Mailing address

Current address:
15/2/1 Atilla utca
Gyor 9023

~Postage is 98 cents~

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday August 30, 2010

Hey mommy pick up the phone.
Well this week was pretty good. We worked pretty hard and got a lot of the appartment de-junked. It's one of those appartments where the missionaries have been here for years and so it had a lot of old things that were not needed.
We also wanted to work hard this week because tomorrow we head up to Budapest for 3 days. They are changing the way that they will train the new missionaries coming into the MTC around April. So every mission is now getting trained on the stuff that they will teach the new missionaries, so that we know it by the time they even start the training in the MTC. The training will be long, but I think that I will like it. I always love zone conferences because, let's say, it puts that gas on my fire. I get really excited to get back out and work and do stuff like that. I know that I can do it. As the senior companion I am the example and want to make sure that the work here goes well, so I need to work hard in order to do so. I have really come to know what you guys have been talking about. It's a lot easier to just go out and do what you need to do than to try and figure ways out of it, or short cuts, just to find out that you still have the same stuff to do. So I am glad that you guys have always taught me to be like that. It is really paying off and I'm still getting better. I sure am glad that I came out here to learn all this for myself. We as people can train and tell people whatever we want, but for the most part, most people don't really learn things like this until they get out and experience them. So I see why this is such a great learning experience for so many people. Yes its not easy, but how would we learn if it was easy.

Elder Johnson and I are having a blast. We can laugh and joke around with each other and we get along way well, work well together... Today we will go to the guitar store and play some electric guitar, I hope that we get to have two or more transfers together. I think that it would be way nice to have that happen. Then we wouldn't have to worry about all the transfer stuff, we could just keep going with what we've got going.
His learning of the language is going actually pretty well, I think that he will surpass me sooner than he thinks. He is a great go-getter, and has a great knack for knowing who to stop. We have been pretty successful with finding and I think that it's a direct result of being obedient and working hard. If we do that then we are placed in front of those people that are ready to hear the gospel or at least meet with us.
Ya we are running every morning and am feeling ok. I would like to run a lot more and work out harder when I get home though. That P 90 X all the way through and run, man I'll be lookin really good at the end of next summer.

Well, I'll talk to you guys next week.
Love you~

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday August 23, 2010

Well Debrecen is the second biggest city in the country and is really pretty. It is another college town so lots of opportunities to talk to young, well put-together, intelligent people. We have programs every week that the senior couple puts on. It's a nice way to still work and relax a little bit almost every night while we can talk to members, non-members etc....
I really am drawing a blank on what to say. I'll try my best. I don't really know the city too much because since I got here a majority of the time I haven't been here or having to work.
Wednesday was tranfers and so we got here and because the trip is so long it was basically the night. Then after that, Friday was a super p day and so we got to go to the flower festival where all of the people go every year here. It's a really big thing in Hungary and I heard about it and then was lucky enough to be here for it when it happened.
Then after that we had church and stuff on Sunday. I was lucky enough to be told on Saturday morning that I had a talk and also have to help the senior elder in his meeting before church. I translate for him. Translating is harder than I thought. I can understand it but trying to put it together into English is another story. I think that it is easier translating the other way into a simpler form.
The talk went well and I had lots of fun being able to get up there and see all the new members in a different way than normal. I got to stand before them and tell them whatever I felt like I needed to before I knew them personally.
Well then today I spent all of the day up in Budapest cause Elder Johnson had to go complete some of the visa stuff to be able to stay in the country. So while all of the missionaries did that, the senior comps went and had fun. Elder Mason and I went to the guitar store down in Kispest. The guy that owns it ended up being an investigator after he and Houstman went in on a few p days. He is the guy that gave Elder Houstman his Uklele. So it was nice to be on an electric guitar and just feel the power level that it has over a dang little acoustic. It was freakin sweet.

I'll tell a little bit about my comp-
He is from Rigby, idaho and is the oldest of 3 boys in his family. We get along way well and we both have a few things in common. He likes guitar and so do I. We just get to work and all kinds of stuff really well. We have set some good goals to get some things going. He played football in high school, he played nose guard and line backer. He says that his job as the nose blocker was to make sure that the other team couldn't hit his teamates in the nose. He also says he did really well cause no one got a bloody nose the whole season. I think that might have been a school record, too.
I have been keeping track of all the people that I was a part of teaching. I know how important all this is to these people and so I want to remember them and when it all happened. I am hoping and working for some more pretty soon here. I don't think that we have any coming soon, but we got a few really good finds. One guy came in after English class and asked about our church because he said that he lived in this city a long time ago and has been in England, but never knew that there was a church built around here. So we talked to him and he said that he would like to come to church when we are holding our meetings so we told him when and so he and his GF came on Sunday and we are meeting with them on Tuesday and will have lots of hope for him. I think that people are meant to run into certian people at certian times. If you know what I mean, I have a strong testimony about that.
Well I hope that you have a great week and tell everyone hi for me. I sure miss them over there, but I am glad that I'm out here. I have learned so much that you can't even tell. It's just one of those things that you'll have to see in me when I get back. It's hard for me to really tell you myself, but I definitely do feel a big difference.
Love Josh

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Debrecen, Hungary

- Total 461.25 km2 (178.1 sq mi)
Population (2010)
- Total 207,270▲
- Density 442.53/km2 (1,146.1/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC1)
- Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 4000
Area code(s) 52

"Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary after Budapest. Debrecen is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the capital of Hajdú-Bihar county. The name was first mentioned by the name "Debrezun" in 1235. Like most of Hungary, Debrecen has a rich, full, history. In 1849 Debrecen was the capital of Hungary for a short time. During World War II, Debrecen was almost completely destroyed, 70% of the buildings suffered damage, 50% of them were completely destroyed. A major battle, the Battle of Debrecen, occurred near the city in October 1944. After 1944 the reconstruction began and Debrecen became the capital of Hungary for a short time once again."

Deri Museum:

Csokonai Theatre:

Kossuth Square:

County House:


Yes, this is a McDonald's!

The "Great Church":

Ethnic groups (2001 census)
Magyars - 94.7%
Roma - 0.5%
Others - 0.8%
No answer - 4%

Calvinist - 38.7%
Roman Catholic - 15.4%
Greek Catholic - 8.2%
Lutheran - 0.5%
Others - 1.5%
Atheist - 24.8%
No answer - 10.9%

(information and photos taken from Wikipedia,shared with permission via creative commons.)

Monday August 16, 2010

Well another transfer has gone by. That's so crazy. Now I am in my 10th transfer. Only 5 more after that and then you guys will be here and I'll be at home after that. It goes by so quick.
This week I reread the talk by Elder Uchtdorf about patience. It was really good. It made me think a lot about how I can better use my time here. I am doing the work and doing what I can, but more of how I can be different and more effective as I do the things that I am supposed to with a different approach.
I had a nice long talk with Houstman, too, about a new transfer and a new place meaning a new slate to work all of that stuff out. How to better improve myself and be 100% obedient instead of 90%. I really saw a big difference in him when he came back to help for splits and so I really wanted to see myself like that. He is a great AP (assistant to the President) and has been one of my greatest friends out here. I'll room with him for sure up at BYU. But he has really grown in the little bit of time that we spent apart. He has become a great role model for me and said that it has partly been his commitment to be perfectly obedient this last transfer. I can't believe that he already goes home this next transfer. I'm going to miss him, but I'm sure we'll keep in touch. I have just gone through a lot of change this last week, but all for the better. I am anxious to see what I am at the end of my mission and to see how much it has helped me in my life. I know it will. As I grew up you guys know that my testimony was shaky and iffy and I wondered if this is really what I want. Out here I have come to realize that I want nothing else. I love this church and all the things that it has given to me. I have gained a stronger desire to take my wife to the temple and so have my kids grow up in the church and have them be as happy as I am because of the choices I have made in my life to get me to the point that I am at right now. I know where I stand with certain things. We have all messed up and made mistakes, but we can always get better. As I have come to realize the atonement better, I have gained more of a desire to change for the better. So I am spending the rest of my mission going about things in a different way. I am not only going to work harder over in Debrecen, which is where I am going by the way, with the other Elder Johnson, whose mom got ahold of you by the way, but I am going to learn how to better control myself. Learn how to constantly be better and love everyone that I come across. I want to be a good example and have many more friends out in this mission. I want to take care of my wife and kids the right way. The way I see it is if I dont have control over myself then how will I be able to take care of other people that way and teach them those things that are important in life.
So like I said, I will be in Debrecen and I think that I will be having a great time there. I heard that it's a really great city and there are lots of good people there so I hope make it better. This week was a really good learning experience for me and even though it was a little long I bet I will be a lot better in the future because of it.
I accidentally shocked myself this week while was trying to pull a plug out of the wall. The converter was plugged into my camera's battery charger and so when I tried to get both of them out the charger came out and still had a little charge to it and got me on the finger. It felt weird and stung for a while but I'm better now.
I will let you know what Debrecen is like a little bit later when I, too, know more about it.
Love you guys and hope that you have a good week.
Love Josh

Monday August 9, 2010

Whats up,

Well the trip was way relaxing and I got to hang out with Elder Mason for the most part. It was cool to spend the day up in Budapest with a bunch of other missionaries. Also now as Elder Houstman being the AP he gave a training with his new comp and it was really, really good. It really helped me want to be better, like every zone conference, but this was really cool. I loved serving with him. I think that it will be really cool to room with him up at BYU if i make it there. I really hope that I get in there. When I am going it's going to be during the January semester, and not as many people are applying at that time as they are compared to August.

On Tuesday we went up to a little city called Szentendre (if I spelled it right) and there we went to this little town within it that is like a museum called Skanzen. It was pretty wierd that there is just a like square mile town fenced off and it was like going back into the middle ages. There were little huts with like hay roofs and what not. It wasn't the most fun thing but pretty interesting.

