Called to serve Feb 2016

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Kaposvári Karácsony

Boldog Karácsonyt!

Well I'm finally out of the big city of Budapest and into the beautiful little city of Kaposvár. Basically, to quote the Fresh Prince of Bel-air, "My life got flipped, turned up-side down" this week. 

  Tuesday was my last day together with Elder Allred, so we grabbed some chinese, got our last tracting hour in together and headed up Gellért Hegy to finish off the day and to farewell my wonderful time in Budapest. 
  Wednesday was transfers and I basically forgot that I was training again until they were calling up all the trainers for the meeting, so that kind of hit me. But we had a great time in the meeting and I was able to meet my brand new companion, Elder Thomsen, from Atlanta, Georgia. So that officially brings my Utahn vs non-Utahn companion count to even at three a piece. We were actually in a trio for a few days while we waited for Elder Gonzáles to leave the office, so we jumped on the three hour long train with Elder Harris as we anticipated seeing Kaposvár for the first time. We basically just got everything ready for the rest of the night and saw a bit of the city, which is super pretty especially because it's all done up for Christmas right now.
  Thursday was our first real day together in the trio and it went great. I had to do my first District meeting, but it was pretty easy because we basically just all introduced ourselves and stuff then had like a 30 minute training. After that, we did some tracting, met with a member who fed us some delicious stew, taught English class and finished it off by meeting the branch president and his wife who are both super cool.
  Friday was basically just getting a whole bunch of stuff ready again and getting ourselves aquainted with the area. We then had to pick up Elder Gonzáles from the train station and get ourselves moved in to our new apartment. The apartment is alright, the only problem is that we don't have any heating, which is not fun when it's in the negatives outside during the day.
  Saturday we were able to meet with a few investigators, one of which we were able to extend a baptismal invitation which she accepted, so hopefully that will turn into something in the future. The other was a really cool 12 year old girl who's dad is a member but her mother doesn't want her to get baptised, they're super cool.
  Sunday was interesting. We woke up and not only had no heating in the apartment still but it turns out our hot water doesn't work either, so we're still working on that but hopefully we can get that fixed soon. After that we had church which was interesting because church is only 2 hours here and Priesthood/Relief Society is first then sacrament meeting after. It was really good though, the ward isn't too big (25ish including the missionaries) but the love the missionaries and they're really excited to have another companionship.

So yeah life is pretty crazy at the moment, even if it doesn't really sound much like it, but hopefully it'll calm down as we get into it and understand a bit more of what's going on.

Hope you all have a magical Christmas!

- McKim Elder

P.S. Sorry, I haven't actually taken any pictures of Kaposvár yet, been way too distracted

                                                           Elder Allred and my last comp pic together


Wait... again?

Hellosztok!

So the final week of another transfer is coming to an end and so today is the terrifying Transfer Call Tuesday. I'd be lying if I said that my call wasn't at least a little unexpected. I'll be spending the next 10 weeks in the wonderful city of Kaposvár with a brand new son. Yep somehow I'm training again. I'm also reopening the Kaposvár area, so I guess I didn't get either of those right the first time here in Buda, so President Szabadkai is giving me a second shot to see if I can do it. Hopefully all goes well, I really don't know much about Kaposvár other than that it was Elder Winkel's favourite city, so it should be good and hopefully we can get some work going down there pretty quick. I'm also going to be the District Leader, I don't really know what I have to do but I guess I'll work it out as I go.

The rest of our week was way good. Tuesday was the most people that we have met with in a day the whole time that I've been here. That said it was only 3 but that was pretty full for us. We met with a man who was a potential that we got from the assistants and he was super legit. We taught him the restoration and he seems like he could be a really solid investigator. After that we met with two different members, Laci Bácsi and Balázs. We were able to share the christmas initiative with both of them and so it was a pretty good day.
  Wednesday was our zone day, that we got for reaching the zone challenge this transfer. So we all headed up to Pest and we got a day full of sports and fun all together as a zone, which also included getting to watch Finding Dory and eating a whole bunch of Pizza, it was a way fun day.
  Thursday was the normal craziness of our final district meeting and then us having to teach English class in Érd. It's going to be nice not having to rush so much on Thursdays anymore.
  Friday we had splits with the Érd Elders and so I got to serve with Elder Robinson one last time before we part ways again. It was good we just did a bunch of tracting and a bit of streeting but it was still fun. We then got to attend a baptism of a woman that the sisters have been teaching here in Buda. Her husband has been a member for a while and everyone already though she was a member so it was great to see her finally take the step and be baptised.
  On Saturday Elder Allred and I did a bit of tracting together before heading to another baptism of a woman named Zsuzsa who the assistants have been teaching. She had also been waiting a while to be baptised so she was really excited to finally receive that blessing. After the baptism we got to go out caroling with the Buda district at a few popular spots around the city, which was super fun. 
  Sunday we had the Primary presentation in our ward which was super cute. It was interesting because I realised that all the Primary kids actually speak english as well as Hungarian and at this point they're probably all better than me at both of them.
  Monday was what we call Black Monday and as such we decided to treat ourselves with a special lunch at this way good burger place called Magic Burger. It was kind of expensive but it was way worth it. After that we just did a bit of tracting and preparing the area for me leaving, then we got to visit a member who fed us some delicious paprikás csirke and gave us Reese's to take home with us. Little Black Monday miracles.

So I'm in for a week full of craziness and business, but everything should hopefully go well and next week I'll be able to introduce you all to my new son!

Hope you all have a great week!

-McKim Elder

                                                                                Black Monday burgers


Random bull statue in the park we street in

Karácsonyi csodák!

Jóóóóó Napot!

Time is flying fast here in Buda as Elder Allred and I enter our last week together as a companionship (probably), it's going to be really sad to say goodbye to my son but I'm excited to see what next transfer has in store for me (maybe leaving Budapest...?).

  Our wondeful week started with interviews with President Szabadkai. Nothing really too crazy happened in my interview, no hints or anything, we really just talked about the work here in Buda and the weirdness of the situation that we're currently in. We then headed down to Érd to play some games with the Elders there before their interviews.
  Tuesday we were able to go home teaching with our ward mission leader to visit a kind of less active man in our ward. It was really good and our ward mission leader is the man, seriously like life goals right there.
  Wednesday was pretty normal until we got a call at 6:30 from the sisters in Eger asking us if we could visit a member in their ward that is in the hospital here in Buda. Usually when that kind of stuff happens it's all older people but it turned out it was an 18 year old kid and they had no idea what was wrong with him. But I had the opportunity to give him a blessing, which was really cool, I'll be honest blessings in Hungarian are hard but the words come when you're led by the spirit, so it went well.
  Thursday was the normal hecticness of a thursday, so it was fun, we had district meeting where we talked about finding and how we can become more effective finders and then that night we had english class which we taught all together (4 of us) with no preparation and it went surprisingly well. We shared the new christmas video with everyone afterwards and the spirit was super strong, definitely went well.
  Friday we were able to visit an inactive family and share the christmas initiative, then the assistants asked us to go back and visit the family in the hospital again (the hospital is in their area) but when we got there they had already gone back to Eger...
  Saturday we got to do a bit of service but not in the way that we thought we would. The secretaries called us as we were finishing lunch saying that they got food poisoning, so they needed some stuff from the store that we were able to grab for them.
  Sunday was really cool. We had planned to go visit a member family after church but they called and cancelled on us because they were sick. So instead we went out tracting, as we came to the end of a building we firstly had a woman call us from the card that we had left with her and I was able to explain a little more about us over the phone and extend the invitation to learn more and then straight after I got off the phone we were let in to an apartment (#10thFloor95thDoor) where we were able to talk with a nice older woman with whom we were able to share why we are here as missionaries and a little about the plan of salvation. We left her with a plan of salvation pamphlet and we're hoping to return to her later this week. It was super cool and Elder Allred and I had set a goal to get at least one let in this week, so goal accomplished I guess.

