Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 31

Hello all!!! I have had the opportunity to be a part of one of the greatest weeks I think that has ever happened! And so have you! We have just had the chance to hear from some of the most amazing people in the church, and in the world! Conference was amazing, what else can I say. I loved it, but the best part about it... well it is hard to decide what exactly was the best part about it. But we had investigators come and watch and they absolutely loved it! Let me tell you about my experiences last week a little more in detail:)
     Monday: After we emailed home and stuff, we ended up hurrying home to change and going to meet with E, one of our half English, half gospel people. She told us that she is not wanting to change religions and stay her own. We understood, and we told her we just wanted to share the happiness and peace that has come from this message, and the church. She accepted and still meets with us:) Then we went to the American Restaurant with the sisters and other elders. That was really fun and I loved being able to talk to sister Chamberlain(who is finishing her mission tomorrow) about what I can do to be a better missionary. What she has found that has made the work and the language just go better. It was a great talk. I am grateful for her and her example and I wish her the best of luck when she goes home and onto college.

     Tuesday:Today is one of the most dreaded days in the life of a missionary. Cleaning checks... EWW!!! So we deep cleaned our apartment waiting for Sister Smith and Sister Bagozzi to come and check our apartment. It went well, and after they gave us some advice, shared a spiritual message and said a prayer with us, they gave us Oreos!!! Wahoo!!! What a treat that was to have American food! We then met with Z, and the funny thing was, we had just sat down in the lesson and were about to start when out of no where one of the members from the branch comes in and sits down with us. It was a little interesting. So I saw where that person was coming from, "wanting to help" and be there to do all that they can:) So we used that person in the lesson. It was a little awkward to get started because Z speaks like fluent English but we told him that we would like to talk and practice our Hungarian that lesson. It was a good lesson, and the member shared many points about the gospel which led to Z having many questions. Then we went over to N's house and met with her sister and her mom. We made American brownies with them! It was super good! (Mom, do not worry. Yours are by far the best;) Then we sat down and talked with N about the church. After talking a while, she asked the question. "why are you Mormon?" This is the question we had been wanting to hear from her. We were able to share our experiences and reasoning and bear testimony to her about the church and the happiness inside of this gospel.
     Wednesday: We met with a new man named G. He is a super nice guy and he was a referral from the lady that Cutler rowed for that one day. That lady said that this man needed God in his life. So that is what we went into the lesson knowing. We met him at the branch house, then he said "let's go get some food!" So we went to Chinese and sat down and talked about the Book Of Mormon with him and asked him if it was believable. He said maybe ha. So we challenged him to read from it. Later, we went to G's house, the member who feeds us. We were there with the elders and sisters and she had prepared a ton of delicious food! What a great member.
     Thursday: We met with G again, but this time we stayed in the branch house. We talked about the restoration and why it was important and asked him to come to general conference and see and hear the prophet.  After this meeting, we went to the library because we needed English class fliers. I was trying to figure how to print those out for like an hour! That was the hardest thing I have ever done. Hungarian computers and printing. EWW!!! But it finally worked. Afterwards we went tabling to give out a lot of the fliers we had. Turns out, there was a guy who yelled at us in English and told us we are destroying the world with religion! ha, we told him we are spreading happiness and he did not agree with that. All well. Later, I decided to try and cook palacsintas(Hungarian pancakes) and they were super good! Especially with Peanut Butter!
     Friday: We had the awesome chance of meeting this awesome guy named R. One day during weekly planning, I decided to call some people from the phone (some old investigators) and see if they would like to meet again. This man answered and said yes. We met with him in the park where he said he would like to meet. He is a young guy who is in college studying to be an architect. He is super smart and wants to help us with the language! He also said that now, he feels ready to investigate the church more seriously. I am excited to meet with him again later. Then we met with Z again, and we talked a lot about Resurrection and what it will be like and what happens. We also told him about General conference and invited him to come and there it would be a great chance for him to learn more about the church. He committed to coming. Then we met with S. He was a little late this time, but we met with him for 20 minutes. We briefly went over the gospel of Jesus Christ with him and then set another time to go over it further. We went on splits after that meeting and Elder Cox came and joined me in our apartment. He is in the group just above me.
     Saturday: Cox and I made breakfast burritos together after studies for lunch:) It was super good! Then we decided to go streeting and service looking. So we took a bus that took us as far away as possible and then got off and walked back to the city. We streeted every person that we came in contact with and offered to help wherever we could. We then went to conference and watched the first session of conference live with all of you! Z came to the English session with us and I was a little nervous because he speaks and understand English well, but I did not know about the big gospel words. Turns out at the end of conference he turned to me and said "I feel like that last talk was meant for me." What a blessing. As Cox and I were walking back to his apartment where I would get Elder Cutler back, he told me this. "Nichols, you are a great missionary. Hang in there even when times are hard and do not worry what others think of you. You are someone I look up to." I was so blessed to hear that from him. I think of him like an older brother and I too look up to him. He is one of the few missionaries I really want to serve with! I was blessed to have one day with him and learn from him.
     Sunday: We went to conference again today. Wow. I had no idea that it would be that amazing again! E came to 2 sessions because she liked the first one so much! S came to the last one and said time just flew by! Z came to two  more sessions, he said he went home and hung out with friends, and then watched the last session live! That is like at 10:00 at night here folks! He watched it on LDs.org! He told me after conference that he had a happy feeling, and he could not put a finger on what it was. We setup to meet with him and E as soon as possible.

     Monday: We met with E and discussed conference. She asked for the most recent liahonas(ensigns) in Hungarian and English and wants to read them! She said she has some doubts that she would like to talk about with the branch president here, so we made a program with them for later this week. We then met with Z and he had some good questions about conference. He was very open to it all, and right at the end of the lesson, he said "what if it is true." I hope he continues to receive personal revelation and ponder on what he has heard from conference. He quoted conference many times in our lesson with him. I love this man to death. I feel like we are friends who were lost and now we have found each other. Then we met with E again and this time she brought her friend M. We went over the book of Mormon with them both again. I am happy to meet with them again. We then went over to the other elders and made some rakott krumpli(hungarian dish) and it was super good!
     Now. That is what my week has been like. Full of excitement and happiness! I cannot believe how powerful 2 hours of our leaders speaking truly is! What a blessing it is, to have the time to hear from them every 6 months. I think of it almost as a spiritual uplifter! After 6 months, I am begging to hear general conference again! I loved it and received many answers. I hope you all felt the same way about it as I did. This morning, I received a phone call that said all 4 of us elders here in Pécs are staying! But.. the sister's companionship is being closed down here in Pécs. So we have to take on all of their work and that is no small task. That will be an interesting addition to our week. Ha. I also want to say Happy Birthday to Rachel this week!!!! And a Happy Anniversary to my parents!!! Wahoo! I love you all and you have all influenced my life so much. Have a good week!
Nichols Elder
Here is what the outside of our apartment looks like. We are the bottom floor... ya, the one with the window :) 
This is where we watched conference, on that little computer with the Angel Moronic. It wasn't so roomy, but it was a blessing that we got to see it in English. So I am not complaining.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 30

Hey friends and family!
     How are things going at home? I hope that all is well and that you are
all enjoying the weather like we are here in Hungary. The sun is shining
and the weather is holding up! We are really starting to get a lot of
tourists in Pécs right now! The city is just starting to explode with
people, it is really amazing to see. I hope because of the amounts of
people outside that we will be more successful in the missionary work here
too. Now, next week will be mini transfers. It came super fast! But I will
be emailing on next Tuesday. Just a warning for everyone. I also had
another mail run from Buda. And still no package Mom. I am sorry to say
haha. I hope it does eventually get here though. I am also sorry to say
that this last week I have had to use a little money out of the personal
funds on the card. Our reimbursements still have not come in, even today.
And all of us may have to spend a little more until we get money. I am not
too happy about that haha. Sorry! Another thing, I love getting pictures
from home! So if you all would like to send hard copies in the mail or just
over email I would be happy to get them from you!  I know your lives are
probably pretty busy and I understand. But with all of this craziness going
on right now, General Conference is on the verge! I cannot wait! I have
never been more excited for this than now! I love hearing from the leaders
of the church. They give such inspiring advice and I know that it is from
God. How lucky I am to be here in Hungary and still be able to watch it.
And! I am able to watch it in English in a small room with the other
missionaries here in Pécs! I am so blessed and so grateful for that.
     Monday: After emailing, all of us elders and sisters went to this
small restaurant called "the basement". It was super good and super cheap.
It was not super filling but not bad:) Then we ended up coming back home
and making pancakes for dinner that night. Hahahaha. Ya that was also nice
and delicious:)
     Tuesday: So we met with E today. We decided that the best thing to
teach her about would be general conference. So that is what we did. We
taught her about prophets and general conference and how much of a
wonderful opportunity it is. We invited her and we will invite her again
next time we meet with her. She is improving, just at a very slow rate. Ha.
Then we met with our new English dude, Z. He is super nice and he speaks
English like a champ. We taught the restoration to him and he had so many
questions! He just wants to know like all about our religion! We were able
to answer most of those questions though which was good. Turns out, his
mother invented some kind of teddy bear therapy. I guess it opens people up
when they are making teddy bears! How cool is that! Then we finished out
our day, but I ended it with Elder Cutler introducing me to peanut butter
on bananas.... Bad idea. I loved it. And I ate a ton. Stupid me.
     Wednesday: So for lunch today I ended up getting super hungry. So I
made a whole loaf of french toast today. Don't worry, I only ate like... 9
slices.... OH man I really have found an appetite recently hahaha! Then we
met with Z again and he gave me a free hair cut at his place in gratitude
for us helping him with English. He has been cutting hair for 7 years and
he is pretty much a pro! I have to say, I do like this hair style and it is
missionary appropriate, do not worry;) Then we ended up meeting with S. Now
with S we were planning on teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. But then it
turned into all about faith. The entire hour, and how we should act on it
and how over time faith turns into knowledge. It was a really good lesson.
I felt the spirit super strong in that lesson. I am loving teaching with
Elder Cutler. He is a great teacher and friend.
     Thursday: Today we tabled like all day. But then after that we went to
English Class and taught our class. It was super fun! We gave them a quote
of the day, some slang, some discussion topics and a bunch of new words and
phrases! They had a lot of fun, so that is good:)
     Friday: We woke up to go on our run today, but then the elders
ditched(go figure) but the sisters were there. But Sister Chamberlain was
not feeling too good, so we went on a long walk instead. Ha. Then we had
district meeting with the district. It was all about finding ideas and how
we can find people here in Pécs. It was super helpful. Then Elder Cutler
and I went tabling, and the funny thing was while we were out there, some
guy yelled at us in English "which religion is this!?" We told him the
Mormons and he is like, "why are you spreading religion? It is destroying
the world!" Ha... That was interesting.  We also met a super nice Alaskan
couple. They are here visiting their son who goes to school here. And they
are super nice and fun. Then we went and did look ups of all the past
people I have tracted into and talked to. Ya, that was just a rough night.
     Saturday: We went on a good run with the elders this morning. Then we
ended up having to teach the professional English class today because the
sisters could not make it. That was super fun because those Alaskans came
and participated and we played games and laughed. I like that class. Then I
went home and made tortillas for the first time. And guess what, they were
good! Hahaha. Then E invited us to go to a puppet show with her friend. Of
course we said yes. So we went to this puppet show for kids under 5. She
told us it should be understandable. It was for the most part. It was
definitely an interesting show. Then after we walked home and on the way
home we talked to E and her friend C about the church. That was super neat
and we will have to call her later about meeting:) Then we went to sport
night but not a lot of people showed up. But the new Ensign for April did!
So I read that for like an hour, and that was soooo good! I love reading
those now.
     Sunday: We went to church as usual, and had a couple people from the
stake speak. One was actually a returned missionary who went to Hungary on
his mission, returned home to America, and then came back out here and
married a Hungarian. Super nice guy and super nice family. The other was a
member of the stake presidency. He said something I really liked. "the
whole world knows that 1 + 1 = 2. But this church knows that  1+1= unity!"
That was a cool little phrase. It sounded ten times better in Hungarian...
     I am loving this mission. I am loving serving the Lord. I am loving
learning everyday and improving in my life. I cannot imagine what I would
do without this experience in my life. I am so blessed, and I am now in
this part of my life just realizing that. Thank you all so much for
supporting me out here. I can feel your prayers. I love you all.

