Wednesday, January 27, 2010

".....Walk on the left side...."

Observations of Pecs

Pecs is a very old city with a history that dates back to the Roman Empire. Many old ruins and churches around town have have been preserved and restored. The battles for suppremacy through the ages are evident in abundance, especially in the old churches that have been remodeled over and over again as a new regime with a different religion takeing posession. Many an old foundation of signigance are found at the base of a modern excavation that brings development to a stand still in a big hurry.

It is fun to note the stark contrast in architecture where the old meets the new. Not so fun are the numerous high rise concrete housing units built during the dark depressing days of communism.

The people of Hungary have never won a war or a revolution. There is little evidence of joy in there expresion especially the older generation and our attitude of happiness is somewhat of a mystery to them. Unemployment is very high and many families are economically hurting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our Week.

We have had a week of mixed success. Sunday we gave our first talks in two Branches. Here in Pecs and then in Kaposvar an hour away. Our first experience was a little disconcerting as we had to stop after every sentence so Maja and Elder Hay could translate for us. Our talks were too long so we edited them for our next speaking engagement. Elder Hay is one of the best Hungarian speakers in the mission and he did not even have to look at the written words.
While we were in Kaposvar we inspected the Kaposvar Elders apartment. It was chaos. But it was not the Elders fault. Two of the Elders had to leave their apartment because of water problems and they were camping with all their stuff in the other Elders small place. We gave them a pass because of extenuating circumstances.
Monday we cleaned our own apartment, then inspected the Pecs Elders digs. Elders Cheney and Recksiek live in a building that looks like it has seen better days and the stairs to their apartment are straight out of a old scary movie set. So we were very surprised to see that their apartment is actually amazingly nice -- great immaculate kitchen, spacious living quarters also very well kept. They do have an edge on most Elders as they have a cleaning lady once a month. We tried to bribe the Elders to trade us apartments but they were firm in their resistance. I took pictures to show the Moms how well their sons were taking care of things but my camera was lost or stolen this week.
Elders Hay and Baumgartle live in a less spacious apartment but they had it looking good for our visit. I sure wish I had those pictures.
Tuseday we did our visits to inactive young adults with Maja. All went well until we tried to find a family in a very seedy part of town. It was later than we realized and after getting lost a couple of times and having to ask directions of some questionable characters hanging out in the building, we got the poor mother out of bed. But she said we could come back on Sunday.
Wednesday was English class and we had about 60 people there. That is when my camera dissapeared. The Elders were able to get some new contacts from the class. Wednesday was also transfer day and Elder Baumgartl was treansfered to another town in the district. We are going to miss him -- he is such a pistol. His replacement is Elder Nemeth, who is a native Hungarian. We also had Maja teaching us Hungarian for an hour. I think I learned some useful grammer.
Thursday was a dark cold gloomy day. We did not have any visits so we stayed in the apartment, worked on language and talks that we have to give in February. Friday we met with Elders Cheney and Recksiek to make plans for visiting some part member families. As none of us know the people or where they live. We bought a map and came back to our apt to Google the Branch list. While I made lunch, Norm and the Elders pin-pointed all the people we want to visit. The Pecs map is covered with tags. Friday was also Branch Counsil meeting and Relief Society. I spent the first while in Releif Sociey sitting with several sisters chatting away with no clue as to what they were saying. When Maja arrived she translated for me. I was very glad for her help otherwise it was going to be a long meeting. The Relief Society President's concerns are the same as those we have in Utah -- how to get more sisters to come to Enrichment activites.
Today is another cold gloomy day. I am baking bread, Norm is working on his talk and we will meet with Pres and Sister Baughman this evening.
This is my last picture unless I get a new camera.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gabi and Tibor

Two more baptisms for the Elders Hay and Baumgartl.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

An Erdekes (interesting) Day

We went way out into the country to visit an inactive German family. We took a pair of young missionaries and 3 young visiting teachers joined us as well.

Picture this scene. Ten of us were gathered around the table indulging in tea and coffee cakes.

2 spoke only German. 2 spoke only Hungarian. 2 spoke only English/Canadian with very little hungarian. 1 spoke German and Hungarian with a little English. 1 spoke German with a little English. 1 spoke English and Hungarian and another Hungarian with a little English. Are you still with me? It was sorta like playing charades at the UN, or finding the pea under the walnut shell, or better yet figuring out "who's on first". This went on for 2 hours.

Before leaving we had to meet his huge horse, who by the way spoke no language at all which was rather pleasant.

To guide us back home, our GPS who normaly speaks British decided to do so in Dutch.

All in all, it was an interesting day, but it was all Greek to me.

Oh by the way.....the family is still inactive.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Elders at front door of the Church

We had our district meeting on Monday and I took this picture as we were leaving. We have had a great week. Tuesday we took Maja, who served a mission on Temple Square, with us out to the edge of Pecs to visit a young member who has not been at church for a long time. She was very happy to see Maja. She lives in very difficult circumstances, works 2 jobs and has very little free time, She promised to come to our first YSA activity tomorrow night. We hope she will come! We also visited another Sister and invited her to Church on Sunday! We felt like real missionaries.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010
Today we drove to the city of Kaposvar for a baptism. The wife of the very young first counselor in the Branch Presidency was baptized by her very happy husband. He has been a member for over a year hitch-hiked to Germany a few months ago to go to the temple. He is a very dedicated member who rides a bus with his wife and 2 children for over an hour to get to Church every Sunday. This Branch is very small as you can see and has very few men in it. The Branch President lives here in Pecs and attends the meetings here before he drives the hour to get to Kaposvar. These few members have the true pioneer spirit and we are grateful to have the blessing of serving with them. Next week the Elders here in Pecs will baptize 2 of their investigators. So the work is going on here in this corner of the Lord's vineyard and we are happy to be a small part of it!

Baptism in Kaposvar Jan 9, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How many missionaries do you know that get a red PORSCHE for a mission car??.......Well the red part is right.
Sunday we went for a ride through the countryside to visit Kaposvar, a dependant branch to the north. the drive was remeniscent of driving to Spring Green Wisconsin

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Brand New Year!!

Wow, 2010 has arrived!! Yesterday we did some sight seeing in the rain and went to a Branch Party where we visited with members until nine pm. We walked to the square to see what was happening there but the music was so loud and obnoxious we just headed for home. We watched fireworks from our kitchen window and bedroom balcony. Fireworks seemed to be going off at random all over the city from dusk until well after midnight! Today was quiet, our only excitment was having the Elders over for leftovers! They were excited because they had or were going to talk to family tonight since they did't get to on Christmas Day! We are working on talks to give in Kaposvar on Sunday. We are going back to Budapest for our visa interview on Monday. We will meet with Pres. Baughman and the Sisters who are doing Outreach there. We hope to get ideas from them so we can get started on one here. Love to all and Happy New Year!!