Monday, April 29, 2013

Hungary Week 39

Hey everyone!

This week was full of experiences and memories!  Those 8 new investigators are taking off, we are working hard and there was some wild cards of experiences thrown in there.  

Tuesday was a day to remember.  We had our day planned and ready to go, until things were flipped upside down due to a couple investigators.  We were called by the girl who brought those African exchange students to an English church service, we will call her B.  Well, B's family met with the missionaries when she was a little girl about 15 years ago and she had never really taken interest.  On this day, she invited all 4 of us Elders over for lunch and to help her with an English assignment.  We had such a fun lunch of Italian spaghetti and laughter, then one of the Elders started working on her paper.  She then invited us remaining 3 to play a game of Jenga.  We started playing and then after 5 minutes, our game of Jenga turned into an hour long gospel discussion.  after 15 years, this girl started to understand why we were there and her questions started flowing.  It may seem like a small miracle, but the smile on her face at the end made it a big one in my eyes.

After that, we taught some lessons, then headed to the branch house to teach English class and meet with one of the most amazing investigators I have ever met with.  She is a 17 year old girl who has had to go through a lot in her few short years.  The lesson went great with her and our member present was such a great support.  We hadn't eaten for hours, so we invited the member and her to stay for some pizza with the other Elders and us.  We talked, laughed and had so much fun.  I haven't seen her smile so much until that day.

As we were walking home to get home by curfew, I recognized a man laying next to a lamp post on the side of the road.  My memory was triggered and I remember this smiling 70 year old man in the staircase of a building we tracted the previous week.  I ran over to discover he wasn't sick, just VERY drunk.  I called the other Elders over and scooped him off the ground and with the help of the other Elders, I walked him back to his nearby apartment.  As Elder Brown and I helped him through the door I discovered his wife and family sad that we brought him up.  They said that we should have left him on the street.

My eyes were opened with this experience.  I don't know what it is like for his family, but it made me realize how grateful I am for my family.  I am grateful for a family that will support me when I need it and lift me when I stand in need to be lifted.  We all make mistakes, even as missionaries, but as people, we always stand in need of a loving hand.  Whether it be a friend, a family member, alcohol or God, we seek out that hand in which will give us the love we desire.  This is why I am so grateful for the gospel, to have discovered the hand in which will never fail me or those I love.  This is why I am so grateful for my family, a hand of love and support that God gave me here on this earth, a little piece of Heaven.

We served many people this week and were able to be that hand for many people.  Miracles happened and now someone will be baptized in less than two weeks and we were privileged to have 5 investigators at church.

Looking back, things didn't happen in an instant, but through small and simple steps.  These miracles came through praying my heart out with every spare moment, serving Elder Brown, being out for every available second and learning to smile in the moment.

We taught, we found and we worked ourselves to the best of our abilities.  This was the best week of my mission numbers wise, but what matters most to me is that I was a loving hand to someone this week.  How can I not smile?  I have another week to help someone here.  I better make the most of it!

Never forget to love each and every moment!  SMILE : )

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hungary week 38

Jake is now able to email his friends and extended family members. His email address is  So please email him and let him know you're thinking of him! He may not be able to reply with much, especially if he has a lot to reply to, but I know he would love to hear from you! 
-- Laura (Jake's sister)

Hey mom and everyone!

Sorry this won't be long!  I was in Budapest yesterday because myself along with a couple other missionaries were illegal due to the absence of our residency cards, but we are legal now! 

We saw so many miracles this week!  I fasted last week for new investigators and have been spending so much time praying to the Lord for help and miracles came.  We found 8 new investigators and I couldn't even be happier.

Miracles happen!  Have a great week : )

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hungary Week 37

Hey everyone!

This was such a wonderful week, hard, but so worth the time and effort.  Our investigators are struggling, but we are working hard with them and we are finding with any and all spare time we have.  I don't even know where to begin!

We will start from the beginning, Monday.  After shopping and emailing, the other Elders decided they wanted to go bowling, so Elder Brown and I decided to go along.  It was so much fun.  The best part of it all is that we ran into an investigator at the alley!  He was in shock that we are regular people who do fun things as well as chase people down in suits and ties.  I guess I never really realized how weird we must seem to some people.  Another example is when an investigator asked us after a lesson where we lived.  We told him that we just had an apartment in the city, to which his response was simply 'aw.'   He thought we just lived in the branch house.  What a weirdo.

