Monday, February 25, 2013

Hungary Week 30

Hey everyone!

I am just so happy right now, it has been a great week and my companion, Elder Cutler is such an amazing Elder.  He came all the way from the other side of the country, Nyíregyháza.  He is a youngin though, making me his second companion.  He has been here for two months, but he is already speaking like a champ and things are just going so well.  We are even having a hard time keeping up with everything, which is a good thing!

Everything seemed to just fall into place this week, even the crazy snow storm.  Of course the week that I start running more regularly, it starts snowing!  It is okay though because I had so many memorable experiences this week.  We taught in a college dorm, we taught the message of the restoration in a local high school English class, our English class doubled since my arrival, we had someone call US to meet, we had many investigators stay through all 3 hours of church, I spoke for my first time in church and we put another great man on a baptismal date.

First, the college dorm.  To start, I have been a little hesitant with talking to college aged girls on the street since my experience of getting kissed on the street for giving a girl a Book of Mormon.  About a week ago Gould elder and I were streeting at 8:30 at night and we ran into these two college aged girls, because I have recovered from my kissing experience we stopped them and talked to them about our wonderful message.  They were flirty and seemed more interested in the fact that we were American boys than the fact that we wanted to give them a Book of Mormon.  Well, we gave them the book and explained the promise to which they replied that they would read a bit out of it.  They ended up texting us before the end of the week asking to meet.  Although a bit skeptical, we accepted.  The first night Cutler elder got here we met this college girl outside of a gas station, to which she proceeded to take us back to her dorm (I know it sounds like not a good situation).  Cutler elder and I were just looking at each other asking each other what to do.  As we arrived at the building I just came out and told her that we couldn't meet alone with girls, to which she laughed of course.  Through a series of compromises, we taught in a room with the door open to a bunch of guys, one even stopped by for a bit.  It was one of the most awkward experiences I have had on my mission, but to see the difference it could make in their lives was one of the coolest opportunities.  It turned into a great teaching experience and we were invited to come back.  Of course we are going to bring a member next time, but it was definitely an experience to remember.

Next, the English class restoration lesson.  We received a text from an old investigator this week asking us to meet.  We met and she just loved what we had to share.  She became so excited when she realized that our message is one of happiness.  In excitement, she invited us to attend and help in one of the local high school English classes.  We expected to just help out these 19 year old students with their English, but due to the curiosity of the teacher, we ended up sitting there for about an hour with the small class of 4 students teaching the restoration in English.  It was so unexpected, but it was wonderful.  Definitely an experience to remember.

Next, church.  It was so wonderful speaking in church.  I had the opportunity to talk about why the gospel of Jesus Christ is important in our lives and I was able to use my favorite example of faith, that of the coconut.  When my nephew Skyler turned 1, I wanted to give him a special gift, but as I scoured the store with the little money I had, my eyes fell upon a coconut.  I wrapped it with love and care and when his birthday arrived, I gave to him with a smile.  When my little nephew opened the simple gift, he looked at the goofy looking ball and pushed it aside to go play with the other toys he had received.  With determination, I went to the garage and drilled a hole in the coconut and gently placed a small straw into the strange ball of fur.  When Skyler tasted the delicious nectar in which laid beneath, a smile came across his face.  Our faith is simple, it sometimes comes in the form of an odd shapes and sizes, and in the case of the missionaries, weird clothes, but if we just take the time to taste what lies beneath the surface, it will bring more happiness than we can even imagine.  Our investigators came, enjoyed and stayed for the rest of the meetings.  Greatest Sunday EVER.
Lastly, Elder Cutler and I helped another young man accept the challenge to prepare for baptism.  He has had a rough road in life, but he is excited to have the guidance and love that can be found in this gospel.

It is as simple as that.  How could I not smile with a week like that?  Now the trick, keep going!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hungary Week 29

Hello from Szombathely,

Transfers are already here.  It was a great week to end on.  We saw so many miracles and I can't wait to see some more.

