Sunday, July 27, 2014

Of Goodbyes And New Beginnings (July 22)

So the time has come once again. I am leaving Sopron after a good, hard 18 weeks here. It has been good--I have learned a lot, and have grown as a person, as a missionary, as a leader in the church, as a friend, and as a servant of God. It is hard to say good bye. For a couple reasons, but in short--well, first a little background: when I came to Sopron, we had 2 investigators. Linda and Erzsi. that was in March, when Elder Sterri and Waldvogel and I were together. so when we got here, it was not super good. THEN, we went to work. after 4 long, painstaking months, after all our hard work, miracles, meeting tons of people--we baptized two people and have 2 more people (maybe even 3 tonight) on bap date for august. it is has been an incredible growing experience for me, and has showed me that when I work hard and obey, I see a lot of success. This last week we had 14 lessons taught and 5 RCLAs, mostly with newly baptized members, that we baptized. It has been so amazing to see, and it is sooo hard to see it go. But. I know this is the right thing. I know the Lord knows better, and that when He calls, we better listen.

This week was incredible, full of miracles, good experiences, and following the Spirit of the Lord. On Tuesday, we had a total stranger, and very drunk, I might add haha, let us in and his wife was nice enough to give us some water and a little chat. Not interested in our message, but she was at least very kind. Then on Thursday we met with our Egyptian friend, and he was so touched by the Spirit. He is just so excited to do what God wants, even if he doesn't totally understand what or who God is. It is really neat to see someone who has been kept so religiously blind his whole life be opened up to religious freedom and God and what not. Good stuff. :) 

Well, that was this week. Hope this finds you all safe, happy, and cool! I know I have the first 2 down. Still working on the third.. :) haha. Well, have a great week! Love you all! 

És ha esetleg egy magyar olvassa ezt, aki talán nagyon kedves a szívemhez: Nagyon szeretlek. És remélem hogy találkozunk még valamikor. Sőt, biztos vagyok benne! Szép hetet kívánok mindenkinek! 

Sok szeretettel,
Flake Elder

 Say hello to Karim, the Egyptian guy we teach. He is SUCH a neat guy, and is so ready to feel the Spirit and God's love. :) 
  2 pregnant men. :) hahaha, boys will be boys.. :) 
 The district when we got a visit from Beaumont Testvér, who just got married, who was our teacher in the MTC! He is kind of a legend out in the mission.. :)
  And me and Beaumont, way awesome guy. :) 
 me and Anikó. She isnt smiling because she is still talking. During the picture. Nonstop. hahaha, she just goes and goes. Nice lady though. :) She is one of our bap dates! 
  This is Erzsike, and she is our other bap date. She has had such a neat life, including being born in the Ukraine (not even old Hungary when Hungary was bigger, but actually in the Ukraine) and worked as an actress in the theater for 18 years. way awesome lady. She is very excited to be baptized, even though we have only known her for about a month! 
And my companion, the German.. :) gotta love him hahaha.
 Me and Ádám, a guy who is working hard to come back and get the Melchezidek priesthood! Way awesome kid, and I absolutely love him. :)
  Family night at the Browns! Top, left to right: Josie (Beaumont's wife), Beaumont, Heilein, me, Edit (Ádám's mother-in-law and our investigator), Sister Whitaker and Sister Sexton. Front row, left to right: Debi, Réka, Anikó, and Ádám. Always tons of fun! :D
final district picture! what a cute little family. :)

The Setting Sun is Sometimes the Brightest (July 14)

Another transfer is coming next! And, as the transfer comes slowly to a close, I am reminded of the miracles we have experienced. I dont feel like miracles are something that happen to us in huge spectacular ways. Yet they have huge spectacular effects--when we let them.

