Called to serve Feb 2016

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

Prison cookie drop offs.

Üdvözlöm!
Well the weeks are coming and going so fast these days that I feel like I have less and less to write about each week, but life is still fun.
  We were able to meet with Márk again a couple of times this week and we officially finished teaching him everything that he needs to know before his baptism and he's been doing really well in keeping the Word of Wisdom too which is super cool. He has cancelled our last two teachings now, but hopefully it won't be a problem.
  We were also able to teach that couple from last week again and then they both came to church again this week and stayed for all three hours! It was super cool, István really loved being back there and it's just a super cool experience to see somebody coming back to activity in the church.
  We also headed over to Békéscsaba this week to do some exchanges with the Elders there. It was a great time, their apartment makes it feel like you're living in a tree house so it's an adventure. I wish I had taken some pictures of it, but oh well, maybe next time. Working with Elder Veres was great though, he's not scared of anyone, so we had plenty of great conversations in situations that you don't often find yourself in if you stick to the easier people to talk to. It also started raining... a lot... and I had no coat or umbrella... so I got a little wet. For some reason this always happens when we go to other cities.
  We also had someone try and recruit us to go preach in the prison here in Szeged for mainly murderers and rapists and although I know they need the gospel, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little glad that President shut that idea down pretty quick.
  We made a lot of cookies this week. We gave most of them out, but we also ate a lot of cookies. No regrets...
Have a wonderful week and if anyone wants a delicious cookie recipe I now have one...
- McKim Elder
Unfortunately I can't plug in my thing for pictures this week...

Happy times...

Hellosztok!
This week has just flown by super quick and it's crazy that it's already time to send another email, we had a really good week though with a lot of cool little miracles happening.
  So basically Márk is just one of my favourite people to teach in the entire world, he's just such a pleasure. He's progressing super well and he just loves everything that we teach him. We really only had the commandments left to teach him before his baptism, so this week meant my first real times teaching both the law of tithing and chastity. He seriously loved both of them though and he's super excited. He's also becoming such good friends will all the members here and he loves them all, it's so great. For those of you who will be at my Home coming talk I hope you are excited to hear about Márk because he's seriously been such a huge blessing to us and so he's probably going to be half of my talk.
  We had two sets of exchanges this week, one with the elders from Kecskemét and another with the elders here. There were some good fun meeting with a few crazy people, walking out in the sun, almost getting stung by the HUGEST wasp I've ever seen in my life (seriously this thing was like 2 inches long, it died on the floor next to us for like an hour, it was so gross) and catching up with some old friends.
  We had a really cool experience this week with a couple named István and Mónika that we've been meeting with a little. So István is a less active member and is living with his girlfriend Mónika out in a little village just outside of Szeged and we visit them occassionally with the senior couple from Békéscsaba. A few things happened and a lot of little miracles that led up to this but we ended up meeting with them on Wednesday night and had a super good meeting with them. Afterwards Mónika said that she would love to start taking the lessons and learn more about us and then on Sunday they even came to church, Istváns first time in years something that was really hard for him, but the members welcomed them like an old friend and they really enjoyed being there, so hopefully we'll see more progress with them in the future. 
  We also got roped in to helping the branch organise a family night on Saturday and we kind of thought it was only going to be like 10 people that would end up coming but when we got started there ended up being probably around 30ish people including a bunch of non-members, so it went pretty well and it was a lot of fun. I even got to do some stick-pull against Márk.
Hope everything is going fine and dandy in all your lives!
Szervusztok!
- McKim Elder
Pic
I've been terrible at taking pictures recently, but here is a picture of when they shut down the main brigde in Szeged this week to have a huge festival. I ate a HUGE Kürtös kalács (chimney cake) after I took this, it was great.


How can I even describe it?