Nichols Elder
"Do your best and don't worry about the rest" -Mom

After the puppet show, E took us to see an old factory that was made into an art school 
This is the pond we were at a few weeks ago. There is a concert going on to the right 
Doing dirty dishes...

Week 29

Hello friends and family!!!
     How is everyone doing in Utah or wherever you may be!? I hope that life is just as wonderful as it is here in good ol' Hungary:) I love hearing from all of you in letters, packages, and emails! I love getting pictures too. So if you would like to send some out, go for it! Hahaha, right now, I would quickly like to review my week with you all and then I will go over what I learned:)
     Tuesday: After we finished emailing, we went home so that Elder Thomas could pack. While he packed I sat there and read Jesus the Christ (one of the most amazing books in the entire world, next to the Book of Mormon and the bible;). He packed as fast as he could so that he could be ready to go have some fun his last day in Pécs. And that is exactly what we did. We went to a nice little park and had a beautiful lookout over the city of Pécs. I am so happy that I was able to stay here in this wonderful city a little longer. Then Elder Thomas decided to throw a fast one at us all, and he wanted to go to Replay one more time, and it was pricy.... But it was a good last meal for him.
     Wednesday: I took Elder Thomas to the train station, him and his 3 huge bags! But when we finally got to the train station, we met up with the other elders and said our goodbyes. E (our awesome English investigator lady) came early in the morning and gave her goodbyes to Thomas too. It was super nice of her. She also baked both of us some fruit cake:) Then me and McCurdy did a split and stayed together here in Pécs and worked. We had some decent work, we basically did a lot of look ups and met with a few people. We were able to meet with my investigator, S. He is the guy who speaks good English and is super sarcastic. We taught him about the plan of salvation. And wow! He had like a million questions, and it was really hard to answer them all. But we finished at Earth Life and I was hoping next time would be a little better with him. We were then able to go over to G's place( the nice old lady who feeds us) and she made us some sandwiches and food and we shared a sprirtual message with her. Then we had to leave a little early because our new comps called us and said they were here an hour earlier than we thought they would be! We took them back to the apartment, dropped off the stuff, took them shopping, and then returned. But this is where I get to talk a little about my new comp, Elder Cutler.
     Thursday: All 6 of us missionaries here in Pécs woke up early and went running together. Afterwards we were able to go home and do our normal studies, and then start tabling. Cutler and I ended up tabling for 5 hours that day. It was super long, but it was a good time to learn about him. He is from Twin Falls, Idaho and came to Hungary in the same group as Christensen! Which means! He goes home in August. That is so soon and so not fair ha. He comes from a family of 7 children and is the youngest. He also before his mission really liked to work out, and the mission has kinda just made him a little smaller. Hahaha, but he is still more muscular than me by far! Then we went to English class and came home.
     Friday: Today we woke up to go running and waited for the elders and sisters in the same spot we usually do, but they did not show up. So we went over to the elder's apartment and snuck in with our extra key and woke them up;) It was funny:)  We then had a few programs scheduled. One was with N, a super cool young girl who comes to English class. She is going to Latvia to work and she leaves in August. I am so happy for her and she looks like she is going to love it. She meets with us to talk a little about what we are doing and how we can handle being away from home. But the cool thing is we relate that to the scriptures, and trusting God, and prayer. And wow, I really like teaching with Elder Cutler. He really has that love for the people. I can see it, and he really can bring in the spirit. I can feel something about this guy that I like:) Then we met with a new guy, named Z. He is super cool too! He randomly came to English class on Thursday and wanted to meet with us to get his English better. In the lesson, we told him that we talk about the church too, and he said that maybe his views would change and he was open to learning, so we will see how that goes!!:) We met with S again and finished the Plan of Salvation. It went really well, we were able to answer all of his questions and help him along. Ha, now here is where it gets interesting. We ended up going into F3, which is a gym, like workout gym here and looking around. It is super cheap for a membership and a nice gym. But let me lead up to this. So Z our investigator works out there, then we saw a guy on the bus earlier that day, and he was there when we bought our memberships! We ended up talking to him some more. Then when we started the tour of the place, the secretary knew who we were and said she met with us a while ago. We told her we would love to meet with her and she said she would tell us when we see her at work later this week! Cool!!! So it was a good thing we did this, and it makes me feel a lot healthier:) Ha
     Saturday: N invited us to go to this "water day" thing. The city celebrated this day by releasing fish into  a pond, and taking people for paddle boat trips on the pond. Well we ended up helping N and cool thing was, this old lady and her granddaughter wanted to go for a ride, but they had no one to paddle for them! So Cutler went with them, got their number, the lady bought us snacks, and said she would not mind meeting with us:) So that was good! Then we went on our hike with E, and she brought her normal friend with the dog, A. He has never really opened up to us before, but Cutler changed that. He opened up a lot! And we got talking to him about the gospel! Then E took us to a friends house named A, and she made us brownie cake and gave us a tour of an old 1861 church! Then said she would like to meet with us and she wants her son to meet with us too! And he is 20! Wow!!!
     Sunday: Today was the usual. We went to church, and then came home. We went over to G's again and she fed us a lot of food! I was able to have the chance to talk a lot with her and learned that she has a lot of good ideas for business. She wants me to act on those when I get home and start making some good money! Hahaha, she is super funny and I learned a lot about her and our relationship grew a little:) Yup, I am loving life right now. This is going to be a good transfer!
     So that for the most part is everything. I had a fantastic week and I am loving serving with Elder Cutler! I am learning so much from the Book of Mormon and the members here. I am really blessed and so happy that I can be here serving a mission in Hungary at this time in my life. I love the mission. I love the people. I love the Lord. I love our Father in Heaven. And I know, without a doubt in my body, that this is the true church on the earth. That this is the ONLY way back, and that I am where The Lord wants me to be. I am so blessed, and grateful. I am grateful for my family and all that they have done to help me get this far, and my good friends out there( you know who you are;) I love you all. 
Nichols Elder
This when I said good bye to Thomas. I loved serving with him and learned a lot from him. I'm grateful I had the chance to serve with him! 
This is the pond we went to on Saturday 
This is the hike E took us on. Quite the view 

