Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 2012 in Kispest

February 27, 2012

I love you all so much! What an amazing week this has been! So much has happened this week!

Livi, one of the members here, referred us to this awesome family! She knows the mom from work, and invited her and her 2 daughters to come to church! The daughters love church, and they've come the last 3 weeks now! We went over to their house this week to teach them about the restoration. The lesson was really great, and the father stayed in to listen as well! The girls have been reading out of the book of Mormon for their primary class, they are ages 9 and 11. They love the scriptures! The parents both took a Book of Mormon as well, and invited us to come back to teach another lesson next week! :) 

We are meeting with a new lady Edit. I think I may have written about her in a previous email. Everyone here in Hungary has the same names so we are actually meeting with two Edits (Edit from Békéscsaba and Edit Néni-the older lady who is teaching us Hungarian embroidery)  The younger Edit called us a few weeks ago wanting to practice English. She speaks really well, and our first lesson with her was really great. We've had 3 lessons with her now, and she seems to be really interested in what we are teaching her. For our last lesson we asked her to read Moroni chapter 7. We said that if she had any questions while she was reading she should write them down and we could talk about them next time. Well, she read! and actually brought a whole list of questions for us! We were able to help answer a lot of the questions for her. Its really great because you can tell that she really wants to find answers! Sister Hanson (one of the senior sisters) came to the lesson with us. She boar strong testimony and was a great contribution to our lesson. 

We had our farsang buli (party) this week! Farsang is basically a big celebration where people dress up in costumes to "scare away" the winter. Its basically like Halloween for the Hungarians. We had a ward part on Saturday. Sister Kramer and I dressed up like Hungarian candy! (well kind of). :) I was a pöttyös túró rudi, which is this really popular chocolate bar they sell here. It has túró in it.. which doesn't really exist in America- but it would be like chocolate and cottage cheese. I thought it was weird when i first tried it.. but now i really like it! :) Kramer nővér was a Milka bar. The ward party was really fun though. There was one man there, János, who was a friend of a member. He was older, probably in his 60s but he spoke perfect English. His member friend wasn't at the party, so I decided to go over and talk to him. We struck up a conversation, and soon enough we were talking about the gospel. He told me that he had heard a lot about our church, but couldn't see what made us different from any other church. I responded first off, by telling him that one thing that made us different from other churches was that we believe in a living prophet today who leads and guides the church, just like they had during bible times. This struck up lots more questions- I guess he had never heard this before. We continued to talk for probably 45 min. I was able to bear strong testimony to him and answer a few of his questions. Almost all the questions that he was asking me can be answered through the knowledge we have of the Plan of Salvation. How grateful I am for all the answers we receive though the gospel to some of life's greatest questions. He said that he was interested in learning more, and gave me his information to call and set up another time to meet with him next week. :) 

Along with all the things we had this week- Zone conference, the ward party, district meeting... Sister Kramer and I were still determined to get Super Standard. By Sunday we had achieved all the goals except for one. We just needed one other lesson. We had two lessons scheduled for that day- but they both fell through last minute. With only a few more hours left in the day we were determined to find someone who would meet with us. We called just about every investigator we knew, but no one was able to meet last minute. We even went to look up a family, but that was unsuccessful as well. At about 7pm, we figured that we had tried the best we could but would probably have to settle for not making our goals completely and try again next week. We debated on teaching a few bums on a park bench... but decided that would probably not be the best idea. We started walking back to our apartment, when I decided that maybe we could go into one of the 10 stories by where we were walking and try a random door. I had heard of that working for missionaries before- so I thought why not now?! Sister Kramer confirmed that it was a good idea, but when we went to get into the building- it was locked. Just then however, a group of people came walking out, and opened the door for us. Once we were in we stared at the elevator numbers. "Quick Sister Kramer, What's your favorite number?!" "Why don't we just try the whole building since we're in here?" she said. We concluded that was the better idea- so we started at the top and worked our way down. Not much luck- until we got to the 5th floor. A man answered. There were a bunch of people walking around inside, and we introduced ourselves and told him we had a message about Christ that we'd like to share with him. We talked for a few minutes about faith at the door, and then he asked, "So it's important to believe in something then?" We said "Of course." and then he replied and said, "well why don't you come in then?" He let us in and we were able to teach him about the Book of Mormon and why we are here as missionaries. He seemed really interested, and invited us to come back again. Some of his kids seemed interested in coming to our English classes too! We talked for about and hour and then left after closing with a prayer with them. It was definitely a miracle from Heavenly Father to help lead us to that door. I know that he has a hand in this work! I've only been let in like that 3 times on my mission, and so it doesn't happen all that often. But God knew we were praying to reach our goals and to find the people who are ready to hear the gospel. 

