Contrary to the pictures I'm sending home, this week has been very cold, and very rainy. Which has actually been pretty hilarious because the Hungarian roads and side walks aren't really equipped to deal with that much water which makes for some MASSIVE PUDDLES. It was cute after, like, day two, but on about day four of rain I was like, "Holy snikes, how is this a thing??"
Anyways, (you can probably see this coming from a mile away) but there was this GIANT PUDDLE on the side of the road and I was walking on the sidewalk and this car came by and I saw--I SAW--what was going to happen in my mind but I just couldn't get out of the way in time AAND--old-school-movie-style was just drenched. By a giant tidal wave of car-puddle-nastiness-splash. But I followed it up by singing my own rendition of "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter, so we're all good. Hahaha
In other news, missions are really funny. In case you didn't know that. They're like this weird sucking hole of time-warp wherein you're both like: WHOA I cannot believe I've been here a whole month, it feels like I've been here, at max, two days, while simultaneously being like: I can't believe I've been here a month, I've been here practically my whole life.
Also, with sleeping. I've heard about missionaries falling asleep while saying their prayers, but all I can really say to that is: the struggle is real. I've literally woken up, unaware what time it is, cold and afraid at the side of my bed while I haphazardly and semi-consciously crawl into the covers.
Sleeping is also hilarious on the mission when comparing it to how it was in college. In college I would be like, "Wow! I just finished the first page of my eight page paper! Way to go! I will now reward myself with two episodes of Supernatural on Netflix and a three hour nap." On the mission it's like: "Last P-Day I got a solid twenty-six minute nap in--meaning I should be good for the next couple months. Yeah!" Hahaha
Okay my favorite funny story of the week, though: So we have this member and she's way cool. She's Hungarian, but she served her mission in Finland, but since she went to the Provo MTC for twelve weeks and had all American mission companions, she also speaks English. So she speaks Hungarian, Finnish, and English. She is just super cool, and super strong, obviously loves the missionaries and is going to the University of Szeged right now. Anyways, she has this thing that when we go into Relief Society she tells all the other sisters, "I will translate for the greenie" (that would be me) and then proceeds to commentate on the entire meeting in English for me. Some gems are, "I don't know vat she say. It not make any sense. She just talking." or "This lady going to cry. Watch. I promise. She going to cry." or "I hate this meeting. I love the Sunday school--but the women meeting is so boring." or even, "I vould tell you what she saying now, but is very weird. So I don't." Hahahaha oh, man.
And finally, I would like to share with you something I like to call:
The Parable of the New Branch House
So, the new branch house has been a super amazing missionary tool. Though it's still in a nice area of town, people still just stop to look at it and admire it all the time--it's so gorgeous (plus, it has a really nice, really green, backyard that I think catches Europeans off-guard).
As the missionaries, we've had a ton of opportunites to take investigators, less-actives, and members alike on a tour of the new branch house. And we've given quite a number of them. They all pretty much go the same way. We take them to the different rooms, they like to play around on the different pianos a bit, or talk about how cool the giant coat closet is, or how crazy it is that we have an elevator. Lots of times they like to sit in the branch president's office or look in the shiny silver microwave in the kitchen or at all the things in the cupboards. Everyone is a fan of the new TV they have, and the big mirror by the baptismal font. And it's pretty cool. We always end in the chapel and leave them with a spirtual thought and talk about how long the people of Szeged have been praying for this building--and that for ten years they've been trying to get enough attendance in Sacrament Meeting to have this building built, and it's always pretty touching.
But this week we took one of our investigators on a tour. She's preparing to be baptized next month and she's just this wonderfully sweet spirit. And we took her around--and it was just clear how different this tour was. She stopped at every single picture of Christ. She asked for the story behind every single one of the paintings. She DEMANDED the story behind each one of them. She didn't talk about how cool the spiral staircase was--but instead said she loved the way that they paint Christ. "He always looks so regular, but there's always something so special about him. I love it." She paused at the paintings that I had seen so many others just walk by as we took them on their tours. And I was just super humbled.
Because that's just it. It's not about a building. It's never been about the building. And it's a beautiful thing that the members have been working for so hard and so long to earn this building, but I think our investigator really showed how it didn't really matter. Of course the new building is this oasis of peace in the middle of Szeged. Of course the new building is the enviroment where we want the branch members to grow and commune together. But it's not about the building.
It's about the people inside the building. And the sacred ordinances that take place. And the meetings that happen. And the washing clean from sin---and just that little piece of white bread and that little cup of clean water we partake in every week. And it doesn't matter if it takes place in a shack in the middle of Nowheresville, Hungary or a multi-million dollar complex, because that's what it's about.
And I think it's cool to wonder: what kind of tour would mine be?
And just take a moment to make sure it would be exactly the one I want it to be.
Anywho, I love you all to the moon and back. And then back again. I'm no scientist--but I know that's quite the distance.
Tudom hogy a Mormon könyve igaz!