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!! 


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

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Mission Survived!!!

Hello my amazing family, I am so glad you are all doing well!  It was a great week for us!  We were able to go have an exchange in the beautiful city of Győr.  It was fun going back and it was fun being able to go and see Roli, he seems to be doing well.   Elder Robinson and I were able to discuss a way to get more member referrals and we devised a plan that whenever we go to member’s homes from now on, we are going to ask them to start out by writing 5-10 of their closest friends down on a piece of paper.  Then from that 5 we are going to pick one and speak about how we can invite that friend to learn about the gospel.  The biggest thing that I have seen is that when we ask people for referrals they always tend to say that they do not know anyone that would be interested.  Elder Anderson said however that the Lord is preparing every single person we talk to receive the gospel and then it is on their shoulders to accept it or not (it is our job to share it though, many times that comes through simple service and being examples).  This way we can get them to write 10 names down.  That night the Győr elders tried it and they said it was super awesome! We were able to do some cool whiteboard finding there and were able to get like a total of 11 potential investigators.  We were also able to do some good work here in Buda this week. We wrote down the question "do you know the name of your great grandpa?" and then we put pictures of our great grandpas on there (I put grandpa Benson) and then we spoke about family history and the church!  We got like 8 contacts.

We were able to meet with one of our investigator’s a few times this past week and it seems as though he is doing well and is progressing. We were able to have different members at each of his teachings this past week and they are really coming to love him. They are really happy about him being baptized and are anxious to support him. We were able to teach about the Sabbath Day, the Word of Wisdom, and the Law of Chastity and he was able to accept them all. We moved his date back one week in order for him to feel fully prepared for his interview and because conference is going to be on the 30th of September (when his baptism was originally going to be, this would have meant that he would have been confirmed one week later). He is doing well and is going to make a great member to the Buda ward.

We met with another of our investigator’s this past week and he is doing well. We taught about the prophet and his role and being the intermediary for our Father in Heaven in these latter days. We spoke about how the things (or commandments) that prophets tell the world to do, come directly from God and that when we obey them we can be assured that we will be blessed. We spoke about the Word of Wisdom and how breaking this commandment is a sin that we need to repent of. He is struggling with smoking right now, and we challenged him to stop and not to procrastinate the day of his repentance. We told him that we are going to be here to support him, but that the biggest support he is going to get is going to come from our Father in Heaven (because with his help, all things are possible). He was able to come to church and we are going to be meeting with him again this upcoming Friday.

Another person in our teaching pool was able to come back in country this week and we were able to meet with him. We were able to talk about how we do not receive a witness until after our faith is tested. We were able to talk about how all things work together for them that serve God and how we need to have the faith that if we do what God tells us then it will all work out in the end. We spoke about how we need to read from the scriptures daily, we need to pray daily, and we need to go to church to get the spiritual strength that we need to get in order to keep on carrying on. He is doing well, and was able to read from the Book of Mormon while he was away. We are going to be going over the baptismal questions with him next time to see how he feels about those. We were also able to meet with another individual this week and speak about the importance of the Sabbath Day. We talked about how we need to go to church to receive the spiritual strength we need, take the sacrament, and do what God tells us. We were able to have a member there that bore really strong testimony about the Sabbath and how we need the strength that we get from honoring the Sabbath. We spoke about how even though we are a church of imperfect people, the church is perfect. He is doing well and is reading from the Book of Mormon daily, we just need to get him to start coming to church. 

We are going to keep busting it and are going to keep finding the elect!  THEY ARE OUT THERE!!  Love you so much!!!

Gentry Elder

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fall is coming!!!

Hello my amazing family!  It sounds like you all are doing well!  It was a really great week for us full of lessons, conferences, and everything else.  So on Tuesday we were able to have our new missionary training where we were able to give a presentation to all of the New Missionaries (18 of them) and their trainers about General Rules and Expectations in the Hungary Budapest mission, it was good.  That same day, we were in charge of Elder Dixon who would be going home the next day.  We had dinner with the Szabadkais (Gulyás and Palacsintas, two of my Hungarian favorites).  We then took him up to a place called fisherman's Bastian where we took pictures and ran into a member from Finland.  

Then we also gave a training to the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in our Mission Leadership Council.  It went really well and we were able to speak about how to better improve our language speaking abilities.  We also were able to speak about hope and also how to safely use technology while doing missionary work (we are going to be using the computers for facebook).  Then the members of the Stake came and we were able to have a really great conversation with them about how to better include the members in missionary work, it went well.  

We were able to meet with a lot of people this past week. With one of our investigators, if every thing goes as planned, then his baptismal interview is going to be this Saturday! He told us that he is feeling the amazing feeling and influence of our church more and more in his life. We were able to have a good lesson about Joseph Smith and the first vision. He was not able to come to church, as he was spending the weekend with a friend, however, he told us that he is going to be in the area this upcoming week and that we are going to be able to meet a lot. We feel like he can be ready to make this step of baptism in a few weeks.

