Monday, January 27, 2014

Hungary Week 78


Sorry if my email is a little shorter this week.  There is some computer problems with the place we are emailing, but I still want to share a miracle or 2!

I had quite a week full of ups, downs and blessings.  The beginning was a little more interesting.  In one day, a strange man answered his door naked and later I saw him by his apartment complex and he grabbed my bottom!  Elder Jones got in the way of me turning around and hitting him, but needless to say, interesting beginning to the week.  The spirit must have helped us out in that situation!

The Lord blessed us after our interesting experience though!  We were able to find some really amazing people and meet more of that AMAZING family from Michigan.  They are SO prepared and these things are the perfect help for them.  It was very needed considering 4 of the 5 people at church 2 weeks ago were sick with the flu, not including the additional 3-4 investigators with the flu.  So we weren't able to meet with all our amazing investigators, but due to our effective finding, our work is going to bounce back to even better than before.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

I had a great split with Elder Alldredge.  He was a very good friend of mine in the MTC and it was refreshing catching up on things and see the changes we have made since being in the mission field.  He was up in Budapest and I went up with him.  It was a "Sons of Mosiah" experience for me, I was just so happy to see him sticking strong to the gospel and see where he is now. 

I have been able to reflect on my mission a lot lately.  I am nothing but so happy about the work and the standard I set for myself from the first day of my mission and I intend on nothing other than achieving newer heights and greater things before my time as a missionary quickly passes.  I have been so blessed and the Lord just gives me a greater and greater testimony that this is His work.  The Lord gives us vision, but the application is placed all upon the person.  Looks like I have a lot of work to do, so I better get working fast!

I love you all!  Have a great week everyone!

Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hungary Week 77


Emailing is sometimes very long, but it is pretty great!  This week was a great one!  We were able to see miracles on top of miracles!  
It all started on Tuesday after emailing, we got a little caught up in programs even though it was P-Day.  We had just stacked programs from 4 on.  The highlight of the night was meeting again with an amazing man.  Two weeks ago, due to the beginning of the year being a little more slow, we didn't have as many people at English Class.  I met one of the coolest guys ever, Z.  He is a family man who heard about our English Class a while ago and wanted to try it out.  
After starting the English Class, he opened up a bit and we just started talking because he was the only one who showed up for the advanced class.  We just talked about our families and we shared our backgrounds.  It was such a great opportunity to get to know him.
After a while, the topic shifted over to missionary work, naturally.  He wanted to know why I was here and what I wanted out of my experience.  He was touched and we finished the class with Moroni's promise for the spiritual message.  Well, this last Tuesday he came back!  I asked him at the end if we could visit his family and he accepted!
He has such an adorable family.  He has a little boy who was dressed up as Spiderman and I was able to show a picture of my nephew dressed up as Spiderman I so happened to have with me.  The little boy looked at it and was like, "Look mom!  He's like me!"  
After to getting to know one another, we were able to gather the two boys, Z and his wife together and sing "When there's love at home."  The spirit filled the room and the 2 boys listened intently.  It was a moment I won't forget.  At the end, we shared our testimonies of our Heavenly Father and planned with them to come back later.  It is moments like this that answer my questions of why I am where I am.  MIRACLES
After that, we were able to really help 2 families that are on baptismal date through the members!  We have been able to work with these amazing people for a while, but they have had a hard time finding confidence in their knowledge, because their baptisms are coming up soon.  We brought some members to simply share their conversion stories for a spiritual message and it seemed as though the people opened up and created some bonds with these church members they have hardly talked to.  It was fantastic.  
Miracles are happening here and I am just so happy.  Life and time is flying by too fast, but I am enjoying every moment of my mission.  I am where I need to be, and that is a great comfort.  The gospel is true and there are only more great things to be had next week.  
Smile this week everyone and make some memories!
Sok szeretettel,

Elder Jake Nelson

Elder Jones is getting in shape for the trip home!  He is in his last transfer so I whipping him into shape! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hungary Week 76

The transfer calls came!

I have been on the edge of my seat for a couple days now because I have no idea what's going to happen with the time I have remaining and the unexpected happened!  Elder Jones and I are staying together longer than any missionary companionship I have heard of coming from this mission.  We are staying together in Dunaújváros.  Everyone was prepared to say their farewells to us, but the Lord had different plans I guess.  We have already been together 12 weeks, so why not more!  It will be good though because we have many baptisms coming up this transfer and our investigators were scared to see us go, so we get to see a bunch more baptisms together.  
The strange thing is that I may be in Dunaújváros for a VERY long time now.  We have 9 week long transfers, but there are mini transfers thrown in the middle due to missionaries going home due to the big switch between 6 week and 9 week transfers.  Either way, Elder Jones goes home at the end of this 9 week transfer and if we stay together until the end, it means I get to stay here for 5 transfers and go home from here as well!  We will see what the Lord has in store for us though!
This last week, we saw MIRACLES.  We were able to find 9 new investigators and they all seem very excited.  We were able to find a lot of them from the area book, so they were people who met with the missionaries before, but for some reason or another stopped.  It was very nice!  We were also able to meet many people through tracting and referrals. 

