Monday, December 30, 2013

Hungary Week 74


Sorry I couldn't email last week, our Skyping counted for email time.  This week we don't have much time either, but I want to share some great things!

We were able to see a baptism this last week and make Christmas for MANY people.  Throughout those three days of Christmas celebration, we were able to meet with 12+ families and investigators.  It was miracles on top of miracles.  Elder Jones and I bought each other Christmas presents and we also exchanged stockings with our wonderful Sisters here in Dunaújváros.  It was a Christmas to remember, with a wonderful Skype conversation to top it off.  The Lord really does provide for us at all times and in all places.
This last Saturday I was able to baptize M, an AMAZING woman.  Her smile was contagious at her baptism, despite the fact that she was VERY scared of the water.  Whenever she would start getting really worried, I would say "Don't worry, I am a certified life guard!"  It calmed her right down!
I was also so happy to hear a wonderful couple from Szeged was married and then baptized this last week.  The baptisms conflicted, so I wasn't able to witness the event, but I couldn't be happier for them. 
Miracles are happening and I am just shocked with how fast time is flying, but I am sure that this last bit of my mission will be the greatest.  Miracles are coming and I can't wait to share them!
Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Ps.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I will share more holiday details next week!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hungary Week 72


I love Christmas!  I have been amazed by the miracles we have been seeing and I am so excited to visit all the people we are planning for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  To keep our investigators progressing with excitement, we have set up with many of them for the holidays to drop in and share the message of Christ's birth.  It is so wonderful seeing these people we love so much making time for us on these special days.  I am sure it will be a great opportunity to meet with their families and friends as well! 
So, as I previously mentioned, Elder Jones and I are still going strong.  We are going to have another baptism next weekend, so I can't be sad about that one!  We received a challenge from President Teixeira of the Seventy to get the work functioning so well as to have weekly baptisms.  Well, Elder Jones and I are finding more and more people just waiting for the gospel and it seems as though the fulfillment of his challenge is just around the corner.  There are so many people ready in this wonderful city and Elder Jones and I are finding them!
A good example is Wednesday, the transfer day.  We went tracting and we tracted into a woman that wasn't too interested, but then referred one of her neighbors that lived close by.  We headed straight over.  As K opened the door, her face lit up.  It was so adorable to see her eyes just beaming with excitement.  She was so excited to hear about our message that she called in her adorable 93 year old mother.  After that, she invited us to come back that night to meet her husband.  It was AMAZING.
At the end of our lesson with K and her family, I bore my testimony about these things expressing that "I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God."  She then looked back at me and said, "So do I!"  Miracles really do happen!
We were also able to take T, the guy that was baptized last week, to a program with us this week.  It was awesome to hear his testimony and just feel the depth thereof.  It was just a feeling like, "Wow, I helped this man be baptized!"
We also were able to play a part in some branch Christmas activities on Saturday and Sunday.  We helped decorate the Branch house for Christmas on Saturday night and then all of the neighborhood families came over and the kids were able to see Santa!  Here in Hungary, the children don't just sit on Santa's lap, but have to sing a Christmas song to him to get their gifts.  It was so adorable and I learned some Hungarian Christmas songs!  It was wonderful.
On Sunday, we had a lunch after church.  We watched a Christmas devotional for the third hour and then gathered for a little "family meal."  I brought a soup that I made up between 9:30- 10:15 the night before that turned out surprisingly well.  We also had some classic Hungarian dishes as well.  We were able to mix and mingle with the non members and we were able to get to know about some of the amazing part member families in the branch.  It was amazing.
In funny news, Elder Jones and I got stopped by the police this last week!  We were tracting at around 7 pm on Friday night and someone thought we were buglers (The one bad thing about wearing all black).  The most awkward part was the cops stopped us as we were exchanging information with an awesome girl we tracted into, it was an adventure though.  As one of the cops was taking down our information, we started talking with the other.  He brought up how much he loves genealogy and how he adores our website called "family search."  We told him about our resources in our branch house and gave him our information so we can meet sometime.  The Lord works in mysterious ways!

