June 21, 2015

Oops - should be 'dining' room.

Happy Father’s Day!

Oh, blessed rain!   Monday we had two totally unpredicted and unexpected DOWNPOURS!  The result is that it has been very cool (bordering on chilly) all week long.  

Back to Budapest on Tuesday.  It has been suggested that humanitarian missionaries do a ‘large impact’ project – one that would make a difference in a community or country.  For several months we had in mind an anti-smoking campaign and did much research about the effects of smoking on the body.  We previously met with a [Hungarian] member of the mission presidency and a medical doctor, who told us a few years ago the government did a program that included an anti-smoking segment.  The doctor obtained the presentation and sent it to us.  That night in Budapest we met with a graphic artist and his colleague who is the creative genius.  We also spoke with the Humanitarian Department in Salt Lake.  Long story short, we learned a lot, there’s still much preparatory work to do, and such a project is expected to take many years for the preparation and implementation. So with our limited time, we will continue with some preparations and let the new couple take over.

In the trendy territory of the graphic artist, we ate on this table top and saw. . .

a display of some antique cars.  The ice truck was not unusual, but a phone number of only a '6'?

Wednesday was our last Zone Conference – for us, several elders and for President and Sister Smith.  It was a nice day with some very good thoughts and instruction.  As the elders were bearing their parting testimonies, several mentioned that these have been their hardest years.  Stan and I talked to each afterwards.  Should we feel guilty?  These have not been our hardest years.  We have worked, we have not had to get used to a new companion, perhaps we have not had some of their 'hard' experiences , but together we have really had a grand adventure. 

That evening we went to dinner with two other senior couples, and then had a long walk home, seeing. . .

lovely flower pots on famous Vaci Utca,

 a sidewalk advertising mannequin, 

folk dancers from Bulgaria,

(and here's the 'real time' version) 

a photo op in front of a church before we walked across the Elisabeth Bridge (Elder and Sister Steve and Valorie Peterson from Highland, Utah, us, then Elder and Sister Bob and Wendy Bagozzi from Canada),

and a statue of Erszebet – Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary.

The next day we ‘closed’ three projects:  two children’s homes who received the metal beds that we ordered.  We and they were VERY pleased with the beds, their construction and durability.

The other project was at a family shelter operated by the Order of Malta.  They currently have 80 children at their shelter.  They had an available room, but no means to put anything in it to help provide activities or space for the children to gather.   The humanitarian fund helped furnish the room with some tables, chairs and cabinets.   The room looked cheery and inviting.  The children will be very happy when this room opens for their use this week.

Kaposvár Branch had a baptism Saturday!  Eliza is 10 years old.  Her mother is a member, and her father (who visited from the States at Christmas) gave his permission when he would return at this time.  She asked President Balint to baptize her and Elder Miller to confirm her today.    

The place found for the baptism was the hot tub of a small resort hotel about 20 kilometers away in a gorgeous, wooded setting.  Eliza’s father rented a car, a member drove up from Pecs with a car, a non-member and two members had cars – so everyone had a ride.  

We started the meeting at the branch house, left and went to the hotel and returned to the branch house.  It was a lovely day and Eliza’s father was very impressed that “so many people would support his little girl.”

It was museum day on Saturday, and we finally made it to the Rippl-Ronai Villa.  Born in Kaposvár, Jozsef Rippl-Ronai (1861-1927) was a Hungarian painter who first introduced modern artistic movements into Hungarian art. 

He first became a pharmacist before traveling to Munich to study painting.  We visited his home and studio.  These are two samples of his portrait work.

He also became interested in design and was commissioned to design the dining room and furnishings for the Andrassy Palace and a full, wall-sized stained glass window in the Ernst Museum, both in Budapest.

He designed embroidery that won prizes at the world’s fair; and his “Lady in Red,” (stitched by women) is a meticulous piece of work. 

We took the scenic route home, driving to two sides of the Deseda (a nearby lake), 

admiring the green fields of corn and sunflowers

and the unique main building of the Kaposvár University.

If we had chosen where to serve, we would have never even thought of the Hungary Budapest Mission – and we would have missed this truly grand adventure.  We are so blessed to have been called to serve here and to be instruments for the Lord.  We pray that we have represented Him as He intended, and that we have helped many institutions and people to know more positively the name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and what we are about.  We hope also that we have helped in some small way the Kaposvár Branch. 



  1. Another great one! I think a lifetime of experience adds so much perspective to your outlook and makes it a "grand adventure." I, for one, have enjoyed your grand adventure and will miss your posts. Do you think you will continue blogging after your mission?



  2. You two look so great….you look younger than ever! So exciting to hear about your baptism & I really like the font you found. You are definitely going to miss all the culture there. I know the Branch is going to miss you so much. Good luck on your last two weeks:) I'll miss reading about all your adventures.