Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hungary Week 34

Hey everyone!

I am just happy right now!  This week was a blast and just full of great experiences.  Many highlights of my mission came to pass this week and I am so excited to share them with you all! 

First of all, I headed back to Veszprém to baptize the most adorable girl in the world, Kriszti.  I worked with her mom a lot when I was in Veszprém after knocking on their door.  Her mom was baptized many years ago, but Kriszti was too young to be baptized as well.  Time went by and they fell away from contact with the Elders.  Well, I happened to tract into them just a month before Kriszti's 8th birthday last September and they have been meeting ever since.  We wanted to make sure this sweet little girl would be ready, so we set her baptismal date for March, giving her plenty of time to prepare.  I then promised her to come back on that wonderful day when she makes it there.  Well, her and her mom made it.  It brought tears to my eyes to see their smiles and that amazing little girl dressed in white. 

We had some amazing experiences with our investigator, Ági néni, as well.  She had her baptismal interview and passed with flying colors.  Our district leader came out just in awe, expressing how amazing she is.  She has made so many changes in her life and I couldn't be more excited for her.  The greatest part of it all is that she isn't only looking forward to her baptism, but to stepping into the doors of the temple a year from this Saturday.

I also feel honored to have been asked to baptize her this weekend.  It will be so fantastic, I can hardly wait.

The work is just going forth with so much strength.  Yesterday, we put another great man on baptismal date.  His name is Tamás and he is so awesome.  He stopped US on the street asking us to meet.  In his second program yesterday, he accepted a baptismal date for the month of May.  Our investigators are coming to church, enjoying these blessings and experiencing the joy there is in this gospel.

We also had district conference this last Sunday as well.  Members from the West end of Hungary all gathered here in Szombathely to hear an area authority speak to them.  This seventy from Holland, President Boone, spoke with so much power and authority.  He spoke of the blessings just waiting to be received in this gospel, how amazing the concept of invitation is and the joys of the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It touched one of our investigators preparing to be baptized soon, causing him to go up, talk to this man of God and in the end, HUG HIM.  It was so great to see.  I am just full of joy and gratefulness to be part of this work. 

With district conference, we had many cool opportunities, like teka bowling with our investigators and the youth, helping our investigators meet with more friends in the church and we also had some amazing Mexican food from the senior couple in Sopron.  It was a fun opportunity to mix and mingle with the members and their friends.

Well, we have come to the end of another transfer!  I am becoming an old missionary!  I was a little surprised by my transfer call though, Elder Cutler is leaving!  I am receiving a new companion here in Szombathely, Elder Brown.  Elder Brown is one of Elder Cutler's college buddies, so I have only heard good things, but I am going to miss Elder Cutler.  To every good thing there is an end though, I have nothing but faith that this will be a transfer to remember!

Another day another dollar!  I just can't even begin to express how happy and grateful I am.  This work is amazing and I couldn't be in a better place.  Let's see what the Lord has in store for us this next transfer!

Jó hetet!
Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, March 18, 2013

10 Month Mark

Hey everyone!  

Things are going so well!  I couldn't have though of a better week.  I hit my 10 month mark and the time couldn't have gone faster.  It was a great week to celebrate though, I saw my first baptisms, had some great lessons, celebrated the attempted revolution of Hungary in Sopron with the other elders with service and a nerf war, we had 6 investigators at church and things are just going!

It was my 10 month mark this last Saturday and it was a great way to celebrate by not only attending my first baptisms.  I was in Veszprém for 6 months and things were hard, but we never gave up.  I was able to see the baptism of an 11 year old boy I found, Dávid, and the baptism of an amazing 20 year old kid, Attila.  It was so wonderful to see the smiles on their faces.  Just days before, there was a terrible storm, there was snow and wind that you couldn't believe!  Buses were being blown over and many who were stranded on the freeways were forced to sleep in their cars to wait out the storm.  Luckily, the train still went to Veszprém, how could I miss that opportunity.  It was so worth it and I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.

Before the baptisms, I was also able to visit Attila's mom in a hospital about 45 minutes away in Szentgotthárd.  Soon after we found Attila, his mom became really sick, putting her in rehabilitation there.  That is the miracle of it all, in a time of need, the Lord found Attila and he found the Lord.  She expressed her love for her family and how much she misses being with them in Veszprém.  We testified of the blessings we can receive for our families by embracing this gospel.  The smile that we brought to her face sealed my Saturday to be the greatest 10 month celebration ever!  I don't know how long she will be by Szombathely, but I am just so grateful I could be just a small part in helping this wonderful family.

