Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This week we had zone conference in Budapest and I got to see my girl, Sister Layton and our friend Sister Jeppson. 
What a crazy week!
First of all, I'm being transferred to Debrecen this week. I have to leave Szeged, but I kind of expected it. We are the only trio of sisters in the mission and one of the native Hungarian sisters is going home this week so President decided to take me out of the trio and put me in her place, in Debrecen.
I'm excited, but leaving Szeged will not be easy. Being in an area for nine weeks and leaving is hard enough, but Szeged has been my home for the past fifteen weeks and I feel like I will leave part of my heart here when I leave. I had my first baptism here in Szeged. The members here in Szeged have adopted the missionaries into their own families. It's just heart-breaking to leave them.
I've just got to accept the fact that it's my time to leave and that there are people in Debrecen who need me to find them and teach them.
This week though was pretty jammed pack.
Monday we went out fishing with Gabor and his dad. There is a special bug called the mayfly that comes out of the Tisza river after hatching from underwater. It only happens one week a during the whole year. and the ugly mayflies just fly all over. The fish literally jump out of the water catching these ugly things. It's the best week to fish on the Tisza. Well we went out fishing and I caught two huge fish! We were doing spinning and fly-fishing. That was the first time that I did either and I caught one with both styles. It was way fun! The bugs and fish were both jumpin like crazy!! We had a really good time with Gabor and his dad too.
Tuesday we set off early in the morning for Budapest because we had zone conference. President's last zone conference before he goes home. It was a good time though. The main topic and thing I got out of it was the importance of becoming better everyday.
After zone conference my companions and I went to Debrecen, which is on the way east side of the country, for splits. We actually sat on the train by this younger dude and had a good missionary moment. By the end we ended up taking a selfie with this guy and he put it on Facebook. hahaha!  Anways, we got to stay for a day and teach some people in Debrecen. That was way fun, we got to see how the STL's (sister training leaders) taught and learned a lot from them. Now look at me, I'm going back to Debrecen to finish where I left off with those people earlier this week. It will be interesting, but I am excited.
Wednesday and Thursday morning we were in Debrecen.
As we were heading home we had another missionary moment where we talked to a lady who was heading back to Germany from visiting her family here in Hungary but it all started when she hiccuped and I thought there was a small animal sitting behind me. I look behind me and she says in her cute hungarian accent, "I'm sorry... excuse me."  Anyways she started asking about our church and that was cool.  We shared our testiomonies and hopefully she gets hooked up with some missionaries in Germany. One could only hope.
Yeah so Thursday evening we came home had a few programs . They were all good. We met with LZ again, who we had on bap date last transfer but she didn't want to meet anymore. It was a good meeting with her, we brought a member who she is pretty familiar with. The program went good, but she still hasn't come to church, so that's what we're working on.
RR is way solid if any of you are wondering. Now with me and Layton gone is way sad but we know that he will stay strong. No doubt.
Friday and Saturday were just kind of chill days. We did some finding, but didn't see a lot of success out of it, to be honest. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you dont.
Sunday, Kovács came down to Szeged. Sister Kovács was my companion  my second transfer in Pápa. She spoke in our branch about her mission and how members can get involved in missionary work. It was way good. Gee, I love her so much.
Wow, my email is like way all over the place. I'm just not really thinkin' straight. Having to leave is on my mind, and it sucks, but this is the missionary life for ya. No, it doesn't suck. We just have to move when it's time.
I'll take lots of pictures of Debrecen, my new city, next week and it will be good (:
Love ya'll
Whitaker Nővér

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Monday, June 22, 2015

March 1879, The Tisza river flooded and ended up flooding the whole city of Szeged. It was pretty devastating. Now there's this statue thing by the Tisza, here in Szeged to remind the people of the flood, but not so much of the flood but of the rebuilding up of Szeged. This is just a cool picture of it. It's way big... and fun to climb on (:
Chalking in Széchenyi Tér. My companion is a real artist.

Last week I said in my email that we met some of the acrobats from the African Circus, here are a few pictures that we took. They are so cool!
Kata came to transfers. Coolest person I've met in Hungary, so far. Hands down

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This is the new threesome companionship
RR's baptism was last Saturday but I couldn't send a picture of it until this week, but here we are!! It was such a special day for all of us!!
From Michaela Whitaker
Recently we started setting up programs with the members here in Szeged so that we could get to know them better, more on a personal level.
Here's one of them that we met with this week, her current calling is the (adult) seminary teacher. It was really neat to talk to her about her membership in the church. It turns out that she does a lot more service than just within the church but she goes to a rehabilitation every Wednesday to read the bible to people who are sick, and recovering. Those who show a lot of interest in her class she eventually offers them a copy of the Book of Mormon and then invites the missionaries to teach them. Just goes to show that you don't have to have a black nametag to be missionary. She's such a good example to us!
Michaela Whitaker
Fun fact: Szeged is the hottest city in Hungary. We sweat a lot. The number of showers we take in one day is ridiculous!
Funny story of the week: The last fifteen weeks I've noticed that I've been really itchy. I really didn't know what it was from. I thought maybe seeing how I shower everyday that it's been drying out my skin or something like that. I have been using lotion and it really hasn't helped. Secretly inside, I thought I had some terminal skin disease and that some day I was going to drop over dead anytime. Anyways, Sister Heath, this week, comes out of the bathroom and says, "Do you usually wash your clothes with this stuff?" Holding my laundry soap. I said yes and she said, "You know this is fabric softner?" What the fuuudge!?!? I seriously looked at her and said, "No freakin wayyy!!" I think I may have just solved my itchy problem. Sure enough, Sister Heath bought actual laundry detergent and I washed my clothes with it and what do you know... I'm not itchy anymore. My life is a joke.
This whole week was just way fun, plus we got a lot done. We ended the week off with eight new investigators. Most in the mission. Woohoo. We had a lot of people this week come up to us and want to know what we're about. That was way cool.
The week before transfers we got a call from this guy who works in a watch shop. He said that one of his friends got a flyer that said that we teach English Class. We went to his watch shop and set up a time to meet with him later in the week. We were way excited to meet with him and his family. Wednesday came around and we met him back at his watch shop. We met his wife this time and they took us to their house. Pretty much the coolest house I've been in, since being in Hungary. We walk into his house and there are real sharks just hanging all over his wall, but it's not like they are just hanging like vertical on the wall, but they are like popping out of the wall, like some crazy 3D ocean house. There were all kinds of ocean creatures all over his house. All real...obviously dead, but still way freaking cool. This guy is a scuba diver and he lived in Hawaii for awhile. They also had a sauna in their bathroom. Who has a sauna in their bathroom. That's so sick! The watch maker's wife made us homemade palacsintas with homemade lekvár (jam). It was wayyyy finom! We pretty much told them why we're here as missionaries and then talked about our purpose here. They invited us back, so we will go back next week and it will be good! Such a cool family.
Hey! We met with LZ again. That was one of our investigators that was on bap. date. right before Easter. Sister Layton and I saw her on the street a bunch, but she would just ignore us. Well, we saw her on the street the other day, and I took my new companions up to her so they could introduce themselves. I asked if maybe we could start meeting again, and she invited us to come over later this week, so hopefully it will be successful and we can start teaching her again.
The majority of our lessons went really well this last week. We met with a few people that we met on the street. Oh, we went tabling a lot this week with the elders. Sister Heath is way good at drawing and when I say way good. I mean.... way freaking good. We do this cool thing called chalking. We pretty much put a table up in the middle of this town square and draw things on the sidewalk. Anyway, my companion, Sister Heath, pretty much colored the whole square up. She drew a portrait of Joseph Smith, out of the Book of Mormon, a temple, The Plan of Salvation, A Book of Mormon, an American Flag that said Ingyenes Angol Óra in it. It was way cool. Anyways we got a few new investigators out of tabling. Talked to a lot of cool people. I met this little old lady who was sitting on a park bench. The conversation started out by her saying that she didn't want to talk because she had just finished something really hard in her life. As she looked through me I could see the tears in her eyes. I didn't really know what to say, because it was obvious she didn't want to talk about it, plus she said she would prefer to just be left alone. All I told her was that God loved her and that we're here as missionaries to share this message with everyone. She was so sweet and we met with her again and talked about the Book of Mormon. On the same bench. In the same park. Too cute. Then this drunk guy popped out of nowhere and started stroking my leg and this Néni got on him like ugly on an ape and said "NEM SZABAD!!!!" (that's not allowed!) It was was cute!! She would have gotten up and tore him apart if he wouldn't have left. Anways, she is way cool and completely loves God with all of her heart. We will meet with her again this week, I'm excited.
Sunday we were invited out to a members house to eat. After sitting in church for three hours in a church building with air conditioning just in the chapel. We went out to his house and sat for four hours. He hadn't prepared the food before we got there so we ended up sitting another four hours at his house, but hey.. we got to pick cherries off his cherry tree. That was fun. Although, I didn't know there were magots in the cherries until I had eaten like 50 of them, and then somebody said something about it. Gross! Anyways we had a really good lunch when it was done. Plus it was Elder Nichols birthday so we had a little birthday party for him. After we were done we walked to the bus stop. The member said that the bus comes every hour on the forty so we walked to the bus stop so we'd be there just on time. We wait and wait and wait and wait and wait.... and wait and wait and wait.... an hour and a half later the bus comes. We were just dying because of the heat. We debated going hitch hiking, but then decided to wait. It was so miserably hot. We saw some old bácsi watering his garden out from a distance and we were talking about going over and asking him to spray us with water. So hot, but we survived.
This week we have Zone Conference in Budapest. President's last Zone conference. Pres goes home in a few weeks and we will be getting our New Hungarian mission president. We are way excited!
We also have splits this week, so we will be going to Debrecen after Zone Conference with the Sister Training leaders. I can't wait to see Debrecen. I've heard many good things about it.
There will be a lot to write about next week.
Love you all,
Whitaker Nővér
From Michaela Whitaker
Hello from Szeged! We are just having a real good time down here!
Transfers was this past week, gotta love when you get that nice trap workout by lifting 50lb bags all day. The burn feels so good, and the sore feeling you have after the day(s) after is even better! haha!
Well, I lost Sister Layton this week, but I got two new companions. Sister Whittaker (we call her Dubs) and Sister Heath. They are way sick! I love them! We've already had a bunch of fun times together. Too many, I can't even count. I'll just save all those stories 'till after the mish. (;
This week not much has happened in Szeged besides just visiting people and introducing my companions to everyone down here in the Sunshine City. Fun fact: Szeged is the hottest city in Hungary during the summer. That isn't a big surprise as it's the city furthest south, but sometimes I feel like I'm melting . It's way worse than last summer when I was up in windy Sopron. It's alright though, I'm just sucking it up and dealing with it. It's great.
Nothing too special this week.
Wow, this is way short... haha. I'm sorry. I'm super lame!
Next week will be better, promise.
Love ya'll
Whitaker Nővér

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Michaela Janae Whitaker

Transfer call. This is the second to last "big" transfer call that I will get before I go home. I can't believe I only have four more months here in Hungary. Time goes by way fast out here.
Sister Layton will be leaving me, she will be going to Eger, where I served before I came to Szeged. Sister Layton knows the people and the area pretty well already, from what I told her in the beginning of the transfer. I will be staying in Szeged and will get two new companions. I'll be in another tri-companionship. It's the third I've been in. I'm excited. Right now there are four of us but after we go up to transfers tomorrow, we will be bringing five new people back down. Yes, we have gone from being four to seven! It will definitely be a different transfer.
Last week was a good week. Biggest news: RR got baptized!!!!! Ahhhh!! This is what we had been waiting for since we met with RR! His baptism was a big success and it was really really great! RR asked Sister Layton and I if we would speak at his baptism. I spoke about baptism and Sister Layton talked about The Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was really good. The Baptism was great and a lot of people ended up coming, then on Sunday he got the gift of the Holy Ghost and you could feel the spirit so strongly. After his baptism we talked to RR and he said that even from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon he felt and saw a big change in his life, in just that twenty-four hour period.
Sister Layton and I were worried for a little while because with transfers coming up, it would be hard enough on RR for one of us to leave, but we knew that there was a slight possibility that both of us would leave, but when we got transfer calls today, we were a little bit relieved that at least I will be staying.
RR is way solid though and the branch members welecomed him in the branch quite nicely on Sunday so we think everything will be okay with him. 

Funny story of the week: Sister Layton and I were walking on opposite sides of the street, and I see Sister Layton stop and read something, but I kept on walking. Eventually, when we met back up again, she said that she read a sign for a African Circus that is in Szeged. Something you should know about Sister Layton is that she is obsessed with Africa. It's her dream to go to Africa, and her family has already made plans to go to Africa next summer when she gets back from her mission. Anyways, she read that sign and we decided to go find this circus in Szeged. We knew the general direction where it was, so we went. We eventually saw a big circus tent and behind it all the circus animals were outside in their cages/pens where the general public could walk around and see them and pet them. Sister Layton and I walked around and looked at the animals, then we were way thirsty so we went across the road to look for something to drink, afterwards we walked out and I told Sister Layton that we should walk by the circus one more time. As we were walking through it, Sister Layton taps me on the shoulders and in her most quiet, excited voice she says, "LOOK!! THERE ARE AFRICANS!!!" I look and there are total Africans walking out of the circus tent, we were kind of just staring at them at first and they looked over at us and were like "Heyyy" and so we went over and talked to them. They were part of a team of five that did acrobats in the circus. They are from Kenya, they also have like three girls who came with them who dance and sing in the circus. Anways we talked to them for a while, meanwhile, Sister Layton was like freaking out, but they happen to be on the way to the grocery store (where we had come out of) to get food so they were like, "Hey, come to the grocery store with us." So we walked over there with them while they got their food. On the way over there, we ran into one of the singers. After that we went back to their teams little trailer and talked to their whole Kenya group and got some sick pictures with all of them. The whole deal was way cool. They were so nice and they will be here in Szeged for another few weeks but then will go to a city, somewhere around the Balaton, and then who knows from there. Anways so now we have African friends and we even got to talk to them about our church a little bit, so that was cool too!
I don't have that much to say this week, besides that. The Baptism was the big event. During the next couple of weeks we have a lot of cool branch activities coming up so that should be good! Hopefully soon I will be able to write more!!
Lots of love for all ya'll,
Whitaker Nővér