Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Number One!

Well it was a really awesome week this last week.  I loved being able to talk to all of you and to see all of your amazing faces and hear your amazing voices.  It was definitely one of the highlights of my life!  Anyway, so it was a really good week but also a really hard week.  It was Christmas this week which obviously makes the work a lot harder to accomplish.  Many of the people that we tried to set up with said that they still want to meet but that it will have to be after the new year.  It is understandable but just still super frustrating.  We were still able to get a couple of member present lessons and were able to meet with quite a few of our RCLAs that we are trying to meet with a lot now.  We were not able to set up with a lot of people so we decided to do a lot of look ups.  I had the idea of making cookies so we decided to go and take them to a bunch of people and it turned out to be actually incredibly successful which was super cool. We were able to meet with like 4 RCLAs and they were all super happy to see us and accept our heartfelt cookies.  It was super fun.  

So here in Hungary the 24th is actually a bigger celebration than the 25th.  The name of it is Szent Este which translates to Holy Night.  They open up all of the presents on the 24th and it is a super big thing for them.  So anyway, this super awesome member that got baptized a few months ago invited us and the sisters to the branch house for super big dinner for the 24th.   It was so good and we had fish soup, stuffed cabbage, and super good süti!  Then we did some more look ups and had some success.  

Then on Christmas, it was just a day full of miracles.  We were able to meet with a couple of our RCLAs and even gave one of them a blessing and were able to go and meet with one of our other investigators.  The highlight of the day though (besides talking to all of you of course) was when we got let in to this guy’s mansion while tracting (ya’ that is right in the Hungary Budapest mission the missionaries tract on Christmas, take that South America missionaries).  He said how he has all of this money and material possessions but that he is just not truly happy and he does not know where to find it.  We testified of the power and truth of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and he is super excited to read it and wants us to keep meeting.

Needless to say, it was a great Christmas and was the best thing in the world being able to talk to all of you!  You are the best family in the world and I am so blessed to have you!  Keep being the best!  I love you all so much!

Gentry Elder 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Back in Győr

It was a super good week this week and it is good to be back in Győr with Elder Ure!  He is such a stud and it is going to be a fun next couple of months.  My 1st transfer it was hard to understand everything that Elder Ure would say and now I can understand him perfectly (now the challenge is just understanding those dang Hungarians).  It was super awesome being able to see everyone in the ward and everyone seemed really excited that I was able to come back!  It is a lot of work being the Zone Leader with Elder Ure, and a lot of responsibility, but the Lord has got my back so I am pretty excited and humbled.  It is so sweet, Elder Leavitt (MTC Companion) is my District Leader!  Our district now encompasses 3 cities and because Elder Ure and I are Zone Leaders, Elder Leavitt is our District Leader!   It is going to be fun going on splits a lot and being able to see so many different cities around the country.  We do a lot of traveling which is going to be cool and, rumor has it, because I have been in the country for less than 1 year, I may get a car, but we will see.  We had our MCM meeting this last week in Budapest.  I was super-scared because I was asked to give the spiritual thought on the sacredness of our calling and from what I had heard the meeting was going to be in Hungarian.  I read from Alma chapter 26 and explained how we are truly instruments in the Lord's hands and how that is such a sacred and incredible responsibility.  I thought I did a good job and after I sat down president complimented me on my Hungarian which was so nice of him to say.  I was worried that I would not be able to understand a lot of the Hungarian parts of the meeting but I was able to and really surprised myself which was cool (the gift of tongues is real).  I am super excited for our new zone challenge which is placing emphasis on member reactivity.  In Győr alone there are about 350 members but only 50 come to church every week so needless to say we have our work cut out for us!  
I do not have a ton of time so it is going to be another short one but I will really try to make them longer in the future. So, a couple of cool and funny stories.  I had a really neat experience where I talked to this girl on the bus for like 20 minutes and it was a great experience.  Elder Ure was sitting right behind me and when I got done talking to someone else on the bus he was going to come and sit by me but got blocked by these two guys and had to stay in his seat.  That is when this girl sat down by me and we had a super good conversation about the gospel, gave her a book, and got her number.  She said that she was having a really bad day before we talked and that the conversation basically made her day.  Then yesterday (this is funny) we were streeting this guy and he said that he had heard of the Mormons on Harry Potter.  I responded that those are Muggles and he was like, “Ya’ that is it!!!”   I responded that we are Muggles and Mormons but a little different.  I am so excited to skype it is not even funny!  Keep being the best!  I love you tons!!!!
Elder Gentry    

Last week with Elder Olsen
Youth in Pécs Ward


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Well, I didn't see this coming....

So, it was a really good and long week this last week.  As you all know, transfer calls were this morning and like I do with just about every other thing in my life I was stressing out about them, haha.  I did not know what to expect and really anything could have happened.  We really thought that Elder Olsen was going to be leaving and that I would be staying, however,  I had no clue who I was going to be getting and had the thought that I could possibly be training ( I really wanted to train but knew it was in the Lord's hands at what I would be doing).  A few nights ago, I had a really strange dream that I would be returning to Győr and that I would not be training but that I would be doing something else.  I did not really think anything of it and told Elder Olsen about it and we laughed a little bit.  I really had no clue what was going to happen but was like 95 % sure that I would be staying.  Last night I was super excited and did not sleep much.  If you are going to be going into a leadership position (training, zone leader, assistant, etc.) you get a call from president early in the morning.  If it is just a regular transfer call, it is from the assistants at about 8:30-9:30.  So needless to say this morning I was pretty anxious.  I worked out hard this morning, showered and waited anxiously for the call.  I went to go throw in my clothes in the washer and I hear Elder Olsen yell, "it is President!"  I was flipping out and thought for sure that I would be training.  Elder Olsen talks to him first and then gives the phone over to me.  I ask him how he is doing, etc. and then he says something about Győr.  I thought for sure I misunderstood him and thought Győr was a Hungarian word that I did not know.  He then switched over to English and told me that I would be going back to Győr and would be serving with Elder Ure there as ZONE LEADER!!!  I was literally speechless.  I called Elder Ure right away and totally flipped out!  I just walked around for like 10 minutes just thinking it over.  I am so excited and am very humbled at the call; it makes me want to work even harder.  I am sad to be leaving Pécs but know that this is what I need to be doing and that people in Győr are ready for the Gospel.  I am still in a bit of shock, however, haha.  Anyway, I will do a quick recap on the highlights of the week.  I had liver and pasta at a member's home for my birthday (it was super good).  We only were able to get 3 member present lessons this week but we got let in like 4 or 5 times which was cool.  The primary program was on my birthday and the kids did a really good job.  I will keep working hard and serving as hard as I possibly can!  I love you all so much and hope that you all have a great week!
Gentry Elder

 Service Project - Making Candles

 Pécs Christmas Square 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Elveszítettem a Hangomat :)

Hey everyone.  I hope all is well and that you all had an absolutely incredible week. It was a very busy week but it was good.  We went on 2 splits this last week (one we went to a city called Dunaújváros with the Zone leaders and the other split we stayed in Pécs and the Elders from Kaposvár came to us).  Dunaújváros used to be a city that was totally run by Stalin (used to be called Stalinújváros which means Stalin’s New City) so it is like totally a communist style city and not the most beautiful to say the least. We went there on Tuesday and that is the day I lost my voice.  Last email I think that I mentioned that I was fighting a nasty cold, well, on Monday it made its way to my throat.  I did not think much of it and did my usual talking while tracting and streeting.  I talked to a bunch of people and by the end of the night, I knew that I was going to lose it.  I woke up on Tuesday and I kid you not, I could not talk.  It drove me flipping crazy.  It was the funniest thing though because I did not want to accept the fact that I could not talk so I just kept fighting it and talking to as many people as I could and needless to say I sounded hilarious and completely and totally wrecked my voice.  I was freaking out thought because had interviews with President on Friday and it was still gone when I woke up on Thursday morning.  I ended up calling Sister Szabadkai just to see if there was anything I could do to try to get it back by interviews the next day.  She told me that the biggest thing that I needed to do was not talk and how hard she knew that would be a very hard thing for me to do, haha.  I told her that I would try, but I will be honest, I did not obey her counsel entirely, haha.  We were on splits at the time and I was with Elder Lister from Fort Collins.  It was super funny.  We tracted into this guy that was a young father.  I had been talking in a very hushed voice and when this guy answered the door he told us that his kids were sleeping and that is why he was talking to us in a quiet voice.  I gave him our whole message in a whisper and I bet he did not even know that I was sick, haha.  We set up another meeting with them for this upcoming Tuesday.  Interviews came around and my voice came back to me but it was still a bit raspy.  It was good though.  This last transfer has been absolutely incredible.  The Lord has just been placing people in our path and it has been great!  I am hoping to stay here in Pécs, but I know the right thing will happen and I trust in the Lord.  Keep being the best family in the world!!!!

Gentry Elder

Elder Lister - from Fort Collins
Elder Jensen (BYU Swimmer)

Monday, November 28, 2016

11/28 - 7 Member Presents and 7 New Investigators, LET'S GO!!!

It was a super awesome week this last week (I am talking like probably the best week that I have had on my mission).  Like the title of the email says, we were able to get 7 member present lessons this last week and we were able to get 7 new investigators on top of that.  It was super awesome.!

 We were able to meet with the American/Chinese/Hungarian family and that went really well.  They are really open what we have to say and really want to keep meeting with us more.  We also had this other lesson with another lady hat went absolutely amazing (after the lesson Elder Olsen turned to me and said that it was the coolest lesson he had ever been in on his entire mission).  A bit of background regarding this lady, about 2 weeks ago we tracted into her and were able to talk a little bit about her beliefs, etc.  We gave her a book and were able to get her number (I have made it a rule that if we give someone a book we also have to get their phone number because President Szabadkai does not want us giving out Books of Mormon just to give them out for the number).  We were able to get her number and set up another time to come back and teach her.  When we came back, she showed us her Book of Mormon and the thing was marked up to high heaven with tons of little sticky notes sticking out from a bunch of different pages.  We were flipping out as she told us that she had been studying from the index a ton and she absolutely loves it!  Throughout the lesson she kept filling in the pieces.  Like we would say, "when people reject the prophets and Christ takes his gospel from the earth", then she would finish the sentence with "then when the people are more humble, God restores his truth and calls another prophet to teach his people".  She kept saying that she was feeling this incredible feeling and when I shared the 1st vision with her she was shivering with goosebumps because she said it felt so good!  SOOOO amazing!  Then when we had her read Moroni 10:3-5, we noticed that she had already marked it up and that she had been looking for something like this her whole life and she just had not found it yet (literally straight out of Preach my Gospel!).  It went so well and we are meeting with her again tonight and are hoping to get her on a specific baptismal date!  Then we were also able to meet with another lady we’ve been meeting with regularly this last week and that went really great.  She is progressing well but did not come to church because she has been pretty darn sick lately.  That was a bummer especially because we will now have to move her baptismal date back a bit but are still hoping to get her baptized before Christmas!  It was super cool, in the lesson with her, I kind of had like a little aha moment with Hungarian.  I was saying stuff that I realized that I did not know I knew how to say and it was actually sounding Hungarian and not just a translation in my mind of English to Hungarian.  The language is coming along and the Lord is really helping me out a ton. 

My desire to share this gospel increases on the daily and I just want to share it with everyone.  I know that if I open my mouth, then the Lord will never let me fail and even though it can be hard and scary at times to preach to a bus stop of Hungarians, I know the Lord had my back and I know that even though the people don’t know it when I am talking to them, I know that this is the most important thing they will ever hear in their lives.  I love you all so much and will keep talking to everyone and working as hard as I can!  Keep being the best family in the world!
Gentry Elder

Nov 14 - We have a baptism date!!!

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a great week and I express my heartfelt condolences for the loss to Pomona, that stinks and I know the feeling.  It was a good week this last week, however, I will be totally straight up with you all it was probably the hardest week I have had on my mission, but I am really starting to appreciate the hard and sucky days because those are the ones you grow from and become a better person.  It was a good week though.
Last P-day was super cool we were able to go to this really amazing church  (Székes Egyház if you want to look it up) and I was able to go and take a lot of pictures.  Then we were also able to go up into the mountains for a little bit and that was super pretty.  Tuesday was zone conference and that went really well.  I said the closing prayer and I always get really scared for stuff like that but I thought I did a really good job ( I even blessed the food in a way just unique to the Hungarian Language).  Then after zone conference (we have 5 zones by the way and I think a little over 100 missionaries right now but about 25 missionaries in our zone) we got our flu shots.  The day after on Wednesday, I felt like poop and was pretty exhausted.  I don’t know if it was from the flu shot or what but I was dead.  At lunch that day I was so dead and was not looking forward to the 6 hours of proselyting we had ahead of us. I decided to just suck it up and not complain and let’s just say we were very honored to say the least.  We were ringing this building and as Elder Olsen was ringing I decide to stop these people walking on the side walk.  They were wearing Bubba Gump Shrimp sweatshirts and I thought that was super cool.  I started speaking to them and the guy obviously did not know Hungarian and stopped me after a few lines to tell me he just spoke English.  He is from Iowa and his wife is from Pécs.  They live in China and I think are quite successful.  He got a Book of Mormon from a Marriot in China and he and his wife are super interested in what we have to say.  Before I even had to ask he told me where they lived and gave me his phone number.  We are meeting with them tonight and I am super excited.  We were also able to teach this other man that was super closed off at first about religion but as we kept talking to him invited us into his home and eventually opened up about how his dad died and how that was really hard for him and that is when he stopped being religious.  We were able to testify about life after death and the plan of salvation and he really opened up and invited to come back the next day.  It went great and we will meet with him again when he has more free time.  Finding is all that missionaries make it to be.  If you do it with a robotic mindset then you will not find anyone, but if you do it with the mindset of bringing people the restored truth and the gift of the gospel then you find and find A LOT!
 We got cancelled on a lot which really stunk but the lessons we did have went really well.  We were able to get one of our investigators on a December 10 bap date and we are very excited about that!  I really think she will be ready and have faith that the right thing will happen.  President challenged us to baptize someone this transfer and I have taken it to heart.  I will do all I am capable of doing and leave the rest up to the Lord!  I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!!!!!
Gentry Elder

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Another beautiful week in Pécs

Hey all, I hope you had a super awesome week!  So, it was a good week this last week.  We got cancelled on a lot which really sucked but the lessons that we did have went super awesome.  The girl that we found a little bit ago (Henni) is progressing super well.  We assigned her to read Mosiah 24 and she said that she read it over and over again and can really see how it applies to her life!  We felt impressed on night to go and check on her and share a quick scripture with her.  We did so and said that right when we rang she was thinking about us and the Book of Mormon and how our little message was what she needed to hear (the spirit is pretty awesome).  We are really going to push for Dec 10 as her baptismal date.  It would be the coolest present ever and I know she can be ready.  We also have a ton of other investigators that we have set up to meet with this week and hopefully have a super solid week ahead of us!
So, like I mentioned in my audio recording, we were able to go on splits this week with the Koposvar Elders and I was with Elder Harris who is a 1st transfer.  I was super excited because I saw it as kind of a test to see if I could survive on my own.  We actually lived and it went super well.  We tracted, streeted, gave out a Book, got two phone numbers, gave service, and taught 2 lessons.  I feel like I understand more when I am forced to.  The gift of tongues is real and more and more I am seeing that I will learn Hungarian when the Lord wants me to learn Hungarian and not when I want to have it down.  It is hard but I am doing my best and I know that I am being honored for my efforts.  The hardest part is just not being able to relate to these people yet because I love them so much and I want to help them.  I just have to be patient, it will come with time!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

 303 - CO!
 New Companion - Elder Olsen
 New Area - Pécs

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I am getting transferred to Pécs

