Thursday, April 28, 2011

Elder Van ost de Man - Birthday

When we got home from Holloko, I called a couple of the missionaries to come to

dinner. They were playing ruby at a nearby park with many other people - so we ended up inviting the whole group. Since there were so many, we had dinner at the Center. Elder and Sister Bagozzi were very nice to help me make the dinner. Also it was Elder Van ost de Man's Birthday so Sister Bagozzi made him a birthday cake. Thank you Jana - your crazy cake recipe has come in very handy. I think this is the 4th or 5th time we've made it. We're planning to make it again on Friday night. Everyone loves it.


The scenery here is so beautiful. They have fields and fields of these yellow flowers. Someone told us it's rape seed. They use it to make Canola Oil. You can see fields like this all over Hungary. It's just spectacular.


In addition to people walking around in Costumes all day, there was also a big stage where some group was always dancing. It was so fun to see all the entertainment. It went on for hours. Even though there were people all over the town, there always seemed to be a large crowd watching the dancers.


They sell these sausages everywhere in Hungary. I don't know if you can see it, but they are sitting is tons of grease ( probably lard) We didn't try these. It was a little too gross. A couple of the men in our group wanted to try them, but their wives talked them out of it. People in Hungary love these.


This guy is real. He looked like Rumplestiltskin. He had a little basket shop at the end of town. When I first saw him , I thought he was a statue. But he was very happy to have his picture taken. Also very happy to sell us baskets. : )


This is one of the rides for the kids. It's like rides you see at Knotts Berry Farm where the kids sit in swings and the ride spins them around. But with this ride - that poor woman in the middle was the motor. There was a big crank in the middle and she used it to make the swings go. It looked like alot of work. There was a man standing next to her ( maybe her husband) We were hoping he was taking his turn helping her with the spinning. The kids were having a good time.


On Monday -the day after Easter we went to Holloko. It's a tiny little town in Hungary where they dress up in traditional Hungarian costumes at Easter. It's definitely a tourist trap, but so fun to see everything. We tried the food, bought souvenirs, took lots of pictures - we were the ideal tourists. I'm sure they were happy to have us there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Dinner

We had two Easter dinners on Sunday. First we invited the Office Elders over after our first meeting. We had roast, carrots and potatoes at about noon. Then we went to our next meeting at 2:00. Sister Rohr invited us to have dinner with them. They are a German family living here for a few years. They have a very nice home - two stories, large yard - plenty of space. It was fun to see their home. I had only seen small apartments so I didn't realize people had such nice homes here. They served us German sausages, chicken and pork - with German potato salad. It also was very good. The wife Christiane and the husband Stefan - were both born in Eastern Germany and were living there when the Berlin wall came down. They told us some great stories. Stefan said it was hard for him to talk about it. They have 3 small children - Amy, Josephine and Helena. They also invited a counselor in the Branch Pres and his wife - Arvad and Kelly Carlson. It was so fun to go there. I was very happy to be invited. Christiane is the RS Pres. She's the one who asked me to give the lesson that day. I told a story about Snow White and Rose Red - but I got the details mixed up. So Stefan got out his Grimms Brother Fairy Tale book when we were at their house and let me read the correct version. Super nice family

Relief Society Easter Craft

These are sisters in the International Branch. They are making Easter Eggs. I should have taken a closer picture of one of them. They are styrofoam eggs. They take strips of fabric and stick them into the eggs and then put ribbon on the seams. They are really cute. Sorry you can't see them better.

Catholic Church and Parliament

There is a beautiful Catholic Church up by the Castle. The wood carvings in it are spectacular. The Catholic Church is the largest Church in Hungary. Almost every city you see has a very prominent Catholic Church in it. Of course they are all as eloborate as this one.

The other picture is the Parliament building. It sits right on the Danube. This view is from a walkway just outside the Church. We picked a perfect day to see this- very nice weather.

Buda Castle

On Friday we had some free time so we took the bus up to the Buda Castle. It's huge. The gardens are all in bloom so it was very beautiful up there. There are statues everywhere. Everyone says Hungary has more statutes than any other country. It was fun to have some time to go see it. We only had a couple of hours so of course we didn't get to see all of it. But it was a beautiful day for sight seeing.

Lavi's Baptism

These pictures are of Lavi's baptism ( Furdui, Lavinia) on April 23, 2011. She was so excited. Csaba is the one who baptized her. She and Csaba are both a little mentally handicapped. When he put her in the water, it startled her a little and she struggled a little. We were all afraid he would need to do it again and that would have been hard for her, but it all worked fine. Csaba is a ward missionary and really does a great job helping the missionaries. The sister missionaries are the ones who taught her. Sister Johnson ( who is the nicest, happiest person on the planet) and Sister Bodily ( who is a concert pianist - so talented) The other missionary in the picture is Elder Turley ( from Queen Creek, AZ- knows the Barneys) Anyway he's the one with the beautiful baritone voice. He sang at her baptism - it was FABULOUS! The first picture is Lavi with her mom and sister. Her mom cried the whole time. She was so thrilled for Lavi. I don't know if they are interested but it was nice they came to support her.

