1956 Hungarian Revolution

1450342_189489767909825_648408635_nWe were in our early teens when this event happened.  We remember discussing it with our parents and seeing articles about it in the newspapers.  When my husband was in graduate school at University of California at Davis, he had a friend who had participated in this event and escaped Hungary.  He eventually made it to America and received his PhD at the same time as my husband.  Both our families ended up in the Washington, DC area with government jobs.  At first we tried to keep in contact, but with family pressures, church pressures, commuting pressures, we eventually lost contact with our Hungarian friend and his family.

About 6 months before our mission call, when we were still filling out Church forms, I had the distinct impression that I needed to see if we could reestablish contact with our friends.  Through Facebook, they were found.

A few months later, when we told them about our mission call, the husband said, Why on earth would your Church send you to Hungary? He felt they had rejected Democracy for Socialism, rejected God, rejected marriage, rejected having children, etc.  You can tell he was upset with his country of birth.   I replied, There are good people everywhere and we are to help them find the Lord!  Over the past two years, I have seen his interest return to his native county.  For instance, he has been studying and sharing with me that scholars have been using the original Hungarian script, called runes, to help decipher the ancient language, Sumerian. Magyar is obviously a very ancient language. There are many brilliant Hungarians (Rubik’s Cube) – too many to mention.  In fact, they have developed a system of teaching music to children that was used by the Children’s Choir of Maryland and also BYU has music professors coming over to learn this system.

If you do not know much about this “Revolution” I would suggest that you read a little book by James Mitchner, called The Bridge at Andau.

booksAs the used High School edition that we bought states, “The heroic story of the revolt by the Hungarian people that made crystal clear to the world the true face of communism.” More than 20,000 people crossed that bridge during a few weeks in 1956.   Michener happened to be in Austria at the time of this revolution.  He made his way to the border and started interviewing Hungarians.  He could not believe what they were telling him, so he kept interviewing more and more people.  Finally he realized that all the stories were the same, therefore, it must be the truth.  Note:  Parts of the book are a hard read!

1956_hungarian_revolution_tank_russiansgohomeAs in the case of many “uprisings” the youth of Hungary were very much involved!

In Budapest there is a museum dedicated to telling the true story of what happened during the communist and Nazi rule of Hungary.  It is called the Terror Haza – House of Terror.  Wikipedia:  “It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th-century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.  With regard to communism and fascism, the exhibition contains material on the nation’s relationships to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It also contains exhibits related to Hungarian organizations such as the fascist Arrow Cross Party and the communist ÁVH (which was similar to the Soviet Union KGB secret police). Part of the exhibition takes visitors to the basement, where they can see examples of the cells that the ÁVH used to break the will of their prisoners.”  (Picture below from Wikipedia)

House_of_Terror_in_BudapestOn Oct 23, 2013 we went downtown to the Terror Haz and this display was outside.  The panels told the stories of many of the victims of those days.  The bronze footprints on the sidewalk were also another way they remembered victims.

IMG_2432When the Nazi’s came to Hungary, it is unfortunate that a group of Hungarians were very anti-Jewish and they saw their opportunity to have power.  The Nazi’s did not have to have many of their troops in the country because those Hungarians did their bidding so easily.

Shoes_Danube_Promenade_IMGP1297The Shoes on the Danube (Wikipedia) – A memorial “to honor the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II.”  Jews were forced to remove their valuable shoes and then were taken to a low bridge that crossed the Danube about here, chained to each other.  Then the first one was shot, dragging the rest into the Danube to be drowned.  The shoes here are bronzed.  The low bridge was destroyed during WWII and not replaced.

When the Russians came to Hungary, the Hungarians at first thought they would be their saviors.  They quickly learned that one evil system of government was replaced with another.  The Communists ruled 40 years in Hungary.

2The Communist had a logo which they inserted into the middle of the Hungarian flag.  After becoming free from Soviet domination in1989, Hungarians celebrate October 23 annually and many fly the Hungarian flag with the hole in the middle, to symbolize the removal of the Soviet logo.  It is a very big holiday and there are no shops open on that day!  It is also a day where if the citizens are angry about anything, they have street meetings and demonstrations.  Missionaries are to be no where near any mass meetings and demonstrations.

It was interesting as we traveled to many places around Budapest and would see what were obvious bullet holes in the facades of buildings.  One was in a building across the street from Mamut Mall.  I am sorry that I did not take pictures, as the building facade was completely refinished just before we left.

