Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We had a Hare Krishna feast. I only ate a quarter of the food they gave us. It was soo good.
This is the Hare Krishna tmeple room it is very beautiful.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 More cool cows

 These are some of their decorated cows.

 Michaela got to go visit a Hara Kristina community they live in houses like this and believe cows are sacred so they keep them in very nice barns.

Michaela Janae Whitaker

This week was probably one of the coolest weeks I've had since being on my mission. It has been filled with good finding experiences and great interaction with the members here in Hungary.
The main event that I wanted to focus on happend on Friday. There is a member here in Székesfehérvár who joined the church about four months ago, but before he joined the church he was very devoted to Hare Krishna (here is a link to explain more about Hare Krishna:
On Friday there was a huge Hare Krishna festival in a falu (village) about an hour away from Székesfehérvár. This member invited us to go and check it out and we gladly accepted his invitation. We didn't know what to expect at all. None of us knew about Hare Krishna before we accompanied him. All he said is that they are very spiritual and religious people. That's about all we knew.

This Hare Krishna village was actually inside another village. Everyone who lives in this little village is a member of Hare Krishna. As we drove through the village and I saw the tiny school house and other facilities I thought that this would be a little cute party, we'd eat some snacks, have someone talk to us and then leave, but no. We get there and we go to their temple and you walk up to the temple and you see all of these shoes outside. It was requirement to take off your shoes in order to walk into the temple. Plus it was really muddy and rainy that day so I don't blame them, but I think it was more of a respect thing. We take our shoes off and walk in. Immediately everyone came up and started talking to us. I was a little nervous and  I was thinking in my head, "oh boy, what will they think of all these Mormons coming..." but they were the nicest people ever! They all knew the Mormons and treated us with the highest respect. It's hard to explain what all happened, but it was such a great expereience. We were so happy that we went. We had multiple opportunities to share the gospel to many people and the greatest thing was people were coming up to us!
This week is mini transfers and seeing how we are the only tripanionship of sisters in the mission, we knew we would be affected. Of course we were. I will be staying in Székesfehérvár and so will Sister Schnoor. Sister Cropper, however, will be going to Debrecen. We will miss her, but we know that there are people in Debrecen waiting for her to bring this wonderful message to them. It has been a good five weeks here in Székesfehérvár together.
I am glad I will be staying in Székes. The big transfer will be at the end of November, so there are no garauntees that I will be staying in Székes for much longer, but for at least four more weeks. I really love it here. The branch have a Halloween Party scheduled for Friday, that will be a blasty blast. Then next week we are holding a Family History presentation, where the Family History missionaries from Budapest will come down and give a nice presentation to all those who are interested on how to start doing their family history. It will be grand.
Our investigators are doing great. We are currently teaching a lady who has Multiple Schrosis ( I have no clue how to spell that). It's actually really sad, because she has a testimony of the gospel and accepts everything we say, but she is literally house-bound. Her apartment is SUPER small and the staircase to get up to her apartment is even smaller. It's a one person staircase with at least ten super steep stairs leading to the door. She hasn't been out of her house for years. She has a four year old son, who you can tell wants to play with his mom and do fun things with her, but because of her illnes it hasn't just affected her physical abilites, but it also has affected her mental capactiy. So she is not always able to do the things he wants to do, the same goes with her husband.  She is all the way there, but her motor skills are slow. She comprehends everything and is very open and accepting but the physical handicaps are a little discouraging at times. With the permission of her husband we hope that we can get her to church with some help from the brethern in the church. Hopefully eventually we can get her out, because she is a great woman and I can see her testimony in her eyes.
It's so hard to send these blog emails because I could literally sit here for hours and give you all the juicy details about my week. Every week is great and so much filled with the spirit. I absolutely love being a missionary and being able to feel the spirit so strongly on an everyday basis!
Serving a mission is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. No doubt about it.
I love you all, and God be with you all.

Whitaker Nővér

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

 These statues were outside a cathedral
 Standing outside a Cathedral in Székesfehérvár
Our District, on Driggs' last Sunday in Székesfehérvár. Driggs is the Second one to the left.
A rainbow, over Székesfehérvár

Friday, October 17, 2014

We made friends at this fountain thing. Namely the little girl with the sweet purple sunglasses

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

 A gorgeous cathedral in our city.
The little girl in the bottom of the picture is daughter of an investigator and a sweetie.

