Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Dear wonderful family,
I just want to tell you all how much I love you and appreciate you. The new missionaries came in this past week, and I have spent some tearful hours (for one of the new sisters not me) with a new sister because her family is not supportive of her dission to serve a mission at all. They have sent her angry letters and so she dreads getting mail. I am so glad you all are supportive and wonderful because I don't think I would enjoy being on a mission near as much if you weren't. I am thankful that when I get mail, I look forward to opening it at the end of the day rather than hidding it in a corner and only opening it once a week because I don't want to break down. I love you all so much! Seriously.
Ok so this week has been a little rough. There just has been a lot going on. Remember how last week I said that it was the best ever well that night when we went to class one of our teachers told us that we were not speaking from the heart. I was heart broken and almost lost it right there. I felt like I had been putting in my whole heart and soul into learning Hungarian and teaching our investigators. They are literally all I think about, beside the sister I have responsibility for in our zone. But I guess I just needed to figure out how I could express those feelings when I teach. So I've been working a lot on eye contact. Do you have any idea how hard it is to look someone in the eye while trying to speak in a language you can't speak in? Well a lot of you do. It is really hard. But it is getting better. We had 21 new missionaries, half of which were sisters, come into our zone so that has been good but challenging. So Friday I received a blessing from our zone leaders and it was wonderful. I am so thankful for the priesthood and the wonderful things it has brought me in my life. Dad thank you for always being worthy to be able to give us blessings while we were growing up. I know that we having been truly blessed because of that. On Saturady we are going to teach Zsolt more about the priesthood because his baptismal date is coming up and he "received" a blessing last week to help me quit smoking (which he is doing awesome by the way) and so maybe I needed to have a trying 2 days so that I would ask for a blessing and be able to better teach from the heart on Saturday when we talk about priesthood. Ok so about Zsolt. Last Friday when we taught him during the midst of my rough 2 days he was struggling with like the samething I was. We we were going to teach about fast offering but then once we got in there we realized we just needed to address his problem. And seriously the spirit was there so strong and I know that I was teaching from the heart because I totally teared up. I felt like that lesson and what we taught was more for me than for him but I know that he received the strength he needed from that. He just felt like he wasn't prepared for baptism, that quitting smoking was too hard, and that he just didn't think he had it in him to be a Mormon. So we talked a lot about faith and I kept testifying that the Lord would never give us a trial that we couldn't overcome and that through the atonement Christ knows exactly how we feel and that Heavenly Faith gives us trials for our benefit so that we can learn and grow. Trials and challenges are for our spiritual growth. (remember that was all in Hungarian so that may have contributed a bit to the whole tear thing), but it was wonderful and gave me what I needed as well to get through the weekened which was so good and everything else has been so good since. I know that the Lord is mindful of us and what we need. He had my teacher make up a fake problem so that Nover and I could teach that lesson and so that I could testify of what I knew and apply it more in my life.
So it is conceration week. And let me tell you no english is hard. I considered writing this whole email in Hungarian (you can change the keyboard so all the accents would have been right and jazz) but then it probably only would have been like 5 lines longs. And that would be sad (nagyon szomoru). Nover and I came up with goals and things we are sacraficing this week and we know that the lord will bless us spiritual and with the language because of the diligence and effort we are planning on putting in. Our usi did so well with consecration week but our Fins kinda failed so we are trying to be like our usi. Speaking of we got 10 kicsi! It is so fun! the 4 nover live with us and it's super fun. and then there are 6 elders (one of which Katie has met, small world). It is really fun. Plus some of the elderek are good at volleyball so gym is way fun again. After the Fins left it was slacking for a few days. :) They are so excited for us do start concecreation week because that means that they will be learning tons so it's nice to have their support. Not being able to express and communicate the way you want to is rough, but it is only day one. I'll let you know how the rest goes next wednesday.
Tomorrow we get travel plans!!! I am so excited. Since we are getting to the downward slope of things. Our teachers have been teaching us secular worldy things (I was going to say real world but the mission is real world because what is more real than the salvation of souls?) like we learned how to shop but really the whole excersize was to get us to share the gospel and know that we are missionaries always every second of everyday. It was really neat. Sharing the gospel with that pretend store owner so super easy and just flowed so well. It made me super excited for hungary and really thankful for the fact that I will have a trainer who will understand everything that they are saying. haha. We have been practicing tracting a ton which is good.
