Monday, October 31, 2011

October 2011 in Békéscsaba

Images of Békéscsaba
Angel in the one of the parks in Békéscsaba at Sunset

Downtown Békéscsaba

Ariel view of Bekescsaba

First please note the address change and add   Hungary/Magyarórszág to the last line of your letters.

Here are a few words from Hungary you might see in Johnson Nővér's letters.....

Köszönöm- thank you. Szeretlek- i love you. Sok Szerettel- with much love. :) 


October 31, 2011

Jó Napot csaladom!! 
It's been another great week here in Hungary! it's crazy to think we are already half-way through my first transfer! This is Sister Johnson (my companion's) last transfer. Her family already recieved her travel information in the mail! it's crazy that she will be leaving in three weeks! She's an awesome companion and i am learning so much from her. She's told me that this time on my mission will go by fast so i should be sure and enjoy it while its here. I'm sure she's right, so i am just trying to enjoy every minute!!
Anyways, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! They don't actually celebrate halloween here... but we decided to throw a halloween party anyway! :) We decorated the branch house with balloons, streamers, and awesome halloween decorations we found at TESCO (the hungarian version of Wal-mart). I would say the party was a success! We had a toilet paper mummy-wrapping contest, a doughnut on a string eating contest, we painted pumpkins, had lots of junk food, and of course TRICK-OR-TREATing! We all dressed up in constumes too. The elders were "nerds" their costumes were pretty awesome. My companion wore one of the member's folk dance costumes they let us borrow, and well, i couldn't really think of what to be... we are short on money and time to go shopping. so.. we had all these empty water bottles sitting in our apartment. I decided to be water. haha i made a hat out of the bottle caps and taped all the bottles to me over my clothes so it looked like a dress. it turned out pretty awesome actually! and water bottles here are PINK which made it even that much cooler! :) i will have to try and email some pictures. We had a pretty good turn out. Our investigators Fanni and Gabi came, they even brought a bunch of friends and family with them. We also had a few of the members there too. I'm glad i didn't have to miss out on halloween.
Oh! ALSO, 2 of our investigators have agreed to be BAPTIZED this week! Katalin is a 60 year old woman. She has tons of spunk and personality. She loves reading from the book of mormon, and everytime we teach her she always asks so many great questions. You can tell she really has a desire to learn more. It was awesome when we asked her to be baptized becuase i didn't understand all my companion was saying, but i understood when she asked, "Megkeresztelkedsz?" which is basically "will you be baptized?" i understood that, and Katalin sat in silence for a moment and then said, "Meg, meg." I understood that too!! Meg is a prefix which means "completely." Sometimes hungarians will respond to a question by answering with the questions prefix. maybe that makes no sense.. but it was a really cool experience for me. She said she hadn't planned on agreeing to be baptized, but she feels like its the right thing to do. I'm so happy for her.
Our other investigator with a bap. date is Julsci! i think i've written about her in a few of my last emails. Our first lesson with her was my first time teaching the restoration to a real investigator. The spirit was so strong, and since then the spirit has been really powerful in every lesson. She is really accepting of everything she is learning, and is reading from the book of mormon. She's also been praying about our message, and feels good about it! it is amazing to me how the lord prepares people before they are even taught! Julcsi agreed to baptism just after her 3rd lesson! she hadn't even been taught the plan of salvation yet! before my mission i thought i would never be able to ask people to be baptized so quickly.. but it just proves that people can have the desire to be baptized earlier then sometimes we would expect. I know that her faith and willingness to act on the things we are teaching her has helped her recieve her own witness of the truthfullness of our message. This work is incredible! we are asking people to change everything about their lives- its not an easy thing to do. but its incredible to see those people who believe and have that willingness to repent and come closer to Christ.
We are also teaching Julcsi's mom- Zsuzsa. She hasn't been taught as many of the lessons, but i am hoping Julcsi will be an example to her mom and that together they will be able to support eachother in the gospel.
We met with one of the men we met on the street last week- Károly (Charles). He is a former priest for the reformáticús church, but says he's no longer affilliated with any sect. He doesn't like how their church was teaching that only the people in thier church would be saved. He knows alot about and believes strongly in the bible. He's very interested in what we believe though. We gave him a book of mormon, which he said he will read from. We also set up a time to meet with him again this week! I'm really excited about him! i hope that he is able to understand and feel the promptings of the holy ghost as he learns more. I know this is the church he's been searching for.
Well, that's about all. Diane happy birthday tomorrow!! November 1st is a huge holiday here in Hungary. Its kind of like a memorial day. They place candles and flowers on the graves of their family members. It will be a super P-day for us tomorrow because all the stores and shops will be closed... which is why we are emailing today. My companion says the graveyards are beautiful the night of November 1st because they are all lit and decorated. so we are going with the elders to see the celebration tomorrow night! i'm really excited! Also, Dad i hope you have a great birthday on the 6th! i will try and wirte you both a birthday letter! sorry i haven't yet. Last p-day we traveled to this broken down mansion/castle. It was destroyed after WW2. it was HUGE!! now it is mostly just the outside walls, it has plants and trees growing inside of it now. it was really beautiful. i took lots of pictures. But anyway, i didn't get much time to write letters. But i love you both lots and i hope your birthdays are amazing! Mom thanks for taking care of everything with my card for me! that is awesome Scott will be blessing the sacrament next week. I wish i could be there.
I love you all oodles and bunches!! missions are the best! i know i say this all the time but i really do love being here. Sometimes the language is ridiculously hard and i wish i could just teach in english, but its a great humbling experience and i am learning so much.
Take care! you are all in my prayers, i hope everyone is happy and healthy! OH YA!!... Alan and Princess- Boy or Girl??!!!
Sok Szerettel,
Johnson Nővér 

Neighborhood in Békéscsaba

Árpád Bath in Békéscsaba

October 24, 2011

Hello Family!
oh man this week has been crazy! The work out here is SO much different from what we did in the MTC. But it is great! and i am loving every minute. Our first few days of the week we had these workers come in and tear up almost the whole first floor of our apartment. I guess water is leaking into the apartment below us so they had to rip up all our tile to get to the pipes. it was an interesting start of the week. They finished most of it during our study time though so it didn't take up too much of our tracking and teaching time. 
We have the greatest investigators ever!! We had 5 of our investigators come to church with us this sunday! They all seem to be progressing really well. Church is a little more stressful as a missionary because you are constantly worried about taking care of your investigators. but its great when they come. I thought it would be scary not sitting by my companion, but i"m actually really grateful our teachers gave us that challenge. This week i sat by two of our investigators Klára and Zsuzsa. It is funny how even though i can barely speak the language, somehow we are still able to converse somewhat with each other.
I was suppose to bear my testimony last week. There's no bishop here in Békéscsaba- since the branch is so small and we have no priesthood holders besides the elders. Elder Weston is the branch president. I asked him last week like i was suppose to if i could bear my testimony, but he forgot and had me do it this week. I think it went pretty well though! I know there's no possible way that it was completely grammatically correct... but i had our investigators and some members come up and talk to me after and then said they were able to understand most everything i said! 
We've been praying and fasting a lot to find some men to be priesthood holders and build up the branch here in Békéscsaba, and this week we've been seeing so many miracles! This past wednesday after our studies in the morning we were crossing the street from our apartment on the way to the branch house and a man stopped up and asked if we were mormon missionaries. We told him we were, and he got so excited. He told us he wanted to learn more about our church, and then asked us if he could give us his number so that we could meet to speak with him later!! we weren't even streeting, and this man streeted us! we of course said yes! we took down his number and set up an appointment to meet with him this week. Well, after that we arrived at the branch house. we had to grab a few things before heading to one of our appointments. Just outside was a man waiting for a store to open near our branch house. I quickly said hello to him and asked how his day was going. He answered and then pointed our our accents and asked where we were from. We told him we were from America and were here as missionaries for our church. Well then we started talking about the church. We showed him part of our branch house, and then gave him a restoration pamphlet! he said he too was interested in learning more! he gave us his name and number and we set up an appointment to meet with him this tuesday! he's also interested in coming to our english classes. He thanked us and then left. My companion and i were in shock! 2 men in less than 10 minutes! here in Békéscsaba that is unheard of! Hardly any men here want to listen to our message- i guess religion here is thought of more as a woman's thing. I'm not sure why. But it was obvious that the Lord placed those men in our path this week. And the miracle of it all is we weren't even searching for them at the time- Heavenly Father lead them strait to us. 
We will teach them both the first this week. I hope their hearts will be prepared to hear our message. This branch could really benefit by having more priesthood holders.
We also are teaching this amazing part member family! they are so amazing. The mother is a member and then they have 3 children, the oldest is 11. The father Tibi has actually been coming to church the last 2 weeks! and his wife Edina says he has been reading from the book of mormon! He is such a nice man and a really great father from what i have seen. we are hoping his testimony will continue to grow, and he will continue to come to church every week with them. 
Oh man, i wish i could write about everyone here!! Julcsi and Zsuzsa i think i wrote about last week. They are doing awesome! Julcsi is the girl i wrote about in my last letter who we taught the first to. She has now had the 3rd lesson. She's reading from the book of mormon. She told us she has prayed about it, and feels like its true. She is also praying now about the decision to be baptized!!
This week we had an older sister missionary come and stay with us for a few days. Her name is Sister Eigner and she is a native Hungarian. Her husband died a few years ago, so she is serving as a missionary now. She normally works with family history and things, but sometimes she will come out here to Békéscsaba to go proselyting with us. She is awesome! only.. she doesn't speak any english. haha So that was kind of hard for me this week. I learned a lot though- and she would correct everytime i said something wrong. It was really hard at first, because i knew everytime i said something it would be corrected.. but it helped me to learn a lot faster. She also made us real hungarian food every night! one of the nights she made what they call lecsó. Which is peppers, tomatoes, and onions mixed with these noodles and col bass. I was a little worried to try it- considering i don't like tomatoes, peppers, OR onions.. but it was REALLY GOOD!! i ate everything on my plate. I thought my parents would be really proud of me to hear that. 
Well, I don't have much more time. SOrry i can't tell you about every minute that i live through here. But it is great! its amazing how quickly you come to really love the people. I had heard that before i came on my mission, but i don't thing i really understood it until i actually came here and met them. Hungarians are the most genuine, kind hearted people you'll ever meet! most of them have a shell around them at first, but once you break through that shell they are just filled with love and are so giving! i love being here! 
next week my email might be a few days late because we are travelling to Budapest on monday to get my visa and go through greeny-training. Well, i love you all tons! Scott i hope your birthday was great! Congratulations on becoming a priest! Talk to Dad and Holly and Mom thanks for your emails! i will talk to you all soon! 
Sok Szerettel, (with much love)
Sister Johnson

Lightening caught in Békéscsaba

 The Streets of Békéscsaba

Churches in Békéscsaba

If you would like to know a little more about Békéscsaba, here is a great link to look at. This is also were I got some of the pictures from.ékéscsaba 

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