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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Week 27 - Transferred to Tatabanya!

Dear Brother and Sister Oakes:

Elder Daniel Bryce Oakes has been called to serve as a senior companion in the Hungary Budapest Mission. This new calling will be a challenging, but rewarding, experience.

As a senior companion, Elder Oakes will be expected to obey all Mission rules, set an example of dedicated missionary service, and to establish a pattern of righteousness which will help bring investigators to Christ. We know that Elder Oakes will be effective in achieving these objectives.

We appreciate your love, prayers and support on behalf of your missionary - and on behalf of the Hungary Budapest Mission. The work is going forward and great things are happening here.

Sister Smith and I send our best wishes to you. We love serving with Elder Oakes in this great work.

Sok Szeretettel,(Much love)


LOWELL V. SMITHMission President

Hey Family!

I can't believe they have already gotten the pool ready for concrete! That is going super fast! I can't wait to get home and to use the new pool we are going to have! Have they already shot the concrete?

HAPPY BDAY BECCA!!! I hope you had a super great Birthday, and I hope the chocolate was good! You're so good to always move out of your room for guests. Tell Aunt LouJean and Uncle DeVon I said HI! And also tell Lizzy not to get too comfortable with my mattress because I will be taking it when I get back. Good luck to Becca and Naomi for your recitals.

If you see Ricky again stop right there with him and type his email into your phone and shoot me an email with it so I can chat with him. That way we don't get any more miscommunication.

I still haven't gotten that box yet because of the fact that only the district leaders are allowed to pick stuff up for us so it's still at the mission home. I should get it tomorrow, totally late for Halloween.

So, as for transfers this week, we got calls this morning. I have been wondering about a lot of the different things that could happen. There were two things I thought almost for sure wouldn't happen. The first being that Elder Weaver and I would serve more than one transfer together, the second was that they would white wash Szolnok again. I will explain both of those things and tell you why I thought them, then inform you of the one which I actually got right.

I love Elder Weaver and I honestly feel like being with him has been the period of biggest growth in my misison. Elder Weaver is a mover, that's kinda one of his things. That's why I was certain he would be leaving Szolnok and I would be staying. Since we just white washed (meaning they cleared it of the missionaries before us) into Szolnok, I was certain we both wouldn't be transferred. It is super hard for the work to bring in all new missionaries who don't know the contacts previous missionaries have made. I have never heard of white washing an area twice in a row.

Which is why when Elder Weaver got his call to leave this morning and then proceeded to give me the phone I was surprised, and even more caught off guard when I got an assignment in another city. I will be leaving Szolnok and going to Tatabanya. I am sad to go, especially since I really wanted to spend Christmas here with people I know. But it's okay, and I know that this is what the Lord wants even though it may not have been what I wanted.

In fact, the only missionary who is staying here is Elder Deppallens. The sister companionship is getting shut down here for a little while, at least. Sister Atkinson is going home this week and will be with her family in TEXAS! (what I have learned to be the greatest state in both pride and personal armed defense) and will be greatly missed. This group here in Szolnok I have come closer to than any other group of missionaries. I am super sad that one of them will be leaving the country. If she ever stops by in Arizona you guys gotta show her some Oakes' home hospitality.

As for our investigators, we just said goodbye to Pál today and will be saying goodbye to Arpi. Its sad but it can't be helped.

My new companion is Elder Gonzalas. We were in the same MTC group but he is Hungarian. Actually, he is from Canada, but his mom is Hungarian and his dad is Cuban. He speaks English, French, Hungarian and Spanish! I am super excited to serve with him! And our new ward in Tatabanya is only 2 hour church, no Sunday School. Elder Luke also serves in Tatabanya with a new companion, but I don't know who it is.

I love you all at home, Sister Staggie SHOUT OUT! You are the best! Thanks so much for your email, I read it all but I am short on time so I am wrapping it all into one. Sorry for my spelling if it's bad, it's Hungarian spell check, so... and I think my mom edits my emails before reposting them onto the blog anyway!

sok szeretettel,
Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 26 - 8th Week in Szolnok

Hey Family,

WOW! A 79 IN. BOX? THAT'S HUGE! I am assuming that is some sort of totaled number otherwise that's going to be one big box. Sister Staggie is super awesome to help out, tell her I said thanks! And let the Cammack's know I love them and miss them! I will have to send Jon an email.

The pool looks super awesome. I can't wait to get home and go swimming in it! I should be getting back right as the summer starts to heat up so that will be super awesome. I wish I could be there to watch it all happen, from this far away it seems to be going really fast, every week something new seems to happen but you guys keep saying finally something or other, so maybe it's just cause I'm not there watching it all.

The cars look szuper (super) with their missionary decals and all. Naomi asked me how the language is going. Tell her I said that it's going really well. Tell Naomi her fort was super good! And Becca, don't worry about not knowing what to get me! That's fine, tools though (you know me too well), like you said would be awesome. And Happy Birthday Becca! I'm glad you already got my present!

This week has been pretty long, and expensive. We have had a lot going on, We finally met seriously with one of the coolest guys I have ever met. He is Hungarian but trained in the American military services and really likes to hang out with us. His name is Arpi, and over the last couple of weeks has hung out with us. But we were finally able to sit down and talk. We went through a full restoration lesson with him and that was awesome. He has a lot of things in his life that have been difficult for him and make it hard for him to understand God and religion, but I think with time he can really change his life with the gospel. Unfortunately we weren't able to meet last week with our other investigator about baptism. Hopefully, we will get to meet with him this week though. We also found a nice older lady who we taught a full lesson, but when we went back, she didn't remember us at all. Super disappointing! But life moves on. On Friday we went into Szeged for Zone training. And then we had to go in Budapest for stake conference on Sunday. So lots of travel this week! (the expensive part)
Sister Atkinson and Sister Wilson
Elder Weaver
Elder Depallens, Meek, Weaver and Oakes
Elder Oakes and Elder Day

Well, I love you all at home! Can't wait to see you at Christmas when we skype! I have to go, something happened with one of the sister missionaries.

