August 20, 2012
It's been a long but really great week. First good news I have to share is- JORGE IS NOW ON BAP. DATE!! yay! :) We are planning his baptism for September 29th, so not too far away! But he is so ready! The Lord really prepared him before hand to meet with us. We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ this week, and after almost every scripture we read he would say something like "I think that means that..." and then explain the meaning of every verse almost perfectly. When we got to the step of baptism we read with him 2 Nephi 2: 19-21 and after he told us "I think that means that after baptism we're not done, but we have to endure to the end by believing in God and loving and serving others." Yes Jorge it does! :) haha He is so awesome! He even introduced us to some of him coworkers this week and we got to give them a Book of Mormon too. Later when we saw him at church, he told us they are interested in learning more about it!! :) I love investigator referrals! He's going to be such an awesome addition to the ward here. I'm so happy he has made this decision to be baptized, and for the right reasons.
We also had 2 awesome lessons this weeks with Attila and Zsuzsa who have been coming to church the last few weeks! I love them so much! Our first lesson with them was on Tuesday after English class. We watched the Restoration video together. We had planned to teach something else, but I felt really impressed that we needed to watch the video together instead. I was praying so hard that they both would feel something as we watched it with them. After I got up to turn the light back on, I saw that Zsuzsa's eyes were filled with tears. We asked them what they thought about the video, and there was a few moments of silence before Zsuzsa gained her composure to speak. She felt it!! She knows it's true!!-I just know it! It was such a miracle to be there and watch as the spirit witnessed to her of the truthfulness of Joseph Smith's experience. She told us she had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon the night before, and what a miracle that the Lord answered her prayer so powerfully and so quickly. I know she received that answer because her heart was open and ready for it. I pray now that she will have the courage to act on it. We talked a lot about baptism with them, and in our next meeting we taught the plan of salvation. Both of them seem really interested in temples. We brought one of the family history experts in our ward with us to talk to them about the blessings and what type of work we do there. :) The spirit was so strong! They came to church again on Sunday, and said they plan to come next week as well. They've even been asking more questions about what happens after baptism. :) Levente (their son) has been out of town, but hopefully next week he will be able to come to church with them! :) Their family is a miracle! I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to teach them and watch their conversion process. Every time we meet with them I can feel that their lives are brighter and they are happier because of the gospel. Zsuzsa even said that her and Attila have been spending more time together. :) The gospel is so cool!! It even helps to strengthen our relationships with the ones we love, as we both strive to come closer to the Savior we can become closer to one another as well. If you could keep them in your prayers I would very much appreciate it. :) They need this gospel so much, and I can just picture them as an eternal family! I hope they will have the patience and courage to continue on this path the Lord has led them to.
Well, that is basically the most exciting parts of this week. Our whole ward left of a temple trip yesterday to the Freiberg Temple in Germany. They will be there together until Saturday. I literally think just about every member is going. :) I never realized how difficult missionary work is without them members here to help. It will be such a cool experience for them though. Part of me wishes I could go with them. It seems strange to have gone so long without having the opportunity to visit the temple. And how awesome it would be to go to a Hungarian session!! :) One day. I did give a list of names to one of the members to put on the rolls for me. :) I pray that will be a blessing to all of you and to those whose names they will put in the temple.
I love you all so much! I also love this work I am doing. I have been thinking a lot about extending. I've talked to President Smith about it. My planned date to come home is Jan. 18th, but if I were to extend it would only be for another transfer and I would come home on Feb. 28th. He's still not sure if it will be possible. He says there are some complications he is trying to work out. But I thought I would give you a heads up on what I am thinking. I just know that the longer I am here the more I am learning and growing, and the better able I am to serve and help. I think I could be a great blessing in my last transfers because that will be when I will be the strongest tool in the Lord's hands. We will see what plans the Lord has for me though.
Have a wonderful week! Talk to you all next Monday!
Sister Tiffany Johnson
August 13, 2012
Things are just fabulous here in Hungary. I love serving a mission! So many cool things are happening here. First of all, we had 3 of our investigators at church again yesterday!- Jorge, Zsuzsa, and Etelka. haha Jorge is so accepting of everything! We finally were able to find him a Spanish Book of Mormon! One of the Elders in another city had one, and wrote his testimony in it for him! :) So in our last lesson we were able to teach him the Plan of Salvation using his new Book of Mormon in his native tongue! Part of me wishes now that I payed more attention in high school Spanish class. haha oh well. I'm going to learn Spanish when I get home though I've decided. :) Good news is... HE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!! :) We are going to try and set a bap. date for him when we meet again this week. Teaching him also makes me wonder what it would have been like to serve in South America with so many people who are so open and sensitive to the gospel. That must be so cool! But I know there was some reason the Lord needed me to come here specifically to Hungary. It hasn't been the easiest, but I'm learning a lot in the process. And when we do find those people who are open to our message, it makes it that much more exciting. :)
Zsuzsa, Attila's girlfriend came to church again too! All by herself! :) Attila and their son Levente were out of town this week and weren't able to make it. We had a lesson on Tuesday with both of them and their son, and then she surprised us by coming to church again this Sunday! :) She wants to meet with us again too!- and told us that she wants to come to church next Sunday as well! :) Their son Levente is so sweet! He's about 12 years old and already knows tons about the bible and Jesus Christ. In our lesson he seemed really attentive and excited about everything we were teaching him. I'm really excited about their family. They are all really awesome. :)
We also met with Vivian again this week (the young girl we tracted into). She read the chapter we assigned her, and said the closing prayer! We are working to get her to come to church with us next week. :) Peti and Adri have been out of town. Peti is getting ready to move to Budapest for school in September, so we haven't had a chance to meet with them for a while. Hopefully we will get to see them this week though.
I'm so excited for both Mandy and Elenia! Thanks mom for sending the pictures! :) I wish I could have been there. It's still hard to picture my little cousin all married and grown up! AHH! haha So weird. Send them both my love. They both looked absolutely gorgeous. It's crazy how life just moves along like that, everyone starts getting married and having babies. I feel like my life is on pause for this short time I'm here. Sister Fox and I were talking the other day about how it's hard to remember things about the real world or our lives before now. haha I guess that's one of the blessings of becoming a missionary.
I know this gospel is true. I love it with all my heart. I have come to recognize the reality of the Atonement during my time here on a mission. It's power is beyond comprehension. It not only can cleans us from sin, but it can strengthen us to overcome temptations, and give us a greater amount of power to do things that would normally be beyond our own ability to do alone. I know that the Atonement can give us the desire to become more Christlike and more focused on the things that matter most. It can help us overcome our weaknesses, and our natural tendencies to always think of ourselves, to compare ourselves to others, or to hold back praise that could lift another. I have come to see the difference being prideful or being charitable can make in our lives. Before this, I never really thought that I was a prideful person, but my mission has opened my eyes to so many of my weaknesses, and I'm so grateful the Lord has given me this time to recognize those things and learn to begin to overcome them. I know that the whole purpose of this life is to put off the natural man through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and strive to become more like Him, by helping others in the process, so that we all can experience the eternal joy and peace that comes through living according to His gospel. I think I finally understand the scripture that says, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." I love you all so much! I wish you could all be here with me and I could share all of these amazing experiences with you! But I know that will have to wait, and I will one day get to tell you about all the amazing things and wonderful people I am having the opportunity to meet. I love the Restored gospel! I know it's true! I know the work we are doing here in Hungary and around the world is real!- If it were not, it would be the biggest waste of a year and a half! haha :) That's why I am so grateful for my testimony. That I can know each day that I am exactly where I'm suppose to be, and that I am doing the Lord's work. You are all in my prayers. Everyone is growing up, and so many great things are happening with you all back home! I'm so happy to know that you are all well. Take Care! Talk to you all again next week! Lots of Love,
Sister Tiffany Loren Johnson
August 6, 2012
This week Sister Fox and I met with a new family! The Balog Család! They are so awesome! Mostly it's the 2 girls that are interested in the gospel. Szilvi (11) and Enikő (15). Their teaching record was in the Area Book, and we've been trying to get a hold of them forever!! Last week when we stopped by they were home! We met with them twice this week, on Monday and Saturday. They are both so fun and seem really ready for the gospel. They met with the Sister a lot in the past, but something happened and they stopped meeting. Enni seems so prepared though! She loves reading the scriptures, still prays all the time, and even said she wants to be baptized!! They couldn't come to church with us this week because they were visiting their dad, but hopefully next week they will be able to come with us! :)
Attila is still progressing! He came to church this week and brought his girlfriend Zsuzsa! They both stayed all 3 hours and I think really enjoyed it! :) We are planning to meet with them again on Tuesday.
Funny story, Etelka, the old lady who we met with last week- we stopped by to bring her umbrella back and she was so excited to see us! She said she had tried to come to church but couldn't find it. She said she had met with the elders on the street and they had given her a paper with the address on it. We talked with her for a few minutes. She showed us all the same pictures and told a lot of the same stories as the first time we were there, she's such a funny sweet lady. Good news is- she came to church!! haha She said that she loved it. She came all glamored up in a sparkly dress. She is such a stylish old lady. I hope that I am that awesome when I am old. :)
We also had one other investigator come to church!- Jorge. He is the man from Cuba. He loved it!! After sacrament meeting he said that he didn't know what it was but while everyone was baring their testimonies he felt this warm feeling come over him that gave him chills down his arms. :) We told him it was probably the spirit. :) He had to work and was going to leave after sacrament, we said goodbye and then a few minutes after Sunday school started he walked back in and stayed for the lesson. :) We have a Spanish Book of Mormon we are going to give him this week!! I'm so excited!
We also met with Tamás and a few other new people. Róbert, one of our investigators we taught the plan of salvation to this week, asked us after if next time we could tell him all the things he needs to do to make it to the celestial kingdom! :) haha Yes Róbert we can!!
I love being a missionary! Sister Fox and I were talking this week about how we always feel and look disgusting as missionaries. It is SO hot outside, and as missionaries we are out sweating on the street all day, our shoes are falling apart, our clothes are all old hand-me-downs from other sisters and falling apart, and people think we are a little crazy sometimes- but yet, there is nothing better and no place else I'd rather be. :)
This is the best work! I love you all so much! I got Mandy's wedding invitation in the mail today! She looks so pretty!! I'm so excited for her and Elenia! :) Send them all my love! Talk to you soon!!