Monday, September 26, 2016

Brooke Gertsch Mission Update - Fall has arrived in Hungary!!

Brooke’s Contact info:

Week of 9/19 - 9/25

Fall has finally arrived and I am happy as can be! No More Sweating!!!  This is my favorite weather and I just feel like being outside all day, instead of taking 5 showers or sitting gin the fridge, haha!  So we survived the summer, officially!

This week we met with one of my favorite members in the branch, Rózi néni.  She is seriously one of the sweetest people I have ever met and has the strongest testimony.  She is such an example to me of what a great missionary is.  She is always helping the missionaries and sharing the gospel with others.  If I can become half the missionary she is, I will be happy.  

My companion and I are working harder on talking to everyone!  My uncle sent me a very impactful email last week that really helped me to see things in a different light.  It was full of some really great reminders:

- “If you want to be a good missionary, you have to do what good missionaries do.  It’s that simple.”

-  “You have to approach missionary work understanding that the Lord’s sheep hear his voice”

- “Expect miracles… He will blow your mind.”

So thank you Uncle Aaron for the reminders.  I have the greatest support system that I get to call FAMILY and words of advice and motivation come at the perfect time!

The Sister Training Leaders came to Duna for splits and it was so much fun to be training and to have my trainer there, too.  It was like a 3-generation little party.  Going on splits with them is always so beneficial because they are so talented and skilled and I always end splits with them ready to go out and try new things!

Another really cool thing I have been experiencing has actually been during personal study.  After being out here for over 9 months, a lot of things just become routine.  In the morning I would say a quick prayer and then read the Book of Mormon.   It was always good because, of course, it’s the Book of Mormon.  But this week, my prayers became a lot more real and sincere and I asked Heavenly Father to help me get more out of my personal reading and study time.  Without a doubt, every morning since I have made that change, I read verses that I really needed to read and feel the Spirit so much stronger.  It’s such a great way to start off the morning.  

Out here on the mission, I have heard a saying and I’m not sure who said it, but it is so true!  It’s something like… “when we want to talk with Heavenly Father, we pray to Him.  But when He wants to talk with us, He speaks through the scriptures.”  So it is so important that we really focus and open our hearts while reading them so we can fully receive what it is He is trying to tell us, because He ALWAYS wants to talk to us!  

So that was my little spiritual thought for the week, haha!

I love you all so very much!  You are always in my thoughts and prayers.  Stay safe and happy!

Sok Szeretettel,

Gertsch Nővér

Monday, September 19, 2016

Brooke Gertsch Mission Update - SECOND CHANCES

Brooke’s contact info -

September 19, 2016

THIS WEEK - where to begin!  After several weeks of having my faith tried, we began to find people to teach.  I have such a testimony that when we push through the hard times and continue with faith, that we will be blessed and rewarded.  There was a surprise mini-transfer this week and Brantley Nővér was moved to another city!  It was very hard and sad to see her leave, but I know that I will be seeing her again very soon and she is going to do great in her new city!  So much love for her.  There always has to be change or else we wouldn’t grow!  So now I am on my own training, but it has already been a positive thing.

^^saying good bye to Brantley Nővér

On Tuesday, we were tracting a 10-story building and we got to the LAST level and the LAST door and Gábor answered the door.  He let us share our message and took a Book of Mormon.  Turns out the missionaries had knocked on his door in the past, and he just did not understand what they wanted and he did not have a lot of time then.  So we were his second chance!  WE are going to start meeting with him so I am extremely excited to see where it goes.  
The next day while tracting, a sweet Néni named Julianna let us in.  She had ALSO met with the missionaries back in the 90’s and had the old version of the Book of Mormon translated into Hungarian so we were able to give her the new and improved (a better translation into Hungarian) version. 

With a miracle each day,  I have gotten back into the habit of leaving the apartment each morning expecting a miracle.  Having the hope and faith that if I go out, willing to talk to everyone and anyone, that Heavenly Father is going to put people in my path.  Not only were the people we found given a second chance to hear the gospel, but I feel like I was too.  I feel myself refocused and re-energized and it was very much-needed reminder of what I am doing here and why.  

^^ making lots of friends in Hungary!

ANOTHER growing experience was on Sunday evening.  After dinner, we went out on the streets to talk to some people.  We ended up talking to this guy sitting on a bench  As soon as we started talking, he could tell we were Americans so he started speaking english.  I have to admit - talking to people about the gospel in english is such an interesting experience now for me!  Anyway, so I asked about his religious beliefs and he went on to tell us that he thinks that the commandments are rules that help people to live in harmony but nothing more.  That there is no one person that could have created every single thing.  “God is impossible”, he said.  He continued to tell us how he respects Jesus Christ and that he was a good man, but just a man.  And no matter how many times we would try to share what we believed and our testimonies, he basically just told us we were wrong.  But through it all, I have to say that I am so thankful to have met that Atheist man.  Although I know that I probably did not change his views or opinions, that experience strengthened MY testimony immensely.  When he said that Christ was “just a man” - I wanted to go climb a mountain and let everyone know the truth - that Christ is our Savior and the Son of God.  When he talked about no life after death, I felt so sad for him.  All of the knowledge that I am gaining here on my mission has made me the happiest I have ever been.  And I would be so lost with out it.  