Hey everybody!  It was a super good week this last week.  So like the title of my email says, I am indeed getting transferred :(.  But that is OK because like the song says I will go where you want me to go!!!  Elder Ure is getting moved up to Zone leader which is super cool and the new Zone leader city is going to be Győr (so I am happy for him).  It is super cool though, even though I am super bummed that I am leaving Győr (especially because the kid Roland that we have been teaching is going to get baptized in a week from Saturday, I know a miracle) I am super happy to be able to go and serve in Pécs.  Apparently it has the reputation for being the most beautiful city in the entire country.  Our president is actually from there.  I am a little bummed but I know that it all happens for a reason and I hope that I am able to bless the lives of the people in Pécs that I come in contact with!  I am going to serve with Elder Olsen who was an office Elder a couple transfers ago and speaks absolutely incredible Hungarian!  I am going to suck his brain and I hope to be able to improve a ton this upcoming transfer.  The language is definitely coming and I am understanding more and more and I am able to carry on decent conversations with people.  It is hard though, because you have to literally think in Hungarian, you can't just translate the English, because the way that they say things is just so different.  It will come though (it already is).  I am not worried about it at all and know that if I work hard and rely on the Lord then I will keep on improving!!! Anyway it was a really good week this last week!  It was a weird week just with transfers and everything, but it was good.  I was able to get the package from Budapest yesterday (thank you so much!!!).  I loved the pictures (pictures and letters are always my favorite things!) and I loved the goodies.  We also had cleaning checks this week and our apartment looked super fine (mom you would have been proud).  It was also a week full of getting dogged.  We got dogged a bunch but the lessons we did have were super good and Roland, the young kid is progressing super-super well.  He and his mom were able to come to church on Sunday and I really think that they were able to feel the spirit.  I am again super bummed that I won't be here for his baptism but I know that I am going to Pécs for a reason.  There are people there that I hope to make a difference in their lives!  It was super hilarious!  So yesterday, we were teaching Roland about the word of wisdom.  In Hungarian, the word for milk is tej (sounds like tae) and the word for tea is the same.  So Elder Ure and I are explaining that we can't drink tea and the kid goes nuts!  He is like. Why?!?! I drink it every morning for breakfast and I love it, I don't understand why it would not be allowed.  Then me and Elder Ure ask him what kind he drinks (thinking it might be herbal) and he goes, I don't know the regular kind that you get from the cow!  That is when we realized that we had been saying milk the whole time and we felt like total idiots (so funny, can't break that accent).  I am super happy for him and know that the gospel is totally going to change his life.  I love you all tons, thanks for being the best!!!  

Gentry Elder


Monday, October 10, 2016

Well, we were honored this week....

It was a super incredible week.  It started out on Monday.  So my very 1st night in Győr, Elder Ure and I went tracting.  The very 1st building I ever tracted we gave out 2 Book of Mormons, one of which was to this super nice Néni (Old lady in Hungarian).  A few weeks ago, we get this phone call from this lady and she said that she did some research on our church and she wanted to learn more (from then on we called her the csoda néni).  So anyway we meet with her this last Monday and it just goes incredible! She believed everything we taught and was super interested!  She is thinking about baptism and we are going to try to get her on a date this week!  We also met with those people we tracted into last week and they are also going to read and think about a baptismal date!  We have worked so hard this transfer just finding people to teach and we really feel like the Lord is really honoring us for our efforts.  I really want to stay in Győr because I really think that the work is starting to pick up but I will go wherever.  We also met with this super cool kid this last week.  He is 11 (Bethy's age) and he is a stud.  He goes to church every week by himself and accepted a date to be baptized on the 22nd.  It is hard thought because he goes to a Catholic school and every Sunday he has to get a piece of paper from the bishop saying that he went to church and his church is at the exact same time as ours.  We are going to see if he can go to a different time because the kid is legit and he and his mom want him to be baptized!  It was absolutely incredible!  The member support is really increasing and we were able to get 6 member presents this last week!!!  God has honored us so much and we will keep working our butts off!

So I got in my 1st bike wreck this last week!  I don't even know what exactly happened but the next thing I knew I was on the ground, haha guess it is ‘cause I am a lineman.  I am ok though so don't worry!  The coolest part was that I lost my nametag and we looked all over could not find it, called the secretaries to order a new one, said a prayer that we would find it, and suddenly it fell out of my shoulder bag (it got lodged in the strap)!  Total miracle!   
We had interviews with the Zone leaders this last week and they went great!  I was with Elder Priest who speaks perfect Hungarian and he told me what a great job we are doing and how proud they are of us (He also said I speak amazing for a 1st transfer which means a lot coming from him).  We also had interviews this week and I was able to do about half of my interview with President in Hungarian.   He is such an incredible man and I really like him a lot!  The gift of tongues is real and I know that if I open up my mouth then the spirit helps me a ton!  

I love you all so much!  Keep being the best family in the world, I love you all so so,so much and pray for you daily. Gentry Elder

Mission Trainer
Zone Leaders

Monday, October 3, 2016

Early days in Hungary

New Missionaries in Hungary

MissionTrainer - Elder Ure

Budapest, Hungary
Györ, Hungary