Called to serve Feb 2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A busy week, lessons learned.


Well this week has been an interesting one.

So right after emailing, we visited our investigator, David, who we challenged to be baptised on my first day. But this time our lesson went a little different. To quote my companion "he was either drunk, crazy, possessed or having a stroke". He kept saying "the nephites created the earth" while we were teaching and that was about the only understandable thing to come out of his mouth. It was a weird experience. But he was at church on Sunday and completely normal again, so all is well I guess.

Tuesday was a pretty normal day. We headed over to Buda to visit a member in our ward and we managed to get lost for like 30 minutes, so that was great. I finally got to meet Marton, who is getting baptised in June, super cool dude. He's 17 and has pretty much the greatest hair I've ever seen, he's also going to be serving a mini mission for a month right after he's baptised, which is pretty crazy.

Nothing too interesting happened on Wednesday, it was my companions birthday, but you can't really do anything to celebrate when you have to get to work. So pretty much a normal working day.

Our whole fiasco begun on thursday. So Elder Jensen hadn't finished everything he needed to do for his residency issue, so on thursday we had to go to another government building in Buda and it took out most of our day. So moral of thursday, Hivatals suck.

Friday started with even more Hivatal stuff, but that all got ended when it turns out the place closes at 11 on fridays and we got there at 12. But a cool experience from Friday night. From District meeting, we were going to a guy named Greg Hughes house, but on the way there Elder Jensen realised that he had forgotten the phone and we didn't have his address. So we know the general area and we're searching every single 10 story to try and find him but we have no luck. So I prayed and asked for help to find it. Right after that I looked up and across the street the light at the entrance of one of the buildings lights up and I just knew that it was it, but for some reason I didn't say anything. Then we ended up over near the buildings and we start looking at building 86/a then 86/b but I knew that it was 86/c that he lived in and still didn't say anything. Then my companion started walking away and for some reason I still didn't say anything and just followed him as we left feeling defeated after searching for over 30 minutes. Then when we got home, found our phone, and called Greg, lo and behold, he tells us that his building is actually 86/c the exact one I knew it was all along. So moral of a long story here is, follow the promptings of the spirit, because if I had just followed that prompting that would have saved us a lot of time and embarassment.

Saturday was cool, we went to Vác again. It's a really great place and the people there are really just so much kinder and willing to listen to what we have to say. So we really enjoy going to Vác and the work just progresses so much better there.

Nothing too out of the ordinary for sunday, Church, visited some people.

Today we finally finished Elder Jensen's residency stuff (I think and hope) then we got to go see some of the sights of Kispest, mainly the Parliament building, so I'll probably send some pictures of that.

Okay that's my week, hopefully all is well back home and I hope everyone has a great week!

Sok Szeretettel!

McKim Elder

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

"That's not the language they taught me in the MTC".


So I'm finally in Hungary and what a ride it has been to get here.

So our final week in the MTC was so crazy, so I guess I'll give you all a brief overview before I talk about Hungary. The first couple days were pretty ordinary, just getting pumped to leave and stuff, but by Thursday everything got crazy. Thursday was our in-field orientation and it was pretty weird to be honest, it was basically 9 hours of cramming us with the things that they didn't teach us in the MTC (well besides like 98% of the language) and it even included a super weird/cheesy play. Then Friday, or Nem jó, Nem jó, Pizza Péntek as we like to call it, which started out like any normal friday. But on Friday night, Gabel Elder got up in front of all of us to tell us that because of a medical issue and Hungary's lack of great medical care, he wouldn't be coming with us, and that was hard. As far as we know he will join us out here soon, but not having him on the plane with us just felt weird. Saturday was basically our day for our teachers to hype us up about going to Hungary, so I loved that one. Also got that sweet tie that I sent a picture of the other day. Then Sunday was sad, lots of goodbyes, handing over our phone, writing in transfer journals and packing but we were ready to go and we were excited.

So I was pumped to fly with my district for the next day or so, until I found out that I wouldn't actually be sitting with my district because I got seperated for some reason. But I ended up with a cool experience out of it. I sat next to this guy on our flight to Atlanta who I chatted to for a bit because he was a pilot and studied Aerospace engineering. Then later on he saw me reading my copy of Jesus the Christ and asked if what it was, after I explained it to him he asked if he could read it. So he read it for an hour and a half, then when he finished I asked him if he had any questions and we ended up talking about the gospel and stuff for like 40 minutes. Also people paid for both our breakfast in SLC airport and our lunch in ATL airport, so that was super cool too.

So we arrived in Hungary, all super tired, and met with our Mission president, President Szabadkai, his wife and the Assistants. We were all just stoked to be there and the mission president took us on a scenic route to the mission home so we could see a bunch of Budapest, which is an incredible city, so pretty. We went out to lunch in a Hungarian restaurant, had interviews with president, talked to some people on the street, the day was pretty sweet. Then that night Sister Szabadkai made us a Hungarian dinner, then we got to go up to the hill which overlooks the whole of Budapest. It was absolutely incredible, one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Then we got to spend the night in a hotel, which was sweet.

Today was the day that we got our companions and greenie areas. I was given Elder Jensen as my trainer and I'm serving in the area of Pest. So I get to start out my mission in the city. The first day was pretty cool, my first lesson was with a member named Margit, who I just so happened to have skyped with during one of our TRC's in the MTC, so that was really cool. Hungarian is hard though. Our second lesson I got to extend a baptismal invitation to this guy in his first lesson and he accepted, he was super prepared for the gospel, he already knew everything. Then we had American night (the name is getting changed because of me apparently) so I got to meet some members and investigators as well as eat some PB&J's.

Interesting day, had some lessons fall through, did some tracting, taught english class. A pretty normal missionary day. Except we got back to our apartment super late and President Szabadkai called us at like 9:30 and we weren't back yet, so that was fun. Oh we also got super lost today.

Had district meeting and Lunch with the Bishop. Hungarians really like Yiros so I'm pretty keen for more of those in the future. Just more tracting and stuff, nothing too interesting.

Saturday was cool, we went to a city called Vác which is in our area and met with some investigators out there. The first house we tracted we talked to the lady for 30 minutes and gave here a BoM and stuff. Then we taught a super long lesson to one of our other investigators. Then of the 3 people we got to talk to on the way back to the train, we placed 2 BoM's and got a return appointment, so it was a sweet day.

So church is hard when you don't understand a thing anyone is saying, and when you have a lot of meetings to go to, but it's an all round pretty cool experience. I'm definitely excited to be able to actually understand people though.

Then today we had to go to a city called Veszprém to get some residency stuff sorted out for my companion, so it was way cool to get to see another one of the cities, especially one of the smaller cities.

So that's my adventures in Hungary so far.

Sok szeretettel (With much love)
McKim Elder

Thursday, 7 April 2016

So close I can pretty much taste it!

Jó napot! (Good day)

So I'm officially less than a week from leaving this wonderful place that we call the MTC. I'm really thankful for the time that I've been able to spend here, but I'm looking forward to heading out into the field. Also due to the fact that I'll be travelling, probably won't get an email out next monday. Sorry!

Anyway this week was super sweet, definitely one of my favourites so far.

After we had an apostle come and speak to us on Sunday, we didn't really think there was much that could live up to that for our tuesday devotional, that was until I walked in and saw that the speaker was Terence M Vinson, who is the only Australian general authority in the church (I think until Elder Meurs was called on saturday). So that was a super cool experience. He gave one of the best talks I've heard from a general authority here, it was all about faith and miracles, just an all round sweet talk. He didn't help my argument against everyone in Australia knowing each other though when I told people that he was actually my Mum's bishop, but it was still super cool.

Thursday was super cool because firstly we got to leave the MTC again, which is always fun, but when we returned the rest of our class was all talking to our friend Farkas Elder, who grew up in Hungary. So he was giving us heaps of tips and stuff with Hungary and just all round getting us super pumped. Then he started talking to our teaching in normal Hungarian talking speed and it was pretty terrifying, but he's a super cool guy and he loves helping us out.

Friday started out interesting with skype TRC again, but nothing too crazy happened, we didn't even get a real Hungarian this time which was kind of disappointing but our lesson went well and nothing went bad, so I guess it's pretty successful. The rest of friday was pretty boring until we finally received the one piece of mail that we had all been waiting for, our flight plans. That just got us super pumped to leave this place and it really hit how close we are to being out into the real world again.

Then this weekend was an awesome experience getting to watch General Conference (Általanos Konferencia) live with almost 1000 other missionaries. I've never enjoyed conference more than I did in my first conference as a missionary. All the sessions had some fantastic talks, but the Saturday morning and Priesthood sessions were probably my favourite two sessions. It made it even better that we had time to review the conference sessions together as a district and discuss what we had learned and how to apply it to our missions and lives.

After conference we had our usual sunday night devotional, which we thought was kind of weird because we had just listened to conference for 10 hours, but it was sweet because the devotional ended up being from BYU vocal point, who are like a world famous a capella group from BYU. We originally thought they were just gonna sing for us and that kind of stuff, but they all bore testimony of their missions in between their performances and it was actually so spiritual, it was crazy, but it was still a great break from our usual.

Okay, so that's my week, the next time I email will probably be from Hungary!

McKim Elder

The Hungarians with the real Hungarian (Farkas Elder, which literally means Elder Wolf)
 Chilling between conference sessions.