Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pillows, Polka Dots and Dwarves


Thanks so much for the emails this past week!! I loved reading them all!! Writing this email is really really weird, because for some reason, the computer is trying to spell check all of my words... ;)

Sorry I don't have any pics! The computer at this internet café doesn't have a little place to put the picture thing in. If that makes sense. This internet café is basically a pékség in the top of a little mall. A pékség is a little type of bakery that is found all over Hungary. The stuff you find in there is really tasty and usually really friendly to your wallet, so it makes for a good snack or small lunch if you're in a hurry. You usually can buy a couple of little pastries with a 200 forint coin, which is equivalent to about one dollar.

They have this cold cereal in Europe called Pillows. Its really good, but really unhealthy. I use it sparingly -- I'm still on the box that I bought the first day here! Pillows are like woven little pillows of grain with a creamy hazelnut or vanilla filling.

This image taken from a google image search

A really good candy bar here is called polkadots. At least that's the translation into English -- I can't remember right now what it's called in Hungarian! It's a chocolate bar with a flavored cottage cheese filling. It's really tasty!
This image was taken from
This image was taken from

Today we are going to walk around the Veszprém castle. I'm pretty excited. Apparently we live really close to it. We live in the belváros, which is basically the old and pretty and ancient part of a Hungarian town. I's been really rainy and misty since we have come hear, so it's pretty hard to see that far anywhere, but today is fairly clear (comparatively!) so that's good news!

We usually have at least a couple of lessons each day, and we spend the rest of our day streeting. We've been tabling (sp?) twice. Tableing is where we set up a table in the middle of a pedestrian zone and put a bunch of pamphlets and a couple copies of the Book of Mormon, or  a Mormon Könyve, and hand out fliers for English class and pass-along cards. Usually at least a couple people come up to us with questions about the church or English class, and it's a great way to meet people who are genuinely interested in church.

A new investigator came to church this Sunday. It was awesome, after sacrament meeting she went around and talked with everyone how wonderful the meeting was, and during the classes she made sure she wrote everything down. We gave her an a Mormon Könyve after church. None of our other investigators were able to make it to church, unfortunately! The other elders in this district are helping a lady get over smoking. She hasn't smoked in several weeks! We are really happy for her!

One of the craziest things about Hungary is how obsessed everyone is with their personal appearance, even more than in America! Apparently sometimes for tracting the elders go around and conduct a public survey, and one of the questions they ask is "What is the most important thing in your life" and the most common answer is something about how healthy they look to other people. There are so many public working-out places scattered throughout the town that the government maintains, and people will go there and run and run and run around the track, and the gyms are always full too. Everyone under a certain age wears skinny jeans, the girls and the guys.

Today when we were shopping I got a pomegranate (sp?). I'm really excited to eat it. The food here is really low priced. I usually spend the equivalent of about twenty dollars for a whole week of shopping, including five liters of milk and fresh bakery bread. But the gas here is really expensive, about the equivalent of eight or so dollars per gallon.

I finally got my last suitcase! It had all my socks in it!!! Don't worry though, I bought new socks awhile ago when it became clear that I only had like three pairs and a lot more than three days in between laundry cycles.

BTW we have a washing machine in our place! I think most of the Hungarian missionaries have them! Super happy about that!

The pedestrian zones are where you can see evidence of the Christmas season the most. They're filled with temporary wooden stands selling fresh Christmas-y food and other seasonal treats and gifts. The air is filled with the smell of fresh pastry and the sound of Christmas music.

I love European milk! But I think that, at least among the other elders and sisters in this mission, I might be alone in that opinion. Except the other elders and sisters who were raised in Europe. We have a two native Hungarian speakers in our mission, a sister and an elder, and at least two (that I know of) elders from Austria. Just about everyone else is from the USA. Apparently sometimes people are really surprised when they meet a missionary not from the states. They're like, "wait, non-American Mormon missionaries exist??!!" It's kinda of funny, especially since I'm pretty sure there are more Latter-day saints outside of America than inside America!

So the other day we went to Budapest to get our visas. Usually they wait in line for like an hour, but this day there was a problem with numbers or something, and we waited for almost six hours!!! The only thing I really had with me to study was a picture of the old Hungarian alphabet on my camera, so I now have that pretty much memorized! The old Hungarian alphabet is what J.R.R.Tolkien used for one of the languages in his books, I think for the Dwarves, but I'm not quite sure. I looks really really cool. It's also written right to left, like Arabic or some other languages.

Szekely Hungarian Rovas alphabet Szekely magyar rovas ABC.svg
This image was taken from 

For my English class I think it would be fun to do some tongue twisters, but I can't think of very many! If any of you all have some good ones, please send some to me!!

Hungarian is sooooooo different than English! This guy we met on a train showed us a picture of the language tree and evolution of languages. It had all the European, Asian, and African languages on it, and how they were related. It was really cool. He told us to find Hungarian on the tree. We looked, but we couldn't find! He then showed us a separate little tree at the bottom, which just had Hungarian, Finnish, and Estonian! The rest of the other languages throughout the world were on the big tree. I'm certainly feeling this difference when trying to speak. I can speak in simple sentences, but I have to really think. I can usually understand what people are saying by the context and picking out a root word here or there, but it's really hard to respond to questions and stuff!!!

Sorry if the spelling is all messed up! If I actually used spell check, this email would all be in Hungarian, and it wouldn't make any sense at all!!!

Boldog Karácsony!
Bunker Elder

No comments:

Post a Comment