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The Green Market
Aug 25th, 2009 by ron

This is how they put tile on the walls

This is how they put tile on the walls

This is where we go shoping

This is where we go shoping

We take Midred to the markedt

We take Midred to the markedt

These peaches are as large grapfruits

These peaches are as large grapfruits

This how the duck and Rabbits at the market

This how the duck and Rabbits at the market

This how they give out parking ticket in Serbia

This how they give out parking ticket in Serbia

The fruit and veggie are the best here

The fruit and veggie are the best here

They call these paprika is Serbia going to the market

They call these paprika is Serbia going to the market

We got our Visa’s renewed!  We must renew every 6 months.  We had a big problem, when we went to renew, we found out that we were missing a small card that was supposed to be attached to our passport.  We remembered a border crossing guard removing it one time when we went to Bosnia.  We didn’t quite know what to do so we called our landlady and she came.  We went to the police station (that is where visa’s are renewed) and she talked to the agent—he said no, no way.  She talked to another agent and he allowed her to go back into an inner office.  She was gone for some time and finally reappeared and motioned for us to follow her.  We sat on a bench and waited for nearly 20 minutes when another officer appeared and said to come back at 3:00 to pick up our passports and visas.  Now we aren’t quite sure what happened, but some money did exchange hands between our landlady and the officer!  We weren’t asking any questions—just happy that she could fix things.  She is a very influential lady.

On Tuesday, the Red Cross of Belgrade, took us on another excursion to another of their Children’s Resorts.  It was in the mountains about 1 ½ hours from Belgrade.  It was up in the pines and huge oak trees and very beautiful.  The children were very polite and respectful.  They seemed to be the most thankful children we have ever met.  So appreciative of everything.

One interesting thing we have observed while living here is the number of bakeries that are located here.  We have decided that people must not ever cook here in this part of the city.  People eat bakery goods for breakfast, lunch and dinner and eat it while walking down the streets.  They also have very bad teeth, decay and missing teeth and we are wondering if it is from eating this way.  Someone asked us the other day if we still have our own teeth because they still look pretty good.  Even young people here in their 20’s have bad teeth.

I am sure that I have the biggest feet in all of Serbia.  I have been looking for a pretty pair of shoes for months and no luck.  On Friday evening Ron and I went on a crusade to find me a pair of shoes.  We probably went to 10 shoe stores and no luck.  I was reduced to tears literally when I went into one more store and asked if they carried a 10 US and she said yes!!!!!  They did have 2 pair that were both comfortable and pretty cute too!

On Sunday we had 2 new families at church.  They are both US Embassy families and each family has 2 very young daughters.  One of the sisters can play the top hand on the piano and since Nevena, our pianist was home with a migraine, we asked Sonny if she would play.  I lead the singing.  We started the opening hymn and no one but me was singing.  It took a minute to realize what was going on.  Nikola, the Branch Pres, had announced the wrong song and even though the right one was posted on the board, no one seemed to make the connection.  I finally stopped the pianist, we got everyone on the right page and we continued on.  This one is for Bro. Bodell!  Now I understand when you stop us and start us over!  Sometimes it must be done!

We are leaving for Tirana, Albania tomorrow (Wed.).  Hope to have some great adventures for next week.  Love you all.

ADA Branch Party- Kraljevo Red Cross
Aug 17th, 2009 by ron

Ljubica at Branch PartyNikola Stan head woundBald SpotGreetings to everyone!  First of all, the weather is still up and down—but most of all it is really hot and humid and the humidity is such a killer.  I never dreamed I could say that the hot desert is nice.

Our week has been another adventure!  We visited Kraljevo in the south western part of Serbia on Thursday.  We met the head Red Cross lady from Kraljevo while we were in Montenegro and so went to meet with her and her staff and see what their needs might be.  The ride there was very beautiful as we traveled through the green mountainous region of Serbia along winding two way roads.  We just love seeing the countryside and the rural areas to see how the real Serbians live.  It was great!

Kraljevo is higher up in the mountains so they get a lot of snow in the winter.

The people that we met were all so nice and we really like the head Red Cross lady, Mirjana.  She had done so many amazing things for the people of her area.  She has set up a second hand store where all the income from sales is used for people in need.  We visited that store and it was so clean and orderly and the merchandise looked and smelled brand new!!!  She invited the director of their local hospital to also come and visit with us.  We would like to get a Neo-Natal program going there.  Our visit was to assess their needs and then decide if it is possible.

They have and interesting situation there.  A city in California donated an old motor home to them.  It came equipped with two dental chairs, x –ray machine, eye exam equipment, and is meant to be a traveling medical clinic.  They are trying to figure out how to get it up and operational so that it can travel out into the remote villages to help people who can’t afford to come to the city for treatment. 

We had a really fun branch activity on Saturday.  We went to Ada, which is a huge park of about 50acres where the people go to get away from the city. It is totally covered with trees and grass and has a big man-made lake that they call the beach.  We found a nice grassy spot in the shade for our party.  We played games with water balloons that were such a kick!  We had spectators watching us as the Serbs had never seen such crazy games!  We invited some of the kids who came to watch to join in with us.  It was so much fun.  One of the sisters who loves to cook, made individual pizza pockets and the largest cherry pie that I have ever seen.  It fed 25 people with leftovers.

At the end of the party, Ron and Nikola, our translator, went to the lake to teach Nikola to water ski.  Now this might sound strange, but they don’t use a boat on this lake to water ski, they have wires with pullys that pull the skier along a track.  It sounds weird but it really does work.  Anyway, Nikola tried two or three times and finally got up.  He skied ¾ the way around the track when he fell.  A few seconds later, a handle that another skier had used came around and whacked him in the head and the picture tells the story!

We took him to the emergency room because it was quite deep and could have used a couple of stitches.  The emergency room was crazy.  150 people lined up and down a hallway—stacked in there with no place to sit.  They wheeled a man past us on a gurney who appeared to have had his face smashed in.  He was passed out on the gurney.  We took one look and Ron said to Nikola, Dr. Densley will meet you in his office, so we went home and Ron pulled out HIS bag of tricks!!!  Now for those of you who don’t know, Dr. Densley has performed this treatment before!  It requires shaving the crown of the head and applying butterfly bandages to the wound on the crown of the head!  It works but requires a very short hair cut afterwards!!!  The funny thing was that we didn’t cut his hair until the next day, which was Sunday.  Yes on Sunday!  After the humiliating comments he got at church—one person asked him if that was a bird nest he had resting on top of his head, another asked if he was Jewish-wearing the little hat that just fits on the crown of the head?  We had to do something so we went home and gave him a haircut.  He took it all in good humor and by next week it will be starting to fill in so all will be well.  Thus closes another great week as Serbian Missionaries.

P.S.

We sure do miss our Elder Christiansen but are happy to welcome Elder Gubler and Elder Porter.  Gubler has moved down from Sremska Mitrovisa to train a new Greenie that just arrived on Wednesday fresh from the MTC.  His name is Elder Porter from Centerville, Ut.  He is going to be a great addition to our Serbian Missionaries. Elder Christiansen replaced Elder Gubler in Sremska Mitrovisa and is training a new elder there.Red Cross Second Hand storephpHfJPXbPMBalloon Throwphp3amhrIPMTowell ballon