Well, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.  Don't forget to love the holidays and keep on smiling!  Invite the missionaries and your friends over and remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!  Make some miracles and share the sweet song of the gospel!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hungary Week 71

Hey everyone!

So I just got my transfer call, because they are coming monthly as of late and I am staying here in Duna with Elder Jones for Christmas!  Now, I just need to spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear!  Merry Christmas!
This week was great!  We were able to baptize T!  It was so awesome, after I baptized him, we walked up the steps to the bathroom and he gave me a huge hug while thanking me for helping him into the waters of baptism.  It was one of those moments when I felt like I was in the right place at the right time.
Other than that, Elder Jones and I saw some MAJOR miracles with 2 families.  About 2-3 weeks ago, one of our investigators referred her daughter and her daughter's family.  We met them for the second time this last week and it was absolutely AMAZING.  The parents are having trouble with their kid going down the wrong path and we were able to teach about the power of prayer.  At the end of the lesson, the mother said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard, just pleading for answers to help her son go down the right path.  She wasn't religious, but in her prayer, she turned to God and promised to pray with faith everyday from now on.  It was so touching.

We had a similar experience with an older man named P.  His wife died 4 years ago due to her mental state being destroyed by dementia over the course of MANY years.  When his wife died, his relationship with someone really close to him fell apart.  We were able to pray for help and answers in regards of this loved one.  At the end, he looked at us with tears starting to gather and thanked us.
My email is short today, but we saw so many miracles, from our mission leadership training on Wednesday to our celebration of Sister Hinckley's birthday on Monday, we had no down time.  The work is only meant to pick up and we are so excited for this month of miracles.
I will make sure to share all of our amazing miracles next week, but until then, don't forget to smile!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hungary Week 70


This week was absolutely insane!  It was full of miracles and moments of joy and happiness.  I just love my life, especially right now as a missionary!

From Monday until Sunday, we have been experiencing non-stop experiences that will last a lifetime.  Monday is actually the best example of this.  We planned on having a full Preparation day, with rest and fun activities, but then we meet this amazing guy at the library!  He asked to meet there on the spot!

After that, we were invited by members and non members to many Family Home Evenings.  We saw some great things as the referrals started to flow and we were also able to put some members on track to receive their patriarchal blessings.  
After that, we were able to bless even more people who were having struggles with sickness.  The members were also VERY supportive this week, calling US with referrals.  Even in splits with the Elders from Kaposvár, we were able to keep the work going strong.  
I was able to go with Elder Miller's new missionary, Elder Giacalone.  I was his zone leader when he first came in the country about 4 transfers ago.  It was so much fun because he is so similar to Elder Jones.  Our investigators kept telling him that as well!  It was a great split as we just met with person after person, learning one from another. 
Our split was also a great time to let all of our investigators know about Elder Jones' birthday!  This last Wednesday was his birthday and it was awesome to see everything the people of Dunaújváros did for him!  M, our investigator getting baptized this month, baked him a cake, A, our American investigator from Ohio made him pizza, and J, a member here in Duna, made him pizza and bought him desert!  The gifts even continued to Friday when one of our neighbors gave Elder Jones a very expensive bottle of wine!  The irony was the fact that we planned on teaching this investigator the word of wisdom on the very same day!
It was a great birthday for him because we were also able to make some breakthroughs with many investigators.  We were also able to find a new family as we made our way out to a small village to meet with another investigator.  One of our programs fell through, so we had the feeling to head out to the village early.  As we began walking down the empty streets, we saw a yellow house on the corner and smiled at each other.  Behind the door was one of the kindest men I have ever met, Z.  We have already met twice and he introduced us to his kids!  He is a great man and is going places!
Then, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving of tracting and teaching.  We then pulled a little dinner together with the Sisters where I made a soup and they made chicken, broccoli and mashed potatoes.  We then went around the table and said why we were grateful.  I was and still am grateful for my mission!  Oh the mission memories.
Other than that, we had some great experiences getting members involved in the work.  We were able to match up our investigators with their friends in the branch and we were also able to get the branch even more excited about the missionary work.
Our week built up to our amazing church experience of having 4 investigators at church, along with many less active and new members.  It was just awesome seeing the joy in the church member's faces as they looked at the congregation with such joy.  Many people got up to bear their testimonies and felt a little overwhelmed with the sheer amount of people that were there.  The work is going in Dunaújváros!
Sunday night, we had an interview with an amazing 30 year old man getting baptized this Saturday, T.  We were also able to meet with his family and invite them to T's baptism.  This man met the missionaries when he was 10 years old and he has finally found us again and is just so ecstatic to finally have the chance to step and be baptized.  We have only been meeting for about a month, but he is so ready!  We are VERY excited for him.
Today, we were able to have another unbelievable experience and render service to T's mom and introduce the "Mormon's" to a local school during their "Bible week."  It was fun to stand in front of a class and just bear testimony of the importance of Christ in our lives.  
I am having the time of my life and I am in love with my mission.  I just can't wait to see what the next week holds in store for me.  I am sure that there are only more miracles to be had.  Life is great!

