The beautiful blue Danube River flows through the middle of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Budapest, one of the major cities of eastern Europe, is actually two cities—Buda and Pest—situated on opposite sides of the river.
Horváth Gergö (10), Imre (9), and Péter (7) live with their parents high on the hills of the Buda side. They all enjoy attending the opera and the ballet. Because the family has only three season tickets, the boys take turns attending the events. They have seen Mozart’s Magic Flute many times; it is Gergö’s favorite opera. Imre never wants to miss a ballet; he loves to watch the graceful dancers.
Music is also part of the boys’ life at home, at school, and at church. Gergö and Imre have taken recorder lessons at school, practice enthusiastically at home, and sometimes accompany hymn singing in sacrament meeting. Two hymns they like to play are “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth” and “We Are Sowing.” Péter enjoys singing, especially “I Am a Child of God.” Since the Horváth boys are the only three members of the Primary in their branch, they participate often in opening exercises, lessons, and Sharing Time.
“Our family loves to play together and work together,” says Sister Horváth. She explains that every year the Horváths plant a large garden because “we can grow things well here.”
Péter and his brothers like to garden. During the winter months they study plant and seed catalogs and choose what they want to grow. This year Gergö ordered a climbing strawberry plant, which will grow taller than he is, and twenty-five small strawberry plants. Imre chose raspberry plants. Each year Sister Horváth starts seeds indoors in small containers, then transplants them outdoors when the weather warms up. She loves flowers, particularly impatiens. The Horváths have learned that growing a garden is a process and takes time. In order to harvest the fruit, they have to work hard watering, weeding, and protecting the tender young plants.
Péter, Imre, and Gergö also like to help their mother in the kitchen, especially when they have company for dinner. Chicken paprikash and goulash, two famous Hungarian dishes, are meals they enjoy preparing and eating. They also relish their mother’s tortes for dessert.
Their father is a retired engineer. He and the boys often go hiking in the hills surrounding Budapest during the summer months and play chess together during the winter. Gergö, Imre, and Péter find that any time of the year is a good time for a wrestle. Péter likes to ride his bike around his neighborhood, Imre plays soccer whenever he has a chance, and Gergö challenges his brothers at computer games.
The boys attend elementary school, where they study math, science, language, and current affairs (things that are happening now). Imre excels in reading and Gergö in math.
The boys’ mother joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 1990, when her cousin introduced her to two missionaries who had come to Budapest from the Austria Vienna East Mission. Their father, though not a member, is very supportive of his family’s Church activity. Gergö and Imre were both baptized when they turned eight.
A month after Sister Horváth’s baptism, a new mission was established in Hungary, and many more missionaries were assigned there. Since the headquarters of the mission have been in Budapest, Gergö, Imre, and Péter have had many opportunities to spend time with missionaries. Newly arrived missionaries often stay at the Horváths’ home when the mission home is full. Imre was especially excited to meet one missionary, Elder Thomas Emery Peterson, who not only liked to wrestle but also has the same first and middle names as his—Imre (Emery) Thomas. Each of the Horváth boys wants to serve a mission.
The whole family travels to Freiberg, Germany, every year so that Sister Horváth can attend the temple. She says, “The children like to go to Freiberg and always remind us that it is time to go. They are outside and I am inside the temple, but we are very close together. That is important to me.”
Gergö, Imre, and Péter look forward to the time when they will be able to attend the temple themselves, whether in Freiberg or, dreaming of the future, perhaps someday in Budapest.