Elder Anderson

Elder Anderson

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sok szeretettel köszöntelek benneteket,

I'm still in Hungary. Also, I really did send the pictures off so you can for real see a little bit of what Hungary looks like. What bites, is that i cant write a hundreth part of the things that I've experienced. Theres so many people with so many stories and so many other things that we do throughout everyday that theres no way I could write everything. Heres some of my favorite parts though.

In Pápa, the work is a little bit different from what you might think of missionary work as. Pápa is kind of a small town (thirty thousand ish) and the mission has been open here for about 25 years. What that kinda means is that its been tracted out probably a million times. Thats not bad, its just that we don't expect to find a lot of people by knocking on doors. However, the Area Book is full to the brim of people who have been tracted in the past who expressed interest in our message or who have been dropped or whatever else has happened to them. So we spend our days sorting through those records, organizing them by where they live and going to see if they would be interested in speaking with us again. Often, we get rejected but thats no big deal. I'm getting used to it. One day, we didn't talk to a single person after like 5 or 6 hours of this kind of word. It was a bit of a bummer but its super awesome when we find people who want to meet with us. For example, we met this family, the Simon family, who were taught maybe 2 lessons about 6 years ago and they haven't met with missionaries since. Well, now their kids are a little more grown up (they were really small when they first met the elders) and they have a little bit more time to meet with us. We haven't actually taught the whole family an official lesson yet, but we prepared for it like we've never prepared for a lesson before and we feel super good about it. We are going to share The Family proclamation and it turns out, that proclamation is bomb. Every time I think about it i wanna introduce someone to it. So cool. Anyhow, The Simons. They're great.

Also, there is this man named Balázs that we met with a few times. We took a member, who is actually a returned missionary, to this lesson and I don't know what all happened but in the end we set a baptismal date with him. Whoo hoo! He's got a couple things hes gotta work through but we're super excited for him. 

The language is super hard. Usually, I find myself sitting in lessons and just starring at stuff around the room while my companion talks to them. Occasionally he'll do something really mean and ask me to say something. Under normal circumstances, thats whatever. I'm more than happy to bear testimony or whatever else, but sometimes I don't even know whats going on in the conversation so I havent the slightest clue of what to say. Its coming along well though. I feel like a lot of being able to speak and understand Hungarian is just getting used to hearing real Hungarian speakers speak it. Which I do. All the time.

Theres so many awesome things I wanna say, but I just don't have time. Know that Hungary is awesome, missionary work is awesome, the Lord is awesome, and I love you all.

Sok szeretettel,

Anderson Elder.
They have some super awesome churches here, and also some goobers.

Awesome shots of Papa

Our apartment

This is Pápa in the a.m. I woke up my first day, took a peak out onto our little balcony, and this is what I saw.
This was that Hegy I talked about. I forgot what it was called. And also Parliment.


Heroes square

This is a picture that Elder Johnson painted of me.

This is my district at the MTC and my teachers. Theyre cool. 

This is the super awesome Hungarian Zone Leader tie.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dear America,
Right now I'm sitting in a Hungarian pub/internet café. That's freakin cool. You're all asleep and will continue to be for like 4 more hours. Thats so weird. Gone are the days when we could chat back and forth for a while on P Day. Its cool though because Hungary totally makes up for it.
This is probably the coolest country I've ever been to in my whole entire life. Technically I've only been to two before this and the one was Canada so I don't really count that, but still, this place is the shizzm. I'm serving in a tiny little town called Pápa on the west side of Hungary. When I say tiny, I mean its the smallest town in the mission that missionaries are in, but its three times bigger than Burley. I freakin love it though. Every where I go is Hungarian, along with the people, the food, the buildings, the smells, the dogs, the cobblestone roads, the other roads that are dirt, the soccer fields, the Nénis, the Bácsis, the trains, the bikes, and all that jazz. This place is so cool. I miss it already.
My new comp's name is Elder Johnson. He's from southern California and loves soccer. I'll send a picture of the two of us. Yeah. He always looks like that. He's probably the goofiest guy I've ever met, but I don't know what I'd do without him. We SYL all the time and I can't speak super good yet, but he is really patient with me and I've learned a ton of things in just one week.

So we finally arrived in Hungary at like 11:30 on Tuesday. The mission president and the APs met us at the airport and took us back to the mission home. That night we went on a tour of Budapest sorta and saw Hero's Square, Gellért Hegy (which was where the mission was set apart), and a beautiful view of Budapest. I got some pretty good pictures of the whole place, but we were so tired that night. We stayed at the mission home and then met our new comps and found out where we were going to be serving for the next 9 weeks. Like I said, I got Elder Johnson, in Pápa, with the Book of Mormon.

Pápa is a nice little town, but I have no idea how to find my way around it yet. The streets are all over the place, rather than in straight, boxular lines like in good old Burley. The buildings are so awesome. Imagine the most quaint little European town you could ever picture in your mind, and thats kinda what Pápa is like. I love it so much.

We met some really interesting people here. We don't do a lot of tracting here, because theres so much work we can do out of the area book. All of our time has been spent looking up inactive members, old investigators and other such people. There was a man named Zoltán, who we can't bring up the gospel with, or else he'll shut us down really hard (I found out about that first hand), Zsuzsi, who is really nice but I don't think is very interested in the gospel, taught a whole family of gypsies who may or may not be totally golden (maybe not), and all kinds of other people. I love them all and hope my Hungarian gets good enough that i can help them.

Our branch is pretty tiny. There were only about 20 or 25 people there on Sunday. I spoke and they said I did a good job but really who knows.
I wish I could share this whole experience with everyone. Being on a mission is like being at the tree of life that Lehi saw in his vision. I want you all to be able to see the things I see and meet the people I meet. When I get home, I can already tell that I'm going to miss this awesome country. Do me a favor, and learn Hungarian so I don't have to leave this place all the way behind in two years.
You're all awesome. I don't expect you to send me letters or packages anymore cuz its pretty expensive, but if you wanna send me an email or something from time to time, I'd sure love to here from any and all of you. Love you all,
Your one and only Hungarian Anderson Elder.

Salt Lake CIty airport

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

This is the last email that I will send from America. That's so bomb. I've learned so much here and can't believe that I've been gone a full 2 months. It feels like just a few days and an eternity at the same time. I'm 1/12 of the way done and wish I had so much more. Sometimes I think about home and some of the things that I could be doing there. I wonder if I'd rather being playing music, going to school, working, or hanging out with friends or whatever. When I really think about it, though, there's no way I'd rather be anywhere but here right now. I've been speaking almost nothing but Hungarian this whole week. Sometimes I wish I could just speak English on my mission, but then I think, no way. I love Hungarian, and I love being a missionary and I'm so grateful for this opportunity I have no matter how short.
We had some pretty awesome devotionals this week. One of them was President Reynolds, who is the Mount Timpanogas Temple President. He talked about the doctrine of Christ. Turns out, I didn't actually understand what that meant. However, after seeing it, I have such a clear vision of my purpose as a missionary and how I can help others come unto Christ. It was so awesome. For further reading, check out 2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 11 and 3 Nephi 27. The parts that talk about the doctrine of Christ begin and end with the words, and this is my doctrine. It's awesome.

We also heard from Bishop Stevenson, the presiding bishop. He spoke about having a vision for ourselves and for our investigators and what we want ourselves and them to be like. It was really a good preparation for leaving for Hungary next week.

Remember the investigator/actor that I wrote about a week or so ago? Well turns out he's not an actor. He's really not a member of the church. We found that out after we taught him yesterday. He'd already heard most if not all of the lessons probably more than once, so we decided to just read from the Book of Mormon with him and hopefully the Spirit would testify that its true. Well, he had a reading chart from some other missionaries and we decided to just go from where he was on the chart. That chapter was 1 Nephi 14. For anyone unfamiliar with that chapter, its the one that talks about how there are two churches; the church of the Lamb of God and the great and abominable whore of all the earth. He didn't like that so much and it got a little messy and hopefully we didn't make him hate the church forever. We're gonna meet with him again on Friday and hopefully patch it up.

Sometimes, I get scared for going all the way to the other side of the world and not being able to speak to anyone, but being responsible for the beginning of their eternal progression. It's a pretty terrifying thought really. But one thing that I've been thinking about is how fear is one way that we turn in and care more about ourselves than about those around us. If we have faith in the Lord, we don't need to be afraid of anything. The worst thing that can happen is that we do what God wanted us to and we deal with the consequences appropriately. I'm planning on it being hard. It already has been. But Elder Holland, in an MTC devotional, said it this way, "Missionary work is hard because salvation never was a cheap experience". When we have people's salvation on the line, we can't expect for it to all to come easy. I can't wait to help people with that next week.

Your soon to be European missionary,

Anderson Elder.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

This is a picture of me and my companion and two of the sisters in our district and Elder Kettler who is from Hungary going to France. So cool. He speaks fast.

Draga családom és barátaim,

I hope New Years was awesome for everyone. Mine was pretty legit. I got to study all day and go to bed at 10:30. Thats what I'm talkin about. 

There were some pretty cool things that happened this week. Most significantly, we started whats called Consecration Week. I don't know how many of you know what that is or have heard of it or whatever. I know I just barely found out about it in the MTC. But towards the end of your MTC stay, some of the missionaries set apart an entire week to be more like Christ and prepare for the field. The most common thing that missionaries do is speak their language all week. When we started studying it, though, we learned that there was a lot more to consecrating our lives than just speaking Hungarian for 7 days. We all set some goals to help us forget our own selfish needs (like letters all week and missionary inappropriate music) and become better missionaries. We are also studying a Christlike attribute from Chapter 6 of PMG every day. Keep me in your prayers because this is going to be pretty tough.

Also, we got a new Sister in our district this week. Her name is Dinehart Nővér and she was in the MTC in May and then went home and is now coming to Hungary with us. Kinda cool. Hopefully she can keep us all focused and help us be better missionaries.

Last week I wrote about two real life investigator actors named Nick and Gabby. This week, Heilein Elder and I got to teach Nick (for some reason Gabby isnt meeting with us). The first time we met, it was the oddest experience Ive ever had at the MTC. I assumed that since he was an actor, that Nick would act like some guy we met on the street had never heard anything about the Church. Instead, he acted like an investigator who spends all of his time at the MTC and talks to missionaries every day. We had no idea how to teach him because he already basically knew everything that we had prepared to teach him so our first lesson, all we could do was bear testimony. However, our second lesson, we learned that he has been investigating a lot of churches and has narrowed it down to basically Mormonism and Hinduism, which, aside from being really cool, is pretty fun, for lack of a better word. Its really fun to talk to him because we mostly listen to the things he has to say and try to focus all his thoughts on the gospel. However, its hard because he doesnt understand how we have authority and things kind of like that. Its harder than I make it out to be, but I really enjoy it. Hes a cool guy and Im glad Heilein Elder and I talked to him that fateful day last week.

Youre all the best. Missionary work is awesome. The church is true. Hungarian is hard.

Sok szeretettel,

Anderson Elder.