Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Surprise transfer - Better than okay!!

Brooke email - brooke.gertsch@myldsmail.net


Magyarország - jó itt- (Hungary- its good here)
March 15th was a national holiday and everyone wears these.

I must have been getting too comfortable with where I was because this week, we got a call that a sister had to go home early and in 2 days, Evans Nővér and I would have to be in Budapest with all our suitcases and would be going to a new city.  I was so shocked and really sad to leave all of my family and friends in Győr.  But through it all, I prayed to the Lord, telling Him I trusted him and in return, he reassured me that everything is going to be okay - better than ok and I was at peace amid all of the chaos of our surprise transfer. 
Viki, my mother here in hungary.jpg
I love you Johanna!!
Surprise transfer!  On train headed to Budapest
I am now serving in the city of Nyiregyhaza. As part of this transfer call, I am now a Sister Training Leader which means I get to go on splits with Sisters in other cities (Debrecen and Eger) I am so excited to help them and have this opportunity to learn from them!!

I feel so blessed to have been able to serve with Evans Nővér.  We have become so close and have laughed lots and worked hard over the past 4 weeks that we had been companions.  I always get blessed with the BEST companions! I don’t know what I do to deserve them! The pattern just continues because my new companion is Dorney Nővér and it has only been 3 days together and she is already one of my best friends.  We feel like we have known each other for years. It is pretty special.  

new comp, new city, HAPPY AS CAN BE!!!

ÁLDOTT VAGYOK (I am blessed).  Our first day together was full of little miracles.  Here is one of them:

We went tracting our first day together.  We knocked on about 3 doors and Dorney Nővér asked me about why I am serving a mission and it turned into a pretty spiritual discussion about our moments of personal conversion. Now, as I look back at it, having that discussion made my spirit so strong and my confidence and testimony unbreakable.  As people were slamming the doors, I felt strong and I knew the Spirit was with us and those who were ready and open would feel it and want to hear more.  On the last floor, we found Zsanett.  When we told her we were missionaries and wanted to share a message of happiness, she immediately let us in.   We sat down and we had one of the best lessons I have ever experienced.  I think she had muscle dystrophy and life has not been easy for her.  As we started to talk about Heavenly Father and the Book of Mormon she was beaming and accepted all of what we were saying.   We had been led to someone who had been prepared. And I almost cried as she said the closing prayer already asking God if all of this was true and I could see the Holy Ghost touching her and telling her it was. 
We left her apartment and as we were walking out the building, my companion and I just threw our arms around each other.  I have never been so happy in my entire mission.  And it’s only been 3 days in this city!  Change can be hard, but also can be needed and I can feel that we are going to get so much work done here in Nyiregyhaza.  Never been so pumped and motivated!  

Our District went to the Zoo on P-day 

Also - I love the branch here!  We went to a Relief Society activity and then church on Sunday and I already feel so at home.  they are constantly hugging us and smiling and it is easy to say that I am going to like it here!  

The Relief Society Activity was learning to make food look beautiful!!

So yeah, this week was pretty crazy.  And I can’t help but be thankful for the hard weeks because they really make me appreciate the good ones.  And these past few days have been some of the best.  

More to come next week!

Fagyi (ice cream) season is starting!!!

Sok Szeretettel,


Győr, I love you with all my heart

Thursday, March 16, 2017

21st Birthday Surprise & Trusting God and His timing

Brooke’s email:  brooke.gertsch@myldsmail.net

3/6/2107 - 21st Birthday surprise!

Let me just start off by saying that this week had so many ups and downs.  But hey - ilyen az élet! (That’s life!)  It started off with my 21st birthday.  LEGAL - woohoo!  haha seriously means nothing to me.  I feel the exact same.  But I was the luckiest because we had Zone Training in Budapest that day, so I got extra hugs from Sister Szabadkai - I couldn’t be happier!  

Sister Smith made me a birthday cake!

Unfortunately, the morning of my birthday I woke up with the flu that lasted for the rest of the week.  Happy 21st birthday to me!!! My sweet companion made me palacsinta's (hungarian pankcakes) before Budapest also I think I had a fever in this picture Mom haha

But ain’t nobody got time for that.  I had to take a sick day to recover the next day.  But then that night, I had no choice but to decide to feel better because we had dinner planned with one of my favorite families in the ward.  We took the bus out to their house with their son, Bence, and when we get to the house, he tells us to go straight into the kitchen and so we do.  I walk in and the entire Dercsenyi family as well as the Mecseriék, another family in the ward, were all there with sparklers and sang the Happy Birthday song in Hungarian!  They had thrown me a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY!  and let me tell you - I was not expecting it in the slightest!  A birthday I will never forget.  I have such incredible people in my life.  I don’t know how I got so lucky!

