Monday, September 29, 2014

 Put frozen pizza in the freezer came out with a layer of ice on it.
One of the buildings we tracted in.
 This is the three missionaries on top of their new building.
This is the three missionaries in their (communist) elevator.

Michaela Janae Whitaker

I don't know how to type it out englishly but I'll try....
á is like the a in apple
é is like the a in ape.

These were some pictures from our Kirandulás Sunday afternoon.
Yeah, that's me...praying this morning... haha. I might have fell asleep.
First picture at the baptism the left girl is Andi, i wrote about in my blog email and the girl on the right is one of the girls who got baptized. They are super good friends.
Second Picture is I layed on one of the beds in our room and right when I layed on it the middle cusion fell through because it's literall balancing on two pieces of plywood. Ten-story communist building problems.

Hallejueh, one of my companions can cook. She made us food and it was soo yummy. It was a bunch of cooked vegetables so it was really healthy too.

This is night. I was exercising (the resistance band around my ankles), doing language study (hence the large book on the table), and looking at my pictures...with a huge bun on my head. My companion thought it was funny so she took a picture.

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Hello from Székesfehérvár!
Wow, this week has been a crazy week, and I haven't even been here a full week. Don't worry though, it's been a good crazy!
Transfers were good. I love transfer day, but it is also the most stressful day! There were two of us from my companionship in Pápa who were leaving, so we had eight bags we had to get to the train station before six-thirty in the morning, between the three of us. It is easier said than done, let's just say that, but we made it on time and put our bags on the train and headed to Budapest. We got to Budapest and found all the other missionaries. It's always fun to see those who you have served around. I saw the people I served with the MTC, and from my first area, it was good to catch up with them and see how their work is going in other parts of the country. It's safe to say that the work is going forward everywhere in Hungary! (:
I met my new companions. I am in a trio again, but the other two people who I am serving with are sisters who I served with in the MTC. We are all four months old in the country, six months old in the mission. Seeing how we're all serving together we are "co-seniors," which basically means that we all share the "authority" in our companionship. Usually there is a "junior" and a "senior" companion in a companionshp--senior having"authority" over the junior-- but since we all came into the country at the same time, we are "co-seniors." President Smith has told us that becoming co senior in the mission this early is unusually rare, but with the number of sisters going home and the sisters coming into the country not balancing, people have to step up to leadership positions quicker. Another special thing about this companionship is that my companions and I "opened" Székesfehérvár. Opening a city means that last transfer (nine weeks) there were not sisters serving here, in other words, when we got here we had no investigators, because usually when you are transfered you just take the investigators who had been taught by the missionaries there before, but seeing how there was only one companionship of elders here, there wasn't any additional work to pick up here. Let's just say that we had a lot of finding time this week. Luckily we did some Area Book work (records of people who missionaries have taught in the past), and picked up some new investigators from that (four, to be exact). That was a huge blessing, really.
Okay, so funny story. We were doing some Area Book work the full day here and I looked at a lady's paper who usually comes to our Angol Óra (English Class). We happen to have English Class the next day so I sat down with her and asked her if she would be interested in meeting with us, she pulls out her work schedule for the whole month of October, and basically the days that she will be off, she scheduled to meet with us. That was a huge blessing! My companions thought it was funny because after English Class we were siting at home eating dinner and all of a sudden I said, "Oh, hey by the way, I planned eight programs with that lady... we have programs with her all the way through October." They just busted out laughing. I'll say, it was pretty funny!
We went tracking a lot this week, and it was super fun. There are a lot of ten-story buildings here, and I had never tracked a ten-story building before. In Pápa we tracked all family houses, so it was an experience for me. We didn't get any let-ins but we did talk to some really sweet people. We were on this one floor tracting and we had just knocked on this one door on the floor so we were standing there waiting to see if anyone was going to come to the door, well meanwhile, the guy across from the door we were waiting in front of started blasting this Hungarian Opera and started singing Opera. It was soo funny. I thought it would have been cool to talk to him so we rang his doorbell and knocked on his door, but he didn't answer. I think he was singing too loud to hear. It made our day though.
We have set up with a few other people this week, so I have some big hopes for them too. The Elders gave us a couple of their RCLA's so we need to try to contact them, hopefully they will be successful!
Well, let's see, our apartment is interesting. During this transfer the Elders and Sisters had to switch apartments because now that we are in a trio, the other apartment where we would have lived is not meant for three, instead just three, so we switched apartments and I don't want to complain because I am super grateful to have a roof over my head, but it's been kind of a stuggle for the last couple of days. I'll just say that I've never lived in a ten story communist building before. It's super old, but hey it will work. We just have a really bad smelling bathroom, plus the door handles don't stay in the door, plus their are random wires hanging out of our walls. Plus there are clocks hanging on the wall made from the U.S.S.R. Zeah, it's pretty old, but it's part of living the Hungarian culture, no? Yeah, other than that, it's a blast.
