Halloween Buli

Poster announcing our party.

Poster announcing our party.  It was posted on Facebook and sent to all the branches and wards in the country.  Ricsi (Richie) made this poster…

Friday, October 25, 2013 was our planned Halloween Buli.  This was the third all-nighter party of the year.  All the YSA in Hungary are invited to these all-night parties.

This weekend also happened to be Stake Conference and Elder Herbertson was there to add some territory to our Stake boundaries.  (We now have more cities in our Budapest Hungary Stake and the Mission Districts are smaller!)  Unfortunately, we did not check the Stake Calendar before scheduling our party – but it turned out to be perfect!  Elder H flew in the Friday night of our party and a Fireside was planned from 7-8 PM the same night.  (Our institute classes is Friday from 6-7 PM).  The YSA kids were excited to have a General Authority come and talk to them.  He is Scottish and we loved his brogue – especially when he was imitating his father, a former Bishop!  He told us wonderful stories of conditions in Scotland when he was growing up – how the branches were small because of previous mass immigrations of so many to America after their conversions in the 1800s and early 1900s.  In fact, he had the missionaries raise their hands if they had ancestors from the British Isles.  Almost 100% of us did.  One of the stories was about a camping trip that his father, the Bishop, planned with the youth at Loch Lomond.  One side is a complete wilderness and he had arranged for a bus to drop them off in the wilderness.  After the bus left and they were setting up their camp, they noticed that they had failed to bring the propane camp stove, which they needed to cook their food.  They had the tank of propane.  So he called on the youth to join him in a prayer.  Afterwards, he told them to fan out and check the surroundings and find a stove.  Within 10 minutes some had found an old rusty camp stove, which had the same fittings that would work on the propane tank and which worked!!  After a prayer of thanksgiving they set it up and it worked all week.  At the end of the week, it was returned to where it was found!  We all loved these stories of faith!! (We should have more faith like this!!)  He also encouraged our youth to invite their friends to meet with the missionaries to help build the Church here in Hungary.

After our fireside, we changed into our party clothes!

Adri was in charge of the decorations and it helped that I have spent some time and money buying clear plastic containers for organizing the decorations, sewing materials, craft items, etc.  2 Halloween boxes, 1 Farsang box, etc.  I could not stand the cardboard boxes of various sizes stacked on the cabinets in our office.  Now it is easier to to find things.  And using recycled decorations save a lot of time and money.

Using recycled decorations save a lot of time and money

The hallway at the top of the stairs and entrance to the recreation room.

The hallway at the top of the stairs and entrance to the recreation room.

The haunted house complete with bats....

The haunted house complete with bats…. and a witch checking up on it all…

President and Sister Smith and Elder Herbertson came and spent some time at our party and even ate dinner with us!  (Sloppy Joes, chili, open face sandwiches, veggies and dip, chips, desserts, etc.)

IMG_3315He even took time to mingle with the guests…

Peter and Barbie were doing the music

Peter and Barbie were doing the music.  There are certain advantages for the kids who often come to the mission home/YSA center – like meeting GAs…

It was pretty funny when the PIRATE Elder Felsted came charging into the room, yelling in his best pirate voice,  … ARGHHH!  I am not sure he can ever go back to the shy, retiring person he has been all his life!

Poster board mustache, eyebrows and sideburns.

Poster board mustache, eyebrows and sideburns.  Cardboard sword covered in foil.

Eating is always a party activity...

Eating is always a party activity…

Our Institute Director, Brother Kusckar, on the left, was there.

Our Institute Director, Brother Kusckar, on the left, was there.

Some really cute outfits…. showing ingenuity rather than lots of money…


Ricsi and Heni – the beekeeper and his honey bee!

Adri loves ghoulish stuff and cowgirl Anna

Adri loves ghoulish stuff and cowgirl Anna

Gergo's girlfriend came in camo

Gergo’s girlfriend came in camo

Beethoven Levente

Beethoven Levente

The Ghoul Wedding was pretty funny!

The Ghoul Wedding was pretty funny!

Dia, with a ghost cookie and an eyeball (floated in the punch), Anna and sportsperson, Viki

Dia, with a ghost cookie and an eyeball (floated in the punch), Anna and sportsperson, Viki

Five prizes were given out for the costume contest.  Viki helped me to design a voting form for easily tallying up the votes!  Elder Felsted won one – even though he did not want to take a spot, they insisted he had to win something…  (the kids who know him really love him…).  After the contest, it was time to party….

Lots of various kinds of dancing...

Lots of various kinds of dancing…

The kids from Miskolc are very close to each other.

The kids from Miskolc are very close to each other.

Everyone loves karaoke…

The more the merrier.

The more the merrier.

It is fun when it is up on the screen so everyone can see the words…


Yes, they sing those words….

About midnight, Barbie and Péti went home and Norbi took over the music duties…

IMG_3515One of the reasons for these parties is for kids to meet each other.  Joci came early from Papa.  We have not met him before and neither had Timi.  Since Timi was there early, they both ended up helping us in the kitchen before the party started – and getting to know each other…

IMG_3298At this party, we had about 40 attend (if they all got counted, no matter what I do, not all who attend will sign in…) – 10 of which were non-members, investigators, etc. Plus there were 6-8 missionaries with their investigators.  Of course, the missionaries can only stay a while.  They are not YSA, they are missionaries!!!  We have at least three of these investigators getting baptized in December.  The parties and other activities are a way for them to meet and mingle with other LDS kids their same ages..

Some of the out of town kids stayed all night in the lounge rooms – waiting until their trains would be up and running in the morning..  Some of the in-town kids and some of the out of town kids went for a walk down to the Duna and Margit Island – and the Parliament building is so beautifully lit up at night… They were apologetic that they made us stay up all night and left about 6 AM.  (That was an hour earlier than the last party!)   The rest went home about 2 PM after cleaning up and taking down all the decorations.  The kids are awesome about cleaning everything up!

The Office Couple, the Carpenters, help us out so much!!!  Their costumes is the aprons!  HA

The Office Couple, the Carpenters, help us out so much!!! We really could not do everything by ourselves.  Their costumes is the aprons! HA!!  Can you tell what I am??? (Indian maid – my headband was on someone else at that moment…)

After the Carpenters went home, we cut up the pumpkins so we could bake them and save the pulp for pumpkin pies and bread!  It took a couple of hours to do four pumpkins.  (Timi took hers home…)

We waited until the pumpkin job was done before we did the final clean-up of the kitchen.  That was about 5:30 AM and Elder Felsted mopped the kitchen floor as I was working at the sink.  I took a step on the wet floor and fell, spraining my left ankle!!!  (This was the same foot that I broke and sprained two toes earlier this year!)  Luckily I only bruised my hip when I hit the ceramic tile!  But my foot was swollen for about two weeks – no walking on it during that time…

When we finally got home about 6:15 AM – WE CRASHED INTO BED…. Staying up all night is not for the faint-in-heart – however, the Lord has blessed us to be able to do this several times since we have been here and not get sick.  It takes us a few days to get back on a normal (well, what is normal for our calling) time schedule..  We have one more all-night party, the Szilveszter Buli (New Year’s Eve Party) and I think we will end all night parties in Hungary and have Saturday parties in the future…  (Well, not sure about New Year’s Eve…but we won’t be here for the 2014 one..)


Pre-Halloween FHE

Halloween is one American tradition that the YSA kids seem to really enjoy.  As one of them said – pretty similar to our Farshang holiday and this way we can have two of them!  So who doesn’t like to dress up?

We started by buying 5 fair sized pumpkins, which we carved on Monday October 21, 2013 as our FHE activity.  Last year we had to do this in the RS kitchen, as the recreation room was getting the floor refinished.  MUCH easier in our recreation room…

Levente and an investigator, Barbara

Levente and an investigator, Barbara

Adri and Norbi

Adri and Norbi

Give a boy a knife and what do they do???

Give a boy a knife and what do they do???

Timi and Gabus

Timi and Gabus with theirs

Feri and Lavi

Feri and Lavi show off theirs

Some of the kids present did not want to get their hands icky… so we decided to do one.

Timi took this one...

Timi took this picture proving we do have fun…

This was ours...

Finished product

These pumpkins were used as decorations for the Halloween Buli, the following Friday.  We refrigerated them from M-F.  We bought little battery lights that look like candles to put inside them.  We used the pumpkins in the stairwell at the entry level and up the stairs to our recreation room.

Pretty cute!

Pretty cute!




Apartment Checks in Veszprém and Székesfehérvár

The Cromars were a senior couple who served in Székesfehérvár and they have since completed their mission and returned home.  Since that time there have been no senior missionaries who replaced them – yet!  So other senior miissionaries have been taking turns driving to these two towns and checking the apartments of the 5 sets of missionaries who live there.  It was our turn and it sounded like a new adventure, so off we went!

These two towns are close to Lake Balaton, which we have driven by before.  And it was a beautiful fall day when we did this, Monday, October 21, 2013.  The only issue is that we needed to be back for Family Home Evening in the evening.  We set up appointments at 10 AM in Vesprém and our latest appointment was at 1:30 in Székesfehérvár.  (By the way, Székes means a cathedral, fehér is white, and vár is castle…).  It used to be the capital of Hungary.

It is nice to have the GPS – but, of course, it did not take us directly to the first apartment.  We ended up in this darling area of Veszprém, somewhere close to the Sisters apartment…  So I had Ron stop and I took pictures of the cute buildings!

IMG_3053We were on a cute curvy street…

IMG_3061IMG_3059IMG_3063The Sisters live in an apartment on a very tiny, windy one-way street.  After a call to them to come outside so we could see them, we got there…  This craft shop is across the street from their apartment..

IMG_3071Wish I had taken the time to investigate that….

IMG_3072This is the street where they live…. craft store on left, their building on right… The poor GPS did not have a chance!

So here is a unique floor of a room in their apartment… windows to the staircase below?

IMG_3068Here is a nice building…

IMG_3075The next missionaries along our planned route, lived in a 10 story apartment building (another posting sometime).  But I liked the way that the owners painted these.

IMG_3078On to Székesfehérvár..  We saw these along the way – but it was obvious to us that they are not being used or were abandoned…

IMG_3086We have seen other nuclear power plants around the country, but not so close to the road.

The first noticeable item we see is a CHURCH, imagine that!  What is amazing is how uniform so many of them are…  (Maybe not so amazing… many of our LDS chapels have a certain look to them, too!)


Church in Székesfehérvár

Both sets of missionaries here lived in ten story (built in Soviet era) apartment building and these pictures show their view out their windows.  But the great thing is that someone is painting the buildings and not leaving them concrete gray, like so many others that we have seen.

Pretty colorful!

Pretty colorful!

IMG_3092The other set of missionaries had a better view…

IMG_3096I am sure there were prettier parts of Székesfehérvár that we could have seen… but time was the issue and we had to return for Family Home Evening.

Beautiful fall colors on the highway.

Beautiful fall colors on the highway.

Nice little diversion trip but also a necessity.  Not only do we seniors check on how well the younger missionaries are keeping up their apartments, we check their safety equipment (CO monitors, fire alarms) and note if there are any other issues that need to be resolved.

A Birthday Cake

Viki wanted to make Elder H an American birthday cake for his birthday.  So we set up a time when she could come to our apartment to make one for him.  We could not find any round cake pans from any of our Senior Missionary friends and our center did not have any.  So we decided to  use a 9 x 13 (ish) pan, cut the cake in 1/2 and layer it that way.

We found a recipe for a Devil Food Chocolate Cake online (love the internet!!!) and Elder Felsted and I guided her.  (Elder Felsted has become the Süti Király – Dessert King – since being here, so his opinion is important!)

Proud cake maker

Proud cake maker

Vicki even cleaned up her mess!!!  She is a wonderful young woman, if you could not tell… She was baptized in the summer of 2012 before we arrived…

IMG_3015We decided to take the frosting over to the Center and frost it there. And here is the finished project and a happy Elder!

IMG_3023And a picture with Viki, Dia (her non-member friend who attends Church and missionary discussions), a present (Hungarian 2014 calendar), Elder H and us..

IMG_3021Another day working with the YSA in Hungary…

Service Project in Felsőgöd

One of our YSA members heard about someone in the Pest Ward who needed some help chopping wood.  So she thought that might be a good project for the YSA.  So on September 23, 2013 we went back to the train station to take a train to a suburb of Göd, Felsőgöd!  This little area is in Pest County and is north of Budapest.  We did this in lieu of Family Home Evening and met at 4 PM at the train station.

IMG_2857While we were waiting for everyone to gather at the station, we got some help from an English speaking guide.  She helped us buy our tickets. Then we had to find train 6…

IMG_2858We walked about 1/4 mile from the train station to the home.  Some cute homes in this little place…

Love their use of color.

Love their use of color.

IMG_2894Once there we discovered that the family had a splitter, which was a present from family members, who thought this was easier than the old fashioned way!  (I think the Felsteds need a splitter, now that I have seen one and how easy they are to work..)  The family we were helping decided to see if using their wood stove would be more economical than the high price of fuel.  (In our situation at home, we just prefer wood heat.)

So the mother of the home told the kids how to work the machine and some of the kids started splitting the wood. 

IMG_2874Everyone had a job.  Lavi handed the wood to Levente, Viki operated the machine. Levente directed the wood.  Adri took the split pieces and stacked them into a wheelbarrow. Levi was chopping the wood the old-fashioned way…  The Felsteds stacked the wood in the back yard…until our old backs started hurting…

IMG_2888The Dad came home from work and started sawing some the larger pieces into more manageable sizes.  He got several loads of this hard oak wood delivered to his home.

IMG_2900Levente and Levi decided they would let the girls do the splitting and they would flex some muscles!

IMG_2907Meanwhile out back….

IMG_2909Their garden was on the side of the house.

The couple was still getting food from their garden!

The couple was still getting food from their garden!

And it started to get dark…

Two wheelbarrows full of wood.

Two wheelbarrows full of wood.

I had brought some food – sandwich makings – to feed the kids; but the mother had prepared a wonderful meal for us!  So after a hard work-out, we enjoyed eating and resting a bit before we left.  They even drove us back to the train station.

Adri, Viki, Lavi

Adri, Viki, Lavi

The two Leventes.

The two Leventes.

and us...

and us…

The Nygati Train Station at night… some of these old buildings are so beautiful.

IMG_2948Some pictures from the internet of Nyugati Station…back in the old days and now.

c66de887c34cfb0d1376b719773540947478dd42Another day in the lives of the Young Single Adults in Budapest.