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!! 


It was a good week this last week and we were able to meet with a lot of good people!  Elder Hughes is feeling a lot better and we were able to get back a semi-normal routine which was super good. 

On Monday, we were able to have our Preparation Day and it was good.  We really did not do much because Elder Hughes needed to rest from the surgery (he really tried to make it to church the day before, however, pushed himself too hard and had a fever break out in sacrament meeting).  We did not have any lessons that day, however, that night I went on an exchange with the secretary Elder Bloomer and we did some really good street finding!  In our district we have a goal for this transfer to testify of the Restoration at least 10 times every day!  There is power in testifying about our unique message to the world and the Lord will honor us when we do so.  We also have another district goal to always have a copy of the Book of Mormon in our hands while proselyting, there is such a power in the Book of Mormon that I never want to live a day of my life without!  

On Tuesday, we planned to go to the city of Miskolc for exchanges, however, we moved it in order to give Elder Hughes some more time to rest.  We were actually able to have some great lessons, however, here in Buda so I am glad that we were able to stay.  We were able to meet with our investigators and were able to teach about the plan of salvation.  They are doing really well and are each reading from the Book of Mormon.  Like I mentioned before, one of them is agnostic, however, he is open to learn.  As he keeps reading from the Book of Mormon he will come to know God, I have a testimony of that.  During the lesson, their little rascal puppy would not leave me alone and untied my right shoe lace and chewed a whole through one of my ties, haha (I paid attention to them through the whole thing which was good, haha). 

On Wednesday we were able to meet with the another of our investigators.  We were able to talk about the importance of a living prophet and were able to show them the talk about choices  that president Monson gave (choose the harder right over the easier wrong).  They are doing really well and are really excited for Saturday.  We made lots of invitations and gave them to people at stake conference.  She has her baptismal clothes and is set.  That night we were also able to meet with the Bishop and his family.  They have a 16 year old girl living with them that wants to be taught, we are excited to teach her.

On Thursday we were able to have district meeting and we also met additional investigators.  We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and taught about how infant baptism is not good (read from Moroni 8).  We think that they might be meeting more for the friendship than the gospel so we’ll need to watch that. 

On Friday I was able to go to the city of Pest and was on an exchange with Elder Terry.  We met with this super cool guy.  His father is African and his mom is Hungarian.  He is really interested in these things and loves college football (it was fun to talk to him about that).  We taught the Plan of Salvation then I went to Ikea and got 6 hot dogs and piece of cake!  You got to love Ikea, haha.  Elder Hughes met with another of our investigators while I was gone and said he is really considering baptism now as he has been thinking about it a lot.  They also met with a chinese man name that we got as a referral from the secretaries!  

On Saturday and Sunday we had Stake conference and it was great!  It was fun seeing the members from Pécs and Győr and it was good to hear that they are doing well.  The things that stuck out to me were the following.

  1. We need to read, reread, ponder and pray about the talks from the prophets and apostles paying special attention to the promised blessings and what we need to do to obtain them.
  2. We need to STUDY the Book of Mormon daily as a family and individually
  3. If we want to strengthen our faith, then we need to strengthen our obedience!  

It was awesome and I am going to try to better apply those things!  Have a wonderful week and I love you tons!  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

AP (endix) life...haha!

Well this has been one of the craziest weeks of my mission so I am just going to take it from the top.  This last week was transfers!!!  This is probably the craziest week for assistants because of all the things we have to do, but it is always super fun as well.  Last Monday was our preparation day and it was great.  We were inside for the whole day doing transfer paper work and rearranging the mission board in Presidents' office and it was great, despite for Elder Hughes having a bit of a stomach ache and feeling weak.  I did not think much of it and just thought that it was a little virus bug that I really did really not want to catch (especially during this week).  He told Sister Szabadkai he was not feeling well and when we got home that night he crashed at like 8:30, I had the feeling something was not right.

