March 2, 2014

Our interpreter, Timi Rusz, and the director of one of the shelters, Eva Toth, with a donated washing machine.

Minden jo’ itt Budapesten.  All is good in Budapest. 

We had visits this week to the four locations of a temporary family in crisis shelter to which appliances were donated.  The appliances are small, apartment-size because that is the size the families will probably have when they leave the shelters.   These families are assisted to find employment, share in the care for the facilities inside and out, follow schedules for use of the common areas, pay some for their stay and generally learn skills that will benefit them when they return to living on their own.  The buildings were very old, but we were impressed with the cleanliness and care given to them by the families.

Erika Urban and Elder Miller with donated refrigerator.
We had a very nice visit with Erika who on her own started the homes several years ago.  She and her colleagues are providing a wonderful and needed service to these families in crisis; and they were all very grateful for the appliances and mattresses. 

In one location the children presented us with a poster –‘ koszöneük’ (we thank you) surrounded by their signed hands.

On the way home from the last visit we stopped to see Hero’s Square – statues of famous men who made their mark on Hungarian history. 

We also walked past the Liszt Academy and stopped to pose with Mr. Franz Liszt himself. Can you see how big his hands are? Good thing he was a pianist.

After a busy week, on our Saturday P-Day we went to visit Szent Istevan’s (St. Steven's) Basillica. This is the oldest Cathedral in Budapest, and one of the three tallest buildings in the city. Now the law is that no building can be higher.

We climbed the stairs to the top of the dome where we could walk out for panoramic views of Budapest.  It was a beautiful day; I only took a picture on one side because the sun was too bright on the others (fairly bright on this side, too).  Budapest is an architectural paradise.  You can see the old along with the new.  In the back, you can see the Parlaiment buildings. About the center is a black glass, modern building.  We walked there, the Bank Center, housing such companies as Citibank, the Bank of China, other banks,  several investment companies, and Amgen Pharmaceutical.

From that area we walked around in the ‘high rent district,’ and passed the US Embassy, which has fences and guards.  I could only take a picture from across the square.  (We actually pass several embassies in our neighborhood on our walks, but they don’t have fences or guards.)

We met two other missionary couples for lunch –Hungarian goulash and bread – on Vörösmárty Tér (Square), the famous, tourist (and expensive) area of Budapest.   Of course, there are several McDonalds, along with two H&M’s, many shoe and clothing stores-- all the name brands and a few interesting ones like Stradivarius, Heavy Tools and Brand Bible.

Afterwards we headed to do some grocery shopping at the Arena Mall (a new place to discover).  It is gigantic!  Perhaps we got a bit carried away since we ride buses and subways to and from.  When we got home we weighed our bags and had 50+ pounds!  And Elder Miller’s Fitbit reported that we had accomplished 20,077 steps for the day!

On the bus ride home, a lady asked us if we are Americans.  We told her what we were doing and asked if she knew the Mormon Church.  “Oh yes,” she said.  “I live here and in Sacramento.  When my boys were growing up they had Mormon friends and I didn’t ever have to worry about them.  The Mormons teach good things.”   We did give her a Pass Along card and our card.  She did not give us her name. Interesting, she said she loves the west – Arizona and New Mexico, especially Silver City. I told her that is where my mother was born, she would be pleased.   She said she went to the mayor to tell him that he should be promoting the sites around Silver City because it is good for tourists.   And now, she says many European tourists go there. 

Today we attended the Buda Ward, which was in Hungarian. Later in the day we went to a ‘program’ (teaching discussion) with the elders as they taught a woman and her boyfriend they had contacted earlier in the week. It was a bit crowded in their home; they only had the sofa and one chair, so someone was standing.  He seemed interested, said they would read in the Book of Mormon and come to church this week.  

We are grateful for the Book of Mormon.  We have just started it again.  We are grateful for the testimonies of Nephi, Jacob and Isaiah -- their witness and teachings of Jesus Christ truly make this book 'another testament of Christ.'



  1. Nice blog and report. Joyce and I were there in September. We stayed in a hotel a block from the Opera House, I think it was called K & R Opera House Hotel or something. We visited the mission home and met a nice couple from Perry and left a card with them for our neighbor Elder Stephen Godderidge. It looks like you are really into the swing of things. PS We spent a nice week on the Big Island with the Herrod's. They are more fun than you would suppose. You are in our prayers occasionally, I hate to over do things. Hugs.

  2. I'll bet the shelters are in heaven with their new washer and refrigerator! What great gifts. It sounds like you're getting your exercise in with all of your walking. I remember taking the kids there when they were young and we walked their legs off! Its a never ending city, but so much to see. If you get a good recipe for Hungarian goulash be sure and share it.