Heni's Baptism

These are pictures of Heni's ( Harajda, Henriett)baptism on April 21,2011. They say the sir name first in Hungary. Kristof is a YA in the area. He was the one who baptized her. He is also a great young man. He has helped a lot with the Center. Heni has been talking to the missionaries for a long time but finally decided to get baptized. In the first picture are the last missionaries who taught her. The blonde girl, Reka talked about Baptism and Laci - the guy in the white shirt talked about the Holy Ghost. It was a really nice baptism. She is a sweet girl. Many of the YA in this area are the only members in their family. But the missionaries try to work with the families as well so that they also join the church.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zone Conferences

These are a couple pictures from the Zone Conferences and the fireside. We had the Zone Conference in two different rooms - one for the meetings and the other for the lunch. The meeting room is what we use for a Chapel. That's also where we had the Fireside. The lunch room is where we have all our YA activities. You can see that we have a nice place to meet. The chapel just has chairs so they can be moved if they are going to have another event in that room. It's like a multi-purpose room. It's a little weird for me to have a ward party in the chapel, but they don't have enough room to have it anywhere else. So it's very practical to use it for both.

General Authorities

The top picture is Elder and Sister Fingerle. They are from Germany. He is in charge of CES for most of Europe. Such nice people - when I asked them if I could take their picture I asked him "Sagt man - Bild nehmen? He said no it's Bild machen." (take picture) So later some missionaries asked me to take a picture with them. I said " Wir werden ein Bild machen" He said to me " Wow you learn so quickly" It was pretty fun.

The next picture is Pres Texiera and his wife. They speak 4-5 languages. Their son also speaks several languages. When he put in his mission papers they teased him about going to Japan because that was one of the few languages he didn't speak. He got his call to Japan. They gave some great advice to us. Very bold, very to the point - I loved it. It was so great to be here and to have the opportunity to meet them.

Our Balcony

This is our balcony from the Library at the Center. The plants had all died during the winter so I planted new flowers. I hope they will grow. It's so fun having a place for flowers. Lots of people do this here so the city looks really nice in the Spring.

Shovel- Elder Allen

Already the Missionaries here know about the Shovel . Elder Allen was one of the first to hear about it. One day he found a shovel in a little store so he bought it and gave it to me. For those of you who don't know about the shovel - when you do something wrong and aren't willing to admit it or start making excuses, I tell them to get the shovel so they can dig a deeper hole. Elder Allen was one of the first here to make excuses about something. The missionaries think the shovel story is pretty fun.

Hamburger B-day Cake

A couple of Elders in our District had a birthday this month. So to celebrate they made a cake out of Hamburgers. They work very hard here. It's nice to see them also have some fun.


Last Sunday Deen and I had our 2nd speaking assignment. This time we drove a couple hours away to a little town called Papa. I tried to take a few pictures but it was hard in the car. The Elders are standing outside the church. There are only two Elders serving in this area. Elder Masters and Elder Tracey. They Branch is so small they only broke one piece of bread for the Sacrament. We enjoyed meeting everyone in the Branch. They seemed so happy to see us.

The lady riding the bike is a very typical picture. They ride their bikes everywhere. We even saw one lady all dressed up like she was going to church on her bike - Very cute. The other pictures is just of the scenery along the way. It's very beautiful in Hungary right now.

Gofri Est ( Waffle Night)

Here's what waffle night looks like. We fill about 4 pans full of waffles like the one you see on the table. The two Elders are showing all the stuff they put on their waffles. Usually it's Nutella and whipped cream - some like jam and syrup but the Nutella is the favorite topping. It's really fun. We usually have about 50 people come.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This is one of their favorite activities on Gofri Est ( Waffle Night). The first picture is of our Mission President (President Gary Baughman) and Elder Mullen who is the Zone Leader. Pres B is very competitive. When he plays, he always uses his own paddle. He usually wins. It's pretty funny to watch how intense the game gets. The next picture is of a couple investigators ( the two guys) and one young adult (Angie). I saw them playing and teased them about the teams not being even - Two against one- so they asked me to play with them. I'm sure they regretted that because I stink at ping pong. But it was lots of fun. The guy in the vest kept serving to me. I told him to be nice. Finally at the end when the game was close, he said I can't be nice any more the score is too close. I told them I would practice for next week. Too bad I don't have time to do that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Furniture

