Ah, it feels like just yesterday we were taking awkward photos in the middle of the Richmond airport with the only seemingly normal photo of Ian we seem to own. In other words, I can't believe I hit ONE MONTH! Fastest/longest month OF MY LIFE. In the MTC, one week is a day and every day is a week. TRUTH. Wowza. One month in the MTC and one year in Utah--in the same week. If you had told me getting off that plane last August, "Hiya! You're going to be home in Richmond a grand total of eighteen days between now and January of 2016!" I definitely wouldn't have believed you. But I love Utah. And I love Hungary. And here we are. Holy snikes!
So---fun stories of the week!
1.)What's the worst week to be stuck in the MTC Devotional Overflow room? THE WEEK THOMAS S. MONSON COMES TO THE MTC.
Haha I totally gotcha. Just kidding. That's just what I tell myself so I feel less bad that my zone got stuck in MTC overflow the week Jenny Oaks Baker came to play for us. That girl is mad good at the violin.
2.)We had our first Sacrament meeting in Hungarian, Finnish, Albanian, Estonian, and English. Fun factoid for ya: in the MTC, the branch president can pick on ANYONE at random to get up at that very moment and speak in their mission language for Sacrament Meeting, though normally you don't get called on until closer to the end of your stay at the MTC. One guess who was SURE that they weren't going to have to go up and speak this week because branch president only picks two missionaries a week and there are six Finns who haven't spoken yet who are leaving next week---in addition to the eleven other Hungarian, ten Albanians, and three Estonians. One guess as to who President Hutchings smiled at so sweetly and said,"...will now speak to us on the topic of faith in Christ in the Hungarian language." If you guessed Sister Christa Carle--BING BING BING! We have a winner. And that's the story of how I gave six Sacrament Meeting talks in the span of one year--one of which was in Hungarian.
3.) I know you've been hanging on to the edges of your seat since last week, but you can totally calm down--because I found another basketball buddy! It's actually a really great story, but I'm short on time and will have to tell it next week(gotta keep you coming back somehow!)
4.) The Romanian rumors are no longer rumors! Coming To Your Local Hungarian Mission This Fall: Hungarian Missionaries In Romania! (**a story to be continued--I'm sure**)
Okay! So in celebration of my one month I'm going to give you ways you (yes, you!) can replicate my MTC experience for the past month:
1.) Sing "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas, "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," from Annie, or "Don't Stop Believing," by Journey, ON REPEAT FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH (throw in a couple EFY songs/hymns for good measure.) Seriously though, rotate through the different options--but still sing them enough that everyone that has had to spend an extended period of time with you has considered injuring you at one point or another. I mean, translate certain lyrics into Hungarian to mix it up a bit for good measure, but since these songs are stuck in your head (and have been for the past month) make sure to sing your little heart out.
2.) Have this conversation:
Person: Hi, there! Where are you from?
You: Richmond, Virginia.
Person: Well, that's interesting! You don't get that very often. And your companion?
You: Uh, Richmond, Virginia.
Them: Well, if that just isn't the funniest thing I've heard all day! You two know each other then?
You: Actually, funny story, we don't.
Them: Isn't that the darndest thing! Heavenly Father must have been waiting and waiting for you to meet. And how strange that you've never met, you're from the same place AND you have the same last name!
Now repeat. Seven or eight times a day. All day. Every single day.
3.) Study as hard as you possibly can to the point where you are physically exhausted.Take a dose of Moroni 7:45 everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, so that you can focus on trying to love everyone around you--and the people of Hungary with all your heart. Read, translate, speak, pray, and breathe in Hungarian. And when you want to throw in the towel and quit because you're always going going going going and you can't even think straight, think, "I will never look back and say: Wow. I wish I hadn't worked so hard on my mission. I wish I hadn't given it everything I have for eighteen straight months. That will never EVER EVER happen." And translate one more verse. Say one more prayer. Teach one more lesson. Learn one more word.
I love you all. I miss you all and your beautiful faces. I pray for you everyday. Every letter I get helps buoy me up, spiritual thoughts or otherwise. I miss you something fierce, and I want you all to know that as fall comes and the changes with it, I'm thinking about you and remembering you.
Tudom hogy a Mormon könvye igaz!
p.s. Send me letters! Anything and everything! I love it, no matter what it says, I promise! Write me, emberek!