Dad I loved what you said in your letter about when you where in the airport in Sweden. And fun that you and mom are singing in the choir. Thanks for emailing me pictures of the dog and cat mom. I literally busted out laughing when I opened them. And the other were great too. It sounds like it was a fun ward activity. And that would be perfect if you could get the box while you are here. Let me know when the last day you can pick it up is and I will make sure it is at the place and I will give you more details about what that place is once I find out. Oh shoot I should have done that today. Ok well I'll tell you in the next email. When will you be in Utah and for how long?
Ally thanks again for doing the blog. You will probably here me say that a million times over the next 16 months but I got a letter from Susan Bell this week telling me about how much she loves it. So thank you so much.
Funny thing. Jellen has sent me two batches of family names to do endowments for. This time when he sent them he sent cinnamon rolls as a bribe. riot. So my zone has done like 40 of his family names. I am so grateful that we get to go to the temple once a week and I can't believe that I will only go 1 more time for the next 16 months of my life. Wild. It is weird to think about. I know that the blessings we receive there and the ordinances preformed there are for time and for eternity. I am so grateful to Joseph Smith who restored all of those and to the early saints who sacrificed so much so that we could partake of them. 2 sundays ago we watched mountain of the lord and that was like my favorite sunday movie as a kid. The one about the salt lake temple with wilferd woodruff. So good so I am feeling very sentimental about temples because next wednesday is my last time.
ok well I don't really know what else to say. I am fast so I am really running out of steam, especially because we can go to dinner in 10 minutes. ok glimpse into my life.
no pictures this week because I don't know where my usb thing disappered to. problem. no worries though.
do you think you could all send me a letter containing you testimony? I want to put them in my testimony journal so that I can read it through out my mission. The dear elders have funky paper so if it wouldn't be too much effort to hand write I could just tape them on in there.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
This has definitely been the best week so far at the MTC but also it has had some of the hardest points. As the Fins were preparing to leave it felt like nover and I should be leaving with them. They were are district (side note, because our district left nover and I now get to go pick up our own mail. It is the coolest. We get weird looks because we are the only sisters back there) and a huge part of my MTC stay. Then at one point I had a mild freak out. Ok not a freak out but just anxious about leaving the MTC. I didn't feel ready language wise (I still have 2 1/2 weeks left so there is time). One of our teachers picked up on it that morning and gave a spiritual thought about that when we think we will never be able to speak Hungarian or learn it that we are not showing faith in the Lord. He has called me to Hungary for a reason, and in my call letter from a prophet of God it is promised that I will preach the gospel in Hungarian. So the 30minutes of being stresssed were gone and it was all good again. It hard for me to come to the fact that in 2 1/2 weeks when I get on that plane and then land in Hungary I will probably have no idea what any one is saying to me, but I will have learned everything that I need to learn and can learn here at the MTC. So it's all good now.
Speaking of me leaving the MTC, we need to think about phone calls. I get to call home from the airport and so I'll buy a calling card here. I'll get my flight plans in a week so I'll let you know when is good for me. It will be Monday May 6th I believe. There won't be a ton of time so I probably won't be able to call everyone and I know people have work and school so yeah. The other thing is ALLY (just so your attention is drawn there) there is a free service that I can leave a box with this company in provo do you think you could pick it up? It is just things that I don't want to take like my winter coat and maybe a few articles of clothing. I'll let you know more details as we get there. Mom I'll probably mail home all the letters I have gotten while I've been here and emails (I print most of them out) because its heavy. Thank you for your letter and offering so send me things, I'll let you know next week the few thinks that I might need before I leave. The belts were super cute thanks a ton. I have never heard of Hichews and everyone was shocked that I hadn't but they are way good.