Today is kind of Christmas eve here because Hungary has two christmas', so Santa is coming tomorrow to bring us all our gifts (well to put lollies in our boots actually) and then the 25th is when we celebrate Christ. 
So I guess Merry Christmas eve to you all and may your boots be full of sweets in the morning!

- McKim Elder

P.S If anyone hasn't seen the new Christmas video yet, go to mormon.org and check it out #Szép
P.P.S Sorry didn't take any picture this week...

Diligence

Draga barátaim!

This has been a strange week, to be completely honest. On monday we had planned to head down to Érd to go to a mall and play games for P-day, but that changed when the Érd elders had to let President Szabadkai and the office couple inspect the other Érd apartment. So I just went and got a new side bag because mine was literally hanging by a thread and we got yelled at a whole bunch while tracting. I did get to visit a super solid guy named Laci in Érd though and his mum made us töltött paprika, it was way good, it's been so long since I've had real Hungarian food.
  Tuesday we had splits so I was in Érd with Elder Bloomer, it was nothing too crazy we just got lost at a weird train station in the middle of nowhere, had a couple people yell at us while tracting and talked to a crazy guy for a few minutes. On tuesday night all the people who said that they would meet with us this week cancelled, so Elder Allred and I went out on the hunt to find some new investigators. I prayed that we would find someone who would "become a new investigator", well our prayer was answered only the guy that we met lives in Pest, not Buda, so we had to hand him over to the Pest sisters. I gained a testimony of prayers needing to be specific that day.
  Wednesday was basically just straight out of the best two years as Elder Allred suggested that we needed to fast so that we could find a new investigator and so I happily agreed. We went super hard and our motto for the day was "#Diligence". We finally had a solid conversation with someone right before dinner allowing us to head home grab some bread from the bakery and basically just eat a bunch of nutella for dinner. Missionary life...
  Thursday was "Hála adás napja" or maybe "Pulyka nap", I don't know, Hungarian doesn't have a translation, but it was thanksgiving. So we gathered together as a district after district meeting to give many thanks over our wonderful thanksgiving lunch. We can't really get a big turkey, so instead we replaced it with a roast chicken along with some potatoes and bread. It was surprisingly legit and it looked pretty sweet. We also all wore our matching Thanksgiving socks with Turkey legs on them. Wasn't what I expected out of Thanksgiving but it was still pretty sweet.
  Friday was nothing too special, just headed out to Budaörs for some tracting.
  Saturday we decided to head out to this little area that we keep seeing on the map that no one ever goes to. Turns out it was basically all like little farm houses and it was super sketchy. We found this well, so we of course had to give it a try, and then later on we found a weird statue of a stork holding a demon child. It was just an all round pretty strange day.
  Sunday was nothing too different, teheonly strange thing that happened was that Elder Allred got a blood nose during sacrament meeting, which was exciting. We also got the zone challenge again this week so in like a week and a half we get to have a zone day together!
  Today is going to be interviews with President Szabadkai, so we hope everything goes well, but we'll see I guess.

Have fantastic weeks! Boldog Karácsonyt!

- McKim Elder

PICS!
Creepy Stork statue






Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Napi csodák (Daily miracles)

Sziasztok!

Well well well, here we are again, another wonderful week gone past in the beautiful city of Budapest.

