutes ago)

Sister Whitaker made it through her first transfer! Whaaaat!? Wow! I can hardly believe that I've been in Hungary for nine weeks! The time has gone ridiculously fast. It's amazing how the nine weeks in the field seemed to go a lot quicker than the nine weeks in the MTC. Funny how that is, eh?
As of tomorrow I won't be a Soproni missionary anymore, I am being transfered to Pápá. It's still in the same zone as Sopron, but just a little farther east. So no longer will I be on the border of Hungary and Austria, but instead I'll be more within the borders of Hungary. There are ten sister missionaries going home and seven coming in. There is not enough missionaries to make companionships of two in every city so a lot of us have been put into tri-companionships this transfer. Who am I with, you are probably wondering...well get this-- I will be with Kovács Nővér, who is a Hungarian native, and then we will be receiving a greenie! Ahh! It is going to be crazy...crazy fun! Sister Kovacs has been on her mission for about nine months, and she mostly speaks just Hungarian, she has been learning English along the way of her mission with her American companions, but that is it! Then we will have the complete other side of the spectrum as our greenie will be very new in the country. I honestly don't know what to think. It will be good, hopefully we can all learn many things from each other. That is, if we can understand each other!
This week has been great! It was Sister Sexton's last full week in Hungary and we made a deal that we would make it her best week! I'm not sure if it was exactly her "best" week, but if you ask me, it was perfect. We had a lot of programs this week, and great experiences.

Guess who came to Sopron?! Beaumont Testvér. Beaumont Testvér was one of my teachers in the MTC and he just recently got married (his wife is so darling). They decided to come to Hungary for their honeymoon. It was so nice to see them! They came up on Saturday and Sunday just happen to be Branch Conference so President Smith and his wife came up from Budapest, as well as the Branch Presidency from Szombathely. The Elders and I were planning on singing "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing," in sacrament meeting, but then when Beaumont and his wife came up, they offered to sing with us, so the Elders, Beaumont and his wife and I sang in our last Sacrament Meeting together. It was a very very spiritual experience. Plus, it was really awesome to see Beaumont and his wife!

It's really sad to leave Sopron, this past week was especially hard because Sister Sexton was saying bye to all of the members and investigators and little did I know that it would be my final goodbye as well. The people of Sopron have the biggest hearts of any other group of people I have come in contact with, they will give you the shirts off their back and their last bit of food to anyone who is in need. I have experienced both of those, firsthand, while being here.
Sopron will always always have a special place in my heart! I will never forget the people I met and the great experiences I had here!
I hope everything is going well for all of you back home!

Sok Szeretettel,
Whitaker Nővér

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

                       Michaela and her companion waiting at the bank.
                                              A beautiful handmade doily.
          The missionaries with senior couple at a tour of the chocolate factory.
                                                Chalking on the street.
                                   A beautiful doll I found for my Nana.
                                 We chalked out the plan of salvation.

Michaela Janae Whitaker

7:45 AM (23 hours ago)

Wow, this is the last full week of my first transfer. At the beginning I thought nine weeks was going to be forever, but it has literally flown by! Time flies, when you're having fun...or doing missionary work. Just kidding, it's the same. (: I absolutely love missionary work and am so thankful for the opportunity I've had to serve these last nine weeks and I'm so glad that I have many weeks ahead!

I just wanted to share a quick story that we, as the sisters, didn't really have a big part in, but its about one of the elder's new investigators. We were tabling this week, like we always do. We actually went chalking again and Sexton Nővér and I drew out the whole plan of salvation. It was pretty epic! The elders came and we were all tabling together, well Flake Elder gave a pass-along card to this younger man who walked by. He told them that he has attended many different churches before, but didn't seem interested in the invitation to attend ours. Quickly stuffing it in his back pocket, he thanked Flake Elder and walked away.
Yesterday, while we were waiting for church to start and greeting people at the door, we see this man walking up the stairs towards us. Neither Sexton Nővér or I recognized him, nor did the Elders for that matter. We see so many people while streeting and tabling that recognizing someone's face is nearly impossible after only seeing them for a few brief seconds to a minute. Anyways, he comes in and sits down, Heilein Elder went over and started talking to him, just to get to know him, while Flake Elder went to the piano to play prelude music (Ugh, I wish I could play the piano!) I went over to introduce myself to this mysterious man, who no one knows. He was really nice and he actually started speaking English to me (Wow, my Hungarian must be really bad!!) I told him that I understand better than I speak and so he continued to talk to me in Hungarian, but he was really nice.
A little bit later, Flake Elder came over to me and said that he recognized him as the man that he talked to while tabling the other day, and we were all surprised that he came to church! It's kind of a big deal when you get investigators to come to church, as other missionaries can probably affirm. Anyways, so this guy ended up staying for all three meetings, which is more than impressive expecially for someone who we just met on the street. The real miracle was made known after church when this guy was talking to the Elders and he said "When you first gave me this card, I didn't want to come, and so I just stuck it in my back pocket, but as the week went on, I kept on thinking about that little card. It felt like God was telling me that I needed to be here and that I needed to learn something from him. I know this is where God wants me to be and whatever he wants to teach me, I am willing to learn." Talk about mind-blowing. Then it gets better when he added the part that his good friend wanted him to come over and help him with something but he told him that he had another "more important place to be." Can you talk about prepared. Wow! I thought that, that was just amazing. I can testify that God puts people in our path and he prepares those people that we talk to. It's amazing how people are just so ready to hear the gospel. It's important that we always have the bravery and courage to talk to people who we encounter, because they are ready, but they need us to extend the invitation.
That's about it for this week. I'm excited for transfers, I'm not sure if I'll be staying in Sopron, but I would really like it, if I did. The people here are exceptionally nice and great to work with, but I will go wherever the Lord wants me to go.
I hope everything is going well for all of you and I send all my love to you all.
God be with you 'til we speak again.
Whitaker Nővér

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

                                    Missed this one coming down the alpine slide

 We have this great senior couple that takes us places on P-day elder and sister Brown. This is an alpine slide with a conveyor to take you to the top. Beautiful scenery.

                          Elder Brown and Sister Whitaker at the bottom of the alpine slide

                                              Happy fourth of July from Sopron.
                                                              My new haircut
                                          Sopron out the car window
                                        The other missionaries having fun
                                         Michaela climbing the rock wall

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

this is the Town of Agfalva, behind the white church in the background is Austria. Agfalva is about 2 and 1/2 miles from Sopron.

                                    Sister Sexton my companion
                             Found this beautiful arch but I don't know anything about it.
                                       Wooden man on a real tall tree in Agfalva
          One of our prospecting activities chalking on the streets of Sopron. This is my family tree.

 More chalking by the elders gets very good results, people in Sopron are interested in their ancestors like we are.