So we did it!! Yay!! My first week getting Super Standard! I feel proud of us. It was a lot of work, we didn't get much time to stop and rest this week- but it was definitely worth it. I can see that our hard work is beginning to pay off. We are teaching a lot of really great people, and I am hoping that we can help find those who are genuinely interested in learning about our message and eventually accepting the gospel into their lives. 

Well, I guess that's about all for this week. Dad and Holly, I got your cookies and Grandma's cookies! Thanks so much. I shared them with all the Elders at the mission home and they were all really grateful. :) Mom, I'm glad you got my package! That is strange that it was ripped open.. but I'm glad everything made it safely there. I did put in a few pictures? I'm not sure if those made it there or not. But that chocolate apples are delicious aren't they!? They are suppose to be crunchy.. if they weren't you can put them in the freezer and they taste better. maybe i can send you some more if you can't find any in America. Princess!- thanks for the picture! You are so gorgeous! Your baby bump is SO cute!! I am so excited for you both! I love you tons!! 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week. Talk to you soon!

Sok Szeretettel,
Sister Tiffany Johnson 

P.S. Sorry I forgot to bring my camera to send pictures today.. but I will try and send some more next week! :) 


February 21, 2012

Hello Family! 

This week was great!!!  Here are just a few of the highlights from this week:

Sister Kramer and I actually went on splits with Christensen ELDER this past Tuesday.  As a zone leader, he is allowed to go on splits with a sister companionship, and we had to do it this past Tuesday (which ironically happened to also be Valentines day) because Schwieger Elder was starting his assistant to the president duties a day earlier than Christensen Elder was getting his new companion.  So we became his companions for the day! We had a really great day time though!  We had a few programs set up, and Elder Christensen really helped us with our investigators.  It was really great to teach with him, actually, because he is way more experienced in the teaching and the language.  He asked a lot of really good questions that made our investigators really consider the importance of our message.  It was really nice to teach with someone experienced again, I have to admit. 

We also had a program at the Westsik's.  They thought the three of us were super funny and insisted that we take a picture (see attached haha).  We had split inventory at the end of the day, and he told us that we are both doing great with the language and teaching (which was nice to hear.  Sometimes I think we are a little hard on ourselves).  He challenged us to be more bold in our programs :)

We had an awesome program with a girl named Timi this past week.  She is so prepared.  We have only met with her a couple of times, but she has been reading from the Book of Mormon and told us last time that she believes that it is true scripture from God!  We talked a little bit about baptism with her and hope to give her a baptism date this week sometime!

We had a cute néni (older lady) teach us Hungarian embroidery this past week.  She was so cute, showing us how to do every stitch.  And even how to seperate the embroidery floss haha.  She also fed us shortbread cookies and peach jam.  Yum.  This lady is so sweet and honestly interested in learning more about the gospel.  She has come to Sacrament meeting a few times and has a lot of questions! 

Sister Kramer and I gave the spirtual thought at Gofri Est this past Friday.  We were only asked a couple of days before and tried to come up with a good idea.  We decided to share a thought from "It is Better to Look Up" from this past conference. (It is a great talk- you should check it out!)  It talks about how we should look to God for our goals and relief.  There is one story about how a bunch of people wrote things that were weighing them down on pieces of paper and then tied them to balloons and let the balloons go.  So, we gave everyone a balloon with the Hungarian translation of "It is better to look up" on it.  We also put a picture of Christ on the ceiling and talked about how we can look to Christ and His Atonement for relief.  It went really well, I think.  The crazy thing is, we were kind of nervous.  And then we got there, and there were more than THIRTY people there!!!  (There are often only about ten)  There were institute teachers from all over Hungary and Romania here for a training. The large amounts of people didn't really help our nervousness... But it went really well :)  A lot of people participated and it was great.

Also, Bogi came to english class again this week so I was able to give her a Book of Mormon! I wrote my testimony in it for her, and marked a few of my favorite verses and chapters. She was really excited to get it, and said that she would read from it! She also wants to meet with us! We are going to try and set up a time to meet next week! 

Anyways, we had a lot of great programs this week!  I think Sister Kramer and I are really getting the hang of this missionary thing. We were really close to getting Super Standard this past week, and we have a goal to try and get Super Standard every week this transfer!!!  I think all of our hard work last transfer is paying off this transfer :)  We have a lot of really cool investigators!  I will keep you all updated!

I love you all!!!  Have a great day and week!!!

Much Love,
Tiffany aka Sister Johnson 

P.S. also, everyone is wearing slippers in the photo with elder christensen because hungarians are afraid of being cold, so they never walk on their floors bare footed. haha they give slippers to all their guests so that their feet don't freeze. 

A Valentine's Day Present from the Mission President 

On February 14, 2012 I received the following email from President Baughman, Tiffany's Mission President:

Dear Dear Sister Boyer:

     I am happy to inform you that  Sister  Tiffany Loren Johnson  has been called to serve as a Senior Companion in the Hungary Budapest Mission. She  is a diligent and effective missionary and has demonstrated great enthusiasm for the work and a love of God and the Hungarian people.

     I am delighted to have Sister  Johnson  take on this new responsibility and know that it will be a growth opportunity for her .

     It has been such an enjoyable experience for Sister Baughman and me to serve with Sister Johnson. Thank you for your ongoing support while She continues to serve the Lord in Hungary.

Warmest regards,

Gary S. Baughman

Mission President

February 13, 2012

Szervusz Family!! 
Wow, another transfer gone by. This morning we received transfer calls. Sister Kramer and I will be staying here in Kispest for another transfer together! I am excited actually, because I feel like we are finally starting to get the hang of things. Lots of things are switching around though. One of our Elders is becoming A.P. and my old companion Sister Johnson goes home this week!! President Baughman gave me permission to go to her departing testimony, so Sister Kramer and I were able to be there for that. She is so awesome! I learned so many things serving with her. I have been blessed to have some really amazing companions, I know that we will all continue to be friends forever even after the mission. I'm excited to see what happens with them after their missions, and where their lives take them. 
Well, this has been really good. I went on my first Splits with the Sisters in Pest. For splits we switch companions, normally just for the day. So I went to Pest to serve with Sister Hudspeth, and Sister Kramer stayed here with Sister Hall. Splits are so fun I decided! :) Sister Hudspeth was my ősi in the MTC (she was the group just older than us). Wednesday night we split, and then slit back Thursday afternoon. I went to a program with her and one of their investigators, Kati. She was an older woman who speaks very good English. Our lesson actually started out in English. We talked about her belief in God and about what she had read from the Book of Mormon. She had met with them quite a few times before this, and we were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation this time. Well, that was the plan, but sometimes plans for lessons change based on the investigators concerns or questions. I asked her if she believed in God, and she responded by saying she did... but only about 70 percent. She then went on to ask us why God allows so many people to suffer in this life. She told us about many things that had happened in her life and in the lives of her family, she asked about war, and why God doesn't stop these things from happening to us. We talked to her about agency and the atonement, and told her that agency is a gift that god has given us, and that some people choose to use their agency for good but others use it for bad. We also read Alma 7:11-13 and talked about how Christ has felt all of our pains and trials. While these all seemed like right answers to us for her question, nothing really seemed to be addressing her concern. We talked about how God can help give us strength during trials, but still she didn't seem to be getting the answer she needed. We all paused for a moment. After it was silent for a few seconds Sister Hudspeth began to speak. I am sure that the words that came out of her mouth after that were directly from the spirit. She went on to explain how no one said this life would be easy, she brought up the life of Jesus Christ and the lives of his apostles and disciples, the life of Joseph Smith. Each of them were great examples of good people, who suffered through hard things during this lifetime. And Christ, who was perfect, suffered more than we can even comprehend. She talked about how trials are an important part of this life that each of us must go through. I wish that I could write exactly what she said during the lesson, but one thing I do know, is she was given the words to say through the spirit that were exactly what this woman needed. I am grateful for Sister Hudspeth's example of being open and worthy to receive the spirit, and then having the courage to speak the words she was given to say. It was really great to be able to go on splits with her this week. :)
It has been a little warmer this week, and so far not too much more snow, even thought there is still a lot on the ground. I think one of my favorite parts about this week was that I was able to meet and talk with people about the gospel in the most random places. An old man on the bus asked me about my name tag this week, and I was able to talk to him about who we are and give him a Book of Mormon. And then when we were buying our groceries, the lines were really long! In front of us was a lady who was obviously a teacher, and was grading a huge stack of her students papers. Somehow we stated a conversation, and by the end she took a Book of Mormon, and said she would read it! I love when people say that "elolvasom." "El" is a prefix in Hungarian for entirely. So if someone says "olvasom" that means i will read it. But if they say "elolvasom" that means they will completely read it! :) There is your language tip of the day. haha anyways, she was a really nice lady, and seems interested in our English classes as well. I feel like this week the lord has just been placing people in our path to talk to. Which has been really cool. 
Our investigators are great, but they all seem to be progressing really slowly. We are trying to figure out what we can do to help them, and how we can get them all to come to church. There was a really cool 16 year old girl we met with this week! She's been reading from the Book of Mormon and is actually in Helaman! We had a really great discussion with her about why the gospel is important and what it means in our lives. She says when she reads the Book of Mormon she has a good feeling, but isn't sure if it's true. She said she has never prayed about it, so we asked if she would commit to do that this week and she said she would! I'm hoping that we can help her recognize the answer she receives. 
Well, I guess that's about all the exciting news for this week. It will be good to stay here a few more transfers. I hope that we can help find those who are really ready for the gospel here in Kispest. 
Mom, thanks so much for the package! You are awesome. The journal is perfect and it's nice to have my iPod here. I am so glad our mission president allows us to listen to music. The talks you sent were really great too! I love the "forget me not" talk by Uchtdorf. Also, I'm so glad you are taking care of all my friends while I am gone. I'm really glad Jill is able to go over there and spend time with you and Dave and everyone. Granny B, thank you for your email! I hope that Grandpa Lynn has a wonderful 21st birthday! haha that would be so cool to be born on a leap year. Dad and Holly- Holly, congratulations on your new calling! and Dad that's really cool you are finding so many people to give the Book of Mormon to. You both are such awesome member missionaries! Oh! also, I received the nicest letter from an old man in your ward! I think his name is Richard Norton. haha He sent me a simple letter with 5 dollars and a peacock feather in it! He said that he really loves both of you, and hopes that he can be my new 85 year old friend. :) His letter totally made my day. I am going to try and write him back soon. Well, I think that's about all. Oh also, I was wondering if Alan and Princess have come up with any names for their little baby girl!!?.. I mean they can name her after me if they really want to, haha but I just wanted to hear what ideas they have come up with. Well, anyways, love you all tons! talk to you soon! 

Sok Szeretettel, 
Johnson Nővér 

P.S. the picture is sister Hudpeth and I on our splits day! We stoped at a pizza place for lunch with the elders there. It was delicious!! 

February 6, 2012

Hey Family! 
It is beginning to finally look like winter here in Hungary! This week has been freezing!- and we've had tons of snow the last few days. I'm finally able to bust out my winter coat! The other day reached about -13 degrees C, or like 8 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind and all the moisture in the air it feels super cold! Hungarians are afraid of the cold. Old ladies always ask us if we are freezing, and lots of the times in their prayers they ask Heavenly Father to bless us so that we don't freeze. haha 

This week has been good- but reaaallly long. haha Sometimes the weeks just fly by, but for some reason this week wasn't like that. We had lots of people meet with us this week! But the work is just a little more slow-moving here in Kispest. We met with two of our investigators- Béla and Ilona. They are married and devout catholics. However, Béla has read the whole Book of Mormon, and both of them say they have prayed about it and know it's true. They both want to be baptized... but they still go to catholic mass every week.  They are such nice people, but we can't figure out how to get them to come to church! Well, this week we decided to teach them about a modern-day prophet and about priesthood power. This was a topic Sister Kramer and I hadn't had much experience teaching, but we thought it might help them to understand what sets our religion apart from other churches. We met at our church house, and the beginning of the lesson was going well. About half way though though, we didn't feel like they were really understanding what we are trying to say. It's hard explaining a new topic, with very little vocabulary. Luckily though!- Sandor, a member of the Bishopric was there at the branch house. We asked if he had a few minutes to come in and talk with our investigators a little more about the priesthood and how it works. He was happy to help us. I was so glad that he came, because he was able to address all their concerns and help answer their questions. He even went through the articles of faith one by one with them, which was a genius idea! I'm not sure why I never thought to do that before. They began to have more and more questions for him, and they became intrigued with what they were learning. I think things are started to click with them now and they are becoming more excited. They called us a few days later and said they want to meet again soon because they have come up with a lot more questions. :) I am hoping they will come to church next week! They couldn't make it yesterday because Ilona was sick. Hopefully we will see them there soon though! 

After English class this week I met two really nice girls about my age from one of the other classes. They were super nice girls, and asked me a few questions about the profi class. We talked for a while and then I decided to invite them to fiatal est the next night. Fiatal est is a night we have at the church for young single adults. I didn't really expect that either of them would actually come.. but then the next day one of them actually came!! Her name is Bogi, and she is 17. Really nice girl, and we ended up becoming really good friends. I got a chance to ask her a little about what she believes. She said she believes in God, but doesn't really go to church. I wanted to give her a Book of Mormon, but decided I would wait until I got a chance to write my testimony in it and maybe mark a few of my favorite chapters. I think she had a fun time though! Hopefully she will come again next week! :) 

We met with a few other really cool people. There is this new lady, Edit we met with on Sunday. She is from Békéscsaba!!! and seems really interested. We had a really awesome lesson with her! She seems really excited to start reading the Book of Mormon. 

ANYWAYS, that's about all... OH! I beat our district in bowling today! :) I scored a 145! haha I was pretty proud of myself. Also, mom i got your package!! Thanks so much. You are a life saver! I didn't get a chance to read the note you wrote in it yet, but I'm excited to hear about the experience you had with the ipod. Oh Diane! Guess what!?.. Small world. SO, one of the Elders in my district- Jake Pendalton use to work with Jeffery at in-and-out in AF. haha I just found that out and thought it would be funny to tell you. Crazy, the connections people have. That's about all I have for this week though. Hope that you are all doing well! Talk to you next week! 

Love you lots!

Sok Szeretettel,
Johnson Nővér

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