Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kecskemét Week Six Pics

Wanna go learn Indian?

LOVE me some BURRITOS!!!

Neely fighting the world

Re-united! And going co-senior!!!

...we went on the new buses...!!

Kecskemét Week Six (Week 45)

This week was super crazy! CRAZY. I've never had a week like this past week.

And Jessie J is playing right now. It's been so long since I last heard her! Thanks random radio station! 

Obviously, the fun part of this week was that I got Elder Neely! It's been a roller coaster of a week, trying (both of us) to take the reins of this companionship. As we finished up the week with the programs we had planned, I couldn't wait for Sunday to come so that we could just sit down and so that I could actually explain to him bus schedules and times, investigators addresses', and other stuffs. We did SO much last week. Honestly, we had a lot stacked against us: we had to learn how to find together, plan for and meet with our investigators, and somehow remember where they lived in the city. 

But, it all worked out. I still am shaking my head as to HOW, but it worked. Neely and I dubbed this strange phenomenon(spelling?) TMAM, or Tender Mercies And Miracles. We both tried to work really hard and just do our best, and honestly the Lord made up for the rest of it! We snagged five(!) new investigators, and we haven't even been together for a week! We had an amazing program with one of our investigators at the home of the ward mission leader in which they got him (our investigator) to seriously consider a baptism date, and to top it all off we got pretty tight with some members. Church was super great: a guy just walked in from outside and starting chatting it up with one of the members. After a few minutes he (the member) ran into the chapel where I was sitting and he was just like "Elder Giacalone, come here! You've got a new investigator!" I chatted with him for like 45 minutes and got to know him pretty well. We are meeting with him this Wednesday, but we will see how it goes! 

And finally, Elder Neely and I spoke like amazing Hungarian this past week! WHAT.

Funny things that happened:

Neely and I streeted Darth Vader! There was a comic fan club group down from Budapest just hanging ot in the main square and it was super legit! Neely is a huge Star Wars fan and he about died!...

We tabled two American girls who were WAY too interested in us. Creepy...

Neely almost had an "accident" regarding his digestive system in the middle of a program...

And yeah. My email is super short! I don't really know what to say! I am still kind of astounded as to how well our companiomship is doing. I know that obedience brings blessings, and that the Lord truely does qualify who He calls. I know the gift of tongues is real. 

I'm just grateful and happy!



Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kecskemét Week Five Pics

Valentines Day presents from the Smith's in Szolnok!


Szeged! The city of churches

Sick Statue in a park. The map is of Old Hungary

Spring sunset

Hungarian doesn't always translate so well into English..

Love me some New Testament!

All the room on the train was taken, so we rode in the bike cart. Talk about prison

Sister Oberhansley and I

Sister Dinehart and I!

Kecskemét Week Five (Week 44)

Hey peeps! WOW. So this week was a crazy one.

First off, I FORGOT my small list of the things that happened to me this past week that I wanted to email about, so, I've got my planner, and I'm trying really hard to remember everything...

We went to Szeged! It's the main city in the zone, and it's super classy and HUGE. I went there last July and August for trainings and splits, but everytime it just puts me in awe! It's absolutely gorgeous, and I am really wanting to serve there in the future! While I was there, I got to see Sister Dinehart! She was in my group in the MTC but went home early, and then she came back like a month ago! I was very excited to see her, it had been so long! I also got to say goodbye to Sister Oberhansley, who was in my first district back in Szolnok...now she's going home! Time goes by way too fast. After our awesome training from the zone leaders, we went to the mall for lunch. Whist there, our district each bought a hipster shirt from some hipster store in the hipster mall. Mine is of a Greek God crying rainbows.

Why not?

Anyway, the rest of our week has been going great! The weather is super nice and Spring is on it's way! I'm very excited! Elder D'Angina and I figured for the last week of transfers we would go all out and work our bums off! We saw some really cool things happen. We got like a ridiculous amount of awesome people we found while tracting and streeting, and we are wanting to go back and see how interested a lot of them are in the church. One of my favorite tracting methods is as follows:
Me: "Hey! Have you seen people like us before-"
Anyway, I was saying that people like to judge us before we can say anything, so we've been trying to say "power statements" before they can do it, like this;
(door opens)
Me: "Do you love you family? I love my family!"
Them: "...well, yeah. Where you guys from and who are you?..."
Rest is history!
It actually works! I'm excited to keep using it. 

TRANSFERS ARE HERE! Elder D'Angina is leaving me and going to Tatabanya in the west, and I am staying here. I figured I would, and just get some new senior companion. De nem. It didn't happen. I will be getting my old MTC companion, Elder Neely! I was super excited to hear that, and I cannot wait to serve with him! He and I have been around each other now in our missions for like 33 weeks! I cannot wait to see how it turns out. I know that we are both pretty young in the mission, and the language (Hungarian, not swearing) might be interesting between the two of us in our programs! I know that the Lord wants us here together, and that whom He calls, He most certainly will qualify! 

I love where I am! I know that miracles are still a real thing, and that God loves His children.

I know it was a short spiritual message.

Love you all! Do good things this week and be happy!


Sok Szeretettel,
Giacalone Elder

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kecskemét Week Four Pics

The missionaries were Skittles for the ward party

Finding a stray cat

Elder D'Angina and me!


Donut eating contest!

The Sisters! Sister Montenegro and Sister Atkinson

Our fishing game! I was behind the white board

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kecskemét Week Four (Week 43)

Sziasztok! Hey-sztok! Lol-sztok. 

I took so many pictures this week. It was one of my goals. Goal-accomplished. (fist pump). But, seriously, we had a pretty fun week. Except one thing...my companion kind of had strep throat the ENTIRE week...lame. So, he had like no energy and I got to hangout at the apartment for long periods of time. Darn you sicknesses!

So, last P-Day, we totally went to a Jewish temple. Yeah, I know, it's totally awesome. Don't worry, it's not a used Jewish temple. It got bought out by a DJ company and now it's a dance club! Awkward. But, it was still super pretty and what not. And there were some cool statues of Moses and other cool people like him. Prophets. Cool stuff right there. After checking out that sick place, we then went out to a member's house out in the boondocks to have an FHE. It was an awesome success, and we got a yummy dinner of gyros! I love Hungarian food!

On the way back whilst waiting at the bus stop, a stray cat came up to Elder Mullen and started like purring and everything. So, he picked it up. It then fell asleep in his arms. Cute. But, it was a stray cat, and the white handbook says that we can't have pets, so we had to let it roam free. Sad. 

On Saturday, we celebrated the Hungarian holiday of Farsang (FAR-shawn). I don't know why they celebrate it in February, but it's like Halloween for them and they all dress up and eat lots of sweets and everything! The ward threw a party and everyone dressed up! The missionaries were Skittles! We all dressed up with bright colors (we made sure they were all different) and wore "S"'s. The members totally were lost, and it took like atleast two minutes to explain what a "Skittle" was. So funny! Elder D'Angina and I ran a booth at the party, and it was that fishing game where you throw a line with a cup on the end over a white board and someone on the other end puts candy in it and TUGS ON THE LINE AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. We were the happening thing at the party. The kids were laughing so hard! 

Missionary experience: We met with one of our awesome investigators who is dating a member of the ward, who is currently serving a missionary here in Hungary. I might have already mentioned him. We met with him after church on Sunday, and he said that he wanted to read something out of the Book of Mormon with us. We asked him where, he looked at me and said "Giacalone elder, open up your scriptures and that's where we'll read!" Oh dear. Talk about pressure. With a little prayer in my heart, I let the pages fall open. Alma 18. Ammon bearing testimony before King Lamoni. We read the entire story and it was so awesome! As we wrapped up, the Spirit was so strong. We knew he could feel it. We jokingly said how lucky we were that he had that idea. He said something to the effect of "Well, I am a Son of God!" Boom. Powerful Spirit. He really knew what he was saying. 

I love being here. This city is awesome. My companion is awesome. Being a missionary for the Lord is awesome. Remember who you all are! You all have divine lineage. So, show it!

Shout out to my dad: I love you! You are still my hero! 

Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Monday, February 3, 2014

Kecskemét Week Three Pics

Our view at the Opera!

We found a snowman!

Chandelier at the Opera!

Statue of a Hungarian king in the park!

Kecskemét Week Three (Week 42)

It feels like I was just emailing yesterday! Crazy how fast the days are going! This week was super fun, and we did lots and lots of stuff (vague word choice).

I was able to go on splits with Elder Mullen, our district leader. He goes home in like three weeks, but he is "dying with grace" and is very chill about it. He trained my good friend in the mission, Elder Neely. We did some streeting and had a few programs with his investigators. During the open streeting time we had, we chatted and he gave me some good advice for the remainder of my mission. I really like Elder Mullen, I'm gonna miss him! 

Last week on Thursday, we went over to the other Elder's apartment for companionship study so I could make some cookies for our investigators because our oven is not functioning at the moment. Lame, I know. Anyway, while we were over there, the cookies had been in the oven for literally (I know I'm prone to exagerrate, but this time I'm not!) two minutes, when smoke started to come out! My cookies were totally burning! It my desperation to save them from a certain fiery doom, and because I was using a very thin rag to pull them out of the oven, I instinctively threw out my hand to steady the tray and BAM. Fried my finger. It's doing much better now, but it was glowing bright white for like three full days. OUCH. Fire > Elder Giacalone. 

On P-Day last week, we totally went to a Hungarian opera! We didn't really understand a whole ton of what they were saying because they used "old Hungarian" and, well, it was an opera! Still, it was super sick and I would do it any other time!

On our lunch break a couple days ago, I was making some rice and Elder D'Angina was sitting at the table eating when suddenly our csengő (apartment phone) started ringing! We were super confused and kind of stunned. Elder D'Angina answered it and started laughing silently. Now I was super lost. He answered some questions to whoever it was, and then opened up our door to our hallway, whilst exclaiming "Come on, elder! We're getting tracted by Jehovah's Witnesses!" Sure enough, two ladies made there way up the stairs and started talking to us. One of them (I'm sure she was the Senior companion) asked us if we were religious. We said we were. They asked if we read the Bible. We said we did. They got super excited and then asked if we had heard of their religion. We said we had, but that we were MORMON MISSIONARIES. The look on their faces was a mix of dread, fear, confusion, and everything else! Priceless! We kind of just stood there and chatted about families for a second, and then they totally just booked it out of there! So...we got tracted! It was fun being on the other end of the line.

So, all in all, crazy week! I love my investigators! During teaching the Plan of Salvation (which I am starting to love drawing on the white board), a super cool guy told me that he knew there was something before "all of this", referring to life in general. He couldn't quite figure it out, though, and he'd been asking himself this question for several years. As we talked about the pre-existence, he said it sounded familiar. I absolutely love these kind of moments! 

I love my mission. I'm learning and growing so much! I know that obedience brings blessings, and that all is possible through the Savior! I love being able to represent Him! 

Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone 

P.S Just keep swimming!