We were also able to meet with another set of investigators, which is an older couple. That teaching also went really well. We were able to talk about the Plan of Salvation and what we need to do in this life in order to obtain salvation. We talked about how we need to be baptized by the proper authority and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost in order to be able to return to make it back to our Father in Heaven. They told us that they have both already been baptized and we explained to them, why we believe it is necessary that it is done by the proper authority. They are starting to see the big picture, however, it may take some more time than we originally planned. They are still amazing people and I do believe with time they can come to find out for themselves that all of this is true and from God.

Another of our investigators is finally going to be getting out of the hospital and is going to be able to get all of his things back in order. He is doing really well and he told us that he really wants to continue to commit himself to this path. He is really starting to understand more and more about why we believe this is the church of Jesus Christ and told us that he is going to read the Book of Mormon. We really see a lot of potential in him. We also met with another of our investigator’s a couple of times this past week. He is doing well, he just has not fully committed himself to believe that this is the path that leads back to God. He thinks that if we can take a little bit from all the religions then that is how we return to live with God. We talked about the importance of coming to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that if this Book is true then that is the proof that the Plan of Salvation is truly God's plan established for his children. He told us he will read at least 5 minutes from it every single morning. We were also able to meet with a new investigator this past week. He was found by the sisters a while ago on a bus. He really wants to turn his life around (he told us that he is spiritually not feeling to good). We told him that the gospel can really be a great way to do it and that that is the reason why we are here as missionaries. We are going back tonight.

Overall the work is going great we are going to keep serving as hard as we can!!  I love you all so much, have a great week!!!  

Gentry Elder

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Another transfer is upon us and the field is whiter than ever!!!

Well, it is the start of another transfer and I am pumped and ready to go!  I am serving with Elder Hughes in the beautiful city of Buda and like the email title says the field is white and is ready for the harvest.  I am so excited for the chance that I have to serve with Elder Hughes this upcoming transfer. He is a really great missionary and already we have seen miracles. The biggest miracle that we saw this week happened with our investigator that we have been meeting with for a few months now.  Ironically enough, Elder Hughes actually found him on an exchange here in Buda!  He has not really been progressing for the last couple of months and we took a break from meeting with him in order to see if he was really interested or not. We met with him once a couple weeks ago and the lesson went pretty well (he was able to come to church the following Sunday). We then set up to meet with him last Saturday. We planned to talk about baptism and confirmation. Let us just say that with God all things are possible and He can truly soften anyone's heart. To start the lesson, we sit down and he pulls out the Book of Mormon from his back pack. He tells us that he now has the desire to want to read it and is going to read the entire book. Before this he had been very against the Book of Mormon and really did not think of it as scripture. When we asked him why he wants to read it now, he told us that we have been telling him to and has not yet done it. He told us that he feels and accepts that Joseph Smith was God's prophet (something he has not really wanted to accept) and that this is truly God's living church upon the earth today (this is how he came to feel the truth). We taught him about baptism and how it is a sacred covenant we enter into to always serve God and take Christ’s name upon us. We felt like we needed to ask him to be baptized and he willingly accepted a date for the 30th of September! He came to church and he was able to stay for Sunday school as well. We are really happy for him and we really think he will be ready for it!!

We were also able to have another of our investigators in church. They were the ones that had the super crazy story of being met with in Germany like 40 years ago.  It was super funny, to start church, we shook their hands and it was kind of an awkward handshake (I shook his and Elder Hughes shook the wife’s and we formed like a cross because we were standing apart from each other).  Basically, the funny part of it was,  in Hungarian we say that after a handshake like that comes a baptism, and we were like you all know it (it is hard to translate what happened but the point is they want to be baptized we think, haha). They are doing really well and we are planning to get them on a baptism date this upcoming week as well. We have spoken about baptism before and we really feel that they could be ready in a very short amount of time. We will keep teaching them simply and through the spirit and will continue to invite them to come unto Christ and partake of the fruits of the gospel.

We were able to meet with quite a few of our other investigators as well this past week. Our investigator from Romania is also doing really well. We have been really focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him and how it can be used as a road map or a direction map to be able to make it back to our Heavenly Father. He really does a lot of thinking about things and we are really feeling that in some degree the spirit is touching his heart and he is more and more coming to see that this is the true path that God intends for all of his children to follow. He has been reading from the Book of Mormon and we committed him to pray about baptism and to ask God if it is the right path for him.

Another of our investigators is doing quite well.  He is still smoking pretty heavily and does not know when he really wants to quit. He is progressing in other areas I feel like, however, the 2 biggest things that are hard for him are coming to church and smoking. We taught him about fasting and how when we fast we become more in tune to spiritual knowledge. It is like when we close our eyes, we use our ears more and our hearing becomes more enhanced, when we fast we close off he eating channel in order to feed our spiritual sensitivity.  He understood it well.  We invited him to fast for answers to his prayers and for a knowledge if this is truly the path that God wants him to be taking, he is doing well. We were also able to meet with a couple other people that we have not met with in over a transfer. They are both doing well and it looks like one of them is more interested than before to start investigating and learning about these things.