Sok szeretettel and smile this week everyone!  
Elder Jake Nelson
PS There will be pictures next week!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hungary Week 69

Hey everyone!

We saw some huge miracles this week as a zone, companionship and city.  We were able to take part in a priesthood blessing in which truly HEALED someone on their death bed, have two wonderful zone trainings, two wonderful splits, set a baptismal date and still maintain our work so it could be an example to help the missionaries around us!  It was one to remember!

First, I want to share a blessing that I experienced this week!  There was a member who contacted us earlier about her sick mother and let us know that she hoped we could give her mother a blessing sometime soon.  We got the call that her mother didn't have much time left on Wednesday.

We rushed to the hospital to see this sweet woman lying still in her bed.  This 80 year old woman was unable to move due to a stroke or type of brain failure she suffered from recently.  In what was thought to be her last moments, we were called.  

As I laid my hands upon her head, the spirit touched my heart more than it has ever before and I simply told this sweet woman to "Arise and be healed."  The next day, her daughter called with the news that her mother truly did "arise."  By Friday, she was walking.

I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for this experience.  The Lord's power to heal really is upon the earth today.  I can't even express in words my gratitude to have been able to be a tool in the hands of the Lord, even if it was just for a small second.  


Other than that, we had three main goals as we approached this week and were able to reach each and every one.  The first was to address the importance of goals in relation to the wonderful training we had from President Teixeira.  We addressed that with an analogy to gummy bears!

We had one companion see how many gummy bears they could make in the other's mouth in 30 seconds.  We compared this to the importance numbers play in our missions, how some fall by the wayside, but as we become seasoned missionaries we can help way more than just one person into the gospel.  We talked about how as seasoned missionaries, we need to better understand the needful steps to help an investigator into the waters of baptism.

The zone seemed excited and we challenged them to make a solid base and go for standard next week.  After that, we are going to be making more specific goals so we can help the work go even faster and better.  The missionaries seemed like they really enjoyed it and had fun.  

We also wanted to be an example for our zone and show them the importance of maintaining the work even in hard situations, so Elder Jones and I made some miracles and achieved amazing heights in our work despite all of the travel we had.  Monday we were in Budapest, Tuesday Veszprém, Wednesday Székesfehérvár, and Thursday Pécs.  We had so much time taken out for travel and trainings, but we worked some overtime and made something we call, "Super standard."  In simple terms, we did some great things.

After that, we had some wonderful splits with Veszprém and Pécs.  Both Elders S and F seemed motivated and excited. 