But there was another part to the whole thing. We went to the Szentendre town and it was basically a walking street with tons of little shops set up and thing like that, I didnt really get anything except a cool looking shirt that looks like a Hungarian soccer jersey. I think that it's pretty sweet. I'll send a pic of it some time.
Well we basically just walked around the little stores looking at things and then went home.
It wasn't a huge thing. It was nice to hang out with Houstman again. I stayed in the mission home for some time after the trip because we planned to go on splits after ZC (zone conference), so the ZL (zone leader) was going to take us home instead of us having to take the train home. But because in Pápa they started a game day, they wanted to get an American football for it, so they took my comp and then the ZL and his comp went out to get one and they called me and told me that they would be back about a half hour later but it ended up being about an hour and a half and so when the APs, being the last people in the mission home, had to leave they went to drop me off with the President and then they got back. So we didn't end up getting home until about 10:30 after getting up that morning at about 4 AM. Long day but was nice to have some good trainings and some down time after a while with a bunch of other missionaries. Other than that, there wasnt much going on this week. There was this one guy that Elder Johnson stopped that was pretty jerky to us. We told him our names and then he was like, "Oh you're the Mormons, huh? Well you guys are the ones with all those wives in America, huh?" We told him that it isn't us, and he was like, "ya it is." I knew about one of your people that came here and took some girl and locked her up, then she had to call for help a lot before the guy would finally let her go." We tried to explain that we have no idea what hes talking about and then he was like, "No this is how it is" and walked off. Johnson and I just looked at eachother like, uh we are Mormons and he has no idea what's up. How does he claim to know more about us than we do. lol It was a funny experience that was really weird at the same time.
Well I love you guys. If you were going to send the package to the Győr home I would hold it off or send it to the mission home cause transfer calls are already next week, Dang.
Love Josh

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Well as a mission this week it was a goal to have each companionship get 30 finding and teaching hours. So my comp and I made goals to make sure that we work hard and get things done. Never on my mission have I had to go tracting for 5 hours straight and especially as the senior comp, but seeing it was concecration week and we needed to get some people to find and had nothind else to do, we did it. We didn't get much out of it, just a few maybes, but we will see. We only got 28 hours but that's better than the 20 or so from the previous week and the 25 the week before. So improvement in any form is really good. I feel really comfortable in the lingo too. I love when I just naturally understand a lot of what people are saying without really even trying. I can just listen like I would in English, just let it in and then respond without much thought. I still have much room for improvement, but I know being the senior comp now, I run the programs a lot more than before. I am glad that Elder Johnson isn't afraid to speak though. One thing that really held me back is that I used to be one of those people that wouldn't do something unless was sure it was going to work. It held me back with lots of things when I was at home, but I know that now I am getting better at making good decisions as they come. Not really just winging things, but not being afraid to just get out and do. So when I started just saying things whether is was right or not, I really saw lots of improvement. I know that with the time that I have left I will get to have many chances to grow. This week has really shown me that it's not much harder to just get out and do the work than to wonder how it can be better. It's all my choice and I think that I have really learned to apply that this week. It's my choice to do what I want and be what I want. Not just what work field do I want to go into, but more like it's my choice to be happy and sad. Yes some things effect it for bad or good, but I have been a little better by just getting out there and trying. It's a lot better to sit at the end of the week saying that I tried instead of 'well that week sucked'. lol
So things are going better. I have you guys. Things will be wonderful when I get home, but I am in one of those moods right now where I am just glad I have made the right choices to come and because of it I am happier. I never would have gotten to meet anyone in this amazing branch or anything, and I know I wouldnt have been able to grow to what I am now. It's hard for me to explain the differences, but I am sure that you guys will see them when I get home.

I really hope that dad can come get me. I think that it would be great to have both of you come, but if nothing else at least dad. I think that I will serve in Pest next, only cause I have hinted to the APs, one of which was my last and one of my favorite comps. lol but well see. I go where they need me. It's how it works. I want you guys to come so that I can introduce you to this ward and so that you can see me talking with the people in their language. You have never seen me talk to a Hungarian and so I think that it would be cool to have you guys see that when you come out. Then we will get to visit some more family that I would never have met otherwise....maybe. But you know. It's always fun to have Kolja come over and show some pics to me of dad when he was on his mission, and then when he met Kolja when he was a little 8 year old boy with dad around my age, and also with Raimund too.

Well as for tomorrow I finally get to see Elder Mason after like transfers. I have wanted to see that guy for a long time. He is one of my best friends out here. I am so glad that I got to meet so many amazing friends out here. Missionaries or members here in Hungary. He told me that if you guys come get me, he wants to come too. lol. IDK it would be fun. We have the ZC tomorrow that I told you about. All I really know is that it's going to be a long fun day. ZC is usually from about 10-4 but because of the field trip its going to be from 9-6 and that doesn't include travel to and from Budapest. We are going to have some of the trainings in the morning and then around noon we will get going to have a bus tour around Budapest and then go visit some famous little villages near the big city. So I'll take lots of pics and see if there is anything cool to buy.

I will tell you guys more next week about what the ZC is like and all.
I hope that you have a cool week.
Well I love you guys and miss you a lot.
Have a wonderful week.
Love Josh