It was super windy 


Week 28

Why hello friends and family!!
     So let me tell you about my week real quick:)
Tuesday: We met with our English investigator and had a very good program with her. We ended up teaching her about prayer and the importance of doing it. But also that we can pray anywhere and anytime. We really wanted to stress that since she has not been getting her answer yet. Then we went tabling and we met with a few Irish people. They came to the table and started talking to us:) One of their friends was Jewish and from Israel, and he was really interested and asked when he could be baptized and stuff! I hope all goes well with him.
Wednesday: Zone Conference! So we woke up at 430 and then got on the train at 6. We arrived in Budapest at 9 and then Zone Conference started at 11. So we had a little time before that and we went to Friss Pékség and ate some massive Nutella filled rolls:) Oh wow, those were the best things I have ever eaten on my mission:) Then starts the zone conference with Elder Dyches from the Seventy and Europe Area Presidency and his wife. That was a really good training. I learned a lot from them, and most of the meeting was focused on the Spirit. And learning to be able to follow the spirit in our programs and in finding. I really enjoyed the conference and I came out of it wanting to be better. Then after the conference ended, Thomas and McCurdy and Loveland and I went to Tróféas, a super nice restaurant that is an all you can eat bufé!!:) I loved it! But man we pounded down that food so that we could make our train:) Then we went home and started the next day.
Thursday: Today was a really long day. We tabled for hours and hours! But, while we were tabling, McCurdy brought his Rubix cube(which was actually invented in Hungary) and I tried to learn how to do them! ...Ya, that is all I have to say. I TRIED to learn... But it is hard for my little brain to handle! hahahaha, then we met with another investigator who wanted to me with us to talk about moving abroad, because she will be moving to Látvia in the summer alone. So we told her our thoughts, but then it got super cool because I was able to start relating the Book of Mormon to her and how there are examples in the scriptures that relate to her. It was a really good lesson.
Friday: We were able to go out to eat with the Colledges for their last meal in Hungary! That was super fun and we talked and chatted a lot. They actually went home on the 17th so I am sure their family is super happy to see them:)
Saturday: We went to English class where our investigator invited us to go on another hike with her and more people! So we said yes and took this opportunity to see Pécs and to talk with more people about the church. Which we did! It was a great experience and we were able to talk to like 5 new people about the church and the Book of Mormon!
     Now, that is for the most part my entire week, the only thing is you are probably all wondering what happened with transfers and all! Well here is the news. So this morning I am in the shower, and I hear Elder Thomas shout, "President Smith is calling!" I figured it was to tell Elder Thomas he was training, but no. Elder Thomas is going Zone leader instead!!! Wahoo! And I am staying in Pécs and getting Elder Cutler(who is from Christensen's group). I am super happy to be able to stay here! It has been a really good time with Elder Thomas, and now I get to stay a little longer and serve with Elder Cutler.
      I hope all is well at home! Love you and miss you!
As my mom would say, "do your best and don't worry about the rest"
Nichols Elder
On the way tooth rain station afternoons conference 
I made this for an investigator! And on the back I wrote our commitments we wanted him to work on 
On our Saturday hike 
We are in a super tall tower in this picture 
Look how beautiful! It was such a gorgeous hot day 