Boldog Anya napját!
Well this week has honestly just been incredible, I'm not sure how to even put it into words, but I guess I'm going to have to try now, so here it goes...
  Tuesday was the first of many busy days for us this week. We met with a few people but the coolest was meeting again with our investigator Márk. Because he had taken a bit of a break from meeting with us we were a little worried for what might happen, but it went incredibly. He had started praying every single day, he read some from the scriptures and the pamphlets and even found MoTab online and had been listening to it all the time. It was such a beautiful reunion, it made us so happy.
  Wednesday was just incredible. We headed up bright and early to Budapest for mission tour which was basically 5-6 hours of being instructed by Elder Kearon who is the Area President for Europe and soon to be in the Presidency of the Seventy. I wish I could share all the things that I learnt but the biggest lesson that I took from it was just his pure Christ-like love for us and how big of an effect that can have.
  Thursday we had a couple lessons, still super busy but nothing too insane happened, it was just a good solid day of work. We also had our landlord randomly deliver us a new oven at like 9 in the morning because our old one didn't work and Elder Hughes and I had to carry it up 4 flights of stairs. Good thing we've been working out recently.
  Friday was another wonderful day spent being instructed by Elder Kearon. We had our MLC and it was basically just the mission leaders discussing what we learnt from Elder Kearon and how we can help the mission here improve on those things that he shared. It was an incredibly special meeting to be a part of and I am so grateful that I got to take part in it. We also had the surprise of Robinson Testvér (my teacher in the MTC) making a surprise visit to us during MLC, so we got to have a nice catch up with him which was fun. Then when we got home a man came to connect our oven but told us that our entire kitchen was illegal and wouldn't do it, which left us with basically no way to cook any food...
  Until on saturday when a random man who lives in our building came and hooked up our oven! I don't know how legal it was and frankly I don't think I want to know, but we have a working oven now, so that's nice. Saturday was also full of meeting with people including a brand new investigator who turned out to be psychotic (like literally, she lives in a hospital and everything) but she was pretty normal and actually quite cool and also another investigator who we have been trying to meet with for 3 months and they finally set up with us. But the most important of all was Márk, who after a wonderful lesson agreed to be baptised on the 17th of June! Márk really is our miracle here and I just can't express how glad I am for what I've learnt from this experience with him.
  Then Sunday brought the classic mothers day skype with my family, which is always great and we also got to visit with a couple of the members here in the branch. Another wonderful uplifting day.
Well that is the novel of this week. There a thousands of more things that I could have said about things that I learnt or other miracles that we saw, funny stories, etc. but to quote 2 Nephi "nevertheless only these things have I caused to be bwritten, for the things which I have written sufficeth me." Just know that this week has been incredibly wonderful and I loved all of it.
További szép hetet nektek!
-McKim Elder

Monday, 8 May 2017

Let the Holy Spirit guide.

Kellemes jó napot kívánok!
To be completely honest this week was pretty weird but it was full of a tonne of miracles. I guess Elder Hughes and I have really been applying that training that we gave on using the spirit...
  On tuesday after playing a bit of ultimate frisbee as a district, it came time for us to head out and do some tracting. We felt prompted to go to a specific street which we thought was interesting because it was a little far out and we didn't have a lot of time. After feeling that we needed to change buildings twice we ended up tracting a nearby building on the street and about half way through the building someone let us in without saying anything. When we went up and saw the name on the door we honestly laughed a little because it was the name of an investigator that we had met with last transfer and we couldn't get back into contact with because he wouldn't answer his phone. We were able to set up and meet with him later in the week, where he really opened up and now is willing to meet with us almost every single day for at least a short time so we can read scriptures with him and those sorts of things.
  On wendesday we headed over to Szolnok to do exchanges with the Elders there. The trains were messed up so we got there super late after having to spend 3 hours changing between trains and buses but it was a really great exchange. One of their investigators dogged the lesson that we had set up and we ended up having two unexpected lessons instead, they were both pretty miraculous. Then when we came out, it was POURING with rain, it was insane and so even though I was sick I just grabbed my bag and basically sprinted for like 10 minutes in a huge lightning storm, it was pretty crazy.
  On Friday we had exchanges with the assistants. We had some great lessons that went a lot better than we thought they were going to and then we had tracting miracles too. We went out tracting at like 8 at night, which sometimes doesn't get the greatest responses, but we ended up getting 3 potential investigators out of it and a really cool guy let us and wants to meet with us more, it was super crazy. 
  Saturday and Sunday we were able to have stake conference, whcih was super good even though the broadcast wasn't the smoothest. After stake conference on Sunday we got to go to a members house where she invited a random old man that she met a week or so earlier to come talk to us. He was interesting but not too interested in the gospel. Our super serious investigator who asked us for a break also said he wants to meet again after we felt like we should text him.
It really was crazy to be able to see the hand of the Lord in our work this week, miracles definitely do happen every day.
This upcoming week is going to be fantastic, Elder Kearon (who just got called into the presidency of the seventy) is coming to visit our mission and so we get to have a big conference with him, I'm super excited!
Jó hetet kívánok!

