Monday, October 22, 2012

Hungary Week 12

Hey everyone!

I am a lucky man this week.  I discovered I am serving in Veszprém for another transfer.  That is another 6 weeks of miracles in one of my favorite cities in the world.  The only weird thing is the other companionship is leaving!  Bowen elder and I are going to be the only missionaries here in Veszprém.  As if our work wasn't crazy enough, we have now inherited the other missionaries work.  Anything is possible with the Lord though.

This week Bowen elder and I had the wonderful opportunity to set two new baptismal dates for two wonderful children.  This last transfer, we really focused on strengthening the members in which already exist here in Veszprém on top of our task of bringing new investigators into the waters of baptism.  We were working to re activate those who fell away from the church and we happened to run into two wonderful families.  These two families both had a younger child who was not yet baptized.  We are now working with these two families to help their children be baptized in the first week of December.

We still have a lot of other people that we are hoping to help make steps towards the Savior.  We are hoping to turn their faith to actions through helping them in the basics of reading the scriptures, praying and going to church.  It is funny how there is always at least one of these factors missing when an investigator feels unsure.  If one can just understand these three things, they will understand why we are baptized.

So many things happen in the mission.  The funny experiences to the experiences where you are just scared for your life, but the most amazing thing to happen is what happens overtime.  As each day passes I  find myself more and more lost in my hopes and dreams for these people.  I have always heard that it is only when we lose ourselves in the service of others that we truly find ourselves.  It hasn't been until now that I fully understood the divinity of that statement.

For all those reading, make this week great!  Everyday is a new day and life is what we make it.

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hungary week 11

Hey everyone!

Bowen elder and I are just loving life out here in Veszprém right now.  It has been a week of miracles and some really big steps for the work here.  From the moment I got here, I have heard the absolutely true statement repetitively that this mission is different.  This mission is absolutely different, but it is absolutely different because it is destined to be the fastest growing mission in the world, or so I have determined.  The evidence was placed before me this week, the only step that needs to be taken now is to continue in boldness and faith in the Lord.

This week Bowen elder and I decided to take some extremely large steps towards being the missionaries we always wanted to be.  We recognized our purpose is not only to help people have faith in Christ, but turn that faith into continuous steps towards Christ.  What better way to help then through baptism.  So many missionaries fear that people will think we are here to help them be baptized, but in all honesty, what is wrong with them understanding that?  Of course I want these people to be baptized because that is evidence of a person stepping towards their Savior.  This week, Bowen elder and I set a goal to challenge everyone we come into contact with to baptism.  Our work exploded in ways I didn't even expect and I couldn't be more grateful.

This week, due to our efforts last week, we are expected to have 5 people on a baptismal date.  These are people who were touched by our challenge and we are going to help them receive their answer before a specific date.  I am just so consumed in gratitude.  My expectations for the miracles I will make happen here in Hungary are not diminishing with time, but exponentially multiplying.  These people I have been able to help have truly changed my life and have made me realize how much this gospel truly means to me.

It is amazing to see so many people grow and step towards the Savior, but it doesn't make it any easier to see those I love turn away from just giving the Lord a chance to tell them the Book of Mormon is true.  This message I have been called to share is that simple.  Take the Book of Mormon, read, ponder and pray, asking the specific question, "is it true," and we will know that this is the restored church of Jesus Christ.  There is no strings attached.  We just give people the tools and pray they use them.

It was so eventful this week though.  We taught such a variety of people simply challenging each one of them to find out the Book of Mormon is true and then act through baptism.  We had a range of responses from "I'm gay and I don't know if I can change even with that answer" to "Of course I would!"  We have truly experienced what feels like the range of emotions that should be felt in a lifetime in the span of seven days. 

The greatest and most coincidental experience this week was my opportunity to finish the Book of Mormon for my first time since being on my mission.  I received my testimony of it's truthfulness before my mission by taking its challenge to read, ponder and pray.  The Lord blessed me with the same witness and answer once again.  This book is true.  How great is missionary work?  You simply tell people truth and get to see the miracle of them receiving their answer.  

Like I previously stated, miracles are happening here in Veszprém, I just don't know how I received such a spectacular opportunity such as this.  I am so grateful to be here.  The gospel is true.

Sok szeretettel,

Nelson elder

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hungary week 10

Hey everybody!

Sorry I missed writing last week, there was so much going on I didn't even have time to write! These past two weeks have been ones to remember though.

I think I mine as well start off with the bad news though. K, our investigator that was to be baptized this weekend, disappeared. She just didn't show up to program one day after seeing her just glowing with excitement. She won't pick up her phone and she missed her first English class in two months. When I realized that she was actually gone I couldn't help but break down. I have been here for two months and I just felt like I didn't have anything to show for it anymore. That is why Bowen elder is awesome. He helped me realize once again that I am giving my best and that is enough. That is all the Lord asks, give our heart and soul. Right after that moment of being down, Bowen elder and I got outside and placed two Books of Mormon.

Some more happy news is the members here in Veszprém are amazing! Bowen elder and I are having a hard time keeping up with their referrals and friends to teach. It is so wonderful to see these people so open to sharing the gospel! It is when members get involved when real missionary work starts happening. Along with that we have been really trying to find new investigators through our own efforts through talking to people on the streets, tabling which is when we set up a display in the middle of the city and talk to as many people as we can, and tracting which is when we knock doors.

These finding times are fantastic opportunities, but they are extremely hard when they are in large blocks of time. One day this last week we had 3 hours of streeting time at the end of the day, 5 pm to 8 pm. It was hard to go 2 1/2 hours without a single phone number or a real conversation. I then looked to Elder Bowen and promised him a Book of Mormon placed and a phone number before the end of the night. I then pointed to a kid in the distance and said, "It's him." The Lord blessed us that moment with what we were searching for.

During another one of these finding opportunities, we found ourselves in a more ghetto part of Veszprém, which isn't saying much because this is an extremely safe place. As we were walking next to a row of ten stories, we ran into a large group of drunk men. While amongst the men, we heard a man calling after us. As we looked around, we saw a man waving us over leaning against one of the ten stories. He then proceeded to mumble, "Who are you and why do you two look so official!" He then demanded us to come back later and teach him about the gospel. You have to love the mission.

I can often think back to growing up and wondering to myself what my mission will be, what it will do to me and what I will be able to do for other people. I look back and realize my mission is better than I could have dreamed. I'm not a perfect teacher, there is so many hard things I have had to go through, I have been rejected and laughed at, but these moments are what I will cherish for so long after I'm home. I will look back and remember K. I will laugh about the moment the 80 year old man answered the door completely naked. I will remember the way people laughed at me because of my funny clothes and my weird tag. I will think back to the good and the bad and I will love them both.

It's going to be good week this week. We have a goal to challenge all of our investigators to come to church and be baptized. Miracles are bound to happen I tell you!

Sok Szeretettel,
Nelson elder