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.

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