June 22, 2014

Typical home in a small falu (village).  The homes are quite close together and the front is right next to the road, so the home is extended (or added onto) back and back and back.

Vinegar has become our ‘go to’ product here.  It takes off minor rust, dissolves hard water deposits and leaves the chrome shiny, stops and prevents mold, disinfects, detoxifies, and if you put a little vinegar in water and soak strawberries (and any other fruit) for 10 minutes, it will keep them from molding and going bad (which they are prone to do here in a day or two)!!!!  Good stuff.  Try it. The other discovery is to use shampoo on ring-around-the-collar -- a great way to use up old or inexpensive shampoo.

Last Sunday Elder Miller was sustained as 'the' counselor in the Kaposvár Branch.  After the meetings, they promptly had a three-hour meeting (training on MLS, etc.) while the wives and one family were waiting. :)

We then headed to Budapest to meet with Elder Dennis and Sister Donna Smith, Church Wheelchair Specialists, who would arrive that night.  Like the Cullimores, they travel Eastern Europe and the Philippines to oversee these church projects.  FYI: They arrived here from Iraq, where they were just 50 miles from the rebel fighting. There is one missionary couple serving in Iraq as a public relations couple.  They are looking to do a wheelchair project there. 

The next morning Elder and Sister Smith went with us to ‘close’ a project at a Home for Disabled Adults.  They were provided some faucets (as theirs were squirting water out into the room), this  table, a dresser, a cabinet, a vacuum cleaner, . . .

. . .and some pots and pans.

With the Smiths we then met with the Red Cross organization to discuss further the possibility of doing a wheelchair project in Hungary.  This is a big undertaking for the Church and the Red Cross, and as a partnering organization, the Red Cross must be totally ‘on board’ with their commitment. They are hoping to do the project in the northeast part of the country where the need is greater and will benefit the Roma (Gypsy) people.  Their responsibility is to get the wheelchairs out of customs upon arrival and they are working to find out just what that means. We are told that items to be donated will not have a customs charge, but then they could sit on the dock or in a warehouse for several months until papers are signed, thus requiring a rental/storage fee.  Ever heard of red tape?   We and they need to be prepared for such costs!  We are working on these details.

The next morning we drove to a Székasféhervár, about 60K from Budapest, to meet with another home for disabled adults and talk with them about needs.  This lady is their director.  She is disabled physically, but not her mind!  She has ‘volunteered’ for 35 years!

They actually had a nice facility.  We are learning that a foundation might ‘win’ a grant from the government to build a facility, but then not ‘win’ their grant request again for money to equip or maintain the facility.

The physical therapist is demonstrating some of their therapy for upper arms and body.

The branch president (left) translated for us, and we actually found a Mexican restaurant for lunch on the walking street of Székasféhervár.

President Szabo told us the lovely pedestrian street had just opened a few days before. 

The pedestrian street was rebuilt using inserts with stones from the castle, which is no longer standing.  Székasféhervár has 100,000 people and  used to be the capital of Hungary; 37 kings and 39 queen consorts (wives) have been crowned in the basilica there.  Fifteen rulers are buried in Székasféhervár.

At the end of the street was a working 'flower' clock and the city's name.

The next day we had an amazing zone conference at the mission home.  Here are a few tidbits:
  • Charles Francis Adams, a grandson of President John Quincy Adams, was a lawyer and was driven to excel.  He recorded his activities daily in a journal.  One day his entry read “went fishing with my son today – a wasted day.”    His son, Brooks Adams, also kept a journal.  His entry for the same day: “Went fishing with my dad -- the most wonderful day of my life.” Our attitude will determine what we expect or what we ‘get out of’ each event in our lives!
  • The Assistants showed a scene from “Facing the Giants.”  One of the players makes a comment that shows his attitude stinks.
  • The Lord called us to Hungary as indicated in Hungary's dedicatory prayer, “May the future servants,  foreordained before the world was formed, take their paces here in thy earthly kingdom. “
  • “A vision without a task is just a wish, a task is mere drudgery; but a vision and a task is a dream  fulfilled.”  Anonymous
Back to Kaposvár, we went to visit a family who was active for several years and have now not attended for several months.  They admit they know the branch needs them, they need the branch, their children need the teachings; however, they live about 25K away from the city, have 6 children and do not all fit in their small car (if it is working), cannot afford to attend each week, and the mother is waiting to hear this week results of some medical tests whether or not she has cancer.   These are the obstacles of so many of the members in Hungary.   And those who ride a bus to church sometimes have to leave before the block of meetings is over or it will be hours before they can catch a bus home.

We did have several investigators and some members we haven’t previously met at church today.   We continue to pray that these great people will learn who they are, whose they are, and know that Heavenly Father loves each of them and desires that they learn of Him, His Son, and His gospel.  A few more lines from the dedicatory prayer:  "Humbly we recognize that as individuals we are frail and few in number.  Yet in thine own way and in thine own due time, thy purposes will be brought to pass both on earth and in heaven. . . .Oppression and depression have plagued its people from time to time. . .Now we foresee the emergence of new light and power.  Wilt thou look with fresh favor upon this land that its people may be blessed with rays of divine light of the gospel and a future of fullness that restored truth will bring.  Previous scattering of Israel's blood has sprinkled that choice seed in great number throughout this land.  Yet, they know not who they are.  May the promised gathering of thine elect bring them safely back to thy fold -- that wards and stakes may one day dot this land."

We are so grateful for that gospel and the calling and opportunity to share it in the country of Hungary.  


  1. The folks at the home for disabled adults reminds me of the people we work with in the Special Needs Activities Program (SNAP), our current calling. The newly opened pedestrian zone is beautiful. Mexican food in Hungary? Sounds questionable to me. :)


  2. I loved your little cleaning tips with the vinegar. It sounds like the Branch there has its own set of trials just like wards and branches here. We've been in our ward here for 19 years now and are facing more trials than I've ever seen before. At times its easy to get discouraged! I was reading in Moroni 9 the other day and verse 6 was what I needed to read.
    I loved your notes from your zone conference & little video clip, great reminders for all of us. Jacob gets home from his mission in 2 weeks!! I will miss his upbeat letters every week.
    Keep up the good work. Love you two.