Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hawaii Night


Well, if they won't send you to Hawaii to be a missionary, you just have to bring the islands to you. Our district wide activity this month was a Hawaii night. Fortunately for us, the President transfered in Sister Jordan a week ago. She is from Tahiti and was delighted to share her skill. She absolutely made the evening. As always, I am running around and not taking pictures. But we first had Hawaiian haystacks for dinner, which was a great success. (Everyone wants the recipe but I have no idea how to tell them to make the chicken gravy as they make nothing similar. ) We also made leis. No one has one on here. They were actually crepe paper boondoggle.
Sister Jordan first tried to get the women to learn to dance.
The most fun was when she worked with the guys.
Then she gracefully showed us how it was supposed to look.
The Elders were actually the best at the limbo.
If you want to see the actual action: http://picasaweb.google.com/karenchaslem
And then we ended the evening untying human knots.

They succeed!

We also did coconut bowling. Coconut balls and water bottle pins. That was fun too.
It was a successful night. The kids had a lot of fun. We had a lot of investigators there. Sister Wolfe didn't remember that this was a YSA activity so she invited a couple of families as well. But everyone seemed to have a good time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Torony bakery

We often take our friend Zoli (Zoltan) home to Torony after activities. I like to do this because there is a great bakery there. When you go at night you go back into where they are actually making the bread. You pick your hot loaf off the shelf and they wrap in a piece of paper. It has been in operation for a very long time and they make the bread in the same way they always have. The bread is just wonderful, but I am afraid that this bakery would be closed down in a minute in the states. No hair nets, no gloves on the hands and a number of other infractions that would have the food department way upset. But I happily eat their wonderful bread.

They can fit over 200 loaves of bread in this oven




This video is long and the last is the same as the first. I have no video editing skills.

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Quilting Hungarian Style

Xenia had a new baby boy, and i thought that was a pretty good excuse to teach the kids to tie a quilt. Everyone got into the action, including Brother Haslem


These are two of the Zoltans in our group. When you have to choose from state approved names, you get a lot of people named Zoltan.
I think that our Dio decided that such sewing work qualified her to belong to the old "Néni" group
This is our landlady and great friend, Agi and her daughter who was visiting, you guessed it: Agi!

Elder Feuz even made a few stabs at tying the knots.

The blue dots all over everybody were the sticky dots I put on the quilt to mark the place to tie. The is just one big problem. We were well into tying when I noticed that we were putting the ties on the wrong side. But done, is done.

Bruce's Green Thumb

Bruce loves winter flowers. He just couldn't resist buying this Christmas Cactus las winter. It had beautiful blossoms that promptly fell off when we brought it home. But he carefully cared for it all year and was rewarded with beautiful blooms. The cactus didn't seem to know or care that it wasn't quite Christmas.


And then one day we were helping our friend Agi at the nursery and Bruce found an Amaryllis bulb,which is also one of his favorites. It gave us these wonderful blooms

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halloween, Szombathely Style!

Halloween is not a holiday here in Hungary. They celebrate All Saints Day and decorate the graves. Beautifully decorate, I might add. But as with things American, the holiday is catching on. We put on the branch activity as an extension of our YSA activity. It was a lot of work, and a lot of fun.
There is always a lot of preparations and we both worked at it. I spent an afternoon making donuts and chili:


Bruce cut and baked dozens of sugar cookies. and also made several dozen cupcakes for the "cake walk":


Dressing has become fun for everyone. I became one of many witches. These are the three young ladies from my English class. They have become pretty regular attenders at our activities.
I manned the room where we decorated cookies. This is something that is completely new to them. But they had great fun.
Bruce ran the "cake walk". One of the members set up a big sound system for the evening. We had great music.
The elders were in charge of the bingo game. I was certainly glad I saved this from last year. Please note the very interesting Utah State shirt Elder Feuz is wearing. He bought it in Pecs, Hungary.
We brought the group together for some games. Here you see the purpose for the donuts. Mostly just the kids and the "big kids" did this and the rest of us just ate our donut while we watched.
Then we took Tesco toilet paper and created mummies. This is actually the only purpose I would use this particular brand of toilet paper for.
Trick or Treat did not go exactly as planned. I had made spooky address for each door on the corridor. But mostly the kids ignored everything and just begged for candy, which is essentially what all the kids in the states do as well.
I created a memory Bingo game.
And then we ate the spooky treats. all the sisters were asked to bring a really spooky looking treat and then they just which was the most disgusting. The eyeballs won.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kaland Park 2010 Október 23


Október 23 is remembered as the day of the failed attempt at freedom. It is most interesting to hear the people talk about it. As with all things, their are many perspectives. There were a lot of speeches and reenactments and but it was a super p-day, meaning that we didn't twinkle back into Missionaries at 5pm, so the we rounded up our youth and went up to Sopron and joined Elder and Sister Thompson and their Elders and had a great day at the Zip-line park.

This picture is of me dangling from the Spider Web
Here I prepare for a easy ride on the zip line.


This is Elder Haslem on a section that required you to be nimble. Neither of us are nimble and this was a bit tricky.


If you want to see more of our adventure you can find them on the web albums. But you should know that it took me days to get over this little adventure. I am really out of shape!

Cleaning up the Red Sludge Október 11 2010

We spent a p-day down in Devecser helping to clean up the sludge from their horrible flood of toxic waste. N0 one is allowed up in Kolántar which is the closet city to the disaster. Devecser is the next city away. I think the anticipate demolishing Kolántar but I can't imagine that anyone would want to return to this city either.

We spent the first part of our day getting in hazard gear and standing around. There is no one really to arrange jobs for all of the volunteers. They needed a good Stake President with his emergency preparedness program. Finally they gave us a job but a lot of us just broke off from the group and went around asking families if there was anyway we could help. And we certainly found people to help!


This is the remains of one of the houses near the post office where we first went to work.
At the Post Office we tried to clear the area of the red sludge by shoving it, you can guess, into the stream. It is where all of it was headed. We also loaded all of the interior furnishing into large trash receptacles. These large bins were brought in by truck, but there simple weren't enough of them.
When we left the main group we found an elderly gentlemen who needed help getting the water out of his basement. It was a huge job as we brought the water out by bucket brigade. It was back breaking work. Some of our Elders got well soaked in the muck and I worried for them. We got them cleaned up as soon as possible. Sorry you have to go on your side to see this picture, but I can't get my blog to change or move pictures, so mistakes just have to stay where they are.
One of our big assignments was simply to help them spread gypsum everywhere to try and cut the caustic nature of the stuff. This too, was very tiring work. And you just stood alot waiting for the next load of gypsum. There is too much to do here and not enough of anything.

This picture just cannot do justice to the sludge. It is about 9 to 10 inches deep on everything.
My great friend Dio. That actually means nut in Hungarian and she really is one.
It was good to give help. Mormon Helping Hands has returned many times. You did notice our yellow vests. They didn't stay yellow for very long.