Friday, 4 May 2018

Week 35 in Békéscsaba (my last email from the mission field)


Only one week left in the mission! We'll have our next p-day on Tuesday, so this is my last email. And I wish a happy birthday to Pablo!

Our week was quite busy. Along with the sisters, we participated in a service project at a seniors' home and talked about the U.S., Canada, and Australia, as well as about our church. We had some teaching appointments with investigators and less-active members of the church about faith and overcoming addictions. We also prepared many notes for the new branch president.

My last zone conference was on Friday and the subject was the study of the scriptures. At the end I gave my farewell testimony. It is odd that I am the oldest missionary in the zone / mission. I still remember when I was a greeny and heard the testimonies of departing elders and sisters. But it seems that these two years have passed quickly.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Week 34 in Békéscsaba


Something very special happened this week. Laci was baptized on Saturday, on a beautiful day! More than thirty people came to support him. Mariann and Edina gave good talks about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then we had the baptism. It was a very special moment for me to enter the waters of baptism with Laci. We had to repeat the baptism because on the first try Laci's forehead did not go underwater, so on the second time I made sure that he was a few inches deeper in the water. Then all came to shake hands with him. Everyone was so happy, especially Laci, his family, and church members. They've been waiting for this moment for a long time! Now the Lakos family is the first family in Békéscsaba where all members have records in the church! :) The next day he was confirmed as a member of the church by László, received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and also a beautiful blessing.

Laci's story is actually wonderful. A couple of years ago his wife was baptized and began to attend church with their little children, but Laci did not like the church and was not open to accept the gospel when I came to Békéscsaba. But around New Year's Eve, something changed in him. He started coming to church and we met with him and his wife, Böbi, to talk about strengthening family relationships. Those talks became gospel conversations as we began teaching him the missionary lessons. He started to pray and to read with his wife, went to church each week, and accepted a baptismal date. And finally, on April 21 and 22, he was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost becoming a member of the Church. We all saw a change in Laci: He was happier, improved his relationship with his wife, became more open, and also a better man. This is the power of the gospel!

Friday, 20 April 2018

Week 33 in Békéscsaba


Another wonderful 25°C spring weather in Békéscsaba! The sky is blue, the sun shines, the weather is perfect. :)

On Tuesday we went to Szeged to have interviews with President Szabadkai. The next morning Elder Szuch went to Budapest, so only the two of us remain. It’s different with just one companion and there is so much more room in the apartment now. But surely it will be very strange to me when in three weeks I will no longer have a companion... :)

We went halfway to Szeged on Friday. We thought that we would have splits with the the zone leaders in Szeged, and when we were about to take the bus from Hódmezővásárhely, the zone leaders called us and cancel the splits, so we turned back. There are many interesting things that happen on the mission.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Week 32 in Békéscsaba


This week there wasn’t many interesting things happening to us but we had many programs, practically skipping from one to another, day after day. Elder Szuch is leaving home on Wednesday, so we went with him to say goodbye to many people, and in the process ate a lot of food. One sister in the church, Kati, taught us how to make stew. We bought the ingredients in the market, cooked together, and ate a nice pork stew.

Our investigators develop nicely. The zone leaders came on Saturday to interview Laci and everything is ready for his baptism on the 21st. It will be a big day. We also taught about the general conference, repentance, and the atonement of Christ for which we used an orange in water. On Sunday many came to church: 33 people in total, and many shared their testimonies. It's nice to see the meeting house slowly filling up. But it will be weird for me to be in church in Toronto with 133 people!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Week 31 in Békéscsaba


This was quite a busy week. We shared the Church's Easter message with many members and investigators and we focused our teachings especially on this message.

On Monday we went to many shops looking for a suit for Elder Szuch before he goes home. I even tried a few suits and Elder Szuch was able to find a good one.

In the middle of the week we got a happy surprise: the Family History Centre was built in our meeting house! The FM group bought two nice big Dell (touch screen) computers. We helped many members with their family trees and indexing, and we also worked on our own family history. The congregation is very excited about this center.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Week 30 in Békéscsaba


This week we had quite a lot of programs sharing with people the Easter initiative and teaching about the commandments, the Book of Mormon, the plan of salvation, and prayer. Our young investigator who had a baptismal date has no longer one but we still meet with him. But in a part member family the father wants to be baptized, so this is very good news as we would finally have in the branch a full family where everyone is a member.

The zone leaders came this week for splits but they did not stay long because they had to go back to Szeged the next day. We painted the walls in the house of a member as a service project. On Sunday, President Lázar,  from the mission presidency, came to the service which was very good with all the speakers talking about Easter. But I'm glad that next week we'll have general conference and there is no need to prepare for meetings, etc.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Week 29 in Békéscsaba


The wintry weather came back. Monday was nice but by the weekend it was cold and rainy, and today the snow covered the ground.

This week, we taught on topics such as moral purity, the atonement of Jesus Christ, and scripture reading. We also helped a church member enter her family tree in familysearch.

On Wednesday there was a mission tour where Elder Paul V Johnson, area seventy in Europe, and his wife came to give us some training. Two zones attended this conference. They provided many good advises, for example, Sister Johnson said that when we talk about Christ in our teachings, a much stronger spirit will be present. Elder Johnson's instructions on different ways of teaching were also very valuable. That happened on March 15 but since we were on the train and on the mission home for a long time, we did not see much of the street celebrations that were going on that day. Of course we saw were many Hungarian flags, some demonstrators, etc. At the Keleti train station there was a large group of Polish people who came to support the government here and shouted "Ria, Ria, Hungaria” . They were giving away free beer but we did not drink. : P