Thursday, May 30, 2013

New pictures of the West MTC

Joe's bathroom, yes, he and his companion have their own bathroom!!!

Living Room

Kitchen!!!  He says to send the Mountain Dew asap!!!

Joe and Elder Lee, acting like a nun?!

TALL (technology assisted language learning) 

A photographer met with the 100 missionaries that arrived at the new West MTC on Tuesday morning to take a picture...Joe is in the middle

Joe's room that he shares with his companion

New address: (not sure if you use this for DearElder, but for sure for mail and packages)
Elder Joseph John Giacalone
2023 N. 900 E. UNIT 818
Provo, UT 84602
(They want to emphasize how important the "Unit" part is, so don't forget that part!!!)

Week 6


Hello everyone! I hope you are all well. This past week has been super cray, we've been very busy with lots and lots of stuff. In classroom instruction, we are just reviewing everything we've learned and we are learning small grammar principles that "aren't that important but we have nothing else critical to really teach you", to quote one of my teachers. I love them haha! With the Summer coming, and the massive influx of new missionaries coming with it, the MTC is hiring new teachers like it's nobody's business. We got two new Hungarian teachers, which is HUGE. We have had the same three for the past six weeks, so it was a big deal to almost double our numbers with teachers.

The biggest change of all is that I am now officially a missionary at the West MTC Campus in Wyview! I'm one of the first 100 missionaries to "settle" this area! It's so nice! Our rooms are brand new, and I have gone from sharing a room the size of my kitchen back at home with six elders, to my own room with just my companion and myself! We have our own kitchen, bathroom, and WE HAVE A FRIDGE. REPEAT. WE HAVE A FRIDGE. SEND THE MOUNTAIN DEW ASAP. Wyview! I am part of the first 100 missionaries to come here, they expect about 2,000 here by July! How exciting is this?!
Since I have been here for so long, I got to host new missionaries yesterday as they arrived! I didn't get to host my new "kici" Hungarians, but I saw them! They looked terrified, but who isn't the first day? It's a roller coaster. I think I've forgotten about how hard it was to say goodbye to my family, because as I hosted my new elders, their moms were just bawling into their shoulders- I saw one mother literally weeping for her son! All I could do was give my new missionary a hug and tell him it was going to be OK. I felt all my elder's pain as they said goodbye to their moms, but the best is yet to come for them! What an awesome work we are a part of, they are going to love West campus!

So in WMTC we live in the Wyview buildings (practically brand new, and they have a sand volleyball pit :) ) and our classrooms are in the RainTree buildings. It's a little weird, our "classroom" is in a former living room of an apartment. We store our books and papers in what was the pantry of the kitchen, and our progressing investigator's room is in a former bedroom. At first it was weird teaching in there, but the Spirit can dwell anywhere if we invite it to come. The entire MTC Presidency visited us a couple days ago on our first night at the campus-they really do care about us! And on Tuesday night devotional, the main campus recognized us and showed a live-stream of our small little group of missionaries in the Wyview Chapel to all 4,000 missionaries in the other campus. It was pretty cool.

My baby Hungarians have finally arrived! Yesterday morning, my entire district wrote letters for each missionary in the district and wished them all well, and "Nem Svabad Feladni!" Never give up! They were absolutely terrified, I can relate! But those first few days are among the most humbling I think we will ever experience in our mission. They teach us to rely on God. That first night sucked. You don't know anyone, you don't understand the language, and you don't think you can do it anymore. You miss your family and friends, and you just want a hug. It's times like these where kneeling trumps standing. I promise that as we pour our hearts out to God, He will bless us in ways we cannot comprehend. I don't think that an entity of absolute perfection and love would let one lone missionary, who is scared and afraid of his/her future, feel alone. He is NOT a faraway God. He's sitting next to us in class when our fears and frustrations get to us, He's sitting on the couch next to us in discussions when we don't understand anything the investigator is saying, and He watches over our tear-streaked faces as we try to get sleep. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, He is my Savior. He knows our hearts, and He will never let us walk alone.

"Happy day! All is Well!"
And, all WILL be well!

