Friday, April 27, 2012

Couple's s Conference in Budapest

 We left Sopron Wednesday morning and arrived in Budapest early enough to get the tires on our car changed, along with the other couples who have cars.  We had to take about 5 or 6 cars down to get the tires changed.  While we were at the place where they changed the tires, Elder Bailey and I were asked  to drive two of the cars back that were finished.  I would guess we were about a mile from the office.  When we were driving out of the shop, Elder Bailey, who was leading out, turned the corner, just as the light changed and I didn't make it through.  Miraculously I found my way back.  But that is faith promoting story for another time. 

President and Sister Baughman provided the training.  They are such cute couple and very inspired in how they run the mission. Listening to him conduct and run a meeting is inspiring. The couple in front of him is Elder and Sister Gudgell, who we stayed the night with.

After the training we headed into Budapest, to a very nice Hungarian  Restaurant.  The atmosphere was incredible with  a group of six men who played music, three violinists, a bass player, xylophone player and a clarinet player.  The company wasn't bad either.  The meal took about two to three hours from start to end.

The Gudgells  ordered a four-meat platter.  It really looked good.  And the french fries were excellent. The platter cost 3700 forinths which is around $17.  

Then we headed back to the mission home for some games.  The only one we played was a game called "Vampires."  A lot of you have probably played it before.  it was a lot of fun, but you can guess who was the first one out during the second game.  (I just can't figure that out!) The fellow on the right with his legs out towards the middle of the room, is seriously visually impaired, having had a stroke in both eyes.  He was once a surgeon.  When you watch people like that take the challenge to serve, it kind of takes away a lot of the crutches we all use.  PLUS, they are serving for two years, unlike the rest of us who are serving for 18 months.  

These pictures above are both views of Budapest from the Gudgill's yard.  The bottom one you can see a prominent building in the middle.  That building is not far from the mission home.  Elder Gudgill said the church should buy it and make it the temple in Hungary.  It really is pretty.  I took these the morning after our night there.  They, the Gudgills, even left a chocolate bar on our pillow when we got there.  (There is a subtle hint there for the more perceptive of you.)  
 On Friday morning Elder Gudgell and I went to the hivetal to get my residency card. Now we are both in Hungary leagally but it wasn't easy. We then met at the mission home and went to the second largest Jewish Synagogue in the world.  Below are some pictures of it.

It is impossible to get a picture of the entire front.  Imagine the tile worker putting this together. 

After going through a metal detector, each man was given one of these to wear if he didn't have a hat.   

Wow, look at the size of this chapel in the video below!

These are random pictures of the inside.

They had a memorial to the holocaust victims.  The ladies who talked to us were  very passionate about what happened at that time, certainly with justification.

Next we went into a museum of old artifacts.  Above is a hand written copy of the Talmud, the Jewish scriptures.  They are part of our Old Testament. 

The guides quoted familiar stories.  It was a very interesting tour and certainly plucked at my heart strings, as I have read a lot about the way the Jews were treated during the Second World War.

We then went to an outdoor restaurant and had lunch.  Look at the wheels of the bike suspended above the diners.  The wind was blowing seeds off the trees above and it made it interesting tying to keep our food clean. We think the name of this restaurant is called The Bike In The Air  but we just have made that up since we still don't translate all that well!

After lunch, we all went our separate ways.  Below are some random pictures we took of Budapest.  You can perhaps see why some say it is the sixth most beautiful city in the world. 

 This was in the museum at the Synagogue.  It was cut out of a single piece of paper. (talk about patience.)

The thing I enjoy most is the intricate sculptures on these buildings.  Here are a few beautiful examples.


 These little girls  were so cute dresses in their traditional costumes. They must have been dancing somewhere around the Parliament Building

The American doctor for the Embassy works here and is in the ward here in Budapest from Price, Utah.

A new buddy that Shauna stood by to help her look thin, is it working? 

This is the statue of Ronald Reagan, which we posed for back in February. Notice, no coats!  Behind it is the Parliament Building.

This is the escalator that took us to the subway.  Notice how people stand to the right side so people can pass them if they want to.  It is considered a common courtesy.

 Notice how these two people are blocking the left side, Stupid Americans!

This is the American Embassy Building with the American flag flying. It was nice to see a reminder of the USA.

We just wanted to quit with a picture of God's handiwork. This is a picture of the hill just above our home taken when we were almost there.  We sure love you all.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hopelessly lost in Austria

We finally got to go to Austria. President Baughman asked Steve on Tuesday at the zone conference meeting if we could pick up Elder Weidmann at the Vienna Airport and take him to our district (stake) conference in Szombathely. The plane was due to arrive at 11:55. We left Sopron 10:30 as everyone said that Vienna was just a half hour away.We stopped at a Shell station to get gas and to get a sticker that several told us we needed to post on our windshield if we drove in Austria. The gas station attendant said that we would not need it to just go to Vienna. We also had programmed our GPS for the airport! We were so ready to be there early and find our way to the arrival terminal.
Steve got us to a town that he had looked up on google and the GPS took us through several small towns. We came to a blockade in the road that was under construction. We finally stopped to talk to a  man that was at his front door talking to a lady and he gave Steve directions AND a map. We came to a road where we could see the control tower and the Gertrude ( our GPS) told us to turn on this very narrow road then onto a dirt road.

This is seriously the road we were driving on as planes were taking off on the other side of the fence. We were ten minutes late to get Elder and Sister Weidmann but they were very nice about it and gave us Swiss chocolate. As we got in the car and headed to Szambathely Gertrude still wanted us to go through all the small towns. Elder Weidmann turned on his Ipad and kept telling us which direction to go. He asked to see our GPS and found out that it was programmed to avoid major highways. Thus you see the dirt road! Turns out that the members we lent Gertrude to had programmed her that way so they would not have to pay for the sticker to drive  in Austria. We did go on the freeway most of the way to Szambathely. We were a little late getting the Weidmann's to their appointments to visit people but they still let us keep the chocolate. They had a friend at the conference who asked to take them back to the airport today. We wondered how much the Weidmann's offered her to do that!

This is the young single adult activity, they are waiting for spaghetti!

More young adults waiting for spaghetti!

This is Sister Szaboda, the great spaghetti sauce maker and another person testing the spaghetti while all the youth look on!

We took three sisters from the Sopron Branch to District Conference today. Rozie nini didn't want to go unless she could take Bambi so the branch president called the district president and he gave permission for Bambi to go to district conference. I don't know if they counted her for attendance. She was even more quiet than me!

It was raining on the ride home but I did try to get a shot of the lilac trees that lined the road.

This is picture is for my brother D to show him what farm equipment looks like in Hungary. This is the dealership with three different choices of what to buy.

There are field after field of this which we think is Safflower oil. Too bad that is was raining and I couldn't roll down the window or the dog might have gotten wet!

Another weekend in Hungary, we have to wonder what the next one will hold!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Here comes Peter Cottontail!

We wanted to do something fun for our branch for Easter so we baked cupcakes and decorated them.

We had a great time delivering them to the homes of each of the members!

We even made some little kids smile while we were hopping down the street.

Ok, we weren't hopping, getting Steve to wear the bunny ears was pushing my luck! I must admit he has a pretty cool rabbit face!

We even had cupcakes left over for the English Club to go along with all the other delicious Easter treats shared by Tibor and Eva.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Let them eat cake!

We have served with five elders since we came to Sopron in January. One was Elder Szabo who is from Papa and was waiting for his visa so he could go to the Washington DC Mission. He was just here for three weeks. We have also been able to serve with Elder Wright, Elder Olsen, Elder Bullock and Elder Wright. Yep, two Elder Wrights, one for Virginia and one from ST. George. There is actually a third Elder Wright serving in Hungary also.

This is Elder Szabo on the left and Elder Olsen on the right with a handsome young elder in the middle.

I had put the Fanta pop outside to get cold and it froze solid but this did not deter Elder Szabo, he got every last drop out. Maybe I should say every frozen bit out.

This is a picture of the threesome that were here when we came, Elders Szabo, Wright and Olsen along with President and Sister Baughman.

Elder Olsen turned twenty on February 10th. We had a district meeting with President and Sister Baughman then they took us all out to dinner and we ended the evening back at our place for birthday cake and ice cream. It had been a while since I had made a cake from scratch.

On March 30th Elder Bullock turned twenty so yet another birthday cake!
Elder Bullock is from Canada.

Tibor, one of the guys in the English class had a birthday on March 18th so we just had to have a cake for him too. He is such a great guy that helped Steve build quilting frames and fixes stuff at the branch house all the time.

Can one ever have too much cake?

On April 9th Elder Wright turned 20. Tibor was kind enough to make and bring a yogurt pudding cake. He remembered that Elder Wright said he wasn't that crazy about cake. It was delicious!


We had a district meeting at our place with the zone leaders, Elder Molnar and Elder Van Os De Man. After the meeting we had lunch and yep you guessed more birthday cake. This cake was modified as it was really cinnamon rolls and since we only had four candles we had to use sixteen matches. It made for some fast blowing on Elder Wrights part!

It is so great to be able to share in the fun with these great elders!

And a good time was had by all!