Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hungary Week 52

Hey everyone!

So I don't have much time today, but I have some good news!  It is transfers tomorrow and I am staying in Szeged!  The only sad thing is that Elder Bracken is leaving.

My new companion's name is Elder Miller.  He is one group below me and he seems very excited to come here and to be a zone leader with me.  It is going to be such a great time.  We are going to have nothing but fun! 
We had a wonderful experience!  I will have to tell you next week, but needless to say, there is more of our investigators on baptismal date!  I love life!
Smile this week!

Elder Jake Nelson


Monday, July 22, 2013

Hungary Week 51

Hey everyone!

I hope you like my picture bombing!  I wasn't able to send any for the past couple weeks because things are so crazy here!  We are working super hard and things are just going through!  Day after day, things are just full with programs.  This is most definitely a special time of my mission, things are going fantastically and the ball is only going to start rolling faster!  We are having fun, doing what we need to do and seeing miracles.  

We will start with two weeks ago today, it was Elder Bracken's birthday!  He is now an old man and we celebrated!  We played basketball with the sisters in the morning along with a great breakfast.  Then, it was only more fun from there!  We were able to go to a museum in Szeged and look at some of the AMAZING art pieces.  We also found some interesting things, but it was most definitely fun.  We had an amazing lunch with the senior couple here as well, the Hulberts.  We had some Hungarian fish soup on the Tisza river.  It was just fun to be goofy for a bit and celebrate the kid's birthday!  

Then the week just rolled on!  Things went and we were able to invite the members in so much more than we have been able to before.  It was like everything seemed to fall right into place.  People were progressing and it just seemed like we saw miracles on top of miracles.  Whether it was from a little obedience thing, to just working ourselves to death, the Lord seemed to bless us!

After that, we had our zone training when we were able to meet with our amazing zone and give them some help.  It was so much fun and our missionaries in this area are just so great.  It went great and we introduced our amazing goal for our zone....RAMBO WEEK.

The goal was to push ourselves that much further, meaning to set our own companion goals to ridiculous lengths and go for it!  We got some special permission to give the missionaries some new opportunities to find through "area book time" as well.  It was awesome to see them pushing themselves and things just shot up in our zone!  People were working hard, having fun and seeing miracles, the best part of the mission!

This week was the craziest of my mission!  We also went Rambo and worked ourselves to death, but I can honestly say that I have never taught more in one week!  We were also able to go to the city of Szolnok for a multi-branch activity.  It was like a mini road trip, we even stopped and walked through a sun flower field!  It was awesome to see all those members and investigators together.  It was an experience to remember.

Miracles are happening and I am smiling.  It wasn't easy all the time, I had my hard times in these past two weeks, but that is part of the ride.  Just keep living and loving!

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hungary Week 49

Things are going in Hungaria land!  I am enjoying my time here in Szeged, it is really a place to remember.  These members are amazing and I am just smiling with each step we take forward.
We had some great programs with some amazing families.  It is so nice to sit down with a family having all attention turned to your message.  It truly is a treat and such a special experience.  We also were able to play some basketball, write some friends and unwind a bit.  It was so wonderful to spend some time with our great sisters here in Szeged.
We also got a super standard lunch for having a super standard city last week!  It was a good time.
The tracting miracles came once again.  To our surprise and fortune, we were able to meet with 4 new people on this day including some people just waiting for our message.  It is also amazing to meet with some youth, which we did.
We also had district meeting on this day which was a lot of help for all of us.  It cleared up a lot of questions that I had in regards to helping investigators really make the changes they want.  We have a senior couple here in Szeged and they always have such a loving input on the work.  Our district is great.
I had my first "leadership council meeting" in Budapest as a zone leader.  It was so great to see all of my friends I have made throughout the mission in one place and to be able to see that they were so strong.  It is just nice to know that I can really help the other missionaries in the position I am now!
After that, we were able to have another family night with another great family we are teaching.  It was a great day and one to remember.
Thursday (4th of July!)
It was a great day to celebrate America!  I was in America this time last year, which is a weird thought!  After a certain amount of time, you kind of forget what is normal or what everyday life is like because living here and being a missionary becomes YOU.  
Anyways, we celebrated the freedom of America by eating Indian food with the other missionaries and talked about why we were grateful for America.  We were going to get hamburgers, but Hungarian hamburgers are NOTHING like American.  It was a good celebration of America!
Other than that, we worked hard!  We had some programs fall through, but so is life.  It was a great day.
Today I was in the small town of Békéscsaba on splits with Elder Peterson, a solid Elder from my MTC group.  It was so much fun as we were doing all we could to kick up the struggling work in this small town.  We were able to see some miracles as we tracted and met with investigators.
The highlights were putting a wonderful woman on a baptismal date, having a great dinner with the other missionaries there and finishing the day by really helping a confused investigator.  Elder Peterson is such a great missionary and we just had a blast.
This day was a little rough.  We usually travel to a nearby village once a week to meet with some members and great investigators, but things weren't going our way this day!  Things kept falling through after getting out there, but at the same time we had some great experiences.  
We had some great teaching experiences with a member family and another member.  Things just went and we were smiling despite some rough turn of events. 
We then finished the day with some weekly planning and pizza, always the best of combinations.
I always love "Fast Sundays."  I had some cool experiences this week in regards to fasting!  I was fasting for some new investigators and of course, the Lord blessed us with the first door we knocked.  We were able to meet with a considerable amount of people and I was just smiling with the answers to my prayers.
There were investigators at church and the work isn't only going forward in Szeged, but in our zone as well.  
Things are crazy!!!!!!!!!
Today we had some adventures for Elder Bracken's birthday, but I will update you all next week on the adventures we had. Oh the suspense!
I am happy and things are going, I love you all!
Elder Jake Nelson

