Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hungary Week 4

Hey everyone!

These past two weeks have been the craziest two weeks of my life.  The work is going, my companion is awesome, the language is still hard, but coming and I am just loving life.

When I arrived in Veszprém, which already has a reputation for being a hard area, we really didn't have much going on.  The reputation comes from some bad missionaries who served here and made some bad decisions.  Those missionaries just made it more difficult to make relationships quick.  There was a lot of attempts to find those ready for the gospel, but it really wasn't giving us much.  It was looking kind of down, but it is coming now!  We have some new investigators that are making us really excited and we are simply hoping to help them.  We teach English and that is where these two have come from so we will see where the Lord will take it.

Elder Knight is one of my best friends already.  We have so much in common it is kind of creepy, but I like it!  We didn't seem to get along amazingly from day one, but just over time we have become so close.  He, along with the Lord, has taught me so much over these past few weeks.  I think the biggest thing that I have learned is just the concept of relationships.  Missionary work is simply relationships.  Before my mission I feel like I was who I was and I clung to certain people.  That is not what life is about.  We are here to live and love everyone.  I just have truly had my eyes opened and I see just the good in things.  It really makes life happier and easier.

Last Monday I took a trip to Budapest for some new missionary training.  It was so strange, but awesome to see everyone from the MTC once again.  It felt like no time has passed.  We met with the mission president and discussed his vision for Hungary.  We are truly meant to change this country and bring some happiness to this people.  All I can say is that I can't wait.  Lives are changing already, I can't even imagine how many lives will be changed by the end of this adventure.

There is one other thing that I really have learned since being here and it is the relax.  A mission is two years and I think a lot of people feel like they are just going to be serious for every minute.  I am sure some people can do that, but that most definitely is not me.  It is okay to smile, have fun and joke.  This really is the best two years and it is what you make it, make it amazing.  The sooner people realize you are a real person, the sooner they will listen.

The key is just to make the most of every moment.  Love it all.

Nelson elder

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Picture Week

This week Jake didn't have much time to write, but he was able to get some pictures to us. Here are a few of them for you to look at.
An old friend of Jake's in the airport right before he left for Hungary

As long as there is a Burger King, we know Jake will be alright! ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hungary Week 2

This week was csodálitos, but so hard.  When an investigator doesn't show up, we call that being dogged.  We were dogged A LOT this week, but there is a reason for everything right?  I got to see Gould elder for my first time after being here because he is in my district.  So much to say I don't even know where to start.

First of all, our first week was one of my companions greatest weeks for handing out Book of Mormons, but the only problem with that is that we didn't anticipate handing out so many so we ran out of Book of Mormons.  The mission home is 2 hours away and that is the closest place to get Book if Mormons.  We called the president and decided to just wait for 5 days until the senior couple headed to the mission home in Budapest.  It turned out that the office elders gave them 5 boxes of Liahona magazines, not 5 boxes of Book of Mormons.  We have now been 9 days without Book of Mormons and we have to wait another 6.  It is a little hard to tell about a book that we can't even give them, but we all have challenges in our lives right? hahaha

Being dogged is a little rough.  It's not that bad for me as a missionary, but it is hard to realize the person we were going to meet with may not get to hear about the gospel.  I just found myself down after only being able to teach a total of 3 investigator lessons after an entire week, but as I just knelt down and cried to my heavenly father, I realized that it is all for a reason.  We worked super hard on finding and we are finding some of the most amazing people.  We are changing lives already.

I can talk!  I am understanding and talking more and more every single day.  Success is attitude, so I figure if I can just be the happiest guy ever, it will come.  I weirded out my companion the first couple days because I asked to street on the opposite side of the street.  He was shocked as he asked, "Alone?!"  I was just like, "Alone!"  It is helping so much and I feel myself getting more in the flow of conversation thanks to the help of my Savior.  I still don't understand insults yet though, but that's okay.  I once said to my companion after streeting someone, "That was a really nice person."  My companion then said, "That person said f--- you."  I then said, "I don't care I don't speak Hungarian."  Attitude is everything.  I'm already getting the name "mosoly elder" (smile elder).  A smile changes the world.

My apartment is so nice!  Everyone here stays in these 10 story apartment buildings which were built by the Russians.  We stay in one of those and it is way better than I expected.  The only problem is when you hold the shower head wrong it electrocutes you, de semi baj (but no worries).  Makes me feel alive.

One last thing, it is so weird to see how different the styles are here.  Not everybody is super immodest, but some of the things I see people wear makes my jaw drop.  I literally saw a girls underwear my first day here because her skirt was so short.  There is also very descriptive statues of women here.  It's very weird especially as a missionary.  My only problem is I have a habit of starring when I see it.

I couldn't love this place more though.  My companion, the people and the work is just like I dreamed of.  Loving life and giving all I've got.  Never waste a moment.

Nelson elder

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hungary week 1

Wow, crazy week I tell you.  I am in Hungary right now and it feels like nothing short of a dream.  As I drove along the Danube last Tuesday, chills went through my body.  This is the most beautiful place I have ever seen and more importantly, the people everything I dreamed of.

I don't have much pictures for everyone today, but I am taking them after this for next week.  My first area is called Veszprém, a city just south west of Budapest.  My companion is a Brit from Liverpool named Knight elder.  I love this elder so much!  He is one of the hardest workers I have ever met, but he also needs his fun which is good.  He was super excited to meet me when he found out I played rugby.  Apparently we are the only two in the entire mission who even know how to play hahaha.  We are like best friends already because we just work so well together.

Veszprém is so sweet!  We legitimately street people next to a castle!  See, that is the nice thing about this area.  Knocking doors doesn't really help as much as just contacting people as they are walking on the street.  These people are so nice too!  I often think back to when I did door to door sales in Oregon and how rough it was.  These people, like 80% of the time stop!  They don't even know me and I have some of the worst Hungarian known to man, but they stop for me.  They are so receptive too!  My companions best week on the mission was when he handed out 12 Books of Mormon, but we got 11 in our first 3 days.  It's so wonderful to see my excitement and our success creating that greeny faith in him again.

The weirdest thing that I have come to see is weekends in Hungary.  You either have programs (lessons) or you are simply sunk.  Everyone mysteriously disappears, it is the weirdest thing in the world.  We surprisingly still handed out two with the deserted streets on Szombat (Saturday), and it shocked my companion.  Vasarnap (Sunday) was amazing though.  I got up and bore my testimony the best I could and that was enough.  The spirit spoke better than I did, so that's all that matters.

I was a little intimidated when I got here and saw all of the Hungarian signs and everything I couldn't understand, but I have no fear anymore.  People often let rejection, fear and nervousness stop them, but why?  Tudom hogy Jézus Krisztus által minden dolog lehetséges.  Why worry about when the language will come?  Why worry about rejection?  It will come and in the timing in which my Savior sees fit.  I will work myself to death, collapsing every single night from working so hard, but I will never be down.  The Lord asks for my best and I will give it too Him.

I'm in Hungary, in Eastern Europe.  Supposedly one of the hardest missions because it is labeled as a "European mission."  People hear that and just think that it is impossible because it is "Harder here."  I'm here to tell you that that is a lie.  I am here as a servant of the Lord.  I am here to change lives and wash them clean through baptism.  I am here to make these people smile.  Yes, I am in Europe, but that is all the more reason to have success.  This is the Lords children and I will make miracles happen.  The Lord will make miracles happen.

Never stop smiling
Nelson elder