Monday, January 31, 2011

The Week that Was

Heather: This past week was great! We had a lovely lunch with all the Elders at Solymosi, Marika's bright apartment. She made a finom gulyas that we all really loved. We loved her cheerful eating nook! Afterward we talked about the blessings of the Gospel and her beloved Peter. It has been just over 2 months since his death and she misses him so much. Marika teaches in Primary now and the kids just love her.
Friday we had a great group of kids and Gabi taught us how to make friendship bracelets. She was the only member of the Church there besides the Elders and was very busy trying to show everyone how to tie the knots for the bracelets. Not all of us caught on! We had a good time together and are grateful for the support we receive from Gabi and the Elders. We learned today that we will be loosing two of our Elders in the latest transfers. Elder May will be going to Dunaújváros and Elder Mullen is assigned as Zone Leader in Budapest.
On Sunday my star piano student, Veronika, was called and sustained as the Branch pianist. Veronica is very talented, she can play a piece of music by heart in with just a few tries. She will be a great asset to the Branch  as she learns to play all the hymns. I hope she will then teach others to play. We received a beautiful keyboard from the Harmon Foundation just before Christmas that will  be a big help to her learning to play. Our next challenge is to get her baptized!   Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Heather: I love seeing flowers bloom in the middle of January, even if they are pansies. This winter has been much more mild that last winter -- so far! The tulips I planted are also just showing their green noses in my boxes. Meanwhile last year's geraniums are still growing in the stairwell window. Friday I bought hyacinths and tulips at Tesco and had a quick look at their seed display. Spring is coming and I will be able to plant again!!
Norm: Well speaking of spring...there it was..."Right before my very eyes" . Now I gotta tell you. Since leaving Wyoming I have not ever seen a pickup truck any bigger than a Ranger or a Toyota Tundra here in Hungary.... But there it was, big as life itself, right off the show room floor....a Lariat Super Duty F350 with duelies.
Well I was drooling on the Skoda dashboard...and it had British Columbia license plates!! I'm still scratching my head.
Did I ever tell you about the time I passed the  Ferrari out on the motorway??? Well I have to admit that he passed me twice, but I passed him once ( he had stopped for gas you see) Well maybe if I wash the Skoda it will go faster.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Catching up

A night out in Pécs with the Baughmans. From left to right. Szabadkai Adrienn, Szabadkai József ( first councilor Mission Presidency), Elder Rollingson, Gary Baughman ( Hungary Budapest Mission President ) Makkai Balazs ( Péc Branch President ) and Marilyn Baughman. Great company and wonderful food.
Csendes Margit is baptized January 8th in Kaposvár. Elder Miller performed the ordinance. His companion is Elder Hansen. Elders Hosch and Runnells act as witness.
Saturday was moving day for the Plisz family.This is the moving crew. Elders Galland and Mullen do their best to make the pizza disappear. Beatrix and her family sold their cottage in the country and move to an apartment in town, close to schools and the branch house.
Oh do I miss my Makita, my Duramax and my cargo trailer at a time like this. Beatrix's dad comes to the rescue and does an admirable job with his car and little trailer. Just as well, my rig would never fit down the lanes of the city.
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Faces of Communism

Norm: On the southern outskirts of Budapest, somewhat hidden from prominant view, we found a boneyard of Hungary's wish to be forgotten past.
The Peoples Republic of Hungary, became the official communist state name in 1949  under an arbitrarilly apointed dictatorship of Prime Minister Rakkosi.

Under Rakkosi, Hungary experienced one of the harshest dictatorships in Europe. Repression was extreme upon the Hungarian people. Industry, farming and the entire work force was taken over by the Communist government. Religious instruction in the schools was denounced and purged from the education system and  replaced with communist propaganda.
Change started in the 1956 revolution when a student rebellion under Nagy Imre instigated a somewhat softening of the hard line repression of the People of Hungary. After the revolution which cost the life of many young countrymen, Hungary became the most reform-minded communist state in Eastern Europe, so its ultimate revolution was the least dramatic. Many of the intellectuals remained dispite the quasing of the revolution, continuing the fight against repression. In the 1980's a more relaxed atmosphere permitted growth toward a limited autonomy. 
 I'll never forget that notorious speach by President Reagan in Berlin. " Mr Gorbachev...Tear down this wall."
The final fall of the regime came in 1989. Budapest and other Eastern cities were dotted with numerous reminders of that dreaded era in the form of prominantly displayed statues. The Hungarian people no longer wished to live with that reminder on a daily basis. Down the statues came, not to be destroyed, but to find there way here to this Szobor Park as a momento of  the tyranny and a reminder to never return to anything like it again.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011


Norm: The Young Adult Center in Szeged sponsored an invitational 2 day New Years party. Our Pécs group chose to attend as well as two from Kaposvár. We were pleased to meet two of the kids who came up from Romania as well. After the games and dance, all but us old folks braved the cold and the snow to witness the fireworks at a near by park. Party broke up about 3;00 am. From there we all retired to a youth hostel for a few hours of shut eye.
Heather and I were asked to present a seminar on "Preparing for Marriage" which started the New Years Day festivities. With 97 years of combined experience in this topic, we felt like real "profi's". Some 20 youth attended. It was the Romanian boy who translated my part from English to Hungarian. Lunch was prepared by a local member family and the dish was called a bográcsgulyas. It took a crew of four people several hours to hand roll the BB sized pasta balls. It of course had lots of paprika and was prepared in a big pot over a fire in the back room..... pioneer style.
All including the missionaries chowed down although Dora on the left is not quite sure.
Our marriage class was helped by our puppets Fanny and Peter, in a skit based on the book "Fanny's Dream". We felt very fortunate to have attended Brent Barlows marriage classes over the years at BYU Education week. With Brother Barlows help we were able to pull it off . We had some good laughs to go along with the serious stuff. We felt it was quite well recieved.
It was fun to see the snow, but we were just as happy to leave it all behind and return to the warmer climes of Pécs.
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