So now to the Good parts of the weeks. So we have been choosing days to SYL (speak your language) more because conceration week starts in a week which is when we are only allowed to speak Hungarian. For weeks we have been doing during breakfast and lunch and now we are doing full days and it is going really well. Our lessons have improved because of it and I don't feel as much in a rut with using the same verbs and grammer principles over and over again which is awesome. speaking of lessons. we having been teaching the commandments and are teaching the big ones like the WoW, tithing, and chastity (we teach that one later this week). and I've been taking time to think about how living each of those commandments has blessed my life and when nover and I did that we were able to teach more personally and testify more and ask better questions. Both Zsolt and Andras are in the middle of quiting smoking which is great. They are both doing pretty well and are turing to the Lord for help overcoming their addiction which is awesome. So when we taught it to Zsolt, I asked him to give us all the cigerettes in his home and he starting grabbing everything he could find around the classroom and putting it into my hands and so I ended up with this huge pile of randome stuff. It was super funny! The other teacher who plays Andras would put chalk in his mouth as smoking it was so gross!
This week I feel like I can honestly now say that I Love my companion. Some of you know that we really struggled in the beginning but now we are close and good friends. I can see how after the first week when I started praying for patience and chartiy and began turing outward rather than inward how much growth I have had over my MTC stay thus far. I know that rather than praying for her to change or to do this or that, I have prayed that I could have more patience be more understanding. It took awhile those things aren't developed over night and obviously I am still working on them but our companionship is solid now. We are able to confide in each other we teach really well together now and planning goes so much smoother. I look forward to having companionship innvetory (which during conference I totally decided my future husband and I are doing. nbd.) because we are able to talk about what we do well and what we can help each other improve on. We are now the oldest in the Zone and we are able to set a really solid example of a companionship which I think is super important because I looked up to the older people in the Branch when I first got here. I've noticed us grow the most when we SYL and also since I got my new assignment in the branch and really started focussing on the needs of the sisters rather than my needs. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father knew that this is what I needed and gave me her as a companion. I am so gratefully she was willing to come into the mtc 6 weeks early so that she could be my companion. I know that he gives us certain things in our lives so that we can learn the lessons that he wants us to learn. I know that he hears and answers our prayers.
So along that note there is a threesome in the zone that has been having serious struggles. 2 of them have cried on my shoulder til midnight two different nights (not together) which emotional takes a huge toll on me because I am like feeling of there emotions. The zone leaders have talked to me about it because they are in their district and are really concerned. So that is also why this weeks as been a struggle. But one night (I go visit all the sisters in the zone every night as their sister training leader) I shared a spiritual thought with them that my companion and I discussed during comp study in 1 Nephi 15:3-6 and it is after both Lehi and Nephi has seen the vision of the tree of life and Laman and Lemuel have yet to believe. Nephi orginially turns inward. It is woe is me because I've seen the destruction of my people (which is a horrible thing don't get me wrong and he is completely justified) but then you see a change in him. And this is the Book of Mormon according to Sister Grigg he must have realized that the Lord doesn't want us to turn inward but rather think of the needs of those around us. And then Nephi is concerned about his brothers and their trial and how they don't believe and for the next several verses he tries to help them and tells them to inquire of the Lord. Having Charity is a huge deal and takes a lifetime to develop but we can start now and I know that these past 6 weeks I have started being about to do that and I have been able to see my growth here at the MTC. I know that if these 3 sister base their action and thought about what can they do for their compainons rather than themselves then things will get better. Hopefully it will for them because then it would also make my life a lot easier :) The Albanians are great though. Yesterday as part of my assignment I got to spend the evening with a new international sister in our zone and she is from Russia. It was really cool. The devotional speaker was ELDER SCOTT. so cool. the ZLs and I couldn't sing in the choir because we had to do that but it was worth it. She's great. Elder Scott's talk was all about prayer. The thing that stood out to me the most is pray when you don't have the desire to. I remember when Dad was bishop he told me that exact samething about scripture reading. Read your scriptures when you have no desire to because that is when you need it the most. I know that is true about prayer as well. Sometimes praying is hard in the MTC because you are always expected to do it in Hungarians which is challenging and I feel like in my personal prayers I can't always express the desires of my Heart to my Heavenly Father (so I say a lot of things in English). but it is important that we still pray even when it is hard. Elder Scott also said that he wishes he could have a personal interview with each of us. I thought wow that is the coolest thing in the world to have an interview with an apostle. But then I thought that that what prayer is with our Heavenly Father. He is the coolest most awesomest guy ever and he wants me to communicate with him all the time. How lucky are we?!
