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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Believe In Miracles!!!

So this past week was super incredible!  I sent the voice recording so that will have most of the big things in it so I will write about those and some of the other cool things!  SO...

One of our investigators from a part member family told us this week that she is going to be baptized.  She is really excited and we are really excited for her!  We asked her if we could do it on the 28th of October, however, her father (the one who is going to baptizer her) is working every single weekend this month and would not be able to come.  So we set it for early November (the 11th) and it sounds like it is really going to happen.  They came to the Sisters' investigators baptism and they loved it (when the man being baptized was baptized he stood up in the font and put his hands up in the air like Rocky and goes "SUCCESS" in Hungarian, it was awesome).  They also came to church and loved it.  They made us American style pancakes and they were super tasty!  

The other investigators on our street are also doing super amazing!  We were able to meet with them a couple of times and we were able to talk about the Book of Mormon and the importance of gaining a testimony of it.   She says that when she meets with us she feels this absolute, incredible feeling!  She has started to read and likes it.  She started to get emotional as we were discussing baptism and said she would pray about it. 

We were able to go to Szeged this past week on an amazing exchange!  I was able to work with Elder Graham from Colorado who is such a hard worker.  It went really well and I really like to go on exchanges with Elder Graham.  

We were able to have a really great Broadcast last night from the European Presidency and from Elder Ballard.  Elder Ballard talked about how we need to believe in miracles and expect them to happen because the Lord needs them to happen.  Elder Ballard shared a story about how one time he was in Ethiopia and it was a drought and he commanded the sky to rain and it started to downpour!  He said it rained every day that week.  He talked about how the best way to show our love to the Lord is by inviting those around us to hear about the Gospel.   He said we need to find joy living this gospel and that we should be going to church with smile on our faces.  He said the miracles start on our knees as we plead with our Father in Heaven to know His will and asking Him for the help to fulfill our duty.  It was a really amazing talk! I do love this work and while I am imperfect I sure am trying so so so hard!  The Lord honors those that honor him and one of the biggest things that I have come to know on my mission is that the miracle comes and the answers to questions come after we have gotten to work and at the times we do not expect it.  I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!

Gentry Elder 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Tovább, menjünk tovább!

We sing that line in the song called to serve (it basically means onward, we go onward!). So congrats on the wins this past week, it sounds like it was a successful week back home.  It was a good week over here on this side of the world as well, we were able to meet with a lot of really great people and were able to get 3 new investigators.

One of the things that we are really focusing on right now as a mission is using the white boards that president ordered for everybody.  We have been using them to talk to a lot of people about family history and people really seem to like it.  Every time we have been going we have been getting like 8-10 potential investigators and it really seems to be working well.  We were able to set up meetings with 2 people that we found while white boarding this past week.  One of the investigators is a girl that is about 20yrs old.  She is looking for direction in her life and I think comes from a little bit of a rougher home situation (which is interesting because she is a really sharp girl that loves reading Charles Dickens and Jane Austin books, haha, I told her that my mom likes those kind of books as well).  Then the other new investigator we found white boarding is a person that lives in a beautiful village named Szentendre (I am totally going to take you all to this village when we come back and visit, it is so beautiful and cool). She was not super religious but had many questions regarding God and why we are here on the earth.  She said that her life is quite frankly miserable and she wanted to know why God would send us to a world where we are just here to have misery.  We talked about how God will consecrate all of our afflictions for our gain and that the purpose of life is to learn, progress, and grow (ultimately to have joy)!  Kind of like a school, if one has the outlook that it is just going to be miserable then it will be miserable, however, if one sees it as an opportunity to learn and progress and grow then it changes the outlook. In Szentendre we were also able to get another new investigator.  She met with the missionaries in the past and was thrilled to meet with us again.  We spoke a lot about the Holy Ghost and what will happen after this life.  She is really kind and we are excited to be able to talk to her more this upcoming week.  

We were able to go on daily exchanges this past week and I was able to work with the one and only ELDER LEAVITT.  It was really fun working together and I had one of the busiest days of my mission.  When we started the exchange, I totally forgot about one of our teachings (I felt really bad but the people were ok with it, we moved it to the next day).  We were able to have a member who is preparing for his mission come to 4 teachings with us from 11:30 until 5 at night (we owe him, he was a big help).  Elder Leavitt is doing well and is a really great missionary.  

So our part member family is doing really well.  We had to cancel one of our teachings with them because we did not realize that the dad would not be home, when we got to their house and realized that there wasn't a male home so we had to move it to Sunday (they understood though #blessingfromobedience).  Yesterday we brought the member that baptized them 9 years ago and they gave the mom a blessing that was sick.  The dad had probably not given a blessing in more than 5 years before last night.  Their non member daughter is doing great and is reading from the Book of Mormon.  We feel like she could be baptized this transfer! 

Our other family is doing well.  It’s great to see someone so ready and who feels the spirit so strong when she learns about the Gospel.  She loved church this past Sunday and President said the he would love to hold a baptismal interview with her if we feel like she could be ready before the end of the transfer (we will see).  

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  I love you all so much!! 

Sok szeretettel, 

Gentry elder 

Translating Gospel Doctrine into English

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Well this church is true!!!

Wasn't conference just so amazing?!?!  The chance that we as latter-day saints have to hear from living Prophets and Apostles is something that is truly spectacular.  This is truly the living church of Christ and I have no doubt about that.  Jesus Christ is the head of this church and if we obey him and serve him by keeping his commandments then we will be preserved and prospered and he will use us for good.  I love how much our church is centered on serving.  Not only service in the sense of helping to clean up after a hurricane but service in the fact of loving our fellow man, loving our God, and loving our families and then giving it all that we have so that they too can feel the joy that we feel from living this gospel.  God needs our help to move along this work and he will qualify those whom he calls.  He asks us to stay worthy, keep His commandments, study His word (especially the Book of Mormon), and have a daily conversation with him in prayer.  This church is true and I know it to be true because I have experimented upon the word and it works! And the experiment upon the word will always work (100% of the time) so long as one is humble and willing to apply the constant nourishment to continuously improve one's faith.  It is so true and I love this gospel! 

It was a good week for us, however nothing too crazy to report.  We are meeting with our great part member family with their daughter that is really interested in learning about the gospel.  They came to conference and really loved it.  

One or our investigators that we thought was making great progress has basically dropped us which is kind of sad, however, he is not humble enough to experiment upon the word.  Humility is such a big part of this work and if someone is not willing to be humble then they will not receive a witness of the truth.  

We had some great meetings with another of our investigators that plans on continuing to read and study and pray and he’s doing well.

We also found an amazing family that lives on the street of the branch house.  It is a mom a dad and a little girl (9) that has autism.  The mom came to conference and loved it.  

Sorry the emails have been short, I will make it longer next week.  I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!!

Gentry Elder

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

We had lots of great conferences!

OK, well, a lot happened this past week and one of the main thing was our conferences that took place.  We had our Zone Conferences this past week and from Wednesday until Friday we were in meetings for 6 hours.  They were super good and I will include some of the highlights.  So, as a mission we are going to be starting the churches self reliance program.  We are going to be doing it as companionships and are going to be emphasizing it to our investigators to try it out.  It is really inspired and I am pumped to be able to do it (if you all want to go along with me doing it, then you all can get the stuff on the book is called My Foundations). We were also able to get a training from the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders about how to better learn Hungarian.  It was really good and the point behind it all was that when we don't worry about how we are speaking or the things we are saying and focusing on our investigators and making it understandable for them, then that is the moment when we receive the gift of tongues in its fullest sense.  President gave a training on using technology well and how to wisely use technology as a missionary and then for the rest of our lives.  He shared some really great quotes and one of them was from Elder D. Todd Christofferson, who said, "Moral discipline is the consistent exercise of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard."  Then there was another one from Boyd K. Packer who said, "No member of this church - and that means each of you - will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost." There was a lot of really good stuff learned and I cannot explain it all.  We were able to give a training on priesthood keys and how to effectively use them.  Elder Ure was able to give his departing testimony and he did a really great job, he is a stud!! 

This week we were going to have a baptismal interview for one of our investigators, however, he is struggling with accepting tithing.  The only income he receives is from the renting-out of his house and it is really not a lot and he told us that right now he just can't pay it.  It was really sad and we hope that he can gain enough faith to be able pay it, however, all we can do is pray and teach through the spirit.  We were also able to meet with another of our investigators and we went over the baptismal interview questions and he says that he needs to continue to gain a stronger testimony of the restoration before he gets baptized.  He is almost done with the Book of Mormon and he is really coming to feel it is something special.  I was able to translate for him in church and he said that he really loved it and learned so much!  

We were able to start teaching this absolutely incredible part member family.  The non-member is the 11 year old daughter and they really seem willing and able to come back to the church.  It is a miracle that we found them and we are really excited to see where they will go.  

Love you all so much!  Have a great week! 

Gentry Elder