Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Daily Walks in Sopron

Every day that it doesn't rain, we try to head out to walk for an hour. Senior companion for the day gets to choose the route. We have tried to find as many new streets and alleys and backways as we can and have found a lot of interesting things

We walk up in the hills were we found a lookout tower, "Sörházdombi". Unfortunately, on this day the air was hazy.


We find a lot of interesting and very old architecture, mausoleums, and churches, some built before the founding of our country.

We go slumming along Villa Street and find many beautiful homes. There is a lot of Austrian money here.

We meet a lot of friendly dogs along the way, it seems like every house. On a street we call "Kutya Utca", Dog Street, the first dog stirs up the dog next door and in turn the dog next door stirs up the dog next to him. This is one of the nice friendly dogs. Too bad you can't hear it as well as see it, but I'll bet you can imagine it!

video
And then at the end, we are always glad to see home again! Our apartment is left half of the main floor. The sweet little green car is ours.



Sunday, September 20, 2009

KIRÁNDULÁS



Our first Branch Party, a Kirándulás, and outing with a little hiking and exploring and touring and such. Anyway, we felt it was a huge success. Bruce and I planned way too much food but our great little RS president just quietly and efficiently wrapped it up and dispersed it out to those who needed it. We had a lot of guests there from our english class. We were pleased and we talked a lot with them. One asked to have the Elders come and talk with her.
This is Bianca Révész. She is our only YW and she is a charming young lady. I wish that she had more friends. We are going to talk to the District President about having district activites for the youth. Districts are a new thing here. They were created only in June. Activities can now be more easily planned on a regional level. Outside of the Stake around Buda there are three districts, one west (ours), one south and one in the east. Notice our food. We had lots of fixings for sandwiches but we also made sish Kabab. Only we used sausage for meat. The uniqueness made them quite a hit. Bruce and I downloaded a recipe for a Greek Salad on the internet and fixed that. it just had all colors of peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes and feta cheese. They loved it because they love peppers, "paprikas" here. Marcsi and Ádám are the two in the background. They are members who are trying to help us with Hungarian. I am discouraged about it and they help to keep me inching along. We recieved a new Elder from the MTC. His language is so good. If only we could have had 10 weeks at the MTC. But the Lords must have other plans.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"GOFRI EST" (WAFFLE NIGHT)

We had our first waffle night here in sopron. It is supposed to be a young adult activity to bring together and strengthen the youth, but in our little branch there are only 2 young single adults so we use this night to bring together and strengthen the Branch.

This is me making waffle in our closet that also serves as a very small kitchen. the waffle irons we could purchase were not very good and they don't get hot enough, but we make do. Waffles are just a bit rubbery.

Here is Bruce visiting with the folks

Ping Pong is the standard past time on waffle nights. About every other week we need to come up with an additional activity, like a movie or games or such. Suggestions will be willingly taken!
I didn't imagine that this would be part of my missionary work but it all such a lot of fun!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Our Work in Sopron


We are working here in beautiful Sopron.

All of the streets are not tiny narrow like this but many were build when horeses and carriages were the means of transportation. I keep having to remember that much of this city is older than our country.This is our first apartment. It is one the Elders are using and they moved in with the other set of Elders here in Sopron. It was pretty spartan living. Notice that one of the beds is a stack of cushions. The trains ran through our back yard, and there are lots of trains here. You will notice that one of the beds is not a bed but a stack of cushions. I did have to take a day to clean under the stove and refrigerator. And to clean down the sides of the stove. The kind of dirt 19 year olds don't see. But other than that the Elders had it neat and tidy for us. It is good to see what the life of a missionary is really like. I like these elders very much. They have wonderful hearts and work hard. And they can speak hungarian!






The next set of pics is our new apartment. It looks alot nicer. We do wish it had a bit more furniture, like a chair and a book shelf, but we are very happy here. Please notice our fancy dryer. It is the way everyone here drys clothes. Stoves work on an on and off system. You have to have a thermostat and keep turning it on and off. Our landlady is also one of our members and she is a great lady. She tells me that she has this feeling that we have me before. I keep telling her we were friends in the life before.


We love working in Sopron. I have not taken a picture of our little church yet. We have the third and fourth floors of a building here and the Elders live on the fifth floor. It is pretty hard to tell that it is a church. We understand a real sign has been ordered.
Bruce has been made the new branch president in the Sopron Branch. His job (and mine) is to train. It is hard to do this when you don't have the language but we are managing. We use a lot of the Elders time so we try to shorten tasks of their days by getting their cleaning to the laundry, taking them to the store so they don't have to walk, and anything else we can think of so they have time for "finding". They take a table with posters into the town square. They call that "tabling". The try to talk with everyone on the street. They call that "streeting". Here are two of our great Elders as we are on our way to meet with the a ward member.

One of the great difficulties here is the membership records. The records are only updated when the branches turn in changes. And the branches never turn in changes. So the ward records show members who moved years ago. The process for updating the records is a little difficult and requires a lot of paper work for the branch and/or missionaries. And they just don't do it. We have found that of our 35 family units, 5 are not here for sure and others probably. We have only visited 1/3 of the members so far. We search the area record book kept by the Elders and these things have been known for some years but no changes have been. This is not just a problem here in Sopron but all over the country. Part of our efforts here is to get at least Sopron straight. Bruce is spending a lot of time on it. We walk all over the city tracking down addresses so that we know right where to go when the elders get some free time for us.

We also cover the areas of Szombathely and Papa. We have been asked to start an outreach program there, which amounts to activities for the Young Adults. Szombathely thinks that with only 40 active members maybe we should start by inviting the whole branch. It is called waffle night (Gofri Est) as we always fix waffles and have activities. we already invested in the waffle iron and think perhaps we should have 2.

Szombathely at one time had almost 200 active members and were divided into 2 branches but then there were some problems and we have just one branch with 40 active people. If Bruce and I go down there to track down all their addressess we will be here for more than 18 months!
This is the wonderful church building in Szombathely.
This is a wonderful work to be involved in and we are very happy. We miss our children alot and are so grateful for google chat and skype because we can talk and see each other. But if you decide to come on out Sisters, leave your heels at home and bring comfortable walking flats