Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Lord never fails me. Never. THIS WEEKS EMAIL UPDATE!! 1/30/17 - 2/6/17

Brooke’s contact info:

1122 Budapest
Hajnóczy József utca 14

^In Budapest!!

Well this week was full of a whole bunch of miracles.  As small as they may seem, they were really big in my book.  My perspective had become a little clouded, but the Lord blessed me with many moments that reminded me of who I am and why I’m here.  And for that, I am so incredibly thankful.  He strengthens me when I am weak and whenever I push myself to serve Him with all my might, the Lord never fails me. Never.


From past experiences, I had grown to kind of (really) dislike tracting after 7:30pm.  Here in Hungary, people are going to bed by then and are very upset with us for wanting to share a message with them.  I have never been yelled at and kicked out buildings more than when we decide to tract late.  So when Monday evening came around, I will admit - I did not have a bounce in my step as we walked up to the tall 10-story building.  But I did have a fervent prayer in my heart and promised Heavenly Father that I would try my hardest to share the gospel and to be brave.  We got through about 20 people over the intercom, but nothing.  The next guy said he was not interested, but let us into the building.  Going inside was GOOD because we were freezing, but it was also scary because rejection to the face is never easy.  But I went into the building feeling nothing but peace.  I knew I was doing what He needed me to do and I figured out I was right just a few minutes later.  We went up to the neighbor of the guy that let us in and she was not interested. As the neighbor closed the door, the man that let us in opened his, and kindly asked us what it was we wanted to talk about?  Then for the next 30 minutes, we talked about Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation.  As we were having this pleasant conversation with this man (at 8:00 at night) I had a prayer of thanks in my heart.  I put myself out there and put the Lord’s work before my fears and He led me to someone that was ready to listen to what we had to share.

^ This is one of the buildings we tracted....most don’t look like this fyi haha

Another quick miracle I wanted to share was one we found after a little trial of our faith.  We had a day of nothing to do, so we went finding…. for hours!  I was getting a little down that we had talked to so many people, but nothing.  Not one.  But, we kept going, kept pushing on and as we were waking back to our apartment for dinner, we passed this old bácsi and I wished him a “jó estét” (good evening).  He stopped right there and exclaimed “hey, I know who you are!  You’re the mormons!  He was absolutely adorable.  He began asking all of these deep questions and I cold tell right away he was a logical type of person and struggled to believe in something he can’t see.  We talked about prayer and the Holy Ghost, but he still seemed a little frustrated with it all.  Then he started to say he is a bad person and is not going to heaven.  Broke my heart!  Then he looked at me and asked what kind of a person I thought he was.  Without hesitation, I emailed and simply said, “You are a child of God and He loves you so much!”  Instead of fighting back, his eyes welled up and with a soft smile asked, “yeah?” and I firmly answered back, “yeah.”  At 88 years old, this bácsi seemed to think it was too late for him.  So it was an amazing feeling to be able to tell him that it’s never too late and that God is waiting for each of His children - no matter the age - to turn to Him and accept and live the gospel.

^This is one of our investigators, Tibor! 

^This is my inspiration- Fehér Kati. a member here. she is the sweetest person i have ever met and took us out to eat and to visit a bunch of less actives all over Győr!

Those were just two of the many experiences I have had this week.  All in all, I love being a missionary and I love sharing this message of hope and love.  I have never been so sure of the truth of this gospel and I am so thankful for my Savior that is with me every single step of the way.

^haha we found a pair of smashed glasses on the street and they were perfect for our little snowman friend!

I hope you all have a great week and know the I love and miss you all so much!

Sok Szeretettel,

Gertsch Nővér 

"God's love encompasses us completely!" 1/116/17 - 1/23/17

Brooke's contact info:

Ice skating on P-day

Quote for the week:
“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely.  Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly.  Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.” - Dieter F Uchtdorf 

I have been taught my whole life that I am a Child of God and that my Heavenly Father loves me.  I have known that forever now.  Out here on the mission, I have not only been reminded of that, but have sincerely FELT it - personally and for others around me.  He knows and loves each and every one of His children and it’s a love that we will never be able to fully understand.  I am so thankful for the testimony I have received of this and for the opportunity I have to help the Hungarian people find comfort and safety in God’s love.

Well, this week was a busy one!  We were in Budapest for Zone Training and then Szombathely for splits.  After zone training, Smith Nővér and I accidentally got on the wrong train and found ourselves lost in the middle of nowhere at 9:00pm.  Oh those mission adventures!  So glad I have the most amazing and patient companion that can laugh with me as we try to use Hungarian transportation!  And for President Szabadkai who came to the rescue and helped us get home to Győr, hehe… If I can get around this country, I feel like I can pretty much do anything!

Getting Lost!! 

One of my favorite moments from the week was in a lesson with one of the less-actives here.  We read and talked about one of my FAVORITE conference talks from President Uchtdorf called “He will place you on His shoulders and carry you home”.  It talks about the parable of the lost sheep and how we are all worthy of rescue.  This woman needed to hear this message at that moment and it was lead by the Spirit and I can’t even put into words how much I love being a missionary!  And the best feeling was seeing her walk into the church building on Sunday after not attending for quite some time.  Sometimes all it takes is a little reminder that the Lord is there and loves you.  And just as it said in the talk, “Just as the Good Shepherd finds His lost sheep, if you will only lift up your heart to the Savior, He will find you.  He will rescue you.  He will lift you up and place you on His shoulders.  sHe will carry you home.” 
I know this statement is true.  I have had my own moment of feeling lost and alone.  But with the power of prayer, the weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I am reminded of who I am and what it is I’m doing here.  I have felt the Lord’s joy and happiness when one of His sheep makes the brave decision to come back to church.  There is going to come a time in everyone’s lives where we are going to have to turn to the Good Shepherd.  But I promise He will save us.  This was a little more spiritual letter, but I am a missionary and that’s all I know.  

Church Building in Győr

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  Sending my love!

Sok Szeretettel, 

Gertsch Nővér 

Joy of Service - Brooke Gertsch Update 1/23/17 - 1/30/17

Brooke's contact info:

Woah, where did January go?  There have been many days that have felt really long.  But in the grand scheme of things, they all pass extremely fast.  For one, I cannot comprehend that in a short week and a half, I will be hitting my 14 months on my mission and one year in Hungary!  Time is a precious thing and I continue to try to enjoy every single minute.
Making töltött káposzta with the Elders and Johanna on P-day! Töltött káposzta is stuffed cabbage. sooooo good!!

At the beginning the year, a new focus was added on for our mission, service.  President Szabadkai challenged all of us to find opportunities to serve in the local community.  Here in Győr, we have been blessed with the chance to serve in a "idősek otthong" or old folk’s home, as well as a home for adults with special needs.  In all honesty, these experiences have been some of my most favorite on my mission.  Getting to see others in such a simple way of just being a friend to talk to makes me want to continue to go back again and again.  I could see the light of Christ in their eyes when they smiled and felt the Holy Ghost even when we were just talking about this neni’s garden.  

This week, we visited the special needs facility with the Elders and the AP’s.  We spent the whole evening with those sweet souls dancing and singing, talking and telling stories.  By the end, my cheeks hurt from smiling for hours straight.  Although I was technically there to serve them, it was really them that helped me to see the beauty of life and they lifted my spirit.  And the most touching thing happened at the end of the evening.  As we were leaving, they all ran into their rooms and grabbed their favorite stuffed animals and gave them to us to take home.  Most definitely shed a few tears.  I love those people and am so thankful for the opportunity I had to spend time with them.  I recommend making time to somehow serve in the community.  I promise you won’t regret it!

^^These are some of the stuffed animals they gave us at the special needs facility.

There also was Missionary broadcast this week from Mission Headquarters, and some of the General Authorities spoke to us.  I will be honest with you...For the past few weeks I have become so focused on numbers and with time flying so fast, I don’t want to leave not having done everything that I could have!  It had been weighing me down for a while and my view on things had become extremely blurry.  But within a couple of minutes of watching the broadcast it all became clear again and the words from the Apostles were exactly what I needed to hear.  So comforting.  And a good reminder to me that this is the Lord’s work, not mine.  and I, nor anybody else around me, decides what is success and what is not.  There were a few changes made in the schedule and with the work - all of which I feel and know were revelation from above!  The entire time, my heart was filled with so much love and appreciation for the leaders of our church.  They are, without a doubt, inspired of God and we are so blessed to have the to help guide us in today’s world.

^^Standing on a frozen lake! I wasn’t kidding when I said it is freezing here!

Cant believe how fast this week went, and I know this one will be just as fast!  More to come next week!

Sending all my love, 

Gertsch Nővér