Saturday, June 24, 2017

This transfer went way to fast!!!

Well like the title of the email says, this transfer is slowly coming to a close and it literally feels like it just began!  Buda life is great and the weather is getting hotter and hotter!  It is pretty humid but I am surviving (just constantly sweating, like literally like a constant flow, haha)!  I am excited to see what next transfer brings and the miracles we will see.

We are trying to make a push of firing up the ward members to be good missionaries and our ward mission leader is doing a really great job of trying to spread the fire of missionary work among all of the members. I think so much of it comes down to personal example and how much we as missionaries are striving to be the message. If the general ward members see that we (the missionaries) and the members that usually help the most with missionary work are happy and find so much joy and excitement in this work then they too will want to participate in this wonderful work of salvation. I have also seen that so much of it also comes down to personal conversion and how much we cherish this gospel. If we can constantly bear testimony to these members and emphasize the importance of it then they will come to feel the importance to make these things know to their friends and family.

It was a really good week for us. We were able to go on two great exchanges this past week. The first exchange was with Elder Robinson from Miskolc. We were able to work here in Buda and were able to focus on diligence (one of my favorite topics)! It went amazing and we were able to talk to almost every single person that God placed in our path. There was this one time where we got on a bus, quickly started talking to this lady who had met with the missionaries before, invited her to meet with us again, and got her number (all in one stop). Then we got off the bus and felt like we should talk to this lady standing right there. The bus was literally coming right behind us but she agreed to meet with us and gave us her number (in about 30 seconds). We were able to discuss how missionary work is like fishing and the longer you have your line in the water (outside talking to people) the more miracles you will see. God honored us so much! Then a couple days later we were able to go on exchanges with the Elders from Dunaújváros. I was able to work with Elder Terry on teaching for understanding and asking direct questions. We were able to do our best to associate the gospel to meet individual needs with people and were able to find many potential investigators. We also were able to have a really great teaching where we were able to resolve our investigator's concern with prayer through asking questions (I had her teach me how to pray and it worked well). 

We were able to have quite a few teachings this past week. One of the coolest parts of the week was when we were able to have two families come to church. The ironic part is that these families are not even investigators yet, but people we have been trying to set up with. One of the families was someone that we tracted into (a Dad, Mom, and son, and daughter). We did not even go inside to teach them, however, we invited them to church (after following up) and they came!  We have set up to meet with them this upcoming Tuesday. Then the other family was a former investigator along with his Mom and little brother. We have been trying so hard to set up a meeting with the son and it looks as if in the coming weeks he is going to be free. We are hoping to be able to also meet with his Mom and little brother.  And get this, the son had lived in Hershey Pennsylvania (Dad’s old mission) for a year with an LDS family which is how he 1st came into contact with the church!

We were able to meet with another of our investigator’s this past week. He is doing well, however, this week he is going into the hospital and it looks as if he is going to be there for the entire summer. We are going to do our best to drop in when we can. Another of our investigators is having a really hard time accepting the Book of Mormon. He came to church but we are going to have less frequent meetings with him. We gave him the Book, "Our Search for Happiness" and he read the first chapter and said he really liked it. We had a really amazing experience this past week when we were able to go and follow up on an extremely Protestant family. They invited us in and we were able to testify of how we came to know of these things for ourselves, the power of the atonement, the Restoration, and the Priesthood (they were especially interested in that). We set up to come back in a couple weeks and are very excited to see them keep progressing. 

We also had a zone day this week which was super awesome!  I was able to play some good basketball in the stake center and was impressed with by balling skills and my jumping abilities despite me being out for like a year now…haha (we do play like 3 times a week with the secretaries in the local park so that also helps to maintain the skills).

This week we have Zone Conferences for every Zone!  Elder Fitzgerald and I are giving a training in every exchange about the importance of attacking our day (especially the morning hours) and also how to set meaningful goals to end a daily exchange!  We had about 15 minutes to plan for it, but it actually turned out well.  I was uncontrollably sweating but it went well, haha!

Overall the work is great! We are doing are best to talk to as many people as the Lord puts into our path and our doing our best to retain those investigators that we already have and get them progressing toward baptism. I am so grateful for the mission experience and for the chance that I have to always invite others to come unto Christ (while learning and progressing and growing personally as well). I am so grateful that I get to serve here in this amazing country.  I am going to close with the last line that I sent to the missionaries in the weekly email (I think mom will like it): 

Our Spiritual thought today comes from the last lines of Rudyard Kipling's famous poem If.  It goes as follows, "If you can fill the unforgiving minute; With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run; Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it; And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!"  Elders and Sisters let us fill every single minute of our missions to the best of our abilities!  This is truly a marvelous work and a wonder and we have the chance to be full-time servants/participants in it!   There is no better work to be actively engaged in than the work of the Lord so let us not be wearing in well doing, press forward with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, and endure to the end!  

Love you all so much!! 
Gentry Elder

Monday, June 12, 2017

Majdnem egy evig!!!

How is it going my awesome family!  I hope that you have had a great week!  This email is going to be a bit shorter but I will include the highlights.  We were able to go on an exchange this last week with the elders from Szeged here in Buda.  It went super great and I was able to work with Elder Hughes (his parents just got called to be the mission Presidents in the Philippines, not sure what mission but it could be Kyle Taylor's which would be cool).  We were able to work on having the prayer of faith and also being the message (something that we are really focusing on in our mission right now, because we can send a message to people without even saying one word, it is just written on our face and our countenance). We were able to discuss how many times, the promptings we receive, come unnoticed to us but they come because we have prayed with faith and we are out working as hard as we can. Many times after we see the miracle then we realize that the Holy Ghost was guiding us along the way, however, many times I have seen that if we show the Lord our willingness to serve as hard as we can, then he will literally just lead and guide us if we have a constant prayer of faith. We were able to see many miracles on the course of the exchange, including one person calling us and asking us to meet right then and there (after trying to set up with this person for about 2 months). It was a great exchange.

We were able to meet with many of our investigators this past week who, for the most part, seem to be progressing and doing well. One of our biggest focuses right now is getting these people to come to church. Usually we have 2 in church per week, however, many more people commit to come throughout the week but just do not end up coming. We are focusing our efforts on really striving to increase contact with these people throughout the course of the week in order to ensure that when Sunday comes around they are planning on coming to church.  We were able to bake some cookies on Saturday night and take them to a few families and the next day some of them were able to come to church! 

Some of the things we discussed with investigators this week included how the natural man is an enemy to God. One man told us that one of the main reasons that he smokes is because he gets angry very quickly and that he does it as an outlet. We told him that both anger and this smoking addiction are natural man tendencies and that the best option is to rely on Christ and on His Infinite Atonement. He seemed to accept it really well and came to church this past Sunday. With another investigator we were able to tell him that the only way that he is going to know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is to read, pray, and sincerely want to know if it is true. He still wants to keep learning and meeting with us, however, I think we are going to less frequent our teachings with him coming up in the future, in order to get him to start to learning this is true on his own. Our plan with him right now is to give him the book Our Search for Happiness (one of my favorites) and read it alongside with him!  We also had a really great teaching with another of our new investigators.  She is Catholic and really wants to turn her life around. She asked us about baptism and we were able to explain authority and the Restoration and she told us that she would like to be baptized into the church. She told us that she has a smoking problem that she needs to quit, but that she wants to stop. We are excited to keep meeting with her. With another individual we talked about the commandments and how if we obey them, then God will immediately bless us (like King Benjamin says). We taught about the Word of Wisdom and about true repentance. He also has a very serious smoking addiction but he agreed that with God's help he can overcome it!

