Called to serve Feb 2016

Monday, 9 October 2017

Time keeps on going...

Szervusztok!

Well if I'm being completely honest, this week wasn't the most exciting week that I've had on my mission, but it was still a great time. Also just because I have to make a mention every week about how quickly the time is going, I have 4 months left to go from today which is absolutely crazy. The time is going to be over way too soon.

  Well the coolest news that I have coming out of this week is that our investigator Gyöngyi had her baptismal interview and she passed. So we're going to be having a baptism this weekend. It's actually really crazy to be here for this because she has been taught by a tonne of missionaries for well over a year now and there's never really been a clear reason for why she didn't want to be baptised, but she's finally ready now and it's a super exciting time.
  We had splits this week too here in Duna with the elders from Pécs. This was the first time that I ever got to hold splits with a new missionary, so it was pretty fun. We didn't get to do anything too crazy, just met with some people, did some tracting and made some delicious chicken, but it was still a good time and Elder Fales (the missionary I was on splits with) is a stud.
  There wasn't really too much else exciting going on this week, we were able to visit our branch president out in the village that he lives in which was fun, they gave us some really delicious Hungarian food. We also had our sisters get kicked out to Budapest for the entire week because they found bed bugs in their apartment, so that was also fun to deal with, but everything is fine there now.

Well, this email was super lame, so I apologise, I'll try to make it better next week and have some baptism pictures.

Szeretettel,
McKim elder

Pics!
                             


              The Veszprém elders have this weird suit in their apartment, so i had to put it on.

              I got this picture that perfectly describes Elder Thomas' relationship with Sister Szabadkai

The show must go on.

Sziasztok!

Here we are, another monday, another email. Somehow we are already down to the last 3 months of this year and this last week I hit the anniversary of 2 years since I got my mission call. I really need to stop complaining about how fast the time is going in these emails...

  Unfortunately, this week started out with me getting a bit sick, but despite the advice of my mission presidents wife, I still had to go out to work, because my great friend, former companion and now assistant to the president, Elder Hughes came down for splits with us here in Duna. Well I at least went to work until Elder Hughes made me come back inside and put me on house arrest for the rest of the night because I was too sick. He tried to heal me with weird juices and a tea made by boiling an onion in a pot of water...
  We were then able to finish off our split the next day with some work which was great, because being inside was the worst. Then after they left we headed off with the sisters to give one of their investigators a blessing in a village a bit outside of the city. It was a cool experience, it's always interesting giving blessings in Hungarian, because you have to listen to the spirit in another language but it works out in the end, so it was fun.
  Thursday we had district meeting and english class, it was a good day, but nothing all that exciting happened.
  Friday we had interviews with President Szabadkai, as per usual, mine was great but nothing too exciting happened. I did get rebuked by Sister Szabadkai though for not resting enough, especially because we were going to Veszprém for splits right after, but we had been super busy last week so there was nothing we could do about it.
  We spent most of the weekend in Veszprém and we had an incredible split. I was with Elder Burnett from Idaho, and he is one of the funniest people I've ever met. We also both started our missions in the same area, so we bonded over that and relived all of our first two transfer stories. We tried to go whiteboarding and it didn't work super well, but we still had a super fun time nonetheless.
  We then came back to Duna for our great weekend of conference. Because of the time difference we watch the first session on saturday night here, then on sunday we watch priesthood at 11, saturday afternoon at 2 and the sunday morning at 6, so we had a pretty full schedule of conference watching, but it was great, especially because we got to watch it in english. One of my favourite talks definitely had to be Elder Rasband's, I really liked all that he said about there not being coincidences, but the Lord's hand is in our lifes in all things. So that's definitely one of my recommendations, but you know, just watch them all and pick your own favourites.

This email ended up super long...

Szeretettel,
McKim elder

Meetings with the Board

Helló!

Well another week has come and gone and the time is still flying just as quickly as ever. This week is already going to be october and the last general conference of my mission, so that's pretty crazy, but I'm super excited to learn from our church leaders this week, regardless of the fact that it keeps reminding me how little time I have left...

  Anyway, the interesting part of this week honestly started on wednesday when we had the Kaposvár elders come here for splits. Once again I got to go with my good friend and former companion Elder Stringham, so it was a fun time. We were able to meet with the mayor of a small city just north of Duna called Pusztaszabolcs, but unfortunately there was a slight misunderstanding and he thought that we wanted to meet so that we could discuss establishing a branch in his city and stuff like that, but we were still able to talk about the first vision and stuff like that and he almost started crying, so it was still a cool lesson either way. We also met with one of our recent converts, Eszter, and happened to run into a sister who served here just before we got here at the branch house.
  Thursday we had our zone conference, which took basically our entire day out. It wasn't my favourite zone conference ever but I still always enjoy the conferences. Our training was super short though, so it was kind of nice that we didn't have to prepare too much for it.
  Friday we did some weekly planning to start of the day. Then after that we headed out with the sisters to do some whiteboarding. We could only do it for a little less than an hour but it stiill went pretty well, we each got two potentials out of it, so that's not too shabby. We then got to go to this party that our branch was throwing for something to do with the sun changing, I don't really know. But there were sandwiches, a drawing class, jewelry making and Elder Thomas jamming out on his ukulele, so it was a fun time. By the way, fun fact: Hungarians really love the song "Hallelujah".
  Throughout my mission I've always wanted the opportunity to take something that one of my investigators is addicted to and throw it out for them and saturday was finally the day. I got to throw out all of the cappucino in our investigator family's house and then we bought them hot chocolate to replace it, it was a great feeling.

That's about it for interesting things this week. Have a great week!

Szeretettel,
McKim Elder

PIC!
Post whiteboarding jump pic

A little bit of szépség

Szerbusztok!

Another week gone and past, another tonne of fun stories.

  We found a nice little pond/lake thing this week, so we felt obligated to have a little picnic around it this P-day, we made Hungarian sandwiches, it was pretty fun.
  Tuesday we had to sit on a bus for like 3 hours, but it was okay because we headed to everyone's favourite city of Pécs. I know I've probably said this at least 5 times in here, but that place is absolutely beautiful, the little bit of szépség that I needed in my life. I was with Elder Willes and it was like the 6th time that we've been on splits together, so it was pretty fun. We went whiteboarding in the evening, where we set up a whiteboard on the street with a question like "What makes you happy?" on it and stop people and ask them to write their answer up on the board. It was super fun, we met a tonne of interesting people and Elder Thomas got hugged by some random drunk girl. Great times...
  On wednesday we ate at a delicious restaurant in Pécs before sitting on another bus for a bit over 3 hours. We did get to meet with our investigator family that night too though and we finally discussed a specific date for her baptism, october 14th, so that is going to be sweet.
  Thursday was pretty normal, had a district meeting and taught some people english.
  The rest of the week was also pretty normal, we met with a few people, got fed some delicious food and did a bunch of planning. We also tried to use the whiteboard ourselves here in Duna, but it's slightly different doing it at night in a buzzing university city of 150,000 people and on an overcast saturday afternoon in a city of 50,000 people. We still had a good conversation with a woman though, so it was cool.

Well that's about it from this week.

Nagyszerű hetet kívánok!

- McKim elder

PICS!
                                                                District picnic


                                                           Elder Willes and I in Pécs

                                                          Our whiteboard after finding

"Ez volt az én hibám, ugye?" (It was my fault anyway)

Jóóó napot!

Well time is still flying and life is still great here in the wonderful city of Dunaújváros. Doing missionary work with Elder Thomas basically just feels like a huge party most of the time, so life is good and the work is going.

  We started the week with the classic Duna first p-day of the transfer and we headed out bowling. It was super fun, we basically all suck, but it's still good. We also grabbed some ice cream and just had some chats together.
  On tuesday we went home teaching to visit one of the members and it was her birthday on monday, so we had some cake and had a little celebration. We also had our lesson cancel on us, so we went out streeting and Elder Thomas used his incredible courage to talk to this family sitting out on this bench and they loved us so much that we left with those little things that you clean glasses with. They weren't really interested and I don't even have any glasses but it was still worth it.
  Thursday was a super crazy day. We were basically just in meetings all day but we had to have our district meeting here in Duna and then immediately head up to Budapest for MLC. We ended up being late for MLC because President Szabadkai told us that we should take the later of two trains and risk it. I had to call him to tell him that we'd be late and he just said "This was my fault, wasn't it?" (Translation of subject line) and we had a good laugh about it. It was a good meeting though, all the stake leaders were there also, so we had a nice chat about what we can all do to work together as a mission and stake.
  Friday was sweet, we did some weekly planning, made a great spaghetti, did some hilarious service at the place that we go to every week and met with one of our recent converts.
  Our branch mission leader asked us if he could take all of us out to lunch during our coordination meeting on saturday and so we got permission from President Szabadkai to go, but what we didn't realise was he was taking us to this pretty fancy restaurant that is over on the island in the middle of the duna. He literally rented a van to take us all there and paid for all 6 of us to eat at this place. We all ate some pretty good fish soup and then he made us get fish for the main meal too, so I got some fried cat fish, because that was his favourite. It was pretty delicious and just an all round pretty hilarious lunch.
  On sunday after church we tried to go ukulele tracting because Elder Thomas has one. Unfortunately it didn't really work out any better than normal tracting, but it was still pretty fun playing little tunes as we walked from house to house as people rejected us.

Jó hetet!

-McKim Elder

PICS!

Our little lunch

Monday, 4 September 2017

Old Friend, New Adventures

Hellósztok!

Well life with Elder Thomas is basically just a huge party. Well at least as close as you can get while being out doing missionary work all day. But life is good, it's a fun time.

  Tuesday we farewelled our Duna district the same way that we started it, by going bowling. It was a pretty fun time, we didn't get particularly high scores or anything, but I got this one super cool spin bowl which made me feel like an athlete.
  Wednesday was transfers up in Budapest, which first of all meant a tonne of carrying suitcases around in very inconvenient areas, but then I got to see basically everyone, so it makes up for it. My entire group that is still in Hungary was there, which was super fun, but the last of our sisters is going home now, so I guess that's life. We also got to call all the new companionships in our zone and welcome them all which was super fun. We have 5 companionships with brand new missionaries in them, so our zone is going to be pretty fantastic this transfer.
  Thursday we had our first district meeting together. It was basically the normal get to know each other and stuff and then we ordered some more weird pizzas from the place that we got the american pizza the other week. 
  Friday we had to head over to Székesfehérvár to update Elder Thomas' government stuff, so that the government won't kick us out. It also gave us time to have a nice lunch there together before coming back to Duna. We also met with Eszter, our recent convert, that night, who is one of my favourite people, she's so hilarious. 
  Saturday was nothing too special, just did a lot of planning, tried to start fasting but we failed because the members love us too much and we met with our investigator family who are absolutely hilarious.
  Sunday was really interesting, mainly because Sister Brantley from my MTC decided that she would come to church here in Duna with her family. It was super weird seeing the last of the sisters from my MTC group finishing up her mission, kind of just reminded me how quick time has flown by. We also were trying to do our normal sunday night phone calls last night with everyone and something knocked out the phone signal for basically all of the night, it made life slightly difficult. Never realised how hard it could be to be a missionary with no phone.

Anyway, that's it from me. Have a great week.
Szervusztok!

- McKim Elder

PICS!
I told Elder Thomas he had to help me take more pictures, so hopefully I'll keep this up. 

                                                         
 Elder Thomas and I farewelling Sister Brantley before she heads back to America (we had to make the gap between us as awkward as possible)


Elder Thomas while eating lunch in Széke

Another Transfer Done...

Szervusztok!

Well here we are again at the end of another 9 weeks. As per usual that means that my time with my current companion Elder Terry has come to an end but luckily enough my time in Dunaújváros has not. My new companion is going to be Elder Thomas, who is from my MTC group. I'm really excited, he's from California and he's super hilarious, so we're going to have a great time. Also one of the sisters in my district is staying and getting a new missionary which always makes life a little more fun. So it's going to be a wonderful transfer.

  Our week started off a little different than it usually does. Because our zone had 5 baptisms throughout the transfer we were able to win ourselves a zone day from President Szabadkai's challenge. Which meant that the whole zone spent an entire day together in Duna where we played some sports and games, got some delicious lunch and got to watch Moana (or Vaiana as they call it here). It was a super fun day, although we had to organise it which made it a little less fun, but it was nonetheless still great.
  Wednesday was nothing too special, just had our apartment inspected and did a bit of finding and teaching, pretty normal.
  Thursday started with our final district meeting for the transfer, so we did a thing called "District Conference" where we all prepared a talk (well except for one of the sisters, because she gave a presentation on Kolob and the creation) and then we made the entire meeting like a session of general conference. It was pretty fun. We also did service at the home for disabled people and got cancelled on by our one lesson for the day. Great day.
  Friday and Saturday were really fun. We had the Pécs elders come here for splits, which is always great. We also tried one of the weirdest pizzas that I've ever eaten. It was called the "Americano" and had hamburger meat, fries and pickles on it. It was strange to say the least, but not too bad actually.
  Sunday was pretty normal, and so was yesterday, until we met with a woman named Izabella. Izabella is an older woman who really loves us but does not care at all about the gospel, she also loves to feed us, a lot. We told her that we couldn't meet with her at her house if there was no male there and so she made us meet her at this restaurant so she could say goodbye to Elder Terry. We at so much food it was ridiculous. Then after she pulls out these two packages and hands them too us. They were just full of random Hungarian items, which were all super cool but it was still really crazy that she was giving us all this stuff. So now I have a couple books about Hungary, some Hungarian CDs and a really cool hand made "House Blessing". She also gave Elder Terry a 5000ft coin in his, which was pretty insane.

Anyway, that was my interesting little week. I hope yours are all great too!

Sok szeretettel,
- McKim Elder

Spirit 1 - Anti-Mormon video 0

Jó napot!

Well as per usual weeks are still flying along, still a little too quick for my liking, but life is good and the days are still filled with plenty of adventures. 