  Monday we decided to have a little bit more of a relaxing day, so we just headed over to a big mall in Pest and spent the day looking around in there. After that I realised that Elder Allred had never seen the wonderful train stations of Budapest, and they happen to both be on our way home, so we took a visit to those as well as eating in one of the fanciest McDonalds in the whole world.
  Tuesday saw some crazy miracles as 4 people that I called all wanted to meet in this upcoming week, so we'll see how all those go. Then we had two lessons set up that we were taking our ward mission leader to, but both cancelled on us, so we took him tracting with us. As we were ringing this building a man told us that we shouldn't be doing this and that we had to get permission from the man in the office. So we went into the office and after talking with this man for about 20 minutes we weren't able to tract the building but we did share a little about the restoration with him, he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and told us that any time we have cards or fliers he would personally deliver them to the 300 apartments that he was in charge of. Then we retried one of the people that we were going to meet with and they let us in, so we taught a lesson that night too.
  Wednesday we did a bit of tracting across the road from some JW's who were also tracting, which was fun, we then had two different women threaten to call the cops on us, not so fun. Then we were able to meet with a cool less active family and we shared the restoration with their non-member daughter. We then had to do some emergency splits with the Assistants, so I got to teach another lesson and then we went tracting and happend to get a let in, which basically never happens, so I can basically just attribute that to being with one of the Assistants.
  Thursday we had our zone training where we talked about commitments and how to more effectively use our time according to the missionary schedule, it was way good and got us pretty pumped to go work. We also got told about the new Christmas initiative which we're all pumped about too.
  Friday was our district meeting which is always a great time, but we were also able to meet a lot of cool people while out finding that day which is always good.
  Saturday was pretty much all finding, so we were out talking to people on the streets and knocking on doors, you know classic missionary life.
  Sunday's are always fun, we basically just had church and then went out tracting. While we were tracting we had two more people tell us to leave but I managed to talk one down into letting us stay but the second after a little bit of "conversation" responds to my question of "How do you know that no one here is interested in this?" with the classic line of "Because they're all Hungarian!" and then slamming the door. I really do love this country.

Hope you all have an amazing week!

Sok sikert mindenhez!

-McKim Elder


Elder Allred and I out on the search


Proud father

Jó olvasást kívánok!

This week was super hectic, I feel like I pretty much did no missionary work because we just had meetings and had to go do residency stuff pretty much the whole week, it was pretty insane, but still a great week.

  For P-day firstly I went and did a bit of shopping, got myself some new shoes because I already trashed the other ones that I bought a couple of months ago. I guess we're just doing too much tracting over here or something. We also found sweet ties in a store that were 2 for 390 Ft which is like $1.50, so our whole district got some sweet ties. We then decided to head out on a nice walk up Gellert Hegy, which is a big hill with a cool statue thing at the top. We then started our splits with Érd, where I was with Elder Robinson which left our two sons together all alone in Buda. But despite not speaking much Hungarian they were able to talk to a woman at her door for 20 minutes about the Book of Mormon and get her phone number. We're going back to visit her tomorrow, so I have a testimony that the gift of tongues is real.
  On tuesday I went out with Elder Robinson to visit this guy named Róbi, who is basically a 75 year old man who used to be jacked out of his mind. He still benches every day even at 75. He made us some paprikás csirke and showed us his little shack in his back yard where he makes kolbász (sausage) that he sells around the world. We were also talking to a guy later on when a woman came out and started yelling at us telling us that we were wrong because she talks face to face with the Lord every night and visits with the spirit all the time. It was a weird conversation so we just bore our testimonies and left.
  Wednesday we had new missionary training, which was a super cool experience. It was a little longer than we thought it was going to be (3 hours) but it was really fun, especially doing role plays of how to deal with disobedient companions. We also got pizza after which is always nice.
  Thursday was just dealing with getting everything ready to get Elder Allred registered in the country and then teaching english class. I also got a sweet scarf as we were coming back to Buda.
  Friday we had to actually go to the Hivatal (government office thing, I don't know the word in English) and we waited for a while, but everything ended up being successful which was nice. We then had district meeting and did a bit of tracting.
  Saturday we ventured out into the cold rain to try and look some people up and do some tracting. But basically no one was home, because that's basically what happens with Hungarians and rain apparently. Then we had a fireside with Elder Leimer who is an Area seventy, it was way good, he talked a lot about missionary work and gave some cool promises to us.
  Sunday was pretty normal, besides the fact that it was fast sunday, good day though.

Well I hope that you're weeks are all wonderful and hopefully much warmer than mine are.

Sok szeretettel,
- McKim Elder
                          
Elder Robinson and I with Róbi and his kolbász (also matching ties!)

Random dog we found that is just ridiculous (it's pretty huge)

Short week, lots of meetings.

Sok szeretettel köszöntelek benneteket!

Well this was probably the shortest week of my mission considering it basically started on Wednesday but it was packed full of meetings and craziness.

  So considering P-day was on a wednesday this week and all the museums in Hungary are closed on mondays, we decided that we should make the most of our chance to see a museum and so we went to this place called the Terror Ház (Terror house). When we called for permission President Szabadkai said "az nem egy vidám hely" (that's not a joyful place) and boy was he right about that one. It was basically a museum about all the terrible things that the occupying forces did to the Hungarian people to establish and throughout communism. It was really sad, but it was a great opportunity to learn more about Hungarian history, because we hear bits about how terrible things used to be but we never really learn too much about it.
  Thursday was pretty normal, we had district meeting and English class, which is always good fun.
  Friday we headed out to Budaörs with the hopes of a normal day meeting with an investigator that we have out there, but it didn't turn out like that. Firstly we went tracting down some super sketchy street where we stumbled across something that I don't even know how to explain, but I included a picture of it below. We hope it was just some really messed up halloween decorations and not real dead bodies, but we don't know, it was super sketch and so we just went down the street and kept tracting. I actually had to get that picture from Elder Allred because when I tried to take a picture of it, my camera screen just blanked out white and then my camera died when it had 2 bars of battery left, super creepy. Then after that we tried to meet with our investigator but she was sick and so we ended up meeting with a member out there instead which was super cool before grabbing some Ikea for dinner and heading back.
  Saturday started our wondeful weekend of Stake Conference, which was presided over by Elder Adler who is an area seventy. I especially loved the priesthood session that we had on Saturday because it was very focused on missionary work and Elder Adler gave a lot of special promises and challenges to the missionaries here. Stake conference was also really cool because it meant that a lot of the missionaries in the stake got to come up to Budapest to watch it, which was super fun.
  Sunday we continued with Stake Conference, it was really good. It was cool to see my progression between my first stake conference after only a couple weeks in the country and now to when I could understand basically everything that was being said, it shows me that God really does help us with this language because there's probably not many people out there that can learn this language as quick as the missionaries do. People often say here that "the only people who can speak Hungarian are Hungarians and Mormon missionaries" which is cool. After stake conference we got the opportunity to go to a members house and assist in giving her a blessing, so that was really cool too.

Hope you all have fantastic weeks!
Szeretlek benneteket!

- McKim Elder
                                                                             
                                                                  Sketchy dead body thing

                                         
                       Elder Robinsons, Elder Thomas' and my sons all mesmerised by being on a metro

                            Ran into my old investigator, David, and my trainer at stake conference


Ismerd meg a temetőt! - A visit to the cemetery



Üdvözlöm benneteket!

So first of all this has been a really long week, not because anything hard happened, just because it was 9 days long. Basically Hungary had this holiday yesterday called "Mindenszentek napja" (All saints day or Day of the Dead) where everyone goes to cemetaries and lays candles and remembers the dead, so they closed everything for monday and tuesday.

  This week has been really cool. On monday we headed over to the Duna as a district and showed our new missionaries some of the great sights of this wonderful city. We also went to the big market (that is a literal translation of its name) which was cool. After that we got to meet with a super cool family for Family Home Evening, who gave us Elder Allred's first real Hungarian meal, paprikás csirke.
  Tuesday we also got to meet with a really cool family who had a bunch of young kids, the had SO MUCH ENERGY! It was so insane, but it was a lot of fun, even got some drawings and a little handbook in Hungarian about how to keep fish from it.
  Wednesday we had splits, which was super weird because it was my first time being a senior companion on splits, nothing that interesting happened but it was good fun.
  Thursday was Zone trainging, where we talked about the importance of Baptism and confirmation and how to work more effectively to those as goals for our investigators.
  Friday we were going to have our one teaching with an investigator for the week, but she cancelled 20 minutes before the lesson, szegény, but what can you do, there's always next week.
  Saturday was a day that we had been getting hyped up for for weeks now, we were having our "Ismerd meg a mormonokat" este (meet the mormons night), where all the members were meant to be trying to bring a friend to watch the moving and then have some food afterwards. Unfortunately only one member actually brought a friend, but it was still a really good night and the food was way good!
  Sunday and monday were pretty average days, but tuesday is where it got interesting. Firstly we went to visit János, the man who we weren't sure if we were going to keep teaching, but we actually had a really solid teaching with him and it seems like he wants to progress, so that's way cool. Then we got to go to a cemetary so we could see the "celebrations" for the day of the dead thing. It was really cool and actually a really spiritual experience, it made me really grateful to have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and my ability to live my love ones again eternally after this life.