Let's see. On Sunday we got to meet our branch, it's a pretty strong branch. Our bishop served his mission in London, so he speaks English and is really cool. Of course, we try to speak Hungarian, but it's just nice because he does speak English too. Our branch is really really nice though. We have a lot of kids in our ward, which is awesome. Oh, I forgot to mention that we had two baptisms on Saturday. They were two kids. It was awesome to go to that, we had to take a bus over there, and it was in this little swimming pool, hooked to this motel. It was super awesome to watch and the light in those kids' eyes was just heart-warming. They knew that they were making the right decision. I actually asked one of the little girls how she felt after her baptism and she said, "really good and happy." It was super cute! Anyways so we met a lot of the members during that. After the baptism we all went outside and ate süti (dessert) that was on the trunk of a communist car. Only in Hungary... I love Hungary! We met the cutest little girl, her name is Andi. She's nine years old and she is the cutest little girl ever! I can't stand it. On Sunday she gave me and my companions each something special. We had only known her for barely twenty-four hours but she gave us each something that she made. It was too precious!
Sacrament meeting on Sunday was really great. Of course, being the newbies we are, we had to introduce ourselves to all the members in sacrament meeting and bear our testimonies. It went well, there are so many kids in the branch so whenever I would look out into the congregation all the little kids were looking up and smiling at me. It was a sight. Sunday school was good, I sat by a recent convert. I'm glad I was too, because I brought my Hungarian scriptures with me, and when we started looking up scriptures up in the Bibia, I had no idea which book, or in what chapter and in what verse we were reading so finally he just told me to hand over the book and he looked them all up for me. What a nice man... (: Relief Society was good as well, We had a good chat with the Sisters and talked about a conference talk from last General Conference. The one given by Elder Anderson where he talked about strengthening our roots like how trees do when mother nature does her thing.
Speaking of General Conference. Next week is general conference and my companions and I are praying that they will let us watch it in English, because well it's easier to pay attention when you understand what is going on. That's something that I have struggled with on my mission, if I don't understand someone, I just seem to tune them out, but now being in my third transfer where I actually feel like I am understand more and more everyday, now it's easier to keep my focus on the conversation, but hopefully they will let us watch conference in English! I love conference time! It's the greatest. Listening to our prophet Thomas S. Monson and his apostles is a great opportunity to get questions answered and have our faith strenghtened. I challenge all who read this to go to conference with a question in mind because those men pray for inspiration, weeks before the actual conference to know what to say. If you have a question write it down and I'm sure that something that someone will say will be an answer to your question.
I guess the last cool thing that happened this week was on Sunday afternoon, we went on a kirandulás (adventure). One of the girls from our Profi (advanced) English class invited the missionaries to go on this adventure. It ended up being this "forest" which was actually really cool. We brought a few of our investigators and just hiked in this forest. It was suuper fun. Tons of bugs and spider webs, but it was fun, nonetheless. I took a few pictures. We hiked for a little while and stopped at this watch tour thing, then hiked a little bit more to this pavillion place, we stopped and had a little lunch. It was a blasty blast. My companions and I were talking to some people we know, because some of the people we had never even met before, but anywho we were talking to acouple of the people we were familiar with and it was just fun because they would help us with our questions about Hungarian and then in return we would help them with their English Questions. To be honest, they were teaching us English. They were telling us about all the different tenses we have in English. I honestly didn't know that there were so many! I just talk and don't think about what tense I'm using. We had a really great time chatting., the whole area was about a four mile hike, but we didn't do all of it as we had to head home because of another obligation we had. It was pretty much the best Sunday I've had on my mission. We talked about the church to some of the people who wasn't familar with it, and it was really great!
Well this is definitely not a short email, but a lot happend this week. I'm really really excited to be here in Székesfehérvár. The first couple of days are always the hardest, because you have no clue where you are, you don't know anyone, and you just feel a little bit out of your comfort zone. Luckily, I already knew my companions and had a good relationship with them in the MTC, so that wasn't so much of a struggle. It took us a few days to get all settled in, but now we are all good and have been having a great time.
I'm so thankful to be serving here in Szekéesfehérvár. Heavenly Father loves these people of Hungary, I can see it in our work, every day. I hope you know that I love you all, and Heavenly Father knows and loves each of you as well. I wish you alll a good week, and until next Monday...Viszonlátásra.
Whitaker Nővér

Friday, September 26, 2014

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Hey, cool story...the whole internet is "down" in Pápa, hence the reason why I am on at the branch house right now, I don't know how that makes sense, but whatever. Anyways so we kind of split the emailing time between all three of us so I literally have about ten minutes to write. 