We got new furniture for the Center. Sorry the one picture isn't very good. It looked better on my camera. Elder Murray was so excited. He asked me to come help him rearrange it so it would look nice in the room. The "blue room" is where the missionaries in the area teach many of their "programs" - they call them programs instead of discussions. Anyway I thought it looked nice but then he would stand there with his thoughtful look because he wasn't quite satisfied. So the picture of him in the blue room is of his " thoughtful look". He was such a good sport to pose for the picture. Here's a funny thing about Elder Murray - look how tall and thin he is - but boy can that young man eat. We always make him be last in line when we serve dinner otherwise we wouldn't have enough food. Monday night we served Macaroni and Cheese with Hungarian sausage in it. I served his plate nearly half full of mac and cheese ( probably triple what I served everyone else) and he was still standing there. I said "how much more do you want?" His answer " how much more can I have?" I don't know where he puts it. His legs must be hollow.

Elder Wanlass' Birthday

The next day was Elder Wanlass' Birthday - April 10th. I got to talk to Braedon for a few minutes right before he went into Sacrament Meeting - the day he was ordained a Deacon. Right after that the sister missionaries called us for a surprise birthday party for Elder Wanlass. The Sister missionary in the yellow sweater ( Sister Johnson) borrowed a yummy cinnamon roll recipe I got from Candy London. She did a great job. They were delicious.

Elder Wanlass is one of my favorite missionaries. He's from Las Vegas. He's such a hard worker, very humble and so nice. He played the piano for us after Sacrament Meeting today. He is also a very gifted pianist. His mom teaches piano lessons. He really knows how to play. The other sister missionary ( Sister Bodily) is a concert pianist. So we have alot of musical talent in our mission. Next week they are going to have an Easter Concert. It should be really nice. I'm excited I get to be here for it.

AP's Birthday

The first picture is of the AP's and our Mission President. The AP with the striped tie (Elder Gardenhire) had a birthday a few weeks ago but was helping the Pres in another area so we didn't get to celebrate with him then. The other AP with the pink tie (Elder Miller) - his birthday was on April 9th - the same day as my grandson Braedon - who turned 12. It's pretty funny because we use the same table cloth, the same goofy Burger King Crown and a pink tiarra. I know it looks like all we do is have fun, which is pretty much the truth. It is fun here.

Our Bulletin Board

This is the bulletin board for the Center that Deen and I made. They had a girl in the YA Group who did the bulletin boards for them all the time. But I guess she got sick in February and suddenly died. It all happened in a matter of 2-3 days. Anyway that obviously was a very sad thing. So I guess they haven't found anyone to do the bulletin boards since then. Deen and I had a fun time doing it. If anyone has some fun suggestions for May - send them our way. Neither of us feel like we are very creative. Hopefully we will find a YA soon who would like to do it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

General Conference

In between sessions of Conference everyone goes outside to eat lunch. I don't know if you can see how big those sandwiches are the missionaries are eating. Pretty crazy - But some forgot to bring something or didn't have food in their apartment to bring. Next October I'm going to bring food for people just in case they have the same problem again.

The bottom picture is two of our YA - Kristoff and Csaba. Csaba (in the white shirt) brought a large loaf of bread, some cheese spread and meat. He was sharing with everyone. He kept trying to get me to try some, but fortunately I had already eaten. I'm not sure what it was, but the only thing that looked safe was the bread. Regardless, it was very nice of him to share.

You might notice that some of the people are dressed very casually. The Mission Pres was talking to us about that in between sessions. He doesn't want anyone not to come because they don't have church clothes and yet he wants them to know the importance of dressing appropriately for church. It's kind of a touchy subject - I'm learning that there's alot of things to consider here that we sometimes take for granted in the states. Everyone came at 11:00 this morning for the Priesthood session and the YW Broadcast. Then at 2:00 we watched Saturday afternoon session, then 6:00 was the Sunday Morning session. So by the time everyone got home some had been gone for 10-12 hours depending on the distance they had to travel. It was a very long day.


This is Elder Bagozzi trying out a bed in Ikea. After a fun day in Szentendre, we stopped at Ikea to find a bed for the Sister Missionaries. Elder Bagozzi and his wife are the office couple. They are responsible for things like this so we went with them to help them decide. One morning the Sister Missionaries came into the office to report they woke up to bites all over them. They pulled out the trundle from under their beds and found bed bugs - some were an inch long. It was very creepy. So they obviously need new mattresses. They have been staying in the Mission Home for a few days while the problem is taken care of. Sure glad we don't have that situation. It would be difficult for me to sleep at night after that.


The top picture is items the store owner makes out of Marzipan. Some of the really cool things he makes are in the back. In order to see that you have to pay a fee for a tour. Since we are tight with our money, we just looked at what he had in the front. But he made some pretty incredible things out of Marzipan.

The next shop is full of toys. It's not a very close up picture, but I'm sure my grandchildren would be able to find something in there that would be fun.