Every 2 months or so, we have a gathering of all the senior missionaries in Hungary for a Conference. They are directed by President and Sister Smith and are wonderfully spiritual events! This one was no different.
We have three senior couples who will be leaving their missions before the next conference, so President Smith had each of the six missionaries relate to us their feelings about their missions. I told President Smith (afterwards) that I wished he would have passed tissues out before the meeting started! It was a multi-tissue event!
I will summarize what many of them talked about. Their missions were a wonderful growing experience. They learned to study the scriptures better and prayed more diligently for help to do their callings. They were humbled in trying to learn what some consider the 3rd hardest language in the world. So they learned they could smile, pantomime, speak Hunglish, or what ever it took to try to communicate to the youth or the members.
They were stretched and never felt more out of their comfort zone. Sister Scott quoted President Lorenzo Snow, “The nature of those demands upon us [is] such that no person can comply with them, unless by assistance from the Almighty. … He has promised this aid.” She said she felt very vulnerable when she came to Hungary. Brother Scott lost his sight shortly before they left on their mission! He is the Branch President!!!
They showed their love of the members in various ways. One gave each branch member family a tied quilt they made. A couple of the senior couples taught music lessons to potential ward pianists and taught the members the hymns (the Hungarian version of our Church hymnbook came out about July 2012). Many LDS are very talented musically and while on their missions, they used their talents in helping others learn music. One couple showed CES talks to a few YSA in their home every Sunday evening. One had Sunday dinners and invited non-members; if there were no non-members, then members were invited. Many serve in various positions in the branch leadership. One Elder reminded us to support the junior proselyting missionaries because they are on the firing line and are a basic key to the work!
President Smith then asked his two counselors and secretary to speak. President Szabadkai, President Ballatoni, and Elder Carpenter, (also known as the Office Missionary). President S quoted Nephi, “I will go and do the things that the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they might accomplish which he commandeth them.” This explains why he accepted the call to be a counselor to President Smith and travels 2.5 hours one way to attend meetings – and also why we (senior missionaries) are here. President B has a young family is away a lot visiting the various branches. (He lives in the Pest Ward and his children are darling! He also has a wonderful singing voice!) He has had offers to work in the USA but feels his mission is with his people of Hungary. As a convert at the age of 14, he remembers the role the senior missionaries played with him as sometime surrogate parents and mentors. Elder Carpenter was humbly thankful to work with these wonderful men!
Then President Smith concluded with some ideas from the book, The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen. President Smith listed all the blessings that can be ours if we share the gospel… things like: none shall stay you and you shall receive strength, and many more which are all taken from the D & C, and then he asked, Who would not want to have these blessings! So we are asked to stretch even more! This is way above most of our comfort zones…. but we will try our hardest to be obedient!
On a sad note, Cummings Elder and Növér had to leave their mission early. Sister Cummings had some health issues come up and needed some time to heal. We hope they can return to their mission when she recovers!