We had such a fun time with the other elders in Sopron as well.  We started out by helping some of their investigators move into their new business.  The sweet family then took the time to feed us for our service.  It was a cool opportunity to help out and then seal it all with a prayer on the building.  We then headed back to the other elders apartment and had a nerf war with their tiny toy nerf guns in their multi-level apartment.  It was such a fun day!

To seal the week, we had 6 investigators come to church.  I can't even begin to describe the joy I felt being sandwiched in the back rows between our small group of investigators.  I just couldn't help, but look at them and smile.  How amazing is this gospel and the help it brings to our lives.  It was just amazing to see the smile on each of their faces.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

How could you not smile, it is going to be another great week!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hungary Week 32

Hey everyone!

I wonder how much it would throw you all off if I just started my email with, "This week was TERRIBLE!"  Too bad I can't this week; yes it was another great week!  We worked hard and saw some miracles, how could it not be a good week? 

This week was so much fun, it was my birthday, I cried like a baby during my spiritual message in English class, we were finding with each and every spare moment, I was able to meet up with my old investigator from Veszprém to meet with his mom in the nearby city of Szentgotthárd, and I had my first lesson before a church service at 7:45 in the morning!  Sounds like a party of a week huh?

The birthday was so absolutely great.  We had many investigator programs, a sweet church member invited us over to surprise us with pizza and an adorable little present for me, and I gave the spiritual message after teaching English class.  It was surprisingly harder to be away from home on the birthday than I thought it would be, but I still knew this is where I am meant to be.  I shared a small Mormon Message about enduring to the end and bore testimony that although it may be hard, like being away from loved ones on my birthday, this message is more than worth the hardships I may face.

This next week we are heading back to Veszprém for the baptisms of two of my old investigators.  I am so excited, the first baptisms of my mission!  I was even able to meet with one of the investigators being baptized this week in the small city of Szentgotthárd.  He was visiting his mom and he asked us to come with him to share this wonderful message with her.  It was so nice to see how far he has come and the desire he has to share it with those he loves.  My heart was just full as he told her how important these things are and I couldn't help but laugh at her néni friend talking about how delicious we looked.  

We worked hard this week and Elder Cutler is still going strong.  He is still speaking great, being funnier than ever and we are just smiling as we go.  I am a little concerned for my waist line because we are getting fed more and more as the weeks go by, but the mission only comes once and if I come home chubby it only means that I had good member relations.  

Have a great week everyone and keep smiling : )

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jake's Birthday Week!

Sok szeretettel köszöntelek mindenkit!

This week was probably the most memorable week I have had thus far.  We had an investigator share her conversion story with us a month before her baptism, I had a wonderful time in Sopron with my district and we held an English service of church for 9 African and Filipino exchange students studying at a college in Austria.

I am so excited for the end of this month because of the baptism of one of our investigators is coming up.  This adorable néni was met on the street and I think I already said before, but she is so amazing.  Within two weeks she read the first 3 books in the Book of Mormon and the index.  She has had such a hard life and in a moment of need, we found her.  This week as we met with her and another member, she shared of the hope we gave her.  I am just so grateful to be part of such an amazing work.  That is one of my fondest memories since being in the country.  I am so absolutely happy for her and I am so happy to witness her smile slowly growing.

Sopron is only an hour train ride north.  It is on the top of Hungary, right next to Austria.  We were there for a district meeting at the senior couple, the Flammers', house last Friday.  We had a great meeting and then to my surprise, they brought out a gigantic chocolate cake out for me!  It was so thoughtful and delicious.  It was a sugar filled, American, chocolate cake.  Just like being at home, it was so great.

Another highlight of the week, next to teaching at the Paragvári Általános Iskola and our wonderful investigator sharing her conversion story, was holding an English church service for 9 exchange students from Africa and the Philippines studying in Austria.  They wanted to experience Hungary, but the only possible day to come was on a Sunday, so we were invited by a former investigator to hold a "mass" for them.  Through the coordination of a former investigator, and with the help of the amazing senior couple in Sopron, the Flammers, we were able to hold a wonderful church service with singing, prayer and testimony.  We taught about the Savior, His love and our wonderful opportunity to build an even stronger relationship with Him through the scriptures and the Holy Ghost.  It was such a special experience.

I couldn't help but think about the hope and help this gospel gives us.  This being my birthday week, I have been thinking about what I would ask for.  In all honesty, I would ask that everyone I know and love could know about this wonderful message, to know that everyone would be safe in the comfort of this gospel.  I couldn't be in a better place and I have already received the greatest gift I could receive, this opportunity.

Elder Cutler is still a champ and is doing great.  Speaking like a profi and doing work.  

Have a great week everyone!  Smile for me : )

Szeretlek benneteket!

Elder Jake Nelson