Saturday, September 24, 2011


We're trying to get a youth program started. Here's some of our potential group. Laci (Lotsie),in blue sitting in the middle of this hospital bed, hopes to be baptized in a couple of weeks. He is surrounded by members and friends who come to our activities.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sweet members

Here's 81 year old Marika nene, one of the sweet members who feeds the missionaries delicious meals every Sunday evening. She can't make it to church since she has to take care of her older sister in her 90s who has Alzheimer's. So the elders take the sacrament to her. (Click on the picture and you can see the left-overs she is taking to the kitchen to box up for the missionaries to take home.)

New underpass

NOTE: This entry is a special for the civil engineers in our family. The headquarters and main lines for the local railroad company connecting Austria and the rest of Hungary are just down the road from our house. About every 2 or 3 minutes a train passes through so the traffic has to stop. They've decided to put an underpass under the 4 tracks so the traffic on this main road won't have to stop. They started last June and will take over a year to finish. One track at a time they are putting in the overpasses for the trains. You can see here that this track has been cut off.

In July and August they poured this concrete overpass on "dry land." Now that it has cured, they have jacked it up, put rails under it, and are moving it to be under the tracks.

If you click on the picture, you can see the rail that they are moving the overpass on.

Here's the picture from the next day with the overpass lowered into position.

Now they are busy putting the railroad track across so they can open up this line and start the same on the next line. You can see they have a lot more to do before trucks, buses and cars can pass underneath. Those circles that look like Olympic Rings we think are for the rerouting of the natural gas pipelines that now go under the road.
Compare the following with the first picture and you can see that with one more rail, the trains can roll again.


Periodically these mini-trucks no wider than a small car pass our house. Of course they go by faster than I can get my camera out. This one was stopped at the railway crossing when we were walking home. They look like matchbox toys, don't they?


A couple of days ago when we left the house, there was a complete rainbow outside our door. We figured that was a good omen for the day's work.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

National Gallop

Where are all these tourists heading?

Are they making a home visit to my Hungarian ancestors...

because they smell their great cooking?

This is what we tried out--nagyon finom!

This horse shaped cake should give a clue since Hungarians are famous as master horsemen.

It's the National Gallop--this biggest horse event of the year in Hungary. It lasts 5 days and is held on the streets of Budapest near Heroes Square--What better place to celebrate your heritage. We missed it last year so as soon as we heard about it this year we headed off to catch at least one day.

Here are some of Mom's favorite events.

She was sure you'd want to see each of these video clips. Be sure to click on the size expander on the bottom right corner so you can see the footwork in full screen.

Here's one for the men in the family. No wonder everyone feared the Hungarians.

Does Mom look happy on our way home on the train?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Branch youth activity

Once a quarter we do something challenging with the youth of the branch. Here in the front row we have the primary and the young men and women ready for a zip lining and obstacle course adventure high in the treetops at Lövér Kalandpark (Löver Adventurepark). Their zip line safety instructor and their leaders are standing in the back.

It looks like Julia was caught by wild game hunters.

Veronica is doing great balancing on the poles.

Feco (Fatso) seems to be in a hurry.

Is Kiki training to be a pirate and sail the seven seas?

Laci (Latsi) looks relieved that he made it to the platform.

Ferika seems to be doing well on the double high wire.

Bianka made it safely to the end...

as did Balazs.

Can you tell that they had a great time and went through every challenge course several times? We could barely get them to stop for lunch.

Quiet on the set!

One evening this week, we went to visit some members but couldn't go down the street because an Austrian film company was using one of our picturesque streets as a movie set.

Grape harvest time!

Sopron is surrounded by vineyards and now is the harvest season, as you can see by this wagonload.

Which side is yours?

In Hungary, two different families may own the two sides of a house and the paint and decorate the way they please. Can you tell which family has more money and more decorating sense?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scenic Route 1

Usually we walk or take the bus everywhere. But sometimes, the people we want to visit are easier to get to by car. On the way home, whenever we see signs such as this directing us to nearby sights, the scenic route beckons. In this case one arrow points to Taródi Vár. "Vár" means "castle" so off we go.

After wandering up the hill through a neighborhood of huge mansions we came across this.

It's not the castle. Just a "health spa hotel" with $280 a night rooms for foreign tourists. But if you turn around and look through the trees, this is what you see--a tower of Taródi Castle.

This castle was built by a man starting in 1950. Here is the front entrance.

Here's a look from the side.

There is supposed to be an observation tower nearby so you can see it from the air. We couldn't find the right path, so this picture posted by the parking lot will have to do.

He never finished it before he died and the family didn't want to live in it. They preferred the plusher modern life of their neighbors. It is slowly collapsing into ruin. A family member charges $2 for self guided tours of the rooms filled with antiques.

Scenic Route 2

When we take the car to visit members on the edge of town beyond where the buses go, we sometimes like to take the scenic route home. In this part of Hungary, the city limit signs are in both in Hungarian and German.

The "Welcome" signs are also in both languages to make the travelers from nearby Austria more likely to come over to spend their money.

This village has lots of horses so we followed a newly paved road back to town to look around.

Suddenly, I noticed that the signs were no longer in Hungarian and German--just German. ("trinkwasser" is German for drinking water)

A block further past the park the explanations for the traffic signs were just in German ("anfang" means "start") The sign on the school in the background says "Volksschule" "Public School" in German.

We turned around to see where we crossed the border. Here I am sitting on the border stone by the new park with the "Trinkwasser" sign. ("M" marks the Hungarian side.) The cobblestone line through the pavement is the only indication that you have crossed into Austria.

If you look in the Hungarian direction (and click on the picture and have knowing eyes), you can see the radio tower by our house on the right, the churches and towers of downtown Sopron on the left, and the apartment houses and churches in between that mark where we had been visiting the members just a few minutes earlier.

The maps mark this field as part of the former "forbidden" territory for Hungarians. The European Union has been paying to reconnect Hungary to the rest of Europe. That's why this 1 mile road connecting the nearby villages of Agfalva in Hungary and Schattendorf in Austria was paved this past summer. In the Sopron area, these new connecting roads are very popular with cyclists.

Without purse or script?

How many suitcases does a missionary need for his white shirts and ties and several changes of underwear? Apparently at least 3 HUGE HEAVY ones. We know since every six weeks they have transfers and we take them and their suitcases to the train. I thought missionaries were supposed to travel without purse or script. I guess these aren't purses so they are OK. Here Elder Beaumond is taking Elder Wright to Budapest...

and coming back with Elder Abram.

Now, in my day, we were only allowed 1 suitcase with less than 44 pounds. Now we travel with just a backpack and a small carry-on. We've got to retrain the younger generation!