We highly encourage regular contact with family back home. If you bring a laptop you will be able to use Skype or a VOIP phone to communicate. We have had great success with Vonage and a number of missionaries are using it. Until our recent move we used it to call other people in Debrecen who also have Vonage because the call did not cost us anything. We have made calls all over the world using it. It was great because it was phone to phone and neither party needed to be online. Others have used a Skype phone or other VOIP phones. Our goal is not to promote one over the other but to keep you in contact with friends and family. For Audree, I recommend you use a phone that does not have to go through your computer first, since you will be able to connect through a cable, that way people can call you even if you're not online. For Seth, you will probably need to use a phone that does go through the computer because you will most likely connect through a wireless connection and not have access to the router via cable.
It usually takes 10 days for regular mail to arrive. A letter from Hungary to the US is about $1.25 depending on the weight and exchange rate. Postcards cost about 75 cents to send. Later you will receive the address of where you will be staying. Mail can always be sent to our address because someone will always be here to pick it up. (If we are out of town the landlord can pick it up for us.) And then if something arrives for you after you return home, we can forward it to you.
Here's our address:
c/o Gary Miller
Nagy Mihaly kert 67/c
Calculated into the cost of coming is $15 per month for the use of a cell phone. Here you only have to pay for calls made, not calls received; the caller pays the entire amount. It is primarily for team communication, but your family and friends can contact you directly on it without any additional costs to you on the field. (They will be charged an extra fee to cover the cell phone airtime in Europe.) Of course your time to talk may be very limited at times, but your family will be able to get in touch with you if they need to, even if you are on the road or without internet.
Prior to your leaving the States we will send your phone number to you so you can get it to family and friends. We will also send you a long list of emergency contact information. There are phone cards available on the field so that you can call the States for about 30 cents per minute from your cell phone (cheaper from landline) for those times when we are out traveling. Costs for phone calls home are not calculated into the trip costs, so they are an extra expense.