Picnic at Mehilo’s
Aug 10th, 2009 by ron

Lots of Food

Lots of Food

Honey to Start withElder Christian and honeyElder Knight and honeyWater from the WellCauliflower feildEgg plantsPig FarmMehilo and Wife Rousha  and BrotherSending home the produceSending home the produceWe spent most of our week doing office work and filling out new applications. Thank heavens for Sunday to give us a little excitement for the week! It all started at Sacrament Meeting. Nevena, who is 24 and as thin as a race horse, was the main speaker and was doing a really good job. About 2/3 of the way through her talk she paused, she got a funny look in her eye, paused some more then passed out. The Branch Pres. and one of the counselors in the Branch Presidency caught her as she was going down and saved her fall. She laid on the floor behind the pulpit for about 10 minutes with branch members scurrying around and trying to figure out what to do for her. They finally poured some water in her face—almost drowned her—branch members were doing all sorts of things like propping her feet up and holding her head up- almost cutting off her airway. Ron finally got in the act, told them to put her head down so the blood could flow back into her head and she finally came to. We got her into the library and turned the A/C on full bore. We sent the Elders to our Apt. to get out blood pressure machine and sure enough, her blood pressure was off the charts, 162/120. She had only had 1 hr. of sleep the night before, hadn’t eaten breakfast, and hadn’t taken her blood pressure medicine, along with the fact that they had turned the A/C off during the sacrament and didn’t turn it back on so it was quite hot. They sang the closing song and ended Sacrament Meeting.

We loaded her in our car, (it is parked in the church garage all the time except when we drive it out of town) and took her to our apt. as Ron is one of her home teachers and our apt. is the closest to the church. We had her rest on the couch, gave her some blood pressure medicine(she and I take the same medicine), gave her something to eat and in a little while her blood pressure started to come down and she started to feel better! Her mother finally came around 4:00 pm and at 4:30 Nevena finally felt better and was able to leave.

In the meantime, we were supposed to go with the Elders to a small farming town by Sremska Mitrovisa for a picnic with some non-members after church. After they gave Nevena a Blessing and getting her settled here, Ron and the Elders left and went to the appointment for the dinner. The pictures tell the full story! Mehilo and Rousha have a really beautiful garden and orchard.

Pic.#1. Elder Knight from near Reno, Nev., Elder Christiansen from Highland, Ut., Mehilo, Ron & Elder Stadlbauer from Boise, Idaho.

Pic.#2.They were served a 7 coarse meal on beautiful China!

Pic.#3.The first coarse was to dip their spoon in honey (produced be Mehilo) lick the spoon and chase it with mineral water. It is supposed to wake up your tastebuds.

Pic.#4. Elder Christiansen doing the honey thing. (we are so sad that Elder C. is being transferred to Sremska Mitrovisa so we won’t get to see him as often. We have really grown to love him. He reminds us of Cameron, our grandson!)

#5. Elder Knight doing the honey thing!

#6. They pump their water from a well outside in the side yard.

#7. They grow the cauliflower to sell at market.

#8. Egg Plant. In Serbian it is Purple Paradise!

#9. They raise their own pigs.

#10. Mehilo, his wife Rousha, & Mehilo’s brother. Mehilo & his brother were born and raised in this house.

#11. At the end of a beautiful visit, Mehilo sent crates of produce home for the Elders and for Ron and me.

Thus ends another perfect week in Serbia!!!!!

Four Elder and a pear tree
Four Elder and a pear tree
opps she forgot to tell about the Fish market

opps she forgot to tell about the Fish marketThey fed us dinner We had Honey to start withElder C Started Elder Knight need alot on HoneyCauliflower for market Eggs The Famiy HomeBaby PigsThis is the only water they haveCar load with good stuff

Youth Conferance in Czech
Aug 3rd, 2009 by ron

We had another great week.  We left early Monday Morning in a rented van headed for the Czech Republic & Freiberg, Germany.  We met two of our youth, Ranaslav and Ljubica Ivanovic along the freeway in Sremska Mitrovica.  Their parents were waiting there with them until we came to get them.  Nikola Stan, Irena Mitrovic, and Nevena Beric spent the night with us Sun. Night so that they could be here early enough.  They all have to take the bus and some are 11/2 hours away.  We traveled through Budapest, Hungary, Brataslava, Slovakia, Prague, Czech Republic arriving if Freiberg, Germany around 11:00 pm Monday night.  We spent the night in the hostel there on the temple grounds and were in the temple session at 8:00 Tuesday morning.  It is a beautiful temple and so clean.  I met a lady in the temple that looked so much like Jewel Frei family.  I told her that she reminded me of some of my relatives and that we go back to Switzerland.  She said that she was also from Switzerland!

