We were assigned to talk in the Szolnok Branch today. So we and the Carpenters started off at 8 AM, meetings started at 10 AM. We got there in plenty of time, we thought, 9:45 AM. However, the address programmed into the GPS was not correct. So a quick call to the Sister Missionaries in that Branch, resulted in a darling 17-year-old boy running over to where we were and directing us to the correct place. The whole branch was awaiting our arrival – but now we were a few minutes late!
Of course, we were the speakers, so we had to sit up on the front chairs – right in front of the podium and piano. Just entering the room, we both noticed the sweet Spirit of the Branch members. It had me reaching for the tissues almost immediately. It seems that the Holy Spirit is very strong here in Hungary!
One of the Sister Missionaries spoke first – she bore her testimony. She believes that she will be transferred to a new area this week was was sad to go. (Transfers are very 6 weeks for the young missionaries.) Then I spoke. I did the entire thing in Magyar – except that I asked one of the Sister Missionaries to tell them one sentence: that I felt the Spirit so strongly when we walked into the room. Then, in Magyar, I apologized for my Magyar (Baba Magyarul – baby Hungarian) and explained to them that I really wanted to learn their language. I explained our calling in the Church and then I told them a bit about myself: I was a convert (Megtért vagyok). I was baptized at age 18 by Felsted Elder. We have 7 children and 24 beautiful grandchildren. Then I went into my talk, True to the Faith, the same one I gave in a previous branch.
This time it was easier and I could actually look at the members occasionally. And when I got to the part about them being the pioneers of Hungary and we feel so privileged to be in their presence…. I had to wait until I could talk. The Spirit was testifying to all of us this was true.
The ward leadership and members came up and were so thankful that I had spoken to them in their native language. Very sweet people.
Ron had a similar experience while he was giving his talk. He told them that he had to get out his handkerchief. He spoke on the Three Voices that try to influence us. One of the Elders translated for him and he was nervous but some of the sisters, who know English, helped him from the audience. It was very endearing – but typical Hungarian. (If you greet someone on the street – Jo reggelt – and don’t say it exactly right, they will correct you. Pretty hysterical, actually!)
The branch choir sang a song in English, while one of the Sister Missionaries played her flute during the song. It was quite a nice production – 6 or 7 singers. One sister on the piano and one on her flute… (To the grandchildren – can you see how important those piano and musical skills are??)
We learned that there are at least three very strong families in Szolnok. They form the nucleus there. One family have one son who went on a mission and is now in the branch presidency and another preparing to serve. Another has a grandson, the 17-year old, who is also preparing to serve. With the new announcement changing the age the youth can serve, we are hopeful that more Hungarian youth will consider serving a full time mission.
Their building is beautiful. It has had a large addition built by the Church and the rooms are filled with light and are very attractive, with white stucco type of wall finish. Two rooms have fireplaces, which I assume are gas, and the way they heat the rooms. Parking is inside the property, which you enter through a gated wall.
We brought the Elders back to Budapest with us – one is being transferred to be an Office Elder. We ate our lunch in the car on the way home and arrived back home about 3 PM. We will be in Papa Ward/Branch next Sunday. The Carpenters have a speaking assignment there and with only two cars and 4 senior missionaries to get to various places, it is either go with them or take the metro to Pest Ward… I think NOT! (We would probably end up in some other town….or country… with our limited Magyar…) Anyway, we will bring a lunch this time to share with the missionaries there. They were excited to hear that!
Another spiritual Sabbath day in Hungary!