I was reading in the Conference Liahona about the Light of Christ and how every human being that is born upon the face of the earth is born with the light of Christ. In this talk, it was mentioned that all life forms are naturally drawn to light and opposed to darkness. I have come to see that so much over the course of my mission. When I feast upon the words of Christ and I give the opportunity to others to come and partake of the fruits of the gospel I feel this amazing light and come to feel the Holy Ghost. The gospel is so amazing and the joy and the peace I feel from it surpasses understanding. I am so grateful for the chance I have to live and love this gospel day to day and for the chance that I have to share it with others.  I have found that when we do our best and pray with faith, then the Lord will always provide!  I hope that you all have an amazing week!!  


Gentry Elder 

 Spot where President Nelson dedicated Hungary for the preaching of the gospel

 Streeting with Ronald Reagan

June 5 - It was sure a hot one this week!!!

Well it was a hot one this past week, but it was a really good one!  I want to start off with a scripture that president used in one of his emails that I really liked!  It says, "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." (1 Peter 3:13-17)  I love this scripture and think it is especially applicable to missionary work and being examples of the believers in all that we do!  I have truly come to find out on my mission that if we suffer of God's sake then we can be happy even when others are mocking us or think that what we are doing is of no worth or of little value. I was reading in the scriptures this morning and I was in Mosiah 27 today about the conversion of Alma the Younger. In verse 31 it says that in the future every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess before Him (God) at the last day, and that all people are going to know that His judgements are just . I think having that perspective has helped me a lot on my mission in realizing that even though many people do not realize it, they too are children of a loving Heavenly Father and that it is our job to tell them that. Even though not all people are going to accept that knowledge in this life, it is our job to give them every chance that we possibly can, because in a future day everyone is going to know that Jesus is the Christ and they are going to know if we gave them the chance to accept that or not in this life. I love sharing this knowledge with those around me and it makes me even happier when those around me come to accept it as truth.

It was a good week for us here in Buda. We were able to go on exchanges with the Elders from Pest. I was able to work with Elder Leavitt here in Buda and it went really great!  When we go on exchanges, we always like to pick points of focus to work on an we were able to focus on getting member involvement in the work (something you all are great examples of). We were able to discuss how one of the best ways to get to the hearts of members is through being an example to them and through showing them your love and dedication to the gospel and to the work of salvation. We were able to discuss how many of the members that actively participate in missionary work are the ones that are the most converted themselves (because once we receive this amazing gospel, the thing we want to do is share it with other people) and how when we go and visit members (to have dinner or introduce ourselves) our main goal should be to increase their faith in this amazing work and get them more actively involved in finding those that are ready. I have really seen this with one of the recent converts here in Buda.  She is doing the very best she can to share the gospel with absolutely everybody! She is talking to people on the trains, at her work place, and all over. It is so amazing to see because it is a true indicator to me that she is really becoming converted!  She has us over for dinner once a week and just tells us about all her missionary experiences!

We were able to have many great gospel discussions this past week.  We were able to teach about the Restoration to one individual and were able to really focus on Gospel Dispensations and that God calls a prophet, and then the people reject him, and then he calls another one (and how the exact same thing happened with Joseph Smith). I think he is really starting to grasp it. He is a really big thinker and likes to come up with his own opinions on certain things, however, he always tells us that he is feeling something that he loves and that all of this new information is really pleasing to him. We are meeting with him tonight and are going to speak more about Baptism and the Priesthood authority behind it.

We were able to check in on one particular family that had some sickness that prevented them from coming to church and were able to give them a spiritual note. They were so happy to see us and really want to meet this week but they have some work conflicts that they need to figure out. They are doing well though and area making progress. We were also able to meet with our investigator from China this week and were able to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She really liked it and said that she really wants to come to church this next week. She really feels good when we meet and loves learning about all of these things. We also met with some of our other investigators this week and they all seem to be doing very well.

I love this work and I love you all so much!  I want to finish with a quote from President that really stuck out to me this week.  He said that, "most often it is the bad habits in our lives that present the greatest obstacles to our progression!"  I really loved that and am so grateful for the chance I have to overcome my weaknesses and put off the natural man through the atonement!  I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Gentry Elder