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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 84 - 4th Week in Szombathely

Well this has been a good week. Monday was a pretty chill day. Everything was closed for Christmas so we ended up emailing in a pub we found with computers. We are here again this week actually. P-day went by fast. We went on splits to buy gifts for our companions. Jensen and I headed out together and hit up a lot of stuff. I got Krueger a screw driver with interchangeable bits, a new soldering iron and electrical tape! (I think he liked it but it's hard to tell because he doesn't always show a ton of emotion. But he seemed happy!)

Tuesday we had splits with the Zone leaders. Our zone leaders are Blake and Gonzalez! If you all remember I served with Gonzalez a while back, he was one of my favorite companions! I went with him on splits. It was good. We streeted around and then got lunch and kinda just caught up. He and I are about in the same boat though feeling pretty tired. But we are both determined to finish strong!

Blake and Krueger hit a ton of programs because Blake had served here already and wanted to meet up with old friends. At about 7 we split back.

Wednesday morning we headed out early to help move a couch/bed for a member here. It was good but so COLD!!! Plus an old Bácsi who came to help was cursing up a storm! It was kinda funny actually, reminded me a bit of both of my grandpas. Haha!

The next 24 hours was spent getting ready for Christmas. We bought a tree and decorations, set it up at the other elders place, wrapped and placed all our presents under the tree and spent the night with them on Christmas eve. Christmas morning was great. We all opened presents just like at home. My companion got me a big build it yourself crane for Christmas and a set of gas masks as a companionship item! I was super stoked!

Then we Skyped home. It was super great seeing my family again! Good talking to them. I miss them a lot and really can't wait to head home and be with them again!

The rest of the week was pretty lazy, we spent a lot of time with members and in church we handed out Christmas cards we made to the members. This is a good solid branch.

One member left before we got her her card though so we decided to go take it to her. What started as a 30 minute walk turned quickly into a 3 hour journey getting lost in the woods. It was a bit crazy but we finally made it! And gave her her card, then headed home. All in all good week!

2 and 1/2 months left! I'll be heading home soon. Don't worry mom I'm gonna take care of all the important things back at home before I leave again. And I'll make sure to be home with you for a good while!

Love you all,
Elder Oakes

Friday, December 25, 2015

Week 83 - 3rd Week in Szombathely

Well another week.

Man I keep having these crazy weeks with super high highs and really low lows. All I'm going to say about the lows is that EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is against us skyping home on Christmas!!! Its ridiculous. But! We will be victorious! It is all gonna work out and we will see our families. I love my new companion. He is really quiet most of the time, or he was... but now his personality is really starting to come out!!! I love it he is super cool! I really am happy to serve with him and he is really teaching me so much right now.

I also really like the other elders especially Jensen. We went on splits today to buy presents for our companions for Christmas! Super cool kid and I can just be myself with him and not be judged. I am looking forward to this Christmas transfer a ton! The work needs some work but that has a lot to do with the fact that it doesn't quite go during Christmas. We will see going into next year.

I can't wait to come home, I am super excited to see my family again and now things are set for March 17th!!! Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait! No pictures this week sorry, I did take them but our current email situation is sketchy so not really going to push my luck on trying to upload and risk crashing.

Love you all Merry Christmas!!!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 82 - 2nd Week in Szombathely

Oh man this has been a week and a half...

Well so you all might know by now that last week we got transfer calls. I left Szeged. It's bitter sweet that's for sure, Szeged has definitely been my favorite city in Hungary. I am gonna miss all the friends I have made. Antonia, Viki, Robi, Zoli, and many of the other members, and I am definitely going to miss my investigators: Klara, Ildiko, Krisztina and Atilla! They all got baptized while I was there, and shortly Timi and Niki will get baptized as well. But not just them I am going to miss all the others we met with, even the crazy JWs in our building. But hopefully its not too long. My mom may kill me for it but I plan to end up back in Hungary shortly after my mission for college. I want to be in Hungary and use my Hungarian. Nothing is set in stone yet but I'll be back Szeged! (famous last words, I know)

But I got all packed up and rolled out! After a crazy day at transfers we got our new district together (consisting of me and my companion Elder Krueger, and the other Elders, Elder Jensen and his greenie, Elder Dixion). We rolled out to SZOMBATHELY! Literal translation is Saturday place, kinda fitting for the "weekend" of my mission. I am probably going to end up dying here (finish out my mission), which is fine with me because the branch is cool. We are also one of the farthest cities out in the mission, close to Austria. I have already made some new friends here and our first working day we got a new investigator. So things will get going soon.

The weekend proved more of a challenge than expected though. After tabling out in the cold too long my companion and I froze! I got pretty dang sick and by Sunday my head cold was in full swing. I almost didn't end up going to church but I decided if I had to suffer I might as well make the branch miserable like unto me, haha. Don't know if it worked or not but I definitely infected my companion. He is sporting his cold right now poor guy, but I happen to be on the up and up. My companion is a great guy though. He is small and quiet in a crowd but he is a genius!!! He is so smart that he was hired as a programmer for an insurance company to figure out pay out algorithms software. Designed the whole thing himself! Needless to say I am learning a ton!

Its been great though, he keeps me entertained on the train rides, one of which we had yesterday. We went up to Budapest for the Christmas Zone conference. That was also a mix of fun and excitement. We had a spiritual portion at the beginning and then we had fun. We had a nativity acted out by the APs and the secretaries, as well as white elephant gift exchange and the biggest surprise! A MOVIE!!! I know what your thinking a nice Christmas themed movie in the mission home, NOPE! President rented out a movie theater and put on one of his favorites for us. "The Little Prince". Defiantly G rated but still way cool! After the fun and festivities we headed back, grabbed our things (Christmas packages included) and headed home. Pretty cool day.

Things are going great here, I just keep on chugging along. I feel so old though and time is starting to wear on me. I am down to one suit, the other ones... well don't got them anymore. My shoes are getting well worn and my bag is good and broken in. I keep on keeping on but I am very aware that I am a seasoned missionary now. Pray for me to plow through the next few months because I am going to need all the help I can get. I love you all at home! I will see you when I skype on Christmas day. Gonna try to work it out for about 4pm our time. I miss you guys and I'll see you soon!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Week 81 - Transfers! Moving onto Szombathely

Hey Mom!

So, it's been a long week for transfers and stuff so I only now have a little time to email. I am in Szombathely. My new companion is Elder Kruger. He is super cool! I was way excited to get put with him. He is really smart. And by really smart I mean he was hired as a high school student by an insurance company to write the program that calculates the possibility of them having to pay out to potential clients! He is a genius, and the best part is he has his own tools as well! I think I am in love! (Hahaha lol!) Here in Szombathely its just 4 elders me and Kruger, then the other elders Elder Jensen and a new elder Elder Dixon.

Yes, I sure do know an Elder Bagley! He is my best friend in the mission. We came in the same group and we will be going home about the same time now too. He leaves a week earlier because he has to report to the army by a certain date. Great guy, I love him too! We are hoping to spend our last transfer together because we will both go home right before the real transfer so they may stick us together to keep us from causing a mini transfer. I would be so excited!

The Christmas packages the mission holds onto and gives to us next week at a Christmas party. Our zone will go in on Monday so I should get them then. It will be great I can't wait.

The baptisms went great in Szeged. My old companion called today to tell me that another one of our investigators is on bap date as well. I was really sad I couldn't be there but now from Szeged I will have 6 that will have gotten baptized! I love the work!

I have to go now, I will send pictures with the new guys on pday.

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission