Author: Egy budapesti Bogár

How I Hear Him

Last October President Nelson, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promised that the upcoming April General Conference will be nothing like we have ever had before. I’m not sure he meant an empty Conference Center, and absolutely no gathering in the meeting houses to view the sessions together, but he was completely right.

The theme of the Conference, besides the 200th anniversary of the First Vision, seemed to me to be listening to God and fining His presence in the turmoil of these days. When I saw the #HearHim tags on videos, photos and various posts, I knew I had been right.

One of my favorite talks–and there were several this conference as well–was Elder David A. Bednar’s talk, “Let This House Be Built unto My Name”. At the end of his talk, Elder Bednar said, “The fundamental obligations that rest upon us as members of the Lord’s restored Church are (1) to “Hear Him!”24 and have our own hearts changed through covenants and ordinances and (2) to fulfill joyfully the divinely appointed responsibility to offer temple blessings to the entire human family on both sides of the veil. With the Lord’s direction and help, indeed we will fulfill these sacred duties.”

A few weeks later, talking about how he hears Him, Elder Bednar gave us some examples of how we can hear Him, too. Read about it here.

How do I hear Him? Like Elder Bednar said, often I hear Him in the Scriptures. One time I was really struggling with everything, and in particular with my relationship with Heavenly Father. I felt disconnected, and I felt unheard. My bishop advised me to start reading 3 Nephi, regardless of where I had been in my study at that point, or what challenge local or global leaders had given us. So I did. And I heard His voice in the Scripture. I read His words. I saw the resurrected Christ, the Redeemer who had already performed His atoning sacrifice, who no longer needed to perform earthly miracles to bless and serve. I hear Him in the pages of The Book of Mormon every day.

On Leaving The EU – A Trip to Switzerland

After Hungary entered the European Union on May 1, 2004, the first time I exited teh EU was in January this year, when I made a trip to Switzerland with some friends to visit the Bern Switzerland Temple. Temples are sacred places for us, Latter Day Saints, and it had been over 15 years since I last had the opportunity to go to a Temple! Because we love to complicate things, we didn’t go to our assigned Temple in Freiberg, Germany, but to the Swiss Temple–via Bergamo, Italy.

And this is where the problems began. The day we flew into Bergamo, and were supposed to catch the evening train to Bern via Milan, a deadly train wreck happened near Milan. We didn’t know about it, and by the time we found out that we can’t get to Milan by train that evening it was too late to make any alternative arrangements. So we exchanged our tickets for the next morning…only to realize that the train we were told to be running for sure was cancelled, and after a lot of prayers and running we almost missed the train to Bern again. Fortunately we didn’t, and after several hours of travel we finally arrived in Zollikofen, Switzerland.

We got off the train and after crossing the street this is what we saw: img_5975

As we walked closer to the Temple we realized that it smelled like Heaven should–like chocolate! After a quick lunch and changing we could go to the Temple and spend the whole afternoon and the next morning participating in various ordinances. I also had it confirmed that the world is small, but it’s even smaller in the Church when I realized that there were several people serving there with whom I had some connections either from Temple Square or from home.

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The Bern Switzerland Temple, formerly known as the Swiss Temple was the first truly multi-language Temple and the Temple experience as most of us know it now in the Church is the direct result of having to find a solution to present the endowment sessions for a multinational audience. I think Bern’s beautiful celestial room is my favorite one.

Rather than taking the train home, one of the sisters from Bergamo drove us back. We saw some beautiful sites on  the way. Even gas stations looked impressive!

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A quick catch up

Wow! Where has the time gone? I’m told that doing something for thirty days forms a habit. Well, considering how much I blogged in November and December this might not be completely true in my case.

November and December have been busy! In November we had the stake conference, where the daily study of the Book of Mormon was emphasized again, and then I had the opportunity to participate in a creative Saturday for charity organized by the Love Bihor Association and the Oradea District of the church. I met some wonderful people there, and had a great time. Lots of wonderful things were created by members and non-members working side by side that were sold by Love Bihor at various Christmas events.

December has been great! It started with St. Nicholas visiting us at work with his reindeer. img_5446

We also decided to #lighttheworldatwork in the 8 languages our team supports.

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One Sunday the ward had a little Christmas activity. Our furnace is broken, so it was rather cold in the chapel that day, so we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional wrapped in blankets from Primary. We had a nice potluck lunch afterwards, and it was wonderful to socialize a bit with ward members. We really have some wonderful people!

After the ward activity the missionaries had a finding activity on Deák tér, one of the busiest parts of town. The theme, of course, was #lighttheworld #LégyAVilágVilágossága.

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Then the next weekend we had my niece and her Mama visit. We were originally planning to see a movie, but since Star Wars overtook the standard kid movie time slots, we skipped that. Instead we went to the two major Christmas markets, walked around, enjoyed a folk dance show, had real hot chocolate at Szamos, and just had fun.

Last week one of the wards had a very nice Christmas concert. Two of my friends, Ildi and Iaponira came to that, and following the concert we had some gyros at Iaponira’s home, joined by her husband. It had been quite a while since I had last seen Iaponira and Peter, and we had a lovely time, chatting, making a new “business plan”, and doing nails. I am really grateful for the wonderful friends in my life. My 8 years at EDS/HP/CPL gave me some wonderful people, and CC has been just as great!

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November at Last!

Write 31 Days is now over, and this year I’m not even attempting NaNoWriMo! So what now?

With the next holidays coming up are St. Nicholas and Christmas, I am ready to get started on Christmas preparation in earnest. I am also lifting my ban on Christmas music before Advent begins, because I found a bunch of CDs last week with some of my favorite Christmas music, including Harry Connick, Jr. This year the new addition to my usual Christmas playlist will be The Piano Guys. Since I’m working on December 25 this year, too, I am planning to put together an 8-hour-long Christmas playlist for the day. Then on the 26th the real Christmas will happen! For me Christmas is when our family is together, which includes my niece who normally spends Boxing Day with us.

So what am I doing? I’m making a shopping list! I want to bake some this year, and not just the traditional bejgli, and I want to experiment with the Christmas menu as well. Of course working before and during the holiday won’t leave much time for it, so I have to really carefully use the time that’s available to me.

Usually I add one or two albums to my Christmas music collection. Last year I bought Pentatonix, this year it’s The Piano Guys. I love listening to instrumental music when I’m working on something in a situation where singing along is not appropriate. Like doing quality checks.

I have to admit I am a little relieved that St. Nicholas, Advent calendars, and slowly Christmas decorations are taking over stores, because it means we have successfully gotten through he day if the dead period. Plus I love chocolate.

October 31

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October 31, 2017. It is the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing those 95 theses on a door. It is also the day when millions of children go knocking on doors. It’s also the last day of Write 31 Days. It was fun.

Halloween on Temple Square was serious business. We closed early, and each zone dressed up and presented a show in one of the theaters in the North Visitors Center. It was a blast. Then my previous company brought the Halloween spirit back into my life, and this year it continued with my current company.

I have to admit today was more fun than I expected, but it was also nice to climb into bed with my scriptures in the evening, and just listen to music and read.

Thanks for joining me for this adventure of Write 31 Days!

God’s Army and other Mormon Cinema

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I was on my mission when God’s Army came out. I didn’t get to see it till about a year later, when I could finally got a VHS copy. The next challenge was getting a VCR that played the American format. Gosh, I loved that film! Just as Testaments was a wonderful surprise in Church produced movies, God’s Army was a pleasant surprise for movie loving me.

Just recently I was watching it on YouTube, and someone commented that they didn’t understand why this movie was made, this is not going to convert anyone to the church. I don’t think they understood that God’s Army was not produced by the LDS Church. It was an independent movie, telling a story of LDS missionaries. It was made by mostly LDS people, but the actor playing one of the leads–and then again appeared in Brigham City–is Jewish.

God’s army was followed by a number of comedies and the previously mentioned Brigham City, and States of Grace, and then Richard Dutcher left the Church, and the independent Mormon cinema has been kind of… quiet. Or it just doesn’t reach us here. Of course there are a lot more media products available now, but I kind of miss those movies.

The Temple – part 2: The Building of the Salt Lake Temple

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One of the first LDS movies I’ve seen was Mountain of the Lord. It was the first LDS video I’ve seen that was not totally… churchy. It was enjoyable, interesting, and educational. I had known how long building the Salt Lake Temple took, but it was in this film that first introduced me to why it was that long. Later on serving on Temple Square it was something we often talked about. I love the story of the Temple, and the stories of the people who worked on building it. I think the only story I like more is how the Freiberg Germany Temple came to be built behind the iron curtain in East Germany.

 

My Missionary Scriptures

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As I mentioned in previous posts, my friend and I are kind of studying the Book of Mormon together, quite long distance. We are taking it slow and steady. I am also reading the scriptures by myself at random times and places, and I try to make an effort of doing some scripture journaling every few days, so I am at three different places in the scriptures simultaneously. To make it easier for me, I use three different copies for the three studies. At this point, I have to admit, that none of them is in Hungarian. I am still getting used to the “new” translation, and the comfort of familiarity only comes with the English copies. So in addition to having my journalized scriptures I use a pocket-sized Book of Mormon in my individual study. It is small, but it’s not a screen. I can carry it everywhere, and just mark it as needed.

I for the study with my friend, and usually for reading anything other than the Book of Mormon I use my missionary scriptures. It’s huge. It has everything. It is easy to read all the cross references, and it’s easy to have a Wikipedia-like experience when starting with a single verse in 2 Nephi one ends up three hours later somewhere in the Old Testament, via the Bible Dictionary, the Doctrine and Covenants, and thanks to a footnote, the New Testament as well.

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On this photo the book in the middle is the standard sized soft-cover copy of the Book of Mormon. I think it is quite evident why I don’t carry my missionary scriptures around much! I love them, though. I bought them a few months into my mission, and gifted my previous set to a friend. I hardly ever used the previous set, I used an individual copy of the Book of Mormon most of the time, but I really wanted a quad to make study more comfortable. It was made possible when a former missionary who had served in Hungary and had taught me invited my companion and I to dinner, and gifted us with some cash. So scriptures and a new-to-me pair of boots were purchased one P-day, and that quad became what I refer to as my missionary scriptures. It came with me to Anaheim, I used it the one time I was asked to give a talk, I used them for individual and companionship study, I used it to give the spiritual thought when it was my turn. So many memories are attached to this book. Over my years of not being active I still used it whenever I needed to turn to the scriptures for a story or a discussion, or even an online argument.

Using them again regularly has been fun. A lot of times reading my old notes and finding things that I thought was relevant to me 18 years ago brings back memories, and remind me of things that can be helpful in my life again. I love how all the new member enthusiasm shows through those comments! I love reading the scriptures, and I love how my Heavenly Father keeps guiding me as I study them.