Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dunaujvaros Week Four (Week 76)

Going into transfer nine of eleven....feeling really, really old...
Well, the transfers come and go, and sadly Elder Peterson is leaving me! He's off to go train a new missionary in the city of Szombathely. Last night, we had a pretty good idea that he was leaving, so he started telling me everywhere to go tracting, where some of the less-actives live, and things about the car...because starting tomorrow I get to drive a car! Freak out! 
So today is the first day of Fall! Yay! The trees are starting to change color, and I'm super excited! 
So, I will be getting Elder Raymond. He's only a transfer under me, but I hear he's an amazing missionary. And also a professional model. I'm so excited! It's gonna be great!
We went to the city of Veszprém last week on splits. Can I just say really quick how lucky I am to be where I am and have the ability to see so many awesome cities? It really is incredible! I was able to serve with my greenie, Elder Mellor, for like a whole day! I miss that kid, soooo much! We are definitely hanging out post-mission. We got a let-in with a really cool older couple who said the elders can come back and teach them. Elder Mellor turned to me while we were knocking and said:"It's like Szeged all over again!" Minus the 120 degree weather and mosquitoes, it was! Haha. 
I don't have a lot to say, other than the fact that our work isn't doing so hot right now, but I have some big plans for the upcoming transfer. Sometimes you can get a lil' blue on your work, but if you remember that every disappointment is a blessing on your head, then it will all work out. So I guess we'll keep knocking on door until our knuckles are sore! Another important thing I'm learning: attitude. It's all about your attitude to not only yourself, but to others. Be kind to others, especially be kind to those that kick you out of ten-stories, call you rude names in Hungarian, and threaten to call the cops. It's all part of the journey, and it really does get better with time. Plus- you get something to laugh about! 
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."-Plato
Love you guys! Have a good week and do good things! 
Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pics from Duna

Sister Magda is going home! :( My sisters' missions are almost up!)



Neely and I in Székes.

Baptism last week! Elder Peterson baptized and I...watched. Haha ;)

Hungarian Risk

Duna's ten-stories-they color them so they won't be as depressing as they already are! Haha

Smelly factories- sadly, them employ like half of the city

Hungarian countryside!

Duna at night!

Dunaujvaros Week Three (Week 75)

So, first of all, I forgot my planner out in my apartment :( So now I don't remember what happened this week! But, I'll try...
Last week, we went down to Pécs to give a training. The car ride down the highway was about two hours, and the countryside was absolutely gorgeous. We passed lots of plains, mountains, and small villages carved into the sides of large valleys. I love Hungary! The last time I was in that city was a year ago for a zone training, back when I was in Kaposvár. Crazy how fast time goes! We also gave another training in Székesfehérvár, and we got a nice surprise of President and Sister Smith coming on down to watch the training! They did an amazing job of adding the Spirit into our teaching, and we were super happy they showed up.
It's been raining SO hard recently, I cannot believe it. We'll be sitting in our car about to get out, and then suddenly it sounds like someone is pounding out roof with a hammer and then the road disappears into a fog of rain. Dang, that sounded pretty poetic, didn't it? :) Anyway, my days of getting caught in the rain seem to be coming to an end, since we've always been in our around our car. Soooo don't have to worry about ruined ties.
Last week, I won my Risk game! Woo! Still rocking it. Also, a member had us come over and give back-to-school blessings to her neighbor's kids in her ten-story. They weren't members, and the thought of a random American boy coming and putting their hands on their heads and muttering Hungarian in a weird accent wasn't the most exciting thought. Noticing that the kids were kind of scared, the member said that she would get a blessing "as an example". She then told Elder Peterson to give her a blessing. Talk about awkward blessing! He didn't really know what to say, so he said something along the lines of "I bless you that....your things in your life will go well...?" I don't know, I can't give it justice. It was just so awkward for someone to be like "Give me a blessing as an example"!  I admit that I was also nervous, but once I put my hands on the head of a small little seven-year old girl, the words came and the Spirit was so strong. Very special moment indeed! 
Don't have a whole lot to say, just that I'm loving being a missionary! Next week is transfers, and there is something like twelve new missionaries coming in: pretty big group! Going be awesome :)
Loving everything. I am so happy to be out here in this beautiful country, speaking this amazing language, and serving these incredible people! Super happy! :D 
Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Dunaújváros Week Two (Week 74)

The weather is starting to get colder...and it's only September...ehhhh
What happened last week? Well, we got invited over to a less-active family's home for family night last week. They wanted to play the beloved board game "Risk" with me, my companion, and the other two elders. Not wanting to give up an opportunity to utterly thrash everyone in my favorite board game, I obliged. I took up my position in North America and diplomatically weaved my way out of any serious situations. In fact, I currently have everyone thinking they are in an alliance with me...oh dear.
Currently, I'm in a position to win. Don't even worry about it. We're going over again tonight to finish it. I felt like I was back with my friends at home, except it was a bunch of Hungarian getting screamed instead of English! Haha way different! 
I went on splits to Székesfehérvár last week! I've never been there before. It was a super pretty city, and apparently it was the first capital of Hungary "back in the day", that meaning like the year 1000. So it's pretty old. I got to see my good friend Elder Neely, and that's always a treat!
I had a dream about Harry Potter last night. I miss Harry Potter
We had a program with a new investigator, and I showed her pictures of my family and said how I have three younger brothers, a mom,a dad and now a dog. She took the picture from me, looked at it, and said: "My dear, I see your brothers and your dad, but you didn't tell me about your beautiful sister! Where's your mom? Is she in the back somewhere?" Peterson started laughing and I had to awkwardly explain to her that my "sister" was in fact my mom. So...shout out to my mommy for looking young! HAHA
We had our first MLC (Mission Leadership Council) this past Wednesday. We drove through Budapest's winding streets until we got to the Mission Home and were able to discuss the needs of the mission with President and Sister Smith, the other eight Zone Leaders, and the Sister Training Leaders. It was super cool to hear President in that kind of setting, as we talked about problems and solutions regarding the work here in Hungary. He's a super awesome person, and really in-tune with the Spirit.
We had a baptism last Saturday! "K" was super excited! She was found tracting by some elders in this past March, and she has just been progressing awesomely since then! I kind of got here just as we were finishing up her teaching, but after her confirmation she still grabbed my hand and with tears in her eyes said "Thank you, thank you, thank you for teaching me." I have to admit, it had a massive affect on me. You just never know who you might touch with what you say, nowadays.
And it's true: You NEVER know how you can affect someone. So, always be YOU, but more importantly, remember who you ARE. 
Love you all! Peace and blessings from Duna! ;)
Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Giacalone

Monday, September 1, 2014

Eger Week Five (Week 72)

I hope everyone had a great week! Also, somewhere along the line my Week Number got messed up, so it's on 72 now. #sorrynotsorry
Anyway, CHANGE HAS COME TO MY LIFE AGAIN. Transfer calls were this morning, and we were both surprised to see President Smith on the caller ID. Elder Barbour is being sent to my good friend Elder Neely in Székesfehérvár, and I am also leaving and going to be a Zone Leader in the city of Dunaújváros. Kind of scary, but I am super excited! I will be serving with Elder Peterson, who is actually my "mission mother", and he is a super cool kid! Also, I get a car! My dirt road biking days are over! 
I talked to a German the other day! I was surprised by how much I could understand him, but literally when I tried to reply to what he was saying, just Hungarian came out. Gosh dang it, so much for three years of German in high school. #fail
August 20th was last week! Happy Birthday Hungary! That was said in the voice of Katy Perry, by the way. We hiked up to the castle that overlooks the city, and I guess it totally stopped the Turkish invasion in the 1500s. Just a little FYI. It was gorgeous, and later that night there was a super cool fireworks display outside of the Basilica. There were booths set up on the walking street, and you could buy lángos (a giant scone) and lots of yummy candy. Hungarian holidays are the best!
It has been a super good ride out in Eger. A super fun....five weeks. Dang, they call this "one and done", when you get to an area and then you leave like at the next transfer. Also, our companionship, and our massive amount of work, is going to the other elders because we are getting "shut down". Simply because they were more elders leaving than coming in, so some had to go down. So I have to CLEAN SO MUCH TONIGHT. 
Love you all! Be good and pray that I don't crash a car next week!
Elder Giacalone