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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 57 - 3rd Week in Pápa!

Where to begin, where to begin...

With so many things happening all the time it is hard to get everything in order in my head, so lets just start with last Monday. All in all good day. We got haircuts in the morning so I have been sporting a fresh new look this last week. Its been really nice actually with the weather getting warmer. Plus we had Zone Conference on Wednesday and we had to dress to impress.

Zone Conference was a high and low of this week. Obviously, it's a great, spiritually uplifting meeting. They always are, but this one was a bit rougher for me. Many of the missionaries I really respect in this mission bore their departing testimonies, including Elder Whiting and President Smith. They will all be going home in the next month and I will be sad to see them go. But the Conference was great. I felt the spirit so strong and the next few days were pretty much super charged!

We were able to re-pick up an old investigator in Pápa who is pretty serious about the gospel, just has smoking troubles (seems like all of them do). But we actually have been able to start the stop smoking program with him so that's good.

Saturday was actually a ton of fun. There was a 5k race held here in Pápa and we decided why not run it as a district? So that's what we did! All of us (Elders Mellor, Rodgers, Nordberg, Antablian and I) went out and bought some T-shirts and wrote "I'm a Mormon" on them and went and ran the 5k! Needless to say I was definitely the slowest but I ran the entire thing without walking!!! I was super pumped!

We met with Csaba again later that day and had a great program with him and his family and friends. His programs are always kinda crazy because he always has random people just show up at his place. So many people ended up showing up it was crazy, but a ton of them just stayed and sat in on the lesson. Some how we ended up each of us teaching like three different groups at a time handing out a few books and all of them committed to come to church! While not all of them came the next day, 4 out of the 8 people we randomly taught did!!! SCORE!!! We are going to be trying to set up with them later as well.

Church was good! Lots of investigators, of course, and there was the most people there that there has been in the entire year! A random guy also showed up during church saying he wants to investigate as well. So we set up to meet with him tomorrow on Tuesday! The blessings have been pouring in this week. It's been awesome to see.

I can't wait for next week! I love you all at home, and shout out to all my friends! Have a great week, maybe send me an email or two sometime!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Elder Oakes wrote this poem for his dad for Father's Day...yes, we cried...

Looking back on my life
I see moments filled with strife
But the good times outweigh the bad
especially when i think of my Dad

That we are diffrent it is true
though on the outside who could tell its me or you
I am proud strong and free!
And yet humbly you have taught me.

you entreated me with love and respect
never once have i felt neglect
and its not till now that i am older i see
all that you have helped me come to be

In this world i see those alone
ones who have grown up on their own
why am I more blessed than these
the thought brings me to my knees

So I will try to do what you did for me
I will try to help others that i see
Thank you dad for helping me along
thank you for letting me be right when i was wrong

thank you for setting me on your knee
thank you for hearing my every plea
thank you for giving me all that I've had
thank you for being My Dad

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Week 56 - 2nd Week in Pápa!

Hey Mom!

I am not doing a group email this week, and I forgot my camera again, so no pictures this week either, but I have a ton to send to you. I saw the pictures of Jon and Jordan with you and dad. That, I am not going to lie, was about the most home sick I have ever felt since coming on my mission. I miss you guys so much. Tell Jon I said hi and I want him at the next skype session if he can make it. Don't worry that you shouldn't send those pics! I loved them and want more like that! I don't want to be left out.

Things are going good here in Papa. We had to drop our only investigator this week which was not so good... but, when your companions are great it makes things a lot easier to handle issues that come up.

I haven't gotten the box yet but we are going into Buda for Zone Conference on Wednesday so I will get it then. This will probably be a short transfer for me because there are missionaries going home half way through the transfer (July 8th), I am going to get pulled out I am pretty sure. Our transfers are weird because it doesn't line up right. We have 9 week transfers which is more than a month. By the end of the two years you're almost plus or minus a month, which is hard because we only are allowed a 30 day plus or minus extension so if our return date doesn't fall close enough to a transfer in a 9 week transfer period they cannot extend us or send us home on the correct time which leads to problems in numbers and other things so they are constantly juggling our dates around to try and get it to work out the best for the mission. My return date is scheduled for April 14th, 2016. I am excited for the rest of my mission.

I love you so much, next week I will have pictures for sure!!! I love you so much!
This was a pic from the family history workshop held one of the last weeks Elder Oakes served in Sopron
Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

This was posted on facebook by a member in Tatabanya: "My chick died on Saturday. (In Tatabánya). Its name was Lil Tyga. Lil Tyga got a poem from a friend. It was strong and a really good fighter! Rest in peace! Thanks for the beautiful memory."

Dear Lil Tyga (written by:Elder Daniel Oakes) 
We know that your life here has been short, 
But we hope you felt our love and support, 
Now as we say goodbye, 
We try not to cry, 
God give power to your wings, 
To fly home where angels sing, 
We will miss you but it's not the end, 
For surely we shall all meet again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Week 55 - 1st Week in Pápa!

Transfer week!!!

Well this last week has been an absolute blast!!! Things are going great here in Pápa! After transfer calls last week I got all packed up. I was up until about 12:30 getting things ready. I also left the incoming Elder with a list of information to keep things up and rolling as he came in. The next day we rolled out on a 6:00 AM train to Budapest.

Budapest is always great when we come in for transfers. We get to see tons of people that we haven't for a long time and we all head over to eat at the mall. It was pretty dang good, and gave me a much needed chance to just relax for a bit. I met up there with my new companions (that's right, plural companion) Elders Mellor and Rodgers. If you all remember Mellor and I were together in the MTC, but Rodgers is just getting into his second transfer. It's super awesome though. We got into Pápa at around four and got unpacked before getting to bed. The apartment is like brand new so I didn't have any cleaning to do!

The rest of the week has been so great! It has honestly just felt like we have been together forever. We are doing great we have had tons of laughs and we are doing awesome work! We played soccer on Saturday and we all got nice sun burns! It's great and I am super pumped for this transfer.

The work in Pápa is small. There is a branch here. They have enough priesthood to do everything, so that's good. It was pretty big at one point but a lot of people moved out, but I think we will be able to do well and get things going soon with some good honest work. I've met two of the investigators so far.

Our new zone leaders are Elders Meek and Whiting...Whiting was my companion in my first area, Debrecen! He is a great guy I am super pumped!

I love you all at home! I heard Jon and Jordan just got back, tell them both Hi! I really miss everyone from back home. I can't believe Jon will be home so soon. Get both of them my email address if you can!


Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Week 54 - Transfer This Week to Pápa!

Man this week has been something!

This has been a great week, lots of work but finishing out strong. We had a lot of good bye programs with people (even though we didn't know I was leaving till this morning, hope for the best plan for the worst) and a lot of good visits. I will miss Sopron for sure. I am sad to be leaving. We finally have things coming together, the work is rising and we have a good pool of investigators! I will really miss Ersike néni, a really sweet recent convert and Zsolt, though I will see him for sure from time to time. He gets around Hungary a lot and visits missionaries. I will probably get to see Sandor again too, he also gets around Hungary a lot too. The sisters here in Sopron are being replaced with elders. Elder Evans will be staying and getting a new companion.

I will be heading out to Papa tomorrow, another small town in Hungary. I have been sizing down ever since I got here, thankfully Papa is the smallest city in Hungary where there are missionaries so it's only up from here. But it will be good for sure. I am going into a threesome companionship as well!!!! I will be with Elder Mellor (from my MTC group) and Elder Rodgers (just got done with his greenie transfer). I am really excited and can't wait, though I am kinda nervous, I will be the district leader again and we will have a whole new set of problems being in groups of three all over the place. I have no idea how we are going to figure out the showering schedule either.

Nike, from Tatabanya, came here with her mom for her birthday to take a vacation to Sopron. She called me up to ask what they could go do, so we met up and I gave them a map and some cool locations to go visit as well as the number for the chocolate factory. I also get to see Lala from Tatabanya when we make the transfers. I'll get to say good bye to Jordan before he heads home to Arizona!

But I am looking forward to it, I miss you all at home friends and family alike! I wish you all a great week!!!

Until next week! ttyl,

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission