Called to serve Feb 2016

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Easter/Birthday Bonanza


So I had my first mission birthday, which just so happened to be on Easter Sunday, and despite the subject of the email I wouldn't exactly describe it as a bonanza, but it was still a pretty cool day. We started out with the normal Sunday stuff, meetings and Sacrament meeting (we did get new STL's though which is cool). We sang in sacrament meeting though as a district because it's our last normal Sunday in the MTC and I guess it went pretty well. Then after that we had a special Easter devotional which ended up being with Elder M Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It was a super cool experience to hear an Apostle basically just testify of Christ for an hour, and he shared the experience of his Grandfather Melvin J Ballard when he saw the saviour in a vision and it was from some special family notes so it was different to any other time that the experience had been shared before. There are so many things I wish I could write about that devotional, it was awesome, but I'd be here for hours and no one would want to read the massive email, so I'll just say that it was a super spiritual meeting and I learnt so many things about Christ from Elder Ballard's words.

Friday was pretty cool, we had our first Skype TRC, so we got to teach real Hungarians over skype. Robinson Elder and I kind of lucked out and we got a really good person but there were some rough experiences in the other groups. One groups person just didn't rock up so they just sent a video message instead of teaching the 40 minutes lesson. Our sisters just had an all round experience in their lesson, first their skype wasn't working, then their guy would just correct everything they said to him, then Brantley Nővér's chair broke and she just kind of awkwardly descended while she was talking to him, then she also accidentally swore to him while she was testifying about Christ. So needless to say, it didn't exactly go fantastically. Still a pretty good experience though.

On Wednesday we had the Armenian teacher come in and teach us for the morning, which was a super weird experience, we haven't had a completely english lesson in a very long time. Then we finally got to lunch and the fire alarm went off right as we were finishing our meals, so that was a bit of an experience. Then finally one of the Sister Training Leaders, Motra Lyng, just suddenly went missing for like 6 hours and we all had no idea, where she was. Turned out that she was taking some asian sisters to the doctor or something.

Those were the main exciting moments from this week. The other thing we learnt this week is that Hungarian people are pretty much the weirdest people on the planet. So they think that air conditioners will make you sick and die, sitting on cold things will make you sterile, they think that everything and every famous person is Hungarian even though pretty much no one is. They just have lots of weird things, but I'm sure I'll love them. By the way the longest word in Hungarian is "Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért" we're not actually sure what it means but the root word is just "szent" everything else is just endings that you can put on words to make them nouns or verbs or adjectives or add a -ness or make it the opposite, so it basically just keeps changing it's meaning as it builds up until it means some ridiculous 10 word sentence in English.

Szeretetemmel (With my love)
McKim Elder

PS. Pics! First one is Robinson Elder and I (Zone leaders) with our new STL's, then a bunch of the elders in our zone when we realised we were all wearing pink ties, then a pic with Robinson and I with two of the Dutch sisters, Zuster Lucero and Zuster De Souza (they just wanted a picture so I thought I'd chuck it in)

Friday, 25 March 2016

A busy week, a Temple Dedication.


This was a pretty sweet week!
So I might as well start with yesterday considering it was the most interesting thing to happen this week. So yesterday we were able to experience the dedication of the Provo City Centre Temple, which was a super cool experience. It was pretty cool that we happened to be here just over 5 years ago when it burned down as the tabernacle and now to be here all these years later when it gets dedicated as the 150th temple in the Church and the 16th temple in Utah. We got to see the first session which was run by Elder Oaks and hearing him talk along with the other speakers and then giving the dedicatory prayer was an incredible experience. Then the whole rest of the day was focused on temples and the importance of temple work, it was a super cool day, probably one of my favourites in the MTC so far.

Now onto the rest of the week. Tuesday was cool because we had our first real practice at extending a baptismal invitation with our "Investigator" Bertold. Although he didn't necessarily accept the invitation it was still a super cool experience and I think we taught it really well. Tuesday was also Navajo Taco day, which is the single best food to ever come out of this MTC cafeteria. We also had a devotional from Elder Zeballos of the seventy which was sweet.

We taught a lesson in english on wednesday to help a teacher practice being an investigator, which was a super weird experience. But it was definitely much easier than teaching in Hungarian.

