Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plumbers Dream

Norm: On the outskirts of Pécs stands this massive power plant. For decades it was a coal powered plant. Coal was found in abundance in the nearby Mecsek hills, however it was later discovered that radioactivity of the coal was 20-100 times higher than the worldwide average. Those mines have all since been closed. The radioactive coal slag from the plant was then spread out in surrounding fields and covered with soil.
The plant is now powered by gas produced by log burning referred to as Biomass and producing electricity to many towns and cities in the region.  Posted by Picasa
Heat from the gas firing creates a by product used to heat many of the larger buildings in town, supplying hot water to some 30,000 apartments. These pipes contain clusters of insulated piping that is distributed through out the city. Note the frequent vertical and horizontal elbows to accommodate expansion and contraction.
A Plumbers DREAM ...and an Aesthetic NIGHTMARE  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Seniors in the City

Norm:  Seniors Conference in Budapest. Here we are getting down to business....oops got to have some "süti" first.

After training we head for Buda Hill for an evening of frolic and historical enlightenment at the Buda Castle.

One of the many ornate entries to the castle.

Like deer in the headlights. The night lights of Pest in the background.
Posted by Picasa

Cruisin on the River

Norm: NÖVÉREK Rollingson, Bailey, Smith, Williams, Baughman, Thompson, Hartwell, Bagozzi, Folster, Chase and Gudgell

ELDEREK Rollingson, Bailey, Hartwell, Bagozzi, Thompson, Baughman, Gudgell, Williams and Folster.

Our second day of the conference was spent cruisin up the Danube to Szentendre. Magnificent view of the Parliament Building.

Approaching Szentendre. This is an old historic town that has transfomed into a tourist type shopping area. This was our second visit here. This time we actually bought something. Many wonderful souveniers to take home. The best souveniers are the memories of times such as this with our friends and fellow missionaries.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Az Ultosó Zone Conference/ Farewells

 Heather: Our last Zone conference was last Tuesday. We love going to Zone and seeing Elders that we have worked with here. These Elders were in the MTC when we started our language training. Next to Norm is Elder Marceil  from British Columbia, Can. Elder Rowland is from France, and Elder Mullen is from Orem, Ut. In our very first role play, we heard Elder Rowland's sincere testimony and we knew that he would be a great missionary!
 We are always happy to see Elder Baumgartl (Germany) was a Greenie in Pécs when we arrived here. Now he is a trainer for his Greenie who is the very first missionary from Cuba! Elder Vasquez is originally from Calgary, Can, but his family moved to Cuba for his Dad's work. His family is also doing the Lord's work there by introducing their friends and associates to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Vasquez boxing coach was the first baptism in Cuba. How exciting is that!  
 We were glad to see Elder Diamond on Elder Marceil's left and Elder Crandall on the right. Both these great Elders served in Pécs with us. We worked with Elder Marceil in Kaposvár. We loved working with all of them!
Last Friday our good friend Sándor surprised us by coming from Kaposvár to our YSA activity. He brought me a beautiful rose and gave Norm a wonderful Hungarian cook book. I can hardly wait to see Norm cook some delicious dish from that book! Sándor is a great young man and we wish him all the best in his life and in the Gospel.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Lost is Found

Norm: We would have never found her if it were not for a pair of former missionaries who once again return to Hungary. Gabriella (a very common name) and her family moved to our area shortly after baptism. The address and phone number were outdated and incorrect. Elder Roundy was her baptising Elder in a far distant area prior to her moving. They kept in contact through facebook and with bird dog tanasity, we were able to find her and her three children. Unfortionately they live a good hour away from Pécs by train and Sunday train service is almost non existant. She was very excited to be found and have some contact, though brief, with the church.

On her rented property was this old ornate but typical well. Many such wells can be seen in the more remote villages.

Putting your shoulder to the wheel can sometimes require a good neck rub.... herein lies the solution....group therapy.Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 14, Heather: Thursday last I had the privilege of attending a special Mother's Day program at Kira's school as her honorary second grandmother. Kira goes to a Croatian school so she can learn her father's language. As you can see from the unique greeting sign the Croatian word for mother is the familiar Mama!

I met Gabi's mother and Kira at school where we took some pictures. Kira and all the children were very excited about the special program they had prepared.

All mothers sat on tiny chairs holding their children on their laps. Each child in turn stood and faced Mom and recited a poem to their mother while holding holding her hands. Gabi's eyes show how each mother looked lovingly into her child's eyes with a heart full of pride while the poem was given. As I watched the mothers and the children, I realized that mothers and children are the same no matter where they are in the world. One little girl next to me was terrified and in tears. But when her turn came she bravely stood and gave her poem through her tears not wanting to disappoint her mother. The mother in turn was so proud of her daughter that tears came to her eyes and of course to mine as well!

The mothers were presented beautiful very long stemmed roses by their darlings while the grandmas received a flower that the children had made. After the program, Kira's grandmother treated us to the most delicious ice cream in a quaint ice cream/pastry shop. I had a delightful time being Kira' grandma for a day!Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 13, 2011

DEAR ZOLTÁN "Did you get the cottage painted red like I asked, so mother can find us when she comes for her stay this summer?"

DEAR RÉKA " Yes of course dear"
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Short-cut to Kaposvár

Norm: Last Saturday we were scheduled for a program in Kaposvár. Beautiful as the trip is, we were getting a little wierrey of the regular way, so a diversionary route was in order and what a treat it was. We soon saw a herd of wild boar routing around in a farmers field. They were in two groups. There was about eight adults. The group farthest from us were huge and we assume were the boars. This group a little closer were likely the sows. When we got out of the car they immediatly headed for the forest. It was then that we discovered they had about eight little piglets. They can be seen as the small dots under the fence. I recently read that wild boar meat is very tasty, yet to eat it is strongly discouraged. The reason being is that they love to feed on a particular mushroom. Throughout Europe, this mushroom has a high reading of radiation as a result of the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster, thus affecting the meat.

Don't have an explanation for this immaginative setting unless there may be Hobbit's close by. These shortcuts are great. Instead of taking the usual 1 hour for the trip, we find we can now do it in less than 3 hours.
P.S. A funny thing happened on our return trip that night. I was pulled over by the Hungarian Police and given a breathalizer test. And guess what???.....I PASSED

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunshine in our Soul Today

Norm: Prompted by a visa glitch, we took advantage today to visit the Pécs sister city of Osijek just to the south of us in Croatia. Before WW l, the countryside of what is now Croatia was actually a part of Hungary, but was lost  as part of a treaty negotiation as a result of the war.

It was a cold and rainy day. Our dear friend Gabriela came with us for the trip. She speaks very good English and a little Croatian. She proved to be great company and a real asset when it came time for our border crossings.

We found the local LDS branch with no trouble, thanks to our (sometimes trusty) GPS. This photo is taken in front of the Branch House. We were amazed after a brief tour of the city to see the  reminders of the Serbian/Croatt conflict of just over a decade ago. Buildings are riddled with bullet holes. As you can see the Branch House building was no exception.

We were delighted to meet four wonderful state-side Elders serving here. Elder Jones is the Branch President and backed up by Elders Warren, West and Knighton. It was a rather unique Sunday for the Branch. With the rain and cold, the entire Branch membership failed to show. We were pleased to be there as support of the Elders for the two older delightful investigator gentlemen who did come. One of whom walks 60 kms round trip to attend. Interesting too was that the investigators also speak and understand English. So for probably the first time in the history of the Branch, the entire Sacrament meeting was held in English. This was not  something we were expecting of our visit but was a bit of a treat. We spent a little time with the Elders after the meeting and they expressed their appreciation for our support that day and that they wished they had a senior couple to serve there with them. That made our day and we hope we helped their day as we know they felt a little isolated from their families on this Mothers day.    Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our Grandson in Peru Part 2

 Our Grandson Elder Trevor Ricks in the Amazon Jungle of Peru. Looks like you have a new junior companion.
Whats for dinner??? Before and after shots....tail and all. Hey Trev, Your first Big Mac when you get home is on me, better yet, how about a buffalo burger at the Wolf Den? Grampa
Wondering what to use as a visual aide for tomorrows Word of Wisdom program.....hmmm delivered right to your doorstep.