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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 23 - 5th Week in Szolnok

Dear Mom, Family, and Friends,

Hey all! Hi Naomi, I love you too! Things are moving along here. I love you all! We had a Halloween party here as well, that I got to help decorate for but it wasn't as impressive as you guys! It was a party for the ward members and it's a fun activity to bring investigators to. Sometimes I just wish I could transplant a ton of the awesome people from home here! But a cool thing about Hungary is a lot of the people are converts so there are some awesome conversion stories.
Halloween Party!
Halloween Party!
I am super excited to hear you are building a pool! That really made my day! I can't wait to come home even more! Take really good pictures of the construction so I can really feel like I am there!

This week has been one of particular mention with Elder Weaver and I. We have had a lot of ups and downs. We have had some great conversations about our work, our companionship, and our ability to better the two. We have grown a lot closer together, I think, and our work is showing that.
Elder Weaver and Oakes tracting
I have more videos for this week. I'll be sending them when I am done. I have taken some that can't send because they are too big. I guess you'll get to see those when I get back :)

I have been emailing Michael (in Debrecen) and I have talked to Elder Cannon on the phone a few times. The language is coming along. Since Elder Weaver doesn't talk as much, I step in a lot. I am a lot less scared about it now. I say something and then if people don't understand it I just try my best to fix it or act it out until they understand and tell me how to say it. I am well beyond my "greenie" days now though!

It's all good though. We did have a transfer in the other companionship. Elder Depallens has a new companion, Elder Meek. Today we just hung out with the other missionaries. It is getting cold here, really cold. I am an Arizona boy and feeling a little out of my place, but the awesome thing is you can always put on more layers.
New Companion Meeting
Elder Meek
Elder Oakes :)
Found a bicycle way up high
Elder Weaver climbed the pole
Got on the bike
And pretended he was riding! Crazy!
I am really looking forward to calling home for Christmas! Hungary does celebrate Christmas but it's a bit different, and spans several days. It starts with the celebration of Christ's birth and ends with Santa coming. Kind of interesting :) As far as I know, Hungary does not celebrate Thanksgiving.

Hey I need to go. I need to print off some stuff for English class. I love you all so much and I will talk to you later!

Love, Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 22 - 4th Week in Szolnok

Hey Mom

The week has been good with its ups and downs. I sent another two packages home as well. So three should be coming in the next week or so. One of them is for dad the others are for everyone. (They are Hungarian movies by the way, most should have options to watch in English as well, but not all of them.)

We have actually been doing more tracting than any other kind of finding and the work is starting to improve. We have one new investigator that we will be meeting with tomorrow for the 2nd time that we are super excited about. Our investigator is Hungarian but we teach in English because his English is way better than our Hungarian. We do English classes here as well, like we did in Debrecen. That is a mission wide thing I believe and actually something that the church has made a standard practice in countries that are non English speaking. The branch is good here. They have about 25 to 30 people. There are a lot more priesthood holders here than in Debrecen even though the branch is smaller. I have already made really good friends with a few of the members and really like them.
Elder Oakes and Elder Weaver
BANG game
Sunday Night Dinner
Elder Depallens
The language is coming along slowly. It is a really tough language to learn!
Language lessons!
We had an appointment last week with a less active member and it was raining really bad! I sent some video of it, but just so you know, I bought an umbrella!

We haven't had any dinner appointments yet but we have done a few district meals with the other missionaries. I made a waffle breakfast for district meeting and we had a district lunch. The other day we had a palacsinta dinner, super fun. Palacsintas are pancakes but way different than American pancakes they are super thin and are served rolled up with some sort of topping thinly spread inside. More like our crepes we make. We have been playing the card game BANG together a lot in our free time as missionaries. It is super fun and a game I highly recommend to our family back at home.

Tell Sam Cooper I said WAY TO GO on the eagle scout project! Have him email me too if you can so I can say hi to him myself! Tell Naomi way to go! Her picture at Bass Pro Shop is awesome! It is seriously one of the best places in the world I think, and tell her good luck with the tonsils...

I LOVE your lesson! That sounds super awesome and a great way to get people to notice how to be more Christlike. Man, if I didn't know stuff like that wasn't allowed for us to do as missionaries I would use that! Super cool, way to go super mom!

