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The Country of Montenegro
Jul 26th, 2009 by ron

We have had such an interesting week this week.  We in Zagreb Croatia on Sunday night and Monday and on Wednesday we flew to Tivat, Montenegro by the seashore.   The Belgrade Red Cross owns a Children’s Resort there and they invited us as guests of honor to visit there with them.  They are having a news conference there about their facility and so asked us if we might like to go.  They gave us the best room in the house and we know that for sure as we were the only ones with A/C and our own bathroom!   We flew out of Belgrade on Wed. Morning and returned on Friday night. We thought we would share some photos of our trip to Montenegro.#1.  Ron spotted this clean one owner and got the itches to take it for a ride!

#2.The people at the Children’s Resort were so kind to us.  This Pic. is with the Head Red Cross Lady, Dragica and Vera, the head lady over the laundry facility at the resort.  She said we were sisters!  She was so happy that our church donated an ironing machine to the resort about 8 years ago and it makes her work much easier.

#3.  Ron and Nikola Stan    , our translator and Serbian teacher, hiked a mountain to see this old church of the hillside.  It was a beautiful view of the bay below and they are wild blackberries along the way.

#4.  Ron was asked to address the group of 300 kids and tell them about ourselves – where we were from and what we were doing at the resort.  They kept asking the leaders about us and so it was neat to be able to tell them personally.

#5Ron and I rented motor scooters and took a little drove of the seaside.  It was really fun.  We tried to get Nikola to ride one as well and he does have a driver’s license but has never ridden a motor bike, so he declined.

#6.  The manager of the resort took Ron out for an evening fishing trip.  Those of you who know Ron know how much he loved that!  The guys name was Moma and he had quite the sense of humor.  He kept telling Ron that if he didn’t catch a fish, they would have to throw him in the sea!!!  Luckily Ron caught a fish!  They were going to fry the fish the next morning but decided to fix us a Montenegrin  delicacy instead.  They take these tiny fish—smaller than minnows, pinch their heads off in a certain way that removes the intestinal tract in the process, then season, flour, and deep fry and then add garlic and other spices and serve.  It was a little frightening at first but they actually tasted good!  It was really unusual to have for breakfast.

#7.  The group of us eating the HUGE platter of fish.  I think Ron and I each had only 5 or 6 fish.  That was enough because you stick the whole thing in your mouth and chew—bones, skin and all!  Fun to have had the experience however!

#8.  A group photo with some of the Red Cross Staff.  They have many paid employees and some volunteer staff members.  They have a Doctor on staff who is a volunteer.  They change periodically, about every 2 weeks and another Doctor comes.  The Dr. who was there while we were was from Serbia as well.  He brought his wife and 13 yr. old daughter to enjoy the resort and the seashore.  I thought Americans were sun worshipers but I can promise you that Eastern and Central Europeans are even more crazy about a sun tan!

#9.  Ron and his fishing trip!

#10. Our translator and Serbian Teacher, Nikola Stan    .

#11.  We flew into Tivat, Montenegro with Dragica and were picked up by Moma and driven to the resort about 20 min from the airport.  We also had to take a short 10 min ferryboat ride to get there.

#12.  I also enjoyed riding a scooter!  People looked at me so funny and I figured out that it is unusual to see a woman driving a scooter!

#13.  Us standing in front of the Red Cross Resort with the Head Red Cross People as we were ready to leave..  The flight to Belgrade is only a 45 minute flight.

We are headed to Sic, Czech Repubic in the morning headed to YSA Conference.  We will leave at 5:00 am.

Ron and I will be the driver of the van with 6 young adults from Belgrade and Sremska Mitrovica.  We will be there until Saturday.  We are going through Freiberg, Germany and taking in a temple session on Tuesday Morning then heading back to Sic after the temple.  We are doing the Germany Temple as it has saved the kids each 30 euro by doing it that way.  Until next week, farewell.

P.S.  To the moms & dads of our Belgrade missionaries, they are all doing very well.  We had them to dinner this afternoon and what great young men they all are.  You can be very proud of them, as I know you are and should be!!!!!

IMG_0586IMG_0577IMG_0571IMG_0543IMG_0538IMG_0534IMG_0533IMG_0526IMG_0521IMG_0519IMG_0498IMG_0505One Step Beyond

Annette Riding a Scooter

Annette Riding Scooter around bay

Red Cross Building
Red Cross Building
Bosnia & Croatia & Serbia
Jul 25th, 2009 by ron

BBQ Lamb
BBQ Lamb
Tobacco field
Tobacco field
Tomatoes Garden
Tomatoes Garden
LDS Church in Zagreb
LDS Church in Zagreb

IMG_0456

Mummfied Priest
Mummfied Priest
Market Place
Market Place
Tile Root
Tile Root

IMG_0488Greetings from Belgrade with detours to Bosnia and an emergency trip to Zagreb, Croatia!  We apologize for our delay in posting our blog this week but one of our elders, Elder Nelson became ill and had a health issue and since he was only about 10 days from the end of his mission, they decided that he needed to go back to Utah for further treatment.  He had gone to Zagreb to visit a specialist, thinking that he would be treated and then be able to come back to Belgrade.  He  hadn’t taken his belongings with him and so we were the suitcase runners to take his belongings to him so that he could go.

