Sunday, March 11, 2012

March in Kispest

March 26, 2012

Hello Everyone!
Okay, wow.. I'm sorry, I've been having issues getting my emails out lately. But I promise I haven't forgotten you all, and I really have been writing every week. But Hopefully all my emails will go through today. You will just have a lot of reading to catch up on. :)
Anyway, So this Wednesday is the start of a brand new transfer!! Transfer calls came today. We found out that I will be staying here in Kispest, and SISTER GALLION my companion from the MTC will be coming here to serve with me!!! I am so excited! We are going to have such a blast! I love Sister Gallion so much! I am really sad that I won't be serving with Sister Kramer anymore though. I cannot believe how quickly our last 2 transfers together have flown by! I guess time flies when you're having fun. We have learned and grown a lot together, and we will definitely continue to remain good friends even though we will be serving in different areas. She will be going to Szeged to serve with Sister Papritz.
Anyways... So this week! This week has been really great! I've been able to meet some really awesome people in the most random places. On buses, on the metro, on the street. For some reason I've been able to share the gospel a lot more with people just while walking around and traveling places. We try and do this everyday of course, but I was able to find so many people that were really willing to listen and wanting to learn more. There was one man on the bus who I talked to. I didn't have enough time to give him a Book of Mormon before our stop, but I gave him a pass along card and invited him to English class. A few days later he called back!! He is coming to English class this week, and I am hoping we will be able to set up a time to meet and talk more about the gospel. There was another man I met on the metro a few days later. I started a conversation with him and he asked what I was doing here in Hungary. I told him how we are missionaries here and we started talking about the gospel. He got off at our same stop, so Sister Kramer and I talked to him for about 20 min about the gospel. He seemed really interested, and actually told us that just a few days before he had talked to some Jehovah's witnesses, and was discussing with a friend about religions, and then he met us and received this book. He seems really cool and exchanged numbers with us so that we can set up a time to talk more about our beliefs. And then on Sunday, Sister Kramer and I needed to give away one more Book of Mormon to reach our goals. We tried stopping everyone to find someone that was interested, but we weren't having much success. I felt exhausted from all that we had already done that day, and all the other work we had done during the week. When it was about time to go home I felt like giving up, but decided to talk to just one more person. I spotted an older man in a suit walking down the street with a brief case in his hand. I decided to see if he would stop to listen to me. Surprisingly enough, he did. I told him how I was a missionary for our church and asked if he was religious. He said that he was, and I went on to ask if he had ever heard about the Book of Mormon. He said that he had, somewhat, and asked me why there is need for another book when we already have the bible. I told him we believe in the bible to be God's word, but that the Book of Mormon is a 2nd witness to the bible. I talked about how the Bible explains about Christ's ministry in Jerusalem, and the Book of Mormon is written by ancient prophets in the Americas, who Christ also appeared to after his resurrection. He seemed somewhat confused, but interested. I offered for him to take the Book of Mormon. He wasn't willing to take it, but said that we could come by sometime to talk to him and his wife more about it. He exchanged numbers with me and gave us his address to stop by sometime! We didn't end up being able to find someone to take our last Book of Mormon, but to me we still reached our goals. I am excited to talk to this man and his wife more about why we need the Book of Mormon, and hopefully help answer some of their questions. :)
We had lots of great programs this week. Mani is preparing to be baptized on April 7th!! She is so ready. I am really happy for her and this decision she is making. I know that Sister Gallion and I are going to see a lot of success in this coming transfer! I am excited about all these new people we have to meet with. I hope that they will have a desire to learn more and read from the scriptures. Thank you so much for all your support and prayers! To my big brother and his beautiful wife, I am so happy for you both!! I'm so sorry that my email didn't go through after you had little Tala. But i love you both, and I am so happy for you!! Dad, Tell Grandma Johnson yes I got her cookies!! They were delicious, as were the ones from Holly and you. All the elders were very grateful that I shared with them. :) Besides that, I guess I will talk to you all next week. Mom, thanks so much for the email about conference. I really enjoyed reading about the talks that were in the Young Women's session. I love you all TONS!! I hope you have a wonderful week! and I hope you get my email this week. ha ha!
Talk to you soon!!

much love,

Sister Tiffany Johnson

March 19, 2012

Okay, now for this week...
I hope that everyone is doing well! We had a lot of fun this week. Sister Kramer has a friend who is in a study abroad program just next to us in Vienna, we received permission to have lunch with her here in the city this week. So I got to meet her and some of their other friends. We actually went to an Italian restaurant for lunch, haha but it was a lot of fun. Thursday was a big holiday in Hungary to celebrate Independence here, so we had a SUPER p-day. Super p-days are like a p-day, but only they last the whole day long!!! We spent the day with the A.P.s and went up to Tihany and the Balaton- a giant lake here in Hungary. Of course as missionaries we couldn't get in- but it was really beautiful. We also went to a castle in Csesznek. It was build sometime in the 1500s, and is now mostly just broken down walls. But we had a lot of fun climbing the walls and taking lots of pictures. Friday at fiatal est (or our young adults' activity) one of the members Dia taught us all how to draw. So we all drew portraits of each other and set up different scenes to draw. It turned out somewhat funny. They all were very unique. Sister Kramer and I also sang in church yesterday! We wanted to sing a hymn of somesort, but didn't have anyone that could accompany us on the piano. I don't know that many hymns on the guitar yet, but I came up with my own way to play "Abide with Me Tis Even Tide." So I played and we sang together. I think it turned out pretty well. We were hoping it would get a lot more of our investigators at church- but we still had a few who made it. :) A few of the senior couples came too, so we had a few fans in the audience. We made a video of it on my camera, I'm going to try and email it to my mom and see if she can put it on my blog.
Besides just playing this week, we also worked too of course. Mani- our new baptism date is incredible. She is so excited to get baptized, and loves reading and learning and coming to church. She came this Sunday even though she was sick. I'm really happy she wants to be baptized, she will be a really great addition to the ward here.
We also had a really great lesson with one of our investigators Csaba. He's been meeting with us for a while now, but has been one of our slower progressors. In our last lesson with him we ended up talking a lot about prayer. We planned a completely different lesson, but we were reading about Enos and i felt prompted to ask if he had ever prayed to know if God existed. He told us that he hadn't. And after that a lot of his other concerns came to the surface. We told him that if he sincerely wanted to know if God was there listening to him, he needed to pray and ask to receive an answer. We promised him that if he asked in faith, and really had a desire- that God would answer his prayer. I am so glad that we were able to have that simple lesson with him this week. I'm not sure how we missed this earlier. But for prayer, or the gospel, or the plan of salvation, or anything else to really mean anything to us- we have to know that there is a God who loves us, who wants to hear from us, and desires our success and happiness. He told us he would pray this week!- So hopefully he does. :)
We also met with a new investigator that was handed over to us from the Buda sisters- Fanni. She is in her 20s and is on bap date actually for sometime in the end of April! She has a lot of energy, and a lot of personality! She loves the gospel and has a strong testimony. We just need to help her feel more adjusted into the new ward here in Kispest, but I think she will like it here a lot.
Well, that's about all I have for this week. I love you all! Sorry again that my email didn't go through last time. But take care and I will talk to you next week!!

Love you tons!!

-Sister Johnson

P.S. Mandy is engaged!!??? WHAT!!? I cannot believe this. She needs to write me ASAP! lol who is this boy?! He better be good to her. This is so crazy! K well, I'm sad I won't get to be there. But I want a wedding invite!!

March 14, 2012

This week Tiffany sent pictures and just a quick note. She is busy and doing well and loves the people that she's serving with and for. They are becoming dear friends. Here is some of the content of the last email and the pictures...

...Caving with Kramer Nővér and the Elders

March 12, 2012

Hello Everyone!!
Wow.. This has been such a crazy week!! So, I guess i will start at the beginning of the week... We had such a fun P-day last week! We went with the Elders to these caves just outside of Budapest. But these were no sissy caves- we did lots of crawling through tiny spaces on our hands and knees- lots of times having to inchworm or army crawl ourselves through to the other side. Sometimes we'd have to turn our heads sideways because the spaces were too small to go through. But it was a blast!! I decided I love caving. We had an awesome tour guide, and it was just the 5 of us so he took us to the more difficult parts of the cave.There was one place they called the sandwich... which i now realize why they call it that. haha We had a really fun time though. We also went up to Janos hedgy. It is the highest point in all of Budapest. We planned to take the chair lift up.. only when we got there, we found out they weren't yet running... so we had a nice hike up. haha I about died.. but the view from the top made it all worth it.
Tuesday we met with Mani, our new Bap. date. She is incredible! and so ready to be baptized. She was introduced to the church through a friend, and has willingly accepted everything from the moment she found the church. She loves the bible, and knows just about every story and all the teachings in it. She said she never felt there was a Church that had all that she was needing in it, until she found our church. She is excited to start paying tithing, and says she use to drink coffee and green tea, but is willing to stop now to join the church. She is so excited to be baptized and I am really happy for her. She is already starting to make some great friends in the ward, and I think she is going to be a really solid member.
We met twice this week with the family that was referred to us from Livi. They are such great people. The two girls love the scriptures and love coming to church! The parents are really attentive in our lessons and are reading from the Book of Mormon! On Tuesday we had a great lesson about prophets and how we can build testimonies. We watched the restoration film with them, and Vivi (one of the daughters who is 12) said that she believes it could possibly be true! We talked about the importance of prayer and the holy ghost to receive our answer about the Book of Mormon. Saturday they cooked us Hungarian food and asked me to bring over my guitar. We had another great lesson about faith, the parents had read from the chapter we assigned in Alma 32. We ate lots of great food, and had our own personal talent show! The girls danced for all of us something they were learning from their dance class, and then we played and sang some songs together on my guitar. It was a really fun program.
Wednesday Elder Christofferson came to speak to us! All the missionaries were there from every part of the country. It was the first time the whole mission has been together since President and Sister Baughman have been serving here. We had a meeting for just the missionaries earlier that day. We all were able to go up and shake his hand and tell him where we are from. After he let us ask him questions about the mission, and about missionary work in general. It was really cool to hear so personally from an apostle of God. That night he spoke to the stake. Right now there is only one stake in Hungary, so there were people from all over the country who had traveled there to see him. I have never seen so many investigators and members in the same place all at once. It was really incredible. He said a lot of really great things. One thing that really stood out to me was at the end he left the people with a blessing... he said, "I bless the parents and grandparents here that as you strive to teach your children the principles of the gospel that they will grow to honor them, and that as you pray for your children the Lord will hear your prayers, and as your children pray for you the Lord will hear their prayers as well." It reminded me of the scripture in Malachi 4:6 "And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..." It was like a prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes. I thought that was really cool. One other thing he said that I thought was really powerful was, "If Joseph Smith were here tonight and could see us, I think he would say that it was worth it." He talked about all of the things that Joseph Smith went through to try and spread the word of the gospel throughout the world. And after all of the persecution and suffering- looking at how far the gospel has come since then, he would say it was all worth it. The gospel is now in Hungary! The Scriptures are in Hungarian!... but not just that, the church is growing here! It's incredible. And not just here... but it so many different places around the world! It was a really spacial experience here for all the members and investigators to hear from an apostle. I'm really glad he came to speak to us.
Thursday, we had lots of programs. It was kind of a crazy day. We were able to visit the Westiks. One of my favorite member families to visit with. They are the ones with the picture of Christensen Elder on Valentines day.. and the ones with the apples in our mouths. They are such a solid family. Their dad is actually a member of the stake presidency, he's a really nice man too. I just love their family. They have 2 daughters Lilla and Luca. Lilla is getting married this summer in June, she was just proposed to this past week!! I also teach an English class every Thursday by myself. It is a little intimidating... but I'm starting to get the hang of it. My students are the more advanced English speakers, they are all really funny. But sometimes they come up with some interesting questions and like to debate about English grammar principles. The languages are really different, so sometimes it is weird for them to try and understand why we speak the way we do. But i do enjoy teaching them! They make the hour pass quickly.
Friday and Saturday i will skip because this email is getting long.. But Friday was Gofri est with the youth. We have a spiritual thought and eat Gofri (waffles). Saturday was Tai chi in the morning and Fiatal est that night (It's kind of like a FHE for the young adults). Sunday we met with Bogi's family after church!! Bogi is the 17 year old that came to English class, and then showed up that Saturday at fiatal est a few weeks ago. I also wrote my testimony in a Book of Mormon for her. But she invited us over on Sunday for dinner with he mom and sister! It was such a great program. They are some of the nicest people I have met since I came here. They fed us so much delicious food and they asked us a lot of questions about our missions and about the church. We shared some from the scriptures with them, and cleared up a lot of their misunderstandings about the church. Lots of people think we are Amish here for some reason. Anyways, they all took a Book of Mormon before we left, and invited us to come back again! :)
We had dinner that night with another member family that I love! Béla and Bóroka!... (Yes, we ate a lot of food that day). But they are a younger couple. Béla actually served his mission in Provo and Spanish Fork! They are probably going to go back this summer to visit... oh and mom, I told them that they could come by and visit you all when they are there! They said they probably would. They speak perfect English and I know you would just love them!! So, I hope that's okay. But I'll give you more details when that day is actually closer.
Anyways... that was my crazy week! Missionary work is so fun!.. but sometimes really exhausting. Some days I would give anything to just be able to crawl in bed and take a nap. But we can't do that as missionaries. I know that the Lord gives us the power to keep going. I really love this work. And I'm really excited about all the incredible things that are happening here. I love you all so much!! I hope that you have a wonderful week!! Talk to you soon!

