Hungarians help church flourish after communism

For two decades, they've helped provide the face of the LDS Church in Hungary, having converted to the faith as adults and young teens at a time when their central European country was shedding the shackles of communism and embracing newfound freedoms. They've watched Mormonism flourish, flounder and persist, and they're anxious for the next generation to take root so growing pains give way to a firm future of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their homeland. "We cannot take things for granted yet," said Balatoni Gabor, a 1991 convert who serves as bishop of the Pest Ward. "We still have to work for it very hard." A half-dozen Hungarians — Benko Sandor, Csepai Andras, Valkai Nikoletta, Bajo Zsuzsanna and Bodacz-Nagy Bela joining Balatoni — recently met in the Hungary Budapest Mission home, talking of how merging paths brought them to become Mormons. Some had to cross international borders; others joined friends in finding the church in their hometown.
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