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Archive for the ‘September 2013’ Category

Monday, September 30 2013:  My walk this morning was going to the bank at 9:00 to meet the Branch President and make the weekly deposit.   On the way back I stopped a the pékség (bakery) and got a loaf of bread for dinner tonight.  It rained again in the night and drizzled most of today.  Win spent the morning making Italian meatball soup, a relish tray and apple danish.  I mopped the kitchen and dining room floor (my weekly job), emailed our weekly report to the Mission President, took a suit to the cleaners and got a hair cut.  After lunch we went to three grocery stores to restock our fridge and pantry.  We buy boxed milk in a case of 12 and  keep it in the pantry.  It is surprisingly good and great to just have on the shelf whenever we need it.  You can’t buy cold milk here like we do in the states.  We got a very nice email from the Mission President and his wife today thanking us for our hospitality over the weekend in Bekescsaba.  They said the Elders commented to them at dinner that they loved serving with us which was nice to hear.  They also thanked Win for all the work she did to make the baptism a success on Saturday and noted how much the sisters there love her.

The YSA started coming at 5:45.  There was a good group of 10 at FHE including two investigators.  One of the sisters gave the spiritual message after dinner and then they played a game before enjoying the apple danish.  Most of them hung around until about 8;45 and then left to catch buses and trams home.  We worry about them being out after dark at night now but this is a very safe place and we don’t see or hear of any problems.

Town Hall back door

Town Hall back door

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Sunday, September 29 2013:  It rained some during the night but it was coming down hard most of the morning.  I think it kept some people home as the turnout at church was not normal.  Still, there were 11 investigators and the Sisters told us that Mr. C wants to be baptized at the end of November.  That would truly be a missionary miracle if that happens.  President B, counselor in the mission presidency who spoke to us in Beke last week was the concluding speaker in Szeged this morning.  One of our YSA sisters had a male visitor from another country with her.  They met at the YSA temple week last month.  He seems like a very nice young man plus he served a mission in the US.  Win taught the music and sharing time in Primary.  As we drove to Bekescsaba after lunch the sky’s cleared up some but it was still  grey and cold.  What a contrast from yesterday when we had sunny skies for the baptism.  We sure don’t see the wildlife like we used to and it has me baffled as to where the rabbits and pheasants have gone.   Before church the Mission President had personal interviews with each of the Elders.  We were hoping to have a really good turnout for the Mission President and his wife but three people were sick so we only had 11 in the congregation besides the four Elders, and Win and I.  There were two investigators however, so that was good.  Elder S got to confirm our two newest members of the Branch.  This time the little eight year old didn’t hesitate to follow her mothers lead and came up to take a seat with a smile on her face.  Our mission president and his wife both gave very good and timely talks.  They left right after sacrament meeting as they had a long drive back to Budapest.  It was so good of them to be with us yesterday and today.  Win taught the YM/YW class of just one today.  After the class I told the Elders that from now on, only one of them can go into the class to translate for Win.  Three of them sit in there with her and only one of them comes into the Relief Society/Sunday School class to translate for me because it is not as fun as Wins class.  I noticed after church that the little girl was holding the small journal we gave her yesterday as a gift at her baptism.

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Saturday, September 28 2013:  Before I forget, a special thanks to Sherry in McCall for the nice gift package she sent to Win.  What a highlight day this has been.  We literally filled up the back of the car this morning with food, towels, blankets, drinks and table setting stuff and headed to Bekescsaba about 10:30.  Today was the baptism of a young mother and her daughter who just turned eight years old.  They are two of the quietest and most humble people we have met.  We got to the Branch house about noon and our Mission President and his wife had just arrived.  They are speaking at sacrament meeting tomorrow in our little Branch and decided to come early and be with us for this special occasion.  We got the building cleaned up a bit and set it up for the baptismal service and a luncheon to follow.  At 12:30 we had the service.  Win gave the talk on baptism and I spoke about the Holy Ghost.  Following the service we and one of the Elders went with the President and his wife in their car to a pond just on the fringe of town.  The rest of the group hopped on a bus that took them about half way there.  Then they all had to walk about as far as they rode on the bus to this pond.  The Elders have been searching for a place for weeks but could not get permission from anyone to have the baptism in a hotel, a private swimming pool or spa.  Then one day, Elder S and his companion were on their bikes and turned down this dirt road that leads to a fishing pond.  When Elder S looked down the road, he realized he had seen this very place in a dream prior to his mission.  The owner of this little drinking establishment at the fishing pond gave them permission to have a baptism in one of the ponds at no cost.  When everyone was finally at the pond we parked the Presidents car in such way that Elder S and then the mother and child could change clothes behind the car while we all looked the other way.  We then took a group picture and Elder S got in the water.  As you can imagine it was very cold and not at all clean.  The temperature today was about 63 degrees and the nights have been very cool lately.  The mother went first and had to be baptized twice because her knee came up.  She was extremely cold and gasping when she got out of the water which frightened her daughter and she didn’t want to go in.  Finally the hesitant little thing reluctantly got in the water and Elder Squire quickly baptized her.  There were several tears shed at the sight of these two little women who have shown such faith and courage to follow the example of the Savior and be baptized.  Win helped them get changed into  their dry clothes, again behind the Presidents car, and then most of the group walked back to the bus stop.  We drove back and got the food ready for the others.  Even though it was a nice day the mother and daughter were shivering when they got back to the church.  Everyone enjoyed the warm meatballs, frog eye salad, rolls, relish tray with Sherry’s Ranch dressing dip and sweet treats.  Before we left to come home, we went with the Elders to visit a young lady who has stopped coming to church.  We invited her to come back and pray we will see her again.  The Mission President invited us to stay and have dinner with them and the Elders at 7:00 but we needed to get back and prepare for church in the morning.  If the weather had been any colder or rainy, as it was part of this week, I do not know what we would have done.  There is a strict rule that we cannot transport anyone other than missionaries in the Church vehicles.   This was another special and memorable moment in our mission experience that we will long remember.  The pictures below speak for themselves so I didn’t add any captions.

Wildlife sightings: 2 pheasants.

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Friday, September 27 2013:  I woke up about 5:30 this morning and looked at my email on the iPhone I keep on the night stand and there was a picture of our new granddaughter Emily!  So I woke Win up and stuck the picture in her face and said look, she is here.  Way to go Lacey, she is so cute and looks just like her brother and sister.  We suited up and went grocery shopping so Win could start cooking a treat for the YSA activity tonight and prepare some of the lunch for the baptism tomorrow in Bekescsaba.  We did laundry and cleaned some because we need to leave by 10:30 tomorrow to help set up.  At 5:30 we had a YSA planning meeting for an event that is coming up soon.  It will involve a lot of coordination in the next month or so.  At 6:30 there were 9 YSA who showed up for activity night.  That is about 3-4 more than have been coming so Win had to serve smaller portions of the magic apple pie & whipped cream.   One of the YSA gave us a bag of apples so we used them for the treat.  No one came prepared for a spiritual thought so I came up with something as a fill in.  There were two investigators there and one less active so it was a really good turnout.  We came home about 8:30 and got on a Skype call with Reese and Lacey and Emily in the hospital in Logan.  Emily looks so good and even opened her eyes to see us a couple of times.

