Full Time Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Hungary, Budapest Mission

Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 10 in Debrecen-Super Awesome Week!

Hello Everyone!

This week has been super awesome! My attitude towards the work has really been changing! We've had a lot of programs (appointments), it's always good when we are booked; lots of tracting isn't as much fun. It's getting a lot warmer here now! That can be a bit sobering. I laughed so hard when I got mom's email today. I decided it needed to make it on the blog because it made my day, so I am just putting it in here :)

"Gotta tell you the funniest thing...A couple hours ago I woke up to a big thud! I roll over to see dad getting up from off the floor. He had fallen out of bed, but he wasn't hurt. The funny part is he said he was having a dream that he was sitting on top of a car and the car started driving away, so apparently he literally jumped off of what he thought was the car, but was actually the bed. I died laughing! I'm so glad he was ok, so I could laugh at him!"

That probably made my week so hope it will make everyone else`s.

But anyway, Elder Whiting made the stuff that was in the bowl. I wouldn't necessarily say he or I know how to cook, but rather we know how to put a lot of things together. We kinda just try things and hope they work how we plan. Often times they don't but we still eat them. I cooked the stuffed pepper, it was something I wanted to try since seeing someone from work bring them in at Copperstate. The cook book is good but I don't have enough time to make a lot of the recipes. I keep planning to make some things but then I forget to buy the stuff.

Michael went home to Taiwan for six weeks. We had a going away potluck dinner for him. We all brought a dish. Elder Whiting and I made rockott krumpli. That is probably one of the most famous Hungarian dishes I can think of. It's made from cooking layers of potato, boiled eggs and kolbasz (Hungarian Sausage.) And sometimes cheese. It's probably the most disgustingly delicious thing I've had. They use so much oil in it, it makes you sick but it's really good!

The bearded guy in the picture is an Estonian who walked across Europe. He ran into the sisters so he came to English class. He was super cool. The ad we placed went real good, we have had like 30 plus people call us and our class doubled! We hold the classes at the church building in the cultural hall.

I am glad you got the letter I mailed. I taped the coins because Hungarian mail is notorious for getting things stolen. I didn't want someone hearing change and opening it up to take it. The white stuff on the back was white out which we can't get here, by the way, so feel free to send some of that whenever you want. Dad doesn't need to wear the tie I sent, I know it may be short, but now we both have one. You maybe able to lengthen it out by just adding material onto the end.

The purple envelopes are part of the Hungarian Postage system. They aren't in America...unfortunately. They weren't super expensive but they are not cheap. You can only send things to the mission homes so don't send it here.

We did a Pioneer Day celebration here. It's not normally celebrated here but it was a good excuse to have a party and teach a little about the pioneers. We sang some primary songs and told some stories. Afterwards we went outside to eat.

We are getting rain! It'll get really hot here and then the moisture will build up and then pour itself all over. So lots of the pictures will look like we are in rain!

Glad Amanda had a good B-Day, tell her I love her so much! And that she should eat an extra piece of that cake for me. I really hope the house situation works out for them. It's going to be a party all the time with her that close!

Tell the girls good luck at school today, even though they aren't too excited about it. Tell Becca I said sorry, but she is strong and she can do it.

Tell Naomi she is super cute and thanks for the video. I miss playing with her. Tell her to build something super awesome in minecraft to show me when I get back. And I want to see pictures of her room.

Cant wait to see you all again, I love you all so much!

Elder Oakes,
Hungary Budapest Mission

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Week 9 in Debrecen-Staying In Debrecen for this transfer!

Hey Mom!

It's transfer day tomorrow, but my companion and I will be staying here for the time being. Sister Rupard is going home and today is her last day here. Her companion, Sister Jensen, is going to have 2 new companions. She will get a new one coming in from the MTC and will be getting Sister Schnoor, one of the sisters I was in the MTC with. It will be super awesome!

I am pretty glad I am staying, there is a lot of great things about to happen here in Debrecen and I am glad I get to stay for a while longer. The apartment is nice and clean. Sister Steel just did apartment checks, I was super excited for that because it's the first time she has seen it since I've cleaned it. She said we got an A++++ which is what I was aiming for so it was pretty great! The paint job was a typical Hungarian paint job meaning that I'll be scrubbing paint off of stuff for a while. But the fresh coat does look nice.

Right now though, things are kinda slowing down in terms of the number of people we are teaching. We tracted for 15 hours last week and only talked to 1 person who wasn't interested. Kinda depressing. But I feel like the people we are teaching are progressing well. Jozi (Yo-zi) is the guy in the wheel chair. He is getting baptized and I don't think we could stop him if we wanted to. He is such a great guy, I love him to death. He has a lot of challenges physically but he never blames God for it. I don't have pictures of our other investigators, but they are all doing well too.

