January 18, 2015

Don't you wish your grocery list had 'whole pig' on it?

It’s been a rather balmy week for January.  A couple of days were just sweater weather; and today I walked home from church with no coat.  We’re told it’s unusual.  In our driving this week we see the farm machinery out on the highways, fields being plowed and seeds have been for sale for the last couple of weeks. Spring must be on its way or we're in for a big surprise.
Monday afternoon we headed to Budapest to be ready for a full day on Tuesday.  We took care of a couple of things at the mission office and were there when another senior couple arrived in town, so had the opportunity to go to dinner with two other couples. 

Tuesday morning we had a very sweet experience closing the project for the Children’s Autistic School and Home.  They received art supplies, two sewing machines, vacuum cleaners and educational games and toys.  We had previously stopped by to deliver some of the art supplies and they gave us a cross stitched picture (made by a 14-year-old girl) and some beautiful Christmas gift cards the children had made. 

On this day they had prepared a program to present the items received to the children, and to thank us.  First a choir sang a Hungarian “Thank You” – “thank you for finding me, thank you for caring for me, thank you for helping me walk. . . .”  It was very touching.  Adrienn, the director, explained that the children have a hard time expressing their feelings in words, so they sing or do crafts and handwork.  

She also told us about a young Gypsy boy whose parents sent him to the school to live.  He became very good in sports, graduated and is now working at the school.  He is very helpful as he can relate to the children and some of the issues they face.

After the program, she said they had a gift for us.  We had to wait because it wasn’t quite finished.  But they gave us this beautifully cross-stitched traditional Hungarian home blessing – in correct English even.  This was also done by the children.

We were visiting in Adrienn’s office and Elder Miller had a strong feeling that he should give Adrienn a blessing, which he did.  That was a first for a closing, but she said she was grateful.  She is a fairly new director and feels like she was led to and blessed to receive this position.  They all feel like family at the school and it shows. The staff have a great love for the children.

We then visited two more potential projects – a home for single mothers and another children’s home.  We mention children’s homes quite a bit; they are throughout the country and there are 19 just in Budapest.  We then went shopping to price some of the requested items so that we can submit those projects for approval.  

Fun/interesting wall art -- 6 feet long -- at a restaurant in our travels.

We did get approval this week on one new project, so have work to do on that one. 

We returned to Kaposvár on Wednesday and brought Elder and Sister Broadhead (family history specialists) with us so they could do a family history evening at the branch.   The next day they went to an investigator’s home.  She has names and photos back several hundred years and wants to get them entered in the Family Search data base. She even does several batches of indexing every day.   They were so helpful to her and she is thrilled. Her daughter is a member and is planning on a mission at the end of this school term.  We are hoping and praying that this wonderful sister will know and feel the truth of the gospel for herself.  She will be such an asset to this branch.

Friday we left very early to drive to Dunaújváros for zone training.  Dunaújváros is one of the newest cities of the country. It was built in the 1950’s during the industrialization of the country under Socialist rule.  This was our first visit there and we had hoped to look around a bit, but that’s not always in the schedule. 

Elders Heilein, Wilcox and Swink.

After going with the 22 other missionaries to eat at McDonald’s – the only place within walking distance, they said -- we needed to get back for young single adults.  Thank goodness Évi had offered to make palacsintas (crepes) for the meal and I just had to bring the fillings.

We had good attendance at church today – and 6 investigators, including a couple who haven’t been there for awhile.  Great day!  Third Sunday – it was a potluck day for “linger longer.”  Not everyone brings something, but everyone likes to eat!  And some of these women – the food gets near them and they eat.  There is no waiting for presentation, niceties or even setting a table.  

Our son Michael reported that he held baby Carlee this week with NO TUBES!!!!   However, because she is still learning and getting the ‘hang’ of sucking a bottle, they re-inserted the NG tube for feeding supplementation.  Slowly she is healing; and we are so very grateful that Heavenly Father has heard and answered our prayers!

Wednesday night, my father, age 92, suffered a stroke (in Mesa, AZ).  His mind seems to be okay, but he has a hard time speaking, does not have movement on the left side and cannot swallow.  Because of his pacemaker he cannot have an MRI.  I will be doing a conference call with my siblings in a few hours, but at this point I/we am/are looking to make a quick trip to Arizona.

Again, we are so grateful for the knowledge and testimony of the Plan of Salvation.  This is not the end!   We just had a program this evening with an investigator – the one who has been meeting with missionaries for several years.  He knows enough!  He loves reading the Liahona.  He was quoting some of his favorite talks to us.  He sounds like a member.  We bore testimony to him and he did commit to read daily in the Book of Mormon this week and ask for confirmation.  The Gospel is true; it will make such a difference is people’s lives!


  1. I hope you father does well and recovers.

    The pig in the shopping cart is great. Someone may be planning a luau!


  2. Love the pig! The first time I asked if they had bacon at the Sam's Club here in Salvador, they pointed me to a huge slab of pork! Oh well. You continue to have marvelous experiences that we love reading about. Our hearts and prayers are with you concerning your father.

  3. The pig in the shopping cart is awesome and I love the giant utensil wall art. We are praying for Granddad and Mike & Bryson look forward to getting to spend time with him before he passes. What a great example he has been to us all! We miss you and love you!

  4. Oh my word, those pig feet sticking out of the shopping cart are something!! I love the little cross-stitch that the children made you. Glad to hear Carlee is doing well and your son got to hold her.
    Sorry to hear about your dad. I'm sure that's hard being so far away. Our prayers are with you.