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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 19-First week in Szolnok!

Hey there!

So, I'll just update you on the last couple of days. Tuesday morning we got transfer calls, I really liked Elder Zwingli but I was looking forward to a change. We spent the rest of that day running around, bowling, shopping, packing, and saying goodbyes. The hardest person to say goodbye to was Marton (the little boy I've sent pics of).

Over the last month his dad forced a divorce with his mom, they had been separated for a while but she hoped to bring the family back together. He had to watch his dad leave him and now I feel really bad that I have to leave too. He was a really good friend and I am going to miss him. I also had to say goodbye to Michael, but we will probably see each other again. Wednesday morning we all got on a train and came into Budapest. Guess who I saw in Budapest?! Jordan Flake!

Here I met my new companion, Elder Weaver. We had met each other before at the last transfer. He and I have a lot of common interests so we have been getting along pretty good. We came here with two other elders, DePaulins and Antiablon (for sure I didn't spell that right), but they are super cool.

There is also a sister couple, but no seniors here. It's a great place though. We won't be doing as much tracting, but we are tabling. We have a few investigators we meet with but not many. Tabling is good because you can talk to a lot of people but hard because it's more difficult to get back into contact with people. All of the elders are new to this area and only one sister was here previously.

We went to the new branch yesterday. It was good. All the new missionaries shared their testimonies. The branch here is smaller than in Debrecen but they have 6 active priesthood holders so that's way cool! There were only 3 in Debrecen! No, mom, we haven't had any dinner appointments yet but I hope we do! The language is rough. Sometimes I feel like I am not making progress, but I know I am, it's just slow.

Our apartment is a bit bigger and it's nicer for sure. I have videos I want to send I just need to figure out the wifi.

The weather is starting to get pretty cold here. In fact, I have a cold! I am starting to wrap up more now!

Sister Staggie's box is still tied up in customs from last I heard so I hope that gets all sorted out. I am glad Lizzy had a good time on her date.

I've got to go. I love you all so much and I'll talk to you later!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Week 18 Transferred to Szolnok!

Hey Mom and Dad!

Things are super great here. This week was a lot better than last week! Thank you so much for all the prayers! Well, I have served in Debrecen for the last 4 months, but tomorrow I leave for Szolnok! Today is pre-transfer pday, we get our calls, and have time to pack up and get ready, and Wednesday we go to Budapest to make transfers. Since I have been in Debrecen we have been super fortunate to have 2 baptisms. Sometimes we had a lot of people to teach and other times we had a lot of time to find people to teach. We did a lot of tracting here because it is the most effective method to find investigators. Referrals are difficult to get here since member work is really slow, but it's still good because I love the members!
Leaving Debrecen for Szolnok
I just got my transfer call this morning. Tomorrow morning I will be leaving Debrecen for Budapest and then heading off with a new companion, Elder Weaver, to Szolnok.
Elder Weaver
The sisters are getting broken up here too. Sister Schnoor is going to Szekes and Sister Sholly to Eger. I am really going to miss it here! I have made so many new friends. Michael is super awesome! I love him. He is one of the best friends I have made here on my mission. He will do anything you ask and always has a ready smile for everyone.
Yesterday I said goodbye to Jozi, maybe for the last time, hopefully I will see him again. I've really grown to love him too!
Elder Oakes and Jozsi
I also said goodbye to Ezster (who said she was leaving the church if I left, we are hoping those are empty threats). She was the first baptism I got to be a part of on my mission.
Ezster with Elder Oakes
We went to the college to say goodbye to Szilvia and Dori. Szilvia made a cute decorative cookie heart with "szeretlek" written on it.
Sylvia and Elder Oakes
Elder Oakes and Dori
College at Debrecen
College at Debrecen
College at Debrecen
College at Debrecen
I have a few more goodbyes planned for today.

Fortunately, I am really excited about my new companion! He is a really great guy and I am looking forward to being with him. We met last transfer when I dropped off Elder Whiting and he is super funny. He also likes the card game I like :P He has been here for about a year. I am looking forward to the opportunity to be able to step up and contribute more. Maybe learn the language even better! I think it will be a good transfer and I am looking forward to it!

I sent you a picture of our new investigator, Arpad.
Arpad and Elder Oakes
He is a super great guy! He was in a very bad car accident that paralyzed the left side of his face and caused him some mental problems. But he is overwhelmingly positive and is a great guy!

Yes,yes...I did make my own settlers game out of magnet (takes a standing bow). It isn't finished yet, no pieces or cards.
Working hard :)
With Magnet Sheets!
Love you all back at home. I do have to go now though, so I love you and I'll email you again next week!
Getting ready to leave
Crazy hair!
Saying goodbye with the Sisters and the Steels
Love the Steels!
Awesome senior couple taking care of the elders and sisters!
So glad to get a haircut!
Shop area
Pizza! and Garfield and GILBERT! Haha!
Bowling with the sisters before leaving
Goodbye to Debrecen!
Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 17 in Debrecen-Zoo trip!

Hey Mom and Dad!

We went to the zoo today for pday. It was a lot of fun. I think my favorite part was when the hippo started to poop. Apparently, when hippos poop they fan their tail back and forth like a fan blade and spray their poop in a wide arc all around them. I got a video of it but it's too big to send via my camera so I'll have to send the card home when it gets full.

We went to lunch with Tibor, the secratary from church.

Zwingli is a Swiss name of a religious reformer that helped to establish a reformed branch of the catholic church that has a strong presence here in Debrecen. We found Zwingli Street. (An interesting tid bit-street sign poles don't exist here in Hungary they just stick a tablet on the nearest building. Which makes it difficult because most buildings are not close to the streets.)

Elder Zwingli and I have been playing with camera shutter speeds. His camera is better so he took most of the ones we did but I am going to have him send them to me so I can send them to you. The companionship is great. I really like Elder Zwingli a lot.

This had been kind of a long week for me. I'm grateful for a good companion and Michael. Michael is like a "big kid". He is super positive and playful all the time. He helps keep my energy up! I have seen the gospel already make changes in people lives. I want to be a good missionary, so please continue to pray for me!

I got to go. I love you a lot. I'll try to set up next pday so we can email a little longer! I love you so much mom! Have an awesome week :)

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 16 in Debrecen-Fixing things!

Hey Mom!

Glad you got the package! Sounds like you interpreted the contents perfectly! I got the four rings for the girls and the necklace for you and the hat for dad. Tell Lizzy I am going to try to get her a bday present, but it might not be super expensive!
Elder Oakes sent us a package!
I keep wanting to use Hungarian words when I type which makes it difficult because it breaks up my train of thought. The language is really starting to improve. I feel like I am making more progress. I do feel though, that the vocabulary is coming slowly for me because I have to learn a word six times before I really know it.
The Piac
Really pretty walkway
On Thursday we have our English class. On Friday night we learned how to make stuffed peppers. Maybe I can try again and make them better than last time! Haha! I sent some pictures of some of the branch activities.
The cooking gang!
Getting messy
Learning to make stuffed peppers
Playing with the food!
Kind of a messy job :)
Konrad, one of the sisters' investigators
Elder Oakes loves chess!
Stuffed peppers and games-great family night!
Michael is back!!
My high of the week was the service project that actually caused us to be so late we almost didn't email today. A Hungarian member from America came here to inherit an apartment and so we helped her move her stuff. While we were there she was talking about all the work she was going to need to have done. As I looked around at all this work she was talking about I thought, "Well, I can do all of that," and that's what I said to her and that's what we did!
Need some tools for the job!
Elder Oakes is in his zone!
Yea, I got this!
So today she took us to a wonderful lunch at Csokoni Eterum that I sent pictures home of, and I spent about 4 hours of my pday wiring chandeliers, switches and outlets. And Guess what? I loved every second of it! I just wish I could of had my tools because I could have done so much more and such a better job of it, if I had! Super fun though, and I may get to do some more later!
Really nice restaurant we had lunch at
Love the lunch and the company
Michael joined us
Glad Elder Oakes didn't have to rewire this chandelier! 
Or that one!
My favorite thing about Elder Zwingli is his sense of adventure. He always wants to get out and go do something, he isn't up tight and likes to have fun as well as work. We went bowling, oh, and Taiwan Michael is back. He came with us, it was lots of fun! Elder Zwingli destroyed Michael and I!
The three amigos or the three stooges?
Pure Awesomeness! 
Hairy legs, Elder Oakes :)
So much fun!!
Elder Oakes
Elder Zwingli
Elder Oakes and Elder Zwingli
Vili and Elder Zwingli at Missionary Correlation Meeting
Elder Oakes
Elder Oakes
Elder Zwingli
Elder Oakes? on a building?
I love you so much! I miss you all. I have been writing a poem that I want to share but it's not done yet so I still got to work on it.
Elder Oakes with the primary kids...love it!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission