This was a very interesting New Year beginning. We had long planned to take our youth in to Budapest for the country wide New Years Activity. We were going to all ride the train together but at the last minute one of our investigators decided that he would like to come. He is in a wheel chair and the trains and the buses are not wheel chair accessible so we had to drive in. Which would turn out to be a good thing.
Anyway, it was a fun time in Budapest. The kids danced and had fun together. No one needs to have a partner to be out dancing and one of their favorites is "The Cotton-eyed Joe".
One of our very artistic missionaries painted faces. Everyone wanted something and Sister Steck was employed for hours.
The dance would last until 2 and then they played games and ping pong until 4 in the morning, as the trains here stop running about 11pm.
They had a potato bar for supper. The Hungarians have no idea about a potato bar. I finally made an example and put it on the table, and some actually tried it that way, but not many. They mostly just scooped the chili onto their plate and ate it as a main course. So of course the chili ran out quickly.
This picture is Dior, Kata and then Aaron
After things were settled down, we went upstairs with the Buaghmans and Garners to play Mexican train. Sisters Wade and Harris joined us after awhile. But as midnight approaced, we went back downstairs to join the group. At midnight they sing the national anthem and then have a prayer; it is very touching.
Then traditional New Years fair is hot dogs. About 12:30 Aaron, (an investigator and just a super young man) and Kata, a member who has been inactive for sometime but is now returning, wanted to head for home. So about 1am we put Joseph, in the front seat, (he is the one who is disabled and he can't manage the back) and Aaron, Kata, and I squeezed into the back seat of our little car and made the 3 hour drive home in a snow storm. Bruce is such a good driver and we obviously made it safely. We were tired and glad to be in Szombathely and not still in Budapest.
One very sad note. We received news on Tuesday that one of the young women in Budapest developed severe Meningitis on Monday and passed away on Tuesday. She had served on the Budapest YSA council and was well known and well loved. It saddened and frightened everyone.
We ended up at the hospital Tuesday night getting tested and getting a prophylactic antibiotic.
The youth were all very upset. When you are young death seems like a myth and it is hard to face it up close. Added to which they had, without warning, lost one of their very close friends.