I have a testimony of this work and that it is the Lord's work. And it is a great work. :)

This week, we had a great time suffering a little (well, I did--blisters and scabs :) ) and also helping others a lot. We even found ways of randomly serving others! Like going to a playground and finding someone's lost phone! Miracle. :) 

We also went on a chocolate factory tour-type thing and eating as much chocolate as you want. :) quite a treat! :D 

Well, have a great week! Love you a ton! And so does God. :) 
Sok szeretettel,
Flake Elder

  And this is her greenie, Sister Whitaker, and her. And this is what they do when Elder Flake walks out of the room away from his camera. hahaha payback ;)
 selfie timeeee! :)
some dinner. :) little smileys and wieners. :) yum yumm! 
this is Sister Sexton, who will go home next week! She is a great missionary, and it has been so great to be in the same district as her! 
Field is white already to harvest! Love those random wheat fields. :) Though it is more like a tannish yellow... 
the other battle wound for the bobsled haha. this little sucker lasted until Friday, when I finally popped it. so gross. :)
 when we went on the summertime bobsled, and i fell out. :) dont worry, it looks a lot worse now. bruise about 2 and a half full inches down my arm to my elbow or so. :) lovely flaming tattoo, right? ;D  
  This is the amount of chocolate we had to choose from. All you can eat. :) and some of the weirdest flavors!

Ohhhh, chocolate. :)
and the district. :) after the tons of chocolate haha, some of us werent doing so well.. :) and yes, i need a haircut.. haha.

This is Zsolt and I. and this is what happens when Zsolt buys the drinks. ;) (don't worry, it's non-alcoholic!)

As A Phoenix (July 7)

So this week was kinda.. well, full of ups and downs. we saw really happy things and really sad things. its always good to do the Lord's work and help His children, but it is also so sad when they fail to recognize the blessings they have or unwilling to do what He asks so they can be blessed even more. we saw a few people end up going to the hospital, one RCLA that we were working with, one investigator that has some panic sickness really really bad, and ended up having to go to the hospital for it, one less active members son also went. We even went to give him a blessing and everything. but then the member called a day or two later and told us that he died. pretty intense, being that close to death. it was a big shock to hear that he had passed away. but at the same time, it was nice to hear from her that she was at peace with it, surely to some degree because of the blessing we were able to give. so that was kind of a big thing this week haha. after that we found a new investigator who is a little older, but is really willing to listen and is trying to understand the gospel. really amazing to see. :) she even came to church! and we met with her this week! way way awesome. :) 

i think this was the week of renewal. some of the investigators and members just kind of went up in flames, and we werent able to do anything about it. we lost them, whether literally or figuratively, quite a few just kinda left. but we found a few new ones. And just like a phoenix rises from the ashes, so is our work and our outlook starting to be born again. it is never an easy thing. but it is always worth it. 

then today for Pday, we went to this summertime bobsled park, and had so much fun! :D it was cool, a little painful hahaha, but way worth it. :) and then we went to this zip line adventure park and climbed around in the trees, sometimes swinging, sometimes walking on a tight rope length wire. :) way way fun hahaha.

We also met with an Egyptian man this week, who told us about the religious situation in Egypt. and it is not very good. He said that the government chooses what religion you are (i think everyone is Muslim) and if you change, you are killed, your family could be killed, and they write a newspaper story about you as if you are a murderer. it was really intense to hear that. Especially right around Fourth of July, when Americans celebrate their freedoms. I am so grateful for my freedoms, and the chance I have to worship God whichever way I want. 

So go and enjoy the freedoms you have, and worship God the way He wants you to. :) Love you all! Have a great week! and dont let the sun get you! He is trying..! haha. 
Sok szeretettel,
Flake Elder
getting ready to go to the Volt Festival! google it. :)
so i counted and organized my ties this week. 32 and counting. :)
gotta love the paparazzi push back. :) hahaha and elder heileins face!
   us on fourth of july, celebrating with some naps and selfies. ;) and some awesome sunglasses!
 so (yes i know they dont look like it!) i tried my hand at making biscuits this week. and they turned out really good! yummy and soft. :) shout out to Sister Brown, the senior couple sister.
 so we rode on the BOB pálya, a summertime bobsled thing. way fun. :)
getting ready for the ride!
 gotta get those selfies in the greenery.
 some of the scenery in the forest by the bobsled thing.  
 another selfie, with good ole Heilein in the background.
 part of the zip line adventure park we went to.
 more of the obstacle course of the sky.
scary times in the cords in the sky. :)