August 24, 2014

I tried my hand at Hungarian Lesco (Leh cho) for YSA -- onions, peppers, tomatoes and sausage if desired.

An amazingly cool week – in the 60’s and 70’s!   Sorry for those of you still enduring the 90’s to 100- degree summer heat.  

For the week prior and leading up through Tuesday was a Kaposvár Classical Music Festival.  We went to the closing concert on Tuesday evening.  The program listed two numbers:  Beethoven’s piano Sonata in A Major, Op. 101 and Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks.   The Cultural Center was full with overflow seating on the sides of the stage.  We enjoyed the Beethoven piece played by a soloist who is turning 80 shortly.  Since his retirement from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music he travels and gives master classes in Europe and Asia.  When that piece was finished they announced that the next piece would be outside in the city square – complete with fireworks.  Minor though they were, they added a festive flair to the music. (Didn't get a picture of the fireworks, sorry.)

Then Wednesday was a holiday – St. Stephen’s Day.  In the year 1000 Hungary’s first king was crowned and the Hungarian state was founded.  In Budapest, a case containing the right hand of St. Stephen is carried in a procession from the Basilica through the streets of Budapest.  Traditionally, the first bread from the new harvest is baked for this day. 

We were not in Budapest to celebrate; however, so you won’t miss the tradition, here is a picture of St. Stephen’s hand as we viewed it in St. Stephen’s Basilica a few months ago.  

A wasp's nest.
Here in Kaposvár, we celebrated rather quietly.  We went to the Rippl-Ronai Museum and thought we were going to see the Hungarian artist, Rippl-Ronai’s paintings.  Surprise!  There were none.   Instead we saw early Hungarian artifacts (much like other historical museums), animals and insects (much like the Monte Bean Museum),

Festival dress for a young married man.
Festival dress for a young married woman.
Festival dress for a young married, childless woman.  Talk about discrimination!
early Hungarian clothing, 

and samples of early Hungarian embroidery.

Later in the day we went to a city park which has been remodeled in the last couple of months.  The festivities there were mostly for children: some booths selling stuffed animals and toys, a group doing some rhythmic children’s songs and stories, a few carnival rides, inflated slides, several nifty playground  areas,

. . .a new jogging path around the lake, and of course vattacukor (cotton candy).  So our summer is complete – just walking by the carnival rides and cotton candy like we do each year at Strawberry Days or the Fourth of July celebration.   Wish we’d had some grandchildren with us. 

We made arrangements this week to ‘close’ some projects in a couple of other cities so will be heading out on Tuesday.   On Friday evening we had several new people at our Young Single Adults.  This week was a service week; and they helped finish the last three blankets for the home for the disabled, which we can’t ‘close’ until September.  We are discovering Europe goes on vacation in August.    

A Hungarian frustration – we ordered a dermatology lens from California (because it was not in stock here, and to order it through the company here would have been much more expensive, and taken much longer – we think).  It is to be given to a medical teaching hospital here.  Well, it has been in the country now for at least three weeks (that we know of).   The Posta man came to our door to tell us it had arrived in Budapest and we needed to pay customs.  Fine, but we can’t seem to get it here so we can pay.  We have filled out the paper work, sent it, and talked to a customs lady in Budapest.  She verified everything and said it would be sent here this past week.  When we hadn’t heard anything, we went to the Posta and showed them the paperwork – only to be told we had to do it all over again.  So typical; things here are so labor intensive.  So now we will see if anything arrives this week.  

A word about the Hungarian language, or, why I am not speaking by now.  Check out this word: 

This is the longest Hungarian word.  The root word is ‘szent’ or holy.  Add the ‘ség’ and it makes it holiness, next the ‘telen’ and now it is unholy or sacreligious.  Then add the co-verb ‘meg’ at the front and ‘it’ next at end and now it is defile or profane.  And then you keep adding and finally you have a word that means something like ‘for all your undoable sacrilegiousness.’  Granted, this word is hardly ever used, but it shows the principle of the language – adding different ‘cases’ at the end or the beginning for the tense of the word, the postpositions (instead of prepositions), plural, denoting active or passive verbs, collective or abstract nouns, result or product of the action, to make adjectives out of nouns, to create verbs, to make it opposite and a host of others – and then if the word shows possession or is being acted upon, it has an accusative ‘t’ at the end.  I know words and some very simple sentences, but when people start talking to each other (always very fast) they commonly use words that are 7-10 syllables in length, and I am lost!!!  I wish I could start over and go to the MTC with the young missionaries and learn it like they do – all day every day!   

We live near the hospital and when the helicopter comes we can watch it land on top of the building from our kitchen window.  And speaking of the hospital, when we walk past, it is common to see the patients in their robes and slippers out on the sidewalk having their smoke.

Today was a great day at church.  Our 30 chairs were full; we even had extras brought in and had at least 7 investigators attending.  Unfortunately, today was the last day for one of our priesthood holders who is moving to Budapest.  We still have much work to do. in this branch.  Two of our convert Young Single Adult girls attended the YSA Conference in Poland a couple of weeks ago.  They both were thrilled and had a great experience.  They made new friends, loved hearing Sister Elaine Dalton speak, and were strengthened.  One of them is talking about serving a mission.

Oh, how we wish all those who attend and those who the missionaries teach would have the witness of the Spirit and accept the gospel and thus begin to enjoy the blessings our loving and merciful Heavenly Father and His Son want to bestow upon them.  I guess. . ."we do sin in our wish; for we ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto us."  (see Alma 29:3)  And we must honor the agency that each is given.  It is just hard to watch choices and mistakes being made and know how much better life could be for them.  We are so grateful for the infinite understanding and love of our Savior for all His children. 


  1. We were in Italy during the summer holidays and everything was closed, so I get it. Another good week. Thanks for the post. We are reading this in England, where it is raining today. The Boynton's baby boy is here and well. Kim is slowly mending. Babies in your 40s isn't for sissies.



  2. Enjoyed your post and all the ups and downs of it. I can't imagine learning a language right now like that either!! Yesterday Russ, Jacob and I attended the prison and spoke in their Sacrament meeting. I feel very much the same as the last paragraph you wrote. Its a great opportunity though and they are so appreciative of anyone who comes. The spirit is always strong there. Most wards could learn from them on making you feel welcome as a newcomer. Have a great week!!