Elder S is the first new missionary in Veszprém since I was there.  We went to all my old investigators who were baptized or fell off baptismal date in Veszprém and door after door was opened.  We rekindled some of their fire and got many referrals.  We even saw the B, a family I helped reactivate and I also baptized their little girl.  As the door was opened, the mother looked at me with tears and said, "Elder Nelson, I am active!  I am getting a calling next week in the relief society.  Look at us!"  And of course, the little girl was still the most adorable thing EVER!  AMAZING!

Elder F is one of my good friends from the mission.  We were in the MTC together and it was so great to be together again.  He hasn't seen the success he deserves on his mission, but we didn't let that stop us.  We got out and I showed him a new way to tract.  We had so much fun just enjoying our time together, making miracles happen and seeing success!  We were able to count on one hand the amount of rejections we had.  After our long day of work, he looked at me with a smile and said, "Elder Nelson, why couldn't you have told me about this a year and a half ago?!" 

I just got a call from Elder F.  Today as they were tracting, he applied what he learned and had two let ins.  I can't even control my excitement!

We had an amazing zone training, we achieved our goals, and had some amazing splits.  

We were able to also help a part member family, by helping set a goal with an amazing 21 year old girl to be baptized.  

Right now, I am nothing but smiles.  Miracles really do happen and I can't wait to make some more.  The weeks just keep getting better and better.  Just wait for next week, miracles are bound to come!

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hungary Week 68

Hey everyone!

This week was fantastic!  We saw some pretty crazy miracles. 
Monday was a brilliant start to it all.  Things just went through allowing us to have 8 investigator lessons outside of working with some members as well.  The only problem is trying to find the time to get studies and other needful things like meals in.  It is all good though, I am starting to become a professional at fast meals. 
I am getting used to yogurt, granola, peanut butter sandwiches and I also found a cheap blender, so smoothies.  It is definitely making for some big adventures!
Tuesday we got the news that we are staying together, Elder Jones and I at least until December 12th.  We made some memories, ran to the Duna river, met with an amazing woman and had our English class.  

Wednesday was transfer day, but due to the fact that we weren't getting transferred, we were here in Dunaújváros finding and making some miracles.  That day, we found so many AMAZING people.  Door after door was opened as we tracted in our very own neighborhood and people just seemed excited to finally meet "the Mormons down the street."  
We have mainly worked in our own neighborhood since I have been here and it amazing to see how many people we have got to know.  Every time we walk out of our door now, people are greeting from across the street and inviting us into their homes.  That day we were able to also work with some members coming back into activity and make some goals with them to go to the temple!  These newly activated members are being such great missionaries as well!
Thursday we went back to some people we met on Wednesday and really saw a miracle in a man who was looking for hope and a new start.  B is 33 years old and just came back from living in Canada and England for 3-4 years.  Everything seemed to fall apart in his life, but we were able to share the message of the book of Mormon and bring him to church before seeing him off to Budapest on Wednesday.  His countenance changed and I saw a light in his eyes that I didn't see before.  He saw some hope and I am sure the Elders in Pest will be able to do some great miracles with him.  AWESOME experience.
Friday had a big scare.  A, the 20 year old girl that was to be baptized this weekend got VERY sick.  We received a call Thursday night as she called in tears out of fear of not making it to her baptism.  On Friday morning, Elder Jones and I gave her a priesthood blessing. At the end of the blessing we promised it would be alright.  That next morning, we received a call that she was okay.  The blessing really helped and she was able to be baptized on Saturday the 16th.  
That Saturday, we saw some great miracles as well!  One of which was the fact that there were 4 investigators present at A's baptism.  Some people that I met this last week, people who I met with when I got here and someone who is to be baptized on the 7th of December.  On top of that, the member support was amazing and A was just glowing at the event.
That night, after the wonderful event of her baptism, more hardships fell on the shoulders of A.  Things happened at home that scared her and she wasn't sure how she would be able to make it to church for her confirmation.  Once again, we promised her blessings, prayed with her on the phone and told her to just trust. 