Week 27

Hello family and friends!
    How is everyone doing back at home? I hope that all is well and I hope that you are all trying to draw closer to the Savior, but not just draw closer to Him, but be more like Him in our everyday living. It is a very hard thing to do, but I promise, that you will only receive happiness afterwards because that is what I have felt. I know that I am not near perfect, but with the Savior, and with his guidance and help, I can be.
     Monday: After I emailed last week, we decided to go back home and start our "march madness" here in the mission. Hahaha, so we call it "transferology" here in the mission. Basically, we try to figure out where every single missionary will be placed in the mission. Who will be the next Assistant to the President, the next Zone Leader, the next trainers, seniors, who will go where! All of that fun stuff! Ya... That took a super long time and we are not even half way done... Wahoo. hahaha.
     Tuesday: Today we went over to one of our investigator's homes and made brownies at her place! We told her that we would show her how to make American Brownies!:) So we did, the only downfall was it came out a little more like a brownie cake.. but I aint complaining!:) We then talked and introduced the Book of Mormon to her and she was very accepting of it. She is basically like a Hungarian Mother to me and Thomas out here in Pécs. She is super nice and has a nice daughter who is mentally handicapped. I love that family to death. We then went back to the Branch House and met with two of our English class ladies and practiced English with them and talked a little about the gospel. Turns out, one of them has a boyfriend in Preston McMullins mission!! That man is learning Hungarian, and this lady is learning Spanish too. So wow, like I thought that was kinda cool. Haha. Maybe Preston can find him and we can skype and over time we could have the next eternal family!!!:):) After that program, we had the usual family night with the branch members. We watched the life of Celine Dion because one of the members who was in charge said that it was a very good movie to apply into the gospel. Ya... I did not really see the resemblance at all.. But it was a good language study and quite funny:)
     Wednesday: We met with our super cool investigator who we usually meet with on Wednesdays. She is super cool and this was a different lesson for me. We have taught her all 3 lessons and now we had to figure out what to cover, especially for her. So we planned to talk about Authority and baptism, but when we got in the lesson, we out of nowhere changed it to faith. We found out a lot about her faith and it ended up being a really good lesson. We felt the spirit and I know she felt something. We ended up walking out of the lesson and Elder Thomas said to me, "it was a good lesson:)". Then we went tabling and tried finding people through that. Funny thing, was a man in a suit came up to us at the table and started giving us a sales pitch for a water park in Hungary that he wanted us to buy into! He said we could go out to a restaurant and discuss this over that. Hahaha. Well we told him we were missionaries and young, he said he knew, then we said no and so he left. Haha. Then this day was also one of Elder Thomas' most forgetful days! He left his bag at home, twice! Then we went and bought train tickets for this week, and we sent in the receipts to prove that we bought them so we could get reimbursed from the mission office. So we sent that in the mail, and Elder Thomas sent his real tickets in the mail... So that was funny:)
     Thursday: Today was long, we worked like all day. But we had English class, and after that we had the usual conversation club. Well as we were cleaning that up, two of our English class people(a guy and a girl) were talking to me about how hard it must be not to use internet, not to watch tv, not to have a phone, not to date, not to drink, not to smoke, and not to have sex. So I stopped them there and said "actually, we do not have that until after we are married and only with that one person you marry." That got a crack out of that and then went off about it... Ya... That was one of the more unwanted conversations I wanted on my mission... But I included it in the email because I thought you would laugh;)
 Friday: So today was more of a sad day. Today was the last time we had the Colledges(the senior couple) in Pécs for district meeting. They actually fly out to go home on the 17th. But today they bore their testimonies, and man, that was such an incredible boost to keep going, and to never look back. I was so moved by their words. Then we went to lunch with them as always. Then the branch ended up having a going away party for them that night. And I ended up doing a lot of translating and a lot of pictures for them. We played games, and ate snacks and had a blast. The Colledges actually gave the spiritual thought that night, and it was all about Elder L. Tom Perry's Conference address. So that would be something good to look into for you all(P.S. conference is coming again... prepare now to receive revelation!)
     Saturday: This was a fun day... and super LONG!!! We woke up and went straight to the top of the Pécs mountains. We met one of our investigators up there with a few of her friends and went on a 20 k hike through the mountains! It was super super fun! There were so many bear onions though, like everything was still dead after winter, but those were coming alive fast. Then we picked some and ate some, they were super good. This hike was actually like a big deal. March 8th is actually "woman day" here in Hungary, so the women get gifts and stuff. We also had checkpoints on the hike where we got a chocolate bar and a stamp that said we were on the right path. Once we finished the hike (after 6 hours) we went home and then went and worked and eventually finished the night. But the cool thing on the hike was exactly like I expected. We had the opportunity to talk to our investigators friends about the gospel, and our lives as missionaries and stuff like that. It was super neat to meet them and talk with them!
     So, this was my week. It was super fun and super interesting. I am happy to say that me and Elder Thomas are doing good! I would like to also say this week we have the opportunity to hear from Elder Dyches from the seventy in a zone conference. I am so excited for that day. Next week will be transfers, so I will be emailing on a Tuesday, not Monday.
     I love you all, have a great week!

Nichols Elder
This is my language study. An investigator is interested in learning bout baseball. So I wrote it all out then did the Hungarian translations. 
Our tabling buddies... 
Here are the Colleges. They are only 2 of the best people ever. I love them! 
Me and Thomas at the start of our hike 
Look how green! But its all onions! 
It was super slippery on the trail... I slipped twice but saved the camera in my other hand! 
Me, Thomas and our dog buddy! He followed us the entire time :) 
This is the backside of Pecks, we don't see it often 
We found an old abandoned amusement park so I took a picture on an old train with Pooh and Piglet :)
I made a huge casserole. It should last me a week!