We did a service project for our landlady. She said we could pick cherries for them. We went to a place they have in the country. That was fun with Elder Whiting.

I honestly don't feel like I have been out that long, sometimes I feel like I am so new to everything I forget I left home four months ago. I miss the MTC, I wish I could just go back to study more (which was a thought I never felt would cross my mind in the MTC). The language is rough it's definitely going to take time!

Glad to hear everyone is doing good! It's fun seeing the pictures. Keep sending them.

The blog looks great Mom! I got to go. I love you!

Elder Oakes

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Week 8 in Debrecen-Komolyan!

Hey mom,

Glad to hear girls camp was such a success! I don't know Elder Gaytan but my companion does. That's awesome that your guest speaker knew someone from this mission. Five girls lost, huh? Glad you found them; that could have been a whole lot worse if you hadn't!

I am doing great here in Hungary. My companion is awesome, I feel like he is actually helping me learn the language. The apartment is clean and getting a fresh coat of paint as I type. The sun is shining, and somewhere I hear a phone ringing. It couldn't be a better start to the day!

Our pool of investigators is dwindling but we have an investigator getting ready to be baptized soon. We are excited about that. We just paid to put ads in every newspaper in Debrecen for the next month for our free English class. It was super expensive though, it cost us almost $60. But we have reimbursable funds every month so it's all good.

The Blog is awesome by the way. Thanks for posting my pictures I send. I can take as many as I want, I just need to remember who we represent. The pictures are when it's convenient, and not whenever we want, we aren't supposed to look like tourists. (Link below for tour of Debrecen by church building)

Amanda and Kyle are buying a house in the neighborhood?! Komolyan! (Co-mow-yawn - co as in the abbreveation for company, mow as in mowing the lawn, and yawn as I am tired. It means SERIOUSLY!) That's awesome!

Where is Ashley Cox going on her mission?

I think it's awesome that the newly graduated group all got called to serve in the primary. Tell them I said not to forget to prepare. There is a website called sugardoodle.net that has a ton of super great church and primary oriented resources. I loved being in primary!

If you are sending out another box, just ask Sister Staggie what she did, it was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever beheld.

I'll have a good day, you should too. I got to go love you so much!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 7 in Debrecen-Apartment Tour

Hey Everyone!!

Things are coming along good here in Hungary.
One thing that's been a bit difficult is moving from the structure of the MTC to the real crazy, and not entirely too organized field. I really miss the classroom environment in retrospect. When I first got here Elder Miller was my trainer. He was the last one from his group still in the field and was just with me for 5 weeks.

We did have a lot of good work within those 5 weeks. We tracted into Eszter. She is a really kind older lady who let us into her home. Two weeks later she was in the baptismal font in the Debrecen branch house. It was super fast, we honestly were trying to slow her down. we kept asking her if she was sure this was what she wanted and she insisted it was. So we taught her all 10 commandments in a single sitting. She was so prepared to accept them in her life I really don't feel like we did anything. It was super great and she has been at church every Sunday since.

I am now with a new companion here in Debrecen. His name is Elder Whiting.
He is the kind of missionary that is so good and holds himself to such a high standard that you always feel like you need to kick it into gear. I am super glad to be his companion. I think sometimes that he gets a bit frustrated with me. He is just under his year mark though, so he is super young to be training, and even when I can tell he is a bit frustrated he is always very patient with me. Just an awesome guy! We have one investigator set for baptism. His name is Jozi (that's pronounced yo-zsh-i). He is a really great guy!
I am so excited for Damen! Let him know I said that being baptized is one of the most important things he can do. He is going to be an awesome big brother as he sets the example for his younger siblings. Baptism is only the first step as we follow our Heavenly Father's plan for us and as we keep following that path, he will be able to see all the blessings that He has given us. Tell him that I love him and am super proud of him.

The language is super difficult right now but that's to be expected. I am starting to pick up on things that I didn't before. The hardest part is paying attention. It takes a lot of concentration for me to decipher a single sentence or question and try to formulate a response, then only to realize when I refocus on what people are saying the conversation has moved onto a completely different point. Sometimes I feel like it doesn't make much of a difference and just zone out.

I forwarded some pics and video to ya so enjoy. I love getting pictures so whenever you feel like it, send me some too!

Mom, I love you so much and I miss you a lot. The food here is good at times but it never can quite compare to home cooked meals. But more then just the food I miss giving you hugs. Everytime I see a picture of home it makes me think of everything that makes me happy. I'll always be your little boy.

I love you so much don't cry and have a great day tomorrow.

Your son,

Elder Oakes