Szilveszter means New Year Eve. Buli is a word for PARTY! And that is what we had on New Year’s Eve… a party… NOT like the missionaries in the carton below (thanks to Kevin Beckstrom on the e-zine, Meridian)!
No, that was not us. SIX very OLD senior missionaries were up to 5 AM supervising a group of YSA from all over Hungary. Since there are so few YSA and they are scattered all over the country, the Stake allows a few parties a year where all can attend. Because the YSA travel 3-4 hours to get to Buda and the buses and/or trains do not run after 11 PM, they stay longer. For instance, the bus going back to Égar, was not leaving until 6 AM. That group, including a mother, stayed in our building until sometime after 5:30 AM.
I don’t know about the other senior missionaries, but it took us the better part of a week to get back to a normal schedule!!! YAWN…. and still not sure we are there yet.
Party: since New Year’s Eve was on a Monday, we had Family Home Evening first, from 7:30 – 9 PM. That included the normal things, opening prayer and song, announcements, lesson, activity (decorating for the party) and closing song and prayer. The party consisted of eating, dancing, eating, games, eating, foos ball, a last minute decision to go see the fireworks at the Danube River (more about that later) and karaoke and more eating!
This is the second round of food – a traditional lentil soup and virsli (hot dogs) and snacks and desserts. Can you imagine American kids eating LENTIL SOUP at a party? Got to love these kids – they never complain about any food! The first course was veggies & dip and desserts? (We just follow directions – the YSA Council decided that the main course should be served later in the evening??) Of course, we had enough desserts to go on for several days – in fact, we had lentil soup and left over cookies for the following Friday evening meal… (frozen for a few days in between). In Felsted Elder’s opinion, a party is not a party without AMPLE desserts – and, actually, that goes for any Church function, in his eyes…
The MLS couple, the Cummings from Drebrecsen, were a great help! They brought the Senior Sisters, who also helped so much. We really could not have done this alone!!!
Sister H. and Sister W. eating the delicious lentil soup. They have been advising the YSA group in Debrecscen. However, Sister H leaves her mission next week! We will all really miss her sweet, gentle Spirit!
Group Karaoke – a big group had fun singing… (The words of the songs were projected up on the screen, while the song was being played.) Peter, one of our YSA council members is very techno-savy and he takes care of all the music issues! I think Dia helped him this night, though.
These girls were showing on the map where they would like to serve missions. The bulletin board is next to our office and is a map of the world. It has the names and pictures of the Hungarian YSA who are serving missions all over the world. (If you enlarge the picture you can see some of those.) One of the Hungarian YSA women, not one of these four, just got her call to serve in the London South Mission. She will be in the MTC on February 28th!!! Yeah, Lala!!! She has been to our center before but did not come this night.
So about 11:30 PM, a large group decided that they would like to go down to the Danube and watch the fireworks. Original plan, get on the tram (villamos) at Szell Kellman Ter and ride over to the Margrit Bridge – but we had to hurry. So Sister W and I decided we would like to do that, too. Some of the kids stayed behind and the rest of the senior missionaries did, too. We walked to the Square (Ter) and the tram had just left, not another one for 1/2 hour, so we walked down to the Danube (about 10 more minutes) and watched from there. We could see the fireworks at the Margit bridge, but not as well as we could have if we planned that better (maybe next year?) But I have never been down at the Danube at night and the Parliament Building is so beautiful!
Sister W and I. Pretty spectacular view of the Parliament Building across the Danube from where we were. (The Buda Castle is directly across from the Parliament Building on the Buda side.) They do fireworks for a lot of celebrations here. Many times they are set off of boats on the Danube. We definitely want to see some of those in the future!
We got back to the Mission Home about 1:45 AM and my feet hurt. We were rushing so fast to get to the River in time to see the fireworks and I guess my shoes were not up to the jaunt! Guess I should bring tennis shoes to the next Szilveszter Buli?
The night passed pretty quickly – mainly because we had company the whole night – thanks to the wonderful Senior Missionaries from Debrecsen!!! (The Szeged Senior Missionaries wanted to come; but none of their YSA kids came, so they stayed in Szeged.)
We think the kids had fun, too! One of the reasons they have these parties is so the YSA can meet others. With so many of these youth being fairly new converts, they have not had the opportunity to meet the others. We think our YSA council did a great job in organizing this party!