March 23, 2014

Couldn't resist! This store sells bits of dishes, crystal, jewelry -- lots of good schmuck!

Our days were a bit different this week.  As mentioned, we have visited several organizations and have talked to them about their needs and how we might help them.   It was time to actually submit some project requests, which requires a write up and some paperwork.  We did go out to price some items and then submitted three projects.  The others we are still waiting for responses from the agencies about their wishes and suggested vendors.  You might think that if they were getting something they would be right ‘on it.’  Someone said, “Remember this is Hungary.”

We’ve mentioned before how efficient the public transportation is.  We needed to price some outdoor equipment; I looked up the address and went to Google Maps, found the route and we headed there.  We got further and further away from the familiar city.  Stan was getting a bit worried and kept asking if I was sure about the directions.   We got off as directed – the 24th bus stop – walked the designated block and lo and behold, there it was!  And it was HUGE!  We priced our items, one of which they did not have, but the salesman said they had it at their other store, which was bigger!  Okay U.S. Scheels or Cabellas have nothing over on Decathlon in Hungary.  Well, maybe the ferris wheel and the aquarium and mounted animals.   And then next door was a grocery store we had seen advertisements and bags from, but did not know where it was.  So when we finished, we took a detour to visit Auchan.  And that store had 60 cash registers!  No, they were not all in use, but they were built.  So there, Costco and Sam’s.  

A couple of weeks ago, one of the elders told us about Medvehagyma (wild leeks), affirmed that it was delicious and that we should buy some when we see it for sale.  Within a day or so, you could buy it on most street corners, in the markets and every grocery store.  And then an email came from Delicious Living (online magazine) and it highlighted ramps.  With a bit of looking, this is the discovery.  Medvehagma is the star of Hungarian kitchens in early spring.  It is also called ramps, ramson (in England), wild leeks or wild garlic.  It is a relative of chives; both tasty and nutritious, even being known to reduce high blood pressure.  It is rich in Vitamin C, is from the cancer-fighting allium family and in Appalachia is a venerated folk remedy.  It grows wild throughout Hungary and is popular in salads, soups, eggs, as a side dish or used instead of basil as a pesto.  So far we’ve loved it best over baked potatoes.  One place said it is now popular because 'foraged food is fashionable.'  Have you ever seen this?

As mentioned, McDonald’s is plentiful here.   We tried to find how many actual restaurants are in Budapest, but could not.  There are 35,000 in 100 countries in the world; they’re taking over!  Below is a typical McDonalds here and one that was just featured in the news – the fanciest in the world – at one of our most frequented tram stops.

Typical Budapest McDonalds

McDonalds version of "Have it your way."
The fanciest McDonalds impressive exterior, only betrayed by the always timeless golden arches.
This station building was built in 1877 by the Eiffel Company, which also built the Eiffel Tower. Opened in 1988, this McDonald' became the first in Hungary, and was a particularly symbolic gesture given the timing. The chain's golden arches, considered by many a symbol of America's foreign policy and capitalism, made their way into Hungary shortly before the end of Communism. (from Google Alert)

Notice the grandeur -- unlike  any McDonalds we've ever seen.
U.S. fire hydrants are short and fat; Hungary’s are tall and skinny.

Saturday morning Sharon attended a stake Relief Society celebration meeting so we didn’t go ‘adventuring’ this week.  The theme of the RS meeting was family history (that’s what we want our next mission to be), and here are a few tidbits from the meeting:

  • Family history is no longer about charts; it’s about knowing your family (the teachers said if we were doing anything on the list below, we are involved in family history).
  • Start with your heart, then go to the charts by:
   Stories – everyone has a story.  Discovering their story makes them real.  When finding/hearing a story, be sure and write it down.  “Except a living man, there is nothing more wonderful than a book! . . .those little sheets of paper speak to us, terrify us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.”  Charles Kingsley
   Photos – With all the writing don’t forget the photos.  “Of all the inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”  Walt Disney
   Pedigree Charts

  • Family history is not just a program, it is a lifestyle!

We are so grateful for Heavenly Father’s Plan that we come to this earth in families and He wants us to return in families.  He wants us to know our families when we walk through the veil.   

Reading the Allegory of the Olive Trees in Jacob 5 this week is another testimony strengthener of the great love and mercy that our Savior and our prophets have for us and our families.   Over and over - 15 times – the Savior wants to give us one more opportunity; and when He grieves that He should lose a tree, the servants (prophets) want to give us another opportunity.  His love is exemplified to the utmost through His Atonement in our behalf.  Elder Holland commented that “returning, repenting, reuniting – at-one-ment – this is the message throughout.” 


  1. We love ALL the pictures. And the virtual tour of the Marzipan Museum was wonderful, magnificent, breath-taking to see all the detail. Especially the apron with lace filligree made out of sugar and almond. I guess the egg whites really "cement" the ingredients. Thanks for sharing.


  2. I'm glad to hear I'm doing a little family history by all the pictures I take. I'm not very good at keeping a journal, but I have 45,000 pictures on my computer!!