She made it to church and I was able to confirm her.  At the end of her confirmation and big smile appeared on her face.  She told us that she felt like a new person.  That although she was still A, she felt as though she had a fresh outlook on this all.  She felt like she was home!

To see this wonderful experience, we had 5 other investigators at church.  As we looked around the room, Elder Jones and I, and we also saw some less active members there that we have been working with.  These are people who haven't been to church in an unknown length of time. Miracles were happening on top of miracles as the members started showing an excitement for the missionary work here in Dunaújváros.
After that, we met with an amazing girl of a part member family.  She is 23 and lives half the time here and half the time in Szeged playing handball.  We were so excited to see her at church for the 3rd time since I have been here!  I seized the opportunity and asked to visit after church.  We were able to watch the restoration movie with her and her family.  She seemed excited and we challenged her to seek for her answers.  We are going back for family night tonight, we will see what happens!
We also were able to give a blessing to a sick investigator as well.  She has been meeting with the missionaries for almost 3 years and she is starting to understand this all!  She is driven to be baptized on the 7th of December and I am so excited for her!  Miracles really are happening.
We then finished the day with an amazing program with an AMERICAN!  That's right, we found the one American in Dunaújváros, or should I say, Rácalmás, a village outside of Dunaújváros.  His name is A and he is the coolest man ever!  He is a retired pilot from the military.  He felt like his money would go farther here, so he took his retirement and moved out!

We met him when he was driving his motorcycle around the branch house.  He assured us that he didn't want to talk about religion, but out of kindness he invited us out to visit his house in this village.  He was stalked up on all the American goodies and he told us story after story of his military days.  At the end we shared with him the Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back and give him a copy.  Due to his reaction, we figured he wasn't too interested, so we let it go and let the situation sit for a while.

Well, the other day we had the feeling to call him.  He answered and asked when we can come out next.  Elder Jones and I were shocked and made our way out there as fast as we could.  When we arrived he showed us into the kitchen where he made some authentic American stew!  It was so amazing and just reminded me so much of my Dad's daily servings of grilled meats.  It was so good.

We talked and laughed through the meal and at the end, we pulled out the Book of Mormon we brought to give him.  Of course, he made a joke, but then looked at us sincerely and said, "I know I joke a lot, but I really do appreciate this." 
After the lesson, Elder Jones and I headed home with smiles.  We looked back at our week and saw where we came from!  This last week we taught 31 lessons to investigators, baptized someone and set a new baptismal date.  The Lord has his hand in this work!
The weirdest part of this all is that I hit my 1.5 year mark on the day of A's baptism.  I only have 6 months left.  The time really does fly too fast, but I know that this will be the BEST 6 months of my mission.  Miracles are coming and I am sure I will be able to share plenty of them next week. 
Have a great week everyone and NEVER forget to smile!

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hungary Week 67

Hello everyone!!!

