To view a quick 4-minute review of our mission, which is also our Christmas card and ‘Happy New Year’ card for this year, please click on the ‘Play’ button (white triangle) in the next picture below.
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If you are interested in more details about the mission, you are welcome to scan through the rest of the website.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
[A report on her Hungarian mission delivered at the Dimple Dell Park Ward in Sandy, Utah on October 14, 2012]
I am happy to be able to report on our experiences in the Hungarian Budapest Mission. It was one of the greatest opportunities of my life. I absolutely loved our mission. I have gained many insights into how one can have happiness, strong testimonies, charity, sacrifice and church service, with so little in the way of material things. Some of the Hungarian members sacrifice so much just to get to Church; many times some of them cannot even afford the bus fare to go. They also have to travel 13 hours to Freiberg, Germany to attend the temple.
We had a Young Adult who actually did his own genealogy, coming up with 120 family names to take to the temple. There were few cars owned by members of each of the Branches we served in, and our car was very well used for many situations.
As you know, the Hungarians have a sad history of often being occupied by invading countries. They are still trying to overcome the damage of the Nazi German occupation and then the Russian’s control of their country for over 50 years, which just ended in 1990.
We were recently asked if we felt safe in Hungary.Read More»
[A report on his Hungarian mission delivered at the Dimple Dell Park Ward in Sandy, Utah on October 14, 2012]
When we arrived in Budapest, we were met at the airport by the Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Baughman. We spent the first night sleeping at the mission home. The next day, we met with the mission president who gave us our assignments; and we rented a car from the mission. We then packed the car with our luggage, and using a map and our GPS headed for our new home in Szombathely, Hungary. This was a city of about 200,000 people that was located three hours away from Budapest, and just fifteen minutes from the Austrian border.
Our mission was truly a life enriching experience, at least partially because we were able to live in Hungary for 18 months. Sister Bailey and I learned enough Hungarian to say prayers in meetings, greet people, hold simple conversations, and to shop for groceries, gas and other items.
All of our church meetings were in Hungarian. The first Sacrament Meeting we attended, we were expected to share our testimonies in Hungarian – which we were able to do. However, when we gave talks in Sacrament Meetings, which was about once a month in a branch somewhere in Hungary, we would use a translator.
The Church in Hungary
The Hungary Budapest Mission was created only 22 years ago. The mission now has about 100 missionaries, and around 150 baptisms per year. While on our mission, we were closely involved with 14 convert baptisms. Each one was unique, and each one was a special experience.
The Church in Hungary continues to grow, and now has about 5,000 members. Although Hungary has one Stake and six wards, most of the LDS congregations in Hungary are smaller branches, usually ranging from 20 to 60 people. But they could be much smaller. Our last Sacrament Meeting speaking assignment was in a new unit that had only two investigators, and four missionaries present on the day we spoke.
We spent much time working with many of the Young Single Adults in Hungary.Read More»
On August 19, 2012, we boarded a Lufthansa plane in Trieste, and flew to Munich in Germany.
We were surprised that the plane had propellers, and that the airplane mechanic rode out to the plane on a girl’s pink bicycle.
We then boarded a United Airlines flight to Chicago, where we cleared customs and then boarded a United Airlines flight to Salt Lake City. We only had to clear customs with two large bags because we accidently left two at the Mission Home in Budapest. Earlier in the year (when it started getting warmer in Hungary), we sent one bag with Maja, and two bags with Laura and Derek.
The Olympics had just ended in England, and we saw the Russian basketball team before leaving Munich. Are they that big, and is Brenda that small?
We arrived in Salt Lake City at 8:30 pm, where we were met by James, Garett, Rob, Chad, Amelia and Carlin. It was a great homecoming. I guess this means that the mission (and the blog) is finished.
We stayed another night in Trieste, Italy and then boarded a ship (Costa Classica) for a seven day cruise in the Adriatic Sea. This body of water is part of the Mediterranean Sea, and runs down the east side of Italy to Greece, which is just below and to the right of Albania on this map.
The ship had 1,500 passengers, and a crew of 500. Each day, the ship stopped at a new port, providing us with an opportunity to leave the ship and tour the towns.
Our room was quite roomy for a ship. Most of the cabins on this ship had large portholes.
The first port was Ancona. This is another old Italian city, that is on the east coast of Italy, and south of Venice. The second port was Dubrovnik in Croatia. The most significant thing about Dubrovnik (shown below) was that it was a totally walled city.
We were able to walk the wall all the way around the city. This was our favorite port. The wall was very high in some places.
We enjoyed a snack in Dubrovnik.
The third port was Corfu in Greece, and the fourth port was Argostoli, which was also in Greece.
We rented motor scooters and toured this part of Greece.
The country-side has many fig and juniper trees – also we saw many olive trees.
The houses overlooking the inlet.
The fifth port was Kotor in Montenegro. It had another totally walled-in city, and you could see the walls high up the mountains behind Kotor.
We were able to hike a long ways up the mountain, and look back at our ship.
The sixth port was Split in Croatia. This was another old city, and was hidden inside the current modern city of Split. This was our second favorite port.
Brenda was able to visit with the Roman soldiers.
We were surprised when we found the old Christian ‘chi-rho’ symbol in two places in Split. This (and the Roman Soldiers) suggested to us that the city and old church dated back to the Roman Empire, probably between 200 and 400 A.D. We saw the symbol first on the entry way to an old baptismal font.
Secondly, in a display in a very old church. Brenda saw this first. Can you see it?
After saying goodbye to President and Sister Smith, we rented a car and drove three hours west to Vienna. After checking into our hotel, we toured Vienna.
Later that evening, we attended a concert in the same theater where Mozart, Strauss and others had performed several years ago.
The next day, we drove through Austria and Slovenia. This is an Austrian castle (Gussing) that we visited while driving south to Italy. It was a rainy day, but we were still able to climb to the top of the bell tower.
Later that evening, we rented hotel rooms in Trieste, Italy. The following day, we drove over to Venice. Venice is one of the most unusual places we had ever visited – and we loved the experience.
We loved the wonderful experience of touring the Venice canals. Venice is truly unique.
We ate dinner at a riverside restaurant.
We hired a gondola that had an accordion player and singer, and then relaxed for 45 minutes as we traveled the canals of Venice.
Our last Sunday in Hungary was a fast Sunday, and we were able to share our last testimonies first in the Pécs Branch. President Makkai was an excellent Branch President for that branch.
We then drove up to Kaposvár for our last meeting in that small branch — actually, our last meeting in Hungary. We were able to take a picture of all that were there on that Sunday.
Their new Relief Society president, Sister Manduk, prepared a ‘going away’ message, and had it on the white board when we arrived.
Early the next morning, we drove to Budapest, and stayed in the mission home. On our last evening in Hungary, we went up to Castle Hill and had dinner at Fisherman’s Bastion while overlooking the Danube River, the Parliament Building, and the beautiful city of Budapest. It was a perfect, warm summer evening.
Our son and his wife (Skip and Shauna) arrived in Hungary during the last week of our mission.
We spent the first couple of days touring Pecs, and then went out to explore some castles.
They enjoyed drinking from the Church’s fountain.
We took time to find Laura and Derek’s padlock, and then we each added our own close by their lock.
We visited the Early Christian cemetery.
In the evenings, we strolled on Pecs’ city square (belvaros).
This is the store in Pecs where Sister Bailey purchased most of her thread, buttons, and other stuff she needed to ensure that her clothes were always in good repair, and up-to-date.
It is a beautiful drive from Pécs to Kaposvár. In the summer, flowers and flower boxes appear on many of the homes in the villages.
Here is a pink home that has pink flowers. It is difficult to find two houses in the same village that are the exact same color.
One house had different kinds of orange, pink and white flowers.
Some of the houses are very quaint with their flowers, wood piles, a fence, and brick and rock facing.