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Archive for the ‘November 2013’ Category

Saturday, November 30 2013:  Win put her long underwear on to go walking this morning.  After a good brisk walk I went to wash the car but the car wash was closed, too cold I guess.  We cleaned the apartment and then took our time to get suited up for the day.  We had some lunch and then walked down to the Christmas festival.  We will miss these frequent festivals here in Szeged when we get moved.  They really are fun and the people are very nice.  We enjoyed another Kurtos Kalacs and had our first ever, roasted chestnuts.  The chestnuts were ok but I don’t think I’ll start gathering bags of them.  We bought Win two scarfs and a hat and a scarf and hat for me.  We will wrap them up for Christmas and act surprised when we open them.  We came home to warm up for a few minutes and then drove to the store.  We were going to get food for Monday night’s YSA dinner but the Tesco was so crowded that we just went to LIDL and got a few things for us.  We were then going to go out to eat but were so cold and tired that we just came home and had some home made soup and fresh rolls.  After dinner we called Rex to wish him a happy birthday.  He is now twelve and will be ordained a Deacon this weekend.  We are very proud of him.  Below are some pictures of the festival for our memory book.

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Friday, November 29 2013:  I wanted to wash the car this morning but it’s way too cold.  At 10:00 we had district meeting here in Szeged.  Win treated the Sisters and Elders to  frosted chocolate cake and milk to start the meeting.  We had another good discussion about the investigators and shared ideas of what we can do to help them.  After the meeting we went to the food court at the mall for lunch and wandered around for a while looking at all the Christmas decorations and displays.  At 3:00 I went to a program with the ZL’s to a man who has been working here for the last 8 years while his family lives in another city.  He goes home to them about every other weekend.  He is very humble and has been reading regularly from the Book of Mormon.  At 6:00 we attended the baptism of the 12 year old younger brother of one of our YSA sisters.  It was again held at the city water park in one of the therapy pools.  It was well supported by the branch members.  Win gave him some chocolate cake which she had previously promised him when he got baptized.  After the baptism, Win and I hurried home so I could go to another program with the ZL’s at 7:00.  We went to our friend who lives out on the big farm outside of town.  He wants to be baptized in the Tisza river so he may wait until it is warm weather again which was disappointing to the elders.  I told him, I hope it is before July so I can be there and he said he hopes it is also and he will call me if it is.

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Thursday, November 28 2013:  Happy Thanksgiving!  Here is a scripture I just read yesterday.  “… and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you”.  Alma 34: 38

We were all up by 6:15.  Win set out some breakfast for the two sisters and sent a sack of yogurt and muffins with them.  I dropped them at the bus terminal a little after 7:00 and hopefully they caught the right bus home at 7:25.  It is so tough to get directions when you don’t know the language plus there were so many buses at the terminal parked in random places and people everywhere.  Win started cooking as soon as they left so we could take warm food with us to Beke.  At 9:30 we loaded the car and actually went “over the river and through the woods to Bekescsaba we go, our Opel knows the way, just give it some hay, and wildlife it will find we know”.   We made one stop in Hod to get some fresh rolls. We got to the branch house in Beke a few minutes before the Elders and set the table.  We sat down to a really nice Thanksgiving lunch about 11:30.   When Elder Mc saw all the food he said, “Sister Hulbert you knocked one out of the park today”.  The boys supplied a couple of bottles of sparking juice and Win served Pepperidge chicken (because she couldn’t find a turkey in the store), mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, relish tray with ranch dressing, orange-pineapple-creamy salad, and apple kuchen.  After the prayer, we all raised our glasses to 3 toasts: to Bekescsaba, to our families, and  “Hurrah for Israel” and began to eat.  About half way through the meal, the lady who has been coming to church to be with Win came to the door with two trays of freshly made strudel, one that was savory with ham and the other that was filled with either apple, cherry or peach (see picture).  She would not eat with us but wanted us to add it to our meal.  Before we finished we asked each of the Elders to tell us what they usually have for dinner back home.  About 12:30 we had a short district meeting which included favorite memories of past Thanksgivings.  After the meeting Elders Mc and Z went with me to take care of some branch bank business.  While we were gone, Elders C and E washed every dish, dried and put them away so Win didn’t have to do it.  They also had a good talk with Win about girls.  Then the Elders all had programs to go to so they headed out.  The lady who brought the strudel then came back at 2:30 and walked with us to a real estate office to check on available rentals.  They only knew of one furnished 1 1/2 room apartment that we could look at after December 15th.  We then called the mother of one of the branch members and went to see an apartment she has for rent.  It was not too bad but did not have a refrigerator or a washing machine and was on a noisy street corner.  So, for now we will keep talking to people and hope something comes available.  We got back to Szeged about 7:00 and immediately got a Skype call from Wendy.  It was great to visit with her.  She was working today so she can take some time off at Christmas.  This has been a good day for us and it will definitely go down as one of our most memorable Thanksgivings.  I am thankful for a lot of blessings, family and other people in my life but am especially thankful today for this opportunity to be here with Win.  The missionaries in Szeged know we served a dinner to the Beke boys so Win has given them a rain check and will try to make a meal for them before the next transfer.

Wildlife sightings: 17 deer

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Wednesday, November 27 2013:  We got up and cleaned the apartment in preparation for our two guests.  Win started cooking and I went to get the senior sister missionaries at the train station a little after 10:00.  They are here for the day to visit three private medical clinics.  I got them to the first clinic at 11:00 and them came home for some lunch.  After their first visit they got some lunch across the street from the clinic and I picked them up about 1:00 for the next appointment.  The second clinic did not have anyone who spoke English so we had to wait around for an hour at the third clinic for the English speaking doctor to come.  A little after 3:00 I took them to the bus station to see if they could get a bus back home.  I had to leave them there but told them to walk two blocks to the mall if there was no bus for them and I would be back after 7:00.  I felt bad leaving them but we had programs and classes from 3:30 to 7:00.  At 3:30 we had a program at the apartment with the couple we had lunch with yesterday.  They told us they will be married on December 28th and baptized the next day on the 29th.  They were so excited to share the dates with us.  Then we went to the branch house for Wins sewing class and I taught two of our YSA the 2nd missionary preparation class.  At 7:00 the sisters called and said they had missed the last bus back by 5 minutes.  So we went to get them at the mall and brought them to the apartment.  One of them will sleep on a little cot in the small bedroom and the other will sleep on the fold out couch.  Win put them to work making Christmas crafts.  We will all have to get up early so they can catch a bus at 7:25 AM.

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Tuesday, November 26 2013:  A bitter wind chill all day.  On our walk I was wishing I had worn gloves.  On Sunday we invited a couple who are going to get married in December and then get baptized to lunch today.  We took them to our favorite little Italian place and had a wonderful visit.  They are so happy and will be a great blessing to the branch here in Szeged.  They have bought a home with some land outside the city and will be permanent residents.  The also speak very good English so it is especially fun for us to be with them.  Someday they hope to visit us in America.  After lunch the YSA who is going on a mission in February came by the apartment to pick up the project Win has been helping him with.  Today is he and his girl friends 2 year anniversary and he wanted to surprise her with something that would help her remember him when he is gone.  Then we went to the grocery store so Win could start cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for the Elders in Bekescsaba.  This evening we got a phone call from the mission office asking us to put two senior missionary sisters up for the night tomorrow.  They will be here for the day to check out clinics for any future missionary medical needs.  Before going to bed we got a call from the Elders in Bekescsaba telling us that it appears the microwave oven in the church building there has been stolen.  This could change Wins plans to serve them a dinner on Thursday since there is no stove/oven in the building.

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Monday, November 25 2013:  Rain and snow flurries today with a cold wind.  We were slow to get up and get going.  I had to go to the posta and the branch house mid morning and then to the bank about noon.  Most of the day I have been working on lesson #2 for the mission prep class.  Win has been cooking of course, tonight’s menu is baked macaroni and cheese, cooked green beans, fresh veggies and dip, cookie sticks with M&M’s and popcorn for dessert.  There were 11 YSA at FHE, two investigators.  The group was pretty quiet at first but loosened up later.  After dinner and the spiritual thought I expressed some of our feelings about the YSA program and our future hopes for them all.

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Sunday, November 24 2013:  There were 14 investigators at church this morning but the big news was that Win and I were released from our callings in the Szeged branch.  For many weeks now we have been talking with the mission president about how we could do more to strengthen the branch in Bekescsaba.  Then a few weeks ago when the Szeged branch was made a part of the Budapest Stake, it became clear to us and President Smith that we should move to Bekescsaba.  Our sacrament speakers were our new missionaries, Sister B and Elder C.  Then with about 20 minutes left, Win got up and explained to the congregation that we were going to start the process to relocate to Bekescsaba.  The rest of the meeting was like a funeral, not too many dry eyes.  There was only 5 minutes left at the end of the meeting for me to say thanks to everyone and to bear my testimony.  Leaving the YSA is what is hard about this but we know it is the right thing to do.  It may not be easy to find an apartment or a small house so we will probably be here at least until the first of the year.  However, after the Primary sacrament meeting here in Szeged on December 15th, we will most likely change the sacrament meeting time in Bekescsaba and only attend church there.  Our drive to Bekescsaba was very pleasant and filled with some good wildlife sightings for a change.  Upon our arrival in Beke, I left Win at the branch house and went to the train station to pick up President Balatoni, counselor in the mission presidency.  One of the Elders conducted the sacrament meeting, as usual, but turned some time to me to announce that we would be moving to Beke.  There were lots of smiles from the 23 people in attendance (three investigators) and the Elders were very excited.  Neither of the sisters who teach primary were there today so Win “stood in the gap” and put a lesson together for 5 kids.  After the meeting I took President B back to the train station and then returned to finish up with the donations and confirm our schedule for next week.  We ate crackers and nuts from our snack box on the way home and talked about what an emotional day this has been.  After we had some dinner, two of our YSA group came over to talk about what will happen in the future.  “We shall see”.

Wildlife sightings: 11 pheasants, 14 deer.

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