So, this week was great!  The work is picking up and more and more people are getting involved in the work.  We started working with the branch more, we set another baptismal date and things are just going forward so quickly!  The Lord is just putting opportunities in our lap and I couldn't be more amazed.
First of all, that investigator from Pécs I was talking about last week was baptized!  I am so happy for her!  She was so ready to be baptized and I heard that it was a great program.  I wasn't able to be there due to our work here, but she understood and I am sure I will hear from her in the future.  SO AMAZING!
Although I wasn't able to see the baptism, we saw some major miracles here with our work!  We found 3 amazing new people and one of them, almost in tears asked us to bring that special feeling she had back into her home another time.  God must of had different plans for our work here I guess!
Other than that, we were able to really dig into our teaching this last week.  Sadly, now wasn't the time for some of them, but many of the people we have recently found and are now teaching are really starting to understand these things.  More and more people are coming to church and those that have goals to be baptized are really stepping up to the challenge to be ready!
I would say the miracle of the week would have to be what happened in church.  Elder Jones and I were praying to get our investigators at church, but sadly, some were not able to attend.  When we arrived, we were fairly unsure to the number of people who would attend.  To our disappointment, as the meeting began at9 a.m. only one of our investigators were in attendance.  With time more shuffled in, one that I hadn't met yet.
At the end of the meeting I met T.  He is an awesome guy that has been coming to our church on and off for the past 4 years here and in Budapest.  He has the Book of Mormon in 3 different languages and LOVES the church, so we set up for Monday to meet. 
As we waiting for him at the branch house, we were worried he wasn't going to show up due to his tardiness, but he eventually arrived!  As we sat down to talk about the Book of Mormon, he shared simple testimony of the church and the Book of Mormon.  We asked him why he hadn't been baptized and he simple responded that the topic hadn't really been addressed much.  
Then and there, we set him a baptismal date of December 7th and he expressed his excitement to receive the priesthood and serve!  From the pool of 2 investigators we started with, our work has grown to something great.  We expect 4 baptisms before transfers on the 12th of December!  MIRACLES I SAY!
In other news, life is great.  I am enjoying the little things of life and am so happy to see the miracles I have already seen this week.  Time is flying by way too fast, I have only 6 months left as of this weekend, but I am just savoring these moments.  
Smile this week everyone, I know I will!

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hungary Week 66

More miracles!

This week was full of miracles on top of miracles.  It had its ups and downs, but that just shows the progression of the work.  People are getting baptized!

The work is going even faster and we were able to achieve super standard (In other words, we did really well)!  People are about to get baptized and we had a number of people not only accept baptismal dates, but baptismal challenges as well.  Elder Jones and I will hopefully set another 3 baptismal dates this week.  Door after door was opened and I couldn't be more grateful.
I got a call last night in regards to the investigator I met with last week in Pécs and she decided that she is going to be baptized THIS WEEKEND!  She felt the spirit so strongly the day after we met as she heard the Seventy at Stake Conference; she decided that she will be baptized.  I was just so happy to hear that news.
We set another baptismal date this week as well!  It is an amazing part member family.  The father has been a member for 21 years, but went inactive due to his work schedule about a year ago.  The Elders started meeting with him a couple weeks ago and when I first got here to Duna, he asked us to pray for his work so he can have an opportunity to come to church.

Well, he got fired that week we prayed for him!  That's not the good part, don't worry.  The good part is that one of his co-workers then opening the door for him to get a better job that self-same week!  The pay is better and he doesn't work weekends.
This program, he brought his 12 year old son and we challenged him to baptism.  This kid, who has never committed to baptism, accepted our challenge!  His father's eyes became huge and then said, "I want to baptize you son!  I am going to talk to the Branch President and will be worthy to baptize you on the 7th of December."  What a miracle!
I was able to go on splits with Elder Peterson from my MTC group. We saw miracles on top of miracles and found a new family on one of the biggest holidays in Hungary, Minden Szentek (All saints day).  
My companion and I, along with the Sisters were also able to head back to Budapest for a Zone Conference where President Teixeira, the Europe Area President, spoke to us!  It was so uplifting and I can't even begin to share what I learned from his address.  In short, I am going to be even more bold than I already am.  I am going to make these last 7 months my greatest!  I was also so blessed to translate all 4.5 hours for Sister Kovács, the Hungarian missionary I was serving around in Szeged.  I just love this language!
After all our wonderful meetings, I felt an arm on my shoulder and it was President Teixeira.  As he shook my hand, he simply said, "You are doing a good job, just keep going."  That was exactly what I needed to hear.  It was such a special experience.
I am so happy right now.  I really have realized the miracle of NOTICING the good in all things.  I can't wait to see what is just waiting to happen next, but I know that there are only more miracles to be had.
Smile this week everyone!  