I think the most randomly awesome people we found were some people from Detroit, Michigan!  It was a mother and son who have been living here for a couple years.  They were over at our investigator's house!  We walked in and saw them and introduced ourselves in Hungarian and then we realized the mom wasn't Hungarian.  Elder Jones then asked if they were from America, and the mom told us she was from Detroit.  She then called to her son and said, "Hey Americans" and the kid jumped up from the computer saying, "No way!  You are from America!"  It is awesome because they completely remind me of my aunt and cousin and Elder Jones' home town is only an hour away from them.  We are SUPER excited to meet with them again this week.
We also had a miracle as we tracted into an old investigator of the Sisters.  Elder Jones was going to baptize him on the day M was baptized, but he didn't show up to his baptism.  We never really knew what happened, but then on Friday night, the Sisters got a hold of him!  The very next day, Elder Jones and I looked up some investigators who met with the missionaries 1-2 years ago.  We were able to meet with them and set up a new appointment.  After meeting, we asked them if they had friends in the building we could talk to.  They didn't have too many referrals to give, but we still decided to tract out the building anyways.  On the last floor of the building, L opened up the door with the biggest smile.  Elder Jones and I started screaming and hugging him and he just laughed and invited us in.  He had some rough experiences in the meantime and just wasn't sure if the church was for him.  He started going to other churches and solidified his testimony that this is Christ's church!  He was at church the next day and going down the path again to enter into the waters of baptism.  AMAZING experience.
This week, we were also able to make mission goals for the year of 2014.  It is amazing to see the work going the best it has in YEARS.  We looked at spreads from the past 15 years and we are seeing unilateral increases in all aspects of the work.  It is just astounding to see the miracles the Lord has in store and has already made for the people here in Hungary!  We are getting more missionaries, the leaders in our mission are leading through example and we are seeing a zest for the work that is contagious.  Things really are picking up and there is nowhere to go but up.
I have been able to do a lot of reflection this week as well.  I am just so grateful for my mission and the strength it has already been in my life.  My faith is moving forward in leaps and bounds.  I see the blessings and miracles I am given more and more as the days pass.  I truly know, from the bottom of my heart, that this is the church of Jesus Christ and only through the knowledge and faith this gospel gives can one find that true and lasting happiness we all seek.  
Have a miracle of a week everyone and don't forget to smile!  
Sok szeretettel,
Elder Jake Nelson

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hungary Week 75

Hey everyone!

The holidays are over!  I never thought I would be excited to get back to a regular week.  I am a strange one, what can I say, but this week was so great!  It was full of miracles and happiness.
Monday was awesome!  We were able to extend a baptismal challenge to the head of an awesome family.  I, his wife K and their mother M are going to be baptized on the 1st of March.  The baptismal dates are just flowing in our companionship and throughout our zone.  It has really been amazing to see all the miracles extending from our hard work.  The only strange thing is getting closer and closer to setting baptismal dates towards the very end of my mission.  Oh well, I just have to enjoy the time I have!
Tuesday and Wednesday were very interesting.  We had our P-day from Tuesday night through Wednesday and when we started tracting on Tuesday morning I knew why.  The city was SHUT DOWN.  The apartments and homes were either empty or full with people for a big party.  As the night rolled around, more and more people seemed to roll out. 
Elder Jones and I were able to attend a branch party!  There was food, games and fun!  It brought back memories with my family as I played the board game "Ticket to Ride" with some church members. 

After the party, we arrived home for curfew at 10 (For the holiday) and read the Book of Mormon.  We were given a challenge by President Teixeira's wife at the beginning of November to read the entire Book of Mormon before the end of the year and on the night of the 31st, we finished!  At 11:45 I knelt down to pray about the Book of Mormon and the Lord, once again, gave me that answer I desired.  The Book of Mormon really is true!  There is nothing more sweet than a testimony about these things.
Wednesday, we were able to play some board games in the branch house with the sisters and make cupcakes for M's birthday (The woman who was just baptized on December 28th).  Her face lit up as the four of us showed up with the delicious dessert.  It was a memory for sure!
Thursday, I was in Pécs!  I had some AMAZING experiences with Elder Weaver and a church member.  M is 20 and was just baptized.  We met with him around noon and then told him about our plans to go tracting the rest of the day.  He quickly asked if he could come as well.  
While traveling I talked to him about serving a mission and how much help it could be in his life and he seemed to just brush it off and change the subject, but of course I didn't just let it go!  He said he wouldn't want to serve because people don't listen, so I made him a deal that if tracting went well, that he would serve a mission.  Well, he accepted!  
We got into the first building we saw with the first bell.  After that, we met with MANY people, only to have 4 people say they weren't interested in a jungle of 20 or more doors.  After, I simply looked at him with a smile and he said, "FINE!  You were right, there are nice people."  I can't wait to see where he gets called to!
Friday and Saturday were full of adventures.  We were able to meet with a lot of great people and see miracles on miracles.  Doors were opened and we were able to meet with many.  One of our Sisters also got very sick, so we were able to get her to the branch house and get her a blessing.  I love blessings!  Then, with doctor’s orders, we were able to go to the store and get all the things she needed.  
Sunday was so much fun!  We had some awesome people at church as well!  My favorite was 2 girls about our age.  We met with their mom and things just didn't seem to work out because she had suffered a stroke and has a hard time understanding the concepts of the gospel due to the trauma she has suffered.  As we were leaving our last program with the mom, we ran into them!  They were coming back and we simply invited them to church.  They laughed and said "We are totally going to go."

Long story short, they came!  They showed up a little late and seemed very tired due to a party they were at the night before, but the church members just smiled and made friends with them fast.  It was really awesome to see.
After church, we still had a long ways to go to achieve our goals, but 7 hours of work later, we came home dead tired and with smiles of fulfillment.  It was a great day!  Most definitely full of adventures, ups and downs, but it was one to remember!  
Life is great on this end, but I can't wait to see what the Lord has for me next.  Transfers are next week, so I will have P-day on Tuesday, so I will make sure to share the news!  
Have a great week everyone and remember to smile!

Elder Jake Nelson