LDS

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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The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

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When I was on my mission one of the verses I really loved in the Book of Mormon was 2 Nephi 25:26.

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This was our lives as missionaries. All we did every day was to talk of Christ, to rejoice in Christ, to preach of Christ. We did it when we talked about the blessings of the Temple. We did it as we shared the pioneers’ stories. We did it when we bore our testimonies of His love, sacrifice, and triumph over death. At the flagpole, in the Tabernacle, at the Christus statue. As my friend Gabi said, it was easy to be good on Temple Square. It was easy, because our whole life was centered around Christ and serving Him.

We often recited this verse, and one day I decided to put it to a test when it came to the Book of Mormon. During my personal study the next two months I marked every time He is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

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On Sunday when I opened my missionary scriptures in preparation of reading it together with a good friend, I was, again, surprised at all the red marks in the Book of Mormon, showing all the mentions of Christ. Considering that one of my favorite Bible books, Esther, doesn’t even mention God directly, the straightforward witness of the Book of Mormon prophets seems so simple and uncomplicated. Simple and uncomplicated are good, because that is something even I can understand.

As I said earlier, for me the greatest purpose of the Book of Mormon is to invite people to come unto Christ, to bear witness that Christ loves us, and is always ready to receive the faithful and repentant. The Book of Mormon is truly for our time, and the opportunity of learning from it is one of those things that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with in these latter days.

Scripture journaling on a budget

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The Book of Mormon, in English, is 531 pages long, not counting the Introduction and the testimony of witnesses. I have been planning to move from the million post-its in my BoM to a proper scripture journal. So many of my friends have beautiful wide margin Bibles they use for that, and a wide margin template of the BoM (and the rest of the standard works) is available to be printed as well. In English.

While I used to work at a company that also manufactured printers, and allowed us to print some materials for personal use, 531 pages would not have been reasonable there either. So I started to look at various copy shops, and printing at the cheapest place on the cheapest paper that many pages would have come to around HUF 5000. With a better quality of paper, even printing double sided, it would be close to twice as much. That I found a little bit too much. Not to mention, if I wanted to do it in Hungarian, then I didn’t even have the option to print wide margin scriptures!

So I decided to create my own scripture journal on a budget.

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I ordered two copies of The Book of Mormon, they were €1.15 each. Then I bought a pack of 120g copy paper for HUF 1890. That will leave me about 16 sheets short, but I use this type of paper for a lot of other things, I will be buying more anyway. Of course the D&C  will need some paper as well. I prefer this thicker, whiter paper than the regular 80 g because I usually use a fountain pen or other liquid ink containing pens. Currently I use a low acid ink, and it writes beautifully on this paper.

Because I’m clumsy I prefer to see where I’m glueing something, so I primarily use these colored glue sticks, but double-sided tape works for people who don’t need to reposition their pages several times.

I am generally against mutilation of books, but this time I had to.

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The reason why two copies of the BOM are needed, because I need a copy of both sides of the same sheet to be glued onto the A4 paper. The missionary editions in English have thicker paper than the triple combination, and the soft cover BOM normally starts to fall apart by itself anyway, so I went with that. I expected to need a craft knife to get the pages out – and I’ll definitely need that for the Hungarian journal that I expect to be making in about a year’s time – , but with using some gentle force on separating the binding from the sheets, I could remove the pages without having to cut.

Then I glued.

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As you can see, it is not straight, and the glueing didn’t result in a completely fat and glued page, but as I’m not the artist type who would create a beautiful artwork out of her scripture journal like seen on Pinterest, it works fine for me. If you are better at using glue, you’ll get better results. Maybe I should outsource the glueing to my 8-year-old niece.

Currently the already made pages are in a binder, waiting for me to start study again tonight, but eventually I plan to have them spiral bound. This way I can add more pages where needed to add more thoughts, lessons, relevant talks or articles, even pictures as I go. This way it truly becomes a journal.

Another thing I started to do is to use the same type of paper (see, I use this kind of paper for everything!) to print some General Conference talks. I shrink the talks down to 70%, leaving me space to take notes, write thoughts, doodle, and generally use those pages as scripture journals. It helps a lot when I prepare for 4th Sunday in  Relief Society during the week. A similar journal for Sunday School preparation, printing the passages to be read, is also something I have been planning to use next year.