^^ Hooper Nővér and I both love Chocolate Milk!!

Free agency is one of the hardest things for me to accept since being here on a mission.  But it is such an example of how much God loves us and it’s so much that He has given us that opportunity to choose for ourselves.  And I am going to keep doing my best to share with people how much Heavenly Father loves them!

^^ Watching a lightning storm! 

I hope all is well!  I am thinking about and praying for you always!

Sok szeretettel, 

Gertsch Nővér

Monday, September 12, 2016

Gotta figure this whole patience thing out!

Brooke’s contact info -

These past few weeks I have learned a whole lot about myself, with the work feeling almost non-existent.  I feel that I have become such a different person and I can’t say that I like it too much!  It is just so easy to get down and negative and distracted. Having patience with others and their free agency is a daily lesson I have to learn.  But something I have noticed is that, as a missionary, I am able to recognize my weaknesses earlier on and am given strength to make a change.  So, thats kind of what I spent this week doing.  And it was small, little changes that are making all the difference.  Sometimes it is laughing a little more or saying some extra prayers.  NO COMPLAINING has been a big one for me and when I don’t actually say something that is bothering me, it’s so much easier to be more positive. 

Lunch in Budapest with the Sister Training Leaders at the Home of the Mission President and his wife.  

 On that note - a few highlights from this week!

  • I have been really sick the past few weeks.  This week I got a blessing and was healed within 24 hours.  The church is true!  I think I ate a total of 200 cough drops, haha!
  • WE had to go to Székesfehérvar (another city) to get Hooper Novér’s residency card and it was super pretty and I just love this country!
  • watching my new missionary growing and progressing is such an amazing feeling.  It’s like I am a proud momma! she impresses me every day.  
  • The Kápolnásiék family!!!  They are basically my family here in Hungary.  We went over to their house for lunch and, as you can see from the picture, they are so much fun.  Joking around and just spending time with them reminds me of my family.  I love it so much.  I love them so much!

I really love where I am right now in life.  Although hard times continue to come, I am learning and growing so much and wouldn’t change anything.  I have such faith and hope that there is someone out there that I can help.  Just gotta figure out the whole patience thing… haha!!!

Have a great week!

Sok szeretettel,

Gertsch Novér

Brooke says she has found her future home (pic below)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Brooke Gertsch Mission Update!

I feel like I am so lame for last week's letter and now this week's as well! But it has been an interesting one. Here's what happened:


My cold turned into a sinus infection! And then a couple days later my cough turned into bronchitis haha. So I have been doing a whole lot of sleeping and eating soup and some more sleeping. I have been blessed with two amazing nurses that make me feel better  and have been serving me every day. Blessed with the best. I will admit it has been a pretty hard week because I have hated staying inside all day and feel like I am wasting time by resting! I guess I need to reread my email from last week about not running faster than you have the strength! Overall, being sick has made me realize a couple of pretty important things: 

-I should have payed attention to what medicine my mom used to give me so I would know which one is best haha. Oh and I have the greatest mom ever and will never take her for granted ever. Being sick away from her has been a real "adult" experience for me!!! 

-How much I really love missionary work. We still try to go out and tract if i am able to, but I have no voice so I just have to stand there and smile. Throwback to my first transfer, let me tell you!!! I have never wanted to go out and talk to everybody more in my mission. This has been a huge step in my mission and I think I needed this little bump in the road to really appreciate what I am doing here! Can't wait to get back out there. 


This week I needed a hug and got so many from SO many of my favorite people!!! We had new missionary training in Budapest and then came back on Sunday, and we got to watch the rededication of the Freiberg Temple in Germany! Such an amazing experience and had a reunion with lots of friends, both missionaries and some members from Szeged! 

"Andi from Szeged - I may or may not have cried when she hugged me...."

Best Friends from the MTC!

Adams Nővér

I wish I had a scripture or some spiritual thought to end this letter, but I will leave a little testimony because those are always good. I know for a fact that there are going to be hard times that we will have to face in life. I have felt and continue to feel homesick, actual physical sickness, face hard rejection, and am really just trying to figure out what this crazy thing we call life is even about. I would not be where I am today if it werent for the confidence and knowledge I have that I have a Heavenly Father that knows me, personally, better than I know myself. And that goes for every one of His children. He wants us to be the absolute happiest in life, because He loves us, and has given us so many tools and opportunities to be just that. As hard times come, because they always will, it is so important to hold on to our faith in Christ and His living atonement and there is no need to fear. We are not alone! Even when you are up all night coughing :) Never alone. 

I love you all SO much and appreciate all the love and support you constantly give me! 
Sending you all my love, 
Gertsch Nővér