On Tuesday morning we were able to call the missionaries with their transfer calls and their locations (one of my favorite things to do as an assistant).  Elder Hughes said that he felt healthier than the day before, however, he still had a really horrible stomach ache.  As we were planning for the training that we would be giving to the new missionaries the next day, Elder Bagozzi comes into our office and tells Elder Hughes that he thinks he has an appendicitis.  Elder Bagozzi told Elder Hughes he had 10 seconds to call Sister Szabadkai (she sets up our doctor appointments) or he would call her.  At 6 seconds, elder Hughes called her.  He got an appointment for 4 o'clock that day (right when the new missionaries were scheduled to get in).  Because we had to go pick them up from the airport, we went on an exchange with the secretary Elder Ballard (who actually was just transferred to Győr).  We went to the airport and while there, I get a text from Elder Hughes that there is a 70% chance he will be operated on!  The new missionaries come (4 sisters and 2 elders) and I take the elders back to the mission home (they are from Pennsylvania and Nebraska).  The traffic was horrible and we got back to the mission home at like 6:30 (the missionaries flight was delayed 4 hours and they lost their luggage).  We get back, I go streeting with one of them and meanwhile president is holding interviews with all the new missionaries.  We go to dinner (it’s now at like 8 o'clock) and during which all of the missionaries bore their testimonies in Hungarian (something that has never happened).  I take all the missionaries up to see a castle, then we take them to the hotel.  It is 10:30 at this point and we still have to go bring Elder Hughes some clothes at the hospital and pick up the other missionary Elder Bloomer who is with him.  We get lost while going there, make our way through some crazy Halloween parties, get Elder Bloomer (Elder Hughes is asleep) and we come back.  We get to bed at like 1:30am (the secretaries were at my apartment).

The next day we were up at 6:30 and prepared the mission home for transfers.  Then we had a meeting with all of the trainers and I had to give a training about how to be a good trainer all by myself (because Elder Hughes was currently being operated on).  It went well (the surgery did too) and that day I was with the secretaries in the mission home.  That night we had dinner with the departing missionaries which included Elder Ure.  After dinner me and the Szabadkais went to the hospital to give Elder Hughes a blessing.  He was good just in a lot of pain. The next day he was able to leave the hospital and come home and this is when the exchanges with the secretaries (elder Fisher and elder Bloomer) started.  They have been such a huge help to us and without them I would not have been able to get everything done that I had this week (now elder Fisher has the flu however, so Elder Bloomer and I are on splits, the secretaries are the temporary assistants for the week).  On Friday I was able to go and sing in a missionary choir in the city at Tatabánya (one of the missionaries is in the branch council there and he needed my help so I had to rush down there and sing). 

The investigators are doing wonderful.  We were able to have 4 investigators in church yesterday and they all seemed to like it.  After church, our baptismal commit had her baptismal interview and she passed.  She was kind of worried about the whole thing, however, on Saturday night we reviewed the questions and she became really calm and happy.  We are really excited for the 18th.  We were also able to meet with another of our investigators this past week and he is doing really well.  He finished the Book of Mormon this past week knows that baptism is the right thing (he is just worried about the commitment, it is going to happen though, I have faith).  He told us we have had the biggest impact on his life compared to anyone, that was good to hear.  The Lord helped me a lot this week and I am praying for my companion to be healed.  Please pray for him.  I love you all and have a great week! 

Gentry elder

Thursday, November 2, 2017

I love Buda!

Well as the title says, I am going to be staying in the city that I love...BUDA!  I am super glad for this opportunity and I am thrilled for the chance that I will have to stay with Elder Hughes for another transfer!  

It was a great week!  On Tuesday we were able to meet with our referral that watched the musical the Book of Mormon in New York.  The good news is that she really likes the actual Book of Mormon and her husband is also now investigating along with her which is cool.  That night we were also able to meet with another of our investigators.  Her brother actually was not home at the time so we had to meet on the doorstep, but we taught the restoration and she seemed to really like it.  She did not eat our Zucchini bread we made for her because she saw there was green stuff in it and thought it went bad, haha. 