Mom and Katie both sent me letters about Boston. Tuesday morning one of our teachers actually told us and I was devestating. I don't understand how individuals could do something like that. The teachers are encouraged to not really tell us about news so any details you send in a dear elder is much appreciated. I'm glad that everyone from the ward is ok. Katie said something really sweet. That she wishes I could comfort my friends back there right now, but then I thought they don't need me the best comforter ever is the Holy Ghost. Through the atonement, all of our wounds can be healed no matter the size or quantity. The atonement changes hearts and lives. I know that Christ feels all that we feel and understands it all. I don't understand how people could do something like that. Wouldn't the world be a much better place everyone understood and applied the atonement in their lives? I feel so blessed to have had parents who raised me in the gospel and a family that is so supportive of me right now. Seriously thank you for all being wonderfuly. So much love this week :)
another cool thing is Elder Scott gave us an apostolic blessing at the end it was wonder. Those things always remind me of during my last year of girls camp when President Erikson gave all the young women in the stake a blessing at the end of testimony meeting. Dad thank you for taking time on the drive home to explain to all of us what he did.
Love you all so much!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Can you believe that it has been 5 weeks? Ot het! Hungarian does not look nearly as cool when you can not put the accents and other funky things on the letters! I will probably be saying that the next several times til I leave the MTC, which by the way is in 3 1/2 weeks!
First off I keep forgetting to mention this and the district leader made me promise not to forget this time. Mom and Dad they are obsessed with the return stamp that you putt on the letters. the District leader gets the mail and so he sees the envelopes and everytime he and his companion go on and on about how cool it is.
This week has been good. The weekend has been lots and lots of sitting, like really.When you watch conference at home you can get up and get food or go to the bathroom or just stretch your legs. Not as much possible when you watch conference at the MTC in the gym bleachers. On Saturday, we went running around the MTC inbetween sessions and it was the best idea ever. Focusing for Saturday afternoon was much easier. We saw Presdient Nally and his wife and they told us we were brilliant. Also, right before that we had a question about if we could watch that MTC special and I was like lets go ask so I marched up there and then I realized wait can I just go up to the podium and ask the MTC presidency something? They were so nice though Sister Nally and I have a special connection. She might not know it exists, but I totally do. Have I told you about our other run ins? Conference was amazing though!
What was all of your favorite parts of conference?!
Dad, I totally agree with Granddad that it was the best ever :) I feel like I have always had questions answered during conference, but this time was different and not really in a way that I can put into words. I think my favorite session was Saturday morning. I loved Elder Bednar's talk about chastity, which is a funny coincidence because Elder Grigg said in his email home that that was his favorite. At first I was like I'm in the MTC that doesn't really apply to me and I was sitting next to an elder in my district and thought this might get weird. But no! It was a testament to me that you can always learn as long as you are humble and have an open heart. I learned a lot about how Satan works. He said that Satan wants a body so bad and is so resentful that we have them that he tempts us to use ours in inappropriate ways. I also loved Elder Cardon of the seventy's talk about addictions. And then I loved Elder Ballard's talk about the tomato plant and our unlimited potential and the priesthood. And of course Sunday morning when the prophet gave a shout out about Hungary??!?!? That's right Hungary matters, even though it is just my companion and I in the whole MTC learning Hungarian right now, it matters. And then of course how could you not like President Monson's story from his childhood and his talk on Obedience?! He totally rolled his eyes when giving it. Just saying. Remember all those times that you told me my eyes would get stuck like that? Our investigators "came" and really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk about believing and not necessarily knowing right at first. That one was so applicable to missionary work and investigators. PS did anyone watch the in between conference special on sunday about the MTC? I totally saw myself in the choir. Although it definitely was not worth it to stay and watch. My whole district regretted it.
There was another bat in the residence. People don't stay long at the MTC now (there aren't a lot of 9 weekers like myself or at least not on our floor of the residence) so the newbs hadn't been there for the last bat. No worries sister Grigg stayed calm cool and collected once again and called the front desk. Nbd.
Mom, thank you for the pictures. They were so you and so random.