Nem Svabad Feladni!
Giacalone Elder

Thursday, May 23, 2013

 Joe's badge of awesomeness

Giacalone Elder and the Estonian District

Neely Elder and Giacalone Elder with the Estonian Sisters

Hogy vagytok?! How's it going everybody?!
I'm officially in the last half of my MTC experience, and it gets better everyday! I'm learning so much it's crazy. This gospel just gets more and more delicious to me as I study it more and more- I definitely feel like I'm the one being coverted over here! My district is so excited about the arrival of our new Hungarians next week- 8 Elders and 2 Sisters! I think we're just excited to practice our Hungarian with them more than anything, but we are also excited to meet more missionaries speaking Hungarian!
So this past week has been way fun. In TRC (Teaching Resource Center)  last week, my companion and I got to teach a REAL Hungarian! She was from a small town by Lake Balaton in western Hungary, probably one of the more beautiful places in the world. At first we were way intimidated, she spoke like a million words a minute and she had this weird dialect that made it way hard to understand. And this is where the awesomeness that is the gospel comes in-she absolutely LOVED us. She didn't care that I misunderstood her when she said something and I interpreted it as "tomato", and she didn't care that we totally butchered our reading of the Book of Mormon in Hungarian, the Spirit was in control and she was just HAPPY. She was fine with correcting our grammar and was just happy to be there! The Spirit really confirmed to me there that yes, I won't have this language down completely by the time I land in Budapést, but the people there are willing to help us out (I mean, how many kids do they meet that try to learn HUNGARIAN on their own time? Not many!), and hopefully my companion over there will help me too! So that really eased my fears on that subject.
Our BFF's in the Estonian district in our zone leave on Tuesday, we are all SO sad to see them go. They've been here for so long and just recently got released as zoneleaders. I mean, they were they ones that comforted us those first few days we were here, with them already having been here for like a week or two more than us. The Elders are so humble and willing to serve, and the Sisters are just plain hilarious! I never thought that I would find amazing friends on my mission like I have thus far. Estonia is about to get six shining spirits! Our zone is so tight, everyone knows eachother, and there's like 40 of us going to Albania, Finland, Hungary, and Estonia. Eastern Europe is in for a massive surprise! The Lord is sending His very best servants there...and I'm going too! Haha.
I am ferociously addicted to the MTC Choir version of "Lead, Kindly Light" on YouTube. Literally I listen to it all the time. I'm listening to it as I type this right now, too. Hey, it's a great song! Look it up, you can thank me in two years.
We SYL (Speak Your Language) as a district several days a week now, next week will be four days a week! We are so hardcore. Literally we are the only district that SYL's this much, but we really have no choice! We NEED to get this language down, and I'm so proud that our entire district is so committed to not speaking English for an entire day, several days a week. Sure sometimes it's just an awkward silence, but we are very dedicated. And I am way proud. I'm also king of doing charades! Haha.
So Neely Elder accompanies on piano for several missionaries on our P-Days, so I follow him around and I get to listen to some pretty sick performances. Just barely we got back from one where it was a tri-panionship of sisters with one of them singing "Come, Thou Fount", but get this: one is from Spain, one is from Thailand, and one is from Tonga. NONE of them spoke English as their native tongue, and that's the only way they communicated to eachother was in English! It was weird sometimes, but the Spirit really touched me because even though they couldn't communicate well with eachother, they LOVED eachother. I think that's what we need to focus on sometimes, to look through imperfections and recognize eachother's royal potentional. Those sisters taught me that this morning, and I hope to utlize their example in my lessons.
Well, this will be the last time I write to y'all from the normal MTC. Next week, I will be in the brand-spanking new "West MTC" in WyView on BYU Campus! And guess what, they've got an ice cream creamery that they are opening up to missionaries over there! I'm going to gain so much weight...but it's ok because I'm the Lord's servant.
Oh, and by the way on June 23rd, President Thomas S. Monson will be giving a global announcement to all the missionaries in the church. It just so happens to also be my first Sunday in Hungary! Keep your ears alert, prophets don't joke around. I don't want to say it will be something big, but my gut says it will be something big. What an exciting time to live in!
I pray for all of you every day, and I pray for the people of Hungary every day. I know that this is where I need to be right now in my life, and that the Lord always, always prepares a way for His children to return to him. The Book of Mormon has rapidly become my best friend here, I find so much peace in it's pages and comfort in it's teachings. It is 100% the word of God. Please, read it sometime if you have the chance. It has this awesome way of totally converting people to the Gospel, something I'm not so hot at doing, but that I'm working on. I love this church, and I love YOU.
But, God loves you more.
Sok Szeretettel,
Giacalone Elder,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Week Four...half way there


It's been another great week here in the MTC! Today is officially my halfway point in the MTC, and we get our flight plans in two weeks! AH. It's going so fast! One month down already...I cannot believe that in four weeks I will be in Maygárszágra serving the beautiful people who call it home. Ok, so a lot has happened in the last week and I'll try to answer all the questions, it's hard to remember all of them!

1) For my Sophomore project, I did a report on the United Nations being formed after World War Two. It was pretty boring, but hey, it got an 'A', so whatever. It was just a report in a little folder with paper protectors inside of it. Nothing fancy, I'm always boring!

2) We get to go outside a fairly good amount. All of the sidewalks we use to get to class have a roof-type thing covering them, so it's never too hot, and the flowers here are GORGEOUS. They're all blooming and it smells wonderful! God's beauty is literally everywhere here!

3) Vinny, congrats on office buddy! I know that it will help you branch out and meet new people, and it will help you learn to love to serve others, which is all you do when you're out here on your mission! I'm so excited for you, make sure you tell me all about it! Nick (Mr. President), I hope you have fun as well, just make sure you aren't overdoing yourself, ok? Love you both!

4) Squeeeeze, I heard you slammed it at your games in Pocatello, atta kid!

I cannot believe Elder Worthen saw Mark! That's crazy! He told me before I left that he was going to Europe for his Business Scholars thing. It's just a hint of Mark's missionary experiences in the future, right? ;)

I see Hermana Magana everywhere! She's so excited to serve, and I'm so jealous that she leaves next week! I've literally seen like four groups of English speakers come and go...and I'm still here! I love this place, but I am itching to get out of here and go to where I'm needed!

I keep forgetting to talk about TRC! In it, we get to teach return missionaries from Hungary who just recently got back and it is literally the COOLEST thing I've ever done here. We teach them as members, so we don't have to explain everything, and our messages are simple (they have to be, considering our skills are that of a 6 year old). So last week we talked about how important prayer was to our relationship with God, and the RMs are so sick. They slow down and explain difficult words, I mean, they're just so kind. They know what we're going through, and they are very nice and give the best advice! Such a blessing. Anyway, I love TRC. We have it every Thursday night, and I'm excited for tonight's about the BOM!

So at gym, our whole zone plays volleyball together, and I must say that all of that pool volleyball has really helped me cause I DOMINATE that gym floor! Godderidge Elder and I had a faceoff the other day with it, and he killed me in. (Disclaimer: Godderidge played for years in high school and college, I played in the pool during the summer. I still love him though haha) So, I love gym now!

I am able to read the ward newsletters thanks to Sistra Clark, she lends me the months copy (her classroom is literally across the hall from mine!), and mine letter wasn't in the missionary Better get on that mom ;) Just use like an inspiring part from this one maybe?? :)

I was able to say goodbye to Sister Barker the other day! She's going somewhere in Cali, I think, until her visa comes for Brazil! She was way pumped.

OH. OH MY GOSH I ALMOST FORGOT. RUSSEL M. NELSON CAME AND SPOKE TO US ON TUESDAY AND I LITERALLY ALMOST COLLAPSED BECAUSE IT WAS SO AWESOME AND HE LOVES US AND I LOVE HIM AND THE LORD IS ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR US AND THE GOSPEL IS SO TRUE. But really, it was freaking fantastic! He talked about how the ancestors of the people we are going to teach are praying for us like crazy across the veil, and I can feel their desperation for their posterity to receive the gospel! That was the SECOND talk about ancestors praying for us...hmm...interesting...