When we got out of the temple we headed back through Prague and to Sec, Czech Republic where the YSA conference was held.  Sec is a really beautiful area with forests and rolling farms.  The forests reminded me of the Sacred Grove.  Sec itself is really small. The conference was held in the College there.  Youth attended from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Muldova, Romania, Hungary, Albania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.  Nearly 300 youth in all.  Albania traveled the farthest with Serbia coming in second.  Miracles took place and hearts were softened and we witnessed it firsthand.  One of our youth has been inactive for quite some time.  He decided to go to the conference the last minute and the conference really renewed him.  I heard him bear his testimony twice within 3 days and he has vowed to come back to church.  Another great miracle was in the uniting of countries that really don’t like each other because of war and for political reasons.  The Albanians arrived with their country’s flag strapped across the hood of their van.  It was upsetting to the Serbian kids but it didn’t take long for them to realize that the Albanian youth came in peace and with love to win the hearts of the Serbian youth and it really happened that way.  As we departed the conference on Saturday Morning, they were all hugging and crying and with a renewed excitement to meet again next year at the conference to be held in Poland.  The Lord truly blessed these kids this year!

The conference was really good but the food was pretty bad.  However, what they lacked in good taste (the food) they more than made up for in good firesides, service project at an old castle, dances, and testimony meeting.  We were able to help out a lot which kept us really busy and very tired by night. 

We met a young man at the conference that was baptized by Jodie Hansen’s nephew– Chance Anderson.  Elvi was playing basketball—we were in charge of basketball.  We just happened to ask him how long he had been a member and he said 3 years and that he was baptized by Chance.  Elvi  was shocked when I knew so much about Chance.  Come to find out, Elvi was at Norm and Jodie’s last year.  We don’t feel that it was an accident that we met.  The Lord works in mysterious ways!

While we were at the conference we started inquiring of the Czech Republic youth if anyone was from Liberec.  On Friday we found 2 girls from Liberec.  We wanted to get in contact with the Motovsky family that Matt baptized when he served in Liberec, Czech Republic the 90’s.  Through some phone calls, one of the girls located Pepik and Monika and their 2 boys and was able to talk to them Saturday morning just as we were leaving.  Pepik said that they could meet at the mission home in Prague if we could come back there.  It was about 1 ½ hours back to Prague but we wanted so badly to see them again and our youth wanted to see Prague, so we went back to the mission home.  The Motovsky’s were there waiting for us and Pepik and Monica cried their eyes out when they saw us!  We cried too!!!   The elders were there to translate for us.  What a joyous reunion, if only Matthew could have been there. They love him so much and still call him Motosh!

We had also arranged to meet with Peter Valnacek at his home in Brataslava, Slovakia.  We could see that we were going to be late as we were still at the mission home, so Ron called Peter to tell him that we would arrive later.  Peter indicated that his wife was in Prague.  We hadn’t ever met her as Peter was single when we met him.  When Ron got off the phone, the elders said that Peters wife was there at the mission home!  How cool was that?  We got to meet her and 3 of their 4 kids!  Another one of those little miracles.  She was waiting for a train to take her and the kids home to Brataslava.  We did see Peter on our way through Brataslava and it was so good to see him. He has been the branch President for 7 years. We drove through the night arriving in Belgrade at 6:00 am Sunday Morning.  All of the kids came home with us and crashed for a couple of hours until we had to get up for church.  We are so glad that we were able to share this past week with these great young adults.  It was truly and experience of a lifetime.  Thanks to all of you who helped make this trip possible for the very special Serbian youth.  We LOVE YOU ALL.

Bro Oaks of the Seventies

IMG_0653Bro Oaks of the Seventies

Lake at youth Conferance

Lake at youth Conferance

Was Baptize by Chance Anderson

Was Baptize by Chance Anderson

IMG_0646

IMG_0632IMG_0622Freiberg TempleTemplePepikPeter Wife

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