Last week was super crazy! The 20th of August is St. Stephan's Day. Not sure who he is or what he did but he must have been pretty important.
August 20th is the greatest national holiday for Hungarians, celebrated with day-long festivities followed by spectacular fireworks throughout the country. It commemorates the foundation of the Hungarian state, it's like Hungary's 4th of July. Also called as St. Stephen's Day, remembering Stephen I, the first king of Hungary and founder of the Kingdom of Hungary, who was canonized on August 20th, 1083 by Pope Gregory VII.Really fun though, they have a carnival and a parade and all sorts of fun stuff.
We enjoyed the carnival here in Debrecen which is world famous. It was super great and lots of fun. We got to run amok during the day, so that was fun :)
We got the boxes and holy crap they were super awesome!
The letters were super awesome!
Please give everyone my email address so I can write them on pdays! (firstname.lastname@example.org) Elder Whiting was super excited and we have been eating candy for days.. hahaha. Goldfish are always a appreciated, mine are gone now >_<
The money made it just fine. That was a lot she sent! Sister Staggie you rock!
We had a solid week with plenty of work to do so that has kept us pretty busy. Monday we had 6 member present programs! That is one less then what we had the entire week before. This week we didn't have any baptisms. It is transfers this week though, I survived the cuts but my companion didn't. The three sisters got split, Sister Jensen the trainer is being pulled out and sent to Budapest. They will be getting another sister here though (can't remember who) and so it will remain a threesome.
The sisters are getting camera shy
They both head out tomorrow. I'll miss Elder Whiting a whole bunch. He is a super great guy and has really helped me out a lot. We have done a lot of really good work together here. He is getting transferred to Erd. He will be training another missionary just like he did me. I will be remaining here in Debrecen. I was pretty sure I was the one getting called away and not him but I guess my staying is what the Lord needed.
I will be going into Budapest tomorrow with Elder Whiting to drop him off and to pick up my new companion. It's a three hour train ride. My new companion will will be Elder Zwingli.
I have already met with him a few times and am pretty excited about getting him as my new companion. He and Elder Whiting were in the MTC together and were companions. I really hope things will go well here in Debrecen with this new change. I am glad I'll get to stay here a little longer too. We got pretty lucky here with the Steels.
They go home in January, you gotta look them up and take them out to dinner some time! They only live in Utah, not too far away.
Our closest temple is in southern Germany. It takes a lot for members to get out to the temple here, but the church helps organize bus trips to get there. Before I reported to the MTC, I only went to the temple one time. It was difficult for me to appreciate. It wasn't what I was expecting. I didn't go back til I got into the MTC. There we went once a week. I know the temple is a big blessing but it's also something I wasn't quite ready for, at the time. During my time at the MTC, I really learned to love it! The last time I went before leaving for Hungary, I really felt I was going to miss it for the next two years, and I have!
I feel strengthened every day by God and the gospel but I also feel weighed down because of the fact that we as missionaries are waist deep in so much of the filth in the world, trying desperately to pull people out. The temple is one place we can go that we can just put that all aside. I really have come to love it there a lot more!
Super glad to hear that you ran into Kevis! If you can try and get his email for me I would love to email him! No, mom, I haven't heard from Ricky. Tell Amanda she is awesome, I love her and Kyle and am super glad for them to be moving into their own home and so close!
NAOMI, WAY TO GO! Super proud to see my little sister (mine craft) crafting it up! I am going to have to email Jon! When is his Bday exactly? (some best friend right?) I really appreciated the office supplies. Nice little notebooks like Becca sent are supper awesome. So, send him some of those things! Lots of pens and stuff...and goldfish!
I love you so much and wish I could be there to help out more! You are wonder woman so keep it up! I love you so much mom! I miss everyone all so much! Remember two years really isn't all that long. Before you know it I'll be home again.
Elder Oakes and his buddy, Marton
Elders Oakes and Whiting with branch members, Kaity and Kaitika, mother and daughter
The Elders with Csaba, an investigator
Elder Oakes and Whiting with Imola, a super nice girl who is meeting with the sisters and comes to a lot of activities and speaks super good English
Elder Oakes and Demi
Elder Oakes and Laci,teaching him how to draw, he did that by himself and Elder Oakes was pretty proud of him.
Elder Oakes and Dori
Elder Oakes and Vili, Dori's brother
Elder Whiting and Vili
Elders Oakes and Whiting with Sylvia, a recent convert to the Church
Elders Oakes and Whiting with Dori
Elder Oakes' drawing of the tree of life
Bees at the Steels!
Love you all!
Hungary Budapest Mission