There's a rumor going around here that the First Presidency will be making a big announcement regarding missionaries very, very soon. I've got some ideas, but I won't share them, just in case I'm right ;)

Regarding the MTC changes, it's been weird. In a week and a half, we will be moving down to YView/RainTree. We will be doing our laundrey, classroom and other services down there, but they will shuttle us up to the cafeteria for food and to the temple on our P Days. The MTC is also getting ready for the massive wave of newbies coming in June/July. They are starting to have dinner carts outside on Wedenesdays and Thursdays, because new missionaries literally take up all the room in the cafeteria on Wednesdays. So that should help them, I'll be long gone by then, so I'm not really concerned about it. oops.

I did my first sealing session in the temple today! Woop. Temples rock, especially Provo. Missionaries practically run the show there, I LOVE it! It was weird though...lots of Hungarian names were there...Hungary is getting very popular it seems....

Our teaching is going great! Neely Elder and myself taught Edit (eh-DEET) yesterday. She loves to read the Book of Mormon (A Mormon Konyvét), which is great! She had a question the other day though about Nephi killing Laban though, she read in the Bible that it is a sin to kill another man and she was concerned about Laban's death. What a sweetheart. My companion and I looked at eachother and were at a loss for words, so I started talking about having faith in God. Then a scripture popped into my head. Then I suddenly knew how to say "to invite" in Hungarian, and I remembered how to conjugate it! This is NOT like me at all, I forget everything! So,Yeah, our God is definitely a God of miracles, and I know He won't let us fail if we trust in Him! For choir on Sunday we sang "Come, Thou Fount" in front of Elder Nelson, such an awesome experience! The Spirit was so strong! It was a confirmation to me that our Savior knows every emotion we go through.

Our new Hungarians come in less than two weeks! If one of them is reading this now, shoot me an email :) I'd love to talk to you! We are so excited for you to show up, and we pray for you!

Well, I'm not sure what else to say! The work is real. The gospel is true. I love you, and so does your Heavenly Father, although He might love you more than me! He wants to talk to you, have you talked to Him today? If you haven't, I exhort you to do so, and you can thank me in 23 months :)

Sok Szerettél,

Giacalone elder :)

A few pictures...

Joe at famous MTC map

 With his district on their Sunday temple walks
Joe's district ~ the two sisters on the right have already left for Hungary.  They are now the Ussi's or the ancients at the MTC

Week Three

Szíastok csáladom!

I hope you are all doing well! I brought a sticky note this time to help me remember what I wanted to talk about on this email. I've got a bad case of "missionary brain", where all I can remember is my daily Hungarian vocab and literally there is nothing else I can recall. So, sorry.

Anyway, I guess I'll answer some questions because I'm super nice.

1) Our zone is one of six zones (out of 44 at the MTC) moving to the "Y-View" apartments on the BYU Campus, and we will be the very first missionaries in the new "West Campus" that should be up and going by the end of June or early July. I feel like a pioneer! This is the first time in the history of the MTC that it will be expanding outward into another complex. Our zone is way pumped and ready to move in three weeks on May 28th!

2) Yes, my P-days are on Thursdays now, and I try to email around 9:30 or 10:00, whenever I get back from my temple session.

3) I have not seen Elder Brower, I think I saw Elder Purser the other day.

4) Yes, my schedule has changed due to the moving and what not, I'm still living in the Erastus Snow building but my classroom has movied to 10M (which is sick because it has a gigantic Hungarian flag on it). We have to get up earlier now in the mornings (6:15) but we have more personal study time in the afternoons and evenings, so it's kind of nice. Also, I'm LOSING weight. It's normal here, because everyone is stressing and not eating. I'm not starving myself, but I'm just never really hungry, unless it's at night, then I want to eat a rhino! But I've lost like 5 pounds...another Elder in my district has lost 20(!) pounds! It's weird, but they say I'll gain it all back in Hungary, and I'm totally ok with that!

