October 5, 2014

We spent most of this week working in and from Budapest.  

Tuesday we closed two projects.   The first was for the Tunyogi Healing Playhouse.  Forty years ago Tunyogi  (third from left) started this foundation for infants and young children who mostly were deprived of oxygen at birth causing motor skill development issues.   Her therapeutic ‘games’ have been presented at conferences in Germany and Norway.  She is very dedicated and feels if the child begins treatment as early as six months old, there is a 90% chance they can start normally in school.  This picture shows the older children’s class.  They were given 3 cassette players, a vacuum, a shelf and some chairs.  Tunyogi gave us a plant.

The other closing was at a homeless shelter in Budapest.  The city is trying to get all the homeless off the streets, so in this one district, they are turning vacant buildings into apartments for the homeless.  One apartment was finished and had several occupants.  An adjoining apartment was still being finished.  The woman on the left was painting a room where she and her husband  (who is very ill) will be moving in.   Yes, the building is old, but all rooms and belongings were clean and in order.   The leaders (bottom right and next to Sharon) told us they meet each morning and evening to talk about the day, possible employment opportunities, assignments in the apartment (as they share kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities), and to boost confidence.  They stress cleanliness – showering each day and clothes being kept clean.   The LDS Humanitarian Fund provided them with refrigerators, stoves, and washers.   One of the leaders told us he was very impressed with the donation, and then he sort of choked up.  We told we were impressed with what they were doing for the homeless.  He was very teary when he spoke about the woman (who was painting) saying they have such a sad, very awful story.  It is very humbling to meet and help those who are willing to help the ‘least of these.’ 

We visited a children’s home in Budapest which was WAY UP a hill – and we went the wrong way (up and more up) a couple of times, but when we finally arrived, the view of the city was spectacular.   

We discovered that our public transportation passes included a boat ride on the Danube.  So we took a ride just at dusk and while we were on the water, the lights of the city and bridges came on.  Budapest from the Danube is really a beautifully picturesque city, especially at night.  There are 7 bridges that span the Danube to connect Buda and Pest.  Some are much more elaborate than others.

The next day we drove to two other cities – Szeged and Kecskemét – and met with the director of a disabled day care for children and the Red Cross.   It is amazing that when these people start up they find a tiny, available spot in a building and that becomes their office for many years.  The office for the disabled day care was so tiny there was no place to sit down.   It was full of the papers and files for the 22 years or so since they have been a foundation.  

So with the project that was approved last week, we have plenty to keep us busy this week.  

We had looked up some places to visit while in these new cities, but it didn’t happen.  We walked past the Szeged Synogogue, so could take this picture.  It was rather hidden by trees. 

On the way from one city to another we passed the Mercedes Benz manufacturing plant.  It was HUGE – as in MASSIVE!   Stan went to see if we could take a tour, but they do not have such a thing.  It was interesting to see the lineup of bicycles and scooters and very few cars in the employee parking lot.  Obviously, these workers cannot afford a Mercedes!   (Actually, it is probably because of the very low wages in Hungary that the plant is here.) 

While in Budapest we attended Zone Conference, which is always nice to see other missionaries and have a spiritual boost as we learned how to become master teachers, working with ward/branch leaders and being better and more effective missionaries.  The outgoing and incoming missionaries bore their testimonies, which is always impressive -- so many young missionaries so prepared!

General Conference was awesome again.  We still need to watch the Sunday afternoon session – hopefully this evening.  We were able to watch the Saturday morning session live on Saturday evening and then the elders spent much of Sunday with us and we watched the Priesthood session, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning sessions.   We are so grateful for the technology that allows us to view conference – some live and others right away.   Truly we are blessed and live in amazing times. We are grateful and blessed to have living prophets, seers and revelators who lead us, strengthen us and bear testimony to us.  We are grateful for our Savior who makes all this possible. 


  1. I love the stuff that you are doing: great service!
    Have a good week. We love seeing your posts.



  2. I've been gone so much the past month that I'm finally getting around to catching up on all my family and friends blogs. Sounds like you have been busy and doing great things there. I'm sure the more you do the more you realize there is to do. I'm glad you've been able to do a little site seeing in all your running around.
    I'm sure the members love you there and the strong influence you are for good in their lives. Good-job!!