Mitch Densley Visit To Serbia
Nov 23rd, 2009 by ron


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We have really had a great week in many ways.  The best part was that our son Mitch, who is on R&R from Afghanistan, came to visit us.  The visit was short but was sweet.  It would be so fun if all of our family and close friends could come to see us.  I must admit, Mitch’s visit made me homesick for a few days.  I cried every time someone would mention family but I am over it—thank heavens!

#00.  Mitch as he came off the plane in Belgrade, Serbia

#1.  Around the table eating Moms homemade chili.  They promised they wouldn’t use any stupid pics. of me—I guess they were kidding!

#2.  We visited some museums while Mitch was here.  This is inside the Serbian National Bank’s Museum.  This is the Mitch we all love so much.

#3.  In the museum.

#4.  A real bar of gold—don’t worry, security was really tight!

#5.  Ron, Me, Mitch, Elder Knight from Crescent Valley, Nv., E. Jasper from Tooele, E. Christiansen from Highland, Ut, E. Beaumont from Vancouver, Canada, E. Porter from Bountiful area,  E. Armstrong from Taylorsville, Mitch’s comrads-Koko from Pennsylvania and Andre from Logan.

#6.  The Serbian Orthodox Temple near our flat.  It is really pretty at night.

#7.  View inside the temple.  It has been under construction for over 100 years and is a long way from completion.  Their head patriarch passed away the day Mitch arrived and in lieu of flowers, it was suggested that people donate money.  They estimated that over 1,000,000 people passed by his body or attended the funeral.  If everyone gave just $1.00——-.

#8.  On Tuesday Evening I made an early Thanksgiving dinner—3 roasted chickens (couldn’t find a turkey)  mashed potatoes/gravy, stovetop stuffing, cranberry sauce and all the rest including pumpkin pie and banana cream pie.  Thanks to those of you who brought pumpkin, stovetop stuffing, cranberry sauce, pudding mixes and Crisco for pie crust!  We love you!!!!!

#9.  Mitch enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie and a glass—-NO, a CARTON of milk!

#10.  At the train station buying tickets for their night train to Greece.  We were headed to take a boat ride on the

Sava & Danube Rivers.  How do you do them both you might ask?  We were in the area where they join together and so it possible to do them both simultaneously!

#11.  On the trolley, headed home from our river cruise.  Bro Savic, the man on the right, was our river guide for the day.  He has been a faithful member of the church for 20 years.  The boys left at 10:00 that night and took the night train to Greece.  They are traveling all over Europe for their R&R.

#12.  Kalamegdon Fortress here in Belgrade.

#13.  Mitch at the fortress.

#14.  Pizza is a big thing in Serbia.  It is paper thin but is quite good.

#15.  After Mitch left, Ron and I had to do some traveling.  We are sharing some of the pics. that we took as we traveled along.  This one happens to be a working moonshine still in progress.  This man was making Rakia (grape brandy).  This happens to be a staple item in most homes in Serbia.

#16.  On our was to Slovakia to our Seniors Missionary Conference we passed through beautiful farmland.  This is a wagonload of cabbage.  They make tons and tons of sour cabbage for their winter food supply.  Everyone has a barrel of sour cabbage in their basement!

#17,18,19.  We stopped to take pictures of these people digging acres and acres (hectars and hectars) of carrots by hand.  They were so thrilled that Americans stopped to take their pics!  They gave us a bag of freshly dug carrots and when Ron tried to pay them they wouldn’t accept it.  This is one of the things that makes our mission so much fun!

President of Serbia
Jul 5th, 2009 by ron

President of the Country of Serbia Brois Tadic
President of the Country of Serbia Brois Tadic
President Hill Leader of are Mission
President Hill Leader of are Mission
The Branch President Kovic
The Branch President Kovic
Bro Gaskill Vice Consul of the embassy
Bro Gaskill Vice Consul of the embassy
Man with gun no Picture
Man with gun no Picture
Elders at the Olympics
Elders at the Olympics
Walk to the Subway
Walk to the Subway
Nikola And Annette
Nikola And Annette
Train in Serbia
Train in Serbia
Annette Gift of Diet Coke (caffiene - free
Annette Gift of Diet Coke (caffiene – free

Happy 4th of July!  We hope you all had a fun holiday!  We celebrated in a most unusual way and 2 days early.  On July 2nd we were invited to the US Ambassador’s Mansion along with everybody who is anybody in Serbia.  We were the nobodies!  It was in celebration of the123rd anniversary of the Independence of the United States.  They held a picnic social on the grounds of the Ambassador’s home but the U.S. Ambassador to Serbia stepped down in mid June of this year.  He is now in Iraq leading the coordination of the US troop withdrawal there.