Ok, so last Monday our District had a full SYL (Speak Your Language) day for the entire day. It was INSANELY crazy and difficult, but we found ourselves able to communicate what we wanted, or we just played charades until someone understood what the heck was going on! My district is the best, and so is my zone! I got my first MTC haircut last week (sorry, Missionary brain, so I forgot to tell y'all). Um, I'm still teaching my two Hungarian investigators: Viktor and Edit. When we were teaching Edit (pronounced Eh-DEET), I forgot to eat something that day and my stomach growled SO LOUD. I hoped that no one would notice, but Edit started laughing and said "Giacalone Elder, does hunger exist in your stomach no?" Atleast, that's the way it would be translated directly. I about died of embarassment, but you learn to shrug these things off and laugh. That's the way you survive out here is to just not to take anything seriously. For example, a Tongan missionary district was walking back from Tuesday Devo and one of the sisters tripped or something and stopped the group. In order to cover her up, they all started singing (at 9:30 at night) "Lead, Kindly Light' in TONGAN right by the statue of Samuel: so freaking awesome I about passed out. They attracted quite a big group. Temple is still sweet; nothing like hearing "bless the missionaries" during the prayer with 40-50 of us listening during the session!

I just updated my profile to say that I'm currently in Hungary, because I'm a boss. Go magyarszrágrá! I love my Hungarians so much, and I haven't even met them yet! Super weird, but I have this bond with that small little country, and I CANNOT wait to say (in my broken Hungarian) how much our Heavenly Father loves them and how much Jesus Christ loves them. This gospel is literally the "good news", and it brings so much joy to my soul when I realize that I will be changing lives in a country where it's the norm to not strive for a better education, or a better lifestyle.

Mom, I think I found the kid who you said is coming to the MTC at the end of this month on (that's what we do with our free time after TALL study on the computer, we profile stalk eachother). It's our substitute for Facebook, pretty much. Oh funny story, I was on YouTube listening to the MTC Choir singing something, and one of the videos it suggested for me to watch was "What makes you beautiful missionary edition" or something like that. I figured it was some funny parody, and since it was on my sidebar, I assumed that I could watch it (with YouTube here, they allow you to watch only church-related material, everything else is blocked). So, I clicked on it and it was some missionaries bearing their testimony and I was like "Oh, how nice". Then the REAL What Makes You Beautiful song started playing, by One Direction! It was so weird, usually I want to kill someone when I hear it (because it brings me pain, if you need someone to explain ask Bri), but this time, it just felt weird. It didn't feel right, and before I knew it I was clicking on some MoTab song and listening to it. I think that was when I realized that my old life is dead. My teacher, Grossen Testvér, said that once you leave on a mission your life really starts. The other day in our room, Neely Elder asked everyone what our guilty pleasure was. I said One Direction, and then Godderidge Elder said Justin Bieber! We are now natural enemies, but tied together for a coming purpose of preaching the gospel-the sacrifices I make for others, tsk tsk. ;)

Well, I hope all is well. I miss you guys, but I ain't coming home! Sorry!

Tudom hogy Isten szeret teged, ez midenkit!

Sok Szerettel,

Giacalone Elder.
Sziastók!'s been a week since I last checked in? WHAT. Halal (death)! The days are just flying by! Well, I don't really know where to begin! This past week has been super crazy and full of random emotions. Elder Worthen left this past week to somewhere in Germany, and I got a picture with him :) lets see...Oh! Neely Elder and I saw that one guy from The District (the video thing on BYU-tv), um I think his name was Elder Christensen? We were walking in the hall and he walked past us and we both kind of freaked out...yeah, but we didn't say anything to him. I guess he's kind of a mormon celebrity(?) you know? So we turned the corner and started crying and waving our hands around in weird gestures. Good thing there was no one in that hall...
We have taught harom (3) lessons in Hungarian this week to a couple of investigators: the first one consisted of "Do you know God? God loves you. He really loves you. He loves you a lot ok. DO YOU UNDERSTAND" it was kind of a train-wreck at the beginning, but we held in there until the spirit took over and we bore our testimonies of Christ in Hungarian(!). Nbd. The second lesson was sick, and the third one was awesome as well! We have our very first TRC tonight, I don't know why they waited until Week Three to do it with us but...whatever. In it, we get to teach/be taught by return missionaries from Hungary! I'm so excited, but also nervous!

I think that the other email got sent like early...sorry. crap.

