Archive for the ‘March 2013’ Category

Easter Sunday

Sunday, March 31 2013:  Just before leaving for church, we got two phone calls asking if we had any white bread for the sacrament.  It seems no one was assigned or thought of it yesterday.  We had purchased a small loaf of braided bread for out Easter dinner so luckily we were able to help out.  Our Branch had sacrament meeting only this morning due to Easter and family gatherings.  The two YA sisters who went shopping with Win on Friday were dressed very nice at church.  A man from our English class came to church for the 2nd week in a row.  It was announced that the Easter Monday picnic will be at the Branch house tomorrow at 10:00 AM because of the poor weather forecast.  Remember the tradition of “watering” the girls here on Easter Monday?  Two of the primary boys put a little perfume on Wins head after reciting a poem about a flower in the forest that needed some water.

It was nice, for a change, not to have to rush back to the apartment for a quick lunch and then dash off to Beke.  Win had put a small ham in the crock pot this morning so we had a wonderful Easter lunch of ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and frog eye salad.  No bread however.  It was another rainy drive to and from Beke.  The attendance at church there was not the best and that wasn’t good since a counselor in the Mission Presidency came by train to speak.  I enjoyed the Sunday School lesson today from chapter 7 of the Teachings of President Lorenzo Snow.  “It is impossible for us to work out our salvation and accomplish the purposes of God without trials or without sacrifices”.  “Some things we have to learn by that which we suffer, and knowledge secured in that way, though the process may be painful, will be of great value to us in the other life”.  …”but by continued integrity you will soon emerge from the shadows…”.

We got home about 6:45 and had a delicious dinner of pancakes and eggs with maple syrup!  We haven’t tasted maple syrup since the MTC in Provo.  Thanks to Janette and the Elsasers for sending the mapleine.  We hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter day.

Wildlife sightings:  0 rabbits, 27 pheasants,  61 deer, 99 large grey cranes (my best guess is that these are Common Cranes migrating north from Africa to Russia)  We looked hard for a rabbit today but they must have been all tuckered out from hiding eggs last night.


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Saturday, March 30 2013:  I went around the corner first thing this morning to get a couple of pastries for an Easter treat on Sunday.  I thought I would beat the crowd but I had to stand in line for a few minutes.  It is so interesting to see the older men and women come to get some bread and just one liter of fresh milk.  It rained hard through the night and the noise of it beating on the shutters woke me up a couple of times.  I may have mentioned it before but we have these heavy metal role up shutter/doors that cover our windows on the outside.  All the older apartment buildings have them and you pull them up and let them down from inside with a strap.  They look like something that was used to block all light and protect the glass from an air raid or something.  We pull ours up during the day to let in some light but it seems not everyone does the same.  Maybe when the better weather comes we will some more of them pulled up.

After some hot oatmeal mixed with “Master Crumble” (mixed fruit muesli) and some orange juice I went for a walk while Win studied.  The river came up during the night and is now only a foot from flooding the frontage road downtown.  I saw a guy taking pictures so I approached him and it turned out he spoke pretty good English.  I asked him if the river would flood over the road and he said it would in about a week or two.  There are big fat noisy pigeons everywhere here.  They would make good target practice for Si and boys.  On the way back I stopped and got a small arrangement of flowers for Win.

At 3:00 we had out first home teaching appointment.  We met him over at the Branch house since he lives in a village about seven miles away.  He speaks English fairly well so it was nice to get to know him and his background.  Win used the sewing machine at the church for a while to finish off the latest batch of tissue pockets she will take to the women in Beke tomorrow.  We move our clocks forward one hour tonight so we will again be 8 hours ahead of everyone back home.

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Friday, March 29 2013:  I went for about an hour walk this morning in a cold wind.  I walked along the river again and took these two pictures.  The little statue is kind of sad but it makes me think of some of these people.  The second picture is of the Tisza river which shows the water level right at the roadway and the grey sky this morning.  If you go to Szeged Hungary on Google earth you can find the bridge and the floating boat dock in the river.  Google earth is a shot taken in the summer which shows boats at the dock and the white area along the river bank gives a view of the normal water level.

About 11:00 we made a mistake and went to the store.  Oh my goodness, the store was jammed with people shopping for Easter.  What made it worse was we were kind of in a hurry to get back before 12:30 so Win could go shopping with two of the YSA sisters.  At the store, Win just had to have a picture of her and the Easter rabbit for the grand kids.   I didn’t see any other adults getting there picture taken with the big white fellow.  The public is not allowed to take pictures in the store so two ladies who work at the store took the photo and emailed it to us.  We got home just in time to eat a quick lunch before the young ladies came to the door.

Happy Easter from Hungary!

Happy Easter from Hungary!

I stayed home and worked on a language quiz while the girls headed off on foot in the rain to shop for clothes.  They went to some secondhand stores and each found some treasures.  Win is helping them to improve their Sunday wardrobe and to be more modest in their dress.  They were excited to show me what they bought.  The two young ladies surprised Win with a scarf they bought her while she was looking at fabric in one of the stores.  Both the girls wanted to wear what they bought today for Easter so Win went to work this afternoon to hem a skirt and remove some belt loops on a cardigan jacket before the YSA activity tonight.

At 4:00 the downstairs door buzzer rang so I went to see who was there and it was a delivery man with a postal box from the Elsassers.  What a fun box to get just before Easter.  There was birthday tee shirt for me, some black licorice and butterscotch chips!  The box also contained some stuff for the YA’s and some fabric and cooking supplies for Win.  Win will have to get in touch with Maddie to see if she wants a tissue pocket made from the fabric she sent or from some Hungarian fabric Win bought.

I just need a beard and a hat

I just need a beard and a hat

Win made two batches of magic pie for tonight and finished up the skirt hem before we ate dinner.  There were just five at activity night but that was a couple more than we expected because of Easter weekend.  There was a spiritual thought shared and then we served the pie with whipped cream.  The rest of the evening we all played Hungarian Uno.  They have devised some interesting rules.  The two girls were thrilled when Win gave them the skirt and cardigan they had purchased earlier.

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Thursday, March 28 2013:  After scripture study this morning the sun came out and we went for a walk along the river to show Win how high the water line is.  We are supposed to have as many conversations as possible each day so we say hello or good day (jó napot) to several people when we pass by.  As I have mentioned before, most people will not make eye contact and if they do they will not respond to a greeting unless they know you.  We said jo napot to an older man walking with a bike down by the river and he said jó napot! back so we stopped and tried to have a conversation.  He was very jovial and happy to be out in the fresh air but we could not understand each other.  We parted with a smile and a glove to glove high five.  It would be so fun to be able know something about his background and life.  There was this grandma out with her two grand kids playing in the snow so Win tossed a couple of snow balls there way and they got a kick out of it.  On the way back, Win spotted a fabric store/dress makers shop so we stopped in and bought a half meter of fabric for the next batch of tissue pockets.  It was another opportunity for a Magyar conversation.

Back at the apartment we studied language and got caught up on some emails.  Win made a couple of great salads for lunch and then baked a chocolate cake for tonight.  For dinner we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  At 5:00 we headed to the Branch house so Win could use the sewing machine for a few minutes before English class.  There were six in the class tonight.  We picked up a new student who has graduated from the University and wants to get a job in the UK and thus needs to improve his English speaking.  He heard from a friend about this free class so he decided to give it a try.  Win does a great job and I conclude with a spiritual thought.

There were ten at institute class including a YSA sister who is home on break from her nanny job in Italy.  She seems really nice and has only been a member for 2 years.  She will be around for a few weeks so we will get to know her better.  After class the teacher for tonight, who is a counselor in the Branch Presidency, ordered pizza delivered to the building so the YSA’s gobbled that down and then topped it off with Wins cake.

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Wednesday, March 27 2013:  Another cold snowy day.  It’s forecast to warm up some and rain the rest of the week.  We stayed in and spent a lot of time on our language homework.  I missed 11 out of 26 on today’s fill in the blanks for Indefinite vs Definite verb conjugations.  I put ünk instead of juk, sz instead of tek and ik instead of jak.   I think I may need to go back and do this exercise over.  Win did some ironing this afternoon and has been making more “tissue pockets” for the sisters.  We may have to buy more fabric as she is about out and keeps thinking of others she might like to give them to.

At 5:00 we had an hour Skype session with our language specialist.  We reviewed our mission statements and the key indicators we are to report on each week.

It’s spring break in Boise so Whitney and the kids are up at our cabin in McCall.  She emailed and said Rance keeps asking where we are and tells Whitney to “get em”.

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Tuesday, March 26 2013:  It snowed through the night and all day today.  I went out and cleared off the car with an old broom twice today to stay ahead of it.  This morning when I was sweeping snow off the top of the car I noticed an older woman struggling to clear her little driveway access with a snow shovel.  I crossed the street and motioned that I would do that for her if she would hand me her shovel and she would not have anything to do with me.  So, no service project for today.  The missionaries do very little service work here because the Hungarians are very independent and not receptive to outside help.  We spent a couple of hours working on our homework assignment for language class and then took a short nap this afternoon.  Just before dinner, the Elders called and said they were both staying here in Szeged so that was good news for us.  They also said they had to go to the post office and that we could go inspect the sisters apartment at the same time if we wanted.  I didn’t particularly want to change into our “outfits” and go out in the snow but we have been wanting to inspect that apartment and see where it is ever since the sisters were transferred  six weeks ago.  The church is holding onto the lease for that apartment so we feel we will get sister  missionaries here again maybe on the next transfer.  After that little outing, we came back and had dinner before out 7:30 language class.  Win did better on the quiz part of the language homework but that’s because I didn’t want to make her feel bad.  We just got word via an email that our bishopric in McCall got changed.

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Monday, March 25 2013:  Went for a very cold walk down by the river this morning.  I had heard that the river might flood and sure enough it is almost to a point that it will wash over the road in some places.  I have gained about 10 pounds since coming here so I have got to get out more and probably should cut down on all this bread we eat.  At 9:00 we walked just 3-4 blocks to the Elders apartment and inspected it for the first time.  They, like the whole mission, are anxiously awaiting the transfer phone calls tomorrow.  There are 16 missionaries coming, 11 sisters and 5 elders.  The mission only has one van so I’m not sure how they will pick them all up at the airport.  Pretty exciting.

After the apartment inspection we had to make a run to the store to pickup some prizes for FHE and some stuff we needed.  We go to a different store depending on what we are looking for.  For example, the LIDL  store has the best buy on yogurt, a 250 g container for .50 cents US.  It has lots of fruit in it that is mixed, not sitting on the bottom of the cup.  It started snowing after we got home and has kept it up all afternoon.

Seven YSA’s came for dinner and FHE.  Win served corn chowder, which was new to them, and chili with bread and a fruit salad.  The fruit salad was too different for them and they didn’t eat much of it.  Win also made quesadillas which they had never eaten before but really liked.  The spiritual message was on leading a balance life.  For an activity we split up in groups of two and one person had to describe a picture to their partner and that person had to draw it from the description without seeing the original.  For dessert, Win had made sugar cookies and they of course had their fruit tea.  Finally, Win handed out the prizes for the “skit in a bag” activity we had on Friday night.  Three of the group hung out here until 10:00 but it’s nice they feel that much at home.

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