September 14, 2014

This mosaic statue is flat, but truly looks three dimensional -- an optical illusion.  This is by Victor Vasarely, a French-Hungarian graphic designer and poster artist, who is considered the grandfather and leader of op art.  This piece is called Zebra, done in the 1930's. Wouldn't a better name be Rubik's Cube?   But then, this was 40 years before the Rubik's cube was invented -- in Hungary!!
First of all, Happy Birthday to my daddy who is 92 today!!!

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day!  I guess we can’t complain; at least it soaks in; we haven’t had to build the ark like they did in Arizona last week.  Life continues for us in the rain.  It is common for Hungarians to cancel appointments when it is raining.  One elder said one rainy week they had 24 appointments and they all got canceled.  Church was a bit sparse today also.  

Tuesday evening we had a very special treat.  We listened to a Europe Area Sister’s Meeting that originated in Germany and was broadcast live to 39 European countries in their native languages.  We watched from home as it was broadcast in Hungarian in our branch building. Elder José A. Teixeira (Europe Area President) first spoke with some thoughts of his mother and wife, two great women he loves. 
Sister Jennifer Kearon, wife of first counselor Elder Patrick Kearon, told how she had just recently learned that when changing sheets on a bed, if you reach and put the fitted sheet on the farthest, hardest corner first instead of last, the rest of the corners will go into place much easier.  She used this analogy to teach us to always do the hardest ‘corners’ first.  “What if the Savior had said, ‘Oh Father, this corner is too hard.’”

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom thanked the Europe area sisters for being good LDS women, wives, daughters and examples.  He said that is really why they came – to bring the love and gratitude from the First Presidency.   

Sister Diane Hallstrom quoted a phrase from a Jewish prayer, “Entrances to holiness are everywhere.”  And then she talked about the kind of heart we need to enter those holy places.  “There is nothing so whole as a broken heart.” (also Jewish)  A broken heart is humble, a broken heart is ready to be taught, a broken heart wants to know the things of God, a broken heart is obedient.  It is the optimal heart condition.  A broken heart enters places of holiness.  On a wintry day in upper New York, no one came to church except the minister and an 89-year-old lady who had hobbled 10 blocks in the snowdrifts and icy sidewalks.  The minister greeted her and said “how in the world did you get here on such a stormy day?”  “Oh,” she said, “my heart gets here first, and then it’s easy for the rest of me.”  A heart like and bound to the Saviors’ is our entrance to all that is holy.

Elder David A. Bednar again thanked the sisters for their strength and steadiness in the face of secular influences.  He talked about the two parts of the Savior’s Atonement:  the redeeming or cleansing and the enabling or strengthening powers. He reviewed the story of Nephi when he was bound and prayed for strength, “according to my faith which is in me. . . .”  He prayed as an agent – to act, and not be acted upon. Elder Bednar said that he believes that Nephi was given strength through the Atonement, and then he worked, perhaps for hours (or longer) twisting and struggling to loosen the bands.  Christ is our source of strength.  “If you do not think you need His strength, then is when you need it the most!”

Elder M. Russell Ballard also thanked the women for the work they are doing.  He said when you read the scriptures you see how much Jesus Christ loved the women of the Church, mentioning the woman at the well and Mother Eve.  He then spoke about his ancestor on his mother’s side, Mary Fielding Smith.  “Your work is as great as the work of the earlier sisters,” he told these European saints.  “Become pioneers just as the first pioneers.  You are pioneers.”

This week in Pécs we closed a project by donating a specialized state-of-the-art lens to the University of Pécs Medical School Dermatology Department and Clinics.   They will use this lens in teaching medical students and in the clinics for earlier and better diagnoses of skin conditions, i.e. cancer, etc.

We then did a couple of missionary apartment inspections, and brought back an entire car load of cast offs from one of them.  Oh my, the things that can collect in apartments over time!   We discarded about half of it and gave some white shirts and a suit to some branch members today.  The rest (like about 15 copies of Jesus the Christ, Man’s Search for Happiness, etc.) we will take to the mission office.  

We had a little time to look around and saw the Pécs Synogugue, which was consecrated in 1869.  The outside has onion domes and ornate exterior finishes.

The decorative detailing continues on the inside.  It still contains the original organ.

The Pécs Cathedral’s foundation was laid at the end of the fourth century.  The towers were probably built in the Middle Ages.

The chapel and other interior parts have been built and rebuilt over the centuries.

We walked up to the massive iron gate and took a picture – the light was not right.  And the few minutes we were there we got a parking ticket!


We drove to the TV tower which overlooks the city.  The tower is 176 meters (673 feet) high.  We went up to a public observation deck at 75 meters and a restaurant at 72 meters (and unfortunately we had just eaten). 

The observation deck offered spectacular views, but just as we got there the clouds came rolling in.

And last we saw a couple of places where love locks have been placed.  Sweethearts attach a padlock (sometimes with their names written or engraved) to a gate, fence, bridge or other public fixture as a token of their love and commitment.  We wondered how many of these couples are still together.  This one is very full,

but just down the street, here is the beginning of another.
Remember the neonatologist that we mentioned recently who prays every time he runs the sterilizer in his maternity ward and NICU hoping that it will continue working.  On Thursday we received a miracle email from our supervisors in Germany who wrote to say that they had some funds in a special account and they would like to use it to buy the sterilizer for Dr. Csathy’s neonatology unit. (They visited him with us when they were here in May.) We are thrilled; he was thrilled.  He has continued to write for grants to replace this almost 30-year-old sterilizer and has been turned down numerous times. 

Friday we had a very sweet experience as we closed the project for a home for disabled children in Kaposvár.  They had requested towels and blankets.   They are the ones we had the stake youth group cut and tie the blankets in their summer activity.   We delivered the blankets last week, but the children were not there, and the director wanted us to return to see the children.  Friday the blankets were already in use in several places. They loved the bright colors.

They presented us a photo of all the children holding several of the blankets. The photo has a fingerprint of each child around the edges.

The children and their teachers did a little presentation for us.  And then they took us on a tour of each of the classrooms to see what they are doing and learning as well as the therapy they receive.   Again, the children are happy; it is obvious they love their teachers and the teachers love them.  Some have been coming to this center all their lives.  We truly felt like we were among angels. 

We had a couple of branch members to lunch today with one set of missionaries.  We decided we would try to have each of the branch members over with a set of missionaries.  The brother that came today was in the branch presidency.  He lost his job and took a job in a pub but has not been able to come to church.  The missionaries have continued to meet with him and Friday he quit his job so he can come back to church – an act of faith for him.

That’s our week – hardly in a nutshell, however. We are enjoying our time here together representing our Savior and helping in His work.   We thank you for your comments and support.  We love and miss you all.  If we look ahead, it seems like a long time before we will see you again.  As we look back,the time has passed quickly.  We'll just keep working forward and looking back!

1 comment:

  1. What you are doing is so wonderful and sometimes even touching. The art and architecture are also wonderful. I love the gate with metal ivy (that's how it appears anyway). I guess there was some torrential rain in Utah, too. We come home to a musty house and soggy carpet in our basement. Oh well, that's the price you pay when you leave.

    Have another great week and we will check back next Sunday.