We have a wonderful Institute Director in Hungary (and I think he even checks up on Institute in Romania!) He suggested that we have a mini-institute in Szeged. It would be a Friday evening and Saturday morning and end with a tour of Szeged, for those who wanted it. Sounded like an interesting opportunity for the youth to get some concentrated religious teachings – and meet some new YSA.
The YSA in Szeged planned it all: registration online, sign up if you needed overnight housing at a local university (some stayed with friends or family), who was teaching, what games and activities to have, food, etc. The Hulberts, the YSA/MLS couple in Szeged would make the food that was requested. Institute could donate some funds and the Budapest YSA could donate some funds for food and our YSA travel. Some of the Bishops also paid for some of the YSA to travel and for boarding at the university.
So on November 15, 2013, we used the mission car to drive down to Szeged. Unfortunately, there are mission rules that prohibit non-missionaries in our mission cars. So most of the youth took the train down. These Budapest YSA attended: Ricsi, Heni, Levi M, Viki, Levi Cz, Timi, Bernadette, Panni, Szandi and Peter F, who recently graduated from a University in Szeged and is now working in Budapest. Zita came with her family Saturday morning. Dinner was the first item on the agenda. We had burritos with all the toppings!
The meetings were at the Szeged Ward Building. it is a commercial building remodeled for the Church purposes. The good news is that a new chapel is being built on a nice walking street in downtown Szeged. Pictures at the end of this posting.
At the end of the day, they had a Wii set up with some dancing competition. Then we went to the University dorms! I can’t believe I did not get any pictures of that building and our rooms, and bathrooms. (Maybe I was tired by then?) It appeared the buildings were built maybe in the 1940s. In the main entrance there was a type of knotty pine walls. The dorm rooms were very large and held eight to ten beds – arranged in little areas, with a closet and desk to separate the beds from the next person. We slept in a room like that but by ourselves. I was very happy that we brought our own pillows and blankets!. (Karolina’s suggestion) The shower room was very ancient looking – maybe like you would see in an old primitive camp, with pipes running along the wall and rather creepy stalls with mold. The water had to be reset every 30 sec or so to keep it running. Boy! are our kids spoiled! While we slept, some of the youth went out for an evening stroll… getting back about 2 AM. They are big kids and can do that…
Breakfast was at 8 AM! Are you ready for this? Virsli (hot dogs), fresh veggies, fruit salad and bread! I understand this is very European… There is not much difference between a hot dog and a sausage for breakfast; but we are still not used to veggies at that time of the day.
After breakfast, the youth were divided into three classrooms and they rotated for an hour each for the next three hours and had discussions about Gospel Principles.
I love this picture of Peter F! He loves his thoroughly Hungarian mustache and I love the T-shirt that goes with it!
After lunch the mini-conference was over. The youth who attended were spiritually fed and had the opportunity to meet with some of the new youth who have joined the Church recently. Youth of this age group are constantly joining the Church and there needs to be the chance to meet other like-minded youth. These type of activities will continue to be provided for them.
We did a tour of some of Szeged while we were there and I will show you some pictures of the places we went in a different posting. Here are the pictures of the new Ward Building in downtown Szeged.
There are two mini-Institute Conferences being planned for 2014. One in April in Pecs and another in the fall. They will be in other cities and maybe the youth will stay over for two nights and have their own Sacrament Meeting together. So many of the YSA are in leadership positions in their own wards and branches. But they need husbands and/or wives and to be able to start their own families. In Pest Ward, the Primary President, the Young Women’s President, the Ward Clerk are YSA. In Buda Ward, the Mission Leader and the Relief Society President are YSA. In Szeged the Branch President is a YSA. Great activity! Thanks Brother K.