Tired and on an escalator…just about sums up Hungary!
But here I am to update you on my past week! The biggest news would be our second and last trip to Hungary! Instead of spending an astronomical amount of money on our plane tickets again, the office sent us by train. We left on a sleeper train Sunday
night at about 5:00
, were woken up at the border around 5:00
in the morning to get our passports checked, and arrived in Budapest at around 8:00
in the morning. We met up with the sisters again and they took us to the embassy. We had to wait a while, but everything went well and Sora Ruiz has a visa! HOORAY!! 🙂 The sisters were having P-Day so we were able to hang out with them for the rest of the day. We went to their apartment and showered while they did email time. Then we headed over to a restaurant run by church members there in Budapest called “Gringos Amigos,” which is probably the best Mexican food I have ever had here in eastern Europe. It was kind of like Cafe Rio (sweet pork burrito) and they even had horchata! Sora Ruiz and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo in STYLE! After that, we walked around a mall a little bit waiting for the sisters to finish email. We headed over to Buda Castle and it was SO picturesque! You get a great view of the whole city and the river. After some ice cream (of course), we went to a lesson with them. They teach a man named Javier who is from Mexico, knows Spanish, English, and Hungarian, and has a baptismal date. It was cool because Sora Ruiz was obviously able to speak Spanish with him — and there aren’t too many Mexicans here in eastern Europe. We were able to join in their lesson and it was so cool! After that, we went with a couple of the elders to catch our train back to Buc and we spent another night on the train. The sleeper train cabins each had two beds (not very comfy), a little sink, a mirror, and enough space to play cards on the floor. We ended up playing a lot of Phase 10 and watching the Romanian countryside go by. (We actually stopped in Braşov for about 10 minutes both going there and back!) The hard part about our trip back? Apparently our phone was still on roaming or something and stopped working when we got back into Romania! So we had no way to tell the office elders that our train was late and there was no way for them to contact us to tell us where they were. We had to awkwardly ask someone at the train station if we could use their phone and called our elders in Alexandria to tell them the situation. They called the office elders and we just took a taxi to the maxi-taxi station then made our way home just in time for English classes that evening. We went BACK to Buc the next day (Wednesday
) to go apply for the permis de ședere at the visa office in Buc, which is what I have and what allows us to stay for a year and a half. All went well there — Sora Ruiz can pick up her permis in a month — and we got to eat at Ikea, so I’d call it a good day! Our lack of phone is still pretty annoying, but it should get fixed by Friday
so that’s good too.
Looking like we’re on our honeymoon together!
Eating a BURRITO?! In eastern Europe?! HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!
Beyond our crazy traveling schedule and the fact that we haven’t really done missionary work in a couple days, we have had a great week and a half! We started meeting with Diana, this totally wonderful 18-year-old who is preparing to take her First Certificate in English test so we met everyday last week to do 30-30s. She is very open and honest — we are able to have great conversations about what questions she has about religion and share lots with her. She keeps her commitments (which is more than most 30-30 students usually do) so we are excited to keep meeting with her!
We also had a little tender mercy this past week. We were planning for the week (a 3-hour production that just kind of makes you depressed when you realize how few people you are teaching) and we were going through our old investigators, one of them being Ioana who we had taught one time over a month ago. We decided we would call her one more time, give her one last chance — normally she answers the phone but gives an excuse as to why she can’t meet. She picked up the phone this time and asked when we were coming over! We met with her the next day and taught her about the plan of salvation. She always asks really great insightful questions that shows how much she thinks of these things and how much she is paying attention. The whole experience to me was a testimony-builder that we always need to try, we always need to continue inviting people and giving them chances because we never know when the time will be right. Just how Heavenly Father always gives me chances to change, to grow, and to progress, I need to give other people those same chances.
By the time I next write, we will know transfers! I could see it going either way with Sora Ruiz or I leaving since we have been here for the same amount of time…so it really will be a big surprise come Saturday morning! I’ll be sure to update you with my new companion and my potential new area on Monday!
I love you all and miss you very much. I think of you and your examples all the time. I think of what I want to become and I see so much of it in each of you. Thank you for all of the love and support that you give me on a daily basis, even if it’s from across the ocean. Know that I love you so much!
In front of Buda castle!