July 13, 2014

In case one doesn't get enough bread with one's bun, here's a special 'burgi' -- it has an extra slice of bread in the middle! Remember, this is the country with pékségek (bakeries) every few feet!

Apparently Hungary is having some unusual weather this year.  We arrived in the middle of a very mild winter as opposed to the year before which was quite cold.  Last summer the Danube flooded and we are told horror stories of the temperatures being at 114ᵒ with hardly any rain —especially July and August. This June was fairly cool with plenty of rain.  And now it’s almost the middle of July and again this week it was rainy and was actually cold a couple of days.  In fact, Hungarians had on coats and scarves.  We will take it!  Oh. . . there’s thunder!  And when it rains, it pours.

This week was a shopping week.  We went several places to compare prices for art supplies for one of the pre-schools that we visited in Pápa on the last trip.  And then it was fun to buy: tempera paints, paper, scissors, watercolors, brushes, glue sticks and colored pencils – lots of them!   Hope they’ll be set.

A lot of our shopping is done online and by telephone, especially since we moved.  Purchases this week included vacuum cleaners, a therapy/treatment bed, trampoline, basketball standard, and sheets (envelope style) for the pre-school cots (they had one they had made just like the 200+ Kelli and I made before we left).   It is an interesting experience shopping in Hungary.   Most places do not stock supplies of things.  And they want to be paid in cash first – no matter where their company is located.  So this week, after we drop things off at the pre-school, we have to go by a couple of companies and pay for items we are ordering.   We were trying to find industrial-type vacuum cleaners, but the company we found is way out of the way and it could only be cash up front.  We kept searching and found a company that would actually take a credit card online and they would deliver the next day!  WOW!  That is a first!   When we go this week we will see if it all works out – and then maybe we can steer some more business their way.

This was apartment check week for the five missionary apartments to which we are assigned -- two here in Kaposvár and three in Pécs. Tradition says that you take them food for a reward if they pass the inspection -- so had a cooking/baking day also. 

The drive to Pécs was very pleasant; there's much green in the countryside.  There we had zone training -- 16 missionaries.  The zone leaders did a good job.  A couple of thoughts:

  • Investigators will only progress if they are reading the Book of Mormon, praying and attending church.
  • Everyone on this planet is attracted in some way to the gospel.  After all, they accepted it in pre-mortality.

 Afterwards we went together and had lunch and then to inspect apartments.

This contrast was right outside one of the elders’ apartments.  On the left is a government building  -  updated and maintained.  Right next is the other part of the old building which has not been maintained. This is a very common sight.  One little part of a very old building might be updated, remodeled and have a business, but the rest of the building is still in the 16th -17th century.

The recent rains have brought out the sunflowers. Sunflower seeds and oil are big products here.

Another field was identified.  These are sugar carrots, used like sugar beets to make sugar.  We picked one.  They weren’t ready yet, but the white carrot-shaped vegetable tasted very good.

Saturday we had a branch social.  We went by bus to a member’s wife’s sister’s home for a  bogrács gulyás party.  A bogrács is a very large kettle or cauldron used on a open fire to make gulyás (goulash) soup. The member’s (who used to be in the branch presidency -- in blue shorts) wife and her sister were the ones cooking the goulash and they are not members, so we were very appreciative of them. 

We arrived at the church at noon, finally got away around 1:30 p.m., got off at the wrong stop (not our fault).  By the time we arrived at the party, it was around 2:30 p.m., the soup was just started.  One by one, people brought out the dish they brought and it was eaten, along with the bacon left over from the last party.  By the time the goulash was done, it was around 4:30 p.m.  We arrived home after 6 p.m. – so it was quite a day. 
 A recent convert and her friend who attended.

This is the only family that comes with children.  He is the branch clerk and just lost his job.  They are moving to London at the end of the month.  We also learned this week that the elder's quorum president is moving to Budapest in August.  Our struggling little branch is getting smaller.  We have work to do.

For interest's sake, this is a typical parking lot -- never asphalt, but paving tiles/bricks -- individually laid.  And the parking lines are inset with colored bricks.  

To use a shopping cart, one puts in 100 forint coin to get the cart.  The coin is returned when the cart is returned.

This evening we went with one set of missionaries to visit a sister in the branch.  She was a convert earlier this year and  probably one of the most faithful.  She is very sweet, wants to feed the missionaries, and I just wish I could carry on a conversation with her.  

We were asked this week to start a young adult program here.  That will be great.  We have several young adult age new converts who need the support and 'nourishment.'  We will start having something for them each Friday evening.  The Church in Hungary is young.  There have been numerous young adults baptized in the last few years.  We've mentioned that there are several young, single branch presidents currently serving.  Looking to the future when these young adults serve missions, marry and begin to raise their families in the Church, there will be a boom in Hungary.   We pray for that day.  Right now, the next step is a second stake (soon maybe).

We love you all.  We miss you, too.  We are happy doing the work of the Lord and hope that (in spite of the language difficulty) we can be instruments in His hands to help and influence someone to make good changes in their life.  


  1. Tesco in Hungary! In England, we love Tesco's ready-made dishes: quick, easy, and tasty. Do they do that sort of thing in Hungary?

    Great post (as always)!



  2. I enjoy reading all the little stories about the branch there and the new members. It reminds me of the scripture in Alma 37:6 ...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass...
    We just got back from Nauvoo and Carthage with our two sons and daughters family. It's always a good reminder of the faith the members had and their dedication to the gospel.