Thursday was cool because we had to teach a lesson on the Law of Tithing to one of our investigators, which is a super hard thing to do when you pretty much know none of the words required to teach that lesson, but the pamphlets are pretty good, so we basically just used that. We also met an Elder from Hungary who is going to Finland and he spoke a bit of Hungarian to us and it was so quick that it's kind of terrifying, but I'm sure we'll understand it one day.

The weekends are never the most exciting things but what we thought was going to be like the worst weekend yet because we couldn't have exercise because they were setting up for the temple dedication. But it actually ended up being pretty decent. Also on saturday night our teacher let us ask any questions about his mission or Hungary as long as we could ask them in Hungarian. So we learnt plenty of things from him which got us both super excited and super scared, but we're still all super excited to get out there.

So just a couple last funny things that happened this week, wednesday was McKim Tie day, so everyone wore one of my ties, so I'll include a picture of that. Also we've been looking at a thing called relative finder the last week or so and Elder Römer thought it was Relative Tinder, like the weird dating app thing, so we thought that was pretty funny. Another thing that we found out this week is that the phrase that means "Bless you" in Hungarian "egészségedre" (directly translated to "onto your health") is commonly mispronounced by missionaries (including us) as "egészseggedre" (the only difference is that the e sounds kind of more like an a and the g is slightly longer) which translates to "onto your whole butt" which is absolutely wonderful. Also we found out that the word for "What the heck" in Hungarian is actually one word, which is "Micsoda".

Anyway, other than some weird Hungarian jokes that wouldn't even make sense to any of you, that's about all that I can think of that's happened this week.

Szeretetemmel (With my love)
- McKim Elder


The first one is McKim Tie Day!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Officially past half way.


Not the craziest of weeks but still some good experiences.

We had a devotional with Elder Pino of the Seventy this week, which was a super cool experience because he gave his talk in Spanish. It was cool to see a general authority speak in their native tongue to us like that and we still got a great message through the translator. So yeah, that was a cool experience.

On Wednesday we finally got our new district of Dutch missionaries. So with that we finally got to do some things as Zone Leaders. We got to greet them on wednesday and play some get to know you games and stuff with them, so that was cool. Then we had a meeting with the Branch presidency with them as well. That was super cool because it was basically the same as the one that we did when we first got here but we could actually absorb some of what was being said this time because we weren't just completely shell-shocked. But they've been asking us plenty of questions and we've been hanging out with them heaps, so they're all pretty cool. They're mostly sisters but the two elders are pretty cool.

My companion gave me a little taste of home the other night because he got his mum to send him some Tim Tams, so we took some hot chocolate from the cafeteria and had some Tim Tam slams in our residence that night. It was so good!

We've been using some of our extra time in our residence at night to come up with some sports with the few materials that we have. So like stick-ball or paddle-bat. It's pretty sweet.

We also had Gabel tie day on Saturday, so we all wore one of Elder Gabel's ties because he has some sweet ties. We may be going a little crazy because that was a pretty exciting thing.

Anyway, that's pretty much all I had to talk to about today, like I said this week wasn't particularly exciting, besides our Dutch missionaries.
McKim Elder

Here's a couple photos

The first one is Elder Robinson and I with the new Dutch district.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Almost half way!


So like I said in the subject, I'm pretty much half way through my stay in the MTC, only 5 weeks to go as of today. So we're super excited to get out of here even though we're still loving it. We had our first set of missionaries leave this morning from our zone (The Dutch), so it was super sad to see them go but they're going to kill it out there and it just made us even more excited to get out into the field as well. Plus that means new Dutch missionaries!

So my companion and I had an interesting experience yesterday. We were just casually sitting in our classroom waiting for fast/testimony meeting to start, when our Branch President, President Mehr, called us in to tell us that he wanted to assign us to be the new Zone Leaders! It's super crazy, we weren't expecting it at all. So now we have plenty of meetings, a phone and a fancy binder. We also get to welcome all the new Dutch missionaries on Wednesday which will be cool. So we're excited to work out what we're meant to be doing as zone leaders but it should be a fun experience.

This week my companion and I learnt the power of teaching pamphlets, especially when you barely know how to speak the language. There's no way we would have been able to teach anything to our investigators yet without them, they're the best!

We also had a cool experience this week when we taught TRC (the thing where we teach actual members), they didn't have enough people for all of us to teach, so we had to teach with the other companionship that we room with. But the problem was that we had prepared two completely different things to teach about. So they led their lesson first and then we did ours second, but it was really cool because we had prepared a lesson on faith then afterwards in the review thing that we get he said that faith was exactly what he needed to hear about then and he was almost in tears from feeling the spirit in the lesson. We weren't even going to teach about faith originally, so it was just a super cool experience of a prompting from the Holy Ghost and it reminded us of how even though we're teaching members that we can still strengthen their relationship with Christ.

Also my companion finally got his cast off! So that's cool.

But that's all I've got for today, so enjoy!
McKim Elder

Ps. The pictures are a picture of my zone before the Dutch left, then a picture of me with the Dutch elders, Elder Waters and Elder Penman (the sun is super bright, that's why I'm squinting)

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The days are long, the weeks are short


Wow! I can't believe we're already another week down, the days are long and the weeks are short here. But you're never short on experiences.

On Wednesday we lost an important part of our class, our first teacher Rupard Nőver. It was really having her as a teacher because she was companions with Watts Nőver when she served in Hungary (possibly got trained by her, not sure about that one) so that was cool. But she had to move to Vermont and so she couldn't teach us anymore. She ended up speaking to us in English about some of the experiences that she had on her mission though which was really cool because it was really the only time we ever actually heard her speak English.
I also got my first mail on Wednesday (including my new Hungary Budapest mission shirt) so that was cool too.

My companion broke his arm the Saturday before we got here while he was snowboarding up at Snowbird, so it's been a fun experience working with that the last couple weeks but he gets his cast off on Friday so all will be good then. My whole district is going to Hungary, all 10 of us. It was bigger than I had expected but it's been way good I'm loving my district. The Turkish elders in my Zone have only the two of them in their district and they said it kind of sucks, so I'm glad that we got a pretty decent sized district.

Friday was an awesome day. So we started it off by getting to take a trip to Temple Square, which even though it was a pretty short trip (only like 50 minutes) it was still great to get out of the bubble for a bit and see some of the great sites in temple square. Then when we got back we had to teach our first TRC, which is basically where you teach member lessons to real members who volunteer at the MTC. We had been freaking out for a couple days because these were just random people (although probably returned missionaries) who could actually speak Hungarian that we had to teach. When we got in there though it was actually super chill and really easy, all we had to do was get to know them a bit, read some scriptures and ask some jó kérdes (good questions) and it was sweet. Our second member though turned out to be an actual Hungarian girl that was going to BYU, which kind of freaked us out because she was talking so fast, but it ended up going pretty well and it turned out that her Dad was the first stake president in Hungary and currently serves as first counselor in the mission presidency, so that was cool.

Sundays in the MTC are so awesome! Yesterday I was of course called up to be the first of the Hungarians (along with Swenson Nőver) to speak in sacrament meeting and that's in Hungarian. So that was a fun experience to start off my sunday. Then we had our branch president, President Mehr, come into our district study and just talk about doctrine for 2 hours, which is an incredible experience. President Mehr knows so much about the doctrine of the church and loves to share it with us, he doesn't mince words either so it's incredible to listen to him speak and I learn so much from him every time he does. Then my companion and I taught priesthood which isn't that interesting. Then temple walk, choir, devotional and movies. The days just get even more incredible. The movie we saw last night was an MTC devotional from Elder Holland called "Missions are forever" I wish I could get all of you to watch the MTC devotionals somehow because they're incredible but I don't think they're available.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was Tuesday night. Tuesday night was absolutely perfect, nothing could have made it better. We had a devotional from Sister Wixom who is the Primary general president and because of that the choir got to sing with all the grandchildren of the MTC presidency which was super cool and really invited the spirit. Then Sister Wixom spoke and she said some incredible things that really got me thinking. But the part that was really great was after the devotional. Every tuesday night we have a district devotional review for about an hour or so. This week we happened to not have a member of the branch presidency in with us but it was good because I think it allowed people to be much more open with what they were sharing during review, the spirit was super strong the entire time, probably the strongest I've felt it since I've been here, it was such an incredible experience.

So that's all for this week.

Sziasztok! Szeretem titeket! (I love you all)

- McKim Elder

PS. the photos are my companion and I in front of the Christus statue in Salt Lake, then the Elders from my district who were at temple square in the bathroom of the conference centre, then my companion and I in the conference centre.