March 22, 2015

Lovely restrooms at a Shell station along the road -- had to pay though!

Awaited for months, spring fills the world with the cacophony of life when it comes.  And waiting for this season is not in vain: sooner or later it does arrive.  Like a playful distant relative, you never know when it will knock on your door.  But when it arrives in your life, it comes irresistibly, with cheerful fervor.  It tells stories with laughter, filling the rooms, streets, squares and cities with the taste of sun and wind. 
                                       (Delightful quote from a Hungarian Herend Porcelain Brochure)

Top ten reasons we know it is spring in Hungary:

            10.  Birds are singing – every morning around 4:30 a.m.

              9.  Flowers are planted, buds are becoming visible.
              8.  Many fields are green and many are being plowed – getting ready.
              7.  Tractors and other large farm equipment are out on the roads –under 40 mph.
              6.  The snow fences in fields are being taken down.

              5.  Colorful Easter decorations are at the malls.
              4.  Street workers are out en masse – cleaning, sweeping, pruning, planting.
              3.  Sidewalks are teeming with bicycles -- coming up behind without warning.
              2.  Restaurant decks are coming outside.
              1.  Ice cream shops and stands are opening!

Another full and fulfilling week.  We traveled four hours to Szolnok and met with two agencies – a hospice and intermediate care and a home for disabled adults.  Two elders accompanied us to translate.  About mid-afternoon they indicated they hadn’t had lunch yet! Our second appointment was out of town a ways, so when we finished we hurried back to town and had some quick dinner before the weekly English class they teach at the church.  We don’t always have or take time to walk around a city and take photos.

But on the way, we saw some interesting buildings:

Close up of the intricate window design.
 Then it was on to Békéscsaba to spend the night.
There we met a senior couple, Elder and Sister Smith (Randolph, UT) and enjoyed a visit and refreshments at their apartment.  Above is Hotel Fiume (built in 1867) where we stayed, a very nice place right on the walking street.  Across from it is this city government building.

Above is a glass telephone booth and an intriguing antique desk inside the hotel.

Before appointments the next morning we went for a walk and saw:

A very blue government building,

The Békéscsaba LDS meeting house.

The Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church, which seats 3,500 (5,000 SRO). 

The next morning Sister Smith brought a lovely lady (and her husband) to whom she teaches piano to translate for us.  We visited a hospital and then another home for the disabled – of all ages.  

Afterwards we had lunch together at the hotel dining room --  some very delicious vegetables and almond potatoes. 

And then we headed home.  On this trip we finished the book, Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly.  It was most interesting, but oh, so hard to read and know much more detail about Roman leaders and torture and the time of Christ.  It is incomprehensible to even try to imagine the pain and suffering He willingly endured for us. Oh, how grateful we are.
Elders Heilein (Frankfurt, Germany), Martineau (Santa Clara, UT), King (Orem, UT) and Roberts (Pleasant Grove, UT)
Friday we went south with our Kaposvar elders to zone training in Pécs.  We were asked by Elder Kearon to meet soon and review the principles learned at Zone Conference.   It was probably the best zone training we have attended.  Three items we are asked to focus on:
  •  Mornings are very important – attack them!
I frequently say to missionaries in the field, ‘You make or break your mission every morning of your life. You tell me how those morning hours go from 6:30 a.m. until you are on the street in your mission, whatever time it is; you tell me how those hours go, and I will tell you how your day will go, I will tell you how your month will go, I will tell you how your year will go and how your mission and your life will go.’                                                                                    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
  • Baptisms – Make it personal; bring them home.
  • Choose to be happy!

Saturday morning I left on the train at 6:00 a.m. with Sister Balint (our Relief Society president) to the stake RS celebration in Budapest.  That was nice to see a few people I knew in Budapest and be there with these humble, wonderful sisters.  There were some talks, some impromptu role plays about visiting teaching (the sisters were quite hilarious and dramatic).  It was fun to watch them.  They also showed a Church video about hands – in service throughout life. Have you seen it?  It is very touching. 

We had 12 ‘friends’ (non-members) at church today!  We are really praying that some of these will ask and have a witness of the Spirit so that they will make a commitment for baptism.  Our elders are doing a great job.  They are finding and teaching and we enjoy being with them at their teaching discussions (programs) whenever we are in town.  It is a privilege to bear our testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel to those whom they are teaching.  It is a privilege to serve here. 


  1. This one was for me! What a great post and what fun stuff (architecture, food, and a loo!). Thanks for your fun posts.



  2. Such pretty pictures of spring! If I were senior missionary age I would come replace you! Good luck wrapping up your projects. xoxo

  3. I love Spring!! We have had a really early Spring this year. Glad you are enjoying the season there and hopefully the ice cream. I'd love the banana cake recipe, if you have it. Looks like you had a great turn out for your RS birthday celebration. I love the glass phone booth and the Easter decorations at the mall.
    Russ is trying to get more couples out there, but having a hard time. We'll keep working on it. Hope your projects continue to go well:)

  4. We love seeing the color and character of the places there! And those almond potatoes look scrumptious! Keep up the great work. We will keep those 12 visitors at church in our prayers too!