Week 26

Hey guys!
     Well it is almost exactly to the day, 1/4 through my mission! That is so crazy to think about now isn't it! I just love it here too. So I have decided to try and write what is happening day by day so that you get the full picture of what is going on here in Hungary, Ok? ok:)
Monday: After we emailed last week,  we walked around the city looking for stuff to do. Oh that was so fun. We found some really great views and were able to tour a church and take tons of pictures! I loved that day a lot! Then we went to a little playground, and got super super dizzy on the playground. Ya... That made my head hurt a lot the rest of the day.. Hahaha, and we still had to do our workout that night... Fun Fun.
Tuesday: So today we went tabling. We were in our normal spot but for some reason the police did not like us there. So they told us to move around the corner and table over there. So we did, and hey! We found a lot of good success! for example, we met our English guy who I talked a little about last time, and he was super chill! We ended up setting up with him and I will write about that one tomorrow:)
Wednesday: Today was one of the weirdest days. So the temperature here was like 15 C! That was super nice, but the problem was that I was getting super sick. So I was not really enjoying the nice weather because I was still bundled up. We decided to go tracting. The first building we try we get let in to, but there was a guy there with his dog, and he started asking us hardcore questions. He kept saying, "why are you here? you just want Hungarian wives. You are not here for your church! There is no way you are here to just help and talk about church." That was an interesting like 20 minute conversation hahaha. We then met with our English dude. He is so cool! He is super funny and that is how we need to teach him. He likes to laugh so that is what we did with him. We extended a soft bap date and he said he is just not looking for that right now. So we will keep trying:)
Thursday: We tabled again, and found a new tabling spot that we really like. That was about it...
Friday: District meeting was so good! Elder McCurdy had us watch few of the I am Mormon videos from a while ago, and they really were inspiring! I learned a lot from the talks shared by the first presidency, and you could really feel the spirit in the room. I loved it. Then we went out to eat at the restaurant Crystal. It was super good, the only problem was that it was kinda pricy, so as you all know, when you order food, they give you like a huge bowl! And nothing in it.. hahaha:) All well. Then we were asked to go help a member move in the branch. She was moving from living on the first floor, to the fourth... Ya that was a lot of hard work, and a lot of stairs to climb to. That took about 3 hours. But a lot of people showed up to help, so that was cool to see:) Then we went to young single adults night and played a few games. It is super hard to do in Hungarian. But we get by:) then we went and got chinese, because after 8 here, they put it on sale for half off. And it is then like 2 dollars.. So we eat there now:)
Saturday: So today I sat outside of English class to watch the door because we always leave it unlocked. Well as I sat there, I read like 5 chapters in the Book of Mormon in Hungarian. The good news is I can get the most of the story, but not all of it yet.. I hope that by the end of the two years I can read it fluently!:)
Sunday: Yesterday we went to church, which I really enjoy the fast and testimony meetings here because I feel like I can understand better:) Then we went home and Thomas and I just went cookie crazy! We made like 20 snicker doodles and like 15 sugar cookies with frosting... Ya... We ate all of them but like 5 that we ended up giving to a member when we went to her place to eat dinner. It was super delicious as always:) I love eating there:)
     Well that was my week, and it is always just getting better and better. I would like to share the talks I watched on the Mormon movies. Choose this day, by Eyring. Come what may and love it, by Wirthlin. And I heard that the Jeffrey R Holland talk that he gave in Dixie at the college is super good because he relates to the college life... so I would like to look that one  up later...:)
Nichols Elder
Posing like a statue in my new European clothes 
Me & Loveland looking over the beautiful city of Pecs 
Touring a church we found on a hill 
The view from the church on the hill
Here is Christ, and he is looking over Pecs

Week 25

Hey friends and family!
     I have had a super fast last week! I have come to the conclusion that my mission is going by way too fast already. I hope that life does not go this fast when I get home, that might be a problem if it does. So let me start by talking about my week:) Oh and I almost forgot, if any of you would like to email me, write me, or send packages, well,  I am always here to send them to:)
     Wednesday. We taught one of our favorite investigators. She is the one that can speak like perfect English and is a Latin professor. She is super smart. But we taught her about the plan of salvation.
     Going on with the same day. We tabled with our new sign for the first time! Ya I was hoping it would be a big hit, and boy, that was the craziest day of our lives! So we met this super nice British couple who talked about these dreams they had, and how they had seen crafts of some sort! I thought it was kinda cool, but the whole time I was trying to think, now how can I bring them happiness in their life. Well, they were like two peas in a pod, just super happy already! But me and Thomas gave them a brief restoration lesson and gave them a Book of Mormon so they could read it. We also gave them our emails so we can keep in touch. I hope they are doing well and all is ok with them! They were so fun to talk to! We then had 3 young 17 year old girls come to the table. They first asked if we spoke English, then asked if we were American. So of course we said yes to both. Turns out, they attended a school in a city just out of Pécs and they were learning English in school and they thought it would be a great opportunity to practice! So that was cool. We kinda thought they were flirting... hahaha, but it was super fun to talk to them and we invited them to our sport day and young adults night. So I hope we see them soon. Then we had some guy come to the table who said his best friend was the devil... He was drunk. Then we had another drunk guy come and say that he was the security guard for the ancient cemetery here in Pécs. Now he was not completely drunk but he said he would give us a private tour on the 14th of March right before we all leave for 1700 ft. So that will be cool! And he said he does it with all the missionaries. So I was happy to hear that. Then a grandmother aged woman came to table and started like talking about her love for the American people and how she wants to learn English again and how God has blessed her so much in her life. Naturally I brought up our message and why we are here, and so we set up an appointment with her and got her number.
     Thursday. We had a drunk guy come up to the table right off the bat, and he was begging for some money. Thomas was not going to have this today, so he used command form and told the man to leave! Ya.. this is where is got interesting. I was kinda like what is happening? Then the guy grabbed Thomas by the arm and said "you do not treat your elders like that!" Then Loveland got mad and said, " uh... uh... Leave!!!!" in English. So then I cut in and said "hey, I am sorry but we cannot give money. We are missionaries." Then he talked about Christ and how we follow Christ. Then I responded by talking about how Christ never gave money, just helped people. Then the man called us a sect a few times and left. Ya, that was fun. Ha. But that night we held a conversation club after English where people could just come and we talk about our church in a big meeting. Then we watched the restoration film. I love that film. And there was one guy who seemed interested. He kept asking how can I know? How? I took him off in the meeting and talked with him one on one about this, and why I came, and how I have felt. I gave him a book, and I hope he reads. He will be back on Thursday. I hope that goes well.
     Friday. We taught that lady I streeted. Ya, she was chatty. But she finally gave us a chance to speak, and that is when I spoke with more power than I ever have. I was able to quote the first vision for her, and James 1:5 from memory. I was able to bring in the spirit with Thomas' help. We created a good atmosphere. Then she seemed at peace, like it made sense. But then we introduced the Book of Mormon. Ya, we read the promise and she said "well every church has this promise, well every church has truth." That is when I spoke with more authority than ever, and I felt the spirit very strongly. I promised her that this is true. I bore testimony to her, and between me and Thomas, we made it apparent that if she wants to know, then she needs to ask God. So we will see how that went soon I hope. Oh and Friday night is when we started splits. I was with Loveland Elder, aka. I was the senior for a day with the phone and all. Calling the shots...
      Saturday. So Loveland and I held our normal morning routine, and went and did Insanity in the morning with the other Elders like every morning. (We want to be in shape) Then we went to English class. Then we came home and right when I walked through the door to eat lunch, I get a call from a member. Now originally we were going to go tracting for like 5 hours, but the member asked if I and Loveland could come translate for the Colleges(a senior couple) at a meeting in Komló. (like 45 minute bus ride from Pécs) So we went. This is my first time ever translating. I was super nervous. Well, my grammar went down the drain when Elder College wanted to introduce himself, but other than that I think I did ok and everyone left happy and filled with the spirit. I just left with a headache... Hahaha, but then the Colleges took us home with was nice of them I love them to death! They go home in a month too. I hope you all get to meet them eventually!
     Last night we had french toast with the elders, and then we played a few games at their place too. It was a good night, we got to know each other better and cook together in their nice kitchen:)  And then this morning, me and Thomas went for a long run, and kinda half got lost but we ran like 45 minutes and half of it was up hill... But after jumping a fence and running through some dirt and trails, we found our way back to meet up with the sisters for another 30 minute run. Wahoo... And now here I am, in a short sleeve shirt. And yes Mom, in the last couple weeks I have bought two pairs of pants for summer wearing that were on sale... So... that is it! I promise!!!:)