IMG_3611(Picture taken from a blog, The Odyssey: Budapest)  This building in the Buda Castle District has been renovated since this picture – but they left the bullet holes!)

Hungary is not the only country to have had similar events occur during their Nazi and communist rule, but it was the country that we were in.  Adri, our YSA President, had great grandparents who were executed during the communist rule.  The great grandparents lived in the countryside and were told they could not use their animals for food.  When they were starving, they disobeyed and killed a pig to eat.  When the authorities found out about it, they took both parents outside and shot them.

When we visited Kiev, we toured a museum there that told the same story.  Also we heard and read about the Halodomor.  Wikipedia:  “The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор, “Extermination by hunger” or “Hunger-extermination”;[2] derived from ‘морити голодом’, “to kill by starvation” [3][4][5]) was a famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933 that killed estimated 2.5-7.5 million Ukrainians. During the famine, which is also known as the “Terror-Famine in Ukraine” and “Famine-Genocide in Ukraine”,[6][7][8] millions of citizens of the Ukrainian SSR, the majority of whom were Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine.[9] Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by the independent Ukraine and many other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people by Soviet Union ruled by Stalin.

Newspaper in 1956….  They were expecting Americans and other countries to help them; but we did not…

nyh-11051956“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana

Final Goodbyes

I need to complete this blog.  We have been home 5 months!  I have a new computer and all my pictures are on this old and failing one!  (I have them saved to an external hard drive, but it is easier to work with them on the computer..)

Our last day working with the YSA was Friday, June 7, 2014.  Since it was a Friday, we decided that it should be our Farewell Party!  Sisters Bagozzi and Smith helped greatly to get the food prepared and served.  Both the Bagozzis and Sister Smith helped serve – as we were greeting and talking to everyone.  Several other members of the Church were there, too.

Brother Balatoni, a member of the Mission Presidency and a member of our Pest Ward.

IMG_8696Tibor N., a single adult over 31 but we became very close to him.  He was in charge of technology and so was frequently taking care of the YSA computers.  Also in our Pest Ward.

IMG_8707Panni and Kriszti.  Panni (far left) is YSA age and Kriszti is over 31.  We love them dearly and keep in contact with them still and will as long as we can!  Both are in Kispest Ward.

IMG_8709Viki is a darling girl.  Her mother recently became reactivated and brought her daughter to our meetings.  She is extremely shy and I am not sure she has attended YSA since we left.  She was upset at our leaving… She brought us some roses.. She did not speak much English so that did not make communication easy.

IMG_8713Here is Viki’s mother!

IMG_8746Gergö is a inactive member of our Church.  He is a very interesting kid.  He got trained as a plumber but did not like the language and characteristics of the people he associated with in that profession, so he decided to get trained in accounting.  He speaks English fairly well.  The Church could use his abilities, if he decided to be more committed to his faith.  Lives in the Pest Ward.

IMG_8715“Sonny” was an Institute Teacher for several classes in the past two years.  His wife recently got baptized, so he was very excited about that.  Very outgoing person, works with NuSkin and seems to be fairly successful in that business.  A member of the Buda Ward.  Eszter H. is on the far right.  She is engaged to marry a Hungarian returned missionary.  That happened since we have left!

IMG_8716Taci H and Láci T.  Taci is an American who served a mission in Hungary and returned to Hungary to attend college.  She is majoring in Biology.  (RMs quite often return to their mission fields to visit and for other reasons!!)  Láci has a baptism date for Jan 2015.  Very sweet young man.  We have kept in touch with both of these YSA since leaving!  Láci lives in the Kispest Ward.  Taci attends the Buda Ward.

IMG_8720Zoli T and his wife, whom he recently married.  He is also an Institute teacher.  She joined the Church this spring and Zoli baptized her.  They live in Buda Ward.

IMG_8752Bishop Southwick and his family. He was Bishop of the Buda Ward, which met in the Mission Home.  Same building as our YSA office.  He served a mission to Hungary and came back and married a Hungarian woman.  He received his Hungarian citizenship a couple of months ago and was just made the Stake President in Hungary.  (They only have one Stake for the time being – but are trying to get enough members to have a second Stake.)  He is the second Stake President the country has had in 20 years.

IMG_8762Here is Szandi B a girl from Pest Ward.  She has not attended many YSA events.  But she obviously wanted to say goodbye to us…

IMG_8765Bernadett  K, the (former) Stake President’s daughter.  She has two years left of HS.  She is in a very demanding course – Russian, German, English and Biology!  College bound Hungarian students usually do not graduate from HS until they are 20.  She attended YSA infrequently, due to her rigorous school schedule and outside activities.  Her family are members of the Buda Ward and we really enjoyed working with her father.