So that was one of the ups.  One of the downs, is that because of certain circumstances, we no longer have any progressing investigators.  Not a fun feeling.  So our days are now filled with a whole lot of finding!  But I have an amazing companion and we are both so motivated to find those that are ready to hear about the gospel. 

Just 2 days ago, this old man let us in while tracting.  We were so excited.  He was adorable.  He spent about 15 minutes just showing us different things all over his house.  As we were looking at pictures on his bookshelf, we just so happened to come across a Book of Mormon that he had received many years ago.  So right then and there, we were able to go over the Restoration of the Gospel and touched on the Plan of Salvation because he had just recently lost his wife.  Everything was going so smoothly it almost seemed too good to be true!  Meeting with this bácsi was exactly what I needed as a reminder that there are people out there open to listening to us and gave me so much motivation to go find them.  

FAR SANG! aka Halloween. Yay for being the only ones dressed up!

FUNNY STORY FROM THE BACSI WHO LET US IN -  so halfway through our conversation, Sanyi Bácsi leaves the room to get us something to drink.  He comes back in with a bottle of sparkling water and another bottle full of dark, mysterious liquid.  I asked what it was, and he laughed as he poured us both a glass saying “grape juice” (….aka “wine”).  We told him we don’t drink alcohol and he hands us the glasses anyway.  He was SO insistent that we try “just a little taste” and that we “had to celebrate our new friendship”.  Don’t worry Mom and Dad - you will be proud to know that I firmly declined and did not drink the wine my new friend tried to force me to drink!  I really do feel a lot of potential with him thought, we are just going to go back and teach him the Word of Wisdom, haha.  Gotta love tracting stories!

Best Friends reunite!  Welcome to Hungary Roche Nővér!  Roche Nővér with with me and Mason Nővér in the MTC but she wasn't able to come to Hungary with us due to medical issues.  But she is FINALLY HERE!!! 

Elder Ure and I had matching shirt/tie!

Well thats it for this week!  HAPPY MARCH!

Love you & Miss you so very much!

Sok Szeretettel, 

Gertsch Nővér

**On Pday we explored Gyor a little.  Here are a few pictures of this beautiful city!

3/13/2017 - Trusting in God and His timing

Well, I will be honest when I tell you - this week was a harder one.  We started it off so ready and motivated to find, but then finished with the exact same results.  At the end of each day, it was so hard for me because we had tried our absolute best to find people to teach.  We tracked building after building, talked to so many people on the streets, and kept going and pushing through all the rejection.  Never have I EVER felt so ready to find someone and teach them about the gospel.  All day everyday, I am constantly praying that the next person we talk to will be “the one”.  My faith and trust in the Lord is the strongest it has ever been.  With this little bump in the road, it would be so easy to get upset and mad at this and that people are not being placed right in front of us.  We are giving the Lord our all and feel like it is making no difference whatsoever.  

After a long day of tracting, I confided in my companion with all of my frustration  As we talked, we were instantly comforted when we looked at our situation in a different light.  This entire last week we had the option to stop after the first building...Give up when the 10th person said they were in a hurry. But we didn’t.  (Don’t get me wrong, I still let myself get down inside sometimes.)  But as I said before - I gave Him my all.  I am trying my absolute hardest and I am proving to the Lord how much I love Him and how dedicated I am to His work.  And for that, I am incredibly thankful.  Because as I look back on this week, I can see and I can feel, how hard I tried and I know Heavenly Father sees it too.  

BARBS. realest of homies.

The whole mission is just an 18 or 24 month period to really show Him where your heart is.  There is going to be trial after trial, week after week, of no work, and faith will be tested.  But after the trial of your faith will you then receive your reward.  

The Domjánék, a less active couple that we met with this week

Andi - a less active member we meet with


So now I start a new week, even MORE ready and excited to find those that the Lord has prepared.  Trusting in God and His plan AND His timing is not always the easiest.  But I know that if we do that, He will be with us every step of the way.  Blessing us with strength, patience, comfort, perspective...the list of blessings goes on and on.  

Splits in Szombathely

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Excited to share some stores next week! 

A néni gave me her pantyhose because I wasn’t wearing tights and she was so worried I would freeze…..

Love and miss you all!