     I have really noticed that I am changing on the mission. I also have noticed the importance of being more Christ like. I want to follow him with all of my heart, and be more and more like him. I have learned, that we do not just need to "follow Christ", but we need to be like him! In every way! I am going to be working on Charity this week and trying to love and care like He did. I hope that I can grow stronger spiritually in this week too. I know that Alma and the sons of Mosiah were strong, are strong, and wrote in the Book of Mormon so we could learn from them today. I know, that when we exercise our faith, we will receive blessings. I know it, I pray for it, and I testify of it. I love you all.
Nichols Elder

After church studying! 
Here is the crew making French toast. Our kitchen is so wimpy compared to theirs! 
This is our District Leader and one of my best friends in the mission now, Elder McCurdy.

Week 24

     So surprise! I was not able to email yesterday because I forgot to mention that tomorrow is transfers. So P day is now today as you can tell. But let me go over the last week. Ok, let us begin:)
     So last Wednesday was one of the coolest days of tracting we have ever been on. So it started off with us taking a wrong bus... So then we had to find a right one and back track a little. Now this was disappointing because we both wanted to be working hard but we could not find our way. When we finally got to the spot where we left off tracting like the couple days earlier.. we realized that that buildings we wanted to do were very far in the distance, so we walked.. It was cold it was raining, and I do not understand why it was such a miserable day. We finally find these big 11 story buildings, and we get let in. We are so excited to start tracting, but everyone in one building said no, or was not home. So we went to the next building, and this is where it gets cool. So we knock and knock on door after door and nothing. But then we get to the 5th floor, and this lady opens the door. Instantly a whiff of amazing cooking comes out and hits our noses. She says "I am cooking right now." We simply sat and nodded our heads as we were dumb founded by her cooking. She then looked at us again and said "come in boys". So we went inside and she showed us how to make a Hungarian dish! Then she fed us, right there on the spot! Turns out she went to England for work a long time ago, so she knows a little English, and she has a mentally handicap 30 year old daughter. They were so nice, and we already feel like she is our Hungarian Mother. We plan to meet with them later this week, and we are going to show her how to make brownies and teach a little about the church. Wahoo!!!
     Now really, that brings us to today for the most part. The other days when we went tabling, I would flier, and flier, and it was hard and not the funnest thing, but I know that it will be worth it in the end:) Yesterday! Wait! We had such a fun time! So we tabled, but then it started to rain, so we decided to make a new fun tabling poster to attract more attention! So we printed off a bunch of pictures from our cameras and made a new poster! Which I will of course send a picture of after this email. Now this morning, the sisters and me and Thomas went on a 10 K run/jog today. It was around a couple of super pretty lakes on dirt trail. I was so in love and I took a lot of pictures of that! I am hoping we can return and go there again. And yes dad, fishing was allowed and I saw somebody catching one while I was there. Hahaha, and it was fun:) I loved it. Now the sad news. So we thought all of us would stay here in Pécs, but Sister Clawson is leaving and going sister training leader in Pest. So the rest of us are staying though. So I am still with Elder Thomas for a solid 4 more weeks! I am loving serving with him too! So that is good:) President asked us if we are having fun, and we said yes of course, and he said he asked because we are getting good numbers. So we work hard, but we also play and have fun:) I love it.

Nichols Elder
I made pigs in a blanket! And guess what?! Its homemade dough! I can cook! 
Here is the new table poster we made. Isn't it way good?! Haha it says " we are happy because we are Mormon" 
This mornings run. I'm not to thrilled hahaha 
The line we run in. I bring up the rear :) 
First view of the lake on our run. So pretty! 
I love this picture!! 
We found a tree
And we found this and climbed it too 

Week 23

Why Hello Utah/people everywhere!!!
     Can I just say, this has got to be one of the most interesting emails I will probably ever write in my mission. So this week has been one of the craziest ever! Not just for me and my mission, but for the older missionaries here as well!! So let me start off with a little bit of crazy fun stories, then I will work my way into the spiritual stuff. Now... Let us begin!

     Last Monday, right after we got done emailing and stuff, we went home and had leftover pancakes(oh man they were good!) hahaha, but ya, then the other Elders called and asked us if we wanted to try and go to the TV tower before our expected haircuts that night! So we said we could sure try. So we called a member here in Pécs and asked what bus would get us up there. We then found the bus and took it. Well turns out, that bus took us a little up, but not all the way, and so we could see the huge TV tower, so we just hiked along trails back in the mountains. Now here is the funny part, none of us came prepared to hike, especially on frozen ice! So that was hard and hilarious at the same time! And it was a pretty warm day, so all you could hear as you walked through the forest was water dripping and it was super loud! (I will send pictures of that hike) After finally getting to the top of this never ending climb, we found out it was closed. But how were we supposed to know! We do not have internet access to check that stuff out! hahaha, so we just ran down the hill home. After getting down the hill, we went to our hair cut! Wahoo! It was much needed, and we got it down by a young girl here in the ward going to school in Budapest to learn this stuff! So it was free and we got nice nice haircuts!!!! I love that family here in Pécs. We played games with them while we were waiting for the others to get haircuts, it was a blast. (P.S. Mom... I got a different looking haircut, a little more European...:) Then we went to an American Diner! It was way funny because we were the only ones that came in the whole restaurant that night and oh my goodness. They played the BeeGees, the Beatles, Eye of the tiger, And old music like that. It was funny to listen to. Then we ordered these monster burgers!!! I will send pics of that too! Ya, there was no way I was going to eat that whole thing!

     Then Tuesday, we went tabling, and like usual, I went with Elder Loveland. It was super neat to street with him though. Because he stops everyone, and that is how I like to street! So we talked to everyone we could. And after freezing for a long time in the cold, we stopped basically the last couple before we got home. And guess what, she was really interested. So we set up with her to meet, and got her phone number. So I will talk about this meeting later;)
     Wednesday, we found some people tracting, and me and Elder Thomas got to know each other tracting! That was super fun and kinda weird. We tracted into this building and it had zero windows!!! Like zero lights, and zero windows. But a super nice elevator!!! So... Ya, we did not like that idea at all... We left. Hahaha, but it was a super good day.

     Thursday, Thomas and I woke up early so we could go to Buda and meet with President for our Interviews. We got there a little early after the 3 hour train ride, and so we decided to go shopping(go figure). And we found a companion item! We found a tie for basically a buck and a half! It was a great deal! So we bought them, and then we went to Gringos Amigos(basically Cafe Rio here in Hungary, started by a member and returned missionaries from America). It was super good and just made me miss Cafe Rio!! Hahaha, but then we went and had our interviews. It was a good interview, and I found out that Next month we are receiving 8 new missionaries, then in May, 18, then in July, 13. Like Wow!! That is a ton of missionaries!!! hahaha. Then on the way home we talked to the people in our little train cab, because of this I heard this older woman say and she turned to her older neighborly friend "they speak English". And Then I said, and we try to speak Hungarian. Then it started!!! We talked in Hungarian for them for 3 hours! Talked about missionaries, talked about the gospel, and the Book of Mormon too! It was a way cool train ride. But man, after that, my head hurt way bad from paying attention! hahaha.
Friday, we got to meet with that lady I streeted with Elder Loveland. She talked non stop for like 35 minutes about good stuff, but non stop!! Then finally, her husband said" let them talk". So then we did, and they completely accepted what we said about the restoration, and she really wanted a Book of Mormon, so of course we gave one to her and we hope to meet with her soon. Her and her husband seem like they have just been searching for this. I pray and hope it goes well.

     Now, let us jump to this morning. We went on a run this morning like every day but Sunday, and we went with the sisters to this beautiful view of Pécs. It was so nice, then we started turning to go back, but the others wanted to continue on the trail to find if it goes down. So we ran, and then we eventually  found ourselves at a gate. And so I just started leading us down the fence because I knew it would open up somewhere where we needed to be. But at the bottom of the fence, there was electrical wire, but it was not on. Or I thought, it wasn't on until I felt my whole right leg jolt with electricity!!! That was fun, hahaha. Then we found our way back. So it was not too bad! Hahaha.
     And here I am. But I am here to say this week, that Alma 17:11, is one of my new favorite scriptures. Be patient. That is what the sons of Mosiah did. And they were blessed. As I worked this week and it seemed like more and more people were rejecting me, I quoted that in my head, and it just got better and easier. I know, that times may get tough, but He is always there to help us. He is our brother, He can save us. He can lift us higher and help us do harder things, and things we thought we could have never done. I saw that, as this week we gave two blessings. Thomas gave both, but I anointed one. And as we laid our hands on this woman who could not move but could only open her eyes, though awkward the stance, we laid our hands on her head. I felt the Spirit. I felt her love, her desire. I pray for her, I pray for her husband. I beg the best will happen for her.

     I miss you all, hope you have a great week! P.s. I am just wearing a short sleeve shirt today, and it is not too cold. But the people here definitely think I am stupid or something hahaha.

Nichols Elder
This is the start of the never-ending hike 
Here is my companion. I'm not sure what he's doing hahaha 
Selfie in my new coat from Pest. And yes, Vivid mode is on. I'm not that tan. 
I gave my camera to McCurdy to take pics. I'm in the middle and Loveland is in the back. He doesn't like to walk on ice hahaha. But we had a fun day. 
So here is the American Diner.  It was so much food, I couldn't eat it all. 
Us tabling. And that's an old church in the background that was really pretty. Our sign says "free English class" and "Mormon Vagyok" which means I am Mormon 
Me and my running buddy Sister Georly. She is Hungarian. 
Me and Pecks! I loved the run, but I loved the rest at the top.