Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Final Days in Hungary and Homecoming


Hello Family and Loved Ones! 

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you are ready to go for 2016! Because I am! I honestly never thought I would actually see 2016! Just because I came on the mission in 2014, and 2016 seemed so far away! It was quite the celebration over here in Hungary. I hope that you all had fun, and that you all stayed safe! 

It was so good to see you guys last week! :) I can’t believe that only in a short 6 weeks I will actually be home with all of you and be able to see and talk to you in person! It feels so surreal to me that it sometimes doesn't feel real that I am actually coming home! Every once in a while it hits me though! 

This last week has been really cold! But, as I have been informed.. Nothing like it is back in Utah! It just feels a little bit colder than it is here because of the humidity. It cuts you right to the bone! and well.. when you have to be outside in it every day.. after a few hours of tracking outside it gets to ya! But it still hasn’t snowed! I miss it! 

This week was a pretty normal week for us. Monday and Tuesday we just were finding.. and meeting with our investigators.. then on Wednesday we went on splits with the kis pest zone leaders.. I spit with elder cannon. It was a good split. then we met with our recent convert Matyás! and drum roll please........... MATYÁS is officially engaged to Luca! ( president Szabadkai daughter! ) they are planning to get married in May. It’s really exciting:) Building eternal relationships over here! Midas-well just call us Heavenly Hitch 1 and 2! ha That was probably the most eventful thing this week! We are all really excited. Then on Wednesday night there was a new year eve party for the youth here in Buda.. and I was able to stop in and see some of my győr friends including alaudin! one of the kids that we found while being in győr. It was really rewarding to see how far they have come from the very first moment I saw them standing outside the fence of the győr branch house watching us play soccer. ha Its true that out of small and simple things ( acts, feelings, changes, etc ) great things come to pass. And usually it takes time. 

On Thursday night we were able to be at another party here in Buda with the young single adults. That was really fun. There I was able to be with more of my győr, szeged, and kis pest friends. They had tons of games.. music. foosball. The senior couples here in Buda ran the music and provided the food. They had to stay here till 1 in the morning poor things. ha We had to return to our houses at the regular time.. ( I was super tired anyway )  so we weren’t allowed to see the fireworks over the duna.. but funny thing happened.. that night I had a dream and I dreamed about them! so that’s the same right? But we did here fireworks going off all night! it felt like we were sleeping in a war zone! Then on Friday we had district meeting and then we met with klara and her family for the first time. They took a little bit of time to warm up to us but then we became good friends. We had to be on our A game that day. and it was successful :) 

only 6 weeks left and for us.. those 6 weeks will be busy. I guess that’s a plus being AP at the end of your mission. But I still have days where they are super long. ha sadly. But all is well here in Buda:) 

Here is my quote for you this week: 

" The most important work that you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes. " 

never forget what matters most. This quote also connotes the importance of missionary work. This " work within the walls of your homes " falls under the definition of MISSIONARY WORK. and missionary work is the greatest work that we can possibly do here on earth. For it is God’s work and His glory! 

Have a great first week of 2016! Don’t forget to set new resolutions to come closer to Christ throughout this next year! 

I love you all! 

Watson Elder 

Dear family and Loved Ones, 

I enjoyed everyone's emails this week and I am so happy that everything is going well! :) Bri and Ash you have prayers coming your way. :)  But This whole experience reminded me of something that actually just yesterday we taught to our investigator who is really close to baptism. We talked of faith along with many other things. But we taught her that where Doubt.. Discouragement.. and Fear is.... Faith cannot be. But where faith is.. Doubt and discouragement, and fear cannot exist. That they are complete opposites of each other. Not saying that any of us have fear or doubt of discouragement in our hearts.. but my experience tells me that most of us do at one point or another, especially when trails beset us. I also learned.. that if we fear.. or have fears in our hearts.. It’s not of God. But I have also learned.. that if we have fears, whatever they may be.. , Maybe we don’t know God as well enough as we should. Because if we would perfectly know God.. then we wouldn't need to fear because we would perfectly realize.. that GOD.. the creator of all things.. including ourselves.. This perfect being who we call our Heavenly Father.. is perfectly watching over us. His hand is more in our lives than we even know. He is closer to us that we even know. And he will protect us and watch over us if we put our faith in him and fear not. He has said countless times in the scriptures to fear not.. and believe in him. and to come unto him so that he can make our burdens light. He has also said through his prophets that: 

 But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.


Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.


And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.


And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

These are only a few of the MANY examples where God has told us that he would help us and comfort us and strengthen us.. IF we put our faith and trust in Him. He is in our lives. He takes care of us. and everything will work out! EVERYTHING! and on a side note.. fear is something that is MAN MADE. SELF MADE. we create it. in our minds. It’s something that could NEVER EVER EVER come to pass. It’s not real! We make it real. So. what I’m trying to say.. is that to fear.. is the most pointless activity we can engage ourselves into.  instead let us choose to believe and have faith. Because there is special peace that we only receive when we totally rely on the mercies.. and the merits.. and the power of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. 

 This week for us was another busy one. we went on two splits, we visited szeged for the last time before I come home, we visited kecskemét.  It was kind of weird to see people for the last time! ha Insane. Time is truly flying! We had New missionary training this week and I saw some of my best missionary friends who are out here right now for the presumably last time! It makes me really excited to come home:) ha But this week was really good! busy, but good. We taught some great trainings to the missionaries about obedience and "the shield of Fatih" :) We had a fun object lesson to go with it as well! It was fun. :)  

Only 5 weeks left! pretty crazy!  :) Im just finishing strong out here and preparing to come back home!:) 

Have a great week this week and be safe!

I love you all! 

Watson Elder 

Dear Family and Loved ones, 

I was really glad to hear that everyone is doing much better this week. And I was also Really happy that bro is out of the hospital and is back at home!:) 

This week was a wonderful.. busy week in the mission field. Full of lessons.. finding miracles.. life lessons, trials, and the most random things you can possibly imagine! The weather was as if spring was on the brink. But then tonight the storm clouds just came in, it dropped a few degrees.. and now it’s snowing again. haha. Almost. 

Outside of splits this week with the Miskolc Zone leaders, Elder Evans and Mortensen, ( Evans was the student body council pres. at bear river for 2014 and we had a lot of funny jokes to share with each other and he apologized for all the bad stuff that he yelled at me during the years that I played. ha It was pretty funny. We also had to deal with a couple of emergency transfers, several other meetings, and unexpected requests. Outside of these things we had a phenomenal  week that boosted our work out of the roof. We found a lot of new investigators and people are popping up left and right wanting to meet with us. 

This week I would like to share with you 1 miracle that happened to me and Elder Mortensen as we conducted splits here in Budapest. Through this experience I have learned so much about how the spirit works and I have also used it to teach others how the spirit works. 

On Thursday morning we left our apartment at 11 o clock after studies and preparation for the day. Elder Mortensen and I stood on the corner of the street and decided to take a left that lead us up the to the hills of Buda. We only took 3 steps when a very clear thought came into my mind that said " go towards Széll Kálman Tér. ( which was in the opp. direction.) " It was accompanied with a freeing of peace in the heart that one cannot perfectly describe but only can experience.  I told elder Mortenson that instead we should go towards this Tér. We turn directions and we get to the other corner and cross the street. As we are walking on the sidewalk along next to these 4 story buildings that lead to this tér.... at the very first building I get another one of these very clear.. clean... as if it was written in my head.. sentences that came into my head. It said "This is the house, there is someone that is in need of you two."  And this time with this one accompanied a warm feeling in the heart. To myself after receiving this I thought " wait, we are supposed to go to széll kálman tér. That’s what the first one said. " So I kind of shrugged it off and continued to walk. about 3 minutes later another one came into my head as clear as ever and said " Go back, someone is in need of you two in that building." with the same feeling of warmth in the heart. As we stood at the lamp waiting to turn green so that we could cross into the Tér I told my companion that instead it would be better if we tract all of these houses on this street. ( he probably was like " elder watson! make up your mind! " ha but he didn’t really say that. -- So we started with that first house that was closest to us. We talked to a nice man who accepted a book of Mormon. We went to the next house.. nothing. The next... nothing. The next.. nothing. The next. everyone just slammed the door. Then.. we finally reached back to that first house where this prompting, inspiration and revelation came into my mind. This one was interesting because there was a gate at the front.. then the front door. So we had to door bell in and ask someone to let us into the building. The first person didn’t answer.. the second one though did. It was an older lady and she let us in. We caught her on the stair way and I introduced myself as "Watson Elder, a Mormon missionary who has brought a very special message about Jesus Christ." and I asked her if she had a couple minutes. She said that it didn’t really interest her but to try the rest of the people. We tried everyone and got a couple people that was interested. But, as we arrived to the last door this 27 year old man named Richard answered the door. He was a short.. buff little man. He just opened the door and smiled. I introduced ourselves again and he immediately invited us into his house. After we declared ourselves as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ and that we had a special message about Jesus Christ.. he paused us and explained that just recently he had had a really terrible, eye-opening experience and that he was in the process of changing his life for the very first time. He explained that he has been trying to get off drugs and that he wanted a better life. He said that he had just started to read out of the bible for the first time and he, for the first time in his life, learned of Jesus Christ, and that he has been waiting for something to happen. He then explained how interesting it was that we showed up the exact time that we did because he usually works at that time every day.. but for some reason just happened to be home ( because he had ACCIDENTALLY slept in.). He then told us that he took this as a sign that Jesus Christ really does live. --- we went on and told him about the book of Mormon and testified to him that Jesus truly does live. And that the fact that we met this morning wasn't an accident but that God had lead us directly to him. -- He believed it and accepted to learn more. Next week we will be teaching him again. 

This whole month I have been studying the topic of personal revelation and obedience. This example that just happened to me is a perfect example of how we, most of the time, receive revelation from the spirit. But most of us are too blind to see, or too deaf to hear the voice of the spirit for one reason or another. ( loud music, un-virtuous thoughts,  word of wisdom problems, other sins, or just a lack of faith and desire.)  --- Most of the time we won’t receive everything at once.. just like I didn’t in this example. But instead like Nephi " I was led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand  the things which I should do."  in other words, " go left, go right, stop. don’t do that, do this, wait a little bit, have faith, write a letter to your grandma, don’t forget to say your prayers or read your scriptures! Go to church. clean up your language, make your bed, obey your parents, etc." These "words" that we "hear" from the still small voice are actually like pure intelligence flowing through your mind accompanied with a warm, peaceful feeling in the heart. and instead of "hearing." it’s more.. "feeling". The more one man gets familiar with recognizing and then following these revelations from the spirit, the more powerful he will feel them. But if ignored.. the spirit will withdraw. As baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ.. God has given us this gift. The call it the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He promised that it could be with you always.. if you are worthy.. humble.. and sensitive to the promptings that it gives you. It is also called the "comforter" To comfort in times of trial or sorrow. I met with an 88 year old man, who has been a member of the church for 38 years today. After 58 years together.. his wife died and he deeply misses her it pains his soul every day. I’ve never seen an old man cry like this one did today. We taught him about this spirit.. and he paused us and said.. " I KNOW.. I know..  Every morning.. I get home.. ( the mornings are the worst ) and I come out here in the front room and I kneel down.. and I pray. I cry every morning because I feel this warm.. powerful feeling that gives me goose bumps, every morning. I know that she is here and watching and is with me. I know that the spirit is real and that we will live after this life."  --- With him, I want you all to know that it is real. The spirit is real. And it is there. All we need to do is ask, seek, and pay attention. If you haven’t felt it yet and you are like most youth and say "what are they talking about?!??! holy ghost?! I’ve never felt anything like it. is it real? how do I feel it?" 1. Pray to God and ask him to help you recognize it. 2. study it. read the talk I just gave you. read the scriptures more. pray more. be still more and " know that" he is God. Listen. practice. Avoid evil places. Avoid hard, swearing music. don’t sit on the computer or game or phone or TV all day.. that will dual your spiritual senses.  3. Go out and look for opportunities to serve and teach others about the gospel. Go to the temple. You will find that as you go about planting righteousness.. that the spirit will give you feelings of joy and warmth in your heart. You will also find that the Lord, through the spirit, will lead you to those who are in need. 4. Be patient. Over time you will become better and better at recognizing those "written sentences" that come into your mind that will lead you, guide you, and protect you. And eventually it will lead you step by step.. back to your heavenly father. 5. Have faith. Don’t doubt. don’t fear. 

If you are like me. and you ask " how can I feel it more?" .. ask yourselves how many time s a day do you stop. pause... and pray? how many times do you turn and look to god in your hearts? How often do we read from the scriptures? How often do we serve others? How often do we go to the temple? -- One of the biggest tricks satan will play on you in this modern day is to help you think that " I’m just too busy... I just have too many things to do... I just have too many kids... I just have too many duties." or that " just skipping scripture study today because I have to.. iron the clothes... or something practical like that. These are all.. along with several more. big lies. The greatest thing that you need to study is the gospel and the scriptures. It takes priority over chemistry, math, health, history, business.. etc.  For the Iron rod represents the word of God that leads us to the tree of life. If we let loose our grip or completely let go.. WE WILL BE LOST and walk down forbidden paths. Don’t let yourself do that. IF you have.. grab that rod before it’s too late. 

Christ Lives. He personally guides this church. He sends his spirit.. along with us.. to gather his elect! open your mouths and share the gospel! 

I love you all! 

Watson Elder

Dear Family and Loved Ones, 

This week in Budapest the weather dropped again below freezing, but still there was about sunny skies every day. Nothing too special happened this week other than I had my last zone conference! President traveled to Miskolc and we traveled to Győr. As I was sitting there in the Győr chapel it dawned on my half way through the training that this is my last zone training. Actually this is my last training at all! There will not be any more zone conferences.. no more missionary leadership trainings.. no more New missionary trainings.. because president told me that I am going to be spending my last week in Hungary somewhere else other than Buda.. Im kind of sad about that, but its oké :) And then at the end of each zone training we usually have the departing missionaries bare their testimonies for the last time in-front of everyone. And it came to the end and the Zone Leaders told me to come up and bare my testimony because I was going home and I about fell over! ha I didn’t wake up that day thinking "I’m going to share my departing testimony today!" It didn’t even cross my mind. Usually the "departing testimony" time is a big thing for missionaries. something that you all look forward to.. but at the beginning you never think it’s going to be your turn. ha Well.. as fast as it hit me.. it left. I got up there.. I had tons of things to say but I only said a few. And as I was sitting down I realized that my very first testimony in a zone training or conference was here in győr when I was a new missionary. And it was weird to think that I just shared my last one! and that it was also in Győr! One big circle! ha -- That night I was able to visit with the wounderliék.. we went to my favorite place in Győr, ate some good food. Then we spent the night at the Zone Leaders house.. which was my very first apartment here in Hungary. That was also weird. ha - Time really does move! 

On Monday we had our normal meetings with president and we spent the day planning and doing administrative things.  Tuesday we spent meeting with a lot of investigators.. We weren’t able to meet with Richard this week, because of how much he worked, but he is coming to church this Sunday. I will also be speaking in church this Sunday. :) it’s like.. my.. 7th.. or 8th time giving a talk in Hungarian during sacrament meeting. Till be easier for me to give a talk in Hungarian than it will be in English! ha  btw. apparently my homecoming talk date is Feb. 28th. Hope that all of you can make it:) Wednesday was the same.. and then Thursday we went to győr.. we came back Friday. Saturday is today and we woke up earlier this morning and went and played basketball with a member family who lives about 45 min. drive outside of Budapest. It was really fun. I was able to teach their 14 year old boy, who loves basketball, some moves and stuff:)  Then we came home, showered, ate, now we are here in the mission home emailing. Tonight we have a lesson with a new investigator over skype.. and he actually lives in Holland. The Holland missionaries got in contact with us, because they don’t speak Hungarian, and they need us to teach him. So that will be a fun experience. Hopefully the connection is good :) 

Kind-of a funny story from the week was when the office couple was trying to figure out how they were going to get rid of the old office shredder, because they got a new one for the office... and we happened to be there and suggested "Just put it out on the street. The homeless people or the gypsies people will surly take it..... in-fact we bet you that if you put it out-front.. it will be gone within 30 min.  We bet for Sister Simkins cinnamon rolls.. and WON! 30 min... it was GONE! ha just disappeared! ha Welcome to Budapest, Hungary. 

my one thought for you this week is from D&C 58 

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins -- behold, he will confess them and forsake them. "

wow! I forgot to tell you something. This week we had a very first.. world wide.. missionary broadcast from Salt Lake City and we received council and guidance from the apostles and the seventy. The theme was that we "Preach repentance, and baptize converts" It was a great meeting and we all learned a lot. They emphasized that we need to bare our testimonies often of the reality that Christ lives. And that when we teach and give challenges.. that we also promise blessings. They re-stated how we are the only ones in the whole earth who can do what we are doing right now. And how Missionary Work is the greatest work that anyone can do while they are here on earth. 

My short testimony to you today is that BECAUSE OF Jesus Christ... the sins, and the consequences of the sins (feelings of guilt, etc), that we have committed in days that are past.. the colored spots on our souls.. the mistakes, the slips, the trips, and the dives into the muddy water that has covered us in dirt... CAN be washed away. In Hungarian they use the word Törölni. Which means to erase. In the Hungarian scriptures God promises those who repent that their sins shall be erased. Isn’t that amazing? Im not sure if we have all noticed, or experienced the saving power of the atonement in our daily lives.. but we will all need to someday in order for us to be cleansed and purified so that we can live with God and our loved ones again. And I can tell you that the moment that you kneel and pray with a "real intent"  with "godly sorrow" and a determination to never commit past sins again.. IN THAT VERY MOMENT.. or soon after, after you have proven yourselves through righteous works, the Sin is erased and the effects of the sin is lifted. And that is ONLY because of the Atonement. And with the saving power of the atonement comes the Enabling power. That power will fill your souls to feed your fire and determination to do, to think, and to plant good in your lives and in the lives of others. It will also give you power to resist temptation and evil. -- I know that Christ lives. HE LIVES and is waiting for us to turn to him so that he can endow us with power. The power is real. You will feel it as you diligently seek, earnestly ask, and humbly work works of righteousness.

Have a great week

I love you all! 

Watson Elder 

Dear Family and Loved Ones, 

Can you believe it?! 19 days! When I first started my mission I felt as if I had an endless road of days and hours and well.. doors to tract. ha. But as the end of the tunnel approaches my eyes finally begin to see the light and the truth of that the days, hours, and doors that I have to tract here in Hungary slowly, but quickly come to an end. It honestly hasn't taken full effect yet. Sometimes I still feel as if I was never going to leave. But at times here and there it really dawns on me that I really am leaving so soon. Looking back on all my experiences that I have experienced, all the miracles, trials, good times, hard times, times of joy, times of sorrow, the quick times and the slow times.... I truly just become grateful to Heavenly Father for this wonderful opportunity to share the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. To grow faster and more than I ever have before, to learn a new language, new culture, to live in Europe for 2 years! To make many new friends, to truly realize, in some fashion, what the word sacrifice means, to learn what family means, and to realize how blessed I was in my old live to be surrounded with so many amazing people who gave me everything I needed and more. But I am especially grateful for the knowledge that I have gained of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s been a miracle to me to get to know the spirit better than I ever have before. To understand better how it works, what it sounds like, and how to recognize, and act on its promptings. It’s been wonderful to have the calling and authority to represent Jesus Christ in bringing and teaching His gospel to all the world. I have learned lessons of love, leadership, patience, diligence, faith, and obedience that I will never forget but that will stick with me for all of my life. And I want to thank all of you, especially my parents for their loving, inspired support and help. Without them I wouldn't be here. neither would I know the things that I know.

A quick wrap up of my was 100% normal.. to be honest. It was so normal and routine that I almost have no idea what to write. On the mission you learn to enjoy the small and simple things of life. Like.. for example. meal times. They are so very sacred.  Or.. personal study.. where each morning we get to read and learn out of the scriptures for an hour! yes! a full hour!!!! Or each night when you get to sit in your bed and take out your journal and write about your experiences. Im so grateful that I started my journal writing when I was a freshman in high school. Looking back throughout just these two years I have learned so much about myself.. and I have learned and have received strength from my past. And let me tell ya what.. you really learn to enjoy your time to be outside and to workout. ha. -- so, for my week. I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the simple things that consist of missionary work. yes, even including knocking on hundreds of doors daily. ha 

This week I would like to point a few things out that I learned this last week as I read out of the book of Nephi. I would suggest all of you to read 1 Nephi 13 and 14. At this point in the book of Nephi, Nephi has received a vision about what it’s going to be like in the last days. He saw the church of God and he also saw the great and abominable church that whose founder is the devil. And no. it’s not the catholic church. It reads:

 And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.
  And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.
 And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.
 And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.
And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.
We learn that The great and Abominable church is everything that is not the church of God. or, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Which we believe, and I know that its true, that it is the one and only true church of Jesus Christ. That he reigns, guides, and directs it personally. That he has called prophets, apostles, seventies, stake presidents, bishops to represent him and to minister unto his "sheep". That he has also called missionaries, to represent him to declare repentance unto everything.. and declaring that ONLY by coming unto Christ and being baptized in his name in HIS church.. and being obedient to the principles, and ordinances of the gospel ( including baptism, confirmation, Priesthood for men, and all temple ordinances ) until the day that they die, is the only way they can receive eternal life with the Father and the Son. May we be aware of the desires of our own hearts. Where are they laid? Where should they be laid? If we are to translate what Nephi said in modern day English it would be maybe something like this, that the people of the "world" or of this "great and abominable church" whose founder is the devil.. their hearts are so set upon money, wealth, position, the nicest, best, most popular clothing, Newest phones or devices,  the next best thing. video games, computers, etc. and then the last one that Nephi said.. harlots. or in other words.. pornography, lusts, players, people who are obsessed with and only search for and seek to fulfill their physical desires.  Alma strongly preached against this and said to his son: and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.
I know that I live in Budapest.. but I am assuming that the Lust of the World.. is growing ever quickly in America  as it is here. and we.. must especially be careful that we avoid allll of these things that Nephi foresaw.. We must have God at our first priority and we must resist temptation. for it is satans tool to "  which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity."  
Get it? addictions, chains, tricks to drag us all down to where he is..  It WILL LITERALLY do this to us if we are not careful. instead do and ask for what Nephi saw about the saints of God in this same vision:
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.
Keep your covenants. If you haven’t made any yet with him. Make them. They only bring you power into your life to overcome all things that one day we might live with God and Christ again. I promise you that this is true. I have felt it in my life. I can promise you that you truly will feel power and the glory of God.
 I love all of you! See you in 19 days! 
 Watson Elder  

Dear Family and Loved Ones,

Guys! I only have about one week left! How crazy is that?! My next pday will be next Monday (not Saturday)  Feb. 15. I will most  likelyy be spending my last week either in Pest or Kis Pest. But by the time you find out for sure I will be saying „see you on Thursday!” J This last week in Buda has been one for remembering. Today we spent the day with the Szabadkai Family up in the mountains of Hungary near Visegrad. There we explored the mountains and saw many old castles along with spectacular look out points. Hungary truly is an amazing, beautiful country that I am going to miss very much. I can only thank my Heavenly Father for the opportunity he gave me of serving the people of Hungary. When I opened my call letter back in 2013 I didn’t even know that Hungary existed, let alone become a country that I would fall in love with. Hungary has been some sort of a „Refiners Fire” in  my life. It has caused me to go through things I never thought I would go through. There was never a period of time during my time here in Hungary when there was not a trial that I had to overcome and conquer. It has taught me a lot about the virtues of patience, diligence, temperance, perseverance,  endurance, and obedience. It has taught me how to reach out to people more and express love. It has taught me the value of family, friends and loved ones in my life. It has taught me a completely new language! It has taught me another way of living. It has taught me how to push through the hard times with faith in Jesus Christ and in God. It has taught me more of how God works with his children here on the earth. It has taught me a lot about personal revelation, the priesthood, the organization of the church, and many many more things. But most of all I would have to say that it has taught me more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The saving power and the enabling power of the atonement. I will tell you with all the energy of my heart that I would not have been able to do the things that I did here without God, Christ and the Atonement. These past couple weeks I have been trying really hard to reflect on everything that has happened over these 2 years and I have had the hardest time putting it all together and let alone getting enough words to describe all the experiences that I have been through. I don’t know if I will ever get the exact, perfect words to describe everything that has happened here. But hopefully with the help of the spirit I will be able to put together some words so that I will be able to share my experiences with others in hope of strengthen them and helping them.
All I am able to say now though is that these 2 years have been a miracle to me in my life. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my loved ones back at home, especially my parents, brothers, and Hannah. I love you guys and am so excited to see you!
If I could say one more word of encouragement to all who usually read my letters it would be this:
know that the Lord, our savior lives.  He lives. He personally directs his church upon the earth today through his ordained prophet, President Thomas. S. Monson.  I know that God loves and watches over his children. Although he might allow trials and hard times to come upon us... for our benefit and growth... he never leaves us alone. He is there right by our side. We do not comprehend all things that God comprehends. For his ways are higher than our ways. And His view is higher and greater than our view. No matter how faithful someone is in their life... it will not prevent them of going through trials or „dark hours” in their life. As Paul said to the Hebrews : „For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain for their salvation perfect through sufferings.”  He wants to see how we react. So that he may know what he can do with us. So that, proved faithful, he may trust us and put us at higher callings and higher responsibilities. Which brings me to my next word of encouragement: KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. There is safety and peace in keeping the commandments. As the words of Mosiah go: „And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual. And if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true for the Lord God has spoken it.” All people search for peace and happiness in this life. Some of us are searching in the wrong places. We are searching too much in the things of the world. Things that will eventually „rust and thieves will break in and steal”. We are commanded instead to first search the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.. And then all things will be added unto us. And to instead layup treasures in heaven. I will bare my witness that true and lasting happiness is founded in keeping the commandments of God and following our savior and Lord Jesus Christ. All other forms of worldly happiness are to end in this life and only result in regret and pain. Now is our time to prepare to meet God. We live in the last days. The signs of the times have been and are being fulfilled. May we always remember that the greatest characteristic of love is and always will be LOYALTY. May we always grasp onto the iron rod and never let go no matter how thick the darkness becomes.. For we will all have our own hours of darkness. To that the lord says: „These things I have spoken to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”  With the power of Jesus Christ and his atonement, we too may overcome all things and be heirs of the Kingdom of God. The lord will make us able to overcome. It’s our job to put forth the effort. Salvation does come to those that wait. Instead it comes to those who „ask, seek, and knock”. DO.

I am excited to see all of you in just a few days!

Sok Szeretettel,

Watson Elder 

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