This is a cute man from the ward in Newberg who happens to be Hungarian, and who visited the area and while there met Jake!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hungary Week 48

Hey everyone!

What a great week huh?!  Things were great here in Szeged, but they did have their bumps thrown in!  In regards of missionary work, I probably had my best week of work this last week!  Things just went and my week was sealed with 15 investigators at church!

I am coming to really love Szeged because of the wonderful families we are meeting with.  Monday has turned into "Family Home Evening" for our companionship.  We are meeting with a number of young families and we have set apart Mondays for them.  It is also nice to sit down and play with some adorable kids for a bit as well!  It is like a little piece of home! 
Outside of that, we were soaked in a gigantic storm, so we went and played in a flooded park!  Not that we were swimming, but we were walking around in foot deep water next to a big jungle gym. It was super fun.

Today was an eventful day!  We met with that homeless man from last week!  He is such a great guy.  He just had a hard run in life, but we were able to give him a life as we shared our message with him and gave him a baptismal date to work for.  We then helped clean him up a bit by giving him some old missionary clothes from our apartment and shaving his beard.  It is all step by step with him, but it was super nice to see his smile from the help he received.
We then had some success tracting, taught a small institute class for the branch and helped throw a surprise birthday party for a 16 year old church member.  It was a great time and it was nice to see the work progressing one step at a time.

This was the most shocking day of them all.  We had a few programs, but all seemed to fall through.  As we looked at our empty day, we decide to go knock some doors.  To our surprise, 7 wonderful people let us in and allowed us to teach them there on the spot.  The Lord was REALLY helping us that day.  We were fortunate enough to also run into a good friend of mine, Elder Snyder.  He is about to head home, but he was my first district leader when I came in the country.  He was visiting Szeged before heading home with his family.  It was great to see him and a great finish to our day.

I went on splits with Elder Greaves, one of the Assistants to the President.  It was super great to get a new perspective of missionary work.  We had some rough parts of the day, like having to drop a wonderful investigator, but we saw some miracles tracting and had a good time.  It was also very fun to teach the English class and all the goofy elderly folks in there.  

We head to a nearby falú every Friday to visit some inactive members and two of our favorite families ever!  It was great!  We also had some great Mexican food after district meeting at place called "Gringos."  The only thing that threw me off was the pita they gave with my fajita meat.  Strange things I tell you!  Other than that, it was a wonderful day.

This was a pretty standard Saturday.  We had some programs, worked hard, tried to find time to squeeze in studies with our busy day and smiled a bunch!  We also took part in a "Branch Choir" practice, which was super weird after not singing in a Choir for a while.  The highlight was probably having my scariest Hungarian food ever!  It is called "kocsonya," or in other words, pig jello.  You know how jello is sweet in America, well kocsonya is the salty version of that.  It is normally a winter dish, but they made it special for us!  The reason it is mainly made in the winter is because kocsonya is the outcome of a pig slaughter.  It is basically random pig chunks mixed into the pig's marrow, fat or whatnot.  It was super.......interesting?

This day was one to remember!  We had 15 people at church!  This is including four families.  It was so amazing and my favorite part was sitting next to an adorable six year old.  The parents were having a hard time listening so I invited her over next to me.  It was so great to be amongst families all together and just be with a little kid constantly grabbing for my hand.  I love kids!  We then finished to day with another "Family Home Evening."

This week was great and I am super happy.  There were some hard times, as there always are, but it is nice to see the joy in all things.  This week was great, but I am sure that this next week only holds greater moments.  

Smile this week everyone!

Elder Jake Nelson