July 5, 2015 -- Our Last Mission Post

Ever wondered what 'meat' vegetarians eat?

The heat is on!  Literally because the thermometer is rising daily, and figuratively because we only have hours to go. . . .Utah in 48 hours!

This week Stan’s uncle and aunt, John (Eddie to us) and Ann Miller came to see Budapest, a bit of Hungary and us before we leave.  So together we enjoyed one last ‘fling.'

The first morning we had a drive south to see the countryside – the sunflowers, the corn, and the wheat all at their peak.  First stop was lunch overlooking Lake Balaton and a beautiful view from the restaurant at their terraced entrance. 

On the way home we 'ferried' back across the lake.

In Budapest we did a Hop On Hop Off  bus tour – which gave us two days and two different tours of looking at some sights around the city,

and a short ‘cruise’ on the Danube.

The last evening we went to Castle Hill to get close-ups of Fisherman’s Bastion – Stan’s favorite spot and architecture in Budapest.

We had guylas (goulash) served in small, traditional bogrács (kettles) for dinner,

and a traditional Hungarian palacsinta for dessert.

We had planned to go directly to Kaposvár after dropping Eddie and Ann off at the airport, but received word about a meeting – it was July 2nd and a new mission president.  President and Sister Szabadkai called ‘emergency zone conferences’ so they could meet the missionaries, share a bit about themselves and their testimonies.
 It was very nice to get to know them a bit.  They have been members for 23 years and have 4 children.  President Szabadkai asked us to do several things:

1.    Fill out the My Family booklet
2.    Write experiences of family members and share the stories as you are teaching
3.    Talk about the temple
4.    Exercise daily; it will affect the rest of our day
5.    Be a full-purpose missionary. Conversion ‘work’ does not end with baptism; keep in touch and continue to help the convert get to the temple.
6.    Members and full-time missionaries will serve together.
7.    Smile more!  Be happy!  Experience the love of Christ.

And it was all in Hungarian – as will be all future meetings and conferences!   

The elders were all excited to have a celebration for July 4th, so we made that our final Fiatal Est (YSA) on Friday night – the first time we really used our deck.  The elders planned the menu – hot dogs, chili (my assignment), popcorn, watermelon, root beer (that they made).

Elder Winkel insisted on s’mores; it’s a Winkel tradition!  Luckily it was American Week at one of the small grocery stores and the elders found a bag of marshmallows.  We quickly FB’d Eddie and Ann to bring some graham crackers from the commissary in Germany where they were coming from.  They got the last box!   So we had s’mores – each person had one to see what all the fuss was about.  And yes, they loved them.   We had brought the mail to the elders from the mission home, which included a package to Elder Winkel.  He kept taunting, “I got a package."  So I finally told him he needed to open it and share the contents.  His mother sent graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate!  Perfect timing. So they had s'mores to their hearts content.

 The amazing and best part of the evening were the little pockets of conversation and teaching going on (in the midst of the activity) with the elders and our wonderful friends in attendance.   One group even stayed long after the elders went home and President Balint was doing the teaching.   We feel that seeds that were earlier planted and have been germinating for a while are now just on the verge of sprouting (baptism).  One of our elders that made a big difference is also leaving this week.  And two of those ‘on the verge’ were at church today – and I think they were very touched.  This is a hard time to leave.  We have hoped, fasted and prayed for these friends.


We had a wonderful testimony meeting and some tearful good-byes afterwards.  They surprised us after the meetings with some refreshments and many individual expressions of love and thank you.  

President and Sister Balint

 We will miss these many friends, this branch, this service, and working closely with the missionaries.  We hope we have served as the Savior would have us serve. We have logged over 4 million steps (thanks to Stan’s Fitbit), aka 2,000+ miles; and we hope those were footsteps in the Savior’s work.  We have learned and loved; we hope we have shared and grown.  Our testimonies have been strengthened.  We know Heavenly Father loves His children in Hungary.  We know He has a plan for them. 

We have been blessed to serve together.  We have especially enjoyed our study/reading time together.  Besides daily reading the Book of Mormon, we also ‘pronounced’ the [entire] Book of Mormon in Hungarian!  Because we have done so much driving around the country, we have taken that opportunity to use that time for further reading – a time for me to read aloud, which gives us moments for dialogue and reflection.  We have read, The Infinite Atonement, Jesus the Christ, Killing Jesus (by Bill O’Reilly), New Testament Gospels, Articles of Faith, To My Friends (talks of Elder Holland’s), Heaven Changes Everything and we are currently reading A Marvelous Work and a Wonder.

We love the Savior.  We know He lives. We are so grateful for His Atonement and its blessing in our daily lives. 

Good bye Kaposvár


  1. Where did the time go? I'm sure you are having bitter sweet feelings right now! I've loved reading your blog and hearing about all of your projects. I know you've planted many seeds that will sprout in the future. I'm sure your family is so excited to see you. If you come up to Washington let us know, we would love to have you for dinner or could meet you somewhere. We continue to be busy with Jacob's wedding on Aug. 15th. His fiancé just left today after being here a week. We already love her. Have a safe trip home and know you have returned with honor. We love you!