Monday, October 13, 2014

 Fajita night at the branch house with the elders.
 Selfie in our room.
 Ok so I made this nice hard boiled egg then it rolls off the counter onto the floor and way beyond the fridge. I had to stab it to get to it and now its all fuzzy very appetizing.

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Family and Friends! How are you guys? What are you doing in America? How is America? Wouldn't it be cool if we could chat instantly with each other? Unfortunantly, that's not possible, as I am eight hours in the future, but hey, like a few people I know say, "beggers can't be choosers." I am just grateful for the opportunity to send this blog email to you all. I hope you enjoy!

Hűha! (Wow!) This week was fantastic, other than my companions and me getting sick in the beginning of the week, I couldn't have asked for a better week! Funny things, embarrassing things Gross things, Sad things, yeah... they all happened. That's missionary life for you, and may I say it's the BEST life!
I'll start out with the embarrassing story of the week, and just get that out of the way!
Alright so after I emailed last week, we had a program with an LA (less-active member).We planned to just have a bemutatás (introduction) because it was our first program with him and we didn't know anything about him and the same went for him, other than he knew that we are awkward on the phone sometimes because of our rough Hungarian. The program was going well and as I was listening to him I felt like I really was understanding what he was saying, so all was good through the whole program. Then as we were ending the program, I asked him if he knew anybody who is having a hard time or is sick, in pain, etc. He then started talking to us about his mother and how she has sok betegség ( a lot of sickness). Namely asthma, pain in her legs, etc. He ended up talking about his mom for a while, and the more he talked about her, the more worse her condition sounded. After he finished, I said, "okay, well we can pray for her." Nobody said anything, then Cropper Nővér said she would say the prayer. As she prayed, I listened for our LA's mother's name but as Cropper said the prayer I didn't hear it. When she ended it, I just kind of looked at her funny, wondering in my own mind, "why in the world did she not pray for this poor woman, that's the whole reason why I asked him that question?" Being the nice person I am (who understand Hungarian perfectly...) I asked "Well, is there anything we can do for your mom, like maybe visit her or something..." all of a sudden my companions start poking me, and saying something under their breath. It took me a while to actually understand what they were saying to me, but I eventually heard "SHE DIED!" The reason why I couldn't understand that they were saying that the first fifty times is that they were trying not to burst out laughing, but then when they saw my mortified face, they couldn't hold it in any longer and we all burst out laughing. It was HORRIBLE! The LA was really chill about it and understood that we were laughing about Whitaker Nővér's horrible comprehension of the Hungarian language. I felt so dumb! This whole time I thought this lady was living and that we maybe we could visit her and such but she died a few years ago. Ugh, welcome to my life. There's at least one stupid/embarrassing moment due to Hungarian in a day. That's the embarrasing story!
So that was Monday
Tuesday, well... it was not a very good day for Sister Cropper. She woke up not feeling too well, and actually got a really brutal stomach bug. Of course, we didn't let her leave her bed. It was actually a real relaxing day. Super unfortunate that Sister Cropper got a bag bug, but it gave Schnoor Nővér and I time to tidy up the apartment and do some other things. I wrote some letters and caught up on journaling. I hope you (the reader) keep a journal. My journal is one of the most imporant things in my life, because well it's a record of my life. It's great to record events that have happened to you. Good or bad. If you don't keep a journal, I encourage you to start now. It's never too late. It doesn't have to be a large entry, but a paragraph about how your day was and the thoughts and impressions that came into your mind during the day. It will be something to read, when you are older (: Most of the day Tuesday we stayed inside. Actually, Schnoor Nővér made fajitas so we went to the Branch House and shared our fajitas with the Elders that night, other than that, Cropper Nővér was just busy recovering.
Wednesday was a good day, just something really random and funny. We went tracting and tracted into this really sweet lady...that looked like Edna Mode... off of the Incredibles. The Incredibles is a Disney Pixar produced movie with a bunch of animated characters and Edna Mode in the Incredibles is well...just google her name and you'll know what I am talking about. She opened the door and was just the sweetest lady, she let us in, but told us that fiúk (the Elders) had already been by and that she wasn't interested in listening to our gospel. However, we had a nice chat with her about her family and just about Székesfehérvár. Plus, she had just made a big fresh loaf of bread so her house smelled amazing (:
Later that day, we also knocked on a door and this little boy answered, probably about ten or eleven years old. We told him that we teach free english class and he just stared at us, with the most uninterested stare I have ever got on my mission. Super cute, just not interested at all.
Thursday...yeah...Thursday wasn't great. I just say that because Thursday night I got really sick. It was really weird too because it was super sudden. One minute I was teaching English class, the next minute I was half-folded over a chair because of the pain in my stomach. I bore through English Class but then we came home and I layed in bed. My stomach hurt really bad, but it's all good. I survived, although in the moment I felt like I was going to die.
Wow, this is really weird. Something big happened almost every day this week. I commend you if you're still reading this. I get into these weird spurts where I could write every little detail of my life if I had all the time in the world. I could proabably condense this email down into a few paragraphs, but hey I have time, question is, do you? If not, that's okay, I can wait (;
Saturday, was hands down one of the best days ever! Okay, so we do our studies and all, go to Sport Nap. Unfortnantly, Sport Nap isn't as popular or huge as it was in Pápa. Not many of the investigators have time to come to Sport Nap, as most of them are at their jobs, or sleeping because they worked all night. After Sport Nap, we came home and had lunch. We then planned to go out tracting, but we still feel like we have only seen this little square of Székesfehérvár so we decided to do some exploring around the city, while streeting people. We didn't really know which way to go, but I just thought for some reason that South would be a good way to go, we literally had no idea where the street would have led us, but we just walked down it, and said, "Hey, as long as we stay along this main road, we will be able to make it back home, without getting lost. We walked down the street for a while. As we were walking we saw this intersection and this old man who was walking in the intersection, not within a crosswalk or anything, but just walking in the intersection. We saw him as he was walking very slowly trying to get to the sidewalk, but just couldn't get his legs going very quick. It gave us quite the scare, as the cars he was walking in front of had a red light, but we knew very soon it'd turn green, and that it did. He, by this time, had gotten across one lane of traffic, who had already hit the gas and blew past them, along with the stopped other lane of traffic, as soon as he got to the edge of that lane of traffic, the cars started going, barely missing him. Cropper and Schnoor Nővér ran over and grabbed his arms and helped him over to the sidewalk. It was super scary, but after they helped him he said thank you a million times and sent us on our way. Anywho, so we saved a bácsi from getting hit. That was exillerating, but also super scary! 