New meetinghouse project

New meetinghouse project

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Thursday, September 26 2013:  I walked past the new meetinghouse project this morning and it is really starting to look like a church now.  About 8:30 we got a fun Skype call from Rhet and Erica who were in their hotel room in Barcelona.  It was so fun to see and talk to them in the same time zone we are in.  They said they got a good nights rest after the long flight and didn’t have any particular schedule for today, so they would just enjoy the sights until the race at 6:30.  At 10:00 we had District meeting here in Szeged which was well done as usual.  The best part was the discussion we had about some of the investigators and how we could help them get past some of their concerns and challenges.  We finished up about 11:45 and raced home to load up the car and head to Bekescsaba.  At 1:30 we picked up two of the Elder in Beke and drove to a members home in Gyula who had invited us to lunch.  She lives in a well kept cottage with a nice garden.  She served us a great lunch of stuffed cabbage rolls, bread, grapes from here garden and some squash.  We couldn’t stay too long because we needed to get back for District meeting in Beke at 4:00.  That meeting went well also.  It is a great experience for us to participate and be an active part of these Districts.  The chocolate cake Win served at the two meetings was another big hit with each of the missionaries.  One of the Elders said to me, ” your wife sure can cook,  you did well”.  After the meeting we had another short language lesson from our young investigator and then we  went to get some dinner while the Elders were teaching English class.  At 7:00 Win held the sewing class.  One of the sisters got emotional when Win told them that the sewing machine we brought with us is a new one that now belongs to the Branch.  So now, each of the two Branches we work with have a sewing machine the members can use.  At 8:30 we started home and got back at 10:00.  There was an email waiting for us from Rhet saying he got 2nd place in the race and his teammate won it.  Way to go Team Type 2 from USA!

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Wednesday, September 25 2013:  Just a short walk this morning.  I picked up some fresh peaches from a little lady at the water tower on the way home.  I ate breakfast and then went to wash the car.  At 10:00 I went with Win to a visiting teaching appointment with one of the YSA.  She is planning on a mission and is already an amazing missionary.  Then at noon Win went with the Elders to a program with a lady that is planning to be baptized in October.  At 2:30 I took the car to the dealer for the oil change we scheduled the other day and just hung out there for an hour until they finished.  I may not have to do that again while we are here because I don’t think we will put another 30,000 kilometers on the car before next July.  But, as they say here, we shall see.  This afternoon Win baked a chocolate cake for the two District meetings we have tomorrow.  At 6:30 I had Branch Presidency meeting but had to leave early to meet with the Elders and their landlord at 7:00.  One of the YSA came also to help us talk about and negotiate some repairs that need to be made.  The meeting went better than I had expected and then I went back for PEC meeting that went till almost 9:00.  While I was at the Branch house, Win went with the Elders to a program with the couple who here visiting with us last night.  She said the program was just wonderful .  We got an email form Rhet a few hours ago while they were in Paris waiting for a flight to Barcelona.  He is in a race there tomorrow and we are so disappointed that we can’t be there to see him run.

Statue of Lajos Tisza

Statue of Lajos Tisza

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Tuesday, September 24 2013:  I went on a walk before Win got up and brought home a couple of hot bundas kenyer (deep fat fried french toast).  We have been wanting to try it and it is pretty good but not something of course that would be good for you on a regular basis.  I was getting dressed about 9:30 to go get the DL companionship for a program at 10:00 when they called and asked if I could hurry and come help them.  They had gone to this inactive ladies apartment at 9:00 because she said she had a package for them to take to the Branch house.  When they got there she had all this stuff like we would give to DI and the Elders could not carry it all.  I got the directions to where they were and we filled up the back of the car with a bunch of clothing, some books, an old DVD player and an old computer tower.  An active member was there visiting with this lady and the Elders told me that she told the inactive lady that my wife was like a “fairy”.  I would have to agree that to some people here, Win is like a radiant angelic creature that can sometimes work magic.   We took the stuff to the Branch house and then headed across the river to the teaching appointment.  We met again with this guy from Australia who I really like.  He is wise beyond his years and knows that you have to take somethings on faith in this life and that logic can’t explain everything.  I actually wish I could spend more time with him as I think I could learn some from him.  I am a little old to be hanging out with him but maybe we can keep in touch after our mission.  I got home just as Win was heading off to a lunch/program with the Elders and a lady who will get baptized on October 12th if we can find a place for the service.  This evening at 8:00 we had a couple come to our apartment who are preparing to be baptized.  It was kind of a date night with them.   We just talked and got to know them better and listened to the story of how they met.  They have plans to buy a house soon and hope to start a business of their own.  They are such a happy couple and so excited about the Gospel.

Kossuth Lajos statue

Kossuth Lajos statue

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