Monday, June 24, 2013

Hungary Week 47

Dear everyone,

This week was CRAZY! It was great, but I am just in shock with all the changes, miracles and experience.  It was super sad to say goodbye to Pécs, especially considering all of the sad members and investigators.  Other than that, it has been a ride to remember and I am loving Szeged.

This was a great day!  We had a hard time getting all the stuff together for transfers, Elder Bennett and I, but it was successful and we made it a last great day.  We met with a great investigator and put her on a baptismal date and said goodbye to the branch during family night that night.  A lot of investigators came and it was great.  We then had one last district dinner.  I already miss Pécs!

This day was just a blur.  I took a ridiculously early train to Budapest where I met my new companion, Elder Bracken.  We then headed to the mission home for my "driving test."  I don't think I have been more scared to drive in my life.  I had to drive in the busy city and I haven't sat behind the wheel for more than a YEAR.  I felt like a kid who just got his permit and I entered in the driver's side door of our tiny Opel.  It was successful and we are still living, but I am going to have to get used to driving in the tiny streets of Europe.  We drive the car everywhere, but the hard part is that the air conditioning is broken and it is 90+ degrees everyday.  Oh well, the mission only comes once right?
After that we headed straight to some intense programs, went shopping and I started getting familiar with the BEAUTIFUL city of Szeged.

Elder Bracken and I started getting along great and all was good and dandy.  To make the situation better, we met with two new families on Thursday.  It was so nice to kneel with some families as the head of the house would pray.  Words can't describe the feeling of such an experience.  We also had a great English class with our goofy class of mainly "elderly" folk.  It was a good time.  We then finished the day with some tracting and things went!  Apparently it wasn't just Pécs that has some magic effect on tracting.  I LOVE LIFE!

Everyday seemed to be getting better and better, this was especially true on Friday.  We were able to have programs on the hour, EVERY hour in an awesome nearby falú.  It was so awesome, especially concerning the fact that this was 2 more families that were new.  It went so well that we are heading back to their houses for family home evening tonight.  Things just seemed to catch on fire was the referrals began to roll in.  One of the best and most tiring days of my mission!

We were able to meet a wonderful woman I met in Pécs.  She was a new convert in Pécs and she just jumped for joy to know that I was in Szeged because she spends half of her time here in Szeged due to her sick father.  It was great talking to her once again.  We were able to talk and laugh and at the end, we taught her sweet father.  It was a great time. After that, we headed back to the city center and set up a table with various church signs around it.  We were streeting and doing this right next to a natural fountain of mineral water.  It was so great and we met so many people just excited to meet with us.  We met a man in particular that truly impressed me.
His name is Charley and he was a homeless man sitting next to the fountain.  He was watching us for a while until he gather the courage to come up to me.  He simply asked, "What are you doing here."  I shared with him a message about the Book of Mormon to which he responded, "How can I receive one?"  I promised him if he would come to church, a book was his.  
To finish the conversation, he smiled, complimented my Hungarian and began speaking English!  This random homeless man was once a successful teacher, but through a series of events, life turned for the worse.
We exchanged smiles and parted ways.

Charley came!  This random man from the street came to church with the biggest smile on his face.  To see him, along with 7 other investigators at church just warmed my heart.  Szeged is already awesome and we have nothing but big plans for Charley and our great new families.  We finished the day with tracting and were able to teach a wonderful new girl.  She is a sweetheart and it was just great.

As for Elder Bracken, he is a stud and things are going fantastic.  Being a zone leader isn't much different from your average missionary, but it is getting to know more missionaries and helping them in their work.  Life is just great on this end and I am just smiling!

I love life!
Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hungary Week 46

I didn't forget to write yesterday, no worries, it is just transfer week.  We have our P-day on Tuesday during transfer week.  Interesting news, I am not staying in Pécs!  I got the last call I expected and am going zone leader in the other side of the country in Szeged.  It will be wonderful I am sure.
In other news, this week was full of adventures and miracles.  I will start from the beginning!
This day was VERY funny.  We decided to go to an acclaimed zip lining course.  It turned out to be a kids park, that was awkward.  We still climbed a mountain and went bobsledding anyway.  We went down twice and it was a ball, but then the strangest thing happened, hail the size of marbles started falling from the sky!  Elder Bennet and I, along with the other Elders fled into the nearest form of shelter, a port-a-potty.  It was great spending P-day in a port-a-potty with 3 other guys.  You have to love the mission.
Week days
These were some of my busiest and most hectic days of my mission!  We were working super hard for our investigators.  We have a lot that are struggling in different areas and we were doing all we could to help them in all ways possible.  It was hard and challenging, yet some of my favorite moments were held within these few short days.
As the weekend hit, we realized that we needed to do something more to help our investigators.  So, we fasted.  That day we had 3 great investigators at church.  I also had the opportunity to meet one of my future neighbors!  My sister moved to Newburg just before Sándor bácsi came to Hungary to visit his home.  Sándor is my sister's neighbor!  We talked about Oregon a bit and it was just a little miracle for me.  I will use Hungarian after my mission! 
MONDAY (the day of them all)
I just wanted to share a miracle that happened, once again, at the last moment.  Yesterday, we were feeling down due to some struggling investigators.  We fasted, but it turned out that the best thing for them was to let them go.  We decided to keep going and trust in our prayers and fast.  By a random chain of events, we found ourselves in an unfamiliar area tracting some new buildings.  As it began, we didn't seem to see any success.  We kept going and with a prayer in our hearts, the door was opened to a part member family who had, just earlier that month, been praying to find the church again.  The mother looked at us with gratitude and love as her prayers were answered.
It has been a great transfer, I am just sad it is already gone.  We have met and helped so many people, but there is just more to be had. 
Have a great week everyone and I PROMISE pictures next week.  We haven't been able to send pictures due to our emailing cafe, but I will find a way in my new Szegedi cafe next week!
Smile : D
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hungary Week 44

This week was yet another great week.  We were able to take the time to really help a number of people.  We were also able to find some great new investigators.  In fact, all of the missionaries here were able to see great miracles, I am just so happy!
So there are two stories I want to share this week and the first is about an amazing artist that we are currently meeting with.  He is an AMAZING painter and is able to make breathtaking pieces that make your jaw drop.  He has it all, a wonderful family, art, money and everything a person here on earth can even dream of, but he still felt like something was missing.
It was such a blessing for us to be there and share with him this message that will never fade or go away.  We shared "The Book of Mormon" with him, along with the miraculous story of the origins thereof.  His countenance started to change and it was a blessing to see the hope in his eyes grow by the second.  He is probably one of the coolest investigators I have had the opportunity to meet.
My second story is that of a wonderful woman we are meeting with.  She is a wonderful woman we met in our English class here in Pécs.  She quickly took to the wonderful members here and recognized an uncanny happiness amongst them.  Things seemed to be going wonderful and she quickly accepted our challenge to try the Lord and receive her answers before her baptismal date of July 20th.  

She has been fighting to receive an answer, but felt as though her efforts were being wasted.  We recognized this and challenged her to act by:
1. Reading that night 
2. Praying with a specific question before church
3. Searching for her answer in church
This woman took our challenge and fought for her answer.  Although she still doesn't feel sure, that day after church she accepted our challenge to pray out loud for the first time in her life.  She was and is working with faith and that is a privilege for me to witness such a thing.
It was a miracle, for me, to see myself and especially Elder Bennett truly focus on our investigators this week.  We truly have seen great things this week and we helped many people.
Our district did great this week and we are going to have a super delicious dinner of "rakott krumpli" tonight, by my cooking.  It will be great and I can't wait for another great week of miracles!
Elder Bennett is doing great and speaking like a champ (as always).  
Mosolyogj ezen a héten! (Smile this week)
Elder Jake Nelson