  We got to spend last P-day up in Budapest, which was pretty fun, but sadly we only got to do that because Elder Terry had to give up the car, so we're back to travelling like everyone else. We had a fun time shopping even though Elder Terry hates it, the sisters and I made him buy a suit though, so it was good.
  Tuesday was really normal until the end. We met with our investigator family on tuesday night, who had been progressing really well recently, but when we walked in I saw that they had this really terrible anti-Mormon video up on their computer that they wanted to talk to us about, which is always a little scary because it's happened a few times that the lies in the videos scare people away from meeting with us. So we started explaining some of the parts of it and we ended up talking about baptisms for the dead because of it. After reading 1 Cor. 15:29, it turned out to actually be what the mum in the family needed to see that this was Christ's church like it was in his day and she asked to be baptised! While our member present was praying to open the lesson, I think I said one of the most sincere prayers in my heart ever for that family, so I have a testimony that the spirit guided everything that happened in that teaching. It was super cool to be a part of.
  Wednesday we had interviews with President Szabadkai, which I always love. Mine went pretty long but it was pretty normal, we just discussed some things about the zone, looked at some pictures of a city called Oroszlány (Russian girl in English) on Presidents iPad and discussed our investigators. It was uplifting.
  The rest of the week was pretty normal, we just had a few teachings with people, did some home teaching and got given some food by people, it was fun. We did have another cool teaching with that family though on Saturday. We reviewed the baptismal interview questions with them and the only problem that really came up was coffee. But then she decided then and there to quit, so she sent her daughter out and had her throw out all her coffee, so there wouldn't be any temptation in the house. It was a pretty cool moment.

Well anyway, life is good here, things are going great. Hope all is well back home.

Szervusztok!

- McKim Elder

PICS!

                                                 Elder Terry and I found a cat while tracting and he picked it up...

BAPTISMS!

Szervusztok!

Well this was a pretty beautiful and special week for us here in Dunaújváros. I also hit my 18 month mark this week, which is absolutely terrifying because that means that I only have 6 months left. I don't know where all the time went so quickly. Also two of the sisters that I was in the MTC with went home this week, so yeah, that's how old I am now. 

  Our week started with a wonderful little trip to Veszprém, where we had splits with the elders there. I had the fantastic opportunity to work with Elder Rohner, the only other Australian in this whole mission. It was great. People try to act all smart a lot here and tell us about how terrible America is while we're tracting, so it's really fun to be able to just say "Actually, we're both Australians" and then watch them freak out about how far we came to get here. It's pretty entertaining. We had some super successful finding though, we had 3 let ins in one tracting session, one of which was with a man who runs a little group of about 10 people who have no religion but search for truth in the bible and gather together to discuss it every week, so they're probably going to baptise them all. haha.
  We spent the large part of our week meeting with our two investigators who were on baptismal date, to make sure that they were still ready. The key word in that sentence being "were" because they BOTH GOT BAPTISED! It was super great, the actual ordinance was kind of sketchy because we had two fairly new members performing the baptisms, but it got done and now they're both members of the church which is super crazy. President Szabadkai also came and visited us at the baptism with his family, so that was also pretty cool, the branch really appreciated it. 
  I also had the opportunity this week to do a baptismal interview for one of the sisters investigators here, but unfortunately he didn't meet the standards, so we have to push his date back a little. It was definitely an interesting experience having to tell someone in an interview that they couldn't be baptised right now, but I think in the end it was a pretty uplifting experience. At least I tried to make it one.

Well those were the main interesting parts of the week that I could remember. So have a wonderful week and legyetek mindig jó!

-McKim Elder

Also I forgot to take any pictures at this baptism, but President took a couple so maybe I'll get them from him somehow, I don't know.

I Spy, Testify!

Kellemes szép napot kívánok.

Well the weeks are still flying by as quickly as ever and it was another week full of fun adventures.

  Tuesday had us heading up to Budapest for another wonderful zone conference. Luckily this time due to the fact that we have a car and are only an hour from Budapest instead of 3 we were able to get up at a normal time and not be ridiculously tired for the meeting. We only ended up with a pretty short training, which was actually pretty nice, but in total the whole meeting went for like 4 and half hours when it was planned for 3 and a half. It was a really great meeting though, we talked about faith in Jesus Christ and Christ-like attributes for our part of the training, the assistants shared Elder Hollands talk from the most recent mission presidents seminar about using the spirit for theirs and President Szabadkai talked about finding and it's relation to baptism. The whole meeting was really good, one of my favourites so far.
  After the training we had the Kaposvár elders come down to Duna with us for an exchange which meant spending a bit of time with my old companion Elder Stringham again. I actually spent the exchange with his companion though, but it was really fun, we met with some people, did a bit of streeting (#ISpyTestify) and spent a couple hours out in the ridiculous heat tracting. Great day.
  We also got to have exchanges with the assistants again this week which is always really fun. I was able to spend the exchange with Elder Gentry, who is an absolute beast of a missionary, I always learn a tonne from him whenever we're together, because he is not afraid to talk to anyone at anytime (#ISpyTestify), he's an inspiration.
  We closed our fast at a members house yesterday and it was insane. She gave us SO much food. It was like a legit barbecue, it was so delicious. I've never had such good barbecue in this country until now, it has been very missed.
  Other than that we spent a lot of time this week preparing our two investigators to be baptised and now everything is in order and they should both be getting baptised this weekend, which is super exciting. The branch is super excited because it's been a long time since two people have been baptised on the same day here in Duna, so it should be a really cool experience.

Also as an explanation, the "I Spy, Testify" thing was our commitment from zone conference.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Tégy mindig jót!
- McKim Elder
                                            Elder Hughes and I had to take a picture together at MLC last week

I opened my drink and it said "I already saw you in my dreams" inside it, was slightly creeped out




Monday, 31 July 2017

Progression...

Jó napot!

Another exciting week full of adventures and shenanigans have come and past, which somehow brings us to being already over halfway through this transfer which is pretty crazy, the time is flying by super quick. 

  Monday wasn't anything too exciting other than the fact that there was a HUGE rain storm right when we had to head to a lesson in the middle of p-day. We got super soaked. Then the guy didn't even let us, but we did set up again for the next day. So it was still kind of a success.
  Tuesday mornings for us always start with a nice call from President Szabadkai so we can discuss a little about the zone and how things are going, but this one was a little different because it ended with President telling us to go on an emergency split with one of the companionships in our zone on friday, but still a great time. We also had like 4 lessons planned for tuesday and we got dogged twice, which was wonderful, one person that we taught did give us huge watermelons to eat while we chatted so that nice.
  Wednesday was one of my favourite times of every transfer, MLC, and it made it even more special because we only get one of them transfer. We talked about a lot of things, such as, faith, Christ-like attributes, leadership, finding and technology. It was a super good meeting and I was able to catch up with a lot of old friends, including Elder Hughes and a few people from my MTC group.
  Thursday was pretty normal, we just had our district meeting on commitments and met with a few people, nothing too crazy happened from memory.
  Friday was a crazy day. We started with two baptismal interviews (for Eszter and Ildikó) and they both passed, so it was super great. Due to the fact that I'm both the district and zone leader here, we had to have both President Szabadkai and the assistants come down for the interviews, so it was a good little time. We also gave the assistants some lunch on the way out and then I ripped my pants getting out of their car (pants die so often as a missionary...). Immediately after that we had to head out on our emergency exchange, which was actually really pleasant.
  I got to spend the exchange with an elder that I've worked with a few times in my mission and it was actually a really cool experience. He has had a bit of reputation of being troublesome earlier in his mission and hasn't been the most diligent but this time I got to see a huge change in him, he actually really wanted to work and he was a lot happier than he used to be. Times are still a little hard for him and we're working on his companion, but it was really cool to see him improving.
  The rest of our weeks was mainly spent planning so it wasn't too exciting but it was still great.

Hope you all have a wonderful week and try not to freak out as much as I am about how tomorrow is August haha.

Sok szeretettel,
McKim Elder

P.S I would send pictures but the computer won't accept my card, sorry...

A cauldron, car and Keresztelő

Szervusztok!

The weeks are still flying just as quick as ever and the adventures are still continuing on this quest for the salvation of souls!

  We started off this week with a wonderful trip to one of, if not, the prettiest cities in this country and also the home of my mission president, Pécs. I was also able to spend the time with one of my favourite elders in the mission, Elder Sharp, so it was a pretty great time. Elder Sharp's faith is incredible, we headed out tracting on tuesday night and before we start he turns to me and says "McKim Elder, Elder Willes and I picked this street because we felt like we would get a let-in within the first couple doors", needless to say door number 4 lets us in. Elder Sharp definitely strengthened my testimony of the "Developing the faith to find" section of preach my gospel. 
  Wednesday I was able to do a bit more fantastic finding with Elder Sharp before we jumped back in the car and headed back up to Dunaújváros. We were able to meet with one of our investigators who is baptismal date and then Elder Terry and I made a huge pot of rakott krumpli, that is literally still in or fridge because it was so big.
  Thursday we were able to have our district meeting on planning and then head out to do service at the disabled people home before getting dogged by our two lessons for the day, but it was still good times.
  Friday we planned for a long time, met with our investigator on baptismal date and ran throught the interview questions with them, met with one of our recent converts and then went home teaching to our branch presidents house, where they fed us some delicious food and we helped them put up a tent.
  Saturday we were able to have a baptism because a family who used to live here in Duna decided to come back here from England to baptise their daughter. So we got to participate in that and afterwards we got to go to our branch presidents house for a little bit too where they were having a "Bogrács", where they basically just cook a giant pot of gulyás (stew) in a cauldron over a fire and then everyone eats it. It was super delicious. We also were able to meet with our other investigator who is on baptismal date and review the questions with her, so that was also exciting.

Well that was about all for interesting things this week. I hope you all have a great week!

Viszlát!

- McKim Elder

PICS!
              We found this graffiti on a church that says "Jesus lives", (Jézuz él) and we couldn't resist.                                
                                                   Elder Sharp and I in Pécs' main square
                                   

Solid week

Szervusztok!

Well the weeks are still flying by here and somehow I've already been in Dunaújváros for 3 weeks, but I'm still loving it and it's terrifying to see it fly before my eyes so fast haha.

  Our week started with interviews with President Szabadkai. It was kind of weird having interviews two weeks into the transfer but they changed the system now and instead of having interviews every 9 weeks we're going to have them either every 6 weeks or every month, I'm not completely sure. It's always great though, I love my chats with President Szabadkai. We then had exchanges with the Veszprém elders immediately after and although I didn't get to work with him it meant I got to actually spend a bit of time with Elder Rohner, the only other Australian missionary in Hungary. I was able to work with Elder Biesinger though and we got to spend a lot of time tracting and we taught one of our investigators about tithing so it was pretty cool.
  The next day we dropped off the Veszprém elders and then Elder Terry and I had the opportunity of teaching our other investigator on baptismal date about tithing. Both of the people that we taught tithing to this week were so excited to pay it, it was super cool. We also met with another one of our investigator families and had a nice long discussion about who Jehova is, good times.
  Thursday was super busy. We had district meeting about the importance of the restoration, did service at the disabled peoples home, taught both of our investigators who are on baptismal date and moved both of the baptisms to the 12th of August as well as meeting with one of our recent converts. It was a fun day though.
  Friday we were able to do our weekly planning and then head down to the branch house for MCM. When we got there though we realised that one of the lights on our car was out and we had to get it fixed, but we also had to drive up to Budapest right after the meeting and couldn't be late. We had our branch mission leader in a taxi lead us to a place that would replace it but on the way somehow the light just fixed itself and we were able to make it Budapest on time. So moral of the story, miracles are real, people. But we were able to head up to Budapest for another exchange, this time with the assistants. 
  I spent most of the exchange out finding but Elder Fitzgerald and I were able to have so many crazy experiences that in the end we didn't even have to stop that many people. We seriously saw so many crazy miracles together and came out of it with multiple potential investigators, a container of káposztás tészta (cabbage pasta(?) ) and a weird pencil with a bear on top of it (because the woman who gave it to us' name has the hungarian word for bear in it...). So all in all it was pretty sweet. I also taught the law of chastity for like the second time in my whole mission when we came back from Budapest, so that was also fun, but it all went well.

Well that was my week, hope you all have a great on too!

Sok szeretettel
McKim Elder

Road trip time

Üdvözlök!

Well my first full week has passed in this great little city of Dunaújváros. The time is still flying and things are going as great as ever.

  On monday we went bowling together as a district. It's practically the only thing that this city has to do so we might struggle for more fun P-day ideas but I'm sure we'll find cool things to do here. If we don't we'll probably be playing a lot of bowling in my time here. We also got prank called like 3 times and got dogged, it was good fun.
  On tuesday we were able to give service at the disabled peoples home which is always super fun. We were also able to meet with both of our main investigators, Ildikó and Eszter. The lesson with Ildikó went super well and she's super excited to be baptised but we might have to push it back to the middle of August to make sure that we can teach everything. We were also able to give Eszter a baptismal date and if all goes well then she should be baptised on the 19th of August, which is pretty exciting, so hopefully we'll be able to have 2 baptisms here this transfer.
  Wednesday was another day of teaching, we got to go out to a little village a bit out of the city though to meet with a recent convert. She wanted one of the members to give a blessing on her house since she just moved in and so we got to help in that too. It was a pretty good day.
  Thursday wasn't anything too crazy but we did have district meeting which was pretty good, we talked about the importance of the area book and recording keeping, which isn't the most interesting of topics but it's still fun times being together. I also found out on thursday that one of the investigators that I taught while I was in Kaposvár is going to be baptised in Pécs in about 2 months, so that was pretty exciting, doesn't happen every day. 
  On friday we got to head down to Kaposvár to hold exchanges with the elders there and it was super weird because it was like going back home. I was only there for 2 months but I still remembered everything about that city, so it was really cool to be back there. I got to meet with one of the members from there which was cool and I was working with my old companion Elder Stringham, so it was pretty crazy. There was also a random sport tournament for like 12 year olds while we were there and so the city was full of 12 year olds from a bunch of different countries all around the world.
  Saturday wasn't anything too crazy, we just did a bunch of finding in Kaposvár and then Elder Terry and I had a pizza party in the car on the way home.
  Sunday was also pretty normal. I really like the branch here though, the members are all super cool and super friendly, so it's a fun place to be. We also had 5 new baptismal dates in our zone this week which brough our total up to 8 and one of the cities had a baptism on saturday, so the work is doing pretty well in this zone, it's super exciting.

Hope you all have a great week!

- McKim Elder

PICS!

                                                      A picture I took of Kaposvár's main square


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

New Beginnings

Üdvözlök!

Well I'm here in my brand new city of Dunaújváros. It's a really interesting place and a lot different from my past cities. As a little bit of background the city is only about 65 years old and was basically just built so people could work in the giant steel factory that is on the edge of the city. It was also originally called "Sztálinváros" (Stalin city) after the russian leader but they changed the name after the revolution, now it meant "Duna (Danube river) new city". It's also pretty small with only about 50,000 people but it still has plenty of those communist 10 story buildings, which is always great.

  Tuesday we basically just spent saying really sad farewells to some of the members in Szeged that we got really close to. Everyone was super confused as to why I was leaving and not Elder Hughes, but hey, sometimes the Lord has other plans for us. I got some really cute notes and treats from some of the members though so it was a nice way to go out.
  Wednesday we had transfers which is always fun because you get to catch up with most people. I got to see my trainer for the last time before he jumped on a plane back to America this week. Unfortunately I only ever got a picture with him and one of my sons, but he served well and he deserves his time back home now. Elder Terry and I then headed out in our CAR back to Dunaújváros which was just totally insane, but it's super nice and makes it way more convenient to get to other cities. We then spent the rest of the day doing a bit of finding and meeting with the branch president here.
  Thursday we had district meeting, but the funny thing was that no one thought to tell me that I'm actually the district leader here, so we had a good get to know you time with the district, it was fun. We also did service at a home for disabled people, along with meeting with two of our investigators and teaching english class, so we were pretty busy.
  Friday we had to head out to another city called Székesfehérvár (it's a mouthful, I know. We usually just call is Székes) so we could get registered with the government. We had time to come back and meet with one of our investigators and then we went and helped one of the members move a bunch of wood into his backyard, it felt super manly. The investigator we met with is on baptismal date and she's so prepared, her husband is a less active member and two of their family members are members in the branch here, they also have this really cute 1 and a half year old son. She's planning on being baptised on the 28th of july if all goes well so we're super excited.
  Saturday we got to help someone move and then spent most of the rest of the day planning and in meetings, but it was still fun.
  Yesterday was my first church here and it was great. I've always heard a lot about the branch here and how great they are and from what I've seen so far it seems pretty true. There are so many really cool and interesting people here and they're super willing to help us, so I'm excited to be able to work with the members here a lot.

This week should be fun, we get to head back down to Kaposvár already, so I'm super excited to see that place again, it should be great.

Jó hetet!

- McKim Elder
                                          3 generations on my dad's (Elder Jensen) last day

                                                            Elder Terry and me

                                   Elder Hughes and I got really wet after Zone Conference

Moving on

Szervusztok!
Well another week is done and so is another transfer, which unfortunately brings to an end this insanely long time that I got to spend with Elder Hughes. We had a super good run and it's sad for it to come to an end, but you know all good things must come to an end. I've joined a very small group of people in this mission who have come to a city after their companion stayed there for 4 months and then left before their companion, because by some miracle Elder Hughes has been allowed to stay here for another 2 months bringing his total to 8. I am going to be heading off to a city called Dunaújváros (good luck saying that everyone haha) and my new companion will be Elder Terry. There's going to be a lot of crazy things about it, like Elder Terry having a car as well as some other things but I'll talk about them more when everything is worked out. I'm super excited though, I'll get to visit Kaposvár again on splits and also Pécs, so it'll be a great time, I'm super excited.
This week was interesting as is the last week of every transfer it seems. We were able to teach a bunch of lessons this week and we're finally starting to see some good progression in a few of our investigators. We finally got two of them to agree to come to church this sunday and although I won't be there to see them, I'm super excited for them because I think they'll be able to start progressing really well now.
We also had our Zone Conference this week which was a really good experience. We gave a training with our Sister Training Leaders on teaching skills and I think it went really well. We had to get up super early though because they are always messing with the train lines and we didn't want to be late so we had to get up at 3:45am to make sure that we made it on time and didn't get back until 7pm but I guess that's the price you pay for living in such a beautiful city that's forever away from Budapest.
We got fed a tonne of times this week. Firstly we went to help a member pick currents in her huge garden on Friday and she gave us a bunch of sandwiches made out of the fresh stuff that she grows in her garden. We then got fed at a Less actives house on saturday. Then right after that another less active fed us some Hungarian pörkölt (basically just meat chunks covered in paprika and onions) and gave us a giant bag of paprika. Another member had us over on sunday to teach us how to make túró gombóc (I have no good explanation for this one) and they were really delicious. We also went out to a fancy restaurant last night to celebrate the time that we had together, so it was fun.
There was definitely more this week but my email is already super long, so have wonderful week!
- McKim Elder

Kalandozás

Hellosztok!
Well I'm officially entering my last week to be spent with Elder Hughes (we already asked to stay together one more and it got shut down :( ... ), but it's okay because I'm sure my next companion is going to be great, whoever it is. It's just going to be super weird to actually change this time haha, but it'll all work out.
  Last monday for P-day we headed up into the trees to go adventuring! That's literally the translation of what we did, but it was super sweet, it's basically just a huge ropes course up in a bunch of trees with a some zip-lines and stuff, definitely recommend it if anyone ever finds one. It was super tiring though!
  Tuesday was a pretty normal day we just taught a bunch of lessons and had our apartment inspected to make sure that we're keeping it clean. We passed with flying colours, Elder Hughes has been stress cleaning so much because of the transfers that there wasn't a single spot of dust haha.
  Wednesday we headed up to Kecskemét to do splits with the elders there. The splits were good, nothing too interesting happened but we did have a really good district meeting with them where we talked about resolving peoples concerns and Elder Gonzalez prepared a bunch of concerns and we did role plays where we had 2 minutes to find our what it was and resolve it, it was really fun.
  Thursday we went straight from Kecskemét to Budapest for MLC, but what seems to be the usual for us these days, something happened to our train and it arrived over 20 minutes late, making us run through Budapest in our suit coats in the boiling heat to make it there on time. We made it though. It was a good meeting and we had the stake leaders come at the end to discuss how they could help us by improving the church experience for investigators. The problem was that the meeting ended pretty late and so we didn't get back to our apartment until 11pm , but you know things happen.
  The rest of our week was basically filled with splits with the Békéscsaba Elders. They were super fun, we always look forward to our splits with them. We did have the unfortunate situation though of a ticket checker not accepting the bus ticket that Elder Pulsipher bought though and fining him 7,000ft, which really sucked, but we're going to split the fine and it's a funny story in the end, so what can you do about it?...
Well that was another week from the beautiful land of Magyarország.
További szép hetet. 

-McKim Elder

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

AP for a day

Sok szeretettel köszöntök mindenkit!
These weeks just keep getting faster and faster and feels like I have less and less to write every week, but here we are again anyway.
  This week started with our interviews with President Szabadkai and as seems to be the usual these days, mine was very normal. Nothing too special happened at all but it's still always a great time to be able to sit down with President Szabadkai for a bit and talk about life, it's one of my favourite parts of every transfer.
  As per usual we had more exchanges again this week firslty with the other elders here in Szeged. It went pretty well, we found some potentials, ate some food and met with a couple investigators, so it was a good time.
  Our other exchange was with the assistants, which usually aren't anything too different to a normal exchange, but this one had me end up playing AP for a day. When we got there it was pretty normal, we met with a couple people and I got to catch up a little with some of the people that I knew from when I served in Buda, it was a really great time. Then the next morning we had to attend a meeting... with the entire mission presidency... and both of the Hungarian district presidencies... and our AP Elder Fitzgerald, and then me. You could say that I felt a little out of place. It was really cool to be a part of though, it was just a room full of people discussing how to further the church in Hungary and help it grow. We also got to go up into the Szabadkais' house to have lunch which is always super nice.
  Our work is doing alright these days, we have a few new people that we found this week that we're really excited about so things are looking up from over here, we should have good times coming ahead.
További szép hetet!

- McKim Elder

A fairly normal week.

Kellemes Pünkösdöt kívánok!
Well here we are, another week flown on by. For anyone who was wondering, I emailed today because yesterday was the holiday of Pünkösd (Pentecost) here in Hungary. I honestly didn't know that anyone celebrated it, but apparantly we do here, so there you go.
  Our week was pretty full of finding, which meant plenty of time out in the crazy heat of what is now Hungarian summer (it's still going to get hotter...). We had some exchanges this week though to make finding just that little bit more interesting, firstly with the elders from Szolnok and then another with the other Szeged elders. They were both really good, I've really come to enjoy doing exchanges all the time because I learn a lot from the other elders, they are very tiring though haha.
  Our work is kind of struggling a little at the moment, Márk basically officially dropped us at this point and a few of our investigators ended up in the hospital in this last week. But we're still seeing cool things happen everyday and we're excited for a few new people who we should be able to start teaching.
  We had a cool kind of miracle yesterday. We had finished doing some tracting and went over to meet with a man who told us to come back at 3, but after ringing his bell it turned out that he wasn't home. We were going to visit the husband of one of our investigators in the hospital after that at around 4:30 but in the end we both felt that we should go right away and get there a little early. After a few things happening with the public transport we arrived at the hospital at 3:59 to find our investigator waiting for us. She then proceeded to tell us how much of a blessing it was for us to come right at that moment. It was just a testimony to us of Heavenly Father watching over his children even in the little things. We thought nothing of that 30 minutes but to our investigator it meant a lot and Heavenly Father was aware of that.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Sok szeretettel,
McKim Elder