On Wednesday we were able to do some super solid finding.  One of the biggest things that I have learned over the course of this transfer is the importance of sticking to the fundamentals in everything.  I have been reading Preach My Gospel a lot lately and it says over and over again that when we teach people about the Restoration then the Lord will bless us.  Sometimes I tend to get prideful and lean on my own strength, however, when I do it how the Lord wants me to do it (connecting everything back to the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and encouraging them to read it), He honors us so much!!  That night we were able to meet with one of our investigators who is doing fantastic!  She is moving to Switzerland, however, which we are sad about, however, she is really excited to meet with the missionaries over there.  When we went over to her home to teach her, we realized no man was home so we ran across the street, grabbed Elder Bagozzi and he saved the day!  

On Thrursay we had a bunch of meetings (meeting day in the church, we had district meeting, english class, and missionary correlation meeting, and a cool meeting with the stake about the Light the World project).  I do not know if you all have already heard about the Light the World campaign for this year, however, it will be a similar them as of last years and it should be really fantastic!  

On Friday we went to the great city of Miskolc and I was with Elder Ure for the last time (as it says a number of times in the Book of Mormon the last shall be first and the first shall be last, haha).  He is doing really well and I am so grateful for him and for the things I have learned from him throughout the course of the mission.  He is a great example and friend to me!  

On Saturday, we finished our exchange (did our best to talk to everybody and got fed some amazing cabbage stew basically from this nice old lady, it was so delicious) and then on the way back home, me and Elder Hughes jammed out to a Josh Groban Christmas CD, haha #tistheseason! 

On Sunday we were able to have 3 investigators at church!  Then we were in the office going through a course on how to use technology safely, we were the test missionaries, good times.  Then we were able to go over to our part member’s home for dinner and we were able to talk about prayer and then we were able to talk about sabbath day earlier on in the week.  They are so cool and it looks like everything is going to work out for the 18th!  They gave us some good pizza and I explained to them what Thanksgiving was (in Hungarian, haha).   They are so kind and are progressing so well.

I love you all so much and I promise I will keep working as hard as I can!! Have a great week!!  

Gentry elder 

Elder Ure going home!

Lots of Splits

So it was another really great week!  We had 3 exchanges this week and Elder Hughes' 20th birthday!  We were able to have our first exchange with the elders from Győr here  in Buda and it went really well.  I was able to work with Elder Murphy and it was really great!  A few weeks ago we talked with these 2 people on the street that recently moved here from Győr.  They told us that they would love to meet with us (they live on our street actually).  They told us that their 8 year old daughter would have some intense questions for us and she did.  She wrote down 14 questions that ranged from "did Jesus Christ live" to "who is Heavenly Father's Father" to "why was Christ crucified" (this girl is 8).  She took notes during the discussion.  The spirit was really strong and at the end, the 8 year old girl said the closing prayer and said that God answered here prayer!  It was really sweet! 

A couple days later while on an exchange with elder McKim from Dunaújváros, we went back and taught the plan of salvation (the dad asked the question of what is the purpose of life).  He told us that one of the reasons why he is here in the world is to fight against evil and enforce righteous justice.  We told him that we as missionaries are the Lord's recruiters and that we are here to find those that are ready to sign up to fight for the Lord's army!  He liked that! 

We found 7 new investigators this past week and another new one yesterday!  The Lord is honoring us and is place His children that are ready in our path!  All of our current investigators seem to be doing well and we have a great week planned for this upcoming week!  Our part member investigator and her family were in church again this week and she is so excited for her baptism next month!  The gospel changes lives that is for sure! This work is that of the Almighty God and I have come to know that more and more!  I love you all so much!  Have a great week! 

Gentry elder