February 23, 2014

Elder and Sister Miller with former Hungarian ambassadors to the US, George Balint, February 18,2014

We started this week by attending the only English speaking Rotary Club in Budapest (there are 10 others) at the Marriott Hotel.  This gentleman saw our tags and introduced himself and said, “I am one of the few Hungarians who has met with the presidency of your Church.”   He is George Balanki, former Hungarian Ambassador to the United States, and had visited the First Presidency in Salt Lake City.   We did make a few  other contacts that may be helpful for future projects. 

The speaker that evening was fascinating.  Mr. Gabor Bojar, spoke about “How to Foster Innovation and Leadership.”  He is one of the 10 most successful businessmen in Eastern Europe, received Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, founded Graphisoft, Acquincum Institute of Technology (AIT) Budapest, is a member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Technology (EIT), as well as many other awards.   His company designed the first 3-D architectural (CAD) program for PC’s.   Now, 50% of the buildings around the world are designed with 3-D use Graphisoft software.

A few interesting points he made: 

  • The secret to success is when you have no choices.
  • When competition is over, innovation is over.
  • Don’t announce successes too early.
  • There are differences between thinkers and doers, analysts and leaders.
  • Thinking too much prevents you from action.
  • Analysts are happy if they understand the world; leaders are happy if they change the world.
  • Leaders should not be the most intelligent person; they can do harm.
  • "You are a good leader because you don’t let the facts obscure your vision.”
  • Good leaders are born.

We did purchase a number of appliances for several locations of a family shelter (the project that was left for us to finish) – to the tune of about 384,000 forints.  Lest that number scares you, it is less than $2,000.  Our interpreter followed up on Friday, and it seems deliveries were successful so we will go this week to meet the people, take some pictures and make sure they are happy and all is in order. 
There was a bit of a mix up with the delivery of the mattress order.  We went back to the store yesterday and made that correction, so mattresses should be delivered tomorrow. 

The first time we went to KIKA (large department store) to check out mattress prices, we talked to the salesman about the Church, and gave him a Pass Along card.  He said he has a Mormon book but has not read it.  When we were back this week he was busy with customers so he had his associate write up our order, but he came in to tell us that he talked to his girlfriend who is studying religions and she wants to talk to the missionaries (when she finishes this school term because she is so busy), so he gave us his contact information.  

We met with a lady from an agency who helps disabled people to talk about the possibilities of a wheelchair project.  The Church has donated wheelchairs to this agency in the past, however, there are some new guidelines that the partnering agency and us need to meet so we are working on those details.  We will go this coming week to another city to meet with a county center for disabled adults to see if we might help there.  

We also went this week to Tatabanya (an hour away) with the office couple to do apartment checks of the young missionaries – they were training us because we will have that assignment also.   Well, after seeing those two apartments, I am very thankful for ours!   

We went to dinner at another couple's home this evening.  They have a few 'luxuries' -- dishwasher, nice leather sofa and matching chairs for instance.  We are fine.  I'm now used to turning on the tea kettle to heat water to wash dishes and to get a bit of hot water in the washer.

Yesterday we attended a baptism because our interpreter was doing the special number and invited us.  We arrived a bit early and they were looking for a pianist, so Elder Miller volunteered. 

All is well here.  We continue to be amazed at the convenience of the public transportation system – the busz (bus), the villamos (street car/tram), or metro (subway).  Our monthly pass is good on any of these anytime and we have put them to good use.  We have been known to go the wrong direction (we miss those mountains for directions), but no matter, we get off at the next stop, turn around and take the next car the right way.  It’s amazingly efficient!

We attended another LDS ward today – Kispest.  It was all in Hungarian, but the missionary sisters sat by us and did some translating.  These Saints are living and teaching the same Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Many are new converts, but they have strong testimonies. 

Henning Sorknaes, past-president of the Budapest City Rotary Club, with Sister and Elder Miller. Notice the large lighted castle across the Danube.
On the freeway returning from Tatabanya

Taken from our table at the food court of a nearby mall. There are shops on every level.


  1. So thrilled to hear from you. Looks like your life is CUT OUT for you. Keep busy, that's the secret. Happy to hear you aren't messing up your attendance record for Rotary Club ... who knew they are in Hungary too! All is well here in Mesa. Paul has started treatment for his esophogeal? cancer. He and Becky came for dinner (liquids for Paul) so we had tomato basil soup and jello. He is in good spirits after a week of radiation and chemo, which he took home in a pump. A;; is quiet on the western front. Love, your Mother in Mesa, where we dinner on the back patio.

  2. So good to hear all about your activities. I feel proud, like I had something to do with your goodness. It's just great to be friends. All is well here. Allen keeps busy with stake stuff and I keep busy with family and family history and art stuff and life in general...hugs, Nancy

  3. Just wondering how you get your assignments for all the projects you do? Do you come up with them yourself or work with local leaders in the community and church to see what needs there are? I'm sure there is much to do there.

  4. Stan and Sharon, I am so excited for your missionary adventure. I loved your apartment. It was quite descent for European standards. Sounds like you have lots of things to keep you busy. You both will be fabulous. Blessings on you!