Friday, April 29, 2011

WHEELS odds N ends

Who needs a truck when you've got a Trabant. " EASY ON THE CORNERS ZOLTAN"
Now this is a truck. At Eight bucks a gallon for fuel...this is not a bad idea.
 Is this a Coca Cola commercial?.....or a promotion for reducing our carbon footprint.
Why do I keep thinking I should be driving a Corvette instead of a Skoda. The route from Pécs to Kaposvár is actually highway 66.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Norm: When we received our call to the Hungary Budapest Mission we had no idea what to expect climate wise. We checked the atlas only to realize Hungary was on a similar latitude to Butte Montana. That did very little to ease our concerns as to what the winters would be like. Well now that we have been here coming on a year and a half and experiencing two winters in the south of Hungary, we feel that we have been blessed. This is grape growing country and is described as sub Mediterainian. To say it is much like the Napa California may be a bit of a stretch, but maybe comparable to the Carolinas or as the Matsons may agree, somewhat like Louisiana.

Spring in the Woods

Heather: We love the woods that surround Pécs! The warm weather has brought everything into bloom. This is medve hagyma with it's lovely white blossoms. The plant is prolific and a wonderful ground cover in the spring. One can buy medve hagyma honey that is reputed to be very good for one's health.
 Lump on a log. "If you ever get lost...sit on a log or a rock!" That was the advice we gave our children in the days that we did lots of camping and hiking. Those logs are some of the bigger ones we have seen. The forest has some very old beech trees that are more than 100 feet high.
 We visited Pinter Garden in the city, which is near Tettye Park in the hills. The garden has a collection of trees from around the world. The sun was beaming in a Utah blue sky and I liked the play of the light and shadows on the leaves!
When I saw this new green fig leaf, I thought of the Savior's parable of the fig tree in Luke 21: 29-31. When we see the new fig leaves we know that summer is "nigh at hand." So too when we see the signs given in the sun and the moon and the earth in distress we know "that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." There is always a sermon in God's marvelous creations! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Traditional Easter Monday in Hungary

 Norm: Easter Monday is one of the bigger holidays of the year in Hungary. Every thing shuts down and it is family day. All the Pécs missionaries were invited to the Koczka family traditional Easter dinner of rakott krumpli and ham with all the trimmings.
 That same day the boys and men start early in the day to visit the ladies in a ceremony called sprinkling. Decades ago the girls were doused with buckets of water or taken to the well for a good dunking. Here Hunor demonstrates the more modern version which starts with a poem recitation.
 The head of the girl is then sprinkled with cologne.
The girl then returns favor by presenting the boy with a hand painted Easter egg. Every household has an Easter egg tree.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Apostle's Easter Thoughts on Christ

Celebration of Easter

 Norm: Our Friday night YSA activity for Easter in Pécs included the entire branch and their friends and was a Celebration of Easter. After a feast of subways, the Easter message of Christ by Jeffery R Holland was shown followed by the "The Testaments" which has been dubbed in Hungarian
Thirty plus people attended, seven were investigators. Zone leaders were also in town so we had a plethora of  young Elders.
 Love this photo of Marci sporting his new missionary style haircut.
After the Easter presentation, a birthday party broke out. Kira turned 6 and Clark Elder turned 21. Clark gets his birthday kiss.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Busy Day...Pool Side (Mission Style)

 Norm: Two baptisms in one day. Saturday afternoon in Kaposvár, Manduk Szabolcs became a very welcomed addition to The Church. Beside him is his mother. She and Rollingson Növér have become instant friends. Elders Rummler and Runnells were Szabolcs missionaries.
That same evening, Horváth Adrienn was baptized in Pécs by Váradi József. Shown here with Adrienn are her two children. With József is his daughter. Adrienn's missionaries were Elders Nielson, Bennion and Weston

Sunday, April 17, 2011

His Sacred Name - An Easter Declaration

Hawaii Est YSA

Norm: Aloha.. Another fun YSA themed night. Good fun...Good food (Hawaiian Haystacks and fruit)
 A little Hula to Youtube music and video supplied by The Polynesian Cultural Center
 Not a lot of performance out of the men, but we sure look good for a bunch of Houlies.
Bobby pin???? Think again....can't beat a little duct tape. "Goin to the Hukilau"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Norm: Our apartment is on the left, second floor. Kitchen window is above the near stone wall. Study window is above the garage door. Note the tower on the hill.
Closer view of the tower used for a variety of communications services. Mostly TV and cell
Elders on their P-day made the climb and made the following video for us.

On top of the Mecsek

video
Elder Clark: Overlooking Pécs from the TV Tower. A clear day and the panarama was spectacular. Worth the climb! Croatia on the horizon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Very Special Place

Heather: Zsuzsa on the far left, is one of our devoted Church members and she has taught for 18 years at a school for children with special needs. She has 9 students in her class and they are delightful children with a variety of disabilites. The children love to have visitors so Zsuzsa asked if we would come to see them. One of the boys who is blind was not there today but every one else was and they were excited to visit with us.
This youngster is 15 and deaf/mute. He communicates using rudimentry signs. His father is dead and he was anxious to tell me that he liked my hair because his father's hair was the same color. You see how he wants to be close to Norm.
 
This charmer is 15 too and he is an orphan. He lives with an older sister. There are 7 children in that family who must take care of each other. He is very bright and loving. He told us all about Easter and how he will see his parents again some day. He knows all about God and Jesus. In spite of his hard life he is happy and smiles all the time. 

                              
This is Livie and she is 15 very articulate and loves everyone. She helps Zsuzsa in the class with those who can not do so for themselves. Zsuzsa teaches them how to read, do math, and the usual elementery school courses. They have a large bright classroom and they take good care of their things. This school is run by a charitable foundation. The parents or famililes of the children do not have to pay for the school. Some of the children in other classes are profoundly handicapped and need one to one care. We saw how dedicated everyone is to these most fragile of Heavenly Father's children. The staff is doing His work as they care for these children. We are so glad we were able to visit with them and we look forward to seeing them again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Fools


Norm: Another Gofri Est (waffle night) No we're not playing poker

Super Saturday in Budapest. Our Marci and Veronica learn a new camp song in the Stake Center.

And who should we run into but Elder Mullen, now serving in Kispest.

Havn't run out of castles to clawl. This is Máré-Var, not far from Komlo.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Donut YSA night

Norm: Doughnuts and Cremepuffs. Making the homemade doughnuts turned out to be an all day affair for Heather. Actually they turned out pretty good, but Heather figures she has made her last doughnut in this life.
Elders Nielson and Payne did a pretty good job of disguiseing them with icing.
Maya and Gabi debate weather to eat them or save them for exclusive destruction by the Elders.
                                         Doughnut on a string. Shall we eat it or just kiss it.

Couldn't pass up a little 50's Rock and Roll demonstration. If only we could last through a complete song.