WE kept walking and eventually we ran into a bunch of ten-story buildings. We decided to track one of the ten-stories, as we walked around the ten story we had picked to track, we saw that behind the ten story, was this HUGE childrens park, called "Koronás Park" We saw it from inside the ten-story and said okay, well we should visit it sometime. We continued to track in the ten story we were in, but found that we weren't having much success, plus there had already been a few people say that the Elders had already come not too long ago. Knowing that, we decided to pray to know whether to keep tracting the building or not, we all three received an answer that we shouldn't but we should go streeting.
We left the building and decided to check out this children's park we had seen out of the window. There were tons of kids running around, screaming, yelling, having a good 'ol time. We walked from the Entrance to the Exit and decided that someday, we will go play on that playground, but that it was working time and we should focus on talking to people. The children's park exit lead into another general public park where there were benches and such. It happend to be a nice day, so we decided we would do some park finding. There have been many times on my mission that my companion and I would walk up to people on benches and just ask them how they are and try to get to know them, maybe hand out a flyer here and there, but just to get to know people. I suggested that method to my companions, and reminded them that one of our teachers in the MTC taught a Restoration lesson on a park bench before. I always looked up to my MTC teachers and if I could teach a Restoration lesson on a bench, that would be the coolest thing ever. There were a lot of people just chilling on the benches enjoying the good weather and that this would be a good opportunity to bench find . Neither of them were really fond of my idea, but after talking to them about how to go about doing it, they were more than willing to try it out. I call it "benching people." (For all of you who know anything about working out, that's also a work out term: "benching" I can't literally bench a person though). Anyways I walked up to a younger woman who had a baby in the babakocsi (stroller--direct translation--baby car)  and said "Hello, we are missionaries..." I don't even think I got to missionaries until she said "No, I don't care." I could just feel the confidence of this finding method, in my companions eyes slowly sinking down... it surprised me when even though that lady had said no, my companion took the lead to the next bench where a cute little white-haired Néni (Grandma) sat. She walked up to the néni and told her about English Class, she glady accepted the flyer from my companion and we started asking her about questions about her family. Turns out she has lived in Székes for the majority of her life and that she knows A LOT about it. We asked her about the children's park and a bunch of other things. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, we were teaching a Restoration lesson...on a bench! That was the coolest. We gave her a Book of Mormon and will most likely be meeting with her this week. I can't wait.
Saturday night we had a few hours after dinner to go finding, we decided to go streeting in the belváros (downtown). We were walking around and all of a sudden we see two guys walking towards us, we couldn't clearly hear what they were saying but it didn't sound like Hungarian. As we got closer we realized that it was English that they were speaking. We stopped them. Cropper Nővér stopped them with the normal approach: "Hey, do you speak English?" Haha, we give her a lot of grief about it because they were literally by us when she asked it and they had been speaking English the whole time they were walking towards us, anyway they stop and the one guy says to us, "yes, we do speak English." We told them that we are missionaries here in Hungary and one of the guys says to us, "You're speaking to a member." We about flipped about!  Let me tell you a little about this guy, he is from Nigeria, he is a member of the church, he served his mission in Ghana, pretty much the coolest guy ever. He worked in Cyprus where he met his Hungarian wife and they had a child three months ago. Now he lives here in Székesfehérvár but occasionally goes to Budapest for buisness. Pretty much the coolest guy.
His friend, was actually Hungarian. He was really really cool too. He spoke English super well, and could understand everything I was saying, and I didn't have to change the tempo of my speaking at all. We had a good chat, as Schnoor and Cropper were talking to Stanley in the beginning. Long story short, we met those cool people, got their numbers and they are totally down with meeting with us, to help us get to know the town and such. We have friends here, wooo!
Sunday, we went to church, it was fast and testimony meeting, we heard a lot of great testimonies from the members here in the Branch. The Branch here is great, there small in numbers but huge in faith. You can just feel it when you walk into our little chapel!
After church we needed a few more finding hours, so we decided to do some more streeting to get to know the town and the people more. We to the other side of the belváros this time and talked to a few people. We came upon a bus station that had a few benches to the side of it, there were a few people sitting on the benches, and I jokingly said to my companions, "Hey, do you want to do more bench finding--your favorite (: " They, to my surprise were down. Just a little side note, I LOVE MY COMPANIONS, they're so brave and great! Sure enough the first guy we benched, he immediately started speaking English to us, and we ended up having a good conversation with him, that lasted a good thirty minutes right there on the bench. By the end of the conversation we had exchanged numbers and he knew every reason why we're here in Hungary and how we just want to serve and help people. It was just like the previous night with the two guys in the Belváros
This was my week, and this was an extremely long letter. I'm sorry, and if you made it through the whole thing, congratulations, when I get back home, you get a hug!

Basically, what I learned from this week is that you are never anywhere on accident. As missionaries, our purpose is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." We invite those who are ready to accept this Gospel. We don't always know who is ready, and we see hundreds of people on the street everyday. Where we are not capable of making those distinctions Heavenly Father is, he knows us and knows who we need to talk to, he will make it so that we come in contact with those people who he has prepared to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through all the situations I just told you about, I could write another email, as long as this one, talking about how if one little thing would have been different in those days we wouldn't have been in those places at that time to talk to the people we talked to. Like I said before, you are never somewhere by accident.
I love this gospel and I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve here in this wonderful country. I know that God loves his children, yes that means you, and as we turn to him, he will bless us in ways we didn't know that were possible.  I love you all, and wish you the best week!
Whitaker Nővér

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

 Some pictures of the beautiful town Michaela is serving in.

 Michaela posing as a statue.
 The fountains are way cool and change colors.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

 After a hard day sometimes yoiu just need to whip.
We had a branch activity and some of the members talked about different countries. The Guy on the right is Attila, one of the Elders's investigators (who has a bap. date). He went to Mexico a few years ago and talked about his trip, he let me wear his legit Mexican Sunbraro! It was cool. Cropper Nőver is on the left.

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Wow! I don't even know where to start this week. Let's just start by saying opening a city is not easy! 

It's definitely been an adventure, especially this past week! We started having programs with people this week, but a couple of times instead of meeting at the branch house, we met at our investigators house. So uhh... how is that supposed to work if you've never been to their house, and you're completely unfamilar with Székesfehérvár? Basically, this is how it works: You grab one of your investigators who speaks English and has always lived in Székesfehérvár and ask him for directions. Then you run to your bus stop, because you happen to be ten minutes away from it, when the bus leaves in five minutes. Yeah that happened. Luckily, we have the sweetest investigator who helps us, needy sisters, but he's so chill. 
Oh man, so that program was so good, when we finally got to her program (an hour late--but don't worry we called.)! I would say this woman is in her late thirties, maybe early fourties. She met with the missionaries two years ago but then stopped because she was pregnant and ready to have a baby. It's actually a sad story, I don't know all of it, but basically she acquired this disease or sickness when she was pregnant and it put her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. On top of that, it made her mentality slower and she just struggles with a lot of things. It's sad, but she is still the sweetest lady. We talked about the Restoration with her. She asked a lot of good questions. I had never had investigators ask personal questions about the gospel to me before and it really helped me think about my life in this gospel. The questions were like, " How did you know that this is true?" and "What blessings have you received from God?" There were a few more, but they were very thought provoking. I mean, when you ask yourself those questions you can just be pretty vague with the answers, but if you're talking to someone who is really listening to you and who is, in a sense, leaning on your testimony right now, until they develop their own, one word answers aren't enough but you really have to think and give them detail and testify why you know that God works in your life. This woman's spirit was so sweet. Everything we taught her she was comfortable with, and accepted. Unfortunantly, like I said before, she is in a wheelchair and to get to her front door you have to walk down ten steep, concrete stairs so it's impossible for her to get out of her house. It's super sad, but I could see in her eyes that she really enjoyed our visit. 
While we were talking about the Restoration, we had just got talking about our living Prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson, right then one of our investigators called (for the third time- we beeped him the first two times). This investigators name just happen to be Tamás (pronounced Thomas) so Schnoor answers it and says "Szia, Tamás" and the lady looked at Cropper and I with a confused look on her face and then we realized that seeing how we just got done talking about our prophet, she probably thought that that was our prophet who Schnoor was talking to so Cropper said "Oh, that's one of our friends named Tamás not our prophet Thomas." It was funny, you just had to be there. Just a glimpse of how sweet this lady is, at the end of our lesson we asked her if we could give her a Book of Mormon and she said, "Yes, but won't it be missed to you all?" implying that that was our only copy and that we were giving it to her, but we told her that we have MANY copies of the Book of Mormon so it's okay she can take that one. It was soo cute! 
After we got really lost on the way back too and had to call our investigaor and ask him how to get back home because we had taken a bus for about fifteen minutes out to this woman's house so it would have taken us a while to walk back, plus, we had no clue which way to even go, but luckily we found our way back home. It was pretty much a CRAZY day, and if it hadn't been for our investigator literally walking us to the bus station we wouldn't have made it. I'm glad we went though, because this woman needed a visit. 

Let's see. We had another program that we had to get to by bus and we had to run for that bus too. Sheesh, I guess that's what I get for watching people running for the bus and saying to myself, "Wow, that must really suck." Well, it really does suck just saying. Plus, this program was in a falu (villiage outside of Székesfehérvár) so it was a forty-five minute bus ride is this PACKED bus. I ended up siting on the floor, well on this ledge in the back by these three men, because we were super packed.  It's okay, we made it out there, but ended up having to turn right back around, almost as soon as we got out there, because there was only one more bus running that day and it was only fifteen minutes after we actually arrived at their house. We felt really bad because they fed us and then we had to leave. It was super sad, but they were super nice about it, and we decided next time we go out there we need to plan the buses better. That was another crazy kirandulás of ours. 

Zone Conference was this week, it was super good. We went to Budapest and came together as two zones in the mission and received training from President Smith, his wife, the AP's (assistants to the President), zone leaders and our Sister Training Leaders. It was a really good conference. The Székesfehérvár sisters had the responsibilty of showing everyone a good streeting approach and the person who we happened to have to street was President Smith so that was kind of intimidating, but I think we did good, and President thought we did good, so everything worked out. 

This week was also General Conference. I watched all of it in Hungarian. Unfortunantly I didn't understand... most of it, but Cropper downloaded it onto her iPod and we will listen to it in English in our apartment, this afternoon. I hope all of you watched it and enjoyed the words of the Prophet and the Apostles. I know that they're men called by God, and they don't speak their own words, but everything they say is what God would say if he was here. 

Thanks for all the emails, love and support.

Whitaker Nővér