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Archive for the ‘April 2014’ Category

Wednesday, April 30 2014:  Win was baking a batch of ambrosia muffins first thing so I headed out on a walk.   She went out later to check on the stork nests.  The female birds are definitely sitting on eggs now and the males are usually not very far away standing guard.  At 10:30 we went to the branch house for district meeting.  The zone leaders from Szeged joined us since yesterday they were on splits with Elders B & O.  Our training was on how the Gospel defines the message and the purpose or the “what” and “why” of our missionary work.  Near the end of our meeting a violent thunder storm rolled in and dumped hail and rain by the buckets and overflowed the rain gutters.  We waited a while to go to lunch but it wasn’t letting up so the zone leaders headed back to Szeged in there car.  Elder L & S had a program so we walked in the rain with with Elder B & O to Fek for lunch.  After that, Win and I went to the post office, bank and three stores for groceries and mothers day gifts for this weekend.  After dinner it was back to the church for sewing class.  The class project was to make a padded hanger for a mothers day gift.  Win made a pattern a few days ago and used that to help the sisters visualize the desired result.  There were three sisters who came but in three hours time only one hanger was completed.  Too many distractions but great social time for the ladies.

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Tuesday, April 29 2014:  Last night we got a Skype call from V, one of our YSA group in Szeged.  She got her mission call letter in the mail yesterday and wanted us to come be with her when she opened it today at 6:00 PM.  We emailed the Mission President and got permission to go.  This morning we both overdressed for our walk and Win had to take her jacket off because it was too warm.  It rained again during the night so there were more snails and slugs on the the path.  Below is a picture that confirms Wins little finger is bigger than a slug.

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Win gave me a hair cut after our walk and did a better job than what I have paid others for here so now there is one more thing added to her list.  This afternoon she did laundry and ironing and I went to the branch house to help the Elders with a request from one of the members.  Before leaving Bekescsaba we went to a store to get a gift to take to V.  The drive was beautiful but very few animals because many of the fields have crops growing now.  We arrived about 5:00 so we stopped at Burger King for a menu meal.  When we pulled into the parking lot behind the branch house a couple of the YSA’s yelled out to us from the upstairs kitchen window.  Inside there was a good crowd gathered to support V on this exciting occasion.  It was so good to see members of the branch and our old YSA group.  We sang a hymn and then V asked if I would say an opening prayer.  There was a laptop set up so that other friends could hear and see on Skype as she opened the envelope.  The entire group cheered and clapped as she read her call to the Washington Spokane Mission!  What a great blessing for this young lady, who speaks good English, and for the mission she will report to in September.  There were refreshments afterwards and we had a good visit before heading back about 7:30.  On the way home we talked about what a wonderful adventure she will have and how it will affect the rest of her life.

Wildlife sightings:  1 deer, 1 rabbit,  2 pheasants, 2 cranes, 2 storks.

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Monday, April 28 2014:  A few weeks ago Elders B & O came in contact with a married couple.  Married couples are actually kind of rare here.  They have an 8 year old daughter and are very devout Lutherans.  The Elders have taught this couple about the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration of the Gospel.  Most of the discussions have just resulted in the couple pointing out to the Elders how their religion differs from ours but the wife has had some good questions.  Then last week the Elders said they have just one more program with the couple and asked if I would like to go with them.  As much as I have wanted to meet this couple, I told them that if they only have one more chance to meet then take Sister Hulbert if the couple will permit it.  The couple agreed so at 9:00 this morning I drove Win and the Elders to the apartment building where the young family lives.  An hour later I picked them up and they reported to me what a good program and wonderful spirit there was in the home.  The wife is questioning a few things about her own religion but is very strong in her commitment to it.   The Elders were invited back in a week to help the husband with his English so, we shall see.  About 2:30 the Elders called and wanted a ride to the golf course so I figured I might as well play with them.  I do feel a little guilty playing golf but we do have permission and it is their P-day.  We don’t seem to be scoring any better but the group lost fewer balls today.   The man who owns the course really is kind to let us borrow clubs and allow the five of us to play together.  But then there is no one else there so why not.  While we were gone, Win finished baking brownies for tonight and worked on lessons for English class and Sunday.  At 6:00 we went to the building for FHE.  There were 14 total and 6 female investigators.  R gave the lesson and then the group had treats before playing board games and cards.

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Sunday, April 27 2014:  When I arrived at the church at 9:00 R & B were out front picking up litter in front of the building.  The Elders all came a little while later.  There were only 21 total at sacrament meeting with 3 young lady investigators.  Elder S spoke first and then our RS president concluded.  During Elders S’s talk, young B made his weekly slow walk from the back of the room up to see Win.  She put out her hand and lifted him onto her lap.  He had a single shot nerf gun in his hand and Win took it from him so he could eat the treats from her bag.  Then Win, thinking it was a squirt gun, pulls the trigger and fires the dart onto the chapel floor.  Pretty much everyone about cracked up except his mother, who thought B had done it.  Win taught the YM/YW class and then walked home to finish preparing lunch.  Elders L & S had a program after church with the twin sisters and set a baptismal date for D.  At 1:30 Elders B & O came to our apartment with B for lunch.  Win served pepperidge chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.  For dessert she had made apple sauce cookies.  B brought us some home made makos (poppy seed) jelly roll.  After lunch the Elders shared a message about the Holy Ghost and we talked about her baptism this coming Saturday.  This is her last week as an investigator.  We are so very happy and proud of her for her decision.

