Monday, July 28, 2014

Eger Week One (Week 68)

Ok, well, you are all about to get the shortest letter from me ever, because I have TEN MINUTES left. 
We are going into list form to do this:
1) Transfers was hard. I hated leaving Szeged. BUT (and this is a pretty big but), I love Eger! Its way smaller than my previous city, but sooo pretty! The branch is small, but strong! I gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday, my first one since CHRISTMAS time! 
2) My new companion is a surfer from Southern California-he's so cool! 
3) We have some stellar work! Its the best thing ever to "inherite" good work, instead of building it up from scratch. I feel like that has been my mission until now, just building things up and then leaving before anything happens.
4) I might buy Genie pants! 
5) We visited a member who just recently went through the temple and I am pretty sure he said things to me about the temple that are not allowed to be said! Awkward.
6) I am still District Leader. #twentyfourweeks
7) I met with an old companion of mine! Elder Quinton (Jack) was here with his family. They kept saying how hot is was. We just laughed.
Well, I am loving life. Its hot. So hot. I cant believe it. Tender mercies are real. God lives! 
Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Szeged Week Eighteen Pics

LOL Llamas while tracting!

Tracting in Szeged!

Szeged Week Eighteen (Week 67)

Transfers are lame! Just kidding. I DESPISE CHANGE SO MUCH. But, there's good things that always come from these things: always!
So...I'll be leaving my beloved city of Szeged, my home for the past four months. But, it's in good hands, a dearly beloved elder that I know is coming here to finish Elder Mellor's training. They're going to do great! My next stop is....Eger! I don't really know a lot about it, but I'll be serving with Elder Barbour. I don't really know him, but it'll be an adventure! I've heard Eger is beautiful!
Our last week was stellar. There is so many cool things happening in Szeged. School starts back up in like a month, but a lot of kids are coming back to get things ready to start back up. We had some awesome tracting moments, which culminated with us getting five new investigators from tracting alone! Super sick. 
Last week we went to a ropes course for P-Day. So for like two hours I was dangling in the air, with just this intense looking chord keeping me from plunging to my death. So scary. Sometimes I would slip and feel like I was going to certainly fall to a painful and dirt-filled death. Eat slugs! But, I survived. One great moment was when I tried karabining(spelling?) down, and the karabiner slipped over my pinkey finger and I totally ripped it open. Best part was, I didn't even notice it until I got down and noticed the blood on my shirt. COOL. 
Great moment of the week: tracted out this sketchy ten-story and knock on the first door. A mom answers the door, with her arm around her three year-old. We get talking, and she says that her husband had actually died like four weeks ago. Rough stuff. I just found myself bearing testimony at her door of the plan of salvation. I remember specifically saying "I know that there is Someone who loves you, and that He is so proud of you." It was so cool to see the look on her face. We gave her a pamphlet, but she said she needed time to think things over. Hopefully things turn around in the future!
I'm going to miss Szeged. There, I said it. I'm going to miss this place. It's hot, but I love it here. I love the city, the people. I grew A TON here. But, I know that whatever (or whoever) is waiting for me in Eger, I'm going to find them! It's gonna be awesome! And, I'm sorry to everyone right now that I can't reply back to, I gotta go pack! 
Have a great week everyone! Soak in that summer sun! :)
Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Szeged Week Seventeen Pics

Szeged Week Seventeen (Week 66)

So, first of all, I bought a fancy European suit. Finally. I only waited like fifteen months to buy one!
Wow, so that was one of my highlights last week. Just kidding, there was a good amount, as always ;)
It's still so, so, so hot. Let me say that one more time: SO HOT. We sweat the minute we leave our apartment in the morning, and keep sweating until we come home. It's a good thing that this is my last Summer, because my short-sleeve shirts are! But, life is great.
What else...when it wasn't super hot last week, it was pouring rain. Yes, we are now in the crazy rain season of Hungary! But, it helps us get let into buildings because people feel bad for us crazy, soaking wet Americans, so we found some really cool people last week! One of them was a seventeen-year old kid who is living by himself and has TWO apartments in Hungary: one in Pest and one here in Szeged! He's like loaded! He is super busy, but we're going to see if he's home this week. 
We had an awesome feeding program yesterday at a member's house. She fed us this really yummy vegetable soup with Hungarian tejföl ('s like Sour Cream,'s not?) mixed in it. We then had some Cherry bars. What I really like about Hungarian feeding routines is that they literally set aside like a half hour for "rest" after you eat a big meal. So they literally make you lay on a couch for like up to thirty minutes to just rest, or you offend them! It's the best! :)
We had an intense program with one of our investigators about his bapdate. He's a little unsure about some things in the church, and we've been working with him. He wants to get baptized so bad, but he is struggling with one or two commandments. We had planned to talk about temples with him, but he brought up the baptismal questions suddenly, and we both just started going through them with him. As we went through them, we began to realize what his concerns were, and we set a plan with him to get them resolved. I'd never really had a program like that before, where the Spirit really just guided us to what the real problem was, and then we could bust out a plan to solve it. It was really neat!
So, this one is a little short: sorry! We have a few programs today and then we might do a ropes course: how the heck do you do those things?! Also, my camera is still :( But, I love you all! Do good things! I know you all can :)
Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Szeged Week Sixteen Pics

Happy 4th of July!!!

Beautiful Szeged!!!

Szeged Week Sixteen (Week 65)

This is Joe's mom...if anyone wants to write him, his email is:
He would LOVE to hear from any of you!!!

So much happened last week. But, unfortunately, I am having technical difficulties and cannot send pictures :( meh
First of all, your Hungarian word of the day is: "repülőgép-anyahajó", or "flying machine mother ship", or, "aircraft carrier" :) Cool, right? 
Anyway, lots happened last week! The weather is still freakishly hot like 24/7, but that's what you get being in the hottest city in Hungary. The nickname "Sunshine City" ain't because it's cold! Lol.
So, I came to a realization last week that I should try talking to more people who may just be hanging out by the side of the road on a bench or something, and sitting by them and just striking up a conversation. This is what we call "benching". It takes quite some courage and motivation to do it. So, one was with a university student in a park, who was hating life and was actually sort of drunk. He laughed randomly, then started crying. We talked to him about God and who He is. He really liked our message, but didn't really want to meet again. 
Another person was a kid in the main square. We were actually tabling, and I noticed him just hanging out by himself, kind of like waiting for someone. So I solo-ed it, and just went over and chatted with him about our english class. He said: "Well, I was waiting for one of you to come talk to me. I have questions about life that no one else can answer." We chatted for like forty-five minutes and then I had to go. He was hesitant about setting up with us, but he said maybe next week he'll come to church. 
So, it was fun. Kind of random, but you gotta make things random to love them. 
For the Fourth of July, we sang the Star Spangled Banner in English Class, it was so much fun! We also had McDonalds for dinner :)
I saw my old trainer! He was visiting Szeged with his family. Super weird. His family said they would tell my family I said hi. Awkward.
We also met a family from Utah in one of the fast food restaurants. It was super funny. He came up to us and was like "Elders, I need to get baptized tonight", and we were like "You're obviously a Mormon." It was funny :)
So, kind of a crazy week. Lots of random craziness. We make pancakes and flew paper airplanes yesterday for district dinner at the branch house :) Sometimes you just have to random crazy things to survive! Missions are crazy, but they are so worth it. 
Someone sent me the song "Better than a Hallelujah" by Amy Grant. And sometimes, we "we pour out our miseries, and God just hears a melody". It's not because He is wanting to punish us, or because He rejoices in our sufferings, it's because we are learning. And growing. And learning how we can be better and do better things. And sometimes, we learn more from these moments than when we are in our prime or ready to do whatever we need to do!
So week! Excited for this upcoming one!
I love you all! :)
Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone