May 6, 2014

Back to Fisherman's Bastion on Castle Hill.  Elder and Sister Stay and Elder Miller climbing up.  Elder Miller's favorite; he thinks this should be a reproduced as part of Disneyland.
What a wonderful, whirlwind week! 

We purchased Braille games for the National Association of the Blind so they can start a social group to help get visually impaired people out, together and associating with others in public. They have two other items we will have delivered tomorrow for their project.   We also went to Decathlon (sporting goods store) to pay for the order of camping supplies to be delivered to a children’s crisis center.  So interesting.  One person would come and tell us we needed to pay and also pay the delivery charge, but “I’m not the right person to do that.”  Then another person would come and tell us the same thing, and then another.  We assured them each time we were ready to pay.  Finally at the cash register, we had to smile at each other – we had 7 people helping to make this simple transaction!  Once it was finished, then one of them had to take the receipt to the copy machine and make a copy for the store.   (Most things are quite labor intensive; we returned something once and it probably took over 30 minutes!)

Our area supervisors, Elder and Sister Stay, from Frankfurt, Germany arrived this week to spend some time with us.   They accompanied us to appointments for 4 potential projects, did some training, and each did a fascinating fireside and then on P Day we saw a bit of Budapest together.

Elder and Sister Stay saw an ad in a magazine at their hotel and attending a Hungarian-Jewish concert was the top of their list.  So Friday night, we thoroughly enjoyed a Klezmer concert.  Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Jews of Eastern Europe – dance tunes and instrumental pieces for weddings and other celebrations.  Think Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

Next on their list was the Museum of Ethnography – showing the traditional Hungarian costumes/dress and cultural artifacts through their history.

Various beehives throughout Hungarian history.

We saw a historical bicycle exhibit.  Of interest was this one with the handlebars at our head level.   How does one get on?

We followed along on the walking tour of some of the sites in Budapest – which we had previously visited and posted; so as we went we took some random snapshots of interesting buildings/architecture in the city.

Monument left from Communism with Parliament in the background.

Notice wires from the trolley -- they're throughout the city.

Another McDonalds!

Many buildings still have the bullet holes from the 1956 Revolution.
High on the to-do list were the thermal baths in Budapest – there are only 35 of them!   One morning we went early to have a warm dip in mineral water. It began a bit frustrating.  We did not take a towel as we figured the entrance fee would pay for a towel. We paid, and were pointed in a direction to get a towel and cap.  When we finally found the place, no one was there. In time, someone came, but she could not take money; we had to go back to the front cashier and pay. The credit card now would not work for these – only cash.  We decided to drip dry!   Then we had to wander through corridors, halls and dressing rooms to find entrances to the pools.  Once we got in, the water was warm and wondrous!  

Sunday night Sister Stay, who is a Biblical Hebrew scholar, presented a fireside on ‘Christ in the Old Testament’ for the senior missionary couples.  Wow!!!!!   Wish you could have been there.  Here’s a sampling of notes:
  • ‘turning hearts of the fathers’ – the Hebrew word for ‘fathers’ should be translated ‘parents’ 
  • ‘turn’ should be translated ‘repent’ 
  • Genesis 1-4 is temple text
  • Genesis 1 - Elohim, about justice and obedience to law; everything obeys Him
  • Genesis 2-4 - Jehovah, about mercy, need for forgiveness
  • Creation story is Hebrew poetry; all is used to teach about Christ
  • There are several versions of the Creation story, intended to be read and studied for what each prophet intended to teach.
  • The Hebrew language only has 5,000 words. The average high school student knows 25,000 words.  The Old Testament was written with 5,000 words.
  • Jews wrote the scriptures; they intend that there that there be more than one way to interpret a verse. Why did God ask Cain “Where is Abel, thy brother?” when He already knew the answer?  He was offering Cain an opportunity to confess and repent. 
    The ‘mark’ on Cain was to protect him (‘everyone that findeth me shall slay me’); give him time to repent – it was a gift to him.
Elder Stay’s family home evening last night was for the Young Single Adults.  He spoke to the topic of 'Christ in Central America.He showed photos of temples/pyramids in various places in Central American countries and pointed out similarities to the temple in Jerusalem – walls, gates, arches, man with beard and mustache (Mayan Indians did not have this), 3 levels (kingdoms), 2 rooms, font, altar.  He talked about things historians have written about Quezalcoatl, the feathered serpent (God).  Why did the natives name him that?  In I Nephi 17:41, Nephi is talking about Moses . . .’he sent fiery, flying serpents’ could be a possibility.   One more tidbit:  the Hebrew word for jawbone is Lehi; the Hebrew word for princess is Sariah; the Egyptian word for grain is Nephi.

We know our Heavenly Father lives.  We know His Son, Jesus Christ lives.  His church was restored in the latter days by His prophet, Joseph Smith.  We are so grateful to share this testimony with you.    


  1. Very cool. I love your notes from the fireside-stuff like that is so awesome. There's so much we have to learn/understand. Also, a giant warm pool--that's heaven!

  2. As we have been reading the Old Testament, we look at each other and say, "Really?" - It's wonderful to get different insights. We know so little. We have a new bishop in our ward...Aaron Jackson is his name.
    His wife was the RS president, so now we have a new RS president too. It's fun and faith promoting to watch changes in leadership and that they work so smoothly and the Spirit always whispers - this is right!
    Whenever we went places in Brazil, we found that the first time ended up being an adventure and a way to reconnoiter the best way to do things. If we went a second time, it went much more smoothly...hugs!

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  4. Sister Hannah Parkinson said...
    My sister Ann sent me your blog link - it's wonderful to get a taste of Hungary as we anticipate our Erik (Elder Parkinson) heading there soon. He enters the MTC May 21. I'm sure he will not give me this much detail! :)
    Karen Hales Parkinson - I remember babysitting your kids in the 1970's!

    May 7, 2014 at 6:07 PM