I love you so much mom! Thanks for the pictures, it means a lot. I really like the updates of the dot calender. Keep one of those coming every month. It's fun to see it filling up! I love you so much, I have to go now, I'll talk to you later!
Elder Oakes and Fred
Shrine of a Saint
Example of everyday things I see that I wish I could fix!
Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 21 - 3rd week in Szolnok

Dear Mom

Apparently, some repenting is in order. I'm sorry I didn't write you last week. I really did not mean to make you worry or cry. I love you so much! The week before last as well as this one has been really slow so we were trying to do things that we can only do on a Pday to jump start the work here. While things this week didn't exactly turn around they are improving.

We had the opportunity to do some service this Saturday that was a lot of fun. I, with one of the sisters' investigators who came, cut down two old trees while my companion and the others did some different yard work. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, basically all this week, so I don't have anything new to send home. Sorry! I will do better this week for sure! But the service project went well and then we had sport day afterward.

The rest of this week we spent tabling. Elder Weaver likes tabling so we do a lot of that. But I feel like we have really strengthened our relationship in the past week so I am hoping to do more. Elder Weaver knows more than I do in vocabulary and has better understanding but can't speak Hungarian very well. I can speak the language better, so I'm really having to step it up a lot. We haven't done splits with the other elders but we are around them all the time. Elder Aintablian is newer than I am so Elder Depallens has the best handle on the language.

So basically the work is slow but improving. We did get a new investigator last night who we are super stoked about. We think he will be super good! He just had surgery so he can meet anytime with us, which makes it super convenient!

I am glad that the trip went super well for you all, and that Lizzy didn't kill you all driving on the freeway. Make sure you let me know of anything crazy or important that happens! If you think Uncle Brian's house had spiders, you should see the ones we have here!

The new branch here is awesome. We, as missionaries let the branch know who we are teaching and they help, of course. Their help is vital in the work! We had a zone conference here in Budapest on Oct 1,2 and 3rd. I love those. It's super awesome to see all the missionaries together!

Conference was aired at the branch house and was super good but also in Hungarian so I didn't get a whole lot out of it. If you could send that liahona it would be super awesome! (sorry, liahona is the translated version of the ensign here)

Oh, I bought a present for dad (and me when I get home) I sent it like last week so it should get there soon. Tell dad to watch for it!

Sister Staggie is awesome, I love that woman to death! Her box was amazing and yes, the money you sent made it!

I love you too and guess what? You're the best mom ever! Have a great day I have to get going soon.

Love you all so much!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 20 - 2nd Week in Szolnok

Hey there!

So things are moving along here in Hungary. I am getting comfortable here in Szolnok. The area is good but the work is slow and not really speeding up because me and my comp can't really speak Hungarian well.
The bed wasn't that much farther!
Something about the floor?!
Haha! This is so Elder Oakes!
So this is what the paperclips were for?
No new investigators as of yet. We did a lot of tracting and tabling. There is less English here, not being in a college town anymore. And my companion doesn't speak Hungarian well yet either, so I am having to step up a lot more. But we get along really well.
Elder Weaver
Elder Aintablian
Elder Depallens
The sister missionaries and Elder Weaver
We got to watch conference but only in Hungarian so I am planning on watching them later in English or reading them. I got Sis. Staggie's box that was tied up in customs, finally! I am super excited about that! The stuff in there is amazing. I really appreciated the cd's! I think they were the best part of the box for me. I am pretty sure everything came through okay and I've been sharing a ton already! Tell Sis. Staggie thanks so much for all she does!

No dinner appointments again this week.
Who needs a bowl!
Not too bad of a cook :)
Oh wait! Don't eat that!!!
A senior couple came to pick up donations and we went to dinner with them though.
Lunch with senior couple (Elder and Sister Miller) and sisters and elders
Love the senior missionaries!
Wow, Brandon got you guys to play magic, huh? That sounds like fun. And Tanner is engaged? wow!

Well, I sent a lot of video and pics this week. I hope you get them all! Have a great week!
Street of Szolnok
At the river in Szolnok
Elder Weaver
To get to the store follow the road over the bridge
Elder Oakes :)
Some of the views of Szolnok
Silly Elder Weaver!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission