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Archive for the ‘April 2013’ Category

Tuesday, April 30 2013:  Wow, it seems this month went by fast.  At 9:00 this morning Gergo picked me up and we went to two stores looking for a new vacuum cleaner for the apartment.  I had mentioned to him at FHE that our little canister vacuum motor burned up and I wondered where the best place to get a new one would be.  We went to an outlet store he knew of and an electronics store with fair prices and good products.  I bought a new little bag-less canister with washable filters.  It was nice of him to go with me.

Well, today is the day we go to Geza’s for lunch to eat “fish soup”.  At 1:00 we met Elder Greaves and Bracken at the apartment building where Geza’s lives.  We were there until 3:00 eating a five course meal.  The first pot contained the fish and I mean all of the fish except for maybe the head and guts.  It was just cut up in chunks, skin and bones, and cooked in a broth with seasonings.  I wasn’t sure Win was going to even taste it when the scales and skin came up out of the broth in the serving spoon.  And then I wasn’t sure I was going to keep mine down when Elder Greaves kept eating anything that was in his bowl, slime, skin, scales and all.  At least it was hot and we knew it was thoroughly cooked.  The next course was cold fruit soup which we had tasted before and it is great.  We were full after a couple of bowls of fruit soup and thought it was time for the cookies that Win had brought.  But nem (no), Geza then brought out a bowl of mashed potatoes and a bowl of pork stew.  There was also this little side bowl of cucumber salad,  cucumbers floating in some liquid.  And if that wasn’t enough, when we had eaten some of those dishes, he finished the meal off with a plate of meatloaf.  Oh, and at the very end, we finally got some water and fruit juice to drink.  We all left feeling a bit sick to our stomachs, mostly from overeating.  Geza is a great soul and he loves the missionaries.  It was another memorable meal by Geza.

Win took a little nap before going to the church at 5:00 for sewing class.  We left the church at 7:00 and came home for our language class on Skype.  Win asked if I wanted a tuna fish sandwich for dinner and I said thanks, but I will just have some milk an cereal.

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Monday, April 29 2013:  The river has gone down to 73.5 since I last checked!  On my way back from walking, I stopped at the little pastry shop and got a loaf of bread for FHE tonight.  I don’t know if I mentioned before that when you buy bread, the shop will slice it for you.  In the grocery stores there is a slicing machine you can run your loaf through.  Some loaves come sliced in the bag but for the most part the fresh bread is not sliced.  We both studied for a couple of hours today and then Win got started cooking a big pot of fagioli soup and corn bread muffins.  Then she took a short nap this afternoon while I worked on the YSA financial report for April.  At 6:00 the YSA’s started arriving.  Eight in all came tonight including our investigator who how now has a baptismal date in late May!  The group loved the soup and it was good Win had me picked up some bread because it took the the muffins and the bread to fill them up.  The dessert was Wins chocolate chip cookie sticks and they all want to learn to make them for an upcoming activity.  The game was called “blow the candle out, while you drink a glass of water”.  I would call it “burn yourself and smoke up the house while others watch”.

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Sunday, April 28 2103:  Today we had the equivalent of Stake Conference except we are not in a Stake so we had a Multi Branch Conference presided over by the Mission President.  It was a long day because 26 of us boarded a nice bus at 9:00 and rode a little over two hours to the city of Dunaújvaros.  We arrived early so we ate our lunch and just hung out until the local Branch, which was having their regular Sunday meetings, finished at noon and vacated the building.  The conference started at 1:00 with an hour long meeting for all the sisters and a Priesthood meeting for the men.  There was a break after those two meetings and the general session went from 2:30 to 4:30.  Our bus boarded at 5:00 and we got back to the apartment at 7:30 PM.  We weren’t looking forward to the trip but it actually wasn’t too bad.  There were 150 in attendance at the conference which we were told was very good.  It was like a reunion for the members and the missionaries from the different Branches.  We took a group photo of all the missionaries who attended.  Win liked the view out the window of the bus and we did see a new part of the countryside for about half the trip.  It reminded me of the temple trips we used to take to Idaho Falls.  There was a group who sang hymns for a while and there were a lot of treats being passed up and down the aisle.  Win and I passed the time enjoying the scenery, snacking and looking for wildlife.

Wildlife sightings:  54 deer, 22 pheasants, 13 rabbits, 34 cranes.

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Saturday, April 27 2013:  Our internet has been down for three days so I have some catching up to do.

I was eating breakfast about 8:00 when the Elders called and asked if I could give them a ride to pick up Gaza at 9:00 and then go to a lady’s house who needed some help in her yard.   They also wondered if I could give them a ride later in the day to pick up their car.  I said I had agreed to help a Branch member move but if they could be ready in 30 minutes I could take them early so I would have time to get back to the church by 9:00.  That worked out ok and I was on time to go with three other Branch members to help a member move from the country into the city.  It turned out that it was a quick move, only one van and a small trailer contained all they had.  So, about 10:00 I called the Elders and asked if they could use any help with their service project.  They said sure so I left Win at the apartment and went out to where I had dropped them off earlier.  When I arrived the two Elders and Gaza had just given up on trying to remove a small stump.  They had been hacking away at it with a little hatchet and it was just the wrong tool.  I looked around and saw an old pickaxe and started in on the root of the stump.  About 15 minutes latter we had the stump out and then began to clean up a couple of large piles of tree branches and shrub trimmings.  About noon we finished and the lady served us lunch.  She brought out a large bowl of tomato and cabbage soup that looked ok and then an even larger bowl of noodles with ricotta cheese and chunks of pig fat.  The soup was good but cold and cold soup just is not right.  The noodles and cheese were also cold and not bad but I could not eat one of the pieces of fat.  We were about to leave when a sister in the Branch rode up on her bike with a fish in a bucket for Gaza.  It was a carp about 12 or 14 inches in length.  She then wanted us to see her garden so we followed her for three or four blocks to about a half acre garden plot that was impressive.   She loaded us up with some onions, rhubarb and a bouquet of lilacs.  The Elders and I dropped off Gaza and his fish at his apartment and then went to show Win our bounty of gifts from the garden.  Win loved the flowers and told the Elders she would make a rhubarb pie.  The Elders had a snack at our place and then we headed out to get their car.

Yesterday, the Elders had gone about 20 minutes out of town to a large farm for a program with a man who has been an investigator for three years.  He has brought 4 people into the Church but does not feel he is ready yet.  Anyway, the dirt road leading to his farm is so rough and rocky that I’m not sure I would take Wins jeep over it let alone these little mission cars we are driving.  When the Elders went over the road they hit a rock that put a hole in the oil pan they lost all the oil.  Miraculously it was not until they stopped in the driveway of the farm house that all the oil spilled out on the ground.  They left the car there overnight and the farmer was going to get it welded by a friend but the welder was not available on Saturday.  When we got there, the framer had purchased some gas tank sealant and was in the process of sealing the hole in the pan.  Of course he took us into his house and sat us down to eat while he went back out to finish with the repair.  We graciously had a plate of rice and chicken stew so as not to offend.  The sealant hardened in a few minutes and we added about 4 quarts of oil.  The Elders started the car and the seal held.  I followed them back to their place and then went home.  When I got home I saw that I had lost a hub cap.

We needed some groceries for next week’s activities so I showered and suited up.  After dinner we studied some and went for a short walk at dusk.  My hands are sore from all the chopping I did but if was fun to do some manual labor outside.  Gaza is going to have us all over for lunch next week to eat the carp.  Yum, can’t wait.

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Friday, April 26 2013:  I went for a quick walk after breakfast because we had District Meeting here in Szeged at 10:00.  The river has gone down just a little to 75.2.  Win made a couple of magic pies with whipped cream this morning to serve to the Elders since we ate all the pound cake last night.  The District Meeting was good as usual.  We talked about our goals and each shared some thoughts again about a scripture hero.  The training was on understanding what an investigator must feel to receive personal revelation in the conversion process.  At noon we all went to the food court at the mall for KFC.  The fries and a 7 UP tasted especially good.  After lunch we took two of the Elders to the train station and then went and bought a new pair of dress shoes for Win.

At 3:00 we had an hour Skype session with our language specialist.  Then we rested for an hour before heading back to the church at 6:00 to help set up for the YSA dinner.  (Win typing here) The dinner plate pictured below consisted of large meatballs which were stuffed with a ricotta cheese and bacon mixture. There were two side dishes.  One was baked, savory potato wedges.  The other side  dish was a very spicy dish from India.  It also consisted of potatoes mixed with peas, onions, and tomatoes. It was stew like.   Then we were served an authentic, traditional Hungarian dessert.  It is called, ‘Bird Milk’.   It is similar to the French dish served in America called ‘Floating Islands’ .  It has a vanilla cream base in your bowl topped with floating dollops of slightly cooked meringue .   It has the flavor of rice pudding.   Alongside the bowl of ‘Bird Milk’, the girls served a delicate chocolate cake bar that had been dusted with powdered sugar.

Following the dinner everyone pitched in and we cleaned the building.

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Thursday, April 25 2013:  No change in the river, holding at 75.6.  I am surprised so far how calm it is in the mornings, no breeze at all.  I’m sure it will vary but it’s sure nice right now.  Win doesn’t always like to walk for an hour like I do so today she went for a stroll around the neighborhood when I got back.  We studied language and then Win made a chocolate chip cake for the Institute class tonight.  We ate an early dinner before going to the church at 4:45 for Win’s primary presidency meeting.  There were 5 students at our English class including one of our our YSA sisters and an investigator from Bekescsaba.  Win had the class do a readers theater of the “Three Billy Goats Gruff”.  The Institute class started at 7:00 and it kept growing in numbers as people drifted in.  About 7:30 the Elders walked in, so Win sent me home to get the poppy seed pound cake because she was afraid the chocolate chip cake was not going to be enough.  With 10 YSA’s and the two Elders, it didn’t take long for the two cakes to get eaten.  Before we left one of the male investigators gave Win a hug and said in broken English, “Thank you for the cake, it brightened my day”.

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Wednesday, April 24 2013:  The river has gone down a little to 75.6.  We took a longer way back from our walk and took a picture of the new meetinghouse construction.  They appear to be doing a nice job but the workers sure move slow.  A lot of chiefs standing around and only a couple of Indians working.  I took the car to a coin operated car wash after our walk.  I’m not sure when the last time it may have been washed.  I was able to get a guy to help me with how many coins I should use because I couldn’t read the instructions.  I told him I only needed a short wash for such a small car.  He pointed to two coins in my hand and said, “If you are fast, I think you can do it”.  It was just the right amount (400Ft or $1.72).  At 1:30 this afternoon, it was 75 degrees outside.  We both studied, Win did some ironing and baked a couple of poppy seed pound cakes.

At 4:30 we headed to the church to set up for the sewing class.  Four sisters came and worked on the starter projects for hand and machine sewing.  I was going to study my language manual but the Elders had a program (investigator lesson) and asked me to sit in with them.  They schedule programs at the church whenever possible.  It was my first program in Hungary and I am grateful for that opportunity.  At 6:30 we went grocery shopping for two and one half hours in the same store with two of the YSA sisters who are cooking dinner for the group on Friday.  We have to pay for the food and get a special receipt (Számla) or we can’t get reimbursed from the stake YSA funds.  That has to be a new world record for time spent in one store to buy $22.58 worth of food.

New construction progress

New construction progress

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