May 12, 2014

 We saw this amusing menu item and ordered.  

Soup in a bread bowl.  Where do we hook the boyfriend?

This has been a full and rewarding week.  We had the privilege of ‘closing’ five projects.

A cabinet was delivered to the National Association of the Blind.  Previously the Braille games were purchased and presented.   We are still hoping to take them a computer (‘surplused’ from some of the church offices) as soon as we are able to get it.  The man in the green shirt is the president and quite visually impaired.  When he uses the computer, he is right up against the screen.

The Disabled People's Association in Nyrigyehaza (3 hours away) employs a 'handyman' who has retired from his profession and works there because "he has three healthy children." 

He maintains and repairs everything at their facility/campus, but has had to bring tools from home to do this.  He is working with and teaching some of the disabled men.  

When something can no longer be repaired, he uses the parts to create/make other items, such as cars, carts, rickshaws, wheelchairs, etc. for the disabled to use for therapy and fun contests.  The Humanitarian Fund purchased power tools for him/the center. 

These people were so appreciative and gracious; they did not want us to leave. We could have stayed and tried out all the carts.  A very sweet spirit was felt at this 'closing.'

An infusion pump was donated to the Bethesda Children's Hospital, the burn center for Hungary.  Elders attended this closing as it helps those at the hospital associate this gift with the Church and recognize the white shirts and name tags whenever they see them as connected to the gift.  Our contact at the hospital is also a pastor.  In a discussion with him, he mentioned learning German by only reading his German Bible.  We gave him a Book of Mormon.

A children's shelter (for children in crisis) was presented with a stove and some camping equipment.  They have several camping trips planned this summer to take their 30 children and youth out into nature for activities and learning.   They felt this was better for the children than cinemas and discos in town.   Again, the president was so grateful, and said she didn't know 20 years ago when she started this home that she would still be involved helping these children.  She then said, "I am Catholic, what is different about your church from mine?"  She took information about where to attend church and said she would like to attend sometime.

Today we went to a baby store, actually ‘more than a baby store’ the sign said.  It was true; it had clothes, toys, games, books, furniture, car seats, strollers, all possible baby gear.  We purchased some electric breast pumps and specialized accessories for babies and mothers who have a hard time nursing, such as premature babies or those born with a cleft palate.  This lady came and met us there to pick up the supplies, as they don’t actually have a brick and mortar office.   She said she had mothers waiting to use this equipment. 

It is always so rewarding to meet with the leaders of these organizations and get to know their stories.  In every case, someone has started a foundation because of a need (personal or otherwise) and then has been involved with helping/serving the needs for 20, 30 or 40+ years.  They are sweet, dedicated people trying to provide with limited facilities and help.

It is amazing and humbling to realize the breadth of the Church’s humanitarian efforts; their vision of helping Heavenly Father’s children around the world.  When we meet with the people, they are surprised that we would donate to them and we explain that members of our church around the world voluntarily donate a little and it all adds up so that people like us can serve in countries around the world and help.  Our area supervisors told us that the humanitarian missions and projects only operate on the interest of the Humanitarian Fund. This is truly the Lord’s Church or this would not be possible.  We are so blessed to be a small part of this work in this little corner of His Kingdom.  

On our way to do some grocery shopping on Saturday, we stopped at the Chinese Piac (market).  It was huge, booth after booth of the same items, but everyone trying to sell us something – all knockoffs of name brands and ‘made in China.’  It was so similar to markets in Central America; however, this was not handcrafted items – just stuff.

Saturday evening and Sunday was stake conference.  The Sunday session was especially wonderful.  Our favorite speaker was our new branch president from Kaposvár.   He said this is his second stake conference; the first was six months ago, two days after his baptism.  He has been a branch president for two months.  He said he has been reading the Church Handbook, but so many things say ‘follow the Spirit.’  He went on to say when his mother was teaching him how to make bread, he wanted to know the exact amount of flour and she told him that he would know how much to put in; he would feel the right consistency with his wrist.  When he left home, he tried to make bread, but had a hard time getting the right amount of flour.  “Knowing and responding to the Holy Ghost is the same,” he said, “it comes from experience.”   He said he wondered if the Children of Israel were afraid to look upon the fiery serpent because they did not have the experience of knowing the Lord well.   He spoke like a seasoned brother.   We look forward to knowing and working with him.  

There is one stake in Hungary (and two districts).  Stake conference was broadcast via satellite to the other buildings around the country, so we were quite surprised that the chapel and cultural hall were full.   The Church is young in Hungary—just 24 years.   One sister who spoke in conference said her family joined the Church when she was young – 20 years ago.   Four young adults who are waiting for mission calls spoke.  The two young men were from member families and have been planning and looking forward to missions;  the two sisters each said they were the only members in their families.   There are three young, unmarried branch presidents and ours (in Kaposvár) was just married two weeks ago.  Many of the baptisms are young adults, and there have been several marriages of young adults since we arrived.  This is the beginning; these young adults will raise the next generation in the Church, much like we’ve seen in Central America.  In a few years the Church will be much stronger in Hungary.   They are close to a second stake, and of course, would love to have a temple.   Currently they must travel to Freiburg, Germany, which is not easy for them.  

We hope all had a Happy Mother’s Day.   (Hungary’s is the first Sunday in May.)  We spoke to our mothers and our children.   We are so blessed to have the technology to keep in touch with them. 


  1. Here's what impresses me about your projects... You do a lot of good for many different groups without throwing a lot of money away. It seems like none are more than $1000.00 expense, and you provide specifically what they are asking for. No hidden agendas, no chance for the money to be mishandled and enrich the directors. I can think of other charities that grant large sums of cash, but don't get anywhere near the results.

  2. Sounds like some great projects. I love the picture of you pulling Stan in the cart. I had a great Mother's Day and the highlight was skyping our son Jacob on his mission. He returns home July 9th!! I can't believe how fast the two years have gone. In a way, I hate for him to leave his little bubble he's lived in.