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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Week 88 - 8th Week in Szombathely

"And another one down, and another one down and another one bites the dust!..."

Just imagine me jamming out to this song in my head as I write. The weeks are flying by! I cant beleive how fast they are going. I checked my blog and looked at my count down timer! Holy cow 54 days left! That's like less than two months. People ask me how much time I have and now I always just smile and say that! I have loved my mission but I am going to love going home!

Things are going quite well here though and I'll be sad to go. We are meeting now with a few people we have gotten to know since getting here. Gyula is one of them, he is a great guy. He started coming to English class the first day we got here. He is really cool and speaks English well but wants to improve. SO we offered to start meeting him personally if he wouldn't mind hearing about our church. He was down so we started meeting since the first week, and have met every week since. In terms of religion its far from him as he put it, but I can see he feels something when we talk. He likes being with us too I think and I can see him progressing far with enough time.

We also started meeting this last week with another guy by the name of László. Basically the same situation. He is really nice and has a family too. Already had a Book of Mormon as well so he is a little more familiar with things but for him he had a rough go with religion. Turns out Catholic Priests beat children a bit back in the day, can make things a bit harder for us... But luckily he doesn't hold a grudge against God just isn't super into organized religion, but I think we can really help him to progress.

I love you all at home, sorry no pictures this week. See you all soon. Mom, I love you so much! Happy Birthday, I haven't forgotten. I am going to send you something special but I have someone sending it on your bday Wednesday.

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

This is what Elder Oakes had a member send to me for my birthday on Wednesday :)

Week 87 - 7th Week in Szombathely Happy 21st Birthday Elder Oakes

Wow what a week!!!

Things are defiantly starting to pick up! We had like almost 10 programs this week and we are getting new investigators as well! The new week is bringing colder weather. Its weird because all the snow melted but it just seems even colder! I try to keep bundled up the best I can but BURR!!! We had a few dinner programs throughout the week which were good.

We have been trying to work with some less active members as well in this week and I hit it off really well with a kid named Gergő. He was raised in the church but most of the family doesn't come except for his Grandma. But he is a cool kid and guess what? He wrestles!!! Now I haven't wrestled for more than 3 years now but I am always game so when he invited me out to a practice I said "HECK YES" just in Hungarian :P Needles to say I am way out of shape... but I somehow ended up being a bit of a novelty. An American who speaks Hungarian and knows how to wrestle showing up randomly in the middle of the season at a practice. I wrestled two of the kids there (Gergő included) and then the coach even wanted to wrestle with me. Needles to say he kicked my butt, but it was still fun!!!

Later in the week we had a few more programs, Sunday was my B-day but we celebrated Saturday with the other Elders. We had some surprise visitors as well! Antónia and Viki, two of the younger active members from Szeged, remembered it was my birthday. They baked a cake!!! It was super nice of them. The best part was it was shaped like a pokeball! I may be in love! It was good though. My presents from home I opened last week because my package got to me early and I thought it was my late Christmas package (which I still haven't gotten). It was great though! My parents and family took a lot of time and effort to make me "open when your ..." envelopes so that I could have a special experience from them any time I was feeling happy or sad, grumpy or if I just needed a hug! It was awesome! I love my family!

Two months left and counting, I will be home soon! I miss my family a ton but I am thinking I will miss Hungary now too! Its so hard getting ready to come home, but things are good here so no worries! This 21 year old is doing great!

Love you all!!!
Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 86 - 6th Week in Szombathely

Well its been another week

Things are going by faster and faster now. The work is starting to pick up again now that we are coming out of the holiday curve. I am excited to get things up and running again after the slump. We even met a family this week! Super great! It was funny because we weren't even tracting (which contrary to popular belief isn't the best use of a missionaries time).

We were outside going to go tracting when... POOF my companion and I get hit with snowballs! "What the..." Flipping around we see two kids grinning from ear to ear ready to throw again, this time though they have the courtesy to ask "you mind if we throw some snowballs at you?" In response I said "sure!" and reached down and packed a snowball of my own! It was on!

The next little while we ran around and played with them forgetting all the name tag and missionary discipline, we were just 4 kids out playing in the snow and I had FUN! Afterward they headed home but asked us to be there same time the next day, and of course we said "YES!!!" The next day proved to be even better, the Mom came too, she brought the youngest one out. We built a snow man threw more snowballs and we talked with the mom a lot!

It started "who are you... (Gasp!) From AMERICA!!! What are you doing here? (explanations) Wow you speak Hungarian great! How long have you been here? (2 years) No! Are you Hungarian or studied it? (Shakes of the head in negative) Wow......... .... ... .. . " and BANG!!! full gospel conversation for like an hour! Who said you gotta be freaks in suits and ties to share the gospel, just goes to show you don't take yourself to seriously play in the snow, enjoy life! and be ready to share when the opportunity comes, and it will :) We will visit with them again this week!

I keep thinking more and more about home. Life doesn't stay the same. I am gonna get home and things are going to be way different for me. The thing that really gets me though is now I see how different I am... I am excited to come home but life will keep changing! I am glad for my family and the gospel. And I cant wait to see all of my friends and family again!!!

I got my birthday box but not the Christmas one. I opened it all because I thought it was the Christmas box :( I kept looking for the light sabers but they weren't there. Then I read a few letters and found out it was for my b day. I am not sure what happened to the Christmas box... but I really liked the one I got thanks so much!!!

Love you all!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission

Week 85 - 5th Week in Szombathely

Its been another good week!

We have been working a little less then normal with the holidays and all but we will be getting back into the swing of things soon. Last week was really good though, no real programs to report, but we did meet up with a few people. We did service cutting up fire wood for an investigators friend! Super great! I loved just doing the physical labor and not having to think! They even invited us to their new year's party! And we even went! It was a nice family party with foosball, board games and some food. It was good! We left before it got to late so no need to worry there. The next day we chilled with the Elders and had pancakes! Just got to wait off the national hangover you know... The rest of the week consisted of delivering all the Christmas cards we had made to members who didn't show up last week to get them.

I love you all back home. Got to go!

Elder Oakes, Hungary Budapest Mission