Dad yes, my assignment is now that new one. the Sister Training Leader. At the MTC they have always had coordinating sisters but with the new assignment across the board for missions they are changing the title here. Also here you don't get callings you get assignments because we have all been already called and set apart as missionaries. Interesting right? I'm assuming it is like that in the field to. Also Dad, thank you so much for sending my your testimony. That was my favorite part of your letter :) Also I had thought that that was the first time we had a women pray in conference (I agree that I would think speaking would be a bigger deal) and I told that to my district and no one believed me expect for one elder then I got your letter and was like booya! I remember that Ally had told me that and I was surprised.
Vocal point came for the Sunday devotional! It was way fun! Such amazing singers. It is so true that music brings a special spirit. You know that verse in D&C about the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me. I know that we will be blessed for singing because when it is just Maxfield Nover, me, and our teacher singing at the beginning of the day in Hungarian (which is hard let me tell you) I feel that spirit. I actually really enjoy singing in Hungarian now! And I am beginning to love the language. We had a language assessment for portal study this week and it was super discouraging and we talked about it later with a teacher and I realized that in lessons with Zsolt and Andras, I feel like I do well in speaking the language because we have the spirit with us. We are teaching the gospel of Christ so of course my Hungarian would be better than! Speaking of Zsolt and Andras we got Zsolt to commit to a baptismal date and he is now working towards it. They both smoke and tonight we are teaching Zsolt about the Word of Wisdom and will start to help him overcome his addiction to cigarettes. Much harder to do in Hungarian, I must say. We figured out why andras has been hesitating and he poured his soul out to us about his childhood. It made me realize how important it is to get to know the people you teach so that you ensure that you are teaching people rather than lessons.
Tuesday's devotional was about revelation from Gerald N Lund. The thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that one of the reasons spiritual impressions come as impressions, thoughts, and feeling rather than a loud voice or vision is to protect our agency. Same with why an explanation doesn't come with it or detailed instructions. What I took aways was the fact that I need to be grateful for the small thoughts and feels the Spirit does give me rather than coveting bigger revelatory experiences. I need to seek more inspiration and revelation on that level rather than hoping and praying for it to be grander.
Ok well peace and blessings! I hope that you all had a great week and that this coming week will be wonderful as well!
Love you all and miss you,
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Happy Easter Family!
How did you all celebrate Easter?!
I hope you all had a fabulous Easter! Mine was very different than past ones. First off it was fast Sunday. Rough but so worth every hungry moment. And it made the Sees candy that Mom and Dad send so much better once I broke my fast. We had testimony meeting with our normal branch and then a giant sacrament meeting with the whole MTC and can I just say that was one of the neatest experiences of my life over 3000 missionaries. Bishop Causse, the presiding bishop, came and spoke and so did his wife. His English was excellent and she said that we all understand how she feels because many of us are learning another language. So true. It was really neat because then later that night after the devotion (who was Sheri Dew...can I just say I am soo blessed?!) we get to chose a recording of previous MTC devotionals to go watch and we went to an Elder Utchdorf one and his wife has an accent as well and she said the same exact thing. It is so true and I know that the Lord is helping us all with our language so that we can share the gospel with others. What matters more though is the spirit and when they were both speaking they were speaking to us with the spirit. Bishop Causse quoted Les Mis and then Sheri Dew showed and old candid camera video so its like I wasn't really at the MTC. It was a great day! Back to the sacrament part. It is like every Sunday we celebrate Easter because we are remembering the Atonement and bread and water of symbolic of Christ. Easter feels more like a time of starting over to me than New Years does because of that reason. And how amazing is it that we can experience that same feeling of rebirth and starting over all the time because of the Atonement? Something my branch president said is that through the Atonement our highs get higher and we still have lows but those get higher as well over time. What a great thought! I know that is true because I have seen is in my own life. This week has really been a testament to me of how much the Lord loves us and how mindful he is of each of us. He knows us, our needs and wants.
Mom and Dad thank you so much for the Easter Package because lets be honest Easter is about Christ and Sees candy right? (especially those chocolate eggs) and the conference Package! Imagine my surprise when I got a package slip at lunch and at dinner! So great. The sisters I live with oood and awwed over the conference package, which I loooved! You mentioned earlier that I need to keep up with my journal, but it me. I am almost done with the first journal.... problem. So if you ever feel like you want to send me something you could send me a pack of those moleskin journals I love and if you want to included the 2 skinny belts from my closet the brown and black braided ones those would be much appreciated. Dad don't worry the ones you got me for Christmas are being used. One is where I've had leaving missionaries write a little note. Loved the story about Billy.
