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Archive for the ‘March 2014’ Category

Monday, March 31 2014:  Our phone rang about 8:00 this morning.  It was Elder O asking if I was interested in taking the four Elders golfing this afternoon.  He was so excited to go that I just couldn’t turn him down.  Monday is their P day and they have all been looking forward to a nice warm day so we could go do something fun.  Someone told them that some guy made a five hole course outside of town so we decided to go check it out.  After the phone call, Win and I went for a walk past the stork nests and stopped at a store for bananas.  After taking a shower I suited up and went to the bank for the branch deposit.  Win’s finger is slowly getting better.  It is still swollen and when she makes a fist, the little finger doesn’t want to bend in with the others.  Win did some laundry and then we went to the church and got the sewing machine so she could do some sewing while I was gone with the Elders.  We also made a couple of stops at fabric stores.  At 2:00 the four Elders met me at the car and we drove out of town about 15 minutes to a camping and recreation facility.  It took us a few extra minutes to find the golf course because it was down an unmarked dirt road.  There was a residence at the end of the road which also is the club house and a man came out to greet us.  He said we could borrow clubs and proceeded to give us three 7 irons, two 6 irons, one pitching wedge and three putters.  I asked him in English if it was a par three course and he said yes.  The owner has created five par three holes on his property which is mostly a goat farm.  The fairways are just grassy pasture lands and there were five postage stamp greens.  But it was a course and it was cheap.  We each bought three used golf balls (100 forints each or .45 cents a piece) and the round of five holes cost 500 forints or $2.25.  We had the course to ourselves which wasn’t surprising but maybe it gets busy on weekends.  The first two holes were pretty straight but had a ditch full of water along the right side.  The third hole was a short tee to green shot with nothing but six inch deep grass between the tee box and green.  The fourth hole was a dogleg right around an electric fence that keeps the goats off the fairway.  The last hole was the longest one with a dry pond in the middle of the fairway about halfway to the hole.  It was actually a lot of fun and we all want to go back again.   A couple of the Elders will have to buy more balls though.   At 6:00 we went to the branch house for FHE.  There were 15 total there and R brought his little brother E for the first time.  I gave the lesson, Elder O was in charge of the activity and one of the non member young ladies supplied the treats.

Wildlife sightings:  2 pheasants

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Sunday, March 30 2014:  I was a little stiff and sore getting out of bed this morning.  Could it be that I over did it mopping the branch house floors last night?  Or maybe it was playing basketball with the Elders.  No, it must have been mopping the floors that did it.  As usual I went to the church at 9:00 and there was B, the young lady who is planning to be baptized on April 19th.  R was late due to the time change or something so B helped me get the chairs set up.  When that was finished she went straight to the kitchen and started to fill the sacrament water tray cups because that is what she has seen R do after the chairs are all set up.  By then two of the Elders had arrived so I had one of them kindly explain to her that it was a priesthood responsibility to prepare the sacrament.  When our meeting got started at 10:00 we only had 23 people there so I was sort of disappointed again.  However, by the time the sacrament was being passed, there was a total of 32 and 10 of them were non members.  It was just wonderful to see them all come in and take seats in our little chapel.   Yesterday, Win finished the small flannel boards she has been working on and all three of them were put to use during sacrament meeting today (see picture below).  They will stay in the building to help keep children quiet during meetings.  We tried to rest this afternoon but again, too much noise from kids next door.  I looked over a lesson for FHE tomorrow and then we watched the General Women’s Meeting broadcast via the internet.  Our branch will have an opportunity to view it next Saturday.  How we hope that some of our sisters and investigators will be able to attend and feel the spirit of that tremendous meeting.

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Saturday, March 29 2014:  While on my walk I saw a Gypsy woman collecting sticks and dead branches along the canal bank.  She was tying them in a bundle on her bike to take home for firewood.  At 10:00 we went to the church to meet with R and his younger brother E.  E has been struggling in school and his parents agreed to let Win try and help him.   We were there till almost 1:30 but he got 6 1/2 of his 7 homework assignments completed.  It was great to see how much R cares for his younger brother.  At one point I walked to the little Italian place and brought back some lunch for us all.  I don’t know what they are called but they look like a pizza in a bread boat.  The bread was the best part.  At 2:00 Elders L & S and I went to help T and his family move some more of their stuff down stairs to a storage room.  Win made two small note book caddies for the little girls so I took them with me.  They were very appreciative and sad that they are leaving the area.  They gave me a box of chocolates to bring home to the “genius” woman from America.  Their moving truck will come at 9:00 in the morning but we said we could not help them at that time.  They understood that we had to be at church.  We hope that they will continue to meet with the missionaries in Pest when they get settled there.  At 5:30 the Elders, R and I had a fun game of basketball.  There were even two non members who joined us so maybe we can eventually get others to come play.  At 7:00 we went to the branch house to clean.  Three of the adult sisters in the branch went by car to Budapest today to receive their Patriarchal blessings.  There is only one Patriarch in Hungary so they have been waiting a year and a half.  We had requested that the mission office put together a bag of clothing for R that the missionaries have discarded and the ladies brought the bag back with them to the branch house while we were there.  It was like a big Christmas gift bag for R.  He was thrilled.  Some of the suit pants may need some alterations but he will now have three or more church outfits including white shirts and ties.  Tonight we move our clocks ahead one hour so we will be back to an eight hour time difference from home.

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Friday, March 28 2014:  We suited up first thing and went to the Hospital at 8:30.  We got there just in time because a bunch of people came into the trauma waiting room right behind us.  After about 20 minutes they called us in and immediately proceeded to take the stitches out of Wins’ finger.  The first stitch was easily snipped off and pulled out.  However, the nurse had to dig a little to get the scissors between the stitch and the skin and that caused Win to yelp.  She had to close her eyes and grit her teeth from the pain on the two remaining stitches.  But after that they slapped a band aid on it and sent us on our way with no extra cost.  Win’s finger was hurting as we walked to the car so I offered to take her home but she said let’s go get groceries since we are out.  While at the store, Elder L called and said T and his family need help moving out of their flat.  They are the investigator family with two young girls.  He got a better job in Budapest and so we will pass the referral onto the missionaries in Pest.  Before coming home we stopped at the butcher shop to get some sausage but he was not finished making it.   At 12:30 I meet Elders L & S and T at the church.  We went to his apartment for a couple of hours and moved most of the heavy stuff down three flights of stairs to a storage room.  We cleared out the living room because while we were there the new tenants were moving stuff into that room.  Crazy arrangement.  T said that a moving vehicle of some kind would come on Sunday afternoon and they would then need help to load it.  While I was gone, Win walked back to the butcher shop and got some sausage that she cooked for dinner tonight.  She also made some Oslo Kringle for after class tonight and worked on organizing all her Primary and YW visual aids and lessons.  At 6:30 we went to Institute class.  The usual group of 11 were there.  The lesson was on 3 Nephi Chapter 1.  I hope by the time we leave that more people will be taking advantage of the class.  Below is a picture of Win’s finger this morning and another of it this evening.

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Thursday, March 27 2014:  After our walk, we came back to the apartment and then went to the church to see if we could fix the sewing machine.  Luckily we got a new needle installed and it seems to be running fine which was a relief to Win.  After lunch we went to Tesco to buy a new iron, we gave ours to the Elders, and then went back to the church so Win could sew for a while.  She has been making some lap size, portable flannel board quiet books to help keep children reverent in sacrament meeting.  In early February a nice lady who lives upstairs in our building sold us tickets to a theatrical production.  We really didn’t want to buy them because it’s a play in Hungarian about Istvan the King, who is revered by this nation, but she was very persistent.  At 6:30 she came by to walk us to the Theater.  It’s only three blocks away but she insisted on taking us there and getting us seated.  She even stayed in the theater until intermission to make sure we were ok and could find our way home.  The play turned out to be a wonderful experience.  It was a musical production about part of the life of King Istvan.  We really don’t know the story but the costumes, dancing and music were very well done.  At the beginning of the play, someone died.  Not sure who died but when they carried a coffin onto the stage it was a dead giveaway.  Then there was an ongoing conflict between different forces, the Christians and the pagans I think.  Anyway, some had a cross and some didn’t.  There was a battle at one point because they were fighting with wooden swords and spears and the guys who lost ended up on the stage floor.  The leader of the opposing army had his body limbs pulled off by ropes, which was a cool part.  Finally Istvan became the King when they put a crown on his head.  At the end the whole cast and the audience stood and sang the Hungarian national anthem.  So, there you have it in a nutshell.  About 9:30 we found our way back to the apartment.  Below is a picture of the theater where we watched the production.

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Wednesday, March 26 2014:  We walked past the stork nests this morning and noticed that a previously unoccupied nest  now has a resident.  At 10:00 we had district meeting at the church.  We talked about an “American” day event that the Elders want to have for an English class they attend for adults on Friday mornings.  We will all help with some food and share cultural, family, work and recreation examples of life in America.  Then we reviewed the status of investigators and covered some branch business.  Our training was on D&C 4 and how we can rekindle our desire to serve.  After the meeting we went to a local grill and pastry shop for lunch.  It was Elders O & S first Bekescsaba dupla (double burger).  The city is putting a new layer of asphalt on the road in front of the branch house so we had to leave the car there for a few hours after lunch.  This afternoon Win got ready for sewing class.  I went to the pharmacy to get some gauze wrap for Wins finger and brought the car home.  At 6:30 we went back to the church for sewing class.  There were four sisters there, two young children and four Elders so it was a lively evening.  The needle broke on the sewing machine about 8:00 and we couldn’t get it fixed so the class ended a little early.

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Tuesday, March 25 2014:  It was a chilly but sunny walk this morning.  After the rain yesterday, everything smells fresh and the blossoms seem even brighter.  We got suited up and took  Elders B & O with us to a members house at 10:30.  The four year old boy, B, has not been well and his mother asked us to come and give him a blessing.  When we first got there he was shy and wouldn’t talk to us but within a few minutes he took me by the hand and led me to the back of the house.  There was a desk there with a computer on it and we played this game where you try to run over zombies with a car.  Before we gave him a blessing, his mother made us a snack with some fruit tea which was very kind.  We left about 11:30 and drove to the church so Win could help the Elders in a program with D, our friend who helps us communicate with our landlord.  After the program we walked to the butcher shop to get some fresh sausage to bake but found out he will not have any until Friday.  So, we went back to the church and then drove home.  This afternoon, I went to the grocery store while Win did some ironing, made a batch of rice pudding for us and some magic cookie bars for district meeting in the morning.  At 6:00 we went to the church help to Elders L & S with a program.  Our assignment was to watch the two little girls while the Elders taught the parents.  Win took several games with her and kept them occupied for more than a hour.  The girls parents were amazed at the activities Win had planned for them.  Below is a picture of the Istvan Mill here in town.  It is a huge building that was originally a steam powered mill.  It closed in 2005 resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

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