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Archive for the ‘June 2014’ Category

Tuesday, July 1 2014:  Happy Anniversary to us!  Win and I were sealed in the Logan Temple 40 years ago today.  A couple of months back I got permission from the Mission President to take Win on a little trip to celebrate this special day.   Before we left Win spent all morning sorting though the things she wants to take to Szeged next week for the YSA auction.  While she was doing that I went to clean up the car and to get some shoe glue at OBI (Home Depot).  My running shoes separated at the heal yesterday and I need to make them last just a couple more weeks.  After lunch we headed off to the Northeast part of Hungary.  It was all new countryside for us and Win loved the little villages and dozens of stork nests filled with birds we passed along the way.  After an almost four hour drive we checked into the Palota Castle Hotel in Lillafued in the hill above Miskolc.  Win didn’t know what to expect so it was fun to see her reaction to the Hotel and grounds.  Our room has a fireplace and a hot tub so Win can finally have a nice long bath.  There is also a pool, sauna, wellness center and bowling alley in the basement.  Breakfast and dinner are included and the buffet dinner was first class.  Below are a bunch of pictures we took of the place.

Wildlife sightings:  1 crane, 3 rabbits, 162 storks.

 

 

 

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Monday, June 30 2014:  We always say “jo reggelt” (good morning) to everyone as we walk.  Today a lady we see walking her dog frequently, spoke to us first which is unusual unless they know you well.  It’s kind of sad that we are leaving soon and some of the people here are finally warming up to us.  Part of our walk was to a craft store so Win could get supplies for her YW lesson on modesty this Sunday.  Before lunch I went to the bank and the Posta.  Win spent most of the day working on her lesson and cooking rice crispy treats and chocolate crackle cookies for tonight.  At 1:30 I drove the Sisters to the grocery store for their weekly P day shopping and then went back to get them about an hour later.  At 5:00 Win had a program with E and the Sisters.  Only 11 people came to FHE at 6:00 due to a significant rain storm.  Our dear friend D came to see us for the last time since she will leave in a few days to be with her husband who works on a ship.  She gave Win a salt and pepper dish, that she will treasure, and me a black tie with Hungarian embroidery on it (see picture).  We will really miss her as she has done so much to help us communicate with our landlady plus she is a very happy person.  We had hoped to see her baptized before we left but we know that day will come when the time is right for her.  After FHE Win and the Sisters had a program with her which Win said started off and ended with tears.  It is a very common sight here to see men and women riding around with a child or two on their bike.  The photo below is of a lady who stopped to let her grandchildren look at a fountain this morning.

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Sunday, June 29 2014:  The Sisters were coming out of their apartment building just as I was pulling away from our little parking lot so I gave them a ride to church.  R was there waiting for us to open the gate.  Only 23 people total today at church with 2 investigators.  Elder S conducted and gave the concluding talk.  Win did not have to teach, which is rare, as it was M’s turn in the YM/YW class and B gave her first lesson as a new Primary teacher.  One of our goals was to help this branch become as independent as possible and hopefully the Primary can now function without much help from the next couple.  The branch RS President and her family are leaving this week for a vacation and we may not see them again so it was hard to say goodby.  We could not hold back the tears.  Each week during church little B is the one who wanders up to the front row to see what treat Win has for him and then during the second hour he comes to me and I give him a single mentos candy from my coat pocket.  He smiles when I give it to him and cradles it in his hand as he scampers away.  After church I gave him an entire role of mentos in front of his mother.  You should have seen the shocked look on his face.  It was priceless.  Below is a picture of this family who we will always remember.  Then I had Win take a picture of me and the Elders in the Branch Presidents office.  I could not do this calling without them and all the other Elders who have done so much to strengthen this branch.  We came home and Win made scrambled eggs with cheese and tomatoes to go along with several pieces of kurtos kalacs.  This afternoon I worked on my farewell talk to the branch which is in two weeks.  It has really hit us today that our mission is winding down quickly.  Saying goodby to E and her family was a trigger that has set off a lot of emotions today.  We each made two foil dinners this evening and Win cooked all four so now dinner is ready for tomorrow night.

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Saturday, June 28 2014:  I went on a walk early because I needed to drive the Sisters to a program at 9:00.  There is seldom a need to take the Elders anywhere because they ride bikes which is the most common mode of transportation in town.  At 10:30 I went back to get the Sisters and then we tried to visit two inactive members but at both places no one was home.  After lunch I ran an errand for Win while she ironed and put together material for future English lessons to leave with the missionaries.  At 4:00 we all piled in the car and went to a members home for a garden party.  The member invited her extended family to meet the missionaries.  They were all really nice and we wish we could get to know them better.  They served maybe the best goulash that we have had in this country.  But the real treat of the party was home made kurtos kalacs that we took turns roasting on the grill.  The family was so kind and hospitable.   We could only stay for an hour because that is the rule and we had a program to get back for at 6:00.  The family was very disappointed that we had to eat and run.  The party was great and the pictures below show the kurtos process.  They sent one home for each of us which which is way more than we need to have sitting around the apartment but they are so good.  We can’t wait to get home and set up a grill to make them.  At 7:30 we cleaned the branch house with the help of the Sisters.

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Friday, June 27 2014:  On our walk we saw our friend who took us to “Night of the Museum”.    She invited us to see where she worked and gave us a tour.  It appears to be a travel brochure business which probably ships the product to book stores and the like.  When we left she gave us a guide book and map of Budapest.   At the end of our walk I went to where the apartment building complex clothesline is to do some pull ups on a bar that is between two steel posts.  When I finished, I heard a voice and turned to see a man I have been trying to be friends with.  When we first moved here I tried to give him a pass along card but he would not take it.  However, he and I always say hello and see each other at least weekly.  Anyway, he came over to me and made a gesture indicating that I must be strong to do pull ups.  I laughed and motioned that I can only do a few.  He said “how are you” in Hungarian and I responded back by saying, thank you I am well in Hungarian.  Then I asked how he was and he said, very good, in English.  We both chuckled and said good day to each other.  So, maybe I can get him to take a pamphlet or something before we go.   At 11:00 I drove the Sisters to a program.  I came back and then walked to the bank, an office supply store and two grocery stores to get stuff Win needed.  My 2:00 program with the Elders got cancelled.  Win did some ironing and made a pineapple angle food cake for tonight.  Win had a program with the Sisters and E at 5:00 and then we had the usual group of 14 at Institute.  We finished the Book of Mormon course so the class is over now until September.  The cake turned out really good so it is a new ‘keeper’ recipe.  After the class the Sisters went with me to see if we could visit some inactive members.  We first went to a married couple who live in a ten story apartment building.   Apparently they were active at one time.  The lady did answer the intercom and was cordial but would not invite us up.  Next, we drove to another part of town to a single family home but no one came to the door.  It was 8:30 by then and I knew the Sisters were hungry but I asked if they were ok to try one more.  They agreed and we put another address in the GPS.  We were almost there but the railroad crossing was blocked.  I asked the Sisters again if they were ok to keep going.  We had to backtrack and go clear around that area of town to cross the tracks.  When we knocked on the door this very nice couple answered.  They were happy to see us and said they tried to go to church some time back but went to where the church was years ago and did not know where the branch had moved to.  It was almost 9:00 and too late for them to have us come in but they agreed to have the Sisters come back next week.  The three of us went away so excited for the experience and glad that we made one more stop before going home.  Below is a picture of a building next to the big Lutheran Church.

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Thursday, June 26 2014:  It felt more like early spring than summer on our walk.  We had District meeting at 10:00.  Elder O was assigned the “personal touch” and gave a very nice tribute to his dad.  Win was assigned the missionary “success story” and used the parable of the cracked pot as part of her story.  The two companionship’s then reviewed their investigator progress reports with us.  Elder S chose the topic of conversion for his training portion of the meeting.  About noon we all walked to what I call the A/B menu restaurant for lunch.  After that we went to the big fountain downtown and took a few pictures.   At 4:00 we were back at the church for a program Win sat in on with the Sisters and then I joined the Sisters for one at 5:00.  English class at six had a pretty good turnout.  Win helped teach the combined intermediate and advanced class.  During the class I completed the branch membership audit on MLS which is due by the end of June.  We came home about 7:30 and had some leftover taco’s for dinner.

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Wednesday, June 25 2014:  We got up early, showered, baked cookies, ate breakfast and then did some final cleaning of the apartment.  At 8:30 we picked up the Sisters and went to the Piac to order some handmade crafts from H and her mother.  We left the Sisters there to street their way home.  At 10:30 we went to the branch house to meet E/S Smith who drove down from Szolnok.  The four of us spent two hours at the branch house going over the physical operation of the building and the weekly schedule of meetings.  I spent some time with Elder S on the finances and membership processes while Win oriented Sister S on the Primary and YM/YW, FHE, English class and the Institute program.  Then we took them to lunch out at Postelek.  It was raining hard so we had the restaurant to ourselves.  We had some good fruit soup to start with and then grilled chicken and vegetables.  After lunch we drove back to the branch house and took a walking tour of the downtown area in the rain.  We then drove to a few key places in the city and then to our apartment.  The next couple of hours were spent showing them how the apartment functions and talking about the branch .  At 5:00 I drove them to the branch house to get their car and then they headed back to Szolnok.  I stayed there for a meeting with the Elders and M and then went home for some dinner.  The Sisters called and needed a ride to a program at 7:00 and then I returned to get them at 8:30.  While I was running the Sisters around Win made a batch of magic cookie bars for District meeting tomorrow.  About 9:00 we got a surprise call from our friend K in McCall who is visiting his brother in Austria.  It was so great to hear his voice and to get caught up on a few things.  He told us that he did get baptized last August and will arrive back in McCall about the same time we do.

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