The news: I am staying here in Szombathely!  I am so excited.  Elder Gould and I have been able to help so many people, but he is sadly leaving.  He is going to Eger with another missionary that came with us into the country, Elder Bebel.  Due to the increase of missionaries, I am getting a younger missionary this transfer, Elder Cutler.  I am so excited, I am sure that we are going to make some miracles happen.

This was such a special week, we helped one of our new investigators come to church and begin preparing for a baptismal date!  This néni (older lady) had the most adorable response when we asked her to prepare to be baptized on the 6th of April, she said, "Well you two are REALLY giving me enough time to prepare huh?"  I guess we will see if it ends up moving up, but we are so excited.

Church was so great as well.  We have our own building here in Szombathely.  It is so beautiful, I will have to share pictures next week.  It is a branch, but we have about 60 or so people attending weekly and it is only going up.  It is all three hours, church, Sunday school and priesthood/relief society.  This was a special Sunday this last week because our mission president and his wife spoke.  

We had three investigators come as well, the wonderful néni and our investigator who had surgery included.  He struggled, but he made it to church.  It was such a special Sunday.  I am going to miss Gould elder, but I am just so excited for the next miracle I will be able to see here in this wonderful city. 

Sorry it is a short entry today, but so much to do and so little time.  Next week I will make sure to start including pictures and give some more details.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hungary Week 28

Hey everyone!

What an eventful week.  There is only one more full week with my stud of a companion, Gould elder, so I better make it count!  We are being so blessed for our determination and work, I just can't help but smile.

The next few weeks will be ones to remember.  I will see my first baptism in two weeks back in Veszprém, the week after that I will be able to see our investigator in the waters of baptism here in Szombathely, the man and his wife will be married after his surgery tomorrow and we will see him into the waters of baptism shortly after and the list goes on and on (or so we hope).  I am just smiling every step of the way.

Elder Gould got sick with some kind of cold this week though.  He was a trooper for so long, but it was pretty bad.  He pushed through most of Saturday, but when Sunday hit he got worse.  We made it to church and the two programs following church, but I realized that he just needed to get home and rest.  So with the help of the other elders, we went on splits, Elder Gould got his rest and we were still able to take part in a family home evening with a local part member family.  Good news is that rest was exactly what Gould elder needed.  He woke up this morning feeling much better.  We are holding a family home 
evening tonight, but other than that Gould elder is going to rest and get ready to make this week one to remember.

We had such an amazing experience this week that I would love to share.  We had a fairly open day and so as we prayed, we were prompted to go tracting or simply put, go door to door.  We searched the map and prayerfully determined where the Lord wanted us to go.  We tracted for the next two hours straight not to hand out a single Book of Mormon.  As it was, we were a little surprised due to the promptings in which we received.  To our surprise, as soon as we left the building, we ran into 4, almost consecutive, people who gratefully accepted a Book of Mormon, including an employee at a local candy shop (She gave us some goodies and we gave her a Book of Mormon).  To our surprise, once again, we received the prompting to go tracting AGAIN later that night between 
8-9 p.m.  We had a few good conversations and gave our information to a few people, but we didn't find much success.  As we were walking to and from the ten story buildings, we were able to run into 3 more extremely open people.

I just found it so interesting.  We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  We were prompted to go tracting, but maybe it wasn't the Lords intention for us to find those people as we tracted.  I wouldn't say it is because "tracting doesn't work."  I believe it just happened like this so we could be in the right place at the right time.  Sometimes we are called to a work with another purpose in mind.  It just brings to surface the importance of always looking for the unexpected.

Every day is an adventure.  There is always something unexpected waiting around the corner.  We knock many doors, speak to countless people on the street, teach English like one may in a school, meet with and strengthen countless members, but in the end my daily life is so much more.  I do all I do to find that one person that is waiting for this amazing message to change their lives.  I just couldn't be more humbled and grateful for the opportunities I have received and the lives I have been able to witness CHANGE.  There is no greater joy than this.

Make this week great!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson