At the Institute Graduation last Saturday, June 8, 2013, the Institute Director gave a talk and it centered around the need for our YSA to GET MARRIED (and get settled down and prepare to take over the duties of your elders…). Later that same day, the YSA had one of the Stake Presidency give a talk before their testimony meeting and he said – GET MARRIED! He stressed the importance of getting your life in order to have families. Later in the evening we heard from Apostle Ballard, in a special devotional for all European YSA members. Guess what he said??? GET MARRIED! You cannot progress in the next life without the saving ordinance of being SEALED for time and all eternity!
With the world’s notions of co-habitation instead of marriage, the family as an institution is suffering. The divorce rate is 60% in Hungary our High Councilor speaker in Sacrament Meeting stated today. The children are suffering with broken homes and by being raised in one parent families. There is no stability for our children in those circumstances. So the Church is strongly encouraging our YSAs to actively seek an eternal mate and get married and settle down. They are the future leaders of the Church in these countries! We need to set an example of stable marriages and have stable families for our children.
So it was very refreshing to see one of our YSA couples find each other, fall in love and get married. Most of this has happened since we have been here and, although we personally had nothing to do with their getting together, we have enjoyed seeing the relationship develop at some of our activities.
There was some match making going on soon after Eva joined the Church and she was told (by friends?) to look out for Istvan at the YSA conference in Hungary last summer. However, Istvan spent most of his time translating and they did not get to meet. A couple of invites up to Buda resulted in their finally meeting and getting to know each other.
Istvan’s family is from a little town called Papa, and their entire family was baptized about 20 years ago and are stalwarts in the Church there. Istvan served a mission in the US and he currently works for the Church full-time as a translator in Győr – close to the Austrian and Czech Republic borders. (The American sister missionary responsible for teaching them the Gospel came with her family for the wedding!!) Eva was baptized right before we arrived in Hungary and her mother joined shortly afterwards. Eva has been on the YSA council and after Christmas (when she got engaged) moved from Buda back to her home in Érd, in preparation for the wedding. So sometimes they were in Papa and sometimes up here in the Érd-Buda area.
Yesterday, June 15, 2013 they got married. And it was a wonderful event! We were so thrilled to be invited… We went with the Wiggins, who have been assigned to attend the Érd Branch of the Church (Branch is a smaller congregation than a ward, for our non-LDS friends). We helped them by picking up the dress at a rental store in Pest and driving it over to their apartment. (Just the dress – we are not allowed to drive non-missionaries in the car!!)
Here they are as they arrived at the Hivatal (or Town Hall) of a little town/suburb of Budapest to get married. As in most European countries, a civil wedding has to be performed before a Temple Sealing.
Tibor, a friend, acted as the Master of Ceremony (and was a Best Man) and gathered us all at the Town Hall steps and said a traditional Hungarian poem and gave advise and performed a certain ceremony. He held a staff of some sort that was decorated with colored strips of fabric and had Evi and Istvi add another color to it…
Afterwards, we all entered into a nice room – not the governmental office we were expecting – and the wedding ceremony began! They had a traditional march down the aisle; we think Evi’s brother gave her away.
One of the activities at the wedding reception: Istvan was blindfolded and had to identify Eva by distinguishing her by touching … back of hands, noses, cheeks, ears, ankles! He finally got it at the ankle (we think he accidentally touched the dress at this point and got it!). The decorations were flowers made of napkins and sewed onto fishing line and draped from the sides of the room – and they were also on all the tables. Very inexpensive yet so tastefully done!
One last look at the beautiful Bride and handsome Groom. They are off to a little town for a honeymoon – then the following week will attend the Temple in Frieberg Germany to be sealed for Time and all Eternity! Then to fulfill their destiny to be some of the future leaders of the Church in Hungary! Very joyful event!