Febuary 15 Week on the Road
Feb 21st, 2010 by ron

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We had a huge snowstorm about a week ago with snowflakes as big as golf balls.  Pic. #1 shows just how big they were!

#2.  It didn’t take long to become a winter wonderland.

#3.  We were invited to dinner after church in Novi Sad last Sunday.  The family who invited us were wonderful.  Boca and Ivanka are volunteers for the organization who distribute the wheelchairs that come to Novi Sad.  They are also wonderful to the Elders and to Ron and me although they aren’t members of our faith.  Thank you so much Boca and Ivanka.

#4.  After dinner, Ron and the Elders Knight and Jasper had to climb up on the dyke that protects Novi Sad from the Danube River in case of overflow.  Also pictured here is Goran who is from Novi Sad and recently returned from his mission in SLC.  He is standing on the left.

#5.  We took our puppet show Health Fair to Tuzla, Bosnia to the Red Cross.  They are going to take the anti smoking program to the local schools in hopes of discouraging kids from starting smoking.

#6.  We want to introduce you to Sara the Cow!  Yes, we finally were able to purchase a cow for the woman in Bosnia.  The grandmother has such a darling little 5 yr. old grandson who just loves their new cow!  He couldn’t stop petting Sara the Cow.

#7.It’s a deal (dogovoreno).

#8.  The grandmother and Sara the cow in the barn.

#9.  This is the family that now owns Sara the Cow.

#10.  This is the grandmother’s home.

#11.   We are trying to find a worthy water project in Bosnia.  This is one of the towns that has a need for a reliable water system.

#12.  A typical Balkan’s toilet!!!!!!

#13.  This Muslim Masque was just outside our hotel window in Sarajevo.  We woke up every morning to the sound of singing,  their call to prayer.

#14.  We had gone to Sarajevo, Bosnia to do a wheelchair distribution on Friday.  This young girl was one of the lucky recipients of a new wheelchair.  She was really happy with it.

#15.  We had a formal presentation ceremony for the wheelchairs.  The local press, both newspaper and TV were there.  They also invited some local dignitaries .  The lady at the head of the table is a big political leader in Bosnia.

#16.  This sweet lady was so happy to receive a chair.  The smile on her face tells it all!

#17.  Ron and Pres. Hill gave an interview with the press.  This is one very important aspect of the press conference. 

#18.  This group included Namik of the Red Cross, Sis Hill, Ron and I, the lady who received her chair and her sister, Pres. Hill and other Red Cross staff.  It is always so much fun!  If you ever think you might like to be Sr. Missionaries, we highly recommend it.  You would have the experiences of a lifetime.

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On the Road in Serbia
Feb 13th, 2010 by ron

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Ron and I have both been a little under the weather, recovering from bronchitis and sinus infection but the work must go on.  We choose to make it fun in the process!

Pic. #1.  A very large and old Catholic Cathedral in Baca Topola, Serbia.  This is just a few kilometers from the border with Hungary.

#2.  Inside the Cathedral.  We found this interesting as there aren’t very many Catholic Churches in Serbia due to the fact that most people are Serbian Orthodox (Pravaslav).

#3.  Inside the Catholic Church.

#4.  More of the same.

#5.  We visited a maternity and delivery hospital in Subotica, Serbia.  We love visiting maternity hospitals and seeing the beautiful new babies.  It is always a happy place!

#6.  This mannequin was donated to this hospital when they participated in our Neo-natal Resuscitation program last Nov.  They use it to train other Dr’s, nurses and midwives.  Our plan is for every health care professional to be trained in the life saving techniques of resuscitating babies who don’t breathe on their own at birth.  The process really works and with less complications than the techniques they used before.  It is so wonderful.

#7.  After dinner that night, we took a stroll, in the snow, through their center square.  It was briskly cold but beautiful.

#8.  Our walk.

#9.  More of the same.

#10.  It really was beautiful.

#11.On Thursday, we went to visit an organization called Sopor.  They try to help people who are physically or mentally challenged by getting people and organizations to donate money and things that will be of great benefit to these people.  It was the grand opening of Sopor.  We had the most delightful time there.  We, through LDS Charities, were able to donate a projector system to a school in Novi Sad for the Deaf.  The teacher would have to go around to each student and show them individually what to do.  So time consuming.  The projector system will allow the teacher to project on the wall what they need to be doing and when it is time to move on without the teacher having to tell each student individually.  This donation will be such a great help to the teachers as well as the students.

We donated the projector  system the day of the grand opening of Sopor but it will go to the school through Sopor.  Another man and his wife donated all of the furniture for Sopor.  They also donated the refreshments  and will continue to donate money each month for the next year to help the center. 