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Week 25 - 7th Week in Szolnok

Hey Mom

So...long week this week! We had interviews that went well. We are making a lot of progress with the investigators we have here, and this next week we are going to talk about baptism with one of them. The sisters had a baptism here though. It was yesterday actually. The girl is super awesome. We did the baptism at a hotel pool, which had naked women painted around it. Makes it kinda interesting when we are trying to cover them and take it all seriously. But that's just Europe. Any way it was good.
We also are working with some of the members here. I sent a picture of myself with Farcas Imre. He is a member here that we meet with.
I really like the missionaries here. The other companionships are the same as when I first got here with the exception of Elder Meek who came in at the emergency transfer. Elder Weaver is doing good, he really is a great guy. I feel like now, I don't really need a senior companion to communicate in Hungarian anymore. I still stink at saying things right, but I can say them.

Our meals this week have been skimpy at best because we are short on money (not starving just not full meals). The apartment isn't quite done yet. I need to finish cleaning the floors. But I always spend part of my pdays cleaning!

I still talk with a few people from Debrecen, namely Michael. We haven't had service projects here like we did in Debrecen, unfortunately. We haven't really met with anyone who has been mean when we are tracting or tabling, mostly they just aren't interested. I did a chalk drawing of the plan of salvation while we were tabling. It turned out really cool!
Speaking of cool, it is getting pretty chilly here! I wear my hat a lot to keep my ears warm. We found an awesome spray painted sign that said "We Love Szolnok". Elder Weaver and I took some pictures in front of it. We also got a couple pictures of a huge spider that took a liking to Elder Weaver...
I am glad that you got to see all the family even though, like you said, it was a sad situation. Dallin needs to get a hair cut! And no, Drew doesn't really communicate with me. I have sent him a few emails but he never responds. I would assume he is really busy right now.
We have a couple of guys here in our email place that are being very rude to us and the sisters so I am going to shorten this up so we can get out of here. Tell Ty I got an email from him a really long time ago, but if he has sent one recently I haven't gotten it.

Well, I love you all :)

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 24 - 6th Week in Szolnok

Hey everyone!

I can tell a lot has been happening in the Oakes' home! Tell Naomi to remember I am taking her on a road trip to visit Piper when I get back. Hope those two didn't get too many cavities from Halloween. They don't really have Halloween here, places will throw parties, but if you trick or treated here you might not enjoy all the old people yelling at you and threatening to call the police!

I am super glad that the pool is moving forward! It's super exciting to see updates on that. I am even happier to see missionary work in the ward at home. I should have been more involved in that but I just don't quite remember seeing anything happen there. Torrence looks super awesome! Tell the sister missionaries I love them! They are probably one of the biggest blessings to the work. I don't know what it is, but they have a super awesome ability to do what elders just aren't quite capable of sometimes.

OH! Tell Brother and Sister Fire I miss them so much and I wish I could give them both hugs too! And mom if you would like to try new recipes I'll send you some Hungarian ones. And, oh... I just read the part about you dropping the crock pot... THAT CHICKEN STILL LOOKED GOOD! WHY DIDN'T YOU GUYS SAVE THAT?! I WOULD KILL FOR SOME CROCKPOT COOKED CHICKEN! We haven't had any dinner appointments since coming here, but we have had a lot of district dinners. My meals are kinda skimpy. I had beans with chopped tomato and peppers sliced as chips, it was really good.

TOFW sounds like it will be fun! I'm glad you get to take Lizzy and Becca to that. And if you are going with Sis. Staggie it will definitely be fun!

Elder weaver and I are doing good, today we are going in for interviews so I am not going to have time to really chitchat but I am writing an extra good letter to you. The other companionships are doing good here, the sisters are always awesome. The other elders are super sweet. Szolnok is good, the work is slow, so we don't have any new programs scheduled, but we do have some good ones set up with a few of our more progressing investigators. One thing I loved this last week is I bought a game called BANG! That is super fun and I really like it! It's in Hungarian so we have to do "language study" to play and the district loves it. Mondat-sentence, Nem Talált- it missed (direct translation, it didn't find) Bácsi-Old man Néni- Old woman. Those are just a few words I thought I'd share with you so you can be leaning some Hungarian!

I can't send pictures this week, I don't have wifi at the place we came to to email this early. But maybe if I am lucky the train will have it and I can send some then. (The train didn't have wifi, no pics this week.)

Mom, I love you so much and I promise I will not hold the magic cards against you! If you wait til Christmas to send the cards it's fine. The videos here are super cheap and a lot of elders will pick them up and leave them in the apartments too so I just bought some and collected some to send home. All of them should be in Hungarian. Oh, the Sherlock Holmes, as well as most of those videos, should also have the English version on it as well so you can watch them now, and probably could do Hungarian with English subtitles and English with Hungarian subtitles. Did you get the BBC Sherlock Holmes in Hungarian? I was worried they might get stolen in the mail. But I know how much dad loves that one!

I love you so much and I can't wait for next week to be able to chat, because we got to go! Love you! Till next week!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission