Monday, December 30, 2013

Hungary Week 74


Sorry I couldn't email last week, our Skyping counted for email time.  This week we don't have much time either, but I want to share some great things!

We were able to see a baptism this last week and make Christmas for MANY people.  Throughout those three days of Christmas celebration, we were able to meet with 12+ families and investigators.  It was miracles on top of miracles.  Elder Jones and I bought each other Christmas presents and we also exchanged stockings with our wonderful Sisters here in Dunaújváros.  It was a Christmas to remember, with a wonderful Skype conversation to top it off.  The Lord really does provide for us at all times and in all places.
This last Saturday I was able to baptize M, an AMAZING woman.  Her smile was contagious at her baptism, despite the fact that she was VERY scared of the water.  Whenever she would start getting really worried, I would say "Don't worry, I am a certified life guard!"  It calmed her right down!
I was also so happy to hear a wonderful couple from Szeged was married and then baptized this last week.  The baptisms conflicted, so I wasn't able to witness the event, but I couldn't be happier for them. 
Miracles are happening and I am just shocked with how fast time is flying, but I am sure that this last bit of my mission will be the greatest.  Miracles are coming and I can't wait to share them!
Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Ps.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I will share more holiday details next week!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hungary Week 72


I love Christmas!  I have been amazed by the miracles we have been seeing and I am so excited to visit all the people we are planning for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  To keep our investigators progressing with excitement, we have set up with many of them for the holidays to drop in and share the message of Christ's birth.  It is so wonderful seeing these people we love so much making time for us on these special days.  I am sure it will be a great opportunity to meet with their families and friends as well! 
So, as I previously mentioned, Elder Jones and I are still going strong.  We are going to have another baptism next weekend, so I can't be sad about that one!  We received a challenge from President Teixeira of the Seventy to get the work functioning so well as to have weekly baptisms.  Well, Elder Jones and I are finding more and more people just waiting for the gospel and it seems as though the fulfillment of his challenge is just around the corner.  There are so many people ready in this wonderful city and Elder Jones and I are finding them!
A good example is Wednesday, the transfer day.  We went tracting and we tracted into a woman that wasn't too interested, but then referred one of her neighbors that lived close by.  We headed straight over.  As K opened the door, her face lit up.  It was so adorable to see her eyes just beaming with excitement.  She was so excited to hear about our message that she called in her adorable 93 year old mother.  After that, she invited us to come back that night to meet her husband.  It was AMAZING.
At the end of our lesson with K and her family, I bore my testimony about these things expressing that "I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God."  She then looked back at me and said, "So do I!"  Miracles really do happen!
We were also able to take T, the guy that was baptized last week, to a program with us this week.  It was awesome to hear his testimony and just feel the depth thereof.  It was just a feeling like, "Wow, I helped this man be baptized!"
We also were able to play a part in some branch Christmas activities on Saturday and Sunday.  We helped decorate the Branch house for Christmas on Saturday night and then all of the neighborhood families came over and the kids were able to see Santa!  Here in Hungary, the children don't just sit on Santa's lap, but have to sing a Christmas song to him to get their gifts.  It was so adorable and I learned some Hungarian Christmas songs!  It was wonderful.
On Sunday, we had a lunch after church.  We watched a Christmas devotional for the third hour and then gathered for a little "family meal."  I brought a soup that I made up between 9:30- 10:15 the night before that turned out surprisingly well.  We also had some classic Hungarian dishes as well.  We were able to mix and mingle with the non members and we were able to get to know about some of the amazing part member families in the branch.  It was amazing.
In funny news, Elder Jones and I got stopped by the police this last week!  We were tracting at around 7 pm on Friday night and someone thought we were buglers (The one bad thing about wearing all black).  The most awkward part was the cops stopped us as we were exchanging information with an awesome girl we tracted into, it was an adventure though.  As one of the cops was taking down our information, we started talking with the other.  He brought up how much he loves genealogy and how he adores our website called "family search."  We told him about our resources in our branch house and gave him our information so we can meet sometime.  The Lord works in mysterious ways!

Well, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.  Don't forget to love the holidays and keep on smiling!  Invite the missionaries and your friends over and remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!  Make some miracles and share the sweet song of the gospel!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hungary Week 71

Hey everyone!

So I just got my transfer call, because they are coming monthly as of late and I am staying here in Duna with Elder Jones for Christmas!  Now, I just need to spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear!  Merry Christmas!
This week was great!  We were able to baptize T!  It was so awesome, after I baptized him, we walked up the steps to the bathroom and he gave me a huge hug while thanking me for helping him into the waters of baptism.  It was one of those moments when I felt like I was in the right place at the right time.
Other than that, Elder Jones and I saw some MAJOR miracles with 2 families.  About 2-3 weeks ago, one of our investigators referred her daughter and her daughter's family.  We met them for the second time this last week and it was absolutely AMAZING.  The parents are having trouble with their kid going down the wrong path and we were able to teach about the power of prayer.  At the end of the lesson, the mother said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard, just pleading for answers to help her son go down the right path.  She wasn't religious, but in her prayer, she turned to God and promised to pray with faith everyday from now on.  It was so touching.

We had a similar experience with an older man named P.  His wife died 4 years ago due to her mental state being destroyed by dementia over the course of MANY years.  When his wife died, his relationship with someone really close to him fell apart.  We were able to pray for help and answers in regards of this loved one.  At the end, he looked at us with tears starting to gather and thanked us.
My email is short today, but we saw so many miracles, from our mission leadership training on Wednesday to our celebration of Sister Hinckley's birthday on Monday, we had no down time.  The work is only meant to pick up and we are so excited for this month of miracles.
I will make sure to share all of our amazing miracles next week, but until then, don't forget to smile!

Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hungary Week 70


This week was absolutely insane!  It was full of miracles and moments of joy and happiness.  I just love my life, especially right now as a missionary!

From Monday until Sunday, we have been experiencing non-stop experiences that will last a lifetime.  Monday is actually the best example of this.  We planned on having a full Preparation day, with rest and fun activities, but then we meet this amazing guy at the library!  He asked to meet there on the spot!

After that, we were invited by members and non members to many Family Home Evenings.  We saw some great things as the referrals started to flow and we were also able to put some members on track to receive their patriarchal blessings.  
After that, we were able to bless even more people who were having struggles with sickness.  The members were also VERY supportive this week, calling US with referrals.  Even in splits with the Elders from Kaposvár, we were able to keep the work going strong.  
I was able to go with Elder Miller's new missionary, Elder Giacalone.  I was his zone leader when he first came in the country about 4 transfers ago.  It was so much fun because he is so similar to Elder Jones.  Our investigators kept telling him that as well!  It was a great split as we just met with person after person, learning one from another. 
Our split was also a great time to let all of our investigators know about Elder Jones' birthday!  This last Wednesday was his birthday and it was awesome to see everything the people of Dunaújváros did for him!  M, our investigator getting baptized this month, baked him a cake, A, our American investigator from Ohio made him pizza, and J, a member here in Duna, made him pizza and bought him desert!  The gifts even continued to Friday when one of our neighbors gave Elder Jones a very expensive bottle of wine!  The irony was the fact that we planned on teaching this investigator the word of wisdom on the very same day!
It was a great birthday for him because we were also able to make some breakthroughs with many investigators.  We were also able to find a new family as we made our way out to a small village to meet with another investigator.  One of our programs fell through, so we had the feeling to head out to the village early.  As we began walking down the empty streets, we saw a yellow house on the corner and smiled at each other.  Behind the door was one of the kindest men I have ever met, Z.  We have already met twice and he introduced us to his kids!  He is a great man and is going places!
Then, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving of tracting and teaching.  We then pulled a little dinner together with the Sisters where I made a soup and they made chicken, broccoli and mashed potatoes.  We then went around the table and said why we were grateful.  I was and still am grateful for my mission!  Oh the mission memories.
Other than that, we had some great experiences getting members involved in the work.  We were able to match up our investigators with their friends in the branch and we were also able to get the branch even more excited about the missionary work.
Our week built up to our amazing church experience of having 4 investigators at church, along with many less active and new members.  It was just awesome seeing the joy in the church member's faces as they looked at the congregation with such joy.  Many people got up to bear their testimonies and felt a little overwhelmed with the sheer amount of people that were there.  The work is going in Dunaújváros!
Sunday night, we had an interview with an amazing 30 year old man getting baptized this Saturday, T.  We were also able to meet with his family and invite them to T's baptism.  This man met the missionaries when he was 10 years old and he has finally found us again and is just so ecstatic to finally have the chance to step and be baptized.  We have only been meeting for about a month, but he is so ready!  We are VERY excited for him.
Today, we were able to have another unbelievable experience and render service to T's mom and introduce the "Mormon's" to a local school during their "Bible week."  It was fun to stand in front of a class and just bear testimony of the importance of Christ in our lives.  
I am having the time of my life and I am in love with my mission.  I just can't wait to see what the next week holds in store for me.  I am sure that there are only more miracles to be had.  Life is great!

Sok szeretettel and smile this week everyone!  
Elder Jake Nelson
PS There will be pictures next week!