We used our new GPS to travel to Sopron and it was very easy! We got out of Budapest without a hitch. The very nice thing about this GPS gadget is that it even shows exact duplicates of the over head road signs that we saw; so it was a confirmation that it was working right and we were on the correct path.
Sopron is about 3 hours away in the extreme NW corner of Hungary and the Flammers offered to let us stay overnight in their extra bedroom with a couch that converted to a bed (not like ours in America). Flammer Elder told us to call him when we got to a certain little town close to Sopron, and he would tell us an easier way than the GPS would bring us. So we did and the GPS quickly adjusted. We had programmed their home address as our destination. The only issue was that although I thought I recognized their home from Flammer Növér’s blog, we could not see the address, so we were not sure. And they were not home – they were at a Church function. But they quickly came home and confirmed where we were.
After we got settled, they had a Skype lesson with our most favorite of all the MTC Hungarian tutors – Kyle! How fun it was to sit on their couch and see him. And he was surprised to see us, claiming to be the Flammers! We gave him a few phrases that we had learned and he filled us in on what is going on with him. His wife is expecting a girl in April and he will retire this month from being a MTC tutor and start as a Teaching Assistant in his major field, Civil Engineering. Then we just listened to him tutor the Flammers.
Afterwards, the Flammers took us to a cute Hungarian restaurant. When you walked in, it looked like a bar, but on the side and in the back, there were tables for their patrons. We choose what to eat by looking at the four colored pictures and not the other food, without pictures and no English. It was good – pork strips and veggies on french fries! The Fanta (soft drink) did not have the brilliant orange color that I remember having in America. (It appears to me that Hungarians, maybe all Europeans, use less artificial things than we do?) They also had two live singers with instruments, who sang some Hungarian and some John Denver!. I forgot to take a picture there but it was dark anyway.
Since Flammer Elder is in the Branch Presidency, he left early Sunday morning for meetings. We and Sister Flammer came in time for the Sacrament Meeting. The Sopron Branch meets in part of this Best Western Hotel building. The main part of the hotel is around the corner to the left of the picture. The Church occupies the 3rd and 4th floor and the Elders live on the 5th floor. The curved white windows are the RS room on the 4th floor. It is a VERY nice building and will be handicap accessible when the newly installed elevator (behind this part of the building) is completed. Everything inside looks fairly new: white walls, the carpet, the familiar blond wood chapel podium area. The Branch is small and really needs more members. There are two sisters who joined the Church in 1990, when the Church first was recognized by the government. I would say perhaps they had 20 total members there. A sister, a new convert, came up to us and through a translator, thanked us profusely for visiting and giving our talks. Maybe when the new group of missionaries come in March (from the October Conference announcement), they can get another set of missionaries to help out with spreading the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Down the stairs to the chapel area. Pictures of all the Prophets in this dispensation and a picture of Christ at His Second Coming. Here is a picture from the RS room of a very picturesque walking street:
After Church, Flammer Elder took us to see a couple of sights while Sister Flammer went home and got the dinner on the table. Sopron is surrounded on three sides by Austria, so we went to a very famous park, where the tearing down of the “wall” or Iron Curtain, started. It was cold and snow covered, so we did not do a tour. But we will be back to tour this area. We have both read the book by James Mitchner, The Bridge of Andau, and we have a Hungarian friend who escaped Communism through this area – so this is an area we definitely want to explore in greater detail in a summer trip.
Elder Flammer also took us to downtown Sopron and we walked to the Roman ruins behind the main street of the town. AMAZING! Such history in this whole area!
The sun was so bright, shining off the snow covered streets, that I had to stand in the shadows to get a decent picture. Main street is on the other side of buildings in the back of this picture – although the town wraps around these ruins.
Sister Flammer had a delicious dinner of fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, home made rolls (YUM) and chocolate chip cookies for dessert! They had invited the missionaries for dinner, too, so we got to know them a little better. It was a fun trip and fun to get to know the Flammers better. Their home is in Cache Valley, so I assume we will get together after our missions. He was a HS counselor for his career and they both have funny humorous streaks!!! (Of course, so many of these Senior Missionaries are very humorous! We feel we are pretty dull and boring!) She made quilts to support their missionary children.
Flammer Elder and the missionaries had to leave to take the Sacrament to a house-bound member of the Church after dinner and it was time for us to travel back home. Another lovely little Hungarian town and another little branch!