--
McKim Elder

Already this much comp unity?


Üdvözlök!
Well this week hasn't been the most exciting week, but it's still been a really great time and a great start to another wonderful transfer here in Szeged.
  For what would be Elder Sharps last P-day here in Szeged and one of the only times we get to have non-monday P-days, we decided to go up the tower of the Dóm Templom, which is a really old catholic church in the centre of the city here. We had a good time and took some pictures looking out over the whole city.
  Wednesday was transfer day but because Elder Hughes and I stayed together that meant we had to stay here in Szeged rather than going up to Budapest. But that was fine by us because that meant that we got to visit the disabled home again and this time they were carrying out the Hungarian tradition of "Locsolkodás" where basically the men say a little poem and then spray the girls with perfume and the girl must respond with either a red egg or a kiss on the cheek. It was super cute and really wonderful. That night we also got to meet up with the sisters and go see a performance of Handels "Messiah" being put on by the Szeged Symphony Orchestra and Choir. Super great and now we've been singing the songs all week.
  Thursday was nothing too crazy, I just had to give an improptu district meeting because our actual district leader is still in Budapest then we also taught english class.
  Friday we had to head up to Budapest for the first of our 8 Budapest trips this transfer so we could take part in Mission Leadership Council. But it was really good we talked about the spirit and how we can positively influence the culture of our mission. Our train home ended up sitting in another city for an hour though and so we ended up getting home super late.
  Saturday we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Hungary being dedicated by President Nelson for the preaching of the gospel. It's great to see the ways that the church has improved here in what really is a pretty short time, it's still small but this really is a blessed country. 
  On Sunday I had to give a talk in church, it was only meant to be like 10 minutes long but I ended up talking for like 15 and cutting out a ton of it because I forgot that talking in Hungarian takes a lot longer for me than speaking in English, but it still went well.
Hope everyone has a wonderful day and enjoys ANZAC day tomorrow!
Szervusztok!
- McKim Elder

                                                                    The wonderful city of Szeged

Finally on time to something

Sok szeretettel köszöntelek!
It's been a slightly longer than usual week, filled with wonderful adventures as always.
  We got to go on a bit of an adventure on Tuesday with the Howells, the senior couple in this area. We went out into some little villages to visit some people, ate some vegetables straight out of the ground, and shared a whole bunch of messages. It was a pretty fun day.
  On wednesday we had our zone training. It went pretty well and finally we were actually pretty early for one instead of running from a train or tram because we're super late. We taught about the spirit and how we need to be constantly looking for its promptings in our life.
  Then we had splits with the other Elders and I got to work with Elder Römer, the swiss elder from my MTC group. It was a good time, we met with an old man who is really catholic and gave flowers to some old women as we tracted.
  The rest of our week was basically just filled with our normal meeting with people. We got some delicious food, talked a lot about the gospel, it was a really good and rewarding couple of days. We did miss a bus and have to walk all the way out to a village though, but it was worth it. 
  Monday was labour day here in Hungary. I'm not sure if we celebrate that back home, but even if we do it's nothing like the Hungarians do it. Unfortunately we couldn't go but they had huge parties everywhere, including one that had apperantly almost half of Szeged there. We ended up just avoiding it all by heading out to a city just outside of Szeged where we found a wonderful canola field.
My companion came up with the idea this week of a spiritual thought from Jacob 4:5-6, which we have described as the recipe to our daily bread. So if you want give it a look and try and work out what we've been sharing with all the members here this week.
Have a great week!
- McKim Elder

                          While I was walking out my companion took this hipster picture of me in the canola field

Back to back

Sziasztok!

