Monday, January 8, 2018

Budapest, Round 5 :)

As the title says, this last week I was able to start my 5th transfer in the wonderful city of Budapest.  I am serving with Elder Lowe from Washington the state.  He is such a hard worker, loves football and basketball, is the best Hungarian speaker in the mission, and is going to be going to BYU studying finance (let's just say we get along pretty well, haha).  We are really excited to be able to work together this transfer and we are excited for the amazing work that lies ahead.

On Monday, we were able to cook with Sister Szabadkai. She taught us how to make fruit soup, one of things that they eat a lot here and that I am super excited to make for you all when I go home.  

This week, Elder Hughes went home, however, the day before he went home, a new missionary arrived from Australia.  His name is Elder McCan and he is a wonderful missionary.  On Tuesday we were able to be with him and it was really fun working with someone fresh out of the MTC.  He is a wonderful missionary and is going to be doing absolutely amazing things for the people in this country!  

The next day was the transfer and we I was able to start serving with Elder Lowe.  We were able to give a training to Elder McCan and his trainer Elder Howard and following that were able to do a lot of planning for the transfer.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to have an amazing dinner with the Szabadkais and were able to have paprikás csirke, one of my favorite Hungarian dishes (I am going to learn from sister Szabadkai how to make it on one of these preparation days).

On Thursday and Friday we were also able to do a lot of planning and we were able to set some really great goals.  We were able to tract into two new investigators on Friday, tracted into another on Saturday, and on Sunday were able to get a referral from the sisters in Pest and met with a really prepared man named David.  It has been a week full of miracles and I am so excited to keep on taking part in them this transfer! 

I love you so much and hope you all have a great week! 

Gentry elder 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Christmas #2

This email is really short because everyone emailed this week and I am out of time.  Christmas was amazing and the members were so nice.  It was so nice being able to Skpye on Christmas and to see all of your amazing faces, I love you all so much and am so blessed.  

Johanna’s baptism was absolutely amazing!  She is so prepared and the spirit there was so strong!  She is so prepared and is literally true evidence that God is preparing the hearts of his children.  Her faith is so incredible and I am so grateful that I was able to be a tool in Heavenly Father's hand to guide her along in her path to conversion.  Baranyai Dori, a recent convert in Buda, gave a wonderful talk on baptism.  We then were able to have the service and it was so amazing being able to baptize her.  Then Sister Sheffield, a missionary in Buda, gave a talk on the spirit!  It was so great!  

We were also able to meet with another of our investigators this week and she is doing well.  President was able to help us in the lesson and we were able to read Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 about baptism.  She feels ready and we set a bap date for the 3rd of February, hopefully it is going to work out!  

I love you all and I love this work!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  

Gentry elder 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Best Birthday Ever!!! (This is from his Dec 16th email)

Hello my amazing family!  It was a great week this past week full of miracles, splits, conferences, and good food.

On Monday I celebrated the 20th anniversary of the day I was born!  Thank you for the great packages and I love the scarf (worn it every day) and the sweater (I wore it the day after).  That day the Szabadkais brought me a cake and sang happy birthday to me it the morning which was super nice of them.  After that we had to man the office while the secretaries went to the embassy (#birthday service #lighttheworld). Then we were able to order Mexican food to the mission home, went to get our hair cut (I taught my barber the Restoration and he gave me his number which was cool, I always talk to them and this time this one was interested), then we shopped, then we had a choir practice thing.  Then at the end of the choir practice thing a member came to the mission home with another cake for me.  We then went to a Chinese restaurant (there was not a male in the branch house so we could not go inside) and had cake and Chinese.  Then the best part happened when we taught Johanna that night!  We went over there really excited because she told us she had some good news that she wanted to tell both of us in person.  We go in and ask her what the good news was and she told us that after thinking and praying about it she wants to be baptized on December 30th!!!  We were so thrilled and it was the best birthday present ever!  We taught about the law of tithing that lesson and it went fantastic!  Johanna has such amazing faith and is proof to me that God is truly preparing the hearts of his children!  Later that week we were able to teach the Law of Chastity and about eternal marriage in the temple.  It was funny, she said, for two people who have never been married, you speak so highly and happily about marriage and the blessings it will bring.  It was nice to hear!  

The next day we were able to go on exchanges with the elders from the city of Dunaújváros!  I was with Elder Neumiller here in Buda and we had a really great exchange.  The week before, Elder Neumiller actually plowed through a glass door, however, he was miraculously protected from the whole incident and only walked away from it with a minor scratch and a head ache (when it happened I was the first one he called and I was not sure whether to laugh or be worried because he sounded fine on the phone, we have angels watching out for us that is for sure).  That exchange was great!  We looked up a family we found from Norway, and we were not sure where they lived.  The 1st door we knocked on was theirs and we set up a meeting for today.  After that we said a prayer and felt we should stay in the building.  We got let in to a nice mom and her little baby, who we can hopefully meet with again this week.  After that we did some more lookups and found ourselves in another building.  We said a prayer, felt we should stay and got a let in on the next door we tracted. It was a nice older woman that we were able to share the Christmas message with.  On top of that we were able to find 10 potential investigators, it was great!! 

