Christmas Day

Christmas Day, 2013, we were invited to the Stake President’s home, with eight junior missionaries and the Mission President and the Office Couple.   I suspected we were invited because we love and interact their daughter, who is 18 and a potential YSA member.  (She will be in High School until she is 20, as she is taking a concentrated course of German, English, Russian and Biology… She is also involved in a sport and music training.  I think the brighter kids here graduate from High School with like an Associate’s Degree.)

Anyway, with all of us there, it was a houseful!  We all brought food to share – I brought “funeral potatoes” – and they thought that was a hysterical name for a food.  It was explained that in Utah, this kind of creamy, cheesy potato dish was often brought for the traditional after-the-funeral dinner and that is how the dish got its name.

Our Stake President's home in Tinnye, a little suburb northwest of Budapest.

Our Stake President’s home in Tinnye, a little suburb northwest of Budapest.

This area is on the other side of the Buda Hills and is nearby to Perbal.  It is quite a rural area and we understand one of the more wealthy suburbs in Hungary.  It appears that individual homes are normal in this town and most who live here have a car to commute.

We arrived about 10:30 AM and we immediately went to a neighbor’s home to sing Christmas carols. We all crowded into their lovely home and they listened attentively.

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President Smith and the Office Elders had made a little booklet of Hungarian Christmas Carols – most of them from the Hungarian LDS hymnbook.

We returned to the Stake President’s home and before we ate, they had each of us receive a present!  (Ours was yummy Belgian chocolate)…. I was happy that we brought a hostess gift!

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You can see the three tables that were set up in their dining/living room area.  Our Stake President is next to me.

Then we ate a FEAST!  The family had made some yummy traditional foods. I do not know the names, but I will describe them.  They started out with your choice of two traditional soups:  fish soup and goulash.  I took fish and Felsted Elder took goulash and we shared a taste of each others.  Then there were some unusual meat dishes.  One was turkey meat stuffed with a dried plum mixture and wrapped in bacon and baked.  Another was chicken stuffed with a chestnut mixture and covered in sesame seeds and baked.  These seemed pretty work-intensive dishes!  The two mothers – of the Stake President and his wife – helped cook these dishes and the wife’s mother was there and ate with us.  Of course, there were the potato dish, a Chinese chicken salad made by Sister Smith, carrots, and the other missionaries brought food, too!  We tried to have a taste everything but we filled up quickly!

Then desserts!  Here are some that were made by the family – or brought by the missionaries.

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The desserts on the left are made of a thin cake-like batter, cooked then layered with various ingredients (poppy seeds, chestnuts, etc.) then rolled. Others are stacked with fillings in between the layers.  One missionary made no-bake cookies and others brought other things.

The 18 year old daughter made these candies and her siblings were very excited to eat them.  They are made of —- crushed Oreo cookies, formed into a ball, and then dipped in white and dark chocolate.  Ron and I shared one!  VERY RICH (and yummy).  I have not seen any Oreo cookies here but they said they are available at some stores.  American influence…. perhaps a recipe from a former missionary?

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Three of the 4 children and mother in the background.

Afterwards, we took a long walk and went to some of their friends and acquaintances to do some more caroling…  Ron thought it was like 3 miles of walking but I am not sure.  I was glad I had good walking shoes on. He would have worn his walking shoes, if he had of known.  I took lots of pictures of darling homes all along the way. I will include them at the end of the post…

Many of the roads in this tiny town were not paved.

Many of the roads in this tiny town were not paved.

The family gathered in the backyard and we sang...

This family gathered in the backyard and we sang to them…

After our singing, the Stake President's wife presented the family with a gift.

After our singing, the Stake President’s wife presented the family with a gift.

After we were through singing at this house, we went to another.  They also had us sing to them in their backyard and then invited us inside and gave us some warm fruit tea, which is very popular here.  It is not green or black tea.  We noticed that they had interesting 3-D puzzles of the Hungarian Parliament and St. Mattias’ Church in their bookshelves.

The last home we caroled to.  Stake President took the picture.

The last home we caroled to. Stake President took the picture.

We were not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir but at least I don’t think we were like the cartoon below – no one had dogs that howled!! (compliments of LDS cartoonist Arie Van De Graaff).

1272060Here are some of the beautiful Hungarian homes we saw:

Most of the homes and apartments have fencing around them.

Most of the homes and apartments have fencing around them. And this fence is pretty creative!

This one was quite a large home.

This home seemed quite a large..

Some are a very modern style.

Some have a very modern style of architecture.

This home almost looks Mediterranean or Spanish.

This home almost looks Mediterranean or Spanish.

Love the unique style of this home.

Love the unique style of this home.

Look closely at the fence.  These are slabs of wood attached to a frame.  I like this a lot because it is unique.

Look closely at the fence. These are slabs of wood attached to a frame. I like this fence a lot because it is uses natural wood and is very different.

Tile roofs are normal here.

Tile roofs are normal here.

And that is some of what we did Christmas Day, December 25, 2013.  When we arrived home, we Skyped some of our children!  (Some were not available on Christmas day.)

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6 thoughts on “Christmas Day

  1. I happy to see you had a nice Christmas Kathy. Isn’t Skype wonderful? Our oldest son was in Australia for two years (work) and we used Skype a lot. Wish we had had it when our boys went on missions. Our missionaries now Skype home on Christmas. We just found out today with three children down for the holidays that our son’s wife will be baptized by him this Saturday. We’ve waited 21 years for this to happen. Hopefully in one year we will be in the temple with them and their children. Our daughter and her husband just went in October; four down, one to go.

    Rae Greenstreet

  2. We are very blessed to have all the wonderful technology that we have today! We finally got through to all seven of our children and it is so great to see that they are doing fine! Congratulations on your good news!

  3. Hi Kathie and Ron,

    We have enjoyed reading about all of your experiences right from the beginning. You have done such amazing things!

    Our family is all doing fine. We wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

    Love from all the Gorneys

    • Wonderful to hear from you, Linda. Your family is so great and I have had some fun seeing things on Facebook about them, here and there, like the pictures from the old days, your grandchildren – How FUN. Thanks for following the blog – sometimes I think why would anyone do that? It has certainly been a blessing to us and our family to be a part of the Church’s growth in Hungary. Hope your New Year is great, too!

  4. Wonderful.
    Is there anything that you would like for me to manage in regard to our project, there, at your farm in Cove?

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