Well it's that time again where every 9 weeks or so we get the most nerve-racking phone call ever. We were very happy though to receive the call that not only am I staying here in Szeged for another transfer but Elder Hughes will be staying with me! So we get to spend another whole 10 weeks together in this wonderful city. It's not too common here for anyone to stay together for 2 transfers so it's pretty cool that I'll get to experience it at least once and if I'm lucky this might mean that I get to spend 6 months in this fantastic city.
  Our week as what seems like normal now, started with splits with the other elders here in Szeged, which would also be our last splits for the whole transfer. We had a good time although our most serious investigator texted us in the middle of it saying that he wanted to take a break, so that was really sad, but we had some great times nonetheless.
  We got to head out to a couple little cities this week to look some people up. One was out to a tiny little village thing called Szatymaz just outside of Szeged where we looked up a less active man and his wife, so we could share the easter message with them. The other was to a not so small city called Hódmezővásárhely (yeah, it's a bit of a mouthful). There we met with one of the sister's investigators while they're gone as well an inactive family who were seriously just one of the cutest families of all time, it was so wonderful.
  On friday we got permission to go attend a musical that a couple of the members of the branch here were participating in called Evita. It was actually really well done and really cool, although it was in Hungarian so we had hardly any idea what was going on, but it was a fun experience and the theatre was absolutely beautiful.
  Elder Hughes had thought he was leaving all the way up until this morning so we had to say goodbye to a lot of the members this week. One thing we did was make Chimichangas (I have no idea how to spell that) with a few of the members here. It was a super fun day and they're some of the coolest members that I've met so far here. We also had an easter picnic on monday with most of the branch, so there were a lot of sad goodbyes for the other elders but also delicious food and some fun games, so it was fun.
It's been a wonderful time this transfer and I'm looking forward to even more crazy stories to share with you all in the upcoming one.
Sok szeretettel,
- McKim Elder

                                                   Cool picture that I took of our branch house the other night.

                                    Kitti and Timi, some of our wonderful Szeged members

Came across Kenguru (Kangaroo) köz, which intersected with Hiúz (Bobcat but pronounced the same way as Hughes) utca, which intersected with Szabadkai út. This city is a goldmine.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The most normal week of the transfer...

Szervusztok!
Like the title states, this was probably the most normal week that we have had throughout this entire transfer and it was still kind of crazy, but that's just missionary life I guess.
  For P-day we felt obligated to do something cool because the sisters were only going to be in Szeged until Thursday, so we decided to go to the zoo. The only problem was that we got pretty lost after taking the wrong tram and so only had like an hour and a half at the zoo. It was really cool though, we even saw some lions eating some rabbits.
  Tuesday we had interviews with President Szabadkai. Nothing too crazy happened we just kind of talked about life and conference but it was a good experience. We also had to run across the city to meet with one of our investigators because he came 2 hours early, but it went well so it was all good.
  We then had exchanges with the other elders here in Szeged which are always fun. Some random guy gave Elder Sharp and I huge cans of shaving cream as a gift for not being able to talk to us, so you know, it was interesting.
  Thursday we had to head over to Kecskemét to have exchanges with the elders there. It's a really beautiful place and we got to take part in their district meeting, so it was a good time.
  The rest of the week was pretty normal, just meeting with our investigators, made some cookies and gave them to a bunch of people, it was good fun.
Well this is the last full week of the transfer which means that next week when I email I will already have my transfer call for next transfer. We'll see what happens but hopefully I get at least one more transfer in this wonderful city.
Sok szeretettel,
McKim Elder
                                                  We came across pretty much the cutest bear ever at the zoo


"Where is all our time?..."

Üdvözlök!
I honestly cannot believe how quickly my time is going here in Szeged, Elder Hughes and I are freaking out about the possibility of having to leave each other in another 2 weeks, but we're just living up the little time that we actually have together.
  Continuing our tradition of a ridiculous amount of exchanges, we started our week with exchanges with the assistants. We got dogged, taught a really good lesson, got a let in, did some finding, ate some indian food, it was an all round pretty good day and I learnt a lot from it.
  On wednesday we headed out to a little city just outside of Szeged to visit some members with one of the senior couples. They picked us a whole bunch of vegetables right out of their garden and told us to eat them. They were good but could use a little less dirt next time...
  Thursday we had our district meeting which was included our district leader, Elder Sharp, building a giant tent out of bed sheets in the middle of one of the classrooms in the meeting house and us all pretending to be part of Lehi's family as we reenacted parts out of 1 Nephi. It was actually super fun and really funny. We also met with the man that we tracted into last sunday and visited one of the members in the hospital.
  Friday started out a little sad because we had to say goodbye to one of our district members, Sister Beck. She had been struggling with some health problems for a while and they made the decision for her to go home this week
which was really sad. We then had exchanges with the elders from Szolnok and so we were able to teach a few lessons together to some of our more interesting investigators. I just really can't explain them here, they just need to be experienced, but they were great lessons.
  Saturday was a very busy day full of teaching many of our investigators before getting to kick off our wonderful conference weekend. I really enjoyed this general conference, it touched a lot of topics that we have been focusing on a lot with our investigators recently and so it should be a great help to them to be able to share the words of the leaders of the church with them. It was also a great testimony builder for me and I'm glad that we could participate in it.
Well that was my week. The church also just started it's new #PrinceOfPeace campaign, so if you haven't seen it yet, go watch the video, it's great.
Jó hetet!

- McKim Elder
PICS!
                                                                 Birthday donut from Elder Hughes

                                                             District meeting tent (with birthday balloons).

                                                                            Split pic with Szolnok

Splits with my own companion.

Sok szeretettel köszöntelek benneteket!

Well first of all, as of today I am no longer a teenager and that's about the weirdest thing ever, but I'm so glad that I got to spend a wonderful birthday here in this great place. It's been great so far and I'm so the rest of it will be too.
  On tuesday I was able to actually spend a whole day with my own companion which is what seems like a rare luxury these days. It started with us meeting with a guy that we called from our area book and he definitely wasn't what we expected when he rollerbladed up to the branch house door but he's really cool and he has a lot of potential, so we're excited. We were also able to meet with our super legit investigator, Márk, and had a super good lesson with him, it was a good day.
  We then spent the next day up in Budapest (again) because once again we had a wonderful zone training. Luckily we weren't late to our own meeting this time and everything was able to go as planned, so it was a fairly good meeting, nothing too special.
  I got to spend Thursday on an exchange with the other Elders here in Szeged. We taught a very catholic man, did some tracting, taught some english, at a really good burger, it was an all round pretty good day.
  Friday we had another set of exchanges, this time with the Békéscsaba elders. Split miracles are definitely a thing because we tracted for like 20 minutes and someone let us in which basically never happens. We then met with one of our less actives and did some streeting, so it was also pretty good.
  Saturday we finished our splits and met with a few more people. We were able to meet with Márk again and then we met with branch presidents family where we asked them to pray with us and then select a street for us to go tract where we can find a new investigator. We didn't have time to go do that right after though, because we headed to our game night that we hosted for the YSAs. In the middle of it they surprised me by bringing out a cake and singing happy birthday for me, it was super cool, the members here are so great!
  Sunday we had church like normal and then we went out tracing. We decided to go to the street that the branch presidents family gave us the night before and that was where we met our brand new investigator, Péter. Miracles are real people, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. He's a really great older man who was wanting to know whether his relationship with his deceased wife still continues and so we're going back there this week to teach him more about it. 
  That brings us to today! We volunteered ourselves to work at a place that cares for people with mental disabilities and they told us to come back on monday for their "Classical music morning". It was actually really cool they had some members from the Szegedi Symphonic orchestra and they played songs for the people in the home. We then got to spend some time talking with them all and playing games, it was a lot of fun and it was a great experience! I'm super excited to go back there.
Well that's another long update on my somewhat interesting week!
Vigyázzatok magatokra!
-McKim Elder
PICS!
                                                                 Our Branch President and two of his sons.

                                                                          My surprise birthday cake

Monday, 20 March 2017

Another week flies by

Hellosztok!
Well the weeks are flying by these days and somehow we're already at another P-day and that means another update on all the weird craziness that is my mission.
  On monday we got invited to attend a line dancing class that one of the YSA here teaches every week and so we decided to go along. The only thing that she didn't tell us was that it's all old women! So it literally just ended up as my companion and I line dancing in a room of probably 15 or so old women. It was surprisingly super fun, but also really hard.
  Tuesday we had the Elders come down from Kecskemét for exchanges with us. President told us to have as many teachings planned as we possibly could and so that's what we did. We somehow planned 6 teachings for that night, which is literally more than I have ever had in any other day of my mission. We were super busy but it went well.
  Wednesday was a national holiday here in Hungary. March 15th commemorates the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1848 revolution against the Austrian Empire, so it's kind of a sad holiday but it's really cool because there are red, white and green things everywhere. We met with a super legit woman who was a former investigator, she's probably going to get baptised soon, but unfortunately she lives in the sisters area and so we have to hand her over. We also met with a less active which was fun.
  Thursday was another early rise because we had to head up to Budapest again for MLC. It was actually a really great meeting though and I learnt a lot from it. We then got to have splits with the assistants straight after. I actually got to got to my first Buda district meeting and english class whcih was super fun, especially because I got to see a bunch of the people from the ward again. We also had a funny streeting experience when we talked to this girl and our conversation went a little like this...
Us: "What is the most important thing in your life?"
Her: "Money"
Us: "Okay, well why is money important to you? Why do you need it?"
Her: "So I can live like a STAR!" *Dramatic Hair flip*
It was just one of those really strange streeting moments and it was immediately following our discussion with another woman about her seeing hallucinations and hearing voices. It's a pretty interesting life being a missionary, especially in Budapest.
  Friday we got to continue our splits and met with a super cool couple, the catch was they both spoke english. It's super weird teaching in English now, it just doesn't feel right haha.
  The rest of our week was pretty normal, just a whole bunch of planning and stuff for our upcoming zone training and making a lot of phone calls, still good fun though.
További szép hetet kívánok!
McKim Elder
PICS!
Elder Hughes and I before line dancing with older women

            Weird native American looking statue thats on top of a hill next to a lake called Blood Lake.

Found this picture of Jesus on one of the signs near the weird statue,  looked a little familiar.


Are we even really companions?

Sziasztok!
Another week has come and gone and at this point in my life that means spending most of it away from my companion and in other parts of the country.
  On monday we got caught in a surprise rain storm while we were heading to a teaching and we had no coats or anything. We got super wet, but it was a lot of fun and our teaching ended up going pretty well.
  Tuesday we headed out to a little town called Szatymaz to look some people up but we couldn't find them. So we sadly ate the cookies that we brought them while sitting on a bus bench. We then had a really good teaching with our investigator Márk and a really awkward teaching with a less active here. All in all it was a great day.
  Wednesday we headed over to a city called Szolnok to do exchanges with the Elders there. It was a lot of fun and Elder Graham and I talked with a whole tonne of people, so it was all in all pretty successful.
  On Thursday we ended up having two district meetings because we got to go to the Szolnok one before sitting on a 2 and a half hour train ride home to get back for our own district meeting. We then immediately had english class straight after that before starting another exchange with the Elders here in Szeged. I really missed my own bed...
  Our exchange went really well on friday though and we were able to have a few teachings to go to even though a few people cancelled on us. I got to go with Elder Sharp who is just an absolute inspiration in terms of putting off awkwardness and talking with people, he's super funny and we had a great time together. 
  Pretty much the rest of the time that Elder Hughes and I got to spend together this week was spend either planning or in meetings, so we haven't had the most time to spend working together, but we still did have a cool tracting miracle on Sunday. We had been tracting a street and all of the people had been really unkind to us the whole time. Finally we were about to leave to get to our correlation meeting when we felt we should tract one more house where we found a very nice woman who was interested in our message who we were able to exchange phone numbers with and she said we could come back later in this week. We also had our investigator Márk come to church again and he told us that he thinks the book of mormon has power, so there's definitely potential there for Márk. We also got to visit a member here who fed us a very gross looking but surprisingly delicious food that I don't remember the name of.
Have a wonderful week!
Sok szeretettel!
McKim Elder
PICS!
Elder Hughes bought a thing to make a food called Kürtös Kalács and so he cooked it like this in our oven...

                                                                            Our good friend Róbi.

The weird food he fed us...


Trains, Trainings and a Trainer

Üdvözlöm!
To be honest this week was practically straight up craziness, but it was also a lot of fun and we got a surprising amount of work done for how much time we had, so all in all a successful week.
  Tuesday started in the same was as every other new transfer, sitting for ages in a government office trying to give them the 8 pieces of paper that tell them where we live. After that we were able to have a lesson with a guy named Márk that stopped us on the street on Monday and then had 2 lessons fall through in a row before meeting with one of the families here.
  Wednesday was an early rise so we could head up to Budapest for what would be the first Zone training that I would have to give. The train ride was great but we faced a problem when the tram to the mission home shut down and we ended up being 10 minutes late to our own training (along with half the zone who were coming with us). We all had a laugh about it though and zone training went pretty well after it, so it all ended well.
  Thursday we only had time to have our district meeting before we had to jump on another train to Kecskemét to do a baptismal interview there for a kid that is being baptised next weekend. We then got a recommendation for a restaurant there from one of the members in Szeged and while we were there we ended up talking to a random older man who it turns out is an olympic gold medallist and has coached a whole bunch of really good water polo teams and is now the trainer for one of Hungary's swimmers that competed in Rio. He also escaped Hungary during the communist days and live overseas for 50 years, he was a super interesting man.
  Friday took us to another new city, Békéscsaba (litterally translates to peaceful Jack...). I'd always heard that Békéscsaba wasn't very pretty but it was a great little city. We got to do exchanges there with the Elders and we also bought some fox tails for 600ft (like maybe $2.50). I don't know what I'm going to do with it but it has a keychain on it, so there's possibilities.
  Saturday after coming back from Békéscsaba we got to go to a members house and she taught us how to make a thing called Hortobágyi Palacsinták (basically crepes stuffed with meat and covered in sour cream). They were super good and it was super fun.
  Sunday we had a little miracle when our new investigator Márk came to church which was a big surprise but it was really cool. Other than that it was a pretty normal day.
That's all for this week! Jó hetet kívánok!
- McKim Elder
PIC!
Sorry the only picture I took this week was of this place that we ate dinner on monday. I'll try to be better this week.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Szeged, The city of dreams.

Jó napot kívánok nektek!
Well it's a new week, a new transfer, in a new city with a new companion. It's been a week packed full of craziness, but it's been great.
  Tuesday marked the end of my time in Kaposvár and we sent of that wonderful little city by going out to dinner at a super nice burger place with our favourite senior couple the Petersons, who are going home this week. The burger was huge and super delicious, no regrets at all.
  I didn't realise the struggle that everyone else faces on transfer morning until this week, when I had to haul all of my stuff through the whole of Kaposvár to get it on a train at 6:20 in the morning. We then had a fun final 3 hour train ride together as a district before splitting off as we all headed to our new areas. We then had another fun 3 hour train ride with a completely different district as we headed back to Szeged, where I met my new companion and the funniest man in the world, Elder Hughes.
  It doesn't matter where you are, Thursdays will always be the same here in the Hungary Budapest mission, district meeting and english class, still fun though no matter where you are.
  Friday was another early rising as Elder Hughes and I had to head back up to Budapest for MLC, which is basically just a super long training for all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders that we have once a month. It was a really good training, it just ended up being 5 hours long instead of the planned 3. We also got to come back and experience the end of our branchs retro themed farsang party. All round interesting but fun experience.
  Saturday was pretty normal which was nice, we finally got to meet with some people including an inactive member who is now a JW and basically just tried to convert us for 20 minutes. We also had to start our planning for our zone training that we're giving this week and that pretty much filled the rest of our weekend. That is besides church of course, it was super weird going back to a 3 hour block after being a Kaposvár but it was a good time and the members here are really cool. Szeged houses Hungary's best university (we're actually emailing in it right now) and so a whole bunch of the members are actually young people which is a cool change.
That's my really long not that interesting update for this week.
Hope everyone has a great week!
-McKim Elder

Been too busy to take pictures, sorry...