Pic #1.  As we travel through Bosnia, we have noticed roadside restaurants along the way with animals on a rotisserie.  We weren’t sure what they were—someone thought they might be goat others thought lamb.  We finally inquired and they are lamb.  Ron has always liked good lamb if it is prepared well and so we stopped and tried the lamb!  Ron thought was quite good, I, on the other hand, thought the tomatoes and cabbage were delicious!  The lamb tasted a little too gamy!

#2.  We have really enjoyed driving through the countryside and all the beautiful gardens and the crops that they grow here.  We were surprised to find Tobacco growing in both Serbia and Bosnia. 

#3.  Ron has been quite inspired by the farms here and so decided to start some tomatoes from seed to see how he could do at farming.  As you can see, he is doing really well!  He calls them his babies and the girls!!!

#4.  The church just recently (on May 24) dedicated a beautiful new chapel in Zagreb.  We were thrilled to be able to see it—if only from the outside as we arrived in Zagreb at 1:00am Monday morning, gave Elder Nelson his belongings, picked up Elder Stadlbauer (he was Elder Nelson’s companion) did a little sightseeing of the main square and headed back to Belgrade.  Elder Stadlbauer, Elder Knight, and Elder Christiansen are now a 3-some companionship until a new elder arrives.  We have no idea when that will be.

#5.  This is a beautiful city with many very old buildings.  We just loved this one which is attached to a really neat old Catholic Church next door.  It is a part of the church courtyard.

#6.  We thought it quite interesting to see the mummified body of one of the Priests inside a glass casket inside the church.  (Just a little too eerie for me.)

#7.  This cute little church had the most beautiful tile roof tiled in the design of the flag and coat of arms.  They are so creative over here!

#8.  We found this sweet little lady in the green market.  They love their statuary over here!

#9.  We found Iron Man sitting on a park bench just begging for a little company!

We continue to enjoy our work over here.  Every day is definitely a new experience.  If you love adventure and serving Heavenly Father, we promise you that you would like being a missionary.  We hope that you will all be able to experience something like this sometime in your lifetime.  It is so worth it.

We send our love to all and especially want our children and grandchildren to know how much we love and miss them and to my Dad and Step-mom Johanna, and to our siblings and their families, we love and miss you as well and thanks to all of you for your love a support.

Olympic & City of Cicevac
Jul 13th, 2009 by ron

Annette Getting Brandy

Annette Getting Brandy

The World University Olympics are over and we all had a great time working and volunteering there.  Many contacts were made and many opportunities to express why we are here in Serbia.

Pic #1. The Elders and Ron & I at the Olympics.  Elders Knight and Christiansen and Ron & I worked in Archery.  I must admit that the Elders were more effective than Ron and I.  They respect their elders in Serbia and so they would tell me to sit and enjoy and gave Ron minimal things to do.

#2.  We met some really great people from around the world.  This pic. is with some people from Algeria!

#3.  Ron in true form, mucking it up with the local police!  Police were stationed everywhere at the venues and around town.  Teams going to and from practice and competitions got a police escort with sirens blasting and not stopping for anything—red lights, pedestrians, cars or anything so if you heard them coming you better get out of the way.

#4.  Elders Singer and Armstrong and Ron & I in Red Star Stadium.  This stadium is named after the red star of the communist party.

#5.  Ron & I at the Olympics.

#6.  These are all the missionaries in Serbia—all 8 of us! 

#7.  We went to Cicevac on Friday to gather more info. For our water project that we are hopeful we can do.  Ron had a lengthy meeting with them in which they poured over maps and plans of the project after which they showed us around town to all of the important sites where water tanks and faucets are located.  After the tour they invited us to dinner at their local restaurant where the owners had never served Americans before.  They treated us somewhat as celebrities!  They created a guest book in which Ron & I were the first entry in the book.  This pic. is with the city officials.

#8.  These are the restaurant owners.  As we were leaving, the owners presented us with a gift—a 10 yr. old bottle of homemade Apricot Brandy!  What do we do with Apricot Brandy????? 

#9.   The look on my face tells it all!  I was stunned and didn’t know what to say.  Fearing that I might offend them, I just said thank you and it now sits, as a monument, on our shelf as a great conversation piece and reminder of how nice these people can be. .  We know just the perfect person to give it to and we will do that before we leave Serbia!!!!

Differant Country Flags
Differant Country Flags
Country of Algeria

Country of Algeria

Local Police

Local Police

Elders Working at Track & Firld

Elders Working at Track & Firld

Ron & Annette

Ron & Annette

Serbian Missonary

Serbian Missonary

City Leader from Cicevas

City Leader from Cicevas

First American

First AmericanGift of Brandy

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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