So, I am alive and well and living in Budapest. Weird, right? I'm currently emailing you all from this super sketchy internet place in Kispest right now--which makes for a drastic change from the University in Szeged we used to email at haha.
This week has been kind of insane, I feel like I say that every week, but, seriously, this week was crazy. I went from a big city to an even BIGGER city, I'm pretty sure we're the biggest area in the mission. I'm in a ward, which is definitely a change. Not just any ward, either, but the only international ward here in Hungary--meaning they translate all of the meetings into English and there are a bunch of people who walk around with groovy looking listening devices in their ears, which is about as different to me as the fact that OHMYGOSHTHEREAREAMERICANSINOURWARD. On Sunday, one of the men blessing the Sacrament was an American so he said the Sacrament prayer in English. First time I'd heard that in a loooong time.
On the flipside, while I have never heard so much English or met so many English speakers in my mission LIFE, it has been quite the game-changer having a Hungarian companion. The second people know she's Hungarian and she'll understand whatever--they go at it. And I'm just sitting there like: oh, dang. It's been good, though, especially in getting more language practice. Geröly Nővér has been really diligent at learning English on her mission and helps me out a lot. She's only been a member for about two and a half years, and has been out on her mission for a little over a year, so she's really amazing.
It's honestly been a really funny companionship, though, because whenever we talk to people they never seem to believe us that one of us is American and the other is Hungarian. It doesn't matter that one of us has the language skills of someone who has been learing Hungarian for five and a half months and the other has the skills of someone who has been speaking their whole life--according to the people of Pest we either both have to be Hungarian or both have to be American. It was really funny, we were talking to this man the other day and I was like: "I'm from Virginia." And she was like: "I'm from Szombathely." And the man was like, "But what country?" And she said: "Uhhh...Hungary. Szombathely, Hungary." And was like, "No, you don't understand what I'm asking, where in AMERICA are you from?" Haha good stuff.
Also, the Sister Training Leader situation is pretty weird. We have two Sister Training Leaders here in Hungary, they're just not companions. One is in Buda and the other is in Pest...and is my companion! The weird thing is once a week the STLs go down to some part of the country and go on splits with another set of sisters. So that means once a week my companion leaves to go on splits with the other STL and I'm companions with the other STL's companion for practically two days every week. Oh, yeah, and since I'm in Buda and she's in Pest ALL OF BUDAPEST is our area during that time. Was that a confusing way of explaining things? Probably. Don"t worry--it confuses me, too.
Anywho, this week has been super hard, super intense, and really amazing. I witnessed the baptism of a father and son--the mother had been waiting and praying for years for her husband to join the church. I taught my first "kezdő" (beginner) English class here in Pest--which requires significantly better language skills to teach than the proficient class I taught in Szeged. Two of our investigators accepted baptismal challenges this week. I bore my testimony in Hungarian in front of a ward. I SYL aaaalll day with my companion to get better at the language. We run to all of our appointments. I'm basically dead on my feet by the end of the day, we've been working so hard.
When I left the MTC, my goal for my mission was to accept any task that will take me beyond myself. And Pest--Pest has definitely done that. So it's been good. It's been really good.
Tudom hogy a Mormon könyve igaz!