Sok szeretettel,

Gertsch Nővér 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Brooke Gertsch Mission Update 2/21 & 2/27

Sorry!  I got behind again!  These are Brooke's last 2 emails!  


Transfers? Here already? 
The talk of the missioon was that the 10-week transfers are really long. But these 10 weeks were so packed with adventures and miracles and if the "long" transfer flew by, I am scared for how quickly these next 8 weeks will pass. But ALWAYS going to try my best to make every single moment count. I apologize for how short this email will be. So many special things happened this week, but with transfers, I am a tad bit frazzled! Forgive me. Next week will be better! and i will be able to send pictures! 
Well, I feel like it was only yesterday that i was doing this, but this morning we recieved our transfer calls....and i get to stay in the beautiful city of Győr! It was such an answer to my prayers. I have made so many connections with the people here and I could feel deep down inside I am not finished here. So motivated to keep finding and helping those the Lord needs me to find and help! Sadly, my sweet companion, Smith Nővér, will be leaving. I leared so much from her and she definitely has one of the biggest hearts. Evans Nővér will be my new companion and I am so excited to serve with her! She is hilarious and plays the ukulele. So I am ready to jam. And work really hard too, haha. 
You know, transfers used to make me so sick. The unknown, the anticipation of the call, the change (and not to mention feelings of inadequacy and wanting a certain thing to happen) attack you all at once. My first few transfer calls- my companions and friends can attest- I was a total mess. So scared. Then the transfer would go better than ever to be expected and in my companion I found a lifelong friend. The Lord always knows exactly what I need. And I know that. I have felt that so many times. this transfer call was a whole lot different. Granted- yes, i did pace around the apartment all morning. But I really felt at peace because I trusted in the Lord. And do now more than ever before. If anything, I have learned that extremely valuable lesson while out here and I know I will be needing that confidence in Him throughout the rest of my life. 
Okay, that is all for this week! I promise the next week will be more detailed and exciting haha. 
I love you all. 
Have a great and wonderful week! 
Sok szeretettel, 
Gertsch Nővér


so we are emailing in this library where i cannot figure out how to upload pictures! i apologize for none this week, going to get something figured out ASAP! 

A special thing happened at transfers this last week. Back i the MTC, Mason and Roche Nővér and I were all companions in a trio. Unfortunately, Roche wasnt able to come out to hungary with us due to health problems. but we remained best friends and emailed every week for the past year. she got better and was given another opportunity to come out! At transfers, Mason Nővér and I practically tackled her ad we had quite the emotioal and glorious reunion. so proud of her. she is such a great example of strength and dedication ad i am excited to have her here in the country! so that was a great way to end the transfer. 

TRANSFER #7. It has only been one week, but it has already been so much fun. for starters- my new companion, Evans Nővér, is incredible. She is such an amazing missionary and makes me laugh all day every day. always get blessed with the best. 

Hungary has this holiday called "farsang" which is kind of like halloween in February. we went as cats ad the ward threw a party and we ate a whole bunch of homemade donuts ad got to sped time with my favorite people. it was super funny (well actually awkward..) it was a costume party, yet the only ones that actually dressed up was my companion and I. haha. so funy. it really was though. and the next day at church, everyone was calling us the "macskák" and i think we will be forever known as the cats. cool. 

This week we met with oe of our progressing investigators, Tibor. He was actually progressing so much the past couple of weeks. even came to church! when i brought Evans Nővér over to meet him, he seemed super depressed again ad it had seemed like all of the progress we had been making with him had disappeared. It was so hard for me. but as we were in the lesson, i all of a sudden had a glimpse of how Heavenly Father feels with us. none of us are perfect and no matter how far we get, sometimes we still fall. sometimes we still take a step back. the amount of patience He has is impossible for us to comprehend. But i am so incredibly thankful for his grace and mercy and do not know where i would be without it. so as hard as it was for me, i learned a lesson myself and gained a new perspective. we talked about prayer and went back to the basics. it was the that i asked him to pray (keep in mind he does NOT like praying in front of people) ad he offered one of the most heart-felt and sincere prayers I have ever heard. As he finished, i was beaming and had tears in my eyes because I was so proud of him! He let down his wall and the spirit was able to touch all of us- Now i just hope and pray that he continues to access Heavenly Father through this simple gift. Prayer really is a gift. 

Well, that is all for this week! But i am positive that this transfer will be the best one yet. 
Készen állok. 

Have a wonderful week! 
Sok szeretettel, 
Gertsch Nővér 

Psalms 27:14