Elder Anderson

Elder Anderson

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dear Americans,

This last week started off so well. We were on a roll and ready to have the best week we've ever had. Every day we had great programs, effective finding hours and the like. Well, about halfway through the week, we kinda crashed and burned. Its kinda a long story so I'm gonna start a new paragraph and explain it.

We have this investigator that I've talked about before named Ferenc. He's super cool and we like him a lot. He lives out in this falu about 3 or so kilometers out of Pápa. Actually, I don't know how many kilometers it is, but you can look it up on Google maps if you're really that interested. Well, Ferenc had a baptismal date set for this coming Saturday and we were super excited about it. We were so positive that he was ready and that he was gonna be a great member. However, he has one big problem called he cant quit smoking.
We asked him to quit smoking after a good Word of Wisdom lesson a couple weeks ago and we've been following up and encouraging and all that jazz, but it wasn't quite doing the trick. Well, Wednesday we did this "stop smoking program" with him and after that, we were so pumped. Its a 15 step program that people do for seven days and if they are faithful to it, they will have quit smoking at the end of the seven days. It calls for grapefruit juice after every meal, mouthwash and brushing your teeth when you wake up and after every meal, eating healthy, taking vitamin c and a bunch of other steps. Well, Wednesday morning we bought him everything that he needed, packed in our backpacks (because our side bags weren't big enough for it all) and hauled it all the way out to Kéttornyúlak, which is the name of the falu where he lives. We gave him the lesson, and thought it went really well. We decided to meet with him every day to follow up, and call him every day in the morning, evening and maybe even one other time throughout the day. We were ready to do almost anything we needed to do to get him to quit smoking to get him baptized, to get him to be able to be happy for eternity.
Well, Friday morning we had a lesson scheduled with him in Pápa to see if he was committed enough to come to us. We went to the branch house to meet him and waited for about 15 minutes but he didn't show up. Keep in mind that until this point, he was absolutely clean for about two days which is an accomplishment for a smoker. Well, we called him and asked him what was up and how come he didn't come to the program, and he told us that he had smoked. We were so devastated. We had done so much for him and now it looks like it was for nothing. We went back and looked in the area book later, and realized that we had met with him like 10 times in 3 weeks. That's a lot. I think we were more broken hearted about it than he was. From that moment on, our week kinda went to crap. However, the story doesn't end there.
When we found out that he had smoked and probably wasn't going to be able to come out to us, we decided to go to him like we usually do. We were riding our bikes through town, trying to get to his falu, and thinking about how awful we felt for this guy that we really cared about a lot. I was thinking to myself about how willing I was to do things for him. I was thinking if I really was willing to do ANYTHING to help this man. I decided that I would. I gave up my family, friends, hobbies, aspirations and everything else that was comfortable to me for a couple years, and now, I've invested time money and energy in him, but I'm still willing to do more. Whatever it took, I'd do it for him. I would run a marathon right now this very second for him, if that's what it took to get him to quit smoking and get baptized.

Not even fifteen seconds after I thought that very thought, the chain on my bike broke off. I couldn't believe it. After the biggest disappointment of the whole week, potentially even my whole mission to this point, my bike is unridable and we cant even go help him because where he lives was outside of town. I guess this was the Lord seeing if I really was willing to run a marathon for Ferenc. In a suit.

Well, we didn't end up having to run out there, but we came up with another solution. Since we weren't using the bike chain for anything important anymore, we tied the chain to the bike lock which was wrapped around my handlebars for safekeeping. Then, Elder Johnson held the other end of the chain and towed me all the way to Kéttornyúlak and back for our lesson. The best part is, we have photo evidence of it that I'll share in just a minute. 

Ferenc still hasn't quit smoking, so we have to move his baptism date. We realize that we probably pushed a lot of things onto him that he wasn't ready for, and assumed that he was more prepared than he actually was, because we were so excited about it. We decided to fast for him on Sunday because that would be literally everything that was in our power to do, and then everything else was up to the Lord. I read a really cool scripture in 2 Nephi 25:23. It talks about how we work really hard to tell people these things and try to make their lives better, but its only God that saves people after all we can do. We'll have to see what kinds of miracles God works in Ferenc's life, because now Elder Johnson and I have literally done all we can do. Pray for us.

Holy smokes, that was the longest story ever. I hope it all made sense and that you learned more than that I think I'm really self righteous and feeling sorry for myself. Neither of those are true, by the way, so I hope you learned something else. Just in case, the church is true.

There's not a lot else that happened this week, except for a couple cool things I'll write about when I send the pictures. I hope everything is well back in the States, and that if there is anything that I can do for any of you (maybe with the exception of running 26.howevermany miles) just let me know. I pray for you all a lot and appreciate all of your prayers also.

Sok szeretettel,

Anderson Elder.

This is the photo documented evidence of our willingness to help Ferenc. Also, I feel like I made it sound really sad in the email, which is kinda true, but this was seriously one of the funniest things that's happened since I left home. Look at us. He is pulling me behind him on his bike. On the freeway pretty much. That's hilarious.
Look at how happy we are to be risking our lives.

I was pretty thorough in my documentation on account
I was just sitting behind him for like 20 minutes. Elder Johnson is a stud though. It might've even been a little windy that day. But not nearly as windy as previous days. Thanks the Lord for that.

As we rode out there, there were lots of cars on the road with us. And also semi trucks. This is us about to get killed twice.

Saturday was a national holiday here in Hungary. Its called Nőnap, or Women's Day. Basically the men buy all the important women in their lives some flowers and show their appreciation to them. It seemed like a quaint little holiday to me, and I wish I could've bought flowers for the important women in my life. Instead, I drew a picture of some flowers. There should be one for everyone, but I'm not all the way sure. I sure hope so. Love you all.

We gave each other hair cuts again this week. I feel like the last time I sent pictures of this, it wasnt really that cool looking. Its not really that cool looking this time either, I guess, but its way cooler in real life. I think its pretty fly, and I'll probably do my hair like this for the rest of my life.

 This is a really cool car that I saw. There are lots of cars like this around, this is just the first one I took a picture of. Pretty awesome, right?

This is my tie rainbow. I'm working on making it even more skittle-like, but Id say that this is a pretty good start.

This is called Madártej. Look that up on google translate or something. Its actually two words: Madár, the accent is really important, and Tej. I'm not quite sure how they get it, but its super good. Probably the best thing Ive drank since Ive been here.
 This might look like just a roll with cheese on it. It is. Its also super duper amazing.

This is basically the exact same thing but bigger and with bacon on it. I didn't really know that when I bought it, but really, who could be mad about it?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

 This is appropriate missionary attire in Hungary.
This is paprikas csirke. It looks kinda funny in this picture but its so good. I've been practicing making it so I can bring it home and feed the masses.
I was just kidding about the clothes in the last picture being appropriate missionary attire. I would never where that outside of the apartment unless it was P Day. Which it is.

The weather is super nice out here right now. These nice flowery little trees are everywhere. They smell really good and make the whole Hungarian world feel like spring.
This is a cool little alleyway we found while doing some look ups the other day.
This is me climbing out of that nice little alleyway.

This is a nice little street with an upside down yield sign. I don't drive in this country, but if I did, I would be confused by what I should do when I come up to this sign.

These are a few pictures of my new planner for next transfer. These are a couple of songs that I remember from the good old days when I could listen to this kind of heathen sinner music. And a unicorn, snail, bird etc.
 Today we went to a place called Sumeg (imagine that there are two little dots above the u in that word. I'm using a computer on which I dont know how to add those little accents) It was a really cool city that surrounds this hill upon which is build a castle. It was so cool. I took tons of pictures so the next several messages will be castle pictures.

 Sumeg castle, up on the hill. It is seriously soo cool.
PS the last three were of the big catholic temple that they have in Sumeg. The whole thing is super decorative and pretty.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I've been meaning to take a picture of this place for a long time and send it out, but I just never did. It's like right down the street from where we live. You go down this little alley, up those stairs, and then that's another street up there with a bunch of little shops and a catholic temple on either end. Super duper cool. Also, the sign on the right there says something about how if you take a picture of this you will be punished severely. Maybe not. My Hungarian still isn't all that great.

I found the way I'm gonna decorate my house when I have my own. Don't try to tell me that's not the coolest house you've seen all day.

We are getting ready for another transfer coming up in a few weeks. My companion is fairly confident that he's leaving and I'll be sort of taking charge (as the junior companion obviously) of the work here in Pápa with a new comp. I guess I feel alright about that. It'll be good to have a new comp, because we can change things around that haven't been working without too much difficulty. Also, hopefully we'll have a new baptism the weekend right before we're transferred. Cross your fingers and maybe keep Varga Ferenc in your prayers. Another cool thing about transfers, is that it's the same day as Elder Johnson's 3/4 mark. So we're totally gonna burn his pants somewhere. I think Im looking forward to it more than he is.

I don't really know what to say about it out here. The sun is shining and the tank is clean. Serious, though, the weather out here is so awesome. It rains every so often, but its been in the high 10s (centigrade of course) for like the whole week. It's so nice. I cant even be mad. We've been doing a lot of tracting, and that's super fun. I think its easier to talk to people and say things in Hungarian than in English, because it doesn't mean the same thing to me because its not my native language. That's particularly handy in Law of Chastity lessons. We had to have a really nice one of those this week. 

I've been learning a bit about the Savior this week from the scriptures and Jesus the Christ and I found 2 characteristics that I want to work on in my own life. Christ was both fearless and doubtless. He never was afraid of anything because fear is a way that we as people use to put our own needs and insecurities above those of others. Jesus never did that. Also, he never doubted that He was the Son of God and all of what that meant to him and everyone. When he was tempted by Satan, it didn't even phase him because he knew so undoubtfully who he was and how much he is loved. If we all became a little more fearless and doubtless, work would get done. What would be in our way of accomplishing anything? The answer to my rhetorical question is nothing. I'm gonna work on that this week.

The church is true. Word.

Anderson Elder.

Okay, so a few weeks ago we found these two signs in a park on this one side of town. We thought that they were super cool, but we didn't even know that half of it. People tell us all the time about how Hungary lost x amount of its land and x amount of its people after World War 2 but this park really helped us see it in perspective. For example...

This is the rest of the park. I dunno if you can see, but it has a little path that goes all the way around the park, but its really weird. It winds around a lot and we thought that was really odd because we didn't know what it meant. Well, turns out, the path represents the boarders of old Hungary and every one of those trees are planted to represent cities that are now in Hungary and other countries. There are 5 little posts around there with the Hungarian flag on them that shows how much of Hungary belongs to someone else. I don't know if you can understand it even yet from these pictures, but it was a really cool park.
this guy is up on this raised part of the park, looking out over the area marked off as Hungary. Super cool.
 We took some pictures of our weekly planning session this week.
Those are Milka bars that we're gambling with. Yahtzee.


You can pretty much buy cinnamon rolls of every variety in this country. They dont have cinnamon on them, but they are so awesome. These ones are chocolate, more chocolate, and pizza. They are super good.
We were in Győr the other day for the baptism and we found this super awesome building. Its like their city hall or something like that.

The other day we found a swingset. Have you ever seen a more adorable missionary?