Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Paprika, Peppers and Sour Cream

This week has been great! We met with lots of people, and we also did lots and lots of tracting!!! So basically just about everything.

Sunday was amazing. The stake president, who is actually an American who served a mission here 15 years ago and then moved back to Hungary after his mission, came and gave a talk. Udit Vasvary, who either used to be or still is the stake relief society president, also gave a talk.  Her husband Karoly, is the second counselor in the stake president and they have a son who started his mission in Scotland a week before I started mine!  She invited her friends to church. Of course, both the talks were amazing. It was awesome that they could come, the wife has been pretty interested in the church for a while, but it has been pretty hard to set up with them. Also, this other lady came. We tracted into her, and she said she was really busy, but that it would probably good to come to English class to help with her job as a receptionist here in Veszprém. She came to English class, and while there, she said she probably would be able to come to church the next day, and that she really liked the building and the feeling she felt. There was, of course, a surprise blizzard on Sunday, but she still came -- she walked in right when church started.

We also tracted into another cool lady and her little daughter. When we first started talking at her door she said that she wasn't interested in religion and stuff, but that she would take our little survey anyway. The last question we usually ask is "if there was a question you could ask to God, what would it be?" She started crying and said "why did my parents have to die?" We all felt the Spirit, and we gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet and said that we knew families can be together forever. Even though she wasn't interested at first, she was able to feel the Holy Ghost and she even set up with us to meet later and talk.

So transfers are tomorrow. I was so nervous that I was going to be transferred from Veszprém, but we got the phone call this morning and thankfully we are both staying :). Also, also, from now on transfers are going to be every nine weeks / two months so I know for sure that I am going to stay here two more months. I wanted to stay so much for several reasons. One is that Veszprém is such a beautiful city, and Elder Dellenbach and I are also working really well together. Another is that there have been several people that I keep running into when tabeling and stuff that I want to share the gospel with. The lady that was spoke English that ran into me that other day when we were tabeling ran into us again this morning, coincidentally, and we weren't able to talk much because we were going to different places, but I was able to introduce her to Elder Dellenbach and we were able to talk a tiny bit about her job as a German teacher and other things. Also, there is another lady that came up to me when we were tabeling one and asked for a Book of Mormon and then later came up and asked when church was. The other day we ran into her while walking back to our apartment. I recognized her and just stopped and asked her "hogy vagy?" or "how are you doing?" and then she told me and my companion right there about all these problems that were happening. We said that we could come and talk about Christ some time and she said okay and gave us her phone number.

So I have developed a new passion for sitting and looking at maps. Whenever we are planning I like to put a map of Veszprém in front of me and sit and look at it. I don't know why I like it so much, but I do.

Picture from Google maps

I've also developed a taste for these Hungarian scone things. I never asked anyone here for the recipe, so I just kinda made one up and it turned out pretty much the same. I mixed just some flour and a tiny bit of water, with tiny bits of oil, salt, and baking soda, and fry it till it just barely turns golden brown. Then I rub it with a clove of garlic and top it with salt, sour cream, and cheese. Sometimes I also get some boneless pork and chop it into little cubes and fry it in oil and finely chopped cloves of garlic with just some salt and pepper and eat that with the scone. It's not very healthy, but it's super delicious. I'm pretty sure that the scone thing with sour cream and cheese is called "lángos." Super tasty!
Picture from Google search

We also tracted into this lady this morning (Yes it's a p-day, but the rule is you have to have three working hours on a p-day, so we did ours in the morning) and she insisted we stay over for lunch, which was already cooking. She fed us rice flavored with -- you guessed it! -- paprika.  It was really good. They put that in everything. And in Hungary there's a different typed of paprika for every different kind of pepper, which makes sense seeing as paprika and pepper are the same word in Hungarian.

It's getting easier to mimic Hungarian foods as I get familiar with the ingredients they use the most, mainly paprika, peppers, sour cream. I really want to learn how to make fruit soup. I've had it twice and it's really yummy! Next time someone feeds it to us, I will have to ask for the recipe.

One of the other Elders' investigators invited all four of us over for dinner -- it was really tasty, she made probably the best paprikas csirke I've had since I've come to Hungary. She also fed us palacsinták, and while the palacsintas were warming up because there was no food on the table she quickly made this fried-egg noodle dish so we could eat while we were waiting for the palacsintas. It was incredible how fast she made it. There was so much food! When she put the fruit bowl on the table after we finished the palacsintas, and told us to please take some fruit, I took an orange, but the other three elders were too full to take anything! I was so full I didn't eat anything the rest of the evening, and I don't think my companion did either.
Palacsinták--image from google search

We have been faithful to our commitment to run every morning! Even though there is still snow outside, depending on the day ;)

So our mission president has this thing he does where every mission companionship reports the number of "working hours" they work each week. Every lesson with an investigator, recent convert, or less active member, counts as one hour no matter how long or short it actually was. We also report finding hours, which is every hour we spend tabeling, tracting, and streeting. Every companionship has a bare minimum requirement of 25 hours per week, 10 of which should be finding. It sounds really easy, but the truth is it's possible to be out working all day doing good things for 10 hours straight but to only actually get in about one or two legitimate "working hours," so this is a good way to focus on always using your time the best way possible. We found out in an email from the mission president today that this system is being piloted in a couple other missions with really favorable results. But our mission did it first! :) BTW in case you were all wondering, my comp and I don't have a problem of getting all of our hours in :)

On transfer week Tuesday, not Monday, is our p-day. According to the transferologists in the local vicinity, I had a high chance of leaving tomorrow, because greenies often leave their first area after their first full transfer, especially if their original companion is already gone. So our original plan was to go to the Balaton, part of which is in our area, this morning. However, I am staying!!! So we can go to the Balaton some other time! Also before we leave I want to check out Tapolca, another town in our area that I have heard is absolutely gorgeous! Elder Beaumont is leaving Veszprém -- :(  -- and Elder Höferl's new companion is going to be Elder Kellogg, who is in Elder Beaumont's MTC group, which is one group older than mine. Also, the next group is coming to Hungary tomorrow! Or right now! But they're getting their new companions tomorrow! It will be exciting to have 10 new missionaries in the mission with us!

Bunker Elder

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