 We got our transfer calls and I am going to Székesfehérvár and I will be serving with two of the sisters I served with in the MTC ( Another tri-companionship).  We are opening Székesfehérvár, which means there wasn't a pair of sisters there this past transfer, so I have a feeling that we will be doing a lot of finding, but that is A-okay with me. I'm super excited. I will miss Pápa, but I have faith in the missionaries that will be here, they'll do good work. 

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! My birthday was good! We had cleaning checks so I woke up at 6:30 and started cleaning from the get-go. We cleaned for a good four hours, but we passed our cleaning check, so that was good. It was a "Black Monday," which means it wasn't a P-Day like normal, but it was a working day. Today, Tuesday is our P-Day because transfers are tomorrow. Woooo! Anyhow, yesterday I went to a program with one of the senior sisters, without my two other companions, it was a little weird, but it was good experience for me. It was a good program overall. Then for Family Home Evening, we celebrated my birthday, by eating cake and playing games. It was a good day overall. 

Like I said, I don't have much time to write, but this past week was a BLASTY BLAST! We had some good times, for sure!

Missions are great. 

Sok Szeretettel,
Whitaker Nővér

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

 Rain everywhere and these little cars flood so easily.
 See any resemblance??? lol
 Beautiful night heading back to the apartment.
 A Hungarian tradition soccer before a lesson.
An older picture but one of Michaela's favorite.

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Hello friends and Family!
What can I say, this week has been pretty great! The work here in Pápa is definitely not easily, but who said it would be? Yeah, I can't think of anyone either.
Monday night for Family Home Evening, we played soccer. It is pretty much a Pápa FHE tradition, at least during the summer. Sadly though, I think we have seen as much as we are going to see summer-wise. It has gradually been getting darker and cloudy around here.
Tuesday we had a program with one of our investigators who has been flat-lining for the longest time but then all of a sudden went up after we brought a member to one of his programs, but then on Tuesday we started to see him go down again. Getting investigators to come to church is not an easy thing to do. Of course, Hungary is NOTHING like the USA where people can just get in their car and drive to church when it is pouring rain or snowing. Instead, the people in Hungary usually ride a bus or walk everywhere they go. The only problem with that is bus times don't run whenever you want them to, but instead they have a schedule and if that schedule doesn't comply with your schedule well...what are you going to do? We have a few investigators that can't make it to church because of bus times, but then if we were to change the time of church (which is 8:00 AM-- a little early, eh?) then other members who the bus schedule works for now, wouldn't be able to come. You can't please everybody, right? Hűha! It's hard for sure. Anyways, sorry back to our investigator. This specific investigators doesn't have a problem with getting to church, but he goes to another church, the evangélikus church, with this Néni every Sunday. We can't get him to come to our sacrament meeting. I secretly think he has a crush on this particular Néni, he's a bacsi so it's perfect. No, but really, we don't know what to do. We have offered to walk with him, everything, but he doesn't want to leave his other church and his friend, so we will see where we will go from there.
Thursday, we had zone training in Győr. That was great as always. It was nice to see some of the missionaries I'm familiar with. Plus, we had the pleasure of having President Smith (Mission President) and his wife come to our zone training. He talked to us about, "how to be successful in missionary work." "If you want to be successful in missionary work, you will have to do it the Lord's way." I learned a lot about how important it is to do it the Lord's way even if "Sister Whitaker's way" is a lot different. We think that we know ourselves better than anybody else, but actually there are two people who know us better than we know ourselves. God, because he is the Father of our spirits, and Jesus Christ, because he completed the atonement in our behalf. He felt everything that we will feel or will ever feel in our lives. I am so thankful for this knowledge and it brings me great comfort when I do things that is contrary to "Sister Whitaker's way,"' because I know that God will bless the people that I teach, through his way, infinitevely more than I could ever by doing it my own way. I'm so thankful for my Mission President and his wife, they are such shining examples to me.
Saturday, we had Sport Nap (where we play sports with our investigators). The pálya where we play is a thirty minute walk so we walked there and started playing soccer, well it started to sprinkle a little bit, but we kept playing, then it started raining a decent amount and well...we kept on playing. Then it flat-out down-poured on us, some of the people who we were playing with decided to take shelter by a building, but VandenBerghe Nővér and I decided to keep playing soccer, as well as one Elder and a church member. It's safe to say we were SOAKED. We played for a while and then decided to take shelter with the others, we thought it would be just a ten minute down-pour and that it would soon pass over. Try an hour down-pour. A flat hour. Luckily one of the members had a car and drove us home so we didn't have to walk. Unfortanetely I left, my blow-up rubber raft at the apartment or otherwise we could have just rafted home.It was so intense. I tried to take a picture from our apartment. Cars, here in Hungary, are not tall so there were tons of cars in the middle of the street because of flooded engines. It was crazy. Okay, it was super fun, but super wet! It will definitely be a day to remember.
Sunday after church we had another big rain cloud pass over it and it down-poured for a good thirty minutes. Not as instense as Saturday, but still really wet.
That was my week. Unfortanetely, we didn't have many lessons, but we hope to schedule with some people we found and set up with them.
This is the last full week of this transfer. It's crazy that another nine weeks have gone by. I'm coming upon my third transfer. I'm super curious what will be instore for us, as a tri-companionship during this next transfer. It will be good, whatever happens, happens.
I hope everything is going great back home. It looks like it's already snowing in South Dakota. Good luck with that (; 
Szeretlek benneteket,
Whitaker Nővér