Tuesday was full of great programs.  We taught English to 2 great guys in an autistic care facility.  Of course we had a great time with them!  We talk about "My Little Pony" almost the whole time because the biggest fan in the world lives in the facility.  I never realized how cool ponies could be!  We then had some great tracting time where we found a super amazing mom.  Hopefully we can meet with her later this week.  We then taught a part member family because we actually began teaching this 12 year old boy, Patrik.  We are super excited for him.  Then we taught English class.  Due to the sunny weather and the topic being objects, we set up for potato launching.  We had random objects in a field and they had to hit whatever object they said.  It was so much fun.  Then we met with one of our amazing investigators on baptismal date and finished the day with a visit to Ági's, the new convert.

Wednesday was taken out because we were in Budapest for interviews with the mission president.  That was great though.  I always love talking with him and about the vision for the work here in Hungary.  That night we got back around dinner time, found a little on the street and then Brown elder headed to Sopron for splits.  I was able to spend that night and the next day with Swenson elder, a greenie. 

Thursday was such a hard working day.  Many of our programs fell through, opening us up to some finding opportunities.  I was able to give Elder Swenson a couple great first experiences, like teaching someone on a park bench, but most of them were the experiences you just laugh at.  For example, we were let into an apartment just to get yelled at.  This woman said that we have many wives and that our church doesn't have any leaders, only missionaries.  That was strange, but then after that, we get let into an apartment of a man who was smoking marihuana.  Of course we left right after realizing that, but it was most definitely strange.  Although we had some weird experiences, we found a lot of great people and are so excited for many of them.

Friday Saturday and Sunday, were also memorable.  We had a great Zone training where we met in Győr, many finding hours, many lessons, a miracle woman showed up to church (A woman I gave a Book of Mormon to last transfer) and a great fast Sunday.  Elder Bowen was just made zone leader there so it was great to see him.  It was a flood of memories and good times. 

We are working hard and seeing so many miracles.  Ági, the new convert, is just growing by the day and is becoming such a great addition to the branch as well.  There is only going to be more and more people on baptismal date this week and I can't wait to give them.  I am just so happy to be a missionary right now and to be able to see the miracles of hard work and the tender mercies of the Lord.  

If any of you have some good finding ideas for the summer just email me!  Have a wonderful week and don't forget to smile!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hungary Week 36

Hey everyone,

It has been another great week, but there were some really difficult aspects.  It was hard to have both of our baptismal candidates just not show up for about 6 planned programs in total.  Despite the hardships, there were miracles.

Thursday was one of the harder days of the week.  We had 5 programs scheduled and it seemed set and ready to go, but then one by one, the programs started falling through.  This isn't just programs set up on the street, but also investigators on baptismal date.  We just started finding between our planned programs, but one by one they fell through until they were all gone.  We ended up finding for 7 hours straight, not having any success for the first 6 1/2 hours.  In those 6 1/2 hours we also happened to talk to 2 people who just began trying to "Bible bash" with us; including a super strange man who just "happened" to have a Bible in his pocket and a scar of an "X" carved into his forehead.  

Jake's angry face on the day the investigators didn't show up for their programs

Although it was a hard day, we kept pushing forward.  In that last half hour we found two great people.  That night as we returned for dinner, we received a call from a local member telling us about a wonderful family that just wandered into our branch house.  The member did some great missionary work and gave our number and a "Book of Mormon" to the small family and invited them to our English class.  They are coming this week to meet us so we can begin teaching them about the gospel.

Although our Thursday and our week didn't turn out as planned, we worked hard.  Our success may not have been what we were expecting or hoping for, the Lord provided for us and reached out in help.

It may not have been the greatest week for the work, but I think that it really helped me to turn to the Lord.  Prayer is SO much help.  I can't even imagine life without it.  We were able to meet with many new investigators this week and I just love teaching prayer and the importance thereof.  I love to see the smile on people's faces when they learn of this amazing help.  It is so simple, the prayer hamburger!  The buns that start and end the hamburger always have to stay, but the middle is like Burger King, have it your way!

Conference was so great!  It is always EXACTLY what I need.  I was really touched by one thing in particular from conference.  In the Saturday night session, a 70 spoke of expectations, how we either rise or fall to them.  I really took a close look at my missionary work and my personal expectations for my investigators.  I think that is the key to our missionary work, expectations for investigators, companions, friends and ourselves.  If we raise our own personal expectations, we will raise our effectiveness, we will change more lives.  With God, he has nothing but perfection set as His expectation.  Although it is a high bar and we will not reach said expectation in this life, He never lowers it because He knows the importance of expecting nothing but the best.  If we apply the same principal to our lives and our personal happiness, there wouldn't be a place big enough to hold our joy!

I love Elder Brown.  He is such a good missionary and he has such good insights, I just can't wait to see what this next week has in store for us. 

Elder Brown in front of his graffiti name, Tony

Make this week wonderful and one to remember!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson