Thursday, May 31, 2012


What a great experience we had this week.  To start it off, we had a Family Home Evening for the three elderly sisters in our branch.  They are all alone, and looking for a reason to live.  The second one from the left Martika nini, took care of her older sister until a couple of months ago when she died.  Now she says she is just waiting to die.  The one to her left, Rozie nini,  is a widow who has been alone for a while.  She is quite hard of hearing.  To her left is a 91 year old lady, Gizi nini,  who we take the sacrament to her each week.  On the far left is our landlord, Erika.  The FHE was interesting.  Shauna and I both just sat and stifled our laughs. 

They have had little to do with each other, so we will see if we can keep this going.  

Here are Britt and James as they came into the airport.  What a great experience to have them come.  They are always so fun.

We took them to some ruins about 130 kilometers  from our house.  It was amazing  I will add some pictures below of what we got to see.

The ruins are above a village called Dobronte.

What a perfect setting for a herd of sheep.  The shepherd was close by. 

You can see how well kept up the area is, but it is that way in all the small towns.  They are so beautiful.

I'm jealous they are there... wait I was there also.  What a magnificent sight.  (Not only Britt and James.)

We ate at this place on the banks of the Balaton.  All the time I am looking out at the lake I am thinking about Jeff having these pictures for Reiners's walls.  It was surreal.

We are on a peninsula in the Balaton.  We were going to a town called Tihany.  Really, everything there is a tourist trap, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful.

I think they told us this was a Abbey.  Like everything else they wanted us to pay to go in so we just looked at it from the outside.

There is a definite Catholic influence around here.  (Notice the two cute nuns in for fore ground.)

We went the the "Second Largest Thermal Lake in the world.  I think they use the term "thermal" a little loosely.  When I think of thermal. I think of hot.  It was not hot, but it was warm.  These "thermal baths" are a big thing here in Hungary.  A couple of days later we went to another one closer to home.  

This is the "Castle Esterhazy", a place about 30 km from Sopron.  It was build in the 1700's.  Joseph Hayden did a lot of his compositions while staying here.

James is cleverly hiding behind the middle of the gate!

Below are some pictures of the grounds by the castle.  They are beautiful and very fun to just walk around.  We certainly didn't have to fight the masses.  It was great.

They we went to a "garden party sponsored by Eva Kovac, a wonderful woman we have become acquainted with.  All but one of the members of our "English Club" which meets on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoon were there. These are great people.  

Tibor is the one crouching down.  He is such a remarkable person. In a former blog I did a thing on his garden.  His wife, Ande, is in the back with the darker brown shirt on.

This is Eva.  She also has given us so much service.  When we have wanted anything, she is there.  She bring us produce and flowers from her garden  all the time.  Her English is very good.  She also helps me teach the Basic German Class.
We spent a memorable last evening together with Britt and James.  Behind them, behind the Danube River, is the famous Parliament Building.  It is truly magnificent.

Isn't that beautiful, those two.

We walked a little ways down the river bank to this bridge.  Like everything else, it is so ornate.  

This is one of the seven bridges that span the Danube.  I read that when the Nazis knew they were going to lose, they blew up the bridges in Budapest before fleeing to stop the Russians from following them.

This is a church we could see behind us.

I think you can see why Budapest is considered one of the six most beautiful cities in the world.
I look at these pictures and I get jealous of myself.  We are truly blessed for the experiences we are having.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Picnic near Papa

On Saturday we were invited to a district hike and picnic near Papa. We too Sandor and Tunda in our car for the 1 1/2 hour drive.

The plan was to hike to a spring which was three kilometers and then have a picnic and hike to some Roman ruins. It was a really pretty area.

We took stuff stuff for sandwiches and I made brownies and we ate our lunch as soon as we got there.
There were a couple of picnic tables and this cute little A-frame.

It turns out that it was just big enough for one person to take nap.

There was a nice creek that went by the picnic area with a fun bridge. The only thing it lacked was a bathroom!

 The hike was to a spring so we were excited to see it. It was a beautiful hike and fun people to be with. We hiked with Martika and Bea who are a mother and daughter in our Sopron Branch. She brought good snacks and shared!

This is a picture of  some of our branch. 

When we got to the spring we were a little surprised to see it. It was a lot smaller than we had expected.

I got this picture of Elder Headrick, Sandor and Elder Flammer.

When we got back to the campground the Papa Branch had brought bacon and bread for a roast. Some of the guys cut some willows and others built a fire. The bacon was an inch thick.

They would roast the bacon and then dab it on the bread and put the bacon back on the fire.

Elder Loveday is showing us how you eat it. He had three! Steve didn't want any but I thought I only live once so I should give it a try.

I need to develop my eating the fat off the bacon skills. It sure felt good to roast something over a fire and smell like smoke. Is is beauty or brains that it follows?

 This is a picture of our branch president Balash and his children Bianka and Kiki. They are a great family.

This is President Takacs our district president showing us how it is done!

For entertainment we watched people crack the whip. Most of them were really good. The elders say that they practice on their p-day and most of them take a whip home when their mission is done. Tis is Elder Johnson from  Texas.

Everyone just visited and ate, we waited around to go to the ruins but our passengers were getting anxious to get back to Sopron.

This is a picture from the road, we will definitely go back to get some close up pictures.

A great time was had by all!