Monday, July 27, 2015

Days and Days.

Hey everyone!
I'm sorry that I haven't been the best on writing. Things got a little turnt and I haven't had a lot of time the last couple emailing sessions, but I'm here now and ready to tell you all about how exciting my last couple weeks have been.
First of all, since last email, Sister Sellers and I picked up another companion, Sister Dohm. Which makes Sister Sellers and Sister Dohm sister training leaders and I'm just kind of this awkward third person in their companion of leadership, but we've found a way to make everything work out and have been goin good ever since. Unfortnantly I have not taken near as many pictures as I should. You can say that I'm failing as a photographer of the great lands of Hungary, and I will not have any pictures next week, because I gave my camera to one of the members here in Debrecen who is going to a European Area Youth Conference in Romania and I thought he'd want to take a few pictures, as he doesn't have a camera. Sooo, next week I might be able to swipe a few of my companions pictures, if they take some. In general, we don't take a lot of pictures, but we'll try harder this week.
Okay, so I am in Debrecen, which is another college city (just like Szeged- I miss that place so much!) which means there are TONS of young people here and not just young but there is such a diversity of people in this city. People literally from all over the world come here to go to college.
So that being said, most of our investigators (99.4% of them) are foreign young kids who have come over for school, but let me tell you, they are the most legit people ever. Let me tell you about our little diverse group of friends.
Yael.. Yael is pretty much the sweetest girl ever. Yael is from Israel and has been studying in Debrecen for a few years now. By the way, she has been the BYU's deal in Jerusalem, how cool. She is studying to be a doctor (i forgot what branch) and loves it. Her first language is Hebrew so unfortantly we can't get any materials in her mother language, but of course, she speaks English so we can still teach her and give her english materials and she understands them pretty well. All of the foreign people that come to the University of Debrecen have three language choices that they can learn by, Hungarian, English, or German. The majority of the foreign students learn through english, obviously. Anyways, she is the sweetest. We didn't even street into her or tract into her. She actually went on to and requested a Book of Mormon and asked to meet with the missionaries in Debrecen. This was all on her own. That was the first sign that she was legit. The second was when we actually met her. We taught her the first half of The Plan of Salvation, after we had talked about everything we asked her if she had any questions and she had a few questions, which we answered accordingly, then we asked if she had liked everything that we had taught up until now and she said "Yeah, I really like this and I can't wait to learn more about what happens after our life here in on earth." I was pretty much fel van dobva (on cloud nine). I had never had someone tell me that they couldn't wait to learn more about what I'm called to teach. Usually it's more of a "Yeah, I like this, it sounds nice," or something along those lines, but she was more than excited for our next program with her.
Before we met with her for the second time she had gone home to have her brother help her study for one of her big exams. I guess Israel is just a three hour flight so she just hopped on the plane and went back to Israel. Some days go by and we get a call from Yael and she says that she had just thought about us and wanted to call us to see how we were doing. Can I say adorable. That moment when your investigators daily contact you (RR, and now Yael). Then she asked us if we wanted her to bring us back anything from Israel. How sweet is this girl? Too sweet! We told her that we weren't picky and that we'd accept anything she brought back for us, only if we could pay her and she said "I only accept hugs as a method of payment." Oh my gosh, what a sweetie.
Yael eventually came back and got to meet with her again, she ended up bringing us back some crazy Israelian food and some good chocolate too.
Her next meeting we planned to teach her the second half of the Plan of Salvation and thought that would be good, based on her excitement about the first half, but then we got in there and started to review the first half again and she had some really good questions that we answered and before we knew it, time was up so we only got to earth life again, but we can move on next time, with a sure knowledge that she really understands the first part. Oh Yael is so great.
Husam- Oh my goodness there is not a more precious man on this earth than Husam. Husam is from Iraq and is studying at the Debrecen University to be a doctor. We met Husam on the street while talking about Hungarian class. Oh, I guess I haven't talked about that. In addition to English class, we also teach Hungarian class because so many foreign people are here to study, but they don't know how to speak Hungarian so we try to help them to at least get the conversation starters/basic questions down so they can get around Hungary. Husam accepted our Hungarian class flyer and we started talking to him, on the street, about why we are here and our purpose as missionaries. From the very beginning he was interested and asked us to explain more about our work, but we were on our way to a program so we got his number and told him that we would love to explain our calling as missionaries if he would like to meet sometime. A few day later we called him and set up a program with him at the branch house. It was neat to see his reaction when we told him what we are doing here in Hungary. He was very impressed by our desire to be here and our discipline of not wimping out and going home because our families and homes are missed to us. We gave Husam an arabic Book of Mormon and had him read Moroni 10 3-5 to us. That was so cool, even though it was in this super strange language that he was reading right to left, upside down, sideways I still felt the spirit and it was a good experience. Husam is very interested and loves to meet with us. This Wednesday is his twenty-fifth birthday and we are going to watch the restoration film with him in Arabic, that will be good. Then we are going to take him out for dinner. It will be good. Husam is just the cutest middle eastern guy ever, that's all you need to know.
Kevin, Usman, David, Samuel- Okay, these are obviously four different people, but they all came from Africa. I think all four of them came from Nigeria. No, I think that's wrong. I don't know. The point is that they all are from Africa and they are probably the sickest dudes I know. No doubt. They all come to our Hungarian class but they also come to all of our branch programs like Family Home Evening, Game night, Young Single Adults. It's so fun. When I first got to Debrecen, Sister Sellers told me about all of these people and at first I thought they weren't too interested in the gospel, more to hang out with the missionaries, but I met them a few weeks ago and we talked and they all are super religious and are open to talk about God. That's cool. Kevin actually came to church on Sunday, so that was really cool! I think they all are really legit, we just haven't been able to set up with them yet. Actually, this week we've set up with Kevin and Samuel. Usman is the elders, which they have met with him already but it's a working process. Works moving in Africa, I hear so it's not surprising that they are open to hearing the gospel message.
Lol, so did I mention that we have a new mission president and he's Hungarian? Probably the coolest guy ever. He's doing great things with this mission. A few weeks ago I got the "opportunity" to go to MLC, which is mission leadership council. It's like when all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders and have a meeting with our mission president. At first I was not very excited to go to this meeting. Three hours of training, in Hungarian, but it turned out to be a SUPER good meeting! I actually ended up taking some notes and I felt spiritually renewed after the meeting. Wow, that was super cliche, but it was true. I don't know how else to describe it. The point is that we had a really good meeting and I love our new president. He get's mad respect from me.
Oh did I mention we have a baptism this Saturday. Well, it's not "our" baptism, it's the elders, but we are so excited. Oh my goodness. I didn't write about our man boy, Hamid. Hamid is from Iran. He was actually a soilder in the army. It's a long story how he ended up in Debrecen Hungary. I won't explain all of it, but the important information about him is that he was in Sweedan, met with the missionaries there, got taught all of the lessons, had a bap date, then had to come to Hungary. Eventually he got hooked up with the elders here in Debrecen, they reviewed everything with him and extended a bap date, he accepted, and he will be meg lesz keresztelkedve (he will be baptized) on Saturday. We're so excited for him, he's such a great guy and so ready!
Some more great news, you all remember RR, our baptism down in Szeged. I was informed this week that 1. he invited one of his friends to church, he came, and loved it so much so he asked to meet with the missionaries. After their second program with him, he asked how he could be baptized so now he is on bap date down in Szeged (way to go RR being a missionary). 2. The elders down in Szeged acutally met RR's cousin on the street and invited him to church, the same day that RR brought his friend to church so RR got to church and was way surprised to see his cousin sitting in the chapel. haha. Now his cousin is meeting with the elders as well as his friend being on bap. date with them. 3. RR got the priesthood yesterday! Wooo! Everything is going great. Szeged is a land of miracles, I'm convinced.
This is pretty much my life these days. I love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but unfortnantly in two short months I will have to trade back reality for this life of happiness. I dread that day, but it is going to come whether I want it to or not. Just know that things are going super well here in Debrecen. I love it. Transfers are in two weeks so we will see what happens with that, but I'm sure everything will be fine.
Much Love,
Whitaker Nővér

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