IMG_8769The Mission President allowed some missionaries to attend.  We had a few non-members in attendance and we worked with many of the missionaries in our calling.  Elder Squire (far right) came home with a group of returning missionaries in time for Thanksgiving 2014.

IMG_8773Adri was all smiles early in the evening.  However, when it came time to really say goodbye we were all sobbing!  We worked with her when she was YSA President, 5 days a week!  And she was the most faithful supporter of everything… Member of Kispest Ward.

IMG_8783Here is Szandi, Feri and his brother, Láci.  Láci could speak a little English.  Szondi and Feri only knew a few words of English.  And we knew a little Hungarian grammar, very small vocabulary and some memorized phrases!  That was one of the most frustrating parts of our mission – not being able to communicate with the youth that we were supposed to be serving!  Szandi and Feri are members of the Pest Ward and Láci attends the Érd Branch.

IMG_8785Lavinia (Livi) is so sweet and loving!  Pure in heart…  She came to everything – much better than being home, I believe.  She would love a job and took some training course; but none of the youth who were in the course were offered a full time job.  She will be over 31 soon, so she will be out of the group.  Attends the Buda Ward.

IMG_8790Karolina is the Stake Patriarch’s daughter and a very lovely person. She turned 31 this past year, so has not been coming to many of our activities.  She is getting her masters in translating.  She speaks German, Hungarian and English fluently and maybe more?  Member of the Pest Ward.

IMG_8793The Heaths were the Assistant Area Auditors and traveled to other countries to help members with the financial dealings in their wards and branches.  They returned home in July 2014.

IMG_8799Andras is about 35 and loved to come to our meetings.  He is a RM and has yet to find his eternal mate!  He recently found a better job and that is always good!  Member of the Pest Ward.

IMG_8801Gabor was baptized last spring and really jumped into the Pest Ward and did what ever was asked of him.  He is older than 31 so he only attended a few of our special events.  We will keep close tabs on what he is up to.

IMG_8804Viki is currently the YSA President as well as the LDS Public Relations Director for the whole country of Hungary.  Her degree is in movie production (or something like that), and she also has a full time job in that field.  She turns 31 this year, so they will have to replace her one of these days – but she is really a dynamo – spiritually as well as otherwise.  Recently released as the YW President in the Pest Ward.IMG_8806Láci has not been baptized yet.  He attends the Pest Ward.  Attends our YSA functions now and then.  Works in a brewery.

IMG_8811More missionaries.  There are 5 sets of young proselyting missionaries in the Buda Ward boundaries, including the Assistants to the President.  Plus the office missionaries (which do some proselyting).

IMG_8812Here is Támas!  He went through several different missionaries in his year long quest before joining the Church.  We hope the Church can help him in his growth and development.  His mother is not supportive of his Church membership..

IMG_8821Brother Bagozzi and Adri.  This is the Bagozzis second mission as office couple here in Hungary.  They worked pretty closely with the YSA when they were here before, so the kids know and love them a lot!!!

IMG_8823Péter N, also a member of the Pest Ward.  Bore his testimony the first time he ever came to Church.  Parents not excited about him joining the Church (but we were!).  Darling person and he is in training to be an EMT.  He and Elder F talked in length every Sunday, so he was very upset at our leaving!  He has been learning English pretty well.

IMG_8826Here are the famous Bagozzi couple!  They have been fun to get to know and will leave their mission shortly after the new Mission President arrives, in July 2015.  The office couple are pretty important and keep everything in the whole mission running smoothly!

IMG_8830Norbi had to work Friday evening and came late.  He works at an LDS owned restaurant, Gringo Amigos.  He is Timi’s brother and he is very artistic, but could not find a job in his field.  Norbi and Timi are members of the Buda Ward.

IMG_8843Here is most who came to say goodbye to us!

IMG_8726Dia, Viki’s good friend, and not a baptized member, YET, made up this book with many of the pictures of our activities and they presented this to us this night.  It is a wonderful memento of our mission.  It sits on our coffee table in our living room…

IMG_8850I will add a few miscellaneous posts in the future… so this is not the last posting – YET!



LDS Media Crew Comes to Budapest

The media crew came to Budapest to record the Magyar audio for the Especially For Youth Conference that took place this summer in another country.  Each participant is given a CD with the music sung in their own language.  (Believe it or not, there are some very talented LDS singers in Hungary!)

However, after they were through with that, our Area Supervisors suggested that we make some videos with conversion stories of some of the Hungarian Young Single Adults.  Viki and the Felsteds consulted and we came up with some possibilities and I hurriedly contacted them and had them write up their stories.  All were accepted!  Then we had to figure out how to get them into Budapest.  Agoston came from Miscolc, eastern Hungary.  Bogi came from Szombathely, western Hungary.  We had Viki, Panni, and Kriszti from Kispest and Pest. They were told to bring changes of clothing for re-enactment of their stories.  It was pretty hectic getting it all organized, but it was fun seeing everything work out.

LDS media people... set up in the Buda Relief Society Room

LDS media people… set up in the Buda Relief Society Room… they do not speak Hungarian.

Bogi came early on Monday morning, June 2, 2014.  She was recently baptized. She was having a party for her birthday and she brought 35 guests to her baptism BEFORE the party!  And almost every Sunday since then she has been bringing people to Church!  She is committed!


Bogi.  Beautiful on the outside and inside…

Karolina was the translator - even though she had a final the next day!

Karolina was the translator – even though she had a final the next day!

Agoston came a bit later in the morning.  The story that he wanted to share concerned his mother’s cousin who came to visit their family.  He shared his testimony about the Church with her and gave her a Book of Mormon.  She was interested and is taking the missionary discussions.  Meanwhile, Agoston comes to Buda every so often and likes to work with the missionaries.  So he has become friends with an older woman who was having discussions (he was present) and she recently joined the Church.  Since the media people wanted to re-enact his story, he called her and she came over to act as his mother’s cousin!

Viki, Panni and Kriszti’s stories have been shared in another post – see Panni’s Baptism.

The media people wanted to film part of our Family Home Evening with some of our YSA so they were there for our meeting.

Agoston listening to Elder Felsted.  His woman friend is between them.

Agoston listening to Elder Felsted. His woman friend is between them.

Last minute directions.

Some instructions.

So sometime in the near future, we hope to see some I Am A Mormon video clips with our own Hungarian Young Single Adults telling their stories!

BTW, Agoston has been serving in Budapest as a Mini-Missionary for 5 weeks this summer.  He really wants to serve a ful time mission, but needs to complete Law School first.  So this is the next best thing for him at this time.  He is really a choice young man and we know he is going places!

Some Good Byes…

The last few weeks of our mission were spent saying good byes to some cherished people that we love so much…


Károly – not active in the Church at this moment, but still loved by us…  He was baptized by Brother Bagozzi July 2012.  So we all went to lunch at Gringo Amigos…

Our Primary Class - the two boys (brothers) were at a friend's church our last day, June 1.

Our Primary Class – the two boys (brothers) were at a friend’s church our last day of teaching, June 1.

Two sets of sisters, one set of brothers and two other girls are in this English speaking class.  There was a similar class for the Hungarian speaking children of this age group.

IMG_8601We had dinner at our Stake Patriarch’s home after Church on June 1st with the Heaths.  Sister Hauck had the table so pretty for our dinner – matching napkins and flower..

Love this family so much!

Love this family so much!

They have taken the dark haired girl under their wing – her mother died shortly after we arrived in Aug 2012.  She lives with her father in very difficult circumstances but she loves the Church and attends regularly.

Our last function was going to be a Felsted Farewell Party on Friday, June 6, 2014.  But several of the YSA could not make that event, so we had a few YSA come and say goodbye before that…

Szylvia came May 30th and brought a home made cake!

Szylvia came May 30th and brought a home made cake!

Vivi and Annamaria came also May 30th.  They are working on a cruise boat this summer.

Vivi and Annamaria came also May 30th. They are working on a cruise boat this summer.

Agoston visiting Buda for filming (another post)

Agoston visiting Buda for filming on June 1 (another post)

Tuesday evening was Institute.  Anna came to say goodbye as she would not be able to come Friday.  Her mother is the Marianne who died recently.  Her older sister is taking care of her now.

IMG_8640The Institute Director for all of Hungary and part of Romania is Brother K.

Our Institute Director, Brother K.  Very special person.

Very special person who always has the Spirit with him.

Barbie and Peter had us to dinner on June 4, 2014

Barbie and Peter had us to dinner on June 4, 2014

Gabor has to work on the weekends – 24 hour shifts – so we arranged to have lunch with he and Timi in the afternoon of June 6th.

Beautiful day for lunch at Riso's on Castle hill.

Beautiful day for lunch at Riso’s on Castle hill.

Plus a German couple from the International or Pest Ward, had some of us senior missionaries over for dinner at their home.  They have three daughters, two of whom were in our Primary class.  They were leaving Budapest and are back in Germany.  He served on the High Council and in the Bishopric while he was here.  She worked in Primary.

So lots of goodbyes before our final big bang event with the YSA…

Hungarian National Museum

I felt the need to go to this museum and see the history and artifacts of Hungary before we left Budapest.  There are many museums in Hungary and we had only seen a few.

Hungarian National Museum

Hungarian National Museum

Wikipedia:  “The Hungarian National Museum (Hungarian: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) was founded in 1802 and is the national museum for the history, art and archaeology of Hungary, including areas not within Hungary’s modern borders such as Transylvania. The museum is in Budapest VIII in a purpose-built Neoclassical building from 1837-47 by the architect Mihály Pollack.”

“The Hungarian National Museum has seven permanent displays. The general history of Hungary is covered in two sections: the archaeology from prehistory to the Avar period ending in 804 AD on the first (ground) floor (“On the East-West frontier”), and the history from 804 to modern times on the first floor. This display covers topics such as the age of the Arpads, the long Turkish occupation, Transylvania and royal Hungary. More modern and Contemporary history covered begins with the Rákóczi War of Independence, showing different sections of his military attire and various coins. The history section then ends with the rise and fall of the communist system in Hungary. In another hall on the second floor one can find out about the Scholar Hungarians who made the twentieth century. A room on the first floor displays the medieval Hungarian Coronation Mantle.”

The building and everything inside is beautiful!  Therefore, this posting will be mostly pictures.

Stairs leading to the exhibits

Stairs leading to the exhibits – note the ceilings!

Beautiful ceiling artwork

Beautiful ceiling artwork

At the top of the stairs and at the entrance to one of the display halls

At the top of the stairs and at the entrance to one of the display halls

Early Hungarian history includes Roman occupation.

Early Hungarian history includes Roman occupation.

Crown - see below for explanation

Crown – see below for explanation

I used Wikipedia’s picture of the crown – better than mine through glass.  “The Byzantine enamel plaques of the 11th century crown showing Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe; one of the internationally famous objects in the collection.”


Look at that long chest or trunk!

Lots of fighting equipment

Lots of fighting equipment

Lots of gold and brass

Lots of gold and brass

Ornate religious artifacts

Ornate religious artifacts

Massive Cabinets

Massive cabinets

Period clothing

Period clothing



Special seating for dignitaries?

Special seating for dignitaries?

Small men wore these armor - about 5'6"

Small men wore these armor – about 5’6″

How many hours did it take to make these beautiful carved pews?

How many hours did it take to make these beautiful carved pews?

Typical colors still seen in Hungarian pottery today

Typical colors still seen in Hungarian pottery today

Lots of blues in their pottery…

These shoes are not too different from the slides I wear today.

These shoes are not too different from the slides I wear today.

I believe these are decorative buttons.

I believe these are decorative buttons.

Belts, buckles, rings.  Just as vain then as we are today.

Belts, buckles, rings. Just as vain then as we are today.

As the ages progressed, items became more and more ornate.

As the ages progressed, items became more and more ornate.

Maps every so often noted the size of the Hungarian Empire for different time periods.

Maps every so often noted the size of the Hungarian Empire for different time periods.

Display of all the items made at the factory in the center.

Display of all the items made at the factory in the center.

Hungarian's favorite , Franz Liszt

Hungarian’s favorite , Franz Liszt

I think this was the perfect museum for us to conclude our two year mission in Hungary!

Rici and Heni’s Wedding

May 17, 2014 was Rici and Heni’s wedding.  Rici was baptized in 2012 – before we came on our mission.  His parents embraced the Gospel before he did and they are leaders in the Buda Ward.  He was not too active in our YSA until 2013, when he became extremely active and involved about the time when Levente returned from his mission. They became good friends.  He thought about going on a mission, but he had to turn in his papers before he turned 25.  About that same time he met Henrietta, a beautiful girl from Miscolc.  That was the end of the mission plans!  He was also called to be the Mission Leader in the Buda Ward, quite a demanding calling for someone so young in the Gospel.

After Panni’s baptism, Viki, Lavi, Adri, Andras and Evalin, who came up from Szeged for the wedding, and the Felsteds traveled by the metro to Pest Ward to help decorate.  Heni and Rici wanted the same colors and decorations as Livi and Zoli’s wedding, so they were recycled – in a slightly different form!  So resourceful!

The Hivatal in Budaörs is very new.

The Hivatal in Budaörs is very new and modern.  (Sister Bagozzi up front)

Some of the YSA - a large portion from Miscolc.

Some of the YSA who attended – a large portion from Miscolc.

The wedding couple arrive at the Hivatal.

The wedding couple arrive at the Hivatal.

Rici is waiting for his bride to enter the room.

Rici is waiting for his bride to enter the room.

Our side was waiting, too.

Our side was waiting, too.

Heni, brought in by her father with Rici's little sister, the flower girl.

Heni, brought in by her father with Rici’s little sister, the flower girl.

Lighting the family candle.

Lighting the family candle after being pronounced man and wife.

After wedding picture found on Heni's FB page.

After wedding picture found on Heni’s FB page.  The Miscolc YSA are extremely close.

Then we drove over to the Pest Ward Building (also known as the International Ward and also the Stake Building) for the after wedding festivities…

Beautiful couple.

Beautiful couple.

Heni found her dress at a rental shop.  It was for sale for less than to rent.  That was a wonderful blessing!!!  She had Sister Hauck add the straps to the dress – and it turned out so beautiful!

I never did find out the significance of this wedding cake...

I never did find out the significance of this wedding cake…

Rici's father talking to Heni's parents.

Rici’s father talking to Heni’s parents.

Both set of parents are members of the Church.  So Rici and Heni will be a second generation family.  Super, since the Church is only 20 years old in Hungary!

We danced a bit...

We danced a bit…

At one point they had couples come up to dance and then asked everyone married less than 1 year sit down.  Then 5 years, then 10 years… Of course, we were left at the end – having been married nearly 52 years.  Then they asked for advice!  We were put on the spot!  Elder Felsted deferred to me and I said “Stay close to Heavenly Father and your marriage will thrive!”  I think they were hoping for more but Elder Felsted did not add anything else, so that is all they got!

This was Heni’s cute going away dress…

Heni and Rici and friend.

Heni and Rici and friend.

I went to both their FB pages to get some of these pictures….

10336655_318765374946745_1631117325167204653_nAnd found this picture…


Wonderful news!!!  Another beautiful new family in Hungary.

How blessed we are to have  associated with these choice spirits of our loving Heavenly Father.

Panni’s Baptism

Panni was invited to a Book of Mormon Open House that the Pest Ward had in the summer of 2013.  Viki invited her after making a list of names of acquaintances and praying about who she should invite.  Panni accepted but with the conditions that the missionaries did not proselyte her.  Viki agreed to tell the missionaries not to try to contact her… which she did.  However, Panni’s curiosity got the better of her and she attended a ward meeting.  There were friends there that she knew and soon she was meeting with the missionaries and doing English classes.  She brought another friend, Kriszti to English classes and that is another story…

We were present in the building when they were having their missionary discussions and since they were YSA age we were interested in them.  However, there seem to be something special about Panni and Kirszti for us.  They both seem to be special young women and they seem to love us, too!  Even though they did not speak much English, we communicated through love.

Kirszti got baptized Nov 1, 2013 and Panni was originally planning to be baptized on Dec 6, 2013.  However, she changed her mind and wanted to wait until this summer.  We were sad to think we would not be there at her baptism, but she did not want us to pressure her!  So we sadly said, OK!  However, in April she called us at our apartment and said I have some news, can you guess what it is?  Elder Felsted said … Is something changing?  And then she told us that she would be baptized Friday evening May 16, 2014.  We were very excited!  We planned on having FEFest in the Kispest Ward that evening so our YSA could be there to support her!  (Both she and Kriszti live within the Kispest Ward boundaries and attended there before their baptisms.)

IMG_7029Elder Ekstrom baptized her but she went through several sets of missionaries in the months preceding her baptism.

Kriszti and Panni

Kriszti and Panni

Quite a feast...

Quite a feast…

The Kispest Ward is known for putting on a fabulous feast when new members are baptized.  Kriszti is a professional cook and actually helped with this food.  However, we brought food, too, since many of our YSA attended this function.  (The prettiest sandwiches were made by Kriszti, though.)  But the famous Felsted brownies are always a big hit at these functions!!!

Panni and her mother with us.

Panni and her mother with us.

Panni is an only child and lives with her parents.  We really loved her mother, too!

It all started with Viki's invitation...

It all started with Viki’s invitation…

These young women certainly radiate the Love of Christ – or as Alma so powerfully states:

14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?

These experiences were some the highlights of our mission!!!