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Saturday, April 26 2014:  We slept in a little and so didn’t have time for a walk.  At 10:00 we drove to the branch house so Win could help R’s brother E with his studies.  She also did some sewing while they did homework.  I was organizing the branch membership files when a sister called and asked if she could meet with me.  I told her I was at the branch house and available if that was a good time for her.  She came to the church on her bike within a few minutes.  She assumed that a couple of the Elders would be there to translate and said she would come back later.  I didn’t want her to have to leave so I called two of the Elders but got no answer.  Just as I was about to call the other Elders, they walked in the door to get the stuff they use to go tabling.  Elder B helped me for several minutes with the sisters concerns.  Before she left we gave her a blessing.  She is a wonderful lady with great faith but like most people here, life can be very challenging.  It was noon then and time for R & E to go so Win and I locked up and went to the big Tesco for groceries.  It is just like going to a crowded Walmart on Saturday and we always say we aren’t doing that again but then end up there anyway.  We came home,  had lunch and then Win started cooking for our Sunday dinner.  We are having two of the Elders and B, who is getting baptized next week, over for a meal after church.  I walked to the bakery and got our favorite rolls and then we cleaned the apartment.  The Elders and R wanted to play basketball at 5:00 but they could not find an investigator to join us so we had to cancel.  At 7:00 we went to the church to clean the building.  M and R and the Elders helped and we were done in about 40 minutes.  Below is a picture I took on the way to the bakery shop.

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Friday, April 25 2014:  We walked to the market early to get a couple of bags of walnuts and stopped at a craft store on the way back.  It has been another mostly cloudy day with rain off and on.  Win did a lot of sewing on the sample for next weeks sewing class project and baked a batch of cinnamon rolls for tonight.  I got quite a bit done on combining the old Szeged Area Book with our new one for Bekescsaba.  If a couple replaces us they will need to have it updated.  At 4:00 I went to the branch so the building would be open for a piano tuner.  He came about 4:30 but only stayed for a few minutes and then came back about 5:30.  He worked on the piano until 7:00 so we had our 6:00 Institute class in one of the classrooms.  By the end of the class we had a total of 14 in attendance.   At the conclusion, Win served everyone a  cinnamon roll.  Elder L said he would pay her to make them each week and Elder B said that it was the best thing he had eaten in a month.  We came home and I ate some dinner that Win had saved for me and then we called my sister to wish her a happy birthday.  It was great to talk with her and get caught up on the family.  Below is a picture of the big Lutheran Church I took the other night.

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Thursday, April 24 2014:  It was cloudy this morning but a perfect temperature for walking.  I went out earlier than Win as she was busy preparing Mothers Day gifts to send home.  She came back from her walk excited to tell me about a chance encounter with a lady from English class (see cultural moment).  After lunch we went to the post office and a fabric store.  Win needed batting for next weeks sewing class project.  We came home and she went right to work on the pattern she will use.   This afternoon I went tracting for the first time with Elder B & O.  So now I am a real missionary!  Usually the missionaries tract the five and ten story  buildings here in Hungary because they can knock on dozens of doors in each building.   However, in the middle of the day, very few people are home in the flats.  We went tracting in a residential area of older single family homes.  There were actually a lot of people home but we did not get any appointments or get let into any houses.  The Elders had quite a few conversations which were kind of fun.  One lonely old lady just wanted to talk so the Elders visited with her out on the sidewalk for several minutes.  When we started to leave she looked at me and asked the Elders if I ever speak.  They told her I only know a little bit of the language.  At 6:00 we went to English class.  Win taught the advanced class and I gave the spiritual thought at the intermediate class.

CULTURAL MOMENT:  Win typing here.   Everyday is interesting around here.  On my walk this morning, an investigator and her young son spotted me.  They stopped and chatted.  The woman knows as much English as I do Hungarian and we somehow can communicate.  She invited me to her flat.  Many people live in these 5 or 10 story apartment buildings.  So does she.  The apartment consists of 1 bedroom, 1 kitchen, 1 bathroom, and a living room which is usually converted to another bedroom.   Her children greeted me with the word “Csokolom” which means: I respectfully say hello and kiss your hand.   I love it.  She invited me to have some fruit tea, chocolate and some ham.  I had just had breakfast, so I just shared the chocolate with them.  The typical menu at Christmas is: Stuffed Cabbage (cabbage rolls).  The typical Hungarian Easter menu is: ham, hard boiled eggs,  chocolate and braided bread.  (oh, I fit right in here)  As we were standing in the woman’s kitchen she was disgusted about how small it was.  She said, “This kitchen is so small that if one person is in here, two are going to have to leave!”  We laughed.   Most kitchens in these flats are the size of an airplane bathroom—doubled— with a little linen closet size pantry.   It was a fun ‘girly’ morning.   On my way back home, I passed a musician who was playing an accordion.  The theme song from Dr. Zhivago floated in the air.  Chocolate and Dr. Zhivago, not a bad way to start the day.

Tracting

Tracting

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