Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Monday was a big festival in Hungary nobody works

We lost two of our "brothers" this week. A családi képünk így lett.

Sometimes when we're walking to a program we take pictures of our shadows. We didn't look great, but at least our shadows looked alright (; #Hülyeségwedoasmissionaries

Last Tuesday marked a big step for mankind and an even bigger step for the Sisters down in Szeged. I hit my 14 month mark in the country and Sister Layton hit her 6 month mark on her mission (since she left the MTC). We decided to buy balloons and do some special pictures with them. Enjoy (:
Sorry about last week's béna email. My companion and I were just like way sick and I didn't feel like writing anything about our week because we literally just stayed in bed and just about died. I almost took a picture of us laying in our beds, just to send that.
This week, we were finally starting to feel normal again and it was a great feeling! Sometimes you have hard days on your mission and other times you just have seven hard days on your mission, but we come out on top, nonetheless!
Sister Layton and I agreed that since we have a baptism coming up (this Saturday--RR is getting baptized!) Satan just decided to throw a bunch of curve balls at us, just to try to ruin and damper our spirits about our efforts we've put forth in Szeged so far. At least that's how I've seen it. The last couple of weeks have been hard for us, BUT RR is getting baptized this Saturday!! We are soooo excited for this! RR asked Sister Layton and I to speak... oh gosh!! I will be talking about Baptism and Sister Layton will be talking about the Holy Ghost. Hűha! Jaj nekünk! It will be interesting. I better start preparing now!
I can't even tell you all how great it's been to see the change that's happened within RR from the beginning of the transfer all the way to the end, leading to his baptism. Sister Layton and I often reminise about what RR was like when we first met with him. He wouldn't even look at us when we would talk to him, he'd always look down at the ground and seemed a little nervous, but now we are LITERALLY best friends with him. Everytime we meet with him, he just walks in with this huge smile on his face, we joke, we laugh, we talk. It's just a great time! When we go over to his house, his family all greets us, just as if we were one of their own. They are just all so friendly with us, and well yeah. This is our friendship now.
RR had his interview with Elder Whiting this last week and we talked to Elder Whiting about how it went, as we were a little nervous for it. Honestly, I don't know why we worry about RR so much, every time we do, we just get all worked up but then in the end we're like "Wow, that went so smoothly, why were we worrying?" The same thing happened after his interview. We talked to Elder Whiting and he said that they sat down, Elder Whiting saidt he opening prayer and after he was done he just looked up at RR and tears were just streaming down his face. Then after Elder Whiting asked him the last question in the interview he answered it with a shaky voice. Sister Layton and I just looked at each other because we have never seen him cry, but that was just so neat to hear that he felt the spirit and that he knows that this is the right decision. He told us mulitiple times that this isn't a joke and that he wanted to know "for sure" that this is the path God wants him to go down. He told us that he doesn't want a "maybe" or a "possibly, it would be good" kind of answer but he wanted a "straight-forward yes" and he got it! We had no doubt about it! It's just so neat to see this in him. We are so proud of him! Next week we will have pictures at his baptism and it will be so great!

Totally different subject but sad story. I think I told ya'll a few weeks ago how Sister Layton and I literally saw a car get hit by another car, causing it to flip over, right in front of our eyes. That was tramatic. Then we were in Új Szeged last week, tracting, and we saw a car get hit, while backing out of the driveway, onto a main road. It wasn't as bad as the first accident. We were saying to each other, "geez, how many accidents are we going to see while serving in Szeged together?" We definitely didn't want to see anymore! But then Monday morning we go on a run with the Elders, and we're running one of our usual routes and we see a car accident, although it already happened before we got there. We're just running past it and all of a sudden I look over and I see this black bag on the ground, I had to do a double take because at first I thought I was just seeing stuff. I said to myself, "hmm, why is that bag in a shape of a body," but then I ended up saying something to the rest of the crew and we all came to the conclusion that it was definitely a body bag, with a real body in it. Oh my tragic! Why do we see all of this? I feel like, well... I don't even know... I don't want to see things like that anymore! I don't even know why I included that in this email. Sorry 'bout that!

On a more positive note, okay.... not so positve. We lost the other companionship of elders this week. They both ended up going to Pest, so now there are just four of us down here in Szeged, but I became the "official, unofficial district lord" That's fun, so now I lead district meetings, with zero authority... haha. We had a really fun district meeting the other day though, as we just sat around a table. Each of us giving a twenty minute training about any subject we wanted, while somehow relating it to recognizing the spirit. I talked about obedience and how important it is to be obedient so the spirit can be with you. It's way important. Haha, I promise, my training was better than that, but well yeah... we all had a really good time!
Friday, Sister Layton needed to buy fries from McDonalds because she has this weird thing that they celebrate FryDay on Friday, by going and eating fries. Well, we had eaten a lot that day. We went out to eat after our District meeting, lead by yours truly, district Úr (lord). We ate palacsintas, then had fries, then we had icecream. I bought thirty deca's of little gumi, fruit snack things, then Sister Layton bought Kalács (that chimney looking bread stuff). We decided that it wasn't just #FryDay but #FatFriday.
Then the next morning we woke up super sick #SickSaturday #SugarhangoverSaturday, and it was just sucky! We definitely learned our lesson!
The missionaries this week decided that it would be a good idea to get together with the members and meet with them personally, because it's always nice to get to know them on a personal basis. We, as missionaries, always say how great it is to have the members support us in our work and stuff, but we too also need to do our part and make the members feel loved and needed. It's been a way neat experience to meet with all the members and get to know them on a personal level. Hear their conversion stories, because most of the members in Szeged.... okay, every member in Szeged are first generation members. They are the ones who made that first contact with the missionaries, so it's way cool to hear their conversion stories and how they have grown and developed over the years, being members.
Sunday and Monday was an official Hungarian holiday. Pünkösdi uhh.... haha. something to do with that. Anways, everything was close so we couldn't do much. We couldn't shop for our groceries or email or anything so the elders and us just hung out all day. The Szegedi days and wine festival is going on right now, so we walked around the city, hittin up all the stands. It was way fun. The branch had a little közös program too. One of the members made a crap load of spaghetti. Actually the program was mainly directed towards the young men and women/ YSA but they talked about missionary work and how they can particpate in it and all that stuff, then they had a dinner for us. We ate really well. It was so good!
Thursday, after Angol Óra we scheduled a találkozás with TG and his dad. TG is the teenager who we meet with, who has read the Book of Mormon, faster than I ever have. He would really like to be baptized, but his dad wants him to experience things more "worldy" things before TG makes such a big decision in his life. We thought it would be good, at least, for TG and his dad to meet with the Branch President. We scheduled that meeting and it was a little.... awkward.... and we hope that we didn't upset TG's dad but we really meant for it to just be a "get to know you" type deal, but it kind of backfired, but hopefully everything will turn out well with that.

Okay, I'm super sorry this email was ALL OVER! But this was my week, and next week is TRANFERS. it will be a waaaay sad week, but all is well!
I love you all so much!! xoxox
Whitaker Nővér

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We were just super bored on the train, so we started taking pictures of Hungary from the train...haha lamee!

We went up to Budapest this week for our quarterly interviews with Pres. The three hour train ride, ended up taking five and a half hours due to...well...we still don't know. The ride up there was just soooo long! We finally got up there, completed our interviews and jumped on the next train back home. Luckily, we didn't have another five hour travel, but this one was just the normal three hours (although it seemed like it was five minutes, compared to our travel up there).
By the end of the day, Sister Layton and I were just done being on trains! We took a few pictures to express our feelings about Hungarian Transportation that day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wow, these weeks don't get any easier. I feel like I've talked about how hard my week has been for the past four weeks, because well it has been.
This week wasn't too eventful.
Monday, after emailing, we went out to TG's house and his mom taught all of us missionaries how to make Lángos. That was lots of fun! It's really not that hard, but it was fun to learn how to make something new, even though with all the oil and butter they use to make it, it's probably not the healthiest thing and we probably won't be making it at our house, but maybe later in the future.
Tuesday morning, Sister Layton and I went on a run  but Sister Layton got injured during the run which made walking painful for her so we tried to take it a little slower this week so the injury wouldn't become worse.
We didn't have too many programs scheduled this week, and we took finding it easy with finding time. We also happened to go up to Budapest for our quarterly (and last) interviews with President on Thursday. Our three hour train ride, turned into a five and a half hour train ride, on the way up to Budapest. I was so ready to get off the hot train! Yuck. The interviews went well though. As we were leaving the Mission Home in Budapest we walked past this guy (probably in his 40's) and his son, but as we walked past them the dad stopped us and said "You're here to preach about the Savior. Teach me about the Savior" (in English). Sister Layton and I just looked at each other and said, "Well, yes we're here as missionaries and we teach about Jesus Christ." This guy just starts talking, but he was acting waaay weird! The little boy was just laughing and smiling in the background. I thought this guy was trolling us! He was just being super weird, but at the same time we were laughing and having a good conversation with him. We tried to ask the little boy (not so little, probably 14) his name and the dad was like, "Don't talk to strangers. I found this little homeless boy on the street and so I picked him up and now I'm we're going to get him food somewhere, so we gotta go girls, but it was nice talking to you." It was just so weird. We are pretty sure that he's a member or an investigator somewhere in the world, because he talked to us like he knew who Mormons are, but we'll just never know who this strange man and his son was. Too funny though! We got back on the train and headed to Szeged. That train ride seemed so quick compared to the one up there! Don't judge me for the pictures, I send!
What else happend this week. We met with RR, and taught him the other two big commandments. Tithing and Fast offering, and The Law of Chastity. They both went wayyy well! We were a little nervous to teach them, well at least I was, because I haven't taught these lessons too many times in my mission, but it was RR and he's understanding that we don't speak Hungarian perfectly and he bore with us and they ended up being really good lessons! He accepted to live everything, AND he came to Stake Conference this week even though the technology wasn't on our side Saturday night, therefore we ended up just teaching RR how to throw a football, in the backyard of the branch house. Fun Stuff!!
Sunday, the technology worked better so we were all able to watch stake conference. That was good! The stake president here in hungary is American! It's so cool. He speaks Hungarian perfectly, obviously, because he served a mission here ten years ago and then came back, but his talk was soooo good! I really enjoyed it and it was like a spiritual uplift that I needed this week!
That was pretty much our week, not too much happened.
but again, I hope all you mothers had a good mothers day!!
Love you all,
Whitaker Nővér
Michaela Whitaker

Monday, May 4, 2015

Golly... these weeks just keep passing by. Unfortunantly, I can't control the passing of time so I guess I will just keep singing and working. What else can ya do, really? It's okay, I enjoy my call as a missionary and I only have five months left so I mise well use the time to my advantage.
This week... was hard. I guess I said the same thing about last week, but I feel like this one was harder than last week, but Sister Layton and I decided that the reason why these last couple of weeks were so hard is because good things are going to happen next week. It only makes sense to me that Satan would throw roadblocks in our way to make us think that we can't go on (many times we thought this last week) so that we would give up and not obtain the sweet reward that is just within milimeters reach for us. Hmmm, I don't know if that made sense but it sounded good in my head. Haha.
Let's see, I don't want this to turn into a "negative, feel sorry for me" email. Missions are hard, some harder than others, but that's the glorious thing about missions: They're personalized for the missionary. Not everyone had a hard time this week, but Sister Layton and I did. It was all to help us become stronger as a companionship, and better missionaries. In addition to that, this week my faith in God was really tested. I saw my relationship with God get stronger and I'm thankful for that.
Monday we got that text from LZ that she didn't want to continue to meet with us. We actually saw LZ a few times this week on the street and tried to say hi, but she didn't really give us the time of day. That hurt. It hurt a lot. To see one of your friends who was doing so good for such a long time and then the next day you see them and they won't even acknowledge you. It was kind of like a pocket-knife to the foot. It hurt, but wasn't life threatening (like the common knife to the heart saying :P ). We usually met with LZ two times a week, but this week we didn't meet with her at all, and it was weird to be doing something else at those times.
I think the last time I said anything about our baptisimal dates we were at three, RR, LZ, and SZ. Well, I don't know if I talked much about SZ, but she had been meeting with us for a while and she also had a baptismal date. Well Easter came and things came up and we weren't able to meet with her for a while. She had a few sicknesses within her family. Well we saw her a few days ago and she wouldn't talk to us, she just kind of gave us the death glare and walked away. We went up to talk to her, but she wasn't having it. Throw another pocket-knife in my other foot. It was just really hard to see the people that we love and care about so much walk away from us like we were strangers to them. We just hope that sometime they will have a change in heart and come back to us. All we want is just to talk to them again.
We met with CC this week, and well she's as uhhh... crazy as ever. That's for sure. We taught her the Plan of Salvation this week and she tried to tell us that Jesus Christ was coming in 2018 and that judgement day would be in 2026. Oh boyyy, we tried to clarify that up a little bit. I think it was successful for the most part, but oh boy... CC. Just gotta love her. That's all I'm sayin' about her. Especially when she comes to church and blurts out things that aren't really supposed to be blurted out in church. Gollyyyy!
We had an interesting tracting experience the other day, we literally just jumped on some bus and took it all the way to the end and it took us into Új Szeged but into a really rendes part and we ended up walking around this neighbor for three hours. The first house we rang, an older lady answered and we talked about the Book of Mormon with her and she accepted one from us, but after that didn't have too much success as far as let-ins go, but we still had fun. The view was nice out there.
I can't write a blog email and not mention our best friend here in Szeged. RR! Ahhhh, we looove him! He had to go to Germany a few times this week so he didn't have a lot of time to meet. We met with him really quickly Saturday night, but it was only a fifteen minute, drop-by lesson, because we were running short on time that day. Last night he sent us a little text that asked us how we were doing. Can you say, "just what we needed?" 
Life is good, things are going well. We're moving forward and this week is a brand new week.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there!!
Whitaker Nővér

Michaela Janae Whitaker