This week is going to be short but jam packed so I'm excited and hope you will all enjoy yours as much as I will mine. :)



- McKim Elder

                                                            Elder Allred and I at Parliament
                                           
                                           
             Some crazy dragon statue in the cemetery with a whole bunch of candles around it

                                                Elder Robinson and I on Szabadsâg hid



Monday, 24 October 2016

A child is born.

Sziasztok kedves barátaim!

"For unto [me] a child is born, unto [me] a son is given: ... And his name shall be called Elder Allred"

So another transfer day has gone and past and this time I was given the opportunity to spend this transfer with Elder Allred who is straight out of the MTC and ready to work! He's super cool, he's from Colorado and just loving it being here in Hungary.

  So on tuesday after we emailed, Elder Stringham and I had the opportunity to take all the brand new missionaries on their first streeting adventure in Hungary. It was way fun, they were all super pumped to use as much of the Hungarian that they learned in the MTC as they could and they had plenty of interesting experiences with the random Hungarians on the street.
  On Wednesday I got to transfers bright and early to be there ready for the meeting where we would be getting assigned our new missionaries, which was super fun but also way hectic. We then went out tracting for Elder Allred's first time ever, we had a super cool experience that wasn't quite a 4th floor last door situation like President Uchtdorf spoke about, rather a second 10 story building last floor situation. We were just tracting in some 10 stories and we had been having a lot of people either not pick up or not want to listen to what we said, then finally someone let us into the building on the very last floor after Elder Allred asked if we could share a message in his best MTC Hungarian. We were able to share the message of the restoration with them and then testify to another person of their ability to live eternally with their family and we're hoping to return to them some time and share more about the gospel. I have a testimony that new missionary miracles are definitely a real thing.
  Thursday was our normal super hectic day with district meeting, MCM and english class, but we were able to have a super fun time at district meeting and it gave us an opportunity to learn more about each other. We also had a fun time out tracting in the pouring rain, luckily Elder Allred's coat has a hood, but unfortunately mine does not, so yeah.
  Friday and Saturday were really good working days and we've got some people now that we should be able to meet with in the coming weeks, so that'll be nice to actually have some investigators in Elder Allred's first transfer.
  Sunday we got to take Elder Allred to church for the first time, which also included ward council, it just reminded me of my first sunday when I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I actually had the opportunity to translate for the first time too, it's super crazy to think that only 6 or so months ago I was in Elder Allred's situation and now I'm able to translate for someone else. We're also doing a country wide book of mormon challenge this week, where all the members are meant to give out a book of mormon to someone and invite them to a meet the mormons night that we're having on saturday, so we got to role play with a bunch of members to practice that too which was fun.

Well life is definitely crazier once you become a senior companion but I'm still loving every minute of it!

All the best!
- McKim Elder

PICS!
Haven't actually taken any with Elder Allred yet, but sometime, so sorry.

                                                                    Last comp pic with Elder Stringham


                                                                                    Budapest skyline

Elder Stringham and I's last meal before transfer call. 

I'm going to be a dad?

