Monday, September 30, 2013

Hungary Week 61

Hey everyone!

This week was one full of memories.  From "Preparation-day" to church with investigators staying all 3 hours, I feel like the most blessed man!

After coming into contact with an old baptismal candidate, we went on splits from Monday night to Tuesday with the assistants.  I was just struck with "aw" as we drove along the Duna and past the parliament at that night as we arrived in Budapest.  I hadn't seen that beautiful city at night since the day I stepped into the country over a year ago.  Time really does fly.  I just can't even begin to describe how much I love that city and this country!

Elder Headrick and I set out to find some new investigators in Budapest and we found them!  The tracting started a little slow as we didn't even get let into the first building, but as we continued, we found some AMAZING people.  I learned so much from that wonderful Elder and we had so much fun.  He is just such a happy guy, his attitude is contagious! 

After that on Wednesday, Elder Miller and I were so surprised to have one of our investigators tell US his baptismal date!  We were so ecstatic with joy!  He and his girlfriend are getting married soon so they can be baptized before the end of the year.  We are so excited for them!  On that same day, our investigators surprised us with three referrals, all family members and close friends.  The surprise EVERY missionary loves.

On Thursday one of our investigators passed her baptismal interview!  I also had a wonderful split with Elder Hansen here in Szeged.  We had a great time together, great finding and saw some miracles.  I really felt how sincere he was in all he said and it really made an impact on the people.  It was a really awesome thing to see.

Saturday, a previous investigator family called us to come back and teach them.  

Sunday, we had our investigators stay all three hours!  We also were able to see some of the members who haven't been coming to church in a while come back due to our invitations!

The week before, we were also able to see some HUGE miracles as well.  Right now we have 11 people who have baptismal dates and are pushing to make it to their goals!  We are going to have the first couple on October 12.  We are so excited.  Miracles are happening here in Szeged!

As for the food, it is fantastic!  The members LOVE us as well as our investigators, so I am just having a hard time finding space for all the great food.  Recently we have had quit a few surprise feedings, so the people of Szeged are keeping us on our toes.  The other week we got something like 10 feeding programs in a day.  Good thing I love Hungarian food!

I will have to send pictures next week, but until then, I hope everyone has a great week!

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hungary Week 59


This week was so great!  I had some great experiences with putting on a fun zone training and helping out some Elders in the city of Bébéscsaba on splits.  Things are going great here in Szeged and I am as happy as I could be!

Our zone training was one of my favorites.  We had the whole zone, the Sisters from Budapest and the senior missionaries were so involved.  We started off by using Sister Kovács, the new Hungarian in our mission, to the fullest for a great language tip and we heard a mini training from some Sister leaders on the spirit's role in the companionship.

As for our training, we addressed the 4 basic questions regarding the spirit: 1) What is it?  2) Why is it important?  3) How do we invite it?  4) How can we recognize it?  We started with a great object lesson when we invited 2 missionaries to the front.  We had them close their eyes and try the new Milka bar.  Their task was to describe the taste.  After a while, we all realized the importance of helping others tasting it for themselves.  We related that to the importance of helping others "tasting" the spirit for themselves.

The training was fun and the Spirit was there.  We finished with some great goals in regards to referrals, baptismal dates and starting the transfer off strong with a big push in what we call "Bombs away."  We are encouraging the zone to push it to a new level this week and make an extra effort to make English class more fun and effective. 

We had some goofy Elders on the piano playing "Silent Night" for our closing hymn, but it was fun and it was a great training and a great role play with the help of the members and our investigators here in Szeged. 

We also had a fun Zone lunch by working with the Mormon owner of a new Mexican restaurant.  We ordered burritos for the whole zone and ate together in the church building.  It is always fun to get together and have some good bonding with the missionaries.  I was just shocked by how much the zone training has grown.  We had 28 missionaries at our training as compared to the 20 when I first came here.

I had a great split with Elder Squire in Békéscsaba as well.  We were able to work hard and have a lot of fun out in this tiny city.  We found a new family in the first 10 minutes of tracting, we set up a bunch of new programs, exchanged information with many and I had the best burger I had yet to taste in Hungary.  It was exciting helping out a bit in the city.  SUCCESS.

Things are great here in Szeged as well.  We have many baptisms coming up!  There is more people asking about setting baptismal dates as well, so good news is coming next week!  This transfer is going to change this city!  The only thing I am scared of is the mini transfer right in the middle of all the baptisms.  The mission is an adventure; all I have to do is trust!

In other news, we had a lot of fun in a huge apartment complex we went back to.  I wrote about it last week, but more things happened in this magical building.  We met 8 university students who all invited us back, a random old woman complimented my teeth and hugged me, and all of this happened in one day!  Miracles!

We had a great P-day last week by visiting the Jewish synagogue.  We had a fun time and it was so pretty!  It was just interesting being dressed up as a missionary with a yamaka, but it was a cool look into the Jewish culture though.  

Life is great and I am happy!  We had 9 investigators at church and the branch is excited right now.  Great things are happening in Szeged!  I am so happy to be a missionary.  The only scary thing is that I have 8 months from this day left in my mission!  I better make the most of it.

Have a great week everyone!  Make sure you smile!  

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hungary Week 58

Hey everyone! 

Things are great down here, I am just getting fed so much by the people I am meeting with.  We will see what happens, but all I know is that I have never eaten so much in my life.  Hungarians like to feed people, just A LOT.  Other than that, Elder Miller and I are excited to stay together.  We are already like brothers and there are a lot of people to be baptized this transfer, so I am sure these 9 weeks will be over before we know it!

I don't have much time to email, but we had some amazing experiences this week!  My favorite was on the day of transfers!  We didn't go to Budapest because we are staying in Szeged, so we hit the streets.  We were looking for a concentration of college students so we could talk to some of them, but after an hour of searching, we started heading back to the Tisza river where our car was parked. 

Puzzled by the fact that we couldn't find the area we heard about, we decided to try a building along the river.  As we approached an adorable older woman that was coming in as well unlocked the door for us.  To our surprise, we walked into a dome of apartments.  There were 85 apartments in this secluded complex overlooking the river.  One of the most beautiful views I have ever seen.  

In that building, it was full of AMAZING people, from an older woman who did embroidery for the pope to super successful students in the fields of music and medicine.  It was just a little miracle, but most definitely one to remember.

We also had a great "Mission Leadership Council" on Friday.  The work is going so well here in Szeged and Hungary.  I am excited to see what the near future holds for these wonderful people.

I wish I could share more, but I will have to save it for next week, but until then!  

Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hungary Week 57


Today was transfer day.  Not only is this transfer day, but the transfer day we shift into the new long transfers!  This transfer is going to be 10 weeks and I found out that Elder Miller and I are staying as zone leaders here!  I am super excited because EVERYTHING has progressed really rapidly.  We found my first transfer here, taught last transfer and this transfer is the time to see the miracles!  The church is really growing this transfer and we are expecting many baptisms.  I can't begin to explain how excited I am!
Monday was pretty uneventful, but it was a good break for the week we went through last week.  I have never taught so much in my entire mission!  Things just fell into place and took off.

The week really started on Tuesday with splits in Kecskemét.  The work seemed to be going a little rough, so we hurried over to help out.  As myself and the senior companion of the area sat down to plan our day, we realized they tracted almost all of the city, except for their own building.  It just so happened that the Kecskemét mission leader lived in that very same building.  We were invited right in after ringing their bell, filled up with half a watermelon and sent off to search for 4 referrals!  That single day helped turn around the work for the Elders there.  It was so great.

We had some amazing Mexican food at a new Mexican restaurant in the area.  It was SOOO good because you can't really get Mexican food here much.  It just so happens that a return missionary moved back to Hungary and opened this restaurant a couple months ago.  It was like a little piece of home!

I then had another great split with one of the assistants.  With every program that fell through, we found someone new and taught them!  We even gave one of the youth here a great experience tracting in the rain.  We, after tracting for 15 minutes in the pouring rain, knocked on the door of an older couple and simply said, "Sorry for interrupting, we are really wet.  Can we come in?"  This adorable couple had a nice program with us and invited us back for the next day.  Miracles do happen, even when it's raining!
Things kept on rolling and we were able to help set another baptismal date on Thursday.  We have been working with a really cool kid.  He is an 11 year old kid in a part member family, meaning his mom and sister are members.  He has never been super religious, so we were excited when he said he would like to be baptized.  Really cool kid.
Friday and Saturday turned into programs galore!  We had our Village day, when we head out to a village where there is a lot of members and investigators, and we were able to meet with some of our solid investigators on Saturday.  It was a lot of fun.  We met with some really awesome people.
Sunday was pretty special as well.  We were able to fill up the church with members and investigators!  We are also teaching a lot of families and there is one girl in particular who particularly loves to mess with me, 7 year old little girl.  She was running across the isles the whole hour poking me and going through my pictures on my camera.  It makes me miss the nieces and nephews, but it was very fun.
Well, I was bad this week and have no pictures to send, but hopefully I will have many to send soon.  Things are going well here in the city of Szeged and we are excited for a new transfer.  Elder Miller and I will have to do it again, this just means we have only spent a third of the time we will together.  I’m sure we will be the best of friends by the end ; )
Til' next week!


Elder Jake Nelson