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

 A great local dish
 Beautiful local embroidery
 More embroidery
 From the senior sisters

 Bad hair day
 Excellent local dish I love it
 Escargot still in the shell lol

 Hanging out
 With a member
 Another local favorite

 Beautiful embroidery
 Local church
 A local members beloved notebook

 Nice pic

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Hello friends and Family,

Things in Pápa have been awesome. This week especially has been really good. All of our programs, I walked out very confident, which says something. When you're speaking a difficult foreign language which you dont understand all the time, but you feel like you spoke pretty well and that you understood everything the investigators said, its a good feeling. I feel like we really helped them progress and that our investigators just seemed to "get it," this week. It was truly a blessing.
We had three investigators that came to church this past week. It was these investigators first time coming to church, since I've been here, so that was really awesome. Fast and Testimony meeting is always awesome. I love hearing others' testimonies and how they exericise their faith, etc. The members here in Pápa have very strong testimonies.
This one is a short one, sorry. Maybe I'll have juicy things to write about next week. I hope all is going well back home. I love and miss you all.
Szeretlek benneteket,
Whitaker Nővér

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Goodbye Summer.
Well, we walked in the pouring rain to our internet kavé, this morning. I think the end of summer is coming to a close, by the weather and by the number of kids complaining about going back to school.
I can't believe it's the first of September! Time goes by so quickly, that's for sure!
This week was really good in Pápa. We had the opportunity, on Saturday, to accompany one of the members at her work place to participate in a cooking contest to represent our church. More specific, it was a pörkölt cooking contest. We get there and the senior sisters are already chopping up paprika peppers, they were waiting for the Elders to get there so they could start chopping up wood for the fire. Something that I found was really interesting is how creative and innovative the Hungarians are. For the "fire pit" they used old tire rims, like I would have never thought about that in a million years in America. Maybe, I am just not that creative but  I thought that was awesome. Working at a Scout Camp for three years came in handy on my mission, who knew? Not going to lie, they needed help cutting the wood, so I took it upon myself to take the little hand axe and help them (Where is my best friend-- shout out to Emily Sorensen). We got the fire started and put a liter of pure fat in the dutch oven, luckily we put all of it in the dutch oven, so there wasn' t any to put on the bread. That's what they do here is put fat on bread and put some onions on top, some paprika and they call that lunch. I shouldn't judge it if I haven't tried it, but in my mind it doesn't seem that appetizing, but Hungarians love it and Hungarians make the best food, so I think they know what is good and what isn't. Anyhow, we put the fat in, and added the meat and water and just let it cook above the fire. It ended up being really yummy!!
There were tons of groups who cooked pörkölt. It was actually a charity event, where people could come around and taste your pörkölt for 400 forint (about $2). I asked one of the ladies who was in charge of the event, where the money was going and she said, "to whoever needs help in the world...wherever they are...America, Africa, anywhere." I was just sooo blown away. Hungarians are the most charitable people in the world, they don't have a lot, but they give everything to other people who need it more than they do. I am just so inspired by the Hungarian people, everyday. I don't know if I came to Hungary to help them, or so that they could help me. I'm sure both, but I feel like they have taught me so much more than I have taught them.
My mission has been great, I am praying for all of you and wish you all good health and sucess in whatever you pursue (Is that cheesy or what?)
Whitaker Nővér