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Archive for the ‘May 2014’ Category

Saturday, May 31 2014:  Happy Birthday to Carsen!  Wow, this month is over and we only have seven weeks of our mission left.  We needed fresh produce so we decided to combine our walk and shopping by going to the Piac (outdoor or farmers market).  Win especially likes the experience because she can fill her basket just like other Hungarian women.  To our delight, there were also lots of animals for sale today.  You would not believe how many baby chicks, geese and ducks were crammed into boxes.  You could also buy puppies, full size chickens, rabbits and a big tom turkey.  In no time at all our basket was over flowing with fresh pees, carrots, tomatoes, apples, bananas, cauliflower, a cucumber and some sausage from the butcher.  While we were shopping, the Sisters called and said the electricity had gone out at their apartment.  As soon as we got back I went to their building and we were able to locate the main breaker for their apartment and get the power restored.  At 10:00 we went to the branch house till noon so Win could help E, R’s younger brother with his math homework.  After some lunch I went to OBI (Home Depot) and got a window screen kit for our bathroom window.  That was my Saturday project to install a screen in the window to keep the bugs out.  Now that it is getting warm we need to open it more often.  At 1:00 the Elders came over and went with Win next door for a program with our neighbor P.  We were hopeful that she would come to church with us tomorrow but she isn’t comfortable being in public places.  She did accept a Book of Mormon and said she would read it.  While Win was with the Elders, the Sisters called again and told me of a “missionary miracle” they had just experienced.  They decided, since the weather is not so good, to go tracting because people might be home due to the rain showers.  At one of the doors they knocked on, the lady invited them in.  It was the home of an older couple who they found out were the parents of our branch Relief Society President.  They taught them about the restoration and had a very spiritual program.  Our RS President has been trying to set up a meeting with her parents and the missionaries but they have always been too busy.  We have all been praying for daily direction on who and how we should share the Gospel or give service to others here in Bekescsaba.  We know that it was not a coincidence that they knocked on that particular door.  This afternoon we cleaned our apartment and then rested for a while before going to get a burger at McDonald’s for dinner.  At 7:00 we went to the branch house to clean the building.

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Friday, May 30 2014:  Our walk was a little breezy so I had to pull on a sweat shirt.  At 10:00 we joined the Sisters and Elders for a tour of the small and big Lutheran churches.  The very religious couple the Elders have been meeting with arranged the tour and J, the wife accompanied us.   The smaller church was built in 1775 and seats 500 people.  It soon became too small for the congregation so the big one was built in 1824.  It seats 3,500 and has an organ with 3,000 pipes.  It is the largest Lutheran church building in Central Eastern Europe.  It is not ornate inside like the Catholic or Jewish cathedrals we have seen here in Hungary.  We could not take pictures in the smaller building because a group of children were practicing for a presentation.  They were really fun to watch as they were learning a dance.  Back at our apartment, we had lunch and Win baked a couple of pans of bread pudding for tonight.  At 2:00 we drove the Sisters to visit J’s, a member who lives in Bekes.  I figured she would feed us and she did.  She is one of my favorite people in the branch, maybe because she reminds me a little of my mother.  For me, it was the best home cooked meal by a Hungarian that I have had on our mission.  We learned that she has been a member for six years.  She made rakott krumpli which is probably my favorite dish here.  It is baked sliced potatoes, sausage, a few mild paprika, hard boiled eggs and cheese.  When we were totally stuffed, she pulled a pan of cremes from the fridge that was perfectly made.  It consists of vanilla pudding between flaky layers of phyillo dough.  We were there for two hours but it was a very memorable visit.  At 6:00 we had Institute class at the branch house.  There were 13 total with 2 investigators.  Most of the class knew about Sister S’s birthday so, she got a lot of chocolate as gifts.  Some had not had bread pudding before and asked “vat is this”?

 

 

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Thursday, May 29 2014:  I went to clean up the car after we checked out the stork nests on our walk.  Before coming home I picked up a bottle of Nutella for Win.   She needed it for an ice cream cake she made this morning for Sister S’s birthday.  At noon we were invited to a members home for lunch.  It was very kind of her to cook for us.  She served us home made tomato soup from her garden.  Then a main dish of potatoes and some grilled turkey chunks.  The meal concluded with a bowl of home canned cherries and thin crepes with fruit and chocolate filling.  She has the only baby in the branch and the baby let both of us hold her which was a special treat (see picture).  After lunch she showed us her incredible garden which is maybe a half acre in size.  The garden provides all of their fruit and produce needs.  Her husband, who is not a member, works as a painter and installs tile.  At 3:00 Win sat in on a program with the Sisters and I joined the Elders for program.  After dinner we hurried back to the branch house for English class at 6:00.  All three classes were well attended.  We ended the day with a surprise birthday gathering for Sister S at our apartment about 8:00.  Her Birthday is tomorrow but this was the best time for the six of us to get together.  The cake was delicious and we had a good laugh listening to Elder O’s high school secrets, which would have remained a secret if it were me.

 

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Wednesday, May 28 2014:  Win got up and started making an apple kuchen for district meeting so I went for a walk to the Piac and got her a bag of walnuts.  At 10:00 we meet with the Sisters and Elders for our district training.  This was Elder S first meeting as our district leader and he did a good job.  Win gave the “personal touch and manners minute” again.  We talked a lot about new and existing investigators.  There has been an increase in the number of programs and investigators.  After the meeting we went to lunch at Fek and everyone had a good meal.  At 2:00 I took Win and the Sisters to a program with G, a very nice married lady with two kids.  Then I met with the Elders and B.  We set her apart as a new Primary teacher.  The Elders and I drove to the school administration offices after that and reserved the pool for the Baptism of D, one of the twins, on June 7th.  I took the Elders back to the branch house so they could go tabling and then picked up Win and the Sisters.  They said the program went very well and they gave G a soft baptism date.  About 3:30 Win and I walked to the office supply store and saw the Elders over at the tabling spot.

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Tuesday, May 27 2014:  We walked a little earlier and took some bread with us to feed the young ducks.  At 9:00 I drove the Sisters to the little college so they could email.  Then at 10:00 I sat in with the Elders on a program with a very nice couple who are active in another church and who have both served in leadership positions.  They are a very special couple and I’m so glad I got to meet them.  They have read a lot from the Book of Mormon and a General Conference issue of the Liahona.  The things they have read are interesting and enlightening to them but it’s naturally hard to think of accepting a new religion into their lives.  I very much enjoyed the opportunity to be in their home.  After the program, I took the Elders back to their apartment and then went home for some lunch.  Win was working on her quiet book which is no small project.  Then at 1:00 we drove the Sisters out to the fishing ponds for a program with the lady who owns the bar and restaurant.  Last fall, E and N, the little mother and daughter were baptized in one of the ponds and the lady remembered the Elders who asked for permission and prayed for her because she was sick at the time.  I didn’t want to overwhelm the lady with four of us in the program so I sent Win and the Sisters in to meet with her.  Win said she was very kind and listened intently but it was not the best atmosphere for teaching.  After the program we took the Sisters back to their apartment.  This has been an especially good day since we both got to participate in programs.

 

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Monday, May 26 2014:  It was very warm and muggy on our walk.  The canal water level rose about 4-5 inches due to all the rain yesterday and last night.  Before lunch we went shopping at three stores to load up on our usual list of groceries and basic supplies.  For lunch Win fixed scrambled eggs and bacon.  The bacon was a new brand and style that was pretty good.  Too bad we are just discovering that near the end of our mission.  Elder S brought over another load of his laundry and they said they did not have time for golf today.  However, I owe them a free round because they got “standard” for the week.  Win made snicker doodles for tonight and worked some on her Book of Mormon booklets this afternoon.  At 5:00 we had a program with the Elders and the twins.  We talked about the Law of Tithing and decided on June 7th for D’s baptism.  Following the program we had FHE at 6:00.  There were 12 people total, 4 of them investigators.  I gave the spiritual thought on the importance of families, we then played a pantomime game before playing ping pong and eating Wins cookies.  M was very upset because she was not paying attention and did not get a cookie.  At 7:30 we rushed home and had a quick dinner before going to the train station to pick up the Sisters.  We drove them to the big Tesco store so they could do their weekly shopping and then took them home.  They did not have time in Budapest to email today so they will do that in the morning.  At 9:00 we walked Elder S’s last load of laundry over to their apartment and then stopped at the Sisters to give them a package of ranch dressing mix.

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Sunday, May 25 2014:  When I got to the church the Sisters, M and B were already there setting up chairs.  R and the Elders arrived a few minutes later.  We had everything set up and the program written down by 9:30.  I then went to the train station to pick up President B and his son.  We got back to the church just in time for him to shake hands with everyone before we started.  Elder O conducted, Sister B played the piano and Sister S lead the music.  We had a good turnout of 27 total with 3 investigators.  A lady who is a school teacher came with her two children for the first time but would not come in because she felt they were not dressed nice enough.  We hope they will come again next week.  R gave the first talk, he has been preparing for a couple of weeks and did a great job, and President B concluded.  Win had three kids in her Primary class.  It is Children’s Day today and Win and K, the Primary President, had made ‘Notebook Caddies’ with a note book and a pen inside for each of the kids.  President B jokingly said, “we are all children of our Heavenly Father so we should all get one”.  President B and I reviewed the status of our new converts and some less active members after the two hour block.  I drove he and his son back to the train station about 1:00.  Then I returned to the church and Elder S, our new district leader, helped me record the tithing donations.  I came home about 1:30 and we had some lunch.  We both rested for a while and then I took the Sisters to the train station just before 5:00.  Sister S has her new missionary orientation meeting in Budapest tomorrow.  After dinner we were going to go for a nice slow walk along the green belt but a major thunderstorm rolled in and lasted for hours.  So, Win worked on lessons for future YM/YW classes and I prepared a spiritual thought for FHE.  Below is a picture of a local nursery and some umbrella shaped trees Win likes.

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