Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Happy Easter!

Easter is wonderful--we celebrate the two greatest events in the history of this world:  The Atonement and Resurrection.  Please click on the link below to watch a beautiful video celebrating the true beauty of Easter!


Watch the video below or click on the link above.

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Lyrics by Samuel Medley
  1. 1. I know that my Redeemer lives.
    What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
    He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
    He lives, my ever-living Head.
    He lives to bless me with his love.
    He lives to plead for me above.
    He lives my hungry soul to feed.
    He lives to bless in time of need.
  2. 2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
    He lives to guide me with his eye.
    He lives to comfort me when faint.
    He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
    He lives to silence all my fears.
    He lives to wipe away my tears.
    He lives to calm my troubled heart.
    He lives all blessings to impart.
  3. 3. He lives, my kind, wise heav'nly Friend.
    He lives and loves me to the end.
    He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing.
    He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
    He lives and grants me daily breath.
    He lives, and I shall conquer death.
    He lives my mansion to prepare.
    He lives to bring me safely there.
  4. 4. He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
    He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Néni and Bácsi

This week, of course was awesome!

We tracted into this one lady a couple of weeks ago. She said that her friend had a Book of Mormon and that she had read out of it and wanted a copy. We didn't get her phone number, so we couldn't call her to set up a return appointment, so we looked her up and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was very happy with the Book of Mormon, and wouldn't let us leave until we each had an apple and some Easter chocolate and a small jar of homemade peach jam for our companionship. Such a sweet lady.

By the way, short explanation: Nagynéni and Nagybácsi mean aunt and uncle, while Néni (nay-nee) and Bácsi (baa-chee) are nicknames for older men and women, usually in the retired stage of their life. They usually pair it with a nickname. So Gizella would be called Gizi néni, Erzsébet would be called Erzsi néni, Zoltan would be called Zoli bácsi, Pál would be Páli bácsi, Agnes would be Agi néni, the list goes on. In the olden days all childrens' names had to be selected from a list of official Hungarian names, so there are many many many older people named Janos, Karoly, Atilla, Sandor, and Csaba (men), and Zsuzsa, Erzsébet, Judith, Agnes and Eszter (women).

We went to Szekesfehérvár for Zone Training. Since our zone is fairly spread out, this time zone training was split into two. The missionaries from Veszprém, Szekesfehérvár, and Dunaújváros met on Wednesday, and then the next day the districts from Kaposvar and Pécs met. After the training, we went and had ice cream. It was really big for a good price.

This week should be pretty busy! We are having our Nyílt Nap (open house) on Friday, and we have been busy getting everything ready for that. We will then be having our baptism on Saturday which should be awesome!!! Hopefully everything will work out ok!

Since the weather is warm enough, on Saturdays we have switched from Játék Est (Game night) to Sport Nap (sport day). We played basketball and frisbee and soccer with some members and investigators. It was fun.

This morning when we were shopping I got the ingredients for pavlova, my favorite dessert. (Eggs, cream, sugar, fruit :)  ) I've made it a couple times at home, and I've always had it every year on my birthday, so I don't have the exact recipe, but it's pretty simple so I think I'll be able to figure it out. My goal will be to NOT beat the cream or the egg whites for too long. I always tend to do that.

Transfers are on April first. Hopefully it'll be more like April fools and I won't be transferred.

That's that!
Have a great week everybody!
Bunker Elder

Friday, March 27, 2015

Farsang Buli and Back to Budapest

This week was great! As usual!

So this week we went Back to Budapest. It seems at least one event every month requires a trip to Budapest. We went for zone conference, which was combined with the Southwest and Budapest zones. The next day would be the West, East, and Southeast zones. We had our training from Patrick Kearon, from the seventy, in the area presidency for this corner of the world. It was really amazing, of course! He talked a lot about teaching by the Spirit communication with other people.

Today we are going to go to Zirc again and check out all the gardens there and the Cistercian Abbey. We will take lots of pictures -- which I will send out once I have access to a computer that I can connect to.  :)   :)

Yesterday was a Hungarian holiday. It celebrated a revolt against whatever country was invading them in 1848 (I think is was Austria?). Everyone wore a pin with a red, white, and green ribbon all day, and to church. When we were walking back to our place, we passed an outdoor concert, with a string quartet and a lady singing what I think was traditional Hungarian music. Everyone was holding wooden torches for lighting. The night before was a farsang buli, or costume party, at the branch-house. A couple of our investigators came, and the food was really good.

So, story, this family we tracted into the other week, to whom we gave the Family Proclamation pamphlet to, we called them this morning and set up with them. We really hope it turns out well!

Our investigator who is being baptized on the 28th, is set to read the entire church library by the end of the year. She found us through a pass along card she received. Read the scriptures! They invite the Spirit and make things work out! At least the important things! Anyways, she has shared the copies of the Book of Mormon with some members of her family and has talked and read out of the book of Mormon with her daughter and son-in-law that live in Veszprém.

Flashback to the other family I have talked about in other emails. This is the family that we have been trying to set up with for a while, and they came to the New Year's Eve party and to sacrament meeting when their friend was giving a talk. They have friends that are members and sometimes we call them and see if they want to meet, but we haven't been able to meet yet.

Returning to the first investigator. We were helping her fill out her baptismal papers. She got to her children's names. PLOT TWIST!!! She is the family's mom. We had absolutely no idea, the member family had no idea, in fact a lot of people had no idea. Apparently the mysterious daughter and son in law that she was sharing the gospel to was the family, who everyone else was trying to share the gospel to also. This was something amounting to a miracle for several different reasons. One, they found the gospel through different ways, but when they all found it, they started talking about it with each other. Second, I think, is an example of what is meant when it is said that eternal families are essential in salvation. Families are a gift from God to help and strengthen each other. And while the family were (and still are) open to the gospel message, it was through the mom, who is not even a member yet, that they were able to learn the most about the gospel.

It seems a lot of people that join the church, at least in Hungary, are the people that are seeking out a good thing to help guide their lives, as opposed to just looking for something that gives them pleasure and temporary happiness. The Relief Society president here told us her conversion story several weeks ago. I might of already shared it, but I want to share it again. She always saw the missionaries around here and there, and she said that they were always happy, and that they had a certain power about them. One day, to her surprise, she saw them walking down her street. She flung open her door and waved her arms and called them inside, and her, her husband, and son, were baptized a couple weeks later.

Another example is another family in our ward. A young woman that was invited to church five years ago by her friend, and she took the lessons, gained a testimony, and with her parents' consent was soon baptized. Her mom saw the change in her daughter's life, and soon was baptized a few months later. Recently, the other missionaries here in Veszprém have been teaching her brother, who has become really good friends with one of the missionaries. In one of the lessons recently, the missionaries and the young woman and her friend, all bore their testimonies, and then they asked him, who had by now been reading out of an illustrated Book of Mormon Stories book for awhile, to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. They all felt the Spirit so strongly, and at the end of the prayer, he started crying (happy tears!) and said that he got his answer and knew the Book of Mormon was true. He is going to be baptized on the 28th, also.

There was this one article in a Liahona once that talked about different ways we can receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Sometimes it is through just diligently reading the Book of Mormon and feeling the spirit. Sometimes it is through living according the the Book of Mormon and seeing the positive change in your life. Sometimes it is through sincere prayer that the Book of Mormon is true, after reading and pondering. There was a fourth way in the article, too, but I can't remember it off the top of my head!

Sok szeretettel!
Bunker Elder!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Zirc, Bakony Forest and a Q&A

Hello Everyone!

I want to start off this email with answers to a few questions!
Wait, are you close to a transfer yet? 
The next transfer is April first. Hope it turns out to be April fools, and that I wont be going!!! But I've been here in Veszprém for four months and it looks like I'll be leaving!
Yeesh, will that be hard?
Of course!! We have some really progressing investigators that want to be baptized but haven't committed to a specific date yet. I probably will miss their baptisms. Of course, that's not the only reason I would want to stay! Veszprém is really pretty, and I love this city, and the ward here is really strong, and the work is forecasted to really go up after the open house / missionary night at the open house. Also I just don't want to go!
Do you go over to members houses much?
Not really. There's one family that has us over for lunch ever week, which is actually super amazing, and we go over to another lady every week who is half-paralyzed from a stroke and give her the sacrament. We are also always trying to set up with less active members, and there are a couple that we visit regularly and invite to come to church.   
What are they like inside?
We are not just inside member houses, but we get quite a few let ins while tracting on a really good day. Most of the people we visit live inside these 10 story cement apartment buildings from the communist days, like the fifties or sixties, and they are super tiny. 

From Google image search

But it is amazing how different each of them are decorated, even though they all have the same layout. One lady has all the doorways and furniture redone in fancy hardwood, and super fancy floral wall paper, with beautiful dark green velvety furniture. We have no idea how she got all this stuff into that apartment. This is an exception! Another guy we tracted into had all these crazy colorful patterns painted on the walls. Most people have tooons of potted plants.  
Do they have little grocery stores everywhere?
Usually, no matter where you are, you can reach a PennyMarket, Aldi, Spar, or Lidl within three to five minutes by foot. PennyMarket and Spar are the Most common, at least in Veszprém.
What type of table do you set up for tabeling?
This tiny lawn table with detachable legs. 
Do you have to carry it on the bus or do you set it up outside of your apartment?
We live in the Belváros, which is kind of like downtown-old city area, and there is a big walking street two minutes from our house. We carry the table there.


So, this morning we went to Zirc (pronounced zeertz). 

I have really wanted to got there, since before I got into Hungary actually, I we finally went. We were going to go hiking, since it's in the hills the middle of the Bakony forest (pronounced somewhere in between Bah-coin and Bah-cone-yuh).

Picture of the Bakony Forest from a Google Search

But the first trail we went to was super muddy. So we just played a little bit of 2 on 2 ultimate frisbee in a field and took pictures and stuff. We saw this beautiful Catholic abbey, which has a museum in it that I want to go back and visit some time. You could see the abbey nestled in between the hills surrounded by the town from a distance, with the two huge spires really catching your attention. It was really pretty. 

Picture from Google Search

This week when we were tracting we ran into some pretty cool people, as usual!

One lady we tracted into we were able to set up with again and had a lesson with her about the restoration, and we could feel the spirit really strongly. She was really smart and asked really good questions. Hopefully she will have us back -- we got her phone number.

We tracted into this family, which let us in for our little survey :). They said they have a really busy schedule, but they would be open to letting us back some time if there were available to listen to our message. When we opened up our bags to give them a restoration pamphlet, Elder Dellenbach found that he just had Family: a Proclamation to the World pamphlets and for some reason I had Restoration pamphlets in English but not Hungarian -- I have absolutely NNNOOOO idea how that happened- but this was probably meant to be :) because when we gave them the Family pamphlet and said that it talked about how the church believed in families and then bore our testimonies about the family.


We also tracted into this older man who lived in England for like 40 years or something and spoke English with us. He really wasn't interested in our message, but he thought English class looked interesting -- "I practice faith me own little way, but maybe I can have me wife look into this 'ere English class."

The mission president came to the Veszprém branch on Sunday to have an interview with an investigator, which was successful! President and Sister Smith both spoke at the end of sacrament meeting. Sister Smith prepared a talk in Hungarian that she read, and Dellenbach Elder translated for Smith Elnök. We were able to get three investigators to sacrament meeting, which was a first for us. 

Have a great week!
Bunker Elder

Monday, March 2, 2015

A "feel good" offer from Asia

This week was great, as usual! 

News this week, we had 28 and a half finding hours, which is a new personal/companionship record! On Tuesday, we tracted for 8 hours straight, and didn't get a single let in :( but the next day we did meet several new people on the street and got their phone numbers, which was good! 

We were tabeling on Wednesday, and this guy came up to me, and started talking -- I had seen him around the area where we table before. He started talking to me about the weather, and about how cold it was, and then asked what we do when we get sick. I was like, well, if we get really sick we go to the hospital, and we probably stay at home and eat healthy foods for a little bit while we get better. He then said that he knew of this substance that he could get for us if we ever needed to "feel good," and that they use it a lot in Asia and stuff. I had been talking that whole time with a drug dealer!!!! I then said something like "well I'll keep that in mind, have a nice day" and kind of just walked off and handed fliers to the other people on the street. It is written all over Preach My Gospel that we should always be building trust and relationships with other people. I think I am justified in exercising some personal discretion and avoiding a relationship with this particular person!

On the bright side, our  investigator, has said that she wants to be baptized. Of course, she has been progressing towards baptism all along, and she has known that, but this was an official "Yes, I want to be baptized." She has been keeping all the commandments that we have been presenting to her, but every time we bring baptism up she comes up with some new excuse. However, this week, we had a really good lesson on blessings we have in our lives when we commit to live the gospel. We then challenged her with a baptismal date. The biggest obstacle that she still perceives is the time commitment that comes with being a member. The said that when she would be baptized, she would have to attend so many church programs and this and that and she doesn't have time for that. This went right along with the lesson! :) We said that as we give time to the Lord, he blesses us in return, and that really the most important thing that she had to attend was sacrament meeting, and that she is already living her life in accordance with the standards of the church. She has been doing amazing with Book of Mormon reading! When I first came to this area, every week she usually read about a page or two. Then Dellenbach Elder and I really decided to focus on The Book of Mormon and stories from it, and for a couple lessons we shared stories like Samuel the Lamanite and the Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah being visited by the angel and then becoming amazing missionaries. She then started reading more and more, up to about ten chapters a week. This last week she read about 30 chapters from the Book of Mormon. 

Our other investigator, finished the Book of Mormon and then read the entire Gospel Principles book. She has started on talks from General Conference, and has given a copy of the Book of Mormon to her sister. She was sick, so she wasn't able to come to church on Sunday, but we called her and she said that she fasted anyways because she read about fasting in Gospel Principles -- we haven't even covered that with her yet! Our other investigator, asked where she was at church and then called her to make sure that she was doing all right -- such a great example. I like that one talk from General Conference, from Elder Wu, I think. It was the one delivered in Cantonese - about how we need to always be helping and reaching out to people that need help, and that are maybe less active or can't come to church -- and how it was the combined faith of everyone that healed the man afflicted with palsy, and that our combined faith can really help people that need our help that are afflicted with "spiritual palsy."

Have a great week!
Szép napot!!
Bunker Elder