Anyway, this past week has been super cray. This next week our "ussi" (ancients) leave to go to Hungary! It's only two sisters, but they have been our "antya" (mommies) for the past few weeks, and we will miss them dearly! For their departure devotional on Sunday, they are singing and playing the violin to "Lead Kindly Light", in Hungarian (nbd). Neely Elder and myself got to hear them practice it and I literally started crying. They did a fantastic job, and it's so weird to think that we are filling their shoes next week-the new Hungarians arrive in like two/three weeks! Ah I'm way excited to meet them :)

My testimony of Christ has SURGED this past week. Through a combination of devotionals, talks, and personal study, I feel so close to my Savior! You can't escape His Spirit here, it's EVERYWHERE. And everyone is way nice and what not. The temple every P Day is a massive blessing, I really wish I had gone more when I was home before I left because I'm just now starting to understand why it's called the "university" of our church! Also, I had this way cool experience the other day: so I was sitting down in class trying to understand what was going on, and I totally just got super sad. I don't even know why. Neely was looking at me and talking to me but all I could think about was that I had no idea what was going on. I knew that I shouldn't be thinking like this, but I started thinking about Summer and all the fun stuff I was missing. was bad. Right then and there, it still amazes me, I prayed to God. I told Him that I needed to be here. I told Him that I needed to learn Hungarian, or else I wouldn't be able to help His children, my brothers and sisters, return to Him (fortunately during this time it was personal study so I wasn't missing anything important). Then I remembered what an RM from Hungary told me just last week: "You have been waiting since the pre-existence to teach these people, and they have been waiting for you." Also, I thought of that one scripture in Alma where it talks about exercising just one particle of faith and that the Lord would capitalize on that and help you with anything, and the Spirit hit me like a battering ram. You know, when I feel the Spirit it's usually just a warm, gentle feeling of peace. This time, it felt like God was pounding my heart like a gong in China. I felt three consecutive, big, blasts of energy coarse through my body. Right after the other. It felt like every cell in my body was exploding in a simultaneous concoction of energy, love, and peace at the same time. I KNOW that my Heavenly Father won't give me ANYTHING I cannot handle. He knows me better than I know myself, and sometimes I think I know what I'm doing, when in reality I'm stumbling blindly down a path of uncertainty and guessing. I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense, but that's how it felt, and I know that this is where I need to be!

So get this: we might be moving to the Rain Tree Apartments down on BYU-campus because of all y'all newbies graduating from high school...sigh, the things I do for you guys....haha, just kidding: I'm so excited for all of you to come on down here and partay. I can promise you that this is where you need to be!

I'm way excited to hear about Nick, Rachel and Brook(?) on making office: that's so awesome! You guys are going to do great things and I cannot wait to hear about them! I pray for my family every night (in Hungarian too!) and I can feel the prayers you guys are sending my way-they buoy me up and help me get through my crazy days of sitting in class and trying to understand what the heck my teachers are saying. I'm also going to try (again) to get some pictures to you guys...stupid memory card reader.

Well, I hope all is well with everyone. I'm doing great, just growing like everyone else.

Sok Szerettel,

Giacalone Elder :D

Week One

Sziastok csaladom (Hello Family :))

I know that my letters I've written so far have been fairly scatter-shot, but that's because I wrote them mainly at 9:45, and I was exhausted and honestly just wanted to sleep! Haha! So, obviously the first few days are NOT fun. Heads up, Nick. I'm not going to sugar-coat it. When I walked away from you guys, they gave me my badge(!) all of my books (there are like 12, ALL in Hungarian!), and misc crap. You get an MTC card here that pretty much pays for everything that you do, and it has your picture on it :) you use it to open your doors everywhere, pay for food, pay for laudrey, etc. So they gave me that, then Elder Worthen took me to my residence, which is fairly crappy looking but it's MINE. Then, he took me to my classroom, which will be my HQ for the next 8 weeks (no longer 9, yay!). It's like...tiny. And there is ten of us, plus the teachers Grossen Teschver and Moody Nover, so we are fairly comfortable with each other by now! And now, I've been praying in Hungarain since like Sunday. Yeah for some reason I guess Heavenly Father wants me to know how to pray! Crazy how I learned so fast.

When I first walked in, Moody Nover just exploded in rapid fire Hungarian at me, and I honestly just wanted to cry! I had no idea what was going on and I wanted to just sit down and sleep! Obviously, things have changed since then, and now I can pull apart mostly what she is trying to say to us, along with Grossen Teshver. That's definitely a blessing.

It's hard to explain what has happened to me in the past week, but it's been very good. I have grown in so much, and I can feel the Lord molding me like clay, pushing my lumps and bumps around until I have become His vessel. We had a devotional yesterday on "yielding to the Lord", which I really need to work on. We also had a talk about "leaving YOU at the door of your house" when you come to the MTC. No offenense, I love you guys and miss you like CRAZY, but my time is the Lord's now, and what has been giving me anxiety and heartache those last few days has been me focusing on y'all instead of Him.

So, I love you all, but I'm going to forget about you all for a season. But honestly, I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and I looked...different. Neely Elder said something was up too with his reflection. We probably look like death since we are tired all the time, but our countenances shine. It's the Spirit, and it's AWESOME. Love this gospel!

What else what else....I got my shot the first day, mom. No worries. I am sending home a paper that includes all the insurance crap blah blah blah hopefully soon, I need to head over the the secretary sometime to get that. P Days are the best! It's such a laid back day and the temple was great! Awesome session. We are waiting for the driers to finish up our laundrey, then we get to go comfort the new missionaries that come in today! Yay! Poor kids, first day is way rough! But if we trust in the Lord, and just leave everything else behind, we will be OK.

Our investigator (Stephen) is Canadian-French but speaks Hungarian (yeah it's way weird) but we have had the first three discussions with him and he is eating it up! Baptism commitment is planned for this week sometime, whenver we can get ahold of him next. Yayyyyyyyy.

Hungarian is nasty, it sounds like you have a mouth full of mashed potatos while you are speaking (CHOM CHOM CHUM CHUMA CHOM). Literally it's the weirdest thing ever. And get this, instead of forming nice sentences with lots of words, they just tack on words to one word, so eventually you just get this massive huge death word that means "with God we can be happy" and it's like kasld;jfaiweofma;sdfka;sfjdajlwefawiof ....maybe an exaggeration, but it's cray cray.

Yeah, Godderidge Elder is our district leader, and is a spiritual giant! He always watches over our little district and makes sure we are all on the same page. The food is good, you just...have to let it settle haha ;)

Life is definitely changed for me, not just for a small season of two years, but forever. I'm so grateful for my Savior. They say that besides the temple, the Savior walks the halls of the MTC, because these are HIS servants going out to serve Him and their fellow man. I can definitely feel his presence besides me as I walk down this path to Hungary, always reaching out and supporting me when I stumble and get scared or frustrated. Today in the temple, in the celestial room there is this giant picture of Jesus with open arms and it occurred to me that WE have to have open arms as well, to receive him. Just like Him knocking on a door with no doorknob for him to open. WE need to let Him in, and that's when the miracles begin. I can't begin to explain the HALF of what I've experienced here in the MTC, especially when teaching Stephen with Neely Elder. When the Spirit takes over, it takes over!!! Like hardcore! Tears are flowing here nonstop.

Also, I got your package, and as much as I love it, could you refrain from sending me food? I have so MUCH food already, and the other Elders get crap too, so it kind of piles up...and gets smelly. Thankssss. But yeah, stamps and letters are good, and so is EYEDROPS. I know it sounds random, but my eyes are going CRAZY dry! Ummmm....I'll write you if I can think of anything else. My time is almost up.

I love you guys and miss you so so so so so so so so so much!!!! I pray for you everyday (in Hungarian ;) ) and I hope that my service is blessing our house. Two years is going to fly, and it makes me sad. The ussi (ancient) Hungarian sisters here are hilarious and they are our atyni (moms :) ), but they leave in two weeks! Ah! Then we get propped up and become the ussi! Crazyyyyy.

I had a testimony, but now, I am converted. I KNOW this gospel is true. Jesus Christ atonened for me, but most importantly, for YOU. Always remember that!


Giacalone Elder :D