The party was hosted by the “Charge De Affairs Ad Interim”-the person who is filling the position until another ambassador can be named.  There were about 1400 people there and many influential people, including the President of Serbia, Boris Tadic.  Picture #1. Ron got to meet the president and have his pic. taken with him.  When I turned around after taking the picture, there were tons of bodyguards standing right behind me!  I wondered if I had done something wrong!!!!!  Can you imagine being at a party with Barak Obama?

We were able to make some important contacts as we wandered around and talked to people.  We met a couple of key people who head organizations that would be great to partner up with to do some Humanitarian work.  They served Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut Pizza, and McDonald’s hamburgers, fries, apple and cherry pies and hot fudge sundaes.  Serbs seem to love American fast food.  They had actually set up a mini-kitchen for each restaurant in party tents around the grounds, so people could eat as much as they wanted.  They also served Coke and Pepsi and plenty of alcohol.  Our Mission Pres., Pres. Hill and our Branch Pres. Nikola Kovic also attended.  Jeff Gaskill who works for the embassy was there and sort of hung out with us as well after his official duties were finished.  It was really a neat way to celebrate the 4th of July-on the 2nd!

Pic. #2 is of us and Pres. Hill

Pic #3  Us and Branch Pres. Nikola Kovic.  He is only 25.

As we were leaving the party, Ron was caught once again shooting photo’s of places and things he shouldn’t be photographing.  Lucky that he didn’t get shot!-as seen in Pic. #5.

Pic #4.  With Bro Jeff Gaskill who is a big wig with the American Embassy here.

Later that night we participated in the Torch Lighting ceremony for the University Olympics.  It was broadcast live on TV.  They assembled around 200 volunteers (Ron and I were the oldest ones there) into a chemistry lab at a local university here in Belgrade.  The torch was gas powered.  They turned on the gas and shone 3 laser beams onto a certain spot on the torch and the flame ignited.  A runner then took the torch and ran out of the building and thus began the Olympic Games.

Pic. #6 is Elder Jasper from Tooele, Elder Knight from Nevada and Elder Christiansen from Highland, Utah.  They were waiting to go into the Chem. Lab for the torch lighting ceremony.

On Saturday we decided to take a P-day and celebrate the 4th of July again.  We had heard about an underground railroad & so we had Nikola Stan, our translator/Serbian teacher, take us on a fieldtrip.  To get to the train platform, you must ride the longest escalator I have ever seen.  It goes deep underground-about 12 stories down.  It scared me to death, looked like I was falling off the edge of the Earth.  I nearly wet my pants and when we got to the bottom there was no bathroom and so I had to ride it back up to go to the bathroom.  That meant I had to ride it down again!

Pic #7…..the escalator going down!

Pic #8.  Nikola Stan & I waiting for the train.  We rode the train about 35 KM to the small town of Indija, Serbia.  After walking into town for a bite to eat, we caught the train again back to Belgrade.  When we arrived it was dark and pouring rain.

Pic #9.  Ron and Nikola at the train station in Indija.  As you can see, Graffiti is alive and well in Serbia.  In fact, it has become another art form!!!

Pic #10.  Bro. Gaskill is able to get some very non-Serbian items at the small commissary at the Embassy.  He knows that I love Diet Coke and found caffeine Diet Coke and so brought me some when he came to dinner today.  He even brought me some ice since ice isn’t anything you see here very often!!!!!  He also brought me a bottle of vanilla since I haven’t been able to find any in the grocery stores.  Thanks Bro. Gaskill!  His wife has gone to the US for July & August and so he comes on Sunday for dinner with the Elders. We love our Sunday dinner guests.!

We send our love to all of you and want you to know that you are missed but in keeping with our call as missionaries, we usually try to keep that under our hat so don’t tell anyone OK?!?

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