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

P.S. I will send pictures next week!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hungary Week 65


To be completely honest, I was so confused about why I left Szeged.  We had all of those baptisms coming up and a bunch of miracles happening one after another, but from the moment I stepped in the car with Elder Jones, I knew why I was meant to come to Dunaújváros.
For my entire mission, I have been on a tour of the most beautiful cities of Hungary.  I have served in almost all of the college towns outside of Budapest.  Dunaújváros is NOT included in that list.  This city was built by the communists in 1957 as a MASSIVE factory.  Dunaújváros is in the heart of Hungary bordering the Duna river, making it a great place for transport. 
After the Iron Curtain fell, the city has gradually slowed down.  The need for the factories lessened, forcing many of the biggest factories to close their doors.  Now, as the newest city of Hungary, it is also one of the smallest in population.  
In regards to missionary work, it has been open for many years!  This weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the church in Hungary, and Dunaújváros was one of the first branches established after the church began to grow outside of the bounds of Budapest.  Much of the Hungarian church leadership today has been taken from this branch.
For the past couple years, Dunaújváros has been known amongst the missionaries as one of the hardest areas, especially for the Elders.  Recently it has really struggled considering the fact that there was a total of about 2-3 investigators in our companionship (as compared to the 12 baptismal dates we had in Szeged) when I arrived on Wednesday.  
As Elder Jones, the biggest teddy bear of a man, and I sat down to talk about our plan for this city, we felt the prompting to start in our own building and work out.  We introduced ourselves to our neighbors and as a gift, we shared with them our testimonies of the Book of Mormon.  One after another, the people kept letting us in.

In our own apartment building of 12 doors, 4 people asked us to come back and give them a Book of Mormon.  In experimentation, we branched out to a building across the street where we found more and more people asking us to come back and share our message.
This week, Elder Jones and I found 12 new investigators asking us to come back and share the message of the restoration with them.
Due to the fact that Elder Jones had already experienced what seemed to be "the hardships of Dunaújváros," he started freaking out with joy.  After having such success on Wednesday afternoon, I proposed the idea of pushing for a baptism before the end of the transfer.  On Thursday we met with the one person that was on baptismal date, an awesome 20 year old girl, and proposed the idea of moving her baptism up 20 days to be baptized on the 9th of November to which she responded, "YES!  I am so excited!"
Freaking out, Elder Jones started screaming with excitement.  Then, if that wasn't enough, on Friday we met with one of the only other regular investigators we have.  She is an amazing 55 year old woman.  We simply taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and challenged her to baptism on the 7th of December, to which she responded with excitement and acceptance.
After that, we had a prompting to tract right next to our branch house where we found a néni who lived in America for 40 years!  We shared with her the message of the Book of Mormon.  After praying with her and for her, she looked at us with tears in her eyes saying, "The Lord's hand truly brought you here."  

