Called to serve Feb 2016

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

I just don't even know anymore...

Jó napot kívánok!

So this week was pretty much just full of straight craziness, which can only be described by my companion's and my new most commonly said phrase "Ilyen az életünk" (such is our life).

Monday started pretty chill with our normal emailing, getting lunch as a district, then just chilling together at the branch house playing some table tennis and card games. Then usually on Monday nights we would go to our American less active, Greg, but we couldn't meet with him this week so we went out tracting. First before we even started tracting a guy stopped us and told us that he met with the missionaries 11 years ago in a city called Nyíregyháza and that the whole time he was with them he just felt peace and felt like it was coming straight from Jesus Christ, super cool dude, hopefully we can meet with him. Then we just got a whole bunch of really funny, classic rejections. Then we met a woman who said that she didn't believe in God because lots of people have died in her family recently, so we bore testimony to her and the spirit was just crazy strong. Then later on a guy yelled at us from across the street telling us that there was no one home at the house we were csengő-ing before telling us to come talk to him. He was super cool, he owned a motorsport company that competes internationally and his wife was a professional dancer who had won international competitions. They talked to us for ages then said we could come back any time we wanted and we could work out at their gym, then they showed us their dance studio and gym, but then the guy showed us his garage, where he keeps his SIX racecars, it was absolutely insane, he builds them all from scratch in his garage as well.
Tuesday, super cool day, we had zone training in Buda, but other than that nothing too crazy happened.
Wednesday, we had a teaching with our investigator Dávid and we were able to put him on Baptismal date, which he was super excited about. So he will be getting baptised on August 27th, which is after transfers so I probably won't be here to see it, but I'm just super excited that he's finally ready to be baptised because he's wanted this for a while. Our phone also broke on wednesday so we had to get a new one which is really inconvenient.
Thursday I was splits with my zone leader Elder Beaumont and it was mostly pretty normal, except when we were coming back on the bus, Elder Beaumont got up for a Néni and her grandkids, so she started asking about who we were and why we were here, then after we told her, she asked us to tell her granddaughters stories of Jesus right there on the bus.
Friday we had district meeting, which is always fun, but I made the whole district try the vegemite that I found in the American store. The common consensus was that it was the worst thing that they've ever eaten. My companion even did straight vegemite off of a knife, he almost threw up.
Saturday we went out to Vác again, but our program cancelled on us so we just tracted and looked up a bunch of less actives for a while, nothing too exciting.
Yesterday was going pretty normal until basically everything just went crazy within 15 minutes. So we were finishing up our day with some tracting, when the last door that we're going to knock on turns out to be a probably around 70 year old gay man, who told us that I apparently look more Mormon than my companion (whatever that means) and then he started hitting on my companion, really strange, got out of there pretty quick. Then we get a call from President Szabadkai, telling us that we're going to be a bunch of this next week in a trio with my good friend Elder Murphy from the MTC.
Then just when we thought it couldn't get any crazier, we were talking to President Szabadkai this morning to work out the deal with picking up our new companion when he told us that tomorrow we will actually be in a quad, so that'll be very interesting and I'm sure the next few days will be super crazy.

I'm pretty sure I forgot a bunch of stuff that happened this week, but those are some of the crazier ones.

Have a great week!
Szép napot kívánok!

McKim Elder

P.S. Sorry no pics this week :(

Just your classic week...


Well we're another week down on the adventure that is living in this crazy place. This week wasn't quite as crazy as last week was, but this place always manages to throw some surprises our way. I'm honestly a little worried about how it's going to be outside of the big city if it's this insane here.

  Monday we spent a super cool P-day together as a district discovering the cool little spots of Budapest's Belváros (downtown, I guess). We had to find a new email place and our only two real options were a super old and cool looking University library in one of the coolest parts of Budapest or a place called the Porn Palace, so now we email in a super fancy, couple hundred year old university. Then we just explored the Belváros, saw the Parliament building and Basilica and visited the American store, where I happened to find some vegemite, so although I hate vegemite, I'm going to make some Hungarians eat it, it should be fun to watch. Then on leaving the American store, my companion got hit by a cyclist while crossing the road, he got kind of hurt by it, but he's fine now, so we can laugh about it.
  Tuesday we had a really good program with our investigator Dávid, he's getting super close to overcoming everything he needs to do to get baptised, so hopefully he'll be ready before the end of this transfer.
  Wednesday we had to head over to the mission home in Buda so that I could pick up my residency card (finally legal, woo). But it was also Mission Leadership conference at the same time, so we just so happened to run into a bunch of our friends (including my last companion) so that was really fun. Then we went out tracting and a random drunk man stopped us on the street and in English asked us about the End times before making us make something that looked like a house with our arms, then started making references to being Nazi's if we don't help people, then told us to share his message about the house thing. Strange man, had some valid points though, probably not going to show people the house thing.
  Saturday, was the next time something really interesting happened. So as usual we went out to Vác, but for some reason in the middle of the ridiculously hot Hungarian summer, it just decided to Thunder storm for like 3 days, but it was especially bad on Saturday, we got absolutely drenched. Well mainly Elder Winkel got super drenched because his coat wasn't very good, but it was still crazily wet. We then came back and bought a whole grilled chicken from a man in a truck on the side of the road, good chicken, will probably buy another one in the future.
  Sunday nothing too exciting, just Church and then for like the third time this week we got the cops called on us while we were tracting, but that's seeming to become a pretty common occurence now. Yet to have any cops actually come and talk to us, but I've been told by people that they called the cops at least 12 times so far this transfer.

I honestly don't think I could count how many times my companion and I have uttered the phrase "más a világ" (It's a different world) this week, this place is just crazy and I'm loving every day of it.

Have a great week
- McKim Elder
                                                                     Ugliest car I've found in Hungary
District Pics

                                     Just a picture from my apartment during a thunderstorm

Just mission life I guess

I'm really not sure if it's mission life or just Hungary, but the weird experiences just don't seem to stop. This week kind of took it to a new level though in some aspects.
On monday we celebrated the 4th of July (because pretty much every other missionary in this country is American) as a district, but it was really just a chill day, playing some games together and just enjoying being together as a district.
Tuesday was pretty normal for the most part, the only thing that really changed it up was that we had our good friend, Margit, come and work with us for the entire day. Margit is awesome, she just loves to go do missionary work with us, jó fej.
Wednesday is when the weirdness really started to pick up. We visited one of our investigators in the hospital and it was all going well and good until a schizophrenic man came up to us and started yelling at us to leave because we were apparently "gassing people with our corrupt gospel" in his words. But it all worked out okay and the lesson went pretty well. We also taught Hungarians how to eat oreos with milk and then they told us all about their 9/11 theories, it was a strange day.
Thursday we were trying to visit another person and we ended up in on of the sketchiest hospitals that I've ever seen, but we couldn't visit anyone and then our next appointment dogged us, so still an interesting day.
Friday, we went on splits with our zone leaders. But we started with a district meeting which included eating very large watermelons, while playing a game about lying what bugs are because we were waiting for one of the biggest pizza's I've ever seen to arrive. Then Elder Egan and I saw a fight on a Vilamos (tram) and everyone just kind of let the guys walk away and no one called the cops or anything, it was just a strange situation.
Saturday was pretty regular, we just went to Vác and our good friend Margit came along with us. Nothing too crazy happened.
Sunday was where it got the weirdest. After church and a bit of tracting, we headed out to what seems to be the usual for us, two different hospitals. The first one was really sketchy and we ended up in a psychiatric ward with a bunch of people just walking around and they were all eating tejföl (sour cream, I guess) on bread, super strange. Then we went to another hospital to visit a less active man that we met with last week, but when we got there we were told by the nurse that he actually passed away during the week. So that was a really sad way to end off our week, but we were just happy that we at least met with him once, we could tell that the one meeting meant a lot to him.
So yeah, that was my incredibly strange week. Hopefully all your weeks are much more normal than mine was (and probably will be).
Minden jót kivánok!
                                                          Found some big rope thing, so had to climb it.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Sok kutya, sok kórház (many dogs, many hospitals).

Jó napot kívánok!
Boldog függetlenség napot! (Happy Independence Day)

So there are times in missionary life where things just do not go to plan. This was one of those weeks.

Currently in our mission we have a challenge from our mission president that if a whole district can get an average of 9 tracting days plus member present lessons per week over a 4 week period, that the district can go do a fun activity together for a day. So as a district we have been trying really hard to get this so that we might be able to go see the Red Bull Air Races that are happening in Budapest in a couple weeks. Elder Winkel and I had set a solid goal to get at least 6 member presents but we thought we could get 8 if we really tried. That was until something happened to every single lesson that we had organised until we ended the week with no member presents at all. So we got kutyázott (dogged) 5 times this week, which is hard, but I guess that's missionary life sometimes. It was still a cool week regardless. Also, it just means that we're pushing for even more this week.

Another interesting thing about our work here in Pest is that for some reason everyone that we meet with seems to end up in the hospital. I've honestly never been in a hospital more than I have since I've been here and it just seems like every week we find another person that we get to visit in the hospital. It's kind of strange being in Hungarian hospitals, but it's a pretty cool experience to be honest.

The last thing for this week was that because both of our zone leaders birthdays are around this time, we got to have a little dinner together with them at the branch house where one of the members here made some American chilli. Oh yeah and I got to try homemade madártej (literally translates to birds milk, but it isn't, it's really hard to explain) for the first time and it was so good. It's kind of just like flavoured milk but it's way more delicious. Also, I ate snails yesterday at a members house, didn't taste terrible, but just a really strange texture, not my favourite food ever.

Anyway, that email was kind of depressing and boring, so I hope you all have a fantastic week.

- McKim Elder
Sweet pic from the top of a castle
 Elder Winkel and found a random seal statue in a little town
 Selfie with a member named Margit in Hero Square
 Just a cool sunset we saw out of our apartment last night.

Soccer, Splits and Speedos

Mizu emberek?

Another wonderful week has passed here in the glorious country of Magyarország.

So one of the cool things that happened this week is Hungary has been doing unusually well in Soccer. For the first time in like 44 years or something like that Hungary qualified for the UEFA European tournament and so the whole city is all decked out in the piros, fehér, zöld (red, white and green) and Hajra Magyarok! (Go Hungarians! I guess is a decent translation) is written everywhere. Then Hungary managed to not lose a single game in groups and so everyone was going crazy. But the dream run came to an end last night, so everyone is kinda sad now, but it was really cool to see the amazing national pride come out in the Hungarians.

This week I finally got to do my first real overnight splits. I got to spend a day working with my wonderful new zone leader Elder Beaumont. Splits are super fun and it's always super cool to see how other people go about the work, so they're always great learning experiences. Plus we went and got like the best pizza in Hungary, so that was pretty sweet too.

So as the weather begins getting hotter and more humid here, there's one thing that comes out that makes our tracting a little more interesting, and that's the Speedo! I wish I had kept a count of the number of Bacsi's (old guys) that answered the door in nothing but a speedo. My count for just Saturday was 7, so my overall guess for the week is around 20-25 old men wearing only a speedo. It really is an adventure every time you ring a csengő, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Well that's all I've got time for, hope you all have a wonderful week!

Minden jót!

Well just one pic today, me and Elder Winkel found this sweet motivational grafiti on this staircase