Every time I read the scriptures I discover something new and exciting. It is time to keep those thoughts at least somewhat organized. Because I do love to read the Scriptures.

 

 

An invitation

Just now I finished reading the Book of Mormon again.

Two of my favorite verses are the two right before the very last one, Moroni 10:32-33.

As John Bytheway once said, “Come unto Christ” is the ultimate invitation. That is the is the greatest purpose of the Book of Mormon. That is the message we receive from our Heavenly Father via His prophets during General Conference. Everything comes down to this. Come unto Christ.

Shabbat and the Sabbath

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The below video is by a Jewish a capella group, the Maccabeats. It is a cover of one of my favorite songs, or really, three of them. It’s not only a wonderful version of The Sound of Silence, but at the end of it, we can hear Lecha Dodi to the tune of Lenard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Lecha Dodi is a song that has many tunes, with many Jewish cantors composing new ones. It’s a song that originates from Sefad, the home of Jewish Mysticism, and it welcomes Shabbat, the queen. Centuries later it is sung in synagogues all over the world, welcoming the holy day of rest. After the lighting of the Shabbat candles and singing Lecha Dodi–for part of it facing the synagogue’s door–Jews rest from their daily lives, setting aside the day to sanctify and enjoy this gift of G-d. A Jewish friend once said that the greatest holiday they have happens every week, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday.

The message is to sanctify and enjoy the Shabbat. We, latter-day saints might not have as strict rules of Sabbath observance as our Jewish friends, but we, too, aim at sanctifying and enjoying the Lord’s day. We gather in our meetinghouses to partake of the Sacrament–the Lord’s supper–, and to worship and learn as a community. We try to avoid working on Sunday–I’m not particularly good at that–or shopping, or the use of secular entertainment and media. We serve in the Church, we visit friends and family, we focus on the Lord on Sundays.

To be honest, I didn’t really miss the getting up early and going to church in the morning aspects of Sundays during my years of not being active. What I missed, though, even if I didn’t consciously realize or admit it to myself, was partaking of the Sacrament. In addition to the quiet reflections during the passing of the bread and water, I get to renew my covenants with the Lord. It’s not just a one sided promise to be good and keep the Lord’s commandments, but it is also a renewal of the promises the Lord has given me.

Sundays might seem boring, but truly they are gift from our Heavenly Father.

When the Day is Busy

onebrick…and I have three posts in drafts, but all of them need more work, but someone sends you a bunch of Conference memes, you get this post.

Tomorrow is my niece’s 8th birthday, and today she had her birthday party at an indoor playground place, here in Budapest. We all had fun, but boy, four 8-year-olds have enough energy to power a maller European nation for a week! I planned to take a few photos and then crochet, but instead I took over 200 photos and didn’t crochet. Hopefully there will be at least 10 good photos out of those 200! Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a proper entry ready.

Write 31 Days 2017 – One Brick at a Time

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21 years ago I was a brand new member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A few friends and I from our branch in Budapest had the opportunity to attend an event in Győr, where a senior missionary couple taught us about building Zion where we are. Considering that a good portion of the youth attending has since moved abroad, the “where we are” part kind of got lost in translation, but the rest of the message stuck with many of us.

We got to build Zion, brick-by-brick. On each oversized paper brick we wrote something that helped us build Zion right here, in Hungary: scripture study, missionary work, family home evenings, service, love, repentance, faith, prayer and so on. Every brick became a part of the city wall we were building. Our wall stood, surprisingly stable and solid for being made of cardboard boxes. Then we removed a brick here, a brick there, and the whole wall crumbled.

For nearly a decade and a half I let that wall crumble in my life. With the help of some wonderful people, I have begun the work to rebuild my personal Zion, one brick at a time.

For the 31 days of October I am going to be writing about this awesome, hard, wonderful, and difficult experience. This page will be linked up at the Write 31 Days site, and all the entries in the series will be linked on this page. See you tomorrow!

For all Write 31 Days – One Brick at a Time posts click the image below: 

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