Saturday I spent on splits back in the city of Pécs!  I met with one of my old investigators who was put on baptismal date before I left.  Since then, she has been a little unsure, but hasn't miss church since that first time I invited her while I was in Pécs.  She has a testimony about these things, but is just scared to make the big step.  It was amazing to sit down with her again and set some goals with her to get back on track and be baptized before the end of the year.
Other than that, I met with some other former investigators of mine there and was able to put a member's little brother on a baptismal date!  I was with Elder Raymond, a new missionary and we just made some huge miracles happen in the city of Pécs.
As I was coming home on Saturday night, I caught word that our investigator that was planning on coming to Budapest with us for Stake Conference canceled in the last minute.  I was very disappointed after putting in all of the work we did to get a ride for her up to Budapest.
Elder Jones and I then looked at each other and decided to call any and all possibilities after pouring our hearts out in prayer for some help.  That night, we went to bed believing we wouldn't have anyone at the highly anticipated Stake Conference.
As we pulled up on Sunday morning after the hour drive, I had a blast from the past as I saw the members of Veszprém, Szeged, Pécs and a few from Szombathely.  The Veszprém people were freaking out wondering why I was still in the country considering I was there last year.  They were just in shock with my language abilities and just happy to see me as I was happy to see them.
I saw Attila!  He is the 20 year old kid I found in Veszprém towards the end of my stay there.  He has now been baptized for over a half a year and is receiving the Melchizedek priesthood this week.  I was able to sustain and support him in that!
Jake & Attila
Then, as of miracle, Attila was asked to come to the front and bear his testimony for the Stake.  He told of the moment Elder Forsythe and I stopped him in a park on the cold winter day of December 7th.  He bore his testimony and shared his gratitude for the miracle of the gospel in which we gave him.  That was one of the hardest points of my mission to hold back tears.
At that moment, I knew my Heavenly Father was proud of me.  I was able to look around and not only see Attila, but other converts that I helped into the waters of baptism since stepping into the country of Hungary.  I realized at that moment that I am meant to be in Dunaújváros to find that "Attila" that is waiting here.
After returning home safely with the Sisters, Elder Jones and I tracted and were able to finish the week strong with a total of 20 programs, virtually in the course of 4 days together.  We sat down to count up our numbers for the week, and saw how far we had come in such a little time.  We were happy and accepted the fact that we just missed one miracle we asked for in prayer, one investigator at Stake Conference.
After saying a little prayer of thanks and talking about our wonderful week, Elder Jones started freaking out again.  Something that never registered in his mind was a member family that came to Stake Conference.  One of the non-member girls of the family that was recently met in the past couple weeks was at Stake Conference with her family due to invitation.  
The Lord answered any and all prayers of ours and we were able to make all the miracles we set out to make happen.  With joy and excitement, President Smith asked me to share with one of the area 70 this week at Zone Conference the miracles I have experienced recently here and in Szeged.  This really is the work of God.
We really do sink low so the Lord can bring us higher!  I am so grateful for this work and the opportunity to be here as a missionary.  I am grateful to be in the right place at the right time.  Life is going, it is good and more miracles are coming in the city of Dunaújváros!
Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hungary Week 64

Hey everyone!
So we just got the news and it looks like I am leaving Szeged.  I had no idea this was coming.  The missionaries have transfers every 9 weeks now, but there was a surprise mini transfer due to missionaries going home mid transfer.  I thought we were staying because it wasn't supposed to effect the Zone Leaders, but I guess the Lord had other plans.  
We were playing soccer this morning and I got a call telling me I am headed to Dunaújváros with Elder Jones.  It was exciting, but very hard to hear.  We just had 2 baptisms, but yesterday and last week we gave some more people baptismal dates, making a total of 12 people with baptismal goals right now.  I thought I would see some of those baptisms before the end of the transfer, but it looks like I am needed somewhere else.  
I am excited to head to Dunaújváros and help the work there.  I will be Zone Leader over 2 of my previous areas, Veszprém and Pécs.  There are some special people in those areas and it will be fun to help build up the work in my new zone.  
Elder Jones is the happiest guy you could EVER meet.  He is one group above me in the mission and the biggest teddy bear.  I am sure our time together will be full of laughs and smiles.  We are put together not only for the South-West Zone, but to light the work on fire in Dunaújváros.  It is smaller and has been having a harder time, so I am excited to see what miracles that are bound to happen.  
The mission really is one of a kind.  I am so grateful for this opportunity and all of the opportunities I have received this far.  Today I have had to say goodbye to my investigators, friends and those I love here in Szeged, but I know this is just an opportunity to make more miracles happen.  I am so grateful for my mission and I know with every end comes a new beginning.  
I will let you know what the next chapter of my mission is like next week, but never forget to keep smiling.  Life is good!
Sok szeretettel, 
Elder Jake Nelson