Ok so yesterday's devotional was amazing! It was Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the seventy and he talked about enduring to the end. And that phrase has always reminded me of you, Mom, because of your name. You always said it in reference to “ette” like the end of you name. So that's a fun connection. Ok but he talked a lot about how we go on missions and the teach us how to endure to the end and then we teach our children and they teach their children. And a mission is where God teaches you everything you need to endure to the end for the rest of your life. He said that elder andersen came when he was a mission president in Korea and told those missionaries that how you judge how good a mission president is by the missionaries he teaches grandchildren. The whole devotional made me think about Grandma a lot because he talked about the plan of salvation and how missions prepare you for the greatest work ever which will be done within the walls of your homes. and then this morning I read Granddad's wonderful email to me and I almost bawled. But I kept it together. Ok so this made me think about Grandma because imagine how amazing her mission president must have been because she then went on 2 more mission with Granddad and look how many of her grandchildren have served missions and look how many more are in the process of going! It was amazing. And I felt her with me when I went through the temple and I feel like she is watching over me every day since I've got to the MTC. He said that when you have hard times think about your family who prays for you at home so I just want to thank all of you for that! And I know that there are others on the other side of the veil who are doing the same thing, like Grandma is. After Tuesday's devotionals we have district devotional review with the district and a member of the branch presidency and their wife and it was such a good one this week. Enduring to the end is probably the most important of the doctrine of Christ and it is the one as missionaries we do not get to see in our converts. It is a continual process of the first two principle of the gospel. Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement and repentance. The gospel is perfect. That's all I need to say.
Last night the Branch President asked me to fill the role of coordinating sister for our branch. This means that when we get a new bunch of missionaries in the zone. I go with the zone leaders and we orient them a bit on Thursday night. Every night I will go visit all the sisters in the zone and make sure everything is good and report to the branch presidency. That part is going to take out huge chunks of my journaling time every night but I know it will be worth it. Also it takes out of class time during the week but since I am doing well with Hungarian that will be ok.
Wild thing, this morning when we went to our assigned temple session you will never guess who I saw there?! Tori Cornelison and her mom! Wild. The Mormon world is a small one. Speaking of temples a friend mailed me family names to do for him both male and female and the elders in my district were ecstatic to get them. Family History is great!
I didn't even mention my investigators! ok well since I guess that are just my teachers pretending it isn't that big of a deal. we asked Zsolt to read the first 2 chapters in the book of mormon because they are about a family following the Lord's will for them and we are trying to get him to see the importance of brining his family to church (he couldn't come to church this week but Andras came and loved it, they don't really come we invite and then in the next lesson after the weekend we say how was church we don't even give them the opportunity to say the weren't there...sneaky) and meeting with us and things. and he read all of first Nephi but then did read what we asked him to this last time. so there is something going on and hopefully tonight we will figure it out. Andras is doing well but there is something holding both of them back from baptism because they say they both don't know enough but that is an excuse.
I am beyond excited for conference. We get to watch the Young Women's broadcast while the elders go to priesthood. I've heard it is good! it will be different watching it here but good and then Sunday I have training for my assignment as coordinating sister.
Ok well peace and blessings
I forgot to tell you the April Fools joke our teach played on us. He came in and said. Did you hear the good news? and we were like that you can email anyone not in your mission friends and family? and he was like no that your branch president got a call from the mission president in Hungary and the moved up your departure date. You are leaving in two weeks. My heart literally stopped. I thought I was going to faint. The only thing I would be able to tell them is that God love them and recite the first vision (that is right I totally have it memorized) (ok I'm exaggerating a little) I am super gullible. and we went on for a minute or two and he told us a week ago that they have basically taught us all the grammar principles because there is only 2 of us so they can go fast. So I believed them then I remembered it was April Fools and called him on it. It was all good after. But still heart sziv stopped.
|Sister Grigg's district|
|The sisters Sister Grigg lives with|
|Enjoying some Easter candy|