Another of our investigators had to return to Ukraine for work conferences and to be with is family. He told us that he might have a job offering in the United Kingdom and if he got offered the job then he would take his family and he would go and move there. I would be sad if we would no longer be able to meet with him, however, I know the Lord has a plan for him and if he does end up moving, we will make sure he can meet with the missionaries over there in the the United Kingdom.

The work is moving forward and I am excited to see the miracles that are going to be taking place in Buda this transfer!  I love you all so much, have an amazing week!!!

Gentry Elder

Monday, August 28, 2017

Go Rebels and Cougars!!!

What is up amazing family!  Go rebels and go Cougars (I included both in my prayers a few nights ago).  It was a really great week for us!  I got a text on Friday that I was going to be giving a talk in church the following Sunday (#2dayprep).  I thought it went really well!  The theme was “What should I do so that I won't be weak and vulnerable spiritually”.  I talked about how I played American football and that the players that slacked and did not work out hard got injured but those that trained their bodies did not usually get injured.  I said it was the same spiritually because we are at constant war with the adversary. I said that we need to do 3 things daily to exercise our spiritual muscles. 1. Read from the Book of Mormon 2. Repent 3. Be missionaries (active participants in the game).  I went like 7 minutes over my time but I thought it went well! 

We were able to have some really great teachings this past week.  We were able to have a really great meeting with our investigator from Ukraine.  He is doing really well and is really progressing.  He is reading from the Book of Mormon every single day and is really coming to love it more and more.  He says that quitting from the word of wisdom is not easy, however, he is feeling God's support more than he has ever felt in his entire life.  We told him it is like building a house and that while we are building it, it is not easy but when it is finished it is totally worth it. We were able to have a really great discussion about obedience and why we obey and he accepted it and really wants to keep changing his life.  We were also able to have a really great teaching with our investigators.  We were able to speak about the roles of the spirit and how it can have an impact in our lives.  We spoke about how the spirit has a big role as comforter, as a teacher of truth, and how it inspires us to do good.  We were able to really focus on the point of how we can know that it is from the spirit of God if it inspires us to do good.  We read Moroni 7:13-16 with them and they both seemed to really accept it and like it.  Another contact was able to come to church and I think he liked it.  We also were able to have a good teaching with someone about obedience and she is actually really doing well, she was also able to come to sacrament meeting and I think that she liked it.  

We had a really cool family home evening with the Szabadkais.  They invited a recent convert along with their family who aren’t members. I thought that it went really well and I really think that they were able to feel the spirit.  I really think that with time he is going to accept the gospel we just have to keep working with him and being patient.  We were also able to have a couple of really great teachings with our investigator from Romanian.  The first lesson we were able to talk about who Jesus is and that through his Atoning sacrifice we can become clean and truly repent.  Then we were able to teach another lesson about how the gift of the Holy Ghost can play an impact on our lives and how as we do good and follow the promptings of the spirit then we can more and more be on the Lord's path. It went really well and he is really progressing and learning a lot.  We were able to have a good teaching with our neighbor this week.  He had the thought that in our church it is kind of like a latter and we move up the latter to gain more and more positions in the church.  We told him that that is not the point, however, the point is that we serve to be able to help others and while we do that we personally grow along the way.  We were able to teach him that the gospel is the most rewarding way of life that we can possibly live and that it brings so much joy and happiness along the way.  We were also able to meet with all of the recent converts this week and they seem to be doing well.  

I am really excited for the next transfer and for my new companion.  I am really sad that Elder Fitzgerald is going home, however, I am so grateful for all I was able to learn from him and how much I have been able to improve (he is a stud and served a great mission).  I love you all so much!  I wrote a little article for the mission news letter that I will include!  

Love you all so much!!  

Gentry Elder

The Successful Missionary

Many missionaries will ask themselves the question, “How can I be a successful missionary and fulfill my commission to bring souls unto Christ?”  As Preach my Gospel explains, your success is measured by your commitment to find, teach, and baptize!  The question now turns to, “How can I be a committed missionary?”  A committed missionary is one who realizes the divine worth of souls and works diligently to invite as many people as he or she can each and every day to come unto Christ and partake of His gospel (whether that be on the street, on public transportation, or in a teaching). A committed missionary strives to always have the divine companion of the Holy Ghost and relies on its guidance (which many times comes after we start to get to work).  A committed missionary acknowledges his or her total dependence on the Lord and trusts that with humility and work, He will “make weak things become strong” (Ether 12:27).  A committed missionary is strictly obedient and puts his or her trust in the Lord, the Mission President and his direction.  A committed missionary attacks their day, is the message, and goes to the edge and flies.   A committed missionary continuously strives to learn and develop Christlike Attributes which include faith in Jesus Christ, hope, charity, love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, and diligence.  A committed missionary is one who loves the Lord and loves the people and as a result gets lost in this glorious work!  
Elder Fitzgerald!  What a great missionary!!!