Then we were able to have another exchage with the Miskolc elders!  I was able to work with Elder Lowe, who is such an amazing missionary.  We went on exchanges together in our 3rd and 2nd transfers (he is one below me) and it was so fun being able to work with him once more.  He is from Seattle and is such a hard worker, I love it!  We were able to find some really great potential investigators that exchange and were able to have a couple great lessons with Johanna, and a former investigator named Csaba. 

On Friday we were able to have our Missionary Leadership Council here in Budapest!  It was fantastic and president gave a wonderful training about what it means to be a true leader.  It was kind of funny, we were talking about what it means to be powerful in regards to missionary work and one of the missionaries said that I came to his mind (really kind of him to say) and then president says in english, "well obviously" it was really funny and nice of them to say.  Sister Szabadkai shared  the story about the little boy that asked the man on the street that helped him if he was Jesus and the man said no but he was trying to be like him, I really love that story.  Elder Hughes and I gave a training on effective planning and how to find with faith!  We said that planning needs to have meaning, have balance and have goals and when we are finding it needs to be like we are hunting not just waiting.  It was a great meeting.  

I love you all so much and am so excited to Skype next week!  Have a great week! 

Gentry elder 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Győrbe mentünk! (translation - We went to Gyor!)

Hello my amazing family!  I do not have a lot of time on this email so it will be short and sweet!  This week I went to Pest (just across the river) to go on an exchange with Elder Murphy!  He is really great and his parents are professors/researchers at BYU.  We were able to have a great lesson with these people that Elder Leavitt found when he was serving in Pest and it went really well!  We felt that we needed to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, however, the spirit took it another way and we were able to talk about the spirit and the roles it can play in our lives.  It was fit for their needs and at the end of the lesson the mom said that she wanted to be baptized in the spring.  

One of the things that the self reliance program and President Szabadkai has really helped me learn is the importance of listening and being sincere with people! This gospel has played such a huge role in my life and I am really making it my goal with everyone I talk to be as sincere as possible.  

On the way back from Pest, this lady was holding a big bag in one hand and pushing a stroller in the other hand (to go along with it she was pregnant). The spirit would not let me pass by her and so I offered to help.  She refused, I was persistent, she accepted and we walked to her house, got her number and she agreed to let us meet!  It was a great experience!  

This week, we were able to visit with a member to show the Christmas message.  We realize that her husband was not home and that we could not stay until he got home.  She then had an idea.  She got a plate of baked goods and had me carry this huge package that was for her next door neighbors.  We walk a few doors down, and a mom, dad, and 2 little kids answer.  The member says, “I have brought your package and a Christmas message, may we come in?” It was absolutely great and a good testimony builder of obedience and member missionary work!  

Like I said we went to Győr this week and I was able to meet with Roli.  He is doing really well! It was fun to be able to see him again!  

 I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderfully amazing week! 

Gentry elder

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Exchanges and magyar :)

This week was an exchange filled week and it was super great!  We were able to go to the city of Dunaújváros and were able to go and work with the elders there from Monday night until Tuesday night.  I was able to work with Elder Thomas.  We were able to have a really great discussion about having the faith to find.  Throughout my mission, I have kind of always thought of finding like hunting.  If you go into the forest and just expect the animals to come to you then you won't get anything, however, if you actively make an effort to search and work at every opportunity like it is your only chance at survival then it becomes a lot more effective. We talked about how finding is so much more effective if we set goals and then strive to hit those goals with faith in Heavenly Father. If you approach someone with the mindset of, "I am just going to say words and if they accept it or reject it is not my fault" then it will not be as successful as approaching someone with the mindset of "this person is going to accept it and I am going to make every effort I can to make sure they do so."  It was a good split and while we were streeting we saw the police break into an apartment to catch a robber, it was intense, haha.  

Then on Wednesday we were able to stay here in Buda and were able to go on exchanges with the elders from Szeged.  I was with Elder Garrett who is from Oklahoma and really likes basketball.  He is a really humble, hard worker and it was a pleasure being able to serve with him for a short time.  We were able to meet with one of our investigators who is doing fantastic!  She was able to read from the Book of Mormon every day, was able to pray every day, and has been in church for the last 2 times in a row.  We invited her to be baptized on the 30th of December and she is thinking it over right now, I really think that she will be ready for it.  We were also able to meet with another of our investigators that night and we were able to visit them with member support.  Our investigator had only one cup of coffee up to that point in the week and we were so proud of her!  We taught about following the prophet and the importance of obedience and we made a deal that if she did not drink coffee until Sunday then I would only speak Hungarian non-stop until Sunday.  We agreed and we both succeeded!! (I did speak English to those people on the street and in other places that did not speak Hungarian at all). She was able to come to all 3 hours of church and loved it, she is praying about the December 30th bap date as well.

Then on Friday and Saturday we were in Miskolc and I have one word to describe the missionaries, Elder Lowe and Elder Durney, AMAZING!  They are helping the work in Miskolc so much and are such hard workers!  In that part of the country the work was hard and they have really helped it so much!  They will be having 5 baptisms there on the 16th of December! 

Keep on lighting the world, and have a wonderful week!! 

Gentry elder 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

He is an interpretive dancer...

This email is going to be a bit shorter but it really was an amazing week…..

We had Zone Conferences every day (Monday to Friday) all for about 4 hours.  They were so good and we really focused on the importance of giving commitments, finding through the youth of the church (Andrew and Bethy :), Charity, and this amazing Christmas campaign Light the World.  We got 1000 pass along cards as a mission and we are really excited to use it as a missionary tool and also as a way for us to personally grow closer to the Savior during this wonderful time of year!  

On Saturday, we had Elder Homer visiting (he is a member of the Area 70).  We had to go and pick him up in the car and then President Szabadkai asked us if we would translate for him all day (it was really stressful but cool at the same time).  The 1st meeting was for branch presidents on the west side of the country and Elder Hughes and I translated for him (Hungarian to English).  One of the guys said he taught dance (a branch president) but I heard interpretive dancer and so I translated it that way in the microphone (it was kind of funny, haha).  The 2nd meeting was with the 2 district presidents of the country (like stake presidents for places with not a lot of people).  I was Elder Homer's interpreter (English to Hungarian) during that 2.5hour long meeting and it was tiring but really a great experience.  I was able to share my experience with reading the Book of Mormon every night as a family and he said he felt the spirit so strong when I testified about how important it is to read the Book of Mormon as a family (thank you for always doing that!).  After that we ate dinner with the Szabadkais and following that we had a great conference with the Budapest Zone and him.  He said that during meetings we need to pay attention to what we 1. heard and 2. heard that wasn't said.  He is a really cool man.  After that, Elder Homer came with us to one of our families and that was so cool.  He was so impressed with what an amazing family they were and they were honored to be able to meet him.  He also spoke in Church and that was so fantastic!  

The investigators are so great!  We committed one investigator to live according to the Word of Wisdom and she is doing it and is doing it well!  She says it is not easy but that she is still doing it!  The other ones are doing great as well!  Have a wonderful week!  I love you all so much!  

Gentry elder 

 Elder Homer

Colorado Missionaries in Hungary

Thanksgiving Dinner

Friday, November 24, 2017


So it was such an amazing last week full of lots of trainings and a baptism.

The baptism was FANTASTIC and she was able to get the spirit the following day.  Her dad did a really great job and it is amazing on the effect that this is all having on their family.  After 10 years of inactivity they are fully embracing the Gospel and are coming back to the fold. I am so glad that we found them and am so glad for Elder Hughes and his prompting to search the ward list and call them up one day.  I think I have mentioned this before, but we called right after their mom prayed for the missionaries to come back, the Spirit is real!  This last week we were able to go over and teach about family night and I talked about the note book that mom always fills out during family night (they really liked that).  President and Sister Szabadkai came with us to the lesson and their 6 year old boy is kind of shy, but at the end of the lesson he challenges president to a game of soccer in their apartment hallway.  The kid got into it so much and I was laughing so hard, I cried.  

We were able to present a training to the new missionaries and their trainers this last week and it went really well.  We were also able to give a training to the mission leadership about the importance of giving commitments to people.  We talked a lot about how change can be really hard for people to make, however, our job is to strengthen people in their resolve to change and by so doing we are truly crying repentance (as the D&C says, cry nothing but repentance unto this generation).  We came up with an acronym: B cubed or B.B.B, for giving commitments.  We need to be bold, promise blessing to people (people need a reason to change and won't change unless we give them a great reason to do so), and bizonyság (testimony in Hungarian).  It went well.  The stake came and we spoke about how we can encourage the Light the World campaign across the country for Christmas (this is such a good missionary tool).  After the conference, Elder Hughes, myself, President Szabadkai, and President Southwick (the stake president) hosted a broadcast for the leadership in Hungary on how to encourage this campaign.  It was fun.

We also met with another of our investigators this past week and brought President Szabadkai.  It went super well and President shared his conversion story and testified to him of how amazing baptism is going to be!  When President was baptized, he trusted in the Lord so strongly that when he was baptized his old habits that he didn’t like just went away.  He also testified about the amazing power of the priesthood and how incredible it is to preside over a family.  Our investigator told us he is considering getting baptized before the end of December!  We are praying that it happens.

We are giving a training every day this week to the missionaries about the amazing effect youth can have on missionary work and how incredible being a missionary on social media can be. The golden age for someone to get baptized is 15-25 and we are focusing on that as a mission.  

This week we saw a miracle when we prayed at the end of the day to find someone that would be ready for the hearing of the gospel and we came into our apartment and ran into this lady who lived in our apartment from California that wants to meet with us.  We only had 20 minutes to find when we went out and the Lord heard our prayer!  

Love you all so much!!