Sziasztok!
Well another nine weeks have passed and that brings us to the end of my third transfer here in Hungary. We got our transfer calls nice and early this morning to tell us of the wonderful news of where we will be spending the next nine weeks and I will be... staying here in Buda, so I'm going to spend my first 8 months here in the beautiful city of Budapest. Though, I did get the slightly terrifying news that I am going to become a Dad, meaning I'm getting a brand new missionary fresh out of the pre-existence (MTC). It's definitely not going to be easy because I'm still pretty young in the mission and my language skills aren't quite where I wanted them to be before I train, but it's going to be an amazing experience. I won't know who I get until tomorrow, but I'll get to meet him today because we get to take all the new missionaries (that arrived maybe 2 hours ago) streeting around the mission home, which will be good fun.
  The week leading up to transfers is always super crazy but we had plenty of fun still this week. On Wednesday we got to have our zone day for reaching the challenge, so we spent the whole day playing some sports and we got to watch the movie Zootropolis together as a zone, it was a super fun day and I highly recommend Zootropolis to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
  Thursday we headed over to the Hivatal early in the morning and luckily got everything done for our residency card stuff without a huge hassle, but it's always a bit of a pain dealing with Government offices. Then when we came back, our landlord was replacing our washing machine which was great because we've had to handwash all of our clothes for the last 3 weeks due to the old one breaking down. Handwashing was especially bad because with it being fairly cold here now, it takes a couple days for anything that gets that wet to dry, so the new washing machine is definitely nice. We then had our final district meeting as well as teaching English class, so it was a pretty packed day.
  Friday we went out to Budaörs and we finally found ourselves a new investigator, so we were able to teach her a really good lesson about the family and a bit about the plan of salvation, she really loved it. Then we were able to head back and start our splits where I got to go with my good friend Elder Robinson again, we didn't really have any crazy miracles this time, but we did get a lot of good work done which is nice.
  The next few days were mainly just spend preparing for the transfer and making sure everything was in order in case we got whitewashed out, but we did go get probably the best burger  that I've had so far in Hungary.
So that was pretty much my week, I'm excited for the things to come in the upcoming transfer, we're coming up to some of the coolest holidays in Hungary so it'll be cool to see Budapest during those times.

Minden jot!
-McKim Elder

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Hivatalos hegyek - official mountains


So we're already entering into the final week of another transfer, it's pretty crazy to think about, but next time I email, I'll probably be getting a new companion already (possibly even a new city). President Szabadkai didn't give me any hints in my interview so I guess I still have another week or so before I know if I'll leave the big city at any point in time haha.

  This week was pretty good. We started off with interviews on monday, which were pretty normal, I didn't get any new crazy information or anything, so I don't know whether I should be excited or terrified for the upcoming transfer, but I guess we'll just see what happens.
  We spent a bunch of time this week getting a whole bunch of stuff ready for our residency cards, it's kind of ridiculous how much paper work and stuff we have to do to be able to stay in this country, but we do what has to be done. So we have been getting a bunch of forms and stuff and photocopying heaps of stuff this week which has been fun, but only to prepare us to going to the big scary government building this week, which should be super fun.
  We were able to find some super cool areas while we were out tracting in the cold this week. It's always a nice tender mercy when you get a pretty view of the city after you finish a long street of houses. We had a cool tracting miracle this week though, a man let us in to the building and we went up to the top. The first door we rang a man came out and we bore testimony of the book of mormon to him, he said he wasn't religious but if the book has really helped us in our lives then he would leave to read from it. The next floor down we were able to talk to a woman, who after talking for a while about her beliefs regarding the Bible and prophets, allowed us to share about the Book of Mormon and how we have a living prophet today. She loved everything that we shared with her, especially the promise in Moroni 10, and said she would love to learn more about us and attend church some time.
  Other than that, we met with a guy who was super drunk during our teaching, so we'll see where that one goes in the future I guess. Our zone was also able to meet our zone challenge last week (an average of 7 tracting days and 2 member presents each week per companionship over 4 weeks), so we get to have a zone day on wednesday, where we get to watch a disney movie, have lunch and hang out as a zone, so it should be pretty fun. It also got really cold this week, which means sweaters and coats made a come back, looking forward to that Hungarian winter!

Hope you all have great weeks.

Viszont!
- McKim Elder

                                                                   The Mall right near our apartment


                                                                    #JustTractingViews


Split Miracles

Üdvözlöm titeket!

So another wonderful exciting week is gone and past, with many more stories to share.

Monday we were able to head out to a little town called Budaörs for P-day, where we basically just went to Ikea and did some other shopping, but following that I was able to start exchanges with my old companion Elder Robinson. We had a super cool experience when we decided that although we had finished all the tracting that we needed to do, that we would continue on and do the next floor in the building before we finished. No one was being kind to us, until we knocked on the door of a nice old woman, who after a bit of conversation took, took us down to a little store at the bottom of the building and bought us some delicious drinks. The blessings of diligence!
  Wednesday was pretty crazy because I started the day by going to the doctor. There was the possibility that I had Pneumonia, but as far as the doctors are concerned I'm going to be fine, so that's comforting. We then had 2 different appointments suddenly get set up for that night so we were rushing around a lot, but it went well. I even had the opportunity to give a blessing to one of the members in Hungarian, which was super scary, but God speaks Hungarian and he was speaking through me, so it was fine.
  Thursday I got to go on exchanges with another of my old companions, Elder Winkel. We were also given some gifts from a nice old woman, but this time it was Old Testament study cards in Hungarian and some strange books, might come in handy some day. We were also able to meet a man named Robi, who was super excited to hear about the gospel and wants to meet with us, but we're not sure if he's in our area or not, so we'll see what happens there. We also had zone conference which was super good, it was all about learning the language and how we can improve our language studies. Super helpful.
 Then finally this weekend we had the opportunity to watch the first 4 sessions of General conference. Luckily I was able to watch all but one talk in English, so it was a really great opportunity to hear the inspired words of our church leaders. I loved them all, I don't know if I could really pick a favourite to recommend to everyone, so just watch them all I guess haha.

Today is interview day, so next week we'll see if I have any clues about what I'll be doing at transfers.

Sok szeretettel,
McKim Elder

                                     Elder Robinson and I with our drinks that we got from the Néni


Monday, 26 September 2016

Stringham, we need to Go, Now!

Sziasztok kedves barátaim!

So first of all, I don't know how big of news this actually made, but there was an explosion here in Budapest on Saturday night from a person setting off a homemade explosive device. It really wasn't a big deal, there were a couple of police officers injured in the blast but it was late at night so all of us missionaries are fine and it really wasn't that close to us at all. We just have to follow the security guidelines and avoid a few really popular areas, but we'll be fine.

  Monday was fun, first we had a nice little district lunch at a cool milk bar just around the corner from where I live and then we headed over to Hero Square, but it started raining so we kind of all just got wet instead, but it was still super fun.
  Tuesday was absolutely terrifying. So for a couple weeks we've been being told to review the safety guidelines and emergency procedures, which I was doing on Tuesday morning. So at breakfast I was discussing with Elder Stringham why I am not prepared for an emergency, only to then go check the phone and see a message telling us to pack and prepare to evacuate the city. So within 90 minutes we had the entire apartment packed to then receive another message telling us to get to the closest branch house immediately (hence the subject of this email). When we arrived we were then told that it was actually a drill just to see how prepared we would be and what we could change for a real situation. So that was pretty insane and we had a fun time unpacking everything again later on in the day.
  Friday we headed over to our favourite little town of Budaörs, nothing too crazy happened there but we did get to tract a super cool street up to the top of this hill and we got a super cool view of the whole city. We also got to have Ikea for dinner which is always nice haha.
 Saturday we had a teaching with our one and only investigator, János. The only problem was that when we arrived he was acting really strange and we're pretty sure that he was high on some sort of drug, so we got a lot of really strange questions such as "What's in Australia?" or "what kind of fish do you have in Australia?" even "If there was a spider on your tie and it climbed up and bit your nose what would you do?". So, yeah, it was a very strange teaching.
  Sunday, was pretty normal, just church and the whole stuff with the explosion, but it was good still.
  Oh yeah, I also managed to find an "Australian" football in a random store this week. I'm pretty sure it was just a leather rugby ball and Hungarians aren't great at making footballs, so it ended up being basically an Australian football. It was used and kind of dirty, but I still bought it, no regrets, it's the closest thing I've got.

Hope you all are having a great time back home!

Szeretlek bennetek! 

- McKim Elder


                                                                                           Milk Bar


                                                 View from the street while tracting


                       Dog that kind of looked like a small bear, Hungarian breed called Puli (Pool-y).