Monday, November 25, 2013

Hungary Week 69

Hey everyone!

We saw some huge miracles this week as a zone, companionship and city.  We were able to take part in a priesthood blessing in which truly HEALED someone on their death bed, have two wonderful zone trainings, two wonderful splits, set a baptismal date and still maintain our work so it could be an example to help the missionaries around us!  It was one to remember!

First, I want to share a blessing that I experienced this week!  There was a member who contacted us earlier about her sick mother and let us know that she hoped we could give her mother a blessing sometime soon.  We got the call that her mother didn't have much time left on Wednesday.

We rushed to the hospital to see this sweet woman lying still in her bed.  This 80 year old woman was unable to move due to a stroke or type of brain failure she suffered from recently.  In what was thought to be her last moments, we were called.  

As I laid my hands upon her head, the spirit touched my heart more than it has ever before and I simply told this sweet woman to "Arise and be healed."  The next day, her daughter called with the news that her mother truly did "arise."  By Friday, she was walking.

I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for this experience.  The Lord's power to heal really is upon the earth today.  I can't even express in words my gratitude to have been able to be a tool in the hands of the Lord, even if it was just for a small second.  


Other than that, we had three main goals as we approached this week and were able to reach each and every one.  The first was to address the importance of goals in relation to the wonderful training we had from President Teixeira.  We addressed that with an analogy to gummy bears!

We had one companion see how many gummy bears they could make in the other's mouth in 30 seconds.  We compared this to the importance numbers play in our missions, how some fall by the wayside, but as we become seasoned missionaries we can help way more than just one person into the gospel.  We talked about how as seasoned missionaries, we need to better understand the needful steps to help an investigator into the waters of baptism.

The zone seemed excited and we challenged them to make a solid base and go for standard next week.  After that, we are going to be making more specific goals so we can help the work go even faster and better.  The missionaries seemed like they really enjoyed it and had fun.  

We also wanted to be an example for our zone and show them the importance of maintaining the work even in hard situations, so Elder Jones and I made some miracles and achieved amazing heights in our work despite all of the travel we had.  Monday we were in Budapest, Tuesday Veszprém, Wednesday Székesfehérvár, and Thursday Pécs.  We had so much time taken out for travel and trainings, but we worked some overtime and made something we call, "Super standard."  In simple terms, we did some great things.

After that, we had some wonderful splits with Veszprém and Pécs.  Both Elders S and F seemed motivated and excited. 

Elder S is the first new missionary in Veszprém since I was there.  We went to all my old investigators who were baptized or fell off baptismal date in Veszprém and door after door was opened.  We rekindled some of their fire and got many referrals.  We even saw the B, a family I helped reactivate and I also baptized their little girl.  As the door was opened, the mother looked at me with tears and said, "Elder Nelson, I am active!  I am getting a calling next week in the relief society.  Look at us!"  And of course, the little girl was still the most adorable thing EVER!  AMAZING!

Elder F is one of my good friends from the mission.  We were in the MTC together and it was so great to be together again.  He hasn't seen the success he deserves on his mission, but we didn't let that stop us.  We got out and I showed him a new way to tract.  We had so much fun just enjoying our time together, making miracles happen and seeing success!  We were able to count on one hand the amount of rejections we had.  After our long day of work, he looked at me with a smile and said, "Elder Nelson, why couldn't you have told me about this a year and a half ago?!" 

I just got a call from Elder F.  Today as they were tracting, he applied what he learned and had two let ins.  I can't even control my excitement!

We had an amazing zone training, we achieved our goals, and had some amazing splits.  

We were able to also help a part member family, by helping set a goal with an amazing 21 year old girl to be baptized.  

Right now, I am nothing but smiles.  Miracles really do happen and I can't wait to make some more.  The weeks just keep getting better and better.  Just wait for next week, miracles are bound to come!

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hungary Week 68

Hey everyone!

This week was fantastic!  We saw some pretty crazy miracles. 
Monday was a brilliant start to it all.  Things just went through allowing us to have 8 investigator lessons outside of working with some members as well.  The only problem is trying to find the time to get studies and other needful things like meals in.  It is all good though, I am starting to become a professional at fast meals. 
I am getting used to yogurt, granola, peanut butter sandwiches and I also found a cheap blender, so smoothies.  It is definitely making for some big adventures!
Tuesday we got the news that we are staying together, Elder Jones and I at least until December 12th.  We made some memories, ran to the Duna river, met with an amazing woman and had our English class.  

Wednesday was transfer day, but due to the fact that we weren't getting transferred, we were here in Dunaújváros finding and making some miracles.  That day, we found so many AMAZING people.  Door after door was opened as we tracted in our very own neighborhood and people just seemed excited to finally meet "the Mormons down the street."  
We have mainly worked in our own neighborhood since I have been here and it amazing to see how many people we have got to know.  Every time we walk out of our door now, people are greeting from across the street and inviting us into their homes.  That day we were able to also work with some members coming back into activity and make some goals with them to go to the temple!  These newly activated members are being such great missionaries as well!
Thursday we went back to some people we met on Wednesday and really saw a miracle in a man who was looking for hope and a new start.  B is 33 years old and just came back from living in Canada and England for 3-4 years.  Everything seemed to fall apart in his life, but we were able to share the message of the book of Mormon and bring him to church before seeing him off to Budapest on Wednesday.  His countenance changed and I saw a light in his eyes that I didn't see before.  He saw some hope and I am sure the Elders in Pest will be able to do some great miracles with him.  AWESOME experience.
Friday had a big scare.  A, the 20 year old girl that was to be baptized this weekend got VERY sick.  We received a call Thursday night as she called in tears out of fear of not making it to her baptism.  On Friday morning, Elder Jones and I gave her a priesthood blessing. At the end of the blessing we promised it would be alright.  That next morning, we received a call that she was okay.  The blessing really helped and she was able to be baptized on Saturday the 16th.  
That Saturday, we saw some great miracles as well!  One of which was the fact that there were 4 investigators present at A's baptism.  Some people that I met this last week, people who I met with when I got here and someone who is to be baptized on the 7th of December.  On top of that, the member support was amazing and A was just glowing at the event.
That night, after the wonderful event of her baptism, more hardships fell on the shoulders of A.  Things happened at home that scared her and she wasn't sure how she would be able to make it to church for her confirmation.  Once again, we promised her blessings, prayed with her on the phone and told her to just trust. 

She made it to church and I was able to confirm her.  At the end of her confirmation and big smile appeared on her face.  She told us that she felt like a new person.  That although she was still A, she felt as though she had a fresh outlook on this all.  She felt like she was home!

To see this wonderful experience, we had 5 other investigators at church.  As we looked around the room, Elder Jones and I, and we also saw some less active members there that we have been working with.  These are people who haven't been to church in an unknown length of time. Miracles were happening on top of miracles as the members started showing an excitement for the missionary work here in Dunaújváros.
After that, we met with an amazing girl of a part member family.  She is 23 and lives half the time here and half the time in Szeged playing handball.  We were so excited to see her at church for the 3rd time since I have been here!  I seized the opportunity and asked to visit after church.  We were able to watch the restoration movie with her and her family.  She seemed excited and we challenged her to seek for her answers.  We are going back for family night tonight, we will see what happens!
We also were able to give a blessing to a sick investigator as well.  She has been meeting with the missionaries for almost 3 years and she is starting to understand this all!  She is driven to be baptized on the 7th of December and I am so excited for her!  Miracles really are happening.
We then finished the day with an amazing program with an AMERICAN!  That's right, we found the one American in Dunaújváros, or should I say, Rácalmás, a village outside of Dunaújváros.  His name is A and he is the coolest man ever!  He is a retired pilot from the military.  He felt like his money would go farther here, so he took his retirement and moved out!

We met him when he was driving his motorcycle around the branch house.  He assured us that he didn't want to talk about religion, but out of kindness he invited us out to visit his house in this village.  He was stalked up on all the American goodies and he told us story after story of his military days.  At the end we shared with him the Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back and give him a copy.  Due to his reaction, we figured he wasn't too interested, so we let it go and let the situation sit for a while.

Well, the other day we had the feeling to call him.  He answered and asked when we can come out next.  Elder Jones and I were shocked and made our way out there as fast as we could.  When we arrived he showed us into the kitchen where he made some authentic American stew!  It was so amazing and just reminded me so much of my Dad's daily servings of grilled meats.  It was so good.

We talked and laughed through the meal and at the end, we pulled out the Book of Mormon we brought to give him.  Of course, he made a joke, but then looked at us sincerely and said, "I know I joke a lot, but I really do appreciate this." 
After the lesson, Elder Jones and I headed home with smiles.  We looked back at our week and saw where we came from!  This last week we taught 31 lessons to investigators, baptized someone and set a new baptismal date.  The Lord has his hand in this work!
The weirdest part of this all is that I hit my 1.5 year mark on the day of A's baptism.  I only have 6 months left.  The time really does fly too fast, but I know that this will be the BEST 6 months of my mission.  Miracles are coming and I am sure I will be able to share plenty of them next week. 
Have a great week everyone and NEVER forget to smile!

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hungary Week 67

Hello everyone!!!

So, this week was great!  The work is picking up and more and more people are getting involved in the work.  We started working with the branch more, we set another baptismal date and things are just going forward so quickly!  The Lord is just putting opportunities in our lap and I couldn't be more amazed.
First of all, that investigator from Pécs I was talking about last week was baptized!  I am so happy for her!  She was so ready to be baptized and I heard that it was a great program.  I wasn't able to be there due to our work here, but she understood and I am sure I will hear from her in the future.  SO AMAZING!
Although I wasn't able to see the baptism, we saw some major miracles here with our work!  We found 3 amazing new people and one of them, almost in tears asked us to bring that special feeling she had back into her home another time.  God must of had different plans for our work here I guess!
Other than that, we were able to really dig into our teaching this last week.  Sadly, now wasn't the time for some of them, but many of the people we have recently found and are now teaching are really starting to understand these things.  More and more people are coming to church and those that have goals to be baptized are really stepping up to the challenge to be ready!
I would say the miracle of the week would have to be what happened in church.  Elder Jones and I were praying to get our investigators at church, but sadly, some were not able to attend.  When we arrived, we were fairly unsure to the number of people who would attend.  To our disappointment, as the meeting began at9 a.m. only one of our investigators were in attendance.  With time more shuffled in, one that I hadn't met yet.
At the end of the meeting I met T.  He is an awesome guy that has been coming to our church on and off for the past 4 years here and in Budapest.  He has the Book of Mormon in 3 different languages and LOVES the church, so we set up for Monday to meet. 
As we waiting for him at the branch house, we were worried he wasn't going to show up due to his tardiness, but he eventually arrived!  As we sat down to talk about the Book of Mormon, he shared simple testimony of the church and the Book of Mormon.  We asked him why he hadn't been baptized and he simple responded that the topic hadn't really been addressed much.  
Then and there, we set him a baptismal date of December 7th and he expressed his excitement to receive the priesthood and serve!  From the pool of 2 investigators we started with, our work has grown to something great.  We expect 4 baptisms before transfers on the 12th of December!  MIRACLES I SAY!
In other news, life is great.  I am enjoying the little things of life and am so happy to see the miracles I have already seen this week.  Time is flying by way too fast, I have only 6 months left as of this weekend, but I am just savoring these moments.  
Smile this week everyone, I know I will!

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hungary Week 66

More miracles!

This week was full of miracles on top of miracles.  It had its ups and downs, but that just shows the progression of the work.  People are getting baptized!

The work is going even faster and we were able to achieve super standard (In other words, we did really well)!  People are about to get baptized and we had a number of people not only accept baptismal dates, but baptismal challenges as well.  Elder Jones and I will hopefully set another 3 baptismal dates this week.  Door after door was opened and I couldn't be more grateful.
I got a call last night in regards to the investigator I met with last week in Pécs and she decided that she is going to be baptized THIS WEEKEND!  She felt the spirit so strongly the day after we met as she heard the Seventy at Stake Conference; she decided that she will be baptized.  I was just so happy to hear that news.
We set another baptismal date this week as well!  It is an amazing part member family.  The father has been a member for 21 years, but went inactive due to his work schedule about a year ago.  The Elders started meeting with him a couple weeks ago and when I first got here to Duna, he asked us to pray for his work so he can have an opportunity to come to church.

Well, he got fired that week we prayed for him!  That's not the good part, don't worry.  The good part is that one of his co-workers then opening the door for him to get a better job that self-same week!  The pay is better and he doesn't work weekends.
This program, he brought his 12 year old son and we challenged him to baptism.  This kid, who has never committed to baptism, accepted our challenge!  His father's eyes became huge and then said, "I want to baptize you son!  I am going to talk to the Branch President and will be worthy to baptize you on the 7th of December."  What a miracle!
I was able to go on splits with Elder Peterson from my MTC group. We saw miracles on top of miracles and found a new family on one of the biggest holidays in Hungary, Minden Szentek (All saints day).  
My companion and I, along with the Sisters were also able to head back to Budapest for a Zone Conference where President Teixeira, the Europe Area President, spoke to us!  It was so uplifting and I can't even begin to share what I learned from his address.  In short, I am going to be even more bold than I already am.  I am going to make these last 7 months my greatest!  I was also so blessed to translate all 4.5 hours for Sister Kovács, the Hungarian missionary I was serving around in Szeged.  I just love this language!
After all our wonderful meetings, I felt an arm on my shoulder and it was President Teixeira.  As he shook my hand, he simply said, "You are doing a good job, just keep going."  That was exactly what I needed to hear.  It was such a special experience.
I am so happy right now.  I really have realized the miracle of NOTICING the good in all things.  I can't wait to see what is just waiting to happen next, but I know that there are only more miracles to be had.
Smile this week everyone!  

Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

P.S. I will send pictures next week!