July 27, 2014 - Six Months!

Hungarians love their fresh ice creams.  Warm weather sees an explosion of ice cream parlors and kiosks selling freshly made ice creams by the gomboc (a scoop), sometimes a bit bizarre flavors:  poppy seed, green tea, pear, buttermilk, plum, grapefruit, cranberry, currant, Russian cream (?), green apple, to name a few.  This place that turns their scoops into rose petals is rather famous and well patronized.

Another busy week has passed quickly.   Monday we had a good group for Family Home Evening, so enjoyed the young women and the elders and played Uno.   Two of the girls were non-member friends of the members. 

Monday morning we received a call that one of the medical warming units that the BYU Chamber Orchestra and NuSkin purchased had not yet been presented to the hospital in Tatabanya and would we come for the presentation on Thursday morning. So we quickly made some calls and found a couple of places in Tatabanya we could visit while there to make our trip more efficient. On Wednesday afternoon we met with a county home for the elderly and disabled.  They have four buildings; one is for elderly who have no family or other place to go. The other three buildings are for disabled adults, each of varying degrees.   We met twin boys, age 20, who have spent their life in bed.  They do not speak, but were smiling and were happy for the attention.  They are very close to each other and when one has problems or pain; the other is very sensitive and caring.  One was just a tiny, misshapen form under the sheet.   We are so very blessed. 


The next morning we attended the presentation and press conference at the hospital as they accepted the bed warming unit (which is used to stabilize body temperatures in ICU or surgery).  The hospital director said that they were planning to get one of these units, but it would take two years to have the money ($2,500) to do so.   We were interviewed by both TV and newspaper -  click the above link for the TV interview.  Thank goodness for Zoli (next to Sharon), the Church member who speaks perfect English and from whose company the warming units were purchased.  He was our interpreter and go-between.    

The hospital had a lovely buffet set up.  Too bad we had just eaten breakfast.  The man over the nurses commented that his daughter had been taught by the missionaries.

Afterwards we met with a day care facility for disabled adults.  We actually met with the residents; they were very friendly.   We learned that these men and women used to work, but are no longer allowed to do so; the facility does not have a license and proper credentials for that.  When asked what they would most like, the residents said they would like to work!   We suggested several ways in which we could help them to help themselves; but they think they cannot get the proper paperwork.  

One activity they have each morning is crafts.  Some are quite good and creative.  They made these very cute cards. 
I especially liked this ballerina tutu, which is a creative and clever use of cutout snowflakes!

The old, but nice hotel we stayed in had a nice feature.  The hallway was at angles, so every two rooms had this spacious sitting area.  The wall opposite the room door was all windows – so not a long, dark hallway.

On Wednesday after our meeting we had a little time, so were directed to see the bird on the mountain overlooking the city.  The Turul (hawk) is the most important bird in myth of Hungarian people.  It is a divine messenger, symbolizing power, strength and nobility and is used today on the coat of arms for the Hungarian army.  The Turul represents God’s power and will and is seen as the ancestor of Atilla the Hun.  He is often carrying the flaming sword of Atilla and bearing the crown of Atilla who is considered the first king of Hungary. 

From the hill -- the birdseye view of Tatabanya -- red tile roofs are very standard in Hungary.

Because seeing the Turul only took 5 minutes, we decided to take a walk down these inviting paths. . . .

. . . .we looked over the fence into a hole.   

 Continuing down some steps less traveled, we were soon inside a large cave.  

In the evening we walked around a beautiful city park that was full of families,  had several soccer fields, many different play areas and some unique teeter totters.

On the drive we took this photo of one of the many Soviet apartment buildings which are scattered around the country - emphasis on vacant and colorless cement structures.

And when we go and come toward the north, we always cross this high, beautifully built bridge.  This time we stopped and took a picture. 

We arrived home on Thursday afternoon and quickly fixed dinner for company that evening – the German family in our branch.   They brought their adult son who speaks English and translated for us throughout dinner. We had a nice and enjoyable evening.

This week was transfer week and we received two new missionaries – one from Great Falls, MT and the other from Queen Creek, AZ.  The two we have are from Spanish Fork, UT and Richmond, VA.

Friday we worked on humanitarian projects – our interpreter came over to make calls and do some researching of online items that are requested so that we can submit some more projects for approval from the Area Welfare Manager.. 

In the evening we were in charge of the Young Single Adult (YSA) activity.  We had 4 attend besides missionaries and President and Sister Balint, our branch president.

Saturday we went with the missionaries to a village about 50K away to visit a member lady who has been sick. We visited with her less-active son and daughter-in-law and a neighbor who is interested in receiving the missionaries. 

On the way we passed several tree/wood farms. It was interesting to see the trees so straight and uniform.

Afterwards, Stan took me to eat at Gecco, a Mexican restaurant that we pass each day as we walk to town or to the branch. We have been skeptical because the Mexican restaurants we tried before have been very Hungarian infused.  These vegetable enchiladas and Stan's fajitas were very good -- real Mexican flavor.  In fact, the menu was actually translated into English and Spanish correctly – which should have given us a clue.

Afterward we walked into town to get a game for FHE and YSA – Jenga is big here.    All week we had noticed youth teams in uniforms walking around town.  Today we spoke to some boys from Chile and then to a team from Scotland taking pictures of their cup and learned that this week was the International Intersport Youth Football (soccer) Tournament right here in little ole’ Kaposvar!   Scotland won the cup, Italy was second , but they couldn’t remember who was third.  

Speaking of games – does anyone have some good ideas for group games for young adult ages.  We need some good ideas that transcend language barriers.   We have played Five Crowns, Uno, Slap Jack, Murder and Pictionary, but need some ideas that don’t require buying the game.  We would love some ideas from you.

I spoke in Church today commemorating pioneers (not well known here) and talked a bit about these young and new Church members also being pioneers in Hungary.   In this month’s Liahona, which must also be in the Ensign, is an article about the Church in Brazil.   I compared the two:  The first mission in Brazil was established in 1935.  Thirty one years later the first stake was organized.  The Church and mission have been in Hungary 24 years and we are hoping for our second stake.  Hungary is ahead!  During the first 30 years, Brazil (which has about 20 times more people than Hungary) had 1,454 members.  After 24 years Hungary has 5,000 members.  Hungary is ahead!  Brazil’s first temple was dedicated in 1978, 43 years after the mission opened.  Hungary is not behind!

The Church is young in Hungary, about 50 years younger than in Brazil.  Pioneers are just beginning their trek here.  It will be wonderful to watch the next 50 years in Hungary!  May Heavenly Father bless and strengthen His wonderful children in Hungary.


  1. Looks like a good week. The ice cream sounds intriguing. do they have regular flavors and is it good?


  2. Wonderful stories! Sharon, do you know about Pinterest? Just go to the site and search party games. You'll be surprised at all the great ideas for your activities. It's like tearing pages out if a magazine, except they're all digital, and you xan save them. Jessica has a section of favorites you'd like! Warning, it's addicting!!

  3. You two make a great team. Love your stories.

  4. The cards the disabled adults made are beautiful. I have a fun game we use to play with families on my mission. I'll email you how to play. I can see how that would make it really hard to play certain games without being able to communicate.