Brooke’s contact info:
Sister Brooke Gertsch1122 BudapestHajnoczy Jozsef utca 14Hungary
First off, again, I just want to thank all of you and especially those that reach out and email me each week. I have never felt so strong & capable in my life and I know it is because of you. So, from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank you! Last P-day gave me such an emotional & spiritual boost that was really needed! You guys are the very best and I love love love you!!!
|Brooke is 2-0 !!!|
So this week - THIRD week in Hungary. Almost a month! Crazy.
I celebrated my birthday yesterday! Hard day being away from my other half & best friend on our 20th birthday, but I know we have plenty more in the future to look forward to! But the card & package were delivered on Friday and I DID wait to open it until my birthday!!! THANK YOU FAM!!! I am so excited to sleep with my pillow (hand sewn by Courtney :) ) & wear my rain boots. We bought macaroons, my incredible comp. made me a cute little breakfast, and I got to spend my day with the amazing church members and elders in our district. Overall, a really different, but special birthday!
One I will never forget! I still feel 15, haha…
ALMA 37:36 - “Yea and cry unto God for all thy support: yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest, let it be in the Lord; let thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.”
I shared this scripture in a lesson we had this week, hoping it would touch the person’s heart and inspire an increase of faith in Christ, but I was so surprised when they read it and MY heart was so full- having a sure, absolute knowledge that I have someone to run to; that knows what the heartache of homesickness feels like and has experienced rejection - far worse rejection then I have experienced - and really knows me. I have felt as I have tried my very best to put my focus on Christ and His work, my eyes are opened to the little tender mercies each day, I am a whole lot happier, and I know that comes from the Spirit. As the cheesy missionary that I am, I challenge you guys to try to apply this scripture to your lives and i can promise you will see and feel a difference!
This week, I prayed lots for a happy week and I got one! It was full of crazy adventures and experiences I wouldn’t have had any other place than on my mission here in Hungary. I won’t go into detail about each story (for now) but this week, I had my first real Hungarian meal, was literally stuffed with food, but don’t regret it one bit!
We have started tracking Csaladihaz’s, or family neighborhoods, and are meeting a lot of interesting people! We met a devil worshipper that creeped me out so bad, but I can laugh about it now!
|Tracting in Csaladihaz's|
I made a friend with a cat that we found 2 days in a row that would follow us down the street.
|Brooke makes friends everywhere she goes!|
And I got SO many smiles this week! Once Gillian Nover, my companion, was telling me a funny story and I was laughing and as I did, this old man I made eye contact and was taken aback and did the cutest shy smile! It was so cute - I wish I could have taken a picture! I have decided to smile at babies and little kids every single time and always get a smile or wave back. I have decided that it was silly of me to get so upset over the whole smiling thing. People have hard lives and a hard and difficult past and are not used to interactions with strangers. I am learning that once I let go of my own worries and continue smiling, I can look for opportunities to find those that need a little something to brighten their day. I am trying the whole “looking outward instead of inward” thing and can truly attest that it’s a life-changer! Even if a smile isn’t given in return, do I regret smiling? Haha... NEVER!!! I feel like Buddy the Elf here, it’s hilarious. :)
I tend to be an expectation-setter with pretty much everything in my life. I couldn’t really set any expectations for the mission because it was all so unknown. All I can say was this was/is nothing like I expected! At first, that frustrated me. I had no control of anything around me and that’s never happened to me before! But after a few weeks of being here, it is not even a question that this was the right decision for me! I LOVE HUNGARY, and I love my Heavenly Father more than anything and will do all he needs me to do here on my mission (& afterwards too). Putting all my trust in Him has not been easy for me, but now that I have, my attitude and perspective has changed completely. and I know that with it only being a few weeks, I’ve just started to scratch the surface! Excited for the future!
|Branch House in Szeged, Hungary|
I cannot say it ENOUGH how much I love you all! My heart is nothing but full at the thought of home. I hope all is well with you and send you all my love! Have an incredible week & smile at a stranger for me this week!!! :)
Brooke :) - Gertsch Nover
and lastly - a BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT to:
- Grandma Jeanne - Happy Birthday to you and Thank you for the card! I love you!!!
- Happy Birthday to my babies - Ireland (cannot believe she is 1!!!) & Scarlett!!
- of course - Alison Wendy! I hope you partied hard for me!
- and to my big brother Scotty! You are getting to be an old man… haha!
Sending you all extra birthday love!!! XOXOXO
FOOD I ATE THIS WEEK:
- a GOURMET grilled cheese: smoked cheese in a croissant… Mom you would die, you have to come try one… haha!!!
- sushi! Well… sort of. It was little vegetables rolled in rice & seaweed and then some salmon. Almost. Might want to just wait for California sushi now that I think of it!