Sok Szeretettel,

Sister Tiffany Loren Johnson

"...The first picture is with Kramer Nővér, Luca, and I at the farsang bűli we had last week in the costumes we made. Luca is little red riding hood or (they call her Piroska here), and we are Hungarian candy bars. the second picture is with Edit Néni. One of the coolest old ladies I have ever met! She is the one who is teaching us Kézi munka (or Hungarian embroidery) she's also come to church a few times! We took this picture a few Sundays ago. The 3rd picture is of Zsaklin and Dóri. Zsaklin is a recent convert, and her friend Dóri is one of our investigators. They are super sweet girls, and come to a lot of our activities. And the last picture is with Mani our new bap. date and a member Éva, who has become one of her really good friends and is a great help in our lessons."

      Luca is little red riding hood or (they call her Piroska), Johnson Nővér and Kramer Nővér

Kramer Nővér Edit Néni and Johnson Nővér

Zsaklin and Dóri with the Sisters

              Kramer Nővér, Mani (Just Baptized), Éva (a Branch Member) and Johnson Nővér

March 3, 2012

Hey everybody!

This is going to be my shortest email to date (which will probably be a relief after all my other novels that i send) but we just had a CRAZY P-Day!!!  And now we have basically next to no time to email!

However, we still had some awesome highlights:

-Last week for P-Day, we went laser-tagging with our zone.  Kispest district ROCKED!  We were undefeated :)  It was quite fun!  But that's probably the least important highlight haha.

-We have a baptismal date now!!!  One is the lady passed over from the Pest sisters.  Her name is Mani and she told us that she has been searching for the true church for a long time now, and is so glad to have found the true one.  She prayed about baptism and decided she wants to be baptized on Easter weekend!

-The Pest branch house had an Open House event.  It was so cool.  The members put it all together and it was so cool.  A lot of people came to the branch house to check out our church and what we believe.  There were different themed rooms explaining different parts about our church (like Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, family history, etc.)  We were able to talk to a whole bunch of investigators at once and bear our testimonies to them.

Anyways, sorry this is so short!  I will send a longer one next week (with TONS of great pictures I have from the past few weeks!).  Cool things coming up: Elder Christofferson, one of the apostles, is coming to Hungary THIS Wednesday!!!  We are going to have a special mission conference with him and he is going to meet with the stake.  It should be soooo cool!

I love you all!

Sister Tiffany Johnson

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