They had a choir at the grand opening that was made up of mostly handicapped individuals.  They sang beautifully.  What a great thing for these individuals to be able to participate in.  We felt so fortunate to be able to attend that day.  If only those of you who donate to Humanitarian Services for the church could have been there.  It would make you so happy to see where some of the money is used.  We really try to spend your donations wisely!

#12.  We presented the director of Sopor with a plaque for her organization to hang on the wall saying that they received this donation from Latter-day Saint Charities, the Charitable arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

#13.  Mira, the Director, presented  us to the audience.  The choir of handicapped persons are standing behind and to the side of us.  We felt honored to stand there with them.

#14.  The choir sang just great!!!!

#15.  We visited a Rehabilitation Center in Subotica, Serbia.  These ladies in this pic. live right here in this room and the only thing they can claim as theirs is their bed.  The rest of the space in common territory. They live there because they need daily treatment and therapy.  People can’t travel and get around like we do in the states.  They take public transportation which makes it impossible to travel in everyday.

#16.  These are students in training to do physical therapy.

#17.  We weren’t quite sure what this treatment was good for.  They sure had a string of people there receiving it.  We noticed that their techniques are different from what we would receive in the states but they are trying to help people to feel better.

#18.  This beautiful young girl had an aneurism that burst in her head causing paralysis on her left side.  She comes in for occupational therapy every day.  Her mother was waiting in the hall and was really concerned who these people were paying attention to her daughter.  The girl really brightened up when we started talking to her and paying attention to her.

#19.  The man on crutches in this photo somehow got the name of the church in SLC and contacted them to see if they could get some help at this hospital.  He is a patient at this hospital and is also the head of an organization for the patients there to try to find ways to improve their treatments and the equipment and he is one of the individuals who also lives there.  He can

only stand or lay down, he cannot sit.  He was an amazing man.  The director of the Rehab center is the lady on the left.  She was also so amazing.  They treat over 200 patients on a daily basis in this hospital and really could use some help.

#20.  This pic is just to confuse you!  It was taken by our 3rd son Matt and was taken just 2 or 3 miles from our home in Ivins, Utah.  BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

Zone Conferance in Zagreb- Croatia
Feb 7th, 2010 by ron

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This week we took a long 71/2 hour train ride to Zagreb, Croatia for Zone Conference.   We had to be at the train station here in Belgrade at 5:15 AM to catch our train.  It was the first run of the day for that train so it was miserably cold for the first 3 hours of the trip.  We bundled up,  I even put my sweat pants on under my skirt to stay warm.  Once the sun came up it started to warm up.

#1. This is of Ron & me with Elder Grachavac who is an Assistant to the Pres. and comes from Germany.  He goes home on Feb. 16th and has been an amazing missionary.

#2.  The city square in Zagreb, Croatia as viewed from the train station.  Zagreb is a beautiful city but we didn’t have time for sightseeing so we got the only shot we could get!

#3.  At the train station in Belgrade just before our departure to Zagreb.  We had a really funny thing happen to us on our return trip to Belgrade.  We were in a little 6 passenger compartment with a few Croats who all exited the train about an hour before we crossed the border from Croatia into Serbia.  By then it was dark and we were feeling a little tired, so we turned out the light and sat there and watched the scenery go by.  It didn’t take long for the both of us to fall asleep.

Sometime later we both awoke with a flashlight shining us in the face and a couple of men rattling something off to us in Serbian or Croatian (the two languages are very similar).  Ron finally realized that they were telling us to hurry and get off the train because they were dropping the car we were riding in.  In fact, they had already dropped our car and 2 others and everyone else was already off the train.  Ron says that the train had started to drive off until they realized that they needed to stop for us to get on. 

We hurried and gathered up all of our belongings and got off that train car and got on to a car that was still attached to the engines.  It all happened so fast that we didn’t have time to get scared but it would have been really bad if they had left us as it was out in the middle of nowhere with nothing around.  Luckily they backed up for us or we might still be somewhere on the border between Croatia and Serbia!!!!!!

Ron and I both came home with lovely colds and so we haven’t felt too well for the past two days.  We have been laying low,  trying to get feeling better.  I stayed home from church today and Ron came home from church and put on his sweats and is trying to get feeling like himself again.  We will be fine in a few days.  This cold has been traveling through the mission like wildfire.

#5.  Nikola, our investigator/translator and Elder Christiansen working on a questionnaire/survey that the elders are going to use to try and get some more communication with people.  We are hopeful that it will be a good tool to get people to start talking.

#6.  Elder Christiansen.  Sis. Christiansen, this one is for you!!!!  We sure do love our elders.  They ate dinner with another embassy family today but still came by for a piece of pizza and to work on missionary things this evening.  We love it when they can stop by.

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